Whenever same-sex attraction and/or same-sex marriage is discussed, the focus tends to be on those who are already seeking/living in a same-gender relationship (a.k.a. gay and lesbian). But there is a forgotten group that experience homosexuality and who feel like they don’t fit into either side: that is members of the Church who experience same-sex attraction (SSA)and fight their temptations every day. They work so hard to obey their parents, church leaders, and God. They are on a roller coaster of emotions as they strive to live the commandments and discover their place in the Church and within God’s plan. Some days they are doing great; they have hit a milestone in their journey and are feeling on top of the world. Other days, they might feel low, hated, or feel like they can never improve, never be loved or accepted. And in all of those moments, we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), as children of God (literal brothers and sisters), need to offer our unconditional love, support and friendship no matter what.
I cannot speak from personal experience about what it means to have SSA as a member of the Church, but I do observe as a very close bystander. I speak from my experience watching a very dear family member come out and try to find his place both in the world and at Church. I have always loved him. I have tried so hard to perfectly understand him, at all times, but there are so many times where I feel like I have failed him miserably. He is a beautiful son of God. I know that God loves him. As I have watched and been a part of his journey, I have learned a few things: Continue reading →
50%? 75%? 90%? Just how obedient is obedient enough? Saul and some sheep will show us.
I taught the Old Testament twice during my seminary teaching. It was both intimidating and exciting. There are so many wonderful stories with so much application to our lives today in those ancient pages. One of my favorites is found in the book of First Samuel, and I’d like to remind you of it now.
Per the Lord’s instruction, the prophet Samuel has called Saul to be the first King of Israel. Scripture records that Saul was:
“…a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he:…” 
At one point the Lord gives King Saul a very clear command:
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” [1 Samuel 15:3]
He departs with his forces to fulfill the task. The scriptures record what happens next this way: Continue reading →
We invite LDS women from all around to remember Emma Hale Smith on this, her birthday, July 10, 1804. Her life was one of great turbulence and difficulty. It’s hard to imagine there was a time when many of the women of the church didn’t like Emma, and never discussed her in Relief Society meetings. To our shame, we must renounce this mistaken belief.
Emma had to live through what many of us may not have been able to. She remains an example of dedication, strength, and grace.
Called to be our first Relief Society president on March 17, 1842, Emma unified the sisters as a powerful force for good. When rumors of polygamy abounded, it became such an emotional strain on her, among the other many trials she was experiencing, she couldn’t stand in front of her sisters any longer.
One thing you may not know is this mark of genuine love and forgiveness. While Emma stayed behind in Nauvoo, and Eliza R. Snow became the well-known mover and shaker of Relief Society, Eliza appears to have respected and honored Emma’s position as Relief Society President. Continue reading →