Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Mormon Myth's and truths #10

I think this is the longest I have gone without posting on my blog--now I have some catching up to do.  I missed 2 Monday Mormon posts--and have received a few emails asking about why?  Oh, where to even start...... let's just say I have been on a mini vacation after this last mini stroke.  I will talk more about that later this week.

My question for this Monday Mormon  Myth's and Truths was this:

Do Mormon Leaders Practice Celibacy?

ANSWER:  Let's hope not, I would have to say NO NO NO

While we as Latter Day Saints believe in controlling our appetites and passions,  living a celibate lifestyle would go against our belief that God's plan for His children, and the purpose of life centers on marriage and family.  So to be frank with you, not only do Mormons get married, but all of our leaders, bishops, apostles and prophets can, do and are encouraged to marry and have children.  The scriptures read "For Marriage is ordained of God unto man.....that the earth might answer the end of its creation"

Next question, I've received several email about

What is the Mormon view on Homosexuality?

ANSWER: We believe that people with same sex attraction are children of God, they are loved by Him and are of infinite worth, just like all of God's children.  However, Mormons believe homosexuality is contrary to the physical and spiritual purpose of human sexuality, which we also believe are closely tied to the creation of children by a man and a woman withing a marriage.
The expectation of sexual abstinence outside of marriage is the same for all Mormons, regardless of whether they face homosexual or same-gender attraction.  Although the LDS Church has no official
position on the causes of same gender attraction, LDS theology teaches that each person has the power to control their own behavior.
In our opinion there is a difference between same-gender attraction, and same-gender action.  As long as a member with same-gender feelings lives the moral standards of the LDS religion, they are welcome to--and do, worship, serve, attend, and participate fully in the Church.
I want to clarify what the difference between same gender-attraction and same-gender action is.
There is an official LDS church pamphlet on homosexuality, God Loveth His Children, Church leaders have said this "Attractions alone do not make you unworthy.  If you avoid immoral thoughts and actions, you have not transgressed even if you feel such an attraction.  The first presidency stated:
"There is a distinction between immoral thoughts and feelings and participating in either immoral heterosexual or any homosexual behavior"
In the official handbook church leaders have said "If members feel same gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior, they may hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances."
 Jesus loved all people, even when He did not support or agree with their behavior, like the woman taken in adultery (John 8: 3-11) The LDS people should be striving to do their best, and the same as the Savior did.  Regarding issues of homosexuality and same-gender marriage, we are encouraged to reach out with understanding and respect to individuals who struggle with same gender-attraction.

This next part is coming from ME Monya, not from any handbook or official "MORMON" rules.
When I was 29 I was faced with some demons, the memories of my childhood.  I had never discussed it with anyone, including my husband.  These demons were effecting my marriage and my relationships with people, my level of trust was on the down slide when it came to men and intimacy.
One night in a rage of fear I verbally attacked my husband and accused him of things that were simply not true.  Eventually, I was able to go to my bishop and tell him about my childhood and some of the things that had transpired during the course of my life up until that time.  He encouraged me to face the issue and talk to my husband about it.
 Over the next year, this wise bishop encouraged me to face these demons and question the perpetrator.  I did, after much prayer, fasting and discussion I finally did it, I was under the impression that all would be solved, that once I faced the man who had done these things to me, that he would look at me and say "I'm so sorry, I've been waiting for this to come up, I need to repent"  Eric, being the wise man that he is said "Monya, please do not think that all is well or going to go as smoothly as you think, be prepared for the rejection"  I was shocked when I was told "I don't remember doing those things to you"  to make this very long story shorter, I ended up being devastated by his re-action, no feeling, no memory, nothing, just "so what do you want me to do now?"  Needless to say I was able to find a therapist who happened to be a Mormon bishop, at the time I felt it was necessary for me to be able to talk freely about my beliefs and needed someone to actually HEAR what I was saying.  I was asked by this therapist to join a group therapy with all women who had been abused, it was a small group of us I think only 6 or 7.  One of the women in the group was younger than me, had served a mission and was attending the Temple on a regular basis, she also held a position in her ward young women's organization.  She was abused by a cousin growing up, she had never discussed it with anyone (text book behavior) after weeks and months of getting to know her, I adored her, I could not believe she was not married.  In our sessions we were allowed to openly ask questions to each other and try to understand and help each other with our struggles.  I asked her about why she was not married, her response was that she had been engaged a couple of times but could not bring herself to marriage, because she was a lesbian.  I remember thinking "WHAT? this does not make any sense, how can a beautiful, intelligent, worthy member of the church be a lesbian?" So I asked the therapist, his response changed my thoughts and feelings for same gender attraction and I will never forget it.
 He asked her why she thought she was a lesbian, and her response was because she could not bring herself to even think of marrying a man after the abuse she had been through, having sexual relations with a man would never be possible. Then the therapist said "can you see yourself having sexual relations with a woman?" she said "no way, I just can't ever see myself being close to a man and I feel more comfortable around women, if I could live with a woman and have someone to talk to for the rest of my life I would be happy to never have sex"  He said "you are a worthy woman, you have done nothing wrong, the Lord is the only one who knows your pain, he is the only judge of what you can and cannot handle, but if you ever acted upon those sexual feelings with another woman that would be considered same gender action, until then you are worthy of every blessing the Lord has to offer"
I have several friends who have children that struggle with same gender attraction, some have acted upon it and some struggle with it but remain steadfast and immovable when it comes to their faith and HOPE in God.  I did not keep in touch with this beautiful young woman, so I am not quite sure how her journey is going, but I do know, none of us have the right to judge any person who is struggling with same gender attraction, it is a real and emotional struggle for families who are living with it.  I am grateful that WE THE PEOPLE are not the final judge, only the Lord knows our struggles and only the Lord will be our judge.


Anonymous said...

There is a great website managed by the church that deals with this issue:

Monya Williams said...

thank you I was not aware of this website, I will look at it.