LDS Opinion on Appropriate Missionary Behavior


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I am curious as to what the forum's opinion is on this type of belief system and behavior from an active missionary.

This is public and the individual in question is okay with the material being shared.  As this was posted with the following on a public forum:

Howdy Friends! This is a Google photo album I've been working on for a bit now. I hope you all enjoy it! Feel free to add any LGBTQ inspiring/uplifting/funny/comforting/Christian content! Feel free to send it to anyone you know as well.
Also, here's a bit of my story. I'm not expecting all of you to read it, but if someone needs to read some relatable content you can take a peek!
God loves all of you! ūüíē

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fl1zLJ81Lf2I676m3tBAd7t8ypwVROekDMqg20bffvc/edit?fbclid=IwAR3bQgXfeiFmCN3L35TnP1Cse-zrjnB31VnjJ8GhYT_YWNluuW0n7xCUymk

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 I don't mind his overall message. It's good for people, no matter what they struggle with, to know they are loved. So to that extent it addresses a very real issue.

But as a missionary whatever he decides to share should always come back to Jesus Christ, his restored gospel, and the truthfulness of this Church and I don't think this does. 

As a side note (and this is based on limited experience so maybe I'm off) but it seems like those with same-sex attraction who intend to live a chaste life for the rest of their life don't make a big deal about having same-sex attraction and don't see it as part of their identity. Where as the bigger the deal they make of it and define themselves by it the more likely they are to eventually start to live a gay lifestyle.

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Just now, laronius said:

 I don't mind his overall message. It's good for people, no matter what they struggle with, to know they are loved. So to that extent it addresses a very real issue.

But as a missionary whatever he decides to share should always come back to Jesus Christ, his restored gospel, and the truthfulness of this Church and I don't think this does. 

As a side note (and this is based on limited experience so maybe I'm off) but it seems like those with same-sex attraction who intend to live a chaste life for the rest of their life don't make a big deal about having same-sex attraction and don't see it as part of their identity. Where as the bigger the deal they make of it and define themselves by it the more likely they are to eventually start to live a gay lifestyle.

I completely agree with this. ¬†We could all do better loving people ‚Äúgenerically‚ÄĚ. ¬†We have people who struggle with many things but it isn‚Äôt the center of their identity. ¬†Being a child of God should be. ¬†

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Not a fan.

I didn’t read after the first few sentences.

Missionaries should know the gospel and teach with the spirit.  Pretty sure this is not happening here.

I’m am terribly disturbed with the amount of gender confusion within the church.  

Tired of hearing stories of returned missionaries marrying their best friend starting a family, then finally recognizing they are gay and need to be true to themselves - then the divorce and family abandonment.  

The snowflake culture and accepting / loving everyone has gone way overboard.

Remember, the first commandment is more important than the second commandment.

If you don’t want to live a Celestial life then don’t.  Your choice.  God gave us free will.  But he also gave is Moral agency.  We are responsible for our actions and words.

If you don’t live a celestial life then don’t expect to receive a celestial reward.

When did we stray from teaching repentance to teaching acceptance?

Edited by mikbone
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I read the whole thing, though I lightly skimmed through some parts. (It's 43 pages long. That's not a quick ten-minute read.)

I had a lot of thoughts while reading it, a few positive, some negative, and many quite ambiguous. At the moment, I agree with mikbone: Not a fan. Not an enemy, but not a fan.

The author went on about how wonderful that he didn't feel judged. He told about the first seven hundred times he "came out", and every report was positive. Then he mentioned one time when he was talking (or texting, or somehow communicating) with a guy who asked an eminently reasonable question: Would a gay couple who adopted a child be likely to try to convince that child to follow a homosexual lifestyle, like their own? The author's snarky response was:

"In a world where conversion therapy exists, gay people would not do that."

This is a snarky, contemptuous response, not an honest answer to a perfectly good question. It's also false.

  • Which world is it where conversion therapy exists? Not in the world of the western democracies such as the US, where conversion therapy is openly frowned on and even illegal. So this is a bullcrap answer just from a perspective of an honest representation of reality.
  • Assuming for the moment that conversion therapy in the US is actually a viable option (it is not), are we really expected to believe that all homosexual couples literally would not teach their children to pursue and value intimate homosexual relationships because of the threat of conversion therapy? This is absurd. No one with an IQ above tap water temperature would believe this. I openly and enthusiastically tried to model a good, healthy, heterosexual relationship to my children and let them know what a fulfilling thing I thought my relationship to be. But we're supposed to believe that conscientious homosexual couples would never, ever do the same with their children?

Well, but this is a young man, not even yet of missionary age, who has no experience with adult topics like child rearing, so he can't be blamed for spouting of some ridiculous stuff. We all do it.

...eh, maybe. I've certainly said my share of stupid things, so it's hard to point the finger of blame. But consider that this is not an off-the-cuff discussion list post. Rather, it is a carefully considered, very long essay designed to present his ideas and beliefs to the world in what I can only assume to be an attempt at a positive way. Inviting honest dialog and then responding with contempt to an honest question does not offer a positive portrayal.

The topic, given so much front-and-center attention in our society for the past two decades, may elicit a knee-jerk negative response from many who, like myself, are really tired of hearing nonstop blaring about the evils of those who do not wholeheartedly embrace homosexuality and who continue the benighted, unforgivably hateful practice of considering homosexual intimacy to be a violation of God's will and a destructive, harmful practice. (So much for tolerance from the homosexual lobby. What ever happened to live and let live?)

On the other hand, as I read the essay, I considered how I would feel and how I would respond if he had been my son. I concluded I would probably have responded as his parents did, because what else am I supposed to do? Cut my beloved child off? Tell him I think he's horrid? Withdraw from him and leave him to his problems? I see no other choice than to hold him, kiss him, and tell him that I love him and admire his wonderful qualities that I have enjoyed since he was born. And if he began following the path that this young man seems to be taking, what am I to do then? If I have misgivings about what he's doing, maybe I tell him if he asks my opinion. But I'm no expert on homosexuality (and I don't recognize anyone else's supposed expertise on the matter). I do not understand the spiritual roots of homosexuality. I don't understand the biological roots of homosexuality, though I'm of the impression that prenatal cerebral development is an important factor. In the end, I suppose that I would likely see no other choice than to offer my son love and encouragement, and make sure he understood both that I love him (and that would not change) and that I believe what has been shown to me by God and the Spirit (and that would not change, either).

The OP's question was about "the forum's opinion [as if there is only one consensus opinion] on this type of belief system and behavior from an active missionary." My opinion is that a belief system that adopts homosexual practice as acceptable is wrong, though I don't see that is necessarily what has happened in this case, and that this behavior (that is, writing and publishing an open letter like this) strikes me as greatly unwise and potentially troublesome for the rest of one's life‚ÄĒthough if, as he seems to suggest, this has actually been encouraged or approved by those with authority in these matters, then I guess I can't really raise an objection to it. I believe that if I were the father, I would counsel my son not to expose himself publicly like this, because it would raise issues that would follow him for the rest of his life.

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I only made it through chapter 6.  I have no idea where this was going.  And life is short.

While I believe this story is somewhat representative of many homosexuals navigating the life he describes, I don't believe this was truly autobiographical.  The style and flow and certain pieces that don't fit into a single person's experiences. Possible?  Yes.  Likely?  No.

I believe someone else wrote it.  Therefore, it could be the author's amalgamation of stories from multiple individuals. Regardless, I'll look at this story as it stands as a fully autobiographical piece.

I'm glad that it showed a very common reality that when those suffering from SSA come out to family and friends, there really isn't a lot of anger or hatred.  It is usually some form of acceptance (whether it is "we love you anyway" or "we'll try to help you through this" or or possibly "cool, dude") rather than rejection.

I had a problem with his exchange with Elder Rasband.  I find it difficult to believe the response was an accurate depiction.  We have been told in the Proclamation that 

Quote

Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

It is important to note that in MULTIPLE articles on the topic, the Church has CLEARLY stated that "gender" in this sentence refers to biological sex at birth. 

(Yes, there are the extremely rare exceptions of intersex, Klinefelter Syndrome, etc.  But we at least start with the rule, then discuss the exceptions later.)

If exalted, SSA would be fundamentally incongruent with the nature of eternity and of eternal marriage.  Perhaps there is an argument for lower kingdoms (which I tend to disagree with). But to say we have no revelation on the fact for (at the very least) Eternal marriage?  Not buying that.

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The older I get the more I become convinced that one of the greatest evils in the world is thinking.

This child thinks he's wise, and has decided that his "wisdom" will benefit the world.

I've basically gotten to the point where, as smart and "wise" as I am, I'm full-on aware that I'm an foolish idiot.

Add to that the reality that libido basically pumps drugs into one's brain, and you've got a messed up child who's an idiot and a fool, and as good as on drugs (as all horny teenagers are) preaching his view of truth and wisdom to the world. Useful.

Well, that's the whole story of gaydom in my view. It's lunacy to look at it any way but a bunch of foolish idiots with chemically compromised brains preaching garbage that's worth less than nothing.

That is the why of commandments. That is they why of the Lord's boundaries. This stupid foolish compromised kid has no idea what he's talking about, and yet is locking himself into an eternal course. And on top of that he's preaching to others what his idea of "truth" on the matter is.

Sadly, this is common.

I, of course, think I understand things. But I'm "wise" enough to know I really don't. I have beliefs that are pretty firm. But debating from those beliefs isn't useful because, as I just said, I'm a foolish idiot.

But.... The Lord has given us standards. The Lord has given us boundaries. Within the Lord's standards and boundaries we can find happiness. Outside the Lord's standards and boundaries we never will. It's as simple as that.

Homosexuality, despite any view of the science or psychiatry of it, is not within the Lord's standards and boundaries. It never has been. It never will be. It, in any form, will never lead to peace and happiness.

Whether or not it's a choice isn't relevant to that. We all have natures that are outside the Lord's standards and boundaries. Everyone of us must put aside those things and traverse within the Lord's standards and boundaries in order to find happiness and peace.

Any view other than that is...well...foolish and stupid.

The path is narrow and few shall find it.

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I feel more sadness that this is where our society and where LDS culture is at than anything.  Sexual/Romantic desire for the same-sex appears to be acceptable in LDS culture.  The only thing prohibited appears to be same-sex sexual activities.  I can not see how acceptance of that won't be far behind.  Before every action is thought of the action and acceptance of the action as acceptable.

I find it sad that the culture puts parents into a double-bind hostage situation.  If a parent doesn't allow a child to "be who they are" and embrace and celebrate their every action, then that must mean that those parents are horrible.

I believe parents have been 100% totally emasculated on this issue and completely enslaved to the whims of immature children and society on this issue.  They are so afraid of "doing the wrong" thing, that the only acceptable thing is for them to either a) say nothing or b) actively encourage it.  In no other issue, is this the case.  If a child was doing drugs, hanging out with the wrong crowd, stealing, swearing, etc. parents would feel empowered to correct.  In this case, they have self-defeated themselves.

-------------

"On the other hand, as I read the essay, I considered how I would feel and how I would respond if he had been my son. I concluded I would probably have responded as his parents did, because what else am I supposed to do? Cut my beloved child off? Tell him I think he's horrid? Withdraw from him and leave him to his problems? I see no other choice than to hold him, kiss him, and tell him that I love him and admire his wonderful qualities that I have enjoyed since he was born. And if he began following the path that this young man seems to be taking, what am I to do then? If I have misgivings about what he's doing, maybe I tell him if he asks my opinion."

--------------

There are easy and simple steps to take as a parent in this case. Anyone who has ever had teenagers knows that the likelihood that if a teenager does not get exactly what they want they will throw a fit is a distinct possibility. I do not believe in indulging such behavior and being held hostage to the whims of a fickle child.

-------------

I walk down the stairs, things like this usually would have brought stinging anxiety and debilitating fear, but as I walked down the stairs I felt confident and strong. I saw my parents and stopped while still on the stairs. 
"I'm coming out right now, do you two want to be in the video?" 
Last time we had talked they were still hesitant about me coming out. 
"Yup! Do you want me to get my tripod for your phone?" My dad said immediately 
"Uh, yes I would, thanks." 
No awkward pause or hesitation. Just immediate support. 
I sat on the couch in between my mom and my dad. My phone in the tripod with all of us on screen. As I leaned forward to hit record, I looked back at my parents. They both looked at me and smiled. I scanned their faces for just a moment looking for any sign of fear or hesitation, there was none. It seems they had been prepared for this moment just as much as I had. My confidence still stood strong, I felt no fear, I felt still. 
I took a deep breath in, and pushed the record button on the screen. I felt my dad's hand rest on my shoulder. 
And then I came out.
The video was posted to Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok. Afterwards me and my parents sat and talked. My mom made the comment that she should have acted surprised when I said I was gay in the video. We laughed, I had a very large sign of relief, then we watched some TV. I fell asleep on the couch that night, as my mom was playing with my hair. The moment seemed surreal, it wasn't too long ago where we had a similar moment. But this time there was no fear, no collapsing realities, and no hysterical panic attacks. 
---------------------
"Thompson, are you okay? You know if you ever want to tell me anything that I'm always willing to listen." 
He glanced at me. "Yea actually, I have been wanting to tell you something for a while now." 
I felt my heart beat radiate through every part of my body. Now was the moment, something was finally going to happen. 
"Yea?" I softly responded 
"You know our friend Jamie?" 
Jamie… Why was he mentioning her right now? 
"I think I like her."
I felt cold water thrown on my face. 
"I didn't know I liked her until she started dating Jason." He continued. 
I looked out the window and felt tears crawl up my throat and into my eyes. I battled them down and looked back at him. He was in visible distress about his situation. I couldn't let him know what I was feeling, or how I had been feeling. 
"How do you feel about that?" I asked with shattered confidence.
He went on to express feelings of confusion and frustration. 
"Don't you just hate it when the person you like so much likes someone else?" He asked
"How ironic" I thought to myself. About ten seconds later the back car door opened. Dennis got in, and there was a long awkward silence as we drove to Toppers. Everyone was uncomfortable, even Dennis. He could tell something had happened, but he chose not to resurface whatever had just happened with the both of us. So we sat in silence. Two of us in heartache, one of us in confusion. 
Not long after that I was talking with Jamie, she asked if I was interested in anyone at that time. I said I was, she leaned in and gave me a look expecting an answer. I nodded towards Thompson. 
"Ooo!! That's so cute, do you know if he's gay?" She asked excitedly 
" I don't think he is." 
"Cmon! Why do you say that? You two would be so cute together." 
"Haha I don't know, it's just a hunch he's not." I ended the conversation there. 
Regardless of if he liked me or not, he was one of my very best friends. And the fact that he didn't see our relationship in a romantic sense stung for a bit, but that wasn't going to make me end our friendship. I had gotten to know him so well, and I was grateful for our relationship. Whether it was romantic or not. He was one of my best friends, and I intended to keep it that way from that point forward.

----------------------

I see a child who is in severe need of mentoring, correction, discipline, self-control, and rather then self-gratification, self-emptying love.

I think it is a travesty to allow a young man to go on a mission who previously has indulged in romantic fantasies with the same-sex and believes those are acceptable fantasies to indulge in.  I do not believe that sending such a young man on a mission to live with another single young man 24-7, to sleep in the same room, to be more closely tied to the hip to another young man than one is in marriage is wise nor healthy for the young man in question nor for any other young man who is paired with him.  I think it potentially (in the best case scenario) sets the young man in question up for heartache and disappointment as the fantasy of a romantic interest in a companion potentially takes hold and is not reciprocated. And in the worst case, that romantic interest IS reciprocated and two young men end up going down deeply forbidden paths.  

I understand if the LDS of today do not see things in this manner; I'm old and tired of what this world has become.

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7 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I only made it through chapter 6.  I have no idea where this was going.  And life is short.

While I believe this story is somewhat representative of many homosexuals navigating the life he describes, I don't believe this was truly autobiographical.  The style and flow and certain pieces that don't fit into a single person's experiences. Possible?  Yes.  Likely?  No.

I believe someone else wrote it.  Therefore, it could be the author's amalgamation of stories from multiple individuals. Regardless, I'll look at this story as it stands as a fully autobiographical piece.

I'm glad that it showed a very common reality that when those suffering from SSA come out to family and friends, there really isn't a lot of anger or hatred.  It is usually some form of acceptance (whether it is "we love you anyway" or "we'll try to help you through this" or or possibly "cool, dude") rather than rejection.

I had a problem with his exchange with Elder Rasband.  I find it difficult to believe the response was an accurate depiction.  We have been told in the Proclamation that 

It is important to note that in MULTIPLE articles on the topic, the Church has CLEARLY stated that "gender" in this sentence refers to biological sex at birth. 

(Yes, there are the extremely rare exceptions of intersex, Klinefelter Syndrome, etc.  But we at least start with the rule, then discuss the exceptions later.)

If exalted, SSA would be fundamentally incongruent with the nature of eternity and of eternal marriage.  Perhaps there is an argument for lower kingdoms (which I tend to disagree with). But to say we have no revelation on the fact for (at the very least) Eternal marriage?  Not buying that.

It is certainly possible that it is an amalgamation of stories.  I do not think has much relevance to the conversation.  He claims these are his real experiences and is currently as worthy missionary serving his mission.

Unless one is claiming that this individual is actually not a missionary; I have no reason to doubt his story.  And given that there have been multiple instances of openly homosexual missionaries who have openly come out while as a missionary and/or openly discussed their experiences as openly homosexual missionaries, it is a believable story.

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1 hour ago, old said:

"Thompson, are you okay? You know if you ever want to tell me anything that I'm always willing to listen." 
He glanced at me. "Yea actually, I have been wanting to tell you something for a while now." 
I felt my heart beat radiate through every part of my body. Now was the moment, something was finally going to happen. 
"Yea?" I softly responded 
"You know our friend Jamie?" 
Jamie… Why was he mentioning her right now? 
"I think I like her."
I felt cold water thrown on my face. 
"I didn't know I liked her until she started dating Jason." He continued. 
I looked out the window and felt tears crawl up my throat and into my eyes. I battled them down and looked back at him. He was in visible distress about his situation. I couldn't let him know what I was feeling, or how I had been feeling. 
"How do you feel about that?" I asked with shattered confidence.
He went on to express feelings of confusion and frustration. 
"Don't you just hate it when the person you like so much likes someone else?" He asked
"How ironic" I thought to myself. About ten seconds later the back car door opened. Dennis got in, and there was a long awkward silence as we drove to Toppers. Everyone was uncomfortable, even Dennis. He could tell something had happened, but he chose not to resurface whatever had just happened with the both of us. So we sat in silence. Two of us in heartache, one of us in confusion. 
Not long after that I was talking with Jamie, she asked if I was interested in anyone at that time. I said I was, she leaned in and gave me a look expecting an answer. I nodded towards Thompson. 
"Ooo!! That's so cute, do you know if he's gay?" She asked excitedly 
" I don't think he is." 
"Cmon! Why do you say that? You two would be so cute together." 
"Haha I don't know, it's just a hunch he's not." I ended the conversation there. 
Regardless of if he liked me or not, he was one of my very best friends. And the fact that he didn't see our relationship in a romantic sense stung for a bit, but that wasn't going to make me end our friendship. I had gotten to know him so well, and I was grateful for our relationship. Whether it was romantic or not. He was one of my best friends, and I intended to keep it that way from that point forward.

I wrote a response to exactly this part. I deleted it before posting because I decided it didn't add much of value to the conversation. But this bothered me:

  • If he's trying to live an LDS lifestyle and keep his covenants, why is he allowing himself to crush on a friend?
  • If he actually cares about his friend, why wouldn't he celebrate (at least privately) when his friend reveals his heterosexuality? I mean, that's good news, right?
  • If this young man is actively pursuing (or "exploring") his homosexual impulses, why on earth is he representing Christ and serving a mission?
  • What kind of active, believing, testimony-holding Latter-day Saint young woman¬†would approvingly nod at the idea of a friend's homosexual crush, then express disappointment because she thought the two of them would be "cute together"?

It's not that I doubt that a young LDS woman could be so callow and immature as to say such a thing. I know better. But that is just, I don't know, despicable.

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1 hour ago, old said:

Unless one is claiming that this individual is actually not a missionary; I have no reason to doubt his story.  And given that there have been multiple instances of openly homosexual missionaries who have openly come out while as a missionary and/or openly discussed their experiences as openly homosexual missionaries, it is a believable story.

There is a Facebook page corresponding to his claims, so this appears to be real. My first impulse was to doubt it was true; it reads too much like a Reddit post. But if it's false, someone has gone to a fair amount of trouble to make it look real.

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2 hours ago, old said:

It is certainly possible that it is an amalgamation of stories.  I do not think has much relevance to the conversation.  He claims these are his real experiences and is currently as worthy missionary serving his mission.

Unless one is claiming that this individual is actually not a missionary; I have no reason to doubt his story.  And given that there have been multiple instances of openly homosexual missionaries who have openly come out while as a missionary and/or openly discussed their experiences as openly homosexual missionaries, it is a believable story.

2 hours ago, old said:

I feel more sadness that this is where our society and where LDS culture is at than anything.  Sexual/Romantic desire for the same-sex appears to be acceptable in LDS culture.  The only thing prohibited appears to be same-sex sexual activities.  I can not see how acceptance of that won't be far behind.  Before every action is thought of the action and acceptance of the action as acceptable.

I find it sad that the culture puts parents into a double-bind hostage situation.  If a parent doesn't allow a child to "be who they are" and embrace and celebrate their every action, then that must mean that those parents are horrible.

I believe parents have been 100% totally emasculated on this issue and completely enslaved to the whims of immature children and society on this issue.  They are so afraid of "doing the wrong" thing, that the only acceptable thing is for them to either a) say nothing or b) actively encourage it.  In no other issue, is this the case.  If a child was doing drugs, hanging out with the wrong crowd, stealing, swearing, etc. parents would feel empowered to correct.  In this case, they have self-defeated themselves.

As a missionary, no it is not acceptable behavior to "celebrate" his SSA anymore than one should celebrate porn addiction, gluttony, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.   These are all weaknesses that various individuals have which the Lord tells us to overcome.  And most people try to overcome them and change.  But for some reason SSA is not something they believe they can change?  It is not something to be overcome?

This past couple weeks in Come, Follow Me have covered the first few chapters of Revelation.  I would submit that Chapters 2 & 3 are the MOST important chapters of that revelation (for this past decade, and possibly the next).  The interesting thing is that most people don't ever talk about these chapters.  Those are the chapters that read more like a section of the D&C than a prophecy.

I couldn't help but recognize that the word "overcome" occurs four times in one chapter, and (I believe) five more times in the remainder of the book.  And we keep reading in that chapter about the sins of sexual immorality as being the issue with the churches that are addressed.  This is not widely known because people don't know the background of various terms.

One cannot overcome that which is celebrated.  We need to feel remorse and a desire to rid ourselves of ANY tendency which will tempt us to deny the Lord's will.

Edited by Carborendum
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38 minutes ago, Vort said:

I wrote a response to exactly this part. I deleted it before posting because I decided it didn't add much of value to the conversation. But this bothered me:

  • If he's trying to live an LDS lifestyle and keep his covenants, why is he allowing himself to crush on a friend?
  • If he actually cares about his friend, why wouldn't he celebrate (at least privately) when his friend reveals his heterosexuality? I mean, that's good news, right?
  • If this young man is actively pursuing (or "exploring") his homosexual impulses, why on earth is he representing Christ and serving a mission?
  • What kind of active, believing, testimony-holding Latter-day Saint young woman¬†would approvingly nod at the idea of a friend's homosexual crush, then express disappointment because she thought the two of them would be "cute together"?

It's not that I doubt that a young LDS woman could be so callow and immature as to say such a thing. I know better. But that is just, I don't know, despicable.

Maybe I should have actually read it in its entirety before responding.

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Like some others have expressed:  life is short, and this essay is very long indeed.  The few paragraphs I skimmed were long on drama queenery and look-at-me-ism, and (for something purportedly written by a currently-serving missionary) short on Christ-Jesus-and-Him-crucified.  I’ve seen no indication that the quality of the rest of the essay, the ideas contained therein, or the author himself merit much more time or attention.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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Rather than read the link I have read the responses on this thread.  I have more trust in this forum than random internet information.  I have had more experience with LGBTQ+ than I wished and I will list a number of impressions from my experiences:

1 With extreme exception, all that experience mortality will be resurrected to one of 3 Glories in the Kingdom (heaven) of G-d.¬† Generally, I believe that those perusing LGBTQ+ that do not repent will not be resurrected to nor live the Law and covenants of the Celestial Kingdom of glory.¬† Generally, it is my understanding that those that struggle with repentance will fall into the came category and are not preparing for the Celestial Kingdom of glory.¬† Those that do not love, enjoy and appreciate repentance ‚Äď I am concerned that they are on a path to something other than Celestial.

2 As with all possibilities ‚Äď I believe moral purity is more of a spectrum than binary possibility.¬† That with most all possibilities included in the spectrums of possibilities it is only the extremes that we come to think of as a binary choice.¬† The law of chastity (as with all divine laws) has both a letter and spirit of the law.¬† I believe that the letter of the law attempts to be binary (my impression) ‚Äď it is through the spirit that we prepare for marriage.

3 There are many lies perpetrated in LGBTQ+ theory.  I believe two of the biggest are that LGBTQ+ is not a choice.  And that it is not a learned nor acquired cognitive behavior.

4 The prime directive of the Saints of G-d is love for one another and that it is impossible to love someone and intend to deprive them of agency.¬† I speculate that in the resurrection that only those that live Celestial Law will respect the agency of others.¬† All other kingdoms will preside over one another and intend to disallow agency.¬† I struggle with this ‚Äď I have difficulty loving those that abuse their agency.

5 Loving someone does not mean that you accept (condone, support, honor and appreciate) abuses of agency that limit one’s eternal capabilities (the definition of damnation).   I am concerned that Satan may have gone off the eternal rails concerned about those that abuse their own agency to the point that he perhaps rebelled thinking to save the difficulties that occur from abuses of agency.

 

The Traveler

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57 minutes ago, Vort said:

There is a Facebook page corresponding to his claims, so this appears to be real. My first impulse was to doubt it was true; it reads too much like a Reddit post. But if it's false, someone has gone to a fair amount of trouble to make it look real.

I have much more of an inclination to believe this type of stuff as this is now at least the third/fourth openly homosexual LDS missionary.  Given the similarity in the telling's of these stories (i.e. the necessity of being open about one's sexual preferences), I would wager that there is a pretty common thread between all such openly homosexual missionaries. While that is a miniscule number, it appears that this is acceptable behavior/thinking/attitude for LDS missionaries. At least, I have not seen any authority figures saying that this is unbecoming of a missionary.

I feel sadness that this is becoming common-place.

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-listen-learn-love-hosted-b-31119518/episode/episode-570-elder-shane-carpenter-gay-102697499/

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-listen-learn-love-hosted-b-31119518/episode/episode-574-nathan-mclaughlin-gay-latter-day-103238667/

https://www.facebook.com/bryce.garvey.18

 

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13 hours ago, Carborendum said:

As a missionary, no it is not acceptable behavior to "celebrate" his SSA anymore than one should celebrate porn addiction, gluttony, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.   These are all weaknesses that various individuals have which the Lord tells us to overcome.  And most people try to overcome them and change.  But for some reason SSA is not something they believe they can change?  It is not something to be overcome?

One cannot overcome that which is celebrated.  We need to feel remorse and a desire to rid ourselves of ANY tendency which will tempt us to deny the Lord's will.

A very wise statement.

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13 hours ago, Carborendum said:

As a missionary, no it is not acceptable behavior to "celebrate" his SSA anymore than one should celebrate porn addiction, gluttony, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.   These are all weaknesses that various individuals have which the Lord tells us to overcome.  And most people try to overcome them and change.  But for some reason SSA is not something they believe they can change?  It is not something to be overcome?

One cannot overcome that which is celebrated.  We need to feel remorse and a desire to rid ourselves of ANY tendency which will tempt us to deny the Lord's will.

I very much appreciate this comment.  I am not quite sure why I am posting to an LDS forum.  I think if this type of response had been the response given to myself and my family (wife + 5 kids) it is possible that we would still be attending LDS.

I understand the desire to circle the wagons when a perceived threat from the inside occurs.  I also understand the desire to discard or discount what others say either in-person or on the internet b/c so many people lie these days...or at the very least bend the truth to the version that will appear most sympathetic in others eyes.  Ultimately however, religion or worship should be a place of solace, a place of refugee, a place where one can worship God who has given us so much, a place to lay upon the alter our sins, our flaws, our frailties, humbly ask for forgiveness from God that he will have mercy on us; have mercy on those around us.

I think ultimately the distractions locally from being able to do so became too much; too great.   Those distractions included a celebration of this type of behavior rather than a remorse and repentance of it.  

My wife taking my daughter to a youth activity at a leaders home and seeing "Love conqueers all", plastered with rainbow signs. 

My daughter going to a Church girls camp with a transgender cabin.

Taking my son to a Church youth dance and seeing a homosexual young woman ask another heterosexual young woman to slow dance; reporting to the Stake Young Womans President this incident and being told-yes indeed you saw exactly what you think you saw.

My wife being berated, yelled, verbally assaulted (through word and text) for silently sitting in the young woman's class to observe what is being taught after the above incidents.

Reporting these things to the Stake President and receiving no acknowledgment that this should not be happening and is a problem.

The Stake President's Councilor and his wife bearing testimony in every Stake Conference about how much they love and accept their trans . . .now lesbian daughter and it's so great that the ward is so accepting of their daughter/son/child---I don't know I get confused about it all.

In an attempt to go to another ward, finding out that the next ward over has given a baby blessing in front of the entire congregation to a non-member mom (I guess . . . who knows she may be a member) and her lesbian live-in "married" spouse.  They have two older kids who regularly attend youth activities.  I can only imagine the conversations that go on between teenage kids of two live-in "moms" and the other youth. 

In the end, it all became way, way too much. Way too much distraction, way too much noise, way too much chaos, way too much toxicity that took away from the very simple desire to attend Church with my wife and our kids so that I and them can worship God; beg forgiveness for our mistakes and not have the wickedness of the world shoved down our throats at every step in Church.

So we left. 30+ years, 2 returned missionaries, married in the Temple with 5 kids. In all those years, the only times we missed Church was due to illness.

We now attend an Orthodox parish locally and it is very, very good for our souls. None of this is remotely a problem.  There is no mention of rainbow this or rainbow that. No one would dare think of "coming out" to the parish. Our older children, instead of FSY or girls camp with transgender cabins went to an Orthodox summer camp last year.  When we asked the question of is openly homosexual youth a problem to the camp director, the question was received more in a spirit of confusion-as in we don't understand what your question is or really why you would be asking it; it's just not a problem.  My son is attending a Orthodox winter camp and I have absolutely no concerns. The past summer for the Orthodox summer camp, they spent the entire week studying Christ's greatest sermon-the Beatitudes.

Again, thank you very much for your comment; I wish this was the response that had been modeled all those months ago.

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@old, I'm sorry the Stake in your area appears to have gone so far astray.  I hope the Area Presidency are able to bring it back into line with what it should be.  I'm glad you've been able to find relief elsewhere, but I hope you realize that there's no more salvation in an Orthodox parish as there is in an LDS ward gone astray - possibly less: the Orthodox parish cannot maintain your temple recommend to allow you to worship there.  Its sacrament has no power or authority.  And I am of the opinion that even if those administering the sacrament in your ward are unworthy, only they will be condemned for it, not those who worthily partake.

I don't know what counsel to give you except to move if you can.  Not every ward or stake in the Church is how you describe.  I would not let a ward-gone-off-the-rails kick me out of the Church.  My God bless and guide your family.

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59 minutes ago, old said:

We now attend an Orthodox parish locally and it is very, very good for our souls. None of this is remotely a problem.  There is no mention of rainbow this or rainbow that. No one would dare think of "coming out" to the parish. Our older children, instead of FSY or girls camp with transgender cabins went to an Orthodox summer camp last year.  When we asked the question of is openly homosexual youth a problem to the camp director, the question was received more in a spirit of confusion-as in we don't understand what your question is or really why you would be asking it; it's just not a problem.  My son is attending a Orthodox winter camp and I have absolutely no concerns. The past summer for the Orthodox summer camp, they spent the entire week studying Christ's greatest sermon-the Beatitudes.

Again, thank you very much for your comment; I wish this was the response that had been modeled all those months ago.

I think a lot of it has to do with the ward, apparently. I've seen none of what you've discussed.  

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24 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I think a lot of it has to do with the ward, apparently. I've seen none of what you've discussed.  

It is definitely a location driven practice.  The more liberal your area, the more woke it will apply gospel principles. 

I live in Texas.  We're pretty insulated.  But we have three or four very liberal families.  They do what they do.  But they are not allowed to do what @olddescribed because no one would let them get away with it.

One of the women of said families was asked to give a Sunday School lesson.  They tried to say some defense of LGBT+ ideology.  Several people pushed back.

Unfortunately, the ward that Old described didn't have enough people who were of the correct mindset, educated in the defense of traditional families, and had the ability and will to defend the faith.  Those few who remained probably got shot down by the overwhelmingly woke ward members.

Nothing you can do.

Yes, moving may be an option (as @zil2 indicated).  But I don't blame him for just going to a different church.  Here's why:

It seems that his heart is still with the basic tenets of the faith.  He probably still holds his covenants sacred.  But like Lot and his household, he couldn't stay there lest he be consumed by their apostasy.

So, he chose to go out into the wilderness.  There was no other refuge immediately available to him.  What else is he supposed to do?

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19 hours ago, old said:

It is certainly possible that it is an amalgamation of stories.  I do not think has much relevance to the conversation.  He claims these are his real experiences and is currently as worthy missionary serving his mission.

Unless one is claiming that this individual is actually not a missionary; I have no reason to doubt his story.  And given that there have been multiple instances of openly homosexual missionaries who have openly come out while as a missionary and/or openly discussed their experiences as openly homosexual missionaries, it is a believable story.

My theory is that it is largely autobiographical.  But he had some embellishments.  And some of those embellishments may have been from other people's legitimate stories.

The reason I chose to point that out was largely for the same motivations as what @Just_A_Guy and @Vort had spoken about.  This essay/diary is not about sharing one's personal history to share the ups and downs of one's life.  It was to write a puff piece about why we should celebrate his SSA.

A real diary would have, or at least SHOULD have talked about ANYthing he did to actually overcome this trait and walk towards God.  But he didn't.  It was all about getting sympathy (even approval) for someone who has to deal with SSA, and why we should be understanding that he simply CANNOT overcome it.

Well, maybe he can't.  But the Lord can.  Where in any of this entire account does he talk about reaching out to the Lord to help him overcome this?  Was there any degree of repentance over this issue?

One thing I've thought about a lot recently is that it is hubris to think we can overcome sin on our own.  I the LDS faith, we tend to emphasize works a whole lot more than any protestant faith, and possibly more than orthodox faiths.  But we need to remember that God's grace is real.  And it is only through that grace that any of our works will ever bear fruit.

Edited by Carborendum
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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Yes, moving may be an option (as @zil2 indicated).  But I don't blame him for just going to a different church.  Here's why:

It seems that his heart is still with the basic tenets of the faith.  He probably still holds his covenants sacred.  But like Lot and his household, he couldn't stay there lest he be consumed by their apostasy.

So, he chose to go out into the wilderness.  There was no other refuge immediately available to him.  What else is he supposed to do?

What would happen if he didn't sustain the Bishop or Stake President.   If, during his Temple Recommend interview, he answered positively to everything except that, then explained why?

ETA:  Now I'm curious and need to start reading.   I've never encountered this.

Edited by Grunt
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