Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dinner And a Movie

Heterosexuals Timmy and Tamara are good friends. The go out to movies and to dinners. They like each other. They consider each other the best-est of friends.

Okay, they are a little too old to be considering each other their BFFs, but you get the point. Timmy’s mother, Mrs. Tim thinks the relationship is a bit weird. She often gives Tamara the evil eye and makes remarks about Tamara’s habit of drinking diet coke incessantly and wearing too much eye shadow.

Tamara at one time thought her relationship with Timmy should move into something romantic, but it just never worked out that way. Timmy thought the same thing to, but again – timing is everything. For various reasons, they choose to remain good friends without benefits.

Should Mrs. Tim chill out and let the relationship be? Can T and T enjoy what they have keeping this relationship alive and active without marring or having sex?

Is it appropriate for two heterosexuals to enjoy appropriate, non-sexual relationships for the duration of their single lives?

Sam and Sandy are two men who like movies and eating as well. They accompany each other to shows and have dinners in restaurants and once went to a futbol game. Futbol, not football – but they would have gone to football if there had been tickets available. They like each other and enjoy each other’s company.

Sams Mother, Mrs. Samuel thinks is a bit odd – Sam and Sandy’s relationship. She makes comments behind Sandy’s backs making fun of his corduroys and boots. Sam likes Sandy and thought about changing the relationship, but decided against it. He even talked it over with Sandy once. They agreed it was probably better they not make theirs a sexual relationship for various reasons, but they still want to stay close.

Should Mrs. Samuel but out? Can Sam and Sandy stay friends; keep their jobs and church positions?

Do we allow homosexuals the same moral privileges we allow heterosexuals?

Here is a scripture reference from today's sundayschool lesion I taught.

1 And it came to pass... that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul...
3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

From what I understand, this love that was shared was not sexual in any way - David later marries Jonathan's sister and loves her. Do I think they may have hugged? Would we look at that as weird if it was done today?

So, let’s throw that into the mix. Let’s add physical affection as in holding hands or an affectionate kiss good-bye. Is there such thing as a non-sexual kiss? Would we freak out as a people to see two men being physically affectionate? Not sexually, but physically? For us, is there a difference?

If sex between men is considered wrong, have we created a place in the Mormon church for affection?

When I was on my mission in central America, we saw two young men walking down the road arm in arm - and I mean wrapped up. One of them carried a normal one-person umbrella. Oh, and it was raining. I said, joking, that they must really like each other. My companion answered, "Or they just want to stay dry".

In the LDS church, are current teachings, standards and especially opinions such that would allow a wholesome relationship to exist between any men regardless of their sexuality?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Hill of the Lord, or I Have The Power!

Gideon was the son of Joash, the Abiezrite. He was literally picked from the wheat fields by the servant of the lord who called him a mighty man of valor and told him he possessed the spirit of the lord. And then sat under a tree for some time. It was hot.

Gideon responded to the servant with an honest question, “If the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where be His miracles which our fathers told us of…”

In my personal dealing with SGA, I have had the same question. If the Lord is with us, as claim the latter-day prophets, where are the miracles? Wouldn’t a terrific and timely miracle for me in my life be the taking away of unwanted feelings of SGA?

The servant spoke for the Lord and said to Gidion, “…have not I sent thee?“

Gideon, at the direction of the lord proceeded to defeat the Midianites -the oppressors of the Israelites. He did so even though he was the least of his father’s house, and he did so without utilizing the collective armies of Israel at his disposal who numbered over twenty two thousand as was expected, but with 300 men chosen by Gideon at the command of the lord. The other solders of Israel went back to their tents to literaly to wait it out.

The Israelites or a small choice remnant of the Israelites were successful because the lord backed them up. He gave them, through Gideon their leader, power. With that power and authority, deliberately few in numbers “they stood every man in his place.” It should be mentioned that they, in a very stage-y move, performed alongside lit lanterns and played instruments – trumpets in this case – in and of itself quite musical and theatrical. (Judges 6:22)

The job was done.

The oppressive Midianites were defeated. It was not done through the conventional wisdom of current warfare. This miracle was arranged through experience, priesthood power & authority, and a higher knowledge of the living God.

And having good lighting, a director that was in tuned into the moment, and 300 armed musical theatre enthusiasts may have helped as well.