A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
User avatar
bridget_night
Posts: 877
Joined: 02 Mar 2009, 12:15

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by bridget_night » 06 Oct 2014, 15:05

Oh, and this idea that gays are sexually attracted to everyone of their same sex is ridiculous as straights being attracted to all of the opposite sex and wanting to [have sex with everyone].

Roy
Posts: 5977
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Roy » 07 Oct 2014, 09:26

bridget_night wrote: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.
bridget_night wrote:Oh, and this idea that gays are sexually attracted to everyone of their same sex is ridiculous as straights being attracted to all of the opposite sex and wanting to [have sex with everyone].
I agree Briget that it is simply not that simple.

On the one hand - living an essentually asexual life could be an escape from the world of "When are you going to start dating/getting married/having kids?" It puts all that on hold for 2 years.

On the other hand - I can't imagine having a reasonably attractive, nice, funny, female companion and not develop feelings of some sort for her. For me it is just a matter of proximity, duration, and hormones. As it was I remember being attracted to certain sister missionaries in our district. I didn't act on these attractions of course and nobody was harmed by them. Perhaps that is the point - even if attractions to certain individuals did develop - so what!?!? Young people will be attracted to each other. Can we not deal with that?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
West
Posts: 215
Joined: 26 Aug 2014, 14:42

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by West » 07 Oct 2014, 20:28

Definitely not disagreeing that it's a silly mindset to imply that gays would be automatically attracted to everyone of the same sex, and that attraction automatically causes problems. If that were the case, they'd have to do quite a whole lot more gender segregation to keep all of those with opposite-sex attraction in line. ;) Speaking from what I know and see of the overall mindset of the church regarding matters of attraction and temptation, though, Francoise's info makes sense about why church leaders would ask about same-sex attraction in a pre-missionary interview in that it's pretty in line with how the overall culture thinks right now.

And with that insight in mind, we definitely still have a long way to go. But it's getting better.
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

Kipper
Posts: 291
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Kipper » 19 Oct 2014, 13:05

Roy wrote: ... As it was I remember being attracted to certain sister missionaries in our district. I didn't act on these attractions of course and nobody was harmed by them. Perhaps that is the point - even if attractions to certain individuals did develop - so what!?!? Young people will be attracted to each other. Can we not deal with that?
Wouldn't it take on a different level of discipline if two or more were rooming together for many weeks?

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16757
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Oct 2014, 15:48

Not really, kipper - since no discipline would occur unless something happened sexually, and that happens even when people aren't rooming together for an extended period of time.

Also, straight people aren't attracted to everyone of the opposite sex - and, even if a straight person is attracted to someone, s/he doesn't act on it automatically (at the very least unless both are attracted to each other, and, often, not even then). The same is true of gay and lesbian people. Of course, the likelihood of something happening increases with the possibility of mutual attraction, but I love what Roy said, modified slightly:
People will be attracted to each other (including old people in nursing homes). Can we not deal with that?
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
turinturambar
Posts: 303
Joined: 29 Mar 2012, 16:03

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by turinturambar » 19 Oct 2014, 16:48

My mission was one of the easiest times in my life in regards to controlling sexual attractions, and I know I'm not alone in this. My homosexual feelings were at their lowest point in my life since puberty. What you may not be considering is that gay Mormons have a lot of practice at suppressing sexual thoughts and energies. Unlike straight teens whose feelings are encouraged, there just is no place for same sex attractions in young Mormon culture. Emotional dependency, however, can happen, and did to me for a couple of my companions.

I have to admit I've rolled my eyes several times as I've followed this discussion. I guess I kind of understand where this fear is coming from, but it just strikes me as ridiculous (Just like those parents who are terrified that their sons might be on a campout and have to share a tent with a gay person! Lord have mercy!)

I mean no disrespect, but come on.

The theme of gay missionaries has been explored in cinema, however: Latter Days and The Falls being two recent examples. I think both of the films were written by RMs who ended up leaving the church to get some peace in their lives. Both are rated R. These cases are very rare. There are many gay missionaries who have great experiences, and for whom their missions were a welcome respite from the expectations to date and marry.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

(New Testament | 1 Corinthians 13:2‎)‎

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16757
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Oct 2014, 18:47

There are many gay missionaries who have great experiences, and for whom their missions were a welcome respite from the expectations to date and marry.


That is both profound and sad. Our culture is really messed up when it comes to this issue. It's getting better, slowly, but it's still messed up.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Kipper
Posts: 291
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Kipper » 19 Oct 2014, 18:51

I see what you're saying Ray but I think anybody would need more self discipline if they were rooming, eating, conversing and laughing with and dressing near somebody of the opposite OR same sex for a period of time if that sex were the orientation they were attracted to. Many straight men don't need to be in love to have those desires, is it different for gays? Different for missionaries? "s/he doesn't act on it automatically (at the very least unless both are attracted to each other, and, often, not even then)." Is this something we should depend on in real life on a mission? I think no, even if your answer may be different.

I also mean no disrespect turinturambar but why is it so ridicules for a parent be concerned about their child sharing a tent with a gay person? Unless maybe they know that person as well as a sibling or cousin or is a good friend, I think that could make a difference. It's not a judgmental thing, is it possible that a gay scout would not need to exercise the same control that a straight scout tenting with a female? It's not judgmental to remove the temptation. I want to be open and sensitive and learn more but at the same time I want to be realistic and not avoid facts and questions that may be not PC.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16757
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Oct 2014, 19:07

Yes, we ought to depend on teaching our members self-control in handling physical attractions.

Also, outside of rape or other sexual assault, sexual activity of any kind is going to happen only for two people who are attracted to each other. The analogy of a boy and a girl in the same tent only works if 1) that boy and girl are attracted to each other and both lack self-control (since, for example, my wife and I dated for two years before my mission, were alone a lot and never crossed any lines that would require confession or repentance), and 2) you are comparing it to two people of the same sex who are homosexual AND attracted to each other. One gay youth and one straight youth does not a risk create, since there will be no mutual attraction - and, in our current climate, the straight youth is more likely to be a danger to the gay youth than vice-versa, unfortunately.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
turinturambar
Posts: 303
Joined: 29 Mar 2012, 16:03

Re: A Simple but Important Step: Homosexuality and Missions

Post by turinturambar » 19 Oct 2014, 19:12

Hi Kipper.

I guess it would help me if I knew exactly what you fear will happen if a gay scout is in the same tent as your son?
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

(New Testament | 1 Corinthians 13:2‎)‎

Locked