My testimony, and why I’m against Prop. 8

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is not a comfortable opinion to have. I often worry that other members will pigeon hole the rest of my beliefs into the fact that I’m not anti-gay marriage. So let me be absolutely clear.

I believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Savior of the world, who will one day ease the suffering in the world and fix what is broken in most of us and our relationships. I believe we can turn to Him now for peace. I love the church for its community, trust in volunteer members, and its deep and inspiring theology. Almost everything good in my life has come as a direct result of my membership in the church. I love the temple. I believe I have felt the influence of God there on more than one occasion. Despite his flaws, I believe God worked through Joseph Smith. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it is good and true as much as I know that I love my wife and son.

I have tried to remain as neutral as possible on the gay marriage debate. Most of the time I just passed it off with “well, I don’t live in California, so I don’t need to make a decision.” However, as the saying goes, “the personal is political.” For me to be against gay marriage is to be against family, against good friends. How can I tell them, “You know, I love you but I really hate this particular fundamental part of who you are.” I refuse to do that. People who are lesbian or gay who want to be married did not choose their sexuality any more than I chose to be straight. So it has become a personal issue for me. If I were in California on tomorrow, I would vote no on Prop 8, because I cannot discriminate against people I love. That is how I see it. I’m not saying you need to agree.

I don’t know what will happen in the future, or what the “effects” of Prop 8 passing or failing will be. I could be misguided. I will continue to support the church and President Monson in every way that I can, and I am also grateful that the most fundamental aspect of the gospel is that of agency. While it is not easy having an opinion that is different from that of our leaders, I have disagreed with prophets in the past on polygamy and the priesthood ban, both unarguably huge issues. I am not using that as an excuse, but rather an example of how I can be a faithful member and not hate homosexuality.

I hope that my friends and family outside the church will respect my religious beliefs. I hope that my friends and family inside the church who disagree with me will be understanding and not decide that I have lost my testimony or some other temptingly easy but untrue explanation. The very least we can do with all this is allow it to make us a little softer, a little more humble, a little more patient. A little more Christlike.

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About shenpa warrior

"Patience is not learned in safety." View all posts by shenpa warrior

42 responses to “My testimony, and why I’m against Prop. 8

  • Allie

    Beautiful Adam. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Steve

    Amen! I think any religion starts to do more harm, I’m thinking Catholicism as a prime example, when they start getting too involved with politics. It gets harder and harder to seperate the religion from leaders and (supposed) Christ like attributes. As I’ve said on other blogs, either way, this is far from the last say on this, both in California and in other states.

  • Salt H2O

    Adam- In hindsight, I can rationalize a good number if issues in our church’s history that I have a hard time with- but I always come back to The Lord knows what he’s doing.

    My question is: do you think the church presidency is wrong? Do you think the Proclimation on the Family is a false document?

    I don’t think the church hates homosexuality any more than it hates adultry or lying- and none of my aquaintances and friends that support prop 8 hate homosexuals.

    I’m not trying to peer presure anyone into supporting Prop 8- and I’m definitly not trying to pressure anyone into leaving the church. I just tend to see things in black and white, and if it was me- and I thought that the church was wrong, I’d leave. So I’m genuinely curious as to why those who do disagree, stay.

  • adam

    Salt, I think a lot of your questions have been answered on your post, but I’ll share a few more of my thoughts. I guess I don’t see most things in a “100% true or I’m leaving” kind of way. Why would I leave a church that has brought so much good into my life over one or two issues that I don’t like? Why would I leave my wife because of a single issue? How could I go on living at all with all the crap that is a part of life? You get the point. I stay in the church because of reasons I listed in the post. It’s not an “all or nothing” proposition for me.

    The Lord knows what he is doing, but his followers don’t always know, including myself, Brigham Young, Bruce R. McConkie (who even admitted he was wrong on the priesthood issue) etc. etc. We’ve been taught that prophets are fallible, yet most of us refuse to believe it.

    What I want to know, sincerely, is how you (or anyone else) can view things in such dichotomous terms, i.e. ‘if the church is wrong on this issue, then I’m gone.’ Life is a lot messier to me than that. There are very few absolutely clear things in my belief system, and I outlined some of them above. The rest is all a matter of learning to sit, learning to stay with dissonance and uncertainty.

    Does that answer any of your questions?

  • wordsfromhome

    Salt, Comparing the state of being a homosexual with the acts of adultry or lying does not make sense. One chooses those behaviors. Homosexuality, what ever the cause, is hard wired in, and not just a behavioral choice. Perhaps a homosexual could choose celibacy. Some of them do. But most have the same desires as the rest of us to be in permanent loving relationships, to have someone to share with and rely on, to have stable family.
    I do indeed believe in the Proclamation on the Family. That document also suggest that the ideal family sometimes is altered by circumstances that necessitate individual adaptation. And then what about the doctrine of free agency. Can I be a good Mormon and interfere with the agency of another human being to find happiness in a relationship? I think not. Avoiding agency was not part of the plan.

  • George and WP

    There are more issues than just the priesthood ban and polygamy Salt. Our history is littered with documented errors and missteps by the Lord’s anointed. Largely, it is a history that is kept at arm’s length. Too often and for too many interpretations of the past and the corresponding view of the present are illusory. Nevertheless, for me it is a life I choose to live also. Are any of us perfect? I think not. On a whole we are really little better than Moses’ or Joshua’s flocks. I think at times we are little better than the cyclical Nephites bent on collecting fine things and getting gain. I see the tower of Rameumpton raised by some in their quest for gain and the persecution of the undocumented among us.

    Adam, I appreciate so much your maturity and understanding. I too share the love of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with you. Until that day when that which is perfect comes, and that which is in part is done away, as Paul observed, ‘we see through a glass darkly.

    Keep the faith my son! It wears well upon you.

  • G

    beautifully written, adam. I’m glad there are members like you.

  • salt h2o

    Adam,

    The more I think about what I’d like to say (and ask)- the more I realize this is a challenging conversation to have via blog- (especially bouncing between blogs)

    There’s a difference between not liking one element of the church and not agreeing with church doctrine. If there was a big piece of doctrine that I disagreed with, I’d be out- Polygamy. That’s it- Polygamy comes back and I’m gone.

    Maybe that’s why I have a hard time understanding why members of a church that feel so passionately about church doctrine being wrong, stay.

    This is a very serious topic, one that I would like to think that the presidency of the church to which I belong would not take lightly. Putting the church and it’s members in such a public and unpopular light (have you seen the new NO on 8 ad?) can’t be a decision that was made hasitly.

    If the leadership of the church did take this issue lightly- I’d be serverly disappointed, disallusioned and have to do some serious soul searching.

    Obviously the church is run by fallable men- by no means do I deem them perfect. And if this was a dinner table conversation and the Prophet expressed his opinion I’d be apt to say- “well, that’s the opinion of the man, not the Prophet” But, the churches support of prop 8 did not come about in such a manner. The proclimation on the family is very clear- especially the last paragraph. If I believe that the prophet could be wrong on such an important and emotional issue- then what gives him any credibility when he speaks about anything? Why bother having a prophet if we can pick and choose which teachings are true and which are not? Why bother having a church?

    This is a conversation that I doubt will ever be resolved. But I’m glad you and your sister are my blog friends- and open to dialouge. I enjoy unique thought, and a different perspective- Like I said, I see things in black and white- I’m trying to understand those that see it in gray.

  • hmr

    What strength, what faith, what courage to trust that your family, your friends, your church will hold you and believe in you when you walk their line and when you walk your own.

  • Allie

    If polygamy came back, it would try my faith. Much like the church’s support of prop 8 has.

    I don’t think I would leave the church though.

    This may be a double standard, but my mind has somehow worked it out that I can believe the proclamation on the family is an inspired document, and also not support prop 8.

  • Steve

    Well said. I can only respect your position on this issue, and I agree with the bulk of your arguments. This issue is, for me as well, a difficult one and I have also tended to step around it when asked. But precisely because I have a healthy amount of respect for anything you say (even when I disagree) because I know it will be well-thought out and maturely stated, I decided to venture a reply. I'll try not to be TOO long winded. 😉

    There are two points that are difficult for me to ignore. First, is it really not someone's choice to be gay? I have a hard time accepting that God would give a commandment to His children and then hard wire some of them to not have a choice but to break it. Just because someone has a genetic disposition toward anger doesn't mean it's okay to beat his wife. He still has that choice. And while I am not equating homosexuality with spousal abuse, I can't accept a genetic disposition toward one behavior as a good enough reason to justify engaging in an act that is clearly immoral. Please don't extend that to mean that I advocate requiring people to conform to my definition of what is moral. I do not. But I respectfully reject the idea that one's genetic makeup somehow trumps one's ability to choose. It strikes me as a weak excuse for not doing something difficult — however difficult that may be for some people. It is an excuse that is as contrary to the principle of agency as are attempts to force those same people to choose heterosexuality.

    The second issue is I believe that as immoral activities become more prevalent, a society becomes weaker. As a member of society, I feel an obligation to stand against such behaviors. Provided that I don't take my stance so far as to take away someone's God-given right to make their own choice between the good and the evil. But I do think I have a right to engage in a dialogue and let them know the reasons I think it's a bad choice.

    My homosexual friends know how I feel about their lifestyle choice. At the same time, I hope they also know how I feel about them as people. I hope they understand that I love them and support them regardless. I think they do. If they do not, then I have failed and need to reevaluate my approach on this issue.

    How would I vote on Proposition 8? To be honest, I would probably vote for it because I see it more as a statement than something that will determine what people can and can't do. Perhaps I'm misinformed in the details of the legislation. More generally, I support society making a statement against what I believe is an immoral behavior, but I do not support society taking away the rights of others to make their own choices.

    Oh, and as an aside, I would never question your testimony because of your politics! I don't know if you remember this, but I still recall sitting on a train going to Zone Taikai and chatting with you. You shared a scripture — D&C 58:3-4 — and we talked about it a little. I was very impressed with how much concern you seemed to have for those you were working with at the time. You are perhaps one of the more compassionate people I know, and that's an example that has remained with me. Your dedication to your religion is not something I would ever question.

    I was having a discussion about this topic the other day with a friend. She somehow felt that her temple recommend might be called into question because she disagrees with Proposition 8. I lament that there seems to be this idea running around in the church. We should rejoice in the fact that we have a religion that respects agency and allows us to do our best to follow the doctrines, and apply them in our situations the way we see best, even if that might be different than a particular political stance that the church as an institution has taken.

  • tara

    are you the antichrist?? oh wait, that’s obama…oh wait…i’m totally kidding on counts. andy and i love you guys no matter how you stand on ellen’s marriage 🙂 way to go buddy

  • adam

    🙂 Tara, your comment looks really bad in the recent comments in the sidebar, lol.

    We love you guys too and we appreciate your friendship.

  • adam

    salt h2o

    “If there was a big piece of doctrine that I disagreed with, I’d be out”

    For me, I don’t know if I could leave everything good behind despite one doctrine, although polygamy may be one that would cause me to leave. Who knows? Currently though despite my pro-gay marriage view, I won’t leave a church I love over it, the result of which would be a denial of so many other parts of myself. So, for me it’s a matter of learning to sit and be patient with dissonance, rather than medicating it.

    hmr

    Thank you for your understanding and friendship. I have highly valued our conversations, and have learned much.

    steve

    “First, is it really not someone’s choice to be gay?”

    I believe (and some of the Brethren have conceded this point as well I think) that some people are “hardwired” to be gay. I also believe in a spectrum of sexual orientation, including nurture (of the nature vs. nurture argument) for many people.

    “Please don’t extend that to mean that I advocate requiring people to conform to my definition of what is moral. I do not.”

    Neither do I. I have personal moral beliefs. Salt h2o has often mentioned the church’s proclamation on the family here, and I believe it for my family. I cannot enforce it upon someone else. I am also open to further revelation. I don’t know what will happen. Perhaps someday there will be a revelation that gay people can be accepted in full fellowship in the church, along with their partners. Perhaps not. If there is, I will rejoice. If not, I will continue to sit with all the good as well as that which is difficult, and go on trying to serve and love others.

    “But I respectfully reject the idea that one’s genetic makeup somehow trumps one’s ability to choose.”

    I always believe in the ability to choose. In this case, I don’t think it is not a matter of choosing one’s orientation, but choosing one’s actions. Many gay people want the right to marry just like many straight people want to get married.

    A few years ago I read an interview with a gay man who described his first date with his partner, and how excited he was. It opened my eyes to the fact that gay people have experiences and hopes and dreams and excitement and emotional ups and downs with dating just like straight people do. Duh, right? So many people think being gay is just about having sex or not, but it is so much more than that, just like it is for being straight. There is so much we can learn about each other.

    So, regarding choice, a gay person can “choose” to be alone for the rest of their lives, or they can live like the rest of us with the hope or the realization of a long-lasting and securely-attached relationship. All that being said, I don’t agree at all with some homosexual behaviors as well as some heterosexual behaviors. I believe there are immoral and moral people on both sides.

    “I do think I have a right to engage in a dialogue and let them know the reasons I think it’s a bad choice.”

    I am glad we all have this right. I love this country for that.

    Steve, thanks for your thorough and thoughtful comment. I highly value our friendship, and I will never forget those days riding on the train, or working with you when you visited Yamaguchi, or talking with you about that scripture from the D&C. I look forward to more of these dialogues in the future!

  • Hill Family

    Thanks for sharing! Although I sometimes disagree with you, I really enjoy reading all your posts. They’ve given me a lot of food for thought. 🙂 And I always appreciate how considerate and fair you are to those who have posted differing beliefs. Chieko Okazaki once said, “If we both thought alike, one of us would be unnecessary.” As a stay at home mom who doesn’t get out much, I’m really diggin’ the chance to read what other necessary people are thinking. 🙂

  • adam

    Thanks hill family. 🙂 I am glad you sometimes disagree, also that we can all discuss and interact on these issues without manipulation, while having a desire to at least learn and try to understand.

  • k8

    i landed here from Kory’s blog and I have to say bravo to this entry. I feel much the same way you do but have been too chicken to say much. Thanks for having some guts.

  • adam

    Thanks k8. The support is nice. It is hard “coming out” (so to speak) to some of my LDS friends, as some want to argue and probably wonder if I didn’t sing “follow the prophet” in primary enough.

    At the same time, I have been able to differentiate myself from the views of other members, and really internalize my faith, which has been amazing lately. While I was probably more “converted” on my mission, I have never felt a more “personal” connection to my beliefs in my life.

  • derekstaff

    Nice post, Adam. What I find interesting is how many people conflate disagreement over policy and disagreement over doctrine. They seem to assume that disagreeing with the Church's decision to aggressively support Prop 8 means one disagrees with the Proclamation or the Church's definition of marriage. The two are not one and the same. While I question how homosexual relationships can be wrong if it is indeed "hardwired," as at least some of the GA's have conceded (which is a change from past leaders), I am willing to accept that as part of the doctrine. I will not challenge the Church on that issue. I will challenge the morality of actively campaigning to force that definition on all religions and all people in California (or the U.S, if the Constitutional amendment they support were to move forward). Their choice directly opposes the freedom of religion and conscience canonized in the BofM, D&C, AofF, and so vigorously championed by the early Church leaders when it was our faith facing legal coercion. We should have the integrity to support the same principles when the shoe is on the other foot. The Church's involvement on Prop 8 is a stain on the integrity of our Church.

  • Sherpa

    Thank you Adam. I took the Prop 8 isn’t in my state position also. But, I was conflicted through all of this too. But I would have voted against it also, and I feel at peace with my decision. I haven’t read all the comements, but I relate to your reasoning. Thanks for “coming out.”

  • Dr. Doyle

    I always thought that the church was going to stay out of politics and that they would never tell the members to vote one way or another. Did they do that? I haven’t been in the US for a while, so I really have no idea what has been said and what hasn’t. What really happened?

  • adam

    I don’t know if I’m the best person to ask, but to answer your question, it seemed clear to me that the church was indeed asking members to support a political stance. Of course, that is always given with the caveat that the church thinks it is okay to get involved in politics if it is a “moral” issue, but that idea in itself confuses me because I think a LOT of political issues are moral issues.

    It has not been easy being in a position where I love my faith, and also feel that I cannot comfortably exercise my right to vote according to my own conscience.

  • Amy

    I am so grateful for this post. I was thinking I might be the only LDS person who is against Prop 8. Thank you so much for having the courage to write this. I find myself now much more able to be comforable with my testimony and my decision on gay marriage.

  • adam

    Thanks Amy.

    That is great, and for what it’s worth, there are quite a few of us. 🙂

  • derekstaff

    I’m glad you found this, Amy. It is aweful to feel alone and isolated in something like this. As Adam mentioned, there are many of us. I’ve discussed the issue several times on my own blog, particularly when there was a push for a federal marriage amendment. There has been a great deal of discussion on the topic and support for legalized homosexual marriage on the blog Feminist Mormon Housewives. You are in good company.

  • subwarrior

    While I cannot help but admire the path of a seeker, the question becomes is one a true seeker or false seeker. A false seeker never finds the truth, for the same reason a thief does not find the policeman, because he does not want to! Now, I think you will agree with me that there is no gay gene. Understanding that this is still a fact after the human genome research leads one to question what evidence is there to support homosexuality is innate and not a choice. Well, there certainly is the very subjective evidence of homosexual practitioners themselves who ardently plead that they are helpless victims. Are we surprised that they swear this is not a choice but innate? Does not Paul say that when we choose to sin, we become the servants of sin? Therefore, what a person chooses to do is their master, and their fealty and loyalty is to their master! Why do we wonder at the strident voices of homosexuals demanding that we worship their master (their misguided and harmful lusts) as they do? They have no choice in the matter, they are merely subjects of the abomination they have given themselves to. As a mormon, does your bible not say that those who do such things are worthy of death? Do you study your bible, or exactly what is it’s purpose in your life? Are you really a mormon, or are you of the show up at church, do nothing else, and call myself a mormon variety?

    I am interested in your response, and wish you all the best in your quest for truth, justice, and what is right, if that indeed is the quest you are on.

  • adam

    subwarrior, thanks for keeping this old thread alive. I welcome you to the conversation, and appreciate your willingness to engage a little.

    “the question becomes is one a true seeker or false seeker.”By this, do you mean someone who is looking to find what is false? e.g. we all find what we are looking for. Is that what you mean?

    “Now, I think you will agree with me that there is no gay gene.”Honestly, I don’t know enough about genes to say either way. Whether there is or not doesn’t concern me very much, however. Are you saying that the presence of a “gay gene” would validate gay marriage, for example? Fwiw, I believe in a spectrum of sexual orientation, e.g. the Kinsey Scale.

    “subjective evidence of homosexual practitioners themselves who ardently plead that they are helpless victims.”Perhaps some do (I don’t know), but I personally do not know any gay people who consider themselves victims. However, I will freely admit that you and I (and everyone else) no doubt have had very different backgrounds, and come from a different set of life experiences, so I can’t speak for your experience.

    “Are we surprised that they swear this is not a choice but innate?”I agree with you here. I am not surprised. I am also not surprised that I swear my sexuality is also innate.

    “Does not Paul say that when we choose to sin, we become the servants of sin?”What kind of background are you coming from? This is important for me because it is obviously a different experience whether one is talking with a Protestant, Zen Buddhist, Catholic, Calvinist, atheist, Mormon, etc. If you could share with me a little bit about your worldview and theological basis, I would be able to understand you a little better.

    “Why do we wonder at the strident voices of homosexuals demanding that we worship their master (their misguided and harmful lusts) as they do?”I have not wondered at that, and have not felt that they force me to worship harmful lusts. Also, I think it is misguided to assume that “homosexuals” are one homogenous (no pun intended) group. None of the “homosexuals” that I know demand my worship of their “master.” Once again, that is my experience. I can’t say the same for yours.

    “As a mormon, does your bible not say that those who do such things are worthy of death?”This question is manipulative. Is there a way you can rephrase? I appreciate your patience.

    “Do you study your bible, or exactly what is it’s purpose in your life?”By “your bible” I’m assuming you are referring to the KJV? Perhaps you have a different bible? For what it’s worth, I do read the bible, and have read it multiple times. I have to admit, I do like some parts more than others. For example, I love the books of James, Isaiah, Revelation, much of the gospels… For more bible discussion, however, I would need to know again more of where you are coming from. If you are a Christian who believes in Sola Scriptura, or the Bible to be infallible, it may be more difficult to really understand each other, imho. My point being, I just don’t want to talk AT each other, which often happens online.

    “Are you really a mormon”Affirmative. And I do a lot more with it than just show up at church. 😉

    “wish you all the best in your quest for truth, justice, and what is right”I wish you the same, subwarrior. May you be free from suffering and the root of suffering. May you find happiness and the root of happiness.

  • Allie

    Lack of evidence over a specific “gay gene” hasn’t stopped church leaders (Elder Oaks specifically) from stating that homosexual feelings may be inborn.

  • ScottyDoo

    @Steve (Comment #11) – My Aunt actually did lose her temple recommend over her stance on Prop8. She is the proud mother of 2 gay sons and supports them unconditionally. She would post No-On-8 related material on her facebook page and openly discussed how she believed in marriage equality, etc, etc.

    A few women from her ward who are friends on her page basically “turned her in” to the Bishop. He called her in and asked her what her view was on Prop8. She told him. He asked if she understood that it was in direct opposition to that of the church. She stated that she understood. He then asked for her recommend and released her from her callings and said they would let her know if there were to be any further discussion on the matter.

  • Anonymous

    Hello Adam,
    I am not a little impressed at the grace of your response. It is not often that one can answer the questions posed in such a patient and understanding manner.

    The first question I asked about whether one was a true of false seeker was questioning the truth of your search. With the evidence (biblical teaching, absence of conclusive proof of homosexualities inherentness, and the anguished stories of those who practiced and tearfully turned back to heterosexuality after repenting) strongly endorsing the assertion that homosexuality is indeed a choice, and that those who strongly proclaim otherwise do so out of their lust, out of their ignorance, or out of a simple spiteful dislike of religion at large (which in some cases may or may not be justified) it is hard to justify proponents of homosexual marriage.

    I do believe that the discovery of a gay gene would completely validate gay marriage. For it would prove that those who practice this do indeed have no choice in the matter. I am very careful to differentiate between a gene and the feelings of an individual. I do not doubt there are those who are attracted to persons of the same sex, just as I do not doubt a married man can be attracted to an attractive member of the opposite sex, or that a young single male can be seriously attracted to a young, single woman. I think we agree that adultery, and fornication are sins and those who do such things will not be going to Heaven. So if we agree on this, why do we disagree on condemning the acting on the sinful desires of homosexuality? Simply having a sinful desire is not wrong at all. James says it is good, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for he shall inherit the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them which love him”. Enduring temptation means not giving in.

  • Anonymous

    While I am as familiar as I want to be with the Kinsey scale, I will take the bible’s laws anyday over the findings of a man whose life is not gauranteed in the least to be godly, holy, or pure at all. God never intended the human sexual experience to be broadcast everywhere. This way, if things were done God’s way a man would only know his wife, and vice versa. Then there wouldn’t be all this longing for what we shouldn’t know about to begin with. To constantly inundate ourselves with the sensuality which is pervasive in our culture, and to learn of others sexual experiences, makes it near impossible to keep oneself faithful in ones marriage (without the vices of adultery, fornication, pornography, etc) or to keep oneself celibate, with absolutely no sex outside of marriage. Since we are what we think, we will engage in these sins if we think about them long enough. We are not helpless victims, but the masters of the kingdoms that are our minds. The thoughts we permit become the actions, habits, and destinies we create.

    When I say homosexual practitioners are victims I mean they refuse to acknowledge that they have the power to deny this action. So because they say they cannot change, they are victims. As we know there is no help for a victim, but only for the person who is responsible and honest and acknowledges that they can change and be anything if they desire to.

    As to my background, my exact religion will not contribute much to this discussion, but sola scriptura is a wonderful way to describe my beliefs. Though I fervently believe in the church I attend, I am not afraid to challenge even this church on any teaching that contradicts the bible. I have done so too. As Martin Luther so eloquently stated (he who originated the sola scriptura approach) “A simple layman armed with scripture, is to be believed above a priest, a cardinal, or a pope without it”

  • Anonymous

    I should explain when I say that homosexuals demand we worship their master. When I say this I do not mean worship them, but rather they demand that we join them in condoning their behavior and choice and give it the endorsement of marriage. That is what I mean by worshipping their master.

    I certainly did not mean to pose a manipulative question, but from what I understand of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you believe in the bible. As such, the bible does contain passages in Romans, among other places specifically stating that God’s view of the practice of homosexuality is that not only those who practice it, but also those who take pleasure in them are worthy of death. This certainly is not saying a man should be put to death in this world, but to face eternal death is more terrifying to me. So if you are a mormon, and you believe in the bible, then how do you reconcile God’s teaching on the subject with your beliefs as stated on this website?

    I am speaking of the KJV and as you queried, I do believe the bible to be infallible, though if you have evidence indicating otherwise I am all ears.

    I appreciate your kind wishes, return them,wish you a wonderful day, and look forward to your response.

  • adam

    ScottyDoo #29 Thanks for your input. I just looked at your blog and it appears we have a lot in common! I look forward to perusing it more.

    As for the case of your aunt, that is really sad, imo. I have known people who have been called in to speak with the bishop or Stake President, but for the most part they have had good experiences, with no recommends taken away. I am sorry her bishop was that afraid of her having a different view. Sometimes I wish we had a more inclusive stance.

  • George

    Biblical scholars have not formed a consensus over Paul’s letter to the Romans and it is unclear in my mind what his intent was in writing it other than to say we have all come short of Jesus. Further, it is not clear that Paul was condemning homosexuality among consenting individuals or was he critical of choreographed and organized temple homosexual activities.

    Passages have been mistranslated and certainly the bias and phobias of the translators are evident in many verses. Christian conservatives and radicals are not unlike their counterparts in Islam in interpretation of the Sharia or the Koran. This has given rise to slavery, the inequality and poor treatment of women, and harsh punishments for transgressors, that in my opinion are contrary to the teachings of both Jesus and Muhammad. The Taliban and fundamentalist Christians are fellow travelers on the train of bigotry, race relations and homophobia. Just my confessed liberal opinions here.

  • adam

    Anonymous (aka subwarrior)Obviously we disagree on whether or not sexual orientation is a choice. I don’t think it is. For the most part, I agree that behavior is a choice regardless of orientation, but honestly I don’t know a single gay person who chose to be gay. I have even known a few who would have “chosen” heterosexuality if they felt there was a choice in the matter. Let’s let this one rest, because I don’t think it will get us anywhere.

    You are, however, welcome to question the truthyness of anything I say. I welcome it, even if I don’t have good answers.

    “why do we disagree on condemning the acting on the sinful desires of homosexuality?”I’m not sure I can give you a satisfactory answer. But, I don’t think the way you seem to be going about it (i.e. condemning) will truly win any hearts.

    People do not truly repent or grow from being condemned. They grow from being validated and loved. But perhaps we differ here. If people do change when they’re condemned, it’s out of fear. It’s not real growth.

    “To constantly inundate ourselves with the sensuality which is pervasive in our culture”I think we agree here. I believe that we largely become what we think about, most of the time. Isn’t it great we have some common ground?

    “When I say homosexual practitioners are victims I mean they refuse to acknowledge that they have the power to deny this action.”I don’t think they refuse to acknowledge it. If they do, I don’t agree. Well, that’s based on my own experience, i.e. I fully acknowledge that I have the power to deny myself of any kind of sexual relationship.

    “sola scriptura is a wonderful way to describe my beliefs.”When you say you believe the bible to be infallible, are you referring to “the message” of the Bible, or the words? This makes a big difference. If you believe that the message of the Bible is infallible than you would have to believe that the words used may not be understood completely or that translations of the infallible message may be mistranslated at times…

    My question to you is, why are there so many disagreements (amongst believers) on a document that is supposedly infallible? I mean that sincerely.

    they demand that we join them in condoning their behavior and choice and give it the endorsement of marriage.

    Of course they do. This is no surprise, as when any group feels discriminated against they are sure to rise up and demand their rights. This issue is bigger than the lgbt community.

    “The bible does contain passages in Romans, among other places specifically stating that God’s view of the practice of homosexuality is that not only those who practice it, but also those who take pleasure in them are worthy of death.”The bible also says children who disobey their parents should be put to death, but that’s not the point. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. *grin*

    “So if you are a mormon, and you believe in the bible, then how do you reconcile God’s teaching on the subject with your beliefs”This is where I am not sure we can really connect. What does it mean to “believe in the bible?” I don’t (obviously, as a mormon) believe the Bible to be infallible.

    As for reconciliation, that is a good question. What to do with dissonance? I believe God is good and knows what is going on. If there is a God, and I am wrong on this, then I am more than willing to let him someday explain it to me.

    Really though, I think everyone must deal with dissonance to some extent, especially those who believe in the bible, as it contains so many contradictions. If you don’t agree on that, then we can move on…

    Thanks again for the discussion.

  • derekstaff

    Homosexuals do not demand that we “worship their master.” They demand we allow them the right of conscience to determine for themselves who is their master and how they can best serve that master–just as mainstream Christians and Mormons each demand that same right. The issue of whether or not the Bible condones homosexual relationships is irrelevant. Neither conservative Christian faiths nor the Mormon faith have to perform or permit homosexual marriages, or accept those who engage in homosexual relationships within our faith, whether those relationships are marriage or not. What is relevant is allowing individuals and organizations the right to make those moral determinations. If we deny them that right, and force our belief regarding marriage on them, we betray the concept of liberty and freedom of conscience upon which this nation was founded.

  • adam

    Thanks derek, you said that much better than I could have.

  • ron

    I’ve enjoyed skimming through this thread….when I have more time I will give it more attention. I have two comments to add:

    A man much wiser than I, once noted that homosexuality is the easiest behavior to condemn because most of humanity is never tempted by it. In response, C.S. Lewis refused to judge any behavior he would never be tempted by because he could never truly empathize.

    He was right – lying (unless under oath) is not illegal. Is is a sin we all are tempted by and a behavior everyone of us has committed, but many of us shrug our shoulders when we hear about another congressman or lawyer lying. I believe we are much less likely to cast the first stone when we can empathize with the person we consider to be a sinner. Indeed, the former Rev. Haggard would have never been asked to step down from his position for being a liar – but he had no choice after engaging in homosexual acts.

    Secondly, God provides all of us the option to live our lives in any manner we choose. So unless a person is endangering themselves or others, who are we to decide whether we should allow the behavior/choice of a fellow human being in our society?

    Rather than being concerned about society or moral integrity or the soul of others, I think we like to sit in the seat of judgment towards others who are different from us because it provides us with a feeling of control and security. Thankfully, Christ has a different requirement for Christians – instead of judgment we are called to love and care for others.

    Thanks for reading.

    -R

  • derekstaff

    A man much wiser than I, once noted that homosexuality is the easiest behavior to condemn because most of humanity is never tempted by it.Ron, I’ve long been bemused by this exact fact. The thing that should make us most hesitant to judge it the very thing that makes it so easy for so many to judge.

    IMO, it may well be that homosexual activity is innately sinful, as so much of conservative Christianity suggests. But it also may well be that the entire issue boils down to xenophobia; fear and hate of things which seem foreign to us.

    In either case, I think the key is empathy and brotherly kindness, not scorn and ostracism.

  • adamf

    Please note:The discussion on the Bible and related stuff has moved here.If you have any thoughts related to gay marriage, Prop. 8, discrimination, kindness, or equality, please leave a comment. Comments from all sides of the spectrum are welcome, keeping politeness in mind. Thanks!

  • Loni

    I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet. I know that the Proclamation is an inspired document and comes from Heavenly Father to his children. I know that this is the only true church on the planet. The people are not perfect, but the church is.

    I have a relative who was made fun of on his mission for having homosexual flairs. He’s gifted musically, and just seems really metro.

    He went and talked to his mission president and made the decision that he was never going to chose a homosexual lifestyle. I just talked to him on thursday and he has been married for over 20 years to a beautiful woman who has been the bread winner for the majority of the marriage.

    His three children are all on missions now around the world, and he has just been made a Bishop in the church.

    It is possible! The Lord does help those who put their faith in him. He loves us all, and wants us to make righteous decisions, some of which are more difficult than others.

    Those who are gay and would like to be married will never be able to have a natural family. Heavenly Father wants us to know his doctrine on it so that we are not confused.

    How I love Heavenly Father for all the help he’s given me! Especially through his chosen prophets.

  • adamf

    Loni, thanks for the comment/testimony. We have much in common, and I’m sure we disagree on some things as well.

    I’m not sure what you are getting at re: your relative, and “it is possible”. It sounds like you are equating that being feminine or a “metro” is akin to being gay. I strongly disagree.

    Also it seems like you are suggesting that if people are just more righteous then they will be “cured” so they can have a “normal” family. If this is NOT what you mean, then great, but if it is, we will just have to disagree. Some people are what they are in life regardless of their efforts or choices. Some people face great challenges in life, and are never relieved of those challenges during their lifetime. Some are gay, some are straight, some are in between somewhere, some are mentally ill, some are missing an arm, some were drafted into Vietnam, some had horrible parents, some had great parents. etc. you get the point. We all need to be doing the best we can with what we have been given.

    MANY, and I cannot emphasize this strongly enough, are unable to have a “natural” family, no matter their sexual orientation. There is more than one family type, and Heavenly Father loves all of them. I wish you the best on your journey.

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