It may surprise you that I don’t believe that “someone chooses to be gay.” Nope, I don’t. And in answer to your questions, I don’t recall a moment of deciding to be heterosexual, and it’s likely I didn’t have to. Some of us come by it naturally, I guess. 😉 I do, however, remember as a child gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ, and feeling His love for me daily. I remember deciding to follow His plan for me, and I’ve had great joy in my life as I’ve done so. Such decisions could be made regardless of which gender a person is attracted to.
Since we’re discussing the topic of same-gender-attraction, let’s go back to that. While some don’t choose it, I do believe that some choose to experiment in this realm out of curiosity, and I believe that if governments allow the definition of marriage to be broadened to include homosexual relationships, many more people will fall into that category. In fact, in some places it may become the “trendy” thing to do, which I find a chilling prospect (thanks for a new favorite adjective, Google).
But for people genuinely attracted to, who fall in love with people of their same gender, I absolutely do not believe they “choose” it. This is likely something they’ll have to deal with their whole lives. That doesn’t make them evil. It’s *acting* on that temptation that becomes a sin. God still loves them, but He also gives us commandments & expects us to uphold them. As a society we have gone to great lengths to keep people from suffering the consequences of their bad choices, or even feeling bad about it.
You seemed to put this on the same level as marrying someone belonging to a different religion, or from a different nationality. Definitely not the same thing. In context of your hypothetical situation, I’d
(a) have no problems with my children marrying someone with a different skin color. It’s all about what’s on the inside.
(b) be sad if they married outside our faith – for several reasons, which I won’t get into here – but happy on some level if they were marrying a good person.
(c) be disappointed if they chose a homosexual lifestyle – compassionate if they told me they were inclined towards it. Perhaps it should be noted that I would be similarly disappointed regardless of how they chose to break the law of chastity.
Maybe I should quit my jibberish and just quote something from one of God’s prophets in our day. This from President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.
“We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 71).
Again, thanks for your input, Brian. I don’t know if it’s possible to come to an agreement here, as you are probably as firm in your standing as I am in mine. It probably does us both good to interact with people who disagree with us. 😉 Here are a few articles I really enjoyed
– Helping Those Who Struggle With Same-Gender Attraction -beautiful article
– An interview with Elder Oaks and Lance B. Wickman – outstanding answers to questions on this topic
– God Loveth His Children – a pamphlet