10 December 2010

ARG: Will Gays Turn Straight in the Afterlife?

As of recently, church leaders have started to suggest that gayness, like a handicap, will be "fixed" in the next life, and that we should await for that time in faith and righteousness. I'm not sure I believe this. My first argument is against the idea that anyone should be waiting or longing for death to experience love and intimacy. We should strive for those things in our lives here and now. But my other argument is that this idea doesn't seem to me to be inline with our doctrine. In Alma, it states that we are
"raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil."
Alma 41:5
When I read that, regardless of whether my desires to live as a gay man are desires of true happiness or true evil, I will retain those same desires in the next life. My desire to be with a man, that pull, will still be there. Later, in the same chapter (verses 12-13) it reads:
"And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature? O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful."
 Once again, I feel like these scriptures clearly state that my orientation, which, as Elder Wickman states, is a core characteristic, will not change in the next life. This is regardless of if the reader feels that I am evil in my desires or if they are righteous because either way, righteousness is restored to righteousness and that which is evil is restored to evil.

Furthermore, in D&C 130:2 it states:
"And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there."
What does this mean for our romantic interests? Say I am romantically involved with another man for 40 years until the day I die. If I were turned straight, how could the "same sociality" exist between us in the next life? And even if I never acted on my feelings, say I had a friendship with another gay man where even though we both longed to build a life together, we never did so that we could keep in line with what the church presently teaches. Would that longing to be together in that same way disappear? I think this scripture would argue against that.

Now, there is one question to consider. Say I died before I decided to accept my sexuality (which nearly happened) back when I would have gone to any length to rid myself of my homosexuality. Would God have changed me then? I don't know. If I hated my skin color or my eye color or the language I spoke or that fact that I was left handed (I'm not), would God change me? Ok, granted we don't consider these other things to be sins... anymore. Left-handed people used to be punished and forced to use their right hand in school as children. The prophets of our church used to teach that Blacks were cursed and that it was punishment. But maybe we should look at this another way...

What were the reasons I wanted to become straight? So people wouldn't think I was disgusting. So I wouldn't go to hell. So I could actually want a relationship with a girl. So I could be "normal." So I didn't have to feel ashamed anymore. Are these "desires of happiness, or good?" Or are these "desires of evil?" I guess it depends on if the reader believes there was something wrong in me in the first place. If it is wrong (even though it was by no choice or fault of my own), then maybe they were good desires, but they sure didn't bring any gleam or hint of happiness or hope. Instead those thoughts only led to depression and self-hate which I would argue are far from good, righteous desires. If there is nothing wrong with having these desires, if they are God-given, then it would be evil to seek to reject them. Given my experience in trying to reject it and the resulting thoughts and feelings that came from that, I would say that this fits. Trying to reject it was like slowly killing myself. The longer I forced it away, the more dead I became inside.

So in my opinion, based on the scriptures that I know and read and based on my own experiences with the subject matter, I would argue that no- I will not be turned straight after I am resurrected.


Abelard Enigma said...

Alma 34:33-34 also supports your case ("for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.")

When church leaders suggest we'll be "fixed" in the hereafter - I don't think they are talking to us. I believe they are addressing our straight family and friends to help them 'feel better' about our lot in life. It's 'feel good' doctrine, not unlike the belief some have they we chose our spouse and families in the pre-existance

El Genio said...

I agree, IMO the scriptures in Alma have always supported a much different take on this issue.

If you haven't read this already, JGW has a great post on what the next life might be like:


BLB said...

If it's such a "handicap", then gays should be treated in the same way they treat those with "special needs": Thus, gays would be exempt from baptism and wouldn't be accountable for any "acting out". Hmm, that actually sounds like a good idea.

Gay Mormon said...

@Abelard Enigma- Thanks for reminding us of that scripture! And I like you take on that. I think it is much more likely that what will be "fixed" are the attitudes and prejudices surrounding the issue.

@El Genio- I'll read that. THanks

@BLB- Exactly. I've always wondered how it can be considered a handicap or mental disorder and yet we would be condemned. People with mental handicaps are given a free ride right? Sounds great to me! But I know that this is not a mental handicap, and I also know I am not going to hell for being gay. Took me years to realize that I wasn't hell-bound.

Too Hard Headed to Give Up said...

It was interesting reading this. You used Alma to support you. For me, I was talking with a friend about the idea of resurrection and being gay. And I shared that I thought the idea that a gay person would be resurrected as straight is just offensive. Why would they want to have that changed? And then I burst into tears and thought, "There is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I want to be me."

That was a pretty big turning point in my life.
So, I guess what I am saying is that I agree with you. Completely.

Gay Mormon said...

@Too Hard Headed- It's true. And I didn't need Alma to tell me it wouldn't change... but I think other people do... the ones who think there is something wrong with me. My orientation is a core part of me. It isn't just one isolated trait that you can remove without it taking with it so much more. It is connected to all the things that make me the person I am.

Boris said...

@Too Hard Headed - I am in complete agreement: there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, or Gay Mormon, or me, or anyone else whose sexual orientation is gay (or lesbian or bisexual) or who is transgender. Our orientation is very much a part of our core being: we are who we are. Those who would have us hate ourselves for such "weakness" are, to be charitable, "mistaken" (and, more likely in my opinion, just plain nasty old men who want to continue to exercise their "spiritual power" over the lives of all those who are willing to grant them that authority).

Steven Lester said...

I know that a lot of you buy into the LDS concept of choice, but NDE experiencers would not agree with you. They know that both birth and death are full of mistakes, or situationally unplanned events. Almost always, those that die and visit heaven are told that they must return to all the pain and misery they have just left because it wasn't their time yet, and over and over heaven never expected them to arrive so soon, with some of the experiencers actually entering into seemingly longterm residence, until some official suddenly shows up, whispers to the guide showing them around, and then suddenly the experiencer disappears and is sent slamming back into their wretched bodies, usually being worked over by dedicated physicians. I think that birth is often the same way.

Now, before everybody gets all offended, hear me out. From where does our sexuality come from? From our spirits or our bodies? Our bodies is the answer. Somewhere or somehow in the mother our brain cells (of which WE are not) got screwed up. You know the old studies: Four sons born back to back will, by a third increase the chances of being gay, with the four son virtually guaranteed to be such; and the fact that identical twins will both be gay if one is, most of the time. Our bodies are ape bodies with brains composed of a structure formed over millions of years of evolution, from the reptilian brain stem to the human frontal cortexes. Mistakes happen, all the time, that were never intended.

But when we die and are then, later on, resurrected the new body will be completely normal and perfected by having our spirits energize it with spirit matter flowing through our veins (so said Joseph Smith and Brigham), so that we can do all the things that Christ could do after HE was resurrected, like walk through solid matter, eat, fly around, cloud other people's minds, and even more stuff like walk on water, etc. Part of this process will also allow us to be completely straight. We will then want to get married and have children of our own issue, to be raised in a near-perfect environment with a chained Satan.

What you are today is not what you will be after the Second Coming. Quit viewing the whole situation of being gay from just a mortal perspective. Mortality is nothing but temporary. All of your arguments are being made from this limited perspective, and so they become completely false after you die. We had no sexual feeling before being born, got them when we entered a body and grew up, and will lose them again after we die and go to Paradise. When we take up the body again it will be only straight. I'm sorry. There's no way around this doctrinally.

Steven Lester said...

Equally, in the name of justice, the fact that we are gay will be viewed as not our faults. We were what we were, and as long as we obeyed the minimally worded Law of Chastity, we can not be faulted for whatever we do sexually.

You know it as well as I do: no sexual relations outside of the bonds of marriage. The type of marriage is not specified. Civil marriages are as valid as Temple marriages, during mortality.

What can straight people do outside of the bonds of marriage? They can kiss each other and right on down the line to, well, you know what. So, could gay people. And even "that thing" alluded to with the initials AI does not break the meaning of sexual relationship because, as gross as it seems to me, it does not draw from heaven another pure spirit and put it into a body newly growing. Doctrine supports this to anybody who wants to look at it objectively.

And yes, the happiness and sadness that attends such activity will stay with you after you die in the form of memory, but the pull that caused it to happen will not. You'll still be gay in memory, but not in reality any longer after you die. None of you are bad people because you are gay during mortality, nor are the things you do with each other condemnable by the Law of Chastity. They simply do not go far enough to qualify, objectively.

Too Hard Headed to Give Up said...

Boris, You commented on my blog, but then deleted it. I wanted to reply. I am not offended in the least. I actually feel far more comfortable with the label homosexual than heterosexual... I'm still trying to sort things out. I really appreciate all of your comments - both here and on my blog. (...gerontocracy... lol!)

Steven, I thought about replying, but all I've got is: oh dear...

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