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Woman who had lived lesbian lifestyle brings hope to Mormons with same-sex attraction through LDS Church's new website

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  • comment Rawlins, WY
    Dec. 9, 2012 1:47 a.m.

    I like that the website, one of the persons on it, made the comment, We all have thorns. We don't need to examine each other's thorn to find out what variety it is, but to help others and have compassion.

  • Semper Fidelis Apo, AP
    Dec. 9, 2012 5:51 a.m.

    I love Laurie's courage and honesty. I hope that as a Church we embrace this message. I have. There are many in our faith who feel conflicted in reconciling their attractions and feelings with their faith. We absolutely need to reach out to them and welcome them, listen to them and help them. Great message.
    It's great to have the voices of those who have been there leading the charge.
    Wonderful.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    Dec. 9, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    May God bless you, Sister Campbell.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Dec. 9, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    What an incredible and moving story. And the website is truly done with sensitivity and love. Thank you to our Church leaders who brought this wonderful message to those who are in search for hope and peace through much turmoil and suffering. Thank you so much Sister Campbell for sharing your story.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    You have a lot of courage young lady. You will help make a lot of difference in peoples lives for good. Every one is different and for us that have never felt a different attraction is hard for us to accept it. Thanks to your entire family for being strong and helping make that difference. I think most people will take you for that loving daughter of our Father in Heaven and accept you. Thank you again and may the Lord bless..

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    Where is the support system or outreach for single adults. Those of us who are divorced or never married. Everything in the church revolves around marriage and family. Many of us feel just as alienated as those struggling with same sex attraction.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    This woman is very couragious and I applaud her. I've never had this problem, but we all have problems we struggle with. We need to support those who are trying to do what's right while facing difficult challenges.

  • Lander Bonduel, WI
    Dec. 9, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    What a wonderful, eye-opening article. I really admire the message and spirit of Ms. Campbell her heroic willingness to share it with us. She is right. We have always considered it an either/or situation and she has opened the door to new possibilities. I think this is one of the most inspirational articles I have ever read. Thanks to all involved.

  • Millsap fan Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    Joseph Smith said that all of us will eventually have to go through a trial as difficult as Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac. Maybe being a Latter-Day Saint trying to change their very nature to follow what they feel God wants for them is their ultimate sacrifice. Surely they will be blessed beyond their wildest imagination like Abraham is.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    Well written article, Joseph. And Laurie, you are a class act. God bless you and may you continue to find joy in life.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    As a gay male, I respect this woman's testimony, and I appreciate her emphasis that it's meant for Mormons with *unwanted* same-sex attractions. I also appreciate her saying that her experience might not be the same for everyone.

    But as for the Church's reaching out to gays with its new website, how about the website also featuring at least one true story where a gay Mormon found happiness, love and fulfillment as an active (not chaste) gay.

    This would give the website a balance I found lacking in it. And until there is that balance, I don't feel the love and compassion the website intends for me to feel. Rather, I honestly feel like I'm watching a commercial.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    Millsap, Right now I am reading the Work and the Glory and am at the period of time when Polygamy was starting to come to the surface. This was very difficult for the church leaders to embrace as well as the members. I remember when the Blacks didn't have the priesthood and how difficult that was, yet when they did receive it, there were some who had a hard time with that. I honestly believe that same sex attraction is todays "Abraham challenge". Do we have the courage to love and serve the Lord? But there is another challenge, and that is with members who do not understand this, we need to love those with this challenge. I have a dear friend who never strayed from the gospel standards, but because members shunned him, his children left the church, he followed and is now in a same sex marriage. He was so steadfast for so many years, but the people in his ward lacked the strength he had. A loving marriage should not be based only on the physical, having been married before to a wheelchair bound man, service and courage was our foundation.

  • nightbeacon Taylorsville , UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:01 a.m.

    Ms. Campbell's not identifying herself as straight or gay, and her teenage daughter being unfazed by her "revelation" is a good thing. I left Mormonism in 1982 because I knew my sexual preference was never going to be reconciled to LDS dogma. I don't need it to be. And I strongly disagree with the stance that it's OK to struggle as long as you don't act. I ask aloud whether Ms. Campbell (or anyone) would struggle if what we all do in bed is truly our own business. I allow no organization or religion to judge me and I am pleased I learned to stop judging myself. I don't believe god will judge me either. I look forward to a conversation where the message is "you found your way, and your path is beautiful and true for you. Congratulations!" If there is any judgement in that scenario, then I'll be pleased to have a very long conversation as to "why?" How can one grant free agency and then judge? At most, I expect to hear "let me help you see where your choices didn't serve you". And that's enough.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    @Lander
    "We have always considered it an either/or situation and she has opened the door to new possibilities."

    Like bisexuality... I'm not sure why people aren't realizing that when it comes to stories that involve someone claiming homosexuality and then having kids with an opposite gender spouse.

  • Way of the Warrior ANACORTES, WA
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    I've never liked the phrase "experiences same-sex/gender attraction" when describing someone who's sexual orientation is homosexual. Are we to refer to those with a heterosexual orientation as someone who "experiences opposite-sex/gender attraction?" That phrasing makes it sound like a condition, even a sickness. It fails to acknowledge the gravity and reality of a persons's real sexual orientation. It's almost as to say "this person is really a heterosexual who just happens to experience the temptation of an attraction to the same gender." No, that's not the case at all. A person who has a homosexual sexual orientation experiences all the same emotions, attractions, feelings, etc. for the same gender as a heterosexual feels for the opposite gender.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    Now how about including some stories from those of us who have found love and acceptance living "the gay lifestyle"?

    I'll lay odds (oops, betting is another grave sin) that you won't include any of those stories will you. A one-sided article with a one-sided agenda. That's what I read.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    I have a member of my family who is now middle-aged and has had the same female "friend" live with her for decades. Both women are wonderful, generous, devout church members. Both are deeply in the closet. They think the rest of the family doesn't know. Everyone does know, but everyone pretends to not know.

    The message of this website seems to be, "Sisters, you can choose to not be lesbian, and we'd be happier with you and you'll be happier, too, if you changed you orientation." I can only image the anguish and feelings of shame this website is dumping on her.

    If you _genuinely_ want to love and respect church members who are gay and lesbian, then _genuinely_ respect that they are who they are and fully accept them as such, and treat them no differently than you yourself expect to be treated.

    The fact that this website even exists is proof that the church doesn't really accept its homosexual members as equals.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Dec. 9, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    RanchHand

    Well, please start yourself. How about including some posts from you for those who have found love and acceptance living "the Mormon lifestyle"?

    I'll lay predict that you won't post any of those statements will you. A one-sided post with a one-sided agenda. That's what I read.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    @Red Headed Stranger;

    The DN is full of those stories. Every day, all you have to do is read the "faith" section and the "opinion" section.

    We weren't talking about the comments from individual readers on the articles, we're talking about the articles AND the LDS Churches on-sided web page.

    But, nice try.

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    Dec. 9, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    It's not simply a matter of being lesbian or not. There are also strongly bisexual issues involved here. Being married and having children is a totally legitimate side of a long life of bisexuality. I am happy to see that Campbell has been able to experience both aspects of her sexuality and find peace in the process.

  • Al Thepal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    Ranch Hand, this is an article specifically about an LDS Church website. It is not saying that people have not found happiness in this life through a gay or lesbian lifestyle. If you want stories about that, there are many places to go on the internet. If someone wants to be an active LDS member, they can't decide to live that lifestyle. However, I think a point the website also makes is that LDS people should not shun family members or friends who do choose to live a gay or lesbian lifestyle.

    One important point that this article, and the website cited, make is that not all gay or lesbian people want to have those feelings. Not all of them want to live that lifestyle. Some of them legitimately and genuinely want those feelings to go away. The LBGT community shows their bias when they won't accept that this is a perfectly fine feeling to have. If someone wants help not acting on those feelings and even lessening them, they should be supported in that. Regardless of whether or not people have found happiness living a gay or lesbian lifestyle. Some homosexual people don't want that lifestyle.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Dec. 9, 2012 2:06 p.m.

    This story is TMI in my opinion.
    I get the issue, but sharing the story can cause many other issues in the family and such.
    I support the website, but not in this much info.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 9, 2012 2:15 p.m.

    My sincere congratulations to Ms.Capmbell, I wish her and her family the very best life can give.

    I have homosexual and heterosexual friends. I love, respect and admire all of them. Each of them has something unique to give. I wonder if my homosexual friends would be as wonderful as they are if they felt they have something so wrong that they have to change who they are, deny the feelings they have in order to please others. It is a sad and unfair demand.

    The article and the web site attempts to portray the church as very understanding and respectful. Well, is not.

    A young man in the site, Ty, he said that he had a strong spiritual experience, in which he felt the love of the Lord, no approval, no rejection just pure love. Shouldn't we learn from that? as a father I don't show acceptance of my child and I don't show rejection, I just love her for what she is and want for her to be happy. Our Heavely Father is a God of love and he expect us to love others. How can we love others if we cannot love ourselves?

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 9, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    The more I think about this issue, the more incomprehensible it gets. I spent some of my best years of my life as an LDS and I wish I could go back, because I still love it. But I can't! I cannot go back to a church that makes judgment over the nature of people.

    The website is presenting how bad LGBT LDS feel about themselves. Big surprise! If you are taught that what you are and feel is not natural and there is something wrong with you. Of course you want to be different, you want change, you want to conform. You want to be accepted by those you love, but those who should love you back demand you change your nature
    I find the words of Jesus very applicable here:

    Matthew 23:4
    " They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."

    Would you be able to comply if asked to change your heterosexuality? or what about if you find your soulmate but you are asked to remain celibate?



    >>

  • Mr_Normal utah, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    WOW! I'll bet she's getting hate mail galore.
    Being an admin on a couple of LDS Facebook pages I know how this will generate the hate. My kudos to you for standing up for what you know in your heart to be true.

    May God bless you for your righteous desires.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 9, 2012 3:35 p.m.

    I hope this gives people an outlet to be open. I hope that there will also be acceptance for people that can't change their attraction orientation. I know I could never change my orientation from straight so I wonder if people really can.

    As long as they are really happy and they can be single or married to a very understanding spouse I guess...

  • majorgoals SEATTLE, WA
    Dec. 9, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    People are not either 100% homosexual or 100% heterosexual. Many of us have feelings for the same sex that are as deep as the love for our own spouse. Is that homosexuality? I think the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is following the admonition of the Savior, reaching out in a very open and loving way to help those who do not fully consider themselves homosexual and are looking for ways to reconcile their strong desire to live the fullness of the gospel. I think everyone of us should be grateful for the help such a site will provide for those who are drawn to it and find help through it. Too many people are quick to judge and throw stones that they forget the beam that is in their own eye. The love of Christ is helping each other at the level necessary to affect positive support or change so they can achieve a greater level of happiness in their life. What would the Savior say about the website, its intent and content?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 4:05 p.m.

    @Mr_Normal

    Some of those who say, "Don't Judge Me," or "Stay out of my Business," are often the first to send hate letters to people like Laurie Campbell.

    That is why I am often turned off by messages from the media, Hollywood and far-left politicians who are quick to preach about tolerance, understanding and support of people's rights. The hidden, truer message I get from this is, "Do as we say, not as we do."

  • Neanderthal Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    @Blue:
    "The fact that this website even exists is proof that the church doesn't really accept its homosexual members as equals."

    The Church's teachings, any church, deals mostly with the hereafter. The LDS Church goes a bit further and teaches eternal increase in the hereafter. If that be not their goal or concern then they're likely very content.

    @JoCo Ute:
    "It's not simply a matter of being lesbian or not. There are also strongly bisexual issues involved here. Being married and having children is a totally legitimate side of a long life of bisexuality."

    Bisexual is mostly about sexual gratification. Got little or nothing to do with love. In fact, love can be given and received with no sex involved at all.

    @Screwdriver:
    "I hope that there will also be acceptance for people that can't change their attraction orientation."

    Who cares what someone's sexual orientation is? Coming out of the closet implies that they were in a closet. They weren't.

    "I know I could never change my orientation from straight so I wonder if people really can."

    People can do anything they set their mind to do.

  • SomeClarityPlease Quiet Neighborhood, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 6:15 p.m.

    Great work Ms. Campbell! Thank you very much.

  • generalM Frannie, WY
    Dec. 9, 2012 6:23 p.m.

    An insightful, honest, and moving interview. I am so impressed with the website and with courageous and faithful people such as Ms. Campbell. God bless them!

  • Mr.Glass Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 7:51 p.m.

    I believe its divisive to describe gays and lesbians as living a lifestyle separate from straights. I know two lesbians couples. Each couple enjoy lifestyles that are really no different than most decent straight couples. They help their kids with their homework, take them to school, read stories to them before bedtime, take them to dance classes and baseball practice, and they work full time as professionals, among many other things deemed both responsible and wholesome by other good people who happen to be straight. Let's be frank: the only thing that makes gay and lesbian couples different in this respect is sex, and really the emotional bonds and pleasure they experience is not much different than what straights experience with some obvious exceptions I don't need to mention. Yet even this difference is blown way out of proportion. LDS members describe them as people who can't control their sexual impulses, but really their impulses are no different than straight couples. They are simply attracted to the same sex. They act on them as much as straight couples act on theirs.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 8:50 p.m.

    @Red Corvette:
    "Look in Salt Lake City, the 12 Apostles. The Mormon Church after the election says, well, Maybe we're going to change our position on homosexuality [being] a choice."

    Doesn't matter whether it's a choice or not... the Mormon Church will likely never change its position on the issue.

    @majorgoals:
    "People are not either 100% homosexual or 100% heterosexual. Many of us have feelings for the same sex that are as deep as the love for our own spouse."

    I love everyone in the entire world... men and women alike. I must, therefore, be bi.

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    The love of God is unconditional. Exaltation is conditional. God loves all his children and his grace provides love for those who don't chose to live as he wants them to live. His love alone cannot bring about the state of being which is equal to his state of being. His love is awesome and in this tough world, it can almost seem that feeling his love is unconditional acceptance of our choices when in reality it is really just His love. We can feel His love and longing for our welfare at almost anytime in this life, especially when we struggle or find ourselves being setback by sin. I am not perfect but I try to imagine that receiving His endorsement as one worthy to live as He does will be far greater than just the Love we are permitted to feel from him in this life. If Elder Maxwell is right it is only achieved through laying it all down on the alter and choosing to be like him over anything else including our sexual orientation or anything else. It is a determination to follow him over everything else.

  • OCoug Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:44 p.m.

    Thanks for having the courage to follow through with what you knew needed to be done. This is a great example of love for others.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:47 p.m.

    She is a very attractive woman.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    Either the Gospel is true, or it is not. Families, as viewed through the LDS doctrine, are eternal, or they are not. To change basic, fundamental doctrine to appease certain groups would be a lie. Otherwise, how exactly would that work? Say the Church were to sanction same gender marriage. Children of such a marriage would be sitting in my Primary lesson as I teach the family concepts that are in the Proclamation on the Family. "This is the plan of salvation, but not for you who live with 2 moms, or 2 dads."

    That said. The thought of living alone and single because of your sexual orientation is profoundly sad. Yet, it is no more tragic than some of my close friends who live alone because they have never found a marriage partner or were tragically widowed. I don't mean to be sound glib. It is just that there are many kinds of pain in this world.

    The website is beautiful. The courage of those who participated is inspiring. We ALL need to do more to reach out to our brothers and sisters in every walk of life.

  • Honest Abe Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:23 p.m.

    I also have a dear friend who has lived through a similar experience. After leaving a lifestyle contrary to the gospel teachings, she now is happily married to an amazing husband and has two wonderful children. I appreciate how the Church addresses same-gender attraction. In The Family, A Proclamation to the World it reminds us that "each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny." As such, all can pray to our Father in Heaven with the assurance that He will guide and help them as they strive to live the gospel.

  • JJL Eugene, OR
    Dec. 10, 2012 12:16 a.m.

    Ranchhand:

    The "other" side of the story is blasted
    all over the rest of the US media.

    Try today's Seattle Times online for a flavor.

    Kudos to the DN for providing an alternaitve
    viewpoint.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    I really don't see how this is going to help the thousands of gay LDS men and women who follow the current council. Don't the church leaders currently counsel to not marry as attempt to cure homosexuality? I see this story as an unrealistic example that will open too many members to be judged as less faithful and disobedient. It's not fair.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    @Al Thepal;

    Why do you suppose gays and lesbians "do not want to have those feelings"?

    It's because of people like you, and your church, always telling us we're broken.

    The new LDS website, with stories like this one, is just one more example. And it is distressing to those of us who spent years trying to learn to love ourselves again after the years spent listening to LDS leaders tell us we were damned. We are not broken and we're just fine the way God made us.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 7:13 a.m.

    Mrs. Campbell is right.

    Popculture has no tolerance for those with samesex attraction (SSA), but refuse to pursue it.

    It doesn't matter if one is born with a tendency or not. Those who argue this engage in contentious debate that simply doesn't matter.

    The apostle Paul wisely described thorns of the flesh and the fallen man. We have tendencies that are part of our nature, that run contrary to God's plan of happiness. The LDS faith espouses that God loves every one of His children.

    Having SSA is not a sin, it's an attraction. What we do with our attraction matters, and we have MANY choices.

    There is forgiveness for sins, no matter how different we feel. Sin makes us feel like we have no choices.

    Some have private trials, others public. Christ loves each of us, and made an Atonement so we can turn from sin.

    This website reaches to those on that difficult path. They have a choice though the world would deny it exists.

    Sex is a small component of the soul of man, yet some would make it the only thing that matters. Christ offers a choice the world doesn't.

  • Michael_Haskins Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 7:26 a.m.

    Mr_Normal-" WOW! I'll bet she's getting hate mail galore.
    Being an admin on a couple of LDS Facebook pages I know how this will generate the hate."

    Jesus = HATE?

    That's only one of the problems with religion - typically promotes prejudice/hate of those whose beliefs are not the same. Up to, and including murder (condoned / ordered by 'God' even) - disgusting. Reccomendation: Stop trying to control anyone's life but your own.

    I also suggest letting go of superstitious fantasy and try some reality. Nature includes EVERYTHING that actually exists. Supernatural (that means any of the many gods invented by humans - ever) only exists in the imaginations of humans.

    Your time on this Earth is limited. Live your CURRENT life, let others live theirs.

    "Imagine no religion... nothing to kill or die for"
    "All we need is LOVE" - John Lennon

  • spanglercouple Bakersfield, CA
    Dec. 10, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    Who are we to judge anyone. That is not for us to do but for our Lord and Savior. We are to love EVERYONE regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, whether they are a murderer, etc. I feel sorry for those who point the finger. Just remember, we will be judged just as we judge others. May God continue to bless all of His children.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 8:45 a.m.

    No matter what our difficulties in life are, we need support and love from our family, even extended family members, if needed. Part overcoming difficulties is to have friends and people from organizations that can help us with our problems with programs that are successful in a Christ oriented approach. Christ brings love as part of the equation. We show love through charity and kindness to others, no matter what their addiction, faults, needs, and type of assistance they need. It may just be accepting people and their difficulties. As stated many times and in many ways, we all have problems.

    Christ never said love only those you feel comfortable around. He said love one another as I have loved you.

    We have programs for people of all categories and it is a barrier to put conditional love as part of any program. Even though it may be difficult, unconditional love and charity to all people is the only way we can get through this life.

    Being judgmental is easy to spot in caregivers, and not just physical caregivers. Our service is to God's children who have trials and tribulations.

    This is for all of us to help others.

  • Brent78 Holladay, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    I love that people are coming forward and sharing their personal stories to help those who feel conflicted between their faith and the world's chosen path for them. These personal testimonies say more than a thousand message board comments ever could.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    Didn't Anne Heche go from straight to gay and then back to straight a few years back? I don't remember any backlash, criticism, or uproar over that? Why not? Because it wasn't done in a religious context and more specifically, because the LDS church wasn't involved?

    Who can criticize or be upset with Mrs. Campbell for what is clearly a genuine transformation in her life. I applaud her bravery.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    Baccus0902 said "but you are asked to remain celibate?"

    There are tens of thousands of LDS church members living a life of celibacy now, many who are homosexual but WAY more who are heterosexual.

    And it is not easy for any of them. But they choose to do so.

    I applaud the SS members who chose to keep their covenants, and lets remember they have a lot of hetero company who do the same.

    There are a lot of things worse than being celibate.....

  • spaghetti Boise, ID
    Dec. 10, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    To: Really???
    No one counseled Laurie to get married.
    This is a story of her own personal journey and how she wanted to do what she felt God wanted her to do in her life. I think Laurie mentions she shared this so others could see that there ARE happy alternatives to the seemingly only choices, that a person who identifies as being gay, HAS to choose from. Those being:

    1.If you have homosexual feelings you "should be true" to those feelings and live that lifestyle. OR
    2. You'll be miserable your whole life if you try to deny those feelings.

    I think it's wonderful to recognize that sexuality is only PART of who we are and as she points out, our most important identity is we are all children of a loving God who wants the best for us.

    No matter who we are, I believe we ALL have challenges we'll face in this life that will try us to the very core, but if we turn to God, there's hope and He'll help us find our way to ultimate joy in the end.

    Thank you, Laurie for having the courage to share!

  • Alfred Ogden, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Others might be helped with a characterization of feelings... Is the attraction of a sexual nature with cravings of intimacy with the same sex of just companionship with no sex? And what was the feelings about the opposite sex? Were they totally repulse? How might one feel about a heterosexual husband? Is it a case of just toleration?

    A couple with children might indicate intimacy isn't the problem. Is the situation one of bisexuality perhaps?

    I'm no expert, mind you, but I think these are important questions to perhaps try to figure out how to deal with same sex attraction. I think there are workable answers.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 10, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    The more I think about this issue, the more incomprehensible it gets. I spent some of my best years of my life as an LDS and I wish I could go back, because I still love it. But I can't! I cannot go back to a church that makes judgment over the nature of people.

    The website is presenting how bad LGBT LDS feel about themselves. Big surprise! If you are taught that what you are and feel is not natural and there is something wrong with you. Of course you want to be different, you want change, you want to conform. You want to be accepted by those you love, but those who should love you back demand you change your nature
    I find the words of Jesus very applicable here:

    Matthew 23:4
    " They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."

    Would you be able to comply if asked to change your heterosexuality? or what about if you find your soulmate but you are asked to remain celibate?

  • mio_chan Cambodia, 00
    Dec. 10, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    I'm crying while I was reading this. I've been suffering with this confusion/crisis for almost 10 years and no one in my family and most people around me knows about it. Me and my family joined the church when I was 11 and I started feeling like that when I was 13. I love the church and very time I go to church, I always have this guilty feeling. I always know the consequences of my action but I can not do anything about it. I'm trying my very best to live upright and having a family is my goal. I'm really inspired with this article. Thank you.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    To "NeilT" the church has a stron support system for singles. There are Young Single adult wards, Institutes, and Single Adult wards and stake activities. Single people have a very strong support system.

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    Dec. 10, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    Once again we see the absolute value of a living prophet and apostles. Whatever the world can dream up as a better way, Church leaders are always one step ahead.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 11:50 a.m.

    Gay people do not deserve to be persecuted. They are wired differently. Most people if they were wired this way would follow the life style, so most people don't have room to throw stones. This article reflects that and Evengelicals would be wise to adopt this tone.

    I am not gay, but I imagine the magnitude of her sacrifice by supposing that I was required to not be with a woman, and the only right person for me to be with would to be with a man.

    Not being with a woman would be almost unbearable. Being with a man for me would be most repugnant. If making this change in her life was as difficult as I imagine, then I can hardly comprehend what she has done. It ranks with what Abraham did when he almost sacrificed his son.

  • Born that Way Layton, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    All the loving, deeply intimate relationships you can have with a deep and personal friend can still be had without requiring sex out of God-sanctioned marriage. Ultimately this battle comes down to acts of sex.

    Physical attraction is not a sin. The sin comes in acting it out and even then it is not hopeless. There is hope in Christ that we may all be forgiven on condition of repentance.

    Some claim celibacy is a death sentence or foolishness, but it has lead me to deeper spiritual insights as I cultivated my relationship with God.

    I didn't need sex with God to be close.

    My faith centers on the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    God has not left me comfortless. I am not alone. If I focus on the temptation, I will fail because that's what the world says I am: A failure. The world lies, telling me to live a certain way.

    Yet, If I focus on gratitude and Christ, I am filled with ample life. There's something deeply wonderful about having divine approval of my life, it just means more to me than approval by popular culture.

  • azgal Buckeye, AZ
    Dec. 10, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    There's a friend who was heavily lesbian (rather influential in getting others to be as well) in college a few years before I entered. Fast forward 10 years later, we both ended up at the same college again, at the same time. This time she was happily married and had a baby or two with her husband as well as raising his children from his previous marriage. Neither were LDS or religious at all, but they did cherish the importance of family and protected/raised their family well.

    YES it is possible to be gay for a while, then to be straight & happily married.

    As for those who feel the church website "needs" to be more balanced, how about that same balance from the gay websites in letting people know that they CAN return to, accept, or even embrace a hetro life style? If there's that balance everywhere, then there probably wouldnt' be a need for this website, but as it is, it's a lone voice of hope and encouragement that's different from the messages out there already.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Dec. 10, 2012 12:59 p.m.

    It's hard for me to imagine that anyone could find fault with what this brave woman has said -- this may not be for you, but this is my story. It appears she has found what she wanted -- a fulfilling life. She is an example of tremendous humility, faith, courage and compassion.

    I do feel compassion for gay individuals. Sexual feelings are powerful things. But I applaud those who are able to adopt King Lamoni's attitude - I will give away all my sins to know thee.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Dec. 10, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    Most "straight" men are attracked to women and struggle with opposite gender attraction; I can't speak for straight women.

    As I understand it, most homosexuals struggle with same gender attraction; I can't speak for either sex in this instance.

    The Lord doesn't care what your weakness is - He cares that you are trying to be perfected in Him. Whether you struggles with one of these situations or with dishonestly, stealing, idolatry, etc., the struggle is the same. Each must overcome those road blocks that keep you from the grace of God. Then, and only then, will you hear, "well done, thou good and faithful servant."

    And, YES, God will judge you!

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    We all have our own crosses to bear. There are a whole list of sins that are still sins even if we feel a strong urge to commit them.

    Homosexual acts, drug abuse, adultery, alcoholism, uncontrolled anger, gossip, and lying are all examples of sinful behavior that must be overcome if we want to live the way God wants us to.

    Those who want to live Christ-like lives need to be merciful and live the golden rule even for those who commit different sins than we do ourselves (we are all sinners). But that does not mean that we have to embrace the sin itself and pretend the rules don't apply to those who stuggle with it.

    As a heterosexual, I may never fully understand the struggles of gays. But I have my own set of struggles so I can relate somewhat. I can choose to control my passions or I can give in to them and later blame the church for not "accepting" my sin and embracing my "chosen lifestyle". I am free to choose.

  • Outsideview Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 10, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    An very thought provoking article.

    As with all things, it was good that it emphasized that we "chose" our attitude and responses to life events & challenges.

    It seems that most people associated "intimacy" with sex. That certainly is one major form of intimacy but this woman and her husband have obviously developed an intense "intimacy" that is not dominated by the physical form. Other couples do that as well especially as their marriage and relationship develops and deepens. I think it is important that intimacy grows beyond the physical expression. That ends up being a balance of the natural "emotional" intimacy that women tend to feel strongest against the "physical" intimacy that men tend to feel strongest. A higher level of "intimacy" would certainly be based on Christ like love than anything to do with physical attractions.

  • Mint Julip KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    @IJ and others,

    To say that someone is struggling with SSA is to say that a black person is struggling to become white. Just as that doctrine needed to change, so does this. Science is beginning to unravel the mystery of homosexuality and as they do more and more evidence for a biological origin is being found.

    We are replaying a common story though out human history. Mentally ill people were said to be possessed by the devil. Blind people were thought to be cursed of God as were others like the lame and leprous. Similarly labeled as sinners, witches or cursed were those sporting birthmarks, black people, spinsters and homosexuals. We have realized we were wrong, some of us in all cases. Others, like yourself, are still holding out on the last one for some reason I can't quite understand.

  • nrajeff Centerville, VA
    Dec. 10, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    The fact that in the past blind people were sometimes wrongly branded as cursed, doesn't prove that homosexual acts, S/M, or other perversions aren't sins. It's not necessarily an all-or-nothing situation. It is possible that blind people aren't cursed by God, AND certain behaviors displease God.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    To "Mint Julip" you are wrong. SSA is not like a black person trying to become white. It is like an Autistic person trying to function with the rest of the world. SSA is not an outward genetic trait. In fact scientits are not sure the exact cause of why some people are SSA.

    No matter what the cause, the LDS doctrine states that marriage is between a man and a woman. Sex is only between married people. Anything outside of that is considered sin. If a person has SSA we are to accept them, love them like anybody else, and help them to maintain the same standards as everybody else.

    One thing that you and so many others forget is the simple fact that God will not allow us to be tempted more than our ability to resist.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 10, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    Mint Julip,

    "....We are replaying a common story though out human history. Mentally ill people were said to be possessed by the devil. Blind people were thought to be cursed of God as were others like the lame and leprous....."
    ____________________

    The shackles of ignorance are not easily thrown off in a single generation. Jesus told us we can't put new wine in old skins. At least we no longer see dissidents burned at the stake as heretics or witches. I hope this new website is a step toward a more enlightened era when people with same sex attractions aren't forced to suffer shame for something that is normal and natural for them. Jesus was far ahead of his time in welcoming as disciples those who were despised by the world.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    I'm not gay, but I greatly admire what this woman is doing. I understand now that some of my companions were gay, and totally faithful. I also have seen the pain to a family by a gay person who decided to just bail from marriage and children. There is important to address all this, to 'do all we can', before inspiration will occur.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:25 p.m.

    @ Mint Julep: Scientists are studying all varieties of sexual preference. If they find that homsexuality is biological, they may find that pedophilia is also biological. As I understand God's word (and I understand some folks put no value on God's word...and they have that right), acting on either of these attractions is a sin...and one of them is a felony. I'm not sure the cause of the attraction, be it biological, psychological, or just a social preference, matters. Scientists have also found evidence that some men are much more prone (perhaps biologically driven) to seek many female partners, rather than stay faithful to one woman. Does that make philandering, in the face of sacred vows, somehow more acceptable? Or should these men be encouraged to follow these drives and excused from the destruction of families they leave behind. I ask these questions thoughtfully. What do you think?

  • mare54 KIHEI, HI
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:34 p.m.

    Hmmmmmm....."Lesbian lifestyle"..... that would suggest that being born homosexual is a "choice". I think it has already been proven in science that homosexuality is not a choice....just as heterosexuality is not a "choice". I'm not choosing to be heterosexual, I AM heterosexual! It's no different for homosexuals. Now how the church deals with all of this.... I am not sure how it will. I realize the website is supposed to address this, but I really wonder how it could.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    Neanderthal, your thoughts on bisexuality seem to be based in what is depicted in adult films. Just because someone is bisexual, doesn't mean they're involved with both genders at the same time. True bisexual individuals do exist. They're capable of finding attraction, love, and commitment with either gender.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    @Redshirt
    "One thing that you and so many others forget is the simple fact that God will not allow us to be tempted more than our ability to resist."

    Just one problem... people don't agree on the idea of there being a God, which God is the correct one, and even among Christian denominations there's disagreement on what God is okay with (hence the churches that marry same-sex couples). An argument from you (or I) from a religious view isn't going to hold much water to someone who doesn't also subscribe to that view (and heck, there's plenty of disagreement about various things among members in the same church). So a lot of times I don't think it's people "forgetting" it's people rejecting the notion that that "fact", if they even agree with it, applies to the situation.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    I think the Church needs to allow people who are gay who struggled for years from self-loathing, fought and tried mightily to overcome same-sex attraction without success, to tell their stories. It seems to me it just perpetuates deep wounds to publiicize only stories of those who successfully left homosexuality for heterosexuality, or from those who are able to live solitay, celibate lives. For years the Church has pomoted the idea that gay people choose to be gay or that they could change. This is nothing new. I think what is missing in the Church are those members, many no longer members, who suffered tremendously from that narrow storyline. We need to hear more from the Stuart Mattis'.

  • sid 6.7 Holladay, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:57 p.m.

    I am happy with the direction the church is going with this web site but I truly hope this is not a back handed attempt to try and reach out to Gay Mormon Members with the agenda that they can be "cured" of Homosexuality. Sadly, after visiting the web site and reading this article it appears the website is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    Because this is a big step (in the right direction) for the Church I am going to give the Church the benefit of the doubt and hope that in time, they will add testimonials of Gay members currently living the gay life style. This is the only way the Church can truly preach non-judgment for all of God's children.

    We have members of the Church committing suicide over who they choose to love. It needs to end. God loves us all and wants us to move forward.

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    Dec. 10, 2012 5:06 p.m.

    To those who have found "happiness" in a gay lifestyle, good for you. Why would it upset you about not having your story told on this website? Should the lds.org include people of other faiths telling why they disagree with the Book of Mormon? Of course not. This website is not meant for you. It's meant for believers. Believers that there are Prophets of God on the earth. Believers that God can work miracles. Believers that life is eternal. There are many, many members of the church who have UNWANTED SSA. They want the hope and peace that can be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The testimonies of the people, willing to share their story, teach all of us that we need to have faith to overcome anything that is difficult in our lives.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 5:10 p.m.

    @Mint Julip
    "To say that someone is struggling with SSA is to say that a black person is struggling to become white."

    That is a rather typical, and inaccurate, gay fundamentalist statement.

    I cannot behave my way into being a different race.
    I cannot behave my way into being different gender
    However; I can behave my way into being gay (even if I don't "feel" it)
    Regardless of whether someone "feels" gay or not - their actions define the label.
    I may "feel" like many things, but until I do them, I am not them.

    As a person with homosexual feelings (who rejects the GAY label, for roughly the same reasons other avoid constricting labels) who has seen both movement in orientation and understanding of inaccurate assumptions, but not "cure" of orientation or elimination of feelings, and has experienced both the acceptance and wounding of gay zealotry and is aware that a huge number of "gay" acquaintances are also dealing with sexual abuse.
    I appreciate the "gay" community for the openness that they have brought to the discussion AND I also vigorously condemn the extremists for their rigid orthodoxy and intolerance that is worse than those they oppose

  • sg newhall, CA
    Dec. 10, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    It is a wonderful approach that the Church is taking. I am a convert to the church, went on a mission, married in the temple and we have one son. My wife has two brothers (1) is gay (had been married for 10 years and has a son, who I believe is straight) (2) considers himself bi-sexual. The gay brother divorced and his former wife is gay and married. Our son realized and then struggled for quite sometime that he had same sex attraction. He finally 'came' out and is gay. However, he also doesn't believe in organized religion and doesn't care for the Church. He basically left it once he turned 16. I appreciate those that can and have changed or shifted their way of thinking and acting and living, but what does one do when his/her own child will have nothing to do with religion yet is still a member of the church in name only?

  • Faithinfacts Brisbane, QLD
    Dec. 10, 2012 6:00 p.m.

    So this woman is encouraging people who are gay to marry people they are not remotely attracted to so they can have children and appear to the world to be heterosexual, and thus accepted fully as a Mormon. I really thought the Church had moved beyond the idea of "marry the gay away" given the abject failure of this policy (doctrine?) with so many gay people.

    People do not choose their sexuality. If this woman is bisexual, she can be happy in whatever life(style) the leaders of the LDS church believe is best for her, however, to expect a gay individual to engage fully with a person of the opposite sex on every level is nothing but short sighted and cruel.

    I cannot believe such an idea is inspired of God, and it's well beyond time the Church stopped playing with the lives of gay people and those of their partners living in sexless marriages and their children who almost inevitably experience the tension and guilt of marriage break ups. The church long ago stopped telling heterosexuals what they can do in the bedroom, presumably because enough couples said it was no-one's business but theirs.

  • Mint Julip KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 6:12 p.m.

    @Counter Intelligence,

    You cannot behave your way into being gay if you are not gay. You can only behave your way into pretending to be gay, just as closeted homosexuals can pretend to be straight. Pretending to be something does not make you that thing.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 10, 2012 6:15 p.m.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Each of us has a difficult load to carry and it isn't always like the one you have described. Things you have experienced and the ways you have described can be translated into the help I often need in my life. I always remember that God has given us the parameters and it is up to us to learn how to deal with each difficult situation. He has told us to love each other, not the sins and faults, but the person. He will do the judging and I'm so happy to let Him.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Dec. 10, 2012 6:20 p.m.

    Some comments here are disappointed, or so it seems to me, that along with the new web site was not a change in policy or doctrine.

    Those who feel aggravated that the church does not embrace them fully because they feel compelled or destined or even determined to lead a same-sex attraction lifestyle will no doubt never be satisfied with the church's response to the subject.

    We often quote the conversation between the Savior and the woman caught in the very act of adultery to symbolize the Savior's acceptance of any and all situations. Go and sin no more is sometimes the response that does come.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 10, 2012 7:25 p.m.

    @ Counter Intelligence
    You wrote:"I appreciate the "gay" community for the openness that they have brought to the discussion AND I also vigorously condemn the extremists for their rigid orthodoxy and intolerance that is worse than those they oppose"

    Orthodoxy: Homosexuality is a state of being, is not a doctrine, is not a practice, is not an ideology. You find Homosexuals who capitalist, communist, Christians, atheist,virgins, sexually active. Just as race, you have no choice in your sexual orientation. Therefore, you cannot claim orthodoxy.

    Intolerance: It seems that the opposite of homosexuality would be heterosexuality. However, I have never met, read or saw anything that would indicate that homosexuals are intolerant of heterosexuals. However, I have seen many, many heterosexuals (fortunately the number is quickly diminishing)who object to homosexuality.

    Some on these people are so intolerant that even define homosexuality as a sin.
    Some of them are even concerned that God will punish the world because homosexual dare to ask for human dignity.

    If you consider homosexuals intolerant when they call a bigot a bigot, then you may be right.
    If intolerance is to tell you they have the same right you have, then you may be right

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 10, 2012 7:36 p.m.

    "One thing that you and so many others forget is the simple fact that God will not allow us to be tempted more than our ability to resist."

    Since when is anything having to do with God, become fact?

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 11, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    Faithinfacts...Did you read the article? She says that the way she chose may not be for everyone. Neither the Church, nor this website encourage gays and lesbians to marry at all. It was her personal choice. Marrying the opposite gender IS an option but not one mandated by the Church.

    Rather than bashing someone with same gender attraction for chosing to marry the opposite gender, why not cheer them on for following their hearts desire rather than their base instincts. "...see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love..." Alma 38:12

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    @Mint Julip
    "Pretending to be something does not make you that thing."

    You have a point, but missed the larger point

    Thinking/pretending to be white does not make a ethnic person white
    Thinking/pretending like a man does not make a woman a man
    Physical attributes are not defined by either thought or behavior
    Being gay may be inspired by thoughts - but is defined by behavior
    Thoughts are not truth
    Feelings are not reality
    I may feel like kicking my neighbors barking dog - but have never done so. I can pretend to like the dog, or not, but I am not an animal abuser because my behavior does not play out my feelings.

    I have known men who where introduced into homosexuality through violent homosexual abuse as children, leaving them confused about their sexuality; yet when they began to question their feelings, they came to question whether they were really gay. They still may have good or bad memories of homosexual feelings, but they moved on. The belief that feelings inherently and permanently equals identify, is rigid and limiting gay fundamentalist dogma. Feelings change.

    Feeling tolerant does not make you that thing, behavior does - even in pretense.

  • canyonwalker Reno, NV
    Dec. 11, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    WHAT is a "lesbian lifestyle"? If people intend to say "having sex with a person of the same-sex" then THAT is what they should say. To assume that ALL gay people have the same "lifestyle" is absurd. Our icky-meter goes up when we say ANYTHING about sex and that in itself is a problem.
    Next, there are actually bisexual people who are attracted at some level to both sexes. The subject can indeed be one such person. The scale runs 0 to 6. Six being fully and solely attracted to the opposite sex. People at a 5 can certainly be attracted to the opposite sex. The subject even states that her husband is a rare person that she could have married. She was attracted to HIM.
    Lastly, the Bishops in LDS are in conversation with the MOST NOTED researcher on LGBT youth and rejection/acceptance issues. They invited her in years ago to closed meeting and immediately extended her time after the first presentation. She has gone back yearly. The leadership KNOWS this issue if FAR more complex than the church policies show. Sexual orientation is not sinful, it is just another normal variation of human sexuality.

  • cachondeo OCEANSIDE, CA
    Dec. 11, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    Not meaning to be smug or insensitive, but this whole topic is really quite cut and dry/black and white. The bottom line is God has made and set commandments for his children and these commandments are to bring eternal joy and peace to his children (all of humanity). He loves all of us despite our sins and our weaknesses, but he has sent us here to learn to overcome all of our sins and our weaknesses through his help, which is mainly given by Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, but also in many other ways.

    The basic foundation must be a belief in the Godhead. If you don't have that to start with then this topic will NEVER be able to be justified for you because you will only be influenced by science, philosophy, and doctrines of men which are limited and constantly changing wherever the wind blows. But if you believe in God then you can come to know one of his primary commandments is for men and women to be lawfully married, and in addition to be chaste (ie, not have ANY sexual relations outside of marriage).

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Dec. 11, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    Nice try by the LDS church but they still can't get to the point where "its ok to be Gay" These are stories of bisexual people and people that have become celibate in their middle age when they have pretty much lived their life. These stories continue reinforcing the concept that you can alter your sexuality if you only try hard enough. The rank and file take this as more ammunition they can use against gay people. It is well done from a production standpoint but the content is still quite biased.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    I don't identify as gay or ex-gay, heterosexual or bisexual. I identify as a daughter of God - That is a VERY profound quote!!!

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 11, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    cachondeo,

    ".....this whole topic is really quite cut and dry/black and white. The bottom line is God has made and set commandments for his children and these commandments are to bring eternal joy and peace to his children (all of humanity)....."
    ______________________________

    As I'm sure you recall, Jesus encountered similar arguments from the Pharisees who adhered to a strict legalistic interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. Was Jesus breaking the commandments by healing on the Sabbath? The Pharisees said he was. But in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told those gathered to listen that except their righteousness exceeded the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    Dec. 11, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    I am deeply sorry if the LDS stance on homosexual relationships is a trial to you, but look for the good in it. See past the restriction to understand the principle, if you can. Free Agency has never meant that we are free to find our own way, and no matter what choice we make we will be rewarded equally. That is simply not true. What kind of a test is that? Can you imagine a professor allowing any answer on the exam to translate to an "A" for the course? What if the Marines welcomed anyone to their ranks regardless of performance on their difficult assessment tests? I have many desires and appetites that I have to consciously suppress to be a faithful member of this faith, but I cherish the opportunity to grow. Be faithful. Reach. May God bless.

  • canyonwalker Reno, NV
    Dec. 11, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Re my above comment--I intended to say a "6" is solely attracted to the SAME SEX. Oops!!

  • cachondeo OCEANSIDE, CA
    Dec. 11, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    @Craig Clark, No he was not breaking commandments by healing on the sabbath. He was actually demonstrating to the Pharisees and Sadducees that the law that he was Lord over (in other words he was the one who instituted it in the first place so he had a perfect understanding of it) had been perverted over the course of time.

    I say this is black and white it is because the commandment is to abstain from actions of unchastity. There is nothing wrong with someone who inherently has desires toward the opposite sex as long as they don't act on those desires. This is the same with anyone who struggles with "natural man" or "ungodly" desires of the flesh. We all have the agency to choose how we act. Holy scripture teaches us, "...cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."

    Those who act in obedience to God's commandments will be prepared to receive eternal life. Those who choose sin wil receive everlasting death (aka spiritual death/separation from God). Which will produce unhappiness. "Wickedness never was happiness".

  • cachondeo OCEANSIDE, CA
    Dec. 11, 2012 4:05 p.m.

    So according to God homosexual practice is sin and is wickedness! This topic is not up for debate just because someone might not believe it or believe in God does not make this any less true. God is the one who makes the rules not us. This principle will NEVER change and the LDS church is the church of Jesus Christ and will promote his teachings and his commandments. Therefore the church will never capitulate due to precepts of men.

    On the flip side God has commanded all of us to "love one another; as I have loved you". So we also need to love one another and treat each other with kindness and respect despite the sins and weaknesses we all have. We shouldn't judge one another unrighteously.

    Those who practice homosexual behavior and those who judge others unrighteously or do not show love are all guilty of sin and unless repented of will be in a state of wickedness before God.

    Bottom line the church will teach us to love and respect one another, but also that homosexual behavior is wrong and God will not tolerate any wickedness in whatever form.

  • One Human Family Philadelphia, PA
    Dec. 11, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    I read the book "Born That Way" when it first came out. Sadly, it was the only book about homosexuality available at BYU at the time. This book sent me on a path of nearly a decade of therapy to overcome my sexual orientation (on top of my years of begging God daily to change me).

    Maybe this woman changed, but it is extremely rare and only in cases of bisexuality. In all my years of therapy I did not meet ONE person that had changed their sexual orientation. Not one! What I met were a lot of gay people in heterosexual relationships that were cheating on their spouses. They were very good of looking the part of a good Mormon, but both them and their spouses were miserable. How is that a good thing?! Is God really that cruel?

    If the church is truly changing, they will put people like me and my partner of 15 years and the millions like us on the website. Sadly, I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    @nightbeacon:
    "I left Mormonism... because I knew my sexual preference was never going to be reconciled to LDS dogma."

    We all have crosses to bear. Some heavier than others. People shouldn't let their crosses get the better of them. Crosses are there whether we can see them or not.

    "And I strongly disagree with the stance that it's OK to struggle as long as you don't act."

    Struggling should not be anyone's goal. Resolution should be the aim. Never say 'never' is the motto.

    "At most, I expect to hear 'let me help you see where your choices didn't serve you.'And that's enough.'

    I'm sure a serial rapist would sympathize.

    @Way of the Warrior:
    "That phrasing makes it sound like a condition, even a sickness."

    A check of the plumbing differences between male/female might illicit a conclusion that, at least, it's not normal or natural.

    @RanchHand:
    "A one-sided article with a one-sided agenda. That's what I read."

    This is a story about someone who dealt with their situation. We know the story line of those who don't.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 11, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    cachondeo,

    ".....God has commanded all of us to "love one another; as I have loved you". So we also need to love one another and treat each other with kindness and respect despite the sins and weaknesses we all have...."
    ____________________

    We might disagree on many points we've discussed here, but on that note we're in complete agreement. Best wishes and happy holidays.

    Craig Clark

  • MDM-I Beverton, OR
    Dec. 12, 2012 1:33 a.m.

    In the mental health field I find people too often seek some external explanation or compulsion for behavior - unfortunately they disempower themselves when they blame behavior solely on circumstances, biology, religion etc. Alcoholics for example can still be sober alcoholics. Or a drunk alcoholic blaming others/biology/life/religion etc. Many alcoholics still want a drink but they decide to be sober, they call a friend in the tough times or get away to avoid temptation etc. They may not choose to be an alcoholic, but they choose what to do about it. So it is with anything we struggle with. To some degree the cause of the problem isn't so much an issue as what someone decides to do about the problem. If they aren't going to do anything about it - then the cause doesn't matter. But also, whether someone else is dishonest or struggles doesn't matter to us either - what matters is what we do about our struggles whatever they may be. Ultimately it boils down to, some people struggle with this, and others struggle to be kind to people who struggle with this and both of those need to be fixed.

  • TruthTalker Crystal River, FL
    Dec. 12, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    This website is really great! For years, the LGBT community only shows one side of the story and denies that there are alternative ways to happiness. It is a welcome breath of fresh air to hear candid perspectives about this subject rather than just denials that it exists at all.

  • LaurieC Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 12, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    I'm just so grateful the Church did this website. It will help so many people!

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    I have not visited the website yet. It is good that people are thinking about this issue. I can tell you that my experience was the opposite. I married a woman first. She was my best friend. As a matter of fact she called me one days years after we separated to ask me if I felt we could have stayed together. I could tell her no without hesitation. We cared deeply for each other. We grew up 3 blocks apart. Her last words to me that day were " I will love you forever." and I was able to tell her the same. She died two days later. There will always be something missing. I sometimes dream that she is still here. How I wish I could talk to her.
    I have had a partner for 15 years. This relationship has always felt right and I wouldn't change it, except one thing. If I knew then what I know now, I would have had kids. It is to hard to ask us to be alone!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    re:Blue

    Actually Blue the LDS Church IS accepting of homosexuals - read Elder Hollands conference talk a few years back. I think what I read in your comments is someone who is angry with the fact that someone who WAS living a Lesbian lifestyle could actually change. The fact that this woman could and did change and eventually find love and happiness with a man sort of blows your entire false politically correct theory about homosexuality. I guess in your opinion this woman should have simply keep silent and told no one. Right? Very sad from your stand point. You ought to be happy for this woman and the fact that she was able to find love and happiness with her husband as well as her children. My guess is there are many who struggle with same sex attraction who will find great hope with this story.

  • gacanepa Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina
    Dec. 14, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    I do like the site, overall speaking. There are 2 things I'd change, though.
    First, the domain name. I dare not to suggest a different one, but "MormonAndGays" sounds a little bit shocking to me (I may be wrong or not, that's just my impression).
    Second, revealing the identities of people who had struggled with same gender attraction or with related transgressions is also a little bit awkward, even if they are OK with it. It is true that having "a real face" behind the story can help more than the "Name withheld" in previous publications, but I still wonders the impact that this can have on some radical members of the Church.
    Just an opinion. Just sayin'.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    "In all my years of therapy I did not meet ONE person that had changed their sexual orientation. Not one! What I met were a lot of gay people in heterosexual relationships that were cheating on their spouses. They were very good of looking the part of a good Mormon, but both them and their spouses were miserable"

    There are many people who struggle with same gender attraction who are married to someone of the opposite sex. Not all of them cheat on their spouse just as not all straight people cheat on their spouse.

  • Gattaca Pittsburgh, PA
    Dec. 14, 2012 3:42 p.m.

    Its time to remove the stigma of faithful members of the church who struggle with unwanted same sex attraction. There are more of us out there than you think.

  • germanygator Apo, AE
    Dec. 15, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    NeilT and Cats--

    You are absolutely right. It pains me to see so much focus on this topic. I'm beginning to think this is politically motivated. Why not pay the same attention to other "weaknesses" that plague us all? I was nearly kicked to the curb many years ago for a weakness and it involved nobody but myself. Where was the love and compassion that we're now being told that we need to extend to others actually involved with another person?

  • Robert Jolley El Segundo, CA
    Dec. 17, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    It may have taken 2 years to build the website but the Church should have spent longer to come up with a decent website name. Mormonsandgays? Come on...

  • Erika Salem, Utah
    Dec. 17, 2012 6:44 p.m.

    What a sweet message. Each of us struggles with something, but ultimately, we need to accept and love one another in the choices we make. We may rethink our choices at one or many points, as we learn what will make us happiest, and we all deserve and can give love and respect to each other.

  • me me me LAYTON, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 11:25 p.m.

    I love love the Church. And by that I mean the Gospel of Jesus Christ in it's fullness. Let me start by thanking this sister who addressed her audience, those that want to change. To those that say they have left the Church because it's judgmental. Can I remind you what other churches teach? It's a heaven & hell. It's black or white and somehow they think that's merciful and full of grace. And to make matters worse they say we deny Grace. Brothers and Sisters do we so quickly forget the Plan of Salvation? 3 degrees of Glory. The Church will never change it's stance. Marriage between a man and a woman is the bottom line for Exaltation. But think about where other good people will go according to our doctrine. A degree of Glory!!! All other churches condemn. The a Lord loves all of us regardless. He will let us be where we choose according to our agency. And if it's a Celestial, Terrestial, or Telestial life we want then it's what we'll get. So yes, the Lord fully loves you and you will return to live with the Savoir.

  • nanniehu Wendover, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 5:51 p.m.

    Sometimes it seems that the sexuality conversation is slanted toward the idea that our sexual choices are what make us who we are. We are sons and daughters of God first and foremost, and the life our Heavenly Father has given us is to learn to live happy. If all we do is focus on our sexuality, then we miss the opportunity to learn what He already knows about us. Taking the spiritual path, no matter how we feel about anyone else in general will always bring more peace and a sense of self worth. If our self worth is based on who we have sex with, then we live a sorry and sad life indeed.