LGBT Friends: Why I’m Turning in My Resignation Letter from the Mormon Church, and You Should Too

Posted: November 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

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The Mormon Church has been thrust into the spotlight again, which is never a good thing. Media outlets are abuzz with the leaked revisions to the Handbook of Instructions, used to direct ecclesiastical leaders in their duties as Bishops, Presidents, Quorum Leaders, etc. Why? Well, take a look for yourself:

Handbook 1, number 6.7.2 has been updated as follows (addition is italicized):

When a Disciplinary Council May Be Necessary

Serious Transgression

. . . It includes (but is not limited to) attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations (especially sexual cohabitation), deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities, . . .

Handbook 1, number 6.7.3 has been updated as follows (addition is italicized):

When a Disciplinary Council is Mandatory

Apostasy

As used here, apostasy refers to members who:

  1. Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.
  2. Persist in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after they have been corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.
  3. Continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects (such as those that advocate plural marriage) after being corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.
  4. Are in a same-gender marriage.
  5. Formally join another church and advocate its teachings.

A new section in Handbook 1, 16.13 has been added as follows:

Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:

A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:

  1. The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
  2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.

Now the Mormon church has been known for it’s bigotry for quite some time, so this new policy should come as no surprise. It’s rather reminiscent of the racist teachings dating all the way back to Brigham Young:

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African Race? If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” (Journal of Discourses)

And it was still prevalent well into the 1970s. See, for example, this quote from Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his book “Mormon Doctrine”:

…in a broad general sense, caste systems have their origin in the gospel itself, and when they operate according to the divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the lord.
To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain,so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry.

Interracial marriage was considered a grievous sin in the Mormon church for well over a decade, and now the target is homosexuals. Of course, the leaders have their reasons. “The Family” is considered a very central doctrine of the church, and marriage and sex are heavily controlled with the “Law of Chastity”. According to Mormon teachings, sexual activity of any kind is b. a. d. BAD, with one exception – being married to a faithful member of the opposite gender in a temple ceremony. Even lawful, non-temple weddings are frowned upon, with members who choose to marry outside the temple having to wait one year before they can receive their sealing ordinance.

Mormons frequently espouse “one man and one woman” as an important and integral part of their God’s plans for the universe and for each individual’s divine destiny. This point is so important that anyone who deviates from this path is considered unworthy of the “Celestial Kingdom”, their highest degree of heavenly glory and honor in the afterlife.

Masturbation and pornography are matters to discuss with a bishop, and a pamphlet “To the One” targeting young men struggling with masturbation led many in the church into a depressive slump and even resulted in many suicides. Young adults are pressured to hurry up and marry, women told to make it their top priority even above education or self-advancement with a career and men told that if they were still single beyond age 32 that they were “deviants” and a “menace to society”. Divorced and single-parent members are ostracized. And now… they gays.

Now before you start going on about how a “loving” god would not support this, remember what the Bible says:

The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools … Wherefore … God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another. God gave them over to a reprobate mind … Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful … they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.Romans 1:20-32

The Biblical God thinks homosexuals and those who support them are “worthy of death” and compares them to, among other things, murderers. Hmm… see Mormon Handbook:

Serious transgression “includes (but is not limited to) attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations (especially sexual cohabitation), deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities, . . .”

Apparently, two people loving one another with the wrong piping for reproduction makes them akin to murderers. At least the Mormons and the Bible are in agreement.

The church has a long history of oppressing the LGBT community. As people around the world started gaining courage and going public, the church initially taught that homosexuality was a choice and that those experiencing such feelings were under the influence of Satan. Electroshock therapy was used at Brigham Young University in the 1970s as an attempt to “cure the gays” of their “tendencies”. When they realized such treatments weren’t working, they revised their teachings with a separation between those who feel “same-sex attraction” and those who live a “homosexual lifestyle”. Even so, there remains a refusal to accept scientific findings that individuals are BORN with such attractions and that homosexuality is not a deviant behavior as it is found in numerous species and is even considered beneficial to communities.

Elder Oaks, April 2007: “The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions — whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on.”

In other words – “The science doesn’t agree with our position, so we’ll play the PR card and pretend like we’re undecided and that the question isn’t pertinent to church doctrine anyway.”

As a result of the shifting Mormon views on homosexuality, children coming to terms with a homosexual identity in Mormon families have faced some very real challenges. LGBT youth in Utah are at high risk of depression and suicide, largely due to being rejected and disowned by their families, and 40% of Utah’s homeless youth identify as homosexual.

Now, the church attacks children once again, with this policy barring the children of homosexual parents from baptism. I’ve seen members defending this, explaining that the bar is a kind of “protection” and that the measure was “wise”, as it would prevent children from having to choose between the conflicting interests of family and church. To that I say “HA!” You obviously are not thinking this through from the perspective of a child.

For some levity, here is a real story from a real person who’s child has already been affected by this bar (shared anonymously by a friend of the individual in question):

A woman I love very much does not get to have her child baptized, who was set to be baptized this Saturday. Her and her husband got a divorce because he could no longer pretend he wasn’t gay and is now happily married to a man. They are all happily co-parenting together. The gay father was in complete support of the child getting baptized and had given his consent, even bought scriptures with the child’s name on them as a gift and was planning on attending the baptism. Because of this new rule, this child is not allowed to be baptized. The child is staying home from school today because the child was up all night sobbing. This child does not understand why he cannot be baptized when a week ago he would have been able to. Everyone else in his class will be getting baptized, everyone else in his extended family will be getting baptized. He is not allowed, despite going to church every Sunday, even with his father on the weekends he spends there. Despite paying tithing faithfully. Despite looking forward to this for as long as he understood what baptism was. Hurting children is wrong.

An eight year old CHILD will not understand why they can’t be baptized when all their friends can. An eight year old CHILD will not understand why their parents are being compared to murderers. An eight year old CHILD will be facing a future in the church in which they will be bullied, ostracized, demonized, persecuted, ridiculed, segregated, and ultimately forced to choose between family and religion. And this in a church which claims to be focused on drawing families together.

The parents are not forcing the child to choose. The parents are not threatening the child. This policy is WRONG. This policy is punishing children for the actions of their parents, actions which the church says deems these individuals apostates and worthy of death, but which the child has no control over.

The Mormon church is NOT “true”. The Mormon church is NOT “good for families”. The Mormon church does NOT provide a “good moral upbringing”. No. Quite simply, the Mormon church has proven itself to be racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic, and hypocritical. The Mormon church DENIES truth in order to keep spouting it’s hateful filth, and it drives a wedge between families for no other reason than that individuals within these families are different.

If you or your loved ones are members of this church, realize NOW that these teachings are damaging and harmful. Stop making excuses. Stop denying the evidence staring you in the face. Stop being tolerant of those who would rather see you conform than see you happily living the life that brings you joy. Stop exposing your children to an environment where they will be forced to accept hateful teachings or be forever condemned to a life on the sidelines.

I have been “out” for just over a year now, and now… I will be officially resigning from this monstrosity. And you should too.

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