Jump to content

Elder Holland: BYU may need to "stand alone"


Recommended Posts

16 minutes ago, ttribe said:

"Absence of evidence...", something, something.

Please explain. All the evidence supports marriage between men and women. None supports any other variety. Not even a hint. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Well, maybe try to look at if from Elder Holland's perspective. He and his brethren feel bound by a divine duty to uphold certain standards of worthiness. Based on scriptural teachings and the teachings of their modern prophetic and apostolic predecessors, they believe that homosexual behavior is a serious sin. On the other hand, they also feel a duty to show love, empathy, and affection for those who have same-sex attraction or who identify in some way as being part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

With this complex tension in mind, I think the problem with Matt Easton's remarks is that they could have been easily seen as advocacy for a gay lifestyle or for homosexual behavior. What does it mean that he is proud to be a gay son of God? It is a rather celebratory public statement that if misinterpreted could lead other members of the Church to feel that living a gay lifestyle (for lack of a better word) is now okay. I don't think Elder Holland and other Church leaders feel comfortable with members exploiting church-related public ceremonies that are typically designed for other purposes to announce and celebrate being gay. It was the combination of the inappropriate venue and the ambiguity in Matt's statements that made his announcement especially inappropriate.

If you were to view homosexual behavior as being spiritually detrimental, I think you might also be uncomfortable with public advocacy that might easily send the wrong message to thousands of people--especially when it is such a complex and commonly misunderstood topic, and when the world is strongly sending a message that there is nothing wrong with gay sex.

Just replace this issue with the ambiguous public celebration of something that you deem to be harmful if misunderstood (and which you know is commonly misunderstood) and I think you will understand where Elder Holland is coming from. 

Saying I’m proud to be a gay child of God is advocacy in your view. So is the proper way to be gay in the church to “suffer” and be ashamed? I thought the church says that being gay isn’t a sin? I am really trying to parse this. Amulek thinks it’s like stating in a racist. You think that merely not being ashamed of who he is (a gay child of God), he is advocating for sinful lifestyle?

And this is a church that loves its gay members. Really!?

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
Link to comment
3 hours ago, rongo said:

Adding onto @Bernard Gui and @Bob Crockett's list of educational jargon:

I have a Word doc I add to from time to time with education buzzwords. Here are some others:

 

skill set

authentic assessment

STEM/STEAM

engagement

cross-curricular

project-based

big ideas

essential questions

power standards

synergy

proactive

best practices

data-driven

rigor

stakeholders

narrative

dialogue (used as a verb; e.g., "We're going to dialogue with the other departments about this next week")

accomodations/modifications

paradigm

21st Century skills

walk the walk/ talk the talk

buy-in

lifelong learners

growth mindset

piece (e.g., “accountability piece,” "the professionalism piece")

executive function

evaluation instrument

Kagan structures

metacognition

I wish I could get back the days and days and days I spent in meetings having my ears assaulted by eduspeak. I could have retired at age 50.

Edited by Bernard Gui
Link to comment
2 hours ago, rongo said:

We had an assistant principal at my former school who was the only one I went to for anything. Even if it "wasn't her department," she could and would get it done. She was the only competent administrator. The interim principal (following an ouster because of a lesbian affair during school at school between the former principal and one of the assistant principals) was close to retirement and didn't want to be a principal again, and the heir-apparent was being groomed for the job the following year. This competent assistant principal was summoned to the district office to meet with the outgoing superintendent and the heir-apparent. She was informed that she was being let go, and she had three options: 1) resign immediately, 2) accept reassignment for the remainder of her contract at the district office, doing whatever menial tasks they gave her, or 3) be fired for cause. She was stunned and asked why, and was told that they didn't have to tell her anything. She asked for copies of her evaluations (performance reviews), and was escorted out. 

I had known her since I started teaching in 2002, and she was actually renting from a member of our ward. We were stunned and outraged. Several of us teachers emailed the members of the school board. One of them responded that there were things none of us were aware of that they couldn't get into (the professional response should have been that they can't comment on personnel matters). After two weeks of outraged input from the community, she was suddenly reinstated without comment, as if nothing had happened. She is still there to this day (this was in 2018).

The outgoing superintendent (an empty suit, but better than the activist liberal superintendent who replaced him) called a meeting to address the high school faculty to explain the decision (in very general and vague terms) and to answer questions. The setting and mood was definitely peasants at the gates with pitchforks and torches. Right before the meeting, the economics teacher passed out a bingo sheet he had made, titled "cover up bingo." It was hilarious! The squares had:

smooth transition

private matter

leadership

moving forward

we don't know

fake empathy

welcome concerns

confidential

we hear you

fresh start

nothing's been decided

student success

blame shifting

becoming an A district

highest priority

trust

awkward silence

hope

we'll look into that

professionalism

nervous laughter

mission/vision

difficult decision

deny responsibility

---

The meeting went as you can imagine, and her sudden and silent full reinstatement happened a couple of days after the stonewalling meeting. I've always thought of the "cover up bingo" sheet whenever there is a PR damage control press conference for something (church, political, school, etc.). These types of boilerplate also belong to the canon of jargon and buzzwords. 

I found out later from her that it was simply a matter of the new principal (who hadn't assumed office yet, and wouldn't for six months) not wanting her on his team, and not wanting to wait until her contract was up and not renewed. That was it. There was no wrongdoing or malfeasance on her part. And then he was "saddled" with her for two years after that, after it blew up on him/the district. :) 

Please stop! You’re making me wish I hadn’t retired. 😂

Link to comment
9 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Please explain. All the evidence supports marriage between men and women. None supports any other variety. Not even a hint. 

Ohhh, just referring to the aphorism that many apologists use to explain away criticism regarding the lack of evidence for certain truth claims.

Link to comment
58 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Perfect. I've asked a couple of times now and no one seems to be able to explain it to me. Can you help me understand what was wrong with Matt Easton saying "I am proud to be a gay son of God"? So wrong that a prophet of God needed to call it out two years after the fact? Please be specific if you can. Amulek earlier took a stab and said that it was similar to saying I'm a racist son of God. Not sure if that's a widely held belief or not.

For the record, Amulek took your restatement of what he said previously to be so far removed from what he actually said as a signal that there was no point in engaging you further in discussion on the matter. 

 

Link to comment
51 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

So in your opinion, being a gay child of God goes against church doctrine in the same way as abortion?

No.

51 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

We have been asked to keep all talk of politics out of our church meetings. So in your view saying I'm gay is the same?

No.

51 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

It has no place at all in the church? Do I have that correct?

No.

Thanks,

Smac

 

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Saying I’m proud to be a gay child of God is advocacy in your view. So is the proper way to be gay in the church to “suffer” and be ashamed? I thought the church says that being gay isn’t a sin? I am really trying to parse this. SMAC views the statement as the equivalent of coming out publicly against the church’s stance (abortion or politics). Amulek thinks it’s like stating in a racist. You think that merely not being ashamed of who he is (a gay child of God), he is advocating for sinful lifestyle?

And this is a church that loves its gay members. Really!?

I don't think you really responded to my explanation. 

Link to comment
1 minute ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I don't think you really responded to my explanation. 

I guess that’s because I don’t understand how simply being can be viewed as advocacy. If being gay is not a sin, why can’t someone say I’m gay? “I’m proud to be a black child of god” “I’m proud to be an interracial child of god” Got a problem with either of those? Because there is zero difference. Unless being gay is something to be ashamed of or sinful. 
 

Calling someone out for saying “I’m proud to be a black child of god” is textbook racism. I wonder what that makes Elder Holland’s statement. 

Link to comment
31 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I guess that’s because I don’t understand how simply being can be viewed as advocacy. If being gay is not a sin, why can’t someone say I’m gay? “I’m proud to be a black child of god” “I’m proud to be an interracial child of god” Got a problem with either of those? Because there is zero difference. Unless being gay is something to be ashamed of or sinful. 
 

Calling someone out for saying “I’m proud to be a black child of god” is textbook racism. I wonder what that makes Elder Holland’s statement.

Well, it depends on what one means by "gay"? If someone is "gay" in the sense that he or she merely has same-sex attraction, then that is not morally sinful. On the other hand, if someone is "gay" in the sense that he or she approves of, advocates for, or participates in homosexual behavior, then that is morally sinful. Thus, being gay can be something one is and/or something one does. The color of one's skin, on the other hand, does not potentially correspond in the same way to any specific type of behavior. It is strictly something that one is

So someone saying "I am proud to be a black son of God" wouldn't evoke the same type of moral ambiguity that exists in the statement "I'm proud to be a gay son of God." 

 

Late edit: Obviously my response is intended to articulate the moral views held by Latter-day Saints. I recognize that many on this board will not share those views. But my post is in response to a question about how believing Latter-day Saints understand this issue in relation to Elder Holland's statements. 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Well, it depends on what one means by "gay"? If someone is "gay" in the sense that he or she merely has same-sex attraction, then that is not morally sinful. On the other hand, if someone is "gay" in the sense that he or she approves of, advocates for, or participates in homosexual behavior, then that is morally sinful. Thus, being gay can be something one is and/or something one does. The color of one's skin, on the other hand, does not potentially correspond in the same way to any specific type of behavior. It is strictly something that one is

So someone saying "I am proud to be a black son of God" wouldn't evoke the same type of moral ambiguity that exists in the statement "I'm proud to be a gay son of God." 

Allow me to translate. "I am gay" is exactly opposite of "I am straight". There is no ambiguity. 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Well, maybe try to look at if from Elder Holland's perspective. He and his brethren feel bound by a divine duty to uphold certain standards of worthiness. Based on scriptural teachings and the teachings of their modern prophetic and apostolic predecessors, they believe that homosexual behavior is a serious sin. On the other hand, they also feel a duty to show love, empathy, and affection for those who have same-sex attraction or who identify in some way as being part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

With this complex tension in mind, I think the problem with Matt Easton's remarks is that they could have been easily seen as advocacy for a gay lifestyle or for homosexual behavior. What does it mean that he is proud to be a gay son of God? It is a rather celebratory public statement that if misinterpreted could lead other members of the Church to feel that living a gay lifestyle (for lack of a better word) is now okay. I don't think Elder Holland and other Church leaders feel comfortable with members exploiting church-related public ceremonies that are typically designed for other purposes to announce and celebrate being gay. It was the combination of the inappropriate venue and the ambiguity in Matt's statements that made his announcement especially inappropriate.

If you were to view homosexual behavior as being spiritually detrimental, I think you might also be uncomfortable with public advocacy that might easily send the wrong message to thousands of people--especially when it is such a complex and commonly misunderstood topic, and when the world is strongly sending a message that there is nothing wrong with gay sex.

Just replace this issue with the ambiguous public celebration of something that you deem to be harmful if misunderstood (and which you know is commonly misunderstood) and I think you will understand where Elder Holland is coming from. 

This ship has already sailed out of the port.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, Gillebre said:

If you told me that you were hearing a message that I was clearly missing, and I was in pain because of how I felt about the message and the implications, but you insisted that the way I was seeing it was skewed, then I hope I'd be willing to ask if you're right and try to look at the message differently.

I've felt terrible emotional pain from misunderstandings in the past. I would've given anything to be freed by a simple change in perspective, but I wasn't ready. There are so many dynamics that influence our worldview and how we perceive the messages and metaphors of others. I'm convinced, based on my own research into the pain being shared on social media, that the scope and intent of Elder Holland's words is not being considered. Speaking to faculty he was telling them, in their capacity as builders of a Temple of learning, that in a way like those who actually built the Nauvoo Temple, they would have to both build up their students while at the same time defending Gospel doctrines and the teachings of living Prophets while at BYU. These were words for teachers at school to be used during school, and ignoring that point is the problem.

Could his metaphor about muskets be twisted to look like a call to action against a minority group? Of course, and anything can be twisted sufficiently away from the author's intent and context, and that has happened here. Are they wrong to feel pain, anguish, and confusion? I can't begrudge them for feeling how they feel, but I believe I know for a fact that if they receive the Holy Ghost, and ask, seeking diligently, walking in all holiness, they would receive insight into the truth of the matter and peace to their hearts. As someone who has been attracted to my own gender for so long I don't want them to suffer if they could just slow down, step back from the charged emotions of social media, and really reflect, instead of getting absorbed in the anguish, the chains of their hell.

Circling back: if I'm suffering and you sincerely believe that at least in part it's because I'm not seeing things clearly, then I hope I'd be humble enough to ask you to help me out of the love you have for my soul. I would give anything to not suffer, and if a change in perspective through the power of the Holy Ghost is what it takes then so be it. I can testify that a daily change, a refinement in perspective, is exactly what we need in a world with so many competing voices declaring their truth. What those in pain really need is "the way, the truth, and the life." They need to make the Lord their highest authority rather than the idol of expressive individualism.

Lastly: how does one determine who has "more" of the Holy Spirit? I think that's a great question for another thread, please make it, I'm interested in what people think. For now though I'd submit that the fruits of the Spirit are how we can tell, and in the context of an Apostle's speech (an Apostle known for incredible compassion and empathy for many years), if one is engulfed in pain and confusion because of what they take from his words (and from the cries of social media), then I'd say they probably don't have the Spirit because the fruits are missing. When we become surrounded by darkness we can lose the Spirit, but as we repent and change our minds it will return again.

I appreciate your point of view and your thoughtful response. Since you are attracted to the same sex I would very much like to hear how you have navigated the teachings of the church and your desire to have an earthly companion, if you don’t mind sharing. 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Saying I’m proud to be a gay child of God is advocacy in your view. So is the proper way to be gay in the church to “suffer” and be ashamed? I thought the church says that being gay isn’t a sin? I am really trying to parse this. Amulek thinks it’s like stating in a racist. You think that merely not being ashamed of who he is (a gay child of God), he is advocating for sinful lifestyle?

And this is a church that loves its gay members. Really!?

I don’t understand why it was a bad thing, either. If the church says it isn’t a sin to be gay, but only a sin to act on those feelings, then what is wrong with someone saying they are proud to be gay. Maybe he is proud to be gay and abstinent . Would that have been better? Why can’t he be out and proud and keeping the commandments? We don’t know how many people in his same situation he may have helped that day.

I like and respect Elder Holland. I believe he is a spiritual man who has our best interests at heart, but I don’t think this talk was a shining moment for him. However, he has given much of his life to the church, and has done so much good, that I won’t hold this against him. 

Link to comment

Tom Christofferson FB post: 

I have been thinking this week about my time at BYU.

When I returned to campus after having served as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the university had a new, young President.  He and his wife brought energy, good humor, a love for students and learning, and a thoughtful approach to bringing together the best scholarship with Christian principles and light.

It was an exciting time to be at Brigham Young, yet I never felt comfortable there.  I knew I was gay, and I was desperately trying to hide that reality -- I was certain if other people could truly see me, they would hate me and never want to be around me.  

My time at the university was largely spent in hiding, and my concerns were not unfounded.  Rumors circulated that campus police would go to Salt Lake City and take photographs of license plates of cars parked near LGBTQ gathering places, trying to identify any BYU students who might have been there.  A friend was parked in her car with another woman in the stadium parking lot when campus police knocked on the window and required them to go to the office where they were questioned, and while the bishop (minister) of one of the women was called to further question her.  My friend's friend confessed that while they had only been talking in the car, they had strong feelings for one another.  Both were told to return home until such time as their local church leaders would recommend their return to the university.  (Neither did.)

US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote that "sunlight is the best disinfectant".  The experiences of my life bear out that wisdom: it has only been when I have lived my life openly about all of the identities I embrace, including being a person who desires to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a gay man, that I have felt light and healing and peace.  I have found that only as I approach family, colleagues, members of my congregation and friends with as much authenticity and honesty as I can muster, am I able to truly give of myself in service to them.

I have seen in my life that it is difficult to focus outwardly when I am struggling to keep inward truth hidden.  Being open at work, at church, at home -- and at school -- allows energy to flow toward empathy, learning, sharing burderns, mourning with those who mourn and comforting those in need of comfort.

I grieve to think that a student at BYU today might feel they need to do what I did there: hide, pretend, just try to get through another day, semester and year.  If the glory of God is intelligence, and I believe that it is, then surely in an academic community focused on following Christ there is room to allow each individual to share all of themselves in a learning, growing and safe environment.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...