A call for civility following Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer’s address

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  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 14, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    Thank you charlie91342 ....well said!

    To Faitful Advocate:

    When common sense fails to make a dent with people...I'll pull out the researchers, scientists, and the people studying it professinally....and there are many! Don't just believe me or a few biased sources....check them all. Certainly there is disagreement among professionals, but the overwelming amount of evidence gathered so far points toward it not being a choice. I've read many and various sources on both sides (both pro and con) of the issue and more say it is NOT a choice than say it is. I doubt that they are ALL gay activists. Besi...alot more. But ultimately...it doesn't really matter, because overwhelmingly the gays say it's not a choice themselves....plus all those other sources...and who should know better....you (as a straight person) or our gay citizens? Yes, acting on it is a different thing. If there are gays who wish to repress there natural desires to the point of celibacy because of religion or whatever...than that is their choice, but nobody can expect all gays to do it.

  • charlie91342 Sylmar, CA
    Oct. 14, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    Faithful Advocate | 3:57 p.m

    I am amazed at your total ineptitude with common sense... it doesn't matter what the APA or any psycologists say. Just use your "god-given" common sense...

    first, NO ONE would be gay if it was a choice. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Not a person on the planet would choose that lifestyle, knowing the degradation and abuse they would face for life.

    second, did you choose your orientation? can you change your orientation? tomorrow, can you decide to be attracted to members of the same sex, or are you forever going to be attracted to the opposite sex?

    this is all just simple common sense. the fact that you ignore it, and try to throw studies done by non-gay people, simply shows the extent you will go to try to muddle a very simple thing.

    certainly you disapprove of gays. and I agree that being gay and acting on it are two different things. but why don't you at least man-up and admit that who a person is attracted to is not a choice, it is just the way they are wired?

  • scojos Draper, UT
    Oct. 14, 2010 1:18 p.m.

    I was talking with a black man one day and asked "What is it really like to be black ?" He stated "If you are not black then you can never really know".
    I was talking with a gay person one day and I asked "What is it really like to be gay?" And he answered "If you are not gay then you can never really know".
    I was talking with a Mormon one day and asked" What do you really mean when you say you love all men,be they black or gay? And he replied "If you are not Mormon you can not really know."

    Thus,I discovered that most involved in this current discussion "really don't know" because none are "the other person" of the equation. All are parroting their elders or their religious leaders, who are , in my estimation, the furtherest from "really knowing" given that their doctrines and dogmas won't allow them to "really know".

  • charlie91342 Sylmar, CA
    Oct. 14, 2010 12:35 p.m.

    here's the problem. Your church regularly comes out with statements condemning "the gay lifestyle" as if your lifestyle was better. I'm sure you think it is, but that doesn't make it so. But you are a large organization and many people listen to what you say, so when you condemn a group of people, it has an impact on them.

    So answer this - how would you feel if the heads of the US branch of the Catholic church made regular public speeches condemning your religion and stating it is blasphemy and an abomination? Stating it is ok to be Mormon as long as you don't act on it by going to temple, etc because those actions are immoral? And they told all their practitioners to spend time and money to take away your tax-exempt status, thereby threatening you with a loss of rights - rights that they freely enjoy.

    honestly, how would you feel? don't you think it would make more people look down on you? and wouldn't you send representatives to try to convince the Catholic church to stop doing it?

    that is all the LGBT people are doing.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    I heard Packer blast homosexual behavior, but not the people that are practicing it.

    I just wish some people would agree to disagree on certain issues, instead of tearing after them like rabid dogs.

    It's not as though all the protests, and petitions have made the church change it's traditional stance which is the traditional position of MANY christiantiy based churches.

  • Nanook of the North Camarillo, CA
    Oct. 14, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    I was very glad to see this statement. I didn't have any problems with the content of Pr. Packer's talk, but I remember thinking (when he said that "key" sentence) that a lot of people are going to feel very hurt by that way of wording it.

    Now, will members listen to this statement? Most of my fellow Latter-day Saints are great, but some have said really harsh, hateful, mean things about and to people who struggle with same-sex attraction. When will we learn to love unconditionally, and leave the judging up to God and our bishops and stake presidents?

    If any of our brothers and sisters are struggling with this -- especially our youth -- they need love and support and inclusion. Are they getting that? I hope they're not getting bullied and put down and ridiculed and isolated; but too often, that's what happens.

    Will we listen?

  • LauraG Concho, AZ
    Oct. 14, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    As a lifetime member I can appreciate the sicerity of the leaders words. However the tired phrase 'Love the sinner, hate the sin." has translated down to the masses as hate, despise and isolate the "sinner." A local bishop even refused to shake hands with my gay son who was doing some electical work in the local stake center. My son came out, but remained celibate and tried to stay in the church. But the intolerance finally woke our entire family up to the truth that this was not the right fit for us. We pray for all gay LDS members and hope you have the courage to embrace your'GAYNESS." There are many people out there who will surround you and give you the community that the good members of Christ's "True Church" withhold.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 13, 2010 4:21 p.m.

    To Faithful Advocate

    Present your sources! I consider the APA an unbiased source. They disagree with you! Check them further!

    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.

  • Neanderthal Chicago, Ill
    Oct. 13, 2010 12:27 a.m.

    The problem with this entire issue is that Churches have decided that homosexuality is entirely a matter of choice and therefore is declared sinful. Something to be sorry for and repent of.

    What this position entirely ignores is the substantial evidence that same sex orientation is not always or entirely a matter of choice... that there is something biological about it. So, the repenting requirement is for something that is partially or entirely beyond the person's capacity. Very unfair. The Church needs to do some serious pondering. It is strange indeed that those who profess direct access to higher authority has trouble with this.

  • Jolter Northern, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 5:50 p.m.

    @married 128

    We already have civil marriage where people go to the court house or a Justice of the Peace to be married. Civil marriage is the same as religious marriage minus the religiou ceremony. It has nothing to do with religion. Churches seem to think that if same-sex marriage becomes legal that they will be forced to marry gays in their church. I don't think that will ever be true. They will have a choice to marry them or not to marry them. Some churches will. Some won't. Most gays would be satisfied with civil marriage, but religious entities want to prevent ALL same-sex marriages thus denying gays their equal right to be married to the one they love and be denied the legal benefits of marriage. Hardly seems fair to me!

  • married 128 lindon, utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 12:54 p.m.

    Love the sinner, but not the sin

  • Old Wanderer Smithfield, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    I lived in CA during the prop 8 debate and a few years before that when we, the voters, overwhelmingly approved a similar proposition.

    I listened closely to BKP's talk (whom I support as a revelator of God's will - along with the rest of the 1st presidency and apostles). During his talk and the days since, the only hate language I've heard is coming from the GLBS community. The Church's stand on immorality has not and should not change.

    The scientific community tries to tell us that same-sex attraction is genetic, yet they cannot offer proof except that "they" can't change it. Using that measure we wouldn't have electric lights 'cause Edison failed so many times.

    I also remember the '60s before blacks were allowed to have the priesthood and a Time magazine article that claimed a new LDS revelation could be expected any time. That revelation was 25 years in coming - and had nothing to do with immorality or any other basic law.

    Marriage as we know it is a religous ceremony. Perhaps it is time to provide an alternative for legal purposes that has nothing to do with religion.

  • Jolter Northern, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    @question---a question to consider

    Is it worth widening the division by making offensive speeches DEMANDING that GAYS comply with YOUR doctrine and beliefs when they are NOT LDS?

    Mr. Packer was not reaching out to gays as a whole. While I support peaceful protest by the gays (or anyone)...I also understand the emotion of their fight can be heated and argumentive. They are a minority in a religious world where churches use their power, money, and influence to try to shape public policy and other people's rights. They use words like sinner, impure, immoral, unnatural, when referring to gays and those words ARE offensive to those who believe differently than the LDS Church. In order to be heard they sometimes are not so peaceful and use "words" that may be offensive to the LDS as they fight for their rights. The offensive word slinging goes both ways! LDS often state that gays are shoving their agenda in their faces, but never think about the fact that THEY are shoving their RELIGIOUS agenda in other people's faces.

    Neither side is innocent in this issue!

  • MrsDownhomeAmerica Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 12, 2010 10:41 a.m.

    The thing that is particularly sad about the violent reaction to a nonviolent difference of opinion, is that the local Salt Lake City gay community, which has actually been treated better in many cases, than in other cities, will be more stigmatized and isolated because of the outsiders coming in using commando tactics to force the church to amend the doctrine of Christ according to their dictation. Push-back, even though expressly prohibited, will inevitably follow, as the radical element reveals their hatred and violent intent towards the members of the church.
    We will not run away, we will not bow down to the false God of assimilation, even at the risk of losing our livelihood, our property, or our lives. Our faith cannot be scared out of us, burned out of us, beaten out of us, or starved out of us. We will continue to tell the truth, even when that truth is unpopular. It is not personal, it is a matter of principle. We will attempt to keep our discourse civil, as we ask all to do, whatever the issue. I think that’s what infuriates the haters most.

  • VocalLocal Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    If you believe someone speaks for God then are you going to listen to any logical arguments against that person's claims?

    If you don't believe a person speaks for God are you going to take seriously any claims of divine authority for a particular practice?

    Do we even really have grounds for dialogue here? I think the only real discussion we can have is if anyone or anything speaks for God and religious people say that discussion is offensive to them so we have nothing to talk about.

  • Question Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 9:29 a.m.

    I sincerely doubt President Packer's comments would have resulted in a surge of abuse and mistreatment and teasing of people strugling with same-sex-attraction.

    His message&tone was totally not down that path, and he made it VERY clear that teasing_or_abusing ANYONE in this situation is not acceptable for anyone who sustained him as a prophet.

    If left alone this speach COULD have done much to heal the people who in the past may have teased someone in their peer_group if they learned of their same-sex-attraction.

    But NO... the GLBS leaders had to organize a protest and shove their agenda in our faces and DEMAND that we say the words THEY wanted us to say.

    I suspect the protests (especially if they focus on offending the LDS) will end up causing more DIVISION... more_anger... more_bitterness... more_frustration... for BOTH groups (by sowing and carefully cultivating these seeds of anger). They are counter_productive!

    The GLBS community must decide... Is the peace, love, and hope, President Packer outlined a worthy attempt to reach out to them without denying God's unchanged expectations??? Or is it worth widening this devision by organizing offensive_protests DEMANDING the LDS comply_with_ALL_your_demands?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    Healthy people do not 'struggle' with their sexuality. They enjoy it.

    I will use Packer himself as an example. 10 children later, do you think he 'struggles' with his sexuality?

    I doubt it.

    No, I think people struggle, with others who try to actively change their sepearate lives.

    Therein, lies the struggle.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 8:01 a.m.

    Suicide is a personal choice and not the fault of the church. It is sad that it happens, and it is sad that people get to that point that they make that decision that is the ultimate expression of selfishness. Blaming it on the church is just plain wrong.

    I know several people, including some relatives, that committed suicide. None were homosexual, and none blamed the church. They were mentally messed up and had underlying problems, in most of the cases.

    I've seen people do it to themselves for a myriad of reasons from they were too fat, to they listened to Kurt Cobain. Whatever the reason, they did it to themselves. No one forced them.

    If you don't like what Packer said, get over it.

  • InUtahButNotOfUtah South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 12, 2010 7:47 a.m.

    @ToBeUnderstood and others:
    Please know that there are many of us fellow Mormons who empathize with you and would be your friend if only we knew who you are. I suspect there are many of you who are suffering in silence throughout our wards and neighborhoods.

    I'm sorry for all of the judgment that you receive at the hands of church members. Those who speak so condemningly toward you obviously do not understand. However, one of these days, a close member of their families will come out to them. Then we'll watch them change their attitude to one of compassion rather than condemnation.

    BTW, thank you for serving a mission and doing your best. Please hang in there. You are loved.

  • InUtahButNotOfUtah South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    I, too, welcome civil discourse. However, on these comment boards, you censor too much. Earlier today, I wrote a message attempting to defend myself against KM from Cedar Hills who accused me of apostasy. You had no problem publishing their self-righteous diatribe that was directed very personally at me for expressing my opinion. However, when I tried to explain myself, you failed to publish my comment. I don't understand the way you pick and choose what to publish, and I'm very disappointed that you allowed such a personal attack toward me but wouldn't allow me to respond.

    Be fair, please.

  • Gracious George West Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2010 6:08 p.m.

    The paper has this all wrong. They can write that this is what Pres. Packer meant, but that is only an opinion that is favorable towards the entity that owns and runs it, which we would all expect.

    The fact is that now the Deseret News is giving credibility to hatred and bullying against gays and lesbians, which is unfortunate.

    As for the Facebook movement by LDS youth, I appreciate the fact that youth want to do something good and contribute to the world, but this is really misguided at best.

    We need to understand that people who possess alternative lifestyles have been misunderstood, judged, and discriminated against for a long time.

    For these well-intentioned youth to do something like this is doing the opposite of what their faith teaches.

    In the scriptures it clearly teaches the importance of showing kindness and compassion towards your fellow man. One cannot be a Latter-day Saint and do something like this without going against such Christlike attributes.

    I commend the youth for their noble attempt in trying to do something right, but this is flat misguided, and I think the youth owe the alternative lifestyle community an apology.

  • leelee29 Aurora, IL
    Oct. 11, 2010 5:03 p.m.

    I really liked the tone of this article. I can understand why some people were upset and offended by President Packer's words, but I think you will get what you are looking for. I really thought his message was one of hope and a call to help those struggling with any sin, addiction, or whatever, to come unto Christ. It is sad when those people going through trials feels like they have no one, but this is not unique to those with same-sex attraction. Many people struggle alone with things, that is why the Savior performed the Atonement. He can understand like no one else can the pain you are going through. It is not the LDS Church's goal to be popular in society and conform to what society wants. Read the history of the Mormons who were persecuted on every hand, driven out of at least 4 states because they were hated so much, had their members/leaders murdered. What is so wrong with peacefully disagreeing?

  • Nate Daniels Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 4:50 p.m.

    FWIW, I have several gay friends. None of them "struggle with same gender attraction". They are actually quite comfortable with it. Hence why they admit to being gay. They do, however, struggle with people treating them like second class citizens. Elder Packer's speech simply added to that by telling them that they are just under Satan's control and if they were better human's they would be able to control themselves. I don't think he intended to be derogatory to the GLBT community, but that's how he came across.

  • Livingstone Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    Here's a newsflash you won't read about in the paper: not all the LGBT community is angry with this man for what he said. Tell gay youth to change their natural tendencies and tell them it will even when it doesn't? Or in the midst of recent suicides? I don't agree with that as being good advice, but all this uproar is totally unnecessary. Accusing him of "hate speech"? Seriously? That's insane. This anger from some of the LGBT community is wrong and misguided.

    -Signed a gay Mormon ally

  • marinewarrior Georgetown, TX
    Oct. 11, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    When will we start hearing from those who have a pornography addiction or have family or friends who are addicted to pornography trying to get the Church to quit preaching about the dangers of pornography? What about those who don't pay tithing? When will they begin trying to get the Church to quite preaching about that? My point is, that just because you or someone you know is in some sort of sinful state does not justify asking the Church to change the Gospel to suit your or your acquaintances lifestyles. If you can't agree with the Prophets and Apostles then there are plenty of other churches that approve of the homosexual/lesbian lifestyle. If you truly believe that is where Jesus is and where He wants you then that might be the best choice for you rather than frustrating yourself over the refusal of the Church to agree with you. Can a homosexual or lesbian ever sin? Or, because of their "condition" they are incapable of sin? If they can't sin then why worry about it? You have your ticket to heaven.

  • graphicsgal Mapleton, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2010 3:17 p.m.

    I also agree with those who dont think it is right to be unkind to anyone no matter what they believe or live- however those who found fault with Boyd K Packers talk fail to see that the doctrine of the church is not going to change- Jesus is at the head and the prophet his spokesperson here and the men who are with him like Brother Packer are inspired, educated, wonderful men. Those who feel inclined of the same sex gender are not cut out of God's plan for them- but for the church there are guidelines- just like me who is heterosexual, I cannot commit adultery or steal and expect nothing to happen to me. Its not my will I follow but Gods will. I honor the covenants I made. I would not wish to go against those. If those who are gay and wish to be apart of our faith, if they follow the guidelines set they can have just about all I have- they can go the temple, they can have callings, these are not withheld- on marriage- it is what the Lord has set-this why we stand by our decision on that.

  • CaballeroKid Meriden, CT
    Oct. 11, 2010 3:17 p.m.


    Colin Powell put it well:
    "Unlike race or gender, sexuality is not a benign trait. It is manifested by behaviour. While it would be decidedly biased to assume certain behaviours based on gender or membership in a particular racial group, the same is not true for sexuality."

    Not to be nitpicky, but for the sake of clarity, a civil right is a right guaranteed in the statutes or constitution. There is no direct right in any of those for homosexual marriage (and, in fact, the Protection of Marriage Act signed in 1996 defines marriage as between a man and a woman). Therefore, it is "available" to everyone equally--they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex like everyone else.

    Yes, homosexual individuals do in fact have every single exact same right that everyone else has. They are free to marry someone of the opposite sex and partake of all those benefits. What they want is to create a new right by redefining marriage. There is a huge, huge difference there.

  • Question Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    shamrock | 9:04 p.m.

    Will any statement short of, "OK, do whatever you want", ever be considered short of hatefull to you?

    If anything short of full capitulation, or dropping standards almost every member knows exists, is seen as "Hatefull"... do you see the impase you place us at?

    It's a completely unsustainable all-or-nothing position you take. And a position you should not require your LDS friends to undertake or risk offending you. The lack of flexibility just creates a wedge of impossible expectations.

    Don't require that we deny our faith... or you will see us as hatefull and intending to offend. That's a trap.

    We ARE sincere in our love of all people. Don't require us to do deny God, in order to not offended you.

    If given the ultamatum of offending you, or offending God... which one do you think most LDS people will take?

    When you place the agenda of the Gay_lesbian_aliance in the place where you must deny God or the aliance... what do you think will happend?

    The issue needs to be framed in another way. A less emotional way. A less all_or_nothing way.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    There has been a lot of honest concern here about how the words of LDS Church leaders might affect gay and lesbian youth, but for a moment let me reverse the argument.

    When people in pamphlet after pamphlet, video after video and website after website describe the LDS Church as a "CULT" or say that Mormons are going to "BURN for eternity with the devil," how do you think LDS youth feel about this?

    Of course, the obvious retort to this is either:

    1. "Maybe if you Mormons weren't so hateful, no one would say such nasty things about you."

    2. "You started it, so shut up and deal with it."

    3. "You're just suffering from a persecution complex."

    This is why attacks against people like Boyd K. Packer strike me as so hypocritical. People are demanding acceptance and love from their LDS family members, friends, co-workers and classmates, but it is more than quite clear nothing of the sort will ever be returned.

    Feel free to read over the SL Trib's comment board any day of the week and tell me those words aren't as hurtful or destructive as President Packer's.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 12:22 p.m.

    If one wants to know the how God wants his church governed, listen to those whom he called to govern it.

    If one wants to know what is reality, pay attention to reality and those experts whose business it is to study it.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    John Pack Lambert of Michigan | 9:53 a.m. Oct. 11, 2010
    Ypsilanti, MI
    Those who have attacked President Packer's talk have misrepresented why they dislike it.

    Those who object to President Packer's talk do so because they take offense at anyone saying that all sexual relations besides those of a man and a woman legally wedded as husband and wife are sinful.

    No, JPL, you weren't listening. They took offense because he told gays they could change if they were righteous enough.

    Many of those who are gay have spent decades, thousands of dollars and more tears than you can count trying to change but to no avail. This is where depression sets in and suicide is comtemplated.

    THAT is what they are protesting. Those who cannot change becoming morose and depressed to the point of killing themselves. It happens. It happens in this church.

  • Bethanymom Murray, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 12:06 p.m.

    I hate to sound uncaring, but this is not exactly new information, and I don't see how this protest actually did anything but create media hype.

    I have a sibling that picketed General Conference 13 years ago in support of homosexuality.

    This may be one of the more vocal demonstrations, but still if it hasn't worked in the last 13+ years why does the LGBT community believe that this protest will suddenly make the LDS Church snap to, and RADICALLY change their doctrine because the LGBT community believes it is wrong?!?

    It would be a better use of their time and resources to foster more understanding, and to help the average member become more aware of what it is to be LGBT (and what it is not). Better to build bridges than to lob flaming ammunition at the church and it's members.

    But then maybe building bridges, and fostering understanding doesn't grab headlines like a protest with nifty signs, and catchy slogans.

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    Pres. Packer said, "Nowhere are the generosity and the kindness and mercy of God more manifest than in repentance."

    His talk was one of the Savior's love, and I deeply appreciate it. Thank you Pres. Packer.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    I agree with the call for civility. I think it is important though that a push for civility not have a chilling effect on meaningful debate or be used as a way to silence criticism.

    Critical thought is different from a lack of civility.

    Many LDS don't even recognize how abhorrent many find Elder Packer's words–even if they are said with loving intent. Like when mainstream Christians question LDS claims to christianity – even if with loving intent and in an effort to "save"–people get upset. No one likes to be defined by others.

    Many critics have issues with Elder Packer's remarks because:

    1. They think SSA/Homosexual relationships are not sins

    2. They do not see SAA/Homosexuality as a choice

    3. They believe that strident language regarding 1 and 2 are not only counterproductive but dangerous.

    Recent signs are that there is little chance the Church will change it's stance on 1 and likely 3. 2 is up in the air IMO.

    So I support a call for civility– but while there is such a wide disagreement on these basic ideas I suspect the criticism will likely continue.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    Elder Packer’s talk is crucial, compassionate, civil, and broad, asserting freewill. I understood that freedom can’t be forcibly taken from anyone, however, porn addicts, adulterers, pedophiles’, etc, all, can give away natural affection for families, spouses etc.

    Hopefully clarification encouraged understanding.

    He never said gays can change orientation, but there is evidence that they can. (See responses to APA on Evergreen and narth).

    Yet powerful, popular activists using changing excuses have LONG singled out my maligned religious minority and have bullied, even calling for destruction. The Church calls for free compassion for all. No one is “pre-set” to hate either.

    Many still assert outdated misinformation that homosexuality is forced by genes, prenatal hormones (both shared by identical twins) etc Evidence indicates environments “illicit” homosexuality (see narth).

    Activists and prophets create dichotomous environments: freedom or false genetic, deterministic chains.

    APA “harmful” statements were not science based, and also referred to PSYCHOLOGISTS’ eighties aversion therapy (still used until recently with sex offenders). This Pavlovian therapy also didn’t work on alcoholics etc. Studies on religious gays showed success, and found “no evidence that the attempt to change sexual orientation was harmful,” the APA revised statements due to these studies.

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    President Packer did not even mention homosexuality or homosexuals.

    His message was about CHOICE (Agency).

    Some are tempted by alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. They are not required (preset) by those temptations to partake of those things. Many unmarried/and married people are tempted by the possibility of sexual relations outside of marriage. They should not do that, despite those temptations or tendencies. Yes... I believe he was also saying that those with temptations and tendencies toward homosexuality are able to, and should CHOOSE not to participate.

    He did not specifically mention any of those transgressions, or any others. It was not necessary.

    The message is that none of these temptations or tendencies remove our ability or responsibility to CHOOSE what we do.

    Do gays truly believe that since they are attracted to people of their same gender, that they have no CHOICE but to engage in homosexual behavior?

    I am not perfect, but I recognize that overcoming my temptations is my responsibility. I cannot blame God, or the LDS Church if I CHOOSE to do things that are wrong.

    That message is incredibly consistent with the long established LDS position, and is not hateful toward anyone.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    While I think civility should always prevail, members of the LDS Church need to be aware of harm that their rhetoric often causes. They can be insulated and so focused on their beliefs they cannot see another's perspective.

    By all means Elder Packer/Mormons have the right to say that homosexuality is a choice and a sin, but they should be aware that these statements– even if said with loving intent– are abhorrent and offensive to many.

    Think of it this way:
    EV Christians challenge LDS claims of being Christian and invoke the term 'cult' in an effort to 'save' Mormons–all while claiming to love them. Yet LDS are still offended by the comments and are vocal in their own defense. No one likes to be defined by someone else.

    The big question IMO is whether the Church's going to engage in a dialog about this issue or continue to say 'the prophets have spoken' & shut it all down. They've every right to do that. What they shouldn't do though is expect the discussion to go away or criticism to stop while they continue to speak out against others.

  • SLTribReader Orem, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    "My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned [clerics] here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall
    we laugh, or shall we cry?"

    - Galileo Galilei (Letter to Johannes Kepler, 1610)

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    I would second what TexLDS said. Science can not be a moral guide for life. Those who claim it is are either not understanding it or misusing it.

    A principal I learned long ago was "do not counsel the brethren". I would encorage a re-reading of 14 fundamentals of following the prophet.

    The prophet tells us what God wants us to know, not what we need to hear.

    However most of the claims about what President Packer said are just false. He never once said anything about same-gender attraction, homosexual behavior or the like. He never used such words. The closest he came was saying that only in the case of sex between a legally and lawfully wedded husband and wife is sex anything other than immoral.

    To act as if the Church's call to be "asexual" only applies to homosexuals is just dishonest. There are many members of the Church with opposite-gender attraction who also never marry.

    Those who claim that Church members do not accept those with same-gender attraction should welcome President Packer's talk. I have never heard such a strong message of repentance paired so closely with homosexual behavior.

  • JoeCapitalist Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:16 a.m.

    shamrock said: "Please, LDS members, try to imagine how you would feel if a neighbor said, "My Church teaches me to love everyone, including alcoholics, murderers, drug abusers and Mormons. Although my Church tells me that Mormon beliefs are perverted and an abomination, I have nothing but love for individual Mormons and I would never condone violence against them."

    Actually most Mormons would be very grateful to hear such a statement from the GLBT groups and a variety of other churches who attack us viciously all the time.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    snowman 9:48am

    Give me one specific quote in which one of the Brethren stated "I love you" to those struggling with pornography. Not the generic love expressed to everyone.

    Further, find me concrete evidence of the Church's "mutual support of anti-discrimination laws for [adulterers, pedophiles, porn users, alcohol and drug addicts] and its compassionate ministry to LDS Church members who [struggle with these issues]."

    Show me any policy or legislation the Church has supported (and equally kept itself exempt from following) that allowed greater freedom and special protections for those struggling with the behaviors or addictions I mentioned.

    I appreciate your blind acceptance of everything coming out of the Church's all-powerful Public Affairs Department, but Christ didn't establish his Church with a PR firm. I don't recall "civil dialogue" being one of the foundations of the restored gospel. Do you?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Oct. 11, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    Those who have attacked President Packer's talk have misrepresented why they dislike it.

    Those who object to President Packer's talk do so because they take offense at anyone saying that all sexual relations besides those of a man and a woman legally wedded as husband and wife are sinful.

    The argument that President Packer responded to is basically "God made me this way, if God did it it must be right so stop saying my actions are immoral". It is a moral argument that assumes the existence of God, this is beyond science. President Packer's position is that God is our loving Heavely Father. He made a way for us to overcome the temptations we face and repent of the sins we commit.

    The end message is that though people have fallen deep into sin can repent, and that once you repent you need to no longer focus on the past sins but move forward. If the passage that people claim is at the heart of the hubbub is about homosexual behavior, than President Packer's talk becomes a strong message of the ability to repent of homosexual behavior.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    MapleDon: They have said many times that they love everyone. It is said at every Conference

  • pakundo Dublin, CA
    Oct. 11, 2010 9:34 a.m.

    Those LGBT activists must consider how many people have committed suicide because they felt hopeless to change because of the lies spread by those same activists. What hypocrisy.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    I hope this same level of love and compassion is extended to all people who struggle with sexual (and other) problems and addictions.

    Sadly, the only group to whom the olive branch appears to be extended by the Church (or its Public Affairs arm) is to the LGBT community.

    I don't recall in this last conference (or any in many years) a member of the Twelve saying that he and the other Brethren love those struggling with adultery, pornography, alcohol or drugs. Further, if you search, you'll find the Brethren stopped talking about the evils of homosexuality over 10 years ago. Rather, pornography receives the greatest amount of focus and attention.

    Any dummy can tell you that's because those struggling with other addictive behaviors aren't organized and vocal (and have the backing of the national media), like the LGBT community.

    This has everything to do with Public Relations and very little to do with principle. And that's sad.

  • maxludlow Springville, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    The message I felt was of hope for any who are less than happy with their lives. I have the power to change who I am, I can be who I choose to be! Our world could use a little more of this attitude :)
    What a relief! The truth!
    Thank you Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Thank you Boyd K. Packer
    I am free to be.

  • mormon thinker Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    I'm finding it difficult to understand why there is the need to condemn anyone else's behavior but our own. Letting people who are gay be gay does not take anything away from me. Letting gay people be married does not take anything away from my marriage. If you want to focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ, instead of guessing what His position might be, it would be far better to focus on His actual teachings of "judge not that ye be not judged" or "love thy neighbor as thyself." I cannot help but be grateful that society has progressed enough that we can even have this dialog. We need to continue progressing until everyone is accorded the same rights in society.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 5:44 a.m.

    @shamrock 9:04

    You said - "Please, LDS members, try to imagine how you would feel if a neighbor said, "My Church teaches me to love everyone, including alcoholics, murderers, drug abusers and Mormons. Although my Church tells me that Mormon beliefs are perverted and an abomination, I have nothing but love for individual Mormons and I would never condone violence against them."

    I got news for you. Mormons DO hear those very words ALL THE TIME! In fact, go to the SLTrib comment boards sometime and you will read DAILY attacks against the LDS Church FAR WORSE than anything any LDS person has ever said about gays or lesbians.

    Visit the south sometime, or New England or the Midwest. Talk to LDS people who live there are hear what people frequently say about the LDS Church. I guarantee you, it's not good.

    Talk to my sister in Missouri, whose neighbor refuses to speak to her and refusues to let her kids visit with my sister's kids, simply because they're Mormon.

    But we Mormons are told to just SHUT UP AND TAKE IT! If someone attacks us and we take offense, WE'RE the hateful ones.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    What President Packer said in his talk is:

    1. You will be happiest in a marriage between a man and woman.
    2. A sexual relationship outside of this marriage is a sin.
    3. Even if you feel you were born with temptations toward any type of a sexual relationship outside of this marriage, you can overcome and resist these temptations.
    4. If you have participated in sexual sins you can repent of those sins.

    Everyone is free to either agree or disagree with his words.

    The LDS church fully supports equal civil rights for all people, and supports civil unions for all people.

    What they do not support, and feel it is their moral responsibility to vote against, are marriages for other than one man and one woman.

    LDS people have the right to peacefully express their opinions, as do those who support a more liberal social agenda.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    Please listen or read the talk again. President Packer did not say that tendencies/temptations were not inborn. He said that they could be overcome. This doesn't mean necessarily changed so that the temptations don't exist at all anymore. But maybe that we can overcome by not giving in to whatever tempts us.

    This is only if we feel the desire to overcome them.
    If you don't want to, then don't.

    I took the talk to be about pornography and any sexual sin in general, not about homosexuality in specific.

  • Miss Piggie Chicago, Ill
    Oct. 11, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    @Andy Punkaman 9:02 p.m.

    "Having worked for 45 years as a family and marriage counselor, I have worked with a number of men and women in the gay community."

    Have you ever suggested that the afflicted go to Elder Holland or Packer for a Priesthood blessing?

  • rudipen Layton, ut
    Oct. 11, 2010 12:05 a.m.

    Ahhh..... the Mormans and some non Mormans that are trying to defend incindiary remarks by Mr. Packer.

    Sorry but the tide of public opinion has shifted about LGBTs and once again you are trying to hide behind your bible and "leaders" without thinking for yourselves. C'mon now, how is being gay hurting you and why are you so hurtful? It's comical that scriptures are quoted and GOD is on your side. Pshaw!

    If history repeats itself, you'll be changing your tune and saying it was inspiration that gave you common sense.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:00 p.m.

    I have weighed the comments of all contributors. I now must decide how I will proceed with this most divisive subject. I thank the science community for their input. I thank the leaders of the various denominations too. I have no reason not to trust the words and counsel of Elder Packer.

    I will offer a hand of friendship to all. I will not take differences of opinion or life choices personally nor will I take offense to those that may ridicule me for not following the worldly trends du juor.

    I will treat both those that struggle with and those that openly flaunt ungodly behavior as people deserving of my love and respect. I choose not to judge unrighteously. I will let those charged with righteous judgment do that. All humans in my reach will be treated with dignity. Hopefully, we can all help each other to overcome what distances us from Divine Providence and work toward finding peace in the Atonement of the Savior.

  • ToBeUnderstood South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:53 p.m.

    Just a little clarification :D I no longer have any issues with depression or suicide. What upsets me so much is that much of what I went through, and what so many others are no going through, is due to ignorance and unwillingness of those around them to care. Pointless suffering is what I try to prevent. We already have so much to bear, we don't need our communities and friends to add to it.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:05 p.m.

    I hear your pain--and the pain of so many others.
    My heart aches for you. I don't know what the answers are. Sometimes I think if you and others started talking about your struggles--and the pain you endure more openly--on an individual basis-- perhaps it wouldn't be so easy for people to be so ignorant. We would have to confront our unloving, judgmental and ignorant minds and hearts. We shouldn't be "comfortable" when so many are suffering.
    Choose life. Do whatever you need to do. Find a support group? (Affirmation?) another church? Please educate us. Help us to be better people--more Christ-like.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:03 p.m.

    Thankfully, our knowledge about homosexuality and its effects comes not from science, but from God.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:00 p.m.

    Editorial quote: "The tactic is now all-too familiar: take a statement out of context, embellish it with selective interpretation, presume hostile intent, and then use the distortion to isolate an entire group, in this case a church."

    Yep, that pretty much sums up what the pro-homosexual community does.

    Did in the Prop 8 fight (especially after Prop 8 passed, except then they also did it with numerous instances of destruction/vandalism of private property) and they're doing it again now.

    The Lord warned us there would be a day in which many call evil good, and good, evil.

  • wxut Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    I believe Pres. Packer's talk was insipred of God because he is chosen by Jesus Christ as an Apostle, just like Jesus's apostles in the New Testament. I agree with what he said in effect that voting to change the moral laws of God would be like voting to change the law of gravity. It would be absurd. From the time of Adam and Eve his commandment has always been for his children to multiply and replenish the earth. That can ONLY be accouplished by uniting a man and woman in marriage. Children deserve to be born into homes where fathers and mothers are committed to each other in the bonds of marriage. I believe one of the greatest causes for the attack on the family is a result of the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s. People are confused about their identities because the world is loosing their moral footings. I am SO thankful for living prophets of God to help us keep our footings in a world of chaos.

  • Ray73 Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:31 p.m.

    Why don't people just accept the fact that the Mormon Church is a church. The Church is not a political party subject to the masses voting on a pary position. President Packer has every right to talk about any moral subject. If people don't like the position of the Church, then join another church. Every church has their position on moral issues.

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:22 p.m.

    The word of God is the word God, no matter how much you wish to change it....just the way it is. You can't pick and chose which commandments to follow or believe in, and there is no gray area on this one. Homosexuality is a sin, has been from the time of Adam, nothing will change that. We LOVE the sinner, but cannot support the sin.

    From reading many of these posts, it may be time for some Church members to decide if they support the Church and the word of modern day prophets, or to go the way of the world.

    And finally, Pres. Packer is a man in his late 80s and nearing the end of his life and you make him a target!?! Really brave of you, you should be proud of your courage. Pres. Packer probably would treat you far differently if you ever actually met him. Yeah, he's the guy that would help you change a flat tire in the rain regardless of your sexual orientation, but let's make sure to demonize him.

    I support you 100% Pres. Packer.

  • imright Farmington, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:22 p.m.

    It's is so much easier to cry foul and lay blame than take personal responsibility.

    I applaud President Packer's willingness to speak the truth in a climate of political pressure and silencing. We need more of the moral majority to be willing to speak the truth.

    What is sad is that so many of the wonderful messages of conference have been overlooked while the gay community screams "fire" where there isn't one.

  • Led Zeppelin II Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    Boyd K. Packers comments were filled with love. Let this be a time for Latter Day Saints to pray for our wonderful church leaders to continue to have strength and guidence. And especially for our enemies who persucute us and stone the Prophets that they may see the light before it is too late. And for ourselves who are no better and sin depite the truth we have. Boyd K. Packer is awesome!

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:04 p.m.

    The comments on this topic are nothing short of heartbreaking. Many of the Mormon commenters seem sincere in their calls for civility and understanding ... but then in the next breath, they'll say things that are deeply hurtful.

    Please, LDS members, try to imagine how you would feel if a neighbor said, "My Church teaches me to love everyone, including alcoholics, murderers, drug abusers and Mormons. Although my Church tells me that Mormon beliefs are perverted and an abomination, I have nothing but love for individual Mormons and I would never condone violence against them."

  • Andy Punkaman Smithfield, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    We are all peccable. Likely, Christ was also peccable; however, he lived an impeccable life. The unrighteous desire for sexual gratification is a challenge for most people with one sex or the other or both. To be a geniune disciple of Christ is to act impeccable and eventually to think inpeccable as well. Such a lofty goal may not be possible in this life; however, as we apply the gospel of Jesus Christ we may progress significantly down that path and thereby reach Christ-like actions and eventually Christ-like thinking. In my mind, this is what Elder Packer was saying.

    Having worked for 45 years as a family and marriage counselor, I have worked with a number of men and women in the gay community. I empathize with their challenges; however, I do not think for those who are heterosexual and trying to live right and think chaste thoughts that their burden is any less than our gay friends.

    A righteous life is hard and everyone makes mistakes this I know; nevertheless, it is worth the fight and effort. The reward is pure selfless relationships which will bless the universe forever.

  • Retired Physician (M.D.) Eden, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:29 p.m.

    Regardless of what is or isn't said in LDS General Conference by a General Authoritiy, human genetics, physiology, DNA, RNA, epigenitic material, etc., will not change. It is what it is.
    As someone who has worked with many same sex people, few can change this. Some can suppress it.
    I think the practical relevent issue is what to call the relationship. A Civil Rights Union with all the legal benefits associated with tradition marriage should be the exact equivilent of "Marriage". The two classifications should be equal i.e. the same.
    Hopefully most of society can accept reality.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:22 p.m.


    I am sorry. I hope you (and all who so struggle) can find the understanding and outreach you need to stay active and to eventually find peace in your lives.

    If so, there is much you can offer. May God bless you.

  • John Stewart Pill Vienna, VA
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:15 p.m.

    Give Elder Packer a break. Just because people have problems with Mormons, doesn't mean it's OK to pick on one of the nicest people in the world. I mean, heaven forbid an LDS leader should have feelings on homosexuality. I'd wager Elder Packer would be a better neighbor to gays than would 90% of these so-called "open-minded" people who couldn't care less either way about the issue.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:03 p.m.

    Suicide from homosexuality should send a message to youth not to tamper with this life style and for those who find themselves having urges toward homosexual behavior - no fault of their own - they should first recognize the truth and then find those that can help them. Simply telling these young people that homosexality is ok is not helping them - in fact it is pronouncing a life time of sorrow and depression upon them. If you "REALLY" care about these young people you would do exactly what Elder Packer did and state the truth that homosexuality is a destroyer of souls and is poison to the human spirit and then love them by helping them to find the Savior Jesus Christ in their lives. By learning of Christ these young people will soon recieve the Holy Ghost to influence them and strengthen them as well as help them to sort out the truth from the error and dead ends that our society puts out there. The truth will set you free ... these are not mere words!!

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:02 p.m.

    Some have questioned why Elder Packer felt the need to mention this volitile subject during conference, citing how well known is the church's stance on homosexuallity.

    The reason is abundantly clear from many posts here...too many church members are siding with the world on this issue.

    One can love the homosexual as an individual and NOT accept or agree with homosexuallity.

    It is the gay/lesbian community that has determined that not accepting their behavior means not loving them as children of God.

    Any parent has experience the situation of loving the child while condeming the behavior.

    Every child has experienced being loved while chastened for inexcusable behavior.

    To our gay/lesbian brothers and sisters...we love you.

    To those of all persuasions and tendancies who feel the word of God is established by majority rule; understand this simply is not so and never will be.

    Believe what you will; the word of God will not falter or shift based on the latest public opinion poll.

    Practice the tollerance you say all deserve... including towards those who disagree with your lifestyle choices.

    If you are on the high road as you belive...shoudn't you lead by example?

  • ToBeUnderstood South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:35 p.m.

    A world of shattered hopes and expectations. This is what I was greeted with after returning from my mission. Again and again I perceived myself to be falling short of the expectations and goals that were given to me by my leaders, who fully expected a change of "what (I) feel are inborn tendencies," and time after time, despite all my efforts and prayers, was continually met with perceived failure after failure. I am disappointed that those of us attracted to the same gender must struggle in silence. The pain of knowing that no one wants to know your private struggle, which pervades into so many aspects of life, must be kept secret so you don't make others "uncomfortable". There is no outreach, no safe haven of understanding for most of us. No shoulder to cry on. This is the reality of so many in the church. Those who should love us and surround and protect us, often don't. We feel alone, unloved, and unprotected. Are you really surprised when thoughts of suicide start to tickle at our brains? A call for civility, indeed.

  • Globetrecker salt lake city, ut
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:18 p.m.

    It is truly unfortunate that those who promote gay marriage have already shown a disposition to insist on uniformity of thought on the topic, and will certainly attempt to use the power of the state to suppress any attempt to publicly express a preference for heterosexuality, even (or especially) when such a preference has a religious basis, making this a potential religious-freedom and freedom-of-speech-and-press issue as well.

    Many, if not all gay groups say that we (religious people, not just LDS) are "intolerant." Not so. Tolerance implies disagreement – it means that even though we don't agree with or approve of each others beliefs or actions, we can still live together amicably. When we agree, we aren't being tolerant, we're being uniform. It's uniformity or submission these groups want, not tolerance at all.

    Bottom line:

    Why is it that we can't just say that something is wrong because it really is wrong, that no less an authority on morality than God has said it is wrong? If we really believe in Him and His plan, then there is no misunderstanding.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:00 p.m.

    Mr. Blue:
    Your analogies are less than optimal. Polygamy in the 1870s was after it was made unlawful and before the Supreme Court had decided the issue, which brought about the 1890 Manifesto. Extending the Priesthood to all worthy males was prophesied, it had to happen for the Kingdom to go forth. It happened when it was supposed to happen. Homosexual activity has never been acceptable to the Lord, and never will be. It is contrary to His Plan as found in the Proclamation on the Family and other places as well. Such activity has been condemned as destructive to the family and it continues to be so. To expect that the Lord's Church would suddenly change, calling sin OK and ignoring the spiritual welfare of Gods children is fruitless. Please note I said the ACTIVITY is condemned, not the person. God loves the sinner, for which I am eternally grateful.

  • Bill in Nebraska Omaha, NE
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:47 p.m.

    Having same-sex attraction is not a sin. It is not wrong to be attracted to some one of the opposite sex either. What is wrong and counted as sin is to ACT upon that attraction when it is against the laws of our Heavenly Father. Any sexual intercourse outside of the bonds of marriage the Lord has set is wrong. That is where homosexuality stands. I believe and have faith that any obstacle placed before us is able to be overcome if we desire it the most. President Packer is right in when he states these tendencies can be overcome. Does it take a lot
    of work, yes, and in some respects we may not be able to overcome all of it in this life.

    As Nephi so boldly stated:

    I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded, for I know that the Lord giventh no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them.

    Also we are taught that we will not be tempted greater than we can handle. Yes, President Packer was right and correct.

  • DeepintheHeart Lewisville, TX
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:28 p.m.

    I watched the talk live and I've read the posted version of the talk. The printed version conforms to what church leaders have said in recent years. President Packer's live remarks seemed to diverge from those positions by asserting that God, our Heavenly Father, would not give His children inborn homosexual tendencies because He loves us and is our Father. That's the part of the talk that was removed from the printed version, along with a change in the word tendencies to temptations. It's doctrine that the Lord provides ways to overcome temptations. The church has not taken a stand on the issue of tendencies. President Packer apparently thought better of his remarks and modified them after uttering them, as is his right. But in a digital age, that proves problematic.

  • BYUSTER Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:17 p.m.

    The LDS church can spend itself broke and it's not going to change a thing. They fail to realize that they've already lost - gay people will have equal protection under the law & equal rights in my lifetime.

    The church is on the wrong side of history, again, as is typical of religion. They will fight equal rights from their pulpits and when society changes, they will grudgingly accept.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:00 p.m.


    I understand your point reference the lists from the OT.

    But (as I am pretty sure you know) LDS doctrines are derived from both ancient and (what we consider to be) modern revelation.

    Also, Paul addresses these issues in the New Testament such that this was clearly an issue that carried on after the coming of Christ.

    None of this is to say that homosexuality is easy to deal with or that members should not reach out in compassion toward those who face this issue.

    For this (and many other tough issues) our task is to have compassion and to seek the Spirit of Lord on how we can reach out in love.

  • photographermom South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 5:59 p.m.

    I loved President Packers talk. If you are constantly looking to be offended you are going to be. Seriously if the gay community wants a voice then they should respect that the Church has one also.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 5:39 p.m.

    Elder Packer described same gender attraction as a sin to be overcome, not an inborn physiological or psychological weakness beyond the control of the one suffering because of it. As an Apostle speaking as an special witness of Christ, clarity on the subject was revealed. Sadly, we had to be instructed in General Conference to appreciate the black and whiteness of an issue that personal revelation should have made abundantly clear.

    With that proclamation firmly planted in our consciousness, we now must raise our hand to the square to sustain either an Apostle or our favorite scientist. Whatever decision we make, it is hoped that all can follow Elder Packer's continual charge to love and sustain all of God's children.

    In the words of Neal Maxwell, "It is our job to lift others up, not to size them up."

  • Bmwbiker Pocatello, ID
    Oct. 10, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    When divine revelation requires 'clarification of intent' that should be a clear warning sign that the message lacked divinity to begin with.

    Also shame on you Deseretnews for claiming to be a newsoutlet and not pointing out the fact that indeed the church edited the talk. A very unbalanced article.

  • Ken's 2 cents Salem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 5:09 p.m.

    I am an active LDS who believes that the proclamation on the family is an inspired document. I also believe the church can and should take a stand on moral issues such as supporting traditional marriage.

    I was very supprised however when listening to Elder Packer's talk last Sunday. I was surprised (and a bit troubled) when he jumped right into the middle of the nature - nurture debate with this statement:

    “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember he is our father.”

    I believe that the writer(s) of this editorial are either completely ignorant of why this talk (among so many others on the subject) created such a reaction, or they are being deliberately deceptive.

    You can't call the media to task for taking comments out of context and distorting the truth by refering the reader to the text of a talk that has edited-out the the very comments causing the controversy.

    This is a conspicuous blunder adding fuel to the fire of the critics.

  • HCB63 Orem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 5:04 p.m.

    Thank you for that comment. In this obviously divisive issue, it seems that those who choose to see hatred and intolerance will do so no matter what; just as those firmly on the other side of the aisle choose to see nothing but love and compassion in Pres. Packer's remarks.

    As for the "suicide" angle the protesters are taking, I have to wonder how many suicides occured nationwide in the past 90 days; and of those, how many actually killed themselves because of gay oppression (in whatever form).

    It would be nice to see some correllative data instead of heresay and personal opinions which only serve to further the flames of hatred the LGBT community themselves claim to be fighting against.

  • dragonfly Washington, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 4:50 p.m.

    Why can't we all agree to disagree and let it be at that? WE ALL NEED TO ACT CIVILIZED!!! Every one has their first amendment rights and it should be emphasized to EVERYONE!!! You believe what you want to believe and I'll believe what I want to believe. Don't shove your 'gay' beliefs down my throat. Gays should not be discriminated against for employment, housing, etc..., but that doesn't mean that we MUST condone their lifestyle if it goes against our own beliefs!!!!

  • dragonfly Washington, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 4:43 p.m.

    I feel like my first amendment rights are going down the drain so that the LGBT community can have the first amendment rights all to themselves. My first amendment rights say that I can believe in my religion and it's teachings which come from God and the Bible. I am almost 50 years old and have been raised in the LDS church all my life. Not once in my life have I ever heard ANY church leaders, past or present, say anything about hating LGBTs, or any one for that matter. We are always taught that we are to love one another, forgive one another. That includes murderers, rapists, molesters, adulterers, addicts, alcoholics, and others who commit any crimes and/or sins. So when some LGBT radicals are saying that we're taught to hate them...that couldn't be farther from the truth. They are merely trying to provoke hatred amongst themselves when it isn't necessary. Not all of the LGBT community is like this, just those few who want everything handed to them on a silver platter.

  • AnonSMF Sacramento, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 4:15 p.m.

    I struggle with SSA and have for my whole life. I didn't see anything all that strange in President Packer's talk. It did seem to lack warmth, but it didn't shake my faith to it's very roots. I might also point out that the Catholic Church is very similar to the LDS church on the point of gay marriage etc. But I don't see the activists protesting them.

  • archemeedees Tooele, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    Focusing on only the gay bullied kids is a complete dishonor of the many, many bullied kids/people that have committed suicide over bullying that was targeted at completely different things. Why aren't we focusing on preventing harassment in schools in general, instead of focusing on the reasons for that harassment to the exclusion of everyone not "gay"?

  • Viva la Migra American Fork, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    re: full disclosure said "I find it interesting that the Des News has not garnered near the response from it's readers that the Sl Trib has."

    I'm sure that the number of attempted responses to this issue by DNews readers has been similar to the Tribune, it's just that they don't have such aggressive moderators/censors on staff to prevent "unworthy" responses from being seen.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 3:54 p.m.

    He was wrong. Plain and simply wrong. The civility begins with NOT making statements that he knows nothing about.
    What was his career? A lifelong church employee? How could he possibly know the subject of which he spoke? The facts are that he cannot cite any real evidence to backup what he claims.

  • bummy New Philadelphia, OH
    Oct. 10, 2010 3:44 p.m.

    I believe the Bible, as far as it is translated correctly& I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. So I know it is against ALL that God teaches, to be a homosexual & it is surely a CHOICE!! It is time to put back the word "FREE" in our FREE AGENCY. It should NEVER have been taken out. Right was right in the days when Christ walked this earth & tis still right, now, while His Church is here & the Prophet & the Quorum of the Twelve teach it as TRUTH. So why would anyone expect Elder Packer to recall the TRUTH that he spoke? Not me, that's for sure. I love it when I hear the TRUTH from our leaders. I KNOW it comes from God!! :)

  • HateSinsNotZinas Wailuku, HI
    Oct. 10, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    It has been a long time since the gay/lesbian community has been silenced & the media just love them like crazy when these issues are made available as gasoline to keep the gays/lesbians struggles & issues continue to burn. Pres.Thomas S.Monson or even Pres.Boyd K.Packer etc...do not own The Church. The Church belongs to God & His Son Jesus Christ, so they cannot just make changes but God & His Son do. Just keep this in mind: "God Hates Sins & Not The Sinners" To the Gay/Lesbian brothers & sisters, you must remember also that Jesus came for the sick & used the healthy men (12 Apostles) helped Him with His earthly ministry.

  • post-mormon joe Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 10, 2010 2:06 p.m.

    I testify that there is a 15yo terrified gay Mormon kid somewhere in Utah reading LDS sites including yours, it is a statistical certainty. This Utah kid is reading his real-life existence abstracted into a political discussion in which he and gay people are presented as the problem causing pain for the Church.
    He's reading in Deseret News comments that "homosexuality is unnatural... disgusting... abomination... sinful... Satan...," all actual words the moderator allows on comment threads.

    But then Deseret News calls for "Civility?" Gag.

    Do you even care about actual gay Mormons? Do they even exist in your consciousness?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 2:05 p.m.

    Why should Elder Packer's comments regarding gays today be taken any more seriously than similar sermons by LDS apostles in the 1960's about why black men are not to be given the priesthood, or sermons by apostles in the 1870's about polygamy?

    What is uncivil about asking about this and expecting rational discussion?

  • OC64 Edmonton, AB
    Oct. 10, 2010 2:03 p.m.

    Which version of Packer's talk is the article asking us to read? The original talk or the revised version?

  • full disclosure Providence, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:59 p.m.

    The Deseret News is taking the focus off of the things that were said by Brother Packer and making him the martyr. They took a topic that we can all agree upon, " A call for Civility" and then make it sound like media outlets are not playing fair with Elder Packer.

    I find it interesting that the Des News has not garnered near the response from it's readers that the Sl Trib has.
    Most people are smart enough to realize that the Deseret News is the Public Relations arm of the church and they do not have to be play fair.
    We need transparency in the church.
    Total Spin

  • isrred Logan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    I do not understand what I am saying that is causing me to be censored by the moderators. I am merely trying to point out that PP's assessment of the Census data is incorrect. That data is on the percentage of couples that are same sex, not the percentage of the population as a whole that is Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual.

  • SoItGoes Sandy, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:40 p.m.

    A few years ago my friends and family had enough of my "tempting" behaviors, and thankfully they stepped in.

    I didn't think I'd be able to change my "tendencies" and would be stuck with a life with all the hatred, heartache and disappointment that I had. It took some concerned church leaders, lots of work on my behalf, but I was able to overcome.

    Today I can honestly say I have no desire, I've changed not only my life but how I feel, react, and how I see the world and my life. I'm a card carrying (and using) temple recommend holder.

    The Lord has spoken, and not recently on this issue may I add. An Apostle of the Lord has merely echoed those words.

    What this doesn't say is that we as church members and followers of Christ should shun, avoid or mistreat. No one is perfect, but that is what church members are working on. Pointing out our imperfections while glorifying your own won't create civility.

  • DR Hall Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    I think that President Packer said the truth. At this time there are a lot of people that think that with enough people saying one thing that a group of people will change their ideas to fit the complaining groups ideas. That is not going to happen with the LDS church. There are very few people that were born into this world with the organs of one gender or both genders and raised as the other gender and then their bilogical system starts expressing some thing different from what they were raised. The associates you have will have an important affect on what a person may feel about them selves. I support regular marriage between man and a women; if some one wants to marry another person of their gender that is their choice. But as set out by God in the Old and New testament it between man and woman. Apostle Paul states that marriage between the same gender is unnatural. To have children it requires a man and a woman as that is how they were designed. If you really want to change things get God to change his mind on that.

  • SaraLee kittredge, co
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    Why did the LDS church change the wording of Packer's talk in the written version? This seems disingenuous to me. He said what he said. Changing it after the fact, and then advising people to read the print version seems like an attempt at damage control.

  • Gabrielle SLC, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    A call for civility, requires civility. What you DO, speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say. Read Pres. Packer's speeches from the 70's. History has proved him wrong. History will prove him wrong yet again. Ad Hominem attacks only serve further to prove that, once again, you are collectively on the wrong side of history. (for those who will respond with "The gospel is eternal"; I refer you to the scriptural changes in the BofM, particularly "white and delightsome" being whitewashed to "light and delightsome" to suit political needs.)

    Perhaps you should take a look at the beam in your own eye before trying to take the mote out of mine.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:52 p.m.

    No where have I read that only gay people are to be civil. We are ALL called to be civil.
    This seems like such a great idea. It is totally unbecoming for us, LDS people, to be hateful to anyone. We are not asked to agree with anyone but we can be, and should be, respectful to anyone, even if they disagree with our stands.
    People who are homosexual are not just homosexual. That is just a part of who they are. I am hetrosexual but I certainly hope I am much more than that. I am LDS, an addicted reader, computer gamer, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and so much more than hetrosexual.
    I have never asked or even noticed what a person's sexual mode is unless someone tells me. Why would it be of interest to me? That is between them and God not between them and me. (unless they are my husband :D )
    Maybe it's time for AlL of us to be respectful and civil. I believe that is what is being asked of ALL of us.

  • Larry Willard, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    Of all the Morman People we have aquaintences, None can be considered friends.
    In Willard, Out siders are not well accepted.
    Mormans here have a long way to go with friendship.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:40 p.m.

    I don't believe that Elder Packer or any responsible Mormon leader intends to hurt anyone with their statements. There are those in the Church unfortunately who tell LDS gays that they can change their feelings if only they try hard enough. This is very different from saying that they can choose not to act on their feelings.

    I have had Gay LDS students who have been suicidal. It has always been over the idea that with enough effort they change their homosexual feelings. When their efforts do not produce that result they feel rejected and that suicide is the only option. I think that is why many reacted with alarm to Elder Packer's statements as originally given.

    By the way, I think it is sad that more people are not giving credit to Elder Packer for consenting to change the printed version of the sermon. I think the key to civil dialogue is for both sides to refrain from demonizing the other.

  • smity Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    Wazzup, Maybe not only does he approve, maybe he designed it that way. We find it in penguins, dolphins, monkeys, and just about everywhere in the animal kingdom. Maybe God has a different vantage point than those on the top floor of the church office building.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:13 p.m.

    How is donating $200,000 to strip away the marriage rights of an entire group of Americans, civil?

    It is not.

    It is neither civil, loving or respectful.

    When those against gay rights stop 1) actively working to remove legal protections and 2) Engaging in false hope, by promoting aversion therapy in vain attempts to change someone else's orientation...

    all the while claiming they are 'loving' and trying to 'help' their suicidal teen...

    then we can talk about being civil.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:09 p.m.


    I don't believe in God. Therefore, your questions don't apply to me.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    I'm not sure what it was about my first attempt to comment on this article that made it unworthy to the censors, but let my try again a little differently.

    To you folks who base your opposition to equal rights for gays on the Bible's declaring homosexuality a sin, then please tell me why aren't you equally zealous in your embrace of the Bible's numerous declarations regarding other "sins," such as eating lobster, shaving your beards, women wearing jewelry or pants, anyone wearing blended fabrics, working on Sunday (btw, do DesNews censors get paid to work on Sundays?) and following a different religion?

    Seriously - if you're going to claim that you're only following your religious instructions regarding human sexuality, why are you so casual about following your religious instructions about so many other things?

    Why the hypocrisy?

    Can you offer a cogent rationale for your antipathy towards gay people other than "my religion says so I must"?

    Why are you so incapable of honest self-examination?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    Ethan Yorgason,

    When the Lord asks us to leave off sin, yes, he does understand the depth of His request. He understands all of the conditions surrounding it. We may not understand them all, but He does.

    The call to repentance is a message of hope. The Lord Himself provides the power to heal. This was a broad theme of several of the conference messages.

    Oct. 10, 2010 12:00 p.m.

    Since the comments here are heavily censored,unlike the rabble congregating,full of vitriol,over on the trib site,we see some very thoughtful,interesting comments.
    I was sitting there,minding my own business,when Elder Packer blew me out of my lazy boy with that one radical sentence,now neatly airbrushed into oblivion.HE may truly,I'm sure he does,that ALL homosexuals are just CHOOSING those proclivities.SOME seem to CHOOSE,some are OBVIOUSLY born with STRONG,strange to me,desires and inclinations.Men can often be said to be "strange" from birth.I think FAR more females come to that as a CHOICE,usually from bad experiences with men-either abuse as a child or violent relationships with me as teens or adults. We are judged in this life on how we 'play the cards we are dealt",so to speak,not the deck we WISH we had received.I may have some very unhealthy PROCLIVITIES,but how I reject them,the choices I make-that's the race I run.With help of loving leaders and Heavenly Father,I can overcome anything in my path.The CHURCH IS TRUE-that is FACT.

  • Aspiring Theist Sandy, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:52 a.m.

    Maybe it's just me, but . . . this editorial didn't do what the editors wanted.

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:49 a.m.

    So.....to those supporters of gay marriage.

    1) in your opinion, does God approve of the gay LIFESTYLE?
    2) does a gay lifestyle promote God's plan of procreation?

    I'll hang up and listen.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    It was all about reverse Psychology. Love the person hate the crime. Hate or hatred is an emotion of intense revulsion, distaste, enmity, or antipathy for a person, thing, or phenomenon; a desire to avoid, restrict, remove, or destroy its object. The emotion is often stigmatized; yet it serves an important purpose, as does love. Just as love signals attachment, hatred signals detachment. Hatred can be based on fear of its object, justified or unjustified, or past negative consequences of dealing with that object. Hatred is often described as the opposite of love or friendship.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:39 a.m.

    The major thing I think that is being missed on this board is the fact that it is claimed that homosexual teenagers committ suicide because they are 'bullied.' As a school teacher, I've had some students call another student gay or one of the other words. I have had to straight talk with theve kids about bullying and believe it is not fun. This kind of behavior can start as early as fourth grade. I've told these children that no only is such behavior sexual harrassment, but that people have actually committted suicide because of being bullied this way. The bullying must stop. I was walking across a nearby Junior High School a few weeks ago and I couldn't believe what I could hear come out of these kids mouths. The next time I went, I actually covered my ears on the way to the parking lot. Parents need to teach that such speech and behavior is wrong, but I'm willing to bet they learned a lot of these behaviors at home. We had a homosexual man living next to us that was an inactive LDS member. My husband and I were always kind to him.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:32 a.m.

    I read this entire essay. This is not a "Call for Civility." This is a "We would like to have it both ways, please."

  • jimhale Eugene, OR
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    I have been an LDS Church member over 45 years. Never at any time have I been told to shun anyone. Nor have I done so.

    However, it is true that people who sin have a difficult time going to Church and feeling good about the experience.

    If you go to an LDS Church on any given Sunday you are likely not to hear a word spoken on this issue. You could go to Church for a year and never hear it mentioned.

    However, if you attend an LDS Church on ANY given Sunday, you are going to hear plenty about how to love other people, how to love them despite their sins and how to love them but hate their sins.

    Offense in life is often mostly in the eyes of those offended.

    I suggest you not attend planning on talking to people (except the bishop) about your sins or tendencies toward sin. Most members are not there to talk about sin and become more familiar with it.

    They are there to learn how to overcome it.

    When you attend hoping to make sin more acceptable, you are going to be disappointed. No matter what that sin is.

  • Ed Meyer Kanab, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    From my perspective, all too much emphasis has been placed on the word "marriage". For the gay community, marriage carries tremendous value as a formal validation of love. When they are not allowed this option, it hurts them badly and I have compassion for anyone who hurts. For many religious people, marriage is a sacred institution that should not be subject to political manipulation. My personal belief is that marriage should not be the business of government. By defining marriage, government is crossing the line of religious freedom. I feel that all government sanction marriages should be civil unions. The decison of whether a church sanctions marriage or not should be governed by the doctines of that specific religion. If you are gay and want to marry another gay person in the LDS Church, that simply won't happen at this time. However, nothing would present you and your partner from being married in another church with a broader definition of marriage. My personal belief is that this position reflect the degree of tolerance and charity our Heavenly Father would want us to show to our fellow men and women here on earth.

  • MESOUTE Albany, NY
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    Mr. Packers comments are equivelent to hate speach. It is no wonder that so many people who have faith are put off by the church. The Church just made three huge steps backwards.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    "People with Same Gender Attraction are about 10-12 percent of the population."

    Actually according to the US Census it is 0.8% of the population in San Francisco and that is the greatest concentration in the country. The national number is something like 0.5%.

    Thoes pesky facts always get in the way of an emotionally charged issue.

  • Braxton ogden, ut
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    The new agenda being pushed is suicide. It has the most impact (nice spin strategy by the gay community) . However, the Church's direction in not causing this. Being gay is not socially acceptable and this is why they feel their is no hope. If you have same sex attraction fine just don't act on it. If you do then you increase your chances to feel less of your self. this hold true for anyone who acts out sexual desires gay or straight.

  • KVC Sahuarita, az
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:42 a.m.

    As a physician and scientist, I have to say that homosexuality is not unlike many other conditions. While it may be genetic, this has not been absolutely proven. We do not know the cause or reasons. This is all besides the point. It does not matter if it is inborn and unchangeble with regards to tendencies, that does not alter its immorality. There are many conditions that are "genetic" in nature that we have decided as a society are unacceptable, and many others that would continue to be considered unacceptable even if a genetic component was discovered.

    Who out there is willing to say they would condone and accept pedophilic behavior if science proved it was genetic in nature and the tendencies unchangeable?
    Who out there that is promoting gay marriage as a right, will also defend the marriage rights of polygamists? I bet very few, despite the fact that freedom of religion is actually in the Constitution.

  • JAHS vacaville, ca
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:34 a.m.

    Utahwoody said:
    "The Deseret News didn't even cover the demonstration on Thursday night around temple square which numbered in the hundreds if not thousands. The Deseret News lacks any credibility."

    I don't know about the printed version but they certainly covered it in the online edition on Thursday:
    "2,000-3,000 protest for gay rights outside Mormon church offices in Salt Lake City"

  • Richard Hitchens Layton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:34 a.m.

    When you say their lifestyle is an abomination to God, you're not going to treat them as equals. You are going to treat them as someone with a problem. What do you think that does to someones self-esteem? As long as you claim that you know God disapproves of their lifestyle, you are going to have trouble treating them as equals.
    Can you really be surprised when you depict someones lifestyle as an abomination and they react in protest?

    Imagine if someone told you to stop acting on your heterosexual urges. That they were sinful, and that if you ever gave in God would condemn you. That people around you shun you when you tell them that you're a heterosexual.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:18 a.m.

    To SC Native:

    Yes, there are many straight, single members who have abstained from sexual relationships. Believe it or not, there are also many homosexual members in their 40s--even 50s--who have abstained from sexual relationships. I think there is a basic difference, however. There is a glimmer of hope for those straight members that they will still find somebody to establish a lasting and loving relationship in this life. Where is that hope for the homosexual member who is trying to stay faithful? I am not trying to ask for a change in policies. I am asking for a little more love and understanding from my neighbors.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    SC Native, you need to do your homework. There IS homosexuality in nature.

  • rlynn Brandon, FL
    Oct. 10, 2010 10:04 a.m.

    While I understand and respect the LDS Church stand on Homosexuality and Gay marriage. What is disheartening is to me and to many is the continued belief that we who are Gay can change.

    As a Gay man who was raised in the church, who followed the advice from the brethren how to control my tendencies, to no avail, I turned to thoughts of suicide. It is this I continue to fight against, my heart aches of the thought how many young men and women of the church who heard these words of 'hope' then when they find they can not change, how the feeling of hopelessness will come, which for many will lead to suicide.

    I believe but for the grace of God I would have taken my own life. But then I realized I am a Gay son of God, he loves me for me, because he created me just as I am.

  • Jay_ Seattle, WA
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:51 a.m.

    "Conventionality is not morality." --Charlotte Bronte, English novelist

  • Heberite Heber, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    *** Minor word left out of that first post***
    I find it interesting that people assumed that when President Packer said "over come the temptations" he meant that they had to turn from gay to straight. Thats not what they mean at all! He means overcome as no acting on those temptations- just as alcoholics much overcome alcoholism by not taking a drink. I, as a straight UN-MARRIED female, must overcome my temptations with men. Its all about self-control and trusting in the Lord to help us master our feelings and our temptations.

  • Heberite Heber, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    I find it interesting that people assumed that when President Packer said "over come the temptations" he meant that they had to turn from gay to straight. Thats not what they mean at all! He means overcome as no acting on those temptations- just as alcoholics much overcome alcoholism by not taking a drink. I, as a straight female, must overcome my temptations with men. Its all about self-control and trusting in the Lord to help us master our feelings and our temptations.

  • Not from Utah Spring, TX
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    I think there is an aspect of President Packer's talk that gets ignored in the characterization of it as an attack: it was a message of hope. What message has more hope and inspiration: homosexual acts are immoral and you have no ability to control behavior OR homosexual acts are immoral and although inclinations and tendencies are the common condition for all (with varying types and degrees) you have the ability to control behavior and the freedom to choose and Christ can help. That's a message of freedom and a testimony of the Savior. Sounds exactly like what an apostle is called to do.

    I do agree though with the valid and sadly true claim that there are far too many people who use the truth that homosexual acts are immoral as an opportunity to express hate and treat others with terrible acts of violence. People who do this are not Christ-like, have no self-awareness of their own condition, are tools in the hand of Satan trying to confuse the issue, and have no place in a proper discussion of the issue.

    Let's not confuse the deplorable behavior of some with the truth.

  • Bert Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    Beautifully played. Get the hard-line message out over the pulpit for the black & white thinkers. Then rephrase the message for those more progressive who found the it a little hard nosed.

    Satisfy the base with absolutes, but give others a little wiggle room. Brilliant!

  • NotYourAverageBlond Gaston, SC
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:34 a.m.

    I am not a member of the LDS nor am I a member of the LGBT community. I am the neighbor of both and like many other "us" against "them" issues I am in the middle, the frayed rope in a tug-of-war.

    It is my deepest belief that we are called to love everyone that God loves (and that IS everyone); to use the rights and resources provided by God (not the government) wisely; and to always seek to live from a place of truth and mercy.

    The truth is simple it's our efforts to avoid it that complicate things. The truth - God does not make mistakes; God is an excellent judge and since He created all things He is the most qualified to make any judgments needed; God is not limited to whatever box, label, theory we can apply to Him; It is us; we are wrong and mistaken not God.

    I encourage you to skip the civility and live from a place of truth and mercy; the love that follows will eliminate the need for civility or tolerance.

    Blogger Not Your Average Blond

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:31 a.m.

    So why is this church callin' for civility?? I think everybody, on both sides, *HAS* been civil...

    Typical, one protest and the church freaks out...

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    silas brill: The Church is definitely not confused. They teach the truth. God loves all of his children.
    The church isn't responsible for the suicides. The Church is never going to change its position on same sex marriages.

  • texlds Dallas, TX
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    Humans have tendencies, traits, feelings, urges, and proclivities. Some of them are strong and deep. That is indisputable.

    The question, then, is whether such should be resisted or embraced.

    If you want to look to science to answer that question, then be done with revealed religion and be on your way. Science, by definition, can have no such answer - it can only tell you what is, not what should be. But if science gives you what you need as a guide, then I pray you have a good life with science.

    But if you want to look to revealed religion for an answer to that question, then it is you that should listen to the revelators, not the revelators listen to you. Their role is to listen to God, not to the scientist or the crowd.

    The silliness comes in when you claim that you do look to revealed religion and then try to fork the revelators against science, or try to fork them against your feelings, or against popular sentiment. That's just illogical. Pick one or the other, but don't tell us you can pick both - we can all see it is nonsense.

  • madison Magna, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:21 a.m.

    Churches have the right to oppose homosexuality as an abomination in the sight of God. All scriptures on the subject say that and say it plainly. If anything I think it tragic that anyone should feel the need to pussyfoot around in their statements of belief about what is unacceptable behavior.

  • SC Native West Jordan, ut
    Oct. 10, 2010 9:09 a.m.

    To Dane, as you pointed out, this in not only an LDS stance, it is coming from a lot of religious leaders. Do gay and lesbian people think that God is not real and that His "leaders" do not teach what he wants them to teach? If more than one religion says it is wrong to be gay, I guess religion isn't something that comes from God because you(the gay community) keep trying to tell the world nothing is wrong? Think about it.

  • SC Native West Jordan, ut
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:56 a.m.

    Religion is religion. For all of you so called members out there condeming Pres Packer for what he said, are you really members in good standing. Can you say in your temple recommend interviews that you support your church leaders with a straight face?? Every one of you whether you support it or not need to kneel down and ask your Heavenly Father, with real intent on knowing the answer. I fully support him for what he said. We can ALL overcome obstacles placed befor us. If you are gay, YOU CHOOSE to act on that. I know of a lot of straight people that have no engaged in any sexual activity before marriage because they knew it was wrong. Some of them are in their 40's still. Don't tell me you can't stop your feelings and MUST act on them. You are only fooling yourselves. Live the laws of the land! Being gay is not something you are born with, it is a choice you make. Just look at other animals in this world and see how many are gay???? NONE. It is a choice.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:50 a.m.

    I applaud Elder Packard's talk on religious and moral issues. He states what the Lord would have us understand regarding homosexuality, that while some may have same-sex tendencies, it is contrary to church doctrine to act on it.

    It's very simple. That's it. All this spin on what the church leaders have said will not change that.

  • The Dixie Kid Saint George, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:48 a.m.

    So do alcoholics commit suicide too because the church condemns alcohol? I can see how they might feel, but there are alot of things that people do that the church speaks out against.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:42 a.m.

    A phycologist friend of mine once told me that his patients think that their "world" is normal and that the rest of the world is "crazy". When 2 to 3% of the population demonize President Packer for speaking true and correct doctrine, then the world can see for themselves who is self-obsessed and who is trying to help.

    The role of a prophet is to convey the message that God would have the world receive. A true prophet delivers that message, even if the listeners would like to destroy him for being the messenger.

    History has not changed. Count the lives of prophets who were taken by hostile and unlistening people, people who delighted in destroying God's messengers. History is being repeated.

    The purpose of a church is to help each person become better than he is without the church. God has revealed codes of conduct, of health, of welfare, of personal responsibility, of attitude through his prophets. Why would anyone argue that speaking against sexual activities is taboo?

    There is no justification for the hatred being shown to an Apostle for filling his role as a messenger.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:36 a.m.

    I appreciate the call for more civility, so I hope this is addressed in every congregation. I have tried for thirty years to hide and change my "same-gender attraction." I lived according to the LDS church's teachings on the subject. I did not engage in any homosexual relationships. I attended my church meetings and was very active in many callings.

    You would not believe the hateful comments I would hear my fellow "saints" say about others just like me. When they say them about others, they say them about me. Finally, in one instance, I had had enough and told somebody that I am "one of those people" you talk about. Well, guess what happened. People who used to call me friends started ignoring me. People who used sit with me in meetings now leave me to sit alone. Where is the love and acceptance that our leaders talk about?

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    Well said, Ethan Yorgason.

  • dryan Ogden, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:26 a.m.

    Are you kidding me?

  • Hanksboy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:19 a.m.

    I believe that President Packer was well-intentioned when he gave his conference address. And the talk does contain some useful and doubtless inspired counsel. But the church has to know that this issue is so potentially incendiary, so divisive that anything church leadership says about it will be scrutinized, interpreted and re-interpreted again and again.

    I believe the LDS Church is dealing with the issue of same sex attraction with compassion on many fronts. It seems it would be better for leaders to speak in the widely viewed general conference about faith, repentance and other basic gospel principles without referring specifically to the LGBT community.

  • Pappy O'Daniel Santa Clara, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:18 a.m.

    It simply comes down to this: You either sustain and support the leaders of the Church, and the words they speak through revalation, or you don't. It's as simple as that. There needs to be no arguement on this issue. I am not in support of the Homosexual Community's actions, I think it's immoral. However, I will have a very difficult time convincing those who support the homosexual lifestyle into anything different. Likewise, homosexuals will have a difficult time convincing me of their beliefs. We need to agree to disagree and get on with trying to eek out what we can in these troubling times.

  • kreese Taft, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 8:17 a.m.

    This "situation" is about promoting an agenda. The "Tribune" ran column(s) everyday this week.

    The LDS church has never made any secret about their policy concerning gay marriage.

    It is interesting that we can't accept "corrections" from a church leader, but when American presidents lie, somehow, they "misspoke".

    Make no mistake, this is part of an widespread agenda to discredit Christianity. It is a shame that the Tribune is a part of this. Of course, this is why more and more people pay little attention to newspapers.

  • Albemar West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:46 a.m.

    It is called free speech, the constitutionally protected right that Sarah Palin is constantly claiming. Mr. Packer expressed his free speech, and so did thousands of Americans/Utahn's who found his speech distasteful.

    The LDS Church may not change it's stand on gay rights (actually it already did with it's support of protections in housing and workplace recently passed by numerous Utah cities/counties) but neither will those who are fighting for equality of all human beings.

    This is not simply a case of "cherry picking words" as claimed here. This is the most talked about comments of the entire conference, which many LDS members were a bit shocked by his brashness.
    Each year polls show support for marriage equality and providing gays & lesbians with the same civil rights as all US citizens grows.

    The LDS Church may want this issue to go away, but it will not. Each year it will be more and more out of step with society. LDS leaders may say what they want, but they cannot control how society reacts to such statements.

  • Okaythen Kearns, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:46 a.m.

    I will read the full address as requested. However, in fairness, both the original address, which was heard by the majority of listeners, and the amended address, which will be heard by far fewer, should be made available.

  • JediToby Tooele, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:44 a.m.

    While I can appreciate that those who are looking for offense will find it whether it was intended or not, when I listened to Elder Packer's talk, I found it to be everything I'd expect from a Christian: charitable, hopeful, and faithful. The talk addressed much more than the trials of the LGBT community, but everyone afflicted with addictions and situations for which there are no easy answers in this world and sought to inspire hope in those people that through Christ, they could be healed, comforted, and made whole if they would be faithful to His commandments. That's hardly new, it's apolitical, and I fail to see hostile intent in any of it.

  • LOL holladay, utah
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:43 a.m.

    More neoconservative sanctimonious and judgemental division within the community.
    Some people move ahead.
    Others stay in the primordial soup content with small thinking.

  • davidiam Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:36 a.m.

    Civility is indeed important, and it typified the demonstration of last Thursday in response to Elder Packer's talk. This editorial in making its justifiable and important call is speaking the same words that were spoken by the organizers of the rally and event. Saying you disagree and find something offensive, even words by a leader of the Church, can be very civil in performance, and they were. It was pleasing to see demonstraters and users of Temple Square interacting in a friendly and civil fashion during the event (although there were some malcontents on both sides). But, civility should never be a code word for not speaking out.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:28 a.m.

    The call for civility is fine, but it seems that it might be a little one-sided. The reality is that the Church is not changing its approach in the near future. That is the right of the Church, of course. But they seem to be saying, gays really aren't part of the Church and never will be. I don't know how one wants to define how gays are created, but they are. If God didn't do it, who did? There are literally many physical and psychological variances in people that lead to different sexual outcomes, and there is no way choice could be the cause for almost all of them. So who did create gay people if not God? Shoving the issue back under the rug solves nothing. So if the Church cannot figure out how to somehow be inclusive, it should acknowledge that not all of God's creations can have the Gospel as they define it. This is a real mess, and there are no easy answers.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:25 a.m.

    I’ve attended Church for many years and have been taught there to have love and compassion for those with same gender attraction.
    I have gay family members who are loved and admired for their courage and express goodwill towards the Church.
    Those at Evergreen and others who have commented on articles have been able to control their sexual actions.
    They seem to understand the Church’s position, and Elder Packer certainly understands:

    There is great diversity in desires, weaknesses, passions etc, and there is no need to feel guilt about that, for Christ was likewise tempted.
    Those who conquer homosexual behaviors, controlling their actions, are the strongest and best of Saints. They bring hope and joy to my heart.

    Conversely, those discrediting their triumphs, even seeking to silence freedom of self control, can’t truly be acting from love.

    Activists are again singling out an already maligned religious minority. We have been attacked daily in comments and media, for a religious belief. This bigotry has gone on far too long, long before prop8.

    Try to understand Christ's Church and your LDS neighbors instead of driving, opressing, promoting prejudice and blaming LDS for worldwide suffering.

    : ) We love you.

  • Dane Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:22 a.m.

    I would like to thank the author for his insight and voice my support for a move toward civility.

    As a 47 yr old gay man, active in local political and social issues, I am both aware of and concerned about several issues that confront us socially right now. The increasing violence towards gay people and the rising incidence of suicide (six that I have researched in the past month alone) is disturbing and saddens me very much.

    In any other context, the words of Mr. Packer's speech would not likely have incited such a reaction--he was simply stating what the church's position has always been. However, the prior week's headlines were also filled with the hate speech of the Phelps "church" now on trial in the US Supreme Court, and the gay community is fed up and restless.

    Mr. Packer's words seemed not only insensitive in light of recent suicides, but in step with the current hate rhetoric from religious leaders across the country, which I think is probably unfair.

    That said, I would simply ask the church to be sensitive to these issues/people or just avoid the subject entirely.

  • lchris Saint Charles, MO
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    Thank you Deseret News for this very thoughtful and well organized article--meant to calm an increasingly angry world. Truth is truth. The challenges of our day are so terribly difficult. Peace is available to those who seek and abide in Truth.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    In the rush to validate and accept homosexual activity, we should not forget the detrimental impact it has had on the Earth's civilizations. From Sodom and Gomorrah to the fall of the Roman Empire and beyond.

    The British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin found in his study of world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called "expansive energy," which might best be summarized as society's will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.

    Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.

    When it comes to preserving our civilization, we must see the forest for the trees.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    great article and oh how much better this world would be by being honest in our communications and not trying to vilify anyone who might not agree with us. We live in a very immature society.

  • byufootballrocks Herndon, VA
    Oct. 10, 2010 4:54 a.m.

    I listened carefully to Elder Packer's address as it was given and saw in it nothing but hope! It was a wonderful, inspired address that truly laid out the doctrine upon which every person, regardless of personal challenge, could be transformed to wholeness and complete spiritual health.

    So what was all the fuss about?

    The hard reality is that there are those in the gay/lesbian communitity who are so convinced that they were "born gay and cannot change it," and are so hostile to any suggestion otherwise, that they will even militantly lash out at any institution or individual that teaches a different concept.

    What a debate position! 'Anyone who disagrees with me is a hate-monger.'
    You've now positioned out anyone with a different point of view.

    But how do they explain the actual truth? I have a close friend who had strong gay inclinations in his youth who has not acted out those inclinations and raised a wonderful family, served as an LDS Bishop, and has made an outstanding contribution to his community.

    It is a pretty weak position to take that one is born a certain way and cannot change it.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 4:01 a.m.

    Read Elder Packer's talk. But please realize that the talk you're reading on the church's website isn't the original talk. In his original talk, he implied (intentionally or not) that those with homosexual tendencies can change not just their behavior, but their tendencies. This is what the majority of the protesters are protesting. The church itself has no opinion on whether someone with homosexual tendencies--that tendency being an attraction to members of the same sex-- can change their tendencies, and has made statements to that effect before and after Elder Packer's talk (and now, the word "tendencies" has been eliminated from Elder Packer's talk altogether).

    The protesters need to realize that portions of Elder Packer's talk have been changed to minimize confusion and conform with church doctrine--as do all others who falsely believe that the church teaches that homosexual tendencies can be changed. Behavior can change, true, but the church has no opinion on whether homosexual tendencies--attraction to members of the same sex--can change.

  • Ethan Yorgason Daegu, Korea
    Oct. 10, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    I admire the DN for urging civility. However, despite being a positive step, I don’t imagine this editorial will get us very far. Since civility requires understanding, let me point, without even stepping toward Prop. 8 territory, to a few things I’m guessing the LGBT community wants us Mormons to understand better.

    1) Why Elder Packer’s talk provoked an outcry. Regardless of his 2010 intent, many people interpreted it in light of much institutional and individual history.

    2) Words matter. “Struggle with same gender attraction” for LGBT ears is somewhat akin (I’m not saying equivalent) to what “hateful doctrine” is for Mormon ears.

    3) Expressions of love and concern can easily seem patronizing.

    4) Assuming the church is not still asking homosexual people to change to heterosexual, it is asking them to essentially become asexual. If we are comparing homosexuality to alcoholism, do we really understand the depth of this request?

    5) Many rank-and-file Mormons have profound homophobia and feel our church condones those attitudes. Civility is our problem too.

    I too hope for a more civil conversation with the LGBT community, but without understanding these viewpoints, we may not get it.

  • Utahwoody Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    You encourage us to "read President Packer's talk". Which one? The one he actually gave or the toned-down revision?

    The Deseret News didn't even cover the demonstration on Thursday night around temple square which numbered in the hundreds if not thousands. The Deseret News lacks any credibility.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Oct. 10, 2010 3:56 a.m.

    President Packer was on the Money. Outstanding Talk.

    Far more Heterosexuals have committed Suicide over Sexual concerns then people with same gender attraction ever will.

    People with Same Gender Attraction are about 10-12 percent of the population.

    Most Smart people with same Sex Attraction are just like Heterosexuals they keep their Sexuality to themselves. Lead there daily life and just do what they have to or need to do.

    The Radicals on both sides are the ones with the Problem.

    People who are slightly or a lot different are often picked on by others. Sometimes to get attention away from their own faults.

    The LDS Church does Not take an evil stand against those who have same sex attraction, never has, never will.

    The Church does have a stand against so called Gay Marriage and so don't a lot of other faith groups, plus those who fall among the UnChurched.

    Gay Marriage is an entirely different issue then the acceptance of Homosexual people.

    In America you have the right to be who you are and live how you want to as long as its legal.

    You have to work within the Rules, or change them.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 3:09 a.m.

    Beautifully written.

    There is no room for hatred on either side of the issue.

    Civility and love of God's children are what we should be promoting no matter what group, organization, or religion we belong to.

  • JANADELE Sydney, NSW
    Oct. 10, 2010 3:06 a.m.

    God bless President Packer, Apostle of the Lord.

  • isrred Logan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 2:39 a.m.

    " Religion provides a unique perspective on how these challenges can be addressed that has every right to be heard and evaluated on the merits."

    Their merits? How's this Dnews: Packer/the LDS Church's stance that those with same gender orientation can and should change HAS NO merit. Every major medical, scientific, and psychological organization has resoundingly denounced the idea that people can or should change their orientation.

    Science tells us that the world is round, not flat. Science tells us that the earth revolves around the sun, not the sun around the earth. If a man were to tell us the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it we would rightly be incredulous if he told us he was getting his information from the almighty.

    Similarly, when the message of the LDS church runs contrary to the scientific/medical/and psychological evidence as well as the personal experience of millions of people, it is hard to be taken seriously, and it angers many when that faulty ideal is sought to be codified into secular law.

  • Ryan H Roy, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    I agree with the call for civility in general, and do feel the level of demonstration by LGBT community members may have been somewhat overdone. However, I am left choking on the general hypocrisy of this editorial. The LDS church has failed on many counts to follow the very advice given: "For the sake of our youths and the health of our communities, we call for thoughtful and civil dialogue on this and all difficult conversations. That dialogue should respect context, should not prejudge motive and must work to include instead of isolate." President Packer's talk was a perpetuation of the very ideas, false assumptions, and erroneous reasoning that harms our youths communities. I have read talk after talk by apostles over the past decades through the present that did not respect context, prejudged motives, and only worked to isolate.

    Finally, as I am only allowed so many words here, do not just read President Packer's talk. There have been subtle and significant changes in post editing. Watch the original talk as it was aired Sunday morning before deciding whether or not President Packer's words are being treated "out of context."

  • Robert from St. George St. George, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2010 2:16 a.m.

    Yes, the LDS Church has said on many occasions to the media that they deplore hatred and violence towards members of the gay community. There is no denying that a lot of words have been said by these leaders as the world continues to focus on the Church and its attitudes towards Gay People.

    However, it is very disappointing to read that the Church continues to think it reaches out in actions to members of their church saying they cannot reject them because they are sons and daughters of God. That unfortunately is so far from the truth. I know from my own experience that the Church, out in the trenches, has totally rejected me, and thousands of other gay members, and wants nothing to do with me. Its so easy to talk about the sin and what the commandments are but it seems more like they just want to ignore us and hope we will leave and not be a burden to them. Its so hard for members of this "family" church to worry about their single gay members. Its very hurtful to read their words only knowing their actions are so different.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:31 a.m.

    I listened to Pres. Packer's talk as it was being given, and I was very disappointed. Disappointed because I didn't think it necessary to bring the issue up in Conference--the Church has been very clear on their position. The Prop 8 campaign created much strife not just for gay people and their families but for LDS members like me who expected a more loving and "accurate" campaign. My impression of Pres. Packer's message was that he suggested homosexuality is not a inborn characteristic and that it could be "overcome."

    It seems to me that Church leaders don't really understand/appreciate the damage done by the Prop 8 campaign. Rather than just Marlin Jensen attending the meeting in Oakland perhaps others (higher up) should've attended too. It's hard to move forward when there has been no acknowledgement on the part of the Church that there were mistakes made during the Prop 8 campaign. Churches should be held to a high standard--promoting truth and conveying love.

    Time to listen, listen, listen.

  • Silence Dogood Caliente, NV
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:19 a.m.

    Unfortunately, those that want to push their political agenda will probably not read the talk, or will find additional ways to vilify it. It makes me wonder...who are the haters?

  • my slc Newport Beach, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    Whew! What a week it has been!

    I applaud the LDS Church for its “condemnation of hate and violence toward gays and lesbians, its mutual support of anti-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians and its compassionate ministry to LDS Church members who have same-gender attraction.”

    And I agree that there is no room for hatred or mistreatment of anyone.

    I also agree that the matter of whether marriage should be either only between a man and woman, or also one which includes same sex couples that there may simply not be room for agreement.

    I question which version of President Packer’s talk we should read? The first spoken / printed or the revised one with the word changes and omission of a sentence?

    I will continue to fight for my rights and for others to be married to the person they love. I believe this is a civil and equal rights rather than a religious one. I also believe the US Supreme Court will agree.

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:58 a.m.

    I am a temple-attending LDS member. I believe the problem was not in what was said, but in the "message" that was felt.

    Being a thoughtful and compassionate person, I have long pondered the challenge of homosexuality. It is clear that homosexuality is not something that people choose - and it is clear that it is a permanent condition for most. It also appears to be increasing in frequency.

    It seemed to me that over the past several years, the church was beginning to acknowledge these truths, and that was comforting because I am confident once we accept truth, we will see that the next step is prayerful seeking to learn what is the right way to address the challenge so that our beautiful, cherished sons and daughters of God who are homosexual can live lives of fulfillment and peace among us, and not be cast out, which is clearly contrary to the first and second great commandments.

    I believe that when we collectively, with our leaders, pray earnestly for revelation regarding how to view this telestial condition, and how to accept it as a telestial condition, the Lord will direct us and it will be lovingly resolved.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    I truly support the 1st Presidency and the Twelve and sustain them as Prophets Seers and Revelators

  • Arizona2 Tucson, AZ
    Oct. 10, 2010 12:36 a.m.

    Well said. It's nice to see at least one media outlet invite people to better educate themselves by reading the actual source rather than some of the ridiculous articles that have been written about Boyd K. Packer's talk.