Monday, June 16, 2008

quick questions, due wednesday morning

Are there any specific SSA-related questions that you have for the Church that have not been satisfactorily answered?

What aspects of Church teachings or practice drive you away from attendance/feeling included/whatever?

If you were in charge, what would you do to increase understanding or help the situation?


Abelard Enigma said...

What is this for?

drex said...

Just trying to get more of a general opinion before talking with someone. I know how I feel about everything, and I know how I think my friends feel about everything, but I wanted to see if anyone else had more concrete opinions to offer.

Abelard Enigma said...

Are there any specific SSA-related questions that you have for the Church that have not been satisfactorily answered?

If a young man commits a heterosexual transgression prior to his mission then he has to wait a minimum of one year before he can be called to serve. But, if he commits a homosexual transgression then he must wait, at least, 3 years - why the disparity?

What aspects of Church teachings or practice drive you away from attendance/feeling included/whatever?

I am very much closeted in my homosexuality. The only person who knows me in person who is aware of my SSA is my wife. I fear that if I made it known that I would be looked down upon, pitied, thought less of, etc. I shouldn't have to feel this way.

Why can't I just be gay? Why do I have to be SSA or SGA? Just because I refer to myself as gay doesn't not mean that is how I define myself (anymore than referring to myself as tall or blue eyed, etc defines me. It's just an aspect of who I am)

If you were in charge, what would you do to increase understanding or help the situation?

Homosexuality is "that which shall not be named nor discussed" in the church. Yet, it is very much in the public consciousness. It almost seems like we are just burying our heads in hopes that it will go away. I think we need to talk about it. I'm not suggesting entire lessons on the topic, but include it in other topics. For example, when discussing mission worthiness with young men, mention that having same sex attraction does not disqualify them from mission service. But, sexual transgressions (either homosexual or heterosexual) can disqualify a young man.

Also, the church encourages people with SSA to live celibate lives. But, they offer no guidance nor support in doing so. Everything in the church is geared towards the family. A person who is living a celibate life by choice is a pariah being constantly reminded of that which they will not have in this life. The church does a lot to support single sisters, handicapped, and others who are single not by choice. We need to figure out better ways to support people who are celibate by choice rather than making them suffer alone in silence.

Sean said...

I think that there needs to be some sort of training for bishops on how to help people when they come to them for help with SSA/SGA. A lot of bishops are dumbstruck and don't really know what to do.

A.J. said...

Yes and why does this trail exist to begin within and don't tell me the oppositions in all things line 'cuz that doesn't help -A.J.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kengo Biddles said...

I agree with what everyone else has brought up, to some degree.

I personally wish that we were all more Christlike and understanding; I wish there was some way the brethren could get across the idea of "love the sinner hate the sin" with regard to homosexuality.

For that matter, I wish people could understand SSA is a temptation like smoking, drinking, or any OTHER sin. Just because we feel it doesn't mean we should be ostracized.

Maybe the bishop training course would be the best way to start.

Michael said...

I like a lot of the comments here too. I disagree with what Kengo said though about this issue being the same as any other sin. That would not be the message I would want the Brethren to get across. Same gender attraction is something that affects you every single day of your life, whether or not you've ever participated in any gay acts. From the time you hit puberty (and sometimes before) you see attractive people and think certain things about them without even trying. I have never once in my life had the urge to smoke, drink, steal, or many other sins. They aren't hardwired like my attractions.

"Love the sinner, hate the sin" doesn't even apply in this situation because those that experience same gender attraction aren't even sinning! That's the point that leaders need to convey most strongly to members of the church. Too often people DO treat us with an attitude of 'love the sinner, hate the sin' without even realizing that there is no sin involved.

Kengo Biddles said...

Michael, you've misunderstood my intent. My intent was not to say that SSA/SGA is a sin. What you do when faced with it might be a sin, but having the feelings alone is not a sin. And I think that Bishops really, really need to know that. Just because you feel a certain way doesn't mean they should immediately strip your temple recommend or anything else.

SSA/SGA is something hardwired in us like kleptomania, over-eating and other issues are in other people. And it's not a sin that we deal with it on a daily basis, and on a daily basis decide what and who we are. And bishops need to get past their own homophobia. I was practically disfellowshipped by a homophobic bishop for something that should've been formal me, I've seen the darker side of this coin.

And when I said "sinners", I lump every human being into that category. We've all sinned. And our leaders should love us all, regardless of the sins we've committed or been tempted to commit.

And they should hate the actual sins, because ... surprise ... they're sins.

But the feelings shouldn't even really enter into it, and that's what I want the Brethren to get across.

Anonymous said...

Professor Gene Sessions, a Mormon, historian and authority on the massacre has concluded:

"... some 50 Mormons taking orders from local ecclesiastical leaders actually went out and tricked these 120 people out of their encampment with a white flag and then proceeded to murder them in cold blood with the exception of 17 small children. ...

"It's an awful story, you can't put a smilie face on it. This was cold-blooded murder of innocent people. Occasionally someone will come up to me and say, 'Well don't you think they deserved it?' And, no I don't think they deserved it. I don't care how many of the stories you believe about whatever the immigrants did to get killed, nothing they did came anywhere close to justifying the murder of little children and the oldest child saved was six-years and 11 months old. Everyone older than that was murdered. In fact most of the murdered people were women and children. So there's no justification. Even if you wanted to make some justification for killing the men, it breaks down pretty fast. It's just- there's no justification for the murder of these people. ..."