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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sexual orientation is not a disqualifying factor

Two days ago, the Boy Scouts of America approved a policy change that will allow gay young men to participate in Scouting. In its official response to this vote, the Church said:

"As the Church moves forward in its association with the Boy Scouts of America, Church leaders will continue to seek the most effective ways to address the diverse needs of young people in the United States and throughout the world.... As in the past, the Church will work with BSA to harmonize what Scouting has to offer with the varying needs of our young men."

Who are these gay young men the Boy Scouts are now welcoming? They are young men who maintain high moral standards while experiencing feelings of same sex attraction.


1.

BSA Resolution: "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."

LDS Church repy: "Sexual orientation has not previously been—and is not now—a disqualifying factor for boys who want to join Latter-day Saint Scout troops."


2.

BSA Resolution: "Any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting."

LDS Church repy: "Willingness to abide by standards of behavior continues to be our compelling interest. These standards ... include abstinence from sexual relationships. We remain firmly committed to upholding these standards."


3.

The Church recognizes that there are young men in the Church who frankly acknowledge having feelings of same sex attraction but who nevertheless maintain priesthood standards of behavior. Church leaders are saying these gay young men should be made to feel welcome at all youth activities, including Scouting:

LDS Church statement: "The Church’s long-established policy for participation in activities is stated in the basic instructional handbook used by lay leaders of the Church: ‘young men … who agree to abide by Church standards' are 'welcomed warmly and encouraged to participate.'"


Conclusion

The Church's web site at MormonsAndGays.org is titled, “Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction.” The second paragraph of that web page contains this thought:

"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."

It is time for all members of the Church to recognize that same sex attraction exists and that the attraction itself is not a sin. In addition, all members of the Church must choose how to respond to fellow members who experience these attractions.

9 Comments:

Blogger R. Gary said...

I've used the same comment policies for more than eight years now. They have served me well and they will be strictly enforced on this thread.

5/25/2013 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger DavidH said...

Thank you Gary. Amen and amen.

5/25/2013 04:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

The real battle is ahead, whether the BSA allows openly gay leaders. I don't have an opinion either way, but if a heterosexual man is not allowed to lead a group of young women and go camping with them, then it seems that the same should apply to homosexual men and boy scouts. But the fight will go on and on until the gay lobby gets its way.

5/27/2013 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Dave: Speaking specifically about gays and lesbians, Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church." (Ensign, Nov. 1998.)

With that in mind, consider this account of Neil L. Andersen's friend whose trial of faith is same sex attraction:

-------------- quote --------------
"He hoped to have a family. His trial of faith: feelings of same-sex attraction. He wrote me recently: 'I am promised in my patriarchal blessing that I will have my own family someday. Whether that will occur in this life or the next, I do not know. But what I do know is that I don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize the blessings God has promised both me and my future posterity.... Living [the law of chastity] is a challenge, but did we not come to earth to confront challenges and to show God our love and respect for Him by keeping His commandments? I am blessed with good health, the gospel, a loving family, and loyal friends. I am grateful for my many blessings.'" (Ensign, Nov. 2012; bracketed words in the original.)
-------------- end quote --------------

As long as he remains temple worthy, do you really think the Church (or the gay lobby) cares what this friend of Neil L. Andersen does in Boy Scouts?

5/27/2013 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous John W. Redelfs said...

Gary, I agree with everything you wrote, but you skipped over some things I feel are of greater importance.

For me the question isn't about unchastity, it is about the messages we send. This change in policy will be misunderstood. Many will think, "The Church is coming our way. Gay isn't as bad as I thought it was.' Anything that reduces the horror and loathing of unchastity of any kind will encourage more unchastity. And this policy change will do that. It will encourage gay behavior by making immoral behavior seem more acceptable and normal. And that will weaken our families.

Further it will embolden and reinvigorate the satanic gay rights movement who will feel their grassroots organizing forced the Church and the BSA to do this. It will speed up their project to normalize gay behavior and gain acceptance for gay people whether they are practicing or not.

The old policy was just fine. There was no reason to change it

5/29/2013 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Thank you, John, for visiting. I keep remembering that this is God's Church and its membership is growing in numbers as well as in faithfulness. Yes, the forces of evil are also on the increase and battles between the two will become more and more intense as the end approaches. However, as Joseph Fielding Smith testified, "If this were the work of man, it would fail, but it is the work of the Lord, and he does not fail."

Joseph Fielding Smith also promised this: "Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord."

5/29/2013 08:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Gary,

"As long as he remains temple worthy, do you really think the Church (or the gay lobby) cares what this friend of Neil L. Andersen does in Boy Scouts?"

Perhaps we need to better define what it means to be openly gay. Does openly gay refer to someone who has had one, two, three, or more same-sex attraction feelings, and admits it? It is too difficult to adequately define "openly gay" if the only criteria is feelings of same-sex attraction. I prefer an alternate definition which is that being openly gay means being an active homosexual and being proud of it.

I don't mind having a scout leader who struggles with feelings of same-sex attraction, but lives the law of chastity, lead my boy scout son. But I don't want a flaming, active homosexual leading my boy scout son.

5/29/2013 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

Dave,

If we're going to play the definitional game and throw out stereotypes, what exactly does a "flaming, active homosexual" who meets LDS and BSA standards look like? If I need to be on guard for such a person, I'd like to know.

/sarcasm off/

Jon

6/02/2013 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Jon,

A in-your-face flaming homosexual is hard to define, but I know one when I see one. Most gay people I have know don't flaunt their sexuality. They just lead normal lives like the rest of us.

6/04/2013 07:55:00 AM  

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