A new pamphlet about homosexuality appeared on the church’s website in late July, 2007. The pamphlet is entitled God Loveth His Children, and, among other things, says that the Church does not know what causes same-sex attractions but does not believe sexual abuse and sexual experimentation in childhood are responsible. It declares that same-sex attractions are not considered sinful but affirms that acting on those attractions is incompatible with God’s plan for families in the afterlife. It urges same-sex attracted LDS members to remain active in the church and asks other members to treat them with love and respect. This panel will discuss this new pamphlet and welcomes a wide-ranging and frank discussion of this important topic.

A written version of the presentation by Ron Schow may be found on the blog at www.LDSResources.info.

Panelists

  • RON SCHOW, Pocatello, Idaho, is a professor of audiology Panelist at Idaho State University and is co-editor of the book, Peculiar People: Mormons and Same Sex Orientation. He will address progress in the Church since its 1992 statement on homosexuality: “Attractions alone do not make you unworthy.”
  • CLARK PINGREE, Salt Lake City, Utah, is the Utah Pride chairman for Wells Fargo. He will address, “The Plan of Salvation as an LDS Gay Man.”
  • DAN PINGREE, Seattle, Washington, will offer, “My Response to My Brother, a LDS Gay Man.”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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13 Comments

  1. LiP November 15, 2007 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Excellent. Thanks for bringing this discussion to Mormonstories listeners. It enlightened me greatly.

    mc

  2. Andrew November 16, 2007 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Hi John, any plan to put the audio files up on iTunes anytime soon? Looking forward to listening to these.

  3. David M November 21, 2007 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    First of all I applaud Clark for, for pretty much everything he said. He did make one comment however that I found to be painfully narrow and disturbing in it’s implications.

    He said that he did not expect, or more to the point, he did not desire to change or be “fixed” even in the next life. His homosexuality is just a part of who he is. He said that it was even a part of his soul.

    I love the Lord. At least I think I do. I love my wife. I love music. I love ideas. I love many, many things. I love beautiful things. And what is sure to change over the years? My love of everything.

    What is a Celestial relationship like? I mean a relationship between two Celestial men. Will it lack affection, trust, understanding, intimacy or love? Will it lack any trait or aspect that even a homosexual couple would seek after in this life? And what will relationships between non-spousal men and women be like? I suspect that they will be better than the relationships that we now enjoy even with our spouse. How dare anyone presume otherwise. We don’t understand Celestial glory.

    Now I don’t have any desire to hold a mans hand, or kiss or cuddle up to a man, and I’ll concede that those are not “bad” things to do. I’m just not interested in gaining a desire to do those things. Fine. I don’t blame Clark for his lack of desire either.

    But Clark, don’t you expect to change over the years? How about over the centuries? Will your love of God change? Will your interests change? Will all of your relationships not change? Why cling to your sexuality as you comprehend it now and assign it such a high status that you consider it a integral part of your soul? If God said “I want to give to you now an understanding of what is uniquely special about women”, would you deny Him? Would you say “my soul doesn’t need fixing”? And Clark, if you say “God made me this way” then I get to say it too. (And I’ve got plenty on my plate,… that’ll come in handy!)

    So what is the whole Plan of Salvation about if not “soul fixing”? We are taught to continually repent. We are taught to approach the Lord with a “broken heart and a contrite spirit”, to be meek, willing to submit, and to be teachable.

    Your speech Clark was very impressive. You seem to be making a lot of good wise choices. Just keep your own mind open. Don’t fall in love with your differences in order to feel justified or lovable. Let God find you lovable, or teachable.

  4. Dan November 26, 2007 at 11:28 am - Reply

    David-

    You make an interesting point. LDS doctrine certainly supports eternal progression, which may be analogous to what you describe as “change.”

    However, when it comes to physical attraction and orientation, the church only seems to push the idea of “change” when the person happens to be homosexual. One could interpret this as inconsistent, homophobic, and so on.

    Would the church allow for a man and woman–sealed in the temple–to change in the sense that they fall out of love? What about a change of heart toward being sealed to children or extended family? That is certainly not part of any plan the church teaches, and they remain very intractable such matters.

    All this being said, however, I agree with you that there is much we do not know about the next life. I try to approach it as openly as I can, but I admittedly still have certain preferences, hobbies, passions, etc that I sincerely hope remain with me through the eternities.

  5. David M December 2, 2007 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Why think in terms of giving things up? The greater mystery about homosexuality (from my point of view) is not why men would love men. The real mystery is the lack of attraction to women. Those on a Celestial path are certainly not going to fall out of love with anyone. I would think that they would gain light a knowledge, not lose it.

  6. Tramadol. December 3, 2007 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Tramadol dog….

    Tramadol hcl. Tramadol….

  7. Dan December 18, 2007 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    David-

    I’ve obviously been offline for a while, but I did want to respond.

    I am open to the concept of change being integral to eternal progression. Indeed, progression denotes change and growth.

    So, I agree with the concept. But, if we accept that concept, we must accept it wholly. Otherwise, it just becomes the church’s argument that God will “change” homosexuals attraction from men to women while in the same breath not allowing for similar type changes to heterosexuals in the next life. So, why limit ourselves to the concept of change being selectively applied to homosexuals?

    For example, I’ve wondered about the role of sexuality and sexual attraction in the next life. Being sexually attracted to a particular gender may not have much necessity in the hereafter. Perhaps the eternal increase does not require sexuality to succeed. But how many heterosexuals in the church would be open to asexuality in the hereafter? In my experience very few.

    Bottom line: I agree with your concept of change. But I’ve heard this argument used before by well meaning LDS folks who are really trying to make themselves feel better about homosexuality (and that it will all change and go away eventually) instead of seriously considering the idea of change applied to all people.

  8. Ammon Rye January 3, 2008 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Clark is wrong. The Book of Mormon is NOT silent of the matter of homosexuality.

    2 Nephi 13:9 “The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!”

    The word “Sodom” is cross-referenced to “Homosexuality” the Topical Guide. In the LDS version of the King James Bible, the preceding scripture is found in the Topical Guide under the heading “Homosexuality” and “Homosexuality” is cross-referenced for the word “abusers” in 1 Corinthians 6:9. The word “abusers” follows the word “effeminate” in the same New Testament scripture.

    The Church may have recently released a feel-good statement about homosexuals, but the Church has not changed its own scripture references (start with: https://scriptures.lds.org/en/1_cor/6/9e) and I don’t think it will any time soon. To me, it seems the LDS Church likes to say one thing in public and another in private.

    I believe it is clear from these few scriptures and the way the LDS Church references them in the Topical Guide that the LDS Church views homosexuality as a sin.

    In my opinion, the only thing the LDS Church is interested in when it comes to homosexuals is their tithing dollars. Lost homosexual members equals lost revenue.

  9. Devin January 3, 2008 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Ammon Rye,

    The reference you have quoted really doesn’t qualify as a denouncement of homosexuality for at least two reasons. First, 2 Nephi 13:9 is simply a quote from Isaiah in the Bible. The Book of Mormon is devoid of anything else, and if this passage was of any importance, it would have been illuminated. The second reason is the purpose of the Book of Mormon – it was a record for the latter days (specifically United States in the 1830’s) and spoke of issues that were relevant then. Homosexuality must not have been an important issue in the 1830’s and 40’s because the Doctrine and Covenants is also devoid of this issue. It may have been that homosexuality didn’t warrant a discussion because everyone knew it was wrong (I may be mistaken; I’m not familiar with any open homosexuality on the American frontier).

    Now, if you consider the Book of Mormon divine (whether fictional or not) and believe it was written for today, you can assume that God is not concerned with homosexuality. Even though the Church that holds it up as Scripture denounces homosexuality, you cannot assume this is God’s will, for the Church has been wrong before.

  10. Ammon Rye January 7, 2008 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Devin,

    I never once mentioned God in my response to Clark’s declaration that the Book of Mormon is void of any references to homosexuality. I would never criticize God. I was merely illustrating that the LDS Church is once again talking out of both sides of its mouth. The conclusion of my illustration is that, as far as the LDS Church is concerned, the Book of Mormon calls homosexuality a sin.

    The LDS Church can publicly release all the statements about homosexuality it wants, but it continues to use the scriptures to hold on to whatever McConkie-ish principles it likes. If the LDS Church was sincere about this latest statement, it would correct these cross-references would it not?

  11. Justin January 30, 2008 at 2:04 am - Reply

    I think what was said was very good. There are a few points that I disagree with, but having been subject to many agenda pushers in my lifetime, do not wish to tell others what to believe.

    I also am LDS and have same-sex attractions. I don’t know how everything is going to play out and I take speculations with a grain of salt. However, I do believe that modern revelation exists.

    I personally strongly disagree when you say that the commandment against homosexuality is outdated since Bible times and isn’t included with modern books of scripture. Elder Holland said, “I do know that this will not be a post-mortal condition. It will not be a post-mortal difficulty.” As words from an apostle, I take that as scripture.

    Prophets and apostles of the Lord have said that it is not wrong to have these feelings, but it is wrong to act on them. Just because I am attracted to men doesn’t mean the rules and commandments don’t apply to me. It is hard and many times it seems unfair, but I trust in the Lord and his annointed leaders to help me through these trials.

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