A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

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Curt Sunshine
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A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Curt Sunshine » 23 Sep 2014, 14:01

A friend of mine works for BYU and shared the following today:
This was interesting - from the church's guidelines for the psychological assessment/screening of missionary candidates, on homosexuality:
"In the past, this has been classified by the APA as a disorder. Later it was declassified as a disorder, only listed if issues were experienced as a Gender Identity Disorder. Professional associations no longer classify homosexuality as a disorder, nor does the Missionary Department."
Another section discusses the problem of perfectionism, and how some missionaries can become obsessed with obeying the letter of the law, and it can interfere with their functioning as missionaries.


We still have a long way to go, institutionally, but I was happy to read this.
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DarkJedi
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by DarkJedi » 23 Sep 2014, 19:46

I agree, Ray, another step forward and another tiny course correction for the church ship.

My son and I have had some strict obedience conversations. His MP pounds it home regularly - almost every newsletter. I sent my son the article from the July Ensign by Elder Gong https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/07/youn ... t?lang=eng and pointed out to him the specific part speaking to missionaries. I think my son's MP is a good man, and I think he's more liberal than many other mission presidents. But I also think this constant message of strict obedience is psychologically damaging to young men who are in a very stressful environment for their ages to begin with. We cannot do strict obedience - none of us can, that's why we need the atonement, and that's what's lacking from the strict obedience message. There's promises of all kinds of blessings (which don't necessarily come) but no mention of mercy and grace for those who fail - and they all fail to some extent or feel as though they have because the promised blessings don't come. [end rant]
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NewLight
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by NewLight » 23 Sep 2014, 19:50

Definitely a step in the right direction. Glad to hear it.

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West
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by West » 23 Sep 2014, 21:26

Very true that we have a long way to go. But also true that the acknowledgement step is necessary. Recognizing something for what it is, is the surest way to proper change, because it opens the door. Maybe just a tiny crack, but still, an open door is an open door.
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by church0333 » 24 Sep 2014, 18:13

So what does the missionary department do? If someone has SS tendencies or feelings is it noted anywhere. Would it be acceptable for a mission president to assign two Elders or Sisters to be companions if both has SS attraction? All interesting questions.

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West
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by West » 28 Sep 2014, 17:56

I am in the process of turning in mission papers and have met with my bishop several times over the past few weeks. Our stake president has apparently passed along a list of questions to the bishops to ask prospective missionaries during the application process. I have no idea if it's a church-wide thing or just our stake, but it sounded like just our stake. If I remember correctly, one of the questions was about whether or not the prospective missionary has ever experienced same-sex attraction. I'm not sure what the bishop or the stake president does with the answers. It seemed to be the first time my bishop had ever seen the questions, actually. Thought it was interesting to pass along here.
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SilentDawning
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by SilentDawning » 28 Sep 2014, 19:41

I was reading a book about introverts the other day, and at one time, introversion was also listed as a disorder in medical compendiums. I believe it's no longer considered a disorder, which is welcoming. I'm glad homoesexuality is not considered a disorder any longer in this statement!
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Francoise2900
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Francoise2900 » 04 Oct 2014, 17:48

Regarding a question about same-sex attraction in a Stake-level pre-mission interview: that question is prompt possible followup to find out how the missionary is doing now. I heard it explained that a faithful member headed for a mission might be placed in a position of too much pressure or conflict if they are living 24-hrs with someone of the same gender. Outside of the mission they have more choice in their associations and how they handle situations. It's not so much a "worthiness" question as an "appropriateness" question--"Is a mission a good idea?"

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West
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by West » 06 Oct 2014, 11:39

Francoise2900 wrote:Regarding a question about same-sex attraction in a Stake-level pre-mission interview: that question is prompt possible followup to find out how the missionary is doing now. I heard it explained that a faithful member headed for a mission might be placed in a position of too much pressure or conflict if they are living 24-hrs with someone of the same gender. Outside of the mission they have more choice in their associations and how they handle situations. It's not so much a "worthiness" question as an "appropriateness" question--"Is a mission a good idea?"
That makes all the sense. Thank you very much for the insight.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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bridget_night
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Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by bridget_night » 06 Oct 2014, 15:03

I know quite a few gay RM's that said that their same-sex attraction was not a problem on their missions. They were not open or out about it then. But, Infact, they had less same sex attraction on their missions and enjoyed the mission they said. Their biggest fear was coming home and being pushed to date the opposite sex and get married. They did not even want to come home. Now, I did have a bi-sexual companion on my mission who hit on me once but we talked it out and she was so embarrassed and felt bad about it and quickly forgave her. My gay son turned down going on a mission because of the stigma he said he would feel from others if it got out.

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