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Gramps,

I have been a member of the LDS church all my life and believe the doctrine stating that our spirits had a gender before we became mortal.  I find myself pondering the possibility of an imperfectly gendered body.  Hermaphrodites exist, and there are any number of possible things that go wrong in forming a human body.  Is it, or could it at all be possible for someone really to be born into the wrong gender of body versus their spirit gender?  I honestly don’t know for sure. Thanks.

Lisa

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Answer

 

Lisa,

It is hard not to ponder such a question given the current events going on around us.  The Church has clearly proclaimed that “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose,” in the Proclamation on the Family.

There are some who state simply that “God does not make mistakes” as if that ended the discussion.  While I agree God does not make mistakes, I don’t agree that ends the discussion. God’s perfect plan is to test us imperfect people with imperfect bodies living in an imperfect word to see if we will overcome our challenges and do his will.

This plan with its imperfect bodies is not a mistake.  Many of us have to deal with physical, mental, and/or emotional problems whose root cause might be caused by something going wrong in these imperfect bodies.  There is no reason to believe that the apparent gender of our physical form is an exception to these kind of potential problems.  You mentioned one such problem (Hermaphrodites).  Medical science is full of such cases; even our chromosomes can be messed up.  Instead of the standard XX for female and XY for males, one might have Turner Syndrome (XO) Klinefelter Syndrome (XXY), Triple X Syndrome (XXX) and XYY Syndrome.

Given what we are still learning about how our physical bodies develop, I think it is also way too soon to rule out the idea that some kinds of imperfections could alter the brain structure and brain chemistry that effect a persons thoughts about their gender identity.

While there is a lot we don’t know, we do know some very important things.  We are here to see if we will follow God’s commands.  Whatever challenges we face, no matter the reason we face them, we still need to seek out and follow God as best we can.  We need to love our brothers and sisters (everyone) and try to help them also seek out and follow God the best that they can, no matter what trial they might be facing.  All of us need to seek the Spirit of God, ponder the scriptures, and have the support and guidance of trusted leaders, families, and friends as we struggle to overcome all our imperfections and follow God.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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