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Mormon church reiterates its stance on marriage in response to petition from gay rights group

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  • Shannachka Woodland Hills, UT
    Oct. 20, 2010 1:08 p.m.

    Something that has been on my mind for a long time was how promises can be made but not kept. Something we all have to remember (and I am constantly being reminded of) is promises from God are on His time-line and not ours. The eternal scheme of things is the real thing that any Apostle of the Lord has in his sights and not just this life.

    Also, we all have to remember (again) that people are only human and imperfect. So whether the congregations are ignoring those members who have same-sex attractions (which is deplorable to me that those members would even go so far as to ignore them) or people are outraged or people follow their feelings, we are not perfect. We ALL have room for improvement, and that INCLUDES members of the Church. That also includes the Apostles and the Prophet. Even Moses couldn't live in the promised land due to disobeying God, and Peter denied Christ three times.

    One more thing: No one ever said that gay PEOPLE were made by the devil. PEOPLE were created by God, but TEMPTATION and SIN is from the devil.

  • Thinking Outloud Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    Would have been more clear if I'd have used "disagrees with" rather than "disavow(s)" and etc,

    Sorry for that ...

  • Thinking Outloud Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    Seems like maybe these are perhaps the core questions in the minds of the LDS ?

    1) Can gays/lesbians agree that it is possible for someone who disavows same sex intimacy to otherwise satisfactorily demonstrate respect for gay and/or lesbian individuals and couples ?

    2) Can gays/lesbians agree that churches which disavow same sex intimacy should not be required to perform gay and/or lesbian marriages and/or be required to permit those not disavowing same sex intimacy to determine membership and/or participation rights ?

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 16, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    Realitycheck:

    Two points.

    1 - Just because many of us base our opinions on the subject on our belief in God does not mean that our opinions are any less valid than yours are because you do not believe in God. Every person in this country goes into the voting booth with their morals and values, circumstances, life experience, etc., with them, and votes according to their own conscience. We allow you that right, and to deny it to others simply because they have different morals and life experiences than you do is unConstitutional...whereas homosexual marriage is, at this time, not.

    2 - "I'm shocked that you can't see just how wrong it is to force everyone to follow your beliefs" If we were actually forcing others to follow our beliefs, there would be no smoking, drinking or drugs. There would be no drinking Coke or Pepsi or Mountain Dew. There would be no rated-R movies, or premarital sex, or adultery, or practicing homosexuals. There would no Starbucks. You would be forced to attend all of your meetings, pay your tithing, fast once a month, wear modest clothing, etc. Clearly, we're not forcing you to do anything.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Oct. 16, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    Does anyone else feel like the gays you love deserved more from the HRC? I was excited for the visit, and I don’t expect activists to approach the compassion and openness of LDS Church leaders but I thought the HRC, at least, would build on common ground, discuss what they could do TOGETHER to stop bullying, of gays, and the ongoing bullying of LDS by activists, etc. They are human rights workers after all.

    Instead they almost bullyingly blamed, demanded that an aged Disciple rescind something that he never said and that he conform his belief to their morality, and they claimed that APA/activist opinions were science etc. ..

    On the other hand the LDS repeat of compassion was broad and inclusive.



    I’m certain Elder Packer leads in supporting the Church position on homosexuality. As Christ’s steward he teaches me compassion for all, and that the natural born human exhibits diversity in desires, weaknesses, and passions, and there is no need to feel guilt about that, for Christ was likewise tempted.

    Evidence indicates that genes do not create homosexuality, homosexual environments do “illicit” it, and gays changing behaviors for religion suffer no ills. (see Evergreen, narth, etc)

  • amanap Washington, ut
    Oct. 15, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    Thank you to the LDS church for making a strong moral stand on this issue. In a time when everyone else is willing to fold to any political pressure the Church stands firm and it is greatly appreciated.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Oct. 14, 2010 10:24 p.m.

    People, this life is a test. We are all given trails. e are asked to follow Gods law so that we can return home to be with him.

  • gisse Provo, Ut
    Oct. 14, 2010 6:10 p.m.

    To members of the gay community: We as members of the LDS Church love you and care about your well being. We believe that God's goal for us in this life, as well as the next, is for us to be happy and we want you to be happy just like anybody else. But please understand that we believe that the only way to be truly happy is by living the commandments of God. We believe that going against His commandments will in the end only bring pain. President Packer expressed no hate for you; in fact, his message, and mine as well, was solely of love to anybody who struggles with breaking any commandment. I don't expect you to change your mind because of me, but please understand that we believe that homosexuality is a sin, and therefore can only lead to unhappiness in the end. We want you to be happy, and for that reason we oppose homosexuality, just as we oppose pornography, drug use, dishonesty, and anything else that we believe is a sin. We help anybody with such problems, and President Packer's message was an invitation for you to accept Christs help.

  • Peter Australia Granthan, QLD
    Oct. 14, 2010 4:50 p.m.

    Just imagine what woulde be if we were all like that nobody would be here at all. It is a life choice for these people whom take on same sex relationships it definately isnt something they were born to they are still children of a loving heavenly Father BUT Heavenly Father would be most dissapointed by thier actions and regard that as sin against His commandments

  • HCW Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 14, 2010 2:12 p.m.

    Assuming that gay people are born that way then it would indicate that gay behavior is genetically controlled. This theory sets up an interesting scenario. Suppose scientists did discover a gay gene; what is to prevent society from providing genetic counseling to pregnant women, to have their unborn child tested to see whether or not that unborn child possess the gene? If it is discovered that the fetus does have the gene, would the woman or couple be given the option to decide to have the child or terminate the pregnancy? What it all boils down to is if there really is a gay gene; after a generation, homosexuality would disappear unless we want to outlaw abortions. I don’t want to come off as sounding cruel but if a gay gene exists and it is scientifically proven, that is going to be the reality that will exist.

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 14, 2010 12:16 p.m.

    To jasonlivy

    Acceptance of the lifestyle/behavior is not the issue. Denying rights because of it is!

    The American Psychological Association says "there are numerous theories about the origins of a person's sexual orientation. Most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a SIGNIFICANT role in a person's sexuality. It's important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation, and the reasons may be different for different people."

    Is sexual orientation a choice?

    No, human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, sexual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.

    Can therapy change orientation?

    The reality is that homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable.

  • across the sea Topeno, Finland
    Oct. 14, 2010 2:25 a.m.

    Thanks to Mike Otterson for a job WELL DONE.
    Nobody could have done it better... I just hope that all LDS would learn... LOVE and not judge.
    There are families that suffer, individuals who suffer - victims that suffer.
    Thanks Mike.
    Jussi

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Oct. 14, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    There has to be something chemical or horomonal that takes place inside a gay person to make them attracted to the same sex because first off, who would choose to be gay. I dont say that with disrespect but it is like saying you want to be discrimnated against and looked at differently on a daily basis.

    What makes straight people straight? I cant overcome my heterosexuality to become a homosexual. I couldnt be coached, counseled, or sit with a therapist on how to become gay.

    Certain people are predisposed to certain genetic anomolys and I am certain gay people fall in that category.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    Oct. 14, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    TO: Jiggle

    This is exactly my point. We are being labeled haters, judgmental, intolerant, and unfair because we don't accept the homosexual behavior! No evidence has been unearthed, no gene has been discovered, and no science has proven that says 'they are born that way'. Some groups work tirelessly to 'prove' that homosexuality is an in-born trait which would absolutely take away any hope left for those who want to discard this behavior from their lives. For many this hope of a positive change in their lives is all they have...

    However many choose this lifestyle and proclaim that they are picked on. They want us to accept their behavior as no different than the contrasting tastes we have for food, or the divergent tastes we have for clothing, etc. It's calling evil good, a total misrepresentation. This idea was revealed to ancient prophets thousands of years ago that man would fall into these traps! Why are we so blind? Why are we so hard-hearted as to not see the real truth?

    Millions of dollars will be poured into studying the causes of homosexuality. What will we find? That it's ultimately a choice...

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    I am a single LDS woman. I enjoyed Pres. Packers talk and know that it was given with love. It was given to LDS people who believe that the acts of homosexulity is morally wrong. If you are not LDS I do not understand why you are sooooooooooooo upset! If you do not believe our gospel then why should it upset you if you hear something you don't agree with.
    I have a cousin who is gay, she is loved by us and accepted, I have also had friends who were gay. I hear a lot that the gays are upset for the fact that the church's council to them is to stay active and not marry. They use this council to prove the the LDS leaders and members don't understand their need and desire to marry and have families, and yet there are thousands of LDS women you will never marry, never have their dream fullfilled for the simple fact that there are not enough priesthood holders for all of them. yet they are given the same council as the gays,they live their lives yearning for what they can never have,yet remain faithful.

  • Neanderthal Chicago, Ill
    Oct. 13, 2010 8:52 p.m.

    @Craigo 1:13 p.m.

    "However, a person with SSA is expected to live by the same morals as a hetro. Chastity before marriage, and fidelity after."

    Are you kidding? Right now SSA's can't legally marry, and Oak's Church specifically and emphatically condemns it.

    Some Churches teach that you will have the same feelings, intelligence, morals, etc., as you have in this life after you die. Which seems to say that you will still have a homosexual orientation in the next life.

  • Bill in Nebraska Omaha, NE
    Oct. 13, 2010 7:52 p.m.

    I understand how some can actually believe that same-sex attraction is inborn. However, mankind does not act on instinct. That means that we are able to change our lives or even our sexual orientation. Is it easy, of course not. Nothing in this life is supposed to be easy. There are some where this attraction may make it nearly impossible to avoid the attraction. When members state emphatically it is genetic and the leaders are only speaking their opinion especially during General Conference are way off base in my opinion. He is a prophet that chose his words wisely and propelled what I feel and know are correct and viable.

    We were not placed here to be acted upon but to act for ourselves. The same-sex attraction is a tendency not genetic. This has been proven by science to be true. As President Packer stated our Heavenly Father will not give us a tendency if he doesn't make away for us to overcome it. The act of homosexuality is a CHOICE, plain and simple. Those who say it can't be reversed, there is no hope for you so you must give in to it are wrong.

  • Y'shua friend. Hurricane, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    "In the church's statement later Tuesday afternoon, Otterson reiterated doctrinal positions – the church considers any sexual activity outside of marriage as wrong, and it defines marriage as between a man and a woman."

    The LDS Church has taken the same stance by G-d's word as every other Bible believing Christian denomination, for when it comes to doctrine there is only one truth, and that is the truth that has been given to us by our Creator. There are some that would pervert that truth through hatred, but such do not represent the truth of G-d, nor of the Christian Church wherever it is found. Amen!

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Oct. 13, 2010 7:00 p.m.

    realitycheck247

    Talk about trying to FORCE others to comply with your beliefs: Let's not pretend that the post Prop 8 terrorism didn't occur. I saw it and experienced it!

    See, no one can have a "dialogue" with the group you have come on this post to represent, because for that to occur, YOU would have to accept that others will and DO have a different viewpoint than you. But you refuse to do that. Instead you (as a group) name call and terrorize and threaten and mock ("nice fairy tale". What is this grade school?!). That is not a dialogue. That is YOU trying to FORCE your opinions on others.

    We both know that under current California state law, marriage IS and has to be taught in the classroom from Kindergarten on. So changing the definition of marriage would then require that same sex marriage be taught. It is not the state's right to teach children something that their parent's find immoral. So who are YOU to force me to give up my parental rights? And, by the way, Mormons are a VERY small minority in Cali -- we didn't pass Prop 8 alone.

  • Just Truth Saratoga Springs, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 6:28 p.m.

    And yet realitycheck247,

    You reckon time the same way everyone else does in the real world, 2010 years since the birth of Christ.

    And you still came from the first two parents that inhabited the Earth no matter how bad you are at keeping genealogical records.

    Fact is, God exists whether you believe in Him or not.

    The evidences of creation, and an order to that creation, are all around you; even though believers don't force you to follow their beliefs, understand when we don't give in to your beliefs either (of chaos and discord, where no one is in charge).

    Lots of great comments on here. I read everyone's comments and respected how well thought out they really were. I feel for humanity's struggle, being born with temptations toward un-Godly desires from birth, and wish everyone well in living a more perfect way.

    Deny God if you want, but living His way brings me more happiness than I could ever know otherwise--something we all seek--so there is no way I would deny Him and thereby deny myself the love he gives by justice and mercy that allows me to progress.

  • realitycheck247 Sylmar, CA
    Oct. 13, 2010 4:47 p.m.

    I realize this is a religious forum so one can expect religious answers... but most people on the planet don't have the same beliefs as you, and many don't think your God even exists. Yet you would spend millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to ensure people that have nothing to do with your beliefs are held to your beliefs... ever heard of sharia law? is that what you have become?

    no one (outside your church) even cares what your church's stance is on LGBT and SSM. It is only when you use your influence to FORCE EVERYONE to comply to your beliefs that it is a problem.

    Those of you saying "it's not our opinion, it's God's law" or "Adam and Eve" (a real nice fairy tale, by the way) and quoting scriptures... so what? Speaking quotes from an old book means absolutely nothing. You are witholding rights from law-abiding and tax-paying people simply because you have a belief in a deity. That's not even reasonable. I'm shocked that you can't see just how wrong it is to force everyone to follow your beliefs.

  • Ethel Lindon, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 4:23 p.m.

    Very well said statement and one that cannot be argued back. Excellent. Thank you for the clarification.

  • christian woman Hereford, AZ
    Oct. 13, 2010 3:47 p.m.

    THe Homosexual/lesbian community can protest all it wants; God's laws DO NOT change, period. The Bible is the word of the Lord, and no amount of excuses on these peoples' part is going to change it. They are just trying to justify their abhorrant behavior. Love the sinner, but hate the sin. "I the Lord can not look on sin with the least allowance." What part of this do they not understand? I can't imagine the pain they are experiencing with this struggle, but I have to believe that a large part of this is brought on by themselves...deal with it. I agree wholehartedly with the stand the church is taking. The Lord's laws and commandments do not change, and never will. If you have faith in God and Christ, this CAN be overcome. It is a choice.

  • DavidNL Holladay, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    The answer for LDS homosexuals is to leave the church. The church isn't going to change its stance, ever, on ss marriage or sexuality outside of marriage, meaning you will never have a chance for a legitimate sexual relationship (like your parents and siblings). For those who want to pursue the full experience of earth life, including parenthood, commitment, and a loving, committed relationship, there is no reasonable alternative than to leave. To those who choose to stay in: you will be marginalized, by definition, and nothing and no one will be able to change that except you because the church won't -- the church can't -- change its position on homosexuality, other than offering what it has. Start praying for the courage to discover a god who loves you as you are!

  • Gordon T. Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 3:24 p.m.

    I commend Boyd Packer and the leaders of the LDS church for not swaying from the doctrines. Everybody in society has something to overcome so why do they think they should get special treatment. If the homosexual community spent as much time trying to live the gospel as they do fighting it maybe there would not be any friction.

  • marym Provo, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 2:26 p.m.

    A "right" to homosexuality? Where in the world did THAT "right" come from? Every dictionary I've ever read defines marriage pretty much the same way as the Bible describes it... as a union between a "husband" (defined as a man) and a "wife" (defined as a woman.) Whatever else so-called homosexual "marriage" is supposed to accomplish ... one thing it clearly does is to make every dictionary obsolete.
    Who gets to pay for changing and reprinting every dictionary now in existence if the meaning of the word "marriage," which has meant the union of a man and a woman for thousands of years, is altered to include sodomy?

    If you are older than age seven, even in your lifetime sodomy was a criminal offense. In 1986 the US Supreme Court UPHELD laws that outlawed sodomy in Bowers v Hartwick. In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas law forbidding sodomy was unconstitutional.

    And 7 years later we are talking about... same sex MARRIAGE?



  • HopefulHeber Heber City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 2:05 p.m.

    Prop 8 included much more then just not allowing gays to marry...look it up...That is one reason they fought against it, but there were many more reasons why they fought it.

  • NJ UTE Union, NJ
    Oct. 13, 2010 1:40 p.m.

    Though I do not agree with your churches view on this issue, I don't have a problem with them having the view:

    "LDS leaders and members can help lift, support and encourage fellow members wishing to follow the church's doctrine, Otterson said"

    Where I do have a problem is where they work to deny the rights of those who do not wich to follow thier "doctrine", i.e. the work they did with prop 8 in CA. From religious perspective go ahead and define and recognize marriage any way you see fit, but from a legal point of view our govenment should never segragate rights to its citizens. They must all be the same.

    A person's sexuality is not a choice, but thier religion is. I will respect your religious views even though I don't agree with them, shouldn't you do the same?

  • Cali Girl Temecula, CA
    Oct. 13, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    What I don't understand - is what happened to Freedom of Speech? Obviously the gay activist's can say anything they want without the church demanding them change specific words or phrases in their speeches.
    Give me a break. They will whine and cry all day long until they get their way.

    I can tell you something right now - it's not the LDS church - or any other church for that matter - who is upholding the FACT that marriage is between a man and a woman ... it's God. Remember Him?

    From day 1 it was Adam and Eve. Period.

  • Craigo Hurricane, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    I agree with the churches stand no SSA etc. What bothers me greatly is that very few commenting
    here even KNOW what the policy is. Many of you look like morons, cuz you've never read the official churches stand on the issue..

    I HIGHLY suggest reading Oaks Talk with Public affairs on the subject. That settles it..

    What is the stance of the LDS Church? That SSA may or May NOT be something that someone is born with. You may or may NOT be able to overcome SSA in this life.

    However, a person with SSA is expected to live by the same morals as a hetro. Chastity before marriage, and fidelity after.

    Can you be gay and be in full fellowship? YES! Absolutely! Read it for yourself.. and stop all of the nonsense that someone with SSA can change they way they feel, just like stopping smoking.

    I consider myself to be a well read LDS person.. I have many friends that struggle with SSA.. I love each one of them and they know it. I dont judge them and only hope that they can find some peace in their struggle..

    How about a little love!

  • Miss Piggie Chicago, Ill
    Oct. 13, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    @Pete in Texas 1:00 p.m.

    "It's not a sin to HAVE gay tendencies, only to act on them."

    Therein lies the rub. The sex drive is strong and constant. For the homosexual as well as the heterosexual male. To go through life not being able to fulfill that drive can be pure hell.

    "If the gay community is going to get upset about someone telling them they can OVERCOME those urges, then they're full of hate..."

    Perhaps the gay community is upset because of statements like this. The urge cannot be overcome. It can only be suppressed.

  • LDSinphx phoenix, az
    Oct. 13, 2010 12:41 p.m.

    I have struggled with "bisexual thoughts" since I was a teen. I've NEVER acted on them because I believe they are not normal. To me, they stem from being exposed to certain behaviors from friends as a teen, looking at improper material, watching impure movies, even reading certain "romance novels". It's a choice whether I engage in these activities now. I find that when I cleave unto the scriptures, good books, media & music and magnify my callings, that those tendencies to act and even thoughts diminish greatly! I believe many gays nowadays had bad things happen to them sexually at a young age or improper role models or (like me) choose impure entertainment and friends. This may not be the case with ALL. However, I think media/technology have caused this sinful behavior to grow in extremes and is now causing it to be widely accepted. I'm married to a wonderful man with 3 children and another on the way and love my family with all my heart. I'm forever grateful for this gospel of Jesus Christ which when lived truly brings happiness & understanding. The church is true.

  • Two of Six Walnut Creek, CA
    Oct. 13, 2010 12:12 p.m.

    firstamendment says: Locking people into homosexuality through marriage and promoting homosexuality in other ways has been shown to turn straight children gay

    Show me one. Straight people don't turn gay. Conversely, gay people don't turn straight. Both are capable of acting sexually in both camps, but both have a preference that is one or the other. Even bi-sexuals usually say they prefer one over the other, rarely equally both.
    Promoting same sex marriage will not turn anyone gay who didn't already have that emotion within them. But it will allow a lot of wonderful people to live normal productive lives. That's all we really want. Denying gay people the privilege of legal marriage relegates us to second class status. What's good for you, must be good for everyone. If being gay were a choice, then I could change your mind if you'd give me the chance, which most of you wouldn't, because you don't want that. Even men in prison who turn to other men for sexual gratification go back to women once they leave jail. Isn't this just plain and clear?

  • Two of Six Walnut Creek, CA
    Oct. 13, 2010 12:02 p.m.

    If you believe that being gay is a choice, then what do you base that belief on? Did you make a choice to be straight? On the other hand, if you believe that being gay is not a choice, but is an integral part of that person, then just like you, gay people want and need emotional and sexual fulfillment. God said it best you know: it is not good for man to be alone. But then, the church says that there's nothing wrong with having same sex emotions, but that you must choose not to act on them, just as single heterosexual members mustn't act on them until they marry. So then, hetero members can marry to express their need for emotional/sexual love, but homosexual ones can't. Is that what you mean? You want gay people to be good members of the church but to sublimate their natural God given emotions, and to live lives of loneliness and emptiness. Could YOU do that? How could you expect anyone else to? Should gay people judge straight people by what goes on at Mardi Gras in New Orleans or elsewhere? Walk a mile in our shoes.

  • Lynn_Ann Albuquerque, NM
    Oct. 13, 2010 11:34 a.m.

    If Heavenly Father wouldn't make someone gay, then what was He thinking when he made hermaphrodites, or "intersex", people born with both male and female chromosomes and sexual organs from both genders?
    The existence of such people, whose sexuality is on a continuum, is impossible to explain or even to acknowledge by a doctrine that claims a soul's gender was set in the pre-existence.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 11:28 a.m.

    One of the wonderful things about true Christians is that they do their best to promote understanding and act as Jesus would have them act, even while others single them out for bullying and cast stones at them.
    The Church teaches that we are all born with diverse gifts, weaknesses, desires, and passions. Elder Packer certainly leads this statement. LDS teach that we are free agents, in general, and should seek eternal procreative marriage.

    Telling people they are predetermined, and not free to control their hearts, might not be helpful. IF we don’t ask people to control the actions that would destroy these eternal families (porn, adultery, abandoning spouses for homosexual acts etc) we in effect destroy families.

    Religious gays do control without known harm (see Evergreen), and we should love all equally, change or not.

    Locking people into homosexuality through marriage and promoting homosexuality in other ways has been shown to turn straight children gay.

    LDS simply want a voice and vote on the world we create for our children.

    ALL are sinners , this is what LDS have always said.

    There is a way to overcome the natural man, for all of us sinners, it’s through Christ.

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    There are so few people nowadays that even KNOW the difference between right and wrong, let alone have the courage to stand for right.

    Thanks to the Church for standing for right. CASE CLOSED!

  • marym Provo, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:52 a.m.

    What Elder Packer said, in effect, is that EVERYONE - whether single, divorced, widowed, lesbian or homosexual are equal. Marriage in the Bible is defined as a union between man and wife, i.e. Adam and Eve. Sexual relations between ANY two people who are not married TO EACH OTHER is forbidden in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14)

    That means that widows, widowers, divorced people, married people, single people and, yes, lesbians and homosexuals ... cannot, according to the Ten Commandments be sexually active.

    There are literally millions of widows, widowers and divorced people, along with single people who are, correctly, being advised by the Church to adhere to and honor the 10 Commandments on this issue. Why all this silly insistence that somehow the 10 Commandments don't apply to homosexuals?

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    @jasonlivy

    While the causes of homosexuality as a sexual orientation remain controversial, many sex researchers believe that it may be the product of a complex interaction of sociocultural AND biological factors. While the evidence still remains highly tentative, there is cause to believe that some individuals exhibit a greater biopsychological predisposition to engage in same-sex acts than others. Science offers the best hope for finding a way to end the war on homosexuality. If science could somehow definitively prove homosexuality occurs naturally in humans, it would force people to rethink their religious prohibitions. I think it is premature for anybody to determine the cause and because of that they should reserve judgement. Unfortunately, many people of faith will never accept a scientific view that contradicts their biblical understanding about homosexuality. They would be forced to find other scientists – faith-based scientists – to refute the findings.

    Despite a growing understanding of the nature of homosexuality, myths and false assumptions about same-sex behavior continue to abound. You and many like you perpetuate these myths and continue to be intolerant, judgemental, hateful, and unfair to your fellow man. That is what really is sickening!

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    I heard Elder Packer blast homosexual behavior, NOT those who practice it. I'm just curious what sets the LDS apart from the other zillions of world relgions that agree that homosexuality is wrong, or not a part of God's plan.

    Another concept that we as LDS embrace is free agency. You are free to not believe.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:31 a.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a wonderful vehicle by which we learn how to love and served one another. No, unfortunately we are not perfect, but rather imperfect people working towards that perfection we have been challenged to obtain. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the foundation of the church, however is perfect and it was from this Gospel that Pres. Packard was teaching, instructing and encouraging the members of the church and any other who might be listening. Thank you Pres. Packer for not fearing the slings and arrows of those not willing to accept the word of God, but seek to change it to meet their own desires and choices.

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:27 a.m.

    If we, as members of the LDS faith, can realize that the greatest import of this issue is to learn to evolve into a truly loving, charitable, people, we will have assisted in Heavenly Father's work of "all things work together for good for those who love God".

    The challenge that is homosexuality - brothers and sisters who, through no fault of their own, have biological urges to seek partnership with those of their own sex, disallowing procreation and the family experience that we understand to be the pinnacle of earth's experience - is a tragic condition of our telestial world. It is immensely sad for most homosexuals who desire family relationships and procreative expression.

    The only Christ-like response to this tragedy is compassion, and seeking to understand how we can ease their burdens, lift up their hands, and become instruments for our Savior in ministering in His behalf.

    When we individually seek this avenue, we collectively will begin to understand how Heavenly Father can make all things work together for our good.

    Members who judge, fear, criticize, or are strident in their response instead of thoughtful and sensitive will regret their words and need to repent.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:23 a.m.

    I agree that the use of the term "hate speech" is inappropriate. Elder Packer and the LDS official position is clear on moral behavior but completely free of hate. Some rank and file members have a long way to go, however.

    But I am confused why some LDS are upset with this petition. Gay advocacy groups disagree with the LDS position and are using means to express that. This is NO different than the LDS Church using means to express their position whether through this statement or the activities related to Prop 8.

    Both sides are simply expressing their position and beliefs. Debate and dialogue is what makes this country great. The problem is that each side simply does not like what the other is saying.

    The other point I want to make is in regards to so many comments stating that the Church will never change due to pressure from the world. I am not saying they will change regarding homosexual behavior. But if anyone thinks that outside pressures were not the SOLE cause for the change in plural marriage and the priesthood policy then they have no real understanding of those two events in LDS history.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:08 a.m.

    Some thoughts:

    1. Any member of the Church who states that homosexual tendencies are not genetic or that one can change and no longer have those tendencies are stating their personal opinion. Elder Packer stated his personal opinion regarding origin and change. That was reflected in the subsequent editing of those points of his talk. Members can personally believe that homosexuality is not genetic or that a gay individual can change and become heterosexual. But please do not attribute that in any way to the LDS Church. Because neither point is supported by the Church's offical position. Even Packer's belief in these points were soley his personal opinion. The Church remains neutral on these two points.

    2. Heterosexual LDS members have SIMILAR struggles in regard to moral expectations. For example, a heterosexual member who has divorced or lost their spouse after years of appropriate sexual activity is suddenly asked to remain celibit until remarrying.

    3. But reality is that the gay LDS member is asked to live celibit for life or somehow practice heterosexuality within marriage.

    4. Perhaps the greater sin is how so many LDS fall short of the love and kindness expected of us.

  • Bethanymom Murray, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 10:00 a.m.

    Lynn_Ann: Joseph Smith stated "They came into the world slaves, mentally and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls, and are subjects of salvation." History of the Church, Vol. 5, page 217 OR
    In 1863 Brigham Young stated "For their abuse of [the Black African] race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent." Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.110

    Remember that the LDS church was in Missouri when the state was very firmly a slave state. The fact that the full priesthood was given to a Free-Born Black member was considered an act against the state and the governer threated to wipe the church from the face of the earth if they didn't recant.

    "Even from the 1900s to the 1940s, when there was a general segregation of Blacks from so-called white churches, there was no Church policy of racial segregation of blacks and whites." D. Charles Pyle, Encyclopedia of Mormonism

    However, this is irrelevant. Comparing homosexuals to a specific race is like comparing apples to oranges.

    The doctrine of the LDS Church is not dictated by man, it is given by revelation from God.

  • Jolter Northern, Utah
    Oct. 13, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    @Paul from MD

    Science, in the broadest sense, includes all reasonable claims to knowledge about ourselves and the world. If there were good reasons to believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, or any other dubious religious claim, these beliefs would necessarily form part of our rational description of the universe. Faith is nothing more than the license that religious people give one another to believe such propositions when reasons fail. The difference between science and religion is the difference between a willingness to dispassionately consider new evidence and new arguments, and a passionate UNWILLINGNESS to do so. The difference between science and religion is the difference between a genuine openness to fruits of human inquiry and modern knowledge, and a premature closure to such inquiry as a matter of principle. The distinction between science and religion is not a matter of excluding our ethical intuitions and non-ordinary states of consciousness from our conversation about the world; it is a matter of our being rigorous about what is reasonable to conclude on their basis. We must find ways of meeting our emotional needs that do not require the abject embrace of the preposterous. I choose reason over faith!

  • Ray73 Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 9:43 a.m.

    To all the spin doctors out there. I watched a very humble man of God deliver a message to the members of the LDS Church. He wasn't hateful in his delivering of his message. I believe that a current prophet is more valuable in a current message than old scriptures. Scriptures are our guidelines and modern revelation is for our day. Quit promoting your agenda to the LDS Church. The Church leaders have listened to you comments. That doesn't change the way we believe. You are creating the spin on hate and misunderstanding. That appears to be your goal. The Church leaders have made their position very clear on numerous ocassions. Your goal is to make the LDS Church appear to be a hateful church. Why not move on a put your efforts into your own organizations. I have studied propaganda techniques over the years used by many groups including government and political groups. You heard the position of the LDS Church through modern day leaders. Your agenda would be better used elswhere in the world.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 9:29 a.m.

    Really, this isn't about treating the gay community fairly or including them in your circle of friends, it's about accepting their behavior as normal. We will never come to any dialogue or agreement until we all accept that homosexuality is normal and ok. Until then we will all be labeled bigots and haters...

    Their reasoning...why would anyone choose to be gay? It simply doesn't make sense to a normal person. Why would any man choose to be gay, right?

    Well I believe it is a fad. It's trendy. The same reason why people do drugs, etc. Many go to San Francisco, Sante Fe, and other places around the world to delve into their deplorable behavior. If they have no foundation of truth, what's stopping them? If they have no moral base, why can't they involve themselves in any kind of immorality they want? Anyone heard of the 'Natural Man'?

    I do believe there are very few who legitimately struggle with these feelings at no fault of their own. But I also believe that most absolutely choose to be gay for whatever reason and it their behavior sickens me...

  • barbara Carlsbad, CA
    Oct. 13, 2010 9:05 a.m.

    I agree with SyracuseCoug. I would like to see the petition presented to the retirement community where I live. The old folks would tell them to put a sock in it. And most of them aren't LDS.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 9:00 a.m.

    Did they think that a petition would cause the Church to change its doctrine on marriage? President Packer was merely teaching doctrine, not anything else with no other motive.

  • WinSum Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 13, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    We don't vote on the laws of God. We try to learn to live with them.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 7:52 a.m.

    What a great idea! Why doesn't the LDS Church gather a million petitions and deliver it to the LGBT headquarters asking them to give up the idea that homosexuality is a pure and sinless way of life? Then let's get 10,000 LDS people to go in front of their national headquarters and scream and yell at them for not understanding us and agreeing with us. Maybe that would make them change their minds about their lifestyles. Anything else would be Mormonphobic. The LGBT petition, no matter how many signatures are on it, cannot change wrong from right. God bless you President Packer. We love and support you.

  • Pete in Texas Copperas Cove, TX
    Oct. 13, 2010 6:39 a.m.

    Robert in St George and ProvoLow.... thank you for your posts.

    True, the LDS GOSPEL and it's leaders teach to love everyone regardless of what they are like and how they are living. Imperfect LDS individuals mess that up a LOT of times. (As is reflected in these posts....) I feel your pain and understand what you are both saying. I hope your faith in the church is stronger than your natural inclination to condemn it because of imperfect members. I'm convinced that there are those who struggle with sins, and those who's struggle is learning how to love and accept those with "big sins". I've been shunned by family for different actions in my life. That's unfortunate. I'm not proud to say it, but I left the church for a while because of it. Only later did I realize the CHURCH can be God's church here on the earth even with imperfect "saints".

    You both have my love and respect. Keep the faith, brothers. Hopefully through our trials, others will learn how to properly support and help those of us who struggle. Press forward with faith. God will answer our prayers.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    Oct. 13, 2010 6:35 a.m.

    Christian, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, the fight is with a great audience than just the LDS.

    He edited his speech, that was a huge concession on his part. What more do they want?

  • Blaine Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 6:19 a.m.

    I is not reasonable to expect any church to compromise its position on a moral issue. If a church does so, it loses its credibility and authority to save souls.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Oct. 13, 2010 6:14 a.m.

    Jolter, I would much rather follow a religion that claims to get its doctrine from God than one that gets its doctrine from science and consensus.

    In my view, religion is a tool or vehicle for helping me grow closer to God. A religion or set of doctrine that comes from Him will do a far better job at that than one that comes from a committee of men/women.

    As for LDS members not practicing everything preached by the brethren, well, you'll find that in every church. We're all imperfect people.

    But I have to disagree with you on a specific point. It is possible to act with compassion and love toward someone while still condemning something they are doing. As Robert from St. George has found (and I'm very sorry you've had to suffer their bad behavior), not everyone in the church has learned how to do that.

    Love and compassion do NOT equate to permission and condoning.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Oct. 13, 2010 5:54 a.m.

    Pagan, there is a big difference between HRC petitioning the LDS church to change its position and the church encouraging its members to get involved in the political process to shape the laws of the land.

    In the case of law, there is a process in place to allow such change. The church teaches principles and encourages members to get involved. Reading the comments at the time Prop 8 was coming up for a vote it's clear that members don't always do what the brethren would like. Many people were posting that as good upstanding LDS members they would be voting against Prop 8.

    On the other hand, there is no mechanism in place for groups outside the church to change our doctrine. Actually, the only mechanism is from the top down. We believe that our church doctrine and direction come from divine revelation through a living prophet. Pressure from members to change doctrine goes nowhere, nor does pressure from outside.

    By the way, the LDS church wasn't the only one to encourage its members to vote for Prop 8. It's just the only one targeted because of it.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 13, 2010 5:42 a.m.

    Re: TMR

    Great comment.
    Unfortunately some people hold onto their religious beliefs so strongly that it makes them callous towards their fellow man.

  • Lynn_Ann Albuquerque, NM
    Oct. 13, 2010 4:19 a.m.

    To the commenters who hold that the Church doesn't respond to political pressure, see Kimball: 1978, when he changed church policy, allowing black men to hold the priesthood, even though Brigham Young had said that would never happen, at least not until well after the Second Coming.
    Also from Young, in Journal of Discourses:
    "If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain (those with dark skin), the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."
    Times have changed...thank God. And they will continue to.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Oct. 13, 2010 1:27 a.m.

    In my last post the line "The context of pornography was clearly of impure actions" was meant to be at the end.
    Pornography is about the choice to take in evil images. One does not become a sinner because they walk down a street and accidentally see a pornographic piece of literature strewn on the ground. However picking it up and reading it, or lingering over it are actions.
    The response to President Packer's talk has ignored all the context of this. It has also ignored the context of stating that there are some who will not marry in this life. To claim that even the majority of such cases are due to same-gender attraction has no basis in fact, but some are, so to claim that President Packer was saying that everyone would overcome same-gender attraction to the level of being able to marry someone of the opposite gender is not possible with a full reading of his talk, in any version.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Oct. 13, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    President Packer is clealry much better at considering the import of his words than are others.

    President Packer said that God, our loving Heavely Father, would not give us tendencies that would force us to be permanently held in sin.

    He did not explicitly say anything he was refering to. He also, which is something some have unfortunantly done here, did not try to make a clear analogy, a troubled attempt I have also at times done. The context of pornography was clearly of inpure actions.

    I would say that same-gender attraction is a unique trouble. On the other hand, to make broad statements that assert that all people experience it in the same manner is unwise.

    President Packer's earlier counsel to speak of homosexual actions but not homosexual people is helpful for clearity.

    A close problem is that there is speaking around eachother at times. Brother Otterson avoided this in his remarks, making it unambiguously clear of what he spoke. Elder Holland achieved the same in his Ensign article back in October 2007.

    President Packer only failed to achieve such because so many people engage in taking his comments out of context.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 1:12 a.m.

    I've been observing these discussions for years now. I have come to the conclusion that this topic is as great a test for those of us members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who DON'T live with same-gender attraction as it is for those who DO. It's not the ONLY test we'll undergo, but I believe it to be training wheels for what lies ahead.

    What is the test? To see if we can learn to express our opinions without allowing anger, hatred, sarcasm and criticism to creep in. How do we do that? Simple, but perhaps less than easy: we must purify our hearts of all such emotions, and replace them with love and compassion for all God's children who suffer from seemingly uncontrollable tendencies.

    For perspective, if you are honest in examining your own life, you will undoubtedly recognize that you also have some weakness, that, if given into repeatedly and relentlessly, would destroy you and hurt deeply those you love. Consider the irony and hypocrisy of condemning another for the mote in his or her eye, when you've a beam in your own....

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 12:32 a.m.

    I ask this:

    If a leader of another church expressed feeling of descrimination, hatred and bigotry towards members of the LDS church, would those defending Packer's statements also defend those statements? Uh, no, they would not.

    Bigotry is an amazing thing. Those who are pro-bigotry towards others are always anti-bigotry when it is directed towards themselves.

  • Kyle loves BYU/Jazz Provo, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 12:24 a.m.

    "Do not preach love and compassion to the gay community, then turn around and say you are practicing your faith by supporting your leader who has counseled you to serve and minister to the LGBT community." Gracious George

    Does anyone else see the irony here? Or is it sarcasm and I just missed it?

    I really like Robert, ProvoLow and InUtahbutnotofUtah's comments. So many people in the church are quick to judge and slow to put in practice what they preach. You'd never guess our greatest desire in life is to become more like Jesus Christ based on the behavior of quite a few of us.

    Best of luck to all those who are struggling with same gender attraction or anything else. It is not easy to follow in His footsteps. There is another who tries very hard to get us to go a different way.

  • Charity Scottsdale, az
    Oct. 13, 2010 12:03 a.m.

    I commend the church for not sweeping Elder Packer's comments under the rug; it is a first step. THIS statement was great....in theory. As you can see from previous comments, the hatred, ignorance and misconceptions about gay people will forever foster an unwelcoming and hostile environment to gay members. Sure, come to church, announce your gay and that you are not having sex and we all will embrace and welcome you. We all know that is NOT how it is in real life. IF you active, devoted LDS following this topic, are truly adhering to what was said in the statement, you would CHANGE your mindset and your heart. No matter how many times you go to the temple or do your hometeaching, the prejudice you demonstrate to your children and community speaks the loudest. You will be held accountable. Do the right thing and stand up against the rest of the LDS members who do not have the courage to act Christian; I know I am. Redeem our standing in the world.

  • InUtahButNotOfUtah South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 11:40 p.m.

    @Robert in St. George. I agree with your post on this thread as well. I'm a straight, unmarried woman, and have been ignored and left out of many things related to church over the years. It is hard not to take it personally. But truthfully, I think many people are simply afraid of what they don't know. They don't know how to act around you, but really, they should just act normally and treat you as they would treat anyone else. Some people just can't seem to grasp that concept!

    Kudos to you for sticking with the church for its doctrine rather than some of its culture. Also, there are plenty of us out here (gay and straight) who are celibate, so you're not alone! :-)

    Please hang in there. It will get better in time. It might take a while, but there are becoming more of us who care and who are not afraid. I love the Lord with all my heart. And I know He loves you.

  • Dave from Taylorsville Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 11:25 p.m.

    Gracious George said, "HRC likely is doing what they are doing because they feel like Salt Lake City is unresponsive to their concerns."

    Salt Lake City (LDS Church) is just not giving the response you want; and so you deem they are "unresponsive".

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 10:33 p.m.

    Two opposing statements:

    - Your actions are dictated by biology; you cannot change.
    - Through the power of Christ you can be made free.

    Don't blame President Packer for the suicides. His message is the one that offers hope.

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    Oct. 12, 2010 10:30 p.m.

    I still don't understand how the word "hate" ever became a part of Elder Packers talk. I also don't understand how Bebyebe can state the church forces anyone to do anything. It is simple, if you don't believe then follow your faith whatever it may be. If you believe then follow the counsel of the brethen. I have never been forced, my children have never been forced and I will never try to force anyone I know. I have gay members in my extended family and I do not treat them any different. Is there prejudice from others? Yes there is, we will never have an all loving world who will except everyone or everything. I don't agree with their practice but I exept them and love them for who they are. We are all children of our Heavenly Father, he will always love us no matter what.

  • Jmado Vista, ca
    Oct. 12, 2010 10:07 p.m.

    Brother Otterman's statement was right on!
    I can only hope the GLBT pays attention...

  • Bill in Nebraska Omaha, NE
    Oct. 12, 2010 9:22 p.m.

    To Pagan:

    The Church has been steadfast in its doctrine and what it will do considering a MORAL issue. We do not consider same-sex marriage as a civil right issue but a moral issue. We will stand against such where ever it comes up especially where it is put to a vote by the PEOPLE not judges.

    This is the problem between the LGBT and the Church. You have been informed of this on numerous occassions and again it was restated again. In other words, President Packer didn't recant his statements at all. President Kimball reinterated the same comments years ago in the Miracle for Forgiveness and nothing President Packer stated during conference changed that.

    Again the Church restated that having tendencies is not a sin but ACTING upon those tendencies is. We are not in the same class as most animals. We have the ability to think and CHOOSE for ourselves. We are here to act not to be acted upon. Whether they can completely overcome the tendency or not is not the problem here. What is expected is that they to be members in good standing must not act upon the tendency.

  • ProvoLow Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 9:09 p.m.

    @Robert from St. George
    I really appreciated Robert's comments. So often members of the church fall short of the standards of love, tolerance and kindness that have been preached consistently by Church leaders for decades. We're all imperfect, and we all have things we need to work on. Some struggle with homosexual tendencies; others struggle (obviously) with being judgmental.

    Gay members of the Church do have a tougher time than others, though. Maybe it's because they are often more open about their struggles than most members are accustomed to being. For example, I struggle with a persistent desire to view pornography. If I were to come "out of the closet", so to speak, and tell everybody about this weakness, I bet my experience would be a lot like Robert's: I would expect to feel judged by a lot of people. So I keep it between the Bishop and me.

    Now, is that to say people struggling with homosexual urges should just keep their mouths shut, then? No... but I wish that everybody at church would pretend a bit less to be infallible, acknowledge their own weaknesses, stop judging and start showing more kindness.

  • WYOREADER Gillette, WY
    Oct. 12, 2010 9:08 p.m.

    There are so many GREAT comments all I can say is ditto to most of you! There are those few that just don't get it and they never will.

  • dhsalum Saint George, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    The funny thing is, if for some reason the church changed their stance on this issue, it would not be good enough. Some people just need to be the minority, they need to be 'hated' by somebody to be happy. If it changed, they would then mock the church for being weak and claim that it must not be true because the church changed to fit the world. But God truly is leading The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; it will not change because He does not change.

  • dhsalum Saint George, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 8:57 p.m.

    Same sex attraction is just like anger and other temptations and weaknesses that people are born with. We all have commandments that are difficult for us personally. But in order to receive all the blessings the Lord has prepared for us, we must overcome certain things. I feel for those who must deal with this and if they choose to embrace those feelings that is their choice, but it is indeed against the commandments of the Lord.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Oct. 12, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    The Trib reports that HRC spokesman Michael Cole wrote in an email, “Science tells us that same-sex attraction is completely normal, and that it can’t be changed."

    Any "science" that says that has become too politicized to tell the truth. Same-sex attraction occurs in a minority of the population, so whether or not it is "normal" is a value judgment, not an empirical observation.

    The idea that it can't be changed is completely false. Perhaps for some people it can't, but others can change, and many have. That is indisputable. But for HRC, it is, to borrow a line from a different debate, "an inconvenient truth."

  • John Adams Miami, FL
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:27 p.m.

    This is nothing more than a continuation of the war in heaven here on earth--a war not of bullets, but a war of ideologies.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:22 p.m.

    They believe they can pressure the church into changing the doctrine, because they have been able to pressure other churches into changing theirs.

    @ Pagan

    "Live and let live" is that what you called the terrorism that occurred here in California when we, the voters, voted against what YOU wanted? My elderly and widowed neighbor had her home vandalized several times by those opposing Prop 8. Is THAT what you mean by "live and let live?" What about the death threats my friends received against their children for their support of Prop. 8? More "live and let live"?

    Your group's actions speak soooooo much louder than your words! So how dare you preach to anyone "live and let live"?! That is completely hypocritical. And if you don't like the way we Californians vote (of which Mormons are a minority) simply don't move here.

  • SLC Ogden, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:20 p.m.

    The activists are responding to the terrible timing of that talk. Come on, I bet even the PR people in the church office building groaned!! The week all the news about the teen suicides breaks is the week that talk is given?! We do not condone the violence against gays but our minds and hearts are not open. Or we would feel a little embarrassed about that timing. Be honest, how many of us thought, Really? This week? Can't we be a little sensitive rather than thinking we are always right and speak for God?

  • Mara Springville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:16 p.m.

    TMR are you uncomfortable with an honest dialogue?

  • Mara Springville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:13 p.m.

    I think that the church is being hypocritical. Such an opinion will probably not be printed in Happy Valley but the church needs to take a hard look at itself and the practices of it's leadership.

  • cougfan4ever Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:12 p.m.

    To understand that homosexuality is unnatural, all you have to do is think about this: Suppose we all decided to live a strictly homosexual lifestyle, the human race would be COMPLETELY GONE in one generation, PERIOD. I realize it is very difficult to deal with same-sex attraction, but it is unnatural. The natural man is attracted to sin in every form. The purpose of our life is to yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and put off the natural man in every way and become a Saint. We are not alone. The Savior is there to help us become like Him and to overcome all sin.

  • Robert from St. George St. George, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:07 p.m.

    Their struggle is our struggle. They can enjoy full fellowship in the Church. Always great words, but in reality it just doesn't happen in the real world. I wished my life would be of concern. My Ward ignores me. My home teachers refuse to have anything to do with me. The Church really struggles in its efforts to help gay members feel like there is love and concern. I am not saying "change the doctrine and rules and commandments". Just treat gay members as any other brother and sister. Its not a sickness. Its a natural feeling we have inside. I can't help that I like guys. I do believe in the Church. I know its true. But it really is hard wanting to work towards living in an eternal world with gay haters and bashers. The Church is suppose to reflect Gods love. Wow, I hope not the way it is now. I do hope all of this protest will at least help the Church see their is much need to reflect and grow and not just remind us about how marriage is suppose to be. Its about more than that.

  • hbm Cedar Hills, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    One of the reasons the charter school my children attended was so highly acclaimed was because not only did they set a high standard, they also helped the children attain that standard.

    God has set a high standard for those who choose to follow Him. He has also provided a way to reach that standard through the Atonement. Accepting the atonement in our lives has always been a matter of choice, of agency.

    You can admit to yourself that you are choosing not to apply the atonement in your life in order to rise above your earthly afflictions, or you can be angry at those who choose to proclaim the reality of God's laws. Either way, His laws remain unchanged.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:05 p.m.

    "The church understands others will disagree, but hopes disagreement will include an understanding of its position "and not on distortion or selective interpretation," Otterson said."

    There lies the problem. The distortions and selective interpretations perpetuated by the pro Prop 8 campaign. How one fights is as important as the fight itself. The ends do not justify the means. The campaign was ugly and damage was done.
    I'm not sure Church leaders are willing/able to understand that.

  • TMR Santa Monica, CA
    Oct. 12, 2010 6:33 p.m.

    As an active LDS member, I find most of the comment posts on this story embarassing and out of sync with the more loving, tolerant message by the Church spokesman. Folks, before you write a post and represent yourselves as a member of the church, please think carefully about how your post will be received by someone not of our faith. Yes, it does matter for those of us who mingle every day with people of different faiths and value systems. If you are unclear about how your post will be received, then remain silent, please.

  • Andersonsue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 6:21 p.m.

    Mount Olympus is right, go the United Universalists.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 6:15 p.m.

    This is what Pres. Packer should have said.

    It's obvious that people will use what he did say to go against what this statement says.

    It's also obvious that those that do that believe in a different God then the one this statement is talking about.

  • Jolter Northern, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 5:57 p.m.

    Nice try!

    On one hard we have the LDS Church and its members preaching in this article and in life--love, kindness, tolerance, and fair treatment for all people no matter what their lifestyle and on the other hand we have them using words like immoral, abomination, sin, evil, impure, and unnatural....just to name a few, and actively working in the political arena to pass laws based on their belief that gays should be denied equal rights as citizens. This has the appearance of being logically true on one hand, but which in fact seems absurd that it cannot possibly be true on the other. Paradoxes are effective tools for demonstrating that some commonly assumed idea or action does not necessarily deserve our unquestioning belief and confidence.

    Certain religious sects even within Christianity no longer carry the traditional religious view of homosexuality. They believe that Biblical references have been taken out of context and thereby misunderstood. If any religion survives in the future it will have to progress, learn, and grow with society instead of living in the past where knowledge was limited and often wrong.

    No single religion can speak for all the other religions or all people.

  • Blue and White Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 5:29 p.m.

    To Gracious George: As and LDS member, I can tell you that you are right when you say others do not see this issue in the same light that the members do for several reasons, but mainly because our beliefs center largely around eternal families. I can also say that there is not one member of this church that is perfect, so even when our leaders instruct and give council not everyone is going to listen.But we also believe in free agency,which means people can choose to obey or believe what they want to. I do not support gay marriage in the sense that the practice of same sex marriage conflicts with my personal beliefs, however, I hold no personal gruge for those that practice it. Everyone has their reasons to support or reject this practice,but what is important to remember is that everyone has the right to choose where they stand,whether they agree or not.

  • Kenwa Mabuni Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    To Bebyebe and her/his comment that I quote:
    "Mormons once again think that they are entitled to dictate other people's behavior. Especially people who are not members"

    People can live their lives they way the choose to. Elder Packer was giving advice... The activist in the other hand are doing exactly what you said: trying to silence people and their opinions, and dictate how they should think about a particular issue. YOU CANNOT FORCE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT THE IDEA THAT HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS NOT WRONG (as I probably cannot change the way that others view homosexual behavior)
    The advice was mostly (I believe) given to people willing to listen Elder Packer's talk as a counsel, not forcing doctrine on unbelievers...

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 5:13 p.m.

    Thanks to the Church for having the courage to stand up for righteousness. In doing so, they always have a loving stance.

    Same Sex Attraction is no different from drug addiction, alcoholism or any other self-destructive behavior. It can be overcome through the love and help of the Savior.

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    Oct. 12, 2010 5:06 p.m.

    So when is the petition being sent to the NAACP, The Catholic Church, and the leaders in the Latino community in California? They voted very strongly against homosexual marriage also.

    "Mormons once again think that they are entitled to dictate other people's behavior. Especially people who are not members."

    Uhhhhh.....since when has the LDS church forced anybody to do anything? Your post is so misguided that I don't even know where to start Bebyebe, not once in my 40 years of life has my church forced me to do anything. As a member I can make my own choices, I just have to live with the consequences.

  • The Rocker Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:46 p.m.

    @ Utah Buisnessman. Great comment. It is through the power of the Atonement that this can be done. We need to follow the examples of our church leaders and show love like President Packer did in his message. It is not easy. It is not impossible. We all must strive to get there individually. There should be no judging here. Love is the key. It is through love that the power of the Atonement will touch us. Return good gifts when receiving evil gifts. This is what our leaders did. It's up to all Latter Day Saints to do the same. I am not great at this at all. I don't bash the Prophets but I don't always listen and follow either. I'm a terrible example but I thank Heavenly Father for those great teachers in my life who have inspired me and great parents who taught me with love to do good and right.

  • bluejean Farmington, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:39 p.m.

    This was the best response the church has made thus far concerning homosexuality. The statement reflected the compassion that should be characteristic of faithful followers of Jesus Christ and adherence to scriptural truth.

    As for the petition, it was heard, published and caused the Church to respond. Will petitioning and disaggreement ever change God's doctrine? How can it? I know that I, a sinner, am still loved but I know that petitioning God to change his mind about my sins-is pretty useless.

    Yes, I believe that the Savior, Jesus Christ would be more inclusive than exclusive and yet could not condone that which will deny a soul from being saved.

  • MoreIssuesThanNatGeo Aurora, CO
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    I believe Homosexuality - Physical Acts - are unnatural. As a LDS member I also have the right to believe one of my leaders and agree that Homosexuality or SSA (whatever you want to call it) is immoral when acted upon...but there are many other things I find are immoral also.

    150,000 petitions doesn't impress me or cause me to change my mind. Others don't rule me or the LDS church. I answer to God, My wife, My family and Myself.

    The LDS church is not a governing body and can say what it wishes from its pulpits (legally). If you don't like it then feel free to disagree and not be a member thereof. Please feel free to start a LGBT church and do as you legally wish.

    Do not blame the LDS and President Packer for recent suicides. I have had a suicide in my wife's family and it is a personal decision based upon multiple complexities.

    I will remain friends with my SAA friends and treat them with respect just as they treat me with respect.

    I have not petitioned them to change and they have not petitioned me to change my desires.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    Mormons once again think that they are entitled to dictate other people's behavior. Especially people who are not members.

  • bummy New Philadelphia, OH
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:31 p.m.

    According to Jesus Christ, it is a very serious sin to have sinful lusts & desires, or has He sent down word that He has changed His mind on that? He said we will be judged on our thoughts, not just our actions, RIGHT? Remember what He said about a man lusting after another man's wife? Enough said for me. I KNOW what He teaches is TRUE & He does not care about P R .

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    How is that following the 'live and let live' idea for the LDS church?

    That's where the church's support of civic ordinances prohibiting discrimination against gays in the workplace and in housing comes in. However, when it comes to marriage, we feel it is our duty to God and our fellow man to speak up while it is still up to civic debate. If same-sex marriage eventually becomes the law of the land, you will see the LDS church handle it in much the same way the LDS living in Nevada handle the gambling issue. We're not out there calling for gambling to be outlawed, but we are still teaching that LDS members should not be gambling (to varying degrees of success). But, while the issue is still open to debate, we feel that it is far too important just to say nothing. If it becomes law, you won't find us throwing bricks through your window or bombing the court house. We won't even be picketing outside of Gay and Lesbian Headquarters (wherever that is). We can certainly be tolerant.

  • Mike in Texas Allen, TX
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    Voice of Reason, Perhaps you will share with us the scientific evidence that Gays can change. It seems to me that that is the critical issue. If they can't they can't be condemned. If they can then there could be a moral issue to discuss.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:15 p.m.

    To get the full story and the statement from the HRC, head over to the viper's den, er sorry, the Tribune.

    Come on D news, you could have given a little information since it was available.

  • justfine Vernal, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 4:09 p.m.

    Truth will prevail. The Lords laws cannot be changed by a vote, by a petition, or by a temper tantrum. He loves all of His children and invites all to come unto Him.

  • photographermom South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    I must say that I loved this article.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    Independent from Henderson,

    Thank you for your very thoughtful post. I can do you one better: I also believe that the Atonement can change one's sexual leanings, based on personal experience and scientific research. Gay activists can no longer honestly claim that "gays can't change" - a steadily growing body of evidence is showing that they can, and regularly do change to normal heterosexual functioning.

    A separate note: these gay-centric stories used to be absolutely flooded by gay posts from just a few people. But now that the DesNews has instituted a new "2 post maximum" for each individual, a few gay activists can no longer bully the majority with sheer volume by flooding these stories with pro-gay posts. It is very refreshing to now see mostly the majority's viewpoint reflected, while still allowing for the tiny minority to have their say...they just can't bully the rest of us anymore on here with obsessive posting.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    'Mount Olympus | 3:24 p.m. Oct. 12, 2010
    If you don't agree with the LDS doctrine, go to another church where you agree with what they teach.'


    Ah. The 'live and let live' philosiphy.

    Gosh, that would be nice.

    Prop 8, CA, 2008
    Amendment 3, Ut, 2004
    Civil Unions, Hi, 1994

    So, we have three examples, in three different states of the LDS church taking action against gay marriage.

    How is that following the 'live and let live' idea for the LDS church?

  • milhouse Atlanta, GA
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:43 p.m.

    Most scientists, like many Church leaders, have stated that homosexual tendencies may never change for some individuals. The official Church statements on the matter are actually quite different from many of the posts here on this board.

    Mormons believe that behavior may be controlled, and that temptations may be overcome. We do not believe, nor did Elder Packer say, that the feelings that lead to homosexual behavior can always disappear. The Church does not ask its members that struggle with homosexual desires to stop having homosexual desires. The Church does ask these members to take responsibility for their behavior, and patiently endure their special difficulties. Marriage may not be an opportunity gay members have in this life, but every blessing will be available to them at some point if they stay faithful to their covenants.

  • Runner Chandler, AZ
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    It clearly says in the Bible,

    "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Leviticus 18:22

    If you are Christian, what is there to discuss? If you believe in the Bible, then that is what it says and it is not up for anybody, or any group of people, to argue against or seek to change.

  • The Rocker Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:37 p.m.

    Many members of the church only reject President Packer because they believe more in party politics than they do in Heavenly Father. I see it all the time in Utah on both sides frequentely. Did they actually listen to Cladio Costas talk in which he talked about Pres.Ezra Taft Benson qoutes on the importance of our Prophets and where they get their inspiration from? And they still stone President Packer. I do not agree with the person above who thinks the people who joined I Support President Packer are hypocrites and showing no love to the gay community. This remark just leads to more hate and is doing the same thing many in these pride organizations are doing. I'm no saint. I was born and raised in the church and did not go on a mission. I love rock and motercycles and dont break for tabernacle choir. I try to be a good person but I really hate it when people attack good men of God. I also dont like to see Muslims attacked or any religious groups attacked when standing up for truth and doing good. ROCK ON DUDES!

  • aware Babb, MT
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:36 p.m.

    LDS members are given counsel twice a year. Any of the world is invited to listen. If I were to tune into a Catholic or Baptist broadcast - and I don't agree with their message - I just turn it off. The Gay community wants EVERYONE to agree with their actions, thus justifying their behavior. It won't and can't be that way. The LDS are not the only religion that will not accept homosexuality - the Baptists, Catholics and others don't and if you happen to be unfortunate enough to live in the mid-East, and are homosexual - you will be stoned! So please, Gay demonstrators find a new whipping boy - you've worn this one out!

  • Mount Olympus Holladay, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:24 p.m.

    If you don't agree with the LDS doctrine, go to another church where you agree with what they teach.

    Protesting does nothing but show ignorance. If you don't agree, then move on and do something else. No one is forcing you to stay LDS. If you have a huge difference in oppinion with the doctrine of any church, that church is probably not for you.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    At the time my son was born, my gay boss told me outright that I should not "push" gender on him at all and that I should give him the opportunity to chose for himself his gender identity and sexuality. This was his "doctrine" so to speak, and it is completely offensive to me. Did I freak out and tell him he was wrong? Did I protest and petition him to change his mind? No. I just smiled and changed the subject. What good would it have done?

    I believe Boyd K. Packer to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ with the ability and authority to communicate God's will to all people. You don't. Fair enough. You believe, based on scientific research, that being gay cannot and should not be changed in an individual through therapy. I believe, based on personal experience, that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can change a person's very character, and that God's standards, although very high sometimes by the world's standards, can be met, and that incredible peace and joy come as a result. You think I'm an idiot. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    Did the Human Rights Campaign release a copy of the statement they delivered along with the signatures? Is it available online? Did they seek a meeting with LDS officials? Did they receive a response back from the LDS church about a meeting? Did an actual meeting take place or is one scheduled?

    It is difficult to comment on this news story as key information seems to be missing.

    All that is available is the LDS church's statement restating their position. But without the statement from the HRC it is almost impossible to know what their objections are specifically or how they hope to resolve differences with the LDS church. I guess that they would propose ideas for compromise or areas of agreement instead of just filing a complaint, but I could be wrong.

    I would like the D News to try to publish the actual statement to which the signatures were attached, if one exists.

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:55 p.m.

    As an active LDS who does not have any problem with what Elder Packer said, may I also say that I know that this is a very difficult issue, and I truly feel empathy for those who feel same-gender attraction. I HOPE that I do and will treat them not only with love but also with the respect that they deserve.
    I will state as my OPINION that the church's stand on this will eventually be clearly shown as valid and will be accepted by everyone who is willing to accept obvious truths (some never do, of course.)
    In 1832, Joseph Smith received a revelation referred to by LDS as the "word of wisdom." It contains warnings against human use of tobacco and alcohol. As late as the 1950's, by brother-in-law was extremely critical of the South Dakota legislature when they were considering a requirement that warnings be put on cigarette packages.
    Now, virtually everyone is promoting the "stop smoking" effort--178 years late! Also, alcohol consumption results in huge amounts of misery and death--but alas, some pleasure! Unfortunately, as long as the pleasure is there, many will ignore the negatives.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    So if someone talks about preparedness in Conference and we are not prepared, then this is hate speech? It is a weak church or a weak parent who backs down to the desires and whims of a person. If I had a child who was fourteen years old and really wanted to go live in an apartment, it wouldn't happen, that child may think they know what is best for themselves, but they don't have the wisdom and understanding that I do. And we do not have the wisdom and understanding that our Heavenly Father has and so even though He may tell us to do this or not do that, like look at a stick, we follow and listen and trust and know that He Is. And also know that we aren't.

  • InUtahButNotOfUtah South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    I don't have a problem with the content of Pres. Packer's talk now that it has been edited and clarified. However, I do have a problem with so many Mormons that are now using the talk as an excuse to say some very unkind and judgmental things on this message board.

    Of course, God's law is not going to change. But can't we follow the lead of the official Church position and be a little kinder and understanding toward our fellow men and women? Leave the judging to God. And you can show your support to Pres. Packer in ways other than blasting those in our midst who are dealing with the issues that he spoke about.

  • sniggy Payson, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:36 p.m.

    Give it a rest people.

  • H2OSKI Alpine, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    Gays love to use inflammatory key words such as hate so as to gain attention for what otherwise is known as freedom of religion and free speech.

    If it disagrees with their immoral behavior then they call it hate because they know that the press love that word in our PC society.

    re: gracious george

    Uh, the LDS doctrines are published for the world to see and we already know and have known what is common ground between us and other entities within society.

    I suspect what you intend by proposing a meeting/dialogue is for the church to just acquiesce to your point of view.

  • RoadBiker Orem, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    Petitions are a waste of time. It is not popular vote that leads this Church it is the word of God and he has spoken. If you don't like it go bother a church that relies on the opinions of the people. There are plenty of them.

  • marineveteran Mt. Vernon, IL
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:22 p.m.

    One person said the church was hypocritical with regards to President Packer's talk. Is it any more hypocritical than liberals who, if they disagree with you are free thinkers, but if you disagree with them you are a bigot and a hate monger. He is not doing what Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church is doing. President Packer stated his position, and now there are groups that are up in arms. Yet they can freely criticize the LDS church, and they are being free thinkers and exercising their freedom of speech. Who is being the hypocrite???

    Before I say anymore while I vehemently disagree with homosexuality and see it as a behavioral and lifestyle choice. I had an incident when I worked in a juvenile detention center where I stood up for a kid who came out; especially when the other kids wanted to assault him.

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:15 p.m.

    Gee, O.K. If you sign a petition we will change our doctrine to support immoral behavior.

    Not.

    Any other sinner just bring a petition about how you would like to continue in your ungodly ways and we will accommodate you too.

    What the heck?

    Hate the sin love the sinner is not going to change people. If you find an organization that does then you will know it is no longer a religion but rather an institution of man.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:11 p.m.

    I also heard plenty about how pornography, drugs, alcohol, and extramarital sex are all immoral. If there were significant political actions attempting further legitimize these other immoral behaviors, I'm sure the church would encourage member to oppose them, too.

    I don't understand why, then, so many people feel the need to try to suppress the speech and change the opinions of this church and its members, and why there are no petitions condemning our stance against our so many other peculiar beliefs and behaviors.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:10 p.m.

    I must disagree with "newsy"'s statement: "Homosexuality is still impure, unnatural and the weakness CAN be overcome. Come to that conclusion and we have dialogue."

    That's not dialogue. Dialogue means communicating in a civil and open manner with people with whom we disagree. It means showing respect and understanding of other viewpoints, not requiring others to come to our conclusions before we talk.

  • TCnewsie Tooele, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    I don't understand at what time it became hate to say that you believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. When it comes come down to a vote, I will vote marriage between man and woman every time. Now I don't mind if they get benefits as a couple and all that but no one will ever change my beliefs as to what marriage is. I don't hate gays and lesbians, but I really don't care as to how they go about trying to bully others into believing what they want us to believe.

  • AZJazzFan Gold Canyon, az
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:01 p.m.

    It is about boundaries. As a heterosexual there are boundaries. Just because there is an attraction toward something does not make it right. There are many things in life many of us would like to do but we need to adhere to the boundaries. It is silly for the public or any large number of people to tell what a church to do. There are different beliefs.

  • Silly Rabbit Magna, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 2:00 p.m.

    WOW, I guess freedom of speech is only for the select few now days.

    I can't believe that people from the LGBT do not want to acknowledge the First Amendment of the Constitution: Which is

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    It seems that these people from the LGBT want to exercise their freedom, but when someone that speaks out against their beliefs they want it to be withdrawn.

    I know they want it to be withdrawn because of the suicides that they say will happen because of bullying. Well Suicide is a choice; life is hard for most teens.

    Hey what these people from the LGBT are doing they have a right to do, but I hope that they realize that others have the same rights as they do. Even a religion.

  • texlds Dallas, TX
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:52 p.m.

    "Activists say such statements are factually inaccurate "

    Are these activists claiming expertise on the powers of the atonement?

    And if not, then on what basis do they make such a claim.

    I believe Elder Packer makes the statement on the basis of being called as an Apostle of Jesus Christ.

    And if you don't believe that, then why bother with us at all? If in your view we're clearly unhinged, why not just leave us alone to our own delusion.

  • Gracious George West Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:50 p.m.

    Why is that your church will not talk to the people that are asking only for an opportunity to come together, reach understanding, and create common ground on moral issues important to both sides?

    This is a golden opportunity for your faith to create dialogue and unity.

    I do not think this is any different from when your faith talks with governments to have missionary work opened in other countries or when they assist other faiths in humanitarian efforts throughout the globe. They do not agree on some things, but they can find common ground.

    What makes HRC and other groups any different? They just want common ground. It is that simple.

    Not everyone sees this the way the LDS Church does. HRC likely is doing what they are doing because they feel like Salt Lake City is unresponsive to their concerns. I think if they were more open-minded and willing to step out of their comfort zone, they would find greater acceptance of their beliefs from those groups.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:48 p.m.

    I feel for these people. What a struggle they have. But their efforts to change the LDS doctrine seem to be persistently misguided. I wonder if they'd have any better luck sending signiatures to leaders of a different religion. I'd surely like to hear that other religions get equal time from them.

  • JonRissen Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:47 p.m.

    The behavior of these gay activists is so bizzarre. If you dont agree with what someone says just ignore them. Going to all the trouble of getting your gay friends to sign a petition telling the church they dont agree with them seems to be a waste of time to me. The LDS church isnt going to change their mind nor are the gays, they should both just move on. Also, the assertion that the LDS church's stance on homosexuality will promote bullying of homosexuals is absurd, people are bullied for all sorts of things everyday in school and the workplace why should the gays be immune because of their chosen lifestyle?

  • Kameron South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:45 p.m.

    Do not change the letter. Packer wrote it how he believes is correct. It wasn't written as a hateful letter but when you are looking to be offended, it can be taken as such. Everyone needs to relax. Packer loves everyone. He simply doesn't share the same beliefs as everyone.

  • curious george Orem, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    I'm curious as to what the activists expect to achieve. A petition with 150,000 signatures is no different than a vote. If you payed any attention to Pres. Packer's talk I believe he made it quit clear that a vote does not change the fundimental principles of the gospel or Gods laws. Where do you suppose the petition is going to ended upanyway? It will not change the mind of any general authority or I expect anyone else for that matter. Thank you Pres.Packer for saying something so clear and to the point about a subject that most are afraid to speak to directly for fear of upsetting the apple kart.

  • justathought Draper, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:42 p.m.

    How times have changed over the years however God's laws does not change. Elder Packer I believe is a Apostle of Jesus Christ therefore have to be forthright in what he says. No beating around the bush. If he was not clear, people would be asking what the heck his message was about. It was clear and that is why it has raised such hype.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:40 p.m.

    Not a chance. They ought to take their angst somewhere else.

  • Dave from Taylorsville Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    Amen again to Elder Packers talk in General Conference!

    The LGBT lifestyle is like that of many people who live together and have sexual relations before marriage, or adulterous couples or those who have any extra-marital sexual relations. IT IS WRONG and immoral. But I doubt the people that do this know what the term means.

  • Mayfair Claremore, OK
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:28 p.m.

    If the circumstances were reversed--

    --if all of the nearly 14 million members of the LDS Church signed a petition and delivered it to the The Human Rights Campaign headquarters, asking them to change their position on homosexuality, and to instead agree with the position of the Church, do you think they would??

  • markusjbear Foothill Ranch, CA
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:28 p.m.

    This is another attempt to block what we can say and believe. The gay rights group is fighting very hard to limit Freedom of Speech and Religion. If you do not like what you hear, it is labeled "hate speech". They are trying to force everyone to believe their views.

  • Go Utes Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:27 p.m.

    These sort of petitions, especially to a church leader, are very interesting and show a lack of understanding about what a church is. You don't change the doctrines of God through grass roots. 150,000 signatures stating that something if factually inaccurate does not make something factually inaccurate. Additionally, church leaders have a responsibility to teach truth, regardless of consequences. It is horrific to think that anyone would commit suicide after hearing remarks denouncing a particular type of behavior, but even that possibility does not relieve the speaker of the obligation to teach the principles of God's law. How people react to the truth is up to them.

    Homosexual behavior, like any deviant behavior, can be overcome. Whether someone can overcome "being gay" is irrelevant. It is homosexual behavior that is condemned.

    I especially enjoyed his point about how God's laws cannot be changed by man's vote. We cannot legitimately vote to approve of homosexual behavior any more than we can vote to outlaw gravity.

    I appreciate Pres. Packer and his wisdom and spirit. We support you.

  • Gracious George West Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    From yesterday, I never condemned what the LDS youth did in any way. I may disagree with their faith, but I congratulate them on trying to do something to contribute to the dialogue.

    Anyone who insinuates otherwise is wrong and is misrepresenting my posts.

    In my opinion having studied Mr. Packer's talk, would he not want the youth and adult members of your church to reach out to gays and lesbians?

    Would he not want his followers to serve those people, the ones who struggle?

    If the church believes so much in love and compassion, why is it that I read so much criticism and unkindness towards them?

    Why is it that your church members want to focus on loving everyone (Packer) except the ones who are hurting the most?

    With all due respect, that seems pretty hypocritical to me. To be hypocritical means to say one thing and then do another.

    Do not preach love and compassion to the gay community, then turn around and say you are practicing your faith by supporting your leader who has counseled you to serve and minister to the LGBT community.

    Not everyone sees this issue the way LDS members do.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:21 p.m.

    It is sad that these people continue to try and tell God what they think is right. LGBT is a worldly practice that goes against all teachings from God. They should have protection the same as all other citizens but thier practices should never be condoned by the church or be accepted as normal by society. It is un-natural perversion and those who practice should be offered love and help to overcome. Never should these practices be accepted as normal. To do so would be supporting the degredation of society and contribute to the moral decline of our country.
    Love the sinner, hate the sins but never persecute those who need our help to repent and change their lives.
    Before you blast my comments remember that I also have freedom of speech and the right to voice my opinions. I do not advocate violence or persecution of any kind. I love those in my family who suffer from these conditions but I will never advocate acceptance of the practices.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    How will they ever understand - LDS believe in a set of moral principles and that homosexuality is a violation of those principles. Legitimizing that perceived immorality through law is something the LDS oppose.

    LDS leaders' comments on the topic are so far from hate speech it is ridiculous. The gay community's extreme reaction to such speech undermines their credibility at every turn. We need to work together to help kids NOT be bullied and NOT commit suicide, but all the activists seem to care about is screaming "hate speech!" at those who have no hate in their heart.

  • Pete in Texas Copperas Cove, TX
    Oct. 12, 2010 1:00 p.m.

    President Packer......

    All I have to say is AMEN, AND AMEN!

    Gay lifestyles aren't moral and can be overcome just as alchoholics and drug addicts can overcome those addictions. Overcoming something like that means not getting involved anymore in it. Ask any alchoholic, they'll tell you that they still deal with the temptations, but to OVERCOME it is to find strength necessary to not give in to those temptations. A gay individual would say, "Try putting yourself in my shoes and NOT feeling attracted to females for a day." That isn't how you overcome something. Overcoming it is not getting involved in it. It's not a sin to HAVE gay tendencies, only to act on them. You're not an alcoholic if you HAVE urges to consume alcohol, only if you actually do it.

    If the gay community is going to get upset about someone telling them they can OVERCOME those urges, then they're full of hate and won't educate themselves simply because they're too lazy to put their efforts into overcoming tendencies. God's laws aren't going to be changed by a petition signed by 150,000 people. I guarantee it.

  • newsy Richfield, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 12:55 p.m.

    Send a million letters. Homosexuality is still impure, unnatural and the weakness CAN be overcome. Come to that conclusion and we have dialogue.