July 15, 2010

To Those Of The Church

This is NOT directed towards any one blog, or any specific person.


  1. I do think that these hypocrisies need to be pointed out once in a while. Everyone needs 1st to respect each other and then understand.

    Sorry for the rant of my own.

  2. You can also abuse illegal drugs and be a good person. And sleep with another man's wife and be a good person. I don't think anyone disputes that, but whether it's sinful in the eyes of the church is another question, and whether the church is 100% correct on every issue definitely comes into play, which is why I think you have so many people desperate to believe that one day, the church will change its stance and embrace committed gay couples at least in partial fellowship. But I don't know if I see it happening.

    I appreciate that you're reaching out to those who haven't even considered the possibility that dating someone of the same sex doesn't make them a vile monster, even if it's not what God wants, and that they don't have to abandon all the good in their life to pursue it. But that's dangerously subversive territory you're in, there, you know that. :-)

  3. I'm still very much conflicted with my relationship with the church. It won't be an easy thing to figure out, if it was easy than I wouldn't learn anything from it and it would mean nothing.

    What I mean is thanks for the post. I'm trying to not post so much ill feeling against the church. I realize that ill feelings towards the church are counter-productive instead of being constructive.

    So where is the reconciliation btw believing the church is true and wanting to be in a gay relationship? Could you specify what you want as far as that goes? I know you're leaning towards the church, but do you want and are you seeking a relationship?

  4. As you start to read what members have to say about us, maybe it will make more sense why there are so many ill feelings.

    The new website lets members of the Church create a social networking type profile where they can share what they believe on mormon.org. The Church is not a collection of ideas, it is a collection of people, and this is what those people have to say.

  5. I am confused about what you are trying to say. Like you, I have strong testimony of the restored Gospel and the teachings of the church. I am also gay and would like to have a committed relationship with another man, and I know full well that this is against the law of chastity and would result in my excommunication from the church.

    I can’t help but feel offended when leaders of the Church attack gay rights and present only half-truths to back up their claims. (Dallin Oaks talk at BYUI last year is an example.) Perhaps I feel offended because they really don’t care to understand the struggles I go through and simply pass my gayness off as a mortal challenge that can be successfully managed and dealt with. There doesn’t seem to be much compassion shown towards those members who are gay. To me it’s fully understandable why many gay members are disenfranchised and post disparaging messages on their blogs.

    You are young. At some point you’re going to have to take a side (live in accordance with the law of chastity or pursue your interests in a gay relationship) because you will find that having your heart torn between conflicting desires only leads to unhappiness, confusion and despair.

  6. Before I comment, may I suggest that you return to writing your posts instead of recording them. There are many circumstances where it's impossible for someone to listen to something on line but it would be perfectly okay to read it silently. I personally value the ability to re-read a post several times before deciding whether I want to comment on it.

    I read the link Dan provided above which leads to statements by dozens of Church members about this topic. The effort to be nice and kind and diplomatic was very clear. Also very clear was the degree of ignorance amongst LDS members about homosexuality. They think they know about it and understand it, but if those posters' remarks were any indication, they do not. Perhaps it's because the site they posted to is administered by the Church, but every single one of them took essentially the same approach. The same handful of official Church talking points, over and over and over and over again. Several of which completely miss the mark and talk past the issue, not to it.

    This tells me that either (1) the Church is censoring out the expression of any but approved perspectives on that site, or (2) if those people are truly representative of mainstream LDS thought on homosexuality, then the Church as a whole remains largely clueless about it, AND clueless that they ARE clueless. Likewise as to the very checkered and spotty history of how their church has dealt with this issue in the past, which I'm sure most of them would be at a total loss to explain.

    When such ignorance so stubbornly persists in the church as the obvious result of rank & file uncritically adopting what a handful of individual leaders are most recently saying, it is easy to understand why so many gay members write disparaging blog posts and even leave the church. For me, it also leads to a larger and inescapable quandary: if LDS leadership is so unsteady on and has been so wrong about this issue in the past, what else should I be questioning?

  7. @ GMB - Agreed. There needs to be respect from both sides of the "pews". Mormons to Gays and Gays to Mormons. I wasn't referencing any specific post so please dont feel I was directing this to you :)

    @ OMOHO - I really didn't want this to be a reach out to those people who still agree with the church. It was more a stance, of sorts, to let people know I don;t harbor these ill feelings towards the church.

    @ shaantvis - Thanks. I just wanted those sorting through the moho blogs to know we all don't hate the church.

    "So where is the reconciliation btw believing the church is true and wanting to be in a gay relationship? Could you specify what you want as far as that goes? I know you're leaning towards the church, but do you want and are you seeking a relationship?"

    I suppose I shall add these to my list of upcoming blogs.

    @Daniel - I did read them, and found a lot of different opinions. I think you need to read more than the first page of comments. These comments are perfectly fine with me. These seem to be more about the topic of gay marriage then loving the brother or sister who is gay.

    Of course the church is not a collection of ideas. If it is God's church, there would not be 20 different opinions. God only has one opinion. The question is, is the church true or not. I know a lot of people dont think it is a black or white, right or wrong decision. But to the church and most all of its members it is. So there would not be a wide spectrum of ideas.

    @ Anonymous - Remember the church supported the gay rights in SLC. They only defended traditional marriage.

    I know that I can't keep riding the fence like I am now. I am still figuring things out. I however will not make a premature decision based one sexual desires, or spiritual highs. I am taking my time to sort this out. But I don't mean I need to go and post how much I dislike the church. Because I dont.

    @ Rob - I had considered attaching a written format of each ALOG. I like the freedom to express myself as I talk so I dont want to write it down first. But perhaps I can write it after its recorded. Ill look into that.

    To claim these people are ignorant because they may disagree with you is this kind of lowness that I dislike so much. Just because someone doesn't think the way you do, doesn't make them ignorant, it just means they have a different opinion. Would you like to be called ignorant and brainwashed as an unbeliever. I doubt it.

    Of course the church is going to review the remarks that they post on an official church site. It has to reflect the belief of the church. Would you allow a homo bashing person have regular access to your site that would give people the impression you were affiliated with them?

  8. Your closing statement sounded like an invitation to active LDS gay guys to do it your way, or an assertion that there's a balance to be found which you're obviously still seeking, but maybe you didn't mean it to be that way.

    As for there not being many opinions possible around absolute truths or principles, I request the logic behind that argument. A principle and an application of a principle are two different things and have been declared to be potentially different for different people in different, imperfect circumstances, with a caution regarding certain core commandments. You just have to be careful about which beliefs are assumptions or applications that work best, in general, in today's world, and which are eternal truths. That said, I think you're right, in this case, that the church leadership has been so consistent and vehement about this issue that it cannot change at this point, except possibly to extend fellowship to gay couples, withholding the blessings of the temple and probably the sacrament and full involvement.

    What I'm puzzled about is that you say you know absolutely that the church is absolutely true and absolutely prohibits absolutely all homosexual activity. If you're being honest about "knowing" this "without a doubt", where is the room for your experiment? I mean, what's the point of even being on the fence now, unless it's a heart-wrenching refusal to leave behind what you already say you're sure you're supposed to? What is left to "figure out"? What possible outcomes can it have? Or is it possible some part of you acknowledges you may not actually fully understand what God (assuming God exists) demands regarding homosexuality, or that your "spiritual highs" may not absolutely signify that the church is absolutely correct about homosexuality? Does that imply you don't "know" it's right but "have had experiences that seem to confirm" it's right, though you don't yet accept them 100%?

    I guess I'm asking: are you making such absolute assertions because you're hoping to provoke dissent to make you think, or are you making them because you're terrified of being faithless or "denying the Spirit", or do you genuinely, fully believe the absolute assertions you make?

    And if you do believe them, why even toy with the idea of relationships? Because you're too weak and worn out to live it? Because you're ready to accept the consequences, including a lower level of glory in exchange for companionship during this tiny blip of eternal existence? Because you're addicted to sex and/or romantic relationships and don't know how to stop? ...I'm sure there are many other possible reasons. I'm just asking questions which might jog you towards answers you say you're seeking. If you've already thought of them, I apologize if it seems like I'm pointing out the obvious. I just haven't seen anything on your blog to address those questions yet, despite certain very vehement conclusions. Tired of being asked this stuff yet? :-)

  9. @Original Mohomie - I did not mean it to be an invitation. I meant it to personal declaration, a stance if you will for those who scan the moho world, to know that we all don't think the same way about the church. I wanted them to know that I don't have these ill feelings, that seem to be so widespread in the moho world.

    I think you may have misunderstood where I stand on the issue of what I believe is acceptable in terms of a gay relationship. I mentioned, a post or two ago, about my conversation with my father about a gay "strength for youth" dating situation. The only thing that I understand is wrong is the sex. I understand this is also true with the church position. So I believe that I have not "sinned" as the church would put it until I engage in the sex aspect of a relationship.

    I understand there is a difference between eternal truths and principles. No sex outside of a lawful marriage, aka chastity, is an eternal truth. No dating till one is 16 is a principle to help one live the truth. There are some who have dated before they were 16. Did they break the eternal truth no. My brother is an example. There can be many opinions on the application of the principle, but there can be no differing opinion on the truth. Someone who believes in the church would/should not try to justify living an unchaste life aka sex outside marriage.

    This is where I draw my acceptance on dating a guy. Keeping it in a strength for youth pamphlet arena is fine. Will a relationship come to the sex crossroad eventually? Sure. That is where I still sit on the fence. Yes I believe the church is true, which is why I am still figuring things out.

    One might ask, if you know the church is true why not follow all of it. Thats a question I continue to ask myself. That is why I am not ready to jump down on either side, until I have full conviction either way. Knowing that I want to date, and dating will (hopefully) lead to a meaningful relationship, also means it will lead to sex. I dont have the inner conviction to withhold from that (the progress of a relationship). Call me weak, call me unfaithful to the gospel. Call me whatever you want, this is what I deal with in my life.

    However, even though I may willfully go against this belief of mine in the future to have a meaningful relationship does not mean I need to all the sudden come up with some false inner doubt in the church. If I am going to go against the standards, I will do so knowing full well I am going against it. I will not pretend that I doubt the authenticity of the church or its origin to justify myself not following it. I say this because I know the church is true. Others don't believe it is true, and they sincerely believe that. I am not saying they are creating this false doubt to justify themselves, although I am sure there are some who do that. I can only speak for myself, and I know its true. So I cant pretend this doubting of the church.

    I believe the in the assertions I made. I havent addressed every question I have in life, because I don't have all the answers. I have never presumed that I know everything. Life is a continual lesson. I build upon what I know now, to seek for answers to the questions I have. I know what I know now, and only seek to learn more. Do I question things? Of course. Have I questioned the church and the gospel before? Of course. When I say I have evidences in my own life that confirm to me the church are true, I mean it. I cannot deny these things I have witnessed and felt, and believe. If I were to do that I would be lying to myself.

  10. Ah, teasing apart what your testimony is, what you understand doctrine to be, what church policies are, and what you are unsure of. Not a clear-cut process for the honest, as I see it. I appreciate your directness and concessions.

    There's Biblical precedent for sex outside of marriage when the prophets believe God has commanded or allowed it for reasons either within or outside of our own understanding, so be careful with even that one, but yes, clearly today's commonly-accepted LDS understanding of "eternal truth" is that "sex"--however it's defined--is simply sin outside of a lawful marriage between a man and a woman, whether it's an eternal marriage or a time-only civil union.

    I agree with you that there are some who give so much weight to their personal desires that they start to conform their understanding about truth around what they want. I also now believe there are many other reasons I never knew before for re-examining one's beliefs, some of which can only be understood if they're experienced, somewhat like the spiritual experiences which I believed confirmed the truth of LDS doctrine to me. So I appreciate your focus on respecting others and allowing each person their right to live the best they know how according to their beliefs.

    I also respect your efforts to be honest about where you are, even if it makes some of us scratch our heads. ;-)

  11. Trevor,
    I appreciate this post. It is refreshing to see someone proclaim their love for the gospel. All of us, gay Mormons, have to work through the difficult and heart wrenching issues you've mentioned here. My personal journey took me away from all things spiritual for a few years.

    Working my way back was/is an extremely difficult process, initiated by my desire to keep my family intact. Over time, I have regained much of my faith, but it is a simple faith, a faith in my Father, his Son, and the gospel Christ taught. I believe the Church is an excellent, warts and all, way to learn of and implement the gospel in our lives. Does the Church or its leaders do everything perfectly, absolutely not. I feel the Church has 'a lot of growing up' to do. I think it will only happen as members become ready. One of my desires is to be a part of the process of softening of heart required by members in order for gay members to feel welcome in the Church. I feel I can best effectuate that change from within.

    I honestly don't expect the Church's doctrine surrounding homosexuality to change much, but I believe the Lord would want all who desire to participate in his church to feel comfortable doing so. It may take a long time, but I do see things slowly changing.

    Thanks again, and good luck on your personal journey.

  12. @Trevor:

    I know it's common Utah slang to insult someone by calling them "ignernt" (pronounced that way too as I recall), but when I mentioned the "ignorance" I heard among Church members about homosexuality, it was not a pejorative but a simple description of lack of knowledge. As I said, they simply don't know, and don't know that they don't know. The cure for such ignorance is not name-calling but an honest effort to educate, AND a willingness to consider new ideas on the other side. Unfortunately, in my experience there hasn't been much of that willingness so far among most Church members. But we keep trying.

  13. @Rob - I appreciate the clarification. If I might give a suggestion.

    When someone wants to have a conversation that is open and honest. When someone wants an opposing view to consider their opinion with an open mind. Using such inflammatory language, such as ignorant, is not an option. Whether you intended as a benign descriptive word, or not it will instantly close minds and harden hearts on both sides.

    No one will want to know anything from anyone who has called them ignorant, or any other attacking name.

    While your point is true, you committed the same crime you are calling out on the other side.

    "The cure for such ignorance is not name-calling but an honest effort to educate, AND a willingness to consider new ideas on the other side. Unfortunately, in my experience there hasn't been much of that willingness so far among most Church members. But we keep trying."

    I to agree there needs to be a willingness on the side of many members, but when you call names (as you have accused them) they wont listen. It wont matter how much you keep trying.

    Is the other side guilty of name calling too? Sure. But lets not let this be a name calling match.