No gays in heaven? Avoiding new Mormon folk doctrine

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rainbow flagA guest post by EmJen

Mormons love to answer the big questions.

This comforts many people, knowing where they came from and where they are going, but sometimes it gets Mormons into trouble when faced with questions regarding specific groups of people.

I worry we are constructing new folk doctrines regarding LGBTQ+ members. Looking into our history, this has not ended well.

For example, look at the “Neutral in the War in Heaven” tradition that was applied to people of African descent. It’s not hard to find examples of early church leaders trying to justify the priesthood/temple ban saying that Black people were “fence-sitters” or somehow “less valiant” or even “that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality.” Even though leaders such as Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated right after the lifting of the ban in 1978 that “We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world,” we are still having to educate members in 2016 to counter the lingering damage this folk doctrine caused.

So now that the policy/revelation is in place, a lot of members are asking: If LGBTQ+ members did not choose to be gay, and yet they do not fit into the eternal plan of salvation as LGBTQ+, how does that work?

Since we know through trial and error (the famous deletion in President Boyd K. Packer’s 2010 talk “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”) that God did not make them that way, it is tempting to ascribe it to a punishment for something they did in the pre-existence. Maybe they were confused in the War in Heaven. Maybe they were distracted. Maybe their children who are now excluded from being blessed/baptized/ordained until age 18 were too silent in the debates, so now have to be extra vocal about disavowing their parents’ relationship to take their place in the church.

See how easy that is to do? And how wrong?

Now let’s look at some post-existence folk doctrine.

Using his own interpretations of certain Book of Mormon passages regarding Nephites and Lamanites, President Spencer W. Kimball believed that through Mormonism, those in the Indian Placement Program were becoming lighter-skinned. “The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised (2 Ne. 30:6). . . . The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.”

This trickled down to members believing that there would be one unified race in the hereafter: white. (Which, interestingly, is in direct opposition to another problematic pre-1978 folk doctrine that Black members will go to the celestial kingdom as servants.)

Such history should make us very cautious about constructing any justifications like the one that gay people will become heterosexual in the hereafter.

Why worry about it? Because just this week, Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy stated in a BYU devotional:

. . . Heavenly Father’s life defines eternal life. And one of the things we know about His life is that He is sealed in an eternal marriage of man and woman. So to choose anything less than the eternal marriage of woman and man is to choose something less than the full resplendent purpose of our Father’s plan. God loves all of His sons and all of His daughters and would have us know that each of us has the innate, divine capacity to exercise faith in Christ and receive all that the Father offers his children. In other words, none of us are predestined to fail.

Here I understand him saying anything that causes failure in the eternal plan of salvation, including someone’s integral sexual identity, can be overcome so that one can obtain an eternal marriage of man and woman. He continues:

However, we should recognize that each of us comes into this world with weakness, which I will define as desires or tendencies inconsistent with the plan of salvation. Such things, to one degree or another, are inherent in the human condition.

In looking at this through the lens of LGBTQ+ issues, we understand that it’s not because a loving Heavenly Father would make them a certain way, but having weakness/desires/ tendencies are part of being a fallen human. Notice how he does not blame action/inaction in the War in Heaven. Elder Nash then outlines how to overcome these:

Moroni teaches that any son or daughter of God who will humble himself or herself before God and exercise steadfast faith will over time experience the miracle of Christ making weak things become strong unto them . . .  For the faithful, such weakness, is, ultimately, temporary. For when he comes again, and I’m quoting a beautiful scripture that I love, for when he comes again ‘God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.’ Our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation, making eternal life possible for us, is the greatest expression of love ever made. If we choose, by faith, to live according to his law despite our human weakness, we will one day receive all that the Father has. Thus to stand for the Father’s plan is not hatred or bigotry. Rather, it is to express God’s love. . . .

Again, you can argue that Elder Nash was speaking more generally, but you can also apply it specifically to LGBTQ+ issues especially in light of him noting that he is not being bigoted regarding current social issues.

Is this the beginning of a folk doctrine that LGBTQ+ people have the capacity to be changed to match the heterosexual plan of salvation?

I hope not, because as one friend put it succinctly, this is sort of like saying, “You poor thing. You’re not like me. Fortunately after you die, Jesus will make you like me, so I’ll be more comfortable.”

And while it’s going to be hard in the ever-increasing vacuum of “if God didn’t make them this way and if they didn’t choose to be this way but how then do they fit within the eternal plan of salvation?” there is really only one answer:

“We don’t know, but we know God loves you.”


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  • Ricardo

    Emjen,

    The root issue here is not about LGBT people, not about black people, and not about Lamanites being transformed to white “delightsomeness.”

    It is about a group of white males who have now for 180-ish years claimed to have a pipeline to divinity. They pretend to, but they don’t.

    For any of them to say “Ooops, remember when we told you we got it wrong on [Blacks, LGBTs, or anything else]? Well, forget what we said. We were wrong, but NOW we have it right!” is absurd on its face.

    There have been far too many wrong-then/right-now episodes to conclude anything but that these men were and are no more inspired than any other human who seeks answers through deep thought, meditation, or any other means that they choose.

    It’s sad.

  • Paul

    Well, all things will work out in the hereafter. Which is another way of saying, “You’re better off dead.”

  • Arthur

    Except we don’t know that God didn’t make them that way – we accept it’s not a choice and we know there are genetic and biochemical factors. Some might try to play semantics games, but that’s misleading. The larger issue is the speaker is right – LDS doctrine is that to reach the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom you have to have entered into the new and everlasting covenant, which as currently understood allows only heterosexuals to enter.

    Good counsel to avoid inventing folk (and false) doctrine about the matter, but “you poor thing” isn’t a compelling argument for those impacted.

  • christiankimball

    Thanks and please and pleas for “we don’t know, but God loves you.”

  • dsc

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand the fuss. People are burdened with all kinds of temptations, tendencies, disabilities, passions, and even identities that are part of the earthly experience. I don’t know why this one appears to many to be substantially different. There are many parts of my character that I sure hope don’t carry over into eternity. Am I grateful I have them? Absolutely, because they present an opportunity to learn and grow. But many of them present substantial obstacles to keeping the commandments. Again, not sure why this particular issue has to be different for so many.

  • Katie L

    And while it’s going to be hard in the ever-increasing vacuum of “if God didn’t make them this way and if they didn’t choose to be this way but how then do they fit within the eternal plan of salvation?” there is really only one answer:

    “We don’t know, but we know God loves you.”

    Actually, there’s another answer: you fit within the eternal plan of salvation just as God made you to be.

  • Earl Parsons

    Isn’t the “Plan of Salvation” itself (as understood in common parlance) a folk doctrine? Which scripture provides the set of circles so many missionaries and Sunday school teachers have drawn? Which prophet received the revelation that the nuclear family is at the heart of it?

    The “Plan of Salvation” is a useful framework to understand life and the eternities. Is a model, scaffolding to help us understand the divine. We can now identify a segment of the population that doesn’t fit the model. Instead of reconsidering the model (and remembering it’s just a model) we throw our brothers and sisters under the bus and cut them off.

    Fortunately, with faith and repentance we can always do better.

  • Danny S

    dsc, I think the concept of immutability is key to your question. I can be pedantic at times and hope this will not come off patronizing. With no intent to trivialize whatever qualities you may have referred to about yourself, I suspect the qualities you refer to are things you would like to change. More importantly, those same qualities ARE changeable. There are some things that are UNchangeable, such as one’s skin color. (capitalization for emphasis, not because I’m shouting) If you were told that your skin color was a defect requiring correction in the hereafter, what would your reaction be? Incredulity? I hope so. Well, for people who are LGBT, they would tell you their identities are just as fixed as their skin color. Once a doubter, I now also believe that to be true. I reject that one’s sexuality is a temptation or disability to be fixed.

  • Kevin JK

    dsc, I agree with you 100%. There are people physical and mental ailments that will be fixed in the resurrection. Many of these people function fine in society and would consider themselves perfectly fine to enter the eternities in the current (yet glorified) state. Many deaf people oppose people receiving cochlear implants saying that it separates them from the deaf community. In the resurrection, I believe that the deaf will have their hearing, whether they want it now or not. Based on this, I believe gays will be transformed.

    That being said, we all have to admit that we don’t know all of the answers. There are so many different churches because people came up with different answers to fill knowledge gaps in the Bible. McConkie and Peterson tried to fill in knowledge gaps with their disproven statements. My paragraph above is based on current understanding and I’m willing to recant it if/when further light and knowledge is given.

    We have to be humble. we don’t know…

  • George Nixon Shuler

    You win the Gold Star for comment of the decade on this topic.

    Some years ago, I read a “True Crime” book called “The Mormon Murders” about the antiquities dealer who was selling fake documents to top-ranking LDS leaders and then started bombing them when they didn’t pay what he wanted in the late 1970s. The author was a crime reporter from Salt Lake who was a “Gentile,” (i.e., A “Non-Mormon” in Mormonese) but had previously thought of the LDS as a good institution but by the end he was convinced otherwise. He concluded with discussion of the pastoral letters which were distributed after the entire murderous farce to faithful Mormons whose tithes had been, shall we say, misused. The gist of the letters was “Trust the Brethren,” i.e., the leadership. For those of us who reject use of religion as a means for power and control over others, that was a bridge too far.

  • Yoh

    Can they be a little more plain about their “No Gays Allowed” stance? /Sarcasm. It is clear that there is no place for Gay mormons. They have doubled down on bigotry. Other than the very real threat of retaliation for leaving the church, I cannot see where it is sane for gays (or anyone who does not feel like treating them like garbage as a matter of course) should stay with such a church.

  • Grog

    Say woot?

  • Grog

    “…unless you’re alive.”

  • Grog

    There’s a far better, more reasonable answer. That answer is: there’s no god, kiddies, so stop believing silly old salvation lines. Make the best of the one life you know you’ve got.

  • Grog

    It all started going downhill for their church of latter day wombats when the v1 golden tablets turned out to be a big hoax and the Mormon gig was really just a way for a few guys to score multiple bedmates/female servants.

  • Richard Rush

    Whatever Mormons say about LGBT people is as delusional as the their belief in the LDS Church’s foundational tenets.

    The LDS Church was founded on fraud, and is a great lesson in how religions are invented. The fact that LDS is a modern era example of a new religion makes it easy to scrutinize, and then arrive at the obvious conclusion that Joseph Smith’s preposterous tale of the gold plates is a fraud. And without that tale, there would be no LDS Church.

    Another part of the LDS lesson is to observe how multitudes of people have been indoctrinated with the gold plates tale since childhood, and as adults, apparently believe it is true! And, even more astonishing, is how Mormon missionaries go out and manage to convert adults into becoming Mormons!!

    I have come to believe that the brains of some people are wired in such a way that the more preposterous a story is, the more likely they are to believe it.

  • Aplle

    Grog-Romans 1:18-32 says God made it known He is real through creation.

  • Ben in oakalnd

    Because it corresponds exactly to an ancient, vicious, and durable prejudice, linked to the deep-seated misogyny of the aBrahamic religions, that has been used to justify two millennia of prisons, murders, torture, executions, pogroms, beatings, and destroyed lives, families, and careers.

    That’s why it is different. What other purely theological sin has resulted in any of this. We even stopped burning with he’s a few hundred years ago, but as recently as 2003, because caught in the act could get you a prison term inutah.

  • DR

    Try changing your sexual identity and you may start to understand the reason for the “fuss!”

  • DR

    Just because Elder Nash said he’s not a bigot, doesn’t mean that he’s not a bigot.

  • Brett Gillespie

    Was God unaware when He sent us here that people would experience very complicated aspects of life like being transgender/intersex or even having homosexual tendencies? Of course He knew what would happen, and what will become of them afterwards.

    It’s important to the human experience to be able to recognize when you don’t have all the knowledge and wisdom, all the answers. What we must be concerned about, I think, is how we treat these people and take care not to make their life journey any more difficult than it would otherwise be.

    They have the freedom to live as they please, and while the truth doesn’t change just because you or anyone else doesn’t agree with it, we ought to not make such a fuss over other people’s choices. There is a time and place for everything I think, but maybe sometimes we take ourselves and our views too seriously, even extremely so.

  • DR

    Good article Emjen! Thanks

  • DR

    Aplle, Romans 1, like most of the rest of the bible, is a crock of sh-t.

  • Drew

    Oh look! A rare atheist being loud and condescending sighting! /sarcasm

  • Drew

    Lol. The stupidity of this comment is amazing. Keep talking, I love it.

  • Drew

    Hmm interesting. Go on…with your proof this time though. Just saying it’s easy to scrutinize and calling it preposterous doesn’t mean you actually have proof that it was fraudulent. Please respond with your proof.

  • This “folk doctrine” started long before Elder Nash’s talk or many of the other contemporary statements of its ilk. Precipitated by concerns in the Church over scriptures such as D&C 132: 14-22, President Lorenzo Snow taught: “There is no Latter-day Saint who dies after having lived a faithful life who will lose anything because of having failed to do certain things when opportunities were not furnished him or her. In other words, if a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it. That is sure and positive.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow [2013], 130.)

    The Church’s current Provident Living website for Bishops only teaches that homosexuality is most definitely a temporary mortal condition that will be removed in the next life.

  • Aplle

    Show love not Drew sarcasm of Jesus to be Christian. Mormon is False Religion of false god and will result in eternal hell fire. You must Repent of Mor​on group else no mercy of god can be without Repentance first.

  • Aplle

    Show love not Drew stu​​p​idity of Jesus to be Christian. Mormon is False Religion of false god and will result in eternal hell fire. You must Repent of Mor​on group from Moroni false priest else no mercy of god can be without Repentance first.

  • ben in oakland

    Given that there isn’t the slightest bit of linguistic, archaeological, historical, genetic, religious, social, and cultural evidence to support the Mormon hypothesis, once could reasonably infer that it isn’t true. The same thing goes for unicorns and banshees.

    We also have the word of True Christians (TM) that Mormons are not Christians, and they should know because they are the True Christians. Billy Graham used to say as much, before he got rMoney’s religion. Surely, you wouldn’t denounce Saint Billy, would you?

    We have the further evidence of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians, who says unequivocally that if anyone, even and ANGEL FROM HEAVEN– possibly named moroni, but he didn’t specify– should give you a different gospel than his, well, that person would be accursed. I believed no less a person than Joseph smith proved that that was true at his inopportune and misfortunate demise.

  • Aplle

    Mormon is proved False Religion of false god and so to result in eternal hell fire. You must Repent of Mor​on group from Moroni false priest else no mercy of god can be without Repentance first.

  • ben in oakland

    “how we treat these people and take care not to make their life journey any more difficult than it would otherwise be.” Unless we are busy destroying marriage, family, children, faith, freedom, heterosexuality, and western civilization. Then 2000 years of persecution is magically transubstantiated into self-defense.

    “They have the freedom to live as they please.” NOW we do, but no thanks to the Mormons and 2000 years of Christian persecution, including jails and executions. If Mormonia had its choice, Utah sodomy laws would still be in effect.

    “and while the truth doesn’t change just because you or anyone else doesn’t agree with it.” Sorry, but that happens all of the time. But it also might lead you to question whether it is the truth. For some centuries, so-called Christians have mistakenly argued that being homosexual is a choice.

    “we ought to not make such a fuss over other people’s choices.” See the paragraph immediately preceding.

  • ben in oakland

    “homosexuality is most definitely a temporary mortal condition that will be removed in the next life.”

    Because, try as they might– and the have tried mightily, with laws, jails, vilifcations, beatings, executions, and murders– they cannot make it go away in this life, so they might as well promise it for the next one. Why not? They promise everything else! And there isn’t the slightest merest thread of gossamer from an angel’s bright wings to contradict the assertion.

    sort of like getting your own planet. Anyone reported recently about how life is on the sixth planet of the Klingon system?

  • A Happy Hubby

    Jana – thank you for the time and effort you put forward on your blog and in your life. I suspect you might not read down this far as I couldn’t even stomach the “your wrong, I am right” – “NO, your wrong, I am right!!” never ending and un-enlightening verbiage.
    I just want to say it is appreciated.
    You are smart, educated, spiritual, and are willing to stand up for what you think is right and of God even if others shout you down.

  • Salus

    Nice comment. Thank you.

  • My problem with this line of thinking is treating homosexuality like a disability to be cured. “Attraction to those of the same sex, however, should not be viewed as a disease or illness”

    My question is how is homosexual behavior completely contrary to God’s plan of happiness (defined by marriage between a man and a woman) but celibacy is OK?

  • Jen K.

    The internet has facilitated unprecedented collections of official church statements and teachings reaching all the way back to Joseph Smith. Generations have collapsed into summaries and comparisons, offering an aerial glimpse of the evolution of human rights (race, gender, sexual identity, economics, intelligence, mental health, the list goes on and on…). Contradictions abound, and our certainty screams hubris.

    The only sane conclusion seems to be that we know almost nothing. If it were not injurious to so many, it would almost be funny. We are like toddlers learning things we never knew we never knew. But it’s not funny, because real people are being maligned and continue to be mistreated. We often act just as Job describes, “Miserable comforters all.”

  • Laura

    I absolutely agree with you, dsc. We ALL have innate temptations, as well as innate strengths.To claim that this particular brand is somehow MORE ingrained in people than any other possible temptation is simply arrogance. And frankly, there are PLENTY of people — especially those who truly believe in the Gospel — who actually do want to be rid of their homosexual feelings. I know several personally, who look forward to the day they will finally NOT have to deal with it. One of my dearest friends often laments people telling her she should embrace her same-sex attraction, and is offended when people claim that she is nothing more than her temptations, when she is living a happily heterosexually-wedded life. She — and others I know — feels that it completely undermines her beliefs and how hard she has worked to live the Gospel and follow God’s word. We all have our sins. It is up to US to decide which sins we will embrace or not. That’s what we’re doing as mortals.

  • Kevin JK

    Well said.

  • Fred M

    It might be arrogance, I suppose. Or it might actually be true. To claim to know for sure it’s one or the other is maybe a bit arrogant too.

    I am sure there are many members of the LDS church and other churches who want to be rid of their homosexual feelings. Just as through history there have been times when people wished they weren’t black…or Asian…or Jewish…because life would be easier without the persecution or challenges or whatever. But that doesn’t mean that that desire is correct.

    There are plenty of things throughout mankind’s history that have at one time been considered sin but are no longer. Homosexuality may end up on the scrap pile too one of these days. Only time will tell.

  • Elder Anderson

    “For the faithful, such weakness, is, ultimately, temporary.”

    In Heaven, God will remove temporary earthly afflictions like hatred, bigotry, ignorance, and self-righteousness. Heaven be very gay.

  • Ben in oakland

    No. The arrogance is claiming that this is merely a temptation, like a box of chocolates. You are simply ignorant. If it is merely a matter of temptation, I would suggest you prove it by engaging in a gay romance for a year. Oh, you say you are not tempted? Quelle surprise!

    The desire for love, sex, romance, and family is not merely a temptation, it is inherent within us. The problem is, moralizing busybodies think they know the mind of God, and the minds of gay people.

    The Mormon church and the Catholic Church both claim that it is inherent. Virtually every scientific, medical, and social professional organization in the entire civilized world know that it is inherent. There are the stories of millions of gay people, including your friend, who know its inherent. There is the failure of Jesus, prayer, Freud, and Exgay fraud to change people.

    Your friend is living a happy heterosexual life? sUre doesn’t sound like it.

  • Ben in oakland

    Do you mean like so called Christians claiming not only to know the mind of God, but to know the status of his relationship with any other soul on the planet? Or the loud and condescending nonsense financed and promulgated by the church, including political campaigns, denunciations from the pulpit of gay people as being threats to marriage by getting married, children by having children, family by having families, faith by exercising their religious beliefs, freedom by standing up to 2000 years of prisons, murders, vilification, and executions?

  • Kevin JK

    True Christians? How can you say that when they worship a god based mostly on Greek/pagan philosophy (The Trinity)? They can’t explain it or confirm it in the Bible. Ask them and see. They’ll talk about “nature” and “essence” which come from Greek philosophy. 1 Tim. 1:7 talks about them, “..understanding neither what they say nor where of they affirm”.

    The verse you referenced warns people about straying from what the apostles taught and that is exactly what the Trinitarians have done. 2 Tim. 4:4 describes them, “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

    We shouldn’t be afraid of them calling us a cult. In a formal debate, they would easily be shown far more deserving of the label.

  • Kevin JK

    Sorry, but a lot of humanity suffers from temptations that can not be considered good – pedophilia, bestiality, etc… We all have temptations…mine is tall leggy women with fair skin with dark hair and dark eyes (Anne Hathoway for example). being a married man, I have to stay away from her and all other women despite my hormones and “lizard brain” pushing me toward them.

    Some people have other since that drive them from God’s plan…WoW (which promotes self control and subjugating earthly desires), tithing (which promotes selflessness), Sabbath Day (which promotes putting God first), etc…We ALL have temptations that we are to overcome and just because society says those sins are okay since they don’t harm others doesn’t make them OK with God. They should be legal per Caesar, but they aren’t moral per the Gospel.

    If we subjugate our unrighteous earthly desires, those desires will be removed from us in the next life, after serving their purpose acting as a refiner’s…

  • Ben in Oakland

    I am not interested in having sex with animals. I think pedophilia is grave moral evil.

    Tithing doesn’t promote selflessness, it promotes religion.

    The entire problem is the people who presume to know the mind of God because they think they understand something written In a badly translated book produced by a culture and mindset millennia from ours. And because they think they understand it, they also presume to know the relationship of God with other people.

    ThaT is simply spiritual arrogance of the worst sort.

  • Ben in Oakland

    That’s why true Christians is trademarked. It’s a business model.

  • StokedMormon

    The difference is that homosexuality doesn’t have to be a “burden”, any more than heterosexuality does. It only becomes one because of what flawed humans believe about it and how they react to it.

    The goal here is to create a society where homosexuality doesn’t have to be a challenge. Life grants us plenty of challenges; there’s no need for us to generate artificial ones.

  • Kevin JK

    I agree 100% that we don’t know. My first response to this article was saying just that. We don’t have all of the answers and need to be open to new revelation.

  • Kevin JK

    The same could be said of bestiality. No one is hurt or forced and people can function completely fine in society. That doesn’t mean it’s moral. Just because society eliminates any consequences for it doesn’t mean that there isn’t eternal consequences.

  • Ben in oakland

    Actually, there is an issue. consent. But even so, it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket. And, as you point out, the bestialists can be perfectly good members of society.

    Given the few numbers of them, and the even fewer who are going to announce to their mothers that they enjoy having sex with sheep, I’m not particularly concerned about.

    And it doesn’t mean there are eternal consequences. That’s YOUR belief. And if you believe that, you should not have sex with sheep.

    There are also eternal consequences for not sharing your beliefs about the nature of God, and his relationship to the world. But I suspect you don’t show up at religious sites making the kind of comments you are making here.

    All we gay people want is the exact same respect you routinely offer to all of the rest of the people you believe will suffer eternal consequences.

    And with about as much reason.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    My father (of blessed memory) used to say that if being gay were a choice, it wouldn’t take long to make a different one.

  • Kevin JK

    I agree with you 100% and you may remember some of my comments regarding Prop. 8 where I condemn the Church for supporting it because it violated D&C 134:4 and 1 Cor. 10:29. I was the website owner of lds4gaymarriage.org (now deceased).

    I believe that homosexuality is contrary to God’s plan, but you should be allowed to practice it without interference.

  • StokedMormon

    What I’m talking about is a person who wants to enter into a loving, committed, romantic relationship with another person who mutually desires to engage in that relationship. These two people just happen to be of the same gender, because that is consistent with their sexual identity.

    I do not believe that type of relationship bares any resemblance to bestiality. In fact, I believe it actually bares a very strong resemblance to the heterosexual relationships that (I assume) we both agree are good, healthy, and profoundly fulfilling.

  • Conrad Deitrick

    “Actually, there’s another answer: you fit within the eternal plan of salvation just as God made you to be.”

    Except, that’s not true about anyone.

  • Elizabeth

    I don’t think this is the beginning of the folk doctrine of no homosexuality in heaven – I remember hearing it for the first time in the Oaks/Wickman interview released around Prop 8:

    “ELDER WICKMAN: One question that might be asked by somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is, “Is this something I’m stuck with forever? What bearing does this have on eternal life? If I can somehow make it through this life, when I appear on the other side, what will I be like?”

    Gratefully, the answer is that same-gender attraction did not exist in the pre-earth life and neither will it exist in the next life. It is a circumstance that for whatever reason or reasons seems to apply right now in mortality, in this nano-second of our eternal existence.

    The good news for somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is this: 1) It is that ‘I’m not stuck with it forever.’ It’s just now…”

    http://www.mormonnewsroom

  • ben in oakland

    what if someone isn’t struggling with it and has no desire to.

    It is amazing how much certainty you manage to express about other people’s lives in eternity.

  • Kevin JK

    I agree that gays should be allowed to have the same legal benefits and protections as straights. My point is that just because something is acceptable in society and those practicing function just as well as others, doesn’t mean that God accepts it. Our CURRENT knowledge indicates that he doesn’t. We may get information that we may be wrong, but until that happens, we have to condemn it.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m Sorry Ben – I meant to note the “for now” approach isn’t new with this policy – not that I agree with it in any way. I fully reject the policy, the folk doctrines around it, the homophobia in the Church, and the idea that homosexuality is temporary.

  • SkyBird

    to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    (New Testament | James 4:17)

  • Richard Rush

    Kevin JK,

    “. . . My point is that just because something is acceptable in society and those practicing function just as well as others, doesn’t mean that God accepts it. Our CURRENT knowledge indicates that he doesn’t.”

    . . . Because, unlike science, religion must be dragged kicking & screaming to change course based upon empirical evidence and/or human decency. And then when religion does finally change, they claim credit for the entire change.

    Given the fact that there is no empirical evidence for the existence of god(s), what “CURRENT knowledge” could you possibly be referring to? There has only ever been evidence-free claims by various people, plus many other people who have chosen to believe them. Maybe you meant to say, “CURRENT delusions.”

  • Ben in oakland

    And to him that knoweth to do good, but elevates a social prejudice into the worst sin ever, reviles and slanders, harms people who haven’t harmed him, judges others before achieving spiritual perfection, and in general acts like a real d**k, but pretends to be righteous anyway,

    IT IS SIN.

  • Kevin JK

    This thread it about LDS doctrine. if you don’t believe in God, then nothing discussed here matters to you. Why are you here then?

    By CURRENT knowledge, I meant scripture. Current scripture indicates that righteous gays will be freed of that temptation in the next life, just like all of us will be freed of our own temptations. I’ve stated that we must all be open to new scripture that may dramatically alter the current view.

  • C

    Comparing loving, committed same gender American couples to “temptations that can not be considered good – pedophilia, bestiality, etc…” is hate speech, nothing more.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Sexual orientation, whether gay, bisexual or non-gay, has been shown by science to be inborn and unchangeable as is race, and psychologists have shown being gay or lesbian is just as healthy and “normal” as being non-gay. Here are just 18 of tens of thousands of respected websites (and a citation from Fox News for the doubters) that document this:

    http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    http://www.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html

  • CarrotCakeMan

    A quick search on Scholar.google.com on the phrase Physiological Basis of Homosexuality turns up over 26,000 articles, the vast majority supporting the biological basis of same sex attraction.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=physiological+cause+of+homosexuality&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C21&as_sdtp=

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Anti-gays always deny they are anti-gay, that was just another anti-gay lie.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Sorry, there is NO SUCH THING as “ex-gay.”

  • Kevin JK

    Sorry, but according to scripture, it’s not good. Even if the couple is loving, great parents, generous, kind, thrifty, etc…their relationship is contrary to God’s plan per current scripture. That may change and we should all be open to it, but that’s up to God, not man. Sorry pal, you don’t get to dictate to God.

  • Kevin JK

    As true as that may be…and I fully believe it is…that in no way changes God’s plan as we currently understand it.

  • Ben in oakland

    No probs. Sometimes things aren’t clear.

  • Ben in oakland

    Nothing discussed here should be of concern to us atheists?

    LDS doctrine, like the 1700-2000 years of so called Christian so called doctrine that conveniently disguises a virulent and deadly prejudice that has affected untold millions of people, and not in a good way– nope, not a thing to do with the people who have suffered from it.

    Because of Mormon meddling based upon their doctrine, we spent $3000 to provide ourselves with 1/10 the protections than any formicating, adulterous, thrice married former republican congressman could have for his fourth Doxie could have for $100.

    The precise issue is how so called Christian so called doctrine has elevated a sin into a crime, a political cause, a mental illness, a threat to civilization itself, and incidentally, a money machine that sells demonization in order to purchase political power.

    And all of this coming from people whose ignorance of those they attack is simply, astoundingly, deficient.

  • Ben in oakland

    Pretty annoying that you claim no animus, but then compare my 15 years with my husband to an anonymous pig f***er. Yup, no bias there.

    There is far more similarity between straight and gay relationships than there is difference, and generally speaking, neither has much similarity at all to pig f***kers, child molesters, and all of the other miscreants that people who claim they don’t despise us for existing routinely compare us to.

  • Ben in oakland

    Contrary to god’s plan as we currently understand scripture.

    So was being a witch.

    So was being black. So was being a woman.

  • patrick

    ” Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. ”
    Steven Weinberg
    Nobel Laureate – Physics

    Mormans do claim that Mormanism is a Religion – don’t they ?

  • DougH

    One interesting question that impacts the whole debate is, will there be sexual attraction in the next life? If the answer is no, the question of homosexuality in the next life pretty much becomes a moot point beyond whatever process is involved in the procreation of spirits — of which we know nothing but ASSUME somehow involves both male and female. Within that context, it seems to me people that were homosexuals in this life would have no problem forming relationships with the opposite sex so that they, too, may become mothers and fathers of spirits. But it’s not the same thing.

  • Kevin JK

    I have freely admitted, and during the Prop. 8 campaign, willingly exclaimed, that gay relationships can be as kind and loving as straight ones and gays can be equally good at parenting. I have valiantly fought for marriage equality.

    My point is simply that despite the above, current scripture, the source of OFFICIAL LDS doctrine, states that homosexuality is wrong in God’s eyes. I’m will to accept the possibility that new scripture could be forthcoming that changes that. Until that time, we have to state the official doctrine, that homosexuality is simply one of several temptations that we all face and that will be eliminated in the next life.

  • Kevin JK

    Being a witch is condemned in scripture and women are prohibited in scripture from holding the priesthood in mortality. Where’s the problem? Being Black never is condemned in scripture. Some LDS authorities went beyond scripture to theorize why Blacks didn’t have the priesthood and thereby created folk doctrine. Scripture condemns homosexuality and those who believe that gays will eventually be sealed as couples in heaven are preaching baseless folk doctrine.

  • There is a lot of false doctrine coming from the LDS branch of Mormonism. I can see why God has so many different Mormon Churches. This attack on homosexuals is much like the attack on “blacks.” Nether are supported by actual Mormon doctrine, and the worse part is that the leaders of the LDS branch won’t even add to the D&C to make what they do “legal” in the eyes of their doctrine. So, they know what they are doing is wrong on some level. But, we shouldn’t focus on the bad coming from the LDS church, we should be focusing on being there for those in need. We are to mourn with those that mourn, and being there for these kids that are thinking of taking their own lives will go further than just reminding ourselves that God is real, in spite of the bad stuff coming from Utah.

    https://youtu.be/Su_UHWtjsNs

  • Kevin JK

    Sorry, but ATHEISM is far more deadly to humanity. The Spanish inquisition lasted about 150 years and Jewish scholar/author Dennis Prager states that the death count from it was about 3000. OTOH, the Chinese cultural revolution killed 70 million over the course of just a couple of years. How did Mao define 3000 deaths – a slow afternoon. Atheist Stalin killed more than 20 million. Hitler, who rejected the Catholicism of his youth killed 11 million.

    Sure, we had the 3000 above and the 3000 from 9/11, but religion is FAR FAR less deadly than atheism because atheism doesn’t believe in long term consequences and thereby promotes selfishness and hedonism. All religions promote charity. I have yet to hear of an Atheist General Hospital or Agnostic Memorial.

    Of 2 demographically identical groups, one being atheist and one religious, the religious group be more socially responsible (crime, charity. etc…) because that former is self absorbed rather than focusing on others.

  • Kevin JK

    Sorry, but homosexuality is clearly condemned in scripture so condemning it is in no way false doctrine nor in need of an addition to the D&C. The latter WOULD be required to open the temples to sealings for gays and/or to state that there will be SSM in the eternities.

    The issue of Blacks and the priesthood was NOT based on scripture and was therefore wrong. As stated, the condemnation of homosexuality IS based on scripture. There is no logical comparison.

  • It’s actually not, but thankfully we in the Fellowship still have access to revelation from the Lord.

    “Behold, it is natural that from time to time men shall be born to love their fellow man as a man loves a woman, and for mine own reasons have I caused this. Yea, I say unto thee it is a sin for a man to lay with another man as a man layeth with a woman – this much is in my Law, as given by my servant Moses. Yea, the Repetition of the Law doth expand on this teaching; that this thing shall a man not do for profit or for strange gods; yea nor shall a man sell himself to lie with another for any reasons… But behold, I have warned thee and forewarn thee; if thou has the natural affection for women, thou shalt not lay with a man as a man layth with a woman, as my Law says. Behold, this thing is a grave sin unto me, even as my servant Paul taught.” – Book of Remembrance 16: 2-4, 19-20

    http://cjccf.org/scriptures/book-of-remembrance/chapter-16/

  • Ben in oakland

    The same lie told over and over and over again: atheism kills.

    No one was killed in the name of atheism, but in the name of power hungry fascists, in the name of fascistic ideology, in the names of greed and hate and fear.

    But the real weakness of your argument is here: you admit that religious people– let’s say, Germans in WWII– murdered people in massive proportions. 6 million Jews alone killed by very Christian Germany. You could also look at the millions killed in orthodox Russia, the millions killed in the taiping rebellion by the so called little brother of Jesus. Or hey, go for the entire population of the world except for an old drunk and his family, including the little babies who couldn’t have sinned even if they wanted to.

    Nice work the the people who are always claiming to speak for the God who is love.

  • ben in oakland

    Just because you claim to support gay marriage doesn’t magically make everything OK. You have STILL compared by 15 years of love and life the sexual habits of an anonymous pig f***ker.

    “homosexuality is simply one of several temptations that we all face and that will be eliminated in the next life.” Mo0rwe ignorance. It is not a temptation that we all face. Most of my hetero friends are simply that-hetero. They are no more tempted to homosexuality than I am to heterosexuality.

    Meanwhile, so many so-called Chrstians would really rather not wait for the next life when they can try to eliminate gay people in this one.

    as for god’s plan, it sure seems to be a miserable failure of a plan, since it includes plagues, pogroms, wars, bigotry, hatred, prisons, lies, reviling, slander, discrimination, lynchings and a host of other blessings.

    thank god I’m an atheist.

  • Sharman

    Since we really don’t know such details of the afterlife, how about we just leave the door open for hope? We could try to set aside our assumptions and really listen to what our LGBTQ brothers and sisters have been testifying of, i.e. that God loves them as they are. Many of them have felt spiritually led to their same-sex partners and that God has approved of their committed relationships. Instead of automatically dismissing these convictions as Satan’s lies, we could at least acknowledge that they might not actually be contrary to Jesus’ love and special concern for the socially marginalized of his day. Would it be such a stretch to align our teachings and policies more closely with the lived experience of those most impacted and most potentially harmed?

  • Kevin JK

    When gets sustained via Common Consent making it part of the Standard Works, we’ll talk.

  • Kevin JK

    Mao, Stalin, and Hitler all killed for the glory of the state. Atheists worship the state instead of God. Politics are their religion. Don’t about Jesus over Christmas dinner, talk about promoting Obamacare or gun control said Obama.

    I’ll fully admit that some theists go too far, but such are condemned by other theists. Leftists rarely condemn other leftists or leftists causes. Feminists complain about manspreading and air conditioning here, but are silent about the REAL rape culture in the Middle East and North Africa. They haven’t said a word about the Muslim rape gangs or clitorectomies or the stoning to death of women who are raped. Those atrocities are overlooked for going after the male gaze.

    Religionists, especially LDS, give far more time and money to charity (even removing tithing from the equation) than atheists who want the state to do it. There may be some, but I know of nothing that atheist groups have done for society. They spend their time bashing…

  • Kevin JK

    I may have been unclear. I meant to convey that we all face temptations that keep us away from God. I get tempted by women that i find attractive and have had several opportunities to stray with women who were MORE than willing. My brother is tempted by drugs. Others are tempted by greed or vanity or a myriad of other things. The Book of Mormon says that if we come to God, he will show us our weaknesses.

    People who fall for those temptations aren’t bad people. They’re just people. they can function well in society and may even be praised by society for engaging in those things. They may well be moral people in most other aspects of their lives and should be lauded for that morality, but that doesn’t make those temptations any less wrong in God’s eyes.

    Gays will be judged by God as will we all. Just because their favorite sin is different than mine doesn’t make them any better or worse. that’s for god to judge, not man.

    BTW, don’t lump me in w/ pogroms. Too…

  • Ben in oakland

    So, you lump me with pig f***ckers, but prefer not to be lumped with the people who like pogroms.

    Your brothers problems with drugs are harmful to him. My being gay is not.

    Your temptations with other women are harmful to your marriage. My being gay is not harmful to my marriage.

    Though you are open to other revelation, for the moment you prefer to believe that God is busy judging me. So if God does as commanded, and produces that other revelation, what can we conclude? That men have had it wrong for 2000 years? tHat God thought “x” yesterday, but doesn’t think “x” today? God used to think that witches should be killed, but suddenly got around to communicating to us that the crime of witchcraft doesn’t actually exist?

    Or can we just conclude that there are a few badly translated passages in a book written 2000 years ago that people latched on to to justify what could not be justified by any other means?

  • Ben in oakland

    Mao killed for the glory of the state. So You admit that it was not atheism, but their own murderous impulses. Except, of course, that they didn’t kill for the glory of the state. Another made up story, since the first word spaghetti you tossed at the wall didn’t work.

    Atheist worship the state. Politics are their religion. A straw man that you have easily destroyed. You must not know any atheists, but are quite familiar with the stories you make up about them. Much like comparing me to pig f***ckers.

    Leftists rarely condemn other leftists? But theists condemn other theists. There have been so many denunciations of right wing Christians coming exactly from whom? Feminists don’t denounce the culture of rape? rEally? culture of rape?

    You have a whole army of straw men. And every one of them really doesn’t exist.

  • Ben in oakland

    Story after story you’ve made up about people you clearly don’t know and know nothing about. It explains so much about you.

    Atheists worship the state instead of God. As far as I’m concerned, you e just disqualified yourself from meaningful conversation.

  • Kevin JK

    You & pig f***ckers are both villating God’s existing word. just because in no way means that I support pogroms any more than you support f’ing pigs. Both you acts and my brothers, though having different results in mortality both have negative effects in eternity.

    God gives differing revelation to men based on the needs and circumstances of society at the time. In football, most coaches will punt on 4th and 8, but if your team is behind late in the 4th quarter, they would call a different play. God calls different plays…sometimes allowing polygamy and sometimes outlawing it.

    Since we have Greek copies that are near the originals, translation isn’t an issue.

  • Wayne Dequer

    When we are confronted by things we do Not fully understand there is a tendency to speculate. Without humility we may come to rely on our own speculation. On the topics under discussion I find the following to be wise counsel: “Despair is another adverse influence. It often results from a lack of understanding and trust in God’s continuing love as made available through the power of the Atonement. You can find hope in the fact that every blessing contemplated by Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness remains available for each of His children. Despair and doubt may lead to withdrawal, fault-finding, and impatience that all answers and resolutions for life’s problems are not immediately forthcoming. The Spirit of God brings good cheer and happiness. Trust the Lord. Do not blame anyone—not yourself, not your parents, not God—for problems not fully understood in this life.” (See https://www.lds.org/manual/god-loveth-his-children//god-loveth-his-children?lang=eng ).

  • John Carter

    Many in the Protestant tradition do not believe that celibacy is OK. Even some in the Catholic tradition used to teach that unless one was married or a monastic, he/she would not inherit the Kingdom (or Kolob either).

  • Tommy

    Kevin
    “clearly condemned”? By whom and when?

    In all of the Savior’s teachings in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, where does He condemn homosexuality as a sin?

    Saying that it was condemned in the Old Testament is hardly a response. We clearly do not accept much of what was the law of the Old Testament.

    If homosexuality was such great sin, why was there no mention of it by the Savior?

  • Jay

    Keep tripping over yourselves and your ridiculous doctrines Mormons. It’s funny to watch.

  • DougH

    Would you consider rape or incest to be great sins? Because Jesus never said anything about either. Are you really going to assert that the only sins to be taken seriously are those Jesus specifically referenced? But like it or not, Paul clearly includes homosexuality in his list of sexual sins and no one else, including Jesus, contradicts him.

  • Kevin JK

    Paul taught that homosexuality is a sin. His words are in holy scripture and therefore constitute official doctrine. Jesus, in the NT, corrected a lot of misinterpretations. He corrected the notion of Sabbath Day observance and adultery and other things. He never corrected the ideas surrounding homosexuality. he was good with those.

  • Tommy

    DougH
    Do you really believe that Jesus did not preach against violence? Like Joseph Smith, the Savior taught correct principles, not volumes of Talmudic rules. Which principle in the Savor’s teachings is inconsistent with homosexuality?

  • Tommy

    Kevin JK
    Paul taught:
    1 Timothy 2:11,12 “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
    1 Corinthians 14:34,35 “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience…and if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church.”
    1 Coirinthians 11:5 “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head”

    And as you are undoubtedly aware, Paul said many other things from which you (and the Church) resiles.

    Kevin, face it, Paul said many things are require context and historical understanding. Basing your doctrine on two or three quotes from Paul alone, without further analysis or scripture, is risky. If not, our Church has already fallen into apostacy for failure to follow Paul’s teachings.

  • Tommy

    Kevin JK.
    The First Presidency in 1949 stated that the ban on Blacks holding the Priesthood was based on scripture and was doctrine. They were able to find scriptural support for the Church’s position. We now resile from that position. You are wrong to say there is no logical comparison.

    You statement that there would need to be an addition to the D&C is silly. There are many non traditional issues that will be sorted out in the eternities and are not discussed at all in our current scriptures.
    To think that man (including the Church leaders) knows everything and has all of the answers to every situation now has proven to be wrong. Just go back and look at teachings of former prophets and apostles, from we distance ourselves now. There are plenty. They state their opinions and are entitled to do so. But those opinions are NOT scripture and have been wrong on many occasions; nothing more than folk doctrine ( or better stated as philosophies of men mingled with…

  • Kevin JK

    The first verse simply states that men are to be the leaders and women can’t be over men. men have no women in line authority over them. Regarding the 2nd verse, they didn’t have sound systems back them and the men sat in front to hear the message and then taught their families when back at home. The women would sit in the back with the kids and gab and that made it hard for the men to hear. The third verse deals with modesty. Women back then all wore veils and removing it to pray was immodest. Removing veils to pray was something a certain group of pagans did. 1 Cor. 10 tells us to avoid even allowed acts if such acts would offend others. Even if Paul didn’t think unveiled women immodest, the 2 reasons mentioned earlier were reason enough for women to remain veiled so as to not offend new converts or investigators. Some believe that “her head” that is dishonored is her husband. Paul says the husband is the head of the woman. Unveiling is immodest and thus dishonors…

  • Kevin JK

    There was no scriptural support for the ban. if there was, McConkie wouldn’t have had to come up with his theory justifying it.

    To allow homosexuality WOULD require a D&C entry since homosexuality is condemned in current scripture. The only way to overturn existing scripture is with new scripture, hence the need for an addition to the D&C.

    BTW, I am the LAST person who considers the opinions of leaders as scripture or binding. The First Presidency stated that oral sex was an unholy and impure practice. If that was true back in 1983, why aren’t couples being married taught that? Our support of Prop. 8 violated D&C 134:4 and 1 Cor. 10:29 because during the campaign, the gays HAD the right to marry. Our support of 8 therefore violated those verses and was definitionally wrong.

    Scripture condemns the idea of the church being blown to and fro with every wind of doctrine. unless something is sustained by Common Consent, it’s just an opinion, no matter who says it.

  • Tommy

    Kevin JK
    How you wrest the scriptures. You “invented” that entire explanation. Where is your support?

    Paul said the women are “silent”. He also said that they cannot speak in Church. READ THE WORDS. Your blah,blah blah explanation simply ignores what he said.

    Or perhaps you finally admit that what Paul said cannot be taken literally in some of his teachings.

    Either way, you prove my point.

  • Tommy

    Kevin JK
    Looks like we agree, at least on the opinion thing. Check out the first presidency statement on August 17,1949 about how the Church used to use scriptures to support its position. Church leaders were vulnerable to the prevailing cultural prejudices and were able to find scripture that they believed to support that position.
    Each of the leaders grew up with prevailing cultural prejudices against homosexuality. Why is it not credible that this situation is no different than that which arose with the ban on blacks and the priesthood?
    We can have a more fruitful conversation if we discuss the specific scriptures you allege condemn homosexuality. On deep reflection, you might find the support not as strong as you now think.

  • DougH

    Tommy, I’m not playing that game. If you want to argue that Jesus did not hold to the standards of sexual morality revealed in the Old Testament and affirmed by Paul, then make your case by pointing to his specific words. And pointing to Jesus’s general statements about how we should love one another won’t cut it — Jesus was always forgiving and accepting of those that acknowledged and regretted their sins but (verbally) brutal toward those that would not acknowledge their sins. And he loved them all.

  • Tommy

    DougH
    It is no game. Look at my comments to Kevin JH if your sole source of doctrine is some Old Testament verses and two or three verses by Paul, then lets discuss those. This is pretty thin support. You would have been a great apologist for the priesthood ban on the blacks. You could find equally thin support for that false doctrine.

  • Kevin JK

    If you can figure out how to reconcile Paul’s words with modern conditions on the ground and other doctrine like eternal increase, I’m open to look at the evidence. good luck.

  • Kevin JK

    I read the 1949 statement and there were no scriptures referenced. I doubt you or I could shed any more light on the verses referenced than has already been discussed a myriad of times in the media.

  • I don’t see the LDS church accepting revelation from God anytime soon. Sorry. They have removed him too thoroughly from our shared religion.