Tag Archives: homosexual

Defining Yourself

The video begins with students who attend Brigham Young University saying “I am a Mormon and I am gay” or “I am a Mormon and I am a lesbian.” I have often found it strange that people with homosexual tendencies would define their entire self by a temptation that they find particularly difficult. What if I had made a terrible mistake with my boyfriend and from then on declared to the people around me that “I am a Mormon and I am a fornicator.” It would be silly to take that mistake and let it cover who I am. To do so suggests permanence which undermines the very core of our beliefs: the atonement of Jesus Christ. To believe that one cannot change is to discard belief in the atonement.

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Born This Way

There is an idea in the world that if you were born with certain tendencies that those tendencies are apart of you and should be embraced. This is a lie, whispered by the adversary.

Heterosexual members of the church should not be alarmed by such proclamations that same-sex feelings begin at a young age. Every member of the church felt attraction to sin when they were very young.

As a little girl I stood looking up at the rows of candy laid before me. Mom had moved on to the next aisle. It would be so easy to slip one of the delicious morsels into the pocket of my denim Osh-kosh overalls. As just a four or five year old girl I was overwhelmingly attracted to the sin of stealing. I was tempted. What if I had gone home and told my parents about the temptation that I had faced and they had said it was okay? They could have said that because I was so young and had obviously never been taught the feelings that I was having that I should embrace them. They could have told me that it was apart of who I am and that people needed to learn to accept that part of me. To do so would have shown a lack of love by my parents. Instead they  taught me that to steal is wrong and that I need to vigilantly work to overcome that temptation.

Some reading this may be thinking “but the temptation to steal feels very different than the temptation of same-gender attraction.” I am not pretending to be coy. I understand this. Lets use the example of a comparable temptation that heterosexuals face every day in their daily lives.

My Father tells of being a 13 year old scout. Their troop volunteered to pick up trash along the road up Milcreek canyon in Utah. Each scout was dropped off along the road about every 1/2 mile. They would then walk along with a garbage bag working their way up the roadside picking up any garbage they saw. As the young scout wend his way up the beautiful canyon, he came upon a girly calendar tossed along the side of the road. He quickly picked it up and put it in his trash bag. As he walked, the temptation to get back in his bag to view the pornography was so great that he had to tie the handle of the partially filled bag and leave it along the road for the leaders to come and pick up.

What if he had decided to begin viewing pornography because he recognized that he was attracted to it? He may have thought back to other little experiences where he had felt similar stirrings in his heart and recognized that he was born with this tendency. His parents had not taught it. In fact they had strongly taught against it. What if he had allowed this temptation to define him? Perhaps he would’ve told his friends that he was a porn guy – not even because he viewed porn but because he saw that it was attractive to him. He could’ve said that they needed to accept him for who he was.

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Our Love

Many of the students in the film expressed a feeling of pain that came from a lack of love shown by the people surrounding them in the church. That kind of behavior is wrong. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ we are commanded to love one another.

Mark 12:30-31

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Notice that love is not optional. Love is a commandment given by our beloved Savior. We must love homosexuals as much as we must love any person; those who are openly and actively practicing as well as those who simply struggle with the temptations surrounding it.

We must be careful with the application of this concept. This does not mean acceptance of their chosen path. Let me give an example of righteous love concerning homosexuality:

I will never forget watching two sisters pull each other into a desperate embrace as they found out a third sister had openly chosen a life of homosexuality. The anguish was palpable. They rocked with sobs as they thought of their little sister who had chosen to abdicate her covenants for a life that held nothing but sorrow and heartache. They understood that the consequences of her decisions could alter her course for eternity, and they were heartbroken at the thought of it. My heart still groans within me at that memory.

These women felt so much anguish because they love their sister with all their hearts and they will always love her for all eternity, regardless of the path she chooses to take.

So then how do we respond with deep and sincere love for the person with homosexual inclinations without accepting the sin they grapple with?

I believe that the first thing we must always remember is that our purpose is to assist in overcoming, just as we  would react to any other harmful temptation such as alcoholism, pornography addiction etc. The solution will be situational but working with Bishops, parents, and daily communion with God will be universal in the repentance process.

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Fighting Temptation

It is possible that some who struggle with homosexual tendencies will fight it until the day they die.

Challenges that span a lifetime are not uncommon for members of the church. For example, there are those who suffer from chronic illness that will plague them their entire lives. For many, no amount of prayer or personal righteousness will relieve them of their challenge. Often it is God’s will that we suffer in this life, in order for us to become the person that God intends us to be.

I have a job that allows me the opportunity to sit in on an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every week.  I realized early on that some of the members have been sober for 25 years or more. I asked one week why these people still attend meetings after so much time has passed. The response I received surprised me. I was told that it is because it is still hard. Some still fight the urge every day to resist taking a drink again. Yet, over and over you can hear them say how it’s been so worth it to continue fighting and how much better their life is as a result of overcoming.

The “It Gets Better” video offers a most unsettling quote: “Increased personal righteousness is reported by LGBT Mormons as the most common yet least effective method of attempting to change their sexual orientation.”

The implication is that being righteous is supposed to eliminate our challenges. This has never been the case. We know that hardship will always fall on the righteous as well as the unrighteous. The Savior himself suffered more than any person on earth has suffered and he was sinless.

The unsettling part is the quote implies that personal righteousness is not the solution. This is not true. That is the kind of thinking that will destroy our power over the adversary. We MUST cling to the commandments. We MUST cling to our covenants. We MUST cling to our Savior Jesus Christ. We cannot afford to do otherwise.

2 Nephi 31:19-21 offers each of us understanding concerning our responsibility to press on in righteousness. Look for the spirit that can be felt as you read these words:

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

 21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

I offer my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the earth that is led by our Savior Jesus Christ. He has mercifully given us prophets and apostles on the earth today to guide us though the confusion in the world. We must vigilantly heed their words with exactness, or we will be led astray.

All that I have written here has been done so with love for God and with the love I carry in my heart for my fellow men.

-Sara Davis-

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