There is hope, peace for all, Mormon Elder Jay E. Jensen tells Evergreen Conference

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  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    Twin Lights: "The difference between the couples you describe is in the word courting. It implies preparation for marriage and a sexual relationship therein."

    But affectionate behaviors go beyond courtship and marriage. They are part of general socialization and relationship building. They are not exclusively for marriage preparation. Did you marry (or even intend or hope to marry) every person you ever hugged or kissed? Of course not. Let's look beyond affectionate behaviors. I would wager that a gay youth exhibiting behaviors that were not the least bit homosexual, but merely gender-nonconforming (like a boy wearing a skirt), would be roundly teased or ostracized in most wards. It seems cruel to dangle the apple of acceptance in front of gay youth, but then to deny them even the tiniest amount of self-expression. Especially when the straight kids are necking in the parking lot.

    There is a glimmer of hope in Dr. Mason's statement, "Perhaps they aren't athletic, or they are interested in different things than the other boys in the deacon's quorum" and his message of inclusion. Maybe there will be more tolerance for variety, but I think there is still a long way to go.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 27, 2011 8:00 p.m.


    It is not semantics. You may be an addict or have any other strong tendency. But you can still resist.

    The "bottom line" for any and all church members is to not give in to their own personal temptations.

    No. One persons resistance does not change the rest of the population. Why would it?

    The church does not claim to be impartial on this topic.

    I think that guilt is one of the points of Elder Jensen's remarks - to frame the struggle as a valiant one that shows the spiritual worth of those so engaged.

    No one should feel that suicide is a viable option. Ever.


    The distinction between thought and action is not insincere. The same line exists for all sin. No one is condemned for being tempted (or we would all have to give up). Sin is when we give in. Not to say that controlling the thought process is unimportant. But it takes more time.

    The difference between the couples you describe is in the word courting. It implies preparation for marriage and a sexual relationship therein. Because these are not acceptable within church doctrine, the courtship rituals leading to them are similarly unacceptable.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 27, 2011 6:13 p.m.

    Twin Lights: "Heterosexual couples are afforded more leniency regarding courtship rituals for the simple reason the church encourages heterosexual marriage, does not recognize same-sex marriage and believes homosexual acts to be sinful. Knowing this (as most here do) to criticize the differential treatment seems intentionally obtuse."

    If the church does not recognize same-sex marriage and believes homosexual acts to be sinful, then its modest accommodation of homosexuality (i.e. making a distinction between thought and action, as Dr. Mason did) is insincere. There is a clear double standard if homosexuals are told it is OK to "be" gay as long as you are chaste (in the same way that it tells straights that it is OK to "be" straight outside of marriage, as long as you are chaste), but then allows straight couples a wider latitude of chaste behaviors to be enjoyed before marriage. If holding hands in public is acceptable, chaste behavior for courting straights, then it must equally be allowed and accepted for gay couples. Otherwise, it is meaningless and disingenuous to say that only unchaste acts by gays is the issue. It is not being obtuse to point this out.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Sept. 27, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    the truth,

    You wrote:

    "When you stop feeding the fire, the fire can die down."

    This is less true of natural physiological processes (such as sexuality) and more true of phenomena like "testimonies".

    If you expect others to "stop feeding the fire" as regards bodily processes, are you willing to "stop feeding the fire" as regards ideological delusions?

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    Sept. 27, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    Hey lookiethere...

    An article referring to homosexuality and Pagan/en's multiple personalities show up with their copy/paste buttons.

    First - I'd take your posts more seriously if you weren't blatantly disengenous in your skirting the rules of the board. It's not the 1990s - the internet community takes its conventions and etiquette seriously (i.e. making fun of spelling or grammar errors will get you mocked off a board as a troll). Please show everyone here the same respect they show you when they limit their responses.

    Secondly - We get it. You are gay... or a family member is gay... or you really like gay people and you are offended beyond belief by those who view the world differently. By naming yourself Pagan and its many permutations you don't believe in God - perhaps you worship trees, dance around tall poles or call the earth mother with a capital M as did my Pictish ancestors. Or, maybe you worship nothing.

    Whatever. We're bored now.

    As snidely condescending as Vanka is (one must wonder what stories she *does* believe), at least she is original.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Sept. 27, 2011 2:49 p.m.


    Numerous LDS leaders have admitted they don't understand the Atonement. Do you claim to understand it?

    Why, then would you expect Pagan to understand it, much less care a fig about it, seeing as Pagan does not believe in your religious stories.

    Is there some hidden logic in your comment? Please reveal it.

  • echo Austin, TX
    Sept. 27, 2011 10:45 a.m.

    Pagan you don't understand the atonement very well if you believe that it is only for sin. People can need healing from many of life's wounds beyond deliberately choosing to sin.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 6:58 p.m.

    People CAN choose not to act or behave homosexually.

    When you stop feeding the fire, the fire can die down.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 26, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    The issue presented is not about changing orientation but rather the power to resist. There are folks with many kinds of extremely strong tendencies - some that seem truly overwhelming. The atonement can help to overcome all of these.

    Mayfair is correct. There are lots of folks (married and unmarried) who are required to be celibate for a variety of reasons. Homosexuals may represent a large number of these, but they are far and away not the only ones.

    As a religious institution, the church does not condone homosexual behavior. Even legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states would not change that. The same could be said of many other churches/religions.

    Heterosexual couples are afforded more leniency regarding courtship rituals for the simple reason the church encourages heterosexual marriage, does not recognize same-sex marriage and believes homosexual acts to be sinful. Knowing this (as most here do) to criticize the differential treatment seems intentionally obtuse.

    Those who struggle with homosexuality deserve all of our love and all of our support. They also deserve clarity reference to what (we believe) is eternal doctrine. Finally, they deserve to know that all who overcome will be blessed for their struggle.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    Dr. Mason: "We don't kick them out... But they feel as if they have been kicked out... The church distinguishes between feelings or inclinations on the one hand and behavior on the other..."

    Lessee... make them feel awful, call them sinners, exclude them from interactions. Engaging in social ostracism to the point where they drop out is not "technically" kicking them out, but the effect is the same.

    As to "behavior," straight couples are afforded more leniency than gay ones. Straight youth can hold hands in public, hug, maybe even kiss without disapproval; they can engage in many forms of courtship behavior well shy of sexual contact. I don't think that gay youth would be afforded the same latitude. If one is to make a distinction between feelings and actions, the goalposts should be the same for everybody.

  • Sank You, Doctor Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    Alan: "She has claimed to have been mentally unstable in the past, due to emotional and sexual abuse by her father. Many people dismiss her as an example of bi-sexuality. That's easy to say, but many, if not most, homosexuals have similar backgrounds."


    And where did you get this information? I beg to differ. Of all the gays I know, maybe 10% of them have been abused. I think that is less than most of the population: 1-4 women and 1-6 men.

    Where did you get your information?

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    I personally know people who have changed. Change is possible, and does, indeed, work. Yes, it takes effort; but it does work.

    One example many people will recognize is the actress Anne Heche. She had a lesbian relationship, then broke up, married a man and bore a child. She has claimed to have been mentally unstable in the past, due to emotional and sexual abuse by her father. Many people dismiss her as an example of bi-sexuality. That's easy to say, but many, if not most, homosexuals have similar backgrounds.

    Hence, the need for groups like Evergreen who offer clear hope for change.

    It's easier to simply claim to be born that way, seek sympathy, and side with those who claim to be genderless. But the evidence - and logic - points the other way.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    Now, how about the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM?

    *'NOM Strategist, Louis J. Marinelli, Declares Support For Same-Sex Marriage' - Huffington Post 04/09/11

    'Last summer, I organized the Summer for Marriage Tour for NOM. For 30 days, I traveled across the nation pushing an un-American agenda that harms gays, lesbians, and their families. I deeply regret...'

    *'Former Bush campaign chief tells magazine he's gay' - MSNBC - 08/26/10

    'Ex-GOP chair Ken Mehlman, says he will advocate for gay marriage, regrets not coming out earlier.'

    Ted Haggard:

    *'Church forces out Haggard for 'sexually immoral conduct' - 11/03/06 - CNN

    'On Friday, Haggard admitted he had received a massage from a Denver man who claimed the prominent pastor had paid him for sex over three years. Haggard also admitted he had bought methamphetamine.'

    Exodus International.

    Michael Bussee (male), one of the founders of Exodus and Gary Cooper (another male), a leader within the ministry of Exodus, left the group to be with each other in 1979.

    I have also heard, albiet, rumors of a BYU study in 1974. I would appreciate any information on this topic.

    Trying to change orientation, does not work.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Sept. 26, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    Esquire: "And is there to be a permanent class of celibacy" ?


    And of the several members of that class that I personally know, only one is of same-sex orientation.
    Three are married heterosexuals.
    Four are unmarried heterosexuals.

    Homosexuals do not hold a singular place in that class.

    Like them, others--for many different reasons besides homosexuality--are sad but valiant lds gospel-worthy members of that club.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    'H-65.973 Health Care Disparities in Same-Sex Partner Households Our AMA: (1) recognizes that exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities affecting same-sex households; (2) will work to reduce health care disparities among members of same-sex households including minor children; and (3) will support measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households. (CSAPH Rep. 1, I-09; BOT Action in response to referred for decision Res. 918, I-09: Reaffirmed in lieu of Res. 918, I-09)

    - American Medical Association

    Now, let's look at the OTHER side.

    Narth National Association For Research And Therapy Of Homosexuality.

    Another group that believes you can 'overcome' orientation.

    'A Heaven-Sent Rent Boy' - By FRANK RICH NY Times - 05/15/10

    '..married, '61-year-old (George) Rekers was caught by Miami New Times last month in the company of a 20-year-old male escort at Miami International Airport.'

    George Rekers, a FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER of Narth...

    found, in the company of a 20 year old male, escort.

    I cannot see how Narth has any credibility.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    'Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. All of the major medical organizations, including The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that homosexuality is not an illness or disorder, but a form of sexual expression.'

    Published online: 11/2008
    Source: Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Information for Teens and Parents

    - America Acadamy of Pediactrics

    *Survey links gay suicides to religious message - BY KRISTEN MOULTON SL TRIBUNE 02/17/11

    *'Teens gay or straight more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns' - By LINDSEY TANNER - Medical Writer - AP - 04/18/11

    'CHICAGO Suicide attempts by gay teens and even straight kids are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students found.'

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    'Although most of the presentations during the one-day conference in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building focused on issues relative to same-gender attraction, Elder Jensen said the Atonement was universal in its importance and application.' - Article

    Atonement, means a person has done something 'wrong.'

    That, is fostered upong gay persons. Calling for them to be 'celibate' while others actively campaign to deny them marriage.

    This, is the provable, and damaging results of TELLING someone they have done something 'wrong'. Or, fostering guilt UPON them.

    *'Gay man says 'reversal' therapy did not change him' - By Lisa Leff - Associated Press - Published by DSNews - 01/20/10

    'A gay man testified Wednesday in a federal same-sex marriage trial that the "reversal therapy" he underwent as a teenager to change his sexual orientation drove him to the brink of suicide.'

    *'Psychologists nix gay-to-straight therapy' - AP - 08/05/09

    'The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday...(sic) No solid evidence exists that such change (to orientation) is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.'

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 26, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    The philosophical, thus theological, implications are off the charts. There is an inherent inconsistency in how the Gospel is administered. And is there to be a permanent class of celibacy, even though marriage will eventually be the law? Does the "doctrine" change or do the ceremonies change? Right now I see a lot of rationalization and tap dancing, and I don't know how long it can be sustained.