Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
dande48
Posts: 368
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by dande48 » 19 Jun 2017, 10:49

DarkJedi wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 08:14
I'm not trying to be argumentative Dande, but where exactly did she advocate for others to enter into same sex relationships? Is it in here somewhere and I'm missing it?
I'm not going to get into whether same-sex relationships are, or are not approved by God. But it is explicitly against the "Commandments of God" as defined by the leadership of the LDS Church, and is treated as a serious sin in magnitude next to the shedding of innocent blood. Most of us disagree with the absolute authority of Church leadership, in dictating how God feels about this or that. But, in assessing the actions of both the girl, and the SP counselor, it's important to keep this in mind.

You're right, DJ. She didn't explicitly advocate others to follow suit. At most, it was implicit advocation, encouraging by example. "This is who I am, this is what I'm going to do, and I have God's approval. I will be happier this way." It is vindicating the violation of a commandment, and open opposition to Church authority (whether you agree with it or not).
"Sir, it's quite possible this asteroid is not entirely stable." - C-3PO

Roy
Posts: 4258
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by Roy » 19 Jun 2017, 10:56

Those are good points.

DW shared this with me last night. It was pointed out to her by a facebook friend that dismissed it as political propaganda.

DW was very touched by this young woman. This and perhaps other things have her rethinking her position on SSM.

I was explaining that this can be both a young woman's sincere testimony AND political propaganda. Very recently there was an issue over the sandy hook shooting. For the parents of the sandy hook victims they may honestly just want to express their grief and to help prevent the same tragedy from befalling other children/families. However, how that message gets promoted and what solutions get put forward quickly turn political.

That is also not to say that "political" automatically means something akin to manipulative or calculating. The women's suffrage and civil rights movements were political movements and yet deeply personal, moral, and ideological for those that fought for them.

I do suppose that there could be some individuals that are using this girl as a pawn for the movement (similar to how the church utilized George Reynolds) and there are probably some good questions about whether a twelve year old girl can be mentally developed enough to be fully informed of the long term consequences of her very public testimony.

If I were the parent, I could see myself supporting (with reservations) my child in giving the testimony (if that was something that they felt strongly about). I would not have supported the taping or the dissemination via social media. My ultimate goal would be to protect my child and help them to be a happy and well adjusted adult. More likely my Papa bear instincts would lead me to put as much distance as possible between my gay child and the LDS church.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Ann
Posts: 2549
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by Ann » 19 Jun 2017, 11:02

I agree with lots of what's been said.

What a mess.

But Bro. Gordon, and it's perfect right to say whatever he wants, just escalated matters. The idea that twelve year-old don't discuss such things is patently false. A twelve year-old boy in our ward gave a very touching Father's Day talk yesterday in which he discussed in fair detail his plans for marriage and fatherhood.

Who has enough fingers and toes to count the non-kosher testimonies we've heard? But I've never seen someone's mic cut. And I've only seen a follow up comment from a leader once. Most of it just floats out and around and people make of it what they will.

(And recording is just wrong.)
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 5277
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Jun 2017, 11:07

dande48 wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 10:49
DarkJedi wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 08:14
I'm not trying to be argumentative Dande, but where exactly did she advocate for others to enter into same sex relationships? Is it in here somewhere and I'm missing it?
I'm not going to get into whether same-sex relationships are, or are not approved by God. But it is explicitly against the "Commandments of God" as defined by the leadership of the LDS Church, and is treated as a serious sin in magnitude next to the shedding of innocent blood. Most of us disagree with the absolute authority of Church leadership, in dictating how God feels about this or that. But, in assessing the actions of both the girl, and the SP counselor, it's important to keep this in mind.

You're right, DJ. She didn't explicitly advocate others to follow suit. At most, it was implicit advocation, encouraging by example. "This is who I am, this is what I'm going to do, and I have God's approval. I will be happier this way." It is vindicating the violation of a commandment, and open opposition to Church authority (whether you agree with it or not).
I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree and be thankful for our wards/stakes that neither of us are judges in Israel.

ETA: FWIW, here is the story my SPC shared in stake conference at the instruction of the AA (the AA didn't choose the story, he did assign the specific topic).

https://www.tofw.com/blogs/pure-love-healed-our-family

Not to beat a dead horse, but I don't think any of these people (including the AA and SPC) are openly opposing the church by sharing this story.

(My favorite part of the story is "I’m the grandma so what I say goes.")
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."

My Introduction

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6489
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by Heber13 » 19 Jun 2017, 11:07

I am hearing two sides of the event. Often times, truth is somewhere in the middle, and often times people will pull out of it what they want to support their own views. I'm a bit concerned this 12 yr old will be in the middle of so many adults with agendas. I hope her parents can focus on her.

Sounds like one side of the story:
This is being promoted as a heartfelt moment of tenderness, only to be ruined by the bad stake leader, who happened to be on the stand that day, who asked her to sit down. The mom writes, “…this stake member chose to hurt my child, I don’t know his reasons.”[
In addition...this appears staged. People invited. Typed out (who wrote it, the 12 yr old, or input from others?), and video made of it?

That makes it look suspicious on intent. Not that all of that means it isn't real or sincere and a topic that could be shared in church...just something telling me there are some red flags on how to react to this.

The other side:
After Savannah spoke, the Church leader conducting stood up and repeated the uplifting and true statements that Savannah made. There was no harsh language. There was no condemnation. There was no negative judgement. There was no lack of support for Savannah as a daughter of God. What occurred was a stake leader protecting the purpose of the Sacrament meeting and refocusing it on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So...the leader was loving? Or the leader "hurt my child, I don't know his reasons"?

I hope a 12 year old is not being put in the middle of an issue a bunch of adults want to go on and on about, without regard to the individual. Not sure what I think of this.
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."

User avatar
hawkgrrrl
Site Admin
Posts: 3334
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by hawkgrrrl » 19 Jun 2017, 11:12

I don't like the staged aspect of it or the idea of people using a 12-year old for their own purposes, BUT from what the mother has said, it was Savannah who wanted to do this, and it wasn't the parents who wanted to make it public (again, this all was being discussed about 4 weeks ago when it happened). The guy on the stand deserves an eternal TK smoothie for his role in shaming a 12-year old child who is obviously in the difficult position of being human and gay and LDS. His actions, despite being (poorly) defended are not defensible. I've seen non-members give testimony plenty of times. I've seen someone have a mental breakdown. I've seen someone "sing" their testimony. I've seen a guy say "I've been with whores."

Just sayin'.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 5277
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Jun 2017, 11:16

hawkgrrrl wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 11:12
I don't like the staged aspect of it or the idea of people using a 12-year old for their own purposes, BUT from what the mother has said, it was Savannah who wanted to do this, and it wasn't the parents who wanted to make it public (again, this all was being discussed about 4 weeks ago when it happened). The guy on the stand deserves an eternal TK smoothie for his role in shaming a 12-year old child who is obviously in the difficult position of being human and gay and LDS. His actions, despite being (poorly) defended are not defensible. I've seen non-members give testimony plenty of times. I've seen someone have a mental breakdown. I've seen someone "sing" their testimony. I've seen a guy say "I've been with whores."

Just sayin'.
I didn't realize you'd visited my ward! ;)
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."

My Introduction

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6489
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by Heber13 » 19 Jun 2017, 11:21

hawkgrrrl wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 11:12
from what the mother has said, it was Savannah who wanted to do this, and it wasn't the parents who wanted to make it public
That's important to note.

I think leaders should err on the side of supporting youth, rather than defending the church. There are logical limits, of course...but err on the side of a youth feeling supported (if there is even an error in question).
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."

User avatar
Reuben
Posts: 355
Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 10:04

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by Reuben » 19 Jun 2017, 11:58

More context, from a spoken interview with Savannah:

http://iliketolookforrainbows.com/2017/ ... ranscript/

Search on the page for "Now, we have a very special queer Mormon" to get right to the interview.

The transcript includes photos of Savannah's handwritten testimony. There's something very powerful about reading it from her own handwriting.

I've read elsewhere that her testimony was recorded for her LGBT friends in a "Rainbow Mutual" event she attends once a month.

From a cursory inspection, it looks staged. Upon closer inspection, everything about it looks totally legit.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before sanctity or certainty.

Roy
Posts: 4258
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by Roy » 19 Jun 2017, 12:00

From the fairMormon blog:
In the middle of her speech she says, “I believe God would tell me if I was wrong.”

Well, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe he did exactly that. We do not believe she is a “horrible sinner” for being who she is, but you will find our teachings on family and relationships clearly stated in the document titled “The Family, a Proclamation to the World.” This is a fundamental belief of our faith. In essence, she is saying that she doesn’t trust the teachings of Jesus Christ given through our prophets today.
I know that we have trumpeted the "circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation" clause from the proclamation. I wonder if this same clause could be stretched to include such things as SSM?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]