Gay Son + Insensitive Ward (You’re the Bishop Poll #12)

By: Bishop Bill
November 26, 2011

Your local community has a ballot initiative to uphold the traditional definition of marriage, and you’ve been asked as bishop to support the measure.  During this same time frame, you notice a reliable elderly couple has suddenly stopped coming to church. They had previously been very active, but are now conspicuously absent from the pews during sacrament meeting. You drop by their house one day on your way home from church to check up on them.

They greet you kindly at the door and invite you in.  After some small talk, you ask them why they have not been to church. The sister explains that they have a grown son who is gay.  Nobody in the ward is aware of this, as they moved to the ward after he was already living on his own.  She tells you of the heartache they have felt each Sunday as members talked about how the “evil” gays were going to destroy their marriages.  She told about the discomfort as a whole sacrament meeting was taken over by the stake, with special speakers selected to support the ballot initiative.

She explains that it was simply more than they could bear, and they have decided to stop coming to church.  Her husband has remained silent through this, but you notice large tears rolling down his face as his wife talks with you.

What do you tell them?

You're the bishop. What do you do (Poll #13)

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What else would you say or do?  Discuss.

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62 Responses to Gay Son + Insensitive Ward (You’re the Bishop Poll #12)

  1. MD on November 26, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Showing more compassion to other members of the ward is always the best choice in any situation.

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  2. Course Correction on November 26, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    The bishop’s hands are tied in this kind of situation only if he cares more about keeping his church position than in doing what is right.

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  3. Stephen M (Ethesis) on November 26, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    How can anyone think any response except for the last should get any votes?

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  4. Henry on November 26, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Course Correction
    And what is right?

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  5. Tachyon Feathertail on November 26, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    See? People only stop going to church because they were offended. The right thing to do would’ve been for them to keep going to church, even though it ripped their hearts out through their chests.

    Although given the poll results I’m probably preaching to the choir here. >.>;

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  6. Kevin Barney on November 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    The last response is good, but I would go on to suggest that I think they’re doing the right thing by sitting out church while the ballot initiative is in play, and I would talk to them about returning after it was over. Because the bishop simply can’t control the environment as a whole, and people are going to say dickish stuff. They just are, no matter how compassionate you urge them to be. If I were one of those parents, I would take a sabbatical from Church, too. So I would assure them that I understood what they were doing and thought they were taking a reasonable step.

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  7. andreh h on November 26, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Instruct your ward members giving the invocations to give very long prayers. Have your ward music people pick the longest hymns and sing every verse. Schedule lots of choir #’s. Make your priests say the sacrament prayers 5-6 times each. Have the deacons drag their feet during the sacrement. Do everything else you can think of to eat up time so the Stake speakers are left with as little time as possible!

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  8. Anselma on November 26, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    I would take a moment at the beginning of sacrament meeting to remind people that the Church doesn’t (or at least isn’t supposed to) tell people how to vote. Sacrament meeting is for the edification and uplifting of the Saints, not politics masquerading as gospel. Then: a couple of short talks, and a BUNCH of singing–it’s really the best part of sacrament meeting, anyway.

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  9. FireTag on November 26, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    I think that would be the time I’d remind myself that it would be easier to explain to God why I did something I sincerely believed to be right, even if it turned out to be wrong, than to explain to Him why I did something I sincerely believed to be wrong, even if it turned out to be right.

    The Bishop has to decide in his own conscience what policy toward marriage is correct, and act accordingly. So, it might be 1, or it might be something not on the list: that he take a Sabbatical himself. It all depends on the Bishop’s own conscience.

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  10. Ray on November 27, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    I agree with Kevin.

    I would tell the couple that, while I would love to have them in church with me and the congregation and I would be talking with everyone about compassion and the natural tendency to stereotype and say stupid things (and I actually would say it that way in church), I understand totally if they can’t attend for a while. I would tell them that I believe in living according to the dictates of my own conscience and allow ALL (members) the same privilege – so if their consciences right now dictate taking a break for a while, I would pray that God continue to guide them while they are away.

    I would then ask that kind, compassionate, understanding people be called as their HT and VT – even if it had to be my wife and I temporarily.

    I would give a talk in Sacrament Meeting the next week about the general topic of love, tolerance and acceptance of others despite their differences – without mentioning the couple but mentioning explicitly the political environment and how easy it is to be hateful in that type of situation while covering our actions with a cloak of “love the sinner”. I would preach about love being a verb – that what we say and do about and to others says a LOT more about our feelings than what we claim.

    I’ve delivered blunt sermons in the past, and I would do it in this case.

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  11. Douglas on November 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    #3 – because the “poll” is bogus and slanted, that’s why! If you can’t figure that out, any comment from you is spurious.
    I voted the “hate the sin, love the sinner” because that IS the Church’s message. However, and w/o knowing exactly what the other members of the ward are saying re: Gays and “defense of marriage”, it’s difficult to predict if they “need” sensitivity training or not. Odds are that, yes, they do, because on this and many other issues of the day, we LDS are not immune from getting on our self-righteous high horse and acting as if our bodily excrement is fit for human consumption.
    I would gently remind this couple that it’s THEIR Church too and if they feel that their gay son’s humanity and worth as a man is being assaulted, then I’d be perfectly willing to provide them a platform to express their views. Many times we treat those with gay or lesbian relatives much the same as the staff at a correctional facility treats the family members visiting their incarcerated loved ones…as if they share in the guilt. A unionized CCPOA “thug with a badge” can get away with such boorish behavior, but we who profess to belong to the Savior’s Church ought to set a higher standard. Unfortunately, the ideal and the reality are often different.

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  12. alice on November 27, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Douglas-

    What “guilt”?

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  13. Douglas on November 27, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    #12 – apologies for lack of clarity. Many times the family of the gay/lesbian child is made to feel as if somehow THEY are to blame that their offspring is “that” way, rather than it being a chosen lifestyle (I refer to the practice itself, not the predisposition which has some genetic and environmental factors). Or we magnify the degree of this sin, as if the Lord has commanded us to “shoot all fags on sight”, such is the contempt often expressed. Naturally ANY couple, regardless of their own feelings about their child’s homosexual lifestyle, would feel slighted and hurt if barraged with rude and insensitive commentary like that!
    My “sampling” (no pun intended) of gays/lesbians I know isn’t statistically significant but nonetheless instructive. I have a gay relative, an RM also, and though I’d certainly prefer that he put aside his gay lifestyle and partner, I have no issue that he’s my relative. He and his partner know better than to offend my sensitivities with open displays of homosexual affection, but I have no difficulty welcoming same into my home and treating the partner as a dear friend. My familial love is not dictated by any judgement as to life choices. Likewise I have a good lady friend who herself, being subjected to lesbian advances in her youth (it was rampant amongst her high school and college teammates and she was also seduced by her HS gymnastic coach), found it challenging to form heterosexual relationships even though when she was a Southern Baptist she firmly believed that gays and lesbians were “going to hell”. Being LDS now, she accepts that she has to refrain from practicing the lesbian lifestyle..this in spite of her previous partner herself being a member and professing to still believe in the Gospel (go figure, I guess there’s a way). Just proves you must deal with folks one-on-one and not compartmentalize or stereotype them.

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  14. Ray on November 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    “Just proves you must deal with folks one-on-one and not compartmentalize or stereotype them.”

    Douglas, while I appreciate the spirit of what I think you just said, I’m going to grab some popcorn and sit back for a while. The next few (or hundreds of) comments might be interesting.

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  15. Ray on November 27, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    “while I appreciate the spirit of what I think you just said”

    I probably should clarify that a bit and say that I appreciate that you believe your statement doesn’t compartmentalize or stereotype others. I disagree with SO much of our comment, but I appreciate that you are trying your best to be accepting of others who are different than you.

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  16. Anon on November 27, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    It was years ago that I had a “friend” tell me about her husband’s brother committing suicide. She concluded the conversation that it was probably best that he killed himself because he was gay.
    I was at a loss for words. I didn’t manage to say anything that day. It forever changed my interaction with her.

    While the gay activist stereotype is out there, many of the gays that I know just want to live a “don’t bother me life”. Too often we get caught in the stereotypes that so easily label groups.

    Would I have told her that I know many gay mormons that struggled to fit in and some were happy and some were sad? No, she determined that all were miserable and that death was the preferable option for them.

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  17. hawkgrrrl on November 27, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Anon – that story makes me physically sick.

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  18. Will on November 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    None of the above, I would add the following:

    The Bishop has a perfect opportunity to teach the gospel of repentance and should capitalize on this opportunity.

    Those that struggle with same gender attraction are no different than anyone else. This is their challenge; and they need to overcome their challenges just like anyone else. Along these lines, they should be treated just like anyone else. They need to be loved and need to feel part of the faith. We all need to understand that all of us have some desire or tendency that is contrary to God’s will and the only way to overcome these tendencies is to turn our life over to God.

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  19. Paul on November 27, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Will, what is the value of teaching the parents the lesson of repentance? If living the gay lifestyle is a sin, the parents have not committed it.

    I was serving as bishop as my three oldest sons each in turn chose to walk away from the church, its fundamental teachings and lead lives contrary to what their mother and I taught them during their formative years. Fortunately I was surrounded by sympathetic and non-judgemental members (perhaps because I was bishop) who offered love and support but not judgement of us or of our sons.

    I learned a great deal about compassion during those years and am grateful for the example my fellow saints showed.

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  20. Will on November 27, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Paul,

    “Will, what is the value of teaching the parents the lesson of repentance? If living the gay lifestyle is a sin, the parents have not committed it.”

    Who said it should be directed at the parents?

    I honestly can’t think of a more challenging thing to go through in the church than to have same gender attraction. They are treated as lepers as are the parents. True, they shouldn’t receive any special privileges, but by the same token we need to love them as God does; and, the Bishop needs to take the lead on this matter.

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  21. Brian on November 27, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    In one way or another, the institutional church’s approach to prop 8 is the reason that I, my wife and our five adult sons are all inactive. Having lived this scenario in real life, our ward showed no compassion, only ignorance towards gays, until they became aware of our gay son which happened rather late in the campaign.

    In my mind, the best thing a bishop can do in this situation is to show concern for the affected members and have a willingness to learn about gays. The desire to learn rather than teach in ignorance means a lot to people involved with homosexuality.

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  22. Jen on November 27, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    For some people it is painful to go to church each week and they have to decide if the pain is worth it to them. The bishop cannot take that pain away, he can lend a listening ear and try to be compassionate, but pain is inevitable for some people who attend. Sometimes the pain is just not worth it, and I have no doubt God completely understands.

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  23. Joshua Whelpley on November 28, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    I have to say thank you to most of these post. Thank you. I appreciate your support and compassion very much.

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  24. Douglas on November 28, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    #21 – yet I would wonder what your “testimony” was based upon IF the Church’s stance on Prop 8 was enough to drive you away. The Gospel, and what the Church offers, encompasses far more than the issues pertaining to homosexuality. To reject them all seems either to smack of pride, or there were other things that we of issue and this was merely the proverbial straw…since I don’t possess a mind-reader’s license, I can’t say.
    As for myself, though being stridently opposed to the gay lifestyle, I had issues myself with how the Church was approaching Prop 8. At the time, I felt that there was some subtle, and at times some not-so-subtle arm-twisting that trampled over the principle of free agency. I remember a spirited discussion on this topic in HG group meeting where I earned the ire of a few more senior brethren when I expressed a Libertarian approach, which was that government regulation of the marriage contract, even that which was well-intended, like so many other situations where Gov’t gets involved, could likely produce counter-productive results. I felt that though it was perfectly right for purposes of public policy to define marriage strictly in the heterosexual content as Prop. 22 (CA) had done in 2000, that IF a homosexual couple wished to engage in some formal manner of contract of co-habitation that for all practical purposes amounted to a ‘marriage’ contract, then they should be able to so do and it should be perfectly valid and enforceable. I also expressed the viewpoint that it simply wasn’t the duty of the Church not any other organization to regulate the consensual behavior of adults; that merely the Church should have its First Amendment rights to proclaim its message and let it fall in the free marketplace of ideas. Well, THAT went over like the proverbial lead balloon! In fact, some time later, one of the quorum members was called to be bishop, and at the time going through marital difficulty, he seized upon my views as a reason that he should yank my temple recommend (saying that I didn’t support Church leaders). Never mind that even with some reservations, I distributed some Pro-8 flyers as part of a formal activity, and engaged in a formal demonstration on Sunrise Blvd on the weekend before the election. The late Ricky Nelson was right…you can’t please everyone….

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  25. Geoff - A on November 28, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    As about 1 in every 20 births is gay we have this situation in every ward.

    Does God make mistakes this often or are gay people created by God and should therefore be respected, loved and encouraged to enjoy a loving life as the rest of us do.

    The present culture of the church has nothing to do with the Gospel. you may find some oblique references in the scriptures, but I don’t think the Saviour said anything against gays and they were there as much as now.

    Love the sinner but hate the sin (1) doesn’t apply because behaving as they were created by God to behave is not a sin (2) consider how you would feel if you were told that you were loved but your beliefs/lifestile were hatefull; doesn’t fell any different than that you are hated.

    I think the church is wrong on this one and is moving away form this position, but it will take a generation before all the members catch on.

    Has there been something happen to raise this issue again?

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  26. Douglas on November 28, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    #25 – so many misconceptions that to the effect that “Gawd” makes someone “gay”…what a load. Regardless of propensity, INDULGENCE in any sexual proclivity is still a choice. To profess otherwise is to make us automatons to our own respective libido(s) and to insult our individual intelligence and ability to freely make choices.
    If you think the Church is “wrong”, then LEAVE. It’s not up to the membership to “catch on” according to your peculiar and arrogant viewpoint, it’s up to you to either have a testimony of the Gospel and whether or not the CoJC, LDS is His agent to proclaim His word, and act accordingly. If you don’t believe in it, then you’re not doing yourself, other LDS, or the Church as a body any favors by staying. Sure, I and the remainder would want you to stay, but with a valid testimony. There is a value to that testimony that transcends this issue and any other that crops up. The Church and especially its members are NOT perfect. If they were, then the job would be finished and the Savior would have already come down and be reigning from Jerusalem. Look that way…is HE there? No? Then there’s lotsa work yet to be done….

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  27. Henry on November 28, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    What is concerning is members who actually think that gay sex is okay. D&C 138:20 tells us that when the Savior ministered to those in the spirit world, there was a segment that he could not personally go to because they had defiled themselves while in the flesh. This tells me sexual sin is extremely serious and unrepented of, will keep you from your Heavenly Father and exaltation. It would seem to me that members who support this lifestyle in others will find their own exaltation in jeopardy.

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  28. Will on November 28, 2011 at 5:39 AM

    Allow me to provide a little insight on my comment. First off, there is way to much gay bashing in the church. Anyone that considers themselves a saint and participates in this activity is in need of serious repentance.

    I have dozens of friends that are born with same gender attraction. It is not a choice, they were born with these tendencies. They fall into three lifestyles — some are married with children (one is currently serving in a Bishopric), one has remained celibate and lives a single life, and the others have embraced the “gay” lifestyle with partner and all.

    In comparison, I would offer the following; I know hundreds of men that are currently married with a wandering eye. Some have committed adultery and others struggle with pornography. Along with the second category, I know a lot of people (mostly women) who are single and celibate. The final category would include men that I know that are living the playboy lifestyle with multiple partners and no long term commitment. One of my golf buddies is this way.

    Married, single or celibate they all have their set of obstacles and challenges. For some, it is just loneliness. God has defined the acceptable lifestyle as one man being married to one woman in complete fidelity. This is the hardest one to live and the one by which all of us will be judged.

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  29. hawkgrrrl on November 28, 2011 at 6:01 AM

    Henry – we don’t treat all sexual sinners the same, though, culturally, and being gay is not accepted in any form, even if no sin is involved. Two gay men holding hands and kissing on BYU campus is not allowed, but a heterosexual couple can do this. Neither couple has committed a sin, but one is not allowed and will open them to church discipline.

    I also agree with Will that gay bashing is unacceptable for anyone who professes to follow the teachings of Christ. How can we say we love our neighbor while gay bashing or failing to help protect gay people from hate crimes or discrimination? Yet many of our youth will decline to join the GSA at their schools or to support anti-bullying movements. Why would they not want to show their love for their neighbor in such a basic way? Because of the conflicting messages from the church and in their homes in which being gay is belittled and gay people are dismissed or ridiculed. They are going to hear that from peers. They shouldn’t hear it from their church friends or parents too.

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  30. Stephen M (Ethesis) on November 28, 2011 at 6:52 AM

    Will does make a point of perspective, one that is important to understand, even if you do not agree with it.

    But so does Hawk.

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  31. Paul on November 28, 2011 at 7:07 AM

    Will: “Who said it should be directed at the parents?”

    Er, the original post. It was all about the relationship between the bishop and the parents.

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  32. Paul on November 28, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    Will after reading your #28, I see that I misunderstood your first comment. My apologies.

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  33. Paul on November 28, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    29 HG, I agree with you, and I especially agree they should not hear the message over the pulpit. Even church kids and their parents live in the same world as the other kids at school who will say these things and it takes time to change.

    One of my sons began his separation with the church over this issue ten years ago. He did join his school’s GSA and could not reconcile his friends’ lives with the church’s view.

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  34. Cowboy on November 28, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    If I was a practicing believing Mormon, I think I would be/was the “Will” kind. I’m not certain why he gets so many “dislikes”. If you’re the Bishop, what should you do. I think sensitive and consoling conversation with the couple would be in order. Reinforce the idea that they are loved, that their son is still a son of God, and that God loves him and recognizes his challenges. Still, all of this notwithstanding, they need to remain true to their covenants and find opportunities to encourage their Son to overcome his challenges, not to embrace them. If you believe the Church is true, can their be any doubt that the theological position is that homosexual practices are damning (not outer-darkness)? Furthermore, by refusing to attend Church, what kind of example are they setting?

    I don’t personally agree with the above statements, but I wouldn’t be a good Bishop either. I would encourage people not to pay their tithing. What should a Bishop do? If they believe the Church is true, they should preach the Gospel, repentance and forgiveness through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

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  35. Douglas on November 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Hawk, Will…kudos and fully agree on gay bashing (or bashing of anyone) being compatible with living the Gospel. Also agree that there are many OTHER sins, including those sexual and hereto that likewise plague the Church. Do NOT agree that a gay PDA vs a hereto PDA should be acceptable in an LDS setting.

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  36. Brian on November 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    “Furthermore, by refusing to attend Church, what kind of example are they setting?”

    They were being human.

    As you may know, an Illinois bishop, Kevin Kloosterman, recently spoke at a conference in SLC and in his talk said,

    “…as I read these stories and as I learned more about these issues, I began to see the emotional wounds and the scars that many of you still have today. And I seem to ask the
    question, “Where did you get these wounds?” and unfortunately the answer was,
    “In the house of my friends.””

    As one who attended church during the campaign and listened to gem after gem of raw bigotry during the Gospel Doctrine class that I was teaching, I wish I had either 1) not attended church or 2) spoken up sooner and louder than I did. I kept quiet to keep the peace so as to not ruin the Sunday of those at church. I am embarrassed that I kept quiet for so long.

    Having heard things like “we need to remember just who these people (gays) really are”, I totally understand the desire to stay away.

    I think if open discussion would be encouraged at church my feelings might have been different. It isn’t. Party line uber alles.

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  37. Cowboy on November 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Brian:

    I get that – but the question was “what should the Bishop do”.

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  38. Will on November 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Brian,

    The bitter pill you swallowed is clouding your judgement of others. The judgement you are offerings to others is no different than the judgement offered to your son. The solution is to cough up the bitter pill and swallow instead your pride. After all, these are good people with the wrong information and the cure is reproving with sharpness followed by an increase of love. This is the only lasting way to create change.

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  39. Henry on November 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    There is a huge segment of this demographic that is bent on subverting society. They do it by gaining sympathy, through the courts, etc. The church has long seen that homosexual activism threatens the family.

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  40. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on November 28, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    #25 “As about 1 in every 20 births is gay”

    I don’t believe that for a second.

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  41. hawkgrrrl on November 28, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    How does someone being gay subvert the family? People who are heterosexual will not become convinced to become gay. Gay couples adopt children who would otherwise not have parents. What exactly are they doing that threatens traditional marriage? Is your argument that they are selling a cheap knock-off made-in-China version of marriage? It’s not like it will erode the traditional marriage market.

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  42. Henry on November 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Gay marriage will do far more to subvert society than anything else. Let us not hide our head in the sand and pretend otherwise.

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  43. Brian on November 28, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    So, Will, I am sure Henry is a good person but what is the point of reproving him with sharpness, dullness or any other kind of “ness”? God is on his side. That’s all he needs to know.

    Actually your point is a good one. I have moved on from church activity due to the typical historical and doctrinal reasons all over the Internet. Prop 8 was simply the kick in the butt as I stood in the exit.

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  44. Ray on November 28, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    I don’t support gay marriage (since I support civil unions for all, regardless of orientation), but heterosexual adultery and abuse and sleeping around and baby-daddies and mothers who have five kids from five different fathers ad infinitum do WAY more damage to society and marriage than homosexuals ever will be able to do.

    Seriously, when the divorce and illegitimate birth rates are as high as they are now (in some areas, the out-of-wedlock birth rate is over 80%) – and all the other issues around us are spiraling almost out of control among heterosexuals, it’s hard to believe someone thinks gay marriage will do more damage than the heterosexuals who put it on life support in the first place.

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  45. Cowboy on November 29, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Henry-

    Gay marriage is a bigger threat than even…I don’t know…wars, rumors of wars, nuclear proliferation, famine, pestilence, poverty, starvation, political turmoil, genocide, etc??

    I find this argument highly odd. There has been a lot of discussion recently as to what implications gay marriage could have on the legalization of plural marriage. Seeing as how we have this precedent for Celestial marriages, and by implication Celestial families, currently being outlawed by the federal government, I would argue that gay marriage ought to be the greatest benefit to the Mormon family. If you believe that plural marriage is necessary for salvation then you should be riding the political wave of liberalism caused by SSM, join hands, and get a seat at the table. In other words, I would think that the greatest benefit support for Celestial marriage would come from a political marriage between Same Sex Marriage and Plural Marriage advocates.

    Go Sister Wives!

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  46. Henry on November 29, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I guess people can’t see the big picture. If you think homosexuality is okay, you are putting yourself at odds with leaders of the church. Even if a straight person supports and encourages a person to pursue homosexual relations and that person never repents, what them think that their exaltation is not jeopardized? Are we not commanded to help each other repent and come unto Christ? I repeat, the Savior was not able to go in person to those who had defiled themselves while in the flesh. What do you think this means?

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  47. Henry on November 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    grammar correction
    What makes them think

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  48. hawkgrrrl on November 29, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Henry, do you think it is impossible for a heterosexual to “defile him or herself in the flesh”? The church asked members to support Prop 8, but I’m also aware of people who went to members of the Q12 and said they could not support Prop 8 or the church’s stance because they had children who were gay. These people were not deemed by leadership to be “opposing” them. They were treated with compassion by our highest leadership. Unfortunately, given that this was done privately, it makes it difficult for members who look to leaders to define Christian behavior to know how to treat people. That’s a cop out IMO.

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  49. Henry on November 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Many times we quote cold hard doctrine forgetting that there are real people and real problems here. You gotta feel for someone going through this. It can’t be easy.

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  50. Will on November 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Henry,

    I see two things wrong with your *unrighteous* judgment of those with same gender attraction:

    1) Be careful when you throw scriptures around. Make sure you understand what you are saying and understand the context. People reading your comments can and will take them the wrong way, especially when you present them the wrong way. What Joseph F. Smith was saying when he spoke of those that defiled themselves (please look at the cross reference) is the same thing Nephi was saying when he said:

    “Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God….”

    Are those that are born with same gender attraction really seeking ‘to do wickedly” or are they just trying to understand and reconcile the tendencies they were born with. And yes, they were born with these tendencies. Just as you, Henry, were born with some tendency for wickedness, some tendency that you will need to reconcile before you can be in Christ’s presence. Focus more on taking the beam out of your own eye..you know the rest.

    Seeking to “do wickedly” would be rapists, murders, suicide bombers and the like in my opinion.

    2) You need to separate same gender attraction with lustful acts. There are members of our church, parents and kids struggling with this very real issue. It is not a choice. They are born this way. They are born with an attraction to members of the same sex. They suffer guilt and fear and depression due to flippant and arrogant remarks from people like you. If they have not engaged in an inappropriate act they can serve in callings in the ward, hold a recommend, attend the temple, serve a mission and so forth.

    I’m sure you are a decent guy and are trying to do the right thing, but please keep in mind people that are struggling with this issue are reading your comments and it can and does make it harder for them.

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  51. Henry on November 29, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Will:
    People are waiting in the wings to snare faithful members of the church. There is a spirit of liberalness creeping into the church. See my comment before yours. I understand these are real people with real problems. But caution is the name of the game. Satan desireth to have thee to chaff thee as wheat.

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  52. Ray on November 29, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Caution is not the name of the game. Love is.

    “Perfect love casteth out all fear.”

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  53. hawkgrrrl on November 29, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Look, Henry. Conservative people don’t just become liberal (whatever that means) overnight. The church is full of both types of people. I would still love to hear a real answer on what the impact would be to traditional marriage if gay marriage is allowed (a moot point as 7 states now allow it – the battle is over). So far your answers have been: follow the leaders just cuz they are leaders, homosexual sex is icky, and Satan wants gay marriage. Do you have anything that is grounded in real world impacts of gay marriage? I hope we are all in agreement that compassion won’t go amiss.

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  54. Douglas on November 30, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    #53 – Remember the saying (dubiously attributed to Sir Winston Churchill) that if you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart, if you’re still one at 50, you have no brains…actually, on something things as I edge closer to old fogeydom (52 and still kicking butt…), I’ve either liberalized or gotten soft in my dotage (depends on perspective), and others I’ve gotten more cynical and cranky, if it were possible.
    I think of how I regarded gays when I was but a lad and joined the Church at age 20 (hey, it was the disco era, and why the good Lord didn’t smite the planet for that, I dunno…). I agreed with the missionary that I went on splits with as a recent covert, when asked about the Church’s stand on homosexuality, said, “I like to beat the hell out of them”. Not long before I became LDS, I and my buddies, if we were liquored up, bored, and found ourselves near the Tower District (Fresno), would pounce upon some hapless “queer” and administer the “laying on of hands”. Why didn’t we get into trouble with the law? Frankly, the cops would look the other way! But that was in ’78…now, not just because I have a few relatives that are homosexuals, a good lady friend that is bisexual (but she’s ‘drunk the Kool-Aid’ as far as the Church is concerned!), but simply because I’ve learned that the consensual behavior of adults is simply none of my concern (at least from a legal viewpoint), now I don’t really get that worked up about gays and lesbians. Oh, I don’t care for their lifestyle, but I’m more than content to let them be. And frankly, I can’t figure out what ever possessed me to think that it was OK to do violence to some hapless fellow merely because he ‘liked’ his fellow man A LOT. Now, that sort of behavior or attitude just seems heinous. I prefer that all discussions of homosexual issues remain in the peaceful marketplace of ideas. That doesn’t mean that I’ve liberalized as far as regarding homosexuality as either sin and/or mental illness (I still believe as did the American Psychiatry Association until 1974 that it IS a mental illness, but since I never went to med school, it remains mine own lay opinion and nothing more..), and I do insist on my right to teach our young people not to be seduced by it. But gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters no less than ‘straights’, and hopefully in all the caterwauling about it we don’t forget that. I can certainly testify that the Savior loves them ever as much, and I will always do well to follow HIS example…

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  55. Brian on November 30, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Douglas-In response to your belief that homosexuality is a mental illness, I would like to “testify” that the earth is flat.

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  56. Will on November 30, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Douglas,

    Liberalism is a mental illness and a lot of those that are pushing for SSM are liberals, so I think this is where you a confused.

    I don’t intend this comment as a joke or a poke at the left. They really truly suffer from mental illness. It is the only logical conclusion after reviewing their fiscal policy.

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  57. hawkgrrrl on November 30, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Will – don’t conflate social liberals and fiscal liberals. Douglas sounds like he’s fiscal conservative but socially liberal. In which case, I agree.

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  58. Douglas on December 1, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    #55 – as ‘phlat’ as my head. Columbus was a heretic…again, outside of politics I can’t see why the psychiatry discipline reversed itself in ’74. I’d rather hear from practitioners on this since as I’ve already say I’m just a layman. Based on the degree on mental issues that the gay community seems to endure, is deeming their lifestyle with any degree of normalcy really doing them any favors? I doubt it.

    #56 – Been listening to Michael Savage? That’s his line (and I think Ann Coulter uses it too). I agree but the lunatics are running the asylum.

    #57 – Hawk, I’m actually VERY conservative on social issues save that, being libertarian, I piss off so-called “conservatives” as well as liberals. I don’t want government, especially the Federal Gov’t, to enforce ‘morals’ (more properly, adult consensual choices) even if the outcome is desirable. I want government to keep its hands off my family and my wallet so I can teach them Gospel principles and also proclaim them freely to my fellow man (and woman). My personal disgust at the practice of homosexuality simply doesn’t translate into attempting to legislate their sordid lifestyle away. I’d rather be free to persuade others to either not adopt that lifestyle or buy into their baloney. And leave it at that. It can be tough being libertarian because the principle means that as long as your fellow man is not committing aggression (whether deliberately or by negligence) against you, then you have to hold your nose at some of the things he does. After all, he might see you in the same light.
    Rather than distinguish between “social” versus “fiscal” liberals, I’d rather ask where should personal responsibility lie, and wherein lies the public’s interest in collective responsibility? Once that’s solved, the finances tend to be fairly simple to resolve, IMO.

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  59. hawkgrrrl on December 1, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    Douglas, I am I suppose social libertarian as well (against bedroom legislation) as opposed to social liberalism (social programs to solve social problems) or social conservative (mandate morality). I should have used the correct term above.

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  60. Ray on December 1, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    This is what happens when threads go on too long.

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  61. Douglas on December 1, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    #59 – we’re thinking with the same brain, Hawk. You may now start screaming… (like Ren and Stimpy in “Space Madness”)

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  62. Nancy D. on May 7, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    As the mother of a daughter who struggles with same-sex sexual attraction, that was greatly influenced by a date-rape that occurred her freshman year of college, I know my daughter suffers from an emotional and developmental issue. I have told my daughter what I have told all my children, it is because I Love you as I Love you brothers and sisters, that I want you to develop healthy and Holy relationships and friendships that are grounded in authentic Love and thus respect the inherent Dignity of all persons. Any act, including sexual act, that does not respect the inherent Dignity of the human person, is not an act of Love, which is why we can understand through Faith and reason, that to identify oneself or someone else as an object of sexual attraction, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual…, sexually objectifies the human person and thus violates God’s Commandment regarding lust and the sin of adultery.

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