The Life of Bon: This much I know is true

Thursday, April 26, 2012

This much I know is true

Yesterday, a popular mormon blogger, CJane, wrote a most controversial post

She told of her love for her young women's leader, a love so great that she even kissed her on the cheek and then felt "shame" afterward.  Years later, CJane saw her leader again and recounted the conversation where the leader told CJane she was a lesbian.

"I had women relationships long before I met you," she told me. "I tried to be straight, I even married a man to prove it, but I couldn't do it. And now I won't go to heaven for this lifestyle, but at least I am honest with myself."

I will never forget her saying that, how she won't go to heaven for being honest.

I'll never believe it.

The post triggered a slew of comments, some praising CJane for her bravery at posting the story, while others questioned her understanding of Mormon doctrine. One lady even called the story "lesbian erotica." 

I was neither shocked by the story, nor disgusted.  Mostly I was softened.  As CJane said in her post, "compassion and retrospection replaces perplexity."
I am a Mormon.
I have great compassion and love for those with same-sex attraction.

Mormons believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and is santified by God.
I also believe that. 

Mormons believe that in order to attain the highest level of heaven, you must be married. 
Mormons believe happiness is centered around the family.
I also believe that.
Mormons believe in charity.  In kindness, in mercy, in love.  The thirteenth article of faith states "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
I also believe that.

Mormons believe in agency- the strongest gift God could possibly give us- the ability to make our own decisions, to live our own lives, to make mistakes, to learn, to hurt, to ache, to heal. 
I also believe that. 

I really believe that.

Of all of the doctrines of the church, this is the one I most love, am most grateful for.  God let us choose.  To not do so would be contrary to His entire plan of love and salvation.  We are free to live our own lives.

On a calm night in London last summer, one of Hubs' best friends (also a Mormon) said to him,
"Greg.  I need to tell you something.  I'm gay."

He explained that it wasn't something he chose, nor was it something he wanted for himself.  On the contrary, it was something he had tried to hide for years.  Tried to ignore, tried to suppress, tried to forget.  Now a grown man of thirty years old, he had first known he was gay at twelve.  Tired of being alone, tired of hiding who he was, he was ready for a whole new set of challenges.  It was time to come out.

I don't know why Hubs' friend has never been attracted to women.
I don't know how he can know that the Mormon church is true and also know that he is gay.
I don't know why some people are gay and some people are straight.
I don't know why God would say to love the opposite sex, but then not give everyone that attraction. .
I don't know why God would give this trial to some, while others will never know such struggle.

While I was tromping through the jungles of Argentina I learned something about God.  With one month left before I returned home, I was devastated when a man told us two days before his baptism that he couldn't do it.  He explained to us the great pressure from his Catholic family, his job that supported his family but didn't allow him to go to church on Sundays, his worries that he would make a commitment he could never keep.  As we left his house, heavy hearted and unsuccesful, the silent tears rolled down my face.  This man was making a decision that was limiting his happiness and I had failed to convince him that he could have something better in his life.

But I learned something that hot, sweaty afternoon on a dirt road in the middle of South America.  God doesn't hold everybody to the same standards.  Surely he didn't expect the same thing from me as he expected from this man.  He had given me the gospel, an education, money, a thriving country, a Mormon culture.  He had given this man none of that- only two Mormon missionaries.  And when that man couldn't leave every single thing in his life and follow two American strangers, I believe that God will still show mercy.

I believe God is the same with those who have same sex attraction.  He doesn't hold all of His children to the same strict rules, standards and judgments.  Every one of his children is so different, how could He possibly judge us all the same?  He knows our limits, our capabilities, our struggles, our triumphs.  And He will take care of them the way a father would, with love, with gentlessness, with mercy.

This much I know is true:

God is fair.
God is loving.
God is merciful.
God is kind.
God knows us.
God has a plan.
God is our Father.

And even if we don't have it all figured out down here, He does.

Students at BYU, a "Mormon University",
created this video.
Can you be gay and Mormon?


  1. I love this post, Bon. The New Testament is rife with stories that try to explain that God doesn't judge us all the same. The story about the talents - he gives some 10, some 5, and some 1...the story about the workers in the field that are called at different hours of the day...

    I think the most important thing that we need to do is just show love and kindness. God does not ask us to be judgmental or cruel. He asks us to love one another. If we all had Christ-like love, I believe that God would bless us with the knowledge of why some things are.

    Thank you for this. Miss you.

  2. Thank you for posting this! What a sweet, loving, accepting heart you have. I am sure that this little post on your little blog will make a difference. Wow. I love this.

  3. Very well said Bonnie. I sure love your blog! Thanks for writing!

  4. As I was reading this, I thought of the 'it gets better' videos. I strongly believe that God gives us nothing that we cannot handle, what choice spirits they must be to have to live with this temptation (not saying God gave it to them).

  5. I had so many mixed feelings while reading that girls article. I wish I could explain them. However, I LOVED your post. I agree with yours completely. He loves each of us the same no matter what. And that's what it is important.

  6. Thanks for sharing the link to that article. I'm not religious but I've found most religious people I know aren't very tolerant of alternate views or lifestyles. I love what you wrote here.

    PS I laughed on your about page when you talked about your outdated name- Susan is VERY outdated too & everyone I know with that name is about 30 years older than me!

  7. I love what it teaches about compassion and acceptance.

    This may be waaay off base for me to think, but I sometimes find a similarity in same-sex attraction and heterosexuals who never have the opportunity to marry in this life. All are asked to live the same standard without what their heart desires most. It's painful and heartbreaking - but possible.

  8. I hope that many non-lds people can read this and understand that the lds beliefs are not hate-ful or judgmental towards those who have homosexual feelings because the lds religion is not so. Some lds people may be, but it is because they do not truly understand the issue in accordance with the lds teachings. I believe that you be lds and still be homosexual if you do not live the "homosexual" livestyle and act on your feelings. It is just like a single women who is never able to marry will never be able to have sex with a man and follow the chastity commandments no matter her attraction or desire to do so. Nor can an unmarried man have sex with a woman if he wants to follow the chastity commandments. It works the same for homosexuals, they cannot have sex outside of marriage and follow the chastity commandments. They may have these feelings and it is hard, without a doubt one of the hardest temptations, but they don't need to act on it. If they choose to follow the lds teaching they can still ultimately reach their own personal salvation (it is called enduring til the end for a reason, it is going to be hard and you will have to endure this life) and then Jesus Christ will make up the rest through his atonement! His atonement is a beautiful thing.

  9. I love how powerful and open minded this post is. Thanks for sharing on a topic too many fear to touch.

  10. A brilliant post, I enjoyed every word and felt it was very thought provoking- I totally agree with so much that is said here and believe there would be a lot more love in the world if people were more accepting of each other.Rx

  11. I can't even imagine the struggle they through every day. My heart goes out to them. Good post.

  12. I looooove this! I wish more people had this understanding.

  13. Thank you, beautiful! Ahh such beautiful comments-you made my day!!!
    I definitely followed back!


  14. I sosososo love this. I am not a Mormon, and no matter how many of them I talk to, I know I won't become one. I was born and raised a Presbyterian and that is where my heart is. This post? Was INCREDIBLE. While obviously there are some beliefs I have that differ from yours, the underlying message is always the same. God is love, whether you are hetero- or homosexual.

  15. Awesome post! and I saw this video a few weeks ago, which I also love.

  16. what a beautiful thought provoking post

  17. I am not religious, but you had me through this whole post. It was beautifully written because it came from a place inside that was honest and sure of the things you believe. Bravo!

  18. this is a great post. I am not a particularly religious person, but I appreciate reading posts that enlighten me to other religions and viewpoints. I have read a lot of mormon posts that do have really strong feelings about homosexuality and how wrong it is, so it is nice for me to see another viewpoint of a faithful mormon that feels the other way.

    Thank you!!

  19. this post is absolutely incredible!! i chose the right post to read for the first time on your blog :) seriously amazing. you said everything so perfectly, so eloquently, and with so much love. i have a friend who struggles with homosexuality and every time i think of him and what he is going through i just want to cry. it's not fair and i cannot imagine the hardships he has to bear. but i know i still love him and support him and that's what God would want us to do. the judgment is not for us. so so beautiful!!

  20. Thank you for this post, it is a great way to explain God's view and the love he has for all of us.

  21. Thank you so much for this post, I absolutely love it and feel that it reflects the true views of the majority of LDS members

  22. Girl, this is an amazing POST. THERE are so many unbelievable controversies going around, and I wish the world could just be at peace, accept everyone, and live in righteousness. Someday, right? (:

    Amanda at:

  23. This was a beautiful post. I love how clearly you laid it all out. I am not mormon, but I am Christian, and I feel great compassion for these people who must struggle with their sexuality. But I also believe that God gave us our path to salvation, and anyone who accepts jesus truly into their hearts is loved and saved. I trust God to work out those complicated details on his own.

  24. I came over here from Aunie Sauce.

    I agree, I do believe gay marriage is wrong. I believe the same-sex attraction is a result of the fall when Adam and Eve sinned.

    But, I disagree with your statement that God does not hold us all to the same standard. Romans 3:23 says, "For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." God holds us to the same standard, but He knows we are incapable of attaining it ourselves. He sent Jesus to die on the cross and rise on the third day so that we can become Christians, be forgiven by the grace of God, and be sanctified throughout our lives. That sanctification will not make us perfect on earth, but it will grow us and make us more like Christ.


    1. I agree. It's not that he doesn't hold us all to the same standards, but it is that we are ALL going to fail to meet those standards. We are all imperfect, except Jesus. That's why we need Him. Since we have no way of knowing what it's like to be someone else, we shouldn't judge. That's for God to do. (Despite the fact that we all do in fact, judge because.... we aren't perfect.) :)
      Way to have the guts to write about this, Bonnie!

  25. Seriously woman, I have been commenting your old posts like crazy today, but this is amazing. I was just talking to my husband about this the other day, and I couldn't quite figure out how to put it into words. You did is so perfectly, it's like you read my mind.