Religion Magazine

LDS Church To LGBT Youth: Sorry, Not Sorry

By Ldsapologetics

Here are some quotes from the Deseret News article where the LDS Church addressed the LDS LGBT suicides reported since November 5th. I will be commenting in between the italic quotes.

"We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope," senior church leaders said through a spokesman."

To me that is like saying this: "We also disavow the fact that our policy or revelation or whatever we are calling it today, as having absolutely anything to do with driving these youths to suicide. We are certain it's all just a coincidence."

"For example, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints once was asked how he would respond if his 17-year-old son said he was gay. "You’re my son," Elder Oaks said. "You will always be my son, and I'll always be there to help you."

What I hear is this: And when I say I'll always be there to help you I mean I will help you to not be gay as being gay is an abomination to the way God made you. The other thought that occurs to me is that if you consider the proclamation of the family and this policy turned revelation as help, just stop it!

The other problem I'm sensing is that the everyday policies and doctrines of the LDS Church are harsh and yet all the good well financed PR about how loving, inclusive, and accepting of LGBT people are until you set foot in your local ward or watch General Conference because then you get a completely non-inclusive and very much conditional love theology at that point.

It seems as though The LDS Church wants to be seen as being unconditionally loving, inclusive, modern, and transparent without actually being unconditionally loving, inclusive, modern, or transparent.

"Senior LDS leaders reiterated through a spokesman on Thursday that they expect church members to actively reach out to and care for young Mormon lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people."
My view is that you can't reach out and support people you view as lesser, sinful, as abominations, inherently wicked, or failing to be righteous. You can't love those you judge for one. And you can't support those you can't or won't accept.The Dalai Lama said "Love is the absence of judgment." Since he has devoted his life to spiritual pursuits I'd say he knows. Unlike some religious officials he actually has to know a thing or two about religious doctrine rather than the business world or reading into his own confirmation bias for example.

"John Gustav-Wrathall, a gay man who regularly attends an LDS ward in Minnesota and is on the board of Affirmation, an LGBT support group for Mormons, said he supports church leaders and understands the reasoning behind the announcements, but he said many felt heartache."

Finding one gay man who supports the LDS Church is a way of invalidating those who object or the faithful dissidents. It's like in the '60's and '70's, during the civil rights era,(which church leaders at the time said was a communist conspiracy to ruin Anerica) The Church paraded out black folks who said The Church's racist policies weren't racist policies. 

Being gay and being black are two completely different things, bringing different struggles with them. They are not the same thing. But one thing they both share is that you are born the way you are born. Being gay isn't anymore of a choice than your race.

"Church leaders have said that they do not reject LGBT members but love them, and that all should extend love and encouragement to them. They also have said repeatedly that members who experience same-sex attraction can live full, productive lives and participate fully in the church by following the laws provided by God."

The Church does not reject LGBT people. Except they do. In terms of allowing males or trans men to serve as priesthood holders. Even in the few wards where LGBT young men were allowed to pass the sacrament members who were aware of their LGBT status have refused the sacrament. But that's because the church accepts LGBT members huh?

“If your life is in harmony with the commandments,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve, “then you are worthy to serve in the Church, enjoy full fellowship with the members, attend the temple, and receive all the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement.”

On the condition that you maintain a lifelong vow of celibacy our unconditional love for you will abound. Only then will you be worthy of Christ's Atonement.

Okay, couple of things: 1) Everyone and I mean EVERYONE is worthy of the Atonement. That what it is all about. Jesus suffered for ALL of us not only those deemed by the religious elite/authorities as worthy.

2) "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:39 KJV

This speaks to what mainstream Christians refer to as Grace. Meaning Christ's love is unconditional and unmerited. Which is His motivation for gifting us with The Atonement. It is also the exact opposite of Russel M. Nelson's 2003 General Conference talk where he stated that God's love is completely conditional. Thinking one does not contradict the other is another example of cognitive dissonance.

“There are so many behaviors that pertain to risk. As behaviors increase, so does the risk. As they decrease, so does the risk. There are simple things one can do even if you don’t agree.” Researchers from the Family Acceptance Project have created some audience-targeted brochures for different groups, including LDS families, that explain why it’s important to love and accept LGBT youth. They contain suggestions for doing that while “staying true to their own beliefs and values.”

While staying true to their own beliefs and values? You mean the beliefs that being gay is an abomination? That giving in to your sexuality only happens if you fail to live righteously? That you are not worthy of God's acceptance, love, and approval if you're LGBT?

To put this in perspective to "love and accept" LGBT people while excluding them from priesthood ordinances, baptisms, and demanding their own children(who were likely born because of a culturally forced mixed orientation marriage that inevitably failed) disavow their own family to support a church is lying not only to others, like your family, but to yourself. There is a term for those who hold fast to two diametrically opposed ideas at the same time, it's called Cognitive Dissonance.

It is defined as follows from Merriam Webster: "psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously."

The idea that one can accept, love, and respect those they disavow, judge, and are disgusted by, is a classic example of cognitive dissonance. Either your love is unconditional or your "love's" conditions are unloving.

"Bullying is a big problem for many LGBT youths. Ryan said research finds LGBT young people who have been bullied don’t thrive and may fail academically, even dropping out. Still, bullying is not a direct line to suicide: “Almost all people who die are suffering from a mental illness.” And lots of people are bullied and don’t attempt suicide."

So these kids are just crazy no normal kid would kill themselves over these issues. When your community, your whole world tells you, but more to the point shows you, day after day and year after year you are not loved, accepted, or approved of because you're LGBT, then how can you be blamed for hating yourself as much as everyone else in your world hates you?

Dismissing these suicides, by saying they are all just mentally ill, is sickening to me. 

"Family acceptance of a youth — regardless of whether the parents and other relatives embrace the individual’s sexual identity — lowers risk, while rejection increases it, said Rachel Peterson, Utah Pride Center director of programs."

Family acceptance of an LGBT youth-regardless of actual acceptance-lowers risk while rejection increases it. How can you accept without accepting? Is this a riddle from Confucius or something?

I find the article from The Church's PR department(arguably propaganda network) the Deseret News is deeply disturbing. It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic, if lives were not on the line. The church as a culture and as an institution along with its leaders have blood on their hands. 

Sorry Elder Nelson but God's love, according to scripture, is unconditional. And no 600+ pharisaical regulations/policies turned revelation are going to make that otherwise.

There are many who claim that the crumbs from the table of Church leadership, in the form of the mormonsandgays website and this Deseret News article, are causes to hope. That these crumbs are in fact a feast for those who feel stranded along the roadside. There is no feast for the LGBT community. These are crumbs, scraps we are expected to be grateful for.

I am not grateful. I am resentful that this church has blood on its hands and yet tells its victims it loves them. Like an abusive husband who hits his wife because he loves her. It's wrong. It's old. It's tired. And it's time to hold these old men accountable.

LDS Church To LGBT Youth: Sorry, Not Sorry

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