Monday, August 14, 2017

Gender and Sex

I suppose it was only a matter of time until I wrote about this.  It would be ridiculous of me to not notice just how far gone society has become in regards to the perceptions of a very loud minority of people who believe that gender and sex are purely subjective matters, I feel a great need to address this issue.

Before I even try to get into any kind of semantics or expression of opinion, I want to start by reminding my readers of a part of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" that I'm sure I have mentioned before:

"ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life."

The first and, I think, most obvious point that I need to make here is the very clear, definitive nature of how gender is approached by God and His prophets.  There are two genders, male and female.  This is not something that was dreamed up as a social or religious construct by mankind.  It was designated by God and made a biological and divine certainty, never meant to be subject to tampering or blurring of natural gender based attractions (yes, natural attractions) or experimentation outside of divine decree or biological "programming", if you will.  Anyone who gets offended because they are not referred to by their "preferred pronoun" or when others do not recognize them as whatever strange sub/quazi/whatever gender they say they are does not understand the truth.  To pretend or attempt to create a reality where gender or sexual attraction is either fluid, subjective or even non-existent is damnable by divine law and, as science has proven, certain to result in a number of harrowing consequences.  These can range from - but are certainly not limited to - depression, diseases (both sexually transmitted and otherwise) or significant mental instability on the medical side to addiction, broken relationships and homes and possession on the spiritual side, and even complete loss of ability to discern truth from error and the relevant from the irrelevant on both sides.

Now I realize this is a pretty heavy way to start.  I know the level of extreme conflict and diametrically opposing views in society regarding this kind of thing and that what I say in this article (and have said) will by no means be popular in the general public eye, but I'm not looking to be popular.  I'm trying help people understand the truth.  My attempt to do so here is not an automatic or implied condemnation of anyone or dilution of their worth as a child of God for their beliefs or lifestyle.  I simply see a great need to provide yet another source of understanding in a world so insanely messed up by lies presented as truths.

Many in today's world end up insisting that because the world is changing, we ought to change too.  And in one way they're right, just not in the way many of them mean. The popular thing to do is increasingly lean towards condoning of homosexual behaviors, trying to decide on our own what gender we are (or in extreme cases, even what species we are), or completely throwing all traditional and biological traits of male and female into a convoluted melting pot and trying to pick them out at random.  But again, I'm not trying to sound popular.  I'm here to tell the truth, and what is, to some, the unpleasant and heart-rending truth is that no matter how hard anyone tries to make aspects of sex and gender a purely subjective thing, they will only end up miserable and forever at odds with the laws of nature, God and the universe if they don't align their lives with nature and God.

I'm not trying to imply that there aren't some areas when women can't do a manly thing or that men can't do a womanly thing.  One of the last things I am is sexist.  I enjoy the occasional chick-flick and if there's anyone who instilled in me and showed the value of hard physical labor in my life, it was my mom. My dad of was the primary reason I learned to value faith and to respect, love and try to understand women.  Evan Lysacek deserved that gold medal in figure skating and I think it makes a woman way more attractive when they like "end the world/save the world" movies (one area where my wife and I have exactly the same interests). ;)

The problem comes when people try to entirely deny their nature and do something stupid like this.  For someone to deny their God given identity as a human being or their gender or their age or anything else that occurs by both divine and biological design is not only insane, it defies of eternal laws of justice and mercy. Those who choose to live and die that way will only be miserable forever.  We do not get to decide what truth is or make our will reality just because we "feel like it".  We only get to choose whether or not to believe truth when we see it and whether we will change to make our lives reflect truth.  I can just as easily make myself a 50 year old, Japanese woman with a PhD in philosophy and a dog's snout by saying so as I can snap my fingers and turn the entire universe into jelly beans.  I can't do either, I shouldn't try to do either and if I did try, no matter how much I believed I had done it, nothing in the entire multiverse/cosmos can make either of those things a reality.  As Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "The thing about the truth is that it exists outside of belief. Even if nobody believes it, that thing is still true"  The same is true about lies.  Even if every single person in existence were to believe a lie, it still remains a lie.

You are either born a male, with male traits, parts and dominantly male inclinations, or you are born female with female traits, parts and dominantly female inclinations.  (I make one clarification about this a few paragraphs down) Labeling either as the other, both or neither doesn't make it so and claiming that someone has "decided" they are the other gender or another age or species or something else like that also doesn't make it so.  I'm not talking about things like occupations, names or other things that are just as easily thought of a one gender or the other, like a real estate agent, banker or scholar, or names like Cody or Lauren.  I'm referring to the big stuff.  Men are naturally sexually, emotionally, socially and spiritually attracted to women and vice versa.  There are just certain things that men are generally meant to be more inclined towards, like physical strength and defense of the weak, predominantly male things and that's okay.  Those are meant to feel like masculine things.  There are just certain things that women are meant to be generally more inclined towards, like aesthetics or ballet and that's okay.  Those are meant to feel like feminine things.  Identifying any of those as I did as predominantly masculine or feminine is not sexist.  It's truth.  It's nature.  It's good.  It promotes balance in marriage and in families.

Going back to the earlier cited Family Proclamation, "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."  Again, there's the balance thing.

*edit Nov 20, 2018*
For those who are die-hard against religious reasons for their morals, here's a statement from Dr. Debra Soh, PhD who is a Canadian neuroscientist and sexologist who actually considers herself politically left leaning and bases her views about sexuality entirely on science. She and Glenn Beck were recently discussing the idea of gender-fluidity and this is one of her comments on the matter of differences between men and women based on research of her own and her colleagues. "I think, for the researchers, because there are some studies that are coming out now that show that 'Oh, there are no differences in the brain between men and women,' and those studies are ideologically motivated without question... You cannot read the literature [from these studies] and come away thinking there are no differences between men and women biologically. You just can't."
*end edit*

Just one thing before I wrap up.  I understand that in rare circumstances, there are people who end up with both a penis and breasts or some other mixup of sexual organs.  In these cases, my understanding of God's laws are that the proper way to approach this is with considerable prayer, consulting scripture, ecclesiastical and professional counselling and careful conversation between parent and child. Then, if cleared through proper ecclesiastical authority, decisions can be made to correct any birth defects of that nature.  The same thing applies in the cases of those who struggle with same sex or bisexual attraction but in the way of emotional or mental adjustments.

Ok, there.  Got that out.

Moving on, something I want to end with here is a combination of encouragement and a statement of warning.  I promise you on my own life and soul, that the nature of gender, sex, and the family as defined by God and taught to us by His Prophets is the best way to happiness.  Stick with a chaste heterosexual lifestyle.  Stick with your biological and divinely appointed gender.  Stick with traditional marriage and relationships and rely on and use the atonement of Jesus Christ through personal difficulties relating to confusion in these matters. Align your life with divine law. These are the best hope you have of eternal life joy.   The Family Proclamation affirms what happens if we don't: "WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

There's enough confusion out there and I know it can be hard to navigate through it all.  Satan is good at using people's emotions to cloud their judgement.  Don't let him trap you the same way he has trapped millions of others.  If you are male, be a man, or if you are female, be a woman!  Embrace your respectively testosterone or estrogen fueled impulses, within divinely prescribed limits of course.  Obviously self control is a good thing.  But don't be afraid of your gender!  Become the son or daughter of God you were designed to be.  It will bring you eternal joy.  I promise.