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Interesting George Albert Smith Anecdote


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"A Brigham Young University student's reminiscence describes an incident in which President George Albert Smith also encouraged two young men to "live their lives as decently as they could" within their homosexual companionship.

Both were BYU students and one was the son of a stake president. This father arranged for them to see the church president because the young men were "lovers and felt concerned and guilty because of their sexual activities."

According to the published account by one of their gay friends at BYU, this is what happened during the interview at LDS headquarters:

'They stated their case to him and acknowledged their love for each other. President Smith treated them with great kindness and told them, in effect, to live the best lives they could. They felt they had gambled and could have been excommunicated right then and there; instead they went away feeling loved and valued.'

According to their friend this occurred in 1948, 'perhaps in the spring.' In the section for 11-12 April in President Smith's 1948 appointment book, there is an unexplained entry, 'Homo Sexual', which he did not include in his diary for this period.

The reminiscent account is also consistent with George Albert Smith's compassionate response to others whose circumstances and behavior did not conform to official LDS Standards."

 

D. Michael Quinn, Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth Century Americans: A Mormon Example

 

"In 1993, Earl B. Kofoed published a brief account of his days at BYU, in which he stated: So, we had quite a healthy gay community functioning on campus and around town. We had lots of good times together and some of us fell in and out of love. I suppose that the more "worldly" straights at school were aware of us, but I don't recall any confrontations. Certainly we weren't summoned by authorities to be grilled or excommunicated or given bad advice on how we could "change." The climate was much less hostile than it would be three decades later. The Church's seeming "live and let live" policy is exemplified by the experience of two of my friends at the time, Kent Goodridge Taylor of Provo and Richard Snow of southern California. They were in love and felt a need to get clarification concerning their "status." Accordingly, they went all the way to the top and got an appointment with Church President, George Albert Smith. They stated their case to him and acknowledged their love for each other. President Smith treated them with great kindness and told them, in effect, to live the best lives they could. They felt they had gambled and could have been excommunicated right then and there; instead they went away feeling loved and valued. Snow and Taylor returned to Provo and told their group of Lesbian and Gay friends that they had been treated so lovingly by President Smith."

Memories of Being Gay at BY by Earl Kofoed

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He also allowed Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith to retain his membership after being found to be involved in homosexual affairs.

He released him from his office and paid to relocate his family to Hawaii.  Patriarch Smith spent the next decade not allowed to exercise priesthood or speak in Church.  Until a decade later he confessed and repented and no longer participated in homosexual activity.  Then he was permitted to resume Church activity.

George Albert Smith was very compassionate to sinners.

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

George Albert Smith was very compassionate to sinners.

I wonder how many members know that he had no living spouse while President of the Church.  I admire his strength.

Do you think he would of had problems getting a date while President of the Church?

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6 hours ago, Metis_LDS said:

I wonder how many members know that he had no living spouse while President of the Church.  I admire his strength.

Do you think he would of had problems getting a date while President of the Church?

That kind of support might have helped his fragile mental health.  He was not well mentally for much of the time either.

Edited by JLHPROF
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7 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

That kind of support might have helped his fragile mental help.  He was not well mentally for much of the time either.

I am very fond of him.  It has been written that when things got too much he would retire to his bed for days.  An experience I have also had in the past myself.  He became President of the Church in May 21, 1945 and died April 4, 1951 at 81 years old.

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13 hours ago, Metis_LDS said:

Do you think he would of had problems getting a date while President of the Church?

I think that those who know how severe their mental health challenges were, as he surely did, would not think adding a marriage would be helpful.

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39 minutes ago, rpn said:

I think that those who know how severe their mental health challenges were, as he surely did, would not think adding a marriage would be helpful.

The comment "Do you think he would of had problems getting a date while President of the Church?" was meant to show that he had made a choice in staying single.  His wife who was a granddaughter of Wilford Woodruff had passed away when she was 68 years old.

I did not know President George Albert Smith and cannot say why he did not remarry.  But as stated above I admire his strength and I am fond of him.  There is a short Video clip on YouTube of him speaking in the what seems like the Tabernacle,  it is powerful.

Edited by Metis_LDS
clarity
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  • 2 weeks later...
14 minutes ago, Fly Fisherman said:

Yes, but was an Apostle when he had his multi-year nervous breakdown. 

The implication here seems to imply he did something wrong beyond taking on temptations - we all have those. I see no evidence of anything wrong, not that I am his judge.

The thought that anyone ought to judge him is wrong 

Let he who is without sin.....

We all have our "favorites", don't we?

That's what the atonement is for.

 

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18 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

The implication here seems to imply he did something wrong beyond taking on temptations - we all have those. I see no evidence of anything wrong, not that I am his judge.

The thought that anyone ought to judge him is wrong 

Let he who is without sin.....

 

No implications that he did something wrong at all. Just pointing out that serious mental challenges can happen to those with the highest callings and status in the Church. As a chronic sufferer of depression/anxiety myself, learning of George Albert Smith's experience and mental/nervous challenges has brought me incredible hope and peace, especially having to live with the stigma associated with it, which, fortunately, is weakening, as more understanding is taking place in/out of the Church. 

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11 minutes ago, Fly Fisherman said:

No implications that he did something wrong at all. Just pointing out that serious mental challenges can happen to those with the highest callings and status in the Church. As a chronic sufferer of depression/anxiety myself, learning of George Albert Smith's experience and mental/nervous challenges has brought me incredible hope and peace, especially having to live with the stigma associated with it, which, fortunately, is weakening, as more understanding is taking place in/out of the Church. 

🤗

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19 minutes ago, Fly Fisherman said:

No implications that he did something wrong at all. Just pointing out that serious mental challenges can happen to those with the highest callings and status in the Church. As a chronic sufferer of depression/anxiety myself, learning of George Albert Smith's experience and mental/nervous challenges has brought me incredible hope and peace, especially having to live with the stigma associated with it, which, fortunately, is weakening, as more understanding is taking place in/out of the Church. 

In my experience such folks may actually be more receptive to the spirit due to an emotional sensitively others don't have.

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

The implication here seems to imply he did something wrong beyond taking on temptations - we all have those. I see no evidence of anything wrong, not that I am his judge.

The thought that anyone ought to judge him is wrong 

Let he who is without sin.....

We all have our "favorites", don't we?

That's what the atonement is for.

 

I would classify depression as an affliction and not a temptation.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I would classify depression as an affliction and not a temptation.

As would I.

Where did I say depression was a temptation??

What is one tempted to do?

Suicide?

Clearly that is a mental disorder.

Calling it  "sin" makes it irredeemable because you only do it once. That would mean that God allows tempting one to do that from which one cannot possibly repent.

I don't think it works that way 

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