Monday, September 14, 2009

Hurray for Tolerance!

By Madame Curie

From Carol Lynn Pearson's newsletter:

Last Sunday and the Sunday before, my stake presidency--three of the finest men you're going to find on the planet--gave presentations to all the adults in every ward in our stake in the "fifth Sunday" time slot they frequently utilize. In the words of my stake president, Dean Criddle:

"All of our remarks throughout the presentations were anchored on a statement drawn from a 1991 letter from the First Presidency encouraging 'Church leaders and members to reach out with love and understanding' to those experiencing homosexuality. We also focused our Stake members' attention on similar, supporting statements included in articles by Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in 1995 and 2007 issues of the Ensign, the 2007 pamphlet, God Loveth His Children, and the interview with Elder Oaks and Elder Lance Wickman posted at the LDS Newsroom ('Same Gender Attraction') on the Church website. Some of our major points were:

Our sexual orientation (which gives rise to unbidden feelings and impulses) does not appear to be a matter of choice, nor does it call for blame.

Heterosexual marriage is not a 'cure' for homosexual feelings.

Members of the Oakland Stake must be sensitive to the unusual burdens placed on members of our Church who experience homosexual impulses and not contribute to a hopelessness that drives some to despair and even suicide.

Parents especially are called upon to show love and support for a child who brings them the news that he/she is experiencing homosexual feelings.

A Church member who experiences homosexual impulses but is willing to follow the Church's code of behavior is entirely worthy to hold high positions in the Church.

Our responsibility and opportunity is to show Christlike love and respect for all of our brothers and sisters----in our families, our neighborhoods, our places of work and our Church.

Without condoning conduct inconsistent with the teachings of the Church, members have a duty to show love even to those who choose other life paths.

"The instruction we gave included nothing new. It was just a gentle reminder that all Church members at baptism covenant to 'bear one another's burdens, that they may be light.' (Mosiah 18:8-10)"

A member of each ward participated, sharing life experiences that added to the impact of the event. From members of my own ward and other wards, I have heard nothing but very appreciative comments about this important counsel--"Such a healing experience for our family"--"Absolutely right on--we all needed that"--"A very large step in the right direction."
What a beautiful step in the right direction. Stakes like this give me a profound hope for the future of our church.

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