In the three months since the Church announced its new policy regarding LGBT persons and their children, we seem to increasingly encounter talk among LDS leaders and members that seems integrally tied to aspects of Christian and Mormon thinking about the Apocalyse: the end times prophesied to be proceeded by great calamities as well as the choosing of sides, a separation of the sheep from the goats, a time when even the very elect can be deceived, a time of judgment against the wicked and triumph for the for the good. Does the continued (or increased) presence of rhetoric associated with the “end times” help explain how the new policy might have found such a clear path into LDS policy, as well as how easily it has been accepted by many within the fold who don’t understand the need for it themselves but choose not to speak up about it as much as they might otherwise? How is the notion of a looming Apocalypse affecting the way certain messaging around LGBT (and other) controversial issues are framed? Is it aiding in the creation of a stronger notion of in- and out-groups, LDS “identity,” and other forms of boundary maintenance? Is this a new phenomenon, or simply a continuation of ways other controversial and seemingly challenging issues have been talked about in the past? If we so desire, how might we counter the effects of such thinking in today’s Mormonism?
Please listen to this discussion between two fantastic thinkers and church watchers, Mark Crego and Jason Nelson Seawright, and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and then share your thoughts in the comments section below!
B. Stanley Benfell III, “Watching,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26, no. 3 (Fall 1993), 143–150.
Dan Wotherspoon, “Through These People,” Sunstone 142 (September 2006), 11–13.