|Young Apostles in the LDS Quorum of the Twelve|
silently affirm the warmth of non-sexual, same-sex
affection between friends and colleagues.
I agree with Beck and JGW that this is a provocative question. Elder Boyd K. Packer's talk was not only heard by thousands of faithful LDS members, but reports of it have echoed around the world through FaceBook and the blogosphere. As of a few minutes ago the Salt Lake Tribune's article on the talk with the headline "Apostle: Same-Sex Attraction Can Change" had prompted over 3,100 comments.
Now, don't get the wrong impression here. I agree that some of Elder Packer's statements--if not put in perspective--could be deadly to some. But I am glad that the topic is generating discussion. I'm glad there's going to be a demonstration in Salt Lake City later this week. Dustin Lance Black, aren't you so glad you made the MILK film?
So you know where I stand, here's what I wrote on the topic last year in response to a question from Abelard.
...I hope my future will include rejoicing as LDS church continues to refine its attitudes about sexuality. The Family: A Proclamation to the World includes this highly significant sentence: "Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."
I find hope in the idea that the church, like individuals, may find it necessary to adapt. One of my greatest sources of hope is the 9th Article of Faith: "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal and we believe he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."
I reached adulthood before the 1978 revelation that all worthy men could receive the priesthood. The church's former racist policy and teachings were a roadblock to my fully accepting Mormonism. The fact that that roadblock fell is a source of hope that other much-needed changes should and can be made.
So do I agree with Elder Packer? Not so much. Do I find reason to welcome the discussion he has prompted, yes.