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Boyd K. Packer once said that the three biggest threats to the church were gays, feminists, and intellectuals. This has proven to be absolutely true. We’ve seen countless people leave the church because of its stance on LGBT people, and the likes of Kate Kelly and Michael Quinn have been excommunicated for their crimes of feminism and intellectualism. Hey, maybe President Packer was a prophet and a seer after all.

In this post, we’re going to talk about the gays, because they’re always a sexy topic.

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In these, the so-called “latter days”, it is very apparent that homosexuality is a huge problem for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’ve recently featured articles from two gay Mormons, one who feels like there is no place for him at all, and another who experiences heartache over God’s apparent lack of plan for him. These are very common and natural feelings to have when you’re in a high-demand religion that requires you to deny your natural desire to be loved by a member of the same sex. Most straight members of the church admit that were they to have been given that trial, they probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it. And most can’t.

The idea that homosexuality is a sin has been repeatedly stated throughout history by church leaders in bona fide “thus saith the lord” revelations from on high. For example . . . *searches LDS.org* Dangit. I guess there aren’t any there. Good thing Jesus Christ, the savior of the world who perfectly understands every single person, gay or straight, spoke about how wrong it was and offered counsel. Wait, no. He didn’t either. Maybe it was one of the plain and precious truths taken from the Bible by the evil Catholics. 

Thankfully, The Book of Mormon (written for our day) comes to the rescue, and is full of handy advice for those battling SSA. In Nephi, God gives a nod to struggling homosexuals by saying . . . Crap, no. Sorry. Wrong again.

Ok, so in actuality, there has been no “legitimate” revelation on the sinfulness of homosexuality since the Old Testament. You know, the one where God condemns people who eat shellfish and wear certain fabrics. The God who is totes fine about slavery and wishes women would just keep quiet, for goodness sake.

While God has, in this dispensation, felt it necessary to command his prophets to do things like practice polygamy — a formerly condemned, heartbreaking, disturbing practise that involved 14-year-old brides and even polyandry, he has never seen fit to give any legitimate counsel on how those with homosexual desires should live. Heck, the church didn’t even admit that it wasn’t a choice to be gay until recently. (Sorry, Boyd.) Nowhere in The Book of Mormon, “written for our day”, does Nephi or Alma or Moroni feel inspired to offer any advice for the 10% of people who will struggle with same sex attraction in the last days. It’s just not mentioned. Apparently words from the likes of sexist “women, cover your faces” Paul are sufficient.

We hear homosexuality discussed by general authorities in conference these days, but in pretty vague terms, and usually only when political stuff is going on. (Shoutout to the thousands of church members who donated large sums of money to prop 8 . . . income well spent, guys.)

If you’re gay, the current message from the church is awfully clear — just stay celibate and don’t complain too much. Forget about the thousands of homosexuals who were advised by “inspired” church leaders as high up as apostles to marry women — today, we just suppress, repress, and wait for death. And, as with all things, don’t demand any revelations, just assume that the leaders are getting them. It’s KIND of your own fault that you’re gay in some way that we’re not exactly sure about, maybe. (Or, if you subscribe to President Packer’s teachings, IT IS DEFINITELY YOUR FAULT AND TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE IS OF THE DEVIL.) But also, we’re like, SUPER inspired by your faith and will continually hold the minority of you who stay chaste up as a shining beacon of hope for the other, equally depressed gay members of the church so they can know that it’s possible to be active too. Christ will take away your depression. In theory. You’ll sometimes forget about it and have really good days, and that will count as him healing your wounds. You’ll testify of him in sacrament meeting because of those days, not the resilience of the human mind to create artificial happiness and adapt to any difficult situation. The days that suck and fill you with loneliness and sorrow — those are just opportunities to strengthen your faith, even in the total absence of God’s help. Either way, God’s doing his thing. So don’t murmur.

I read the blog post of a former friend of mine last week, who is a pretty non-practicing homosexual and active in the church. (The doubling down his brain had to do when he found out I left the church and became “anti-Mormon” resulted in the loss of our friendship, unfortunately.) His blog post was about happiness. In it, he painted a picture of what “ultimate happiness” in his life would look like. It almost entirely consisted of materialism and looking good. (Two things the church, technically, would condemn. Forget City Creek for a moment.) My heart broke, as I re-realized that gay people in the church don’t have much more to look forward to in mortality than the fabulous interior design of their future homes and idea of one day being motivated enough to work out and get a hot body that no one will get to enjoy. These things are not enough to make a person happy. They do not provide devoted companionship, or happy families, or a real sense of fulfillment. It makes me so sad to think that this friend I once had so much love for must, essentially, set his heart on the things of the world in order to distract himself from how painful it is to also set his heart on the things of God. “Things of God” established in a church that is provably false. “Things of God”, just like 14-year-old brides were things of God. Uncertain “Things of God” Mormons are taught to value over the reality and happiness of right now, which is certain.

Even if I thought Mormon God was real, I could never worship a being who felt it more necessary to make Joseph Smith “marry” 30+ wives than send an angel to Boyd K. Packer to make sure he didn’t teach damaging (and now false, according to the church) ideas about gay people. It’s ridiculous, even if you haven’t binge researched polygamy like I have. God’s revelation priorities have been messed up since the Old Testament, and he shows no signs of improving today.

 



Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.
  • truthwillsetyoufree

    You imply that nothing in the New Testament condemns homosexuality or the like, yet that seems to be the subject discussed by Paul in Romans 1:26-27. I don’t claim to be a scriptorian, (can’t even spell it), but Paul seems to put the kabosh on it. That being said, I enjoy the many essays written by each of you and look forward to reading what comes next. Keep up the good work.
    .

    • Swagavad Gita

      I have read Romans and you’re right. But let’s not forget that the Bible condoned slavery. Slaves were told to be good to their masters. The Bible could have condemned slavery in the New Testament but it didn’t.

      • fides quaerens intellectum

        Yes. It also could have condemned taking a dump on your neighbor’s cat… but it didn’t. Yet, in aggregate, I think it gives enough instruction that I can make the common sense choice to leave the feline fecal free.

        Can I get an amen for the alliteration at least?

        • Richard R. Lyman

          I will always give an amen for an alliteration.

          Amen!

    • Zelph on the Shelf

      Yes, Paul does touch on homosexuality. But I wasn’t saying the New Testament doesn’t say anything about it, I am saying that Jesus doesn’t directly. Besides, didn’t Peter say to be careful about what Paul said? Just saying. 😉

      • truthwillsetyoufree

        Thanks for the responses. In the spirit of complete disclosure I would of thought you might of mentioned Romans, with the Peter caveat. Could you direct me to the Peter source?

        • Zelph on the Shelf

          Sure! 2nd Peter 3:14-16. And I just stumbled across this blog post from a Christian site that provides their viewpoint on it, I think it is a good argument for not needing to accept Paul as the final say on homosexuality: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/08/the-word-of-paul-is-not-the-word-of-god-1/

          • truthwillsetyoufree

            Thank you for the link, however with that kind of reasoning one pretty much couldn’t accept any thing written by any prophet or apostle. “Hard to understand” may merely mean those not in tune with Gods’ word have a difficult time understanding His simple truths. In the Old Testament homosexuality is pretty much condemned and support Pauls’ view on the subject. See: Genesis 18-19, Leviticus 18:22, and Jude 7. Those writings seem quite straightforward. It appears to me there is more condemning the practice and nothing condoning the practice. Just saying.;)

          • Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young

            For sure. But there’s also nothing condoning eating shellfish, but there’s a shrimp platter in the Joseph Smith building on Temple Square. 😉

          • Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young

            The Old Testament also condones slavery, polygamy, murder, incest, and other awful things. So.

          • meow

            I’ve decided that instead of looking to a book (or a church, or a priesthood holder) to tell me what is right and what is wrong – I can look into my own heart, and listen to my own conscience, and decide what I believe. Give it a try – you might surprise yourself.

          • truthwillsetyoufree

            I find it interesting from what little I have written that you can conclude I don’t use my heart. I was a member of TSCC for 43 years, a convert, was in EQ presidency, bishoprics, but never knew or ever testified to its truth. I left because I listened to my heart and followed up with research and knowledge ie., church history, doctrine, CS letter etc. Everything TSCC taught is up for reevaluation. I do not want to be deceived by any one or any entity. No other agenda. Just looking for the truth. That being said, I have a difficult time accepting that homosexuality is a true principal. Still working on that as well as lots of other things since leaving TSCC. I thought I had a lot of answers, not so much any more. I’m sure I have lots of surprises in store! Thanks for commenting.

          • meow

            Dear Truth,
            My comment was quickly typed out, and I apologize if I insinuated that you had never done that. I simply meant that after an entire lifetime of personally passing the buck on every moral or ethical decision I encountered, I’m done with allowing other people living or dead, “prophet” or not, telling me what is wrong and right. Good luck on your journey figuring out what you believe in. I’m working on that too.

          • truthwillsetyoufree

            Thanks for clarifying. I may end up right where you are. All avenues are open. Nothing is in concrete.

          • Dr_Doctorstein

            TWSYF, Genesis 19 is NOT about homosexuality. It’s about inhospitality and greed. The threat of the townspeople to gang-rape the visiting angels is a figurative way of indicating how utterly those townspeople had rejected the ancient ideal of hospitality. How do we know it’s figural? Because it makes no sense to take it literally. If we take it literally, we must also take Lot’s offer of his daughters literally. Think about which of these makes more sense: that a father, who also happens to be the story’s “good guy,” would literally tell a mob of rapists, “Hey, guys, take my virgin daughters–have a ball!” or that Lot’s offer is a figurative way of showing his commitment to the virtue of hospitality, that he is figuratively willing to give up something as precious as his own daughters to defend the welfare of the travelers in his care.

            If you don’t want to take my word for all this, just remember that Ezekiel said, “this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

            FWIW, I use people’s understanding of Gen. 19 as a sort of quick test of their biblical literacy. Also, of course, to use a biblical story about homosexual *rape* as a condemnation of *consensual* gay sex is decidedly unfair. I mean, when the Levite’s concubine gets heterosexually gang-raped by a bunch of men, should we read that as a biblical condemnation of heterosexuality? Of course not.

          • truthwillsetyoufree

            From what I read I’m not convinced one can narrow it down to only the sins of inhospitality and greed. It seems sexual perversion is also a part of it as mentioned in Leviticus and Jude. They are pretty straight forward calling it detestable in Leviticus and in Jude, naming sexual immorality and perversion as problems in S & G.

          • Dr_Doctorstein

            Sodom is mentioned in Leviticus? My comments above were about the myth of Sodom and Gomorrah, not about other Bible passages. I’m not sure what you mean here when you say “narrow it down.” By “it,” do you mean the Sodom story? Or do you mean other biblical stories involving sex between men?

            The reason I ask for this basic level of clarity is simple. We can’t make any progress if we don’t settle one question before moving on to the next. Before discussing the significance of (say) Leviticus’s condemnation of male homosexual sex, it would be good to know whether you have been persuaded of my point about Genesis 19. If you have, then please say so. If you haven’t, then we have more work to do before moving on.

            I like to use a football metaphor. If a team scores a touchdown, it has to kick the ball off and allow the other team it’s own chance to score — but the kickoff occurs only *after* the touchdown has been registered on the scoreboard. If the two teams and the referees are still disputing the touchdown, that question gets settled before there’s any kickoff. Imagine how chaotic things would get otherwise.

          • truthwillsetyoufree

            In Leviticus, not Sodom, just same sex relations. By “narrowing it down” I meant I see some scripture as having multiple meanings on multiple layers. A cursory reading of Sodom may imply that same sex is sinful. A deeper further study may reveal the evils of inhospitaliy, which is probably the greater sin, more in line with the command to love God and your neighbor. I acknowledge your point on inhospitality but do not rule out other possibilities.

            I get the impression you are highly intelligent and a scriptorian, a good thing. Not so much here. I tend to use those tools as well as looking at the overall message of the Bible not so much dwelling on one or two individual scriptures, my life experiences (I’m 70), my gut, and maybe even the spirit sometimes. My gut started me on my journey out of TSCC and I tend to put a lot of my trust there.

            I see a lot of xmos on reddit embracing homosexuality, pornography, masturbation etc. I get it. Anything TSCC taught I want to believe the opposite. However, my gut or whatever, tells me these things are not good. Not on the same level as adultry, murder, inhospitality, coveting etc. but never the less, not particularly uplifting.

            Sorry for all the rambling, but I want to thank you for helping me understand how I operate. It works for me, and I think your methods work for you. I would guess you use some of these other tools also. Writing is difficult for me, and I am not sure I have the energy to banter with you. Bottom line, I don’t believe I can come to all truth just using my intellect. Often times there are good arguments pro and con. I need to use the other tools.

            Thanks again for your help and the info.

          • Dr_Doctorstein

            Sounds good to me, TWSYF–have a happy Thanksgiving!

      • Nancy

        I just finished reading the book Zealot. And yes there was a huge fight between Paul and James (the brother of Jesus who basically took over after Jesus died) and the other apostles. In fact the reason why Peter died in Rome is because James sent him up there to counteract Pauls teachings.

  • Pink-lead

    Any scripture is a filter, be it Moses or Paul. Similar to the blacks and the priesthood, in the scope of what we now know and can we use a few citations in scripture (with not exactly parallel situations) to establish the incontrovertible will of God. Sorry, Paul had a lot of ideas and strong opinions (like other prophets) which are merely those things.

  • Nancy

    Zina other men’s wives were things of “God ” too. You of all people should know that!!!! Think of how blessed you were in giving up the love of your life for two perverts…. Oops I meant prophets!

  • Martin Harris Luther

    Excellent post Zina! You knocked it out of the park this time.

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