December 2, 2010

"If members have homosexual thoughts or feelings or engage in homosexual behavior..."

"... Church leaders should help them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of repentance, and the purpose of life on earth."


traditionalguy said...

The Mormons are evolving their views. What hath God wrought?

former law student said...


More of my LDS coworkers have been gay than straight. (They move here to GTFO of Utah.)

At least they don't drink coffee, though.

ndspinelli said...

"Pray out the gay". It's worked well for Catholic priests!

Chad said...

I agree with this. Just thinking about murdering someone does not make you a murderer.

Triangle Man said...

"Pray out the gay".

That has nothing to do with the article. The new policy is that being gay is OK. Gay sex, not so much.

The Crack Emcee said...

"If members engage in homosexual behavior Church leaders should help them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of repentance, and the purpose of life on earth."

Methinks, if you're engaging in Homosexual behavior, your member's member has figured out a few things already.


The Mormons are evolving their views.

Yea, right. Got your tickets yet?

Jason said...

Doesn't make a lick of theological sense.

How do you square this with Christ's admonition that if you look at a woman to lust after her, you have already committed adultery in your heart?

Jason said...

Chad -

I agree with this. Just thinking about murdering someone does not make you a murderer.

It makes you a sinner.

TMink said...

Jason, Christ's statement was to let us all know that we are sinners and to let men know that their sinful hearts were as bad as the hearts of women, whom they held to be inferior to their own.

The point is not to be sinless, which is impossible, but to realize, accept, and ask forgiveness for our sin.

What bothers me is how many evangelicals hold homosexual behavior to be some kind of a special sin when Scripture teaches that sin is sin. Only pride pushes us to call some sins worse than our own.


tree hugging sister said...

Well, you know, goldangit, it's a CHURCH. And if freakin' CHURCHES can't stand for something, why the hell have them? I don't proscribe to any particular faith, although I was baptised/First Communioned Roman Catholic, and realize that there's not much use for religion at all, if we want to force their canon into confirmation of anything society gives a thumbs up to at any given point. For example, hubby and I were married by a lovely lady at a County Court House. I have no right to demand a "Say Yes to the Dress" wedding extravaganza at the local cathedral, simply because I wish to use the beautiful location. I also need to follow their rules. I freely choose NOT to, and they just as freely choose to not honor my request for the venue and Monsignor's time. My nose should NOT be out of joint.

That's also precisely WHY there's a separation betwixt the two ~ so that any particular sect or belief system can't override the common good (and, very often, common SENSE) of the populace as a whole. Sometimes, churches are way out in front of things and society plays the laggard, or the reverse.

I'm encouraged when these things happen, yes, but I also am continually p.o.'d by the snarking. Especially the Catholic bashing. For all the cleaving to "man and woman", Catholic Charities have been at the very forfront of the HIV/Aids crisis from the beginning (most major cities had up-and-running diocesan ministriesby the mid'80's) and have never turned a suffering person from their door because of the nature of their ailment. The same can most emphatically NOT be said for many major Christian/Evangelical denominations. But it's CATHOLICS that are raised as THE bogeymen, if there is to be one in ANY discussion outside of Muslim bomb blowers/women whackers. Cripes.

Oh, well. Sorry. I just get bent out of shape. Seems like a "church" is taking a thumping for a move "we think" to be the "right" direction.

Do they ever catch a break?

tree hugging sister said...
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Joe said...

Jason, you can feel attracted to someone without breaking Jesus' admonition.

(Or are you suggesting that being attracted to someone and lusting after them are the same thing?)

Gregory said...

What's interesting to me about some of the comments here and on the article that prompted them is that those commenters--former law student for example--are no further along in their understanding of and tolerance for Mormons than they apparently feel Mormons are towards homosexuals. In fact, they seem retrograde by comparison. I mean, hells bells, I'm Mormon, and I've never--ever--wanted to GTFA from homosexuals.

By the way, the snow's great at Alta already--64" base-- and the red rock of southern Utah is simply extraordinary. What beautiful country. Too bad you'll never visit--or at least admit it do your co-workers.

traditionalguy said...

The old way of dealing with Gay people within Judeo-Christian church traditions was to hate the sin but to love the sinner( I.e.,the Gay person). Today's revolution/evolution requires loving the sinners and fully accepting them. That is not much of a change at all.It is only really doing what we said we were doing all along.

edutcher said...
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Michael Haz said...

What's the big deal? If you don't agree with what the Mormon Church says its members should believe, then don't be a Mormon.

If you are inclined to hold religious beliefs, adapt a religious faith that fits your circumstances.

Or join that Unitarian "church" in Madison that recently hired an atheist to be its pastor.

Or don't join anything, church or otherwise. You have free will.

Mark O said...

We're all Unitarians now.

former law student said...

I'm trying to imagine an enclave as thoroughly imbued with homosexuality as Utah is with the LDS church -- but failing. I guess the Folsom Street fair would come close, but that's only once a year.

Gregory said...

FLS: so your bigotry--or the bigotry of your coworkers--is forgivable because the local culture was "imbued" with Mormonism. Got it.

edutcher: I'd love to hear your sister's definition of Godless. One thing's for sure, your use of the words "they've always" tells me that if you were an artist, you'd wear out the broad brush.

former law student said...

the bigotry of your coworkers

"Bigotry of my coworkers"? These were lifelong LDS church members who couldn't take being gay in Utah any more.

Joe said...

These were lifelong LDS church members who couldn't take being gay in Utah any more.

With all respect, what they probably couldn't handle is being reminded that they were Mormon and couldn't take it. This can be true even for straights who leave the LDS faith. (I found it refreshing.)

Utah is rather gay friendly.

peter hoh said...

Interesting website that had not previously crossed my path.

One of the prominent links:
Answers in Genesis Seeks Tax Breaks for New Theme Park .

Benjamin said...

To those who say that the church "changed its position"--that has ALWAYS (or at least my entire lifetime) been the public position of the church. Homosexual acts, just like any other sex between non-married* people is wrong. Being attracted to people of the same gender is not wrong--what you do with those feelings can be. If you focus on those thoughts/feelings, then it has the same status as heterosexual lust. Lust is bad, acting on lust is worse. The presence of sexual feelings is, by itself, neither bad nor good.

*The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses as its operative definition of marriage "A legal union between one man and one woman." Thus, even if same-sex marriage were legal, it would still not count as a marriage for church purposes.

Benjamin said...

To add to my last comment--the change in the handbook was to bring the handbook into line with the public statements of the Church. I was at that meeting (talked about in the link). The Handbook of Instructions IS NOT doctrine in the same sense that the Holy Scriptures are.

The official public position of the Church has not changed. Only the wording of the instructions given to local leaders.

Quayle said...
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Quayle said...

"The Mormons are evolving their views. What hath God wrought?"

God hath wrought exactly has He said he would:

Joseph Smith penned for a newspaper thirteen Articles of Faith.

Number 9 reads, "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."

From the Book of Mormon, 2nd Nephi 28:30"

"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have."

Standard operation. Steady as she goes.

former law student said...

Funny, a month ago, LDS leaders still believed you could pray away the gay:

Gay Mormons Struggle with Faith

Associated Press
October 25, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY — Ben Jarvis has heard a lot of coming out stories.

For the past 15 years, the southern California-based urban planner has been answering a hotline number for Mormons struggling with their sexual identity. Jarvis, a volunteer for Affirmation, a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Mormons, estimates he's talked to as many as 3,000 people.

Many of them are "deathly afraid," their secret will be discovered by friends, family, or members of their Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregations, he said.

In a faith where the traditional family is deeply woven into theology and where there is seemingly no line between religion and culture, the potential losses for LGBT Mormons who come out can be devastating, Jarvis and others say.

"There are so many great things about Mormon culture and the LDS church, but it is not a safe place for gay and lesbian people," said Jarvis, 42, a seventh-generation Mormon who came out in 1993 and has since left the church.

Some gay rights activists say the timing and content of an Oct. 3 sermon by Elder Boyd K. Packer, the second-highest ranking church leader, that denounced homosexual attraction as unnatural and immoral only exacerbated the troubled relationship. Packer suggested gays could change their orientation with enough faith.

blake said...


Who says they don't believe that now?

Quayle said...

"Packer suggested gays could change their orientation with enough faith."

But then, within a week, the Church, under the authority of the First Presidency, issued a clarifying statement, which says in part:

"As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, ever be used as justification for unkindness.

"Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down."

"Further, while the Church is strongly on the record as opposing same-sex marriage, it has openly supported other rights for gays and lesbians such as protections in housing or employment."

"The Church’s doctrine is based on love. We believe that our purpose in life is to learn, grow and develop, and that God’s unreserved love enables each of us to reach our potential. None of us is limited by our feelings or inclinations. Ultimately, we are free to act for ourselves."

"The Church recognizes that those of its members who are attracted to others of the same sex experience deep emotional, social and physical feelings. The Church distinguishes between feelings or inclinations on the one hand and behavior on the other. It’s not a sin to have feelings, only in yielding to temptation."

"There is no question that this is difficult, but Church leaders and members are available to help lift, support and encourage fellow members who wish to follow Church doctrine. Their struggle is our struggle. Those in the Church who are attracted to someone of the same sex but stay faithful to the Church’s teachings can be happy during this life and perform meaningful service in the Church. They can enjoy full fellowship with other Church members, including attending and serving in temples, and ultimately receive all the blessings afforded to those who live the commandments of God."

Obviously, some will disagree with us. We hope that any disagreement will be based on a full understanding of our position and not on distortion or selective interpretation. The Church will continue to speak out to ensure its position is accurately understood.

former law student said...

Hey Quayle -- I thought it was only Catholics who expected grown men to remain sexually abstinent till they died.