@ sashabill"If Jesus accepted your interpretation of
'forsaking sin,' he would have told the woman to 'go your way and
keep on doing what you've been doing.'Ranch'
definition is to stop loathing/hating oneself for being who one is. No one is
intrinsically a prostitute or adulterer. Actions are what qualify us for those
labels. Ranch could never once act on his sexual orientation and he'd
still be homosexual.So, yeah - his definition makes a lot of sense
to me. What a waste of one's life to loathe/hate oneself for being who you
are. And what an absurd notion to expect some to not act on who they are while
reserving that right for oneself.
M_Hawke,What you state is right and well said, but I think you have
misunderstand Jane B. She does not like what Pres. Nelson taught in the article
and has therefore become her own interpreter (or wrester) of the scriptures. She
doesn't like the fact that the President of the Church is the official
interpreter of scripture and doctrine for the church since he interprets it
different than what she wants the doctrine or policy to be. She has
accepted the views and opinions of the world (Babylon) over those of the Church
and is chafing under the differences between worldly thinking and prophetic
teaching. The two are becoming less compatible every passing month and she will
or is finding herself split in two, which hurts a lot, or having to fully commit
to one or the other. I hope she gets it right, but from seeing her other
comments on other stories, she seems to have clamped onto modern feminism and
worldly philosophies already. But one can always hope for the best for
@JaneBI just read the article “Divine Love” by then
Elder Nelson and it is masterful. I believe you do not understand that point he
is making. He is clarifying “infinite” love from
“unconditional” love. As he states, “unconditional”
never appears in the scriptures. I believe you are mixing the two up.If you would re-read the paragraph near the bottom, “Divine Love and the
Sinner,” you will see that he states that God loves all of his children.
But unconditional blessings do not exist. By very definition, the
“covenant path” refutes that term.If you believe that
his arguments or the scripture verses he uses fails to support his thesis, then
I am sure curious as to what article you could write on the subject, or at very
least, show us using examples of how his supporting scripture verses are
“weak” or how any of his article fails. This is somewhat of a
Rnach, Nice try. If Jesus accepted your interpretation of "forsaking
sin," he would have told the woman to "go your way and keep on doing
what you've been doing."I agree, however, that ones does
not need to embrace a religion or theology in order to have a moral compass.
Religious people are wrong when they dismiss the non-religious as somehow
immoral -- but then, they aren't much different from the liberal
secularists who shout "bigot," and "homophobe" at anyone who
disagrees with them.
Jacobiuntherus says:"...how the Savior interacted with the woman taken
in adultery and "invited her to forsake sin going forward".-- Perhaps "forsaking sin" means learning to love and accept ones self
AS IS and letting go of the self loathing and self hatred induced by religious
bigots who seem to think that being gay and living true to ones self is a
"sin". @Oatmeal;"Ranch,If loving
means accepting of every action or choice, then I guess some are not very
"loving." But if "loving" means encouraging all to live the laws
of God, then they are much more loving than anything LGBT activists can
muster."-- You just made my point.AZ Observer;Our "moral compass" is every bit as functional as yours, even
without "religion". Religion doesn't own morality (usually they
miss the mark by a parsec or 2).
I agree with Orson of Woods Cross. As I see it, the Lord first gave us the
higher law regarding this issue. However, just as the ancient Israelites,
complaining to the Lord brought about the lessor law, which is what the Lord
gave us through His ordained apostles that we now have. The Lord is very
patient and loving, but sooner or later, we will be expected to live the higher
law or simply fall away.
Those of us who embrace our baptismal/temple covenants know that the gospel is
to be lived "within the bounds the Lord has set" but we are free to
choose. That is the test of this life. "He who cannot abide a celestial
law cannot abide a celestial glory".
@ OatmealKaren R. here."Please note that Christians
are not polytheists."You're mistaken. There are Christians
sects that are nontrinitarian."...please remember that it was
Christians, often organizing in their churches, who led the abolition and
suffrage campaigns..."But this SUPPORTS my point. Yes, the
change in Christian posture to slavery and the role of women does provide
legitimate reason to wonder if they've been wrong about homosexuality,
too.@ redshirtIMO, the hopeful thing about revisionist
apologetics is that it reflects the recognition that slavery is immoral. But it
also creates a problem similar to the above: If translations/interpretations
surrounding slavery have given the wrong impression, how can we be sure that
this same problem doesn't exist on other subjects in the Bible?
I would wholeheartedly embrace those who smoke cigarettes in sacrament meeting.
Never seen it done before though.
First, a disclaimer: I did not read the article. Because of its title. I do not
need a change in policy to remind me to "listen with love" this Easter.
The title was a little off-putting to me. Easter thoughts should be focused on
and motivated by the Savior. Not a policy change. Yes, I can guess in what
direction he takes his article, but still, the point is, Easter is celebrating
Christ's atonement and resurrection, the very reason why we have hope for a
better life. Happy Easter, everyone!
Tom Christofferson offers a provocative and thoughtful narrative but he also
raises several questions in my mind.He tells of seemingly warm
hearted stories such as: "I love the ward where Primary leaders and teachers
ensure that the children of gay parents are at ease sharing the experiences of
their family" Interesting, given that our Church leaders have reiterated
that gay couples who are married or engaging in sexual acivity are committing
"serious transgressions". I wonder how primary teachers tip-toe around
that when discussing gospel principles?Tom reminds us that of how
the Savior interacted with the woman taken in adultery and "invited her to
forsake sin going forward".As we contemplate welcoming and
loving our neighbors and ward visitors who are gay couples, how do we navigate
around "the elephant in the room"? After all, most lessons and talks in
the Church include details about following the Savior and keeping his
commandments - including virtue and chastity. Maybe we just pretend that part
isn't part of the package?
Oatmeal, I'm well aware of that talk by president Nelson because it's
controversial. I recently re-read it, and found his case remarkably
unconvincing. I don't even think the scriptures he cites support his
thesis. We'll have to disagree about Christian theology/unconditional love,
but there is a mountain of scriptural evidence supporting God's
unconditional love for us, not to mention that the Atonement is all about
unconditional love. I believe the most important attributes of God
and Christ are their unconditional love for us. No matter what we do. Love
should not be confused with approval. I think that's one of the big
problems in the church. Some people think they can earn God's love.
That's a false and pernicious doctrine.
JaneB,President Nelson preached a sermon on unconditional love some time
ago. The title is "Divine Love." It may help you come to terms with
the terminology used. If you really want to know,
"unconditional love" is not a Christian doctrine. It is a product of
social science. And God gave far more than two commandments.
I am baffled by those who say God's love is not unconditional. Our entire
theology is based upon the unconditional love of God. I feel like maybe we are
living in two different universes in the church? One universe is all about
judgment, condemnation, rules, absolute sureness of the "right" way. The
other has a little more humility, love, forgiveness, understanding, and a
realization that we see through a glass darkly.There's a reason
for the two great commandments. We should all stick to those, and stop thinking
we know everything God is thinking. The church changes. Doctrine
changes. Sometimes our leaders get things wrong. That's inevitable. They
are doing the best they can.
Ranch,If loving means accepting of every action or choice, then I guess
some are not very "loving." But if "loving" means encouraging
all to live the laws of God, then they are much more loving than anything LGBT
activists can muster.
There's more. Christ's injunction to the woman caught in adultery was
not an invitation. An invitation does not carry the moral implication of a
response being morally right or wrong. A commandment does, and that is what
Christ commanded: Go and sin no more, ie, adultery is a sin, don't do it,
period. The author's dishonest description of the commandment as an
invitation minimizes the moral force, clarity, seriousness, and utter
prohibition of sexual sin. The author did this because he does not want these
standards applied to the commandment not to engage in homosexual sin; he wants
the reader to think the "invitation" not to engage in homosexual sin is
up for debate to be resolved individually according to--you guessed
it--one's personal moral compass, for obvious reasons. And then
there's the partial quoting of scripture to suit his agenda (John 8:2-11),
but the failure to cite other scripture that demolishes it (Romans 1:18-32).
The sophistry continues with a reference to same-sex individuals "whose
personal moral compass would not allow them to continue church activity . . . .
" Say what? What recognized set of moral values is same-sex ideology based
on? There isn't one--Mr. Christofferson borrows the esteem accompanying a
true moral compass, i.e., Judeo-Christian teachings, to enhance his spin on what
is otherwise known to the rest of the world as "my selfish personal choice
to accommodate my selfish personal belief."
bee/ECR - If your undefined version of "love" was all that was needed to
achieve the celestial kingdom, then there would be no need for a savior or the
atonement--God/us could just "love" everyone into the celestial
kingdom...just love everyone...that's all to do, just love everyone..no
commandments, no repentance, nothing...just love. I think something is missing
in your equation.Norman Wright - it is an unpersuasive rhetorical
device to claim that "nobody understands what I'm going through" so
therefore others are in no position to comment. Intelligent, wise, and
experienced people (Church leaders, maybe?) can understand the pressures LBGTQ
people endure and can comment on it, too, with much more authority than personal
anecdotes.PacNWinUT - The notion of "unconditional love" is
not founded in the Gospel of Christ - it's another creation of mankind
trying to justify and excuse wrongful behavior. Jesus also didn't say
anything specifically prohibiting intercourse with a tree so, according to your
logic, that must be okay then?
Happy Easter to all, of all faiths.I am reminded of the core element
of this week and that is the atonement of Christ to take upon himself the sins
of the world, if people will just repent. That's an amazing gift,
it's been wrought through the totality of the Easter week events and
redeems us from mortal death.DC 64:9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that
ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his
trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the
greater sin.10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of
you it is required to forgive all men.11 And ye ought to say in your
hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy
deeds.12 And him that repenteth not of his sins, and confesseth them
not, ye shall bring before the church, and do with him as the scripture saith
unto you, either by commandment or by revelation.13 And this ye
shall do that God may be glorified—not because ye forgive not, having not
compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not
offend him who is your lawgiver—14 Verily I say, for this
cause ye shall do these things.
The comments in this article are not very "loving". Typical though.
With mounting pressure from the world regarding acceptance of gay marriage,
etc., it is one sign of the true church that the hand of fellowship is extended
to all of us sinners. That being said, smoking is a far cry from destroying
God's plan for families. The world only views love as accepting what it
says it wants. This makes the Book of Mormon even more powerful. The
bible's view on homosexuality is well documented, well established, and
well understood by most Christians. However, when the validity of Christ as
the son of God is also being questioned, a second witness becomes paramount.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God and God's church is upon the earth
and the Proclamation on the Family stands clear and bold in the declaration that
you were born male and female and marriage is between a man and a women.
Without the Book of Mormon, the bible and the veracity of Jesus as the son of
God, for many, not for me, is just another fable orchestrated by those who want
to control the masses and the ignorant. As a fable, it can then change with
the times. With the Book of Mormon, both are unquestioned witnesses of His
Strider, I fully agree. I became an "abandoned spouse" when my
former wife embraced the "new lifestyle." I then raised my children as
a single father over the space of the next fifteen years. I was grateful and
appreciative to have the love, encouragement, and support of my fellow ward
members during that time. ( I am now happily remarried to my current wife,
whose first husband had abandoned her for the "new lifestyle.")
PacNWinUT "Repent and learn to love unconditionally like Christ
does"Although Jesus Christ's love is infinite, enduring,
and universal, it is not unconditional. If you look at the scripture patterns
of conditional statements in mind, you will see many verses that declare the
conditional nature of divine love for us.eg: " IF you keep not
my commandments, the love of the Father shall not continue with you" " IF ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my
love" " God is no respecter of persons: But in
every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh in
righteousness, is accepted with Him" " I, the
Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no
promise"Spencer W. Kimball said....
"the Lord "cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance"
(D&C 1:31)....we will better appreciate His love....if similar abhorrence
for sin impels us to transform our lives through repentance."
Sad to see so many comments here about how being in a gay marriage/family is a
sin. As a faithful believing member, I do not know that, and neither do you.
I'm inclined to come down on the side of loving gay relationships not being
a sin. Yes, I know our current doctrine says it's a sin. But I'm not
convinced.Remember, our church once preached (for decade upon
decade) that blacks were not entitled to the fullness of gospel blessings simply
because they were black. A lot of other cruel myths were perpetuated, too, which
I will not name here. They called it "doctrine", meaning it came from
God. This is indisputable.Guess what. The church was wrong. Dead
wrong. They may be wrong here.So, I think the comments about loving
the sinner and hating the sin are off. Waaay off. Gay people should be who they
are. Who God created them to be. It is not a sin, imo, to be who you are, and
have a loving relationship with someone.
@nonamesaccepted,I mostly agree with your comments. In cases of divorce,
approval must be given for underage children to be baptized. But under the
former LGBT church policy, even if the gay parents wished to have their child
baptized it was not permitted. That was the opposite of “respecting
families” as you stated.I believe that the church’s
about-face on blacks and the priesthood was a consequence of revelation to Pres.
Kimball. But I don’t believe it was revelation that instituted the
discriminatory practice but rather tradition, culture, and racism. Neither do I
believe it was revelation that instituted the bad LGBT policy. To believe it was
is to believe the Lord had a change of mind in the intervening 3-1/2 years. I
had hoped for some clarification from church leaders on this issue at the recent
general conference to further help bind the wounds that were created.
Unfortunately there was none.My faith in the church and its leaders
remains strong. But I know of many, including members of my own family, who
have become disaffected with the church over this issue. The recent policy
reversal did little to assuage their disappointment or help any of us better
LGBTQ is an adjective; the noun - Child of God. It is not our job to judge. It
is our job to love. Elder Holland once said that if we don't have people
in our Sacrament Meetings that smell like smoke we aren't doing our jobs.
I would say the same thing goes for liars, thieves, LGBTQ, and all the rest, as
we all fit into one of those categories. If you don't turn away one person
of sin, where do you draw the line? Where does the sin become so dark that it
is OK to shun. Be very, very careful with this as one day, you may have to shun
yourself. The Savior will take care of the judging. Let all love one another
as Jesus loves us.
rlynn, So essentially, regarding the definition of marriage, you are asking
for the LDS Church to replace love with relativism. Unlike the "politically
correct" crowd, the leaders of the LDS Church understand the difference.
Yes, love one another. That's easy to say and of course it resonates in all
of us. But, literally, the devil is in the details. The questions abound as to
who is tolerant of who. Saying it's wonderful to welcome two men adopting a
child shows tolerance for them. But how do they show tolerance for those who
know there is NO evidence "God made me that way" and are concerned that
a child is growing up in a home without a mother. How you react to that
statement will tell you more about your universal rather than selective
tolerance for people of differing points of view.
As I read the calls for love and compassion for gay persons in their struggle
for what ever it is they seek, I would offer a request for some love, compassion
and balm of solace for the spouses who are abandoned emotionally, physically and
usually financially when a gay person announces their new life style and leaves
the spouse and family to fend for themselves. Where there were two,
now remains one against the world.I am aware of the emotional and
spiritual toll wrought on the abandoned spouse. 'Tis well and good to
speak of mercy and compassion for the "liberated" one, but often the
other spouse is forgotten and ignored. Long term family and personal
relationships are forever altered. Houston, we have a problem.
There is a Primary song about this very subject that they ought to put into the
To "Roadside Philosopher" you say that we have no right to judge others,
but that is wrong.For instance is a registered sex offender, that
got out of jail yesterday, who pleaded guilty to abusing children offered to
babysit your children, would you let them? Even if they promised that they were
a changed person.To "PacNWinUT" but Christ didn't tell
us to accept sin. Christ told us to avoid the very appearance of sin. So, if we
are to follow Christ, why would we even appear to accept sinful practices?To "rlynn " yes, if you are in a same sex marriage, you will
always be living contrary to LDS doctrine. What you are asking for is a change
to the Doctrine. God's doctrine doesn't change to make people feel
better. As Jesus said, he is come to divide families and friends into those who
follow him and those who won't.To "Karen R." in the
Bible, slavery was ok. However, you should realize that slavery in the Bible was
different than what was practiced more recently. In fact,the Bible tells us how
slaves should be treated and how slaves should behave. If you read the biblical
teachings on slavery it sounds more like contractual employment.
Good article, especially since Tom has gone through some heart-aching
experiences himself. Whatever the Christian beliefs are, people demonstrate
outwardly how these beliefs affect them.In that sense, knowledge of Christ
is dead until it is revealed by one's acts.
I am sad to see so many comments being left that feel judgemental and self-
righteous to me. There is so much about same sex attraction, transgender issues,
etc which we understand so little about. We need to reserve judgment to God ,
live our individual lives to the best of our abilities, and extend Christ-like
love to those around us. I applaud this policy change which does not make
children of same sex couples feel inferior or in condemnation of their parents.
The Church leaders wouldn’t say that children whose parents drink alcohol
or abuse drugs can’t be baptized until they are 18 and denounce their
parents’ lifestyle. I am encouraged to see our prophet and leaders
seeking constant inspiration regarding policies which may not reflect doctrine,
such as blacks holding the priesthood and gay members not being considered
apostates or unworthy. Continuing modern day revelation is one of the reasons I
joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Many commenters are talking about "judgment" incorrectly. Elder D. Todd
Christofferson, Tom's brother, who has ecclesiastical authority to speak,
taught:“Not judging” has become an almost
unchallengeable standard for conversation and behavior. But in reality, we all
make judgments about what is right and wrong, and not just for ourselves, but
for the people and the society around us. Laws and systems of law, even
political systems, are the embodiment of moral values and perceived truths. In a
pluralistic society, we may debate what values should be enshrined in laws or
regulations and what is right or wrong or true, but in the end, on any given
issue, someone’s view, or some group’s view, of truth prevails and
everyone becomes bound by it. . . .Most troubling are those who
insist that “society must be transformed so that it no longer stands in
awful judgment. So it is that they change the laws, infiltrate the schools, and
create intrusive social-welfare bureaucracies.” Well did Isaiah warn,
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for
light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for
bitter!” ("Truth Endures," on church website)
“Critics launched petitions calling on guest performers to cancel
appearances with the Tabernacle Choir and to boycott games against Brigham Young
University” (Tad Walch, “Deseret News”, April 4, 2019).Pressure from parishioners’ changes policy?Obviously,
in the Mormon Church, the Bible is not the final authority for faith and
practice. The ever-changing so-called ‘revelations’ of so-called
‘leaders’ – not the Bible - affects policies and practices.
How do those who advocated for this change in policy see it?They’re not done yet. “The fact legally married same-sex
couples are still considered in serious transgression within the church leaves
painful choices for lesbian and gay members and that unresolved issues remain
for transgender members.”“Chad Griffin, president of the
Human Rights Campaign, wants to see “a day where LGBTQ Mormons can see
themselves affirmed and included within their faith community.”I.E., more boycotting BYU football games, more ‘revelations’ and
one day gay marriages will be blessed by the Mormon Church.
Karen R.,"The Christian gods didn't see fit to tell Christians up
front.." Please note that Christians are not polytheists. This
would include Latter-day Saints. There is only one God or Godhead. And to add
historical context to your comment, please remember that it was Christians,
often organizing in their churches, who led the abolition and suffrage campaigns
for women and blacks as well as the civil rights movement.
The Christian gods didn't see fit to tell Christians up front that slavery
wasn't cool. In fact, what they're purported to have said points
strongly to, "Yeah, it's okay, especially if they're not a member
of your tribe."But Christians will also tell you that their gods
did it this way because it was important that people learn this moral lesson on
their own.Isn't it possible that this is also the case with
It is somewhat humorous that we are often so quick to point out flaws and
commandments we feel others aren’t keeping. That can give an appearance
that WE keep ALL of the commandments. The funny part is that we give little
thought to scriptures of beams, motes, or casting first stones because we feel
so compelled to point out that others have need of repentance. Great
article Tom Christofferson! I love you my brother.
I challenge directly the notion that if we love someone, we approve of their
beliefs, actions and lifestyles. Love is to want what is the best for a person
in an eternal sense. If certain behaviors are sinful, then I cannot wish or
hope that a person engages in sinful behavior and still claim that I love that
person. I can only hope for change and repentance on their part. Those who truly love (good parents and inspired prophets) often warn those
they love of behaviors they recognize as sinful. We cannot claim that we want
any person to engage in sinful behavior and still claim that we love them. To
do so would be a lie, a lie which jeopardizes, in an eternal sense, both the
person or persons we claim to love and ourselves.
@rlynn - I am sorry that you feel that way, but all of the wishing in the world
will not change God's law. You can choose to make this about the Church,
but ultimately this is about the laws that govern salvation. We can do anything
you want here on Earth - agency was given to us all. The problem is that we
cannot choose the consequence of the choices we make here. If we choose to do
anything against the law God has established, we will inherit something less
than our full share. I believe that God is merciful and will give us every
possible chance to reach our full divine potential and become as He is, but if
we choose to live contrary to the laws He has given, in the end we will have to
accept what wages we have earned. The scriptures are very clear on this
point.Having said all that, charity is one of the most important of
God's laws, and it is incumbent upon us all to show unconditional love to
everyone, regardless of their life choices. So while I do not believe that the
LGBTQ lifestyle is correct, I will still be a friend to you and to my many other
friends who are gay, and serve you to the best of my ability.
So which is the greater 'sin'? The LGBTQ couple raising a child being
open and honest about who and what they are -or- those that 'shade'
the truth, or are out right dishonest, so that they can secure that TR renewal?
Speaking on the subject of tolerance—a virtue much needed in our turbulent
world. But in discussing this topic, we must recognize at the outset that there
is a difference between tolerance and tolerate. Your gracious tolerance for an
individual does not grant him or her license to do wrong, nor does your
tolerance obligate you to tolerate his or her misdeed. That distinction is
fundamental to an understanding of this vital virtue.Now may I offer an
important note of caution. An erroneous assumption could be made that if a
little of something is good, a lot must be better. Not so! ... Boundless mercy
could oppose justice. So tolerance, without limit, could lead to spineless
permissiveness.The Lord drew boundary lines to define acceptable limits of
tolerance. Danger rises when those divine limits are disobeyed. Just as parents
teach little children not to run and play in the street, the Savior taught us
that we need not tolerate evil. “Jesus went into the temple of God, and
and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers.”16 Though He loved
the sinner, the Lord said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least
degree of allowance.Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, April 1994
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, as to be hated needs but to be seen, yet
seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then
embrace!Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
"... they were challenged by Christ that only those who themselves were
without sin should carry out such punishment."Jesus did say that
they should not stone her. Stoning is a deadly punishment.But the second
half of this story is always conveniently omitted: "And Jesus said
unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."Although Jesus did not want the crowd to stone her to death, he still did not
ignore the sin or tell her to just keep on doing it. He told her to **Sin no
In my opinion this is the best, most balanced thing that has been written or
said on the subject.
I still find the change not helpful at all, not until the LDS Church changes the
Proclamation on the Family. The LDS Church policy is still anti LGBQT, they
would rather see them live without love of a spouse in a holy marriage bond.
The LDS Church still preaches that it is a burden to be LGBTQ. That we are less
than. So nothing really changed. My LDS family as accepted outwardly my husband
and our marriage, however in some members, there is still a displeasure look in
their eyes. For many of us, who were forced or choose to leave the LDS Church,
believe that we were created from the foundation of the world as a Gay person.
I think the previous policy was a classic example of the independence of intent
and outcome. The intent was that it would help keep peace in same sex families
and would prevent eight year old children from being put in such a difficult
position of living up to their baptismal covenants. The outcome, of course, was
that all anybody could see was what those in sex-sex marriages could not do and
what their kids could not do. The new policy makes much more clear what the
intent of the church is and what we believe concerning the matter. I am glad for
the clarification. It communicates the intent much better.
Orson. You are totally missing the point. We aren’t anyone’s judges
and now you speak for the prophet just as you asked the author not to do? All we
are required to do is to stop judging . Love and lift the hands that hang down
and let God do the judging, that is the point. He made the laws and he is the
perfect One to judge. He made it easier for us to become more like Him by
setting it up that way.
Very well written. I am grateful for those who share their challenges with us
while trying to live the gospel. It helps me have more empathy and
understanding. It also gives perspective to my own struggles.I also
applaud the changes by church leaders. I truly believe they are receiving
inspiration "line upon line" regarding this and other difficult issues
facing the church. I believe that this is another great example that shows they
are listening and concerned for all of God's children.
Do they want love or do they want their life choices to be accepted. I
understand nothing about that choice, but if the consequences of making that
choice are so painful and life threatening why celebrate it, why flaunt it.
People struggle with weaknesses their whole lifes and never give in, why is this
different. I'm not sure not loving the "sinner" is the problem. I
think they want their life choices to be accepted, not just to be loved. not
sure thats gonna happen. Opposition is an eternal plan, and society today wants
to make everything acceptable, eliminate opposition. I feel for those who
struggle with that choice.
Something to think about. When a woman was caught in sexual sin and was dragged
before the Savior, he didn't condemn her. He also didn't forgive her.
What he did say was, "go, and sin no more."
Thank you so much Brother Christofferson for writing this. This is what is often
missing in discourse about LGBTQ issues and the church: A real acknowldgement of
the pain, the heartache, the lonliness and the self-doubt that people have
suffered in relation to everything from the exclusion policy to thoughtless
comments by self-righteous members. General conference talks about marriage
between a man and a woman often only say "The church's teachings
aren't always going to be popular" as if the only problem people have
with the doctrine is that we might lose a popularity contest.My problem is
some of my friends I love like my own brothers have felt suicidal at the thought
of trying to live 70 or 80 years without so much as ever kissing a person
they're attracted to. Acknowledgement of that, of "Hey sometimes life
feels incredibly, impossibly unfair and I want to do what I can to help you bear
that burden as well as you can," is Christlike, not apostate. I'm
saddened by the large number of church members who take any acknowledgement that
being LGBTQ in the church is hard as an attack on the church and a failure to
live up to its doctrines. Charity is the pure love of Christ.
You can (and should) love the sinner, but until God changes (not likely to
happen) we still do not have to love the sin. I say this knowing full well that
some will take this personally, and I am sorry, I do not want to cause any one
harm, BUT sins cover a wide range of behaviors, such as robbery, murder, moral
issues, and even lying. In fact, there are sins of commission and sins of
omission as well. The one great constant is that we are all imperfect in the
eyes of the Lord, and all have need to repent. Many like to cast stones
(figuratively speaking) at those who do not embrace their lifestyles, and that
is too bad. Furthermore, we are all at different stages of maturity and
understanding, and none of us even come close to were the Lord is. I will say
this, however, and that is that the Lord knows what brings true and lasting
happiness and joy, and if we study the scriptures and listen to the prophets, we
will have a far better chance for happiness, regardless of what ANY ONE ELSE may
say, think or do. Since we will stand before the Great Judge in the next life,
may we do so with clean hands.
It's heart-warming to see so many people expressing love and support to the
LGBT community. I believe it is possible to be supportive without rejecting or
becoming confused about the Lord's standards of chastity. I wish every
Christian would offer the same love and support to the President of the USA,
Donald J. Trump. To forgive the sins of those who break the law of chastity yet
to be judgmental about the sins of our commander in chief is rank hypocrisy, and
Jesus had some pretty harsh words for hypocrites.
Sorry my previous comment should be didn't want not did
Someone once observed it was a good thing not all sins smelled the way tobacco
use does or we couldn't stand to be around each other for our meetings.It can be easy to look around secular society and see how acceptance of
people who engage in certain behavior has very quickly become acceptance and
even celebration of the behavior itself. That is not the way of the Gospel. But
neither should it ever be the way of the Church to shun the sinner. We are all
sinners.At the same time, we must be clear that accepting the
individual is never going to be a step toward condoning sin. I will not be
exhalted with a bad temper, with a lustful heart, being greedy, or with
addictions, nor while being unchaste including with a same sex partner. Sooner
or later I will have to overcome all such weaknesses.Temporarily
witholding ordinances from children whose parents object, living in plural
households, or with same gender parents has never been about punishing children,
but rather about respecting families--even families comprised different than we
teach--and helping assure that children have the support needed to live the
covenants they are making. This is a policy, not doctrinal change.
I believe that truly loving is the hardest and most important commandent.When asked, Jesus told us the most important commandment was to love God
and the 2nd was to love others. "On these two commandments hang all the law
and the prophets." The "law and the prophets" constitute the Jewish
Bible and commandments as they existed. We might well translate that into the
commandments as they exist for us today.But what does it mean that
all the commandments hang on the commandment to love God and love others?Simply, but often with great difficulty, to truly love God, to show that
love, requires that we keep His commandments. If we love him, we want to spend 1
day a week worshiping him; we follow His Son into the waters of baptism; we
eagerly pay tithes and offerings or even live the United Order; we properly care
for our bodies; we abide the law of chastity. If we truly love God and others,
we treat them as He commands us to.We might obey other commandments
without truly loving. But we do not truly love God and others unless we do our
best to obey all the other commandments as well."Love"
increases our obligation to obey other commandments; it does not excuse
I think it's important to remember the policy was not intended to hurt the
LGBT community and their children. The same policy has been in place for plural
families and others. The Church did want children in conflict between what their
parents believe and practice and what the Church teaches and practices.
Kbee,It is a common current fallacy to believe God will love all people
into heaven/exaltation. Read the determining factors laid out in D&C 76 and
88 and 131 if you want to know where people will end up who live according to
various moral standards. The scriptures are doctrine and teach eternal laws.President Oaks was recently quoted in the Church News (8/28/18) as
teaching:“You are raising children in an environment with
overwhelming information and attitudes that are hostile to the mission and
teachings of the Church.” . . .“As has been true throughout
history, in this life we must choose between Jesus’ way and the
world’s way.”“Our eternal perspective sets us against
such changes,” he said. “God’s love is so great that He
requires His children to obey His laws because only through that obedience can
they progress toward the eternal destiny He desires for them. Thus, in the final
judgment, which follows the universal resurrection, we will all be assigned to
the kingdom of glory that is commensurate with our obedience to His laws.”
("President Oaks talks Church history, LGBT issues, mental illness").Of course, many people don't care for this true doctrine and
Thank you Tom Christofferson for your courageous essay encouraging us all to
listen and learn. I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is much more simple than
some want us to believe. Everything the Savior taught during his ministry
pointed to the concept of love. Love is the reason for everything. His
greatest commandment, the one he points to to help us become like our Father in
Heaven, was to forgive or to love our enemies, which is the ultimate expression
of love. Loving everyone while withholding judgement of anyone is is what the
In Hebrew, there is over 200 different meanings for the word love. God fulfilled
Moses s law an gave us three, love God, love our neighbor an love ourselve. Have
some manners an be polite. It's a, you matter thing.
I once heard a bishop talking to his ward about supporting LGBT family and
friends. Some members of the ward expressed concerns about having LGBT family
and friends in their home. The bishop responded with something like, 'you
don't have to march in their parade but you should welcome them into your
home'. Being friends and supporting LGBT people does not mean you disagree
with the doctrines or policies of the church (very must the opposite). I have numerous colleagues who break virtually every commandment except
murder. I don't distance myself from these people and hope that some day my
association with them will help them decide to make positive changes in their
lives. I have deeply enjoyed studying the New Testament over the
past four months. Jesus never deviates from teaching gospel doctrine; some
people chose to distance themselves from Jesus but at no point does he distance
himself from sinners. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to be an
active member and LGBT (imagine someone telling you salvation only comes if you
marry someone of the same sex) and they need all the support they can get. We are commanded to love; judgment is God's and God's alone.
Christ commanded us to love they neighbor as thyself. He didn’t leave it
open to conditions or questions. So if you’re one who claims to
“love the sinner but hate the sin,” “not support
lifestyles,” etc. just stop. Repent and learn to love unconditionally like
Christ does. If Christ cared as much about whether we were gay or straight as he
did about how we treat people and follow him, he would have made it a core part
of his doctrine. He didn’t, so follow Christ and just learn to love
without being so judgy.
This is a beautiful and badly-needed message. And I would encourage all to note
that neither Tom Christofferson's message, nor Christ's words on
loving our neighbours, had the word "but" in there.
I appreciate Tom Christopherson's message and his fervent plea to members
of the restored Church of Jesus Christ to demonstrate they are true disciples of
Christ by extending unconditional love to our LGBTQ+ sons, daughters, brothers,
and sisters. He has given wonderful examples of what that kind of love looks
like within a family and a congregation. Anyone who still holds
judgment in their heart should visit the official church website MormonAndGay -
watch the videos, listen to the stories, read the messages from our prophets and
leaders about loving and accepting - "For all are alike unto God". You
never know what your own beloved child, grandchild, sibling, or friend is
struggling with and the terror they have of coming out and being rejected,
shunned and cast out. Many would rather die than experience that kind of shame
and rejection - and many are dying. I pray we will all read this
message and see how we can become a trusted servant of Jesus Christ. Are we
willing to gather all the lambs of his fold - of all shapes, sizes and rainbow
colors - and tenderly feed and nourish their souls with our loving kindness.
For those who push hard for exaltation through obedience to law, I hope we can
remember that there are a lot of laws out there and that just because my
predispositions to sin may different than your's does not give me the right
to judge you or vice versa.If I am gay and yet hold a testimony and
am simply doing my best under circumstances you cannot even imagine, who are you
to judge me? If you grew up in a family where a father regularly yelled at his
children and put down his wife and you are not as loving and kind as you could
be, who am I to judge you?I know that I have been commanded to be
obedient to God's laws and one of them is to love my neighbor as myself.
For me, that's a pretty good place to start regardless of the sin.
I disagree with [email protected] If there is life after death, if there is
exaltation, if there is a celestial kingdom which I believe there is....it will
be based on many things including love. Especially love. Without charity there
is no celestial kingdom for anyone. We don't know everything yet, in fact
very little about the next life but if you don't have compassion and love
for every human being you have no hope. We are not the judges of law or anything
else. Just love....that's all. Let the rest work itself out in a Loving
I've never met a person who's actually been traumatized over any LDS
Church doctrine, only people who are angry they don't get more attention
for their cause. Greasing the squeaky wheel only distracts from far more
I really can’t see Christ saying... hate, judge, and be mean to those that
are different than you? I’m sure he would most likely say, the greater sin
is on those that hate, not those who love. No one has the right to judge
who are residing as a mere human on this planet as we are all flawed and none of
us know All. Hence we can not possibly know enough to say how God would
judge.All I know is that contributing to condemnation of those who
contribute to our society, doesn’t appear to be productive, just divisive.
Being so inflexible to say God is Only one way, hasn’t taken any of
the lessons that God has shared with the great diversity of life. He made all
sorts of relationships within his life’s creation. Inflexibility and
thinking only you are right, leads to breakage, solitude and bitterness.
I wholeheartedly agree that we should love people. I would treat the baby shower
as I would treat the baby shower for the baby of an unwed mother. I would send a
gift but would not celebrate what my moral compass requires me to recognize is
wrong and is not in the best interest of the baby. I would treat the adults and
babies with kindness even through I do not agree with the circumstance. The
leaders have instructed that these people are not to be referred to in church
records as apostates. A distinction that recognizes that people can make
mistakes and not choose to repent but still believe in the tenets which they
have broken. I dare say many/most of us fall into this category in varying
God loves all His children as LDS Church Leaders continually preach. However,
I think most sincere followers of the LDS Church know there is more to it's
theology on this topic than simply God loving all His Earthly children. Please
read Romans 1:21-32 for more information on this topic.
I hope readers remember that the author of this piece does not speak for the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that prerogative is reserved for
the president of the Church and the First Presidency and/or Quorum of the
Twelve. Things said in opinion pieces may or may not necessary reflect
doctrine.President Oaks has taught that people will receive
exaltation based on law, the law of the Celestial Kingdom, not on love. I personally will not support people in sin, but I hope they find
happiness following the right path.