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carlimac

Official Church stance on origin of homosexuality?

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Just a quick question. Has the Church ever made the declaration that gays are “born that way”? 
 

I’ve been having a conversation with a friend- the mom of a gay guy and she says that’s what the Church has finally admitted. I don’t think they have. Anyone know for sure?

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I’m not going to go shove that in her face. If it brings her any amount of comfort to believe he was born that way then I’ll leave her to it. She believes a bunch of crazy but harmless stuff and I’m not going to change her mind. So I’ll just let it go.

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The church has taken no position of the matter.

 

But personal experience tells me this: homosexuality is one of the plagues that afflict the people of this world in latter days. As with any disease, the faithful men and women of God may hope to receive strength to accommodate for their condition, or even be completely healed if their faith be sufficient.

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Since 2012, the Church website has had a section on same gender attraction (not just a talk or article, but a whole section  of the website):

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/gay/

While they do say that the Church does not take a position on the causes of same-sex attraction, they also say things such as "individuals do not choose to have such attractions".

See here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/gay/leaders?lang=eng

It also says the following:

"While same-sex attraction is not a sin, it can be a challenge. While one may not have chosen to have these feelings, he or she can commit to keep God’s commandments".

 

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10 hours ago, Scott said:

While they do say that the Church does not take a position on the causes of same-sex attraction, they also say things such as "individuals do not choose to have such attractions".

This is not representative of what Elder Ballard said. He said,:

Let us be clear: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that ‘the experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including [those with same-sex attraction]'

In context, it's clear that Elder Ballard was not making a blanket statement that no one chooses to have such attractions. What he said was more along the lines that even those who do not choose such attractions can still choose how they respond to those attractions. This is a perhaps subtle but still important difference. I have met and known individuals who have indeed chosen to nurture, and thus to have, homosexual attractions. I bet most have met such people.

Edited by Vort

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16 minutes ago, Vort said:

What he said was more along the lines that even those who do not choose such attractions can still choose how they respond to those attractions. 

Yes, I covered that in the second quote which I thought explains it well, about it being a challenge, but it's still possible to follow the commandments despite the challenges.  The sentence before your bolded one is a good one too.

The points are that same gender attraction isn't a sin in itself, only acting on it, and that people might not choose to have those attractions.

Of course, for full context, it's best to read all of the articles in the links since there is a lot of good stuff there. 

 

Edited by Scott

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10 hours ago, Scott said:

The sentence before your bolded one is a good one too.

That would be:

The attraction itself is not a sin but acting on it is.

I certainly believe this, but in a relative sense. In a final sense, all unGodly impulses must surely be sinful, if "sin" has any real meaning. This would include sexual desire toward those of the same sex, or sexual desire toward children, or sexual desire toward animals, or sexual desire toward those of the opposite sex to whom you're not married. It obviously applies to all aspects of life, not just sexual desire. A truly perfect person has mastered himself/herself fully, to the point that his perceptions and experiences reflect his/her self-created reality, which self-created reality matches up at all points with external reality.

Do we believe that God gets really angry and wants to slap us around when we're stupid and disobedient, but he just controls his temper, and thus remains perfect? Of course not. Clearly, God is the master of all his impulses and desires. His experiences are all pure, because he is pure. He does not experience unseemly or inappropriate attractions or angers or lusts or other emotions, but rather chooses both his actions and his reactions.

We aren't there yet, and certainly cannot arrive there in this lifetime. So in that limited sense, simply refusing to accede to our base desires is a victory and, in that sense, means we are without sin. When talking to a first-grader about math, you don't generally introduce concepts about differential equations. You make things as simple as possible. I think that's what's going on with this quotation. I think that's what the Church teaches and what the Brethren believe.

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3 hours ago, Vort said:

 

Do we believe that God gets really angry and wants to slap us around when we're stupid and disobedient, but he just controls his temper, and thus remains perfect? Of course not. Clearly, God is the master of all his impulses and desires. His experiences are all pure, because he is pure. He does not experience unseemly or inappropriate attractions or angers or lusts or other emotions, but rather chooses both his actions and his reactions.

 

This makes God the Father seem like a being with no emotions except happy ones. Loving and benevolent ones.  different from the angry, disappointed, and vengeful God sometimes described in the scriptures. 
 

I wonder if this view of God would give a pass to people who commit dumb preventable sins. “Since God is always loving I can do anything I want and still be OK in his eyes. I’ll still make it to heaven no matter what I do.” 
 

Thoughts?

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4 hours ago, carlimac said:

This makes God the Father seem like a being with no emotions except happy ones. Loving and benevolent ones.  different from the angry, disappointed, and vengeful God sometimes described in the scriptures. 
 

I wonder if this view of God would give a pass to people who commit dumb preventable sins. “Since God is always loving I can do anything I want and still be OK in his eyes. I’ll still make it to heaven no matter what I do.” 
 

Thoughts?

Well...in theory...true.

For most sins, they will be forgiven and they will end up in Heaven, just not the Celestial Kingdom.  For more of the grievous sins they'll probably end up in the Telestial Kingdom.

For those who were righteous but rejected the truth on the otherhand they'll probably end up in the Terrestrial, and those that are righteous and accept the truth or would have will probably end up in the Celestial.

However, most will end up in some form or Kingdom of Heaven.

On the otherhand, I imagine he is displeased when we willingly sin, and probably none too happy about the state of the West today, though he probably expected it as he knew our attitudes and tendencies already in heaven before we came here.

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On 2/19/2020 at 4:04 PM, carlimac said:

I’m not going to go shove that in her face. If it brings her any amount of comfort to believe he was born that way then I’ll leave her to it. She believes a bunch of crazy but harmless stuff and I’m not going to change her mind. So I’ll just let it go.

This is a debate not worth having.  Because - even if people are born with homosexual desire, it doesn't mean they should now go have homosexual relations.  I have intermittent explosive disorder.  That doesn't mean I can just now go abusing people even if I claim "I was born with it" (I don't know if I am or not, just using it as an example).  So, it doesn't change anything.  What I usually just say when confronted by LGBTQ+ people who say they are born with it is - perhaps.  Then continue on with the "what to do about it" discussion.

Edited by anatess2

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