Imagine being told at a young age (about 12) that God did not love you because you were attracted to other men. It happened in a round-about way to me when a well-meaning mother told her son in a car we were riding in the God did not love gays.
Imagine trying to hold true to your religious principles for your entire life, while hearing people with whom you worship say demeaning things about people who have same-sex attraction, just like you do.
Imagine going through life knowing that you can't truly experience the type of love and relationships your other siblings have because for you it is wrong.
Imagine keeping secret something that is a part of who you truly are because you know that some of your "brothers and sisters in the gospel" will not accept you if that truth came out.
Imagine hearing the phrase "love the sinner, but hate the sin" over and over knowing that people are judging you a sinner.
How does it make you feel?
Imagine getting hit with the double whammy for choosing to abide by the principles of your church. You choose to live a celibate life, but you also get judged for being a single man. You hear comment all the time like "you should just find a nice woman and settle down."
Imagine overhearing comments that it will be unfortunate that I will be missing in the celestial kingdom because I am not married to a woman.
Imagine feeling like a second-class citizen wherever you go because you hear derogatory comments about gays on a daily basis.
Imagine hearing people say you must not have enough faith, because if you did you would have changed by now.
Imagine being grouped together with rapists and child molesters because if you are attracted to other men, you must do those vile things.
Imagine living around people who have put aside their natural judgmental tendencies and love you for who you are, without feeling the need to remind you whether they think it's natural, right, or wrong.
I think many of us who are homosexual and still feel a strong attachment to the church aren't asking for any policy changes. I can't speak for others, but all I am asking for is a stop to the constant comments that minimize who I am. I know that I am following the commandments the best I can, but comments like so many that have been posted on here prove that others judge that I do not. Do many of you realize that your comments and attitudes indicate that you think we are a problem that needs to be solved? We are not problems, we are just as important in God's plan as you are. I just want people to stop treating me as a problem, feeling the need to preach to me, and start treating me as a human being. Is that hard to understand?
And this one:
If you have been around as long as I have, you know that each person must work out their own salvation. Each person will face God and be judged. Each person will know that it is just.
I have learned to just love. I must allow all judgments to be Gods and allow each person their free agency to pick their own life. If I have not learned to love everyone, I have failed.
I need to look for the beam in my own eye before I try and pick any mote out of anothers.
I'm telling all you people, learn to love. That is why we have this new challenge - it is for us to learn to love everyone - and I mean EVERYONE!
Some respond: "you can still love someone without letting them destroy the world you live in."
This will not destroy the world. It will not even destroy "marriage." We are doing that quite well by ourselves. Look at all the people cheating on their spouses. Look at the quick marriages and divorces in Las Vegas. Look at the abandonment of spouses and children. Look at the physical and emotional abuse that is rampant in this world. Look at the suffering of women and children by those who think they are better because they have a "Y" chromosome.
We heterosexuals are 97% of the world's population. We are the ones who have screwed it up. We need to look for the beam in our own eye.
Now, go. Love your families and neighbors, be they black, white, straight or gay. Make this world better than you left it and that will not come from judging others and putting yourself above them.
For what it's worth...
I gave a lesson in SS yesterday on D&C 121 and 122. The trials and tribulations and suffering that Joseph Smith and the Saints endured during the Liberty Jail period of Missouri persecutions were a result of extreme fear and intolerance from neighbors and fellow citizens of the community who were not part of the fold, who could not accept their differences and sought every way possible to destroy what they feared. The Lord states in both sections that this time of tribulation will be "but a small moment". Of course, that can be interpreted to mean "this entire earthly existence" for when one is believing in the concept of eternity, this life is "but a small moment".
I can't help but feel that gay Mormons are now being persecuted as a result of extreme fear and intolerance. But this time, not from neighbors and fellow citizen of the community not of the fold, but of those WITHIN the fold. When is this going to end? And what good am I when I won't even face my own fears and come out into the light?