PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Is heterosexual marriage ever an option for those with homosexual feelings?
ELDER OAKS: We are sometimes asked about whether marriage is a remedy for these feelings that we have been talking about. President Hinckley, faced with the fact that apparently some had believed it to be a remedy, and perhaps that some Church leaders had even counseled marriage as the remedy for these feelings, made this statement: “Marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices.” To me that means that we are not going to stand still to put at risk daughters of God who would enter into such marriages under false pretenses or under a cloud unknown to them. Persons who have this kind of challenge that they cannot control could not enter marriage in good faith.
On the other hand, persons who have cleansed themselves of any transgression and who have shown their ability to deal with these feelings or inclinations and put them in the background, and feel a great attraction for a daughter of God and therefore desire to enter marriage and have children and enjoy the blessings of eternity — that’s a situation when marriage would be appropriate.
President Hinckley said that marriage is not a therapeutic step to solve problems.
ELDER WICKMAN: One question that might be asked by somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is, “Is this something I’m stuck with forever? What bearing does this have on eternal life? If I can somehow make it through this life, when I appear on the other side, what will I be like?”
Gratefully, the answer is that same-gender attraction did not exist in the pre-earth life and neither will it exist in the next life. It is a circumstance that for whatever reason or reasons seems to apply right now in mortality, in this nano-second of our eternal existence.
The good news for somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is this: 1) It is that ‘I’m not stuck with it forever.’ It’s just now. Admittedly, for each one of us, it’s hard to look beyond the ‘now’ sometimes. But nonetheless, if you see mortality as now, it’s only during this season. 2) If I can keep myself worthy here, if I can be true to gospel commandments, if I can keep covenants that I have made, the blessings of exaltation and eternal life that Heavenly Father holds out to all of His children apply to me. Every blessing — including eternal marriage — is and will be mine in due course.
ELDER OAKS: Let me just add a thought to that. There is no fullness of joy in the next life without a family unit, including a husband, a wife, and posterity. Further, men are that they might have joy. In the eternal perspective, same-gender activity will only bring sorrow and grief and the loss of eternal opportunities.
ME: Why is this response so long? Yikes. The first difficulty I have is again with leaders not taking any responsibility for what has happened. "..apparently some had believed it to be a remedy, and perhaps that some Church leaders had even counseled marriage." Why does Elder Oaks talk about this as if this might have happened unknown to the leadership of the church? It most definitely happened, and it happened a lot. Leaders are all instructed by the Handbook of Instructions in very specific ways in how to deal with every issue imaginable. There is an army of men that were counseled by stake presidents and bishops across the country to marry a woman to cure their homosexuality. There is no room for anyone to speak of it as if it may or may not have happened or that it is just some rumor.
Then the second remark Elder Oaks makes about the exception makes it sound like any truly valiant and faithful person would marry a woman. "persons who have cleansed themselves of any transgression and who have shown their ability to deal with these feelings or inclinations and put them in the background, and feel a great attraction for a daughter of God and therefore desire to enter marriage and have children and enjoy the blessings of eternity — that’s a situation when marriage would be appropriate." Blessing of eternity certainly can't be enjoyed without marriage to a woman right? And what about the many many gay members who have nothing to be cleansed of? Who have never acted on their homosexuality (like me up until the last few months)? Would I have been considered to be appropriately "dealing" with my feelings? How do you measure that? How does one "deal" with these feelings? Is it simply by "putting them in the background?" Never knowing when they might surface? To me, it sounds like Elder Oaks is saying, "no, marriage is not a cure for homosexuality, but faithful members with these feelings should get married." Which is it??
Oh Elder Wickman... has your life felt like a "nano-second," really? Of course we can say that in the perspective of eternity this is a short time, but that is not what our current perspective is. We have no concept of eternity. We cannot imagine it. We can however wonder how 10 minutes can seem to last for weeks. What? you have to pee? Just hold it. This life is just a nano-second. It isn't that much to ask is it?
Also.... WHOA! Wow... when was THAT doctrine revealed? I must have been asleep during THAT Sunday School lesson. Homosexuality did not exist and will not exist beyond this life? What about heterosexuality? I don't recall any scriptures or prophets speaking on the matter. I've already spoken my feelings about this subject in this post.
Finally, I agree Elder Oaks. Men are that they might have joy. And in my experience (which I cannot deny), same-gender activity has not brought me sorrow and grief or the loss of eternal opportunities. But guess what did? Those years of repression and denial of who I was. Instead, my dating experience has brought me more joy than I ever thought I'd experience. I'm pretty sure that things that bring true happiness in this life will be still bring true happiness in the next life because it is TRUE.
I feel bad. I would never speak this way in person to a General Authority. But these are my thoughts, unedited and plain as day. In person, or in a formal letter, I would of course word all of this more respectfully, but I'd still address the same points. Unfortunately, there is no way they would grant me an audience or even take the time to read, consider, and respond to a letter. So sorry if my tone offends you. It is only because of the deep emotions that are attached to statements like these.