I’m a Mormon mom, and I don’t want my gay daughter to bring her girlfriend home. Am I being unfair? What about my beliefs?

Our 20 yr. old daughter told us 2 1/2 yrs. ago that she was gay. Considering she had just broken things off with a not so great relationship with boy and she has always dated boys, this was a shock. This was during a very rebellious time in our daughter’s life and she left home twice. We are LDS and have lived our faith and been very involved and active in the church her whole life. No one can believe she’s gay. We continue to support our daughter in those positive endeavors; college, sorority, she comes to dinner every Sunday and I send her little cards with positive, uplifting things written and we go to lunch, shopping etc…but for me this lifestyle is wrong and so I don’t want it in my face or around me…which means I prefer she not talk about it, partners are not allowed to come over, etc. We let her know that she gets to choose the lifestyle she wants to live – it’s her life. But we also get to decide what we will or won’t allow around us – it would be hurtful to her father and I to see her with another girl and out of respect to us we feel she should not bring them around. The church doesn’t have any clear-cut guidelines for How Parents Can Best Handle Dealing with this type of situation…and I wish they did. We really feel like we’re trying our best to keep our family together and strong in love but I see that not being enough on down the road. I fear that as each year passes and we continue to stand firm that no partners are to be brought around – our relationship will begin to deteriorate
and we don’t want that. We extend our love to our daughter always – but will not allow her to bring her partner to things – will this further alienate us from her? Are we not being fair? What about respecting our feelings and beliefs?

DT

Dear DT:

Thank you so much for writing. The fact that you are willing to reach out and share your story with a stranger makes it clear that you really care about your relationship with your daughter. It’s an extremely sad part of our culture that many Mormon parents of gay children feel that they must sacrifice their relationships with their own children to honor LDS beliefs.

I’m impressed by all the ways you have tried to maintain a positive relationship with your daughter even though her coming out has clearly been difficult for you. As much as we all emphasize the strong feelings young gay people experience when they come out, it’s important to acknowledge that parents have feelings too. Have you given yourself the space and support you need to work through your own feelings of disappointment, worry, and fear? Have you been able to confide in anyone? Do you have a support network? There are other parents who have been down the same path, and they could be a terrific resource for you. Let me suggest you visit the LDS Family Fellowship website, at least as a starting place for reading the perspectives of other LDS parents of gay children.

Certainly other LDS parents of gay kids can give you some perspective on the long-term consequences of asking your gay child not to bring her partner home. Let me tell you what I’ve seen: in families I know where the parents have told adult children not to bring a partner home for the holidays, I’ve seen gay children try to honor their parents’ advice, until they find they can no longer bear the impossibility of choosing between the family they came from and the family they want to create, and they stop coming home. Sometimes siblings follow, out of solidarity with the gay child. Yes, sad to say, it’s likely that you will alienate your child if you refuse to acknowledge her partner. That’s a stark outcome.

But let’s not go there for now. Let’s make sure you have the support you need to process your feelings about your daughter’s homosexuality. Maybe someday, when she starts getting serious with a particular partner, it might be possible for you to work out a middle-ground solution, like meeting in a neutral “third space” as a gesture of your desire to maintain a relationship, even if it is difficult for you. I know any gesture you make will be greatly appreciated by your daughter.

I’ve noticed that life often presents us with a choice: you can be right, you can be loved, but you don’t always get to be both at the same time. This life is short. Eternity is long. Only God has the answers. I hope you will encounter a great deal of mercy and kindness on the path that lies ahead of you.

Don’t you, readers? I would especially love to hear from LGBT AMG readers. What advice do you have for mom?

Send your query to askmormongirl@gmail.com, or follow askmormongirl on Twitter.

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86 Comments

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86 responses to “I’m a Mormon mom, and I don’t want my gay daughter to bring her girlfriend home. Am I being unfair? What about my beliefs?

  1. sinclaire

    ok..i identify as bisexual…i hate that term because its become hijacked by the “Girls Gone Wild” types but i have had 3 long term relationships with women but im an currently engaged to a man.
    All i can say to you with out becoming sensitive, angry and closed off is this: love your child more than your religion. value your daughter more than your value judgements. embrace diversity within your own family and not just on your block.
    your daughter isnt asking you to change your beliefs or your orientation or your values. shes asking you to love her and be a part of her life inspite of them.
    i promise you this…if you fail to embrace all of your children and their families you will regret it. period. Best of luck…and that luck goes out to your daughter as well because if you only accept a small fraction of her life-she will suffer too.

  2. DT,

    When I came out of the closet my LDS parents reacted very similarly to you, and it was hard for me, but we both tried very hard to maintain a strong relationship despite our different beliefs. Then I met the man of my dreams. We started dating. We got serious. I wanted to bring him home, and my parents didn’t want me to.

    Instead I went home to meet his parents. They accepted and embraced us with open arms. They put us up in their guest bedroom. They treated me like another son, and told me they loved me. It was like I had a second home.

    When we got engaged and I thought about the differences between my fiancé’s parents and my parents, I told my parents about my future in-laws. I wanted them to know that if they couldn’t accept us, we had a set of parents who would, and that’s where we would go for Christmas, etc.

    Growing up my parents taught me that no one is more important than your spouse. I reminded them of this, and I told them that this man was going to be my husband. We would be spending holidays together no matter what. We would be having children together. And their role as parents, in-laws, and future grandparents was secondary important to me, but secondary to his role as husband.

    I love my parents so much, and I am so grateful that they have decided they would rather include the two of us despite their beliefs than exclude us. They are still active Mormons and they still teach their other children about temple marriage. But they also love my husband. They ask about him. They invite us to Christmas. They treat him like a son-in-law.

    DT, if you don’t treat your daughter and her partner the way parents should, then don’t be surprised if someone else does. For your sake, I hope you can be like my parents, and choose family over principle.

    Best of luck,
    Daniel

  3. MoDad

    I’m a Mormon dad who went through similar stuff. It took us a few months. My advice- Tell your daughter “I love you. This is all new to me. Give me some time to digest it all. I promise, no matter what, I won’t stop loving you.”

    The church does give clear cut instructions “As I have loved you, love one another.”

    Where you end up is a matter of choice, time, and listening to the spirit. When in doubt, listen to the spirit of love, not the spirit of law. Ours is not to judge, ours is to love.

    Our daughter was doing lots of crazy stuff prior to coming out. Once she came out, she settled down, found a wonderful partner, and is happy. She’s left the church. When she lost her faith, I told her not to lose her faith in “Zion”, where there are no “ites” or poor. She’s heavily involved in community, service, and recently became a humanist minister.

    In the end, I think God is much bigger than the church. Hope all goes well for you. Take care.

  4. DT, I have a hard time with the “advice” you are receiving from Joanna. Of course, Joanna is entitled to her opinion on what you should do. Yet, having spent many years in church councils, I don’t think any bishop would ever advise you the way Joanna has done. Saying either that you should not refuse or that should refuse to allow your daughter to bring home her partners would overstep the bounds of a bishop. Bishops do not make decisions for people. People are responsible to seek the Holy Ghost and find the answer the Lord has for them. The answer you need is revelation.

    In my mind, you are balancing two sides of a very difficult situation. Protecting your children at home from being exposed to a very real and destructive force and preserving your relationship with your daughter. I’m sorry, but I don’t think Joanna is qualified to answer your question on what you should do in this situation. The only people who are qualified are you, your husband, and the Lord. Your bishop can counsel with you to help support you as you work through this difficult situation. But you must find your answers from the Lord. Go to the temple, fast, pray, study the scriptures, and listen for the impressions that come to you. That is where you will find peace.

    My brother is gay. It has been very difficult to know what to do and what not to do. My answer concerning how to interact with my family member is going to be very different from your answer. How does Joanna know anything at all about your children and how your decision to refuse your daughter from bringing home her partners will influence them? How would anyone know that! Even if Joanna had a thousand empirical studies saying what the best decision is, it still would not be the answer you need. Joanna does not cite any studies to support her claim that pushing away your daughter and her companions will cause your children to rebel against your decision and side with their sibling. All she has is her opinion. I’ve watched a neighbor go through a similar situation, make the same decision you are making, and all of the six remaining children sided with the parents. They all completely disagree with the sibling who is making very destructive choices right now.

    Even if Joanna had offered empirical evidence to support her claim, research studies rely on determining where an individual is in relation the average of a given sample. Knowing what the average response is might be helpful if you are trying to predict the average response. That might help form government policy. But you’re not forming general policy. You are deciding what you need to do for your specific family. The only answer for problems like these that will bring you any peace is doing what the Holy Ghost says. Then you can move forward in faith, knowing the Lord is behind your decision. Then when things get difficult you will be able to say, “Yes, but I know the Lord is on my side.”

    I want to make myself perfectly clear. I am neither for nor against your decision to refuse your daughter to bring home her partners. And what I would do in your situation is irrelevant. I have absolutely no idea how I would handle it. No one knows the unforeseen consequences of inviting your daughter’s partners into your home. That choice depends on so many unique factors that no one is qualified to tell you what to do except the Lord. The scriptures, prayer, the Holy Ghost, and faith are your answers. I love Nephi’s statement when he went to get the brass plates. He said, “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). If Nephi would have written into a forum like Joanna’s, saying, God has commanded me to kill Laban to get the brass plates. What do you think I should do? Can you imagine the disparity in answers? There was only one way for Nephi to know what to do: follow the Holy Ghost. When making difficult, personal decisions, the Holy Ghost is the only answer we can rely on for peace and confirmation that we are doing the right thing. It will test your faith to trust those feelings, but I know that the Spirit is real and that answers to pray provide comfort that no other answer can provide.

    DT, as I am going through a similar challenge as you face, I feel for you and the pain I know you are experiencing. Sin is very selfish. It hurts so many people. Homosexuality is a sin. It is destructive. It tears families apart. It destroys eternal life. It is against the commandments of God. It is as destructive as any other sin. However, none of us is perfect. We all struggle with sin. I think we should be as compassionate as we possibly can be with those who are struggling in sin. We should love them, support them, and encourage them. But in loving the person, we do not alter God’s commandments. He’s perfectly clear on what is acceptable before Him. “No unclean thing is acceptable before God.”

    That being said, I love my brother. I want the best for him. I ache for his happiness. He is so very unhappy right now. I pray for him. I hope for him and for his future. I long for the day when I can see my brother happy again. I hope for the best for you, your daughter, and your family. God bless you as you seek for the answers that will guide you through this very difficult and troubling experience.

    • mabbitymab

      perhaps the reason your brother is so unhappy is that his family thinks that he is a sinner, hurting many people, unclean, selfish, destructive and engaging in behavior that is tearing his family apart as well as eternal life.

      that would certainly depress the hell out of me.

      • I’ve spent years working to build a relationship with my brother. His choices are not mine. No member of my family or I have ever once called him a sinner, rejected him, or told him he is unclean, selfish, destructive or losing his eternal life. What I said here represents doctrine taught not anything I have ever said to my brother. His actions have alienated him from us by his own choosing.

    • sinclaire

      omg. this is one of the most disgraceful things i’ve ever read. Boyd K Packer would be proud. i am so sincerely blessed to have the LDS out of my life-people like you are poison to the souls of humanity.

      • Name calling is not much of a response. I can tell that you are frustrated. I think you are only looking at one aspect of my response–The fact that I would call homosexuality a sin. From my perspective, the sadness and destruction in my brother’s life has everything to do with his choice and nothing to do with my reaction to him. I have supported him, loved him, been friends with his gay friends, accepted him into my home, never said a word about his sexuality to our family when he asked me not to…How have I poisoned anyone. The fact that the God of the Old and New Testament declares that homosexuality is a sin is not my doing. I believe God is real. I believe what the Bible, Book of Mormon, and modern prophets teach. Any sin brings unhappiness, regardless of how strongly a person feels connected to it. Every time I have ever sinned, it’s made me feel terrible. That’s what sin is. I just don’t see why it is poisonous to tell someone, you’ll be happier if you don’t do this than if you do it.

      • yaknow

        Markdmason–I don’t think you understand how hard it is for someone who has grown up in the church, and decides on a different path. They can be deeply damaged by the judgements of others, whether you and your family have actually said those things or not. Actions speak a lot louder, as well as the messages that he surely heard all his life in church. That being gay is unnatural, evil, terrible, wrong….no one wants to be these things at all. I doubt he would make the consious choice to dissapoint you in any way. I would suggest that the reason he is having such a hard time is that he cannot accept being gay in himself because no one has accepted that in him. I think that is the point mabbitymab is trying to get across.

      • I admit, through interacting here with everyone on this post I have thought deeply about my actions with my brother. I miss him terribly. I have written to him again in hopes that he will even return my email. That said, there are other issues involved in this situation that extend far beyond what I think or what my brother believes.

        The question I come back to is “Does God exist?” I cannot change the scriptures or the commandments. No amount of empathy can change what God requires of all of us. The scriptures are clear that homosexuality is a sin. If there is a God, and I personally am confident that He does exist, then we are all accountable to Him for our behavior. It is irrelevant what any of us think, say, or do on the matter. If this is the case, it is not the thoughts of a person stating that homosexuality is evil. God says so.

        The more important question is why does God consider homosexuality a sin? As far as I can tell one central reason is, according to LDS doctrine, because marriage is eternal, is between a man and a woman, and leads to an exalted, eternal family. Homosexuality denies that plan. If there is a God and He really has commanded life to be the way I have just stated, then I cannot alter the decrees of God, even if I wanted to.

        The trouble begins when God becomes merely a convention of society. If, for the sake of argument, God were a concept made up by humankind, then Yaknow is right. We should stop practicing religion, stop preaching made up doctrines, and stop making people feel guilty for expressing the feelings they have. However, if God really exists and He has commanded us not to practice anything He deems as sinful, then our eternal future is depends on our obedience to His will. As our creator and our judge, He will hold us accountable for our actions in this life, no matter how much a person dislikes or disagrees with His commandments.

        That said, I refuse to call my brother a sinner. I never have and I never will. I would love to have a relationship with him. I love him. I have told him that I accept him the way he is. That it is his choice and not mine. The problem is my brother knows what I stand for. You are right Yaknow, I am certain it makes him feel uncomfortable. I don’t ever bring it up. My wife and I have avoided the conversation completely because of the very reasons Yaknow has listed. But not talking about it doesn’t take away the fact that my religion teaches these things. I realize that. I would have to denounce my faith for my brother to feel comfortable with me. I can’t do that. I know God is real. I know the scriptures are true. I know that lasting, eternal happiness does come from living God’s plan. From my perspective, my brother’s guilt and anguish come from his choices.

        It’s not like I don’t have weakness and sin I have fight and overcome. We all do. Sin is always selfish. When we give into sin, we are only thinking of gratifying some pleasure or selfish desire rather than the people we are hurting. That’s why sin is bad in its nature. In sinning we put our selfish desires ahead of those we should love and care for.

      • Lily

        I agree with you about that response. Disgraceful in every way. But do know that there are more Mormons than you probably know who love and support the LGBT community wholly, openly, and completely without strings attached. I’m one of them. My family and i marched in our cities Gay Pride parade to show our deep love and understanding for the gay community. My kids said it was one of the spiritual highlights of their year. So don’t give up on us yet. I know there are some members whose actions are beyond hurtful, and sometimes hateful, but not all of us feel that way. We are trying our best to soften hearts on person at a time, however long it takes to create understanding and compassion.

    • Bill

      This is a perfect example of making obedience more important than compassion. To iron rod Mormons, obediance is the most important principle. To others, compassion trumps all. I don’t think this divide will ever be bridged.

      • John

        I see overtones of two perspectives in the arguments here — which probably make the debate irreconcialible. The first is that of the gay man or woman (or the heterosexual person who supports the gay man or woman) who doesn’t believe that the gay lifestyle is sinful and deprives that person of the Light of Christ or the comforting spirit of God. Perhaps this person doesn’t even believe in such a thing as the Light of Christ or a comforting Spirit. For this group, God would not be the one to blame for the feelings of despair and anguish because there is no sin and therefore no consequence. But there must be a source of these feelings. So, it seems logical, perhaps, to place blame for the feelings of anguish and guilt on the family or friend or society who is unaccepting of the person’s behavior and choices.

        The second perspective is that of the person who believes a gay lifestyle is sinful and therefore the person engaging in gay lifestyle behavior would be deprived of the Light of Christ and the comforting Spirit. The whole premise of this group’s belief system is that clean, chaste lifestyles are awarded with the sweet spirit of Christ, which warms and comforts, and that sinful lifestyles are deprived of the Spirit and may therefore give rise to anguish and despair. For this second group, they hold the view that the gay man or woman feels anguish, not because of the reactions of others, but because they are no longer entitled to the sweet comforting spirit of God. Of course, this group recognizes that a family’s or a friend’s unacceptance may cause more anguish for the gay person, but this doesn’t change the underlying view that the real source of anguish and despair stems from the behavior and the consequence of sin.

        Before getting close to any sort of consensus on the issue of “the real source of anguish and guilt in the homosexual person”, group 1 and group 2 would have to agree that either (i) homosexual behavior is not a sin or (ii) homosexual behavior is a sin. Otherwise the debate is futile, and I believe there will be no agreement.

    • JennaHolden

      Markdmason,
      I want for you to know how much I appreciated your response to this
      Mormon mom who is obviously experiencing a heart-wrenching situation and facing a difficult decision. I felt that everything you wrote was absolutely and without a doubt right on target–I’m sure that this Mormon mom can take your words of advice to heart and look for her individual and deserved answer from the Lord. Others may feel as they wish and have every right to voice their opinions, but so do you–I appreciate what you’ve experienced with your brother, and your commentary regarding the Lord’s commandments, which are seldom in this day what the world teaches to be truth. Your well worded and extremely thoughtful response will be one to remember for me–thank you.

      • @JennaHolden I hope so. I meant what I said. There is no better answer that I can think of. I know God is real. Yet I also know what my brother is doing is wrong. I also love him and want him in my life. It is so painful that he will not even call me or write back to me. I have never pushed him away. I have told and shown him that I accept him. But his lifestyle has made him feel so terribly guilty he can’t stand to be around me and my family. I can’t stop being what I am any more than he wants to stop being what he is. From my perspective, his choice to be gay has stolen my brother from me. I have accepted him for who he is. He refuses to accept me! It’s amazing how one sided the situation is: accept me! Okay, I have. Oh, but I can’t accept you! You think homosexuality is a sin and that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. True, but you think I should stop believing what I believe.

        So I wait, and pray, and hope. I sent an email again to him, apologizing if I have done anything that has hurt him and begging him to write back. Again, nothing. So I will continue to wait and pray. Maybe this time I will send some pictures of my family and tell him what is happening in their lives. Maybe he will respond for their sake. I hope so. I would like my children to know their uncle.

    • Mike

      Excellent Reply!

    • collin

      Mark,

      I find it troubling that you insist that turning to prayer, scripture and fasting are the most reliable sources for a situation as profound as a mother/daughter reltionship. Here in lies the problem with faith: you suggest that 1,000s of empirical studies can easily be trumped by what a Bishop, scripture, or revelation says. This is a dangerous way of thinking in the 21st Century.

      DT’s reaching out to this blog and its community is exactly what she and her husband need: a community to confide in, a place to receive alternative perspectives than what the Church offers. Yes, your input is worth a read too, but how much does it differ from what the Church says? The very existence of a blog like this is to provide people will alternatives to what a very antiquated and homogenized Church insists upon.

      Might I dare assume that you depend on empirical research for just about everything else in your and your family’s life (safety, medicine, etc.)? But the second that research makes a claim about sexuality, and that claim flies in the face of antiquated Church doctrine, it is rendered questionable? I think not. You cannot cherry-pick which overwhelming evidence you deem worthy of accepting.

      These are dangerous ways of thinking in a modern world.

      Respectfully, I hope that DT uses some of the wonderful input in these replies, and strays away from your line of thinking.

      -C

      • Wow Collin, this comment must have touched a nerve for you. Two comments in a row!

        I stand by what I said earlier. I still don’t think it’s anyone’s business to tell DT what to do. I think the best answer for her is revelation. What confuses me is it seems like you are overlooking the possibility that DT’s answer from God could very well be, you need to accept your daughter exactly the way she is, love her, and bring her into your home as often as you possibly can. It’s funny. You immediately jumped to the conclusion that God’s answer would be for DT to reject her daughter. And you were very quick to accuse me of being immature and closed minded, without I might add being willing to even entertain the thoughts I was suggesting. In your haste to judgment I think you overlooked some things I was trying to say.

        It’s not my experience that God is often harsh and rejecting; instead, I have found He is very loving and accepting. However, the tone of the previous comments suggested to me that people were saying that the only answer is for DT to accept her daughter into her home, partner and all. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion. I was suggesting that might not be the case. In my experience, I’ve seen both sides work.

        One person I know has a daughter who is a lesbian. Her mother is an active Latter-day Saint. She has opened her arms in love to her daughter and things are working out in their relationship. On the other hand, I know a family that made the decision that to accept their daughter’s bad choice would be harmful to their younger children. The daughter was living with her boyfriend and they didn’t want that influencing their young children. That’s a real concern. Parents have to balance love for the child who is sinning and love for the children who might be negatively influenced. Who am I or anyone else to make that determination for a parent? After all, the one that God will hold directly accountable is DT and her husband; not anyone of us in an online forum.

        As for my friends, they told their daughter as long as she was in a relationship with her live-in boyfriend that she was welcome at home but her live-in was not. I’m not going to divulge anymore about their lives. I will say it was a difficult decision but in the end it proved to be wise. It blessed their family and their daughter. Events have led to her fixing some problems in her life that would not have happened if her parents would have just opened up their home to her without any consequences. Sometimes our children (I have seven of my own), need to understand that what they are crossing a line with the most severe of consequences. That being said, I think those times are rare compared to the times when we open up our arms in love and overlook a lot of the inappropriate behaviors of our kids. Personally, I am far more willing to err on the side of mercy than of justice. Growing up is difficult especially in an age when sin is so widely accepted, making it so very difficult to escape.

        My advice again is, DT, of course you love your daughter. Pray for her. Seek for counsel from the scriptures, the Spirit, and your bishop. God knows your family and your circumstance better than anyone of us knows them. Turn to Him and He will reveal what you should do. While it might be to accept your daughter into your home and her partner too, God might see things none of us can see. It just might be the biggest disaster you ever made inviting your daughter’s partner into your home. Then again, it could be a blessing to you, your children, and your struggling daughter. The bottom line is, only God knows the end from the beginning.

        Collin, as for calling me immature and incapable of making my own decisions, I’m amazed how well you think you know me by a few lines written on a blog. While you are entitled to whatever opinion you wish to form of me, personally, I’ve found doing the right thing to be very difficult, building my character, and requiring a great deal of maturity and personal dedication. You really might want to curb the personal attacks in favor of something more thoughtful and constructive. I hope you can see that I don’t know what I would do if I were in DT’s circumstance. I don’t envy her nor do I wish any ill will on her, my brother, anyone else suffering from same-gender attraction, or inter-racial couples as you seem to suggest that I do. You might be a little more careful not to throw your words around so carelessly when you know so very little about a person. It might be mistaken for bullying someone just because you don’t like his or her opinion. Furthermore, to call religion antiquated and out-dated is no argument at all. It is the equivalent of saying, “What you believe is old and what I believe is new, therefore I’m right!” Purely ridiculous. Besides, that attack is neither new nor modern. People have ignorantly belittled others for their beliefs long before you or I began this discussion. As for someone needing to open up their mind, you just might take a little of your own advice.

        To conclude this dissertatoin, let me make it perfectly clear: I am neither advocating that DT turn her daughter away, nor that she embrace her and her partner. In my opinion, I think for someone to remain open minded to either option is the most mature and responsible choice someone could make. And again to Collin, let’s not be so willing to jump to conclusions about a person simply because we might not understand everything he or she is trying to say. Otherwise, it gives the appearance that you have an axe to grind.

    • collin

      Hey Mark,

      Just think, if you were in the Church a short 60 years ago, you would probably treat your brother the same way if he had an African-American wife.

      It is time to start being an independent thinker. As an adult in the 21st Century, it shows profound immaturity and an inability to think independently if you are going to alienate your relationship with a family member based on ancient doctorine.

      Alas, it is this kind of thinking, in modern days, that brings so much hate, strife, war and needless death in our complicated world. Why complicated it more? Time to grow up, time to evolve.

      Best of luck to you and your heart.

      -C

      • Anonymous

        Collin,
        Seems to me that you are attacking the church in the form of Mark. You have the choice to not believe. But, I find the personal attacks on Mark and his beliefs to be uncalled for.
        It is difficult in this world to believe in God and his teachings when all around are people that say God is “antiquated” and such.
        I have lately wondered what I would do if one of my children were to say he or she was gay. I do know that I would always love them. I know Jesus says to love the sinner, not the sin. But, there are different ways of doing that. Personally, I feel that homosexuality is a sin and it is a temptation. It is not a sin to have a temptation; it is a sin to act upon it. My heart aches for those who have this type of temptation. I think it must be one of the most difficult things in life to deal with. However, many people have difficult things to deal with. I would hope that we would all try to use the Spirit in trying to best love the person and not the action.

    • Truman

      Mark I have a hard time w/ the fact that you have a hard time with the advice from Joanna. There is a reason the DT wrote her, I’m guessing that it has something to do with trying to find a listening ear and some fresh perspective, not just more “primary answers.” Now I do believe those answers to be correct and a better source that you or Joanna, but her response is more realistic, uplifting and enjoyable.

      And now you’ll probably lecture me as well…

      • Truman,

        Still think the same thing applies. I’m really not lecturing anyone. I just don’t think that what we think is as relevant as what God thinks. Of course, DT came here looking for advice. It’s good to have a place to turn to. My opinion is I think turning to God for answers is as uplifting as anything possibly can be. He really does care and He really does answer prayers. I think if DT turns to the Lord, He’ll help her and things will work out better than if she took to heart any specific answer that we give her. Yes, we can give general advice, but to tell DT specifically that we know what she should do is mistaken. I don’t want that responsibility. I just don’t think anyone can know the personal needs we have better than God knows them when matters are this serious and have such long-lasting implications. DT does need a listening ear. We do need to encourage her. I hope things work out for the best for her and her daughter. I hope other people are listening to what I’m saying too and will take their problems to God. What better source is there than an all loving, all knowing, all powerful being? I’ve solved so many problems through prayer and scripture study I couldn’t relate all of them. It’s powerful. It works! But I don’t think a person ever gets too old for the primary answers. Maybe they just stop believing that they work or maybe they don’t ask in faith, I don’t know. I can’t answer for other people’s faith. I can only say what I’ve experienced. I’ve seen miracles through prayer. I really hope DT prayers. I’m confident God will help her.

        Mark

      • Anonymous

        And although I appreciate much of what Mark has to say, I was a little confused at his attacks on Joanna’s advice. I would say her advice was very good and caring and she referenced some other places for information.

    • Sylvania Hopskotch

      Mark, you are eloquent and it seems to me that you are truly trying to do the right thing. I have two things I disagree with: 1. that your brother “chose” to be gay. Maybe he chose the gay lifestyle, but he didn’t choose his feelings. It seems he is trying to live his life in a way that is authentic and genuine instead of pretending to be someone he’s not. and 2. that his feelings of anguish only come from his lifestyle. It seems that you cannot accept that perhaps his lifestyle actually brings him joy and that what is causing him anguish is that your family doesn’t approve of his actions. I understand that the scripture says that “wickedness never was happiness,” but that doesn’t mean that if he’s unhappy, it all comes from “wickedness.” I think that you need to admit that you can’t know for sure the source of his anguish.

      I say this being a former member of the church who does not believe homosexuality is a sin, so I do admit I’m biased.

    • Chris

      Wow, I just read this and got a little sick. I’d think that if anyone a member of a religion that started off with families disowning members, severe persecution, and possibly death because of their beliefs would be a little more understanding. Being gay is not a sin because it is not a choice. Engaging in gay sexual acts could be argued as a sin, but there’s no way with the current structure that it couldn’t be. The game is stacked against him.

      God wants us to be happy. I hope your brother finds happiness and realizes that it doesn’t need to come from people who won’t accept him for who he is. I’m sure you’re a nice person, but I think you really need to consider what your brother is going through. Especially when you say that he’s a sinner for things he can’t control. It feels miserable. Almost like hell would be an improvement.

    • Michael

      If being gay is an issue, why did Jesus never mention it?

    • I agree. Love does not trump commandments. Loving a gay family member (or anyone who commits serious sin) does not mean you have to accept their choices on their terms. Negotiating a common ground that does not sacrifice the beliefs of either party can be difficult, but expressing love and tolerance for each other can allow a relationship to continue.

      • Kade

        WHAT? Love does not trump commandments? I’m sorry wittsom, but I think Jesus was quite clear when he said that the single greatest commandment that supersedes all others is to love. Love, and love fully. The supposed sins of others are not our business in the slightest, and indeed Jesus spent almost all of his time dispelling the arguments of the religious fundamentalists of his day who would emphasize the minutia of “the law” over the goodness of their hearts, and he again made it clear that the minutia mean nothing in comparison.

        Your only duty is to love your brother fully. Love him. Love his partner. Love him for making the hard decisions in life, whatever they may be. Nothing else matters.

    • Gaymormon

      You do know the church doesn’t even call it a sin anymore right? Plus every bibical scholar on record has stated that the verse used to condem homosexuality aren’t even really about homosexuality. If you read the verses in the original English translation none mention homosexuality.

      And you must be praying to a different god then me. I am Mormon. I have prayed and asked God what I should do about me being gay. Should I seek a relationship with another man the answer I got back was yes. I know what the holy ghost feels like an I know my answer was yes. Through prayer to my heavenly father I have also came to the knowledge that it is not a sin. So are
      You saying God lied to me. I know what te Holy Ghost feels like and I know that t was God who answered me.

      And yes by parents pushing away a child the silblings tend to side with their sibling and revel against the parent psych 101 but since your calling homosexuality a sin and a choice apparently you do not give much credence to psychogly or science which has been any doubt proven that sexuality is determined in the womb? Did you wake up one morning and decided to be straight or did you hit puberty and find you were attracted to girls? If you say you choice you lie.

      Homosexuality is not a sin and is not a choice. Heavenly Father has told
      Me this through the holy ghost. I know the day will come when this will be the church’s stance and I hope you are aliv to see it do you can eat your words.

    • Gage

      markdmason – You should watch “For the Bible Tells Me So.” So much of what the church has taught us about what the Bible says about homosexuality is wrong.

  5. sharon

    My daughter and her partner have been here for the weekend. I love Becka. And I love my daughter. I can;t imagine it any other way, having to stay somewhere else. This is her home. It always will be. No matter what. Our daughter is an active, productive, contributing member of society. She loves people and people are drawn to her. And she has a testimony of our Savior. She loves him with all her heart, and knows that He loves her. Sure I wish things were different but so does she.

    Being gay is tough in the world. Shouldn’t our homes be a place a refuge and unconditional love and acceptance? I say yes.

  6. ” 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
    – Romans 1: 16-30 (particularly 26-27, 30)

    ” 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

    9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”
    2 Timothy 3:1-9

    ” 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

    33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

    36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

    37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

    39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
    Matthew 10:32-39

    The scriptural answer is clear. Not only should you not allow your child to bring home the “partner,” but you might have to consider not allowing them to come home either. They are spiritually dead and as such it might be necessary to act accordingly, mourning their choices. If they repent of their delusions and sinful nature, or wish to seek to overcome it, then support them and show love for them. However, if they want to give in to sin with no desire to repent then a true Christian will recognize their lost state and cry repentance, but not support their “lifestyle” and therefore become a facilitator of those sins.

    • What you describe as a “true Christian” is no Christian at all. Your advice to wait and see “[i]f they repent” before showing love and support for them is the very definition of conditional love. The thing that stands out about Jesus and his dinner parties “here cometh the son of man, eating and drinking,” is that everyone was invited. Women who didn’t bow to male authority and were therefore labelled by the established religious class as “harlots” (in much the same way you label homosexuals as “spritually dead” and as being in a “lost state”), jews who collborated with the occupying Romans to collect taxes from Jewish peasants, and other “sinners”. Jesus invited them to his dinner table. Can you really say that a “true Christian” would not invite her homosexual daughter and her partner to the dinner table in light of the example set by Jesus?

    • 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

      I thought this scripture was about accepting christ as the savior despite what anyone says not about judging people who don’t, am I wrong?

    • DT

      Jettboy – I am the one who wrote in and I can tell you I do NOT consider my daughter to be “spiritually dead!” I could never imagine telling her she can’t come home. She is always welcome in our home. She is our daughter, and we love her and always will no matter what her lifestyle is.

      • DT- Good for you. The most important thing is that you love your daughter, despite what anyone copy and pastes from their online scriptures.

    • Carla

      To answer the scriptural challenge here is an entertaining letter written to Dr. Laura:
      Why Can’t I Own a Canadian?

      October 2002

      Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

      Dear Dr. Laura:

      Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

      When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

      I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

      I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

      Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

      I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

      A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

      Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

      Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

      I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

      My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

      I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

  7. klangfarben

    Jettboy-
    Get with it man. Don’t hide behind ancient scriptures when modern realities required a much more sensitive and idiosyncratic approach to interpersonal relationships. The only thing that will happen with your approach is further alienation between parents and child. But, I guess some intangible reward in the hereafter is more important than tangible joy in the here and now. And the relationships and interactions with those we love is something we KNOW and EXPERIENCE everyday. That is a big sacrifice to make, and a parent doesn’t have to do that. I sure hope this sweet and loving mother doesn’t take your advice, because there is nothing sweet and loving about it.

  8. Jettboy, I mourn the twisted theology that you have chosen to adopt that tells you to cut off family members once you have deemed them “spiritually dead”. Even the most strict orthodox Mormon theology would teach us that (1) only God can judge whether someone is spiritually dead, and (2) we are to never abandon our family members because of their “sin”.

    1 – “My earnest prayer is that you will have the courage required to refrain from judging others” – President Monson, April 2009 conference
    2 – “Above all else, children need to know and feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. They need to be assured of that often.” President Benson, October 1982 conference

  9. TamAlhor

    “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    This can be a hard article to claim to follow. It is easy enough to co-exist with other thoughts and philosophies at work or on the bus. To accept these in our homes may be asking a lot of some. Sometimes it helps to look at things from a different but similar angle.

    If your daughter was living with a man but not married, would the partner be able to visit and sleep over? Would you have answered differently before your daughter came out to you?

    If your daughter converted to a different Christian religion like Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic, Seventh Day Aventis, would she be allowed to pray over meals, or family prayer in her own way when she visited? If she had a spouse or boyfriend would they be allowed to sleep over?

    Change the scenario to a non Christian religion. If she kept some form of Hinduism, would she be permitted to bring idols into the home and pray to/near them? Would she able to bring her hinduist boyfriend to sleep over?

    Your daughter is following the dictates of her own conscience. You may not agree with it. And no one says you have to. But can you co-exist with it? Other than the pain you mentioned earlier, is there any way that her personal beliefs impact your ability to worship as an LDS person in this life?

    These are hard questions, and no one can tell you the exact answer (I have an obvious bias to love and let live). I would assume the Lord wants you to continue come unto him in prayer and find an answer through him. Only between him and you can you find an answer. We all have opinions, and we all have scriptures and articles that could be used to support them.
    Ie
    D&C 134: 1-4, 7, “We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.”

    It doesn’t hurt to listen to all these differnt opinion, as it is by listening we can learn new knowledge or reaffirm what we already suspect or know.

    Yet sometimes we have to shut the all these voices away and find a place where it is just us and the Lord. Again easier said than done. This will take time. During your study, Read the accounts of the life of Christ as they are contained in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon. Consider his words and actions. Then as you pray, think of Christ would approach his own lesbian daughter when she come home for visits.

    • DT

      TamAlhor – To answer some of your questions…If your daughter was living with a man but not married, would the partner be able to visit and sleep over? Yes he could come over but not sleep over. Would you have answered differently before your daughter came out to you? If my daughter had a friend who was gay and she wanted to bring her to dinner that would have been fine with me, but having her involved in this type of a relationship (which I feel is wrong and not just from a religious point of view, although that does have alot to do with it) no I would not feel comfortable with that because I feel it’s like saying – I have no problem with this type of relationship and I do. And one of your other questions was – Other than the pain you mentioned earlier, is there any way that her personal beliefs impact your ability to worship as an LDS person in this life? No…I can still worship as an LDS person regardless of my daughter’s personal beliefs…but given what we believe it does make it hard to accept this lifestyle she’s chosen. I wrote because it helps to get perspective from others point of view who may have gone or are currently going through the same thing and while there have been some comments that seem hostile and out of context, others have been enlightening. I continue to seek answers through prayer and from reading the scriptures.

  10. Unfortunately, Jettboy, you obviously missed the sacrament talks about Christ touching a leper, eating with a publican, and, my goodness, even sitting with a “fallen woman.” I also vaguely recall hearing a lesson or two in which Christ said that all God’s commandments can be boiled down to one: love, love of both God and our neighbor (which doesn’t sound very complicated to me and I believe is inclusive enough to allow for children with whom we may have a religious disagreement).

    The bottom line is that If we can’t love all of our offspring and show that love by word AND deed, how do we expect to inherit exaltation? How can rejection of a child ever be justified under the commandment to love? It reminds me of another lesson about straining a gnat while swallowing a camel. I think Christ referred to folks who tried that trick as “hypocrites”?

    Oh, and BTW, markdmason, I’m happy to assure you that exposing your family to LGBT people does not increase the likelihood that you, your siblings or other members of your family will become gay. Even the church (thanks to President Packer’s faux pas) now admits, albeit halfheartedly, that you and I are likely born the way we are and all the missionary work in the world won’t change that orientation one way or the other.

    Now, DT, with all this in mind, let me assure you that your daughter’s decision to live an honest and open life will only result in her becoming a better woman. She will blossom under the light of truth and ultimately bring you joy and satisfaction that will make your life and that of each of your family members better.

    Living locked forever in the closet of fear is a life of darkness and ultimate despair. Is this the kind of life God would choose for any of his children or you for any of yours? I think not.

    In your heart, you know the right thing to do. You are her mother. You will do the right thing. In the end, you will be glad you did and your family will rejoice together because of your wisdom.

    As a gay bishop who has counseled gay Latter-day Saints for many years, let me bear my testimony that by keeping ALL of your family with you, including those children who may walk paths that might differ from those you had hoped, you will find joy in this life and joy in the life to come.

    And isn’t joy what this is all about?

    • DT

      Clive Durham – I don’t think that exposing my family to my daughter’s gay girlfriend is going to increase the likelihood that any members of our family will become gay. I’m coming from a place of not wanting to send the wrong message that by allowing our daughter to bring her girlfriend over – that we accept this lifestyle. I know you said – let me reassure you that your daughter’s decision to lead an open and honest life will only result in her becoming a better woman. For starters, we don’t really feel she is gay.
      We’ve never had the feeling that she is. She’s dated boys her whole life. She loved doing girl things. She had a bad breakup and within 2 months says she’s gay. Her father and I believe dating girls feels safer to her. My heart goes out to those that struggle with truly being gay. But in today’s society there are alot of young people that dabble in it and then turn around a few years later and say, “I’m not really gay.” So in that respect, we DON’T feel she is being open and honest with herself! And I absolutely agree with you that even though she may walk down a path that differs from what we had hoped – we do love her and want her to always be a part of our family!

      • LW

        Many gay women spend large portions of their lives in relationships with men–I would know; I did, too. These relationships end and fail in various ways because, well, when you’re gay, heterosexual relationships aren’t what’s right for you. A bad breakup doesn’t “turn” someone gay; sometimes a bad breakup can be the catalyst for examining WHY all a person’s relationships have failed so far. If a person is raised to believe that being gay is just “a lifestyle”, it’s easy to overlook or repress feelings that you’ve had your whole life. Being gay is NOT just a lifestyle, it’s who a person is.

        You’ve been so wonderfully understanding of your daughter’s struggle so far; please don’t demean or marginalize her coming to terms with this part of her life as confusion or trying to feel “safer”. Trust me, if she were only “dabbling” in being gay, I’m sure she wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of coming out when she knew it would not be well received. “Enjoying girl things” is not a sign of heterosexuality. Many, many lesbians do “girl things” like love makeup and wear dresses and high heels and play pretend princesses when they are young. There are a thousand types of lesbians: butches, femmes, andros, etc; not every lesbian cuts her hair and plays sports and wears men’s undershirts. It’s very hard for non-stereotypical lesbians to be accepted as truly gay even within the gay community, and even more so in the mainstream world. Telling your daughter she’s “not really a lesbian” will only pile doubts on her during this very difficult process of understanding her identity. Only she can know what she is or isn’t, and externally imposed doubts will make this process much, much more painful for her.

        All that being said, however, thank you for continuing to love your daughter despite your own struggle of accepting her identity. I hope God helps you find the answers you need and make the right decisions for you and your family.

  11. JayBee

    I know what it feels like to be told that my family is not invited “home” for the holidays – or ever: the pain is beyond description.

    I was always the “good girl” and the “most successful” child of four. Two of my brothers are decent men but one is, sadly, a man of dishonor. Only through “connections” and expensive lawyers (paid for by my parents – twice) has he avoided prison for financial misdeeds (fraud/embezzlement). His wife keeps the kids fed and the mortgage paid – and through her work, and my family’s reputation, my brother is considered a TBM and is in our parents’ good graces, and publicly anyway, he is in the Church’s good graces (has a Recommend, is minimally active).

    I am a doctor. I work a lot but I make time for my partner and our middle school aged kids – we are a happy family. It’s sad that my kids don’t know their grandparents and vice versa. They are accepted by my partner’s parents, and we have a good network of family and friends.

    I consider myself a lucky person, a very happy person, but it never occurred to me as a young person that my family of origin would turn their backs on me, although from their perspective, I am the one who abandoned them since they’ve repeatedly told me that I am invited – alone – which I did for the first few years of my relationship. But then I realized the pain I was causing my partner, and when we had kids, I had to make a choice. I tried to make my parents understand, but to this day they will change the subject, even hang up, if I mention my kids or my partner. It’s tragic since they’re now over 70 and having a “doctor daughter” would be helpful. I want to care for them, and I do secretly share the financial burden with my two brothers (my parents still send the thief brother money though they can’t afford it).

    I want to be in their lives, but they will not allow it, not unless I pretend to be a 40+ year old single woman without children. It stuns me that they would expect me to look my children in the eye and say “I won’t be here on Christmas” – these are their flesh and blood grandchildren! I’ve long since given up hope that they will change their minds. I didn’t tell them until I was 25, but they’ve had over fifteen years to get used to the facts.

    The hardest part was accepting that their love was “conditional.” They claim to still love me – at least that’s the way my mother ends her greeting cards. From their viewpoint, I turned my back on them, not the other way around. I am the villain because I will not choose to pretend to be a childless, unmarried woman (we married in Massachusetts the day it became legal). That they would refuse the monetary assistance that they need (if they knew) shows the ambiguous morality in the extreme – yet they must know, on some level, that my brothers could not afford what they give – and that they continue to bail out and welcome my “bad” brother in their home adds insult to injury.

    I visit them, alone, twice a year, on their birthdays. I can’t NOT see them and live with myself. It’s my ambiguous morality, I suppose, but I am honest with my children that in some ways it makes no sense. I leave pictures of my kids on the nightstand in my childhood bedroom when I leave – I don’t know if they are squirreled away or if they go into the trash. Certainly they are not displayed with their cousins’ pictures. I have a reasonably good relationship with one of my “good” brothers – we visit each other a few times each year (I left Utah long ago, and he’s in the midwest) and talk regularly. Even though he’s TBM, he makes room in his life and in his heart. The other “good” brother is more stand-offish for fear our parents will disapprove, although he does know the basics about our lives. The “bad” brother called me recently to see if I would invest in his latest scheme – this time I refused, but I want him in my life because he’s my brother, and I adore his kids. I see him occasionally even though I strongly disapprove of how he runs his life, and that he still hits up our aging parents for money. My partner gets frustrated by the irony in this, that I won’t turn my back on him despite how he behaves – and I tell her “he’s family” – just the way I was taught.

    I am sorry for the overly long response, but obviously, I would strongly recommend that you look at the options. You can tell her that your religious beliefs are the only thing that matters and refuse to see her unless she changes her ways. You can offer up a terrible “middle ground” as my parents THINK that they did. You can tell yourself that you live by your principles and hope that your daughter does too, but recognize that you can’t change her so all you can do is love her. My mother told me a long time ago that this was for my good, that she could never be “an accomplice” to my eternity in hell – I’m sure the self-righteousness was genuinely constructed. But one can’t withdraw love to change behaviors of an adult – you can try, I suppose, but can love be withdrawn?

    I had a similar conversation recently with a friend’s father who was not raised Mormon. I asked him would he rather have a law-abiding good-hearted gay child or a charming straight child who stole money from the elderly, even family members (and in other communities and under other circumstances, would have been in and out of prison). He thought about it a long time before saying that he wished he had better options. I had to laugh – it would be great to have a cafeteria plan to choose our childrens’ traits and behaviors. As my kids go through adolescence, I see all that might go wrong in their lives; I wish I could keep them free of pain and heartbreak, free from accidents and cancer, free from bad influences. It’s harder in this life to be gay – because of the outside forces – even though I wouldn’t change my partner for anything in the world, and I would never say that I wish I weren’t gay because that would mean I would lose her, and my kids would never have been born. Would I want my kids to be straight because life is easier? That’s a tough one, but not one I think about much since they are both straight. Soon enough they will be adults and I will have no say, and even now when I have to ground them for missing curfew or skipping a chore, that’s for their benefit. But I would never make them feel like I am withdrawing LOVE; real love IS unconditional.

    • jaybee, do you still live in massachusetts? i’d really love to meet you :)

      • JayBee

        Hi Julia – that’s very nice of you. We moved out west two years ago because of my partner’s work.

    • aw, well, friend me on fb if you like…i’ve only recently come out to my parents and could always use the wisdom of someone like you :)

    • DT

      JayBee – thank you for sharing from your perspective. It has helped to hear from both the child’s and parent’s point of view. And I too hope I NEVER make my daughter feel like I’m withdrawing my love for her. I do alot with my daughter and she comes over all the time and I always give her a hug before she leaves and I tell her – “I love you!” And I believe my actions speak the same. I do realize that the time is coming where she will be making a life with a partner and given my beliefs – how will I handle this so that I can have an on-going, healthy, loving relationship with my daughter who I love so very much.

  12. Chelsea

    Coming from a gay member of the church- the greatest blessing in my life is my loving family. They have shown me, my partner, and all of my gay friends that mormons are Christians and that the center of the religion is love. My parents wish things were different for me- they don’t wish my gayness was different- they wish that I didn’t have to go through the pain that I do due to the judgement of people who are so narrowminded.
    I believe it is every mothers responsibility AND opportunity to love their children unconditionally. That is the most beautiful part of motherhood.

  13. aw, well, friend me on fb if you like…i’ve only recently come out to my parents and could always use the wisdom of someone like you :)

  14. Elder Dallin H. Oaks addressed this very situation:

    http://newsroom.lds.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction

    This should help give a General Authority’s perspective.

    • JayBee

      Thanks for the link, Jake. It doesn’t help much unless the adult child accepts the parent’s limited and conditional “welcome” when the conditions are that the adult child and partner can’t be seen with the parents and says they can’t spend the night. When there are grandchildren involved, especially, it’s hard to imagine (and mine won’t even meet them because they’d have to face my being gay and meeting my partner) that one could tell a child “Grandma and Grandpa are willing to meet you in their home for the afternoon but we can’t go out in public because their friends might see you.” I guess what bothers me the most is the notion that there’s no taking into consideration the feelings of anyone but the parents. And while the General Authority mentions the disabled daughter in the example of how one CAN live with celibacy (not sure why she couldn’t find love and a mate, but assuming that to be the case) then can you imagine the outrage if she were told she couldn’t be seen in public with her parents if they disapproved of her actions/mate choice – or if any adult child had the same “conditions” because they broke any of the tenets? My thief brother sometimes attends services with our parents, and his children are fully welcomed in their home. People who’ve left the Church and no longer observe are welcomed in their home – I suspect that even if one of my brothers were excommunicated, they’d be welcome. It seems hypocritical at best.

      • I think the difference between a disabled person and someone who struggles with same-gender attraction is that it is impossible for a person who is a paraplegic to decide to walk., while someone who struggles with SGA can decide to not act on their feelings. I feel urges to have sex with women every day, but since I am unmarried, I choose not to. At the end of the day, the discussion of SGA revolves around the Church’s teaching that while we might not be able to choose what we are tempted with, we can choose to act on it. Personally, I think the culture of the Church shuns members that struggle with SGA. We shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean that we should go to the other end of the spectrum and condone, either implicitly or explicitly, behavior that the prophets have counseled against (1 Thess. 5:22).

      • JayBee

        Jake, if you want to marry a woman for whom you have attractions, you have that option. I am a married woman though the Church does not recognize it (though the state of Massachusetts and my current state DO). I have kids with my partner. Not to be glib or insensitive to your position, but to say that I should abstain from affections with my legally wedded spouse are, to me, ridiculous.

  15. Gavin Sweeting

    DT, It is always tough when expectations are not met…… and although the choice of your child doesn’t follow the standards set by God, is it that they sin or the nature of the sin that troubles you. Maybe the question could be asked where do you draw the line…. if your daughter was living with a guy, would the same line be drawn in the sand? So the challenge comes how to best love without certain expectations not being met. Sometimes we are like David of old, when we feel justified in our response to Nabal, but all are in need of the Atonement and a Savior. What is our responsibility of creating a loving environment that gives another the opportunity to repent and change. It is not easy….. God knowing this provided us with a Savior.
    There is sometimes a belief that because one understands another it implies that they agree or accept it. It does not. We do determine how people treat us, and there should be guidelines of respect…. whether gay or straight. There is a way to communicate that you do not agree with the choice, and love the individual for who they are. One of the hardest challenges and maybe biggest frustrations is that we can not change others, only ourselves, and that change is best achieved through the Atonement and Christ. What if the commandments are not there to perfect us, but to remind us of our short comings and our need of a Savior. ( And if they were there to perfect us, what need would we have of a Savior). Knowing that, are we not more alike than different? As with the temple, keeping the commandments qualify us to enter ( they have made us clean, but not holy), but symbolically we meet Christ at the door of the Temple, and it is He that takes us back into the presence of the Father. It is through Christ that we become holy. Trials and tribulations often seem difficult to understand, especially when brought about by our Nabals. Often we don’t feel able to see our way through and question our ability, the fairness, and our worth…… but maybe trials are there not to cause us to feel inadequate or good enough, but that you might be reminded of you need of a Savior. I realize that there are feels of disappointment and hurt…. dreams and wishes are not met, we question our success as a teacher or parent. But if we were good enough, successful enough, capable enough, then what need would we have of a Savior……. the question now stands, does the situtation turn you towards you Savior or away. Maybe experiences arise in our lives to give us an opportunity to turn more fully to a Savior because of our inability to do it alone….. for it was never God’s plan for us to do it alone….. and now and again we need to be reminded of it. Sometimes, we need to express that loving doesn’t mean accepting behavior, understanding doesn’t mean agreeing with the behavior or choice… Maybe the fear is that if I love you or your partner, it means I accept you decision……if I understand, I give my permission…. maybe all that’s needed is to communicate that it doesn’t …… and then love them anyway.
    So often I think life should be easier, especially if one is striving to do good, but life is to give us opportunities to come to know our Savior and be changed in Him… it is then up to us if we chose to be submissive, and accept the invitation.
    WH

  16. KTS

    It took my parents a few years to accept that my brother is gay and for them to allow him to bring his partner around, but they now look back and wonder why they ever hesitated. They still believe that homosexuality is wrong, but they have other children who drink, fornicate, and even their practicing Mormon children are not perfect (surprise). So basically they realized that if they didn’t allow gays in their home, they probably should not allow drinkers or fornicators or really anyone in their home, because we are all sinners (although I am not convinced being gay is a sin). All I can say is that from my own experience, and for my parents and siblings, welcoming our gay brother/son and his partner into our lives has been nothing but positive. My wife, kids and I are active practicing Mormons, but we love to hang out with and spend time with our gay brother/uncle and his partner. It is another opportunity for my wife and I to teach our kids to not be judgmental and to love all of Gods children.

  17. dana

    DT,

    I think what you are going through is difficult for you and your daughter, and I also know that the key thing would be to keep the lines of communication open. My partner from 18 years ago was disowned by her parents because of religious beliefs. Her brother, a minister, also disowned her. Although they have slowly, over the years, been more open to connecting with her, they still do not feel that they can threaten their salvation by allowing her to visit their home with her partner and now, their grandchild, a beautiful baby boy. It has been painful to watch the impact of their rigidity on my former partner and I imagine it has been equally difficult for her parents to have to cut themselves off — i think it is incredibly difficult and painful for all concerned. But, what i’ve come to realize over the years is that there must be a middle way. Rumi wrote: “out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. . . ” I believe one of the earlier writers offered a similar sentiment — does rightness mean absolutes and if so, what, at the end of the day, really matters in terms of one’s connection to people in a material way on this planet? Despite our differences of belief, we are more similar and less separate than we believe. Best of luck to you and to your daughter and your family,

    db

  18. SNeilsen

    jake
    Condone. Interesting word.
    So you don’t reluctantly overlook any behavior the prophets may disapprove of. How do you both imply your disdain and emphatically express your condescension?
    You know what’s worse than the appearance of evil. Actual evil.
    And requiring your child to lie to you by pretending to be single causes psychological, emotional, and spiritual damage.
    Do you condone that?

  19. DT

    DB,
    Thank you for being understanding of the fact that this is difficult for BOTH parties. It amazes me how downright hostile some of the comments are! I loved your quote by Rumi…and that’s exactly what I’m trying to navigate towards, a middle ground where we can both meet each other. And no I don’t believe righteousness has to mean absolutes…I feel I am definately more a spirit of the law type of person than letter of the law. That being said, I do have strong beliefs that this lifestyle isn’t right…but I would never be mean or cruel to anyone just because of their lifestyle. And I would certainly never disown my child because of it. And I think you’re probably right – despite our differences in beliefs – we are more similar and less seperate than we believe – we are ALL children of God!

  20. Amber

    Where do the scriptures say that homosexuality is a sin? I never missed a day of morning seminary and have read and studied the scriptures and have not come across this.

    • John

      Here are a few references:

      I Corinthians 6:9; 10 (fornication amounts to any sexual relations outside marriage. This includes heterosexual and homosexual activities outside wedlock)
      Deuteronomy 23:17 (sodomy is synonymous with homosexuality)

      God has also revealed this very important truth through modern-day Prophets.

  21. Sam Castelli

    Dear Ms. Brooks,
    I just got through listening to you on “Being,” and was very moved by your sharing. I must confess to some anti-Mormon prejudice. You brought op things such as polygamy, anti-feminism and homophobia that I don’t agree with, but that’s not where my problem is. I just don’t understand how anyone can believe in those “extra” revelatory books and these tablets that no one has ever seen. I found you to be captivating and convincing.Do you believe in these things? Sam Castelli

    • Chris

      Faith is a very powerful thing. The main thing about Mormons is their belief that God can speak personally to you. This is powerful because it helps to make you feel included and like you’re not just following what someone tells you to believe. Plus, the Church teaches a lot of things that people want to believe anyway: even death can’t break up your family or marriage; God has a personal interest in you; and even that you could one day become like Him.

      When you think about it, it’s the same as believing in the Bible. There are numerous inconsistencies in the data (not just doctrine), it is questionable wether certain works were written by the authors attributed to them, not to mention the lack of scientific evidence about many of the stories. But if you are willing to overlook those flaws, you are willing to rely on your faith that they’re true.

      And it even goes further by believing that there is a prophet receives revelation from God to guide the church, along with apostles, and a large number of other “general authorities.” These help to make believers feel connected with God in a very powerful way. And it keeps building.

      If you’re willing to believe than issues like very few people having seen the source documents of the additional scriptures (How easy is it for people to see the original texts to the Bible today?), polygamy, and even that black people were forbidden from holding the priesthood from 1949-1978. Religion is hardly ever black and white, but it often can be summed up in a tidy economic model: as long as the perceived benefits outweigh the personal costs, people will believe and continue to. As for me, I currently don’t, but I remember what it was like when I did. Through God, all things are possible. Even if it may sound entirely ridiculous to another group.

  22. Nicole

    I am not a Mormon, but feel compelled to share the pain of this discovery here. My daughter also has become involved with another female and the situation is devastating to our family. I found out accidentally, as she was trying to conceal it, and has become very antagonistic since being ‘discovered’. It has proven to be an unhealthy lifestyle and relationship for her, but she refuses to acknowledge this fact. I do not believe she is truly ‘gay’, but was lured into this lifestyle when she was vulnerable after a breakup with a boy in college. I have always felt homo sexuality is a sin, and no argument anyone in this forum can come up with will change my mind about that. What I also believe is that we are born with certain predelections, and it is a struggle for us all in some way – be it food, alcohol, shoplifting, pedophelia, pornography – to overcome these burdens to bear. Only with God’s help can we overcome these. My daughter has completely turned her back on her faith, and that really has us sad, because we know the strength that it can offer her, but this lifestyle (and every single person associated with this lifestyle she is in touch with) are living God-less lives. As we are being exposed to this, we can see her drinking, using drugs, embarassing herself and her family, all for one person. And for those here who want to point fingers at the parents who are suffering this: we are absolutely allowed to feel hurt, betrayed, embarassed, sad and lonely – don’t even try to take that away from us. Many hopes, dreams, wishes for a fulfilling life with Christ for our children feels as if it’s slipping away for us. I would feel the same were it alcohol, drugs, or any other destructive lifestyle my daughter were involved with. I’ve watched a beautiful young girl from a loving home with beautiful potential marr her life and relationships with her family over this one relationship. My only comfort is that I have hope in Christ to save my daughter. Today I have decided in my heart to leave this at the Lord’s feet – I feel as though I am dying inside, and I have three other children to raise. I cannot change her, but I can change the way I react to her and her poor decision making. I will not allow her girlfriend in my home, and no, we do not talk about it because I do not believe anything constructive will come out of a conversation, at least not yet. She is either not mature enough to have this talk (she’s 23) or wants to shut out any opposition we have to it. I will tell her I love her and I’m here for her, but I am not accepting of the lifestyle and her friend is not welcome in my home. And that is my right and what I feel is right in my heart. If she is doing what she feels is right, why am I made to feel wrong for being uphappy about this? Society has watered down what constitutes sin today and soon, everything will simply be a ‘choice’. Indeed a slippery slope.

    • Nicole. First off, I am sorry that you and your family are going through these tough times. Being an ex-Mormon with a father and other family members who still practice the faith in full, I want to share with you my perspective.

      Your daughter is 23, still at an age where people want to explore themselves, dabble in what’s out there, be immature, slip up, take risks and be curious. This is human nature and just because your daughter isn’t doing all these “natural” things within the context of the “ideal” Mormon bubble, doesn’t mean there is no “hope,” for her.

      I too went through all of these things, exploring sexuality, drugs, music, travel, political activism and getting a taste of the beautiful and fascinating diversity that is out there, things that the Mormon lifestyle often discourages one to explore. I fear that it is this mundane Mormon lifestyle — and the rigid ideals and opinions you hold towards life, lifestyles people and diversity — which are exasperating her current behavior. If you could have it in you to be a more open minded mother, by encouraging your daughter to explore the world and “get things out of her system,” all the while making sure that she understands 100% that, at any point, she can come “back to the nest” and be accepted with open arms by her family in a non-judgmental way, she would be much more likely to LISTEN and TAKE TO HEART your valid concerns as a mother.

      Conversely, if she knows that you will vehemently defend the notion that “homosexuality is a sin” and is a shameful act upon the family (this infers grotesque closed mindedness, discrimination and sexual-elitism), your rigidity will only drive her further away and cause more suffering for her, yourself and your family. In the event that your daughter really IS gay and you continue to voice your harsh opinions regarding her sexual orientation, she will continue to feel isolated and disenfranchised from her own family. It is therefore **your** burden to bear: you can either let her know that you love her unconditionally or you can continue to ostracize her. Of course, you do not have to “condone” certain behavior of hers that you feel is self destructive, but if you want to have any kind of meaningful relationship with her, she must know that you love her unconditionally (ie: w/out passing judgment on who she wants to be in love with).

      I can now talk openly about my atheism with my very-Mormon father and we can have somewhat civil discussions regarding faith, god, history and politics. From him, I receive a feeling of unconditional love, despite my understanding that, in the context of his faith, he thinks I’m doing my eternal self (and the family) a lot of harm. This is something I must always struggle with, although his beliefs should not be my burden to bear. Since my departure from the faith and my subsequent “exploration” into the “dark side” of promiscuity, booze, drugs, pubs and partying, I have since earned an excellent higher education, been an active volunteer on several continents in various countries, learned languages and am actively planing to found my own nonprofit foundation to work with the poor. My father couldn’t be any prouder of me, despite the fact that I live a *very* secular lifestyle. And to know that he is proud of me means the world to me.

      Many people all over the world recognize the Mormon faith as being a very family-focused organization. It is one of the last things that I hear people speak respectfully of about the faith. Ironically, because so many Mormons see the world in black and white and refuse to think outside their Mormon box and tenants, countless families are torn apart simply due to closed mindedness. If there is one thing a Mormon should take from Jesus’s teachings, it is to love one another despite our differences. If Jesus taught you to love your enemy and neighbors, I think you can find it in you to open your heart to your own daughter, despite the “lifestyle” she chooses to live. Conversely, if she chooses to live a secular lifestyle, she should respect your lifestyle of faith. But this does not suggest she must conform to your lifestyle, or vise-versa.

      Can you imagine the audacity you must have to think you have the “right” to treat her differently just because she isn’t growing up to be the ideal little “Molly Mormon” girl you’d dreamed her up to be? Your family would be much more interesting, strong and dynamic to invite her and her partner to be a part of it, as opposed to being yet another ideal, perfect, boring Mo-family on the block. Other families would secretly admire your family, not shun it.

      You must find a way to practice your faith while simultaneously participating as a mature adult, in an ever-changing and diverse society. Your limiting and shortsighted rigidity will kill any chances of you having a meaningful relationship with your own daughter. I hope you can open your heart and mind to the diversity of the world, just as you have done so to God.

    • DT

      Dear Nicole – I am DT – the one who asked this question of Joanna regarding my situation with my daughter (21) who came out 3 yrs. ago much to our amazement. We never suspected that she was gay and thought it was her being rebellious and experimenting. We were very hurt by it. For over 2 years it consumed our lives. We too felt hurt, betrayed, embarrassed, sad, and confused. We felt helpless…we didn’t know how to handle all of this and I’m sorry to say the local leaders of our church didn’t offer us any help, or guidance…which led us to search out on our own where we found conflicting answers to our questions. We too saw her living a very unhealthy lifestyle. We believed it was a sin. We didn’t feel she was truly gay. Hers too fell on the heels of a bad break-up with a boy. She too wanted nothing to do with the church (but in her defense – I will say she wasn’t treated very well – something I feel strongly that needs to change in the Mormon church!) we felt everything you did.
      And I believe it’s a journey alot of parents go through when finding out that their child is gay. There have definately been a variety of stages as we have navigated our way through this.
      And then she met this partner from England and was determined to go there and live, which she did for 6 months. They are still together, although she is back home and realized she needs to complete her education. But let me back up…my question was about meeting this young lady who my daughter would be going to a completely different country with. I knew it would be hard. I too didn’t want to talk about any of the gay stuff, didn’t want to acknowledge it, didn’t want to think about it! So now, here I was with this dilemma of feeling the need to met this young lady but not wanting to bring this into my home and further encourage my daughter. Now on to the eye-opener. This poor young lady was so scared to meet me…I felt so bad about that…I want to be Christ-like person and be loving toward everyone. I started there. She is after all a Child of God just like everyone else. She was kind, considerate, very respectful, well-mannered (considered that it would be hard for me to see any form of PDA, which they did not do) she opened herself up to me and said, “Please feel free to ask me anything…I want you to feel comfortable.”
      I asked away and we had several wonderful conversations while she was here. She taught me more about extending kindness, meeting someone right where they are at the time, allowing me to have my feelings about the situation and being understanding and respectful of that and vice versa. I guess what I’m trying to say is…her kindess, respectfulness, and being so patient with me and my questions and being so well-mannered broke down so many walls I had put up. And after she left I thought – this is exactly how Christ would have us treat one another – from a place of loving-kindness. I can honestly tell you that I don’t know if it’s a choice or something you’re born with…that’s one of those things I don’t think we’ll know until we get to the other side. But what I have learned and do know is this; don’t allow this to consume you or make you bitter or angry (nothing good will come from any of those things). Set boundaries if needed (in your home you have the right to say what goes no matter their age!) First and foremost, she is your daughter and you love her. Just love her!!!
      You do have a right to feel the way you do (it’s how you feel) – but then we too must allow others (even if we don’t agree with them) their right to feel the way they do about the situation.
      Let your conversations come from a place of kindness, respect, and love (loving – accepting her for who she is and where she is right now at this place in her life.) This last one was especially a tremendous help to both my husband and I.
      There is a wonderful book out by Carol Lynn Pearson called, “Circling Our Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones.” It’s a wonderful book that I highly recommend.

    • maryjoe

      I think that is a really good answer.

  23. Jordan Hendricks

    You are not your daughter. Let her live her own life. You may believe one thing but your daughter believes another. And honestly, you’re main priority shouldn’t be what you believe, but what makes your daughter happy. Imagine how much that would mean to her. So your daughter likes a woman….is she committing a crime? No. Is she sneaking out and doing drugs? No. Is she doing anything to make ANYONE unhappy? No. She’s simply doing what makes her happy, and honestly whoever she loves is nobodies business but her’s and her partners. All your daughter wants is for her mother to be supportive, so I think you need to ask yourself whats more important, you’re daughters happiness or your “beliefs”.

  24. Sosa

    I grew up Mormon. I came out to my family when I was 15. My parents weren’t accepting at all about it. As for my siblings, they were a mixed bag: my sister at BYU was against it, I didn’t really talk about it with others, but I had one brother who was very supportive. But it was very hard for awhile: my Mom kicked me out, I lived out of my car, and I had various part time jobs just to get by. It wasn’t until my brother died suddenly in a car accident that things turned 180 degrees. As I look back, I hate seeing that it took his death for my family to come together and just love each other as a family should: unconditionally. I watched my Dad cry, and he doesn’t ever cry. Over the years I have listened to him talk about the last time he saw him, when my brother helped him with his roof. My Dad had wanted to take a picture that day, but instead he told himself there would be another, better time for a picture. When he talks about how much he regrets that moment, he stays quiet for a long while after. I remember the last time I saw him, how he gave me such a big hug he picked me up off the ground. He always gave such massive hugs. When we get together and memories of him are shared, we all wish we could have just one more hug from him.

    My brother wasn’t gay. I’m the gay one in my family. But it definitely changed us, and it brought us closer together. They say ‘Families are Forever'; I guess we had always knew what it meant, we just never had that deep feeling, understanding, and knowledge of that absolute truth. I can’t say for sure that my family would be as close as we are today if my brother were still here, but when you look at your gay daughter or gay son, has it ever crossed your mind that that could be the last time, the last moment, the last opportunity to take a picture, give them a hug, or tell them you love them? Could you live with yourself knowing that there might come a time you won’t have the chance to pick up the phone and call your gay daughter/son, even to argue with them one more time about your beliefs? It’s easier to answer that when you’ve never experienced it, but I pray that you never have to. We will cry, laugh, disagree, and fight with each other. But at the end of the day, its not a choice for us to love each other. We just do. And that’s what love is. It’s not a choice, its just what we do.

    • Hurley

      This story was very inspiring. Coming from myself who just came out to my parents two months ago, things have been difficult. I know they love me, but honestly their supportive texts and “you can beat this” messages make me feel the opposite of love. I feel hopeless. I’m told of love but yet why can’t I feel it when I talk to my mother anymore? I know it’s there but our talks have turned from how was your day? To “your patriarchal blessing says your getting married and I know you will”. I love my mom and shes only trying to help. But it’s only digging me a bigger pit of pain and hurt. I want to tell my siblings but her stake president told her not to have me do so. I want to talk to people. I need to talk to people

  25. Tina

    I would treat this the same as if she brought home a boyfriend. If dating couples must sleep in separate bedrooms in your home (as I suspect they do), then the same rule would apply to your gay daughter and her girlfriend. I don’t really see the need for any “hemming and hawing,” so to speak. If your daughter and her girlfriend ever got married one day, you should open your home to them in exactly the same way you would your other married children.

    Be even-handed in treating all your children equally, and I think you will forever have the respect of your daughter and her partner. If any of your other children object, tell them she is receiving no different or preferential treatment than that of her siblings and that they really have no room for complaint. Besides, it’s your house.

  26. Alice

    As a gay girl I could tell you that we really appreciate any gesture from our parents, at first I tried dating boys and I was terribly unhappy I did it all to made my family happy, but I was miserable, I tried to live a straight life but I was unhappy, I was telling lies to everybody, to my. So called “boyfriend”, parents, friends and family. I didn’t love the boy, in fact I didn’t even like him, and then I met a girl that changed my life, I was in love and couldn’t lie anymore, and if my choice was between the person that makes me happy for the first time and my family that loves me just if I’m “straight” I was going to choose my partner.
    But when I thought my family had abandoned me my mom accepted me as I’m am. She said that if god had created me that way. Then she would accept me as the gift I was. I don’t think she believes I’m living a “right” life style but she offers me love and acceptance, and what’s to at least meet the person I’m with. I think is important to show you care about your child, and the person she shares life with, and you want to know if she is a good or bad person, I mean the problem for you I’d the gender, but at the end souls and feelings matter too. Isn’t it? That’s what I think. I offer u my mom to talk to if you want. J
    Regards

  27. Carla

    There are endless stories of children disowned by Mormon families for having same sex partners. Many families won’t admit they have disowned them but when you withhold love and acceptance…that is disowning. Other religions and cultures formerly shun members who don’t behave according to the rules. The affect is children learn that in order to have love and acceptance they have to look a certain way.

    I am 50 years old. I lost my family when I came out at 25 they do not admit they disowned me. My parter was not “allowed” to participate in family events. When I went home alone there was either uncomfortable judgments rendered in non verbal expressions of disapproval or full on priesthood intervention in the form of family prayer and testimonials to the truthfulness of my immoral behavior.

    I eventually quit. What is a family? Mine became something that I needed recuperation and healing from. I talk to some of them every couple of years as if they are acquaintances from High School. I would end up homeless before I ever went to them for help. My neighbors offer more in the way of kindness than my family has in 25 years…maybe because they are not Mormon.

  28. Michelle

    I am in my mid 20’s and so is girlfriend. We both grew up in “Happy Valley” Utah where the population is pretty much 99% Mormon, well at least it seems that way. I on the other hand am part of the 1% that isn’t. I can tell the growing up here made me have resentments towards Mormons. I was automatically labeled “bad” before anyone knew me or my family. When I was younger anytime one of my friends got in some kind of trouble, I got the blame even when I had no involvement. I was a good kid and usually the one who tried to talk them out doing things that would get them in trouble. I began to lie to people that I was a Mormon just so I could have friends. My family isn’t LDS but we pretty much live by the same basic standards, normal, good people but we have been treated like we are murderers that just got out prison or if their children were to talk to me, I would some how make them stop believing the church or something. My very first girlfriend comes from a very LDS family. We it came out that we were more than friends our senior year of high school, her parents made her sleep outside in the back yard. When that punishment didn’t work, they tried bribing her, offered to buy her any car she wanted, trips anywhere she wanted, anything to get her to be straight. Her parents came to mine and mine had a very different reaction, although they were not excited or happy about it, I still got to sleep in my bed. I’m not saying all Mormons are bad or judgmental, I know lots of them that are wonderful people and truly live and treat people the way their church teaches. With my first girlfriend we actually stayed together for 3 years and it was very straining on us that her parents demanded that her life with me and her life with them had to be separate and didn’t want to acknowledge that I even existed. They also believed that she was only doing what she was doing because of my influence; I got the blame for her sexuality and her unhappiness. When we broke up, she did try to go back to church, date men and do what her parents thought she should do but ultimately she is gay and doing what makes her happy. Her parents have come a long way; I think they are wonderful people. They no longer hate me and think I am the devil and the cause of their daughter being gay. I know that they love their daughter very much and only want happiness for her but it saddens me it took them taking everything they could from her to realize that they can’t change who she is. With my current girlfriend her family actually thinks the family of my first girlfriend is very liberal and the fact that they have welcomed their daughter’s partner in their home is sick and wrong, that they gave up on her. They tell her that the reason she is sad is because she is acting on her homosexuality, because she is with me. I can tell you right now, that she is very happy. But she is also very unhappy because of the pain her family puts her through, they are a very close family and what they say affects her deeply. They tell other people that she has a mental illness rather than she is gay. My older brother suffers from schizophrenia and I can guarantee that any parent with a child with mental illness would rather their child be gay. They tell her that she is ruining the family, they won’t be together eternally. She will go visit with them, and it turns into a big guilt trip. They tell her everyone in the family has been going to the temple everyday to pray she will stop sinning. They tell her she is sick, unclean, etc. Obviously this makes her feels horrible and makes her feel like she should just be alone the rest of her life instead of hurting them. But then she comes over to my parents house and my nieces come running to her when she pulls up and hug her and my sister comes right out to welcome her and my mom has a place for her at the table makes all that sadness go away, she feels loved when she is with my family. I wish her parents could see that she is with me because I make her happy, that she is being who she is. They don’t even see that when she when she was attending church, doing the things her parents said she should do and what would help her with her sexuality was actually making her more depressed than ever, actually considering suicide. So when her family and other LDS people tell her that she is only unhappy because of the choices she making is not true. Like I said my family isn’t LDS but we are a very spiritual family and God and prayer is very important to us. I have a very close relationship with God and that is something I have no doubt in. I take the bible very seriously but not literally. My mom tells people that just because I have different feelings than her or they have, does not mean it is the wrong feelings. My family supports me 110% and the most important thing to them is that I am happy. They would never want me to feel that I couldn’t talk to them about my life. I have been blessed with a very accepting and understanding family and I’m so thankful to God for that. But even with a very accepting family, I can tell you it was very hard to accept myself and to imagine how my girlfriend feels is heartbreaking. Being gay is not easy, no one wants to be gay, it’s not a choice and for someone who isn’t gay you can’t judge something you don’t understand. To relate it to being addicted to alcohol or drugs, it isn’t even comparable. To say that she or other people would be happier if they followed the Mormon way isn’t true for everyone. In a way though being gay is a choice, sure I could make the easier choice to be with a man and so could my girlfriend but it wouldn’t feel right, we would feel less than whole and empty inside. We would never get to have the joy of being deeply in love and companionship we all want. That wouldn’t be fair to me or her or any man we ever married. Being gay doesn’t mean you have to live a wild lifestyle, my girlfriend and I don’t drink, don’t smoke or have ever tried a drug. We are both very attractive “girly girls”, no one would ever think we would be gay. Her parents say they don’t think she is really gay, that she is just afraid of being hurt by a man. They have come up with any reason they can to try to convince her that she isn’t gay. Recently they offered to pay off her car and give her money to date a man. They refuse to acknowledge I even exist in her life and I’m not welcome in their home. We have been together a year and will soon live together and they don’t even know what I look like. It pains me to see her struggle with keeping the most important people in her life separate and honestly if her parents did want to meet me, I would be scared to death to do so. I have come to this site because I want to understand her parent’s feelings and respect them. I want to find some way that we could reach some kind of agreement. I know that this devastating to them, I know their faith is strong and I admire their love for their daughter. I want so badly for them to see that I make her happy, that I am good to her and good for her. I no longer have any resentment towards Mormons, I have realized that just because they believe something different than me doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I don’t agree with some of their teachings but I can’t judge something I don’t understand and their faith brings them happiness, I just want the same respect. This is a lengthy reply but I definitely learned a lot from other people replies.
    I hope if any parent reads this I know you are having a very difficult time but remember your child is having a harder time. Most children want to make their parents happy, be careful what you say to them. You don’t have to think it is right but respect their beliefs and feelings just like you want them to respect yours.

  29. Sample of a Soul

    I can tell you this… While you may not exactly agree with her, she is most likely suffering on her own. I can tell you that I, someone who identifies as queer myself, had a very hard time coming out even to my self, and while things do get better, it never becomes easy. There’s alot of depressing realizations that come along with realizing you’re gay; It’s not all bright lights and flashy rebellion like it may seem. Believe me, it’s no catwalk. It hurts, and there are times it’s nearly unbearable. The only thing that got me through to where I am today is my partner, and otherwise, I doubt I’d even have stayed alive long enough to make it to sixteen. Point is, it’s hard enough for her. I know it must break your heart, but hers is injured, too, and all you can do is love her and attempt to love the person your daughter loves, because, after all is said and done, that is always going to be your little girl, and her lover most likely means the world to her. If you loved two people very dearly, wouldn’t you want them to be apart of each others lives rather than feel like you’re living a double life? God will take care of her. Judgement is his, but as a parent, your job is to nurture and love her while you still can. She needs you and your support. The majority of the world is already casting their gazes downward on her. I know that I’ve cried countless nights, and I have my mother to accept me… I can’t imagine not having her there, beside me and my partner.

  30. The following book was mentioned above. Having recently completed reading it, I’d also thoroughly recommend it. Whatever you current feelings toward people being gay, it will give more understanding to what it means to be gay in the Mormon Church:

    Carol Lynn Person has other insights on her website:
    http://www.clpearson.com/

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