Most people reading this have had the awkward experience of trying to explain the Church’s standards of homosexuality and same-sex attraction. Let’s face it: it can often be very difficult.
The Church believes that same-sex attraction is not a sin but that same-sex sexual activity is a sin. The Church also supports traditional marriage.
A few stories and recent blog posts may help readers explain the Church’s position.
Most importantly, people should visit the Church’s web site on this issue.
There is an interesting case of two men who live together and were formerly lovers but who now maintain the standards of the Church and are both temple worthy.
As our relationship has changed, I feel a greater love for Kenneth—a love in the purest sense of the word “Christ-like”—than I ever felt when we were in a sexual relationship together. I’ve learned that no kind of love in this world can compare to the pure love of Jesus Christ, the love that is a gift bestowed by God upon those “who are true followers of his son” (Moroni 7:48). We truly love each other truly like I imagine Jesus Christ loved His disciples. I know that the Lord is blessing us and will continue to bless us as we continue to live in accordance with His gospel. There is no greater joy than when we join in prayer throughout our day. Also, being worthy to maintain temple recommends makes our hearts sing. We truly feel blessed in our love and brotherhood since I converted (and Kenneth re-converted) to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You can read more about these two men here.
So the implications follow. The doctrines of the Church support friendship. They support “best” friendship. The commandments establish a standard of morality for those friendships to follow. And any friendships that follow those commandments and help people come into Christ are definitely ok. Including if the people involved were at some time in love.
If every man or woman in the Church had that – a friend who was totally and completely committed to them, who loved them completely and also loved the Lord and understood the role of God and His commandments in love… I think the world would be a better place. We’d have less infidelity in marriage, more love within and without. And fewer people would leave simply because they think that no one understands or cares. Do I think that young men with same-sex attraction should abandon the search for a spouse and instead find a best friend to spend life with? No. Marriage is ordained of God and a crucial part of His eternal plan. It also happens for some men with SSA and not for others. That’s between the individual and the Lord to figure out. Friendship, when it leads us to Christ, is always a good thing.
This story — and Gay Mormon Guy’s reaction to it — point out that we human beings are much, much more than just our sexual desires. The Church’s position — that people do not have to act on their same-sex attractions — seems to resonate with many people.
This was the point of this very interesting talk by Joshua Johnson at the FAIR conference last year. Joshua described himself as a man who has very strong same-sex attraction. He said he has only been sexually attracted to one woman, his wife Alyssa. Bro. Johnson said an overwhelmingly majority of people with same-sex attractions never act on these desires. But he has found a way to create an eternal marriage with his wife.
Last but not least, I would direct readers to LDS Philosopher’s excellent post on why he supports traditional marriage.
None of us should have any illusions about this subject. Believing Mormons will be pilloried and condemned by the world on the subject of same-sex marriage and same-sex attraction. But with some of these resources we may be able to at least explain ourselves well to some of our friends.