Dear 100 Hour Board,
LGBT members of the church are told they have a place here, but then the church turns around and seems to do everything it can to destroy that place for them. It doesn't seem like anybody is honestly willing to consider what life is like for LGBT people, or what they go through. What will become of gay people in the church? Why would a God of love create gay children, and then make no place for them in the eternities?
- Dazed and Confused
Dear Dazed and Confused,
You submitted this question on the same day that President Nelson was announced as the new prophet with President Oaks and President Eyring as his counselors. Though I did not have time to read the press releases or watch the announcement myself, by skimming though Liberal Mormon Twitter (LMT) I gathered that a lot of people took President Uchtdorf's exit from the First Presidency as a sign that President Nelson was pushing a more traditional, conservative agenda. I assumed your question was about that and put down a placeholder to respond to it, not knowing that President Nelson fielded a question specifically about LGBTQ members and the church in that press conference. Upon discovering that, my previous answer no longer seemed relevant, but I still felt I should say something.
Now, a few weeks later, I'm not so sure I actually have anything of any real worth to say, other than that this issue weighs on my mind quite a bit. For all that contemplation and pondering, though, I haven't become any less confused.
...I'm sorry. I've drafted and re-drafted this response, but I just can't quite come up with anything that I deem useful to say. You've come to us for answers, but I'm afraid I just don't have any right now.
I do believe that God loves you, Dazed, and that there is room in the Church and in the eternities for you. I wish I knew more specifics, but I don't. These questions need to be asked, and we need people to ask them, because that's often the way we get revelation.
I'll be praying for you. I wish I could do more.
I really don't feel qualified to answer this question. But the Church does have a website, www.mormonandgay.lds.org, which is full of real stories about real people in this situation. Maybe it can help clarify what the Church is actually teaching right now.
I'm glad this conversation keeps getting brought up. The Church is teaching love, but if the members don't catch on it doesn't do a lot of good. I try to always welcome reminders to love others.
I really feel you on this one, it's a very hard question that I'm also not qualified to answer. And here's the thing, maybe even the Prophet of the church isn't even qualified to answer that question right now. I mean, our church functions on continuing revelation, and there have been significant instances in the history of the church where the leaders of the church were waiting for revelation on a certain topic. I would like to think that if the leaders of the church had a more clear picture of the future of the LGBT community and the church, we would know more about it.
In the meantime, I'm trying my best to understand and to be inclusive. I really do believe that there is a place for our LGBT brothers and sisters in the eternities and so does Elder Ballard. I think that there's a lot that we don't understand and we would do well to remember that. We'd also do well to love and include everyone a lot better than we do. And most of all to listen, because honestly as a church community, we're pretty bad at that. I'm sorry that's not a satisfying answer to your (and my) question, but I don't know if there is one at this point.
Keep it real,