Wednesday, December 2, 2015

More Mormon Gay Q & A

What do I do when a gay person or couple comes to church? What if they have kids?

This is a question I got last week, and I am glad for it. For many of us -- many of us who are gay and Mormon -- the question seems naive. But there are well intention-ed members who are fearful that they are going to make a mistake. So, here goes...

Long answer: Peter, the prophet of the Church after the Savior’s ascension, received revelation that the gospel is for all mankind. “...He that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts 10:34 - 35

Gay people should be treated exactly as everyone else -- as long as we currently treat others with love and respect. If we do not then this is a bigger problem than gay people sitting next to you in church. 

In order to step outside ourselves and act as the Savior would, we need to develop genuinely personal and caring relationships with those we meet. And to meet them we need to start by introducing ourselves and offering a hand. They are our family. They are our friends. Or they are the family and friends of people we know and love. We ask that they not judge us and we, in turn, do not judge them. Disciples of Christ need to have genuine charity for one another. 

Practically, we should have someone at the door to the chapel to greet and pay special attention to any newcomer or guest. If this does not come easily, then we should role play until speaking to people we do not know becomes more natural. If I may be so bold, reverence be damned: Say hello to the people around you. 

Are there children involved?  Offer to show them where the primary or young men -- young women meet. Just like we would do with anyone else.

"...We need to reach out and extend our friendship to others regardless of whether they are interested in the gospel or not. We must not be too selective in identifying those we feel are worthy or appreciative of our attention. The spirit of true Christian fellowship must include everyone. Our understanding of the gospel should help us see clearly that all people are our brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father."
 -- M. Russell Ballard

Whether or not they are interested in the gospel, we should show unconditional love through how we act and what we say. The Son of God -- the Savior of all mankind -- loves all men. He looks to each one of us to do the same.

Short answer. Gay people have been coming to church for years. Years. You tell me, how you have treated them?

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