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Elder D. Todd Christofferson “Is There a Place For Me?” online at https://mormonandgay.lds.org/articles/church-teachings?cid=HP_TH_24-8-2017_dPAD_fMG_xLIDyL2-2_  .

“The diversity we find now in the Church may be just the beginning.  Frankly, I think we’ll see greater and greater diversity.  In the ancient Church there was tremendous diversity.

“And it’s not just diversity for diversity’s sake, but the fact that people can bring different gifts and perspectives.  And the wide range of experience, backgrounds, and challenges that people face will show us what really is essential in the Gospel of Christ, and that much of the rest that’s been perhaps acquired over time is more cultural than doctrinal, can slip away, and we can really learn to be disciples.”

This is just an excerpt of his short remarks, and other apostles also comment under the same heading.  Does this bode well for the Church?  Is it an important first step to see the difference between culture and doctrine?  Where might this eventually lead?

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Elder D. Todd Christofferson “Is There a Place For Me?” online at https://mormonandgay.lds.org/articles/church-teachings?cid=HP_TH_24-8-2017_dPAD_fMG_xLIDyL2-2_  .

“The diversity we find now in the Church may be just the beginning.  Frankly, I think we’ll see greater and greater diversity.  In the ancient Church there was tremendous diversity.

“And it’s not just diversity for diversity’s sake, but the fact that people can bring different gifts and perspectives.  And the wide range of experience, backgrounds, and challenges that people face will show us what really is essential in the Gospel of Christ, and that much of the rest that’s been perhaps acquired over time is more cultural than doctrinal, can slip away, and we can really learn to be disciples.”

This is just an excerpt of his short remarks, and other apostles also comment under the same heading.  Does this bode well for the Church?  Is it an important first step to see the difference between culture and doctrine?  Where might this eventually lead?

Do you think it will lead to a walking back of the ban on baptizing children of gay couples?

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I haven't had a chance to review Elder Christofferson's remarks in their entirety.  (I'm at work, Alas!  Yes, on Sunday, Alas! :().  Based solely on the snippet you provide, I have no problem with them.  Yes, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a big tent.  (I do think it's interesting that Elder Christofferson was part of both the Q&A regarding the policies of the Church of Jesus Christ toward gays and a part of this discussion.  I think the implication of that is that whatever the level of tolerance isfor differing viewpoints in the Church of Jesus Christ, fundamental doctrines regarding the nature and meaning of marriage are not up for debate.)

Further along those lines, while I'm not saying this is a counterpoint to what Elder Christofferson is saying (because I don't think these two brethren are at odds or would disagree), Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave an address a number of years ago in which he pointed out that diversity for its own sake actually can be counterproductive to a number of aims of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Oaks points out that the scripture doesn't say, "I say unto you, be diverse, and if ye are not diverse, ye are not mine"  (Cf. Doctrine & Covenants 38:27).  It says, "I say unto you, be one, and if ye are not one, ye are not mine" (Doctrine & Covenants 38:27).

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/01/weightier-matters?lang=eng

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Elder D. Todd Christofferson “Is There a Place For Me?” online at https://mormonandgay.lds.org/articles/church-teachings?cid=HP_TH_24-8-2017_dPAD_fMG_xLIDyL2-2_  .

“The diversity we find now in the Church may be just the beginning.  Frankly, I think we’ll see greater and greater diversity.  In the ancient Church there was tremendous diversity.

“And it’s not just diversity for diversity’s sake, but the fact that people can bring different gifts and perspectives.  And the wide range of experience, backgrounds, and challenges that people face will show us what really is essential in the Gospel of Christ, and that much of the rest that’s been perhaps acquired over time is more cultural than doctrinal, can slip away, and we can really learn to be disciples.”

This is just an excerpt of his short remarks, and other apostles also comment under the same heading.  Does this bode well for the Church?  Is it an important first step to see the difference between culture and doctrine?  Where might this eventually lead?

I think the context for his remarks is to address the problem of isolation a gay person may feel in a family-oriented culture such as Mormonism. He says, "When a person feels isolated, I don't deny the reality of the feeling and why it's so natural to feel that way, but each of us, whenever that sense may come upon us, need to stop and think, Jesus Christ died for me. Jesus Christ thought me worthy of His blood." This same message applies for all people in any and all of the diverse circumstances that seem to be inconsistent with the nuclear or extended family structure. Give what you can and receive grace to endure and obtain in the Lord's timing. Sustain the Zion culture by sustaining the new and everlasting covenants, even when circumstances make it seemingly impossible to personally realize them all in this life.

Personally, I see the first step in seeing the difference between culture and doctrine is to be converted, which, as Christ defined it, is to return to Him and repent ("all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous …return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you.").

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23 hours ago, CV75 said:

I think the context for his remarks is to address the problem of isolation a gay person may feel in a family-oriented culture such as Mormonism. ...

I agree.  That's certainly not a problem that's unique to gays.  Widows and widowers have it.  The never-married have it.  And sometimes, no matter how good one's support system or how favorable his circumstances might seem, it's possible for him to feel alone even if an outsider would envy his support system or his apparently-favorable circumstances.  I may not be the only person enduring a particular trial (whatever it is, whether it's singleness, loneliness, isolation, or any of the myriad other trials stemming from whatever source, be it man's inhumanity to man, crap happening, or any of mortality's other innumerable vicissitudes).  But however common a trial might be to the human experience, I'm the only "ME" experiencing a particular trial under my particular set of circumstances, with my particular outlook, habits, attitudes, past experiences, and so on.

And as much as I, as a Confirmed Bachelor, might wonder where I fit into a "family" church, I don't want the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to cease espousing the ideal simply to spare my feelings.  Preach the ideal to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ en masse, while ministering to varying personal circumstances individually.

My $0.02.  Actual value varies. ;):) 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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  • 1 month later...

https://www.facebook.com/ksltv/timeline It’s a story of a family united in love. This Sunday at 9am on KSL, watch “That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family.” Tom Christofferson and his brothers talk candidly about how their parents’ example helped cement a strong family bond.

I don't know if this link will work, but just wanted to share that this will be on this Sunday, well worth the time to watch. Great family! I do have sadness that Tom had to give up the love of his life, but it's his journey and to each his own. 

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I love the church and I think that for many, it is a great place to raise a family and support that family with a strong community that embraces good for the most part.  So yeah, if your are straight the church is a good place to embrace a lot of the principles that Christ taught.  

But the church has no place for those that are gay despite the PR effort to say otherwise.  Just where does a gay person fit into the plan of happiness?  Does he get a family on this earth life to bring him joy and happiness that is something we all long for?  Does he get to spend eternity with the love of his life?  Does his children have a place in the church?  

Sorry, but the Mormon church would be at the bottom of almost anyone's list of where a gay person would fit in.  

Fortunately Christ died for all of us.  His blessings and atonement are open to the other 99% of the population that have no interest in what Mormons believe or their toxic policies towards those that are gay.  This is the reality.  And all the PR speeches of this type falls on deaf ears to those that know the very public face the church puts on in attacking the civil rights of gay couples.  

 

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On 8/27/2017 at 12:33 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

Elder D. Todd Christofferson “Is There a Place For Me?” online at https://mormonandgay.lds.org/articles/church-teachings?cid=HP_TH_24-8-2017_dPAD_fMG_xLIDyL2-2_  .

“The diversity we find now in the Church may be just the beginning.  Frankly, I think we’ll see greater and greater diversity.  In the ancient Church there was tremendous diversity.

“And it’s not just diversity for diversity’s sake, but the fact that people can bring different gifts and perspectives.  And the wide range of experience, backgrounds, and challenges that people face will show us what really is essential in the Gospel of Christ, and that much of the rest that’s been perhaps acquired over time is more cultural than doctrinal, can slip away, and we can really learn to be disciples.”

This is just an excerpt of his short remarks, and other apostles also comment under the same heading.  Does this bode well for the Church?  Is it an important first step to see the difference between culture and doctrine?  Where might this eventually lead?

The centerpiece of his remarks seems to be the Gospel of Christ, a uniting force that draws upon the talents (or as he puts it, the gifts -- and perspectives -- of the Spirit) of all God's children who are drawn to it. I think it would lead to a unique Zion culture that should preserve the best of what everyone brings to the table, inasmuch as our best is aligned with the Gospel of Christ, no matter how that may be uniquely expressed through the various arts, technologies, and social institution/organization of anyone's culture.

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

https://www.facebook.com/ksltv/timeline It’s a story of a family united in love. This Sunday at 9am on KSL, watch “That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family.” Tom Christofferson and his brothers talk candidly about how their parents’ example helped cement a strong family bond.

I don't know if this link will work, but just wanted to share that this will be on this Sunday, well worth the time to watch. Great family! I do have sadness that Tom had to give up the love of his life, but it's his journey and to each his own. 

I will try and find time this weekend to see this.  I cry when to think of anyone having to let go of someone he/she loves...I can't imagine a church or anything in my life that let me let go of that person.  I guess I would not make a very good LDS person...or at least a gay one.:(  If the church told me that I would have to leave my husband for them...no contest...none...I choose love.

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2 hours ago, california boy said:

I love the church and I think that for many, it is a great place to raise a family and support that family with a strong community that embraces good for the most part.  So yeah, if your are straight the church is a good place to embrace a lot of the principles that Christ taught.  

But the church has no place for those that are gay despite the PR effort to say otherwise.  Just where does a gay person fit into the plan of happiness?  Does he get a family on this earth life to bring him joy and happiness that is something we all long for?  Does he get to spend eternity with the love of his life?  Does his children have a place in the church?  

Sorry, but the Mormon church would be at the bottom of almost anyone's list of where a gay person would fit in.  

Fortunately Christ died for all of us.  His blessings and atonement are open to the other 99% of the population that have no interest in what Mormons believe or their toxic policies towards those that are gay.  This is the reality.  And all the PR speeches of this type falls on deaf ears to those that know the very public face the church puts on in attacking the civil rights of gay couples.  

 

Well said, California boy!

The only thing I would take minor exception with is the claim that the Church is the absolute worst place for gay people. As I've been exploring other church's teachings and practices I've come to the sad conclusion that there are many church's that are every bit as homophobic as the Church. There are many fundamentalist faith traditions that are at least as bad. It's sad, but that has been my experience. Now, just because the church earns a D- or an F grade where others may earn an F-,  doesn't really say anything positive for the church. It's really more of a recognition about how messed up fundamentalist faiths are in general :( 

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2 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

CB:

You're welcome to sit next to me on the front row of the Chapel anytime you want. I am but a lowly sinner that wants God to forgive me of my many sins and shortcomings.

The last time I attended the Mormon church was a couple of years ago.  I was visiting my brother back east.  Before the priesthood broke up into quorums, this guy stands up waving the scout membership drive and telling all the brotheren that the BSA was under attack by "the gays" and they need your support more than ever to combat this evil.  Then I go to high priests quorum with my brother.  The lesson touched upon the corrupt judges mentioned in the Book of Mormon.  The teacher went right into how we have corrupt judges in this day and age as well, who just approved gay marriage.

I am sure there are many people that would welcome me to sit next to them.  And I thank you for your generous offer.  But unfortunately it is not that simple.  Gays welcome in the Mormon church?  yeah, not so much.

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Well said, California boy!

The only thing I would take minor exception with is the claim that the Church is the absolute worst place for gay people. As I've been exploring other church's teachings and practices I've come to the sad conclusion that there are many church's that are every bit as homophobic as the Church. There are many fundamentalist faith traditions that are at least as bad. It's sad, but that has been my experience. Now, just because the church earns a D- or an F grade where others may earn an F-,  doesn't really say anything positive for the church. It's really more of a recognition about how messed up fundamentalist faiths are in general :( 

You are right.  And any amount of PR is not going to bring the church up to a C if we are grading on the curve.

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21 hours ago, california boy said:

The last time I attended the Mormon church was a couple of years ago.  I was visiting my brother back east.  Before the priesthood broke up into quorums, this guy stands up waving the scout membership drive and telling all the brotheren that the BSA was under attack by "the gays" and they need your support more than ever to combat this evil.  Then I go to high priests quorum with my brother.  The lesson touched upon the corrupt judges mentioned in the Book of Mormon.  The teacher went right into how we have corrupt judges in this day and age as well, who just approved gay marriage.

I am sure there are many people that would welcome me to sit next to them.  And I thank you for your generous offer.  But unfortunately it is not that simple.  Gays welcome in the Mormon church?  yeah, not so much.

That is unfortunate, but not my experience. Forgive us, sometimes we all put our own foot in our mouths. I'm not there to please anyone but God. I am reminded of the story of the woman taken in adultery, and what Jesus did about it. I will not be the one to cast the first stone.

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19 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

That is unfortunate, but not my experience. Forgive us, sometimes we all put our own foot in our mouths. I'm not there to please anyone but God. I am reminded of the story of the woman taken in adultery, and what Jesus did about it. I will not be the one to cast the first stone.

In no way is it your fault.  It is the culture the church leaders have instilled in the membership.  They claim it is a revelation from God.  So how would anyone expect anything different.

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22 hours ago, california boy said:

The last time I attended the Mormon church was a couple of years ago.  I was visiting my brother back east.  Before the priesthood broke up into quorums, this guy stands up waving the scout membership drive and telling all the brotheren that the BSA was under attack by "the gays" and they need your support more than ever to combat this evil.  Then I go to high priests quorum with my brother.  The lesson touched upon the corrupt judges mentioned in the Book of Mormon.  The teacher went right into how we have corrupt judges in this day and age as well, who just approved gay marriage.

I am sure there are many people that would welcome me to sit next to them.  And I thank you for your generous offer.  But unfortunately it is not that simple.  Gays welcome in the Mormon church?  yeah, not so much.

yeah wow.  I'm not sure how people aren't seeing it. 

I sat in EQ this past week as we talked about loving and accepting people of other faiths.  I asked about atheists, if they should be included.  Nah...basically was the response.  Then everyone started spouting off about whether they would allow their kid to be friends with someone who has gay parents (we don't know if gay parents will negatively effect them or not).  I made a mistake by providing a near rant at the end of EQ (as that's when the comments about gay parents came up).  I told them how offensive the things they were saying were coming off.  They just all paused and looked at me wondering when I was going to cry (I almost did).  One guy came up to me afterward and patted me when everyone was gone and said, basically, "thanks.  I didn't know what to say, but they were being really offensive. something had to be said." 

Ahh...Church.  Where you see lessons intended to be about opening up and loving other people turn into hate fests, expressing fear of others. 

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13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

yeah wow.  I'm not sure how people aren't seeing it. 

I sat in EQ this past week as we talked about loving and accepting people of other faiths.  I asked about atheists, if they should be included.  Nah...basically was the response.  Then everyone started spouting off about whether they would allow their kid to be friends with someone who has gay parents (we don't know if gay parents will negatively effect them or not).  I made a mistake by providing a near rant at the end of EQ (as that's when the comments about gay parents came up).  I told them how offensive the things they were saying were coming off.  They just all paused and looked at me wondering when I was going to cry (I almost did).  One guy came up to me afterward and patted me when everyone was gone and said, basically, "thanks.  I didn't know what to say, but they were being really offensive. something had to be said." 

Ahh...Church.  Where you see lessons intended to be about opening up and loving other people turn into hate fests, expressing fear of others. 

I think this is why so many members of the church are pushing back against church leaders for leading them down a path that turns away from the very core message of Christ.  Now that message is being enshrined as a revelation from God.  Do church learders really think this is going to convince those that understand the message of Christ to turn away from His teachings in order to follow church leaders?  Of course many will, as both you and I have witnessed at church.  But something is screaming very loudly to many that labeling gay couples as apostates and banning their children from baptism is not an approach they could ever see Christ embracing.  While church leaders may be doubling down in claims of revelation, if it is something that you just can't see Christ doing, it becomes a hard pill for many to swallow.  

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32 minutes ago, california boy said:

I think this is why so many members of the church are pushing back against church leaders for leading them down a path that turns away from the very core message of Christ.  Now that message is being enshrined as a revelation from God.  Do church learders really think this is going to convince those that understand the message of Christ to turn away from His teachings in order to follow church leaders?  Of course many will, as both you and I have witnessed at church.  But something is screaming very loudly to many that labeling gay couples as apostates and banning their children from baptism is not an approach they could ever see Christ embracing.  While church leaders may be doubling down in claims of revelation, if it is something that you just can't see Christ doing, it becomes a hard pill for many to swallow.  

I am still very much torn over this policy.  I think it both good and bad.
Preventing anyone from coming to Christ through baptism if they have a testimony and have repented of their sins still seems a legal decision, not a Christian one.
Labelling gay couples as apostates however is both accurate and correct.
And the Proclamation, revelatory or not, is in perfect keeping with the message of Christ, especially the revealed and restored doctrines on family.

But I agree this whole situation is difficult for many to swallow based on current societal trends and popular opinion today.
 

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21 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I am still very much torn over this policy.  I think it both good and bad.
Preventing anyone from coming to Christ through baptism if they have a testimony and have repented of their sins still seems a legal decision, not a Christian one.
Labelling gay couples as apostates however is both accurate and correct.
And the Proclamation, revelatory or not, is in perfect keeping with the message of Christ, especially the revealed and restored doctrines on family.

But I agree this whole situation is difficult for many to swallow based on current societal trends and popular opinion today.
 

So I want to give you something further to think about.

This thread is about the environment the church has created towards someone who is gay.  Does the church call unmarried straight couples apostates? Does the church refuse to baptize children of those couples? In fact, does the church call any member that is not living one of the doctrines apostates?  I would be fine if the church felt the need to call all who were purposefully not living one of the church doctrines apostates.  But to single out gay couples hardly fits the PR spin that the church seems to regularly trot out that the church has a place for someone who is gay.  Everything that the church does screams a different story doesn't it..  

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21 minutes ago, california boy said:

This thread is about the environment the church has created towards someone who is gay.  Does the church call unmarried straight couples apostates? Does the church refuse to baptize children of those couples? In fact, does the church call any member that is not living one of the doctrines apostates?  I would be fine if the church felt the need to call all who were purposefully not living one of the church doctrines apostates.  But to single out gay couples hardly fits the PR spin that the church seems to regularly trot out that the church has a place for someone who is gay.  Everything that the church does screams a different story doesn't it..  

So it is the contradiction and inequity in treatment that you object to.  Not the accuracy/inaccuracy of the label?

Honestly, I'm more concerned with the way the Lord would view my sins than anyone else's.  If I am living worthy of being called an apostate it really doesn't matter to me who else is called an apostate.

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9 hours ago, california boy said:

In no way is it your fault.  It is the culture the church leaders have instilled in the membership.  They claim it is a revelation from God.  So how would anyone expect anything different.

I have no problem with the Church stating SSM is a sin. I do have a problem with any Church member adding to the burdens of our Gay brothers and sisters. Jesus didn't say to that woman go they way and sin some more.

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On 10/13/2017 at 12:19 AM, JLHPROF said:

So it is the contradiction and inequity in treatment that you object to.  Not the accuracy/inaccuracy of the label?

Honestly, I'm more concerned with the way the Lord would view my sins than anyone else's.  If I am living worthy of being called an apostate it really doesn't matter to me who else is called an apostate.

Well let's see.  Did Christ call the woman caught in Adultery an apostate?  How about the woman at the well that had serial husbands.  Did He feel the need to call her an apostate?  How about Judas?  Did Christ EVER feel the need to call someone an apostate?  It is the unChrist like behavior of church leaders that I find personally appalling.  How is name calling a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is evidently only lobbed at gay couples.  

And I am in agreement with you and have stated repeatedly that I really don't care what church leaders call me or others that are gay.  I just object to the notion that the church has made an effort to make gay people feel welcome and have a place in their church.  Is there not even the hint of guilt when church leaders or the PR department makes these claims?  Do they honestly and sincerely believe that the church is a welcoming place if one is gay?  

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On 10/12/2017 at 2:16 PM, stemelbow said:

yeah wow.  I'm not sure how people aren't seeing it. 

I sat in EQ this past week as we talked about loving and accepting people of other faiths.  I asked about atheists, if they should be included.  Nah...basically was the response.  Then everyone started spouting off about whether they would allow their kid to be friends with someone who has gay parents (we don't know if gay parents will negatively effect them or not).  I made a mistake by providing a near rant at the end of EQ (as that's when the comments about gay parents came up).  I told them how offensive the things they were saying were coming off.  They just all paused and looked at me wondering when I was going to cry (I almost did).  One guy came up to me afterward and patted me when everyone was gone and said, basically, "thanks.  I didn't know what to say, but they were being really offensive. something had to be said." 

Ahh...Church.  Where you see lessons intended to be about opening up and loving other people turn into hate fests, expressing fear of others. 

I wish now I had spoken up to a woman that spouted off during a Gospel Doctrine lesson a few years ago about gays adopting children. She said how horrible this was etc. etc. But how she said it and the disdain she had for gays was so sad to me. It was definite hate coming from her that day and the spirit, if the spirit was there, left the room.

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