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"Personally, I can't understand why anyone who figures out they are gay would possibly decide to stick around the LDS Church to be the village scapegoat when they can find sincere Christian support and understanding from any of several other denominations."

Presumably their testimony?

Yes, but that's too simple. First, attending church somewhere else doesn't negate their testimony or religious convictions, it simply gives them access to Christian understanding and support they don't get in most LDS congregations. An LDS testimony doesn't prevent them from attending church elsewhere. So simply invoking testimony doesn't explain why they cling.

Second, how do they maintain a testimony in the face of rejection? How do they maintain a testimony in the face of disconfirming facts or experience? It's clear we understand the role of "fellowshipping" in developing and strengthening a testimony. So by the same process, the unfellowshipping and rejection gays often appear to feel should cause them to reorient their religious convictions toward another denomination or belief system. It no doubt does in at least some cases.

I think a lot of people go to church not because they have a good experience there but because of their testimony. I can think of periods in my own life like that. I think there is a certain Mormon mindset that does many things because it is holding ones testimony in the face of opposition. For some people that isn't enough. And I certainly can understand how social pressures can both keep people from church and weaken a potentially strong testimony.

But I'm not sure everyone goes to church for fellowship. In a lot of faiths, people merely show up as a kind of ordinance or expected ritual and couldn't care less about fellowship. (I can think of friends who were Catholic or Anglican who did this) Of course just meeting together is a kind of fellowship, but not the kind I think you are talking about.

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