Friday, May 20, 2011

Another rant against MOM's and Elder Packer's false teachings...

It's been nearly three weeks since my last post and I hadn't had the urge to write during that entire period. A close friend of mine recently posted a series of essays that resulted in a number of responses by those who tend to believe and espouse vociferously the gospel according to Evergreen International, a gospel that is based on lies, distortions and false hope.

After reading a series of lengthy responses from a young man who calls himself "A Peculiar Light," I could stay quiet no longer. Below is my response to APL's ongoing argument.

"Young men like APL are not just frustrating. They are DANGEROUS.

"I can say that with some authority because I was APL when I was 26. I knew the Lord would bless me and strengthen me for doing what President Packer suggested. I heard his original talk. I was inspired. I had faith.

As a result, I lived a life devoted to serving my family and the Church. Despite my best efforts and a loving, understanding and supportive wife, the facade I built on false faith eventually crumbled. (Remember that faith is "the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, WHICH ARE TRUE.")

"Like me when I was young, APL and his brethren espouse a way of life that has been found NOT to be true (what I would put in the same category as Heber J. Grant's pronouncement that man would never set foot on the moon). The result of their professions is pain and heartache for nearly all gay men who determine through faith they will adhere to it. According to research, less than 10% of mixed orientation marriages last more than 10 years. Would you fly on an airplane or allow your children to fly on an airplane that had a failure rate that approached 90% over the course of 10 years, even if an Apostle told you to do it? Of course not. What makes marriage any different?

"More importantly, the well meaning decisions of nearly all these naive yet faithful men eventually destroy the lives of their wives and adversely impact their children as well. Is this sound? I have to say to enter into this situation with clear understanding of the probable outcome is not just wrong, it is morally reprehensible.

"For those of us who have spent our lives dealing with the ramifications of bad advice from ecclesiastical leaders, we know ever too clearly what President Packer said when we were young as well as the intent of his message last fall. Let's not mince words or play semantic games. We are all adults.

"Joseph Smith taught and President Hinckley reiterated that all men (and I assume Apostles, too, are men) receive revelation regarding their personal stewardship TO THE DEGREE THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO RECEIVE IT. Just as Elder Mark E. Petersen's personal experience and prejudice led him to reject the revelation on blacks and the priesthood for over 20 years, President Packer's experience and prejudice regarding homosexuality preclude him from gaining additional divine direction on this important issue. (Hence, his talk was fundamentally revised post-address to one focused on pornography rather than homosexuality. Why? Because his teachings on homosexuality in the sermon were not doctrinally sound.)

"The tragic result of an Apostle teaching false doctrine, whether he is well intentioned or not, is that lives are ruined. APL may have thought he was strengthened by the talk, but by and by APL will probably discover like most of us that the end result of following false doctrine is destruction regardless of who taught it.

"Now to you, APL. Go ahead and preach your views like Zeezrom, the Book of Mormon legalist who led so many faithful saints astray. We all do impetuous and ill-conceived things when we are young that we later regret. You are not too different than the rest of us. I would love to talk to you, however, when you are 50.

"The real problem, APL, is that your naivete and persuasive ability will lead untold numbers of young men, equally naive, to ruin their lives and those of precious young women, if you are left unchecked."

I would not look forward to standing before the Lord with that burden weighing heavily on my shoulders.


  1. I whole heartedly agree. I wish I could send you a link to my own posting about this...but it is from the blog that has my real identity and i dont want you to match that identity to the identity of this particular blogger account that i am posting from now, and the blog that i write with it...(because of the nature of the blog) but i will say that I completely agree with you

  2. Do you believe that mixed-orientation marriages never last? Thank you for writing this post and the others.

  3. As a young gay man, I am grateful for the generation that has come before and figured out a few things so that I didn't have to experience it myself.

    As far as APL's standpoint, I do not see any way that a gay member could in good conscience marry a woman in order to "do what's right." If someone is strictly intent on being by the book, celibacy is the only option. At least that doesn't hurt anyone else.

    Thanks for your post!

  4. Dear friend, you are I are in a similar position so it is important that I acknowledge that you are absolutely correct. For many years I have dealt with the painful consequences of following the teachings of LDS Church leaders that were just plain wrong and not in my best interest. I truly loved my wife when we got married and I still do but it is more the love of friendship than the love of romance. I believed that I would be cured of being gay by following their advice and getting married. However, the heartache I have caused her over the years because of my inability to be the person she thought she married has caused her much pain. To my great benefit she has been willing to be very flexible and we have both been able to accept the fact that our marriage is not and will never be what we expected. Most couples cannot stay together through this because it is so damaging to their fundamental beliefs and hopes for their marriage. APL does not appreciate the land mines he is walking into. Thanks for your post.

  5. Thanks so much for responding. As I posted my essay last night I did so with more than a little trepidation. I'm not typically a "go for the jugular" kind of guy--except for this issue. Too many lives are at stake. The fact that you would take the time to respond is gratifying.

    Now to Anonymous' question, do I believe that mixed-orientation marriages never last? Let me say that I'm sure that there are some LDS gay men who remain in mixed orientation marriages for their entire lives. I've had a few people respond to my blog who identify themselves as such. All are like MoHoGuy. They express love and appreciation for their wives, but also express regret and sorrow over the pain they have suffered and the suffering their wonderful wives have experienced. To be honest, I have never personally met a gay man who has been married over 30 years.

    Can MOM's last? Probably. Do they? Generally, no. Do people in MOM's experience some degree of happiness? Yes, generally for a time. Would I want my daughter to marry a gay man? Never!

    Again, thanks for your comments and hopefully I'll hear from you all again.

  6. Clive was responding to a string of comments APL made concerning this post over at Main Street Plaza about Boyd K. Packer's 1978 talk, "To the One."

    Clive, thank you for adding your voice to this "conversation." We share many viewpoints, particularly when it comes to advising young gay Mormon men to avoid marriage to a woman. Like you, I was married for a number of years before coming out, which led directly to the end of our marriage. Our marriage had always had problems, however, and what I realized after coming out and processing the last 20+ years of my life was that my inner conflict had infected my marriage FROM THE BEGINNING. The toll is often not recognized until a fearsome price has already been exacted.

  7. I'm glad to see this discussion.

    In regard to Anonymous's question, the statistics for mixed-orientation marriages are not positive. More than 80% end in divorce (see here). Of those that don't end in divorce, a majority remain troubled.

  8. If I need to make this issue my life mission, so be it. I can't help but think that if someone had seriously sat me down when I was contemplating marriage and walked me through all of this I would have at the very least taken much longer to consider what I was doing. However, back then there was no Internet, or Mohodirectory, no support groups or anyone I could reach out to and had to deal with my very ignorant issues and conclusions on my own. I've paid a dear price and more than that, I've made my X and children pay an even higher price... Now having said that would I have probably been stubborn enough to get married? Who knows, maybe--but at the very least I would have told my future wife and both of us would have made a conscious decision together, not just me. I like your analogy of the 10% successful flight. Great food for thought!

  9. Miguel, as always you are insightful, gentle and kind. You are a good man.

  10. Thanks, MoHoHawaii, for the link. The article is fascinating and insightful.

  11. My own ex-wife and children will pay the price for the rest of their lives of my reliance on "inspired" leaders like Mr. Packer. They and countless other innocents like them will have their one chance in mortality severely damaged because of people like him.

    I can be tolerant and flexible with leaders who display reasonable amounts of personal foibles and human failings. But this is not that case.

    For decades men like Mr. Packer and Mr. Peterson and Mr. Kimball have preached their incredibly misguided and harmful homophobia as God's will. This is not just a personal quirk. These men are affirmatively and consistently damaging countless lives with their willful ignorance.

    It's one thing for a single and never-married 20-something APL to say "we must follow the prophet and apostles." It's quite another to have done so and realize what, through what you thought was obedience to God's leaders, you have unwittingly inflicted on your own innocent children who look at you with tear-filled eyes and hearts full of pain and fear as they struggle to understand why their home has been torn apart and their sense of security and happiness destroyed.

    The Savior said those who offend the little ones would be better off at the bottom of the sea with a millstone round their necks. I put Mr. Packer and Mr. Peterson and Mr. Kimball into that category. The pain and misery and even death that has followed efforts to comply with their teachings is incalculable. My own children are paying that price now. If I am ever able to forgive them for that, it'll have to be in the next life.

    When I see the continuing scramble to cobble together explanations and justifications in the face of mounting evidence that the church has been spectacularly wrong on this issue, is it any wonder I no longer trust the LDS leadership on anything? Or why my own kids, as they start to grow and mature, have already largely lost that trust? I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they completely abandoned the church because they're seeing what it has cost them. Result of following "leaders" like Packer: An entire family and their future generations lost to the church.

    "By their fruits, ye shall know them."

  12. Rob, my heart goes out to you. Your comment touched me deeply. Your words are solemn and profound and your experience shared by many of us. Thank you for taking the time to write.