September 27, 2009

The Post I Have Procrastinated

I have appreciated the conversations going on across the community, Here, and Here.

As those who have been keeping up on these conversations know I tend to be a lone, dissident voice. I thank those in the conversations for not attacking me personally as I try to do the same for you, and I find it refreshing we all stick to the topics at hand instead of throwing mud.

While reading the lastest post, I began to tell myself, why do I even respond. I am the only one with this opinion, why don't I just keep my mouth shut and not say anything. Then the thought came to me, 1- Maybe I am not the only one out there in the MOHO community that believes this way, and 2- I have every right to speak my mind as they do theirs.

So here I shall speak my mind.

Let me throw out my opinions and then sum it up in quick bullets.

The Church has a clear stance on homosexuality. Be active in the gospel, be a full contributing member, but live the same rules un-wed peoples do, or face the consequences. As a church that has "requirements" to maintain standing in the church, they have every right to make any rule they see fit. Even if we disagree with a rule, we have no place to tell them they need to change said rule, because we have a personal objection to it.

The Church claims and I sustain that it is led by God, and receives it's direction from Him. They do follow his will and guidance. When we tell the leaders they shouldn't mettle in Prop 8, we are telling God not to mettle in Prop 8. When we tell the church to change their codes of conduct, we are telling God to change His code of conduct.

If we don't believe the church is led by men called of God, then that is a whole different matter that you need to work out. Fix that first, because that is where the root of your troubles with understanding the churches stance rests.

Can the church be more accepting and loving to gays? Of course. Is God telling members to be rude and hurtful in their speech? No. But telling the church to change their position on gay marriage is telling God to change his mind.

Now some bring up the topic of blacks and the priesthood, and that would seem like a fair comparison but we need to remember one thing. It was not the leaders of the church who all the sudden said 'no blacks can hold the priesthood.' For whatever reason, God saw fit to delay the time when blacks could receive it. Unfair? probably, but it wasn't the first time a grouping of people could not have the priesthood. Back in the day only descendants of Aaron could have it. Time of Christ, only the Jews could and the Gentiles had to wait their turn. God saw fit to dely the time of blacks to receive the priesthood for whatever reason.

Will God one day see fit to extend marriage to homosexual couples. No. The whole purpose of marriage is not to allow people to be loved by someone. Marriage is to provide a bond and union in which to raise a family, God's spirit children, in a form he has prescribed. To see my thoughts further on the institution of marriage go here. Really this wont make sense unless you see where I stand on gay marriage.

Back? Good.

Now, to force an institution, in this case, the church to change and adopt new rules because we (whatever the cause of 'we' is) is wrong; because a church is a organization, not a company, they do not conform to government regulations, and it should stay that way. I believe companies should not be allowed to discriminate, they should conform to an everyone is euqual platform, but they are a company not a church.

Now where does this leave gay members of the church who choose to not follow the guidelines the church has put out, that's for you to decide. If you don't feel you can live the life the church expects, then what do you want from the church?

I understand the church means a lot to you, because the church means a lot to me. I don't wanna lose the church in any way shape or form. However if I meet a man one day and I want to spend my life with him, then I forfeit the right to a standing in the church, because I violated the rules. I do that on my own free will, knowing full well what I am doing. There is no, 'the church is wrong on this position and they should change to allow me back in.' No. The church doesn't allow that. Will they and should they still love you? YES. But if you breech one clause on a contract, the contract is void. The Church has a contract and we sign it. We sign it knowing full well the position of the church.


Should the church change its position to conform to a social acceptable standard?

Should the church love and teach members to love gays as they would anyone else?

Do we have a right to demand the church change it's stance on gay marriage?
Yes, but...

Should the church change its stance on gay marriage?


  1. If marriage is only about bringing spirit children into the world, then why does marriage last eternally after this world?

    If marriage is only about bringing spirit children into the world, then why do widower general authorities remarry again and again when they are past their child rearing years?

    If marriage is only about bringing spirit children into the world, why did God sanction polygamy when monogamy does the job just fine?

    If marraige is only about bringing spirit children into the world, why did God stop sanctioning polygamy, when it was doing the job just fine?

    If marriage is only about having children, why do infertle couples get married?

    If marriage is only about having children, why didn't Jesus have any?

    If marriage is only about having children, why is it a requirement for the highest degree of heaven? Do childless couples still get in?

    If marriage is not about love, why get married?

    If marriage is not about love, why do people who are in love get married? Why do people who are married love each other?

    If marriage is about providing a home and a family for some of God's spirit children, then why can't gay couples marry and provide a home and a family for some of God's spirit children who otherwise wouldn't have a home?

    I think marriage is a lot deeper than the shallow definition you've provided. I think marriage in the LDS church has more to do with covenants and with priesthood sealing power. Why can't two men or two women make a covenant and be sealed with such infinite power?

  2. No you are very true, marriage is more than bringing children into this world, but that is a very important function function.

    Two men or two women can't be sealed together because the sealing power is only reserved for man and woman.

  3. It was not the leaders of the church who all the sudden said 'no blacks can hold the priesthood.' For whatever reason, God saw fit to delay the time when blacks could receive it.

    Are you sure?

    Early 1830s: Several journals report that "Black Pete" was baptizing people in Kirtland in 1830-31.

    March, 1836: Elijah Abel (a black man) was ordained an Elder. Although there is no conclusive proof, there is reason to believe that Joseph Smith ordained him.

    December, 1936: Elijah Abel is ordained a Seventy by Zebedee Coltrin.

    1837: Joseph T. Ball (baptized five years earlier by either Brigham Young or his brother Joseph) is recorded by Wilford Woodruff (in his journal) as an Elder. Joseph Ball was the son of a black Jamaican and a white woman.

    1844: Joseph Ball is called as a Branch President in Boston.

    1844: Walker Lewis (a black man) is ordained an Elder. Conflicting reports make it uncertain whether he was ordained by William Smith (brother of Joseph) or Parley P. Pratt.

    1945: Joseph Ball is ordained a High Priest by William Smith (brother of Joseph) and sent to Nauvoo by Parley P. Pratt to work on the temple and receive his endowment. He apostatized before the temple was completed, and was never endowed.

    1846: William McCary (son of a black slave woman and her white master) is baptized and ordained an Elder by Orson Hyde (an apostle).

    1846: Enoch Lewis (son of Walker Lewis) marries a white LDS woman, Mary Matilda Webster, and they have a child.

    1846: William McCary marries the (white) daughter of Daniel Standon, president of the Nauvoo stake.

    1847: William McCary performs several sexual "sealings" of himself to several other LDS women at Winter Quarters and other LDS camps along the pioneer trail. He was excommunicated for apostasy and expelled from Winter Quarters.

    In March of 1847 (before McCary's "sealings" and excommunication), Brigham Young said to William McCary that priesthood has "nothing to do with the blood for [from] blood has God made all flesh ... we av one of the best Elders an African in Lowell [referring to Walker Lewis]". The first recorded statement that ever mentioned anything about a restriction of the priesthood came from Parley P. Pratt, a month after McCary had been excommunicated, when he said that McCary "was a black man with the blood of Ham in him which lineage was cursed as regards the priesthood".

    I suppose it's possible that President Young and his counselors and the other apostles were inspired, in 1847, to suddenly introduce the idea that blacks bore the mark of Cain and were not allowed to hold the priesthood. But to me, it looks more like it actually was "the leaders of the church who all the sudden said 'no blacks can hold the priesthood.'"--because they were bothered by the actions of one or two men and they allowed their prejudices to influence their actions.


    Should the church change its position to conform to a social aceptable standard? No.

    But should the church be willing to change if its current position is based on the prejudices and personal feelings of past leaders, rather than on the mind and will of God? Of course. Unfortunately it took 130 years for a prophet to be open enough to make the change that allowed black members to be treated as equals. If a similar change is in store for gay members of the church (and I'm not claiming absolutely that it is), let's hope that it's quicker in coming.

    (To address your other point, very quickly:)

    What if the purpose of marriage isn't really procreation but rather the more basic creation of a family? Obviously procreation is required for the creation of life, but families come in all shapes and sizes, and I believe that God celebrates and blesses every one of them. A gay couple that marries creates a family that can embrace and shelter those who might otherwise have gone without one. I think that's a good thing.

  4. I think you let the cat out of the bag!

    Is having two moms or two dads better than having a mom and dad? I don't think so. There's no way that it can possibly be BETTER.

    Is having two moms or two dads WORSE than having a mom and dad? I have absolutely no idea. If there was more research into how a child reared in that kind of household grows and develops, I might have an opinion, but there just isn't enough evidence to say it's good or bad.

    As long as there is love, a home with two moms/dads is probably better than having no home at all.

    As far as the church ever adopting gay marriage, I agree with you 99%. I can't rule out all possibilities, but I really don't think the church will ever allow gay marriage in the temple. Whether that's "right" or "wrong" is something every person needs to ask God him/herself.

    Big props to you for putting yourself out on a limb.

  5. Very excellent points made by all. Quinn you are in a very interesting place in your life. It wasn't all that long ago from returning from my mission where I was at a similar place. While I disagree with your points based on secular grounds as others have previously commented, if one were to confine marriage as a solely religious institution you would have very valid points. Since I am fully aware of how those still in the church culture translate every thing in the world around them to conform to the sphere of understanding and discernment given by the church I can see how separating something from the religious formation might be difficult for you. After all if the church is true then the only way to see something is how the church sees it.

    It will be interesting to watch your journey and see where you end up. I hope and encourage you to keep your blog current. I'm amazed at where I'm at in the present having never once thought I would have any reason on earth to leave the church. Years of leading a double life catch up to you and I made the choice to live with honesty to myself and God. I will be watching with great interest.

  6. You've gotta say what you believe. Gutsy move, boy. :-)

  7. I like the fact that you feel comfortable posting your opinions, whatever they are. Part of the value of the blogging community is being able to hash stuff like this out, and figure out where we stand.

    A couple of points from my point of view. First, I don't believe in forcing the church to do anything (either legally, or otherwise). I do believe in speaking up for what I perceive to be truth, and advocating for its implementation in an organization that has personally benefited me a great deal. FWIW I don't believe or feel like I am telling God to change his mind. Not only have I prayed about the issue a lot, but I also feel like every experience I have had in the church leads me to believe that God has a plan for his gay children that includes a way for them to have their own eternal marriages.

    I know I mentioned over on bosker's blog that I don't think we can definitively say say God will never extend marriage to homosexual couples. Of course, I'm not guaranteeing that it will happen, only that we can't presume to dictate a future that only God knows. Burce R. McConkie said that blacks would never hold the priesthood, only to have recant those words a few years later.

    I do realize that my current beliefs are somewhat at odds with the current policies of the church (doctrine wise I think I'm ok, but that's up for debate depending your viewpoint). I recognize this fact, and its one of the reasons why I no longer attend church, or hold a calling. I'm sure the church will be fine without me - I'm not sure I'll be fine without the church. What really saddens me though, are all the people who become embittered, hurt, or lose their belief in God because of the church's actions.

  8. That you. This was one of the best blogs on the that I have read. I say this not because I agree with you 100 percent, but because I admire the way you have the courage to just say it.

    Too many of the blogs and posts I read start off apologizing for what they are about to say because they don't want to offend anyone who disagrees with them.

    I know that I have a reputation of standing up for what I believe and also for saying what I feel. I know I'm not always liked for what I say, but I will also proudly say that I've never stopped liking or being friends with someone just because I disagree with what that person says. However I've had lots of people do that to me.

    Elder Hafen's recent Evergreen talk is a good example. You can really tell where a person stands based on how they took what he said. I have yet to read a response to his talk that isn't laced with personal counter attacks on the man and not his message. Almost every response I've heard makes reference to him only being a lawyer or just a man. However I wonder if he would have expressed the popular opinion, if the same people who are trying to discredit him would then elevate him because he agrees with them.

    I know know its not easy, but I also know its worth it. Thank you for saying what you said. Thank you for your blog.