I hadn’t seen this before, but this is the Mormon church’s official statement to those members who may be “struggling” with same-sex attraction. It’s titled “God Loveth His Children” with apparently no sense of irony.
I was going to say it’s better than the pamphlet it replaced, http://www.whymormons.net/2010/10/to-one.html, but it’s mostly just the same stuff dressed up with less-harsh language.
Basically, they tell you that being gay is not part of God’s plan for you, but if you have a celibate life, keep your sexual orientation to yourself, and dedicate yourself to “service in the church” you’ll be rewarded in the next life with an “eternal companion” of the opposite gender.
Some interesting quotes from the pamphlet:
Heaven is organized by families, which require a man and a woman who together exercise their creative powers within the bounds the Lord has set. Same-gender relationships are inconsistent with this plan. Without both a husband and a wife there would be no eternal family
and no opportunity to become like Heavenly Father.
In some circumstances a person defers marriage because he or she is not presently attracted to a member of the opposite gender. While many Latter-day Saints, through individual effort, the exercise of faith, and reliance upon the enabling power of the Atonement, overcome same-gender attraction in mortality, others may not be free of this challenge in this life. However, the perfect plan of our Father in Heaven makes provision for individuals who seek to keep His commandments but who, through no fault of their own, do not have an eternal marriage in mortal life. As we follow Heavenly Father’s plan, our bodies, feelings, and desires will be perfected in the next life so that every one of God’s children may find joy in a family consisting of a husband, a wife, and children.
Many people with same-gender attraction respect the sacredness of their bodies and the standards God has set—that sexuality be expressed “only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). The lives of these individuals are pleasing to our Father in Heaven.
So, God is pleased with the lives of celibate gays. Sounds like a sadist to me.
True happiness depends on more than the expression of physical urges. These urges diminish as more fundamental emotional needs are met—such as the need to interact with and serve others. True happiness comes from self-control, self-respect, and positive direction in life.
Notice how they reduce homosexuality to mere “physical urges.”
You are best served by concentrating on the things you can presently understand and control, not wasting energy or enlarging frustration by worrying about that which God has not yet fully revealed. Focus on living the simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ
. Same-gender inclinations may be very powerful, but through faith in the Atonement you can receive the power to resist all improper conduct, keeping your life free from sin.
I don’t know about you, but spending the rest of your life trying to “resist … improper conduct” sounds miserable.
It is not helpful to flaunt homosexual tendencies or make them the subject of unnecessary observation or discussion. It is better to choose as friends those who do not publicly display their homosexual feelings. The careful selection of friends and mentors who lead constructive, righteous lives is one of the most important steps to being productive and virtuous. Association with those of the same gender is natural and desirable, so long as you set wise boundaries to avoid improper and unhealthy emotional dependency, which may eventually result in physical and sexual intimacy. There is moral risk in having so close a relationship with one friend of the same gender that it may lead to vices the Lord has condemned. Our most important relationships are with our own families because our ties to them can be eternal.
In other words, stay away from people who understand or have any sympathy for you. Remain aloof, lest you have any kind of emotional relationship with people of the same sex, as it might lead to “vices the Lord has condemned.”
A number of Latter-day Saints with same-gender attraction are moving forward with their lives by carefully adhering to gospel standards, staying close to the Lord, and obtaining ecclesiastical and professional help when needed. Their lives are rich and satisfying, and they can be assured that all the blessings of eternal life will ultimately be theirs.
Yes, people with rich and satisfying lives are those who receive “ecclesiastical and professional help.”
Anyway, I’m reminded of Joe Hill’s old song, “The Preacher and the Slave”:
Long-haired preachers come out every night,
You will eat, bye and bye,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ’bout something to eat
They will answer in voices so sweet
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die