Thursday, April 11

Conference Summary - from a (Gay) Mormon Guy

I can't really do General Conference justice in a blog post. Or even in a dozen blog posts. So these are some of my notes on specific talks that seemed to have major messages that apply to same-gender attraction in the Church. They're mostly based on my Twitter feed @GayMormonGuy... so, here you go. General Conference through the lens of (Gay) Mormon Guy.

President Packer (These Things I Know):

The family is under attack. We need to be aware of the influences that are coming into the safe places of our homes. Don’t fall into the tolerance trap. Stand strong for the morals and standards of the Church, even when the world is pushing against them.
“Tolerance is a virtue, but, like all virtues, when exaggerated it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the 'tolerance trap' so that we are not swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the spiritual consequences that result from the violation of God's law of chastity.”

Thoughts: If I honestly believe that keeping the commandments of God will lead to happiness, I can only encourage people to follow the commandments; otherwise, I either don’t believe that keeping the commandments really leads to happiness… or I don’t really love the people or I don’t really want their happiness. Maybe I care more about looking good. Or I care more about the relationship than I care about the people themselves.
Kindness is different from tolerance. Kindness is always a virtue. God is always kind… “for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” So I should always be kind.

The Lord will always forgive us, as long as we are willing to turn to Him.
No matter what I’ve done in the past, no matter what has happened in my life, I can always turn back to God and find Him… if I’m willing to turn back.

“In our Heavenly Father's great priesthood endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by a husband and wife.”

When I have family members or friends that have strayed, I should do all that I can, and then leave the rest in the Lord’s hands. God loves my family members/friends just as much as I do… and will always do what He can. I need to have faith in His ability.

Peace doesn’t come from external sources. It comes from keeping the commandments and turning to God, and is available to anyone who is willing to repent.

The Lord has shown me the way to find happiness – not just a way. If I want to find happiness and peace, I need to follow the pathway that He has laid out.

His entire talk was on chastity, and one of the clearest talks that I have ever heard him give on the topic. If you did not see it, or if you were tired when you watched it, or if you have any desire to understand what the Church’s position is on moral standards and the suggestion for members, click the link above and watch it again.
This was one of the most powerful talks on chastity that I have heard. I love Elder Bednar. I love that he is so articulate and speaks with incredible logic. The amazing thing is that his talk could be applied to any issue of chastity. Pornography, abuse, adultery, promiscuity, homosexuality... all of it applies. Which is awesome and amazing and inspired.

President Uchtdorf (Four Titles):

President Uchtdorf's talk on identity was powerful - I choose who I am. There are lots of labels that I could choose - gay, bipolar, autistic - but the most important, and the ones that I should use to define my life, are son, disciple, healer, and heir.

President Uchtdorf (The Hope of God's Light):

This is perhaps the best talk that President Uchtdorf has ever given. I extend the same invitation with this talk as I did with Elder Bednar's. Just go read/watch it again. The symbolism of light, darkness, and the hope that he offers in this talk was amazing, and an answer to my prayers for myself and for others.

I went to General Conference with a lot of questions this year. I didn't get any answers, but Sunday, in between sessions, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. And I realized that the Lord was one-upping my request for answers. I want answers for my life so that I can have peace - I want to be able to know what is going to come next. But do I need to know? I don't. I have the peace I wanted and, even without the answers, I can have faith that God will take care of me.

Elder Perry (Obedience to Law is Liberty):

Sometimes people wonder why gay Mormons would ever be a part of a church that "represses" them. I think that Elder Perry captured some of the things here that reflect reality - I'm not repressed by my beliefs - I'm freed by them. Knowing the pathway of happiness allows me to find happiness... and I don't have to worry about anything else.

Elder Holland (Lord, I Believe):

The Lord really does do miracles. If I'm willing to turn to Him, give my life to Him, He will heal me. Healing doesn't always come as a miracle that changes everything, or one that brings a child from death to life. Sometimes the healing comes in added strength. Sometimes it comes through friends and others who can support me. Sometimes it comes through a simple knowledge that I am getting stronger each day, even when my trials are getting harder and harder. And sometimes it just comes from a moment of peace in the midst of a storm of emotional turmoil. I know that miracles are possible - that anything is possible. But, no matter what happens, when I turn to Him in faith, the healing will come.

Conference this year was amazing. So much to think about. I hope that you found answers to your own questions.


  1. Great thoughts! I always love it when conference comes around.

    One little note, I think even kindness can be distorted by excess. A parent who is overly kind to their children can spoil them, and encourage bad habits. One can enable a bully in the name of kindness taken to excess. I tend to agree with Elder Packer in that any virtue can be warped in excess into a vice.

  2. David,
    First time to your site--totally by accident. I have been in your shoes and walked the walk, struggled, wept a thousand tears more like 10,000 times 10,000)--I know!!!! Currently I am--active LDS (truly not just socially), and happen to be a BYU Grad, still suffer(but to a lesser degree) from same gender attraction--however--I also am happily married--have wonderful children--and have had many spiritual experiences (revelations) which have enlightened my mind and expanded my life. DO NOT give up--the path though difficult is worth it. I have had good friends give up and give in, I have myself failed miserably in the past--but I have learned unfortunatly by my own experience there is only one path to happiness--as I said I know and I do!

    Best regards,


    Sorry, I don't know the dif. between the various identity designations so I just chose the last one for now.


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