11 January 2014

Mormon Newsroom

I was browsing around the Mormon Newsroom, mostly because I'm a gluton of punishment. But I stumbled upon this gem, and I don't know how to handle my feelings...

It opens up with this statement, "On 7 June 2006 ABC’s Nightline ran a story on members and former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who struggle with same-gender attraction. This issue is one that evokes strong emotions and, unfortunately, often perpetuates negative stereotypes on both sides of the debate. Nightline’s story contained some comments that do not reflect the views and teachings of the Church and its leaders."

Here are the comments:

Daniel Holsinger: “There is a very strong notion that I am a sinner — fundamentally who I am is hated and reviled by God. I am alone; there is no one else like me.”

Morgan Smith: “We’re not recovering from God, but we are recovering from the put-downs, the discrimination, the people that come along and say that if you’re gay, you’re not good.”

Russ Gorringe: “There is no place for me in the gospel as a person who never married.”


It's not the bloody comments that are contrary to the teachings of the Church! It's the behavior of the members towards these people! For all of our talk about being a Church of love and compassion, the LGBT members of our wards and stakes have a hard time finding them in our congregations.

Why do you think that Daniel feels hated? Because there are members of the Church that do! Not all, but there are enough. We hear all about the "homosexuals"... from everyone but LGBT people. We see statements like this made by the First Presidency in 1970, “Homosexuals can be assured that in spite of all they may have heard from other sources, they can overcome and return to normal, happy living,” as if my life isn't already normal and fulfilling. We are compared to bank robbers by Elder Mark E. Peterson in 1978, “Since homosexuals have become a nationwide entity, and have come out of hiding to demand their place in the sun, many of them claim that they are what they are because they were born that way and cannot help it. How ridiculous is such a claim. It was not God who made them that way, any more than He made bank robbers the way they are.” And we are (frankly) belittled by President Spencer W. Kimball in 1978, “’God made me that way,’ some say [i.e., homosexual] … This is blasphemy. Is man not made in the image of God, and does he think God to be ‘that way’?” When I see these things, I feel hated and unwanted... by the membership, as well as the leadership.

Morgan feels put down, and every single LGBT person has been, whether it's direct or indirect. Can you blame us? Bishop Keith McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric said this in 2010, “If someone seeking your help says to you, ‘I am a homosexual,’ or, ‘I am lesbian,’ or, ‘I am gay,’ correct this miscasting… it is simply not true. To speak this way seeds a doubt and deceit about who we really are.” That makes me feel put down! You are ignoring my trust in you to tell you something this personal about me, and you shut me down and tell me that I'm wrong? When you clearly have never gone through what I'm going through?! Or how about the douzy in 2010 from President Boyd K. Packer, “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, He is our Father.” You're telling me that I am impure and unnatural... sounds like a put down to me. From the membership and local leadership, I've heard them all... from little things like being called a "dyke" to being told there is an evil spirit residing inside of me. They are hurtful, plain and simple.

The Church has made SO many steps in the right direction since the 1960's, and since 2006, when this article was published. But if you think for one second that we are "at the forefront at having love and compassion", you are horribly mistaken.


  1. I hate to even think what they say about the GID men and women within the LGBT community. Pretty sure God isn't very impressed with these "leaders".

  2. Very truly spoken. I was commenting with a new friend recently how hard it is to be scared of people knowing I am gay at church. It shouldn't be that way.

  3. On the discrimination aspect of this argument all I can say is I'm sorry for those that have ever been made to feel ashamed or impure, that simply isn't how I believe Christ would lead his church. However, I must disagree with your interpretation of the apostles and prophets. I do not believe they ever meant to single out an individual as unnatural, only the actions that can derive from impure thoughts and motives. I sympathize with those who struggle with what doesn't sync with LDS doctrine, but is being gay any different than an addict in the sense of committing a sin? No. The desires to act contradictory to the gospel are what can lead to the actual act itself so no wonder so much has been said to try and prevent individuals from thinking that those desires are acceptable. If one does falter there is repentance, it does not make you unnatural, in fact its more the opposite. The words spoken by church leaders are directed at those who commit sin or are struggling with the desires to do such. A gay individual is not outside Gods love, ever. Only you can distance yourself from him by thinking you cannot change. I'm not gay, but I could never believe I do not need to change every day in small and simple and large ways to try and become more like my heavenly father. I am aware that there are those that are born with a variety of innate preferences, it does not change the fact that we must continually try and align ourselves with Christ and Our Father. I believe that as soon as one stops fighting Gods principles and pointing out potential faults in the members of the church, leaders and members alike, more peace can be found in ones own life. Its easy to spot the motes in another without seeing the beam in our own.

    1. Judgement of others is a trap for sure. Speaking as one of many who has employed prayer, fasting scripture study, church service, missionary service, community service, priesyhood blessings, begging God and crying to God to please change my sexuality only to be told by leaders and members that I wasn't sincere or didn't try hard enough I must ask you who is judging and who is being judged in that scenario? Almost every gay Mormon I know has had some variation of that experience.

      Desire to find a mate is part of sexuality. It is an essential aspect of what drives people to find spouses, lovers, to reproduce. In straight people that desire is considered a righteous thing and can coexist with a desire to be more Christlike. For gay people the church tells us we must somehow eradicate that from our psyche which frankly circles back to all of the spiritual acrobatics I referenced before. So it's important to note its not just about controlling a behavior it's really being asked to kill part of ourselves and if we are not successful in dissecting ourselves we are again told we just aren't faithful eenough. It damages one's ability to trust their intuition, to hear the spirit or have any faith in church leaders.

    2. I would never doubt someone's sincere desire for truth and understanding. Christ himself has said judge not lest ye be judged, but he has also given men the authority to be in the position to set standards for his teachings. In a sense they must judge to a degree in order to upkeep his teachings. I do not say that his leaders are perfect in interpreting his will, but we are all up against the wall of God. His word is the way, the truth, and the light. We cannot change that, ever, nor will He. The plan of salvation is designed for us to return and live with Him. For whatever reason many people are born with innate desires that seem to contradict the word of God. I do not, nor ever will claim to know the answers perfectly, but this I do know. If we but have faith and endure we will prevail. It may be looked at similarly with those black members who were denied having the priesthood. I do not know why they were denied up until President Spencer W. Kimball in 1978 revealed that they suddenly could. But I have faith that there was a purpose for it. Similarly i don't have the answers for gay members of the church today, but i have faith that the leaders of the church will set a path as closely as the Savior wants it to be. Listen to them, it may not be easy, but if you believe in the teachings of Christ, then why would you not have faith in his servants? Why not try to be more understanding of the plan of salvation? I admit i'm ignorant to the intense emotions that those of the LGBT community must be going through, but is it so much different than those denied the priesthood prior to June of 1978? I do not believe that they are asking anyone to destroy a part of themselves, only to accept who they are as a child of God and rely upon Him as they work their way through this mortal life. God will provide a place for everyone who submits to His will. It may sound scary to submit, but that's a part of humility, an extremely important and valuable Christlike attribute. You do not have to deny your own existence to discover God, but rather acknowledge who you are and decide to become someone better. We all have to do it in order to prepare ourselves for the Celestial Kingdom, granted we all face different challenges. All i can say at this point not only for those who identify themselves as part of the LGBT community, but also for myself is have faith, work through the trials, and keep yourself pointed in a path that follows Christ's teachings, as well as the prophets and apostles. They are here for us to make it through this life and into the next for whatever lays ahead. The spirit is the ultimate guide for our personal progress, not only our own intuition or the intuition of others. If we can have more faith in our leaders, the spirit may come to confirm what answers we may be seeking, but it's not all that easy. That's kind of the point...