Commentary and insights from members of the Church on the topic of homosexuality

(Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Far Between. This list is meant only to inform readers of the types of commentary available to members of the LDS Church.  The challenge of sorting through such ideas and information is part of the experience of being homosexual and Mormon today.)

 

— Essays — 

 

NO MORE STRANGERS OR FOREIGNERS
by Robert Rees, Ph.D
“Even in the Church, among brothers and sisters, we are sometimes strangers. We have a tendency to judge one another for failure to understand the gospel as we understand it or abide by the commandments as we ourselves do. In every ward there are members who speak disparagingly of those who are different, who question the devotion of their brothers and sisters on some basis, who treat them as strange…”

 

Homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ: Understanding Homosexuality According to the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”
by A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D
“The issue of homosexuality provokes significant emotion in our society. The media has weighed in heavily on the issue of homosexuality with sound bites of tolerance and diversity from the secular world. Social and political developments such as homosexual marriage, homosexual adoption, homosexual clubs in the school system and “alternative families” have taken center stage in modern life. The Church has not been bypassed. While there has been a general scientific consensus that homosexual orientation is not biologically determined, (that is, there are many factors-biological, psychological, familial and cultural-involved in the development of homosexual orientation) there is less of a consensus about whether or not homosexuality is immutable…”

 

Believing the Words of Jesus Christ – a Gay LDS Perspective:
by Clay Essig
“As a Gay Latter-day Saint I have great hope that BYU and The Church will eventually change their treatment of God’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender children because I  believe that most Latter-day Saints, like most other Christians, have an innate goodness and  genuinely strive to steadily bring their lives in greater harmony with the words and example of Jesus Christ.  All my hope, all my belief, all my faith that BYU and the Church will eventually accept and treat equally God’s GLBT children, just as they have come to accept and treat equally God’s Black children, are based on the words and example of Jesus Christ…”

 

Biology and Homosexuality
by William S. Bradshaw, Ph.D
“Over the past three decades I have had periodic opportunities to respond to questions and engage in conversations with Latter-day Saints about the subject of homosexuality. These have come to me in several contexts: one through my students enrolled in biology and religion courses at BYU, and a second through my ecclesiastic service as a mission president, and as a bishop and in a stake presidency at BYU. It is clear that this subject elicits strong emotions, that it is not openly discussed in the church, and that there is a need for both accurate information (when that is available) and for sensitivity to the significant number of LDS families that are directly or indirectly affected. The personal views about homosexuality which follow are the result of both my investigation of the research evidence, my experience, and my commitment to the teachings of the Savior, and are offered in the spirit of helpfulness and concern…”

 

Toward a Post-Heterosexual Mormon Theology
by Taylor Petrey, Ph.D
“The issue of homosexual relationships is among the most public struggles facing religious groups in America today. The issue is not as simple as gay people versus religious groups, as rhetoric oneither side often suggests; but it has become increasingly apparent that there is significant overlap of people who identify both as homosexual and religious. Mormon writing on homosexuality often has had a pastoral character, aimed either at easing the transition for those seeking to leave the Church or smoothing the way for those who desire to remain within it. Those who have thought toadvocate change with the LDS Church and culture have focused primarily on “attitudes” toward homosexuality encouraging “understanding and tolerance for homosexual people.” Too often this discussion of homosexuality has focused on either its etiology, or its relationship to the will, though neither the appeal to nature nor nurture resolves the question of ethics and meaning…”

 

Church, Priesthood and the Gay/Lesbian Journey Toward Spiritual Maturity
by John Gustav-Wrathall
“There is a paradox defining the boundary between spiritual immaturity and spiritual maturity. The spiritually immature do good because they expect to be rewarded. The way this is most commonly formulated in Mormonism is in the obedience/blessings trope. We emphasize how we will be blessed when we obey the Lord. But to the spiritually mature, to “those who have ears to hear,” Christ taught, “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it” (Luke 17:33). Somehow spiritual maturity involves freeing oneself of concern with rewards or even with self-preservation, and instead understanding the role that one has to play in accomplishing some larger good, and committing oneself to play that role regardless of the personal cost. I imagine that as a commitment to good for good’s sake. I see that as the kind of concern God has for us, since the love of God involved God in going below all creation and in dying for creation, out of love for creation. So to become god-like is to involve ourselves in that type of commitment, that type of love…”

 

In a Dark Time the Eye Begins to See”: Personal Reflections on Homosexuality among the Mormons at the Beginning of a New Millennium
by Robert A. Rees, Ph.D.
“I speak to you as someone who has attempted to find light in what I consider the darkness of our understanding about homosexuality. I speak to you as one Latter-day Saint follower of Christ who has tried, through study, thought, and prayer, to comprehend what it would mean to be homosexual. Most of my comprehension of this human phenomenon comes from counseling Latter-day Saint homosexuals over the past fifteen years. As I have spent time with these people in the darkness of their souls, I have tried to understand my spiritual responsibility to them. Although I do not speak for the Church on this subject, I do speak from the point of view of someone who is a faithful, committed Latter-day Saint, one who believes in the reality of the Restoration, in the divinity of the Book of Mormon, and in the special destiny of Christ’s church. I serve the Church fervently and take seriously the covenants I make in the House of the Lord. I sustain the authorities of the Church, and I support the doctrines of the Church, including the Church’s teaching on sexual morality…”

 

Mormonism and gender issues/Same-sex attraction/LGBT identity
by FAIR
“People who use a sexual identity to refer to themselves are still allowed to go forward as do all other members. Standing in the church is based on adherence to the Law of Chastity, not choice in vocabulary. Nevertheless, leaders have seen the effect of the use of vocabulary and have given counsel to members regarding their vocabulary. The vocabulary applies equally to how members refer to themselves as well as how they refer to other children of God.”

 

— Podcasts — 

 

North Star Podcasts & Radio Interviews
“The following are media, events, and public discussion relevant to homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information and views in this section are not necessarily endorsed by, or in accordance with the views of, North Star.”

 

Mormon Stories Podcasts 
“Exploring, celebrating, and challenging Mormon culture through stories, this link is to a collection of Mormon Stories podcasts specifically focused on homosexuality in Mormon culture.”

 

FAIR Examination
“Consists of interviews that take an in-depth look at interesting, and sometimes difficult issues facing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This link os to the collection of FAIR Examination’s podcasts on homosexuality.”

 

— Books — 

 

Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective
by Brad Carmack, J.D.

 

Setting the Record Straight: Mormons and Homosexuality
by A. Dean Byrd
“In this book, practicing LDS psychologist Dr. Dean Byrd illuminates some of the little-known realities regarding homosexuality. He relies on his expertise as a social scientist and a practicing mental health professional as he shares the research and clinical data on this controversial topic. He provides compelling evidence on what science can and cannot say about homosexuality…”

 

— Videos —

 

Blessing
by Stephen Williams
“Blessing is a very powerful and moving film that has already touched the hearts of people wherever is has been shown.  Whether you are “gay” or “straight” the message in this Gay Mormon film by Stephen Williams will help you to analyze your personal biases or prejudices about the Gay Mormon men and women or just gay men and women you come in contact with everyday…”