Several weeks ago the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints held its October general conference. During the Sunday session Elder Boyd K. Packer, one of the leaders’ of the church, gave a talk, or sermon, that instigated a firestorm of anger and misunderstanding. Now I am a Latter-Day Saint, or Mormon. I also struggle with same sex attraction, also known as homosexuality.
That all being said I personally loved Packer’s talk. I didn’t find any of the hatred or intolerance that others found in it. In fact, it was far from it. I’ve heard Packer talk before and his style of speech, his “this is a sin. So stop doing it” is refreshing to me. I have never felt any sort of hatred or malice from the church. Previous publications and talks about same sex attraction have been a source of comfort to me. My heart was lifted up when the pamphlet on same sex attraction, God loveth His children was published. It showed that the church hadn’t forgotten me, or my growing group of faithful LDS friends who struggle with this.
Sadly, several media outlets, in an effort to capitalize on the sensationalism of the story, have only talked to those who have previously felt hurt and eventually left the church. I’ve watched the news cleverly edit and redirect Packer’s words to make them sound different than they were. The church’s position on gay marriage is well known. What has already been said many times before was simply restated at the conference. All these media outlets did was make idiots out of themselves to boost ratings. As a communications major myself, I’m embarrassed for the entire industry.
My life has not been easy growing up in Utah with this challenge, mostly because of those who continue to misunderstand the words of the church leaders. However, the church and its leaders have never made my life harder. I know that God loves me and that as I continue to live the commandments I can be with Him and His Son again. I look forward to the next conference when I can hear my church leaders speak again. I know that Packer and the rest of the church leaders are called of God and speak for Him on earth.