I know that this post won’t make some people happy.
I guess that is OK, as events of late in my chosen state of residence don’t make me particularly happy.
This past Friday US District Judge Robert J. Shelby declared Amendment 3 to Utah’s constitution to be unconstitutional. The news of the ruling and Shelby’s subsequent refusal to grant a temporary injunction has reverberated around the world; the fact that it occurred in conservative Utah simply served as a catalyst for that reverberation.
Judge Shelby’s decision came as a surprise to many. It didn’t necessarily come as a surprise to me. I’ve been able to see such decisions on the horizon for the better part of the past decade. And I’ve been troubled by them.
I’m reminded of R.E.M.’s 1987 hit, It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine). Except I don’t feel fine. I feel troubled. I am bothered by where we are heading.
I have a friend who, every time an advance in “gay rights” comes about, looks at me, smiling, and says “see, the world didn’t end.” But worlds don’t end in a moment. They morph, over time, to something entirely unrecognizable until, one day, you wake up and wonder how things got to that point. We are all just frogs in a slowly warming bucket of water.
I took time to read through all 53 pages of Judge Shelby’s decision. I found it interesting reading, but it all hinges on what the judge sees as incontrovertible fact, something that is beyond reproach and unassailable in its conclusion. As he states:
The Plaintiff’s testimony supports their assertions that their sexual orientation is an inherent characteristic of their identities. Forty years ago, these assertions would not have been accepted by a court without dispute. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association still defined homosexuality as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), and leading experts believed that homosexuality was simply a lifestyle choice. With the increased visibility of gay men and lesbians in the past few decades, a wealth of new knowledge about sexuality has upended these previous beliefs (pg. 24).
In other words, Judge Shelby’s decision is only possible in light of a foregone conclusion that same-sex attraction is an “inherent characteristic” of some individuals’ identities.
And this is where the sticking point is for so many people. Is it nurture (choice and/or environment) or nature? The judge throws out the former (nurture) as “upended” “previous beliefs” and his decision asserts that it is the latter (nature).
There are millions of people (yes, including me) who think that this basis is not a foregone conclusion and that making decisions as if it is makes for bad legal decisions.
The Peril of Acceptable Science
Is it an uncontested fact that same-sex attraction is an inherent characteristic of individuals? Perhaps, but we may never know in our lifetimes. Why? Because some science simply isn’t socially acceptable to examine. The effect is that those who would contest such “facts” are almost entirely shut out of the all-necessary funding to conduct research to examine the assumptions.
As just a single example, Nature reported in October 2013 that sexuality was considered a “taboo” research area, particularly if the research involves searching for “environmental influences that might affect the trait” of homosexuality. Genetic researcher Eric Vilain wants to study just that, but his work cannot obtain funding. He feels that if it were funded, “it could upset some gay rights activists who have seen their cause benefit from the ‘hardwiring’ theory.”
And yet Judge Shelby has just decided law based on that very theory of “hardwiring.” That is infuriating to those of us who believe that minds should still be open while there is research to do. The problem is that Judge Shelby’s decision cannot be undone if research is one day done which evidences that the basis underlying his decision is a shaky one.
The Dictum of “Me First”
I am old enough to remember the sexual revolution at the end of the 1960s. The Summer of Love (1969) was touted as evidence of a societal transformation for the better. That revolution promoted the mantra of “if it feels good, do it.” Stephen Stills released a song in 1970 titled Love the One You’re With. This wasn’t an anthem to everyone getting along; it was a license to free love: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
Free love. Free from strings, free from shame, free from guilt, free from responsibility. The entire concept flew in the face of millennia of human development, but it was accepted within the course of a decade by people who thought that they knew better than the entirety of human history before them. The individual and his or her desires was elevated, for the first time in history, above the needs of the society in which the individuals functioned. Kennedy’s famous call in 1961 to “ask not” and thereby put your country before yourself was replaced at the end of the decade with a flock of mindless seagulls screaming “mine, mine!” And they have been supported in their desires to make the individual supreme by courts both Supreme and not.
What they wanted, they wanted. And they wanted it now. And they got it. And they got everything that came with it. And it opened the door to many of the societal decisions that have followed, including the ill-founded acceptance of same-sex attraction as normative.
The Law of Unintended Consequences
Unintended consequences always follow any social revolution. Always. By definition they cannot be foreseen or mitigated by prior action. Would the sexual revolution have been as enticing or as gleefully embraced if one had foreseen the advent of Madonna, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, or dozens of act-alikes? Would it have seemed as much a nirvana if we knew that it would lead to increased marital infidelity or higher levels of teen sexuality and rates of pregnancy? Would the reality of sexting or twerking have changed how we felt?
There is an old adage that states that when you make a decision you also accept everything that goes with that decision, regardless of where it leads. “Love the one you’re with” may sound good and “freeing,” but it does nothing for trust and building strong character. It doesn’t build relationships; it destroys them.
In 1969 those crying for what has come to be known as “marriage equality” were few and far between. But they were there, in the background. And they were constantly and vigilantly looking for ways to overturn the public’s sense of abhorrence of homosexuality. They obviously have succeeded, despite the fact that in 1969 the public feeling was that such would never happen. Where we are today is an unintended consequence of the sexual revolution, pure and simple.
While Judge Shelby considered and copiously cited the law in his ruling, he gave no thought to the law of unintended consequences. Such considerations just don’t exist in his prose—I looked for it, but it isn’t to be found. And that worries me. A lot.
Why does it worry me? Because we don’t know where these decisions will lead. The quiet background voices of the 1960s are today enacting laws to normalize what was then considered wrong. Should one, perhaps, pay attention to the quiet background voices one hears today? Should one be concerned about them?
For instance, well-known biologist Richard Dawkins has minimized the effect of “mild pedophilia” on children and believes that, at least in his case, it should not be considered abusive. Other voices are starting to state that perhaps sex between teachers and students should be decriminalized because it should be expected.
Just anecdotes? Perhaps. Remember, though, that we don’t know where the law of unintended consequences leads—we can’t know. But we must accept where it leads, nonetheless.
Wrong is Wrong. Still.
Judge Shelby’s ruling is understandable, but it is bad. It is bad for my grandchildren. It is bad for society. It is based on inconclusive science. It is bad for social trends. It attempts to make the abnormal normal.
And it is wrong. The law of unintended consequences will come into play and, along with the law of the harvest, mold an environment that we would not recognize today. I guarantee—from first-hand knowledge—that the world we live in today is not one that people would have recognized in 1969. Yet here we are. Frogs in a collective bucket.
I would much rather have my grandchildren raised in the uptight-yet-somehow-more-virtuous environment that held sway through the early years of the 1960s than in the anything-goes-as-long-as-I-can-do-what-I-want era in which we now live. Judge Shelby (and others providing similar rulings) are pandering to the desires of the seagulls and contributing to that era with their ill-advised rulings.
What Is One to Do?
First, I believe that anyone in public office who has had a hand in where we find ourselves today should be kicked out of office or, at the least, voted out of office at the next election. (Yes, that includes arch-conservative Orrin Hatch.) They should be replaced with those who hold views compatible with our vision of what society should be.
I think that nothing short of a huge public outcry, sustained over decades, will make a difference. It is what made the difference for gay activists, so why shouldn’t it make a difference for those with different visions of how society should be shaped?
I started out this post by saying that it wouldn’t make some people happy. But it still needed to be said. I have no doubt that my words, although carefully chosen, may cause some people to jump to the wrong conclusions about me. I can’t help that.
I understand that such judgment or (if you prefer) stereotyping is normal, as it is a way to excuse the listener from understanding and, perhaps, accepting what I may have to say.
So be it; there are plenty of other voices crying in the public square. I’m sure that those who reject what I have to say can find a voice more to their liking in any number of echo chambers that line that square. But at the same time, those who assure the crowing crowds that “all is well” still cannot escape the twin laws I mention (unintended consequence and harvest).
In the meantime, if you agree that Judge Shelby and others who base decisions on incomplete science are wrong, say something. Don’t be quiet. Make your voice heard respectfully yet forcefully. Make sure that people cannot misunderstand your position on this important issue.
You go Bishop Wyatt! Not only has every society forged through relaxed moral behaviors fallen to ruin, both biblical (Sodom and Gomorrah) and historically (Rome), but it was so normalized and integrated into society that it was openly practiced even among the political leaders, legal leaders, and in many cases religious leaders. You talked about other abnormal sexual behaviors being attempted to be normalized like pedophilia, this is one huge step to that occurring. We think that something so horrible as pedophilia could never be normalized and legalized, however this was also historically normal (Rome, Samurai, etc.).
The Adversary knows history better then all of us because He was one who helped mold and shape it for the worse. He knows what hurts us and tears us the furthest from God, and that is by going against what He ordained to be natural. If we’re slowly adopting historical error, then the whole mess will eventually come with it.
The science is a red herring, to my mind. There’s pretty good evid for sociopaths having genetic/biologic roots. That doesn’t mean you endorse their acts or codify them into law. (I am not equating the two, just pointing out this is a version of the naturalistic fallacy.)
Good point, Greg. More than 10% of the population is prone to violence, as well, but we don’t normalize the violence through law. Again, not equating the two–just agreeing with you that inherent genetic predisposition shouldn’t lead one to embrace whatever is viewed as abnormal or not in the best long-term interests of society.
I understand your feeling that society is collapsing around you. I think we need people in government and other leadership positions who feel that traditional family values are important.
That said, I must strongly disagree with you about the science of homosexuality. There will always be detractors, like there are people who argue against the theory of Evolution, but it is mostly settled science that homosexuality is not a choice. The church we both attend even teaches that same gender attraction is not a choice – although following through on that desire is a sin.
You face a heavy burden to say that homosexuality is not based in biology. You will lose that argument when even our church doesn’t agree with you.
For more information on what I’m talking about, visit MormonsandGays.org.
Thanks for your comments, Cory. Two things, though.
First, I don’t think society is collapsing around me, at least not in the way you infer. I believe it is morphing in a way that is not in the long-term best interest of the society. I do not consider “morphing” to be a synonym for “collapsing.” (Perhaps, though, it could be a synonym for “long-term collapse.” Don’t know; I’ll need to think on that one a bit.)
Second, I agree that there are probably biological components to same-sex attraction. We may never know for sure, though, to what level when research into that area is considered taboo. (See the citation I provided.)
Further, even if there is a biological component that removes choice (which I don’t believe) or makes resistance futile, there are other, more widespread biologically based urges or predispositions that we don’t prevent research in or excuse behavior based upon.
Agreed to all you stated, it also brings to mind the scriptural reference that in the last days good will be called bad.and bad will be called good. “Unnatural affection, lovers of themselves” The evidence bears out that we truly are in the last days. That said we do still need to be involved in trying to make the future better for our future generations. It is with sadness that I see UT sovereign political power stripped and the definition of marriage changed. Marriage has throughout time been to start and raise a family. If the lgbt members of society wanted insurance rights, they should have worked within medical law to force insurance companies to make inclusive decision s. The gay marriage decision wil affect children, families, school systems and teachers, social services, adoption decisions. I still believe all people should be respected as we are all Gods children but the definition of marriage was set by God.
Allen, your argument hinges entirely upon the assumption that the current science is in fact, wrong, and that homosexuality is actually a choice.
However, this is an argument that has already been abandoned even by the LDS church, which no longer insists that homosexuality is a choice, and that at least in some cases, it is not reversable.
If you are going to make a case against same-sex marriage, you must make one that is strong enough to withstand the assumption that homosexuality could be an unalterable sexual orrientation. Basing your entire case upon the hope that science “might be wrong” is just foolhardy.
Nate, I don’t say that the current science is wrong; I contend it is incomplete. (Big difference there.) Researchers believe there is still more to study in the area, but getting funding to conduct the studies is next to impossible when the research area is considered taboo.
Also, if you could provide evidence to support the assertion that the LDS Church has done what you imply, I would appreciate it. My understanding is that the LDS Church agrees that there may be a biological component to same-sex attraction, but that choice–what one does with that attraction–is still an individual matter. If you feel this is not the Church’s position, that is what I am questioning.
Thanks for the reply Allen. The church’s position is quite nuanced and it subtly evolves as time passes. But what is essential is as you say, they acknowledge it may not be alterable: “while many Latter-day Saints, through individual effort, the exercise of faith, and reliance upon the enabling power of the Atonement, overcome same-gender attraction in mortality, others may not be free of this challenge in this life.”
This position is significant and has huge doctrinal ramifications. When President Packer said, “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, God is our Heavenly Father” he had to change this statement to accomodate the doctrinal ramifications of the church’s new position that homosexuality may be an inborn, unalterable situation for some people.
President Packer’s view that God would never create inborn, unalterable homosexuality makes it easy for us to argue against gay marriage. Gays are simply making sinful choices. This is what your post implies, by throwing doubt upon the science that shows homosexuality is inborn and unalterable. But that argument is already outdated and no longer useful. We need to find new arguments. Even you admit: “I don’t say that the current science is wrong; I contend it is incomplete.” On the one hand you say that our society is collapsing because of this bad science, and then on the other hand, you say you don’t think the science is wrong, just incomplete. All science is incomplete. But there is enough science to make this very simple deduction, which the church has already made, which is that homosexuality can sometimes be inborn and unalterable.
Once we adopt the ramifications of the church’s new doctrine, we must ask gays to do something that goes against their inborn, unalterable identity. (not all homosexuals may be inborn-unalterable, but even if a few of them are, the argument stands.) What we are really asking is that a certain portion of the population choose celibacy, if they cannot choose hetrosexuality.
That is what we need to be prepared to ask and promote: celibacy. But here again, the church has not gone that far. They promote celibacy for some gays within covenant church membership: “In some circumstances a person defers marriage because he or she is not presently attracted to a member of the opposite gender.” In this case “defers” can mean “never” because in the next sentence they state that it is a problem that sometimes endures a lifetime. Thus the church advocates celibacy. But ONLY to members: “This message is intended for Latter-day Saints who are troubled with same-gender attraction.”
The church has not specifically advocated celibacy for Gentile homosexuals. They have simply left it as a paradox: it is sinful behavior, but may be inborn and unalterable.
I think we should ask ourselves what is reasonable to demand of Gentile homosexuals, who have not been given commandments or taken any covenants. If God gives them a homosexual identity, but without commandments or covenants, how realistic is it for us to demand that they be celibate? And if that is not realistic, why should we be discouraging them from making covenants of fidelity to each other? Is it better to encourage them to live a promiscuous lifestyle, without settling down with a single monogamous partner?
To me, these questions seem like a dead end. The only real argument that remains against same-sex marriage is one that seeks to marginalize homosexuality because one believes it’s influence might spread to people who are actually heterosexual or bisexual at heart, and encourage them to experiment with a sexuality which is less ideal for the formation of families and for the well being of the health of society as a whole. But it’s also a terrible argument to make, because it IS all about marginalization of people who can’t change who they are. But nevertheless, I think that is your argument, and you should run with it if you are going to try to make any argument at all.
Thanks (again) for your comments. Your explanation of the Church’s nuanced views on the matter are in line with my understanding. The implications and conclusions you draw from that understanding is not entirely in line with mine. The divergences are too much to go into in this comments section (perhaps in a different, new post), but I did want to comment on one or two things.
First, I mentioned in my post that I would “rather have my grandchildren raised in the uptight-yet-somehow-more-virtuous environment that held sway through the early years of the 1960s than in the anything-goes-as-long-as-I-can-do-what-I-want era in which we now live.” That desire stands. I don’t want them raised in a society that gives its blessing and imprimatur on marital relations that will forever preclude them from the authoritative covenants that the Church has to offer.
I can teach my posterity correct principles and encourage them to choose behavior that is consistent with those principles. Even if one grants that (as you say) “even a few” homosexuals will forever have the temptation of same-sex attraction and they will be asked to be celebate, that doesn’t mean that because of those few that many others are raised in a society that teaches “you can’t help it; you don’t need to be celebate until marriage.” In other words, while it may be noble to say that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, here things are reversed–society is saying that the needs of the few outweigh the demonstrably greater good of the many.
From the standpoint of principles, it is the right and duty of the Church and every member of the Church to try to shape society into whatever vision they feel is consistent with the will of God and most appropriate for the furtherance of spreading the gospel. Please note that this statement is not inconsistent with the basic principles of democracy–it is, indeed, the right and duty of EVERY citizen (Church member or not) to try to shape society into whatever vision they feel is appropriate. The simple truth is that I feel that Judge Shelby and those who agree with him are making the wrong decisions in their shaping of the society in which I (and my grandchildren) live.
Thanks for your response Allen. I felt it was an intelligent and thoughtful argument. However, it feels different than the spirit of your post, which speaks in more apocalyptic and black and white tones. Tone is everything. When you acknowledge that you are simply a member of a democracy trying to put forth your unique vision, that’s great. But you must at the same time grant everyone else the same priviledge without condemnation.
My brother is “gay” and through getting to know him I have come to the conclusion that some people are born with same sex attractions. I have a intellectually disabled client who also has same sex attractions despite being raised in a home that is against that. However my brother though he is attracted to men has chosen to not act upon those attractions. He has chosen to remain single and live his
Life the best he can In the Hope that some day he will find someone to love that God approves of for him. This shows me that even if it is a part of our identity it is still a choice. By the way, I enjoy reading your blog very much
Kimberly, how old is your brother? Just curious. Perhaps there are things I could say to you or him that would help.
I started reading and participating in the millennialstar.org blog when “Rethinking Mormon Involvement in the BSA” was posted there back in June. If Mormon chronicled our times (which he and other prophets did as seers and revelators), he would write:
“In the 2013th year after the birth of our Lord according to the counting of the Gentiles, it came to pass that those who practiced whoredoms began to gain favor with the more parts of the people. Yeah, corrupt and weak leaders and entertainers sought to entice the youth and the children towards the path of sin and destruction, and wicked chief judges taught that wickedness was righteousness and that righteousness was wickedness.” Book of Mormon doctrine and entire passages of scripture flash before our eyes.
Political correctness as dictated by the liberals is no longer just political correctness. It has become political and cultural tyranny, anti-christian, Antichrist for short. I am writing from Sodom-Gomorrah formerly known as Seattle-Tacoma, where a male assistant-principal has resigned from his position at a Catholic High School after the school found out he married his homosexual partner over the summer. Catholic students rally to the cause of this excellent educator (who will get positive references to work in another school–public this time), they demonstrate, students from other local Catholic schools join in and talk about Christ’s Gospel of “Love”. Many are writing to Pope Francis to help reinstate the former swim coach and assistant principal. On the news we hear soundbites of Catholic teenagers–who obviously know everything–and no opinions from parents who perhaps put their children in a religious school at least in part for moral reasons. Or do they all put their kids there because academically they will fare better and who cares about traditional morality? The homosexual mayor-elect of Seattle came to the students’ demonstration to support their cause. We already know that the war over the souls of the children of men began in the pre-earth life and has been raging on earth since the days of Cain. This is our battle. I am thinking that some Latter-Day Saints (or the Church?) should formally support an umbrella organization such as the National Organization for Marriage and others who share our views. I would say that the LGBT asked for it, but it is also Satan who asked for it from the beginning! We need to unite and organize our defense.
Alma 46: 11 And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah. 12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. 13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land— 14 For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church. 15 And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come. How relevant for our times!
To a blogger (on another blog) who wrote, “Please, read and study the material on http://www.mormonsandgays.org). Study what the prophets are teaching. You are pretty misinformed on the current doctrines and policies of the Church”, I replied: I haven’t watched the videos or read it all yet, but the site says: “The site offers a place where the people whose lives are impacted by attraction to the same sex can find inspiration to work through difficult challenges while remaining faithful to Church teachings. The Church’s approach to this issue stands apart from society in many ways. And that’s alright. Reasonable people can and do differ. From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannot do, for God’s law is not ours to change. There is no change in the Church’s position of what is morally right. But what is changing — and what needs to change — is to help Church members respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members, or elsewhere.”
I have no problem with that. There is no “current doctrine” vs. a 1980 talk on morality by President Spencer W. Kimball or the Proclamation on the Family (1995 to forever, I thought). General Conference is where we will continue to hear eternal principles and how to be “in” the modern world but not “OF” the world. On Saturday, April 2, 2011, President Monson stated:
“We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an ‘almost anything goes’ position. I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.”
The Proclamation: “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”
The terms “openly gay”, “SSA”, “LGBT”, and even “gay” are very deceitful—and purposely so. Speaking of LDS doctrine, I think we Latter-Day Saints agree on this: 1. Lucifer is real. 2. He is the master of deceit, the father of lies. FRIENDSHIP between people of the same gender—with no unholy sexual attraction or sexual practice whatsoever—has been around on earth, it has its place in the Gospel and in the Eternities. Lucifer encourages the twisted thoughts that same-gender SEXUAL relationships are an option for those who have not yet had the opportunity to find a healthy heterosexual relationship. There are many circumstances (adolescence, culture, being shy, athleticism in girls and softer manners in boys) that can trigger the thoughts, but our sexualized and materialistic-hedonistic culture and the examples of those who are already brazenly homosexual are fueling evil thoughts. They encourage people to think about it and some will act on the thoughts, just like with any other sins. The word “sodomy” is just not as cute as the word “gay”. Nor is “anal sex”. But “gays” have no problem being associated with the “bisexual” in LGBT. “Bisexual” is not the stable, lovey-dovey same-gender marriage portrayed in the news (“Oh we’ve been waiting for 30 years to get married…”), the nice family next door which happens to have two moms or two dads. Bisexual means that the individual will satisfy any appetite that comes calling, and the so-called LG have no problem being part of the LGBT-rights movement along with the pervert bisexual and the unfortunate transgender people. A man who makes changes to his body to look and feel (almost) like a woman was not born a little girl. And why does he want to do that? To wear earrings, to have pretty long hair like a girl, to wear high heels and stockings and make up, to be told “you are beautiful” by someone, to have sexual pleasure with someone in that way. Now we are told that this behavior should be “out”, visible and acceptable, and even taught as OK in schools (http://nationalreport.net/maryland-middle-school-requires-children-cross-dress-lgbtq-appreciation-day/). We have been taught that adultery and fornication are sins. They still are. And so is trusting in the arm of the flesh. Real happiness does not come from satisfying all appetites, from sexual fantasies and practices overtaking real, Christlike, faithful, heterosexual companionship COUPLED (no pun intended) WITH sexual intimacy.
It’s all about Satan deceiving people. If we don’t believe in the miracles of faith, repentance, and forgiveness for those who have strayed sexually or not, where is our faith? Forgive my age-based discrimination, I am a 52-year-old grandfather of 6, but I do not think that some teens and some members in their 20’s and 30’s realize the peril of the situation. Said President Packer in 2003 (numbers should be adjusted):
“Value the old folks for what they are, not just what they can do.
Have you ever wondered why the Lord organized the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles so that the senior leadership of the Church will always be older men? This pattern of seniority values wisdom and experience over youth and physical vigor.
The average age of the Presidency and the Twelve at the present time is 77 years old. We are not very nimble. We may be past our prime. Nevertheless, the Lord ordered it to be this way.
A conference or two ago, Joseph Wirthlin said he was going to challenge the members of the Twelve to a race. I thought once, “Well, I’ll accept the challenge.” Then I thought it would be safer to race against 96-year-old Brother David Haight. I thought that over and decided that David might trip me with his cane, and I would lose the race. So I gave it up!
When the Presidency and the Twelve meet together, we combine 1,161 years of life with an astonishing variety of experiences. And we have 430 years, cumulatively, as General Authorities of the Church. Almost anything we talk about, one or more of us has been there, done that”.
Follow the prophet(s)!
These were exactly my thoughts.
Don’t forget to check out my website (click on my name).