Jacob, your words resonate with me deeply...and I’m gay!!! I guess it depends on who you ask whether I’m “convservative” or “progressive.” I’ll say moderate conservative or classic liberal. But I really resonate with your thoughts about “identity politics,” and I think there’s a lot that divides rather than unites.
I use “gay” describe aspects of myself, and I know others who use “gay” as well, but they don’t see it as their sole defining quality. It’s an important aspect of who they are, and in my case, it’s brought me closer to God and an understanding of His design for marriage as well as my own covenants. Yet I know others who DO make this their defining aspect and identity. I struggle every time modern-day Pride months) roll(s) around, because although it’s for “the LGBTQ community,” it really just leans progressive. Those who have traditional views on marriage and sexual behavior are kind of left to fend for themselves. Really, I just want to “be myself” (whatever that looks like) within the fellowship of saints. Because really, I’m a human being just like everyone else. Although I’m working to understand what my authentic self really is, I’m not an “outsider” in the Church. In many ways, I choose to believe that. Even if I had a partner, we’d still be two sons of God worthy of love and belonging just like everyone else.
Anyway, likewise, I’ve seen other patterns in other minorities. I have ethnic minority friends, female friends and other gay friends who, although they appreciate these things about themselves, don’t make them the sole aspects of who they are. Everyone is so much more (even straight, cisgender, heterosexual Caucasian males!!!). That’s diversity in my mind. We have beautiful diversity on the outside, but inside, everyone is even MORE diverse. You can have a panel full of Caucasian women and still have a breadth of diversity.
Back to the gay thing. I know that we can always improve culturally, but when I hear or see “the Church’s position on LGBT people,” I think of all the things I *can* do in the Church. No one has ever said I can love a man in many wonderful ways. I think of all the gay people serving in the temple, in callings, in the Tabernacle Choir. Don’t tell me that we hate gays. Granted...even I have been called homophobic before, so...
Can we all acknowledge that Grandpa Hess, though he may have been greatly loved and respected, was just plain wrong when he opined that “Bill Clinton is brilliant?” Whether justified by FDR’s help to Utah farmers and others, the fact that men and women of the age of Grandpa Hess continued to support the Democratic Party of the 1990’s (so far removed from the same party of the 1930’s) exposed them as just plain uninformed.
That any Latter-day Saint today supports the Democratic Party is baffling. This is the same party which voted to remove God from their platform at their 2012 national convention. Youtube video available - simply search for it.
And, by the way, the Church has indeed made the following public statement multiple times prior to major elections -- with one tiny word change leading up to the 2012 election:
“Principles compatible with the gospel are found in the platforms of ALL major political parties. While the Church does not endorse political candidates, platforms, or parties, members are urged to be full participants in political, governmental, and community affairs.”
The word “ALL” now reads “MOST.” And if that isn’t indicative of today’s secular Democratic party, I don’t know what is.
Thank you, Bro. Hess, for an exceptional treatment of this critical topic.
Lots to digest. Have to admit you've at least persuaded me to ponder your thoughts. One, quick note the origins of party affiliation of Mormons precedes Roosevelt. It was required of statehood for Utah to have two parties. So depending where you were sitting in Church you became a Democrat or a Republican. Some were selected by which side of Main street the lived. Others were literally called and set apart as Democrats or Republicans.
The Book of Mormon was specifically written for our time. The Gadianton Robbers are alive and thriving today. The battle is raging between the Freemen and the King Men.
This was posted on a member site recently: "The Holy Ghost helps us recognize PLAIN TRUTH, but also PLAIN NONSENSE" Neal A. Maxwell - Did becoming a member as an adult change my world views? I already believed many of the teachings, doctrines, principles, Has it been without trials finding the Church of Jesus Christ I was looking for? NO! But the one thing that most humbles me and am most grateful for is the gift of the Holy Ghost. I can testify that quote from an Apostle of the Lord is true. Thanks for the article
An excellent article, that unfortunately very few people shall read, because it is "too long". Nowadays people like just one sentence, and they are not to read more than that. I do not have any advise, simply that if you read it you will profit a great deal in your relationships with those dear ones that are leaving you (r) way of thinking.
"There are save two churches only..."
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