FAIR Examination 2: An active LDS mother with same gender attraction

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When we think of people with same sex attraction, we usually don’t imagine a temple-married, active LDS, mother of two. Yet that is what we find in this interview with “Samantha.” Interestingly, a person such as she may not be as uncommon as we often believe. LDS Family Social Services estimates that 4-5 members in the average LDS ward experience same gender attraction. Most of those are married with children. In this interview, “Samantha” tells about her experiences with Church leaders at BYU and in her home ward over the years. She also helps to provide insight into how fellow family members and ward members can help lift the burden of someone who experiences same gender attraction.

8 thoughts on “FAIR Examination 2: An active LDS mother with same gender attraction

  1. Pingback: 8 December 2011 | MormonVoices

  2. Kathy

    Thank you for this thoughtful and insightful examination of same sex attraction. I appreciated “Samantha” for putting a personal voice to a difficult issue in our society and the gospel. My understanding of this issue has been improved and my future responses to people with same sex attraction will be motivated by greater love and compassion.

  3. Ben Carlsen

    Wow. Thanks for this podcast. It really is amazing how members of the Church treat homosexuals like they have leprosy. I wish Church leaders spent as much time talking about tolerance and love for those with same-sex attraction as they did talking about pornography. Maybe then something would change. Good luck Samantha! Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts.

  4. Christian

    Samantha, thank you for your time and words. I’m touched by your faith and courage and by how applicable your insights are for all people of faith. Thank you for insipiring faith in us and helping us to ask valuable questions. I pledge that my behavior and my example to my family will be that same-gender-attraction in and of itself is not a determinant of the value of a child of God. Thank you to all involved in this podcast for making it available.

  5. Daniel

    I have been dealing with this issue with an investigator (I am the WML). Thanks for this insightful interview. I agree with Ben about the leaders of the church (local mostly) tackling this issue the way they do with pornography. It would be helpful to all members. Or at least the way to handle it when it does come up.

    We are all children of God and must show the same love to all people.

  6. Richard

    The issue is very simple and clear. Premarital sex (regardless of gender) is against God’s commandments. To be exalted (eternally progress) you MUST be married in the temple (exaltation is not the same as being saved). You cannot do this with the same gender.

    Its not about tolerance – its about what has been commanded in scriptures. Leviticus and the new testament SOUNDLY proclaim that homosexuality is against God’s commandment AND nature.

    Are homoesexuals good people – yes many are. Are they violating one of God’s commandments (that has been written in the scriptures time and time again) — yes. Does this make them people we shouldn’t associate with — no. All God’s children are loved and special but by KNOWINGLY going against his strict commandments WILL prevent anyone from blessings and achieving greater glory in the eternities should they not repent and continue the transgression.

    EACH OF US has challenges to overcome – whether its same sex attraction, drugs, stealing, etc. WE ARE to TAME and CONTROL our lusts and desires (the carnal nature of man). This has REPEATEDLY been spoken throughout the scriptures (not just the Book of Mormon). Some are born with these tendencies, some are developed, some can be chemical etc. Regardless – ANY challenge can be overcome — not saying its easy…but possible.

    So it boils down to this — we must treat ALL people with respect and kindness but serious transgressions against God’s commandments will prevent you from many blessings within the church and the afterlife. WE ARE not judging others -we are going by what has been written and commanded of God.

  7. Samantha

    My thanks to all who took time to listen to this and I appreciate your comments. I must reply to Richard, though:

    “Are homoesexuals good people – yes many are. Are they violating one of God’s commandments (that has been written in the scriptures time and time again) — yes.”

    I’m not denying that I violate God’s commandments–thank goodness for the atonement, repentance, and forgiveness. But I believe heterosexuals are violating God’s commandments, as well. It’s sort of the human condition and perfect people are difficult (perhaps impossible?) to find. However, I am not violating the commandments simply because I am homosexual. That’s an orientation which directs me toward people to whom I am attracted–and attractions are not sinful, they just happen. Should I act on those attractions and violate my marriage and temple covenants, that would be considered sinful to all who believe the gospel tenets, myself included.

    I ask again that people be respectful and careful when judging those who live with a condition of life about which those who would judge know nothing. And while I do not doubt all challenges of this life can be overcome, some will not be overcome until the next life and we would be well-advised to tend to our own challenges rather than worrying about how others deal with theirs.

    I understand what you are trying to say. I also am somewhat envious of those whose lives have so little to challenge them that they feel entitled to try to “make” others better by throwing words of scriptural condemnation at them.

    My point in answering the questions in this interview was not to provide a forum for the self-righteous to reiterate dogmatic premises which most people already know, but to put a face on a life condition many people fear or misunderstand, and to allow a glimpse into my life and the lives of others who have experienced bias and hatred at that hands of people who profess to be disciples of Christ.

    “So it boils down to this — we must treat ALL people with respect and kindness but serious transgressions against God’s commandments will prevent you from many blessings within the church and the afterlife. WE ARE not judging others -we are going by what has been written and commanded of God.”

    I will not argue the point of blessings being denied those who transgress the laws of God, but I will point out that we have Judges in Zion who are called of God to tend to their specific flock and unless you and the faceless “WE”, referenced by you in your comment are those appointed judges, I believe the words of Christ most fitting for you are, “Judge not.” Because you are judging, regardless of basis of your judgment (in this case “what has been written and commanded of God”). In my opinion, all would be better served by leaving such judgment to those who have been called, and turning “what has been written and commanded of God” to the inspection of their own lives, not the lives of others, especially when you have no idea what those you deem as transgressors have endured.

  8. Hirkimer

    “Are they violating one of God’s commandments (that has been written in the scriptures time and time again) — yes.”

    What makes a homosexual inherently sinful? Do you mean to say that the action of homosexual sex is sinful? Because the action is very different than the attraction to the same sex. Just like an alcoholic may be attracted to alcohol, he is not sinful unless he is actually drinking.

    If we do not separate temptation from sinful actions we fall into pitfalls like stereotyping and unrighteous judgment. What a great example Samantha can be for us. She wears her temptation on her name tag and is a worthy, temple going member of the church. This interview reminds me to not judge others and also not to judge myself as I repent and strive to overcome my own temptations.

    As an individual who is imperfect I hope that more members of the church separate temptation from sinful actions. I also hope that more members can be non-judgmental about my, and others, temptations.

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