Clayton Christensen says he was misquoted, misrepresented regarding LDS Church, same-sex marriage

Published: Tuesday, June 24 2014 11:57 a.m. MDT

Clayton M. Christensen says he was misrepresented and misquoted in a recent article in regards to the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on same-sex marriage.

Christensen, a Harvard business professor and best-selling author, was quoted in Nautlius, a quarterly journal that explores connections between science and life. The article by Michael Fitzgerald, published June 12 and titled "How the Mormons Conquered America," indicated that Christensen disagreed with his church's position on same-sex marriage.

Christensen wrote a letter on June 21 that was shared on websites, including patheos.com, explaining that he was misquoted. He said Fitzgerald interviewed him several months earlier for the piece and took notes, but did not record the conversation.

"In the article, Fitzgerald reviews the history of how the church has changed several practices, such as polygamy and ordaining blacks to the priesthood. He then refers to same-sex marriage; and in that same paragraph quoted me as saying, '… I think I’m farther along than the church is on this one.' It implies that I support same-sex marriage, and that I expect that the leaders of the church in the future will agree with that position," Christensen wrote.

"This is not true. I did not say this. I support wholeheartedly every phrase in 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World.' And I sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, who penned that document."

Christensen, who served as an Area Seventy for the LDS Church and authored the book "The Power of Everyday Missionaries," requested readers share his letter.

"I understand that this mis-representation of my beliefs by Mr. Fitzgerald is being widely circulated through the church," Christensen said. "I would be very grateful if you could forward this letter to anyone who you believe ought to see this — and by the fastest and most effective ways possible."

The Nautilus article has since been modified and now features a correction that reads: "An earlier version of the article misconstrued a comment by Clayton M. Christensen. The story has been clarified to reflect that he was commenting on a theoretical Mormon disagreement with church doctrine, not his personal one."

Email: ttoone@deseretnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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