For many of us, the discovery and confirmation in early November 2015 of a new Church policy regarding LGBT couples and their children have led to tremendous despair–pain refreshed again just two weeks ago, on January 10, 2016, as President Russell M. Nelson while speaking to a church-wide audience of Young Single Adults assured all listening that the policy had come about through revelatory processes that convinced him and every member of the Twelve that this is what God has directed to be done. Prior to his address, as well as in the weeks since, many rumors have swirled about how the policy came to be, few of them matching well President Nelson’s description of the processes.
In this Mormon Matters episode, panelists Maxine Hanks and Tom Christofferson, along with podcast host Dan Wotherspoon, approach the events of these past two-and-a-half months in a different way than what has become typical in most areas of the LDS Bloggernacle. Rather than worry about the “behind the scenes” reports of all the events and persons who were the driving forces behind the new policy and wondering what all that meant for the current state of leadership within the Church’s leading councils, they have chosen to simply start with the Church’s own narratives–its statements related to the policy (the Handbook wording, Elder Todd Christofferson’s interview, the First Presidency clarification letter, and President Nelson’s talk)–as the best clues we have to the leaders’ wrestlings over LGBT issues, and to use these as lenses for starting conversations that face squarely exactly where the Church–leaders as well as all of us in the Mormon community–is right now on these matters. The panel has chosen to approach it from a stance of: “Here is the reality. Let’s look at all of this, at ourselves, at those around us, and figure out for ourselves our responsibility. What is it that God and our life experiences and own revelation is calling us to do? Might we come to see the announcements about this firm stance as a starting point for the real work of discipleship and Zion building?”
Please listen in at the various framings they come up with for what this moment means for the Church in its history, and with regard to their own sense of duty at this pivotal time. Then please share yours!