Saturday, June 19, 2010
Mormon Doctrine: On Homosexuality
A recent post by Kurt discussed the entry on Homosexuality in the Topical Guide of the LDS version of the scriptures. The church has been redefining its views publicly on homosexuality, maintaining that being attracted to the same sex is okay until you physically act on it. However, if you look up Homosexuality in the Topical Guide, it refers you to the topic of Sexual Immorality.
When I was growing up I often turned to Bruce R. McConkie's Mormon Doctrine for guidance. Happily that book is going out of print and will no longer be carried by Deseret Book (a similar fate would be ideal for Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness).
If you look up "Homosexuality" in Mormon Doctrine, the only entry states: "Homosexuals. See Sex Immorality".
I remember as a youth struggling with masturbation and turning to Mormon Doctrine to see how bad it really was. If you look up "Masturbation" in Mormon Doctrine you get: "Masturbation. See Sex Immorality."
The entry for Sex Immorality is long in Mormon Doctrine, so I will not reproduce it in its entirety. However, some of the gems include:
"Sex immorality is made up of offenses against God of all kinds and degrees. All are evil and damning in their nature"
"Every degree and type of lewdness, lasciviousness, and licentiousness; of concupiscence, prostitution, and whoredomes; of sodomy, onanism, and homosexuality; of masturbation, incontinence, and perversion; of rape seduction, and infidelity; of adultery, fornication, and uncleanliness - all these things, as well as many others, are condemned by divine edict and are among Lucifer's chief means of leading souls to hell."
[As a side note, homosexuality and masturbation are again placed next to each other. While I was looking for information on masturbation, I definitely got the message about the church's stance on homosexuality.]
"And now we desire with holy zeal to emphasize the enormity of sexual sins . . . They are destroying the world."
"We hold that sexual sin is second only to the shedding of inocent blood in the category of personal crimes"
I knew myself as a member of the righteous generation, saved to come forth in the latter-days, a bearer of the Holy Priesthood of God, to bring the world his truth. It was impossible to reconcile that I might be offensive to God, bringing destruction to the world, and nearly as bad as a murderer. There was NO way that I could be a homosexual, the thought was revolting.
I knew masturbation was wrong, but I clung to the statement that there were "all kinds and degrees" of sex immorality, and while masturbation was wrong, it was of a lesser degree. I could be forgiven for masturbation. I spoke to a very kind Bishop and he assured me that I could be forgiven for masturbating. Masturbation was something you did and you could be forgiven for sinning, but homosexuality was something you chose to be, turning your entire back on God - or so went my thoughts. You couldn't be forgiven for something you are.
I later learned that your ability to be called on a mission was in jeopardy if you participated in homosexual experimentation. I was always so grateful I hadn't given into temptations of homosexual experimentation (not that opportunities were abundant, but thoughts were frequent enough). Those thoughts, however, like desires to masturbate, were from Satan trying to lead me to hell and keep me from serving a mission, there was no way that such sinful desires could come from within myself. Ironically, homosexual desires were further evidence of my Divine Nature and the important role I had to play in God's plan, why else would Satan be working so hard against me? And my thoughts toward women were always of the most virtuous nature, of which I was quite proud, just another evidence of how righteous my spirit was.
It all seems a bit ironic now. . .