Views on Homosexuality, within the early Church

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dande48
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Views on Homosexuality, within the early Church

Post by dande48 » 01 May 2017, 13:43

I was talking with a friend, who happens to be gay, and on the topic of "If you could time travel, where would you go?", he mentioned that he would like to ask Joseph Smith his stance on homosexuality. To be honest, I always assumed the Church has always considered it an abomination, but slowly softening its stance over the past decade or so. I tried to look up the views of early church leaders on Homosexuality, but couldn't find any.

The only thing I could find was D. Michael Quinn's "Same-Sex Dynamics among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A MORMON EXAMPLE", as well as the Church's response here: https://web.archive.org/web/20070808011 ... 280#note21. Quinn's claims felt like they were "reaching" at best; much like the historians who believe Jesus Christ, King David, or Abraham Lincoln were gay. But on the matter, it feels like they were mostly silent.

Have any of you come across anything that could've implied a more tolerant outlook to homosexuality, rather than a silent abhorrence? Or any record of early church leaders speaking on the topic?

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SamBee
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Re: Views on Homosexuality, within the early Church

Post by SamBee » 01 May 2017, 15:07

There was a nineteenth century member who dragged up.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: Views on Homosexuality, within the early Church

Post by Ray DeGraw » 01 May 2017, 15:30

Four things:

1) Quinn over-reached greatly in his work. I rarely support apologetics fully, but this is one case where I think the response is generally accurate regarding its criticism of his work - although I don't support its general view or tone about homosexuality.

2) The response is not from "the Church" if that is meant to be the church leadership. It is from the Maxwell Institute, a group at that time dedicated largely to apologetics. (I say "at that time" due to the recent shift under Blair Hodges to more proactive scholarship.) That is a minor point, perhaps, but it is an important one. The response absolutely was in line with the views of perhaps all of the top leadership at the time, however. (I say perhaps only because there might have been one or two apostles who would have responded differently, if asked privately.)

3) I think there is a lack of records about the issue from that time for the same reason there was a lack of understanding for so long about the number of people who were homosexual: being open about it was dangerous and even deadly.

4) The total lack of commentary by Joseph Smith about the subject makes me think he was opposed. He wasn't exactly close-minded or ultra-conservative when it came to sexual matters, and he was a reformer extraordinaire, so I think he would have written or spoken about it at some point if he differed from the societal norm significantly.
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

Roy
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Re: Views on Homosexuality, within the early Church

Post by Roy » 14 May 2017, 08:23

I am not particularly well versed in the subject but I did see an interview in which Bro. Quinn responded to some questions regarding his book. He seemed to be saying that the church was never tolerant of homosexual sex but that male-male intimacy (things like brotherly hugging or kissing as a greeting [like the French do]) was much more acceptable. It seemed that he was saying that showing platonic or brotherly or father/son affection was more culturally accepted back then.

That is related to but also different than discussions of homosexuality.
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dande48
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Re: Views on Homosexuality, within the early Church

Post by dande48 » 14 May 2017, 08:51

Roy wrote:
14 May 2017, 08:23
I He seemed to be saying that the church was never tolerant of homosexual sex but that male-male intimacy (things like brotherly hugging or kissing as a greeting [like the French do]) was much more acceptable. It seemed that he was saying that showing platonic or brotherly or father/son affection was more culturally accepted back then.
I wish that was more true now. My biggest problem with modern "sexual liberation", is how all affection and expressions of love seem to be condensed to sex. I even saw an article some time ago, that suggested Christ and his apostles were homosexual because of their expressions of love. To quote Flight of the Conchords,
Why can't a heterosexual guy tell a heterosexual guy that he thinks his booty is fly?

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SamBee
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Re: Views on Homosexuality, within the early Church

Post by SamBee » 14 May 2017, 16:05

Sexual liberation only works if you are attractive.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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