Friday, March 30, 2012

President Packer says we're the enemy...

By now, you have probably heard President Packer’s January Seminary sermon in which he relegates those of us who are LGBT to the status of “enemy.”

If you missed it, the talk includes a renewed declaration of war against the LGBT community by a man who sees himself as the Church’s last bastion of heterosexual fidelity. In just six short sentences, President Packer puts us LGBT Saints in our place—outside the fold of God.

It made me sad…

What is obvious in President Packer’s remarks is that he has little understanding of what it is to be an LDS homosexual. He has little appreciation for the complexity and pain we endure. He believes that we are evil by choice and that this evil can and must be snuffed out with sufficient obedience, prayer, and faith.

To him, homosexuality is simply an issue of gender…that gay boys sinfully aspire to be girls and lesbians wickedly desire to be boys. President Packer thinks it’s all about promiscuity and sex.

Unfortunately, President Packer’s lack of understanding creates for him a blind spot. This blind spot to the world appears to be hard and dark, filled with anger and rejection. It is the antithesis of love.

At the Last Supper, Christ taught his disciples, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Saint Thomas More, the martyr, said, “Love is that enviable state that knows only empathy.”

To keep Christ’s great and last commandment and be his true disciples, we must first seek to understand. Through understanding we gain empathy. Because of empathy we are filled with love.

Without understanding and its companion, empathy, how can we love? Without understanding, empathy and love, how can any of us, regardless of our ecclesiastical calling, count ourselves to be a true disciples of Christ?


  1. Where are you getting the idea that he thinks "...that gay boys sinfully aspire to be girls and lesbians wickedly desire to be boys."? Didn't see that anywhere in the article you posted. He brings up that gender is eternal, then (rather non sequiterly) brings up a lengthy quote from Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley about homosexuality.

  2. Thanks for the question, Zehn.

    In response I must ask, why else would President Packer raise the issue of gender if he had not meant to link homosexuality and gender? He asserts that the Brethren are concerned about gender, that gender is set in premortality, and then moves directly into President Hinckley's statement about homosexuality. The only reason for linking the two issues so tightly is a mistaken assumption on his part that as a gay man, I want to change my gender--to be a female. Nothing could be farther from the truth for me or for most of my gay brethren.

    The fact is that gender and sexual orientation are two separate dynamics of human nature and to treat them as one and the same shows not just insensitivity, but ignorance.

  3. I wonder how many of those young men who sang in the seminary choir went home in agony and despair.

  4. Where can one find President Packer’s January Seminary sermon? I would very much like to read his sermon! Thanks!

  5. The sermon is the initial article in the April 2012 New Era. It can be found in the following pdf file:

  6. There used to be a lot of talks where they conflated sexual orientation and gender identity, yes.

    To him, homosexuality is simply an issue of gender…that gay boys sinfully aspire to be girls and lesbians wickedly desire to be boys. President Packer thinks it’s all about promiscuity and sex.

    I don't know if you're intending to say that being transgender is "wicked" and "sinful" and "all about promiscuity and sex," but it sounds like you might be doing so. I am trans and it's not like that for me. I'm simply a girl who was assigned male at birth, and was hurt badly by trying to be the way when I'm not.

  7. Taryn, please understand that that is NOT what I'm saying. I have tremendous respect for my trans friends and the challenges they face. I understand that sexual orientation and gender identify are two separate issues.

    President Packer, on the other hand, seems to lump everything together in a simplistic and unrealistic way, and then blames our natures on nothing more than an unchecked and unnatural sexual appetite.

    I apologize that my vain attempt at irony was misinterpreted

  8. some day BKP's teachings will be placed in the same file as the Adam-God and the Black-skin-is-a-curse theories. And while I'm at it, the American-Indians-are-descendents-of-Jews teaching.

  9. it seems like you are making the same assumptions you claim Pres. Packer is making just on the other end of the stick.