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Byu Elder Ballard Devotional 3/3/2020


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I've been hearing a lot of good things about this BYU devotional address yesterday.  The text isn't available yet, but I found a link to the video.  I think this is very topical as Elder Ballard seems to be weighing in on some of the recent issues around racism and LGBTQ people.  He seems to be signalling a move towards love and inclusion and away from prior practices which he characterized in the address as "hurtful and misunderstood" although I'm hearing he used "evil" on his powerpoint slide.  I haven't listened to the talk yet, but just wanted to get this out there to start generating a discussion.  What do you think about Elder Ballard's address, and did anyone have the chance to attend it in person?  

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

https://www.deseret.com/faith/2020/3/3/21163236/president-ballard-devotional-byu-apostle-mormon-lds-honor-code

https://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2020/03/03/lds-apostle-tells-byu/

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I'm planning on listening to it today but I also heard a lot of good things about it yesterday.   One of my very good liberal friends (who is a member) thought it was awesome.

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2 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I've been hearing a lot of good things about this BYU devotional address yesterday.  The text isn't available yet, but I found a link to the video.  I think this is very topical as Elder Ballard seems to be weighing in on some of the recent issues around racism and LGBTQ people.  He seems to be signalling a move towards love and inclusion and away from prior practices which he characterized in the address as "hurtful and misunderstood" although I'm hearing he used "evil" on his powerpoint slide.  I haven't listened to the talk yet, but just wanted to get this out there to start generating a discussion.  What do you think about Elder Ballard's address, and did anyone have the chance to attend it in person?  

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

https://www.deseret.com/faith/2020/3/3/21163236/president-ballard-devotional-byu-apostle-mormon-lds-honor-code

https://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2020/03/03/lds-apostle-tells-byu/

I haven’t listened to the talk yet. I intend to now. But on first glance I wonder why you consider his teachings about love and inclusion to be a new thing or a shift in position. It seems to me that the Church has been teaching love and inclusion for some time now. Consider the website formerly titled mormonandgay.org. 

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Just now, Scott Lloyd said:

I haven’t listened to the talk yet. I intend to now. But on first glance I wonder why you consider his teachings about love and inclusion to be a new thing or a shift in position. It seems to me that the Church has been teaching love and inclusion for some time now. Consider the website formerly titled mormonandgay.org. 

Greg Prince's recent book lays out much of the history on this topic quite well.  I suspect you know about the history already and have a bias against viewing it as change, but if you just want to get more informed on the topic, his book is a must read.  

https://www.amazon.com/Gay-Rights-Mormon-Church-Consequences/dp/1607816636/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3FBDD3XJ5JDZ0&keywords=gregory+prince&qid=1583341547&s=books&sprefix=gregory+prince%2Caps%2C197&sr=1-1

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I just finished listening. A terrific talk indeed! I intend to review it repeatedly in coming days. 
 

A key takeaway for me: Let your divine identity as a daughter or son of God and your membership in His family be at the center of everything you do. Don’t let your membership in this or that group supplant this grand association (my paraphrase of what I heard in the talk). It had special meaning for me as I have nurtured a renewed interest in politics over the last couple of years. 
 

I will add here that President Ballard is one of my favorite people. I have been blessed to have had one-on-one contact with him on a number of occasions over the past few decades. 

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38 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Greg Prince's recent book lays out much of the history on this topic quite well.  I suspect you know about the history already and have a bias against viewing it as change, but if you just want to get more informed on the topic, his book is a must read.  

https://www.amazon.com/Gay-Rights-Mormon-Church-Consequences/dp/1607816636/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3FBDD3XJ5JDZ0&keywords=gregory+prince&qid=1583341547&s=books&sprefix=gregory+prince%2Caps%2C197&sr=1-1

Thanks for the referral. 
 

His book probably covers a longer history than what I had in mind. I was thinking in terms of more recent times, roughly the last decade or two. In that time period I’ve seen a consistent message of love and inclusion from the Church and its leaders. 

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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.

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Marginalizing and persecuting people based on age, gender, nationality, religious preference or anything else can be hurtful and misunderstood

That's an odd statement.  How is marginalizing and persecuting people misunderstood?  Sounds like he made a mistake since evil does fit better in that.  

Also odd he didn't mention sexual preference or race, since these two play prominent in recent events.  

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40 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Thanks for the referral. 
 

His book probably covers a longer history than what I had in mind. I was thinking in terms of more recent times, roughly the last decade or two. In that time period I’ve seen a consistent message of love and inclusion from the Church and its leaders. 

Thanks, ok, sorry for my somewhat snarky comment earlier.  

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53 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I just finished listening. A terrific talk indeed! I intend to review it repeatedly in coming days. 
 

A key takeaway for me: Let your divine identity as a daughter or son of God and your membership in His family be at the center of everything you do. Don’t let your membership in this or that group supplant this grand association (my paraphrase of what I heard in the talk). It had special meaning for me as I have nurtured a renewed interest in politics over the last couple of years. 
 

I will add here that President Ballard is one of my favorite people. I have been blessed to have had one-on-one contact with him on a number of occasions over the past few decades. 

Thanks, just building on things we agree on.  We have a family connection to Elder Ballard through my wife and he's been a favorite of mine as well on a personal level.  

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58 minutes ago, ALarson said:

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:

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.

They’ve just clarified. It’s in a new thread. 

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17 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

He seems to be signalling a move towards love and inclusion and away from prior practices which he characterized in the address as "hurtful and misunderstood" although I'm hearing he used "evil" on his powerpoint slide.  I haven't listened to the talk yet, but just wanted to get this out there to start generating a discussion.  What do you think about Elder Ballard's address, and did anyone have the chance to attend it in person?

Have you had a chance to listen to it yet and have your views changed now that clarification on the HC issue has been give?

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On 3/4/2020 at 11:43 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

I just finished listening. A terrific talk indeed! I intend to review it repeatedly in coming days. 
 

A key takeaway for me: Let your divine identity as a daughter or son of God and your membership in His family be at the center of everything you do. Don’t let your membership in this or that group supplant this grand association (my paraphrase of what I heard in the talk). It had special meaning for me as I have nurtured a renewed interest in politics over the last couple of years. 
 

I will add here that President Ballard is one of my favorite people. I have been blessed to have had one-on-one contact with him on a number of occasions over the past few decades. 

That was the central message. There are no hyphenated saints. There are no adulterous-saints or a lying-saints. We have to make our "certificate of adoption" by repentance and faith our letter of presentation and claim to the kingdom of our God. People need to realize that it is the strategy of the enemy of our souls to divide us into groups and clans. We must discard any and all others pseudo titles and come onto God, as humble sons and daughters. That He may grant us strength to overcome our sins and the challenges of mortality.

Like the scripture says, "there is no sin but that which is common to man". Christ came to call sinners to repentance and to be reconciled to God. We are called to do the same; to love and extend our hand in fellowship to those brothers and sisters that struggle with any/all sin. And God's grace is sufficient for all men that repent. One of my favorite scriptures:

"O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility." Alma 42:30

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