NeuroTypical

Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

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I thought about this quite a bit yesterday.  Whenever Vort and I are on the different sides of something, it's quite a tragedy, because, well, one of us is not on the right side.  Some random thoughts I had:

- I go out of my way to know/interact with/maintain friendships with people from the other side of a lot of different fences.  God says Love thy enemy and love thy neighbor.  Sun Tzu says know thy enemy.  Gift shops in the desert sell bumper stickers that say "Before you judge somebody, walk a mile in their shoes" (and so does Elder Oaks).  Corporate leadership seminars say "seek first to understand, then to be understood".   From where I'm standing, all these points of data make a beautiful line.

- When it comes to the effectiveness of our attempts to share the gospel, people's existing opinions about us have an impact.  And I cannot understate how much animosity, mistrust, and incorrect beliefs people have about the church, its teachings, and its members.  I personally know two families who were so ticked off at our announcement to not baptize children in same-sex households, they all submitted their resignations within an hour of hearing the news.  An inactive daughter of a gay dad called him up in tears, thinking she had just been kicked out of a church she only had negative thoughts about.  I've probably heard from 20-30 gay folk who either assume, or spend hours arguing the notion, that you simply can't be LDS and have same sex attraction issues.  I rarely go a day without seeing some random social media comment about how mormons hate gays, force their children into harmful electronic shock treatments to make them straight, kick out and disown their children who come out of the closet, give endless millions of tithing money to lobby to remove LGBT rights, etc.   In many places, the going notion is that mormons and gays don't mix, and it's harmful to try.

- Generational shifting showed up one day while we weren't paying attention.  The old apologetic wars about our history and doctrine were all won, like 20 years ago.  The new apologetic wars are all about perception.  Every year that goes by, we find greater differences in thinking between those born before the turn of the century, and those born after.  People 30 and younger think about us, not in terms of Joe Smith and his gold bible, but in terms of what kind of people we are, how we treat our neighbors, whether we're woke enough or not.  (In context, advocates of wokeness think they value diversity and love and inclusion.)    

- LDS are all about love, diversity, and inclusion.  The gospel pavilion is wide and covers all.  The Lord "inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God".  Most of us detest the term, but we were woke before woke was cool.  But how can you expect a random person to accept that invitation, when it comes from someone who [insert all that false crap people believe about us and gays].

- Main point - That sister's appearance isn't about redefining the gospel.  It isn't a message for the 99, it's a message for all the ones out there.  It's about correcting the misconceptions and falsehoods about how we hate gays, and kick them out, and try to pray the gay away, and electroshock straightness into them.   This particular targeted message isn't emphasizing the need for repentance.  With this particular targeted message, we're emphasizing that no really, the church and it's members don't preach against you because of your leanings/tendencies/urges/thoughs/orientations.  It's not the full message - just a portion.  For a specific purpose.   You can be attracted to anything (yes, Vort, even dogs and children), and there is a place for you in the Lord's kingdom, if you are willing to do your part.  You can be valued and treated like anyone else.

You've been misinformed - it isn't like this:

image.png.4ee9a350b8771b66239ff1d5d90e0d1d.png

 

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7 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

A somber warning given by Elder Quentin L. Cook back in 2008 as the Church actively fought to keep marriage between a man and a woman - only. 

Quote

...people and private institutions with beliefs that oppose same sex marriage will be increasingly labeled as intolerant and subjected to legal penalties or social ostracism 

Welcome to 2021 my friends. A time where members of the Church, a mere 13 years later, now label other members of Church who don't cater to the LGBTQ community as being intolerant, behind the times and unloving to all of "God's children". 

Um, nah - this goes a bit too far.   Yes, cultural winds are blowing.   But where are the accusations of intolerance?  Who is claiming folks aren't loving to all?   The first use of the word "intolerant" in this thread was you...  

And most interesting of all - why stick "God's children" in scare quotes?  

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48 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

I thought about this quite a bit yesterday.  Whenever Vort and I are on the different sides of something, it's quite a tragedy, because, well, one of us is not on the right side.  Some random thoughts I had:

- I go out of my way to know/interact with/maintain friendships with people from the other side of a lot of different fences.  God says Love thy enemy and love thy neighbor.  Sun Tzu says know thy enemy.  Gift shops in the desert sell bumper stickers that say "Before you judge somebody, walk a mile in their shoes" (and so does Elder Oaks).  Corporate leadership seminars say "seek first to understand, then to be understood".   From where I'm standing, all these points of data make a beautiful line.

- When it comes to the effectiveness of our attempts to share the gospel, people's existing opinions about us have an impact.  And I cannot understate how much animosity, mistrust, and incorrect beliefs people have about the church, its teachings, and its members.  I personally know two families who were so ticked off at our announcement to not baptize children in same-sex households, they all submitted their resignations within an hour of hearing the news.  An inactive daughter of a gay dad called him up in tears, thinking she had just been kicked out of a church she only had negative thoughts about.  I've probably heard from 20-30 gay folk who either assume, or spend hours arguing the notion, that you simply can't be LDS and have same sex attraction issues.  I rarely go a day without seeing some random social media comment about how mormons hate gays, force their children into harmful electronic shock treatments to make them straight, kick out and disown their children who come out of the closet, give endless millions of tithing money to lobby to remove LGBT rights, etc.   In many places, the going notion is that mormons and gays don't mix, and it's harmful to try.

- Generational shifting showed up one day while we weren't paying attention.  The old apologetic wars about our history and doctrine were all won, like 20 years ago.  The new apologetic wars are all about perception.  Every year that goes by, we find greater differences in thinking between those born before the turn of the century, and those born after.  People 30 and younger think about us, not in terms of Joe Smith and his gold bible, but in terms of what kind of people we are, how we treat our neighbors, whether we're woke enough or not.  (In context, advocates of wokeness think they value diversity and love and inclusion.)    

- LDS are all about love, diversity, and inclusion.  The gospel pavilion is wide and covers all.  The Lord "inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God".  Most of us detest the term, but we were woke before woke was cool.  But how can you expect a random person to accept that invitation, when it comes from someone who [insert all that false crap people believe about us and gays].

- Main point - That sister's appearance isn't about redefining the gospel.  It isn't a message for the 99, it's a message for all the ones out there.  It's about correcting the misconceptions and falsehoods about how we hate gays, and kick them out, and try to pray the gay away, and electroshock straightness into them.   This particular targeted message isn't emphasizing the need for repentance.  With this particular targeted message, we're emphasizing that no really, the church and it's members don't preach against you because of your leanings/tendencies/urges/thoughs/orientations.  It's not the full message - just a portion.  For a specific purpose.   You can be attracted to anything (yes, Vort, even dogs and children), and there is a place for you in the Lord's kingdom, if you are willing to do your part.  You can be valued and treated like anyone else.

You've been misinformed - it isn't like this:

image.png.4ee9a350b8771b66239ff1d5d90e0d1d.png

 

A cynic might reduce your post to:

”This was PR.  Our fundamental definitions of sin, and behavioral expectations, will remain unchanged.”

The question is:  will any of our critics buy our rhetoric of unconditional love to LGBTQ members, when bishops on an individual level continue to expect conformance to the law of chastity and impose membership restrictions on folks who flout it?

This isn’t a problem limited to LGBTQ members, really—fundamentally, the Church has a growing issue with people who don’t operate from a place of faith or repentance and who continually screech “You won’t let me have what I want (especially in matters of sex), so you don’t wuuuuuv me enough!!!”

Whatever the sexual orientation of the parties involved, drama queenery and weaponized compassion are poisonous to a Zion community.  Because Church members are, after all, only human; and at some point they’re going to get tired of putting up with the crap that continues to emanate from someone who is pretty obviously acting in bad faith.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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One of my frustrations of this whole lgbtq acceptance in the church is that in one setting they will say “feeling homosexual feelings is not a sin. Acting in it is”. In other settings they will invite lgbtq members to talk about and share about the pride of being a member of the lgbtq community. But they will never put those two conversations in the same sitting.

Maybe this situation is different (I haven’t watched it yet), but in my experience, in (unofficial) church settings where they are seemingly “celebrating” lgbtq, they never make the clarification whether we are celebrating members for their strength in choosing to live the gospel despite their nature, or whether we are celebrating the fact that this person is reveling by having gay sex in a religion that is against it.

Here is where I stand:

- People have homosexual feelings as well as feelings of being the wrong gender

- In recent years (and still today on the cultural level), members of the LGBTQ community have been attacked and insulted widely. It’s been widely accepted that they were a free punching bag. this is wrong.

- We must to change how we treat the LGBTQ community if we can spect to be “Christlike”. 

- homosexual acts are sinful. Gender is an eternal and essential principle

- Admitting allowed to  yourself and others is therapeutic. I can see how identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community can be beneficial.

- One can identify to be a part of the community does not necessarily mean they are “acting” in the feelings. They just find community among other in their same situation. And though I don’t necessarily agree (nor full disagree), celebrating the nature of your feelings can help brush away the depression and other trials that come with living the gospel and being an LGBTQ member.

- I do wish they would clarify what exactly we are celebrating at unofficial church events. Are we trying to make a less toxic community for the LGBTQ, or are we celebrating the sin? At least clarify that identifying as LGBTQ doesn’t mean you act on it. Failing to do this is sending the wrong message every time.

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2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

I thought about this quite a bit yesterday.  Whenever Vort and I are on the different sides of something, it's quite a tragedy, because, well, one of us is not on the right side.  Some random thoughts I had:

Not sure we are on opposite sides, NT. I agree with everything you wrote, with the caveat that I disagree that, in order to try to show people that we don't hate gays, we need to minimize the appearance that we reject homosexual conduct.

And to reemphasize, I agree that we should be loving toward those who are sexually attracted to small children and animals. Good luck getting the Woke Saints to agree.

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39 minutes ago, Vort said:

I agree that we should be loving toward those who are sexually attracted to small children and animals. 

Thank you. Your response was incredibly insightful. You, my friend, just showed all of us what 'true' Christlike empathy and understanding is all about.

 

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Perhaps if we compared it to the subject that it is most comparable to (in the context of the LoC): Heterosexual Lust.  And here, I merely mean "powerful sexual desire" not necessarily going into actual activity or indulging fantasies in our minds.

Even if we give the benefit of the doubt to the sister who called herself "queer", the best interpretation would be that she experiences same sex attraction, but she's committed to not acting on those impulses.  If that is so, then what is the closest parallel to heterosexual attraction?

*************************************************

If she were a married woman, would anyone ever ask her to come to a forum such as the Women's Conference and express in an equally matter of fact manner that she often finds herself lusting after other men (even though she remains faithful to her husband) ?  Why not?  It is just stating that she has a weakness.  But she's never crossed the line. 

I don't think anyone would be asked to do that.  I don't think many women would be willing to come out and say that publicly. 

What about a single heterosexual woman?  Would she be asked to come to a public forum and express that she has a craving for the flesh (but she never acts on it)?

Similar for men.  In fact, I've seen videos on the Church website where men are asked to talk about their struggle with pornography and self-abuse.  But their voices are not real, they are actors (as far as I can tell) and they show no image of the speaker.

This is what makes me go "huh?"  Why are these men given privacy in the discussion?  Yet this woman proudly stands in front of the whole world and announces her struggle with sexuality?

*************************************************

It is the "normalization" of SSA that is disturbing.  So, why is it that we seem to be going out of our way to "normalize" same sex attraction?  And if it is by its nature sinful, normalizing it would be worse than expressing simple heterosexual (sexual) attraction.  With heterosexual attraction, it can be expressed within the bonds of marriage.  So, as long as it is controlled within the boundaries that the Lord has set, then it can be the source of strengthening the bonds of marriage.  So, if anything, we SHOULD be encouraging the normalization of heterosexual attraction.

NOTHING good can come from same sex attraction.  Because of that one quality, it is by nature sinful.  Don't misinterpret me here.  I'm NOT saying that simply having the attraction necessarily means one is committing sin.  I believe the words of prophets and apostles have characterized this "trait" as something that is in its own category.  The trait is something that has no spiritually beneficial side.  But it has a strong propensity to drive one towards sinful behavior.  As such, if possible, one should fight and struggle to be rid of that trait.  Yet, merely having the trait is not, in and of itself, sinful.  I can't think of anything off the top of my head that is like that.

But why the normalization of proudly declaring SSA.  But hide and protect the identity of a man struggling with pornography and self-abuse?

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3 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

Thank you. Your response was incredibly insightful. You, my friend, just showed all of us what 'true' Christlike empathy and understanding is all about.

 

Look at this plagiarism. What, do you write for the New Republic or something? 
 

(seriously everyone, Google “Ruth Shalit” . Major drama there in the 90’s)

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Yes, cultural winds are blowing. 

Blowing the impressionable and confused young minds of the Church right along with it. 
Luckily for us at least woke members of the Church aren't blowing right along with culture. Oh wait. They are. Never mind.

3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

But where are the accusations of intolerance? 

Cute. 
Why was the Sister even brought on stage to share 'her story' if not to fight off intolerance in the Church.
@JohnsonJones (won't link?) said:

Quote

There is an unfortunate trend in the Church at times for parents to disinherit and disown LGBTQ children. 

Sounds a little like "intolerance" to me. 

Edited by NeedleinA

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17 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

In fact, I've seen videos on the Church website where men are asked to talk about their struggle with pornography and self-abuse.  But their voices are not real, they are actors (as far as I can tell) and they show no image of the speaker.

(Random tangent) I know some Church “testimonial” films in the 1980s and 1990s used actors (you’d recognize them from film to film).  But I was quite surprised a couple years ago to see a testimonial film on divorce (this one), and the “interviewee” was a family law mediator, herself recently-divorced, whom I knew from professional interactions to be precisely who she was claiming to be.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

But where are the accusations of intolerance?  Who is claiming folks aren't loving to all? 

The sister's words:

Quote

I've come to realize that I've never been hurt by the gospel.  But I've been hurt by interpretations that people have made or comments that don't show the love that we should show for each other.

 -- timestamp 28:56

While she made sure to use the kindest most diplomatic words possible (and I honestly give her credit for that effort) it still expresses that she has been the victim of intolerant people.  i.e., she has been hurt by intolerant people in the Church.  And that is what you were asking about.

Edited by Carborendum

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6 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

(Random tangent) I know some Church “testimonial” films in the 1980s and 1990s used actors (you’d recognize them from film to film).  But I was quite surprised a couple years ago to see a testimonial film on divorce (this one), and the “interviewee” was a family law mediator, herself recently-divorced, whom I knew from professional interactions to be precisely who she was claiming to be.  

That is entirely possible.  That is why I added the parenthetical (as far as I can tell).  The elocution was so precise that I've rarely heard it apart from trained speakers.  That is not to say that a trained speaker cannot be struggling as most others do.  I'm sure they do.  But I found it awfully convenient that they got a trained speaker to do that.

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Whenever Vort and I are on the different sides of something, it's quite a tragedy, because, well, one of us is not on the right side.

Just musing here, but what makes you think one of you isn't right? Can't both of you have correct assumptions about the situation? Perhaps you both have false narratives in your thinking as well. We are all of course human. As divided as managing this issue is, it is important to try and stay on the Lord's side as His is the one that really matters. 

His definition of marriage is the union of man and woman. Anything else is not recognized by Him, and will not bring lasting happiness. Same sex attraction is nothing more than a temptation to sin. It is never a virtue or a good thing, and has never been the means of bringing anything good into the world...only more anger, confusion, division, and frustration.

Others have temptations to steal, lie, abuse drugs, etc... These are all widely condemmed...so why are some trying to give gayness a pass? The adversary is having so much success confusing kids with it; telling them that acceptance is love, and that if we don't accept them we are judging in a way the Savior told us not to. he is expert in distorting truth.

It is possible that this sister just included her remarks off the cuff, and the RS pres were taken off guard. Unlikey, but possible. I do not like what was said, but will not condem the RS pres as they are more in the loop then I.

It is also possible that the church knows what they are doing, and are trying to keep those struggling with this issue involved with the church. There aren't many better places those people could be. I know several parents who have children struggling with this issue, and who pray so earnestly that their children won't leave the church...that someone else will help them stay active. Sadly, most of them have left the church. Their reasons are weak and immature at best, but I am also not in their shoes, and do not know the struggle with that particular temptation. The Lord knows though, and He can help them overcome their weaknesses if they choose Him over indulgence.

Unfortunately, for a myriad of reasons, the current young generarion just doesn't think or communicate in the same way as older ones. Sin is still sin though, and as accepting and understanding as the church tries to be, worthiness and chastity standards will not change. We are all learning and should do our best to help eachother along.

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1 hour ago, scottyg said:

Unfortunately, for a myriad of reasons, the current young generarion just doesn't think or communicate in the same way as older ones. 

This is part of the issue. 

But it's not the key part of the issue.

Missionaries and members open up to me. They talk to me unlike how they talk to their leadership. Their words, not mine. I'm special like that. 

And, amazingly, I had someone message me the morning about this very topic. I showed someone on this forum the actual message, with names redacted. 

The world has gotten much, much smaller. In 1950, you could go your entire life without meeting an open gay person in Utah (again, their words, not mine). Now, since LDS youths know gay people and like them as friends, they simply ignore the church teaching on LGBT sexuality issues. It’s the same with their Catholic friends, atheist friends, etc. It's good, because LDS and Catholics no longer hate each other because they've gotten to know one another. It's bad, because now I know Peter, who is gay, and he's become a good friend. So what do you mean he can't get married? What? He’s going to Hell? No he isn’t. 

The Baptists and the Catholics are dealing with this too, so LDS are not alone. 

Edited by LDSGator

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2 hours ago, LDSGator said:

This is part of the issue. 

But it's not the key part of the issue.

Missionaries and members open up to me. They talk to me unlike how they talk to their leadership. Their words, not mine. I'm special like that

And, amazingly, I had someone message me the morning about this very topic. I showed someone on this forum the actual message, with names redacted. 

The world has gotten much, much smaller. In 1950, you could go your entire life without meeting an open gay person in Utah (again, their words, not mine). Now, since LDS youths know gay people and like them as friends, they simply ignore the church teaching on LGBT sexuality issues. It’s the same with their Catholic friends, atheist friends, etc. It's good, because LDS and Catholics no longer hate each other because they've gotten to know one another. It's bad, because now I know Peter, who is gay, and he's become a good friend. So what do you mean he can't get married? What? He’s going to Hell? No he isn’t. 

The Baptists and the Catholics are dealing with this too, so LDS are not alone. 

Fixed.

Edited by mirkwood

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just listened to it. She was VERY vague about the lifestyle she was living, and so think that would be an important if we are going to support and celebrate her and her bravery in coming up.

She spoke about leaders not asking what she was doing, but asking essentially “do you believe in Christ” and how that was a better way of approaching it... but how else do leaders judge whether she is worthy of a temple recommend. If she truly is worthy, then she had be utmost respect. If she used the rhetoric used in this talk to get her bishop to give her a recommend, I would be heavily disappointed.

The way she talked about being LGBTQ and the fact no one came out and clarified whether she was living a temple worthy life or not leads me to believe she isn’t.

The whole thing is frustrating 

Edited by Fether

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Just now, Fether said:

She was VERY vague about the lifestyle she was living, and so think that would be an important if we are going to support and celebrate her and her bravery in coming up.

Oh, I'm not interested in celebrating anyone's bravery.  For me, the interesting stuff is in watching everyone's reaction to the video.  And the body language of the sister who introduced her.  

 

Quote

The fact no one came out and clarified whether she was breaking the law or chastity or not leads me to believe that she was breaking the law of chastity.

I'm not lead to believe anything of the sort.   The girl is hardly the first youth put in front of an audience and praised up one side and down the other for how unique and special they are.  But it's obvious that the gut reaction of many is:  Different sexual orientation =  automatically suspected of sexual sin. 

I remember back in the '80's, when it was standard practice for bishops to ask teen boys if they play with themselves.  Then there were stories along the lines of "it was the first time I'd ever thought about such a thing, and I ended up playing with myself as a result".  These days, we don't ask.   I wonder - whenever we see a teen boy these days, blessing the sacrament, doing a calling, going on a mission, do we automatically think "I don't hear anyone clarifying if they've broken the law of chastity with self-harm, so I'm led to believe the kid has a problem."?

Is it truly that hard to just listen to a gay girl's experiences, give her a big hug, and not get weirded out about the whole thing?  Obviously the answer is yes, but the follow up question is obvious.   SHOULD it be?

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58 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

These days, we don't ask.   I wonder - whenever we see a teen boy these days, blessing the sacrament, doing a calling, going on a mission, do we automatically think "I don't hear anyone clarifying if they've broken the law of chastity with self-harm, so I'm led to believe the kid has a problem."?

No, but what if the young man was giving a farewell talk and said “Ya, I’m attracted to women. I have been with my girlfriend for years now and sex is a natural desire. When I had my interview with my bishop, he didn’t ask about my actions concerning sex, but rather if I loved God.”

He didn’t say he had sex... but it sure sounds like it. Not only would everyone be wondering what he was alluding to, but all the other young men and women in the ward that wanted to have sex may now feel some confusion about the church’s standard

Edited by Fether

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5 hours ago, Carborendum said:

But why the normalization of proudly declaring SSA.  But hide and protect the identity of a man struggling with pornography and self-abuse?

Perhaps part of the answer might be because one - pornography and self abuse - is a sin and the other is not. But I also think there is some merit in the arguement that normalization of SSA is akin to intentionally driving the cart a little closer to the edge. And who knows, I certainly don't, but perhaps someone has made a calculation that in some circumstances, when everything is taken into account and properly weighed up, there are times when driving a little closer to the edge serves a greater purpose than not doing so.

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4 hours ago, LDSGator said:

It's good, because LDS and Catholics no longer hate each other because they've gotten to know one another. It's bad, because now I know Peter, who is gay, and he's become a good friend. So what do you mean he can't get married? What? He’s going to Hell? No he isn’t. 

The Baptists and the Catholics are dealing with this too, so LDS are not alone. 

Mormons are in a little bit of a different situation, simply because our theology doesn’t really condemn *anyone* to “hell” in the sense of “eternal, unending burnings”.  So our theology doesn’t really require us to emotionally “write off” sinners the way some other denominations might (although culturally, many of us have sometimes felt as though we ought to—particularly when we go overboard into the completely unscriptural “but unsealed families will never be together ever again!” nonsense).

That said:  yes, the more we are thrust into close proximity with any kind of “sinful” behavior, the more normal it’s going to seem; and the more we are going to have to look at the disconnect that arises whenever we think “he seems like a nice guy, except for . . .” and really scrutinize what we believe.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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