LGBT suicide: a problem among Mormons


Immoral, disgusting, an enemy to the family and God and other derogatory words are just a few of the phrases I’ve heard at BYU-Idaho toward those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Some might question what the problem is. They’re just words, right? The attitude of these LDS members in regards to those who are LGBT has been heartbreaking. Discrimination and intolerance for those who are attracted to the same gender has led to very sad realities.

On Jan. 28, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement that the Church mourns with the families and friends of those who feel they have lost all hope in their lives. This statement followed unconfirmed reports of 32 LGBT Mormons who have committed suicide since early November 2015, according to Wendy Montgomery, a co-founder of the Mama Dragons, a group of Mormon mothers who have LGBT children.

High suicide rates among LGBT Mormons aren’t anything new. In 2012, Understanding Same-Gender Attraction, a group at BYU that offers knowledge, understanding and support, reported that 75 percent of LGBT Mormons have contemplated suicide, 24 percent of those individuals have attempted it.

You may also be interested in “Students share coming out stories”

Why do so many LGBT Mormons contemplate taking their own lives at one point or another?

Imagine what it would be like if you perceived that your faith, something you cherish, made you feel not wanted or that there is something wrong with you. Imagine what it would be like to perceive that the God you believe in and love doesn’t love you back, or having to decide between faith or companionship. Imagine what it would be like to be completely rejected by your own family, friends and community.

In a heavily religious community such as Rexburg, rejection and discrimination against those who do not fit the “norm” can lead to serious problems.

LGBT young adults who report high levels of family rejection during adolescence are more than three times as likely to use illegal drugs, more than three times as likely to engage in risky sexual behavior and more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide than LGBT peers who report no or low levels of family rejection, according to research from the Family Acceptance Project.

I know many BYU-I students have strong views on marriage strictly being between a man and a woman, but having those views shouldn’t lead to hurtful statements and actions against others. We never know who is having a difficult time trying to reconcile their faith and sexuality.

To those who are attracted to the same gender on this campus or wherever you are: know that you are more than a religious statement or a political stance. You’re a person just like anybody else and you deserve to be valued as such.

The world is a beautiful, diverse place with a variety of people and life experiences. Instead of excluding anything you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with, use it as an opportunity to learn and to gain a new perspective on something you might have viewed inaccurately before.

Change starts with you. If someone comes out to you as gay, don’t condemn them. Be there for them. They’ve trusted you. If you hear or see hateful statements or actions, say something. The person next to you might need someone on their side. Realize you don’t know everything about what others might be going through and take the time to seek more knowledge and understanding.

The more you know about a person’s story, the more difficult it is to dislike them.

 

Update: A previous version of this article contained a source from Deseret News. That source has been removed. The Family Acceptance Project source has been updated since its original published version. 



'LGBT suicide: a problem among Mormons' have 64 comments

  1. February 9, 2016 @ 5:28 pm Chava Canales

    Well written. Thank you!

    Reply

  2. February 9, 2016 @ 6:20 pm Brigham

    Those who forbid LGBT individuals from “acting out” their God-given nature force them between a rock and a hard place. If Boyd K. Packer was right when he said, “It is impossible to have a fulfilling life without romantic love,” then some LGBT members lose all hope of having a fulfilling life. Death then becomes a happier prospect. How sad is it that someone’s greatest opportunity for happiness is death?

    Here is the story of a fellow BYU-I student who struggles on campus. Read his story and then think about what it would be like to be in his shoes.
    http://zelphontheshelf.com/my-life-at-byu-i-as-a-gay-mormon/

    Reply

    • February 10, 2016 @ 1:38 am Jbb

      There are many who for various reasons are not able to marry in this life you can still have a satisfying life as a single celibate person. No it isn’t easy. Life wasn’t meant to be easy. I don’t know why certain individuals are attracted to the same gender anymore than I know why I have suffered the awful pain of panic attacks and chronic depression for close to 60 years. We are to be tried in all things. God’s ways are not our ways. The last two statements bring me comfort. Turning towards Heavenly Father and asking for help gets me through. Hope in the atonement helps me know my situation isn’t forever. It is what it is. As for Packer’s statement, so what? It’s not doctrine, just personal opinion. You are more than your gender…you don’t need to be in a romantic/sexual relationship in this life to be happy.

      Reply

      • February 12, 2016 @ 9:27 am Ron Swanson

        I’m sorry that you have panic attacks and depression, I know those struggles all to well. But I can say for certain you cannot compare the two.

        Reply

    • February 10, 2016 @ 9:20 pm Gregg

      “Those who forbid LGBT individuals from “acting out” their God-given nature force them between a rock and a hard place.”

      I always find it so interesting that people think God wouldn’t ask hard things of them. Did they read the scriptures? God asked Abraham to MURDER HIS SON IN A RITUAL SACRIFICE. I think he might as some people to forgo being in a romantic relationship in this life.

      Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 5:40 pm Brigham

        That’s not a hard thing; it’s an insane thing. Don’t listen to the voices in your head that tell you to kill someone or mutilate your genitals. I assure you, it’s not God.

        Reply

      • February 12, 2016 @ 12:47 pm James g

        No you really can compare the two. In fact anything that prevents us from reaching God is what we must lay on the altar. If you think sexual attraction is much more than a basic kickstart your not getting the message from .god your watching way too much worldy media. Regardless of our personal inclinations to do anything outside of the bounds God has set, it our willful choice to set it aside. Plenty of people deal with much harder things than not being with the person they are attracted too. Straights deal with it much more thsn gays do. But infidelity is wrong and so they stay within the relationship they made covenants in. Or they may have a spouse that allowed themselves through choice to gain so much weight they may actually feel like gagging at the prospect of intimacy. They could use that situation to attack the prophets as not undertabading their desires to step outside the bounds the Lord has set, or they could actually take it to the Lord and gain the strength to bear their cross. It is really narcissitic how some lgbt act as if they are the only people in the world who bear any burdens or that theirs are always harder. The Lord loves us all. But he expects us to not be complacent. He epxects us to do what we can to change and let him do the rest. But we cant expect him to do it all. You will probably live your life with an attraction to the same sex. So what. Your not missing out on anything better than exaltation. If what you want now is more important to you than what you wanted most before you came here then you have agency. But trying to get the church to embrace any sin is not reasonable. Acting on samesex feelings, is the same as acting on oppossite sex feelings or any other proclivity. If it falls outside the bounds the Lord Has set then we have the opportunity to believe him and act in faith on his words to leave the the world behind. Or we can let go of the rod and bounce over to the great and spacious building for a short party that wont last. There is no hate in this statement. Only love to have faith in the saviors plan over the plan of the world.

        Reply

    • February 11, 2016 @ 11:12 am John

      It was also said by Jospeh Smith that “the Telestial Kingdom is so great that if you were able to see it you’d kill yourself just to get there…” So to be honest, they made the better choice.

      Besides that point, There are whole wards and stakes of LGBT members in California that choose to live celebate lives due to the natural instincts of the body.

      ALSO, Isn’t the whole point of being here on Earth to overcome the “natural man” Because “The Natural Man is an Enemy to God.” So in all reality If they are unwilling to overcome their challenges placed before them, then they might as well kill themselves because they’ll never attain what God set us out here to do.

      Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 11:41 am Carol

        You are an evil person.

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 12:02 pm Gregg

          “So to be honest, they made the better choice…So in all reality If they are unwilling to overcome their challenges placed before them, then they might as well kill themselves because they’ll never attain what God set us out here to do.”

          That’s…harsh. This is only a true thing in a theoretical concept as we can never know if someone will repent or what other things they’ll learn and do. Life is always a better choice.

          “Besides that point, There are whole wards and stakes of LGBT members in California that choose to live celebate lives due to the natural instincts of the body.

          ALSO, Isn’t the whole point of being here on Earth to overcome the “natural man” Because “The Natural Man is an Enemy to God.””

          This part is true.

          “You are an evil person.”

          Don’t judge others because they sin differently than you; it goes both ways, Carol.

          Reply

          • February 11, 2016 @ 12:38 pm Carol

            Telling anyone they might as well kill themselves is an evil act. I should have differentiated the sin from the person, but I really think that when tender lives are at stake, it is important to speak out against such vile hatred.

          • February 11, 2016 @ 12:40 pm amanda

            John, I wonder if you would have the courage to say this to a mom of an LGBT child who was lost to suicide. Please sincerely ponder that… your hatred is not rooted in Christ’s or Joseph Smith’s teachings.

      • February 11, 2016 @ 12:27 pm Keri Ofshe

        John, you are either so extraordinarily naive, extraordinarily stupid or so completely lacking in human compassion as to be inhuman. Educate yourself son.

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 12:50 pm Carol

          Keri and Amanda, you said it much better than I did. This Mama Dragon is breathing fire!

          Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 1:02 pm Willy Rose

        Please, please for any LGBT mormons reading this and thinking “Maybe he’s right, it would be easier,” read this. I am gay, and I grew up in the church. I still go every week, and I am part of the group that this article talks about. I have contemplated suicide, and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that it is not the better choice. The better choice is always to live. My life has gotten so much better over the last few years, and I know it seems impossible, but you will be ok one day. It takes work and support, but you can make it through this. Suicide is not the better choice. You are loved.

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 2:32 pm Kiley

          THANK YOU, Willy

          Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 3:25 pm Jeanine

          Bless you Willy for zeroing in so completely on what really matters here. Life is ALWAYS the better choice. Things can and do get better.

          Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 3:40 pm Emily

          thank you willy.

          Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 1:24 pm TheTruth

        First off John your argument is invalid here are some reasons why.
        1. There are people on this Earth that simply can’t have kids due to biological factors. According to your argument they should kill themselves. Wrong. God obviously put them there for a even higher purpose.
        2. There are people out there that have kids but simply don’t love their kids. Just because they can create does not mean they should have them.
        3. Adoption agencies would rather have LGBT community actually adopt children that aren’t taken care of by their parents that created them.
        Keep an open mind to the world. Human rights should go before any religion.

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 1:58 pm Gregg

          What does any of that have to do with what he said? He never said it was wrong because they couldn’t have kids.

          Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 5:44 pm Brigham

          4. Joseph Smith never actually said that. Look it up. It’s an apocryphal story that Mormons that Mormons love to teach as pseudo-doctrine.

          Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 1:40 pm emily

        this is a disgusting comment. you are driving the spirit so far away with ideas like this.

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 1:59 pm Gregg

          Do you think this will help him change his mind? Perhaps persuasion and loving kindness. As I’ve said, it goes both ways.

          Reply

          • February 11, 2016 @ 3:39 pm Emily

            perhaps realizing that such ideas drive away the Spirit will help him realize.

          • February 11, 2016 @ 7:56 pm Gregg

            Confrontational language will put him on the defensive and then you’ve lost your chance to convince him.
            D&C 121:43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love

      • February 11, 2016 @ 3:22 pm Jeanine

        Please reread your comments and take a long look at what you are suggesting. Suicide is NEVER a preferable solution. I am stunned at your utter lack of compassion for fellow children of God.

        Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 3:51 pm Ohnoyoudidnt

        This is so hurtful to anyone struggling under the burden of being gay. It’s an outdated, “Come home in a pine box with your virtue in tact is better than losing your virtue” mentality. Frankly, there is a reason The Miracle of Forgiveness was pulled out of print.

        Also, please can you name these mystery wards and stakes in California where the whole ward is celibate gay members of the church. I’d love to know where you got your information.

        We most certainly are to put off the natural man. Including the part of us that wants to assume we are always in the right and have the authority to tell others they are better off dead.

        Reply

        • February 21, 2016 @ 2:52 pm Mimi

          Thank you Ohnoyiudidnt!! Well puts

          Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 4:50 pm Holly

        Who are you and do you have a heart?

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 7:57 pm Gregg

          That is not a terribly constructive comment. What did you hope to gain by saying it?

          Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 5:35 pm Laurie

        “…they might as well kill themselves…” What a horrible, horrible thing to say. Are you seriously suggesting they might as well kill themselves? It’s words and attitudes like this that cause your LGBTQ brothers and sisters to feel othered, pushed away, and rejected. Shame on you!

        Reply

    • February 11, 2016 @ 5:50 pm Brigham

      Fun fact: homosexual acts are not a sin! At least, not any more than eating shellfish or women speaking in church. If you really want to be kosher, I guess you could wait til you marry your partner before having sexual intercourse.

      Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 8:00 pm Gregg

        You do realize it’s mentioned in the New Testament as well as by modern Prophets, do you not?

        Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

        Also: 1 Cor. 6:9 , 1 Tim. 1:10, Jude 1:7

        And pretty much any verse talking about marriage, as the concept of a union two people of the same sex being called a marriage did not exist back then.

        Reply

        • February 12, 2016 @ 8:40 am Brigham

          You do realize that Paul likewise taught that women should keep quiet in church (1 Cor. 14:34) and that long hair is a shame to men (1 Cor. 11:14), do you not? He also instructed people to not marry at all (1 Cor. 7:27) and condoned slavery (Eph. 6:5-9). Meanwhile Jesus taught that divorcees who remarry are committing adultery (Matt. 5:32). He also taught that it is harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than a camel to go through the eye of a needle. You should be more worried about Mitt Romney’s salvation than a gay person’s. Remember, Jesus said that even the sexually immoral and apostates would see the kingdom of God before the judgmental priests (Matt. 21:31).

          Reply

          • February 12, 2016 @ 11:16 am Gregg

            “You do realize that Paul likewise taught that women should keep quiet in church (1 Cor. 14:34)”

            Specific advice for a specific instance for a specific people. Does not translate.

            ” and that long hair is a shame to men (1 Cor. 11:14)”

            Cultural sign. It was an outward symbol of other societies who weren’t Jew or Christian. Not doctrine and certainly coloured by culture. I never said Paul wasn’t prone to mistakes either. All humans are. We see Gospel in repeatable concepts. Homosexual conduct is repetitively shown to be something against God’s plan.

            “He also instructed people to not marry at all (1 Cor. 7:27)”

            Uh…that verse doesn’t say that at all. I know he talked about it, but try another verse.

            “condoned slavery (Eph. 6:5-9)”

            You realize he rebukes masters of servants as well, yes? Slavery was a way of getting out of debt and had strict rules. This wasn’t the chattel slavery of the American South. Paul talks about being of service a normal concept for Christianity.

            “Meanwhile Jesus taught that divorcees who remarry are committing adultery (Matt. 5:32).”

            He also explained: “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”

            He’s asking them to live a higher law but clearly has shown that He is willing to relent when it’s proven they do not understand the concept.

            “He also taught that it is harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than a camel to go through the eye of a needle. You should be more worried about Mitt Romney’s salvation than a gay person’s.”

            That’s a bit off topic.

            “Remember, Jesus said that even the sexually immoral and apostates would see the kingdom of God before the judgmental priests (Matt. 21:31).”

            As with earlier: specific statement towards specific people at a specific time. Can YOU judge who is being like the judgmental priests?

            “And as to the modern prophets, they have likewise taught that polygamy is the only type of marriage valid in heaven:”

            And? We actually haven’t retracted that statement.

            “(Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, p. 101, 1935), (Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, pp. 165).”

            Books have always been understood to be the personal beliefs and perceptions of the author and not doctrine. As I said earlier, we see Gospel in repeatable concepts across the broad spectrum of scripture. It’s necessarily that way as men are prone to their own weaknesses and prejudices. It’s also why we need a good personal relationship with God.

        • February 12, 2016 @ 8:50 am Brigham

          And as to the modern prophets, they have likewise taught that polygamy is the only type of marriage valid in heaven: “Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord’s servants have always practiced it. ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?’ It is the only popular religion there…”
          (Brigham Young, Deseret News, August 6, 1862)

          They taught that Africans are an inferior race. “Not only was Cain called to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures…. they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, p. 101, 1935)

          And they’ve taught that physical handicaps and race are signs of unfaithfulness in the pre-mortal realm. “The privilege of obtaining a mortal body on this earth is seemingly so priceless that those in the spirit world, even though unfaithful or not valiant, were undoubtedly permitted to take mortal bodies although under penalty of racial or physical or nationalistic limitations.” (Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, pp. 165).

          So I guess you could say that I don’t put a lot of stock into their opinions.

          Reply

          • February 12, 2016 @ 5:34 pm Brigham

            You are picking and choosing which verses apply to you and which don’t. You are creating standards of severity that Jesus himself did not stipulate. Enjoy your heavenly concubines though.

  3. February 9, 2016 @ 6:23 pm Brigham

    Thank you for addressing this topic so respectfully. We need more voices in the church (and especially at BYU-I) like yours!

    Reply

  4. February 9, 2016 @ 7:50 pm Jakob Whitted

    I agree with a few things this article brings up. For instance, we should all as members of the church be a bit more christlike and sensitive in the way we treat others, regardless of their challenges and trials. That’s about where it ends for me as far as this article is concerned. Everything else seems to be an attempt at blaming the students of this school and/ members of the church as a whole for the struggles and suicides of Mormon LGBT youth. Don’t get me wrong, I am positive that the insensitivity of some may contribute one factor to these problems faced by our SSA brothers and sisters. But that should not and can not be construed to mean that lack of acceptance from some people is the primary cause of suicides, illegal drugs, and “risky sexual behavior”.

    Agency is still alive and well in every human soul. If unkind words or sentiments or opinions that made us uncomfortable were the primary cause of suicide, none of us would still be here. There are many different factors that contribute to a suicide, but ultimately it is that person’s choice whether to take their life or endure to the end. We can and should show unconditional love towards all, including our LGBT brethren and sisters. But there needs to be a clear distinction between accepting a person and accepting their sins.

    Reply

    • February 10, 2016 @ 12:07 am amanda

      being gay is not a sin. that is one of the most hurtful statements.

      Reply

    • February 10, 2016 @ 12:25 am Stephanie

      I think what the author is trying to say is don’t contribute to the negativity that this society is giving them … be loving and accepting of all … it’s hard enough being gay but I bet it’s harder being gay and being Mormon and living in a Mormon community . And I agree with the statement above … who are u to call someone’s love which is the purest gift we received from Heavenly Father a sin … learn to walk in someone else shoes

      Reply

      • February 10, 2016 @ 9:17 pm Gregg

        “…it’s hard enough being gay but I bet it’s harder being gay and being Mormon and living in a Mormon community.”

        I haven’t found it to be.

        “who are u to call someone’s love which is the purest gift we received from Heavenly Father a sin”

        The love isn’t, but the having sex part is.

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 3:54 pm Ohnoyoudidnt

          I’m sincerely happy that you haven’t found it difficult to be a gay member of the church. Please do not assume everyone has had that same experience.

          Reply

          • February 11, 2016 @ 8:02 pm Gregg

            I don’t. But don’t assume that because others do that it needs to be either. In my experience, the vast majority of the suffering gay Mormons go through is in their own head.

          • February 12, 2016 @ 8:09 am Ohnoyoudidnt

            This seems terribly dismissive. Because you don’t struggle doesn’t mean those who do are creating their own strife. I lost a child to miscarriage. For me it was sad but not life altering hard. For others, their experience is very difficult. I would never presume to tell others that their pain is in their own head.

          • February 12, 2016 @ 11:20 am Gregg

            “Because you don’t struggle doesn’t mean those who do are creating their own strife. I lost a child to miscarriage. For me it was sad but not life altering hard. For others, their experience is very difficult. I would never presume to tell others that their pain is in their own head.”

            It is in their own head. Anxiety and depression (save clinical depression) derive from expectations, perceptions, and perspectives. When those change we find ourselves free of the pain we experience. Why do you think psychotherapy and counselling exist?

        • February 12, 2016 @ 10:29 am Dank

          Thank you Gregg.

          Reply

          • February 12, 2016 @ 11:17 am Gregg

            You’re welcome.

    • February 10, 2016 @ 9:14 am Lisa

      Jakob Whitted, do you have a sec? Can you just step down off that rameumptum for a minute? Why do you feel the need to call others out for “sinning?” No one is asking you to accept homosexual behavior as ok. If you feel it is a sin, then don’t do it. Easy. Right? There a good research study done regarding the correlation of non-accepting behaviors from family particularly and higher rates of suicide attempts, depression, drug use, and risky sexual behavior. See the family acceptance project by Dr Caitlin Ryan. So what is meant by acceptance? Not that you change your religious conviction, but that you not only refrain from speaking ill of LGBTQ people (that means you can believe they are sinners or whatever, but you don’t need to jabber about it incessantly and take offense every time it’s brought up as a topic of discussion). It means you welcome LGBTQ people by including them, by acknowledging their reality differs from yours, and that you don’t in the slightest way appreciate what it’s like to walk in their shoes. It means you have no place to point the finger and call someone to repentance. Take Elder D Oaks, for example of how NOT to behave. He was interviewed once regarding this issue, and when asked how to treat a gay child who had chosen to be partnered with a same sex partner, he said: I can imagine that in most circumstances the parents would say, ‘Please don’t do that. Don’t put us into that position.’ Surely if there are children in the home who would be influenced by this example, the answer would likely be that. There would also be other factors that would make that the likely answer.

      I can also imagine some circumstances in which it might be possible to say, ‘Yes, come, but don’t expect to stay overnight. Don’t expect to be a lengthy house guest. Don’t expect us to take you out and introduce you to our friends, or to deal with you in a public situation that would imply our approval of your “partnership.” That response is rejecting of the person and judgmental and flawed. It is ridiculous to think that exposure to a loving committed relationship between two men or women could possibly lead to contamination of the the other children in the home. This seems to be the inference: that the gay is contagious or worse that by being accepting of the gay child and his partner that somehow you are teaching children an unchristlike value. I would argue that by allowing that gay child and his partner into your home, you are showing a godlike love. You are showing your other children and friends that it’s possible to love those unlike yourself — the other. You are exemplifying the call to go out and find the one from the ninety-nine. Christ didn’t tell us to love only those who believe as we do, or practice as we do, or are as we are, but rather love all, condemn none and leave judgment to him.

      Reply

      • February 11, 2016 @ 12:08 pm Gregg

        “Christ didn’t tell us to love only those who believe as we do, or practice as we do, or are as we are, but rather love all, condemn none and leave judgment to him.”

        Did Elder Oaks say NOT to love them? Saying “I’m not going to participate with you on certain things” doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Do you require everyone you love to approve everything you do?

        Reply

        • February 11, 2016 @ 3:58 pm Ohnoyoudidnt

          Honestly, as a mom of a gay child, I would never tell my son that I won’t introduce him to my friends or isn’t welcome in my home. “I love you but I’m ashamed of you so let’s just keep this all a secret” doesn’t work for me. That’s not love…even if I don’t approve or everything he’s doing.

          Reply

          • February 11, 2016 @ 8:05 pm Gregg

            He didn’t say he wouldn’t introduce his son, he said he wouldn’t introduce their partnership. Same goes for being in the home.

          • February 12, 2016 @ 8:03 am Ohnoyoudidnt

            Gregg, would it be okay for my parents, who disapprove of my temple marriage and don’t particularly like my husband, to say, “I’ll introduce you to my friends but don’t bring yout husband around. Also since I disagree with this marriage don’t expect to sleep in my house.”

            It’s the same thing. I know someone whose parents literally made their son and his partner sleep in a tent in the backyard while the rest of the family was given a bedroom. Statements like the ones from Oakes above only give other further ammunition. You do not need to agree with your child’s decision. You do need to treat them with the same respect you give your straight married children.

          • February 12, 2016 @ 11:25 am Gregg

            “Gregg, would it be okay for my parents, who disapprove of my temple marriage and don’t particularly like my husband, to say, “I’ll introduce you to my friends but don’t bring yout husband around. Also since I disagree with this marriage don’t expect to sleep in my house.””

            Yes. Did you think I wouldn’t say so? I spent a great deal of time making my beliefs consistent.

            “It’s the same thing. I know someone whose parents literally made their son and his partner sleep in a tent in the backyard while the rest of the family was given a bedroom.”

            Why didn’t they just go stay at a hotel?

        • February 11, 2016 @ 8:44 pm Megami

          Conditional love is not love at all. It is a dangled carrot that requires the recipient to meet the “acceptable” behavior. It is shameful, and a manipulation.

          Reply

          • February 11, 2016 @ 8:56 pm Gregg

            One can love someone regardless of the behaviour, that doesn’t mean that they have to participate or approve.

    • February 10, 2016 @ 5:24 pm Jack of Hearts

      “But there needs to be a clear distinction between accepting a person and accepting their sins.”
      What on earth in this op-ed may you think the author was advocating “accepting their sins?”

      Reply

    • February 11, 2016 @ 1:03 pm Carol

      What is this ‘clear distinction’? Isn’t that just an excuse to judge others? It is not our place to accept or not accept someone’s sin. Someone Else has that responsibility. Just worry about your own sins and simply love others as Christ taught.

      Reply

  5. February 10, 2016 @ 2:13 am Caitlin

    Mike – see my corrections in a pm on your facebook page. Dr. Caitlin Ryan

    Reply

  6. February 11, 2016 @ 12:47 am Loren

    A number of the comments are so reflective of the majority that have no clue of the pain they create in the minority. In this case, the ‘righteous’ Mormon youth and their judgments on gay youth. I invite you to view the link below about gay suicides to get a sense of the loneliness imposed on gays by the ‘righteous’ ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBI4-Jd0IM4

    Reply

  7. February 11, 2016 @ 1:03 pm Debra Oaks Coe

    We need to follow all the council of the church on this issue.

    All should understand that persons (and their family members) struggling with the burden of same-sex attraction are in special need of the love and encouragement that is a clear responsibility of Church members, who have signified by covenant their willingness “to bear one another’s burdens” (Mosiah 18:8) “and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2) Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, October, 1995, p. 10.

    “I would even say that we will not succeed if we only go through the motions of religiosity. We could cover the earth with members of the Church, put a meetinghouse on every corner, dot the land with temples, fill the earth with copies of the Book of Mormon, send missionaries to every country, and say millions of prayers. But if we neglect to grasp the core of the gospel message and fail to help those who suffer or turn away those who mourn, and if we do not remember to be charitable, we ‘are as [waste] which the refiners do cast out.’” President Uchtdorf Address to the Salt Lake City Inner City Mission, given December 4, 2015

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  8. February 11, 2016 @ 3:30 pm Blake Perkins

    Let me open with a quote from two places. The first lds.org, and the second Bruce R. McConkie. The lds.org page regarding titled “Suicide” states the following :

    “Although it is wrong to take one’s own life, a person who commits suicide may not be responsible for his or her acts. Only God can judge such a matter. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said: “Obviously, we do not know the full circumstances surrounding every suicide. Only the Lord knows all the details, and he it is who will judge our actions here on earth.
    When he does judge us, I feel he will take all things into consideration: our genetic and chemical makeup, our mental state, our intellectual capacity, the teachings we have received, the traditions of our fathers, our health, and so forth” (“Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not,” Ensign, Oct. 1987, 8).

    And from Elder McConkie :

    “Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. (As mentioned above), Such are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgment is the Lord’s; he knows that thought, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.”

    To say that they “had their agency” and that they “made a choice” is a false conclusion. As a healthcare provider, I have seen the fruits of conscious choice, as well as those not of purely conscious choice. Mental illness, physical pain, addiction, are among a host of things that affect ones ability to make truly conscious decisions. When you state such things, assuming you understand their mental, physical, and spiritual condition, you are standing in judgement of another child of God. I would caution you to remember that, as the Apostle Matthew reminds us

    “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

    When you pretend to understand things as an equal to the Lord, you walk on dangerous ground. Only HE knows the hearts and minds of his children, ESPECIALLY those suffering from mental illness. He alone will have the judgement AND compassion sufficient to sort things out from an eternal perspective. I would respectfully suggest you search scripture and the words of our prophets, past and present, use prayer, and ask for enlightenment on this issue. I pray that you reach a better understanding and can “love your neighbor as yourself”, for is that not what Christ taught? To love unconditionally? May we ALL seek to understand and love our neighbor, our child, our enemy, in spite of what cross they may have to bear in this mortal life, and perhaps when all is finished, we can stand blameless before God at the last day.

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    • February 11, 2016 @ 3:36 pm emily

      👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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  9. February 12, 2016 @ 7:49 am Tab

    It is great to have support for LGBTQ+ individuals and community voiced at BYU Idaho, thank you. If we are careful students of LDS and religious history, we may see that religion is not unfamiliar with or unyeilding to developments in moral treatment of individuals and practices previously held that unfairly treated or discriminated against people or practices. Later generations accept new standards throwing off previous discrimination as part of their unexamined values with little regard for how hard fought those sentiments were forged when society was confronted with its unfairness and asked to change. Examples abound in suffrage, civil rights, child labor, environmental protection, etc.

    Society has treated LGBTQ+ individuals horrifically throughout most of recorded history. We should not be part of those who treat beloved sons and daughters of our heavenly divine family in an abusive rejecting manner. We know that their sexual orientation is not a choice the have made nor is it a punishment for some misdeed or lack of faithfulness in a preexistsnt state, but is how they experience love and are entitled to the same love acceptance and eternal potential that all of God’s children are promised access to. I submit that LDS theology is at a current loss to understand the plan of salvation and what to do with it to make it fair and expanded to provide the promised blessings to all of God’s children. Thankfully the plan of salvation can be expanded to address this perceived inequity and D&C 132:66 promises further instruction on laws of eternal relationships.

    Stand up for our brothers and sisters who are LGBTQ+ and let them know they are loved and welcome and embraced and discard sentiments that lead you to assume that they are not full participants in the spiritual progression we reverence as religious faith for many of us the Divine we reverence is fully accepting of all mortal children and bids us treat others with acceptance and does not bar the door to any class of people due to an intrinsic quality such as sexual orientation. Fifty years from now we will issue acknowledgements like the Church’s essay on race and the priesthood disavowing belief in previous racist policies and teachings.

    Believe in a God of your understanding who has morality and expresses love for all.

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