Same-sex marriage in the Church’s future? No.

This is one of the best articles I have ever seen on the issue of same-sex marriage and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The authors discuss modern-day prophets’ positions on the issue of homosexuality and contradict recent claims that Church doctrine is compatible with same-sex marriage. The authors make the important point that it is not wise or loving to mislead people about the Church’s position on this issue.

Please read the whole thing.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

20 thoughts on “Same-sex marriage in the Church’s future? No.

  1. In the LGBTQ cult’s narrative there are no such words as ‘repentance’, ‘redemption’ or ‘salvation’ for its victims. It is all self righteous virtue signalling on the part of the cult’s ‘allies’ (read Lenin’s useful idiots) and gazing lovingly at the shallow ‘mirror god’ on the part of its victims. We need to exercise compassion and kindness for those who suffer in its evil web, but do not blink, do not take your eyes off the cult. Beware of any form of appeasement

  2. Guys, I am moving the same-sex attraction discussion from the vaccine post to this post:

    Seb wrote:

    Gay men are not wrong on any dimension. Not living the law of chastity (gay or straight) is wrong.”

    Carolyn wrote:

    “What’s with the gay comments? Lots of great men with SSA who keep their temple covenants.”

    Hans S wrote:

    “The causes of same sex attraction are numerous and debatable and I grieve for those caught in its trap. Nevertheless, it is a sin to act on it. I know several young people, all former LDS, some former missionaries and some even close to home, who have gone the alphabet way who justify their sins by either leaving the Church and/or adhering to the false and wicked hope as put forth by “brother” Oman. Neither of which is a good idea as far as their happiness and eternal standing with the Lord is concerned.”

    Seb wrote:

    In reply to Carolyn.
    Carolyn: Exactly! Straight (and married) people often cannot even imagine what brothers and sisters who are suffering from SSA are going through and how incredible brave and strong they are when they are fighting to keep their temple covenants.

    David Bell wrote:

    In reply to Seb.
    Seb, you are right. There are those who stuggle with all sorts of temptations to break commandments and covenants. I work in Addiction Recovery and there are so many of our saints who struggle with pornography or other sex addictions. I am amazed at thieir courage to get up and keep going.

    Seb wrote:

    In reply to David Bell.
    I know this is not really the topic of this article but since it came up… We all struggle with sexual temptations. All of us. Some more than others of course. Church members who are straight most often will marry a loving spouse. In the resulting marriage both partners can experience sexual fulfillment. Of course we know that this is not true for all married people. And of course not all straight people will eventually marry. But I mean it in a general sense.

    Church members who suffer from SSA or refer to themselves as gay do not have such an opportunity. Since they are not attracted to the opposite sex marriage is not an option. But as all men are they are sexual beings, too. They experience the same temptations as everybody else. But there is no way out into a marriage.

    Basically these people are left alone to deal with their temptations in other ways. I’m only saying this to show straight or even married people what people with SSA are going through. Every day of their lives.

    Maybe if we think more about this fact it would help us all to see how brave and courageous people with SSA are who are determined to keep their temple covenants. Maybe it will better help us to understand their struggle. And maybe we will think twice before saying that gay people are wrong on so many dimensions.

    Please carry on on this post. I will be deleting the comments on the vax post. Thanks.

  3. So here is my take:

    We must do and act on this issue as Jesus would act and as the prophets would act.

    How do they act? They do two seemingly contradictory (but not really contradictory) things at the same time:

    1)They offer complete love and support and sympathy to all people, including people with SSA and
    2)They reaffirm the Church’s (and Jesus’s) standards on sexuality, which is that sexual relations should only take place between a man and a woman who are married.

    The world’s attempt to normalize “anything goes” sexuality has confused us all. On the one hand, some people fall for the trick of saying that you “hate gay people” if you assert the Church’s position. And then other people will go too far and forget that we are supposed to have love and compassion for everybody.

    Are people with SSA who don’t act on it some of the bravest people in the world? I would say yes. That might be one of the most difficult things in the world to do these days. But it is also true that there are other people who overcome difficult challenges, and somehow we forget these people.

    We are all sinners. We just sin differently than people with SSA.

    But at the same time, I really don’t like what is happening in the world with all of the transgender/alphabet people garbage, and I don’t like how it is infecting our kids. So I certainly understand the concern there.

    This is one of the great tests of our time. How will we pass this test? We have to follow the prophet.

  4. Nate Oman writes: “They [i.e. teachings of the Church] are sometimes grimly accepted as a test of allegiance to the authority of the Church and its teachings, but I seldom see them joyfully celebrated.”

    Apparently it never crossed Nate’s mind that people with SSA try to follow the law of chastity and try keeping their temple covenants not because of their allegiance to the authority of the church but rather because of their love of Heavenly Father.

    If you follow certain teachings or doctrines only because you see them as a test of your allegiance to the church you might want to consider your goals in life.

  5. Seb, that comment from Nate Oman is more a reflection of his circle of friends than anything else. There is a famous (but apocryphal) story about a NY writer named Pauline Kael wondering how Richard Nixon won the 1972 election when she didn’t know anybody who voted for Nixon. Of course, this was really a reflection of the person’s closed circle of friends, because Nixon won in a landslide.

    In the same sense, Nate Oman has surrounded himself with a group of “intellectuals” who spend all of their time straining at gnats regarding Church positions they consider embarrassing because they are difficult to explain to secular “intellectuals.” In reality, the vast majority of Church members worldwide joyfully embrace Church doctrine because they know it is true. Nate Oman forgets that the majority of Church members these days are outside of the U.S. in countries with different (and less crazy) moral values. Of course these people are more likely to accept traditional Church doctrine, but even the majority of Saints in the U.S, Canada and Europe also accept traditional Church doctrine joyfully. He doesn’t accept it joyfully because he has to defend it to the wrong people.

  6. President Oaks’ talk from April 2020 titled “The Great Plan” lays it out very plainly that same-sex marriage cannot be an eternal principle.

    Seems that most people can’t accept plain truths though–even many in the church. He concludes with:

    Many of our members do not fully understand this plan of salvation, which answers most questions about the doctrine and inspired policies of the restored Church.

  7. If the courts interpreted a refusal to accept government sanctioned marriage of two individuals who believe in every precept of a faith as irrational animus that damages social fabric and demanded the closing of any temple or church that comply, how would the church respond?

    The Lord has removed or fundamentally altered the law of consecration at the level of the United Order because of our inability to keep it at a societal level.

    The Lord has removed plural marriage because of the government shutting down the church over it.

    The Lord might say… your inability to as a society makes you unworthy to live this level of marriage, so now you get another one. And poof, a lesser law is now permitted to be lived in a generation or two that’s the standard.

    It would not affect my testimony, but my enthusiasm for being involved in the church would be set way back. I’m already bothered about the way SSA is taught to the youth as we try to show compassion on people making terrible mistakes in action or self definition.

    “Homosexual attraction is not a sin, but acting on it is…” they say.

    That’s a real legalistic way to look at it. Jesus was tempted, yes. But his response was to tell Satan to depart. Not to label himself with the temptation and identify as it. That would SURELY be a sin, and indeed it involves using your agency to participate in the lie.

    The paradigm around homosexuality in the church is corrupted because (I assume) the intelligent lawyers in leadership are operating on one level of precise understanding, and (at least many of) the members on another.

    I don’t see how it’s not a sin to label yourself something that is a lie, and tell yourself you can’t or shouldn’t be married and have children because of an attraction you experience linked to a hyper active sex drive, that may very well be misfiring due to social, environmental and genetic factors.

    We are holding back on this issue because of the misunderstanding and zeal for Babylon that too many members have and the tight rope the Brethren walk feels problematic in addressing the problem. They are trying to showcompassion, yes, which is never wrong, but the legalistic interpretation is wrong. It’s not illegal to think about breaking the speed limit, just illegal to break it. Yes, true enough, but clearly that type of analysis is incomplete when you apply it to a biological reality that is built on reproduction right down to the cellular level. Our bodies weren’t designed around speed limit signs, but men and women were designed to procreate.

    So, I can absolutely see the future where the Lord says, now you live a lesser lesser law.

    I don’t raise my children that paying tithing is the result of our collective failures. If I get into the history, the United Order might be an interesting aside. But to the people who gave everything for it, it was real. Same with plural marriage. Now we don’t even address either one when talking about tithing or temple marriage to our youth. The same could be possible in a future date if we continue in making space for misunderstanding.

    So, I do see that it’s possible, for the church to go down this path. SSM is of course different in key ways, but if we are already fine (socially) with intentionally altering the biological procreation process, mainly to experience pleasure without being blessed with children… why do we really care which orifice and body part goes where?

    Don’t get me wrong, homosexuality is very wrong and I’ll never say otherwise… but we as a people have gone very far astray in creating and participating in the foundation that allowed it to strengthen.

  8. Sute, you wrote: “I don’t see how it’s not a sin to label yourself something that is a lie, and tell yourself you can’t or shouldn’t be married and have children because of an attraction you experience linked to a hyper active sex drive, that may very well be misfiring due to social, environmental and genetic factors.”

    Sorry, I don’t get it. Maybe you can help me and others to understand what you’re trying to say.

    People who are experiencing SSA have not chosen to be like this. Sexual attraction is deeply rooted in us. So people who are experiencing SSA feel exactly the same toward people of their own gender as people without SSA feel toward people of the opposite gender.

    How can anybody change a feeling? I suppose you do not suffer from SSA. I also suppose you are attracted to your opposite sex. How would you have reacted if somebody had told you that your feelings are wrong or a lie or you should change them? And how specifically you would have tried to change it?

    You might have noticed that I do not use the word gay. I use the term SSA. I’m doing this for a very specific reason. I understand gay as a lifestyle end a label. SSA on the other hand is simply a factual term describing what a person is experiencing.

    So what are your recommendations to a person who is suffering from SSA? Please be specific. Should this person be forced into a marriage? Should such a person be forced to marry someone from the opposite sex without being able to love this person romantically?

    I’m really struggling here to understand what you’re trying to say. I do understand that there is a difference between acting out or participating in a certain lifestyle and experiencing a certain psychological pattern – for the lack of a better word. In the church there are many people who are experiencing SSA. I think it is safe to say that the majority of these people would give anything to be different and to be able to love someone from the opposite sex and maybe eventually marry them. The great majority would love to have a family of their own and children and grandchildren. They did not choose to have SSA.

    So please elaborate on what your recommendations are for people who are experiencing SSA.

  9. My recommendation for everyone where physically possible is to get to know and love someone and raise a family. Who said anything about forcing someone to be married? If you want to get married get married. But no one is going to force you to do so.

    If someone looks at another child of God, whom they are not married to, and desires any kind of sexual activity or thoughts or anything on that dimension based on the mental of visual images my advice is: REPENT. Change your thoughts and actions to thinking on, studying, and following Christ. This applies to gay or straight.

    This idea of “experiencing same sex attraction” is really a modern legalistic parsing on language and feeling. There is a specific feeling, and person, and movie, or picture, or behavior, of something you’re thinking about. I don’t just walk around thinking about curvy attractive women all (or even part of the) day. It’s not like so-called gay people are in that mindset either.

    This idea of a person being gay and therefore unfit to have children and care for them in a loving relationship is unscientific. It’s a false consciousness imposed upon us by a demagogic culture.

    There are obviously plenty of women who prefer the companionship (platonically) of women. They may or may not have varying levels of attraction towards men. Likewise for men. None of that precludes working together in harmony, building a family, and creating opportunity for infinite posterity.

    It’s a strange thing that we on one hand can pay respect to the phrase, “take up your cross and follow me” and on the other think that life has to be rainbows and happy romantic feelings interspersed with sexual pleasure and desire. Maybe…you know… sacrifice yourself a bit for the next generation or the person next to you who is, or could be, your spouse. I’m not sure how you can be a Christian and not be on board with that (not accusing you Seb, I’m speaking broadly).

    Same sex attraction is a function of social, environmental, and genetic factors.
    Compulsive gambling addiction is a function of social, environmental, and genetic factors.
    Compulsive pornography addition is a function of social, environmental, and genetic factors.
    Lying is a function of social, environmental, and genetic factors.
    Stealing is a function of social, environmental, and genetic factors.
    Alcohol addiction is a function of social, environmental, and genetic factors.
    Violence is a function of social, environmental, and genetic factors.

    For each of these aforementioned sins (ie anything that departs from following in the Savior’s footsteps, metaphorically), each variable may be different in each individual and circumstance.

    Is it a sin that I’m attracted to certain body types, images, etc.? No. Would it be a sin for me to be talking about it and orienting any aspect of my life around it? Yes.

    Jesus was tempted. That’s where the whole rhetoric around temptation not being a sin comes from. But he didn’t spend his whole life talking about being confined or restricted by his temptations. Neither should we. “Experiencing same sex attraction” is such a strange thing to say. Sexual hormones drive people to do certain things, and the appropriate response is a combination of ignore, resist, focus on something else, and channel those desires into something productive, which can often be family.

    If there is any “gay” person who says they are repulsed by the idea of being in a relationship with the opposite sex, they are either being hyperbolic or uncharitable. There are also “straight” people who really have no desire or interest to have a sexual relationship with the opposite sex. And guess what — many if not most of them throughout history had children, who experience life, joy, sorrows, growth, learning, and experience, service along the way. I can’t see that ever happening from a gay relationship because it’s not physically possible.

    Conflict is just as much a part of me as sexual desire from a natural man perspective. I have also experienced a desire to do violence. I don’t view that as being amoral. Rather it’s immoral. It’s something to repent on, even if I don’t act on it.

    “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” The solution is not to throw oneself off a cliff and say woe is me. NO! The reality is we live in a fallen world with all kinds of struggles. Some people really think it’s the worst thing ever to sin, which I really see as deviating from anything that points or lives, thoughts, and actions from Christ. Well, in one sense, it is… but that’s why we have a Savior who atoned for us. That’s why this entire world, at every stage, no matter what we think, do or so, is fully dependent on Christ.

    And it is through Christ’s atonement that we can put off the natural man who yields to and has all these enticings of sin. Then we truly become as saints and temptations really aren’t there anymore because we’ve overcome them. It’s not a temptation. Nephi recognized this when he prayed to have even the appearance of sin cause him to shake. He didn’t just say, “Well as long as I don’t do it, but I see or think on it, it’s ok.”

  10. This issue has been argued back and forth on these pages since this blog started almost 20 years ago. I have seen every argument that could possibly be put forward expressed multiple times. I am just going to say it again: write and act as Jesus would act and as the apostles would act. When Elder Bednar was asked about this subject by the national press, all he did was quote the Proclamation on the family. He said nothing else. That seems like a really good way to go, in my opinion.

  11. From the Proclamation:
    “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

    All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

    “God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.”

    “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”

  12. Sute: It is irrelevant what are the underlying causes of SSA. They are a lot of different theories around. But really, it is absolutely irrelevant. People who are experiencing SSA have not chosen to do so. I think we are on the same page on that.

    Please correct me if I understood you incorrectly. You are suggesting that people with SSA should keep trying to get married. They should keep trying to find a spouse. They should keep trying to ignore their feelings. They should try to get married even though they are mentally unable to feel romantic love for the opposite sex. Did I understand you correctly?

    Supposing you are straight, that would mean if applied to you, you should keep trying to get married to someone your own sex. Just imagine I would tell you that your feelings towards the opposite sex are a social or genetically-based construct, or whatever else. And therefore you shouldn’t be so picky. Just look for somebody of the opposite sex, get married, and try to have children.

    How would you feel? What would you say?

    If I indeed understood you correctly that is exactly what you are proposing.

    As you might already have imagined, I myself suffer from SSA. I have not chosen this. I have not wanted this. I have nothing done to provoke this. And in my case, I do know why I have developed SSA.
    And let me tell you something else. Every single day of my life, I grieve the fact that I cannot have a family of my own, and that I cannot have a loving woman on my side, and that I cannot marry. I would do literally anything to change this. I would give all my earthly possessions just to be different. And in my specific case I’m not only experiencing SSA but I’m suffering from it.

    And now you are telling me – if I understood you correctly – to just suck it up and get married anyway. Never to mention the potential woman in my life who would have to live with me for the rest of her life very well knowing that I’m mentally unable to romantically love her. I don’t want to get into the physical aspects of such a relationship, where I am simply not physically able to get aroused by her, thus making it difficult or simply impossible to have children. I think you pretty well know what I’m talking about.

    I do live the law of chastity. I have made covenants in the temple. And I’m trying to keep these covenants every single day of my life. And yes, I do know that acting out and breaking the law of chastity would be a sin. Of course I know. Because I love my Heavenly Father and Savior and want to follow their laws I’m keeping the law of chastity.

    So what is your advice for me? Specifically to me? In your opinion, what should I do? What can I change in my life? What can I do differently? These are sincere questions and no mockery.

  13. Seb, good wake up call for readers. I am an older guy (almost 60), so I have a perspective from the times when SSA was not talked about as much. I knew several people in the 1980s, friends of mine, who had SSA and could not overcome it. And I knew several people who had SSA and eventually DID overcome it through counseling and turning their lives over to God. In one case, an LDS man I know said he was never attracted to women, and then one day he met a woman, and suddenly he was attracted to her. He courted her and got married. To this day he says she is the only woman he was ever attracted to (while still being attracted to men). He cannot explain it. But anyway, they got married in the temple and have several kids. I am not saying that this is the solution for you. I don’t go through life telling other people what to do. I have enough problems myself — I have no room to go around lecturing others about how they should live their lives. I am just sharing my experience. My friends with SSA who are trying not to act on it live very lonely lives. I get it.

    Seb, I do believe it is one of the bravest things in the world to try to keep your covenants these days. So, I am proud of you and I send nothing but good will and brotherly love and friendship to you.

    I will make one small comment that may or may not be interesting to you. I know many people with sexual inclinations that they don’t follow. I know several men and women who are in their 50s who are heterosexual and are unmarried and have decided to remain chaste. Some of them are LDS. These people have given up on getting married, they feel they are too old and it is too late for them. They are divorced or widowed or have never met the right person. In the case of one person I know, his wife is disabled in a nursing home and they have not had sex for decades. These people are also very lonely. Now, this is not the same thing as having SSA and not acting on it because in theory these people could get married and have sex…some day. Or they have been married and have had sex before. In contrast, a person with SSA in the Church cannot keep his covenants and get married and have sex to a person of the same gender so is therefore facing a life of never having sex. But it is worth pointing out that there are many heterosexual people who are asked by traditional morality to keep chaste for many reasons. The only reason I point this out is that society never congratulates these people. They are seen as “old maids” and “old fuddy-duddy bachelors.” People mostly make fun of them. But I also see these people as courageous. These days, there is porn everywhere, and these people constantly face temptation. We are all given tests during mortality, and this is a test for them. Why do you think that society never congratulates these people?

    I ask this question not as a “gotcha” question but instead just because I am interested in your perspective. You seem like a very nice and reasonable person. Good wishes from your brother in Christ!

  14. Seb,
    Thanks for sharing your feelings with me.

    My advice is to get to know a person of the opposite sex, and find a way to become best friends.

    Life is more than romantic feelings. I’m going to use language that’s not usually gospel oriented, but the terms of biological and we understand them well.

    The desire to experience an orgasm is biologically linked to the necessity for a species to reproduce. No species would logically reproduce if it meant less food, less resources, more risk, more pain, etc. Sex drive literally drives reproduction because the drive is so strong. Maybe when older and wiser, an intelligent species would choose to reproduce, but the reality is once we were given a choice (birth control) birth rates continue to plummet. That is because we want to have our orgasms and leave the kids out of the equation. (as an aside, I strongly suspect this is a tragic sin of our own choosing)

    That sex drive expresses itself in a variety of different ways and all kinds of proclivities.

    My advice to you and anyone else is — romance is romantic. It’s not necessary for everyone or even most people.

    Now if you are asking me if I could do XYZ sexually because it was necessary? Sure, I suppose. But it’s not necessary. It’s like asking me if I could kill to defend my children. Ya, I could, but in all likelihood I will never need to. And I can’t see any possibility of needing to have a same sexual relationship, but I can see a variety of ways that two dudes would get along better than a man and a woman. And the same goes for two women getting a long. Platonic same sex relationships are attractive for a variety of reasons — men have lived and died for one another in war. The brother hood of close male companions is very strong. So I can imagine how a sexual component could be learned/acquired/given to, or whatever.

    If I can say that, likewise, I need you to admit the companionship of a man and a woman, husband and wife is also both strong and fragile. It takes work. Patience, understanding of differences. And unlikely any other relationship it literally can create infinite worlds of lives when properly nurtured.
    And even if we’re just speaking biologically here and now, it can create many dozens of lives.

    It’s worth far more than any sexual/companionship between the same sex could ever be. How do you define worth after all? Isn’t it linked to what it can produce? What’s the fulness of the measure of joy that a man and a woman can produce vs a man and a man or a woman and a woman?

    A tree of life producing never-ending fruit or a tree that never produces.

    Here is where someone will often jump in and point out infertility, age, etc. And as far as I’m concerned that’s pretty much in the same vein as the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection tempting Jesus about who gets to marry whom in the afterlife. It’s a loaded question from a position of disbelief.

    The reality is, man + women = infinity. This biological reality squares with our faith.

    By the way, please don’t mistake me for judging you as this negative “sinner”. We all fall short in a variety of ways. I think if you’re dwelling on attractions, that is a sin of mental effort, because at a minimum you’re not using your mental brain agency to a positive use, but to a sexual dead end (I’d say the same for any heterosexual day dreaming about sex).

    I’ll end with I have and am great friends with a variety of male companions. I could imagine finding them attractive. If I can do the same can you do the same for a female? If I was unable to do the same, would that make you unable to do the same for a female? What difference does it make if we both have differences of attraction and our capabilities to imagine or desire certain relationships?

    Are we only supposed to pursue that which we presently desire? Not learn to desire that which is good for us? I’m not at all saying, go pick up a victoria secret catalog and learn to like the ladies. I am saying your divine potential is directly linked to you being a husband and a father.

    And every son of God can and should learn to serve, honor, support, sacrifice for, befriend, cherish a woman — and likewise accept the same in return from her. That’s better romance than roses or sexual dreams in my view.

  15. Sute:
    Thanks so much for your honest words. I really appreciate it.

    So let’s see if I can summarize what you are telling me. Please correct me if at any stage I got you wrong.

    Your first advice to me would be to become best friends with a woman. This relationship can develop into something more and eventually might lead to a romantic relationship and marriage. I hope I get you right so far.

    This is certainly a very good advice. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Quite to the contrary. And you are also right suggesting that this kind of friendship could move into something more serious. Of course it can.

    But there is a huge BUT. Romantic relationships, romantic love and marriage develop in a very complicated network of psychological, mental, and physical connections to a person. I mean nobody ever said it would be easy of course. While occasionally and certainly theoretically a good friendship could develop into something more serious it is as probable as you developing a romantic relationship to your best buddy.

    I’m not saying it could not happen. It might occasionally for some people do happen. Maybe I will be one of those people. But it is however highly unlikely. Most if not all people with SSA will simply stay best friends with somebody of the opposite sex. This is just how it is. I wish it would be different. But it is not.

    And of course a serious and productive and worthwhile relationship with somebody is far more than experiencing romantic feelings. I of course know this. But there is no way to marriage, which is the ultimate goal of course, without romantic feelings. And without a miracle, which is totally possible of course, I simply cannot have any romantic feelings toward a woman.

    So basically what I’m trying to say here is that being friends or even best friends with a woman is certainly a good and desirable thing but it almost certainly will lead to nothing more than a good friendship. Nothing wrong with that of course. I have been friends with women all my life. I cherish these friendships. But they are what they are, they are friendships.

    You’re also asking how worth could be defined. You link it to being productive. So creating offspring is something that makes your life being worthwhile. If I understand you correctly you define personal worth with being productive. I don’t know if I can agree with you on that. My worth is defined by the love of my
    Heavenly Father. It is defined by Him giving me a physical body and sending me to this planet. It is defined by giving me an opportunity to grow, to make experiences and to increase in many aspects of my life. My worth is certainly not defined by producing or creating anything. Especially not when it comes to children. Off course one of the main, let’s call it duties, of our lives is to give spiritual beings a physical body. or more simply put to have children. But as you have already stated in your post having children is nothing that can be experienced by everybody. That’s for different reasons of course. But if bearing children would define the worth of a person we really have a very serious problem here.

    So I sincerely thank you again for your advice. But the problem remains that because of my SSA I have not had any romantic feelings towards a woman in my life. And without being able to love a woman wholesomely, I don’t have a better word for it, I need more than a good and cherished friendship. And this “more” is what I am lacking.

  16. Seb,
    There are more men than you can count who once had romantic feelings for their wife (and vice versa) who no longer have them. In your paradigm, they are living an unfulfilled life (if I understand correctly).

    People fall in and out of “love”. That’s not love. People fall in and out of attraction. That’s certainly attraction — but raw physical attraction doesn’t make a marriage.

    So if you’re saying you shouldn’t get married because you don’t have that attraction, but you do have the friendship — what doe say about others who ARE currently married but have the friendship and no longer have the attraction? And what if they never get it back? Are they living an unfulfilled life?

    Regarding producing — I can agree with all the romantic feeligns you describe about what you say.

    But the reality is — Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply for a reason. God would not be God without his children. Period. The worth of souls is great, not because we can make fanciful paintings that move others emotionally (to be flippant with a topic that is actually weighty and not deserving of flippancy), BUT because we can create an infinite number of people who can do those things.

    God’s work and glory is to bring to pass immortality and eternal life of man. We are his glory. His offspring. His glory is to make his offspring who will be like him. Not go to heaven and show our father in heaven our finger paintings and get patted on the head like a good angel (flippancy here for effect, no disrespect intended). But specifically we are to be exalted and become like him.

    His work and glory, will then become our work and glory. This is the never-ending chain. That’s why our worth can be infinite.

    So…. biologically, an organism whose primary function is to reproduce would be virtually worthless without reproducing. Yes, we can point to very important circumstances where one any particular species that never reproduced, supported, defended, protected, etc. and caused some benefit in the genealogy. I’m not disputing those types of cases in humanity or chimpanzees or even at cellular mitosis level.

    But broadly speaking, the Savior cursed the tree without fruit. There’s all kinds of layers to that story. Parable of the talents. Again, all kinds of layers. But there should one clear one to both of them — if we have the capability to produce fruit which will last for eternity, in a way which is pleasing to God and even commanded by God, but we are choosing not to… isn’t that a sin or at least getting pretty close to one.

    So don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with any particular issue anyone has — lack of sexual desire, too much sexual desire, inability to produce anything with their sexual desire, etc.

    But those issues don’t strike me as any reason not stick with the pattern and move forward. Sex drive is transitory. Adam and Even, Man and Wife, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are Eternal.

    I really can’t argue you or anyone into this, but I’m just making my case for my beliefs, and they might not even be persuasive as I’m not trying to flesh out a well argued and documented case in a blog comment.

    It just so happens that my beliefs square pretty well with scripture and biology. And I don’t even refute your beliefs. I just think there is another layer on top of them (or perhaps down at the foundation) that aren’t full considered by many when discussing SSA issues.

    Anyway, my original point was, the GAs don’t address this issue, because it’s a can of worms as these comments show. And you’ve been very gracious with my frailties and explanations, while others would show no mercy to me or them.

    So it’s obvious WHY they don’t engage this issue. But that vacuum is certainly creating confusion. One of my kids the other day just remarked how it seems sad that certain people aren’t allowed to get married in the temple. Contrary to what it might seem from my outspoken comments here, I really don’t talk much about this issue in my family. I was not surprised to see such a misunderstanding about temple marriage from my child because our culture has been confused on marriage for decades — “it’s for two people who love each other” and the latter-day saint thought pretty much adds, “and where two people can get married for eternity”. The children/family part is there, but it’s an aside — which really it’s the goal. None of this, none of us, exist without it.

    It’s when we put anything before that, everything falls apart. God created man and woman and commanded them to multiply. Our society wouldn’t exist without that process happening in the past. When having children becomes something we do, rather than being the essence of who we are, we go astray.

    Hopefully, I don’t need to add “in my view” to all of this. That should be clear. I have no problems with people disagreeing with it. I’m entitled to think others are wrong, and I expect they can think the same of me. I’m confident enough if my thoughts on this matter to deal with that.

  17. Sute:
    I again want to emphasize that I really appreciate our discussion. I also appreciate that you are mindful, considerate, but still honest to your own thoughts and opinions. Only honest and open discussions can bring us forward.

    Though I can follow what you are saying and at least I think I get what you’re trying to explain, we certainly won’t agree on the part of what makes us worthy. You explained that ultimately worth is manifested in the ability and the act of reproduction. Adam and Eve were told to multiply. So that’s the ultimate goal in life. I hope I summarized your thoughts about this topic correctly.

    Creating physical vessels for the spiritual children of God is indeed an important duty of our lives. But as we all know not everybody is able to do so. Reasons for not getting married and reproducing are countless. Some are rooted in laziness. Others might be rooted in somebody not wanting to leave his or her comfort zone. Again others are rooted in medical issues or psychological issues. And they’re countless more reasons why somebody won’t get married or won’t reproduce.

    We know from apostles and prophets that nobody will lose any blessings in the life to come if he or she cannot get married or reproduce in this life. Countless apostles and even prophets have emphasize this fact in their talks and publications. And so the question might be what makes somebody not being able to get married or reproduce. I would think that we both could agree that medical issues count. Somebody who is biologically not able to reproduce cannot do anything about it. What about psychological reasons? What about societal reasons? What about people who just can’t get married because nobody wants to marry them? Are these people less worth in your eyes or more importantly in the eyes of God? Certainly not in God’s eyes!

    Everybody is different. So I do not claim to speak for anybody else than myself. I am psychologically or mentally unable to love a woman. I don’t know if this might change in the future though it is highly unlikely.

    While a heterosexual marriage can and certainly will change over time and sometimes to the point where one or both spouses do not love each other anymore, in almost every couple’s life love was the foundation of their marriage at the beginning. And even if there was not much love and a marriage was instituted out of societal reasons or pressure, there certainly is a kind of physical attraction between a man and a woman. This attraction makes it possible to reproduce. Or to be more precise without being explicit, since I am not attracted to women and I don’t get aroused by a woman it is physical impossible for me to reproduce.

    If I understand you correctly, you’re implying that a marriage could be formed out of friendship if necessary. So love or even romantic love might be important, but not an essential part of a marriage. While this might be true, please consider what you are asking of me. And of course I know that you are not personally asking this of me. A woman should marry me well knowing that I cannot love her outside of a good friendship and that I will never get aroused by her and therefore almost certainly will be unable to have children. Are you aware what you are expecting from such a woman? Or more frankly, what woman in the world would marry me under this circumstances?

    Apostles and prophets have made it clear that if you are suffering from SSA and therefore will not marry or reproduce that no blessings will be withheld from you as long as you stick to the covenants that you have to meet. The same is not true for people who choose to not marry, or reproduce, because they feel uncomfortable or might have a difficult time to commit themselves to a marriage or because they are lazy in anyway.

    And please let me emphasize again one thing. There is nothing more that I want in my life, second only to following the covenant path, to fall in love with a woman, marry her, and have children. As I said before, I would give anything to accomplish this goal. But without a miracle it is not possible. I have no idea how I could possibly change the injuries that have been caused to my mind and my soul in the past that now prevents me from being able to love a woman.

    People who are suffering from SSA, but decide to stay in the church and keep following the covenant path in most cases if not, even all cases are people who, like me would give anything to have a family of their own. Yes, we all know suicide rates among people suffering from SSA are much, much higher than the average suicide rate in the population. And that is certainly not the case because there’s any discrimination going on. While there was discrimination in the past against people with SSA such times are long gone. At least in western countries nobody is discriminated against because he or she comes out as gay. Suicide rates are high because people with SSA in many cases long to have a family of their own but are unable to fulfill their dreams.

    I respectfully would end our discussion at this point. Of course you are free and invited to answer this post. As I said at the beginning of this post, I really appreciated our discussion. But we are beginning to run in circles here and so it might be a good time to end this discussion.

    May I suggest that you keep in mind that people with SSA who stay in the church and continue on the covenant path, are brave, courageous , and in many cases suffer lifelong because they cannot have a family of their own. They have not chosen this. And many if not most would – like me – give anything to change their situation.

    PS: English is not my native language, so I might here and there have chosen terms and words that have not been able to transport the real meaning of what I was trying to say. That is of course on me.

  18. Geoff:
    Thanks for your kind and appreciating words.

    I loved the story that you shared about this one man who thought he would never be able to love a woman and someday met one that he fell in love with. I would consider this a miracle. And I do know that miracles are possible.

    I also know of a woman who married in her mid 50s. It was her first marriage. At a certain point in her life she stopped believing in a future marriage. She succumbed to the thought that she would never be able to find a man. But a miracle did happen, and she found a man, married him, and both of them have a very fulfilled and happy marriage now.

    Oh, and again, thank you for emphasizing to me that I am not alone. It certainly feels good to hear that again from time to time. Yes, loneliness is a big problem. And no amount of social interactions in the church or outside of the church will compensate for not having a loving wife on my site.

    You mentioned it briefly in your post. Life as a single man or woman, regardless if never married or widowed is very difficult in the church. Because the church of our Lord and Savior is centered around families. And for people who for whatever reason do not have a family of their own, it is like opening up a wound and putting salt in it every single day or at least every single Sunday.

    Fortunately, in my ward, I was never giving the feeling that I would not belong or that I’m not needed. The opposite is true. My ward and the leaders in our ward have always given me the feeling that I am indeed needed and that they appreciate me being there. And this can really help to lessen the pain of loneliness. And I’m thankful for the leaders in my ward, and the church which is teaching exactly this.

    And as somebody who is trying to follow the covenant path with SSA it is more difficult for me than for many others. First, you belong to a church which is family centered. But in this setting, you are an outsider. And the society today is ridiculing you, because they do not understand why you are not just simply have a same sex relationship. Do what you love, they say.

    So thanks again for your kind and understanding words. I know that for somebody who is not suffering from SSA it often is very difficult to understand the struggles and challenges people with this condition face. If somebody has physical pain or if he or she is lonely we often can relate because we have experienced similar issues ourselves. But this is different with SSA. People without SSA have understandably difficulties to understand what people with this condition are going through. And I do not blame them. Absolutely not. And so I’m especially thankful and grateful for people who are mindful and show interest and curiosity in people with SSA though it is difficult for them to relate.

  19. Seb and others. I find much wisdom here. I have worked with SSA mostly men, for years. Remember this.: the 12 year old boy who cries and begs to understand his feelings is not choosing them. I have worked to get leaders to understand this so that they don’t suffer alone.
    Also, as you say, those who deal with SSA are to be understood and admired. Especially those who choose the Gospel to be more important and find ways to deal with it. And also those who are not successful in this effort. It is one of the toughest challenges given to us. Do not judge or think it is easy or just frivolous.

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