Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood


LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer Is Wrong About Homosexual Relationships

posted by Jana Riess
lds_general_conference.jpg

I had a lovely blog post written for today, which I drafted on Saturday after being deeply moved by the beautiful talks from Elder Jeffrey Holland and Elder Dieter Uchtdorf. The blog today was going to be about favorite General Conference talks, and I was looking forward to hearing about your all-time favorite talks–the ones that have stirred your soul or moved you to greater spiritual depth.

That post is now back in “draft” status and can keep for another time. I need to talk instead about what Elder Boyd K. Packer said yesterday in the Sunday morning session, which broke the hearts of many faithful people, both gay and straight.

Packer said, “If we’re not alert, there are those today who not
only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that will legalize
immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s
laws and nature … what good would a vote against the law of
gravity do?”


“Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what
they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the
unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that
to anyone?”

Why, indeed? Elder Packer finds it against God’s
natural laws that some people might be born gay, since homosexual
relationships do not lead to children. The Salt Lake Tribune reported:

The senior apostle drew on the church’s 1995 declaration, “The Family: A
Proclamation to the World,” to support his view that the power to
create offspring “is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It
is the key — the very key.”

If we
were to take this argument to its logical conclusion, we would then be
compelled to ask why God would create some loving and good people to be
infertile, like several faithful couples in my ward who have been denied
children. (We would also need to ask why the Church has stopped advising members to always eschew birth control, preferring to leave that issue between a couple and the Lord.) Or we might ask why other people are born with autism, or
schizophrenia, or any disability that might preclude a healthy marital
relationship and the possibility of parenthood. But I don’t need to take
this argument to that logical conclusion, because I know in my heart
that the line of argument is fundamentally flawed. Gay people are not
lesser children of God, or morally compromised, or disabled, for being
attracted to people of the same sex.

It is painful to be so at
odds with my Church on this issue.  It is especially painful to see the
Church’s anti-homosexuality arguments take such a step backward; it is
one thing to say, as other apostles have done, that the Church opposes
homosexuality and that “we don’t know” why some individuals appear to be
biologically predisposed toward same-sex attraction. It is another
thing entirely to deny that God would ever create an individual who
would be unable to fulfill a mandate of reproduction, or to equate
homosexuality with pornography, which is a sin of lust, exploitation,
and disordered desires.

I believe that Elder Packer is wrong
that there is no such thing as a godly homosexual relationship. I define a godly partnership as two
individuals who strive in mutual fidelity to honor one another and care together for others. I have seen a number of godly, lifelong,
homosexual relationships, just as I have seen some heterosexual temple
marriages that were unholy, like an LDS man who would not stop
belittling and humiliating his wife in public, or an LDS woman who
turned her children against their father because he had not been as
successful in his career as she thought he should be. On the flip side, I
have seen plenty of excellent, beautiful Mormon temple marriages, and
some unhealthy gay relationships. Like heterosexual marriages, gay
relationships are found all across the spectrum, and it only serves to
demonize gay individuals  to characterize all gay relationships as
“impure” or “not in harmony with the principles of the Gospel.”

The
principles of the Gospel involve love and faith, not condemnation of
anyone who is different. In the LDS Church, we are “trying to be like
Jesus,” as the Primary song puts it. Our goal in life is to become more
like Christ. Why, then, do we fixate so much of our attention on
condemning homosexuality, a subject that Christ did not address a single
time in his earthly ministry?



  • harpchil

    Jana, I’m with you. That was difficult for me to watch. It was especially painful as I thought back to Elder Oaks’s 1995(?) article about “Same Gender Attraction.” I read that article as a missionary, and it really changed my point of view from one that would have applauded Pres. Packer’s comments to one that is much more sympathetic (and even accepting) towards homosexuals.
    I look forward to reading your other GC posts, though.

  • http://bycommonconsent.com Tracy M

    Thank you Jana.

  • Rich

    I think an important clarification to your comments is that there is no record of Jesus addressing the subject of homosexuality. Furthermore, there are other parts of the Bible that seem to address the subject.
    Regardless, Elder Packer’s comments don’t line up with what Elder Oaks addressed previously, so I am going to pay more attention to Elder Oaks’ comments, which seem much more in line with what the LDS Church’s official stance is.

  • AJ

    Jana,
    “I define a godly partnership as two individuals who strive in mutual fidelity to honor one another and care together for others”
    The key word in your statement is I. According to ancient scripture, God certainly defines it differently. Before you post such pathetic drivel, become informed and stop creating your own definitions. We are to love, but that doesn’t mean that there is no sin. Should we love the murderer? Of course. Should we “love” their sin. Of course not. This is simple. It is an absolute truth. It doesn’t matter what your definition is, truth cannot be subjected to opinion.
    You need to apologize and read a little more.
    A.J., PhD Brown University

  • Your Name

    While heterosexuals debate, discuss, degrade, dehumanize and brutalize their gay offspring, many of your gay children are starting to say, “Enough is enough” and “Is this what I am destined for – a lifetime of abuse by heterosexuals?”
    They are making this statement by taking their own lives. 6 of your gay children in the U.S. killed themselves last month alone. Many of them under the age of 13.
    And while most heterosexuals seem to luxuriate in this debate, apparently arguing that if ‘the gay’ is a choice than their treatment of us is warranted, it never seems to have crossed their mind to simply ASK a gay person, ‘Did you choose to be gay?’
    If people were ‘choosing to be gay,’ it would not take one very long to make another choice when confronted with the disrespect, degradation and humiliation that heterosexuals impose on their gay children, now would it?
    This debate ITSELF has become immoral. Heterosexuals openly debating and discussing the worth and value of another human being’s life without even the slightest hint of embarrassment or shame in doing so tells the world just how sub-human most of you view your gay children to be. But to wrap that bigotry up with a nice bow and call it morality is nothing less than despicable.
    My sexual orientation is not a choice. Nor is yours. In our hearts, we ALL know this. Denying it allows many heterosexuals to treat gay citizens in the manner that they do. Otherwise, that would make them barbaric, right? But if it were a choice, I would still choose to be gay, rather than be counted amongst those that would bring millions and millions of gay children into this world, only to abuse, degrade, dehumanize and brutalize them for their entire lives.
    The Mormon church, the Catholic church and MANY other denominations are quite responsible for carrying out this brutal abuse of gay citizens. And it is costing children their very lives. The blood of innocent children IS on their hands, and in turn, the hands of each member of those churches.
    Morality indeed, folks.
    Morality indeed.

  • http://sideon.wordpress.com/ Sideon

    Lovely post, and I’m happy to see critical commentary from the LDS community that holds Packer accountable for his dehumanization and continual ostracization of the gay and lesbian community.
    One suggestion – it IS okay and credible to say “gay and lesbian.”
    Be well.

  • C.N., PhD Standford

    Jana,
    Thank you for your thoughts. It is so inspiring. I will be posting your article to my Facebook page for all of my 1,231 friends. Thank you for making me feel like I am not the only Mormon who disagrees with the leaders of the church. Just plain sad.
    I can’t wait until the older generation is gone with all of their judgements so that everyone will be free to love ALL human beings. What does it say about a church where no visitors ever just walk in. Just plain sad.
    CN

  • http://www.scholaristas.wordpress.com ep

    The language of the family proclamation, in its attempts to clearly outlaw homosexuality, is still open to interpretation. And President Packer just offered the most conservative (not surprisingly) interpretation he could muster. Male and female gender as essential characteristic? Well, of what bodies? Male gender always of male bodies and female gender always of female bodies? That is the preferred interpretation, but it’s not the only one that could be read from that statement. Sacred powers of procreation only used between husband and wife? So, sex is only for having kids. Then we should start preaching that all sex even within marriage is sinful unless it is being used for sacred procreative purposes. Marriage is legalized promiscuity, based on that definition.

  • Bruce Weik

    It’s good to know Elder Packer has this all figured out. He should run for God.

  • Andrew

    Thanks Jana. I missed the morning session, as I attended a UMC service. The pastor gave a lovely sermon about God’s Kingdom, and how the church (the cosmic definition rather than institutional church) has not done a good job of including gays, minorities, women, and the poor. We need to do better, he said. Earlier, the junior pastor mentioned the tragic suicide of the Rutgers student whose sexual life was made public by his roommate. He prayed that we may learn what it means to live in community with others – no matter our differences.
    So to come home and read the reactions to this talk on the Bloggernacle was deeply distressing and saddening.
    It’s one thing to say anti-gay things in public; it’s an entirely different thing to say them so close on the heels of public tragedy like young Mr. Clementi’s suicide. The first is simply offensive; the latter is beyond all decency.
    So the question this begs, is what do Latter-day Saints, who love the Church and find meaning in it but don’t accept the anti-gay rhetoric, do? Is there any means by which we can help alter the attitudes and rhetoric of the leadership? Or are we simply along for the ride? If the latter, I’m feeling ready to jump ship.

  • Kirchy

    I don’t think Elder Packer was saying there’s no such thing as someone who’s born with tendencies or urges toward homosexual behavior. I think he was saying that it is possible to overcome those tendencies.

  • Jason

    How can a faithful LDS member not understand that existance does not terminate at the end of this tiny window of mortality? Is it so hard to believe that God would give us a trial that will not be overcome in this life, and yet expect us to remain morally clean? My Aunt was homely and never was able to be married in this life. However, she maintained a testimony that all blessings were available to faithful Latter-Day Saints…eventually. She will have both marriage and children in the next life, I have no doubt. So yes, you can follow all circumstances to their conclusion and find a merciful God who still expects you to follow his commandments in this life, regardless of your sexual orientation. It will be made right in the end.

  • Sam Garner

    There is nothing wrong with Elder Packer’s remarks . . . and it’s not for the members of the LDS Church to criticize the Brethren or hold them to account. We can humbly and faithfully sustain and receive the Lord’s anointed, or we can fight and rebel against them ONLY to our own condemnation.
    Elder Packer was simply reaffirming the Lord’s position on homosexuality: that it is a SIN. He also reaffirmed the LDS doctrine that men are free to choose good or evil; that while they may be tempted to engage in homosexual activity, they do not have to yield to the temptation. But that through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ they may overcome all things which are not ordained of the Father.
    The world is wrong about homosexuality. It is not under any circumstances acceptable or tolerated by God. Just as fornication and adultery are unacceptable. Elder Packer reaffirmed this because the world and many members of the Church are determined to deny the justice of God and remake Him in their own image.

  • Joe

    I want to thank the author for coming to the same conclusion that took me as a gay man many years to figure out. Listening to those in my community, my church and even my family, I had assumed the truth in what those of authority told me about homosexuality of what the rest of my life would entail. It took me years to realize that it was all a lie, brought about by their misguided religious convictions, and that I had every capability as any heterosexual to form meaningful, life-long and binding relationships. I’m extraordinary lucky that along that journey that my family, my community, and even my church eventually came to accept that fact as well. It was not me that was a moral failing, but the abandonment of me by those authorities that led to me a self-sulfilling prophecy. If you abandon someone, they are no longer bound to the same moral code. But with acceptance comes a renewed vow to hold me and anyone else to that same code. Remember that before you cast aside your own children.

  • Brent

    Jana, thanks for your post. Can you do me a favor, though? Can you pretty please avoid repeating the whole “Jesus never preached against homosexuality during his earthly ministry” line? The Gospels are a woefully incomplete record of the Savior’s teachings.
    While I bear no malice towards homosexuals, I cannot understand how homosexuality can be considered in harmony with what Latter-day Saints consider to be God’s ultimate aim for His children. But I don’t pretend to know God’s mind. I’m sure He’ll take care of it.

  • Faithful LDS

    “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”
    President Brigham Young, (Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.109)

  • A.J.

    I must thank CN for his/her superb rebuttal to my post. I cannot recall the last time a Stanford educated PhD committed a first grade grammar error. CN, Question marks (?) are placed at the end of a question. Oh, and the next time to try to appear educated, spell the name of your Alma Mater correctly.
    I can see why “bloggers” are not journalists, Jana. I am certainly not defending the majority of today’s journalists but they are trained to pay attention to detail. Let us recall what President Packer did in fact say.
    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”
    Did he deny that some may be born with tendencies? No. He said that no one is born with any tendency contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ that they cannot overcome. Thank you Kirchy for being the only one who actually listened to the discourse. I do know a thing or two about the brain and its capacity. Scientifically it is possible to overcome “innate” tendencies. Remember that science/biology “discriminated” against homosexuality first.(reproduction)
    A.J. PhD Brown University (Neuroscience, in case you were wondering CN)

  • gb kitty

    This post gives me hope that someday more LDS church members will wake up and start thinking rationally and sanely. Gay people do not CHOOSE to be gay. Do you need evidence of this? Here’s some for you: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/111663.php
    And they have the right as free human beings to enjoy the love and security of marriage, if they so choose.
    I realize LDS church members believe their Prophets have the power of discernment and receive revelation directly from God, but there is a woeful amount of evidence to the contrary. Take the Book of Abraham for one, which in actuality is the Book of Breathings, which was not written “by the hand of Abraham” nor does it have anything whatsoever to do with Abraham or his people. Take this one example and then ask yourselves if your “Prophets” could be wrong about other things as well. Wake up and start thinking for yourselves!

  • Mike S

    Thank you for your post. I am an active LDS member who also disagrees with Elder Packer. I think the general authorities are good men who are trying their best and can be inspired, but they are also men with their own biases and opinions. Could I be wrong in disagreeing with Elder Packer? Absolutely. But could he also be wrong? Absolutely.
    The history of our church shows that just because someone is an apostle or prophet, everything they say isn’t always true.
    - We had Bruce R McConkie teach us that blacks will NEVER have the priesthood until after the millennium. After the 1978 statement, he said he “was wrong”.
    - We had Joseph Fielding Smith teach us that we would never land a man on the moon. Unless you are a NASA-conspiratist, that was wrong too.
    - Brigham Young taught about what the people who lived on the moon looked like when we sent them missionaries. He also taught that a white person who married a black person would die on the spot. Hmmmm.
    - Multiple early Church leaders taught that polygamy was the only way to get to the Celestial kingdom. Polygamy will now get you excommunicated from the Church and thus keep you OUT of the Celestial kingdom.
    So, who knows? Maybe Elder Packer is right, maybe he’s wrong. He certainly did MUCH more damage with his talk to more people than he helped. A heterosexual married person certainly wasn’t helped by his talk. A gay LDS boy struggling with feelings of inadequacy was certainly harmed – hopefully not to the point of suicide – but it was a bad, demeaning talk.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-jb0gVFp1c&feature=related Shirley

    “There are children, like Bobby, sitting in your congregations. Unknown to you they will be listening as you echo “amen” and that will soon silence their prayers. Their prayers to God for understanding and acceptance and for your love but your hatred and fear and ignorance of the word gay, will silence those prayers. So, before you echo “amen” in your home and place of worship. Think. Think and remember a child is listening.”

  • Eric

    It is shocking and it saddens me to see otherwise faithful members of the church outwardly criticizing and questioning the counsel of an apostle of the Lord. I’ll leave you with some Quotes…
    “I never want to see the day come when these men, to whom you have entrusted the right and power to preside, shall have their mouths closed so that they dare not reprove sin or rebuke iniquity. … It is our duty to do it. We are here for that purpose. We are watchmen upon the towers of Zion [see Ezekiel 3:17–19]. It is our business and duty to point out errors and follies among men; and if men will not receive it, they must go their own way and abide the consequences. Those who will not obey righteous counsels will be the sufferers, and not those who rebuke iniquity.”
    -Joseph F. Smith
    “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, shall be Scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation”
    D&C 68:4

  • http://www.mpdaniel.blogspot.com Michael

    I am not LDS, but the writer’s passion and compassion are compelling. There is a point to consider in this entire debate within the Church, however. That we are created in a divine image is true enough, but that divine image is not flesh or our human inclinations and impulses. What is divine within us is the soul, that better part of us, which is divinely imparted to us. It is a mystery, to be sure, but it must not be confused with that which I believe to be innate: service of self, which is to say that I think there is a natural impulse to seek one’s own good, one’s own pleasures and needs and desires first. The Christian faith calls us to reach beyond that. What Christ requires of us is completely against our natural inclinations and impulses.
    The proposition that the Lord created someone specifically (or even accidentally or incidentally) to “be gay” is disingenious at best, and blasphemous at worst. We were created to serve Him and one another, not to seek our own, not to obey our carnal impulses and desires. This, I think, is the heart and the soul of the entire debate. It is entirely about faith and whom we love “first”.
    Homosexuals are human beings of sacred worth, no more or less so than any other human person. I am a raging heterosexual whose natural impulses and innate desires are to mate with women – I am naturally predisposed to adultery and fornication. Would it be fair to suggest that the Lord “made me” that way? Would it be fair to suggest that I cannot help what I am and should therefore surrender to my flesh? Hardly. I am called to something bigger, something much greater than myself. So is everyone else. Whether they choose to answer that call determines whether or not that person wants to be a part of the Christian community and leave the carnal community behind.
    With all due respect.

  • Marilee

    Thank you Mike S. for your post. I couldn’t agree more. The historic quotes that you post are certainly distressing and embarrassing. They also give those of us who are active LDS hope for a more embracing discourse from the apostles. I am hopeful when I hear of Elder Jensen’s apology http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/sexandgender/3437/mormon_leader:_‘i’m_sorry’_for_hurtful_legacy_of_prop._8/. So sad that Elder Packer’s words are not in line with his.

  • http://twitter.com/averagewerewolf Jared B.

    I’m not LDS, but I am gay and a Christian, and this post gives me a lot of hope. Thank you for standing for the voice of love.

  • mark

    Dear A.J., PhD,
    There is no absolute truth when dealing with religious beliefs. If so the would not be 10,000 conflicting beliefs. There would only be ONE belief. Go’s to show having a PhD does not make you thst smart….

  • Michael

    Jana-
    thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking comments. As an active member of the LDS Church and human being, I believe it is my moral obligation to stand up for what I believe to be right and by default, what I believe to be false. I cannot stand by and sustain, or support, Boyd K. Packer in his General Conference comments made this past Sunday. I am genuinely saddened that such comments were uttered from the pulpit in such a public forum. I believe it to be hateful and in no way constructive. Comments such as “Elder” Packer’s only seem add fuel to the fire, and give those discriminating and bigitous members of the LDS Church a convenient quote that they can rattle off to justify their unfortunate views to raise themselves up while debasing others. Take it for what it’s worth, but it’s talks like Boyd K. Packers that leave me feeling ashamed of being a member of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” It’s time for members of the LDS Church, myself included, to stand up and voice our opinions. I urge anyone in disagreement with Elder Packers comments to write at least three letters (not email…real paper and pen letters in human hand-writing) to:
    1) President Monson- voicing concern for Elder Packer’s comments made over the pulpit in this last General Conference.
    2) Elder Packer- politely voicing you disdain for his lack of tact and any aspect of his talk that you disagree with.
    3) A letter to your local newspaper- openly voicing your opinion as to the recent remarks made by Boyd K. Packer.
    I can’t guarantee that the first two letters will even make it into the hands of President Monson and/or Elder Packer, but it is definitely worth the effort. A letter to the Editor of your local newspaper, on the other hand, may very likely be published and will help this debate to continue, hopefully in a positive direction, so that individuals will have the opportunity to voice their opinions.
    Thank you again for such a thoughtful and sensitive article.

  • Rob

    Thanks for this post. I’m a member of the church and I definitely disagreed with Elder Packer’s remarks. My family watches General Conference together, but I actually slept in a little late and so I missed his talk. When I woke up I asked my family what he spoke on and was disappointed to hear. My family seemed to totally accept everything he said, I think they thought his conceptual metaphor about the kitten was especially amusing for some people and so they assumed it carried over to gays (which come on lets get real IT DOESN’T.)
    Anyways I think I also need to say that I do have hope that not all of the apostles agree with Elder Packer’s views. Some people tend to think that all of the quorom of the twelve are agreed on every little thing, but I don’t think that is the case. I know that when President Hinckley was asked if people were born gay, he said “I don’t know, he was not an expert on the matter and he don’t pretend to be.” The talk that Elder Packer gave was not audited. Church members believe that the burden of proof is on the them. If they feel the Holy Ghost then the message was given by the Holy Ghost, and is the voice of the Lord. I did not feel the Holy Ghost.
    I disagree with President Packer’s opinion on the matter of gays choosing to be gay. The church asks so much of its gay members. Are they supposed to remain celebate their whole lives? The church has backed away from gays marrying in a heterosexual relationship unless they have some sort attraction, and are completely able to control their same gender attractions. On top of all this their is a community of intolerance that I cannot imagine living in as a gay person.
    Thanks again for the blog post. I think you hit it right on the money. This is something that I hope the next generation of Latter day “saints” can work through. Seriously I hope we can work on really earning that title.

  • Buck J

    The chasm beween LDS families just got much wider. My partner and I have been together over 13 years and were married in Canada 6 years ago. He knows my LDS background is important to me, so when he sees that a Church leader tells us we have no hope, our relationship is damaged.
    The orthodox choir will nod their collective head in agreement with Packer’s remarks, but those who have worked so hard for acceptance and for our allies who have extended the hand of love and fellowship, this slap across the face in the name of God is devastating. It may be the straw that breaks the back of many family relationships. I am heartbroken.

  • Christopher Bigelow

    As far as hetero couples who are infertile on this earth, their marriage can be fertile in the afterlife (if you accept Mormon theology, that is, which I don’t know to what degree you do). On the other hand, a gay “marriage” could never yield offspring, not now and not in eternity.
    I don’t see why it’s such a hard and terrible thing to expect members who are too same-sex oriented to marry heterosexually to remain celibate. Life is a time of trial, and certainly there are harder trials than celibacy. Some hetero-married people may actually see celibacy as the route they would have preferred, given their trials of their marriages and families that sex/romance could not outweigh. And if one has faith in the Lord, he can enable a life path of celibacy with compensatory blessings, lightening of burdens, etc.
    Life is an opportunity to become like God, and God isn’t gay. Choosing to live in a gay sexual relationship is unholy and impure, even if gay partners are monogamous and have a good time together and offer each other much companionship and solace.
    The sad thing is, Jana, is that if this issue ever gets fully resolved one way or the other, either you or I (and people like each of us) may have to leave the church over it. You CANNOT have gay and Mormonism at the same time; if you think you can, then you do not really have Mormonism.

  • Lara

    It’s this issue more than anything else that eventually caused me to leave the church after 30 years of faithful membership. I simply cannot believe that these men (the general authorities) are inspired by God. Once you start to doubt in one area, eventually the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. I voted once against my conscience (for California’s Prop 22 in 2000) because I was trying to be obedient. I felt terrible about that decision. I won’t ever be on the wrong side of history again. Gays deserve every right that any other citizen enjoys. If Packer and his entourage want to live under Sharia law, they should move to Saudi Arabia.

  • Chris

    “Elder Packer finds it against God’s natural laws that some people might be born gay, since homosexual relationships do not lead to children”
    Where did he say that? The quote you have from him above has him questioning why God would want someone to be homosexual just because they may have some desire to be homosexual. And he is saying that just because you have a desire doesn’t mean God doesn’t want you to overcome that desire.
    I have lots of desires. That’s what the natural man is. That’s what the atonement of Jesus Christ is for. To strengthen us in putting off the natural man and cleans us from the sin that results when we fail, as we all will.
    But to suggest that one’s sex drive or our consideration of what is desirable must be considered Godly is a grave mistake. I would hope that people who hear Pres. Packer’s words can take a step back and analyze them with the charity they accuse Pres. Packer of not having.

  • Chris

    “If Packer and his entourage want to live under Sharia law, they should move to Saudi Arabia.”
    So this is what passes for debate? Let’s tone it down a notch. You oppose my moral viewpoint and you’re on equal footing with a legal system that chops off hands of those who steal, stones and whips people, etc.

  • Joseph

    I don’t have time to read all of the comments; hopefully an earlier one pointed out the fact that Elder Packer’s reference to “impure and unnatural” were not about lack of childbearing but about homosexual acts. This entire blog post misconstrues his message. He clarified his point by scripturally referring to 1 Corinthians 10:13: “God . . . will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. . . . to bear it.” He is obviously not talking about things like infertility, which is a physical condition and not a temptation. In regard to homosexuality, which is also physical condition, he is referring to the “impure and unnatural” behaviors associated with not resisting the temptations associated with the physical condition. The same would be said about an infertile couple who is tempted to remedy their lack of children by abducting someone else’s child, that would be “impure and unnatural,” they are not justified by the physical condition that God preset them with.
    Elder Packer’s message was one of faith, and it fit perfectly with that theme of so many other messages. We live in a hard world, we are all preset with tendencies that if not bridled become “impure and unnatural.” God has allowed these tendencies to develop in the world; the good news is he has also promised deliverance. I have nothing but admiration for those of my brothers and sisters who experience same gender attraction and struggle to make sense of it in the context of the gospel. The most amazing book I have ever read on real application of the atonement is “In Quiet Desperation,” by a member of the church who has wrestled with same gender attraction. The faith that he was able to maintain in the midst of his experiences is inspiring. His maintenance of faith in such a seeming contradiction gives me faith to endure the seeming contradictions of my life.
    Let’s be honest and not misconstrue the words of inspired men who are helping us to navigate the raging sea of life.

  • Chris

    President Packer said (which you quoted):
    You assume that he was saying those tendencies cannot be inborn – however when I heard him speak I heard in effect – whether or not they are inborn is inconsequential because God would never give us tendencies or trials that cannot be overcome.
    Alcoholism can be genetic but if someone wants to not be an alcoholic one step is to stop going to bars and avoid places with alcohol. I believe these same things can be applied to Homosexuality, pornography, anger, pride and all manner of sins. We each have tendencies for things that are wrong. Some of these tendencies may be inborn and some may result from our environment. Either way our responsibility on earth is to avoid sin.
    He also talked about how “we are free to ignore the commandments, but when the revelations speak in such blunt terms as ‘Thou Shalt Not’ we better pay attention.”
    I did find that President Packer was more direct than others have been in the past but the stance of the Church hasn’t changed.

  • April

    “the stance of the Church hasn’t changed.”
    Really? It used to be excommunicatable to even be attracted to the same sex… now it’s just in the cases when those attractions are acted upon.
    To me, that’s a change, though not a change that happened with this conference.
    The Church does change. It’s hard to say it doesn’t.

  • B

    Thank you so much for your post! I support you Jana and completely agree with you!

  • Grumpy Old Person

    “Should we love the murderer?”
    To compare loving, committed, consenting, adult human behavior to murder is one of the most heinous examples of bearing false witness against God’s gay and lesbian children.
    A little discernment is in order. Comparing the taking of a life to loving someone is among the vilest sins I’ve ever witnessed.
    Shame on you.

  • Corina

    Before I was a member of the Church, I used to think, “Why would anyone deny someone else the right to marry another person even if it is the same sex? It’s not affecting me any.” But now, I understand that we are acting with charity. We are trying to help our brothers and sisters return with us to our Heavenly Father, where they belong. Satan wants us to believe that those things are right and natural. He’s smart, cunning, and wll stop at nothing to make us believe his ways are the right ways. We must be strong enough to be able to differentiate the difference between Satan’s ways and the ways Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father’s ways. I don’t see the Church’s stance as a stance of hate. I see it as a kind of hope for those who may be struggling to understand the Church can help them hold onto the iron rod and get back onto the straight and narrow path.

  • Corina

    Before I was a member of the Church, I used to think, “Why would anyone deny someone else the right to marry another person even if it is the same sex? It’s not affecting me any.” But now, I understand that we are acting with charity. We are trying to help our brothers and sisters return with us to our Heavenly Father, where they belong. Satan wants us to believe that those things are right and natural. He’s smart, cunning, and wll stop at nothing to make us believe his ways are the right ways. We must be strong enough to be able to differentiate the difference between Satan’s ways and the ways Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father’s ways. I don’t see the Church’s stance as a stance of hate. I see it as a kind of hope for those who may be struggling to understand the Church can help them hold onto the iron rod and get back onto the straight and narrow path.

  • Mike

    Consider the act. Now are there any documented occurances of this behavior in the animal kingdom? Do we ever read or hear about this in the wild? My belief is it runs contrary to the laws of nature. In addition. there are no recorded same sex marriages in the scriputres that are sanctioned by God. For me this is sufficient evidence.

  • Equally Conflicted

    I totally agree with you. I’m involved in theater and have an overwhelming amount of amazing homosexual friends that I honestly believe are doing all they can to be good and Christ-like people. I know the Lord loves them. My head spins around this issue all the time. Thank you for being verbal.

  • Russel

    I left the LDS church 10 years ago for other reasons, but the comments about the blog from LDS apologists bring back bad memories. I’m hetero, and my wife remains a temple-going member. Nevertheless, I find this issue divisive. Here are three themes in the posts from LDS apologists that bring back bad memories and make me glad to be “Ex”.
    1. From an LDS perspective, it’s important to establish whether or not homosexual behavior is a choice. If genes or other factors determine homosexuality, God in the LDS theology is somehow unfair. For me, whether it’s a choice or not is now irrelevant. The paradigm of a harsh, rule-based, performance-based divine acceptance seems foreign and flawed to me now.
    2. What an individual apostle or prophet pronounces in general conference is personally crucial for members’ sense of peace, spiritual meaning, and interpretive frameworks. I now view the kerfuffle as a bit overdone over comments from one well-intentioned church leader who sees the world through a very different lens than I do. I care about the cultural impact and the intolerant tone it reinforces among those who pay such close attention to him, but I don’t personally care what he thinks. I sometimes take for granted the liberated feeling of thinking for myself and finding my own truth, until I brush up against LDS norms and kerfuffle over leader comments.
    3. The underlying tone is one of condemnation of homosexual behavior as wrong and sinful, without apology (it’s God who pronounced it so, after all); those who engage in it are flawed. LDS responses and positions relative to gay and lesbian individuals may be conciliatory, friendly, and loving, but the underlying assumption is that the afflicted individuals are sinful and “less than”. Those assumptions may be dressed up in tolerant words about loving the sinner, but they still strike me as insulting and intolerant to a person who does not believe it’s a sin.

  • Andy

    I had to check the internet this morning after yesterday’s talk. I wasn’t too surprised to see several in the Gay Community crying foul and I find it sad to see that several are falling into the same old verse of “I am born this way.” instead of trying to figure out a way past it.
    If we were to look at this logical I believe that you would tend to agree with me. Though most gays won’t simply because it would require a change and as we all know change isn’t easy. Let me explain.
    Minus the people out there that are truly born with some type of defect or serious mental problem, I don’t believe that anyone is born gay. If you want to argue that why would anyone want to be gay? Humm… acceptance? Friends? Love? All great things and typically lacking while growning up if you were identified having any traits typically associated with being gay. I have known two friends who are now gay, but growing up they weren’t. Gay people would say they were always that way and they finally came out. I don’t agree. They had both been teased growning up about being gay, but never showed anything with me growing up that would be any form of gay act. Then in High School they started hanging out with a openly gay crowd and sure enough later announced that they were gay and one even developed a lisp.
    I believe that everyone is born with different weaknesses. Mine isn’t yours and what I might be strong in you might not be. Example is my mother who became an alcholic. If you had spoken to her before she died she would of been the first to tell you that she didn’t want to be that way, but addiction had taken over. I loved my mother and miss her horribly. Some people battle with infidelity and pornograhy and drugs and a multitude of other things. The attraction to the same sex is the same to me someone who has the overwellming urge to do something they know they shouldn’t and it doesn’t take root until they commit to the act of it. Then when associated with a positive feeling it takes hold and would be VERY difficult to change. I am sure if you talk to anyone who is addicted to porn that they would claim that it is natural to look at a beautiful girl and it takes root once the other acts are committed that are often associated with pornography. Drugs.. same. People who don’t suffer from that weakness may look on and say, “well that should be so easy to quit. I would of never started. What’s wrong with that person?” Again, weakness is very personified. I personally am not tempted by alchohol or drugs. I have had access to both and don’t feel an urge to do either at all. Hence, not my weakness. Other things, that I will not personally discuss, have made it very difficult to be as good as a disciple as I have wanted to be, but I realise that the problem isn’t with the church, but with me and I pray one day that the feelings I have won’t be as strong and I hope to the faith and courage to truly have a change of heart.
    People might assume that I am gay bashing because I choose to stand up for my beliefs, which is no different than them. I have no hard feelings for anyone that is gay. I am still friends with my two friends that are. I have two uncles that are gay as well who I love dearly. I don’t agree with the lifestyle no more than I did with my mother and her drinking, but it didn’t change the love that I have for them or for her.
    I too would hope for the church to change it’s stance on things at times because it would make my own challenges a LOT easier, but at the same time I feel that this is my own refiners fire and it will take faith that I don’t currently have but hope to have to recieve that change of heart that I am looking for.
    I think it is all to easy to look for excuses and reasons not to change when it applies to ourselves and far to easy to look at the wrongs we see in others as something entirely different and something worse than what we are doing.
    I think that is why the Church will continue to have people who follow and those that fall away. Because you will either look at yourself and go to the lord in faith and work on changing yourself to follow him or you will find reasons to go the other way. On my mission I saw several people who didn’t want to find out if it was true.. why? Because it would mean that they would have to conform to it’s teachings and in a lot of cases that meant giving up the livein girlfriend or the nightly party/drinking with friends. They didn’t want to change so it is easier to say that it’s wrong. One day we will all know for sure.

  • http://www.bendaniel.org Ben Daniel

    Beautiful. Keep up the good work, Jana.

  • http://mormonstories.org/?p=1158 mcarp

    Thanks for saying what’s been irritating me since I heard the talk. When he says, “Why would God do that?” it only makes me question his version of God.
    See the Mormon Stories link for a talk by BYU professor Bill Bradshaw about “The Evidence For A Biological Origin For Homosexuality.” We need to stop saying, “They can change.” Maybe. I mean left-handed people have been beaten into submission to become right-handed, but why?
    The church needs to drag itself into the 21st century or they are going to lose members, including me.

  • http://andreastaats.com Andrea Staats

    Thank you, Jana! The church needs more members like you.

  • Kim Tolman

    Thank you for saying this so beautifully! My thoughts exactly. Thank you for putting it into words.

  • Tom

    As Elder Packer offeres my children this type of speech, I can’t help be reminded of Apostle Mark E. Peterson who suggested that we consider the mercy of God:
    “A Chinese born in China with dark skin and with all the handicaps of that race, seems to have little opportunity. But think of the mercy of God to the Chinese people”
    Then he went on about God’s mercy for other races:
    “We must not intermarry with the Negro, why? If I were to marry a Negro woman, and have children by her, my children would all be cursed as the Priesthood. … Now let us be generous to the negro [sic] … I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. … But let them enjoy these things among themselves.”
    The legacy of Mark E. Peterson is presently marginalized for offering such statements. Elder Packer’s long legacy of advice may also become irrelevant as he continues to use this type of language.

  • IronRodder

    I’m disappointed that the LDS blogger on BeliefNet is so out of step with the official Church stance on homosexuality. I’m sorry Jana but I won’t be reading your posts any more.

  • Eric

    Who are you question and criticize a divinely appointed Apostle of Christ?
    If you are questioning President Packer’s remarks, you are questioning the foundation of the church. It is built on modern revelation – modern scripture. Scripture that is given to us, not to be popular, but to be God’s message to the world. Yes, words spoken by our prophets, seers, and revelators at Conference ARE scripture
    Thank you, President Packer, for staying true to the faith and magnifying your calling as an Apostle of the Lord.

  • Matt Thurston

    Well said, Jana. Couldn’t agree more.

  • http://www.clpearson.com Carol Lynn Pearson

    Thanks for being so unambiguous here, Jana. What’s wrong is wrong. Brother Packer’s scientific misinformation is deadly. Too many young LDS gay people have taken their lives because they believe in the authorities of their church more than they believe in themselves.

  • Liberty

    “your name”
    [quote] If people were ‘choosing to be gay,’ it would not take one very long to make another choice when confronted with the disrespect, degradation and humiliation that heterosexuals impose on their gay children, now would it? [/quote]
    This logic is very week. There are plenty of reasons for people to choose to be a certain way despite “disrespect, degradation and humiliation”
    Religion. How many stories can you name where people are disrespected, degraded and humiliated for their religion? Jesus was crucified for it…
    Are we to argue then, that anyone who is willing to go through such trauma has NO CHOICE? In other words, I am Christian because I must be. I have no choice. I don’t choose to be Christian…the proof is that I have been disrespected, degraded and humiliated for my beliefs…and there are CLEAR alternatives. I could become atheist. I could side with the all knowing science and humiliate people of all religions! or…i could pick a more popular religion. One that fits with the new-age acceptable religions that doesn’t get harassed. I hear Wicca is up and coming as an acceptable popular religion.
    This argument is obviously false as it comes apart in moments.
    What are some more plausible theories? How about rebelliousness. Yes, all children go through an independent and curious stage. Children “check out” eachother’s equipment, so to speak. Teens peirce themselves, cut themselves, embed crap in their bodies, eat and drink things that are terrible, do drugs, contract diseases and ignor their well being…. must be an INBORN problem! They have NO choice…because why would they do this, if they had any other choice? Nope. Its just open rebellion. It is the positive trait of independence taken to the extreme. Just like a 30 year old who cannot live on his own has taken dependence to the extreme.
    In the end, we can all CHOOSE how to use our sexuality. We can choose to be moral – and have sex with only those with whom we are lawfully wed. Or we can do something immoral – adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pedophilia etc.
    This does not excuse the harrasment or degredation of homosexual people.

  • http://reluctanthomunculus.blogspot.com Kerry

    “Before you post such pathetic drivel, become informed and stop creating your own definitions. We are to love, but that doesn’t mean that there is no sin. Should we love the murderer? Of course. Should we “love” their sin. Of course not.”
    Despite yhaving a PhD from the esteemed Brown university, A.J. hinders the credibility of his/her own argument by comparing homosexuality to murder. That’s right. Murder.
    I appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Will the fact that I also possess a doctorate lend heft to my opinion? I did graduate from a state school, though, so take my educated opinion with a grain of salt.

  • Henrietta22

    First time I’ve read anything from you Jana. Very good article. Give the troubled people who can’t see God in the GLBT to God and let Him direct these people. It makes me wonder if they could sit with a family of any GLBT and look them in the eye and tell them that their Child is a mistake.

  • Laura C

    Mike–in reference to your question on “does this happen in the animal kingdom? All I can say is look it up online!!!! Have you ever lived on a farm for Pete’s sake? Oh my gosh. Of COURSE it happens in the “wild”… (Does this change your opinion?)

  • Mordred08

    About a week ago, I had two Mormons come to my door. They wanted to share the truth about Jesus Christ with me or whatever. Being a polite Southern gentleman, I said “no thank you” and closed the door.
    Now you guys will probably call me hateful for doing that. You’re entitled to your opinions. But I am also entitled to my opinion. And in my opinion, at least I didn’t equate them with murderers, alcoholics, and pedophiles like you Mormons have done to gays in these comments. If you were trying to win me to your side, you probably shouldn’t have done that. The next time some Mormons show up at my door, I don’t think I’ll be so polite.

  • http://www.lathefamily.org Trey Lathe

    Thank you Jana,
    I get the impression that many LDS leaders and members don’t quite grasp the pain and suffering they have caused through their words and untruths. I would hope, that like many others I do know.. leaders and members both, they’d someday come to understand what their words and actions have done.
    @Andy:
    “I find it sad to see that several are falling into the same old verse of “I am born this way.” instead of trying to figure out a way past it.
    If we were to look at this logical I believe that you would tend to agree with me. Though most gays won’t simply because it would require a change and as we all know change isn’t easy.”
    That statement in and of itself tells me you know nothing of what gay and lesbian Mormons have gone through. Almost every single gay Mormon I know has prayed, fasted and tortured themselves for years through counseling and “reparative therapy” to change. The ostracism and hatred of ones family, community and church is what is truly difficult. So much so that we have subjected ourselves to abuse and suffering in hopes of change, a change that overwhelmingly never comes. I know of not a single gay devout Mormon who cavalierly gave up their religion because of their sexuality. It’s always the opposite of trying desperately to get rid of their sexuality because of their religion.
    I spend 20 years as a devout convert trying through church service, prayer, fasting, counseling and aversion therapy to _not_ be gay. It was destroying my soul. The only way I could find happiness and joy was to leave the church. Which I did at 38. I now have a fulfilling, spiritual, deeply joyful life with my husband of 14 years and two daughters and our extended community of family and friends.

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
    ***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
    ***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
    ***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
    ***.gaychristian101.com/
    ***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    ***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
    ***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
    ***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    ***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
    ***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    ***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
    ***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
    There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. “Nurture” may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.
    And it should also be noted that:
    “It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

  • shadow_man

    The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.
    From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.
    America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

  • shadow_man

    This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don’t feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren’t human.
    “I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if “Gays” have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate “(Legal Document)” of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. ”

  • shadow_man

    As an example, lets examine leviticus.
    Leviticus is constantly taken out of context. These two lines do not condemn homosexuals when you examine Leviticus as a whole and relate the historical times.
    Leviticus 18:22:
    “You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination.”
    Leviticus 20:13:
    “If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death.”
    Both of these verses refer to heterosexuals who participated in fertility rituals in order to guarantee good crops and healthy flocks, not homosexuals, there is absolutely no mention of sexual orientation or homosexuality. Also, the word abomination was used for anything that was considered to be religiously unclean or dealing with any type idol worship.
    The Hebrew word “toevah” was used in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. “Toevah” has been translated in our Bibles as “abomination” or “detestable”. The “toevah” was used throughout the Old Testament for activity involving ethnic contamination and religious idolatry. “Toevah” refers to things that were ritually unclean – like eating pork.
    It is significant that another Hebrew word, “zimah,” also translated “abomination,” which means intrinsic evil or evil by its very nature, was not used in Leviticus 18:22, or Leviticus 20:13.
    It is also significant that female homosexual relationships are not mentioned in the old testament. That’s because they aren’t talking about sexual orientation, they are talking about idolatrous practices.

  • steve

    Instead of figuring out a way out of being a homosexual,I figured out a way of not being a Mormon. As far as God speaks to me, being gay is his wish for me. He also tells me Boyd K Packer is not representing his views, but Satans. Remember Satan is very clever, and what Boyd K Packer says is evil and of Satan.

  • Mordred08

    Michael: “We were created to serve Him and one another, not to seek our own, not to obey our carnal impulses and desires…I am a raging heterosexual whose natural impulses and innate desires are to mate with women – I am naturally predisposed to adultery and fornication.”
    The problem with Christianity is that as a heterosexual, you are allowed to act on that impulse with one woman. (Although if you realize years later that you’ve made a terrible mistake and you’re joined in holy matrimony with a woman you can’t stand to live with for the rest of your life, tough.)
    Homosexuals are denied that option because why? Because they can’t reproduce. Well, if all marriage is to straight people is being paired up to breed like dogs, then why have such elaborate ceremonies and legal contracts surrounding it? Why buy clothes you’ll only wear once? (Because, again, Jesus says no do-overs.) You don’t see that on Animal Planet.
    I’m bisexual, so I have a 50/50 chance of ending up with someone that won’t burn in hell with me for offending J.C. Or I would have a chance, if I actually worshiped him. So why deny me the opportunity to be happy for a couple of decades before I’m tormented for all eternity?

  • Phyllis

    Very well stated, Jana!

  • Josh

    Lets just remember that we sustain our leaders as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators and that they cannot lead the Lord’s people astray and if they do they “will be removed from their place.”
    The laws of God cannot change and will not change. And like Pres. Packer said a vote of men cannot change this fact.

  • Soon to be ExMo

    >> The laws of God cannot change and will not change.
    Like the law of Polygamy when Utah wanted to become a state? Or when Brigham Young stated that God’s Law was that there would be no interracial marriage or the penalty would be death?
    >> …a vote of men cannot change this fact.
    Like when the Temple ceremonies were changed 20 years ago after a survey of temple patrons?
    >>our leaders…cannot lead the Lord’s people astray and if they do they “will be removed from their place.”
    Like the Pope? I thought the LDS had no doctrine of infallability?
    Sorry Josh, the usual answers won’t fly this time.

  • Patrick

    I agree with Josh. Most of the talks were based on following the prophet and the apostles and listening to what they have to say. And if you believe that the church is true and that the prophet really is called of god then why fight what they say? Can we only choose to believe the things that sound good to us? i confess that not all of gods commandments are easy to or fun to live, but i do believe that they are sent to us from god. It is up to us to choose who we will serve, if we will serve God or follow man.

  • Ben

    Amen Sister!!

  • Ashley

    Patrick – Isn’t the prophet a man? Whether called of God or not, he is still a man, evoking authority that… men give him. It is up to man to believe it…

  • John

    Brother Packers statements are well founded in scientific fact. The National Association For Research and Therapy on Homosexuality documents study after study how how easily homosexuals can change if they live according to Gospel principles. We must help people cure themselves of this disorder, just as we would an addiction to pornography, drug or alcohol addiction.
    Listen and obey the prophets words, he will not lead us astray.

  • Only trying to help

    I feel bad for people like Patrick and Josh who have lost the ability to think for themselves. As far as I know, the church doesn’t counsel its members to believe blindly. It’s a liberating feeling to wake up and realize that you can make your own decisions and have your own opinions….you guys should give it a try.

  • Stevo

    If this woman wants to appeal to logic she should find some better arguments. “If we were to take this argument to its logical conclusion, we would then be compelled to ask why God would create some loving and good people to be infertile, like several faithful couples in my ward who have been denied children. (We would also need to ask why the Church has stopped advising members to always eschew birth control, preferring to leave that issue between a couple and the Lord.) Or we might ask why other people are born with autism, or schizophrenia, or any disability that might preclude a healthy marital relationship and the possibility of parenthood.” Is she trying to say that people who are infertile, or have autism, or any other disability are sinners? She’s comparing apples to oranges. Acting on homosexual tendencies is a sin, having them is not. Being born mentally handicapped isn’t a sin, but this person is trying to equate homosexuality with it in order to excuse their inability to understand the simple fact that homosexuality is a sin. If I was born addicted to crack because my mom couldn’t stop using while pregnant that doesn’t mean I’m a sinner because I am predisposed to crack addiction. I am only a sinner if I start smoking it and hiding behind the excuse that “I was born this way”. Unfortunately this woman is yet another person who has fallen victim to the plague of being politically correct. I can’t think of a more disgusting statement than “I have seen a number of godly, lifelong, homosexual relationships…” If homosexuality is a sin, and God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, homosexuals can NEVER have a godly relationship.

  • Gertrude

    It truly saddens me to see so many who profess to be LDS questioning the prophets and apostles. You are setting a course toward apostasy.

  • Andy

    “The greatest fear I have is that the people of this Church will accept what we say as the will of the Lord without first praying about it and getting the witness within their own hearts that what we say is the word of the Lord.” – Brigham Young

  • Latter-day Guy

    Josh: “The laws of God cannot change and will not change. And like Pres. Packer said a vote of men cannot change this fact.”
    This presupposes that we perfectly understand the laws of God. When, in the 19th century, Church leaders taught that plural marriage was absolutely essential to exaltation, were they representing the “laws of God”? We no longer teach that polygamy is essential; is the current position reflecting “the laws of God”? You don’t get to have it both ways. So, on this issue, either past Church leaders were mistaken or the Current leaders are.
    More to the point, the Church’s position vis-à-vis homosexuality had been all over the map. When “crimes against nature” were mentioned in 19th century Utah, it was taught that the cause was monogamy (George Q. Cannon, 1879).
    Twenty years later, he taught that homosexuality was contagious, and the only cure was to kill all homosexuals: “This and other abominable crimes are being practiced. How will these be stopped? Only by the destruction of those who practice them. Why, if a little nest of them were left that were guilty of these things, they would soon corrupt others, as some are being corrupted among us…. How can this be stopped? Not while those who have knowledge of these filthy crimes exist. The only way … is for the Lord to wipe them out, that there will be none left to perpetuate the knowledge of these dreadful practices among the children of men” (George Q. Cannon, 1897).
    In 1965 Elder Wilkinson essentially affirmed Cannon’s latter position, saying that BYU did not intend “to admit to our campus any homosexuals…. We do not want others on this campus to be contaminated by your presence.”
    In his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness (1969) then-Elder Kimball taught that homosexuality was caused by masturbation.
    Two years later, Elder Victor L. Brown said that it resulted from gender confusion (of course, anyone with even a passing familiarity with psychology knows this is a major error: gay ? transgendered): “The Lord defined some very basic differences between men and women. He gave the male what we call masculine traits and the female feminine traits. He did not intend either of the sexes to adopt the other’s traits but, rather, that men should look and act like men and that women should look and act like women. When these differences are ignored, an unwholesome relationship develops, which, if not checked, can lead to the reprehensible, tragic sin of homosexuality” (In other words, if Timmy plays with an Easy-Bake Oven, he’ll get AIDS!) (Ensign 1971).
    Through the 1970s, the Church continued to affirm that sexual orientation was not a matter of genetics. Around this time, LDS counselors began suggesting that it was caused by an emotionally distant father and an over-bearing mother. Leaders continued to counsel gay Saints that sex experienced within a marital relationship would eliminate homosexuality. The “marriage cure” is essentially the same as another familiar (and patently ridiculous) canard: “How do you know you’re gay? Maybe you just haven’t met the right woman yet.”
    By this point, BYU’s “Zap Away the Gay!” program was in full swing. When homosexual attraction was confessed to a leader of a BYU ward, the student would be referred to this program. Treatment consisted of a gay porn slide-show while electrodes shocked the hell out of the “patient,” leaving cigarette-burn-like scars on arms, chest, abdomen, and genitals. No participants were made straight (though some were rendered completely asexual, responding to arousal with panic, nausea, and other PTSD symptons, reacting to erotic dreams like they were nightmares). This program continued AT LEAST to the end of 1994. One of the best publicized examples of this comes from a young man named Jayce Cox, who underwent the aversion procedure in late 1994. See here for a transcript of an interview he gave, and here for a short video about it. (He shows the burn scars from the electrodes beginning at 11:05.)
    In 1978, BKPacker gave what is now a very well-known talk, entitled To the One. In it he suggests that homosexuality is simply the result of “selfishness” on the part of the gay individual, prophesying that now that fact was understood, homosexuality would be cured “routinely.” That talk was turned into a pamphlet and became the Church’s official document relating to homosexuality for more than a decade.
    In the mid-1980s, the Church saw the first chink in what had been the Brethren’s mantra: not genetic, not genetic, not genetic, etc. BYU professors Rhees and Fleming published two papers (in 1985 and 1987) suggesting that hormonal stresses in utero were responsible for homosexual orientation. (It was also in the 1980s that my personal favorite statement on the subject was uttered: “That’s right, brothers and sisters, I am referring to the mother of all evil, putrid, and vile
    sins––homosexuality. You know, Satan himself is a homosexual” [emphasis mine]. This was from a 1983 fireside given by––as far as I was able to ascertain––Hartman Rector, Jr. What fun!)
    Beginning in the 1990s, Church leaders began changing their tune. This period also saw the creation of a new pamphlet: Understanding and Helping Those Who Have Homosexual Problems – Suggestions for Ecclesiastical Leaders (1992). To the One was still pretty widely distributed, which is ironic because the newer pamphlet affirms that “No general agreement exists about the causes of” homosexual attraction.
    Through the rest of the decade, official statements were very inconsistent. Some speakers suggesting that there were genetic/biological elements, and some vociferously denying it.
    Finally in 2004, on Larry King Live, President Hinckley was asked about the cause of homosexuality. He went on record, saying: ” I don’t know. I’m not an expert on these things. I don’t pretend to be an expert on these things” [emphasis mine––this seems to conflict somewhat with part of ETBenson's Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet (just cited TWICE in GC!): "The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time"].
    This “I dunno” position was affirmed in the now-familiar 2006 Oaks and Wickman interview, and later in the Church’s current pamphlet on the subject, The Lord Loveth His Children.
    Given all the shifting on this subject (from “It’s not biological––God wouldn’t do that!” to “There seem to be genetic factors”; from “Get married and it’ll just go away!” to “Marriage is not a cure/treatment”; from “Porn and electricity will fix you right up!” to “We have no position on the efficacy of any treatment”) it’s pretty difficult to believe that––on this subject, at any rate––LDS leaders have any idea what they’re talking about. When their inspired counsel ended in divorce after divorce, when their prophecies of mutability and “routine” cures remain conspicuously unfulfilled, when young gay Mormons queue up for suicide like it’s a carnival ride, how can anyone still argue that “They’ll never lead us astray”!? I almost wish I believed that, and perhaps I could, but it’s difficult to hear what they’re saying––I find the rising body count distracting.

  • Spencer

    Either we accept Boyd K. Packer as a prophet, seer and revelator, or we do not. Either we accept the counsel of the First Presidency or we find ourselves quickly headed toward personal apostasy and excommunication. In 3 Nephi chapter 11 we learn the order of the church and that disputations like this are not His doctrine. We are not permitted to choose the doctrines we want to obey…”I like Elder Holland so I’ll do what he says but Elder Packer makes me feel guilty soooo I’ll disregard what he says.” As endowed members we know better! If we make the study of scripture an active part of our lives then we KNOW BETTER! I urge others in this debate to stand with the church. Do not show hate and contempt for those that have chosen this lifestyle but do not fall into the trap of being on the wrong side of the bretheren. The Spirit will withdraw and woe be unto that person.

  • Mordred08

    Josh: “The laws of God cannot change and will not change.”
    Soon to be ExMo: “Like the law of Polygamy when Utah wanted to become a state? Or when Brigham Young stated that God’s Law was that there would be no interracial marriage or the penalty would be death?”
    Stop asking questions, Soon to be ExMo. The Mormons have always been against polygamy and racism.

  • Sam

    @gertrude. A fine example of the blind leading the blind! You’ve completely lost all sense of self. Congratulations!

  • Tom

    What is this born this way logic? What does LDS doctrine say about the correct sexual orientation for people born inter-sex or gender variant? About 1 in 1000 are born inter-sex, including athlete Caster Semnya the South African athlete. How does the Mormon God determine who inter-sex individuals should be sexually attracted or their sexual orientation? What would Boyd Packer say is the Lords will here? Is it based on certain percentage of this or a little of that? What are the endocrinological, physiological, biological and genetic factors that determine sexual orientation for inter-sex or gender variant individuals?
    Is being born gender variant a Mormon sin? Who should they marry and why?

  • John

    It’s not logical to think that being born a certain means that God intended that to be so. Since we are all born from sinners and a sinner, something is wrong right from the beginning. You don’t think that it was originally God’s Will for Adam and Eve to have children born with Downs Syndrome do you? We are a “fallen” race and need to be redeemed.

  • Dana

    Thank you for your courage. thank you for being willing to question. Thank you for standing up for people. Thanks for showing a different side to being LDS.

  • Tom

    @John, just curious, if being born with inter-sex or gender variant is against Gods will, who then, and how is it determined the best way to redeem the “fallen?” What if another religion has a differing view, which view should take priority in civil law as to who they should or not marry? What is the “correct” redeeming process here?

  • Paul

    Thanks for the lovely post. I personally feel that what the Mormon church has done and is doing to gay people is just flat out evil. Time will be the judge and they will be proven wrong. As long as hate is the defining outreach of the church, it will crumble under its own weight of hate and bigotry. It will only be saved by people like you. Unfortunately, most like you have already left the church.

  • Aaron

    I am not a member of the LDS church. I stumbled onto this discussion because of an unrelated incidence. I am impressed with what I consider a mature and interesting discussion and I appreciate the opinions of the people. However, amongst the conversation I saw hints of an attitude that disturbs me greatly and I wish to share my opinion, not in anger but hopefully in a way that will clearly show an alternate viewpoint on which to measure your own beliefs. What I am going to speak about I know does not apply to all mormons
    But I will give any members a heads up about what makes the gay population in general very angry about your church’s involvement in this issue.
    If your religious leaders want to preach that God does not condone homosexuality and that it is a sin then so be it. I could care less to some degree. (Obviously I would be partially concerned simply for the harm that it may cause young people within your religion.) Neither do I have a problem if you all believe them. You can go ahead and think that they are ordained of God and that there word is written in stone to last as truth eternal. This does not bother me.
    BUT THE REST OF US DON”T! I beg you to remember that. We don’t believe in your sins and your punishments and your truths. And where in your mind does it compute that you can hold us accountable to your own personal beliefs? The idea is simply outrageous! When your personal beliefs are put into a public forum where you try to impose them on the rest of us, that is where it becomes a problem. When your church attempts to interfere with the choices and options of people that do not in any way prescribe to your beliefs, you are over stepping the bounds of your dominion and the very idea that you could be so sure that you are right that you would force your belief structure is not only just arrogant, it’s un-American.
    When I read comments by people saying,
    “Before I was a member of the Church, I used to think, “Why would anyone deny someone else the right to marry another person even if it is the same sex? It’s not affecting me any.” But now, I understand that we are acting with charity. We are trying to help our brothers and sisters return with us to our Heavenly Father, where they belong.”
    Oh my goodness, you know how arrogant and just plain insufferable that sounds to the rest of us? Do you really feel like you can make the claim that you know what is better for people then they do? I’m sure you feel you can, but please stop and think for a second at how absolutely insulting and condescending it is that you would presume to do it. Corina, with all due respect, I am afraid your first idea was the correct one. Please keep your religious beliefs out of our business. I totally agree with your right to feel that way and to believe and speak however you want. May your Mr. Packer give his little speeches till the end of time, but please do not think for an instant that it is okay for you to tell me what I can and can’t do with my own life and my own choices.
    I apologize for the accusatory feel of the message, but I was trying to make a direct and dramatic point in a small amount of time.

  • Cory

    Here is, I think, the main issue. Maybe gays can change and maybe they can’t. Maybe they should change and maybe they shouldn’t. But the sad fact is that Boyd K. Packer can’t change, and for that reason he will never understand God.

  • Morris Thurston

    Thank you for your thoughts, Jana, and for having the courage to express them.

  • trey

    some want to live and let live, others love and be loved, and some would like to control and be controled. It’s our animal nature to want a big daddy (gereral authority) (I love that title by the way) to tell us how to think because it makes us feel safe and we don’t have to take responsibility for our beliefs, which by the way just so happens to determine how we act and treat each other. The easist way to get others to act irrationally is to appeal to their unconscious fears and desires. It is not rational to deride a person of another race, sex, or sexual preferance. but if big daddy tells us he won’t like us best or our big, BIG daddy (that he has the red phone line to) will punnish us in the life to come, for instance, we somehow feel that it’s ok to exclude others, make hateful remarks and insinuations that scar others for life and often drive people to abuse themselves and people aroud them…Want to get elected? prohibit something. These mid-nineteenth century religions excuisitly exploit this very base element in our nature.Telling people what to do with their thing is also a primative atavism somewhat akin to a dog humping another dog. What one does with one’s thing really pertains to no one else, yet Mr.Packer (I suspect he was acused of being gay as child with a name like that, but that doesn’t give him the right…) wrote a whole book on the topic of what (not) to do with one’s thing ( More Precious Than Rubies) great title, by the way}. He and other mormon officials feel that it’s perfectly normal to take a twelve year old boy into a closed room and ask him if he masterbates. Barring some hormonal anomily, I suspect that Mr Packer already knows the answer, but that doesn’t stop him from asking. You know how Mark Twain says politics are the last refuge of a scoundrel? I would submit that religion is the last bastion of cowards and bullys. The Mormon church is in need of reformation if it is ever to mature into an adult religion.

  • Jimmy

    We don’t know and can’t assert that Jesus didn’t address homosexuality in His earthly ministry. As a Mormon, I’m sure you know that we have taught for a long time that a great deal of the scriptures, including details and teachings of Christ, are missing.

  • kuleana01

    I pray that The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve childrens, grand chldren, great grandchildren and great grandchildren be like many who suffer because of the church teaching on gay.
    Boyd K Packer and Dick Cheney, are the sons of Darth Vader; evil, angry, ugly, ignorant, and full of hate!
    You ever wonder why some are called the Presidency and others never make it. Jehovah would never let his church to run by BKP – never. I am certain the Thomas S Monson is not very happy with BKP’s remarks but just lets him bid his time.
    If the church feels so macho to gays. Why is the church hiding in the closet about being the only true church on the face the earth. Why is the church lying about pural marriage when we do not believe in just one man and one women – we beleive in many women with one man.
    I would like a public statement to the press, to all religious affiliations, governments, corporate interests stating these facts. Preferably from Boyd K Packer.
    If Heavenly Father loves his all his children, he would take BKP breath away before the next General Conference, the sooner the better.

  • Andrea

    Oh, this is very sad. It is sad to see how many people fail to read the Bible–the Holy Word of God. If people studied their scriptures and really knew their Father in Heaven, those people would be able to see the flaws, divide truth from error, and love those who misunderstand. Those people would understand that even though Packer said something correct or incorrect, God does not permit homosexuality–it is an abomination—nor does he create a person who is born as a homosexual. The Bible makes it undoubtedly clear. The answers are in the scriptures. Brother Packer does not have the answers. We do not put our faith in the arm of flesh. The answers are in the Holy Word of God. All you have to do is pick them up and read! :)

  • Abomination

    Andrea, do you know how to read the bible in context? The scriptures are specifically against male prostitution in temples. The bible indeed does make that undoubtedly clear, please confirm this for your own understanding. Prostitution is a no no, then again so is eating certain foods, or wearing polyester.

  • Josh

    I’m still reeling from this sensory over load… Andrea, I have read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other scriptures… I am not aware of the passage you refer to that makes it “undoubtedly clear”. The only reference i’m aware of is in Genesis having to do with the cities of Sodom and Ghomorrah. If I’m missing something, I’d be interested in learning more, but I simply see no basis for your claim that the Bible teaches us that people are only born heterosexual.
    i love my church, I love my Savior, I even love BKP! However, I got mixed signals of love, compassion, second chances, forgiveness, and gays choose to be gay because our heavenly father would never do that to any of his children? What? With drug-addicted babies, divorces, hurricanes, mass murders, abuse, incest and starvation… God allows all these to happen, but not a child to be born gay? I’m just confused. I’m still processing and praying to understanding and faith.

  • Fran

    Interesting conclusion on the talk. I listened quite carefully, and while I can’t deny that he MAY have been talking about homosexuality in the instances you quoted, I don’t interpret the words as harshly or hatefully as everyone else seems to on here.
    His whole talk after all is about sexual addiction. Having read quite a few books on that topic, there are lots of people in that area who claim to be unable to help it. Actually, in almost any area of life, there are lots of people hiding behind the excuse of ‘it’s my tendency/genes’ etc. (alcoholics, violent people, rapists, pedophiles…whatever). We all may certainly have genetic predispositions that may make one thing harder than another, but I think Elder Packer is correct in suggesting that we don’t HAVE to give in to those weaknesses, that we can learn to overcome the temptation and stand strong. Does that mean the inclination will go away. I don’t think so, but we don’t have to give in – be that to anger, to desires of rape, incest, voyerism, or even homosexual activity (if you believe as a homosexual that that’s something you ought not do – which is a bit of a different discussion here. We all know what the Church thinks about whether you should or shouldn’t). And I really don’t think Heavenly Father has set up anyone for an inability to learn to cope with a struggle, whether that’s infertility or sexual addiction or even homosexuality – which I’m inclined is Elder Packer’s point.
    And, there is no denying that we live in pretty messed up society that wants to legalize all kinds of crappy stuff – anything from making child porn legal, to prostitution, to…whatever.
    Anyway, I can absolutely see how this whole stuff can be taken to talk about homosexuality. And I’m sure he had that in mind as well when he talked about legalizing stuff. But from the Church’s standpoint (and I’d argue from an evolutionary point as well) legalizing homosexual marriage won’t change what’s naturally meant to be – which is for a man and woman to come together and make babies (which also clearly isn’t necessarily the reason anymore why lots of people get married). Anyway, that’s the call of biology though – no stance on homosexuality and legalized marriage can alter the fact that 2 men or 2 women will not be able to create offspring together.
    Well, I need to go back to sleep. I can see the upset…I’m just trying to offer an alternative interpretation here. Maybe he IS a hateful old man. Maybe he just doesn’t ‘get it’. I don’t know. But, I think there are also different ways to look at this talk. Just because everyone else has homosexuality on their mind all the time as THE issue, doesn’t necessarily mean he did in this talk. Maybe he really just referred to sexual addictions, and sexual practices which people try to excuse with their ‘nature’.

  • http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hyrum_Smith?wasRedirected=true Alex W

    Food for thought…Joseph Smith’s youngest son was a homosexual.

  • David

    To all LDS members. Elder Packer may not be the “warm and cuddly” GA you want him to be. He is however, an Apostle of Jesus Christ and his views are the will of God the the Church. Maybe President Monson, or President Uchtdorf would have said it in a different manner. But in the end the message would be THE SAME.
    If President Packer had said anything from that pulpit out of harmony with the view of the Bretheren or the Lord, we would be reading of his pending excommunication. Yet we are not. Why? Because President Packer speaks the truth, by the Holy Ghost.
    I fear that we have members on this board who are on their own way to apostacy. They pick and choose what they want to hear, while condemning the rest. This is the road to where one becomes disciplined and if not repentent, excommunicated.
    President Monson said of Satan’s lies and God’s laws that there is no middle ground. This is consistant with Elder Packer’s statements.
    If President Monson dies tomorrow will Jana and others ask to have their names removed from the records of the Church?
    It is indeed sad that homosexuals feel alienation and guilt and I do not judge them. That is up to God. But the Church cannot give in to the demands of homosexuals and their sympathizers.
    How many of you sympathetic members hold a temple recommend? Do you lie about being asked if you sympathize or condone beliefs that are contrary to the doctrines of the Church?
    To those who bring up supposed and maybe true quotes of former Church leaders such as Brigham Young or others in an attempt to appear to make former Church leaders and current Church leaders contradict each other.
    Again, in the confidentiality of the internet world you mix half truths and misrepresentations to make your points.
    Church membership is divided on this issue. Some will make God in their own image, and others will follow the true Prophets, Seers, and Revelators of the Lord.
    When Christ returns will your answer be to Him “oops sorry for mocking the words of Your annointed” as the world burns around you?
    We can believe what we want like soon to be exmo up there. What we believe does not change the truth. I have two gay friends. I fear for them. I know that one has bitterness toward the Church due to his chosen path of homosexuality. I doubt he will ever be back, but I hope I am wrong. My other friend I hope finds his way back. But only Divine intervention can save them now.
    We all have to come to terms with the Gospel as it is. Some will leave, in time. Some will prayerfully consider their ways and repent. We can’t mock the Lord’s ministers and not mock God Himself. It doesn’t work that way.
    Sadly I have to say that the Church is indeed better without bitter members trying to covertly stay in while doing damage ignorantly or worse purposefully.
    “God does not make junk.” God does not create men and women damned to a future of uncontrollable sin. Is there same sex biological attraction? I don’t know. What I do know is that God has not created one of His children that cannot overcome insurmountable odds.
    I have been down the terrible road of sin. The atonement of Jesus Christ has saved me. I still have the inclinations that got me there too. They are not removed, though I wish they were.
    I am at peace with myself. I do not mean to make enemies, only state the truth as I understand it. You cannot serve God and mammon. I suppose this means you cannot sustain Elder Packer and condemn him.
    President Monson and the First Presidency sustain his views as do all other Apostles and General Authorities.
    Can we? I hope so. I fear that Jana and others may be on the outside of the Church looking in some day having lost the great light and knowledge that they possess now.
    You can disagree with Elder Packer initially, but eventually you will have to square the truth not with BKP, but with God Himself.
    My words are not written as a condemnation, just as my views and a warning. Apostacy begins in the heart as does love for the Church.
    That is all. God bless.

  • Ashamed & Angry

    Is it common knowledge that Packer has a gay son that he disowned years ago? I believe his talk at conference (which had to be approved by the presidency) will set the church back yet another 20 years. Just when I thought they were making nice with their “same sex attracted” members. It’s time to take a stand against this whitewashed hatred!

  • Dane of Australia

    Jana,
    “What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken and I excuse not myself… whether by my voice or by the voice of my servants it is the same”
    D&C 1:38
    President Packer is one of His apostles; if what he said was wrong in any way President Monson would have set it straight as is his responsibility as the presiding authority.
    No member of the church needs to apologize for anything President Packer says, he is a big boy and an apostle of Jesus Christ. He, like the Savior Jesus Christ whom he follows, is prepared to be criticized by the world and to suffer for standing up for the truth.
    I am not surprised that so many people are angry or offended by the truth, it has always been that way. I stand by anything President Packer has said or will say, he is a great man and his words have helped and uplifted me many times in my life. Be careful not to judge him wrongfully.

  • Peej

    Jana… thank you so much for your post. You’re amazing, and brave to say the things you did. I look forward to the day that all of us can come together in love, and realize we’re all human, and our differences are what makes life beautiful. Let’s focus on ourselves a bit more, and get back to what this was all about in the first place. Love.

  • Pedro A. Olavarria

    President Packer was 100% correct. I think that to understand his talk one has to prayerfully read, and re-read: The Proclamation on the Family, the King Follet Discourse and D&C 132. President Packer is speaking with eternity in view; his critics are not.

  • bnice

    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”
    I think you have misinterpreted what President Packer said. He did not say that people could not be born gay. He did say that Heavenly Father would not make it so that they could not OVERCOME the tendencies they have. I think this is the same argument for people who have tendencies towards pornography, alcoholism, abuse, etc.

  • Nathan Lisgo

    Really appreciate your post Jana. Certainly many of us are concerned about the fall-out of the message from Boyd K Packer. We need to make sure that we reach out to all people who may feel alienated or marginalised. We need to be so sensitive to peoples genuine needs and concerns. We can help people as we have been helped. We need to love as Christ loved.
    At the very least we should be honest and open about how we feel challenged by the message from an “Apostle of the Lord”. At the very least we need to admit that we have compassion for individuals that have been conditioned (through church teachings) to believe that something that is out of their control is wrong, against nature and not the product of a loving Heavenly Father (not my view point). I believe the message of an Apostle alone can do only limited good or harm. The true spirit of Christ should always be communicated through our acts towards our fellowmen.
    More needs to be done. We must be agents for good.

  • Alan

    This was such a difficult issue when I was a believer! I’m thinking back with gratitude to a classmate in graduate school for giving it to me straight (no pun intended) 22 years ago. She told me about a boy she was in love with in high school who “came out” to her, and how upset and angry she was about it.
    I launched into the explanation of homosexuality I’d been taught as a BYU undergrad hypothesized by Victor L. Brown, Jr., which is still promulgated at LDSSS apparently. Namely, that poor relationships with their fathers is what causes boys to be homosexuals. My friend quite bluntly told me that what I was spouting was total nonsense and that none of it applied to her friend. I felt quite stung by her criticism,but I started to think about what she’d said.
    It’s in that spirit of candor that I wanted to drop my observations on all of you here, even though they clearly won’t be welcome to some. At first, I assumed that the American Psychiatric Assn.’s removal of homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM was their simply caving in to political pressure. However, any reasonably objective review of the literature is pretty clear once you see homosexuality for what it is: a biologically-based variation that seems to occur at a fairly constant level in the human (and non-human) population.
    Packer said that God wouldn’t “do this” to his children. There are a couple of things wrong with this argument. First of all, how does he account for all of the much-worse things he “does” to other children. I refer to the many, many painful, disfiguring disorders that there are. Second, he assumes that being gay is a horrible, horrible thing. The only really bad thing being “done” in the case of homosexuality is not done by God, it’s done by those who believe that tormenting nearly 5% of the population by calling their desires “unnatural” and “abominations” is what God wants them to do.
    Although I don’t put much stock in the Bible as an historical document myself, I find it interesting that in all of Christ’s teachings, and in all his scathing criticisms, he never condemns homosexuality. All you really find are condemnations in the Mosaic Law–but then they hated everything–and by Paul. Of course, Paul also seemed not to think much of women, sex, or marriage.
    Finally, if I had to guess, I’d think that probably in about 15 years, the LDS church will get a revelation and reverse itself on this issue similar to their backpedal on civil rights in 1978 and their distancing from practicing polygamy (I say ‘practicing’ because DC 132 is still scripture). For my part, I decided a couple of years ago that I was done with an organization that congratulates itself on being 10-20 years behind the curve on social issues. I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but if I can do better with my own little brain than a room full of the Lord’s Annointed, then there’s something seriously wrong with this picture.

  • kevin

    What is there to be said by men in the church who marry in the temple and live “holy”, “temple worthy” lives, but who also at the age of 40 end up cheating on their wives and families because they can’t seem to control the inborn desire to love and care for a person of their same sex?

  • Taralyn

    I feel such a need to speak up here. I have always loved Elder Packer and I too feel that he was 100% on the money with this talk.. I have many friends that have choosen a homosexual lifestyle. I use that word purposly because in my heart and in my conversations with each one of them that is the correct word “Choose”.
    In 1990 while attending College at NAU in Flagstaff Arizona,(Long before I had friends that where out) I had a long conversation with a friend who was doing his doctorate in Genetics, he was a returned missionary and in the Singles Ward Bishopbric as well. Science has proven that .01% of 1% of people on this earth are born with more Male or Female Hormones/parts then they should.
    HOWEVER- We are all born with trials to face and overcome in this life. It is these trials that can make us strong in the faith and push forward to return home to our Heavenly Father. Trials come in all different shapes and sizes. But we all have them. Do I think there is any reason to treat ANYONE poorly because of it? ABSOLUTLY NOT!! Do I condone taking away the ability to life in a home or work? ABSOLUTLY NOT AGAIN. I just think that this topic effects people so strongly because it effects our hearts and the hearts of those we love. But just because a sin is being committed we don’t Hate the Sinner – We just hate the Sin!!!
    Your Post is heartfelt and full of conviction!!! I do however think that we all need to go inward and fix our hearts and minds to the way our Heavenly Father wants it to be… Treat those around us with the mose Love we have to offer, and assist them in anyway we can to live the Laws and Commandments…
    Thank You for your post.

  • Vort

    Jana,
    Please carefully read all of these comments. Note the hatred, intolerance, and hostility of many/most of those who agree with you, e.g. “I can’t wait until all the old farts die off and leave the rest of us virtuous younger generation to a life of peaceful love and righteousness”. These are the people with whom you are aligning yourself.
    That alone doesn’t prove anything, of course; as you and many of your responders so gleefully point out, there are bigots within the LDS Church, too. But is gaining the plaudits of the world and its denizens really worth pitting yourself against Christ’s apostle? Maybe you don’t believe Elder Packer is Christ’s apostle. That’s fine; but in that case, you really shouldn’t be calling yourself a Mormon, should you? And if you do believe him to be an apostle, you really shouldn’t be publicly scorning or correcting him, should you?
    One way or another, it is you, Jana, who are not acting with integrity.
    As Joseph Smith said, “Although I do wrong, I do not the wrongs that I am charged with doing: the wrong that I do is through the frailty of human nature, like other men. No man lives without fault. Do you think that even Jesus, if He were here, would be without fault in your eyes? His enemies said all manner of evil against Him—they all watched for iniquity in Him.” Elder Packer is as subject to personal weakness as the rest of us, and ought not to be considered God. But his vices are certainly not what the world (and you) make them out to be. If his communication is imperfect, what of it?
    Everything Elder Packer said is true. Even you should admit this much. God did not create us without an ability to change and repent. This applies to homosexuals as much as to rapists, murderers, child abusers, fornicators, and those who cheat on their taxes. And your claim of “godly homosexual relations” is absurd. What next? Godly prostitution? Godly pedophilia? Godly bestiality? Is there any sexual choice in your universe that is not potentially Godly?
    Your same-thinking friends will pat your butt and tell you what a wonderfully open mind you have. Meanwhile, you add your voice to the chorus chanting against the teachings of the prophets, both ancient and modern. We all have our concerns; I invite you to keep yours private and learn, as the rest of us do, line upon line and precept upon precept, and concentrate on sustaining your leaders, not trying to prove how 21st-century you are by making them an object of contempt and ridicule. In the end, the soul you damage is your own and anyone foolish enough to listen to you in preference to those God has called.

  • Mike

    This is the first comment I am posting online in my life. I am active LDS and have a burning testimony of this church. I have recieved undeniable witnesses of the BOM and Joseph Smith. With that said I would like to say to all members whether you agree with Jana or not pull the mote out of your own eye before you condemn Jana. We are all trying to align ourselves to God’s truths and we would all be better served to search our own souls for where we are off rather than to point out where we think others are off.
    Secndly we do have to take this talk in context with all the other comments made by general authorities. It is hard to cover all aspects of a subject in such a short talk. In other words if you sat with president packer he would agree with your points that without a doubt there are homosexuals that live a more Christ like life than many if not the majority of Christians. That doesn’t change his opinion that homosexual relationships are wrong.
    Thirdly what he said was God would not preset people as homosexuals AND make it so it could not be overcome. In other words people can be preset or have tendencies, but I would have to agree that if it can’t be overcome that seems like a cruel god if he does expect it to be overcome.
    I guess in the end what I want to say is that this talk needs to be taken in context with all of these other talks or recent comments from general authorities. I can’t talk for President Packer, but I am sure he would agree with many of the points you make in your article. He just doesn’t have the time to cover all aspects in his talk nor does he have the oppurtunity to clarify or clear up misconceptions.
    The homosexuals that I happen to know which I will admit are few are some of the most Christlike individuals I know. I hope as LDS people that we will show by our example that even if we don’t agree with people that we can love, respect and cherish them.
    I know I am starting to ramble so I will just end with the second great commandment which is to love thy neighbor as thyself not just the neighbor you agree with

  • LDS Member

    All I have to say is that if you are watching conference then #1- you believe in the LDS church and you know that these are out leaders and we should not try to judge what they say. We are SUPPOSE to listen to their advice for us. Or #2- you are only watching so that you can tear down and pick apart the talks you don’t like.
    If you don’t like what they have to say, then don’t watch it. Otherwise you should respect and listen to their words of wisdom.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/10/lds-apostle-boyd-k-packer-is-wrong-about-homosexuality.html David C.

    It can be hard to accept those things that the apostles say, especially when they conflict with our own personal views.
    We have to remember that these men were called by God to speak His words to the entire world, whether or not we agree with them.
    Lets support the brethren, and in doing so we will not be lead astray.

  • Kelly

    It’s not about whether two homosexuals can love each other in a “godly manner”. It’s about keeping our actions and behavior within the boundaries that God has set. Homosexual behavior has, and always will be, contrary to God’s law of chastity and marriage. In Mormon theology of Exaltation and eternal increase through eternal progeny, how can homosexual behavior fit into that?
    That some heterosexual couples aren’t physically able to procreate, or don’t live up to their marriage covenants, is just a distraction from the real point. God has established His standard, and it’s left to us to decide whether to follow it. God doesn’t force anyone to be gay, just like He doesn’t force anyone to be straight.
    Love the sinner, but don’t condone the sin. Like Jesus said to the adulterous woman, “go thy way and sin no more”. He didn’t condone her actions, he lovingly called her to repentance. I’m sure the power of the atonement will play a major part for people with same-sex attraction that do their best to keep their appetites under control.

  • http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction Vort

    Excerpt:
    “ELDER OAKS: This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like “homophobic.” In at least one country where homosexual activists have won major concessions, we have even seen a church pastor threatened with prison for preaching from the pulpit that homosexual behavior is sinful. Given these trends, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must take a stand on doctrine and principle. This is more than a social issue — ultimately it may be a test of our most basic religious freedoms to teach what we know our Father in Heaven wants us to teach.”
    Jana is free to do as she wishes and to believe what she will. I and those I love will stand with the prophets, even if that means we brave the disdain of the world and its Janas. Whatever their imperfections, Elder Oaks, Elder Packer, and the other General Authorities merit our love, respect, and support. I will do my best to give it to them, and allow Jana and her buddies to do as they will.

  • Krissa

    Jana,
    No matter what you think or say, President Packer is an Apostle of the Lord. You either believe this or you don’t. Do you realize the precipice on which you stand? If he is an apostle, then his teaching are true. If not, then the whole church is a sham. Are you prepared to accept the consequences of speaking out against the church? You may think you are only vocalizing your beliefs in a harmless way, but from many of the comments made here you must see that are joining forces with those who are actively against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As someone in your neighborhood it disturbs me that someone within my own faith is seeking to tear it apart. Shame on you.

  • Krissa

    As a side note, I am someone well acquainted with homosexuality, not just someone who is clueless to the subject. I have family members and friends alike who are gay. Some choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. Some choose to fight it. I have loving relationships on both sides. I just know that it is not my place to change the laws of God or question the teachings of the Apostles of the Lord. If I chose to do so, I would know that I did not believe this to be God’s church. Why would I devote my life to something that I deemed false???

  • Grumpy Old Person

    “Elder Packer was simply reaffirming the Lord’s position on homosexuality: that it is a SIN.”
    Wrong! He’s reaffirming (well, reiterating) the LDS’s interpretation of the Lord’s position on homosexuality. (Several other faiths disagree with your Church’s interpretation.)
    The Lord (TM, all rights reserved) was utterly silient on the issue. (Sorry, the scribblings of some Bronze Age shepherds and Paul don’t count as what The Lord said.)

  • Gretchen

    I couldn’t be more WITH you. My FB page is overflowing with similar stories, comments, and thoughts.
    I’m just sad, embarrassed, and frustrated.
    Can’t wait for Monson to step up to the plate and make things right… which I’m sure the Holy Ghost is prompting him to do!

  • Grumpy Old Person

    Michael,
    “Homosexuals are human beings of sacred worth, no more or less so than any other human person.”
    Hmmm, that’s pretty much at odds with what Packer said, which inclued charges of being ‘immoral’, “impure and unnatural”.
    “I am a raging heterosexual whose natural impulses and innate desires are to mate with women – I am naturally predisposed to adultery and fornication. Would it be fair to suggest that the Lord “made me” that way? Would it be fair to suggest that I cannot help what I am and should therefore surrender to my flesh?”
    Except, of course, you, as a “raging heterosexual” can marry, following Paul’s admonition that it is better to marry than to burn in lust. I.E. you have an outlet for your “natural impulses and innate desires … to mate with women”. God’s gay and lesbian children largely do NOT have such an outlet in Americn society. Besides, relationships are a bit more than just sex, no?
    “With all due respect.”
    Sorry, I see very little respect in what you typed.

  • Bryan W, PhD

    A.J.
    Just because you have a doctorate does not give you the right to belittle other people grammatical issues. So get off your high horse and learn a little humility. Or is humility beneath someone at a Ivy League institution? You are not the only one in this world with a doctorate, nor are you as intelligent as you would hope.
    I also have a doctorate (Biological Chemistry), and I have read many studies on homosexuality in nature. There are CLEAR genetic factors associated with homosexuality, and if you deny this then you prove that you are incapable of being an objective scientist. It is sad that there is simply not enough funded research in this area, due to obvious political consequences. You show a clear bias in both your words and in your inability to think clearly on a rather simple genetic issue. I suggest that YOU go read some more (in the scientific literature) before you stick your foot any further in your mouth. And I believe YOU owe Jana and apology more than anyone else on this blog. She was stating her own opinion, which was clearly articulated and had a good deal of thought behind its conclusions.
    Bryan W, PhD
    ps- Thanks for your courage to write this posting Jana. I am sorry that my whole comment was wasted on having to respond to an elitist pseudo-scientist, but I cannot stand for a fool in academic science (my profession).

  • Drew

    When I first heard President Packer’s talk I didn’t think he implied, “homosexual tendencies aren’t inborn/biological”.
    I turned to my wife and said, “there’s going to be a firestorm in the bloggernacle” because of this talk-not because of anything President Packer said wrong, although I think he could’ve been more eloquent about it, but because of what people will construe it to mean. My immediate thoughts were that he’s saying, “Why would God give you a condition that you didn’t have the ability to overcome?” And by “overcome” I don’t mean get rid of that inclination/desire/tendency- I mean the ability to control it. He never said there wasn’t a biological component to it- he said God’s not going allow you to be born with tendencies AND not give you the help you need to control it, or abstain from it. Remember, he’s your father. He loves you. He’ll help you. You have a choice to act upon it or not.
    Also, voting to change the marriage laws to include homosexuality (I’m all for gay marriage), doesn’t make it okay to do it. That’s what, I believe, he was getting at. You can repeal the law of gravity, but gravity still exists. You can make gay marriage legal, but acting on your homosexuality is still a sin. The laws of God don’t change.

  • Mike D

    This topic is a difficult one to discuss but still show love.
    There is no easy cure as to make a desirable outcome for every person who has participated in these comments. Some would have evey homosexual (whether practicing or not) condemned (“because they are soooo unatural for just wanting to, you know, yuck” – [sarcastic remark]) and other would have every homosexual (whether practicing or not) be accepted and encouraged (“following [your heart/who you are] can not be wrong” – [sarcastic remark]).
    I have a bunch of assumptions on this matter. Which of these “premises” is false?
    1) It is the attraction to the same sex what makes a homosexual… a homosexual.
    2) This same-sex attraction makes the homosexual want to perform sex acts with a person they are attracted to.
    3) It is hard for a person to be physically attracted to another and not perform sex acts.
    4) A homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual is not attracted to every person of the preferred sex.
    5) In living the teachings of the LDS church, a homosexual would not be able to have sex with any persons they are physically attracted to.
    6) A homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual, in living the teachings of the LDS church, could marry and have sex with a person they are not physically attracted to.
    7) It is difficult for a homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual to be truly happy if they are married to someone who is not physically attractive to them.
    8) It is difficult for a homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual to be truly happy if they are not married/joined to someone.
    9) God wants us to be truly happy.
    My conclusion is that it is hard for a homosexual to be truly happy following the teachings of the LDS church. But it can be done. The LDS church should seek good methods to help people who already have such a hard task ahead of them.
    Conversely regarding attraction. There was a man who was physically attracted to a woman that he then married, but the woman was burned in the fire. The man no longer was physically attracted to the woman. However I excpect that the universal consensus is that the man vain and selfish if he left the woman because she was no longer physically attractive. Would it have been ok for him to leave if they were not married? Would that be fair? Would it be fair to him if he didn’t leave?
    This life is not fair. Elder Packer’s talk may be negatively or positively influencing individuals in their life. I don’t know. But I want to try and be a positive influence in bringing true happiness to others. If someone does not want to live the teachings of the LDS church, they should have every right to follow what they believe (as long as it is legal/ethical and not infringing the rights of another).
    Maybe they won’t be “truly happy,” maybe they are, maybe they just think they are…I don’t know.
    I am glad I believe that God is a perfect and just judge… no matter how we debate or argue in this comments section… God will correctly judge us to help us to be as “truly happy” as we can be!

  • Grumpy Old Person

    @ Christopher Bigelow,
    “As far as hetero couples who are infertile on this earth, their marriage can be fertile in the afterlife (if you accept Mormon theology, that is, which I don’t know to what degree you do). On the other hand, a gay “marriage” could never yield offspring, not now and not in eternity.”
    You would have a point if procreation were a requirement of marriage (as opposed to this ephemeral ‘reward’ in the afterlife you seem to tout). It isn’t and you don’t.
    “I don’t see why it’s such a hard and terrible thing to expect members who are too same-sex oriented to marry heterosexually to remain celibate.”
    And yet others DO see why it is both “hard and terrible”. You, as a hetero-/bettero-sexual have the choice to marry. Gay citizens largely do not. Besides, you seem to want admittedly gay peopple to enter into heterosexual marriage. Would you want your sister to be trapped in such a lie of a life?
    “Life is an opportunity to become like God, and God isn’t gay.”
    You ‘know’ this how??? Is there also an invisible Mrs. God none of us know about?
    “Choosing to live in a gay sexual relationship is unholy and impure”
    Sez you and Mr. Packer. Others – many others – disagree.
    “even if gay partners are monogamous and have a good time together and offer each other much companionship and solace”
    None of that sound either “unholy” OR “impure”.
    “The sad thing is, Jana, is that if this issue ever gets fully resolved one way or the other, either you or I (and people like each of us) may have to leave the church over it.”
    As the saying goes, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. You, and attitudes like yours, will not be missed.
    “You CANNOT have gay and Mormonism at the same time”
    That’s parallel,if not the same, a the misguided thinking that one cannot be gay and Christian at the same time. Loving, committed gay Christians have disproven your lie time and time again.

  • Drew

    Also, do you really know that Christ “did not address [homosexuality] a single time in his earthly ministry”? We have so little of what he said or did.
    Being Christlike is love and charity, but it’s also truth and light. Inviting others to live correct principles, the gospel of Jesus Christ, is being Christlike. Sometimes it’s not easy, and there will always be ruffled feathers, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    “In regard to homosexuality, which is also physical condition, he is referring to the “impure and unnatural” behaviors associated with not resisting the temptations associated with the physical condition. The same would be said about an infertile couple who is tempted to remedy their lack of children by abducting someone else’s child”
    Horrid analogy, Joseph. It would be far better to compare gay relationships to an infertile couple who seek to either adopt or IVF treatments.
    Being gay = abducting a child??? How ‘christian’ of you! (NOT.) You compare consenting relationships to the theft of a human being. May God forgive you for that cruel comment, ‘cuz I’m not about to.

  • Ronaldo

    I appreciate your belief on this subject, but would suggest you look again at the comments by Apostle Packer. Communication when we differ in opinion is always difficult, and careful study and listening can help. Of course, no one wants to be told by someone in authority that an opinion they hold may not be entirely correct. President Packer to me was being most kind and loving to homosexuals, and others of us afflicted with the tendencies of the “natural man” with his comment:
    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”. While, he may have implied these are not “preset”, he did not say they are not. However, the importance is in listening to the combined words “preset and can not overcome”. I know that homosexuals others of us with “preset” tendencies do not necessarily want to “overcome” these feelings and many take it as an insult/offense that they should. The Apostle is simply giving encouragement to those do that no “preset” trait can not be overcome, and that God would not do this. So, to me that is a comfort to all of us that struggle with the “natural man”. We can overcome our “preset” tendencies. The comment gives hope to me that my many less than gospel approved “preset” tendencies can be overcome and that God will help me in these efforts.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    “Alcoholism can be genetic but if someone wants to not be an alcoholic one step is to stop going to bars and avoid places with alcohol. I believe these same things can be applied to Homosexuality”
    No they can’t.
    You seem to think that comparing God’s gay and lesbian children to alcoholism is a ‘charitable’ thing to do. I vehemently disagree.
    Plus, it’s an extremely untenable analogy. Gay people are homosexual wherever they go. They cannot “avoid” it. It is our nature, every bit as much as being heterosexual is yours.
    “Either way our responsibility on earth is to avoid sin.”
    As you can (hopefully) see, many people disagree with the Church’s teachings that committed, loving, consenting, adult, human relationships ARE “sin” in the first place.
    “the stance of the Church has not changed”
    Well, for once you’re (semi-)correct. (See the reply immediately below yours, Chris, for some, er, ‘updates’ the Church has made on its offical “stance” [not a "wide stance", shurely].) It is the WRONG stance to hold God’s gay and lesbian children in such contempt.

  • http://latterdaymainstreet.com/ Chino Blanco

    Someone needed to come out and say it. And Jana did.
    Bravo.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    @ Mike
    October 4, 2010 5:08 PM
    “Consider the act. Now are there any documented occurances of this behavior in the animal kingdom? Do we ever read or hear about this in the wild?”
    Yes. In almost ALL species, no less. Read “Biological Exuberance” for a litte (much-needed, apparently) education on the topic.
    But again, all you are doing is reducing God’s gay and lesbian people to sexual acts. This is nothing other than an attempt at dehumanizing gay people. Speak of committed, loving, HUMAN relationships and leave the horses out of it please.
    “My belief is it runs contrary to the laws of nature.”
    Then you are sadly very much misinformed.
    DO BETTER!
    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/10/lds-apostle-boyd-k-packer-is-wrong-about-homosexuality_comments.html#ixzz11VLfMsFj

  • Pam S

    Mike, there is indeed examples of same sex behavior in the animal kingdom. Google it.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    “The National Association For Research and Therapy on Homosexuality documents study after study how how easily homosexuals can change”
    That is a lie from the pit of Hades, John.
    NARTH does NO “research” whatsoever. (Just like the Family “Research” Council doesn’t.)
    There’s no “study after study”, nor is there even ONE validated example of a homosexual being “change[d]“. If it was so ‘easy’, there’d be a heckuva lot fewer suicides among bullied gays.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    Latter-day Guy’s post of October 4, 2010 11:10 PM should be required reading for ALL LDS members, especially those that insist the Church’s stance does not/has not change[d].

  • Alex

    I recently was interviewed for my first temple recommend. During this interview I was asked if I sustain the Prophet, General Authorities, and local authorities of the church. My answer was “yes,” and it still is. I support God’s messages, not the messages that are popular with the world. While I do think Elder Packer could have been more delicate in his wording, his message is right inline with the teachings of the church. I have given this topic a lot of thought, and I do believe marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman- But gays and lesbians still need to be treated with love and respect. Similarly, gay and lesbian supporters should treat those who disagree with them with love and respect as well. I don’t see a lot of that happening.

  • Wendy A.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your thoughts. Thank you for being so compassionate and loving. I am also straight. I have been married for 18 years and am a mother of 4. But, I think of all the examples of peoples who were not afflicted with injustice, but did not stand idle while others suffered. I teach my children that as long as “some” of us do not have our civil rights and liberties, we are all at risk. I appreciate that you have spread intelligence on this topic and not fear. I am reminded that those of us that are not in the majority in Utah must not “lump” together and label those with the prevailing view. Thank you for voicing your dissent on the matter.

  • Lara

    To Chris: “So this is what passes for debate? Let’s tone it down a notch. You oppose my moral viewpoint and you’re on equal footing with a legal system that chops off hands of those who steal, stones and whips people, etc.”
    I wasn’t trying to have a debate. I was making a statement about why I left the church. It doesn’t bother me if a religion teaches against homosexuality or even punishes/excommunicates members who go against that religion’s particular moral code. Religions are free to define the moral realm for their members, and if the members don’t like it they can leave. What bothers me is when religions stick their noses outside their membership to the general population in an effort to shape civil laws that everyone must follow. That is the essence of Sharia law, so I don’t apologize for that reference.
    While I appreciate the fact that Mormons don’t condone whipping, stoning, cutting off hands etc., I still believe they have no business trying to define civil marriage. Specifically I am talking about the church’s involvement in California’s Proposition 8 to make gay marriage illegal for everyone in the state. I would also oppose any law that tried to ban premarital sex, adultery, unmarried couples living together, or the consumption of coffee or tea. Not everyone shares those same morals. While you might argue that Mormonism is not the only religion that opposes homosexuality, there are plenty of other Christian religions that welcome gay couples into their congregations and even perform gay marriages.
    Let’s face it, the general authorities are very old and they are a product of their generation. I do believe that the church will one day soften its anti-gay rhetoric. In fact, I think that someday gays and lesbians will feel welcome in LDS circles. While I don’t believe gay couples will ever receive temple recommends or be eligible for temple sealings, I do think that the church will eventually advocate fidelity within civil marriage as the “second best” option for gays who cannot remain celibate for a lifetime.
    As for those who say the church has never changed its stance, or general authorities can never be wrong or God would strike them down, I encourage you to read this article by Harvard scholar D. Michael Quinn.
    https://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V33N03_13.pdf
    I can’t imagine how anyone could read this article and still think that the general authorities have always been and will always be infallible on any subject. If they could be so wrong about people of African descent for over 100 years, what makes you think they can’t be wrong about gays today?

  • Sage Boman

    Gender is an essential characteristic of every man and woman and is divine. It was this way in the pre-mortal life, it is in this life, and in the hereafter it will be the same.
    Elder Packer is talking about eternity. We are to become like our Heavenly Parents. This is what eternal happiness means. That is the measure of our creation. There is nothing offensive about Elder Packer’s talk if you read it in the Gospel light.
    Please don’t be offended. You have read a lot about this, but please read the Family: A Proclamation to the World carefully. We are children of our Heavenly Father who loves us. He made me a man, and women women and all men men. People can change, such is the Gospel Jesus Christ taught in the New Testament and in the Book of Mormon.

  • Mon

    One thing that I think is misunderstood is that Elder Packer did not say God would not let someone be born with same sex tendencies. He said God would not make it impossible to overcome or change it. Therein lies a huge difference. As members of the church we have to remember we are on the Lord’s side or we’re not. Being on the Lord’s side means not rationalizing church doctrine and loving everyone no matter their choices. We all struggle in one way or another. Some struggles are just more outward hence they are easier to judge. Being like Christ is loving not judging.

  • Zilpha

    Jana,
    I appreciated your perspective on this issue. It is a tough one for believing members to come to terms with. The problem is, if homosexuality is not a sin nor a choice, then what does that mean for the entire “plan of salvation”? It means that “somethings up” and that’s an idea that is more than hard for believers to accept for obvious reasons.

  • Mitzi

    I am currently inactive for reasons I won’t go into here, but suffice it to say, I was raised in the LDS church in a partly active LDS home where I was taught the principles of the gospel. The most glorius principle I remember being taught (by example by both parents) was to love my fellow men and treat them as I would want to be treated.
    There are too many people in the Church who take everything as the Word of God when it comes from the Church leaders in conference instead of really praying about what they hear and asking for divine guidance in applying those things that are taught from the pulpit. And, sadly some of those who take everything at face value, refuse to treat those who are different from them as low lifes. How sad. I’ve met many wonderful people from all walks of life (yes, even LGBT’s) who love their fellow men and treat them as they want to be treated.
    I am eternally grateful to my parents for teaching me to seek the good in others and to love them regardless of their religion, their sexual preference or their particular station in life. No, I am not perfect and I get very annoyed with people for some of the stupid things they do and sometimes pass judgement on them in the heat of the moment, but I always come right back to what I’ve been taught and have to eat crow, ask for forgiveness and move on, etc. The two greatest commandments are to Love the Lord with all our hearts, might, mind and strength and second, to love our neighbors as ourselves. If people tried to sincerely live by these two teachings alone, what a difference we would see in the world.

  • http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction Em

    I don’t know if anyone has shared this link yet or not, but I think this excellent Newsroom interview thoroughly answers your premise here. People often say that they do not “choose” to be gay, but everyone chooses behavior. The fundamental fallacy in this whole argument is that homosexuality is an identity rather than a behavior. Though some may be more inclined to this behavior, God has given no one that identity, which is what Elder Packer stated.
    This issue runs even deeper, because there is a generally accepted understanding in today’s hypersexed society that everyone should be able to “express” themselves sexually, whatever form that takes. This notion is in direct opposition to our doctrine, and the fallout from its acceptance is seen in a wide variety of social ills.

  • Kat

    Jana, I’ve never read your site before. I just happened across it when googling “Boyd K. Packer.” But I thought I’d take a moment to point out a few errors in your thinking. Firstly, the church is not taking a step backwards in their viewpoint on homosexuality. If anything, the church is standing firm and steady, where they always have, on the belief that homosexuality is a sin. It is something given to sons and daughters of god that they will have to struggle with. Just as you mentioned infertility, autism, schizophrenia…they are all given as trials, to make people stronger. Some have quick fixes, medications, treatments, and some do not. None, in my opinion, are less desirable than another. Many people are given addictions, sexual, physical, emotional, that they will have to struggle with and fight with their entire lives. How is this different than being homosexual? A child born with downs syndrome will most likely never wed, have children, etc. How is that different than homosexuality?
    It’s a trial…it does not have to be a sin, unless acted upon. Just as a person with a sexual addiction may struggle with it, but never has to molest someone, or be promiscuous. This is not Boyd K. Packer’s opinion, this is God’s law. We cannot pick and choose which laws to obey. Our task is to obey them all.

  • Craig

    I am perplexed about the rational that many people (including many Mormons) that homosexuality should ok and should be fully accepted by the LDS church. I wholeheartedly condemn the practice of homosexuality and I applaud President Packer’s Speech.
    What’s the next deviant behavior society wants us to accept? Pedophilia? Bestiality? What about those that are only attracted to little children or animals. Should they be denied their civil rights. Is society going to justify these behaviors next and demand total acceptance. Is society going to demand legalized marriage between man and beast and expect everyone to cower to it’s perverted whim?
    Yes! Homosexuality IS a perversion just the same as pedophilia and bestiality is . It is an illness and a deviation from that which is holy. I feel for those who are afflicted by these desires But remain steadfast in my condemnation of the practice.

  • Wendy A.

    A crime occurs when a person(S) hurt/damage another person or property. That is pedophilia and bestiality. Two human beings loving and caring for each other is not a crime.

  • Vort

    So Wendy A., in your theory, how does bestiality hurt or damage a person(s) or property? How does consensual relations between a 26-year-old high school teacher and his 17-year-old student hurt or damage person(s) or property? (Not speaking of moral or spiritual damage, of course, which the law can’t touch.)
    Or do your definitions change depending on whether you agree with the issue?

  • Sara

    Having just finished watching a replay of the talk, I am somewhat surprised by this column. The primary message from the referred to talk was about the pain that pornography causes families of the fathers who engage in it. Elder Packard does make oblique reference to homosexuality, but I don’t recall he even mentioned the word, rather he cited the Church’s 1995 revelation on the family, and the Mormon church’s teachings on sexual fidelity.
    The overarching theme of this talk is challenging men to stay faithful to their wives, and encouraging they repent if pornography has entered their home. Perhaps the author is a bit oversensitive?

  • Deven

    We do not live in a theocracy.We are not making laws to advocate immoral behaviour. We are protecting equal protection under the law. The church certainly has the right to advise members on their doctrinal views. But to take the leap that people are not born with a predisposition toward sexual orientation, and that these feelings CAN be changed with enough faith and diligence is ignorant. The law of gravity is not up for debate. It is the same all over the world. Morality on the other hand in many cases, is in a persons own conscience. I thought Elder Packer’s comments were reckless, and will have consequences. I understand Kat’s comments, But Elder Packer didn’t say that people who are born or otherwise have this sexual oreintaion, should avoid homosexual behaviour. He said that God would not create us this way. So in essence it is their making not his. Dangerous stuff.
    And Craig, I hope you don’t get out much or speak to too many people. With all due respect, your an idiot.

  • Kiro

    Why must every religion, every space, every group be forced to accept secular humanist beliefs? If you believe that love can mean whatever you want it to mean, that’s good for you – but why are you so intolerant of my beliefs being different?
    To me, there are different types of love. Appetites are meant for a purpose: eating and sex both become problematic when they become de-linked from their purpose. It happens, of course – I have been known to indulge both appetites, personally – but it does not follow that because sometimes appetites therefore run out of control, we should gorge ourselves – and make gorging the center of our life.
    That is my belief. It is also a traditional Christian belief. There is no way to make Christianity be about indulging in this world: if your belief is that it is this world and its pleasures that matter, what you believe is not Christianity.
    You are welcome to believe something other than Christianity. But stop attacking my beliefs! Intolerance is as bad when you do it, as when I do!
    And, yes, the question of morality is one that I expect to have full rights of participation in. My definition of morality has as much right to be part of the public policy as yours. We ALL get to decide the rules we will all live by.
    So stop acting as if I have to believe what you believe! My rights are as legitimate as yours – so if you think I am wrong, find some real argument to prove your case, don’t play the “your beliefs are bad so you’re a bad person” game!

  • Not So Kiro

    “My definition of morality has as much right to be part of the public policy as yours.”
    Actually, you’re wrong Kiro. Religious beliefs of any kind are not supposed to be part of US public policy or civil law. Yes, you can self righteously wave a book of mormon at others in a court of law, but that is about all you can do.

  • Sparky

    Why would you compare homosexual behavior to infertility, schizophrenia, or the like? You can choose to engage in homosexual behavior or not. You often cannot choose the other afflictions you mentioned. If you believe homosexual tendencies are innate and you are born with a predisposition to it, you can still choose whether to act on those feelings. People get tempted to do all sorts of things that are against God’s laws. That doesn’t change God’s laws. The action always comes down to a choice. People cannot choose whether they will be born infertile or schizophrenic. God will not hold that against them any more than he will hold your temptations against you or me. I think the key words for the Elder Packer quotes you mentioned are “Some suppose…they cannot overcome…” Anyone can overcome anything with Christ’s help. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe in the full power of the atonement of Christ.

  • Aldebaran

    “Religious beliefs of any kind are not supposed to be part of US public policy or civil law”
    Gee, “Not So Kiro.” I guess we better get murder and theft off the books then.
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
    Where in there does it say I can’t use my personal beliefs (religious or otherwise) to dictate how I vote or participate in the democratic process? I believe that was Kiro’s point.

  • Vort

    Deven: “But to take the leap that people are not born with a predisposition toward sexual orientation”
    No one said that. You are falsely representing what was said.
    “and that these feelings CAN be changed with enough faith and diligence is ignorant.”
    So then, you’re saying that people CANNOT change their feelings and very beings through faith and diligence? Then you reject the very foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are free to do so, only don’t pretend to be a Christian of any sort.
    “Elder Packer didn’t say that people who are born or otherwise have this sexual oreintaion, should avoid homosexual behaviour. He said that God would not create us this way.”
    This is a lie. Period. Elder Packer very clearly stated that God would not leave us with no way to repent or change our behaviors. Only a person listening in order to find fault could possibly have misunderstood his very clear words.
    You may not agree with Elder Packer. That is your privilege. But misrepresenting his words and lying about what he said, as you have done, is far beyond the pale. Are you truly the antiMormon you sound like?
    “And Craig, I hope you don’t get out much or speak to too many people. With all due respect, your an idiot.”
    Look in the mirror, brother.

  • Kiro

    If religious beliefs are not to be part of public policy, then do I have the right to forbid you from your secular humanist and/or pagan beliefs?
    “OHHHH but THAAAT’s DIFFFFERENTTTTT!”

  • Michael

    Thanks Jana for a nice article. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and compassionate nature that has gone into this blog post.
    It is unfortunate that the comments have been taken over with such contentious speech. Let’s try a little harder to love one another. :-)

  • KWM

    No one said that gays and lesbians were “lesser children of God”. No one! President Packar’s talk could have just as easily been about adultery or any other moral issue. Shock and Horror that a religious sect would offer an opinion, or “doctrine” (to those who are believers) on a moral issue. Truth is, it is well within their right to do so. The fact is that this particular issue is at the forefront because the gay and lesbian community continues to force it there. And it fascinates me how people inside and outside of any denomination will wait with their finger on rewind, to tear apart and reconstruct the meaning of someone elses words and ideas.
    Sexuality used to be a private and personal issue. Now, for some reason same sex love cannot exist privately, in the minds and hearts of those who choose it, unless it is embraced and validated by the heterosexual community publicly. I understand that there are terrible people in this world who persecute lesbians and gays. No true Christian would ascribe to cruelty and hatred against their brothers and sisters, it’s incongruent logic. I agree, we should love everyone. However, it is the right of the individual and it is the right of any denomination to stand up for what THEY believe, that the ACT of homosexuality is a sin, as described in Christian doctrine. The general consensus isn’t that the PERSON is bad. That is like saying a child who lies (a sin) is a bad child. It’s completely taken out of context and a wrong assumption. We ALL, every single one of us, struggle with personal and private issues or sin. If you as a person choose not to see your behavior as sinful, why does it bother you so much WHAT others think of your behavior? Gays and Lesbians, have proper rights under the law, but in this community that is not enough, they wage a war to have the minds and hearts of the world conform to their way of thinking and this, in my mind, is actually contrary to the “acceptance of everyone” they advocate and profess. The fact that the gay and lesbian community choose to diminish, demote and criticize the ideas and opinions of another because they are not identical to their own, sounds a little identical to their own complaint. Acceptance of personal belief and lifestyle is a 2 way street. Don’t pick apart the words of every well meaning person to construct a conspiracy and bigotry that simply doesn’t exist. People can still be and feel loved if they choose, despite the fact that they won’t have their personal and PRIVATE behaviors embraced by EVERYONE.

  • Kiro

    Michael, by “love one another” do you mean that I am doing something wrong, that I need to behave differently – or believe differently?
    Do you need me to change who and what I am, to affirm (or at least align with) YOUR values and beliefs?
    Is that what tolerance means to you? That anyone who disagrees with what seems reasonable to you should shut up, go somewhere else, stop existing in your world?
    Funny – I thought that was the definition of INtolerance.

  • Michael

    Kiro, my friend, when I say love one another… i mean we should be a little kinder to each other. you are entitled to your views, which may or may not be the same as mine. Contentiousness is an attitude/behavior, not a view. If you wish to be contentious though, you certainly have your right to be so. I do not wish to participate in a war of words though, so you will have to do it without my participation. :-)

  • Vort

    Michael:
    Is this an example of the compassion you so dearly appreciate in Jana’s article?
    “Packer finds it against God’s natural laws that some people might be born gay, since homosexual relationships do not lead to children…It is another thing entirely to deny that God would ever create an individual who would be unable to fulfill a mandate of reproduction…”
    Of course, the above is a lie. Elder Packer said no such thing.
    Is misrepresenting the words and teachings of an apostle compassionate behavior?
    How about Jana’s final line:
    “…homosexuality [is] a subject that Christ did not address a single time in his earthly ministry?”
    Obviously, unless Jana has received very extensive private revelation regarding Christ’s life — in which case she would have no business mentioning it in her column — she has no possible way of knowing whether Christ ever addressed the topic of homosexuality during his lifetime. Is wresting the scripture and making false claims about the life of the Savior part of the compassion of which you speak?
    I am struggling to find the compassion you mention in Jana’s screed. Can you point out her compassionate comments regarding Elder Packer or those of her (supposedly) fellow Saints that don’t agree with her?

  • HP

    I’m confused. The Mormon church has for quite some time now proclaimed that homosexuality is not a choice, however, acting on those feelings is. That those sons and daughters who find themselves dealing with these feelings are still welcome. Now Mr Packer, as a senior apostle of the Mormon church, proclaims that homosexuality is a choice. His argument? Would God create such deformity? … I strongly doubt God is giving mixed messages so I would like to know who is really getting the revelation and what exactly the churches stand is . What I suspect is that there’s a lot of hate and prejudice that stops even the best of us from hearing God’s voice.

  • Marni Zollinger

    I don’t think the subject — God’s specific plan for His gay children—- has to be explained, myself. My responsibility is to care for my fellowman, not to make decisions for my fellow man. What the general hurt over President Packer’s words has obscured is the result of the words. President Packer was confirming that the church will continue on its path to see that gay/lesbian couples and their children are denied equal protection under the civil law (the domestic civil agreement, called “civil marriage”) which position also denies equal recognition by federal programs (social security) and privileges (filing taxes jointly, etc).
    Personally, I do not think that anyone in the church leadership needs to resolve how God judges homosexuality (especially when it appears so innate). What the church does need to do, however, is lead the church to a Christian posture toward fellow-man and upholding of the ideals set forth in D&C 134 and Mosiah 26 which specifically encourage all church members to strive for laws that put all people on equal standing and treatment.
    I do not see this happening today. I hope that this will be a trend in the future.

  • Vort

    HP: Go back and listen to Elder Packer’s talk. Don’t take Jana’s word for what he said. She is wrong. Listen for yourself, rather than letting others do your thinking for you, and you will figure it out.

  • Michael

    Marni, interesting comments… Thanks for your insight. :-)
    Vort… I meant no malice towards you. I simply found Jana’s article to be compassionate in tone and she seemed like she is trying to be understanding of others who are different than herself. We need more of that in today’s world.

  • Deven

    Vort, I listened to the whole speech, his words were not taken out of context. I am not an anti-mormon and I am a christian. And Craig’s comments were still idiotic. We are a religion of love and conscience, principles and ordinances, Elder Packer clearly stated that some people are NOT born with this disposition, differing from other apostles position that they don’t know why some people ARE born with this disposition. This has become widely accepted amongst scientists of all faiths, including BYU. This speech will have consequences.

  • MSM

    “There are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature.” – Boyd Packer, mormon church leader and next in succession to be prophet, October 2010
    “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.” – Boyd Packer, May 18, 1993 (Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council)
    The truth is actually, when the mormon leaders speak, the thinking that’s been done is based on the myths, biases and ignorance of the past. Sadly, there are far too many people who listen and follow mindlessly.
    “History has shown time and again that morality cannot be changed by battle and ballot…” -Boyd Packer
    I suppose after this comment, it would have been most appropriate for someone to bring a slave in shackles out to the podium to help illustrate Mr. Packer’s idiotic and grossly inaccurate point.
    What other ‘laws of nature’ are there, that are there by god’s will? Who decides what is god’s will and a law that cannot be broken; and which can conveniently be explained away at a whim? I wonder which other ‘laws of nature’ are unchangeable in his hateful view? The logic that Mr. Packer uses in his hateful rhetoric is that sexuality is not innate, but a behavioral choice because god would not make the mistake of making people homosexual because homosexuals can’t breed. Are you kidding me? Is he serious? This is over the top lunacy — even more bat #$%@ crazy than his comment about history showing time and again that morality cannot be changed by battle and ballet! Perhaps Mr. Packer should apply this same brilliant logic to why god makes infertile heterosexuals? Why does he make autistic children? Why do cute puppy dogs get run over by busses? It’s just idiotic.
    If the mormon leadership decided that they don’t like gravity, would they rally and spend, spend, spend to vote it down?
    I’m disgusted by the continued ignorant rhetoric from this hateful man.

  • Ryan

    Thank you for giving voice to the thoughts and feelings of so many of us who struggle with fundamentally different, and at times opposing, social and political views in the church. You gained a new reader today, courtesy of Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

  • Andy

    A lot of great comments. It really gets me thinking and for those that label anyone who doesn’t agree with me as not thinking again it proves more to me that this discussion will be a dividing factor among people. The reason I say this:
    If I agree with people that say that being gay is something you have no control over then I would naturally have to agree that it is something you can’t control and couldn’t equate it to sin. Therefore it flies in the face of my beliefs and I am wrong. Which doesn’t make me happy either.
    If I agree with Bro. Packer and believe that being gay is a choice. (Albeit, I think people can be born with more of a tendancy then others.)Then I see gay people under the light of people like anyone else who has made a mistake and needs to change.
    Here is the problem. The gay community would like everyone to believe that they are only striving for equality and want to be treated the same and that I should either support or do nothing about the agenda they are pushing down my throat. Because I believe that being gay is a choice and therefore I can’t back same sex marriage because it devalues my own marriage and sends the wrong message to my kids.
    By supporting the message you are saying that if you push something legally long enough and enough people support it it becomes right. You have seen this with a lot of other SINS that are becoming popular right now. Think about the porn industry. People who do porn are now becoming celebs and other stars are making sex-tapes with the saying that it’s ok. Girls pose naked because they “love the naked form and it’s beautiful and it isn’t porn.” So at what point do you call it porn??
    At what point do I feel like it’s ok to say what I believe to be correct without being called a Homophobic or bigot?? You can argue with a gay person till you are blue in the face as much as they can argue with me and we won’t see each others point of view as clearly as right is from opposite from wrong. Just because the gay agenda has people convinced that they can’t help it and a lot of LDS people feel the same way doesn’t make it right. There are a ton of sins that I struggle with and feel that I wish I could change about me. But I have grown to realise that I can either leave the Church and believe that I can’t change the way I am or I can’t truly try and change and I mean totally change myself. That includes a lot of the things that I do and changing the ways I think. Does that scare me and frustrate me. YES. Simply, because I don’t know if I can change and at times I want to get rid of the feelings I have so bad that I have contemplated suicide, but that I also know isn’t the answer. When I am not caught up in the moment choice seems easy, but daily I am proven that it isn’t easy.
    I have a feeling if living a truly Christlike life was really easy we wouldn’t have all of the problems in the world. I start to understand the kind of faith that it requires to truly have a change of heart. I get scared that I am not up to the task. Should I quit and just give in? At times I have felt like it. People say I don’t know what it’s like being gay, but that is like saying I don’t have a clue what it is like to fight addiction or my own personal challenges which can be just as dramatic. To say that I haven’t prayed to change who I am and to wish for a change of heart and not have it magically change me just isn’t true. Gays aren’t alone in thier challenges with sin it is just a different one.

  • Deven

    HP and Marni are right on.. We need to stop making excuses and/or justifying Elder Packer’s comments.

  • marisol chow

    KWM
    When you are able to stop dwelling on the private sex acts of same sex relationships and see gay and lesbian people as real life complicated humans, just like yourself, you will understand that those relationships are really not “about” sex acts, but are based on all the same things that opposite sex relationships are based on, including family and shared culture. Why you would want your fellow gay and lesbian Americans, many of which already have children of their own, to live their lives secretly and shamefully behind closed doors is beyond me. Is this something you ask of families that have opposite sex parents? Please, grow up and stop thinking about the sex lives and acts of gay and lesbians. Please think of them as people that are just like you. People that want the same things you want. Please don’t ask others to live without the dignity that you expect to live with.
    And no one disputes your “right” or any churches right to say whatever you want. Please, have at it.

  • Duwayne Anderson

    To all the fine Mormons who say they disagree with Mr. Packer, and/or that Mr. Packer does not speak for them. I have a simple question for you.
    During conference, when the General Authorities were sustained, where was your hand? Up or down?
    I remember watching and attending conference during the 60s when Blacks were the target of LDS racist doctrines. I watched all those nice people sustain wicked men like Ezra Taft Benson. Now history is repeating itself. I didn’t see a single person raise their hand in General Conference when it was time to sustain the men that run the LDS Church.
    Including Packer.
    I’ll admit that it takes a lot of courage to stand up in conference and refuse to sustain these guys. It could possibly cost your membership — and with that, your spouse and family. I can’t say I blame anyone for raising their hand with all the other sheeple and sustaining Packer.
    Just disappointed.
    Duwayne Anderson
    Author of “Farewell to Eden: Coming to terms with Mormonism and science”

  • http://www.zionsbest.com/face.html Vort

    MSM is mistaken when he/she/it writes:
    “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.” – Boyd Packer, May 18, 1993 (Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council)
    The first link above shows Elder Packer’s talk in its entirety.
    So, MSM, why the blatant untruth? Did you think no one would bother to check up on your false citation, or did you somehow completely and totally misremember something Elder Packer never said, to the point that you pretended to know where he supposedly said it at?

  • Vort

    Congratulations, Jana. You find yourself in league with Duwayne Anderson. You must be very proud.

  • Kiro

    Marisol Chow,
    Maybe someday you will recognize that the children of gays and lesbians are complex “real” people also, and you will come to recognize that the problem is not that gays & lesbians exist, but that they keep insisting on imposing their wishful fantasies on other people.
    Truth, reality, and honesty matter. The reality of who your family is matters. The right to experience your real kinship relationship matters. The right to have a meaningful relationship with your father and with your mother matters.
    Sex is just an appetite. To make it the center of your lifestyle is just one choice – not the only choice. You can choose to do it, but what gays and lesbians are demanding is that all of us give up things that are important to US so that gays and lesbians can enjoy the right to make their one appetite the most important thing, not only in their own life, but in MY life and OTHER PEOPLES’ life also.
    I’m sorry that gays and lesbians have problems accepting who they are and especially the reality that their sexuality is not a sexuality that leads to a normal, healthy family. That must be a terrible burden, but the fact that they want all of society to rewrite a whole lot of rules so that they can replace their feelings of loss and self-hate with a false sort of self esteem – one based on lies and deceit, one where men can pretend to be women and people can pretend they don’t look silly when they cross dress – this is not the answer.
    The hatred that gays encounter comes from their desire to make lies into truth. What people do in their bedroom is mostly their own business, but when your bedroom behavior won’t stay in the bedroom then it affects all of us. No child has “two mommies”: the word mother has a meaning, and so does the word stepmother.
    Reality matters. Truth matters. Gays want to rewrite reality so that their needs are at the center, and then claim that anyone who won’t let them must be motivated by hate. But it isn’t about hate. It’s about reality.

  • IHM

    I can attest that Kiro is right that sex is just an appetite. At 63 years now, I can attest that my appetite turned on around 17 and that at 57 it just wasn’t all that compelling anymore.
    So if anyone who is gay and Mormon can just sit on that appetite for 40 years or so, they should find that it trails off and it will become easier.
    Oh, and maybe when Packer gets his next appetite for a mean-spirited diatribe against one group that’s never done anything to him, he could just sit on that impulse too.

  • Kiro

    Michael, you judge my “attitude”, and then suggest that I am responsible for – you use the word “war”. Then, after you have had your say, you declare that I will have to “have my war” without you. That is not loving, that is not peaceful – that is passive-aggressive.
    So please do not judge me as if I were the one being hateful. I put forth an opinion because it is important. There will be no resolution to this issue until both sides are understood by all participants.
    There can be no resolution as long as those who disagree with my position can maintain the fiction that I only feel the way I do because I am “hateful” or “defective” or “mean” or whatever insult-of-the-day gets thrown at me, to discredit my point of view. This is a tactic that has reached the end of its usefulness: the only way to stop this “war” is to listen respectfully, not make denigrating comments at those who dare to speak. Contentiousness might be an appropriate response to this issue, at this point in time.
    And my view does matter: it is held by a significant percentage of the population. It needs to be resolved, and that will not happen if you can do nothing but judge me in the name of “being loving”. Admit that you are not my superior, and that we are merely equals – there is no way to both be loving and to hold on to the narrative that suggests you’re loving and good while I’m a blankety-blankety-blankety-blip blip BEEP!!

  • Brad

    Aaron, I like your perspective as a non-mormon. It has a parallel to like-minded individuals inside the church.
    I was told from a young age by Mormon church leaders that the church did not tell you how to vote. I took this to mean that having political opinions was safe and did not conflict with church membership.
    I have a very hard time with being told that with prop 8 suddenly “this is different”. It seems to mean that I’m not allowed to have a differing political opinion on the subject of homosexuality. I’m not gay, but I feel strongly that civil marriage should not be influenced by religious groups. This is a political opinion and should have been “safe”. Not only are we being told how to vote, we’re being told to evangelize this position and the church buildings and infrastructure our donations paid for are used to advocate it.
    This same thing I was told is what I repeated to other people on my mission. The church does not tell you how to vote. Now people can look at what I said and call me a liar. In a weird twist, it seems I had volunteered to knock on doors for a political group that I do not agree with.

  • Elder Whiteman

    By the power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood vested in me, I
    command you to not to think, obey. obey, don’t think. obey, don’t think. feelings are facts, feelings are facts, feelings are facts.
    I say these things in the name of Joesph Smith, Amen.

  • Max

    Jana,
    I am Mormon. I have disagreed with some of the General Authorities in the past on certain issues, so I feel your pain in that regard. However, I have never disagreed on such a fundamental issue as marriage, family, and sexuality. If I were you, I think I would probably leave the LDS Church. You have clearly bought in to the idea that homosexuality is either primarily or solely biological, an assertion that has no conclusive scientific evidence or scriptural evidence to back it up. I think it is safe to say that Mormons believe homosexuality to be a sin, like many other religions. It should not surprise you to hear messages like this in General Conference.

  • Fernando

    Hi Kiro,
    I wonder if I can ask you a few question.
    Can you please explain how legalization of gay marriage would influence your own marriage?
    You stated, “…but what gays and lesbians are demanding is that all of us give up things that are important to US”. I am very confused about this. What have gays demanded that you give up?

  • Henrietta22

    Jana, since so many of your fellow Mormans think so extremely perhaps you would be better visiting an Episcopal Church (accepting of our GLBT people) A Lutheran Church same as accepting, United Church of Christ, and meeting the Trinity of Christianity. Nobody asks anything in anybodys name except Jesus Christ’s name.

  • Tom Kimball

    Well said Jana.

  • http://www.bendaniel.org Ben Daniel

    Jana,
    I truly admire your willingness to speak out prophetically and compassionately. Please keep writing stuff like this!
    Ben

  • carolepotter

    Well said Jana, speaking out is important. And there should be room for a variety of beliefs in God’s kingdom.
    And Max, start studying there is plenty of support for the cause of homosexualty being biological. Just recently a lecture was given with plenty of scientific evidence at BYU.

  • Neal Kramer

    Jana:
    I’m interested in why think moral arguments favoring definitions of families and marriage that go beyond marriage between a husband and wife who together commit to the desire for eternal life in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom carry greater urgency than standard LDS arguments grounded in priesthood covenants and heavenly order?
    I believe that a number of arguments many Latter-day saints make in support of husband/wife/covenant marriage are fairly facile. As I believe most arguments in favor of other forms of marriage are fairly facile.
    I think what most people who question the teachings in The Family: A Proclamation to the World object most to is the church’s belief that it has some obligation to blunt moral decline in the broader society as well as protect is members from spiritually debilitating practices.
    I feel burdened by the need to think more clearly about arguments favoring alternative families before I jump too early into the fray, especially to try to prove these arguments false and replace them with better ones.
    I’d like to learn to think well about covenant families before I move in another direction. I freely admit I’m not thinking well yet on my own, though I am writing and otherwise trying to learn.
    My choice to accept the principle Elder Packer teaches, which is about celestial families, rests on assurances that are personal and sacred to me which my reason has yet to equal. I say, therefore, that I do not have the certainty of reason, of social science, etc., but I do have “the blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.”

  • Diane

    I am saddened that so many are completely outraged by Elder Packard’s remarks. Listening closely, one will realize that he was not condemning the sinner, but the sin. President Packard did not state that it is against God’s will that we will have innate tendencies towards certain behaviors contrary to His laws. That is part of His plan- to have opposition in all things and experience the “natural man”.
    His question of “why would God do that?” refers to why would God allow us to have challenges that couldn’t be overcome. Elder Packard was stating that there are no challenges in this life that we cannot overcome. That is was the Atonement of Jesus Christ does for each of us. We all have to overcome our weaknesses and none of us can do that without the help of the Savior.
    I trust in the Church leaders. But I do also find it hard at times to understand the balance of not accepting a sin but accepting the sinner. I know homosexual individuals who are wonderful amazing people- this isn’t a surprising fact and shouldn’t be! We are all God’s children. And we all have the light of Christ within us. But I do regard a homosexual relationship as one contrary to God’s commands. This really can create a dilemma and I cannot say I have an answer as to how to establish a perfect balance. We are all commanded to love one another but we are not commanded to condone sin.
    The greatest challenge with following the counsel of the Church is that the world in general is becoming SO contrary to its beliefs. But that doesn’t change God’s laws or our need for a prophet. As faithful members of the church I think we can find comfort that we DO have a prophet who leads under the direction of Jesus Christ. It is our obligation to sincerely pray to know if what he teaches is true. And it is awfully hard to receive answers to our prayers when our hearts are full of anger, whatever side of the argument we are on.

  • Theresa

    I believe that as a direct result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God, they and every human being born thereafter were destined to die an eternal death. In doing so, it left the door open to all kinds of repercusions, up to, and including being born with physical abnormalities, deemed beyond the control of the human being affected.
    Transgender,transexual,transvestites, bi-sexual, homosexual, gay, lessbian…and any other name floating out there in regards to abnormal sexual behavior, are not beyond the control of a human being. That person can say yea…or…nay, to that way of life.
    A woman born with the inability to conceive, clearly is a physical abnormality, to which if she had a choice in the matter…she would make sure she was born with the ability to conceive when ready…as would a person born with a birth defect, would make sure they were born within normal parameters of a human being.
    Being gay or other wise is a desire of the heart. I don’t hate or dislike the person for choosing the lifestyle. But I do believe they need to know the difference between coosing and being born into something. God is a God of order. Satan is the author of confusion. We are commanded to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. I love every human being…I do not condone the lifestyle of gay and lesbian.

  • T G

    The only thing I have to say really is in mention to the comments that stand against homosexuality. I’m 25, a Republican, a lesbian (very much so born this way), and was a Roman Catholic for many years. But it has all come down to this for me. I can not believe in a God who would make my life so difficult, so filled with hate all around me just to see if I can pass this so called test. To see if I can stay away from my “temptations”, as they’re being called. I find it unfair that my life has become a debate. That in many eyes I’m not even considered a human being, and in many ways am being treated as such. I challenge those who are against homosexuals to sit down and have a conversation with one. Do not get preachy, don’t try and sway them. Just see if they’re really the demons in disguise you believe they are. Find out if you can really put them on the same level as rapists, murderers, and child molesters.
    I don’t claim to know anything about the LDS church or it’s teachings. I only know who I am. And if your God really is the true God. The one who created me with these “urges” that I’m supposed to walk away from. I don’t want in. I would never choose to be gay, but at the same time I refuse to spend my life miserable.

  • julianne

    i feel you completely. i’m an active mormon because i love the core Gospel message, i love the tenets of Christianity, and i feel the spirit consistently in church and when i attend the temple.
    but i don’t understand such sentiments that he expressed. what he said is not doctrine, and even contradicts what pres hinckley said while alive, that he grieves for those brothers and sisters called on to go through life with the struggle of same sex attraction.
    but i must say a resolute no to what max wrote! no do not leave the church. listen to this… it brought me great, great comfort:
    http://barebonespresents.blogspot.com/2010/09/case-for-biological-origin-for.html
    i felt a spiritual witness of calm while listening to this lecture and felt, yes, this is Christianity, and this is true Mormonism.

  • Vort

    “Biological origin” is a red herring. Of course there is a biological basis for homosexuality, just as there is a biological basis for a short temper, extreme obesity, self-mutilation, promiscuity, and laziness. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to have a short temper, allow yourself to become obese, mutilate your body, be promiscuous, or sit around all day.
    Homosexual activity is evil. That some people are predisposed toward that activity doesn’t make it okay, any more than being predisposed toward violence makes it okay to rape your neighbor. We are all expected to exercise self-control.

  • David N. Heap

    Jana, thanks for writing this, and thanks for having chosen to be a part of my faith community. Thank you for demonstrating your commitment to my faith community by kindly and gently disagreeing with the speech of one Church leader. I think as a community of Latter-day Saints, we are strengthened by authenticity and honest respectful expression of our opinions, feelings and ideas, even when they differ from leaders. I know you are smart enough and spiritual enough to discount the opinions (a) by supposedly committed Mormons and (b) by critics of the Church that you should leave the community because of your disagreement. I am glad you are with us.
    It was not that long ago that another person, Glenn Beck, who had chosen to join my faith community, publicly stated that same sex marriage was not a threat to society. He may or may not have been the recipient of advice from well meaning bloggers that he should depart the Church because he did not toe the party line. I hope not. I strongly disagree with Brother Beck’s politics (and think some of the things he says are “out there”. But I am glad the gospel net is wide enough to encompass him and me.

  • Nancy

    Wow, I’m struck by all the people inviting Jana to leave this church. Really? This is your response to other members of what is supposed to be a sacred fellowship? Your more than happy to see people take their leave?
    Frankly, I’m pretty shocked by that. I have much more respect for those who have stated views different from Jana’s but who have offered those views as a dialogue about an important matter of shared concern.
    Since I share Jana’s view, it feels pretty personal to have all kinds of “brothers” and “sisters” let me know they’ve got no problem if I leave the fellowship of the Church. I wonder what Pres. Monson would say.

  • Nancy

    “You’re” not “Your.”

  • CJ

    Before anyone posts anything, they should watch the whole talk and not take anything out of context (too bad Jane did take it out of context). I watched the whole thing again before posting this. There are two things here; First, before he made these comments he was talking about pornography and the sins of the natural man. He also stated that those tendancies of the natural man can be overcome because, as we know, we will not be given any temptation above what we can overcome. He was not refferring to the gay/lesbian topic. Watch it again and figure it out!!! Secondly, when he was talking about the gay/lesbian topic he started this topic by referring to God’s commandment to Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth. He told them this by way of commandment. This is a commandment, if you are christian and beleive in the bible, it is plain text and you cannot change that. IF you are not Christian then you can beleive as you choose. If you are a christian then you must beleive we are all put on this earth with the same commandment to mulitiply and replensh the earth after marriage (God ordained the union of Adam and Eve in the bible). Elder Parker says that anything not in harmony with the commandments is a sin (agree or disagree all you want but this makes sense if you are a christian and you believe in the bible). I know gay/lesbian people, and they can beleive as they choose, but a as a christian, I beleive the bible. I support what Elder Packer actually said and not what people are taking out of context. Shame on you Jane for blogging on something that is not accuarate. Everyone, go watch the whole thing on youtube or LDS.org and then ask yourself the question “what was he really speaking about?”, and see how much sense he makes. Eveyone is a child of God whom he loves, and we should too. Don’t blame Elder Packer for receiting the bible which is Gods will (according to Christians). Watch it again, his comments are taken out of context.

  • AT

    Wow, I can’t believe people are suggesting that Jane leave the church. She is entitled to her opinion. One of my friends and I have talked a good deal about President Packer’s talk, he agrees with Jane–that President Packer could have been more diplomatic in the way he spoke– but I think the Lord calls more than one apostle so that we can hear the message in different ways. The Lord has one gospel and He will not apologize for it nor will He change it. If you, like Jane, don’t believe the Apostles of the Lord understand the realities of life and the gospel, you don’t have sufficient faith in Jesus Christ. “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38). By saying President Packer is wrong you are saying that Jesus Christ is wrong, this would not be the case if President Monson had stood up and said that President Packer was wrong. Instead of contradicting President Packer, President Monson stood up and said that we had heard truth spoken. I agree that President Packer is not always the most diplomatic when he speaks, but we are told: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.” (Heb 4:12). There will be a division in these latter days and the Word of God will be the sword that divides us. Fortunately there is always a way to change and align ourselves with the gospel. Elder McConkie did this after President Kimball revealed that all worthy male members of the church could hold the priesthood. I believe Jane is in this same position, but I have no stewardship over her and cannot speak with any authority, just as she cannot speak with any authority over President Packer and what he says in his Conference talks.

  • Mordred08

    Okay, I just saw homosexuality get equated with self mutilation. Is anyone keeping track of this? We’ve got Mormons comparing gays with murderers, child molestors, child abductors, alcoholics, and now emo teens that cut themselves. Anything you wanna add to that? Are gay people like bank robbers somehow?

  • Jason

    Which is more compassionate and loving, to warn your fellow men of potentially devastating pitfalls and the negative consequences associated with those pitfalls or, as Jana would have us do, to pretend that such pitfalls are normal, acceptable and virtually unavoidable as a result of pre-mortal, uncontrollable tendencies. Promoting homosexual relationships as “godly” could not be more misguided and destructive.
    What level of sexual perversion would two mature adults have to attain to exceed the degrading and repulsive sexual relations practiced by those who participate in homosexuality? How is sodomy at any conceivable level of imagination “godly”?
    The only thing more hurtful and damaging than engaging in such foul and reprehensible acts is to naively pretend that deep regret and extreme disappointment will not certainly follow, thus encouraging experimentation with some of the most ungodly acts known to mankind! There is nothing compassionate nor Christlike in blurring the line between good and evil. In fact, such behavior is extremely wreckless and destructive.
    Thank God for Prophets and Apostles who have the clarity and boldness to recognize the evil in our times and sound a warning voice!

  • Tyler

    A few thoughts as I’ve been reading that may be beneficial for others to view.
    Me: LDS, Returned Missionary, very dedicated to the church, and not wanting to displease my parents/church/friends. I’m 27 now and have tried to pray away my SSA (same sex attraction) feelings. I’ve had them since 5/6th grade. I’ve tried dating girls and had some develop into relationships, but the feelings of intimacy with them are absent. I try to imagine it and strive to make things right. I want kids of my own.
    According to church teachings, if I have SSA I should not marry, because “marriage is not a solution to SSA.” You risk destroying homes and your children’s lives. So I have SSA and am instructed not to marry because of the heavy problems that may bring.
    So my option is to remain single and lonely for the rest of my probation. I have strong sexual urges just towards someone of the same sex. To be told to control those urges is like telling a “normal” guy to never look at a woman because it leads down the wrong road…you must remain celibate and single the rest of your life…no matter what. Think about that. You have the attraction, the drive, the desire to be with a woman, but you’re told you never should during this life because it would be one of the most grievous sins to God. Think about it and put it into context. That’s what people with SSA have to deal with. Have some compassion and understanding before rote-ly quoting scripture and phrases from the Church’s leaders.
    I don’t know one person with SSA that really wants it. It feels like a curse. It can be very depressing and feel like there is no solution. I don’t know why I have these feelings. I wish I didn’t have to deal with them.
    To those that have never read, “In Quiet Desperation” please do. It will open your mind and heart to those that are struggling with their feelings and trying to find solutions.

  • Vort

    AT: “By saying President Packer is wrong you are saying that Jesus Christ is wrong”
    More likely, they are saying that President Packer does not speak for Jesus Christ — that is, that President Packer is not in fact an apostle. Hence the (misguided) invitations for Jana to take her leave.
    My take on the matter is more straightforward: If Jana claims to sustain her leaders, she ought to sustain them. If she does not wish to sustain her leaders, she ought not to pretend to do so by raising her hand or by calling herself a Mormon. It’s a matter of integrity.

  • AT

    Tyler, I understand what you are going through as I am in the same situation, except that I am 26 not 27, other than that, all the same. Regarding your statement that you should not marry, that is not what I have been told. I have been told that marrying is not a solution to SSA true, but that you need to get that under control before you should marry, not that you should never marry. I have even been told in my Patriachal Blessing that I will marry someday and have children, although I have questioned that many times. I believe that if I find the right woman in whom I can confide and rely upon for support it will make it easier to withstand the temptations.
    I didn’t want you to think I was gay-bashing or anything in my earlier post, I was merely trying to point out that when the Apostles speak it is not for us to say they are wrong. However, I would like the Apostles to speak directly to those of us who struggle with SSA, I bet you feel the same way. It seems like when they speak about it they speak to those who have to “deal with others” who have SSA. Until we hear more from them directly I will continue to strive on my own with help of local leaders. These attractions may never leave me in this life, but I know that there is nothing I can’t overcome with the Savior’s help. I know that is true for you too.

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
    ***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
    ***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
    ***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
    ***.gaychristian101.com/
    ***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    ***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
    ***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
    ***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

  • Lara

    I think everyone who gets on here with those follow-the-brethren-no-matter-what posts needs to be referred back to Latter-day Guy’s post of 10/4 at 11:10 pm. Nothing like a good dose of history and facts to blow all the fantasies and speculation out of the water. I was unaware of some of that history with Mormonism and homosexuality. How very, very damning and faith-shattering.

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    ***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
    ***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    ***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
    ***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
    There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. “Nurture” may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.
    And it should also be noted that:
    “It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

  • shadow_man

    The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.
    From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.
    America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

  • shadow_man

    This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don’t feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren’t human.
    “I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if “Gays” have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate “(Legal Document)” of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. ”

  • Cathy

    There are just a few points I want to make here. Why is gayness such a hot button issue for the authority of the Mormon church? As a gay person and non-mormon, why does my sexual orientation need to be discussed in such a degrading way. I am a citizen, I deserve my civil rights. I’m not on the front line trying to take away anyone’s religious freedoms. The Mormon Church is on the wrong side of history right now. Why not talk of issues such as, domestic violence, poverty, sexual violence and things that actually do harm to the members of the church. Because my consenting relationship with my girlfriend has nothing to do with Boyd K. Packer or the Mormon Church.

  • Your Name

    We speak of committed, loving, adult, consenting, human relationships.
    “Craig” (at October 5, 2010 2:37 PM) thinks of God’s gay and lesbian children as the equivalent of child-rape and fVcking animals:
    “What’s the next deviant behavior society wants us to accept? Pedophilia? Bestiality?”
    So much for that “respect” y’all claim to have. So much for that “love” y’all claim to have.
    Hey Craig, ever hear of a thing called “consent”? The law says that neither children nor animals are capable of granting it.
    Get a clue first, and then get some learning. And then lastly, get some human decency and compassion.
    Shame on you for bearing false witness.

  • Grace

    Tyler, I’m so grateful for your comment. With you, I agree whole-heartedly. For the other comments, I will quote President Monson and say that “truth” has been written here by all. That does not mean that everything written was true, however.
    I am one of the ex-wives that has resulted from the famous counsel of President Spencer W. Kimball that if you get married, the gay will go away. Not so for my husband, and I know with full confidence that we tried everything we could as a righteous, temple married couple. After the wake of the many, many destroyed families which resulted from President Kimballs counsel (which unfortunately is sometimes still given), our dear President Hinckley counseled then that marriage should not be used as a remedy for Same Sex Attractions. The same was repeated by Elder Oaks, Holland, and Jensen, not to mention the pamplet on SSA, “God Loveth His Children”. Overcoming SSA is the exception, and rare at that. And of course many complex factors are involved as to “how gay” the person is to begin with. “Success” stories are severely relative.
    I’m not gay, I do not support same-sex marriage nor do I think that same-sex relationships can bring the full measure of happiness which we are promised through righteous, priesthood sealed, heterosexual marriage. Nor do I believe that the lion’s share of current temple marriages reach their intended potential here on earth, but I do believe a measure of happiness can be found in loving another of God’s children just by the nature of love itself. Does that mean it’s ordained of God? Not necessarily. The feelings are, even if the target isn’t.
    Most do not believe such could be possible for homosexuals – but it is not just about sex. I think if people understood that SSA includes complex emotional issues – God given desire for love, companionship, and procreation, perhaps compassion for those of US (yes, that’s right, righteous mormons struggle with SSA) who deal with what may be unthinkable to others may finally be able to find respite within our Savior’s church in order to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of what Tyler has subscribed. A life without “the very key” of which Elder Packer speaks, and is what is commanded and expected. Are we not commanded to mourn with those who mourn? Our Brothers and Sisters with SSA are promised that their desires to have a family will be fulfilled unto them, though probably not in this life, but one day, after they have “fought the good fight” and “finished the race”. Would we not help them fight the fight? Or would we tell them their trials are not real?
    Invalidating anothers struggle, especially one so difficult (and no one is asking for a free pass here, so please don’t go there)is bringing no one closer to God. President Packer’s comment that God would never do “this” to one of his children has set us back years, if not back to square one itself. To those who may feel even more hopeless now than before, please do not give up hope. You are loved and wanted, even if misunderstood. The Lord knows your heart. Fallability of leaders has never been denied by any authority of the church. Fight the good fight, and know that I am in there with you.

  • Tyler

    AT: You said “I have been told that marrying is not a solution to SSA true, but that you need to get that under control before you should marry, not that you should never marry.”
    What is “under control?” I worry about getting it “under control” and then faltering* during marriage. The thought of hurting my companion hurts me. She wouldn’t deserve it.
    *I’m not talking about infidelity, I’m talking about not being attracted to her. How devastating it would be for a husband to not be attracted to his wife.
    Are you waiting to find a girl that you find attractive? And how long will you wait to find her?

  • DS PW AFP

    Ha, this is too easy. Those of you “Mormons” who agree with the post, leave the church. Quit already instead of whining about what is happening. You obviously don’t believe the doctrine, or believe in a divinely inspired prophet. So go find a church that does accept you for who you are or what you believe. Scientologist? Episcopalian? Zoroastrian? Anything, I don’t care, but quit trying to change the church that many Mormons who have testimonies believe in. Just move along already.
    Oh yeah, I’ve always thought it would be fun to smoke pot. Seriously. I think the church is way wrong on that whole Word of Wisdom thing. I know, I’ll just get a bunch of like minded saps to go along with me and protest the prophet. Yeah, that will work. Then I can smoke weed and not feel bad about myself. Bad church, bad church. Let me do what I want.

  • Your Name

    You’ve been smoking something to come up with such nonsense.

  • To Question Dogma or Accept it as fact?

    “In 1947, Dr. Lowry Nelson, a faithful Mormon and sociology professor at Utah State Agricultural College (now USU), wrote the First Presidency a letter that challenged the LDS Church’s teachings and policies toward blacks. He wrote, in part: “The attitude of the Church in regard to the Negro makes me very sad. I do not believe God is a racist.”
    In an official letter, signed by all three members, the First Presidency responded:
    From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
    Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now…We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency…toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.”- USU s.com

  • Jeff

    This kind tolerance that Elder Packer describes, how people will let people do whatever they want and not stand up for what is correct has led to destruction of entire nations in the past. It’s all there in the Bible….

  • Faith

    I don’t know about you guys, but i lifted my arm and sustained the prophets and leaders of the church. If you sustain them and then don’t agree with what they say, you need to go find another church to “follow” because you definitely don’t believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints…. oh really this is the Lord’s church? Doesn’t that mean that anything said over the pulpit by his appointed leaders is really coming out of God’s mouth? Amos 3:7. I don’t think the problem is you don’t believe in the church’s stance on homosexuality, i believe you don’t have a testimony of the Lord’s true church… (not Boyd K. Packers church or any other leaders church). Prophets and Apostles are just mouthpieces for the Lord. The wicked take the truth to be hard….

  • DS PW AFP

    Awesome commentaries. Love the debate. Let’s just get this out of the way first, all people are amazing despite thier sexual desires. I have nothing personal against homosexuals.
    That said, this boils down to whether you sustain the prophet or not. If you do then this is a done issue. If you don’t, see my previous post.
    No name person who said I was smoking something, great retort. Attacks ad hominum are completely valid when you have no other ground to stand on.
    To question dogma-valid post. I like it, very thought provoking. However, I admit, I follow the prophet.

  • AT

    Tyler,
    Unfortunately that is an issue that even heterosexual couples deal with, especially as age removes the beauty of the flesh. I hope to find a woman who loves me for more than my body, and whom I love for more than her body. There are far too many marriages between men and women that fall apart because either the man or the woman was used to “playing around” with lots of people, then they get married without having dealt with the addiction that “playing around” brings and are suddenly expected to stay faithful and not find their partner boring after a few sexual experiences. The Atonement can make it possible, and having a loving wife who loves you for who you are and wants to help you will make you stronger and more able to not falter. Love is not all about physical attraction, I hope to find a woman whom I can love despite my current predicament and grow to love even more. It may take a while, but I will not lose hope, I refuse to, and the Lord will help me.

  • Chuck

    As a member of the church, allow me to make a point…
    Article of Faith # 11 states: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
    The church’s stance on homosexuality is to support any legislation that prohibits the state from recognizing same sex marriage.
    This stance is obstructing the rights of churches who believe God does recognize same sex marriage, such as the “United Church of Christ” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/national/05church.html
    The church’s stance on homosexuality is in direct violation of one of the fundemental beliefs of the church. It flies in the face of it’s own doctrine (for all of you who want to talk doctrine). I don’t believe the Church should take a stance advocating homosexuality, but I also don’t believe they should take a stance against anyone else’s right to worship under the law.

  • David Hall

    And how would Mr.Packer say to those who have mental disorders such as bipolar disorder. Just get over them? Mood disorders that might result in suicide or sexual deviations unapproved of by the only true? What crap.

  • How is Heterosexuality Determined?

    “You have clearly bought in to the idea that homosexuality is either primarily or solely biological, an assertion that has no conclusive scientific evidence or scriptural evidence to back it up. I think it is safe to say that Mormons believe homosexuality to be a sin, like many other religions. It should not surprise you to hear messages like this in General Conference.”
    Should those that make this claim be obligated to show the scientific evidence to back up the genetic, endocrinological and biological causes of HETEROSEXUALITY? If you don’t know how your own sexual orientation is determined, how can you demand this kind of evidence from homosexuals?

  • AT

    Chuck,
    Your logic states that homosexuality is a form of worship. Please explain how that works.
    I think you meant to quote article of faith 12. In places where same sex marriage has been legalized the church does not interfere, but if it is not the law of the land, we can fight against it so that the time doesn’t come when the people choose wickedness over righteousness (mosiah 29:27)

  • PJ

    I am shocked to see what the “Christians” commenting on this blog have to say about the matter. Can anyone display Christ-like behavior these days? I happen to be a gay Mormon. I know in my heart that I was born gay. God gave me this burden to bear so that I might become strong in my weakness. It is no different than any other trial. God gives us trials, not Satan, and we must remember that. Elder Packer is an inspired man, and while I agree with him fully, I find his choice of words to be hurtful. I’ve heard many talks that address homosexuality with far more grace, but regardless of my opinion about his language, the truth it contains is absolute. There are times I wish things were different, and thus easier on me, but that would defeat the purpose of life. Thank you for voicing your opinion here, Ms. Reiss. It is never a bad thing to challenge things, even our own doctrine. A testimony cannot exist without questions.

  • Jeff

    AHAHAHAH
    You guys crack me up!!
    @Jana, you liked all the talks but one? Too bad the church isn’t a la carte and you could pick and choose what you like and don’t like. Kinda sounding like the start to apostasy…just saying..
    Why are gay people so mad about this??? It’s church leaders preaching to it’s members about church principles!! Paul and many of Jesus’ apostles weren’t the most popular people when they preached, what makes you think that everyone on the whole earth is going to agree with Pres. Packer?
    The whole “why are people born this way” is totally flawed. I was born a serial killer. I guess I can’t change my ways.
    Glad to get that off my masculine non-gay hairy chest…

  • To Jeff

    The whole “why are people born this way” is totally flawed.
    How so, can you provide evidence from main stream medical associations like AMA, APA, LCSW to back up your assertions?

  • Your Name

    AT….
    I believe I did explain. Homosexuality is not a form of worship, but rather a tenat of that church’s faith. The lds church used their influence to get legislation to deny them that right.
    Prop 8 was a proposition to overturn the Califonia Supreme Court’s decision that gay marriage was constitutional. It was the law of the land in Clifornia, and the Church interfered… check your facts.

  • Re: DS PW AFP

    “To question dogma-valid post. I like it, very thought provoking. However, I admit, I follow the prophet.”
    Can I take this to mean that there is never a point you would be able to think for yourself? Even when asked to drink the Koolaid laced with cyanide?

  • John

    I thought President Paker gave a good talk other than one part I find myself struggling with.
    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural… Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”
    I have had to come to terms that SSA is a fact of life for many good people. I resisted that idea for a long time believing it must be a consequence of wrong choices by them or others around them that resulted in their struggle. I still feel the issue is oversimplified by many proponents of a homosexual lifestyle, however I’m convinced that good people struggle with this issue and that their is most probably a biological factor.
    In many ways it doesn’t seem fair. But then life isn’t fair for many many people who struggle with many challenges from severe mental illness, being physicaly or mentaly handicaped (my hadicaped aunt longs soo much to be married), being born into utter poverty… one could make a long list of hard hard things that are part of the human condition. Yet that is part of life. It can be hard to understand how a loving Heavenly Father allows such things. Yet I accept that he does and although he allows for terribly dificult life challenges, it’s not because he doesn’t love us. I feel He does Love us all and that one day things will be made right.
    Christ taught us not to judge, we may not know the struggles others deal with.
    I stand firm in with Elder Packer in his stance on the commandments of God. But I do wish he were more sensitive and took a more compasionate tone for those who struggle.

  • Brett in Oregon

    I’m surprised at all the gay Mormons on this blog! It’s depressing. You are the gay version of Uncle Tom! Why don’t you guys go to BYU for those electro-shock treatments to take-away-the-gay and youtube it? I could use at good laugh at you taking this Parker guy’s advice!

  • George Jensen

    HOLY CRAP!!!! TO ALL THE GAYS IN THE WORLD: STOP GETTING BUTTHURT!!!! NO ONE FRIKIN CARES ABOUT YOUR 2 CENTS, SO PUT IT BACK IN YOUR POCKET AND LEAVE IT THERE!!!!! IDK WHY YOU GET OFFENDED FROM GENERAL CONFERENCE TALKS!!! THEYRE THERE TO HELP US BETTER OUR DAYUMM SELVES!!!! THAT SAYING :” I WAS BORN GAY” IS HELLLLA FALSE!!!! JUST KEEP LYING TO YOUR SELF!!! BUT IN THE END, THAT WON JUSTIFY YOUR SELF AT THE SECOND COMING!!!!

  • James Johnson

    Jana Riess is a hypocrite. “I’m Jana Riess and I’m Mormon. I believe God communicates to his children through his apostles and prophets except when I’m to pee brained to undersand that square pegs were designed to go into the square holes. I’m a sooth sayer. I’ll speak very highly of those apostles of Jesus Christ except for when I disagree. Upon which time I will take it upon myself to correct the apostasy the apostles are teaching to the children of men. Because I Jana riess know what is required of mankind to achieve eternal life and I with my superior intellect will right the wrongs of the so called senior apostle. I Jana riess will fight the teachings of old men that I don’t sustain. I will fight to convince those that would be convinced to change their lives from an eternal homosexual relationship to something that would never lead to eternal happiness. I definitely know there are scriptures missing for the other kind of people. When God saw man was alone for these other people he created more men so they could be merry together. I probably will start receiving revelation soon seeing how I now I have a calling to reveal Gods truths to man because I believe his apostles do not.” the nature of the wicked is that the mojority do not repent but some do and will enjoy eternal life but this person seeks to persuade the few that would repent and be heirs of the kingdom of God enjoying everlasting happiness with a proper mate by design and all posterity to give up obedience to the commandments of god for speck of miserable time. This foolish person mocks God will for his children. We all have sins to repent for but this person says that some do not have to repent. She says evil is good and good is evil. Eternal salvation is what is at stake for all people for many ways, homosexuality being one of the ways eternal life and happiness would be lost.

  • Really??????

    Doesn’t it make sense if Adam was and eve were born “normal” and not “gay” and now we have gay people who they all say “I was born this way” doesn’t that mean there is a “gay” gene now? And if there is a “gay” gene that wasn’t there to start (Adam and eve) and the vast majority of people who don’t have it now, then do we need find the cure for the “gay” gene like we try to find the cure for every other odd gene situations people have? If so it must be that “gay” gene makes a person messed up or is it just that they really choose that way. So either they have a “retarded” gene or they are choosing and knowing what they are choosing to do. Would a gay person please just let me know which one it is……please. Are you screwed up or just choosing it?

  • Guy in funny hat

    Brett in Oregon -
    I’m surprised at all the hate-filled comments coming from those who claim to follow the teachings of Christ. Perhaps you should reevaluate how you interpret his word, or failing that, submit yourself for out-dated shock therapy, seeing as you have less a mind than those you seek to insult.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Guy in funny hat

    George Jensen -
    HOLY CRAP!!!! TO ALL THE GEORGE JENSENS OF THE WORLD: STOP WRITING IN ALL CAPS!!!! NO ONE FRIKIN CARES ABOUT YOUR 2 CENTS, SO STOP ASSUMING YOUR OPINIONS ARE MORE VALID BECAUSE OF YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION, PUT IT BACK IN YOUR POCKET AND LEAVE IT THERE!!!!! IDK WHY YOU GET OFFENDED FROM COMMENTS TO A BLOG!!! THEYRE THERE TO OPEN UP INTELECTUAL DISCOURSE AND HELP US BETTER OUR DAYUMM SELVES!!!! THAT SAYING :” JESUS WANTS ME TO BE DEROGATORY AND JUDGEMENTAL TO MY FELLOW MAN” IS HELLLLA FALSE!!!! JUST KEEP LYING TO YOUR SELF!!! BUT IN THE END, THAT WON JUSTIFY YOUR SELF AT THE SECOND COMING!!!!

  • Packers Kitty without a gender takes own life

    Albuquerque New Mexico, October 5, 2010 a
    In the wake of an incendiary talk by Latter Day Saint second in command General Authority Boyd K. Packer a fluffy kitten has violently ended its life by strangulation with a fuzzy springy cat toy on the end of a stick. In letters spelled in paw print (an ancient Reformed Egyptian language perfected in the Clovis era) the kitten described the shame and pain it felt when recently outed by Boyd K. Packer in his controversial talk.
    Boyd K Packer said: “Years ago I visited a school in Albuquerque. The teacher told me about a youngster that bought a kitten to class. She had him hold up the kitten in front of the children. It went well until one of the children asked, “Is it a boy kitty or a girl kitty?” Not wanting to get into that lesson, the teacher said, “It doesn’t matter, it’s just a kitty.” But the persisted. Finally one boy raised his hand and said, “I know how you can tell.” Resigned to face it, the teacher said, “How can you tell?” “You can vote on it.””
    The kittens name has not been released pending notification of close relatives but those closest to the kitten have come out in protest against the church leader. One young first grade child at “Our Lady of Perpetual Grief” Catholic School where the kitten was recently an honored guest at show and tell said, “Boyd K. Packer is a filthy rat bastard and I hope he rots in Hell for what he did to XXXX (name withheld)”. It seems a general attitude among many who heard the words of this powerful leader in the LDS community.

  • Guy in funny hat

    “I’m James Johnson, and I’m Mormon. I believe that all facets of life should be determined by the Articles of Faith, save for when I’m too pea-brained to take a close look at the eleventh.”
    Sir Johnson, you make a grievous error. You make an assumption that all words from the Senior Apostle are infallible. That they are to be followed without question. There there is no recourse. I would suggest that all men are fallible. That even the purest of prophets is subject to human scrutiny. Furthermore, I would point out that my side, not yours, is supported explicitly by the very tenants of the Mormon faith. Doctrine and Covenants 10:37 – “But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.”
    This is not the lord speaking to a commoner, or a casual believer. This is the Lord speaking to Joseph Smith. Do you presume your opinion or status in the eyes of the Lord higher than Mr. Smith’s? Would you assume that the Senior Apostle has that chair above the founder of your faith? Or, following your faith, will you recognize that mankind’s word is not perfect, no matter the source. We cannot always judge the wicked, nor the righteous. The Senior Apostle is likewise limited. He is a Man, after all.
    Questioning a statement is not to presume that one is better than, that they will begin receiving revelations, or any of the other nonsense you state in your response. In fact, your accusations against Jana Riess are purely erroneous, they are shock value designed to offend and illicit an emotional response. There is not a single iota in truth in the claims you attribute to Jana Riess. Luckily, as we’ve established, your word is as fallible as anyone else’s. Meaning that the fact that you are lying is plain to see.

  • Guy in funny hat

    To the author of: “Packers Kitty without gender takes own life”
    Having a laugh at the expense of those who tragically decided to take their own lives is deplorable to say the least. While Elder Packer is not to blame for the recent suicides, per say, I believe people think it is the mentality he helps to propagate that leads to the kind of desperation these people must have felt in their last hours. That is to say nothing of the lack of tact in timing this speech so closely after said tragedys. However, reading this mock article leads me to believe the ability to gauge tact is beyond you.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • How many deaths will it take?

    Salt Lake City, UT – Another beautiful young Utah life has been lost. 18 year old xxxx xxxxx, a first year student was found dead on September 30th. Police say the death appears to be a suicide.
    google for more information.. but the deaths continue.. guess the change therapy must need a little more voltage, epicac or something?

  • Nate Jones

    Corina said “Before I was a member of the Church, I used to think, “Why would anyone deny someone else the right to marry another person even if it is the same sex? It’s not affecting me any.” But now, I understand that we are acting with charity. We are trying to help our brothers and sisters return with us to our Heavenly Father, where they belong.”
    I must wholly and emphatically disagree with this statement. The war in heaven was based entirely on Satan’s desire to force everyone to do good and be saved. It’s a common misconception among LDS people of recent times that it’s okay to force someone to be good, if necessary by punishing them for acting according to different beliefs. This not only sets a dangerous precedent for the behavior of members, but reflects a decidedly unchristian viewpoint.
    To call forcing others to conform to your beliefs “charity” strikes me as the most profound irony.

  • Guy in funny hat

    To “Really??????”
    Not being gay myself, I can only speculate, as can you,? on the subject? of being born homosexual. However, I’d like to try to answer your question using my powers of reason and ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????deduction which have seemed to ellude you, perhaps it’s a gene. I’m not certain what “Odd Gene Situation” you must be in which lead you to such a woefully innaccurate understanding of genetic disease. But that is neither here nor there.
    It is not a matter of being “Messed Up” This is an obvious attempt at offering only derogatory options to anyone answering your question. It is a sad tactic. By your logic: The vast majority of all people have brown eyes. Green eyed individuals are therefor genetically “Messed Up”. Or perhaps they chose it, under Satan’s influence. Deviation from the majority does not define a mistake. As you seem willing to look to science for an answer, I offer this fact: Not a single Institution of Medical Research regards homosexuality as a disease. Nor does Psychology. Nor does any scientific field. At all.
    Then again, it’s possible that these so-called “scientists” are so burdened by correct grammar that their conclusions cannot be trusted.

  • Albert

    We are prone to condemnation of our family members. Almost any subject is cause to condemn someone.
    I propose we define SIN as “Self Ish Ness” Putting me above you. The Lord proposes we do the opposite: “The greatest among you is the servant of all”
    Homosexuality is not bad, sin – Self.Ish.Ness – is. The purposes for sex are to generate love between partners and to generate children.
    I believe the purpose for holding to traditional marriage between a woman and a man is so that children can be taught how to properly treat the other partner properly. Men and women are so very different, children need to be taught God’s Laws of Love so they don’t develop bad habits by just following their natural feelings. It is too bad so many of us are so willing to quickly condemn one another and follow the Laws of S.I.N., thereby reaping the painful harvest.
    Traditional marriage isn’t for the married couple, it is for the children who have the right to be raised, taught and loved by both their father and their mother. Parents don’t have the right to take their children’s rights away.
    Oh, Please stop calling homosexuals “Gay”. I like the word, which means “Lighthearted, happy”. I like feeling gay, but I am not interested in sex with another man. I feel very gay, though, especially when my wife dances with me, sings with me, and wants to play with me.
    Perhaps instead of “Gay” we could call them “blithe”. That word means pretty much the same: blithe/bl?T?H/Adjective
    1. Showing a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper.
    2. Happy or joyous.
    Actually, since most people consider being “blithe” (homosexual) to be somewhat ‘improper’, it actually fits better than “gay” and no one uses it much anymore.
    So, to wrap it up, lets condemn less, love more, let children keep their rights to having a father and a mother and lets use the term Blithe to describe a homosexual way of life.
    As Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and [s.i.n.] no more.” Isn’t that a gay way to look at it, now?

  • Albert

    You know, the more I thinkof it, the better I like the term “blithe” for the homosexual lifestyle.
    “Mom, Dad, I have to tell you: I’m blithe.”
    “You’re what!?!”
    “I’m blithe, you know, happy, joyful, cheerful, homosexual and casually indifferent that you consider me callous or improper!”
    “Well, son, I guess that explains why I saw you and Pete holding hands and kissing. He is such a sweet boy. Oh, well, at least he won’t get pregnant.”
    “Oh, we are going to adopt. We want a little girl to love and cuddle and teach, and we are casually indifferent if you think that is improper.”
    “Well, you are a blithe spirit, aren’t you, dear!”
    Who am I condemning? Not one person. I do, however, question the thought that two women alone or two men alone could raise a child to live God’s Laws properly, one “parent” of whom plays the role of a man or a woman, something s/he is not. It seems pretty blithe to me.
    Personally, I’d rather be gay than blithe, anyway. I do care about being callous or improper, especially in God’s eyes, and He does say that if we hurt any of His little ones, i.e. lead them astray from God’s Laws, “it would be better that a millstone be tied around his neck and he be drowned in the depths of the sea.” In the history of this world, no society has ever long remained ‘blithely’ homosexual.
    Unfortunately, history does repeat itself when people go blithely on their own merry ways.

  • James Johnson

    Or creatively attacking a person that feeds on the frontlines of faith and suffering. If you don’t even believe in GOD the creator then you can’t begin to understand his will. And if this grand architect’s greatest creation the woman is disregarded by men as useless. Imagine the abandon for wonder, fulfillment, happiness, and joy. Not in just this short life of trial but for ever. ETERNAL neither is the man without the woman or the women without the man. To say homosexuality is without a doubt natural is foolish because the from the very beginning those that have been molested, raped, verbally and sexually assaulted that have been pained with sexual confusion. Making poor decisions because of abuse. When the abused act out traumas that become embarrassing painful abusive and all around self destructive. If your headed that way it’s painful and the opposite of looking into the eyes of your child that you love with all your being. A person exists because of what many would say is millions of years of male female male female. Then so far into time one decides to end the timeless chain of functional existance is a down right shame. Rise above this attraction to a natural order of perfection. For every man that does not choose a woman there is a man that has not met the right woman. Transend momentary trials, conquer the carnal, choose the path of perfection which is unto life eternal. It’s plain and simple it really doesn’t matter how one has arrived to such circumstances of being but how to exit out of such circumstances of being. And some may only have the option of outright denying self gratification for the sake of faith obedience unto the will of GOD. Society must needs parish. Do you think he likes condeming civilizations. Do you think one who knows the the importance of his office would speak so carelessly as too condemn civilizations. Do you think that Jesus Christ would allow his prophet to call his apostle to speak at his semi annual delivery of his revealed truth. Gods personal church by design if you believe in Joseph Smith restorative prophet. God gives us weakness that we may be humbled and through our weakness we will be mad strong. If we choose obedience to his will for those that strive to live in accordance to nature and maybe virtually every ancestor they ever had that weakness of attraction will be made strong. The strength of this attraction would be eternal without end. This is the promise of GOD your creator. Everlasting happiness and joy with no bounds but his messengers must be heeded or his promise is not bound. An individual that is not bound by such Carnal instinct can choose his mate beyond the physical attraction but being patient so as to make an amazing decision based in much logic, faith, compatability, amazing beings have the opportunity to come together. Free to move forward to untold greatness. This was a beautiful message that vipers seek to profit from and distort at the same time. Jesus knows how difficult the trial and commands it to be overcome. With everlasting joy and happiness with those that we have overcome with.

  • http://rameumptom.weebly.com Gerald Smith

    While I think we do need to show love and compassion for all peoples, I think we need to not fall into Satan’s trap calling “good evil and evil good” (Isa 5). I also have compassion for all people with predisposed genetic traits: alcoholism, addiction, etc., but that does not mean I’m going to seek to stop the Word of Wisdom. Instead, I’m going to help them overcome and endure for the rest of their lives their predisposition. I think Pres Uchtdorf in General Conference mentioned “endure to the end” at least twice. Guess what? That means all people must follow the standard for exaltation, or they get something less in salvation.
    Pres Packer, IMO, was focusing on immorality in general, not just homosexuality. If you haven’t noticed, “living in sin” and sexual freedom is all about us. But none of it ties in with God’s plan of happiness. Satan takes our predispositions and seeks to have us live less than we really can be. I believe these predispositions have to do with the body, and not the spirit. They are not forever. We can endure, just as prior Saints endured persecutions and wandering in the wilderness. We cannot lower standards simply because it affects a group of people. Shall we also ignore bullies and murderers, because they are predisposed to anger and violence? I don’t think so.

  • kiro

    James Johnson, gays do not view women as useless. They view her as a thing to be used. (But not granted the respect due the mother of your child. Ditto in reverse for lesbians.)
    Real marriage has a practical purpose: it protects the weaker family members against the dominant, strong, rich, powerful family members. It prevents against exploitation. It says that the mother of your child is entitled to be cared for. It says that the father of your child has rights. Above all, it protects the child from motherless-ness, fatherless-ness, abandonment.
    Gay marriage RELIES on these things. It relies on treating the child’s other parent as something to use and discard. It relies on creating a situation where a child will be abandoned by one of its parents. There is no thought to the well-being of these family members. It’s all about the one family member’s pleasure, at the expense of the other members – who are denied the status of real family, so that a step-parent may instead take everything that rightfully belongs to the child’s other parent.

  • http://bookofjeffrey.blogspot.com/2010/10/president-packer-postulate.html Jeff Drake

    My response is way too lengthy to be printed here. Please check my blog. Thanks!
    http://bookofjeffrey.blogspot.com/2010/10/president-packer-postulate.html

  • Kiro

    Fernando, as a matter of fact, everyone’s marriage would be affected by changing the basic rules about kinship from “kinship is a biological fact” to “kinship is a choice”.
    Imagine in chemistry, if you replaced a stable bond with a loose one. This affects the entire structure of the piece.
    Kinship is the basis of family relationships precisely because it is a stable bond: your brother will never stop being your brother, and that will never stop having meaning, no matter how much you hate him or try to pretend he does not exist.
    The logic ruling gay marriage has already affected my family. Already it has become commonplace to argue that “loving” someone “makes them real kin” – until the love stops, at which point suddenly there are very painful breaks, as reality asserts itself: those kids are not really part of our family, and furthermore they never really were. It was all a game of make-believe, all along, but now the game is over: there is no way to go back to pretending they’re “really family”.
    The reality is, kinship is real, and “choice” is a game.
    Gays would like this “choice” to belong to them alone. They want to be special and privileged: if a lesbian goes out and gets pregnant by a man, the lesbian’s “wife” is legally presumed the other parent. But this shouldn’t affect the rules of kinship at all. Only lesbians get the right to “choose”. But it doesn’t work that way, because either the argument applies or it doesn’t – either kinship is relevant or it is irrelevant.
    Families are units made up of obligations and rights. There is no way to grant yourself exemption from the obligations, and grant yourself more rights, without shifting the entire balance – EVERYONE’S obligations and rights. It is tied together. Mathematically this would be demonstrable, in the same way that chemistry would be demonstrable, or a model showing an economy: rights and obligations are connected in the same way risk and reward are connected – the only way to decrease your risk and increase your returns/reward is to shift the risk burden onto someone else, while decreasing their returns/reward; in exactly the same way, the only way you can grant yourself rights (the right to “choose” who is and is not kin) while exempting yourself from obligation (for instance, the obligation to do what is best for the child, to honor your child’s kin/other parents/grandparents, etc) is by taking power away from someone else. You get more, they get less.
    There is no way for everyone to get “choice”. If you take more power, other people get less.
    There is no way for you to remove the stable bonds of kinship as the basis of what family is, and replacing those bonds with weak/loose/shifting bonds, without destabilizing the whole structure.
    Gay marriage and other “kinship-as-choice” options only works when it is a tiny percentage of “free riders”. A stable structure can only hold so many weak links before it starts to become unstable. We are already past the point where the weak links are starting to show.

  • Mike D

    There are some precious jewels of wisdom scattered throughout this comments section. However there is plenty of dung from all sides too.
    Why must so many LDS members feel that they should be a “Samuel,” “Noah,” or “Abinadi” in their loud lambasting against persons attracted to the same sex (or persons empathetic to persons attracted to the same sex) rather than act like a “Jesus,” and his quiet and loving “go, and sin no more?” I really do not believe bullying is the best tactic to use nor will it be successful in making anyone want to move closer to the bully’s positions/opinions(but that is just my opinion).
    I think one of the worst things about publicly discussing these matters is that nonmembers end up thinking that LDS members believe that good and kind homosexual couples are “dammed” to an eternity of “fire and torment,” when LDS beliefs would actually have them end up in a place that these nonmembers would consider to be “heaven.” However, there is still a “better” condition for these individuals, and that is why LDS members are striving to assist these persons in overcoming their “natural” affections. So, what is the goal, people?

  • Chris

    Grace,
    Thanks for your comments, I appreciate the tone and content.
    You said, “SSA includes complex emotional issues – God given desire for love, companionship, and procreation….”
    I have to admit I remain a bit perplexed by this. I’m not advocating all gay people run off and find an opposite sex person to get married to and just “get over it”. But one thing I don’t understand is how someone really says they can’t love or find companionship of someone of the opposite sex. Really?
    I’ve got some great friends, who are male, that I love. I’d enjoy their companionship. I’m not attracted to them by any means, but I love them just the same as dear companions. It’s a strange way to talk about friends, but the bonds are there and are deep. So I think it a bit odd that someone who is labeled as homosexual would somehow not be able to have that love and companionship for their spouse. Now, is the erotic sexual feeling missing? Yes. And ironically, I bet the sex was missing from Pres. Kimball, or rather was not a focus of his marriage when he gave that counsel. The question is should it be… and I think that’s up to individual companions to decide. But I think there are millions of sexless, or infrequent sex marriages in the world and throughout history. And I would not claim that those people had a poor marriage. Again I’m not necessarily claiming this position must be taken… I’m just turning it around in my mind. Surely marriage is about much more than the erotic intimacy our society has reduced it to. I’m not sure I can explain it well though because at the same time, the sexual component of marriage is important. But again, at the same time the sexual component of marriage has been virtually absent from plenty of successful marriages in the past.

  • Not as good as YOU apparently

    “gays do not view women as useless. They view her as a thing to be used”
    Huh?
    And you wonder why you get called delusional.
    The rest of your inane posting doesn’t even merit a response – it’s so full of dis-information and the bearing of false witness. So much for the “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” message of Christ.
    Hey, I’ve got an idea – let’s all start lying about Kiro. Seems that’s what he’d want.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    FYI to Kiro, marriage establishes kinhip where none existed previously.
    That is its primary legal purpose.
    Get some learning.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    Oops, “kinship”.

  • http://www.bendaniel.org Ben Daniel

    @Kiro: I have two adopted daughters. “Is that not kinship by choice”? I am a step-son. The only grandmother I knew was my step-father’s mother. It has been a little bit weird, and, at age 42 I’m still trying to figure it out, but for the last forty years I have had a mother, a father and a step-father. My father’s wife, who came into my life a little late to parent me, is a wonderful grandmother to my three children and one foster daughter. Furthermore, I am married to someone who is not a blood relative, and 3 of my 4 my siblings (one of whom is LDS) are married. My wife’s parents and siblings and their spouses are all part of my family. Life is full of “kinship by choice,” even for straight folks like me.

  • Fernando

    Hi Kiro,
    Thank you for your response, I appreciate it. I just always wondered the logic behind the descrimination.
    I could argue back all day with you, and I know you could do the same right back at me, but let’s not. After all, i know it is a matter of time until we are granted the same legal rights that heterosexual have. As far as the right to love whoever we want, well, that right we already have, since we were born :-).
    Being gay was never a choice for me, but if I had a choice today to turn straight, i would kindly decline it as I am happy just the way I am.

  • James Johnson

    Chris, I see what you mean I have an example of that. On my mission in Mexico I met a family that was different than any I have ever met in certain ways. The family was of three. The father was a man that had chosen a homosexual lifestyle that had left him dying of AIDS. This mans wife was his second cousin whom he married because she had become pregnant had a beautiful with. Maybe under certain similar circumstances of poor decisions. But the moral of the story is that these poor choices were set aside for the sake of the gospel which builds family. A daughter had a father and mother that loved eachother that were companions. A very sick man had a loving loving woman that cared for him throughout his sickness also having the love of a daughter for whom he loved and loved her mother. A daughter had a father and a mother whom she loved because her mother loved a man that chose his true inherent role as a man of god. Because mother gave daughter a loving father and father gave daughter a loving husband for her mother providing and blessing. Explaining the dynamics of this very godly marriage and family is like beating a dead horse because it followed after the manner of perfection revealed to man through his prophets and apostles. All gave eachother the gift of eternity I believe with their most cherished loved ones. The point is I’ve seen the happiness that one has when they choose what God wants for them not giving into their own weakness but overcoming it. Because of the AIDS and being cousins sex was not an issue. Then in contrast I’ve taught another man that had aids that chose to be a homosexual dying on his death bed dying of aids in his mothers house. Very wasted away when death was near he begged to be taught and be baptized when he felt better he could not commit to denying that wish he wished to in the next life.

  • Nathan

    Jana and Others,
    The logical conclusion doesn’t require asking why God would permit a couple to be barren whilst requiring reproduction. What President Packer says in his talk is that God would NOT create a being with an unconquerable predisposition to sin. That is not the case. God is a perfected being and as such could not create anything imperfect. That is why Adam, Eve, and the rest of the world remained in the garden until sin, death and imperfection were brought into the world through partaking of the forbidden fruit. The natural tendencies that we are now laden with are not a product of God but of the Fall and Satan.
    Furthermore, your attempt to compare sin/immorality to infertility is flawed. The two are different in kind and shouldn’t be construed otherwise. One is a decision to act – sin – the other is not a decision but is rather thrust on the inflicted. I once spoke with a former member of my church who had left his wife and three children for his gay partner. Sadly, his subsequent life choices resulted in his contracting AIDS and him suffering indescribable pain and sorrow. Shortly before his death I spoke with him concerning his homosexuality and whether it was a choice or not. He flatly stated the he had always been attracted to other men, but until later in his life he never chose to act. He remembers telling those around him this was the way he was programed and that he couldn’t help his choice, but towards the end of his life with perfected perception he said that was a lie he told others and himself to soothe his conscience. He firmly stated that his homosexuality was a choice and that those that argue they are predestined to engage in homosexual behavior are merely appeasing themselves. Take that for what it is worth.
    I know personally there are many things that I struggle[d] with that I have felt I was predisposed to commit; however, after the fact I have realized those feelings were a means of rationalizing my behavior – soothing my consciences, beguiling myself – or any other way you want to say it. The challenge of this life is for us to overcome or tendencies – note not our predispositions. WE ARE ONLY PREDISPOSED TO DO GOOD and are simply tempted, persuaded, and/or beguiled to do otherwise. That is the long and short of President Packer’s message ala my interpretation. Don’t be so shocked to hear the words of God in direct opposition to those of science/the world. It has been that way since the days of Noah, Moses and the other ancient prophets. I know what he says is true, and I know that I will be accountable for my decisions regardless of my attempts to rationalize them otherwise. His talk was about immorality in general – whether it be homosexuality, adultery, fornication, molestation, pornography, perverse thought, self abuse, etc. All of those are equally wrong and neither is looked down on over the other IMO. I think the perception that it was geared towards homosexuality specifically is b/c this is such a hotbed of controversy today.

  • Maggie Pearce

    Who better knows the mind and will of the Lord than an Apostle? Certainly not a blogger who relies on her own OPINIONS and freely contradicts Church leaders on the web. Do you still hold a Temple recommend?

  • NP

    We are told this time is a sifting. We know there will be those who cannot see the truth and yet will walk right in to the snare. “When the Prophet speaks, Sisters, the debate is over.” Get ready to be thrown out with the Chaff!

  • Holden Caulfield

    I am amazed at the number of people from polar opposites posting on this site. I don’t know if most are regulars or those whom google just blew in like me.
    True-blue Mike above doesn’t think there are there is homosexuality in nature. Google it, Mike. It won’t change your mind on the wrong-headedness of same-sex attraction in humans, but it will help you to not sound so ignorant on your next post.

  • Leon

    Why is it when a member of the church disagrees with a church leader are they attacked and villified and asked if they hold a temple recommend and told they will be thrown out with the chaff. Statements and accusations like this only vindicates the judgement and hatred hurled upon gay men and women. It is painful indeed to see members attack others with such vitriole all done in the name of God. I’m sorry, but if you think your judgements and hatred are somehow allowed under the false impression you are doing so in the name of God, then you are no better than those that tortured and killed innocent individuals all in the name of God. STOP HATING. Practice this so called love you preach and do not condemn others for dissenting points of view by implying that somehow they too are no longer worthy. It is hateful and is fundamentally opposed to the mission of the LDS church. Shame on you ALL!!!!

  • Your Name Du

    James Johnson,
    You are an example of people who CAN’T and DON’T listen to gay people!
    “…had chosen a homosexual lifestyle.”
    That, that ALONE is THE most intractable, ignorant and singularly irresponsible and oft repeated statement. That has NO basis in fact.
    Millions, MILLIONS of homosexual people, say it over and over…they do not choose. The heterosexuals who bother to compare the experience of discovery of sexual orientation, learn that homosexuals AND heterosexuals ACQUIRE their understanding of their orientation in the same ways, about the same ages and with absolutely NO choice in being same sex attracted.
    And being sexually active doesn’t change that.
    If you were celibate for the rest of your life, you’d still be heterosexual right?
    Well, how do you expect a gay person who isn’t having sex at the moment, to be anything other than their orientation too?
    Sexual orientation isn’t a lifestyle. ONLY gay people get this indictment of their orientation as something they can shed, deny or not behave as.
    Why are gay people FORCED to argue this point, with people who don’t experience it, or even care to learn FROM gay people exactly and how commonly it’s the SAME for everyone how they became sexual people at all?
    The LDS leadership is and has always been, white males. Most of our government has been enforced and implemented by the same.
    Ancient cultures, also were implemented, enforced and defined by MALES.
    Which is why I find more of the same highly suspect since any of us who aren’t males…have had hell to pay on Earth for not being males or females as defined by those same males.
    Issues around gender and sexual orientation, shouldn’t have to be lived down because of centuries old texts.
    We are NOT the same kinds of people who ordered those texts and have enforced them since.
    And exploiting ignorance and fear to this day, is an outrageous enforcement of what’s backward and obviously, keeps us at a standstill.
    These same males dominate and feel oh too self righteous and self important. And others suffer for it and are still expected to.
    Gays and lesbians are a function of mankind, like the thumb is to the hand. In a minority, and functioning inverse to the rest of the fingers…but no less needful in the whole. Gay people are not strangers to the human race, nor it’s entire history and ALL it’s cultures.
    Which is the most obvious fact why it’s not ‘a chosen lifestyle.’
    Being a person of whatever faith you want to be in America is a lifestyle choice.
    Not one’s sexual orientation that is culturally AND morally neutral.
    And morals are not about how much you can dominate someone, humiliate and control them for being different.
    But how one TREATS another human being justly and with respect to equal treatment qualifying their potential as compassionate and contributing people.
    The first and most compassionate thing a non gay person can do, is NEVER, EVER refer to that person as having ‘chosen a lifestyle’.
    Gay people who HAVE chosen to commit to another for life, raise children in that commitment together (usually out of charity towards unwanted children) and serving whatever respective communities through their labor or bravery (such as in serving in uniform) IS what can be supported, not denied.
    If gay people are doing what hetero people are applauded for, why should gay people not be supported and applauded also? Instead of vilified for it?
    That makes no sense. When gay people say they don’t choose being gay, no hetero person is qualified to contradict it.
    If you don’t believe information about Jews FROM a non Jewish anti Semitic, or information about blacks from a segregationist, then there is no reason to believe negative information about gay people, from a non gay, anti gay person.
    Fair?

  • Chris

    Leon, For what it’s worth I disagree strongly with the content and intent of this post, and also just replied to Maggie above in very clear terms that asking about temple worthiness is entirely inappropriate. However, that post got held up in moderation for some reason.
    However, you go off the deep end in your zeal to identify the mote in someone elses eye.
    “you are no better than those that tortured and killed innocent individuals all in the name of God”
    Do you not see the irony in this? One person overreacts to another person (possibly) overreacting to a talk given by someone we see as an Apostle, and the president of the quorum no less, and then you overreact by comparing them to murderers. Seriously? So does that make you no better than the stalinist murders who wanted to purge all religion from public relations and civil discourse and murdered those who disagreed to accomplish it?
    No! Of course not! Back off a bit on the rhetoric that only serves to demonstrate how much better one side supposedly is than the other–Ironically this is what you would claim to be against.

  • Ryan

    Wow did this author ever miss the boat. If you look at what Pres. Packer actually said it makes sense. He said that “some supposed they … cannot overcome…” The key in that sentence is cannot overcome. He clearly realizes that there are those born with inherent desires for certain things. But the gay community has come to the point of sheer acceptance of sin rather then realizing that they have a weakness than needs to be overcome. I suffer from addiction so I realize how hard it is to overcome, but it can be done.
    The author also states that the principles of the gospel are love and faith, not condemnation. First Pres. Packer, nor any of the GA’s have ever condemned the homosexual. They have only condemned the sin. Second, what about the gospel principle of morality? It seems that you have to rationalize that one away so you can argue that we are being unfair to our homosexual brothers and sisters. They aren’t living the gospel so why should they receive the blessings from the gospel?
    It is this kind of rationalization that leads people right out of the church. I am not saying that this author will leave the church but with ideas that are not in line with the gospel there doesn’t seem to be much other direction.
    You can be compassionate and loving and still know what is right and wrong. I make mistakes every day that I have to repent for but I know that the Lord loves me, as he loves every gay or lesbian person as well.

  • Lara

    I am copying and pasting a posting dated 11/10/08 from “Beth” on MormonsforMarriage because it affected me so much. I cried for days afterwards. I hope there are some hearts out there that will be softened by this LDS mother’s story. Please ask yourselves this question, is it possible that there is enough room in the Kingdom of the Lord for God’s gay children?
    “I debated submitting a post, fearing my own feelings, and wondering how to share my son’s tragedy in a way that would mean something. I was so scared to say anything, but had seen this website as a beacon of light to us LDS mothers who struggle everyday with somehow defending our belief in the Church with explaining to our children when the Church does something that hurts them. I felt that I needed to write something. . . anything to begin to heal my sadness….
    I watched my youngest son go through a similar ordeal and we too thought that homosexuality was his trial in this life. That he has somehow agreed to be tested in this way in the Sprit world and that he could beat it. My husband and I did all we could to show him our love and support and also encouraged him to be further involved in the Church. We held so many meeting with the bishop, we cried so many nights fearing the worst for him, and we just wanted him to have what we had. He wanted that too. He did all that we asked. He was so beautiful, such a blessing to our family. He was always the first to help out, and was such an inspiration to both his younger sister and even his older brother who seemed to always getting in trouble. He struggled so very hard. I saw the light of Christ in his eyes and even thought that one day he may be the Prophet. I know that is boastful, and I don’t mean it that way, he just seemed to have a connection to the other side that none of the rest of us did. He was so painfully honest with us. We tried everything, prayers, blessings, conversion therapy. He went on a mission, and we were so fearful for him out there. He got so depressed, and had one companion who was especially mean to him but we encoraged him on. When he came home early, we were so let down, but we tried to help him move on.
    He went to college, he was naturally a really good student and became so active in Institute. We thought that the homosexuality was behind us, he stopped talking about it completely. He would still get very depressed but he seemed to be dealing with it on his own. He had met a nice girl through his involvement in the student housing association and had given her a promise ring. We were pretty sure that they would marry when he graduated. He told us that he would be bringing her home for Thanksgiving. When he showed up without her we were worried. He was in another one of his very depressed moods and we ended up in a long, tearful conversation, where he told us that he just wanted to have a family and “be normal.” We told him that he could and that he just had to make the “right” choice. But now when I think back I’m not sure we understood at the time what he meant. I remember the look in his eyes when he seemed to plead for us just to tell him it was okay to be him, to be gay, to have what my husband and I had but with someone he loved. We went to bed that night with things unresolved. I regret that terrible decision so much. I cry about that horrible decision to go to bed leaving him in so much confusion. I left him alone, and he felt he did not have our love unless he could somehow not be gay.
    I woke up to hear my daughter screaming and crying. I stumbled down the hall and could just see her leaning over into the bathroom door with her feet in the hallway. She pulled back and I can remember so vividly her look of terror on her face as hands were covered in blood and she screamed to me. I didn’t know what had happened. My husband, who must have been right behind me caught me because I passed out. I woke up on the carpet in the hallway to see my husband in the bathroom holding my son trying to wrap his arms in a towel. My daughter had gone to call 911. I pulled myself from the floor and crawled in a state of full panic to hold my baby. I don’t even remember how I got past my husband, I just knew I had to plead with God not to take him. I still know that I felt the Comforter come over me as his soul slipped away. I thought I could convince his soul to stay… I just thought if I tried hard enough I could bargain with God not to let him go. It was too late. I feel so immensely guilty for our failings. He wrote to us that he loved us and could not find what it was inside him that made him gay. I know that it was God that made him gay and it was my trial in life to accept him, and I failed so completely.
    We had the opportunity to save him that night by telling him he could just live and be gay but we did not. My husband and I stood for hours in the hospital that night with our clothes soaked in his blood. I felt so sinnful, because it was OUR fault. We were wearing the badge of our sin. I would not take them off because I felt that it was all my fault, I laid for days in our room and don’t even remember for how long. I am not sure I can ever be forgiven for what we failed to do, but I can tell you that it is not okay to let anyone treat any of these children poorly for even one second longer. That for me is what this discussion about this amendment and everything else is about. I was adamantly opposed to Proposition 8 because it encourages the same unintelligent thinking by people who just need a reason to hate gays and lesbians, that led to my sons taking of his own life. The Church cannot expect everyone to see the fine differences between its support of banning gay marriage and yet still loving our gay children. These don’t go together because many in the Church see it as an approval for treating gay children like they are not Christ’s children.
    My daughter left the Church after my son’s suicide, but my husband, and I have remained. My eldest son doesn’t go to church very often, and he just won’t talk about it at all. I still am unsure of my membership. The members of the relief society of my ward I think know that my son was gay and have been careful not to say anything homophobic around me, but I know that my husband has not been so lucky. He is really struggling with his membership in the Church. My soul aches, because I cannot see how being so sure of ourselves in trying to change my son it brought anything but sorrow. If we had accepted him, we would still have him with us today. Please tell everyone you know to tell the Church leadership to reverse its course. Please. It serves no purpose to make these children feel that the gospel does not speak to them.”

  • kiro

    Fernando, I don’t know what you think you mean when you say you will be granted “the same rights that heterosexuals have”, but heterosexuals do not have the right to be presumed the father of anyone’s child but their own.
    The basis of the legitimacy of the entire concept of civil rights is that truth always wins out in the end, so if you want to “win”, gay rights advocates will have to do more than post stories about how if we do not give gays what they demand, gays will kill themselves and it will be all our fault. (That, by the way, is emotional abuse and blackmail, not “truth”.)
    When two people marry, they become kin. Quite apart from religious questions of God’s intentions, this is how they are joined forever in this world, in a very real and practical way. Two gay people will never be kin. Their union will never be the same in kind. Gay people are claiming a right to falsify family trees, but that’s not a real right.
    You simply don’t have the right, morally or ethically, to make it a criminal action for me to distinguish between those who are my kin vs. those who are not. This is where honesty and reality come in. You might really really wish your lover were kin to you, but he isn’t, and never can be. You can love him – you can honor him – but you can’t say that what you have with him is the same as what married people have, nor can you say that your family is as real and as legitimate as a family that isn’t built on forcing a child to lie.
    There is no right to appropriate babies that aren’t yours so that you may play out fantasies. The ONLY justification for adoption is that the adoption is in the child’s best interest: if you are genuinely doing what is right for your child, you need to recognize that your needs and your child’s needs are not identical, and that your child’s needs ought to come first – so choose a good man or woman to have a baby with, and plan on respecting and honoring that man or woman properly; you have no “right” to “give” the baby to anyone else.
    Nor do you have the right to force me to pretend that recreational sex is the same in kind, or “equal to”, the sacred union. You no more have that right, than I have the right to force a kosher family to eat a cheeseburger. This is religious freedom: you argue that just because I do not value what you value in your sex life, does not give me the right to forbid you from choosing whatever partner you like, by the same moral authority so I have the right to argue that just because you do not value the line between the sacred and the profane, does not mean you have the moral authority to declare that I shouldn’t value that line, either.
    Freedom cuts both ways, and so does tolerance. If you want the “right” to marry, you have to answer the question: what gives you the right to share the benefits our society offers for the purpose of making children, with anyone other than the person you are actually making the children with?

  • James Johnson

    Lara. It makes so much sense that people committing suicide are perfectly stable people that don’t fit into a perfectly unstable world. Suicide is a cop out for people with some serious problems. A very selfish decision made by a probably very selfish person. Like if you eat food your hungry you kill yourself your selfish. Making his family continue to pay for his mistakes. Do I get to sleep with every female get my blood pumping. The fact is when a guy puts his penis in another mans anus it defies nature. And it is the beginning of some serious problems that are eternal. Why don’t you take away all the gay propaganda being pumped into the brains of developing humans take away the molesters the abusers the confusing crap that is everywhere and you will find a lot less of this problem. I had a friend growing up good looking intelligent guy good family and played sports. I knew him my whole life and I was younger I watched him and knew he was very attracted to black women. I also watched friends follow the example of coaches call him gay and a faggit for years because he had a deep voice that it maybe he was also gentle as a human being. Guess what being ridiculed for nothing had an impact. If you start calling kids stupid guess what it affects them. Every person that has arrived to same sex sexual relationships did not have a wonderful life and is acting out of pure being. The abuse and confusion take away a god given opportunity to be what we were made to be husbands to our wives, wives to out husbands. And parents to our children doing what is right not wasting our existence and eternity on the perverse. Many that are stuck in this lifestyle with a person they love have to get through there heads it is difficult to leave a male female relationship that we know is no good because we developed bonds which we were better off not to have developed as far as eternity and family are concerned. Get over it. It’s hard for everyone to leave the people we ought not be with it doesn’t change that it is hard. It still remains to be done. Get a grip or a civilization must needs parish. People need to quit thinking they are so special. People need to quit fueling confused teenagers. You homosexuals that post these things encourage very problematic children to make a political statement you are to selfish to make but love to see made. Cut the teachers out of there lives also that defy parents and blast children with pathological bullcrap. If your not a homosexual struggling member get out of the domain of things you believe not in. Those that struggle these people fight for your demise.

  • DavidH

    Mormons are the second or third least popular religious group in the U.S. (only Muslims and Atheists are disliked more than Mormons). Many people think that Mormons are smug, judgmental, self-righteous, and do not tolerate disagreement. Many think that Mormons do not think for themselves and blindly follow their leaders no matter what–that the only freedom of mind in the Church is to think the way one has been told.
    I cannot understand why some people think that, given the compassion shown on this thread from so many Mormons toward a still relatively new member of the Mormon faith. Who wouldn’t want to join a Church where the members are so kind, open minded and caring?
    The above was written ironically. Actually, I think the positive attributes are taught in the Mormon faith, and I do not think the mean spirited comments here represent what Jesus would say (or what Pres. Monson or even Pres. Packer would say).

  • Lara

    James, sorry. Didn’t understand a word of that. But, just so you won’t post again, let’s pretend that I did.

  • kiro

    DavidH, thank you for reminding us all the blissful irony of hate: that there is no way to slam those of other faiths as being “hateful” without a certain amount of pot-kettle-black.

  • Chris

    Unlike you DavidH, who is clearly teh most liked DavidH on teh interwebs! When it comes to the internet. Take the good. Ignore the bad. Why you’d judge a whole group by the heavily interested negative posters is beyond me. Check out Yahoo comments or Huffpo, etc sometime.

  • Lara

    Lara,
    A complete refutation of your article would take more time than I want to devote to the cause. However, a few points.
    Infertility is not a sin. If couples want to have kids and they can’t, the Lord blesses them for their desires. Also, even though couples are commanded to have kids, they’re not given a specific time — hence, birth control.
    Also, “biologically predisposed to” and “forced to” are two separate things and shouldn’t be confused. Packer wasn’t saying that the temptations for some to be gay aren’t strong, but he was saying that they can be controlled. Satan doesn’t force us to do anything that we don’t want to in life.
    The fact that you disagree with the church on this doesn’t mean that the church is wrong. In fact, if you look carefully at the scriptures, when there is a disputation in points of doctrine between members and apostles, the apostles are right (at least in God’s eyes). People can still choose to ignore them, but they do so at the risk of offending God.
    I testify of the words of Elder Packer and of the truth of the restored gospel. I invite you to heed the words and teachings of Elder Packer and of all the apostles.
    The

  • Lara

    Lara? Uh, did you mean Jana? I didn’t post an article. But please refer to Latter-day Guy’s post of 10/4 at 11:10 pm. You could use a bit of enlightenment.

  • consider your faith

    Homosexuality is wrong, Boyd K. Packer is right. I see nothing offensive to anyone, but I do see bold words against a very grievous sin. Allow me to counter a few points
    Just because the sin is evil doesn’t mean the sinner is. While it may have sounded Elder Packer was attacking gays who believe they were ‘born that way’ he was pointing out it’s a lie spun by a corrupted world, and should not be believed. Nature doesn’t force you to be gay any more than it forces you to be straight, some people may find the same sex more attractive, just as one person may have more sexual drive than another. So infidelity would be okay too because ‘a man’s got needs’ right? That’s the argument made here. As for infertile parents, I’m not saying it’s always the case, but many women who were infertile for years(Sarah nearly a century) were blessed with children. Whether or not children come in a hetrosexual relationship now they will NEVER come in a homosexual one. God thinks in an eternal perspective, and families, created here or in the world to come, will be eternal, and infertility is part of the ‘damage’ that can happen as a result of a mortal imperfect body. Damage that can and will be fixed when resurrection creates perfect bodies. But continued homosexuality will never produce children, ever. And during his mortal ministry Christ *may* not have said anything about homosexuality(and I’m not so sure he didn’t I would have to study more) but I know the bible does, and Christ is the God of the old testament and it speaks against it powerfully. Thus any christian or jew for that matter would have to be against the sin of homosexuality if they follow and believe the old testament. I’m also fairly certain the karan(sp? Muslim religious text) would have something to say about homosexuality. Their level of morality is really second to none(the reasons why their women are veiled etc) unless perverted by radicals we know as terrists. At any rate, that just shows that the 3 major religions in the world are against something. Consider where your faith lies. In the end, Elder Packer condemns the sin, not the sinner, but boldly declares it is a sin, it is not something you can excuse by saying you were born that way.

  • http://lifeinutah.wordpress.com Rebecca

    Thank you. Simply, thank you. Your compassion and Christ-like demeanor will spread and could ultimately save people’s lives. Thank you.

  • Sandy

    I applaud you Jana. I couldn’t agree more, nor said it half as well.

  • mo

    Amen Jana,
    Isn’t it sad that so many people are brain washed…and can’t think for themselves…and see that this is wrong. I am LDS, and it shakes me to the bone that so many LDS members including GA’s can be like this….so against gays. Oh, Heaven help them.
    Mo

  • Matt

    Easy for you to say Jana. Your wrong though. Elder Packer happens to be an Apostle of The Lord Jesus Christ. You can’t tell him he’s wrong. Even if you disagree, you are WRONG! He is chosen and anointed to reveal Gods word, and he did just that.

  • Your Name

    Hi Kiro,
    I should have been specific when speaking of rights. I was referring to the same LEGAL rights as of a traditional marriage, not religious.
    It’s just sad to me to think that people listen to a guy, Boyd Packer that is, who advocates against interracial marriage. Are you kidding me?!?!?! Does he also think blacks should not be allowed to use the same restrooms that white folks use? Do you also agree with that Kiro? You probably do.
    You will continue to have these narrowed minded principals while watching the world turn into an accepting and equal society. :-)

  • Lincoln

    If you don’t like what the church believes, then leave! In fact, you are on the high road to apostasy with this article. I loved President Packer’s talk, and I know he is right. We all have sexualdesires of one sort or another, but it is the mere acting upon those that is wrong.

  • To: Consider your faith??????

    “Nature doesn’t force you to be gay any more than it forces you to be straight, some people may find the same sex more attractive, just as one person may have more sexual drive than another. So infidelity would be okay too because ‘a man’s got needs’ right? ”
    Except that you have not show the endocrinological, genetic/DNA, and biological science to back up your claims. I suggest you research Brother Bradshaw’s talk at BYU on this topic for starters.
    Then after those facts are mastered, please explain how your view do not square with that of any main stream medical organization: APA, AMA, LCSW etc.
    Then you might tackle the question of what view should prevail in civil marriage law. The supreme court has determined that marriage is a fundamental right, carrying full constitutional weight. Felons, child molesters, rapists, abusers, and murderers, all have a right to marriage. A certificate of marriage says just that. I’ve not seen a certificate of interracial marriage, certificate of felon marriage or certificate of drug or alcohol abuse marriage. In the 5 states where homosexual couples can marry there certificates of marriage do not say “certificate of counterfeit marriage” or “certificate of same sex marriage.”
    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/10/lds-apostle-boyd-k-packer-is-wrong-about-homosexuality_comments.html#ixzz11cOxtlaA

  • Tara

    I think people are misinterpreting what Elder Packer said. No where did he say that people who struggle with homosexual tendencies are lesser children of God. We are all beloved children of Heavenly Father whether we be gay, straight, alcoholics, drug addicts, child abusers, Republicans, etc. What he said was that when people act on those homosexual tendencies, which action IS immoral and unnatural, that is wrong in the sight of God. If you believe what the Bible says is true (and Christ is the God of the Old Testament so his opinion on homosexuality is clear whether or not is addressed in the New Testament), it is quite plain that practicing homosexual behavior is indeed contrary to the Laws of God. Feeling something and acting on something are entirely different matters.
    Also, when Elder Packer stated this, “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?” I do not believe he meant that some people are not genetically pre-disposed to gay tendencies. We are all pre-disposed to some evil – promiscuity, anger, violence, addictions- but being pre-disposed to something STILL does not make it okay for us to act on those weaknesses, no matter how difficult it may be. What I believe Elder Packer was saying was that if we so desire, we can through our obedience and through the Atonement of Christ overcome our weaknesses. We may continue to struggle with whatever ailment or disposition we have til the day we die, but if we try to be obedient and draw upon the power of the Atonement, we can and will be healed from all our infirmities whether they be physical, mental, emotional, sexual…to believe otherwise is to deny the healing power of the Atonement.

  • Peace and harmony

    Can’t we just look at all the good the church does for others, feeding the hungry, aid to earthquake and flood victims? Treatment of homosexuals and African Americans is a minor blip in the doctrine of the Mormon church when you focus on and see the greater good.

  • M3D1C

    Thank you so much for your comments on this subject. It is refreshing to hear this coming from a member. I have always beleived that a true relationship with God is between me and God, and he has never told me in my heart or mind that being a homosexual makes you a bad person. I didn’t actually hear the talk to I can’t say as to what was so offensive, but I do know that alot of people where really hurt. I feel that we have no right to tell people who they can and cannot be with, and that we should encourage others to have the same respect regardless of religious prefrence. Christ represents compasion and understanding, it doesn’t mean we have to agree with it, as long as we respect that each persons decisions are their own.

  • Lucas

    Jana,
    So many things, but first- dont confuse that which is from satan to be that which of from God.
    Second- Wickedness never weas Godliness.
    Third- you stated “I define a godly partnership as two individuals…” your interpritation is nice, but it just that, your definition. It is not what is correct.
    Fourth- That is Satans way, to pervese that which is correct and good. He slowyl leads you down the incorrect path.
    I know that bashing on homosexuals is bad, I know and have friends that are, but tolerating evil is the first step to accepting it.
    I would advise you to listen again and analyze further what President Packer is really trying to get you to learn.

  • kaye

    Lucas, who gets to define evil? What happens when evil eventually comes in direct conflict with civl law as shown here (from a prior poster):
    “In 1947, Dr. Lowry Nelson, a faithful Mormon and sociology professor at Utah State Agricultural College (now USU), wrote the First Presidency a letter that challenged the LDS Church’s teachings and policies toward blacks. He wrote, in part: “The attitude of the Church in regard to the Negro makes me very sad. I do not believe God is a racist.”
    In an official letter, signed by all three members, the First Presidency responded:
    From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
    Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now…We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency…toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.” USU

  • Josh

    I see comments from a whole bunch of people in rebellion against (and probably on their way out of) the LDS church here. It’s sad to me. How is it that Satan has corrupted your minds so much that you can’t even accept the words of God from the mouth of one of his apostles?
    I urge you to repent and return to the Lord. Only he can heal you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=437973979211 jm
  • Satan

    There are many sites that you can query for sample resignation letters.
    The first paragraph of the sample letter is the most important paragraph. It’s important that you RESIGN from the church, not ‘ask for name removal.
    Send to:
    Member Records
    50 E North Temple, Room 1372
    SLC UT 84150-5310

  • Beth

    JM, your facebook reference is excellent, but what does it prove? That a bi-sexual choose to stop having a same sex relationship? Or that a homosexual decided, just as a heterosexual could choose to become celibate, for whatever reason? Are you saying that everyone should follow this path or should some still have the right to love, marry and have biological or adopt children?

  • David Rasmussen

    Mr. Packer is correct in stating that we cannot create a law that is in conflict with God’s law. (Such as the law of gravity, to use his example.) However, I believe he has missapplied his reasoning and logic. His unstated assumption here is that God created a law against homosexuals. This is is a false assumption. I believe God’s law is to Love Thy Neighbor (yes, even the gay ones). Any legislation that supports gay marraige is a CELEBRATION of God’s law of love. The conflict is an illusion in the mind of Mr. Packer.
    A personal message to all my gay friends: You didn’t choose to be gay. You were chosen. Let your light of love and equality shine bright.

  • To David Rasmussen

    AMEN!!!!

  • http://www.jesusisthelight.net/HOMOSEXUALITY.htm#SIN Jay Dee

    If you do not believe that it is morally wrong for two men to have intercourse or for two woman to have intercourse, then you must not have a testimony of the Bible.
    Jesus loved all and did not judge, however he DID NOT condone sin. Sex outside of marriage is SIN with anyone and marriage is condoned by God for Man and Woman – Adam and Eve, not Eve and Eve or Adam and Adam. So Elder Packer was saying that this is not an issue that can be voted on – Gender is a part of God’s Plan of Salvation and to approve or condone same-sex marriage is to not keep God’s commandments.
    There was NOT one word in his speech to promote or condone abuse or teasing or anything of that nature to those with same sex attraction. We are often counseled to love these individuals but not to approve of their choice and acts.

  • To: Jay Dee

    We have heard your perspective before, that perspective was wrong then, just as it is wrong now..

    “In 1947, Dr. Lowry Nelson, a faithful Mormon and sociology professor at Utah State Agricultural College (now USU), wrote the First Presidency a letter that challenged the LDS Church’s teachings and policies toward blacks.
    He wrote, in part: “The attitude of the Church in regard to the Negro makes me very sad. I do not believe God is a racist.”
    In an official letter, signed by all three members, the First Presidency responded:
    From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
    Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now…We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency…toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.”-USU

  • Lara

    Jay Dee,
    I wonder if you also have a testimony of the benefits of slavery, polygamy, destruction of entire cities, and the subjugation of women. That’s in the Bible too, and God seemed to be just dandy with it at the time. If sex outside marriage is SIN, then why don’t we allow gay people to marry? They’re not asking to be sealed in the temple so that they can spend eternity procreating. They’re asking for civil marriage from the government to which they pay taxes and in the communities of which they are contributing citizens. What is wrong with that and how precisely does it degrade current Mormon marriages? Are you afraid that everyone is going to suddenly “turn gay” if same-sex marriage is legalized further (I suspect it will be legal across the nation after the issue goes to the Supreme Court). By and large, straight people will still be straight and gay people will still be gay. They will just finally have equal rights and equal protection from the government, which they should have had long ago.
    I am a straight, married mother of three, and I will welcome the day when my fellow gay citizens have marriage equality. My family will not be ruined when that happens. On the contrary, the families of my gay friends will be strengthened by having the government protections and rights that come with civil marriage. Did you also know that recent studies indicate children in same-sex parent households do quite well in life–better, in fact, then the children raised in single-parent households? They do well in school, have healthy relationships, and their sexual orientation mirrors that of children raised in straight households. They do tend to be very tolerant of gay people. Is that a bad thing? You probably shouldn’t tell people in these families how unhappy they are due to wickedness. They are under some sort of strange illusion that they are, in fact, quite happy.
    I wonder how quickly Mormons would change their tune about gay marriage if one of the general authorities said it was okay?

  • Bill

    What saddens me is that as a priesthood holder, it is my duty to report these homosexual activists, who may think themselves good members of the LDS church, to the Church Membership Committee for counsel.

  • Joann

    It amazes me how people will twist history and facts, to destroy someone’s testimony of the gospel. Shocked and stunned!!!

  • To: Jana

    Ridiculous. I didn’t get this from his talk at all. He never said hate or hurt they neighbor, in-fact it was quite the opposite, he said to openly love they neighbor but that the Lord does not tolerate sin. DO you really believe GOD being perfect would create men in this manner? If so why isn’t there a single scripture that supports the idea of homosexuality? There isn’t, but there are many that do give us the idea that it is wrong. We live in a society where we instantly want gratification and be free to do what we want whenever we want. God set Laws for us to live by but nevertheless it is our own choice to obey or not obey his will. If this weren’t the case then why the ten commandments? The author walks a thin line between believing in the church and openly rejecting the prophets. It reminds me of the September six who claimed we do not equally support the role of women or that we belittle them in some way (which is also ridiculous). People reject what they do not clearly understand because of an unwillingness to learn and do their own due diligence. This will never change, history proves this. Christ came and people openly rejected him as the Savior. What was he saving us from? Sin. We later learn that some of these people justified their actions because of pride. It is no different today. We are the object of our surroundings. We are not born with a gay gene but develop the imbalance through outside influences. Never EVER in my lifetime have I Heard a prophet or apostle belittle another and it wasn’t so in elder packers talk.

  • Kevin

    Ok, send me to the church membership committee.. Here is my defense:
    “If faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.”
    -George A. Smith, 1871, Journal of Discourses, Vol 14, pg 216

  • Larry

    Re:
    “…DO you really believe GOD being perfect would create men in this manner? If so why isn’t there a single scripture that supports the idea of homosexuality?”
    I don’t know of a single scripture supporting the idea of dual gender, let alone dictates who they should marry. Do you really think GOD being perfect would create people in this manner? 1 out of 1100 people are born this way. Why did God do this? Perhaps, for the same reason God provides couples with the gift of a child with Down’s Syndrome. God, being perfect, knows full well that a blessing is a blessing and creates lessons for folks to learn the difference.

  • Lara

    Bill,
    You have us shaking in our boots! Not the Church Membership Committee for counsel, anything but that! Are you going to call our parents to tell on us too? I might not get all the stars on my report card during Family Home Evening. You have our screen names and everything. You might have to call on some of those priesthood powers of revelation to find out our real names and locations.

  • Joe Friday

    Common point of contention: Is Homosexuality a choice or a biological fact.
    Point of interest: Multiple studies have suggested that serial killers may be “born that way”. (For references simply do a google search)
    Question: Is murder ok because some people are born that way?

  • To: Joe Friday

    Joe, you simply have no argument, can you do better?
    “Common point of contention: Is HETEROSEXUALITY a choice or a biological fact?
    Point of interest: Multiple studies have suggested that serial killers may be “born that way”. (For references simply do a google search) Question: Is murder or HETEROSEXUALITY ok because some people are born that way?”

  • DMc

    Has anybody added this prophecy to this discussion from Jude about the last days.
    17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
    18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
    19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
    Of course I may be reading in something that is not there, but it gave me a chill when I found it.
    This does not say to hate people but it does say people separate themselves.
    It’s not the fault of the Chuch or anyone in it that others choose to separate themselves by their actions. Christ is not opening club sin. Sexual sin is forgivable but it is the worst sin next to murder which has no forgiveness that we know of. Love all sinners but open practice of sexual sin is excommunication related. For hetero-sexuals as well. Once abstinance is achieved the sinner is allowed to return. Sorry, there are protocols.
    Jana, it is ok to love the sinner but you are also loving the sin. In a way.
    Support the Church’s mortal leaders.

  • RK

    The bottom line in this discussion for me is this: As a member of the LDS church, I support what the prophets and apostles say. Do I always agree? No. Do I always understand? No. But I support them. If later, THEY come out and say that they were wrong then I support that. It is not for me to decide whether the apostles are wrong or right. Once I start refusing to support what is said in General Conference, it’s all downhill from there. I choose to support President Packer (and the First Presidency and the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve) in whatever he says.

  • Satan

    RK, if they told you the earth was flat, would you support that too? If something is wrong, it is OK to think for yourself, really it is…
    I like this post… I like thinking for myself… but that is just me..

    “In 1947, Dr. Lowry Nelson, a faithful Mormon and sociology professor at Utah State Agricultural College (now USU), wrote the First Presidency a letter that challenged the LDS Church’s teachings and policies toward blacks.
    He wrote, in part: “The attitude of the Church in regard to the Negro makes me very sad. I do not believe God is a racist.”
    In an official letter, signed by all three members, the First Presidency responded:
    From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
    Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now…We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency…toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.”

  • RE: RK

    RK> That certainly makes it easy for you to say it’s not your fault when the apostles tell you to do something wrong or immoral, doesn’t it. It’s not my fault, my leaders told me to do it!
    Learn to think for yourself.

  • Proud Lesbian

    Jana,
    Thank you so much for writing that on behalf of all the gays out there. It seems that everyone is quick to disagree with you but you are the only one that has put logic into your argument. It’s funny to me that people honestly think that gay people choose this life style and that are influenced by others to become this way. Do they think oh hey let’s choose this life style and have our families disown us, degrade us, hate us, discriminate against us, and better yet put us in the same categories as pedophile’s and perverts? Seriously are people that stupid to think that this is a choice? I am a proud lesbian that indeed was baptized LDS and grew up in the church all my life. It is so disheartening to hear these apostles and prophets say such hateful things. If this was so wrong and evil in GODS eyes then why do I feel such happiness being a lesbian? I have never been more happy in my entire life. EVER! I have such love all around me and have truly found myself. I can’t imagine living a lie like I have almost my whole entire life. I just feel that the people in the church are becoming so hateful anymore. What happened to all the love and compassion for others? It’s so sad. Why can’t the church focus on better things and put the money towards helping the homeless or our own country, such as Katrina victims? There are so many people that still haven’t recovered that horrific hurricane. 22 billion dollars would’ve been put to better use there rather then putting it into Proposition 8. I hope all of those poor gay mormons out there that are struggling to be accepted by their families after this can be strong and know that they can get through this and know that there are gays that accept them for them and won’t judge them.

  • HP

    To the author of this article:
    Yes, we are to become more like Christ, however, the Savior would never have turned his back on an apostle, if you know the Savior then you know how he feels about his apostles, then and now. The the doctrine of the church is clear the 12 Apostles and the First Presidency will never lead us astray-they can’t(refer to several other conference talks at the session that discussed that very thing). This article would never have been published or given a lick of attention 15 years ago. The doctrines of the church and the stance on marriage have not changed, the people have. Slowly our tolerance for world views have slackened. Set your emotions aside and pray about President Packers talk, pray about all he said and whether it is something you should follow. Just because the world and people of the church are becoming more and more desensitized does not mean we flog an apostle of the LORD for speaking on a topic and truths that have been spoken on for years.

  • Satan

    HP,
    You can see contradictory information on LDS.org about their position on homosexuality, and gender. Elder Hafen’s comments there and Elder Merlin recent talks in California are in direct conflict with BKP’s statement So if the leadership can’t get on message, what on earth do you expect of the membership?
    I might ad that interracial marriage truths were also a topic that had been spoken for years. It was wrong then and as someone else said earlier, it would be wrong now.

  • Fools

    You people are all so screwed up. You can’t tell an Apostle he is wrong. He is anointed and chosen by Jesus Christ to that calling. Homosexuality is wrong. Its against Gods plan, thats why children can’t come in that kind of relationship. Against the laws of nature. I can choose to refrain from having sex until marriage, homos can refrain and follow the correct path too.
    2 Nep 9:28
    O that cunning aplan of the evil one! O the bvainness, and the frailties, and the cfoolishness of men! When they are dlearned they think they are ewise, and they fhearken not unto the gcounsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their hwisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
    1 Nep 16:2
    …the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

  • Satan

    I see, an apostle is right…, except when he is wrong.. err. say that again?
    “According to LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, some of those who fought on God’s side
    “Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God and his murder of Abel being a black skin…The present status of the negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence” (Mormon Doctrine, p.527, 1966 ed.).”
    Shall I tell you the law of God about mixing the seed of man and that it will “always be so”… No.. no need to go there..
    Come unto me, you will see the light of day… – Satan

  • Dane

    To Jana and other disgruntled or disappointed Mormons, who are sad as a result of the words of a living Apostle of Jesus Christ;
    We know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever – please note the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament. How did God show compassion and love in destroying those cities?
    Remember that these cities were full of people that were practising all types of immoralities – including homosexuality (please note the massive difference between suffering from same-sex attraction and practising homosexuality).
    God showed compassion and love to the innocent future children that would have been born to and had to grow up with such wicked parents if those cities had remained. It was a compassionate and loving act, one that is hard for us with our limited understanding to agree with sometimes.
    In your misdirected compassion towards practising homosexuals please do not forget the innocent children that you really should be having compassion towards – those children who practising homosexuals will legally be able to raise and adopt (like they already can in my country, not sure if they can in yours yet) and who will grow up thinking that it is ok in God’s sight to practise homosexuality. Have compassion on your own children who will grow up listening to your false attitudes and who will surely have difficulty being able to discern truth from error as a result;
    Please remember that your nation (the USA, of which I am not a part) is the greatest on earth in strength and power only because of God’s blessing due to a large proportion of righteous and God fearing people in your country since it’s founding. The strength of the U.S was prophesied in the Book of Mormon. Please ensure that you do not contribute to the further weakening of the moral strength of your country.
    It seems that you all think that it is impossible for many with same sex attraction to resist participating in immoral acts (I classify, as the LDS church does, any homosexual sexual relation as an immoral act). Have you so soon forgotten the words of Paul to the Corinthians?
    “There hath no temptation taken you, but such is as common to man, but God is faithful who will not suffer you to tempted above that you are able, but will with that temptation provide a way for your escape, that you may be able to bear it” 1 Corinthians 10:13
    Did Paul exempt same-sex attraction from the above scripture? No. The same Apostle Paul who condemned practising homosexuality in Romans chapter 1. You are not helping anyone by telling them that it is alright to practise sin; you are carefully leading them down to hell – as Nephi said Satan tries to do to us all. Please, correctly direct your love towards those with same-sex attraction by lovingly helping them deal with this great temptation.
    As a Mormon I have never had a desire to beat up or to persecute or bully pratising homosexuals or sufferers of same-sex attraction – hate the sin, love the sinner is what I have always been taught in the church – it is wrong to hate any of God’s children. but I honestly feel persecuted and hated by some for my traditional, scripturally based, view on this matter.
    Oh and by the way – you are all perfectly entitled to have a different opinion to me and that is the beauty of living in a free land – however, I felt that I must state the truth in the midst of so many half truths that I have read in this article.
    Please don’t be foolish or proud enough to think you are wiser than President Boyd K Packer

  • Annon.

    Evil speaking of the Lords anointed, Check. Guess you can cross that one off of the list!

  • PJ in Bama

    You are very brave. I recently left the LDS church after 30 years of faithful service. (Endowed member, regular temple attendance, full tithe payer, geneaology done, full food storage….RS President, Stake RS counselor, 5 year Seminary Teacher, Primary Pres., YW Pres. and counselor, etc, etc) It was the hardest decision I ever made, and I still suffer daily from it. But it was a decision I was forced to finally come to terms with because of this very issue. I even wrote a poem about my experience. It began many years ago with teaching seminary and many questions came. Then, it came to a head when I was..of all things…watching American Idol, and became a huge fan of Adam Lambert. Church members were treating me horribly and saying awful things because I liked him. I finally made my choice. I’ll post my poem here. I’m not at all encouraging you to leave the church. It’s a painful process that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your questioning. Thank you for your strength to state what you feel and believe. Here’s my poem. (Adam Lambert is lovingly known as “Glittery”….as are many in the gay community) Thank you for your post and for your strength to look beyond what is taught…to what is right!
    A World Full of Glitter
    My Journey to Acceptance and Unconditional Love
    For far too many years, I fought a type of war
    A conflict where my “soul” tallied up the score
    A battle with self, with society, with “God”
    ALL of which made me oblivious and a fraud
    My world was empty, colorless, and flat
    Most of the time, it was simply an act
    Eager to believe in things that were told
    Following rules that were callous and cold
    Call it conservatism, tradition, or faith
    It only led to constant judgment and hate
    I tried to be something that others deemed “right”
    Happy in the light of day, yet I suffered at night
    I believed in it all, and tried to be faithful
    Always feeling shame, if I found it questionable
    Forcing myself to think I had the “truth”
    And if I would just follow it, my life would be smooth
    I found happiness in thinking that I knew the “plan”
    When all I had were the creations of man
    Living my life on the concept of fear
    Believing that someday, harsh judgment was near
    But deep within me, I knew something was wrong
    I felt depressed, repressed, and far from strong
    The questions began, and the change grew within
    But during this time, I believed it was “sin”
    So I hid from the world, never letting it show
    Pretending to agree, so no one would know
    I lived with suppressive standards and rules
    Though I knew deep within, I was being a fool
    Until a special singer caused me to wonder
    Why a nation would ridicule and bring forth a thunder
    Over someone’s bold choice to be his TRUE self
    Not putting his differences high on a shelf
    He had flawless talent that could not be denied
    But when I voiced that I liked him, I seemed to be eyed
    By those around me who would judge him a “sinner”
    But I knew in my core he was simply a winner
    So I made a vow, and then took a stand
    I would truthfully say what I thought of this man
    He had the right to live as he believed and wanted
    With this new conviction, I went forth undaunted
    I opened my mind and finally let myself believe
    That this world needed love without forced boundaries
    Unconditional love that would include ALL voices
    Regardless of their preferences, beliefs, or choices
    So I left my religion, tradition, and faith
    And with my husband beside me, we made our escape
    Now I no longer see it as a world full of “litter”
    I look at it now as a world full of GLITTER!

  • Satan

    Dane, “We know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever -”
    BRIGHAM YOUNG
    Journal of Discourses Vol. 7, pg. 290-291
    Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African Race? If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. THIS WILL ALWAYS BE SO.”
    Your Mormon God has not changed much? How so? What part of “THIS WILL ALWAYS BE SO” don’t you understand?
    What about “The biblical practice of Polygamy” “Your Mormon God has not changed much? How so?
    3rd Nephi vs 26.
    I commandeth ye to remember and obey the two sacred laws.
    Law number one.. Apostles and leaders of the church are ALWAYS right.
    Law number two, If they are wrong, see Law number one.
    By the way
    “Please note the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament. How did God show compassion and love in destroying those cities?
    Remember that these cities were full of people that were practising all types of immoralities – including homosexuality (please note the massive difference between suffering from same-sex attraction and practising homosexuality).”
    Please tell me the exact reference that Sodom and Gomorrah had anything whatsoever to do with practicing homosexuality?

  • Kiro

    Your Name,
    The LEGAL rights, as you put it, of the institution of marriage, are, the right to be presumed the father of your spouse’s child, and to receive the benefits our society grants – expensive material benefits – which enable the making of a family.
    You might believe marriage is “just about loving someone”, but marriage is about more than that. Marriage protects women from being used, exploited, and discarded. Marriage allows men to send powerful social signals regarding their intention to produce offspring, which protects them from false claims and entrapment. Above all, marriage protects the child from being abandoned by one or both parents.
    While love is important to marriage, it would be a redefinition of marriage to say that this other, historically more important aspect of marriage is not also an important part of marriage.
    If you want the legal benefits of marriage, you need to answer the question, why do you suppose you are entitled to share the benefits our society grants to procreating couples with a person other than the person he is actually procreating with?
    What gives a gay couple the right to use, discard, and abandon their baby’s mama? What gives a lesbian couple the right to pretend that paternity is transferable? What gives a homosexual couple the right to buy, sell, swap, or transfer children?
    The presumption of paternity is a legal right, and it is central to the legal benefits of marriage: alongside the right to be presumed the father of your spouse’s child (without a paternity action) comes an obligation.
    Your union cannot ever be the same in kind as a marriage, because while it might include love, it can never qualify for the really expensive benefits – the procreative benefits. This is why so many Americans agree that gays should be granted some form of recognition, but that their union should not be legally defined as equal to marriage: because it isn’t, and the differences are relevant and significant.

  • Jon

    Kiro, you said “If you want the legal benefits of marriage, you need to answer the question, why do you suppose you are entitled to share the benefits our society grants to procreating couples with a person other than the person he is actually procreating with?”
    Perhaps for the same reasons infertile or elderly couples are entitled to share the legal benefits of marriage. The same legal reasons that give INFERTILE couples the right to pretend that paternity is transferable. Along with the current reasons INFERTILE couples have the right to artificial insemination and perhaps even sell, swap, or transfer children as you describe it. Perhaps homosexuals are entitled to raise their families with the same legal benefits as others, who cannot always procreate in a certain way, which is not now, nor has never been a legal requirement in civil law.
    Moreover, perhaps for the same reason non-procreating couples, including inmates and felons that may never procreate. The supreme court has determined the marriage is their fundamental right. If procreation were a requirement in civil law, let alone a specific way procreation must be accomplished, it would be codified, which it is not nor never has been.
    I don’t see the requirements below in civil marriage law either, but if they were remotely able to be accomplished in existing law, should their not be marriage equality for “all” couples?
    - “Marriage protects women from being used, exploited, and discarded. Marriage allows men to send powerful social signals regarding their intention to produce offspring.”
    Now moving on, next question?

  • IHM

    Boyd Packer seems much less the Lord’s anointed when he opens his mouth and speaks hatefully about the Lord’s children.

  • Ryan

    This will probably sound very intolerant, but you know what, I don’t care.
    I can’t wait till all this refuse is excised from the church. There will come a time when you will be asked to stand with the brethren or to stand against them. Those that believe you can be a practicing homosexual and still receive the blessings of the gospel will be cut off from the blessings of the gospel themselves. I don’t want a YM or YW leader teaching my children that we have to accept these alternative lifestyles. I want them to teach my children that they should love everyone regardless of their sexual orientation because I know Christ loves all. But loving someone and lobbying for blessings for those that willfully sin against the Lord are two different things.
    Just think about where you stand. In holy places? Or with unholy practices?

  • Alyson Sharette

    Marriage is not about “rights” or “equality.” Marriage is/was a solely religious ceremony based off of the original gospel teaching that the highest religious rite (Catholics call it Sacraments, Mormons call it Ordinances) is getting married by one having authority passed down from Jesus Christ and eventually from God the Father. Marriage isn’t a “paradigm” as you’ve put it. It’s a religious ceremony that has been accepted through common law to be a legally binding contract. That’s where we get the “civil union rights” concept. Simply because governments began accepting marriages and legally binding contracts between two people, doesn’t mean that “marriage” became an item of the state.
    France forces people to get civilly joined in union FIRST with the state, and then they can get religiously married. They’ve distinguished the two and no longer allow religious marriages to count as civilly recognized unions or vice versa.
    When homosexuals want to get married, they claim that they are “losing out on rights.” I say “show me ONE right they’ve lost” and they cannot. They haven’t lost out on ANY right. anyone can write up a contract for ANYTHING, sign it and have it upheld in court (so long as it doesn’t take away a persons autonomy or is unconscionable). So two gay people can get together, write up a contract between each other and have it upheld in court. Civil Unions already allowed for this so they don’t have to. Now they are simply trying to get the word “marriage” attached to it so they can proverbially flip off religious people who condemn their lifestyle.
    There’s no legal difference between a marriage and a civil union, just the religious connotation. It’s not about being “discriminatory” it’s about preserving the sacred nature of “holy matrimony” (holy isn’t a word used lightly in religion). So not about forcing a paradigm onto homosexuals, it’s about preserving religious values that are held sacred. I do not doubt that a gay couple has love for each other, so why do they question my love of my faith?
    Simply put, Marriage = Religion; Civil Unions = Society. Religious people are taught to be “in the world, not of the world.” Marriage recognized by God is one of the most sacred acts a religious person can be apart of. Society in general doesn’t care about what God thinks, or at least doesn’t focus on that.
    As for people with infertility problems, that is neither here nor there and has nothing to do with what Boyd K. Packer was talking about. Simply put, it is not part of God’s law to have to men or two women be married. If it was the law of procreation would cease. Then where would we all be?
    Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe Boyd K. Packer is an apostle of Jesus Christ. He has been inspired through the spirit to say these things. It does not make him wrong. You may not agree with what he is saying and that is your opinion and in turn that does not make you “wrong” either.
    It is unfortunate that as a member of the church you would post such an article.

  • Josh

    @IHM: Perhaps you would enjoy a different church then? I hear that the Unitarians are much more accepting of the homosexual lifestyle than the LDS church. I’m sure that you could find lots of people who agree with you there.

  • Joe

    You’re just wrong. I’m sorry. God doesn’t change eternal truths. He can’t. Otherwise He is a liar. If He is a liar then He is no longer reliable. He is also no longer perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent. Thus we see that it is absolutely impossible to trust Him and have faith in Him, as He is an unreliable source for truth and light. Elder Packer was right. I promise you.

  • Patricia Wickman

    Thank you, thank you thank you Jana! This is so affirming to me to know that there are good members of the church out there who just flat out disagree with Elder Packer. I found his tone to be completely void of compassion–and even soul. I wondered if he even has feelings. This talk wounded me. Thank you for boldly asserting your opinion without fear of being kicked out of the Church.

  • Mar

    It’s sad to see that you trust the world’s views over an APOSTLE OF GOD
    Ezra Taft Benson
    First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
    Second: The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
    Third: The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
    Fourth: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.
    Fifth: The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
    Sixth: The prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.
    Seventh: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
    Eighth: The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.
    Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter–temporal or spiritual.
    Tenth: The prophet may be involved in civic matters.
    Eleventh: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
    Twelfth: The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
    Thirteenth: The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency–the highest quorum in the Church.
    Fourteenth: The prophet and the presidency–the living prophet and the first presidency–follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.

  • Liz

    I find it so interesting that before President Packer’s talk we heard not once, but twice, that we need to remember that “the prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world OR THE WORLDLY,” and that the prophet will NEVER leave the world astray;” also that he tell us “what we NEED to know, not always what we WANT to know.”
    Those three statements alone quoted twice during General Conference should help you realize just how wrong you are to post an article like this. All it does is show exactly why we heard the “14 fundamentals in following the Prophet” before President Packer’s talk. It was reminding us that even when it is hard and you don’t agree, you listen and heed the words of from the Prophet of God.
    President Packer is inspired, and he is right. God’s laws cannot be changed, and homosexual marriage or relationships are in every way against the laws of God and are never okay.

  • Wendy

    Thank you so much for standing up and speaking out. As a LDS mother of a gay son I realize that most people can’t get it until they live it! You do get it. This is so much bigger than Doctrine. This is about valuing Gods children, Christ like love, and keeping our treasured youth alive long enough to find their way.

  • Kiro

    Jon, you have not established why gays feel entitled to the legal benefits of marriage that are centered on procreation.
    I will not contest whether you have the right to be recognized as a couple. As far as I’m concerned, let everyone choose their own life partner.
    What I question is why you think that being gay gives you the right to appropriate both other another person’s child, and the rights and benefits our society grants to the parents of that child.
    The benefits of marriage are based on the biological reality that the cost of childbearing cannot be split equally: women must bear a greater biological and economic cost, and we therefore recognize that the father of the child – and society in general – owes something to that woman.
    If you want the right to use and discard a person of the opposite sex, take the baby the two of you produced jointly and ‘give’ that child to someone else, that’s not a “right” – that’s trafficking in human flesh; it is only a matter of time until this crime is covered by anti-slavery laws.
    Legitimate adoption is ruled entirely by the child’s best interests, not by the argument that parents have some right to purchase or manufacture a child if they happen to want to buy a parenting experience.
    The argument that you are entitled to choose your own life partner does not explain why you think you are exempt from honoring, respecting, caring for, and promoting your child’s relationship with his or her other parent. Certainly blurring the boundaries between parent and stepparent is not viewed as a “right” that all citizens enjoy: it is classed as child abuse when heterosexuals do it.

  • Kiro

    Oh and Jon, regarding infertility?
    The question is not whether they are going to produce children – there is no moral requirement that you do so.
    The question is, is the couple eligible for the benefits of the union? Whether they choose to use those benefits is their choice.
    If the gay community would consent to laws protecting against the misuse of the benefits of marriage, then perhaps it would be different.
    If there were stern child abuse laws protecting children from being forced to pretend that someone other than their parent is their “other mommy”,
    And stern adultery laws protecting families from those who would try to pass off children as being the child of someone elses child,
    And stern anti-fraud laws protecting people from misappropriating the procreative benefits of marriage (that is, trying to give those benefits to someone other than the person who ethically deserves them – that is, the child’s other real parent)….
    ….then we might be having a different conversation.

  • Joe Friday

    To the person who wrote to Joe Friday:
    Thank you for the comment.
    I think you misunderstand my intent (probably due to the fact that I did not state it). I do not mean to argue. In fact I am as of yet undecided where I stand on the matter. I like to audit comments such as these to view other people’s opinions on the matter. I find with such a wide variety of people commenting, you will usually come across some bit of information or point of view you did not previously hold. That being said, I simply noticed that the contention of nature vs. nurture came up quite frequently. I do not believe that this is as important of a subject as everyone makes it out to be. I attempted to illustrate this idea in my post by demonstrating that the implied logical conclusions used by those who rely on this point could be found errant. I do believe that you helped to solidify my point by demonstrating that the inverse of the argument is also true. Please let me know your thoughts. :)

  • John

    I try to be an understanding member of the church, and I have several valued friendships with openly gay members and friends, I have a problem with your last sentence. Yes, Christ never mentioned homosexuality in his mortal ministry. But what about the Old Testament? Does that get thrown out the window? Our the words of the Original Apostles? That being said, I would never belittle anyone dealing with this issue. It is difficult. I get that. I’m a firm believer in the mercy of God while we try to deal with what we are dealt here on Earth, yet still believe in consequences for actions. I would never treat those gay members of the church as outcasts, and agree about how there are good and bad relationships in all cases. All are welcome at Christ’s table. But I stand by God’s and the church’s official stance on homosexual relationships.

  • Senile Old Fart

    Jana -
    I thank you for this post. Speaking truth to power has never been an easy task.
    For some reason, church leaders (especially Church leaders) find it necessary to inquire into the sexual practices and inclinations of their flocks. As a lifetime member of the LDS faith tradition, I have never been asked whether I have homosexual yearnings or same sex attraction. In order to participate in various rites, however, I have been asked whether I “live the Law of Chastity.”
    Currently, the LDS Law of Chastity is defined as having “sexual relations only with [my] husband or wife, to whom [I] am legally and lawfully wedded.” (That definition has changed slightly several times during my lifetime. I suspect, but have no way of knowing, that the “legally and lawfully” language was added sometime contemperaneous with the anti-polygamy Second Manifesto in 1904.)
    With this language, the LDS Church couched its Law of Chastity in terms of the civil marriage code. Those in the LDS faith tradition were put on notice that polygamous “sealings” by those claiming authority from John Taylor’s Farmhouse Revelation (e.g. Bishop Woolley and fellow travelers) would no longer be recognized as valid marriages by the LDS.
    Now things other than heterosexual marriage are becoming legal and lawful. As the civil marriage code evolves, the Law of Chastity thus encompasses sexual relations between (not yet again among) non-heterosexual couples.
    This presents potential administrative difficulties. Those fearful of buggery and other “unholy and impure practices” (including – for a short time in recent LDS practice – various common intimate activities between heterosexual couples) are faced with a dilemma: do they continue to couple the Church’s definition of chastity with the evolving civil code, or not? Either direction seems fraught with danger. Local Church leaders, who must judge whether to admit their members to the Church’s temple rites, may need to make indelicate inquiries into the nature of sexual practices of those members. In turn, many Church members – the vast majority of whom are true-blue heterosexual in orientation – are likely to find such detailed inquiries more offensive than the present “Do you live the Law of Chastity?”
    It is a pity that we as a Church and society have gotten so far from that summary of all the Law and Prophets: love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

  • Lara

    To Ryan, “I can’t wait till all this refuse is excised from the church.”
    I’ll bet Jesus would say the same thing. And you represent God’s one and only true church on the face of the earth? That’s priceless.
    To Alyson, “Marriage is not about “rights” or “equality.” Marriage is/was a solely religious ceremony based off of the original gospel teaching that the highest religious rite (Catholics call it Sacraments, Mormons call it Ordinances) is getting married by one having authority passed down from Jesus Christ and eventually from God the Father.”
    Why then does my marriage license come from the government? Why isn’t it signed with a lightening bolt from the heavens? Mormons and Catholics can continue to exclude anyone from their respective “sacraments” and “ordinances,” just as they’ve always done. Marriage may have originated as a religious ceremony, but today there are over 1,000 rights and protections guaranteed by the GOVERNMENT that are automatically obtained through civil marriages. That’s what gay couples want access to. You can keep all the religious symbolism that you want for heterosexual marriage that you want, and you can imagine that God disapproves of and doesn’t recognize gay marriage. You can choose to refrain from getting gay married yourself. Please don’t try to make that decision for others who don’t share your same beliefs and don’t believe in the same God as you.

  • Stacey

    Thank you so much for this post. As a lesbian member of the church I appreciate people who realize how painful and complicated sexuality can be. I am so relieved that not everyone took Boyd K. Packer’s speech as doctrine. I do not believe he is NOT a good representation of the church.

  • Lara

    Senile Old Fart, you don’t seem so senile to me. I’ve wondered the exact same thing–why would the church be so obsessed with this issue? We are taught our whole lives that sex outside of marriage is wrong–but within the bonds of marriage it is perfectly okay. That produces a real conundrum when it comes to gay marriage because Mormons are taught that gay sexual relations are inherently evil. Are they still evil, then, within the bonds of marriage?
    Another thing I have wondered about is the whole issue of polygamy. Early Mormons were taught that polygamy was the highest form of marriage and the brethren have never backpedaled on that. In fact, a Mormon man today can still be sealed to more than one woman, as long as he has only one living wife. Women can only be sealed to one man, living or dead. This indicates that Mormons still believe polygamy is alive and well in the Celestial Kingdom. The Manifesto abolishing polygamy indicates that, since we obey the laws of the land and polygamy is illegal here, we will no longer practice it. That leaves room for it to be re-instated if the laws of the land change. I’ve often wondered if the real fear behind changing the traditional definition of marriage is that it will eventually lead to the legalization of polygamy. Uh oh. What do we do then?

  • Sam

    @Mar at Oct. 7, 2010 at 12:56pm…
    What an distressing list. No wonder the world sees LDS people as being in a cult. I know the “c” word is a disparaging term and I hate to use it here, but this list simply screams at you that you are trapped in an organization that has taken over your ability to think rationally. It passes every test on the “How to Know If Your Trapped in a Cult” checklist. Its like it came from a textbook on mind control.
    Check this out and think about it for a moment.
    http://www.reallyweirdstuff.com/howtobesuccessfulcultleader.htm
    I am amazed that otherwise intelligent LDS members can see this kind of list from President Benson and still feel good about subscribing to such a system of belief. Why are you blind to what you would so easily recognize as manipulative and brainwashing in others?
    Try this little experiment… re-read the list below and substitute the word prophet with “our grand leader” or “he has has been chosen” or “the elect one” or some other David Keresh/Jim Jones/Sun Myung Moon/L. Ron Hubbard nonsense. Do so and you’ll get an icky feeling and perhaps pause to reflect on what kind of power over your mind you have handed over to Elder Packer and his colleagues.
    Given the “follow the prophet at all costs” mentality so espoused in the comments after Jana’s excellent post, those of us on the outside can only conclude that you are in the same kind of cultish organization, yours just has nicely built chapels, with flowers on the podium, and men in nice suits doing the talking instead of nutjobs in white bathrobes wandering around a fenced compound somewhere.
    Can you not see how you have been manipulated?
    =======
    Ezra Taft Benson
    First: Our great leader is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
    Second: Our great leader is more vital to us than the standard works.
    Third: Our great leader is more important to us than a dead prophet.
    Fourth: Our great leader will never lead us astray.
    Fifth: Our great leader is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
    Sixth: Our great leader does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.
    Seventh: Our great leader tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
    Eighth: Our great leader is not limited by men’s reasoning.
    Ninth: Our great leader can receive revelation on any matter–temporal or spiritual.
    Tenth: Our great leader may be involved in civic matters.
    Eleventh: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following our great leader are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
    Twelfth: Our great leader will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
    Thirteenth: Our great leader and his associated make up the The Leadership–the highest body in our organization.
    Fourteenth: Our great leader and The Leadership –follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.
    Sigh. All the reason I need to NEVER vote for an LDS Presidential candidate, no matter how white his smile and coiffed his hairstyle.
    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/10/lds-apostle-boyd-k-packer-is-wrong-about-homosexuality_comments.html#ixzz11iGP1zYt

  • Erik

    I am so elated to see so many LDS members disturbed by Mr. Packer’s ignorant statements. It is so important that leaders be reminded that they too, are mortal men and as such, prone to error. I am hopeful that many more members will come to realize that this man falls very far from the “Christ-like” image he wishes others to see in him. We must ALL stand up for those who would be oppressed by the hatred of men like Packer.

  • Veddar

    Separating the wheat from chaff is all this is

  • kaye

    John wrote: “….. Yes, Christ never mentioned homosexuality in his mortal ministry. But what about the Old Testament? Does that get thrown out the window? ”
    Sometimes intelligence is involved when looking at the Old Testament, surprisingly we don’t stone our disobedient children. some of today’s enlightened eat shrimp and even wear polyester. Can you imagine seeing someone in restaurant wearing a polyester sweater, and eating shrimp, and feel a moral duty to wave the Old Testament in their face?

  • Tim

    Alyson Sharette wrote: “…. Marriage isn’t a “paradigm” as you’ve put it. It’s a religious ceremony that has been accepted through common law to be a legally binding contract. That’s where we get the “civil union rights” concept. Simply because governments began accepting marriages and legally binding contracts between two people, doesn’t mean that “marriage” became an item of the state.
    When homosexuals want to get married, they claim that they are “losing out on rights.” I say “show me ONE right they’ve lost” and they cannot. They haven’t lost out on ANY right. anyone can write up a contract for ANYTHING, sign it and have it upheld in court (so long as it doesn’t take away a persons autonomy or is unconscionable).”
    I think you are incorrect in your information. In Utah and in many other states you can be married by a justice of the peace, and obtain a marriage license and certificate of marriage that has nothing to do with a church. It is a concept know as civil marriage. In some states cvil marriages are recognized as valid to obtain government, private and state benefits. There are about 1000 benefits of marriage, that one cannot get through a contract, lets start with a partners social security, death, pension or heath care benefits. if you marry a spouse from another country that does not recognize these marriages.. I could go on…. but your point that homosexual couples can do it all through a contract is simply not true.

  • shadow_man

    To those of you using the Bible as a weapon against homosexuality, you are wrong. Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
    ***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
    ***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
    ***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
    ***.gaychristian101.com/
    ***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    ***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
    ***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
    ***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    ***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
    ***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    ***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
    ***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
    There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. “Nurture” may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.
    And it should also be noted that:
    “It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

  • shadow_man

    Leviticus is constantly taken out of context. These two lines do not condemn homosexuals when you examine Leviticus as a whole and relate the historical times.
    Leviticus 18:22:
    “You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination.”
    Leviticus 20:13:
    “If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death.”
    Both of these verses refer to heterosexuals who participated in fertility rituals in order to guarantee good crops and healthy flocks, not homosexuals, there is absolutely no mention of sexual orientation or homosexuality. Also, the word abomination was used for anything that was considered to be religiously unclean or dealing with any type idol worship.
    The Hebrew word “toevah” was used in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. “Toevah” has been translated in our Bibles as “abomination” or “detestable”. The “toevah” was used throughout the Old Testament for activity involving ethnic contamination and religious idolatry. “Toevah” refers to things that were ritually unclean – like eating pork.
    It is significant that another Hebrew word, “zimah,” also translated “abomination,” which means intrinsic evil or evil by its very nature, was not used in Leviticus 18:22, or Leviticus 20:13.
    It is also significant that female homosexual relationships are not mentioned in the old testament. That’s because they aren’t talking about sexual orientation, they are talking about idolatrous practices.

  • shadow_man

    The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.
    From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.
    America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

  • Lara

    “Separating the wheat from chaff is all this is”
    Silly gay people, you thought this was about you, the people you love, and your rights as human beings and as citizens of the United States who are supposed to have equal rights and protections under the Constitution.
    Wrong. It’s about Mormons. God is testing them to see which ones are “wheat” (he’s keeping them) and “chaff” (he’s getting rid of them). It’s nothing personal, really. We hope you don’t mind being the evil, one-dimensional caricatures in this grand narrative of ours.

  • kaye

    Kira, are you saying that if heterosexuals adopt, they are ” trying to give those benefits to someone other than the person who ethically deserves them – that is, the child’s other real parent.”?

  • kaye

    Shadow man…
    You wrote: “The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society……:”
    Now isn’t that just a fine kettle of fish..
    It simply does not square with Apostle BKP….. Someone is clearly wrong here.. If you making civil laws, what view should be reflected in policy and the laws of our country?

  • Angela

    President Packer is not making this an issue in order to “condemn” those who are different. No man has the power to condemn anyone. He is simply declaring God’s irrevocable law, as unpopular as it is today. Same as Noah did, same as Daniel, Same as Christ himself. None of those men were very popular.
    It is in love that the church and President Packer reach out to those individuals struggling with same gender attraction. There is not a way to progress eternally with your gay partner and your cat. Sorry, there just isn’t.
    I have had friends and family members who are gay. They are good citizens. They are good friends. They are loyal and faithful to their partner. I am glad to have them as friends. But by giving in to the temptation of a perverted sexual lifestyle, they are denying themselves the eternal blessings of Heaven. And it is not up to President Packer, the Church, or anyone but God to make these Eternal laws.
    If I suddenly fell in love with someone besides my spouse, I could argue just as ardently that it was NOT a choice, and I could not fight the feelings. I might be able to justify committing adultery, or getting a divorce in order to gratify my new feelings. But I know that choice would bring pain, misery, and self-loathing.
    President Packer never said that having the tendencies was a choice. He said that ACTING on them is a choice. He said God never allows us to be tempted above that which we can bear.

  • Perrin

    Angela, we know all about God’s “supposed laws” and the men who claim to be speaking for him.
    “Shall I tell you the LAW OF GOD in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the PENALTY, under the LAW OF GOD IS DEATH ON THE SPOT. This will ALWAYS BE SO.” (Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110)

  • Lara

    Once again, Angela, gay couples are not seeking to progress eternally with their partner and their cat. They are seeking for progress WITHIN THIS LIFETIME. Why should non-Mormon gays have to subscribe to the Mormon view of how one is able to progress through eternity? None of that is verifiable. I know you sincerely believe it, but it’s not the kind of argument that could hold up anywhere except a Sunday School classroom. Mormons are constantly extolling the many virtues of marriage. Certainly they believe there is much more to it than the physical relationship. Why then would they think it’s better for committed gay couples to NOT have the option to marry?
    And why should gay Mormons, for that matter, have to go through life alone? I used to try to explain to people how the only acceptable solution for gays was to remain single and celibate their entire life, to never seek a fulfilling partnership or try to form a family… to die alone. It was a solution that rang false and hollow in my own ears, even as I insisted it was the case to my non-Mormon friends.
    True, there are also heterosexuals will also remain single for life. The difference for them is that they are allowed to have hope. There’s always the chance they could meet their perfect soulmate. They could fall in love tomorrow and spend the rest of their days with someone who loved, desired, and cared for them exactly as they are. What Mormonism asks of gays and lesbians is to live a life without this hope. The lifetime stretching before them is one long road of solitude, guilt, shame, repression, and buried dreams. Is it any wonder so many gay Mormons come to believe that their only viable options are to leave their church or commit suicide?

  • paul

    Angela “But by giving in to the temptation of a perverted sexual lifestyle, they are denying themselves the eternal blessings of Heaven.”
    Angela, please explain why the conclusions of the following organizations are wrong? What knowledge would you point out to them that they are obviously overlooking? Are they just not listening to your Mormon God?
    “…..scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

  • kaye

    Angela “But by giving in to the temptation of a perverted sexual lifestyle, they are denying themselves the eternal blessings of Heaven.”
    Angela, please explain why the conclusions of the following organizations are wrong? What knowledge would you point out to them that they are obviously overlooking? Are they just not listening to your Mormon God?
    “…..scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

  • Apostasy

    For all of you that claim to be Mormon with views that have clearly crossed the line way over into Apostasy. Please meet with your bishop this Sunday about this and be honest about turning your will over to Satan. You seriously risk infecting others and destroying their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Erik

    For Apostasy:
    Below each comment here is a small gray symbol which you can click on to report abuse. I truly wish there was another symbol to report insanity. STOP putting men on towers! We are all equal! Watch the documentary RELIGULOUS!

  • betty w johnson

    awoodiy they

  • http://www.ldsforums.org Mormon

    Thanks for the comments. I agree with your point of view. Members of the church need to realize that gay church members are held to the same standards are straight members of the church. Think about this – we all follow the same law of chastity. Therefore, many gay members hold the same temple recommends that you do, and THEY ARE WORTHY of them. Unless they break the law of chastity, they are just as worthy as straight members to enter the temple.
    The percentage of young gay members in the church are about the same as outside the church, about 10%. That means that 1 out of 10 men are gay. This is true for BYU, but more gay members fall away from the church as grow older for good cause. Persecution.
    Ease up and be more open minded to worthy gay members of the church.

  • http://www.utahgaycommunityfreeequaldeserving.blogspot.com Sundance Wig of Shame

    Dear Apostle Boyd Packer,
    your name has been added to the wig of shame because of your inappropriate comments towards LGBT Members of the LDS Church. How can you condemn LGBT members who have served full missions,served and died in the US Military,held priesthood and bishop rec. among other positions. What would Jesus say about your hate filled speech. What would you say to parents who have lost an LGBT child to suicide because of torment and hatred,just like that in your speech. Until you are god with capital letters GOD you can’t judge me. In loving memory of all good LDS members who have died of suicide because of religious leaders spouting hate and intolerance.
    We want civil rights not to be married in your church, get over it!
    Sincerely
    Sundance Wig of Shame

  • Tom

    Bill, I can tell you one of these activists names. Loyd Ericson

  • Sarah Jane

    About 40 activists laid down in front of Temple Square last night. Why was this even news? So many more follow the prophet and the lords word. There have always been a disgruntled few that just wont’ listen.

  • Tom

    Bill, this is loyd. A rebel with the cause of fighting against the church. I admire his leaders who have probably struggled with all their hearts for this lost cause. And Loyd to endure to the end means enduring to the end, then life eternal not enduring while having eternal life. You definatley would scurry away from the glory of God like the vermin you are. Those truly enjoying eternal life wouldn’t. Apostasy preachers that fight God like you have some dark place but not eternal life. Not even chaff more like some kind of stink weed.
    “I’m a Mormon” – What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”
    After months of waiting to see why my Mormon.org propaganda profile hasn’t been approved, I finally received a response from the site’s moderators. In the Frequently Asked Questions section, I choice to answer the question, “What do Mormons believe about “‘eternal life?’” This is something that I have thought and written much about, so I figured it would be a fun one to answer.
    I answered:
    I believe that eternal life is something that can and should be achieved now in the present. Eternal life is to live and love others as God does. Too often I think we are confused in thinking that eternal life is something we must wait for, or that it is something that can only be found in another life after this. Rather, I believe that it is by following Christ’s example and learning to love as He did that we find ourselves with eternal life in the present.
    This apparently was not what they wanted a Mormon to say, and I got this response:
    Lloyd, 
    This question was primarily intended to provide nonmembers with information about what the Church teaches/believes concerning life after death, and the possibility of eternal life in God’s presence. Could you please include such information in your answer along with your personal views.
    Thanks for making adjustments!
    So here we try again, and this time I’ll try to make it clear that I am pointing out what our scripture teaches:
    The scriptures teach us that eternal life is something that can and should be achieved now in the present. The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi taught in the final verses of his writings that “to believe in [Jesus], and to endure to the end, . . . is life eternal”  (2 Ne. 33:4). Nephi here does not say simply that faith in Christ and enduring to the end eventually result in eternal life, but rather that faith in Christ and the act of enduring is itself eternal life. Eternal life is to live and love others as God does. For Nephi, eternal life is something experienced in the present, and is not just a result of righteous living. It is righteous living. This equation of righteous living with eternal life by Nephi correlates with his own father’s (and brother Jacob’s) teachings that we are free to choose between eternal death and eternal life (2 Nephi 2:27-29; 10:23).
    Too often we are confused in thinking that eternal life is something we must wait for, or that it is something that can only be found in another life after this. Rather,it is by following Christ’s example and learning to love as He did that we find ourselves with eternal life in the present. Eternal life is not a reward for keeping God’s commandments and serving others in love, but to have eternal life is to do those things and live that kind of life.
    I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I’m guessing that I would have a better chance of getting this approved if I wrote about Kolob, celestial baby-making (aka S-E-X), and three kingdoms of heaven.
    POSTED BY THE NARRATOR AT 11:18 AM 10 COMMENTS

  • Ben

    What on earth is all this fuss about? Get a grip people. BKP never mentioned the word gay or homosexual. He could have been talking about anything.

  • Doug

    I assure you that Elder Packer speaks the truth, you can change, through prayer and companionship SSA attractions can be overcome. Many have found the burden of SSA lifted through the fellowship of Evergreen or Exodus International. We learn what it is to be men, to love another man in a spiritual way, to dress appropriately and develop interests in sports and other masculine activity. Through faith, fellowship and prayer these challenges, like any we all face in life are not insurmountable.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t watched conference in years. I find it is more healthy for my relationship with the church to wait and have others let me know which talks are better for me to listen to. So I was in the dark about what Packer said until this morning. I am beyond saddened. The church has made positive strides in the past year and this is one significant damaging step backward. Especially at a time when we have lost 7 gay youth to suicide this month alone. It is time for those who believe in a loving caring God to truly examine their language and rhetoric and decide to represent love.
    Thank you. I am glad that your blog was the top choice when I gooogled this subject. It was nice to read it from your perspective first. It’s nice to know I am not totally alone as an active Mormon who believes strongly in gay rights and acceptance.

  • Angela

    If you do not support and sustain the church and President Packer, then please, by all means, don’t join. And please afford us the same “tolerance” you’re always preaching about.

  • kiro

    Angela, the people who talk about tolerance mean we need to be tolerant of THEIR views.
    Secular humanism is exempt from the demands of reciprocity (seriously: they are the only religion in the world that rejects the Golden Rule.)
    Secular humanists honestly believe there should not be any person, community, or church, anywhere, that does not practice and teach THEIR views, values, beliefs.
    Otherwise, how can they go anywhere they want, without ever having to encounter anything that challenges their world-view?
    How you feel really doesn’t matter. You have been designated a BAD PERSON, and as such the only problem secular humanists need concern themselves with (as far as you go) is how to silence or get rid of you so that people like you aren’t part of this world any more.
    That’s what “tolerance” is all about.

  • cammy

    I am a first time reader, and thank for your courage and love to talk about this topic. It gives me hope that there are human beings out there!

  • David

    Really? You are wrong about an living Apostle. I don’t believe you listened to the other talks on Saturday morning session. Elder Andersen talked about something important.
    “We trust in the words of living prophets, placed before us to show us the way. We pray and pray and listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Ghost that leads us along and speaks peace to our soul. Whatever challenges arise, we never, never leave Him.”
    So if you have a hard time with this principle I urge you to pray about it and see if it’s true.

  • http://my.opera.com/hajile78/blog/ Elijah

    Tolerance and acceptance are often used as synonyms but have very different meanings. (see link for reference)
    Pres. Packer said, “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.” This line from the talk, and not the paraphrased line in a Newspaper article, is clear. If you feel that you were preset or “born that way” you Can Overcome. It is not saying that you weren’t born with that as a major temptation in your life. It is saying that if you are tempted by that type of temptation that through the Atonement you can overcome it.

  • Ray

    Tolerating intolerance is not tolerance – but tacit acceptance of it.
    So those LDS members who are playing victim should forget that strategy. They are not the one’s who have been brutalized by self-righteous and ignorant cruel condemnation. Jesus took in the marginalized that the current Jewish community rejected – including Him. I’m not sure how the LDS connect with scripture or moral theology – but when religious beliefs become nails to crucify others with their one-sided version of the Law, it cannot be of God.
    Satan quotes the Bible.

  • http://www.kelebek.gen.tr ScorpioN

    Thanks Sharing ..

  • Jose

    Liz wrote on:
    October 7, 2010 1:12 PM
    I find it so interesting that before President Packer’s talk we heard not once, but twice, that we need to remember that “the prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world OR THE WORLDLY,” and that the prophet will NEVER leave the world astray;” also that he tell us “what we NEED to know, not always what we WANT to know.”
    – –
    It was not easy persecuting and discriminating against African Americans, was not popular either with the worldly, but we listen to our apostles, and banned them from our churches, our universities and athletic events. We made them sit at the back of our buses, and eat at separate lunch counters, and drink from separate fountains. We were not lead astray then or are we now. WE CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THEM LIKE A BARKING DOG TAKES AFTER SHEEP. Let the barking dog do the thinking.

  • Kiro

    Ray, do you really believe you can have both the right to demand tolerance, AND the right to BE intolerant?
    You can justify it all you want by saying “some people don’t deserve tolerance, because they are not tolerant themselves”. But by doing so, YOU have now become intolerant, and so no longer warrant tolerance, because you are not tolerant and, by your own logic, we do not have to tolerate those who are intolerant.
    Tolerance is an all-or-nothing. Either we all deserve it, or not.
    There is no way to reserve for yourself the right to demand tolerance, while refusing to grant that others don’t deserve the same.

  • Kiro

    Kaye, I am saying that adoption is to be ruled by the child’s best interest.
    Gays argue that their rights are more important than a child’s best interest.
    It isn’t.
    Loving parents put their child’s needs first. In the case of gays and lesbians, if they want to be good parents to their child, they should recognize that their needs and their child’s needs are not the same, and that just because they have no desire to have sex with a member of the opposite sex has nothing to do with whether a child needs, has reason to want, or has reason to value, a healthy nurturing relationship with both a mother and a father.
    Gays are not the only ones who want to be free from being forced to live a lie.

  • Evan Cook

    Elder Boyd K. Packer is an Apostle of the LORD ans Savior of the World, That being said this is not his oppinion it is the message from GOD to us. “choose ye this day whom ye will serve…..as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.” Which means we will follow the Prophet.

  • Kaye

    Kiro wrote:
    “Kaye, I am saying that adoption is to be ruled by the child’s best interest.
    Gays argue that their rights are more important than a child’s best interest.
    It isn’t.”
    How so? Where in the adoption process are homosexuals arguing that there rights are more important than a child’s best interest? The same forms are EXACTLY the same along with eligibility requirements, income, loving home, ability to care for a child. – No different argument none, zip.. Nada..
    ——
    Kiro, think really hard about the following statement… Is it not also equally true for homosexual parents as well?
    “Loving parents put their child’s needs first. In the case of HETEROSEXUALS, if they want to be good parents to their child, they should recognize that their needs and their child’s needs are not the same, and that just because they have no desire to have sex with a member of the SAME sex has nothing to do with whether a child needs, has reason to want, or has reason to value, a healthy nurturing relationship with both a mother and a father.”
    -

  • Kevin

    Evan Cook said:
    “Elder Boyd K. Packer is an Apostle of the LORD ans Savior of the World, That being said this is not his oppinion it is the message from GOD to us. “choose ye this day whom ye will serve…..as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.” Which means we will follow the Prophet.”
    Oh really, do you walk the talk? I’d sure hate to be moving in next door to your with my mixed race wife….
    “Shall I tell you the LAW OF GOD in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the PENALTY, under the LAW OF GOD IS DEATH ON THE SPOT. This will ALWAYS BE SO.” (Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110)”

  • Kiro

    Kaye, I say nothing about whether gays can be good parents or not: I assume that they can.
    I am referring strictly to behaviors and assumptions which I view as toxic – based on existing laws and presumptions.
    Having a healthy and nurturing relationship with a mother is valuable.
    Having a healthy and nurturing relationship with a father is valuable.
    The right to grieve, and speak openly of the loss, and express one’s feelings about the identity issues created, if one is abandoned by one’s real family is important.
    It is not appropriate for parents to expect the child to live with loss so that the parent can enjoy a fantasy. Children should not be burdened with lies and taboos and parentification so that the child’s caregivers can pretend to be what they are not.
    It is simply not appropriate to expect the child to be responsible for the parents’ needs. The child is supposed to be the needy one, not the parent.
    Children need and deserve their real family. If for reasons that are genuinely accidental in nature the child cannot have a relationship with his or her real kin, then the decisions about that child’s welfare should be made with the child’s interests first and foremost in mind.

  • Kaye

    Kiro wrote:
    “Children need and deserve their real family. If for reasons that are genuinely accidental in nature the child cannot have a relationship with his or her real kin, then the decisions about that child’s welfare should be made with the child’s interests first and foremost in mind.”
    So are you proposing heterosexual couples NOT divorce? Your argument seems to apply equally to heterosexual and homosexual couples with children. Or are you saying divorce is OK for heterosexual and homosexual couples as long a a child’s interest are kept foremost in mind? No disagreement from me on that one.

  • Kiro

    Kaye, the act of divorcing one’s spouse does not end or sever the father-child or mother-child relationship. The law recognizes that in the event of divorce, plans must be made so that the child may continue to have the best possible relationship with both parents.
    So I really don’t see your point. You’re saying that because hetero people sometimes divorce each other, therefore it’s okay if gay people force their kids into a situation where the kids are expected to pretend that they don’t mind having “two mommies” or “two daddies” instead of having relationships with the child’s real parents?
    I am no fan of divorce, but I don’t think that what divorcing people do is at all comparable to what gay couples are claiming the right to do – not unless one of the divorcing parents were to (a) block the child’s relationship to the other parent, (b) force the child to accept a stepparent as the “real” parent and (c) the stepparent were the wrong sex for the role s/he was expected to fill.

  • Your Name

    I find it interesting that the definition that is used in this article of what a “godly” relationship is, is openly admitted to be a definition of the authors own making and not one defined by scripture or revelation. Yet lacking this divine origin the author determines to proclaim that a man whom she recognizes and one of God’s prophets must of course be wrong in speaking of what is defined as a godly relationship. She speaks of mutual fidelity and honoring one another and seeking to care for others as the litmus test for a godly relationship. Without a doubt such characteristics are certainly part of the requirements but they cannot be all. If that were to be the case then virtually any form of relationship could pass that kind of a litmus test and be called godly based soley upon the nature and character of the individuals or groups of individuals involved.
    God has given specific guidence on what god defines as marriage and the purpose of marriage. For a marraige to be considered godly it must meet all of the requirements. The church and its authorities have long procalimed that there is a distinct difference between a marriage performed in the Temple and one that is not, a marriage given by civil authority and a marriage given by divine sealing authority. A relationship which is not eternal which is not sealed by godly authority is not by definition godly no matter how virtuious those involved in it might be. I have known many who have simply refused to undergo marriage but live in committed relationships in which they maintian fidelity, honor one another, and are kind and caring towards others.
    By this author’s own definition then these relationships would be godly would they not? Yet I wonder if she is willing to proclaim that the forgoing of marriage and the entering into of a sexual relationship outside of marriage is then godly provided that the individuals or group of individuals involved meet her litmus test? Fidelity is defined simply as the unfailing fulfillment of one’s duties and obligations and strict adherence to vows or promises. It does not however define what those promises, vows, duties or obligations might be. Likewise the statement of honoring one another and seeking to help others are overly broad and open to individual and personal interpetation.
    The flaw in the author’s logic is that she chooses to use a definition of what is godly that is of her own making because it gentler on her sensibilities. It is difficult to see good people who in their character and nature are honorable and virtuous but whose choices place them outside the the blessings of the gospel. It is our sincere desire to see all people enjoy these blessings however these blessings are not to be had save upon obedience to the laws upon which they are predicated and those laws are very clearly and specifically defined by God. Thus a godly relationship must be defined by god and not by man. This is the crux of Elder Packer’s message.
    If I am involved in a relationship that does not meet God’s requirments whether it be owing to the manner in which I treat my partner, the lack of a marriage covenant, the composition of the relationship or any other variable then my relationship is out of harmony with God’s laws and therefore is not a godly relationship. No matter how badly I might wish it to be otherwise I cannot change that simple fact I can simply choose to comply or fail to comply. When we undertake in and of ourselves to interpet for God and his servants then we seperate ourselves by our choice to do so from the laws of God and his kingdom. What is important to decide is not whether or not we agree with what Elder Packer said or how he said it what is important to determine whether or not we believe him to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Kaye

    Kiro, I may be misinformed, but I’m not aware of divorcing gay a lesbian couples systemically blocking parental access to the biological or step parent, unless in the case of documented abuse, or in rare cases, simply being mean. Are you saying this only happens in homosexual parental families AND does not happen with divorcing heterosexual couples? If so, please show me evidence of this, I’ve not heard or read about this.
    Next you stated:
    “You’re saying that because hetero people sometimes divorce each other, therefore it’s okay if gay people force their kids into a situation where the kids are expected to pretend that they don’t mind having “two mommies” or “two daddies” instead of having relationships with the child’s real parents?”
    I say how is this any different that divorcing HETEROSEXUAL couples where the children may object to their new step parent for any number of reasons? Again, custody agreements, where children have access to their “real” parents ARE EXACTLY the same for homosexual as for heterosexual couples. No one is stopping children from having access to the child’s “real” parents. I’ve never read about this, or heard that this was ever an issue. Do you have a newspaper article somewhere that says this is the case?

  • Lara

    Your Name,
    Your reasoning presupposes that everyone believes in the same God–who exists in the Mormon version of God. That’s not the case. The vast majority of this country’s citizens do not believe in that God. They know it’s perfectly fine to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or to shop on Sunday. Many people believe in a God who is accepting of gay partnerships. Some churches even perform gay weddings. All the religious speculation is certainly fine at church and within Mormon circles. But when Mormons stick their nose into civil laws that everyone needs to follow, they’d better have some verifiable evidence and provable facts.
    You need to stop talking about God, and apostles, and eternity, and prove with facts and evidence that gay marriage does a substantial harm to society. You need to show that it serves a substantial state interest to ban gay marriage. The reason that these laws keep getting struck down in court is that they are unable to produce this evidence. They cannot produce the evidence because it does not exist. Same-sex households do not harm society. They do not harm other families. That is why gay marriage will someday be legal across the United States, so get used to it. You can still exclude gay couples within Mormonism, don’t worry. Freedom of religion gives you the right to discriminate however you like. But please allow other people religious freedom also–the right to believe in other gods or no god at all.
    How would you like it if I said that my God is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and he says that we all need to eat pasta every day of the week as the law of the land? Then I go to court and say, “But the Flying Spaghetti Monster says so! And we do not question him or his prophet, Captain Macaroni.” I could tell you about all the eternal consequences of not eating pasta, but it would fall on deaf ears because you just don’t believe me and I have no other facts or evidence to show why it serves a substantial state interest to enforce this law.
    I’ve tried to have this conversation with my mom, and it goes basically like this:
    “The prophet said so, and the Lord would never allow the prophet to lead the church astray. The prophet would be removed first.”
    “So every prophet who ever died was removed for almost leading the church astray?”
    “Don’t be silly!”
    “How do you know that the Lord would never allow this? Who said that?”
    “The prophet!”
    “How do you know that prophet was right?”
    “Because the Lord would never allow the prophet to lead the church astray!”
    She just doesn’t see the circular reasoning of that argument. Then when I produce evidence of when the prophets have actually been wrong, she dismisses it all as being from Satan. We’ve stopped having this conversation, because I can see the that church brings her a lot of joy, and so I don’t want to take that away from her. At the same time, I cannot accept it when the church tries to take away joy and happiness from people who aren’t even members. That’s when it has crossed the line and deserves to be put back in its place–which is in the religious realm for members only. Stay out of civil law.

  • Sam

    Your Name, “Thus a godly relationship must be defined by god and not by man. This is the crux of Elder Packer’s message.” AND “God has given specific guidence on what god defines as marriage and the purpose of marriage. For a marraige to be considered godly it must meet all of the requirements.”
    Are we then not to accept interracial marriages? If so, there are many examples of how LDS apostles and leaders of the church have been wrong then, just as they are now.
    No, I will not practice polygamy,
    No, I will not discriminate against minority’s including homosexuals. Apostles were wrong then, and they are wrong today.. Have your ever read LDS church history? Are you afraid of it?

  • Kerry

    Why is it that some of you can leave the church… but then you cannot leave the church alone?

  • Bish

    Lara, aren’t we being just a little arrogant to demand that God provide evidence?

  • rtj

    Lara – Respectfully, the following comment made in you blog is at the core of the problem and inability to find agreeable ground on same sex relations:
    “But when Mormons stick their nose into civil laws that everyone needs to follow, they’d better have some verifiable evidence and provable facts.”
    The presumption is either that those in support of same sex relations have “verifiable evidence and provable facts” or that if you are not religious or prescribe to an organized religion you don’t need to have “verifiable evidence and provable facts.”
    The following are some examples of the point:
    1) The opinion is offered publicly, regularly, and without qualification that homosexuals are born homosexual. To suggest that some homosexuals are not born homosexual causes accusations that one is hateful, a bigot, and denying the individuals equal protection and is a civil rights violation.
    2) Student counselors can express to a student they were born homosexual without any information or history on the individual and be held up as heroic for their compassion and progressive perspective. Never mind that the expression lacks “verifiable evidence or provable facts.” Or, is expressed despite “verifiable evidence and provable facts” the behavior reasonably resulted from personal experiences.
    3) Until the most recent Court cases in California, no argument was presented by the same-sex marriage proponents that homosexuality was an immutable (birth) attribute. Prior to the issue of same-sex marriage, civil rights issues and equal protection were always argued and subject to the criteria of an immutable attribute (skin color) or creed (religion). If “verifiable evidence and provable facts” exist, why has the argument not been made. The most recent Court cases dared to introduce the argument knowing the sympathy of the judge and still qualifying the argument with “generally.”
    Enough for now. Look forward to a dialog as to why the public arena is restricted to selective opinions and subjects opposing opinions to be mocked and excluded as reprehensible, or uninformed at best. The public arena entitles people to be wrong, specifically when not on matters of immutable rights or matters of creed. Perhaps, these are matters of creed, even beliefs that should welcome religious thought.

  • Josh

    Awesome comment rjt.

  • Sam

    rtl, wrote:
    “Until the most recent Court cases in California, no argument was presented by the same-sex marriage proponents that homosexuality was an immutable (birth) attribute. Prior to the issue of same-sex marriage, civil rights issues and equal protection were always argued and subject to the criteria of an immutable attribute (skin color) or creed (religion).”
    Several recent studies have show that religion and belief in a certain God is NOT an immutable condition. Considerable evidence exists shows that people can and do [if they want] change religious belief over time. However, in some countries, religious belief is actually considered a choice, and being of a certain belief, secular humanist, Catholic, Mormon, or Jew simply does not preclude access to lawful civil marriage.
    Therefore, if sexual orientation is indeed a choice, is it reasonable for the court to require people first undergo aversion therapy and demonstrate meaningful change in sexual orientation before one has access to civil marriage? What would be a reasonable state interest in shocking away the gay? Or in the case of civil marriage, make a certain religious belief a requirement?

  • Corey

    Wow, that’s so mean, the nerve to ask homosexuals to not act on their urges, and to tell married men to not act on their urges for women other than their wives, and to tell pedophiles to not act on their urges for children, and to tell teenagers to not act on their urges for fornication, and drug addicts to not act on their urges.
    Wow, imagine the paradise of a world if everyone just acted on their urges! Flowers and freedom for all!
    Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER once will you ever find a ‘godly’ homosexual relationship in scripture. Hmm, I wonder why? I wonder why the Bible clearly preaches against the practice and is CONSTANTLY emphasizing man + woman = posterity, etc.
    It is not about fear, it is not about hate, it is not about any of that. It is about standing up for TRUTH and the guilty always take the truth to be hard. We don’t hate people who are attracted to those of the same gender, we don’t hate smokers or people that drink coffee, we don’t hate people that are addicted to pornography. We teach love and a rejection of UNgodly behaviors.
    President Packers talk should have brought an immense flow of hope to those who struggle with same-gender attraction. He just told you that you CAN change, that you were not ‘made’ that way any more a man is ‘made’ to want to cheat on his wife.
    Wake up people! A prophet of God just spoke some common sense and truth to you! Noah just told you the rains are coming and pointed the way to the door of the ark while the rest of you are mentally stoning him. “Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” Rev. 12:9
    Gay ‘community’, you’re going to have to choose your side. People all throughout history have struggled to the point of pain to overcome the flesh. Men, seriously, the love and divine nature of a woman completes you the way God intended; can’t get that with another guy. Ladies, the companionship of a worthy priesthood-holder with the divine nature of a man will complete you and bless your life.
    Man and woman were created to become one flesh and receive a fullness of joy, it’s still your choice. Try to see it through God’s eyes and not your own for a change.
    Jana, if you’re ‘flunking sainthood’ I don’t think I want to take a look at your cheat sheet.

  • karen

    Sexual orientation is not the type of human trait that allows courts to relax their standard of rational basis review because the barrier is temporary or susceptible to self-help. Many courts have held that immutability or they can pray and change arguments are surely satisfied when the identifying trait is ‘so central to a person’s identity that it would be abhorrent for government to require a person to undergo shock, zap ‘em and vomit therapy or even penalize them for refusing to change it. “Because a person’s sexual orientation is so integral an aspect of one’s identity, it is not appropriate to require a person to repudiate or attempt to change his or her sexual orientation in order to avoid discriminatory treatment.” Sexual orientation is highly resistant to change, no matter how hight the electrical current or vomit inducing medication, and being heterosexual or homosexual ‘forms a significant part of a person’s identity.’ Sexual orientation influences the formation of personal relationships between all people—heterosexual, gay, or lesbian—to fulfill each person’s fundamental needs for love and attachment. Accordingly, because sexual orientation is central to personal identity and “ ‘may be altered [if at all] only at the expense of significant damage to the individual’s sense of self,’ ”
    Perhaps the sole conceivable avenue by which exclusion of gay and lesbian people from civil marriage could promote more procreation is if the unavailability of civil marriage for same-sex partners caused homosexual individuals to “become” heterosexual in order to procreate within the present traditional institution of civil marriage. This thinking fails to address the real issue, which is whether exclusion of gay and lesbian individuals from the institution of civil marriage will result in more procreation? Simple common sense does not even suggest such an outcome.

  • Kiro

    Kaye, I am referring to the practice of making a child pretend he has “two mommies” or “two daddies”, instead of recognizing that being fatherless or motherless is cause for grief, as is being abandoned by one’s true family.
    It is parentification to make a child responsible for the parent’s emotional needs. A healthy relationship is one where the parent takes care of the child and provides for the child’s needs, not the other way around.

  • Kaye

    Kiro,
    What about the practice of making a child pretend he is happy with mixed race parents? One black and the other white? Instead of recognizing that having mixed race parents is a cause for grief because they have violated religious anti-miscegenation laws? It this not “bad” parenting to make a child responsible for the the parents “needs” and not the other way around?
    What to do? Call the Son’s of Helaman (church police) for enforcement of Gods laws?
    One of them is described here:
    “Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species…”
    - Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., January 2, 1845, History of the Church, v. 5, pp. 21-218

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
    ***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
    ***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
    ***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
    ***.gaychristian101.com/
    ***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    ***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
    ***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
    ***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    ***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
    ***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    ***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
    ***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/

  • shadow_man

    The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.
    From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.
    America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

  • The Lord

    Shadow Man. You must have missed the conference talk in Salt Lake City last weekend. The Lord spoke through Apostle Boyd K. Packer this past sunday. A copy of the talk can be found on LDS.org, it is indeed great reading and provides hope to those suffering from same sex attraction. You don’t need to give into your desires. It is not so that you must given into your temptations, yes you can change and live accordingly to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Kiro

    Kaye, you are dredging up false analogies.
    When you have no response, sometimes it’s best to admit that the other side has a point.
    Gays love to try to compare themselves against the civil rights movement, especially the mixed race argument. But they’re not the same, because ultimately a racist cannot ever prove any significant, relevant difference between a black man vs. a white man, but I can prove:
    - that there is a difference between a man and a woman
    - that there is a difference between a procreative union vs. sex that is entirely recreational in nature
    - that there is a difference between raising one’s own child, vs. claiming a “right” to appropriate someone elses’ child for reasons having nothing to do with what is best for the child.
    What is more important is this: there is a difference between a real parent vs. someone who has just appropriated someone elses’ child. To be a real parent is a biological status. The only legitimate exception is when a child who is for some reason orphaned or abandoned needs a home – but even orphans have the right to have all the decision-making about their life done with their own best interests represented in court. Gays are arguing for nothing less than the total commodification of children – the right to deliberately engineer their abandonment, and the right to bypass the procedures set in place to safeguard the child’s welfare, even the right to deliberately create for purposes of trafficking, buying and selling human flesh.

  • Kaye

    Kiro.
    Where is the constitutional justification in your argumentation that gays and lesbians are not entitled to marriage because there is a difference between a man and a woman? I can also prove that Gays and lesbians have the ability to procreate and to be biological parents of their children. I can also prove that Heterosexuals have the ability to use birth control in order to have sex that is entirely recreational in nature.
    Is it possible for Heterosexuals to “appropriate” someone else’s child for reasons that have nothing to do with what is best for the child? This logic makes no sense because you have already stated in a prior post that gays and lesbians make good parents with healthy child outcomes and this point is also supported by many findings of fact in numerous court cases.
    I’ve asked for facts, to support your claims. Appropriating children by gays and lesbians has never been a finding of fact in these court cases? Why is that do you suppose?
    Further, there has never been a finding of fact that gays are arguing for the total commodification of children, the right to deliberately engineer their abandonment, and the right to bypass procedures in place to safeguard the child’s welfare. Your argumentation is flawed line of reasoning that has failed to provide any constitutional justification whatsoever as to why gay and lesbians should not be parents or have access to the fundamental right of marriage.
    Therefore, bible waving and wailing aside, courts have concluded that gays and lesbians are similarly situated to their heterosexual counterparts. In raising families, contributing to their communities and paying taxes.
    Sorry Kiro.. please point me to a court case that supports your facts in conclusions of law and you might get somewhere with your flawed reasoning.

  • John

    Kaye, the lord has considered all of man made arguments, and carefully considered yours as well. In light of the findings of all of these man made facts, the lord has recently spoken through an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Pay heed to the words of this apostle or prepare to be held accountable for your ignorance.

  • Kaye

    To John:
    Sometimes churches are required to obey the ‘law of the land’ to wit polygamy. No matter what the Lord or its religious leaders say. I prefer to let that be the case, living in the present moment, not in some irrational fantasy of how things could, should or might be after I’m gone.

  • Protecting Rights

    “If a day comes when the saints interfere with the rights of others, live as they see fit… You can know with assurance that the church is NO longer run by a prophet, but by a mere man. – Brigham Young

  • Bart

    I was raised to believe that homosexuals were unnatural, not normal, that God would not create human beings who were attracted to the same sex because on a species level it doesn’t make natural sense. It was fear of the strange and unknown that made me instantly believe it. I didn’t want to think about it. I was completely repulsed by it. It gave me the shivers. I accepted any vaguely logical explanation that gays are regular people with psychological problems or people who like an inordinate amount of attention. I was a young teenager when I adapted that attitude… and carried it with me through my forties. Too bad for me.
    Part of the problem is that we so commonly hear that God would never make homosexuals because their existence doesn’t make any logical sense as far as procreation is concerned. Therefore if God let’s homosexuals “happen” the way Down’s Syndrome or autism happens, it would mean that God isn’t logical or maybe The Church isn’t true (a Mormon aphorism). I believe God lets everything happen. Our test is how we deal with it. Sometimes we ask for the sickness or condition to be taken away. Sometimes He does. Sometimes the test is that we need to ask, to see the condition removed – and sometimes we need the condition.
    Some say they are gay, believing it, trying to find themselves, and find that they did have a psychological problem, manifesting in their attraction to the same sex. I am convinced that some are physically, chemically, gay. They are wired that way and that is that. My life’s experience has taught me that. Some are sick and need help. Some are not sick. Why don’t we let them tell us, then be good neighbors? God wants me to love everyone, to find similarity and within it celebrate our differences.
    I know several gay people – and I’m related to some. I have had in-depth conversations with some who find it incredulous that people believe they would choose homosexuality over heterosexuality. I’m told it’s not a fun way to go through school, or life, or Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve seen tears shed and hearts rent, but they are men attracted to men who think if there were a choice ever given they certainly would have chosen “normalcy” as defined in our culture.
    In my 52 years I’ve decided that God wants us to learn to accept each other and understand each other to the point that we truly love each other. What could be wrong with that?
    I have met gays who are fun to be around, loving and caring and some who I can’t stand, who are rude and hideously selfish. Kind of like everybody else I know.
    Throughout our lives God watches us to see how we treat others, what we say about them and how we deal with the differences between us. I keep thinking I’m open minded, I still do, but I keep finding attitudes in myself that do not need to be so inflexible.
    God smiles when we learn to treat each others with respect. When we truly accept others into our hearts whom we thought were too different to be worthy, but deserve our love and respect, He smiles. In my personal life when I come to one of those realizations I envision Him smiling and telling me “You’re learning child. Keep going.”
    I suppose it seems logical that if we could erase homosexuality, treat it, cure it and defeat it we would remove that pain and suffering from the earth. But the point of our life is to learn when it is logical to eliminate something truly dangerous to us and when to conquer our fear of something that is only a drastic difference in our perception. It is almost impossible to see the difference sometimes, but that is our test.

  • Lara

    “the lord has considered all of man made arguments, and carefully considered yours as well. In light of the findings of all of these man made facts, the lord has recently spoken through an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Pay heed to the words of this apostle or prepare to be held accountable for your ignorance.”
    Yeah. That’s….. really gonna fly in a courtroom. I can’t wait until it’s presented.
    You know, once gay marriage is legal across the U.S., all the church really has to do is say that it does not recognize such marriages within church membership and that practicing gays (married or single) are not eligible for temple recommends and may be subject to church discipline. Problem solved. Why is it so important to you that non-members conform to the Mormon view on this one issue? Why aren’t you out there working just as hard to make pre-marital sex and adultery illegal? Why aren’t you trying to make laws criminalizing consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea? Why don’t you make a law to require that teens can’t date until they’re 16? If the general population needs to be “temple worthy” in this one area, why stop there? Make them be “temple worthy” in all areas.
    For the person who made the “people who leave the church but won’t leave it alone” comment, I’d be happy to leave the church alone if they would leave alone my gay friends, family, and loved ones! I look at my precious four-year-old son, so full of the wonderment of life, and I wonder what his life might be like if he turns out to be gay. I think of him being taunted in school, bullied and physically harassed in social situations, told by society that he is a second-rate citizen, unworthy of equal rights and government protections. I think of him listening to a person who presumes to be speak for God tell him from the pulpit that he’s impure, indecent, and needs to change or suffer the God’s wrath. Just thinking about that possibility causes my inner Momma Grizzly to begin to growl. Bigots be warned.

  • David

    Those opposed to Elder Packer’s comments have no doubt avoided looking at the godly logic of the comments of Church leaders opposing gay relationships and gay marriage.
    It is simply this. The doctrine of the Church is that bodies need to be created by men and women so the spirits of men and women, still in the pre-existence, may come to earth.
    Hence, why would God sanction as appropriate gay relationships that would deny this eternal purpose? Hence, it is right for ELder Packer to ask the question, “why would Heavenly Father do this to anyone?
    Why, indeed. For Jana Riess to so clearly come out opposed to Church doctrine and practice would suggest that she has not thought this through with any degree of logic or faith.
    As the Church moves forward, oblivious to cultural mores and trends, so too will it become increasingly different to the world around it. Unfortunately, it is a great pity that Jana’s views will become increasingly different to the Church as the years progress.

  • Jeremy

    David,
    Thank you for bringing some reason to this debate. I’m often reminded that the solution to ignorance is reason, not more ignorance.

  • Tina

    Dane of Australia, et al:
    To those who think the Prophet would have “set Packer straight,” you clearly have no idea how the Church operates. While the women auxiliary leaders and “lesser” GAs have their talks thoroughly scrubbed and edited, sometimes beyond recognition, the Twelve are immune to any such scrutiny. They can submit whatever they want to say and go off-script, too.
    Furthermore, I have had several friends and family members who helped their “famous” Church-leadership parents, including my own inlaws, write their Conference addresses, only to see some low-level Church bureaucrat editor reword some of their sentences so as to lose their original intent and message. Not so for the Twelve. They answer to noone.
    If you have a specific example of knowing someone personally who is in the Twelve who can claim this is not the case, I’d love to hear it. However, I have seen “upclose and personal” how these talks are written, edited, and presented, and how the rules differ depending on the speaker’s position in the hierarchy. I doubt Monson even touched Packer’s talk. That said, he certainly should have. He basically should have given him five no-go areas, imho: women’s rights, gay rights, race relations, Communism, and the Holocaust. Seems like a no-brainer to me, but unforuntately, it was not so apparent to Monson.

  • Kiro

    Kaye, marriage includes, as one of its central benefit, the right to be presumed the father of your spouse’s child, without having to go through a paternity action.
    With this right comes an obligation.
    It would be a major change in the law if we were to grant the presumption without the corresponding obligation. It would specifically overturn a whole body of family law – stripping children of the right to be protected against exactly the sort of behaviors gays and lesbians are trying to engage in.
    Are you willing to see gays prosecuted for child abuse, or even for trafficking, when gays try to force the child to go along with pretending that a stepparent is the “real” parent, and refusing to allow a child to ask about the absent parent, or grieve for the loss?
    Are you willing to see gays prosecuted for fraud, when they misrepresent themselves as the parent of a child they are not related to, for the purpose of manipulating the child and/or collecting benefits related to the status of parent?
    Adultery has always been illegal for a reason: both families and society in general have an interest in protecting themselves from fraud.
    Misrepresenting yourself as what you are not is not a basic right. It’s lying, and it’s also “parentification” – a form of child abuse.

  • Kaye

    Kiro,
    Geeze Kiro, I keep asking you to back up your claims with evidence or fact. A recent court case supporting your position would put this issue to rest, but yet again you fail to support your statements.
    -> Part of good debate and scholarship is for the person making the claim is to be able to support it.
    -> Imagine convicting someone on accusations alone, with no evidence. This is what you’re doing here.
    “Marriage includes, as one of its central benefit, the right to be presumed the father of your spouse’s child, without having to go through a paternity action.” I’m sorry but you are wrong again here too. When my ex-husband remarried, this did not change any presumption as to who is the step father and biological father of our son. Now, I’m again calling on you to back up your sky will fall argumentation with a recent court case and finding of fact that supports the allegations you’re making.
    Please support your “willing to see allegations” below, will some finding of fact and conclusion of law.

  • Lara

    Kiro,
    I know several heterosexual couples who have used donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos, surrogacy, and any combination of those things to conceive their children. They have never been prosecuted for child abuse or trafficking, or fraud, or “parentification,” whatever that’s supposed to be. The very idea that they would be prosecuted for any of those things is absurd. It’s laughable. It only goes to show what desperate lengths you will go to in order to try to deny gay couples a basic family right.
    The couples I have mentioned have been very open and honest with their children about how they were conceived, and the children have been very accepting of it. The only inquiries they have made as to biological parents involved whether they might carry any genetically inherited diseases. For all other intents and purposes, they know who their real parents are.
    Moreover, I know of lesbian parents in which one partner is the egg donor and the other partner is the birth mother. It’s a more difficult thing for male couples, but they can either adopt or use sperm donation with a donated egg and surrogacy. You won’t want to hear this, but recent advances in bio-medicine and genetic splicing will likely make it possible to create an embryo that is genetically related to both same-sex parents. Regardless of how they obtain their children, the important thing is that they provide a home where children are loved, valued, and provided with the necessities of life. The gay parents that I know are some of the best parents I have ever seen. There is no such thing as “accidental” children in same-sex households, as is often the case in opposite-sex households. These children are very much wanted and very much loved.

  • Kaye

    To Lara:
    You said better than I every could. THANK YOU!!!

  • Lara

    P.S. Adultery is not illegal in this country. If it were, can you imagine what that would do to our already strained judicial system and overcrowded prisons?

  • Your Name

    1. Belief is always a matter of convenience.
    2. abuse of power should come as no surprise. (Jenny Howitzer)
    From the looks of the hierarchy of the organization It seems equally predictable that they would view women, Africans, and LBGT folks in a less favorable light. They are a bunch of old white guys. And like white guys everywhere in the civilized world they are in the midst of a paradigm shift and desperate to hang on to their power.
    3 power concedes nothing without demand. (Douglas Fairbanks)
    Don’t dispair, it is also as predictable that, if they are to survive they will have to adapt, ‘same today as tomorrow’ notwithstanding.
    4. Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized
    first it is ridiculed, second it is opposed, third it is regarded as self evident. (Arhtur Schopenhauer)
    or…A new truth does not triumph by convincing it’s opponents and making them see the light,
    but rather because it’s opponents die off.(Max Plank)
    If the LDS Church leadership had a ounce of compassion it would advise it’s gay members to either a) be castrated or b) administer them anti androgen type medications
    5 …if their housewives get to have the anti-depressants

  • Charity

    Thank you the well reasoned comments…
    My comments are geared towards all of you “active, faithful” members who THINK you know what the families and sons and daughters who meet these challenges face daily. How would you like one of your children to consider taking their life after listening to conference? IF you think that is an over-statement, talk to the many fathers, mothers, siblings, etc. who have sat agonizing beside their loved one who feels utterly helpless and worthless because of the words of one of “their” loving apostles…particularly, THIS general authority. Telling someone who has suffered with homosexuality (and I say suffer, because they feel guilt and shame that YOU will never be able to understand) “Why would Heavenly Father DO this to you” is unconscionable. It is not the same as someone’s ugly aunt who never married, it is not the same as an addiction, it is not a matter of “love the sinner, hate the sin” for to one who is gay, there is not a separation of the two. It is not a choice. Telling someone to remain celibate sounds great IF it is not you. I would love to see how many of you righteous priesthood holders would remain in the church if you were told to do so.
    The church makes missteps. There have been several mistakes which a previous poster mentioned. To not acknowledge this makes all of us look foolish and cultish. Another mistake is the bigotry and prejudice that rears its ugly head in these debates. The Savior would be walking with these valiant sons and daughters if he were here today. He would be compassionate and loving. He would acknowledge their struggle and LOVE, not condemn. Does anyone remember that the church actually added His name, Jesus Christ in large letters in the center of the church logo to remind people that He is the center of our teachings. My hunch is that reminder should be more for many of the members and several of the higher-ups in SLC. Follow Christ’s example.

  • Cory

    It is difficult to know where to begin. In my opinion, the main difficulty is the lack of control the Brethren feel over the issue of homosexuality- or any aspect of sexuality, for that matter. Yes, everybody’s sexual impulses need to be kept in check, but the real issue is that (as someone else said once) that anything the Brethren can’t control they see as a problem. Homosexuality and the gay rights movement come from “outside”, and hence must be from Satan- because it challenges the established hierarchy, namely them. This us-vs-them mentality is so ingrained in Mormonism as to pretty nearly define the religion. The church attracts and retains people who need to see the world in those terms, and plainly tells its members who think differently that they are not welcome. Integral to this idea is the notion that we are in the Last Days. Mormons are 100% convinced that they have the sole responsibility to set everybody straight (no pun intended) prior to that great event. Again, it attracts and retains people who love to think that way. The result is a bunch of deliberately closed minds who have decided they know all about God and that’s that. But as Joseph Campbell said, the worship of a fixed God is the very definition of idolatry. The whole purpose of a church is to maintain that sort of thinking- and hence to deflect its members from a personal, non-institutional quest to find the true God. The only way Packer or any of the other “Brethren” will ever really find God is by acknowledging that they have no idea what God is really like. This is the great paradox of religion. The press contributes to this quagmire when they take the church’s word for it that they know all about God because they talk about hum so much. A great change will occur when the newspapers stop confusing church with religion and the individual search for God. It doesn’t have to be this way. Can anyone even conceive of the Dalai Lama saying anything condemning homosexuals, or anybody else for that matter? Would that the leaders of the Mormon church were more like that worthy gentleman and less like Glen Beck! Then people would start to take them more seriously.

  • Mandy

    I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for posting it.

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
    ***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
    ***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
    ***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
    ***.gaychristian101.com/
    ***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    ***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
    ***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
    ***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html
    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/10/lds-apostle-boyd-k-packer-is-wrong-about-homosexuality_comments.html#ixzz11x36OrfV

  • shadow_man

    Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.
    (Change *** to www)
    ***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    ***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
    ***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    ***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
    ***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/10/lds-apostle-boyd-k-packer-is-wrong-about-homosexuality_comments.html#ixzz11x3NYG00

  • Prediction

    I predict that Mormon bishops will be performing gay and lesbian CIVIL marriages in Salt Lake City, Utah Twenty years from now, or perhaps even a little sooner. This is based on the assumption that the Supreme Court of the United states will have weighed in granting equal protection and due process for civil marriage to homosexuals. Just sayin…. And by that time, everyone will wonder what al the ‘fuss’ was about.

  • chris

    “He would acknowledge their struggle and LOVE, not condemn.”
    I think this is true depending on where the person’s heart is. To say otherwise isn’t too fully acknowledge the scriptures. I don’t think Packer was condemning any individuals striving, and even failing for righteousness sake. I was trying to give them hope in the power of the atonement to life them up.

  • sarioup

    wow this is a very hotly debated topic I would like to bear you my testimony that what was said is true, it is the word of God sent as mention to warn and prepare us for a future, to help dispell questions and doubts to help unify a people.
    I have many relationships with people who do help enhance and contribute to who I am as a person– matching your definition as a “godly partnership” and yes a majority of them are the same gender as I am. and I would say that I love them deeply and would sacrifice a great deal for on their behalf if asked.
    I am also single and long for the time when I may find a new and different type of love– equally as binding and lifting as the love I have for those around me at this time however different if that I am asked to sacrifice a great deal on a daily basis, we will set plans and work together to solve them. this will take work and desire on both our sides.
    And for now I need to be patient, if I were to settle for the type of love I experience now that would be the end of blessings I received– i would be Damned by my own choice. and that choice would be stimulated from fear, lust, selfishness and immorality the same things which drive pornography.
    As one who did not grow up in Utah I have experienced more than my share of prejudice remarks from peers, I have been physically injured for my beliefs and had such events ignored– beyond taking care of my physical needs– by teachers, recess attending parents and siblings. when my family did move to Utah, those experience did not cease what I had dreamed of as a ZIon became a Hell. and with everything in my heart I wish that the things they teased, mocked and hurt me over would leave– not because I did not like them or agree with them because I was motivated by the desire to have friends to ‘fit in’ I was lead to believe I was of lesser value, and only worthy of such things afforded to lesser people like myself. Eventually I found places and people that allowed me to “fit in” they were not the most healthy but I found them and I participated with them. However even with this finding, those who teased, mocked and hurt persisted in their actions.
    even after I had grown up, admitted I was wrong and sought forgiveness because i wanted to be in correct standing with my maker and because I believed I was of greater worth than what I had been told– not for my parents, not to make those around me happy but for me– because I am a daughter of God who desires me to have the greatest amount of happiness in this life and in the life to come. I found good people to help me through the repentance process and help me learn to love myself as I am now and as I was then have I truly found happiness and peace which surpasses the loneliness and agony of many years– I testify that what President Boyd K Packer said is true. It was a message sent from God, for us in our day and time. and I am so very grateful that he had the courage to deliver this message that all sins can be overcome and that forgiveness is available if we truly seek it with true and single desire.

  • Gratitude

    For me, I found repentance for my same sex attraction in electro shock and Epicac therapy. After several years starting as a 16 year old teenager, about 30 years ago.. all sexual desire has been lifted from me by the grace of god. There is forgiveness for same gender attraction if you live the principles of the gospel. The lord has taken all sexual desire from me, and I bear my testimony to you that Boyd Packer speaks that truth and it is a message of hope.

  • Dave

    Boyd K. Packard and the LDS faithful should look up eugenics. It’s a perfect doctrine for your faith.

  • Lara

    Gratitude,
    I truly, truly hope that your post is just a sarcastic message to make a point and not for real. It is anything but hopeful. It is heartbreaking and tragic. I wish you well.

  • Mordred08

    Gratitude: “For me, I found repentance for my same sex attraction in electro shock and Epicac therapy.”
    Lara: “I truly, truly hope that your post is just a sarcastic message to make a point and not for real.”
    Lara, I’ve learned never to underestimate the ability of humans to delude themselves.
    This article and its comments have certainly enlightened me. Until now, I guess I never realized just how corrupt and vile Christianity really is. The only really nice ones I know are the kind who are labeled as heretics by the mainstream.

  • Spikemath

    Disabilities are not immoral. Don’t you dare compare someone’s handicap to being homosexuals. It’s one thing to be born with a physical handicap, and a completely different issue to be born with immoral tendencies. How many people do you know that are born prostitutes, or alcoholics? Your logic is extremely flawed. Try again sister.

  • Mike

    Unfortunately this issue is taken out of context over and over and your article sadly continues to do so. Elder Packer insinuates that homosexuality can be controlled (***please note that he did NOT say that it was merely a person’s choice***). Many other people argue that it is purely genetic and should therefore be embraced. Somehow you take that and reason that he’s not being like Jesus. He obviously does not agree with an explanation that many have given for the cause of homosexuality (that it is genetic and permanent). Do you realize that the same explanation can be used for a variety of “problems” like alcoholism, drug addiction, uncontrolled anger, etc? Interestingly an alcoholic is no more required to drink than a homosexual is to engage in homosexual relationships, yet many alcoholics clearly have a genetic disposition to become addicted to alcohol. There is no reason to think that the neurological basis for homosexuality is a phenomenon unique to homosexuality. The argument that a person with homosexual tendencies MUST embrace them to be happy is much more far fetched and estranged from science than anything Elder Packer or anyone else from the LDS church has said. The issue is that the LDS church teaches that people should adhere to a code of morals regardless of their predispositions. Virtually every member of that faith is tempted to do something that violates their code of morals and homosexuals are no exception. The same principle governs any society and has the same qualitative challenges. You may not agree with their doctrine concerning sexual relationships but to take that and say that they are discriminate against homosexuals is ridiculous. They think that the moral place of sexual relationships is for the creation of families. Anything that cannot be construed to go in that direction therefore deviates from the moral place of sexual relationships. Plenty of people, by the way, have loving, healthy relationships without sex.
    Also, the examples that you suggested we take to logical suggestions in order to reveal the flaw of this argument are completely inappropriate and surprising. I don’t need to explain how a schizophrenic’s situation differs from that of a homosexual. Do you really think that they have something in common?

  • Kiro

    Lara, neither you nor anyone else has explained why gays have a right to be presumed the parent of someone elses’ child.
    Gays are so fond of appealing to “their rights”, but the weak spot to their argument is that they are not the only person with rights.
    Children have rights – and this is becoming an issue, because gays are not the only ones treating children as commodities; rage at Jon & Kate, “single by choice”, Octo-Mom, and 67 year old women who use technology to have babies – only to leave three year old orphans – is slowly connecting in peoples’ minds as being directly linked to new findings about the role marriage plays in preventing poverty and creating emotional health.
    A “marriage” that is founded upon the desire to AVOID honoring the mother (or father) of one’s child – to use and discard the other parent and then “give” the child to an emotionally needy stepparent – is going to be viewed for what it is: fraud, exploitation, and child abuse.

  • Kiro

    I also feel I have as much right to recognize the difference between the sacred union (family-making relationships) vs. recreational sex (mere lust), as a Jewish person has the right to recognize kosher law, or a vegetarian has to recognize non-animal foods as being higher and cleaner.
    When it becomes a crime to recognize the sacred as sacred, then we do not have religious freedom – we have a secular humanist’s version of theocracy (what religion aside from secular humanism believes that kinship and its rights & obligations can or should be a “choice”?)

  • Kiro

    No child has two mommies or two daddies.
    All children are born to one man and one woman.
    All children have the right to a relationship with both parents.
    The only legitimate exceptions are ruled by the child’s best interests.
    What gays and lesbians want is not only not in the child’s best interest, but requires that we grant the child’s best interest is less important than the parent’s social and emotional needs.
    And they know it.

  • Mordred08

    And if a child is perfectly happy being raised by a gay couple, that doesn’t matter does it, Kiro? Only sick people like you think little kids care about what’s between their parents’ legs. And yet LGBTs are the ones constantly being called pedophiles. Would you support a known child molester being allowed to have custody of his kids in the name of his children having a right to a relationship with their “father”?

  • Lara

    Kiro,
    No one is trying to interfere with your religious freedom. You are free to define marriage however you like and say what you think is in a child’s best interest. You’re free to talk about it in church and enforce it in your own home and family. My problem is when you try to force your own personal moral worldview on other people who do not share your same morals. Let me put that in Mormon terms so that you can understand: that’s Satan’s plan.
    The funny thing is you contradict yourself in your own argument: vegetarians don’t pass laws demanding that other people observe a “higher” form of eating and Jewish people don’t pass civil laws requiring everyone to eat Kosher meals.
    While I find your views to be close-minded, unsupported, uninformed, and detestable, I still think you have a right to them. However, your right to swing your fist ends where a gay person’s nose begins.

  • Mordred08

    Kiro: “I also feel I have as much right to recognize the difference between the sacred union (family-making relationships) vs. recreational sex (mere lust), as a Jewish person has the right to recognize kosher law”
    News flash: Jews don’t force non-Jews to follow kosher laws. And only the most traditionalist of Jewish sects oppose homosexuality today. I’ve always found it intriguing that Christianity inverts that: you completely ignore their dietary laws, but demand that everyone in the world obeys their “same-sex relations are evil” law.

  • Kiro

    Mordred08, who is forcing anyone to not be gay?
    You do not have to be Mormon.
    In fact, you’re the one being a bully, since you’re trying to say that they can’t be Mormon – that everyone has to share your belief, your secular humanist values and beliefs about questions like why we’re here, what matters, when and whether to have sex, and how to define kinship obligations.
    You seem to think that being gay somehow makes you exempt from the political process that us mere mortals are bound to. You are not. You get exactly one vote, and so does every Mormon, and invoking the magic words “civil rights” does not automatically mean you get everything you want, without having to prove your case like ordinary political changes require.
    I say I have the right to observe a distinction between the sacred and the profane. You say you have the right to force me to pretend that your union is the same as a real marriage. That is akin to a beef lover telling the vegetarian that he does not have the right to consider vegetarian food cleaner than beef. You would like to destroy my ability to practice the belief that sex within marriage is sacred and merely recreational sex is not. You would do this the same way the beef eater would stop vegetarianism: by making it a crime, “discrimination”, to observe the difference.
    But you haven’t established why you are entitled to this right. All the gay community has managed to do is pour a steady stream of hate at Christianity, without coming up with any real answers to the real questions. Nobody is hunting down gay people to persecute them. We are merely setting limits on your ability to get in our faces with your deliberately provoking behaviors, which is not the same thing at all – as evidenced by the fact that gays just can’t leave the Mormons alone.
    They have as much right to participate in the political process as you do. Equality means “even THOSE PEOPLE” have rights.

  • Kiro

    Lara, if you want gays to have the right to marry, you need to explain why you have the right to be presumed the parent of a child you know perfectly well you’re not the parent of.
    Fraud is not a civil right.

  • Kiro

    By the way, Lara, I do not begrudge gays the right to choose their own life-partner.
    I do not begrudge them the right to have their union recognized as such.
    I just have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why I must be legally forced into pretending this union is the same as marriage.
    It is not the same.
    Love is only one aspect of marriage – an institution that was about cementing and recognizing family bonds for centuries, and only recently became something that was supposed to be “emotionally fulfilling”.
    Gays can have unions, but procreative benefits should rightfully be shared with the child’s other real parent.
    Appropriating someone elses’ baby for reasons that have nothing to do with the child’s welfare does not make someone a “second mommy”. It merely makes someone a bad person.

  • Your Name

    This is in response to Mr. AJ who clearly does not deserve his Ph.D. (if he really has one).
    To equate a homosexual lifestyle with a murderous one is not only reprehensible, it makes one wonder how someone like you, who uses this type of logic, ever received a Ph.D. Shame on you!

  • Lara

    Kiro,
    Well, I thank you for at least recognizing that gays should have a right to choose a life partner and to have that relationship recognized in some way. What I fail to see is how legalized gay marriage forces you to change your beliefs in any way. You say you would be forced by law to recognize their relationships as marriage–a thing which you hold to be sacred. How so? When laws banning interracial marriage were found to be unconstitutional, there were many Americans who continued to insist that mixed-race marriages were an abomination to God and that they would refuse to recognize them as being on equal footing with same-race marriages. There are still people who believe that, sadly.
    Gay couples do not care if you personally oppose their marriages and don’t view them as being on equal footing with your own marriage. (By the way, haven’t Mormons long held the view that their own temple sealing weddings were far superior to civil marriages–and the only ones that would be recognized by God in the afterlife? How is this view drastically changed with the legalization of gay marriage?) What LGBTs want is equal treatment from their GOVERNMENT. It’s the government that has to change–not you. It’d be nice of you to treat them equally, but it isn’t necessary. You make it sound as if you’ll be forced at gunpoint to throw rice at their weddings and buy them a toaster. Apparently, the very existence of gay married couples is enough to qualify as being “in your face.”
    Secondly, I’m not sure that I follow all your rants about appropriating someone else’s child, fraud, etc. People have been adopting other people’s children for a long time now. Using donated eggs, sperm, and embryos is quite common in today’s fertility clinics. People divorce and remarry all the time and care for the other’s children. My cousin, whose mother remarried when she was three, prefers to call her stepfather “Daddy” and her biological father (whom she sees two weeks out of the year) “Daddy (his name)”. I don’t see anything wrong with that. There is much more to being a parent than being a DNA contributor. I don’t see how that changes with same-sex parenting. In fact, I think it’s probably a lot easier than single parenthood.

  • Jack

    @ Mike and everyone who answered his question about homosexuality in nature.
    Actually, there is NO known example of homosexual relationships in nature, only heterosexual and bisexual. Regardless, using animal behavior as a model for human behavior is probably not a good idea.
    I often hear the justification that homosexual relationships can be loving relationships in the same way as healthy heterosexual relationships and that such relationships are not immoral. Surely the relationships between siblings, parents, and even friends can be just as affectionate (and even more in many cases) but without the erotic component. I am surprised when people who believe in the the teachings of the Mormon church diverge from the church here. Nobody in this church is supposed to have a sexual relationship outside of marriage no matter how much they love each other. Is it possible that this issue is more about sexual acts than we like to think? Sexual experience is certainly the foundation of many heterosexual relationships, but the Mormons are emphasizing pro-creative powers of sex and their role in constructing families in defining the morality of relationships.
    I am interested in your thoughts.

  • Chelsea

    I know this is a really difficult concept to swallow, but Elder Packer is giving us guidance from God. I simply don’t believe that Heavenly Father would allow any of the apostles to mislead us. He loves us too much to do that.
    If you have a testimony of that much, the rest will eventually fall into place. I believe that any hurt feelings on this part are due to misunderstanding or misinterpretation – our own imperfections, not the Church’s.
    I was struggling with his statements for a while – I have homosexual friends and relatives, just like anyone else does – but I read an article from Elder Holland that really helped me. It was printed in the Ensign in 2007, and it’s entitled “Helping Those Who Struggle With Same-Gender Attraction”. It helped me more fully understand the Church’s stand on homosexuality — they do not reject, discriminate against, or hate homosexuals. Homosexuals are fully entitled to receive the blessings of heaven, IF they do not give into the temptations they are experiencing. Homosexual feelings are not the issue – they are a temptation, and a very difficult one to overcome – but it is ACTING upon those feelings that is the sin.
    I know that this Church is true. It makes me so sad to hear all of these good LDS Church members struggling with the talk given by Elder Packer. I sincerely hope that we can learn to overcome this obstacle. It’s just one of those principles that’s difficult for us to accept – but it is from Heavenly Father, I testify of that.
    With love,
    Chelsea

  • william S Burroughs

    If you’re doing business with a religous son-of-a-bitch, GET IT IN WRITING. His word isn’t worth shit. Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.

  • Mordred08

    Kiro: “you’re trying to say that they can’t be Mormon – that everyone has to share your belief, your secular humanist values and beliefs about questions like why we’re here, what matters, when and whether to have sex, and how to define kinship obligations.”
    Never said that. That’s a lie. Pretty sure I said you demand everyone in the world treat same-sex relations as pure evil. And when they don’t, you get mad and cry fascism. Kind of like you’re doing right now.
    “You say you have the right to force me to pretend that your union is the same as a real marriage.”
    Actually, I encourage you to tell gay couples they are perverts living in sin, and be sure to compare them to pedophiles and serial killers while you’re at it. Because the world could use a few more atheists.
    “You would do this the same way the beef eater would stop vegetarianism: by making it a crime, “discrimination”, to observe the difference.”
    Ok, my turn to make unfounded accusations. Not only are you a paranoid Christian who thinks the evil homos are out to get you. You’re also a paranoid vegetarian who thinks meat eaters like myself are going to force you to eat steak. You have a persecution complex so big it needs its own zip code.

  • Pingback: Feature: For Mormons, What Does ‘Follow the Prophet’ Really Mean? - Beliefnet News

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Laura

    Some have questioned the author’s criticism of a leader of the Church. It is our duty as Latter Day Saints to be alert to the words of the Prophets and to hold them accountable for what they say. It is our duty to listen carefully and make sure that the Lord’s voice is heard and not just man’s. I almost left this Church that I had converted to — just before the Blacks were given the priesthood. We should never follow blindly.

    I believe that all humans are equal and should be treated with deep respect and love. It is not up to us to judge. We are all children of Heavenly Father, He loves us each as we are. Thank you for a wonderful and thoughtful article.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Steve Jenkins

    Hi Jana
    Ever since the beginning of time the philosophies of men have been and will ever be trying to change Gods Law. How much more plain does scripture have to be than the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? Did Jesus really have to give a better explanation of what God meant than that? Unlike God men have always been willing to modernize and change with the times. There are Churches out there however, that are willing to compromise and change with the times and avoid scripture teachings and create their own philosophies to lure members. Those of you that are LDS and are disgruntled with the Church because they aren’t willing to compromise there core believes, should think about making a change!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bitherwack

    Unless Packer comes out of the closet, and says, “I am gay, and I have done all I can all my life to live by all of the mormon cultural standards. I haven’t asked anyone to do anything I haven’t done myself.” unless he says that, he is in no position to broadcast this kind of hate spewing homophobia.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bitherwack

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/23/us/20110523-coming-out.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=thab1#story/user_story_4

    The preceding link is to an interesting article in a series published in the New York Times. This particular one is about a Mormon youth, and his coming out story. I recommend all of them to you.

  • http://manaen.net manaen

    Elder Packer was not talking specifically about homosexual attraction.

    He set the context by explaining the Church’s position that the greatest happiness is available through a marriage of a man and a woman and then talked about threats to this relationship. He discussed pornography specifically at some length and then said,

    (my transcription of his spoken comments, my emphasis added)
    “We teach a moral standard of CONDUCT that will protect us from Satan’s substituteS and counterfeitS for marriage. We must understand that ANY persuasion to enter into ANY relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. In ‘The Book of Mormon,’ we learn that wickedness never was happiness.
    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencIES [clarified to be "temptations" in the printed version] toward the impure and the unnatural. Not so. Why would our heavenly father do that? Remember, he is our father. Paul promised, ‘God will not suffer that ye are tempted above what ye are able, but will with the temptation make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.
    “You can, if you will, break the habitS and conquer the addictionS and come away from that which is not worthy of any member of the Church.”

    In his talk in the 10/2003 General Conference, he said, “In the Church, one is not condemned for tendencies or temptations. One is held accountable for transgression. If you do not act on unworthy persuasions, you will neither be condemned nor be subject to Church discipline.” This clarifies what he meant by his comment about “tendencies” this year.

    In his October, 2010 talk, after setting his context of how to have the greatest joy, he:
    * Warns specifically only against pornography
    * Says that any persuasion toward ANY relationship out of harmony with the gospel is wrong. This would mean a drug dealer’s or prostitute’s enticements at least as well as anything else. Some relationships disharmonious with the gospel would be: addictions, adultery, alcoholism, blogging to excess, eating disorders, flirting by married people with others, gambling, many habits, homosexual activity, internet games, intimate friendships that supplant marriage confidentialities, sports to excess, vanity (primary relationship with self), and workaholicism. Note that all of these also damage the marriage relationship that Elder Packer reminded us brings the greatest joy.
    * Speaks of conduct, not of attractions or desires
    * Talks about substitutes, counterfeits, tendencies, habits, and addictions — all in plural. If he were talking about homosexuality specifically, as so many have been claiming, these words would have been singular
    * Immediately follows “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies” phrase that was the touchstone for the current kurfuffle with Paul’s identical promise that God won’t let us be tempted (tried, tested) more than we can bear it, i.e. we won’t have a desire greater than we can overcome the feeling to act upon it.
    * Immediately follows that with his promise that we can become free of habits and addictions — in which almost nobody includes homosexuality. The official LDS website, providentliving.org lists these as “Types of Addictions”
    - Alcohol
    - Drugs (both prescription and illegal)
    - Tobacco
    - Coffee and tea
    - Pornography
    - Inappropriate sexual behavior
    - Gambling
    - Codependency
    - Disorders associated with eating
    http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,6629-1-3414-1,00.html
    The LDS Church sponsors 9 Addiction Recovery Groups here in Orange County alone to help overcome all of these tendencies. I’m sure that Elder Packer is aware of the problems all of them cause.

    LDS doctrine is that ALL of us have inherent proclivities to act contrary to God’s will:
    “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19).
    Then President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley spoke to the men and boys in the priesthood session of our April, 2002 session of General Conference. Near the end of his comments, he said,
    “Now I wish to mention another form of abuse that has been much publicized in the media. It is the sordid and evil abuse of children by adults, usually men. Such abuse is not new. There is evidence to indicate that it goes back through the ages. It is a most despicable and tragic and terrible thing. I regret to say that there has been some very limited expression of this monstrous evil among us. It is something that cannot be countenanced or tolerated. The Lord Himself said, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).
    He spoke more clearly after that. Elder Packer was in that meeting; how would incest and parental pedophilia be excluded from his comment,

    “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencIES [clarified to be "temptations" in the printed version] toward the impure and the unnatural. Not so. Why would our heavenly father do that? Remember, he is our father.”?

    If they can’t be so excluded, how would this comment be about homosexuality specifically?

    How did his warning against any ANY wrong relationships and his promise that we can overcome all habits and addictions with help from the priesthood (as he says elsewhere in this talk) become an abandonment of all other impure actions and what’s claimed to be a statement solely about homosexual desire and that it is not inherent?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Andrew

    A behavior that is rewarded is likely to be repeated. A behavior that is not rewarded is likely to be extinguished. Punishing a behavior simply adds a negative consequence to an already received reward. As a result of this reality our drive to engage in behaviors that we find rewarding intensifies, developing into a state of being where we are more likely to choose use of the behavior in question over abstinence, regardless of any negative consequences that may follow. This cycle of engaging in a behavior that brings us a predictable reward can become a comfortable pattern. We may even be led to believe that this state was ours from the beginning, and therefore impossible to retire from, and consequently we assume we are entitled to its use because it is “obviously” our nature. How can we possibly be held accountable?

    What a blessing it is for one who never tastes alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, pornography, impure sexual activity, the exercise of power or control over another, etc.

    For those that have engaged in any behavior defined as un-Godly and have received immediate reward for so doing, the trial to return to a Godly state becomes increasingly difficult.

    This is Satan’s carrot and his most effective manipulation of our physical state. The body is hardwired to seek after opportunities to be rewarded. Granted, some rewards may appeal to only a few, but they are perceived by them as rewards none the less. God offers rewards as well, but they are not immediate in nature, some will never be acquired during our earth experience, and we in fact often encounter seemingly negative consequences for our righteous choices, resulting in the need for great commitment, hard work, continual practice, and the patience of Job, and of course tremendous faith in order to continue choosing the divine path laid before us behind so narrow a gate that many, and understandably so, will not find it.

    Simply abstaining from ungodly behavior that we have found rewarding in the past can create a vacuum. Nature (read the natural man) abhors a vacuum. Either we return and fill the hole with the same behaviors that recently vacated the premises, or we fill that void with behaviors, that by design are rewarding and not followed by negative consequences. We must engage in a good cause and with great anxiousness. The body may never fully forget the potential rewards of any given extinguished behavior, but its focus, thus diverted to other good causes will glance back less and less until finally we have achieved a state in which we are more likely to continue in our good cause than to return to former comforts.

    Our condition is never hopeless. We are spirits having a physical experience, not physical beings having a spiritual experience. We are here to learn how to manage, contain, control, and manipulate our physical bodies to provide us with the rewards we seek. We need to make sure we are seeking the right rewards.

    Prayer, study and practice in obedience (all standard Seminary answers) are the keys to success in allowing our wills to be swallowed up in the Lord’s, becoming closer to him in heart and in deed. As our desires more closely align themselves with the Lord’s, obedience to his commandments becomes our nature. The rewards begin to pile up until finally we learn the true source of joy and best positive consequences the Father has to offer his children.

    Satan has no power or influence over man that is not surrendered to him by choice. Our physical bodies, though created to seek rewards for itself, also has no power to do so unless it is given permission by its spirit occupant, the breath of its life. God’s laws are not flexible. No blessings come unless the laws upon which they are predicated are obeyed. He cannot therefore look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Patience and the atonement make it possible for Him to anticipate our future improvement, but until we obey, his hands are tied, and no amount of parental concern or limitless love on His part can breech the first law of Heaven. Choosing any other course, albeit our inalienable perogative, will set us outside the reward system of obedience. Period. Take heart though, our behaviors never set us outside of His love, he never stops knocking on our door, and his arms are outstretched still.

    There is always hope and help. Nephi understood this principle and because of his example and experience we have some the most powerful words ever etched in the memory of history, “for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” We either want to put this principle to the test or we do not, but to complain that the Lord and his servants refuse to make us comfortable in our lack of faith regarding this promise is unfortunate. President Packer is the Lord’s servant and he was spot on in both versions of his talk that day. For those who winced and percieved injury that day, please understand, no matter how much the truth may have caused contention in your soul, it is the truth nonetheless. May your faith sustain you, do not give up, and may you choose to anxiously engage in the good cause of becoming more like your Savior, and being able to repeat in your heart with full authenticity, “Not my will, but thine be done.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment S.J.

    A few years ago, I would have been overjoyed at reading this post. You see, I am an LDS woman who has dealt with same-sex attraction. At one time I went quite inactive and was seriously considering “coming out.” I didn’t. Some would criticize me for not having courage to be true to myself. To them I would say that my own personal struggles and beliefs are not subject to their criticism. I was true to myself – because I chose a different path and came back to the Church. I know this path will lead me where I seek to go.

    Just as I believe that all people are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, I believe I am entitled to mine. I believe in God, and his Son Jesus Christ. I know, for myself, that the prophets and apostles speak for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I do not lean on the words of others to make my way in this life. But I do know that what the prophets and apostles have said is true. We can overcome our human (and therefore flawed) tendencies toward all immoral and sinful behaviors (not limited to, but including acting on homosexual feelings).

    I love my Heavenly Father, and I strive to love all of his children. I am imperfect and do not always succeed. I hope however, that as I grow closer to him, I can become more like him.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Esther

    I am an LDS member, heavenly father has made us attractive to one another but the devil has taken this oppurtunity to take and lead our heavenly fathers children astray, God in his infinite mercy has given us power over all things so same sex attraction should not be an issue to us here on earth.
    if God encourages same sex affairs he would have created another man for ADAM instead of EVE.let us no allow the things that are at hand take us away from heavenly father’s love and let us always remember that God loves us so he provides every thing to make us happy, live in righteousness and return back to him in heaven.
    SAME SEX ATTRACTION IS NOT REAL.

  • http://www.oldmaidmormon.blogspot.com/ Michelle Llewellyn

    I’m not disrespecting your view and I think you’re ignoring the elephant in the room which I’ll get to in a minute but for me this talked ROCKED! At last after so many years of our beloved leaders only saying “smooth” things (see Isaiah 30:10) we have a man not afraid to look an evil lifestyle (I said lifestyle NOT the people who practice it!!!) in the face and call it out for what it really is, a threat to the creation of the family! I demand more fire and brimstone! Go Elder Packer! It really irks me that the LGBT totally ignore women like me who also want to get married but can’t because too many men are more interesed in kissing each other than kissing ME! Blog about THAT!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MiKe

    Actually I don’t understand the title you wrote. You believe that President Packer is an apostle and you say that he is wrong??? so it means he doesn’t recieve revelation and consequently he isn’t an apostle?? i don’t get, this is the True or not?? It guided by Jesus Christ or not??? If it is guided by Him then it’s the true Chruch, but if it isn’t then it is not the true Church.
    Things are the way they are, we cannot hange God’s laws just because I have some passion that I love, He loves us that is true, that’s why He sends prophets and APOSTLES today, so they can teach us the truth.
    I’m not going to argue against your ponit of view, I know that you have your agency tothinkk whatever you may think, but it doesn’t mean you’are correct. i just want to point out that the fact of not accepting REVELATION coming from the prophets seers and revelators is like not believing in the TRUE CHURCH.
    I respect those who are from different tendencies, I testify that they are CHILDREN OF GOD, they weren’t born like that, but their sorrounding made them like that, they can be saved in the kingdom of God if they live the eternal laws God gave. They have the same opportunity as you and me, Heavenky father loves them and he wants us to obey His commandments. I testify this is Christ’s Church. guided by prophets, seers and revelators.

    • Jana Riess

      “You believe that President Packer is an apostle and you say that he is wrong??? ” Yes. In what way was that not clear?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    i have often questioned this even though in Deut it does say that man shall not lie with man.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Brent

    The scriptures are clear in numerous places that homosexuality is wrong. The topical guide has a list I won’t bother reproducing here.

    Even if you wanted to point out that the Bible contains things we don’t necessarily revere as doctrine now (women cutting hair for example), that’s what modern leaders are for. And even if President Packer’s talk was rather insensitive, across the board the apostles are telling us the Bible has it right and that homosexual acts are wrong. I’m not sure how any faithful Mormon can really justify thinking otherwise.

    That doesn’t justify being unkind to gay people. But that doesn’t mean we should approve of their sins, either.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dallin

    Hi Jana,

    I’m hoping I can explain some of Elder Packer’s comments. I think a lot of the anger felt over this talk was because of a misunderstanding over what he meant, and I’d like to try to explain that.

    I think the key difference here is how we think of being gay. The church teaches clearly that we don’t believe people are born with a fundamental difference in their bodily chemistry that means they are attracted to the same sex at a fundamental level that cannot be changed. This is what our world thinks of as being gay. Instead, the church teaches that people can develop strong temptations to seek sexual activity with the same sex seemingly from birth. Elder Packer was trying to express that although these temptations do exist and come about seemingly naturally and from birth at times, they are not a fundamental part of who we are that cannot be overcome.

    His statement was that “some suppose they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies.” ‘Preset and cannot overcome’ is referring to our belief that homosexuality is not a function of irreversible bodily chemistry but a temptation, though sometimes strong and seemingly natural. With this alternate understanding of ‘being gay’, we understand it is no longer something such as a disability or bodily inadequacy that would naturally block us from creating a family.

    While it is not wrong to question, I believe it is important that if we don’t agree with an Apostle or church doctrine that we make it a serious matter of study and prayer, as I’m sure you have. Homosexuality is clearly identified as wrong throughout the scriptures and by modern prophets. Although we do not know if He taught about it in His earthly ministry, we can be certain that Christ taught His prophets at other times that homosexuality is a sin from these sources. Thus, I think we should be careful about settling on a belief contrary to the truth revealed by both modern and ancient prophets. While I believe disabled people will have their opportunity after this life, the family is so very important to our eternal salvation it should not be eschewed in this life due to a temptation to pursue homosexuality.

    If you want to talk more feel free to email me. I appreciate your writing talents and faith and would love to have a further discussion with you.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lindsay

    I applaud you for this post and for sticking to your guns. I agree with you wholeheartedly and wish to God that more members spoke their minds rather than quote a general authority as if we didn’t have the right to our own thoughts, ideas, opinions, and revelation.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jeffrey

    Just thought i’d chime in on one small point on which you criticized Elder Packer. You bring up a good discussion topic of how some aren’t able to procreate in this life. That is different than a homosexual relationship, because those are physical limitations that could possibly be due to events that happened after birth. After the resurrection when all are restored, in the millennium, the couple can procreate according to God’s plan. That goes for all people who were born handicapped or otherwise physically unable to procreate. Homosexual relationships are fundamentally, and eternally in contradiction with the laws of nature, and thereby the laws of God.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mr. Kay D. Jenkins

    I have been a life-long member of the Morm0n Church.I believe that what we do or did in the pre-exixtence and what we do on this earth determines what will happen to us in the next life.
    I also belief that Joseph Smith was more obedient than I was in the former life than I was. We each had & have failings in the former life and this life that causes us to do certain things.
    Let’s take Jana Riess’ statement, “Gay people are not lesser children of God, or morally compromised, or disabled, for being attracted to people of the same sex.” Then why is it a sin to act out in a homosexual situation. We are even judged for our thoughts according to Christ. Let us take it a step further and say that it is not a sin to murder and kill some innocent person. We should legalize it. It’s not their fault that they took an innocent life.
    To answer her statement, “I believe that Elder Packer is wrong,” that I would say, “I believe that Elder Packer is right.” There is nothing godly with a gay relationship. If being gay is not a sin then maybe I could go along with her but, being gay is a sin and is a sexual sin that is topped only by murder.
    Jana Riess should read 3 Nephi 28:34,35 – - where is says that if we do not take heed to His Apostles and Prophets whom he hath sent, it would be better for them not to have been born. Now I don’t say this but the Book of Mormon says it and if Pres. Monson didn’t believe what Elder Packer said, he would let us know accordingly.
    In her last statement, “Why do we fixate so much of our attention on condemning homosexuality, a subject that Christ did not address a single time in his earthly minstry?”In 3 Ne. 28:34, it says,”And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath sent among them; (Doesn’t this include Elder Packer?) for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him;…In verse 35, “it would be better for them if they had not been born,…
    I believe that the gay people did something in the pre-existent life or this life to be what they are. Don’t try to blame God or somebody else for our problems whatever they might be.

  • http://public.wsu.edu/~taflinge/biology.html James

    I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have several gay people in my family including my brother and a brother in law. Do I love them? Yes. I know that they are just as much a child of God as I am. Do I fully agree with Elder Packers words? No. However, I think his words can still be open to interpretation. The point I got out of his talk was that homosexual conduct was not created by Heavenly Father nor is condoned by him. Although we cannot choose our sexual orientation, we can still choose whether we act on it. The truth is, even the most intelligent scientist do not know why people are born with same gender attraction. With this being said, I would like to set religion aside. Does anyone know what it means to be a successful biological organism? It is to have desire to survive long enough to pass on your genes to offspring. That is the same definition for any species of life. That is why the family and a relationship between a man and a woman is so important to the plan of happiness, so that we can both be successful as a species and as children of our Heavenly Father. However, just to be clear, even this does not mean that same sex couples cannot have healthy and happy relationships.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Emily

    As a youth in the church, I have had a hard time with this doctrine. I am not personally homosexual, but I know many people who are. I believe in our church, but I don’t think we should stop other people from doing something they want to do. Should we allow gay marriages in the temple? Of course not! Just allow people agency. That’s all I ask of our church. And to not judge others if that is their lifestyle.

  • http://RethinkingHomosexuality J. Johnston

    When I prayed about it, the understanding that I got was that it is not a sin to have a predisposition towards homosexuality. In the same respect, it is not a sin to for others to have a predisposition towards aggression, alcoholism, or other behaviors that research suggests is inherent in some people. It IS, however, a sin to act on it, or to justify our sinful natures are ‘just the way God made me’. We all have our burdens- we all strive to overcome ‘predispositions’ in our nature to be selfish, ungodly, cruel, sexually immoral.

    It is also clear to me that, while it is the right thing to do to push back for clear and traditional family values in our society, it is NOT right to judge a person’s walk with God. Only God can do that.

    I am glad, quite frankly, that there is still a large population that believes that the Bible has made clear what God commands to be righteous and moral behavior regarding men, women and families.

    Those who oppose the current society’s majority belief that homosexuality lies outside the boundaries of accepted morals should have to adapt their lives if they want to continue to live according to their beliefs, not the other way around. At this time, the majority of the people have made a statement, repeatedly, that they do not believe in gay rights.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Richard

    Whenever my personal views are not in harmony with Gospel Principles or teachings of the living prophets, I don’t condemn the Lord’s anointed. I look within myself and pray for greater light and understanding. It is so very true that BKP and others of the Quorum have taken a strict stand on this subject, but I don’t have the power of seership. I am always grateful for the counsel of prophets, seers and revelators.

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  • http://www.lds.org/ensign/1996/05/becometh-as-a-child?lang=eng Joe

    This has made me really sad, seeing so many Latter Day Saints criticizing an apostle. I really don’t wish to offend anyone, but we can do better than this.
    The appropriate response when one of the Lord’s anointed makes a statement that you may not understand or may even ruffle some feathers is to work to understand it and to apply it in your life – never to criticize. The truth expressed by Elder Packer is liberating, not condemning – it confirms the truth of the plan of salvation and of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It extols the principle of free agency, and invites everyone everywhere to believe in it and come to know that it is a reality. Free agency means we choose the way we think, the way we feel, our behaviors, our desires – everything. It takes great effort, but the choice is ours.
    Please avoid the temptation to become like the apostate Amalekites in Alma 21:5-10. Elder Neal A. Maxwell put it so well: “Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone (Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14). Like the throng on the ramparts of the “great and spacious building,” they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne. 8:26–28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building—like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts. In any case, given the perils of popularity, Brigham Young advised that this “people must be kept where the finger of scorn can be pointed at them” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 434).”
    Please refrain from criticism and work instead toward obedience.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nicki

    I just glanced through the comments and felt inclined to say this: God is a god, he’s absolutely perfect and does not make mistakes. Yes the apostles are mortal but God wouldn’t choose them if they were going to preach anything but his word. And who are we to question God’s word? Only Satan would have you believe that homosexuality isn’t a choice. As for the whole you can’t choose the color of your skin? We can’t now but in the book of Mormon and Bible it clearly states that when someone sinned a darkness came upon their skin. Our skin color (I’m a mix of black and white) was chosen by the sins of our ancestors. Everyone has or had a choice. That doesn’t mean it is easy to choose the right. I am a member of the LDS church and I know that Boyd K Packer is a true apostle. We are not a cult. Everyone of our members chose our church because they know it’s the true church and they choose to obey and follow ordained leaders. I sustain our leaders because God called them and because I know they are qualified through him. I am sorry the homosexuals suffer but God’s law cannot change for it is an eternal principle. And for those of you who don’t know, Sodom and Gomorah were destroyed for homosexuality

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment peggy

    Evidently the woman that wrote this article did not sustain Elder Boyd Packer when all the rest of us did.

    Going against biblical laws is the first step to damnation…..

    How are you Jana gonna explain this to your judge ~ our brother that provided the atonement for you?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mike

    Wow.

    Declaring that one of God’s apostles is wrong on any matter, doesn’t matter what, is a step down a path you don’t want to go down. Of course, apostles are mortal. But God is perfect. And would not allow his chosen apostles to declare or teach anything, especially in GENERAL CONFERENCE, that was not truth.

    You can sit there and say all you want that he is wrong. But truth is truth, unchanging, and you can’t fight it. To declare that what God’s apostle speaks on the earth is wrong, is to declare your disbelief in God’s chosen seers and revelators at this time.

    The gospel is not like a lunch line in a cafeteria where you can pick and choose what you want and don’t want. The gospel is all or nothin’. It’s either all true, or it’s not true at all.

    If you’re struggling Jana, and all you others who have commented who don’t seem to understand this gospel truth, with accepting something that God’s prophets, seers, and revelators are teaching, then I would encourage you all to pray for understanding, and you will be taught the truths for yourself by the power of the Holy Ghost. It is completely natural and normal to not understand or struggle with a teaching we receive from God through the mouths of his servants. The most important thing we can do, however, is figure it out for ourselves.

    And most likely, those first few steps of understanding spiritual knowledge and truth don’t begin by declaring in a public blog that Elder Packer is wrong.

    Just something to think about.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment TJB

    It’s easy for someone who has never experienced being gay to tout an opinion and let us that have experienced it know how to get over it. Like everyone else, BKP is a MAN. He has his opinions (as skewed as they may be) and has spoken them. The problem with so many “Saints” is that they are too ignorant (or afraid) to actually try thinking for themselves. These MEN are just like you and I. They are human. They are flawed. They do not “know” everything. they share their OPINIONS. The same thing happened in the 70′s when Blacks weren’t allowed to hold the Priesthood. I remember watching a church video of a man hearing over his radio that he could finally receive the Priesthood. It was supposed to be this spiritually uplifting video but it was completely blatant that the church was trying to put a positive spin on their bigoted past. Hide behind God all you want and say it’s a sin or it’s not natural…dress it up any way you like…but it’s still bigotry. This is an incredibly hot topic again now with Prop 8 going to the Supreme Court and President Obama supporting Marriage Equality and men are going to define themselves through their actions. Same Sex marriage WILL be legalized by Federal Law. Maybe not today, or even this year…but it WILL happen. Yes, I grew up in the Church and I have a great understanding of the Doctrine and there are those that will be appalled that I have actually thought for myself and come to the conclusion that BKP IS WRONG! But so what…wasn’t taking MY Free Agency away Satan’s plan? That’s The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints 101 people. Use your heads. If you don’t agree with it, don’t agree with it. But if you’re going to spout your love and allegiance for God then do so by following his commandments and Love One Another…The problem with LDS members is that they simply do not think for themselves. Why do you think Happy Valley is so full of depression and anti depressants? And for the record…if the general populace in the Celestial Kingdom consists of a bunch of bigots, bullies and weirdos…I’ll gladly pass. Now come on…prove that I got under your skin and hit a nerve by replying something really un Christ like. You know you want to…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Amanda

    I just came across this article now and it made me so sad to read statements made by you that President Packer is wrong. Yes, we should address him as President being that he is the President of the Quorum of the Twelve. I wanted to leave you a link to an amazing speech given to us by Ezra Taft Benson. It is called Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet. I hope you and all those commentors that agreed with you read this. Really read this and ponder it. We cannot be arguing with our Prophet’s. The Lord would never put someone in a leadership position that would lead us astray or teach us something that is not right. And to quote Heber J. Grant, “: ‘My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.’ Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, ‘But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.’” (Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78.)”
    http://www.lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    I find it funny that it is ok with people to COMPLETELY disagree with Pres. Packer because it’s their right but it is INCOMPLETELY wrong for Pres. Packer to disagree with homosexuality.
    I believe that he did not say it was impossible to be born gay; instead, he said it was impossible to not be capable to overcome those tendencies. If someone believes in Christ and in his INFINITE atonement, then he should also believe that it helps overcome ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. It is not a sin to be gay; it is a sin to act upon those feelings. To say that it is impossible not to act upon those feelings it is pretty much telling Christ: Sorry but you failed! Your infinite atonement was not infinite because I cannot overcome this.
    We are commanded to love and to forgive, not to decide how people should be living their lives but the prophet and apostles have a special calling to warn us and guide us.
    Prophet Joseph smith said that losing confidence in Church leaders, criticizing them, and neglecting any duty required by God lead to apostasy.
    By small and simple things.. That includes by small and simple bad things.. We just need to trust God and not our logic.
    Oh and to the guy that said that Pres Packer should “run for God”, Well.. he kind of is so be careful what you wish for.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Brian

    you should know that brother packard was Right everything is a choice even homosexuality. you have to realise this is not a biological thing it is an emotional learned behavior. perhaps they had bad experiences with girls and bonded with men and thus fed that emotion to attraction. or maybe they were abused. in truth our emotions Drive us and our behaviors not genetics . what happens to us also determines what we do and who we are. If you seek the spirit and what christ would tell you rather then your own twisted knownledge that satan has given you then you will see that homosexual people are not of god. they can be good people they are loved of god but they take for granted the sacred union of man and wife and turn the natural to that witch is unatural because of what they have been taught or experienced.
    I gaurruntee if you even do alittle reasearch you will find out why gay people are gay. the best source is the spirit but if you must egaust your ego then do so. The wrong kind of pride drives the spirit away. I wish this generation was not so hard hearted. Christ always becons to us even to gays and lesbians to let go of the twisted emotional connections and form real healthy relationships with the opposite sex. If i were you i would not critisize a member of the 12 Those things you have said will stand as a witness against you at the last day at the pleasing bar where all men shall be judged for if you are ashamed of the 12 then you are not following christ and if you recieve not them you recieve not him.

    if you have questions feel free to email me.

  • http://HomosexualityandtheLDSChurch Justin Snyder

    Homosexuality is an abomination and it is immoral. That is the truth PERIOD! You may not like the answer or agree, but it is the truth and always will be.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Laura

    You know, it’s true that Christ never (at least to our knowledge) condemned homosexuality. But I always feel it’s important to remember that Christ wasn’t really a “thou shalt not” kind of teacher. He advocated the things that were right more than he condemned the things that were wrong. And Christ DID make a point of discussing marriage, and he advocated that of a man and a woman.

    I think Packer’s words were harsh, I really do, and I disagree to some extent on some points. But there are many times I will personally disagree with a General Authority on something small they will say, and Packer is well known for being incredibly rigid in his beliefs. But he also is not our Prophet, and I have my doubts that he ever will be. I do believe in the Proclamation on the Family, and I have had to very seriously consider my stance on marriage and what it even means, and how I can relate to any side of this issue. I see both major sides of the argument, to be honest, but I do lean more toward the Church’s stance on it in the end — not Packer’s stance, but the CHURCH’S stance, which are not the same thing.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment David

    The LDS church has become some peoples whipping post. If you don’t like it or the doctrines just walk away. I find if funny that there just has to be controversy by the offended. So and so said this…. or so and so said that. If I hear something from an Apostle, I follow and accept it. Period. Never has an Apostle led the church astray. Social norms do not dictate doctrine. Apostles and Prophets only teach what is already there. I live in California and watched the ugly happenings during Prop 8. A friend who was a Bishop at the time, had a Prop 8 in his yard. One day they got up and their front door was painted with “Bigot” on it. It was very ugly around the LA Temple the night of the election. My niece was a sister Missionary who was locked outside the gates of the Temple trying to get home while evil was being spoken and property destroyed on the Temple perimeters. Yet we the church were being told we were the haters. We just voted and stayed home. The opposition were the ones to be seen jamming up the streets and destroying property. Prophets and Apostles are not suppose to teach what society dictates but what God has taught. The church will never accept gay marriages. We are taught to be loving and kind to all people and shame on us if we are not. Elder Packer was and is a mouthpiece for the Lord. He only taught that which was given him from the scriptures. Yet he becomes the point man for others to criticize. I have many gay friends. I respect them as friends and people and they do the same to me. They know my stance and that I gave money to Prop 8. Its a respectful relationship to each other. God bless Elder Packer for teaching the right in a society that admires the wrong. If one disagrees with Elder Packer or the church that is fine and your right. I wonder at those who make it a life mission to belittle the teachings or people who believe them. Give us the same right we give to you. We don’t call you a bigot or racist, so give the same to us. I love Elder Packer and his manner of teaching. He is eloquent in telling the people what we need to hear and not what we want to hear. So you disagree with him, I am sure he is not offended. Move along and live your life as you wish and we will all do the same. Loving each other along the way. For we all are sinners and fall short, so the teachings of God help us all to strive to the higher station in life.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Parker West

    I agree with your concern for the hateful words that spew out of Boyd Packard’s lips whenever he finds a mic. But you have fallen into the same trap with him by your use of same sex attraction rather than homosexuality. To many church leaders the cop out term SSA allows them to avoid saying what the orientation really is by acting as if it’s some condition like athletics foot, you treat and it goes away. Damn it these people are not having a case of some attraction they are GAY or HOMOSEXUALS and they can do nothing to change that fact, rather than word around the reality should more enlightened people be leading the way and being examples? It’s nothing bad just different than heterosexuality which is as innocuous as can be. Packard is a dangerous bigot with some sick ideas about sex of any type. As a 12 yr old, I heard him say, touching yourself starts a motor that once started is out of your control placing you in the hands of Satan. Since every human being has engaged in self pleasuring, do we really need to curse kids with such ideas, and how do you process a wet dream but to think poorly of yourself. He stated that you could control your dreams also. In 20 years his words will be used to attack the church just as surely as the idiotic words of Bruce McConkie, Brigham Young and Jos Fielding Smith did regarding the Priesthood Ban.

  • http://bkp robert christopherson

    boyd k packer is a very confused indavigal..if he is ever the prophet ki will leave the church while hes there hes satens son

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Scott

    Re: Elder Oaks’s 1995(?) article about “Same Gender Attraction.”

    They shouldn’t even be talking about this stuff. How the hell do they know enough about “same gender attraction” to be authority figures on it? Makes them seem like a complete phonies.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment bo

    These men are called of God. They are his voice especially when it comes to General Conference, their words are scripture; good luck changing the mind and laws of God. there will be things that would be hard to hear and understand especially harder when you close off your hearts.. they speak and are directed through the spirit. this isnt an easy topic and I’m glad that they are not afraid to say what the spirit leads them to say.. especially when people (in and outside of the church) will attack them and call them hateful through their very own misunderstandings.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joseph Ryner

    @ AJ PhD Brown University “I define a godly partnership as two individuals who strive in mutual fidelity to honor one another and care together for others”
    The key word in your statement is I. According to ancient scripture, God certainly defines it differently….

    Yes, AJ, he defines a “Godly partnership”(to use Jana’s words as between a man and wife, or a man and several wives, or between a man, his wife, and the servant girl, or between a man and his sister, or between a man and his dead brother’s wife, or between a man and his concubines, etc. Honestly, I think you have just defeated your own argument.

  • http://Ponderthis tim

    You bring up some interesting questions of which I have pondered and I want to say some things. First autism, schizophrenia, infertile etc. have to do with physical and mental issues. Homosexuality is a moral issue. Furthermore I feel that if it was ok with God for people to be gay He would have made it so men could get pregnant too.

    I am a Mormon and I too have fought with homosexual tendencies. At 7 years old I was chasing girls around on the playground giving no thought to chasing boys around at all. At 14 years old I developed thoughts of homosexuality. I have since overcome those tendencies. So I know from experience a person is not born gay and it those tendencies can be overcome.

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  • http://rodsreelsandflies@hotmail.com A. Firm Believer

    It saddens me to read this article and then to read what people say below. I am an active LDS member and as such can’t believe that people even professing to be members could get ideas so twisted. Please remember the words of Jeffery R. Holland when he says that in the last days even those of the very elect will be deceived. If you sustain the leaders of the church then you must follow what they teach as it is the word, of God, if you have a problem with that then you have a problem with the fundamentals of the church and should read D&C. Furthermore, I urge any with doubts on the subject to pray and seek for guidance, don’t ask for an answer on homosexuality itself but whether the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve are leading us the right direction. This is the root of the problem of this doubt. Do any of you actually believe that God directs this church and then would let one man be, and I quote robert christopherson, the son of satan, and ruin the church from the inside out? If you believe this what type of God do you believe in? God loves us all and urges us to seek truth hence “seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you” This is an exhortation from the almighty to all of us to never be satisfied to continually search for truth, but after gaining a testimony of the church leaders there is no need to question what they say, if God tells you in your heart that what they say is true then WHAT THEY SAY IS TRUE!!! If you gain a testimony and then continually doubt and ask God for a different answer then what his servants have given then I daresay this could be a vain prayer and won’t help eternal progression. Please pray with humility and accept whatever answer the lord gives regarding this subject especially the hate and disregard for Elder Packer.

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  • Sake Samurai

    Wow Jana RIP SOME BUTT ! Good Show ! You know another thing, Jesus did not drink NEW Wine all the time, the Rest of the time it was watered down fermited wine ! This Perpitation and misrepresentation has to be corrected. Back then they did not have Freezers & Refrigeration, SO if you wanted NEW WINE or Grape Juice, you had to be there at the first squeeze,or crushing, After that it is Alcholic and that is what preserved the Grape Juice ! I am from an Italian family of Vintners of over 400 years so I know what I am talking about ! And besides WINE is GOOD for you and in italy it is considered FOOD ! So they need to correct this one. But now UTAH has GAY MARRIAGE enacted into LAW, and since the Muslims are here in America with their 4 wifes and the recent court ruling in FAVOR of POLYGAMY, setting case law, soon Polygamy will be back in all its Glory ! And the church will be restored in all its Origional Glory ! Great job on this article.

  • steve ricks

    steve ricks that is nery wrong

  • Mark Bueler

    What I dont understand is how you dont get it. If you have a testimony of the church as being God’s then there is no questioning his prophet. If you dont have a testimony than leave. No one is keeping you here. God’s chosen prophets have spoken time and time again. Homosexuality in any sense is a sin and is to be treated as such. If question the prophet than you are questioning the church, so find another church that will suit your needs. See that is the problem with so many Cristians now days they want a church that suits them rather than changing to meet God’s standards.

    • finnmcgowan

      “If you dont have a testimony than leave.”

      Mark, if only those with a testimony can come to church, then what is church for? I find your attitude most un-Christlike.

      • Mark Bueler

        You missed the point. Those actively seeking a testimony or even trying to strengthen a testimony are great. You don’t strengthen or find a testimony by actively rebelling against the counsel and guidance of the Lord’s mouthpiece here on earth.

        • finnmcgowan

          No, I think you missed the point. Christ said “Come.” You said “Leave.”

          • Mark Bueler

            No you are still lost. All are invited to come unto Christ. Those that truly do, have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. They are willing to align their will with that of Gods. Not change God’s will to meet their needs and beliefs. That is exactly what people of our society are now trying to do. Our world has gotten to the point to where they call good evil and evil good. You wouldn’t expect to go into a Burger King and order a Big Mac would you? And you wouldn’t demand that they served you one. You cant go to Christ’s church and demand he change, remember whose name is on the front of the building. You are right all are welcome just like all are welcome to eat at Burger King just don’t get upset when they serve you a Whopper instead of a Big Mac. Christ’s gospel will be taught and adhered to in Christ’s church. If you don’t like whats on the menu, either learn to like it by aligning your will or eat else where.

  • B. Timm

    I agree with you, Jana, 100%! This was almost 4 years ago, but when Elder Packer said “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the
    unnatural,” he said. “Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that
    to anyone?” the Spirit immediately left and I knew his comment wasn’t backed by what we are taught in the Gospel. He unknowingly made the case for so many atheists and agnostics who ask, “If there is a God, how does he let “such and such” happen?” We as members of the Church have the answers to those questions. You could tell when he said that part of his talk, that he was not going off of what he had in his written material. That part of his talk was also not in the written version that came out in the Ensign because it wasn’t doctrinal, and the Church has come out and said that they DON’T know that people aren’t born that way.

    Mark Bueler: She gets it! You are wrong if you think the Church is perfect. The Gospel is perfect, the Lord is perfect, the Church and the leaders are not and it won’t be until the Savior rules and reigns. If you think that they are, then you don’t know what the Church teaches and you don’t know some of the outrageous things that have been said over the pulpit by past prophets. The Church HAS made mistakes (recently they said past prophets had fallen to the racism of the time not allowing Blacks to have the Priesthood, The Book of Abraham facsimile issues etc…) My testimony isn’t shaken because my testimony is based on the Savior and knowing that this Church is the only church that has the authority to act in God’s name in administration of saving ordinances, etc…. I know how I feel in the temple, reading my scriptures, going to church etc… Did you know that the Church has changed it’s doctrine on homosexuality a lot over the last 30 years? By the way, you state that homosexuality is a sin. NOT true according to the Church!! It only becomes a sin if one acts on it physically.

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