92–93: Can Mormon Theology Affirm Homosexual Relationships Now and in the Eternities?

April 26, 2012
By

Like many other religious traditions today, Mormonism is wrestling with questions raised by homosexuality. And while both LDS rhetoric and many members’ affirmation of homosexuals as beloved children of God to embrace as fellow citizens in the household of faith are moving forward in many ways, these developments have been fed primarily by the inroads being made through political and pastoral discourse. Very little attention has yet been paid to theological questions raised by these relationships. Can Mormon theology accommodate homosexual relationships into its larger views of the cosmos, God, and divine sociality?

In a groundbreaking article in the Winter 2011 issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Taylor Petrey outlines several key areas in which Mormon thought might be able to be understood as capable of affirming homosexual relationships in the eternities in the same way it does heterosexual couples. Petrey finds possible room for important conversation in three main discussion areas: (1) LDS views of how we each are said to be literal spirit “children” of Heavenly Parents, re-examining the assumption that spirit conception and birth processes are analogous to that of humans;  (2) the various ways Mormons now or in the past have practiced “sealing” as a way of building families, including creating many types of kinship relationships that do not involve bloodlines or the possibility of the relationships involving biological reproduction; and (3) the claims, ingrained most recently by “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” that gender is eternal.

In laying out many important questions in these areas, Petrey provides a great service to the Mormon tradition. It is now up to us to actually have these vital discussions–which is what this podcast attempts to do and encourage. In this episode, Petrey and Dialogue editor Kristine Haglund join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon in introducing the article’s key questions and then engaging them and LDS theological possibilities in vigorous ways. It’s a high level discussion very much worth listening in on and then having with those in one’s circle of acquaintances. And also here in the comments section, of course!

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NEWS FLASH! 1 June 2012. Taylor’s article just won this year’s Best of 2011 Award in the category of Articles and Essays from Dialogue. Congrats, Taylor!

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LINKS:

Taylor G. Petrey, “Toward a Post-Heterosexual Mormon Theology,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no 4 (Winter 2011): 106-141.

Letter to the Editor by Joseph M. Spencer in the following issue:

Selected blog discussions of the article:

At By Common Consent

At Times and Seasons

At Zelophehad’s Daughters

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68 Responses to 92–93: Can Mormon Theology Affirm Homosexual Relationships Now and in the Eternities?

  1. Johnwmorehead
    April 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for wrestling with this issue within the context of the LDS sacred narrative. Traditional Christianity in Protestant and some Catholic contexts have become to wrestle with this as the biblical tradition is revisited. This is a healthy process, and you are to commended for undertaking it.

  2. Anonymous
    April 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I also took comfort in the Proclamation on the Family not being revelation / canonized, but then I read this section of the LDS Newsroom release from 2007 regarding doctrine: “With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (theHoly Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. ”

    Does that not indicate that the Proclamation is official doctrine?  And can it be official doctrine without going through a canonization process?

    • Kristine Haglund
      April 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

       I think we definitely have to reckon with it being considered doctrinal. On the other hand, can you name any of the other official proclamations? Yeah, me neither :)

    • Robert Isaak
      May 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      What really offends me is The Proclamation on the Family being trotted out as a weapon of bigotry to use in an exclusivist genocidal way.  The Proclamation is an affirmational tool….this is good, this is good and this is good and so on.  There is nothing in it that says, this is bad, this is wrong, this is sinful, or this is contrary to the Church.  To in any way trot this out to exclude anyone is out and out bigotry…and there IS hell to pay for that.  To claim your not a bigot when your a homophobe, transphobe, xenophobe, patriarchyist or any other, does not absolve you of the bigot you are….ignorance of ones bigotry and the genocide your causing, does not absolve you of the heinous sin of bigotry (which is far far worse of a perditional sin than any imagined sin your imposing on diversity).  The Proclamation was well thought out and the words were deliberate.  The word Gender is used not sex….it’s not black and white…gender is fluide and unique, as unique as every human being.  Your gender is sacred, and only you can identify it.  It is never for others to perceive your identity.  Nobody should ever be perceived in any way, neither be judged for externals.  And don’t get me started on reproduction supremacists.  Marriage has so changed over the eons…heavens, women were absolute chattle until just recently…many husbands today still chattelize their wives, and many are LDS.  Marriage is about Love and committing to one other person because of that Love, PERIOD.  How do I join this organization…I’m new to computers and the internet.  I am a Liberal Mormon.  bobbiisaak@gmail.com       Thank you so much for being here.

  3. Paula Lovemybike
    April 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Thanks to all for participating on this important topic. As a straight ally who has received a fair amount of grief for my unorthodox views, I really appreciate this discussion and the hope it brings. As someone mentioned over at BCC, let’s hope Taylor’s article is to the Prophet as Lester Bush’s work was to Pres. kimball!

  4. Jen
    April 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    This was really good. Thanks. There is something I’ve been curious about, but haven’t found any info on. If as spirits we were and are a certain gender (sex), did we have that gender (sex) as intelligences?  Just wonder if you guys have any thoughts about that.

    • Jen
      April 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      If you subscribe to this idea that we always existed in some form, before we were created as spirits by our Heavenly Parents…. I just wonder if there was ever a time when we were not male or female. I know that I can be too interested in what others will call ‘deep doctrine’. I’m just curious what others think. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Dan, what do you think?

      • Dan Wotherspoon
        April 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

        Hi Jen,

        My imagination of what an intelligence is does not include gender. To me, an intelligence is simply that unique pattern of energy that defines something’s eternal identity–whatever our “us-ness” is, or the uniqueness of any other entity is, it’s at that level we call intelligence. 

        The history of the discussion about intelligences in LDS thought basically divides into two camps: those who see it as more amorphous “stuff” (Bruce R. McConkie represents this view) that God puts into spirit bodies (some have used the analogy of dipping a cup into a sea of intelligence and having it animate the spirit body) and those who claim individual identity all along (B.H. Roberts and Truman Madsen are major articulators of this position). I’m with the latter group, imagining the entire process from start to finish as one that involves agency–intelligences responding to the lure of God/Gods who offer options: would you like to take on this level of complexity or that one? And I see agency as always being operative–all intelligence is capable of enlargement at any time (paraphrasing JS). . 

        I’m happy to learn differently in some way down the road, but right now to me the sex of our spirits seems to me to an unnecessary layer to add into the mix regarding the “eternal” part of our identity as intelligences (or even spirits). If it is, however, I’d still want to go with the idea that it was somehow our choice to inhabit this or that body. Growth, adding richer experience, becoming willing to unite in affirming relationship with more and more other eternally existing entities–these, to me, are what really matters and what defines a soul’s journey toward happiness. So if fluidity of spirit and physical bodies in terms of sex and sexual identity/orientation aid in that process, I’m willing to entertain the possibility of different lives in different bodies with different orientations.. As I said in the podcast, it’s not something I’d claim is LDS doctrine or ever share in a formal church setting, but to me it fits perfectly with the logic of eternal progression.

        What do you think?

        • apriles
          May 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

          Humans are given the ability to express themselves in righteousness through the gifts the Lord has given them. He gives them the full ability to express themselves based on who they are. He doesn’t make any mistakes on the matter, either. You are male or you are female. Eternally.

          Any honest person has to admit that disobeying the Lord is wicked. And wickedness never was happiness.

          (Lev. 18:22)

          • Bitherwack
            June 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

            I agree Apriles, when God creates our brothers and sisters gay, he does not make any mistakes in the matter.

          • JFirch
            July 1, 2012 at 1:04 am

            Bitherwack, I have a hard time seeing this as anything but a dishonest argument whenever it’s trotted out.  
            There’s a pretty easily drawn theoretical (in that we aren’t wise enough to see where the line is, but it’s definitely there) line between how God allows people to be born, and how he feels about what they do with what they’re given.  
            God allowed my family to have what seems to be a tendency towards diabetes and weak hearts, but this can’t be seen as an excuse to be lazy and pile on the donuts, despite what my gut will tell you.  
            Help me understand what you mean by this, if you feel you have the time.  Thanks, JFirch.

  5. April 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I have been waiting for a mormon matters podcast on this issue, thank you! I had read Taylor’s article a couple of months ago and found it very insightful and had me thinking about this issue in ways I never had before considered.

    • apriles
      May 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      I guess we can “play nice” with sin instead of repenting. Oh, that’s going to be a sure-fire way to get into heaven. Jesus is bound to buy it, right?

  6. HuskySouth
    April 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I hope you can help clarify something for me. As I  listen to a great many of these podcast I hear the panel often talk about the disenfranchised of the homosexual community with the majority protesting in the defense of this alternative lifestyle. My question is though, why are you (or your panel) not equally dogmatic and defensive about equal rights and hospitable behavior for polygamist families? Aren’t these consenting adults as well who should be allowed to live their life as they see fit. I have to say, to spend so much attention on the rights of one group without fighting for the other makes it seem like you are more interested in political correctness than you are truly interested in equal rights of the disenfranchised.

    • April 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      I hear what you’re saying husky and I definitely agree especially where celestial polygamy is still practiced why not advocate for this alternative form of marriage? Why not bring it into the conversation? Probably one of the reasons that homosexuality is definitely more prevalent in these unorthodox circles is that it seems to be a more present/common experience. I have had a handful of LDS friends who have had major difficulties and suffering in their lives due to their faith/sexual orientation conflict yet have known none (at least that were open about) who were torn due to polygamy. 
      I would wager that not too many born in the covenant LDS members find themselves longing for polygamy where we are finding more and more find themselves with same sex attraction. That is not to say of course that this does not happen it just may not be happening at the same rate.

      • apriles
        May 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

        Like any sin, homosexuality becomes more prevalent when society condones it rather than listening to the Lord.

        “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)

        • Bitherwack
          June 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm

          Doctrine and Covenants 64:10
          I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

    • Em1919
      May 1, 2012 at 12:04 am

      I think another reason might be because there is often an assumption that some polygamist families are *not* always made up of consenting adults.  We have all heard stories about young women who feel forced into such arrangements.  I, also, have never met a woman (or a man actually) who feels disenfranchised because she longed for the right to be involved in a polygamous marriage (not saying they are not out there, but I for one have not been in contact with those vocal on the matter).  I have yet to hear about youth contemplating or committing suicide because they are polygamous beings by nature and don’t know how to reconcile who they are with their society.   Also, polygamy is still seemingly part of LDS doctrine and theology in the way that men can be sealed to more than one wife as long as previous wives are deceased or divorced; homosexuality currently isn’t acknowledged as being compatible with LDS doctrine in any comforting way.  Does this help? I think I see your point though- that if we are going to take a stand that love is love and consenting adults should be able to enter into new forms of marriage, then why shouldn’t polygamy be included?  As a women, I guess I have never thought too much about that because the idea of polygamy is not at all attractive to me, thanks for bringing up this issue though.

      • apriles
        May 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

        I just love Jacob’s thoughts on the subject. He agreed with the Lord, who delights in the chastity of woman.

        “For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.” (Jacob 2:31)

        Just go to the Lord if you want the real story. As a woman, I can definitely say I’d side with Jacob over Solomon any day. Jacob understood the Lord and lived in a way to please him. But Solomon decided that what Jesus really wanted for him wasn’t as important as making political alliances through marriage … multiple ones. Many, many multiple ones.

        I disagree with the idea of polygamy being a church doctrine. Should LDS doctrine endorse wickedness and abomination? No. What we need is more Jacobs and fewer Solomons. Heck, what do we need to support a Solomon for?

        • Bitherwack
          June 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

          Nevertheless, polygamy was at one time church doctrine.
          Brigham Young once said that without it we would all be damned.
          He did not equivocate on the subject.

    • Kristine Haglund
      May 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

       One reason might be that many people who are concerned with the status of gay and lesbian relationships in the church are also concerned with creating relationships that are equitable between men and women. Polygamy is by definition discriminatory against women, and therefore presents an entirely different set of ethical challenges than gay relationships do.

      • apriles
        May 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

        “For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. 
        And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Jacob 2:28)

        There are all kinds of whoredoms, including those in which a man or woman takes multiple spouses without even bothering to get the consent of the first spouse. Let’s take, for example, my uncle, who married three different women in quick succession after my aunt died. Did he get her consent? No. I talked to my mom about it and she said my aunt’s thinking agreed with hers: NEVER, never, never take another spouse. Don’t tell me that my uncle was unaware of that.

        So my uncle committed whoredom in the Lord’s eyes, whether it was socially acceptable or not. (His first wife died, then he divorced each additional spouse before taking another one.)

        As for a gay relationship, the Lord has commanded us to abstain from it. (Lev. 18:22)

        Think breaking the Lord’s commandments pays off? Not in this world, and not in the next.

        “Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.”

    • Dan Wotherspoon
      May 1, 2012 at 9:12 am

      I think most Mormon Matters guests are pretty libertarian with regard to most consensual relationships and family arrangements between adults. I am. To me your suggestion about a worry of political correctness is a non-starter. The subject simply hasn’t come up much in very many of our shows. If/when it does, it has simply been in the context of  theology, the LDS Church’s stance, the subject’s difficulty for many in faith crisis, rather the politics of polygamy.  

      • HuskySouth
        May 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm

        Great feebdback from all of the above. The clarification certainly aids my understanding.

      • apriles
        May 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm

        I guess if we have a consensus that we don’t have to listen to the Lord that this can get us into heaven, right? We can be pretty libertarian and call wickedness a consensual relationship, and the Lord’s going to be fooled by it, right? And he’s going to forget what he said on the subject so we can do just as we please and get away with it. Right?

        “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)
        “Neither shalt thou commit adultery.” (Deut. 5:18)

      • Bitherwack
        June 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        I have enjoyed reading my ancestors’ diaries.  They were polygamous.  He consulted with each of his wives … to the point of letting them have a say in who he would marry.  Consensual is the only way I understand polygamy, and it is the way I understand it worked.  In my ancestors’ cases, it worked very well.  

    • apriles
      May 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Guess the people who disobey the Lord and therefore make themselves unfit for heaven feel pretty disenfranchised, huh? So I guess we should just endorse their disobedience to make them feel better about their refusal to repent. Why bother to have humility before the Lord when you’d rather dictate to him that wickedness is really okay, right?

      • Bitherwack
        June 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        It must be very lonely Apriles, having to be tolerated.  I find people who are overly concerned about the righteousness of others …  tend to be overcompensating.  It becomes sad to watch as impossibly strident ‘commandment police’ find it painfully unlikely they will be able to live up to the standards they require of others.  Mote seekers will eventually no longer be able to ignore their beams.

  7. May 1, 2012 at 8:21 am

    While not as complex and thoughtful as what was presented in this podcast, I think the Church has a relatively easy way out  in regards to the homosexuality issue. There is a precedent within the Church for no longer requiring certain commandments to be followed if they are too difficult, or replacing a too difficult commandment with an easier one. For example, the Law of Moses being perceived as a lesser, easier version of a higher law, or the Law of Tithing being an easier to follow version of the Law of Consecration. This means that even if the Church feels a need to stick with the doctrine that the highest level of exaltation requires the marriage of a man and woman, that does not mean they  need  to require it’s members to follow that here on earth.  In addition the temple allows one to be sealed for time only, so perhaps that could even provide an opportunity for same-sex temple marriage within the ‘lower law’ context. Of course it would rightly be offensive for the Church consider  those in homosexual relationships as  living a ‘lower law,’ and it would be unfair and discriminatory for  homosexual sealing to be for time only in a religion that values eternal marriage and ideally the Church would find a way to include homosexuality in their doctrine on an equal level with heterosexuality, but at least this would be a way to allow same sex relationships within the Church as the gospel is currently understood.

    • apriles
      May 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Let’s not beat around the bush. Living the “lower law” is disobeying the higher law. Again, I repeat, there is in reality no such thing as a lower law. There is one law: righteousness. If you prefer wickedness, then you reap the reward of the wicked. You can’t just throw off the Lord here and do as you please and expect that in heaven now you can go be with him, for you will be filthy still.
       
      “And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.” (Mormon 9:14)

      He who rejects the Lord here rejects him once and for all. Try going your own wicked way and then getting into heaven. Guess what? It’s not going to work.

      • Bitherwack
        June 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        Apriles, I suspect you aren’t even living the lower law, ie the law of moses, let alone the law of consecration.  Correct me if I am wrong.  (God forbid I’d want you to, but really…)

    • podunksarmy
      April 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      While I cannot condone apriles approach to this issue, the way I understand it is this. I am a fairly libertarian minded individual politically. When it comes to religion, I hold pretty fast to the church standpoint. Whatever points may be raised here, and they may be truly good points, they are simply secular points of view on a doctrine that will not change, and to treat it otherwise is treading thin ice. Polygamy as a practice has been discontinued from the church for legal reasons. As a doctrine, it remains. We simply do not practice it. That said, the thought of having more than one wife does not appeal to me. Men get only one benefit from polygamy, and in my opinion, it is not worth it. As far as granting the priesthood to all. I don’t have an answer for that. I am certainly glad for it. I do not feel the same way about same-sex marriage. I don’t have an issue with what people choose to do outside of the church. I do not believe the church will bow to any political pressure in this area, and a focus on that takes away from the focus on preparing for the Lord’s second coming, which is slightly more important in my opinion. Just because public opinion dictates something is wrong does not change whether it is right or wrong. The difference between this issue and others, such as polygamy and priesthood, is that never has polygamy been condemned as an abominable sin on a doctrinal basis, nor has giving the priesthood to all men. People can tear into me for all they want for my opinion here, but my point is simply that God is not going to change His mind on this one. The argument about gender is sophomoric an philosophical at best, as relates to both the pre-existence and also the Family proclamation. By even having this argument, we are missing the point.

  8. UnderCover Brother
    May 2, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Hi Kristine et al,

    Great Podcast.

    You mentioned about the history of the Family Proclamation and something about Brazil(?). I’m trying to find out how the Proclamation came to be. Do you have any information or link I could look at so I can understand the context?

    Thanks.

  9. May 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Great conversation! I’m looking forward to diving into Taylor’s article soon. But first, I wanted to press a little further on this idea–raised by Kristine and highlighted a few more times by Dan–regarding the necessity of solving *theological problems* (e.g., doctrine of eternal gender) as a means for more effectively solving *practical problems* (e.g., acceptance within the ward community).

    Given that it sounds like you’re not expecting such solutions to come from “official” Church authorities (right?), I’d love to hear more about what “solving theological problems” could mean or would look like in this context. For example: Who would do the solving? What would be the criteria by which non-theologian folk (like myself) could validate the solution in a “Mormon way”? How would the solution gain traction among the general membership, if didn’t come from official Church authorities? 

    I’m interested in this topic because I get the feeling that it’s promising, but I just don’t really understand how it could translate to the run-of-the-mill Mormon’s life.

    Thoughts? Clarifications?

    • apriles
      May 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      The only promising line of conversation you can take is one that goes by what the Lord actually said.

      “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)

      Is there room for argument here? No.

      • R. P. Isaak
        May 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

        Apriles, you are so ignorant and filled with hate its not even funny.  Bigots like you are the shame of The Church…..”Wo unto those that turn but One soul from me”  that Commandment is in effect now, stated recently.  Leviticus? Is that all you got….this is Evango-Nazi/ Christo-Fascist stuff, the stuff Mormo-Nazis use to get into bed with Republicans, Conservatives, Tea-Bagottry, and all the other Perditionally Hell Bound Right Wing Religiosityists. It’s sichening and disgusting. The preface to the Book of Mormon tells us that Jesus told Joseph to his face, “all the other churches are an abomination before my face”..true then, true now.  Stop trying to link us with bigoted Hellbound doctrine or ideas.  Most of the first five books of the Bible are stories written by tribesmen (Getting no input from any God I will ever worship) wanted to self glorify their own tribe or band…..Barbaric burchery of women and children, death sentences to all men who cut their hair, And all men who didn’t cut their hair.  If you tally everything up, ALL PEOPLE ON EARTH SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH.These people were a bunch of ignorant dip sticks…you come across as one everytime you cherry pick that verse.  There are at least 680 verses on how Mammon and Capitalism are of the Devil.  Why aren’t you railing against that…..680 is way more than 1…..money is got to be at least 680 times more perditionally damnable than anything you self conjure out of Lev.  And anther thing, you people are so sex and crotch obsessed, its a laugh.  Its performed alot less than you think.  And marriage is about love and commitment, not sex.  How dare you diminish what I have with my wife and family to my crotch and how its rubbed.  Besides, gays and lesbians don’t lye the same way with each other as so called Heteroes do, you literalistic bafoon.  Utah and Mormons have the most prolific Porn and wife beating problem in the country.  Bishops have had to read hundreds of letters to their Wards admonishing us priesthood brethren to stop beating our wives and viewing porn, thats why the Proc. on Family was written, not for you Sadistic/Satanic Homophobes to trot out as a tool of hate…that is way more of a sin than anything your railing against (and Lev, is far worse and more pathetic).  I look forward to many great new prophesies and pronouncements, many will cause thousands of Bigots to leave the Church like in 1978.  Funny thing about God and new revelations…they always seem to do away with unenlightened and bigoted policy…never do they affirm bigotry or intill new bigotries into us.  The arc of history bends toward justice, and so does the Church.  So sad you are on the wrong side, even if we were a theocracy.  See D&C 134..WE are Commanded Never to try To CODIFY our own doctrine onto the will of others.  You people are just a sad, pathetic and dour lot…..everything is doom and gloom…I know your ilk….your crazy clique is in every ward.  Good Day.

        • apriles
          May 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

          Dismissing the first five books of the Bible as stories written by tribesman indicates an extreme disgust for the word of God.

          Did you miss this one?

          “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deut. 6:5

          We’ll see who’s full of love and who’s full of hate … those who love the Lord and value his word, or those who dismiss it out of hand and poke fun at it.

          • davester
            May 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm

            Well I find it interesting that you simply present the teachings on this matter as told in the scriptures and then get slammed by some supposed latter-day saint as being hateful and ignorant. It is amazing how far the gay community in the church has taken their cause.

            Remember that the basic tenets of the gospel are “plain and simple”. There is no room for debate or intellectualization of the plain and simple truth on sexuality as told in the scriptures. God has declared it immoral and that is enough for me. Persecutions may rage but it won’t change the doctrine of the church. 

            Keep the faith!

  10. Duane Penaflor
    May 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

    President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the following in general conference: “People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves … gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have [temptations] of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.

    • apriles
      May 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      If there’s a temptation, run  from it. It’s a snare of the enemy. Geesh! So hard to understand …

      “And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction, according to the power of his captivity.” (Alma 12:6) 

  11. Duane Penaflor
    May 6, 2012 at 6:13 am

    That was from Elder Boyd K. Packer.

  12. Robert P.Isaak
    May 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

    This statement from Elder Boyd K. Packer is outdated and un-enlightened.  Several statements have superceeded this one.  Why does it seem that all the homophobic statements come some the same person, or small clique?  This really makes me wonder.  Like, what kind of bigot or small clique of bigots so influenced the out and out racist period of the Church, starting with the onset of the Brigham Young Presidency.  They totally did a 180 from Joseph Smith…and no God I worship (or would ever care to worship) ordered or commanded that hateful, vile evil, sinful, abominable 180, change in policy.  I think a very similarly influential clique is influencing current bigoted-phobic policies, that are not doctrine.  None of this stuff is coming from Jesus or Heavenly Father.  The bigotry is predicated on the ignorant and willfully unenlightened notion that who one is attracted to, or how, who or what someone self identifies as, is a choice.  It is not.  No one has a right to perpetrate onto others your notion of how they are to identify and/or orient themselves.  These are divine things from God, and no mortal can divine them out of you but yourself.

    • apriles
      May 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Surely you’re not saying that disobeying the Lord is a divine thing?

      “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)

      What part of  “Thou shalt not” is hard to understand?

  13. May 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    http://vibesup.com/who-we-are-why-we-are-here/  This video is from a non LDS perspective, but it shows how unnatural it is for someone to be gay. As it says in the scriptures, there must be opposition in all things.

  14. apriles
    May 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I don’t know. Should we sit here and have rhetoric on the subject, trying to redefine what the Lord said so we can accommodate what’s politically correct, or should we just go by what the Lord said?

    “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)

    Let’s not pretend that wasn’t the Lord who said that, or that the Lord gives us any “thou shalt not” commandment which cannot be followed. Is it a behavioral commandment? Yes. Homosexuality is a behavior. Is it a commandment to abstain from it? Yes. And does the Lord give us any commandment we cannot keep? No.

    There isn’t a whole list of attendant excuses on why you don’t have to really obey the Lord on this or any commandment, either. Excuses aren’t going to change the facts.

    I don’t care, really, what people say trying to justify themselves. I only have to listen to the Lord. You know, listening to the Good Shepherd is a wise idea. He’s the friend who sticks with us closer than a brother. It’s foolish to run after the wolf and embrace him, calling him your friend.

    By the way, the wolf loves rhetoric that ignores and twists around what the Lord actually said on the subject.

    • Utahhiker801
      May 23, 2012 at 9:52 am

      I’m not sure that posting the same Leviticus passage on multiple comments gives your argument more weight, but I guess you can give it a shot.

      I certainly hope that when a loved one in your life confides to you that they are gay that you respond more lovingly than with scriptural condemnation.  Regrettably, I  think it’s this strong rhetorical/doctrinal position which leads in large part to teenage homelessness, suicide and depression.

      I’m sure your confidence in your position gives you great comfort.

    • slsdm
      September 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      To borrow from another reply written elsewhere, I feel I must include it here as well……

      1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
      female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend
      of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can
      you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

      2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
      Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
      price for her?

      3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
      her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is
      how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

      4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates
      a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbours.
      They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

      5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus
      35:2. Clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
      to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

      6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
      abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
      homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’
      of abomination?

      7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
      have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.
      Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?

      8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the
      hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by
      Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

      9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
      makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
      different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
      made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also
      tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go
      to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
      Lev.24:10-16.Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family
      affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.
      20:14)

      • Jeremiah A
        April 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

        Are you an ancient Israelite? No. Are you a human being? Yes. So universal objective moral values concerning sexual ethics apply even if they occur in Leviticus. Quoting other Levitical scriptures does not help one’s case but only attempts to blur the self-evident line that males and females are complementary and, therefore, are the only pairing where an ethical relationship can exist.

  15. davester
    May 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I am sympathetic to the LDS gay community’s struggles. I respect gay members and have no problems associating with them, working with them, and sitting next to them in church. Many that I have met are very decent people, including a former bishop of mine that I greatly respect. Nevertheless, these good things will never change mine or the church’s stance on the matter of gay marriage. The Lord has said that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is wrong, in the same way that adultery and fornication are wrong. That is all I need to know in order to make up my mind on the matter. Beware of attempts to rationalize and intellectualize gay relations so as to make them seem potentially acceptable within the church. The basic doctrines of the gospel are plain and simple.

    • Susan
      April 16, 2013 at 11:12 am

      “Never” is a long time. I remember hearing and reading prophets and apostles who declared blacks would “never” receive the priesthood in this lifetime; that interracial marriage would “never” be acceptable; that blacks would “never” inherit the CK on the same level as whites but remain servants.
      What is that pesky Article of Faith that declares we believe God will yet reveal many great and important things relating to the Kingdom? Pretty hard for God to reveal anything to people who limit and instruct Him/Her/our Parents with terms like “never.”

      • cameroncollierscott
        June 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

        It is so inappropriate to compare slavery, segregation, and racism to current affairs with gay rights. Blacks and minorities had to fight just to be considered human and they had to fight some more to be considered citizens. The LGBT community’s only plight is acceptance in marriage. While any abuse is tragic their suffering is nothing compared to the suffering of blacks, Jews, and other minorities. Your comparison makes light of their sufferings and makes the LGBT community bigger victims than they actually are. Also, I know God will never allow gay relationships in Heaven. It is antithetical to His divine plan. I put my life on that claim.

        • Jeremiah A
          June 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

          I wholeheartedly agree with you. The plight of blacks and other racial minorities has been completely and utterly different from someone seeking approval for their personal unethical sexual behavior. Harry Jaffa, a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Natural Law, made this point…

          “Nature and reason tell us that a Negro is a human being, and is not to be treated like a horse or an ox or a dog, just as they tell us that a Jew is a human being, and is not to be treated as a plague-bearing bacillus. But with the very same voice, nature and reason tell us that a man is
          not a woman, and that sexual friendship is properly between members of opposite sexes, not the same sex… There is no argument by which one can condemn slavery that does not at the same time condemn homosexuality. [One must] abandon the argument against slavery or the argument for homosexuality.”

  16. R. P. Isaak
    May 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    God was only talkin about heterosexual men commiting adultery with men, not referring to the LGBT community. You bigots just have nothing to stand on. You will not be absolved of the heinous sin of judging others and excluding them. That is bigotry that is genocide. I speak from personal experience. My 14 yr old sister committed suicide 20 yrs ago today.  In her letter, she was perceived LGBT by church members and subjected to physical and mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual bullying. The church will be held to account for this type of genocide, there WILL be hell to pay.  And dont give me this love the sinner hate the sin, bull puckey! One cannot Hoekify their way out of being an out and out bigot.  Which is so much more vile, heinous, wicked, abominable than the way how anyone gets their crotch parts rubbed. If LGBT go to the 2nd kingdom, judgers, supremacists, bigots, exclusivists, wall-builders will be relegated, if not to perditional damnation, the best they could hope for os the 9th kingdom, or the 3rd degree of the 3rd kingdom.  God did say that. More than 46 times he said that. 

    • Chill out bro
      July 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Why all the  name calling?

  17. Adam Hutto
    May 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    i havent listened to this yet there are a couple of other podcasts(the singles wards one as i am a 27 year old single male hating the singles ward with a passion) i want to listen to first having just found this site finding myself a bit out of touch with the molly mormon after moving to utah for school and serving a church service mission reasons(to figure out how to serve one was a night in and of itsself that took over a year to accomplish). dont get me wrong i fully believe in the gospel so that isnt changing ever.

    but considering homosexual lifestyles. i think the problem is not that we cant figure out that The Lord has said it is bad and that to be exhalted(spelling?) requires a man and woman to be sealed together. i think we can all agree this is what the gospel teaches. i think the problem is people take a oh you are gay well just shut up and marry the opposite sex anyway attitude. we need to instead embrace these people and help them reconcile with these feelings. growing up and turning out to be gay happens and people shouldnt just surpress it. we need to teach them how to deal with it. love them anyway. teach them with love and patience how to find the right path again and not this just be straight attitude because it sounds like there are gay people that want to belong but dont know how too as the church says little more than being gay is a sin. which is fine and all but it doesnt address how to change it or even just accept people like that. 

    my bottom line is being gay isnt the right path. but it is not a reason to outcast you because the purpose of the gospel and the purpose of the church should be the same and that purpose is to bring souls to Christ. and these souls are all sinners. some it is a drug addiction, some it is a porn addiction, some it is the endless mental disorders, and some are gay. and the solution is a little bit more than confess to the bishop and sin no more. you have to figure out how to sin no more. bishops need to be psychologists really but they arent and often have no idea how to deal with say a pedophile that walks in trying to straighten their life out. so really if a bishop is trying to help a gay person they often dont know how to leaving this person to abandon the church when they dont want too and creating a problem and likely anger at the church. then we have the general authorities that dont seem to address these issues like ever. it always amounts to go get married if you are single, if you are a kid prepare for a mission, if you a father dont abuse your wife, and if you are a mother learn craft making and be a good mom. good advice but it hardly catches everyone or even attempts too. and so we have mid singles and gays and people that have discovered our history feeling completely lost.

  18. Adam Hutto
    June 3, 2012 at 6:34 am

    well after listening to this. there were good solid points and the discussion was taken in a direction i did not expect. ive been pondering these kinds of questions lately about gays and how they fit into it all. is it a choice or is it not. i think in some cases it probably is and other cases it probably isnt. the fact we have people born with both sex parts probably proves there are in fact naturally gay people who did not choose it. and that is interesting to note The Father and Jesus claim the creation. however it cannot be ignored that since Heavenly Mother is never mentioned like anywhere that She did not play some role in it and while until a few years ago i had that odd thought of the forever pregnant God Mom concept you guys mentioned. while i dont think thats the case anymore it is quite likely She plays some role in the creation somewhere along the line. 

    you know i read somewhere and it was well put after listing all the seemingly chaotic unnatural crazy things of the world the author concluded with the world is perfectly random. not perfect just perfectly random to give a complete sense of agency and free will.

    however all that said i think we do need to sort of accept a couple of points. in order for a species to procreate it requires at least as far as humans go a female and male. so logic would probably assume Gods need this too. the bible of course saying it is a sin. and the book of mormon calling the natural man an enemy of God. so scripture likely leads to it being a sin. however the question is why are some people gay then or born with both sex parts? im not sure we will ever get an answer to that anymore than why are some people born blind or why God let Satan try Job in the manner He did. 

    i sincerely hope an answer is found to deal with this sometime. but until then i suppose Gay Mormons need to somehow as hard as it is find a way to reconcile with it. but again the fact we have so many weird birth defects and many born with both sex parts likely means in some cases the issue of being gay is no more of a birth defect than a man born blind and really how can you condemn a blind man? that right there is really the point that you guys harped on that made me stop and think you know what gays could really just fall into that category i mean why is it any different????

    good podcast im loving this site!!

  19. Marie
    June 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed listening to many of these podcasts and have appreciated the contributions of those involved.  I’ve yet to listen to this one yet but have read the article it refers to.  While I consider myself open to doctrinal ambiguity, I’m struggling with the idea that we’re deconstructing doctrine to the point that nothing really has meaning any  more.  I’m not a member of the LDS church for the sociality of it all; I’m here for the doctrine.  Take that away and what’s the point?

    • Dan Wotherspoon
      June 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Hi Marie, 

      I hope you’ll listen to this podcast, plus the one I should be releasing tonight (20 June) in which a panel and I discuss “What is Mormon Doctrine?” and how settled we should see it, what parts seem essential to identify one as “Mormon,” how statements that are often put forth as “doctrine” function in the church beyond pure “are they true or not?” kinds of ways, etc. I end up pushing toward a very minimalist set of ideas that are “binding on” church members, preferring instead to see these sorts of teachings as a vocabulary, as setting out a story for us to think within, etc, but none of them needing to be seen as final truths. Perhaps you’ll hate that episode, but it’s definitely one that plays right in the area you are talking about here.

      I the case of the Petrey article and this podcast, I simply think the goal is to question whether some of the ideas that make accepting homosexual relationships appear difficult to Latter-day Saints are less “settled” or less grounded in scripture as we have thought. Certainly recognizing that Petrey’s article is “speculative theology,” that it is pushing us to think rather than making hard claims. To me, there are many, many reasons to stay LDS and grow within its wonderful story than if particular doctrines end up being seen as the best thinking on something at one time that then become re-oriented a bit. Every doctrine within Mormonism has undergone development, so I fully expect this one will, too.

      Anyway, I hope you’ll listen. Maybe we’ll drive you up the wall and it will all feel too much. Hope not! I love Ninth AofF–lots of things still to be revealed, and many of them apparently “great and important things” not just minor, trivial ones. Who we are as spirits? Why some of us are gay, intersex, etc.–these seem really worth exploring–and exploring always precedes revelation.

      Best!
      Dan Wotherspoon

      • Marie
        June 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

        Hi Dan,

        I appreciate your response.  Yes, I’ll be very interested in your “What is Mormon Doctrine” podcast.  I’m at the point where I can’t decide between listening to Mormon Matters or This American Life podcasts while I’m doing the dishes.  I find your discussions that fascinating and often very profound. Thanks again!

        Marie

  20. Bitherwack
    June 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    One difficulty in discussing the canonicity of the proclamation is that it’s present limbo state could very well change in the event of a Packer presidency.  It is conceivable that he would move to canonize it.  (Although this podcast goes far in pointing out the difficulties in such a move… I wouldn’t put it beyond him to dig in his heels on this particular point– it is, after all, sort of his signature message.)

  21. JeremiahA
    June 29, 2012 at 7:37 am

    While I enjoyed the podcast, there really seemed to be too much equivocation. I love my friends. They are my family. I love my co-workers. They are my family. However, when marriage is the issue, family only has one meaning, which is clear through scripture and unambiguous in human history. It is fine to ask questions, but a clear definition of terms at the beginning would have been helpful…but then again, it may have been too short of a podcast.

  22. PoliticallyIncorrect
    August 17, 2012 at 7:20 am

    This question has also been dealt with from the viewpoint of Jewish law (halacha) within the Conservative Jewish movement. Even when clear evidence from recent studies was presented which indicates that most homosexual relationships are NOT monogamous and that the vast majority do NOT last beyond five years (also indicated in the UK-based study were higher levels of jealously and domestic violence), the USJC movement approved blessing of such relationships, despite it clearly being in conflict with Jewish law.

    This is a trend in our time. It will likely be short-lived (30-40 years at most), before we swing into a new era of critique in relation to the “truths” of the late 1960′s which have likely caused unfathomable damage in most parts of the world. In reality many of the newly invented “rights” from that era have no better base in science or reality than is claimed about the various religions themselves by the seculars. In fact, if such ideologists and activists are really and factually supporting “freedom of religion” or “separation of religion a state”, then one would suppose that they would respect the internal workings of the LDS Church and other religious movements without trying directly or indirectly to force religions to adopt the secular religion of civil and human rights as non-believers see it. Indeed, separation of religion and state must work BOTH ways to work at all.

    I would suggest a blog site entitled BetterLiving2003 for LDS and other clergy and members dealing with this issue. I think it answers many of the questions left open here. The LDS Church, Judaism and other religions are under NO obligation to abandon their sincere religious convictions in favour of what is likely to be a relatively short-lived reign of “sole truths” upon which historians in all likelihood will look with embarrassment in 50-100 years.

  23. November 8, 2012 at 6:25 am

    The genocide is complete and the reprimand was avoided. 30 states have conducted ballot measures silently without national coverage against their gay youth subjecting every LGBT child to witness their family, friends and community casting ballots regarding them over several years under a cloak of war and shock and awe over seas then the worst offenders brought high and center stage for a national election at home. All the kids that could be brought to death or forced to lie that could be reached have been. Now the politics has swung to protect those surviving like a valiant cause. Even this effort is a way to drum up as much anti-gay sentiment as possible in order to simulate the need of further government control. Keep talking, keep blogging and the church will continue it’s war against gay youth. The gay problem may have been easily avoidable when the 5% was a percentage of less than 7 billion. But it’s going to require greater levels of deceit and subjection at this point. It’s sure to be a spectacle but the saints have already marched on. You’re too late. Any further talk is a greater descent into failure. Morality exists equally among both straight and gay people and no church can be allowed to teach otherwise. Not last Sunday or the next. Every child has the right to a companion, to a helpmate, to intimacy, to devotion, to faith, to community, to family. The more a group encourages procreation the more likely they are to produce gay offspring. And those children are the responsibility of their parents, their church and their community. They are not the responsibility of others. They are to be treated equally have every inalienable right their parents had. There isn’t any more time and every excuse and speculative remedy has been exhausted. A community that creates and expels unwanted humans cannot exist openly and be a part of a civil society.

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