Sunday, January 24, 2010


Alot of us mohos feel stuck between being gay and being in the church -- we feel like we have to pick one and leave the other behind. We can either follow the commandment to not be gay (for simplicity's sake, that's how I'll word it) or the commandment to have joy and have a happy family (albeit with two dads!)...but either way we have to choose between two conflicting things.  But today in church I had a thought...this isn't the only time anyone has had to choose between two commandments that conflict with each other.  We were talking about the Fall of Adam and how Adam and Eve had to choose between obedience (not eating the fruit) or disobedience (eating the fruit) to be able to obey another commandment (multiply and replenish the earth). Or how about Nephi, when he had to choose between "thou shalt not kill" or "it is better for one man to perish than an entire nation to dwindle in unbelief" or however it goes. I'm sure I'm teaching false doctrine here, but it seems to me that there are times when certain commandments apply to some people but not others, or when certain commandments have to be disobeyed to follow more important ones.  Couldn't that be applied to gay Mormons that want a loving monogamous relationship??


The Elders Quorum lesson was on a talk from Elder Bednar (I think!) from the last conference (I think! see how much I pay attention in church) that focused on being better family members.  One of his points was that we should tell those we are close to that we love them more often.  Most of the time our loved ones know we love them, but it is important for them to hear it from us too. The same goes for close friends too, makes me feel really good when a close friend tells me he loves me and how much he means to me.  So I'm going to try to do more of that :)


So I talked to my friend. Didn't really go anywhere. It's hard to communicate with him and figure out what's going on inside his head. So frustrating.


A good number of people read, skim, or at least look at my blog.  But I don't know who you most of you are! I don't always leave comments on the blogs I read, so I'm not asking everyone to leave a comment, but let me know who you are somehow! My email address is on my blogger profile, my twitter is in the sidebar, and if you know me personally you're probably my facebook friend.  Whether you're out or in, friend or foe, moho or just somebody's mom, say hi or ask me a question that i can answer in another blog post!


Hidden said...

Faithfully reading. As always.

Mister Curie said...

Hey! Interesting post on the conflicting commandments. I'm a disaffected Mormon (initially for reasons other than homosexuality), who recently realized I am gay. I am married to a woman and we have a son. Just thought I'd let you know that you're on my Google reader and I'm interested in following your journey.

Amy Grigg said...

Not sure I agree with you on the conflicting commandments thing, but I think I'll have to think about exactly why.
Anyway, I read.

El Genio said...

Your note about conflicting commandments makes sense to me. Then again, I'm at the stage where I am doing what I think is best for ME. I don't really care about what others say the commandments are any more.

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Great argument comparing the Eden paradox to ours! It happens more often than people think (e.g., when a parent tells a child to perform labor--on Sunday). The truth is rarely so black and white as modern mainstream Mormons would have it.

JonJon said...

Funny that you ask that question about how the story of Adam and Eve and Nephi killing Laban applies to being gay and mormon. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I think there's something there and it's worth exploring. Not sure if you read the blog Young Stranger ( but he is an example of someone who is still active in church and is married to his husband. I don't think that's the answer for everyone, but I think too often we try to confine ourselves to paths that are already well trodden (stay in the church and pretend to be straight or be gay and totally leave the church behind). I think there are more options than that and it's up to each of us to explore and figure out what will work best for us. And what works best will probably change over time. Nice thought provoking post!!

darkdrearywilderness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

There's a certain blogger who, on more than one occasion, has accused me of rationalizing away my testimony and faith in order to pursue a same-sex relationship with a guilt-free conscience.

I don't agree with that blogger. However, I'm going to play his advocate for a second, but tweak the argument a little. Are you trying to rationalize homosexual marriage in an attempt to reconcile your personal desires with your testimony and faith?

Personally, I'm not the type that wants to bend the gospel to fit me. Even if I tried to bend the doctrine to fit my fancies, I feel that the church would NEVER condone homosexual behavior--even within the bonds of marriage. I think that Adam and Nephi were in very special circumstances. Their decisions affected millions of lives. I wonder if same-sex marriage is on that level of importance.

I feel that until the church officially says same-sex marriage is okay, we have to assume that it's not.

Sorry to put a negative spin on your very thought-provoking scriptural interpretation.

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Perhaps I am also rationalizing my testimony away, but I don't see things as clear cut as Boskers does. I don't have time to go into detail, but here's the thing: The Church's position on homosexuality has contradicted itself so many times, I don't see how I personally could accept it as being from God -- a Being who surely never contradicts Himself. For me at least, I need to know the truth for myself.

As for the claim that homosexuality is contrary to doctrine, I believe that God has a place even for His gay children in His *universal* plan of happiness. Let's not forget that at one point, the Church's marriage doctrine was interpreted as requiring polygamy for exaltation. The fact is, mainstream Mormons regularly pass off prejudice-based dogma for doctrine--in the name of faith. And that, for me at least, is not really 'faith' at all.

Boskers says the analogy doesn't hold because the dilemmas faced by both Adam and Nephi affected millions of people. But what about the eleven year old whose parents ask him to do labor on Sunday? This quandary affects very few, and yet is that boy not also caught between two apparently contradictory commandments? This sort of thing isn't rare or earth-shaking: it happens all the time, to all sorts of people (including myself).

Ben said...

Touche, Frank. You're right. I do see things in black and white when it comes to the church vs homosexuality.

Even if the church used to require polygamous marriage in order to achieve celestial glory, it sure as heck doesn't now. If a man were to marry more than one woman and rationalize his actions saying that he prayed about it and the "Spirit constrained him", the church would still condemn him.

The church encourages seeking personal revelation, but any revelation that an individual receives that goes against the *current* fundamental beliefs of the church will be condemned, no matter how powerful and real it was (look at Emma Smith!).

Yes, the church changes its stance every so often. That's why they call it the "living gospel." However, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the church to accept same-sex marriage. I'm not saying I think it will never change. I just think that if it's going to happen, it's not going to be while I'm still young.

As for the boy being torn between obeying his father and mother and not working on Sunday--I fail to see how desiring gay marriage can be compared to desiring to follow a commandment. You make a valid point that the boy is torn, but from my view-point, gay marriage doesn't fit into the equation.

As the equation stands, it's as follows: boy is torn between following this commandment or following that commandment. With same-sex marriage in the picture, the equation would become as follows: boy is torn between following this commandment and breaking that commandment. In the first scenario, the boy is torn between two 'right's. However, in the latter case, the boy is torn between a 'right' and a 'wrong'. And just to kick the dead horse one more time, no matter how many times you pray and receive revelation telling you that the 'wrong' is 'right', until the church agrees and says it's 'right', it's 'wrong'.

Frank, I hope I don't sound angry or contentious. Personally, I'm enjoying this exchange of deep ponderings. :)

And I'm sorry DarkDreay for being a comment-whore!

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Boskers, I understand your view, but personally see things in a different light right now. Essentially, you trust the Church on homosexuality (which I understand and respect), while I--for reasons outlined briefly in my previous comment and more in depth on my blog ( not so sure. I totally see where you're coming from, and hopefully you can see the other side of it a bit, too: revelation is line upon line--higher truth replacing lower truth--but the Church's current stance makes its earlier positions wrong. For instance, today the Church says homosexuality is not chosen, while yesterday it said orientation was a choice. If you accept one as true, than the other is false--not a lesser degree of truth, but purely and simply untrue. They are direct opposites, direct contradictions--and that is one way black/white thinking comes back to haunt the Church. It's also partially why I feel that I cannot trust the Church on this issue (along with many other statements which have convinced me that the Church--whose leaders are doubtless affected, at least to some extent, by their own prejudices and worldviews--doesn't have the full truth on the matter yet). If you (and others) can, and that brings you peace, then wonderful--I say, more power to you!

As for the analogy, because of the above differences in belief, we come at it with decidedly different premises. Also, I took scriptures like Genesis 2:18 into account, which others may dismiss.

In any case, again, I really do see what you mean, so ultimately my position is 'agree to disagree'.

Rich said...

Wow, some intensely thought provoking comments! Some things that came to mind as I read many of these comments:

The number of times commentor’s made reference to "The Church" rather than to "God" in their claims of support. Though many of you will disagree with me I think too many have their allegiances aligned with "The Church" much deeper than they realize. Many will claim that the Church is Gods institution, and the Prophet Gods mouth piece, therefore what the Church teaches comes directly from God. (Important to note is that I too love the Church, the Gospel, and all the good that it contains. I strive to live by gospel standards and the teachings of my Elder Brother, the Savior,) I do not condemn the Church but I do believe that many of our leaders preach their own philosophies much of the time. This creates a tough dilemma for when this is the case how does one decide what to follow, what to believe and what is OK to disagree with. The only answer I have is that one must follow his own heart, what he feels the spirit speaks to his soul. If this is not the case why has the Lord spent so much time, and valuable space, teaching this principal within the sacred venue of our standard works. Through my personal study, service and work within the church I have to believe that my understanding of the workings of the Spirit have at least some merit. That being the case; Am I not obligated to follow the direction my heart tells me I must go? I can only imagine that both Adam and Nephi felt the same. It is difficult when one feels that the spirit is directing him in a direction which is in conflict with general "Church" teachings. If one has done his part to feel of the Spirit and still feels its promptings are just that "Spiritual" promptings then must follow regardless of the consequences. I imagine that is the same conclusion which Adam came to as he realized the impact of his decisions and the effect which they might have on generation to come, in this case all of mankind. How much faith must Nephi have had in his ability to recognize the promptings of the Spirit? As for ones acceptance of his homosexuality and his willingness to commit to a loving partnership, it too has the possibility of effecting millions. How many Gay individuals are there currently living on this world, how many are there within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How would my life be different had Gay members stood up in the past? Who knows? What I do know is that my actions today have the possibility of effecting millions in the future. Remember I am a faithful member who is striving to reconcile my homosexuality with my religious convictions and therefore and forced to choose between two rights not a right and a wrong. With all due respect Boskers listen to your words; A wrong will never be a right until "The Church" agrees and says it's right". I know these are semantics but why do we refer to the church when quoting right and wrong rather than the Lord? I'm not trying to thrash anyone here just put forth some thoughts worthy of serious question and contemplation.

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Thanks, GM, for your very meaningful thoughts. I couldn't agree more: the Church is here to help us but is influenced by men who are ultimately just that -- mortal men subject to prejudice and societal attitudes. God, on the other hand, is not, and fortunately, personal revelation grants us direct access to His true plan for us.

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