Status Updates posted by consiglieri
I am restricted from posting right now, but I want you to know I totally agree with you against Scott Lloyd in your discussion about Elder Andersen's comment regarding Navajo children being descendants of Lehi.
You finally had to bring up the change in the BOM introduction, but he still isn't budging.
Every word of every apostle is a hill to die on for Scott.
In the last 24-hours, I was able to post comments, but not able to start new threads.
After posting the comment on the Cinepro-Bednar thread just now, I find that I am unable to post comments anymore there or, apparently, anywhere else.
This is all very strange, and of course, the moderators are silent as the Sphinx.
I do know that I was told I was suspended for 30-days. The moderators gave an incorrect reason, saying I had called somebody "UnChristlike."
I told them immediately that I had said no such thing and asked them to reinstate me immediately.
I heard nothing.
Then yesterday afternoon, I found that if I clicked a link acknowledging their allegation, I could then post on a limited basis.
Now it has shrunk to zero.
Except that I can PM you, which I couldn't even do after I was suspended.
Anyway, it is obvious Scott is a bit hyper-defensive over the apostles, who apparently are hot-house flowers that must be sheltered in the shade only Scott can provide.
Hope you are well!
I am back from suspended but still on Limited.
Which means I can't start threads.
Any chance I could get you to post the following thread?
In her new piece on Kiwi Mormon, Gina Colvin notes she was erased from the LDS Church's report of a 2014 New Zealand symposium at which she was the closing speaker:
In November 2014 I was privileged to be asked to be the closing speaker at the inaugural Mormon Studies Symposium hosted by Waikato University. There we celebrated Selwyn Katene’s edited book: Turning the Hearts of the Children: Early Maori Leaders in the Mormon Church. and together explored both the past and future of Mormonism for Maori. It was a terrific event, one that I was pleased to be associated with. I discovered recently that the Public Relations write up about this event left out any reference to my address. I’m not surprised but still disappointed – because its rude and a bit silly. In response to a number of requests for this talk I include it here for your reading pleasure (or not – if you hail from the PR Department)
History was made on 8 November 2014 when over 200 people came from across New Zealand for a day-long symposium in Hamilton, to remember early Maori leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
https://pacific.lds.org/a-significant-s ... ew-zealand
The article goes into excruciating detail about seemingly every single presenter at the symposium.
But no Gina. Her contribution and her very identity were removed from the "history" that was made in this symposium.
It seems the LDS Church's whitewashing of its own history is not a thing of the past.
Thanks for your compliment, Volgadon, but did you not get my PM earlier this week to please stop outing me on this board as the author of the pieces I link to only in the third person?
I sent a hot PM to the moderators over that and they took down the earlier posts.
I just sent a similar PM to Robert Smith.
I appreciate your comment on my blog about Gazelem very much.
But PLEASE remove my real name from your post.
My IRL is not known here or on any other board.
Volgadon was out of line when he said what he did. And he was completely wrong, too.
This led to my PM'ing him yesterday, as well as the moderators who removed the posts with my name in them when they were mentioned in another thread.
Thank you in advance.
And again, I want you to know I do very much esteem you and your work, which makes your compliment all the much more meaningful to me.
Thanks for the last rep point on crossing a line!
I just found out I am banned from the thread.
I wanted to make sure you knew, and that through you, others may know.
These mods are so crazy.
They don't even tell you why you are thread-banned.
How is somebody supposed to know what is acceptable or not with this kind of arbitrary and capricious conduct?
I appreciate your insights!
Thanks for reinstating me! I tried to send a similar message to Nemesis but I couldn't access this box on his page.
I am trying to be good, so wanted to run the following text by you before posting it.
It is something I wrote up for a friend that synopsized the phone discussions we had been having about the new policy change.
Let me know if this is okay to post, or if anything needs to be tweaked before doing so.
On Thursday, November 5, 2015, a new policy in the Church Handbook of Instructions was leaked to the press. This policy forbade blessing or baptism or priesthood ordination for any child who lives with, or has lived with, a parent (or parents) who are living in a same-gender relationship or marriage.
The new policy also labeled LDS living in such a same-gender relationship as apostates, and mandated disciplinary action against any such members.
A furor of controversy erupted over the new policy, leading the Church to stage an “interview” with Elder D. Todd Christofferson on Friday, November 6, 2015.
The furor continued in spite of the interview and, on Friday, November 13, 2015, the First Presidency issued a letter of “clarification” on the new policy.
The point of this paper is to describe some of the many problems with this policy, and subsequent official pronouncements.
The policy contradicts foundational LDS doctrine and scripture. The Second Article of Faith, found in the Pearl of Great Price, states that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression. This new policy makes the children (and even the babies) of a gay parent living in a same-gender relationship responsible for the perceived sins of the parent. It is a punishment to a child to not allow it to be blessed or baptized or to receive the priesthood if a boy.
The policy contradicts the Bible, where Jesus chastened his own apostles who were trying to keep the children from approaching Jesus. Jesus told them to suffer the little children to come unto him and to forbid them not. Why? For of such is the kingdom of God. Jesus did not tell his apostles to ask about the sexual orientation or living situation of the children’s parents. He did not say that some children were outside the kingdom of God. This new policy says that certain children, through no fault of their own, are to be excluded from the kingdom of God by not being blessed or baptized at age 8.
The policy contradicts the Book of Mormon, where the resurrected Jesus commands the Nephites to bring all their children unto him, and Jesus then takes them one by one and blesses them, and angels come down out of heaven to encircle them. Again, Jesus does not say only some children should be brought unto him, and does not pick and choose which child he blesses. Rather, the text is clear that Jesus commands all the children to be brought unto him and then takes them one by one and blesses them individually. This scene from the Book of Mormon, long considered to be one of the most beautiful and poignant in the entire volume, is not only contradicted, but marred and tarnished, by the new policy.
The Doctrine and Covenants explicitly teaches that parents are to have their children baptized when they reach the age of 8, and if they do not, the sins be upon the heads of the parents. The new policy now segregates certain children who are not to be baptized at age 8, but must wait until they are 18, and then meet additional requirements. This sin cannot be laid upon the heads of the parents. On whose head will the sins of such children be placed?
The above shows that this new policy contradicts core scripture and doctrine found in each and every one of the four standard works. And yet Church leaders wanted to insert it into the Handbook without letting any of the lay members know about it. No presentation for a vote. No announcement. This is not just a policy, it is doctrine. And not only is it doctrine, it is doctrine that flatly contradicts the doctrine of the Church since its inception.
We are told that the new policy is for the benefit of the children; so that there not be any conflict between the child and the gay parent(s) with whom the child lives. This rationale is belied in a number of ways:
It is already Church policy that, in order for a child to be baptized, the permission of both parents must be obtained. In other words, the gay parent(s) must consent to the baptism of the child. If the parents consent to the baptism of the child, how is it that there is going to be conflict in the home? The parents would presumably know what the LDS Church teaches regarding homosexuality before letting their child be baptized. So what is the problem? Where would the conflict come from?
If the new policy were really directed at limiting friction in the home, then the only qualification for baptism would be that the child no longer be living in the home with a gay parent. That would take care of the friction problem. But there is more required. The child must disavow the living situation of his parent. How does this limit friction in the home where the child no longer lives? Simple answer—it doesn’t. And that is a sure clue that the excuse about limiting friction in the home (i.e., we’re doing it for the kids) doesn’t wash.
But the new policy also requires First Presidency approval. In other words, the child not only has to reach the age of majority and move out of the house, but the child must also disavow the same-gender living situation of the parents, AND get First Presidency authorization. And this is just to be baptized! How does First Presidency approval work to limit the friction in the home? Simple answer—it doesn’t. Why is it required at all? We aren’t given the answer by the Church. Presumably it is to make sure that the child’s approval is genuine.
Another point is that we are not talking about children getting baptized any more. We are talking about adults getting baptized. Remember, the new policy forbids the baptism of such children until they arrive at the age of majority—which means they aren’t children anymore. What the Church has done is completely and totally forbid the baptism of children whose parent(s) are in a same-gender relationship.
We are told that this is nothing new—that we have the same type of policy with children from polygamous marriages. This also doesn’t hold water.
First, it must be stressed that there is no policy forbidding the blessing of babies of children from polygamous marriages. That punitive measure is reserved only for children of gay parents. Check the handbook. That’s what it says.
Another key difference is that polygamy is illegal in the United States. Gay marriage, on the other hand, is now legal. This leaves us with a policy that allows the blessing of babies from illegal marriages while forbidding the blessing of babies from legal marriages. Does that make sense?
This argument is an excuse, not a reason. In other words, the Church leaders did not sit down with the handbook that says the children of polygamous marriages are discriminated against in this way, and then try to come up with other children against whom they could similarly discriminate! No. The reason (at least the reason they give) is to protect the children against friction in their own homes. The polygamy argument is therefore not a reason, it is an excuse. And it is a poor excuse at that. What it amounts to is saying it is okay to discriminate against these children over here, because we already discriminate against those children over there. This is not morally sound.
The closest the Church gets to being straightforward about its reasons for the new policy is when it talks about polygamy, though. And make no mistake, the policy about children of polygamy is not designed to help out the children—it is designed to protect the Church. The fear is that polygamist will use their children to obtain ordinances in the LDS Church and insinuate their children, and their theology, into the membership of the LDS Church. Similarly, this is the real rationale behind the new policy against children of gay parents. It is not to protect the children—we have already dismantled that argument above. It is to protect the Church members against what is feared to be their insidious influence among members of the Church.
Elder Christofferson virtually mentioned as much when he said in his interview that when a baby is blessed, a membership record is created and home teachers are assigned. First, that is ridiculous. Who ever heard of home teachers visiting a baby? And how is that a multi-billion dollar church couldn’t just change the software if that were the real problem? But Elder Christofferson goes on to hint at the real reason, which is that home teachers and other members would be assigned who would have to go into the household to visit the new member. That is the problem right there! The fear isn’t that this is going to cause strife and division in the family (remember, the parent(s) already gave permission for the child to be baptized!). The fear is that the lifestyle in the home is going to rub off on the members who are visiting. And that fear goes both ways—not only worried about the affect this might have on the members visiting such homes, but also the affect this might have on the members at church meetings rubbing shoulders (and Heaven knows what else!) with the children from such families.
This brings up another reason why the rationale of protecting the children from friction in the home is such a canard. After making things as completely unwelcoming at Church for children with gay parent(s), the Church insists that they are actually welcome. Elder Christofferson said this in his interview, and Michael Otterson said the same in his letter. This is Orwellian! It is hard to imagine of any policy being designed to make children feel less welcome in a Church. And then to turn around and say that they are welcome is disingenuous in the extreme.
But back to my point about this being another reason why the rational of protecting the children from friction in the home is so absurd. The Church tells us that they don’t want the children hearing anti-gay-marriage rhetoric at Church and this causing friction at home. But the Church says such children are welcome to attend Church meetings anyway! Even if such a child is unblessed and unbaptized, they are still going to be hearing the exact same anti-gay-marriage rhetoric at Church as they would if they were blessed and baptized. The message doesn’t change depending on whether the child has been blessed and baptized. So how then, does encouraging such children to attend Church reduce the friction at home they would otherwise have if they had been blessed and baptized? Simple answer—it doesn’t.
Elder Christofferson gives short shrift in his interview to the importance of children being baptized at age 8 and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Over and over we hear messages from Church leaders regarding how important it is to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost with us; and especially is this so when we are young to protect us against the sin and temptation which so abounds in the world. And yet, Elder Christofferson is saying that children in same-sex households don’t really need the Gift of the Holy Ghost, after all. These children can wait at least ten-years until they are 18 to get this gift. This devaluing of one of the most cherished doctrines of the LDS Church is remarkable. And from an LDS apostles, no less!
And if having the Gift of the Holy Ghost is not so important to these particular children, on what basis can we say it is so important for the other children whose parents are not in gay relationships? Wouldn’t it be more (theo)logically consistent to say that children in homes with gay parents need the Gift of the Holy Ghost even more than other children whose parents are both straight and active LDS?
There are many other things that could be said regarding the inconsistencies and contradictions related to this new policy, Elder Christofferson’s interview and the First Presidency letter of “clarification.” (I put “clarification” in quotation marks because it is really not a “clarification” at all, but a contradiction. It flat-out contradicts the new policy. The new policy applies to children whose parents are living, or have lived, in a same-gender relationship.
This raised the questions of what about a parent who had a same-sex relationship when younger, but later married heterosexually in the temple. This policy as written would apply to any children from that temple marriage. Other questions were raised along this line, as well.
The First Presidency letter “clarifies” that the new policy applies only to children of a parent in a same-gender relationship if the gay parent’s home is the primary residence of the child. This amounts to saying we are not going to violate our doctrine to quite as many children as we had previously decided, but we are still going to violate our doctrine.
Significantly, the First Presidency never changed the language in the manual. This means that the First Presidency letter is not a “clarification” of the manual, it is a contradiction to the manual. Why didn’t the First Presidency just change the language of the manual? The manual, by its own language, still applies to children whose parent(s) have ever lived in a same-sex marriage. Now the First Presidency says that applies only in the present tense, and only to in a “primary residence” situation.
One gets the feeling it is more important to Church leaders to preserve the mythos that the leaders are doctrinally infallible than it is to simply change the language of the policy in the manual.
More significant to many is the fact that Church leaders, and the First Presidency in particular, are now avowing that this un-Christian and anti-Mormon doctrine of making the children accountable for the sins of their parents, is revelation direct from God. A revelation from God that contradicts numerous previous revelations is something that shouldn’t be snuck into a handbook in the middle of the night—and a handbook that itself is restricted to only Church leadership.
Making things worse is having Michael Otterson, head of Church Public Affairs, issue a letter on the Newsroom page of the official Church website, and blaming the members for being upset about the new policy. But then, blaming the members is a tried-and-true practice in the LDS Church. Otterson blames the members for getting all riled up because they just read the news headlines or social media or tweets.
No, Brother Otterson, that is not what happened. The Church membership was so riled up because they actually read the language of the new policy. And they didn’t like it. And many of the reasons they didn’t like it are enumerated above. I hope this makes the visceral reaction of thousands of faithful Church members over this new policy a little more understandable to Brother Otterson, to Church leaders, and to those Church members who support this policy change.
Is your mail box full?
I find your thoughts interesting.
Thanks for being here.