Faith Matters damages faith by forgetting our sacrificial unity

I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sept. 30, 1978, 45 years ago, the day at which members during General Conference sustained the earlier revelation that year about the priesthood being open to all worthy males.

My wife, Sally, and I joined the church when we were married teenagers. We now have six children and 23 grandchildren. Though we originally are from just outside of Washington, D.C. — married, baptized, and sealed while living there — my work at Sutherland Institute brought us to Utah for 20 years. read more

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Can I Get a Hug?

I know I am behind the curve on discovering The Chosen. One of our daughters gave us the DVD for Season 1 two Christmases ago but we never dug out a video player to watch it. Thank you for the thoughtful gift, sweetheart. And sorry for ignoring your love. But I just found it on Prime and we have been binge-watching it for the past week.

If you don’t know the show, it’s about the life and ministry of Jesus — but unlike any other I have ever seen. It feels real, human. Somehow, I can relate to it. And I am not sure how I relate to it. I just feel it. It moves me in the right way — I feel better for having watched it. It almost feels tangibly good, like going to church and partaking in the sacrament (no sacrilege intended). read more

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On Abandonment

“Perseverating” is a word I was unfamiliar with until after six decades of life. It means, in my words, to focus intensely and uncontrollably on past wrongs, embarrassments, and disappointments I not only experienced, but feel I caused as if something still could be done to fix, avoid, or flip the experiences into happy moments.

I perseverate and do so almost daily. Doing so could consume minutes during my day or even an hour or two. I relive very painful moments in my life. Something triggers the memory of that painful moment, regardless of circumstances during the day, and I am off to the races. For instance, I could lose ten minutes of a business meeting due to perseveration. read more

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The LDS Church makes bad decisions based on fear

Fear-based decision-making leads to bad decisions. Every time. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – my church – just provided back-to-back examples of bad decisions based upon fear.

The first example is its decision to endorse the congressional Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA), thereby endorsing same-sex marriage. Its origin story arose out of fear that the United States Supreme Court might overturn the Obergefell decision that created a constitutional right for same-sex marriage. Justice Clarence Thomas said boo and, out of fear, supporters of same-sex marriage created the RFMA… read more

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Ruminations on the LDS Church’s Endorsement of Same-Sex Marriage

These thoughts address two statements by our LDS Church regarding its support for the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) – the December 13, 2022, statement from the signing of the bill and the November 15, 2022, endorsement of the bill in the United States Senate.

Statement language in red.

The December 13, 2002, statement:

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Elder Jack N. Gerard, a General Authority Seventy, and former U.S. Sen. Gordon H. Smith, now an Area Seventy, were in attendance for the signing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement on Tuesday, Dec. 13. read more

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‘That doesn’t mean that President Oaks understands politics’ — LDS duo argues against Respect for Marriage Act

In The Salt Lake Tribune’s latest “Mormon Land” podcast, Mero and Reid explain their belief that the Utah-based church should stay out of politics and the so-called culture wars. Here are excerpts:

What was your initial reaction when you heard about the church’s support of the Respect for Marriage Act?

Mero • It certainly surprised me because it’s in total contradiction to church doctrine. You know, we oppose same-sex marriage for doctrinal reasons and you would think that any church would make any move that would support its doctrine. read more

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‘Mormon Land’: Our church is wrong on the Respect for Marriage Act, say two well-known Orthodox members

When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its support of the Respect for Marriage Act, which is designed to codify same-sex marriage while safeguarding religions from embracing such unions in their policies and practices, many members, especially LGBTQ allies, rejoiced.

Not all of the faithful, however, agreed with the historic decision.

Paul Mero, former president of the conservative Sutherland Institute think tank, for one, says the Utah-based faith’s backing of LGBTQ rights in recent years led to this unwise and unnecessary move. And Stuart Reid, a former Army chaplain, state senator, and public affairs representative for the church, says it’s misguided to tacitly endorse civil same-sex marriage when the practice is viewed doctrinally as an “abomination” to God. read more

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The LDS Church should get out of politics, especially the modern American culture war

The LDS Church opposes same-sex marriage but supports every gay right that leads logically to same-sex marriage. They conspire in Utah with gay activists to finally pass a statewide nondiscrimination bill but, in doing so, assure legal discrimination against the very same gay community by exempting the church from its provisions. They then invent “same-sex attraction” while condemning those who fall under its spell…

Everything the LDS Church has touched politically in this culture war is a tangled mess and has resulted in exactly the opposite of the desired outcome. Time and again, it has tried to serve the Lord without offending the devil. Please, for the sake of us faithful adherents, get out of politics, especially the modern American culture war. Preach sound doctrine, such as found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and let us, true believers, in both faith and citizenship, govern ourselves. read more

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How to Acquire Greed in God’s Sacred Name: A Case Study

Inspired by Hugh Nibley’s short essay, How to Write an Anti-Mormon Book, for years I have meant to write a response to a former employer’s screed in favor of greed. This former employer shall remain anonymous, partly out of a bit of contextual respect and partly because anyone who defends greed in public likely would defend it in court. Suffice it to say he was a salesman extraordinaire for get-rich-quick schemes. And my interest in his remarks is because he identified as a faithful Latter-day Saint. read more

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Not Approaching Zion

Every other month, we receive a copy of LDS Living magazine, I suppose because we shop at the Deseret Book store. Each issue is filled with uplifting stories about LDS personalities or LDS who have overcome great hardships with inspiring stories. Notwithstanding those People magazine-type articles, LDS Living is a commercial for the LDS Church. But not just the LDS Church. LDS Living is a commercial for LDS products — you know, food storage, Holy Land tours, comfort foods, religious conferences, event venues, and, of course, products from Deseret Book. And, not oddly but uniquely, addiction treatment centers and fertility clinics advertise on its pages. read more

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