Note: If you or anyone you love is at risk for suicide, please refer to these valuable tips on preventing LGBT suicide.

Speaker: Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

TitleThe Free Exercise of Religion in Our Time

Date: February 9 2016

Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Description: Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. Yet in many seen and unseen ways its validity is challenged at the margins every day. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will speak about the importance of maintaining and protecting religious liberty in the international sphere. After his remarks he will field questions in an audience Q&A.

Source: This presentation was recorded by Andrew Evans in accordance with District of Columbia law.

Note: As the final question of the evening, Andrew Evans asked Elder Oaks the following question:

Andrew’s Question: “Less than a year ago, right here in Washington, DC, my friend killed himself. He was Mormon and gay. You’ve gone on record that, ‘the Church does not give apologies’. Does religious freedom absolve you from responsibility in the gay Mormon suicide crisis?”

Elder Oaks’ Response: “I think that’s a question that will be answered on judgment day. I can’t answer that beyond what has already been said. I know that those tragic events happen. And it’s not unique simply to the question of sexual preference. There are other cases where people have taken their own lives and blamed a church–my church–or a government, or somebody else for their taking their own lives, and I think those things have to be judged by a higher authority than exists on this earth, and I am ready to be accountable to that authority, but I think part of what my responsibility extends to, is trying to teach people to be loving, and civil and sensitive to one another so that people will not feel driven, whatever the policy disagreements, whatever the rules of the church, or the practices of a church, or any other organization, if they are administered with kindness, at the highest level or at the level of the congregation or the ward, they won’t drive people to take those extreme measures; that’s part of my responsibility to teach that. And beyond that, I will be accountable to higher authority for that. That’s the way I look on that. Nobody is sadder about a case like that than I am. Maybe that’s a good note to end on.”


  1. David Macfarlane February 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Tedious, legalistic people believe in a tedious, legalistic God. Why anyone would think that this guy has some king of insight into the divine that they can’t possibly match through their own efforts is beyond me.

  2. Jason February 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Excuse me for asking and for not knowing this, but is Dallin H Oaks a lawyer? I thought it was a yes or no question that was asked and some how the question got side stepped.

    • David Macfarlane February 12, 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Yes. Former justice on the Utah Supreme Court. Still a justice on the Lord’s Court of Condemnation.

      • Jason February 12, 2016 at 2:57 pm - Reply

        Yes, it was much more a lawyer answer than an apostolic one. Thanks David.

      • Kevin February 16, 2016 at 6:36 am - Reply

        David Macfarlane.. your comment is absurd and cretinous.. Elder Oaks is simply repeating and living the words of God found in the scriptures.. Clearly you don’t read them, or you don’t understand them, or you don’t believe them.. Therefore your obvious judgment of Elder Oaks should be, and actually is more correctly aimed at the Savior Himself.
        In other words your issue is not with Elder Oaks.. (he did not write the scriptures) but is with yourself, and God.

        “3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.”

        I HIGHLY recommend you read the following: (ALL OF THEM!)


        I would also encourage you to read a few before and possibly a few after each one, to get a better understanding of their meaning.

        • Becky February 16, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

          Kevin, For a more enlightened (and dare I say, Christ-like) insight, I HIGHLY recommend you read the following:

          Elder J. Reuben Clark Jr , address to Seminary and Institute Personnel, BYU, 7July1954. “The very words of the revelation [D&C 68:2-3] recognize that the Brethren may speak when they are not “moved upon by the Holy Ghost,” yet only when they do so speak, as so “moved upon,” is what they say Scripture. No exceptions are given to this rule or principle. It is universal in its application. The question is, how shall we know when the things they have spoken were said as they were “moved upon by the Holy Ghost?” I have given some thought to this question, and the answer thereto so far as I can determine, is: We can tell when the speakers are “moved upon by the Holy Ghost” only when we, ourselves, are “moved upon by the Holy Ghost.” In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak.” Church News,July31,1954; reprinted in Dialogue, Vol.12, No.2, p.68

        • HaroldTheCat February 16, 2016 at 3:01 pm - Reply

          “And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened”

          Perhaps this applies to the Torah or the Koran instead.

          • Fred Marcin February 16, 2016 at 3:23 pm

            Harold, let’s appreciate that quote for what it actually is. It is a perfect example yet again of the arrogant presumption by the religious to claim to know something they, nor anyone else, cannot possibly know, namely who understands or does not understand something and whether or not someone’s heart is hardened or not. Consequently, I completely dismiss the quote as irrelevant, arrogant, and presumptuous.

    • Javier February 16, 2016 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Yes, he was a lawyer and served on the Utah Supreme Court as well.

  3. David Macfarlane February 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    John, is there a recording of his entire presentation available somewhere? I couldn’t find it using the SAIS web page. Thanks.

    • John Dehlin February 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      David – Yes. See the previous blog post/podcast episode. It’s the whole talk.

  4. JT February 12, 2016 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    So, with regard to taking responsibility for the gay Mormon “suicide crisis” – Oaks offers:

    ““those tragic events happen, and it’s not unique simply to the question of sexual preference … that’s a question that [cannot] be answered [until] Judgment Day… whatever the policy disagreements, whatever the rules of a church, or the practices of a church … the rightness or wrongness, I will be accountable to a higher authority for that.”

    Ahem …

    1. Nice attempt to dilute the issue with a false characterization (“sexual preference”) and conflation (“not unique”).

    2. So much for his confidence in modern day revelation or in his own authority (waiting until Judgment Day).

    3. And a clever side-step around the matter of doctrine by throwing up “policy” and “rules.”

  5. Bob February 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    All of this coming from someone who doesn’t apologize for anything even if they’re wrong…yet will tell others that they need to and excommunicate people for being critical of him or his organization. I just watched a youtube documentaries about Goebels and Goring. The pompous arrogance The similarities are so striking. They see themselves as above the masses and a law unto themselves arrogantly looking down at everyone.

    • Jim February 13, 2016 at 3:13 am - Reply

      ^^ Godwin’s Law strikes again.

      • Antonio February 17, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

        “If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler or Nazis…”
        -Mike Godwin

        It’s easy to dismiss uncomfortable comparisons, especially if they don’t reflect your thoughts and values, but the flip use of “Godwin’s Law” is just as bad or worse than the flip comparisons it denounces.

    • Goddess Divine February 14, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Yes, you are right. Oaks is arrogant, two faced and an idiot. He would never apologize for anything and publicly proclaimed that th church has nothing to apologize for. I am disgusted and sickened by this man and cannot understand how this jerk can be an authority at anything.

      The only thing we have to thank this man for is that he is so disgusting, so not inspired, and so antichrist, that because of that, many people will realize what the mormon church leadership are like in reality and leave the church, like me. oaks is one of the many reasons I decided not to go to church again. Mormon church leaders open their mouth and discredit their church more than any anti-mormon could do. They discredit themselves because again, they are not called by God. And there is nothing they can do about it. I’m so happy I left. Hurray for me!

      • don February 15, 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

        Thank you for your comments. Now go to Church’s February Ensign publication. He wrote of the “…painful affliction…” of “…singleness.” He describes it thusly, “…suffer this circumstance…” WTH? i am a fully actualized human being that just happens to be single. Nice judgement there Mr. Oaks. The whole LDS church is run by lawyers.

        • Austin February 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

          I read this talk from Elder Oaks. You’re finding fault where none should be found- which many on blogs and podcasts love doing. For many being single is a painful affliction – not a disease or a born handicap, but an affliction nonetheless. The talk is about receiving strength to bear our burdens through Jesus Christ. It’s sad you missed the point and instead was offended.

  6. Observant Neighbor February 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    This guy is such an odious figure. He is the cause of the church spending hundreds of millions in state battles and lobbying over LGBT rights over the last two decades. He is a sore loser and wants to leave a legacy. He and a few others of the ‘good ole boys’ in the Q12 have pushed this agenda for years. They have no conscience about the fallout from some of their ill conceived policies and statements. They view it as simple control over the masses. Thank God Boyd K. Packer is in the ground. Many of us are counting the days til Oaks can join him.

    This is not a period of peace, leadership or inspiration within the LDS Church. I feel sorry for average members who are deserving of true leaders who exemplify compassion, caring and genuine love. At present, Pope Francis seems to be doing a good job at this worldwide.

    For those of us who looked to our (former) faith in the LDS church as a beacon. We’re finding we have to look elsewhere these days. Many of us are finding inspiration in wonderful new places. We’re also realizing that our relationship with a loving God hasn’t changed, even though our lives are devoid of religion. It is a much more peaceful spot.

    • commonsense February 12, 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      “Thank God Boyd K. Packer is in the ground. Many of us are counting the days til Oaks can join him.” How do you think God would react to that statement? You preach about compassion, love, and caring, but after reading your words, it’s obvious you possess none of those attributes. You wear a mask of tolerance and love, but those qualities don’t exist in your heart. In other words, you’re a hypocrite.

      • Goddess Divine February 14, 2016 at 11:51 am - Reply

        I don’t think he is hypocrite. I think he just said what many are thinking but are not valiant enough to say. And if it was ok for Nephi to kill Laban for some gold plates, then wouldn’t It be better to get rid of Oaks and evil men like him that cause so much pain to all of us? Anyway, Oaks said it himself that he is ready to answer for his actions to a higher authority, then let him answer. If God wants to smitt oaks with lightning so be it. Who are we to stop the law of consequence? Oaks should harvest the consequences of his actions soon since he himself is so willing to do this.

        Disclaimer: I’m not threatenig to injure or cause any damage to Oaks. I would not waste my time on this man but I firmly believe he will go soon, which it may not be compassionate to him, but it willbe compassionate to the rest of us.

      • Jim S. March 2, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

        Yes, of course it’s hypocritical. But most of the folks here will justify their hypocrisy in the name of some “greater good”.

        It’s a common theme throughout humanity – your hypocrisy is unacceptable but mine is A-OK.

    • Heidi February 13, 2016 at 12:32 am - Reply


  7. Aaron February 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    I’d love to hear Dallin Oaks beautiful example taken on by more members of the church. When asked if you’re a full tithe payer, simply follow his example and reply, “that question can only be answered by a higher authority than exists on this Earth.” Remind your bishop that recently the Big 15 have admitted to not having seen Christ as they allow so many members to believe. It’s only reasonable to be skeptical of such weak leadership, and to defer to your own personal judgement based on your relationship with Jesus.

    • St. Ralph February 13, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

      I love it. That should be the answer to all PPI and Temple Recommend questions.

  8. Richard February 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Well said Elder Oaks!!

  9. Rodney February 12, 2016 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Oaks: Yes, I would like to take out a loan. But instead of being a decent human being and paying it off now I would like to wait until the judgement day and pay the balance at that point.

    Banker: But I do not believe in a god, afterlife, or judgement day.

    Oaks: That’s okay, I do and if I do not pay it back I will be judged by a higher authority.

    • Tricia February 13, 2016 at 4:47 am - Reply

      This!!! My goodness this sums it up perfectly!

  10. Giovani February 12, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I don’t like how he still tries to absolve the leadership and church by implying the problem stems from amorphous unknown members not being nice in implementing the church’s hurtful policies. These policies simply are not from god. They are from men.

  11. Emma February 12, 2016 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    I spent An hour trying to locate this speech Oaks gave couldn’t find it anywhere please give us the website to find it thanks for keeping us updated

  12. J. Springer February 12, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I think one of the most maddening parts of his final response is when he says, “Nobody is sadder about a case like that than I am.”
    What about parents, family, loved ones and friends, even aquaintances. Given the answer to the original question it’s quite clear that he feels no responsibility for these matters and even places the blame elsewhere. Dallin H. Oaks is a real asshole. Now maybe THAT’S a good note to end on.

    • Skip February 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      That closing seems ripped straight out of Breaking Bad.

      *SPOILER ALERT* After Walter’s new, heartless crony shoots and kills a kid who just happens to show up in the wrong place at the wrong time, Jesse is devastated and tries to discuss with Walt some way they can at least express condolences to the family (by anonymously donating a bunch of money to them). Walt tells Jesse that he understands why he feels responsible but then goes on to explain that “Nobody feels worse about what happened than [he, Walt does],” but how it’s not really their fault. Seeing Jesse is still upset Walt tells him to go home for the day so they can both mourn in their own way. As Jesse is leaving he hears Walt whistling to himself (thinking Jesse is already gone) as he just gets right back to business.

      It’s a really creepy scene designed to reveal to Jesse and the viewer Walt’s hypocrisy, duplicity, and callous refusal to accept responsibility.

      I’m saddened, but not at all surprised, that reading Elder Oaks’ response to this man gave me deja vu to that sickening scene. Ugh.

      “There is no greater Truth than kindness.” That’s my new Gospel.

  13. HaroldTheCat February 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    “…I think those things have to be judged by a higher authority than exists on this earth…”
    “…to be loving, and civil and sensitive to one another so that people will not feel driven, whatever the policy disagreements, whatever the rules of the church, or the practices of a church, or any other organization, if they are administered with kindness, at the highest level or at the level of the congregation or the ward…”

    If this is the case then why not open up your arm to gay couples and let them participate in the Mormon Church just like any other member. Perhaps “those things have to be judged by a higher authority than exists on this earth.”

    It seems like there is a lot of equivocating going on.

  14. maddy February 12, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    “Nobody is sadder about a case like that than I am.”

    Oops. terribly wrong answer.

    I can think of many people who are sadder–families and friends of those who lost hope and tired of waiting for relief from their pain.

  15. HaroldTheCat February 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    This is using god’s judgment as a poor excuse to evade responsibility and accountability. Also, this sounds like the sentiment of a a four year old using the sophisticated language of an 80 year old.

  16. Doubting Thomas February 12, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Listening to this man leads me to conclude that I have never heard anyone who sounds less Christ-like. Legalistic. Pompous. Pious.

    “Maybe that’s a good note to end on…”

    Yeah, good call.

  17. John Wiersma February 13, 2016 at 12:18 am - Reply

    I live in an area where two LDS teens have committed suicide. I’m sure the parents are comforted knowing it was all because of a “Policy Disagreement” the kids must have felt.

    Thanks John for your support and thanks for this website. After three decades my eyes are open to truth. The main body of the Church is also seeing the problems with leadership. There are thousands of us struggling right now over how the Church is operating. You have done a great service.

  18. tropical animal February 13, 2016 at 5:24 am - Reply

    The Mormon LGBT problem begins back in Joseph Smith’s day, a pre-scientific time when everyone knew that being LGBT was a personal choice and an abomination. Thus, in Joseph’s plan there is no allowance for personality diversity. The Mormon pattern is one-pattern-for-all, and unfortunately, still is.

    Today, of course, we know that LGBT is not a choice, but rather is biologically predetermined.

    I first realized Mormons had a problem when a BYU professor, long gone, told me he had to go out frequently and prevent Mormon students, especially return missionaries, from committing suicide. It was further confirmed when I heard of “Evergreen” a ridiculous, totally unscientific, Mormon conditioning program which was designed to make gay people straight.

    The “Mormon abuse trap” is set up when youngsters are taught to believe from childhood that there is only one “true” pattern. Then as these youngsters grow older and it dawns on them that they do not fit the “true” pattern, the pattern they have been taught all their lives, they silently suffer. They suffer mental conflict, guilt, anguish, anxiety, destruction of self-worth and sometimes suicide. And what is worse, they have no solution. Unfortunately, they must suffer alone and in silence, with no one to help them. There is no one they can turn to, no one to share their problems with–not friends, not family, not the church. Though this conflict and anguish is no fault of their own, church doctrine condemns them to unavoidable abuse, conflict and anguish.

    This is not a small group. It amounts to ten percent or more of the Mormon population. Just for reasoning purposes, this would amount to over a million Mormons.

    The Mormon people, as a group, are loving people. But this built-in abusive Mormon pattern betrays that love and is very cruel and abusive.

    • Jason February 14, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Scientifically speaking, we don’t know if being LGBT is biologically predetermined.

      • d February 15, 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply

        See birth order theory of homosexuality, physiology involving intrauterine antibodies and hormone levels which produces a different brain.

  19. Chad February 13, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Oaks sincerely believes that it’s not the policies but the mean spirit in which those policies are being administered that causes people to lose hope?

    Right. Because gay people are killing themselves not because the church presents homosexuality as one of the biggest sins in Mormonism, but because bishops and stake presidents are mean. Like if they would just smile more as they excommunicate gay married couples, the suicide crisis would be solved.

  20. Perry111 February 13, 2016 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Come on people. If you don’t agree with him then you are free to not agree with him. Why so much vitriol? As a teen I was suicidal and it had absolutely nothing to do with sexual identity. The teenage time of life is fraught with emotional mine fields without an Lds church. Anyone disagreeing with lds philosophies and doctrine is free to leave. And yes. I am leaving. To insist that the church change its policies or you will all continue to wag your fingers is to give the church much more power than it ought to have. You are doing exactly what you accuse it of doing. You are shaming and you are no better. Move on and do something uplifting with your lives that would replace the lds institution for people who feel like they need that structure.

    • Perry222 February 13, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

      That’s a nice idea but many of us have spouses and immediate family who are still believers. I think we are sick and tired of the condescension coming from them and the leadership when we question that which is highly questionable. So, frankly, when there is an organization that falsely believes that it is first in line at god.org, that purports to be the only group that can speak for god when it so obviously doesn’t, that causes so much mischief as a result, one needs to act with vitriol. One needs to point it out to those who might fall prey to the duped children feigning to be the lord’s missionaries.

  21. Jaasiel Rodriguez February 13, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Science guy here.

    God of the gaps argument.

    My god has bigger noodles than his.

  22. Launa February 13, 2016 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Totally second these statements:
    1) I’m sure the parents are comforted knowing it was all because of a “Policy Disagreement” the kids must have felt.
    2) Maybe if church leaders would smile a little more as they kick you out and instruct members not to associate with you.

    My own query? Why are they so dedicated to stomping out Homosexual and Gender non-conforming individuals while congratulating themselves on an acceptable number of pedophiles? I’m lost here. Am I really worse than a pedophile? There kids can get baptized right? They don’t wait till 18 and they don’t need to renounce their parents “lifestyle” choices? Help me understand that? Is that Gods’ answer? I hope not, seems to oversimplify a complex issue.

    This sucks, I just listened to the Bushman interviews and was feeling all good again. Now I guess I better listen to the Bushman interviews again.

  23. Fred Marcin February 14, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

    What staggers my mind here in 2016 is that a man like Oaks can publicly announce, and get away with, stating with a presumptuous arrogance that he “knows” our U.S. Constitution is “heaven-inspired” and comes from the mind of some made-up god. Our Constitution was clearly created by human beings and is, in point of actual fact, a secular godless document; nowhere in it will you find the words, “Jesus Christ”, “Christianity”, or “Bible” in it.

    Oaks is as wrong about the so-called divinity of The Constitution as one can possibly get.

    • E. February 14, 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Oaks was alluding to Joseph Smith’s revelation about the inspired Constitution – though he left out the part about how the Mormons would “bear the Constitution from the very verge of destruction . . . when even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces.”

      Evidently, Oaks is a pragmatist. He is willing to leverage all those apostate Christian sects to stem the tide of secularism – at least long enough for the Mormons to gear-up for their latter-day battle to save the precious Constitution – dangling by a thread – just in time to replace it with Jesus’s glorious theodemocracy.

      Or something like that.

      • Fred Marcin February 14, 2016 at 9:27 pm - Reply

        All that Oaks “alludes” to then is completely nonsensical Americanized arrogantly presumptuous supernatural white noise.

        Exactly like that.

        • St. Ralph February 14, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

          “. . . completely nonsensical Americanized arrogantly presumptuous supernatural white noise.”

          Wow! Way to put it all in one sentence! I need to remember that “white noise” part. God, if that ain’t the truth.

  24. David Wakefield February 14, 2016 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I would disagree with the assessment of Elder Oaks. To be fair I am an active and believing member of the church. I went to a meeting once where he was to be present. Normally we stand when a general authority enters a room. However, before the meeting he sent his secretary in to let us know he would prefer that we do not stand when he enters the room because he is not any more important than anyone else. It was a recent meeting, and I will never forget that moment.
    As to his thoughts and answer to the question presented before him. I am not seeing why this is so pompous and legalistic. He is simply stating that he has a duty to teach compassion both generally and down to the local level, and that he is ready to answer for his own efforts in regards to that

    • Launa February 17, 2016 at 6:53 am - Reply

      I would say the church and its leadership have a long history of saying one thing and doing another. In this case they say God loves me while taking actions that reinforce cultural ideas of oppression and shame. They say “I can change”, “if I really want too”. If I don’t change, it’s because I don’t really want to. For all but a few years now I wanted to change more than anything else, now, I am working really hard on acceptance. They seem to be working really hard to make sure I don’t find any.

      If you are going to say I love you “but”, just stop at the “but”, after that, nothing else matters.

  25. St. Ralph February 14, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Boy, the photographer who took the photo at the top of the episode description really missed a bet. If he’d been a little higher than he was, the light behind Oaks would have formed a perfect Renaissance-style halo around Oak’s head. The the revelatory nature of his talk would then have been indisputable.

  26. Howard February 15, 2016 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Checkout this summary of Oak’s and Monson’s involvement in The Values Institute and Aversion Therapy while purging homosexuals from BYU during the 70s.

  27. Sean February 15, 2016 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Sum that up: “I don’t care if kids kill themselves because of me. Don’t blame me, blame them for killing themselves even if the way I treated them is the reason they killed themselves.”

    His fate is the same as Himmler’s. Burn in Hell you worthless non-human trash.

  28. Fred Marcin February 15, 2016 at 10:24 am - Reply

    The fact that no official publication ever was produced by this secretive so-called “Values Institute” speaks volumes in and of itself. And I think those Mormon leaders who were involved in it have earned themselves a round of electroshock. Perhaps then they might begin thinking clearly for a change.

  29. MrMarkHudson February 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    For a church that claims to have a living prophet with on-going revelation, there hasn’t been much added to the Canon of Scipture over the last 170 years. Here’s the list of the number of revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants for each prophet:
    Joseph Smith: 135
    Brigham Young: 1
    John Taylor: 1 (eulogy)
    Wilford Woodruff: 1 (declaration)
    Lorenzo Snow: 0
    Joseph F. Smith: 1
    Heber J. Grant: 0
    George Albert Smith: 0
    David O. McKay: 0
    Joseph Fielding Smith: 0
    Harold B. Lee: 0
    Spencer W. Kimball: 1 (declaration)
    Ezra Taft Benson: 0
    Howard W. Hunter: 0
    Gordon B. Hinckley: 0
    Thomas S. Monson: 0

    • St. Ralph February 15, 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Looks kinda like Jesus left with Joe, don’t it?

  30. Fred Marcin February 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    With due respect, Dallas Jolley’s remarks here are a perfect example of the amorphous and ambiguous attributions to the supernatural or the so-called divine, all laced with the arrogance to tell others what is required to feel inspired to help our fellow human beings – “revelation”, “the spirit”, “prayer” to a man-made god, “faith”, requiring “humility”, “asking with a “sincere heart”, “respecting some creator”, possessing “gratitude for your blessings”, and having a “basic belief”.

    The fact remains that correctly understanding and fully appreciating Nature and the Cosmos, all the while considering the “beauties of the world” or the “wondrous eye”, does not in any way whatsoever require subscribing to any sort of man-made supernatural theology of any kind.

    I help my fellow human being through natural solidarity without the need for any unfounded and demonstrably false religious doctrines. And I certainly don’t need Joe Smith and his cult telling me how it’s supposed to be done.

    • Fred Marcin February 15, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Where have Dallas Jolley’s full remarks to which I’ve replied gone here?

      • Fred Marcin February 16, 2016 at 8:51 am - Reply

        @ John Dehlin: Where have Dallas Jolley’s full remarks to which I’ve replied gone here? Is it possible for someone to delete their own remarks here? THANKS!

  31. Tim Savage February 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Can the 15 literally believe in the church’s truth claims? If this life is it, and they don’t believe they will ever be held accountable for their actions, then it makes sense why they can say and do the things they do with a straight face. 15-20 years will pass and their ideas will be discarded as heresies. Does anyone quote Mark Peterson? No, he’s as good as dead to the church and the same will happen with Oaks, and Packer.

    This pattern of abuse never allows for the living to be held accountable and unfortunately there won’t be any justice in the afternoon life either.

    Oaks took the coward’s way out on this one. Newsflash – if you represent God, then you are accountable for God.

  32. Ray Dillman February 15, 2016 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Mr. Oak’s remarks are a blantant attempt to dodge the responcibility that lies firmly on his shoulders. He openly represents and endorses the bigoted policies of the Mormon Church. The consequences of these policies are quite patiently pain and human suffering. He shows little compassion and understanding. What a coward and dishonest a dishonest man!

  33. Rebecca Thomas-Hajrulla February 16, 2016 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Elder Oaks is only speaking truth from what he has been commanded to say by our Savior who is the head of this Church. Our Savior loves unconditionally BUT our Savior also teaches by example. He’s given commandments to be followed. Don’t be critical of Elder Oaks words, accept them and live by them, do the best that you can and leave the rest to the Lord. There are a few stories in the Old Testimony regarding perverted living with same sex. Every one wants to see gray but there isn’t any gray, only black and white…. Do what is right to the best of your ability and leave the rest to God…

    • Fred Marcin February 16, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Elder Oaks was “commanded to say” by your so-called savior? So he is a virtual serf then? These remarks by Rebecca Thomas-Hajrulla give arrogantly presumptuous advice to others and presume things not in evidence. Moreover, they are an attempt to negate Mr. Oaks’ very own responsibility for making his own remarks, irrespective of how he came to his conclusions. I, for one, do not accept his remarks nor live by them whatsoever. And we simply do not need to be counseled to “Do what is right to the best of your ability……..” I’m of the opinion we already are doing just that.

    • Tim Savage February 16, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply


      I believe the LDS church teaches that we are not absolved from the resposibility and consequences of our choices just because we believe the command comes from an invisible source. Listening to the response from Oaks reminds me of the lame cliché “the devil made me do it.”

    • HaroldTheCat February 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      Life is not an either/or dichotomy, yet has various shades of subjective gray. Authenticity, intellect, and emotions that I experience through various shades of subjective gray comprise my viewpoints, which is unique to me. Black/white thinking (semantics) cross over different perspectives, nuances, and shades of gray, so they don’t accurately describe sentiment, and sentiment is what matters in my opinion.

      The human experience is not all beautiful all of the time – reality is various shades of the good, bad, and the ugly whether we accept it as it really is, or pretend not to.

      Morality doesn’t need religion to exist. I like the idea that morality comes from a person’s conscience, a moral compass so to speak, that one can use in a world of change, shades of gray and adjust to different contexts. I think societies utilize commonality of its members to establish rules, laws, holy writ, etc., which aren’t nearly as flexible and accurate as an individual’s moral compass is, and could be called ethics. Thus, people can view others as acting ethically within the confines of the law, yet immoral by individual standards. Perhaps a definition of morality might include whether one’s actions “helps” or “injures” people. I think that morality is mostly subjective depending on what’s involved and the framework in which those actions must take place.

  34. J.Rulon Parker February 17, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I live in Arizona. Last week two 15 year old girls participated in a murder suicide outside Independence High School. Voices are seeking blame – “The school was at fault – the superintendent should be blamed for this action”! What an incredulous assumption. I see a glaring parallel from individuals who are pointing fingers at Apostle Oaks. In his address he expressed remorse for those young people who have committed suicide. I have read and reread his answer to the press. What more could he do? He clearly outlined his apostolic responsibility to teach love, like the Savior, exemplified. Shame on those who blame those men who carry the Apostolic calling . Eternity is a long time – I know that our divine heavenly Father will solve this dilemma. The scriptures are replete with hope and solace. Spend more time searching the scriptures that throwing out accusations of blame.

  35. Dilbert Smith February 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I don’t get it. How is it that Mr. Oaks-or anyone else for that matter-claim his rights to practice his religion are being challenged? No one has said he can’t practice the religion of his choice. Now, challenging that belief is an entire different matter. What’s wrong, Mr Oaks…You have that little confidence in yourself and your religion that you can’t take a little challenge? Can’t be questioned about certain matters? You wreak of discomfort and blame for your own insecurities, ignorance and fear.

  36. mauister October 29, 2018 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Dallin Oaks accepted his religion of birth and likely never challenged it. He is performing the job he was hired to do. The job description is fiction, but he doesn’t believe that. In his mind, he is only doing his job. What annoys me is the concept that faith without rational thought is not only appropriate, but worshiped. The fifteen are a cult of personalities that are worshiped by their followers. What is really sad is that the fiction at times is at the expense of human happiness, and in some cases, lives. So sad, so silly, and so tragic. Unfortunately, the fiction is never open to rationale challenges, but is shielded from rational challenge by the bizarre concept of verification by self and group induced charismatic “feelings”. However, strongly held ugly feelings against it look just like that. Feelings vs feelings has nothing to do with rationale thinking. Mr. Oaks will never give his religious beliefs rationale challenge. That option doesn’t exist. There is no winning this argument with him. He was indoctrinated from birth, and very, very likely, will die that way. I believe human happiness will be more maximized by presenting gay and lesbian people with the same right to pursue happiness that others take as their entitlement. If gays are forced to leave the Mormons because of sexual orientation, maybe that is their lucky ticket out of there. But if the outcome is suicide, that is a tragedy. Sorry for the number of random thoughts thrown at you.

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