Monday, September 27, 2010

Pure Intent

A recent blog post recently attached alleged excerpts from a talk given by Elder Marlin Jensen. I will re-post without further introduction.

(Published by John Dehlin at Mormon Matters, a report of a special conference & stake conference by Linda Schweidel) 

Oakland Stake, September 19
... there was a “by invitation only” meeting with the visiting seventy, Marlin Jensen, about reactions to Prop. 8.... at which non‑gay Mormons, gay Mormons, gay former Mormons, and non‑Mormon gays can all get together and try to understand one another.

... the GA who’s coming to speak has the opportunity to find out if there are any issue of “particular interest” ... who were affected/disaffected by Prop 8. ... and then every other person who got up was eloquent, articulate, and right on point.

 ... Marlin Jensen sat there and listened. He’d that he appreciated the opportunity [to] come listen and promised to take what he learned “back to the Brethren.” ... after everybody got up, and told of the suffering that Prop 8 had caused – the division, heartache, anger, frustration and pain – and when the last guy who spoke told him that the Mormon church owed the gay community an apology, he stood and said, “To the [extent that] it’s within my power to apologize, I want to tell you that I am sorry. I am very sorry.” People were audibly weeping. ... It was very, very powerful. It felt very healing.

Stake conference was good too. [Stake President Criddle] talked about “extending the tent” and including everyone ... He asked should we go to dinner with couples of the same gender, and love them and accept them? “OF COURSE WE SHOULD!”

I am excited to make this mention and I am pleased that there are conversations happening between factions.  I love the brethren, and I feel that they love us.  To think that, because of political differences that they are "out to get us" or anyone else is a mistake that at times appears to border on paranoia. 

Interesting to not is that Elder Jensen did not apologize for options or politics.  He graciously and sincerely apologized for any harm done. 

I know that I could benefit from backing off, or backing down and saying I am sorry for hurt feelings or misconceptions or for making anyone feel "Less-Than" or unimportant.  I am taking this as seriously as I take any conference talk.

Conference weekend approaches.  I encourage anyone who has ties to the church to listen to the General authorities with the intent to forgive and be forgiven. 

Something marvelous may happen. Without or within.


  1. While we all have hope for change in the church, lets not read too much in to this. This church has never once in its existence apologized for being "right."

  2. Elder Jensen was also quoted as saying that the Brethren did not go into the Prop 8 campaign with any "malice".

    But, as another blogger wrote, we expect more from the Brethren than a lack of malice!

    Their lack of malice meant very little to me the night that one of my former seminary students took a handful of pills in order to end his existence as a gay mormon who had failed to meet his parents' ridiculous expectations.

    I'm sorry. I know that I should look at this as a positive development. It was a great thing for Elder Jensen to do and I commend him for it. I sincerely hope that he will take what he learned back to the Brethren and that they will have a good, prayerful discussion.

    But, I still get discouraged. Dehlin's original blog entry was quickly pulled from because it was considered "offensive". The exact same reason the recent Cary Crall's letter to the Daily Universe was pulled. Apparently our position in regards to denying marriage equality is SO weak that it cannot even be discussed anymore.

  3. I dont pull from off this blog. I love that the readership wishes to discuss and that we can do it with love and relative good feelings.Thank you all.

  4. I too saw this post and read it with some feeling of hope, but there was something about it that also made me sad. Rereading it just now I think I understand why. I think it was because all this love and support is so clandestine. It seemed like this was a somewhat secret, reluctant meeting "by special invitation" where the vast majority of the members had no clue of its existence. I guess I look forward to the day when homosexual members may be able to receive support from leaders more openly, with a full and honest embrace of support and fellowship. Maybe that day will come with Conference. I pray it will. Until then these small "town hall" type meetings, behind closed doors, will have to do. We need more, and deserve better.

  5. THere is not much done by special invatation in the church. It mostly means the leaders - those in service positions. I am not expecting anything huge - by way of gay or no gay. I am expecting some good news and some power coming from General conference. Thanks for the blog