A Word on the Plight of Gays and Lesbians (and on Singles) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
By Ken K. Gourdin
As I have pointed out in another public forum, one need not be a bigot, nor to want to tear up the United States Constitution, nor to hate anyone, in order to favor traditional marriage—even though such a stance puts its proponents (according to the slim majority that decided Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. _____ (2015)) on the “wrong” side of the law, and/or on the “wrong” side of history.
Whoever (and however many) might disagree, there are reasons good and sound for favoring traditional marriage which have nothing to do with mere bias or bigotry, though many proponents of gay marriage are fond of poisoning the well with airy waves of the hand that only such specious motivations possibly could motivate their opponents.
Yes, absolutely, if one is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons), if one is gay, and yet, if one still believes in the Church’s teachings with respect to chastity and marriage and desires and strives to remain faithful to those teachings and to the other tenets of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, perhaps one has an extraordinarily rock-strewn, thorn-strewn, difficult path to walk here in mortality.
Yes, such a state of affairs is made all the more difficult by the facts that there was a premortal First Act which we mortals cannot remember and that there will be a postmortal Third Act which hasn’t happened yet. No, I don’t know precisely how God is going to untangle the complicated, intertwined, seemingly-hopelessly-entangled mess that characterizes so many human relationships (no matter the sexual orientation of the people involved).
Not only do I not know how such a thing will be done, I cannot, with my limited, finite, mortal perspective, even comprehend that it can be done. But I do have faith—fledgling, and all-too-faltering faith, but faith, nonetheless—that, whatever our lot in the life to come, and whatever we were called to endure in this life, the Omniscient, Omnipotent, All-Loving Lord of the Universe won’t have to tell anyone who was faithful, “I know you were expecting something more, or something better, or at least something . . . different . . . and I know this means that it sucks to be you, but . . . sorry. This is the best I could do.”
Thus, there are those—few though they may be, which makes them all the more courageous—who have determined to not let that which, as yet, they do not know to hold hostage that which they do know when it comes to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. One such person is Tom Christofferson, the brother of Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ. Tom is a faithful Latter-day Saint—who also happens to be gay. See here (this and all other links last accessed January 14, 2018): https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865688689/Gay-brother-of-Mormon-apostle-shares-his-spiritual-journey.html.
I encountered another such person in my cyber-travels whose courage I, accordingly, lauded. Presumably, he posts under his real name, and I did not obtain his permission to share our exchange, so I do not include a link to it herein. A few months ago—but only a few blog posts back, given the frequency with which I have posted lately—I took the so-called “Mormon Therapist” to task for excoriating Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a colleague of Elder Christofferson in the Twelve, for his October, 2017 General Conference address about The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The Proclamation can be found here: https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng&old=true
That poster wrote:
This gay man found comfort in the talks given at General Conference. I especially rejoiced in Elder Oaks’ talk reaffirming the “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” It comforts me, after having gone out into the world to do my own thing, and, thereby, having been crushed by the world, to be in Christ’s Church again and to hear the word of the Lord from His Apostles, upholding the standards the Lord has established, and to hear them do so in such a loving and gentle way. Come unto the Lord. His yoke is easy. His burden is light.
You’ll probably deflect my praise, but you, nonetheless, are a brave soul, [name redacted]. I realize they’re not even remotely the same thing, but as a confirmed heterosexual bachelor in the Church of Jesus Christ, who strives to be faithful, I’m not exactly sure, if I don’t have the opportunity to Become One with someone in this life, what God’s beyond-the-veil propositions for remedying that state of affairs will entail, but I do have faith that He, the Omniscient, Omnipotent, All-Loving Lord of the Universe, won’t have to tell any of us, if we’re faithful, “Ohhh, sorry! I know you were expecting something more, or something better, or at least something different, and I realize this means that it sucks to be you, but … this is the best I could do.” And the same is true of you, as well.
Thank you, Kenngo1969 [my screen name]. I want to be as close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as I can be, and I want to have the companionship of the Holy Spirit in my life on a consistent basis. Becoming more at one with my God is my present goal. I already have an Eternal Family that I am journeying back to. When I shall see them, I hope to become like them, and in this journey, I am becoming more assured that what God has in store for me is more marvelous and wonderful than I can conceive.
May the Lord bless you in your quest, Sir. Indeed, I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
While, again, I’m not comparing our respective situations, there are many things I do not know that I wish I did. However, amidst the not-infrequent buffetings of life’s innumerable and seemingly-constant vicissitudes, the one thing of which I am absolutely certain (other uncertainties aside) is that God loves me. And I have determined to do my best to not allow what I do know to be held hostage to what, as yet, I do not know. Even in our short correspondence, I can sense that you feel the same way.