The Truth? No, Your Opinions on Sodom

on 24 August 2009

Hey everyone, After watching the video hosted on Enigma's blog an Idea hit me. I have my opinions, you have yours. I want to gather as many varying opinions (supported by scripture, scriptorians, Prophets words, etc.) regarding WTH went down in Sodom. We all know the basic story and that we have the word Sodomy from that city of the plain, but I want to gather as many varying views as I can get on this subject.
If anyone reading my blog is a part f the NorthStar community, I want you to post this same statement and either have them report here, or present their ideas inside NorthStar and then have you post them here.
If anyone from Affirmation or Evergreen is reading this I would like your take on Sodom.
Any MoHo Blogger I want your view.
Any casual reader who may or may not be connected to either gay or LDS issues, I want your opinions too.

Please send them my way, either in comments or via email to davidbaker389@gmail.com, I look forward to reading them

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The Man in the Glass

on 23 August 2009

This is a poem i read a while back that hit me today, enjoy.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self

And the world makes you king for a day

Just go to the mirror and look at yourself

And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father, or mother, or wife

Whose judgment upon you must pass

The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the one staring back from the glass.

He's the fellow to please ' never mind all the rest

For he's with you, clear to the end

And you've passed your most difficult, dangerous test

If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you've cheated the man in the glass.

The Meaning for an Individual Life - Revisited

UPDATE: 8-23-9
The following is a post I wrote back in November while trying to figure everything out and re-reading some old books of mine. After spending 10 months figuring things out I have revisited it. Here is the original followed by my update.

In Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card, there is an interesting dialogue on the meaning of life and here is the condensed text version of that dialog for all to see. I think that this is so true, that it is a gem of truth in this sea of uncertainty that we call life.

"Here is the meaning of life: for a man to find a woman, for a woman to find a man,the creature most unlike you, and then to make babies with her, with him, or to find them some other way, but then to raise them up, and watch them do the same thing, generation after generation, so that when you die you know you are permanently a part of the great web of life. That you are not a loose thread, snipped off. Even men who do not desire women, even women who do not desire men, this does not exempt them from the deepest desire of all, the desire to be inextricable part of the human race. It’s hardwired into all of us. Not just sexual desire – that can be twisted any which way, and it often is. And not just a desire to have children, because many people never get that, and yet they can still be woven into the fabric. No, it’s a deep hunger to find a person from that strange, terrifying other sex and make a life together. Even old people beyond mating, even people who know they can’t have children, ther’s still a hunger for this. For actual marriage, two unlike creatures becoming, as best they can, one."
"I’m talking about a trait that the human race absolutely needed to succeed. The thing that makes us neither herd animals nor solitaries, but something between. The thing that makes us civilized or at least civilizable. And those who are cut off from it by their own desires, by those twists and bends that turn them in another way – like you, Bean, so determined are you that no more children will be born with your defect, and that there will be no children orphaned by your death – those who are cut off, they are still hungry for it, hungrier than ever, especially if they deny it. It makes them angry, bitter, sad, and they don’t know, they can’t bear to face the knowledge."
'This life wish had to be present in all living things for any species to continue as they all desperately struggled to do. It isn’t a will to survive – that is selfish, and such selfishness would be meaningless, would lead to nothing. It is a will for the species to survive with the self inside it, part of it, tied to it, forever one of the strands in the web'
"I kept my sanity by fencing myself about with lies, and believing them. But you know the truth. If you leave this world without your children in it, without having made that bond with such an alien creature as a woman, then your life will have meant nothing to you, and you’ll die in bitterness and alone."

UPDATE: 8-23-9
I think that this line "those who are cut off, they are still hungry for it, hungrier than ever, especially if they deny it. It makes them angry, bitter, sad, and they don’t know, they can’t bear to face the knowledge." can apply just as much to the desires of homosexuality as it does to the desires of raising a family. Those who cut themselves off from, at the least acknowledging their same-gender attraction, are angry, bitter, and sad, they can't bear to face the knowledge, the truth, and so, like so many of us do, they suffer in the closet, keeping their sanity by fencing themselves about with lies and then believing them. Regardless of what path you may choose, for I believe that each one is a personal decision that is unique to each and everyone of us, recognize that your same-gender attraction is a part of who you are. It adds greatly to your character and its attributes strengthen you and are an aid to others. Even if you believe that the attraction itself is evil, look at how recognizing it has made you more compassionate, more faithful, more understanding of others. Regardless of your choice and path, know that by recognizing yourself you have grown and been edified for it.

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Spiritual Ecology: Pollution in the Church

on 17 August 2009

So today I was in a meeting at church and heard Moroni 8 read, at least the part concerning the returning of the Lord to repay the cries from the dust. As this was being read, one phrase caught my ear, maybe because I am entering my post-Mormon degree, but I looked at this a bit differently, and think it might have even more truth than just my opinion.

The phrase was verse 28 “Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches”

Speaking concerning the coming day of the Lord, it will come when churches become lifted up in the pride of their hearts. This hit me because as a TBM, I read this as the coming of the Lord to restore the gospel. But I wonder why, when the entire Book of Mormon was composed for our day and our time, that this would be included if it was known to Moroni that it wouldn’t not be read until after the prophesy had been fulfilled? Specifically this chapter because it contains verse 35 which states “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing” I believe that this chapter was written for modern day, and for days yet to come, but not for the prophesying of Joseph Smith. When you look at it with that light and context, and then read the following verses of 36-41 which condemns those who are reading those verse of their pride, their pollutions, their hypocritical natures and he asks “Why have ye polluted the holy church of God?”

Moroni, who has seen us in this very day, is asking why we have polluted the church of God. This means that (depending upon your belief in Fate/inevitability etc.) the church will at some point become polluted. Is it polluted now? Has it been for a while? Is it pure now and the gays are the pollution? These questions I do not have an answer to, but I do know that the Church is not fallible, the church will, at some point in it’s past present or future, will become polluted by the pride of its members, by the hypocrisy of its members, by the secret combinations of its members. I know, that as Moroni prophesized, that “even a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches” will come to pass, and maybe it already has. But to those of you who state that the Church is infallible, that it and the gospel are one in the same, that this is an all or nothing deal, I would like you to liken Mormon 8 unto you.

Am I like Lehi?

on 06 August 2009

When I met with Elder Clayton back in January, I was told that the first hurdle readers to the Book of Mormon had to overcome was the story of Nephi and Laban. In which Nephi is commanded to go against the Church, to go against the commandments, to commit the second most grievous sin. I no longer think that this act, this teaching moment that was included in the Book of Mormon for us in these latter-days, was alone.

Before Nephi slays Laban, there is another, perhaps more subtle, similar exchange of the same spiritual magnitude that often we overlook and are told in Sunday school that, “that’s how things were back then.” Lehi, merchant perhaps goldsmith, an artisan and not an ordained prophet has a revelation and he follows it. He begins to tell others of his vision, his prophecy that he was able to see. This was common practice back then for those who received visions to go forth preaching repentance to the people.

These men were prophets in the same sense that Elisa R. Snow was a prophet who saw many things, but Lehi, like her, was NOT the prophet in the same sense that Joseph Smith or Thomas S. Monson was the prophet. Lehi was a man whom was shown a vision of the destruction of Jerusalem. Lehi followed his visions of prophecy which lead him to leave the holy city, to leave all that he had, the establishment of his livelihood, his culture, his entire life to follow this vision, this revelation that he had.

Why does the Church, that is build upon the very act of multiple lines of revelation for different groups of people, reject the possibility that I may have received revelation contrary to the current direction of the church at all, let alone for a reason, divined by God the Father, omnipotent and omniscient? Why is it that as I wander into the wilderness, away from the culture and home that I know and grew up on, I am persecuted by the Church and threatened with excommunication? Who is to say that I haven’t been granted a vision that I MUST follow? Who is to say that this vision is from Satan when it comes from the same power that prompted Lehi to take his family and leave Jerusalem?

But like Lehi, I must not cling unto Jerusalem (read: Salt Lake). I must not become Laman and Lemuel, willing to disregard the prophecy and vision of their father in order to return to the comforts of home. I have now left my home and will never return. I might return in body, but my mind is forever changed, expanded, and I will always see things through a greater lens, a more open mind and a more open heart. The same openness by which I may be being shown the mysteries of God. (see Alma 12:10)

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