Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (with occasional additional posts, too).

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Bro Jo is not a spokesman or authority for the LDS Church. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at dearbrojo@gmail.com.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Will Homosexuality Keep Him from God and the Church? - Part 2

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for your speedy answer!

I suppose I have deceived you in this and only this: my name. My first name is the same, but on this gmail account I seem to have used my mother's maiden name, (withheld).

No, I'm not the [person] on Facebook you found nor do I have a relationship with (woman's name withheld).

Sorry if it confused you! :-)

Looking back on what you wrote in your last paragraph, I believe that I should agree.

I know no members of the Church here.

In fact, I don't even know if I could say that I knew the people in church in my former university town either, except for a few of the missionaries.

I believe I should make contact with the Church, but I am unsure of how.

Should I just be so bold as I was at the library, as in go there and ask someone (the Bishop? a missionary?) to speak with me?

The problem is I can't just go there.  I have a feeling the nearest Church is far from here. I have no car and I believe no way of getting there.

Hm... maybe there are trains...

Definitely something to look into!

I do read, I do!

But there's no one here I can't vent my thoughts, feelings and despairs on this issue.

Everyone here is generally accepting, and if not that, tolerating of sexual behaviour and romantic feelings between men. It's not really a helping climate, either.

When I wrote my letter to you, the first one, I had one of Paul's writings on my mind: the eighth chapter of the letter to the Romans. Been reading that over and over. It speaks right to me.

And you're right. Whenever I am away from what is God's, I feel worse.

I feel very alone here.

My parents follow Christ according to their own and their Church's way, the Methodist one.

At home their system of belief would be considered conservative, but in the scope of Christianity as seen outside of home, it'd probably be very liberal (provided you actually can define religious beliefs by 'liberal' and 'conservative').

I don't know what I can say to them on this either.

When I first saw missionaries and went to the LDS Church, they were very afraid for me. My parents thought I was becoming brainwashed into a cult.

I even spoke to them about the Book of Mormon today, and they cautioned me, saying it's not Christian.

When I paraphrased portions of it, it just got even worse.

The gospel taught by the Church pulls me in very strange directions, but I feel alone.

There was, in my uni town, a sense of belonging and community among the gay rights association I frequented.

But when I met the missionaries, came to the Church, the whole thing was just very different.

I was seen not for 'what' I am, 'how' I am or so, but for just being.

Again, many thanks.

- Suede




Dear Suede,

Everyone is entitled to their anonymity; I hope you'll forgive my investigation. You have a unique name and I get a few . . . let's just say "not sincere" letters, so when your name matched a young man who's in a relationship with a woman I thought that perhaps there was more to the story.

I think that its right for you to investigate the good feelings you have about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I think going up to a Bishop or some missionaries is an excellent idea.

If you go to the Church website (http://www.lds.org) and click "tools" and then "maps" you will be taken to a page that will allow you to put in your address and find the nearest meeting house and times.

You can also find some great information and request to have missionaries sent to you!

You may also want to check out mormon.org, a great website that can answer lots of questions.

My friend, I believe that loneliness is one of Satan's most powerful tools.

When we feel alone we feel vulnerable, and he plays on those feelings, bringing us down.

As far as your same-sex attraction, let me just say this: simply finding the same sex attractive neither means that you are a homosexual nor does it mean that you must live a homosexual life.

What we chose to do with our bodies is a choice, and its that ability to choose that makes us human. 

Something for you to ponder.

I'll also tell you that I have many friends who happen to identify themselves as "gay", and choose to have homosexual sex (those two things are not always mutually dependent, by the way); we may not agree on that aspect of our lives, but we're still friends.

Lastly, one need not have a perfect knowledge, belief or understanding of God to pray.

As you walk down this path, I invite you to make prayer a regular part of your day. A lot of good can come from just talking to God, even if you're not sure what to say or exactly whom it is that's listening.

- Bro Jo

No comments: