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LDS Leaders Announce Better Vision Toward LGBT in Unprecedented News Conference

In an unprecedented move today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced via social media a special News Conference only two hours before airing. The topic of concern: religious freedom and non-discrimination. They also requested the hashtag #Fairness4All be used in our communications about the conference. 

As you can imagine, that move certainly woke up Mormons online and had many of us standing at attention! And by the way, no changes in doctrine or Church teachings were made -- just sayin.

So, what went down during this urgent News Conference? This, from the Mormon Newsroom:


Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for legislation across the United States that protects vital religious freedoms.

At the same time, the Church said it would support legislation where it is being sought to provide protections in housing, employment and some other areas where LGBT people do not have protections, while ensuring that religious freedom was not compromised.

Competing interests between advocates of religious freedom and those seeking to build LGBT rights into law have led to legislative inaction or stalemates with increasing frequency across the United States. In a news conference that included three members of the governing Twelve Apostles and one woman leader of the Church, leaders called for a “fairness for all” approach that balances religious freedom protections with reasonable safeguards for LGBT people — specifically in areas of housing, employment and public transportation, which are not available in many parts of the country. 

Elders Dallin H. Oaks and Jeffrey R. Holland of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Neill F. Marriott of the Church’s Young Women general presidency each spoke on behalf of the Church, outlining the issue and the Church’s position and approach. Elder D. Todd Christofferson, also one of the Twelve Apostles, introduced the news conference and the speakers.

Elder Oaks said: “Because we are frequently asked for our position on these matters, the Church asserts the following principles based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and on fairness for all, including people of faith:

  • We claim for everyone the God-given and Constitutional right to live their faith according to the dictates of their own conscience, without harming the health or safety of others.
  • We acknowledge that the same freedom of conscience must apply to men and women everywhere to follow the religious faith of their choice, or none at all if they so choose.
  • We believe laws ought to be framed to achieve a balance in protecting the freedoms of all people while respecting those with differing values.
  • We reject persecution and retaliation of any kind, including persecution based on race, ethnicity, religious belief, economic circumstances or differences in gender or sexual orientation.”

Church leaders said that both sides of the debate over religious freedom and nondiscrimination should treat each other with respect.  

You can watch full News Conference at the Mormon Newsroom and read important information the Church is providing in conjunction to the conference: here



tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

TLC Controversy Over SSA Mormons Featured on 'My Husband's Not Gay'

(Post update below.) By now, you’ve probably heard about the upcoming TLC special ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ that will feature male Mormons who experience same-sex attraction but choose to marry women – and are happy!

However, not everyone’s happy that they’re happy (particularly liberal champions of tolerance – only on their terms) and have launched a media campaign to have the show cancelled before it even airs. Here's the promo video if you haven't seen it:






Video Clip: My Husband's Not Gay





To be frank, I’ve been reading rumblings about this show for the last few weeks, before the backlash to try and shut it down ever began and have had mixed feelings about having this part of my Mormon faith exploited, which is what TLC is doing.

However, I also understand the importance of (as faithful members) taking this type of opportunity to speak our truth in a world that is falling fast in rejecting moral truths that have been the backbone of society and families since the beginning of time. And for this reason, I’m willing to (at least for now) lend my support to having our doctrine put out there in this manner. 

At the very least, it will create opportunities for LDS members to teach others what we believe about homosexuality, marriage and following the counsel of living prophets on these matters. And, provide to those watching (who might themselves be struggling with SSA) an option against what the world is now advocating, which rejects this option -- as dangerous.

Ty Mansfield, founder of the website North Star International (a supportive community for faithful Mormons who experience SSA and desire to live the teachings of the Church, unequivocally) is speaking out in support of the show and challenging those who would have it censored. What adds to Mansfield’s credibility is that he, too, is SSA and happily married to a woman. In his own words:

“As a man in a similar situation, and who is very happily married to a woman whom I adore, and with three beautiful children whom I wouldn’t trade for the world, I’m thrilled that TLC is willing to profile the stories of one minority group that gets very little exposure in the pop cultural media because LGBT, Inc., is threatened by the fact that our very existence challenges its identity, its distorted socio-cultural narrative, and its socio-political agenda. 
 The Mormon Church was blasted in 2008 for supporting Proposition 8, and there have been several “No H8″ propaganda campaigns since then, but the sheer hatred and ugliness I have seen from LGBT folks and supporters around this TLC special far exceeds anything I’ve seen from the vast majority of religious folks and is shameful and hypocritical coming from a community proclaiming that “all love is equal.” The hypocrisy and double-standard is mind-blowing. It’s fascinating to me how our popular culture has so evolved to become almost fascist about sexuality and it’s prescription about what it means to live authentically or to be “true to one’s self”, simply trading all the old myths and falsehoods about sexuality they’ve fought against with new ones. 
 The LGBT community, which claims to be against suppression, would be happy to suppress our stories simply because they feel threatened by them. There is a simple truth that some people who are attracted to others of the same sex would choose to marry and remain faithful to someone of the opposite sex—and who are living happy, authentic lives, being completely “true to ourselves.” We’re here, and without telling others how they “should” live, we have a story to tell—and I’m thrilled that TLC is open-minded enough to be willing to provide a forum for that telling.”

Along with other LDS bloggers, who consider these faithful members (willing to speak their truth in public) modern day heroes, I’m urging you to read Ty’s excellent post in full and share it. Surely, these families need all the love and support we can gather on their behalf. 

Northern Lights Blog: TLC Controversy and Letters to GLAAD

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a statement in regard to the TLC show 'My Husband's Not Gay':

Update: Mormon Newsroom: Church Responds to Questions Regarding Upcoming TLC Program

A new program on the TLC cable channel to air later this month, titled "My Husband's Not Gay," has generated significant news media coverage this week. Several journalists have asked the Church questions about the program because it features three Mormon couples. While the Church has no connection to the program and rarely comments on commercial productions, Church spokesman Eric Hawkins gave the following statement to the media regarding the issues being discussed:


“The decision for a woman and man to marry is deeply personal. While the Church does not promote marriage as a treatment method for same-sex attraction, couples who are trying to be lovingly supportive of each other while being true to their religious convictions deserve our support and respect.”

Official information regarding the Church’s position and teachings on same-sex attraction can be found here:

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

Official LDS Church website: http://mormonsandgays.org/
Where the Church stands: 
"The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters."

Best LDS Christmas Resources and First Presidency Message

The Mormon Newsroom posted a news release on behalf of The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) sharing their 2014 Christmas message:


As we celebrate this Christmas season, our thoughts turn to that sacred event long ago when the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World was born (see Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, who was “wounded for our transgressions, . . . and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He promised: “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).



We sincerely pray this Christmastime that the light and testimony of the Savior will come into our hearts, that our lives will reflect His life and attributes, and that people everywhere will accept the blessings of His mercy and grace that are made possible through His atoning sacrifice.
May each of us be blessed during this joyous time of the year, and may we acknowledge with gratitude our Heavenly Father’s incomparable gift to us—His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf




Other LDS Church Christmas resources to help you focus on the mission of Jesus Christ throughout this special season of joy and gladness!



Video:"The Nativity"





Gospel Topic: Christmas
“When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit. It will block out all the distractions around us which can diminish Christmas and swallow up its true meaning."
"Use [these] resources to enrich your Christmas celebrations and help you to focus on the Savior this season."









The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) have created a wonderful collection of LDS Bible videos depicting the Life of Jesus Christ. The particular videos I'm sharing here, today, beautifully portray the Christmas Story as recorded in sacred scripture. Each one of these New Testament Bible videos carefully follow the actual text from the King James version; maintaining the integrity of the inspired account as originally recorded.



Church News: 

Light of Christ Illuminates First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

“All of us have experienced an influence that made us want to be kind, to help someone in need,” said President Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency. “All of us have felt an increased desire to stay far from evil. And we each have felt a desire to be less prideful, boastful, or critical—to be more like the Savior.”

"His remarks were part of the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center. The spirit of Christmas was celebrated through word and song at the annual event, which drew tens of thousands to downtown Salt Lake City—while many more enjoyed the program on television or via the Internet."


Watch, Read, Listen or Download: 2014 Christmas Devotional

"For a more Christ-centered Christmas for you and your loved ones, head to LDS.org for a wealth of Christmas resources that will help you keep the focus on Jesus Christ and His birth."















Mormon.org: Christmas #ShareTheGift



"This Christmas season, we invite you to join millions of people and #ShareTheGift of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ."


Discover, Embrace, and Share the Gift

"Can a gift given 2,000 years ago still matter today? The answer is a heartfeltyes. As we internalize the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow His perfect example, we can become more like Him and experience lasting peace and joy—this Christmas season and always."


Christmas Video -- He is the Gift -- #ShareTheGift




World Record Nativity Video to #ShareTheGift 

Over A Thousand People Came Together To Break a Record And Bring This Moving Christmas Hymn To Life






Infographic: Mormons Tell the Story of Christmas Nativity


Mormons, as Christians, celebrate Christmas in memorial of the birth of Jesus Christ, whom we recognize as the literal Son of God, and Savior of the world. In this beautiful Christmas infographic the story of "The Nativity" is depicted.







These are truly wonderful Christmas resources provided by the LDS Church, many of which can easily be shared with other Christians. Take the time to click on each of the links provided above, where you will find help for Church, Family Home Evening and other Christmas lessons and activities that you need to prepare for during the holiday season and want to keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus Christ.

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

See also: 


Photos: LDS.org

Natural Marriage: Humanum A New Affirmation

Humanum New Affirmation Marriage

Why do weddings still move us? We do not become emotional when business partners strike a deal. We shed no tears at a friendly handshake. We feel no such joy to hear of “casual” mating.

A wedding is different. Here stand a man and woman, entering together into a new life.

And yet it is more than this. They are about to enter the generations. Their union proclaims life: their parents and grandparents still live within them. Humankind lives within them. The cultures and creeds of the world live within them. They are there—in the blood. Those bearing witness know this truth. They too have been born from a union of man and woman.

Personal Thoughts On President Eyring's Marriage Address at Vatican

An Apostle of  Jesus Christ from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) just spoke to a global audience of faith leaders, by invitation of Pope Francis – at the Vatican!

I hope you take the opportunity to sit down and watch/listen to President Henry B. Eyring’s inspired address delivered during the Vatican marriage summit on the complementarity of man and woman to witness the truth of natural marriage and the family as God has ordained and to present personal evidence. (See also The Divine Institution of Marriage.)

What he spoke and how he spoke it, for me, is among the most inspired teaching I have ever experienced on the necessity of defending marriage, only between a man and a woman. I truly felt God was with him as he delivered his speech, which included an extensive recitation of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

His delivery touched me deeply -- so humble. For some reason, I had this image in my mind that he would be standing before a large body and give a powerful and moving address in defense of the family – shake the earth! I’ve been to the Vatican. The outside court is astoundingly large. I guess I pictured him out there – I don’t know.

Anyway, rather he was sitting down and reading his address, methodically, with sincere feeling – nothing showy about it – at all. He wept. He witnessed. His character emanated through his inspired words.

Vatican: Top Mormon Leader Addresses Global Audience During Vital Marriage Conference

Religions of the world, by invitation of Pope Francis, have come together at the Vatican in Rome to uphold natural marriage during an unprecedented conference: “The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” This is sure to be a profound gathering, necessary due to the current marriage culture quickly eroding the beauty and importance of the covenant of marriage as a man and woman linked to children. 

Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. It is a holy sacrament. This conference provides a way to bring together those who desire to protect marriage and share a common witness of its importance and why.

President Henry B. Eyring of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints addressed the conference on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 to share our deeply held beliefs about marriage.



You can read the complete text of President Eyring's speech at the Vatican Marriage Summit, here. Watch the video right here: 




 

Regardless of What You Think About Joseph Smith and Polygamy

joseph smith polygamy gospel topics essays
Regardless of what some want to think about Joseph Smith, the Church is true. And whether you struggle with the principle of plural marriage, or not, or think polygamy even when commanded of God immoral it doesn't matter. It won't change a thing in relation to the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- it happened and Joseph Smith is the one whom the Lord called to establish His Church in the last days; knowing full-well his character. Bottom line: the stone cut out of the mountain will continue to roll forth until it fills every corner of the earth and sounds in every ear!



I find it interesting that some members who were not aware of the complete history of the LDS Church in relation to polygamy would so easily question the integrity of the Church when finding out that like Abraham and other ancient prophets, God would require it of Joseph as well. Surprisingly, some have even left the Church upon finding out this information unable to reconcile the history in relation to the truthfulness of the gospel -- deeply sad. And it is from these sources the media is currently having a heyday with their eager willingness to make Joseph out to be something he never was – unrighteous.


I'm not suggesting I fully understand polygamy, like it or even know everything there is to know about it -- I don't. What I am saying is that the Lord provided a way for every sincere seeker of truth to know if Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and it has nothing to do with how many wives he was sealed to and what the ages of those he married were; as if that matters. It doesn't.

What matters is that Joseph was obedient to what the Lord commanded him and that, to me, knowing what I do know about the history is incredible. Who among us has similar faith in keeping covenants we've made regardless of the price? Not so many, I think. Which is why those who do are considered, by God, "elect."

LDS Church Breaks Silence about Mormon Underwear and Members React

mormon underwear
From out of nowhere and shocking to some members of the Mormon faith, myself included (to be honest), on a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released an unprecedented video about the sacred, holy temple garment worn by covenant members of the Church -- with photos, titled: Sacred Temple Clothing (a.k.a. Mormon underwear). And, Mormons are reacting...




The reactions by Mormons, mixed to say the least, aren't just about the temple garments being neatly laid out for the world to see, but also shown is the temple clothing (robes of holy priesthood) worn only inside a Mormon temple; sacred to members of the Church. So sacred, that most don’t purposely show the temple clothing to their own children until they are preparing to go to the temple themselves – as adults.

LDS Church Responds to Supreme Court Ruling Refusing to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in response to today's Supreme Court ruling refusing to hear same-sex marriage cases has released this statement on the Mormon Newsroom:
The succession of federal court decisions in recent months, culminating in today’s announcement by the Supreme Court, will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God. In prizing freedom of conscience and Constitutional guarantees of the free exercise of religion, we will continue to teach that standard and uphold it in our religious practices.Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Church leaders will continue to encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation.

Oct 2014 General Conference: How to Watch, Invite and Share! #LDSConf

Information for Oct 2014 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: This much anticipated meeting will be held in the LDS Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. This is an exciting time for Mormons worldwide!  We have the opportunity to hear from our Prophet and President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, as well as many other prominent Church leaders to receive relevant counsel and direction to help strengthen us as individuals, and as a people, committed to living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

About General Conference:
"General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others who are interested gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders.

All sessions of General Conference are available, live, on the Internet at LDS.org.