About a month and a half ago, the Church released a new website entitled “Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction”. I’d heard about this website a couple weeks before its release, but I was still blown away by it!
The very top of the website begins with words from Elder Oaks and Elder Christofferson, clarifying the Church’s position on homosexuality. I loved what Elder Oaks had to say! He mentions that the Church’s view of homosexual activity hasn’t changed and isn’t changing. From a public relations perspective, it would be easier to accept homosexuality, but that can’t happen, because it’s God’s law and not ours. I have heard many people express opinions like “It’s only a matter of time until the Church changes its policy about gay marriage.” Honestly, these comments break my heart. I can understand why someone would yearn for that to be the case… because the alternative could mean living alone as a single adult throughout the rest of their life.
The rest of the website goes over several topics (including “Our Common Humanity”, “Love One Another—The Great Christian Imperative”, “An Eternal Perspective”, “Being True to Religious Beliefs”, and “Hope”) and each section includes videos of people who experience same-sex attraction, spouses of those individuals, and parents and grandparents of them. The stories and feelings that they share are tender and powerful to me.
Of course I was happy to see my hero, Ty Mansfield, among those individuals. In a ten-minute clip, he shares his story and his journey to finding reconciliation between his sexuality and his faith. One thing that he addresses which rings true with me is the need to release himself from cultural expectations. I’ll be honest, sometimes (often) it gets annoying to hear people (especially leaders) harp on us about dating and marriage here at BYU (personally, I don’t think it does any good). To me it just tends to weight me down and remind me of how far I am from getting there. Yes I’ve been attracted to women before, but I still feel very far from that goal.
However, I like what Ty says… this is between me and God. Yes, that’s the expectations around me. But no, that’s not necessarily what God expects of me right now. He knows I want to get married and I believe that as I follow the Spirit, I’ll get there on the Lord’s timetable. I love the way that Ty phrased the impression he’d had: “Just stay with me.” Live each day and focus on staying close to the Lord and what He wants you to do and you’ll get to where He wants you to be.
I am grateful that the Lord and the Brethren care enough about us, the “gay” Mormons, the minority, that they had this website created to teach us and to teach all members of the Church how to love better and how to show that charity to our brothers and sisters who have such unique trials that not everyone understands. I am grateful for the knowledge of the Atonement and that above all else, even if we have to take it one day at a time, it gets better, because of the Gospel.
PS: For any who are wondering about Alex and how it went with his parents, it couldn’t have gone better! He wrote a post about it on his blog.