Weeding out "deceptive messages" from truth in today's information age requires an understanding of God's will, Elder William R. Walker said.

Elder Walker, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Second Quorum of the Seventy, spoke Saturday during the Evergreen International conference at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

"We are bombarded with false and deceptive messages every day," Elder Walker said. "An example is the ads that claim, 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.' That isn't exactly true."

Stressing the teachings of the late James E. Faust, former second counselor in the First Presidency, Elder Walker advised those in attendance to remember that every temptation yields to study in the scriptures and pious prayer.

Marriage is solemnly proclaimed in LDS Church doctrine to be a union between a man and woman that is ordained of God. But workshops and lectures offered at the conference Saturday expressed the importance of family and friends loving and supporting people dealing with same-sex attraction, while not endorsing the behavior.

Evergreen International is not affiliated with the LDS Church, but it uses the church's teachings to help people who want to diminish same-sex attraction and overcome homosexual behavior. Evergreen officials say the practice of homosexuality distorts healthy, loving relationships and steers people away from the blessing of families and marriage.

"What makes Evergreen International different from those who are critical of the (LDS) Church and call for a change in policy concerning homosexuality is our desire to support individuals and families dealing with same-sex attraction who wish to be faithful to existing church standards," said David Pruden, the group's executive director.

Steve Satchwell, an LDS bishop from Kaysville, said he chose to attend the conference for the first time after a member of his congregation confided that he was dealing with same-sex attraction.

"I realized that I wasn't equipped with the knowledge to help beyond offering scriptures — which are helpful, yet not always practical," Satchwell said. "I am a spiritual leader, not a medical or psychological professional, and I wanted to be able to reference that support to my ward."


E-mail: [email protected]