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Aversion Therapy

I remember being told as a youth to strap a rubber band around my wrist. Whenever I had an unworthy (i.e. sexual) thought, I was supposed to snap the rubber band, causing pain. The idea was that I would begin to form a negative association with unworthy thoughts. In other words, this was a rudimentary form of aversion therapy suggested by my Mormon leaders.

This was just an idea floated out there, so I never really wore a rubber band. I had no idea how far the Mormon leadership actually took aversion therapy until recently. Many homosexual youth were subjected to aversive shock therapy in order to convert them to heterosexuality. They viewed graphic homosexual pornography in a laboratory, lab workers shocked them when they became aroused. They would then view heterosexual pornography while soothing music was played. Many of the patients had never viewed such pornography to that point in their lives.

Main Street Plaza recently highlighted a short documentary—Legacies—about men who underwent this therapy.

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LDS Church Needs Gays

Troy Williams via Dancing With Crazy:

American history is full of people like Buttars and organizations like the Eagle Forum and the LDS Church. There will always be those who aggressively work to marginalize minority populations. We need them. And strangely, they also need us.

We queers provide them with an outraged sense of moral superiority. We are the sinful “other” that allows them to maintain a self-image of their own righteousness. And it all works fine, until the day they realize that the “other” they’ve ostracized is their very own flesh and blood.

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With My Whole Influence

It seems like a lot of my Mormon friends and family have been speaking out on Proposition 8 (if you’re reading, sorry Kullervo), the effort in California to define marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman. They may be doing this at the urging of their religious leaders. I’ve taken the opportunity to respond with my own views, making the case that the LDS (of all people) should be wary of legislation based on religion and religious judgments.

I’ve spent so much time writing these messages so far that I’ve decided to collect them here. Most of these come from private correspondence and family blogs, so I won’t be linking to the original discussion or extensively quoting by name the other side of the conversation. So not only will this be a bit repetitive, but you’ll only hear one side of the conversation. In lieu of the other side of the conversation, the opposing arguments are pretty well summed up at What Is Prop 8?.

My message has evolved a bit, so that I think the last message is my best. Skip to that message if you like.

The first is an exchange from a family mailing list.

I hope I am not offending anyone. If I am, I am sorry. That is not my intent, but feel very passionate about this.

I am not personally offended. I worry about the hurtful effects these amendments would have if passed. I therefore feel the need to respond.

Many of your are aware that in CA, AZ and FL there is a constitutional amendment on the ballots in November to define marriage as ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN…PERIOD!

There is deep irony in the fact that the heirs of the Mormon legacy are now fighting to define marriage between one man and one woman. Faithful Mormons forefathers and foremothers fought the United States government when it tried to impose its idea of what a marriage should look like: the very same definition the descendants of those early Mormons now seek to impose on others. Early Mormon leaders had strong beliefs about monogamy:

“This law of monogamy, or the monogamic system, laid the foundation for prostitution and the evils and diseases of the most revolting nature and character under which modern Christendom groans,…

“It is a fact worthy of note that the shortest lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome … was a monogamic nation and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her.”—Apostle George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, pp. 195, 202

“Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout Christendom, and which had been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious.”—Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 128

“…the one-wife system not only degenerates the human family, both physically and intellectually, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; it is a lure to temptation, and has always proved a curse to a people.”—Prophet John Taylor, Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 227

Whether or not one agrees with their teachings about monogamy, I hope we can agree that the United States government violated their freedom of conscience by imposing monogamy on the Latter-day Saints.

Some may say, “well, that doesn’t affect me, one way or another. Let them do what they want.” And that is where you are very wrong! It will affect you, if this is not passed.

I have yet to hear a cogent explanation from anyone of how same-sex marriage will harm me any more than good and bad opposite-sex marriages affect me. The article you enclosed shows how institutions are being required to reverse their discriminatory practices in order to recognize the equal rights of same-sex couples. Similar changes were required to reverse segregationist practices. I don’t agree with all of those decisions and hope some of them will be moderated over time. However I’m willing to take some of the bad with the good in order to secure a more perfect union.

If you are not aware, in 2000 California passed a law (as in AZ) where it defined marriage as one man and one woman. Unfortunately, because it is only a “law”, activist judges in CA decided to go against the vote of the people, and made it legal for ANYONE, LIVING ANYWHERE to come to CA and get married. That is why it is on the ballot again, to make it a constitutional amendment, where activist judges CANNOT change it.

What many are calling judicial activism is actually a long-standing constitutional check on the power of the majority to make unconstitutional laws which trample on the rights of a minority: judicial review. We thankfully don’t live in a pure democracy where the whim of the majority has the force of law. Instead, we live in a constitutional republic where the rule of law seeks to prevent the
excesses of mob rule.

Those opposed to the Marriage Amendment want you to think there are no consequences and those for the Marriage amendment are just being hateful. I believe that is far from the truth! We must protect our religious freedoms to worship and be able to live according to our beliefs.

What of the rights of those same-sex couples to worship and marry according to their beliefs? In order to protect our own rights, we need to protect the rights of others with whom we disagree.

I don’t think you are a hateful person. When I thought about this issue the way you do now, I didn’t hate anyone. And yet my actions and beliefs had unintentionally hateful effects. I hope you will take the time to truly understand those who you are fighting against. I think the following link would be a helpful place to begin:

Let me end by again quoting from Doctrine and Covenants 134 (worth a read in its entirety).

“We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience… We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.”

All the best,


The conversation continues.

Although I appreciate your thoughts, I am afraid we are going to have to agree to disagree.

Even though we may still disagree at the end of a conversation, that shouldn’t shortcut listening to each other. Open conversation helps dispel the illusion that all good people think alike. If we throw up our hands every time we might disagree, very little discussion would ever take place.

I do have friends who are homosexuals, I although I very much consider them my friends and care about them, I do not agree with their lifestyle.

I’m not clear on how their lifestyle differs from mine. From what I can tell, my homosexual friends and acquaintances live, work, and play much the same way I do with the single exception of whom they are romantically attracted to. Well, I suppose I share the same attraction as my lesbian friends. :)

What part of this lifestyle do you object to?

And I definitely do not want their choices forced on me and my family.

What choices are we discussing? I’m truly unclear what choices they have made that you feel forced to also make.

And I am sure you are aware, but it is NOT just The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that are fighting to define marriage as ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, but most, if not all Christian Churches, as their freedom of religion are at stake.

I also hope to preserve religious freedom. On occasion I attend a church which would love to be able to solemnize legally binding same-sex marriages as an affirmation of their deepest religious ideals. Currently, the state recognizes some religious marriages and not others. This is an unconstitutional establishment of one religion over another.

I believe that we can both protect your freedom of religion and and protect everyone’s right to equal protection under the law. In fact, I think we can’t have one without the other. There are many Christians – including many Mormons – who oppose these amendments. Not only do they see it as the Christian thing to do, they understand that they must protect minority religious rights in order to protect their own.

I would protect a same-sex couple’s right to choose their marriage partners. I would also protect a church’s right to refuse to recognize that union (as long as the church wasn’t taking public money).

How about we just get the government out of the marriage business altogether? Civil unions for all, and religious ceremonies for those who want them (and can get a religion to solemnize their union).

Sorry, but what the homosexuals are asking is WE give up our rights so they can have whatever they want and push it down our throats. Sorry, but that does not work for me.

Everyone’s liberties must be balanced against others’ in a free society. We are forced to live next to people who don’t believe all of the same things as we do. That requires some accommodation.

Right now, it seems to me that some of us are seeking to force their religious judgments down the throats of the rest of us.

I sincerely hope that the Mormon church (and others) will eventually take a more equitable, loving, charitable stance on this issue like it did regarding race after the struggles for racial equity of last century. I already see some hopeful movements in that direction from its leaders and members.

All the best,


The next discussion took place on the blog of a friend whom my wife and I hung out with during the summer before we got married. She and her husband married three weeks before we did.

Hi M—,

While I am morally opposed to Proposition 8, I also support everyone’s freedom to live according to their own conscience, including the right of a religion to chose which couples should be married in their church.

As Tom mentioned, there is very little danger that the church will be required to solemnize same-sex marriages. Compare other countries like Canada where same-sex marriages are legal everywhere. None of the seven temples in Canada have been required to close. It seems like some community leaders are unnecessarily worried about their own religious freedoms and are spreading the paranoia in order to drum up support.

And again.

Such is one of the weaknesses of public education: not every parent will agree on that should be taught. Controversial topics like this probably shouldn’t be taught with the backing of the state.

let THEM choose as they will.just don’t call it marriage.

Let’s compromise. Let’s have the government call every marriage a “civil union” even opposite sex marriages. Thereafter, we are free to call it what we like. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to call it a marriage. If I don’t like interracial marriages (not really), then I don’t have to call them marriages.

It becomes a private matter, just as it should be. (Marriage licensing by the state began as a way to forbid interracial marriages. Beforehand, it was a primarily religious affair.)

And once again.

Hi W—,

I acknowledge that marriage was a religious institution first. I’m proposing that marriage by that name become a solely religious/private institution again. The government would only get involved when people wanted their partnership to have legal weight through some form of contractual agreement about division of property, power of attorney, and so on. The government could call all of these contracts “domestic partnerships”.

Doesn’t this seem like an appropriate compromise?

By the way, I think it’s a bit odd when people claim that the difference between marriage and civil union is just trivial semantics but then fight vehemently to preserve that semantic difference. The difference is either important or it isn’t.

The next conversation happened on the blog of a friend from my days at the LDS Institute of Religion at my alma mater. She was among the sorority members that I hung out with during my wild and crazy single days. :)


I have quietly followed your blog without commenting because I didn’t want to somehow repeat the fiasco last time I commented (at the risk of bringing up old wounds). Now that I feel morally bound to comment on this post (just like you felt that you should post it), I seem destined to be persona non grata here. I hope that a little disagreement won’t get in the way of friendship.

Having tolerance without condoning. We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs.

We can also maintain and advocate for our personal standards without trying to force other people to live by them. I agree with the live-and-let-live sentiment stated in D&C 134:9: “We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.”

Over time, greater acceptance of nontraditional marriage will be demanded of all people. This could impact the ability of any religion to teach and practice its beliefs.

Perhaps greater respect for equal rights will be demanded, but everyone will remain free to believe and act as we choose. Our freedom must of course be balanced against the freedom of others.

Proposition 8 will not hurt gays. In California, the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits.

If nothing important is being witheld from same-sex couples by refusing them marriage by that name, why is it so important to withold it?

Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt children. If gay marriage remains legal, public schools will put it on equal footing with traditional marriage. Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages.

This is a good reason to make sure that local boards of education keep controversial topics out of the schoolroom. At the very least, parents need the right to take a child out of a classroom like my parents did during junior high sex-ed class.

Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt churches. The court’s decision will inevitably lead to conflicts with religious liberty and free speech rights. Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about marriage and family.

In the California Supreme Court decision that recognized same-sex couples’ right to equal treatment by the state, it said “[A]ffording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

For example, the church is strong in Canada where same-sex marriage is legal. I have heard some worries that the chuch would be forced to either perform same-sex marriages or close the temples. This hasn’t been the case in Canada.

Perhaps society will become more hostile to the traditional idea of marriage. I don’t think that we should deny someone their civil right to equal treatment under the law because we don’t like holding a minority opinion.

Maybe we can compromise by having the government call all marriages “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” and leave the decision to each of us whether a partnership should be called a marriage.

All the best,


I respond to her husband.

The intent of the scripture was to warn against one religion from outlawing the religious practices of another. Is homosexuality a religious privilege?

That’s a valid question. On occasion I attend a church that would gladly solemnize same-sex marriages as an expression of their highest ideals. This proposition would, in effect, treat this religion’s marriages differently. The state of California would recognize all LDS marriages (for example) but not all marriages from this church.

Later on, you mention that the law of the land would “be enhanced by God’s law” by passing Prop 8. The only way to determine what God’s law says is through religion. The truth seems to be that the impetus behind Prop 8 is the religious values of its supporters. Its supporters want their own vision of God’s law to become the law of the land. That is why I brought up D&C 134:9.

I hope that members of religious minorities like the LDS will realize the danger of codifying purely religious judgments into law. When that happens, their rights are in danger. The religious majority tends to abuse power and run roughshod over minority rights. This is illustrated well in the persecutions of early Mormon history.

I hope we can all recognize that the only way to protect religious freedom is to protect the separation of church and state, to create a place where the state doesn’t interfere in religious questions like this.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Responding to someone else.

It is laudable to fight for our standard of morality. Our state constitutions are not the best place to do it. If we use government power to standardize our idea of morality, tomorrow we might become the victims of that same power.

Early Mormons suffered at the hands of the religious majority when the Mormon idea of morality conflicted with their neighbors. They were jailed and their families broken apart by the law of the land. I don’t want to see similar abuses happen again to my neighbors. Someday it might be me.

“Concerning government: Some years ago, in Nauvoo, a gentleman in my hearing, a member of the Legislature, asked Joseph Smith how it was that he was enabled to govern so many people, and to preserve such perfect order; remarking at the same time that it was impossible for them to do it anywhere else. Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. ‘How?’ responded the gentleman; ‘to us it is very difficult.’ Mr. Smith replied, ‘I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.’” (Millennial Star 13:22 page 339)

The fight for the hearts and souls of our neighbors is better fought privately, not at the ballot box. If we want them to live better lives more in line with our ideas, let’s help them by teaching them correct principles and letting them govern themselves. That’s the American way. :)

Please tell me if or when I have become too intrusive.

Again to someone else.

The problem with many in today’s society is that their conscience has become desensitized and no longer functions as a safeguard.

Please tell me if I am reading this wrong. The ultimate result of this line of thinking is Saudi Arabia where Islamic religious law is the law of the land. Morality police (Mutaween) wander the streets making sure that women are modest enough, that unrelated men and women don’t socialize, that un-Islamic media aren’t sold.

While I don’t imagine that things would get that bad here in the United States, when we undertake to function as the conscience of our neighbors through the force of law, we trammel their right to work out their own salvation so to speak. It is important to notice that the Eleventh Article of Faith didn’t include any limitations or qualifications. Joseph Smith understood the importance of his neighbors’ freedom of conscience to his own freedoms.

For all those who are LDS, a question: where do you imagine the early Saints would have voted on an amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman? (This is not a criticism of plural marriage; I support their right to marry whomever they choose.)

The last conversation is a response to someone who was a member of the same ward before they redivided the wards in the stake. She sent an email this morning to a long list of fully disclosed recipients. I took the opportunity to share my thoughts with my peers on that list (which seemingly includes Bishops of the Mormon church).

“We went to the Saturday evening session of Stake Conference tonight and one of the subjects that our Stake President (President Seastrand) spoke about was regarding Prop. 8, in California. Much to my surprise, I was already informed about this Proposition because I had received this email and watched the clip on U-tube just last night. I only forwarded it to 3 family members. However, after hearing our Stake President speak and I heard just how important this Prop. 8 is, I figured I would get this email out to everyone I could think of that might share the same beliefs as I do and if they do not then this email will hopefully change their mind.”

Hi S—,

While I oppose Proposition 8 or any other similar effort, I also find the case of David Parker of Lexington, Massachusetts a troubling breach of parental rights and freedom of conscience. Based on my belief in the principles enshrined in the eleventh Article of Faith and also D&C 134:9, I find myself opposed to efforts to deny marriage to same-sex couples and also to indoctrinating each others’ children in public schools.

“We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.” (D&C 134:9)

I am friends with members of a church who would dearly love to be able to perform same-sex marriages as an expression of their highest religious ideals and have the marriages recognized by the state. Regrettably, the state privileges a form of marriage favored by some religions and not others. My friends’ freedom of religion is being abridged.

It is often surprising to me that I need to make this case to Latter-day Saints, many of whose pioneer ancestors were persecuted, jailed, and torn from their families based on their nontraditional ideas of marriage. Proposition 8 would have outlawed the marriages of several of my Mormon ancestors. One of my deepest regrets is that I helped pass Nevada’s constitutional amendment on marriage several years ago. I feel as though I forgot the struggles of my ancestors.

The ballot box is not the place to promote our views of morality. Joseph Smith understood this. He responded to a question about how he kept order in Nauvoo by saying “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” When asked to explain the core principles of his religion, he took the time to mention absolute freedom of conscience in what is now the eleventh Article of Faith. He understood that his budding little church owed its existence and survival in part to the separation of church and state here in the United States. How have we come so far afield from this bedrock principle?

Evidence is mounting that same-sex attractions are inborn; they are no more a choice than my heterosexuality was a choice. I would never want anyone to interfere in my right to choose my own marriage partner. I can’t in good conscience abridge any other American’s right to pursue happiness wherever they believe they can find it.

So, in the interest of my Mormon ancestors, my homosexual neighbors, and my own freedom of conscience, I’ll be shoulder-to-should with you fighting for the rights of parents like David Parker, and I will be voting with my whole influence (as Thoreau put it) against anything like Proposition 8.

In the interest of greater understanding, I hope that the following website will be helpful. I became more compassionate upon hearing the stories of faithful Latter-day Saints who struggle with the prevailing attitudes regarding their homosexuality.

The stories of faithful LDS spouses who believed they could change their own or their partners’ same-sex attractions are also heartbreaking.

All the best,


Thank you for your perseverance in reading this. :)

Update: I’ve received one response (CCed to the stake president) to that last email message.


Don’t insult my intelligence! It is a joke for you to quote scripture to
me when I know you have forsaken the truth.

I understand why you might feel offended when I quote scriptures to which you feel a deep personal connection yet to which I lack the same devotion. I understood that I would run that risk of offending someone by quoting the scriptures. I chose to do so despite the risk for several reasons.

First, I wholeheartedly believe in the principles of those passages despite my lack of belief in their divine origin. Their self-evident truths, eloquently stated, stand on their own. I also quoted those scriptures because I wanted to find common ground with my LDS neighbors, to speak a common language. Finally, I hoped that the scriptures would hold weight with my believing friends and help dissuade them from acting contrary to scriptural teachings. I wanted to show that supporting Prop 8 is inconsistent with scripture and early Mormon history.

In all, I intended no deception or misrepresentation. I stand behind what I said as an honest expression of my feelings.

Let me just say that I believe in this “one nation under God.” The farther individuals and society move away from that God that founded this nation, the more we lose the great liberties created by it’s Founders.

This belief provides a valid motivation to be a good missionary. On the other hand, it provides a rather poor justification for imposing religious ideas on neighbors and friends by the force of majority rule. If you’ll forgive me for using this example, Jesus eschewed political power as a means to promote his teachings, preferring instead to preach to his neighbors.

Let John Adams and Samuel Adams say it in their own words.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (Quoted by John R. Howe, Jr. The Changing Political Thought of John Adams.)

“I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends on her virtue.” (The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams, William V. Wells)

While many of the Founding Fathers were devoutly religious, not all were. In any case, they wrote a constitution that provides freedom from religious tyranny. Trying to enshrine a religious position in a state constitution is the kind of thing the United States Constitution was written to prevent, an infringement of moral agency.

I provide the following quotations not as an argument but to show that the attitudes of the Founding Fathers were more complex than we are often led to believe.

“As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion;…” – (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 – signed by President John Adams.)

Every man “ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.” – George Washington (Letter to the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May, 1789)

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god.” – Thomas Jefferson (letter to Peter Carr, 10 August 1787)

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” – James Madison (Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, 1785.)

“Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error
all over the earth.” – Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 363.)

“When a Religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its Professors are obliged to call for help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” – Benjamin Franklin (from a letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780;)

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.” – James Madison (Original wording of the First Amendment; Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789.)

I know that you are a compassionate person. Aside from the legal concerns about this amendment, homosexuals suffer a great deal under the attitudes that currently hold sway in the LDS culture. They feel worthless and unwelcome in the community they call home. They struggle to reconcile their faith in the Mormon message to the longings they can’t shake off no matter how much therapy, fasting, prayers, and priesthood blessings are brought to bear. Many feel forced to leave. Too many wonderful people end their lives when they lose all hope.

I imagine that they could use more understanding and compassion rather than condemnation. If you haven’t already, I again highly recommend the following website (produced by faithful members of the LDS Church) to hear their stories:

Thank you for hearing me out.

All the best,


Updated again:

Another message from the blog of the friend who got married three weeks prior to us.

If I can presume on the good graces of my host…

Members of the church who do not support prop 8 do not believe our church is directed by Christ.

I have become acquainted with many active, faithful members of the church who believe that it is Christ’s church and yet believe that it can stray from the truth through the fallibility of the men in its leadership. (I know that I, for one, made plenty of mistakes in my leadership callings.) These members believe that they are responsible to God to make sure through personal revelation that what their leaders ask them to do is good and true. No one can abdicate this personal responsibility to another. This is their faith and testimony.

This kind of conscious obedience was taught by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

“President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel — said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church — that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls — applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall — that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves . . .” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 237-238)

“What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9: 149)

“How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4: 368)

“I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied … Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, ‘If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,’ this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3: 45)

Perhaps you feel that you have received a witness that you should support Proposition 8. I am only asking that you allow for the possibility that other members of the church have with blameless intentions received a different witness. They have no other choice than to follow the dictates of their own conscience.

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Gender Auditors

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Mormon and Gay

I stumbled across this series of videos telling the compelling story of believing homosexual Mormons.

Part 1: Go Forward

Part 2: Marriage Hopes and Realities

Part 3: Embracing our Homosexual Children

Update: In a similar vein is Understanding LDS Homosexuality.

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