I have LGBT friends in the church that have chosen to go a different direction than the one making headlines this month. They are not getting married to same sex partners. They are members of the church in good standing. I fall into this boat.
I am trying to follow the prophet and keep my homosexuality in check. I married a woman (with full disclosure) I felt at the time - and still do - that it was the right decision for me and my spouse to marry. I stand my my decision.
I don't need affirmation from my friends, nor do my friends need my reassurance that they did the right thing. The Spirit of the Lord can give that confirmation. It is Him we should seek for guidance and direction.
This week I sent congratulations to my gay friends who will be getting married to their companions. I would also like to congratulate those in the LGBT communities who are Latter-day Saints and who wish to continue to obey the prophets -- prophets who speak for the Lord.
I don't usually quote people I don't know, but I would like to do so now. This gentleman has explained my thoughts better than I can come up with different words. Here are his words that I have edited for space and clarity. He is a gay Mormon who has chosen to remain in good standing with the church - meaning that he follows the "rules".
"To straight Latter-day Saints who -- though with good intentions -- choose to publicly support gay marriage:
You mean well, and do your best to show love to LGBT individuals. But for us it can seem like you’ve ignored your LGBT brothers and sisters within the Church in favor of supporting those without. It hurts us when:
- Our brothers and sisters in Christ flood our feeds with symbols of a life we’re fighting to forsake.
- People who don’t experience same-sex attraction take lightly the prophetic council that affects our lives and the thorn(s) in our side.
- When people we love try to show their love for us by supporting the voices that strive to undermine our eternal happiness with our Father in Heaven.
- For those who are open about their same-sex attraction, it hurts when (our) friends (who have been spared this trial) side with those opposing Church policy.
- Members who seek to cement our faith in the prophets and apostles.
- Members who will be brave and support unpopular policies set forth by the Brethren, not out of blind faith or bigoted arrogance, but out of pure testimony." --Joshua M Butler
Having quoted this, I cannot tell you how important it is to have direction from the Spirit in all things. (This is not an arbitrary thought stuck in at the end of an essay.)
I am just going to have to come out and say it. I have gay friends who have paired with one of their same sex and they feel that they did so with the blessing of the spirit.
A poor simile, but a simile nevertheless:
A prophet of the Lord was once commanded to kill a drunk in the street. Killing was against the law. The prophet followed the Lord and completed the task. The instruction to kill was not given to others, but to him alone. He complied with the will of the Lord.
One could say that Nephi murdered someone and deserves judgement. Or, one could say that because Nephi did as the spirit dictated he was not culpable, but obedient to the word of the Lord through his holy spirit.
I am not the judge of Nephi's actions. Neither are you. The spirit can confirm a correct action for an individual. He can be that specific. This begs the question:
Could Joe-gay-guy pray for guidance? Yes. Could he be led by the spirit? Yes. Could Joe go the the Lord in prayer and say that he has decided to marry Bob, adopt kids and start a family? Yes. Could the spirit tell him yes? Even though the general consensus is no, could Joe be told that this was a good move for him? I would be arrogant to say no.
The Spirit of the Lord would trump my opinion, just as he trumped the opinion of the people in Nephi's time. The world said "no" to murdering Laban. Yet the spirit told Nephi "yes".