The Mormon Church has just introduced a new website that softens its rhetoric on gay members of the church.
One possible reason for ongoing tensions between Mormons and gays is revealed in the first two sentences of the text in the light blue paragraph to the right of the woman’s photo which contrast senior church officials with real people:
“Senior Church leaders in this website represent the official position of the Church. Additional videos feature real people sharing real experiences from their own perspectives.”
About Scott Abbott
I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
I think you’re right. It’s a shame because in those two sentences they have given a visible divide that, to me, sounds similar to a business where there are differences between upper management and the “peons.” This saddens me as I never thought of there being that divide. I see the Church presidency as real people and I have a faith in God but I don’t know how to reconcile that with how others view the church and other people are treated. I think it needs constant discussion and light shed on the matter for there to be proper dialogue and communication on the matters to really get down to understanding. Perhaps that is a good aspect of this site.
You’re a writer and you know the importance of words. I watched the video of Todd Christopherson on the site and was impressed by the care he took to say what he wanted to say as precisely as possible.
I’ve been working on my own text about Mormons and gays and am repeatedly disappointed by my inability to write more clearly and more powerfully.
And as I’ve realized in my own life that you can’t mince words with real people who you know and love. This isn’t to say you can’t have your own opinions and beliefs but you have to show them that you genuinely care about hem and their lives. I have too many friends and family not to have this belief system and there can be no “us and them.” I have enjoyed the texts you have posted here as very clear and often powerful, but perhaps a bit more important, true to those you love and interact with.