A stronger comment

I was listening to These things I know by Boyd K. Packer this evening. You might remember the talk, like I did, for the poem that be recited having written bits of it at 68, 78, and 88 years old. You might even remember the story about the finches in his backyard and the snakes that suddenly showed up one week.

Among his comments there was an interesting quote:

Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the “tolerance trap” so that we are not swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result of the violation of God’s law of chastity.

I thought it all the more interesting for the subtle but direct warning that it holds: just because it is legal does not make it moral. It is a interesting point and can apply to many things: marriage fidelity, abortions, and homosexuality are big ones that are debated currently. We need to be accepting and tolerant, but that does not make such things truly okay.

Quoting again from his comments:

Alma taught that "the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance." In order to understand this, we must separate the sin from the sinner.
For example, when they brought before the Savior a woman taken in adultery, obviously guilty, He dismissed the case with five words: "Go, and sin no more." That is the spirit of His ministry.

In all of this, I have to say that my thoughts are drawn back to some comments made this last week in Sunday School. We were discussing the Word of Wisdom and, between comments about do's, don'ts, and over reachings being settled with "all things in moderation", someone brought the focus back to the fourth verse of that section and specifically to how it was given "[i]n consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men". In their comments were the ideas that this was not given an exhaustive list but some points to consider where conspiring people with lead even the elect away from the true course. From the list we are to watch, learn, judge, and move forward according to our conscience.

Doing good is not always doing what is right and, sadly, doing what is right doesn't always feel good at the time. It is a matter of what kind of person we want to be.


I wanted to make sure I was abundantly clear on one thing. I'm not saying that people who are lesbian/gay are bad people. I know a guy from high school who came out a few years back and I still think he is a great guy.

I don't know the right way to respond to any part of it. From a biological/evolution perspective it doesn't make sense, we wouldn't exist and our posterity wont exist if men and women don't have feeling for each other. And yes, I recognize, that the ability to have a child is not dependent on feelings of love but on the physical act of sex.

I do not doubt that they love the people who they say they love. And I'm not saying that they shouldn't be entitled socially or legally to the same rights to act on those feelings. I'm simply saying that, to me, it seems like somewhere in that path is a slippery piece of slope.

God will judge everyone individually according to their conditions. Everyone's opportunities, trials, difficulties, and experiences are different. I believe that the expectations that God has for everyone's life individually are also different (in accordance with conditions and situations). The scriptures contain the most general or most widely applicable laws.

I do not know how to judge this thing, so I choose not to. I love them. I imagine that I will meet more people who come out or I will meet knowing this about them. I will love them too, or at least hope to do so.

And no, I don't think my view point leaves me conflicted or short sighted. I feel it makes sense logically, both biologically and with evolution, and (more importantly) it feels right spiritually. Said Christ, "Judge not". I don't think that was just so we wouldn't be judgmental, rude, or conceded. I think it was also a warning that we wouldn't be able to judge all things, and that was okay.

I, personally, will leave it to those who have been called and blessed with the spirit of discernment, who are the Judges in Israel, to make those calls in the same manner as Christ will: individually. And what ever they choose, I will continue to love people.