This is a guest post by Michael Worley.
This post is written cautiously, as both family members of those who experience same-gender attraction and those who experience same-sex attraction should receive Christlike love from church members, irrespective of any choice they make. A recent church video emphasizes this point.
But loving one another does not require we treat their points of view as admirable. Of special concern for LDS members is when groups either (1) promote views contrary to the teachings of Christ as taught by his prophets, apostles, and other leaders or (2) advance their views by supporting efforts that contradict church teachings, while refusing to support efforts that affirm church teachings.
Suppose you were addicted to pornography, tempted to the speed limit on the freeway, or having trouble reading the Book of Mormon every day—but realized that all three of these things had been spoken of as important in general conference, to one degree or another. If you wished to improve in these areas, you would not turn to those who claimed that pornography was morally acceptable, who posted routinely on social media how to speed without getting caught, or who disputed the prophets who testify of the Book of Mormon.
One somewhat prominent group, “Mama Dragons,” holds itself out as a support group for LDS family members of those who experience same-sex attraction. The remainder of this post addresses the question of whether they are a trustworthy source for members of the church to turn to, based on the principles mentioned above. This is so those looking for good sources on the LDS church’s stance on same-sex attraction and gender identity can know what this group believes. While those who leave the LDS Faith or choose to question the teachings of the church have every right to express their views, Millennial Star has every right to collect their views for reference.
To the first criteria, promoting views contrary to the teachings of Christ: Mama Dragon Kimberly Anderson has stated that she does not believe in much of the Family Proclamation as an inspired document. But prophets have stated that the Family Proclamation contains valuable doctrine. Mama Dragons linked to her interview on its Facebook page, indicating her views are fully acceptable to the organization. Mama Dragons has also linked favorably to a post celebrating a music video that involved same-sex kissing outside a church, even though such kissing violates policies at all LDS Church Schools that request that students not participate in conduct that gives expression to feelings of same-sex attraction. Mama Dragons also refuses to teach the importance of the Christian law of chastity—which Elder Holland recently said should be the focus of our discussion on issues of same-sex attraction.
Second, Mama Dragons expresses messages that contradict the church by allying groups whose teachings oppose the church’s teachings. Mama Dragons members have appeared on a podcast called “Mormon Stories,” whose founder, John Dehlin, was excommunicated and has been one of several leaders in helping people who question their faith leave Mormonism. Mama Dragons’ Facebook page “likes” groups such as PFLAG, which openly support same-sex marriage, unlike the LDS Church. And their allies are one-sided: while faithful members—or the church as an institution—may ally with those who they disagree with on some issues, Mama Dragons does not, however, “like” groups that teach church doctrine on marriage, such as Northstar. While knowing members of these groups on an individual level is surely a good thing (Mr. Dehlin should not be shunned as an individual because of his excommunication), allying exclusively with groups that express beliefs contrary to church teachings is worrisome.
Mama Dragons brings up other considerations to justify their actions of criticizing or ignoring the teachings of the prophets. Most centrally, they claim there is a lack of resources to enable LDS family members of LGBT individuals to know how to love and be accepting. They also claim, as mothers, a need to defend their kids from rhetoric that they deem hurtful, including rhetoric within the LDS Church. Whether or not these concerns are valid (the church has been publishing resources in several mediums for over two decades on this topic), they should be acknowledged and listened to. But these concerns should not drown out this key fact: Christ’s command to love our fellow men—which, as Mama Dragons and others point out, includes all humans, whatever their sexual inclinations or choices—does not give us license to ignore his command to love Him and keep His commandments. As Elder Holland explained:
“Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet in part because righteousness was always supposed to accompany it. So if love is to be our watchword, as it must be, then by the word of Him who is love personified, we must forsake transgression and any hint of advocacy for it in others.”
That is not all that Christlike love requires. Christlike love also requires that, as President Uchtdorf explained,
“We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. … I will  quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, ‘Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.’”
Christlike love includes both the requirement to not advocate or applaud sinful behavior, as Elder Holland described, and the more individual love that dictates that, as President Uchtdorf said, we not judge or exclude LGBT members from our circles. May those who evaluate whether to listen to Mama Dragons recognize that the Mama Dragons focus on the second part of Christlike love relevant here, but ignore or criticize their responsibility to be Christlike by not advocating positions contrary to those that Christ himself has taught through “his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7). Those who listen to them and also desire to remain firmly balanced in the truth should also read resources—such as Northstar LDS—that properly teach what Christ has taught about standards of conduct for all of his children.