I am a Refugee: A Letter from the Camps

Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission – to be of service to them whenever they require it.

St. Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226

 

Today I am not hearing a voice so necessary to the policy conversation. So I am supplying it. I am a November 5th refugee. The November policy instantly created refugees. As refugees we have no privilege in the church, although we used to be dripping in it. As refugees we used to have a home among the saints, although now we are gathered in camps along the outskirts and borders. As refugees we once felt safety in the stakes of Zion but now live with the continual threat of spiritual terrorism.

Like most refugee situations, you never really hear about life in the camps. It is a much more rewarding and universal experience to talk about the conflict that created the refugee in the first place, but not many stop to consider the actual conditions of the refugees born from such conflict. Continue reading

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Today’s Heretics are Tomorrow’s Saints

The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals. Our local leaders must deal with all three of them with ever-increasing frequency. In each case, the members who are hurting have the conviction that the Church somehow is doing something wrong to members or that the Church is not doing enough for them.

Boyd K. Packer, May 18th 1993

It has been 24 years since Boyd K. Packer identified his three dangers of the church. Today we are beyond an “ever increasing frequency” of those who are hurting. We are witnessing a Niagara Falls of those who are hurting and it is morally unfair to villainize gays, women, and intellectuals as the cause.

The time is now to stop blaming the wounded and the weary. Continue reading

A Den of Thieves: The LDS LGBTQ+ Story as Currency

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

St. Matthew 21:12-13

During the Feast of the Passover, Jews came to the temple in Jerusalem from every corner of civilization to offer sacrifice as commanded by the law of Moses. (Deuteronomy 16:16)

Normally the business of money changing and buying of sacrificial animals took place in the Royal Stoa above the southern wall. However, because of the sheer number of people coming to offer sacrifice during the high holidays, such as the Passover when Jesus visited the temple, the market would spill over from the Royal Stoa into the holy area. It was because of this that Jesus observed His Father’s house had become a house of merchandise. (John 2:16) Continue reading

Forgiveness at 112 Degrees

It has been record setting hot in Arizona this past week. Pictures flooded the internet of street signs melting and eggs frying on the sidewalk. This also happened to be the week my daughter was married.

The Monday before her wedding, she sent me a text:

“Just so you know, we are having a barbecue Friday night for all the family and friends who came into town… It’s at 6:45 at our house if you and your family want to come.”

Continue reading

Mormon Women Left Holding the Bag as Men Abandon Scouting

On Thursday the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints announced that it was eliminating the Boy Scouts of America’s Varsity and Venturing programs for all young men ages 14-17 in the United States and Canada. Many observers of Scouting anticipate that this is a prelude to a complete disassociation from the BSA in the coming years. Some believe that this announcement is a non-issue because the Varsity and Venturing programs were already in shambles, so this was just a formal acknowledgement of this reality.

Regardless of the reasons, this announcement (suspiciously given just days before Mother’s Day) has major implications for the women of the church. Continue reading

A New Age is Upon Us

The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember it.

Galadriel, “The Lord of the Rings”

I still remember my very first pep rally as a freshman at Orem High in 1982.

In the middle of the day the entire school emptied into the gym where we assembled together in the bleachers by graduating class. Suddenly at the cue of the cheerleaders the senior class started chanting to the drums, “Eighty three! Eighty three! Eighty, eighty, eighty, eighty, eighty three!” Then they pointed to the next class who followed even louder, “Eighty four! Eighty four! Eighty, eighty, eighty, eighty, eighty four!”

The excitement was contagious and we realized as freshman we would soon get a chance to show our class pride. As we yelled our ‘86 chant as loud as we could the gym erupted into laughter. We were freshmen and our voices were still high and almost childlike compared to the others. But we didn’t care!

The classes continued round and around each chanting their graduating class year. Each time we shouted even louder until at last the Orem High tiger mascot finally pointed to the winning class who showed the most spirit. It was here I learned to be proud to be Class of ’86! Continue reading

April 2017 Ensign: The Gays Are Not the Only Ones in Counterfeit Marriages and One Man/One Woman Marriages Are Not the Only Genuine Marriages Ordained of God

In a stunning turn of events, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints publicly endorsed polygamy as genuine marriage and called all civil marriages counterfeit marriage in the April 2017 Ensign.

For perhaps the first time since the second Manifesto, the Church has openly endorsed polygamy as only one of two genuine forms of marriage. Continue reading