Monday, June 11, 2007

Reconciliation with church doctrine

"... our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married." Gordon B. Hinckley, October 1999 General Conference

To remain active and in full fellowship in the LDS church, we must be willing accept that any sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is forbidden. For the gay Mormon who wishes to remain active in the church, this leaves two choices: A life of celibacy or a mixed orientation marriage.

So, for those who have chosen one of these paths, how do you reconcile being gay with church doctrine?

Let the commenting begin ...

9 comments:

Scot said...

Forgive me if I'm a bit off track here, but I've been wondering about something related.

To me, both those choices are reconciled with the current doctrine. The main difference between them, as far as life in the church goes and from this outsider’s perspective, seems to be that a gay man who chooses celibacy can’t really progress too far in the church leadership. Is this true? I mean, can you have a never-married, celibate president of the LDS church? General Authority? Is celibacy any detriment to the LDS man (in addition to being celibate ;-)) or am I just making an assumption here?

Abelard Enigma said...

Unfortunately, that is true. You have to have been married in the Temple to be a Bishop

Brady said...

Callings and church service all the way down to Bishop of the local congregation require marriage. As far as I can tell, a reason for this is not given.

Abelard Enigma said...

FWIW, this is what Elder Dallin H. Oaks said in the interview that he and Elder Lance B. Wickman had with the church public affairs office:

To me that means that a person with these inclinations, where they’re kept under control, or, if yielded to are appropriately repented of, is eligible to do anything in the Church that can be done by any member of the Church who is single. Occasionally, there’s an office, like the office of bishop, where a person must be married. But that’s rather the exception in the Church. Every teaching position, every missionary position can be held by single people. We welcome to that kind of service people who are struggling with any kind of temptation when the struggle is a good struggle and they are living so as to be appropriate teachers, or missionaries, or whatever the calling may be.

Brett said...

I don't think those two options are the only two options. There's no reason that some people cannot and should not honestly attempt reorientation/reparative therapies that can be beneficial and effective. While criticism abounds of such efforts, there genuinely are some who have experienced significant shift in their orientation.

That doesn't mean everyone will and that these other two options aren't also positive options, they they certainly aren't the only two.

Abelard Enigma said...

point taken

Abelard Enigma said...

Although, thinking about this a bit more, if a person has successfully undergone reorientation/reparative therapy, are they still considered gay?

Or, to put it another way, do these discussions apply for someone who has successfully undergone reorientation/reparative therapy?

Brett said...

Yeah, I think so. Especially if your talking about *options* for gay people. To expect that your future can consist only of the alternatives of celibacy or a MOM where perception is that sexual intimacy is forced or non-existent can be discouraging. Those for whom reorientation therapies have been of benefit may no longer identify as gay--even if the still experience some homosexual attraction--but they still come from a background in which many here will resonate, and possibly find hope in the way additional options have manifest themselves in the lives of some who have experienced this issue.

Wow, that seemed really wordy...

Chris said...

I talked about this topic in my latest blog post. Feel free to check it out if you want.