07 April 2008

Affirmation and LDS Family Services

Do you think it’s a good idea for Affirmation leaders to meet with LDS Family Services? Why, or why not?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it’s an excellent idea! It is consistent with one of Affirmation’s stated purposes: “Provide a forum for communication and education for members and leaders of the Church and our peers concerning homosexuality.”

7/4/08 12:01  
Blogger carmitch said...

I think it's a good idea. Will the GAs do something to stop their anti-gay rhetoric? I doubt it. But, this is a start.

7/4/08 12:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good idea to me... but you might want to start referring to them with their correct name "LDS Family Services". They haven't been "LDS Social Services" for years.

8/4/08 12:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all like tea and crumpets, but meaningless, unless there is a lot of work before the meeting to gain agreement on outcomes or next steps. Just exactly what are the stated objectives anyway? Who has the agenda, what are the proposed action items? Like Mountain Meadow, perhaps they will give us a monument somewhere on the BYU campus to honor lives lost and damage done.

9/4/08 14:37  
OpenID sheriinsaltlake said...

I think it is a good idea, though like some others have said, I wonder if it will really change anything. It does give me hope that Pres Monson will usher in a new era of, if not acceptance, at least more love and understanding. I guess we'll see.

Like one of the anonymous posters here, I am also curious who will set the agenda of the meeting? What items will be discussed, and what if any will be tabled for future discussions?

11/4/08 15:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is LDS Family Services an official calling and part of the General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

If the General Authorities do not have time for Affirmation, why should we waste our time with LDS Family Services?

13/4/08 14:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's depressing to hear gay and lesbian people putting themselves second to the rest of the church. It appears to me they've deeply internalized the negative views of being gay/lesbian. No one has to meet with self-appointed "leaders" to explain their value or role in the universe. If they don't already know it, then at best they are ignorant, and at worst they are wicked. So why are they considered leaders? They sound like followers to me, followers of traditions of prejudice, of abuse by majority, of groupthink. They give stingily in their attempts to remain relevant and socially fashionable. It's misguided to crave their acceptance. What does that indicate? That we've finally been tokenized? That we've successfully been coopted into a power structure that can then ghettoize and dismiss us with our permission?

Until the day they're seeking meetings with us, I say don't waste your time. Better to feel like a complete outsider, a rebel, an apostate, whatever empty epithet the self-satisfied call you rather than be their pet and a second class citizen. I hope that everyone who attends this meeting, straight and gay, quit tuning out when they have the "warm fuzzies", and instead take into account ALL of their feelings, good and bad, and ask themselves why so much bad if this is all so good, only then can they step back and start from a place of intellectual honesty about how things are and how they need to change.

18/4/08 11:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If nothing else, the fact that Pres Monson asked Family Services to meet has to make us feel good that Pres Packer is not leading the church.

At least the bone they are throwing is to us and not at us, as BKP would do.

29/4/08 16:35  
Anonymous George Cole said...

I think this meeting is past-due. The church has mistreated it's non-straight members for so long, and it has never figured out what to do with them. Despite recent policy shifts, it has a long way to come before it realizes that we are non straight for a reason, and that reason is part of the divine plan. Some of us in Affirmation never want to be part of the church again, but if we want the church to cease persecuting us, even passively (what else is telling us to be celibate?), then we have to come to them and show them that we are as God intended.

The worst that can happen from this meeting is the church going back to ignoring us. The best is fully fellowship for LGBT people. I believe that the outcome will be closer to the former, but certainly much more.

We have an obligation to present all people as loved of God. This meeting will help remind the brethren, even if it's through their agents in LDS Family Services.

29/4/08 19:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that it is a total waste of time. The Church will not change its attitudes and policies until it is FORCED to.

It was NOT the good example of nice, faithful African-american LDS members or meetings with Black associations that made the Church change its mind about blacks and the priesthood.

It was social and ECONOMIC pressure in the US, and their eagerness to conquer new markets overseas (Latin America, Africa).

Let us not forget: in 1978, the Church was about to lose its tax-exempt status. And boycots were ruining BYU athletics, not to mention all the demonstrations and bad press in a society that had deeply changed since civil rights movements decades earlier.

MONEY, power, PR and respectability is what counts for LDS Inc. And while the majority of US society considers gay-bashing a "christian value", the Church will not pull a muscle to defy a mainstream that they have been trying to be a part of for several decades now. (With Edelman's help.)

When discrimination against gays becomes a crime, the Church will miraculously get a "revelation"...

But not before then. So let's not waste our time and energy.

17/5/08 04:44  
Blogger Robert said...

I think we do a great disservice to gay people when we assume the church can be reasonable or rational on the topic. I have never felt so uncomfortable in my life as I have in an LDS church.

The best we can hope for is "tolerance". The only reason they don't excommunicate people for even admitting a gay inclination has to do with "public outcry" or alienating family members of gays. I remember the days when even discussing the topic could result in discuplinary action.

We should do what blacks did prior to 1978. Openly accuse them of discrimination, and publically discuss their treatment of gays.

17/5/08 13:25  
Blogger Benjamin said...

I think that you might look at Affirmation leaders meeting with LDS Family Services in a similar way that you might look at a President of the U.S. meeting with an enemy. Do you need to have pre-conditions prior to the meeting? Perhaps but not any pre-conditions that are unrealistic. I don't think that it is realistic to meet with them with the hopes that they will accept us fully and embrace our orientation as a part of God's plan. That is a journey that we need to keep the members of the Church on. We need to speak out constantly and never let up. Every time we speak with a family member and a friend who are LDS (or not LDS even) we make stronger inroads. This combined with our national grassroots outreach and exposure the Church is going to have to begin moving in the direction that I believe God wants the Church to go in. That is accepting God's GLBT children and having an equal place at the table for us.

When the people of our nation are ashamed of homophobia I think the Church will have no choice but to deal with us head on and take our hopes and our lives seriously.

Affirmation needs to meet with LDS Family Services and have a very powerful message that uses all strong arguments for our case but also in support of our spirituality as well. If these Affirmation representatives have a great argument, message and a list of requests I think that much can be accomplished.

20/5/08 21:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

0Having just read the June 20, 2008, memo that is to be read in sacrament meetings in California, I don't think anything can be done at this time to dissuade church leaders from agressively trying to stifle the marriage rights of gay people everywhere. I don't know how any open dialogue can be anticipated with the foregone conclusion presented in this letter. There is probably a great fear among the GA's that if this anti-gay amendment does not pass in California, they will have a difficult time explaining away Mormons' professions of honoring and obeying the laws of the land.

23/6/08 11:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's a good idea for family services to meet with affirmation. I don't however agree with thier practices. I belive that we all have challenges in this life and how we face them will be how we are judged when we meet our creator. one way or another we are all still his children. Treating each other with kindness and charity is wher it's at.

24/6/08 09:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just left the church after years of being told that being gay was evil and I would go to hell. I have decided my happiness and being honest is more important to me. I have now lost my faith in the church and God and will never go back again. We are who we are and the church has no right to trample on our happiness and rights.

27/6/08 04:24  
Anonymous Consuela in L.A. said...

Even though I'm a bit hesitant to believe that any drastic changes will come from the meeting..it is a start in hopefully better treatment and future for other gay/lesbian Mormons.

8/7/08 10:36  
OpenID illuminationnite said...

I think you guys are incredibly brave. I am a devout Roman Catholic and gay, and sometimes I really question why am I staying in this faith, especially when the church is passively pushing me out? Your group is encouraging. It's all about perseverance, and challenging the traditions and norms. Breaking with the church, I think, only hurts in the long run. But I'm sure you guys know the temptation to just want to kick up your heels and say, "Adios!" Stick to your guns. And let God guide you along the way.

1/8/08 06:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure members of Affirmation are looking at the meeting with a church 'representative' in its full light.

While Affirmation may see some victory in gaining a meeting with a church representative, I believe it is insightful that the representative delegated the respoonsibility in the head of its social services organization--in other words, the organization of the church responsible to provide counseling and help to those whom they claim are pyschologically or otherwise mentally in "need" of change.

I believe this reveals the position and intent of the church: Get the help you need to be the way you should be. In other words, make a difference choice.

6/8/08 02:48  
Anonymous UniquelyCommon said...



Hmm...I think it would be a good idea if both sides begin with a goal of decency and restraining from slanderous approaches. Of course the question doesn't include whether that is happening so, in keeping with the rules, will refrain from posting my viewpoint on that one. :)

Most problems, I have found, stem from lack of communication. Overlapping with that is the second biggest problem: deciding to never reassess ourselves (and sometimes change).

12/8/08 21:56  
Anonymous Brian Benington said...

I'm curious as to why those of you who are so "out" and seem to have left the LDS Church behind, even having your names removed from the records, choose to remain "anonymous" when posting here. Fear of being outed to an employer, unsuspecting spouse, family members or friends?

If you're going to make such bold statements about the possible interaction of the LDS Church and Affirmation, and the impact or non-impact of that, why not leave your name for all to see!

14/8/08 07:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no issue with LDS Family Services requesting a change in the meeting date. I've met with executives of billion dollar corporations and these things happen all the time (no matter how important a party feels the date should be firm). Affirmation should have respected the meeting change request.

Now, as to the meeting objectives and if an opportunity exists for education, respect and future dialog... I say "When Pigs Fly" l after reading same sex attraction news release on the LDS.org website.

4/9/08 04:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The LDS Church will change, easily.. only when there is leverage. Just like North Korea or Iran and their Nuclear Program. No leverage = no change.
Because its the right thing to do (fairness, love, respect, kindness)? Are you kidding?

4/9/08 04:12  
Blogger Mike said...

Every ten days there is a teen suicide in Utah, Teen pregnancy is ranked 6Th in the nation in Utah. In Utah substance abuse is low, even though the first time I smoked pot when I was a kid was with the Bishops son of our local Mormon church. Why is this relevant or important...because in my opinion it represents a huge conformity issue. There is so much pressure to be accepted and follow along it is unbelievable. I saw this first hand growing up....and I feel so sorry for kids that grow up in communities that have large Mormon Populations. Mormons are not the only ones that deal with this..Jews and Scientologists also have this dilemma.

Mormons as a group especially in the public spere are very subject to right wing authoritarian control. The recent Mormon involvement in the anti-gay proposition in California is a perfect example and a red flag as to what can happen.

Mormons are taught to have a personal relationship with Jesus...as long as it falls within the guide lines of the church. Multi level marketing programs flourish within the Mormon church. Mormon Individually are generally great, awesome and trustworthy human beings. Collectively they become a mass of mindless followers spewing fear and hate conveniently cloaked in family values.

A prime example and poster child for what Mormons spew look no further than fear Monger Glen Beck.

Although the Mormon gang has its faults ...there are many very good things about the church...and they make adjustments when there proverbial arm is twisted, like Polygamy(the us government threatened by force) all of a sudden god told them to stop the practice he told them to initiate. Then the issue of racism and blacks holding the priesthood. Black fairly recently were not allowed to hold certain offices...because of the curse...the mark(blackness) Cain killed Able...or something!

As far as politics go I remember my friends fathers who happened to be devout Mormon praising Ronald Reagan....a lot of well to do Mormons worship Reagan, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a push in 2012 for Romney and he will be very Reagan like.

I think Mormons should work on solving problems in their own back yard before they start trying to dictate how everyone else lives.


8/11/08 11:37  
Blogger Brad said...

my sources say "yes"

18/3/09 22:40  
Anonymous SisterJ said...

Don't give up on us counselors yet...
In my preparations to become a counselor with LDS Family Services the very first book I read was “No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons around Our Gay Loved Ones.”
I did this because I understand that LGBT people have been marginalized by our church and I desperately do not want to be a part of an unrighteous and hurtful tradition.
I don't understand why God's church hasn't embraced all of His children yet, but I do pray that the divine role of LGBT people will be revealed.
I guess my point is, LDS Family Services needs to hear your story over and over again until the hearts of everyone who can listen are softened.
I know I am not the only LDS Counselor out there who is pulling for this cause.

7/5/09 15:04  
Blogger Brad said...

Mike, regarding your "Every ten days there is a teen suicide..." post. Are you now or have you formely been LDS? Just curious.


14/7/09 20:48  
Blogger Brad said...

Absolutely! It is naive to expect the Church to move quickly on policy toward gay members. However, when I compare Mormon policy when I was a teen in the 1970's to now, it's come a long way. The sin next to murder has become something to be tolerated. This is mostly due to the voice and experience of gay members and their families.

It's my personal belief that as a gay man, I must demonstrate patience and tolerance toward a slow moving religion just as I hope that religion will eventually demonstrate ACCEPTANCE toward me as a gay man.

30/11/09 22:44  

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