My thoughts and musings on living a straight, Christian life while dealing with same sex attraction (SSA). Respectful comments are welcomed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Apology and reply to comments

I read a comment on one of my posts that lead to some comments about my blog on some other blogs. I must apologize for any offense. I didn't realize how small the blogging world is when I first started, and I wasn't as tactful as I should have been. I have tried since then to respect the opinions of others, whether I agree with them or not. I will not get into "bashing" sessions through comments, but I will engage in a respectful dialogue when I think both of us can be open to the other person's opinion. (Any disrespectful comments will be deleted, respectful disagreement will not.) For those of you who think that the church is closed minded and bigoted, I don't think we will see eye to eye, so you and I will have to agree to disagree and not waste each other's time further.

My intent was not to offend, nor to be self-righteous (I have a serious dislike for self-righteousness). There are things I am still trying to figure out, and things I still don't live as fully as what I believe.

I do believe most solidly in the Gospel as taught in the LDS church. I know that this life isn't the end and that we have a loving Father in Heaven who wants what is best for us, even when that means difficult trials for us. I believe that the Prophet speaks for God, and following his counsel will bring us the greatest happiness. I believe that we need to use the brains God gave us and understand his counsel, rather than following blindly. Maybe that's what lead me to study psychology (a field which has it's flaws, to be sure, and has a very liberal slant). There is plenty of research showing that sexual orientation is not set in stone, although it is harder for some to change than others. I believe the churches position on homosexuality.

To me, these things (about the Gospel) are so clear, that I am occasionally baffled and saddened when they aren't as clear to others, especially when I see people rationalize grave errors.

I apologize for being tactless, for I see that I was. I apologize if I seemed self-righteous, for that was not my intent.

For those who want to understand more about the church's stance, here are some articles from the Ensign.

Same Gender Attraction by Dallin H. Oakes discusses scientific research and, the churches position on the terms Gay and SSA, and the responsibility of members to love and support those with this issue.

Compassion for Those Who Struggle is an anonymous article by one who has this issue, and responds to those who say it's unfair to give the choice of being celibate or ex'ed.

Thanks to those of you who have been patient with my faults.

8 Comments:

Blogger David said...

"To me, these things (about the Gospel) are so clear, that I am occasionally baffled and saddened when they aren't as clear to others, especially when I see people rationalize grave errors."

Personally, that comment struck me as self-righteous. If you "dislike...self-righteousness" like you say you do then I thought you'd like to know.

Other people's actions may appear to us to be errors, but God is the only true Judge. We are welcome to have our opinions, but we do ourselves a disservice when we judge other people by our morals and standards.

The beauty of each human being is that God created them all to be distinctly unique. That goes much deeper than our physical appearance and our fingerprints. Each of us has had a unique upbringing, we were all shaped by different circumstances and experiences, and it is for this reason that we should not judge one another. We do not know everything about a person, but God does. I find comfort in knowing that he knows me better than I know myself. He knows what is in my heart, you do not, and I do not appreciate the righteous desires of my heart being categorized as rationalized "grave errors."

I'd be interested to know about you specifically. It seems that in a number of your posts you compare the way you live and your choices to other people who live differently than you. I feel that to make the impact I gather you are trying to make you would do well to focus on what gives you strength and drive in your life as an active LDS with SSA.

The often negative response you have been receiving is caused by your comparison, what many would perceive as a holier-than-thou attitude.

Much of what you write, repeat, and quote are things I have read and studied before. Give me something new, something unique from your life, something I can't get anywhere else. I am intrigued by your life choices, but if this blog is just going to be a summary of Mormon doctrine as interpreted through your eyes then I imagine people would do themselves one better to just visit the church's website.

self-righteous adjective having or characterized by a certainty, esp. an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior : self-righteous indignation and complacency. DERIVATIVES self-righteously adverb self-righteousness noun

Thesaurus
self-righteous adjective we listened to Mom because she wasn't as self-righteous as you sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, self-satisfied, smug, priggish, complacent, pious, moralizing, preachy, superior, hypocritical; informal goody-goody. antonym humble.

11:19 PM

 
Blogger Elbow said...

You said a lot of things that I took to heart. Thanks so much for your words.
I appreciate your voice in this struggle and confusion.

You said: "I believe that we need to use the brains God gave us and understand his counsel, rather than following blindly. Maybe that's what lead me to study psychology...There is plenty of research showing that sexual orientation is not set in stone, although it is harder for some to change than others..."

For the sake of having an intelligent and very interesting discussion, I have a question for you:
So do you think that the Church believes that sexual orientation can be changed? If so, what procedure do they most recommend? I feel like the Church says that you can fight temptation, but not necessarily change orientation, but what do you think?

7:17 AM

 
Anonymous hurricane said...

You know, those of us who are gay and Mormon are probably already familiar with the church's positions. I can only speak for myself, but the church's position on homosexuality did nothing but bring darkness into my life.

If you can find happiness and fulfillment in the church, more power to you. I cannot.

7:44 AM

 
Blogger Gay Mormon said...

LDS with SSA,

Hey, I just wanted to tell you that your post didn't upset me at all. I wasn't offended in the least bit. I just thought I would respond to it because I feared that people were misunderstanding me and my approach to my struggles.

I really do appreciate your voice in the LDS SSA/gay world. I think it's important to hear. No apologies necessary for expressing your point of view.

Thanks for the post. Perhaps I was just being vain in assuming you were even referring to me. I sometimes like to think the world revolves around me -- especially the gay Mormon blog world.

Warmest Regards,

GM

4:06 AM

 
Blogger LDSwithSSA said...

David, you leave out the fact that truth is universal, not something we create for ourselves. God is what He is, regardless of what man decides He is. The prophet and the scriptures speak for God, and His instructions don't change at the will of man. Those are the things I was referring to as being clear to me.

The Gospel makes room for all, regardless of what factors make us unique, but He does ask us to make sacrifices to earn the blessings He would give us. We need to fit our will to His truth, not fit his truth to our will. That's why he asks for a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Nevertheless, we must each come to a knowledge and understanding of that truth on our own, and we are free to choose. I have made my choice (Evergreen and it's values), as have you, apparently. We may never agree, so lets just agree to disagree.

Lastly, (then I will say no more on this topic) what you take for self-righteousness is my conviction about the gospel.

Conviction: a fixed or firm belief; an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence.

6:37 AM

 
Blogger LDSwithSSA said...

Hurricane, many of the things I have read in blogs about the church's position on homosexuality are severely distorted.

I am a lifetime member and got a clearer picture by reading those articles.

6:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lastly, (then I will say no more on this topic) what you take for self-righteousness is my conviction about the gospel."

Which is to say that self-righteousness and conviction are two sides of the same coin.

1:54 AM

 
Blogger LDSwithSSA said...

I don't agree...you can have convictions without being self-righteous.

10:15 PM

 

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