I think Dr. Peterson hit the nail on the head. His comments on what certain advocacy groups have said would indicate that perhaps a lot of Elder Holland's critics inside the Church have taken their ideas and rhetoric from these outside groups, rather than their own reading, sense of fairness, and seeking the Spirit and revelation to know the import of Holland's remarks. Elder Holland is not the enemy of gay Latter-day Saints. And he is the last person among the Brethren to use words carelessly, as some of my dear friends and former students have asserted.
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Always well reviewed and understood with your obvious clarifications of what was truly said by elder Holland! Thank you Dan! Jim Rawson
Elder Holland's talk is about 40 minutes long, so it requires commitment to read or watch. Like Dr. Peterson, I encourage everyone to watch the talk with a sincere heart. Having done so myself, I believe that it is impossible to come away from that beautiful and edifying experience with the worldly conclusion that Elder Holland spoke out of anything other than love. Many who have twisted this apostle's loving words have based their well-intentioned indignation on out-of-context sound bites. We must be careful not to "take the advantage of one because of his words" or to dig a pit for our neighbor (2 Nephi 28:8). It is sad that some who have unfortunately been on the receiving end of such treatment have unleashed such vile treatment on others.
I encourage all to actually listen to Elder Holland's talk--he is incredibly passionate and emotional, about everything he says and I don't think anyone could actually misunderstand his love for both BYU and LGBT individuals, after listening to it....unless they want to
Personally, I loved it and welcomed his clarion call for BYU,faculty, staff, and administration, the intended audience, to completely align themselves with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. they can get secular ideas at almost any other university, but at BYU, those ideas should be viewed through a gospel lens. As a BYU alumnus and the parent of 2 current students, I vigorously endorse and applaud Elder Holland's direction and am so grateful for his deep love for BYU. It is a gift to all who attend
I love Elder Holland, he has always been my favorite, and I knew the intent of his heart when he gave this talk. People who are making it into something it is not are simply wrong. However, the metaphor of a musket probably should not have been used. A sword or spear would have been much better because of the political overtones associated with guns. The church and its members tend to be viewed as Republicans/Conservatives, clearly the majority are. But there are plenty of LDS people who feel strongly about the volatility of guns, not to say "anti-gun", but that there should be much more control and regulation for safety sake. So if you even speak out on safety as it relates to gun rights, you are labeled a communist, you are pro-abortion, you are advocate the LGBTQ lifestyle, etc. So because of the use of the musket metaphor, Elder Holland's words came across as more pro-Republican, which among many other innuendos takes a very anti-LGBTQ stand. I had always considered myself a Republican but with the rising of Trump, I can't even say that I recognize what a Republican is any more. I know that I am not what he espouses, and have been told that I am therefore a Democrat. Initially I argued this, but I find that I identify with Democrats way more than the Republican of today so I suppose it is true. I did not take Elder's Hollands to suggest that he is pro-Trump or pro-Republican, but I know many people will and that is especially embarrassing to me, to think that my faith is being likened to that school of thought. I personally am struggling with being a member of a church that appears to be affiliated with that party. Regarding the person's ideas that you heartily agree with, they claim to be pro-family suggesting that LGBTQ people can't have a family, which is kind of short-sighted, because they can and do. It may not be the traditional family that we identify with, but we have been taught that our BYU family home evening groups are family, so I struggle with the notion that a family is just a father, mother and children. I think the key is that we have to avoid even the appearance of hate, in any form, and embrace charity at all cost. I think Elder Holland is the embodiment of charity, at least in the mortal realm that we live in.
As always, your words are carefully chosen to reflect calm, reassuring reflections on reality through a spiritual perspective. I find it amazingly humbling for all of us in these "modern" times that distortions and convoluted perceptions can promulgate so quickly and deeply; definitely faster than they did among the uneducated centuries ago and more deeply than one could have ever expected among well educated folks who have the benefit of centuries of learned experiences by mankind plus the digital age of communication/distribution that should enable everyone to see for themselves what was true---and not be hood-winked by someone else telling you what they claim was said. Just read or listen to Elder Holland's talk and you will be able to see for yourself it was about love, respect, and....defending truth by means of love and respect.
Elder Holland is spot on! We love the imperfect...as we the imperfect hope to be loved. But our God is the lawgiver...not us. Elder Holland said it perfectly when he said, "As near as I can tell, Christ never once withheld His love from anyone, but He also never once said to anyone, “Because I love you, you are exempt from keeping my commandments.” We are tasked with trying to strike that same sensitive, demanding balance in our lives.” Amen!
Excellent excellent Bro Peterson! Thank
You for saying it so well!!
Well said, and appreciated! Standing for principles of the true gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to be more polarizing, even within the Church as members try to have one hand on the rod and the other opening the door to the great and spacious building. Elder Holland did a wonderful job articulating his points, as did you.
Such a well written and thoughtful article! Thank you!
Thank you for these heartfelt words. You really helped me understand much more about what Elder Holland was trying to convey. And more importantly thank you for your parting words. Stop the polarization from both sides. I can't stand it. Where did love and understanding go? Civility has truly become a lost virtue.
What a great article! It’s so well said. It’s hard for some of us who have a child with this challenge. I, too, am not anti-gay. I’m pro family and pro the Church.
I have often thought that if we Latter-day Saints aspire to the First Resurrection - which is also referred to as the Resurrection of the Just - then perhaps we had better be just ourselves. If we fail to be truly just, how can we aspire to the Resurrection of the Just? Twisting the truth - as Laman and Lemuel did, for example - is not just. Twisting Elder Holland's words is also unjust. Brother Peterson's analysis and defense of Elder Holland's words is both truthful and just.
Amen, Br. Peterson, I appreciate this response to Elder Holland's remarks.
Thank you for your thoughts and intent. I came across a broad spectrum of responses to this talk among my personal connections, and I knew I lacked context, but even after reading the talk a couple of times, I decided to just put it on a shelf for a couple weeks. I think his words as written lacked a tone of compassion, and since most people read the talk without hearing his voice, it's easy to misunderstand. People who are very concerned about how the Church responds to their LGBTQ+ members are more likely to find concerning statements, whether or not that was Elder Holland's intent. I think a reference to weapons of any kind right now might be alarming since weapons signify violence rather than defense for many people. So I appreciate your insights. I think I found an appropriate place in my brain to file this talk:)
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