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ALarson

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Posts posted by ALarson

  1. On 7/16/2020 at 9:46 AM, MustardSeed said:

    As I see large groups of active members and particularly people in my ward get assertive and aggressive about their position on masks I feel more alienated.  I wonder if people will feel like I feel and take that alienation mean a loss of testimony? (I don’t, but I certainly feel less unity and more comfort worshiping from home.)

    I can't imagine anyone would loose their testimony over this issue and I do hope that people will not judge each other no matter what personal decision they make for themselves.

    So far, our Stake President is giving everyone a choice regarding the masks.  We are to be respectful and social distance.

    His emphasis is that we absolutely do not judge others or have any contention or problems because of choices we each have to make.  I'm a big advocate of having the right to choose and don't want to see anything forced on anyone here.  So far, I've seen members handling this very well too 👍

  2. 1 hour ago, bsjkki said:

    https://www.deseret.com/faith/2020/3/19/21186779/general-conference-mormon-church-covid19-coronavirus-attendance-utah

    Only the First Presidency, the speakers and those giving opening and closing prayers will attend each session of the April 4-5 conference, which will be moved to a small auditorium on Temple Square, according to a letter released by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

    This announcement was expected.  It's too bad, but wise to do this!

  3. 10 hours ago, Thinking said:

    We went to my daughter's home and her family wore "Sunday Best" to take the sacrament. Just wondering what others wore.

    It was just myself and my wife and we dressed in nice casual.  I'm fine if others want to dress in the church attire as I believe that's a personal matter and choice.  I honestly believe though that it's the respect and reverence you have in your heart and mind rather than what you are wearing that is important.

  4. On 2/16/2020 at 8:07 PM, Regor said:

    Anyone else sad about the lack of commitment of their children and lost hopes? I feel like I wasted my years raising them, all those scout outings we attend together. 

    Thanks for your heartfelt post, Regor.  I can tell you're in pain and that you are worried about your kids.   I'm sorry you're struggling with this.

    My view is that you most definitely did not waste years raising your children in a manner you felt was best for them.  It sounds like you were a very loving and caring Father.  I'm sure they have so many great qualities because of the experiences they were able to have with you by their side and they learned from your example.  Don't ever think that was a waste just because they've chosen a different path as an adult than you have chosen.

    Each one of us are on our own journey.....their journey is not your journey.  Rejoice if they are a good, kind, loving, moral person.  Rejoice if they work hard and give back to society and are a loving member of their own family now.  One does not have to be an active member of the church in order to experience joy and happiness and be a great example to their family and friends.

    Stop mourning and start rejoicing in your relationship and love for them.  Don't ever let them feel like you think they are a failure or that you are disappointed in them, but just continue to love them and serve as you do in the church.

    One thing I know for sure is that there are much, MUCH worse ways to "loose" a child than for them to choose another path regarding religion.

  5. 2 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

    My thoughts:,

    BYU is a church-owned school that seeks a) to reflect and even promote the values and beliefs of the church that owns it, while b) also simultaneously striving to be a place of academia…  “the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.”  Even during my time there, professors walked a fine line between promoting the pursuit of knowledge using the scientific method vs. ‘knowledge’ gained through the process of revelation, which were sometimes at odds with each other. 

    In my life, organic evolution was a prime example in of this dichotomy; 25 years ago, as a recently-returned missionary staunchly defensive of my own indoctrination of Bruce R. McConkie’s condemnation of evolution as the means of creation of mankind, I recall meeting with one of my biology professors at the Y to discuss my concerns about how his teachings in class supported evolution.  My biology professor patiently listened to (what I now view as) my own overly-zealous objections to his teaching of ‘the scientific method,’ and gently explained to me that in his experience from many discussions with his fellow professors, within the teaching department at BYU, there was no doubt that organic evolution was real, but that despite the insistence of many general authorities’ absolute condemnations of evolution as a means of creation for mankind (indeed, as contrary to the gospel itself), each of the professors found a way to both incorporate and reconcile the undisputable scientific realities of evolution with their Faith in such a way that both their faith in ‘the gospel’ and their acceptance of organic evolution existed side-by-side.  He gave me a pamphlet on evolution that quoted many previous LDS leaders’ teachings on evolution, but carefully explained—even rationalized—why and how those quotes could be taken in context of the time they were shared, yet still could be seen as not conflicting with what he clearly believed to be demonstrably, scientifically real: the reality that all life on earth, including humans, evolved from other, less-complex forms of life.  This utterly challenged my Faith in the gospel; after all, if life evolved from other, less-complex forms of life, how did Adam and Eve come to exist?  How could the account of the creation and fall as related in the temple endowment, which I had sat through countless times and was integral to my Faith in the church, be ‘true’?  This professor, whom I had come to greatly respect, patiently took the time to explain how the temple was symbolic; how he believed the temple account of Adam and Eve was a symbolic representation of the covenants that all were making (as, indeed, the temple itself even alluded to), but wasn’t a historical or scientific explanation of how life actually began on earth.

    What relevance does this have with this discussion about LGBT issues at the Y?  Well, again… BYU seeks to be both a reflection of the values and beliefs of the church that founded it, while simultaneously being a place of academia.  It’s unique in the culture of the LDS Faith, in that as an educational and professional institution, it relies on being viewed as a credible source of learning and scholarship.  It strives, even relies upon, being a place that doesn’t deny, and isn’t perceived as denying, the realities of science and medicine.  From it’s scholastic, sporting, and accreditation reputations, BYU relies upon being perceived as ‘in line’ with the general consensus of American ideals associated with preparing graduates to work as professionals in American society; it’s sporting programs, it’s legal accreditations, it’s ability to be seen as a place that doesn’t conflict with non-discrimination requirements, etc. are all intrinsically-tied to it’s academic mission.

    It seems clear to me that BYU removed the language in its Honor Code prohibiting any and all same-sex romantic behaviors in an attempt to avoid the mistakes the university made around problematic doctrines and policies about race (which many perceived to be flat-out racist) when it came to accreditation and sporting problems. 

    As the university strives to be seen as a place of enlightenment and learning, it depends on upholding the values of enlightened thinking; and the simple reality is, contrary to the principles of ‘the LDS gospel,’ that science and medicine and even society itself no longer view same-sex behaviors or homosexuality itself to be an aberration or abomination, but rather a natural, normal, and even healthy variation of human sexuality. 

    So long as BYU seeks to prepare students to operate in a professional environment, as well as continue to work in conjunction and even coordinate with ‘the world’ (a.k.a. the rest of America) in terms of accreditation and sports, it can’t be perceived as unjustly and, increasingly, unlawfully discriminating against those that broader American society states cannot be discriminated against.  And THAT’S why I believe BYU removed the proscriptive language against same-sex behaviors.  If that doesn’t make sense, go back and re-read my first sentence of this paragraph.

    I don’t believe for a second that the individuals answering the phones at the Honor Code Office who were saying that same-sex dating was ‘no longer prohibited’ were either going rogue or somehow giving out their own spin/unfounded conjecture on the University’s removal of that verbiage; given that numerous people consistently received the same story from different Honor Code employees, I believe those employees were all briefed on exactly what to say—and their explanations were consistent.  Neither do I believe that anyone involved was "jumping to unfounded conclusions"; as the numerous accounts reported in the press and even individual accounts in this very thread demonstrate, the explanations and verbiage from the Honor Code office were consistent; BYU “no longer prohibit[ed]” same-sex dating.  The BYU professor who earnestly sought to do the right thing by calling the Honor Code office and clarifying for himself even candidly stated in his video explanation that he asked the Honor Code office something to the effect of he wanted to be sure that what they were saying was accurate, since he was going to be sharing his conversation with the Honor Code with hundreds of his own students.  Numerous other accounts are all the same, including the posts here make reference to a bishop that called and got the same explanation.

    In my view, contrary to what some have said, removing the language didn’t “clarify” anything.  And again, the explanations offered by the Honor Code office weren’t those of misguided or rogue Honor Code employees; I firmly believe those Honor Code agents were briefed and given exactly what they were supposed to say, and for the last two weeks, they gave the same consistent message that they’d been briefed to say.  And those explanations about the removal of the language prohibiting same-sex dating make perfect sense, in light of what I said previously: that BYU seeks to prepare students to operate in a professional environment, as well as continue to work in conjunction and even coordinate with ‘the world’ (a.k.a. the rest of America) in terms of accreditation and sports, it can’t be perceived as unjustly and, increasingly, unlawfully discriminating against those that broader American society states cannot be discriminated against. 

    The main problem is that I don’t believe that BYU and the broader church were prepared for the ramifications of removing the language itself.  I think the Church, it’s leaders, and BYU’s board of directors thought they could quietly remove the language and hope the body of the church would still understand it’s implied prohibitive beliefs and views on same-sex behaviors and dating while simultaneously be seen by ‘the world’ as not being explicitly discriminatory, in order to still be viewed as  a credible place to prepare working professionals in a global society, as a non-discriminatory school worthy of being allowed to participate in sports, and worthy of accreditation in every meaningful way.

    In short, the university struggles in ‘serving two masters,’ to a degree.  This time, IMO, it just got caught with it’s hand in that cookie jar, and it was unprepared for the fall out on both sides.

    As I posted on the other thread in response to you, this is an excellent and very accurate analysis, IMO.  Thanks for posting it!

  6. And another article from the Trib (I'm posting the entire articles for those who can't access them):

    https://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2020/03/04/after-byu-honor-code/

    Quote

     

    After BYU Honor Code change, LDS Church now says same-sex relationships are ‘not compatible’ with the faith’s rules

    By Courtney Tanner

    By Erin Alberty

    By Peggy Fletcher Stack

     · Published: 20 hours ago
    Updated: 11 hours ago

    Provo • Despite removing the section on “homosexual behavior” from its Honor Code last month, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has clarified for the first time that same-sex romantic behavior is still “not compatible” with the rules at Brigham Young University.

    The surprising announcement came Wednesday morning after weeks of questions about the change and after LGBTQ students had celebrated what they hoped that it meant. Many said they recently came out as gay only because they believed — and were told by some Honor Code staff — that the school and faith now allowed it.

    “We felt like we finally had a place and then they ripped it away again,” said junior Katie Guerrero, who is bisexual.

    In the afternoon, hundreds of students met in the campus quad to protest what they saw as a painful reversal by BYU. They solemnly sang church hymns and marched in a circle. One person clung to a poster that read, “Jesus said love everyone." And they chanted together, “The Honor Code is honor-less."

    In his short letter Wednesday, Paul V. Johnson, a general authority Seventy and commissioner of the Church Educational System that oversees BYU’s campuses, said the Honor Code updates in mid-February led to “much discussion and some misinterpretation.” Johnson said he wanted to clarify “out of respect for all concerned.”

    Today this letter from Elder Paul V. Johnson, Commissioner of the Church Educational System, regarding the updated Honor Code was sent to students and employees at all CES schools.

    The Honor Code had previously prohibited “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings" at the university, which is owned by the LDS Church. Those who acted on such feelings could be punished or suspended.

    In the update last month, that section was deleted. Students have said that staff in the Honor Code Office told them it meant they would no longer be disciplined for dating, holding hands with or kissing people of the same sex — as long as they upheld the faith’s existing expectation that couples remain chaste before marriage and its ban on same-sex marriage.

    BYU officials immediately countered that there “may have been some miscommunication” but declined to elaborate.

    In Johnson’s statement Wednesday, he wrote: “There is and always has been more to living the Lord’s standard of a chaste and virtuous life than refraining from sexual relations outside of marriage. Lasting joy comes when we live the spirit as well as the letter of God’s laws.”

    He then cited the LDS Church’s “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” that says that gender is “an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose" and that marriage is, for the faith, only to be between a man and a woman.

    He added: “Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.”

    Students at the protest Wednesday challenged that, saying that kissing and hugging between heterosexual couples also doesn’t always “lead to eternal marriage.”

    In addition to the letter, BYU also released a statement from Kevin Utt, the director of its Honor Code Office, whom many students said they had talked to directly after the change last month and who they said assured them that gay relationships would be allowed on campus.

    In the response from Utt on Wednesday, he said that “any same-sex romantic behavior is a violation of the principles of the Honor Code.”

    Utt acknowledged some students are likely to feel “isolation and pain" as a result of the announcement. And the school’s spokeswoman said counselors there are “well equipped to handle students’ crises,” including expertise in assisting LGBTQ students, who experience heightened risks of suicide and depression. She did not answer questions from The Salt Lake Tribune asking whether school officials specifically prepared or offered additional mental health resources or reached out in advance to vulnerable student groups before the statement came out.

    “We realize that emotions over the last two weeks cover the spectrum,” Utt wrote in his response. “... We encourage all members of our campus community to reach out to those who are personally affected with sensitivity, love and respect.”

    Hundreds of students had originally celebrated the Honor Code change last month before the clarification — with many coming out openly as gay or lesbian in response and many more attending a Rainbow Day event on campus.

    Now, some say they feel gaslit, as though they were tricked into coming out as part of a sting.

    “I was telling [a therapist] how I’m very happy now to be at BYU and to know that I can be myself and talk to people about dating and not have fear of being suspended,” said senior Danny Dawson, who is gay. “I didn’t realize how much that had been looming over me until it was gone.”

    Just hours later he received an email from the school with Johnson’s statement. “I read it and said, ‘Please tell me this isn’t saying what I think it is,’ ” Dawson said.

    After the change was announced last month, Franchesca Lopez, who is bisexual, had grabbed a female friend on campus and kissed her in front of the school’s statue of Brigham Young. She posted pictures online. She’s now feeling heartbroken and devastated.

    “I feel so incredibly stupid to have believed BYU cared about me or anyone else,” she said.

    Wednesday’s apparent about-face leaves a lot of LGBTQ students far more vulnerable than they were even before BYU updated the Honor Code last month, said Ciera Galbraith, a BYU senior who is bisexual. "Everyone is in so much fear now,” she added.

    Galbraith helped organize the rally on campus Wednesday. Nearly 1,000 students marched with rainbow flags for three hours. At the start, they quietly chorused together: “As I have loved you, love one another.”

    Some female couples held hands — despite the reaffirmed ban — while others hugged and cried. And they walked together in a circle that continued to expand. It was one of the biggest protests ever held at the campus.

    “There’s a lot of sadness right now," said Zach Ibarra, a senior who is gay.

    Tiauna Lomax said she came out as bisexual last week, feeling confident after the Honor Code section on “homosexual behavior” was removed. After the change Wednesday, she feels “traumatic whiplash.”

    “I thought BYU cared about me,” Lomax added. She’s now considering transferring to another school.

    During the rally, a few individuals spoke out against the massive crowd, but each one was drowned out by chants of “Gay rights” and “Love, not hate, will make BYU great." One student tried to read the "family proclamation,” though he didn’t make it to the second sentence before he was overwhelmed by LGBTQ protesters surrounding him with their posters. “Love means love,” one read. “Let gay students date,” said another. Others had references to scriptures scribbled on them in black marker.

    Lilly Bitter, a junior, said she doesn’t know whether she’ll be allowed to keep attending BYU after celebrating the previous change with her girlfriend.

    "There's pictures of me on the news, kissing a girl in front of the Brigham Young statue. People who didn't know before know now because I thought it didn't matter," Bitter said. "It's so much more scrutiny, and I feel like I'm not safe here anymore. I have kind of blown my cover as an LGBT student."

    In a Q&A attached to the campuswide email, Utt said that students are not required to turn in their classmates for “romantic behavior” but said they should “encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code.” It’s unclear, though, if those who have been open about their sexual orientation in the past few weeks will be questioned or disciplined.

    Michael Austin, executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Evansville, a Methodist school in Indiana, said Wednesday that BYU’s explicit prohibition will produce more negative press for the school than it would have a month ago.

    The Provo-based university got a lot of “positive national press” — including from CNN and ESPN — when it first appeared to be allowing LGBTQ romantic behavior, said Austin, a Latter-day Saint. "Until two weeks ago, nobody knew what their policy was; now everybody does. It’s not just that they made this policy decision but made it when everybody was paying attention.”

    There is no legal issue for the private school, he said. It has a right to prohibit same-sex couples from dating. The school’s board of trustees largely overlaps with church leadership. And the changes were made in line with recent updates to the faith’s handbook.

    But other schools have the legal right to protest BYU’s action, Austin said, to refuse to affiliate with the university, or to advertise its job openings in their publications, which happened last fall with two nationally recognized science societies.

    There likely will be more such incidents, Austin said, in which “affinity groups” — including athletic conferences, academic disciplines and social organizations — choose not to allow the LDS-affiliated school to join or to host events based on the honor code’s stance on LGBTQ behavior.

    Next week, the Provo campus will be the site of the prestigious national ballroom dance championships, after the school said it would allow same-sex couples to compete. It had to change its long-standing rules to do so.

    But, with the clarification Tuesday, the policy hasn’t budged for BYU students.

     

     

  7. Here's from the Trib today:

    https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/03/05/robert-gehrke-byu-hurt/

    Quote

     

    BYU hurt itself but, more importantly, hurt students with LGBTQ flip-flop

     

    Brigham Young University has sure managed to “frick” over its gay students in a baffling display of incompetence.

    Last month, the school, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stripped out of its Honor Code a prohibition on “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

    What came next should have surprised no one. Scores of relieved and jubilant LGBTQ students celebrated, posting photos on social media believing it was now OK to hold hands or hug or kiss another person of the same sex, just like their heterosexual classmates were allowed to do. And Honor Code officials told them it was OK. They asked.

    The response was moving. You could feel the relief from students who had been deprived of expressing and sharing that affection and love, a fundamental part of who they are — really of who we all are — or at least sacrificed that part of themselves in order to get an education.

    On Wednesday, the school did a complete reversal.

    A letter from Paul V. Johnson, the commissioner of the Church Education System that oversees BYU, said there had been “some misinterpretation” of the Honor Code revision and that romantic same-sex behavior was not compatible with the Honor Code because it “cannot lead to eternal marriage” — which remains one of BYU’s prime directives.

    Now, even if you share BYU’s position on same-sex relationships and even if you supported their past discipline of those students, I think we can all agree that the reversal, then re-reversal of the Honor Code was an unmitigated disaster.

    The initial announcement was incompetently handled and abysmally communicated, then left without clarification for weeks, despite the obvious confusion it created.

    Now it’s a public relations nightmare for the university, which is seen as having pulled a bait-and-switch on a move toward openness that many of its students — those who are LGBTQ and the many, many more who support their friends — had been pleading for for years.

    Students turned out to protest the move by the hundreds, gathering in the Wilkinson Center, chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, the Honor Code has got to go.”

    It’s perhaps fitting, since it was BYU President Ernest Wilkinson who implemented an Honor Code where women were banned from wearing pants, men were banned from wearing beards and homosexuals were banned altogether.

    “If any of you have this tendency and have not completely abandoned it, may I suggest that you leave the university immediately,” Wilkinson reportedly told an assembly in 1965. “We do not want others on this campus to be contaminated by your presence.”

    He seems nice.

    This Honor Code 180 is more than in image problem. It was callous and cruel, giving students the hope that they might not have to hide their romantic feelings — really their true selves — only to drive them back into the shadows.

    And going back into the closet is not even possible for all of those students who publicly celebrated the original change, posting pictures reveling in the elation of being able to openly love who they love for the first time.

    "There's pictures of me on the news, kissing a girl in front of the Brigham Young statue. People who didn't know before know now because I thought it didn't matter," student Lilly Bitter told my colleague Courtney Tanner. "It's so much more scrutiny, and I feel like I'm not safe here anymore.”

    The university has tried to say the right things, while not admitting a mistake.

    “We realize that emotions over the last two weeks cover the spectrum and that some have and will continue to feel isolation and pain,” said Kevin Utt, the director of BYU’s Honor Code Office in a Q&A posted on the school’s website, encouraging the campus community to treat each other with “sensitivity, love and respect.”

    That would be the same “sensitivity, love and respect” that Utt and the university failed to show the students, the cause of so much “isolation and pain.”

    I’m not going to run down the damage inflicted on these students. They know the rates at which these students will turn their back on their church. They know the rates of depression. They know the rates of suicide.

    “The world is our campus,” as the school’s motto goes, so long as part of your world stays in the closet.

    Look, BYU is a private university, run by a church. They can, within few limitations, do whatever they want and I try not to tell the university or the church what they should do. Students who enroll there understand the rules when they sign up although, frankly, I’ve never understood why LGBTQ students would want to attend a school that treats them less-than-human.

    But I would advise university officials to consider their own Christian underpinnings when they look those students in the eyes — students who have finally had the terror lifted and tasted the smallest bit of freedom — and appreciate the torment the university’s incompetence has caused them.

    Editor’s note: If you or people you know are at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.

     

  8. 24 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

    I don’t believe for a second that the individuals answering the phones at the Honor Code Office who were saying that same-sex dating was ‘no longer prohibited’ were either going rogue or somehow giving out their own spin/unfounded conjecture on the University’s removal of that verbiage; given that numerous people consistently received the same story from different Honor Code employees, I believe those employees were all briefed on exactly what to say—and their explanations were consistent.  Neither do I believe that anyone involved was "jumping to unfounded conclusions"; as the numerous accounts reported in the press and even individual accounts in this very thread demonstrate, the explanations and verbiage from the Honor Code office were consistent; BYU “no longer prohibit[ed]” same-sex dating.  The BYU professor who earnestly sought to do the right thing by calling the Honor Code office and clarifying for himself even candidly stated in his video explanation that he asked the Honor Code office something to the effect of he wanted to be sure that what they were saying was accurate, since he was going to be sharing his conversation with the Honor Code with hundreds of his own students.  Numerous other accounts are all the same, including the posts here make reference to a bishop that called and got the same explanation.

    In my view, contrary to what some have said, removing the language didn’t “clarify” anything.  And again, the explanations offered by the Honor Code office weren’t those of misguided or rogue Honor Code employees; I firmly believe those Honor Code agents were briefed and given exactly what they were supposed to say, and for the last two weeks, they gave the same consistent message that they’d been briefed to say.  And those explanations about the removal of the language prohibiting same-sex dating make perfect sense, in light of what I said previously: that BYU seeks to prepare students to operate in a professional environment, as well as continue to work in conjunction and even coordinate with ‘the world’ (a.k.a. the rest of America) in terms of accreditation and sports, it can’t be perceived as unjustly and, increasingly, unlawfully discriminating against those that broader American society states cannot be discriminated against. 

    The main problem is that I don’t believe that BYU and the broader church were prepared for the ramifications of removing the language itself.  I think the Church, it’s leaders, and BYU’s board of directors thought they could quietly remove the language and hope the body of the church would still understand it’s implied prohibitive beliefs and views on same-sex behaviors and dating while simultaneously be seen by ‘the world’ as not being explicitly discriminatory, in order to still be viewed as  a credible place to prepare working professionals in a global society, as a non-discriminatory school worthy of being allowed to participate in sports, and worthy of accreditation in every meaningful way.

    In short, the university struggles in ‘serving two masters,’ to a degree.  This time, IMO, it just got caught with it’s hand in that cookie jar, and it was unprepared for the fall out on both sides.

    [reposted from “the other” thread, since there’s now two topics]

    This is the best, and most reasoned analysis of what took place that I've seen posted.  I agree with every word and it helps make sense of why it took 2 weeks for it to play out and eventually get an clarification from the leaders.  Church leaders are never shy about stepping in immediately and stopping something, but I do believe they were not prepared for what took place and it took them some time to figure out exactly how to deal with the situation.  I agree that the answers from the Honor Code Office were all the same and very similar (the ones I've read and heard) and not all from the same officer.  I think the one referenced in the news articles was the head of the Honor Code Office (can't think of his name...) and I know my Bishop did not speak directly to him, but received the same answer (almost word for word the same).

    It really turned into a mess, IMO, and was very poorly thought out and handled from the top down.  There seems to have been a breakdown in communication somewhere in the line from the church leaders, to BYU, to the Honor Code officers, and then to the public and press.

    It's good they finally did step in and issue a clarification, but it's too bad that it took them so long to do so.  And now students and members are left wondering why that section of the honor code (Homosexual Behavior) was removed if it's true that it still in deed is prohibited behavior.

  9. I posted this on the other thread, but wanted to do so here too....thanks for posting the letter Scott!!

    (This was in response to Peppermint Patty's post:

    http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/72653-byu-honor-code-matches-new-handbook/?do=findComment&comment=1209959208 )

    Quote

     

    I just now came on to post that I spoke to my Bishop a few minutes ago regarding that he'd called the Honor Code Office this morning with similar questions.

    He received the same answers you did.  That same-sex students can now show open displays of affection including holding hands, hugging and kissing.  They will also be allowed to date and not be in violation of the Honor Code.

    So, unless that changes (and in keeping with the letter posted now), it appears these behaviors are not prohibited as long as they do not lead to SSM or with that intent.  I still find that a bit confusing or conflicting, but I'm grateful to hear from the leaders on this!  It will be interesting to watch how this works for the Honor Code Office.

     

     

  10. On 2/22/2020 at 9:30 AM, Peppermint Patty said:

    With all of the conflicting opinions on here and elsewhere, yesterday I called the Honor Code Office at 801-422-2847 and asked a nice lady named Kim if it was now okay for gay people to hold hands, kiss and date on and off campus. Kim told me the Honor Code Office has been flooded with questions about this and BYU’s position is that same sex kissing, holding hands and dating are not in violation of the Honor Code. If anyone is still confused about what this means then please call the Honor Code Office yourself at 801-422-2847. This should provide some clarity to all of the confusion surrounding this issue.

    Interesting.....I just now came on to post that I spoke to my Bishop a few minutes ago regarding that he'd called the Honor Code Office this morning with similar questions.

    He received the same answers you did.  That same-sex students can now show open displays of affection including holding hands, hugging and kissing.  They will also be allowed to date and not be in violation of the Honor Code.

    So, unless that changes (and in keeping with the letter posted now), it appears these behaviors are not prohibited as long as they do not lead to SSM or with that intent.  I still find that a bit confusing or conflicting, but I'm grateful to hear from the leaders on this!  It will be interesting to watch how this works for the Honor Code Office.

  11. He did at least sort of address the recent Honor Code change, but this was a chance to clarify and he chose not to (which is fine....just an observation).  

    Here's what the SLT states:

    Quote

     

    LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard said he has been carefully following the news about Brigham Young University in recent weeks.

    For example, in early February, when panelists were targeted with racist questions during a Black History Month event. Or, shortly after, as students reacted to the school removing from its Honor Code the section on “homosexual behavior.” Both have drawn national attention.

    And the reports, Ballard said, prompted him to speak at the school Tuesday about the need for love and acceptance.

    “In the past few weeks, as I have read news stories and social media posts about what has happened on campus, I knew why the Lord wanted me to speak on this important subject,” said Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “He is anxious to heal any wounded souls.”

    Thousands of students and staff at BYU, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, filled the seats of the Marriott Center to hear him speak. Throughout his devotional, Ballard only specifically mentioned “racism” once and remained somewhat vague on alluding to those “recent events.” But his message focused on respect, inclusion and acceptance while warning against discrimination.

    “Marginalizing and persecuting people based on age, gender, nationality, religious preference or anything else can be hurtful and misunderstood,” he said. As Ballard, 91, read from a teleprompter, he appears to have changed the last word in that part of his prepared address from what it said on the screen: “evil".

     

    If you read the comments (on the Trib and the Deseret News article) many are still left confused and wanting to hear a clarification.  Hopefully one is still coming, but we will just have to wait and see.

  12. 7 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

    Not consistent considering that going back to President Kimball, the very identity of someone being Gay was considered a sin, not just the acting on it component.  There has been a lot of evolution on this topic in recent years.  Having positive articles about LGBTQ individuals published by the church's newspaper is another recent evolution.  If you refuse to see the evolution out of a kind of bias against the idea that change has occurred on this issue, I can't help you.  

    There have very definitely been changes regarding beliefs and teachings (from our leaders) on this issue.  I highly doubt anyone will disagree with that (if they are familiar with the past beliefs and teachings).

    These have progressed and evolved a lot already and will continue to do so in the future, IMO.

  13. 15 minutes ago, Sunslight said:

    So, anything less than actual sexual intercourse by homosexuals isn't defined as homosexual activity eh? That's ridiculous!

    Maybe use the same words that the BYU Honor Code used (Homosexual Behavior) rather than "homosexual activity"?

    Here's the section that was removed:

    Quote

     

    Homosexual Behavior

    Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards. Members of the university community can remain in good Honor Code standing if they conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code.

    One's stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.

     

    Smac (and maybe others including the honor code section above) have used "homosexual relations" or "same-sex relations" to mean sexual intercourse.

     

  14. 8 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

    First, I’m not sure your conclusion that the Honor Code is not in agreement with the other two is correct. 

    That's why we need clarification.

    What we do know is that the section titled "Homosexual Behavior" was removed from the list of behaviors or actions that are prohibited at BYU.

    But, that behavior is still described as being a "serious sin" in the FTSOY.

    Those seems to be in conflict especially when you see what is openly taking place on campus now between same-sex couples.

    (I'm off of here now....have a great evening!!)

  15. 30 minutes ago, Calm said:

    Past treatments have raised this expectation.  If the HCO is now getting out of the sexual morality business and leaving it to the Church (as they should have all along imo), it could take awhile for people to adjust expectations.

    I still see that this could cause problems (see my post to Scott above).  If one youth is refused an endorsement from their Bishop because of behavior that is no longer prohibited by the Honor Code (and openly allowed on campus), they could claim discrimination.  Especially if other Bishops are endorsing youths who are dating and gay (because they believe it's not against the Honor Code now).

  16. 18 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

    If the one that seemingly conflicts with the other two has more limited application than the other two, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it is the one out of the three that is errant?

    I think it could cause problems if they are not all in agreement.

    What if one Bishop is giving endorsements according to the Honor Code and another one is giving endorsements using the FYSOY?  

    What if one Bishop refuses to give a youth an endorsement because of homosexual behavior and then that youth visits the campus and sees this is no longer prohibited?  Or one youth who is gay gets an endorsement but their same-sex dating partner is refused one because they are dating?

    The leaders would be setting themselves up for discrimination accusations.

  17. 15 minutes ago, Calm said:

    I am talking about the Handbook and FTSOY.

    Well, I feel it's really confusing when the Honor Code specifically removes the section describing behavior that was previously prohibited (Homosexual Behavior), but this same behavior is still described as being a "serious sin" in the FTSOY ("Homosexual and lesbian behavior is a serious sin").  

    Combine that with what we've seen take place on campus (what is described as homosexual behavior) since this change, with no clarification yet from our leaders and it's even more conflicting.   I know what we have heard is hearsay (from the honor code officers and the professor), but those statements are in agreement with the behavior we've seen on campus or heard about.

    I just believe that the Handbook, the FTSOY and the Honor Code should all state the same thing regarding this issue.  If one of them actually did specifically state that homosexual behavior was prohibited and it has been removed (and is apparently now being allowed on campus), it is not consistent.

    Once again...let's just wait for more clarification that is hopefully coming from our leaders.

     

  18. 5 minutes ago, Calm said:

    Why not remove that part at same time the Handbook update given that there are significant references to it in the handbook, especially in regards to what should be discussed in interviews? (See my previous post two up from this one for specifics)

    I can't answer that question.  But not making them consistent (or in agreement) is only adding to the confusion here, IMO.  

    One thing it seems we do all agree on is that we would like to hear a clarification from the leaders.

  19. 10 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

    Again, it is too soon to draw conclusions from anecdotal information. 

    The behavior changes reported are not all anecdotal.

    From the SLT about the Rainbow Celebration on BYU campus last week:

    Quote

    Rainbow Day at BYU draws hundreds of students

    It was the third Rainbow Day celebration at Brigham Young University to support the LGBTQ community — and this time, unlike the few before, hundreds of students showed up.

    They filled the campus quad with rainbow flags and signs. They shouted, “Love is love,” at anyone who walked up to their table. And they hugged and kissed and high-fived in excitement.

    It’s the first time many have felt like they could.

    “All of us who are out can now be free to be ourselves,” said student Erin Berglund, who identifies as lesbian. “It’s a relief.”

    The Wednesday event had been planned for months. But, by coincidence, it came shortly after the religious Provo school first publicly acknowledged that it had removed the longstanding ban on “homosexual behavior” from its Honor Code. The strict set of rules at BYU, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had previously prohibited “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings." Those who acted on such feelings before could be punished or suspended.

    Anna Stevenson said she used to worry about wearing or saying anything in her classes that might out her as gay. On Wednesday, though, with the policy change, she no longer felt like she had to hide. She pulled on a pair of rainbow socks and a pride T-shirt and carried colorful flags in each hand. And she stood out and proud in front of the campus library.


    “I could have been kicked out of school for this before,” she said. “But now I don’t have to worry about that.”

    Many students who came to the celebration of Rainbow Day said they, too, feel like they can be openly LGBTQ on campus 

     

    If these students have misinterpreted what the removal of the section "Homosexual Behavior" from the Honor Code means, I do feel there needs to be a clarification or correction.  If nothing is said or done, they will continue to believe same-sex dating and shows of affection on campus are now allowed.

  20. 2 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

    When you say this, are you claiming that you have knowledge that the 2011 version of the FTSOY pamphlet somehow takes precedent over the newly written general handbook?  It seems clear to me that this older language is similar to what was in the old BYU honor code, and I would think we should expect an update to reflect the church's more recent direction on the issue.  Are you expecting otherwise?  

    Maybe just this part will be removed if the leaders want to keep things consistent regarding the removal of the prohibition of "Homosexual Behavior" in the honor code (and the wording in the handbook):

    Quote

    Homosexual and lesbian behavior is a serious sin. If you find yourself struggling with same-gender attraction or you are being persuaded to participate in inappropriate behavior, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you.

    That will be interesting to watch for regarding any newer versions that are published.

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