Twenty Years of Reparative Therapy
I’ve been stewing on that all afternoon. Finally, decided to blog it.
Heart rending Heart breaking. Heart sickening.
As I pondered what had happened for TWENTY YEARS, my eyes welled up with tears….then outrage.
Lunch with a New Friend
Today, I lunched with a man and his fascinating story. I won’t recount much of it here, except what struck me in the heart.
He’s gay. Just a few years younger than me. Growing up, we were taught that gay people were evil perverts. They chose to be gay and could be cured. We completely believed this line, as it came from the church and its leaders. At 19, he served an honorable mission. Then married. Knowing full well that his attraction to men would subsequently go away. Of course it didn’t.
TWENTY YEARS of reparative therapy followed. Demeaning, disheartening, debasing, depressing…and now discredited. How faithful this man must have been to endure twenty years. How loyal he was to the church and to what it had told him.
My friend survived those TWENTY YEARS. But, he, his wife and his children still bear the scars of two dehumanizing decades.
How can any reasonable, compassionate person look upon this without feeling outrage? Reparative therapy was supported, sustained and championed by the LDS church. Its leaders referred both children and adults to endure this dreadful ‘cure.’ It didn’t work. It never worked. In only harmed.
No one spoke out. No one spoke up. We watched and listened. We trusted whatever came from leadership. No one terribly interested in what was happening to gay people. Bad things were happening. All sanctioned by the church that we believed could not err. It errs.
I Will Obey
I have been waffling a bit about continuing to obey the Law of Common Consent. In today’s Mormon culture, it’s uncomfortable and costly to cast a disapproving vote. It’s so much easier to take the cafeteria approach to the commandments and just ignore our role in church governance.
Today’s lunchtime horror has steeled my resolve to continue in obedience to the gorgeous Law of Common Consent.
Things have gone so awry that the current apostles have seen fit to condemn and disavow past practices and teachings. Good for them! Doctrines that were in the church for the vast majority of our history have now been denounced.
Jesus, through Joseph Smith, mandated a self-correcting system for governing the church. If we were to follow and obey Christ, we would get a lot less wrong. We could correct missteps before centuries passed.
We have hurt so many gay people with our discredited theories and practices. The church hasn’t yet condemned and disavowed reparative therapy or even worse ‘treatments.’ Well, I do condemn what we have done to our LGBT brothers and sisters in the past. Especially, after hearing of this man’s TWENTY YEAR subjugation. What we did was outrageous and wrong.
So…I’ve steeled my resolve to obey the Law of Common Consent. There are problems in the church. It’s time that the membership lived up to the responsibility that Jesus has given to us.
Are You Opposed?
If you are a member of the LDS church. If you are opposed to “policies, major decisions and other things that affect the lives of the Saints,” especially, policies that have never seen the light of Common Consent, then consider voting your true opinion and feelings.
Common Consent is the Law of God and the Law of the Church. It’s up to you and me, the common members, to make Common Consent the common rule of Christ’s church.
You have a voice. Consider standing up for what is right. Consider speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Consider taking the step to publicly register your disapproval on the Register of Common Consent HERE. I’m not alone in living Christ’s law of consent. We are now 311 strong.
- Information on LDS.ORG regarding Common Consent, click HERE. Please take note of this paragraph: “Not only are Church officers sustained by common consent, but this same principle operates for policies, major decisions, acceptance of new scripture, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints.”
- Scriptural information about Common Consent, click HERE.
- Disturbing membership Trends, click HERE.
- Do We Love Jesus Enough?, click HERE.
- The Only True Hope for The Only True Church, click HERE.
- My personal sadness over my friends and family leaving, click HERE.
6 thoughts on “Reparative Therapy–STEELS My Resolve to Obey”
Greetings, My Friend,
At the risk of pointing out the obvious . . . I will quote you:
“Jesus, through Joseph Smith, mandated a self-correcting system for governing the church. If we were to follow and obey Christ, we would get a lot less wrong. We could correct missteps before centuries passed.”
There is a logical fallacy in your statement. The logical fallacy to which I refer is described as argument from authority (Latin: argumentum ad verecundiam), also called an appeal to authority.
The authority you cite is Joseph Smith. The only alleged witness claiming that Jesus mandated the Law of Common Consent is Joseph Smith. In fact, Joseph Smith is the only witness for the claim that Jesus appeared to him, or for that matter, that Jesus allegedly instructed Joseph Smith to found the Mormon Church.
By their fruits ye shall know them.
I will leave it to your powers of discernment, Sam, to ponder the likelihood that Jesus Christ would voluntarily affiliate Himself with an organization that condones and promulgates Reparative Therapy.
I love and support you and what you are doing, Sam. As your friend, I feel like I should respectfully call your attention when you assert something that … well … gives one pause.
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Well thanks, Gary, for pointing out the obvious.
Logical fallacy? Until my faith transition, I have never even heard of the term. Now, I recognize that I live in a world of logical fallacy. Not just the Mormon church, but politics business and family.
However, I don’t view this instance as fallacious. The D&C was presented to the church and ratified by vote at a General Conference. Did Joseph Smith receive the Law of Common Consent from Jesus? I have no way to know that. But, as a church, we have accepted it as part of our founding documents.
Yes, I’m appealing to authority. But, it’s an authority recognized by the body of my church.
By their fruits ye shall know them? IMHO, the Law of Common Consent is a very good fruit. That we don’t obey it is very bad fruit. Good fruit on Joseph Smith for putting this commandment in our canon. Bad fruit on the membership for ignoring it.
Jesus & reparative therapy? I can’t speak for Him. Only me. I view reparative therapy as an impure and unholy practice. I’ve made a promise to God to avoid all such practices. And that’s just what I deem this ‘therapy’ to be…impure and wholly unholy.
Well, truth be told (heaven forbid!), the Church heavily relies on a cornucopia of Logical Fallacies to keep its House of Cards stuck together.
I get what you are saying about Common Consent being ratified by the membership, and subsequently ignored by Church leadership. True that it does not matter where the letter-of-the-law describing Common Consent came from. Just as it does not matter who drafts laws passed by Congress. Once it’s passed or ratified, it’s the law regardless of authorship.
No argument from me, Sam, that the Church would be a totally different Morganism if The Members are the ultimate governance authority instead of The Brethren.
I like how I just wrote “The Members” in caps, just like I write The Brethren. Actually, I should uncap “the brethren” and give them the “little b” they so richly deserve.
Maybe the grass roots, worldwide rebellion of The People finally rejecting the autocratic rule of The Elite will spread to the Mormon Church. You are certainly planting those seeds, Sam.
Food for Talkeria thought … perhaps.
BTW, it is genuine Humility for you to decline the opportunity or invitation to speak for Jesus, and to then offer your own perspective … speaking for and on behalf of Sam.
“the brethren” are in possession of no such Humility. They pretend to speak for Jesus every day of the week and three times on Sunday, non-stop, ad nauseam. They would not recognize Humility if it snuck up and bit ’em hard on the ass.
Grassroots Rebellion by The Members
The time has indeed come. You are leading the charge as a Free Agent of Change for the Better!
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If there’s one thing I cannot abide Sam, it is the idea that you were waffling in your support of Common Consent.
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Thanks for not abiding. I shouldn’t either. There’s something rotten in Denmark. My whole family lives in Denmark.
I recently had lunch with my oldest daughter. The first many months of my faith transition were devastating to family relationships. Once I chose to follow the teachings and example of Christ our connections started to mend. My wife and children are now supportive of my path. This includes voting opposed.
At lunch, I told my dear daughter that my votes are in consideration of my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Most are likely to remain in the church. I want it to better for their sake. She teared up in appreciation for her dad’s commitment to Christ and to her kids.
Even for those of us who leave, your efforts are much appreciated. As much as I’d like to leave the church alone, my parents and other family members are unlikely to leave – but it’s the people like you making it better for everyone, not those who “stay and obey.”
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