Thursday, July 30, 2015

The latest LDS-gay thing.

The current "thing" (I like current things -- especially when the thing is a change for the good) seems to be that gays are welcome into LDS church. Cool. One Bishop went so far as to call his congregation the house of friends.

Tangent: I am gay and I have been welcome in the church for years. Most people haven't advertised these personal issues until lately  - when every issue is Facebook-ed and social media-ed to death.

Fill 'er up

Let me state that again. Gay people are welcome to come to church. They are welcome to attend Sunday school and the auxiliary meetings as well as sacrament meeting. They are welcome to leave their kids at nursery -- like everyone else. Their teens are invited to attend young men’s, young woman’s, and primary as well.

One does not need to pass a temple recommend interview to participate in LDS services and activities. All sinners (keep yer pants on and keep reading) are allowed and welcome to come to the Mormon church. All of us are sinners. Therefore, come on down, every single one of you.

I am trying to look at this practically, and so I have this question: Will people come to church who aren’t looking for a temple recommend? The answer to that is yes. There are many in the church that are "active" in the day to day dealings of the church with out a recommend. There are many who need what the church has to offer without wanting to go to the temple. There are those who would like to eventually, but who are waiting to get their recommend signed on their own time. Some are'nt seeking one. Some choose to not follow the structure that would have to be followed in order to have their recommend signed: chastity, word of wisdom, tithing, regular attendance, or a number of things.

The message to the members of the church is that we accept all.  We invite all to come sit with us and worship the Savior. Whether or not one has a temple recommend is a deeply personal thing, and it is not my place or anyone elses to walk around and keep tally.

(As a FYI, there are jobs in the church that one does not need to pass a temple recommend interview for.)

Gays are welcome in the church. However, those who act on their homosexual inclinations are not allowed a temple recommend. In order for this to be clear, one has to understand that the LDS church differentiates between gay feeling and inclinations, and gay behavior.

Example: I have gay inclinations. I am attracted to men. I am gay. However, I currently -- and for the last 18 years -- have stayed away from gay behaviors.  I do not have sex with a man.

With this in mind, gay people are asked to follow the same structure outlined for everyone. A specific sexual orientation is not required, but being morally clean is.

It remains to be seen whether MoHo's, those so inclined and the sexually active, will choose to come to church. If they do, will they be welcomed?

I would hope so.  In my experience I always felt a little self-conscience when I was going to church as a disfellowshipped Mormon, or at times when I was actively not pursuing a temple recommend. Some may not feel welcomed. Our job, however, is to drop the judgement calls concerning others and to extend a hand to everyone.


  1. It's one thing for a bishop or for even the brethren to say that "all are welcome", it's another to make a person feel welcomed. The LDS church is a very lonely place if you are single. It is even worse when you are single and gay.