The Books of 2 Peter and Jude contain strong, even harsh language of condemnation for false prophets and false teachers. Some class members may look for examples that justify their own biases. Although the verse is not specifically mentioned in the Study Guide, Jude 1:7 speaks of those “going after strange flesh,” and a footnote is added which references Homosexuality in the Topical Guide. While the addition of footnotes to the LDS KJV was a major undertaking, changes to the footnotes have been made since the originals, showing that revisions may be appropriate from time to time.
Read the candidacy statements of the 3 individuals running for 2016 Affirmation President: Fred Bowers, Kathy Carlston, and John Gustav-Wrathall. Affirmation is a volunteer organization that is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors and 3-member Executive Committee. The position of President of the Executive Committee/Board of Directors is elected each year by the membership. Anyone who has donated $25 between November 1, 2014 and October 31, 2015 is considered a “member” and eligible to vote in the election. Ballots will be emailed and mailed in early November and completed ballots will be due by November 20th. The election results will be announced in early December.
View the video of Affirmation President, Randall Thacker’s, keynote speech from the 2015 Affirmation – LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends Conference. The theme of his talk is how we can “Grow Our Light Within” through Acceptance, Forgiveness, Service and Finding our Vision & Voice. A moving message that includes stories of LGBT Mormons from around the world.
I appreciated Elder Holland’s talk during the October 2015 General Conference. He spoke openly, over the pulpit, about a gay young man serving worthily in the church. He said clearly that in all the support extended to this young man, no one expected to change him. He spoke of the importance of parents offering love and support, especially when things don’t go as planned, or a child is not who they expected.
Conference Talks Deal with Doubt and Imperfection in the Church, the Search for Happiness, and Family Support
Dealing with doubt, and coming to terms with the fallibility of Church leaders and members was a major theme of the 185th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other talks featured individuals not in heterosexual marriage finding meaning and happiness through faith and service. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk sparked discussion among LGBT Mormons, their families and friends about family acceptance and the place of LGBT people in the Church.
While I’ve been able to experience a degree of sexual fluidity to fall in love with my husband John and to have a happy marriage both relationally and sexually with him, and also to never act on my sexual orientation towards women in any sexual way; the persistent reality of falling in love over the course of time with some of my closest female friends has been a repeated dynamic I’d never been able to fully avoid, without avoiding close relationships with women all together. But that too, I had eventually discovered, became problematic. Avoidance of close relationships with women leaves me feeling not only emotionally isolated, it forces me to live with incredibly powerful feelings of grief and sadness…
It is only then when we touch the pain that we are in a position to be able to mourn. To be able to enter that second covenant. To mourn with that person. It is only then that we can truly comfort. That we can be good friends… Only then, when we understand the pain, can we offer words of comfort that reach deeply. And only then can we take upon ourselves the name of Christ.
Within the principle of fostering love within the family, there may also be an opportunity to discuss the unique challenge of LGBT acceptance within the home.
It’s not enough to stand on the periphery and wait for God to come to you. Like Jared and the sacred stones, we have to show initiative, energy, and courage in fighting our way through the throngs to ensure our sacred encounter with God. We have to break down walls, some of which may be of our own creation.