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How About Asking An Actual Mormon?


Guest Jenn348

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Guest Jenn348

“Let us reach out to those in our community who are not of our faith. Let us be good neighbors, kind and generous and gracious. Let us be involved in good community causes. There may be situations where, with serious moral issues involved, we cannot bend on matters of principle. But in such instances we can politely disagree without being disagreeable. We can acknowledge the sincerity of those whose positions we cannot accept. We can speak of principles rather than personalities.” -Gordon B. Hinckley (Last president of the LDS/Mormon church)

I see a lot of posts on here from people who aren't Mormons telling everybody how it is (and often getting it completely wrong).

I've talked at length about being an MTF in process with leaders in multiple geographic areas and at multiple levels in the church hierarchy and there are some misconceptions that need to be cleared up.

First off, nothing is automatic in 'punishments' for trans people. The handbooks for leaders say that disciplinary action 'may' be necessary in the case of SRS, but note that it doesn't say 'shall', only 'may'. Approaching local leadership about the issue in a respectful manner and making a case for the medical necessity for any medical procedure will result in thoughtful consideration of the complex issue at hand and a proper weighing of the issues. Approaching them with the attitude of "It's my body, I'll do what I want!" will not be looked upon as favorably.

Either way, it all boils down to being respectful. Show respect for people and they show respect in return. A novel idea, I know ;)

It's not just me that has had good luck with this approach, there are a number of people who have undergone successful transition and remain fully worthy (including temple worthy) as judged by local leaders. Here's a link to one such story if you don't believe me: http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2009/11/still-pondering-complexity-of.html

I am sure there are people out there who have had bad experiences with bigoted and ignorant local leaders in this regard, but the LDS church is trying to change in this area and become more Christlike. See http://www.mormonsandgays.org/ for more on this (this is an official church site), or see this news story: http://www.glaad.org/2009/11/13/mormons-voice-support-for-salt-lake-city-anti-discrimination-law

The key here as followers of Christ is to act like he said we should. Bashing on the religious beliefs of other people who don't have all of the information we do about a complex and oft misunderstood topic isn't what He would do. The truth is, with an issue like ours you will find angry, bigoted and ignorant people in any group. That doesn't relieve us of any responsibility in the situation to work toward a positive outcome.

If anybody (Mormon or not) has any questions of an actual Mormon, feel free to drop me a line.

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That is very sound advice - always ask someone who really knows.

It is sadly not the nature of all people to be tolerant or even informed about other religions.

I have traveled around the world and visited many of the great Shrines, Temples, Tabernacles, Cathedrals and Synagogues talking to as many people as I can from each religion - I find the differences and similarities extremely fascinating.

If everyone would take the time to learn just a little bit about people that are different there would be a lot less hatred in the world.

Love ya,

Sally

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Guest Jo-88

I don't know much about the mormon LDS church so please forgive my ignorance. I am going to make a statement about this, but I do not want you to misunderstand me... I have nothing against your religion in the slightest.

So what I wanted to say is this. Why is it necessary to get the approval of church leaders to be who you are? It's not as though these leaders have god on speed dial, they communicate with god via prayer just like yourself. Wouldn't it be more fair to yourself and to your religion to live your life the way god would want you too instead of how the church bureaucracy wants you too? Wouldn't it be better to weigh the opinion of god above the opinion of the church? ... in other words, shouldn't you consult god before you consult the church. The church itself is not what makes you mormon, your beliefs and faith are what make you mormon... who is anyone to tell you that you can't be mormon because of your private decisions or because your not a member of the church.

Again this was not meant to insult or inflame it's just some questions I had, some of them are rhetorical but some of them do warrant an answer. Maybe you can help me understand...

I know that many christians (mostly protestant) do not attend church or have any church affiliations. Yet these people still pray, they still worship in their own way, and they still have their faith... they are unquestionably still christian with or without the church. Is it possible to do the same in the mormon faith?

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Guest Gypsyfeenix

The key here as followers of Christ is to act like he said we should. Bashing on the religious beliefs of other people who don't have all of the information we do about a complex and oft misunderstood topic isn't what He would do. The truth is, with an issue like ours you will find angry, bigoted and ignorant people in any group. That doesn't relieve us of any responsibility in the situation to work toward a positive outcome.

It's great that you put this out there, but just like everything else, the feelings and opinions people have are usually based on something. Often you do see the Christian based faiths ( or those who purport to walk the path) supporting these negative points that you are bringing up in North America. Not having lived in other parts of the world, I choose to stay silent about other major world religions. How often do you see the pagan faithers denouncing the GBLT community?

Christianity and the Christian based faiths are the ones who have, and continue to, persecute people who are trans - Christians are the ones who use terms like "aberration" - anyone who does not walk THEIR path fits that description.

I think it's admirable that you want to smash those negatives and open yourself up. I wish more people would. Maybe there wouldn't such bad stereotypes for the rest of us to fall back on.

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  • Forum Moderator

The LDS church is just trying to clean up their image with these efforts - WHY ? There must be perception problems, they must feel a need to correct a perception of being narrow minded in the first place. I don't think PR campaigns are going to do much really. People will have their opinions about this and it's not going to change anytime soon from within, sorry. The person that posted here may have found some way to work within the church and that's great, go for it, it's your life. Having endured their culture growing up in the church (60,70's), I would have never brought up these topics to any church officials. Knowing this now, it's like why bother ? From their own website referenced here in this post,

Where the Church stands:

"The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters".

So you can be gay or lesbian, but you just can't act on it ? Sorry this is nothing but a culture to panders to openness but at the end of day "you are a sinner".

I had some bad experiences with the LDS church, they used guilt a lot as a way to make you comply. You were judged with your peers in your quorum (group) a lot, somebody was always looking down upon you, uggg. What a manipulative experience, not very peaceful. I realized I did'nt need others to tell me what to do with my life by age 15. God answered me, told me to get away, and it was for the best. I have kept my spirituality and faiths to myself now, for some folks it's best to just not go there.

Respectfully

Cynthia -

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Guest Gypsyfeenix

The LDS church is just trying to clean up their image with these efforts - WHY ?

THIS is what I was trying to communicate. You said it so much better than I.

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Guest Jenn348

So what I wanted to say is this. Why is it necessary to get the approval of church leaders to be who you are?

A good question. As many religions do, there is a moral code the followers are expected to live by. For LDS, this includes things like no sex outside of marriage, no drugs/tobacco/alcohol, honesty in dealings with others, etc. To participate in certain ceremonies and ordinances, one must interview with a leader to get cleared for them (you'll find this in other religions, too).

At present, most of the general population (inside and outside of the LDS church) takes a negative view on gender identity issues. Is it really fair to expect people of a conservative-leaning religion to be any different?

Part of the challenge for LDS people with gender identity issues is EDUCATING others so they can make informed judgments. Personally, I think it's important for people to keep the other aspects of their lives when transitioning and not throw everything out with the bath water. There's no reason an LDS person has to throw their faith away if they have this problem any more than anybody of any other faith should.

The LDS church is just trying to clean up their image with these efforts - WHY?

The LDS church is an imperfect organization run by imperfect beings. We are subject to the cultural biases of the times that anybody else is subject to. Any religion more than just a few years old will have things in their past that they aren't proud of, but that doesn't mean that all followers of said religion should reject the whole because some mistakes were made.

I think in a few years the church will come around as they have on other issues (such as the change in treatment of blacks in 1978 or end of polygamy in the late nineteenth century). Some in the church feel that the current steps might be preparatory to making those changes.

A Slate columnist has a pretty good perspective and theories on this: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/12/06/mormons_and_days_new_lds_website_suggests_church_is_evolving_on_homosexuality.html

I have many Catholic friends and I don't expect them to apologize for the Spanish Inquisition or abandon their 'cult' faith because of past misdeeds in their religion, so I don't see how it's fair to expect the same from Mormonism.

Have some patience, they appear to be in the process of coming around. In the meantime, we all have that 'direct line to God' and can overcome the imperfections in our church by realizing that it's the gospel of Jesus Christ that is true, not any church or leader.

People who build their faith on the church or its leaders are sure to have it fail them, but those who build their faith in Christ will have something they can use as an anchor when life's storms come along.

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Guest Jaques

is it true a mormon male can have several wives - but a female can have only one husband? If so why? I may be mixing this up with that other religion where they live in villages, i cant think of the name of them, they go around in horse drawn buggies.

Are mormons seen as a cult rather than a religion?

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Guest Jo-88

Assuming there is a god, wouldn't it still be his opinion we should be worried about and not that of a church head?

This is exactly how I feel, it is a big assumption but if true then yes it is their opinion that matters, not that of the church. This I believe to be universally true of all faiths.

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Guest KimberlyF

A trend I've noticed is when people speak of tolerance and acceptance of people, a lot of times it's tolerance and acceptance towards themselves, but they don't offer the same in return.

I am not a Mormon, but I get the idea of rules.

Heck, this is a suicide prevention board for people in a community and yet over the years they have come up with over 20 rules. If you like the company and/or get something out of it, you try to follow the rules. It doesn't mean you have to agree with all of them or you believe them to be fair.

Luther didnt like the way the Catholic Church was run so he went on his own to do what he felt best. The religion that sprouted isnt a whole lot different, and they have their own rules. Nobody HAS to follow them.

I find a discussion on world religions interesting. I would never try to talk anyone out of their religion as that is as annoying to me personally as people who go door to door trying to sell their beliefs.

How often do you see the pagan faithers denouncing the GBLT community?

Since they don't get the media coverage (how often do you hear any stories on pagans in the MSM?) I guess it depends on how hard you look. I did a 5 second google search.

http://theinformedpagan.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/sexual-orientation-and-paganism/

"This is an ongoing case where it is clear that those who are transgender, are particularly not welcome within certain paths."

"Within Wicca specifically, though Gardner himself was known to be extremely homophobic, my understanding is that many covens will welcome those who are LGBT."

"Of course like any where else in life (at least until we can get to a point where ones sexual preference/gender identity is no longer an issue), its matter of finding place that fits us the best."

So overall they may be more welcoming on average, but they have issues in certain groups too. Shocking, I know.

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Guest Robin Winter

I'm sure there's some accurate information at the other end of that link, but I find it difficult to take it seriously when the "word" irregardless is used in the article.

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Guest KimberlyF

I'm sure there's some accurate information at the other end of that link, but I find it difficult to take it seriously when the "word" irregardless is used in the article.

Meaning you are sure there are some anti-LGBT sects amongst pagans, but Ad hominems are fun, or what exactly? I'm trying to understand your post.

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Guest Robin Winter

Meaning exactly what I said, I don't take informative sites seriously if they can't edit their work. As far as anti-LGBT sects, bigotry is a notion of individual minds. There will always be people who follow any belief system that are bigoted, and those that are not. Bigotry on a dogmatic level just means the guy who wrote the book had a personal bias. I don't take any organized religion seriously.

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Guest KimberlyF

I don't take any organized religion seriously.

And yet many people do, and you choose to post on a Religion forum. Brings me back to an earlier point.

A trend I've noticed is when people speak of tolerance and acceptance of people, a lot of times it's tolerance and acceptance towards themselves, but they don't offer the same in return.

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Guest Robin Winter

I don't take any organized religion seriously.

And yet many people do, and you choose to post on a Religion forum. Brings me back to an earlier point.

>>A trend I've noticed is when people speak of tolerance and acceptance of people, a lot of times it's tolerance and acceptance towards themselves, but they don't offer the same in return.

I'm required to review links before I approve them. I noticed an error and I felt like pointing it out. I don't make a habit of posting here. For the record though, not taking them seriously is not being intolerant. I accept that they exist, and I tolerate them just fine, I just happen to have no personal interest in them. Just like I don't expect anyone else to be interested in being gay or trans, but I do expect them to accept that we exist and we're still real people.

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  • Root Admin

The various religious sub forums are safe havens for those of that particular faith. If you are not Mormon, I would suggest that you refrain from posting here but if you do, keep your rhetoric to a positive input. If you wish to argue what is and what isn't, take it to a topic in the general spirituality forum.

As Brenda suggested, get back on the topic please.

MaryEllen

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Guest Robin Winter

I doubt it would be any more constructive in the general spirituality since the current argument is whether or not I'm a bigot. Probably better to just leave off here :)

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Guest KimberlyF

I don't take any organized religion seriously.

And yet many people do, and you choose to post on a Religion forum. Brings me back to an earlier point.
>

>>A trend I've noticed is when people speak of tolerance and acceptance of people, a lot of times it's tolerance and acceptance towards themselves, but they don't offer the same in return.

>

I'm required to review links before I approve them. I noticed an error and I felt like pointing it out. I don't make a habit of posting here. For the record though, not taking them seriously is not being intolerant. I accept that they exist, and I tolerate them just fine, I just happen to have no personal interest in them. Just like I don't expect anyone else to be interested in being gay or trans, but I do expect them to accept that we exist and we're still real people.
So if someone walked into a Trans support group and said "I don't take your beliefs seriously!", that would still be tolerant? They do accept that a meeting of people describing themselves as 'Trans' exists, right?
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Guest Robin Winter

But that isn't what happened is it. In this case a more apt comparison would be if someone walked into a trans support group to check the level of the waste bin, and one of the members of that trans group approached him and asked what his beliefs were. Nothing intolerant about answering a question honestly.

I only volunteered that there was an error in the page you linked to, you asked me to elaborate on the rest, so I did. If you don't like my answers, don't ask me any questions.

Now, we've been asked to leave off, and I intend to do that, so I won't be responding again.

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Guest KimberlyF

That last reply came before I saw the other posts. I will return to a discussion on how to make positive changes in the Morman religion.

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I just know when I talked with the local bishop about transitioning, he kindly told me to please stop, and offered reparative therapy. That alone took away any desire to become active again, even though I believe in a lot of their doctrine. I don't believe I could go back without being judged. And it would also cause fear and anxiety among many of the members of the ward. I would not feel welcome. Attending a ward for the first time, when you don't know anyone, is hard enough.

Here is my question:

Since I'm saving money for GRS, what would be the chance I could be a part of the ward, or not be excommunicated?

Jenny

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