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How to reconcile mixed messages from The Church


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19 minutes ago, longview said:

Sincere question: do you seriously promote the use of puberty blockers?

Considering that it can cause premature onset of osteoporosis in teenagers and young adults.

There is a link between soda and osteoporosis.  Should we ban soda?

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35 minutes ago, longview said:

Sincere question: do you seriously promote the use of puberty blockers?

Considering that it can cause premature onset of osteoporosis in teenagers and young adults.

Second question: what do you consider the minimum age for surgical alteration for minors?

Considering that it destroys the reproductive function and ability to breastfeed.

One thing to keep in mind when looking at the bone density studies and primary sex hormone blockers, is that they are almost always comparing to similarly aged peers, and extrapolating the reduced bone density in comparison to similarly aged peers to be indicative of permanent and/or irreversible bone density deficiencies. 

The research on individuals where there was the cessation of puberty blockers, and the onset of biological sex puberty proceeded, or exogenous hormone administration for gender affirming care was implemented, don't have the universal disparity in bone density.  Best practices and guidelines are generally for puberty blockers to be a temporary measure.  It's to provide time for proper evaluation of gender dysphoria, and time to determine if it's transient or if an individual would benefit from gender affirming care.

It's currently one of the best intervention methods with supporting evidence for long-term positive outcomes.  Maybe (hopefully) something better will come along, but for now it's one of the most humane, safe, and reversible options in treating adolescents with gender dysphoria.  One of the more extreme potential outcomes for untreated gender dysphoria is suicide.  Having a temporary reduction in bone density compared to similarly aged peers, with a small chance for prolonged bone density deficiency in adulthood, is relatively small in the overall risk assessment.  Ultimately the goal is healthy and happy individuals who are able to thrive in society.  Sometimes that means biological men remaining biological men.  Sometimes that means biological women receiving treatment to be more prototypically masculine in their appearance, if that's what their national/cultural/social norms associate with male gender identity.  For those where transitioning to a prototypical appearance is a necessary component for their mental and emotional wellbeing and societal survival, being able to mitigate biological irreversible changes is invaluable.

Maybe one day our (and other similar western) societies will be able to transition to not being completely binary when it comes to our social constructs of gender, and adopt and incorporate traditions of some of the societies and cultures (both current, and historically) where gender isn't binary.  Until such time where society doesn't essentially force a "choice," these types of medical interventions will likely be invaluable.

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1 hour ago, longview said:

Sincere question: do you seriously promote the use of puberty blockers?

Considering that it can cause premature onset of osteoporosis in teenagers and young adults.

Puberty blockers…according to studies I am reading, the prevalence of fractures is likely the same in those who used puberty blockers in teenage years and the general population and it appears that long term effects bone mineralization loss effects are only persistent once hormone treatment is started and gone on for several years for those taking estrogen and only in the lumbar region.  I understand there are ways though to counter the effects, such as more weight bearing exercises and increasing calcium and vit d intake just as is encouraged for biological women who show evidence of the disorder.

one study (I have read others in the past, but don’t want to dig them up), this is a recent one…

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9150228/

Having said that, I am still leery of medicating teens and think it should be done with much greater holistic medical supervision (as in not just for the purpose it is taken for and not just whether the medication is taken properly, but other areas of health, such as sleep, exercises, sociality, pretty much everything that affects quality of life should be tracked as much as possible).  This reluctance is a personal bias based on experience with unintended permanent side effects of medications for me and mine and others I see.   However, if I refused to allow my teenage daughter to take medication in general on that basis, she would be dead since she requires insulin.  Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks.

The bone mineralization problems with puberty blockers are pushing for an earlier start of hormone treatments, so those who push this issue to the forefront due to an agenda of wanting less gender affirming care for teens may end up finding it backfires on them.  The benefit of longterm use is it allows the teen time to determine whether they actually want to transition or not.  It might be better to push to find safer ways of using blockers as well as pushing for more active talk therapy for kids with body issues….such as incentivizing pediatric mental health careers since there are low numbers of pediatric therapists though better funding and insurance reimbursement as well as decreasing the stigma/increasing the prestige of mental health careers in general….which could potentially help teens resolve issues faster.

Edited by Calm
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22 minutes ago, california boy said:

I sincerely believe whether to use puberty blockers is a medical evaluation along with parental consent to decide what is best for THEIR child

I think any teen who plans on being involved in sports should seriously consider not using puberty blockers unless frequently tested for bone loss, at least until studies have been done that consistently show what can be expected and protected against….this would be one of the variables to take into account, imo.

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57 minutes ago, california boy said:

Even still, it is not a decision the government needs to be involved in.

I don’t know about this.  I think with consultation with qualified doctors could produce decent laws preventing extremes because there are some really crappy parents out there and really crappy doctors and and combining the two could result in mistreatment of children and I don’t think a child should be considered property to play with for those kinds of adults. (Not saying you think of children that way, of course, just some parents do and therefore use their children for their own needs rather than being concerned for the child’s needs).

Edited by Calm
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4 hours ago, longview said:

Sincere question: do you seriously promote the use of puberty blockers?

Considering that it can cause premature onset of osteoporosis in teenagers and young adults.

Second question: what do you consider the minimum age for surgical alteration for minors?

Considering that it destroys the reproductive function and ability to breastfeed.

To the first I am okay with them. Yeah, there are side effects but they are relatively minor.

To the second I don’t want to legally put a minimum. The problem is some moronic state legislature will ban double masectomies for minors and then soon poor girl with breast cancer will have to cross state lines to get life-saving medical treatment. Similar problems to what we saw with the morons in state legislatures rushing through abortion legislation without consulting actual doctors and suddenly you have women with non-viable pregnancies who need an abortion for their own potential health can’t get one because the mother’s health isn’t yet directly threatened. I would leave guidelines to the experts and suggest that we keep laws out entirely.

In general the current minimum age in this country for top surgery is 16 outside of extreme scenarios but most wait until at least 18. Current estimates last time I checked are only about 8% of top surgeries are given to those 18 or younger, about half of them between 19 and 30, and the rest for people 31 or older.

Edited by The Nehor
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27 minutes ago, Calm said:

I don’t know about this.  I think with consultation with qualified doctors could produce decent laws preventing extremes because there are some really crappy parents out there and really crappy doctors and and combining the two could result in mistreatment of children and I don’t think a child should be considered property to play with for those kinds of adults.

History convinces me legislators won’t do any of that. This is a moral panic. Many will push through harsh restrictions. Some already have. They will handicap doctors trying to help those with gender dysphoria and probably interfere with other medical procedures out of sheer ignorance like they did with abortion laws. We aren’t dealing with the best and the brightest here.

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6 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The problem is some moronic state legislature will ban double vasectomies for minors and then soon poor girl with breast cancer will have to cross state lines to get life-saving medical treatment.

If a doctor is recommending a vasectomy to treat breast cancer, I think they might want to get a second opinion from a second doctor.

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22 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

So your point is that blacks' situation was "much worse" than gays and lesbians since "there was no sin [blacks] could repent of in order to be admitted into full membership in the church during the ban," which is "obvious" to you.  Did I get that right?  If so, I agree with you on everything I just restated.

Regardless, that's beside MY point, which you evidently seem to have missed, as well.  I agree that blacks' situation was much worse than gays and lesbians. I agree that blacks were prohibited from holding the priesthood based on innate, unchosen personal characteristics (in their case, their native ancestry). 

The idea that blacks "had it worse" is beside my point, which is simply that church doctrines and policies change over time.  Blacks' ability to hold the priesthood is only one of such changes; other doctrinal/policy changes over time include prohibition of temple sealings for interracial couples (much more analogous to prohibition of temple sealings for same-gender couples than the priesthood ban), changes mandating/allowing/prohibiting the practice of plural marriages (also more analogous to marriage between same-gender couples), changes to the covenants and wording of the endowment ceremony (which we obviously won't discuss here due to board rules) and the law of adoption, members' use of birth control, the historical geography of the Book of Mormon, the 'principle ancestry" of the Book of Mormon" vs. the genetics of the native peoples of the Americas, the literal translation of a book of breathings vs the revelatory nature of today's "Pearl of Great Price," etc. 

While you contend that the church's prohibition of temple marriage for same-gender couples "isn't as bad" as blacks being denied the priesthood (which I agree with), my point is that the church's prohibition of interracial marriage and same-sex marriage will ultimately be analogous--that is, I believe the church will eventually drop it's prohibition same-sex sealings just as it dropped it's prohibition of interracial sealings.  More broadly, I also believe that the church will change it's doctrines around same-gender couplings just as it has made changes to other, less-similar doctrinal changes, such as plural marriage, birth control, and others I mentioned previously.

And yes, I agree with you fully when you say that when it comes to changes in doctrine, it's Christ's church so He can make whatever changes He wants, whenever He wants. That's my point--I believe "He" will do so, as has been done with other doctrines, some more similar than others.

Oh, and can I throw in a shout-out to point out that these are not mutually exclusive categories. Queer people are born into ethnic minorities too and they generally have it much much harder so comparing and contrasting the difficulty ignores those who face both combined.

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36 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

History convinces me legislators won’t do any of that.

I agree at this point it isn’t going to happen in the US, but I don’t want to make it absolute. Hope springs eternal that somewhere government is actually sane and responsive to its community’s true needs and members of it are not worried more about reelection or personal benefit. 

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4 hours ago, Doctor Steuss said:

One thing to keep in mind when looking at the bone density studies and primary sex hormone blockers, is that they are almost always comparing to similarly aged peers, and extrapolating the reduced bone density in comparison to similarly aged peers to be indicative of permanent and/or irreversible bone density deficiencies. 

The research on individuals where there was the cessation of puberty blockers, and the onset of biological sex puberty proceeded, or exogenous hormone administration for gender affirming care was implemented, don't have the universal disparity in bone density.  Best practices and guidelines are generally for puberty blockers to be a temporary measure.  It's to provide time for proper evaluation of gender dysphoria, and time to determine if it's transient or if an individual would benefit from gender affirming care.

It's currently one of the best intervention methods with supporting evidence for long-term positive outcomes.  Maybe (hopefully) something better will come along, but for now it's one of the most humane, safe, and reversible options in treating adolescents with gender dysphoria.  One of the more extreme potential outcomes for untreated gender dysphoria is suicide.  Having a temporary reduction in bone density compared to similarly aged peers, with a small chance for prolonged bone density deficiency in adulthood, is relatively small in the overall risk assessment.  Ultimately the goal is healthy and happy individuals who are able to thrive in society.  Sometimes that means biological men remaining biological men.  Sometimes that means biological women receiving treatment to be more prototypically masculine in their appearance, if that's what their national/cultural/social norms associate with male gender identity.  For those where transitioning to a prototypical appearance is a necessary component for their mental and emotional wellbeing and societal survival, being able to mitigate biological irreversible changes is invaluable.

Maybe one day our (and other similar western) societies will be able to transition to not being completely binary when it comes to our social constructs of gender, and adopt and incorporate traditions of some of the societies and cultures (both current, and historically) where gender isn't binary.  Until such time where society doesn't essentially force a "choice," these types of medical interventions will likely be invaluable.

So glad to see you, Dr Steuss !!

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I think any teen who plans on being involved in sports should seriously consider not using puberty blockers unless frequently tested for bone loss, at least until studies have been done that consistently show what can be expected and protected against….this would be one of the variables to take into account, imo.

Certainly anything like that should be taken into consideration.

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

I don’t know about this.  I think with consultation with qualified doctors could produce decent laws preventing extremes because there are some really crappy parents out there and really crappy doctors and and combining the two could result in mistreatment of children and I don’t think a child should be considered property to play with for those kinds of adults. (Not saying you think of children that way, of course, just some parents do and therefore use their children for their own needs rather than being concerned for the child’s needs).

Are we really going to try and set up laws just in case there are crappy parents and crappy doctors out there?  Where would that start and end.  I can think of literally dozens of things crappy parents do to their children.  And just who would turn in crappy parents and crappy doctors?  What kind of penalties would the government impose on crappy parents that make bad decisions for their children?  Take them away from them if they allow puberty blockers?  Imprison them?  

Edited by california boy
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4 hours ago, california boy said:

Are we really going to try and set up laws just in case there are crappy parents and crappy doctors out there?  Where would that start and end.  I can think of literally dozens of things crappy parents do to their children.  And just who would turn in crappy parents and crappy doctors?  What kind of penalties would the government impose on crappy parents that make bad decisions for their children?  Take them away from them if they allow puberty blockers?  Imprison them?  

We already do…require kids be schooled, etc

I was speaking generally btw, not in reference to puberty blockers or even gender affirming care, which I don’t see as inherently extreme cases.

Edited by Calm
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10 hours ago, CV75 said:

I would add that temple marriage is rooted also in specific beliefs about the first estate (Heavenly Mother), Creation (Adam and Eve), the mortal estate and eternal covenants made in a temporal estate (D&C 132 and the like), the physical resurrection and the eternal round. What doctrinal change would offset what is already known about these and their tie to exaltation? [my emphasis]

You might need to be specific about what specific beliefs in these areas that you have in mind. I usually find that, when these topics are brought up and applied to same-sex marriage, there seems to be a lot of speculative beliefs.

As an example. I frequently see people suggest that same sex marriages cannot be exalted because exalted couple will be birthing/creating/adopting spirit children. And, while we might know almost nothing about this process, they are absolutely certain that the process requires male and female. When I search for reasons to believe this "absolute certainty," I cannot find anything concrete that suggests any kind of certainty.

What specific beliefs and doctrines do you think preclude exalting same sex couples?

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On 1/24/2024 at 5:08 PM, Maestrophil said:

Are LGBTQ+ folks the current version of what blacks and the priesthood were pre- 1978? Is the proclamation wrong?  Not sure how to feel

Ok I am going to say it.

EVERY doctrine and theological position since the very beginning has been based on one form or another is "natural law"

Spirit is matter.  We technically are materialists. --> Union of opposites, spirit and matter= opposites made one

God used existing materials and "natural laws" of physics to "organize" ( not create ex nihilo) the universe

Jesus it has been said, was conceived the same way all humans are.  "Virgin birth", according to many, beginning with Brigham, seems to be LITERALLY not possible on this paradigm.

The union of opposites as a method of creation, opposition in all things, and other similar paradigms are also represented again and again in Lds theology.

You can't escape it!

Gay marriage to most imo, represents a theological step in the opposite direction.

I am not taking a position for or against, but I would like to see a way of constructing a paradigm that uses these principles to justify gay marriage.

Please.

Have never seen anything that actually "fits" our theology.

Yes, love everyone, but this is about the logical structure of a paradigm 

Somebody's got to raise the issue in a way that modifies existing paradigms while achieving what is believed,nor they might be unreconcilable

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4 hours ago, MrShorty said:

What specific beliefs and doctrines do you think preclude exalting same sex couples?

IN THE CHURCH PARADIGM there must be diversity to create anything.  Hammer plus nails = a house.

Same sex couples are seen as unnatural, in our paradigm based on natural law and an immanent organizer who puts together opposing substances to makes something new.

Just like building a house!  You cannot take a pile of lumber and expect it to make a house without other elements 

Water= H20

1 gas combined with 2 other portions of another gas makes water.

It's the unification of different attributes which create something new, DIFFERENT from either one of the attributes of the original entity.

A seed+soil + water = new life and a new entity.

A pair of the same elements create nothing new.

H2 is H2, it needs an O to become something new.

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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8 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Ok I am going to say it.

EVERY doctrine and theological position since the very beginning has been based on one form or another is "natural law"

Spirit is matter.  We technically are materialists. --> Union of opposites, spirit and matter= opposites made one

God used existing materials and "natural laws" of physics to "organize" ( not create ex nihilo) the universe

Jesus it has been said, was conceived the same way all humans are.  "Virgin birth", according to many, beginning with Brigham, seems to be LITERALLY not possible on this paradigm.

The union of opposites as a method of creation, opposition in all things, and other similar paradigms are also represented again and again in Lds theology.

You can't escape it!

Gay marriage to most imo, represents a theological step in the opposite direction.

I am not taking a position for or against, but I would like to see a way of constructing a paradigm that uses these principles to justify gay marriage.

Please.

Have never seen anything that actually "fits" our theology.

Yes, love everyone, but this is about the logical structure of a paradigm 

Somebody's got to raise the issue in a way that modifies existing paradigms while achieving what is believed,nor they might be unreconcilable

Lots of philosophies of men (and even several past prophets), but very little scriptural citations—meaning, from The Standard Works.

Can you please provide scriptural quotations for The Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, or Pearl of Great Price supporting any of the above?

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4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

IN THE CHURCH PARADIGM there must be diversity to create anything.  Hammer plus nails = a house.

Same sex couples are seen as unnatural, in our paradigm based on natural law and an immanent organizer who puts together opposing substances to makes something new.

Just like building a house!  You cannot take a pile of lumber and expect it to make a house without other elements 

Water= H20

1 gas combined with 2 other portions of another gas makes water.

It's the unification of different attributes which create something new, DIFFERENT from either one of the attributes of the original entity.

A seed+soil + water = new life and a new entity.

A pair of the same elements create nothing new.

H2 is H2, it needs an O to become something new.

 

 

Same answer as my post just above this one—you’ve worked out several philosophies about this so-called “paradigm” of yours that make sense to you and perhaps many other members, but I see no canonical citations. Can you share where LDS scripture supports any of the above?

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On 1/31/2024 at 7:17 PM, Daniel2 said:

So your point is that blacks' situation was "much worse" than gays and lesbians since "there was no sin [blacks] could repent of in order to be admitted into full membership in the church during the ban," which is "obvious" to you.  Did I get that right?  If so, I agree with you on everything I just restated.

No, my objection to the OP's question isn't because I believe black members during the ban had it worse than LGBT members today. It's because black members were denied opportunities and blessings in the church because of policy. LGBT members are only denied opportunities and blessings in the church because of disobedience. That's why I disagree with using the comparison between the two groups because I don't think it's very accurate or fair to black members.  That's as far as I'm going with this.  My comments weren't intended to address the other LGBT issues in the church.

Maybe someday the prophet will receive a different revelation concerning LGBT relationships.  But in the meantime, shouldn't believing members be obedient to the commandments as they currently stand?

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8 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

ERY doctrine and theological position since the very beginning has been based on one form or another is "natural law"

I very much like the idea of opposites coming together to make a whole and God being the joining of a male and a female just feels right to me, so my criticism here is as much to see if you can offer correction for them.  This is going to be a ramble as several ideas popped into my head about a hour or two after I read your above post.

Natural law as apparently defined by you does not appear to coordinate exactly with biology.  Intersex individuals can, for example, reproduce/have children. One can assume they are anomalies, but this seems to me more about wanting to instinctually or maybe culturally divide humanity into two categories.  There is something quite satisfying annd elegant about just dealing with two opposites, a binary language is simple and easy to understand for most….but life isn’t that binary.  

Biologically male and female are almost identical genetically. Biology turns a female into a male by the minor (percentage wise) differences in one chromosome out of 23.  Male and female are only opposites in symbolic language. There are some brain differences such as females have more grey matter, but they use more white matter than males.  Still size and variation of functions overlap significantly.  You can find plenty of men and women with the same brain size, etc.  And even with averages, it’s not that men are dominant left brain and women right brain, but that women typically use their hemispheres equally (we have stronger side to side connections).  Male and female brains are way more alike than they are different, so there is no way one can legitimately use “opposite” to describe actual male and female brain function, which reflects personality and intelligence. 

I agree that marriage can work great when the two individuals’ attributes complement each other, but I don’t see these attributes besides reproduction being that typically tied to biological sex.  For example, in many ways my parents were the perfect team.  My mom was the artist and educator, my dad was an engineer and boss; she was nurturing, he was good with discipline.

My own marriage somewhat mirrors this, so I think we also make a good team….except I have many of the attributes my dad had and my husband shares attributes with my mother in many areas. I repaired and renovated the home, managed the money better, I was the one who disciplined when needed.

So why would it not be possible for a woman who had attributes like my mother and another woman whose attributes were more like mine not be viewed as complementing each other enough as a couple?

I also think there is great benefit to shared attributes.  My mother loved to study and would spend hours almost every day reading, but Dad wasn’t interested…at most he wanted a condensed version delivered in 5 minutes, so Mom was quite lonely in that part of her life.  I also view my husband as a bit too nurturing as we were never able to establish good family routines because he didn’t want to see the kids suffer, such as if they didn’t eat their dinner, I would figure if they got hungry enough they would eat what I made, but he would end up making Mac and cheese or hot dogs for them later.  As a result there is one person in the family with a great diet…me…and three with not so great.  And I am not the least bit interested in going to watch sports or watch old movies over and over again. Our dates are pretty much going to restaurants and occasionally action movies (as long as they weren’t realistic).  Thank goodness we both love Tolkien and the early Star Wars.  It can be harder to share visions and work as a team if there is not significant overlap.

So overall I can see one could argue that given the overlap of attributes between males and females and the need for shared characteristics that it might be possible to achieve the ideal kind of balance/completeness in a couple with two of the same sex.

Honestly at times the ideal of male and female being the perfect complement for each other feels to me more like the Platonic desire for an unchanging God, wanting the universe to have some perfect standard one can rely upon when reality looks really variable.

Edited by Calm
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13 hours ago, MrShorty said:

You might need to be specific about what specific beliefs in these areas that you have in mind. I usually find that, when these topics are brought up and applied to same-sex marriage, there seems to be a lot of speculative beliefs.

As an example. I frequently see people suggest that same sex marriages cannot be exalted because exalted couple will be birthing/creating/adopting spirit children. And, while we might know almost nothing about this process, they are absolutely certain that the process requires male and female. When I search for reasons to believe this "absolute certainty," I cannot find anything concrete that suggests any kind of certainty.

What specific beliefs and doctrines do you think preclude exalting same sex couples?

Certainty is far too rigid a standard for me, so I don’t expect us to provide certainty. Instead, I would go with “personal conviction” on a point of reason that is strong enough to live our lives by.

So, my question is perhaps better phrased as, “What doctrinal change would offset your conviction about the items I listed, and their tie to exaltation?” For example, “I have a personal conviction regarding X revelation, which I think promotes exalting same sex couples.”

As to the specific beliefs and doctrines that I think preclude exalting same sex couples, I’ve listed them. My backdrop is the testimony concerning the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and the "appendages" build from there. Considering what I understand to be religion at large, exaltation of same-sex couples is the newer concept within the relatively tiny subset of the restored gospel, so I’m trying to understand your reasons rather than detract by focusing my own.

Edited by CV75
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4 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Lots of philosophies of men (and even several past prophets), but very little scriptural citations—meaning, from The Standard Works.

Can you please provide scriptural quotations for The Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, or Pearl of Great Price supporting any of the above?

Scriptural quotations are sure to be forthcoming and refuted, no matter how excellent they may be!

At this point, I am trying to understand what ties back to the fundamental principles of our religion that promotes the exaltation of same-sex couples. This isn't (for me) about a prognostication about what will someday be revealed based on incidents and trends presented in a format to support it, but the revelatory building blocks that lead from where we were, say, in 1830, to this specific point of doctrine.

 

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