Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If I Were LDS with SSSA

If I were troubled with same-sex sexual attraction and also LDS, I’d be really confused and angry at the Church right now. First, President Packer said my sexual proclivities are sinful and immoral in thought and deed, that my sexual feelings are not an identity, that I’m just a sinner like anybody else who can repent and change.

Then ten days later the spokesman from the Church’s public relations department came out with a statement because the Human Rights Campaign complained. He said that same sex attraction is an identity, that it’s not my fault, that my feelings aren’t sinful, that I can progress in the church, that I can enjoy the blessings of the temple, that other members of the church should be kind to me (as if they haven’t been), but that I cannot act on my attractions. I can’t have a same sex partner. I can’t do what I want with my supposedly fine sexual feelings.

These two viewpoints are opposite. I'd wonder why the church, although it remains consistent on supporting traditional marriage and condemning homosexual behavior, seems so conflicted on certain other elements of this issue. I wouldn’t know what to think. I would realize that neither of these views could satisfy a person in my position. Pres. Packer said I had to repent. And Brother Otterson said I didn't have to repent but that I could never act on my feelings. In my confusion and misery, I’d try to get the Spirit to guide me.

If I were an active LDS adult I would know that my attractions (romantic or sexual appetites, passions, desires, thoughts, and feelings) are supposed to be kept within the Lord's boundaries. As we learn from the scriptures, we're supposed to purify our hearts and minds as well as our hands. And I would know in my heart of hearts that homosexuality is outside those boundaries and unclean. Jesus said, "Whoseover looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." It follows that homosexual attractions, like adulterous attractions, are lustful and sinful. I would know that I must be accountable for these attractions, and not pretend they are out of my control.

If I were LDS troubled with SSSA, I'd go with President Packer’s talk, the one he gave at General Conference on Oct. 3 at the pulpit. He’s the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I wouldn’t pay any attention to anything or anyone else on this earth. I’d study the scriptures. I’d seek the Spirit to confirm that what Pres. Packer said was true. I’d make sure those three things — Pres. Packer, the scriptures, and the Spirit — match up.

If I were LDS with SSSA I’d get help. I’d repent. And I’d do it because I love Heavenly Father and want to do His will. I’d do it with full reliance on my Savior Jesus Christ. I’d seek truth and comfort from the Holy Ghost. I’d feel God’s love. I’d become a new creature in Christ and leave this sin behind no matter how hard it was or how long it took. Then I'd do the same thing with every other weakness and sinful tendency or temptation I experienced, all through my life.

This is actually happening to people. Now that is love.

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