He opens his scriptures - because that is what we teach young people to do. He turns to the Topical Guide - because that is where we teach young people to go; and, he looks up homosexuality.
He reads about homosexuality being the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. He reads about men lusting after men going after strange flesh. None of this is new, he's heard these things before. At the bottom it says "See also". He turns to
2 Timothy 3:3He then turns to
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good
2 Peter 2:10These, he concludes, must be the attributes of homosexuals.
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
- without natural affection
- false accusers
- despisers of those that are good
- walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness
- despise government
- not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
2 Nephi 9:40The words he is reading are harsh - but they must be true, it's right there in the scriptures. Homosexuals are evil, undeserving of God's love.
O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.
He falls to his knees, shaking and praying to God in heaven to take these feelings from him. A prayer he has uttered many times before. He climbs into bed, and cries himself to sleep - wondering why God is ignoring him. Is he too unclean? Is he not righteous enough?
* * *
Unknown to him, God will not heal him - because there is nothing wrong with him. A truth that Mary Griffith finally realized after her son Bobby killed himself - because he could not reconcile his religious faith and his sexual feelings. We will never hear this in church, however, because these are the truths that every Latter-Day Saint carries with them.
The problem is, none of these verses have anything to do with homosexuality. The only tie to homosexuality is in the Topical Guide. In other words, someone decided that these verses describe homosexuals - and if we consider it harsh then we're not righteous. Why else would they have included these verses in the Topical Guide under "Homosexuality" - how else can this be interpreted?
But, the bigger problem is . . . it's not truth! Are there homosexuals for whom those verses would be an accurate description? Absolutely! But, I venture to say that there are probably more heterosexuals described by those verses. The apostles of old were describing the unrighteous. Being a homosexual does not automatically make you unrighteous!
It's not my intent to disparage the brethren. Although I have some serious disagreement with their views on homosexuality - I believe that they are good righteous men who are just trying to do the right thing - their view of 'right'.
The Topical Guide has been around for a long time (around 1980, if memory serves). It reflects the general attitude that society had at the time for homosexuals. It reflects the attitude I had for homosexuals - which is why it was so difficult and took me so long to accept that I . . . am a homosexual.
Times have changed - unfortunately, the Topical Guide has not. Maybe it's time for an updated version of the Topical Guide.