Comments about ‘President Boyd K. Packer: 'Cleansing the inner temple'’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 3 2010 11:00 a.m. MDT

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Holladay, UT

Phenomenal talk.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Very well said - powerful in it's logic and simplicity.

Westford, MA

A true apostle of Jesus Christ doesn't fear to speak the truth when moved by the Spirit even when it is not convenient or popular. His fear of God is greater than the fear of men (and women). Thank you, pr. Packer, for saying and doing the right things. Truly a powerful talk!

Kaysville, UT

For now, I'd only like to point out one fallacy in this speech. Mr. Packer said, "History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot." Maybe he is using different history books than the rest of us, but moral standards are almost always changed by ballot or by battle. As society advances, develops increased liberty, and follows reason rather than dogma, positive changes are voted into law and then enforced, or they are won by fiat. Examples include the creation of a Constitution, revolutionary wars to create democracies where was tyranny, the legislation of civil liberties regardless of race, giving women the right to vote, the magna carta; there are literally hundreds of examples. Uplifting moral standards through reason-guided legislation is the norm.

Either Mr. Packer is seriously out to lunch on this topic, or his is making a false statement to back a reasonless argument.

Saratoga Springs, UT

Pres. Packer states that no one is born gay and then posed the question regarding homosexuality, "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" I have asked this question many times not just in regards to homosexuality, but to so many things that people arrive in this world with, for example those born intersexed or without the ability to produce or bear children.

In my opinion our Heavenly Father doesn't "do" any of these things, they are simply part of mortality, but that doesn't make them any less real. People are born in less than perfect ways and with very real diversity.

I do not doubt or even question Elder Packer's conviction on this subject. But I see little compassion in such discourse and very tragic consequences.

I take comfort in the statements by Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman to LDS Public Affairs that the Church doesn’t necessarily have a position on ‘nurture or nature’ (see official statement re: SGA at newsroom page of LDS website) and that the atonement covers all of the failings of mortality.

ex missionary
Sandy, UT

Maybe BKP is confused, homosexuality is not illegal. Sex is a natural impulse. It isn't immoral. Lying, cheating, stealing, exploitation, discrimination, and hypocrisy are immoral. If he wanted to talk about morality you would think he would talk about ethics reform in politics, the widening gap between rich and poor, the golden rule, etc.

He is right about one thing though, laws that prohibited homosexuality (laws that went against a persons sexual nature) did in fact prove impossible to enforce. Similarly, laws against premarital sex would fail miserably.

President Packer said there are those today who not only tolerate, but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God's laws and nature. A law against nature, he said, would be impossible to enforce.

Clearfield, UT

I don't agree with Mr. Packer (and others) thinking on homosexuality being reversible by therapy, prayer, or whatever. I don't care if he or his church wants to exclude gays, or to refuse them whatever sacraments or ceremony the LDS Church offers to its members. All that's their right.

What I find objectionable is his conviction that he and his fellow believers have the right, and ought to have the right....to compel by law others who do not share his religious beliefs...to conduct their lives by the rules of his faith.

It surprises me when LDS leaders do that. Their ancestors fled across half a continent to a wilderness to escape being forced to conduct their lives by the religious beliefs of others. Now they want to do the same thing!

He and his fellow LDS can conduct their lives and their church by whatever standards they believe to be god-ordained. But....the Church really has no business trying to compel, by law, others to do that same.

C'mon...Deseret News...there is nothing in your rules that should make you ban my post others than your bias toward Mormonism.

Salt Lake City, UT

'"Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?’ - Article

Is the DSNews in the habbit of denying facts now?

*'Gay man says 'reversal' therapy did not change him' - By Lisa Leff - Associated Press - Published by DSNews - 01/20/10

'A gay man testified Wednesday in a federal same-sex marriage trial that the "reversal therapy" he underwent as a teenager to change his sexual orientation drove him to the brink of suicide.'

*'Psychologists nix gay-to-straight therapy' - AP - 08/05/09

'The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday...(sic) No solid evidence exists that such change (to orientation) is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.'

*'We can make it unacceptable to intrude on others' privacy' - Kathleen Parker - Published by DSNews - 10/04/10

'The suicide of an 18-year-old Rutgers University student following an unimaginable invasion of his privacy...

Salt Lake City, UT

I am not against straight marriage.

I am not against Temple marriage, as this does not allow any additional rights and legal protections on top of, straight marriage.

But to remove any other options, by passing Amendment 3 in 2004 in Utah, and then claim homosexuals 'can' marry?

That is just foolish.

And the LDS church agrees that, trying to get gay people to marry straight people so their same-sex orientation will 'go away', is also foolish, and potentially harmful.

My example is:

*'In doing so, recognize that marriage is not an all-purpose solution. Same-gender attractions run deep, and trying to force a heterosexual relationship is not likely to change them. We are all thrilled when some who struggle with these feelings are able to marry, raise children, and achieve family happiness. But other attempts have resulted in broken hearts and broken homes.' - Title: “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction,”

- Author Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - Oct 2007
Source? LDS official website.

Don't agree? Fine.

Do not actively work to make others lives SO miserable they take their own lives and then claim you are 'helping' them.

Salt Lake City, UT

Why is this story buried in the Des News? Does the official spokespaper for the church want to disavow itself from the views of Mr Packer? This story on the SL Trib site has 1800+ comments. I tried to comment here yesterday to no avail. Why is the Des News trying to cover up this story?

Salt Lake City, UT

When reviewing the comments of President Packer, I found myself remembering a quote that President Monson shared during the General Relief Society on 9/25.

"Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” The Savior has admonished, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer–with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot."

The sooner we can stop judging and seeking to put down others, then a true spirit of Christ will pervade the members of the Church and the human population as a whole.

Cedar City, UT

Thank you, DN! I am truly grateful that you are willing to publish comments obviously at odds with the teachings of the General Authorities. This reflects the reality we live with even as church members.

I agree with some of the dissenters. Our State and Federal laws should reflect our diversity. Recent laws in other states legalizing gay marriage really do NOT pose a threat to LDS or Catholic, Islamic, Jewish or any other doctrine of marriage.

Withholding ceremonial and legal freedoms from homosexuals only threatens our foundational doctrine of free agency. We should not do that.

Doctrinal sin is often legalized. And, that does present greater challenges to us as we strive to live in this society. But, on the other hand, conversion to the gospel should require us to leave behind many legal sins.

I believe as younger, more diversely-minded General Authorities contemplate the gay marriage issue, they will support legalization of gay marriage. I hope they do.

Othello, WA

@ 9:07 "Lying, cheating, stealing, exploitation, discrimination, and hypocrisy are immoral"

Not to sure these activities are any LESS "natural" then a sexual impulse. However, just to argue with a - love government more then God liberal, let me make this statement. Against the law or not has very little to do with "morality". Morality especially in this discussion, refers to obedience to the laws and teachings of our Father in Heaven, through our Savior Jesus Christ and his Prophets. Morality is not limited to your little list.

@ 9:59 Maybe your the one who is denying facts? Interesting how you like to "cherry pick" articles and misleading ideas about topics, that you think support your gay agenda. Arguments go both ways, and for every psychotic "uncured" gay person you dredge up, who is "damaged" by society, I can find and locate a person with gay tendencies who has turned their life around, and is happy and content. As for your Rutgers student reference. What is your point? I agree his privacy was violated, and that was wrong. But why commit suicide, if your involved in an uplifting moral relationship that society embraces and accepts as you teach?

Ogden, Utah

I think how these people try to excuse themselves by saying it's just the way they are or that nature made them this way is just laughable. There are a lot of natural urges that people have like dishonest urges, anger and murderous urges, sexual urges, etc. There are also people who are naturally more inclined to have these urges. That doesn't mean that they have follow through on them. It is silly to say that they can't control it, can't change what nature made them. The whole human race has been denying natural urges since man first stepped foot on this earth. Some just don't want to take responsibility for what they've done. It's very sad.

Clearfield, UT


For the sake of argument...lets me assume you are a heterosexual....could you change YOUR sexual orientation (your natural urges) to homosexual like you require of a gay person to do? Could YOU deny your natural urge to be heterosexual? Could YOU change what nature gave you? Do really require gays to deny their natural urges simply because YOU or your Church think its wrong yet you think it shouldn't be required of you? Lets' say that homosexuality was the norm and heterosexuality was considered to be abnormal....would you still require that person to take responsibility for what they've done? Isn't your objection really about morals and sin rather than the rights of the individual? Are you saying we shouldn't allow a segment of society equal rights because of the way they have sex. Would you liked to be denied rights because of the way you have sex? This issue isn't a sexual orientation issue....or a moral issue....or a fighting your urges issue....it is a "rights" issue. How people conduct themselves in their sexual lives has nothing to do with it!

my slc
Newport Beach, CA

I was saddened to listen to Mr. Packer’s speech. I had hoped that with the Church acknowledgement that the origins of homosexuality were not known, things might have calmed down a bit. I was especially hopeful when the LDS Church announced in 2009 that they would back a law banning discrimination against gays in housing and employment in SLC.

My wish for those who members (and nonmembers) who face same sex attraction or have members of their family with this situation that they are not too discouraged.

C. Darwin
Sandy, UT

@Jiggle, you state:"Lets' say that homosexuality was the norm and heterosexuality was considered to be abnormal....would you still require that person to take responsibility for what they've done?
Not really, because homosexuals eliminate themselves every generation from the gene pool there would soon be no surviving human beings to be responsible for anything.

San Francisco, CA

As I was saying when I was somehow interrupted-- :D -- one venomous comment breeds another, and another, and another.

the truth
Holladay, UT

There is NO known genetic component to homosexuality,

there is no known gene nor genetic markers,

and none has been found,

There are many ways one comea into the homosexual lifestyle,

some were brought into it deceptively, lead astray

And through Christ's Atonement one can repent and and be brought back into the fold of righteous livng,

For others who believe or feel they are "born" with it,

then it must be a test given to them by the wisdom of God,

you must pray, and confer, and counsel, ask for help to understanding and strength to deal with that test.

But life is a test.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

By the common definition, God is all knowing and all powerful, even to the changing of the hearts of the willing. What is the sense of arguing with Elder Packer who obviously believes in such a God. Those who argue against Elder Packer's statement are simply asserting that that they do not believe in God as so defined. These people's time would be better spent in explaining their alternate definition for God so that we might be enlightened by them.

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