Excerpt from an address by Apostle Boyd K. Packer, ‘All-Church Coordinating Council’, May 18, 1993: 1
“The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals. Our local leaders must deal with all three of them with ever-increasing frequency. In each case, the members who are hurting have the conviction that the Church somehow is doing something wrong 12 members or that the Church is not doing enough for them.
To illustrate, I will quote briefly from letters on each of those subjects. They are chosen from among many letters which have arrived in the last few weeks. These have arrived in just the last few days.
The Gay/Lesbian Challenge
The first is from a young man, possibly a gay rights activist:
“May 3rd marks my 18th year in the Church. As a gay Mormon, I have witnessed and experienced first-hand during those eighteen years what it’s like to be homosexual in a Church which is sometimes less than accepting of its gay members. My experiences have run the range from incredible, Spirit-filled and loving encounters with members, Bishops and Stake Presidents to a laughable run-in with a departing Mission President. May I share with you some of the more permanent and meaningful memories?”
After a page or two of those, he said:
“So in a spirit of friendship I offer that which I have to give–the life experience of a gay Mormon. At your convenience I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the issues facing gay Latter-day Saints and the Church. The purpose for meeting is not to debate, or to presumptively call you to repentance, or to be called to repentance myself for being gay. The point is to meet together and share what we have for the good of The Kingdom and the furthering of the Will of the Lord here on Earth.”
The Feminist Movement
The next quotation is from a woman who is hurting, and perhaps wonders if anyone but the feminists care about her problems:
“I’m upset that I was always advised to go back and try harder only to get abused more.I need some comfort, I need solace, need hope, need to know Heavenly Father sees all I have endured. What hope do I have for a chance to live with Heavenly Father? If temple marriage is the key to the celestial [kingdom], where am I? Outside gnashing my teeth for eternity? Help me.”
The last is from a self-described intellectual:
“My concern is that the Brethren are contending with the church’s own scholars…. In the Catholic Church, the great scholar’s efforts were used by the Church to refine and strengthen the doctrine (St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, for example). In our Church, the scholars are put down, even banished [and he names three of them, and they would be names all of whom you would know].
Once again I extend an offer to you to be a peacemaker between the Brethren and the scholars, if you wish me to attempt it, since I know so many in both groups. More than that, I understand the mind-sets of both groups. These letters and hundreds more are from members who are hurting or leaders who are worried.”
|1||‘All-Church Coordinating Council’, Boyd K. Packer (May 18, 1993) – http://emp.byui.edu/HUFFR/All%20Church%20Coordinating%20Council–Boyd%20K.%20Packer.htm|