Sunday21

How do I behave towards a gay colleague at work?

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A lady that I visit teach (we really need a good term for this! You UK and Aussie people, could you please work on this?). 

Anyway, this lady asked me how she should behave towards gay people at work. I was like 'How about a hug?' She was like 'No I need to show disapproval'. I was like, 'Do you show disapproval towards everyone who makes different lifestyle choices than yourself? What about a coworker who is living in sin? Do you pass them files but make sure that your hands never touch because they are unclean?'

But she felt that she needed to indicate thar she loved the sinner but disapproved of the sin. Interestingly, this woman is a lovely warm person who has no dislike of the gay person in question. She would prefer to be warm towards the gay person but feels that it is her religious duty to indicate disapproval. My feeling is that unless asked point blank, 'Do you disapprove of my lifestyle? ' We should be friendly and kind. To me the default option is friendly and kind. So I am searching for a talk by a leader or maybe a newsrelease that indicates, how do you respond to someone when you disapprove of someone's lifestyle? To me, I would never mention or indicate disapproval. 

I think to some people the guide is 'What would Jesus do? He might well give a sinner a hug and say 'Go and sin no more'. But the thing is, I am not Jesus. He has priesthood authority, I do not.

I was in a gospel principles class once in which the teacher tried to persuade us that if someone had sinned, we should discourage them from taking the sacrament. Her suggestion,' if you know that someone just had a fight with their husband and the sacrament tray comes round, jog their elbow and tell them not to take the sacrament. ' I can just imagine the kind of brawl that sacrament would devolve into! The class rejected this proposal.  The teacher turned to a section of the d&c which instructed us not to allow unclean people to take the sacrament. We countered that this referred to priesthood authority not to ordinary members.

My position is that:

We should not indicate disapproval of others as a general rule. Doing so, just makes us look like cranky people. Unlikely to win converts.

If any disapproval needs to take place, this is a job for whoever has priesthood authority over that person. So the local bishop not any priesthood holder who happens to be passing.

So do you recall any talks or church statements that might cast light on this? I have been trying to find a church statement released after the California same sex marriage decision. I hope to find anything that might shed light one way or the other,

Thanks!

 

Edited by Sunday21

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God may ask us to do many things, but God never asked us to behave like rude uncharitable unrighteously-judgmental jackasses just to prove a point.  The whole "I'm acting like a jerk to you because God said to love everybody" thing means you need to find a better way to show love to people.  There's that section in D&C where the priesthood holders in authority are called to "reprove betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost", but that section is specifically talking about priesthood holders in authority.  And the rest of the verse immediately reads "and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy".

Our job in spreading the gospel:  Offer them a cookie.  (If you don't like cookies, replace the word with strawberries or whatever.)  If they like it, offer them another.  If they ask for the recipe, give it to them.  Offer to help them make cookies in their kitchen.  If they don't want no cookie, respect it.  If they hate cookies and extol the virtues of cake and only cake, you get to enjoy your cookie, and if they have a problem with it, they're the one with a problem.  

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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At work 90% or more of the time sexual orientation should simple not be a factor.  Therefore 90% of the time the answer is treat them like a colleague.

So what about the other 10% when their favorite sin becomes relevant?  Well how do you treat everyone else when their favorite sin becomes relevant?  How do you show love for the person that goes and gets drunk during the weekend while letting them know that drinking is a sin?  How do you show love for the potty mouth while letting them know that swearing is a sin.  How do you show love for the girl that is shacking up with her boyfriend while letting them know that fornication is a sin.

When your friend answers those questions then the answer your friend's question should be blindly clear and highly personalized.

If they do not like that answer then it is time for them to look inward to resolve their own issues because there is a beam somewhere in their own eye

Edited by estradling75

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"Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies; and for the future we must cease to do so. All we have said about them is truth, but it is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain His feelings many times for the safety of Himself and His followers, and had to conceal the righteous purposes of His heart in relation to many things pertaining to His Father's kingdom. When still a boy He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we have the revelation of Jesus, and the knowledge within us is sufficient to organize a righteous government upon the earth, and to give universal peace to all mankind, if they would receive it, but we lack the physical strength, as did our Savior when a child, to defend our principles, and we have a necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself."

(Joseph Smith - History of the Church Vol 6 - Ch. XXXII - Pg. 608 - 1834-1844) emphasis added

There is a time and place to relate opposition to homosexuality, etc, and to share the related truths of the gospel.  From what you wrote, it appears the woman you visit teach is not currently in a situation where that would be appropriate.  I believe the above quote would apply in full or in part because the Lord expects us to exercise wisdom in our communication with others.  If this woman were to act as she is seeking, she could bring undue 'persecution' upon herself.  It could be minimal, or possibly result in termination, depending on how she were to go about it, and what interactions, etc, resulted from it.

Found another quote:

Quote

"To 'persecute' homosexuals would be wrong, just as it would be wrong for us to persecute anyone. We must try to understand why they have chosen this way of life. . ." (Spencer W. Kimball - July 1974 Ensign)

Specifically finding a way and a reason to express disapproval of a lifestyle choice in the workplace is essentially a form of persecution.  As others have hinted, if you turn the tables it would not be reasonable.  If another person wanted to express disapproval of this woman for being a Mormon, what would be the appropriate way to go about it?  I think it would be rare to find an appropriate opportunity and method to share that position.

Edited by person0
found another quote

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I've never hugged a co-worker in my life.

 

Just sayin'.

 

 

 

Edit: You know....I just realized....this is a lie. I worked at the same place as my wife once. But other than that.

 

 

 

Edit 2: Ah....man.... I worked at the same place as my brother-in-law once. Probably gave him a hug at some point in life too.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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My workplace is full of huggers. Greetings of coworkers who work in other locations and show up for a day or two give and get hugs.  It was unnerving when I first started as I'm not a huggy kind of person, but now I accept and give the hugs and view them as the industry standard handshake (for the industry I'm in anyway). 

Arts and entertainment people are huggy, and to the point of the OP are all over the place in regards to sexual orientation.  I give and get hugs from all of of 'em. ??

Dont be the grumpy grumper at work who is going tsk tsk at coworkers. If anything you risk growing into the grumpy old person who yells "get off my lawn", when you could instead choose to be hospitable and welcoming. 

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2 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

A lady that I visit teach (we really need a good term for this! You UK and Aussie people, could you please work on this?). 

Anyway, this lady asked me how she should behave towards gay people at work. I was like 'How about a hug?' She was like 'No I need to show disapproval'. I was like, 'Do you show disapproval towards everyone who makes different lifestyle choices than yourself? What about a coworker who is living in sin? Do you pass them files but make sure that your hands never touch because they are unclean?'

But she felt that she needed to indicate thar she loved the sinner but disapproved of the sin. Interestingly, this woman is a lovely warm person who has no dislike of the gay person in question. She would prefer to be warm towards the gay person but feels that it is her religious duty to indicate disapproval. My feeling is that unless asked point blank, 'Do you disapprove of my lifestyle? ' We should be friendly and kind. To be the default option is friendly and kind. So I am searching for a talk by a leader or maybe a newsrelease that indicates, how do you respond to someone when you disapprove of someone's lifestyle? To me, I would never mention or indicate disapproval. 

I think to some people the guide is 'What would Jesus do? He might well give a sinner a hug and say 'Go and sin no mere'. But the thing is, I am not Jesus. He has priesthood authority, I do not.

I was in a gospel principles class once in which the teacher tried to persuade us that if someone had sinned, we should discourage them from taking the sacrament. Her suggestion,' if you know that someone just had a fight with their husband and the sacrament tray comes round, jog their elbow and tell them not to take the sacrament. ' I can just imagine the kind of brawl that sacrament would devolve into! The class rejected this proposal.  The teacher turned to a section of the d&c which instructed us not to allow unclean people to take the sacrament. We countered that this referred to priesthood authority not to ordinary members.

My position is that:

We should not indicate disapproval of others as a general rule. Doing so, just makes us look like cranky people. Unlikely to win converts.

If any disapproval needs to take place, this is a job for whoever has priesthood authority over that person. So the local bishop not any priesthood holder who happens to be passing.

So do you recall any talks or church statements that might cast light on this? I have been trying to find a church statement released after the California same sex marriage decision. I hope to find anything that might shed light one way or the other,

Thanks!

 

 In my opinion it's not her business to "hate the sin and love the sinner." It's her business to humble herself before her infirmities and humble herself before his infirmities and love the man without sanctimony.

The man is well aware that there are people who don't like homosexuality. He likely does not have the framework or intelligence (LDS intl.) to understand and accept any degree of chastisement or disapproval from her in a way that is edifying. 

And as far as chastisement goes, we should leave that to the bishops, that includes who does and does not get to take the sacrament.

Edited by Snigmorder

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I find that as I get older, I become more and more blunt (just like they show in comedies--old people lose filters).

"So, you have a gay co-worker and you want to show disapproval? Are you asking to be fired? Are you asking to be sued? Your job as a member of the church is to show love. You took upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ and as such you are a witness of Him at all times, places and situations. So, how do you treat your co-worker? As a son (daughter) of God. You treat them as a co-worker--respectful, compassionate, and loving. You don't need to show disapproval unless they are not doing their job--then you deal with that aspect, not their personal one. So, let's look at scriptures about charity and discuss what those mean...."

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6 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

I was like 'How about a hug?' She was like 'No I need to show disapproval'. I was like, 'Do you show disapproval towards everyone who makes different lifestyle choices than yourself? What about a coworker who is living in sin? Do you pass them files but make sure that your hands never touch because they are unclean?'

But she felt that she needed to indicate thar she loved the sinner but disapproved of the sin.

See, the way my brain parsed this, I kept thinking this person may say "I need to show disapproval" it sounds more like what they mean is "I need to virtue signal."

It isn't just our friends on the Left who sometimes like to signal how virtuous we are by calling someone else on their sin.  Maybe it's not fair for me to jump to that conclusion, but it's just the vibe I get.

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I don't have coworkers who are gay.  But I do have next door neighbors who are a lesbian couple!  And in my old house, I lived next door to a lesbian couple, and before that a probable gay man.  So I have ten years of experience with living next door to and befriending gay people!

I just treat them like I treat all of my other neighbors.  I am nice, helpful, and normal.  I am not about to lecture them on their lifestyle any more than I am about to lecture my heterosexual neighbors on the other side about the evils of living together without being married, or the guy across the street about the evils of alcohol, or the people across the alley about how their fundamentalist protestant beliefs are wrong.  (Of all of the above, I am actually least comfortable, by far, with hanging out with is the fundamentalist protestants... There is a certain vibe of self righteous hatred surrounding them that I am not OK with.  A good discussion for another thread).

I have no personal animosity towards gay people.  Because I have a strong testimony, I will do what the Church explicitly asks of me regarding this subject as a way of sticking up for God, but I am not going to do an inch more than what the Church asks.  I don't recall the Church ever asking us to self righteously chide our gay coworkers over their choices.  

Edited by DoctorLemon

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35 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

I don't have coworkers who are gay.  But I do have next door neighbors who are a lesbian couple!  And in my old house, I lived next door to a lesbian couple, and before that a probable gay man.  So I have ten years of experience with living next door to and befriending gay people!

I just treat them like I treat all of my other neighbors.  I am nice, helpful, and normal.  I am not about to lecture them on their lifestyle any more than I am about to lecture my heterosexual neighbors on the other side about the evils of living together without being married, or the guy across the street about the evils of alcohol, or the people across the alley about how their fundamentalist protestant beliefs are wrong.  (Of all of the above, I am actually least comfortable, by far, with hanging out with is the fundamentalist protestants... There is a certain vibe of self righteous hatred surrounding them that I am not OK with.  A good discussion for another thread).

I have no personal animosity towards gay people.  Because I have a strong testimony, I will do what the Church explicitly asks of me regarding this subject as a way of sticking up for God, but I am not going to do an inch more than what the Church asks.  I don't recall the Church ever asking us to self righteously chide our gay coworkers over their choices.  

And I've never heard of human resources calling you down to their office to discuss something that you didn't say to a co-worker. So that's a plus! 

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4 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

And I've never heard of human resources calling you down to their office to discuss something that you didn't say to a co-worker. So that's a plus! 

Not to mention, you may find that some of these people are very good people who are well worth befriending, even if they don't quite live gospel standards.

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It used to be much more common for Christians to express disapproval of sinful behavior. Landlords were expected to reject couples who were shacking up. Women who were not virgins were expected to avoid wearing a white wedding dress. Infidelity could cost politicians their positions. Part of that environment is that popular culture paid lip service to our values. Those days are gone. There is now some open hostility towards Christian sexual mores--especially concerning LGBT issues. So, where might I be forced to express my disapproval (because very few people today really want to)? The primary example, imho, would be an invitation to an LGBT wedding. Some here might say go, and show support for the friendship, or friendly work environment. However, others, in good conscience, may feel that they must not show any support for this type of a wedding. That would be a legitimate line to draw. Then again, I support bakers, florists, and photographers who refuse to participate in them, as well.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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I treat homosexuals the same as I treat  people who smoke or drink, and who don't think they need to study scriptures every day, or who call people the S-word or R- Word (both synonyms of 'dumb' and 'unintelligent'). 

Sin is sin. We can't say "we reject and avoid this person because of the sin he commits. but accept, befriend, and invite to church this person because he only sins in these ways."

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3 hours ago, Fether said:

I treat homosexuals the same as I treat  people who smoke or drink, and who don't think they need to study scriptures every day, or who call people the S-word or R- Word (both synonyms of 'dumb' and 'unintelligent'). 

Sin is sin. We can't say "we reject and avoid this person because of the sin he commits. but accept, befriend, and invite to church this person because he only sins in these ways."

Thank you @Fether! I was shocked when my visiting teacher told me that gays were more sinful than other siners! I don't see why gay inappropriate sexual behaviour is any worse than any other type of sexual behaviour.

Edited by Sunday21

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15 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

My position is that:

We should not indicate disapproval of others as a general rule. Doing so, just makes us look like cranky people. Unlikely to win converts.

If any disapproval needs to take place, this is a job for whoever has priesthood authority over that person. So the local bishop not any priesthood holder who happens to be passing.

So do you recall any talks or church statements that might cast light on this? I have been trying to find a church statement released after the California same sex marriage decision. I hope to find anything that might shed light one way or the other,

Thanks!

 

 

Not completely to the point, but probably still worth thinking about:

Doctrine and Covenants, 42: 88 - 93

88  And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled.
89  And if he or she confess not thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not to the members, but to the elders.  And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world.
90  And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastened before many.
91  And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed.  And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God.
92  If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her.
93  And thus shall ye conduct in all things.
 

On the other hand........

2nd John 9 - 11

9  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
 

Edited by askandanswer

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Our obligation to tolerance means that none of these behaviors—or others we consider deviations from the truth—should ever cause us to react with hateful communications or unkind actions.

@Sunday21That's from a YSA devotional/fireside broadcast from Elder Oaks in 2011. Since I only did a review, and you may find something more appropriate because you're more invested, here's the link. It didn't specifically mention homosexuality, but I'm pretty confident his counsel here is transferable.

https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2011/01/truth-and-tolerance?lang=eng

Edited by seashmore
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14 hours ago, Fether said:

I treat homosexuals the same as I treat  people who smoke or drink, and who don't think they need to study scriptures every day, or who call people the S-word or R- Word (both synonyms of 'dumb' and 'unintelligent'). 

Sin is sin. We can't say "we reject and avoid this person because of the sin he commits. but accept, befriend, and invite to church this person because he only sins in these ways."

Sort of... I mean, sin does come in varying degrees.  That's why some things will get you disfellowshipped while others result in just some kind of probation, while some sins get a friendly chuckle from the Bishop and some advice on how to avoid it.  Sin is sin but degrees do vary.

So does that mean homosexual behavior is a greater sin than fornication of adultery between people of the opposite sex?  I dunno I guess it depends.  I'm really not fit to judge but I can offer an opinion, which is that homosexual behavior doesn't happen in a vacuum.  Typically, people who live that lifestyle often actively promote it and other lifestyles that go against the Gospel, and participate in events and activities that one might consider sinful all by themselves.  (Ever seen a gay pride march that was actually family friendly?  Or a drag queen beauty contest?) 

I wouldn't want to get into a habit of ranking sins by their severity, but that doesn't mean pretending that a cohabiting gay couple is somehow morally equivalent to a guy who steals pencils and pens from work.

(That said, I do agree that no sin should prevent us from inviting them to church.)

Edited by unixknight

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13 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

I was shocked when my visiting teacher told me that gays were more sinful than other siners! 

Really? Because...it should be kind of obvious.

Unmarried sex has been declared the 'most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost'. (Alma 39:5, for reference). On top of the unmarried sex thing there's the homosexual sex thing, a sin in and of itself which compounds the sinfulness. So even if one buys into the idea that the actual homosexual acts, which we won't discuss in detail, obviously, are no more sinful than the act of heterosexual intercourse, there's still the reality that even heterosexual sexual activity outside of marriage is just below murder on the severity-of-sin scale, and homosexual activity compounds the sin of homosexuality on to that. So...why shocked?

Granted, I expect that in one instance someone could fairly easily engage in heterosexual sin that is more grievous than another instance of homosexual sin, comparing such-n-such action to such-n-such action (a kiss does not equate to intercourse, for example). But all-in-all, the idea that homosexuality is more grievous a sin than similar heterosexual action seems fairly obvious unless one has some sort of sociopolitical ax to grind.

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TFP is giving a good scriptural argument here.  Sound reasoning and truth. 

In this particular situation, where we're thinking about how to behave towards people whose sin we think we can identify and quantify, well, here's also some good scriptural argument:

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/tg/gossip

 

 

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