Fireside Call and Response

I will go item-by-item and comment on them. I will give my thoughts that I had as he said them as well as those I have had in my re-listening to his talk. First a brief refresher of his point and then my counter point.

1.     1. God Loveth His Children took 5 years and outside consultants to come up with the final pamphlet
a.     This brings into question the validity of this pamphlet as “revelation” as many point it to be. Asking outside sources and spending 5 years to write the words seems like an awfully long time if it came direct from Heavenly Father. I am not saying it isn’t possible, just unlikely. That also doesn’t meant he pamphlet isn’t important and crucial, just perhaps it isn’t revelation.
2.     2. Same-Gender Attraction is a Sanctifying process for the church and members with it.
a.     In regards to the church, this make it seem as if I am the man blind form birth standing here in my position solely for the world to learn a lesson from. It kind of sucks looking at it like that, and worse if I have to suffer so that “a whole nation doesn’t dwindle in unbelief.”
3.     3. The wrong question is “Am I happy?” or “Can I have what I want?” The right question is “How can I become like Christ?”
a.     I agree that those are the wrong questions. I think that may be the right question, but for me it became, “Lord, What would you have me do?”
4.     4. There is no pill to cure homosexuality
a.     Amen!
5.     5. For some people individual effort, the spirit and other things help some people, for some people it doesn’t
a.     His comment was put in quotes before for a reason. He said that for some people the feelings diminish dramatically and in some cases almost go completely away. To me this seems like a very small percentage of success, and only after tweaking the definition of success a bit.
6.     6. People are distinctly unique in their trials, lives, situations and experiences
a.     I completely agree, and even think that different individuals can have varying positions within this same issue. Some may feel that they can and should marry a wife, others to live alone, and some, like me, to search for a husband. I honestly believe that everyone has their own unique path in this life and as he said, “who are we to judge another’s path?”
7.     7. Same-gender attracted members can serve in any calling, and should
a.     Amen!
8.     8. Everyone is a Child of God and we would do well to remember that
a.     Amen!
9.     9. Silence is the greatest enemy
a.     I completely agree. This isn’t something that should be hidden or talked about in hushed conversations. I thank those who clearly call it out and discuss it openly. H/T to Carl for boldly mentioning this blog and my blogroll in Institute.
This post is already pretty long, so I will respond to the questions tomorrow.
  • Troy

    Way to go David! You are amazing.

  • Matt Algren

    Hey David, just found your blog. Can't wait to read more.

    (You might remember me from DC in October at the Faith & LGBT Forum.)

  • A Gay Mormon Boy

    I was esp. curious about your responses to #1 and #3.

    I appreciate your take on #1. I wasn't aware of the history of the pamphlet until he mentioned it, raising the flags you pointed out in your own response.

    As far as #3, those are both great questions and an inquiry-based life is neurotically well-lived.

  • austin

    #1 – I see what you're saying, but I have to disagree with the premise. The Book of Mormon and many revelations in the D&C were revised and/or extended after their first publication, in some cases significantly. The 1890 Manifesto went through at least one draft a few months before it was published. I don't think that written revelation has to come like Moses stone tablets–written directly by the hand of God. Struggling, wrestling, and revising can lead to just as inspired writing, in my opinion. However, I end up agreeing with your main point about the pamphlet not being "revelation"–it is the church's current literature on the subject, it has never been presented as anything more than that, and it is just as likely to change as the church's literature on homosexuality from the 70's did.

    #5 – I think the sleight-of-hand that is often committed by Evergreen types is emphasizing the possibility for change out of proportion to how often it actually works. I have no reason to doubt that there are people who did experience SSA and after a lot of hard work and faith etc etc it has diminished or disappeared. However, it seems that that is very much the exception, and Evergreeners seem to always mention "change change!" first and only tack on at the end the realistic footnote: "Of course, for some people those feelings won't go away."

    I second all your amens, and thanks so much for this whole series!

  • David Baker-@DB389

    @Troy
    Thanks!
    @Matt Algren
    I do remember you, welcome
    @GMB
    To me #1 was the most revealing information I had heard. #3 is most definitely a good way to live.
    @austin
    #1 I agree that my premise is weak, and I believe I mentioned it implicitly. there is a lot about the Church-wide revelation process that we don't fully know. I am adamant about calling the revelatory nature of the pamphlet into question because so many people I have talked with have assured me that it is revelation and should be taken as scripture. My Bishop stated as such one time and I am fairly certain that Bro. Pruden has a similar view of it.
    #5 I agree completely and just want to add what my Institute teacher mentioned last night because all too often the attitude of "everyone can do it" leads to "you're just not trying hard enough"

    "The bottom circle of Hell in Mormon's Dante is reserved not for traitors like Judas and Brutus, but for the people who tell you that all you need to get over your problem is to try harder and then when that fails they let you know its because you didn't try hard enough."