December 12, 2013

My World Has Been Rocked

I was sitting in Institute class last week when the teacher said something that rocked my world. I was visibly taken aback and he asked if I wanted to share something or ask a question. I hesitated as I tried to formulate a statement to the earth shattering comment I heard him made a few seconds prior. I couldn't. I felt a physical knot drop in my stomach that festered for nearly fifteen minutes. I sat confused and confounded. This was literally shaking my foundations.

"Commandments are malleable to God." — What He wills wrong is wrong, until He wills it not wrong.

I had constructed my whole eternal view on the idea that God's laws are unchanging. Now they are malleable? How? Why? What does this mean for me?

I was distracted the rest of class and didn't hear anything else that was discussed. After class, the teacher came up to me and asked if I wanted to talk. I suggested I get his e-mail and send him my question.

The next day I was in the building I had a few hours to spare and so I went into his office. What ensued was a lengthy discussion. A roller coaster of discussions. At times I was impressed by his candor, ideas and quotes from church leaders he shared with me on the matter. Other times I was saddened by his comments of firm belief against certain positions. Then again bolstered by ideas and concepts we discussed.

It would take to long to write about everything we discussed. It would be inappropriate to share our personal conversation. But let me share one quote he gave me to support his comment that so rocked my whole and understanding of the gospel and church.

God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said, "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. If we seek first the kingdom of God, all good things will be added. So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.                                      
History of the Church Vol 5, Pp. 134-136. (emphasis mine)

My whole life I have been taught and lived according to the understanding that God does not make special circumstances for individuals. All are subject to His laws, which are un-changing. Hence, homosexual relationships are not acceptable, no matter what—ever.

With this quote and the explicit understanding that Joseph Smith taught that things which are abominable usually, can be sanctioned as ok by God, my personal understanding on the matter of pursuing a gay relationship is now valid. All those who said, I am being deceived, because God doesn't make special allowances, were and are wrong. HE DOES!

From this same passage comes the more often quoted:
Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive...
This means my intense feelings of the spirit at my friends lesbian wedding are valid. Valid is my understanding that my pursuing of a gay relationship is ok. I have felt the spirit in ways that say my life so far is ok. So anyone to tell me God would never do that, now I have a Prophet of God saying, "Yes, He can do that". Let me be clear, I'm not saying God is definitely saying it is right, but at the same time, I am saying just that.

I of course did not reveal the full extent of my teachers words and their meaning on my life, but we did openly discuss gay marriage as my support of it, not my wanting it. As far as I know, he still believes I am straight. I could have easy come out to him, but I know that would have changed the whole tenor of the conversation and I wanted an honest, open discussion instead of a opportunity to preach to me the church's official line.

Then, my old institute teacher walked in, sat down with us and discussed his views on gay marriage. He was more in line with my understanding, but I will keep his comments private as well for several reasons.

All I can say and I told both of them this, "Well now I have to reconstruct my understanding and belief about things, and this is a good thing."

Since this frank discussion, the institute teacher has sent me two e-mails. In them he said he wanted to share some more thoughts with me on the subject. I feel in both e-mails he is trying to walk back a bit of what he said to me in a candid state. He is now walking more of a church spokesperson line. Fine, that is his job, but I am glad I got his true feelings in person first.

I now have this new understanding. It is still rocking my world a bit and reshaping how I view things. Cue the blacks and the priesthood church post. Honestly, this post and new explanation reaffirms my new light and understanding.

Hip Hip Hooray!


  1. I've been thinking in a very similar way this past week. This is a brilliant post. Keep movin' on up, brother!! :)

  2. I think the idea that "the prophet will never lead the church astray" is pretty much out the window after the new blacks and the priesthood article.

    1. I found it extremely interesting that they, basically, threw Brigham under the bus. Doesn't this open up all statements by prophets to be deemed false later? It really is a can of worms I'm not sure I am comfortable with. That's why my personal beliefs on issues are starting to be a bit more valid.

  3. I felt the same way when I learned that people can change God's mind (Exodus 32:14 - the translations vary, but the basically Moses convinces God not to wipe out Israel). I think traditional spirituality is a lot more complicated than people give it credit for.

    1. I agree, there are so many nuances that we have yet to discover, but I also think, are meant to discover.

  4. Fascinating stuff! I really appreciate this. I think you've just rocked my world a bit !

  5. I absolutely LOVE that quote from History of the Church. It validates the thoughts, feelings, and impressions I've had over the last few months. It's good to know that God knows us and, therefore, what is best for us INDIVIDUALLY and that we can follow the path we need to follow. And the second part, "Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive..." has been my motto the last little while. It helps me know that I can still believe in the Gospel with all my heart while pursuing a relationship with a man and, eventually, marry him – no matter what the "Church" says.

    Thanks a TON for your post. I really feel a little giddy now :)

    1. Giddiness is a wonderful response. Thank you!

  6. From Elder Oaks:

    "If you feel you are a special case, so that the strong counsel I have given doesn’t apply to you, please don’t write me a letter. Why would I make this request? I have learned that the kind of direct counsel I have given results in a large number of letters from members who feel they are an exception, and they want me to confirm that the things I have said just don’t apply to them in their special circumstance. ...
    "As a General Authority, I have the responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don’t try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules. … Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord."

    1. WOAH! Spot on. Can you send me the link to this please?!