carlimac

Gays and the church

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27 minutes ago, Colirio said:

and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

Can you concretely explain exactly what it means to receive or receive not the Spirit? (I'm not sure it's a concrete idea.)

But that aside...I'm not sure it's fully relevant to what I'm talking about, which is our imperfections as teachers or learners -- imperfections that don't disappear when the Spirit witnesses truth to us, right?

I mean take this very exchange. I "taught" an idea. You "taught" another in response to me.

Were we both moved up on by the Spirit before we posted? If not, does that mean we shouldn't have posted? And if we were moved upon to post, does that mean you fully understood my post or I fully understood yours? And if I didn't understand yours, was that my fault because of my weaknesses, or yours because of yours? And vice-versa?

Do you get what I'm getting at?

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7 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Find something else rather than lust, or greed, or pride, to sate one's desires, and seek instead for things that can improve yourself and others instead. ..., become passionate about music,...

I'm sorry, but, considering that the discussion started with David Archuletta, this seemed at least a little bit ironic to me. Perhaps I am assuming too much, but it seems like, of any of the high profile LGBT members of the Church, Archuletta is among those who is already quite passionate about music, and it doesn't seem to have changed the dynamics around his struggle.

Based on the "fruits" that Archuletta described, I don't think the Church's stance or approach to LGBT issues can be completely right. Something, IMO, is just off about the whole thing. I won't claim to have any understanding of the difference between Archuletta's frustration and the alcoholic who is frustrated that he has to choose between a good life and alcohol or the the thief that is upset because he got caught, but there is something different, IMO, about the frustrations expressed by LGBT Latter-day Saints.

My advice to Archuletta (and probably about worth what he/you paid for it) would be to use his personal relationship with God and choose what he thinks is best for himself. If that means dating men, then he ought to date men. If that means reducing his participation at Church (or accepting "membership restrictions" imposed by priesthood leaders), then accept those restrictions. I would like to hope that he can find comfort in the examples of those few who embrace their LGBT identity and still find some way to maintain a working relationship with the Church (here I'm thinking of John Gustav-Wrathall and the like), but I am also comfortable that some just need a clean break from the Church. Perhaps it is my universalism showing, but I find myself believing that God can lead people like Archuletta -- if they maintain and grow their relationship with God -- through this vale of tears into a place of salvation and exaltation through the Atonement of Jesus Christ independent of their relationship (or lack thereof) with the Church. If Archuletta is blessed to find a spouse/life partner that he can commit to, then I wish him all the best in that relationship. If Archuletta decides that he must sever his relationship with the Church, I think the Church will be a little poorer for his decision.

 

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2 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

The Lord knows me. The Lord knows my needs. The Lord knows what I need best to grow. The Lord knows what trials I can and should face. I sincerely hope and believe that He designed this. Not me.

This sounds somewhat like the Lord making decisions about us and for us and imposing things upon us. Such an approach would not fit well with the idea of agency. I believe that the Lord designed the game and the rules and the playing field, but that we had significant impact on the design of the player. The counter view is that the Lord blessed/burdened us with trials with or without our consent. If it was with our consent, then its not too different from saying we signed up for this, and if it was without our consent, then again, that doesnt fit well with the concept of agency. 

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1 hour ago, Colirio said:

23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.

I think this needs to be reconciled with: 

"wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center."

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1 minute ago, askandanswer said:

Such an approach would not fit well with the idea of agency.

Depends on what you think agency means.

In my opinion, agency is one of the most misunderstood principles. But maybe that's because I misunderstand it. Who knows.

But I don't think it means what you seem to be implying it means.

3 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

If it was with our consent, then its not too different from saying we signed up for this, and if it was without our consent, then again, that doesnt fit well with the concept of agency. 

In your thinking, does consent have to be specific in every regard to qualify as "agency" or can it be a general, "I give to Thee, the Lord, consent to do unto whatsoever thing Thou seest fit to inflict upon me because I trust in Thee." Do we need to be fully in the know to give consent, or does trust in the Lord count?

Clearly we "consented" to the Lord's plan, in general. I mean that was the war in heaven. Those who didn't consent became Satan's followers, were cast out, and are sons of perdition.

Of course the other big problem with the idea of pre-mortal consent for earthly trials is that it doesn't take agency usage in life that brings trials upon us into account. Even if we consented to be born into wealth or poverty, that doesn't really matter as to how we use our agency to squander wealth or be fiscally responsible. Hence the financial trials or blessings we may or may not have might well be much more connected to our mortal choices than they were to pre-mortal choices.

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47 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I'm sorry, but, considering that the discussion started with David Archuletta, this seemed at least a little bit ironic to me. Perhaps I am assuming too much, but it seems like, of any of the high profile LGBT members of the Church, Archuletta is among those who is already quite passionate about music, and it doesn't seem to have changed the dynamics around his struggle.

Based on the "fruits" that Archuletta described, I don't think the Church's stance or approach to LGBT issues can be completely right. Something, IMO, is just off about the whole thing. I won't claim to have any understanding of the difference between Archuletta's frustration and the alcoholic who is frustrated that he has to choose between a good life and alcohol or the the thief that is upset because he got caught, but there is something different, IMO, about the frustrations expressed by LGBT Latter-day Saints. 

 

I think he was talking in general about anyone-not just David Archleta who doesn’t marry and spend the next 20-30 years of their life raising a family. That extra time NOT spent raising the kids can be used in productive and happy ways. Life doesn’t need to be considered a failure if they don’t marry! 
 I’m sure it’s not easy. The desire to be loved and to love is obviously very powerful. Archuleta has done pretty darn well filling his life with music up till lately (till COVID put the damper on public performances). For whatever reason he’s gone public lately with all this about his sexuality and whatnot. So either he’s had a setback in dealing with it, or he’s a late bloomer who has just recently decided to deal with his lack of success in dating women- and has gone so very very public with it. Because when you’re famous you can and you’ll get an avalanche of response. And if you come out of the closet to announce you’re gay and in your mind your Church has oppressed you, what you’ll mostly get is sympathy and atta boys because that’s just how things are these days. 

When you say the Church’s response is “off” what do you mean? Can you elaborate?

Edited by carlimac

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So I’ll repeat my original motive for posting. I haven’t been active on this or any church forum for a few years. It seems the response to these LGBTQ ( what is Q anyway and how is it different from L?) posts are sooooo overwhelmingly huggy and supportive of these people. More so than it used to be. We seem to be treating them not only with kid-gloves but raining down rose petals on them.  This is even coming from very strong members (one gushy “love-you David” note came from an outwardly incredibly spiritual seminary teacher in our ward.) It took me by surprise. I understand we’re trying very hard to mitigate the rash of suicides among this group. And let them know of their value as individuals. That’s all good. But the praise and adoration heaped on them seems like it could be misinterpreted pretty easily that they simply get a pass on having to resist delving wholly into the culture and acting on it. 
 

Since when is it ok to not deny all ungodliness? Is it now illegal among Church members to denounce same sex intimate relationships? I haven’t seen even one person in the comments say, “ if you choose to live in a gay relationship you will have to live with the consequences which may not be pleasant.” Not one!! It’s only coddling and sympathy with blame squarely on the Brethren and all the unsupportive members for his unhappiness.  Have we gone soft! Is this now what being Christ-like looks like? 😕

Edited by carlimac

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1 hour ago, carlimac said:

( what is Q anyway and how is it different from L?)

Q stands for queer, which they tell me can mean something different from standard-old gay or lesbian.  It can also mean 'questioning', which doesn't mean much to anybody, and is usually just a way to virtue signal.  Same with the A - it could mean asexual, which gets you invited to the club, or ally, which means much less.

Some of the G and L, usually older Gs and Ls, have a bit of a problem with the word queer.  They remember it as a slur used against them by folks who occasionally meant them harm, sometimes physical harm.  These folks tend to be ok with a q calling themselves a q, but they don't want anything to do with the word itself.  Not everyone wants to adopt Yankee Doodle or Mormon.

The last thing I know, is nobody gives a crap what a bisexual living in a heterosexual marriage has to say.  No camp wants to claim them as their own.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

 

Quote

I haven’t seen even one person in the comments say, “ if you choose to live in a gay relationship you will have to live with the consequences which may not be pleasant.” Not one!! 

Again, so why don't you say that?  Nothing sucks the power of witnessed outrage out of me, like someone confessing everyone else's sins, when they're doing the exact same thing. 

Here's a slogan from that camp that you can feel free to adopt: Be the change @carlimac!  Be the change!

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18 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

If you’re struggling with porn, then justifying your perusal of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue on the grounds that “they aren’t naked,

The problem with this example is there have been a couple of editions that they were naked and the swimsuits were painted on.

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Q stands for queer, which they tell me can mean something different from standard-old gay or lesbian.  It can also mean 'questioning', which doesn't mean much to anybody, and is usually just a way to virtue signal.  Same with the A - it could mean asexual, which gets you invited to the club, or ally, which means much less.

Some of the G and L, usually older Gs and Ls, have a bit of a problem with the word queer.  They remember it as a slur used against them by folks who occasionally meant them harm, sometimes physical harm.  These folks tend to be ok with a q calling themselves a q, but they don't want anything to do with the word itself.  Not everyone wants to adopt Yankee Doodle or Mormon.

The last thing I know, is nobody gives a crap what a bisexual living in a heterosexual marriage has to say.  No camp wants to claim them as their own.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

 

Again, so why don't you say that?  Nothing sucks the power of witnessed outrage out of me, like someone confessing everyone else's sins, when they're doing the exact same thing. 

Here's a slogan from that camp that you can feel free to adopt: Be the change @carlimac!  Be the change!

I did in a way. Not that directly. I don’t want the “feel bads” when everyone tells me off. BTDT!! But I found one comment that said “the doctrine on eternal families isn’t going to change but I still hope you can find peace and happiness. “ That was one of the most honest comments. 

Edited by carlimac

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49 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

@carlimac: I probably cannot fully explain what I mean. Closest is probably how Jim Bennett describes his view of the issue: https://canonizer.com/blog/words-of-revelation/

In short, we claim to "know" so much more about how God views LGBT issues than I think we actually "know".

I think it’s interesting how so many claim God made him that way and loves him just as he is.  1-No one knows if God made him that way or not. We haven’t received any revelation on that yet (have we? Did I miss something?)  2- God would want us to overcome the natural man rather than giving in and claiming no ability to control it. 
 

Most disappointing was a comment from someone- - former leader who has spoken in General Conference who said she loves him just as he is. No qualifier that he should keep trying to make good choices or encouragement to stay clean and free from sin. 
 

Maybe I’m over thinking this. I need to just let it roll off my back but in just feels like the church is caving to public sentiment. 
 

 

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19 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

In some ways, the bigger issue is this mentality  of “how far can I indulge these appetites before it becomes a sin?”.  Whether in matters of chastity or honesty or anger or any number of other moral standards—this just isn’t a space we want to be living in. 

This.   I actually gave a talk that touched on this.   If God says "the line is here", why would you get as close to that line as you could?  Me?  I'm staying as far away from that line as I can, particularly if it included temptation.

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2 hours ago, pam said:

The problem with this example is there have been a couple of editions that they were naked and the swimsuits were painted on.

Where, in the scriptures, does it say that people with painted-on clothing are actually naked?  Huh?  Huh? ;)

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2 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Where, in the scriptures, does it say that people with painted-on clothing are actually naked?  Huh?  Huh? ;)

Don't be one of those.  :P   

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Where, in the scriptures, does it say that people with painted-on clothing are actually naked?  Huh?  Huh? ;)

Doesn’t need to say it in the scriptures. It’s painfully obvious! We saw some naked women with painted on flags in Times Square. Clearly naked! 😬

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8 hours ago, MrShorty said:

. I won't claim to have any understanding of the difference between Archuletta's frustration and the alcoholic who is frustrated that he has to choose between a good life and alcohol or the the thief that is upset because he got caught, but there is something different, IMO, about the frustrations expressed by LGBT Latter-day Saints.

The issue I have with this, though; is that the frustrations are very similar to those expressed by folks struggling with pedophilia.  I don’t mean  the flag-waving NAMBLA freaks; I mean the people I’ve met and worked with who are horrified at the way they’re wired but can’t stop the cravings and believe that they’ll never be able to find love in the way to which they are predisposed.  The vocabulary is identical.  The feelings, the longing, the despair—it’s all identical.  But a recent USA Today article exploring some of these issues was recently shouted off Twitter, because as a society we do acknowledge that enforced celibacy is a reasonable expectation if the stakes are high enough.  

As a church we are very big into the “it is not good that man should be alone” thing; but there are times when folks are compelled to be “eunuchs for Christ’s sake”, as Paul wrote. The celibate life, while not the norm, has long been respectable in society—Victorian “confirmed bachelors”, romantic-era recluses and hermits and whatnot—and I don’t think it’s coincidence that LGBTQ suicide rates spiked just as our society bought wholesale into the notion that “you’re nobody ‘till somebody loves you”.

But in the current cultural milieu I think what I’d say to say to someone like Archuleta (assuming he asked, which of course he hasn’t) is as follows: 

“Any nominally Christian church (and most non-Christian religions) will ‘save’ you; but the function of this particular Church is to prepare people for exaltation.  The prerequisite for that is being a party to a male-female marital sealing.  If you, in this life, create a relationship that makes a male-female sealing impossible, then a) there’s no guarantee that you’ll get another crack at such a relationship in the hereafter; and b) the emotional bonds formed in the relationship you *did* enter will, of necessity, have to be dissolved.  In a Family Relations class at BYU some years ago, my professor was fond of saying “God doesn’t hate divorce, but He hates what divorce does to people”; and for me, fourteen years of law practice have cemented this view.  God doesn’t want you to go through the trauma of watching an ill-conceived relationship wither and die—the heartbreak, the sense of betrayal, the loneliness, the self-doubt, the wondering if you’ll ever be able to trust again and the feeling that you’ve been played for a fool as the best years of your life passed you by.  Every homosexual relationship, by its nature, must end this way; and it’s entirely preventable.  I realize that the lack of an intimate and, yes, sexual relationship is gut-wrenchingly hard; but ultimately—if you hold to the Church’s counsel on this matter then at minimum you are sparing yourself from something far more painful in the long run, and you are likely also keeping open the door for exaltation that is the whole reason you’re a member of this Church in the first place.”

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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20 hours ago, Fether said:

Yes, however,  some doctrines for some people cannot be understood simply by throwing a book at them.

Absolutely. We need to minister in a Christlike manner. From Mosiah 18:9, We mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, while at the same time standing as witnesses of God on all points.

The doctrine I'm referring to in this instance consists of relying upon Christ to calm and settle "immense feelings" -- which I took from the context to be sorrow and distress. But they could refer to temptation as well, if that is what you meant. After that, the doctrine that God did not make him gay, and then the doctrine that gender, not sexuality, "is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

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On 1/17/2022 at 5:28 PM, carlimac said:

Has anyone seen David Archuleta’s emotional, more than 45 minute video he posted a couple days ago on Instagram and You Tube .......

 
What would you tell him to do?

I have not seen the video - but I do not believe I would tell him anything different than I would tell anyone else about their life.  The first thing I would tell anyone is that we are all children of G-d and as such we all face a mortal "fallen" from grace trial(s) throughout our entire mortal existence.  And we are intelligent beings and intelligent beings as capable of learning - which means that we can learn and make intelligent choices.  The only reason any choice seem hard is because we make them so.

The final thing I would tell anyone is that I am a proponent of Agency - that regardless of their choice (exercise of agency) - I will exercise my choice to love them and respect their choice according to my agency and covenants with G-d.

 

The Traveler

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How can we show love and support for others - especially those that are struggling with their covenants - without enabling any disrespect (directly or indirectly) towards that which is most sacred?

 

The Traveler

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5 minutes ago, Traveler said:

How can we show love and support for others - especially those that are struggling with their covenants - without enabling any disrespect (directly or indirectly) towards that which is most sacred?

 

The Traveler

As a general principle, I think that our relationship with one thing, in this case, those who are struggling with their covenants, should not be interpreted through our relationship with other things, in this case, that which is most sacred. They are two different relationships. 

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

How can we show love and support for others - especially those that are struggling with their covenants - without enabling any disrespect (directly or indirectly) towards that which is most sacred?

How close you can be to someone to love them, depends on both of you.  There are ways to disagree agreeably, or agree to disagree, or engage in civil and respectful debate.  There can be sensitive topics that just don't get discussed.  Some things are just not important to hash or re-hash, because there's no point. 

There are also ways to love with people who insist on complaining about/mocking/scorning/fighting against sacred things. Sometimes, the way you love those folks, is "from a distance".

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On 1/18/2022 at 3:28 PM, pam said:

The problem with this example is there have been a couple of editions that they were naked and the swimsuits were painted on.

Hmmm...that interesting, what year was that?

JUST KIDDING!!

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On 1/18/2022 at 5:22 PM, carlimac said:

I think it’s interesting how so many claim God made him that way and loves him just as he is.  1-No one knows if God made him that way or not. We haven’t received any revelation on that yet (have we? Did I miss something?)

I would agree that we know a lot less about what it means to be created by God than we often claim. Many complementarians (and many LDS seem to lean towards complementarianism) defend complementarianism by claiming that God made men and women to be --insert stereotype here-- so that they can fill divinely appointed roles in the family and the church. Do we really know how much of our gender differences and similarities are created by God? My username is derived from my stature being in the 1st percentile for height for US men. Did God make me short? Being short is certainly a complex outcome based on genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors, but does all of that mean that God made me short? Some would say yes. In a fallen, mortal world, Christianity has long struggled to decide what parts of being human are part of God's perfect creation and what parts derived from Adam's fall. Right now, we are struggling to apply this specifically to LGBT issues, with plenty of confusion and disagreements. I find it interesting that many -- like Archuletta himself -- claim that God has revealed to them personally that He created them this way. How do we feel about such personal revelation from God?

On 1/18/2022 at 5:22 PM, carlimac said:

2- God would want us to overcome the natural man rather than giving in and claiming no ability to control it. 

I agree that God wants to overcome the natural man. I think the challenge we have -- similar to the previous -- is trying to decide exactly what falls under the umbrella of "natural man". Again, what is God created and what is a consequence of the Fall. Years ago, when my marriage was descending into sexlessness, I recall my frustrations being mostly about how come I could not let sex go. Sex and desire were "fallen" things that, while they were allowed and acceptable within marriage, should be easily discarded if/when your spouse lost interest. Sex was clearly under the "natural man" umbrella and something that should be easily overcome. I now believe very differently about sex, and a big part of the change is deciding that is not universally "natural" but can be spiritual and God not only tolerates sex in marriage but celebrates it. I might even go so far as to say that sexless marriages are borderline sinful, but usually stop short of that (mostly because I don't think the sinful label helps anything). Anyway, so how do we decide what parts of sexuality are compatible with the spiritual man and what parts are clearly under the natural man umbrella?

@Just_A_Guy I probably don't have the same exposure to pedophiles that you do, but I have read a few articles (usually by the therapist(s) treating the kinds of pedophiles you describe), and I agree they do have a rough time, and I don't envy them one bit. My own struggles have been hellish enough, but pale compared to theirs (and, frankly, to run of the mill LGBT+ people, too). I don't have any real answers for those with a true orientation towards pedophilia, but I do feel like their is one important distinction between pedophiles and most other LGBT+ like Archuleta. Archuleta's potential romantic partners will be adults who are able to choose to reciprocate or not his overtures. The pain and frustration felt by the "ethical" pedophile (did I just coin that?) like you describe is, I seem to recall being mentioned, is a recognition that the children they are attracted to cannot reciprocate because of their age. I know many conservatives do not like it when consent is touted as the only or primary legitimizer of sexual activity, but it certainly isn't small potatoes, either. Consent is a significant part of a romantic and sexual relationship. The other thing I might push back some against is the idea that God "coerces" people into being eunuchs as applying to all LGBT+. Certainly pedophiles who are not "fluid" enough to be attracted to adults as well would be best to stay single and celibate. Can the same thing be said about other LGBT+ -- that God is coercing them to be single and celibate when society has evolved to see these relationships as acceptable?

In the end, I don't think I really have any answers, and I'm not convinced that the Church has any more answers than I or Archuleta do. Consider all this lack of certainty, I find myself wondering if we ought to be a bit more tolerant when someone claims that God accepts them and their LGBT+ tendencies and let them run their life and retain fellowship in the Church.

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