The church's relaunched LGBTQ website attempts to be loving and inclusive but fails in the most terrible ways.
But perhaps one of the poignant moments of Conference was what happened after Elder Kearon spoke--when President Uchtdorf
Speed-faithing helped address the elephant in the room by breaking the ice so that students could begin to talk about their religious beliefs and practices. It provided an important point of entry for beginning the work of sharing and listening in order to find common ground.
Many have criticized the involvement of the athletes and Coach Pinkel, despite issues of race that directly affect the players on a human level. And yet, these dissenters are the same folk that buy tickets to the games, hoping to be a part of the sports madness so long as the players remain silent to marginalization.
In the Mormon view, children are not cursed by any "original sin" and children are not responsible for the sins of their parents -- until now. Despite of the Church's inept attempts to justify this policy, many Mormons and non-Mormons, are seeing it as punishing the children for the "sins" of their LGBT parents.
Her identity as a Mormon housewife had to go. When she removed it, the whole structure collapsed. Choosing to undergo such a radical metamorphosis, in hindsight is astounding, but she knows however painful, it was the only choice. In destroying her life, she saved it.
"You can find spiritual experiences in a lot of different places, not just at church on a Sunday."
As an active Mormon who has battled addiction throughout my life, I found these videos to be both powerful and beautiful. The Mormon Church isn't holding back -- it is making a concerted effort to tackle addiction head-on. These videos are raw, and in some cases, quite heartbreaking.
Is it enough, white America? Is it enough to make us look at ourselves and wonder -- am I part of this problem? Am I doing anything to change racism? Will my children be part of a new problem or part of a solution? There is a particularly Mormon bent to this problem of racism.
In his early years before founding the Mormon church, Joseph Smith admitted that he sought after gold through magical means. Some might argue that his search for "magic" never ended, that the "golden plates" which he translated by use of seer stones in a hat were an extension of the same search.
I have begun to wonder if it might not be useful for Mormons to understand more clearly why so many people think of Mormonism as a cult. Are these reasons that are true and are things we embrace? Are they true and things we might want to change? Are they simply not true and things we need to correct people about?
Growing up in a very conservative religious environment, it turned our world upside down when our 13-year-old son came out to us. The learning curve was steep since we were coming from a place of almost total ignorance about all things LGBT-related.