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
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
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.”
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
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!
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
The Church’s recent release of a video showing North Star International Board member Becky Mackintosh’s family loving and accepting their openly gay son Xian has caused much discussion in social media.
While many laud this video as a step in the right direction, and indeed a lifesaving step in the right direction, it smacks as hypocritical to many LDS LGBT who see the “open door” love and acceptance modeled in this video slam shut on an institutional level when the church rejects the LDS LGBT children of these families when they legally marry.
They are getting closer to telling our stories, but they aren’t getting it completely.
This video may be an important development, but a far greater gift to the LDS LGBT community was quietly rolled out late last night that deserves both our full attention and gratitude.
I just had my piano tuned by someone I would consider a master of his craft. I found him by chance in the grocery store parking lot last Tuesday. He had a decal advertising his profession on his vehicle.
In conversing with him while loading groceries into my car, I found he comes to town once a year from Montana for a couple of weeks to stay with family and while he is here he tunes pianos to pass the time. I asked him to please come over. Continue reading
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
A familiar anthem rises universally in LGBT writings and speech. It is the triumphant declaration: “I am not broken!” Sometimes at our most vulnerable moments in life we need to hear from others “You are not broken” before the actualization of this powerful statement independently ignites in our soul.
So much surrounds us that wants to extinguish this idea. Perhaps no one knows this better than our LDS LGBT. While each coming out story is unique, every gay Mormon passes universal milestones common to every such journey. One common milestone is the point at which you realize you are different from your typical peers at church. Continue reading
I have paid a price you cannot fathom
To claim an authenticity you but freely enjoy.
Lift the hands which hang down and be my rearward.
See me as I press forward.
I am not coming to join you in a great and spacious building
But as a brother and as a sister under the boughs of love.