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pam

President Boyd K. Packer – Sunday a.m. session

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I will say this, when I heard Pres Packer speak, an old man who is frail and in failing health, I saw him standing tall and confident that he speaks the will of the Lord. This is a man who is not afraid to bear witness to the world that he is an Apostle of the Lord and as such speaks correct and true doctrine, unapologetically and unabashedly.

I think we would all do well to remember to speak boldly yet compassionately. I am firm in my belief of the doctrine of marriage. I recognize that I can learn more and be more compassionate to those who do not believe as I do. I must allow them the same privilege that I claim--to believe in peace and love.

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I will say this, when I heard Pres Packer speak, an old man who is frail and in failing health, I saw him standing tall and confident that he speaks the will of the Lord. This is a man who is not afraid to bear witness to the world that he is an Apostle of the Lord and as such speaks correct and true doctrine, unapologetically and unabashedly.

I think we would all do well to remember to speak boldly yet compassionately. I am firm in my belief of the doctrine of marriage. I recognize that I can learn more and be more compassionate to those who do not believe as I do. I must allow them the same privilege that I claim--to believe in peace and love.

I felt there he was not only speaking true and correct doctrine unapologetically and unabashashedly, but also with humility.

I love Elder Packer and his ability to speak so clearly with so few words. I truly admire people who have such command of the English language, even more so when they are a prophet, seer and revelator.... a Watchmen on the Tower.

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I know its sad that I can't remember where this is because it is quite popular, but President Packers talk made me think of the revelation involving the constitution hanging by a thread and the leaders of the nation turning to the leaders of the church for help. Assuming that I am not making that revelation up, I think that this talk exemplifies why this is the case. In every case where a societies morals decline, significant problems arise that can only be solved through faith and obedience. President Packer here expresses that we will be just that.

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Just to add weight to President Packer's talk, and to show that it isn't the first time the subject has been broached in public speech, I will post the following by James E Faust, from his talk "Trying to Serve the Lord without Offending the Devil" (which I've posted before)

"Our designation as men or women began before this world was. In contrast to the socially accepted doctrine that homosexuality is inborn, a number of respectable authorities contend that homosexuality is not acquired by birth. The false belief of inborn sexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment, and despair."

Out of the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses is every word established.

EDIT: Link to talk here.

Trying to Serve the Lord Without Offending the Devil - James E. Faust

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Just to add weight to President Packer's talk, and to show that it isn't the first time the subject has been broached in public speech, I will post the following by James E Faust, from his talk "Trying to Serve the Lord without Offending the Devil" (which I've posted before)

"Our designation as men or women began before this world was. In contrast to the socially accepted doctrine that homosexuality is inborn, a number of respectable authorities contend that homosexuality is not acquired by birth. The false belief of inborn sexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment, and despair."

Out of the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses is every word established.

EDIT: Link to talk here.

Trying to Serve the Lord Without Offending the Devil - James E. Faust

Except even the Church has moved back from this stand point a little now saying that they don't know and also backing off of telling people they can change, now more focusing on not acting on something that might be innate. lol but again not the thread to discuss this in.

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Link?

(Also if we backed off of it, why did he pretty much say it again 2 days ago?)

Makes it clear they don't know for sure if it is inborn or not and also says it's the actions only that are the issue. Many in the Church have backed off from the guessing of if or if not it's a biological thing and focus directly on the fact that it's only the fornication that's the issue and nothing else. One of the main reasons of this was because of the correlation to the high suicude rates due ot kids being told it was all in their heads and they just weren't strong or faithful enough and that's why they were still gay. LOL but yet again this isn't the place to be debating this as Pam brought up which is why i linked the other thread for people who want to go into more detail.

LDS.org - Ensign Article - Same-Gender Attraction

Newsroom - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Edited by Soulsearcher

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I think Elder Packer's talk was a little ambiguous as to whether sexual orientation can be changed versus whether sexual behavior can be controlled. I choose to interpret it in the latter way.

Wish the Church would hurry up and get the transcript out.

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I think Elder Packer's talk was a little ambiguous as to whether sexual orientation can be changed versus whether sexual behavior can be controlled. I choose to interpret it in the latter way.

Wish the Church would hurry up and get the transcript out.

I think he meant that anything that needs to be changed can be changed through Heavenly Father's power. Whether or not orientation needs to be changed in this life in order for a homosexual to faithfully live the commandments is an entirely different argument, which just so happens to be going on in my thread that Soulsearcher keeps linking to. lol.

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I think Elder Packer's talk was a little ambiguous as to whether sexual orientation can be changed versus whether sexual behavior can be controlled. I choose to interpret it in the latter way.

Wish the Church would hurry up and get the transcript out.

this is what confuses me. in a talk where so much was made crystal clear, the talk was to remove all ambiguity.... you can't vote the laws of god, the church will not change it's teachings on gay marriage, etc... why leave that ambiguous? why not make very clear the distinction between inclinations and actions?

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this is what confuses me. in a talk where so much was made crystal clear, the talk was to remove all ambiguity.... you can't vote the laws of god, the church will not change it's teachings on gay marriage, etc... why leave that ambiguous? why not make very clear the distinction between inclinations and actions?

Probably because it's relative to each homosexual's individual needs.

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Probably because it's relative to each homosexual's individual needs.

i don't understand this. relative to each individual needs? how is the law of chastity relative? that's really the only thing at play here.

i personally would have liked to see that made as crystal clear as the rest of it... which i did think needed to be said and was very appropriate.

Edited by Gwen

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i don't understand this. relative to each individual needs? how is the law of chastity relative? that's really the only thing at play here.

i personally would have liked to seen that made as crystal clear as the rest of it... which i did think needed to be said and was very appropriate.

The law isn't relative. I think Elder Packer may have assumed that was a given. Whether or not a homosexual needs to change their orientation rather than just their behavior is what's relative.

Edited by PrinceofLight2000

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I think perhaps it was ambiguous because the whole "born gay/chooses to be gay" thing is still ambiguous? There are gays who claim to be "born that way" and gays who don't. There are gays who feel they could NEVER have a successful opposite-sex romantic relationship, and those who feel that, with (a lot or a little) help, they very likely could (which some would consider "changing their orientation", even if said person is still far more physically attracted to the same gender than they are to the opposite gender).

So, I do think it's one of those "individual basis" things. Some gay people can successfully "go straight", and some can't. And the ones who can't shouldn't be made to feel that it's some sort of failure on their part.

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This is a sometimes confusing and highly emotional issue. There are many questions without clarifying answers. One thing I will say is that I felt the spirit deep inside me when I heard Packer speak. Out of all the articles and books and conversations I have had on this issue, NOTHING...not one argument or intellectually articulate answer has felt like that!

And no matter the topic, I am grateful that this church teaches that we ALWAYS have a choice. That is more important than any biological configuration.

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And no matter the topic, I am grateful that this church teaches that we ALWAYS have a choice. That is more important than any biological configuration.

I agree with this completely.

It is ingrained in our doctrines that we are not slaves to the natural man. It is our test here on earth to strengthen our spiritual selves while being burdened by the natural man.

What choices we make in the light of Christ with the yoke upon us is what we are going to be judged on.

Yes it is hard. Yes it is tough. Yes it is painful. But God's promise has always been - "Cast your burdens upon me, those who are heavily laden. Come to me, and I will give you rest."

Peace unto us all.

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hmmm I have not listened to or read his talk yet but it seems to have really brought out both sides of the issue here on this forum. Someone asked why he couldn't make things crystal clear and I think with all of the past doctrine (blacks and the priesthood & polygamy to name two) that is thrown in our faces the current leadership of the church is a little more careful in 'laying down the law'. With the way the internet sort of 'saves' comments for all of time and eternity our church leadership must be careful in how they state our views.

The problem with the homosexual 'issue' is that its viewed from two view points. Viepoint # 1 is an internal one and one that stems from our beliefs and faith in God and His wisdome. Viewpoint # 2 is one that is 'out there' and stems from a populace that is not LDS or even religious at all. I think we need to be careful in how we express our feelings on the subject 'out there'. We can speak of our beliefs and our feelings but we shouldn't tell someone they're wrong for following a certain way of life that they feel is right. They have as much right to be gay as we have to be Mormon. It means that there will forever be a dabate but that's the beauty of this country. ;-)

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I have read that the text version of the talk is different than the spoken version. The word "tendencies" has been changed to "temptations" and the “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?” has been omitted. These changes, or possibly returns to what was intended to be spoken, do not challenge the past statements of the lds on whether homosexuality is biological. I am more at ease with the text version, and am grateful your church has made this decision.

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I think perhaps it was ambiguous because the whole "born gay/chooses to be gay" thing is still ambiguous? There are gays who claim to be "born that way" and gays who don't. There are gays who feel they could NEVER have a successful opposite-sex romantic relationship, and those who feel that, with (a lot or a little) help, they very likely could (which some would consider "changing their orientation", even if said person is still far more physically attracted to the same gender than they are to the opposite gender).

So, I do think it's one of those "individual basis" things. Some gay people can successfully "go straight", and some can't. And the ones who can't shouldn't be made to feel that it's some sort of failure on their part.

I don't think the message is to "go straight" anyways, it is to avoid immoral behaviors and thoughts. Even then, nobody is perfect, so we all fail. That is a failure on my part. Perfection is a process and a goal that requires constant effort. It is a battle that won't be won in this life. So, we all set ourselves up for failure if we take any commandment that way.

We are all given imperfect bodies, and those bodies are not who we really are. Our spirits, who in this life are barely revealed, is who we really are.

If someone is born with the gene that encodes the 118G variant of the mu receptor in the brain, I am not going to tell them that their spirit is an alcoholic. But people who don't have that gene variant can also become alcoholics and it may be easier for them to overcome it. The people who have the 118G variant of the mu receptor should avoid alcohol, but I wouldn't want to tell them that they should learn how to drink responsibly, that they should somehow learn how to drink but not let it stimulate the reward parts of their brain. Likewise, I think the counsel is to avoid behaviors that are stimulating the wrong reward centers of the brain, even if it feels natural and feels "like this is who I am." No, its the body that they were born with, not the spirit. We all fight that battle between what our body says we are versus the small quieter voice of our spirit. If I listened to my genes, I would be 100+ pounds heavier.

So for me, I will agree they are all born that way, with those tendencies but that doesn't change the counsel. The counsel is not to ever have a tendency for same sex attraction (one may not be able to change that about their body), it is to not give into it. Again, nobody is perfect and the church is for non-perfect people.

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I have read that the text version of the talk is different than the spoken version. The word "tendencies" has been changed to "temptations" and the “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?” has been omitted. These changes, or possibly returns to what was intended to be spoken, do not challenge the past statements of the lds on whether homosexuality is biological. I am more at ease with the text version, and am grateful your church has made this decision.

Also, referring to the proclamation on the family, the word "revelation" was changed to "guide". So what is it? Is the proclomation a revelation or a guide?

There's a website (mormonsformarriage) that has a transcript of the original talk with the edits that are in the text version. I won't link directly to it becuase I'm afraid the mods will consider that website anti-Mormon.

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Many find it an easier way out to get love and many are talked in to it by a gay, that has got their eye on them. it is like marriage... IF people would not all the time talk and vind about their marriages and wonder if they should devorce, many would not... but many get the good willing advice from other people that they should devorce and they do it.... ah you cant be with a man like that just leave him! If it is sooo dull leave him and find a better!

Many are not gay by birth, but some are. It is weird that such things can happen. It is yet an unanswered question. We are not 100% sure if it is from birth or learned on the way.

While waiting for the answer all we have is what it says in the Bible, which clarely is against the practice of it and we also have what our leaders say. Sins of Sodoma and Gommora are known.

But I do feel it is funny that we dont allow those people their free will. I think they can gett mareried if they they wish, but not by our Church or in our Church. There are plenty of other Churches they can attend to get married. And if we give them this "right" they should give us our free will to teach our kids it is wrong and a sinn, but some people choose it just like some people choose to use alchohol. Also pupils should have the right to walk out of the lesson if they dont want to be there. Probably the whole teaching of marriage and sex should be taken away from schools or made uncompulsery and tought at home.

Selibaty is also requested of the unmarried members of the church!

We just need to be better in teaching our kids what is right and what is wrong! Schools should discuss about all materials, books to read, lessons that the kids are going to have with the parrents.

Best is that religion and sex education are uncompulsery and can be done at home or Church.

Woice from a cuontry wher the law got in from the back door.... no one knew... we got a few days warning.. and had not time to do anything. They are already talk about stopping the marriages.

IF God would like us to give and other kind of answer to theiproblem he would tell it to us trough president Monson. Just like it was with the priesthood for everyone... IF it comes it comes... IF not ... then it is not Gods will.

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I'm not sure what the big deal is about the differences in spoken and written wording. The speakers draft their talks, which are put into the teleprompter (and presumably sent directly to the editors at the Ensign as well), and if they speak a little extemporaneously, so what?

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I don't think the message is to "go straight" anyways, it is to avoid immoral behaviors and thoughts. Even then, nobody is perfect, so we all fail. That is a failure on my part. Perfection is a process and a goal that requires constant effort. It is a battle that won't be won in this life. So, we all set ourselves up for failure if we take any commandment that way.

We are all given imperfect bodies, and those bodies are not who we really are. Our spirits, who in this life are barely revealed, is who we really are.

If someone is born with the gene that encodes the 118G variant of the mu receptor in the brain, I am not going to tell them that their spirit is an alcoholic. But people who don't have that gene variant can also become alcoholics and it may be easier for them to overcome it. The people who have the 118G variant of the mu receptor should avoid alcohol, but I wouldn't want to tell them that they should learn how to drink responsibly, that they should somehow learn how to drink but not let it stimulate the reward parts of their brain. Likewise, I think the counsel is to avoid behaviors that are stimulating the wrong reward centers of the brain, even if it feels natural and feels "like this is who I am." No, its the body that they were born with, not the spirit. We all fight that battle between what our body says we are versus the small quieter voice of our spirit. If I listened to my genes, I would be 100+ pounds heavier.

So for me, I will agree they are all born that way, with those tendencies but that doesn't change the counsel. The counsel is not to ever have a tendency for same sex attraction (one may not be able to change that about their body), it is to not give into it. Again, nobody is perfect and the church is for non-perfect people.

Oh I agree that the council isn't to "go straight". :) I'm just saying that some people don't seem to "get" that SSA isn't a "switch" that can be flipped on and off with enough effort. For the vast majority of people dealing with it it's something they'll be dealing with for life.

That's why I believe we need to show a whole lot of compassion for people dealing with SSA because, for many of them, if they choose to remain in the church, it means a lifetime of celebacy and singleness. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to have to go through life without even having the hope of having a deep emotional and physical committed relationship with someone in this life. I know there are hetero people who also face that kind of life, but for them there's at least a *chance* at them meeting someone they could marry. Not so for people dealing with SSA who simply cannot form that kind of attraction to someone of the opposite sex. And dealing with that in a very family-focused church has to be very lonely.

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I'm not sure what the big deal is about the differences in spoken and written wording. The speakers draft their talks, which are put into the teleprompter (and presumably sent directly to the editors at the Ensign as well), and if they speak a little extemporaneously, so what?

Do you have first hand knowledge that that's how it works? The talks word for word are sent to the Ensign and any changes can be chalked up to ad libbing?

When the senior Apostle speaks at general conference isn't that talk basically considered scripture? So which version are we to stick with, the spoken version, or the written version? Again I ask the question, is the proclamation to the family a revelation or a guide? Obviously a revelation carries more weight, so why was that emphasis downplayed in the text version?

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