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Mormon church won’t oppose gay conversion therapy ban

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10 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I have a sneaky suspicion that an acquaintance of mine sent her child away to Utah to be “fixed”.  He came home speaking differently than he has his whole life.  I asked friend from that region and they confirmed that there are correction camps.  Not sure what that entails but it can’t be good.  Im gossiping now and have no details to back any of it up. But someone’s passing a law and it’s too bad anything has come to that :(

How long ago did this occur?

There are different definitions of conversion therapy.  It is often used incorrectly, similar to ECT and aversion therapies.

Edited by Calm

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21 minutes ago, Anijen said:

I of course disagree. However, I am speaking from a more learned time and place. 

The reasoning, as far as I understand it, was: Pornography does arouse. Electric Shock Therapy (ECT) did/does, in fact, triggers a brief seizure which cause changes in brain chemistry that can reverse symptoms of some mental health conditions.

They were not shocking their brains.  It was mainly on their arms and their penis.

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From 1975 to 1976 Max Ford McBride, a student at BYU, conducted [electric shock] aversion therapy on 17 men (with 14 completing the treatment) using a male arousal measuring device placed around the penis and electrodes on the bicep. He published a dissertation on the use of electrical aversive techniques to treat ego-dystonic homosexuality.[90] The thesis documents the use of "Electrical Aversion Therapy" on 14 homosexual men using a "phallometric" apparatus, "barely tolerable" shocks, and "nude male visual-cue stimuli."[91][92] Although it is not publicly published whether all top LDS Church leaders were aware of the electroshock aversion therapy program,[93] it is known that apostles Spencer Kimball, Mark Peterson, and now apostle Dallin Oaks were,[2]:379 and leaders involved in LDS Social Services thought the therapy was effective.

 

Edited by ALarson

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When aversion or conversion therapy occurred at BYU:

1.   Was the therapy consistent with the recommendations of the AMA or APA?

2.   Were the participants consenting adults? 

3.   Were other institutions at the time conducting the same programs, and were they considered acceptable? 

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20 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I have a sneaky suspicion that an acquaintance of mine sent her child away to Utah to be “fixed”.  He came home speaking differently than he has his whole life.  I asked friend from that region and they confirmed that there are correction camps.  Not sure what that entails but it can’t be good.  Im gossiping now and have no details to back any of it up. But someone’s passing a law and it’s too bad anything has come to that :(

I would never send a child to one of those camps or schools.  One only needs to look up the large amount of lawsuits against these for sexual and physical abuse to youth who were sent there.

D. Eugene Thorne (the doctor who headed up the aversion therapy at BYU) was a co-owner of some of these schools and was involved in some of these lawsuits.  The stories told by youth who were sent there are pretty horrible and tragic.

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Dr. Dennis Eugene Thorne....Co-owner of Residential Treatment Schools; Provo Canyon School (1978-1986) and Discovery Academy (1989-2003)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provo_Canyon_School

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Lawsuits

Several individual and class-action lawsuits were filed against the school during the 1980s and 1990s, alleging abuse, violation of students' First Amendment rights, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, medical negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, loss of parental consortium, and battery

 

 

Edited by ALarson
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I wrote:

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I of course disagree. However, I am speaking from a more learned time and place. 

That was my answer to your posting of this question; "They showed these men porn to get them aroused and then used electroshock on them. ... But, maybe you disagree?"

You responded with:

4 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Then you should do some research on this and listen to the testimonies of the men who experienced these treatments at BYU. 

What? I should do some research because I agreed with you that using porn combined with electric shock therapy was wrong? 

 

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What I stated is exactly what was done.  The church does not deny these took place.

Ok, and ok. I agree. I am agreeing, why should I do some research?

 

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You should also read the paper written by Max Ford McBride as he goes into detail regarding the therapy done at BYU.

Again, I agree with you it was done, it was wrong.

 

The only part I disagreed with you is when you criticized church leaders when you said; "I think our leaders should have known that was not right." 

Again, your thoughts of what the church leaders should have known what is wrong shows arrogance on your part. Thus, furthermore proving my point when you obviously mis-read me and jumped to the conclusion that I should be more educated on the matter by reading McBrides' paper.

Thanks, I think (or perhaps you should tell me how to think).

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13 minutes ago, ALarson said:

They were not shocking their brains.  It was mainly on their arms and their penis.

ALarson, I agree with you this was wrong. 

Only your criticism of the church leaders was I disagreeing with you.

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24 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

When aversion or conversion therapy occurred at BYU:

1.   Was the therapy consistent with the recommendations of the AMA or APA?

Good question.  Maybe someone knows (I'll try to read through the McBride paper again to see if he documents anything regarding that).  Do you know?

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2.   Were the participants consenting adults? 

I'm not certain of all the ages of those involved.  But they were called in and threatened with expulsion from BYU if they did not agree to undergo the therapy.

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3.   Were other institutions at the time conducting the same programs, and were they considered acceptable?

I think I looked into this at one time and I'll see if I can find my research.  If you type in "aversion therapy schools homosexuals", BYU always comes up in the search (for me at least).

Do you know of any other universities who conducted these treatments and studies on their homosexual students?  I'd be interested in knowing what you've found.

ETA:

Just searched "universities that performed aversion therapy on their homosexual students gay" and info on BYU was the top result.  I'll keep combing through them though....

Edited by ALarson

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3 minutes ago, Anijen said:

ALarson, I agree with you this was wrong. 

Only your criticism of the church leaders was I disagreeing with you.

So, we cannot ever criticize the church leaders?

I just firmly believe this was wrong to do to these men and I believe none of our church leaders should have approved of these treatments.

Edited by ALarson

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24 minutes ago, Calm said:

You can't show someone porn while undergoing ECT, they are not only unconscious these days, but memory is affected.  You are conflating two different treatments here.

ECT is currently the most effective treatment for depression.  It does have a drawback of causing memory issues.  My daughter was extremely benefited by it, but after it got her out of the deep dark, not much change occurred and memory issues began to bother her, so she stopped.

Calm, first I agreed that the use of ECT was wrong. I am not conflating two different treatments. The Mayo clinic link was simply to show it is and has been an approved practice now and in the past (even though the manner has been changed drastically). It was a scientifically accepted practice back during the times the church leaders allowed it to happen at BYU. I completely, 100%, totally, absolutely think it was a terrible thing. My post (and they have not been edited) clearly shows I am agreed with ALarson that the use of EST was wrong, but I disagreed with him for criticism of the church leaders, saying they should have known it was wrong.

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15 minutes ago, Anijen said:

My post (and they have not been edited) clearly shows I am agreed with ALarson that the use of EST was wrong, but I disagreed with him for criticism of the church leaders, saying they should have known it was wrong.

Wouldn’t Christ know it was wrong?  No matter what year it was taking place?

Or do you believe the leaders were acting as men when they (some of them) approved these treatment?

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Illegal or not, it may be a purely emotional law as it may not apply to anyone actually doing therapy in Utah 

 

This is a big question.  So far, I haven't seen anyone actually present the text of the legislation.  If it is modeled after other legislative attempts in other states, then I am completely against it.  The text of those laws is so broad that it does prohibit counseling to help someone live consistent with the teachings of the Church.  I am withholding judgment until we see the actual text.  

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57 minutes ago, Calm said:

How long ago did this occur?

There are different definitions of conversion therapy.  It is often used incorrectly, similar to ECT and aversion therapies.

Last year

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9 minutes ago, ALarson said:

So, we cannot ever criticize the church leaders?

Good question, the simple truth is I don't know if it is right or wrong to criticize church leaders. I have heard answers of yes and no. Although, I personally do not like to see it.

Having said that, What I posted was; I disagreed with you when you said they [church leaders] should have known it was not right. 

 

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I just firmly believe this was wrong to do to these men

As do I. I agree it was terrible. History has shown that in the past people used trial-by-ordeal. This is what I am reminded of. However, for those times when trial-by-ordeal was used those people used it because they believed it to be a good and a right way to solve a problem. We would never use trial-by-ordeal now, we know better.

 

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I just firmly believe this was wrong to do to these men and I believe none of our church leaders should have approved of these treatments.

Perhaps they should not have approved these treatments (although I doubt they were fully knowledgeable of all the details, even if your paper said they did). I was not there.  I do not believe if Church leaders had real knowledge of the dangers and future insight on the harm that they would have gone ahead anyway and approved these treatments. I do know that this was an accepted practice at the time. I do know they were not forced, and consent was given. I do know that more than likely church leaders allowed it because it was an acceptable practice at that time, just as trial-by-ordeal was in that time. 

I sincerely believe that if the church leaders had actual knowledge and actual scientific research to prove the ineffectiveness of these treatments and then still allowed for it to further proceed that would make them monsters. I do not believe our church leaders are monsters, but are very loving men who want us closer to God. I do not think they had to be or needed to be inspired of this terrible practice. Although I do believe if they asked God then they would have been answered. However, I think asking God did not occur to them, because perhaps they simply do not think they needed to second guess the mental health experts at the time.

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2 hours ago, Anijen said:

I'd like to point out the societal acceptance of science in the past was not as advanced as it is today. Perhaps we should not use presentistic views to judge our leaders of today by the societal accepted  ideas of the past, even if those past ideas were wrong. They simply did not know it was wrong back then.

God allows our own thinking to occur, He does not inspire us twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. None of us, no matter if we are a deacon in church, a president of a university, or a Church leader, we did not start out knowing everything.

If you are willing to throw out the whole claim of the church being guided by God, then yes, I agree with you.  But let's not pretend that this was some frivolous decision.  The devastation that these actions did on all those men who went through this "conversion therapy" and so many like me that married solely based on the promise in the name of God that I would no longer be gay.  It all seems a bit more important than calling a Sunday school teacher claiming it was done under inspiration.

Or do we just write the whole decade off as a big oops, we forgot to ask God about this one.  

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13 minutes ago, JulieM said:

Wouldn’t Christ know it was wrong?  No matter what year it was taking place?

Of course! I never implied otherwise. 

 

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Or do you believe the leaders were acting as men when they (some of them) approved these treatment?

Yes, this is what I currently think what happened.

Here is what I believe happened (note: I am not defending this practice):

  • There are no reports that all church leaders (First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, or Seventy)  were even discussing this treatment. It probably came up only to those BYU sitting decision makers. Thus, a BYU policy, not a whole Church decision.
  • Those involved were most likely going with societal accepted practices at the time and homosexuality was believed to be evil. Thus, they probably didn't consider praying about something they already felt was sinful. about it, They thought it was good science at the time. (now, we of course know it to be pseudoscience).
  • We know the church defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Homosexuality at this time was considered sinful and the practice of it even today is still considered sinful.
  • The science of electric shock therapy, psychoanalysis, conversion therapies, etc., were widely used at this time. In fact, prior to 1981 even lobotomies were done. 
  • Changing of the laws some happened in the late 90s, most in the 21st century.

Yes, I believe they were acting as men trying to solve what they thought to be an immoral sin and society and science accepted this therapy practice at this time.

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1 hour ago, Bob Crockett said:

When aversion or conversion therapy occurred at BYU:

1.   Was the therapy consistent with the recommendations of the AMA or APA?

2.   Were the participants consenting adults? 

3.   Were other institutions at the time conducting the same programs, and were they considered acceptable? 

Were other institutions claiming divine revelation from God to guide His church?

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5 minutes ago, california boy said:

Were other institutions claiming divine revelation from God to guide His church?

So we should be guided as to what doctor to use?  What political philosophy to follow?

As the APA defined homosexuality before the 1980s as aberrant behavior, should we expect the Church to speak up?

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9 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

So we should be guided as to what doctor to use?  What political philosophy to follow?

As the APA defined homosexuality before the 1980s as aberrant behavior, should we expect the Church to speak up?

Yes!  If the Prophets were truly the Lord's mouthpiece.  

Were any other universities performing these aversion treatments on their homosexual students at that time?   Any other universities threatening to expel gay students if they did not agree to undergo these treatments?

Edited by ALarson
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1 hour ago, Anijen said:

I wrote:

That was my answer to your posting of this question; "They showed these men porn to get them aroused and then used electroshock on them. ... But, maybe you disagree?"

You responded with:

What? I should do some research because I agreed with you that using porn combined with electric shock therapy was wrong? 

 

Ok, and ok. I agree. I am agreeing, why should I do some research?

 

Again, I agree with you it was done, it was wrong.

 

The only part I disagreed with you is when you criticized church leaders when you said; "I think our leaders should have known that was not right." 

Again, your thoughts of what the church leaders should have known what is wrong shows arrogance on your part. Thus, furthermore proving my point when you obviously mis-read me and jumped to the conclusion that I should be more educated on the matter by reading McBrides' paper.

Thanks, I think (or perhaps you should tell me how to think).

So you also agree that the church's claims of being guided by God is really not true.  The church is guided by the philosophies of men at any given 

 

51 minutes ago, Anijen said:

Good question, the simple truth is I don't know if it is right or wrong to criticize church leaders. I have heard answers of yes and no. Although, I personally do not like to see it.

Having said that, What I posted was; I disagreed with you when you said they [church leaders] should have known it was not right. 

 

As do I. I agree it was terrible. History has shown that in the past people used trial-by-ordeal. This is what I am reminded of. However, for those times when trial-by-ordeal was used those people used it because they believed it to be a good and a right way to solve a problem. We would never use trial-by-ordeal now, we know better.

 

Perhaps they should not have approved these treatments (although I doubt they were fully knowledgeable of all the details, even if your paper said they did). I was not there.  I do not believe if Church leaders had real knowledge of the dangers and future insight on the harm that they would have gone ahead anyway and approved these treatments. I do know that this was an accepted practice at the time. I do know they were not forced, and consent was given. I do know that more than likely church leaders allowed it because it was an acceptable practice at that time, just as trial-by-ordeal was in that time. 

I sincerely believe that if the church leaders had actual knowledge and actual scientific research to prove the ineffectiveness of these treatments and then still allowed for it to further proceed that would make them monsters. I do not believe our church leaders are monsters, but are very loving men who want us closer to God. I do not think they had to be or needed to be inspired of this terrible practice. Although I do believe if they asked God then they would have been answered. However, I think asking God did not occur to them, because perhaps they simply do not think they needed to second guess the mental health experts at the time.

Where are the claims of the church being lead by God in any of this?  You have to completely throw out any such claims of being lead by God and instead embrace the belief that church leaders are lead by the philosophies of men at the time these decisions are made.  Claiming we should be judging church leaders on and how well they listened to the philosophies of men.  

Certainly showing porn and sticking electrodes on a kids penis would be the extreme of these philosophies of men that church leaders were following.  Is it really too much to expect a little more from men who claim they are lead by revelation?  

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26 minutes ago, california boy said:

If you are willing to throw out the whole claim of the church being guided by God, then yes, I agree with you.

I am not willing to say that. I did not say that. I did not imply that. I believe the Church is, in fact, guided by God. This does not make church leaders infallible. 

 

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But let's not pretend that this was some frivolous decision.

 I am not pretending anything of the sort. I do not believe this was a "Church decision." The facts are: (1) During the late 70s, early 80s, psychoanalysis, different forms of conversion therapy, lobotomies, and electric shock therapy was used to try to change behavior. (I personally think these are horrible and I definitely am not defending their use). (2) The church did not accept homosexuality during this time. Thus the decision was made to use electric shock therapy. A terrible decision yes because we know better. Back then they did not know better, but contrary was an accepted practice. (I'm an still not defending this. I am simply stating the facts)

 

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The devastation that these actions did on all those men who went through this "conversion therapy" and so many like me that married solely based on the promise in the name of God that I would no longer be gay.

I am so sorry for what you went through. I cannot even empathise because I have never gone through such a horrible ordeal. I wish I could help. It literally brings me to tears that men such as you had to go through such a horrible experience. I cannot apologize for anybody else, but I am sorry this happened to you and others.

 

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 It all seems a bit more important than calling a Sunday school teacher claiming it was done under inspiration.

I agree. Although, I never lowered such an important thing to the level of a Sunday school teacher claiming it was done under inspiration. I hoped that did not happen to you, if so, it makes me even more mad for people (at a particular sunday school teacher) telling you such and sad, that you had to experience such a fanatical teacher interpreting something he/she clearly knew nothing about. For the record, I do not believe this was done under any inspiration (sunday school teacher or higher).

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Or do we just write the whole decade off as a big oops, we forgot to ask God about this one.  

I feel so bad and sorrifull for you california boy that you had to go through all that. I have no words to say or answers that may help. I can only hope that one day you will forgive and find peace and BYU and church leaders may look back and sincerely apologize for the hurt it caused (even if, as I think, they thought they were doing what they thought was right at the time). 

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11 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

So we should be guided as to what doctor to use?  What political philosophy to follow?

As the APA defined homosexuality before the 1980s as aberrant behavior, should we expect the Church to speak up?

YES.  If the church is indeed run by revelation from God.  Throw out all the philosophies of men.  Trust God.  Or make no claim of revelation.

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1 minute ago, Anijen said:

I am not willing to say that. I did not say that. I did not imply that. I believe the Church is, in fact, guided by God. This does not make church leaders infallible. 

 

You definitely do imply that when you state that church leaders were only following the philosophies of men in making their decisions.  Where is God in their decisions?  Where are claims of being led by revelation?  

 

1 minute ago, Anijen said:

 

 I am not pretending anything of the sort. I do not believe this was a "Church decision." The facts are: (1) During the late 70s, early 80s, psychoanalysis, different forms of conversion therapy, lobotomies, and electric shock therapy was used to try to change behavior. (I personally think these are horrible and I definitely am not defending their use). (2) The church did not accept homosexuality during this time. Thus the decision was made to use electric shock therapy. A terrible decision yes because we know better. Back then they did not know better, but contrary was an accepted practice. (I'm an still not defending this. I am simply stating the facts)

2

Back then SOME men did not know better.  How about God?  Not worth asking about?  Or is the church really lead by revelation?

 

1 minute ago, Anijen said:

 

I am so sorry for what you went through. I cannot even empathise because I have never gone through such a horrible ordeal. I wish I could help. It literally brings me to tears that men such as you had to go through such a horrible experience. I cannot apologize for anybody else, but I am sorry this happened to you and others.

1

I appreciate your sympathies. Certainly more than the church leaders have ever offered.  

1 minute ago, Anijen said:

 

I agree. Although, I never lowered such an important thing to the level of a Sunday school teacher claiming it was done under inspiration. I hoped that did not happen to you, if so, it makes me even more mad for people (at a particular sunday school teacher) telling you such and sad, that you had to experience such a fanatical teacher interpreting something he/she clearly knew nothing about. For the record, I do not believe this was done under any inspiration (sunday school teacher or higher).

I feel so bad and sorrifull for you california boy that you had to go through all that. I have no words to say or answers that may help. I can only hope that one day you will forgive and find peace and BYU and church leaders may look back and sincerely apologize for the hurt it caused (even if, as I think, they thought they were doing what they thought was right at the time). 

You have no idea how my life was changed by me trusting in claims of revelation from God by church leaders on this issue.  My family to this day are still dealing with the hurt and anger of false promises.  I never was exposed to BYU electrically experimenting on gay men, but I do know guys that went through it.  It is a tender issue for me, no doubt.  Saying that church leaders should not have known better is probably true.  Because I have long ago had direct evidence that no revelation from God was coming to them.  When you take that claim off the table, then yes, I hold no resentment.  They are just men trying to do the best they can on limited knowledge of the time.  I just wish they would quit claiming some kind of revelation for the decisions they made and continue to make.  That is what angers me.

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37 minutes ago, california boy said:

So you also agree that the church's claims of being guided by God is really not true.  The church is guided by the philosophies of men at any given 

 I believe the Church is guided by God and never said or implied otherwise. This does not mean people in the church are infallible (even prophets). 

                     --Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known; And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed; And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

                 ~D&C 1:24-28

 

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Where are the claims of the church being lead by God in any of this?  You have to completely throw out any such claims of being lead by God and instead embrace the belief that church leaders are lead by the philosophies of men at the time these decisions are made.  

I believe this (above) to be your mistake. Just because there is no recordable revelation for this practice (EST), definitely does NOT mean we all have to throw out claims of being led by God, nor that we have to embrace the philosophies of men. People do not always make the best decisions. Sometimes the decisions they make are terribly harmful, but that argument does not take God or his inspirations out of the church.

 

Edited by Anijen

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It is simply silly, even ridiculous, to believe that God should direct, via revelation, every single decision of man. To say if he does not we have no claim for revelation is simply just not true.

 

“For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things..."

~D&C 58:26

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This link came across my social media feed again this morning in conjunction with this latest news about the church. It strikes me as worthy and relevant to re-post it for any who missed it previously. The entire talk with worth a listen, and it includes first hand accounts by some who underwent electroshock therapy:

https://affirmation.org/science-vs-dogma-biology-challenges-the-lds-paradigm/

Edited by Daniel2

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