05 December 2011

...But do keep dreaming.

"There is no fullness of joy in the next life without a family unit, including a husband, a wife, and posterity. Further, men are that they might have joy. In the eternal perspective, same-gender activity will only bring sorrow and grief and the loss of eternal opportunities." - Elder Oaks

The otherwise righteous who must wait until after death to find out if they're set up for a fullness of joy: the childless, all never-married people, people who married outside of the temple, people who married in the temple but whose spouses have not been true to the covenants made.

On one hand, that's a lot of people who have to trust that "it'll all work out somehow". On the other hand, that's some pretty good company. Not that I think homo single folks in the church actually are asked the same as hetero single folks in the church. That's probably another post for another time, but the short version is implied in the quote above: "same-gender activity" quite clearly does not refer exclusively to sexual activity, promiscuity, or lifetime partnership.

Options for gay people (or "those who experience primarily or exclusively same-sex attraction") in the Church, according to Oaks:
  1. marry someone of the opposite sex if you have your behavior under control and same-sex attractions in the background and find someone of the opposite sex to whom you're attracted enough to raise a family with him or her,
  2. stay single your whole life, never dating or experiencing even romantic, non-sexual intimacy, and hope to be married after this life in order to experience "fullness of joy",
  3. choose "sorrow and grief and the loss of eternal opportunities" by having any kind of romantic partnership with another member of the same sex.

This does not jibe, as I see it, with insistence on the part of some that the LDS Church is warming up to committed same-sex partnership at least as a "for time only" (as opposed to "for time and all eternity") option. Honestly, while not everyone is quite so explicitly proscriptive as Oaks, I know of no member of the quorum of the twelve, nor any seventy, making statements otherwise. Some members may be, but I just don't see any acceptance of even non-sexual same-sex dating anywhere in any statements, official, informal, or otherwise, from any of the church's leadership at any level above an occasional stake presidency.

I don't want to go so far as to say, to those who believe the church is on the brink of a 1978-style declaration, that you're fooling yourselves, but...I think there's a lot of wishful thinking among segments of the church's membership in this regard.