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Byu Honor Code Matches New Handbook


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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.

Edited by ALarson
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Permit me to share a little personal experience that might bring some insight into this policy change. When I came out to my bishop, I had quite a lengthy conversation with him on how I could nav

I spoke to a Mother last night (at a social gathering) who has a son who is gay.  I knew him growing up and he was and is just an incredible young man who was raised in a very strong LDS home with a l

If the intent of Church leaders was not to start allowing gay couples to (heaven forbid) hold hands, hug and kiss, it is pretty irresponsible of the Church leaders to let this wild fire continue for d

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5 minutes ago, ALarson said:

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.

This talk by Elder Ballard at BYU yesterday is getting a lot of positive reviews.  I just started another thread on it.  

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/m-russell-ballard/children-heavenly-father/

 

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4 hours ago, rockpond said:

Second bullet of the handbook’s law of chastity definition:  Fidelity within marriage.

Where does the handbook state that fidelity requires no dating, kissing or handholding?

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58 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.  

I have definitely observed a trend toward greater compassion and kindness in the messages and teachings coming from the Church and its leaders, more so in the decades leading up to, say, the 2010s. I think that attitude has pretty much been in place within the last 10 years or so. 
 

However, it is not self-evident to me that the Church ever regarded mere inclination or proclivity as being per se sinful. My recollection is that condemnation in the past has by-and-large focused on behavior over which one has control, not feelings over which one has no control. 

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3 hours ago, rockpond said:

You are correct that BYU officials have not said that they would allow gay romantic dating.  But there is now nothing that prohibits it either.

The Church has clarified the change as not authorizing "{s}ame-sex romantic behavior" (which is "not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code").

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 2/22/2020 at 10:30 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.

Seems like Kim was mistaken.

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On 2/24/2020 at 3:15 PM, Daniel2 said:
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I saw the Deseret News story on this. 

Nothing is really changed, practically speaking. 

Hmmm.  Peppermint Patty's post on Page 9 (as well as the CNN article quoting Affirmation's President's similar experience) demonstrates how short the shelf life was on Scott's post above.

The letter clarifying the change to the Honor Code demonstrates how short the shelf life was on Daniel's post.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 2/27/2020 at 1:41 PM, hope_for_things said:
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I hope the clarification comes soon.  I am concerned that this issue has, for some, become a litmus test.  The ambiguity about the changes to the Honor Code is, I fear, fomenting a lot of wishful thinking in some quarters.  

I doubt that you'll see any "clarification" come.  If I had to bet money on it, I would say that we won't see anything official come out.  I mentioned this in a comment a couple days ago, that I believe that BYU will enforce the new policy as it is written, that LGB students will be able to date and kiss and show affection without any significant consequences institutionally at BYU. 

Now that the situation has been clarified, I reiterate my concern about litmus tests and wishful thinking.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 2/27/2020 at 1:51 PM, ALarson said:
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I doubt that you'll see any "clarification" come.  If I had to bet money on it, I would say that we won't see anything official come out. ...

I think you may be right.  The safest thing for the leaders would be to just stay silent regarding this entire thing (with the BYU Honor Code and the quotes coming from those speaking to the officers there).  

I do think there will be a doubling down on SSM (possibly in GC).  But, the same-sex dating and public affection will be allowed and no longer prohibited at BYU.

In retrospect, this seems like mostly wishful thinking.

-Smac

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On 2/28/2020 at 2:32 PM, Amulek said:

Actually, I think it's the give-an-inch-run-a-mile proponents of same sex dating who have taken very limited information that was made available and created the situation that now exists. Now the school has got to walk back and provide additional clarity on what was actually intended while granting an amnesty to those who threw caution to the wind and assumed the intent behind the recent wording change matched up with their own wishful thinking.

I'm sure the school can handle that - even though it will invariably ruffle a few feathers.

Invariably, yes.

-Smac

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On 3/2/2020 at 11:16 PM, rockpond said:

As for the changes to the BYU Honor Code.  They've had time to announce or publish clarifications if they wanted to.  They haven't.  I don't think any are forthcoming.

The myriad examples of jumping-to-unwarranted-conclusions we've seen in this thread is a symptom of the impatience borne of our overly-connected world.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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22 hours ago, hope_for_things said:
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The church/ school is going to have to come out and define the law of chastity better to include acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior. Same sex dating and kissing in a romantic way is not keeping the law of chastity.

I'll continue to say it, but I don't think we'll see any official clarification statements coming out.  Essentially the ground has moved on this issue and the people hoping for official communication on all sides of this discussion aren't going to get it.  BYU is no longer enforcing the old rules, they are moving forward and people will have to get comfortable with the new normal.  Does this change views on how Chastity is defined?  Overtime, I would argue yes, but for the time being as evidenced in this thread there are those who define it differently than how its currently being enforced in the new BYU honor code.  

Wow.  This one is less than 24 hours old.

-Smac

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18 hours ago, hope_for_things said:
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Once again...let's just wait for more clarification that is hopefully coming from our leaders.

I’ll continue to assert this, mark my prediction, the desired clarity is not coming.  The new policy is the new doctrine.  

This one was only 18 hours old.

-Smac

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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.

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Yes, I think you are understanding it correctly.

The Word of Wisdom has some "bright line" elements, but in the main it is a "balancing test."  Would you agree with that?  For example, tobacco is specifically prohibited in the Word of Wisdom ("bright line rule"), whereas heroin and cocaine are prohibited by construing it ("balancing test").

I guess my question is whether the Law of Chastity operates in the same way.  It has some "bright line" elements, but in the main it is a "balancing test."  For example, adultery, fornication, and same-sex relations are clearly prohibited in the Law of Chastity ("bright line rule"), whereas inappropriate touching, etc. are prohibited by construing it ("balancing test").

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

I don't agree with that approach.

It feels that often church members feel this need to "construe" things into the Word of Wisdom or the law of chastity as if we need that in order to consider them as sinful.

Take last fall's New Era article that suggested the vaping was clearly prohibited by the Word of Wisdom.  Well, it's not.  It's not in there.  The Lord didn't reveal that.  But that doesn't mean the Lord couldn't reveal such an addition.  Also, it doesn't mean that the prophet can't teach that we shouldn't vape.

For me, being chaste and avoiding unholy and impure practices is the "balancing test".  The law of chastity which is a thing that has been written and defined by prophets and apostles is a "bright line" because that's how they have written it.

 

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Where does the handbook state that fidelity requires no dating, kissing or handholding?

It doesn't.  But I know what fidelity means to me.  And to my wife.  If you are married and want to argue that fidelity to your spouse means that you can kiss someone else, I guess you could try that.  But I would advise against it.

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

The Church has clarified the change as not authorizing "{s}ame-sex romantic behavior" (which is "not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code").

Thanks,

-Smac

And there we have it.  The clarification.  Thanks for posting.

I didn't think they'd go that route but I stand corrected.

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46 minutes ago, smac97 said:

This one was only 18 hours old.

-Smac

Rats, just read the clarification letter...  How disappointing for LGB individuals everywhere around Mormonism.  What a horrible PR nightmare considering how this was trumpeted as a major change for the positive and now it looks like its just a lie.  Why even change the language in the HC at all if they are just going to remove offending language and then continue to enforce things the same way as they always have?  This new defense of discrimination articulated as banning behavior because it will never lead to an eternal marriage is really poorly thought through reasoning as it just comes across as justification for unequal treatment.  

I suspect there is disagreement on this issue at the highest of levels, but that the current powers that be were able to somehow override those leaders advocating for the LGBTQ community.  I hope that courageous LGB students continue their open displays of affection on campus and that they force the HC to discipline them.  Maybe, just maybe, there will be enough negative publicity around this to embarrass them to change things back the other way.  I'm just extremely disappointed right now....

I imagine Hugh Brown was similarly discouraged when he felt he'd gotten approval for the priesthood ban change and then it was pulled back before the final approval.  Fits and starts is what it takes to get things accomplished in this church. 

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6 minutes ago, rockpond said:
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The Word of Wisdom has some "bright line" elements, but in the main it is a "balancing test."  Would you agree with that?  For example, tobacco is specifically prohibited in the Word of Wisdom ("bright line rule"), whereas heroin and cocaine are prohibited by construing it ("balancing test").

I guess my question is whether the Law of Chastity operates in the same way.  It has some "bright line" elements, but in the main it is a "balancing test."  For example, adultery, fornication, and same-sex relations are clearly prohibited in the Law of Chastity ("bright line rule"), whereas inappropriate touching, etc. are prohibited by construing it ("balancing test").

I don't agree with that approach.

I think that approach is fairly necessary.  As King Benjamin counseled: "And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them."

And D&C 58:26: "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.  Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness."

I think the Church is moving toward a more principles-based approach, which is more akin to the "balancing test" concept than the "bright line rule" concept.

6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

It feels that often church members feel this need to "construe" things into the Word of Wisdom or the law of chastity as if we need that in order to consider them as sinful.

I'm not sure what you mean here.

6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Take last fall's New Era article that suggested the vaping was clearly prohibited by the Word of Wisdom.  Well, it's not.  It's not in there. 

Neither is cocaine.  Or meth.  Or marijuana.  Or LSD.  And so on.  Hence the need to move away from a "bright line rule" / "command in all things" approach, and more toward a principles-based / "balancing test" / "[don't be] compelled in all things" approach.

6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The Lord didn't reveal that. 

Actually yes, I think He did.  

6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

But that doesn't mean the Lord couldn't reveal such an addition. 

Or it could mean that the Lord gives us correct principles, and expects us to use reasoning, counsel from those in authority, and revelation to sort things out, rather than wait on Him to give us exacting instructions on each and every issue that comes our way.

6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Also, it doesn't mean that the prophet can't teach that we shouldn't vape.

I agree.  

6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

For me, being chaste and avoiding unholy and impure practices is the "balancing test". 

I agree.  But what should the Church do when an individual decides that "being chaste and avoiding unholy and impure practices" can be construed so as to allow for the use of pornography, same-sex relations, etc.?  

6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The law of chastity which is a thing that has been written and defined by prophets and apostles is a "bright line" because that's how they have written it.

I think the Law of Chastity has a few "bright line" elements, but is otherwise a principles-based, "balancing test" approach to sexual morality.

Thanks,

-Smac

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10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Rats, just read the clarification letter...  How disappointing for LGB individuals everywhere around Mormonism. 

Unless, of course, the Church's continuation of prohibiting same-sex relations and romantic behavior is congruent with the will of God.  If so, then the letter should be good news.

I am grateful that the Lord's servants are telling us what is right, even when doing so is not popular.

10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

What a horrible PR nightmare considering how this was trumpeted as a major change for the positive and now it looks like its just a lie. 

Who did the "trumpeting"?

And no, it wasn't a "lie."  Don't be ridiculous.

10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Why even change the language in the HC at all if they are just going to remove offending language and then continue to enforce things the same way as they always have? 

The stated purpose has been given.  Many times.

10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

This new defense of discrimination articulated as banning behavior because it will never lead to an eternal marriage is really poorly thought through reasoning as it just comes across as justification for unequal treatment.

How is it "really poorly thought through"?  It makes quite a bit of sense to me.

10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I suspect there is disagreement on this issue at the highest of levels, but that the current powers that be were able to somehow override those leaders advocating for the LGBTQ community.

Oi.  The "wishful thinking" continues unabated, it seems.

I think this issue is less a matter of intra-church politicking, and more a matter of seeking to discern and follow the will of God.

10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I hope that courageous LGB students continue their open displays of affection on campus and that they force the HC to discipline them. 

What's "courageous" about that?

10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Maybe, just maybe, there will be enough negative publicity around this to embarrass them to change things back the other way.  I'm just extremely disappointed right now....

So you think the Church (and its subordinate organizations) should bend the knee to coercion and threads of "negative publicity"?

I don't.  I think the Church should seek to follow the will of God.

BYU students knew about and agreed to the Honor Code prior to enrolling.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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13 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think that approach is fairly necessary.  As King Benjamin counseled: "And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them."

And D&C 58:26: "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.  Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness."

I think the Church is moving toward a more principles-based approach, which is more akin to the "balancing test" concept than the "bright line rule" concept.

I'm not sure what you mean here.

Neither is cocaine.  Or meth.  Or marijuana.  Or LSD.  And so on.  Hence the need to move away from a "bright line rule" / "command in all things" approach, and more toward a principles-based / "balancing test" / "[don't be] compelled in all things" approach.

Actually yes, I think He did.  

Or it could mean that the Lord gives us correct principles, and expects us to use reasoning, counsel from those in authority, and revelation to sort things out, rather than wait on Him to give us exacting instructions on each and every issue that comes our way.

I agree.  

I agree.  But what should the Church do when an individual decides that "being chaste and avoiding unholy and impure practices" can be construed so as to allow for the use of pornography, same-sex relations, etc.?  

I think the Law of Chastity has a few "bright line" elements, but is otherwise a principles-based, "balancing test" approach to sexual morality.

Thanks,

-Smac

I don't think we're too far apart on this.  

I agree that King Benjamin counsels a balancing test approach.  And I believe that we should live in a principles-based approach while still adhering to the bright lines of the law of chastity and word of wisdom.

I can (and do) believe that using pornography is a sin even though I don't believe is specifically falls under the law of chastity.  I believe that the Lord doesn't want us vaping even though He didn't specifically include that in the revelation to Joseph Smith.

For me..

Sexual relations only with the woman who is my wife and complete fidelity to her is the law of chastity and the bright line rule.  Being chaste and avoiding unholy and impure practices is the balancing test or principles-based way to live.

 

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5 hours ago, rockpond said:

So do you believe that this honor code change was made without the approval of BYU's Board of Trustees?

I have had little doubt the change was made with the approval of the BoT, it seems very in keeping imo to the movement to more personal directed behaviour as well as simplified approaches the Church is undertaking in many areas, such as emphasizing personal study at home as equivalent to church instruction by removing one hour of class instruction with the instruction to increase personal and family study as well simplification of the handbook and church structure (no longer High Priest and Elders Quorum) and emphasis on youth being in charge of their program.

I am less sure the BoT created the wording though, I think there may have been instructions to follow the example of the Handbook in simplifying and language and then an approval of what BYU admin or HCO came up with...unfortunately.

I think the relative little blowback the Church appears to have gotten from pushing simplification and individual directed approaches elsewhere may have led to overconfidence that the vagueness of the HCO change, the absence of a checklist, would yield a response of "we understand the principles are the same and will govern ourselves accordingly" rather than confusion once the training wheels were taken off of which way the bike should now be going.

I think given the age group and the long standing more or less checklist approach that has likely programmed attitudes of BYU students for decades to expect HCO micromanaging, I think a more gradual easing into the "teach correct principles" approach was needed.

 

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Did you see anything on the MormonandGay site that would support the idea that same sex romantic behaviors are considered immoral? 

Examples given were of celibate LGBT from what I saw and this was a directive from what was posted in the Trib article I linked to.

It did have the feel for me of 'teach correct principles' in the sense I think it was assumed to a great extent readers would understand Church standards, such as referred to in the Handbook as articulated in For the Strength of Youth.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Its a natural and logical progression that lessens the stigmas around LGB individuals and treats them as more equal than in the past.  

If BYU was the pure source of church doctrine, one might use BYU's behaviour to anticipate Church changes.

But at the moment church doctrine comes from the First Presidency and what in President Nelson, President Oaks, and President Eyring's behaviour do you see as a natural and logical progression to seeing same sex romantic conduct as within the principles taught by the Church?  

I found the lack of mention of the teachings of these gentlemen in the context of this discussion mystifying.

Edited by Calm
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