Pray the Gay Away


Mormons Are Good

Members of the Mormon church are a good, loving and brave people.  Brave enough to stand up to dangerous and distorted teachings.  Strong enough to put their foot down even when these dangers are found in their own church—I hope!

Outdated, Harmful and Dangerous Counsel

For decades, the cardinal counsel doled to our gay kids was to ‘Pray the Gay Away.’  This admonition was given by bishops, stake presidents and parents.  It was sanctioned by the apostles and prophets.

As it turns out, this is the worst possible prescription to give these vulnerable children.  Born out by research, science and the lived experience of my very closest friends, it is now recognized that this approach doesn’t work.  It has never worked.  The gay child prays and prays and prays.  No answer, no answer, no answer.  Eventually, depression descends.  The child assumes he must be wicked and worthless in the eyes of God because Deity doesn’t answer the poor kid’s prayers.  A promise made by his trusted priesthood leaders.

I realize that this ill advised counsel was given in ignorance.  We are no longer ignorant.  So, this counsel should never be given, again.  Unless, we really do hate our gay kids.  And want them depressed, dejected and suicidal.  Of course, we don’t want that…I hope!

Not Dead Yet

I thought ‘Pray the Gay Away’ had died a merciful death in the church corridors.  Apparently it hasn’t.

Today, I became aware of a young gay man who was told to get help from a counselor to essentially ‘Pray the Gay Away.’  He was also informed that he can never be happy on “this path.”   Fortunately, the young man has adopted a healthy attitude: “There’s nothing I need to fix.  I was born this way, and for me that’s ok.  I’m happy I was born gay.”

Wow!  Right on, my young friend.  There is nothing to fix.  You were born just the way God created you.

A Call to Courageous Mormons

Core to Christ’s teaching and example is looking out for the “least of these.”  Gay people are not lesser in any way.  But for my entire life, we have treated them as a lower form, far below us.  This proclivity is still prevalent in our LDS culture.

What would Jesus do if he were here?  You know what he would do…I hope.

So, where are the brave members who will stand up to the deleterious directive to ‘Pray the Gay Away?’  It’s time that it die, never to be resurrected again.

  • Eliminate the dreadfully detrimental ‘Pray the Gay Away’
  • Stand up and speak out.
  • Don’t remain silent.
  • Let your leaders know that this counsel must go.
  • Let your friends know that this counsel must go.
  • Protect our kids from depression & suicide risk

3 thoughts on “Pray the Gay Away

  1. An addendum- get rid of that horrific Exclusion Policy. No ally of LGBTQIAP persons can support such a horrid policy. Any such ally must unequivocally disavow it and its use in the LDS church.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I heartily applaud the sentiments expressed herein! I am not gay but most certainly am an Ally! Unfortunately, for you ideas to work fully (some leaders might be amenable), the Church would have to be a democracy. It is not. It works top down. God tells the Prophets, they tell the people. God is too busy finding lost keys and such to keep up with societal changes, apparently.

    But maybe, maybe if enough noise from the membership happens, God may hear the cries and new policy/doctrine will be revealed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, Sam, that the counsel to “pray away the gay” has been given in ignorance. Unfortunately, there are too many church members and leaders who truly believe this can be done. I have known many people who happen to be gay and they are all wonderful, loving, kind, strong and spiritual human beings. They are easy to love and my heart aches for them to be judged so harshly by their spiritual leaders. Most of those I know are happy, productive and do their best to be good members of society. Thank you for your thoughts – their are many of us who totally agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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