On Discomfort and Tyler Glenn’s “Trash”

This morning Tyler Glenn released a music video (link below) for a song called “Trash.” The video symbolically, and somewhat graphically, condemns the Mormon church and its founder Joseph Smith. I don’t believe the song refers explicitly to the church’s policy for same-sex couples, but that policy is undoubtedly bundled up in his evident anger. These are my thoughts on the video. They are intended for a Mormon audience. Continue reading

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A Mormon Life

2041192065_beef1398fd_zI spent several days last week with my dad. He was visiting from another part of the country and we decided to see some classic Bay Area sites. One day we hiked Russian Ridge, a small preserve high in the hills of the Peninsula that provides a view of the Bay on one side and the ocean-chasing hills on the other. Another day we biked around Golden Gate park, where we toured the art museum and Japanese tea garden and saw the most random family of bison surrounded by chain-linked fences.

Over those few days, we talked about many things, and as usual we dabbled in ideas about the Mormon church, faith, and life. By now we are rarely surprised when we disagree, but in general we agree about a lot of things. One thing that we both seem to agree on is that life was not meant to be straightforward. Whatever we are to do, and however we are to live, much of the value of the life experience would be lost if it were not confusing. Continue reading

The Problems of Eliminating ‘Identity’

During the last couple of months, we’ve had a number of specific responses to what I am going to call the “gay question” by three apostles: Elders Nelson, Bednar, and, most recently, Holland. All three have been prompted by either individual members or a growing voice of discontent, rightfully so, to specifically address the LGBTQ+ population in the church (although, this is usually framed as “same-sex attraction” or something more watered down). While Nelson’s talk, which framed the recent policy towards same-sex marriage as the will of the Lord merits discussion, I will be focusing on the responses of the Elders Bednar and Holland. Continue reading

What We Didn’t Hear at General Conference

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Last weekend was the 186th Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a time when Mormons around the world assemble in chapels, stake centers, and living rooms for 8 hours (or 10 if you are a Priesthood holder) of spiritual instruction and revelation from our leaders. We’re told that the words spoken within the Conference Center and broadcast around the globe via satellite are the will of our loving Heavenly Father- the scriptures of a modern age- and Latter-day Saints eagerly await each April and October session, hungry for new spiritual insight.

 

This is often a joyful and exciting time for Mormons as they gather with their friends and families, cook large post-Conference meals, and excitedly speculate on new temple announcements and doctrinal changes. For weeks afterwards Mormon social media accounts are flooded with quotes, videos, and even Conference related memes to capitalize on the fresh spiritual momentum that comes with hearing the Apostles and General Authorities reveal God’s plans for His people.

 

It’s a little different if you’re a LGBT Mormon, however. Continue reading

Good Enough.

holland quote

 

“Take my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above!”

I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve knelt at my bedside with these words (or words like them) on my lips. Especially when I really began dealing with my sexual identity, first when I was 14 and then again when I was beginning my missionary service. I felt inadequate, never good enough, inherently broken, and always guilty for not being better than I was. Continue reading

Mormon Church Announces General Conference Session for LGBT Members

salt_lake_temple_utah_-_sept_2004-2The Mormon Church announced Friday morning it will be adding a session to its April 2016 General Conference. The new session will be targeted at LGBT Mormons and will be held Friday, April 1, 2016, at 4:17 A.M MST.

Speaking on behalf of the Church’s leadership, spokesman Daniel Renault said, “The establishment of a special session of Conference specifically for same-sex-attraction-trial-suffering Mormons reflects a recognition on the part of the Church that they need help.” Like the other sessions of the Conference, he explained, “the messages shared during this session will focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they will have a more particular emphasis on Jesus’ primary message, the importance of respecting ancient interpretations of scripture and avoiding overly expansive or excessively inclusive applications of doctrine.” Continue reading