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.
This is a guest post by Nick Galieti, a podcaster for LDS Perspectives and Book of Mormon Central. Nick Galieti was recipient of the 2015 John Taylor: Defender of the Faith Award by FairMormon, is author of the books Tree of Sacrament, and The Exaltation Equation, and has directed and produced the documentaries Picturing Joseph, and Murder of the Mormon Prophet.
The Old Testament, New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants record some derivative of the phrase, “every knee shall bow, and tongue confess” with respect to the divinity of Jesus Christ and his Atonement. In Isaiah 45:21-25 it is written (italics added):
21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
24 Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
25 In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
In context, this passage is an assertion not only of the divinity of the Savior and the singular path that leads to the justification of humankind to the father, but implies a sense of allegiance to Him. Continue reading
The following guest post is from Beth C. Buck.
Beth Buck is a budding writer who mostly spends her writing energy waxing erudite about yeast and freeze-dried chicken at an emergency preparedness website. Someday she hopes to publish a novel, but probably not today. She has four kids, a spinning wheel, a black belt, and a degree in Middle Eastern Studies.
How crazy is this election cycle? I suppose it wouldn’t be a real election year if our news feeds weren’t inundated with muckraking, scandals, and political plot twists. Most days, I don’t know whether to move to Canada, or sit back and watch with a bucket of popcorn on my lap as if it were only another crude reality TV show.
But there is one thing I like about this election, and that is how we Mormons have successfully distinguished ourselves by refusing to ally with Donald Trump. It was with no small amount of pride that I first heard the phrase, “Trump’s Mormon Problem.” In the short time since the famous “Trump Tapes” have been made public, Trump’s Mormon Problem has only intensified as top LDS Republican leaders have rescinded their endorsements.
This is a guest post by Lucinda Hancock.
Recently I’ve been trying to live with more respect for my husband’s role as a father. It’s embarrassing, but for many years of my marriage I bought into ideas that effectively consider men to be ‘defective’ women. This has been most stressful in our relationship as parents. Fathers are men and the failure of our society to be reasonable about gender has made it difficult know what that means.
Last October I was surprised by new wording on the birth-certificate application. Instead of “mother” and “father”, it used “parent 1” and “parent 2” with gender selection boxes for each parent. I’d actually heard people talk about this kind of thing happening, but when you’ve just given birth, and you have to put your name under “parent 1” and state that you are female, it really sticks out how you are contributing to a socially constructed fiction, like there is nothing objectively female about the event of giving birth. And I can’t imagine anyone fighting to be called “parent 1” or “parent 2”. Frankly it would be more consistently non-specific just to go with Dr. Seuss’s “thing 1” and “thing 2”.
So here we are, in a society that seems to be gleefully attempting to erase observable and factual differences between the sexes in the area most pertinent to the fact of gendered existence, that is, in reproduction and parenting. The question is whether such ideas can answer and guide actual parents who are anxiously seeking to know about best parenting practices for the sake of their children. Many men and women have no idea how to agree on important details because there is no room to allow for differences between moms and dads.
The research is clear that fathers matter, but for the most part, we are uncomfortable acknowledging the particular and gendered differences that make fathers so important. Much of the analysis seems to bring out the economic poverty suffered in many single-mother families, but this view often gives the impression that having a dad is all about increasing the income of a family, and fails to give adequate insight about why a dad matters even if he fails to prosper economically. Even more than that, our failure to convey workable guidance based in reasoning about gender is pushing many viable marriages and families to the breaking point, as husbands and wives struggle to hash out important details of unity.
Who is right?
We would like to draw your attention to this story. Please visit the story for many of the links. We will simply reprint some excerpts.
A new study released earlier this month in the journal Depression Research and Treatment contributes to mounting evidence against the “no differences” thesis about the children of same-sex households, mere months after media sources prematurely—and mistakenly—proclaimed the science settled.
One of the most compelling aspects of this new study is that it is longitudinal, evaluating the same people over a long period of time. Indeed, its data source—the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health—is one of the most impressive, thorough, and expensive survey research efforts still ongoing. This study is not the first to make use of the “Add Health” data to test the “no differences” thesis. But it’s the first to come to different conclusions, for several reasons. One of those is its longitudinal aspect. Some problems only emerge over time.
Professor Paul Sullins, the study’s author, found that during adolescence the children of same-sex parents reported marginally less depression than the children of opposite-sex parents. But by the time the survey was in its fourth wave—when the kids had become young adults between the ages of 24 and 32—their experiences had reversed. Indeed, dramatically so: over half of the young-adult children of same-sex parents report ongoing depression, a surge of 33 percentage points (from 18 to 51 percent of the total). Meanwhile, depression among the young-adult children of opposite-sex parents had declined from 22 percent of them down to just under 20 percent.