Initially, my reaction was shock, disappointment, and emotional conflict about the decision. I thought to myself, "Surely this was coming, but I didn't expect it this soon! Why now, when I'm not in a good place with my same-sex attraction as it is?!" You see, lately I'd been conflicted to a great degree about getting a boyfriend, potentially marrying and settling down with a man, and so forth. For some reason, it felt right and greatly appealed to me. I was sick of going to male friends for support, encouragement, and emotional fulfillment. This way, I thought, would be an easy way to get all my needs met at a "small" sacrifice of not doing precisely what my Heavenly Father would have me do. To make matters even worse, beyond being tempted emotionally with my attractions, Satan was strongly tempting me sexually and trying to convince me it was what I wanted. To say the least, my emotions were running wild and free, without me being able to restrain and channel them as I'd successfully done in the past. Then, along came an announcement on Facebook saying the Supreme Court had decided to legalize same-sex marriage, making my already overwhelming situation completely suffocating now. Here was my chance - the perfect opportunity to meet anyone from anywhere, date, get in a relationship, and then get married at some point. I was about ready to go outside somewhere and scream.
For LDS people, though, I want to briefly share something from a talk by Elder Oaks called, "Judge Not and Judging", simply to illustrate how many of the statements made on any social media websites are wrong and fully prohibited by these principles. Here they are:
1. First, a righteous judgment must, by definition, be intermediate. It will refrain from declaring that a person has been assured of exaltation or from dismissing a person as being irrevocably bound for hellfire. It will refrain from declaring that a person has forfeited all opportunity for exaltation or even all opportunity for a useful role in the work of the Lord.
2. Second, a righteous judgment will be guided by the Spirit of the Lord, not by anger, revenge, jealousy, or self-interest.
3. Third, to be righteous, an intermediate judgment must be within our stewardship. We should not presume to exercise and act upon judgments that are outside our personal responsibilities.
4. Fourth, we should, if possible, refrain from judging until we have adequate knowledge of the facts.
5. A fifth principle of a righteous intermediate judgment is that whenever possible we will refrain from judging people and only judge situations. This is essential whenever we attempt to act upon different standards than others with whom we must associate—at home, at work, or in the community. We can set and act upon high standards for ourselves or our homes without condemning those who do otherwise.
6. Sixth, forgiveness is a companion principle to the commandment that in final judgments we judge not and in intermediate judgments we judge righteously.
7. Seventh, a final ingredient or principle of a righteous judgment is that it will apply righteous standards. If we apply unrighteous standards, our judgment will be unrighteous. By falling short of righteous standards, we place ourselves in jeopardy of being judged by incorrect or unrighteous standards ourselves.
As a companion statement to this, Elder Oaks also stated, "Our doctrines obviously condemn those who engage in so-called “gay bashing”—physical or verbal attacks on persons thought to be involved in homosexual or lesbian behavior." (Same-Gender Attraction, October 1995 Ensign)
Therefore, I am urging members of the LDS Church to engage in righteous judgment and love people. This is a test of our faith and ability to show charity by the Spirit of God. It may hurt when others, especially those we love, engage in an openly gay lifestyle. I understand that, because I've been there and honestly am still there. However, we must remember the example of our perfect Savior, Jesus Christ. I simply cannot see our Lord attacking the LGBT community in any shape or form. I can see Him reproving people for unrighteous behavior, but only because that is His right to do so as the son of God. That being said, I can picture Jesus personally talking face-to-face with such individuals, having personal and friendly conversations. I can see Jesus embracing such people and telling them of His deep, eternal love for them as His children. And why? Because that is what gay people are- children of our Heavenly Father who chose to follow His plan in the premortal existence. They are here just as we are, and the least we can do is show the same love that our Savior would, so that by this men shall we know we are His disciples (John 13:34-35). Brothers and sisters, is there enough evidence to convict us of being Christian, to show we are followers of Christ? I hope there will be, especially in places where the whole world can see. I have confidence we will show everyone who we are. Love you guys!