Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Books by Language. Full text of " homosexuality - a straight byu student's persepective " See other formats Credits Inasmuch as this book is of good report or praiseworthy, I credit: Kenneth Miller, whose book Just a Theory provided a structural prototype for chapter 2.
My parents, David and Becci Carmack, for teaching me moral courage. Many of my friends, from whose examples I have learned compassion. My LDS upbringing, for teaching me to seek for and cleave to truth. My Heavenly Father, who has encouraged and inspired me along the way. Inasmuch as the book is erroneous and I would be deeply surprised if it does not have many faults , I take full blame.
Copyright The messages in this book are intended for everyone. Copy it, post it, link it, paste it, and share it at will. A Case for Compassion Causation a. Sex Determination b. Parking Lot Test 3. Mutability a. Agency b. Why homosexuals can reproduce 5. A moral case for LDS same-sex marriage 6. Rebuttals to common anti same-sex marriage arguments 7. In Re Proposition 8: Perry v. Schwarzenegger 1 Introduction The average person on this earth has a twelve-fold better chance of having strong homosexual tendencies than of having membership in the LDS church.
At 14 million members, the LDS church constitutes about. Even within the church, at that same prevalence, a very conservative estimate is that there are roughly , homosexually oriented members of the LDS church. Given the number of church units wards and branches , the likelihood that at least a handful of homosexually oriented church members or ex-members live in your boundaries is extremely high.
Bottom line? Homosexuality is neither rare nor insignificant. Who is my audience? I write to all who find themselves walking that challenging territory where religion and sexuality collide. We are an interesting bunch, we Latter-day Saints. Politically we hold a significant place on the national scene, and I think we offer a fine microcosm of all conservative religions as they address this unavoidable subject.
Everyone can learn a lot from our pain, our confusion, our failures, our learning, and our successes. I invite all readers to suspend present views long enough to openly consider the support I will give for the conclusions herein. This reading will be worth little unless you do, because if one's conclusions are already set, presented evidence is likely to result only in polarizing further the stance already taken 4.
If, when you finish the last page, you have found none of my arguments persuasive — no harm done, just return to the views you held before picking up the book. In exchange for your commitment to openness, I commit to a robust, well- researched inquiry. I hope to emulate the ideal of the editors of Understanding Same-sex Attraction: LDS Edition: "We need all of the understanding we can get from the three pillars of wisdom: religion, science, and human experience.
To this end we should spare no effort. If, for example, you are moved by chapter 1 's call for compassion, please do not reject that emotion because you find a later claim about the causes of homosexuality wanting. Last introductory request: hold this book in suspicion. I am no less susceptible to bias than the reader, and though I have sought to be fair in my approach, please be on guard against my prejudices. I've always thought of homosexuality to be one of the toughest challenges anyone could be faced with when simultaneously believing in the gospel of Christ where a heterosexual marriage and resulting family are so resoundingly central.
If your heart is touched by the plight of many homosexually oriented people, my purpose for this chapter is accomplished. My argument is two-fold: LDS members should have compassion on homosexually oriented people in and out of the church because 1 church doctrine compels it and 2 homosexually oriented people often have it rough. Many questions, however, including some related to same-gender attractions, must await a future answer, even in the next life. He loves all His children, and because He loves you, you can trust Him.
In addition to the above reminder of God's love, I could provide several more authoritative quotes. However, though abundant, they don't depart significantly from this clearly articulated one by member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Oaks: "All should understand that persons and their family members struggling with the burden of same- sex attraction are in special need of the love and encouragement that is a clear 1 responsibility of church members, who have signified by covenant their willingness to bear one another's burden and so fulfill the law of Christ.
I would like to suggest that it is appropriate for members of the Church to withhold judgment about the implications of some religious principles in humble recognition of the uncertainty that accompanies our relative ignorance. The ideals we espouse provide wonderful general guidelines for the heterosexual majority in their quest for exaltation, without ruling out the possibility that there will be equivalent eternal possibilities for the homosexual minority.
It is also my belief that our Heavenly Father has in store special blessings for his homosexual children in recognition of the successes they have made of their mortal lives in the face of undeserved hostility. We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different - whether those differences arise from race, religion, mental challenges, social status, sexual orientation or for any other reason. Such actions simply have no place in our society.
This Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and marginalization early in our history, when we were too few in numbers to adequately protect ourselves and when society's leaders often seemed disinclined to help. Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex.
This is particularly so in our own Latter-day Saint congregations. Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ's second great commandment - to love one another. And what is the bull's eye, that desired point for which we aim?
No secret there. That is made clear in every sacred text that has graced this planet. Jesus said that the center point, the greatest commandment, is to love God and your neighbor as well as yourself. Perhaps some of us see the mote that is in our brother's eye and are not aware of the beam that is in our own. Perhaps our Teacher would like us to be one another's cheerleaders rather than one another's judges Whatever does not come from love comes from fear and contributes to the illusion of "separation," separation from God and from one another.
Can we be "kind" to others when we see them as a different "kind"? We can be polite to our homosexual brothers and sisters, but we are not being "kind" unless we acknowledge them as "kin," not as "the other," but as our very own kind. In this book I introduce you to your kin [homosexuals], your own kind. There's an old Jewish Saying: An enemy is someone whose story you do not know.
Storytelling is part of my calling, and as you read the following stories, I have full confidence that your understanding and compassion will increase, that you will respond from the place of love, of kindness, and that together we will create miracles. In this as in other chapters, the stories shared will present a diversity of views, including occasionally views critical of some teachings of church leaders.
I include these excerpts not necessarily because I agree with any particular view, but because I feel that a candid presentation of many diverse perspectives adds value to our pursuit of understanding. Negative attitudes toward homosexuality harm : Attitudes about homosexuality are not without heavy consequences. Satcher, supra "[a]veraged over two dozen studies, 80 percent of gay [persons] had experienced verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their orientation, 45 percent had been threatened with violence, and 17 percent had experienced a physical attack" 1.
I'd imagine many homosexually oriented people also appropriately crave being open, being authentic, being loved as they are 14 : Look at me You may think you see Who I really am But you'll never know me Every day It's as if I play a part Now I see If I wear a mask I can fool the world But I cannot fool my heart Who is that girl I see Staring straight back at me? When will my reflection show Who I am inside? Why is my reflection Someone I don't know?
Must I pretend that I'm Someone else for all time? There's a heart that must be Free to fly That burns with a need to know The reason why Why must we all conceal What we think, how we feel? Must there be a secret me I'm forced to hide? Though I don't know how representative the following experience is, this letter of one father illustrates the depths of difficulty many LPS individuals and families have faced in dealing with homosexual orientation 15 : when I first read this letter, I was deeply moved by the experience of this man and his family.
Though some of his comments can seem accusatory, please try to understand his writing primarily for what it is: one person's authentic feelings and experiences. Packer in that was subsequently distributed by the church as a frequently used pamphlet] As one who has always been mindful of my Temple covenants, an unwavering believer, and a follower of my Priesthood leaders, this is not an easy letter to write. For me it represents an anguished "Crossing of the Rubicon. Early on a Saturday morning six weeks ago, I watched as our car pulled away with my wife driving our eldest son to a new city, a new community, and a new school to complete his senior year of high school.
Ever since that morning, I have grown progressively angrier that to protect our son's life and sense of self worth, we are compelled to send him away from our home and family. You see, this community of "Saints" we live in is so steeped in ignorance, fear, loathing, judgment and qualified "love" towards our son and those who like him face the challenge of homosexuality, he twice arrived at the point where he was devoid of hope and felt he had no alternative but to take his own life. Fortunately, he did not succeed. My son is not manic- depressive, nor was he ever before suicidal.
He simply understands too well the Gospel and believed what his Seminary teachers and Priesthood leaders taught him about homosexuality, based upon the doctrine set forth in To The One. My wife and I are the parents of six children - two daughters and four sons - ranging in age from twenty-three to eight. Our oldest son at age thirteen had the courage to come to us with his growing fear that he had no attraction whatsoever to girls - the thought in fact disgusted him - but that he was very attracted to those of his same sex.
That he would come to us without fear or shame, confide in us, and seek our counsel attests to the strong relationship my wife and I have both always had with our son This son was always spiritually mature for his age. He is the finest young man I have ever known - giving, loving, supportive, honest, reliable.
Most definitely unselfish. A leader among his peers in his school and primary classes and in his Priesthood quorums. Since he was old enough to talk and walk, we were very much aware of certain differences that concerned us. He carried himself differently, walking and running. When we could get him to pick up a ball, he threw it differently. He spoke differently. He was not in the least interested in sports in spite of countless practices and Saturdays we spent supporting him in sporting events that utterly disinterested him.
He loved dolls and playing house. He loved music, literature, drama and poetry. He made friends easily with girls, but very rarely with boys. Carlie and I listened with hope to LDS counselors and leaders who dismissed or downplayed all of this as merely a "phase. The years passed, but the "phase" didn't - this in spite of our doing everything recommended to us by LDS counselors, Priesthood leaders and, of course, the teachings of the General Authorities While we were assured by LDS counselors that this was little more than a correctable Pavlovian response and that "nothing could be easier to cure," and took hope in your confident statement in To The One: "When we understand fundamental moral law better than we do, we will be able to correct this condition routinely.
One 5 evening in , while I was out of town and my wife was being assured by our well-meaning Stake President at his office that "if we just keep it quiet - the same as if someone in your family had committed adultery [our son had done nothing]- it will all be just fine, trust me. Earlier in the day, it had been the "Sodom and Gomorrah" lesson in Seminary. As bishop of a student Ward at the University of Utah working with homosexual returned missionaries, I came to the painful realization that the "reparative therapy" practiced by LDS Social Services and organizations such as Evergreen whose board of directors I then served on was not merely ineffective, it was terribly damaging.
In every instance I found that this "therapy" accomplished little more than driving these earnest brothers and sisters, desperate to believe that they would "change," deeper into self-loathing and despondency. Their failure to "change" as promised them by you and other Priesthood leaders - a failure ultimately arrived at by each and every one of these young men and women who were honest with his or her situation - left only three realistic alternatives: 1 practice deceit as long as possible to remain in good standing with Church and family, 2 give up completely, abandon Church and family, and turn to the only community that will accept you - the gay community, or 3 commit suicide In To The One you preach that homosexuality is not innate, but is a curable condition.
Your fundamental proof: God wouldn't make a mistake like this. By preaching this, you set the impossible goal of "cure" as the standard to which my son must hold himself responsible, as must his family and all other Church members. Until he chooses to do what he must to be "cured," he hasn't done enough. He will never have done enough. He will always come up failing in the most fundamental aspect of his entire existence as a child of his Heavenly Father.
He is a pervert, an aberration, and an abomination How would you deal with this if you were him? Last week a dear friend formerly a bishop reassured us that he still loved our son "even if he has made a choice to be this way. This type of "love" born of duty and pity for his abominable choice acts like a slow but virulent cancer on our son's self-esteem. It is for this reason we have found it necessary to send our son away from the community of the "Saints.
That is, of course, actually called celibacy, and while it's a convenient idea to advance, in practice it is virtually impossible to live You may recall that in his somewhat recent newspaper interview in California, President Hinckley compared the plight of homosexuals to that of the single sisters in the Church. To paraphrase, he said that the Church doesn't ask homosexuals to do anything it doesn't also ask of its other single adult members - to live chaste lives. But this simply isn't true. As a former bishop I have firsthand experience. We openly love and support our single brothers and sisters.
We give them important callings - especially with our youth and children. We urge them to date, to flirt, to get crashes, to fall in love, to marry. We sponsor Ward and Stake activities and dances to get them together to accomplish this. We ask them to be 6 chaste - until they find someone to share their life and intimacy with.
We go out of our way to give them something of immeasurable value in the struggle to keep the law of chastity - hope - hope that no matter how difficult this emotional and physical loneliness is, it is temporary. For those with the least control over their situation, our single sisters, we give special encouragement and hope that they will find love, emotional intimacy and fulfillment in this life - and if not, certainly in the next.
We do not knowingly give homosexuals important callings - especially not with our youth or children who would be at risk of being infected and recruited. We forbid them ever to flirt, to date, to get crushes, to fall in love, to have a legally-recognized monogamous relationship. We ask them to be chaste - forever. No hope at all. The question of sexual intimacy aside - can you imagine having being denied the ability to become attracted to, flirt with, get a crush on, hold hands with, steal a kiss from, or fall in love with your wife? With all trace of romantic love and emotional intimacy denied you, with what would you fill the void to hold at bay a life of loneliness, emptiness, and despair?
We do have at least one historic example to look to. The Catholic Church has attempted to enforce celibacy on its clergy throughout the ages with success at some level although we will never know what level. With what did they replace the emotional void? They had the love and adulation of the church membership, and authority and power. They were held next to deity - and their record is less than stellar. Imagine the celibacy success rate of a group defined by a loathsome and abominable "condition. How many do you think would really be able to do it? How many empty and guilty lives and suicides would result?
The Church has never taught the principle of celibacy. As a parent, I don't have the slightest idea how to begin teaching it. There are no manuals, no courses, no "For the Strength of Celibate Youth" cards to carry. On the other hand, following the teachings of the Church, we have raised our children in a home filled with open love, intimacy, loyalty and commitment between a couple. Our children know Carlie and I adore each other, and they want and need the same thing in their lives. I never thought I would say this, but as a father given the choice between a my son's suicide, b his complete abandonment of the Church and embracing of the extreme gay culture with its emotionally debilitating and physically dangerous practice of anonymous casual sex, or c living in a committed, monogamous relationship for the rest of his life practicing the Gospel virtues of love, commitment, and fidelity we have taught in our home, I would have to pick the latter.
The Church, however, is now doing all in its power to prevent that Then again, perhaps my son is simply a casualty of war - acceptable "collateral damage" in an eternal plan and struggle in which by the luck of the draw he has no relevance or place. The Gospel has always been easy to have faith in and follow because it made real sense and worked 7 in our lives.
This would make no sense. And the current doctrine, as set forth in To The One is not working for our family. I can't tell you how strange and difficult this is. It's like we woke up one morning on a different planet. In our greatest time of need as a family, the Church has failed us and abandoned us - and through the convenient but hurtful doctrine of parental causation, complicity and guilt it directly promotes evidence the article in September's Ensign , it kicks us while we are down We live in this issue twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and must raise our children through it by our best lights.
And there are many more like us in the Church. Parents like us are ultimately forced to make a hopeless decision: abandon our homosexual children, or turn from the Church. You would never know unless you walked in our shoes I was gay. I remember vividly my first crush in third grade. I didn't choose to have that crush, it just happened. There was no struggle with that attraction and I certainly wasn't suffering from it. There was no value judgment of superiority or inferiority.
It just was. Next to murder. It wasn't until these words were preached to my young heart from persons I was raised to hold in the highest esteem and the highest authority that the suffering and struggling started. Church leaders spoke of those who struggle and suffer with these attractions, and because I knew I was the target of their words, I too started to stuffer.
I remember intentionally souring personal relationships with people in my life because they expressed romantic interest and I dared not simply decline out of immense fear that this would somehow give me away as one with "unclean desires". And so I was mean. I was hurtful. I pushed people away — away from me, and away from my secret. Indeed there was pain and suffering! Oh the regret. I remember the nights where I would lock my bedroom door, crawl into my closet, and behind the safety of the closet doors plead aloud "Lord why me?
Why hast thou forsaken me? I feel so alone. If thou will provide a way, any way, to overcome this I will do all that you ask. I remember through the grogginess of my tired eyes being able to see the love gleaming from the eyes of the senior couples who 8 braved the early hours to give service to their faith and realizing that my church had condemned me to never feel the joy of such a partnership. I remember the spiritual wrestling match going thousands of rounds over hundreds of nights. I remember so vividly each hot tear as it burned streaks down my face in the darkest hours of too many nights.
I remember once looking at my pillow one Saturday afternoon as I exchanged the used pillow case for a new freshly laundered one. The cradle of my head was so soiled and stained, not from nocturnal drooling, but from thousands of tears consciously and unconsciously shed. Its yellowed stained appearance as physically appalling as the spiritual angst that created it. Just as my church leaders had prophesied, my sexual attractions did bring much suffering I still struggle when I see an institution that has preached so much emphasis on the family woefully and inadequately prepare its members with the resources necessary to cope with such a difficult conflict between their familial love and their religious teachings.
I still struggle when I hear the news of those who were tired of the fight and choose to bow out far before their time. I still struggle when in the darkest hours of the night the tears come again as my phone rings with a sobbing friend on the other end of the line who can barely express through their own tears their weariness, despair, and "struggle and suffering" with their attractions.
I still struggle when I see friends and loved ones who are not gay but are reviled as apostates because their consciences, life experiences, and relationships with their fellow man tell them that their church leaders are wrong on this issue. So yes, my greatest blessing continues to be my greatest struggle. However, that suffering has evolved from one of internalized self conflict to a struggle of my heart reaching out in compassion to those I love and to those who lack understanding. Something that defied change and quietly but stubbornly rebelled against everything that it was claimed to be by President Kimball in his seemingly endless and merciless damnation of it.
Something that has caused me endless nights of lost sleep and endless days of struggle, denial, guilt and tears. Something defined as homosexuality. I suppose I am, and have been for a number of years if not always , a homosexual. Perhaps, as much as anything, it was hope and faith which harboured the rationale of 2 years devoted service to the Lord in exchange for the withdrawal of that something which President Kimball never failed to blacklist. If I have accepted my sexuality, it has not been out of defiance, pride or shame , adventure, or understanding. Merely surrender. After years of hope, prayer, faith, work, and unending anguish, 17 I cannot go on playing Don Quixote fighting a windmill for which there is no conquering.
It is still true that in over thirty years of weekly churchgoing, I have never heard a homily that attempted to explain how a gay man should live, or how his sexuality should be expressed. I have heard nothing but a vast and endless and embarrassed silence, an awkward, unexpressed desire for the simple nonexistence of such people, for their absence from the moral and physical universe, for a word or phrase, like 'objective disorder,' that could simply abolish the problem they represented and the diverse humanity they symbolized.
The teaching I inherited was a teaching that, in the best of all possible worlds, I simply would not exist. And it was hard to disobey this; since it was not an order, it was merely a wish. If articulated, I suppose, the order was abstinence. Abstinence forever; abstinence always; abstinence not for the sake of something else, but for its own sake; abstinence not just from sex, but from love and love's hope and the touch of a lover's embrace. Abstinence even from recognition, acknowledgment, family.
Some were honest enough to describe this fate as emblematic of Jesus' suffering on the cross, and they invited you to participate in it and told you to embrace it. And they did so with a sympathy that was no less cruel for being genuine. But Jesus' suffering on the cross was at least for something, for forgiveness, for universal redemption, remaining in his desperate isolation on the cross a symbol of human brokenness who opened his pinioned arms to everyone.
It was an act of eternal solidarity with the suffering, not an arbitrary invitation to the ordeal, let alone a glorification of it. The infertile was prayed for, and married, and embraced; the sick and wounded were celebrated and invoked as models; the pariahs were welcomed into the fold; the prodigal sons were counted more joyously than the regular parishioners. But the homosexuals were unmentioned and unmentionable. Ford McBride, whose work you are familiar with.
He is, according to Dr. McBride, one of his "star cases. As a teenager, he began to experience the sexuality of his attraction but also learned that it was regarded as wrong and resolved to change. He was popular and a good student but troubled by this problem that wouldn't go away. He was devoted to the Church, but his talks with the Church authorities only served to confuse him as he was already following the particular steps which they said would cure him.
Nevertheless, he was faithful to the commandments, and not once did he have any kind of sexual experience with another person. He entered the mission field confident that his missionary work would produce the answer to his faithful prayers. After completing a successful mission, he returned to BYU as homosexual as before. He dated, socialized and studied hard, but his desires were becoming increasingly insistent in spite of his vigorous efforts to put them behind. Try as he might, the advice given him by the Church was totally without any effect.
He knew under the circumstances that he could not marry. With trepidation, he finally went to the counseling service. He was given a battery of tests and interviews, then was set up on a conditioning therapy program coupled with hypnosis and supportive counseling. He was sent to Salt Lake to magazine stores to find pictures of naked men that excited him. These were made into slides and flashed on a screen while he sat in a chair with electrodes strapped to his arms.
As the pictures were shown, he was given a shock; the purpose being to couple the pain of the shock with the stimulating picture in order to condition him so that he not only disliked the shock but also the picture. This was the first time he had ever looked at pictures of naked men. He was given a dial to determine the strength of the shock, and was soon keeping it on full strength, as he was determined to be cured as quickly as possible. He came out of these sessions nauseated, shaking, and with mild burns on his arms. He was hypnotized and told he would no longer think homosexual thoughts but would instead have heterosexual ones.
The therapy sessions progressed well, and he was sent again to Salt Lake to find pictures of nude girls which were shown to him without the shock. He was counseled to let his imagination have free play on these pictures and was to let them be the basis of his sexual fantasies. He understood what they meant. For nearly two years this therapy lasted, during which time he felt confident that he was changing and that homosexuality was behind him. His therapist was extremely pleased and had him write a letter, stating that he was now cured through these reconditioning techniques.
Shortly after this, a girl friend introduced him to a friend whom I shall call Bob. Bob was talented, intelligent, and handsome. He was about to leave for a mission. Immediately upon his introduction to Bob, he knew that nothing really had changed. He felt so intensely attracted that he could no longer deny the fact to himself. To you, his feelings for Bob may seem strange or repulsive, but for him it was a deeply satisfying, warm, loving expression of how he really felt towards another person and the first such experience in his life.
It was not easy for him to accept, however, as he had to examine it against all that the Church has to say on the subject and against all of his own built-up prohibitions. But he could no longer deny the truth of who he was and what his experience had been. As he told me, "No one wanted to change more than I did. I did everything within my power to change, and it didn't alter my homosexuality one whit. All I had learned to do was 11 suppress much of my personality largely through preoccupying my mind and energy with other distractions. I suddenly realized how much of my life I was shutting down, turning off, and how absolutely lonely I was becoming.
I was avoiding even innocent non-sexual rapport with other men for fear it might turn sexual. I was making my life miserable by a pervasive denial of who I am. It isn't easy now, especially because of the Church which means so much to me. This young man's experience, like many others, including my own, discredits the proposition of reconditioning the homosexual. This young man, like many others, had never had a homosexual experience prior to therapy. Nothing could be misconstrued as conditioning him for homosexuality.
Everything points to the contrary. He chose not to be homosexual, he systematically refused to attend to homosexual fantasies, he chose and had those experiences that would reward heterosexual interests and extinguish homosexual ones. His two years of therapy were the epitome of rewards and punishments scientifically calculated to destroy homosexuality and evoke hetero sexuality. His subconscious was massaged through hypnotic techniques, his conscious efforts were strongly supported and his spiritual efforts were absolute. According to conditioning and "appetitional" theories, he should have become heterosexual.
His therapist and the counseling department believe him to be; they have his letter to prove it. He knows differently. His story can be and is duplicated over and over. Right now, young men are going into the Smith Family Living Center to be strapped with electrodes and shocked out of homosexuality [please remember this is an older quote that does not reflect current LDS church practice]. A young convert recently told me of how, as a teenager, he had tried drinking hot mustard water to destroy his homosexual urges.
He can laugh at himself now, but at the time it was distressing. Many kinds of self -punishment have been attempted from drinking raw eggs to burning oneself. In some cases, death has resulted. For many, the self-torture is more subtle, a sort of mental self- mutilation and is carried on for a lifetime with not so observable but equally disastrous results. Typical of this is a professor who finally decided to go ahead and get married.
LGBT BYU students explain why they chose to attend and stay
Now, when he walks down the hall, he keeps his eyes straight ahead, not looking at anyone. He has several children, but the life has gone out of him. I questioned God. I questioned his Prophets. I questioned the principles of the gospel and the commandments. I allowed myself to doubt the reality of it all. I did everything in my power to get rid of those feelings, but failed at every turn. Gratefully, I never stopped praying or studying the scriptures, even when I felt that there was no benefit in doing so.
After a particularly difficult period of introspection and despair, I finally felt humble enough to seek help. I asked my bishop for help.
- Full text of "homosexuality - a straight byu student's persepective".
- The One That Got Away: Short Stories!
- A thoughtproduct in the life of Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective.
- Le droit OHADA des sociétés coopératives (Droits africains et malgache) (French Edition);
- More Stories!
- BYU student comes out as gay in valedictorian speech!
- Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student's Perspective ~ by Brad Carmack - Eborn Books.
I obtained professional counseling to help me talk through my thoughts and feelings in productive, healthy ways. As I have come to terms with my feelings, my understanding of God's plan for me has increased dramatically. My heart has become full of gratitude for a trial that lowered me enough to feel the full weight of my need for the Savior. I have been through the hell of abandonment, loneliness, misunderstanding, confusion, frustration, and despair that accompanies same gender attraction. My soul has shattered from the sheer torture of it.
I believe that each and every one of God's children must experience those feelings in this life, maybe even more than once. As unpleasant as they may be, they teach us compassion and love, patience and charity. As one who experiences SGA, I don't see myself as any different from those who don't experience it. As difficult as it was to accept, in my heart of hearts I view SGA as trial that came about because of the fallen world we live in. Just as Jesus Christ offers love, healing, and the marvelous gift of change to those afflicted with all kinds of difficulties, so He offers those precious gifts to me.
I have decided to join my voice to those who believe success is possible and offer hope to any and all afflicted with this struggle. Despite the challenge of same-gender attraction, they can reconcile their challenge with a life completely faithful to Christ and to His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even though the challenge of this experience has often felt unbearable, I do now feel hope- the kind of hope that comes with eternal perspective and faith in God.
And I now feel peace, a kind of peace I have felt only through the Spirit of the Lord when I have diligently strived to follow His word given through ancient and modern prophets. Some of these homosexuals are friends of mine, both single and heterosexually married. In light of 23 24 Otterson and Uchtdorf s October comments, many think the church is becoming more and more a healthy place for a greater number of gay members.
Many listening came up to the speaker afterward to thank her for what she said, affirming the need for such an address. One very touched gay man in the congregation told me about the talk and I confirmed subsequently 25 with the speaker : 13 "Michael Otterson who works for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saints Public Affairs Department was the one who delivered the church's media response to the controversy over President Packer's remarks.
Here is that statement: 'This Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and marginalization early in our history, when we were too few in numbers to adequately protect ourselves and when society's leaders often seemed disinclined to help. Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society This is particularly so in our own Latter -day Saint congregations.
Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflects Jesus Christ's second great commandment- to love one another. Those present spoke of the pain they had experienced during the Prop 8 campaign. People cried, and Elder Jensen cried with them. One person who had experienced something extremely difficult, said he felt the church owed him an apology. Elder Jensen rose and said 'to the full extent of my capacity, I say that I'm sorry I know that many very good people have been deeply hurt, and I know that the Lord expects better from us.
- Thomas and the Runaway Pumpkin (Thomas the Kitten Book 5).
- ‘Don’t say gay’ policy.
- Deepas Secrets: Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine;
- Coming out at BYU?
- Nancys First Day of School (Stories to put your children to sleep).
- Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons!
In it, he makes the following plea, which I personally think sums up what a lot of members of the LDS church who are dealing with Same Gender Attraction are silently asking for from their straight LDS counterparts. In his talk he states the following: 'You know who I am. You have been seated next to me in meetings. You have greeted me with enthusiasm when you have seen me in church. You have heard my voice in prayer. Yet, I wonder how many of you would treat me less kindly if you knew the truth.
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I wonder if you would judge me- however mildly, however inadvertently, however silently. I don't want pity. To pity me is to make me a victim. I want understanding. To understand me, is to love me as an equal. I don't want tolerance. If I'm tolerated, I am disliked or feared in some way. I want respect as a fellow striving child of God - an equal in his eyes.
I don't want acceptance.
Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student's Perspective
To accept me is to graciously grant me the favor of your company. To accept me is to marginalize me with the assumption that I am less than you. I am your peer. I am neither above nor below you. I don't want judgment. My path may be different than yours, but it is a plan built for me by a power greater than anyone of us in this room.
To judge me, is to judge the designer of that path. I do not want to be viewed as a mistake. My path on this Earth was prescribed uniquely for me, just as yours was. It was designed to give me the experiences I need to grow as a child of my Heavenly Father. To view me as a mistake is to view Him as a maker of mistakes. On a cosmetic level, we are very different, you and I. You have spouses, or the opportunity for spouses. I do not. You have children, or the opportunity for children, I do not. You are attracted to those of the opposite gender, I am attracted to those of my same gender.
What I want most of all is for you to look past the cosmetic. I want you to look at what makes us the same: the simple fact that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and we are struggling day to day to understand how to best do 14 his will, and how to return to Him. It is that similarity, brothers and sisters, that weighs more than all the cosmetic differences in the world.
He introduced them to his boyfriend. My uncle just went up to the man and embraced him. The boyfriend broke down in tears, saying " I never thought that a man from Utah County would ever hug me. They were worried about how his father would take the news, so he decided to write his father a letter. After receiving the letter, the father became very depressed, crying and moping around the house for several days.
Finally his wife became worried and spoke to her husband, saying, 'Our son is still our son, and we need to love and support him for who he is and not for who we wish he was' He looked at her and said, 'I'm not upset about what you think I'm upset about. I'm not sad or angry that our son is gay - 1 will always love him the same. What I'm sad about is that I just found out that my son has been suffering all these years alone, and he didn't feel comfortable enough to come to me so I could be there to support him through this. Now, I could imagine what it must like to be gay. I could imagine what it must like to be a gay member of the church.
But the truth is, I really have NO idea what it's like. We just do not know what those around us are dealing with. Do we make jokes and off-hand comments when we think we're just with our friends? Do we pass along stereotypes about gay people and how we think they are or what we think they're like? Do we make comments in church and write things on the internet that we would never say to someone's face?
If we had a friend who was gay and we didn't know it, would they feel safe enough to tell us and come to us for support? Some gay people have been rejected by their families, and their ward family IS their only support. When we were baptized as members of this church, we made a covenant to "bear one another's burdens, that they may be light, to mourn with those that mourn, and to comfort those in need of comfort.
I loved you.
BYU student offers straight perspective on homosexuality | QSaltLake Magazine
You were wonderful and I really did love you. I thought that the problem would be taken care of. They told me it would be. I did everything they said to do. And I thought for a few months that everything was changed. Blossom, this in not your fault. Maybe you think it is, but it has nothing to do with you, only with me. Yes, we were happy. I liked being with you. I even liked being with you physically. But to me it was like. It was never quite like. There is this other thing in me, Blossom, and it has never gone away and I know now that it never will. There is this thing in me that needs, that insists that my strongest feelings be for a man.
It is a need that seems to be as deep in me as my need for food and breath. I tried to beat it to death, to strangle it, to smother it. And it has not died. Blossom, I know the anguish you've been through this last week. Can you understand that I have been in anguish too? And for more than a week. I have flagellated myself with that word until I'm bloody. But it does not change things. I have fasted, I have prayed. How many thousands of prayers I have prayed! And it does not change things.
If my homosexuality is wrong, then I am wrong, the fact of my being is wrong. Because that's what I am! They have long since given up hope of changing, and seem to be convinced that they are destined to inhabit. Most men in this category say that while they desperately wish they could change their sexual orientation, develop the willpower to live celibate, or be faithful to their wives, they are resigned to the fact that they cannot. One, typical of many, confided to me that 'at first I used to say to myself, "Stop than now.
You can't go into [gay bars and pick-up points] anymore. I stopped mocking God with false repentance and I just decided to not worry about it anymore. If I'm going to be judged by God anyway, I may as well do as I please. I'm going to the same place anyway. While some eventually manage to break free of the church and assuage the guilt associated with their homosexuality, some — years after their last church meeting — still feel that they are only biding their time, waiting for God to condemn them.
From what I have observed, I was eminently successful in hiding my sexual feelings from everyone, including my wife. During the course of twelve years of marriage, my wife and I parented four beautiful children. Our marriage went well except in our sexual relations.
This was the only matter concerning which we ever argued and had hard feelings. I was never moved to initiate sexual relations with my wife. She was always dominant in that area, and if she didn't make an issue of it, there were no relations. As time went on sexual relations became much more infrequent. I found from the outset of marriage that I had difficulty spending time alone with my wife. The children provided a great escape in this area of our relations. I could be out of town and not miss my wife but always missed the children immensely.
I found myself in the situation of constantly having to feign the small but necessary verbal and physical demonstrations of affection which really are vital to a loving relationship. I would more often than not be remiss in that department, and only at the behest of my wife would I revive my feigning hypocrisy. I always wished that I could really demonstrate spontaneously all of the things my wife needed and often asked for, but I couldn't, and it was very painful.
Every time we were with another couple or I saw another couple who were spontaneous in their verbal and physical public demonstrations of affection, I felt a great deal of pain. It constantly reminded me of those things I did not feel for a woman and that I was denying my wife- things she wanted, needed, and deserved. Without any exception that I can think of, [Mormon homosexuals] who have gotten married, and who are still married, find a part of them that wishes it had never happened. At its core, we are gay men living in a situation that defies our nature. Yes we may have a loving and understanding spouse, but we are the other half of the equation that cannot make the whole no matter how hard we try.
We can sacrifice, compromise, work hard, and even have joy and happiness for ourselves and our spouse, but we cannot give all. That part of us that is gay, that core identity we possess, does not change, and is not satisfied in a heterosexual relationship This knowledge presents me with a dilemma. I do want to live with more integrity, or more authentically as I have heard it put more succinctly. If I am authentic then as a gay man I should not be married, and reason would have it that I should also seek a relationship that will make me whole.
If I am authentic then as a father I cannot abandon my family to whom I am morally and emotionally committed. This sucks I couldn't face my family. If they could scratch out a living in desolate Utah, then [I figured] it must be a worthy cause and surely I could make my own sacrifice. I felt that if I openly came out as gay, then I would negate all my ancestors' efforts There is no simple solution. No single right answer. I have to answer to so many. A family who needs me, but I am dying emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Though I can pretend! I don't care about the Church any more.
They offer me nothing, but expect me to deny everything about myself. Yet, when I read the scriptures, they say something entirely different. When I attend the temple, I get answers I need I am not happy in the life they said would bring me happiness. Yet to leave my children, to cause pain to both them and wife - that is something that is not me, not something I would deliberately do, let alone choose to do. I would rather die.
And so I am dying. I am depressed most of the time. It sucks. I want to be happy. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. What makes this unusual is that Easton is a student at Brigham Young University, the flagship educational institution of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which forbids any form of same-sex intimacy.
As a scholar of Mormonism and sexuality , I would argue that what made this possible was a change in the honor code in Under this code, students could take on LGBTQ identities but not kiss, date or show other forms of physical intimacy that are allowed for straight members. That the church has become accepting of LGBTQ labels needs to be seen in its historical context to understand how big a change this is from a previous era. By the s, the gay rights movement was gaining a lot of ground nationally , and LDS leaders were afraid of its impact on the Mormon community.
These ideas held sway for a long time. Along with the BYU honor code change in came a better acceptance of Latter-day Saints identifying as gay, lesbian and queer. In fact, the church too uses these labels actively. An official church website organized in , MormonsandGays. Not all church leaders, however, have welcomed these changes. And in , another top church leader, David A.