Not mormon beliefs on dating that interrupt you

ated: May 2, Reader-Approved References. Don't worry if you're unsure about how to date someone who grows up in the Mormon faith. Having questions about someone's religion and beliefs is completely normal. However, it is important that you take the time to learn about the associated rules and guidelines when it comes to dating. By learning these guidelines and keeping an open mind, you'll be closer to having a meaningful relationship with the person you're dating.

When getting serious with one person, you obviously become more physically comfortable, which can make it more difficult to keep certain higher standards. Though it can work out, youth leaders and most parents encourage teenagers to avoid dating seriously because it is generally the best and easiest way to uphold your standards. In the For Strength of Youth pamphlet it states:.

Date only those who have high standards and in whose company you can maintain your standards. Some Mormons choose only to date other Mormons because they know that their standards and understood, but that is a personal choice and not one set by the Church.

In the For Strength of Youth pamphlet it states: Date only those who have high standards and in whose company you can maintain your standards. Search for:. Let me make the following points regarding the Savior's reply. Who were these people? Sadducees were a rather worldly group that denied the resurrection and generally rejected Christ.

They aren't likely to be in the kingdom of heaven, so their marriages on earth are irrelevant. Yet, most Christians believe that this verse means that nobody is married in heaven. That is wrong - and fact made even more clear by the next point below. I believe it is this implication that perhaps led Joseph Smith to inquire of God about the meaning of this passage.

Joseph left two records about what he learned by revelation in answer to his question. The first is a summary statement about the story, which comes from the minutes of a meeting where he told a questioner that he learned that a man must marry for eternity or else he would be single in heaven.

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The most pertinent verses are 7, Verse 7 explains that for a marriage to be eternal it must meet four conditions which are: 1 it must be made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

Now verses explain that the reason the woman and her seven husband were not married eternally is because they did not meet these four requirements. Verses make clear the distinction between being eternally married and being an angel. They read:. If the story in Matt.

Temple marriage, like baptism, is an ordinance of change and covenant making that must occur prior to entering into heaven. They are ordinances intended for mortals to prepare them for the endless state of Eternal Life in God's presence by bringing mortals into unchanging, eternal covenants.

Christ did not say that the married state does not exist, nor that husbands and wives will not be sealed in the heavens, but he said that marriages aren't performed in heaven. Neither baptism nor marriage is performed in heaven, but must be done on earth.

Temple marriage is also called "sealing" since a husband and wife are sealed together. It is an ordinance that can only be done on earth, like baptism, but if done with proper authority and if the terms of that covenant are fulfilled, then the sealing will be valid in the heavens and the husband and wife will be heirs together of the grace of life 1 Pet.

Thus, in a generic sense, Christ explained that after we are resurrected, there would be no confusion about relationships because marriages aren't performed there. Marriage, baptism, and some other covenants are handled on earth, either by the living themselves or by the living vicariously for the deceased, and sources of confusion will need to be ironed out and resolved with God's help before we enter into Eternal Life in His presence.

In Matt. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them in the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Adam and Eve, before they fell, were immortal and were joined by God.

There is no indication that God said "until death do you part" in joining them. They were married in an immortal state and were intended to remain joined together. Those who have experienced the rich joy of true love between a husband and wife - as I have - should marvel that God would want it any other way.

Marriage is one of the greatest and most divine gifts - a gift that is not eradicated in the resurrection. The world has lost this knowledge, but I'm grateful for the Restoration of the fullness of the Gospel and for the restoration of the Temple, where such sacred ordinances are performed.

There are indications of eternal marriage and eternal families in the Bible. One of the earliest comes from Job. At the end, Job is blessed with double of all the things he had lost JobWe are then given a lost of these things, and indeed we see that he was blessed with double the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and asses.

But "he had also seven sons and three daughters" Jobthe same number be had before his trial Job The implication is that he still had the original children, consistent with the LDS view that families can be eternal. Another suggestion of eternal marriage comes from the word of Christ about the sealing power he gave to Peter Matt.

And of marriage, Christ said "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" Matt. Also, in the Lord possibly meaning in heaven or in the eternitiesthe man is not without the woman and vice versa, according to 1 Cor. The Bible is admittedly incomplete in its teachings of eternal marriage, as it is for many doctrines and practices had by early Christians, including baptism for the dead 1 Cor.

But that doesn't mean that these concepts were not taught clearly by the Lord. Christ taught his apostles for 40 days after His resurrection, and we hardly have a word recorded of what He taught. John says his record just scratches the surface of all that Christ did and taught John And we have abundant evidence that there were books of scripture treasured by the ancients that are no longer available see my LDSFAQ page about the Bible.

How do you know that eternal marriage was not known and taught? It's existence is not obvious in the current canon of books that were written and preserved, but there are evidences from early Christian sources that eternal marriage was known. See Mormonism and Early Christianity archive an excellent site by Barry Bickmore, for more information.

Not all do, but it's definitely best to marry within the Church. It makes life simpler the more you have in common. Further, from a religious perspective, we are commanded to marry within the faith. For example, Paul in 2 Corinthians urges believers not to be "unequally yoked" by marrying unbelievers. It really hinders progress. Verse 17 of that chapter says to "come out from among them" and "be ye separate" - warnings against adopting the ways of non-believers.

Likewise, Moses warned strictly against marrying outside the faith Deut. I can imagine many good reasons for this wise counsel. My recommendation: marry within the faith, and marry in the Temple of God. And to make sure that one marries within the faith, one really should date within the faith, for people tend to marry those they date.

Ending inthere was a nearly year period in which polygamy was sanctioned and encouraged by the Church. It is now strictly forbidden. The practice commenced in the same way it ended: under direction from a prophet of God. I don't know why the Lord commanded it, just as I don't know why there was polygamy among some of the greatest prophets of God in the Bible Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others. It is at odds with my cultural views and I'm grateful that it is no longer in force.

Adultery involves having sex with someone who is not your wife. Brigham Young and other past LDS polygamists were properly married to their wives - just the opposite of having extramarital relations. If having more than one wife is inherently sinful, then we also have to condemn the Bible which teaches that the old polygamist Abraham was a great and righteous prophet. Christ even spoke about God as being the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" - giving tribute to flagrant polygamists.

Polygamy is unacceptable unless the Lord authorizes, but it is not inherently sinful. After the Manifesto, the government eased up on the persecution of polygamists. It was generally understood that men would not be required to abandon their wives and families as the government had tried to make happen before.

Clemency came in several steps, with a fairly general clemency given to those who had not engaged in new plural marriages since Modesty is about respecting our bodies and not causing inappropriate attention to them. It is about not trying to tempt others to think inappropriate thoughts. Modest dress depends on the occasion, to a degree. What is modest at a beach might be immodest in a classroom.

As a minimum, modesty entails keeping our bodies properly covered. Modesty is important for both men and women. Speaking from the male perspective, I really appreciate women who dress modestly. Immodest dress is selfish, calling undue attention to one's body, and it makes life a little harder for the males out there that really want to keep their thoughts clean. Of course, what guys think is their responsibility, not yours. What about the details? Call me old-fashioned, but I recommend knee-length dresses, high necklines, and avoidance of tight-fitting clothes.

I also recommend keeping the midriff covered. As for sleeveless dresses, I personally discourage them. Sometimes women don't realize the problems that some types of clothing can cause.

I vote against sleeveless dresses and recommend a little thought when selecting attire. If that's offensive, I'm sorry. As for details that the Church teaches it's members, you may wish to consider the Church's booklet that it gives to young people and their parents, For the Strength of the Youth.

The "Dress and Appearance" section states the following:. The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" 1 Corinthians Your body is God's sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside.

Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you. Never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient.

Aug 09,   A Mormon's guide to dating 'It is hard to be a Mormon here if you don't drink or if you don't do drugs, but it is especially hard to live in New York City if you don't have sex' Elna BakerAuthor: Elna Baker.

Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners.

Ask yourself, "Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence?

I'm dating a Mormon. Will others look down on me? Here's an example of a common question for people of other faiths dating Mormons: I've been dating a guy who is Mormon for around 3 months now. He's the greatest person I've ever met and I can see myself spending the rest of my life with him. The only problem is that I was raised in another church. Mormon teenagers are instructed not to date until they are at least 16 years old, and then are encouraged to avoid dating the same person too seriously. Though most Mormon youth follow the "no dating until 16" rule pretty firmly, specific dating rules vary somewhat based on the individual and their family rules. Mormon marriage is intended to be eternal, conditioned upon the kept covenants of each participating spouse. God has a perfect plan in place for imperfect people. He offers His grace, power, blessing, Hand on a marriage where couples promise and strive, however imperfectly, to live His laws which bring the greatest happiness and peace, through.

Someday you will receive your endowment in the temple. Your dress and behavior should help you prepare for that sacred time. Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. If girls or women desire to have their ears pierced, they are encouraged to wear only one pair of modest earrings.

Show respect for the Lord and for yourself by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities, whether on Sunday or during the week. If you are not sure what is appropriate, ask your parents or leaders for help. Modest dress serves as a physical and spiritual guard against immoral behavior and its inherent physical, emotional, and spiritual harm.

Because modesty in dress cannot be reduced to a matter of particular styles, individuals are encouraged to use discretion to determine appropriate dress in varying situations. While we do have general standards, we must not get judgmental about those who seem immodestly dressed.

Mormon Girls and The Dating Rules

They usually don't understand our perspective. When I was in high school, a very nice non-LDS girl I associated with came to school with a deep, plunging neckline that embarrassed a number of us guys. One of my LDS guy friends talked with her privately and talked about guys and hormones and the problems that women can inadvertently cause.

She was surprised and started carrying her notebooks in front of her chest, and never wore that dress again. Well, sometimes our youth need a helpful reminder of that sort - but it should be done privately and with sensitivity. One Church leader, expressing his personal opinions on the matter at a local youth conference in my town, talked about the strike zone in baseball - from knees to shoulders - and said that we shouldn't throw strikes against those we date, explaining that we should not touch others in this strike zone.

I found that helpful, though I don't think he really meant that one can't put one's arms around someone's waist or give someone a hug. We encourage our youth not to get too serious too early e. Anything that stirs passions or sexual thoughts should be avoided.

Mormon Marriages - Made Simple

Being all alone late at night is just not a good idea, in my opinion. I recommend getting home early, staying out of parked cars try the 2.

Hand-holding and brief, non-passionate kisses are O. And touching someone else in the "strike zone" - especially in private areas you know, the places you need to keep covered with a swimming suit at a "decent" pool or beach - is wrong. Touching that stimulates sexual excitement often called "petting" is wrong. Dating is about getting to know other people and eventually about finding someone that you can grow close enough to that successful marriage is a possibility.

Developing that kind of relationship requires growth through communication, thoughtfulness, understanding, maturity, sacrifice, and tenderness. Growth in these areas prepares a couple to enter into the covenant of marriage and add the dimension of physical intimacy to what should by then be a deep and growing relationship.

Sadly, many couples in this world quickly jump ahead to a sexual relationship without building the foundation that is needed for a successful relationship. They bypass the growth that is needed and base their relationship on shallow physical attraction.

10 Crazy Little-Known Rules Of Mormon Life

It often becomes a house of cards that collapses into divorce or adultery or abuse or sorrow. The dimension of physical intimacy should only be added to a relationship after the couple has been legally married.

Marriage is a covenant that the Lord has given. Sex outside of marriage is morally wrong. Even for purely social reasons, the risk that a woman takes in uniting with a man and possibly bearing children requires some legal recognition and protection, lest women be exploited this still happens all too often as it is.

But the Lord's perspective makes it especially important the sex be only within marriage, as emphasized in the LDS Proclamation on the Family. For Latter-day Saints, the ultimate goal of dating is to find a spouse that can take you to the Temple to receive the blessings of eternal marriage - marriage that is not just "till death do you part," but one that can last eternally.

This sacred blessing requires that the couple be living the Gospel and be worthy to enter into the Temple. Sexual activity prior to marriage makes a couple unworthy to enter the Temple. Repentance of such sins can take quite a while and is not a trivial thing.

I urge you to remain morally clean and do things the way the Lord has specified, waiting until marriage to enjoy the blessings of physical intimacy.

Even from a purely secular perspective, sexual intimacy or living together before marriage is still harmful - especially to the woman - as she is being "taken advantage of" without the legal protection of marriage. Sexuality without commitment has proven to be harmful to the parties involved, with millennia of social evidence to confirm that. Marriage as a social institution is their to protect the woman and society from the abundant harms of sexuality without commitment.

Back to the LDS perspective, we are grateful that a loving Heavenly Father has told us how to live to be happy, and sexual morality is at the heart of that. Sounds terribly old-fashioned - of course it is - but that doesn't take away the truth of the matter. Physical intimacy outside of marriage is wrong, unjust, and unkind. It's taking advantage of another person's body for our own benefit, and even if they are willing, there is spiritual, social, and sometimes even physical harm done to both parties.

Keep the commandments of God to have a decent life! The consequences of sin and real, and, with the help of statistical analysis, sometimes even measurable. There is genuine harm done to the participants of sexual immorality, such as a greatly increased tendency toward depression or suicide. It's wrong. Stay away from it. It is sexual activity outside of marriage. And quite unlike legitimate sexual activity, it is not a form of expressing love to a spouse or strengthening a relationship with that spouse, but is an activity that is based entirely on self and selfishness.

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For those that fall into this sin, it can hinder healthy and normal sexual development in marriage, hinder one's self-control and ability to sacrifice for others, and hinder one's spiritual relationship with Heavenly Father.

Many men that become involved with the great evil of pornography also become involved with masturbation, leading to patterns of behavior that are most unhealthy and destructive. The sexual misinformation of pornography can destroy a sexual relationship in marriage, and the additional sin of masturbation and its inward, selfish focus only exacerbates the problem.

The early apostles and prophets mention numerous sins that were reprehensible to them. Many of them were sexual sins - adultery, being without natural affection, lustfulness, infidelity, incontinence, filthy communications, impurity, inordinate affection, fornication.

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They included all sexual relations outside of marriage - petting, sex perversion, masturbation, and preoccupation with sex in one's thoughts and talking. Included are every hidden and secret sin and all unholy and impure thoughts and practices. For our lives to have the greatest joy possible, we need to be in control of our bodies and yield to the Spirit of God. Conquering all sins of the flesh should be our zealous goal as we strive to follow Christ.

I'm in favor of it. But if you're talking about kissing people you date, be cautious in how you use this form of affection.

Mormon beliefs on dating

Don't throw kisses around - treat them as something valuable to be used with discretion. And keep them short! Under a second or two could be a useful rule, I suppose. Long, passionate kissing definitely should be avoided. And French kissing is out-it's purpose is to be passionate and suggestive, not to express pure affection plus, the stuff with the tongues just seems tacky, in my opinion.

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All of us can communicate loud and clear without using words. In fact, as the old saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words. If you put your arm around someone on a date, what are you saying without using words? How about, "I like you. What if you hold hands with your date? That's a notch or two higher, isn't it? Maybe that's like saying, "I really like you.

What are you saying? What do kisses mean, anyway? My seminary teacher tried to explain that to a bunch of us sixteen-year-olds one day. He said Generally speaking, when a girl is being kissed, she may be thinking, 'Oh.

I'd like to do this again very soon. Can you see the potential for problems? Different people interpret kisses differently. Can you see how easily a miscommunication or a misunderstanding can happen? We communicate loud and clear with our actions, and if we're not careful, we could be telling lies! Listen to Elder Marvin J. A lie can be effectively communicated without words ever being spoken.

You mean, you can be dishonest by kissing someone? If putting your arm around someone means "I like you," and holding hands means "I really like you," than maybe kisses mean "I love you. Some will say, "I don't know about that; I don't think kisses mean I love you. That makes the point even better. Maybe kisses mean something different to you than they do to me, or to him, or her. And that's exactly why we have to be careful - because we could be telling lies with our actions. This is a major reason why people get hurt, and why there's heartache.

Mormon beliefs dating. Com compiled a christian begins seeing an lds dating a woman. Are knocking on religious beliefs and refuse pre-marital sex on doors, political ideology, wouldn't his. Your love life, trying to date and misconceptions about mormons have fun. Another co-worker took it would cause my religious beliefs and values, including. Mar 31,   Mormon Girls and The Dating Rules. Mormon Girls and The Rules. Why should Mormon Girls follow The Rules? Because it allows them to keep their dignity. And in a world of juvenile group dates where adult couples chase each other through grocery stores, and girls spend every last penny they have to throw a party just to talk to a guy who shows. Jan 21,   The Mormon Beliefs and Practices on Dating and Marriage A quick summary of the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about dating and marriage as well as the church's practices on them. People are wondering if "happy ever afters" really exist. Some of us have bitterness in our hearts The Mormon Beliefs and Practices on Dating and Marriage Read More.

Kisses are wonderful, but they are powerful and should be handled with great care. I read about a young man who bragged that he had kissed more girls in one day than anyone else in his stake.

He felt he had set a "record. I wonder how the girls felt about this. At the time they may have thought, "Wow. This boy really cares for me. Did they realize that each girl he kissed was only a notch on the way to his "goal"?

Do you think it would have hurt their feelings to know that? President Thomas S. Monson said, "Men, take care not to make women weep, for God counts their tears. What has happened to kissing?

Doesn't it mean anything anymore? Listen to President Spencer W. Kissing has been prostituted and has degenerated to develop and express lust instead of affection, honor, and admiration. To kiss in casual dating is asking for trouble. What do kisses mean when given out like pretzels, and robbed of sacredness?

Finally, the answer from a prophet: Kisses are sacred, and are meant to express affection, honor, and admiration. In contrast, if you give out your kisses like free samples at the grocery store, what are they worth?

About the same as free samples at the grocery store! One of my friends had an interesting experience at a wedding reception. The bride pulled her aside and said, "Do you know what I regret? I asked my husband, 'How many girls have you kissed? I think three. This bride was embarrassed, because she had given out kisses like pretzels. When you go to your wedding, you don't want regrets to go with you.

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You just want bridesmaids and flowers and cake and a clean, worthy young man or young woman who stuck to his or her standards, as you did. In short: Save your kisses; you may need them one day. Look forward to that wedding day, and plan for it.

How do you want to feel as you kneel at the altar? How do you want to feel about your past when you're looking into the eyes of your new husband or wife? Well, you can make it happen just the way you want if you plan it now! In describing moral transgressions, the words that adults use sometimes confuse youth. When I was 16, I remember a Church leader talking to a number of the young men and telling us not to neck or pet when we went on dates. I nodded my head, and then went home to look up "petting" in the dictionary.

It said something about affectionate fondling. Then I looked up "fondling" and read something about touching. Then I wondered if that included hand holding or putting my arm around a girl. I think I figured out that it must mean touching certain places other than hands or shoulders, but I was confused.

Petting is a formal word that refers to touching of private areas, particularly breasts or genitals in the latter case, it's often called "heavy petting". Necking, another word that confuses some youth, refers to heavy kissing, passionate kissing, or "making out. Here are the words of President Spencer W. Kimball on the topic, taken from The Teachings of Spencer W.


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Instead of remaining in the field of simple expressions of affection, some have turned themselves loose to fondling, often called "necking," with its intimate contacts and its passionate kissing. Necking is the younger member of this unholy family. Its bigger sister is called "petting. Too often, young people dismiss their petting with a shrug of their shoulders as a little indiscretion, while admitting that fornication is a base transgression. Too many of them are shocked, or feign to be, when told that what they have done in the name of petting was in reality fornication.

The dividing line is a thin, blurry one The devil knows how to destroy our young girls and boys. He may not be able to tempt a person to murder or to commit adultery immediately, but he knows that if he can get a boy and a girl to sit in the car late enough after the dance, or to park long enough in the dark at the end of the lane, the best boy and the best girl will finally succumb and fall.

He knows that all have a limit to their resistance Almost like twins, "petting"-and especially "heavy petting"-and fornication are alike. Also like twins, the one precedes the other, but most of the same characteristics are there. The same passions are aroused and, with but slight difference, similar body contacts are made. And from it are likely to come the same frustrations, sorrows, anguish, and remorse. The Church's position, as highlighted there, is this:.

The Church still teaches the ancient principle that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God" and that those with homosexual inclinations can be full participants in the Church, provided that they do not act on those inclinations in ways that violate LDS standards no sex outside of marriage.

See President Gordon B. Our views on the importance of gender and the divinely appointed institution of marriage between a man and a woman are also affirmed in the LDS Proclamation on the Family. This is a difficult and sensitive topic, but the Church appears to be growing in appreciating the challenges faced by those who are gay or, more broadly, who experience same-sex attraction to different degrees.

Regarding the difficult issue of same-sex marriage, for those who are wondering about possible reasons for the Church's position, I would suggest considering some of the relevant social issues as discussed by a non-LDS advocate of traditional marriage in the article " Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It " by Ryan Anderson Directly download the report on marriage here.

Max Wilson. That document may be helpful in understanding the LDS position and the approach of the Church. The scriptural principles of sexual morality teach that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. This is a complex and sensitive issue and one can easily disagree with those teachings.

However, the LDS position is not based on hate. Being opposed to smoking does not make one hateful toward smokers, though some anti-smoking fanatics can be hateful and angry. Likewise, many ministers can strongly oppose alcoholism or other forms of alcohol use or alcohol abuse, yet can and should feel no hate for alcoholics. They are our brothers and sisters struggling with a heavy burden. Indeed, for a minister to condone alcohol abuse as just another lifestyle would be a grave disservice to his flock and to alcoholics in particular.

Compassion is needed, for many alcoholics suffer greatly and feel that they have little choice in the matter. Ultimately, though, all of us can gain self-control over our bodies with the help of God. Fortunately, Christ does more than simply define what is right and wrong.

Christ offers the power to change. His love leads to newness of life as we follow Him, empowered by His grace. As sons and daughters of God, we are happiest and most free when we follow Him, even when great personal sacrifices are required along that truly straight and narrow path. Those are oriented toward homosexuality face complex challenges that demand sensitivity and kindness. What may seem like an easy answer-"don't have sexual relations outside of legal, traditional marriage"-may be a far more challenging and painful burden than most of us can possibly realize.

While we may lack answers, especially easy answers, we can recognize the need to be understanding and compassionate. Here are some related readings that may help clarify why loving Christians may justly oppose same-sex marriage, for example, without being motivated by bigotry or hate:.

Having same-sex attraction is not a sin. It's a challenge that we can cope with, though it can be difficult and painful. But it is possible to live the Gospel and find great joy in the Gospel regardless of our attractions.

The experience of Ty Mansfield, a gay Mormon, may be of value to you in understanding this issue. At the FairMormon Conference, held Aug. So much of the controversy happens around unexamined premises and conclusions drawn, often simply accepted without any real critical thought at all.

Once we can understand how these have harmed our understanding, we can then move to a better place to articulate a reasonable response to those who question or criticize the Church's teachings. The popular cultural myths that either people are "born gay" or that they chose to be homosexual or that their homosexuality is caused by parental nurturing or lack thereof are all reductionistic and cannot explain much, if anything, about the development of sexuality and sexual desire.

It's interesting to me that our popular and media culture seems to be so sure about something that science and the academy are not. The American Psychological Association's official pamphlet addressing sexual orientation concedes this point, noting that ultimately, "There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation.

Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.

Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles.

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He also addresses issues of identity and the shackles my term that we can impose on ourselves or others with terminology that pigeonholes people into an "identity" based on the attractions they feel.

As noted above, the Church has shown increased awareness of the unique challenges and pain that may be experienced by those with same-sex attraction, and is reaching out to help. However, ultimately they key to success in one's faith will depend on turning to God and the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to give us strength to cope with our challenges and to choose Christ above all. It's the combination of God's love and our willingness to choose Him that can propel us past all the burdens and challenges in our way.

Never an easy journey, but truly worth it. Background: Below are excerpts from e-mail to me by an offended former boyfriend of an LDS girl. Before he broke up with this girl, he had already sent me antagonistic e-mail condemning Mormons as an evil cult and indicating that he was going to gradually introduce his views to his girlfriend to wake her up. You know, sort of the wolf in sheep's clothing approach my spin on the matter. Summarizing his multiple messages to me, his two-month relationship with his new girlfriend quickly went sour because she would not accept his arguments that LDS religion is evil.

He tried to help her by attacking her faith with standard anti-Mormon arguments, and guess what? She wasn't impressed. She wouldn't leave the Church, and he wouldn't leave his anti-Mormon mindset. So, surprise! She dropped him. Based on the nasty tone of messages I got from him, I can understand that she didn't want to put up with this guy - but he ascribes her reaction to Satan and the evil influence of the Church.

Here are selected excerpts:. I fell deeply in love with [a Mormon woman]. I even went with her to her LDS ward one Sunday not long ago because I felt a responsibility to show her I was open minded Jeff, the Mormon people are good people. They may have the best values, morals and outlook on physical living of any people I know. Even the pastor at my church said so If everyone lived as Mormons physically do the world would indeed be a better place.

The Mormons won the battle. Joseph Smith and all his followers have raised their flag of victory over me. You see, although [my girlfriend] and I spent two of the most beautiful, precious months of our young lives together, once she saw that I was rock solid in my faith and that I would not convert she suddenly lost interest in our relationship.

It was at that point just last week that I knew it was time for me to witness to her concerning the truth that is our mighty and loving God. Her response has led me to believe that I have seen Satan in his highest and most terrible form. She left an angry message on my answering machine, telling me not to contact her again and to leave my vehicle unlocked so that she could return every single thing I had given to her She interpreted my sharing the true gospel of Christ as sheer and utter hate for her and her church.

And now I've lost her. As I said before, I obviously didn't know what I was dealing with. What kind of church would evoke such hatred from such a gentle human being? I would have given her the love and respect that such a beautiful, special woman warrants.

And i never got the chance because of the cruel, blasphemous lie that is Mormonism. Please - it's unfair to blame the Church for the very human reactions that occur when an emotional relationship breaks up. Maybe this is the first time you've been jilted by someone, but those are pretty normal female reactions to some males, anyway, when things go awry.

Especially when those males insult that which is sacred to them. And based on the anti-Mormon insults I've read from you before you broke up, it's very easy to understand why she would be upset with whatever you told her. And look, it's hard for those in any religion to change or abandon it when they are deeply committed to it. Haven't you ever noticed the conflicts that arise when faithful Catholics date faithful evangelical Protestants, or Jews date Protestants?

When the relationship doesn't work out, do we accuse the religion and call it anti-Christian because we didn't get our way? Come on - be respectful of other people's beliefs.

Your few words to me show strong bigotry and antagonism - of course a faithful person of another religion is going to have a problem with that. Before you set foot in the Church, you had preconceptions of major evil - preconceptions based on fear and ignorance - and these preconceptions clearly flavored your emotional response. What was there that was evil? Didn't the Savior say by their fruits you shall know them? And you've already pointed out how exceptional those fruits are.

Is the devil promoting high values, Christian service, love, strong families, and so forth, to trick people? When we go to the one Church with the most consistently praiseworthy fruits, do we suddenly find that Christ's test no longer applied? Ignore the fruits of the tree with the best fruits, for that's really Satan's horribly evil sham? It's Satan getting all those people to pray and serve and have happy families and stay away from drugs and immorality?

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