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MrShorty

Sexuality is part of your divine nature -- Brotherson

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Now that Laura Brotherson has finished her second book, she is putting articles up on Meridian Magazine with little nuggets from her book. This one came out this week. http://ldsmag.com/sexuality-is-part-of-your-divine-nature/

I find the title premise significant and challenging in so many ways. The concept was first introduced to me in Elder Bednar's Apr. 2013 GC talk, where he describes sex (for procreation only?) as "the ultimate expression of our divine nature". This idea that sexuality (not just gender) is a part of our divine nature seemed so opposed to everything I had learned in 40 some odd years on this planet, that it really stood out to me.

I cannot say that I have broken through all of the other stuff I have been taught. I can easily say that I believe this (without Elder Bednar's use of the superlatives) intellectually, but I find it difficult to really internalize the idea.

I'm not sure what discussion I am looking for. Maybe some thoughts on how you feel that sexuality and divine nature intersect. Implications for married life. Implications for singles. I don't know. Maybe some simple statements whether you agree or disagree that sexuality is a part of our divine nature.

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If you have working definition you want to propose, go for it. I don't think I have a rigorous, definitive definition (how's that redundant redundancy?).

When I read Elder Bednar in the context he gave his statement, I often wonder if he was narrowly thinking of the processes related to bringing sperm and egg together to procreate a human being. Many comments from different LDS sources have suggested that this "procreation" is analogous to what God did in creating the heavens and the earth and all things that in them are. So one of the questions that I often go back and forth on in this is whether the intersection of sexuality and divinity is limited to the joining of sperm and egg to create a new human physical body (which will become a full on human when animated by a spirit). Is the divine part of our sexuality limited to this?

We have many statements that the purposes of sexuality extend beyond procreation. I would guess that our average number of children is 2 to 4, maybe 5 for LDS, it is clear that a majority of our sexual experiences, even as couples, do not result in pregnancy. Since we don't outlaw birth control, it seems obvious that our sexual expression includes intentionally avoiding pregnancy/procreation. Are these expressions of sexuality included in "expressions of our divine nature" or not?

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In the talk you have provided with Elder Bednar here is the sexuality quote, "Such relations are not merely a curiosity to be explored, an appetite to be satisfied, or a type of recreation or entertainment to be pursued selfishly. They are not a conquest to be achieved or simply an act to be performed. Rather, they are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. We are agents blessed with moral agency and are defined by our divine heritage as children of God—and not by sexual behaviors, contemporary attitudes, or secular philosophies."

Elder Bednar is referring to the husband and wife union on a physical (sexual and companionship), spiritual, and emotional level. He is hoping people will understand that we are not defined by our sexualitly not that our sexuality is not divine. The union between male and female is divine. This is why Elder Bednar once said, "We do not have any homosexuals in the Church." He is not denying their are people with this attraction and who act upon this attraction within the Church. He is saying we aren't defined by our sexual preference, nor any other preference. It would be similar to saying, "We don't define members by their righteousness nor their sins. We do not say, 'We have this many adulterers in the Church.'" Our defining trait is that we are divine ourselves, heirs, children of God. That is what is most important.

Scriptures which I find interesting in this discussion would be Moses 3:35 noting all things were created spiritually before they were created temporally, and this verse, "that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created." (Doctrine and Covenants 77:2)

Yes, I would affirm that our sexuality, our desire to be unified with our companions (in light of God's order, only male and female) are indeed of a eternal nature, and are divine. And as Elder Bednar stated sexuality is not to be performed merely for "curiosity", selfish appetite, simply to be pursued (reminds me of one-night-stands), not a conquest to be achieved, or simply to be performed (well, since I am to have offspring I have to have sex -- shoot). The sexual union between male and female (husband and wife, no other union), is to be shared as often as a couple agrees upon, and when this act is performed with love and concern the marital relationship is fostered both physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and why I believe (as all things were spiritual before they were temporal, or in its likeness) these relationships will be apart of our nature after the resurrection, but does not define who we are.

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I have made a statement many times in priesthood meetings when the topic comes up that seems to be what Elder Bednar was saying (see @Anddenex's post above).

Quote

There is a difference between having sex and making love.  One is simply a carnal act.  The other a divine one.  While the former is still allowed within marriage, the latter is an edifying experience.

 

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21 hours ago, MrShorty said:

Now that Laura Brotherson has finished her second book, she is putting articles up on Meridian Magazine with little nuggets from her book. This one came out this week. http://ldsmag.com/sexuality-is-part-of-your-divine-nature/

I find the title premise significant and challenging in so many ways. The concept was first introduced to me in Elder Bednar's Apr. 2013 GC talk, where he describes sex (for procreation only?) as "the ultimate expression of our divine nature". This idea that sexuality (not just gender) is a part of our divine nature seemed so opposed to everything I had learned in 40 some odd years on this planet, that it really stood out to me.

I cannot say that I have broken through all of the other stuff I have been taught. I can easily say that I believe this (without Elder Bednar's use of the superlatives) intellectually, but I find it difficult to really internalize the idea.

I'm not sure what discussion I am looking for. Maybe some thoughts on how you feel that sexuality and divine nature intersect. Implications for married life. Implications for singles. I don't know. Maybe some simple statements whether you agree or disagree that sexuality is a part of our divine nature.

Sexuality, as in the capacity for sexual feelings (as with all feelings), is part of our divine nature. As with all feelings, we are here on earth to learn to experience and use them in a godly manner so as to have joy. This requires the role of commandments, covenants and ordinances and begins with hearkening to the light of Christ and culminates in the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, justification and sanctification.

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