Saturday, March 1, 2014

Teachable Moment: Homosexuality

Before we begin this little teachable moment, I want to emphasize the church's stand on homosexuality. This quote is taken directly from the church's website www.mormonsandgays.org:

"The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters."

So, gays are also children of God and require a kind word and attitude when we have moments with our children that require attention to same-sex attraction.

I was sitting at the table with our sweet daughter eating lunch. Here is our conversation:
A: When I grow up, I want to marry a boy, not a girl!
M: (First, I have to say I was surprised she even came up with this because I have no idea where she got the idea she might marry a girl). That's a good goal. Why do you want to marry a boy?
A: Because I'm supposed to marry a boy.
M: Well, Heavenly Father did make it so that to have babies, you need a dad and a mom. Part of His plan is for us to have a family.
A: I want a family with three babies.
M: That's another good goal.

Note: I did NOT say anything negative about homosexuality. I did not tell her she should never marry a girl. I reiterated God's plan for her, but did not say anything that would put down homosexuals. This attitude will hopefully allow her to grow up knowing the Plan of Salvation, but also having kindness for those who may not be able to follow that plan. Also, if she ever has homosexual feelings, she knows that I will listen to her and be open to hearing how she is feeling. If you put down homosexuals or have a negative attitude toward them, your children will be afraid to come to you with this problem if they experience it. You NEED them to be able to come to you so you can be a good support system as they struggle with a unique temptation.

This is a way of looking at homosexuality that may put it into perspective:
What is your favorite sin (the one that's so hard to get rid of)? It could be judging, gossiping, cheating, lying etc..... We'll choose an easy one for this example - cheating.
Now, when you are tempted to cheat, are you a sinner? NO! You pray and gain strength from Heavenly Father to be able to withstand the temptation. When you ACTUALLY cheat, you are a sinner.
When a homosexual is tempted with same-sex attraction, are they a sinner? NO! They need lots of support and love to help them withstand the temptation.

Now, imagine your sexual attraction and desires. They are pretty strong, right? If you are married, and most of you reading this are, imagine NEVER being able to act on those desires. The sins of homosexuality and fornication are pretty much the same (check True to the Faith - if you look up homosexuality, it refers you to chastity. If you look up fornication, it refers you to chastity). I have a lot of empathy for those who have these strong sexual desires and are never able to share that experience, like homosexuals and single individuals. If they have sinned, can you possibly see why? You are able to have sexual release.They aren't. Treat them as a child of God, in your language and attitude. Expect that your child will follow God's plan, but don't ever tell them they should never be homosexual - "not in MY house." They need to know that you are there for them, no matter what their trial and temptation in this life.

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