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LDS officials to meet with gay group

Dialogue will be unprecedented move for church

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  • Lee
    April 7, 2008 3:07 a.m.

    Will an alternate lifestyle other than what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes in hope to be a part of the celestial kingdom? I feel for these members, but we all are required to live a certain standard that the bible teaches in order to hope for eternal life. The church will not conform to the gay lifestyle and accept their way of life, or recognize it as being normal. Think of your own parents. Had it not been for a Mother and Father you would not be here.

  • I think this is great
    April 7, 2008 6:00 a.m.

    but I just can't understand the desire to change the honor code at BYU. It seems so clear to me that if you don't approve of it, you shouldn't apply there! It really is that easy. Gay, straight, whatever - the honor code is what it is and individuals who seek a personal exception to the rules are arrogant in my opinion.

    Other than that, I hope this will be the beginning of productive dialogue.

  • Aware
    April 7, 2008 6:26 a.m.

    From the article:

    "Part of the reason Affirmation does their work is to build bridges," Larabee said. "This is definitely the building of a bridge .."

    Might this turn out to be a bridge to the "great and Spacious building"?

  • WBC-Texas
    April 7, 2008 6:31 a.m.

    I hope that Affirmation is not expecting the church to change its position on same sex unions. The Lord has not changed his view on the matter and neither can His church. The fact that church authorities have reached out to Affirmation is a sign that each of God's children is loved but to return to full fellowship will require adherence to the same moral standards already in place. Those standards were set in eternity and will not change!
    I encourage any who are involved in same-sex relationships to end those relationships and set his/her life in order. I wish you well in your efforts to do so.

  • liberal larry
    April 7, 2008 6:46 a.m.

    I'm always amazed at the high number of gays in Salt Lake City. Many of them seem to be from small towns in the rural west. I think they come to SLC to get a way from the small town attitudes toward gays.

  • Just A Guy
    April 7, 2008 6:55 a.m.

    Any thoughts that this might change the LORDS stand on homosexuality are completely wrong. He stated his position on it several thousand years ago through his prophets in the bible and continues to do so today.

    This will be an invitation to get help...and nothing more.

  • Lee
    April 7, 2008 7:07 a.m.

    Enter commentI hope that the LDS does not go down the same path as some Protestant churches. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever! Our Lord calls this SIN.Please do not recognize homosexuals as "another lifestyle".Reach out to gay people on an individual basis.I was once a member of a church organization that recognized this garbage! I left it! I am not LDS, but I have always counted on my LDS brothers & sisters to do the right thing on matters of morality.

  • Oren
    April 7, 2008 7:17 a.m.

    And what exactly is there to discuss?

    Make your choice, take the consequences that come with the choice.

  • dizzle
    April 7, 2008 7:47 a.m.

    Changing the Honor Code? I wouldn't hold my breath. I think it's helpful to reach out, but I think Affirmation is over-reaching here. I'm just glad I'm not the one having to make these decisions.

  • Big Al
    April 7, 2008 7:48 a.m.

    The Church's central doctrinal teachings regarding homosexuality seem clear. Marriage is the legal union of one man to one woman. The Church will never recognize or condone gay or lesbian marriage, regardless of eventual rulings by courts or legislatures. In terms of gay sexual activity, the Church will never change its doctrine on sexual activity outside of marriage--whether gay or straight. So where does this leave gay or lesbian people in terms of their relationship to the Church? If I, as a straight male, commit fornication with a woman, and the Church takes disciplinary action, does that mean I am being persecuted? I have no idea what the LDS gay community, or Affirmation, is trying to achieve . . .

  • CB
    April 7, 2008 7:59 a.m.

    I am not sure this group understands the position the church must endorse in relation to doctrine--to excuse inappropriate conduct is not the answer--though kindness, unconditional support is a must for everyone; principles cannot be changed when political views temper when moral issues are present, you cannot have a religious belief developed by political vote.

  • Bee
    April 7, 2008 8:02 a.m.

    Does anyone know what "change" to the BYU Honor Code they want to make?
    This article should clarify that sex between unmarried people (regardless of sexual orientation) is a sin in the Church. Since it's not legal for gays to be married, they must remain celibate.

  • Instereo
    April 7, 2008 8:16 a.m.

    It's about time this happened. The church should put into practice what it preaches in its general conference, to reach out, to give respect, and to welcome diversity. The two groups may never come to an agreement about fellowship or activity in the church and its temple ceremonies but at least they can establish a relationship that could benefit both groups.

    It doesn't matter if being gay is a choice or people are born that way, the fact is they are here, they are human, they have positive things to contribute to our society and sweeping them under the rug has been done long enough. It's time to change things and I'm glad to see it happening.

    BTW, I'm a straight white male Mormon member and I think it's great to be opening dialog instead of closing it.

    Considering who Christ associated with when he was here at the meridian of time, who's to say he won't meet with Affirmation first when he comes again. He is the God of all people and He seems to advocate for the oppressed and against the well established.

  • just me
    April 7, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    Talking and listening is good for both groups. I would be shocked if it lead to any approval of gay sexual relationships or activities by the Church. Hopefully it will lead to more kindness and respectful understanding between those that are have different ideas. One thing I am sure of is that calling an evil action 'good' does not change the true nature of the act no matter how many say it or how loud or earnest the voice.

  • Pioneer
    April 7, 2008 8:31 a.m.

    I am a little surprised by all this murmuring. This is definitely big news and a testament to President Monson's gift of revelation and foresight. If the prophet feels that now is the time to meet with this group, then members need not question it. Bigotry disguised as 'righteousness' is the very thing that our Savior challenged. Love One Another.

  • Judge Not
    April 7, 2008 8:29 a.m.

    I don't believe there will be any changes in policy as a result of this meeting. I do hope WE as a people and culture learn how to better LOVE everyone regardless of personal choices. The fact is that we all sin and need the redeeming power of the Lord.

    It is sad when a child is disowned by their family because of choosing a homosexual lifestyle. Yes, I said choice. Many of us seem to be predispositioned to ideas and behavior that are against the will of the Lord. Some struggle with drugs or alcohol, others with selfishness and pride (from the top or bottom), others desire to committ adultery (in thought or deed) and others are lazy. My point is that we all have our own challenges.

    It is our job to invite ALL and love ALL and it's the Lord's job to judge. It is not our job to tell someone they need to change - that only puts a wedge in a relationship. However, if someone has the desire to change we can offer support. There is a phrase for what we should be striving for - it's called unconditional love.

  • Utah Resident
    April 7, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    I think what Affirmation is referring to re: The BYU Honor Code, is when a few years ago, the Church said it treated Gay members no differently than their heterosexual counterparts, that they are to remain celibate until marriage (of course, never mind the Church went to great lengths to make sure gays never had that option). What happened was that some gay students were kicked out merely for showing affection towards one other (walking hand-in-hand, a kiss)--something that would never happen to the heterosexual students there.

  • CTR
    April 7, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    Welcoming diversity is not and never should be accepting or condoning sin.

  • Frank
    April 7, 2008 8:39 a.m.

    I'm glad to hear that there will be some dialogue between the two groups. It may not resolve a whole lot but respectful disscusion never hurt anyone.

    However I'm surprised to hear theyre going to start it off with asking for allowing open unmarried sexual relations into BYU! I think everyone knows the answer to that already.

  • thompson
    April 7, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    It doesn't sound like murmuring to me. In fact, I'm pleasantly surprised at how intelligent these comments have been. Consensus seems to be that the Church will not and cannot change its policy, it would cease to be the Church by altering its doctrine on eternal families, but that we all can be more understanding and sympathetic.

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 8:46 a.m.

    well said, CTR.

  • How Presumptious . . .
    April 7, 2008 8:53 a.m.

    . . . it is for so many people to speak out for Church leaders and pretend to know what those leaders should or shouldn't do with respect to the request to sit down and discuss a matter that impacts the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters.

    I'm pretty sure church leaders will figure this one out without the help of all those who want to step forward and "steady the arc."

  • Good men chosen
    April 7, 2008 8:55 a.m.

    I know Fred Riley and Harold Brown personally. These are great men to discuss the topics at hand. They have a lot of experience and wisdom and bring a lot of common sense to the table. Well done, whoever made this choice.

  • The Savior Rejoiced
    April 7, 2008 8:54 a.m.

    In his message, this Sunday, President Monson reached out to members who have left the church. I am so happy that he has followed through to include the faithful gay and lesbian community. Demonstrating this by accepting Gay LDS invitations to meet with LDS leaders. I am a member of the LDS church myself and am so glad to see this! I am over joyed because I have so many friends whom are gay and lesbian and I love them! We are often enraged when we are found as seperate when our hearts are so together!

    I have always loved and trusted the judgement of President Monson, even prior to his new role. As long as I can remember his gentle and understanding manner was amazing and comforting to me. It would be to his nature to by pass the barriers and teach us love and acceptance of all people.

    Unification is healing and our strongest defense against the evil of this world. I am hopeful for changes in our traditions. Because these modern times demand a change of views and can be the answer to the worlds ever growing war amongst ourselves.

  • TruLDS
    April 7, 2008 8:50 a.m.

    Love the sinner, but hate the sin! And, regardless of what the world thinks, homosexuality IS a sin, which strikes at the very foundation of the family.
    But, all are sinners, and any dialogue between the Church and these groups is good. It fosters better understanding, between the two parties.
    I know, however, that the Church will continue to stand for traditional families, values, and lifestyles, with a married, male father, female mother, and their children.

  • Open minded
    April 7, 2008 9:03 a.m.

    Sometimes we become so open minded that our brains fall out.

  • Lisa
    April 7, 2008 8:57 a.m.

    After the comments said from conference yesterday, I feel that if the church changes it's mind and accepts this, then what else will it accept in the future? That just living togetther and having children will be ok also? What has happened to our morals? I understand our world is changing but do we have to change every thing we believe in to accomodate others? God did not put two men together or two women together, he put a man and a woman together and thats how it is supposed to be, now and forever.

  • Wow
    April 7, 2008 9:01 a.m.

    Whatever happened to loving your neighbor? I thoght that your prophet preached tolerance and love, but all I see here is prejudice and hate. You all ought to be ashamed.

  • Interesting.
    April 7, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    I find it interesting and quite telling, that on the same day where a story on conference from the new prophet telling members that they need to be more tolerant of other people's beliefs that this story show so many people willing to do just the opposite. I don't see where they plan on asking the church to change their doctrine in any way, instead they are just asking for a chance of open and honest discussion. Why are you so scared of this? Why are you people so afraid of us gays? Trust me, we have more to fear from you. If you believe that the church really is true, then why are so many of you so upset by this? Where is your faith in your church leaders to do the right thing? Guess not too many of you actually LISTENED to what was said at conference.

  • Love??
    April 7, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    I find it interesting that many posters choose to lead with the "sin" aspect of this dialog rather than leading with love. Thank goodness these posters are not the Prophet, or God.

    I also find it interesting that people will immediately choose to judge a situation/person but then quickly remove all guilt off themselves by saying "I'm glad I'm not the one to judge" or "But I have my own issues too."

    However, I applaud those posters that focused on the love and hope aspect of this exchange between the Church and Affirmation. I'm sure there will be good that comes out of it.

  • Personal Thoughts
    April 7, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    It seems over the years as I encounte people with problems, all of us have them, one things is constant. It depends on whether or not you act on these inclinations. Whether it be physical abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism, child sex abuse, anger issues, work-a-holics, homosexual feelings, etc. our challenge in life is to overcome these tendencies and to become stronger and better people. I have worked with and known people in each of these categories. Some "put off the natural man" and have become better people, others have determined to give into these feelings and have not become better people, yet. Regardless these feelings, tendencies, "addictions", are still wrong and inappropriate. They are all still sins to be overcome.

  • Well said...
    April 7, 2008 9:09 a.m.


    TruLDS | 8:50 a.m. Apr. 7, 2008

    "Love the sinner, but hate the sin! And, regardless of what the world thinks, homosexuality IS a sin, which strikes at the very foundation of the family.
    But, all are sinners, and any dialogue between the Church and these groups is good. It fosters better understanding, between the two parties.
    I know, however, that the Church will continue to stand for traditional families, values, and lifestyles, with a married, male father, female mother, and their children."

  • Proclamation on the Family
    April 7, 2008 9:13 a.m.

    I imagine the discussion from the Church's point of view will focus on this revelation. I agree that discussion can be valuable, but the stated view of the Lord is fairly clear (yes I did say the Lord, not the Church, because if you believe the Church is true, you literally believe it is being led by the Lord and revelations such as the Proclamation on the Family are the Lord's teachings, and if you don't believe the Church is true than you really don't have much to say regarding its doctrine or policies since you deny the Lord leads it anyway).

  • Remember
    April 7, 2008 9:21 a.m.

    President Monson said that we are in a war against sin. That the commander of the right is the Lord. Given that, I am certain that whatever the Church is attempting to do (in this case in particular) will be in that context.

    I trust President Monson because he trusts in and has faith in the Lord.

  • bridges
    April 7, 2008 9:22 a.m.

    I imagine the building of a skybridge to bring together productively two areas of thought with places of beauty along the way to ponder and enjoy the journey.

  • To Interesting...
    April 7, 2008 9:31 a.m.

    I'm not afraid of you as a person and I'm very tolerant of you people and I will be amongst the first people to say that bashing others because of their lifestyle etc is absolutely wrong. Just remember though that the Church is not going to change its doctrinal beliefs and teachings to stray away from traditional family values. Sorry to be blunt but that's just how it is...

  • Me
    April 7, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    "Sometimes we become so open minded that our brains fall out."

    Sometimes our minds are so locked up they don't work. And sometimes our hearts are so righteous that they're not much good for caring for our fellow Man.

  • Ken Baguley
    April 7, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    The report I read indicated that the expectation was that the church should change with no attitude of change in "The Group" Let's be open-minded and subject to change where change is possible...On both sides...

  • Best Wishes
    April 7, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    I wish this meeting all the best. I hope and pray that those who need a meeting like this will seek first to hear counsel from the Lord, and not to counsel the Lord. God loves His children. He seeks to help all who are willing to obey Him. If we are humble enough to know God's will--sometimes given directly to us through His servants--He will always work out a better plan in our lives than we would otherwise grant ourselves. I hope the individuals calling for this meeting are sincere in their desire to receive help at the hand of God's servants. I hope they are ready to not only hear but also receive the word of the Lord.

  • RE:To Interesting
    April 7, 2008 9:34 a.m.

    Can you show me where it says that this meeting is about asking the church to change it's doctrine? It clearly states the opposite, they are NOT asking for the church to change it's doctrine, but wants to discuss other topics. And I can handle blunt, just not hypocricy.

  • More to the Equation
    April 7, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    There is more the "gay individual" then sex, just as there is more to my relationship with my wife then sex. It seems that many of the comments above feel that homosexuality is ONLY sexual and therefore a sin. Perhaps being "open minded" and engagning in "dialogue" is good in terms of learning more about the individaul and how to understand their life experience so as to be able to show appropriate support and help. This doesn't mean the church has to condone sexual activity between same-gender individuals.

    Many of those members of the church that struggle with SSA are faced with the difficult question of "how do I find meaning and satisfaction (non-sexual!!!) in the church?" When others discover their struggle, they are abandoned, shunned and treated as figurative lepers. Being rejected by the church and left alone, they may turn the other direction.

    While I recognize this is not the case for all, many (I am a counselor and have worked with several) would gladly follow the teachings of the church, IF the members wouldn't treat them so poorly. In view of President Monson's plea yesterday, we should be more accepting and supportive.

  • Darin
    April 7, 2008 9:35 a.m.

    What I find sad is that members of Affirmation don't just leave the church altogether. I know it's not easy - believe me, I know. But who needs the self-torture? Spirituality also exists outside the organized religions that continue to condemn homosexuality. Religions of all sorts do this without a thought to how desctructive it is, or how far away from the actual teachings of Christ. No religion has a monopoly on the Law of Love. In the majority of comments posted here there is some claim to speak for "the Lord". Could anything be more arrogant? Who needs this kind of company when the entire thinking, scientific, rational, and truly Christian world accepts you?

  • RE: KEN
    April 7, 2008 9:37 a.m.

    I agree with you 100%. BOTH sides need to be willing to have an open discussion and be willing to listen or it will be a total waste of time.

  • To: More to the Equation /
    April 7, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    Thank you...people like you give me hope that the church isn't filled with hateful, self-righteous people.

    YOU GET IT...AND I THINK THAT IS RARE SOMETIMES.

    Thanks!

    Blake

  • To Interesting
    April 7, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    I think it's funny how gays pull out the intolerance card and attempt to shame Church members by quoting our leaders on issues of tolerance. I especially love the line "guess not too many of you actually LISTENED to what was said at conference". That's rich. If YOU actually listened to what was said at conference, you wouldn't want to act out on your same gender attraction, you wouldn't seek for the church to conform to your twisted standards, you would seek to be obedient. Now, really, who isn't listening?

  • Mormon Mommy
    April 7, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    When my 15-year-old son came out to me three years ago, my whole world came crashing down and the church I have loved all my life suddenly became useless in seeing me and my son through this crisis. My hope is that a dialogue between Affirmation and the church will lead to the church offering more support to families in our situation. It's long overdue!

  • Hypocrisy...
    April 7, 2008 10:02 a.m.


    RE:To Interesting | 9:34 a.m. Apr. 7, 2008

    "Can you show me where it says that this meeting is about asking the church to change it's doctrine? It clearly states the opposite, they are NOT asking for the church to change it's doctrine, but wants to discuss other topics. And I can handle blunt, just not hypocricy."

    Let see, what's in the minds of the people sitting across the table from the LDS Church Representatives: "you need to accept us for who we are and should be freely allowed to express ourselves."

    Would the Church accept that? I don't think so. I can see To Interesting's point here Interesting. I don't think it was hypocrisy in my book.

  • Come on...
    April 7, 2008 9:59 a.m.

    The church would be more likely to allow members to drink and smoke before allowing gay, lesbian and transgender men and women into the temple. BYU would be more likely to give up their spot as "stone cold sobber" than to change for the gay agenda. It's true we should never look down upon them and always welcome them as people but this is a religion, not politics. You can talk all you want but as has been said above, a sin is a sin. We never keep anyone from coming to church. It's funny because this issue is one of the only issues the church has taken an official political decision on and activly campaigned against. Don't think that will change.

    The Lord loves but he will not pander to the gay agenda. "If the Lord be God than follow him!"

  • Dialogue is Good
    April 7, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    It's wonderful that the Church is meeting with this group. There's nothing to be gained by ignoring them. There's everything to be gained by listening and trying to be more understanding of the challenges gay people face.

    No, the Church does NOT need to change its standards in any way, including the BYU Honor Code. Nor will they EVER do so as a result of this meeting. Not gonna happen, folks--nor should it. But individual members of the Church CAN greatly benefit, whether or not they choose to recognize it, by learning more understanding of and sympathy for the challenges homosexuals face. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. THAT'S WHY WE NEED TO LISTEN.

    I'm an active, straight Mormon with a gay cousin, good bisexual friend, and several other past and present gay colleagues. No, their lifestyle is NOT correct. However, I definitely wish more people understood what they *really* think and feel. They may not have chosen wisely, whatever was in their power to choose--but they never stopped being children of God. Our unrighteous judgment, NOT endorsed by the Savior, hurts rather than helps them.

  • There are many among us . . .
    April 7, 2008 10:20 a.m.

    who have suffered long in their efforts to remain sin-less while struggling with same-sex attraction. Of course, none of us is sinless and so we should all be very sensitive to any discussion about sin. And, there are many single church members who have remained celibate rather than marry, for example, because they choose that path towards righteousness. Have we included them enough? Or maginalized them? Have we recognized they are doing the best they can, or made them feel inadequate because of their "singleness?" Have we put our arms around them, and remembered who will ultimately judge each one of us for our actions and the intents of our hearts? Do you remember what Pres. Eyring said at Pres. Hinckley's funeral? [paraphrased -- with a finger on his chest -- "Hal, what are you doing for those who are atruggling?]

    Is there something to talk about here?

    Seems like it.

  • Ray
    April 7, 2008 10:17 a.m.

    Diversity=Divide

    Not the way to go.

    Let God be their judge, I don't want to be.

  • To: More to the Equation
    April 7, 2008 10:23 a.m.

    You said so much that I wanted to say as well. So many cannot imagine how difficult it is trying to stay faithful to the gospel in a culture that doesn't tolerate you. Would you want to stay somewhere where people constantly called you a sinner, even though you adhere to the teachings of the church? I think what Affirmation is trying to do is open dialog so that the general church membership welcomes homosexual members who choose to follow the gospel. On a side note, shouldn't church be a place for sinners? Shouldn't all who are trying to live a good life be welcome, regardless of who they are? We all need to feel like we belong.

  • Jumping to Conclusions
    April 7, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    So many of you are jumping to conclusions that are completely implausable. The church agreed to a meeting to where it can "help". The church is not going to change its policy (doctrine) on this subject regardless of how many meetings are held. This is a time and place to better understand points of view, not change fundamental elements to the church.

    As an active member of the church, I applaud the concept of a better understanding between the groups, but beyond that, core doctrine will not change.

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    If a dialogue between the LDS Church and Affirmation occurs, I would hope that Family Fellowship (a support group for families of Gay/Lesbian/Bi-sexual members) will also be included in the conversation. As members of that group, we have struggled for years hoping for a shred of recognition by church officials for our sons and daughters, and we sincerely hope that the church will eventually recognize the reality of homosexuality and other aspects of biological diversity in our families. Their failure in the past has caused untold suffering in families of homosexual children. I speak from experience.

  • Elder Holland's Ensign Article
    April 7, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    Was a great help for me in understanding the church's stance on LDS homosexuals. I urge you to read it, I believe it was in the October '07 issue??? He stated that members with same-sex attraction may be active and hold temple recommends as long as they are not participating in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. The Same standard that every other member in the church is held to. The Family Proclamation states that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. The LDS Homosexual will face many choices in their life, just as the straight homosexual will about love, relationships, and intimacy. If Celestiality is the goal, the child of God will meet the standard that is set no matter what appetites, habits, etc they will need to overcome.

  • Not Doctrinal issue
    April 7, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    I agree with the above statements stating that this is not a doctrinal issue.

    However, I think there is much that can be done in the way homosexual tendencies are handled in the church. I come from a family that experienced sex abuse by a trusted member back in the late 70's. The way it was handled was simply atrocious and damaging. It was largely because the way sex abuse cases were handled in the church had not been developed, and nobody seemed to know what to do.

    I believe a similar process must occur with dealing with homosexual cases in the church; not to condone or accept the practice, but to provide help, support, and realistic understanding of what the rest of a gay person's life in the church will be like.

  • Hopefull
    April 7, 2008 11:42 a.m.

    RE: more to the equation and Blake.

    I agree! and I wish people would put this article in context that it is about a DISCUSSION not conversion. Understanding people is needed to love them.

    Thank you for voicing your belief that not all LDS are like those described above. Hopefully after this weekend, more people will focus on loving people not converting them.

  • comment
    April 7, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    If Latter Day Saints are to carry the gospel message to all the world,to all people,to all cultures,to all societies,to all life styles,then we as Latter Day Saints need to have open dialog with all of the above. Are we going to continue to say I cant share the gospel with you because you are gay. Share the gospel with your gay friends,invite the Holy Ghost into your conversations with your gay friends and allow Hevenly Father to perform the mircle needed.Someone said in conference 2 people can perform mircles when one of them is God.Our missionaries go forth without fear. We cannot and will not fear the direction we need to go with our gay brothers and sisters.If the prophet says to do it, then do it.

  • room and respect
    April 7, 2008 12:00 p.m.

    I think the most basic understanding that is sought by gay members (and gays generally) is for others to acknowledge that people don't choose their sexual orientation. If we accept this, then the standards of the Church would seem to require celibacy from these members. But there is little room for single and celibate members in the church (of any orientation), and almost no role for them to play.

    A member who is open about being gay-even if celibate and trying to live the principles of the gospel-faces enormous ostracism in most LDS wards and even hostility in some cases. This is because the issue remains such a taboo and is almost never discussed in the church other than in terms of behavior-the sin. The church could teach members that gay people didnt choose their orientation and encourage members to be respectful and supportive of them, and of other single members. This would be a very welcome outcome of this dialogue.

  • kinlco
    April 7, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    As a gay LDS man and not a member or believer of Affirmation, I am glad that they are speaking with some leaders. No one understands how it feels to sit in Sunday School or Sacrament meeting and have someone make a comment that God doesn't allow gays in his Church. I did not choose to have these feelings. I have not chosen the lifestyle, yet, when people learn of my struggle, I am not accepted. Maybe, just maybe, having the leaders accept those who are challenged with same-gender attraction will help others accept me also. And there are support groups for those who want to remain faithful to covenants that have been made and live according to the values and doctrines of the Church. It is just that they do not scream and yell about it.

  • Disapponted by many
    April 7, 2008 12:20 p.m.

    There is a reason for this meeting. It is evident in the first 10 or so posts on this thread. I hardly doubt Affirmation is hoping to change the minds of leaders in the church. I am confident the dialogue between the groups will inspire our leaders to speak directly to those who fail to Christlike love. My anger at some of you right now is beyond words. Do you know the anguish of a mother and father (and sister) dealing with a homosexual brother wanting to end his life? Do you sit up at night praying he will be alive another day and hope he realizes God loves him as much as all of those pointing fingers and calling him a sinner? Shame on many of you for callling yourselves representatives of Christ. He would never deal with his brothers and sisters with words like yours.

    A smart man will humble himself before God does it for him. I suggest you get to praying and ask for understanding in how to exemplify Christlike love. Many of you are unaware.

  • greg
    April 7, 2008 12:22 p.m.

    Hey guys, why not read the article before commenting? No one is asking the church for gay marriage or the right to have gay sex in the common areas at BYU. They're asking for equal coverage under the honor code (reasonable!) not special exceptions. They're also asking for a review of the church's procedures in treating homosexuality - that is using the most up-to-date and effect means (also reasonable). Lastly, they want to make sure there are certain procedures in place so that a child coming out of the closet doesn't break up a family. (very reasonable). but go ahead and wave your 'GAY THREAT!' flags.

  • Good thing...but
    April 7, 2008 12:53 p.m.

    This meeting is good. I think both sides will gain a perspective, even though "affirmation" may discover that the church is also opposed to any sexual realtion outside of the covenants of marriage whether its a homo-sexual or heterosexual. "Affirmation" will be grossly deliusional if they think the church will relax its standards for the gay and lesbian community but continue to condemn the adultery and fornication community.

    In addition the church has already taken a strong and clear stance about same sex marriages. The church will reach out to help, but will not be persuaded to excuse behavior condemned by scripture.

  • Tolerant
    April 7, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    I could have sworn I heard Pres. Monson warn about the "halloween mask of tolerance" and that behind it was only deceit and unhappiness. (Priesthood session Saturday Night) Condemning immoral behavior while caring about the sinner is not bigotry. They are simply leading a life that will ultimately lead them to unhappiness for eternity. Take a look at Isaiah 3:9 and then look at Isaiah 5:20. Isaiah nailed our day right on the head. We should love the sinner, pray for them, help them, but we should never tolerate wickedness.

  • ABOUT TIME!!!
    April 7, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    Seems to me that "simply talking" is way overdue. My brother hung himself many, many years ago, and I truly wish anyone in the Church had been willing to talk or listen.

  • DAG
    April 7, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    The church began addressing these issues some time ago. Nearly a year ago the church issued the pamphlet, "God Loveth his Children" which addresses the issue of same gender attraction. Also, the letter sent to Affirmation stated they are interested in ways to "help" not change Church view or policy. The best way to love an individual is to help them. That does not mean you have to change your own stance in order to do so. They church has always been interested in ways to help those in need, wether it be with this issue or with the numerous others we all suffer from. There are those that take offense, or state that the Church is trying to "change" them. Well, to be honest, that is the case with all of us. We all have temptation and shortfalls that the Church is there to help us change and improve upon. That is the point of the Gospel and organization of the Church. To provide support and fellowship for all of us, regardless of who we are.

  • Society is changing
    April 7, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    How is this any different than the way the Church used to look at mixed marriages? Society changed and the Church changed. Society is once again changing, better get used to the idea that the Church could also change, too.

    Of course, not for at least another 20 years, so we should have time to adjust.

    "Talking" is simply the first step.

  • texwrd
    April 7, 2008 1:16 p.m.

    Some interesting comments, some good, some hurtful on both sides. Dialoque with the Church will be good, doctrine will not change, I don't think that's the intent of the dialoque. A quote to think about.....Pres. Monson said in the priesthood session this past weekend (not exact, what I wrote in my notes), "Sin many times wears the face of tolerance" Something to think about in this forum. "Disappointed by many", no one should be casting shame on anyone, that just doesn't help at all. It only causes contentious feelings.

  • Love the hypocrisy
    April 7, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    In general, i find accusing someone of being self righteous is pretty self righteous.

    Condemning the hypocrite for not being tolerant is hypocritical.



  • Let the meeting happen
    April 7, 2008 1:18 p.m.

    then you can all play arm-chair prophets..i am sure wisdom will lead the way on this one. the struggle goes on in this journey, if your perfect then you had better get ready to enter the next world. let it be as i have faith that your leaders are men of wisdom. they at least are listening to others who's struggle made need the touch of the master's hand!

  • Talk is cheap.....
    April 7, 2008 1:25 p.m.

    The Church is sympathetic as a group to the Gay condition....now can we "ISOLATE" the gay gene and give mother's the choice of a gay child vrs a hetero? That day will end the gay debate!

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 1:42 p.m.

    If heterosexuals can't be sexually active at BYU, why should homosexuals better?

  • Ponce
    April 7, 2008 1:51 p.m.

    I think understanding another group is always a good thing. This is a complex issue and I think dialogue is helpful for both sides of the equation.

  • Re Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 2:13 p.m.

    Neither group is "allowed" to be sexual active at BYU, the difference is that the heterosexuals can show affection (hand holding, a kiss) the homosexuals cannot.

  • What?
    April 7, 2008 2:14 p.m.

    What would Jesus Do? If Jesus cared one way or the other about BYU, he'd probably say, "Love one another as I have loved thee." I don't recall Jesus excluding anybody.

    It is good to know I live in a State where everybody knows what God thinks. How does the rest of the world survive?

  • Reality
    April 7, 2008 2:13 p.m.

    OK DN, I am toning my 4th attempt down so I can hopefully get my comment in past your iron curtain. But you know I love ya -

    The reality is that a change in policy is light years away from even being considered. Even if rock solid science showed that homosexual attractions derive soley from genetics, change or acceptance would still be years away. For years, members were encouraged to show love and acceptance toward their black brothers and sisters but change only came when outside influences boiled to a certain tipping point. And that change was way behind most of societie's tipping points on that issue.

    This country is way to conservative in it's stance toward homosexuals for the Church to even begin to feel outside pressure regarding it's stance toward gays. I believe there is genuine desire by leaders that gay members be treated better but policy change is way way in the future if at all.

  • RE: Talk is cheap
    April 7, 2008 2:16 p.m.

    Are you kidding me? If you honestly think that isolating a gene would end homosexuality, that means that you believe it is naturally occuring which validates the argument that they are "born that way..." Also, when and where has the church been sympathetic to homosexuals? I must have blinked and missed it.

  • Sparkes22
    April 7, 2008 2:18 p.m.

    You wrote, "Sometimes we become so open minded that our brains fall out."

    I have been open minded my whole life and I my brain has never fallen out, nor have I known anyone who have lost their brains as they've pondered and sometimes struggled with life's great questions.

    I guess I just don't get your point?

    Try this one on instead:

    God. . ."is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive."

    And who do you suppose said that? I'll give you a clue, it wasn't someone on Talk Radio or Cable News. The answer is in the transcript of the October 2003 General Conference.

    Now thats something worth losing your mind over!

  • well
    April 7, 2008 2:19 p.m.

    isn't that special

  • BoyScouts
    April 7, 2008 2:30 p.m.

    This is a nice gesture..and a waste of time. These people seem to think that the church is going to change its doctrine for THEIR benefit. What kind of people ask a religion to change for THEM? They seem to quite literally want to pervert the ways of the lord.

  • slow learners?
    April 7, 2008 2:32 p.m.

    What "decades of silence"?

    Where is a need to "forge understanding between the faith's leaders and its gay members"?

    The Church's position is crystal clear and has be stated explicitly and repeatedly.

    What part of "no" is hard to understand?

  • Darthlaurie
    April 7, 2008 2:33 p.m.

    Last time I checked, God hasn't popped in on Oprah or made a grand appearance to let everyone know what s/he/it thinks about homosexuality, suicide bombers, or what their food of choice is. I figure that there's a lot more to God than what people on this board or people in general give her/him/it credit for being. As for the Bible being the word of God...sorry, but I think a lot has gotten lost in translation through the millennia. The path to divinity isn't straight or narrow. It's as broad and as winding as it could possibly be...just like so many other things in life. Open your minds and learn to live and love with kindness and passion and quit worrying about who your neighbor loves. Love comes in so many shapes and sizes and love is beautiful.

  • Darrel
    April 7, 2008 2:43 p.m.

    To Sparkes22
    Elder Jeffrey R Holland, one of my favorite talks ever.

    Will people please read the article! They are not asking the church to change their doctrines, nor their standards. The LDS Church has not even given a hint of doing so. Just like the Savior would do, they are reaching out to help those that need it. I am sure if AA or SA were to ask to have a meeting with the church, the church would do the same as well.

    Everyone has problems, some are just more socially acceptable (I doubt very many people are put on probation in the church for Overeating). Socially acceptable or not does not mean they need help, or less deserving of it.

    Notice that the person Church is sending is someone from Families.

    The Family Proclomation is not about to be re-written/revised after this.

  • Last try
    April 7, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    OK great Deseret News comment monitor - I am going to do my best on my fifth try to write something that won't be too offensive or off-topic to post:

    I read this article and loved it. The editing, grammar and overall flow was just sensational. Of all the online newspapers in THE WORLD, Deseret News is the BEST!

    Now, please take my name off of your bad-list so I can participate in this discussion - pretty please.

  • Dave Brerrigton
    April 7, 2008 2:50 p.m.

    I feel like the Church is in a no win situatuion here. Affirmation claims the want to start a dialogue, but the first question Melson asks Riley is about the possibility for change.

    If there is change members will question the validity of church doctrin. If the church is not willing to change, there will be cries of intolerance on the part of the gay mormon community.

    I hope we will all remember that tolerance is not acceptance. We can tolerate people without accepting their opinions, and we can even disagree and argue against them and still tolerate.

  • Ken Baguley
    April 7, 2008 2:46 p.m.

    We are directed to marry one wife and to cleave unto HER and NONE ELSE...That's pretty clear as to which direction our love must go.

  • RE: BoyScouts
    April 7, 2008 2:46 p.m.

    I guess your not as prepared as you should be. Asking for understanding and open communication doesn't equate demands for a change in theology or doctrine. I must have missed the part in the story that said that the LDS church or any church was being was being asked to change it's doctrine or beliefs. But isn't the church asking the gays to change THEIR beliefs to be more acceptible to THEM?? The only ones who seem to want "to pervert the ways of the Lord" are those who think they are qualified to speak for Him.

  • Why the hate?
    April 7, 2008 2:48 p.m.

    The word hate seems to have replaced "disagree" in many of these forums. If someone disagrees, they are somehow "hateful" and "Unchristian". When I picture the word hate...I see the KKK, terrorists flying planes into buildings and the Holocaust. Hate is an extreme that is unfortunately thrown out too casually when discussing differences.

    As to the article, the church is taking a good step in meeting with Affirmation. Although it is extremely doubtful doctrines will be changed, understanding the needs of members asking for help can only be positive.

  • To: Slow
    April 7, 2008 2:55 p.m.

    The church's position on a lot of issues is crystal clear, not just the one's you happen to agree with. Too bad you can't see that.

  • I may be wrong...
    April 7, 2008 2:51 p.m.

    but isn't BYU's stance on homosexuality that you do not act on your impulses? If so then kissing and holding hands would be acting on impulses. Heterosexual males don't this with each other. In asking the Church to allow that then you are asking the Church to basically condone homosexuality. If you think that holding hands and kissing are not acting on homosexual desires you are kidding yourself. Also, why don't we hear from pro adultry groups? Aren't they segregated from the church? That behavior will get you exed as quick as homosexual behavior. I will admit that I will never understand homosexuality. You basically have a desire that has been condemnded from the beginning of time and yet you push and push to have it accepted not only by society but by the Lords Church.

  • EasternLDS
    April 7, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    I think some leaders need to be more aware and sensitive to this problem. I know of one member who was discouraged when he took his SGA problems to his Bishop and the response he got. Thankfully, another Bishop in the area took him under his wing and now he is married with three kids. SGA is a behavioral condition that can be changed with desire and a reliance on the redeeming love of the Savior. To try and quote President Kimball, to free oneself from this type of sin one must try and open the door even when the knuckles are bleeding from the effort. It can be done!

  • Who cares?
    April 7, 2008 3:14 p.m.

    Let them meet all they want.

  • Mike
    April 7, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    What makes you fools think that BYU would change to Honor Code to allow Homosexuals to date? They won't even let men grow a beard.

  • Cougar Freshman
    April 7, 2008 3:42 p.m.

    I don't know what changing the Honor Code would do. I personally agree with the Honor Code and follow it as best I can (and even fit into the BYU culture), but wouldn't have a problem with it changing. My only concern is for those people who would engage in such behavior in public at BYU--they would publicly humiliate themselves and become socially ostracized.

    I just hope that if the Honor Code does change, officials will do all in their power to ensure that individuals who do not conform to what is culturally accepted are treated with Christlike love and tolerance.

  • Re: Why the Hate?
    April 7, 2008 3:42 p.m.

    Calling people "hateful", "unchristian", and "intolerant" are what we do when our arguments are weak.

  • Thoughts from NC
    April 7, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    It's interesting how suddenly the issue is framed as the Church vs. Affirmation, when I know very few gay members or former members who have any connection to Affirmation. As a gay inactive member, I've never been to an Affirmation meeting or a conference and can't imagine that they represent the views of the majority of active or inactive gay members. Certainly, Affirmation is doing the best it can to speak for an unrepresented group, but I hope that the Church doesn't think that it's reaching out to all gay members just by meeting with Affirmation. The reality is that the vast majority of gay members eventually recognize that there is not a place for them in the Church and simply walk away unnoticed and unmissed with no expectations otherwise. If the Church truly wants to reach out with love to those struggling with this issue, it's efforts are best directed at the gay young men and young women in their teens and twenties who haven't left yet and are still trying to reconcile their attractions with their faith.

  • Open Discussion Needed
    April 7, 2008 3:52 p.m.

    I'm an active 'straight' member of the Church. I've served in two different bishoprics, the stake high council, stake ym president, and several other leadership callings. I've also had the great opportunity to associate with dozens of active, less active, and non-member homosexuals over the years. I feel like I have a good understanding of both the Church's viewpoint and also understand the plight of our gay brothers and sisters within the Church.

    The burden these people bare is immense and different from many of the sins referenced in the above comments (alcoholism / drug use, etc.). Unless you have a close relative who has lived this, I believe it's difficult--if not impossible--for the average Church member to grasp and fully understand.

    Part of the despair these people feel is that they have no hope of emotional intimacy in this life. I'm not talking about sexual intimacy---but the emotional connection each of us yearns to have with someone. How can the Church address this need while still requiring sexual purity?

    I applaud the Church's move and am encouraged by the frank and open discussion throughout the Church.

  • Understanding
    April 7, 2008 3:58 p.m.

    OK, let me see if I understand this:
    Some men like sex with other men ... Check
    Some women like sex with other women ... Check
    God says marriage is between man & woman ... Check
    Sex outside of marriage is a sin ... Check
    I think I understand.

    Just because your gay does not make me love/not love you any more/less.

    But stop trying to make me accept what you do, to help you feel better.

    AIMHO

  • Am I the only one?
    April 7, 2008 4:18 p.m.

    I don't understand why so many seem to think the Church's position can not possibly change. Plural marriage was changed. Blacks and the Priesthood changed. Why do people think it is impossible for any new revelation to be received? Didn't blacks receive the Priesthood because President Kimball cared enough to ask?

    I don't think there are any principles "set in stone" except the principle of continuing revelation.

  • Bayou Vol
    April 7, 2008 4:25 p.m.

    President Monson's best statement of the conference:
    "In these days sin manifests itself in the hollowing mask of tolerance. We know what is right and what is wrong."

    Homosexuality is a maladaptive trait prevalent in affluent society. It has been this way for thousands of years. It is a detriment to the human race AND the plan of salvation. It prevents the fulfillment of our primary role on the earth, to help in the progression of our spirit brothers and sisters by providing them physical bodies so that they may become more like our Father in Heaven. It is one of Satan's many arrows in his quiver of dispair. Homosexuality is a perversion of one's righteous need and desire for love and companionship.
    This meeting is a "thanks for coming, we know your around, but the eternities will prove your disposition irrelevant to the righteous designs of God which must and will come to pass regardless of Satan's attempts to thwart them."

  • Jon B. Holbrook
    April 7, 2008 4:24 p.m.

    President Monson has stated that he wants to welcome disaffected members back into the fold. I agree with his efforts and goodwill. However, homosexual Mormons have to realize that the Lord has one universal standard when it comes to marriage and morality: Complete chastity before marriage, complete fidelity after marriage and marriage is a covenant relationship between God, a man, and a woman. NO EXCEPTIONS! The gay-rights movement wants special, extra-Constitutional rights which is in reality, reverse discrimination towards everybody else. You don't get rid of discrimination with more discrimination, even if it is sanctioned by the government. Thank-you

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 4:31 p.m.

    @ Darthlaurie,

    "Eat drink and be marry for tomorrow we die..."

  • Kevin
    April 7, 2008 4:30 p.m.

    Well, good luck to Affirmation. I know some of these guys. I don't know why they stick with this church... or any church that defames their moral character for that matter. That is something I will never understand. But they've been asking for this meeting for, what, 30 years? So good luck.

  • Freeman
    April 7, 2008 4:33 p.m.

    To Sparkes22:

    Don't confuse the scriptural definition of "liberal" with your political views. They are not remotely related.

    To all those who have quoted the Savior in arguing that he would accept homosexuals, remember that to the adulterous woman he replied, "Go, and sin no more." He did not say, "Go, and be yourself." Yes, he was accepting and understanding, but he expected (and commanded) change.

    All of us are required to "put off the natural man," regardless of what that nature may be. To assume that you don't have to change is to deny the power of the Atonement. Affirmation can sit down with representatives of the church all day, but the plan of salvation (which is eternal and unchanging) will not be different in 5, 10, 20, or 1000 years. What will change is the person who applies the Savior's sacrifice in his/her life. And that's what everyone needs.

  • Baton Rouge
    April 7, 2008 4:40 p.m.

    "Open Discussion," If you have served in these important capacities in the church, you should know better than to use previous church callings as a false veil of authority. Please treat the responsibilities you have held with respect and refrain from using them to attempt to legitimize your opinions.

  • Bart
    April 7, 2008 4:49 p.m.

    I'm quite sure that part of the reason Pres. Monson is asking members to be more respectful and tolerant of other's views is because that is the way the Savior would have us act. After reading many of these posts, it becomes very obvious that there is a large amount arrogance amongst the membership. Many feel as though they know all there is to know and that is that. Well, come judgement day, we may have to whimper to the Almighty that we "though" we knew the gospel. "Judge not that ye be not judged," is very wise counsel. Let things take their course and don't be so darned belligerent.

  • mw
    April 7, 2008 4:49 p.m.

    What I cannot understand is the sheer disapproval of people who are different. Elder Wirthlin taught us that we need to love and understand those who are different. I can tell you from honest personal experience that NO ONE "chooses" to be a homosexual. It is not that simple. Gays and lesbians are incredibly alone in the Church. In they're entire lives they have to secretly cover their true feelings that God gave to them. And why? Because of hateful bigots in the Church. Having Affirmation speak to a Church official will be an incredible step in helping homosexual and heterosexual members of the church to come to a more full understanding. Consider yourselves lucky you have not "succumbed" to this temptation. That notion is totally ridiculous.

  • Thinker...
    April 7, 2008 5:01 p.m.

    There have been a lot of alleged "misunderstandings" and "accusations" on these posts. What does this group expect to happen? Do they want the church to give better counceling on how to overcome their SGA? Or do they want complete acceptance and the church to say that it's normal? What do they want and what do they expect? No doubt as members of the church we need to welcome all to meetings and ward functions but to what extent do they want the church to help or do for that matter?

    It seems that all gay rights groups want their lifestyle accepted. This being said, it's no wonder why we have gotten some of the posts we've gotten and doesn't really mean we "hate." Love can be shown through disapproval, a child drinking underage comes to mind. We disaprove of the "lifestyle" not the person. God will judge according to anyones "actions" whether heterosexual or homosexual and the church will not hedge on this point.

  • I dont think so...
    April 7, 2008 5:01 p.m.


    "Society is changing | 1:10 p.m. Apr. 7, 2008
    How is this any different than the way the Church used to look at mixed marriages? Society changed and the Church changed. Society is once again changing, better get used to the idea that the Church could also change, too.

    Of course, not for at least another 20 years, so we should have time to adjust.

    Talking" is simply the first step."

    You must be living in lala land to even think "that the church could also change, too. Speaking about "mixed marriages", I have lots of friends who are mixed marriages but they are man and woman couples too with "traditional family" beliefs. Society may be changing according to some people, but the Church doctrines won't change at all cost.

  • Sam Nielson
    April 7, 2008 5:08 p.m.

    Just to remind everyone about what President Monson said yesterday, "The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours." True, we respect those whose beliefs differ from ours, including beliefs about sexuality.

    This meeting is probably an effort to show respect to those who choose the homosexual lifestyle. At the same time, those living that lifestyle (or finding it acceptable) should be able to respect the church for its rejection of such a lifestyle and not call on the church to change. Accept that the church will not change its position and get over it. For those living the gay lifestyle, if you never want to change, so be it. We can respect you and you can respect us.

    Finally, all should remember what President Monson said in General Priesthood meeting on Saturday, "The face of sin today often wears the Halloween mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness and pain. You know what is right and what is wrong, and no disguise, however appealing, can change that."

    Homosexuality is sin. Nothing will change that. Affirmation, accept it.

  • californian
    April 7, 2008 5:10 p.m.

    my only question is this: Why do people (and this is only one example but this is a common problem) seek to be part of an organization that has rules, guidelines, requirements, etc. that are counter to their own? I am terribly confused by that aspect of this. Would I try to join a Raiders fan club if my goal is to support the Chargers? Isn't a good share of the grief caused here avoidable if I don't try to be something I am not?

  • BigPoet
    April 7, 2008 5:07 p.m.

    One can't have his sins and his covenants too!

  • BigPoet
    April 7, 2008 5:09 p.m.

    I shudder when I see attempts to "lobby" a change in doctrine.

  • Gobo Fraggle
    April 7, 2008 5:15 p.m.

    black people holding the priesthood was always within the overall doctrine of the plan of salvation as taught by the church. So was plural marriage. Homosexuality is a direct attack on our commandment to multiply and replenish the earth, thus frustrating the designs of God. Black people with the priesthood only helps accomplish the designs of God and proves his love for all of his children.

  • THIS TOPIC
    April 7, 2008 5:24 p.m.

    Well Said. I get SO sick of the double standard of the Gay and Lesbian Community. Because I recognize that your homosexuality is wrong does not make me homophobic or intolerant. Because I don't pretend I don't care and I don't open my arms and hug you "even though you are gay" doesn't make me intolerant. Facts are facts. Any REAL Christian realizes that Homosexuality is not only wrong but it is a choice and it is a SIN. No sugar coating it. So don't play the "homophobic" or "intolerance" card because you need to try and justify your choices. God will be the judge, not me, but that doesn't mean I cannot call you on the carpet for a SIN! As Simon Cowell would say "Sorry"!

  • Good, But
    April 7, 2008 5:21 p.m.

    I sure don't hope they think they can convince the Church to accept homosexual couples and relationships.

  • St Balthasar
    April 7, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    It is sad that people - LDSaints or not - need to be reminded to be loving and tolerant, even of those whose lifestyles we don't agree with. I don't believe that any doctrine or even policies will actually be changed because of this upcoming dialogue; however, it seems exemplary to me that the Prophet has agreed for LDS officials to meet with Affirmation.

    If we can eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) severe depression, suicide, the break up of families and increase our capacity to be loving, then I am all for such dialogue.

    Some may fear the slippery slope of intolerance --> tolerance --> accepance --> embrace --> promotion (of that which was previously intolerable); that progression is not inevitable. As for me, I agree with my understanding of the Savior's teachings: Love all (that is not the same is: promote all sinfulness).

    PS to those who feel that quoting scriptue or expressing understanding of doctrine is somehow presuming to "speak for the Lord" - it is not; I invite such to be less critical. This issue is sensitive no matter what "side" of it one is on.

  • Texas Lady
    April 7, 2008 5:36 p.m.

    I hope the church stands firm in it's requirements for all members.

    If they change it will be just another church.

  • Bayou Vol
    April 7, 2008 5:45 p.m.

    Very few posters on this blog have mentioned anything regarding hate of the person or an unwillingness to love and understand the person. Posters have, however, emphatically declared their understanding of the plan of our H.F. and their loathing of the sin of homosexuality, regardless of the difficulty in overcoming it.

  • Sarah
    April 7, 2008 6:10 p.m.

    I hope that every day members can take this to heart and be more kind and understanding to homosexual members. I know the DN had a great article in one that is a celibate Homosexual.

    The BYU stuff,though, will never happen.

    This dialogue has been needed for a while. I hope the homosexual members complain about meredian magazine, that spreads some horrible hatred at homosexual members.

  • Positive
    April 7, 2008 6:13 p.m.

    I'm happy the Church is meeting with this group. I find it a positive, hopeful act. Talking and understanding are always better choices than silence and ignorance.

  • Ken Baguley
    April 7, 2008 6:19 p.m.

    You know, it's not that some are intolerant of those who call themselves gay, it's that all should be intolerant of the lifestyle. Let's face it, It's wrong and the individuals who are driven to it should do all they can to suppress it the same as those who have criminal tendencies should suppress it. When it's wrong, it's wrong. Repent and be baptized and stay clean...

  • Susan
    April 7, 2008 6:19 p.m.

    gays, lesbians,transgenders...it's ALL the SAME...


    IT IS A SIN AND AGAINST ALL OF THE LORD'S TEACHINGS AND WAYS!

  • Walt
    April 7, 2008 6:34 p.m.

    Many of you make it so absolute, as if you know all about what is in another person's heart. Well, I am convinced. I don't want to be a member of this Church anymore.

  • Arizona Monte
    April 7, 2008 7:01 p.m.

    Bottom line....Why open a dialog with a "mere" prophet? The dialog needs to be opened with the one who's commandments they are. Then, learn who this Lord of Lords is. He created heaven and earth and all that is. Nothing was created that he did not create. He is omnipotent and knows all that there is to know, owns all there is to own, including us. A Prophet is but a mere man. Who is he that he would change the commandments of God. He is just the caretaker of the covenants and commandments. Go right to the source and bargain and complain and cajole with the God of Israel. Explain to him that he created you different and your difference is not the machinations and imaginations of man. Tell him He was wrong to have repented for making man, when the "different" ones were so "mainstream" in Sodom that they went about in gangs and raped all that were not already raped. How very thoughtless of their God. What is earthly consolation compared to salvation....indeed..exhaltaion.

  • gays next door
    April 7, 2008 7:16 p.m.

    WOW! i know 2 LDS men who are gay. One lives next door to me, and he keeps it very quite, and he has not been X'ed from the church yet. I have known several in the past 30 years of being a member. They are nice guys but have selfish life styles.

  • Jonathon
    April 7, 2008 7:19 p.m.

    Why can't the church change its doctrine? It wouldn't be the first time. The year I was baptised into the church (1978) was the same year the church made a major break with its past and began allowing blacks to hold the priesthood. Apparently it took god that long to get over his racism and see all races as equal. Now if only he could get past his sexism and homophobia, maybe the church could join the twenty first century...

  • Gay Mormon
    April 7, 2008 7:37 p.m.

    I appreciate the dialogue that this invitation has started within the LDS community. I believe this discussion will help Gay Mormons who suffer so much. I am one of them. For years I prayed and fasted that God would make me feel something towards a woman. I longed to be married and have a family. I went to therapy for many years and to Evergreen and searched the scriptures, the teaching of the prophets and the advice and counsel of church leaders, family members and friends.

    It wasn't until I learned wisdom in accepting that some things can't be changed in this life and accepting myself for who I am that the clouds of darkness and despair lifted and I felt the sunlight of day. I believe that God's light is in the sunshine and that He has a plan for me. I know he is aware of the efforts I make to obey His commandments and teachings in every way I possibly can.

  • To: THIS TOPIC
    April 7, 2008 7:36 p.m.

    Do you think that those struggling with same gender attraction, especially those in the Church, WANT to feel that way? Many KNOW that to act on those desires would be wrong and would give ANYTHING to have a normal sexual orientation, but CAN'T because that's the way their bodies work. Acting on the desires is a choice; the desires are not.

    Please understand this. Please.

  • Committed Partners
    April 7, 2008 7:40 p.m.

    My partner and I share a monogamous relationship that is very deep and caring. We pray and study together. We perform service for others in need, we hold dinners in which active heterosexual church members also attend. We share so much in common with these brothers and sister and look forward to feeling comfortable attending church. We don't ask the church to change their stand on temple requirements, but we just want to feel at peace in attending church and feeling the doors open not closed. Thanks President Monson for setting up this meeting.

  • Chris
    April 7, 2008 7:45 p.m.

    Pious, disgusting hypocrites - anyone who says gays are sinful. Hypocrites is what you are. I pray for YOU.

  • Across the sea
    April 7, 2008 7:44 p.m.

    From the foundation of the world nothing has changed nor it will ever be!Time and time the prophets has always speak out about this same gender attraction issues.The plan of salvation will not be frustrated by individual weaknesses and sinful behaviour however help is always available to families and individuals who are seeking help.
    Individuals who wants to persue this issue will need to take it up with their creator in time to come.

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 7:46 p.m.

    If the LDS church loosens its standards to openly accept the homosexual lifestyle, then it would have to loosen its standards with pre-marital sex and adultry, too...I highly doubt that is going to happen. Chastity is chastity whether you're gay, straight or bi.

  • Lesbian Mormon
    April 7, 2008 7:52 p.m.

    I love the fact that President Monson admonished the members to be more tolerant of others in General Conference. After reading some of these comments about the church meeting with Affirmation, I think there are some members that need to pick up the conference issue of the Ensign and read President Monsons talk again. To those members that wrote in I want to thank you again for strengthenin my testimony of why I no longer attend church.

  • truth
    April 7, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    Wonderful, I'm glad those of you who no longer attend church have chosen to express these views on this blog. This merely shows your selfishness and unwillingness to put God's teachings above your own and as the many examples in the scriptures show, hold on to your sin above all else. Members love and cherish you as a son our daughter of God, but will faithfully abide by and proclaim the teachings of God's servants. These teachings against homosexual acts are not those of the people of this blog. Do not confuse them with personal opinion. These are the eternal teachings through the plan of Heavenly Father. I, a n active church member, welcome you to come and learn of the perfect truth with other imperfect people. Do not dismiss those speaking the truth as ignorant or piously confused in order to mask your own selfish desires and unwillingness to accept truth. Regardless of our individual imperfections, God's truth is perfect. Homosexuality is a sin. We can and should speak out against sin. I love homosexuals and respect the good deeds they do, but will NEVER acquiesce to the legitimization of sin...even though I am not perfect.

  • Sorry but....
    April 7, 2008 8:27 p.m.

    Not going to church because somebody else "offended" you is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

  • Reaping what we sow
    April 7, 2008 8:37 p.m.

    There is just one thing to understand:

    We reap what we sow.

    Every "lifestyle" with regards to human relationships has its own reward:

    Choosing marriage and family has its fruits.
    Choosing to be single and not marry has its fruits.
    Choosing to be part of a homosexual relationship has its fruits.

    We each (regardless of lifestyle choice)just need to be sure and realize that when we pick up one end of the stick, we pick up the other as well. I heard today of a fellow whose wife wanted to be "single" once more in order to "play around" after being married. She became pregnant and now she is married again to another man, having traded her first husband, home, and two children for another husband, little apartment, and two more children. She is unhappy now and wishes she had stayed with her first choice. Could she have seen that coming?

    Let's each think ahead and look down the road. Make your choice. It is yours and yours alone. What do you want in 10, 20, and 50 years? If you want that thing, that goal, you'll get it. You are the one that has to live with it.

  • Commandments
    April 7, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    I'm not a homosexual, so no, I don't understand the difficulty of same-sex attraction. However, I am a happily married man with three children and one on the way. What I do understand is opposite-sex attraction. Boy, do I understand it. Do you homosexuals who want not only the Church, but the whole of society to accept you with open arms understand that most men have raging desires from time to time to have more than one opposite-sex partner? But guess what, its against the commandments. Period. I fight with my inner lusts all the time. Thankfully, I've never given in to them. And I'm a very happy guy. I don't rage against "society" because I can't act on my desires. Do you think child molesters should "act" on what they were born with? Are they denied their "God-given" inner self? I don't confirm nor deny you were born the way you are. But I believe the scriptures and the commandments are the way. It's not that you can't live your life the way you want, but the Church and society at large doesn't have to accept your behavior as equal to heterosexuality. We all have to control desires...

  • Adam
    April 7, 2008 8:40 p.m.

    Remember that from the restoration of the church until about 20 years ago, abortion was considered murder and an unforgiveable sin. Now abortion is accepted in some cases even though it is still the killing of an innocent life. If it is possible to change an unforgiveable sin, would it not be even more likely to change a forgiveable sexual sin such as homosexuality? This is what comes in the belief in a changeable god.

  • skywalker200
    April 7, 2008 8:55 p.m.

    I think Affirmation will be unpleasantly surprised with the words from the prophet. Obviously, this is an issue, and LDS family services is a wonderful organization that helps thousands of people overcome hundreds of kinds of addictions or family problems. However, those who are not willing to help themselves cannot be coddled. Homosexuality is real, and it can be difficult for those who wish to live the Gospel standards. Living the lifestyle is a choice, however, just like living a chaste life is a choice for a strait person. I as a strait person have to abstain from sex before marriage in accordance with Church teachings and gays are no different. I can't recall any Church official telling anyone that if they are attracted to the same gender, they cannot enter the temple. They can, however, live the Gospel just like me and go anytime they want. I know several people who do, and I love them. But I think Affirmation needs to hear that from President Monson's representative. We love and respect them, but we cannot condone behavior that is not in accordance with Church teachings, and that goes for everyone.

  • Brain Game
    April 7, 2008 8:55 p.m.

    If homosexuality is a sin, then why can gay people hold temple recommends? It boggles the mind.
    And for another brain exercise, reread all the comments, but substitute mormon for homosexuality and pretend they were written by fundamentalist christians.
    Does this change what you think of tolerance?

  • Texas MOrmon
    April 7, 2008 9:16 p.m.

    I do believe that sex between same sex is wrong and that the church will stand on their doctrine. However, until my sister decided to live with another woman and raise a family with her, I couldn't see that people who are gay are still humans. We as a family have learned to love and accept our sister, regardless of her lifestyle. We hope that someday she will return to the church and bring her children up with the same doctrines she was raised with. However, until that time, I am so happy that President Monson is willing to listen and learn from "gay members". He is not there to judge, and it appears they are not there to demand. They will just be working together to try to help those in the community who have been ignored and pushed aside. Good for them!

  • Tolerance isn't acceptance
    April 7, 2008 9:22 p.m.

    Folks, tolerance doesn't mean acceptance. I've read so many comments on here from homosexuals that say they are glad Pres. Monson told people to be more tolerant as if we are supposed to agree with your homosexual behavior.

    That's not what tolerance is. Pres. Monson also said, "In these days sin manifests itself in the hollowing mask of tolerance. We know what is right and what is wrong."

    I love each of my 5 children, unconditionally. However, when one of them needs correcting, I correct them. If one of them steals, I don't condone their behavior, yet I still love them.

    I'm sorry that some homosexuals aren't treated well in their own families and wards. However, that doesn't negate the fact that homosexual behavior has been condemned by Christ.

    I really don't understand how homosexuals sit on these pages and obviously in their lives and try to justify what they are doing.

    Will we next have a group of theives, liars, adulterers, etc. who want to have a meeting? For what purpose?

    People have been counseled to welcome all people. It's not the church, but the imperfect people in it that need to change. Truth is eternal.

  • Mort
    April 7, 2008 9:23 p.m.

    I believe that sex between anyone is wrong.

  • Just my opinion, but...
    April 7, 2008 9:26 p.m.

    I truly think that as society becomes more and more accepting of gays, in TV shows, movies, and possibly even accepting gay marriage, the Church will eventually have to follow suit. Or else it will be seen as a bigoted and out-of-date organization that only bigoted out-of-date people want to belong to.

    Whether we want to accept it or not, our values and expectations DO change over time. Dress standards that would be considered "totally immodest" years ago are now totally acceptable. Blacks DO have the priesthood. Plural marriage is part of our past, not present. Mixed marriages are now acceptable.

    People and attitudes DO change.

  • Churches positions have changed?
    April 7, 2008 9:31 p.m.

    Regarding "changes(?) in doctrine:

    Look back into scriptural history. At times God permitted polygamous relationships. At other times and with various other peoples, he did not.

    At times some were given the priesthood. It was limited to specific lineages, or peoples. At other times he did not. In fact, this is the first time in the history of the world (except for Adam's time) that the Priesthood has been given to all men. Some black men held it in Joseph Smith's time. I think that it was because of the ignorance of the people in the 1800's that this did not continue at large.

    I don't think God will say:

    "Okay, don't have kids. People aren't important. Don't give others a life- yes, that gift you were given."

    Life is not about what I want. It is about what I can and could give to others. Quit worrying about yourself and go to work.

    Is life about "me," or "thee?"

  • Lesbian Mormon
    April 7, 2008 9:27 p.m.

    In response to "Truth". Perfect! You helped make my point. You judge me and call me "selfish and unwilling to put God's teachings above my own" without even knowing me. I know the 30 years that I was active in the church, I was taught that we will be judged by Heavenly Father but it sounds like that may have changed.

  • jph1223
    April 7, 2008 9:28 p.m.

    I know this is crass, but I hope it makes my point. I am divorced and I can tell you that I enjoy having sex with women. However, in order to be Temple worthy and to keep the Spirit with me, I don't have sex with women. I like the smell of a nice cigar, but in order to keep my Temple recommend and to keep the Spirit with me, I don't partake. Nor would I attempt to attend BYU and expect them to change their honor code so I can have sex with women and smoke cigars and not feel guilty about it. As a matter of fact, I do things like pray and read my scriptures and listen to General Conference to help fortify me from breaking these and other commandments. You ought to try it. It works. Especially if you want it to work.

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 9:37 p.m.

    1. God loves it when he sees his children born.
    2. God is happier when he sees them raised by loving parents.
    3. We each need to be glad of parents. It is why we each exist.

    I don't expect anyone to modify things to make me or you feel better. Our actions have their natural and eternal consequences. You can't write your own rules to the Earth Game. Try if it makes you feel better.

    For each of us that are alive and exist in mortal form, we have a mother (woman) and a father (man) responsible for it. Remember your roots. Give thanks for the man and woman that made you. Give back in their tradition. It is an act of complete selflessness- and gives back ten-fold.

    Oh yeah- but I hear it is REALLY hard. Especially when you have teenagers.

  • Deeper understanding
    April 7, 2008 9:32 p.m.

    There are people on here that need to deepen their understanding of the gospel of the church they profess to belong to.

    Many comments show a shallow understanding of eternal truths. The comments show that some of us didn't pay attention too well in Seminary and Sunday SChool classes. It would behoove many to start hitting the books a little better along with prayer to deepen their gospel knowledge.

    The gospel isn't changing folks. You think the counsel given about homosexuality in the OT and NT are somehow going to be changed now? No they won't be changed.

    If homosexuals can get a deeper understanding of the gospel from this meeting, great.

    I would encourage all to deepen their understanding of the gospel. All humans are children of God and deserve love and respect. No one should be demeaned no matter what they do.

    I have many homosexual friends. We have lunch, dinner, they babysit, etc.

    We can all get along, but trying to justify your behavior is just making excuses. We all fall into the same trap for many of our sins.

    Christ is the only option for all of us sinner. Seek Him; Follow Him!

  • To californian 5:10 pm
    April 7, 2008 9:35 p.m.

    Ever hear the term "they want their cake and eat it too"?

  • Reap what you sow (addendum)
    April 7, 2008 9:35 p.m.

    Oh yeah...

    Some fruits are sweet and the others bitter.

    Some are pretty tasty now and then become bitter later.

    Some are sweet now and sweeter later.


    Look at the menu and use wisdom when you order. It is your choice. What do you think was intended by Mother Nature?

  • church doctrine
    April 7, 2008 9:45 p.m.

    Sorry 9:31 but God's doctrine has never changed. God's doctrine is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow.

    The gospel is eternal, folks. It's always been; always will be.

    Polygamy isn't being practiced on earth right now, but the doctrine hasn't been changed. I'm confident that it will return again to fulfil the plan of happiness.

    It's really shocking to see some of the basic gospel principles are so misunderstood.

    for those who cop the "judge not that ye be not judged" excuse...actually read the whole verse and the few after it, particularly the JST part....

    To you I'd say, do you understand, thou shalt not commit adultery/fornication? or Mark 10 "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
    7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
    8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh."

    How do those scriptures get justified away?

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 9:56 p.m.

    I'm truly thankful for my parents. And, I am also thankful for kind and caring neighbors and relatives who helped raise me, whether they were married or not.

    Even people who are not parents can still be very important and contributing members of society.

    I really think the world has enough people that humanity will still be able to carry on, even if not everyone has children of their own.

    There are times when it is actually beneficial to have a few extra helping hands. I don't understand why people continue to de-value anyone who is not a parent.

  • About Time
    April 7, 2008 9:57 p.m.

    As a member of the LDS church (outside of Utah, so I don't see the issues as often) I'm very happy to see this meeting take place. While there are certain boundaries that cannot be crossed by the church in opening their arms to this community it is very important to remember that every single soul on this earth (heterosexual or homosexual) is a child of our Father in Heaven and should be treated as such.

    Those that commit other acts we see as sins do not face the same retribution and condemnation as our gay brothers. "Love one another" includes all of God's children and hopefully the two sides can come to an understanding which will help Affirmation better understand the church's view...The church better understand Affirmation...and all members of the LDS faith treat their non-LDS brethren (and sisters) like children of God, independent of lifestyle.

    Love the sinner...not the sin.

  • Re: Adam 8:40 pm
    April 7, 2008 9:58 p.m.

    There is a big difference between forgiveness of sin through the "process" of true repentance, and forgiving sin through acceptance. Clearly the first is possible, (see Elder Scott's talk) - the second isn't.

  • bearhorse
    April 7, 2008 9:59 p.m.

    I thought the church believed in modern revelation, isn't that one of the articles of faith? How sad that so many profess to know God's views. There seems to be a lot of personal judgement here. I guess modern revelation was ok in Joseph Smith times, but not now???? I wonder how many of you would leave the church and lose faith if there was again some modern revelation only in this area. Was not allowing blacks to hold the priesthood modern revelation???????

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 10:09 p.m.

    It is funny to me that talk of "dialogue" between the two groups instantly results in the fear, or for some hope, that the church is going to change one position or another. Anyone out there believe that Affirmation has an open enough mind to accept any of the church's heretofore official position? Maybe Affirmation can or should walk away from the dialogue with a greater acceptance of why the church believes and teaches what it does about homosexuality.

    My suspicion is that those who support the homosexual agenda will say "No...and Affirmation has no obligation to do so." This is a double standard and is why there will really be no true dialogue on this matter.

  • Josephs Myth
    April 7, 2008 10:11 p.m.



    I find it telling and embarassing that the DesNews edited several paragraphs out of this AP story before printing it. I would paste it here, but it's longer than the 200 word limit. Go read it in "the other" paper. It's the comments of Dr. Rob Killian in Seattle about he was treated as a gay Mormon.

  • To "Church Doctrine"
    April 7, 2008 10:11 p.m.

    qDo you watch the news? Do you see how much harm your supposed "revelation" has caused. I truly feel sorry for you. And, I would like to add, polygamy is not coming back...it's on it's way totally out. Thank Goodness!

  • serenity
    April 7, 2008 10:32 p.m.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference!!!

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 10:50 p.m.

    I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive but of you it is required that you forgive ALL men.

  • Sex
    April 7, 2008 11:20 p.m.

    DON'T THINK ABOUT IT , DON'T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT!

  • Radical to the Max!
    April 8, 2008 12:09 a.m.

    I'm glad they're meeting. We can believe what we believe, but I hope we can always at least sit down and talk. Not that policies need to change. But, it's cool the church will at least meet with them. And not that the Lord needs any PR, but these sorts of measures are very good for showing people that we are reasonable. That is, that we'll listen to what people want before we tell them that we won't give them what they want. Yes. I think it's a VERY positive thing. Meeting and talking doesn't threaten anyone.

  • Tendencies...
    April 8, 2008 12:22 a.m.

    I wasn't born with homesexual tendencies, but I was born with tendencies to be selfish. When I turned 19, I wanted to hang out with friends in college and do what I wanted to do, what was fun for me... I didn't want to go on a mission and serve others, but it was a commandment from the Lord. I did what was asked of me, and I learned to overcome my selfish desires and learned to love serving others.

    People born with homosexual tendencies need to do the same... If you'd rather be dating/holding hands/kissing/having sexual relationships with members of the same gender, doing what is "fun" for you, then you need to look at the commandment and follow it. It may be tough at first to step away from the "tendencies you were born with," but you may learn to love having heterosexual relationships as the Lord commanded, just as I learned to put off my selfish tendencies and learned to love others.

    Affirmation doesn't necessarily need to have a talk with Church Leaders, they just need to read the scriptures and do what is commanded of the Lord, just as church leaders will ask them to do.

  • Anonymous
    April 8, 2008 12:43 a.m.

    I was surprized to see a meeting set by the church and gays, but I think it is a good thing. I dont think either side expects more than to understand each other more and to help people act with more understanding toward each other. That is a good goal in every kind of interaction between people.

    Since depression and suicide is a very big issue in both the gay community and in Utah, perhaps more understanding can help some folks to feel life is worth living. You can't expect people to be interested in church if they aren't interested in living and seeking love and happiness in a life.

    The Plan of Eternal Happiness is not always the same for everyone, just as people seek different walks and callings in life. Life would be strange if everyone wanted the same occupation, the same styles, or the same color home or car.

    That would look too much like Pleasantville for me. Too black and white for me.

    I think a narrow way of living is why half of the church members are inactive. They decide to live life their own way. To each their own. Peace, Joy, Love. WWJD. :)

  • Tithing
    April 8, 2008 1:14 a.m.

    My sister can't get a temple recommend because she doesn't pay tithing. She struggles with it. She goes on shopping sprees without paying her tithing first, or her bills or anything else. It's a problem that needs fixed, and she understands that and accepts the fact that she can't have a temple recommend. It is very hard for her, but she knows she needs to change, and she doesn't join a group of other non-tithe-payers to complain to the church about her problems with keeping the commandments. Homosexuals should do the same. They need to stop looking for ways to justify their sins. It isn't something biological. "...and putteth off the natural man, and becometh a saint." We all have our weaknesses, but that is the purpose and goal of the Gospel. To help us put off the natural man, overcome those weaknesses, and find true, lasting happiness through keeping the commandments. Affirmation should be giving a plea for help to obey the commandments, not asking for changes in the honor code. "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say." Overcome your homosexual weakness, and you will be blessed for it. Pray, and the Lord will help.

  • Boiseguy
    April 8, 2008 2:48 a.m.

    RE: Tithing
    good points made about tithing and homosexuality, but I don't think you or anyone knows whether homosexuality is natural or unnatural. The only people who really can give the best insight are people who are. I don't think you know what you know because it's fact. You know what you know because it has been taught to you, and it says it in some book that you believe in and place your emotions upon. You and others "know" so many things not because you can prove them to be factual, but because you "feel" that it is right. While what you feel is enlightening and great for discussion please understand the context of your position.
    I dont have a problem with knowing that Im a sinner for being homosexual. In fact that is not the reason why I stopped going to church when I was 16. The reason why I stopped going to church was because all my friends and people I knew my whole life refused to associate with me because of my particular "sin". Then the prophet wants to sit and ask for those of us who have left to come back?
    once bitten twice shy

  • Adulteration
    April 8, 2008 3:26 a.m.

    I've formed a group just like Affirmation which I've named Adulteration. I'm going to demand to meet with Church officials so that I can try to convince them that my adultery (that is, sex outside of marriage) should be recognized, tolerated, accepted, etc. and that the Church should no longer call my behavior wrong nor ostracize people like me just because we define myself by my sexual proclivities and just because we can't obey the Commandments. Adulteration will stand in solidarity with groups like Affirmation and if a group of fornicators down at BYU can get themselves organized, then we'll stand with them too and try to get the BYU Honor Code changed on their behalf. What a wonderful idea Affirmation has had - let's change the Church instead of changing our own immoral behavior.

  • Dave
    April 8, 2008 5:09 a.m.

    To: Eastern LDS

    Just because you know of a 2nd hand story of a gay man getting married doesn't make you an expert on the topic. I can assure you that being gay is not a behavioral choice.

  • Get off it !!
    April 8, 2008 5:16 a.m.

    it is just a meeting ..it's America...I'm sure the brethren know what they are doing...while the others of you ...cluck, cluck around.

  • Knss
    April 8, 2008 6:22 a.m.

    I am glad the church is meeting with affirmation and I am also glad that the church won't budge on doctrines regarding homosexuality either. I hope the church representatives tell them that they won't budge.

  • Ryan
    April 8, 2008 6:37 a.m.

    I was faithful to the church until I felt that I was no longer safe attending church. I was faithful to the church until I felt that the members were more concerned about themselves than others.

    I know Dave and Olin, we have discussed the letter in the local DC chapter of Affirmation. All this meeting is for is to begin an understanding, not to change the doctrine but in how people are treated.

    Please don't accuse me of being selfish, it is not selfish to want to feel secure at church. It is not selfish to be willing to help one another. I have helped others when I really didn't have the means to without repayment. I have stepped in and helped when I could afford to. I have done that which the Savior has taught, to love one another.

    I hope that something comes out of it, at least some understanding, but I expect nothing. I have learned the hard way to expect nothing whether from friends or family. I only hope that Heavenly Father will help me in times of despair, otherwise I am alone, I have nothing other than myself.

  • Tithing and Homosexuality?
    April 8, 2008 7:44 a.m.

    Goodness! I don't pay "tithing" per say, but I help wherever I feel inclined (and whenever I can afford it). I don't pay to orgainizations that will use the money to build buildings because I don't think that is needed as much as other things. Regarding my gay friends: They are just like you and I in many ways. Imagine the way you were born didn't allow you to marry the person you loved. And that being attracted to them was "sinful". Your comparisons do not compare. Think the way you want, but you must give other people their right to be who they are and show them respect. It is good they are meeting with your religious group to help give them this respect.

  • Re: Tithing and Homosexuality
    April 8, 2008 8:26 a.m.

    In the LDS church, they believe tithing is a commandment, as well as the law of chastity, which prohibits homosexuality. Some people are probably born being obsessive with their money and not wanting to donate ten percent of it anywhere, just as some people are born with same gender attractions. The fact of the matter is, in the LDS church, they are both commandments... If you want to be considered in good standing with the church, obey those commandments. They do compare. Everyone is born with weaknesses. Most homosexuals just like to play the poor pitty party picked on me game... I have a couple of good friends who struggle with homosexuality. They know they are in the wrong though, and they are trying to overcome it. They think the whole Affirmation thing is rediculous... Maybe they should have a talk with Affirmation. If other homosexuals told them to change and try to overcome their problems rather than ask to be accepted, do you think it would do any good?

  • Hmmm
    April 8, 2008 8:38 a.m.

    I guess "hogwash" is too harsh a word for the DesNews censors....

  • Why Worry??
    April 8, 2008 8:36 a.m.

    Why should I worry about what God thinks about my being gay??? It would seem that the people on this blog are smarter and more righteous and dare I say without sin enough to pass judgement on me and the rest of the gay community. Why should I worry about anything since the people on the DMN website have all the answers to pass a fair and honest judgement. I feel so much better knowing that while the Lord might know the true nature of my heart, my fellow man is better qualified to pass judgement based on their "cherry picking" of scripture. Now that they have taken care of the gay problem, maybe they will start taking care of the next offender of the world. Look out anyone who's played football, the scripture about touching the skin of a pig could be the next "cherry" to be picked.

  • Re: Kevin 4:30 pm
    April 8, 2008 9:00 a.m.

    Moral character is not "defamed" by the Church, it is "defamed" by your actions.

  • chris
    April 8, 2008 9:14 a.m.

    If everyone read the Book of Mormon, there would be a lot less misunderstanding, all throughout the Book it says we all have fallen, we all are lost, we have done regretable things, we have no merit, we have no excuses, the law condemns us all; our very own book says we have all fallen short, but there is hope if we can keep busy on worthwhile things and keep life simple and clean and full of life. Sin makes us dumb; yet we have a right to be dumb, except that when we are dumb we have less opportunities in life.

  • Better Brain Game
    April 8, 2008 9:17 a.m.

    @ Brain Game

    ACTING on homosexual desires is the sin. If someone has those desires but refuses to act on them and keeps all the commandments, why refuse them a temple recommend?

    You see, it is acting on the sin, if a teenager has had the thoughts of drinking in high school but has the strength to say no, he is still worthy to participate in various church activities including the temple. Same is true with homosexual desires.

    @ Lesbian Mormon,

    By all means come to church and yes, it is the members duty to accept you as a child of god. However, knowing what you know about the church, if you flaunt your lifestyle, don't be surprised if people treat you differently. If you are currently not acting on desires or flaunting the lifestyle than it is nobody's business what your struggles are. I'm married and see pretty women all the time and thoughts can creep in, but I don't act and I don't need to share with others at church. Seek the help and counceling you need to help overcome your desires and by all means, come back to church. I know it helps me.

  • I seriously doubt it...
    April 8, 2008 9:28 a.m.

    "Jonathon | 7:19 p.m. Apr. 7, 2008
    Why can't the church change its doctrine? It wouldn't be the first time. The year I was baptised into the church (1978) was the same year the church made a major break with its past and began allowing blacks to hold the priesthood. Apparently it took god that long to get over his racism and see all races as equal. Now if only he could get past his sexism and homophobia, maybe the church could join the twenty first century... "

  • Unreal
    April 8, 2008 9:30 a.m.

    I new alot of people who left the church in 1978 because blacks could now hold the priesthood. I am happy that the leaders who ran the church changed their rules in 1978 and wouldn't it be cool if the rules were changed once again for these loving people who are being shunned by the LDS church?

  • Reed
    April 8, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    This is directed to all you hypocritical, self-righteous members of the LDS faith.
    First, know that I am a happily married, heterosexual male member of the church.
    Next, consider a few facts. Roughly 10% of the human population is homosexual. Most do not "choose" their sexual preferance any more than I chose to be right handed. Many have the same moral standards as any good member of the church, yet they are forced to live a lie or abandon their faith.
    It is not for us to judge these people (ANY PEOPLE). God will take care of that so don't worry. We will all get our just reward. Perhaps better to focus on the commandments such as, "Love thy neighbor" than to look down your nose at those you deem less righteous than yourself. There is an old joke that says the world is divided into two groups of people: the righteous and the unrighteous. And the righteous do the dividing.
    You can attend church all you want, go to the temple regularly, pay your tithing, serve in your calling, but if you can't truly love your fellow beings, well... good luck. You're going to need it.

  • Saddened
    April 8, 2008 9:33 a.m.

    As an active member of the LDS church who happens to have same gender attraction, I am saddened by the amount of intolerance that is being conveyed in these comments by other members of my faith.

    The fact of the matter is, the LDS church has an abysmal track record for retaining gay members. Even those of us who choose to not act on our attractions are often made to feel dirty and unclean for simply having them by these sort of self righteous and hateful comments. For that reason, many (if not most) of us choose to remain fully closeted - fearful of how other members of the church will treat us if they knew of our inner most secrets.

    I am not a member of Affirmation; however, I welcome this news. While I don't expect any major shifts in church policy to be the result, I am hopeful that this will pave the way for better understanding and compassion.

  • RE: REED
    April 8, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    Another person who "get's it"!!! Thank you. Love the comment about the righteous do the dividing, well put!!!

  • CFB
    April 8, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    It is not selfrighteous to have values and morals; no one is forcing anyone who believes such ideas to remain in the church--though immorality applies to everyone in every situation--they want everyone to condone conduct that insults members who try to live teachings; they want a pass, to only accept what they selfishly desire, and the destruction nature of live-style over along period of time is well documented by socialogical studies, same sex relationships fail, and do not last, so why support them?

  • Sub-Odeon
    April 8, 2008 10:16 a.m.

    Can someone please explain to me why it's the job of the church to make homosexuals feel better about themselves, and their sin?

    Homosexuals experiencing guilt and anger over their failure to rectify doctrine with choice, either need to seek their priesthood leadership and get right with God, or abandon the church and get psychological counseling in order to get over their bitterness at the Lord and the LDS faith.

    God does not create us to sin against him. All of us have free will. Denial of the appetites is part of our lesson here on this fallen Earth. If you feel an undeniable urge to have sex with your own gender, and you're LDS, it's up to you to come to grips with your choice. Either decide to deny yourself and abide by the gospel, or learn to live in sin and forget about the LDS church. Because there cannot ever be a time when LDS doctrine smiles on homosexual activity. It won't happen.

    Hard words. But these are hard times. And the church is not a therapy group for people who can't get over themselves.

  • No Name Calling
    April 8, 2008 10:38 a.m.

    To Reed,

    Whoa there! Let's not ruin this discussion with name calling, accusations, and condemnations. By far the majority of the LDS members posting here have shown love and understanding. It seems to me that most of the negative comments are coming from people who want to call others self righteous, intolerant, etc., etc., etc.

    How about being tolerant of people who choose to accept the Lords word found in many many scriptural references and the words of modern day prophets that homosexuality is a sin?

    Most of us who believe that also accept the Lord's teachings about loving sinners and reaching out to help them. We know that we are sinners also. None of us can point fingers at those who feel same sex attraction and judge them for the temptations they face. All of us are trying to overcome our own weaknesses.

    We cannot get back to heavenly father by trying to change his standards on any issue. We have to change to match those standards. None of us can meet those standards without the help of Christ through the atonement.

    Let's work together to help each other do that.

  • Sagacious Inquisitor
    April 8, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    Reed and reReed,

    Would you agree that quite interestingly on these pages; it often appears that the dividing is done by both parties evenly? Yet, one party seems more vilified for holding a contrary, politically incorrect and old fashioned opinion.

    Sadly, in our modern and "enlightened" world, what is sauce for the goose really ain't for the gander.

  • Mc
    April 8, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    I had a neighbor who was a young mother struggling with alcoholism and financial problems. I truly cared about her and her family and tried to help with AA meetings and being a friend. She confided in me about feelings of same sex atraction as well as interest in other men besides her husband. I tried to help her keep her family together, but when she wanted me to meet her "boyfriend," I began to see that what she wanted from me was acceptance of her behavior, not help to overcome her problems. I could not accept behavior that went against everything I believe in and she could not change me, so I was not what she wanted in a friend. I'm sure that she feels that I rejected her friendship and did not care about her, but that was not the case.

    The problem I see with many homosexuals is that they equate loving them with accepting their lifestyle. If we don't accept it then we don't love them. Accepting sinful behavior (hetero or homosexual) that is openly displayed is just as difficult for me as changing sexual attraction would be for someone who is homosexual.

  • Don't Blame Genetics
    April 8, 2008 11:14 a.m.

    All of us, myself especially, face temptations and I don't blame anyone for the temptations they face. However, I feel like I have to comment on the excuse I hear again and again about a genetic link to homosexuality. I want to make a few points.

    1. A genetic link is irrelevant. Heterosexuality is in most peoples genes but that doesn't make it ok for them to be philanderers or pornographers.

    2. If homosexuality were a genetic trait then it would have self selected itself out of existence long ago. Homosexuals do sometimes marry heterosexually and have children, but if homosexuality were genetically linked the trait would tend to eliminate itself.

    3. If homosexuality is genetic then why is there no strong tendency for it to run in families? I have known many homosexuals but I have never met one that came from a family with many of them.

    I am not a scientist and can't prove whether genetics has anything to do with homosexuality or not but let's not use genetics as an excuse for any of our sins whether they are related to sexuality or not.

  • signs of civil war
    April 8, 2008 11:15 a.m.

    Always dividing people.
    Always setting groups apart from each other.
    Never a meeting of the minds.
    The same mindset that occurs before a civil war.
    Always a "right is right!" mentality.

  • RE: Sagacious
    April 8, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    No, I don't think that the dividing is done evenly. When those who oppose me and my lifestyle to the point of a constitutional amendment to prevent my enacting my civil rights. I can't concider that as even division. When those in opposition call me a pedophile not because I have violated a child but because I am attracted to other men, that is not even. When I read and hear time and again how those like me are going to be the downfall of society I can't see that as even, nor would I call it an even division when I must conform to the standards of normalicy as dictaded by those who think they are all knowing or else face retribution that in the past has included physical violence. No, I wouldn't call that an even division.

  • WYO Reader
    April 8, 2008 11:43 a.m.

    To "Don't Blame Genetics"

    AMEN!

  • Supportive ex-communicated membr
    April 8, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    This is in response to Mormon Mom and others out there who may have despaired because of perceived lack of support by the LDS church in this matter. There have been several organized groups that have formed through the years that have taken positive steps to support members of the church who deal with these feelings of SSA (Same Sex Attraction). One in particular [Evergreen} has received incredible support from the church. The challenge has been to get the word out to the Stake Presidents that they do exist. The Church's Family Services, from what I understand, does have information regarding some of these support groups. Others can be found through internet searches. Do a search on Same Sex Attraction and you may find some of this information. There are psychologists and others doing positive, constructive research of this, that many of us deal with. Do not be troubled by all the emotional outbursts and controversy about this...there is help out there and has been for some time.

  • kindness
    April 8, 2008 12:05 p.m.

    Having just married in the temple a woman who has a gay son, I am encouraged by President Monson's decision to have Church officials meet with the Affirmation group. Too many Church members' words and actions betray the loving kindness our Lord Jesus Christ would have us model as His followers, and opening up an official dialogue with these disenfranchised Saints is simply the right thing to do.

    Becoming divorced after a twenty-three year marriage taught me much about what the Lord would have us say and do towards others who suffer estrangement from the fellowship of the Saints, much of the teachings coming in the form of scorn, ridicule and estrangement from family, "friends" and other members of this Church named after Jesus Christ.

    I endorse _any_ action which sincerely seeks "to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isaiah 61) including any of us who feel after the Savior out of desperate need.

    Christ would have us do no less.

  • different
    April 8, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    I have to assume that all those people who see no difference between being gay and being tempted to steal, drink alcohol, not pay tithing, cheat, overeat, act selfishly, and speed in traffic (among the many cited) are not close to anyone who is gay.

    Those who know and care about gay people know that sexual orientation is not a mere temptation to do something the church prohibits, but is fundamental to one's very identity. They see that Church members treat gay people very differently than people "who struggle to not be selfish" or to give up coffee.

  • Bodacious
    April 8, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    Just another reason I am glad I don't go to church..to much stoning going down.

  • Happiness
    April 8, 2008 12:19 p.m.

    My father struggled with homosexuality throughout his life. Early in his marriage he acted on the temptation for the first time causing great pain to his wife and family. He did his best to repent and for years was free of the sin. During that time he accomplished great good. He brought the gospel to many people and raised his children in the church. He still felt temptation. Life wasn't easy but he did his best.

    In his later life he became discouraged because of an illness that was a direct result of his earlier problem. He gave up and gave in to his temptation. He divorced my mother and isolated himself from everyone that loved him and instead chose to associate himself with others that had the same temptation.

    Eventually he was murdered by one of his homosexual partners who stole his money to buy drugs.

    I don't know what will happen to my father. I don't know what circumstances caused him to face the temptations he faced. I know only this, God prohibits homosexuality for the same reason he prohibits all sin. It does not and cannot make people happy.

    We love and miss you dad.

  • Freeman
    April 8, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    So Reed calls those LDS members opposed to homosexuality "self-righteous" and "hypocritical." He blasts them for passing judgment, yet that is exactly what he is doing in telling them "good luck--you're going to need it." Who's the hypocrite?

    Furthermore, loving your neighbors does not mean condoning, supporting, or even accepting their behavior. You can accept a person without accepting his/her lifestyle. It's absurd to suggest that in order to love my neighbors I have to approve of anything and everything they choose to do. My own father is gay (one of the founding members of Affirmation) and I still accept and love him as a person, even though I disapprove of his behavior and lifestyle.


  • Dane
    April 8, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    The LDS Church believes homosexuality is wrong and that's not going to change. True some people have an attraction to members of the same sex. As long as they don't act on those feelings they can remain worthy members of the church. BYU's honor code will not change. Why should it? Straight students can't honorably attend if they are sexually active. They're not going to make an exception for a minority group.

  • Moessers
    April 8, 2008 1:11 p.m.

    To: "Don't Blame Genetics"

    That's like saying downs syndrome, or sickle cell, or cancer should have selected itself out a long time ago.

  • Sagacious Inquisitor
    April 8, 2008 1:11 p.m.

    RE: Sagacious | 11:40 a.m. Apr. 8

    To which civil rights do you refer? Those civil rights outlawing sex with children or animals? Those similar civil rights outlawing polygamy, prostitution or sex outside marriage? Those under which Texas is prosecuting the RLDS? Which sexually related laws violate your civil rights? How? Which should be abolished? If some, to make things even, why not all?

    Did someone unjustly call you a pedophile? That would be wrong! If, however, you support pedophilia through child pornography, or in any way, would such name calling make things more even?

    If someone believes your lifestyle is potentially the downfall of society should they be vilified and silenced while you retain the right to openly advocate your agenda? Does the imposition of standards of normalicy by society imply evil to those who think they are all knowing; whilst you of a vastly minor and opposing viewpoint are really the ones who are all knowing?

    Have you; others you know; suffered physical violence from the normal society which oppresses you?
    Have you suffered it from the twisted community?
    Either way, its wrong; and should be prosecuted under law.
    Would that even division of prosecution satisfy you?

  • WJ
    April 8, 2008 1:30 p.m.

    Gays who have illicit sex should be expelled. As the article states, "The same standard applies to straight students." Good point. Gays should be accepted, but acting on their tendencies should not, just as fornication is not accepted.

  • BLJT
    April 8, 2008 1:44 p.m.

    To Dane and WJ: I think the point about the honor code at BYU is that it has not always been applied equally. Gay students have been expelled for things far short of sex, such as hand-holding and merely "associating" with other gay people.

  • Sagacious Inquisitor
    April 8, 2008 1:51 p.m.

    Moessers,

    Great insight!

    In the spirit of true and open acceptance and for the sake of absolute, unquestioning tolerance; as with Down Syndrome, or Sickle Cell, or Cancer we should probably accept the mutation causing Homosexuality as a normal condition of humankind.

    Do you think?

  • Rich
    April 8, 2008 1:53 p.m.

    I've decided to comment without first reading the comments posted here. I'm hopeful the posters exhibited the same spirit of hopefulness and reconciliation and understanding that the LDS Church and Affirmation have expressed. Yes, there is a need for what Ms. Larabee calls for: "more understanding, more acceptance and less isolation." Though I myself am a heterosexual LDS man, I have good friends who are gay and have had gay friends who have died of AIDs. I love and accept my gay friends and am confident they will be met by a loving and accepting God on the other side of the veil. On the other hand, I don't believe that God countenances either gay sex or extramarital heterosexual sex. We are all humans, prone to making mistakes, whether we are gay or hetero. Such mistakes can lead to much unhappiness, including a loss of self-esteem. I have no problem having openly sexuallly active gays in church just as I have no problem accepting couples who live together outside marriage. But I don't think the church can be expected to start issuing temple recommends to members of either group.

  • Don't Blame Genetics
    April 8, 2008 1:51 p.m.

    To Moessers,

    "That's like saying downs syndrome, or sickle cell, or cancer should have selected itself out a long time ago."

    Those diseases aren't always caused by genetic inheritance from your parents. Cancer, for example, can be caused the introduction of external substances, (i.e. smoking, radiation exposure, etc.).

    Genetic pre-disposition can lead to illnesses like that, and to the extent that death occurs before adulthood they do tend to select themselves out. The problem is that these conditions often do not cause death before the person reproduces.

    If homosexuality were genetically related it would not necessarily select itself out of existence entirely because, as I mentioned, homosexuals do sometimes marry heterosexually and have children. However, it would tend towards elimination. What we see in society today is that homosexuality is a growing problem, not a shrinking one.

    The genetic traits leading to the illnesses you mention can be traced from generation to generation. Why do we not see that with homosexuality?

    Above all my primary point remains, all of us have genetically produced desires that can lead us to sin. We have to control those desires if we want to be productive members of society.

  • Just curious
    April 8, 2008 2:01 p.m.

    How is that so many people here have so many gay friends? Statistics show that only 3% of the population is gay. So if you have 100 good friends, which is a lot of GOOD friends 3 of them would be gay. Yet a number of people on here have a lot of gay friends. I have only known about 5 or so openly gay people in my life.

  • Judgement
    April 8, 2008 2:14 p.m.

    I think trying to discern what is in anybody's heart is difficult if not impossible. None of us know where another is on his spiritual journey. I cannot believe anybody would choose the lifestyle of the gay person if he truly had a choice. Life is difficult enough for the straight person. I think each of us is charged with helping all persons to reach their goals where we are able. Life must be very lonely for those who find themselves unable to live their chosen spiritual path without the support of loved ones and friends and with a spirit that tells them they are different. I can only imagine trying to be happy and live a fulfilled life as a person that is reviled by the general public, wondering if the next person they meet is going to be so disagreeable as to be even dangerous to their very life. It would be wonderful for the families of these loved ones to be able to live without the dread of hearing off colored jokes and cruel criticism of their gay loved one.

  • Seriously
    April 8, 2008 2:29 p.m.

    I'm sorry, but framing homosexuality as a civil rights movement is ridiculous and opens a pandora's box for other destructive behavior. If we need to legislate to protect the "right" of gays than we need to legislate to protect the "right" of smokers, drug addicts, and alcoholics. How is sexual preference different than any other preference? If we protect the rights of one group's preferences we have to do it for everyone. The Bill of Rights is enough for everyone.

  • RE:Sagacious PT 2
    April 8, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    I am referring to my right to live my life equally under the laws, i.e marriage/legal rights. Where you came up with all the sexual content, I don't know, I never mentioned it. Get your mind out of my bedroom

    Yes, I have been called a pedophile and on this very site. Because I am gay, I would call that "unjustly" wouldn't you? And no I DON'T support any type of child exploitation be it pornography or polgamy. Again, don't know where you got that.

    NO ONE needs ot remain silent, again something I didn't say. BUt why should I remain silent as a minority? And what about your agenda? Aren't you promoting it? Why shouldn't I??

    Yes, I have suffered physical violence because I was gay. But I could not prosecute it as a hate crime with stiffer penalties because crimes against gays are not classified as hate crimes. You can't prosecute a law that doesn't exist.

    Finally, yes I would like to see an equal division of rights. Both good and bad, based on a system of balance, equality and justice. Would YOU settle for anything less?

  • SGL
    April 8, 2008 2:32 p.m.

    Dane...you mention that there are people that are attracted to the same sex, but as long as they keep it to themselves, then they can still be worthy members of the church...is'nt that being a little hypercritical. When the Bishop ask's you if you have been moraly clean for your temple recomandation, what is one to do??? LIE??? Just like the person who lies about having a beer once in a while, and then tells the bishop that he/she has been moraly clean. I would rather see someone be truthful and say yes I am gay, and still be accepted, then to see someone lie, just to put on a good show.


  • An oversea summary
    April 8, 2008 2:48 p.m.

    Being from an oversea country where Church is still "emerging", I am quite saddened by some of your comments. We tend to look up to you, the Sion... Let me summarize the few noteworthy thoughts stated here, for the benefit of those who might be in need: 1) You'd better never tell anyone, especially if you sincerely hope and plan to remain temple worthy; 2) You will always lack the emotional closeness, someone you can actually talk to; But you can develop much closer relationship with your Savior. Afer all, He is the only one who really understands you. 3) In the moments of despair and temptation, just remember "straight" men fight these battles too, only their enemy looks different. And let me add two more: 4) Beware of the feelings of being treated injustly (no matter how unfair it felt to suddenly discover yours was the SGA), simply don't dwell on it and get involved in other things. And if you really cant't at this moment, hang on (and hold to the rod) till you again can. And 5)Yes, definitely, you have the right to belong to this group, it's your Heavenly Father's kingdom.

  • EasternLDS
    April 8, 2008 2:57 p.m.

    To Dave:
    I never said I was an expert on the topic however I do believe that homosexuality is a behavioral choice. We are not animals. We can train our desires.

  • Reed (again)
    April 8, 2008 3:07 p.m.

    Quote scripture, modern prophets, alien visitors and interpret them as you will. It's moderately applicable and mildly entertaining. But, the God I know cares more about how we treat our fellow beings than our grasp of doctrine. Having a good heart, caring attitude, humble demeanor and contrite spirit is going to carry us further toward our eternal goals than comprehension of convoluted or partially disclosed church teachings. It is not the church we worship, it is God. Come judgement day, do you really think He will ask you to quote scripture or explain doctrine? Or, might He get more to the point and ask, "When your brother suffered, what gavest thou him? Understanding & love or a lecture on right versus wrong.
    I apologize if I was guilty of name calling. That was not my intention. However, I am reminded of one of my fathers favorite sayings, "If the shoe fits, wear it".

  • Dear BYU--
    April 8, 2008 3:09 p.m.

    Does anyone see the double-standard in saying "The same standard at BYU applies to straight students--Sex outside of marriage is wrong!?"

    Okay then, straight people can get married and then have sex, but is that available to homosexuals? NO! What hubris! Is the only thing that would make straight people see how wrong they are a proclamation against straight marriage?

  • Hey More to the Equation
    April 8, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    Are you an idiot? Homosexuality IS all about the sex. If you take the sex away it is hanging out with the guys (or girls).

    There are and have been many men in my life who I loved dearly and wanted to spend time with but I never thought of them in a sexual way.

    This was NOT same gender attraction and should not be confused with it or homosexuality. This is healthy.

    Taking it to the level of fantasizing about the other person and getting naked is unhealthy and wrong.

  • Rich
    April 8, 2008 3:24 p.m.

    Just Curious, have you wondered how many covertly gay people you have known? In my case I graduated high school in a class of 450, meaning that if I accept your 3% guideline, then about 15 of them were gay. I also had close associations with many students who were a year younger and a year older than I was due to the type of school I attended and the activities in which I took part. Each of those classes was composed of approximately 400 persons, so that's another 24 gay persons who were in my school at any given time when I was a junior, for a total of 39. I knew about two -thirds of the students my age and about half the students who were a year older or younger than I was. In college I had close associations with perhaps 200 other students in my on-campus job, student organizations, intramural sports, etc. So there's another six gays I would know by name. In my professional life I knew two gays who worked in my office at my first big job, and I'm sure there were others. There are 200 people in my LDS ward. Etc.

  • BLJT
    April 8, 2008 3:37 p.m.

    Sexual orientation is such a bigger part of one's life than a temptation to drink alcohol, or smoke, or "lose one's temper", or drive above the speed limit.

    I just want to ask all these people who keep making those comparisons to imagine a world where the vast majority of people were attracted to others of the same sex, such that for a long time it was considered the only norm. Yet you are attracted to the opposite sex, you always have been, and you don't know why. Can you imagine trying to conform to the norm that is expected of you? Could you will yourself to become gay? And would that be at all like abstaining from coffee?

  • Yo SGL
    April 8, 2008 3:43 p.m.

    SGL: You are asked if you keep the Law of Chastity. If you have attraction isssues and do not act on it, you are keeping the LOC. This holds true for opposite or same gender attraction.

  • No-Mo
    April 8, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    Well, I am glad that the church never changes its mind or updates its understanding of God's will, otherwise we would have blacks holding the priesthood today.

  • Moessers
    April 8, 2008 3:53 p.m.

    To Don't Blame Genetics:

    You call homosexuality a growing problem? Not a shrinking one?

    You have no idea how many people over the last millions of years since man walked out the primordial soup have been gay. But given religious zealots, they hid their true human characteristics. Now, a large portion of society has gained understanding and realize that gays and lesbians are people too, so more homosexuals are able to be open and free about it.

    Fortunately the shrinking problem is society's intolerance of gays and lesbians.

  • John
    April 8, 2008 4:00 p.m.

    Can someone please list for me the top three things Affirmation wishes to accomplish in this meeting with the Church?

  • one more
    April 8, 2008 4:12 p.m.

    In Sunday's General Conference session, President Monson said to inactive memebers: "Come back. Come back and feast." He did NOT say, "Come back, unless you are gay or lesbian." This invitation makes the LDS Church liable for opening a path for ALL alienated memebers to return to the flock, including those who have stopped participating due to their sexual orientation and not their lack of faith.

  • Anonymous and Trying
    April 8, 2008 4:16 p.m.

    I have struggled with same gender attraction all my life. The intensity of these is strongly connected to where I am spiritually. I have learned over the years where the danger zones are and I keep as far away from them as possible.

    We are told that the struggles we are called to endure were agreed upon in our pre-mortal life no matter what they may be. I have faith that one day these feelings will be taken away if I endure well in this life. Isn't this what the Atonement is all about? Maybe I was given this thorn in the flesh to understand the atonement more fully!

    It all comes down to perspective. This life is short compared to the possibilities promised to us in the eternities. I equate it with struggling through a 3 hour exam knowing that you have a lifetime of opportunity ahead with a diploma. You don't walk out of the exam hall half way through because it is difficult!

    To those who are confused and are struggling, know that it is possible to enjoy the full blessings of the gospel no matter how you or anyone else may wish to justify their actions.

  • LDS SSA Resources
    April 8, 2008 4:20 p.m.

    For anyone who has faith and hope in the GOspel of Jesus Christ and wants to find helpful resources for finding solutions to the challenges of same-sex attraction in harmony with Gospel principles, know that there are many great organizations with some wonderful people who are willing and able to help. This would include groups like Evergreen International, North Star, the Matis firesides, LDS-SSA.Org, Disciples2, Clean-LDS, etc. They are are found listed on the LDS SSA Resources website on GeoCities and can be found with Web searches. (And most of the links found on Affirmation's websites are to other apostate organizations that won't help much with a person's desire to live the Gospel.)

    Despite a lot of remaining misunderstandings among good people, there is plenty of help and there is plenty of hope for the thousands of people who are devoted to the Saviour and His Gospel.

  • My condolances to you
    April 8, 2008 4:34 p.m.

    "Happiness". But it was the world that ruined your father by not letting him accept who he was....and it was very sad about about his "partner" and that he wasn't a good person. How many heterosexual persons do you hear about on the news that are involved with drugs? The world has made you combined the "sins" of the world with people that are gay. That is sad indeed.

  • Not so different...
    April 8, 2008 4:34 p.m.

    @ Reed-

    "When your brother suffered, what gavest thou him?" Sounds like a scripture I've heard before. The thing is, I'll bet that what you believe about God is deeply rooted in scripture and religious teachings. You may not admit it right away, but if you look deep down to the source, you'll find it and yes, it is important to have a grasp for doctrine. God gave us this so we can come closer to him by learning his will for us. This is how you came to believe this about God only it seems you stopped learning.

    Yes, we do need to love all and welcome them to church. But loving is different from accepting actions. My brother has had a drug problem for years. Does he know I love him? Yes. Does he know I disagree with his actions? Yes. Does he know I'll do anything to help him? Yes. Just as I would help anyone overcome their struggles in life.

    Church is here as a support group for overcoming sin and struggles and if a homosexual wants help overcoming, I welcome them with open arms. I won't however, lower standards so others won't feel insecure.

  • Rob
    April 8, 2008 4:36 p.m.

    The church position will never change. We can reach out to our brothers and sisters, just like we would any person that has been lead astray by Satan. We will go after the 1 and leave the 99. We will love everyone, but loving them does not mean accepting thier sin.

  • MMP
    April 8, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    @ One more 4:12 p.m.

    He said come back, not come back and will bend doctrine to make you feel comfortable. Come back, repent, and rejoin the fold.

    @ Anonymous and Trying 4:16 p.m.

    Wow! God bless you brother, may we keep those in your situation in our prayers and reach to give a helping hand.

  • MG
    April 8, 2008 6:10 p.m.

    I don't hear murmuring either.

    What I don't understand is why do they want the church to change anything? If they believe God is running the show, are they petitioning Him for a change? And if they believe this church isn't run by God, but merely men, why do they care what these men think?

    BYU has standards - why not go somewhere else if you don't like the standards? If you like to drink alcohol, it's clear you should also choose another school. I, for one, love the idea of a place that still has traditional values.

    I do agree that there is room for improvement in how a gay person is treated by leaders. I'm quite certain that a more sensitive approach that doesn't induce guilt and condemnation would better serve people - on all issues. But they aren't likely to get that, since the rest of us can't even get it.



  • MrGlass
    April 8, 2008 6:20 p.m.

    Comparing homosexuality to drug addiction is ludicrous. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

  • Marriage Laws
    April 8, 2008 6:24 p.m.

    do not discriminate against homosexuals; they apply equally to everyone. Anyone may marry a person of the opposite gender, no one may marry a person of their own gender. Equal treatment for all.

  • HaHaHa
    April 8, 2008 6:51 p.m.

    The Affirmation people are crazy. Changing BYU's honor code?? Going to BYU is not about you expressing individuality, it is about becoming a plastic person. An automaton that acts with the collective, not a thinking autonomous being.
    They should all seek psychiatric help, not for being gay, but for their inability to recognize the truth and find a new culture to identify with.
    Notice the "folks" you want to "hang" with have to be told to love you because they are not capable of recognizing it on their own; the love of Christ does not really reside in their hearts.
    Seriously, I hope they all find the peace they are seeking, they are just looking for gold nuggets in the sky instead of the stream of true living water.

  • CougarKeith
    April 8, 2008 7:14 p.m.

    I love "Gays", and I love Straight too. I do however hate their Sin. Being GAY is not a "SIN", acting on an attraction to someone of the same sex and having "Sex" with them IS A SIN! They need Counseling and help learning what is "Natural" and "Normal". I am sorry to those who think it is a "Normal" behavior, but Satan has really pulled the wool over your eyes. To go meet with this "Gay Group" is perfectly acceptable, but for them to Admit Gay Members who act on their attractions in a sexual manner which IS A PERVERSION, is WRONG, and they never will indulge homosexuals in that capacity, nor allow "Same Sex" Partnerships as Acceptable. Frankly, God would not either, it would be Contrary to the Scriptures, and it would be like God Changing His mind. If that were to happen, wouldn't God cease to be God? For Homophobes, relax, you have nothing to worry about, although I feel sorry for you. Hate the SIN never the Sinner! Repentance Is The Greatest Gift Of All!!!

  • WB
    April 8, 2008 7:09 p.m.

    I've had several gay friends that died young because of their lifestyle choice, due to AIDS. They left no posterity behind, no legacy to leave their grief stricken parents, just heartache. I loved these people, but still wonder why their "compulsion" was more important than having a family. After this life ends and each of us is judged, there won't be any "homosexual activity" allowed, no matter what Affirmation or any other gay group has to say. The principle of Chastity is still in force and always will be. The dialogue between Affirmation and the LDS Church won't ever change the Church's position, but will emphasize that everyone is a child of God, the Family is Forever and that the Church is there to help those who have gone astray to realize their true identity and purpose in the eternities.

  • Lesbian in a Man's body
    April 8, 2008 7:30 p.m.

    All I know is that if BYU changes the Honor Code to permit sexual intercourse for gays/lesbians -- I will apply to be a graduate student and check the box "Lesbian trapped in a man's body".

    :)
    (this is a joke, but it does show the folly of redifing what is male and what is female, and their proper roles in relationships).

  • Happiness
    April 8, 2008 7:48 p.m.

    To My condolances to you,

    "But it was the world that ruined your father by not letting him accept who he was...."

    The world did nothing to my father. He chose his own path for his own reasons. He was responsible for himself. I love my father very much, but to say that the world, or his family, injured him is incorrect. Should we have been happy that he was unfaithful to my mother, or that he contracted a disease while doing so? Should we have been happy when he chose to divorce my mother and leave our family?

    My dad was only thinking of himself and his own desires when he did those things.

    I'm tired of people who are unwilling to take responsibility for themselves. They want everyone to believe that they have no choice, that they can't help what they do. Anyone who does not accept this is an intolerant bigot, a backwards person who needs to come into the enlightened twenty first century.

    Homosexuals have as much choice as anybody else. When they take responsibility for their own actions they can repent and be saved like anyone else as well. We are willing to help.

  • Re: I may be wrong...
    April 8, 2008 8:10 p.m.

    Yes, you may be. Read what the church has said recently about having homosexual desires to find out. But then again, you have already admitted that you will never understand homosexual desires, so perhaps you shouldn't even try.

  • John Jones
    April 8, 2008 8:12 p.m.

    I applaud President Monson and the Mormon Church for being open to listening to the concerns of gay Mormons. A meeting like this can only do good. It is a positive thing to maintain open lines of communication. I am not gay myself, but I know some gay Mormons and they have a tremendously difficult cross to bear. To be Mormon and gay is a tremendous challenge. Anything the Church could do to show these good people love and acceptance is a positive step. I think the Church has always cared for these people, but it has not always listened to them. So this is just a fantastic step in the right direction. Glad to see it!

  • TO:WBC-Texas
    April 8, 2008 9:02 p.m.

    I agree strongly. You can't have it both ways. I understand the dialog... but it really won't go far because the Church isn't changing ANYTHING. The only thing that might change is a little further instruction on how families can deal with this in a more productive way and less family-destructive way.

    But why I agree with you so much...

    You can NOT have it both ways about BYU. The Church is against unlawful(Gods law) sexual activities. The Law of Chastity is binding and to state that you can be a good LDS member who is faithful and spotless AND gay is not possible.

    If you allow gays sexual activity at BYU then you must to all couples who are not married. You might as well destroy BYU as it would defy the WHOLE MEANING of the school.

    Also assuming that the Church is true, the revelation is true. The School is under direction of the church and therefor is how it ought to be. If the Church is true then it's teachings are and God the father would change no doctrine but try to help others be clean and righteous.

    I'm not anti-gay but this just doesn't work.

  • TO:WBC-Texas continued...
    April 8, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    I wanted to add more to a couple points. I really am not trying to sound anti-gay. I have friend who are gay. I don't welcome their behavior around me but I don't refuse them.

    You just can't be Gay and LDS.. ESPECIALLY to try to petition the Church to change anything. I understand that more may be needed to help families stay stronger with homosexual issues confronting them.

    You can't claim to believe in God and his teachings, especially on being gay and choose to be homosexual; while believing you are following God's plan.

    The other problem I worry about is that if more people feel it is okay to be homosexual and LDS.. how many people have already lied and gone to temple's during that time? A good number. I believe this number would drastically get worse and this is SO unfair to the LDS families that hold the temple sacred and as a holy and clean place.

    People fight for homosexual-freedom all the time and usually criticize those who disagree as intolerant when many just peacefully disagree. It's intolerant to criticize someone for only disagreeing with gay-rights-groups.

    I'm not anti-gay but I am pro-family and true Marriage.

  • weightless skittles
    April 8, 2008 10:27 p.m.

    Most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints remember John C. Bennett, former Nauvoo mayor, and assistant to Joseph Smith. He was found to have committed adultry and this included ( as historical research has shown) homosexual activity. Joseph tried to help him repent but, Bennett was unable to let go of his own wants. Bennett became an enemy to Joseph Smith and the Saints and caused much of the persecution towards them in Nauvoo. He later joined the Strangites ( Rigdon's group) and left them as well because of his Sexual problems. His problems with sexual misconduct and power brought down a man who had the potential to be another Brigham Young. The Gay lifestyle is a road to nowhere that keeps going on and on but has no safe and restful destination. "So much potential" and so much to lose because one cannot be obedient to that which is most sacred by our Lord; a Godly ordained marriage between and man and woman.

  • Worried?
    April 8, 2008 10:43 p.m.

    Um, it was Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve.

  • brooke
    April 8, 2008 11:14 p.m.

    If Christ were walking on earth today I know that he'd be hanging out with the GLBT community, the poor, those most hated by society - that example is all throughout the Bible, BOM, etc. God loves everyone, humans do not. God accepts everyone, people do not. I am incredibly blessed by my GLBT friends and I hope that one day everyone, the Church included, comes around and simply sees that it's about love, and love should be honored and revered. If everyone can understand that then there would be that much less hate in the world. We certainly have enough hate and anger in the world without this issue being a part of it.

  • Moessers
    April 8, 2008 11:18 p.m.

    A large portion of the world view the concept of homosexuality through one lens: the lens of what God and the Bible says. In reality, life is and works very differently then just within the defined confines of traditional Christianity. Humanity goes on, society continues to exist, grows, flourishes, evolves, but traditional Christians are stuck within an ancient mind set. They can not get their head around the concept that gays and lesbians are regular, normal function humans too.

    However, society presses on for the better, archaic thinking is falling away, and thank goodness, homosexuals are living fuller, richer, happier lives as the world embraces them and allows them to live openly in society. We're all better off as the oppressive concepts of older generations fade away.

    It will take probably at least one more generation, but being an open homosexual will be nothing out of the ordinary that society will mock, stifle, or oppress. And no, it won't be the end of the world or the apocalypse. Just a fuller society for us all.

  • to weightless skittles
    April 8, 2008 11:31 p.m.

    It's a little sick and obsessive to hold a grudge for 200 years for something that didn't even happen to you!

    Guess what? Joseph Smith also married a 14yo girl and the wives of some of his associates who were still married to their living husbands and the church has moved away from those particular doctrines even though they were supposedly delivered to JS directly from God via an angel with a flaming sword.

    You're showing the hard and cruel heart of the LDS. Personally, I find that more repulsive than people loving one another.

  • A Plea for Tolerance
    April 9, 2008 12:16 a.m.

    I truly wish that we could all cool down and approach this matter with a bit more maturity.

    To those who feel the need to express their views against homosexuality so vehemently, please take a moment to realize how hurtful words like "abomination, unclean, sinful, dirty, unnatural, disgusting" etc. can be. Imagine having those words flung around in reference to you, no less by your friends, family and fellow churchgoers on a regular basis. I assure you, it hurts deeply. And to be a bit closer to reality, there are a lot of slurs used frequently that cannot be posted here. Stop using them.

    Imagine hearing the word 'gay' hundreds of times every day as a synonym for stupid or unwanted. Imagine struggling with homosexuality and constantly being remind that you are different. That if you stumble, you will be cast out. Imagine being afraid you will be found out, even if you haven't committed a sin technically.

    This is the norm in our culture. After a decade of dealing with this, one does not adjust to this attitude. It hurts every time. You don't have to change your religion, but at least be thoughtful in how you express it.

  • Stop Demonizing Gays
    April 9, 2008 12:26 a.m.

    The time has long since passed to stop demonizing gay people. Whether they act on it or not, homosexual men and women should not have to live in fear. We all need to emphasize the "loving the sinner" part. Heaven knows we have spent enough time "hating the sin."

    To those who think their rights are being stifled for opposing homosexuality, remember that here in Utah, you are the supermajority. Your beliefs are not in danger, but the way you speak causes great damage to those around you who may be struggling with how to cope with their homosexual feelings. Why would anybody want to affiliate with the church after hearing the way most of us talk about homosexuality? Emphasize the love people. God will handle the rest.

  • Daniel
    April 9, 2008 12:31 a.m.

    I think it is a great thing for Affirmation to meet with Church Leaders to vent some of their frustrations. However, I do not think they will be very pleased with the results inasmuch as the Church is not going to change any of its current beliefs, doctrines, policies or procedures. I don't know what is so difficult to understand about the Church's position about homosexuality.

    If there are any complaints about the Church being homophobic, such complaints are certainly about individual Church members and not the Church as an institution.

    Is it homophobic to condemn homosexuality as a sin? you could argue that, but then any Christian who belief the Bible to be a standard to live by will be found on that same homophobic group.

    I personally believe homosexuality is not a good thing, the same way I think pornography is not a good thing. I don't hate the people who practice it or watch it, I do think that engaging in such practices is destructive in many levels, including emotional and spiritual.

  • Freeman
    April 9, 2008 1:13 a.m.

    Moessers, the argument here is that homosexuals are seeking acceptance WITHIN Christianity, not outside of it. If an accepting society is all they are looking for, there are plenty of countries in the world that could accomodate their lifestyle far better than ours. But they are looking for more--they want to be accepted within the "confines" of the church, and in this case, the LDS church specifically. They want the (LDS) church to say it's okay to practice homosexuality. Fortunately, those of us who are "archaic" thinkers can rest assured that our ideals, standards, and values will not bend to society's ever-changing (mis)conception of what is right and what is wrong. You are right in that our mind-set is ancient. In fact, our mind-set existed as part of an eternal plan long before this world was created. One or two more generations of society will not change that.

  • Sagacious Inquisitor
    April 9, 2008 1:14 a.m.

    RE:Sagacious PT2 | 2:36 p.m.

    What specifically cant you do under law? There are legal methods, excluding marriage, of achieving what you deprive yourself of by choosing to be homosexual. Historically, marriage sanctioned sexual activity and protected human reproduction. Unmarried sexual activity is outlawed. Your bedroom interests no one. The historically validated sanctity of marriage does.

    If youre not a pedophile, none should label you thusly.

    You didnt say anyone should remain silent, but, you railed against the all knowing who promote constitutional amendments limiting your rights. Correctly, those who feel strongly should pursue amendments. Constitutional rights are extant only when codified. Each agenda can be pursued; neither should call for silencing the other. Nor should either posture as the more righteous.

    When you suffered physical violence, did you press charges under existing assault laws? Those laws protect you evenly as they protect me. Im as much minority as you. Had I suffered assault, Id surely have proceeded under the even law seeking justice. Why do you need special protection? Theres no need of any special law to protect you. To pretend such is cowardly.

    No, Id settle only for even laws, with justifiable purposes. No special laws.

  • Betsy
    April 9, 2008 3:33 a.m.

    President Monson and the LDS church are seeking bridges. They will not change their doctrine but they can do much to integrate those who are willing to abide by the law of chastity. 1/3 of the adult membership is single. Whether someone is attracted to the opposite sex or the same sex both are bound by the law of chastity. That is if you believe in the law of chastity to start with.

  • Ryan
    April 9, 2008 7:34 a.m.

    Well, I wasn't going to submit another comment but after seeing all the nasty remarks, thank you for those that are at least open to gays talking with church leadership, I have determined that seeing the nastiness that has been put forth, leaving the church was the right thing. I do not see the Christlike love that so many purport in church meetings. I see very little in the way of actions and often times the words spoken show the true person underneath. It is interested to see that those that speak so nastily about gays do not want to put their name on, but rather some moniker.

    I am not ashamed of who I am nor am I ashamed of the gospel, what I am ashamed of is the members of the church acting like they are and making assumptions that are not there to be made.

    President Monson is the current prophet, sustained in a solemn assembly on Saturday morning. It is under his direction that the meeting was arranged after a letter was sent. Who are any of us to question the prophet after sustaining him or was there a secret meeting to subvert his calling?

  • Kit
    April 9, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    Utah Resident: Here's the deal: if homosexuality is wrong, then any demonstrative acts of that lifestyle are also wrong. BYU is a private university. Just as students would not be allowed to dress immodestly on campus, any act that hints at homosexuality is not allowed either. BYU will never change that. While you are correct, heterosexual students would not be punished for holding hands, etc, homosexuality is different. Displays of affection between the same gender is part of homosexuality. Since the Church does not support this lifestyle, all aspects are not supported. Period. However, I am glad that this dialogue is taking place. I would never want anyone to feel ostracized. These people are important and have value, just like me. And these people need to be loved, just like me. And we all can help each other.

  • Ty4417
    April 9, 2008 8:57 a.m.

    Okay, well I would like to say that none of you have a choice in what you are. No one does! My first crush on a boy was in Kindergarten! I remember his name and we still attend the same High School! I did not choose this. Who would choose to be harassed and punished by the closed-minded majority of biggoted LDS members and non members?! No one would never choose this. I have been told many heterosexuals are scared off by gay activists, but twice I have been personally ASSAULTED by heterosexuals! I was raised LDS. I have learned over time that it is not all LDS members who are bigots. Only most of them. But this religion is about GOD AND LOVING ALL OF HIS CHILDREN!! Not your bigot Idea of religion!

  • Something to remember
    April 9, 2008 9:08 a.m.

    To all of those who are so worried about gays being allowed to married, or being accepted into the Church, just remember there is one place you can always go, where, according to their leader, there are NO homosexuals. That place is called Iran.

  • Former Member
    April 9, 2008 9:36 a.m.

    To all those who posted so many nasty, judgemental, self righteous comments here--THANK YOU! More than ever, I know I made the right choice.

  • former Utahn
    April 9, 2008 10:04 a.m.

    As a former Utahn, I just want to say that it is so nice to now live in a place where people just don't get so exercised by the gay issues. It is just another fact of life. Now many of you may believe that's because the rest of the world outside of Utah or outside of the church is just Sodom and Gomorrah. But I find people to be caring, Christian, and without the need to condemn other ways of life as immoral when it causes no harm to them.

  • Moessers
    April 9, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    Freeman: There are a myriad of Christian religions and organizations who openly accept homosexuals and allow them to live their life. There are also some that are still behind the times. God created homosexuals just as He did heterosexuals and all other life forms. Times are changing and will continue to change... and for the better as Christians behave more Christ-like and loving. Things are not always the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  • Jacob
    April 9, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    I personally support gay marriage and the rights of gays to adopt. Being a active Latter-day Saint makes this difficult.
    Does this mean I agree with their lifestyle? No. Does this mean I abuse and hate them? Absolutetly not. In fact, I just love people. It is their decision to live their lifestyle. I frankly don't care who people like, it is how they live their lives that matter.

  • Dave Crutchfield
    April 9, 2008 11:13 a.m.

    To Kit | 8:19 a.m.,

    Once again, your Mormon simple-mindedness and black/white thinking is astounding.

    By your arguments, because sex outside of marriage is wrong, "then any demonstrative acts of that lifestyle are also wrong". That means kissing someone to whom you are not married is wrong. and dancing with someone to whom you are not married is wrong.

    Or how about this one, because religious fanaticism is wrong, "then any demonstrative acts of that lifestyle are also wrong". Hence, going to church is wrong. reading scriptures is wrong. paying tithing is wrong.

    Give me a break. When are they going to start teaching you how to think clearly in Sunday "School" classes? Perhaps the use of the word "school" is a misnomer?

  • Freeman
    April 9, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    Moessers, your argument is changing (like your doctrine). Again, that's really great that OTHER religions and society accept homosexuals openly and tell them there is no sin. With so many options, why do you care what the LDS church teaches? If someone feels the church's view is oppressive, he/she can look somewhere else, not try to force change within the church. Demanding the LDS church change its view is nothing more than an incredibly ironic display of intolerance--the very thing you are reviling.

    Your are right--THINGS are not always the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But GOD is, and so are His teachings.

  • Damon
    April 9, 2008 11:59 a.m.

    I am a gay man. I am also LDS. I've held callings, served a mission, attended the Temple. I am not a political issue. I am a Child of God who suffers and struggles with a burden thas is suffocating.

    I have never acted on my desires.However,they are there and will always exist. Certainly in this life and perhaps in the next.

    I currently do not attend Church because I am hated by many of the ward members.I've never shared my sexuality with the ward.How do I know? The topic of homosexuality came up once in Elders Quorum. I really got to find out how my brethern felt about me.I am hated.

    I try to live the covenants I have mde. I am not perfect; clearly I fail in my attendance. It's too painful.

    Where are those, who by covenant at baptism and weekly in Sacrament meeting, agreed to help bear my burdens? It feels like they're adding to it.

    President Monson welcomes me back to the fold of God with open arms. Only, I don't attend Church with him. Do the local members do the same? Many of the comments here answer that for me. Overwhelming hate.

  • Anonymous
    April 9, 2008 12:30 p.m.

    Freeman,

    You said, "THINGS are not always the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But GOD is, and so are His teachings."

    So God's teachings about adultery didn't change? (except with polygamy)

    And God's teachings about blacks holding the priesthood didn't change (except with the 1978 declaration)

    You sure do claim that God's "teachings" change ONLY when it is convenient for you. That seems like the epitome of bigotry!

  • LDSHoosier
    April 9, 2008 12:50 p.m.

    Damon, I am humbled by your honesty and hope. If members near you strike you as more inclined to judge than love you, then that is unfortunate indeed. But there are others who, while perhaps not near you geographically, still love you nonetheless.

  • To Damon
    April 9, 2008 1:03 p.m.

    You say you've never shared your sexuality with the ward, yet you take offense at those in the ward expressing their opinion of those they see engaging in the homosexual lifestyle. They were not talking about you personally, if I interpret correctly what you wrote.

    It was not a personal affront to you because they don't know about you. But, you took it personally.

    I'm not homphobic if you're not hetrophobic. If you see only hate, I see a condition I neither understand nor can comprehend but wish I did. In the meantime I commend you for struggles with your attraction problem. Keep going you're on the right path.

    If I could wish anything for you it's that you would have a less tender heart and accept that all are imperfect, including you and I.

    May God Bless. Your Brother in Texas. And, no, I don't attend church with President Monson either, just the same church he's over. May you be blind to that which you view as hate.

  • No More Sorrow
    April 9, 2008 1:25 p.m.

    Damon, your comments really touched me because they were so similar to my feelings after my mission. After a period of such loneliness and heartache, I too stopped attending church. I met a wonderful gay returned missionary and for the past five years we have been building our lives together. I have never been so happy in my life. In the next life I may have a heart-to-heart with God. I believe he knows and loves me. In the mean time, I will continue to serve and love my fellow brothers and sisters. There is so much pain and sadness in the world--we should all strive to help ameliorate it. My heart breaks when I read about your loneliness as I know the depth and sorrow of your love for God.

  • Freeman
    April 9, 2008 1:53 p.m.

    Anonymous 12:30,

    If you review the history of both polygamy and the right to hold the priesthood as recorded in the Bible, you will find that in different times and different places these practices have different applications. That does not mean that the doctrine has changed. In fact, the patterns show consistency. There is no such precedent for homosexuality in the Bible. It has never been practiced with the consent of God. Big difference.

    I find your "convenient" jab completely inappropriate. How is this convenient for me? Is having a gay father convenient for me? Is having my family ripped apart convenient? Is it convenient for my mom, who had a nervous breakdown?

    No, the convenience would have been to give in to societal pressures and "change with the times." Then, conveniently, my father could continue to "be himself" without the burden church-sponsored guilt. The only burden would have been on the rest of the family.




  • Damon
    April 9, 2008 2:12 p.m.

    LDSHoosier-

    Thank you! I know that there are members of the Church who do love me and don't judge me. I wish that they weren't the exception.

    That's where I think the Church can make a difference. Removing the stigma and prejudice surrounding this issue would make a huge difference. I believe in the last several years the Church has made huge strides toward this, but change is slow.

  • Damon
    April 9, 2008 2:44 p.m.

    No More Sorrow:

    Thank you, I appreciate the empathy, it helps to know others understand the sacrifice and at what cost.

    So many will disagree with me, but I am happy for you and I wish you and your partner the best! Thank you for posting back to me.

    I know what you mean about that heart-to-heart with God. There is so little that makes sense regarding this. I'm glad you've found someone to be happy with.

    Maybe one day for me there will be "no more sorrow". I'd just prefer not to wait until the next life for it, lol!

  • CougarKeith
    April 9, 2008 4:52 p.m.

    Re:StopDemonizingGays, I agree, we should not demonize a gay person, we should "Love Them". The act of Sex with anyone other than your husband or wife is A SIN! A Severe Sin! So we should realize we may be throwing stones and live in a glass house! I also will say, People who say they are gay or lesbian and act on the Sexual urges are committing SIN! Even thinking about it is Committing Sin, but then again seeing an attractive person of the opposite sex and thinking about sex with them is a SEVERE SIN in itself, right? I get so sick of people who think they are high and mighty and yet they themselves have many faults themselves, that really bothers me, but I am not saying I don't, because I do. We are to forgive ALL MEN and let the Lord decide their final fate, for if we don't forgive, the worse sin is found in us!

  • To Damon
    April 9, 2008 5:40 p.m.

    Thank you for posting your comments. My experiences have been so similar to yours. I have tried so hard for years to not take offense at comments made by church members. I don't think many realize how hurtful their comments are to those of us who a trying to live the gospel in spite of our sexual orientation. The constant comments, although not made directly to me, do hurt. People are saying these judgmental comments are directed only to those "living in the lifestyle." Well, deep down it still hurts because I know that I am just like "them" even though I have chosen to live a celebate life. Can people please understand how feelings like ours could be this way?

    I don't think many know how lonely it is for us in a congregation that tells us to get married and have kids. If we don't do that, something must be wrong with us. In fact, we are sinning because we aren't married and having kids as well.

  • weightless skittles
    April 9, 2008 7:29 p.m.

    To the party that responded to my comments. My ancestors faced the persecutions. They were members of the early saints in the church. You truly do not know church history and how plural marriage was practiced. Please go to the church archives and B.H.Roberts-"History of the Church" The National Archives have given their seal of historical accuracy to the church's records. It is so clever and yet so hypocritical of those who think that their lifestyle MUST BE ACCEPTED. So much for freedom of religion. Those who hide behind accusations and intimidation to others deeply held beliefs, are themselves the true mean and hateful sort. Read Alma chapter 2. The followers of Nehor did that which you attempt to do today, subtly persecute while claiming kindness and victimhood. If you want to know where the Lord stands on homosexuality, ask him- sincerely after having studied ALL his words and counsel.

  • Kit
    April 9, 2008 11:42 p.m.

    RE: Dave Crutchfield

    You took my words WAY out of context. Be realistic. All I am saying is that when two people of the same gender engage in public displays of affection, that is part of homosexuality, just as public displays of affection between members of the opposite sex are part of heterosexuality. But because the lifestyle of heterosexuals is condoned and permitted and that of homosexuality is not on BYU's campus and in the Church, gays and lesbians cannot do engage in the same demonstrative acts as straights! Simple as that. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.

  • Let's learn from each other
    April 10, 2008 12:44 a.m.

    As a heterosexual I recognize that gay people are sometimes mistreated. As a result of this discussion I will try to do better about treating them better and helping them to know that I accept them as people even if I don't like what they are doing.

    In return I would hope that homosexuals can try harder to understand our point of view. Many of us heterosexuals feel very threatened by gay people because you are constantly throwing the issue in our face and trying to make us accept homosexuality as being all right. I live in California where it is practically illegal to say anything negative about homosexuality.

    If you want to be accepted it would be better to back off and stop trying to force your agenda on everyone. Stop trying to make us change our beliefs. Stop calling us names because we don't agree with you. We need to do the same.

    Recognize that while you may feel pain because you have been ostracized many of us also feel pain because our hearts and families have been broken because of homosexuality.

    We do not want to live in Sodom. Please don't try to force us to.

  • Attention
    April 10, 2008 3:21 a.m.

    Please settle down all the liberals. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. We must take a stand against tolerating this liberal mentality. Respect peoples choices, but lets not let these ideas infiltrate our already demoralized society.

  • Amazing
    April 10, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    I just amazes me how members of the LDS Church feel that the world revolves around The Church also on how they are so afraid to allow themselves to think outside of what the Church says it right and wrong. If any Church should be excepting of others beliefs or points of view it should be the LDS Church. They preach about how their ancestors survived the persecution from non-believers and how all they wanted is to be accepted and left alone to believe how and when they wish. Why cant they do the same? If you dont agree with ones point of view that is fine, but dont let those views take away others rights to live how they wish.

  • To Let's learn from each other
    April 10, 2008 9:49 a.m.

    Take a look at your comments again. Not everyone who is homosexual is trying to force an agenda in your face. Part of the problem is the blanket statements that are made when you (I mean you singular) lump us all together and blame us for what you don't like.

    Many, so many, of us are living the gospel the best we can. Who knows, we may even be doing better than you. We don't know. All we are asking for is to put a stop to the public judgments that we experience.

  • Let's learn from each other
    April 10, 2008 11:53 a.m.

    I didn't say, nor mean to imply, that all homosexuals are trying to force their agenda. However an awful lot of them are. I am just trying to express why straight people sometimes feel threatened by homosexuals.

    Certainly there are many people with same gender attraction that are in the church who are living the gospel as well as they can. I respect those people very much. Having had a homosexual relative I am aware that this is an extremely difficult temptation to resist for those who suffer from it. It is very damaging to the self esteem of those involved.

    I hope that all people in that position know that there are many many people in the church who care and are willing to help. We won't reject you for your temptations any more than we want to be rejected for ours. We aren't perfect. I know that people aren't always understanding about this issue. We need to do better at reaching out to those who are honestly striving to overcome this problem.

  • Let's learn from each other
    April 10, 2008 12:07 p.m.

    I have one question in addition to my comments. You state that you are asking for us to put a stop to the public judgments that you experience. What specifically do you mean? How can we be less judgmental?

    I'm asking this sincerely, not sarcastically. I really want to know. We are not going to change our beliefs about homosexual activity being a sin but if there is something that we can change in our behavior so that we can avoid making you feel like we condemn you or reject you, then tell us. We are willing to improve on that account.

  • Freeman
    April 10, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    To Amazing 9:25am:

    Your characterization of members of the LDS church as people are "afraid to allow themselves to think outside of what the Church says is right and wrong" is completely ignorant and insulting. First, we are encouraged to question the doctrines of the church and find out for ourselves whether or not they are true. Second, our world does revolve around the church--it is a lifestyle, not a one-hour Sunday appointment. Third, we are happy to let homosexuals do whatever they want, except make us change our doctrine to accomodate their lifestyle. Therein lies the problem--many don't want to be "left alone," they want to CHANGE what we believe and FORCE us to validate their actions. I find it "amazing" that you can't see that.

  • Anonymous
    April 10, 2008 12:52 p.m.

    There are a lot worse things in this world then who a person loves. I don't consider loving someone a "sin". BYU should change their policies. What you do in you spare time outside of school is no ones business but your own. These comments make me sad seeing how close minded this state is. What happened to Love one Another?

  • Anonymous
    April 10, 2008 1:00 p.m.

    Also, I don't believe being gay is a choice. I know some people that wish they could change it. But you can't change the way you feel. I wish people would stop looking at it as a "disease" and try to "cure" homosexuality. That is insane.

  • Response to Anonymous
    April 10, 2008 1:53 p.m.

    It is a choice.

  • Wendy
    April 10, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    I am very excited by this news. No, I do not believe the church will change its stand and do not want it to because of pressure from gay groups. But we offer no reason for our gay brothers and sisters not to jump ship and go with the gay lifestyle. We offer no support, understanding or love. Just disgust and "youre a sinner". Who would stay for that? We need to offer alternatives. Right now a person with SSA can choose a life of loneliness and hiding their true feelings within the church or leaving the church and having love, respect and understanding and a relationship. When we offer an alternative such as support, respect for their struggles, honor for them staying strong and not giving in, lovingly being welcomed into our homes for fellowship, then we may help keep these beloved sons and daughters strong in the gospel. I hope this is a step towards that. Thank you so much Pres. Monson for opening up this communication. I love you and hope that this is the beginning of helping many fine people who need support and many families who are impacted by this issue. A Mom

  • the Ogre
    April 10, 2008 2:57 p.m.

    I am glad the church is opening an official dialogue with Affirmation, but I would like to point out that an unofficial dialogue has already been going on as through conference talks and church discipline.

    It is very simple: the church must stay firm when any-person, of any gender or lifestyle, commits sexual sin. The church, however, must demystify positions about homosexuality. Many gays and lesbians feel insulted by recommendations to Evergreen or claims they have the problem.

    I personally want the discussion to get away from sex. The dialogue must be in-depth avoiding superficialiality like BYU's honor-code and the teachings, doctrine, and policy regarding temple-attendance and temple-marriage. The church has been abundantly clear on both issues, but maybe a new one needs to be addressed: hatred versus love.

    Latter-day Saints are called to love everyone. I must love the neighbors who drink often and party late. I cannot be concerned about the way they live, instead I must focus on my own personal righteousness. The general membership's love for every member must be affirmed regardless of how others live or have lived. Love and hope must be reinforced. Hatred must be avoided, when the gospel centers on love.

  • the Ogre
    April 10, 2008 3:05 p.m.

    To Ray:

    I disagree with: "Diversity=Divide." The church and its members are very diverse. There is nothing to fear from diversity in the general population of the church. The gospel, however, is simple and applies to everyone regardless of who they are and how diverse the world and church is. There is no way for us to be carbon-copies of each other and nor should we pursue this.

  • Damon
    April 10, 2008 3:52 p.m.

    To Wendy and the Ogre:

    Thanks to both of you. Wendy, you make an excellent point that I don't think many memebers understand. We need to feel love and be given a viable option. If the Church membership shuns you, then you feel justified in pursuing whatever lifestyle might seem best.

    Ogre, you made a similar point. You are right, both of you. These are the attitudes that Church can promote and this is the positive and effective change that I hope to see happen in these meetings. The Church has been making efforts to move members more towards attitudes of love. We just aren't there yet. It reminds me of a passage from D&C, I think...

    "I (God) will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to love all men."

  • To Damon
    April 11, 2008 10:24 a.m.

    Yes it is a passage from D&C
    Its D&C 64:10

  • SLD
    April 11, 2008 1:16 p.m.

    "The Lord has not changed his view on the matter and neither can His church."

    Principles do change and have many times in the course of the LDS Church history. That is why we have divine revelation. If you don't believe in divine modern day revelation, you are rejecting your own church and its values.

    I won't hold my breath for gays to suddenly be welcomed into the fold, but what hubris to say you know what the Lord wants from now until eternity.

  • forgiving is not the same
    April 11, 2008 1:25 p.m.

    as embracing or condoning or approving behavior choices.

    you can love the sinner but still recognize that he is engaged in (and declines to abandon) harmful behavior.

    you can love and forgive the sinner without compromising your values and beliefs.

  • SLD
    April 11, 2008 1:43 p.m.

    Damon,

    my heart goes out to you. I wish more members would take to heart the message of love and acceptance Christ preached. Hate, judgment and intolerance are always wrong.

    I'm heterosexual, but I remember how hard it was when I was pretty much the only woman my age in the ward who didn't have children (infertility issues). I sometimes felt that there was no place in the church for someone who was different. It was very lonely. I can only imagine how much harder it is to be in your position. I hope you find peace - in or outside of the LDS church.

  • Choices, eh?
    April 11, 2008 1:50 p.m.

    If you don't like their rules, what's keeping you in it? Everyone brings up whether or not homosexuality is a choice or not, and no one brings up whether religion is a choice or not.
    There is little difference between the attitudes of a religious person claiming with every breath that their church is true and a MLM marketer claiming their product/system will get rid of all your problems.
    If the LDS church wants to think the way they do, let them be close-minded and leave. You won't miss much. I don't.

  • The Nature of True Love
    April 11, 2008 2:07 p.m.

    Many posters insist that to forgive and love homosexuals you must embrace and accept their values and choices.

    That is not true.

    Some parents find themselves faced with the heart and gut wrenching situation of a child who has "come out". Often they adapt to the situation by forsaking their previous beliefs and buying in to the "stepford wives" homosexual mantra;
    (it is just the way he is.
    there is nothing wrong with it.
    he was born that way.)

    But true love means never giving up on your loved ones, no matter what.

    It is an incredibly delicate balancing act to maintain a loving relationship and lines of communication without becoming a facilitator.
    (do you paste on blank grin and play nice for "commitment" ceremony pictures or stay away. etc)

    You don't have to buy into the choices to show your "love", in fact true love will help you find the strength to never give up.

    Don't give up hoping they will get back on a path to realize their full potential for joy and happiness.

    Don't give up on the one's you really love.

    Don't get tired and give in.

  • Damon
    April 11, 2008 3:29 p.m.

    The scripture says LOVE, not forgive. Similar to, Love thy neighbor. I think it's fair to say many negative statments given here aren't in the spirit of loving your fellow man or even in trying to provide any sort of real solution. Rather, these statements are driven by fear and hate.

    No one is saying that you should agree or have to agree, but you can choose not to hate. You can choose to have compassion, you can choose to try and understand. And whether or not the "other side" chooses compassion and understanding the commandment is the same.

    SLD- I know your pain. I have family members who have struggled through the same trial. Often, I've found the Church can be a very lonely place for those of us who don't fit the mold.

    I appreciate your well wishes for my happiness.

  • Re: More to the Equation
    April 11, 2008 3:31 p.m.

    I am a single woman in the church and am expected to remain chaste and clean until I marry. The LDS church expects the same whether you are gay or straight. You are to be morally clean. A gay man or lesbian woman CAN go to the temple if they are not participating in immoral relationships and are trying to stay pure. If they are not partaking and remain morally clean, they are granted the same blessings and can fully participate in the church. Why is it that being gay somehow makes some people think they have a right to break the simple morality laws? It is not having homosexual tendancies that is the issue as far as worthiness is concerned. If you are not participating; if you have the urges and do not participate in the activities; if you are trying to live the laws of morality and chastity -- you are worthy. I liked what was said in "more to the equation" -- yes there is more then sex. But that is the LAW that is broken so often. I have to be morally clean; everyone needs to obey the same standard.

  • Damon
    April 11, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    To The Nature of True Love:

    I appreciate your comments. I agree that loving (or forgiving) someone doesn't require agreeing with or embracing theri choices or values.

    However, I don't think it means that you must constantly point out where you might disagree and how you believe they ought to change. This would only breed discontent.

    Not giving up may mean, allowing them to make a choice and allowing God to handle it. Not giving up may mean loving your family member and their partner, even though you don't agree with the choice they make to be partners.

    One of the primary principles of the gospel is agency...ones right to make a decision. If God is willing to honor that decision and love anyway, shouldn't we?

  • to Damon 3:36pm
    April 11, 2008 4:04 p.m.

    You are also right. I really do believe it is an incredibly delicate (and difficult) balancing act. And your comment about agency really is the final word. Our Father in Heaven loves us all, and loves us enough to let us have our agency. As earthly parents we can only do the same ultimately.

  • Francisco X. Silva dos Santos
    April 12, 2008 5:01 p.m.

    My dear brethern, Please forgive my English. I decided not to read in advance the 300 comments above. But Ill read after my own comments. The reason is to avoid being influenced by the mind of people that has already expressed their thoughts in so delicate matters.
    First of all; What is the purpose of the Gospel, the Calling to repentance, the baptism of water and of the Holly Ghost?
    What is the purpose of confering the Melquisedeque Priestwood; the Temple sealings of the overall families alive or dead?
    There is only an answer to all these question: - To guide men through Crist to live with God the Father in the Celestial Kingdom.
    How can the gays intend to reach the goal except they repent to follow Jesus Christ?
    What other words can the Church leaderes use to the gay representant?
    In my judjment the subject is simple as that: The Church was not put on earth to lead their gays to the high heavens.
    In fact The Church is on earth to take people to the Kingdom of Heaven.
    There are many marvelous mansions for them out of the Celestial Kingdom.

  • Ed
    April 12, 2008 7:22 p.m.

    Homosexulity is one of the major issues confronting our society. These people have been very unified in their efforts to get their life stule accepted as normal and have made great progress in the business world and most church. The L.D.S. Church as God's authorized church has no choice but to stand on the principles established by God himself. Many writers here are looking forward to greater acceptance of the homosexual and to love them as the Lord would want us to do. But we have to clearly let them know that their lifestyle is unacceptable at all costs.Our schools are teaching it as a alternate lifestyle and our children are being exposed to this and fortunately the A.D.F. has been successfully fighting this, and winning. These people will not stop until they hasve complete acceptance and all the rights of men and women who marry. No society in history has ever survived that accepted the homosexual lifestyle as being a normal alternative and neither will ours.

  • Anonymous
    April 12, 2008 10:54 p.m.

    The church is in a pickle on this one, somewhat of its own making. In 1990 the church leadership (via revelation from God) changed the wording of the law of chastity. No longer was the law addressed to men and women separately using the gender specific words "husband" and "wife." Now the law of chastity is defined as no sex with anyone other than your legally and lawfully married "spouse."

    The divinely inspired change to the gender neutral "spouse" creates a situation where a legally married, monogamous same sex couple in Canada is living the law of chastity as defined by God and his prophets.

    As more and more governments legalize marriage for same sex couples, more gay and lesbian members of the church will be able to live the law of chastity while remaining in their committed relationships. Perhaps (without changing doctrine, because God already did that for them in 1990) the church leaders want advice on how to best assimilate these chaste individuals in wards and stakes.

    Different question: What about true hermaphrodites? People born with the genitalia of both sexes in one body. Can they be ordained to the priesthood? Can they marry? Whom can they marry?

  • James
    April 13, 2008 9:09 a.m.

    To Ed,

    Excuse me? "No society in history has ever survived that accepted the homosexual lifestyle as being a normal alternative and neither will ours."

    ?? That is one of the most absurd and unsupported statements I have ever read. Where do you get that from? How do you prove that? The evidence to the contrary is all around you. You cannot name ONE society that has "fallen" or been "destroyed" because of homosexuality. Not one! "Sodom and Gomorra" was NOT a society, nor is there even any reason to believe it was REAL.

    Quit spewing your hate and telling lies to support it!

  • Damon
    April 14, 2008 4:14 p.m.

    To Ed-

    Do you think that any person within the Church is unclear on the Churches stance in homosexuality. If someone is unaware, he hasn't been listening.

    Schools and society teach a great many things that are contrary to the ideals and values of the Church. It is a part living in the world.

    How do you teach your children that smoking is wrong, but that people who smoke are not bad? The same for people who might drink? Or those who might live together unmarried?

    And more importantly, if your son or daughter happens to be gay how will they know you love them anyway?

    Keeping homosexuality as "abnormal" will not stop homosexuals from existing. Clearly that isn't the case because that has been historically what society has taught.

    You have a duty, a commandment to love your fellow man, all your fellow man as well as abhor sin. I'm sure you and the Church does an excellent job in abhoring the sin of homosexuality.

    Do you do an equally good job of loving the sinner? How have you shown it?

  • re-read your bible
    April 21, 2008 7:53 p.m.

    The "lord" didn't comment on gays. He did comment on stone throwers, however.

    The "lord" did comment on bringing a new law and ditching "an eye for an eye". Must be nice to pick and choose where the "lord" is unchanging.

    "Had it not been for a Mother and Father you would not be here." I suppose you think people with fertility issues shouldn't adopt because they're "not normal", probably not meant to be parents. Or are you more selective based on what *you* deem normal?

    Get off your high horses, hypocrites. Every church is full of sinners and yours are no better or worse. If the bishops stood up on Sundays and pointed out the excessive lifestyles most members in the US lead that blatantly contradict everything scripture says, many of you would have to slink under the pews in shame.

    Shame on you for your conditional compassion. Shame on you for not distinguing between the word of the "lord" and the word of man.

  • Anonymous
    May 14, 2008 8:49 p.m.

    So many of you keep focusing on the fact that the church will never change it's policy. As a gay mormon, I have accepted this fact but am irritated by the fact that most of you who are preaching are probably married and heterosexual. It bothers me that some of you are so quick to speak out against the "evils" of homosexuality, without ever having experienced the abuse, disrespect, and hatred that gays experience in the church. I personally support the church's stance on moral cleanliness and eternal marriage but there is no doubt that many people in the church get away with injust treatment and judgment toward people simply for being gay or affeminate. I don't expect the church to change it's policies, but I think that more needs to be done to stop abuse and discrimination, and also provide better resources for people like me.

  • Follow Up?
    June 1, 2008 3:30 p.m.

    Will we get a follow up on the content of the meeting? Has it occurred yet? Please give more details!

  • DCT
    June 12, 2008 8:04 p.m.

    It's scientific fact that the fetus, which always starts off with the default female form, while in the womb, is affected by the hormone levels of the mother which can influence brain gendering, (what gender you identify yourself as) in the secondary hormone blast to the fetus, as well as the formation of the genitalia, (first hormone blast to the fetus), which gives each human unique combinations of both masculine and feminine traits.

    Gays, Lesbians and Transgendered are born who they are. We are created in the womb.
    There have also been scientific studies with pheromones and the sexual response centers of brain which resulted in proving that Lesbians' brains respond almost identically to woman as a straight Male's brain does and Gay men's brains responded the same as a straight Female's brain does. Thus, proof of the biological response in sexual attractions.
    When the church practiced polygamy - it was a Man and multiple Women, which changed because the goverment made it illegal and so Utah could become a state. Many states are legalizing same-sex unions, so why can't the Church adapt to the light of new science and accept their Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Brothers and Sisters?