The Illogic of Gay Marriage

Gay-marriage-guys

Thirteen years ago, a gay couple (two men) moved into my neighborhood.  We met during a national-night-out held at my home.  My wife and I were sitting in lawn chairs set up in the driveway, awaiting whatever visitors might come.  Up walks 2 tall, slim and nice looking men, along with two young children.  Introductions were made.  It quickly became apparent that they were gay.  Their children were adopted.  It had only been a few days since they had moved in.

At the time, I was still a traditional believing Mormon.  I KNEW homosexuality was a sin.  One of the absolute worst sins.  Maybe worse than murder.  Never before had I met a gay couple.  I had read about them.  I was aware that some even had children.  Now, open homosexuals had moved in just a few houses down the street.  My first thought was, “How will this affect the value of the neighborhood?”   Warily, I put a friendly smile on my face.

As the night transpired, I found these two men to be delightful and normal.  At least, as normal as homosexuals could be.  It turned out that both my wife and I really enjoyed their company.

At the time, I was serving as the ward mission leader.  During my 64 years on this earth, I have served for over 15 years in missionary callings.  For those not familiar with the Mormon church, when I speak of anything missionary, I’m referring to proselytizing…recruiting people to join the LDS Church.

Over the next few days, this gay couple and their children were frequently on my mind.  I had told them I was Mormon, but hadn’t invited them to church.  In their sinful living arrangement, these heads-of-household were not worthy of baptism.  I pondered, “Will the church eventually make an accommodation for gay couples to be accepted in our culture.”  I mulled over various possibilities of how this might happen.

Finally, I reasoned out a conclusion.  It’s the children.  Jesus loved the children.  Both in the Bible and Book of Mormon.  He invited all the children to come unto him.  At one point he fussed at His apostles for restricting children from coming to him.

My logic went like this:  Jesus will find a way for the children’s sake.  If the parents are gay, the only way to reach the children would be to somehow accept the parents.   So…I was confident of a coming prophetic declaration on how gay couples were to be accepted into our congregations…for the sake of the children.

Oh…The Illogic of My Reasoning!!!

In November 2015, eleven years after that memorable national-night-out, the prophetic declaration came.  If gay couples married, they would be subjected to a mandatory church court.  Excommunication was almost certain.  And their children….they were immediately excommunicated from the blessings and ordinances of the gospel.  No church court required.  These innocents were simply and summarily banned from the blessings that were privileged to the children of hetero parents.   No baby blessing.  No baptism.  No gift of the Holy Ghost.  No priesthood.  No temple attendance.

The children that Christ beckoned were now banned, prohibited, outlawed, censured, forbidden and discriminated against.  Vulnerable before.  Victimized now.  “The least of these” before.  Totally excluded now.

Eleven years previous, my logic had spoken.  Eleven years later the prophet had spoken.

Eleven years previous, I had a vision of all children accepted by Jesus.  Eleven years later, a prophet had a vision of which children were not to be accepted.

Just So You Know

My logic is often flawed.  But, in this case my logic and my heart are in agreement.  The November 5th policy is NOT of God.

If the apostles think this policy IS a revelation from God…then put it up for a vote.  I have the guts to openly speak out for the marginalized children.  They should have the guts to obey the Law of Common Consent.  This gorgeous law requires that all revelations be presented and ratified by the rank and file members.  Or rejected!!!

How Do I Feel Today About Anyone Who Is Gay?

My opinion has changed….a lot!

I offer this apology for my church’s past wrongs to the LGBT community.  And…an apology for my prior support of those wrongs.  Click HERE.

We’re all normal.  Click HERE.

Information on the Law of Common Consent.  Click HERE.

 

16 thoughts on “The Illogic of Gay Marriage

  1. Sam, this was a well written piece and I acknowledge that this is your opinion. I agree that LGBT peoples should have a welcomed place in our church. I, however, can understand, on some level, the necessity of the Nov. 2015 policy. I do not accept that you are receiving revelation for the church, but for yourself…..and your passion on this subject is duly noted. I believe that the time will come when our minds and hearts will be opened to Heavenly Father’s plan for all of us. Until then we exercise FAITH.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janice. I really appreciate your validation. Especially when it comes to exercising faith. My faith is in the teachings and example of Christ. His law for governing the church is Common Consent. I didn’t receive that revelation. Joseph Smith did…multiple times. Until the gay policy is validated by the common membership it is not binding on the church. And I didn’t receive that revelation either. Joseph F. Smith explained this procedure as he was testifying under oath in front of the U.S. senate. The revelation that I have received for myself is that Joseph Smith’s revelation on Common Consent is good. That Joseph F. Smith’s explanation of it is good. And…that I should express my opinion until this policy/doctrine/revelation is put to a vote.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I have a hard time with the common response to “exercise Faith” and believe it to be an excuse to avoid any discussion. Too often in the church this is the fall back reply to anything uncomfortable. This is how the church avoids any discussion about polygamy, first vision accounts, etc. Members fail to engage in any discussion or debate on topics that don’t have an approved position from the leaders in SLC. When someone does make a comment that is not the approved response from leadership, they are immediately shut down. We all have minds and it is our instinct to question what we don’t understand. Sadly, the church discourages any meaningful discussion among members. In all the years I’ve sat through Sunday School and Priesthood lessons, I can hardly remember a time where any difficult topics were discussed. I can no longer attend those classes as they are nothing more than a mindless rehash of the same topics and same rehearsed responses given to make it through the class.

      It would be nice if there were a chance to openly discuss questions and leaders could take note of what concerns the members. These concerns could them be reported up the chain. Change does not occur in this religion because when someone asks a difficult question they are shunned and made to be trouble makers. If LGBT people should have a welcome place in the church, why is there no discussion on how to make it happen? When was the last time there was any discussion on how to make gays feel welcome and loved? The conference talk where it was stated that a gay couple could should not expect to spend the night in the home of parents is such an unloving position taken by the church. It takes a heartless parent to not allow their own child to sleep in the house when their only sin is loving another human being. A parent who is controlled by a religion and not the compassion they should feel in their heart.

      The church is a corporation and in many ways operates like big business. The exception is they don’t want to hear what their customers have to say. They want you to buy what they are selling, but there is no R&D for what the consumer desires. For transparency, I’ll admit that I no longer believe, 45 years after being baptized. I do attend on occasion to keep peace in the family. Sadly, at my age, the parents of both me and my wife cannot let grown people have a change of belief without causing significant and unnecessary drama. Just one of the many reasons I now believe this religion to be a cult.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Open discussion is welcome here, on my FB page and at the Talkerias. Sadly, they are not welcome in the church or in the midst of TBM friends and family. Like you, Roy, I had a yearning for thoughtful adult discussion. So, eventually I was driven to start to create my own spaces. Still I have been condemned, called names, lost business and reported to church leaders. At my age, I don’t give a damn. I’m going to speak up for what I view as right and moral.

        As always, thanks for you my friend.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for your words. That day was a very sad day for me and mine. It’s one of those days I’ll remember forever. I couldn’t believe this was really happening in my church. So much I could say here, but it’s really enough to just say PAIN.

    What I see is not anything from our Savior but reasonings behind a corporation and legal minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have but one thing to say about the topic of Faith. The scriptures are replete with examples of the Lord telling us to have faith. If we don’t have faith and hope , we have nothing. I never saw the golden plates, but faith in all that I have read and the gift of the Holy Ghost have told me they existed. I don’t look at faith as a cop out reply to those things I can’t answer. It is the answer! It is the first belief in the Articles of Faith.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But Sam, does it not also say that we believe in prophets. And are they not the mouthpiece of the Lord today? Or do you believe that as the ancients, that the Lord no longer speaks to us . If you no longer believe in modern revelations, then it is no wonder we can’t agree.

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      2. Yes, we believe in prophets. I believe in prophets. However, no where does it say we should have faith in the prophets. In fact, over and over, the scriptures warn us to NOT put our trust in men. Faith is reserved for Jesus Christ…period. Once we start putting our faith all over the place we dilute and weaken our faith in Christ. If we put our faith in men, we will eventually be disappointed or led astray.

        We now CONDEMN the racist teachings, doctrine and practices of past prophets. As a result, we KNOW that they can lead us astray.

        For most of my life I have placed my faith in the Book of Mormon, in Joseph Smith, in the current prophet and in the church itself. Nowhere do the scriptures ever say that these things merit our faith. The only principle of faith is in Jesus. That’s were my faith is placed today. And I have to add that I have been shocked at how hard that is for members of the Church of Jesus Christ to accept. By placing my faith in Jesus only, I receive more condemnation than support. Kind of crazy.

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      3. We can not just pick one line out of the scriptures and say….I have based my entire belief system on that one line. Go back and read the rest of the Articles. You have chosen one commandment…that of of common consent…and based your belief on that principle. It doesn’t work that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. How in the world can you say that I’ve based my entire belief system on one commandment? That’s ridiculous. You are not listening to me. My faith is in the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. How many times do I have to repeat it. Sam Young has chosen to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. Sam Young has chosen to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. Sam Young has chosen to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. I’m not picking and choosing. You are the one doing the choosing. You have chosen to disregard common consent. I believe that the church is going off track because we have rejected this beautiful commandment. Regardless of whether or not the apostles, you and everybody else throws this Law in the trash, I am not willing to do the same. I have made a covenant in the temple to obey the law of God. Common Consent is part of the law of God. And talking about covenants, I have chosen to embrace them. Every single leader and regular member I have spoken to has chosen to NOT seek to understand their temple covenants. Now, you go back and read the articles of faith. Show me where it says we should put our faith in anything but Jesus.

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  4. A few questions here:

    Were you aware of the church’s longstanding prohibition against the baptism of children from polygamist families? And that, if coming from such a background, those children, once old enough to be independent of their parents, were required to disavow the practice of polygamy? The church’s policy announcement that caused such an uproar in November 2015 was, in effect, merely extending an already-existing policy that covered marriages unrecognized as valid by the church. Do you feel there are substantial differences between the two cases? If so, what are they? If not, then how do you reconcile your lack of anger at the previous policy toward polygamists with your present anger at the current extension of that policy to cover gay marriages? Or are you similarly angry over that policy?

    And some comments: I’m polyamorous. That is, I am persistently in love with multiple women at the same time. It’s as valid as any sexual orientation. I am completely heterosexual, but I have no intuitive sense for monogamy. Polygamy makes perfect sense to me on an intuitive level, even while I recognize the solid intellectual arguments against it. I have gone through many of the same struggles and absolute shame that gay people express in the church, including nearly taking my life over it, because how I felt and what I wanted were so out of sync with external pressure. In the process of self-discovery and coming to admit and accept my reality, with all its weirdness (not just in sexual orientation, but many things), I’ve decided I need to be authentic, express who I am, what I want, and how I think, and to let people be weirded out or offended if they need to be, because unless I risk rejection, I also cannot build connection. I’ve had no affairs. I’ve kept my covenants and the law of chastity, even though I powerfully, deeply wanted something that both state and church do not sanction. I intend to continue keeping those commitments. But pardon me if, having experienced my own personal hell, parallel to what gay people describe, I do not feel nearly so outraged that the church expects gays to restrict themselves as I have, as singles in the church have.

    There’s a process of self-discovery, of letting go of shame, of accepting that my feelings are what they are and that it’s okay to have them. I can even adapt those feelings, to take the good things, those amazing friendships with incredible women and say, “I’m glad you exist, and the world’s a better place because you’re in it. Thank you for being you, and thank you for your friendship.” No need to hide, to build a hedge that prevents me from building (and losing) connection with others. Sure, I could have blown my brains out along the way, but I also don’t think I would have come to understand these things if I hadn’t had my life on the line. Without risk, there is no growth.

    Kind of makes me wonder why some people do seem to have it easy. Like, is that God’s vote of “no confidence?”

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  5. Sam, I have not thrown out the commandment of common consent. I just feel that by sustaining the prophet, who is the mouthpiece of God on the earth at this time, I am fulfilling that commandment. The Lord has said that he will do nothing without using the duly called prophet. I believe there is a distinct difference between policy and doctrine. I believe thru faith and patience we will one day know why the policy changes recently made were necessary. I believe there is much yet to know. Patience is so hard when you feel so deeply about something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see where you are coming from. Obviously, we differ on this issue. And that’s OK. Patience? I am impatient to follow Jesus’ teachings and example. If I wait any longer, I’ll be dead, gone and embarrassed that I didn’t follow the promptings that I so strongly feel.

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