This is another in the Gay Gospel Doctrine Class series of posts that takes a lesson from the LDS Church’s (Adult) Gospel Doctrine class and presents it from a gay perspective. Today’s lesson is based on Lesson #22 in the Gospel Doctrine Manual (“Inherit the Kingdom Prepared for You”).
In last week’s lesson, Utahhiker801 sort of turned the whole “signs of the times” thing upon its head, basically arguing that instead of constantly focusing on everything that is bad in the world, just sitting back and waiting for the end to come, we should be engaging with the world, looking at the positive and helping to bring about change to make the world a better place.
I’d like to continue that theme a bit in this lesson, which is essentially based on the 25th Chapter of Matthew. This chapter also addresses the second coming and contains the parable of the Ten Virgins, the parable of the talents and the so-called parable of the goats and the sheep.
Most of us are very familiar with the parable of the ten virgins and how this parable is typically interpreted and taught: the emphasis is on doing those things we need to do so that we have oil in our lamps at the second coming. Similarly, the parable of the talents is taught with an emphasis on doing things to prepare for the second coming.
This parable of the talents is immediately followed by what some refer to as the parable of the goats and the sheep. I tend to view those verses, however, as a mere transition to what I see as the highlight of this chapter:
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
As was discussed in last week’s lesson, I’d like to suggest that we as Latter-day Saints focus too much on the first part of this chapter, i.e., the parable of the ten virgins and making sure we are “prepared,” at the expense of the last part of the chapter, quoted above. In these verses, it seems to me the Savior is teaching what our true mission in life should be, and that if we do these things, we will surely inherit the kingdom prepared for us, not because we will have earned a bunch of brownie points, but because our heart will be as it should be.
So what is the gay piece of this lesson? As I expound upon in this post, I believe very strongly that there is a kingdom prepared for Heavenly Father’s gay sons. This is a radical concept in current LDS theology, but it is one, I submit, that fits within the parameters of the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and, more importantly, those of the Savior.
Lastly, I’d like to point out that the Savior referred to kingdoms “prepared from the foundation of the world.” In Latter-day Saint-speak, the foundation of the world refers to the pre-existence in general and the Grand Council in particular. Just as there is room in Mormon theology to contemplate a celestial kingdom for God’s gay children, I believe there is room in this statement by the Savior to conclude that such a kingdom was prepared from before time was. And if this is the case, it logically follows that our sexual nature existed “from the foundation of the world.” To quote Joseph Smith: “This is good doctrine. It tastes good.”
Can you taste it?