The Gays of BYU: Part Two

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I've learned two very important things that must be considered when addressing homosexuality from an LDS perspective: 1) We cannot fully comprehend the mind of our Heavenly Father, therefore we must exercise faith. 2) We are each incredibly precious and beloved of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

When my co-writer, Jason, and I did our first interviews after attending a USGA (Understanding Same-Gender Attraction) meeting, we were honestly at a loss of how to communicate some of the simple facts and stories we heard in an article for the BYU magazine, Insight. We were given accounts of blatant bullying, prejudice, and alienation-- all instances that occurred here at BYU. Though many do open their arms and their hearts to their brothers and sisters who struggle with same-gender attraction, many do not. Too many people at BYU, people who have taken a covenant to "stand as a witness of Christ at all times, and in all things, and in all places" have either decided to ignore the situation or let themselves be instruments of unkindness, intolerance, fear, and ignorance.

When we examine the life of Christ, we see that He loved and ministered to all men-- lepers, outcasts, sinners-- everyone. His love does not extend to most all but stop at those whose struggles were foreign to him. His heart, His love, His grace, His Atonement knows no boundaries. It is available in endless quantities to all. Sometimes we assume that we are disciples of Christ just because we go to Church, say our prayers, read our scriptures, do our callings, and pay our tithing. These are all things we must do to be true disciples of Christ, but I believe that we must dedicate the entirety of our hearts to walking His path, feeding his sheep, and ministering to His flock before we can feel satisfied in our work. We must love and serve, following Christ's example, but with the knowledge that judgement belongs to Him.

Heavenly Father's beautiful Plan of Salvation defines marriage to be between a man and a woman. Our prophets have that declared acting on homosexual feelings is sinful. Obediently holding to these teachings does not make one a bigot. Merriam Webster defines a bigot as "a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc... a person who hates or refuses to accept members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group.)" Neither the teachings nor the life of Christ resemble this in the slightest. Our Savior openly and adamantly preaches against engaging in this type of behavior and having these feelings towards others.

The majority of the members of USGA are faithful Church members who promote BYU's Honor Code and work to maintain the law of chastity. They believe that, even though they do not fully understand why they are attracted to people of the same sex, if they continue faithfully, Heavenly Father will bless them in following His plan for them. Some have said that they believe they were born this way to teach them humility and charity. Some have said that they believe that this attraction is apart of their eternal identity. Others interpret Christ's teachings on a more personal level and decide different courses of action for themselves. There are some who attend USGA who have fallen away from the Church, either temporarily or permanently, and who attempt to figure out their lives alone. Regardless of where these brothers and sisters are in their testimonies, each deserves love. Love uplifts, gives strength, bears testimony, ministers, and teaches. We are commanded to love all, whether or not we understand them.

It was a struggle finding the perfect balance for our article, but we were finally able to write a concise, pointed piece that we hope will stimulate a wider-reaching conversation on campus concerning this issue and help people understand the role they play in creating an environment where the spirit of love can flourish.

You can find a link to the online Insight article, "A Candid Conversation," here.  For more information regarding the LDS perspective on homosexuality, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment

site design by designer blogs