Join John, Gerardo, Carah, and Kyle Ashworth (host of Latter Gay Stories Podcast), as we discuss Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland’s August 23 speech to faculty at Brigham Young University during the first day of the 2021 university conference.
During his speech, Elder Holland condemned:
1) a recent BYU valedictorian for coming out as gay during his commencement address;
2) a recent uptick in LGBTQ-affirming demonstrations at BYU and;
3) a recent surge in LGBTQ support from BYU students and faculty.
Holland’s comments appear to be in response to concerns expressed by orthodox, ultra-conservative LDS adults, who fear that BYU is becoming too LGBTQ-affirming.
Holland invoked war metaphors, including: “I am grateful we have scholars today who can handle, as it were, both trowels and muskets.”


Show Notes: 



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  1. J. Snow August 26, 2021 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Holland is weaponizing please for civility and ending divisiveness.

    Sometimes standing for what one thinks is right requires making divisive claims. I think sometimes Mormons are unable to understand that their own claims are often divisive and elicit confrontation. Certainly, Joseph Smith’s claim that God told him the creeds of other faiths are abominations and their professors are corrupt is divisive. Likewise, Holland’s stance that homosexual expression is counter to family values, God’s will, and BYU’s mission is divisive. Now, I don’t think either of these assertions are well-supported by evidence. Why does disagreement with propositions that are on such a shaky foundation divisive?

    The movement for racial equality was divisive at BYU and elsewhere. Does that mean people should have shirked lest their conservative neighbors and co-workers at BYU be annoyed by their advocacy?

    I think this debate has profound implications for BYU’s future. Does it continue to seek to be a top 100 national university, or join Bob Jones and Liberty on the fringe.

  2. Quanaha Parker August 27, 2021 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    It is sad I have to start my comment with, I’m not Mormon nor do identify as Mormon.

    I’ve known for some time that John has traded his Mormon lies with liberal lies. But this podcast is beyond disappointing.

    First some facts – John loves to talk about increased in suicides in Utah, including increased suicides within the Utah LBGTQ+ community. Suicide is sad for the community and the family; however, it is almost impossible to attribute suicide to a single philosophy, religion, or belief. Humans are complex and there could be multiple reasons why an individual would take their own life. This is why you often hear the family say “I don’t know why he/she did this”. In addition, the Trevor project which tries to keep statistics on how many LBGTQ+ individuals commit suicide always uses the term “estimate”.

    Youth Suicide Rate per 100,000 (CDC data)
    Wyoming 29.3
    Alaska 28.5
    Montana 26.2
    New Mexico 24
    Colorado 22.1
    Utah 21.2

    States with highest Mormon population per capita

    Youth suicide rates have increased by 60% since 2007.
    Men/boys are 6 times more likely to commit suicide even though women/girls are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. So if you’re really concerned about reducing suicide, perhaps you should figure out why Men/boys commit suicide more often. I have my own theory and I’ll use John’s logic to convince everyone. Using the myth term ” toxic masculinity” is causing men/boys suicides. If you don’t believe just look at the data.
    Why does John use such hateful, hurtful and divisive language when there aren’t any facts behind the toxic masculinity myth?
    John you care about facts, perhaps you need to take a step back and stop the misinformation.

    I listened to Holland’s talk multiple times, I’m not a fan of Mr. Holland and I believe he shouldn’t have used the musket analogy.
    Holland was simply reaffirming his belief and the Church’s belief in traditional marriage, nothing more. By implying he used the white Y reference because of the recent rainbow coloration of the Y is hyperbolic. There are other statements in this podcast went to far but I don’t have time to write them all out.

    If you’re concerned about the “lived experience” perhaps you should show more charity to those “lived experience” that are different than yours. Including those who believe in traditional marriage and are often berated online by the LBGTQ+ community. There isn’t a person on earth who hasn’t had a difficult “lived experience” This podcast is nothing more than a diatribe of intolerance against those who believe in traditional norms.

    In this country we have to start having conversation about the difference between hate and disagreement, disagreement does not mean hate.

    John, as a Psychologist you should know better than to make sweeping statements like Mormonism is causing LBGTQ+ suicide. I’m sure Mormonism theology influences some suicides but it doesn’t cause suicide. Of all people, you should be aware of multi-varied analysis.

    • Ace September 11, 2021 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      So the mormon god is no longer a polygamist and has completely switched to monogamy??? When did that happen…..

  3. Blue collar god invetro August 29, 2021 at 7:27 am - Reply

    As a born in the covenant Mormon and a prepper and a conservative and a long time listener of Mormon stories., I find it very interesting that because the church is defined by its living a commandment based orthodoxy and strict honor code outside of BYU ,based upon longstanding jewdaeo-Christian,. Tradition .that it is seen as the enemy ,when it tries to stand up for those things . Do es the gay community have to blame every one of its problems on institutions that teach these values? What happens when the gay community eventually wins this fight which it will . I am sure it will be ok for the newly empowered community to not stop until all endocrinated conservatives are rounded up publicly condemned and burned at the stake because they may come back and use their free speech to create this hate and deviciveness again to inflict this curse of pain and suffering on the poor lgbt community. The lgbt/ liberal community is its own worst enemy when it chooses to use its newly found strength to demonize the thought process of millions of traditional Mormon people it is unlikely that the current q-15 will last as a majority for 15 more years age intself will destroy this institution but the gay community needs to show some compassion and understanding and some tolerance and love out of strength in its own cause . And everyone needs to ask themselves is it ok to have people in this world who think differently than you do ?BYU is a private college it is defined by its rules it is caged by its intolerance and it’s conservative nature change from the inside is what is expected and it is happening but what is it going to be replaced with? Do you really want BYU to look like San Francisco? Will you please stop with this idea that all will be ok when all conservative thought is destroyed and all the Bo Gritz’s of the world are silenced .that the world will somehow be better ?. The lgbt community will eventually win this fight at BYU it’s inevitable. But I can guarantee that the left will not allow a concervative voice to survive its fear based and fear is and always will be the down fall of human kind .where is the balance? Mr Holland is an old man he will be replaced by another old man .in the history of the world nothing has changed, as fast as the last 180 years. Some has been good some has been very bad . But it is obvious that the next 50 years will be ruled by the left and the l g b t community will have a seat at the table the traditional l d s church will not but that will not solve the problems and when you look at Portland and Seattle basically the California coastal cities that is what we have for government and tolerance . When we are completely divided we will be overrun by a Joseph smith like character who will come up with some cockamamie idea like secret polygamy council of fifty, make me a king and dictator., Philosophy and yes the gayest of gays will be included and welcome. Just like the blacks were in early Mormonism . No John won’t allow this to be printed or posted he’s afraid free speech will cause more suicidal ideation . (But as is written truth is reason truth eternal tells me I’ve a mother there) historical data tells me that the further left you go the more more devastating the genicide will be . Come on gay community pick it up formulate your own university’s good hell you have the whole of California. Why the heck is it necessary to beat up old tired Jeff Holland it’s like watching mike Tyson beat up an old dude on the street leave BYU alone stop blaming your problems on others religious stances . Remember opposition in all things . Get the big picture in view visit a homeless community in the Bay Area listen to some Jackson Browne. Look at what the left is offering us as conservatives you are now the majority and you don’t even know it in your rage you can’t stop and see the damage that is being done. John it’s been a good long run at Mormon stories and you have had me in your corner most of the time but I spent a good part of the winter driving throughout California the left will destroy itself. And they will demonize the right for their demise. Live and let live . The church isn’t the problem. A free ride always comes with a price .and no the church is not and never has been completely true tolerance runs both ways and baby’s are weaned because a mother needs her nipples in tact for her next child not out of hate for the child she is raising. Grow up move on be brave enough to listen to both sides attack the drug culture attack the give away program s. Be appreciative of the barricades of heaven where you are from.( Thanks Jackson) most of all let Jeff and Niel, Henry and Dallin die in peace. After all in the next life we all may end up living on one of their planet s as a thirteen year old bride to one of their most revered prophets. Lives without end. (Wow what a concept) you and radio free and bill need a joint podcast on that idea And they say there is no hell . Ask and ye shall receive . Well you got it

    • Suspicious Plug September 2, 2021 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Your Return key is broken…

    • Spurious Emissions September 3, 2021 at 9:24 am - Reply

      No, really – your return key is broken. I mean, who intentionally writes in 900-word paragraphs? How can we take your points seriously, as is from a competent, well-educated individual, with those run-on sentences and those kinds of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation gaffes?

    • cl_rand September 4, 2021 at 9:35 am - Reply

      Hi bluecollargodinverto,
      Vomiting always makes me feel better, I hope it worked for you.

  4. Shawn G. August 31, 2021 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Would we expect Elder Holland to express similar distain for a BYU valedictorian who ‘commandeered’ the commencement speech to declare he or she was a faithful, believing heterosexual?

  5. cl_rand September 4, 2021 at 9:55 am - Reply

    It’s a bit surprising that Holland only used the work white in his reminiscing about the Y above campus without adding the common Mormon modifier delightsome. As far as the musket metaphor is concerned perhaps he has a better understanding of the archaic state Mormon apologetics currently occupies. Seriously, current Mormon apologetics vs. current critics of the institution is like putting a musket up against a nuke.

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