#23 Proper way of changing a true church is through spiritual means, not political activism

slc-templeI’m sure that there are quite a few gay Mormons – active, inactive or out of the church altogether – who wonder what if anything they can do to influence church policies and church leaders. I ended my previous post on the doctrine with a question how the principles preached by Church leaders are established and is there anything that rank-and-file members can do to initiate their establishment or change?

In other words, is it possible that we can do something, so that same-sex attraction is discussed more openly within the church and that gay relationships are tolerated or even accepted?

Well, before anything, let me say that the Mormon church is not a democratic, political organization, with primaries and platforms to vote upon. (I’m thankful to God for that!) Thus political activism that promotes gay issues and gay rights in order to influence church policies is not a proper way to go. Maybe that is a way to go for non-members, but if a member desires to undertake that route, it may not be a bad idea that he first withdraws from the church membership. And I’m not saying this in a judgmental way, it is just a reality of life.

Unsuspecting members caught off guard

Having said that, I also believe that there is a route for members to greatly influence the church as an organization, from the top to the bottom. The proper way is through righteousness, obedience and sacrifice. And that is exactly what many gay Mormons do. Their incredible faithfulness, I’m sure, is causing – as I write this – a great shift in the attitudes of both the church leadership and the church membership towards same-sex attraction and homosexuality.

One of the fruits of that influence is undoubtedly a new official church web site “Mormons and gays” which I discussed in one of my earlier posts. The web site came out seemingly out of the blue and it caught some of the unsuspecting straight, faithful members off guard. I know that the web site was in the making for quite some time, certainly for more than a year and half. It has been thoroughly contemplated and vetted by the brethren, and there is no doubt that it offers an official church stance on the matter.

Remaining true to Gospel ideals

The web site features not just interviews with the apostles, but offers time and space to ordinary members of the church, and – I suspect – also former members who chose to pursue a traditional gay lifestyle. I wrote word “suspect”, because there are no biographical information about those who participate in the interviews for the official church web site on gays.

All of those interviewed in some ways remained true to the Gospel ideals. Either through the full fellowship in the church or through choosing to live the life of persistence, long-suffering, life without malice towards anyone. That is obvious from their words. Some of them went through great life challenges. Their struggles haven’t remained unnoticed by God.

So, to conclude, influence over a true church cannot be exerted but through principles on which it is established. After all, the Gospel is a spiritual, and thus deeply individualistic, personal phenomenon. Political activism doesn’t have a place in changing spiritual things.

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