What if the Brethren decided to allow gay marriage? by Justin Perry

guest Anti-Mormon, apologetics, Bloggernacle, burdens, church, Culture, curiosity, Discrimination, doctrine, doubt, faith, gay, homosexuality, Leaders, Logic, love, marriage, media manipulation, Mormon, news, questioning, sexuality, thought 184 Comments

marriage
What if the Brethren decided to allow gay marriage? They’d have to do a lot of back-peddling to explain why they were suddenly in favor of something they stood against for so long. But over time, the church’s previous “official” opposition to gay marriage would be downplayed, the Apostles who spoke publicly against gay marriage would be criticized for giving their own personal, uninspired opinion, and new generations of LDS children would grow up in a church that accepted gays openly.

If the church did reverse their position on gay marriage, though, they wouldn’t automatically be off the hook. The fact that they were ever against gay marriage would haunt them for decades to come.

I imagine there would be exchanges in newspapers and internet forums that would resemble something like the following:

Letter to the Editor, March 15th, 2039
I think it is completely inappropriate for the Mormons to participate in this years gay rights parade. Historically, the Mormons have done terrible things to gays, trying to “cure” them through cruel experiments at the Brigham Young College, denying them the priesthood for nearly 200 years, and taking away their right to marry after the government granted it to them in 2008. Did you know that Mormons used to consider homosexuality a SIN?? Today, they still believe that gay people are mentally ill, as if homosexuality was some kind of mark of insanity. If you don’t believe me, just Google some of the old speeches by the Mormon “Apostle” Dallin Oaks.
Please be reasonable and don’t let the Mormons bring their prejudice to the public parade this Saturday.
– Concerned Citizen
Response, March 22nd, 2039
I would like to respond to your accusation that Mormons are prejudiced or “anti-gay“. First of all, let me say that my aunt and my cousin are both gay, and I love them and they are among the most faithful, well-respected members of our Stake. I also once had a Bishop who was gay and he was a pillar of the community and a spiritual giant. Before I say anything else, I would like to remind you that since the release of Official Declaration 3 on October 27th, 2025, the LDS church has extended the Priesthood to ALL WORTHY MALES, whether gay, straight, or celibate.

Regarding the church’s involvement in Prop 8 back in 2008: you have to understand the policical climate of the time. This was a time when activist judges were legislating from the bench, overturning the will of the majority and ignoring the separation of powers. Those judges were trying to force Californians to accept gay marriage against their will, and an unwilling public (whether right or wrong) is a dangerous public nonetheless. Our gay brothers and sisters had suffered enough at the hands of the hate-mongering Fundamentalists. The very last thing we wanted to do was to fan the flames of hate, granting rights to gays that the public simply wasn’t ready to give. Voting against gay marriage IN THAT PLACE AND AT THAT TIME was the most loving, most humane thing we could do to stem the tide of hate-crimes perpetrated against gays.

I mean come on, you’ve seen the old news footage of Evangelicals yelling and screaming that “God hates gays” and “there are no Q***** in heaven”. Evangelicals in every state were picketing the funerals of dead soldiers saying the second Iraq war was God’s punishment for accepting gay marriage. It goes without saying that those were dark, ignorant times. But let’s be reasonable: just because a couple of Apostles (born in a homophobic time, raised by homophobic parents, living in a homophobic country) may have expressed some personal opinions against gays doesn’t mean that they were speaking for all Mormons everywhere. Honestly, it really annoys me when people say, “Mormons believe that gays are sinners” because I AM a Mormon and I can assure you I know what I believe!

Admittedly, we don’t claim to understand all of the reasons why the Lord would have asked the Saints to vote against Prop 8 (the Lord works in mysterious ways, you know). But this much is certain: the fact that some of the Brethren asked a handful of Latter-day Saints in California OVER 30 YEARS AGO to vote against gay marriage IN NO WAY diminishes our love and respect for our gay brothers and sisters, many of whom lead our church today.

Comments

comments

Comments 184

  1. Ooooh — is the first in the new “What is the Brethren decided to allow” series?

    Yeah and what if the Brethren decided to allow… adultery, fornication, smoking, drinking, tax evasion…

    So many potential posts for the series! (Each of which will be so very interesting no doubt)

  2. @Geoff J

    Actually it is a very important question since this will become a reality for the brethren. They will need to be prepared when that day comes.

    Of course you don’t believe that, but the saints living under Brigham Young would have never believed polygamy would be taken from the earth.

    LOOK! This is a very important issue the brethren will have to concede on at some point. I hope they choose their exit strategy wisely.

  3. Just an interesting note. Back in 1999-2000 during prop 22 (California’s definition of marriage) not one stake speaker on a third Sunday would say they have gay siblings or relatives. Last year it seems like most stake speakers openly said they have a gay cousin or sister. That is huge! It means that time allows people to go from being silent, to saying they don’t approve of the “lifestyle” their gay relative chooses, to expressing it’s no big deal to be gay.

  4. What if? well statistically, there probably will be fewer hurt feelings, misdirected lives, damaged marriages and families, depression, and suicide. I think that having fewer of those is a good thing.

  5. #3 Yeap, add fornication because in the full contraception era of 2039 no one will get hurt by fornicating every now and then 🙂

    Oh, and the brethren should also allow some swinging too, say 2 or 3 times during a life marriage? so partners can recover their interest in sex. Lets not discriminate against adulterers!

    #4 “a very important question since this will become a reality for the brethren” “LOOK! This is a very important issue the brethren will have to concede on at some point” Spencer: MormonMatters prophet, seer and revelator!

  6. @Geoff #3 and Charles #7:

    You both lapse into reductio ad absurdum, a logical fallacy, and believe you have rebutted Spencer at #4, but you haven’t. You’ve simply sidestepped his point and tried to lump it in with other things you find objectionable, as if that addressed the merits. It doesn’t. Gay marriage nationwide is inevitable. The Church is going to have to make its peace with that here, just as it seems to have managed to find a way to live with it in Canada, Spain, Norway, and a host of other countries. The only question is how will it do that. The rising generation of Mormon kids, particularly those outside Utah, see this issue very differently than their parents. When I explained Prop 8 to my own two Primary-aged kids in simple, objective terms, their first question was “how does two guys getting married hurt somebody else’s marriage?” They and their cousins (who have expressed similar sentiments) see clearly what apparently escapes many in their parents’ generation. And they are the future of the Church.

  7. #8 “reductio ad absurdum”…I was actually being sarcastic. But then again sarcasm is ‘adsurdum’ isn’t it?

    Anyway, the real point is that homosexual sex is simply just another sin like adultery, fornication, swinging, even if the participants are civilly married. And that is why this post, although entertaining, is simply ‘absurdum’ because sex between two men will always be a sin.

    By the way “and believe you have rebutted Spencer at #4” … rebutted…is that another gay thing here in MM?

  8. http://www.affirmation.org/voices/plan_of_salvation.shtml

    The Plan of Salvation for Me, a Gay Latter-Day Saint
    “I believe the plan of salvation is more all-inclusive of all of God’s children that we might perceive, including his homosexual children”

    Charles 7

    Thanks for your comments. Just like heterosexuality I’m assuming for you is something innate in you its not a matter of choice those feeling are strong and over power your feelings against probably ever being gay. The same is true exactly the same for someone who is gay its innate in them they don’t choose to be gay.

    It would be good if you could watch the video from the link above and then it would be interesting to see your opinions after

  9. @Geoff #3 and Charles #7 … you’ve both realized that gay marriage is not inevitable … and used the same logic Paul used when he talked about being not deceived about what conduct was not acceptable.

    The real question, which I have addressed before, is whether Paul was condemning homosexual acts as homosexual acts or because the practice of the day was homosexual practice by heterosexuals as a method of birth control (as was the use of older, infertile woman as hetaris, etc.).

    The issue is more complex than most people accept, though it may also be much more simpler than most are willing to accept.

    You have to understand, that was before the LDS Church gave up on the Bible as just superstition and decided to merge with the Unitarians. So, just like Elton John’s music is no longer blacklisted, in spite of his being against SSM, so the LDS Church of today is allowed to participate in the politically correct event of the year so as to be included.

    Could things change? Yes. Will they change? I don’t know. Will they change in the way suggested above, probably not, but who knows. I don’t.

  10. that innate heterosexual pull we feel still needs to be controlled, and thats even in marriage. what is a matter of choice is the when it is used. some will go through life without ever using that ‘power’ but controlling it ever day.

  11. This post brings to memory one of my dad’s sayings when a family member would over do, “what if…”. He’d say, well, if you Aunt Mary had testicles, she’d be your Uncle Mary.

    I was going to add more to this comment, but Geoff J in #3 stated it so well, I’ll just second his thoughts.

  12. #4 Spencer–

    How about this exist strategy:

    I suppose we might as well start now, as later, to start looking for code talk in the scriptures. By this I mean, Jared and the brother of Jared were really homosexuals. Even though they had children with women, their wives, their first love, finest loves–were each other. The scripture, you see, use code talk to mask, or I should say, hide this mystery until the final dispensation, where all the Lord’s truth are to be revealed.

    Alma, Amulek, and the angel were really…

  13. We may drop our “active” objection to civil homosexual “marriage”, but it will never become part of the ritual of the Church. It just won’t happen. . .

    This is not the same kind of issue as plural marriage or race. . .

  14. It’s absurd to compare gay marriage with adultery and fornication. The whole point is that gays want to enter into committed, loving, lifelong legal partnerships. The *opposite* of promiscuity.

  15. @Mytha #16:

    Spot on. It doesn’t seem to occur to many people that maybe dropping the prejudice against God’s gay children marrying who they love will result in more faithfulness and stability and reduce some of the behaviors that lead conservatives to criticize “the gay lifestyle.” Denying gay people the ability to marry and then condemning them for trying to form “promiscuous” relationships outside marriage is like beating someone until they bleed and then beating them for bleeding.

    @Charles #9:

    I’m disappointed but not surprised. Why do so many straight people have such an obsession with the subject of your attempted pun? As to sex between two men “always being a sin,” your only basis for that is a handful of Biblical references (on which modern LDS leaders also rely to bootstrap their opinions), and you probably don’t know that very sound Biblical scholarship has refuted your take on those verses. No space here to recite it all, but check it out. You are on very shaky ground here. And remember, Brigham Young, while president of the church, said “it would always be so” that the penalty for a mixed race marriage was “death on the spot” too. Oops.

  16. PaulW ~ I am personally not sure as to why this issue “is not the same kind of issue as plural marriage or race. . .”

    From the perspective of many who are outside of the church, the church changed both of their policies/stances on plural marriage and blacks in the priesthood when the political and social climates of the times were such that if they didn’t they would have been even further ostracized as a group than they already have been – and they sure didn’t want that (this appears to be why the LDS church so vehemently divorces themselves from the FLDS church). All of this appears to many to just be yet another way to try to streamline the church into mainstream Christian America and to indeed not be viewed as a peculiar people.

    As for Prop 8, many other powerful and influential churches were participating heavily in the campaign so it was thus acceptable, if you will, for the LDS church to do so as well. If the Catholic church and others were publicly and adamantly against the prop, the LDS church would have been too, or at the very least they would have participated much more quietly. And speaking of, what happens to members like Steve Young and his wife – faithful and believing members who publicly speak out against the Prop and thus the ways of their own church? I figure that for those particular individuals nothing whatever happened to them as we all know who Steve is the descendant of, but for others – what would happen to them if they were asked by their bishop to make calls or put out signs in their yard and they had said no? I imagine there would be a rather negative consequence for this.

    I think that this issue for the church (and other churches) comes simply and solely down to homophobia, which they attempt to mask by saying that they “love” gays (individuals may indeed if they know someone who is gay, but as a whole, I think not). Why exactly is it that gay sex is a “sin”? I realize that the answer to this question will satisfy me not, because I do not believe that any one group of humans has any right or authority to speak on behalf of any god to say what is acceptable behavior and what is not. In the same vein, WHY does God disapprove of it?

    If God knows all things, then he knows that some are born gay. Wouldn’t that mean that he created them that way, with intent and goodness and all the same love he used to create his other children? Aren’t we ALL created in God’s image? Black, white, female, male… gay is somehow magically excluded?

  17. Will never happen. The Church does not bow to the winds of changing public opinion. Sin is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

  18. “Will never happen. The Church does not bow to the winds of changing public opinion. Sin is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

    Wow, you aren’t any different from Mormons in the days when leaders taught polygamy would never be taken from the earth, or in a day when leaders taught blacks wouldn’t get the priesthood.

    YOU ARE JUST HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF!!!

    And instead of learning from history, you are setting the brethren up for just as much of a church fallout as when polygamy was revoked.

    It’s not about the church conforming to public opinion, it’s about the church one day caving in to how the real works and what is best for it. Like giving blacks the priesthood, what is best for the world ultimately is adopted by the church, and when it does the “it will never happen” folks both look really stupid and cause the church real problems.

    Please do something good for the church and prepare to get over it when that day comes.

  19. #19: Jon: “…Will never happen. The Church does not bow to the winds of changing public opinion. Sin is the same yesterday, today, and forever…”

    Official Declaration #1 never said polygamy was wrong, it just realized that public opinion was so against it that the Church wouldn’t prosper unless it changed an “unending” practice. Now, if you are a polygamist, you are excommunicated because it is a “sin”.

    Official Declaration #2. Despite prophets and apostles (starting with BY, running for 100+ years through BRM and others) stating that blacks would NEVER have the priesthood and were fence sitters and anyone against that was in apostasy for questioning the Church leaders, the Church eventually could not hold back against the tide of public opinion. Again, they realized that not changing would significantly affect the Church.

  20. @Jon #19: People said the same thing about polygamy, the priesthood ban, and other things. If you think the 180 on polygamy was not “bowing to the winds of public opinion” then I have a McDonalds franchise in Teheran I’d like to sell you. In the 1960’s a letter from the First Presidency–the sort of channel which many LDS consider presumptively inspired–said that birth control was “contrary to the teachings of the Church.” Now the Church has done a 180 on that “sin” as well, and that can only be ascribed to “the winds of changing public opinion” within the Church itself. Spencer Kimball’s First Presidency instructed bishops to deny temple recommends to any couples who engaged in certain sexual practices, then that policy against such “sin” was quietly shelved and SLC would prefer to forget all about it now. The track record for your claim is not good.

    @Jon #20: The existence of “another school of thought” does not mean that other school of thought is correct or trustworthy. Evergreen is one of a small handful of organizations affiliated with conservative churches who claim that sexual orientation can be changed and offer support for those who want to try. Just this past week the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution and released a statement saying there was no firm evidence that sexual orientation can be changed through the kind of therapy Evergreen supports, so mental health professionals should not tell conflicted gay clients that they can become heterosexual with such treatments. The resolution said some research suggested “reparative therapy” could induce depression or suicidal tendencies and the APA urged its members to “avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts when providing assistance to people distressed about their own or others’ sexual orientation,” and they noted that such distress was usually the result of the person feeling conflicted as a result of religious teaching.

    The overwhelming weight of evidence and professional consensus is against what Evergreen stands for. I realize that probably won’t change your mind, but you can’t be intellectually honest and ignore the persuasive weight of the combined experience of the thousands of professionals that make up those organizations.

  21. P.S. “Those organizations” being the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Medical Association, and many, many others who all state that the kind of “change therapy” Evergreen supports is “contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.”

  22. Well, it isn’t like polygamy, because (by virtue of eternal marriages beyond the grave) we have apostles who are polygamists (-only in the eternal, beyond the grave sense). We may not have more than one wife living at a time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enter into plural marriages.

    As for civil rights – it is worth noting that the church waited until well after the Civil right movement to act.

    Just pointing out some differences…

  23. Jon Miranda ~

    I am not sure as to why you have provided me this link. Are you hoping that I will be enlightened or persuaded by its message? A different school of thought? What exactly is different or better or whatever you think about this way of justifying homophobia with a few scripture passages and quotes from church leaders? Being gay is something to “overcome” because it’s a “sin”? Please.

    I second Spencer, Mike, and Jay. The church HAS changed because of external pressure to do so and indeed would like for others to forget all about it today. However, if the people who say today that the church leaders who taught that blacks had the mark of Cain (and other such things – blood atonement, polygamy, etc.) were wrong to have done so and had dissented against those leaders at the time that that was the “school of thought”, they would probably have been excommunicated. If and when the church changes it’s position on gay marriage the same will be true – there will be members who publicly state that church leaders had been wrong on this issue. Hmm. So how can church leaders be perfectly correct and of God and then biased or misguided when it suits? And yes I know that one of the pat answers to this is that we’re all human and we make mistakes, etc. But if that’s true, then this should be acknowledged at all times and then religion shouldn’t be taken so literally. But this church, and many others, teach that the Prophet and Apostles, etc. are essentially the spokesmen for God – and that God is perfect. Logic would dictate that then if these men are speaking for God, then what they are saying is perfect too. So when is it suddenly imperfect or wrong? God changes his mind? No, it’s social pressure. Like I said before: let’s just say that every single other Abrahamic church was for gay marriage, I dare say with certainty that the LDS church would be too. Social pressure.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to see that the LDS church has changed some of the abhorrent policies of it’s past, those already mentioned. But indeed, like most all religions, it has a long way to come.

  24. Zen ~ I am curious as to why it is worth noting that the church waited until after the American civil rights movement of the ’60s to lift the ban on blacks in the priesthood. To show that they weren’t persuaded by the winds of change? Clearly they still were, they were just more reluctant to do so and thus held out as long as possible.

  25. Humans have no power to change the concept of what sin is.
    Only the lawgiver does.
    He speaks through his prophets.
    The Church strongly suggests that members not act out on these feelings however real they may seem.
    1. Same Sex Attraction (Society says if it feels good do it.)
    2. The urge to kill (Still largely taboo)
    3. The urge to violate someone sexually including children (Still largely taboo even though Nambla seeks to legalize adult-child sex)
    It is true that grown people have the choice to enter into consentual relationships and children do not.
    Homosexual activity is spiritually and psychologically harmful.

  26. Oh my gosh, the references to adultery and fornication were bad enough, but equating homosexual relationships with murder, rape, and child molestation is just disgusting. They. Are. Not. Comparable. Stop it!

  27. Mytha #16: It’s absurd to compare gay marriage with adultery and fornication.

    Well I don’t “compare gay marriage with adultery and fornication”. Rather, I think a it makes more sense to compare gay sex with adultery and fornication. Each is considered a violation of the law of chastity in the church. I predict gay sex would remain a violation of the law of chastity in the church even if gay marriage were to become legally sanctioned nationwide (via the federal government forcing a definition of marriage on states).

  28. I will have to agree that Homosexual relations will always be a violation of the law of chastity. It is incompatible with the path that leads to exaltation.

  29. 31 – “I predict gay sex would remain a violation of the law of chastity in the church even if gay marriage were to become legally sanctioned nationwide (via the federal government forcing a definition of marriage on states).”

    My gut feeling is that this is why the church is so opposed to states recognizing gay marriage. It puts them in the position of having to qualify that sexual relations are acceptable only within some legal marriages, not all. Perhaps a homosexual person who abstained from sex until they were legally married might claim to be chaste and feel worthy to enter the temple. That could get awkward.

  30. I am wondering as to where in the Christian bible it is stated that homosexuality is a sin. I am excluding The Family: A Proclamation to the World and LDS scriptures; I would just like to see scriptural references *with* context as to what is being talked about in the book from whence the passage came. It seems so easy and convenient to quote a passage out of context and apply it to something today when indeed it may not apply at all to the situation the person today wishes to use it for. Picking and choosing select passages to verify one’s position on an issue does not seem to make something authoritative or correct. How is one to believe the bible to be true when each version differs from the next. For instance, Joseph Smith took out the Song of Solomon from the bible. So does that mean that that book no longer is the word of God or just that he didn’t like it? I know these are two different issues, homosexuality and scripture compilation, but I think it ties in to the point of seeking and selecting passages to use as authority on an issue and as far as what is considered to be the word of God and what isn’t.

  31. Mytha: It puts them in the position of having to qualify that sexual relations are acceptable only within some legal marriages, not all.

    This is hardly a challenge. A few words added to the law of chastity definition/covenant about “between a man and a woman” and things would be amply clarified. Nothing particularly awkward about that. In fact with a few states already legalizing gay marriage I suspect this clarification might be coming anyway.

  32. Romans 1 27
    King James Bible
    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

  33. Whether gay marriage is right or not, I certainly question the premise of the original post and some commenters that its adoption by America is inevitable. By 2039, women could all be wearing burkas, all Mormon men have to wear beards, and homosexual practices are punishable by on-the-spot enforcement of the death penalty.

    The inevitable march of history has this odd habit of taking big detours when exposed to factors outside the original system.

  34. Please Spencer, tell us fundamentalists it ain’t so…
    When I went to bed last night plural marriage was fine and well, and now you’re saying it’s been taken from the earth?
    The folks I went to sacrament with today didn’t seem to have heard about it either. 🙂

    In all seriousness, the Church is a corporation and a corporation’s only function is to grow and expand…otherwise they collapse.
    To grow and expand in a secular world concessions will have to be continually made if your doctrine is anti-secular.
    There’s no way around that.

    Luckily, things will be put back in order soon.

    Just sayin….

  35. Bruce (39) – I think you go far astray if you assume growing is God’s first and highest priority. Calling the Church a mere corporation is tantamount to calling it false – a mere plaything of mankind and not a work of God.

    (27) – I was just pointing out that it happened after the revolution, and thus likely not in response to pressure. We tend to dig our feet in response to opposition.

  36. @Jon Miranda #37:

    Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. Nor did Joseph Smith. In fact, Matthew 8:5-13 tells of how Jesus healed a boy whom the KJV describes as a “servant” of a Roman soldier; however, the original Greek word for “servant” in that passage is “pais”, the word used to refer to a same-sex partner. It was not uncommon at the time for a Roman man to have a same-sex lover, and Jesus certainly would have known this. Yet when confronted with just such a relationship, Jesus not only says nothing in condemnation, he heals the partner and praises the Roman soldier’s faith. Jesus’ silence speaks volumes; either he saw nothing wrong with that gay relationship or else he didn’t think it important enough to merit comment either way.

    Romans 1:27 is the opinion of one apostle who was not president of the church when he wrote it. Quoting it as a stand-alone allegedly dispositive gospel principle is misleading and dishonest prooftexting. Here is some additional background.

    Paul is talking not about all of humanity but about fertility cults in Rome whose members engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual sex as part of cult activity. He uses them as an example of fallen humanity. Paul’s reference to homosexuality is in connection with these cults’ fertility rites, not as part of a general list of sins. His purpose is to highlight the “unnaturalness” of turning from God, and to describe those cults’ practices in the most unappealing way possible for his audience. Condemning homosexuality is not the point of this passage.

    Yes, Paul does say that in that particular context, the practice was shameful and unnatural, but he also said the same thing–using the same Greek words–about men with long hair (1 Corinthians 11:14) and today we generally consider long hair to be just a cultural thing. No man in the LDS Church today is condemned as a heinous sinner because he wears his hair long, yet Jon, if you are to be consistent, you must either do so or else abandon your reliance on Romans 1:27 as a dispository condemnation of homosexuality.

    I think this is very shaky ground on which to base an alleged “eternal” principle that homosexual behavior will “always be a sin.” The details can sure be troublesome, can’t they Jon.

  37. Jay: Jesus’ silence speaks volumes

    Hehe. Actually the silence in the record on this specific point doesn’t speak anything at all, let alone “volumes”.

    Nor did Joseph Smith

    Look, you surely know that modern prophets have clearly stated that gay sex violates the law of chastity. If you are looking for a religion that condones gay sex they exist out there but Mormonism clearly is not one of them.

  38. Interesting discussion, to say the least.

    Is it agreed that God, the Father, determines and guides all things for His purpose? If so, then talking about the power of the world/society dictating inevitable change and “progress” in the church seems misplaced. Are we, as men, really able to say with absolute knowledge that we know the reasons for the timing of the rescinding of polygamy and the ban lift for the priesthood? And, consequently, assume any timeline for the acceptance of gay marriage?

    It seems this whole discussion has been approached from the side or view of the world’s influence on the church. WHAT IF we try to look at everything from God’s view? Meaning, He decides when, how, or even if anything happens? He will speak through His prophets. He will help them deal with any perceived fallout, “back pedaling.” He will help, guide, and strengthen His church.

    The challenge for us all is to live what we’ve been asked to live NOW – not the past, not any hoped-for or assumed future. If we fight against those called and annointed to serve as God’s mouthpiece now, regardless of our personal feelings, then we are at odds with God, the Almighty, the One who really does know what’s best for each of us.

    I believe we ALL have our trials, burdens, “crosses to bear.” There is probably something we’d all like to have changed in the church. However, if the church were to succumb to those, even if it was by majority request, the church would cease to exist as the Lord’s church – the one He established – and become the church of those in the majority.

    Just where does faith and obedience fit into this discussion? Regardless of our own desires, wishes, hopes, we’ve been called to follow the words of His prophet. At the risk of sounding trite – “choose ye this day whom ye will serve…”

  39. I agree with FireTag (#38) that the great weakness of this scenario and many comments is the assumption that “progress” will march on as it has the last 60-100 years. The described situation is one possibility, but the future is not fixed (*high fives Geoff J*), so history could turn on a dime at any point.

  40. No one is going to change anyone’s mind by quoting this scripture or that passage. It all boils down to what you want. Free will. You are free to choose but not free to choose the consequences of your behavior.
    Jay:
    You can only rationalize for so long and then things will catch up to you if they haven’t already.
    Where will history take this issue? Everyone must choose there side and time will tell.

  41. “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman…”

    Well, we certainly wouldn’t want men to forget what women are supposed to be used for.

  42. Those who love the Lord, read the scriptures, and listen to the living prophets will not be deceived by the issue of SSM. It really does matter which way the politics of this country goes on this issue. Those who are familiar with the word of the Lord understand that the sword of justice hangs over the heads of this and other Gentile nations.

    And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.

    (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 20:20)

    I encourage repentance on this issue. There are faithful members of the church who deal with same sex attraction in a way that allows them to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. To make this discussion useful, we need to hear from them.

  43. #42 – “If you are looking for a religion that condones gay sex they exist out there but Mormonism clearly is not one of them.”

    I wonder if there would be less discussion if there *weren’t* living prophets who can override what previous prophets have said. I’ve always seen the strength of Mormonism as its inherent ability to evolve and change and speak to people in their own time and culture. If the canon were fixed, maybe there would be less expectation that change was a possibility.

  44. @Jon Miranda #45:

    Hit & run. You quoted a scripture that you says condemns homosexuality without reservation. I gave you a different perspective based on actual scriptural analysis. You then ignore everything I said and simply accuse me of rationalizing, rather than actually responding to my comments. Unfortunately, in my experience this is typical of many in the Church who do not like having their preconceptions challenged. I’m disappointed but will hope for something more substantive from you.

    @Jared #48:

    It’s interesting that you seem to have assumed from my comments so many things about me that aren’t true. I love the Lord, I know the scriptures well, I pray daily, I take my temple covenants seriously, and I try to follow the Savior’s teachings and live every day in a way that will make me worthy of the Spirit’s promptings. I also recognize that we are supposed to love God with all our minds, and to me that means asking hard questions about difficult issues and doing our best to figure them out with all information available to us.

    Your apocalyptic references suggest that you expect all kinds of doomsday scenarios from this issue. Please elaborate. What “repentance” are you encouraging, and of whom?

  45. Re the OP–

    It’s actually Official Declaration 4 (not 3 as reported above), and it was signed by the entire First Presidency including first and second counselors, President Brenda F. Smith and President Lucille B. Christiansen.

  46. Spencer creates a huge problem for himself by lumping a “what if…” scenario about gay marriage with the Ban on the priesthood and Polygamy. If you understand the latter two events you cannot correctly correlate the three. The priesthood ban cannot correctly correlate with Polygamy either. Its just bad logic and a lack of understanding of the 3 issues.
    Gay marriage cannot be used in the way Spencer attempts to use it in his article. The stance the church has always had on homosexual activity is that it is a sin, it always has been and always will be. The priesthood ban was always a temporary thing, and known to be something that would eventually change, but no one knew when. It was never seen to always be that way and thus cannot be related to homosexual activity, its a weak correlation, and desperate attempt to show a pattern. Polygamy likewise is a law that is given under certain conditions and under scripture had room to be suspended under direction of the Lord. It is a sin when practiced without the Lords approval, but with his approval it is not sin. Polygamy cannot relate in any way to the conditions Spencer provides with his hypothetical gay marriage analysis.
    This article is a perfect example of a blatant misunderstanding and weak treating on the issues involving polygamy, priesthood ban, and gay marriage. There is really only one condition that all three of these issues can be used in Spencer’s “what if” scenario. That one condition would be whether revelation is real the The Church. If revelation does not exist, and did not exist under the conditions of enacting, and suspending polygamy, and ending the ban to the priesthood then the issue is not revelation, but social pressure. If one believes no revelation existed on those two events, likely one can legitimately claim that it is inevitable for Gay marriage to be accepted.
    The issue here is revelation and for those that truly understand and believe it was the result with polygamy and the priesthood ban, it is not possible for Spencer’s scenario to occur. If you do not believe in revelation, Spencer’s scenario its not only probable but very likely to occur. As I stated, the issues are vastly different when one believes in revelation and that revelation was involved, but lacking revelation the issues become very social, and predictable with the eventual flow of society. I for one believe in revelation, and with that understanding find Spencer’s and others conclusions not only absurd, but immature, if they are indeed members of the church believing in revelation as it has been layed out in the scriptures and by prophets of God, they need to do some serious reevaluation of their ideas.

  47. #53—“The stance the church has always had on homosexual activity is that it is a sin, it always has been and always will be.”

    “The priesthood ban was always a temporary thing”

    I would really like so see documentation from the decades in the 1800s that indicate what you are saying. Both these statements, in my opinion, are clear overstatements and “blatant misunderstandings”.

  48. Okay, maybe I am wrong. I’m willing to admit that and for the church’s sake I hope I am.

    But what makes me extra fearful is so many of you are staunchly convinced you can’t be wrong. You can’t even read the writing on the wall and take no issue with condemning anyone who opposes what “you know”.

    And though I see differences between polygamy and SSM, the reality is you would have sworn up and down “If you believed in God sending revelation you would know polygamy would never again be taken from the earth because prophet has said the church would cease to be true. All you nay sayers need you reevaluate your faithfulness.”

    And yet they would have been wrong. What was best for the world inevitably happened and all the “too faithful to admit they could be wrong” caused some major damage to the church.

  49. Jon Miranda – You’re referring to Evergreen? Puh-lease. Even the church distances itself from that group! Talk about strange bedfellows. . .

  50. @kekeliramen
    ”The stance the church has always had on homosexual activity is that it is a sin, it always has been and always will be.”

    This is not true. There are documented instances in history where some homosexuality in the early church was tolerated. (Look up the book by Michael Quinn.)

    Also, you will find the church is progressively more tolerant towards homosexuality. I find this a good thing, but also know it is a sign of a church becoming prepared to change despite the resistance many of you holier than thou types are going to give.

    “The priesthood ban was always a temporary thing”

    You obviously have not read too much on history. Many church leaders taught it was not.

  51. #50 Jay–

    Actually, as I read the varies comments I didn’t think about them by the individual who wrote them, so I didn’t have you in mind.

    My comment #48 is more a plea that we all take the message of repentance seriously, and that all who desire to be followers of Christ stand up for His earthly kingdom.

    The message of the Book of Mormon regarding the Gentile nations is a concern. I personally feel we have much good in our country, but that can change quickly. A lot depends on the churches rising generation. I hope they will not falter. The church is only one generation away from failure at any given time. Everything depends on the rising generation being faithful and willing to follow the Lord’s prophets in spite of the challenges that confront them.

  52. This is not true. There are documented instances in history where some homosexuality in the early church was tolerated. (Look up the book by Michael Quinn.)

    Yes, where Quinn well and truly jumps the shark. /Sigh.

    Jon Miranda – You’re referring to Evergreen? Puh-lease. Even the church distances itself from that group! Talk about strange bedfellows. . . You’ve got that wrong, it is very strange … or maybe not.

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=3816 for more on use of the word pais.

    The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon

    Strong’s Number: 3816 Browse Lexicon
    Original Word Word Origin
    pai’? perhaps from (3817)
    Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
    Pais 5:636,759
    Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
    paheece Noun
    Definition

    1. a child, boy or girl
    1. infants, children
    2. servant, slave
    1. an attendant, servant, spec. a king’s attendant, minister

    King James Word Usage – Total: 24
    servant 10, child 7, son (Christ) 2, son 1, manservant 1, maid 1, maiden 1, young man 1

    Not exactly as clear as Jay seems to conclude, unless you are stating that when Christ is referred to as Pais it has the meaning signified.

    Otherwise, a lot of people express some confusion in its use and meaning. e.g. (showing confusion):

    If this has done the rounds on B-Greek before then I apologize, but I feel that this may contribute new and confusing information…

    >From Liddell-Scott’s and Strong’s Greek-English Lexicon and Vine’s Expository Dictionary: The Greek word PAIS can variously mean (a) a child in relation to descent; (b) a boy or by analogy a girl in relation to age; (here) a slave, servant or attendant of all ages in relation to condition, (c) especially to a King, and (d) by eminence to God.**

    Moulton & Milligan in The Vocabulary of the Greek NT state: ‘the word [PAIS] is commonly applied to slaves as in Luke 7:7.’

    >From dozens of English translations – just five explicitly translate its parallel in Matt 8:5-13 as a young servant: ‘servant boy’ (The Living Bible, 1971, Amplified Bible, 1965), ‘slave boy’ (TLB again, Analytical-Literal Translation, 2001), ‘young servant’ (New Living Translation, 1996 revision of TLB) and ‘young man’ (Young’s Literal Translation, 1898). This is not the trend among more literal translations.

    I am a novice paddling in B-Greek, but propose that PAIS is either:
    1.. Synonymous with DOULOS (Moulton & Milligan??)
    2.. Would signify a (Personal) Attendant in a job advert
    3.. As per the NET Bible’s Notes below
    4.. Signifying a young servant is in a four-way competition – or five with MEAT PAIS CHIPS EN PEAS

    The NET Bible in its Notes for Matthew 8:6 states: ‘PAIS, often used of a slave who was regarded with some degree of affection, possibly a personal servant (Luke 7:7 uses the more common term DOULOS). See L&N 87.77’ (Louw & Nida, Greek-English … Based on Semantic Domains, 1988) The degree of affection is neither strong emotions nor sexual relations – but nor fits with Herod’s Attendants (Matt 14:2) given his history with PAIS.

    My Greek NT uses PAIS in Luke 7:7 – is this a NET Bible typo or other manuscript(s)?

    I cannot weigh their strengths or whether I am mixing Biblical (Koine) and Hellenic Greek, where PAIS can signify a man or maid-servant (as Luke 12:45 uses both PAIS and its maid-servant PAIDISKE).

    All Bibles translate PAIS in Matt 8:5-13 as ‘servant’. Does anyone have a textbook example like Moulton & Milligan’s citing Luke 7:7 but using ‘servant’ for me to quote?

    Confused,

    Mark Fairpo
    British Methodist

    ** References for PAIS (a) Matt 17:18 a son or Luke 8:54 Jarius’s daughter (b) Matt 21:15 or 2:16 Herod slaying (c) Matt 14:2 Herod’s attendants (d) Luke 1:54 for Israel or Jesus/angels/St.Paul elsewhere.

  53. These don’t sound like something “temporary”, waiting for the “right time” to lift it:

    From BRMcConkie: “Those who were LESS VALIANT IN PRE-EXISTENCE and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the NEGROES.”

    From BRMcConkie: “THE NEGROES ARE NOT EQUAL WITH OTHER RACES where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, …but this inequality is not of man’s origin. IT IS THE LORD’S DOING, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the LACK OF SPIRITUAL VALIANCE OF THOSE CONCERNED IN THEIR FIRST ESTATE”

    From MarkEPedersen: THIS NEGRO, WHO, IN THE PRE-EXISTENCE LIVED THE TYPE OF LIFE WHICH JUSTIFIED THE LORD IN SENDING HIM TO EARTH IN THE LINEAGE OF CAIN WITH A BLACK SKIN, AND POSSIBLY BEING BORN IN DARKEST AFRICA…. IN SPITE OF ALL HE DID IN THE PRE-EXISTENT LIFE, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. IF THAT NEGRO IS FAITHFUL ALL HIS DAYS, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. HE WILL GO THERE AS A SERVANT, but he will get celestial glory

    From BYoung: “When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and HAVE RECEIVED THEIR RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.”

    From BYoung: “Shall I tell you the LAW OF GOD in regard to the AFRICAN race? If the WHITE MAN who belongs to the CHOSEN SEED mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is DEATH ON THE SPOT. This will ALWAYS be so.”

    There are dozens and dozens more. These around about as emphatic about blacks NEVER receiving the priesthood as some of the quotes are above regarding what is NEVER going to happen with regard to homosexuals.

  54. Mytha (#49)

    Well I suppose there is nothing wrong with hoping for some future change in church definitions of the law of chastity. I just wouldn’t recommend holding your breath waiting for the church to come around to accepting gay sex as chaste. I think that is about as likely as the church making performing the Hokey Pokey daily a requirement to hold a temple recommend. Sure, both are logically possible but neither are particularly likely.

  55. Geoff J:

    You bring up a good point. The law of chastity is currently defined as only allowing sexual relations with someone to whom you are legally married. The church recognizes both temple and civil marriages for this definition. What about a gay couple married in California last year? They are legally married according to the laws of the land. Assuming they are monogamous and faithful, and also followed the law of chastity before they were married and didn’t do anything more than kiss, how would they answer the question: Do you follow the law of chastity?

  56. To All:

    If the Church permitted gay marriage and there were members of the Church who felt that this type of union was an abomination, would those members be subject to excommunication?

  57. “What if the brethren finally gave in on gay marriage?”

    The bloggernacle would either go silent or they’d have to find something else to bitch about. I can’t WAIT for the day: not for any other reason than it would put an end to the subject finally.

  58. 63 Mike S

    Good Point!

    To All

    If the missionaries track out a legally married gay couple who love the church and want to join are they told to divorce and become heterosexuals. Has anyone heard of this happening?

  59. #63 – I think the Church would probably retain the right to define Chastity. As with questions on faith they are ambiguous btu with questions on behaviour I their is fairly clear ideas about what the Church accepts as within the bounds of the law of Chastity or the Word of Wisdom etc? I am not arguing that this is not problematic but I think they would feel quite comfortable doing that.

  60. Many people seem to be putting down Evergreen International. What other organization is trying to do what they are trying to do?

    Our wonderful world and many people on this blog seem to say if it feels good, do it.

    Evergreen says that you must master the flesh and resist temptation and while it is not sponsored by the LDS Church, they, without reservation, support the teachings and doctrines of the LDS Church.

    Everything that teaches good comes of Christ. What is the source of the worldy views of SSM on this blog?
    Where are we headed?

  61. I think that the discussion thus far has missed one of the most interesting questions related to this hypothetical situation. Forget, for a moment, what you think the church will do, and just assume that the brethren have made a united statement in General Conference to the effect that (subject to the same requirements of premarital abstinence) homosexuals can now pursue relationships and be sealed. (Again, the likelihood of this actually happening is immaterial.)

    In any case, given this set of circumstances (remember, modern revelation is the theological trump card), what do you suppose the reaction would be among the members of the church? I think that many of the comments here can give us a good idea: anger and probably some apostasy.

    Now, here is the point: there is no doctrine or belief in the church that is not subject to further clarification/correction by means of prophetic revelation; prophets, seers, and revelators are (particularly when making a united declaration) mouthpieces for the Lord. So, positing the support of the brethren, the extent to which members would react negatively reveals that (for many) this is not fundamentally a theological issue. Rather, it is a personal issue (for whatever reason) that has been dressed up with theology to look prettier. The extent to which this is true can only be judged by the individual, but I think it might be a useful thought-experiment.

  62. “on October 27th, 2025, the LDS church has extended the Priesthood to ALL WORTHY MALES, whether gay, straight, or celibate.”

    April 6, 2026 The Proclamation Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized, declaring all declarations received since the Presidency of Thomas S. Monson to be fallen. The 1995 Proclamation Proclamation on the Family is canonized in its original form, rejecting the “modern revision”. The Proclamation church teaches the divine pattern of heterosexual parenting, which has fallen out of vogue in the US. Family experts have pointed to studies that began in the 1990s showing superior socialization in children who were raised outside of the barbaric heterosexual two-parent model. Those studies included the evidence that boys raised by two female partners are less agressive and girls are more sexually adventurous (or in other words, open-minded and uninhibited by the mores of repressive sexual codes).

    Members of the Proclamation Church shun the so-called “contraception vaccine” which hit the market in 2018. The pre-pubertal shot which prevents boys and girls from fertility for 10 years is required for public schools along with the gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, and human papilloma virus vaccinations. Family experts expect that when the contraception vaccine wears off by age 23, college education will be completed. No more hardship of attending college with child-raising duties, although family experts still recommend waiting until 28-30 as the ideal time for bringing children into the world.

    The Proclamation Church also adheres to the “Law of Chastity” which was recognized to be unnessary by its parent church. It is viewed as the last vestiage of the law of Moses in the modern church, a moot point now after STDs and unwanted pregnancies are a part of history. Family experts encourage older teens and young adults to experiment sexually so that the correct orientation is fully investigated.

    The three parent model, originally based on the relationship of surrogate and two partners has become the recommended model for bringing up children. Heterosexual two-parent childrearing is viewed as undesirable as it has the unescapable associatiation with gender roles. It is also unfair to bisexual individuals to be forced to choose one aspect of their bisexuality and repress the other. The three parents are encouraged to be sexually active together, although not married. Marriage became merely a religious ceremony in 2012. The political debate in 2025 involves expanding civil unions to include the third partner, or surrogate, in the legal recognition of a parenting relationship.

    December 2051, federal authorities raid the Yearning for Hinckley compound in Nevada. This is a compound established by the PLDS church and includes their temple. Charges are brought against several residents of unfit parenting for couples under the age of 23. Authorities fear brainwashing has occurred in residents to see desirable qualities in gender roles amidst the group. Child welfare is also concerned about the failure of the parents to have their youth vaccinated for contraception, noting the risk they are creating for the dangers of preganancy in minors. Charges cannot be proven and are eventually dropped.

  63. #70 – Ouch. 🙂 You forgot to mention that the PCoJCoLDS also maintains the 3-hour meeting block as a divinely-inspired form of worship, decades after the mainstream LDS movement went to 1-hour Sunday meetings with optional online chats and informal fellowship groups throughout the week.

    As for the OP: I don’t really know how to respond. If you look at abolitionists writing during the time of slavery, I think that while many of them could imagine an end to slavery, their vision of a post-emancipation America was still very much a segregated one, just one with hopefully equal opportunity. Even though we’ve got a long way to go, we’ve seen more integration and racial tolerance just in the past 20 years than I think anyone could’ve imagined. Heck, I’m old enough to remember TV shows like “Solid Gold” where white and black people would NEVER dance as partners. Sure, there’d be white and black people on the stage at the same time, but every black woman was paired up with a black man. I watch people of all races dancing together on “So You Think You Can Dance” and it fills me with joy.

    My point is that no abolitionist would have said, “I’m looking forward to the future and I see integration of all races, interracial marriage and families, and widespread tolerance along with a repudiation of our current 19th-century racism.” That all happened, but nobody dared to hope for it. Likewise with homosexuality and gay marriage, we may not even be able to conceive of the LDS Church accepting or embracing them, but who knows what 100 years could bring. (And yes, it’ll be closer to 100 years than 20!)

  64. What if the Brethren decided to allow gay marriage?

    Perhaps the original post should be clarified. After all, notwithstanding any pretentions to universal authority, “the Brethren” have no right to “allow” or “disallow” civil marriage equality.

  65. @ 21: “YOU ARE JUST HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF!!!”

    Ah, yes, the vastly underused, but highly effective, rhetorical strategy of using all caps and (count them) three exclamation points. If I wasn’t convinced before that Jon Miranda himself (rather than the factual situation) was somehow history repeating itself, then this subtle emphasis would have definitely changed my mind. I MEAN, IT’S REALLY INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE!!!

  66. I feel that debating hypothetical’s such as this serves to fan the flames of hate and contention and serves no benefit to the membership on the whole. The brethren have been clear. (And when I mean brethren I mean in the official declarations of the church, not what Bruce R. McConkie writes in his own time.) Should the principle ever come to be, this would be a matter worth praying for and gaining a testimony of. No one person in this blog has the authority to predict the future, or what the mind and will of the Lord will be, so to guess such treads on dangerous ground.

    Side note:
    As it stands currently the church has not openly hated or persecuted someone that has gay tendencies or thoughts anymore than someone who has thoughts of adultery, or child molestation. In this life, these thoughts and temptations will be there for different people. These thoughts should NOT define the person. Each individual is still a child of God foreordained to exaltation. It is when an immoral act is committed that the laws and justice of God are enacted with respect to that persons agency. People who claim persecution by the church on this issue are often simply seeking ways to justify a course of action that they know is not inline with Christlike principles and practices.

    Living and practicing homosexual acts is not an unpardonable sin, but it is a sin so far as it is against the teachings of the Lord and HIS church. When the church takes a moral stand against this issue it should remain a moral stand not political capital to further the cause of a special interest group or group of individuals who wish to force everyone to be “okay” with what should be a private practice between consenting adults and the Lord. In my opinion, if it were up to the church, the Government would be completely out of defining marriage all together including straight marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman and is a religious right and ordinance. The church has already declared its official support of civil unions or other arrangements that allow for equal access to health care and other tax benefits so the argument that the church is limiting the rights of certain individuals is simply false and a manipulation of the truth. To repeat, this is a moral stand against a practice that is immoral, as well as a stand against government mandating moral practices. Having government involved in defining moral conduct is a slippery slope that could end up with greater violations to the separations of church and state.

  67. #75 – “As it stands currently the church has not openly hated or persecuted someone that has gay tendencies or thoughts anymore than someone who has thoughts of adultery, or child molestation.”

    The church has openly and actively campaigned to take away the existing civil rights of a minority group. That’s persecution in my book.

    “Having government involved in defining moral conduct is a slippery slope that could end up with greater violations to the separations of church and state.”

    Couldn’t agree more. The government should only be involved in conferring civil and legal rights, leaving personal moral codes out of it. I would be fine with the government dealing only in civil unions and leaving the label of marriage to religion.

  68. First, I have to commend Mr. Perry on his creative way of presenting this issue. Second, I think the underlying issue here is not just SSM, but how revelation is given and understood in the LDS. Speaking as a sympathetic non LDS individual, I find the notion that it “wasn’t the right time” for African Americans to receive the priesthood to be the single most difficult LDS teaching to be sympathetic towards. A simple, “We made a grave mistake. Forgive us.” strikes me as a more honest approach. I also find the notion that the turning tide of public opinion had no effect on that change a bit strained.

    All that said, I do appreciate the bind that the LDS understanding of prophecy and authority creates. As an ex Roman Catholic, I know how difficult it is to back track on previous pronouncements while still remaining faithful to ecclesiastical claims of divine guidance. I think this same dynamic in the LDS Church is what ties together the rulings on polygamy and the priesthood with some possible (though not inevitable) future change in the understanding of SSM.

    Might it be within the realm of possibility to admit that prophecy is a complex mix of the divine and human; and therefore even the best intentioned prophets miss the Lord’s voice every now and then? It just strikes me as a more honest approach than trying to justify President Young’s obviously racist remarks. (I write this the morning after hearing Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices.) It would also allow the Church to honor its past prophets without necessarily sustaining some of their 19th or 20th century viewpoints.

    Perhaps an analogy with our legal system might help. Normally, judges are very hesitant to overturn a previous legal decision. Otherwise chaos would result. Nevertheless, there are times when a significant previous decision is overturned (e.g. Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson). In like manner, the official teachings of the LDS should be upheld in most cases, but the prophets and everyone else should realize that there are going to be some times when a change is necessary. I suspect this will be more and more the case as the Church becomes a more global community. Which leads me to a final closing question: Am I correct in noticing a difference between intermountain west Mormons and those with roots somewhere else or is this just my imagination?

  69. #75

    Re: The church has openly and actively campaigned to take away the existing civil rights of a minority group.

    To what are you referring? If you are referring to the prop. 8 stuff I disagree with your interpretation of the church’s actions. The church supports civil unions that grant similar access to health benefits and tax benefits (equal benefits is probably more accurate). But the church is against calling it marriage. There is no reason to change the definition of a practice that is thousands of years old unless this “minority group” was wishing to impede on the rights that straight people currently enjoy. Options that allow for the same civil benefits while having no effect on the definition of marriage have been proposed and dismissed by the gay community. If this fight was really about equal rights the Gay community have had their chance to accept a plan that would grant those rights. Their reluctance to accept such an equal alternative that doesn’t disturb marriage practices and definition exposes the real motivations behind their efforts. This is matter of reverse persecution and an attempt to turn the church in to a permissive organization. Acceptance of sinful practices disconnects us with God. So it isn’t that the church is seeking to take away a right, they are simply wishing to define it differently and in such a way that allows separation of church and state. All arguments to the contrary only serve to develop avenues of persecution those opposed to the work of the Lord seek to establish.

  70. The church has openly and actively campaigned to take away the existing civil rights of a minority group

    This is a cute and popular rhetorical ploy but it ultimately fails. In reality is the church has openly campaigned to simply keep the definition of “marriage” as being between a man and a woman. Others prefer fancy new definitions and they are free to have those preferences. The majority of Californians in 2008 at least preferred the classic definition. This political argument is technically about the definition of the word marriage as far as I can tell so the “take away civil rights” claims are mostly used to gain a rhetorical advantage in the debate. (Of course I recognize that there is a lot at stake regarding that definition.)

    BTW — I agree that in the end the government might get out of the “marriage” game entirely and simply deal in civil unions for all.

  71. #78:
    The church supports civil unions that grant similar access to health benefits and tax benefits (equal benefits is probably more accurate). But the church is against calling it marriage.

    James, while an LDS Public Affairs statement did suggest that the LDS church did not object to rights such as hospital visitation and property inheritance, your above statement is simply untrue. Further, when given the opportunity to demonstrate support for even a few selected rights (rights that their own Public Affairs people claimed the LDS church supports), the LDS church refused to do so in any way. I recommend that you do some research on Utah’s “Common Ground Initiative,” and how its proposed legislation was handled by the LDS church and the predominately-LDS Utah legislature.

    There is no reason to change the definition of a practice that is thousands of years old unless this “minority group” was wishing to impede on the rights that straight people currently enjoy.

    Exactly what current rights of heterosexuals do you think gays and lesbians wish to “impede on,” James?

    Options that allow for the same civil benefits while having no effect on the definition of marriage have been proposed and dismissed by the gay community.

    Again, look into the “Common Ground Initiative” in Utah. Pay attention to who proposed it, who refused to accept it (and in fact said “lack of objection doesn’t mean we support it), and who rejected it.

    Their [gays’ and lesbians’] reluctance to accept such an equal alternative that doesn’t disturb marriage practices and definition exposes the real motivations behind their efforts.

    By the same logic, we must conclude that the LDS church’s “reluctance to accept” even less-than-equal alternatives that “don’t disturb marriage practices and definition” exposes the real motivations behind their efforts.

  72. RE #75

    “As it stands currently the church has not openly hated or persecuted someone that has gay tendencies or thoughts anymore than someone who has thoughts of adultery, or child molestation.”

    The church campaigned to take away legal rights that gays had. Very different than teaching a nice sermon on Sunday asking everyone to be chaste.

    “People who claim persecution by the church on this issue are often simply seeking ways to justify a course of action that they know is not inline with Christlike principles and practices.”

    Some people in our society are not Christians. They should not be bound by Christian law. They are pursuing happiness in their own way.

    “In my opinion, if it were up to the church, the Government would be completely out of defining marriage all together including straight marriage.”

    Legal rights come with marriage. The government will always be involved in the definition of marriage.

    “The church has already declared its official support of civil unions or other arrangements that allow for equal access to health care and other tax benefits so the argument that the church is limiting the rights of certain individuals is simply false and a manipulation of the truth.”

    The church has done nothing to support civil unions. One vague statement of “we aren’t against civil unions or a small bundle of legal rights” is not support. The support the church gives to any rights to gay people is shown in all its glory in Utah where gays are legally discriminated against in housing and employment. Announce you are gay and be fired. Totally legal in Mormon-dominated Utah.

    “Having government involved in defining moral conduct is a slippery slope that could end up with greater violations to the separations of church and state.”

    Since legal rights are inseparably connected to marriage, the government has to be involved.

  73. “What if the Brethren decided to allow gay marriage?”

    If the Brethren did allow gay marriage–or rewording it to mean that gay marriages were endorsed and permitted both in the temple and by Bishops civilly, would that be enough to entice gay members to desire participation in the church with the law of chastity as it now stands? Is there a great percentage of gay individuals who do not engage in sexual relations before marriage/civil union/commitment ceremony? I understand that a great percentage of straight members have pre-marital sex, repent and return to full fellowship, but there are still straight members marrying at a young age as virgins. I understand that gay members would like to have that choice, the choice that is unavailable to them now. I just don’t hear of many gay couples that partnered when both were virgins and entered a promise of commitment at the same time.

    So, the argument kinda reminds me of my college days when the university made a decision to cut the library hours from midnight to 7:00 am, both to save money and because utilization was low. Suddenly there was a demonstration late at night at the library with a hundred plus students showing their support for maintaining library hours that they never intended to use. Certainly this example is a trivial one, but would the change theorized in this post be put to use?

  74. Rigel, I’ve known quite a number of former-LDS gay and lesbian individuals, who have expressed that they would return to the LDS church in the event that a revelation were received allowing them to form accepted families. Some have been quite explicit about the fact that they understand this would mean celibacy until they married in such a union. This seems to be more common among younger individuals, for what it’s worth.

    I also know at least one couple who agreed they would not engage in sex until they’d been together for at least a year. It seems to me that if they had the option of marriage, at least a portion of gay and lesbian individuals would readily accept a prohibition against extramarital/premarital sexual activity, if given the actual opportunity to have accepted marital sexual activity.

  75. I agree with #74, James.

    The reality of hypothetical situations like this is that there is no answer. With God, all things are possible. If we believe God runs this church, us bloggers acting as a nicene creed council can’t predict the meaning of things. Until God’s mouthpiece says otherwise, homosexuality is a sin whether married or not. That is the church position, whether you can find a scripture to back it up or not.

    I see many dissimilarities between polygamy, priesthood, and this SSM issue. I see many similarities on how people become offended by, offended towards, intolerant, hateful, and emotionally charged to blurt things out of context, like what was done (even by GAs) in times past on issues.

    Because none of us are prophets, there is no way for us to realistically know what could or couldn’t happen in the future, or to pretend to know the mind of God, and all speculation is just as valid as my speculation. I don’t see how someone can be absolutely sure it would never change, nor do I see it inevitable it will change.

    It is a living church because truth unfolds to us as we are ready for it. Until then, we are tested with limited vision to see what our hearts are made of and how we will keep the first 2 great commandments, Love God and Love Thy Neighbor. I would hope all homosexuals would feel welcomed in our congregations, but I’m not a bishop that has to do temple recommend interviews, so its easy for me to say.

  76. Should the Church change its policy and accept Temple marriage for gays as well as everything denied them today, would Church officials then be obligated to excommunicate those members, who do not accept this policy change?

  77. Those that were excommunicated for polygamy would not stop practicing it. That isn’t the same as accepting it.

    People didn’t get excommunicated for not approving of the ban on polygamy, only those that practiced polygamy and wouldn’t stop after the declaration.

    That is different than your question in #86.

  78. Heber13:

    “Church members become candidates for excommunication as they apostatize from the teachings of the Church….” Q & A New Era July 1975, Elder Robert L. Simpson
    Would it be hundreds, thousands, or millions who would apostatize from these new teachings of the Church?

  79. Some comments here are way off. for example we still actually consider oral sex as unworthy practice although we don’t ask couples about it, but in talks and interviews we will still reference Kimball’s ‘safe and natural’ statement from MoF. That goes too for annal sex in hetero couples. But the current ‘religiously correct’ answer is to say that the church doesn’t get into your bedroom so each couple then decides via spiritual guide. We don’t need the church to hold our hand on every issue especially these very private ones, but its not correct to say that oral sex is no longer considered sinful.

    Another problem is with the mark of Cain, although it isn’t mentioned because its become politically incorrect, the idea is still true and hasn’t been refuted, ie Cain was marked with a dark skin and his descendants carry that although there isn’t a sin associated with that for decedents and the limitation against priesthood ordination of blacks has gone. Mark e peterson’s talk is still technically correct although the words used will be different today. Polygamy is another, we haven’t declared it sinful in eternity, only here it is temporarily banned for this generation but Smith, Young et al plus any man who remarries like Nelson and Oaks can all expect to have more than one wife in eternity as per section 132. The doctrine hasn’t changed only the temporary practice -for now.

    But homosexual relations never have been accepted and are still considered as breaking the law of chastity. people will be excommunicated for engaging in homosexual relations. Now it may well have been the case in the past that some weren’t disciplined for this and just left alone but that is also the case today in many sins that are excommunicable like abortion and adultery because if the person doesn’t come forward and ask for forgiveness its really pointless to chase them, in most cases.

  80. #91—“We still actually consider oral sex as unworthy practice although we don’t ask couples about it, but in talks and interviews we will still reference Kimball’s ’safe and natural’ statement from MoF.”

    Who is “we”?

    “That goes too for annal sex in hetero couples.”

    We learn this where?

    “But the current ‘religiously correct’ answer is to say that the church doesn’t get into your bedroom so each couple then decides via spiritual guide.”

    Where do we learn it is “religiously correct”, whatever that means?

    I find your comment refreshingly strange.

  81. Another problem is with the mark of Cain, although it isn’t mentioned because its become politically incorrect, the idea is still true and hasn’t been refuted, i.e.: Cain was marked with a dark skin and his descendants carry that, although there isn’t a sin associated with that for decedents and the limitation against priesthood ordination of blacks has gone. Mark E. Peterson’s talk is still technically correct although the words used will be different today.

    BUZZZT. Wrong. Thanks for playing!

    The truth is, if Cain existed in reality, and if he had any descendants, then we are all his descendants. (See this fascinating post.) Thus Brigham Young’s comment that “[A]ny man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] … in him cannot hold the priesthood[,] and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ…” would, if accurately applied during any time in this dispensation, prevent any and every person from holding the priesthood.

    Now, as far as the oral sex thing, please cite chapter and verse. Rallying “The Miracle of Forgiveness” to your cause does not really inspire much confidence, as the book is not doctrinally binding… not even close. (Though, it’s still a good book.) Thus, what you call the “current ‘religiously correct’ answer” is really the ‘actually correct‘ answer. So you (or any other member of the church) may consider oral sex sinful, but “the Church” simply doesn’t consider it at all. It’s not even on the radar.

  82. CLARIFICATION:

    …The truth is, if Cain existed in reality, and if he had any descendants…

    should read:
    …The truth is, if Cain existed in reality, and if he has any LIVING descendants…

  83. We learn this where? from a first presidency letter sent out when all the members of the first presidency were hospitalized. It was withdrawn shortly after that event. It is an interesting story, since those who received the letter (which was an update to the handbook of instructions) were directed to dispose of or return it.

    Someone thought they were going to save the rest of us from something that was beyond their calling. Interesting how that can happen some times.

    It has led to a number of sequels, though it does cause one to think.

  84. If I told the bishop, I’d probably be in “hot water”, but I don’t believe God believes the same as the General Authorities. The time will come when our prophet will have a revelation, and change their position. Proposition 8 stinks… You can mock me, but the spirit confirms this to me each time I have prayed about it…

  85. This is just like the old SNL skits in the 70’s like “What is Spartacus had a Piper Cub” and so on. Get the picture?

  86. History discussions whether looking back, making claims similar to past prejudices, etc. are a futile and useless argument. Why do we persist in expecting that sexual morality will continue to march to a progressive drum unabated? It’s a cute thought experiment but completely useless. The trend towards progressivity exists, true, but its butting up against a worldwide trend towards more conservative sexual mores in the Middle East and China, Russia, etc. (where the winds are now blowing up the skirts of the decadent West).

  87. #92, you’re welcomed

    #93, we who run stakes and wards, generic term for church leaders who have been around long enough to refer to the miracle of forgiveness and the guidance from the spirit (actually the later is the only important bit)

    ‘hetero annal’ -as above!

    ‘Religiously correct’ just tongue in cheek for ‘politically correct’ in church -in future you need to reference me when you use the term 🙂

    Latter-Day Guy: I think that your religious philosophy actually belongs in another denomination other than mainstream LDS.

    #98 maybe you should stand up and say that the spirit guides you differently to/than the First Presidency. Plus remember that half of the prop8 reason was due to this so called judges legislating from the bench. If the people do vote to pass SSM the church will probably just say ‘what a shame’ but its California…or MA….

  88. I think that your religious philosophy actually belongs in another denomination other than mainstream LDS.

    That’s as may be, Charles, but I don’t see what that has to do with my previous comment. You have simply evaded my points by saying my “religious philosophy” is not sufficiently Mormon. (This actually veers uncomfortably close to calling me a heretic –– I don’t appreciate it.) My comment didn’t really have anything to do with religious philosophy; the first point addressed matters of statistics and genetics vis-à-vis the “Curse of Cain.” (Again, you really should read the article linked here.)

    Regarding my second point, you have not clarified or supported your position whatsoever. Saying that “we still actually consider oral sex as unworthy practice,” and “That goes too for annal [sic] sex in hetero couples,” is simply argument by bald assertion. Who is included in “we”? I have no doubt that you think it an “unworthy practice,” but if by “we” you are trying to suggest that this is LDS doctrine, then you ought to be able to support it from some authoritative source.

    I will read with interest any substantive response you offer, Charles, provided you resist the temptation to carry out veiled character-assassination by questioning my sincerity and/or suitability as a Latter-day Saint –– that tactic is as uncharitable as it is irrelevant.

  89. Latter-day Guy said:

    “So you (or any other member of the church) may consider oral sex sinful, but ‘the Church’ simply doesn’t consider it at all. It’s not even on the radar.”

    When I was a member of the LDS church it certainly was on the radar (in more than one temple recommend interview, priesthood session and article). The fact that the Church considered it a sin certainly was discussed in my marriage.

    Here is a link that summarizes statements from the brethren. In most public statements, the term “oral sex” is not explicitly mentioned. However, one member of the Seventy addressing a priesthood leadership session at our stake conference did use the term and said the general authorities don’t use the term so as not to “titillate.”

  90. Charles / LdG – perhaps Charles, your comment about Latter-day Guy belonging in another denomination belongs in the other post on insiders vs. outsiders.

    And how did we get on the oral sex topic here? Or Cain? Really? How are these still issues? It’s NOT doctrine. If it was at one point, it’s not now. End of story. We can talk about it now, but it’s not doctrine anymore.

  91. Charles, please don’t speak as if all who are in postitions of leadership in the Church and are around your age agree with everything you say and want those who disagree with us to leave the Church. They don’t.

    Can we act like adults and drop the name-calling, please?

  92. Re 104,

    Those were very interesting statements. You are right that most did not say anything about oral sex –– in fact, most of the statements make more sense when interpreted as referring to sexual sins in general; for some of the statements, it isn’t even clear that they comment on sexual sins, but rather apply to sinning period. The Harold B. Lee comment comes from a personal letter sent to a woman through President Lee’s secretary (ca. 1973). A vague question was inserted into the temple recommend interview in 1982, but was removed in 1986. As of 2002, if you write to the First Presidency asking about this issue, the reply you get will read (in part) as follows:

    As you know, the subject set out in your letter is of a highly personal nature and one for which the First Presidency has not provided detailed response. The Brethren have counseled those who conduct worthiness interviews to avoid explicit questioning beyond the scope of what is contained in the temple recommend book. Persons who have been through the temple are aware of the responsibility to keep their thoughts and actions pure and, furthermore, have been counseled to avoid any unholy, unnatural, or impure practice. If a person is engaged in a practice which troubles him or her enough to ask about it, he or she should discontinue it. With this in mind you can, through your personal supplication to our Father in Heaven, receive the guidance you may feel you need.

    This issue is now left up to the spouses themselves. (The instruction to discontinue behaviors that “trouble” you seems to me to be very good advice for any aspect of life.) This case is, I think, somewhat analogous to the issue of birth control. Originally and vigorously condemned, now it is a decision the couple must make for themselves, and I would say that –– for marriages in my lifetime –– use of birth control has become more common than not (not continuously, but often to space out pregnancies).

    Joseph Fielding Smith once stated that “[Priesthood holders] who thus indulge are not fit to administer in sacred ordinances…” To what indulgence was he referring? Not oral sex, but playing cards! And he condemned any cards, not just “face cards,” saying that “Card playing is an excessive pleasure.” We would find it strange if a bishop refused to let a priest bless the sacrament because he’d played a few hands of Phase 10 the night before.

    Concerning marital intimacy, it goes without saying that if either spouse feels it is degrading or objectifying, it shouldn’t happen. Of course people should follow the spirit, but there is no official word from HQ these days. This is all the more significant because there used to be a very clear, (more or less) official policy, which the Church has subsequently backed away from.

  93. Latter-day Guy said in #108:

    “This is all the more significant because there used to be a very clear, (more or less) official policy, which the Church has subsequently backed away from”

    I agree but my point was that the statement “It’s not even on the radar” is not true. My experience is that as recently as 2007/2007 this topic was of concern to members in my circle and was being asked in interviews and mentioned by a Seventy in a church meeting.

    I think this points out a problem situation where the Church quietly changes a policy that was publicly stated. Not many members are aware of the First Presidency letter that you quoted since they are not in the habit of writing to them. And many of us who have served in ward leadership positions know that that policy letters from the First Presidency to the units don’t always get filed with the Handbook of Instructions so subsequent leaders may not get the message (as in the case of the counselor who probed in a temple recommend interview).

    So, it is on the radar because most members only have public statements to refer to when they seek answers.

    Obviously, a change to the Church’s policy on gay marriage (which I don’t think would happen) would have to be more public (perhaps on the same level as the 1978 Blacks and the priesthood announcement). Okay, that was a lame attempt to neutralize the threadjack and bring it back on point 🙁

  94. “Okay, that was a lame attempt to neutralize the threadjack and bring it back on point.”

    😉 Not at all — a noble effort! I am surprised by the recent dates of the comments you heard. But, I suppose, that is what comes from applying Elder Packer’s “unwritten order of things.” In any case, it hasn’t been on any radar I’m privy to –– and that’s okay by me!

  95. My mother-in-law held the belief that the Church condemned oral and recreational (married) sex, until her daughter (my wife’s sister) pointed to statements that indicate it’s acceptable. There are plenty of cases where old doctrine carries over and members aren’t aware of any change because it’s usually so subtle and under-the-radar.

  96. #102:
    #93, we who run stakes and wards, generic term for church leaders who have been around long enough to refer to the miracle of forgiveness and the guidance from the spirit (actually the later is the only important bit)

    I’m glad to see your parenthetical there, Charles. The current official LDS literature is quite at odds with Kimball’s MOF, when it comes to the subject of homosexuality. I shudder at the thought of any current LDS leader relying on Kimball’s MOF viewpoint, instead of the viewpoint of the 2007 pamphlet (issued by the FP and 12), God Loveth His Children. The latter has some issues of its own, but it’s nowhere near as condemnatory and backward as MOF on the subject.

  97. I don’t think its any more reasonable to set absolute limits on the acts of intimacy that two married persons consider between themselves to be appropriate than it is to set absolute limits, for example, on what disabilities prevent members for participating in the endowment ceremony. In order to be inclusive, temple workers make many types of accommodations to bring the joy of the endowment to as many worthy members as possible.

    With regard to marital intimacy, there can be many issues that require adjustments as to what is needed for both partners to experience the joy of intimacy. Certain congenital deformities, psychiatric issues, orgasmic disorders, pain disorders, and the aging process are a few examples. Making a blanket statement that a certain practice is wrong may take away the element that is needed for certain couples to be intimate, and, in fact, to multiply and replenish the earth. We all know how some laws have been transgressed in order to obey this law.

  98. #90 sxarks: ““Church members become candidates for excommunication as they apostatize from the teachings of the Church….” Q & A New Era July 1975, Elder Robert L. Simpson”

    You’re quoting New Era from 1975 on this??? Really? Anyway, this doesn’t help our discussion, you need to define “apostitize”.

    Along the lines of this thread, I don’t believe you can be excommunicated for not accepting a policy. You’d have to act or do something to be ex-ed. For example, if I had SSAttractions, and so I don’t believe the church’s position in the Proclamation about premortal genders or agree with Prop 8, but I choose to abstain from homosexual activity and live faithfully in the church…they would have no grounds to ex me.

    In this hypothetical situation that started this thread, if the church leaders changed the practice and allowed SSM in temples, but I don’t agree with that, I think it should be as GBHinckley taught it, but I do nothing about my disagreement, just don’t accept the change, they can’t ex me. If I start speaking out publicly against church leaders about how I think it is wrong…then they have something to hold a council with me on.

    You can’t just throw around excommunicating people for not agreeing with church teachings or policy, many GAs and apostles themselves disagree with things…they just don’t speak out or act in dissension about it outside of confidential meetings.

    I’d be interested in knowing how many GAs or Apostles right now think SSM should be allowed, how many think the church should stay out of things like Prop 8, and how many totally believe it is a sin that will never be revoked and are in-step with Elder Oaks.

  99. Heber13:

    I believe you are correct if you choose to abstain and live faithfully in the Church that you will receive all the blessings offered to anyone else who lives faithfully in the Church.
    You would be much like the Apostle Paul [11 Cor. 12:7]…”and lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of revelations [I made], there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Saten to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure”.
    The Apostle Paul states the he prayed 3 times to have this “thorn in the flesh” removed, but to no avail, and God permitted Paul to have this “thorn”.
    Don’t many of us carry our own “thorns in the flesh”?
    One thorn is not much different than another. But if one does not abstain from acting on his or her “thorn” – then problems await them when they meet the Maker of us all.

    My quotes on excommunication are valid. I only brought it up to show the absurdity of the main question of this thread, for should the policy of the Church change in this direction, it would certainly create a firestorm among its members.
    The firestorm would rise to a level that the Leaders of the Church would conclude that those members involved would either have to change their opinions or be excommunicated.

    Go to the official LDS site and use the search engine for ‘excommunication’ and see what will happen to those members, who react negatively to official proclamations by the General Authorities of the Church.

    And how many will react negatively? and to what degree? – hundreds, thousands, or millions?

    What a firestorm it would be.

  100. Millions? I think if the church ever did change this policy, it would only be when SSM was so thoroughly accepted in the culture that it would be a non-issue for most. Especially since it wouldn’t have a personal impact for the majority of members, unlike the polygamy change.

  101. “for should the policy of the Church change in this direction, it would certainly create a firestorm among its members.
    The firestorm would rise to a level that the Leaders of the Church would conclude that those members involved would either have to change their opinions or be excommunicated.”

    Where in the world is your justification for such a statement? This is not remotely a given. Your lack of faith in your fellow members’ devotion to and trust in their prophet seer and revalator is very telling, I think. Let’s not forget that IF this ever happens, it will come down from the brethren, likely in the form of some form of revelation, or at least having been approved from on high. Yet you are basically stating prospectively that you will reject any such prophecy and that potentially millions of other active members will as well? This is interesting in deed. So what you are essentially saying is that you are willing to sustain the prophet and the brethren so long as they do and say things that you agree with, and if their interpretation of doctrine, or right and wrong, varies from yours, you will participate in an some kind of revolutionary uprising. Am I missing something here?

  102. Anyone who thinks that the 12 million + are are bunch of sheep, blindly following their leaders, are mistaken, – For each and every member must receive their own revelation as to the truthfullness of those things brought forth by the General Authorities of the Church.

  103. #20–“Anyone who thinks that the 12 million + are are bunch of sheep, blindly following their leaders, are mistaken.”

    Since 6 million plus or minus are inactive in the church, I would tend to agree.

    #21–“One thorn is not much different than another.”

    I believe that the thorn of homosexuality is substantially different. Imagine telling all of the men in the church at age 19 that if they want to remain good members of the church, they are not allowed to have sex with anyone for the remainder of their life on earth. You would either have a mass exodus or a need to put the line of priesthood holders waiting to see the bishop in the cultural hall (or parking lot) instead of a few chairs outside of his office.

    Heterosexual people can so easily comment on celibacy, especially married heterosexuals. The reality is that the church would not have enough priesthood holders to function if all were asked for permanent celibacy.

    We also talk of the number of partners gays have. If society spoke of marriages in the same terms that it does of homosexual relationships, infidelity among marrieds would be worse than it already is. (Let’s face it men are pigs, whether they are gay or straight.) The support systems in place for marriages help keep many marriages in place (societal, familial, etc.–peer pressure to stay married, staying together for the kids, etc.). Gays probably a much smaller support system for their relationships making it easier to move on to the next partner. I would like to hear from our gay commenters on that. I really don’t know. I do know my wife and I encourage our son to stay with his partner in a monogamous relationship. They get along really well and work hard for each other’s sake.

    There are many, many gay relationships for life. They don’t get much press.

  104. What you are saying makes sense Holden. The data for SSM in the Netherlands, where it has been legal since 2001 shows a marriage rate at a much lower percentage than the heterosexual population. It will probably be several decades there to see those numbers reflect social support system development in a pro-marriage fashion. But in some respects, “coming out” will always be a counter-culture experience unless the rates of homosexuality approach those of heterosexuality. If a counter-culture attitude accompanies the coming out, then there may never be the degree of marrying as is seen in the heterosexual population. Rejection of traditional social norms, as defining of counter culture, will weaken attempts to create a tradition of SSM within religious organizations. That’s not saying it shouldn’t be attempted, just that it would seem logical to expect such attempts to be rejected in larger numbers than what is traditionally known.

  105. Holden:

    If you think that the “thorn” of homosexuality is substantially different than another “thorn”, then you know very little about human behavior and or sexual addictions.

  106. #27—If you are defining a “thorn” as only sexual issues, it probably is not substantially different. As I read your post, I assumed you were saying all crosses we have to bear regardless of their nature are of equal difficulty. If I assumed incorrectly, my bad. If your “thorn” is talking about all crosses, then my statement still stands.

    Glad you are posting here, snarkiness and all.

  107. Holden:

    “Difficulty”, is a relative term. Everyone handles their difficulties differently. [see#120]
    And were this change, that is the theme of this thread, were to occur in the Church, I would find it difficult to control the “thorn” that I, most certainly, would develop. And I would end up being excommunicated from this “new” Church.

  108. Satan is definitely in the pilot’s seat of the gay rights movement. Why? Because it frustrates the plan. Everyone who openly supports a sinful and dangerous lifestyle is not doing anyone any favors. Supporting a person in this choice of lifestyle moves that person farther and farther away from repentance.

  109. Jon M:

    There is nothing you wrote that I can disagree with. You have said in a few words, what it takes me “a half a book” to declare.

  110. this goes on forever, MM and anything on gayness has more that a hundred comments, nice!

    Latter-Day guy: “This actually veers uncomfortably close to calling me a heretic”

    Yes, I was trying to be sweet and nice and say it in a friendly way. But yes, your comments did come across to me as being non-faithful, or an evangelical way of thinking maybe (to avoid using the word heretic) because Cain and the mark is very clearly spelled out in PoGP, but I bet you don’t accept that book of scripture as inspired, don’t you? Plus MoF is freely available but we don’t get into your bedroom so its for you to decide what to do about this, so I’m not going to preach here, but ‘unnatural’ can only be, what do you think, ummm unnatural sex, lets see, well not see cause that would be porn, so unnatural sex…..jeess i can’t think of what unnatural sex is…..sure i can’t.

    Ray: clearly you lack experience in church leadership, Bishop or stake presidency levels, and with the knowledge that comes after two decades or so of practice. But that’s not a problem online here.

    Nick #113 , good point there. i’d suggest that the majority of leaders have read the MoF but not that latest pamphlet, which it seems only gay members and their relatives have actually read. but when it comes to interviews and especially disciplinary counsels the spirit tends to be very strong at times, with clear guidance and it is always away from homosexual relationships although never, i’m my experience, never to condemn the person with the inclinations or the temptations. it is so clearly presented as a sin in those situations that i have difficulty thinking that what the spirit now calls sin like homosexual relations or adultery, will one day be accepted as non-sinful. but i do know of other cases were members were released because they admitted to gay attractions which i thought was harsh, so i can’t say everyone follows the same spiritual guide that i feel, unfortunately, but that seems to be the case in our church.

  111. [T]his goes on forever, MM and anything on gayness has more that a hundred comments, nice!

    What a relief then to learn that blogging is not compulsory.

    …Cain and the mark is very clearly spelled out in PoGP…

    From The LDS Church and the Race Issue: A Study in Misplaced Apologetics, by Armand L. Mauss: There is no description of the mark on Cain, except that the mark was supposed to protect him from vengeance. It’s true that in the seventh chapter of Moses, we learn that descendants of Cain became black, but not until the time of Enoch, six generations after Cain, and even then only in a vision of Enoch about an unspecified future time. There is no explanation for this blackness; it is not even clear that we are to take it literally (emphasis added).

    …but I bet you don’t accept that book of scripture as inspired, don’t you?

    Wow, Charles, you’re a real peach. You again sidestepped the points I raised in #94, and you’ve thrown in some ad hominem argument for good measure. (Again, being “freely available” does not make The Miracle of Forgiveness authoritative.) The comment you left for Ray is, if anything, worse. It would seem that your pedantry knows no bounds.

  112. Just so everyone knows:

    “Charles” is a pseudonym for someone who has posted here under a different name – in one case arguing AGAINST the inspiration of Miracle of Forgiveness.

    Please take that into consideration when you contemplate whether or not to respond.

  113. Jon Miranda, I hope for your sake the homosexual issue never goes away, or else you’d never have anything to talk about. I bet your family dinner conversations are thrilling for your children.

  114. brjones:

    The homosexual issue may not go away until the 2nd coming of Christ.
    However, homosexuals should not feel so secure – that they are just melding into American or world society.
    Please reconsider #101 and #68.

    Also, please consider that the conservative American public may revisit the “real” reasons why the homosexual definitions in the DSM 11 were changed and deleted in the DSM 111, in the early 1970’s. [DSM – Diagnostic and Statiscal Manual of Mental Disorders]. There still remains a substantial percentage of the world population that believe, in their hearts, that homosexuality is, simply, deviant behavior.

    The rationalizations, like #40 Jay, [which are borderline pathetic – because Church officials quote ‘stand alone…gospel principle’ all the time], will allways crumble before truth. For: “…no weapon that is formed can destroy truth”. ‘Elder Bruce R. McConkie – The Promised Messiah p. 36’

  115. HC:

    I’m allready having nightmares of my future gay Bishop, lunging at me, with his painted fingernails and eyeliner, and being momentarelly blinded by the twinkle of his diamond ear stud.

  116. #137: Kind of strange that you quote McConkie in a discussion about “fundamental doctrines” and will “never” change.

  117. #140–“blinded by the twinkle of his diamond ear stud”—-but in line with Pres Hinckley’s teaching, only one, right?

  118. #137 – Heaven forbid homosexuals should ever feel secure. In a righteous society that 5-10% of the population should be very insecure indeed, and fearful, full of self-loathing, and, if they can’t find a way to get over it, repent, and be “normal”, they should at least do us the courtesy of repressing and hiding their true natures, or perhaps self-destruct.

  119. #141 – “#137: Kind of strange that you quote McConkie in a discussion about “fundamental doctrines” and will “never” change.”

    Indeed. 🙂 Thinking of that classic McConkie quote — “Forget everything that I have said…”

  120. #125 “#20–”Anyone who thinks that the 12 million + are are bunch of sheep, blindly following their leaders, are mistaken.”

    Since 6 million plus or minus are inactive in the church, I would tend to agree.”

    The earlier point by HC is still valid…that if the change came down “from on high” – it is not safe to assume everyone (thousands or millions) will bolt out the door.

    First, clearly the brethren would understand the concerns from prior messages from church leaders and the Prop 8 campaigns, and have a way to deliver the message without being stupid and just flipping a switch from “it was a sin” to “no longer a sin” without any kind of strategy or plan to help members adjust. I would imagine most of the heirarchy would have had to go through some “conversion” to the changed doctrine in order to get it passed in the church before it was announced, and a change to members would be equally needed…but it is not IMPOSSIBLE to state that the doctrinal change could occur over time (the church always changes the ship’s course slowly, but it does change).

    Secondly, the power of the religion is that it is a “living” church led by God, not by men or by societal acceptance (including members’ acceptance). Therefore, if it was changed by God (the only way it would be changed), then the leaders would receive revelation, and not expect me to be a blind sheep to follow, but I would be entitled to personal revelation as well. I could accept it if I had personal revelation about it. Until then, I don’t.

    HC’s comments were valid…you cannot give such little faith in the leaders or the people if it were to be changed. Our hypothetical situation lets us look at it from our current standpoint, you can’t jump to irrational conclusions.

  121. “Official Declaration 3 on October 27th, 2025, the LDS church has extended the Priesthood to ALL WORTHY MALES, whether gay, straight, or celibate.”

    So, if the church in 2025 extends the priesthood in such a manner and family units are formed with two male parents, which would be the patriarch of the home? If new family units are formed with both parents holding the priesthood, then what about family units with two female parents? It seems like at least one member of a fully-formed, temple-worthy family unit should hold the priesthood. It would seem that for the official declaration above to take place, that a declaration extending the priesthood to women would need to be in place or go hand-in hand, as MohoHawaii suggested back in #50. “Patriarchy” would need to be phased out. The example of renaming Patriarchal blessings to Evangelist’s blessings has the CoC has done could conveniently accomplish this. Also, maybe the Women’s Elders Quorum/High Priestess Group could finally take over home teaching and get some of us slackers off the hook.

  122. “to ALL WORTHY MALES, whether gay, straight, or celibate”

    BTW — There is a category error with this comment. Gay and straight are mutually exclusive but celibate is compatible with both.

  123. I disagree w/ #145. This type of doctrinal change, is simply “IMPOSSIBLE” for God to change. The union of male and female is central to the Immortality and Eternal life of Mankind.
    Please consider: Math. 19: 4-6, Gen. 1: 27,28, & Moses 1: 39, just to list a few, and ponder just how absurd the premise of this thread is.
    God, in Heaven, has a sense of humor, but one would be wise, not to push God too far into the realm of “Absurdity”, for He has a funny way of reacting, somewhat negatively when His “wrath” is unleashed.

  124. #150 – Please read “Misquoting Jesus” and similar other fact-based books regarding the authenticity of the bible and ponder just how absurd it is to quote that book as a basis for things that are IMPOSSIBLE to change. The irony in that is absolutely delicious.

  125. sxark, while I agree with you in our current time, based on our understanding of scriptures as we have them, and based on church leadership (Proclamation on the Family, etc), that it is incredibly difficult for me to imagine a change of this kind.

    But I cannot say with certainty that God cannot do something, just because I can’t grasp the possibility of it. Nor do I feel I’m pushing God to do anything. I do not make my suggestion out of disrespect to my God, but out of respect for Him and all His creations.

    Is it highly unlikely, Yes. Is it IMPOSSIBLE – NO. With God, all things are possible. Our standard works support my position more than yours. I understand the scriptural references you cited, but it doesn’t help anyone for us to start bible bashing since we could endlessly find scriptures to equally support my theory (God can change doctrine) as much as yours (man and woman will never change).

  126. Re 146-

    Rigel and I see this similarly. Why is the gay issue worth so much effort, especially since it affects only a minority of people? The reason is the defense of patriarchy.

  127. Heber13:

    “Natural and spiritual laws which govern life were instituted from before the foundation of the world. They are eternal, as are the consequences for either obeying or disobeying them. They are not based on social or political considerations. They cannot be changed. No pressure, no protest, no legislation can alter them.” ‘Boyd K. Packer – For Time and all Eternity’ Ensign Nov. 1993′

    These laws were made before God was God.

  128. sxark, I agree, natural and spiritual laws and eternal truths cannot be changed. They are the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    How do you know SSM fits this definition of natural and spiritual law? Do you not see that the brethren used to teach homosexuality was a choice, because it is unnatural. They have backed off that stance…we don’t know why some are or are not homosexual, but it is a sin to practice it until we are told by God otherwise.

    D&C states polygamy is a law that is required to live to enter the CK, contridicting Jacob in the Book of Mormon. Then polygamy was denounced, and now you are excommunicated for practicing it.

    It was taught that Blacks could not hold the priesthood because of their standing in the pre-existence. It was taught by church leaders that would never change. Then it changed.

    The problem, in my opinion, is being absolutely sure that you know God’s mind.

  129. Heber13:

    Go to the LDS official site, use the search engine, and read the entire article. It does address your questions.

  130. The only defence of gay marriage is for those, who wish to engage in it, – desire to be ruled by someone other than our Father in Heaven, for He will never approve of such a relationship, – as shown by the several scriptual references presented on this thread, that cannot be refuted by any rational person.

  131. 156 + 164,

    Well, there’s nothing I like more than a good, homemade tautology. So if anyone doesn’t think that sxark is right, you should… because he is. And we know he is, because he’s right.

  132. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil”.
    [Eccl. 12: 13,14]

  133. #163 – sxark, do I actually have to engage in gay marriage to avoid being ruled by your father in heaven? Because I’m not actually gay, but if that’s what it takes, I’m willing to put in the work.

  134. “D&C states polygamy is a law that is required to live to enter the CK”…

    I’ve heard people say this but I really don’t see it when I read 132. . .

    I see it say that a man and a woman need to be sealed properly to receive their exultation, and then that plural wives are permissible. . .but not required.

    It looks to me like from a question on the ancient prophets having plural wives we also received new light on the eternity of the marriage covenant and exultation.

    Most of the revelation speaks of a man and a woman singular and then at the end it’s like, oh yeah and if done properly plural wives are okay. . .

  135. brjones:

    Whether it’s my Father or yours, don’t worry about it. You won’t see either one. But do some reading and find out who will judge you.

  136. #168 – thanks for the advice, sxark. I assume you mean who will be judging me besides you. I’ll be sure to do that reading in the inerrant words of the bible. That way I can be sure there aren’t any mistakes.

  137. My immediate response to the question posed would be–speaking for myself as an ex-Mormon homosexual man–who cares? My issue and I suspect the only issue most homosexuals have with the Mormon Church would be their efforts to deny us as American citizens the equal protection under the law required by the US Constitution. Our only concern is with civil marriage equality. No homosexual that I know cares much about the shifting positions of the Mormon Church regarding homosexuals, polygamy, Americans of African descent or any other matter of Mormon faith or practice. Mormons are free as they should be to believe and practice as they choose and quite frankly to hate whom they will. Those freedoms are also a matter of Constitutional protection. Most Mormons would now cringe at the rereading of past Church leaders’ statements including BY and Mark E. Peterson for example regarding blacks which is why the MC fights so hard to deny or backpedal on past racist statements, and why the MC public relations staff has been in high gear distancing the MC from past racist statements and practices. For most homosexuals the answer is simple: we don’t want to be married in your Temples or meetinghouses (most homosexuals find the architecture with a few wonderful exceptions to be pretty ugly), we don’t care that you have substituted homosexuals for blacks to be singled out for discrimination, we don’t care if your leaders call us ‘enemies’ (Elder Packer)–we really don’t care if you hate us–just leave us and our Constitutional rights alone and we will return the same courtesy. You can certainly participate in the legal democratic practice with issues like Proposition 8–that is also your Constitutional right. However, don’t whine about opposing viewpoints being expressed as long as they are also peaceful and legal. To date, while I have heard lots of whining about ‘persecution’ of Mormons and ‘violence’, I would like one person to name one case of any illegal or violent activity charged against or proven against any homosexual against Mormon property or persons. (I do know that protestors taped signs to the fence of the LA Temple which I am sure is misdemeanor vandalism and two guys kissed adjacent to the Temple on MC property–no charges were brought) Beyond that, I predict the usual chorus of ‘persecution against God’s Chosen People’ to kick in–if so, please have some facts to back it up.

  138. I’ve read over the comments to my post and I’d just like to clarify a few things:
    I wasn’t suggesting that the church’s acceptance of Gay Marriage was inevitable, only that it was possible.

    A lot of people have been saying that the Mormons would NEVER accept gay marriage, because:
    1) Mormon leaders have been condemning homosexuality for over a century now, saying that sexual sins are only a little less serious than murder.
    2) The Brethren would have to admit they were wrong, and we all know that’s not going to happen. According to members of the Mormon church, the Brethren CAN’T be wrong (at least not on something they’ve condemned to thoroughly) and according to non-members, the LDS Brethren would NEVER admit they were wrong, because that would undermine their legitimacy as prophets.

    It just made me sick how Mormons, non-Mormons, ex-Mormons, liberal Mormons, anti-Mormons and everybody else was saying “the church will NEVER accept gay marriage.”

    But the fact is, the Mormon people have a long history of adapting their beliefs to fit the new and sometimes contradictory revelations that come from the Brethren. And I’m not just talking about blacks and polygamy. I’m talking about the changing of supposedly unalterable Temple ordinances, the redesigning of the Temple Garment, the new standards imposed on the Youth, changing the Word of Wisdom to make it mandatory instead of optional, and so on.

    If you still doubt the flexibility of the members in changing their opinions, then here’s an experiment you can try in your own Ward: next time you’re talking to a Mormon and the subject of gay marriage comes up, ask then if they would support gay marriage if the Brethren received a revelation that gay marriage was okay. I’ve asked dozens of members this question and so far I haven’t met one person who said they would go against the Brethren.

    I’m just saying that if we want the Mormons to accept gay marriage, then it’s not the members we have to convince, it’s the Brethren. And Church history is full of stories where the Brethren have approached the Lord with issues and received answers to their prayers that they never would have expected.

    Once again, I’m not saying the Church’s acceptance of gay marriage is inevitable, I’m just saying that it’s nowhere near impossible.

  139. Saying that “natural and spiritual laws cannot be changed” is a hollow statement.

    Brigham Young and others said several times that polygamy was an eternal principle. Up until polygamy ended, most members referred to it as a spiritual law that couldn’t be changed.

    But then it changed.

    So it’s useless to say that “natural and spiritual laws cannot be changed” because you can never know for certain what’s an eternal spiritual law and what’s just temporary.

  140. Justin:

    However, #149 refers to the union of male and female and #155 shows how this cannot be changed. The concept that two males or two females could be sealed together and counted as one, and that they could go out and start their own universe – is like musing about you being sealed to your dog [male or female] and doing the same thing. Sorry, it just won’t happen.

  141. For future reference, what you were doing was called, “drive-by referencing”. It’s when you make a post that contains references, and you expect everyone to look up those references and then figure out what you were trying to say by posting those references.

    So for the benefit of those who don’t have the time to look up and interpret the references you posted, I’ll post the scriptures here, followed by my responses to them.

    Matt. 19: 4-6
    “4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
    5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
    6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

    All I see is Jesus quoting a passage from Genesis that talks about a man and a woman leaving their parents and becoming one flesh. I don’t see Jesus saying that it must always be that way. One of the advantages of having modern prophets and apostles is that they can reveal new doctrines that were not present in Genesis or during Christ’s mortal ministry. If the LDS church accepted gay marriage, they could say that Jesus was referring to a doctrine that was meant for a specific people at a specific place and time, and not to the people of the 21st century. There’s a difference between doctrines and commandments that are “timely” (meant for people in a specific place and time) and “timeless” which are meant for all people in all times. The Brethren could say that the prohibition on gay marriage was simply a “timely” commandment and that all prophets who said otherwise were either misquoted or offering their own opinions as mortal, uninspired men. And, if the Brethren wanted to, they could also claim that Matthew 19:4-6 was simply a part of the Bible that was mis-translated.

    Gen. 1: 27,28
    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth

    Interestingly enough, most Christian religions do not believe that this commandment applied to anyone besides Adam and Eve.
    That’s why the LDS Official Proclamation on the Family has to state: “We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”
    There is nothing holding the Brethren back from declaring that God’s commandmend to multiply is no longer in full force.

    Moses 1: 39
    39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

    I’m not sure what you were trying to say by quoting this reference, so I’ll make a guess and you can tell me if I got it right. My guess is that you were saying that it is the occupation of God to bear and raise children, and there needs to be both a father and a mother in order to create children.
    If this was your intent, then I would argue that all-powerful beings (such as heavenly parents) could have the power to create children in whatever manner they desired, because they are, after all, omnipotent. If you meant to say something else then please explain.

    And finally, the quote you posted from Boyd K. Packer:
    “Natural and spiritual laws which govern life were instituted from before the foundation of the world. They are eternal, as are the consequences for either obeying or disobeying them. They are not based on social or political considerations. They cannot be changed. No pressure, no protest, no legislation can alter them.” ‘Boyd K. Packer – For Time and all Eternity’ Ensign Nov. 1993”

    Once again, I see no statement in any of the scriptures you referenced saying that these were eternal laws. In Matthew, Jesus says that God made males at females at the beginning. Not before the beginning, like the eternal laws Boyd K. Packer was talking about.

  142. Justin:

    The more you write the weaker your arguement becomes. You bring up in the Middle of #175 that the Brethren could say this or that or that or the Bible was mis-translated etc. Sure! They could say anything to support your point of view. But they won’t becuase what you propose is simply against scripture and statements like Elder Packer has given.

    Moses 1:39 is simple. It refers to mankind [male and female – as one flesh]

    “There has not been a time when God or Man did not exist”. – which makes Elder Packer’s statement all the more profound.
    The logic you have provided here to support your arguement could support a number of other disorders as being acceptable by Heaven. If only the Brethren could change this or that or re-translate the Bible then only you and others that believe as you do will live happily ever after.

    As for the rest of us?……….We will side with Heaven. For, as it has been taught to us, has a better plan.

  143. Claims of moral superiority aside, I’d like to address your comment that 1) the Brethren will not support a principle if it goes against scripture and 2) the Brethren will not support a principle if it goes against statements “like Elder Packer has given.”

    The instructions of the Brethren have differed from the instructions of the scriptures on many occasions. Some of the more notable ones include:

    “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak;” – 1 Corinthians 14:33
    “For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife;” – Jacob 2:27
    Meat “should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” – D&C 88:13

    As for the second point, that the Brethren will not support a principle that goes against statements “like Elder Packer has given” I would only respond that the Brethren commonly make statements that supercede, clarify, or even contradict other statements made by the Brethren. For example:

    “We will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it. The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.” – Joseph Fielding Smith

    “The negroes are not equal with other races when the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man’s origin. It is the Lord’s doing, based on His eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.” – Bruce R. McConkie

    Speaking of his statement that blacks would never receive the priesthood, Elder McConkie Stated: “Forget everything I have said, or what…Brigham Young…or whomsoever has said…that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.” (Bruce R. McConkie, “New Revelation on the Priesthood”)

    So even after saying that keeping the priesthood from blacks was “based on His eternal laws of justice”, Elder McConkie still retracted his statement.

    It’s impossible to say which “eternal laws” will be changed next.
    But if the changing of the eternal temple garment, the modification of eternal temple ordinances, or the end of the eternal principle of polygamy are any indication, it won’t be long before the next eternal principle is changed.

    I’m not saying the church isn’t true; I’m just saying that there is no Gospel principle that cannot be ammended by the Brethren.

  144. Justin:

    It goes on and on and on – meanwhile you and others that believe the same, are simply left in the dust wondering how could this be, in reference to the scriptures you brought up.

    The LDS Church will continue moving foward, at a pace, where you will find it more difficult just to catch up.

  145. What a waste of time!! This debate is all based on a what if statement,”What if the Brethren decided to allow gay marriage?” The key word is IF. Don’t you all have anything better to do with your time than debate something that could possibly be false. We live in AMERICA! A country with the freedom of religon. Nothing that you could possibly say will change what the Mormons think.

  146. Very interesting article.  Although part of me does indeed wish for this to occure, another part of me questions if it is realistic.  I must admit, it appears that the LDS’s stance on homosexuality has shift dramatically in the last 25 years to one of greater general acceptance. 

    If the LDS church did change course and accept homosexuality and gay marriage, they truly would have a lot of pack peddling to do which I feel would therefore lessen the credibility of the LDS community as well as cause a rift perhaps big enough to split the church.  It would demonstrate that the LDS church is governed by a God that is fickle and does indeed change with the times.  That appears to be different from the current idea of God being a rather fixed point. 

    In all, it could happen.  It seems to have already occured somewhat with allowing African Americans and Black Africans the ability to hold the priesthood.  I wonder if it did occure if there would be a push to also allow women to hold the priesthood.

    A fascinating thought for sure, but I won’t hold my breath.

  147. “the release of Official Declaration 3 on October 27th, 2025, the LDS church has extended the Priesthood to ALL WORTHY MALES, whether gay, straight, or celibate.” Gay men but not women? If you look at the line of evolution that various Christian churches have followed, almost universally, extension of priesthood to women happens before full acceptance of gay priesthood. I understand the Mormon notion of “priesthood” isn’t exactly the same as that of other Christian groups, but if they were to move in this direction, I’d expect them to follow the same process of evolution that other Christian groups have.

  148. What planet are you from? The LDS Church in NO WAY supports gay males or females from holding a priesthood position or being in good standing with the Church. You are mistaken! They cannot partake of the sacrament even much less hold a position of authority. There is no way you are mormon with the outlandish claims you make.

    1. That’s utter tosh-any member in good standing gay straight whatever can partake of the sacrament,worthy males can hold the Priesthood.The key is if you are single being worthy means being morally clean so no sexual relationships outside of marriage.
      I’m sorry if that seems unfair but it’s one of the covenants you make at baptism & again in the Temple.
      I am straight & single so I don’t have any sexual relationships to stay in good standing with the Lord.Same applies to gay or lesbian members

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