Saturday, November 10, 2007

Honestly, Marriage?

Just this evening I received a comment on an older post of mine about marrying a woman and why I (at this stage in life) will not marry a woman. The comment in full from Parallel Mormon reads:
My advice to you is dump the man and find yourself a woman. The resurrection will fix what went wrong in utero rendering us homosexual, thus you will never again desire a man, instead you will wish you had chosen a woman. Nephi said it and I know it's true, that the Lord will prepare a way for us to accomplish what He has commanded.

Also, no relationship with a man, however well-nurtured, will exist beyond death as anything more than "let's just be friends," which is, of course, what couples say when one dumps the other.

We can bridge our homosexuality and, being gay, find real passion for our wives. I now know this is true and real.

Parallel Mormon I think that, though your intentions are well meant, it is naive of you to assume that God wants me to marry a woman. In each instance where I could have gotten married in the past, I would have had to manipulate feelings and people to achieve something that the Church has told me I ought to do (in general). Furthermore, God never has told me to get married. I have NEVER once heard God's voice tell me to marry a woman. Even in those god-given friendships with some of the most wonderful and saintly women it always felt spiritually wrong to pursue a relationship that would advance into marriage.

So where you say that the Lord will prepare a way for us to accomplish that which he has commanded I agree. I just know he's never commanded me to get married.

Take it a step further, doesn't Alma 34:34 say "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." Do we know that our homosexual feelings will go away in the eternal world? Why is that important to know? Why would it be important for them to go away? Where in scripture is this backed up in correlation with what the modern prophets have said? I just don't know. But does it matter?

Whats more is that (as far as I am aware, I may be speaking ignorantly) nowhere, except the Bible, do LDS scriptures expressly condemn homosexuality. In fact they are silent on the matter. Joseph Smith is not known to have spoken on the matter. Even so, in the Old Testament where they condemn homosexuality, there are many practices that were condemned by death or stoning that now under the Gospel are not seen as unholy or sinful. So how are we to know that the modern prophets just don't know and are acting on limited information?

And lastly the Church does not necessarily encourage mixed-orientation marriage -emphasizing my point that perhaps it would be unwise for me to marry a woman.

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. (Click here for more)

So what is the Church's stance on mixed orientation marriage? By interpretation, I believe they do not encourage it, yet under the circumstances that a couple weighs the possibilities without false pretense and prayerfully decides to unite in marriage the Church does not discourage it.

I, however, have not felt a great attraction to a daughter of God in so far as to inspire me to pursue marriage. I want to make it clear that I am not saying that no one should enter a mixed orientation marriage. You state in your blog that you have attraction to your wife. Perhaps there is more bisexuality in your orientation than in mine. Parallel Mormon, your marriage may be exactly what God wants and intends for you and your family and it might not be. Perhaps it is irrelevant to God. But I have no place to tell you what will or will not work for you. I support your marriage. I hope that it works out for you. I believe that if it is right, absolutely God will sustain your marriage.

Your attractions to men obviously are a big enough deal in your life to cause you to blog about it and to share the reality of it with your wife. Thoughts of leaving your marriage were out-of-the-question for you... You cannot only think for yourself. You have children in addition to your wife.

It may be moot to say so, but you were not honest with your wife when you married her. She didn't know that you had attractions to men. Had the two of you discussed this and weighed all options out, perhaps your fledgling relationship may not have lasted. In your blog you mention that you didn't tell your wife for fourteen years. You obviously knew that you were attracted to men the whole time. Do you think that maybe you were marrying her in hopes that it would be a therapeutic step? But most importantly, what caused you to be dishonest with her in the first place? As for me, I could not enter such a marriage without being completely honest. I need to be clear that I am not saying that I will never marry a woman, but rather that I do not see it anywhere on my horizon. Essentially what works for one person might well not work for another. Where your marriage is working great for you, such a situation may not for me.

God has always given commandments in conflict for the betterment of his children.
  • Adam and Eve to procreate and yet not partake of the fruit that will make it possible.
  • Nephi to slay Laban that he might obtain the record of his people yet it was murder.
  • Abraham to offer Issac as a sacrifice yet Issac was to be the fulfillment of prophecy and the heritage of Abraham's lineage.
God may well tell you to get married to a woman and not me. When you decided to get married did God tell you to deceive your wife by not telling her about your attractions? If you could do it all over again would you have told your wife at the onset of your relationship that you had homosexual inclinations? What have you learned from all of this tremendous experience?

Thanks, Parallel Mormon, for your comment and allowing me to expand these ideas. For every answer there are a thousand more questions. May God bless you and your wife.