Elder oaks dating talk

The LDS church’s attention to social and ecclesiastical barriers for transgender people, however meager to date, also portends a potential change in its teachings on sex and gender essentialism.Transgender issues pose a significant theological challenge for Mormonism because of the official belief that: “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” Basically, Mormon teaching suggests that male and female identity is not just bodily but is an identity that applies to the soul both before it is born and in the next life after death.Of course, on You Tube and other websites there are other stories, many tragic, of transgender Mormons who have not had such supportive experiences.

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However, anyone considering surgery is warned that it may result in formal church discipline.Facing criticism from inside and outside the faith, the church has since attempted to change the tone of the discussion.In 2012, the church launched a website, which seeks to inform straight and gay members about the church’s stance on LGBT issues.Therefore, the perception of ambiguity of gender identity has important practical implications for participation in the faith.According to current church policy, members who have undergone an “elective transsexual operation” are not eligible to worship in gender-separated special temple rites or to receive the priesthood.A transgendered prospective member of the church may be baptized only with approval from the highest governing body in the church, but anyone even considering transition-related surgery is barred from joining the faith.There is no policy on transitioning in ways that don’t involve surgery, such as hormone therapies, “cross dressing,” or other means of living out one’s gender.Iain Stanford, a trans man preparing to enter the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, recognized some of the difficulties in the conversations the LDS church is just beginning.Churches, he explains, “have to become familiar and go through a learning process.” Ultimately, he is optimistic about how these conversations can develop, and encourages people “to quell their fears of difference and embrace the unfamiliar and trust that if they are doing this in the context of church and God that it will lead ultimately to transforming everyone.” Some of the challenges that religious groups face include fostering welcoming and safe spaces, by, for example, learning the basic etiquette of talking to transgender people.Numerous independent organizations and online forums for dealing with faith and trans issues have emerged in the past few decades, while other more traditional gay and lesbian faith organizations have increasingly taken steps to support transgendered members.Some churches are already far along in these conversations.


  1. Quotes from LDS leaders about dating. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Dating Versus. “A young man wanting to ask a woman on a date should talk on the phone instead.

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