Thursday, March 26, 2015

How Important is Marriage?

The leaders of the Church often talk about the importance of marriage.  But what does the data actually say?  Well, this article seems to imply that marriage is very important to the rising generation.  In particular, stable families in the US are strongly connected to upward mobility, educational success, and general economic well being for families with children.  The fact is not lost on me that the importance of marriage seems to be more significant to children than to their parents.

While there are many examples of children raised by single parents that turned out fine, so to speak, it's also true that lack of two parents is statistically associated with a number of social, educational, and economic problems.  For me, that's the big message, and the divisive debate about gay marriage is largely a side show, distracting us from the real breakdown of marriage, the real attack on the family.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Missing Message

Church leaders have a message for the youth of the church.  It's about chastity and the bounds that need to be adhered to.  It's about boys and girls.  It's not about boys and boys.  There is just an injunction forbidding anything like that.  No message.  No advice.  No narrative.  That was my experience as a youth.  I didn't have any problem following their advice about girls.  I wasn't attuned that way.  I think Church leaders understand that when youth are left without the message, they don't have direction.  That's the reason for their message to the youth.  But it's not the same for all youth, and it's not very well tailored to many of our youth.  They don't get good direction for their lives, and that tends to lead to more trouble.

We bloggers can share our experiences and opinions, but that's just what they are -- experiences and opinions.  They don't form a good set of solid advice like the straight-oriented youth of the church get.  It's easy to think that "the rules don't apply to me" when it seems like they were written for someone else.  But this "I'm beyond the scope of the rules" attitude can be a dangerous view to hold. It's better to adhere to the rules as well as possible, given personal circumstances.  But I would certainly appreciate Church leaders being a little more proactive about this issue.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Christ teaches his disciples:
Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (verses 18-23)
I think what is being taught here is that external circumstances are not what defiles people in the eyes of God, but the choices that they make -- that which comes from within.  Orientation is something that you don't choose.  We don't choose who to have crushes on.  However, we do make choices about developing relationships, and we are accountable for those.  Our choices can defile us.  If we choose to rebel against God, His commandments, or His representatives, that can defile us.  But our attractions, our natures, our circumstances -- these things that go into us do not defile us.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

To Fully Love

I think people tend to be somewhat naive when they talk about fully loving someone, or loving someone in every way, or completely loving someone.  What they usually are referring to is to love someone because they are sexually attractive.  "Other kinds of love are nice and all, but for my love to be complete, they have to be an object of my sexual attraction."

When I talk about true love of a spouse, it's the kind that endures even if something happens that renders one spouse unattractive to the other; the kind of love that doesn't view the other as an object of affection, but as a person with whom to work on eternal relationships.  I don't need a spouse to love me in ALL ways, because that would imply if I was disfigured, sick, or aged poorly that my need would thereafter be unfulfilled.  I don't wan't a wholly-enamored-puppy-dog, but someone who willingly commits to working with me on developing an eternal family.

I truly love my wife.  It's true that I'm attracted to guys, but that doesn't change my love for my wife.  I have never seen her as an object of affection, but as a person with whom I work on an eternal relationship and family.

I have been told by some (who do not know me or my wife) that it is unfair to her for me to be married to her because of my orientation, and that they feel sorry for my wife because her husband doesn't lover her "in all ways" (as if that were even possible).  In turn, I feel sorry for those who value their own worth based on being the object of someone's infatuation, because someday that will fail and love will depend a choice of their partner to ignore the lack of attraction.

Maybe I view it as a product of our misogynistic society, or our over-sexualized culture, or something else.  I don't know.

Regardless of the reason, true love is not something that happens to you, it's a choice.  That's what I want in a spouse -- someone who chooses me and someone whom I choose.  True love.  And that's what I have found.