Marriage, Homosexuality, and Excommunication: Thoughts on the Case of Buckley Jeppson


A few days ago, the Associated Press ran a story about Buckley Jeppson, an active Mormon who is threatened with excommunication because of his legal Canadian marriage to his male partner.


Buckley and Mike

According to the press release, Jeppson’s stake president has been encouraging him to resign his membership, but ‘Mr. Jeppson says that he finds it unthinkable to simply walk away from his faith and heritage. He explains, “Being a member of the Church is not like belonging to a club. It is my history, my family heritage, my testimony, and the faith to which I have devoted the last 57 years of my life. I just want to worship quietly and peacefully in a place that is safe. I don’t ask the Church to change its doctrines or practices. I just want us to be left alone.”‘

The Safe Space Coalition (www.ldssafespace.org) is organizing to send thousands of flowers to Jeppson’s stake president to support Jeppson and to support the the creation of a safe space for homosexual members within the Church.

My heart goes out to Brother Jeppson and others in the Church who are in a similar situation. It must be inordinately painful to have to choose between your life partner (in this case actual spouse) and a faith tradition you love and believe in.

The fact that Jeppson was legally married in Canada to his partner does make the case even more poignant for me. Clearly this is a couple that is devoted to each other and the idea of monogamy. Not only does their marriage make it more poignant, but it also might complicate potential Church disciplinary action. After all, technically, their sexual activity is taking place within the bounds of a legal marriage. I pity the bishop and stake president who have to make this decision. I realize it will not be easy to balance charity, compassion, personal perspectives, the handbook, media ramifications, and the pressure of setting of a precedent for future cases like this.

I personally don’t expect that the Church will change its doctrine towards homosexuality any time soon – if ever. I don’t expect that they will eventually condone it. But I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope that the Church will slowly, softly, ward by ward, bishop by bishop, change its attitude towards our homosexual members who are living in monogomous partnerships. Rather than excommunicating the people who are the most marginalized and the most in need of Christ’s love and fellowship in his Church, perhaps local leaders one day will open their arms and say, “We’re all sinners. We all need Christ’s atonement. Please, please come and worship with us. You are welcome here.”

I would like to hear your opinion about this case. What do you hope the disciplinary court will do?Do you think LDS should open their arms to homosexual members and investigators, and if so, what are good ways to do this? Would you be bothered by an active homosexual serving in your ward?

Caroline

Caroline is a PhD student in Women's Studies in Religion and mother of three.

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  1. jana says:

    Caroline:

    I am so glad you posted this to the blog! I think this issue is a provacative one, and that we should all be informed about how the church will react to Buckley’s case.

  2. Clark Goble says:

    There’s already a discussion of this at LDSF along with three podcasts interviewing Buckley.

  3. Caroline says:

    Thanks Clark. I had scanned the Mormon Archipelago to make sure there weren’t already posts on this, but I missed that one. At any rate, I hope perhaps we’ll get a different range of comments over here.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am a student at BYU, but I grew up in Olympia, Washington, which is a very liberal city. A lot of my friends from high school are gay and one of my teachers was gay, too. I was talking with one of my friends a few weeks ago about the movie Brokeback Mountain. I didn’t think there would be anything wrong with going to see it because it would help one understand what someone with homosexuality was feeling. Furthermore, the story was primarily a love story. Anyone who has ever loved someone that they wanted to be with, but desperately couldn’t, would be able to understand what the main characters were feeling. Then my friend Lora made an excellent point that has changed my perspective on homosexuality. The problem with say, for example, being sympathetic with gay marriage, or homosexual relationships, like for example Buckley Jeppson’s, is that it sends the message that if you love someone, sex is justified, that it is an acceptable way, and in Jeppson’s case maybe he feels it is the only way, he can show his partner how much he truly loves him. This however, isn’t right. I love my friend Lora, just like I love my other friends that are girls. But there are other ways to show them how much I care. I love my boyfriend too, but I can show him that I do without having sex with him. Because if we did have sex, we would be driving the Spirit away by defiling eachother. It wouldn’t put God first in the relationship. There are reasons that, on the issue of homosexuality, the church shouldn’t give an inch. It isn’t a personal attack on anybody. Of course we are all sinners, we all have temptations, but the answer isn’t to lower standards or soften commandments. As children of God on the mortal journey, we don’t have the authority to do that anyway. I fear that by providing cushions for those with homosexual tendancies, we would push those that are confused to feel that, whether heterosexual or homosexual, loving someone is a valid reason to have sex. In homosexual relationships, it is particularly grave because we have been told so explicitly that it is wrong.

  5. amelia says:

    I am sympathetic to jeppson’s situation. but i have to say that i find the argument “they’re legally wed” a weak one and rhetorically fishy. it’s like orson scott card’s argument that homosexuals don’t need the right to marry because they already have it–they can already marry members of the opposite sex. it completely misses the point.

    the fact of the matter is that the church’s policy is that two people of the same sex cannot have a sexual relationship with each other and remain members in good standing. no one should be surprised that buckley is facing excommunication. certainly he shouldn’t be. unless he and his spouse have a sexless marriage.

    i sympathize with his desire to remain a part of the church and to continue being able to worship in peace. i want him to have that opportunity. i would certainly never encourage him to himself give up his membership. but as a member of the church, he surely knows its position on homosexual sex. surely he expects the church to not condone what it deems sinful.

    i also think we should recognize that people who are excommunicated are welcome to worship. excommunication is typically not made public (i don’t know who made this case public), so most ward members don’t know. i know that something is different when there’s no membership, but this isn’t simply a case of pushing away someone the church thinks is a sinner. it’s about standing behind it’s doctrines. i would be disappointed if the church did anything less than stand behind its doctrines. i wouldn’t ask for exceptions to be made for myself; why should i ask for them for someone else? no matter how sympathetic their case is?

    on a personal level, i’m very conflicted about this whole thing. i don’t see anything inherently wrong in a relationship like jeppson’s. in fact i see a lot that is good and beautiful. but i believe the church is divinely ordained and i believe it has to stand behind its teachings. so all i can do is be the most christlike person i can towards all the people i encounter and hope that things change some day.

  6. Caroline says:

    Anonymous,
    I can see where you’re coming from, but I think I have a bit of a different perspective. Let me try to explain.

    For a liberalish person, I’m actually still a bit of a prude in some ways. I really do think that it’s best to save sex for marriage. The thing about Buckley’s case that is so striking – for me – is that they are married. They are committed. They are monogamous. That seems to me fundamentally different than people of either orientation going around and just sleeping with each other with no lasting committment.

    So for me, because a monogamous gay relationship seems so different than other types of illicit sexual activity – and so comparable to a man/woman marriage – I would personally support a softening in the treatment of monogamous homosexuals in the Church.

    Ultimately, I just feel for people, who through no fault of their own, would have to choose between forming meaningful committed relationships with people they love and belonging to the Church. In my ideal world the Church wouldn’t force people to make that choice. They could still have the doctrine that it’s wrong, but just show Christian love and inclusion when it comes to dealing with this situation. I don’t think it does any good – for the gay members or the Church – to force them out.

  7. amelia says:

    the church couldn’t have the doctrine it currently has and allow people to remain members while committing what the church defines as sexual sin. it doesn’t work that way. because the doctrine is not limited to “homosexual sex” or “sex outside marriage” is wrong. it’s also that if you commit these sins, you cannot be a part of the church in terms of formal membership and the blessings associated with that membership.

    i think it’s a mistake to believe that the fact that the church does not allow people who continue to sin in this manner (whether homo- or heterosexual sex) to remain members in good standing means that the church is not showing christian love to them. i do not believe the church disciplinary system is without its problems. it is run and administered by human beings; it will necessarily be flawed sometimes. but i think it’s a bit overly simplified to say excommunication = absence of christian love.

    i also feel for people who are in a position in which they feel like they have to choose between the church and finding a meaningful relationship with a life partner. my heart aches for them. and i don’t know what the answer is. i have some friends who have chosen to remain celibate and in the church and others who have chosen a partner and to leave the church. i am happy for all of them. because they have made their own peace. i wish they didn’t have to make those decisions. but as much as i wish that, i can’t wish it by asking or expecting the church to become hypocritical.

  8. Floyd the Wonderdog says:

    In the larger picture, anyone who wishes to remain a member of the church must be willing to give up all their sins. A brother in my stake was recently excomminucated for committing theft from the elderly over a long period of time. We do not excommunicate those who are truly trying to live better lives. But the church must draw the line at those who demand that it change it’s practices and teachings to accomodate their sinful life style. If the brother mentioned above had demanded that the church allow him to remain a member and to be allowed to pay tithes on this theft, we would all see that as adsurd.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think theft and choosing a life partner are two entirely differnt things. Who among us would want to be expected or forced to live out our lives entirely (romantically/emotionally/physically) companionless without any hope of a close, loving relationship? And yet we demand it of gays.

    And there are many members who break or broked the law of Chastity before marriage, only to marry and “make it right.” What can gay members do to repent? Give up all hope of a relationship. Given Buckley’s choice, I would too, especially since/if eternity meant I would never be able to be exalted anyway, being gay.

  10. Caroline says:

    Amy, here are some of my thoughts in response to your comments. It seems to me like the institutional church picks and chooses which sins to really focus on. For instance, one of the 10 commandments is to keep the sabbath day holy. But it’s pretty much left up to us to decide what that means. And even if we go hogwild with shopping, movies, restaurants one Sunday, we aren’t subject to a disciplinary court. Is this being hypocricitical….? Why would this not be hypocritical, while treating Buckley’s case with benign neglect would be?

    So my question is: why does the Church not leave situations like Buckley’s up to the individual’s conscience? Why not let him decide whether or not he’s living the law of chastity?

    I’m not arguing that excommunication = total lack of Christian love. But I am saying that, in my opinion, a higher form of Christian love would be to leave the poor man alone and let him feel close to God through his membership and fellowiship in Christ’s church. And who knows? With enough time and fellowship, perhaps Buckley would become converted to the Church’s ideas about chastity. From a traditional Mormon standpoint, that seems like it would be ideal, and I don’t see that happening if he gets kicked out.

  11. Brooke says:

    Maybe I’m being naive, but I wish excommunication could be done away with altogether. Why can’t the initial baptism interview and the future subsequent temple interviews be all the church does to be proactively involved in an individual member’s worthiness? The rest, I think, could be up to the member. If they feel they need to talk to their bishop, or leave the church, then it’s up to them. There are unworthy people all over in the church and just because no one oficial knows, they are not being excommunicated. Isn’t it more in line with Christ’s teachings to invite ALL to worship? Especially if they are willing to come to meetings, give their time and effort and support in whatever way they can. Maybe someone with more knowledge of church court matters could tell me why this wouldn’t work.

  12. Caroline says:

    Anonymous, I removed your last comment because of the personal insult at the end. If you would like to rephrase your comment without the personal attacks, please do so.

  13. Tracy M says:

    I’m not sure I have anything intellectual to add to this, but I certainly have deep personal feelings.

    I am an adult convert, and the Church’s inflexible possition on Homosexuality has been huge barrier for me. I have several family members who are openly gay, two who are in long-term commited relationships (over a decade each)and it infuriates me when people start talking about “The Gays”- I want to bolt.

    It seems to me that the love of Christ extends, for eternity, to all who are willing to come unto him. As others here have pointed out, we ALL make choices that are not always in line with the Gospel. Anyone been translated yet? Didn’t think so. So who am I (or you or you) to pick which sins are worse for another? The Lord knows each person’s heart, and the Lord had given each of us our own trials to overcome. We should leave it at that.

    I really wish the Church would just allow this to be private- not magnifying any one sin over another- for we really do NOT know the plan of the Lord for any individual- we are blessed enough if we can figure it out for ourselves. I suspect that isn’t going to happen here, and that makes me sad.

    Christ opens his arms to all, and so should we. The Lord will sort it all out.

  14. Caroline says:

    Brooke, I’m highly sympathetic to your ideas about excommunication. Just to hazard a guess, I think that the Church uses excommunication to distance itself from people/movements it doesn’t want to be associated with. For instance, polygamists. The church wants the world to know that that is no longer a part of our faith, so they ex those that get involved in it.

    I think the Church is also trying to protect itself from ideas that it sees as heretical, because they don’t want members being “lead astray.” One of the reasons I would not be in favor of Buckley’s excommunication is because he was silent about his private life. He was not trying to convince anyone the Church was wrong on this issue. If he had been, I think the Church would have more grounds to ex him.

  15. LDS Patriot says:

    It may be the first same-sex marriage excommunication that will happen, but it will not be the last.

    Jeppson wants to eat his cake and have it too. What he wants is incompatible with the LDS faith, of which Jeppson is fully aware. In other words, Jeppson somehow thinks he can disregard LDS Church standards and maintain LDS Church membership and all the blessings which flow therefrom.

    Effectively, Jeppson, you are walking in your own path (standards), creating your own faith (religion) modeled after your own image (gay), thus creating your own version of the gospel (gay practice OK); in short, and you have created your own personal ok-to-practice-gay-lifestyle-god, i.e., a gay-god. You are convinced this gay-god of yours would approve and condone and bless your chosen lifestyle which is why you still seek to worship with the LDS.

    But that isn’t where you stop. Instead, you think your lifestyle should be compatible with the LDS Church, and you want the LDS Church to accept your chosen lifestyle, or at least that is what you are arguing. And since you will not resign your membership voluntarily, it’s easy for you and your gay supporters hereafter to position you as the victim and the LDS Church as the villain or bad guy in all this.

    Sorry, Jeppson, that is wishful & seriously delusive thinking on your part. You can’t have it both ways, you know it and you know that the Church knows it. The Church is not, nor should it be, interested in changing its standards, principles, practices and doctrines because you have chosen to walk by your own self-created standards, principles practices, doctrines and god. You know full well, Sir, your chosen lifestyle is incompatible with membership in the LDS Church.

    Be a man, Jeppson, and do the right thing by taking responsibility for your choices and your chosen lifestyle. Resign your membership immediately.

    D&C 1: 15-16:

    15 For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;

    16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish inBabylon, evenBabylonthe great, which shall fall.

  16. Anonymous says:

    [Different from the other anonymous]

    There are so many sides to this story…

    The Church has a right to take action those individuals who do not abide by its rules (D&C 134:10). That people are excommunicated for some sins and not excommunicated for others is not necessarily a sign of arbitrariness or hypocrisy on the part of the Church. Scriptures and policies indicate that some sins are worse than others.

    But, Jeppson seems to be a valuable contributor in his local Church community even if he has knowingly violated a very serious rule.

    Church policy implies that the Church gains by disciplinary action, but there are also losses. I pray for both Jeppson and the local leaders. I wouldn’t want to be in any of those shoes.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Just to be clear, I’m the anonymous that posted after Floyd the Wonderdog, and I didn’t post the (later) deleted/offensive comments. I know that Buckley and/or his husband is/are reading comments on the Bloggernacle and I want to wish them all the best in their marriage and a very happy life together.

  18. Barb says:

    Excommunication is not a punishment. It is the only way a person who has committed grieveous sin can receive full forgiveness – to be rebaptised. The fact that they are “legally” married is a non-issue. Are members in Holland not sinner when they smoke pot? Are members in the US not sinning when they smoke and drink? All these things are “legal”. He has openly rebelled against God. The outcome is that he is a sinner.

  19. Amanda says:

    As do I.

  20. Hellmut says:

    The sad thing is that the current policy makes it impossible for some of our children to reconcile their essence with their religion. The consequences are traumatic, sometimes deadly.

    The experience of Bishop Harding’s family illustrates what it is like if one of your loved ones happens to be gay and LDS.

  21. Hellmut says:

    Amanda, people aren’t born to lie, steal, get high or drunk. At some point, we better acknowledge what science tells us about human nature. If we deny others their essence then people get hurt.

  22. amelia says:

    i think helmut goes to the heart of the matter. the answer can never be to continue teaching that homosexual sex is a sin (from which many, if not most, people conclude that homosexuality is a sin) but allow people who commit that sin to remain in the church. because the problem is not that people are subject to church discipline when they commit this sin. the problem is that the teaching that homosexuality is sinful leaves people who are homosexual feeling like they are sinful and evil for something that is beyond their control.

    again, i really do not know what the answer to this problem is. the only way the church can resolve it is to declare that this is no longer sinful. for that doctrine to change. maybe it will. but it’s not going to change because people are allowed to commit an act the church deems sinful and stay in the church. it will only change by way of revelation.

    in the meantime, i think we need to do everything we can to make the true nature of this problem known. we need to stop talking about it in terms of perversion and sinfulness and evil. because doing so does not allow us to reach out in love to those who are homosexual. we need to understand the depth of the struggle they experience.

  23. Deborah says:

    Funny — I was going to link to Bishop Harding’s letter this morning as well. I found it a few years ago, not long after someone very close to me came out, and it resonated deeply, articulating the paradoxes of the gay Mormon experience. For those reading who have gay family members, may I also recommend family fellowshhip as a resource. It’s run by good people . . .

  24. Amanda says:

    Just to clarify, when I said “As do I,” I was referring to Barb’s comment wishing the couple a happy life, not the post that slipped in between. And I do. Everyone deserves the chance to be happy. When you’re gay in the Mormon church, I’d say the deck is pretty much stacked against you no matter how you look at it, and that’s no way to live. Good luck, Buckley. I honestly do hope you find happiness.

  25. Amanda says:

    Sorry, it wasn’t Barb’s comment I meant, it was the one that came from one of the Anonymouses. Anyway, I hope I’ve cleared that up.

  26. Clark Goble says:

    Hellmut: Amanda, people aren’t born to lie, steal, get high or drunk.

    Hellmut, I’d probably disagree strongly with the above. I think that genetically and cognitively we most certainly are born to lie, steal and get high. There’s fairly compelling evidence for this from various cognitive studies, comparative primate studies, as well as the obvious psychological studies.

    The ideals held up by religion are very unnatural in many ways. That’s partially why most of us don’t achieve our ideals typically. There simply a lot of instinct not to.

    I can understand making arguments about fairness and the like. But once we start making appeals to “nature” then I think things get muddled quickly. For instance if, as many of us think, homosexuality has a large genetic or even potentially biochemical basis, that then opens up a pandora’s box of possible solutions. Solutions I know many in the homosexual community would be fearful of.

    Nature is ultimately, given modern science, chemistry. And chemistry is always open to technology, even if perhaps not for decades in the future. But this does entail that appeals to nature become quite problematic.

  27. Mike Kessler says:

    Read Buckley Jeppson’s very first blog post ever!
    “Why I Remain a Mormon.”

  28. Anonymous says:

    Reading through this thread, I find it very interesting. I have never had to deal with feelings of homosexuality, and may, therefore, be seen as unfeeling, or lacking in caring. Quite frankly, if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t bother to post my thoughts and beliefs. But I do care about the issue, and about the people involved. So, I cautiously write the following ideas, praying that those reading this will sense love and concern, rather than judgment; that they will seek for truth in this rather than for the answers they may hope and yearn to hear. Only by earnestly and honestly seeking to understand and live by true principle can we ensure our happiness. Mind you, eternal happiness is not a synonym for comfort, ease, or convenience. The greatest people in history, both in and out of the gospel, are those who have chosen to do what was right, no matter the cost or inconvenience. They didn’t do so for glory or personal status—they did so because right is right, and any other path, no matter the level of convenience, would not have the power to lead them to the place they desired to go.

    Each of us has shortcomings, weaknesses, and temptations. While I know that it pales in comparison to some temptations, I have an unhealthy love of chocolate. I watch as others simply “give up” chocolate for a time to follow their chosen healthier diets. In so doing, they reap the benefits of better health, and improved self discipline—both of which are benefits that I want and need in my life. Yet, countless times, I have resolved to give up chocolate for a time to achieve those results, and I have never been able to stick to my resolve. And, my health nut friends tell me that I am just weak willed, that I simply need to set my mind to it and completely ignore my appetites and natural tendencies. Ultimately, without saying it, they are telling me that I am less of a person than they are because I have been blessed with a different challenge and level of ability to face that challenge than they have. My inability to overcome somehow qualifies me for a label of lesser status. And I buy into that label. I begin telling myself that I’m just not like God’s other children—I’m not made to be healthy, that I can’t stick to the plan, so I might as well not try. I give up on the view that I should try to be healthy, and to deal with the self-loathing and depression that comes, I begin to tell myself things that I know not to be true. “It’s not my fault, it’s my genes.” “My happiness doesn’t come from meeting other people’s standard of healthy; it comes from accepting who I am and running with it.”

    And, yet, the principles of health, unchanging and unforgiving, dictate that if I continue to excuse myself from following true principles, I will suffer unwanted consequences. All of my wanting for people to understand how hard it is for me, all of my wanting for it to be easier for me, all of my belief that it is stupid that chocolate should be a sin or a violation of the principles of health have no bearing on the fact that continued consumption of chocolate will have an effect on my health. I have a choice: I can resign myself to a life affected by the consequence of continuing in my current path, or I can, impossible as it may seem, resolve to find the way to overcome my addiction to chocolate. If I find that way, it doesn’t mean that I will be free from cravings for chocolate or from temptations. It just means that I will make a different choice when those cravings come.

    Contrary to George Carlin’s comedic standpoint, God did not base his commandments for us on whims. He didn’t simply pick certain pleasure to make taboo, just to see if we could do it. He based his whole plan, commandments included, on eternal, unchanging principles. He is only able to continue being a god (an all powerful, all knowing, completely happy being) because of his continued choice to follow those same principles. His desire for us is that we can obtain that same happiness—which is only possible through our choosing to live by true principles. If God has told us that something is wrong and that we should change, it is not a personal attack against us. On the contrary, it is his love for us that leads him to reach down to his children, point out the changes that need to be made, and then offers us his help in making those changes.

    That help is the element that I believe to be missing from this and similar conversations on overcoming difficult sins. God is an all-powerful being. That unmistakably means that he is stronger than any sin, than any temptation. In a recent conference address regarding pornography, President Hinckley gives the only true cure for any sin or addiction. He says, “…may you plead with the Lord out of the depths of your soul that He will remove from you the addiction which enslaves you”. The prophet would not counsel us to pray in such manner if the benefits of proper, “depths of your soul” prayer didn’t have the power to root out the problem. Christ, who has descended below all, who suffered the pains of all sins so that he could know how to help us overcome them, did overcome. He has all power and is able to use that power on behalf of those who earnestly seek him and his will.

    I find it somewhat concerning that this thread focuses so much on an incorrect view of “accepting”. While Christ taught that we are to be kind, loving, and accepting of our fellowman, he was very clear on our need to relinquish all sins, no matter the level of difficulty involved in that task. All too often, the conversation about being accepting of sinners turns to compromising unalterable principles to allow for the sin as well. We somehow feel that pointing out that something in someone’s life is wrong, and ultimately not in their best interest means that we don’t love or accept them. Christ (and his servants) chastens because he loves us and wants what is best for us. Softly stepping around the facts about sin so as to not hurt feelings is wrong. I am not saying that we need to be malicious or judgmental in pointing out sins. We cannot, however, leave open doors when it comes to teaching about sin and its consequences. In a day and age when Satan is working harder than ever to mix the philosophies of men into our understanding of the scriptures, it is imperative that we be more specific and direct in pointing out the difference between right and wrong. Nephi pointed out that the truth may be hard for the guilty to accept, but it is still the truth none the less. As the world has somehow grown to believe that morals are of a relative nature and that right and wrong are concepts that are defined by common consensus, we must be absolutely clear about eternal truths and principles. No matter how hard it may be for me to accept something as true and change my life to be in accordance with it, it will ultimately be much harder to live with the consequences of ignoring or avoiding truth.

    God has promised to reveal the truth of all things unto those who intently seek the truth. (Moroni 10:3-5). It is my knowledge that anyone who struggles with any sin, be it homosexuality or any other, can approach God and learn the truth about that sin. Whether they feel that that sin is “inherent to their nature” or not, whether they feel that it is a sin or not, whether they feel helpless against it or not, they can go to God in earnest prayer and know the truth. And when they know that something in their life is wrong, and that they are unable to fix it themselves, they can go to God in earnest prayer and learn that he is aware of his children, that he wants to help, and that he knows how to help. He is the only one that can truly change our hearts. That’s the beauty of true repentance—we resolve to change and to rely on him, but he is the one who changes us. He IS all powerful. He is our creator. He is able to re-create us if we will willingly turn to him and allow him to make the necessary changes
    . In Bishop Harding’s letter, he references the difficulty involved in this sort of change. He also mentions that he knows of no one who has successfully effected the change on a permanent basis. Let us not allow the size of the task, nor the success other people have had with the task determine our belief in the Lord’s ability to accomplish anything. Others in this thread have commented about science and what it “proves” about people’s tendencies towards sin. Let us not allow the sophistry of men determine our belief in the Lord’s ability to accomplish anything.

    The greatest spirits are often given the greatest challenges. And the greatest rewards will come to those who fight the greatest fights. There will be pain in the process of changing. But those who have successful repented of any sin can testify that the process is replete with blessings greater than any pain involved. One comes to know themselves, to strengthen themselves, and to know God. And that is life eternal.