I’m Spencer, I’m a student, I’m Gay, and I’m a Normon

I’m Spencer, I’m a student, I’m Gay, and I’m a Normon


Lani became friends with Spencer on study abroad in Jerusalem in 2011. Since then, she’s followed his story on his personal blog. She asked him to share it on Normons.com, and we couldn’t be happier to have him as today’s guest poster.

By: Spencer Anopol //

First off, let me say that the opinions I share today reflect my own personal experience, not those of the church as a whole.

I’ve been “out” for over a year and a half now. For years I fought an internal battle, trying constantly to suppress a portion of myself. I thought that only when I succeeded would my Mormon identity be made whole. But what I didn’t understand until a year and a half ago was that my gay identity was just as innate and important to who I am as my Mormon identity.

If you are even slightly aware of past and current Mormon/Gay relations, you might think that being gay and Mormon could be problematic, and to be completely honest, so did I. As I became aware that I was in fact gay, my sensitivity to “anti-gay” rhetoric began to heighten. I heard friends say things, I saw strangers post comments on Facebook, and then came the kicker with Prop 8.

There was so much hatred from both sides of the gay marriage issue that I really felt there was no place for someone like me who identified and sympathized with both. I felt like I had to choose a side and fight. So that’s what I did–I chose my Mormon side. I had grown up a faithful and devout member and felt it was the easier and more acceptable route to take. I renewed my commitment to myself to shun the homosexual feelings I had been feeling and did everything in my power to show myself, my friends, my family and God that I was dedicated to being a good Mormon boy–and to me, that meant not liking other boys.

While I was in this period of what I thought was perfecting myself, I, in retrospect, see that I actually lost a good chunk of what made me, me. My fun-loving and happy personality became sunken and burdened under the weight of the impossible task of “straightening” myself out. In trying to fill my metaphorical half-empty cup with spirituality, I diluted my real identity and refashioned myself into someone different than the man God created. I suppose this may sound blasphemous to some, but what I have come to find since accepting myself is that my gay identity is as innate and God-given a feeling as my feelings of faith, and I am not the whole me without both.

Again, this is where the paradox begins. The LDS Church, and most religions in general have set standards by which their members are expected to abide. I both realize and accept that those standards are not likely to change. So, where does this put me–an out and full of faith gay Mormon? To be honest, it puts me in a very hard place, because as I have said, my faith and my sexual orientation are both important parts of who I am. Luckily for me, and yes I do mean luckily, I am a Mormon. I’d like to share three aspects of Mormon practices and beliefs that I believe make it worth living as a gay Mormon.

Spencer 1
First: Mormons believe in developing a personal relationship with God.

Mormons believe everyone can have a real and lasting personal relationship with God. We believe that every man and woman on this earth is a literal son or daughter of a Heavenly Father. Because of that connection, He knows us personally. He knows our strengths and weaknesses, He knows our names. This knowledge is what gave me the confidence to step out of the closet.

As I came to accept who I am, I came to understand this principle in a new way. Remarkably, God has made Himself accessible to all of His children no matter their religion, race, or even sexual orientation. He will not deny anyone His love, and what has astonished me most is that in accepting who I am, I have felt His love even stronger. I honestly feel like I know Him better now and on a more personal level now than ever before. I know that I don’t need to hide who I am from Him, and that is a great feeling.

All this is not to say the road’s been easy. I won’t gloss over the fact that as a gay man, fully participating in church activities has become difficult. Going to singles ward activities, where the sole purpose of, say, a city wide video scavenger hunt is to help you find your future spouse, isn’t as fun when you’re not looking or even interested in one. It was in those moments when I came to realize that I was going to have to take my spirituality on by myself. If I truly wanted to maintain the relationship with God that I had spent so much time developing, I was going to have to work on it personally, since culturally it wasn’t easy for me to fit in.

I have come to find that while my place within the organized church may differ from the norm, my personal relationship with God can and will remain firm if I choose to continue to strengthen it. It’s mine, and it is something no one can take away from me.

Spencer 2
Second: The importance and power of hope.

One thing you will find as you meet and talk to gay Mormons and gay Christians at large is that there are various ways they choose to live their lives. Some choose celibacy, some choose to marry a woman, some marry someone of their same sex and maintain their faith, and others marry someone of their same sex and abandon all faith.

Being raised a Mormon I was taught to “hope in all things.” Mormons are a hopeful people. We believe that hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Some may mock or question living a life based on hope, but our idea of hope is not a mere wishful thinking, it is a power that sustains us through despair. We hope in the grace of God. Because of our understanding of the sacrifice that Jesus made, we can hope and be assured that the end will exceed the present. I think if there is one thing society could use a little more of it is this kind of hope.

As someone who struggled so long fighting an attraction to the same sex, I now rely on the hope I have, that no matter what happens in this life; whether I remain single for the remainder of it, or whether I fall in love with another man, I can retain the hope that my end will exceed my present. This is probably where my beliefs and thoughts start to sound less and less Mormon and more and more “worldly.” But since I was asked to speak openly on my thoughts about homosexuality, I’m sharing the honest thoughts of my heart.

While I do not know where my life will go, nor do I have answers to the hundreds of questions I have, I believe that the hope I possess in the grace and goodness of God will be able to sustain me, and my faith, throughout this life and extend to the next. Yes, even if I fall in love with and marry another man. Trust me, I know the doctrine regarding homosexuality. I believe in and have great respect for Temple marriage. Growing up gay I can assure you that I have invested much more time, attention, thought, and prayer on the subject than many of my straight counterparts.

But I also know that God knows me and my heart better than anyone, including myself, and because of that I have the hope that my Father in Heaven will make it right in the end. Some may see this as a type of rationalization or blasphemy even, but as I’ve said before, accepting myself as gay has brought me closer to God than I ever was while trying to repress it, and I truly believe that is because I have come closer to being the person that God sees me as.

Spencer 3

Third: Mormonism thrives on camaraderie.

Out of the three tenets I have focused on, this one is where I think the most work still needs to be done. However, I believe it is one of the most powerful aspects of our Mormon faith and can likewise be powerful in combatting the hurt that many members feel, gay and straight alike.

Mormons have always been a community-based people. Since our early years filled with struggle and persecution, Latter-day Saints have gathered together to show solidarity and support to one another. Even though the church has expanded to every corner of the Earth, we still feel a strong sense of community. When one of the members suffers, their congregation suffers alongside them. However, because we are such a close-knit group of believers, it can easily, though often unintentionally, seem exclusive. And for those like myself who feel different from the community you’ve grown up with, feelings of belonging can turn to feelings of loss and loneliness.

So here comes my soapbox moment: The doctrine of the church may not change, but what can change is the mentality of the members. We focus so heavily on being the Church of Jesus Christ, with Him at the helm, and it’s important we make sure our behavior is truly Christ-like. Sometimes it feels as though the plan of happiness has come to mean getting baptized, going on a mission, getting a college degree, marrying in the temple, and having children. It is indeed a beautiful plan. But the reality is that for some, that model of happiness is unattainable—and I’m not just talking solely about gay members.

As members of the LDS Church, we need to remember that amidst some seemingly black and white issues, there exists a lot of gray, and that gray can be heart wrenching for those experiencing it. As a church, we need to accept and love each other as Christ did. It doesn’t mean we have to compromise our values or change God-given doctrine. But instead of singling out those who don’t ‘fit the mold,’ let’s remind them that they are in loads of good company—truly, the best company.

When it comes how we treat homosexual members of our congregations, I can promise you this much: The unapologetic, unconditional demonstration of true Christ-like love from a parent to child, from brother to sister, and from friend to friend will do far more for both parties, their testimonies and their relationships than coercion, judgment, or force of belief ever will. Loving a friend unreservedly doesn’t mean you’re compromising your Christian beliefs, it means you’re living them.

I can by no means speak for anyone other than myself, and am likewise not an authority or expert on any topic. But I have learned a lot, and while I still have a lot to learn, I’m happy that I can continue to grow with the knowledge that my gay identity and my Mormon identity can peacefully coexist, if nowhere else, at least in my heart.

116 Comments

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  1. 1
    Scott

    Thanks for this awesome perspective, I appreciate your openness. Your #3 resonates well with me, as we as a church could use a lot more vision before issuing the judgments we pass upon others.

  2. 2
    Hannah H

    Beautiful post! Thank you Spencer for your strength, bravery, and testimony of Christ’s love! We as members should always remember to support and love ALL of our brothers and sisters (no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, economic background, religion etc) both inside and outside of the church.

  3. 3
    Audrey

    I LOVED reading this. I sent it to my dad who is the bishop of a YSA ward. He definitely has members that would benefit from reading your words. When some of my friends find out that their Mormon friend is gay, they say that it “breaks their heart” and instead of being happy that their friend came out, they are really sad. I feel the opposite, and I say “love them still.” I believe that when people come out, Mormon or not, it is a sign of their bravery and strength to, like you mentioned, become more unified with themselves and who God created them to be. So thank you, Spencer, for your testimony and for your hope. So many individuals will surely resonate with your faith and story.

  4. 4
    Tyler

    Great post. My question for you Spencer- I acknowledge your idea that the mentality of church members must change. How do you balance that to President Boyd K Packer’s talk this last general conference warning us not to fall into a “Tolerance Trap.” I agree he in no way says we should hate you, obviously Jesus taught us to love everyone no matter what. Just curious as to your thoughts on that matter.

  5. 5
    Michelle Howard

    Bless your wonderful heart, Spencer-man 🙂 (that’s obviously your superhero name)

    45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

    47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

    48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

  6. 6
    JF

    I loved what you have said in this. I was married in the temple and got divorced after some 20 year. My ward members didn’t know how to handle my divorce because it was not a public affair and they couldn’t place blame as I had seen them do in public divorces. My kids, along with me, felt like we were treated as service projects. I took pride in my independence and being able to provide and take care of things where I could. Being a woman some things like sprinklers, car stuff, air conditioner issues, etc., became such very frustrating things. Most of the time I relied on my father to help me, and one home teacher was a life safer. This is when I learned that true charity in today’s world is time spent of actual serving others. It’s so easy and sterile to write that fast offering check out to the church every month… don’t get me wrong… there is a huge need for that. There are 2 parts of this article that resonate within my heart so strongly. “Sometimes it feels as though the plan of happiness has come to mean getting baptized, going on a mission, getting a college degree, marrying in the temple, and having children.” and “As members of the LDS Church, we need to remember that amidst some seemingly black and white issues, there exists a lot of gray, and that gray can be heart wrenching for those experiencing it. As a church, we need to accept and love each other as Christ did. It doesn’t mean we have to compromise our values or change God-given doctrine. But instead of singling out those who don’t ‘fit the mold,’ let’s remind them that they are in loads of good company—truly, the best company.”

    Currently I am not actively attending church. I have remarried to a wonderful man who feels similarly; and maybe, we are justifying each others attitudes and making that the excuse to not attend. As for me and my house, we love our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, and love our fellow man (although I know I could do a whole lot more in this area).

    Thank you for your beautiful words and spirit. Well done faithful servant of our Lord. 🙂

  7. 8
    Sara Ormsby

    As I make this comment, I do not want to turn the attention to me, or take away from the original message and topic of sexual orientation. I just want to say how grateful I am for this perspective on so many sensitive issues:

    “But the reality is that for some, that model of happiness is unattainable—and I’m not just talking solely about gay members.”

    As someone who struggles with infertility, I get treated differently by some members, particularly ones with children. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the path is different for everyone. We are all striving to reach the same goal, but not all are able to reach the end the same way. Some journeys require detours and it doesn’t happen for everyone the “normal” way. Again, this is not to say my problem compares in any way to the struggles mentioned in the article. Its just nice to hear that perspective from others. Not all members act this way, but I hope that everyone can take a lesson from this and apply it not just to the topic of sexual orientation, but to all of God’s children. This is a process for everyone, myself included.

  8. 10
    Bethany Hurst

    I admire your honesty and faithfulness at this same time! I think the easy way out would be to fall away from the church and your beliefs to find acceptance, but from reading this I think I can say you have a deeper faith than most people do!

  9. 12
    Tony Rawlins

    I am not trying to strike up a debate or anything on here and i hope none of this is taken offensively by anyone. But when you said “But the reality is that for some, that model of happiness is unattainable—and I’m not just talking solely about gay members. ”.. i would have to strongly disagree. Heavenly Father loved all of his children, and he would never give anyone of us anything that we could not handle. saying it is unattainable is justifying it. Now i don’t know how it is to have those feelings toward another man, but spencer i promise you the Lord would not set you up to fail, he would not give you something so hard that you couldn’t over come in and return to live with him again. There is ALWAYS a way.

    You have the ability to do whatever you want in this life, and Heavenly Father WILL help you “after all we can do.”

      • 14
        E B

        I think what Spencer means is the “stereotypical happiness.” You’re right – we can all be happy in this life no matter what curveballs are thrown at us individually. What we need to be careful of is not judging people’s paths who seem different than our own. At bottom, what matters is our individual growth and faith and helping other people along their own journeys, not that our journeys take different forms.

        Life is not fair except in two senses: that we all will face trials that are difficult for us individually and that we all have access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ which makes up for all sin, loss, pain, and “unfairness” in life. Which means that through the Atonement of Christ we can all be happy and none of us could be truly happy without it.

    • 15
      Landon

      He didn’t say that happiness is unattainable, he said that MODEL of happiness is unattainable, which is true. Right now, for homosexuals in the church, they cannot have a temple marriage, and can’t reach that MODEL of happiness. Unless you’re implying that gays could “overcome” their homosexuality, which I do not believe to be possible or intended by God.

      Great article Spencer. I hope this helps many church members to understand the gay Mormons’ situation and helps the gay members to feel less alone.

    • 16
      Cindy

      I think his point was . Sometimes it feels as though the plan of happiness has come to mean getting baptized, going on a mission, getting a college degree, marrying in the temple, and having children. It is indeed a beautiful plan. But the reality is that for some, that model of happiness is unattainable—and I’m not just talking solely about gay members.

      What he is saying is you may not go on a mission, get married or have children but that isn’t all there is to happiness. He said it is in accepting yourself. True happiness comes from having a relationship with God and our Savior. We can be happy even if we, don’t go on a mission, get married or have children. If we accept the “Plan of happiness,” as “The Plan of happiness”mentioned above, we won’t be happy.

    • 17
      Melissa

      “Sometimes it feels as though the plan of happiness has come to mean getting baptized, going on a mission, getting a college degree, marrying in the temple, and having children.” It does feel as though this is the plan, but it is not the plan. Culturally, it has become the plan, but culture and doctrine are different.
      Despite all of my desire and prayers and yearning and praying, and weeping, and trying, I am not married nor do I have children. For me, right now, it is unattainable. It may continue to be unattainable for the rest of my mortal life, but it does not mean that I have been given more than I can bear. God has given me the atonement of His son and through applying that atonement in my life I can bear all things. Even the burden of going through life alone. Believe me when I tell you that I have had many conversations with God about how he can possibly love me and want me to be happy when the one thing that I desire and strive to fulfill more than anything else in my life eludes me. I live in faith, I fulfill my callings, I keep my covenants, I strive to love and serve others, I feel that I do all that I am asked and seek for every opportunity to grow. So why? Why am I still single? Why when others find love and companionship so easily am I meant to navigate this life alone? Why am I unable to attain this cultural “plan of happiness”? Because right now, it is not God’s plan for me. God has a plan, he knows me. His ways and thoughts are higher than my ways and thoughts. Doctrinally the plan of happiness is to receive a body, make choices and learn from them, make and keep covenants, and return to our Heavenly Father. The path each of us takes to do this will be very different.
      “Sometimes it feels as though the plan of happiness has come to mean getting baptized, going on a mission, getting a college degree, marrying in the temple, and having children. But the reality is that for some, that model of happiness is unattainable—and I’m not just talking solely about gay members. ” That model is absolutely not attainable for everyone. Some people live in countries or circumstances where college is not and never will be an option. Some will not have the opportunity to marry. Some will marry and will be unable to have their own biological children and unable, financially, to adopt. These are realities. And we cannot pretend as members that the people who are dealing with these struggles are dealing with them because of a lack of faith or diligence. Has the Lord set me up to fail because I’m still single? I don’t believe so. I believe that he loves me and that there are many things that I can learn and many opportunities for me to serve others because of my situation in life. I pray every day to understand my situation and to be aware of the opportunities that arise from it.

      I’m sorry, that was much longer than I anticipated, but I hope that helps you to understand what I believe he was trying to say.

  10. 18
    Jaime

    I felt really uplifted by this post. Thank you for all of the work you have done to identify your guiding principles, and for being willing to share them. I’m glad that Mormons are a hopeful people, and that you have that hope.

  11. 19
    Joshua Greep

    I have seen some of my closest friends find themselves in this paradox and it seems unfair that they be ostracized or alienated from being a part of society that protects and cultivates christendom. Before taking any judgements out on others, and before participating in “the fight”, it is imperative for individuals to ponder and pray about these terms…

    1.Christianity- Is it a disposition or an activity.
    2.Homosexuality- Is it a disposition or an activity.
    3.Covenant-Can you keep this with the actions you have taken?

    “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.”

  12. 21
    Josh Bagley

    I really respect and appreciate your view. This is a terrific step in helping others avoid judging. Your openness and honesty were very refreshing and I really feel the battle going on inside of you. I hope that you will find the most peace and joy through this journey.

  13. 22
    Zach

    What I appreciate about you, Spencer, is that you understand the doctrine. You have a testimony, and you have come to God and are using the Atonement to work through the “gray” areas of your life to find enlightenment, revelation, and peace. That is what the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is about.

    Someone mentioned something about tolerance. To that I say there is a difference between tolerating others and placing faith in the divine potential of others and the healing power of the atonement. Tolerance implies living with a force or belief different from your own that is not likely to change, and then acting peacefully towards that idea without embracing it. For someone who is actively trying to come to terms with who they are and are serving faithfully and keeping their covenants despite a personal struggle, they do not deserve to be “tolerated.” They deserve to be loved, supported, embraced, and helped along the path to repentance. Their heart is soft, not hard. That is the difference between those who need to be helped versus those who need to be tolerated.

    All of us have gray areas in our lives. Those with soft hearts who are struggling with the word of wisdom but actively seeking to change should not be tolerated: they should be loved until they reach the Lord. Those struggling with the law of chastity, whether that be infidelity, pornography addiction, fornication, masturbation, or homosexuality, need love, care, and attention. People in financial distress who feel they are not strong enough to pay tithing need to be upheld and sustained until their faith is strong enough to obtain the desired blessings. I could go on, but the point I’m trying to make is that just because we’re not struggling with homosexuality does not mean that we do not have struggles of our own. And all of us need love. Homosexuality is a real struggle, and while the majority of people I know do not struggle with that particular challenge, the majority of people I know do not struggle with the word of wisdom, either. All of us are a minority – we all have our individual challenges. That is the purpose of life, and they are tailor made for us. That is why Christ suffered for us all individually and personally: so that he can succor us according to our individual and specific infirmities.

    I appreciate your honesty, your strength, and your example to act in Doctrine Spencer. You are letting your light shine to your brothers and sisters and are setting a wonderful example.

    • 24
      Rude Dog

      Zach said;

      “Those struggling with the law of chastity, whether that be infidelity, pornography addiction, fornication, masturbation, or homosexuality, need love, care, and attention.”

      I’m sorry Zach, you’ve set up a group of behaviors that are indeed not similar in many basic ways. Homosexuality is not a behavior, it is a sexual identity. Masturbation, infidelity and pornography consumption are behaviors engaged upon by both hetero and homosexual individuals and not all of them are unhealthy. Masturbation among teenagers is perfectly normal and highly common. It is assuredly most damaging to lay down the thick blanket of guilt upon a 16 year old boy to tell him he is violating the law of chastity with masturbation. When you group homosexuality under the law of chastity that needs repenting of then you have just sub-classed and demeaned an entire group of people. Next thing you’re going to do is tell us that homosexuals are more likely to be child molesters and rapists. Please stop this destructive attitude and repent.

      Spencer doesn’t need an outpouring of love (well, we all need it, but not under the auspice of your reasoning) due to his sexual identity, in fact, he’d probably appreciate it if people stopped noticing it in the first place. And he certainly doesn’t need to be shepherded down some path of repentance by those with their own dirty hands patting him on the back. What he needs is to not have to write articles like this telling a group of humans who claim to high heaven to know the mind and will of God better than anyone else to treat him and those who have to their core a homosexual fundamental with basic respect and acceptance. I have noticed that the homosexual within our church want your respect, acceptance more then they want your love and embrace.

      You do make a good point on toleration though.

      Thomas Paine said:

      “Toleration is not the opposite of intoleration, but it is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, and the other of granting it.

    • 28
      Sue

      Zach- I really like your comment about not tolerating but loving- might use your idea for an upcoming lesson if it’s okay with you.

  14. 29
    Mary Harmon

    I enjoyed reading the article from this young man also.
    I have taught children for most of my Church life and in the 50’s I found this in an 11 year old lesson book (back then the class was called ” The Guides” )It says ” you can hate what people say, and you can hate what people do, but you can’t hate the person because they are a child of God and your brother” this also works when you put “disagree, not like, or feel angry, in place of “hate” I have made sure this was added to my lessons in the appropriate place to every class I have taught. I guess it stuck with me because my Mother never judged anyone and the quote made me realize just how wonderful my Mom was.
    J.F. I know that people are not perfect, I am always putting my foot in my mouth and never do enough for the sisters in my ward that need me, but I know that when you come back to Church someday you will find all the joy that you missed during that time, and you will make a beautiful difference in so many of your “Sisters” lives because you have been there,and know how to comfort and help others. jj

  15. 30
    Emily Snyder

    beautiful. this is incredibly well said, powerful, and honest. thank you for the countless time you have spent studying and learning. i am more because of it.

  16. 32
    Shannon

    Hi Spencer,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. Like everyone else who commented, I feel really uplifted by your thoughts! I think so many of us need to remember that what you said is true: “He will not deny anyone His love.” I often forget how God loves all of us completely and wholly–he sees us clearly and he’s never going to stop loving us. It’s been too long since I let myself feel that love!
    Thank you thank you,
    Shannon

  17. 33
    Andrew

    Hi Spencer!

    I think that’s great that you’re not afraid to express who you are and how you feel. We all should be loving of each person and not judge each other of their sins and weaknesses. I have plenty that I’m working on and as I’ve seen, things don’t get easier. The issue clearly isn’t having homosexual temptations, but acting on them and having homosexual relations which is a sin God has made clear to His church He cannot look upon lightly. You are loved Spencer, and it sounds like you’ve had some extreme and harsh opposition which is evil and cruel. The Mormon belief, though, can never peacefully live with any type of sin as Mormonism is about progression to eventual perfection, overcoming all sin including homosexual relations. My response is for my own conscience, to clarify to others and also to clear up false doctrine: You may share many Mormon perspectives, but depending on how far involved in homosexual relations you are, it could result in disciplinary actions up to excommunication, which is not up for me to decide but I must plead with you to be honest with your Bishop if you have been involved in those.

    • 34
      Landon

      It’s comments like these that have driven so many gay Mormons’ to feelings of low self-worth, loneliness, and depression. This man writes an article to help others understand the situation of gay members, and to offer support to gay members, and you tell him to go talk to his bishop. Awesome.

      • 35
        Alex

        He told him to be honest with his Bishop. Not go see his Bishop. There’s a big difference and if Spencer is truly trying to grow in the Mormon religion then he will need to talk to his Bishop some day, whether it’s for a calling, for repentance or something else. His comment was strictly factual not judgmental.

        • 36
          Landon

          I know that it is factual. Stating facts is not exclusive from making judgments or making implications. Spencer never said, at any moment in the article, that he was involved in homosexual relations, yet Andrew tells him to go be honest with his bisohop. Andrew assumes that he is. Is that not judgment? Does Spencer need to hear that? You don’t think Spencer knows that homosexual relations in the church can lead to excommunication? He has served a mission, he knows the policies.

          I agree. At the superficial, explicit level, Andrew made a factual statement. But there are implications he made along with it.

  18. 37
    Becki Jackson

    I mostly skimmed (I am supposed to be somewhere, but wanted to read what you wrote), but I am so glad to read an upbeat, honest, fair, viewpoint. I love all my friends and family, no matter their viewpoint, but I sometimes grow weary of the extremes in any arena. Whether it is Prop 8 or Obama or some other polarizing subject, there are plenty of people who would like us to believe there is one right and many wrongs. Your post is refreshing in the way that you are not preaching or judging in any absolute way. Thank you.

  19. 38
    Erica

    Thanks for sharing! I agree that when people ostracize others they are not fully living the tenants of their Christian beliefs. I hope that as a church we can continue to improve our acceptance and understanding of those who are different or who are struggling with a variety of different personal issues.

  20. 39
    Tom

    There is a lot of trailblazing to be done in this area of being gay and Mormon. Bless you and others for hacking your way into the jungle. I’m confident many will come after you finding a much easier path and will thank you for it!

    “Sometimes it feels as though the plan of happiness has come to mean…”

    I think the bigger problem isn’t that some people can’t participate in that plan, but that we’ve invented that plan and propped it up on top of God’s real plan of happiness. The real plan as I see it is:

    Become converted -> make covenants (baptism, temple, if not marriage in this life then the next) -> live according to those covenants.

    That’s it. And if someone cannot choose these things (mentally incapable for example) then they are exempted in this life.

    The kids, eagle scouts, missions, college, and even temple marriage (for those who it isn’t right for) are appendages we’ve made up. Important, yes. The gospel of Jesus Christ, no.

    One of the things that makes me most sad about Mormons who don’t fit the mold leaving the church is that the envelope of acceptability closes behind them. If they stay in the church with all their differences then the envelope stays open making room for others who wouldn’t fit in otherwise. Again, thank you for continuing in the church. Your presence alone undoubtedly helps so many.

    • 41
      Tony Rawlins

      Tom-
      While i agree that people with homosexual feelings have a struggle in the plan of salvation… I must say that what you are saying is only justification for a wrongful action. If they don’t choose to live the COMMANDMENTS in this life they are “exempt” ? Tell me in the Book of Mormom or Bible where is says that basically it’s okay to commit a sin and be exempt from it? If you have grown up in the gospel and have been taught it and what is right and WRONG, there is no reason or justification to do otherwise. You were not “born that way” or any other excuse people give, Heavenly Father will not set us up for failure. I second what Joshua Greep said:

      “1.Christianity- Is it a disposition or an activity.
      2.Homosexuality- Is it a disposition or an activity.
      3.Covenant-Can you keep this with the actions you have taken?

      “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” ”

      You cannot say you abide by the laws of the United States and then go and rob a bank, and you cannot say you abide by the laws of God and then go against it.

      Spencer, it is all up to you. i sincerely suggest you talking with your bishop, stake president, and/or anyone else that can help you with your issue. Heavenly Father trully does love you and wants you to return back to him, and he has servants here on earth that WILL help you.

      • 42
        Patrick Jordyn

        Oh Tony. How naïve. :/

        First off, people are indeed “born that way”. You do not choose at some stage in life to be straight or gay. You are what you are. It is how people are built. Their brains and hormones work differently than yours. With that fact, you must now ask the next question: Why on earth would God do that if he does not make mistakes and he does not set up his children to fail? There is more to this than meets the eye. We do not know everything about the mysteries of God. With that in mind, the Plan of Salvation, it feels to gay people, seems to have been written in a different language for a different set of people (straights), while their own plan seems to have been lost in the great expanse of space. There is such a disconnect, yet we know the plan is for all God’s children. So there is something wrong on our mortal imperfect and flawed end. Either members are not ready for a revelation from God to include gay members more fully (same scenario back when blacks were not able to hold the priesthood), or we fail in reading the scriptures correctly. (Jesus does say gays are born that way in Matthew 19:12 after all. Natural eunuch born from the mother’s womb was a descriptor for gay people as the word “gay” did not exist back then. These gay men had full rights and privileges. Eunuch made of men were straight males who were castrated and given lesser rights.) Jesus had no issues with people being gay.

        So that does not give you the excuse to say that gays can ignore those feelings or change to how you are because you feel so. It is not that simple. In fact, the general authorities of the church do not recommend it as it usually leads to “broken hearts and broken homes” (J. Holland)

        Gay people will be who they are and do their thing based off what they feel and what their heart tells them. For many gay people, their very existence contradicts many religious teachings. Members who think they are not born that way or think they can change through “prayer” or “fasting” are not only blatantly ignorant, but rather hurtful and it shows how little you really understand.
        Gay people will not stay around people who do not understand them. It goes for all humans, it is human nature. Either this church and its members get the clues or loose its gay members. Currently, it is no surprise that over 85% of Mormons who are gay eventually leave the church or go inactive.

        You do not choose to be gay.
        You do choose, however, to be ignorant.
        You also do choose your religion. (Mormonism is less than 0.4% of the worlds population) What does that tell you?

        • 43
          Tony Rawlins

          Patrick… Wow

          Ive never heard so many ways to justify being a gay person… Are you kidding me? you are born that way? Dont give me that, that people are created differenly.. what happened to “being created in God’s image” ? hmmm….is god gay? probably not man.. So you are telling me, you are born as a male, with reproductive organs of a male, which are used to create children with a WOMAN……………..but God just decided “ah i’ll MAKE him gay.. therefore making it virtually impossible to follow my plan of salvation and also making it impossible to be married in my temples… they’ll just have to find another way..” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Bro, stop making excuses! and as for the word “eunuch” heres a definition for ya:
          eu·nuch (ynk)
          n.
          1. A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.
          2. A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed.
          3. Informal An ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man.
          [Middle English eunuk, from Latin eunchus, from Greek eunoukhos : eun, bed + -okhos, keeping (from ekhein, to keep; see segh- in Indo-European roots).]
          eunuch·ism n.
          Word History: The word eunuch does not derive, as one might think, from the operation that produced a eunuch but rather from one of his functions. Eunuch goes back to the Greek word eunoukhos, “a castrated person employed to take charge of the women of a harem and act as chamberlain.” The Greek word is derived from eun, “bed,” and ekhein, “to keep.” A eunuch, of course, was ideally suited to guard the bedchamber of women.

          So yes, they were castrated… BUT, it was to guard the bedchamber of women. It clearly does not state that they were castrated and they were gay with out being given a choice or anything like that. so your information is flawed sorry.

          I’m not saying that Gay people should ignore their feelings, but What I AM saying is that to receive all the blessings of the gospel .. You must obey ALL of God’s commandments. Jesus said : “if ye love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS” . He also said: ” unless ye follow me you can in nowise enter the kingdom of god..”

          If you honestly believe that being gay is NOT a choice, then is it NOT a choice to obey speeding laws? to put on clothes every day? What about choosing to be kind or rude to people? what about having happy feelings or sad feelings? WHAT ABOUT choosing to like somebody of the opposite sex? Liking someone of the same sex? Yes my friend, i hate to break it to you but they are ALL CHOICES you must make yourself.

          If they’re not thats like saying “well.. i know robbing a bank is wrong… but i just love money so much.. nobody understands why i love it so much.. so i’m going to do it anyway .”

          Im not ignorant.. just well informed
          YOU choose what you do in this life
          The .4% of LDS members in the world .. glad you know how many people are members of our church bro! good job.

          OH ps…………. it is a choice!

          • 44
            CRS

            Tony,

            If you speak with people who are gay, you will find that many of them have spent years and years struggling to become “not gay.” Some have given up in despair and committed suicide.

            I don’t think that God made them gay, but I do think that their bodies are subject to the affects of the Fall which means there can be a life-long condition that they have to deal with. Some of us deal with depression, alcoholism, anger issues, disabilities etc. God sometimes cures us of these things, but sometimes He lets us suffer from them for our whole lives.

          • 45
            Brad

            Tony,

            Comparing homosexual behavior to speeding is a “false analogy.” The fact that you cannot see that is an indication that you do not understand homosexuality. Again, your perspective is welcome, but only if you are willing to either 1) acknowledge your own lack of understanding or 2) spend some time in honest investigation of homosexuality.

            A good place to start is by asking yourself how you’d feel if belligerent blog commenters told you not only that you could choose to be attracted to another man, but also that you were required to be intimate with another man in order to achieve the most coveted privileges of church membership (note: this does not even begin to address the identity considerations associated with homosexuality).

      • 46
        Tom

        Whoa, there. I never said go out and break commandments. I only said this is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. You taking on Spencer’s choices is your own doing.

    • 47
      Scott

      I get what you are trying to say and I agree that there is definitely a distinction between Mormon culture and the eternal truths of the gospel, especially in regards to scouts, missions, college, family size, etc. However, temple marriage is a saving ordinance. D&C 132 is pretty clear about that and the prophets and apostles do not equivocate. They do speak comfort to those who search for temple marriage in this life and do not find it but, in so doing, do not imply that it is something that can be intentionally put off to the next life.

      • 48
        Tom

        Thanks, Scott for getting me. And I do certainly see (and agree with) your point that eternal marriage is a commandment. And you have addressed those who seek for marriage, but it doesn’t happen. But I might add one more piece to the equation worth considering. A have an Aunt who is the sweetest thing in the whole world and also mentally handicapped. I don’t think she’s spent too much time pursuing a husband, but I’m confident she’ll get her chance in the next life.

        Am I saying people with homosexual feelings are heterosexually handicapped? Maybe. (I don’t know how offensive that idea might be to those people!) But perhaps it’s worth considering whether they can choose to ignore strong feelings and create new feelings in order to fulfill that critical commandment.

        • 49
          Tony Rawlins

          Tom-
          Being Physically or mentally handicapped is much different from having homosexual feelings toward someone. Your Aunt will have that ability to in the next life, being handicapped she is unable to find someone.

      • 50
        E B

        There are some gay members I know who have married in the temple and raised families in the Church. They were open with their wives, not hiding anything. They love their wives, even if they’re not attracted to them. The thing is that not everyone is the same. This may work for some gay members but it would be naive to assume it would work for all gay members. One of the gay members is actually a family therapist and has a blog, joshweed.com, in which he came out over a year ago and later on specifically says his choice is not for all gay Mormons and that what matters is that we love and respect each other despite our differences. I recommend checking it out.

        • 51
          Tony Rawlins

          If he is gay and has been married in the temple he has possibly made avery serious mistake, by going into the temple without going to his bishop about the issue of being attracted to men. If you are his friend i SUGGEST you talk to him about it…gay people cannot be married in the temple. PERIOD

          • 53
            CRS

            “Their struggle is our struggle. Those in the Church who are attracted to someone of the same sex but stay faithful to the Church’s teachings can be happy during this life and perform meaningful service in the Church. They can enjoy full fellowship with other Church members, including attending and serving in temples, and ultimately receive all the blessings afforded to those who live the commandments of God.”

            Tony, do you agree with this official pronouncement from the church?

            http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-mormon-responds-to-human-rights-campaign-petition-same-sex-attraction

          • 54
            Clay Frost

            Tony, let’s calm down and just try to have some apathy and understanding in cases like this. Unless you know what it is like to “overcome homosexuality” then you can’t say that you know it can happen. I do agree with you on many levels, but talking about it over the internet in a dogmatic way will never convince anyone, if you aren’t edifying the Lord’s Kingdom, whose kingdom are you edifying?

          • 55
            Brad

            Tony,

            It may be worthwhile for you to spend some time with a personal friend who is gay. I think your heart will soften. Your current approach is neither helpful nor well-informed. It is, unfortunately, painfully obvious that your working knowledge of what it is like to be gay in our society and church is very limited.

            Also, CRS is correct in pointing out that your above statement is not consistent with church doctrine. But more than that, it is offensive. You are trying to stand up for what you think is right, and that’s great —you have a right to do so— but please spend some time learning more about the issue before you speak so boldly.

  21. 58
    Nathan

    Thanks for putting that so well, Spencer. I feel the exact same way as you. As I’ve come to grips with the relationship between my homosexuality and the Church, it’s been an interesting journey. I’ve ultimately, however, come to believe in the importance of hope as well. I have no idea what this life will bring, but I do firmly believe that God is going to be more loving and forgiving than many people think he will. 🙂 Thanks for being so open and sharing your story!

  22. 59
    Jennifer

    Wow! Spencer, I believe you are exactly the person you are supposed to be. I’m glad you’ve come out and I hope others can learn from your wonderful example. This is a great article you’ve written and I’m so impressed with you (even though I’ve never met you). Keep up the good work!!!! You’re awesome!

  23. 61
    Patrick Jordyn

    I’m a gay Mormon as well born outside of the church in England. Now I reside in British Columbia as a convert of 8 years. I joined the church while I was still in my early teens and when I was only beginning my struggle with my sexuality. The struggle was made even more rough and damaging as it became clear that the church I had just joined, which seemed like an amazing and friendly church was completely against what I was when the church asked its members in California to fight for Prop. 8. Depressed, I quickly fell away.

    Since then, I have found a great and amazing guy and he proposed to me a few months ago. The love and light that I feel every day since meeting him has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. While most Mormons and Christians would prefer that I remain celibate, I simply cannot do that. I cannot please them all and sacrifice my own well-being and happiness. I find God though my finacé. I know it sounds apostate, but it is hard to explain. I feel at peace and I’m in ease with our decision to marry here in Canada. While we may not have a “temple marriage” that will set us on the path to what some call the eternities, I know deep down that all will work out. That we will both be united as one for all time and eternity on the other side, because that’s what love is, and God has given me, I feel, a unique piece of that love to the both of us.

    Thank you for the post. I personally am cheering and hoping that you find your own prince charming. You deserve to find your soul mate, as I fear that celibacy is such a lonely and unhealthy alternative that nobody should have to go through unwillingly.

  24. 63
    Scott

    This article is refreshingly honest and candid. We all have struggles we search for solutions to and I believe that mine help me grow. In circumstances where we know right from wrong and the doctrine is clear on the matter, Nephi’s insight provides excellent guidance when making tough decisions on how to proceed:

    2 Nephi 9:38-41

    38 And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.

    39 O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing against that Holy God, and also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one. Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.

    40 O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.

    41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

  25. 64
    Angie Stephenson

    Thank you so much for your story.. 🙂 And I agree, we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ought to BE more Christ-like to others…no matter what. We cannot judge another…that is the Lord’s job, for He knows our hearts and struggles perfectly. And no one is perfect on Earth, but it IS our job to love one another and treat each other with love and kindness. 🙂

  26. 65
    Heidi

    Spencer,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Thank you for being open and honest. I often wonder if some of these issues are not only a test for the person dealing with but for those of us around them as well. Maybe the bigger test is will be still love our brothers and sisters no matter what issues they are struggling with. Maybe our Heavenly Father wants to see how we will behave towards those who struggle with such issues. I don’t see how this struggle is more or less than my struggles. I’m not perfect but I do know this. I will always try to love and accept everyone around me. I will not judge others based on my perceptions, opinions, or feelings. Spencer I hope and pray that you continue to strengthen your relationship with our Heavenly Father and that you will always have peace and happiness. May we all find peace, happiness, forgiveness, acceptance, and love.

  27. 66
    Claire

    I couldn’t agree more that we as a church need to be more inclusive of people who “don’t fit the mold.” I’ve seen positive examples of this in wards in which I have lived and seen how people in potentially difficult circumstances have thrived with the support of a ward family. I think that support starts with truly Christ-like love.
    I love the gospel, and one of the things I love most about it is that I don’t get to decide who is righteous and who is unrighteous. I am so glad that it isn’t my job to judge the actions, thoughts, and feelings of others. All of our circumstances are so different we couldn’t possibly comprehend the struggles of our neighbor, especially those who have suffered in silence for many years.
    That being said, I don’t know why sometimes we take on the hard task of being the judge of our fellowmen. It is uncharitable and it is a heavy burden to bear. Divorce, loss, deprivation, loneliness, and spiritual hardship can come to any of us and none of us will deal with those in the same way. But ALL of us need to feel loved and supported through our trials as well as our triumphs.
    God truly loves you and He made you just the way you are for a wise purpose. Above all else, he wants you with Him. As long as you develop your personal relationship with Him, you are on the right path! Sending love and prayers your way!

  28. 67
    Chris Quincy

    That was so well written! I think that you are an amazing person and your sexual orientation doesn’t change how I feel about you. You have been blessed with such an wonderful singing voice and have used to to bless others. I hope that everyone looks at you as you are and they can’t help but love you! Thanks for sharing!

  29. 68
    Clay Frost

    I like the article a lot. I hope what I am going to say won’t offend anyone, because I do not understand the struggles of a “gay mormon” as it is popularly said, nor do I aim to offend or hurt, rather to see what people think about a recent thought that a friend shared with me. And the comment is this (using spencer as an example only because it is relevant):

    Why is there a need to identify oneself by their weakness? “I’M SPENCER, I’M A STUDENT, I’M GAY, AND I’M A MORMON” Why does his sexual orientation have to be apart of his identity? I don’t think it is very fair to oneself to consider that part of their identity. For a Sex addict or a kleptomaniac to say: “I’M CARL, I’M A STUDENT, I’M A SEX ADDICT/KLEPTOMANIAC, AND I’M A MORMON”…. To Consistently self-identify yourself with your worldly weakness seems to deny the very necessary healing that is caused by the atonement. I don’t know if I am being ignorant in this thinking… But I feel that Christ as well wants us to forget about our short comings and pitfalls as well. (I also have thought of the support that articles like this can give to others, and the very christ like focus about the article, I don’t at all want to take away from this article and I realize that my comment is probably out of place, I just want to know what people think about this.)

    • 69
      Landon

      You have implied with your comment that Spencer’s homosexuality is:
      1. A weakness
      2. An addiction
      3. A worldly weakness actually
      4. A shortcoming
      5. A pitfall
      6. A sin that needs healing

      Imagine you were born with something, Clay, something that you couldn’t change. Let’s say, for example, you were born with only one arm. How would you feel if someone implied those things about your one arm to you? How would that make you feel?

      • 70
        Clay Frost

        Although I do understand where you are coming from, there is an ongoing discussion if same sex attraction is in fact nature or nurture. Also,the doctrine of the church does not make a stand on whether or not it (same sex attraction) is an innate feeling or circumstance. So your making an argument for something that isn’t understood and is highly opinionated, so I will respectfully bow out of that argument. As for the word I used of sin, I know being homosexual isn’t a sin, acting upon those desires would fall outside of the Law of Chastity. Although I dont agree 100%, You make a great point and I appreciate your comment.

        • 72
          Landon

          I agree, and my guess would be that it’s a combination of both nature and nurture, so the arm is not a perfect analogy. I do believe it’s a decent analogy though, because, whether homosexuality is from nature or nurture, I still don’t believe it to be something the individual chooses. I mean, why in the world would an active Mormon consciencesly choose to be gay?! About the sin thing, that is true, it just wasn’t stated clearly in your post. My bad!

    • 73
      Wrylon

      Clay, I actually wonder if we did identified ourselves more by our perceived worldly weaknesses than the world would be a lot better. Than we would realize that no one is perfect and that person over there, the one that appears to have everything and then some, we would actually realize is just trying to get through each day with their struggles and triumphs just like us and everyone else.

      My husband is Same-Sex Attracted or the understood term, gay. I don’t see it as a weakness at all. It’s just part of who he is.

      Yeah, that is a big distinction. Being gay is not a weakness. It is part of who someone is.

      All the puzzle pieces for my husband came together last June when Josh Weed of JoshWeed.com came out. I have loved watching my husband figure it all out and what being gay means for him and what it doesn’t. Just like Spencer my husband tried to squash any “gay” type feelings and he really hasn’t been himself for decades! It has been wonderful to watch him become who he really was deep down. He was a wonderful man and now he is an AMAZING man!

      Through being gay, he too has become much closer to God and a much better understanding of life and of loving others and the importance to just love. He is a stronger man, better father, better husband, and better friend because he is gay.

      Why share? Because you would not believe that amount of SSA/gay Mormons and Christians out there that think they are all alone! Who think a myriad of things about themselves and who are not happy…to say the least. Also as Christians and other Faiths many have learned, by accident, and some not so much so, that we only really love those that are “perfect” and doing what they are “supposed” to. Supposedly we serve and love everyone but I believe in general we have lost that.

      We need to learn how to love and show love unconditionally again! We also need to learn again how to love someone not making the choices we think they should. Do you know how many gay people come out, not even choosing the typical lifestyle, and they lose friends, good Christian friends. We don’t know how to love anyone outside our realm of what we think is acceptable. I am grateful for people like Spencer, willing to speak out and show something so vulnerable! It literally changes lives for the better!

      • 74
        CRS

        Thank you for your comment. I had long assumed that if someone says that they are embracing their gay identity, then that means that they have given up on living the law of chastity. It seems like you are telling me that that can mean something else that I have not considered before?

        I know that this topic must be very sensitive and personal, so I don’t want to pry or make you feel uncomfortable. But I am curious about what it is like for a wife with a gay husband.

      • 75
        JF

        “Also as Christians and other Faiths many have learned, by accident, and some not so much so, that we only really love those that are “perfect” and doing what they are “supposed” to. Supposedly we serve and love everyone but I believe in general we have lost that. ”

        I completely agree with this!!

  30. 76
    Clay Frost

    When I said: “I feel that Christ as well wants us to forget about our short comings and pitfalls as well.” I don’t mean to burry them or not confront them, rather to repent and then forget. I’d also like to add that this thought was spurred by President Young when he said something to the effect: “Let the things between you and God, stay between you and God, and if you have wronged your family that is between you and your family.” (roughly quoting)

  31. 77
    CRS

    Hi Spencer,

    I know, on an intellectual level, how difficult it is to be a gay mormon, and I thank you for your coming out and your kind words for the church and faith.

    I don’t know if I could be celibate, if I were gay, but I do know that when I have given up something meaningful to me, as a gift to God, I have felt a quiet joy. Perhaps you could see your life as a special sacrifice to God? That your celibacy will be a great triumph that will be an acceptable consecration of your whole soul to God?

    Please let me know if this is an offensive thing to ask. I want to know if I should refrain from saying it to others in the future.

    • 78
      Landon

      CRS, I disagree with your opinion about giving up his ability to have a romantic relationship up as a gift to God, but I love how you asked about it. Thank you for being so understanding, and so willing to ask and accept others’ opinions. I wish more Mormons had this same attitude.

      • 79
        Rich

        Landon, I wish you wouldn’t generalize Mormons as having static dogma. You seem to believe that many Mormons maintain consistently flawed belief-patterned. In point of fact, the Gospel is perfect. The Church, on the other hand, is an organization run by imperfect people who are neither hive-controlled, nor generalizable. People make mistakes, and many of us think for ourselves, regardless of what might been seen as the staple norm of perceived beliefs.

        The way I see it is this: The one ultimate gift we have been given by Deity, is our ability to choose. I would never suggest the extent or power to which a person my choose, that is an individual’s governance. But choice is innate, and Spencer proves choice is something possible in a culturally-frustrated situation. I have a dear friend who was born with no limbs. He still chooses how to live his life, and most importantly, how he feels about what he has been given. He told me that this was based on “Man’s Search for Meaning,” in which Dr. Frankl addresses the issue of choice, as a Jew in the Holocaust.

  32. 81
    Cindy

    I spent many years pondering the questions of homosexuality; I wanted to know the truth. I know without a doubt, it isn’t a life choice, it is a way of being. You are awesome Spencer and I honor your courage, writing skills and I would be proud to have you as my son.

  33. 82
    Lydia Russell

    I respect his openness however disagree. This post will cause a lot of people to dislike me very much…But I feel strongly that I must continue in the most humble and loving way possible. Spencer said, “While I was in this period of what I thought was perfecting myself, I, in retrospect, see that I actually lost a good chunk of what made me, me. My fun-loving and happy personality became sunken and burdened under the weight of the impossible task of “straightening” myself out.” That’s as if I were to say, “While I was trying to resist committing adultery (sin), I lost a chunk of what made me, me. I sunk dealing with the burden of keeping myself on the right track.” Our sins do not make up who we are. They are CHOICES. Just like we are to not commit adultery, the same goes for people that feel attraction to the same gender. We each have burdens we face. I do love His message about Heavenly Father knowing his Children. And that he feels a relationship with God. He mentioned that after accepting who he is he feels, “he doesn’t need to hide who he is from God. Having an attraction to men doesn’t make up who a person is. It is like praying to Heavenly Father saying, “Alright, I have accepted the fact that I cannot stop having sexual relations before marriage. This is who I am.” When in actuality we should all say, “Father in Heaven, I am struggling so much with this problem and I know what I need to do. Please help me conquer this.” I have read about and interviewed several homosexual people who have found eternal companions of opposite gender and are currently living a beautiful love life. They are best friends and have had a wonderful eternal family.
    Please keep in mind that I am not dissing him or anti-gay. I agree with his concept of Hope. That God is full of grace and loves us all. He said “whether I am single, or fall in love with another man” I disagree with his choice to, simply put, give up. He was born a way, but that is his trial. We all have them and fight them every day. Don’t let yourself fall in love with another man. CHOOSE to fall in love with a woman. I chose my spouse because I wanted to. There was no divine intervention. It was OUR decision to be sealed for time and all eternity because we felt the beautiful love of Christ which bonded us closer.
    He says, “I believe that the hope I possess in the grace and goodness of God will be able to sustain me” but then continues “even if I fall in love with and marry another man.” Why can’t he use that hope and grace to push those feelings deep within. Look beyond attraction and into the beauty of another person. Fall in love with who they are no matter if you aren’t attracted to them and let God’s grace make up the difference. He is exactly right, God knows him and knows his heart, and that very same God is just. He cannot stand idly to those who know the knowledge of the restored gospel and choose not to follow it no matter how hard it may get for any of us. We must always do what’s right. Always do our best. Humbling ourselves to God brings us closer, not telling him “this is who I am, accept it.” Satan is soooooo good at deceiving and we see it more and more in this world.
    Last, I completely agree that us as members should do so much better at treating one another as Christ would. Christ loves all of us no matter our sins and trials we face. We should do the same. However, one of the most reassuring things to me as I converted to the church was that it ALWAYS stayed the same. No matter how much the world changed, God’s gospel would never change and convert to the ways of the world. So yes, that does mean the plan of happiness means get baptized, serve and share the gospel you know and love with others so they can have it, do your best to grow as a person whether it be a college education or not, find an eternal companion to become a God with, and never deny yourself the beautiful opportunity of having your very own children as our Heavenly Father did, that we may become even more so like Him. There is nothing wrong with that beautiful plan. The little things that intertwine within those are what makes it so very beautiful, and a wonderful merciful plan He created.
    He said, “The model of happiness is unattainable”. This is by far the most incorrect statement of the blog. EVERYONE, NO MATTER WHAT THEY MAY FACE, can obtain this happiness. This statement is as if he were denying the atonement. Did not the Redeemer, Our Brother, Our Savior, suffer the very sins and sorrows we face (INCLUDING HOMOSEXUALITY) that we may obtain this happiness? It makes my heart wrench at the thought that someone with the knowledge of His grace would deny the very Power He holds. Through Jesus Christ, ANYTHING is possible. Especially struggling through our weaknesses even if it means for the rest of our mortal lives. He will have every opportunity in the next life to fulfill what he couldn’t in this life, IF, he holds to keeping the commandments our Heavenly Father has set for us BECAUSE he wants us to be happy. THIS is the way to happiness.
    Being Christ-like to those who struggle with homosexuality does not mean being tolerant to not obeying the beautiful plan Heavenly Father has set for us.
    We can do it, and especially HE can do it. I respect him though for his choice to publicly post this. Please don’t hate me. I mean this sincerely. It is a CHOICE.

    • 83
      JF

      As a woman if someone told me that I should marry a girl because that was the way it was, I would fight and scratch against that so much because it would not be in my makeup as a person. I believe this is the way it is for many homosexuals. Would you eat grubs for the rest of your life… even if you had all the other food in the world at your fingertips? I believe that sometime it is a choice for men and women to become homosexual, but that it is rare. Why in the world would a person choose this lifestyle as hard as it is in the world? I sure wouldn’t considering what they go up against socially and culturally… especially as members of the church.

      • 84
        CRS

        I’m not saying it would be easy or that I could do it, but if I had promised God in the most solemn and serious way that I would only eat the grubs, then I should try to only eat the grubs.

    • 85
      Rude Dog

      I can’t even start about how damaging this attitude is. You Lydia, are like the Mormon church in that you seemingly swallow the camel yet strain at the gnat. It would be the assumption of any reasonable thinking that the hard part for religion would be accepting the premise of God creating a person who is fundamentally to the core homosexual, and that the sex act would just be an insignificant given. Paradoxically Mormons accept this orientation more or less being the same as heterosexual orientation with more or less the same fundamental core desires to share intimacy and closeness with the partner of their choice, including the basics of sexual intimacy, which is a fundamental of human relationships, all good, just don’t act upon this core desire. Be who God created you to be, except don’t be is the message today and it’s not about God’s creation of homosexuality which is an acceptable idea. What it boils down to is the cryptonite of all religion, and that is the childish immaturity of being high centered on the sex act.
      Let me give you something to think about. Right now, in the celestial room of the Salt Lake temple is a heterosexual couple that last night engaged in a loving session that included everything a gay couple would engage in including oral and anal sex. Religion absolutely loves to dwaddle on these details as we as a Mormon church have involved ourselves years back in the bedrooms of heterosexual couples, thwarting any attempts at the unholy and impure practice of oral sex (abhorrent connubial practices I believe it was labeled from the First Presidency). Today it’s not about being gay per se, it’s about the bedroom again. With a mature species there would be no difference in sexuality between a legally a lawfully hetero and homosexual couple. In fact, addressing the sex act really approaches the highest realms of the banal.
      Let’s give our GLBT brothers and sisters their right to be who they are, without some need to change their sexual orientation. The “home of the brave” would see that basic civil rights, due process and equal protection already apply to these individuals, that the religious stand in the way is not only unconstitutional, but immoral. And like the blacks and the priesthood, the Mormon church will again find itself on the wrong side of history, and Evergreen will be the smoking gun of exactly how much of an uninspired man made construct the Mormon church is, along with every other organized religion. If you want to deny our GLBT their core desires and needs and insist that they lead a life of celibacy, then I say take up that charitable cross and live a celibate life along side them. Cowards.

      • 86
        CRS

        “Today it’s not about being gay per se, it’s about the bedroom again.” What would you have the church do? Make it about being gay?

        I do not find your comment helpful because you clearly do not believe that our leaders are inspired by God. I wish you would be forthright about it and just say, “I don’t believe that your church is inspired by God.” Then the church doesn’t have to change its doctrine. It just has to go out of existence, right? So why are you trying to get the church to change its doctrine when you don’t believe that it is based on truth anyway no matter what its doctrine?

        I also do not like how you reduce a person to their sexuality. I think that you should honestly consider that other views of sexuality might be as coherent or even more coherent as your own. You may consider that perhaps sexuality is for procreation and that a person’s highest joy with respect to sexual expression may come in the purposeful act of procreation. And you could also consider that the church does not tell married couples not to do those certain sex acts, not because they are not wrong, but that the church has to choose its battles. It may be that sex that is not for procreation is sinful, even between spouses, but that the church cannot outlaw everything.

  34. 87
    Lula

    As someone that knew Spencer for a long time, but always from a distance, I found a separate lesson in this article that might only have been meant for me, but I’ll share it in hopes that it might help someone else.

    I ran into Spencer right around a year and a half ago, which happens to be about when he came out, according to this article. I don’t know which event happened first, but it really doesn’t matter. I thought for sure he would have said “hello” or at least acknowledged my presence, but he did not. I even made an extra effort to make eye contact and smile a few times, but it was met with nothing more than the blank stare of a stranger.

    All I can remember is going home and being upset that he refused to even nod in my general direction. I thought of how rude he was. I thought of what a jerk move it was. I wrote it off as an obvious inability to get past high school cliques.

    Now I sit here reading this article and it puts in perspective where his life was at. It’s a rare privilege to be privy to the inner details of a person’s soul, and I commend him for being so open and honest in such a scary place as a public website. His story resonates deeply with me, because I have seen the way people in the area where he grew up were treated if they were not the “norm”. It would be absolutely terrifying for me to have done what he has, and I think his dedication to his faith and to his own personal development, as divergent as they may be, is telling of the incredible character he has within him.

    His story was also an eye-opener for me. How many times do we encounter someone that is hurting inside, and when even the slightest outward manifestation occurs, we write it off as them being immature and rude? I would argue that the world definitely contains its fair share of the honest-to-goodness jerks; but, we create far more of them in our minds than exist in the real world around us.

    The Lord has a way of showing us our weaknesses so that we can turn them into strengths, and today I was shown another weakness. Spencer may never know of the judgment that I passed on him that day, and I pray he never does, but I learned (again) that everyone we meet is in the middle of a trial, so there is no place for judgement in any of our hearts.

    • 88
      JF

      Thanks for sharing your insight Lula… We have all been in that situation, and I know I personally hold a grudge for some peoples’ behavior in my past because the acted a certain way to me by omission or on purpose.. probably most by omission. I need to let it go. I loved your last paragraph. Thanks you!

  35. 89
    Nichelle

    Spencer, I LOVE this. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being so courageous. Thank you for not being ashamed to be you; all of you!

  36. 90
    Hiram

    Being gay is a decision you make is something you can change, you can not change anything if you were born with only one arm, but you can change something you find is wrong, it is your decision, you have the power to change your destiny. We love all people no matter what, but you won´t find anything if you look in the wrong place. Happiness is not there, there is not happiness in homosexuality, there is just sadness, and you already know that. Our spirits since the beginning were created man and woman.
    Of course God loves you, you are his son, a loving father as him, doesn´t quit in loving his sons, he will wait until you decide to choose what is right, that is for sure.

    • 91
      Landon

      Maybe you should try to be more empathetic. Have you ever actually spoken to someone that is gay? Have you ever spoken to a Mormon that is gay? It seems you haven’t.

      • 92
        Jennie

        exactly my thoughts, Landon! Hiram’s comment is naïve. Being gay is not something you just “change” with a “decision”. It’s a decision to act on it. But you can’t just “un-gay” yourself.

    • 93
      hiram

      Landon,
      Of course I have talked to members of the church who are involved or had been involved in homosexuality. Have you talked to them? And what I said before is based on that chats with them. There is no happiness in homosexuality. And being gay of course is a decision but yes you are right it needs action too to change.
      About Spencer, he has not been so courageous because of sharing this. Is not just to share what you think but what you have decided, and from what I had read here, He is trying to play, I would like to hear from him when he makes a final decision.
      Homesexuality is evil, and trying to make it look normal or aceptable is even more evil. We love people, no matter what it is the situation, but telling to people who are gay in a clear manner what the real end will be if they don´t choose what is right, it is the best way to show love to them.

      • 94
        Landon

        You really think being gay is a decision? Do you really think that any sane, active Mormon, would choose to have same-sex attractions, and to have a lack of opposite-sex attractions? Why would anyone make that decision, with all of the negative attitude and the teachings against homosexuality that exist within the church? No one would make that decision. It is not a decision to be gay.

        Spencer has made a decision. He has decided that his homosexuality is a part of him. He has decided that he cannot “overcome” it. Your degrading and negative comments prove that Spencer has been courageous in sharing his thoughts, for I am sure he knew he would be facing many like it when deciding to post this article.

  37. 95
    JF

    Years ago I attended a ward in Minneapolis that included part of the inner-city. I had a family member who was part of that ward. It’s membership was very mixed of people, stories, financial situations, etc… very diversified. There was a woman who came dressed very differently. She looked like she was dressed like Little Miss Muffet with a gathered bonnet on her head, a dress with gathered sleeves and so forth. She was doing hand sewing all through Sunday School and Relief Society. Turns out she did that for a living at that point in her life. Sometime before her conversion she had been a prostitute. And you know, she was known as one of the most dedicated members of that congregation. She would show up to activities way before others and start setting up and stuff… and she would be one of the last to leave. She served the members of the congregation so unselfishly. Attending that ward that one Sunday made such a huge impact on me that I remember it so well almost 20 years later. The members were so loving and welcoming and so accepting. I’m sure that my attending that one Sunday didn’t give me a full view of the dynamics, but my brother being the Bishop sure could tell me about it. I think many of their members, because of their hardships and life lessons, had truly been converted as to the ways of our Savior Jesus Christ.

    A woman or a man can be single her entire life, childless, spouseless, and yearning for those dreams and desires that we all want so bad in life. So can a gay member of the church. Just because he is homosexual doesn’t mean he will act on it. Whatever choices any person makes with their own life, is their choice… with positive and negative consequences. But behind it all, our Savior died for us. It is our commandment to love one another as He has loved us. He makes up the difference between our sinful life here, because we all are sinners in God’s eye; and the perfection our Heavenly Father demands of us to be in his presence.

    Again, Spencer, thank you for sharing this. It has made a big impact on many people.

  38. 96
    Lance

    With a Master’s degree in counseling may I suggest there is much we do not understand? A few thoughts including our Father’s Plan:

    1. A huge percentage of homosexual men were abused as a small child: One General. Authority reported in conference, “It is like a computer chip being burned into their brains.” These words of the Savior recorded in the N.T. come to mind: “…better to be drown in the depths of the sea…than to defile one of these little ones.” That seed was planted contrary to the will of the child.

    2. The sex act can create powerful feelings of love(?) In Man, the Lord’s greatest creation— intimacy and love spawn these feelings. The words to an old song say: “…can’t have one without the other” Does one of these come before the other? A prostitute interviewed for the book “Working” by Studs Turkel we read this interesting observation: When the man reaches that point of climax her customer often exclaims: “I love you” then quickly realizes that that really can not be since he does not even know her name. Note: when it comes to loving another man it must be remembered that same gender attraction is usually a normal thing while same sex attraction goes far beyond that.

    2. Every mortal has a soul stretching challenge: an addiction, a phobia, a weakness of the flesh, deformity, unmet yearnings, compulsions, painful experiences, other proclivities, “a thorn in my flesh” as Paul of the New Testament put it–all part of the plan. Lindy, was born with totally crippling spinal bifida leaving her permanently as a 3 month old, 60 years have passed. The family members accept the fact that Lindy choose in the pre-mortal to come to this family and teach them compassion and service. I can’t see any glory being withheld from her in the eternities. I believe that some of the most faithful spirits come to earth with all kinds of temporary provisions.

    3. Bill Segers in his book “WHY ME” shares his discoveries after living the gay lifestyle for many years, his finding and joining the LDS church, his subsequent abandoning the life style, marrying, having a family, and serving in the church. An awesome easy to read paperback clearly outlines the part that agency plays both in his life and the life of surrounding loved ones, in fact every one who has ever had any kind of temptation will find insights about his agency.

    4. A long time friend overcame his practice and lived the straight life. Recently after years of struggle and victories he found himself in yet another counseling session in Cedar City Ut. where the faithful councilor holding the Holy Priesthood gave him a blessing and cast out 5 evil female spirits who had been tenets for decades. His countenance was dramatically lighter.
    As we started out, perhaps there are many things we don’t really understand very well, except: there is a loving Heavenly Father who sent his Only Begotten Son.

    • 97
      Landon

      You apparently have a Master’s in Exorcism. I’m guessing the name of your thesis must have been “Evil Female Spirits and Their Effect on Sexuality”? Your counseling ideals seem to focus more on placating the general Mormon public, rather than to comfort and aid someone in need.

      Also, you having a Master’s, I was expecting some good evidence. All you gave was cherry-picked anecdotal evidence.

    • 98
      CRS

      Thanks for this interesting information, Lance. Don’t be discouraged by Landon’s knee-jerk reaction to your point of view.

  39. 99
    Ronald

    You hit the “we need to be more Christ like and understanding” point right on the head Spencer. But, long story short, the Doctrine concerning homosexuality is rather black and white. It always has been and always will be. I don’t understand the struggle of homosexuality, I don’t know how to go about fighting it, but I do know that Christ, prophets of old, and modern day prophets have said that when one acts on homosexual feelings, they are sinning. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. It means you’re sinning and struggling with something just like the rest of us. Can everyone with homosexual feelings suppress them and live happily ever after with someone of the opposite sex? I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know if you do not act on the feelings you can be worthy to receive alla of Gods blessings and when you do act on those feelings, you’re no longer worthy until one repents. Black and white. I’m SO glad that you feel good about where you are with your relationhship with God. I’m glad you are happy. But to live with a spouse for eternity, you have to be sealed in the temple. If you’re not sealed by the proper authority, the relationship ends at death. It doesn’t matter how we rationalize it, if we hope that the church will change it policy and let gays be sealed, etc. Acting on homosexual feelings has been and always will be an abomination before God just like some of the other sins that I have committed. I like that you understand that and seem to own your decisions and understand the doctrine. But to people justifying it, it’s not gonna get you anywhere. It might be a nice thought for the time being, but the reality is, God has already said what’s what and it is pretty easy to follow.

    • 100
      Landon

      Yes, homosexuality will always be an abomination.
      Just how polygamy is an abomination now, and always will be. Oh wait, it didn’t use to be.
      Just how drinking alcohol was a sin. Oh wait, it didn’t use to be.
      Just how blacks will never have the priesthood. Oh wait, they do now.
      Just how oral sex is an abhorrent practice for married couples. Oh wait, well, they don’t like to talk about that anymore

      So then, Ronald, what would you have Spencer do? He must have a temple marriage and be sealed to obtain happiness, yet he is gay? Live a celibate life? Live as an active Mormon, surrounded by families who constantly bear their testimony on the importance and blessings of temple marriage, while knowing he can never have one? Maybe serve as a Sunday School, Elders Quorum, or Young Men’s instructor, advocating that all should seek a temple marriage, while knowing he can never have one of his own? Maybe he could dedicate his life so much to the Gospel and gain so much knowledge of the scriptures, become very Christ-like, and serve others so much that he could possibly be called to serve in the bishopric or stake presidency? Oh wait, he would have to be married for that. Everyone knows God doesn’t call people with homosexual feelings to be bishops.

      I think if every heterosexual took a moment to empathize with a gay Mormon, they would see how hard and conflicting it would be. Could you stay active in the church for the rest of your life, knowing you could never marry, while it is everyone else’s main goal? Knowing you could never even kiss? Would you believe that God consigned you to that fate? Would you believe that He would do that to you? I refuse to believe that a loving God would do that to a child he loves.

      • 101
        Tony Rawlins

        Landon-
        Bro.. your making it sound like spencer has absolutely NO CHOICE in whether he like to be with men or not. i have a choice to go to work or not, to be on time or not, to go in the boys or girls bathroom. I also have a choice to whom i am attracted to. “well i was born this way”… THAT IS THE MOST UNTRUE THING ON THIS PLANET. There is absolutely no way that you are born with a “brain deficiency” or anything else that makes you automatically attracted to the same sex. if thats true, then i, being a pre-mature baby, should most likely have those complications as well because i could say that my brain wasn’t fully developed.. so i can’t help what i think. Dude, this homosexual thing is nothing more than a conscious choice to like the same sex. and the fact that spencer has posted this up and said all that he said just proves that he knows it is wrong but he doesn’t WANT to change. he has all the power in the world to change, and with the help of heavenly father he can overcome it. like it was said before, he’s not a bad person, or anything like that. he just has a choice that he’s made that is not compatible with the gospel and needs help to change. I have spoken to MANY homosexual people on my mission. so yes, i know.

        • 102
          Landon

          You have a lot of broken logic, and I will point it out:

          1. “I have a choice to go to work or not, to be on time or not, to go in the boys or girls bathroom. I also have a choice to whom i am attracted to.”

          Just because you have a choice to go workout, to be on time etc. does not mean that everything you do is your choice. Do you choose to be sleepy? Do you choose to be hungry? To you choose to have an adrenaline rush? Do you make the conscious choice to be attracted to a person of the opposite sex? Obviously, there are things about our body that we choose, and things that we don’t choose. Pointing out some examples of things you choose does not show in any way that being attracted to the same sex is a choice. Bad logic.

          2. “And the fact that Spencer has posted this up and said all that he said just proves that he knows it is wrong but he doesn’t WANT to change.”

          Wrong, just wrong. Just because he has come out publicly, does not mean he knows it’s wrong. It means that he knows that it’s okay! That’s why he came out about it! Truly though, you can’t make a claim about what Spencer’s motives are, so you should probably stop putting words in is mouth.

          3. “He just has a choice that he’s made that is not compatible with the gospel and needs help to change.”

          Well, not broken logic, but an incorrect statement. A very incorrect statement. Here is the Church’s official stance on the subject”

          “The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.”
          -From http://www.mormonsandgays.org

          4. “There is absolutely no way that you are born with a “brain deficiency” or anything else that makes you automatically attracted to the same sex. if thats true, then i, being a pre-mature baby, should most likely have those complications as well because i could say that my brain wasn’t fully developed.. so i can’t help what i think.”

          This is by far the best one. I’m sorry, I normally avoid personal attacks or insults in an argument, but this is just too fun to avoid. Why is it impossible that something about the brain, or something about the body would cause same-sex attraction? There are brain defects that cause many behavioral issues. There are are hormonal imbalances that also cause behavioral issues. You say that there is “absolutely no way, yet you offer no support. Sad.

          Oh wait, you did offer support! Your wonderful anecdotal evidence! (Disclaimer: the following marks will be laced with sarcasm, I just wanted your premature, underdeveloped brain to understand that.) Yes, you’re right. All premature babies have EVERY defect known to man. So, if you were premature, you must have every birth defect! And if you don’t have a certain defect that exists in other people, then that defect must not be a defect at all, it must be something the individual chose! We can all be sure of at least one brain defect you had due to your premature birth. Underdevelopment of the left cortex that has affected your ability to use sound logic.

          Please don’t take the previous comments. I make them with a lighthearted “Stephen Colbert”-esque attitude. Something we can all laugh about.

  40. 103
    Landon

    Yes, homosexuality will always be an abomination.
    Just how polygamy is an abomination now, and always will be. Oh wait, it didn’t use to be.
    Just how drinking alcohol was a sin. Oh wait, it didn’t use to be.
    Just how blacks will never have the priesthood. Oh wait, they do now.
    Just how oral sex is an abhorrent practice for married couples. Oh wait, well, they don’t like to talk about that anymore

    So then, Ronald, what would you have Spencer do? He must have a temple marriage and be sealed to obtain happiness, yet he is gay? Live a celibate life? Live as an active Mormon, surrounded by families who constantly bear their testimony on the importance and blessings of temple marriage, while knowing he can never have one? Maybe serve as a Sunday School, Elders Quorum, or Young Men’s instructor, advocating that all should seek a temple marriage, while knowing he can never have one of his own? Maybe he could dedicate his life so much to the Gospel and gain so much knowledge of the scriptures, become very Christ-like, and serve others so much that he could possibly be called to serve in the bishopric or stake presidency? Oh wait, he would have to be married for that. Everyone knows God doesn’t call people with homosexual feelings to be bishops.

    I think if every heterosexual took a moment to empathize with a gay Mormon, they would see how hard and conflicting it would be. Could you stay active in the church for the rest of your life, knowing you could never marry, while it is everyone else’s main goal? Knowing you could never even kiss? Would you believe that God consigned you to that fate? Would you believe that He would do that to you? I refuse to believe that a loving God would do that to a child he loves.

    • 104
      hiram

      Landon,
      You are good in mixing things, to love someone has nothing to see with right or wrong, I love my sons and daughters no matter what, but I teach them about what is right and what is wrong, and if I can do something to help them in their lives I will do it, but today I haven´t heard from any prophet of god, that homosexuality is right, but I have heard from them that is wrong and evil
      If someday God or any of his prophets say that is right please let me know. And I will change my mind.

  41. 105
    Annette Holt

    Most articles I read about gay Mormons aren’t so well thought out or so well written. I really appreciated reading your point of view. While I don’t support gay marriage, I completely agree with you on your second point. I didn’t find it ‘worldly’ or blasphemous at all. The doctrine teaches us that God is the judge. I can’t say what will or won’t happen to you (or myself) in the Eternities because I’m not Him but I do know that he loves you just as much as he loves me. Thank you for being so open.

  42. 106
    Kael Moffat

    Very touching column! I cannot imagine what it must be like to try and get along with this kind of inner struggle. I mean, having a very different political point of view from the majority of American Mormons can get pretty uncomfortable–especially around July 4, July 24, and Memorial Day–but holding this kind of paradox together must be an amazing feat. This young man has my respect! I hope he is successful in his continuing quest for resolution and peace.

    I think there are a number of things about the Gospel we just don’t get in this lifetime. Why someone would be born with same-sex attraction when acting upon it has been so negatively marked is something I think we’re not ready, as a society, to understand/appreciate yet–remember the years it took to become ready to live the Word of Wisdom as a commandment and remember the years it took us to unlearn the racism that kept all worthy male members from holding the Priesthood.

  43. 107
    Lizzie

    I have to say that I am saddened by all the contentious remarks here and I would just like to say that we have been told not to judge others, so please leave it up to Heavenly Father. Please stop arguing and bringing the spirit of contention to this website. Sorry if I have offended any of you, but honestly, let God be the judge and stop fighting…it gets you nowhere.

    • 108
      Landon

      I agree Lizzie, we should avoid contentious remarks, and I admittedly have been guilty of those on here. However, there is a difference between avoiding contention, and ignoring the issue outright. This is an important social and theological issue that should be discussed, while keeping the contention to a minimum.

    • 109
      JF

      WOW!! I agree wholeheartedly!! There is so much in this life that I do not understand.. one being homosexuality. I know that Heavenly Father as commanded us to love one another. Regardless of heterosexual or homosexual .. I do not want to know what goes on or hear about or watch what goes on in people’s bedroom and intimate lives and I think that is where people get so hung up on regarding this topic. This young man has made so many points that I can relate to about life, about church, about Christ’s gospel, about living a Christlike life. It will be up to God to judge… all of us.

  44. 110
    Ronald

    Landon,

    Polygamy served a purpose in biblical times as well as modern, it was not always an abomination… So you’re wrong.

    Drinking alcohol was addressed in the bible and as soon as the church was restored the word of wisdom came about…. So you’re wrong.

    The church has NEVER said no oral sex… So you’re wrong.

    I don’t care how spencer goes about it. Not my place nor do I care. I am here to say nothing more than this; if you participate in homosexual activity, and don’t repent, you will not receive all of Gods blessings, the greatest being eternal life. That’s it. Period. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s the doctrine given by God in old times as well as now. That doesn’t meant I’m judging a gay person. It simply means I understand the gospel. If they wanna do whatever… Great! It’s not my life, I’m not gonna judge. But there is already an outline that is very simple to see.

    • 111
      Landon

      Ronald, read my post again. I was clearly showing that church doctrine has changed. Polygamy is sinful now, but it didn’t use to be. You’re supporting my statement.

      In the ancient church, alcohol was not prohibited. There was alcohol used by Christians in the Americas and in the Old World.

      The First Presidency has said no oral sex, even between spouses, is considered to be immoral in a letter released to all church leaders, bishop and higher:

      http://www.mormonchronicle.com/archivesneakpeek/lds-first-presidency-oral-sex-letter/

      My point is that church doctrine has changed over the years, so doctrine concerning homosexuals could also change.

      • 113
        CRS

        I think that you are bending the facts. Please consider the following:

        1. No one has said that church doctrine can never change. I do find it unlikely that it will change with respect to homosexuality because of the importance family and eternal increase to mormon doctrine.

        2. The doctrine of polygamy hasn’t really changed. The practice ended, not because it is sinful, but because it is impractical. It is sinful to engage in it because it is disobedience to the first presidency’s instruction.

        3. the Word of Wisdom specifically says that it is not a commandment. Again, we live it because we are told to by the first presidency. It is a practical thing, that I submit to you has saved many, many lives.

        4. As I said in another post, oral sex is probably not in the temple recommend interview because the church has to choose its battles. Not because it is not sinful. As I study the teachings of the church and traditional christianity, I am more and more convinced that sex is only truly appropriate as a procreative act and when our culture gave in to contraceptives, we devalued sex and detached it from procreation, leading to the slippery slope we now find ourselves on.

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      CRS

      I agree that homosexual acts are a sin, but homosexuality is not that simple for those who suffer from it. You would do well to have some conversations with some gay individuals to see what they go through and the challenges they face.

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