Sunday, October 10, 2010

Did Gays Choose Homosexuality As A Major Life Challenge While Still In The Pre-Mortal Existence Before They Entered The Flesh?

The renewed debate triggered by the talk "Cleansing The Inner Vessel" delivered by President Boyd K. Packer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the 180th Semiannual General Conference has also renewed the "nature vs. nurture" dispute. Secular research is increasingly trending towards the possibility that gays may indeed have been "born that way", as many of them have no conscious recollection of deliberately choosing to be gay, at least in this life.

However, there is metaphysical evidence available that those who are gay while on earth may have indeed chosen homosexuality, but as a major life challenge before they even came to this earth. Metaphysical experiences cannot be proven using physical processes, but are just as real to those who have them. Some people have had visions or "near-death" experiences in which they found out that they participated in the planning of their mortal probation before coming to earth. They found that they chose those who would be their family members and close friends in this life. LDS doctrine holds that Church members can have revelations or manifestations governing their personal lives, and that the validity depends upon whether or not the revelation contradicts existing scripture.

And some people have even found out that they chose major life challenges, or disabilities, to confront during this life out of a desire to progress or advance faster. But to assure a truly independent and spontaneous mortal experience, memories of that choice are normally rendered inaccessible after one is born. This thinking is expressed by Duane Crowther in the 1997 edition of his book, "Life Everlasting" (online version not available). On pp 101-2, Crowther documents the out-of-body (OBE) experience of a man named DeLynn. In 37 years of living, DeLynn had suffered as much as the average person does in 87 years. He had been plagued by a wide variety of ailments, most notably cystic fibrosis. During his OBE experience, he eventually learned that he had chosen his disease and the amount of pain he would suffer before the foundation of the world. He was transported in time back to the occasion when he made his choice, and observed himself in a classroom environment. A more detailed account is published by Google Books; here's the critical excerpt (after the jump):

Pain had been a constant companion throughout my life, and I had learned to accept it as normal. But suddenly it did not exist. Being able to breathe without pain was fantastic. Wondering about this sudden change in me, I opened my eyes and looked around. I was in a hospital, and in front of me was a hospital bed with a body in it. I focused on the body and was shocked when I recognized it as mine. It was at this point that it suddenly dawned on me that the reason I felt no pain was because I had died.

I then became aware of a voice. It was a soft, masculine voice that kept repeating my name, "Delynn, Delynn, Delynn.

I turned towards the source of the voice and said "What?"

When the voice didn't immediately respond, I asked. "Why am I here? Why me? I'm a good guy -- why did I die?"

The voice answered, "You are here because you earned the right to be here based on what you did and what you experienced on earth. The pain you suffered qualifies you to be here. You have suffered as much pain in thirty-seven years as a normal person might have suffered in eighty-seven years".

I was surprised. ""It's pain that got me here?"

The answer was, "Yes".

Still puzzled, I asked, "But why was it necessary for me to suffer so?"

His answer totally shocked me. He said, "You chose your disease and the amount of pain you would be willing to suffer in this life. You made this choice in heaven before you were born".

When he told me that it was my choice to suffer when I came to earth, I was both astonished and incredulous. He obviously understood my incredulity because I was immediately transported to a time before my birth. I was viewing a room from above and to the side, but at the same time, I was in the room. It was a strange situation in which I was both an observer and participant. About 30 people were seated in the room with me, both men and women, and they were all dressed in what appeared to me to be white jumpsuits.

At the front of the room was a person who was teaching us about accountability and responsibility -- and about pain. Then he said, and I'll never forget this, "You can learn lessons one of two ways. You can move through life slowly, and have certain experiences, or you can learn quickly through pain and disease". He wrote on the board the words Cystic Fibrosis, then turned and explained how it would help those with it to achieve the experiences that come with pain and adversity. He then asked if anyone would be interested in the challenges associated with Cystic Fibrosis. I saw myself raise my hand.

The instructor looked at me, smiled, and accepted my offer. With that, the scene ended. The next thing I knew, I was back in my body once again racked with pain and burning lungs. But my brief experience on the other side forever changed my perspective of myself. No longer did I consider myself a victim. Rather, I was a privileged participant in an eternal plan by my own choice. That plan, if I measured up to the potential of my choice, would allow me to learn what I needed to learn in mortal life the fastest way possible. True. I would not be able to control the inevitable slow deterioration of my mortal body, but I could control how I chose to handle my illness emotionally and psychologically. My choice to inhabit a body with Cystic Fibrosis was to help me learn dignity in suffering.

There is an epitaph to this story. On page 126 of the book "Echoes From Eternity", DeLynn also reveals that he was actually given a choice of remaining in heaven permanently, or returning to earth. Incredibly, he chose to return to earth, even though he was told he risked losing everything he had gained in eternal status and would suffer even greater pain if he returned. Three times he was asked if he was sure he wanted to return to earth -- and three times he said Yes.

The point is that if people could choose to confront a disability such as Cystic Fibrosis, people could also have chosen to confront a whole host of other physical, mental, and emotional disabilities as part of their life plans to advance faster than the rest of the population. And considering that homosexuality, like bestiality and pedophilia, is misrouted sexuality, one can best classify it as an emotional disability, although homosexuals do not pose the same danger to society as pedophiles. Thus gay people should consider the possibility that they deliberately chose homosexuality as a life challenge before the foundation of this world, and seek divine guidance to determine if that is a possibility, in order to form a more constructive and less confrontational attitude towards the greater society. A recent Deseret News editorial calls for greater civility on both sides of the debate.

At the same time, those of us who are not gay should not use this as an excuse to deliberately abuse gays. It is not our place to add to the severity of the life challenge they've possibly chosen for themselves. But while we want to avoid abusing them, we have no obligation to walk on eggshells around them. Many of us continue to believe, as does the LDS Church, that homosexuality is an inappropriate form of sexual expression. We have no obligation to violate our consciences and say that it's O.K. to practice homosexuality simply to make gays happy.

The current fundamental conflict between traditionalists and gay activists revolves primarily around two factors; marriage and normality. Gays believe that marriage is a civil right and that homosexuality is merely another form a sexual expression; traditionalists believe that marriage is not a civil right and that homosexuality, at the very least, is an emotional disability. Until that dichotomy is resolved, the possibility of conflict will continue. And since matters of conscience are involved, I foresee no early resolution. Thus the best way is to manage the conflict to minimize casualties as much as possible rather than to completely impose one worldview over another.

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