Thursday, June 21, 2012

Exhausted. Worried. Nightlined.

I wrote this post last night (Wednesday) and then fell asleep before posting it. And now it's really late Thursday. But it's talking about Wednesday. Even though it's Thursday right now.

I'm really good at clearing up confusion in dates, huh?

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I am totally exhausted.

We just spent the day being interviewed for Nightline.


It was weird having them here. It was weird trying to do "normal" things while cameras were rolling. I guess I'll talk more about all of that in tomorrow's post.

Today I'm more philosophical.

I'm not sure what to think about it. We've felt clearly that we should go forward and continue to share our story. But I'm not sure why. Isn't this enough? Hasn't it hit enough people? Haven't we been vulnerable enough yet? When I try to articulate the purpose behind what we're doing, I have nothing but the feeling that it's what we're supposed to be doing. And while the feelings are clear, they sound pretty flimsily when people question our motives. Yet, they are real. And any time we try to tell ourselves "okay, enough. We're done. It's time to stop," instead of feeling the relief we hope to feel, we feel a knowledge that we aren't done yet, and that that is not what we are supposed to do.

This is probably one of the most difficult processes of my entire life--moving forward with scary things, knowing that people might assume the worst about our motivations, and just trusting that we know ourselves, and know our connection to the Spirit, and that we know we are taking steps that we are supposed to be taking, even though we don't know why.

Last night, we did a live radio show--the Gil Gross show. You can hear our interview here.

Going into it, we felt totally terrified. I spent days and days practicing answering questions, trying to prepare. As we sat together waiting for the call, we were filled with dread. What if we say the wrong thing? What if we misrepresent ourselves? What if we misrepresent our faith?

Then Gil got on the phone and asked us questions and we talked and laughed and expressed ourselves clearly and at the end of the interview, he said how much he enjoyed the fact that we were real and honest. He seemed a little touched by that, maybe. Not sure, of course. I don't know him. But at very least, it seemed that he respected what we were saying.

After that interview, it all seemed to make sense. We are sharing a truth--our truth--in a way that touches people, and people can sense our genuineness. After having been so terrified it was nice to feel a confirmation that we were taking correct steps. It helped us to continue to feel comfortable going forward with Nightline. It was like "okay, this is scary, but in the end it feels good and right, as long as we're choosy about what things we participate in."


Being interviewed is weird. Also, I included this random picture of microphones for no other reason than to break up the text. 

This morning, when they came and set up, we were filled with the same dread. Lolly and I both said it felt similar to the days when our girls were born--there was this feeling of inevitability, and something difficult and nerve-racking was about to happen, and all we had--the only thing that really mattered in the world--was each other, and we would get through it together. I felt sick to my stomach before the interview started, and then as they questions came, we did loosen up and we were able to say a lot of things and say them correctly. I think for most of it, we were saying our truth in a way that we can feel good about.

The problem with this though is that now our truth is being taken and transformed into a visual medium. Unlike with the radio show which, after ten minutes, was over and done with so we could immediately feel that confirmation of "this was right," this is completely out of our control, and our most vulnerable truths are subject to the editorial instincts of another person. I trust the producer (who is also the editor of the piece). I think he has our best interest in mind. I think he genuinely wants to represent our story accurately. But somehow that doesn't assuage the sinking worry at the pit of my stomach that something will be taken out of context, or that some random thing I said that I don't even remember will be highlighted in a way that totally misrepresents our story.

Let me tell you, that would be totally devastating. It's a horrible, horrible feeling. I'm praying my heart out that the story comes out well, and that it's everything it needs to be. I suppose it's out of our hands now, and now we just wait and hope and pray and trust that it will all be okay.

One thing that I take as a good sign: one of the crew members pulled Lolly aside to talk with her at one point later on in the day, and the thing he emphasized was how much he enjoyed when we talked about our connection, and how beautiful he thought it was that we had such an obvious link to one another. He said he hoped to find that for himself, and he seemed very touched.

So, clearly, there are parts of the interview that are moving. There is the potential that this will be a great piece. And I have confidence that it will end well, and represent our story with integrity.

I am officially too lazy to find a photo for today's post.

Tomorrow: look forward to my recap of the hilarious things my children did while Nightline was at our house. I'm not kidding, probably the most hilariously awkward thing you could imagine was uttered by my child, and I kind of can't wait to tell that story.

Also, I should finally have a forum of some kind up tomorrow or Saturday. (Probably just in time to have the discussion be dead, but whatevs.) Thanks for your patience. It's definitely time to move the Club Unicorn discussion to its own home.

In the meantime, say what you must, but as always, try to be civil and considerate of others' perspectives.

I was going to try to answer a commonly asked question, but I'm too tired, and I have to get up and go to the temple tomorrow. But don't worry. We haven't forgotten.

Good night y'all.





165 comments:

  1. Yay I'm first comment!! You guys continue to be amazing, inspiring, motivational and courageous. I don't want to sound super over the top cheesy by saying this, but I feel the spirit really strongly when reading your posts.

    I haven't been active in the church for almost a year MOSTLY because I just couldn't reconcile my feelings about the churches stance on homosexuality, or rather the stance that is so often misunderstood. Reading this blog has given me a new perspective and new hope that maybe, just maybe this church actually DOES have all the right answers if you know where to look for them. Hearing your story has helped me to lower my guard and cut the cynicism.
    I KNOW you are doing the right thing by sharing this story and this message. YOU WILL CHANGE THE WORLD. :) Trust your feelings!! And never EVER let anyone taking anything you say out of context bring you down. You know who you are. GOD knows who you are. You can't go wrong. :) Thank you for this. :) <3 <3 <3

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    1. Well said, & ditto on everything Rebekah said. You & are your wife are doing the right thing by trusting what you feel & know to be right! It's not always easy to take a stand, in fact it rarely ever is. You rock.

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  2. The world could use a little more honest sincerity, and I am so glad you and your wife are sharing yours with us. I love that you share the exhaustion, the fear, the tired moments, the way you felt about the interview as well as the tender, sweet, exciting moments too. As humans we are all so vulnerable, but so seldom do we let the world know. No matter how the interview is cut, I don't think they can alter the sincerity in the lifestyle you lead. Everything about what you are doing is so so brave. I hope only the best for you and your adorable family.

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  3. Man makes his plans but the Lord orders his steps. It doesn't matter what Nightline wants to do with (or to) your story, God's will will be done and His purposes carried out. If only that meant it would be easy - or at least not emotionally traumatizing, right? So Heavenly Father, I pray for continued strength and wisdom for the Weed family. I pray you would help them to know your will and to walk it out. May your grace, just as promised, be sufficient for them. I pray you would further bless their home and marriage and strengthen the work you've already done in them. And lastly, I pray you would poor out your love to them and through them, so that the world can see and know that you are God.

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  4. It is tough when the world judges you or removes context or even worse when people closer to you do the same, and I'm so sorry you have that pain and fear. But, as you also know, following God and His will is so very much more important than comfort. Thanks for being in tune with the Spirit and sharing your story anyway. Thanks for sharing that you feel inspired to share your story - that's gotta give the doubters/judgers a twinge of guilt, maybe?

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  5. i have tons of thoughts, but i will just say that it was hilarious because when i read the line about people sensing your genuineness- i misread it and thought you said- sensing our geniusness. which, don't get me wrong, i think y'all are... it was just funny. anyways... thanks for what you are doing and for doing it right (its just my opinion, but whatever). gotta go... or i would say more! thanks again!

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  6. Man you guys are strong. I have to admit, I would probably be curled in a corner having a panic attack after what you guys have endured, but you are not. Heck, I'm halfway there just reading your comments! I'm so impressed with your willingness to do hard things.

    You will continue to be in my prayers, and I hope you guys can settle down soon!

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  7. 1) You guys are pretty cool. Before I heard this story (via a facebook newsfeed)everything I knew about Mormons was Mitt Romney (sorry lol, I don't get a lot of exposure to Mormons up here in Michigan) This story is great.

    2) My family was on Dateline about a year ago for a much more depressing story than yours. And we were super nervous about it for the same reasons: would they take stuff out of context and make us look like crazy people? Is that why everyone on TV always seems crazy is because of the editing? Anyways, there were a few things taken out of context, but all the "guts" of the story was not. The few things they were taken out of context were silly things that we were able to laugh about like: we had a family get together and they called it a reunion even though we see each other like every Sunday. That type of stuff.

    I say: No worries, I'm sure you did awesome and now even the non-blog reading people will get to see your story!!!

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  8. Hazzah! for you guys! I'm sure it's going to turn out great. First off, you're both so adorable and love each other so much. People could watch you two with the volume muted and see that what you have is genuine. BUT- I'm so happy you have this chance to speak out and be seen, not just read. Your words are beautiful, but so much is lost in translation. I'm excited for you and Lolly to be able to articulate visually your story. What an amazing opportunity to testify of tolerance, purpose, choice and love! I'll definitely be watching!

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  9. This sentence: "there was this feeling of inevitability, and something difficult and nerve-racking was about to happen, and all we had--the only thing that really mattered in the world--was each other, and we would get through it together." was my favorite in the whole post. I still get these feelings with certain things I have to face with my husband and I always have to remember that He is the most important person in this world to me & I can make it through anything with him.

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  10. Josh and Lolly, I read this recently and am only paraphrasing now (and sorry if I am repeating something you've already said!)

    "Courage isn't the absence of fear, rather it is the sure knowledge of a purpose that is greater than your fear"

    You two epitomize sweet, pure courage and are true pioneers!

    With love and admiration, Laurie.

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  11. I only heard about your blog from the news reporting your story. I mean no disrespect but your story only fuels the Mormon churches stance that it is a choice you can make. I have a gay daughter that dated guys in high school and tried her best to make it work. It's no different than me being heterosexual and because the church tells me I have to be married to a woman because that it "right". I could not do it. I could also never be married and having sex with a man that wasn't sexually attracted to me. I fear that you've taken steps to further alienate Mormon homosexuals because now they can use you for the example of how to ignore your feelings and live a life the church wants you to live. I do not know any homosexuals that could force themselves to be with the opposite sex and be truly happy and fulfilled. For what it's worth, I was raised Mormon and so was my gay daughter. I do not and will no practice that religion because I refuse to believe that God will punish anyone for being gay and loving another human being be it same sex or not. I have no doubt that you love your wife but you have never allowed yourself to love a man. You will never know if the love you have is as fulfilling as it could be and neither can your wife. I'm happy that you are content with your lives but sad that you have potentially damaged the possibilities for gay Mormons that are still in the closet. I personally believe that you should have kept your story to yourselves. Sorry.

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    1. I think every story should be told. There is never one "right" way. My feeling is that this is exactly why their story WAS told. To share a perspective, that works for them, brings them happiness and was their choice!( In no way have I felt like they have said its for EVERYONE if you read the posts...) Life is NOT black or while as some people think and I think Josh and Lolly have said pretty much the same thing here. They are not saying this life - is the life that would work for everyone and they respect peoples agency and freedom to choose.....And the world is full of differences. To say that the story should have been kept to themselves is one of the oddest things I have heard.

      Standing ovation to you both Josh and Lolly.

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    2. I agree. Seems the Mormons are evolving a bit though - from having gay people completely deny their feelings to now where gay folks are allowed to feel their feelings. Of course, they are then required to never act on these feelings and are further taught that doing so would be a horrific sin and burning in hell ultimately, etc. I just knew Nightline or 20/20 (hopefully not 60 Minutes as they have more well thought out journalism generally) would leap on this story - stories of gay people get huge ratings seemingly. I can only imagine the number of people PVRing this program and showing it to their struggling teenagers. Telling someone that they are allowed to have their feelings but can never ever ever act upon them by having a relationship with a person of the same gender is definitely going to be damaging. It's like it gives false hope and then yanks even that away.

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    3. I mean I agree with the original comment. Another comment got on there fast! Again, Josh is indeed saying it is only his story and only about him but that is not how it is going to be used, it will be used as an example for other folks to live up to. I don't know - imagine a parent who had finally finally come to terms with their child's homosexuaity and their child's need to date someone of the same gender. Then that parent watches Nightline and thinks, 'hey, no, my child doesn't have to date someone of the same gender!" he tells his teenager/young adult child this and the rug is pulled out from under. Again, what Josh is saying about his own personal experience will be used to put yet more enormous pressure on young gay people, it is inevitable and it is sad. Again, I know that most folks on here cannot and will not be able to see that but it does not make it any less true.
      I wish the word ''sexual'' could be taken out of homosexuality and sexual orientation because it leads some people to believe that it's only about sex and/or it leads some people to picture sex between two men and it grosses them out which simply adds fuel to the fire.

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    4. I think people need to look into the Mormon's concept of heaven and hell before they start talking about how we believe people will go to hell. It's our believe that very very very few people actually well. Hell, or outer darkness, is where people who KNOW the truth and choose to not accept it go. Even the lowest heaven, where we believe people who choose to sin, is describe as being wonderful. This is one of the reasons many other Christians don't like our doctrine. If you want to see what we believe about it, research it please before you start deciding that we teach gays who practice will go to hell. I have never heard that, ever, except from people outside the church who tell us what we believe or families in the church that do not understand the doctrine.

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    5. I just think you are not taking into account the many, many gay people who are also devoutly religious and are struggling to balance those two parts of their lives. You may not agree with their religious beliefs, but surely the message that their deeply held religious convictions are illegitimate is no less harmful than telling them their other feelings are illegitimate.

      When the Weeds and others like them are willing to tell their stories it gives many people hope that they, too, can be honest about who they are, holistically balance their priorities AND still have happy and fulfilling lives.

      Kudos to you Josh and Lolly! I for one think you are doing the right thing.

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    6. How ironic, this commenter thinks you should have closeted your story because it would hurt other gay Mormons. I can't imagine the philosophical gymnastics it requirs to maintain such a double standard! So Josh should keep his story to himself because it would hurt other closeted gay Mormons, but gay Mormons should come out and embrace a "homosexual lifestyle" regardless of the pain it could cause others?

      I cannot follow this logic....

      And since when does being gay mean you belong to a
      "gay community" that owns you and approves every decisin you make? There is no consensus here. Josh is an individual. Either you support that or not. If not, it is an affront to any person who makes choices based on what they think is best. We don't belong to or owe allegiance to any demographic simply because we belong to it.

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    7. where does the Mormon idea of heaven and hell come from? The book of mormon? just curious.

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    8. What I meant to write in the last sentence of the comment above is this:

      We aren't owned by or owe allegiance to the demographic we belong to.

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    9. This is sad. I think any story of courage and going "against the grain" for what you believe is an awesome one. I'm so inspired by the story of your marriage, and it has truly already caused me to rethink my ideas of marriage.

      I have so much admiration for both of you.

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    10. The Mormon idea of heaven an hell comes from what we believe to be modern day revelation. It's found in the "Doctrine and Covenants". There is also reference to this in the Bible.

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    11. I can't imagine the philosophical gymnastics required to accept the fact that Brigham Young said that a white person marrying a black person would result in instant death. or that Joseph Smith felt blacks to have the mark of Cain and to be disadvantaged because of their sin. Now those, those are some kind of gymnastics. That is a kind of logic that I cannot follow.

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    12. When it comes to LDS doctrine, the sexual feelings/orientation must be separated from the behavior. The first is not a sin and very often not a choice. The second always has been and always will be--both a sin and a choice.

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    13. I think we should note too, that a sexual sin also includes pre-marital sex and sex with someone else if you are married. I don't see the gay lifestyle as being better or worse than either of these things. There are plenty of single men and women that are held to the same standards. A great book to look at for understanding why Mormon's believe the way they do about sex and sexuality is Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments by Jeffery R. Holland.

      About the black and white thing, when the revelation first came that black people could hold the priesthood, one of the apostles at the time said that anything else they had said previously was wrong because they had not understood as much as they do now. At the time, both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were speaking from their cultural perspective. Many people of the time held the same believes. Those were not unique. I bet you could look at any church at the time and find similar views.

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    14. Very possibly, Rachel, although not perhaps until 1978. but yes, cultural context for sure.
      The Mormon Church was somewhat behind on race and I suspect it is also somewhat behind on same sex marriage. It may just evolve but i suspect not in my lifetimee (I'm in my mid 40s).
      And as for it being a choice to be in a same sex relationship, which, like straight relationships is about much more than sex, I wonder if people in straight relationships could also choose to abstain from their marriages. It is quite easy for a straight person to ask so much of a gay person.

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    15. Anon-

      I don't know that the people of the church or the leaders of the church were behind the times in terms of their views towards blacks. At the time, many people had been praying for a long time that blacks could hold the priesthood. Now the actual policies may have been behind the times, but I know many leaders had been trying wanting to allow them the priesthood for a long long time before that. Missionaries in particular who taught and loved the people of Africa had been praying for a long time. Some people, and some very public leaders, still harbored some idea that blacks were inferior, but I would bet that the majority of the LDS people had the same ideas as other people in the country. Why the revelation to allow the blacks the priesthood came so late, I'm not sure and can only guess, but I do know that many people of the church had been wanting it for a long time.

      So I'm trying to figure out if you mean asking straight people to abstain from marriages or sex? If it is sex, the church does ask people who are not married to abstain, period. That includes a lot of people. If you are married and decide you are no longer attracted to your spouse, guess what, you still have to control your sexual urges and not up and leave them. I'm sure you will find many marriages were spouses are struggling with that.

      Now, if we are talking about marriage, that's a little different and a little bit more difficult:) That also starts to delve a little bit into why people get married at all. In our culture, marriage has lost it's original intent, which was to form societal(and sometimes political) unions for the purpose of creating stability within a family unit. Today, marriage is seen as a way to show your love for someone and to gain certain rights and privileges that are bestowed by the government.

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    16. Now, if you ask me whether a gay person should be able to show their love for someone and have certain rights or privileges, I would say they should get them regardless of who it is. I think this should go beyond just gay and straight people, but for anybody who is forming a relationship with someone that involves caring and loving for them. They should have the rights of sharing insurances, visitation rights in the hospitals and a host of other rights that are now denied them. The church has shown some signs that they also believe this. (There has been some efforts made by church leaders that indicate that at least some of these rights do belong to gays).

      But I view marriage itself as more than just a way to say you love someone or obtain rights. I go back to that original meaning..marriage is a way to form a societal unit that benefits society by creating a stable structure to rear and teach children. This is where we need to start talking about in general what forms the best structure? (I'm not talking about individual cases, because I think most people can agree that there are always cases that defy the general idea). But, in general, the most stable structure is one in which children are biologically related to both the father and mother(and again, I'm talking in generalities). If you want, I can find some research on this, but this appears to be true.

      So, if we are asking gay people to abstain from marriage, it is not always because we think they are sinful and evil and going to hell(which I don't necessarily believe btw), but that simply speaking, the biology of it makes it difficult to create the most stable environment. I don't really know, but this is why I believe the church has come out against gay marriage.

      Now, I realize that this is an argument that has holes to fill, but I do think it is as valid as any other argument out there. This is not something that is as black and white as people make it to seem.

      So basically, I don't believe the church is asking gay people to abstain from marriage because they hate them, I believe they are asking them to abstain because we have a believe that the family unit is the most stable between a man and a woman who have been bound together.

      As for other rights that our society has decided should come with marriage, I think gays should have most of those rights insofar as they are forming a unit of some sort and it would be nice that they could have the rights of being able to function as that unit. I really feel like most of those rights should be stripped from marriage entirely and given in a different fashion. For some this may seem ludicrous, but that's only because they don't see marrige in the same way I do. And if you notice, it really doesn't have anything to do with gays going to hell or God telling us that this is the way it is. It just has something to do with what I see the purpose of marriage being.

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  12. You guys are doing great things. Keep it up. :)

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  13. Hey, I've recently started reading your blog and I just wanted to say that I'm really impressed with what you're doing. I know you two are friends with Dan and Lisa Garner (I married Lisa's brother), so I already knew you must be pretty cool people, but as I started reading through a lot of your old posts, I thought, "Wow, this is a guy I could really be friends with." Your humor is right up my alley! Keep pressing forward! You're touching lives! :)

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    1. Oh, Lisa said that you were friends, but I didn't realize you were Dan's cousin, too! Even cooler! (The sense of humor must run in the family.)

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  14. All I want to say this morning after reading today's post is:

    {HUGS} I hope Nightline doesn't indulge in the creative editing that television is so fond of doing.

    I'll be rooting for you :-)

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing your story, with it's complete honesty and hilarity...I've been following your coming out story with much interest and with nothing but the best wishes for you and your beautiful family. Looking forward to seeing the Nightline story. I am an active LDS member with a homosexual brother whom I love dearly and always knew from a very young age that he was gay. He was most definitely "born that way". Thank you again for sharing your family story with us, it gives me hope for people to accept others as they truly are. Your love story with your wife is absolutely beautiful.

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  16. Just want to say we love you guys! If you need a break from all the hoopla come visit us and we'll have another Sh'more party :) Just no burning yourself this time Josh. You are in our thoughts and prayers!

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  17. I can honestly think of nothing more horrifying than trying to get the house clean enough for a prime time TV show....

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    1. Amen to that anonymous @9:36 a.m. Or what my kids would say to said prime time TV show. OMG! When is the Nightline going to be on, Josh? Do you know yet?

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  18. When is this story going to air on Nightline? I want to make sure to tune in! By the way, ever since I first heard about your blog from Facebook, I've been addicted. You have a great sense of humor and a great way of telling stories from your life.

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    1. I have to second this one! I feel like a crazy stalker, but I've read almost all of your old posts (after reading the Unicorn one from facebook) and look forward to new ones! Thank you! And we'll be praying for you...cause that's just another level of my stalking. Praying for strangers that you think you know. Also, my kids were watching "Rio" the other day and I laughed out loud at the whole Lionel Richie thing running throughout...again, like I know you for real. Yikes. :)

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  19. Hang in there kids. You may not know it but you represent an unknown number people that are closeted married gay mormons who are scared to death that they will be found out, me being one of them. I admire your courage.

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    1. Adrian, you should not be scared, particularly not scared to death. I'm also one of gay Mormons, married in temple, three kids, and feel very comfortable. My wife knows, as well as some of my friends.

      I am also a convert to the church which happened long after I sorted out my life away from gay relationships.

      One of the revelations that I received through Joshua's story is that I didn't realize how important it is for my personal peace of mind to actually label myself as a gay person.

      Although I decided not to pursue a homosexual lifestyle, it never occurred to me how comforting it is to look myself in the mirror every morning before shaving and every evening before brushing my teeth and saying to myself: "It is okay to be gay!"

      That does not mean I would ever think of cheating my wife or divorcing her. On a contrary, ever since I started reminding myself about my sexual attracton, strangely enough, bond with my wife has become increasingly stronger. (As Josh would put it) Go fig.

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    2. I think one of the interesting things about Josh's story is his acceptance and his families acceptance of him being gay. I think this is what made a big difference to him. so often people who enter into heterosexual relationships who are gay are trying to hide that part of themselves, or make it disappear. The fact of the matter is, we are sexual beings and we can't really make it disappear and we need to accept that.

      Now what we do with those sexual feelings is a different matter. I don't feel like one to judge others of the gay community because I have never had to deal with that. But I will say that straight men have divorced women for sexual matters that had nothing to doh with being gay....she is getting older, she's had babies that changed how she looked, she had to get her breasts removed....for some reason or another, the sexual attraction has waned. These people I blame. Our relationships with each other can and should go far beyond sexual attraction becasue someday it's not going to be there.

      So what bothers me sometimes in situations like Josh's is that he has decided from the get go that sexual attraction was not the most important thing to him and people are offended by that. Not only offended, but have spewed forth hateful comments because he deems his relationship that he has right now with his wife far more important than sexual attraction.

      Most gay people that I have seen commenting on here, I have been fine with and I am trying to understand their point of view better. But the one point of view that I cannot agree with is that just because we are sexual beings means that we have put that above other pursuits or interests. That us being sexual(whatever the orientation) means that we cannot have desires or ideals above our sexuality.

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  20. Sounds like you had a tense few days. Fingers crossed that the footage comes out well after it's been edited. :-)

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  21. I for one am proud of you and your family for moving forward with "YOUR" story. I think it's always important to understand all the possibilities or choices someone can make. I get tiered of our societies efforts to put everyone into boxes. Whether it's politics, religion, or sexuality...nothing is ever totally black and white.

    From reading the comments from the last few posts I gather that their are many gay men and women that are married to the opposite sex, inside and outside of the LDS church. People who say that you're not being true to your self, also marginalize other couples that are happy in their choice to live as you do. I believe you, and I know that you and lolly are happy. You both have a depth of character that shows. I am happy that you shared your story with us.

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  22. I am moved by your honesty and courage. I hope the media doesn't twist things around and cause more stress on your family. Please let us know when Nightline is airing your story!

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  23. I have just a little bit of experience in the being interviewed and on TV. My experience went very badly, and I was disappointed. BUT, that is when the comfort came. I knew I had done my best, acted on faith, and left it up to God. This won't go the way you pictured. Sometimes it will be better than anything you could hope for, and sometimes it won't but you should expect he peace, it will come.

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  24. The most moving and inspiration part of your story and original post (for me) was the strength of your testimonies. I really felt the Spirit while reading it. I think it is hard for people to understand giving up "doing whatever you want and what YOU feel is right" for for something bigger and eternal. I am happy your are sharing that testimony with so many people in a thought provoking way. Your family is in our prayers!

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    1. true, you can't argue against the eternal thing. if you believe that living a gay lifestyle leads you to a lower heaven, I could see how one would not want to do that. and I ask this next part non-sarcastically (no tone on the internet sadly so just being clear) but I know some Mormons baptize people after death (although I believe Jewish people asked nicely that you stop doing that) could you not let people be married to someone of the same gender and then once they die baptize them? that would take the pressure off of everybody.

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    2. If someone was married to someone of the same sex in this life and obviously could not be a member because you would not be allowed to be baptized in this mortal life. And if you were a member and you chose to marry someone of the same sex, you would be excommunicated from the church and your baptism would then be null and void. If you then leave that relationship (by divorce if it was one where you were legally married where allowed) and chose to come back to church, you would have to renounce living that type of lifestyle (not renounce your "gayness," but either live a celibate life or marry someone of the opposite sex as Josh has) I believe that you could be rebaptized if you meet the same requirements as everyone does. I think that you could also be rebaptized after death (and that's done by proxy, we don't actually baptize corpses, someone stands in for the deceased). Since we believe that all relationship ties are severed at death unless you were sealed in the temple, all relationships you had on earth are null and void. But I am not really sure about being rebaptized as such. We only perform the ordinances here on earth for those who have passed on and it's up to the Lord to sort them out on the other side.

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    3. Anonymous...my personal belief is that all that will be sorted out after this life. I would bet if someone requested to be baptized after they died, there would be no problem with it. But we also believe that those who are bapitised will still have to agree to it.

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    4. @Anonymous: That may be a feasible option if we believed that baptism was the only thing that Heavenly Father required for entrance into His Kingdom. We do believe that entering into the covenant of baptism is prerequisite to salvation and eternal life (John 3:5), but just as necessary is living according to the terms of the covenant. While we believe that people can receive vicarious baptisms after this life, it would be wrong to say that the recipients of such baptisms are exempt from the obligation to repent and keep the commandments. Indeed, we believe that whatever disposition to do good or evil we have when we leave this life will carry over to the next (Doctrine and Covenants 130:19-20). If we failed to discourage our members from engaging in homosexual behavior (which we believe to be sinful) during this life, we would be making it more difficult for them to accept the covenants (promises to live righteously) of the Gospel in the next life.

      In reference to your point about the Jewish community, they have politely asked us to stop doing their work in the temple and we have politely agreed to do so. See http://www.deseretnews.com/article/417857/LDS-CHURCH-AND-JEWISH-GROUP-REACH-AGREEMENT.html?pg=all, April 28, 1995.

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    5. Thanks for the feedback. It is helping me to understand why Josh's story is so important to Mormons. I understand now that if you are in a same sex relationship that the Mormon church would either reject you if you wished to convert or excommunicate you if you are already a Mormon. That is quite a heavy penalty I must say. I also see that your beliefs come both from an interpretation of the Bible and of the book of Mormon, which was published around 1830 although I realize that the writings are considered from much earlier than that, about 600 years before the birth of Jesus. But the rules,as it were, wouldn't have applied until 1830 onwards, regardless of when it was actualy written as no one would have known about it. So before 1830, would homoseual relationships have been allowed?
      Also, if all relationship ties except temple ties are severed, does that mean parent/child relationships wlll be severed? Does the eternal marriage idea come from the book of mormon? how does that work say for Marie Osmond who was married in the temple, divorced and then married to someone else in the temple?
      and finally (thanks for answering if you get a chance!) why do mormons consider homosexual relationships to be sinful? I realize the Bible mentions this but looking into the context and original meaning of Hebrew/Greek wording shows a different meaning so is it also mentioned in the book of mormon? And the terms of the covenant - is that the ten commandments or is that from the book of mormon? And how is it that your prophets (or heads of the mormon church) have progressive revelation that might contradict parts of the Bible/Book of Mormon (i.e. black people)? doesn't this progressive revelation supersede scripture?

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    6. Also wondering about this quote from Brigham Young:

      "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

      And this from Joseph Smith:
      'There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.... There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits."

      In 1978 this all changed - was that progressive revelation? I honestly want to know.

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    7. So before 1830, would homoseual relationships have been allowed?
      The easy answer would be to say that the Church was founded the same year and that the question doesn't apply. The tougher (and more complete) answer would be to say that we do not believe anything in the Book of Mormon to be completely "new", just lost and returned (or restored). So, no, I don't believe so.

      Does that mean parent/child relationships wlll be severed?
      No. We believe the same sealing that binds a husband and wife will bind their children to them.

      Does the eternal marriage idea come from the book of mormon?
      Well... it is mentioned, though more so in the Bible if you're looking for it. The majority of our doctrine comes from living Prophets, which I'll address more thoroughly later.

      How does that work say for Marie Osmond...?
      Well, the sealing power, when it is most directly mentioned in the Book of Mormon, is described as such, "Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Helaman 10:7) To me this suggests that the same power that can seal a couple can unseal said couple. As I understand it, each divorce concerning a temple sealing is addressed by the current Prophet.
      That said, specifics are left to God. I believe that we do our best here and then God makes everything right in the end. I trust Him to know me perfectly and to know what will bring about my greatest eternal happiness, even if it doesn't all make sense now.

      Why do mormons consider homosexual relationships to be sinful?
      Because we believe God said so. We believe that he has chosen a man to speak His will as it pertains the the world as a whole. That man is currently Thomas Monson, our Prophet and the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Why God said so (which I think is the heart of your question).... That's an excellent question to which I am still looking for an answer. The best I can come up with is that families are really really important. We believe God has defined a family as "marriage between a man and a woman" and their children. We also believe "the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed." Just as taking a life is serious business, so too are the powers to create life.
      The easy answer is because we believe that sexual relationships are only appropriate in marriage and that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God"
      (See - The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
      The truth is that this isn't the only case where we believe God has given a commandment without explicitly saying why. I believe He has His reasons that He'll tell us if we'll really look for them.

      I realize the Bible mentions this but looking into the context and original meaning of Hebrew/Greek wording shows a different meaning so is it also mentioned in the book of mormon?
      The Book of Mormon really only denounces all forms of sexual sin without going into all the this and that of what is sinning and what isn't. It does, however, speak time and time again of heeding the instruction of living Prophets (again I'll go into that on your last-ish question).

      And the terms of the covenant - is that the ten commandments or is that from the book of mormon?
      (I think you're referring specifically to the baptism covenant) The terms are all over, but in my opinion they are mostly clearly stated in the sacrament prayers recorded towards the end of the Book of Mormon. The terms are
      1. That they are willing to take upon them the name of Christ.
      2. They will always remember Christ.
      3. They will keep Christ's commandments.
      Prophets, both modern and ancient, have waxed eloquent on what it means to keep those three points, pulling from every source available.

      Wow, that was a LOT longer than I expected. I have to split it up...

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    8. And how is it that your prophets (or heads of the mormon church) have progressive revelation that might contradict parts of the Bible/Book of Mormon (i.e. black people)? doesn't this progressive revelation supersede scripture?
      We believe that what the current Prophet tells us supercedes everything because we believe that is what God is telling us now. We also believe in a God that doesn't change, keeps all of His promises, never lies but also never excuses Himself. "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38)
      I believe that this is one reason that the Bible and the Book of Mormon don't often go into specifics. They do an amazing job, when used together, to lay down a solid foundation of general purpose instruction. However, with just those books we would quickly stray from Christ. Living Prophets are essential and more valuable to one's eternal happiness than any number of books.

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    9. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "progressive revelation".

      I can't say I've put much effort into understanding everything that happened in 1978. What I know is that the Prophet at the time put a great deal of thought and prayer and fasting into what was then a very troubling issue. The answer he received was to extend the priesthood to all worthy men.

      Why the change? I haven't the foggiest. Maybe some long forgotten time constraint was fulfilled. Maybe God was just waiting for the world to get closer to seeing everyone as He sees us. Again, He hasn't said why so there's no specific answer. The same can be said for polygamy.

      As to being born black being a disadvantage, I think it is not so much a disadvantage any more. Regardless, I believe that sometimes our disadvantages and trials only help us gain greater strength and happiness. Brigham Young also referred to wealth as a curse or trial (I can't remember the exact quote). Yes, everyone gets a starting situation in life based on what they need and deserve. We're also not very good at recognizing what is blessing and what isn't.

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    10. Thank you. that would explain then the 1978 revelation that blacks are equal. And it sounds then like Mormons put more faith, for lack of a better word, into what the living prophets say and that that can supersede any scripture. So, if a living prophet were to sanction same sex marriage, I take it that that would supersede what has been previously thought.
      That is, I have to say, a lot of power given to a living prophet, who, as a human, would have his own biases and ideas and be, well, human. Can the living prophet make mistakes? does he ever say that he is wrong or is what he says taken as the truth at all times? I mean I'm sure he's a really nice fellow and very religious and trustworthy but still, again, human and fallible.
      I seemed to know that family is extremely important to Mormons. that said, couples might marry and not have children - is that still considered a family?
      It's so interesting to me that nowhere in the Book of Mormon is homosexuality specifically addressed. is it the Bible that says marriage is only between a man and a woman?
      Now Jesus himself never married, never had children and he is our ultimate example, is he not? Ditto Paul in the Bible and many of the ancient prophets.
      I would think that since homosexuality is thought to be such a huge sin worthy of excommunication if acted upon, that there would be something much more specific to pin that belief on. So I'm quite surprised.
      God never changes -okay, so by that logic, until 1978 God felt that black folks had the mark of Cain and were 'lesser' for lack of a better way to put it until it was revealed by a living prophet not to be the case, is that correct?
      I appreciate by the way your taking the time to answer my questions!
      And what about spirit babies? is the idea and belief that women will for eternity be having babies?
      where did the idea of three levels of heaven come from? from the book of Mormon?
      And finally, (for now, ha!) I often hear of Mormon missionaries going to different countries to spread the word. Are there also Mormons who do charity work - who work with the poor, the needy, etc? Is that a part of Mormonism or just an individual's choice?

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    11. oops one more question! Where in the Bible does it talk about eternal marriages/spirit babies

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    12. by progressive revelation I mean that things are revealed over time and can change. my definition anyway.
      In my understanding Mormons banned polygamy because if they had not done so, Utah could not have become a state.

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    13. Yes, the living Prophet makes mistakes. I'm sure he'd tell you he's wrong plenty of the time, but he's also wise and humble enough to admit it quickly.

      That said, when he is acting as God's voice he is doing just that. He is entrusted to leave behind his own biases and ideas, to speak the will of God. Those who follow are promised that the Prophet will never lead them astray.
      At the same time, while the Prophet is the leader, every time a decision, such as with blacks and the priesthood, is made, all twelve Apostles, the Prophet and his two councilors will meet and pray and probably fast and wait until they unanimously agree. Every one of them understands just how weighty a calling they hold and take it very seriously.

      If they were to "sanction" same sex marriage then yes, it would supersede what was previously thought. I wouldn't hold my breath though.

      Yes, a couple without children would still be a family. We believe that the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth is still in effect and all couples are encouraged to have children, if possible, but when and how and how many is a very personal decision.

      You ask very interesting questions that I don't feel prepared to answer. I don't know if it specifically says marriage is only between a man and a woman. Some people will reference Adam and Eve as evidence and if that is the best people can come up with then I guess not. Again, that is why a living Prophet is so necessary. In 1995, the church issued an official statement called "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" that said as such. (http://www.lds.org/family/proclamation?lang=eng)

      You're right. So far as we know Jesus never married. Some might say He did and it just never talks about it but that's their personal opinion. I'm of the opinion that there are ~20 years of His life that we know very little of (ages about 12-30) and in a culture where most would marry before leaving their teenage years, who knows? It never talks about Him having a job but we still believe we should support ourselves.

      I've found that sins are clumped into categories and, for the most part, only the categories are talked about in the scriptures. Sexual sin is called out but specifics like child abuse, incest, etc etc aren't called out specifically so much but are just as severe.

      God never changes, so from that perspective, He always planned to wait until 1978 to give the blacks the priesthood and just never let us in. In everything God does there is a time and a place and trying to guess or force God's timing usually gets people into trouble. An example is when Jesus walked the earth He only went to the Jews (with two exceptions I can think of). This wasn't because everyone else was wicked but because there is a time and place. There are waves in the gospel. Repeatedly in the scriptures it uses the phrase, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. I don't know how that specifically applies to much of anything except that there is a time and a place in God's grand design. Salvation is not an event but a process and anybody who follows God's will to the best of their abilities will be rewarded equally in His kingdom.

      In Matthew chapter 20 Jesus gives a parable where labors are gathered at different times throughout the day. Some are hired at the early morning, some in the third hour, some in the sixth, nineth and some in the eleventh. Each one was expected to work after they were hired for the remainder of the day but at the very end, everyone was paid the same. I think one application is that timing may not seem fair in this life, but in the end everything will work out just wonderfully.

      -As a side note, all of my references can be found at lds.org

      Again, too long...

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    14. We believe we will continue having children for eternity just as God has us. How we get new children is beyond me. So far as I know the only information we've been given is, "Man was also in the abeginning with God. bIntelligence, or the clight of dtruth, was not ecreated or made, neither indeed can be." (Doctrine and Covenants 93:29)

      Three levels of heaven came from the Doctrine and Covenants which is a collection of revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, with one exception at the very end given to Joseph F. Smith, who was the sixth Prophet. You can read about it here: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/76?lang=eng

      Yes, there are mormons who do charity work. It's a really big deal in the church. Most missionaries are called to spread the word but there are many called to "service missions" that range from helping people find employment to teaching to building. We're a little sneaky in that if we aren't allowed to go preaching then we just go to serve. Not only does it help open doors to allow preaching, but we believe service to be an essential part of following Christ.
      The first sunday of every month members of the LDS church are asked to fast for two consecutive meals and then donate the money they would have used for those meals to be used for charity.
      The welfare program of the church is massive and is often among the first to respond to disasters world wide.
      Just today, after helping someone move I was asked if I would go with a few people from my ward (congregation) to play music at a rest home.
      It's a really big deal and everyone is asked to help how they can.

      Bible and eternal marriage? See here: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/tg/marriage-celestial?lang=eng

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    15. Very good Greg. You're spot on!

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    16. Greg, I aapreciate your taking the time to explain this to me. I'm still not getting why Joseph Smith is held up as a prophet, since it seems to me he held some extremely racist views and was polygamous.
      I've always liked the first will be last and the last will be first scriptures. To me, I take it to mean that those who are seen as the least in life (the marginalized, the poor, etc) are actually the greatest in God's eyes.
      I still think that Mormonism's seeming obsession with sexual orientation (fighting hard for Prop 8 for example or almost every comment that I've read on here in response to Josh' coming out) is based on rather flimsy ideas and that concerns me greatly because it hurts so so many people.
      And I'm not sure how the prophet and the 12 are chosen or why they are all, on the whole, white middle-age men. I'm not crazy about the pope either so it's not just Mormonism's choices of leaders. I don't believe that any one person or group of people can tell others what God is saying/thinking etc. It would be on the one hand incredibly comforting to think that one person could interpret, as it were, God for me but also incredibly terrifying. It seems to me that God speaks through everyone in vastly different ways, particularly through the broken.
      I've also heard that Mormons believe that they themselves will become gods and that they believe that Jesus came from another planet. Not sure on the truth of those things.
      Finally, not sure how Jesus visited America all those years ago since America did not exist way back then. And why America, I would ask. And how did he physically get there?
      You know what I do like about Mormons? They always seem so darned nice and clean cut.

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    17. The 3 heavens are also talked about in the bible in Revelations. :)

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    18. Your last line makes me smile. ^_^

      It is my pleasure.

      If it helps "improve our image" (or whatever) the LDS church also fought here in Salt Lake to protect gay rights with concern to, at least, housing. I can't say I'm any good at keeping up on current issues so I don't know the details.

      The LDS church has not, as far as I'm aware, come out with any reason for being opposed to gay marriage except to "protect the sanctity of marriage". Honestly, I think giving reasons would only weaken their stance and sound like an attempt to excuse our position. I have a few additional ideas but as I don't fully believe them (and can't figure out how to word them clearly) I will keep them to myself. Mostly that it would be more damaging not to oppose gay marriage.

      We believe that everyone has the responsibility to seek revelation from God directly. Two of the first questions our missionaries typically encourage people to ask God are whether Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and if the Book of Mormon is true (or both). I believe that God told me personally that yes, Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw and that the Book of Mormon is from God for us in these days. Everything else follows those two answers.

      It can be very difficult to trust another to represent God in any way, especially since there are too many who would abuse that trust. In a way our parents represent God because they take care of us and act as the 'supreme' authority. As we grow older they *should* relinquish that so that we can grow stronger and more capable. However there are parents who do a poor job of representing a loving God. There are church leaders who also screw up. It is terrifying but we believe God is a God of order, logic, justice and discipline as well as a God of love, peace, trust, mercy and joy. To me it follows that He would use every means available to Him to help us find Him.

      Oh, America existed (or at least the continent and the land). As far as I know every ancient civilization that existed at the time has a legend of a 'great white god' coming to visit.
      As for how He got there, He just showed up in the sky. I'm pretty sure God has mastered how to teleport, even if we can't figure it out. Mind you this was after He died as was resurrected so once you come back from the dead, getting where you want to go is probably cake.

      Yes, we do believe that God's purpose in sending us to this earth was so that we could become like Him. What dad doesn't want his kids to grow up to be adults?

      We don't believe that Jesus came from another planet (like an alien) but I can see where the idea came from. We believe that all of us, before we were born and including Jesus, lived with God as spirits (don't ask, I haven't a clue what exactly a spirit is beyond a person without a body) and we all lived in a place not too dissimilar from a perfect planet (that's the extent of what has been officially revealed). We also believe that God didn't populate just the one planet.

      Why the tippy top leaders (if you go just one step down you'll find a plethora of races/nationalities/ethnicities) is, I agree, not popular but it is neither a quality looked for nor frowned upon. People are people and God chooses whom He will. For now I suspect it is convenient to choose people who already live nearby church headquarters, which is a predominantly white population. Anyone who seeks out the position is, in my opinion, nuts. To clarify, there is no application process. When there is a vacancy, then a person is selected and asked to filled the vacancy. There is no voting, no polling, no campaigning. The Prophet and the Apostles pray and fast and come to a unanimous agreement who should fill the vacancy. So far the Prophet has always been the senior member (which is rather easy for God to arrange by time of calling and, to put it bluntly, time of death).

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    19. Actually there are MANY non white middle age men serving in the leadership of the church, FYI.
      The church was not the actual people who fought against Prop 8. lol It was the people of california, mormon and nonmormon alike (mormons only account for 1% of the vote in cali btw). The church had nothing to do with in and in fact told all of us to vote in 'elections" with our heart and they would tell us what to do. They even read that letter from the first presidency of the church over the pulpit. I know this because I was sitting in the church seats when it was read. :)

      Mormon believe we will be like God with all the rights and privileges. There are actual scripture references in the bible, book of mormon and other doctrine.

      Why would not visit other continents? Do you think a son of god would only think of the middle eastern countries? No. have no clue how he got here. Only thing I will say is there is some things we just don't know until we meet them again. :)

      and YES, Mormons are very clean cut, I agree. If you go to utah you will find the prettiest girls and handsomest boys. :) NO clue why mormons tend to be a handsome sorta people, but they are. On another note..Mormons live 10+ years longer then the rest of world. Go figure. The word of wisdom really works and staying morally clean does too. They are also found to have less divorce, less poverty, live happier lives and produce productive citizens, not to even mention 70% of mormons tend to go to college. No joke :) Seems like something the mormons are doing is right.

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    20. "wouldnt tell us what to do" I meant in my second paragraph about prop 8. :) sorry I should have proofread before submitting.

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    21. Anonymous (the one with all the questions :) Here is a link to a very informative history of blacks and the priesthood in the LDS religion: https://www.dialoguejournal.com/2012/mormonisms-negro-doctrine-an-historical-overview/. It is super long, but definitely worth reading. Another resource (if you can get your hands on it) would be the following video http://www.blacklds.org/811/dvd-release-for-nobody-knows.

      Also, your second quote at 7:12 pm is actually from Joseph Fielding Smith who was a prophet in 1954 (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pages 66-67), and not from Joseph Smith the prophet in the 1830s.

      Also, thank you for the way you asked your questions. I wouldn't give as rosy of an explanation of the LDS faith as Anonymous (1:16/1:17am), but our faith is dear to us and it is appreciated when people engage us in conversations free of malice.

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    22. Thanks again. Where did the 'lived with god as spirits' come from? It's not in the bible so i imagine the book of mormon?
      Also, Revelations is an extremely confusing piece of writing and scholars have come up with a myriad of explanations, some of which say that the author was speaking to a particular group of people at a particular time (well,like all of the bible) and was not to be taken literally.
      I have to say it does concern me that there doesn't appear to be solid reasoning behind the opposition to gay marriage and i find simply accepting it because you are told it and it will be explained later rather concerning.
      the Bible does not say, as far as I know, that we will be like God (as in like a god).
      As for Jesus visiting America, that seems to me to be rather country-centric, as it were. I mean why would God choose America over say China or India, etc. Such a visit would now make God more immediate to Americans and to Joseph Smith but not to anyone else really. Again, scholars debate the literalness of Jesus actually having physically returned to visit the disciples so an actual literal visit to America seems rather unlikely. Certainly, God can do anything but in my understanding of the Bible, he isn't the type to just zoom in and out of countries, as it were.
      As for believing in Joseph Smith. I believe he existed. But I don't believe that he was a prophet who found tablets any more than I would literally believe that Moses got tablets. The Bible was originally written and meant as metaphor and was only literalized after the Enlightenment when folks started demanding things be more black and white. I believe in God but not that Joseph Smith was a prophet anymore than I believe in anyone who claims to have heard directly from God and then people follow what he/she has said about God. it also kinda puts God in a box. Comforting perhaps but it reduces God to a few ideas about Go.
      Also, the fact that the modern day prophets are all men reveals that Mormonism is a patriarchal religion and in my opinion, God is beyond all of that.
      And if God is using every means available to help us find him, I believe that he would not stop at an American boy from the 1800s. Or to be honest, even to go there. Say, for example, someone lives in the slums of India. An American man who believed in polygamy and really a whole lot moe bizarre stuff and then claims to have found tablets that reveal what God is saying has absolutely zero relevance to that person. God is not a white middle class man. Jesus in fact would have been a short very Semitic looking fellow, not the tall white man with flowing blonde hair as he is often bizarrely depicted.
      If I were Mormon, I would be doing a whole lot of researching to find out exactly why the beliefs of the church are interpreted that way.
      Yes, there is faith but faith should have reason behind it, otherwise anyone can say anything and say just take it on faith.
      And when people pray they can think they have been told that anything is true - the book of mormon, the bible, the koran, etc. A lot of it is about the culture you grew up in and what you have been told (adult converts aside). If i had been raised Mormon, it would make sense that I have a feeling of 'a burning in my breast' that confirms the truth of the book of mormon.
      And back to the whole 1978 thing. I don't imagine God has ever ever believed black people to be anything less than equal to evveryone else. Until 1978, that was a whole lot of cruel oppression and racism against black people in the name of the Mormon Church, because heck, God doesn't think they are equal. Shame.
      And finally (woo, long post) what about the special underwear and the almost Masonic like symbols?
      Here's my honest take. On the surface, Mormonism is a clean cut good hearted religion. Scratch just below the surfact, however, and more disturbing things can be found. I find that lots of Mormons aren't even aware of some of these things.

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    23. And i actually read the link about blacks and the priesthood and all i can say is wow, that is a whole lot of wackiness, no disrespect intended. Honestly, from a non-Mormon perspective, that kind of document really makes Mormonism seem like a cult. It is mind-bending and I found it disturbing. It is almost like it is written so as to seem incomprehensible.
      The parts that were comprehensible do show Brigham Young to have been quite the racist and yet he is so admired by Mormons and even has a university named after him.
      Had Joseph Smith, as a proclaimed prophet of God, really been against racism and slavery he could have simply stated, I am against racism and slavery.
      As I say, the document is almost surreal in its ability to not really say anything while attempting to appear to say something (in my opinion). Were I a Mormon, I could see how I would just want to avoid that whole thing because of such documents.
      Also, is it a Mormon belief that God himself evolved into being God from having been a man first? Is it a belief that God had literal sex with Mary? Would that not have been incest (god the father, Mary the daughter).
      As I am doing just really minimal digging into Mormonism, just scratching the surface, I have to be honest, it is going more surreal and disturbing. And this is me just spending one evening looking into these things.
      My honest question is do most Mormons avoid close inspection of their faith and also then just present to non-believers this non close inspection as it were? To me, that would make sense because most Mormons seem so nice and i honesty think if they knew what was really believed, it might freak them out. Perhaps then there is like two Mormon faiths - one that just deals with the kindness, the giving, the loving everybody (except for the odd obsession with gay lifestyles) and a second one that really shows what is believed - the God evolved from a man, the literal insemination by God into Mary, Joseph Smith''s real character, Brigham Young's real character, etc., people becoming gods themselves and mind bending documents like the one about blacks and the priesthood that i just read. honestly, one type of Mormonism is very clean cut, mom and apple pie and the other seems very bizarre and very Masonic in nature.

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    24. and I emphasize that i remain free of malice here. These are just things that I am uncovering.

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    25. Well, I disagree with some of your points but whatever. Disagreement only hurts when one side decides they have to force the other side to agree.

      As for blacks and the priesthood, up until just after Christ the priesthood was limited to a single tribe within Israel. No women, no blacks, no whites, no chinese etc etc, just that one tribe. Believe what you will but I believe that the priesthood does not grant anyone a right to rule, command or govern.
      "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;" (D&C 121:41)
      So far as I've been able to find, responsibilities within mormon doctrine have been divided based on distinguishing traits (gender, race, age, etc). This may seem racist/sexist/whatever but every person has access to the same blessings and will be held accountable only for what they do with what they have.

      "If I were Mormon, I would be doing a whole lot of researching to find out exactly why the beliefs of the church are interpreted that way.
      Yes, there is faith but faith should have reason behind it, otherwise anyone can say anything and say just take it on faith."

      This I completely agree with. It is hard. I was born and raised mormon and it's only since my mission that I have come to realize that I should question everything. Just this morning I was reading and found that what I considered 'official doctrine' of my own church was not such.

      That said, reason and logic and faith all tell me that the church must be true. Reason, logic and faith also tell me that it can't be perfect.

      Just a couple last things. We don't believe Jesus only visited America, just that the record of Him doing so is the only record (other than the Bible) that we've been given so far. So the boy in America chosen to restore Christ's church was given the record of ancient Americans. Sounds reasonable and logical.

      Jesus the short Semitic Jew who was cast out by his own religious leaders and executed for sacrilege would have equally absent relevance to someone living in the slums of India, unless you ignore race. I don't think you should hold being white or middle-class (or whatever color or class) against someone.

      In short, I recommend you judge any church by the doctrine it actually teaches (for mormons this would be the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price). Then look at the lives of those people who actually follow those teachings. We each have our ability to reason, to discern truth, and to choose for ourselves. I choose to remain as faithful as I can to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints but all the while try to understand what is of God and what is of man.

      The Book of Mormon teaches:

      "But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

      Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil."

      We believe that this responsibility lies with every single person. If a person, mormon or not, believes they can pawn the responsibility to find truth onto someone else, they have been deceived.

      So now that I've answered your questions the best I can (with the exception of the special underwear because I don't have a good answer as of yet) I encourage you to do what you honestly believe to be good and of God and I will do the same. We may disagree but that's okay. I claim the ability to be wrong and to change my ways.

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    26. I would argue that these three Greg's thoughts encapsulate what Mormonism is actually all about:

      1) "Well, I disagree with some of your points but whatever. Disagreement only hurts when one side decides they have to force the other side to agree."

      2) "That said, reason and logic and faith all tell me that the church must be true. Reason, logic and faith also tell me that it can't be perfect."

      3) "I claim the ability to be wrong and to change my ways."

      Greg, I'm proud that you are my sojourner in faith.

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    27. Again, thank you Greg. I completely agree with you about disagreeing. I think what can end up happening is that people (and I am certainly not immune from this) can get defensive and shut down and feel that they are being attacked when some of their beliefs are questioned. My intention has honestly been to gather information. I really admire that you are looking more into your faith and questioning some of it and getting answers, etc. It is a pleasure to discuss these things with you, it really is.
      I hear you about reason, logic and faith. However, for me, and I know we disagree here, logic doesn't play into what little of Mormonism I have discovered so far as I mentioned above. I agree with you about looking at people's lives - and many Mormons as I said seem like really kind folks. But as I said, I am also starting to realize that this may be because they haven't really and deeply looked into their faith and all of the beliefs behind it. This can be said of many religious folks following different religions certainly.
      I think if I had been raised Mormon and then I started to discover what I have been discovering I would most likely find a way to make it work, either by saying that we won't know everything here on earth or by kinda creating a way for it to work in my brain, if that makes sense. I would very very much want to make it work since it would have been my entire life so far.
      Interesting point about Christ being of a certain time to a certain people that is certainly true and something I've struggled with. The Bible was written by folks in a certain time for a certain group/groups of people so it can be hard to extrapolate (or shouldn't be extrapolated) to the present day. At the same time, I see that Christ's life transcends in a way the fact that he was only speaking to what he knew at the time. He was quite the radical - hanging out with the marginalized and turning on its head the idea of who is the most important in the kingdom of God - to Jesus, it seemed to be the poor, the outcast, women (who were considered property in Jesus' time). Parts of the Bible itself seem to endorse slavery, polygamy, etc but again, it was the reality of the times back then.If I really really look at what Jesus was saying and who he was, it still seems to speak to today - to walk alongside the marginalized and to see them as important as opposed to what society tells us is important - the rich, the powerful,the beautiful, etc.
      Christianity itself certainly has been racist and misogynistic through its history which to me, is a complete bastardization of what Christ was saying. If Christ were to be here in bodily form today, I always imagined him in India amongst the so called "Untouchables" or in my very own city amongst the homeless drug addicts and the mentally ill. That seemed to be his core message. And this has certainly been lost in many Christian denominations where power seems to be important or where one man (the pope say) has been given power over many people. It's like the core message has been lost.
      The question may then be why don't I think that what Joseph Smith said can be applicable to today? fair enough. Absolutely fair enough. It seems to me that Joseph Smith was a man who didn't try and turn the world on its ear as Christ did, to fight the powers that be, as it were, to free the slaves or empower women or what have you.

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    28. part 2 - I am going on way too long here!

      Rather, it seems to me, that some of his teachings are being changed through what the Mormon modern day prophets are saying now and will say in the future. I don't know if it would make sense to me to be in a religion where what was said say last year can be changed because the prophet and the 12 say it is to be changed. I am understanding from you that in Mormonism it is thought that God doesn't change but the interpretation of him does. This is similar actually to the B'hai (wrong spelling I know) faith as they also have different prophets for different times. For me, Christ was enough, what he said was enough, it didn't need to be added to as it were. I think it definitely needs to be understood in its context but there doesn't need to be further prophets giving their take on Christ. And I would say again that some part of Christianity seem to go against with with their own modern day prophets. Would I listen to what they are telling me? I don't think so.

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    29. I honestly think if I were a Mormon i would find all of the changes confusing and I would need to stick to the basic idea of what I am told and not dig too much deeper. I'm not saying you are doing that but for myself, I don't think I'd be able to tolerate or cope with the idea that the modern day prophet, no matter how wel meaning, can supersede doctrine at any point. What would I have to hold on to when anything could change at any time? The reason I point out the special underwear, the concept that all can be gods and that God himself was a man at one point who evolved, the literal insemination of Mary by God, the close to Masonic symbols and rituals etc is not to be inflammatory but rather to say that I think these kinds of ideas evolve from having different people at different times giving their interpretation of what they believe God to be saying.

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    30. Anon.. The world has changed.. Some things have been great change.. A done things very bad changes. What was once considered bad is no longer. The good things are starting to be perceived as bad. There is a scriptures that talks about " by the fruits yea shall know them". Meaning you will know what's true by what you feel and see from those people.

      I bet if I told you I know this church is true you would question it by saying "how do you know". All I can say is I have had real spiritual witness that it is. There are only so many times a person has to be given spiritual confirmation before you realize what is happening. I have been given such deep spiritual confirmation that this church is true that I could never deny it. Spiritual confirmations like ones found in the scriptures ( except seeing god of course :). Boy do we all wish ).

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    31. I feel like I should clarify/correct my previous statements concerning church leadership.

      We believe that the Prophet, his two councilors (or is it counselors, I never remember what's what with those two words) and the quorum of the twelve apostles are all prophets, seers and revelators. Their primary responsibility is to stand as special witnesses of Christ. (What exactly special means I don't know.) To declare that He lives and what that means for us (see below regarding Atonement). If God desires to speak to the world in general (i.e. add or change commandments/doctrine) we believe He will do so through them. THIS DOES NOT OFTEN HAPPEN.

      The vast majority of what they teach is to help us understand what is already revealed in the same manner that Christ taught by quoting and expounding upon scripture. It is not, strictly speaking, official doctrine. However, when they speak, we believe, that if you are "in tune" with the Holy Spirit then you can feel what it is that God wishes you to do.

      That said there are only three major times (that I can remember off the top of my head) where church doctrine has changed (since Joseph Smith). Once when polygamy was repealed. Once when the blacks were permitted the priesthood. Once to make the word of wisdom (no coffee, tea or alcohol among other things) became a commandment and not simply a suggestion. I can't remember (and feel badly that I don't) if a similar process was made for The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

      Christ set the example of change when He came. He taught a higher law. It's not that anything can change, it's that previous law can be replaced by a higher law requiring greater Christ-like..ness. It's that doctrine is a process of helping us become like Christ.

      I think you misunderstand what we really believe. Yes Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and many other church leaders have said and done a lot of things. Each of them, I am sure, felt they were acting on what God desired them to do. If it is not contained in what we call "The Standard Works" or our scriptures, it is not official, binding, church doctrine.

      Our doctrine is such. We believe that Christ accomplished an incredible act called the Atonement. Somehow this Atonement allows us to be forgiven of our sins, overcomes all the injustice of life and enables us to become so much more than we could ever hope of being without Christ's help. EVERYTHING else is an extension of that one doctrine. We are to preach of Christ and testify of Christ in word and deed. We are to help others come to know Christ so that they might partake of the blessings the Atonement promises to all. Everything else is a complication that, while possibly of great importance, is of no meaning whatsoever if it interferes with helping all draw nearer to Christ.

      From the sound of it, our core beliefs align greatly. Maybe there are details and complications but in the end, all that really matters is doing as Christ did, which you so eloquently described.

      I still feel I am doing a really poor job of explaining myself.

      (and we believe that Mary was a virgin. No sex led to Christ's birth.)

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    32. Thanks, Greg, for clarifying. If everything else is an extension then I would think it would have less importance as you say. Although the same sex marriage thing seems to have huge importance to Mormons, so much so that they are willing to ask those who are gay to refrain from ever being in a same sex relationship while asking nothing like that for themselves (I mean being in an opposite se relationship). Jesus himself said nothing about homosexuality and really, if he were here in body today, Greg, I honestly don't think he'd be out there telling folks that acting on their gayness, as it were, is a sin. I think he'd be more concerned about the pressure put on these folks.
      I know what you mean by 'feeling' and knowing. Unfortunately, feelings, as deep and profound as they, well, can feel, can be wrong. I am highly feeling led and that has not served me well. Andd yes, I know you mean a deeper feeling than feeling, like a spiritual knowing but you know what, other faiths have a deep feeling as well, just as profound as yours or mine. Again, still focusing on same sex marriage since it is the focus lately of this blog, it is too high a price to pay, in my opinion, for gay Mormons to have to give up what is as natural to theem as straight relationships are to you and me (I'm assuming, forgive me if I'm wrong) because folks have a deep feeling against it, when there is nothing specific in any scripture against it (other than the misused and misunderstood translations of part of the bible. By the logic used there, women should also be sequestered away when they are menstruating or stoned if they are not virgins before marriage). A dislike/distrust/hatred of gay relationships can be so internalized that it can indeed feel like it is God commanding against them. I have to be honest, the idea of two men together icks me out, it really does. It makes me uncomfortable. But I would never ever take that feeling and turn it into a doctrine that so alienates and hurts others. Again, it is appalling to me how easily straight people can tell gay people that they should just never ever act on their feelings, never have a relationship with a person of the same gender. Is that what Jesus would do? Not the Jesus that I know. Eli Wiesel, the famous Jewish writer who survived the Holocaust, famously tells the story of a young child who was hanged for days, very slowly, during the Holocaust. Witnesses asked, begged, 'where is God." Wiesel said God was hanging right there with the boy (he said this in better words than I am). Some say this means Wiesel thought God was dead. others interpret it as God being right there with the boy. And I think Jesus is right there with the young people who kill themselves because some folks insist that they must never ever act on their homosexuality. And I think he is weeping.
      I note that the Mormon church has shifted from having gay folks simply deny their feelings to having them accept their feelings but to stop there, lest they displease God. and again, I honestly feel (in that deep knowing feeling that we both seem to understand) that Jesus weeps at this. Weeps at the destruction wrought in his name. I am being honest here, Greg, I am laying it bare, as it were. I hope no one feels the need to respond to what I have written sarcastically or cruelly or defensively.

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    33. My thoughts... Dont you think if we were suppose to be in gay relationships that god would have made it possible for the couple to conceive biological children together? Lets liken this to our own genes. If there is a abnormality on either of the sex chromosome 2 things occur. 1) it becomes incompatible with life or abnormalitys occur if the child is born (and is sterile) or 2) the person is sterile if it is something compatible with life. Why would god not just allow the mutations to happen? Why does natural selections end up either stopping the progression of being able to carry on the gene or end the life? Just on the grand scheme of things, gay relationships no not fit into gods plan of multiplying and replenishing the earth because the relationship is incompatible with creating life together. That is enough reason for me. Medical proof is a "real" proof that its not condusive to a civilization and promoting one. Having said that, I have many gay friends, I love them, but don't agree with them, and if they ask I will say it and they are ok with that because they know I love them. We should all love each other no matter what we believe. God asks us to. He did not tell us to condone the act but love regardless.

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    34. I too believe that God is right there with anyone as they struggle with anything. I tried to surmise my feelings in my blog that you can find by clicking on my name so I won't take space here to repeat.

      Suffice it to say I don't believe there is anything God can ask of us that would be "too much". I leave it to people to decide for themselves what God asks of them. I'll share my own beliefs if asked and encourage them to paths I think bring greatest happiness but I leave the choice to them and I will love them the nest I can regardless of their choice. I feel that is what Christ would do.

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    35. Exactly Greg... you don't have to condone what they do but were are ALL required to love regardless.....

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    36. just a thought - i don't think gay folks need to have you condone or condemn what they do - not really anyone else's business.

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    37. I thought that's what I just took way too many words to say along with explaining exactly what I meant and why I felt that way...

      And I wish I knew more certainly if the first anon to respond was the anon I've been going back and forth with and not an agreeable third party.

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    38. Hey, Greg. My name is Karen and we've been corresponding back and forth. I am not the 2:53 anon but rather the 3:15 anon (so confusing!). I don't give out my name too often on here because some folks are getting pretty angry and pretty backlashy and I don't really want it addressed directly at me if that makes sense. You, Greg, I can handle and respect. Most other folks on here, quite frankly, scare me and scare me with what they are saying in the name of the Mormon Church. Also I think it is important to point out to you that I don't plan on becoming a Mormon but am happy to respectfully continue our discussion. There are a few different Karen's on here it seems, I'm not posting angry things or necessarily 'pro-mormon' things if that helps.

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    39. Ah. Well, I could tell when it was longer than a couple sentences.

      Well, I'm a lot more snarky when I'm not writing something that is out there for the world to see, especially since tone and facial expression and such a large portion of the context are absent. Too easy to be misunderstood. That's also why my posts tend to be so lengthy.

      This next bit is generally speaking and not at all intended for specifics we have been talking about.

      Our actions affect other people. Even actions performed in secret will have an impact on other people, if nothing else than the way they can change the way we behave. We are who we chose to be with every action we make. Small, secret actions lead to big actions. We each have a responsibility to choose well and help others do the same, but the way we do that should be by loving them and by doing our best to make correct choices ourselves. Never by 'fixing' them or nagging or anything else that a prime time sitcom might have the "naggy" spouse do. Negative breeds and attracts negative.

      The first change to make in oneself is to have the right attitude towards another. That is what I'm going to assume anon at 2:53 was trying to say.

      Here I am spending time writing what I want to be putting on my next blog post. Yay for copy-paste!

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    40. Greg in poster of 2:53 :) and yep that's what I meant. Loving someone doesn't require condoning things, it means loving even if you don't agree. A perfect example of this is loving a person even though they have wronged you. Or loving a person regardless of them commiting a sin ( maybe even against you, like what happens in adultery ).

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  25. I don't know you personally Weed family, but your my kind of people and this blog is like crack! If crack were like Mark Twain, David Sedaris, and Tina Fey all rolled into a Mormon crack pipe ;) Thanks for being so willing to help others with their struggles (and we allllll have them) by being so genuinely frank and poignantly funny about yours. PLEASE let us, your crackheads, know when Nightline is airing your interview I need a fix! Prayers are with you...

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  26. I think you guys are great.
    I've been thinking about this whole "being LDS and loving everyone/ how this would relate to homosexuality" thing for a long time, and all this stuff you have said has really cleared a lot of it up for me. Thanks for sharing your experiences and putting yourselves out there. It must be terrifying for you, and it can't be fun to suffer the wrath of the internet.
    I think you are so brave, and hilarious and have really put a new perspective on things for me and a lot of other people. Thank you for that. I also have become addicted to your blog.

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  27. I just really like you. I don't know you, I rode in on the tide of your coming out post with everyone else... But, you and Lolly seem like excellent people. You are funny, your blog is enjoyable, you clearly want to do whatever it is God wants you to do. I think you are pretty awesome. And your oldest daughter seems deranged in the best possible way.

    Keep up the good work. :)

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  28. Josh and Lolly: I might not compleyely agree with or understabd this whole "club unicorn" thing. I worry a lot for GLBT people who might be cooerced into reparitive therapy or counseling or any type of solution that is not right for them. But the more I read this blog, the more I develop a deep respect for you and your wife. I respect your willingness to take this very difficult, very public journey. You probably didn't quite know what you were getting into when you started this journey. I am a former member of the LDS church and I don't have much good to say about the church and I think I understand things pretty well. I don't think much jas been misrepresented to me. It would be impossible to separate what you're doing from the church or to know exactly how much the intolerance and ignorance put out by the church has played into your desire for a "traditional" family. Nevertheless, you've handled things with dignity and grace in my opinion and I continue to wish your family well.

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    1. Hello Queen! It seems that Josh and Lolly's intent...to allow people of different ideas and opinions to respectfully discuss/disagree on the topic of homosexuality as it pertains to Mormonism. If there is common ground found here (I am an active Mormon) I think they will feel like this difficult experience was worth it.

      This topic is crucial to understand. I'm still finding my way in it. But these conversations from "both sides" are helping me sort through where I stand. I will say this though...I certainly have a lot more empathy for those who are gay. I think my lack of it before-hand never originated from a mean spirited intent, but just from a lack of exposure to many who are gay.

      People are good. God loves us all and we should do the same.

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  29. The truth is where there is a fact and then there may be a dread or anguish or distress, but there is no rancor or resentment or chagrin.

    Josh and Lolly possess an amazing, incredible amount of truth.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree with your last sentence!
      The rest I have to say though just sounds either confusing or shallow i think becase you are tring to sound deep and spiritul and smart. nothing at all wrong with that except when it sounds so forced. no offence intended but it sounds like you are tring to be this great fount of spiritual wisdom which isnt, in my opinion only,coming across very well. that poor teenager wasn't much helped by you either - i myself prefer josh' far moe down to earth style but to each there own.

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    2. Thanx, Anon. No offence. You gave me an interesting insight. If you knew my train of thought caused by your comment, you would probably describe it the same way. Maybe part of your impression stems from the fact that English is not my mother tongue, and I have never lived in an English speaking country. By writing these comments, I'm also practicing and learning.

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    3. FG Mormon-I didn't think your comment sounded weird. I think some people will latch onto the way you speak, while others won't. Even in English, we all speak our own tongue. Try reading Walt Whitman:) Keep writing in your style. I guarantee you that some people will understand you better than others and will prefer your writing better.

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  30. This life is for pleasing God and not for pleasing ourselves. Anyone who pleases God will meet with piles of self sacrifice. This is scriptural. Man wants to take God out of the equation of life and living, and to only please himself. Anyone who lives only for themselves and does not live for Jesus and within his word will spend eternity in hell. Not the nice Hell these gentle Mormon folks are discussing. It is scary stuff and yet true. Do not be decieved by the spirit of acceptance and pride of doing whatever you want . God is not mocked. Kudos to those who love and fear God more than they love to please themselves, even their own hearts. Btw I am loving this blog. I am loving your honesty. May those who seek Truth at any cost-find it, and with it, it's joy peace and power.

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  31. Elayne Wells HarmerJune 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Josh, can I take you and Lolly and your girls to dinner next time I'm in Seattle?? I don't mean that in a stalker sort of way -- I just think the world of you guys and want to do something nice for you. I admire your courage so much--it's no small feat to put your inner lives on display for the world, and have mean, nasty people say hurtful things. You are having an amazing effect on so many people, and I love you for it. By the way, I'm an LDS mother of 4, married in the temple 20 years, daughter of a GA (just in case that gives me some street cred...). You guys rock.

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  32. I know how scary it must be for you. I have been scared FOR you guys. Just keep as much control as you can. In fact, maybe you should offer to host THEM on your new site instead of letting THEM host you. It's your story, after all, and you already have the platform. You might as well get the traffic. :)

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  33. Josh and Lolly,

    I feel the Spirit when I read your story so I'm pretty confident that you are on the Lord's errand. I know that if you stick with Him, he will stick with you. I'll be praying for you guys. I pray for strength for your whole family. Thanks for putting all of your sweet light and spirits out into the world to brighten things up.

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  34. I find it interesting how many "open-minded" people are so afraid of your story and are talking about how you should have kept it to yourself. I guess its easy to be open-minded when you're looking for justification of your own choices, but when it comes to things that go against that, well then, please! Keep it to yourself!


    I dont see why anyone should be bothered by the story. Im betting MOST people who enjoyed it and were uplifted by it wouldnt be so hair-brained as to assume it should be the expected model for all gay people in the church. Its simply not possible. You addressed that. You addressed it *clearly*. This is YOUR story, not some chapter in a Gospel Essentials manual about "how to be gay!"

    So why are they still so afraid? Why is a story about making a personal path thats out of the ordinary suddenly such a foreign idea to other gay people? I thought that was kind of their whole thing?

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    1. "Kind of their thing"? Gay people's "thing" is to be treated with dignity and respect. Their "thing" is full civil rights.

      And what people are afraid of is a continuing of the relentless pressure from some quarters to act straight. They are afraid that they are going to be set back on the precious few steps forward that they have made.

      Josh's attitude is accepting and welcome but let's not pretend that his story is going to only be used for good. Josh has a right to tell his story and others have a right to be afraid of how it might be used against them. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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    2. Karen,
      You are a lucky lucky person. I think its awesome that you don't see Josh's story has a "how to guide" for gay people. But I must point out that the fear comes from a dark and true place and its not misplaced, its real.
      Karen "gay people" isn't a group that meets every tuesday to talk about how to be open minded and eat more organic food. It's not a non-profit foundation about civil rights, and its not a group with all the same mentality and thought process.
      There are nice gay people, mean gay people, tall, short, fat, skinny, funny, bland, rich, poor, black, white, activist, traditionalist, old, young, heck just like straight folks the list could go on and on.
      The fear comes from the years of hatred, of being shouted at from across the street while holding the hand of the love of your life, years of having to wonder if you might get beat up in that neigboorhood, of being kicked out of homes, kicked out of schools, kicked out of churches, assumed to have aids, assumed to be hitting on everyone around you, assumed to be promiscuous, years and fear and bigotry and hatred and watching friends kill themselves from not being able to take it anymore or being too afriad to tell their parents.
      And then Josh comes along and tells this wonderful story, and I read the comments and the posts on facebook and I know because I've already seen it. Here is how this story was introduced to me on facebook "for anyone struggling with SSA, if you think you have to live a life of sin, read this story and see that you can be saved" with a link to Josh's blog.
      I know that Josh does not want his story being used for pain and suffering, but it is, because the jerks of the world will use anything they can to tear apart the people who are already hurting.
      I think Josh is great. But I will never support something that will lead to me attending another one of my friends funerals. EVER.

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    3. sadly the gay lifestyle tends to lead to "another one of my friends funeral" its called STD's and the AIDS epidemic. I hate to say it.... which is sad, very sad.

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    4. The "gay lifestyle"* does not "lead" to STD's and AIDS. Unprotected sex, misinformation and ignorance leads to STD's and AIDS. Which is why you'll find both among both gay and straight populations.


      *Would someone please give a definition of the "gay lifestyle?" I only hear it mentioned by people who A)don't know any GLBT people very well and/or B)people who think denying a minority of Americans their civil rights is What Jesus Would Do.

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    5. I don't consider thr gay/lesbian movement a minority group. I consider people of different ethnic background as such.

      AND.... I have tons of gay friends in fact I seem to be a gay man magnet for some reason ;) gay men love me have no clue why but they do. I am not joking about that it's true.
      I can tell you that the AIDS epidemic is very heavy in the gay community. Yes it's in heterosexual community now mainly because of the "free" way sex is used now, but originally it was a gay disease. I have seen many times in the hospital I work at gay men dying of AIDS. There are MANY reasons why gay men ( mostly) are the most susceptible to STDs. I won't get into the nitty gritties of why .. But 1 reason is that gay men ( more thr lesbian women. Tend to have a tons of partners snd less likely to be protected. Another reason for the susceptibility I won't talk about because it requires me to talk

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    6. About anatomy ...

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    7. Technically the "gay lifestyle" is any lifestyle that a gay person can be engaged in. The possabilities are as varied as a straight lifestyle. Most people tend to define it as a lifestyle of people who have (or seek out) sexual relationships with members of the same sex.

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    8. "The possabilities are as varied as a straight lifestyle."

      Thank you! People would never talk about a "straight lifestyle" as they know it's too varied to be useful. Thank you for staying so clearly that it's the same for GLBTQ folks!

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    9. Thank ou, Fresh Hell, thank you for commenting regularly. once they get into the whole AIDS as a gay man's disease it is inches away from calling it God's wrath on gay men. Lesbians, I guess, don't get that wrath, go figure.
      The level of ignorance/rationalizing/ignorance again on here is ASTOUNDING and disturbing. And the sarcastic rejoinders from some of these folks is like children kicking sand because others are disagreeing with them. So so disturbing.

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    10. sadly..ignorance is on you mr. anon... because medical statistics and truths dont lie. Just because you don't want to hear the REAL truths, doesnt mean that us learned folks are ignorant, it just means we have a little more knowledge to base our opinions on. just saying...

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    11. WE learned folks.
      And let me save you from what you want to say: 'gay men deserve to get AIDS' - does that cover it? Does it?
      Jesus weeps.

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    12. Anon, You are welcome. This is a subject very near to my heart. I'm not a Christian but I know that Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality. I despair at how GLBTQ folks are singled out for "policing" by straight folks who should be a bit more worried about their own sins.
      All we can really offer each other is love, right here and right now. I've met way too many deeply wounded GLBTQ adults and I want the younger people reading here to avoid that fate. They are loved, just as they are! They need to know it and feel it.

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    13. Did I say "gay men deserve to get AIDS" ? no i said from a medical standpoint gay men are more LIKELY to get AIDS, due to anatomy and the lifestyle (I do understand that not all gay man have tons of partners, and many are monogamous, just so we are clear).

      The there are "way to deeply wounded" people in general in this world, not just GLBTQ folks. Our society moral base is failing, families family, marriage failing, society failing. ALL people need to be loved. There are children out their who are latchkey kids who have little guidance that we should be worried about. I think we focus to much on the idea of this and not on just the real crutch of the problem .... Our societies moral base is failing...... and it is causing many problems. If you read Isaiah 5:20--- Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil...(Isaiah 5:20). Many societies have failed due to failing moral bases (ROME..etc).

      I want you to read this article below and tell me what you think... this is where our desensitization of sexual sin has taken this society (this article is sad and sickens me). What's next?

      http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/viewing-child-pornography-not-crime-according-york-court-165025919.html

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    14. Anon,
      You're getting confusing and off topic. I didn't read your article, but the link implies someone said child porn is OK and I have no idea what that could possibly have to do with being gay.
      Here are the ways that somebody can get AIDS:
      unprotected sex (doesn't matter your orientation)
      Blood (i have a cut, you have aids, your blood gets into my cut)
      breast feeding (if the mom has aids and breast feeds her child, generally in third world countries)
      The aids virus doesn't have a brain and say "oh this person is having unprotected straight sex so I will just go ahead and not infect them"
      Gay men are NOT more promiscuous and lesbians CAN get aids from unprotected sex. Actually lesbians always forget how easy it is to get STDs because there is so little education.

      ALSO, LGBT teens die from SUICIDE because of jerks like you saying stupid crap like this and telling them they will die of aids for being gay. AIDS is a real global issue, but not a gay-only issue (ps magic johnson has HIV...he's not gay), because here in america is we have education and protection and medical treatment.

      In the 80s this was an issue, its been figured out that its not a gay thing. now its time to move on to the real issues which are equality and letting gay men donate blood because not all gay men have aids.

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    15. excuses.... If you were a medical professional, like I am, you would see the statistics. People really need to think with their brains instead of their emotions (which I understand this is a emotional topic). The stats don't lie. I sit watching gay men die all the time because of the AIDS epidemic and your telling me I am wrong. I am not. Yes you are right in what you say on how you can get AIDS (and other STDs) but let me show you a statistical analysis of the breakdown according to gender, and orientation. The AIDS virus does have a brain, in fact it has mutated already. We have AIDS 1 and 2 now. It is a smart little bugger, infecting the CD4 and transcripting a copy of a its RNA into its hosts DNA and replicating. It also been shown to infect more male/male contact because of the microtears in the region of the body that is thin that the union produces.

      THese are stats up to 2009.

      http://www.avert.org/usa-transmission-gender.htm

      here is another link form the CDC.

      http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm#exposure

      The reason given is that gay males tend to have more partners, and the anatomy of the act makes it more likely for transmission.

      Any sexual promiscuous person has the potential of getting a STD's (like Magic J. I realize that but statistically showing, gay men are more likely out of all the groups.

      The article was intended to show people that this society has become corrupted and that things that are good are looked on as bad and things that are bad are looked on as ok. We are seeing this with the article I put up that legalized child pornography. We as a society have become so "ok" with things that now our children are at risk. I am not "ok" with things. I see the "free" sexual behaviors in this society as a way to make this society fail. When you open up pandora's box its hard to keep it at bay. What's next?

      There are many straight children that commit suicide all the time, in fact I am sure statistically speaking there are more straight children who do because they are a bigger subset.

      We are not back in the 80's, we are in a time that a person needs to know alot of knowledge to make an informed decision. Thinking with a sexual urge is no longer safe. That why abstinence before marriage, and total fidelity, during is the ONLY way to stay safe.

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    16. As for rates of suicide between gay and straight youth:(per Wikipedia). LGBTQ teens are up to four times more likely than straight teens to attempt suicide.
      The Suicide Prevention Resource Center synthesized these studies and estimated that between 30 and 40% of LGB youth, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted suicide.[5] A U.S. government study, titled Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide, published in 1989, found that LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people.[6] This higher prevalence of suicidal ideation and overall mental health problems among gay teenagers compared to their heterosexual peers has been attributed to Minority Stress.[7][8] "More than 34,000 people die by suicide each year," making it "the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds with lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth attempting suicide up to four times more than their heterosexual peers.
      Regarding promiscuity among gay men vs. straight men: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/19/gay-men-promiscuous-myth
      Indeed, gay and bisexual men are contracting HIV at the highest rate. Also note that the rate of straight men/women participating in anal sex has increased: http://nymag.com/nightlife/mating/25988/
      I trust you would include straight anal sex as part of what corrupts society.
      Not all gay men engage in anal sex interestingly. I was surprised by this but have discussed this with several gay male friends (odd, I realize) who have informed me of this.
      But yes, HIV among gay and bisexual men is a huge concern and they need to be continually educated and informed of this. According to this website: http://www.avert.org/america.htm AIDS is on the rise most predominantly among African American men. The article mentions that this may be because of poverty, lack of access to healthcare and stigma in the community around men who have sex with men.
      This website http://www.avert.org/condoms.htm notes that consistent condom use leads to an 80% reduction in HIV transmission.
      So, no denial or excuses here, gay men need to be using condoms every single time they have sex, without fail.
      The AIDS epidemic continues to be a tragedy but concluding from that that homosexuality (among men obviously, for lesbians the rate is much lower) is therefore morally wrong is a fractured argument at best. If you consider homosexuality a greater sin than cheating, lying, etc, that is not supported by the Bible (assuming that is where your concept of sin comes from). If you consider it an equal sin, then it would seem odd and unfair that the so called results of homosexuality are so much harsher, as it were, than other sins.
      For those who do no consider homosexuality to be a sin, the higher rates of HIV among gay men would not necessarily lead to the conclusion that homosexuality is wrong but rather that certain segments of the gay community must begin and continue to take responsibility for their sexual behaviour. I had a friend who died of AIDS - it is absolutely a horrific disease that I have also seen first hand. But it is not my right or your right or the right of anyone to preach her or his version of morality or what I think causes society to fail. And the classic what is next argument always seems to lead down the road to something like if gay men are having sex, what is next, men having sex with sheep (or some other animal) or to suggest child abuse is next.Unfortunately, equating those behaviours with each other seems to stick in the minds of those who are hell bent on proving the immorality of homosexuality and these untruths are inevitably trotted out.

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    17. Also - very small thing but it is CRUX of the problem, not crutch. And calling homosexuality evil - per your Isaiah quote -the author of Isaiah of course does not specifically mention homosexuaity but some people have chosen to assume that the author would include that. It needs to be considered just who the author of Isaiah was addressing and why - in other words, the context. It is very convenient in certain beliefs to use the AIDS epidemic as proof of the evil of homosexuality (again of gay men not lesbians or bisexual women) but the fact is that other groups also acquire HIV, yes, at a lesser rate but nonetheless, they do. And yet I do not see the fall of society being blamed on them.
      And finally, finally, here are some theories as to why Rome fell:
      There are adherents to single factors, but more people think a combination of such factors as Christianity, decadence, lead, monetary trouble, and military problems caused the Fall of Rome. Imperial incompetence and chance could be added to the list. Even the rise of Islam is proposed as the reason for Rome's fall, by some who think the Fall of Rome happened at Constantinople in A.D. 1453. per this website:http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/romefallarticles/a/fallofrome.html
      While many would seem to like to believe that homosexuality was the main cause of the fall of Rome, it was not.
      I will go intellectually head to head any day with you, doctor.

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    18. aaargh - my initial long reply got deleted somehow. Sheesh. Sigh, well, I'm not going to write it all again.

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    19. Rome fell due to immorality and corruption... go look it up.

      If you want to believe that everyone thinks" It is very convenient in certain beliefs to use the AIDS epidemic as proof of the evil of homosexuality (again of gay men not lesbians or bisexual women)" that is your belief because it is not true. I personally feel that AIDS is here because of all "free" sex this society is ok with now a days (gay or straight). It just hits the gay community harder because of the few things I said above. It is hitting all people now, just not as big as the gay community.

      If you believe in God's law I will tie this into a "God" discussion since a lot of people view this topic in this way. I am more of a numbers person and what I actually "see" as evidence although I do give creed to God's Law too. God's law is back up to my own personal belief of physical proof. The proof seems to back up God's Law. Cause and Effect. It is said that "God will not be mocked" and this might his wrath for sexual sin, including not just homosexuality but all sexual sin outside the bonds of a male/female marriage. This would include all sexual encounters. You dont have sex before marriage, you dont have sex with others during marriage. I see it as cut and dry.

      The fail of society is not due to homosexuality per say, Homosexuality is just apart of the overall big picture. it is DUE to the desensitization of moral law and values. What once was not considered good is now ok. Going back to the child pornography law. Who would have thought this could be possible? Not me, but here you have it. It's the same with sexuality. It use to be that sex before marriage was discouraged but more and more we are teaching our children sex is "no big deal". Sex is a big deal and should not be talked about in such a way. This worlds view on sex has changed. We are seeing the effects of this world view. More diseases, more unwed parents, more teenage pregnancies, more broken homes. Etc. Even in our schools, a child who is 14 years old can talk to the school nurse (without parents knowing) get referred to abortion clinic or a clinic to cure STDS or get pills... and have an abortion without parents knowing and by law the nurse can not disclose. Very sad world. I cringed about that last one....

      One question... I know your son is gay, but dig deep and ask yourself is this what you really wanted for him? I am sure you pictured your son married to a nice girl with grandchildren when he was a little boy. You know this is not the ideal life you wanted for him, you look deep and you know what I am saying is right. You know deep down you wish it was different. You have to support him because he is your son. Not because you totally agree but you love him. That's kind of how I feel. If my son every came to me with this, I will love him up, but my own ideas of hopes and dreams for him will not change.

      You can't expect people to agree with the homosexual lifestyle just like I can't get people to agree with my own ideas. Even if people think of homosexuality as "sinful" or like me, "medically dangerous" it does not mean we don't love those people who are. We all are different, we all have our crosses to bear. I have many gay friends which whom I love. I would go to the end of earth for them, but I will still feel it is wrong and be respectful to them regardless. That's like all things. I hate it when a person gossips but still love that person regardless. Same principle. Enough said. I have not reread what I wrote so there could be errors. I just dont have time to look it over. So mind the grammar. :)

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    20. "You know deep down you wish it was different."

      Please do not pretend to know what it true in my heart. Before my son was born I assumed he would be straight because most people are. However, I grew up knowing loving GLBTQ people and couples. I therefore knew that there was a chance my son might be gay and I was, always have been, fine with that.

      I consider homosexuality a normal part human sexuality. I know that may seem radical to you but that is how I was raised and that is how my church views it as well. There is nothing wrong with my son, nothing to wish away or wish was different.

      If someone chooses to see being GLBTQ as wrong, that's their choice but it is a choice to view it that way. I never have viewed it as wrong and at 43 I doubt very much that my mind will change on that. My son is normal, it's the attitudes of intolerance, hatred and bigotry that are what need to change, not my child.

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  35. PS... did they give you any idea as to when the story would air?

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  36. I'm just glad you and Lolly have each other. I'll be praying the media portrays the story accurately.

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  37. Ellen Thwaites BrockmanJune 23, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Interesting topic, and an interesting spin on gay family values. Please check out this link for another prospective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u67v7wParas&feature=plcp. This is a couple from Santa Rosa California, this link is to their original U-tube posting in response to othe passage of proposition 8 in California.

    Their story has been produced in a documentary jrinust recently released, and currently touring America and Europe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RclFT71GmVc.

    I support the "whatever floats your boat" political view. However, what concerns me about the tone of some of the above comments that support the theory that you are "resisting the temptation to be gay" as if "gay" were a sin that needed resisting.

    I look forward to your reply to this post. I believe it is very important for all mankind to understand that sexual proclivity is a personal private choice, and that each human has the right to love in their own way. Without guilt or shame of sin.

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    1. Thanks so much for the link. Related to that is this link:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59n7KINHxGI&feature=relmfu
      I imagine folks who watch this link will be stopped cold by the sight of two men showing affection (nothing graphic, just a hand on a thigh) but look past that to the fact that these two men have adopted an extremely hard to place child.
      Mormons put a lot of weight and importance on family. So why not, instead of spending all of this energy making clear that Josh's choice is just his choice and there is no pressure on anyone else to make this choice although wouldn't that be great because hommosexuality is a sin and gross,go out and adopt a hard to place child. I'm sure there are some Mormons who are doing that but imagine if millions did it? Now that is a Nightline I would watch.

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    2. Adopting hard-to-place children is difficult. Telling other people what to do is easy. Telling other people what to do when you think G-d is on your side is downright pleasurable.

      Which is why adoption of these children remains rare while blogs like this quickly fill up with people who are not GLBTQ but surely would like a chance to tell GLBTQ folks how they are being GLBTQ all wrong.

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    3. yup so true

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  38. Josh and Lolly,

    Thank you for sharing with authenticity what great friends you must be. Learned tons about true love and married life. Shield yourself from negativity and step back if necessary by not responding to everyone's comments or questions.
    May the Lord continue to guide and protect your eternal family always. Love you guys.

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  39. You may not know all the reasons why God wants you to share your story, but I feel like your story has been a great blessing and an answer to prayers in my life. You may never know the full extent of the positive impact you are having in people's lives.

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  40. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202
    Someone posted this link earlier and I have read it and am posting it again. Before you dismiss it completely, I urge you to think about what it is saying. The bullying starts, as it were, from the top, in this case it was Michele Bachman. That trickled down to the school in that particular district. Again, I know that Josh does not sanction bullying and that he says and genuinely means that everyone is loved. However, hs story is going to be used as a way to say that heck, homosexuality is just a choice and no one has to be involved in it. Again,Josh says this worked for him and he doesn't say it will work for anyone else. But from the comments on here it shows that many folks are extrapolating that it can. This will ultimately create or reinforce isolation to kids who can't quite manage to do what Josh is doing. And on and on.
    I have mentioned this several times because it is honestly like no one is able to see this, which is bizarro land. It's not bizarro land because you don't agree with me, it's more bizarro land because some folks are saying no no, it's just Josh's story and there is no pressure at all for anyone else to believe they can do this but at the same time thinking that Josh's story is like the great hope for 'SSA' people.
    My friend has encouraged me to get off of this site because it is almost literally causing me to pull my hair out. It's like I know in most of my brain that it is literally impossible, IMPOSSIBLE, to get people to look outside of their religious boxes and certainly not on comments on a blog and when it is being reinforced by others who think anyone who disagrees with them is a 'hater' and are encouraging each other in the mutual love of the fact that homosexuality can be overcome. Yuck. I am actually going to pray for the courage to stay off of this website. Again, I completely get the sincerity and deep kindness of Josh and am even touched by it. But the gross jumping on the bandwagon of the hatred and disgust of those who are living an active gay lifestyle (even though it is expressed with loving and happiness and exclamation marks, underneath it all is the equating gay lifestyle with death and separation from God) simply becomes overwhelming.

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    1. Anon, you have a point and your concern is understandable. There will be those who will misinterpret Josh's story for their own agenda. But that does not mean that Josh shouldn't have publicized it. His story is very important and very valuable. If anyone witnesses the abuse of his story in a way that you (and others) suggest, it is almost their duty to speak up against it, no matter whether they are gay or straight.

      Josh is not and cannot be responsible for other people's abuses of his story. On the other hand, the good that he brought forth by his coming out in terms of overcoming prejudices and helping people with various other problems (some even not related to homosexuality) is so abundant that exceeds, to my opinion, any potential damage that can be caused by dangerous interpretations that you mentioned.

      Concerning equating gay lifestyle with death and separation from God, as a devout Mormon, I believe that church is there to help a willing person to reach happiness in this life and the next, and if the church for whatever reason cannot do that for a particular individual, that individual should be courageous enough to go and seek happiness elsewhere, without rancor, resentment or chagrin. And there is nothing wrong with that.

      I like a story of a local leader in one Mormon congregation who was advising a young man with same-sex attraction who admitted to him that he has suicidal thoughts. "If that's what are your options, you should flee out of the church and run for your life."

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  41. I don't know you and you don't know me but oddly I've fallen in love with you guys. Weird to say, I know, but ever since I read your coming out post as with a lot of people here I can't stop thinking about you guys. I just want the best for you and I'm a former LDS person and have a lot of issues with God but after reading your blog posts I can literally feel the love that you have for your wife, family, and God. You guys are amazing and have already helped so many people out there with different problems. You've helped me to want a better life and to strengthen my relationship with my own husband and kid and you've helped me reconsider my relationship with God. So you're not just helping people cope with gay relationships but also with so many other family issues and spiritual issues. I'm really proud of you all and I hope that this adventure will help more people in the world and your story will help those in need like it helped me. Thank you again so much for sharing this.

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    1. Anonymous-I've felt the same way. This is more than an issue about gay vs non-gay, but about relationships and what they mean and the purpose behind them all. I've found myself contemplating that a lot as I've followed this story.

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    2. I couldn't agree more! It seems that too many people turn each post into gay vs. non-gay debate and they miss the beauty, love, and humor that encompasses the entire post.

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  42. Praying for you, that your story comes out as what you say and what you feel. Praying that truth is told. I really enjoy reading what you are sharing!

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  43. Josh and Lolly, thanks for your courage.

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  44. Thank you! I'm going to use you as an example to my son to show him that he too doesn't have to be defeated by Satan! Praise God!

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    1. "Satan" doesn't make people gay. If anything does, it's your god for creating people who are born gay. They may not act on it, but it is their god-given nature to be gay (if you believe in god/s)

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    2. It's never been proven that a person is born Being gay. Until it is proven I will not nor should anyone believe it. It has been shown over and over through counseling that gay men often have the same theme noted :

      1) have been sexually abused as a child
      2) bullied as a child
      3) had no male role model as a child and seek male bonding
      4) had few male friend in which to form that maleness bond
      5) was exposed to something as a child.
      6) was shaped by early human experience
      7) had a early exposure to a act

      Again there are exceptions to the themes, but it's like saying some was born and naturally inclined to be a pornographer or a sex addict etc. No.

      There are medical exceptions to the rule such as hermafradits ( born with both genders, part of their genes are XY and part XX) and then a adrenal insufficiency disorder which a "male". xY chromosome is unable to sufficiently be a male in features because they don't have thr correct receptors to uptake testosterone to get thr secondary characteristics.. Hence tgese people usually have female characteristic and don't find out there trully makes until they can't have children and go get tested. These 2 disorders are a genetic flaw in thr chrimosome orderl and incompatible with creating life.
      I am only using the examples above to show that even if a chromosome messes up with gender it is nulled by being sterile. If gay/ lesbian tendency was natural don't you think god would have made it possible for the couple to conceive biological children together? But it's not so.. Because gay and lesbian relationship is not compatible with creating life. If it were so it would be a total different story. So taking it from a medical standpoint, there is no possibility it can be natural. Not even to mention the physical damage that gay relationship has on the body medically speaking. Gay relationships actually cause damage to the body!!! And infection. Ok well enough from a medical standpoint...

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    3. first of all: hermaphodite.
      second, oh my god.
      third, I hope this is a joke but I suspect not.
      Fourth, I have never ever ever been so happy that I live in Canada.
      Fifth, oh my god.
      Sixth: chromosome
      Seventh: Please, commenter, please don't procreate or stop procreating
      eight: no way

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    4. Your research is sorely out of date. The idea that GLBT have all been traumatized in some way went out with the idea that mothers cause autism.

      "If gay/ lesbian tendency was natural don't you think god would have made it possible for the couple to conceive biological children together?"

      No. I'm a straight, infertile woman and, in your world view, G-d made me. Our ability to procreate, or not, is not the ultimate measure of our worth as human beings. Thank goodness.

      Homosexuality is natural. It appears in all mammals, across the animal kingdom. My husband is a biologist, don't get him started on the "it's not natural" arguement.

      My son, who is gay, was raised by a mother and father (who is a United States Marine) who love him deeply and, luckily, he was never traumatized as a child, had plenty of friends, etc. We suspected he was gay when he was a toddler. We could have just as easily been wrong about that but we were careful to never shame him or correct him when he made choices outside of the so-called gender norms.

      As a result he is a healthy, terrific college student who any one would be proud to call their son. And someday, I hope, he'll marry the love of his life and they'll have children just as his straight parents had children...with a lot of help but, wow, is it ever worth it.

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    5. If it was natural god would have allowed procreation to happen because of the unon... can't explain that one away can you... can you explain why if it is soooooo natural that biological children can not be born from the union?

      If this was suppose to happen dont you think god would have made us all bigender? genetics don't lie... the biological truth does not lie. You husband should know that if he is a biologist. You can only create life from a male/female bond nothing else.

      You say your infertile, which happens but if you where able to figure out why and you could fix it you COULD have children with your husband. That can not happen at ALL in homosexuality can it? No matter how you combine the genes, no genes can be passed on regardless. So it is completely a different issue all together.

      I understand you love your son, but don't you think by not correcting his choices outside of "so called gender norms" at an early age you kind of gave him permission to do so? Just saying.

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    6. your comment makes me feel like it is 1955 or so. It really really does. You know, when gay folks had to meet in secret locations, when a woman's job was to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, when you could, upon noticing the slightest hint of homosexuality in your child, corrected it through discipline or through sending him for therapy because those worked so so well. and imagine if someone was gay and black! Oh the fun you could have rejecting and shaming that person - separate drinking fountains and everything!
      I realize that your uh, interesting argument works for Mormons and also probably in parts of Saudi Arabia where gay men are stoned to death, but not so much anywhere else. And for goodness sakes work on the spelling 'you're' not your and don't not don't, were not where. And the sentence with 'where' in it makes no grammatical sense at all. This makes sense though as less education tends to result in greater ignorance.
      Let's imagine that being gay is in fact a choice, that folks actually choose to live a life filled with discrimination against them, where in certain states they can be fired for being gay, where they can be killed by those threatened by their gayness, where they have to put up with folks like you all high horsey offering up the most disturbing and ineffectual arguments against homosexuality ever heard. So let's say you for some reason choose to live a life where you will be persecuted. Odd, but say you do. Even then, no one has the right to judge gay people. IT IS THEIR BUSINESS. Now, I guess if you are judging a Mormon they might think it is your business, okay. But for any gay person who isn't a Mormon (say, most gay people) it's not any of your business. Just like your life is none of their business.
      By the way, a lot of activities that straight people(and maybe even some straight mormons) do are not so natural either. So, if you are married person right above, don't be putting your wee wee in your wife's back door,or anywhere else it does not belong. Also, make sure that each and every Mormon you know procreates because according to you, that is the purpose of sex. And bigender? What is that? People with two genders? Your cruelty and sarcasm and, uh, ignorance is not going to attract a lot of folks to Mormonism. Now go make sure your wife is in the kitchen where she belongs.

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    7. Being gay is natural; it occurs in nature. Whether or not a mammal can procreate with its chosen sexual partner is NOT what dictates whether it is a part of nature.

      The only thing we've ever given our son "permission" to be is himself. Children are not born blank slates. My son was born a complete human being. Our job is to love, nuture and protect that being, which we did/continue to do.

      I also question your theory that it was, for example, his desire to be a Spice Girl that made him the gay man he is today. What should we have done? Insisted he become a Backstreet Boy fan instead (but not of the one who is gay!) and then he'd be a straight man? If only we'd tossed out his tutu for a tiny tuxedo he'd not be gay? He also loved trains with a passion and behaved in ways that conformed to his genders so-called norms as well.

      My son was born whole. Complete. Perfect. I'm thankful for every part of him, including the fact that he is gay.

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    8. Yes, fresh hell! yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Here is a disturbing link: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/25/12402620-teen-lesbian-couple-found-shot-in-texas-park?lite
      This is what intolerance can lead to.
      It's like now that homosexuality is 'acceptable' to talk about in Mormon circles, the lid has blown off. That would be okay, except it seems to often lead to people spouting their own theories as to why people are gay and to almost a rage about the whole thing. Rage and ignorance. This can and does and will lead to violence, it is unfortunately inevitable. Angry words, violent rhetoric becomes violent actions and two teenage girls get shot in the head and one dies. No, they haven't proven it was a gay hate crime and they may never be able to prove it.
      I admit that my new tag line for all of this is Jesus weeps. It emcompasses to me, how God feels about the hatred, even when it is disguised as love the sinner hate the sin. And certainly when it is lashed out in arrogance and 'This is not natural!" talk and writing. People often talk about the heart of God and how the heart of God can grieve for his people. You know, I'd moved away over the years from God, from the whole idea of it. But in wading through the many terrifying and profoundly hurtful comments that I've read on here, I feel like I can actually feel the sorrow of God at the injustice some folks are writing/saying in His name, in the name of God. STOP, please. I have to say I've never really thought much about the Mormon Church other than say the Osmonds are missionary boys in ties. But through some of the comments on here, I have developed an incredibly negative impression of the Mormon Church and its teachings. Please be careful what you say in the name of your church. Non Mormons like myself are reading this, it's not just me. I swear I almost feel like someone is going to write in reaction to what I'm honestly writing, ''well, sin is sin and if you don't like it we don't want you."
      Jesus weeps.

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    9. on a lighter note, i meant 'and' and not 'are' - i don't mean the Osmonds are missionary boys in ties, ha

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    10. You know it's funny... When people have different opinions about things then the supporters of thr gay community it is taken as "hatred, evil, and "bad opinions of thr Mormon church. First off did I say I was Mormon ? Lol 2nd it seems ok that you can both throe out hatred with you last 2 comments with no probl at all just because my opinions differ. Not cool.

      With all thr horrible things you just said to counter me thinking medically about the who homosexual issue you turn it and start slamming me.
      Listen I have nothing against homosexuals at all, in fact I have many gay friends who I think are wonderful. they know I love them but don't agree with them and that's ok because love me regardless of my own stuff. You don't have to love what people do but it is required that we love them regardless. Just because I don't agree because of medical reasons doesn't mean anything but I don't agree. Im sorry for thr bad grammar. Being on my phone cause auto typing to occur here and there :)

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    11. I honestly don't feel hatred - I'm the commenter at 9:42 and I read through it and I don't spew hatred, rather just sadness and grief really at the misuse of God quite frankly. A few Mormon commenters on here have mentioned that they don't really know why the Mormon church is against homosexuality and that seems like someone one would want to know, given its strong stance against it.
      I'm also not clear on what you mean by 'medical reasons'. Homosexuality was removed from the DSM manual of psychiatric disorders back in the 1970s and it isn't a physical afflction. Actually, the province of Alberta, very much like Texas in its thinking, has finally just removed it from their DSM. The concept of a psychiatric 'cause' for gayness has been disproved by the medical community. I do agree with another commenter that some of the arguments you present are old and disproven.
      And sorry that I assumed that you are a Mormon. Although I stand by what I say because some of the comments that are disturbing have been by self-professed Mormons. I agree with another commenter that it isn't your or my business what other consenting adults do.

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    12. something not someone. oy.

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    13. I am not talking about DSM as a psychiatric disorder. DSM stuff is a load of crap in my opinion, we shove all these problems into some psychological number. There are definitely disorders (trust me doing a rotation in a state mental institution was NOT my idea of fun). I am talking about true medical issues with it. I have over and over seen the effects of living a gay lifestyle and it is not pretty at all medically speaking. With more medical knowledge, we are seeing the harms of having a homosexual relationship especially in males, higher cancer rate(in certain areas), incontinence at an early age, and much more due to the anatomical relationship of the homosexual relationship. I wont get into the details of it because who wants graffics but you get my drift. When you force things that are not suppose to be forced you produce a lot of trauma and injury. Enough said on that topic.. On top of the fact that because of the trauma a gay male is more suspectable to STD's and largely HIV in general.

      I really could care less of people are gay to each is own, medically speaking I just don't agree because I can't agree with something that harms the body and has no sound biological base. Yes the purpose of sex is to have a little fun and create an intimate bond, but really the main purpose of sex is to spread the gene pool and to procreate. Very cut and dry for me. There's no purpose to homosexuality.

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  45. My name is Carolyn and my daughter told me she was gay two years ago. I felt so so hopeless but had started to accept her and her gf or i guess i should say to tolerate it. But not anymore! I am sending her the link to your blog right now. She said she couldn't live righteously but she can!

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    1. I strongly suspect this email is spurious and intended to inflame. If not, I apologise, but I would urge you to read The Weed's words again. He clearly urges you to give your daughter nothing but your love and acceptance. He also clearly states that this choice was his to make but not everybody's, and the fact that your daughter is with a female partner makes clear the life she is pursuing now. Remember - love and hugs.

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  46. I know why you feel like your mission isn't over yet...because it's not. Heavenly Father has hand picked you to share your story and to continue to inspire other members of the Church (and maybe even those who aren't members) who struggle with your same situation. Apparently, your work isn't done, my friend...your testimony and message have not reached enough people yet. I honestly admire your courage and aspire to have the same level of beauty in my own marriage that already exists in yours. Please tell Lolly too that she has set an amazing example for me. After reading her input on your "coming out of the closet" blog post, I found myself evaluating my relationship with my own husband...asking myself, "Am I patient enough with him?" "Am I forgiving of his weaknesses?" "Do I show him an unconditional amount of love?" She has set the bar extremely high as wives go, and she has inspired me to be a better wife. You guys are truly amazing, as is the amount of love you have for each other. I think that if more people were as truly committed to each other as you two are, the divorce rate would be practically non-existent. I am sure that it's going to be a roller-coaster ride from here on out, but I implore you to keep your heads up...stay strong and continue to have faith. Heavenly Father will continue to bless you both, your family, and the lives of everyone with whom you come into contact. Thanks for sharing your hearts with us. You have no idea the amount of positive influence you truly have over others. :)

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  47. I love what you and Lolly (is it okay for someone who doesn't know her to call her Lolly?) are doing. You've been thrust into the spotlight, and yet your only desire is to do what God would have you do. As my mom would say, "It's a beautiful thing!" You've touched my heart and made me want to be better in ways large and small. So, thank you.

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  48. Never question whether you should be sharing your story. You have opened a hush hush box that has needed to be opened for sooooooooooo long. You are helping and comforting so many, thank you for your courage and honesty. Your blog and story are my daily strength and therapy. I am looking to you for guidance and the opportunity to understand and discuss SSA/Mormonism. You are a light on a hill.Thank you

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  49. I have hesitated to share a comment because I'm sure you are overwhelmed with the thousands you already have to read, however, after reading some of the negative attention you have I felt I needed to add my voice of encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing your story. As a liberal latter-day saint it is difficult for me to reconcile my political/spiritual opinion on this matter. First of all, I love that you have chosen to live your live according to what you (and many Christians) believe to be in line with God's plan. I'm sure you have felt much pain and conflict since coming to terms with your sexuality and I think deciding to live in accordance of the gospel no matter what is such a heroic thing to do. Isn't that what we should all do despite our nature? Second, I love that Lolly chose to marry you because of your commitment to God. I also love how non judgmental you are in your blog. You come across as very humble. I've heard people criticizing you, saying that you aren't living up to your "true self," and that you are causing damage to the gay community by not doing so. On the contrary, I think you are living very courageously. There are so many people who look up to you for your decision and your courage as a couple. You guys are rock stars. Although I, nor those closest to me (that I know of) have ever struggled with SSA, we all have our struggles and you are an inspiration to everyone who has ever struggled with their inner "natural man" trying to stay in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Stay strong you guys!

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    1. A liberal LDS! So Josh's story is being used as an example? Some say not, some say it is, he himself said it shouldn't be. Interesting.

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  50. Yes, LDS can be other party lines...one of our last apostles was a democrat. Actually, there have been a few. My dad was with the green party for a long time and a part of Zero population:) and my mom, sister and brother are democrats. I'm a mutt. My voting is no not party line. I even voted for Obama:), and quite honestly can't stand Utah politics:) I tend to be weird the way I vote anyways. Not to mention all the LDS people who live outside of the US who could even care less about out politics. People like to put all Mormons into some kind of block...we are all the same and that's that, but it's not true.

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  51. I have really enjoyed and appreciated your ongoing story and your courage to do what you feel is right. I love how you two are working so closely together. Your courage is amazing and inspiring. Thank you.

    Your story and interviews will certainly be taken out of context by some people, regardless of how it is presented. But please don't let that deter you from continuing to do what you feel is right.

    Thanks again.

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  52. Weed, I just want to let you know that I never really understood all of this stuff as far as homosexuality and all that and reading your blog has helped me personally comprehend something that before was just so beyond understanding. It's really lovely to have a kind of clarity and direction now after having read your blog. I thought you'd like to know though, that about a week and a half after having read your story and contemplating it and receiving some personal inspiration on the subject, I was presented with a very special experience. I served a mission in Nicaragua, and there was a boy there that we re-activated who has such grand potential. I always felt something special about this kid. Anyways, out of the blue he calls and we talked and then we threw a curve ball that was very unexpected, which was that he was himself bisexual.. and he didn't understand what that meant for or about him and it was pretty obvious that he had been depressed and distressed about the matter for years. So after a quick prayer (part of which thanked heavens I'd come upon your blog) I used your experience as a basis to help my young friend. Not in a you-have-to-marry-a-woman-like-that-guy-did way or anything like that, but your views on intimacy and the important things in a relationship and your perspective on homosexuality. I tried to do the best I could to help him. Also he was terrified that I wouldn't love him anymore and I thought that was sad. Really everyone needs to feel loved, especially when they are most vulnerable. I guess that late night really worked out for him because now a bit later he has more confidence the way that he knows he can find out what to do with himself now and he feels he can understand more about God's plan for him personally. And while he doesn't feel like he can find a place yet, he told me he knows that he's on his way now. Anyways.. just so you know your story is giving others the opportunity to help through understanding and love, and in other countries even. Thank you so much for helping to answer a question I had as well as for helping my friend down south. Best wishes to you both!

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  53. Thank you for your courage in sharing your life and following the spirit. I have been strenghthened by your story and not necissarily because of the whole gay thing, does that make sense? The life lessons you have learned inspire me, the way you overcome your trials inspire me, thank you. I totally understand the feeling of being uncomfortable about what you are doing and having the spirit *screaming* (figurativly) that that is what you are supposed to be doing. It is amazing the lessons that you learn in retrospect. Stay strong and stay close to the spirit :) Thank you for your courage and your example!

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  54. I think both of you are very courageous to open yourself up in this way. I love that your main message is one of love kindness and charity. We all need more of that. I pray that your family will be continued to be blessed, since it is likely that you have started on a journey that will be much wilder than you might have anticipated. The mormon community, which I am also a part of, needs more open, frank, and kind discussions about the realities of homosexuality, and young people need to be able to discuss what they are experiencing without fear of rejection and abandonment. I am so glad you both had such support growing up.

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  55. Judging from the number of gay friends I met at Ricks and BYU, I am sure your situation is not unique. So take comfort that you are not alone, and joy in the fact that you are likely a refreshing voice to others that they are not alone. I usually get so frustrated when I hear stories of gay men marrying sweet naive Mormon girls only to have it end in tragedy years later. But the fact that you both were so upfront, honest and not trying to hide your true selves from each other was beautiful. Lolly you are beautiful. It is no wonder that Josh fell for you.

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