Should we allow sinners into our home?

Should we allow sinners into our home?

Question

 

Hey Gramps!

I have a family friend who’s daughter is a lesbian. Her parents love her just the same and though they don’t support her actions they still invite her and her significant other over for dinner. I think that they are making the right decision but my aunt says that you should not ever allow the significant other of your child that is gay into the home. What are your thoughts? Is there scripture that talks about allowing sinners into your home to love and teach them?

Austin

 

Answer

 

Dear Austin,

This is an important question, one that has arisen a lot recently. Elder Holland said:

“Although I believe members are eager to extend compassion to those different from themselves, it is human nature that when confronted with a situation we don’t understand, we tend to withdraw.  This is particularly true of same-gender attraction.” Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction

While this is always a personal decision and should be made with much prayer, we can also look to the scriptures and our leaders for guidance.

 

From LDS.org we read:
“As Christians, we are taught to show compassion and kindness to all people whether or not we agree with their beliefs, lifestyle or behavior.” Why are Mormons Against Gay People?
Is it “unkind” to not allow those who choose a homosexual lifestyle into our homes?

 

Consider the words of Elder David B. Haight: “There were strong social barriers among the Jews at the time of Christ, yet the Savior mingled freely among the publicans and sinners–far different from the Pharisees, who believed sinners should not be guests in their houses.  Christ rebuked their unkindliness, saying, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matt. 9:12People to People

 

The Savior was very clear that not allowing “sinners” to be guests in our houses is unkind. We should remember that sinners come in many varieties. If we turn “sinners” away from our table, we might find ourselves turned away from the Savior’s table “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

 

 

Elder M. Russell Ballard addressed this issue very specifically in a CES Devotional:
“You may know someone who struggles with same-sex attraction or has made a decision to live in a same-gender relationship.  Your love for that person as a son or daughter of God can create an inward struggle as you try to love and support him or her and still stand for the Lord’s eternal plan of happiness.
“Let us be clear tonight–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that ‘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 [those with same-sex attraction].”  The Church does not teach or advocate shunning or other unchristian-like actions.”  Be Still, and Know That I Am God
From the Church website mormonsandgays.org:
“As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach.  Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”
I believe there is a difference however between accepting individuals and accepting behaviors.  For example, I would allow a loved one who struggles with drug addiction to come to dinner, but I would not allow them to do drugs in my home.  A porn addict may be invited to dinner, but not allowed to view porn on my computer.  Likewise, I think it is reasonable to request that couples who are not married (by Church standards: a man and a woman) to sleep in separate rooms in your home.

 

I’ll close with this:
“Jesus Christ commanded us to love our neighbors. Whether sinner or saint, rich or poor, stranger or friend, everyone in God’s small world is our neighbor, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Latter-day Saints believe that our true commitment to Christian teachings is revealed by how we respond to this commandment. This love is tested every day of our lives. We may know individuals with same-sex attraction in our workplaces, congregations and town halls. As people with hopes, fears and aspirations like everyone else, these neighbors deserve our love. But we can’t truly love the neighbors next door if we don’t love the neighbors under our own roof. Family members with same-sex attraction need our love and understanding. God loves all his children alike, much more than any of us can comprehend, and expects us to follow.”  http://mormonsandgays.org

Gramps

 

Can physical intimacy and spirituality be compatible?

Can physical intimacy and spirituality be compatible?

Question

Dear Gramps,

When I am reading my scriptures or saying my prayers, I have no interest in physical intimacy with my spouse.  And when we do come together I become very carnally minded and completely lose interest in saying my prayers, reading my scriptures or in being “spiritual”.  Are the two mutually exclusive or incompatible?  Or am I doing something wrong here?

Concerned

 

Answer

Concerned,

The two most definitely are not mutually incompatible. But you don’t need to be overly concerned about this. Sex is one of the great and profound gifts God has given us, but the purpose of sex isn’t to get us to read our scriptures.

As they grow in age and spiritual maturity, many couples find that the physical union of husband and wife takes on a deep, rich, and — yes — very spiritual dimension. But if that’s not where you are at in your progression right now, that doesn’t mean you are wrong. I encourage you not to overthink this. Enjoy your relationship with your spouse in all of its facets — spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Do your duty to God and to your spouse in all things, and as you live your life, you will find all the seemingly disparate areas of your life woven together in a magnificent divine tapestry.

Ever the hopeless romantic,

Gramps

Would I have to convert if I married a man that is LDS?

Would I have to convert if I married a man that is LDS?

Question

Gramps,

I am not a Mormon but am just starting a relationship with a man that is LDS.  I have read some literature on the topic but could you please tell me if there is anything out of the norm (as per other religions) with regards to the Mormon faith?  If the relationship developed into marriage, would I be expected to convert?  I know as per your faith that once a man and woman are married, that as per your faith, they are united for eternity but how does that work if the man’s first wife passed away?

Tammy

 

Answer

Tammy,

Many of your questions about expectations are going to have to be answered by the man that you are starting a relationship with.  You will need to find out what his expectations are concerning the religious beliefs of the woman he is interested in.  I can not answer that, but I can give you more general answers from the view of the Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ welcomes all to its Sunday services.  Anyone can attend, in fact the only thing that is restricted to members only is going into the temples (We have both churches and temples) and even then most temples have visitor centers, and very beautiful and peaceful grounds that you could wander around.  Should you go the members might take that as an expression of interest on your part and invite you to learn more.  You can decline this invitation if you wish and still stay.

The Church teaches things like the Law of Chasity (no sex before marriage), Word of Wisdom (No alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco, or illegal drugs), and Serving others.  All of which could very likely come up as you pursue a relationship with a LDS man (Greatly depending on the faithfulness and activity of the man in question).  You might consider some of those to be out of the norm.

Now to your questions about getting married.  The Church recognizes any marriage between a man and a woman that is legally and lawful entered into. There are members married to non members in the Church.  The Church would of course like them to all be members of course and so they will on occasion check to see if the non-member is interested.  But even those that are not interested are still welcome to come and join in the church activities.

That type of marriage is done until “Death do you part,”  which as is says means once you die the marriage is over.  The Church believes that these marriages can also be sealed by an ordinance in the temple.  This sealing gives the marriage the ability to last for “Time and all Eternity” if the people are faithful.   It is common in the Church for members to have both the legal and religious requirements done at the same time.  This can lead to members taking about temple marriages, or temple weddings as a short hand for legal marriage and sealing ordinance done together.  However they do not have to be done together a couple could wait years between them.

So how does this belief impact you?  Well the man you are interested in and might possibly marry, might very will be very interested in being with you for time and all eternity.  That can only happen if you are a member and the two of you get sealed in the temple.  Thus he could very well have that as an expectation for you. That expectation can manifest in many ways from him apply a great deal of pressure to you, to him being very patent and trusting in the Lord that you will come around when it is right for you.  Or any possibility in between.

As for the prior marriage that depends on if both marriages were sealed and if all three parties were faithful.  If that doesn’t happen then there is no promise given to the ones that did not and it resolves itself.  If both conditions are met then we have to acknowledge that mortally is messy, and that we see imperfectly.  A lot of people have theories and ideas but the bottom line is we need to have faith that God will sort it out in a way that is perfect for everyone.

Gramps

Should I marry this great girl who is not all that good looking?

Should I marry this great girl who is not all that good looking?

Question

Dear Gramps,

Do you have any advice for a man who has found a girl who meets all of his expectations spiritually, intellectually, temperamentally and personality wise, but finds her substantially displeasing in physical appearance? I know that we should try to do as the Lord does, and look upon the heart and not the outward appearance, but I am concerned that should we ever get married, this serious aversion to the physical may become intolerable, or perhaps even revolting, when the intimate dimension comes into play after marriage. Would the Lord condemn a man for rejecting an opportunity with a girl who is practically perfect in every other way, but seriously displeasing in her physical appearance? Your advice would be sincerely appreciated.

Earnest

 

Answer

Dear Earnest,

There once was a young man who had fallen deeply in love with a girl and decided to marry her. So he went to the jewelry store to pick out a diamond engagement ring. He wanted to get the very nicest ring that he could find. He found such a ring, but its cost was much more than he could afford. So he got a second job, saved all that he could, and finally borrowed a rather large sum from a friend to make the purchase. When he bought the diamond, he charged the clerk to put it in the very most beautiful case that he could find. This was done and he was now prepared to propose to the love of his life. So the big evening came, he made his prepared proposal speech, declared his undying love for the girl and gave her the precious diamond ring. The girl was absolutely thrilled. Looking at the box she couldn’t believe how lovely the ribbon was with which it was tied. She carefully removed the ribbon, folded and pressed it, and then drew her attention to the beautiful paper with which the box was wrapped. She could not get over how lovely it was and was careful to press it and fold it just right. Then she was able to turn her attention to box in which the ring was placed. The box was of a rare wood, with a captivating intricate design. She marveled at how beautiful and unique the box was. So she carefully opened the box and there was the lovely, expensive diamond ring. She glanced at it and said, Oh, a ring, and tossed it on the table but what a marvelous box! I can’t believe how beautiful it is! And this wrapping paper and the ribbon!! I’ve never seen anything so beautiful!!

Now, what do you think of such a girl, so captivated by the practically worthless wrapping that she threw away a precious diamond because of the trappings that took her eye.

Life has its ups and downs and values change over time. But I want to tell you that in the long run, character wins out over looks every time. I once knew a man by the name of Wells Bowen who had had cancer of the lip. He had undergone an operation to remove the cancer, but in so doing it was necessary to stitch together about half of his mouth. This drastically altered his appearance and affected his speech. The first time I saw him was in a Sacrament meeting where he was the speaker. I was at first somewhat repulsed by his appearance, but when he began to speak I never saw that disfiguration again! What a marvelous speaker, and what a noble man! We soon became fast friends.

So my belief is that if this girl is all that you say she is, you have been given a beautiful and very valuable diamond. I would suggest that you not discard it because of the wrappings that it comes in.

 

Gramps

How can I accept someone with a past?

How can I accept someone with a past?

Question

Dear Gramps,

Hi.   I just recently returned from my mission. I have this girl which is a good friend of mine and is a member of the Church. I really like her and I’m comfortable with her.  Recently she told me that she had committed immorality when I was serving a mission. She said that she has already confessed it and has gone through the repentance process. She is now about to serve a mission. We are planning to be together after her mission. My mind has been thinking about how I could accept her even though she has done those things. Knowing you as a person of great wisdom, I wanted to seek advice from you.

Anonymous (more…)

Feeling Loved by My Mother

Feeling Loved by My Mother

Question

Dear Gramps,

Ever sense I was young I have always felt that my mom loves my brother more than me. No matter what I did I would always get in trouble and my brother could get away with murder. Still till this day I have tried making our relationship stronger and it’s like she is not even willing to put a foot in the door. The world has always revolved around my brother. It’s his way or the highway. And whenever I try to be in any kind of conversation they tune me out. I actually feel quite alone when the whole family is together. The only person that understands and can see it is my boyfriend. What is the best way for me to handle this situation? I hope you will respond back!   Thank you!

Kelsie (more…)

Infidelity

Infidelity

My husband committed adultery almost four years ago. I have not yet gotten over it completely but making a daily effort towards that. But, even if I try my best, how can I trust him or how can I know he is and will always be true to me only from here on?

Haydee (more…)

Married wrong man?

Married wrong man?

Hi,

I was very much in love with a non-member before I married my husband. This non-member was everything a Mormon man should be. My patriarchal blessing is unusually detailed about the person I should marry, even stating I would be in love with this man. I still believe this non-member was the person I was meant to marry. It also says that my future life with my Father in Heaven will hinge on my choice of marriage partner. Instead of marrying the non-member I married a member in the temple that I wasn’t in love with (and still not). The spirit told me that I wasn’t supposed to marry him. My husband is a good man and honors his priesthood but after 20 years of marriage I am still worried that I made the wrong choice and have now jeopardized my future life with my Father in Heaven. Just because my husband is a good man doesn’t mean that he was the right choice for me. Is my future life with my Father in Heaven in serious jeopardy here?

Anonymous (more…)

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