Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wickedness thrust upon them?

I should be doing homework, but Abelard Enigma posted the most beautiful, realistic, appropriate, well-rounded, fair, qualified, informed, and educated descriptions of the three options that Latter-day Saints with SSA face. Please read them.

Option 1 Mixed Orientation Marriage
Option 2 Celibacy
Option 3 A Homosexual Relationship

Reading these options and the well developed pros and cons of each one sent me down a thought path I'd like to share. What do I expect from the Church, and is it a reasonable expectation?

Personally, I expect the Church to one day find a healthy option for same-gender-attracted Latter-day Saints. I don't believe that mixed orientation marriages or celibacy (or suicide) are healthy options. I believe that same gender relationships, even marriages, are healthy options. I won't say it's the only option, in case my imagination isn't good enough, but I will say it is a healthy option.

Is it reasonable (doctrinally and socially) to expect the Church to sanction same sex relationships? I vote yes. In fact, I believe the Church has several resources that put it in more of a position to accept same gender marriages than other religions. Here they are:

1. Revelation. We claim the divine right to learn new doctrines that haven't previously been revealed. We can make changes. We have a fluidity that other Churches don't allow. Generally speaking, the members of the Church follow these revelations when the Prophets receive them.

2. Three books of scripture written for our day that don't condemn or warn against homosexuality. Seriously, if homosexuality is such a big problem, why doesn't the Book of Mormon warn us against it when it was written with our day in vision? Unlike other Churches which rely solely on one book of ancient scripture, we have books of both modern and ancient scripture. And I don't see any incompatibility with any of those books, even the Bible. I think a same gender marriage would work with the standard works.

3. Sealing power. We have the power to seal people together beyond mortality. Why can't it be a man and a man? We use the sealing power to unite a child to parents who aren't biologically theirs. Why can't we use the power to unite a homosexual family? We don't need genes and blood to create families, we just need love, covenants, and Priesthood authority. Let's not forget we have a history of unorthodox marriages that were sealed with this power. Now, it is God's power, and we must use it the way He wants it used, but if he could sanction it for sealing a man to twenty seven women, or to children that aren't his, I have a hard time understanding why God wouldn't want to seal two same gendered people together.

See? It's not impossible for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to accept homosexuality. I think it would work quite well. I hope and pray that one day the Church will do it. I wish it would be more progressive about it, but historically speaking it's not a progressive Church. A black man and a black woman couldn't be sealed together in the Temple until 1979. That's disgusting. I hope that one day a man and a man can be sealed together. And I hope that my children will say, "That's disgusting" when they think that it couldn't happen until 2027.


biggins said...

One thing that I see as an impediment to the realization of your hope is the ability for two same-gendered Gods to beget spirit children they're exalted. I guess we couldn't really limit the power of God (even two hypothetically sealed together male or female Gods), but it seems that there wouldn't be any way for them to have spirit children, unless they adopt them from a heterosexual exalted couple or came up with a kind of spiritual test-tube child (I hope that isn't blasphemous). For me, I think that is the strongest argument against homosexual marriage. But as you point out about continuing revelation, that is quite a trump card. I bet there were a lot of people who just couldn't conceive of *gasp* black people! becoming Gods back in the day.

What an interesting subject, though. I can't wait for 50 (or 13, by your optimistic estimate) years to go by and see what happens!

playasinmar said...

I'm glad you posted your thoughts. What you've said here is touching and well thought out. Abelard's lucky to have comments like yours.

Peter said...


Regarding the origins of Spirit children: Let's look at what we actually know about the genesis of spirit children. We know from the scriptures that Spirit Children are created in the image of the Gods. We know that they are organized out of prexisting intelligence. We know that they are children of, in our case, a Heavenly Father. We assume based on hymns and a the Proclamation to the World that there is also a Heavenly Mother (assuming that's what "Heavenly Parents" means).

That's not very much in terms of what we know about spirit children. It is reasonable to assume that spirit children come from a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, but not necessarily something that is conclusive. I personally don't think that spirit children are the offspring of sexual intercourse. That's a lot of nine month periods to create worlds without numbers. Because of that, I am left assuming that spirit offspring are created in a more mystical way than they are on Earth. Maybe, then, a man and a woman aren't needed.

Who says two men can't take intelligence and organize it into a spirit? (or two women). I'm not willing to limit divine power.

Point being, we don't know enough about Eternal Posterity and how it is possible to know conclusively that it is dependant on a man and a women.

Besides, adoption is an eternal principle that allows me to be a son of my Brother Jesus Christ and a descendent of Abraham. Maybe all spirit children are adopted. Maybe there's a bank of intelligences somewhere, and the Gods go an choose their intelligences from this cosmic bank, thus inheriting spirit children. Again, we just don't know. That's where more revelation is needed.

[əɪ̯ wʌndɹ̟] said...

Point being, we don't know enough...


Maybe there's a bank of intelligences somewhere, and the Gods go an choose their intelligences from this cosmic bank, thus inheriting spirit children

Never heard that one before, but I LOVE it.

I wish I could believe that the church would change...

One of So Many said...

I'm a bit torn on this subject. On one hand such a possibility would cause relief for so many out there who struggle.

On the other hand such an event would feel like a proverbial and repeated kick in the crotch. It would be to me like God Saying: "I know you were miserable so long dealing and fighting this, that you were on the verge of suicide and fought to stay true to what you were taught. JUST KIDDING! You CAN have your cake and eat it too. Oh but you're already married with kids. kinda too late for you...my bad."

Not something I would want in my lifetime (no offense)...hope I die young.

biggins said...

Peter, I agree. We really don't know very much about the way spirit children are created. I mean, "Oh My Father" does assert we have a Heavenly Mother, and I know there have been plenty of prophet's words on the subject (the closest thing to a canonized version of this thought that I can think of off the top of my head is D&C 132:19 that says of the glory exalted couples receive: "which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever." Interesting that it says the seeds, not their seeds, though), but prophets have said lots of things, and I don't think there's anything really explicit in the scriptures.

But while I agree that we don't know much about the process, everything that I can think of really points in that direction, though maybe that's just my cultural and religious biases. It really just seems logical, however, that if we're resurrected in the same bodily form we have now (I assume the sex organs will still be in place) and while it may not require 9 months or the exact same process, why have those body parts if not for some sort of reproduction? I'm sure intimacy increasing unity/love/etc. between a couple is also an important part, but it's just hard for me to imagine that there won't be any reproductive aspect to it either.

So I can't prove my POV, and I freely admit I could very well be wrong (and sort of hope I am). Not trying to argue, just giving my opinion in the matter! Thanks for the post, you bring up a lot of good thoughts and questions.

playasinmar said...

Oosm, do you mean... like black people?

Foxx said...

Just some thoughts:

It has been previously accepted by the membership of the church (broad, sweeping generalization, I know) that eternal marriage, polygamy, and the doctrine of eternal lives meant that we would have unlimited, perfected eternal sex. As pointed out, the nearly confirmed presence of a Heavenly Mother seems to solidify the idea that the only god-like relationship is heterosexual in nature. The Proclamation on the Family seems to support this assertion with the statement that gender is an eternal characteristic. What does gender matter, if not for reproduction?

I know, it's hard to separate the doctrine from the culture. With that said, I'm with you. Why limit the power of God? Why must we make heaven out to be so earthly and carnal? Is there no other way?

draco said...

It's just like Leslie said- you've got to keep your mind wide open...

Peter said...

One of so Many,

I appreciate the honesty in your reaction. I can see how such a change would be a kick in the crotch. There is something that is really bothering me about what you said though.

It seemed like you were implying that you would rather be with another man (if it were allowed) than with your wife. I would have hoped that you would be beyond that by now- to the point where you love your wife so much you would rather be with her than with anyone else no matter what. Instead you sound like you are just stuck with her.

I don't think that moral obligation should be the reason for getting married. Love should be the reason. You should marry someone because you love them so much you wouldn't want to be with anyone else.

Once again I am left viewing mixed orientation marriages as very dangerous and as not for me.

Samantha said...

I'm a little offended that you would refer to my marriage as unhealthy. I will, however, forgive you, and chalk it up to ignorance, lack of first-hand information, and youth.

And also, this is your blog. In it you're welcome to offend any subclass you choose. It would make you look so much smarter, however, if you actually knew what you were talking about before you bash my decision to live in my very well-balanced MOM, and raise my well-adjusted kids in that environment. I've never taken it upon myself to judge homosexuality and same-sex relationships as unhealthy--I suppose no kindness goes unpunished.

Peter said...

Samantha, I didn't mean to offend. I can see that some marriages, maybe yours (I don't know anything about yours) are healthy. I suppose that what I meant, though, is that mine wouldn't be. I describe that in my Nov. 30 post. I also believe that encouraging (or pushing) MOM's is not healthy and could be encouraging someone to do something that they really shouldn't (or can't) do.

While I know nothing about your marriage, Samantha, I'm not completely void of information or experience with MOM's. My uncle was in a mixed orientation marriage that didn't work out. He is a very successful man, and a prominent member of the community here in Utah. His story is told in the book "No More Goodbyes." He has also shared his story with me personally.

Samantha said...

I understand what you're saying. What you might not realize is that those in healthy MOM's see no reason to discuss them with others, while those who have had bad experiences must shout from the rooftops. Keep in mind that you only hear about those that fail. The ones that succeed are too busy living life.

draco said...

"Keep in mind that you only hear about those that fail. The ones that succeed are too busy living life."

Well that's not entirely true- we get to hear about your successful MOM and others- Abelard and Salad and Drex are the first that pop into my mind.

And I don't think using offensive words against someone who has offended is a very happy thing to do. There are nicer ways to defend a position. Sorry if that sounds patronizing- I just hate to see bloggers at blows.

One of So Many said...

I'll have to try and clarify my comment on a future blog. it's given me something to think about.

Therapevo Ydata said...

I suggest that you look in the Topical Guide under "Homosexuality." You should look there before you make assumptions about the scriptures not saying anything about homosexuality. There is actually something written and the scriptures are from the OT, the NT, and the BoM. You should check them out.

playasinmar said...

The OT doesn't count and the BoM is silent.

Peter said...

The scriptures refer to homosexuality in a non-marriage context. Sexual interaction between two men when it isn't sanctioned in a marriage is, according to scriptural standards, wrong. The scriptures are completely silent in terms of gay marriage.

Besides, The Book of Mormon condemns polygamy, and the New Testament says explicitly that there is no marriage in the resurrection. I have read no scripture that would prevent the Lord from revealing to a prophet an allowance for gay marriage or civil unions.

Unfortunately, I do see a trend of fighting such marriages, but it comes from living authorities, not scriptures.

Neal said...

The scriptures ARE words from living authorities, and then they just age. The words of the living authorities should be even more important to us since it is being revealed in our time and spoken directly to us.

Gay marriage is a modern invention. The concept didn't exist when those ancient scriptures were written. In those times, homosexual behavior warranted the death penalty in most cultures.

The Proclamation on the Family is scripture, by the way. Signed by all 15 Apostles and Prophets. It says gay marriage is wrong.



playasinmar said...

I guess it depends on how one defines "modern" but 1485 seems pretty old to me.