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Display depicting gay students is back in the Harris Fine Arts Center

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 10 2008 12:00 a.m. MST

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RE: Honor Code Review

Said Cheryl: "At the very least, BYU should require its gay students to complete a reparative therapy regimen in order to retain student status."

I did attend reparative therapy at BYU, and I attempted suicide because of it. Thank God I failed. I know at least 30 people who have been through reparative therapy. Not a single one of them has been changed from gay to straight. Reparative therapy not only failed to give me an attraction to women and to remove same gender attractions, it almost killed me.

If voluntary therapy couldn't change me, how would forcing someone into therapy change their orientation? You're proposed requirement would become capital punishment for many homosexuals.

John Pack Lambert

I think we need to reject the making of sexual orientation an identity. We need to realize our first and foremost identity is as children of God.

John Pack Lambert

I did not make the comments at 8:38. This again causes me to call for structured registaration.
I do not know about the electro-shock aversion therapy. However I do know that most of the understanding of electro-shock therapy is an outgrowth of the lies perpetrated by "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest". Electro shock theorapy may or may not have ever been a good idea. However, it was administered by people who believed that the electric shocks would help people function better, because they felt the problems of these people were caused by the electric impulses in the body not working. It was not meant to be a form of punishing people but of treating and helping people. It may have been ill advised and poorly administered, but the intent was to help those people it was used on, it was not a form of punishment and manipulation as some have tried to represent it.
I thought the assesment of why homosexuality elicits different reactions that alchoholism was fairly good. However, the author ignored the fact that we have not spoken enough that homosexuals always have legally been allowed to marry, and people like Quinn prove they did.

John Pack Lambert

No where in the article did I see these people identified as open homosexuals. They are "self identified homosexuals". There is a difference. However, the assumptions about the fixedness of sexual orientation implicit in this description and in the rhetoric of the same-sex marrige movement are disturbing and untrue.
I would also agree that this piece was meant to be provocative. I think the maker, growing up in an mainly Mormon town like Eagar, has no clue what effect this issue has on those of us who live outside of the Mormon Cultural Area.
Lastly I think the creator of the display is too into publicity. He should have not publicized the ups and downs of this case. He should have kept quiet while the adminstration was sorting it out. Despite his claims to like BYU, his actions betray a desire to tweak it, which is clearly not a Zion attitude.

John Pack Lambert

My understanding of various rules would tell me that dating, kissing and other such behaviors by church members with those of the same gender would not allow them to reamin in good standing with the church. While a non-mmeber student at BYU engaged in such activity would be allowed to reamin, I think that behaviors that are meant to lead to activities that are universally an abomination to the Lord would not be acceptable.
I would however like to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge on this issue, such as someone who has actually ajudicated such a case at BYU.
At least my assumption was that the men portrayed in the pictures are men who feel same-gender attraction but do not act on it, which would mean they do not kiss members of the same sex. Well, at least not in a manner and under the idea of someone they are sexually attracted to. To me at least the line is an inward one, that only you can know if you crossed.
At least I hope they understand if you don't want to burn you avoid playing with fire.

John Pack Lambert

To the 10:50 commentator,
My guess is that someone things Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was same-gender attraction.
However, there is a passage in one of the epistles where he makes explicit reference to his wife. The term appears in the KJV as "yoke-fellow" but based on its originally Greek it is almost certainly a reference to his wife.
This will cause people to comment on his line "It is better to marry than to burn". He is not there saying that he is unmarried, but he lives as an unmarried man. Like the apostles early in this dispensation when they went to England, Paul left his wife behind in one of the Greek cities on most of his missions. Brother Griggs wrote an article where he explained all this much better than I have here.

John Pack Lambert

To the 9:51 commentator,
Yes, we only know what it is like to be hated, made fun of and mocked for a religion we hold dearly.
Yet, many of us know what it is like to have a strugle with something we wish we did not have, to get made when we wish we could stay calm.
Your experience is not as unique or different as you think it is.
Also you may say "I am not a gay rights activist" but the fact that people constantly tell us that "love the sinner, condemn the sin" and teaching against homosexual actions is wrong is distrubing.
Also, I advise you to re-consider your decision to identify as being "gay". Same-gender attraction is not the only hallmark of this movement. The amount of active homosexuals who have over 500 sexual partners is sickening. What goes on in Castro is sickening.
I would advise embracing the term of "same-gender attraction" for the very reason that the term gay carries with it the baggage of a movement that seeks to destroy monogamy as a social norm and other such things.
Your basic attraction is not mutable, but your identity is.

John Pack Lambert

To the 10:18 commentator,
You have made a great progress. I am glad to hear you are standing in the Lord's kingdom. Remember, we love you.
Your comments have helped me understand that this may well be a good exhibit.
However, I think a lot of people forget the level of hate and intolerance shown to the ex-gay movement. To often people who are seeking to overcome same-gender attraction are told by psychologists that they should just give in.
While it is true than you may have to actively struggle with this attraction all your life, we must remember than God loves us, and at times the power of Jesus can change our innermost desires.
I do not know why some people are allowed to cast off this attraction and eventually reach the point of marrying in the temple in this life, and others struggle with same gender attraction all their life, but I do know that God loveth his children, and if you remain faithful to your covenants in this life, God will not deney any blessing to you.
We love you 10:18 guy, and I hope there is a way we can help you more.

John Pack Lambert

To Sam,
I thought the point of the exhibit was that these people do not practice a lifestyle but that they have deep seated attractions to the same-gender that they do not act on.
I am beganing to realize more and more that the biggest problem is that we have never come to a dialogue where we differencite those who suffer from same-gender attraction and those who act on it.
The main problem is the gay-rights activists who want both groups conflated into one so they can be the speakers for a larger power bloc.

re: Lambert

"I do not know about the electro-shock aversion therapy.....However, it was administered by people who believed that the electric shocks would help people function better, because they felt the problems of these people were caused by the electric impulses in the body not working."

You just keep talking whether you know anything about a subject or not, Lambert. You state you don't know about the program used, but somehow you know their motives as well as stating "they felt the problems were caused by the electric impulses in the body".

The program was "aversion" therapy. Students were shown slides of men and while seeing the slides, the were given electric shocks. The idea is to give the student an unpleasant reaction to seeing the slides.

You remind me of my Sunday School students. So many are reluctant to pronounce Old Testament names because they don't know how to correctly pronounce the names. I tell them pronounce it however you want, just do it loudly and confidently. Everyone else in the room will be mistakenly impressed because they will think you know the corrrect

You keep talking loudly and confindently, whether you know what you are talking about or not.

re: Lambert

"Electro shock theorapy may or may not have ever been a good idea."

The reported suicides that came as a result of this program would seem to indicate that it may not have been a good idea. What do you think?

John Pack Lambert

To the 1:09 commentator,
Just because someone commits suicide while in a program does not mean there is a cause and effect relationship between the two.


"Just because someone commits suicide while in a program does not mean there is a cause and effect relationship between the two."

What about more than one? What about more than five?


RE: Honor Code Review | 8:59 a.m. Dec. 12, 2008

"I did attend reparative therapy at BYU, and I attempted suicide because of it. Thank God I failed."

What about all those who tried and failed?

And yet this program went on for a couple of decades. Amazing. I actually know those who have scars from these shocks.

Hate to be inflammatory

But some of these comments are so outragious, such as Cats, just name one. Religion when practiced by fools is nothing but damaging to those around them. If you had done any research into the topic, you would know that church leaders do not say that homosexuality is an abomination. It is the action on those feelings. We cannot be judged on things we do not act upon. You're attitude towards these people who are attracted to those of the same gender is by far more grievous. They put there face on the issue to try and make people understand that they are people, who need love and support and are trying to get rid of the many many MISCONCEPTIONS reguarding homosexuality that so many flaunt on this forum. Actions are a choice. What we are tempted by is not. If you read any articles on homosexuality by church leaders, you would have known this. Marriage is not a cure, nore should be viewed as such. They are our children, fathers, mothers, bishops and leaders and live excellent lives, but are torn down in passing by those who understand nothing of the torment they suffer. Compassion... did we forget that?


Sorry for a couple of missing words. But I need to point out one last point... "If you read any article or talk of any church leaders about homosexuality published within the past decade". That's a very important qualification :D Miracle of forgiveness doesn't count ;) It's outdated and does not reflect the current attitude of living apostles.

I give up

"Miracle of forgiveness doesn't count ;) It's outdated and does not reflect the current attitude of living apostles."

I can't compose a post that will get past the moderator on this one. My best attempt is this: the verbal dancing that LDS members do when prior statements were wrong and damaging to individuals astounds me.


I am active, married, at BYU, and still gay (same-sex oriented.) I feel like most of those who have commented either don't know what they are talking about or are grossly misguided. Both the church's stance and BYU's honor code are completely in line with this display, as proven by its reinstatement. If you don't believe me, do a little research into the matter. It is destructive and inapproriate to equate being gay to pornography addicts and pedophiles. To tell the mother of a gay son to get over it is very low indeed. To assert that Witibank has "secret private motives" to promote gay marriage and homosexuality itself is just plain silly. Such rhetoric is what drives people like me away from the church when it ought to be welcoming us in. By telling the gay community at BYU to just shrink away proves that the display is timely and much needed. I sincerely hope that its message of understanding towards people like me is not utterly wasted on the BYU student body, because the impression I am getting by these comments is that it is.

To Christopher

I am sorry that you, and many others, have been treated this way by people who claim to "love the sinner." But I think this forum represents some of the most judgmental members of the LDS church, who might want to read that scripture about "he who is without sin..." Don't be discouraged - we're not all like that. In fact, A LOT of us are compassionate and have empathy, though we might not be able to understand your experience or what it's like to be in your shoes.

I find it insulting when someone like Lambert equates it to "we know persecution" and "we all have struggles." He clearly has no idea - none of us do, unless we've experienced the same thing. To suggest that we do is presumptuous and reflects poorly on us.


I'm suprised at the number of people who don't seem to have actually read the article and are just jumping to conclusions, attacking the artist and the gay community. First being openly gay does not mean that someone is sexually active, just that they are open and honest about their attraction to members of the same sex. Also, nowhere does the artist say or infer that he is himself gay, quite the opposite. He states that he has some gay friends, a statement that to me suggests that he himself is straight. His photographs don't identify who in the photo is gay and who is the straight supporter, thereby forcing viewers to test their views and prejudices of stereotypes, and show that there differences between gay and straight individuals aren't so great.

And for those who say that the artist did not act in good faith by criticizing BYU on his blog before hearing back; if BYU had acted in good faith and spoken to him before removing his work, he wouldn't have had anything to criticize, but they jumped to conclusions and ended up looking stupid.

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