299: LDS Bishop Kevin Kloosterman’s Talk on Homosexuals in the LDS Church

November 7, 2011
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While we understand that nuance and context are sometimes difficult to capture in news articles, we are worried that some of the framing in this SL Tribune article (especially the headline) might give the wrong impression about LDS Bishop Kevin Kloosterman’s talk on homosexuals in the LDS Church, which was given on 11/6/2011 during the Mormon Stories “Circling the Wagons” conference in Salt Lake City, UT in support of our LDS LGBT brothers and sisters.

Consequently, the full audio and transcript of Kevin’s talk have been included below, to give people the chance to read/hear what Kevin was trying to communicate.  In addition, Joanna Brooks has conducted a very thorough (and excellent)  interview with Kevin here.

For the record — (John here) — I did not in any way interpret this talk (including the use of the word “atrocity”) to be an attack specifically on the LDS Church, its leadership, its policies, or on the general general LDS church membership  – but on ALL OF US IN SOCIETY….LDS and non-LDS alike.

Also for the record, I don’t have any reason to believe that Bill Boram (or his editors) intended to mislead anyone….theirs was perhaps a reasonable interpretation.  But to me, the headline doesn’t adequately capture (and potentially miscommunicates) the spirit of what Kevin was saying, and could potentially cause ecclesiastical problems for Kevin, which we think would be a terrible reward for Kevin’s courageous, heartfelt acts this weekend.

We love and support you, Bishop Kloosterman.  You are a man of love and courage.

===============

Good morning, brothers and sisters. My straight brothers and sisters, and my
gay and lesbian, and transgendered brothers and sisters.

You and I know that I can’t speak on behalf of the church tonight, but I can
speak on behalf of myself. I want to tell you, if you leave here not
remembering anything I have to say, remember this: I’m sorry. Deeply, deeply
sorry.

Brother Miller got one thing wrong with me. I have not been a long-time
advocate for the cause. I’m a recent convert. [audience laughter] A lot of
people have asked me why I’m here today, and as I said yesterday, I have not
had a situation where LGBT issues have come to the forefront for me personally
in my marriage, in my family, in my extended family, as a bishop, and of
course one of our good sisters yesterday reminded me to include the word
“yet”.

Over the past year, I have felt promptings from the Spirit that I needed to
learn all I could about these issues. To listen, finally, to many of your
stories. Some of them I’ve read in books. Some of them I’ve read on the
Internet. And as I took the time to listen and as I took the time to learn, I
began to have a mighty change of heart.

But it was not without some pain. As you know very well, the stories that have
been written, your own stories, are extremely painful. Some have called it a
tragedy. I call it an atrocity, what has happened. And as I read these stories
and as I learned more about these issues, I began to see the emotional wounds
and the scars that many of you still have today. And I seem to ask the
question, “Where did you get these wounds?” and unfortunately the answer was,
“In the house of my friends.”

And when I felt that answer, I grieved and wept as any parent would for their
own child. It felt like I could not be comforted. I felt like I was about to
lose everything. I threw Carol Lynn Pearson’s book across the room at one
point, because I couldn’t read it anymore. There was one section that was so
hard that I wept in front of my children and they asked me, “Why are you
crying?” And I couldn’t give them a good answer, except to say that I read
something very sad.

When I read about the three recent attacks here in Utah, I knew that I could
no longer just sit on the fence. I knew I could no longer just shake my head
and pass by on the other side of the road, like a Levite or a priest. I knew I
had to do something. I knew I had to say something. I didn’t know what to do,
and I’m grateful that I was able to contact John Dehlin and Anne, and they told
me about this conference, and I felt that I needed to be here, and that’s why
I’m here.

And I still have a lot to learn. Today as we stood in, uh, prepared to go into
the Tabernacle to hear music and the spoken word, I had the opportunity to
talk with one of my gay brothers who flew in from North Carolina. He asked me
why I came here, and I told him what I’m telling you. I said, the straight
members of the church have a lot of repenting to do. Repenting is not
necessarily a dirty word. It’s Greek, it means to change your thoughts. And
we need to change our thoughts. And he told me, “We all need to. We’ve all got
to do that.” He said, “I’ve got a lot of resentment and bitterness in me.” And
I said, “Well, we as straight members of the church need to repent and we need
to make restitution, and maybe the healing can move along a little quicker for
all of us.”

So where did I turn for peace? I fled to the Savior. I fled to Him who
descended below all things. He has been my source of comfort and strength and
confidence, and without Him I don’t know that I would be standing before you
today.

I have been praying to understand this issue for myself. I went to a sacred
place and I pondered the creation. In my mind I could see the different
creations of God, different animals. A bear, a tiger, a lion, a giraffe, an
eagle. And I thought, or the thought came to me, “Who would want to make an
eagle be a giraffe? Who would want a tiger to be a bear? Who would want a
horse to become a lion?” And at that point, I received the comfort and the
strength that I needed, and I knew that I could come here and I could speak to
you today.

I will do all I can personally to make Zion a real place. Zion is not lost. It
begins with one person at a time. It begins with one relationship at a time.
And the only thing I can say to those of you who have been so patient, and
have gone through so much, is for you to watch and look for any small changes
with your loved ones, with your wards, with your leaders. And encourage them
in this repentance process.

I want to bear my testimony to you that I know that God lives. I know thet
Jesus is the Christ. And I know that we truly are, all of us, straight, gay,
lesbian, transgendered, queer, our Heavenly Father’s children, and that we do
have heavenly parents who love us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

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116 Responses to 299: LDS Bishop Kevin Kloosterman’s Talk on Homosexuals in the LDS Church

  1. GarenG
    November 7, 2011 at 1:25 am

    “Where did you get these wounds?” and unfortunately the answer was, “In the house of my friends.”

    Amen

  2. Deja Vu
    November 7, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I just want to say I had the privilege of attending this session.  I can tell you there was great spirit of love as he spoke.  I think the church should be proud of this brave man who was willing to follow the words of the church hand book of instructions where it says that the church “reaches out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender.”

    This is a man filled with Christ-like love who was reaching out to his brothers and sisters with respect and understanding. Would that we all did the same. I’m glad to say I know him, and he calls me friend.

  3. November 7, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Thank you Bishop Kloosterman. People like you give me hope for the future of Mormonism. 

  4. Sophia
    November 7, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Well Done!! Thou Good and Faithful Servants.  

  5. Triciavalene
    November 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Beautiful!  I feel very comforted by these words.  

  6. Brian Whitney
    November 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I am proud to call Bishop Kloosterman a friend!  He is a true example of Christianity and Paul’s writings which say “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor:  Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10).  Anyone who condemns this man for speaking these words of love, kindness, mercy and temperance are as the Pharisees of old:  those who cast the first stone, those who have a mote in their eye, and those who stood before our Saviour shouting “crucify him!”  I pray that the courage that this Bishop had will inspire other believing members of the Mormon faith (or any other faith) to come forward in support and kindness towards our GLBT brothers and sisters.

  7. Cynthia
    November 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I love this man….but I greatly fear for him.  His great work as a bishop may soon be ending because of his courage…in fact, he may be disciplined.

    • Ki_ki_anna
      November 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      You fear for him?  Disciplined?  For what exactly?  Curiosity gets the best of me sometimes.  Please. Do tell.

      • Vbbllc
        November 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

        Disciplined?  If so only unjustly here on earth.  All will be made correct on this side or the other.

    • no spam
      April 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      He will not be disciplined for anything he said. He said everything the leaders of the church have been saying for a while now. LGBT people should be loved and not shunned or mocked. Just because the church believes that marriage is between a man and a woman doesn’t mean we should be treating those who think differently, rudely.

      If people inside the Mormon church are being inappropriate towards LGBTs then they should be called out for it. The church doesn’t stand for anything but love towards your neighbor and as this Bishop stated, he doesn’t speak for the church, just like when someone inappropriately behaves, they aren’t representing the church well either.

  8. Cwald
    November 7, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Very very good.  I appreciate your courage Bishop.

  9. Beccarockswilcox
    November 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Wow I wish you were my Bishop. Thanks for your courage and lending your strength.

  10. Shelama
    November 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

    It’s not possible that Kloosterman is alone among the Mormon lay ministry. Although it will always be impossible for Mormonism to change its bedrock doctrines concerning sex and homosexuality, the Mormon membership, and enlightened leaders like Kloosterman, can help reduce the damage. Nothing is easier  to instill in a child (end enforce and reinforce) than false religious guilt about sex and worthiness. Unfortunately, official Mormonism is stuck with it.

    • Hellmut
      November 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      There are no Mormon “bedrock” doctrines in Mormonism, especially not with regard to sexuality and homosexuality.  In a generation, we will look back at this era with the same embarrassment with which we regard the former “bedrock” doctrines about women and Africans.

      • Troy Morrell
        November 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm

        Don’t forget the bedrock doctrine of marriage defined as between one man and one woman.

        • Hellmut
          November 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

          You are contradicting D&C 132, Troy, and every prophet before Heber Grant.  How can that be a “bedrock” doctrine?

          Looks more like a fad to me.  ;)

          • Alanalbion
            November 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm

            HJG was also a polygamist, but only one wife survived when he became president in 1918. I once lived in the neighborhood where he had lived and where many of his grandchildren were still in residence.  All wonderful people.  –Alanalbion

        • Steven Barton
          November 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm

          If by “bedrock doctrine” we are speaking of that which is rooted in the book of Genesis and its worldview, I would say that ship has already sailed.

      • Shelama
        November 8, 2011 at 1:44 am

        I thought Mr & Mrs God with genitals in Heaven was Mormon bedrock: Father and Mother in Heaven. They run the Celestial Kingdom and I think it’s bedrock that practicing homosexuals (a sin second only to murder?) will not make it.

        I think the Mormons are forever stuck with this one.

        • Swimmerfish99
          November 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm

          So u say most serious sin list goes murder then practicing homosexuals? How bout judgmental people? God won’t look kindly on that. Love one another as I have lived you. Did god ever tell you you won’t make it to heaven

          • Shelama
            November 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

            The Mormons embrace a hierarchy of crockery, yes.  You’ll have to check with them for the fine details but “sexual sin, NOS” has traditionally been held to be second only to murder in seriousness.  Not only gays are damaged by the nonsense, but little boys particularly are damaged with the early teaching  that even masturbation is serious sin.  A uniquely wise and honest  Mormon bishop in his yearly ‘worthiness’  interview once merely advised his young priesthood boys that they just “don’t masturbate too much”  …he clearly didn’t take it too seriously. But with a Mother and Father in Heaven both with functioning genitals and “be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” some truly screwed up young minds are predictable. Nothing is easier in all the world than to teach a child damaging, false religious guilt.

          • Danclrksvll
            November 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm

            God has designed the process of procreation to bring a husband and wife closer together.Physical intimacy is fine with God as long as those who engage in it are legally married, AND are of the opposite sex from each other.When we take sex out of the marrige bed and use it in any other way we invite unhappiness to walk through the door.I lived through the sexual revolution during the 1960′s.It was a complete flop packaged in a deceptive lie. If we want to save ourselves and our country here is some personal thoughts and  wisdom from the word of God in modern English:
            1. Wait untill you are married to have sex.
            2.sex if your married is good, enjoy each other with compassion and love.
            3.Run away from adultery.There is no happiness in it , it is a damned and cursed relationship.
            4.Watch your thought life and your associationswith members of the opposite gender,esp. if you and your spouse are having a hard time understanding each other.Satan will use this dark time to tempt you onto forbidden paths.You MUST resist!Your eternal fate rest on your choices.
            5.If there has been a proplem or sin in this area God is willing to have you come home and repent,through His Son Jesus Christ.There is a glory that is beyond words waiting for those who want to change and take that first timid step in faith.
            6.There is no such thing as so called ”gay marriage” in the eyes of God.It is a cursed union that will utterly destroy all who enter into it’s unholy habitation.Ellen Degeneras is only fooling herself and is helping to deceive millions of gullible viewers draging them down a path to the mouth of hell.
            7.Lastly , date your spouse,and listen more and talk less it may surpise you what you may learn.

          • Shelama
            November 13, 2011 at 1:12 am

            Totally remove god, Satan, Jesus, “Christ,” and religion and you’ll start to move closer to the truth.

          • Hellmut
            November 16, 2011 at 12:59 am

            If God is the creator then the creation is His greatest revelation. 

            You can impose your conceptions about procreation any time you want but the observable fact is that homosexuality pervades zoology including reptiles, birds, fish, mammals, and all mammal species.

            Homosexuality is a persistent feature of nature.  Anything else amounts to speculation and denial.  There is no happiness in ignorance.

            When culture clashes with nature, nature will prevail.  Eventually, LDS leaders will figure out that their behavior is destructive and self-destructive.  In the meanwhile, I can only hope that not too many of our children and neighbors will get hurt by people who refuse to accept the realities of sexuality.

          • Fidj0421
            November 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm

            So does eating their young, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok for us to do so. Most of you have really missed the point & that’s sad. The way some members of the church have treated our GLBT brothers & sisters is absolutely wrong, but if you harbor the notion that the church will change its position regarding marriage, sin, etc. you are so mistaken. I love my family members that have chosen to live differently than taught, but I still agree with church doctrine. Your thinking or hoping that the church will change is akin to thinking Jesus would tell the harlot, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. Go & do as thou hast done before.”

            Get a clue!

          • Hellmut
            November 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm

            Homosexuality is not only a natural phenomenon, it also doesn’t hurt anyone.  It isn’t inherently harmful.  Any problem with homosexuality also applies to heterosexuality.

            The same can neither be said about eating your young or prostitution.  There is no analogy.

            Unfortunately, church leaders cannot account for the nature of homosexuality.  The evidence of zoology, medicine, and psychology contradicts their view at every turn.

            As Christians, we ought to be humble.  Humility requires that we submit our opinions to logic and evidence.

            Doctrine and Covenants tells us that feelings that make no sense are not from god but come from us, fallible human beings.  Sadly, when we cling to our opinions despite the evidence then we are reducing our religion to superstition.

            Sexuality is often problematic but there isn’t anything inherently wrong with homosexuality any more than the world is flat.  If we really love our children and neighbors, we have to act accordingly instead of imposing our prejudices and superstitions on them.

          • Fidj0421
            November 19, 2011 at 4:35 am

            Hellmut, there is none so blind . . ..
            1. Homosexuality does not harm anyone is absolutely correct. I’m glad you agree because, as our leaders have been trying to educate everyone, it’s the acting on those feelings sexually that do the damage. As has been pointed out, one can profess homosexual feelings can hold callings & attend the temple as long as he (or she) does not act on those feelings & does not encourage others to either. The damage is SPIRITUAL, although some might argue that there are physical consequences, just as there are with heterosexual lifestyles that are not as the Lord had spelled out. Now, I’m assuming you have a testimony of the gospel because, if you don’t, then no further discussion is possible because you will always scoff at the scriptures & what our leaders are telling us.
            2. There is an analogy unless you believe that you are as the animals, with no conscience, reasoning, or ability to choose, as Father has given to us.
            3. I agree church leaders do not know every bit of data about life, but we are told we have been given everything we need for salvation & exaltation. I seriously doubt that you know anymore than they do regarding the nature of homosexuality. You only know what you feel, a same sex attraction (or both sex, etc). If you know more, please tell. And don’t go off on science this & science that. They change their idea of “knowledge” every time they find something new. Just because science thinks one way right now doesn’t make it truth forever. They’ll change theories in a week or two, because they can only know the things that God allows us to know. They do not, & in mortality likely will never “know it all!”
            4. As Christians we should be humble, but logic? (see #3). Humility requires that we submit to God’s will. That is the true humility of a Christian. Not logic, or what we just want to accept because it makes us feel better.
            5. It appears you misread the D&C. The feelings talked about are revelatory in nature (like if the church is true), not whatever one desires to do. There is someone that will tell you any feeling you have is right, because it is their feeling. Trust me, as a retired peace officer I know, there is always someone that can justify any idea that can be thought of. Again, the real test of a Christian is submission to Father’s will, & if one doesn’t, they can’t really call themself a Christian now, can they?

        • Hellmut
          November 16, 2011 at 12:50 am

          Twenty years ago, I would have agreed with you, Shelama.  But more recently, according to Gordon Hinckley, we don’t talk about that anymore.  It’s more like a couplet.

          Homophobia will meet the same fate as racism.  Eventually, it will be too much of an embarrassment and the Church will abandon it.  It may be allowed to linger in the nooks and crannies of the culture and the curriculum.

          • Shelama
            November 16, 2011 at 11:22 am

            It would be nice if it were true, but it’s hard to over-estimate the importance of genitals and sex and their god-ordained use in Mormon cosmology.

          • Hellmut
            November 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

            Well, Hinckley said so on national TV and he was the prophet.  With a little luck, you might even be able to find it on youtube.

      • Tators
        November 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm

        That is simply not true.  But you are entitled to your opinion.  There are many doctrinal principles of the Church which have never waivered from the beginning of the restoration of the gospel… nor even when the original church was here upon the earth.  Regardless of what may be politically correct at any time, these “bedrock” doctrines have not, nor will they ever change.  Truth is truth, regardless of the context and timeframe it is talked about.  That’s where the term “Eternal laws” come from.  Etermal denotes never, ever changing… regardless of how popular or unpopular a doctrine is.  The Church’s doctrine concerning sexuality has never waivered since Old Testement times, nor will it ever.  Whether you or anyone else can accept that or not, it’s a fact that’s not going to change..

        • Swimmerfish99
          November 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

          Truth is truth? How come poligomy changed how come blacks holding the priesthood changed? You can argue with solid science that we were made this way god made science

        • Danclrksvll
          November 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm

          Thank you for saying that and standing up for the truth.We need a 100 million more just like you who refuse to compromise regardless of the consequences.I am 57 years old and I have never seen our nation in such a moral swamp.We have reached a point that we believe that if we put two bulls in a pasture that they can raise cows by themselves.We have mocked the witness of nature in terms of procreation.
          If we cannot get the basics  of what constitutes a marrige,then surely God will not give a corrupt nation like ours wisdom to solve it’s other issues,because we are too busy spitting on His moral advice and have become a pack of mongrels without natural affection waiting our turn to be utterly damned. May God help us and send revival soon.

          • Dani
            July 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

            This point of view sounds far more like fundamentalist evangelical doctrine than LDS theology….

      • Danclrksvll
        November 12, 2011 at 10:13 pm

        I will say this:That God’s plan for sex does NOT include two people of the same gender having an intimate relationship.God can and does have mercy on those who repent of this gross sin ,but that lifestyle can only lead to unhappiness here and misery in the world beyond.The 1st book of Romans is very clear and precise in it’s language when it deals with this issue and leaves No room for compromise on this vital subject,compassion absolutly,compromise never!

  11. Anonymous
    November 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    That was an excellent talk.  Thank you Bishop Kloosterman!
    In checking out the SL Tribune article that John linked, I became angry not because of misrepresentation.  (Which would make anyone angry.)  But rather, I question the motives of the SL Tribune writer Bill Oram, in putting names to the people in the photograph’s caption.  Was this a deliberate act of ‘outing’?  The whole point of this conference was for like minded people to find a safe haven.  A point, I might add, that was completely lost on the writer.  If anything happens to these brothers, you, Bill Oram will be responsible.

    John, and all the crowd, we need to ensure a safe environment for our GLBTQ members.  If the SL Tribune cannot do that, they should be called out on it.

    • Hellmut
      November 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      I can see how that can be a problem, Bitherwack.  However, if there is a need for privacy then the conference organizers need to exclude the media.  Once journalists are in the room, their ethos requires them to report about events.

      • Anonymous
        November 8, 2011 at 12:51 am

        I respectfully disagree, Hellmut.  Though journalistic ethos might have them to report on the event itself,  (We are assuming that the reporter was open about his reason for being there.)  I’m not sure ethics would condone ‘outing’ people especially after such recent violent gay bashing incidents.  I’m concerned that such actions will make it much harder for Mormonstories to host other such events.

    • Danclrksvll
      November 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm

      The only safe place for those who violate God’s laws is found in the place of repentance, made possible through Jesus Christ.There is no really secure place for those who refuse through the stubborness of their own heart to leave a life of perversion.There can be grace and understanding but it must be accomponied with a dire warning that the wages of sin is death and the scriptures are very precise as to the dreadful consequences of practicing devient sexual behavior.Look what happened to the city of Soddom.They were so consumed with perversion that judgement could not be delayed any longer and they were swept into etenity without delay.It must have broke God’s  heart but even His patience came to an end.

      • Hellmut
        November 16, 2011 at 1:04 am

        Read your scriptures.  According to the Bible, God destroyed Sodom because they violated the law of hospitality.  Sexual purity had nothing to do with it.

        Then read a biology book.  People do not choose to be gay, no matter how stubborn they are.

      • Anonymous
        November 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

        Danclrkscvll, you write, “the wages of sin are death.”  I hope that is not meant as a threat.  (Threatening people would be a punishable offense.)  I am picking up a lot of hostility from your post.  I hope you are not considering acting on it.  (As a man thinks, so is he.)  The reason privacy for such events is so important is to protect the attendees from people like you.  These are people for whom murder has through some twisted logic become acceptable, forgivable if not imperative.  This insanity must stop.  You are free to believe what you will believe, but remember, there are people who do not share your value system.  For all of us to get along, living the Mormon Code of minding your own business, may be the best policy.  

        D&C 64:10  I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

        • Skelly
          November 21, 2011 at 12:37 am

          I think Dan….. is talking about “spiritual death”…No threat here.

  12. Alexander Rowson
    November 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    This made me want to vomit. The liberalization and perversion of God continues, in the name of ‘tolerance’. Such well-meaning blasphemy.

  13. uvanimon alexander
    November 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    v

  14. flower
    November 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Kevin… you are my friend and my inspiration! Thank you for having the courage to “Do what is right, Let the consequence follow” ❤

  15. Hellmut
    November 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you very much for the inspirational video.  Hopefully, it will be a prophetic window in Mormonism’s future.

    I am not sure that I understand the problem with the headline but it might help to remember that reporters do not get to formulate headlines.  That is the privilege of editors and sometimes leads to inaccurate formulations.

    Having said that, I find it troubling that people feel they need to slam the Tribune to avert “consequences.”  Without the Tribune, your conference would not have received any coverage.  For that the Tribune deserves support.

    Moreover, it is revealing that adults would feel a need to justify their actions so defensively.  Free human beings should have little to fear from an unfortunate choice of words.

    As adults, we are all equals.  If we want to be free, we have to conduct ourselves as the equals who we are instead of allowing others to dominate us because we fear them.

    The first and the last message of the angels in the Gospel of Luke was “Fear not!”  I believe that less fear of other mortals will bring about better results.

  16. Jill
    November 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Dear Bishop Kloosterman:  Thank you for having the courage to speak up, reach out, and rescue.  Our family has dealt with this issue for nine years, and I have never felt more love and encouragement than I did this last weekend.  In times of discouragement, I will listen to your healing words.  Thank you.

  17. Bill
    November 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Amen and Amen!!

  18. Jensenlighten
    November 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Goatee? Clearly and apostate – nothing but false doctrine.

  19. Margie
    November 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Goatee?  Clearly an apostate, – hence the false doctrine. 

  20. Jkfifield
    November 7, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you for your inspiring message, Kevin.  I have gone through a similar repentance/change of thought on homosexuality that has also brought me great sorrow but also a measure of peace and hope.  

  21. Anonymous
    November 8, 2011 at 2:21 am

    The following interchange occurred on a blog regarding Bishop Kloosterman. (It was a call to have the Bishop excommunicated.) The essay mentioned gay suicides and shock therapy favorably. I believe this sort of reasoning to be all too common in faithful Latter-Day Saints. Without the constant call for compassion by the General Authorities, such unabashed (and un-self aware) hatred will continue to be justified. We cannot be silent if silence means consent.

    The following is a transcript. 

    Me: To glory in a homosexual person’s suicide, and bewail the elimination of shock therapy treatment seems to me beyond the pale. To me, the bottom line is; What is the Church doing that suicide becomes the better answer?
    My reading of Bishop Kloosterman’s talk is simply that we need to repent of intolerance for our gay brothers and sisters. I couldn’t find him condoning any sin. I’m surprised you did.

    M. Crook: By apologizing to those people, he’s condoning their lifestyle, which is a SIN. Homosexual acts are grounds for excommunication, too. This bishop can’t apologize to these people and then perform his duties if a member of his ward engages in homosexual acts.

    Me: He’s apologizing for the mistreatment… the bullying and the near murders. (In his talk, he specifically mentioned “…the three recent attacks on gay men in Utah…”) He is not apologizing for the Church’s policy. Michael, do you find the bullying justified?

    M. Crook: Whether you want to believe it or not, he thumbed his nose at the Church. And yes, I find the bullying to absolutely be justified, as long as it doesn’t cross the line into physical violence.

    Me: I have found a few calls by the GAs for compassion. I feel that Bishop Kloosterman’s is just one more… (just my opinion.) I just want to clarify one thing. Michael, you would condone mental torment, bullying, emotional trauma, psychological abuse, just not physical violence? Am I understanding you correctly?

    M. Crook: You are understanding me correctly.

    Me: So hounding a person to the point of suicide is perfectly fine with you? (Just checking.)

    M. Crook: I could sleep well at night, because in the end, it’s not our fault if someone chooses to commit suicide.

    Me: Thank you for your candor.

    • Lee
      November 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      I believe conversations with people like Michael Crook are always counterproductive.  If you do a Google search on him, you’ll find he’s an attention seeking adolescent who never grew up, whose only desire in life seems to be to shock and diss.  He’s clearly got psychological problems.   I’m troubled that the internet gives a forum to such people, but I wouldn’t be troubled by him personally, or try to talk reason with him.  No offense, but thanking him for his “candor” is overly gracious.  What he dishes out is not best characterized as “candor”.

    • Mikelies
      November 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      Michael Crook is a troll looking for attention. Google him and step back in awe at how utterly obnoxious and moronic he really is. His entire life consists of spouting his worthless, nasty “opinions” online and I mean that literally. Don’t waste one moment of your time or one iota of energy on Michael or his “thoughts”, they are as worthless as he is.

  22. November 9, 2011 at 9:04 am

    John: 

    Its too bad that you have to step in and emphasis that the bishop in no way was being critical of the LDS church or its leaders.  We all know why you do this.  You know that the bishop could be disciplined if his remarks were seen as critical of the LDS Church  (any maybe you would bear some heat too).  The LDS Church and its leaders have been horrible to members in the gay and lesbian community.   Your defense of the bishop only reveals how sick the entire environment the LDS Church has become.  It is analogous of a heart broken wife interceding with an abusive husband to protect an offending child from a beating.   At some point the wife needs to abandon the abuser instead of acting co-dependent thinking that its it her job to fix the problem.

    The LDS Church deserves criticism; the bishop is an adult who is able to speak and decide the consequences of his own words and is in no need of protection; and the LDS Church is what it is – an abusive institution.

    Respectfully,
     
    Odell

    • Anonymous
      November 9, 2011 at 10:46 am

      Odell – The church (defined broadly) can be abusive, and it can also be protective. Ask any credible secular psychologist and they will tell you so. It’s complicated.

      • Hellmut
        November 16, 2011 at 1:15 am

        I am afraid, John, what can be is irrelevant to Odell’s concern.  He is describing what is.

        Your post indicates that Odell is correct.  You fear that a headline will endanger Bishop Kloosterman.  In a free society, that would be a ridiculous notion.

        I am all in favor of recognizing and acting on opportunities but that requires an unflinching assessment of reality, no matter how painful and unpleasant it is.

  23. LisaD
    November 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Bitherwack:

    In spite of your horrific interchange with M. Crook, I must make a stand in saying that you’re amiss in asserting that the majority of LDS Church members support shock therapy (or anything akin to it), or turn a blind eye and a cold heart to suicides by homosexuals. It is a false and unfair generalization. We make mistakes, and we don’t always have the right words, but we do care. My cousin is a lesbian; while I don’t grasp the lifestyle, I love her, and I think her partner is a wonderful person. All of our family loves and includes them. While the straight church members continue to progress in learning to treat all members with respect and compassion, I hope that those in the LGBT community will be accepting of our flawed efforts.

  24. Swimmerfish99
    November 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Last febuary i attempted suicide and nearly succeeded. The conflict of my LDS religion and being a lesbian was too much to bare and decided both me and god would rather me be dead than gay.After getting out of the ICU my mother said ” after everything even our physical fight i would rather you be gay then dead. I cried after hearing this. I am doing an essay in English about this kind of stuff and came across this. I plan on
    taking a stand and making a magazine
    for our community. Thank u to All the supportive church members

    • john zimmerman
      November 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      As long as you are staying clean and pure and staying close to the Lord and His church, you are of great benefit to the Lord; besides, all your relatives on the other side of the veil don’t want to see you prematurely – prior to you finishing your mission in mortality. 

      • SNeilsen
        November 12, 2011 at 1:01 am

        Your message runs counter to the Jesus of the gospels who embraced the outcast and harshly condemned the soul destroying idea that to be of “benefit” to the Lord  one must pay with purity and cleanliness and acquiesce to the church.Sparrows fall.

  25. David F
    November 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I’m listening as I’m writing a message.  This is 100% honest, true, and long awaited.  In October 2010, the Mormon church responded to a petition from the Human Rights Council regarding bullying gay persons in our society.  In the Mormon church’s reply, the Mormon church condoned persecution against gay people.  But in our Sunday meetings, and within the Mormon community, I haven’t seen any change.  Mormons are still considered unworthy of membership in the Mormon church.  Your speech is the first act since last October 2010 Mormon church response to the HRC that rings true to the church’s teaching reply one year ago.   This speech of yours today is a huge, Huge, HUGE step forward for everyone!  Thank you for stating your belief!  So, appreciated!  So very much appreciated!  

  26. David F
    November 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    last post… change, Gay Mormons are still considered unworthy of membership in the Mormon church.

    • john zimmerman
      November 12, 2011 at 12:23 am

      Untrue – all members who keep the commandments are worthy of membership. No one who violates the commandments regarding on sexual puriety is worthy.

      • David F
        November 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm

        John, I don’t feel that any remarks will change your outlook and so I’m addressing the general public.  Gay Mormons are generally hurting!  Bishop Kloosterman’s talk to me was like the parting of the Red Sea!  Mormons in general just don’t get it that Gay people are worthy of God’s love.  When I attend church on Sunday’s, I don’t feel a warm glowing fire from my fellow Mormon ward members.  If one has to be a hardened steel of rod iron before one is worthy of support from fellow ward members, then I don’t think that this is God’s church.  Gay, straight, single, married, male, female are all worthy of God’s love no matter how many bad choices we make in our lives.  Just by merely going to church, I think this signifies that one is willing to try to make amends, try to listen to the talks and find people that will support them in their lives.  Thank you Bishop for coming up to the podium and expressing that God loves Gay Mormons.  I find it so difficult to keep attending church week after week and being tread down by the ones who are perfect and can’t see to lift up those that are struggling.

  27. SNeilsen
    November 12, 2011 at 1:11 am

    John
    Here’s a commandment for you — Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

  28. November 12, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Thank you for being brave, Bishop Kloosterman. I hope that all of us that remain in the church can show such honesty and integrity despite any possible consequences.

  29. Gary
    November 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I am a previous Bishop, have a
    homosexual daughter, and a sister who lived in an emotionally abusive
    relationship for 25 years.  She has
    finally left and is looking to her family, the church and faith to see her
    through this trying time.

    To the best of my ability, I have
    tried to understand Bishop Kloosterman’s comments, and can find no fault in him
    as a Bishop or member of the church.

    The primary purpose of the church is
    help people find Christ and come to accept Christ’s commandments. I believe
    that this was exactly what he was trying to do.

    We, as a church, are not great at
    working with or accepting those do not have a traditional family structure. We
    struggle to help members with same sex attraction, single people, divorcees, or
    widowers. It is not right but Mormons are first and foremost people and see the
    world through a set of lenses like everyone else.  We hope those lenses will become clearer as
    we seek inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

    It is important for all of us to understand
    that the church is a hospital.  A place
    to get stronger and closer to the savior. 
    When I was an active Bishop, I use to tell my Ward leaders that we
    weren’t doing our job if we didn’t smell a little tobacco smoke in the foyer
    every Sunday.

    The
    Savior said, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
    with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is
    the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy
    neighbour as thyself.  There is none
    other commandment greater than these.” 
    (New Testament | Mark 12:30 – 31) 
    There is no caveat that says we only have to love someone who looks,
    thinks and acts like us.

    It is also important to separate
    Mormon Myth from Mormon Doctrine.  Let me
    share the doctrine of the church in a few key areas out of the scriptures and Church
    Handbook 2  (paragraphs  noted):

    21.1.29.  “While affirming the right of expression
    on political and social issues, the Church is neutral regarding political
    parties, political platforms, and candidates for political office. The Church
    does not endorse any political party or candidate. Nor does it advise members
    how to vote. However, in some
    exceptional instances the Church will take a position on specific legislation,
    particularly when it concludes that moral issues are involved. Only the
    First Presidency can speak for the Church or commit the Church to support or
    oppose specific legislation or to seek to intervene in judicial matters.
    Otherwise, stake presidents and other local leaders should not organize members
    to participate in political matters or attempt to influence how they
    participate.”

    Bishop Kloosterman made it very
    clear he was not speaking for the church in this area, but as you will see, as
    I go on, he didn’t say anything that I saw contrary to what the church  has  said
    with regard to this issue.

    21.4.6  “Homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God, is contrary to the
    purposes of human sexuality, and deprives people of the blessings that can be
    found in family life and in the saving ordinances of the gospel. Those who
    persist in such behavior or who
    influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline. Homosexual behavior can be forgiven through
    sincere repentance.

    If members engage in homosexual behavior, Church leaders should help
    them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of
    repentance, and the purpose of life on earth.

    While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out with
    understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same
    gender.

    If members feel same-gender
    attraction but do not engage in any
    homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their
    resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These
    members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every
    other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances.”

    In Chapter 46 of the Gospel
    Principles Manuel it states:

    They that will reach the Celestial
    Kingdom are, “they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on
    his name and were baptized,…that by keeping the commandments they might be
    washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.  These are they who overcome the world by their faith. 
    They are just and true so that the Holy Ghost can seal their blessings
    upon them. (See D&C 76:51-53.)  Those
    who inherit the highest degree of the celestial
    kingdom, who become gods, must also have been married for eternity in the temple
    (see D&C 131:1-4).”

    For those who might judge Bishop Kloosterman
    harshly, I would ask you to consider the qualities that Paul outline for a
    Bishop:

    1.      This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a
    bishop, he desireth a good work.

    2.      A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife,
    vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    3.      Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre;
    but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

    4.      One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in
    subjection with all gravity;

    5.      (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall
    he take care of the church of God?)

    6.      Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into
    the condemnation of the devil.

    7.      Moreover he must have a good report of them which are
    without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 

    (New Testament | 1 Timothy 3:1 – 7)

    I
    don’t know the Bishop or if he is actively serving in the role or not, but the
    spirit advises me to be supportive.  I think this was part of his own repentance process.  One we might do well to think about.

    To the best of my ability, I have
    tried to understand Bishop Kloosterman’s comments, and can find no fault in him
    as a Bishop or member of the church.

    The primary purpose of the church is
    help people find Christ and come to accept Christ’s commandments. I believe
    that this was exactly what he was trying to do.

    We, as a church, are not great at
    working with or accepting those do not have a traditional family structure. We
    struggle to help members with same sex attraction, single people, divorcees, or
    widowers. It is not right but Mormons are first and foremost people and see the
    world through a set of lenses like everyone else.  We hope those lenses will become clearer as
    we seek inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

    It is important for all of us to understand
    that the church is a hospital.  A place
    to get stronger and closer to the savior. 
    When I was an active Bishop, I use to tell my Ward leaders that we
    weren’t doing our job if we didn’t smell a little tobacco smoke in the foyer
    every Sunday.

    The
    Savior said, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
    with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is
    the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy
    neighbour as thyself.  There is none
    other commandment greater than these.” 
    (New Testament | Mark 12:30 – 31) 
    There is no caveat that says we only have to love someone who looks,
    thinks and acts like us.

    It is also important to separate
    Mormon Myth from Mormon Doctrine.  Let me
    share the doctrine of the church in a few key areas out of the scriptures and Church
    Handbook 2  (paragraphs  noted):

    21.1.29.  “While affirming the right of expression
    on political and social issues, the Church is neutral regarding political
    parties, political platforms, and candidates for political office. The Church
    does not endorse any political party or candidate. Nor does it advise members
    how to vote. However, in some
    exceptional instances the Church will take a position on specific legislation,
    particularly when it concludes that moral issues are involved. Only the
    First Presidency can speak for the Church or commit the Church to support or
    oppose specific legislation or to seek to intervene in judicial matters.
    Otherwise, stake presidents and other local leaders should not organize members
    to participate in political matters or attempt to influence how they
    participate.”

    Bishop Kloosterman made it very
    clear he was not speaking for the church in this area, but as you will see, as
    I go on, he didn’t say anything that I saw contrary to what the church  has  said
    with regard to this issue.

    21.4.6  “Homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God, is contrary to the
    purposes of human sexuality, and deprives people of the blessings that can be
    found in family life and in the saving ordinances of the gospel. Those who
    persist in such behavior or who
    influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline. Homosexual behavior can be forgiven through
    sincere repentance.

    If members engage in homosexual behavior, Church leaders should help
    them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of
    repentance, and the purpose of life on earth.

    While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out with
    understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same
    gender.

    If members feel same-gender
    attraction but do not engage in any
    homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their
    resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These
    members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every
    other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances.”

    In Chapter 46 of the Gospel
    Principles Manuel it states:

    They that will reach the Celestial
    Kingdom are, “they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on
    his name and were baptized,…that by keeping the commandments they might be
    washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.  These are they who overcome the world by their faith. 
    They are just and true so that the Holy Ghost can seal their blessings
    upon them. (See D&C 76:51-53.)  Those
    who inherit the highest degree of the celestial
    kingdom, who become gods, must also have been married for eternity in the temple
    (see D&C 131:1-4).”

    For those who might judge Bishop Kloosterman
    harshly, I would ask you to consider the qualities that Paul outline for a
    Bishop:

    1.      This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a
    bishop, he desireth a good work.

    2.      A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife,
    vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    3.      Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre;
    but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

    4.      One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in
    subjection with all gravity;

    5.      (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall
    he take care of the church of God?)

    6.      Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into
    the condemnation of the devil.

    7.      Moreover he must have a good report of them which are
    without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 

    (New Testament | 1 Timothy 3:1 – 7)

    I
    don’t know the Bishop or if he is actively serving in the role or not, but the
    spirit advises me to be supportive.  I think this was part of his own repentance process.  One we might do well to think about.

    • john zimmerman
      November 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Based on his actions, it is my opinion that this bishop is obviously emotionally & spiritually unstable. 

  30. Gary
    November 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Sorry about the double entry in my previous entry….You can tell I am an old man who is new at blogging.

  31. Ale Baurak
    November 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Many years ago after hearing a talk by Boyd K. Packer, which advocated physical violence against homosexual members of the church, I felt vindicated in beating up a homosexual lds man, however today I am sickened by my own actions and by Boyd K. Packers endorsement of violence against homosexual members of the church.

    • The swede
      November 16, 2011 at 6:56 am

      Shame on you Boyd k packer!!!

    • Fidj0421
      November 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      Print a link to the article or the date & place it was given & I’ll read it, but until then I refuse to accept your condemnation of Brother Packer. If you truly believe it, put it here for all to read. Don’t just throw out accusations without it. I have served in several Bishoprics &, while I agree that church members MUST do a better job of loving our members unconditionally, I have NEVER seen anything by the leadership of the church, in everything I have read, or heard that encouraged mistreatment of those that believe & live differently!

      • Hellmut
        November 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm

        That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it, Fidj?  Unfortunately, the accusation is accurate.  I wish it weren’t so.

        Packer’s call to violence is in the brochure To Young Men Only.  You can download a copy of the original brochure here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/38707298/To-Young-Men-Only

        You can also search for it on LDS.org.

        • Fidj0421
          November 19, 2011 at 5:16 am

          Couldn’t find it on LDS.org & scribd would not download it. I just get an error message. I’m not sure it exists, but I’ll ask at church.

          You know, it’s really sad. I agree that everyone must act as a Christian & love those that choose to live a different lifestyle. I have 4 members of my immediate family that are gay. I love them very much & we have no contention. But, like everything else, it’s a two way street. From my viewpoint, there can & should be a lot more respect for LDS members by the gay community. Just because I oppose same sex marriage (my kids understand & accept my viewpoint) doesn’t mean I should be ostracized by the gay community, & I am! The things we hold sacred are trashed & disrespected by the gay community. They call me names, & I have never said an unkind word to or about them. So, act like a Christian, & let he who is without fault cast the first stone.

          • Gary
            November 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm

            I tried to find it as well and couldn’t get it to open.  It just doesn’t ring right with what I have seen, read and heard from church leadership on the subject.  It also looks like it might be hosted on a posssible “anti-mormon” site.

            I would be very slow to  believe it without checking out the source.

          • David F
            November 19, 2011 at 7:23 pm

            It’s ironic that the pamphlet about gay people and Boyd K. Packer telling the members to violently assault homosexuals is entitled, “To the One.”

            If the church had any feeling whatsoever regarding gay people, they would never title a pamphlet where members are encouraged to punch out gay people as it’s a special day for the gays from this speech from Boyd K. Packer.

            The church I’m sure has taken this pamphlet out of print, nor can you find it on lds.org.  I kept a copy from my Stake President that he gave me.

            Looking back, I thought this was extremely insensitive to give me a pamphlet that says I should be punched out because I’m gay when I finally had the courage to come out and tell someone.

            This was back in 1984, so I would hope the church has changed their perspective a bit.

            If anyone wants a copy of Boyd K. Packers talk entitled, “To the ONe,” I can show that Boyd K. Packer really did encourage others to punch the lights out of gay people.

            Incidentally Boyd K. Packer’s outlook toward gay people has seemingly remained unchanged as his notorious lecture in October 2010.  His talk was extremely insensitive toward those gay people who struggle looking for help, looking for support.  I think he was under stress from being ill.  

            It’s funny that Boyd K. Packer also gave the first talk in the newly dedicated Conference Center in Salt Lake City in the year NOvember 2000.  In this talk, he encouraged everyone, especially gay people to turn to Christ, and that with Christ, we can overcome.  I found this talk especially helpful.  I think there is more to the topic of Mormons and gay stuff that we realize.  
            F
            For Boyd K. Packer’s talk referring to gay problems to be the very first talk given in the newly dedicated Conference Center in Salt Lake.  It sets the precedent.

            I just wish I could attend general priesthood, church meetings, elder’s quorum, social functions and not have to worry about the church’s resistance to recognize gay people.

          • Triciavalene
            November 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

            I wonder if you could possibly make a copy and mail it to me.  I believe you but others may not and I would like to have proof.

          • Fidj0421
            December 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

            Since it appears that one or more of you may know me, mail me a copy. If you don’t know where I currently reside, mail to P.O. Box, (my hometown), & it will eventually get to me.

          • Talspackman
            April 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

            The situation is too vague to determine whether he was encouraging it–the quote is from a story about a missionary who punched his mission companion–and it doesn’t say what about exactly, just implies that he was making some kind of sexual advance.  The quote is “I am not recommending that course to you [referring to the violence], but I am not omitting it.  You must protect yourself.”  While I think much of what Elder Packer said in this talk is more or less patently false, I don’t think you can say he was advocating violence.  Besides, if the missionary’s companion was making unwanted sexual advances and wouldn’t stop, I think a physical response can be appropriate–regardless of the orientation of either person involved.  That said, the story leaves a lot open to interpretation, and certainly misses/blatantly blatantly misrepresents a lot about homosexuality.  

          • David F
            November 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

            Fidjo,  Thanks for your comment.  I’ve never ever heard of any Mormon who cries foul that the gay community is mistreating the Mormons, or at least have put it the way you did.  That’s like the white ducks bowing to the yellow ducks.  I understand that within your family you might be ostracized since a majority are gay.  That really kind of makes me laugh a little bit, not at your pain, but just the situation!  HaHa!  Thanks for the laugh!  Maybe a little humor is a good thing here!  

    • Doug
      February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      You are misquoting Boyd K. Packer.  He never suggested that any member attack someone because they are LGBT.  He was telling young men that if someone tried to force them into a homosexual act, they were permitted to resist.  That kind of blatant misrepresentation only widens the divide, and counteracts the efforts of good people to increase understanding. 

  32. November 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I love this guy and I love John for doing this work. I hope and pray that sexual preference will soon be a non-issue as far as the decision of being a member of the church is concerned. 

    Don’t rest on your laurels (heh, special double entendre there for Mormons); there will be advancements in biology, technology and sociology that will make this whole LGBT question seem like the moral equivalent of little league in the coming decade. It’s on!

  33. Dennis
    November 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I know this man. He is a wonderful man. He isn’t my bishop, but he was my young single adult branch counselor when I went to the young single adult in Rockford, Illinois. He is now the bishop of the Sycamore Ward. I go to the DeKalb Ward, which is housed in the same building as the Sycamore Ward. I’m grateful to Heavenly Father that he spoke at that conference.

  34. ExMoHoMoDon
    November 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    The only thing a person who is homosexual can do for their mental health and safety is to leave the hate filled Mormon Church.  It is the most dedicated and well financed enemy homosexuals have.  There is love, hope and a better life outside of Mormonism. 

  35. Anonymous
    January 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Being a particularly feminine male, or masculine female is purely genetic.  Who you have sex with is always a CHOICE.

    • David F
      January 7, 2012 at 9:08 am

      It’s also always a choice to be Christlike!  In your case, I have a tough time seeking charity on behalf of your comments, as I do not feel that you have respected the difficulty of being gay and confront all of the difficulties of living within the boundaries of the commandments.  I would say to you as well, that it is always a choice to be respectful, charitable, hospitable,. kind, welcoming, giving, and brotherly.  I feel that you have fallen short in all of these areas from your arrogant remark.  Please repent!  That is also always a choice!

      • Anonymous
        January 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

        There was no judgment in my comment.  Just a statement of fact.  I have no problem with gays being gay.  I have a problem with them lying about the choices they make.

    • mm
      January 9, 2012 at 1:31 am

      But wow, can you imagine, as a heterosexual, trying to have sex with someone of the same sex? It would be as repulsive to a homosexual living in a heterosexual lie…Try to walk a mile in their shoes. Choice? A life of loneliness is a very sad choice for someone who God obviously intended to be gay.

      • Anonymous
        January 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

        Nowhere did I say they couldn’t make the choice to have homosexual contact. I have no problem with that.  I have a problem with them saying they have no choice.  They have a choice just as I do.  

        So you believe god intends for males to engage in homosexual sex?  I believe god just intended for the male to be extremely feminine. 

        • Ykvd
          April 18, 2012 at 3:33 am

          I knew I was gay since the age of about 4 or 5.  I didn’t understand sexuality at 4 or 5 but I knew of an innocent ‘boy likes boy’ attraction. It is offensive to me when people say it is  a choice. Why would I choose to be in a minority – sexually? 

          Why would I choose to make it harder for myself in life – like not being able to hold my partner’s hand or hug freely in public the way straight people can (which straight folks take for granted and would never think twice about NOT doing!). I have to think twice about such simple expressions, you probably take for granted. 

          The list of uphill challenges are many and nobody in their right mind would choose to put themselves in that position, especially sexual minorities.

          We often think of sexuality in terms or black or white – straight or gay. We forget that there are a myriad of gray shades in-between. Many, many people have varying degrees of bisexuality!God’s perfection in creating beauty in diversity is evident all around us! The many many shades of diversity applies to everything, including sexual expressions. Fear of diversity is often what holds us back from accepting others different to us. 

          • x1134x
            April 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm

            If you choose to be openly gay, you’re not automatically “choosing not being able to hold your partner’s hand in public”  That is ALSO a separate choice you can make. I know, I’ve seen openly gay couples holding hands, they weren’t arrested. You can CHOOSE to do either.  Why do you have to think twice?  YOU CHOOSE TO.

            You only re-assert my point.  People can be any level of feminine or masculine, and can even be in the middle, but bi sexuals are just people who made BOTH choices, because BOTH types of sex are a CHOICE.  You can even choose not to have sex at all, because sex is always a choice unless you are raped.

  36. Anonymous
    March 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Does anyone know if there has been any repercussions for the Bishop giving this talk?  Has the Church wanted to discuss his comments?  He sounds like a wonderful person!

    • Anonymous
      March 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      No repercussions that I’m aware of.

  37. April 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    What about child molesters? They are persecuted too. Misunderstood. Hated. Where’s your love for them? They get beatings, mistreated, and hated. If gays are to be accepted by religion then where does it say child molesters can’t be accepted and loved and embraced? Where is the scriptural line where gays are accepted and child molesters not?

    This teary-eyed mormon with intentions to accept everyone is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard in the place of a spiritual leader. This is morally sick reasoning and unnatural reckoning. This modern world reasoning where anything goes and the thought that you should accept and love everyone is not biblical. Parts of it makes sense when dissected out of context but there was a reason Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. In a way, I’m glad to see false worship so far removed from the pure worship God requires. It is easier for honest hearted ones to find the truth. That is what some of you WHERE, men lying with men … I don’t hate gay people, I just want them to repent and seek God while he yet may be found.

    • Ykvd
      April 18, 2012 at 2:53 am

      To imply that LGBT people are child molesters is offensive and down right ignorant! You obviously have never taking the trouble to get to know a LGBT person! Your God seems to be the God of hate and fear. This Bishop’s God is the God of love and compassion. I know which God I’d rather choose!

  38. Vern
    April 18, 2012 at 3:08 am

    As a non-Mormon, I must admit to seeing the Mormon faith in a softer light after having watched this Bishop’s speech. This Bishop is the strongest witness to the beauty of Mormonism I have seen ever. Many religions, though not all, are on the wrong side of history with regards to the Human Rights of LGBT people. Just like women’s rights, black rights, slave rights and inter-racial marriage rights, many church denominations were on the wrong side of history and used religious text to justify keeping groups of people subjugated and vilified. LGBT rights is the last frontier in human rights that we will eventually reach, sooner if not later. Which side of history will the LDS Church be on? 

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