When I was a given the opportunity to write about this issue, I saw it as chance to further educate people about some of the things I feel the Lord has taught me in regard to what I believe is the true nature of this challenge. I was initially very wary. First of all, writing has never been one of my talents, and I doubted my capacity to put something so sensitive and personal into words in a way that would help others understand why I believe and feel the way I do. Also, I had some idea of the nature of the various responses that were sure to come--I expected criticism from those whose beliefs vary from my own concerning the nature of this attraction and the appropriate response to it.Ty Mansfield in In Quiet Desperation
I will now pretend I do not know Ty has read my posts on his book so that I can spout effusive praise in what would otherwise appear to be shameless pandering. In a word, Ty rocks.
This book is necessary. It's not perfect, and I could be more critical of a few specifics if I were so inclined, but it's just the thing for a wary LDS audience wanting to jettison congenital prejudice but unsure what attitudes should replace it. The format Ty used of quoting passages he found influential while dealing with same-gender attraction seems reflective of a genuine and intensely personal journey. It's precisely what I'm trying to do right now with my blog. So, I don't find it at all preachy or inappropriate, rather I have a lot of gratitude for the huge work that went into researching and producing such a resource.
And it doesn't hurt that I agree with him on nearly everything. I find his writing to be more insightful than, well, pretty much anything I've read on the subject. There are other great books that take a bit more time on scientific, political, and theoretical things, but this is a great LDS-centered discussion. I don't know what kind of criticisms Ty ended up receiving to those critical of the church's position on homosexuality, but I was surprised to find a supernally stupid review by a group claiming to defend the church's views. I really like some of the articles on that site and I'm more than appalled that their response to Ty's rebuttal fails to concede anything but their own evasiveness. Imagine my disgust at their disappointing hypocrisy. At one point Byrd says:
The view of homosexuality expressed in this book is neither reflective of good science nor gospel doctrine. In fact, the book renders an injustice to homosexual men and women by not letting them know that they can make changes in their lives and that there is hope and sufficient help available through well-established treatment protocols (compatible with revealed scripture) for those who want to conform their lives to the Lord's standards.
Did you even read the book? Or are you just saying that the problem with the book is that the authors convey their own views rather than yours... that it fails to be an advertisement for the scientific bias you've chosen and to which you've attempted to attribute church endorsement! Write your own damn book!
I'm not sure why Fred Matis is the first author when to my knowledge he wrote none of it. Editor? Marilyn's portion was nice and well-done as a narrative example of a typical Mormon mom. I could imagine some of my family member's writing in precisely the same style and interpreting the situations and events precisely the same way. And I love her for it.
So, sure, I could point out a few flaws, but why would I criticize what I believe is the best resource I've encountered (other than my blog, of course) for an LDS man with same-gender attraction?