Thursday, September 11, 2008

Long absence and three degrees of glory

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I have been so busy with school and everything that I just haven't had the time I need. Plus, I've been busy with other things, which is the reason I'm writing again.

Helen (Jill's real name) and I have had a series of arguments lately. At first, things went really great, but then right after school started, she and I were have a very deep discussion about Mormon doctrine. Helen had a brother who was gay - I say "was" because he died a year ago. When she told me this, I didn't know what to think, but since I really liked her, I tried to be as sympathetic as possible. Well, we were talking about death and stuff (my dad has cancer, so it came up) and we started talking about how great even the telestial kingdom is. Well, in the middle of this conversation, she asked this questions: "Do you believe that we can progress from one kingdom to the next?"

I was astonished that she could even think that! I mean, I have always been taught that once you get to your kingdom, that is the final desitination. After a brief pause where I collected my thoughts, I was quick to tell her that, of course you can't! But she insisted on "exploring" if it could be the case or not. Well, I don't know about her, but I for one cannot go against what the brethren have said.

We are still dating, although not as frequently. She is the most beautiful woman I've ever met, but it's sometimes hard to think of marrying someone who is so different from me (don't worry, we've already talked about this).

Oh, and good news: my friend Bridger will soon be posting on this site, too. He really likes the idea of this blog and wants to contribute. Who knows, maybe even Helen will one day be a contributor.


ldsphilosopher said...

I would be very careful on this one. There have been apostles who have believed both ways. The official Doctrine and Covenants student manuel, published by the church, presents quotes that say it both ways, and concludes that the question is unanswerable given present revelation.

If official church literature concludes that the question can't be answered with our present knowledge, I would be careful drawing conclusions ourselves.

I, for one, agree with you. But I can't really claim that the evidence is incontrovertible.

Nathan said...

Hey Dave, that's an interesting situation. I've had conversations like that before, with friends who were pretty well-versed in the gospel, and we were surprised when we had different takes on a question. It usually turns out fine. I don't think there's anything wrong with her wanting to "explore" the question. To me, that's just synonymous with being thorough, as long as the place she's looking for answers consists of the words of the prophets (and I'd give her the benefit of the doubt).

As I understand it, the previous poster is right: that doctrinal question may not be a settled issue. The further you get into religion classes and seminary teaching, once in a while you'll find an issue that's genuinely unanswerable, with quotes leaning both ways. I hope you're not thinking of ending the relationship over one conversation like that. It might be the kind of thing that you just put on the shelf for the moment.

And by the way, I have several friends who've struggled with same-sex attraction. I've got a few really good LDS articles about if, it you want to email me.

ldsphilosopher said...

On a further note, though, I must confess (to my frustration) that I can no longer find the passage I referred to. So I can't give my comment the weight of any authority until I can find it again.

Bridger C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bridger C said...

Wow! I wish I were an LDS philosopher. What's it take to call yourself that? Dag yo!

David K. said...

Nathan: well, actually, she and I are still dating. I did some thinking and I'm willing to overlook some things. We avoid some topics, but who knows, they may come up later. She's an amazing girl, so I can't give her up that easily.

I think I would be interested in those articles. It might help me appreciate Helen's brother more.

Nathan said...

This is my favorite one. It's by an LDS psychotherapist who's worked with hundreds of people struggling with SSA (same-sex attraction). He's noticed some patterns, and he shares some ideas about how it starts:

This one is an interview with Dallin H. Oaks and Lance Wickman (a Seventy). It covers a little of everything, including what the Lord requires family members to do if someone gets involved in a homosexual lifestyle:

This last one lists more resources, like Dean Byrd's articles, and some more Ensign articles: