Getting There…

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LDS Church adds a new video to Mormon & Gay—and it features a family lovingly accepting their out, gay son as he leaves the faith. It’s a welcome addition to the site—and a bold move that, no doubt, took a great deal of work on the back-end to power thru institutional resistance.

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There are a few cringeworthy moments… but I can’t help but acknowledge that this video—perhaps more than any other on the recently reworked site—will touch the hearts of people whose hearts need touching.

Be sure to check out the spotlights on the parents, Scott and Becky.

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Comments

  1. mikerharris says:

    Harrison, You deliver a callow backhand towards, as you call it, the institution. However, wonderful video. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

  2. D Christian Harrison says:

    You’re most welcome… but I can assure that my comments come from a lifetime spent in service to the institution. Whatever else it is, it’s not callow.

  3. mikerharris says:

    When you refer to the Brethren as an institution, doesn’t that dehumanize them a tad? Believing your service and devotion to the Kingdom sincere, why do you call them the “institution”? Do you think that this video sneaked by them or that they reluctantly consented to it?

  4. D Christian Harrison says:

    Um… you’re straining a little, no?

    The resistance within the Church does not flow from a unified Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency. While it’s accurate to say members of the 15 evince—repeatedly and loudly—such resistance, it’s also accurate to say that resistance is folded deeply within the institution… It’s found in the halls of the COB, in the middle pews of meeting houses, and up and down the ecclesiastical ladder. Calling the resistance “institutional” isn’t backhanded anything. It’s a matter-of-fact portrayal of the status quo.

    As for my “service to the institution” phrasing, I was reflecting your wording.

    I know the video was walked through all proper channels. I also have no doubt that a lot of leg work went into not only getting to the point where the video could be made… but making the final video palatable to more conservative elements within Church leadership and management.

  5. Troy Cline says:

    This is a nice video and I was heartened by it until I was made aware of the following in the latest Ensign (April 2017):

    Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, but same-sex marriage is only a counterfeit. It brings neither posterity nor exaltation. Although his imitations deceive many people, they are not the real thing. They cannot bring lasting happiness.
    God warned us about counterfeits in the Doctrine and Covenants. He said, “That which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness” (D&C 50:23).”
    From “The War Goes On” by Elder Larry R. Lawrence, April 2017 Ensign

    The messaging from the church can seem so bipolar to me sometimes. The church wants to have it both ways – continue a hard stance against gay marriage and a culture that has become more accepting of homosexuality while also showing understanding and love to those who are gay. It is becoming harder and harder to toe that line. Notice how when Mormon writings condemn homosexuality or gay marriage it is always in the abstract. It is never personalized. That’s because it is easy to condemn something and speak evil of it when it isn’t a living, breathing person with feelings, virtues, and goodness whom you love. When the church addresses the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage in a personal manner, by relating it to individuals (such as in this video), the better angels of our nature comes out and the message isn’t condemning. This isn’t a coincidence. It is human nature. When we know and associate with people who are different, we become accepting and understanding of those differences (to the extent that they do not cause us harm) and our perspectives change completely. This is why Christ’s ability to focus on the individual is so important. He didn’t minister in broad, generic concepts. He ministered to individuals in a way that was non-judgmental and loving.

    As to Elder Lawrence’s use of D&C 50:23 to justify his condemnation of homosexuality as a counterfeit marriage, until he has walked a mile in the shoes of a gay man, he should not be so quick to judge whether or not that relationship is edifying to the one who is in it. I quit the Ensign two or three years ago and this kind of stuff is the reason why. You could even say I didn’t find it to be edifying.

  6. mikerharris says:

    Thanks for your clarification and helping me understand your position.
    Best,
    Mike

  7. Kevin Barney says:

    I’ve seen discussion of this, but I just now finally had a chance to watch it. I was impressed; pretty well done for a church production.

  8. mikeharris – I and a number of people I know worked with church public affairs prior to the new website coming out (it is church PA’s work). And I can tell you that based on what PA told us, there was much “institutional resistance” (meaning certain church leadership) that had to be overcome and persuaded. They are still learning, just as we all are – and some are at different places along the spectrum of learning and understanding. Some – like Elder Lawrence – have a lot of learning still to do.

  9. A Happy Hubby says:

    I can’t help but think mikerharris has never worked in a really large organization and the bureaucracy that inevitably comes with that. Even in my most faithful and believing days I could see that bureaucracy even in the wards thousands of miles away from SLC. It had nothing to do with my faith or beliefs and I think that is still the case. Decades ago I learned in one of my MBA courses titled, “Power, Politics, and Corporate Culture” that the bureaucracy just is. I would say I am a bit more frustrated with it at times when I see that hurting people, such as the alarming number of gay suicides. Then I really wish things like this video could have come out a decade ago, but I realize that is just dreaming.

  10. For additional insight into this video, I recommend this new blog post by the Mother in the video, which was posted today on the church’s website: https://www.lds.org/blog/navigating-family-differences-with-love-and-trust?cid=FB_3-22-17_OCS_CM_BLOG&__prclt=Tw6EjpH7

  11. D Christian Harrison says:

    That’s a great post!

  12. “We love you so much, but we can’t do saving ordinances for you and we have to split you up for eternity. Don’t blame us, blame God.”

  13. D Christian Harrison says: