Found Elder Callister's article (p.44):
http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/magazines/e ... gn-eng.pdf
I tried to read the article with an open mind:
So it is with God our Father—He needs to speak only once on the issue of morality, and that one declaration trumps all the opinions of the lower courts, whether uttered by psychologists, counselors, politicians, friends, parents, or wouldbe moralists of the day.
How do we find God's word, only uttered once? Surely in the personal interaction? I don't put sole trust in God's "word" when it is conveyed via fallible men, tainted by their own opinions and world view.
Contrary to much public sentiment, there is nothing negative or restraining about God’s moral standards. Rather, they are positive, uplifting, and liberating. They build relationships of trust, they enhance selfesteem, they foster a clear conscience, and they invite the Spirit of the Lord to bless individual and married lives. They are the proven standards for happy marriages and stable communities.
I actually think I agree with some of this. I think God's moral standards really are positive, uplifting and liberating. I just don't think the article represents God's standards.
...any conscious thoughts or voluntary actions that stimulate or result in the expression of the procreative power outside the marriage relationship are disapproved by the Lord.
Elder Callister makes no attempt to back this up with God's word. It's just his word, his opinion.
Corianton did not seem to realize the seriousness of what he had done when he sinned with the harlot Isabel. Alma, his father, put it in perspective: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord?” (Alma 39:5).
Elder Callister does not seem to want to consider the wide range of Corianton's behaviours that Alma was concerned about. Curtis has written a great blog on why this is a simplistic reading that the church leaders persistently make: http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... urder.html
The Lord condemns selfabuse. Selfabuse is the act of stimulating the procreative power of one’s own body. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation... It is not pleasing to the Lord, nor is it pleasing to you. It does not make you feel worthy or clean.”
Again, Elder Callister offers no support for this position. There's no scripture against masturbation and no scripture has ever called it "self-abuse." Joseph Smith, in all his varied restoration scripture, made no references at all to masturbation. It's a post 1800s, Victorian era obsession based on bad science.
It's ironic that the current Mormon anti-masturbation fettish is compounded in an article that start by dismissing psychologists. It's century old bad-psychology/medicine (masturbation makes you mad/blind/impotent) that brought in the perspective this part of the talk is based on.
A same-gender relationship is inconsistent with God’s eternal pattern that husbands and wives not only have children in mortality but also have eternal increase in their exalted condition.
We recognize that everyone is a son or daughter of God and deserves to be treated as such. We all struggle with imperfections, some not of our choosing. But we also believe in an infinite Atonement that has the capacity in this life or the life to come to endow us with every power necessary to convert our weaknesses and imperfections into strengths. The Lord promised us, “For if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
Those with same-gender tendencies have a duty to (1) abstain from immoral relationships and (2) do all within their power to avail themselves of the refining, perfecting powers of the Atonement. In the interim, however, those who have same-gender tendencies but do not act on them are worthy to hold Church positions and receive a temple recommend
Where do I start? What happened to:
The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
Elder Callister's statement, which will get a far wider audience than the m&g website, suggests that being gay is a "struggle with (an) imperfection." The implication of the next scripture "making weak things strong" is that the imperfection should be overcome and be refined, perfected by the atonement. In other words, have the imperfection of "same-gender tendencies" removed.
I do appreciate that he has clearly stated that celibate gay members are able to have callings/TRs.
Pornography is any picture or narrative that feeds the carnal man within. It is repulsive to the Spirit of the Lord.
Any picture or narrative? Was the sexual tension between Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart pornography? I'm sure it fed the "carnal mind within" of plenty of people watching it.
Our dress affects not only our thoughts and actions but also the thoughts and actions of others. Accordingly, Paul the Apostle counseled “women [to] adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9).
Here's a great example of the type of cafeteria scripture reading that supports some of the erroneous perspectives on morality. Why doesn't he quote the verse in full? Or was the rest not translated correctly? If you're going to lean on what is clearly the personal opinion of one man, 2000 years ago, you're on shaky ground. I don't see this fitting with the opening statement that "God... needs to speak only once on the issue of morality."
1 Timothy 2:
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
The following section is just disgusting. Does the abused woman deserve her husband? Should a woman who had different dress standards to the Mormon norm also lower her expectations for the husband she should aspire to? And when did it becomes a woman's responsibility to regulate the thoughts in a man's head?
The dress of a woman has a powerful impact upon the minds and passions of men. If it is too low or too high or too tight, it may prompt improper thoughts, even in the mind of a young man who is striving to be pure. Men and women can look sharp and be fashionable, yet they can also be modest. Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self-respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for.
Given he has just put the blame on the women dressing immodestly, why does he then go on to say we choose how we control our thoughts.
We cannot avoid seeing every improper billboard or immodestly dressed person, but we can drive out the improper thought once it arises. The sin is not in involuntarily seeing something improper; the sin is in entertaining the thought once it comes. The scriptures tell us, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7)
So which is it Elder Callister? The women's job to be modest or the men's job to choose our own thoughts?
There is at least a ray of reassurance saved for the end:
God made it clear that we cannot violate His standards without suffering the consequences, but because He is loving and compassionate beyond measure He gives us
this glorious hope...
But there's a sting in the tail:
However, it is always better to remain clean than to sin and repent afterward. Why is that? Because certain adverse consequences of sin may remain even after repentance, such as disease or a child born out of wedlock or damage to our reputation. Our goal in life is not just to be clean but also to be perfect. The quest for perfection is accelerated when we are clean, but it is stymied when we are not.
I agree with this, but I still don't think he has convincingly established "God’s standard of morality" with any level of clarity.
The blessings of living a clean and moral life are overwhelming. Such a life will bring self-confidence and self-esteem.
There's so much wrong with this article. What makes it tragic is it is the headline article of the magazine. The front page shouts the question: "What Is the Lord’s Standard for Morality? p. 44"
The orthodox crowd of the church will lap this up. It will be quoted repeatedly and our children will be indoctrinated with it. It will compound and enforce the negative emotions and guilt about sex and morality.
While we scratch around in the hidden corners of LDS.org, Journal of Discourses or unofficial General Authority books to support our "middle way" perspective, the church uses the official magazine to re-enforce this nonsense.
It forces me to, again, ask the question of whether I want my children raised in and taught this false view of relationships and sexuality.