Mourning With Those That Mourn

These are just some thoughts that I’ve had swirling in my head for a while now, but with the release of the new Church Handbook today, I’ve seen a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on the socials from people who style themselves as LGBT “allies” in anticipation of what they think the new Handbook will say.

One tweet said, “We need to mourn with our LGBT friends that mourn today and not remind them of the commandments” (???????)

There was another tweet about the supposed harm the Church does when it makes clear policy and doctrinal statements regarding the Law of Chastity, moral behavior, marriage and family relationships. I’ve seen it called “spiritual violence”.

Needless to say, it’s a full sack cloth and ashes day for some.

After a quick glance at the new Handbook this morning, it is much the same as the handbooks it repaced, in that the commandments and standards the Lord has set out for His children have not changed. Pre-marital sex is still a very serious sin. Acting on feelings of same-sex attraction is still not allowed. Gender is still an eternal principle. Marriage is and will continue to be between one man and one woman, and sexual relations are only to be had in this kind of marriage. Tithing is still going to be 10% of your increase. We’re still going to be asked the keep the Sabbath Day holy, and no you cannot drink coffee.

What bothered me most though, is the tweet that said, “don’t remind people of the commandments.” (??????)

We should be reminding people of the commandments. We are obligated to do that. The scriptures teach us that. For example:

Alma 29: 1-2 “O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.”

Ether 9: 28, “And there came prophets in the land again, crying repentance unto them—that they must prepare the way of the Lord or there should come a curse upon the face of the land; “

Doctrine & Covenants 18: 14, ” Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. “

Ether 12: 3, “For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled

Now, that’s not to say, you go out and be a jerk about it and parade around thinking you’re better than the next guy. Might as well get on your rameupmtom and tell the world what a jerk you are. No, this is not what I mean. I mean, teach, reach out, talk to your friends in person, face to face about their struggles. Follow the pattern of Jesus Christ as he ministered to people of all kinds Help people in person. Be with them, invest in them. If you consider yourself an ally, please help your LGBT friends to keep the commandments, and their covenants. Help them follow the prophet in all things.

As a person with a gay sibling nothing frustrates me more than when I see and hear about members of the Church telling my gay sibling they are a second class member, that they are some how “less than” because they are gay, and that keeping the commandments is something that is too much to ask of a gay person.

The Lord is not asking too much of any of us to keep the commandments. Keeping the commandments, keeping our covenants and following the prophet will always bring us the most happiness and peace. No one is a victim of the “big bad church”, because there is not a “big bad church” victimizing people. We’re all expected to keep the same set of commandments, therefore we call can help each other along the way. We all can draw on the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to strengthen and be with us when we need it. We can and should minster to each other when we struggle. We can mourn with those that mourn, but morning with each other does not mean enabling bad behavior or encouraging people to disbelieve the teachings of the church because those teachings don’t line up with current popular belief and the philosophies of men.

So today mourn with those that mourn and struggle and, keep the commandments, help others keep the commandments and rejoice in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we love our Savior and Our Father we will keep their commandments, with the promise of a blessing of the Holy Spirit of Comfort. If we love our fellow men, we will also help them do these things as well.

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About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom

6 thoughts on “Mourning With Those That Mourn

  1. Great post Joyce. Thanks for posting, I know you have a lot going on in your life. Remember that you have a lot of friends who care about you. 🙂

  2. Thanks for posting!

    I don’t do social media, so wasn’t aware of the discontent. But I did see the email about the update from the Church. I thought it was great news.

    There are multiple benefits. One, it spikes the power insider social justice warriors have had to “out” contents of the handbook. Second, it removes the differential access issue that has fed into female victimization narratives. And third, it ensures future editors of the Handbook know everything is open to public scrutiny, hopefully eliminating any sense some might have had that sensitive policy positions would be treated as close hold.

  3. “Acting on feelings of same-sex attraction is still not allowed. Gender is still an eternal principle.”
    I was just checking Google News this morning.
    I emailed M* asking for clarification on BYU’s response to the flood of media reports and tweets that changes (or omissions) in the BYU honor code language allowed “gay dating” or public displays of affection…
    I am anxiously waiting for BYU and/or Church clarification to stem that tide of nonsense and the frightening sight of misguided BYU students jubilating about sinful behavior. What in the world is going on? Joyce, nobody is in a better position to answer than you, maybe?

  4. I think people are misinterpreting, misunderstanding or outright lying about the BYU Honor Code. Sadly in our instant news world, national news outlets have picked the story up and have incorrectly reported it so many times, it’s now seen as the truth.

    My take is this:

    The Honor Code office handled this change very poorly. With an issue so controversial as the LGBT agenda they should have checked, rechecked and then rechecked of every possible way this could have been interpreted or misinterpreted. I would have taken any changes right to Prs Nelson and the 12 for complete clarification. There are people with agendas at BYU who are pushing, agitating BYU to go the wrong way. If I were in charge of BYU, you wouldn’t work at BYU with an agenda that was contrary to the Church and its teachings. BYU isn’t a secular university nor should it try to be one. If staff and students want BYU to be more worldly, go to a worldly college, there are plenty. Free up that spot for a faithful member of the church. And if we remember from the Old Testament, when ancient Israel was clamoring for a king, the Lord had Samuel tell them exactly what would happen when they became like the other nations with a king. That king would come for their homes, lands, flocks, fields, children and everything. That is exactly what happened too. Was it worth it then? Would it be worth it now? No and no.

    The Church has not changed its position on chastity or morality or sexual relations and proper relationships. Acting on same-sex attraction is still not allowed. So you have to ask, what is the end goal of dating as a young adult? If it’s not marriage in the temple, then the person is wasting their time. Same-sex marriage is prohibited, and always will be, always has been. So same-sex dating is a dead end. Why encourage it? Why promote it? It would harm individuals to do so. I know that makes a very tough situation for some, and there is where we need to be sensitive and caring about feelings, and the real struggle people go thru. As I wrote in this post, the best thing we can do for LGBT people in the church is to help them keep the commandments, and live their covenants.

    Yes, there is a lot of confusion. I hope that the Brethren make a statement or clarification. I hope that BYU thinks long and hard before making other changes to the Honor Code and any sort of public statement that might be interpreted as supporting the LGBT agenda by members of the Church and those outside of the church. (And yes there is an agenda ).

    So to answer your question, I don’t know what’s going on. It has been interesting to see people reveal themselves — and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s the enema BYU needs right now. I know I will not be sending my kids there in a few years if this type of stuff is still going on. I don’t give charitable contributions there anymore and if I could check a box on my tithing to not have my $$ go to BYU right now, I would check that box. It makes me sad too. I went to BYU and graduated from there. I have always loved my time at BYU because it was different from every where else.

  5. Thank you Joyce. As usual, we shouldn’t have to spend time drafting paragraph after paragraph of principles we already know to be true, but this type of occurence makes
    1. some members panic in the moment
    2. bloggers patiently explain that everything is as before and OK.
    Just like President Nelson when he gave “The Love and Laws of God” address at… BYU. Another example of a prophet knowing what to say, and when and where to say it. I am sorry (figure of speech, I am not), but maybe there needs to be a purge: BYU clarifying–AGAIN–the honor code, enforcing it, and expelling staff and students who do not want to live it. To me, what is going on there is completely unacceptable. BYU does represent the Church and everything we stand for as a people. Let so-called Mormon-LGBT demonstrate in Provo after they are kicked out, like people demonstrate outside of General Conference, but not within. Korihor all over again. Purging the association with the BSA and its unacceptable policies was necessary. We understand that God gives commandments because he loves us, as good parents give rules to their children. Your post was timely and well said. I will be checking Tuesday’s BYU devotional and the news. I don’t think the Church will wait until General Conference to address this specific issue.

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