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 Media headlines have proclaimed the “reversal” of the policy, or report that the policy was “rescinded”. The truth is, the Exclusion Policy is neither reversed or rescinded.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
The following are actual quotes from LDS leaders and official publications, with one minor change in each. Each of the original quotes were made on the subject of gay members — these quotes have been changed to instead be about left-handed members. Continue reading
At my mother’s funeral last week, us kids decided we’d each share a short story of mom that provided a good example of who she was. I chose this story because it showed the depth of my mother’s empathy and how her perspective had changed over the last couple of years. I’ll develop it a little more here, especially as it pertains to those connected to LGBTQ Mormons. And I apologize in advance for the writing – I’m not used to narratives (as you might have noticed if you’ve read my previous posts). Continue reading
We did not expect a Road to Jericho as we grasped the iron rod,
Yet you have named us Latter-day Lamanites.
And in this othering, this “fairness for all,” you have made us a “those people.”
We are your people! Continue reading
Playing the Rules – World Cup Version
Another World Cup has passed with some exciting moments and some … flopping. For those who avoid soccer, flopping is when players try to dramatize falling to the ground to have the ref call a foul and give their team a penalty. Neymar, the Brazilian star, became quite the sensational meme and soccer teams around the world are “doing the Neymar” by falling ridiculously to the ground. Flopping has been criticized for a variety of reasons, whether as deceptive or as an affront to masculine norms of ‘machismo’. However, there’s a logic to it – doing so at the right time and with the right dramatization can provide quite the advantage in the game.
Yet – in my opinion – it’s also a tactic that breaks up the game. The rules of soccer are there to manage the game and protect the players from fouls, but players like Neymar are making the game about the rules. They dribble into players, hoping to catch them off-guard, hoping to be tripped and draw the foul. If they don’t get fouled, they want to be close enough that if they take the fall themselves, it will look like a foul (1). Rather than showing their own skills of the game, they so their skills of manipulating the rules. By playing the rules rather than playing the game, you lose the art and essence of soccer (and all sports). Continue reading
In the few years I have spent weaving in and out of the gay Mormon world, I’ve tried to regularly step back and see myself from a distance, and ask the questions an outsider would ask. One question that has come up many times is “What do you want?” It has come up many times because I’ve never been able to answer it completely.
As long as I can remember, I’ve lived in tension between wanting to be part of something bigger–a cause, even–and wanting to curl up in bed and read a book. I’ve read some great books recently. Continue reading