Jump to content
Daniel2

Variety: LDS Musician Confronts His Church’s LGBT Stance in New Sundance Documentary

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, pogi said:

Do you pray to Him?

Pogi, 

I pray more reverently and with real intent than I did when I was a full blow true believing Mormon. 

Share this post


Link to post
46 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Pogi, 

I pray more reverently and with real intent than I did when I was a full blow true believing Mormon. 

Me too.  Some real heart to heart talks.

Share this post


Link to post
58 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Smac

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I will consider and ponder your comments.

Merry Christmas!

And to you!

-Smac

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/1/2017 at 10:07 AM, hope_for_things said:

Not really, the church says you have to get married, and is constantly telling the single people to get married.  That's because the theology says you have to be married to make it into the celestial kingdom.  Being gay is the only legitimate kind of celibacy in mortality, and there is no articulation that I'm aware of for how gay people will live in the next life.  If they have explained this officially, I would love to hear about it, but I can't recall any explanations.  

Not sure if this has been pointed out, but you are not correct here.  Temple marriage is not a requirement for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom.  Just the highest glory.

Share this post


Link to post
23 minutes ago, DJBrown said:

Not sure if this has been pointed out, but you are not correct here.  Temple marriage is not a requirement for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom.  Just the highest glory.

I was talking about the highest degree in the celestial kingdom.  I guess I should have clarified, but I thought it was pretty clear. 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I was talking about the highest degree in the celestial kingdom.  I guess I should have clarified, but I thought it was pretty clear. 

Since the best blessing in my opinion is to live with the Father and Christ and the rest of God's family and since to dwell eternally with God  is often how Heaven is defined by other faiths, I believe it is essential to state exaltation when meaning exaltation and not just use Celestial Kingdom as the equivalent especially if talking about potential blessings or lack thereof.

There is a lot of misunderstanding out there.  And a lot of people intentionally or unintentionally misrepresent teachings about the CK.  Being precise when one is discussing aspects limited to exaltation will help remove the effects of widespread misrepresentations.

"Being gay is the only legitimate kind of celibacy in mortality"  Do you actually mean "being celibate is the only legitimate kind of homosexuality" because I have never heard taught that single heterosexual celibates aren't fully living the gospel.

Edited by Calm

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Calm said:

Since the best blessing in my opinion is to live with the Father and Christ and the rest of God's family and since to dwell eternally with God  is often how Heaven is defined by other faiths, I believe it is essential to state exaltation when meaning exaltation and not just use Celestial Kingdom as the equivalent especially if talking about potential blessings or lack thereof.

There is a lot of misunderstanding out there.  And a lot of people intentionally or unintentionally misrepresent teachings about the CK.  Being precise when one is discussing aspects limited to exaltation will help remove the effects of widespread misrepresentations.

"Being gay is the only legitimate kind of celibacy in mortality"  Do you actually mean "being celibate is the only legitimate kind of homosexuality" because I have never heard taught that single heterosexual celibates aren't fully living the gospel.

There have been multiple different articulations of the afterlife by LDS church leaders across time.  I don't see any of their speculations as concrete.  The Given's have just published a new book as I understand it from listening to a few of their interviews, that addresses some of the earlier church leaders statements about progression between kingdoms, and it was even published by Deseret Book.  

Who knows if there will even be an afterlife.  My point was that the church hasn't articulated what will happen to celebate gays in the afterlife.  Will they be allowed access to these highest levels of heaven (exaltation if you must), or will they be relegated to some servant status?  Or will they be required to join into a hetero-sexual union in order to qualify for these highest levels of heaven, in which case this makes me wonder whether the church believes their sexual identity will be changed in the next life.  

I've always interpreted the teachings of the church towards single saints that they should do everything within their power to get married in this life.  So being celibate for a single hetero-sexual person is taught as a temporary transitional phase that must be corrected in order to gain access to the highest heaven.  Now, I think the church often tries to console women who don't marry in this life, by saying they will be pared up in the next life with a righteous man.  I can't recall ever hearing that celibate men in this life will have that same opportunity.  Perhaps you have heard differently, but this is all based on what I can recall from my memory on this subject.  

Share this post


Link to post

"I can't recall ever hearing that celibate men in this life will have that same opportunity.  Perhaps you have heard differently, but this is all based on what I can recall from my memory on this subject."

Yes, I have heard it multiple times.

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/9/2018 at 3:52 PM, hope_for_things said:

... Who knows if there will even be an afterlife. ...

I do.

Thanks for asking.

Any other questions? ;):D 

On 1/9/2018 at 3:52 PM, hope_for_things said:

... Now, I think the church often tries to console women who don't marry in this life, by saying they will be pared up in the next life with a righteous man.  I can't recall ever hearing that celibate men in this life will have that same opportunity.  Perhaps you have heard differently, but this is all based on what I can recall from my memory on this subject.  

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/on-being-single-male-and-lds/

You can quibble over whether this is authoritative or not, but, now, you've "[heard] that celibate men will have that same opportunity."

You're welcome.  Thanks, again, for asking.  Anything else? :D;) 

Share this post


Link to post

A little bit of new info on the upcoming documentary was discussed in this week's issue of Billboard Magazine.  I note that this article again invokes Reynolds's previous verbiage (that "being gay is a sin") that many members here found to be misleading and objectionable, insisting that that phrase (that "to be gay is a sin") doesn't represent LDS belief/doctrine/policy, since the church has recently clarified it's views that 'acting' on the attractions is a sin, while 'being' gay is not.  I imagine the objections to his use of that phrase will continue with regards to it's use again this short article; it will be interesting to see how the documentary tackles the topic, what verbiage is used, and whether or not that distinction is made or clarified; I hope it will, because being anything less than completely transparent about the issue isn't helpful to anyone.

Mormonism & LGBTQ Youth: Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds on His Documentary

1/8/2018 by Steve Dollar

Imagine-Dragons-press-photo-by-Eliot-Lee-Hazel-2018-billboard-1548.jpg
Eliot Lee Hazel
Imagine Dragons
In Believer, a Sundance-bound documentary that he executive-produced, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds confronts the way Mormonism treats LGBTQ youth.

What inspired this doc?

We were going to make a documentary about Fremont Street in Las Vegas, [where] I grew up. But [director] Don Argott wouldn't let me do it without diving into my life. He was living in my home, documenting me and my family, and that opened up old wounds. My dad’s brother is gay and Mormon -- he was shamed in his community. Teaching that being gay is a sin is so damaging; it sparked me to take action.

Your parents declined to be in the film. Does anyone close to you appear in it?

The singer from Neon Trees, Tyler Glenn. He kept [his sexuality] a secret for years. He came out recently and released a solo album about how he felt rejected by Mormonism. A big part of the film explores what he went through.

What do you hope is the audience’s biggest takeaway?

It represents a part of Mormonism the world doesn't know: a loving people who are anxious for change, who want to accept our queer youth but are also conflicted. It explores that difficult position and where to go from here.

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 13 issue of Billboard.

Share this post


Link to post

Another “First Look” at Reynold’s doc:

 

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/1/2017 at 4:38 PM, hope_for_things said:

Temple language is about fidelity to your legal spouse, which I think the those married in same sex marriages would technically qualify under.  The proclamation only uses the word chastity once towards the bottom as a warning and doesn't explain what the law includes or excludes.  Worthiness interviews don't talk about any specifics, just ask if you're keeping the law.  Seriously, if we don't have starting point for what the law of chastity is, then how can we talk about exceptions to this nebulous law.  

All this really tells me is that the sacred powers of procreation are to be between legally married individuals only.  What specifically are the "sacred powers of procreation", does this mean sexual relationships?  Also, how would this apply to those that aren't fertile?  Also, what about those extra-legal polygamous marriages, did this statement change after the manifestos?  

Now that Kiwi has coined the term lexical duplicity, the above strikes me as an example of that.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Now that Kiwi has coined the term lexical duplicity, the above strikes me as an example of that.

Different theological understandings and innovations are woven throughout the history of the Christian story.  Joseph Smith was an expert at taking language that had a particular meaning in his contemporary context and articulating a very different meaning, in Mormonism we call this process restoration and revelation.  If any group should be familiar and comfortable with this process it should be Mormons.  

Share this post


Link to post

Looks like the media promotion on the doc is picking up.  Reynolds, IMO, is saying some surprisingly strong things in public....

Mormon Superstar Dan Reynolds' New Film Shows Why the Church Must Embrace Its LGBT Members

Courtesy HBO
Courtesy HBO

The Imagine Dragons frontman is demanding that his church change their teachings on homosexuality with a new HBO documentary. 

 
Sun, 2018-01-21 15:26
826 shares
 

In the past 20 or so years, suicide rates among teenagers in Utah have tripled, making killing oneself the number one cause of death for youths in the state. This is, undeniably, in large part due to Orthodox religions' rejection of homosexuality, leading many closeted teenagers of Orthodox faith to feel there is literally nowhere else to turn but death.

Enter Dan Reynolds, the frontman of Grammy-winning rock band Imagine Dragons, and arguably the most famous living Mormon on the planet. This Saturday will mark the premiere of his new documentary, Believer, at Sundance Film Festival.

Believer, directed by Don Argott, follows Reynolds on a journey to explore how the Mormon church treats its LGBTQ members, specifically those in their youth, and how harmful the church's teachings are toward those trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality. The film looks at Reynolds' past year, in which he organized the LoveLoud Music Festival in Orem, Utah in support of the LGBTQ community.

"I’m Mormon, and I’m putting my arms out around all my Mormon brothers and sisters and saying, ‘Hey, guys, we can do better. We have to do better,'" Reynolds told us in our exclusive interview.

The film, which will come to HBO this summer, also features footage of ex-Mormon and gay Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn, and includes two new songs from Reynolds and a score from Hans Zimmer.

Read our interview with Reynolds about his experience in the Mormon church, why he needed to make this documentary, and how the Mormon teachings impact LGBTQ youth, below.

OUT: Without spoiling anything, what’s your story with growing up Mormon?

Reynolds: Family is at the forefront of Mormonism—I have a really large family, 8 boys, one girl. Very conservative upbringing. I was probably the most rebellious child growing up. In high school I had to hide my relationship with my Catholic girlfriend, because my parents didn’t want me to have a serious girlfriend and wanted me to date Mormons. But I hid that from them for four years, and applied to BYU, and got accepted, and right before I was supposed to go, I had to sit down and speak with the bishop, and I told him I had had sex with my girlfriend.

So I got kicked out of BYU, a week before I was supposed to attend. Which was a really, super isolating experience for me. Because my whole community was Mormon, and all my friends were Mormon, and they all found out I was a sinful individual who could no longer attend the college I’d planned on going to. So I stayed home with my parents, and had to finish the Repentance process. It was a devastating experience for a 19-year-old who’d been ready to go away and start the next chapter of his life. I met with the Bishop of every week, and had to stay to task with the spiritual side of things, then applied to BYU after a year had passed and they said I was clean, went to BYU, and then went on a Mormon mission for two years.

What exactly does a mission entail?

It was in Nebraska—you don’t get to pick where you go. It’s super strict for two years—you wake up every day at 6 AM, study the scriptures for two hours, never leave the eyesight of your companion. You get to call home twice a year, on Mother’s Day and Christmas, otherwise your interactions are just limited to a weekly letter home. Or email. You don’t get to have girlfriends or boyfriends, you just knock on people’s doors and tell them about Mormonism, and then do service work. I really enjoyed the service aspect of it—I was trying to find myself, I was feeling lost in my faith. I got to meet a lot of interesting people and hear their stories, help people get off of hard drugs… you lose yourself in the service work.

So I got back home, and that’s when I started to find myself—I found my footing, started a band… I had a few friends who were queer and Mormon going up, and I saw how impossibly hard their life was, and the mental gymnastics they had to go through, and how devastating it was for them. They dealt with depression and anxiety on a level that was way heavier than what I’d dealt with. A lot of them hid their sexuality until they got much older, because there wasn’t a space to come out to their families.

What is the Mormon stance on homosexuality exactly?

So what they say now is there is nothing wrong with being gay, it’s just if you act upon it in any way. It’s mental gymnastics. They expect gay people to be celibate for their whole life, or enter a mixed orientation marriage, which we know is extremely dangerous and leads to suicide and depression and anxiety. Multiple studies have shown how dangerous it is.

Mixed orientation—you mean gay and straight people getting married?

Yeah, marrying outside of your orientation. A gay man marrying a woman. They have a website called MormonGay, that shows stories of gay men marrying women and how they make that work. And stories of a young teenage girl, who is queer, who says, ‘I’ve now given up on that and I focus on sports, instead of love.’ It’s devastating and super harmful. So my goal is to show the reality of that, to show what these youth are dealing with, who want desperately to retain their faith. A lot of people who weren’t raised Mormon, who would view this from the outside, would say, ‘Oh, it’s easy. Just tell the queer youths to get out of the Mormon church.’ But that’s actually a really dangerous thing to be telling these youths, because basically you’re telling them to leave their family unit. In a lot of cases they’d be kicked out of their home, which is far more dangerous. It’s not as simple as that. Even if they don’t have the faith, if they don’t believe in Mormonism, it’s far more complex and nuanced than that. Studies have shown that a child not accepted in their home or community is 8 times more likely to commit suicide.

And what do you hope people take away from this documentary?

So my goal is to get the church, and other Orthodox religions, because it’s not just Mormonism—and I still claim Mormonism as my faith, there’s lots of parts of Mormonism that I love, and cherish— and I believe change can only happen from within. There are a lot of Mormons desperate for this change, who want our youth to be accepted, and seen as clean, and worthy in God’s eyes, and loved. This is all Orthodox religions, that teach this dangerous teaching. I desperately want to create a healthier environment for our youth. So that’s what this music festival, LoveLoud, is about. It’s a gay rights festival in Utah, which is a place that doesn’t have anything like that. And when we did it the Mormon church endorsed it, which is unprecedented. They’ve never touched anything LGBT in any way. In their statement, they said “LoveLoud, which is an LGBT festival,” which was the first time I’d heard them say LGBT—they usually say ‘same-sex attraction.’ Small steps.

Would the change you’re hoping to make be in the scripture of the Mormon text, or would that stay the same?

The rad part about Mormonism is they claim modern-day revelation. If a prophet is alive today, God can appear to him in modern times. So a prophet can say, ‘Hey, God appeared to me. You guys got it wrong, and it’s ok to be gay. It’s actually godly, and clean, and perfect, and acceptable.’ The church has done this before. Mormons used to practice polygamy. Then the government began putting a lot of pressure on them, and said, ‘Hey, we’re not cool with this.’ And then suddenly God appeared to a prophet at the time and said, ‘Hey, no more polygamy.’ Same thing happened with the priesthood. They used to only allow white men to be priests. Then, pressure began to be applied, and God revealed, ‘Now black people can have the priesthood.’ So this church is meant for change.

So this could really affect change, with the right pressure applied.

Yeah, and it has. I’ve received hundreds of letters, since the festival in Utah. A mother wrote me that her child came out to her after the festival, because he felt safe to do it. People have said that at their church, five people came out to their families after the Love Loud festival. It is creating change. It’s just slow.

Right now, in the last, like, 20 years, the suicide rate in Utah has tripled. It’s the number one reason for death among teenagers in Utah. It’s devastating, and there’s a serious problem. My goal is to shed a light on that, and there are people who’ve been doing this way before I ever came to this. People of Orthodox faith who have been fighting this fight. But the Mormon church knows me because I’m maybe the most famous Mormon person in the world, behind Donnie and Marie Osmond. I’ve actually just been told that the head of Mormon Public Affairs is coming to the premiere, and I’m quite nervous about that because it shows the harsh reality of the church. Youths aren’t happy, there are high reports of anxiety, and the suicide rate is just devastating, and a lot of it has to do with the church going to war on the LGBT community when Prop 8 went down.

This fight is super important and relevant right now. I’m Mormon, and I’m putting my arms out around all my Mormon brothers and sisters and saying, ‘Hey, guys, we can do better. We have to do better.’

How’d you get involved in the film—did the director approach you?

It’s actually really weird how it came about. I wanted to create a documentary about Fremont Street, in Las Vegas, where I’m from. The people who live there. I went to a lot of different directors, and it just didn’t feel right, I didn’t really know what I was doing, I just knew I wanted to make a documentary capturing life in Vegas. And then I met with Don Argott, the director who made Believer, and we just connected on a deep level, and he said he needed to come stay with me for two weeks and understand: ‘Why you? Why do you care? Who are you?’ So in taking that journey, he sat down with hours of interviews, and got me to open up in ways I hadn’t, and talk about my faith, and thing I hadn’t talked about in years. And we got to the core of a lof anxiety in my life, much of which is centered around my faith. I’ve dealt with depression a lot, and it really started when I got kicked out of BYU. We followed that journey, of spiritual wounds, and it led to this. As I said, a lot of my friends growing up were gay—

Were any of them out?

One of my friends from middle school was gay and Mormon, and I knew it, and we all knew it, but he would not acknowledge it. He’d go to dances with girls, and his family was very Mormon. He told me his mom came into his room one morning when he was sixteen and said ‘I had this nightmare that you were gay. I can’t even believe it. It was terrible.’ And he shared that with me, and how devastating it was for him to hear that. And that’s the story a lot of queer youths face. It’s akin to murder, to be gay. That’s what it says in the Mormon teachings.

And Tyler Glenn, the lead singer of Neon Trees, who’s openly gay, is in this?

Yeah, he and I went to our service mission in Nebraska together. And when he finally came out, he wanted to be a gay Mormon and make it work, and the church upped its stance against gay kids, and said they couldn’t get baptized in the church and had to be denounced at the age of 18, and so that’s when Tyler left the church. I watched the whole Mormon community give him a hard time because he put out an album criticizing the church. The documentary explains it better than I could. But basically the director pushed us to follow the journey and express things that have been hard to express, and this is a result.

Do the Mormon people—do you think a lot of them have different views from the church on gay people?

Yeah, I think the amount of Mormons who are actually bigots is tiny. But I think the amount of Mormons who are silent, or confused, or just think ‘This doesn’t affect me directly,’ is massive. And thus is the problem. And that’s what really got me here, because I was a silent voice. And I feel now a lot of guilt that for all these years I’ve just been a silent voice. Because I really am the face of the Mormon church in the music industry in a lot of ways. There are not many Mormons famous in any regard. So to be silent, I feel like I have been an activist for bigotry. And I feel now the need to change that and speak up and be an activist for change. Mormons are good people—they serve others around the world. I loved the service component of my mission.

Share this post


Link to post

"the church upped its stance against gay kids, and said they couldn’t get baptized in the church and had to be denounced at the age of 18"

huh?

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Calm said:

"the church upped its stance against gay kids, and said they couldn’t get baptized in the church and had to be denounced at the age of 18"

huh?

Boy, that’s really garbled. 

Show biz folk should stick to what we pay them to do: sing, dance, play act or play a musical instrument. Most of them don’t do politics well. 

Share this post


Link to post

Could have been the reporter assuming he knew what a less than clear recording was....but should have been checked.

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Because I really am the face of the Mormon church in the music industry in a lot of ways. There are not many Mormons famous in any regard. 

And I'm not full of myself ... really, I'm not.  (It's hard to be humble ... when you're so great.) :rolleyes:  Before this thread, I'd never even heard of "Stormon Muperstar" Dan Reynolds. Being gay in a family church seems, to me, to be the least of Mr. Reynolds' problems.

Edited by Kenngo1969

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Looks like the media promotion on the doc is picking up.  Reynolds, IMO, is saying some surprisingly strong wrong things in public....

There!  All fixed! :rolleyes:

(Sorry ... couldn't resist.)

Share this post


Link to post
45 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

And I'm not full of myself ... really, I'm not.  (It's hard to be humble ... when you're so great.) :rolleyes:  Before this thread, I'd never even heard of "Stormon Muperstar" Dan Reynolds. Being gay in a family church seems, to me, to be the least of Mr. Reynolds' problems.

Oh boy, this is not going to end well... : ( I don't know if it's the article misrepresenting him or if it is actually Reynolds saying these things. He comes off as adversarial and intent on mischaracterizing so much about the church. Of course, he should speak his piece but know that just as he parses the church's stance so too will his own words be parsed and bandied about whether he thinks accurately or not. Welcome to the religio-political realm Mr. Reynolds! You have now rung that bell. : (

Share this post


Link to post

 

10 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Looks like the media promotion on the doc is picking up.

Here's a couple of quotes from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune (yesterday):

https://www.sltrib.com/artsliving/movies/2018/01/21/imagine-dragons-dan-reynolds-hopes-lds-leaders-will-see-believer-his-film-about-mormon-lgbt-youth/

Quote

Reynolds, singer for the band Imagine Dragons, declares in “Believer,” a documentary that received a standing ovation from some 500 Sundance attendees at its first screening late Saturday night.

The movie will receive a broader audience this summer, director Don Argott told the audience after the film. “Believer” was picked up before the festival by HBO Documentary Films, with plans for a theatrical release this summer and a debut on HBO after that.

 

Quote

 

Reynolds told the Sundance audience that he spoke to a couple of LDS apostles after he staged the LoveLoud Festival, a benefit concert in Orem last August designed to bring together Mormons and the LGBT community. Much of “Believer” focuses on the organization of the festival, the first of what he vows will be an annual event.

“They said, ‘You know what? We do have a problem with our youth,’” Reynolds said of his meeting. He said his reply was “if you’re telling them their innate sense of love, which is unchangeable, is wrong, you’re going to have this problem.”

Reynolds told The Tribune that he hopes to continue a dialogue with LDS leaders, “to move forward and progress towards an actual healthy place for our LGBT youth. Because where it stands right now, it’s not.”

 

 

Edited by ALarson

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Calm said:

"the church upped its stance against gay kids, and said they couldn’t get baptized in the church and had to be denounced at the age of 18"

huh?

Yeah, I have never listened to this guy, or know his music, but some of the things he says are wrong and not based in reality.  It may be a great way to spin the story in order to win a debate/argument - he has become a politician for the gay movement.  He has lost any degree of fairness because he spins the story to suit his own objectives.  He has forfeited honesty - or he is deeply ignorant of the Mormon faith and its teachings - in order to make the story more .....

And he wants to convince me about what is wrong with the Church - well, if we put enough pressure on the church, then the prophet, who talks to God, will change his mind, and everything will be made better?  Yeah, right. 

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Calm said:

Could have been the reporter assuming he knew what a less than clear recording was....but should have been checked.

I agree.  Sounds like at least one word was left out, but possibly a few.  ( should probably state:  "SSM has to be denounced prior to baptism" or something along those lines....).  Too bad it slipped through because it makes no sense as stated. :mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:
Quote

Because I really am the face of the Mormon church in the music industry in a lot of ways. There are not many Mormons famous in any regard. 

And I'm not full of myself ... really, I'm not

Well, it's true that there aren't a lot of famous Mormons in certain genres, but if you are going to talk about the 'music industry' as a whole, then I'm sorry buddy - you've got a long ways to go until you overshadow Gladys Knight. 

Share this post


Link to post

"arguably the most famous living Mormon on the planet"

More famous than Mitt Romney?

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×