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  1. The whiplash we are experiencing on this topic is how the church teaches everything. Almost every conference there is a talk where someone verbally says “You are special and important to God no matter what” and then the very next speaker will give a talk with the central message as “Repent or God will be disappointed in you forever”.

    It is to create a problem and then sell the church as the only solution to people’s biggest and deepest feelings. We are just now seeing it played out on the topic of LGBT. It has been going on with many many topics forever. In one way it is a great compliment 🙂 from the church that there is double speak on this issue now and not just hate/negative speech. In some ways it is a signal that LGBT issues are accepted into the church’s main function – to take people’s fundamental makeup, call it bad/evil but offer the church and it’s policies/commandments as the only solution. This type of manipulation is subtle, yet one of the most intrusives evils directed toward people that can ever be afflicted.

  2. Terrific program, thanks.

    That Mormon doctrine changes is true but genitalia, unlike skin color, represents a special and more difficult case. Genitalia are a central pillar of Mormon theology and cosmology. They come before Christ and they come before “the Atonement.’ They even come before Elohim, himself.

    It’s telling that Mormon parents didn’t rise up en masse repeatedly in the 20th century to angrily denounce Mormon leaders every time they taught the total garbage that Mormon parents preferred their children come home dead rather than lose their virtue. Or that Mormon youth should lose their life in the struggle rather than lose their chastity.

    Even today, the utter foolishness that “sex sin is second only to murder” remains a mainstay. They believe and teach it at the top, and they hear it from the crib.

    So before you even get to the specifics of homosexuality, you’re dealing with a grotesque and perverted view of human sexuality that is central and foundational to Mormonism. Even the reasonable and rational idea of linking gay relationships and gay sex to just the priesthood and temple is probably a step to far.

  3. Just to rephrase what the Mormon church seems to be saying about homosexuality:
    “To the Gays: We love you but we don’t accept your behavior. We love you but you may not marry. We love you but you may not kiss the groom.
    If you are gay, have a partner or get a counterfeit marriage, we will still love you.
    Mormons: We love pretty much everybody. ”
    “Mormons: we love pretty much everybody” bumper stickers are for sale by the young women. The proceeds will go to benefit prop 8.

  4. Researchers are going to have a difficult time parsing out the factors related to the recent increase because media promotion of suicide (like but not limited to this podcast) is correlated to an increase in death by suicide.

    In fact, this wave of suicide plots very nicely with the availability of social media and the promotion of suicide as a tactic to hold LDS Inc. accountable for its many harms against LGBT people. For all we know (not that we do… we don’t… but I’m trying to make a point), John D. is responsible for the increase in deaths.

    Attention is not what this topic needs. Attention, in this case, can be deadly.

  5. As usual, I enjoyed this podcast very much. I was somewhat surprised that someone did not address the issue of altitude being correlated with suicide rates as follows: Altitude in the US is highly likely correlated with firearm availability, which in turn is correlated with more “successful” suicide attempts. Of course there is still the problem of escalating rates over time at the same altitudes

    As far as where the Bretheren stand on LGBT issues, I can offer the following experience.

    In the fall of 2016, after the dedication of the Philadelphia temple, Elder Renlund gave an apostolic visit to the area and gave a training session to Priesthood Leaders. He left about an hour to address questions we might have. About 25 different topics were put on a white board on which priesthood leaders had some questions . Elder Renlund looked them over and the FIRST one he chose to address was TRANSGENDER issues. He made the following points:
    1. Gender dysphoria is real and we do not know where it comes from.
    2. Leaders should feel required to pay particular attention and give extra love to the transgender people. In particular, he mentioned their high suicide rates.
    3. Unless the transgender person is actively disruptive to meetings, they should be welcomed to all meetings.
    4. The bretheren are looking into the revising the current Handbook of Intructions as it relates to the transgender people.
    5. At least as far as youth are concerned, no Church court action should be taken now. However, at this time, female to male persons should not be ordained to the Priesthood.

    I think it useful to note that Elder Renlund did his cardiology residency training at the same time (late ’70’s) and place (Johns Hopkins Medical Center) where transgender issues and sex change surgery were (among the) first discussed.

  6. “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” This far too black and white statement led me to reject the credibility of the Family Proclamation over 20 years ago – even as a TBM. It indicated a woeful ignorance of biology. We are gladly seeing a movement in the right direction, albeit far too slow and even the church members, as a whole, are not aware of the shifting attitudes of the church. A couple of months ago in high priest group meeting some ignorant baffoon declared he ‘refused to believe god sent people here to be gay’ i.e. it’s a choice. I’d already made clear that wasn’t my belief. It is with shame I admit I allowed the church to formerly make a bigot of me. I will not allow history to show that I did not repent of my error.

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