At the Women’s Conference session on October 6, 2019, President Oaks gave a talk that gives an unusual and chilling interpretation of Jesus’s teachings. Referring to Jesus’s discourse that the first and greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor, Oaks equates loving God with obedience to God’s laws. He also states that the second commandment to love one another does not supercede the first commandment to love God, which Oaks presumably uses to justify judging, condemning, and hating others who he thinks are not obeying God’s law. This is his argument for justifying bigotry which is based in hating others and not loving your neighbor.
As an active member of the Church, I believe in personal revelation and depend on it in my life. It was personal revelation, received while in the temple, that led me to the decision to marry my now husband. I also understand that when the Brethren teach the principle of personal revelation (as President Nelson did in his “Five Truths” speech at BYU on September 24, 2019, see Truth #5), they have a different context than which we might all be thinking.
When pertaining to LGBT members seeking to know whether they should date and find love compatible with how God made them, personal revelation becomes very problematic for the Brethren. In response to President Nelson’s Five Truths, below are Five Rules that I think are implicit in all of the Brethren’s teachings on personal revelation. In effect, what they are saying is:
Rule #1: We are prophets and apostles. We are better than you, and we are more spiritual than you. We know what is best for you, better than you do. Continue reading
It is interesting how everyone seems to refer to the Exclusion Policy in the past tense. Media headlines have proclaimed the “reversal” of the policy, or report that the policy was “rescinded”. The truth is, the Exclusion Policy is neither reversed or rescinded. The wording of the policy in the Handbook has been slightly modified, but the hateful, bigoted policy is still there. Continue reading
Sacrament Meeting Talk 5.26
Charity and Unorthodoxy
At Ward Conference, bishop gave a speech about the ‘many paths to Mt. Fuji’ where he asked us to be respectful to those on ‘unorthodox paths’ in the Church and the Gospel. Today, I want to expand that idea with my thoughts on what that looks like on the ground and reveal ways in which we may unintentionally be pushing people away. Continue reading
Maybe it’s all the years I dedicated as a missionary, as a bishop, as a seminary teacher, etc., but I still feel very connected to the Church and hope and pray for its success in fulfilling its mission to build Zion. This is why I am so concerned about current trends of so many people leaving the Church, especially the younger generation. Continue reading
I recently fell in love with the musical Waitress (having already been in love with Sara Bareilles for years). For me, music is like scripture, in that a song can mean something different to me every time I hear it. I was driving to work early one morning listening to the Waitress soundtrack on repeat–it’s what I do–and I reached the song “Everything Changes.” It comes near the end of the show and helps wrap up what is a surprisingly chaotic storyline. Continue reading
I am quite amazed at the number of people who are leaving the LDS Church over historical, doctrinal, and social issues (especially the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage), but I am even more surprised by the major shift that is taking place in the attitudes of active members who remain in the Church. It is estimated that over half of the members in the US no longer agree with the Church’s prohibition of homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage. These numbers come from a study released in May 2018 by the Public Religion Research Institute. Continue reading