Sunday in Outer Blogness: Who’s driving this train? edition!

True to his name, Profet anticipated this weeks hot topic in his piece highlighted last week!!

In a nutshell: The CoJCoL-dS posted an article about race on its official website, and everybody is super-happy to learn that racist doctrines (like curses or restrictions based on skin color) aren’t LDS doctrines (anymore). And people are impressed that the CoJCoL-dS came clean and admitted to having had racist doctrines, and apologized (J/K not really). But there’s a glaring problem with the announcement:

They claim to be led by god, but there’s an ugly history of racism in the church. So either they reaffirm that god is always in charge, even during those times, and it makes god look like a racist jerk, or they acknowledge that god had nothing to do with those doctrines and practices, in which case it becomes clear that god is not directing the church.

It not only contradicts the teachings of a string of past LDS prophets, but it contradicts the canonized scriptures pretty extensively. So, are they going to produce an edited edition of the scriptures, so the faithful will know which parts are still in force? And how does this affect the claim that the prophet will never lead the church astray?

When I was a Mormon, I learned that the scriptures are the highest authority, and that the prophets only teach things that are in harmony with the scriptures. So, is this website now the highest authority, empowered to override the prophets and scriptures on doctrinal matters…? It would be great to get a clear statement on this from Tomas Monson, in which he passes the mantle of prophetic authority to the magical, anonymous oracle that is the LDS.org website. (Maybe after correcting the scriptures, they can update the Hymn Book: “Follow the Prophet” => “Follow the Website”.) Or, for all we know, maybe the website was hacked.

Of course, there are certain advantages to putting the website pixies in charge of theology:

Here’s a quick rundown of how things evolved in the less than a two-year time period shown above:

“It is not know precisely why, how or when…” to

“Church records offer no clear insights into the origins…” to

“In 1852 Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black…”

The February and March statements were labeled by many as good steps forward. When I was critical about the change in the scriptures back in March I got pushback from many who said that it was a positive step and I should just ignore what was missing. But I couldn’t let it go because I knew that the Church knew!! And so now we have this new Gospel Topics page, just nine months later, leaving the scripture update looking pitiful, lacking, and empty. Which raises the question: did the Church really not know in February of 2012 why the ban happened? How about in March of 2013? Did they all of sudden discover all of the things revealed in the new web page over the last nine months? It is simply not possible. The next question is whether or not the Church will stop the printing of the new scriptures to reinsert a new introduction to the Official Declaration 2? Stop the presses!!

But perhaps it’s unfair to expect the website people (?) to know where the priesthood ban “policy” came from — it’s not clear they even know who is writing their own articles. But seriously, this inability of the church leaders to openly take responsibility for their positions on past and current doctrines undermines the church’s credibility.

in related commentary, some reminisced about racism or read about it, and some noticed the convenient timing of the statement:

Others spelled out the clear corollaries that the new church leaders (the website pixies) somehow failed to notice.

Speaking of patriarchy, today was the second annual event in which the Mormon women empower themselves a bit by wearing pants to church. (Or not.) Last year’s event was difficult for some — let’s see how this one will go!

And that’s not the only hot news story this past week! The courts struck down a Utah law prohibiting (polygamy-like) cohabitation. The decision referenced gay marriage, prompting I-told-you-so’s from the slippery-slope crowd.

But, enough issues — now the holiday season is in full swing! Some are celebrating by visiting different services, by trying out other traditions, or by enjoying secular traditions. One of my favorite holiday traditions is kicking back with some popcorn, watching the highlights of Fox New’s hilarious “War on Christmas” feature!! This last episode was probably the funniest ever, with a Fox News commentator seriously telling us that we all need to face facts and accept the reality that Santa Claus is white, and so was Jesus:

But I also love traditions like decorating the house and watching Christmas specials (I posted pictures here). The bedtime story I’m currently reading my kids is Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” — and maybe I should also read them the classic No, Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus:

Adults know that there is no Santa Claus. If they tell you otherwise, they are lying to you. That’s okay: some parents tell their children that Santa Claus is real as a sort of game, and there’s no evidence that this does any real harm. But if anyone keeps lying to you — about Santa Claus, or anything else — when you ask them a direct question and explicitly ask them to tell you the truth? That’s a problem. And if anyone tries to make you feel ashamed, or inferior, or like your life will be dreary and intolerable, simply because you don’t believe in this lie they’re telling you… you should be extremely suspicious. They are trying to manipulate you. It is not okay.

Now I’m off to bake some Christmas cookies!! Happy Holidays!

SOME THINGS I HAVE LEARNED BY BEING GAY AND MORMON

SOME THINGS THAT I HAVE LEARNED

One thing that I have learned is: although Gay people are born gay; when gays have gone through the process of: first denial, then self-loathing and other steps, and finally acceptances; then Gay people are ready to move on to healthy relationships.  Another thing that I have learned is: that for relationships to work; each person in that relationship, must learn to deal with all the rejection from family, friends, the clergy, members of their church, and other so called Christians or any religious people and all other haters of gay people.  Along with this, there are the normal problems of a relationship, which for a Gay person, are similar to a heterosexual relationship, yet are different also, and for most gays, even more difficult than it is for straight people to handle, especially without expert help.

The difficulty for us gays to have relationships in the first place, is what I am getting at.  Because it is so hard to have a gay relationship, this is why so many gay people give up and just go to bars to try and “Hook-Up” (have anonymous sex).  But even these gay people still dream of having a wonderful relationship some day.  Now those who diligently strive for a long lasting relationship; if they find one, they are much more appreciative and thankful, than those whose relationship was not so hard or difficult to find or achieve.  This is why I have known gay couples who have been together for 27 years, 30 years, 36 years, 55 years, 63 years or even longer.  The point being, that Gay relationships can last a really long time or even for a lifetime if the two partners work at it and they love one another and are dedicated to one another.

Some gay people used to go from one relationship to another; but since the AIDS epidemic and Hepatitis C, many couples are staying together longer, and many singles are now seeking out a Gay relationship much more diligently than before.  These new Gay relationships stay together longer as well.  However, a relationship lasting longer than 6 months is still considered a long term relationship; one lasting a year, marriage is expected, and 4 years, a full term relationship.  If you pass 7 years, then your relationship is considered to be extremely long term, and finally if you reach and pass ten years then your relationships considered a life long relationship.  Many relationships between Gay couples unfortunately only last for a few short months and then they break up or one partner begins to sleep around.

ANOTHER THING THAT I LEARNED FROM EXCOMMUNICATION

On January 19th 2012, homophobic bishop Bobby W., excommunicated me from the Mormon Church.  Just as I was making plans to go back to church this happens and now I have not gone back.  I attend church at the Church of Christ in Porum, Oklahoma, with Cody and his family.  George’s grandpa is the minister in that particular congregation, which consists of George Allen Circle, his mom Sharon, his step-dad Jaun, his sister Juliana, his brother Roy, his grandpa the minister, me of course and 22 other people.  We sing several songs, we have Holy Communion; except for me of course because I am not allowed, do to the fact that I am not a member; they take collection, and then Grandpa gives the sermon, we then have closing prayer.

Cody and I are very happy together over these past 9 months and I have officially moved in with his family who completely accept me, at least a lot more than the Mormon Church does.  Cody and I share the same bedroom and bed and we have our desk in the back room.  Cody and I are good companions for each other and he is completely devoted to me.  We bring comfort and joy to each other and we share our lives together.  He gives me a sense of purpose and helps me to not be lonely.  I need him in my life and he needs me and we are there for each other.  Cody is my partner and significant other, and I do love him and I do love his whole family.

I miss the Mormon Church, so I went to the LDS church on Sunday just 2 days ago on September 23rd 2012.  I do not believe that I should have been excommunicated.  I still have a testimony of the church, the prophets and apostles and seventy; as well as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.  The Church is true.  I do wonder though, why President Benson did not get more revelation about gays than he did (they fear change or did not like what they have heard already).

I HAVE LEARNED THIS ABOUT MY FIRST BLOG

I challenge anyone to prove to me that I “misrepresented” any general authority in my first BLOG.  I had before me several talks by Gordon B. Hinckley, Jeffery R. Holland, James E. Faust, 2 by Dallin H. Oaks, and 3 by Boyd K. Packer.  I read them over and over again, and I marked them with underlines and then I included all the underlined statements in this BLOG and none of them were taken out of context.  I also quoted all the scriptures from some of the talks that were listed and which were supposed to back up the points the brethren were trying to make.  I did not think that all those scriptures related to homosexuality, but apparently the brethren did.  Since the bishop supports all that the brethren say, I wrote that he was saying these things also that the brethren were saying and quoting, by way of agreement.

But I was mistaken about that; the bishop does not agree with all these talks by the brethren or the supporting scripture they used, or else he would not have excommunicated me himself.  I am excommunicated right now, primarily due to a homophobic bishop.  Because I was excommunicated before when I wanted to be, and it was justified; now I may not ever be baptized again in the Mormon Church.  It is very difficult to be rebaptized, let alone be rebaptized a second time.  Brother Bailey my dear sweet Home teaching Companion and church Choir coach was rebaptized twice, but I was told that it was very rare.  Also if I would have received my blessings back, the bishop would not have been able to excommunicate me himself; he would have to get his superior, the Stake President, to do it (and I do not believe he would have excommunicated me the way the bishop did).

The biggest problem the bishop has with this BLOG is that he thinks that I am going against Boyd K. Packer; but it is other general authorities that are disagreeing with him too.  In my understanding of things, if several different people are saying different things, or complete opposite positions about the same subject, then some one is wrong, or they are all wrong together.  There is only one truth out there and I for one do not believe we have all the truth about same-sex-attraction yet.  The Articles of Faith tell us that we believe that many plain and precious truths will yet be revealed to us.  I simply sided with the majority of those general authorities, who spoke on the subject of homosexuality and it is not my fault the bishop disagrees with those talks.

A WORD ABOUT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S BELIEFS

The Catholics have the same problem with the Bible; they believe in the “divinity of the Bible,” which means that they think it is perfect and infallible.

I have heard, that when the Bible says that a Priest must be 30 years old to make sacrifice in the Temple; and in another spot says that he must be 3 years old to make sacrifice in the Temple; the Catholics say, both are right, and if you do not understand, they say “just have faith my son”.  I know that one of these Old Testament verses is wrong.  I choose to believe that the correct age is 30, because that is the age that Jesus Christ chose in the New Testament to start His mortal ministry.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE MORMON CHURCH

Bishop W., like many other Mormons, believe that our general authorities are also perfect and infallible.  This is not true, because Joseph Smith said of himself, that he was only a man, and that he was not perfect.  One of my favorite general authorities who was a seventy, even Paul H. Dunn who was nicknamed the “great orator,” was later released and all his books and tapes were no longer sold at LDS Bookstores and his works were censored by the Church, because he embellished his stories.  In other words, he lied to the youth of the Church, which was his main group that he spoke to.

If a Seventy can lie to us, then why can’t an Apostle simply be mistaken about a certain subject, or even possibly be prejudice.  Well, I have already been punished for saying these things and I do not know how I am supposed to see it any other way.

This is why the Articles of Faith say that “we believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly”.  Mormons say that 2% of the Bible has mistakes in it; and it is not a perfect book, or set of books, like the Book of Mormon is.

Mormons are so against Gay marriage that they spent 22 million dollars to stop gay marriage in just California, and it was all for nothing, because it was declared unconstitutional; I guess then that Mormons are also just unconstitutional in their thinking when it comes to gays.  Mormons wanted equality for women, Indians, black slaves and anyone else, but they draw the line with gays.  They hate homosexuals so much they did everything in their power to get Catholics to also vote against gay marriage.

Mormons believe that you cannot enter the gates of heaven, the Celestial Kingdom of God the Father, if you are not baptized.  But my understanding of this doctrine is, that this is for people who refuse to be baptized in the Mormon Church especially after being exposed to the Church and rejecting it.  I have not rejected Christ and his Church, it is just one man, a bishop in the church named Bobby W., that has excommunicated me and he probably believes that I will never go to heaven now.  I know that he does not want me in the Celestial Kingdom because of his hatred of Gays.  I do not hate brother W., I am just disappointed in how he treated me, when I let him know that I still had same-sex attraction, even though I was still keeping all of the commandments and I was certainly not acting on my gay feelings or participating in any way, in the gay lifestyle for over 14 years yet.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF

The time has come for me to stop obsessing about the Church and just be happy with the life that I have right now.  Besides, it would take someone like Joseph Smith to get all the correct information that we need from God.  I just know that I am not evil minded and that I love God and our Christ, and that I did not deserve to be just excommunicated the way that it was done.  But since I am not a member of the Church any longer, I think that I will continue to have an ear ring in each ear, and nail polish on my fingers and toes.  I also wear pants and t-shirts that are really women’s clothes, because they don’t have men’s clothes in pink.  I will continue to be in love withGeorge Allen Circleor Cody as he likes to be called.

I really believe that I would have been much happier in my lifetime if I were born to a family that accepted homosexuality a lot more.  If I could have had boyfriends when I was young, like my present husband has had, and if I had been able to accept my own sexuality then I do not believe that I would have developed so many mental illnesses.  My childhood sucked anyway, for many other reasons as well.

I am now glad that I am gay, and do not want to change myself anymore, like I used to.  I want to get married legally to my husband and spend many years with him.  Cody Pooh is my baby and I love him very much.  I cannot be happy any other way than being gay.  I am definitely not your average Joe; no, the gay life is the only life for me, from now on and for the rest of my life. Gay life is pretty cool when you are accepting of yourself and you are not being persecuted by your peers, family, clergy, neighbors, or just strangers.  Then it is really fun to be gay.

I really like myself now, and because I have got to know so many other gays; intimately and otherwise; I have grown to see that there is not really anything wrong with me, I just love young men and not young women.  I do not need to be fixed; I am not broken or maladjusted in any way.  I feel much better about myself, and I have a much better support system than I did when I was growing up inCalifornia; which is really weird when you stop and consider that this isOklahoma, home of the red man and redneck.  I am not recommending the gay lifestyle to anyone; I am just saying that it is right for me and for anyone else who knows that they were born to be only this way.  For if you are born this way there is really no problem as long as you can accept yourself the way that you are and do not give a damn what all other people think of you.

When I was growing up I thought that God would change me and that I must have done something wrong in the Preexistence to deserve being gay.  I now know that I am not sick nor am I a pervert, or deviant like Boyd K. Packer says that I am.

Because I have publicly stated that I am for gay marriage, I have been excommunicated from the Mormon Church and I will probably not ever be allowed to be rebaptized again, especially since I already was once before rebaptized & now excommunicated again.

Now that I am in a gay relationship I am still affected by my upbringing in the Mormon Church, because I almost never have any kind of sexual relations with my boyfriend.  Like I was saying earlier, we are like a couple who just love to be with each other and share our lives together.  I support him and he supports me and we are there for each other.  Love is what we have for each other, not lust.  Some other Latter-day Saints stay in the Church and deny themselves sex and just join clubs and participate with other members of the same sex in a somewhat intimate way, such as hugs and long embraces and maybe an occasional kiss on the cheek.  It really sounds too hypocritical for me though.  Besides bishop W. took that choice away from me and did not give me a chance.  His contempt for me will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ and I know that the lord will be sympathetic towards me because he knows how I was living and what was in my heart.  After all, I think that I had proven myself, by the fourteen years that I was either faithful to my wife or celibate and single.  The misery that I was going through, the sadness, the intense loneliness and heartache and the incredible desire for a loving relationship that I was missing are all a testament to my devotion to the Church and it’s principles, doctrines and rules and regulations.

WHAT I NOW KNOW NEEDS TO HAPPEN

I need to put an end to this debate over gay and straight.  Gay marriage should be legal everywhere so that gay people can love each other and be happy; after all, what is wrong with more love in this world anyway.  I believe that straight people need to stop interfering with honest, happy gay couples that are not hurting anyone.  I believe that the reason that straight people do not want gays to marry, is not just because they think that it is wrong, but it is because they do not want us gays to have the one thousand and forty-nine rights and privileges under the law that they have and enjoy, who are already married legally and that is just the federal laws that would benefit all gays in the United States.  Most straight people are not even aware that they have this many (1,049) federal laws for married couples, let alone what they are or what they are entitled to under State laws; they just no way in hell want gay people to have them what ever they are, that is for damn sure.

Like I have said in my first Manifesto; the civil rights of a minority cannot be decided by a plebiscite; for if you allow this to happen, we will all be going backwards and not forward in the arena of civil rights for all minorities.  This is why we have a Constitution of These United States and elected officials to govern us and protect minorities and individuals from the more “immoral” majority.  Especially when a minority has many fellow citizens that hate them and/or are prejudiced against them like our recent past has shown against Indians, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Women, Children, certain religions, Gays, Lesbians and Transgender people.

THIS IS WHAT IS BEST FOR ME

Have I mentioned lately that I am completely happy with my life here with my Fiancé and his whole family. My boyfriend’s dad defends me all of the time and his mother is always kind and supportive of me and his little sister and brother just love me to death, so to speak.  I do like living in a house.  My boyfriend and I have our own dog, Ariel, and my boyfriend’s mother has a dog, Scooby and a cat named Whiskers.  No other pets though, except for a few mice running around.

I feel like I am really married to George Allen Circle, not just because we would have already been married by now if it were legal in this State, but it is not.  But also because we are so settled together and happy at the same time, and we both want the same things out of life.  We both voted for incumbent President Obama because we know that he will continue to fight for gay marriage.  George’s grandfather voted for the Mormon, Mitt Romney, just for the opposite reason; he is against Gay Marriage.

SOMETHING I LEARNED FROM MY FATHER

My father believed that you must suffer the pains of hell here on earth, in order to go to heaven.  The church identifies this belief as one of the seven deadly heresies.  Believing in this doctrine and practicing it only creates bitterness and unhappiness and of course leads to apostasy.  For years, my father was practically apostate, because he did not follow the Prophets and he lived his own way, and he several times said to me, “the hell with the prophet” when I would quote something that the prophet said, he did not like.  My dad was miserable and lonely for years and he thought this would get him into heaven.  I no longer subscribe to this doctrine which is a false doctrine at best.

Robin Lee Johnson

ANOTHER GAY MANIFESTO: MY PROBLEM WITH THE MORMON CHURCH

What Can I Say…I Am Still Gay!

I have never been known to stay where I am not wanted.  My present Bishop and Elder’s Quorum President do not like me because I am now openly Gay and they know it.  They are both very Homophobic. L Therefore, I have been refused all my Temple blessings, the Priesthood, and participation in home teaching, or teaching Church lessons or having callings or doing other meaningful service or being able to participate in church activities or other special events in the church, and other blessings as well.  And the Bishop has also forbid me from socializing with any of the youth, and he has told me to not make any friends with the adult males at Church or non-members as well, and not to hang around them either, so I  should not shake their hands as well.  But, I do not know, what I am supposed to do with the friends I already have; am I supposed to ignore them and just forget that they are my friends?  I must try and stay isolated during priesthood, from now on!

The Bishop has also violated my confidentiality, and told several people that I am Gay, including the Stake President, and the Elder’s Quorum President.  And who knows who else he has told, and how many they have told, and how many they have told, and so on and so forth.  Now much of the Ward knows, and they gossip behind my back, I know this, because my friends, (the ones I’m not supposed to have),  tell me so.  I have had 30 other Bishops in my lifetime, and not one of them has ever broken confidentiality before, at least not without my permission, and most bishops never ask for permission to do that.  But this was not the reason for telling the bishop in the first place.  I wanted understanding and compassion, and maybe some help with my feelings and heartache; like most bishops give, but, I never received any comfort or help.  Instead I was betrayed and caused much more pain and heartache.  Now this has become the most hurtful thing that has ever happened to me in the church, even worse than my excommunication.  The bishop has overstepped his bounds in my opinion and he has gone against Church doctrine and policy as well; because I was not doing anything wrong!  Anyway, I did not appreciate being “outted” by him, which is something that I should decide to do, or not to do, myself. 😉 J  This Bishop was not critical of me until I “came out” to him, then he began to treat me unfairly and not help me anymore and cut me off.  After the Bishop told the Elder’s Quorum President, (Brother George), he also started treating me badly.

My Bishop, along with Boyd K. Packer, say that I am a  Perverted Person and a Deviant Person, and that I am a Predator of the young and vulnerable. 😮 (YEAH RIGHT L NOW I AM REALLY INSULTED!). They say that I and other Gays try to recruit others into the lifestyle.  This is not true because it cannot be done, and every gay person knows this to be true. They go on to say that I am Wrong, Lustful, Dangerous, Destructive, Not Desirable, Unnatural, Abnormal, Immoral, Unseemly, and an Affliction.  Also they say that I Have Vile Affections, I Am a Sick Individual, I Am Of the Devil, I am Sinful, and that I am involved in Moral Mischief and other Transgressions.  These are all very negative words and amount to Verbal Gay-Bashing by an Apostle and a Bishop; and even Dallin H. Oaks, of the Twelve says this is verbal gay-bashing also, and I agree; and no one else has disagreed, so far.

Now, on October 4th 2010 Elder Packer is calling same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural” and claiming that “it can be corrected,” (it cannot be corrected at all!!), and he says that “same-sex marriage is immoral.”  Packer’s inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric comes on the heels of the suicides of at least seven gay teenagers that we know of; all victims of anti-gay bullying or harassment.  An additional seven more gay teens committed suicide this year, three of which were the result of anti-gay bullying as well.  Elder Packer must learn that Words Have consequences, particularly when they come from a faith leader. These are exactly the kind of statements that can lead some kids to bully others, and still others to commit suicide.  It also emotionally devastates those who are LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender] or those who may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.  It’s both inaccurate and very, very dangerous.  Packer should know better than this, he being immersed into this subject, and he must know how such talks cause suicides.  Gay people are 3 to 8 times more likely to commit suicide than straight kid’s, ages 14-24 years old.  And Mormon gay boys are higher in suicide than anyone in the country, especially in Utah, California and Idaho (Mormon states).

Packer says that church opposition to same-sex marriage “will not change.” Of course not, The Mormon Church is a key supporter of the so-called “National Organization for Marriage” or (NOM), a group that regularly encourages anti-gay attitudes and behaviors, which will undoubtedly lead to more suicides of Gay Mormon boys. The Mormon Church also funded “Proposition 8,” the anti-gay marriage initiative in California, and this has been proven now.  Proposition 8, has now been overturned by a U.S. District Chief Judge named Vaughn R. Walker. J 😀

NOM board member and famous Mormon writer, Orson Scott Card, has said, “Any government that attempts to change marriage is my mortal enemy.  I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage…”  (I do respect and support marriage, that is why I believe in Gay marriages, and I think that we should have a Constitutional Amendment making marriage available to all…sweetie!!)

“Packer’s remarks in general conference were not only ill-advised and contrary to fact, but were mean spirited and will be perceived by many as bullying,” said David Melson, Executive Director of Affirmation: the Gay and Lesbian Mormons, he went on to say: “We see no potential for good coming from his words and much possible damage, to the church, to individuals, and to families.  The LDS Church should be a source of love, Compassion, and Conciliation, and not of fear and unfeeling petty hatred,” I thought so myself as well.  Packer is a hate-monger, at least against gays, and he stirs others up to hating gays as well, he is very dangerous to gay people. He is very dangerous to my testimony as well.

Also, my bishop is dishonest, and a liar.  I got the Bishop to admit that he told my Elder’s President that I was gay.  But the Bishop lied to me at first, by denying he said anything to anyone, and then He tried to mislead me, and say that he only told the Stake President, but I continued to be direct and be assertive, until he finally told me the truth.  He then said that he had to tell others that I was gay, because they might need to know, in case that I might try and do something (like teach a lesson, {oh how terrible that would have been}), anyway, he felt that I should not be allowed to do anything like that.  This is why brother George asked me to give a lesson in priesthood, and on Sunday, after I had completely prepared the lesson, brother George changed his mind, and did not let me teach the lesson I had prepared.  I thought this was very mean of him.  Now, the Elder’s President, (Brother George), won’t even shake my hand anymore, or talk to me, or even give me eye contact anymore. He used to be super friendly before he knew about me being Gay or homosexual.  Most of the congregation will not greet me or shake my hand either anymore.  They used to be nice also, before they discovered I was gay or homosexual.  Boy, do most Mormons hate homosexuals like this?  Unfortunately the answer to that question is a resounding yes.  I have been in the Church all my life, so I know just how bad the prejudice is!  I have heard many people say many derogatory things about people they do not accept especially gay people.  Many Mormons thought that the disease AIDS was a special plague that God gave to the gay community and not just another venereal disease; now more heterosexuals have it, than do the gays.

In a talk by President James E. Faust, 2nd Counselor in the 1st Presidency of the church, Entitled: “Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil,” He talks about several sins including Abortion and other severe sins that make the devil happy, if we do them.  Then on the 3rd and 4th page of that talk, he says that: “There is some widely accepted theory extant that homosexuality is inherited (it is, I say!). How can this be? (he says).  No Scientific evidence demonstrates absolutely that this is so.”  I know that Science rarely, if ever, proves something absolutely; however there is very much scientific evidence showing the causes of this condition, and that it is inborn.  It is misleading for him to make statements of this kind, or to make this statement.  He used the word absolutely, absolutely on purpose.  Our youth are particularly vulnerable to these and other statements.  Making statements like these causes depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth and even suicides; I know that it surely has for me, and I have almost killed myself twice.  And this is no laughing matter, either; to be in the Intensive Care Unit for a day, on two separate occasions, and have the doctors not knowing my chance of survival for several hours.  This really frightened my friends as well, not to mention me.  I really believe that all suicide attempts should be taken very seriously. 😮

Next, President Faust says: “Besides, if it were so, it would frustrate the whole plan of mortal happiness…” (Yes it does, but because of false beliefs), he continues, “respectable authorities,” (those would be authorities that agree with him, and him only); he says they “contend that homosexuality is not acquired by birth.  The false belief of inborn homosexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment and despair.” (I take it that, these “respectable authorities” are not scientific authorities, being that, the word: REPENTANT was used here.) One could also say that being celibate all your life would also frustrate the plan, both by not having relations with the opposite sex, and not having children.  But you know what? We are born this way, I was born this way,  I have been Gay all my life; and so I have been denied the opportunity to change, and it has led to discouragement, disappointment, and despair, because I have tried to change to something that I am NOT, nor can I ever become or be, at least not in this life.  It is impossible to change your sexual orientation!!!  Does anyone think they can just change their sexual orientation? No!!  It cannot truly be done, not if you are truly honest with yourself anyway.  This is why we did not choose to be Gay or homosexual because the choice was made for us, we had nothing to do with it.  I would like to see a straight person just try and be a gay person by making that choice; not possible is it? 😛

My mortal happiness is found in being Gay.  But, President Faust goes on to say: “Any alternatives to the legal and loving marriage between a man and a woman are helping to unravel the fabric of human society.”  Then he says that the fabric he is talking about is the Family.  It seems to me that things like, oh say, War, Pestilence, Extreme Poverty, Plagues of disease, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Divorce, Hatred, Murder and Terrorism, to name a few, would be much worse on the family, than Gay people getting married. Yet the family goes on, undaunted by these things, at all.  Gay people only want the same commitment and love that straight people have in a bond of holy matrimony.  Besides Gay people only make up less than 1% of the Population of this world and the straight population grows faster than the gay population does, 99 times faster, to be exact.  This is true because Gays and Lesbians do not have their own children, and if they did have their own children, they would probably not be gay.  In fact, 99% of them would be straight.  The children that gays adopt are ones that no one else wants, like gay kids, or “crack babies” and such.  I knew when I was gay at four years old, and some of us know all along.  This is how kids know they are Gay.  These gay kids should be with other Gay families, where they will be loved for who they are; and not hated by them.

Faust goes on to say: “These so-called alternative lifestyles must not be accepted as right, because they frustrate God’s commandment for a life-giving union of male and female… If practiced by all adults, these lifestyles would mean the end of the human family.”  Oh Please!  Give me a break, will Yah!!  The entire human race is not going to be homosexual.  Right now more than 99% of the human race is heterosexual, and that is not about to change.  Besides, ⅓ of all gays, have their own children anyway.  In my lifetime, I have never known a single straight person who wanted to be homosexual or even bisexual; it almost doesn’t exist, so I think that the human family is safe from Gays; let us not be ridiculous!  Besides Gordon Bintner Hinckley, former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has said that all homosexual people should be celibate their entire life.  If all gays did this, and everyone was homosexual, it would still be the end of mankind, (but that would depend on the whole world being Gay and nobody wanting to breed, even to save mankind. Yeah!! Right!!  Besides, homosexual people usually want children anyway, so I am sure they would find a way to have children anyway, duh!!  I personally know of many Gay men and women that have their own children and being gay never stopped anyone from having kids that wanted to have them!  I am Gay and I was married to a woman for over nine years and we would have had children also, if she had not had a hysterectomy that saved her life, before we were married.

I have not lived the Gay Lifestyle since about August, 1996, and I was married on January, 4th 1997 and I was rebaptized on February, 4th 1997.  Thomas S. Monson, with the First Presidency, NOW states that I am not sinning, did not choose to be Gay, and that I am not to blame myself, God, or my parents for my being Gay, (so you see, I did not choose to be gay at all, after all).  The problem is that not all of the Twelve or The 70 follow the Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley or Thomas S. Monson either.  However, most do follow the Prophet like they shoud do.!

Because My Bishop and an Apostle now verbally Gay-bash me, I no longer feel appreciated or loved or comfortable, accepted, or welcome at Church. I do not feel wanted at church either, because I am not allowed to do anything in the church, and I have a strong need to actively participate at church.  I do not like to be made fun of, or have people talking behind my back, like they have been doing.  I do not want to be unhappy all my life.  The Authorities in my church do not understand why I am not happy.  They say that happiness comes from family, marriage, children, companionship and loving relationships, etc. and then they turn right around and tell us gays to abstain from all of these things, and then they cannot see why we are not happy.  It seems obvious to me, why not to them.  They just don’t empathize with us single adults, because they are all married with children, and happy with their families.  I knew this, when I was in Young Single Adults.

My Elder’s President asked me if he had to accept Gay peoples lifestyle or condone it; if Gay’s are afforded civil rights.  How ridiculous is that?  I’m surprised he allows us gays the right to live and breathe at all.  The Church now takes credit for New Gay Rights in Utah.  Thus, the Mormon Church, In Utah, has recently given the Gays the LEGAL right to secure a place to live, and a job to make a living, without discrimination. But, no other equal rights!  It has taken the Church 180 years just to grant these 2 rights, to Gays.  So I think it may be a long time before the Church allows Gays to Marry, adopt children, have school clubs, have parades, cohabitate with their partner or partners, celebrate Gay-Pride day, cross-dress, or even have friends for that matter; so much for free-agency, anyway.  I thought that it was only the devil that tried to take away free-agency.  There is the possibility that the church will never grant these rights, also. And then there are those opportunities to teach, socialize with the other Saints, have the priesthood, or go to the temple, be a leader, conduct a hymn, sing in the choir, say the prayer, socialize with same-sex LDS people, work with the youth, play music, or go home teaching and many other privileges, that heterosexual Saints have and take for granted every day; these are all not available to the Gay Saints, because of Bishops in the church, and not because of General Authorities.  The Prophet’s approve of these things for gays, especially Monson and Hinckley and Benson.

The Leaders in Salt Lake City, UT have now commanded that all Gay & Lesbian members of the Church stay single and celibate for their entire lifetime.  And many bishops have extended this to mean, not having friends at all (even with non-members).  The Bishops have also forbid Gay Youth, to associate with the other youth, and given them other restrictions as well.  No wonder the gay youth commit suicide.  The leaders make the gay youth feel flawed, and that they are evil, and that it is their fault that they are gay, and then they cut them off from their friends and peers, at a time when they are usually already struggling with their own family problems concerning their sexual orientation.  Then the leaders mention that we gays will suffer anguish for this entire lifetime, and that it will be a very difficult struggle all our life, but, that we will reap a reward in the next life only. Boy, if I were a youth again, I would attempt suicide again, myself. A reward in the next life?  YEAH RIGHT. Straight people get to enjoy a happy and joyful life, (if they are righteous), and they still reap a reward in the Celestial Kingdom. But Gay people only get the same EXACT reward, after living a lifetime of loneliness, despair, unhappiness, pain, anguish, frustration, heartache and also,  not having any intimacy, or even any sex at all, in mortality; NOT exactly fair is it, no, not at all, I say,  of course it’s not, any one can see that.  Besides, this goes against the Mormon: “Plan of Happiness,” which is only for straights now because there is no “Plan of Happiness” for the gays now.

I cannot accept this new “plan of unhappiness,” because I have already endured 44 years of loneliness, heartache, anguish, misery, sadness, anger and depression, with 23 suicide attempts; I forgive all who have helped cause me pain, but I do not wish to continue a life full of pain and loneliness.  I need to have Love and affection in my lifetime, along with joy and happiness and intimacy and companionship.  If not, then God is not a fair God or a just God or an impartial God either; because everything that the Church teaches, that is supposed to bring joy & happiness to us, like family, an eternal companion, children, the priesthood, marriage, love, intimacy, family home evening, service to others, fellowship with the Saints, friend-shipping, acceptance from others,  family and companion prayer, the Temple, and all the thousands of joys that these things bring; these things are all denied to Gays, by commandment, from our Prophets.  This is so CRUEL; it challenges my testimony and faith and understanding.  However, I know that, God is a fair and just God, who loves us all equally; it is just that his followers are not fair and just and are unequal in their dealings with their fellow men, and now I find out that Mormons are just the same, very much so, and sometimes much worse.

Each Person I have talked to about these things, my 8 different doctors, my 4 nurses, my DHS worker’s, my 2 CNA’s, 12 of My past Psychiatrists, my past 17 Psychotherapists, and 22 of my past and present Counselors, My 2 Psych-Nurses, both of my providers, 23 of my Neighbor’s & all of My Friends, and even some strangers, they all tell me, to do the same thing, “find another Church.”  The only people, who tell me to stay with the Mormon Church, are 3 of it’s members, and 2 Missionaries, and this does not include the Bishop or the Elder’s Quorum President, (brother George, as he likes to be called), in the three, (of course not, they do not want me in the church).  Now, the members do not know, and may never know, the kind of pain, and yes, anguish, I have gone through, and continue to go through this very day.  This is why they tell me to stay with the Mormon Church; and because the church makes them happy, so they think, why not Robin also.  Of course, missionaries are always going to tell Gay People, to either join the church or come back into the church.  They have no idea what they are asking, they simply follow what they are told to say and do.  Other former Missionaries, who are also Gay, know what I am talking about. You see even former missionaries who are gay, leave the Church also.  Anyone can be homosexual, even bishops and other leaders of the church, or anyone else, even the valiant Saints.  Because it happens before birth, and it takes different people, different times in their life, to realize it, and possibly “come out,” even if they have had these feelings all of their life, but just did not fully understand those feelings.  It happened to this return missionary, when I was just four years old, which is not typical, but in my case this was true.  I guess that I am just s-p-e-c-i-a-l!  I am you know.

I believe the members of many Christian churches, and yes, even the Mormon Church, are extremely selfish, and have very little love for Gay people. I say this for many good reasons and also because they allow any heterosexual person to get married, and have children, no matter how bad and abusive they are.  And then, when they are abusive to their spouse and offspring, they continue in those relationships, even if they molest their own children.  But, Gay people are not allowed to marry, even if they are the most loving people in the world, (and they usually are), and would never harm their significant others.  I for one do not want to be alone all my life.  I do not do well alone and isolated from others.  Loneliness makes me miserable.  I cannot be alone any longer.  If you do not let us gays marry each other, then we might end up getting married to you.  {Not for me though, I have already been there and done that}.  I was married to a woman for over 9 years, and although it was a very good marriage, I was not completely fulfilled or happy.

In the united States alone, over 70 million children have only one parent in their life, I was one of those children, yet the Church says that Gay couples would be worse of an influence, on their children, than a single parent would be, (even though children who have been raised in Gay homes, are much more well adjusted than kids from a broken home, and they are much happier also).  And, what about children, who are already Gay, and have been thrown out of their own home, by their own Mormon parents (how dare they), just because they are Gay?  Yes, this really does happen!  These gay children, would be much better off, in a totally Gay Family where they can find acceptance and unconditional love. (Like with me!).
When Gays try to get a “Gay bill of rights,” members of the church go against it. L (See: “Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable” by Joanna Stephenson Price, Ensign, Mar. 2005 Page 27-29), for an example of this situation.  A “Gay bill of rights” is not a license to have indiscriminate sex.  What it does is reasserts, or reestablishes or even establishes, the basic human rights that heterosexual people already enjoy, but are being denied to Gays and Lesbians because of the hatred of religious people.  Religious people are worse than any other group, when it comes to hatred and prejudice.  More people have been killed in the name of religion, than for any thing else, I know this to be true, because I am a history teacher also.  For some reason, many religions cause their parishioners to hate other sects and non-conformist to their particular religion, like Mormons do. 
The Church is True, and the leaders are inspired, however, some of these same leaders are blinded by their repugnance, and their complete revulsion, and utter Disgust of homosexual people.  All they can think of is that we gays will be having all kinds of sex They do NOT consider that what we want is Love, Compassion, Companionship, Affection, Fondness, Friendship, Kindnes, Beauty, Intimacy, Tenderness, Happiness, Consideration, Company, Close-ness, Empathy, Caring, and Solace. And a lot more thingsJ that I did not feel like writing down just right now. We also want the end of loneliness,L celibacy, isolation, despair, discouragement, unhappiness, and longing for Love.  We just want to be happy, man!  As long as we are not happy, we will continue to fight for our rights, for as long as we live, down through the generations, just like we always have, and I believe that we always will until others leave us alone.
Finally, what do I plan to do about this situation?  I plan to find myself a companion and partner in life, to share my life with, and to share their life with me.  I am going to find true happiness and joy, and love, and end the years of loneliness and despair.  This means, that I am going to find a “Gay-boy” (as I like to call the gay young men), and work for a relationship, and I will even have a Gay wedding, and adopt beautiful children (preferably Gay children).  Because, I do not believe that these joys are reserved for breeders only.  I will continue to Love the Lord and do well to my fellow man, just as I always have.  Also I will find a Church with more love for me and dignity and respect and who will support me and my lifestyle, and where I will be treated well, and I will be able to make many new friends.  There are many churches out there where all this is possible you know, because I have been to several of them and they are growing in number and size.

I know that I will be much happier doing this, than staying with the Mormon Church, because I have been in the Church for 49 years, and because of the Church, I am sad, lonely, miserable, unhappy, joyless, depressed and angry thanks to the Mormon Members.  Members of this Church try to tell me things that I know are not true, like Gay people choose to be “that way,” {even President Hinckley says No to that}, so this is not true at all.  Also that we Gays cause others, and especially the youth to be gay by our example, or our influence on them; this has been proven to be wrong. People do not convert, to be a homosexual, we are only born this way, and nothing can truly or completely change us in this life.  They also say that we Gays are immoral, faithless, unbelieving, and evil.  These things are not true at all either.  The truth is known by the higher leaders, but they do not enforce the truth to the local authorities, so most members may not accept the truth in my lifetime.  Then again, we must not give up hope for these are the latter days, and God loves us just as we are!!!!  With God all things are possible, especially when you also have great faith.  I have very much great faith in the LORD, my GOD.  Besides I am not evil like the bishop thinks I am, I can have a lot of faith and believe and still be gay.  Just because I love men, I am not faithless or without hope.

I want to find a Christian Church where Gays are accepted, and uplifted.  I know of some churches like The Metropolitan Community Church or (MCC), which is an international church for Gays and Lesbians.  I know of Dignity (the Gay Catholics), and Affirmation (the Gay Mormons) of which I am already a member.  I do love the LDS Church very much; however, I have been ridiculed by some of it’s leaders and also I do not appreciate being rejected, ridiculed and treated the way I have been treated.  When the Church made the priesthood available to men of color, (The Blacks), in 1979, some members did not accept this new Revelation that was an answer to President Spencer W. Kimball’s humble prayer. K LDS Members have several prejudices, that they should not have, and they have a serious need of repentance, if they want to be forgiven.  President Kimball’s book: “The Miracle of Forgiveness” gives you some excellent advice, but, it really condemns Gays & Lesbians.  Why do heterosexual people always assume that we Gays are just interested in Gay Sex? It seems that they hopelessly have sex on the brain. Gay men like me, only want positive things, like Love, and Affection, and yes, some Intimacy before we die, some companionship, friendship, and fellowship with other homosexuals.  There is a lot more love in the Gay community, than there is among the straights. That is because we are bonded together, because we are persecuted and hated by the world of straight people; and we are more accepting and tolerant than the non-gays.

I like being Gay, so much now, because I know that this is normal for me, and I know that happiness will come to me, and many other homosexual’s, if we just do not pay attention to the hate-mongers, and the Gay-bashers, and the Bible-bashers, and all of those who think that they are better than we homosexuals.  Because they are NOT!! They are not at all better than we gays are; they just think that to themselves!  In fact, Mormon’s think they are superior to other churches.

Once I knew the truth about myself, that it is alright for me to be gay or queer, I suddenly felt free and liberated from the dark prison of lies that had been told to me all of my life.  The truth really does set you free, after all.  I am attracted to young men, and that is all there is to it, and my attraction is very, very strong also—stronger than I am able to bear and then try to be alone for a lifetime.  I cannot handle being alone, like some people are.  For me, I become very depressed when I am all alone.  I very much need to have a companion to share my life with or else I am quite miserable and eventually I become very suicidal and hopeless.

I find gay men to be comely, (which means gorgeous and beautiful), especially if they are, what I think of as, a “pretty boy.”  They are adorable to me, and my heart goes out to them.  I do not know how I have resisted those urges for so long, but I do believe that it has been a great contributor to my ongoing depression and unhappiness.  I do not see why I should remain sad, lonely, unhappy and celibate any longer.  Life can be hard enough without me adding to the problem.  We all need to LOVE and be LOVED, it is built into our psyche and never goes away.  And why should it anyway.  Unless you are a sociopath, and most of us are not, then we all have needs.  Gay people have special needs also and these needs are often not met.  It can be a very difficult life, the gay life that is, and it can be filled with pain and sorrow.  The rejection by family, peers and even teachers can be devastating to a young person.  Why would anyone choose this life with all of its difficulties? I don’t think anyone would.  {I just saw on TV a 14 yr. old boy who committed suicide because he was Gay}.  You see, we are this way, because we are born this way, and no one can change us, and we cannot change ourselves. Happiness only comes to us by accepting who we are, and not what some one else wants us to be. Most homophobes, somewhere deep inside, are just a homosexual that is too afraid to admit to the world, that they are Gay, so they fear their own selves and hate other Gays.  I for one have never been a homophobe.  I love all gays and most lesbians, just kidding; I love all the lesbians and even bisexuals and transgender people too.

If you only knew, what it is like, to be attracted to someone of your own sex, when you know the rest of the world was not like that, and that most of the world would hate you for being “that way,” but there was nothing you could do about it; and the attraction was very strong, and it was also, the only thing that made you happy and caused you to like yourself, or even be able to love yourself; but again, the world made you feel that you had to give up these feelings.  These feelings, which will not go away no matter what you do, are the only feelings that made you feel good about yourself, in a world that hated and persecuted you.  Then you came to believe, that you could never be happy in this life.  What would You do then?  Especially when, even a Prophet of God cannot help you out of your misery, and your parents and bishop cannot help either.  Then you are sad and alone with no chance of happiness.  After some time goes by, you begin to lose hope and then you begin to hurt all over and deep depression sets in.  Without help, it just gets worse and worse until you can no longer stand to live any longer.  This is how I felt many years ago, but things change and now I am trying to get better and try and overcome the past.

This is why so many Gay young men, and even Mormon boys, decide to take their own life, and end the pain and conflict.  {I just wanted you to understand why, so many boys and young men, who are Gay, and even some lesbians, end their own life by their own hand.}  Now, ask yourself this question, (and this includes Mormon boys and girls, who are Gay, especially Mormon Gay boys): “why isn’t the Mormon Church able to help these Gay boys and girls” [or me]?  And so they keep on dying!  Help us please! (And not the way that the church has been doing it all of these years, either).  Try loving us unconditionally for a change.  The Church advocates “reparative therapy,” which does not work for the vast majority of homosexuals, and in fact, this therapy causes many homosexuals to commit suicide, who, would not have done so, if they had not gone through the “reparative therapy torture,” and some people have secretly brought in video equipment and taped what was going on in order to prove what was happening in these places and also provided proof of the suicides as well, so now we all know that it’s true and it is true!

Mormon boys and girls who are gay, should be stronger than other kids, (at least you might think so), but sometimes they are not!  Why not?  Because, the things that they usually build their spiritual and other foundations with, and that should be there for their strength, are either missing or not there for them.  I am talking about the Family and the Church.  Instead, their family and the church are often against them, or are not supporting them in their time of need.  Your family is often not there for you, when you are gay, because of what the church teaches about homosexuals and how the church treats them also; and the members treat them; therefore, many of these teens kill themselves when tormented by their peers.

Therefore, it is the Church that is causing these premature deaths of young gay people who are members of the church.  Any church that provokes the suicides of its own children, gay or not, has some serious problems!  I cannot be a part of a church that has these practices, at least not until that church changes its ways, and makes amends or penance for all their hate and wrong doing.  Church people are supposed to be in the business of showing love anyway, not petty hatred.

My only regrets in life are that I do not have my own children to  raise, because I would have been a very good father, and many of my friends, counselors and psychotherapists have told me that I would have been an excellent father as well.  My other regret is that I was in the proverbial “closet” for so long (until age 27), and then I went back into the closet for over 14 years, because that is what the church told me would bring me happiness and joy.  The church supported me in my getting married to a woman.  Now the church has changed its position on marriage for fags, (to the opposite sex).  Now we fags cannot marry at all.  I have been celibate for almost 5 years now, ever since my wife of 9.3 years past away.  I am so lonely that I can hardly stand life at all.  The church program for faggots, is not working at all, it needs help, otherwise gays will continue to leave the Church in ever increasing numbers; and they will be less and less likely to come back to Church either.

When the Prophet commanded that all faggots stay celibate for life, I believe that the President was not inspired, he just did what he thought was best; because, only man can be this thoughtless and cruel.  How short-sighted this idea was, and still is.  I believe that this new position will easily drive out many of the 169,080 fags that are all admitted gays in the church, and even more of the approximate 344,000 other fags that are both in the church and in the closet.  If you want any of us back, then write to the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and ask him for a better solution, one that does not contribute to the 3,800 suicides of Gay people, world wide, each and every year!  Ask for a solution that does not cause major depression and sadness and loneliness.  Remember these are your brothers and sisters that you are condemning to a lifetime of celibacy and no love.

The church needs to be unified again, because right now there is a division and strife in the church, concerning the Gay issue.  Some members listen to the prophet and stop persecuting homosexuals, while others, along with their local leaders, continue to alienate and mistreat homosexuals, and are unfair and sometimes just plain mean to them.  Only I know all the unfair things my bishop did to me.

There needs to be greater love in the LDS faith.  The Mormon Church needs the kind of love and charity that Christ had for his own church.  The members who think that all homosexuals are going straight to hell, after judgment day, may be surprised one day when they end up in hell themselves, all because of either, how they mistreated homosexuals, or how they hated them.  The Bible says, you have no faith, if you hate your brother, and that you do not love God, if you say you do then God says that you are a liar.  (see the book of James in the New Testament).

I Have given most of my life, to Heavenly Father and Christ’s true church, and now my reward is, or so it seems to be, nothing short of a promise, that I will live a lifetime of sheer hell.  Goodbye Mormon Church, I love you, but, we have irreconcilable differences.  I will always miss you, and I will forever have fond memories of you.  My friends at Affirmation told me that it is almost impossible to be homosexual, and remain a member of the Mormon Church.  They were so right!  Especially if you live in Oklahoma, and in towns like Muskogee!  This is what happens when you have a redneck for a Bishop and an Elders Quorum President.

I never wanted to leave the Mormon Church before, but now, I feel like I am being pushed out, by the members, and especially some of the leaders, like Elder Boyd K. Packer and Bishop Robert W.; who have more hate in their heart, for fags, than they have love for them.  But I will not stay away for too long anyway.

I have spent a lot of time researching facts and figures, history and information, as well as reading many articles from the Church, especially from their website; in preparing this Manifesto.  I have tried to make this paper as accurate as possible, however, if I have made any mistakes, please overlook them, and forgive me.  I have also included some personal opinions of mine, that may seem to be a bit insensitive, but, I did not intend to offend anyone; so if I have offended you, please excuse me.  I just have very strong feelings about this subject. This paper is also a statement of my personal beliefs, and they are very important to me.  What I have said, I have said, and I am very serious about what I have written.  {The purpose of this Manifesto is to make known to my friends and family, my status with the LDS Church and my feelings regarding homosexuality}.  I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, [for it says in the book of Proverbs: “Convince a man against his will, he will be of the same opinion still”].  I know that the information in this Manifesto is correct and true, and I could have submitted numerous articles, (mostly from the Church), for your review, however, I felt that using only select and relevant portions from those articles, would suffice.  I have used many exact quotes from Church Leaders, which are in quotation marks.
I also hope that this work will help others who might be struggling with same-sex attraction and/or thoughts of suicide.  If you or someone you know, is struggling with these issues, you should all know this: God Loves You, and Jesus Christ Loves You, and I Love You Very Much, and over 700,000,000 (that’s seven hundred million) LGBT {Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Trans-Gender} all love you too.  Our hearts go out to you.  Be good to yourself, and be happy.  And do not even think of suicide, (but if you are, Please, Please Get Some Counseling).  Don’t apply a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Believe me when I say that you can feel better and be very happy while still being homosexual, bisexual or transgender people.

God be with us all, until we meet again.  LOVE AND KISSES, AND LOTS OF HUGS TO ALL, and LOL (Lots Of Love).

LOVE you all with all my heart & soul: Robin Lee Johnson. 

The End of “Manifesto #3” (original title).

news roundup – Mitt’s coffee; more openish books; weird birthday bashes

I’ve been out of town hiking in the Rockies without internet access and now that I’m back and going through my backlog of news, a bunch of interesting stories have grabbed my attention.

First, there’s news that Mitt Romney is fine with coffee-flavored ice cream. I’ve seen lengthy debates over caffeinated sodas, hot chocolate, and herbal tea as to whether or not they run afoul of the Word of Wisdom, but I’ve never seen a discussion of coffee-flavored ice cream. It’s technically not a hot drink, and the word of wisdom says nothing about caffeine or ice cream. I think coffee-flavored ice cream is in. Thoughts?

Just how orthodox is Mitt?

Second, apparently if enough news sources raise questions about Mormon finances and keep reiterating how miserly the religion is when it comes to charitable work, LDS Inc. feels an inclination to respond and kind of, sort of, open the black box just a little bit. The powers that be put together a flowery, effluent, paean to Mormon charitable work on mormonnewsroom.org. Anyone care to dissect what’s included?

Third, in a seeming contradiction to their humble efforts to shower the world with Mormon charity, just a week earlier LDS Inc. held a mega birthday bash for the top dog, Thomas Monson. I don’t get this. Really, I don’t. Mormons don’t worship their prophet (so they say, over and over again, and so says their doctrine). But then they throw this mega-bash with tens of thousands of onlookers, gobs of musical numbers, a variety of video clip dedications, etc. Perhaps this didn’t cost that much, but it no doubt cost thousands of dollars, probably tens of thousands, when you consider the security involved, the time spent filming and rehearsing, etc. What gives? If Monson is the humble voice of the Lord, why does he need a mega birthday bash? I’m asking that in all sincerity. This wasn’t common when I was a member. I don’t recall EBT birthday bashes. Was I just not on the guest list and therefore oblivious?

The humble servant of the Lord’s Chosen at his birthday bash observed by tens of thousands.

BBC’s This World: The Mormon Candidate

Finally, a Mormon documentary for the rest of us.

Hailed by the creator of the I am an Ex Mormon video series as “my favorite video about Mormonism I have ever seen.”

Part 1: Mitt Romney

Part 2: Mormons

Part 3: Exmormons

Part 4: Prophets

Part 5: Park

Part 6: Pundits

After I get done watching, it’ll be interesting to compare and contrast John Sweeney’s approach with that of Helen Whitney in her earlier PBS documentary The Mormons.

Come to think of it, I’m also going to revisit that France 24 report from a few weeks back:

Exmos popping up everywhere these days, even in Provo, with French cameras rolling! :-)

Oh, and others are discussing Sweeney’s documentary here and I particularly liked the comment over there that begins:

“The thing that makes this documentary amazing isnt the amount it relied on ex-members, but the amount it relied on the LDS Church to be embarrassed about its past, to lie about its past and then finally to admit the claims that were being made.”

“I consider it progress that they are thinking more like a company and less like the Soviet Union.”

That’s John Dehlin in today’s Salt Lake Tribune.

Excerpts from “Church asks Mormons: Which websites, writers do you read?“:

The LDS Church is surveying its members about their readership of key websites and Mormon writers, a move that reflects the faiths growing interest in managing its public image as two Mormon candidates make headlines pursuing the White House. […]

The survey … seeks members reasons for using various media outlets and asks if they find seven specific journalists and bloggers “trustworthy, consistent with church positions and teachings, enjoyable, candid and honest [or] thoughtful.”

The list of writers includes conservative radio host Glenn Beck; popular LDS bloggers Joanna Brooks, of religiondispatches.org, and Jana Riess, of Beliefnet; Newsweek and Daily Beast reporter and blogger McKay Coppins; “Mormon Stories” podcast host John Dehlin; Salt Lake Tribune lead religion writer Peggy Fletcher Stack; and LDS Church public affairs managing director Michael Otterson, who also blogs for The Washington Post. […]

“It shows me that they care about their consumers, and that they are willing to change, said Dehlin, whose weekly podcasts address sensitive LDS topics. “I consider it progress that they are thinking more like a company and less like the Soviet Union.”

Image randomizer results for this post:

Open Mormon Pledge
"On my honor, Mormon Stories podcasts are trustworthy, consistent with church positions and teachings, enjoyable, candid, honest and thoughtful."

Red Square
Red Square

Mormon polygamist defends home against Ruskies
Red Dawn II: Captain Moroni vs. the Ruskies.

Company Men
Company Men

Rugged Mormon Individualism

Trapped in a Mormon Gulag

Mormon Gulag

“We do not need more members who question every detail.”

Spending too much time on Facebook, as usual, and a friend shared this link from the page LDS General Conference, a quote from M. Russell Ballard from October 1995 General Conference:

We do not need more members who question every detail; we need members who have felt with their hearts, who live close to the Spirit, and who follow its promptings joyfully. We need seeking hearts and minds that welcome gospel truths without argument or complaint and without requiring miraculous manifestation. Oh, how we are blessed when members respond joyfully to counsel from their bishops, stake presidents, quorum or auxiliary leaders, some of whom might be younger than they and less experienced. What great blessings we receive when we follow “that which is right” joyfully and not grudgingly.

The quote alone was enough to get my dander up. I had to quit reading the comments after three or four because it wasn’t good for my blood pressure. Fortunately there are some commenters on the thread saying, “Hey, wait a minute, let’s not throw our minds out the window,” and this post yesterday from Mike S. at Wheat and Tares about wanting to make “I believe” as valid a statement of faith as “I know” was encouraging.

Sometimes it gets hard to keep a tally on all the ways my experience with the Church was harmful, but this attitude that, “If what you think is different from what we think, we are right and you are wrong,” is definitely near the top of the list. As I’ve written on my own blog:

I think we all have an instinctive inner voice that can guide us toward a fulfilling life. The religion I grew up in taught me to override this voice if it conflicted with external authority….The underlying message: God (as represented by his appointed mouthpieces on earth) knows what’s best for you; you don’t. So just bequiet nice anddo what you’re told follow our loving counsel.

If something doesn’t feel right, you’re the problem. You need to pray harder and be more humble, and keep praying until the answer you get matches up with doctrine/your bishop/etc. My post goes through examples of questions I had about racism in the Book of Mormon, gender roles and gay marriage, and how I suppressed all these concerns to protect my testimony. The most vivid instance when I recall coming up against this “don’t question” attitude was when when I was 19 or 20 and told my bishop I wasn’t really sure godhood was for me. I couldn’t see the appeal in exaltation, didn’t understand why I was supposed to want that. His response: If I were more righteous, my desires would fall into line with what my Heavenly Father had planned for me.

I go through rather large stretches where I don’t feel any sort of hostility toward the Church, and feel I can just live and let live, sometimes even feel a bit of affection for the quirkiness of Mormonism. Then something like this crosses my radar. Yes, this talk is from 16 years ago, but it’s from an apostle during Conference, which I believe qualifies it as scripture, and it’s being shared and revered by many of the faithful today. Part of me wants to get in there and point out the fallacies, but the larger part of me knows it will be useless. So I just thank whatever deity may be out there for the fact that I’m not part of it anymore, and for the peace passing all understanding that I’ve found since relearning to trust myself.

 

Leah blogs at The Whore of All the Earth.

A real modern-day prophet?!?

Apparently Warren Jeffs is back in the sadle… He is now warning President Obama and other politicians that they must let him go and free his people, OR ELSE!!! (free from government oversight doesn’t carry the same gravitas as free “from slavery)The “else”? Ambiguous references to “great destruction in Illinois” and “great storms” throughout the nation.

Time to don my prophecy hat:

“I, not the Lord’s anointed but just an everyday guy, prophesy in the name of, well, common sense, that no one will do anything about this petition and prophecy. I prophecy this because, as everyone knows but most Mormons (mainstream and others) deny to themselves, there are no modern prophecies and no modern prophets. (It also follows that there never were any in the past, but that would make this a revelation, not a prophecy.). We know this, because it has been revealed through historical documentation, the ability of modern people to see through such claims of prophecy, and the complete and utter lack of ability for modern day prophets to predict pretty much anything short of how much tithing they will add to their coffers each year. Jeffs’s prophecy will be ignored.”

(End “prophecy”.)

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the one possibility of this coming true – if Warren Jeffs has convinced his followers to engage in acts of violence and terrorism in order to fulfill his own prophecy. Given that there is virtually no history of acts of violence toward people outside the Mormon fundamentalist and splinter groups (there is plenty of violence aimed inside these groups), this seems unlikely. But that seems like the only possible way this could be realized. And, of course, if that happens, it will have the opposite of the intended effect: the federal government will crack down on them even harder. So, in all likelihood, nothing will come of this and, in a month, it will be forgotten.

The bigger issue, to me, is that this is such a beautiful illustration of the nature of “prophecy.” What is the difference between Warren Jeffs and Joseph Smith or Thomas Monson? Between Smith and Jeffs, I’d say there is very little – prophet, married to many women, writing revelations from prison. Yep, basically Smith. But between Jeffs and Monson? Monson can’t afford (literally and figuratively) to do this kind of thing. When his prophecy doesn’t materialize, what does he lose? Ergo, the obvious conclusion: there are no prophets and never were. Thanks Warren!

(NOTE: If someone has access to the entire packet and prophecy, MSP would be happy to host it. Feel free to send it to one of the admins!)

Signature Books: Important Mormon Diary Published

Salt Lake City In December 1892, the 33-year-old Mormon apostle Abraham H. Cannon recorded in his diary: At my Quorum meeting on Thursday the brethren were told that our success in the Church [law]suits was in a great measure due to the fact that we have a partner of Justice [Stephen J.] Field of the Supreme Court of the United States in our employ, who is to receive a percentage of the money if the suits go in our favor, and the property is returned to us.

Read the full announcement.

About the editor, Edward Lyman.

Upcoming lecture by Dr. Lyman:

Benchmark Books (Tel: 801-486-3111)
3269 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City
Thursday, 6:00 p.m.
December 1, 2010

Amazon.com link:

Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle: The Diaries of Abrahan H. Cannon 1889-1895 [Hardcover]

I hope someone is planning to record Dr. Lyman’s presentation and put it online. :-)

H/T: exmormon.reddit.com

P.S.: Excerpts from the last talk given by Abraham H. Cannon, before his death a few months later, at the Utah Stake Conference, April 19, 1896:

I am free to admit that we have been a people of perhaps too strong prejudices …

Mormonism, it is said, is a burnt out volcano, so far as spirituality is concerned; its strength is gone; it is assuming a materialistic position, and fails to exercise the spiritual influence over the people that a religious organization ought to do …

We do not have all the power that we ought to have. God knows we do not. We do not have the faith which we ought to exercise in the gifts of the Gospel and in the principles of our religion. But with all our weaknesses, with all our lack in this respect, we still stand at the head–God be praised!–of every organization upon the face of the earth; not through any merit of our own; not that I would boast of such blessings, only that my boasting shall be in praise of God for His goodness in giving us such choice blessings and in making us partakers of this glorious Gospel–a privilege that He has extended equally to every other man and woman who lives upon the face of the earth, and has not confined to these few people now gathered in these mountains. Is there any greater evidence of the divinity of this work than the very argument that is brought against it, that we have so perfect a Church organization? With its President, (who is the mouthpiece of God), with his counselors, and the various organizations of the Priesthood as they exist, this Church is so perfect that it commands the admiration of the world, who see that it is superior even to that old and long established church, the Roman Catholic.

P.P.S.: This post is dedicated to America’s #1 Mitt Romney cheerleading squad duo.

P.P.P.S.: Seeing Dr. Lyman’s name reminded me of this exchange between B.H. Roberts and Mormon apostle Richard Lyman:

Studies of the Book of Mormon, by B.H. Roberts, p. 251:

At his [B.H. Roberts] request Pres. Grant called a meeting of the Twelve Apostles and Bro. Roberts presented the matter, told them frankly that he was stumped and ask[ed] for their aide [sic] in the explanation. In answer, they merely one by one stood up and bore testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. George Albert Smith in tears testified that his faith in the Book had not been shaken by the question…. No answer was available. Bro[.] Roberts could not criticize them for not being able to answer it or to assist him, but said that in a church which claimed continuous revelation, a crisis had arisen where revelation was necessary. After the meeting he wrote Pres. Grant expressing his disappointment at the failure… It was mentioned at the meeting by Bro. Roberts that there were other Book of Mormon problems that needed special attention.

Richard Lyman spoke up and ask[ed] if they were things that would help our prestige and when Bro. Roberts answered no, he said then why discuss them.

Emphasis mine.

P.P.P.P.S.: By the way, if you do pick up the Cannon diary from Amazon, I’d suggest ordering Damon Linker’s The Religious Test at the same time.

Church Handbook of Instructions – 2010 version available online

Not sure who or why, but you can download a full scan of the Church Handbook of Instructions – 2010 version here:

http://martinluther537.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/2010-church-handbook-of-instructions-book-1a.pdf
http://martinluther537.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/2010-church-handbook-of-instructions-book-2a.pdf

Here’s his summary of what is in them and why he’s doing it:

http://martinluther537.wordpress.com/