LGBT Suicides & Church Response

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university
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LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by university » 28 Jan 2016, 18:13

Thought I would share something I saw on social media yesterday. It was something that brought me significant heartache last night. I shed some tears, said a prayer, and went to bed.
Wendy Williams Montgomery wrote: From my husband, Thomas:
I have no doubt that the policy, which is an extension of Proclamation Doctrine, is completely not of God. This week Elder Neil Anderson and Elder Whitney Clayton came and 'trained' the local leaders. In a nutshell, they are not to tolerate 'distractions' to their wards and to reinforce the Proclamation as the only acceptable path at every turn.
Last night, I got a call from a terrified, young trans man that his Bishop has called him in for a 9 pm meeting. This is on the heels of the 'training' this Bishop just received. (The Bishop is aware that this youth had attempted suicide as recent as October.)
The spirit told me to jump in my car and get there as fast as I could. I found that young trans man collapsed in the gutter in front of the Bishops house just afterward.
Dragon Dads - we have a mandate from God above to minister to these kids. There will be multiple generations of these kids being born in the Church and it is going to take 20-40 years before the Church comes around. Until then, we are the safety net. We are the ones listening and hearing God's promptings - because the TBM members have chosen to close their ears and hearts to the matter. It is inconceivable that they could be wrong and causing harm.
We can beat our hands bloody in vain trying to change the Church, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. But we can reach these kids. Whether you decide to minister to these kids by staying or going, find a way to make a different in the lives of these LGBT Mormon kids. It is life and death (We are aware of 34 deaths via suicide of LGBT Mormon youth since Nov. 5th. Ages 14-20.)

EDIT: Wendy went on to report that she has been contacted by families of 34 LGBT Youth who have taken their lives since the policy. she commented that she did not solicit this information, and these are only the cases that have been brought to her attention. The age range was 14-20, average age of 17. I personally believe there are other cases we don't know about.

The post gained some traction online, enough to pike the Deseret News' interest. Today, they published an article about it: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8656 ... tml?pg=all

I'll quote the part from a church spokesperson:
The LDS Church responded Thursday to an unverified report about suicide deaths among Mormon LGBTs.

"We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope," senior church leaders said through a spokesman.
I have nothing to say right now. Shed a few tears over this already. I'll come back later.

Minyan Man
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by Minyan Man » 28 Jan 2016, 19:00

The worse part of this policy is the lack of compassion that some members freely express in church.
People are literally dying. I believe it is because of the lack of compassion or empathy more than anything else.
IMO, the Church & the membership should be the example of Christ's love before we declare (with authority) that we are the Church of JC.
I believe that the membership will be judged for how we apply the principles of compassion, empathy & understanding above anything else.

A friend of our family recently died from suicide before this policy was announced.

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LookingHard
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by LookingHard » 28 Jan 2016, 19:43

So why would we want to fight/push/agitate to change the non-needed policy? (rhetorical question)

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SilentDawning
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by SilentDawning » 28 Jan 2016, 19:47

The church's response above is heartless and seems to avoid the issue entirely. It's like expressing condolences and walking away after you hit someone and they are lying there injured....its responses like this that make me feel more strongly about the path I am on right now....one of causal engagement with the church.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Heber13
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by Heber13 » 28 Jan 2016, 20:11

It's such a sad thing to hear about. So sad. Those poor families.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by hawkgrrrl » 28 Jan 2016, 20:21

Natasha (Mormon Therapist) called the church's position a double bind, which is exactly right. While this article is helpful, it's not helpful knowing that the damage it's trying to undo is caused by the hateful, unnecessary policy. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't tell gay kids that their only hope is to pretend they are broken and to cut off their own leg and use crutches because they don't fit the plan and then expect that not to have these types of consequences. Of course gay suicides have gone up! How would any of us feel facing such an impossible choice? You have to give up the pursuit of your own personal happiness or your connection to the church and hope of exaltation. Now the stakes are even higher because if they pursue their own self-interest, they are also preventing their children from participating in a church they may love and believe in. Which adds pressure from their also believing parents who will want to see their grandchildren stay in the church. It's simply an impossible situation. How many of us have the empathy to say we would forego companionship for life? None of those who have placed this requirement on our gay brothers and sisters are willing to do that. Some who have put this policy in place couldn't even resist the temptation to be sealed to two wives despite other policies preventing women from being sealed to more than one husband.

When all church policies seem to favor the policy makers, it makes you wonder. If church policies were being created that made things harder for only the old white men in the church, that would feel quite different.

university
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by university » 28 Jan 2016, 21:17

The Salt Lake Tribune, not to be outdone, has also come out with an article.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/lds/3473487- ... l-suicides

They clarify that the actual suicide numbers in Utah are murky and hard to account for. They also provided the Church's full statement:
"Every soul is precious to God and to the church, and the loss of life to suicide is heartbreaking," he says. "Those who are attracted to others of the same sex face particular challenges and pressures in this regard, both inside and outside the church. We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope."

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DarkJedi
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Jan 2016, 07:19

While I don't particularly like that all the church has to say is "sorry," I do like that this was addressed in the church newspaper. I was further impressed that it is a fairly lengthy and in-depth article that gave some attention to some people who could be considered somewhat dissident or at least outsiders.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SilentDawning
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Jan 2016, 07:55

What bothers me is that we were seeing a kinder, gentler church, one that was quietly admitting mistakes in the essays, or in Uchdorfts talks. Then this policy came out! Now I'm confused again.

I would think that the entire Quorum of Twelve would have had to agree with this, which bothers me even more that it made it through that group. It makes me wonder about all of them....Unless it was a prophetic decree...and that bothers me even more because it challenges what I believe a loving God is...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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LookingHard
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Re: LGBT Suicides & Church Response

Post by LookingHard » 29 Jan 2016, 09:44

What puzzles me about the latest "revelationalizing" policy (hey, if someone can make up "ponderizing", I am entitled) is that there were several other chances to state this was

Then I go and read how Elder LeGrand Richards gave an interview that said, "yeah we were meeting like we do every Thursday and Pres Kimball said we think it is time to lift the ban on blacks, and since we had talked about it a few times before and how hard it would be for many of the Brazilian saints not to attend the temple they just contributed so much to build, we all shook our heads and agreed." The point was that they all came to an agreement that it just made sense. Then you look at other recountings of that event that make it sound like it was such an overpowering pouring of the spirit that they were shocked the windows in the temple were not blown out. We all recall things differently, but this seems like almost 2 separate events being described. Is that the case here, or is someone doing a bit more embellishing and crossing over into a bit of revisionist history?

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