Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Erroneous Mormon Perspectives On Homosexuality; It Is Wrong To Presume That Same-Sex Attraction Is Eternal Without Corroboration

An interesting post on Wheat and Tares on November 23rd, 2010 attracted my attention. Entitled "How To Avoid Error", the author reviews a book entitled "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error". The book talks about the pitfalls of being wrong as well as how to do a better job at avoiding spectacular mistakes.

But what really attracted my attention was a comment appended to the post. The author, Michael, addresses what he considers the dichotomy between same-sex attraction and celestial marriage (marriage for eternity as well as time), but is based upon some presumptions I consider questionable at best, and erroneous at worst. Here's the comment (comment #14):

Michael on November 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I have often felt that Joseph’s statement about proving contraries is most appropriate when discussing same-sex attraction.

If Celestial marriage is the pinnacle of the Restored Gospel and a necessary ordinance for the highest form of exaltation then why are some born with an orientation that precludes inclusion into this ordinance through no choice of their own.

The law of Restoration spoken of in the Book of Mormon tells us that our personality, strengths, weaknesses, orientation, tendencies and attributes are to be fully restored upon being resurrected. Except for the perfection of physical deficiencies or debilitating diseases, we are not suddenly transformed mentally or emotionally into a different being in the next life.

So how does same-sex attraction fit into the Gospel since it is not a physical deficiency or disease? It is a perfect example of needing to prove contraries to arrive at the truth.

First, Michael presumes that same-sex orientation permanently precludes celestial marriage based upon another presumption that same-sex orientation is a eternal condition. There is no evidence showing that same-sex attraction, or the practice of homosexuality, exists outside of the mortal world. As Latter-day Saints, we also believe that any ordinance not available to someone in this world through no fault of their own will be made available in the next world. The key phrase is "through no fault of their own". If a gay person chooses celibacy and does not find an opposite-sex partner with whom to contract a celestial marriage, it is likely that person will be offered the opportunity once again in the next world.

Second, Michael presumes that same-sex attraction is not a physical deficiency or disease. While not a physical disability, Michael refuses to consider the possibility that it is an emotional disability based upon misdirected lust and affection. If 95 percent of humanity feels and directs lust towards the opposite sex, which in turn results in providing mortal tabernacles for spirits, then it is logical to assume that opposite-sex attraction is the norm. Consequently, same-sex attraction is a deviation from the norm, and because it cannot result in the creation of mortal tabernacles, does not offer the same value to society as opposite-sex attraction.

And finally, Michael misunderstands the so-called "law of restoration". The same spirit that motivated us during mortal life will have first claim upon us after death. But a number of former presidents of the Church also weigh in. Brigham Young once said "I think it has been taught by some that as we lay our bodies down, they will so rise again in the resurrection with all the impediments and imperfections that they had here; and that if a wife does not love her husband in this state she cannot love him in the next. This is not so. Those who attain to the blessing of the first or celestial resurrection will be pure and holy, and perfect in body".

I suspect Brigham Young is a bit more knowledgeable than Michael, since Brigham Young was a prophet. Michael is yet another Mormon who attempts to project his limitations Church-wide rather than step out of the box and expand his mind by acquiring a more divine perspective.

There is no reason to assume that those who are gay in this life were gay in the pre-mortal existence, or will be gay in the next world.

1 comment:

Nicole Tracy said...

I'm so surprised there are hardly any comments in quite a few of these articles. I think most people are afraid of starting controversy and fighting, but either way I thought this article was insightful and I've linked your blog on my facebook feed for all my friends and family to have access to. I can't believe I haven't found this before :)