Comments about ‘Linda & Richard Eyre: Advice for LDS parents on talking to kids about same-sex marriage’

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Published: Wednesday, April 2 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Here, UT

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Eyre;

Regardless what your personal beliefs, denying others civil marriage because it is against your personal religion is discrimination and is not a moral value. If you don't believe in same-gender marriages, do not have one (in other words, myob).

To teach your children your religious beliefs is one thing. To require non-Mormons to live by your beliefs, by legislating your beliefs into law is unconscionable.

New Haven, CT

Not that difficult. First, don't teach them that LGBT people are "sick" or "sinful." Introduce them to normal gay people (who are pretty much like the rest of us). Maybe have them watch a show like Modern Family. Second, teach them the religious significance of their beliefs, but help them understand that it extends to their beliefs and not to other people-- Coffee drinkers, their buddies who engage in premarital relations, and gay marriage means bad to them, but not others.


"Just as they should respect all races and religions, they should avoid judging anyone for their beliefs or lack of belief, gender, race, sexual preference or personal characteristics. "

When did this start? My LDS neighbors certainly haven't heard this.

Midlothian, VA

You have been my "parent mentors" for many years and I am so grateful for you both! We take our children out when they are 8 years old for the big dinner. We have been influenced by your talents in so many ways. Thank you! I do think this is an important conversation to have with your children, but I wonder what age is appropriate to talk about this.

sandy/USA, 00

Showing respect for other beliefs INCLUDES not trying to use legislative means to impose your beliefs on others while outlawing their beliefs. Case in point: trying to ban gay marriage - how does that show respect for homosexuals? Children "hear" actions much more than words.

Mchenry, IL

Since a woman can't be sealed to more than one man doesn't God see her for time marriage as a good thing after her husband dies and she remarries? What about the man who marries for time a woman formerly sealed who does not want to get unsealed due to kids? And he isn't sealed to anyone?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

"How do we help adolescents understand and appreciate what we believe about marriage and about same-sex marriage while at the same time teaching them of God’s universal love and of the importance of respecting everyone? How do we give kids the kind of clarity that will allow them to avoid judging others and at the same time not cause them to negatively judge their own religious culture?"


That's easy -- You teach your children by EXAMPLE.

BTW -- Those icky "gay" people some of you worry so much about.
They are Children of God. [Yes, That same Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother].

How would God treat his gay child?
How would God expect you as a brother or sister to treat your Gay brother or sister.

Be honest and ponder that,
and then pray for the right answer.


LDS parents should also teach their children about the changing definition of marriage in the relatively brief 200-year history of their church. This includes the requirement of polygamy for exaltation (which we no longer practice), condemnation of inter-racial marriage (which condemnation we now disavow), and the view that husbands stand as intermediaries between God and their wives (we now teach that spouses stand on equal footing before God). As children understand that there is still great truth and purpose for them in the church, even as the definition of marriage and church teachings on marriage have changed, they will be prepared should further changes come to the definition of marriage in the future.


I've been bothered by certain statements by the Eyres in the past (not the least of which is their book acting like a "sense of entitlement" is an actual thing, rather than another right wing construct to shame the middle class), but this seems like a very decent and respectful way to explain why we believe what we believe about marriage.

Still, our commitment to freedom of religion requires us to acknowledge that there are those who do not believe these things, and who will choose not to believe them even after we explain to them. And since we live in a democracy, not a theocracy, there still must be room for those who do not share our religious beliefs to engage in their relationships (heterosexual, homosexual, polygamous, monogamous, polyamorous, whatever) the same way we engage in our relationships, albeit without imposing requirements on any given religious institution.

Lafayette, IN

Ranch, by that argument, denying others the right to murder because it is against your personal religion is discrimination and is not a moral value. If you don’t believe in murder, don’t commit one.

To teach your children your religious beliefs is one thing. To require non-Mormons to live by your beliefs, by legislating your beliefs into law is unconscionable.

Salt Lake City, UT

Great article! Spot on!

To those who followed by saying that people shouldn't use legislative means to impose on others need to remember the cases of people who have lost their livelihoods simply because they wanted to follow their conscience.

Legislation IS the imposition of societal values. Some agree others do not.

If you believe that imposing your definition of marriage on others who have a different definition is proper then you are simply hypocritical in saying they are wrong for wishing the same thing. Particularly when the imposition of the definition of marriage is done judicially (will of a judge or judges) versus legislatively (will of a majority).

Buena Vista, VA

"If you don't believe in same-gender marriages, do not have one." This is like saying, "If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one." Well, ok. But what about "If you don't believe in murder, don't murder anyone."

Obviously, murder and abortion have victims. But what about same sex marriage? Are there victims? If not, then we should allow it. I would not claim that there are always necessarily direct victims. (Although I do believe that kids are better off with parents of both genders.) But over time, society is the victim of any movement that devalues traditional marriage. Society won't be as strong without a high percentage of traditional families. Gay marriage is not the only culprit; adultery, illegitimacy, easy divorce, spousal abuse, child abuse, misplaced priorities of too much work/leisure/ over family time also contribute.

Danbury, CT

I agree we should teach our children to love and respect all people. But to prescribe what we can and cannot legislate because it is "imposing our will on others" just makes no sense. Society has a right to define what marriage looks like just as it has a right to "impose" traffic laws, zoning, food safety, etc. All laws have some moral element. No one can say what we can or cannot legislate.

I teach my kids why we would want to make certain choices but that we cannot hold others accountable in the same way who have not made those choices (e.g. people living together, gays, etc.). It's like saying, if you promise someone to do something, the fault is when you don't do it, rather than in not making the promise in the first place.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

To Ranch, bradk and others,

I appreciate the legislative soapbox you're standing on, but where in the article did the authors make any implications that same-sex marriage should be legislated or banned? Seems to me all they did was say (1) gay marriage is here and (2) this is how LDS parents should talk to their children about it. Nowhere in there is an opinion on whether or not gay marriage should be legal.

Unfortunately the "logical leap" you've made in your comments is somewhat typical of the pro-gay marriage crowd, and frankly it's scary to observe and detrimental to civilized debate about the issue.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Here is what LDS people should do:

Follow their prophet

I do! And I'm not even Mormon.

I also follow Pope Francis, God's leader on earth today.

They teach to love the sinner but never support sin.

Its a wise approach to this issue.

Mount Laurel, NJ

Great article and I like the openness on acknowledging our divine parents father and mother. One question I had was how to teach our younger children who are pre-adolescent what gay or lesbian means when they ask the question? How do we teach our children that it is wrong and disobedient to God's laws for boys to marry boys, or girls to marry girls, or for boys to marry two or three girls, yet God loves them and we should not judge them? If we tell our young children that gays are loved by God the same as everyone else, or that they are special then I am concerned that my daughter who is forming her gender identity, may think - "Oh no I don't really like boys right now either - maybe I am a lesbian".

American Fork, UT

You can teach them, or they're going to find out in any case, that the attitudes and actions you can control are pretty much restricted to your own. Other people can, and will do things differently and you can accept it or be bitter about it, your choice.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

There are two issues here


First, how do we treat people who are living against what we know to be right?


Second, does being kind mean we support things we know to be wrong?


First, we should treat all people kindly, even those making incorrect decisions and going against what Mormon Prophet Monson and Pope Francis have told us

Second, its possible, and in fact commanded from God, we be kind to other but never to condone sin.

God cannot look upon sin with the least bit of acceptance.

Be kind, but never support or accept sin.

That's the best approach.


Liberals often try and confuse these two different issues and believe that to be kind one has to condone whatever that person wants to do.

This is patently false and goes against what Pope Francis and Prophet Monson have taught us.

Follow the prophet - love everyone, but never go against what God has said.

And Pope Francis and Propeht Monson(who speak for God according to their religions) do not support gay "marriage"


I live in a somewhat more liberal community than Salt Lake City. There is a lot of diversity in the "gay" community. Many of them don't believe in gay marriage. Many of them are quite conservative. Many of them do not identify with the vitriolic disrespectful sector of "gay activists". Some of them even understand and respect the Mormon policy and doctrine on same gender attraction. I think through public discourses, we only hear one aspect of the "gay" community. My gay friends ask me what my standards are and then I find them reinforcing them to my own children! How novel is that!

Salt Lake City, UT

Eyres: "Parents can strive to help their children feel strongly that all faiths, including their own, deserve respect and tolerance; and that it is possible... to have differences of belief while still respecting and appreciating one another."

Bravo. The Eyres are to be commended for taking a conciliatory and respectful tone on this topic. Their call for mutual respect and appreciation of diversity is particularly welcome. As part of their appreciation of religious diversity, the Eyres should instruct their children that faiths have different doctrines, sometimes conflicting. How religious values get translated into civil law can be tricky, and the tolerance they call for has to be part of the process. LDS doctrine eschews alcohol. Catholics, on the other hand, consume wine as a sacrament. Civil law and civil alcohol policy allow both to coexist harmoniously. The Mormon-dominated legislature maintains certain controls on alcohol marketing and consumption, but does not prohibit alcohol use. The priests can still serve communion.

Likewise, many faiths allow and honor same sex marriage. Just because LDS doctrine opposes SSM does not mean that Utah civil law should prevent those other churches from freely practicing their faith

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