Sunday, October 3, 2010

Session 3 - The messages are getting worse and worse

Well, the sessions are getting progressively worse. I wish I had stopped after the first one. Maybe it is good. Watching them really does remind me of all of the reasons why I resigned. Here are the main points of interest.

1. AGAIN, follow the prophet. Every talk, again, had some element of either Joseph Smith being a real live prophet of Monson being a prophet. Eyering actually recited the first vision and got a bit choked up and talked about how special it was that Joseph had enough trust and faith to pray and receive such a great answer to his prayer. As he was reciting the first vision and talking about God himself coming down to see Joseph I could not help but cringe as I thought back to the alternative version of the vision where it was not God at all that came down…

Eyering also referred to Joseph as “unlettered”. I have often wondered why they focus so much on making people believe that Joseph was uneducated and it really is about making it clear that Joseph would not have been capable of just writing the Book of Mormon on his own… “He was illiterate… What a miracle that he brought forth the book…” Arrrrggghhhhh.

2. It is hard to not hate Packer… Can I just get that out there right now…  As soon as he mentioned The Family Proclamation I knew it was going in a bad direction.  Of course he referenced marriage being between a man and a woman which lead to any other sort of relationship being of the adversary. He said that the entire plan of salvation is built on this principle and then flat out said that a loving Heavenly Father would not cause children to be born with homosexual tendencies. He then indirectly said that homosexuality is the result of other sins and addictions…

He then assured the church that the gospel does not change its course that they will stay on course. The church will stand firm against homosexuality. All that suffer from such “addictions” can overcome them through repentence. Those with such addictions should “avoid and ignore” those tendencies and “don’t look back.”

3. Personal revelation will never be different from what church leaders say. If your personal revelation is different in any way from what leaders have said it is because of some sin or unworthiness in your own life. Personal revelation is basically just there to reaffirm and confirm what priesthood revelation has said... During this talk “former-members” got a shout out. Oaks said that we are examples of those that have followed personal revelation and wish to tell church leaders how to run the church… Not inaccurate. I have a few suggestions on how to improve the church…

Here are some of my thoughts. I get a sense of panic in some of these talks. I get a sense of shoring up the walls or bailing out the water. Missionary work has been at a near standstill for awhile now. They have got to be hemorrhaging members. They have focused so much on following the prophet and that the prophet is the way to eternal life that it almost feels like prophet-worship. There has been very little talk of actual principles of the gospel. There has been very little said about Christ at all. Everything has been about Joseph Smith and the prophet.

I cringe for the kids that heard Packer speak. The message was pretty clear. He basically said that, “You are gay because you are sinning somehow.” Avoid. Ignore. Don’t look back. He just effectively drove them deeper into the closet and I will be the first say that ignoring, avoiding and trying not to look back is not going to make the gay go away. Perhaps I am anti-Mormon because I think Packer’s talk may have been the most destructive thing I have ever heard.

Not only did he drive gays deeper into the closet, but he also just divided believers from their gay family members even more. Families just heard a “prophet” say that their gay child, sibling, friend has been led away by Satan, has made a bad choice and can be cleansed by repenting. A loving Heavenly Father would never cause someone to be born gay…

Yesterday I was mad. Today I just find that my heart is broken and I worry about those that are gay and actually believe because I am sure right now they are wounded even more deeply then before. 

I extend a personal invitation to any that are hurting that they can email me, look me up on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1083056810). I am adding my phone number to my Facebook account. You are not alone. 

18 comments:

  1. I have NEVER liked BKP. Ever.

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  2. maaaan.

    i want to resign SO BADLY because of this bullshit, but Eric's not ready and I'm not leaving until he's ready. But don't get me wrong, I am really, really tempted.

    I can't believe Packer said those things.

    <3

    Also, and I don't know if you're aware of this, but there is this great group called Affirmation for GBLT members of the church. A friend of mine who I went to school with is one of their officers (George Cole), a man who left the church soon after we graduated. I still remember his email to me where he came out. He couldn't believe a loving Heavenly Father would want him to live a life without (romantic) love.

    Neither do I.

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  3. He has got to be the least Christ-like person I have ever encountered.

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  4. @ Lisa - yeah I view this talk as talking a pound of salt and mashing into the wounds of the wounded. How can anyone sustain and raise their hand to such hate?

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  5. Fuck. My parents are watching this right now, being brainwashed even more into treating me like shit.

    I hate this goddamn church.

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  6. That was one of my first thoughts too Craig. I think I will wait a few weeks before calling home again...

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  7. so glad to be an ex-member. I hope during the afternoon session someone will say something positive to counter Packers message. Holland maybe?-A.J.

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  8. @ AJ - The sad thing is though that even if something more positive, and warm and fuzzy is said in the last session the people that are hurt by Packer's talk won't even be able to hear the nice words. They will still be hearing Packer's words ringing in their ears.

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  9. I know. I just don't know what else would help someone who still believes. Church always made me feel worse about myself. If the gospel were true it would heal hearts not break them. IMHO. thanx for keeping us up to date on whats happening. It must be hard to listen to all that. Thank you. -A.J.

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  10. Oh, it's not just because you're anti, Kiley. BKP's talk was one of the most counter productive and destructive things to be said from that pulpit in a long time.

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  11. @AJ - It is seriously a good think that I am listening to them. There is a lot that I had forgotten. A few posts ago I actually talked about going back for family and community reasons... I have been purged of such thoughts these past few days.

    Thanks JonJon!

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  12. I'm crushed... I sat and watched Pres. Packer speak with my family and literally thought, "Damn, there goes coming out to them for a while." Darth Vader's theme from Star Wars should have been playing as he spoke.

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  13. Kiley, as Jon said, you're not anti. Although if what Boyd said is repeated to any extent, I'm not sure how any of us can do anything but oppose it. So maybe that makes us anti. I dunno.

    Boyd is a destroyer and a fear-mongerer. He always has been, despite the grandfatherly demeanor. If Boyd wants to spend the rest of his days on earth preaching cold, bitter bigotry, that's his choice. But the rest of the church leadership and every single member of the church needs to reach deep into their souls and decide whether they believe as he does. I thought he had softened in his old age. But it's clear that gay-bashing is still one of the "loves" of his life. So sad that his life is so devoid of actual love.

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  14. @Jack - despite the seriousness of what you said the thought of the Darth Vader music made me laugh! Thank you.

    @ Pablo - You are so often the voice of reason. Thank you for responding so calmly. It really must be terrible to be him. No one can carry those kind of negative thoughts around and not feel terrible most of the time. I will take consolation in that he probably feels like crap.

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  15. Wow, so much animosity here. I guess I have the answer to my question, but the way I see it, it seems, again, like just a matter of perspective. I didn't hear a lot of the things you're writing about. I don't believe they were in the talk at all.

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  16. @Alex - I feel like my reaction was probably an over-reaction. I want to go back and listen to it again. Even saying though that my reaction was an over-reaction though I do still feel that his words were inappropriate, and ill-timed.

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  17. I can't help but think that the more they emphasize obedience and conformity in the face of obvious evidence (especially about sexual orientation/gender identity), the more members they're going to push away with their extremism.

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  18. I agree. It is all speculation on my part, but as I talk to others who have left there are lots that have left over these issues.

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