The TLC controversy and Mormons with same-sex attraction

You may have heard that TLC is planning on running a show on Mormons with same-sex attraction, some of whom are happily married to somebody of the opposite sex. As anybody could have predicted, some champions of “tolerance” are intolerantly calling for the cancellation of this show, which simply has these people telling their stories. The show is called “My Husband’s Not Gay.”

I would urge M* readers to visit this post, which has a great summary of the situation. I would also urge charity and compassion for these brave Mormons trying to balance their sexual desires with prophetic guidance. These people truly are modern-day heroes.

Here is the teaser for the show on TLC:

Can you spare some compassion for the workers?

I want to tell you about my friend Tom. Tom went to college but graduated a few years ago and could not find a good job. After months of searching, he ended up working as a bartender. He worked five days a week from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Tom didn’t like the hours of his job and he didn’t like working in a bar. But it was a job and he did his best. After tips, he made about $35k per year.

Six months ago, Tom got offered a job by an oil company. It just so happens that I live in northern Colorado, where there is an oil and gas boom of epic proportions. Tom’s starting salary? $50k per year, with the potential to make $70k within a year or so. Tom’s working hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and his company gave him a brand new truck to drive on the work site.

Tom’s story is not unique. I know literally a dozen people who are either working for an oil company or working for a company that provides services to an oil company. They all tell the same story: starting salaries are great, working conditions are great, and they feel part of something that is growing and has a future.

In Tom’s case, he recently got married, and he says one of the reasons he was able to make the commitment of marriage is that he now has a stable job making more money. He plans on buying a house soon. Importantly, he feels his marriage will be more stable if he is not working at a bar until 2 a.m. but instead is home for dinner every night.

People seem to forget that good jobs make for good families and for stable communities. From a Gospel perspective, it seems obvious to me that we should favor policies that allow the creation of new high-paying jobs in the private sector.

Unfortunately, many people seem to favor the latest left-wing cause rather than having compassion for the American worker. Make no mistake: most of these causes are favored by people who work in academia or government. Most of these causes claim to want to “save” one thing or another. But the proponents of these causes could care less about Tom and the literally millions of other people who need a good job today.

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A decade of The Millennial Star

10 years ago a group of Mormon bloggers founded The Millennial Star, a Mormon blog dedicated to building up and sustaining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is surprising to many that we are still around.

A few thoughts:

–Finding a name for a new blog is always an adventure. I can now reveal that one of the names that was considered is “Laban’s Neck.”
–Most of the early founders of the blog no longer write here, but those of us who remain love them and welcome them.
–The blog went through some tough times in its second year, but I am happy to report that readership is higher than ever and that 2014 was a banner year for The Millenial Star. We are at record levels in terms of readership, number of posts and number of comments.

All is all, it is likely we will continue to be around for a while longer. Happy 2015 everyone!

The Plural Wives of Nauvoo

Eliza Snow circa 1852, photograph attributed to Marsena CannonAs I sat around contemplating what I might do in 2015, it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually spoken of all the various women who are alleged to have married Joseph Smith in the depth that might be desired.

Those who do not know these women are content to portray them as individuals of questionable morality and intelligence.

The truth is very different from this cartoonish portrayal.

In the mean time, let me recap the premise of my 2014 Faithful Joseph series, namely that it appears likely that Joseph Smith had sexual relations with few, if indeed any, of his plural wives. His outreach to “marry” women was apparently frequently prompted by a desire to teach them true doctrines regarding marriage, given the prevalence of scheming men teaching that women should enjoy sexuality (with the schemers) independent of legal marriage in so-called spiritual wifery, and that Joseph had taught this was acceptable. Continue reading

Joseph Smith and Albus Dumbledore

This is a guest post by Tom Stringham.

This post is written for what I assume is a small audience. It will be most meaningful to members of the church who, for one thing, are fans of the Harry Potter series of books and, for the other, still feel a little uneasy about Joseph Smith and polygamy after an eventful November. I won’t be able to contribute any more historical insight than has already been given, but I hope to reframe a story that is still mostly unknown to us by considering a fictional story we may know much better.

Specifically, I want to make a comparison (at the risk of coming across a little irreverent) between Joseph Smith and Albus Dumbledore. The reader, then, can put him/herself in the place of Harry Potter, the earnest and good-hearted boy who at one point found himself feeling disillusioned about a man he loved and admired.

One of the most poignant moments in the Harry Potter series is in The Deathly Hallows, when Harry is suddenly confronted with disturbing facts about his headmaster’s past. A journalist in the magical world has published a book called The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, claiming to expose an unseen side of Dumbledore: “Stripping away the popular image of serene, silver-bearded wisdom, [the author] reveals the disturbed childhood, the lawless youth, the lifelong feuds and the guilty secrets Dumbledore carried to his grave.”
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