I may choose to ignore people who comment anonymously. I choose never to be anonymous online myself. I have little tolerance for this behavior.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Same-Gender Attraction: The Mormon Position, Now and Forever




I am reminded of one of the things I learned in a modern church history class I took at BYU in 1984. The tradition of having a member of the First Presidency stand up between speakers in General Conference was to correct anything they might have said that was amiss.

I want to point out that no one stood up and corrected Elder Boyd K. Packer after his October 2010 Conference Address reinforcing the Church's position on same-gender attraction. The Church itself has issued no retraction. No retraction will be issued by Elder Packer or others.

Reports in the news media, digital commentary and other forums that changes were progressing inside the Church on this issue were false and irresponsible, EXTREMELY IRRESPONSIBLE.

Those of us who are stalwart members know this. We have always known this. Elder Packer's talk simply eliminates any room for doubt. His address is consistent with the official Proclamation on the Family and the Church's other information released to the media.

The Church position will remain the same, now and forever.


10 comments:

  1. I thought I had actually posted a comment on this. I agree with your post and your sentiment. Thanks for articulating it.

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  2. Wow. This post is pretty high on dogma, very low on substance. Are you even aware of what the controversy over Elder Packer's talk was about? His talk contradicted Elder Oaks' teachings on the subject of homosexuality in at least 3 different ways, which is plain as day to anyone who bothers to actually look at the LDS Church position in recent years (Elder Oaks' interviews, the Church's latest pamphlet on homosexuality, etc.). You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this. Furthermore, the very passages that so many found offensive were altered when the speech was subsequently published, suggesting that a clarification of the Church's position was required after Packer's unfortunate choice of words. Again, anyone with eyes and an internet connection can see this.

    I agree with you that the Church's claim about homosexual activity being immoral has not changed recently, but no one complaining about Packer's talk has claimed otherwise. What planet are you living on?

    I totally get the conservative Mormon preoccupation with trumpeting the supposed unchanging nature of this, that and the other when it comes to Church teachings, but this is a tired line that just comes off as pompous and ignorant. It remains to be seen whether the Church's fundamental position on the morality of homosexual activity will change or not. If it does change, that will hardly be unprecedented. It will put you in the company of Mormons from years past who absolutely "knew" that the Church wouldn't change, right before it did.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Wow. This post is pretty high on dogma, very low on substance.

    Answer: One of the reasons I post is to point something out that I haven’t seen pointed out elsewhere. I made the points I wanted without repeating anything else others have said.

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  5. Are you even aware of what the controversy over Elder Packer's talk was about?

    Answer: Yes, I read about it extensively, both in the gay press and otherwise.

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  6. His talk contradicted Elder Oaks' teachings on the subject of homosexuality in at least 3 different ways, which is plain as day to anyone who bothers to actually look at the LDS Church position in recent years (Elder Oaks' interviews, the Church's latest pamphlet on homosexuality, etc.). You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this.

    Answer: I don’t think other interpretations of Elder Packer’s words is as important as the clarifications that he makes to his own words to clarify his personal intent. I’m sure I and others could come up with other seeming contradictions based on our own interpretations of other people’s words whether referring to Oak’s interview available in the Newsroom or the pamphlet, “God Loveth His Children.”

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  7. Furthermore, the very passages that so many found offensive were altered when the speech was subsequently published, suggesting that a clarification of the Church's position was required after Packer's unfortunate choice of words. Again, anyone with eyes and an internet connection can see this.

    Answer: There are other possible interpretations. Other points Elder Packer made that were not altered are apparently just as offensive given the commentary I have read in the gay press.

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  8. I agree with you that the Church's claim about homosexual activity being immoral has not changed recently, but no one complaining about Packer's talk has claimed otherwise. What planet are you living on?

    Answer: What I had in mind was the remark Elder Jensen made in a recent meeting in California. Many in the gay press interpreted this as a fundamental shift and a formal apology in addition to an about-face on the Church’s longstanding position. Elder Packer’s address proved this is not the case.

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  9. I totally get the conservative Mormon preoccupation with trumpeting the supposed unchanging nature of this, that and the other when it comes to Church teachings, but this is a tired line that just comes off as pompous and ignorant. It remains to be seen whether the Church's fundamental position on the morality of homosexual activity will change or not. If it does change, that will hardly be unprecedented. It will put you in the company of Mormons from years past who absolutely "knew" that the Church wouldn't change, right before it did.

    Answer: I am not one of those who claim the Church does not change and never will. The Church changes all the time. However, this particular issue probably will not. This is a fundamental belief. Other changes are usually procedural and organizational. It is highly unlikely that something formerly classified as a serious and heinous sin will suddenly be okay.

    The Church did change and allow blacks to receive the priesthood. But this was never a question of “if” it was a question of “when.” There has never been any indication that viewing homosexuality as anything other than sin will change. I carefully considered using the term “forever” in my post title. I still see no reason to change it.

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  10. I welcome comments by others to my blog. However, I would ask that comments refrain from personal attacks such as "what planet are you on?" and stick to the merits. I would also appreciate people removing emotionalism and sticking to logic and reasoning.

    I will, of course, try and do the same. In my answers to the above comment I tried to ignore the personal attacks and emotive language and addressed the points the person made

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