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Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon
Mitch Mayne, who is openly gay, hopes his newly assumed Mormon leadership position will increase understanding.
September 24th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Early on in life, Mitch Mayne knew exactly who he was.

He would race home from school to watch reruns of “Star Trek” and swoon over his crush, Captain Kirk. At 8, after his parents converted, he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith he embraced. Even after he drifted away from the LDS Church following his parents’ divorce, he came back to Mormonism on his own in his mid-20s.

It is where he feels spiritually at home, irrespective of the fact that, for the past 10 years, he’s been openly gay.

“I’m a man that lives in two worlds that a lot of people don’t think intersect,” Mayne said. “Both sides of myself exist in me. It’s part of my DNA, part of my makeup.”

Actively Mormon and openly gay: It's the sort of combo that might leave people wondering. After all, the LDS Church teaches that homosexuality, specifically if same-sex attractions are acted upon, is a sin. And the church has actively backed measures to ban same-sex marriages.

Now, Mayne finds himself in the spotlight as he embarks on a journey he says “belongs to all of us.” In mid-August he was selected, or called (as Mormons say) by local church officials to serve in an LDS Church leadership position in San Francisco.

Mayne’s appointment may have generated attention, but he’s not the first gay Mormon to assume a leadership role in the church.

In Seattle, Washington, and Oakland, California, gay men have reportedly served in LDS Church leadership roles, Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote in her piece about Mayne in The Salt Lake Tribune. What makes Mayne unique, Stack said, is that he "may be the first local LDS leader to announce his orientation over the pulpit.”

Late last month, from the pulpit, Mayne revealed - to anyone who didn't already know - who he is:

"I am a gay Latter-day Saint.

"I don't want pity. To pity me is to make me a victim. I want understanding. To understand me is to love me as an equal.

"I don't want tolerance. If I am tolerated, I am disliked in some way. I want respect as a fellow striving child of God - an equal in his eyes.

"I don't want acceptance. To accept me is to graciously grant me the favor of your company. To accept me is to marginalize me with the assumption that I am less than you. I am your peer. I am neither above you nor below you."

Mayne shared these words during a farewell address to the Oakland ward he long attended, amid an announcement that he would be leaving because he had been named the executive secretary to the bishop of the Bay Ward. It is a role in which he'll offer administrative help but also take part in shaping congregational work.

“While that’s not a big accomplishment in and of itself,” Mayne said, “it is a remarkable accomplishment for the simple fact that maybe for the first time, a man was called to a priesthood leadership position not in spite of the fact that he is gay, but partly because he is gay.”

For those unfamiliar with LDS Church vernacular, a ward is essentially a congregation or, to use Catholic terminology, a parish. Various wards fall under the auspices of a stake, the rough equivalent of a diocese. In this case, the Bay Ward is one of three wards that make up the San Francisco Stake.

The LDS Church, which entrusts local leaders to determine local callings, does not pay clergy, nor does it send would-be bishops to seminary. So Mayne, like the bishop who called him to serve, is a volunteer who works for the church on top of his full-time corporate communications job.

Don Fletcher, an ophthalmologist, said that when he was called last month to serve as the bishop and leader of the Bay Ward he wanted to make sure every Latter-day Saint in his ward knew they were welcome, including the vast majority who weren't showing up. Of the 950 members on the books, only 150 were appearing in the pews.

Because the Bay Ward serves a geographic area in San Francisco that includes the famously gay, rainbow-flag-waving Castro neighborhood, it stands to reason that a segment of those not attending church are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Among those who have been absent are members who grew up steeped in Mormonism, faithfully served as missionaries and have families still active in the church. For Fletcher, making members of the LGBT community feel comfortable enough to walk through his congregation's doors is personal.

Fletcher has a gay family member with AIDS and says he has seen firsthand how isolating that can be in the Mormon world.

“I love my church and have a lot of faith, but culturally we haven’t done a good job in dealing with people who are gay when they face life challenges,” whether that be coming out, depression or struggles with suicide or illness, Fletcher said. “I wanted to address it in the ward I live in.”

The response in his ward, and from other Mormons he has heard from, has been nothing but positive, "uniformly, no exception," the bishop said. And, he added with a laugh, in the past month he’s broadened his own knowledge – or, rather, his lingo base - learning about “the ‘Moho community,' Mormons who are homosexual. That was a new one to me.”

The LDS Church's top leadership, and by extension many Mormons sitting in pews, heavily supported the campaign behind Proposition 8, the 2008 California initiative to ban same-sex marriage, which is currently tied up in the state’s high court.

Church doctrine says members should avoid sexual relations until marriage, which only can exist between a man and a woman. But the church’s involvement in the Prop 8 battle, and the Mormons who financially fueled the effort, created rifts in wards, spawned protests outside LDS temples and pushed some members, likely already on the churchgoing fence, out the door.

The Oakland First Ward, which Mayne attended for more than a decade, held a series of meetings to help heal those post-Prop 8 wounds. He said he sees his new church position in San Francisco’s Bay Ward as an extension of such bridge-building and a positive evolution from where he once was. The appointment will allow him to do extensive outreach in the LGBT and Mormon communities.

“It’s been hard to be a gay Mormon,” Mayne said. In the course of his life, he said he came out "no less than three times to bishops and stake presidents, and each time I was pushed back into the closet. … This is an opportunity to take my own pain and challenges and make it an opportunity to help. How can I not do that?”

He and Fletcher have already seen dividends from Mayne's calling. On a recent Sunday, Fletcher said he looked out to see seven formerly absent members take their seats in the pews because Mayne is there.

“I talked to a couple that hadn’t been to church in 20 years,” Fletcher said. “I’m not reinventing doctrine. I’m just trying to put in place what Jesus Christ would have us doing. … Even if you’re in a gay relationship and have no interest in living all the commandments, you’re still welcome in church, by all means.”

The development has stirred up discussion far beyond California. In one week, Mayne said, his personal website, which links to a blog in which he writes openly about who he is, received 30,000 views from 67 countries.

“I’m not a lone wolf on this,” he said. “I just happen to be a face of it. … There is a place for everyone at our savior’s table.”

But not everyone is as confident that Mayne’s calling will make a difference.

“I’m conflicted about this,” said Eric Ethington of Salt Lake City, the founder of the LGBT blog PRIDEinUtah.

“On the one hand, I view this as a positive step forward for the church, a church that has a history of extreme persecutions against the LGBT community,” he said. “But on the other hand,  I worry about LGBT people … because the church teaches you that you cannot reach your full potential and have full acceptance in the church unless you marry someone of the opposite sex.”

Ethington was raised in the LDS Church and says he was kicked out of the house when he came out at 17. He later closeted himself and married a woman in an LDS temple, only to divorce a couple of years later after realizing he was kidding himself.

“I can’t share (Mitch’s) optimism, but I share his hope,” he said. “Whether the church is ever going to change its policies, that’s a question for (LDS Church President) Thomas Monson. But one thing I hope the church will do, and maybe Mitch can help with this, is educate local leadership. Some kids are gay. … And that’s OK.”

Ethington pointed out, though, that Mayne, who was in a longtime monogamous relationship until a year ago, was only able to get his church calling because he’s not currently with someone.

“If he falls in love again and wants to be with that man, he won’t be allowed to serve,” he said.

Matt Mosman, a high councilor with the San Francisco Stake, said that if Mayne were to find himself in another romantic relationship, there would be an expectation that he would step down.

But the expectation that Mayne will abstain from premarital sex while in a leadership role, Mosman added, is no different from what would be expected of a single man who is not gay.

“The idea that a gay man who is not currently active in a gay relationship could serve actively in a high-ranking calling – that is a policy in the Mormon church that you could argue has been around since the church’s inception,” said Mosman, who works in corporate development.

For now, Mayne looks forward to his service and to promoting conversations and understanding. He will not, however, commit to a life of celibacy and hopes, “for all my gay brothers and sisters,” that same-sex marriage will someday be an option.

“I’m not saying I have an intent to go out and sin,” he said. “Here’s where I am; I am able and willing to serve. But I don’t have a crystal ball and don’t know what the future holds.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Homosexuality • Mormonism • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (1,700 Responses)
  1. Dman

    So he is "openly" gay, but has to preach and believe that gay relationships are wrong, and if he enters a relationship he will be kicked out of the church? How is that an example of the mormon church moving forward?

    September 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • myklds

      Because there's nothing wrong with being gay. They are born that way, that's why the church never condemn gays but it firmly believe that they still have the choice whether to engage in a gay relationship or follow the teachings of the church. It's their call still.

      September 27, 2011 at 7:21 am |
  2. Kenny

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." – Ghandi

    September 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Kyle

      We Mormons love you, but don't be bringing any of your nasty friends over. We embrace you, but don't be telling me where you went and what you did this weekend. We accept you, but don't put any pictures of significant others on your desk. We've always loved the gay community, but we did have to spend millions upon millions of dollars making certain that Proposition 8 stopped them in their tracks. But really, we just looooooooooove y'all. By the way, were you able to collect any money from those few people who showed up after not being in church for 20 years? More anti-gay campaigns coming up in the future and we will need every cent! We really love you people.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  3. Cheryl

    STOP! making things so difficult for us GAYS. Im a lesbian and an ex-mormon that will be a battle always! Your trying to make apples and oranges fit together but it wont happen! Trying to get acceptance from this crowd your just wasting their time and yours! IF you have this much energy increase your efforts in the SLC gay community lawd knows we need it! Stop

    September 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Don

      With friends like "the church", who the hell needs enemies? This guy is kidding himself and the volunteer basis makes it even more egregious. I too enjoyed Captain Kirk, but Robert Conrad from the Wild Wild West looked better in tights.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      There is a rich history of folks who split from their traditional churches and forming their own. I have visited gay and alternative lifestyle houses of worship and it was a very faithful visit to worship.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  4. meccano

    Either accept gay people or don't. Business is slow? So when you have only 10% of your brood, ward, congregation or whatever showing up every Sunday I guess you have to make a show that you are sort of, but not really, ok but not cool with certain types of people. Fewer people go to church year after year and if that is the business you are in very often you find yourself with diminishing returns. Now some religions who had previously promised fire and brimstone to the LGBT community and going to say...what? What are they saying exactly? We know you're gay, but that isn't OK or it's OK if your gay but don't act upon being gay even though that is the way god made you although were not saying god made you that way but you're still sorta all god's children....maybe....or at least on Sundays when we past the basket around. The whole story is perplexing.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Ramona

      As the Beatles would say, "Whatever gets you through the night. It's alright". Personally I'd rather have a warm body that I loved with all my might next to me. I never wanted to be where I couldn't be me. Obviously this guy does.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  5. Mitch

    He's kinda hot...

    September 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Wil in LA

      I agree. I would date him.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • meccano

      You two both better stop right now. You're gonna get his magic underwear all tied up in knots and then he is gonna loose his job he just "called" to.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Andy

      ...if you are into toupee's.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  6. Muneef

    Observer..

    They say;

    -Don't wash your dirty linen in public.
    -The rotten apple in jures its neighbors.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Muneef,

      You said you didn't want to talk about gays anymore and I honored your request. If you want to continue the discussion, then explain what you meant.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Kraken

      Muneef,

      Mohammed's brother slept with 5 thugs, and now we see the result. Nothing.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      Observer.

      Yes thank you I just wanted to catch up with you to say that every country must have like those but at least they compel them to have their privacy and confidentiality...they are not allowed to go on and speak of or act upon of it openly,publicly...
      Because such habits could attract more to join it as a bad apple with do to it's neighbor healthy apples !!!....

      Another thing to say is that we can not consider that all "Lot's" "Sodom and Gomorrah" were having DNA problem ! Otherwise what's the point of sending a messenger to whom had no control over their being what they are...? Many fell in their childhood or youth but the doors of repentance are wide open...!! That's all I wanted to say as am not much in to details....with all respect to you...

      September 26, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Muneef, why don't you keep YOUR confidentiality and just shut up?

      September 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Muneef

      Tom.
      You are right...it is not my concern and you know what you are doing calling for total freedoms is your right but have to figure which freedoms to call upon "right from wrong" and be aware where it could all lead to for the whole nations since yours claim to be the capital of the world... Believe it, even "Swine Flu" when it came to our countries was from Amirican airports flights through students coming back home...!!

      September 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  7. Billy

    Mitch Mayne... you are beautiful. But I'd find it hard to be part of a religion that would spend tens of millions to fight against gay rights.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jeffrey

      Most gay men I know have more respect for themselves than to hop on the Jesus wagon with rabid sky worshipers looking for their next dollar in San Francisco after they just bent this community over the table with their vehemently anti-gay participation in Proposition 8.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  8. what

    Mitch, what is with that photo with your shirt unbuttoned? Are you trying to look mormon, or are you trying to find that special someone through all this publicity? Seems like you're in it for the money or the fame.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  9. Dave

    What a great posting and a great example of what the LDS church is all about: loving and being kind to everyone. I teach my children that marriage is between one man and one woman, but that others have different opinions. I'm hopeful that we can continue to be kind to everyone and that this story can show that the LDS church loves and accepts all of its members.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Andy

      While you are throwing love pedals in the air, real people are being crapped on by the federal government through increased taxes since their relationships are not given the proper respect that you insist on for your religion.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Regina

      You can teach your kids whatever you want, but if one or more of them are gay, there isn't a thing you can do about it.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  10. Richard S Kaiser

    I wrote the following on Monady, September 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm, "The Celestial Omniverse or Cosmos is where the Gods of our embodied buildings go once we die and not where we of manhood or womanhood or even childhood go. When we die, we go to this earth's (Gaia) many heavens within her Heavenly confines."

    Because we are all Gods' Buildings and Temples it seems only logical that the Gods who invested such a great deal of Time creating and maintaining our Buildings/Bodies, should get the better bargain. That leaves poor old us folks to be given but a sliver of this Gaian heavens of Her Heavenly garments, these Fractal Cosmologic inner space universes I keep bringing up.

    1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

    GOD the Celestial Cosmos grants to HIS Son which are our body's Gods their own Celestail Universe for all the work they did and have accomplished. Afterall our buildings could not be maintained forever and an end of our building's decaying away is due nin part to our body's are too stocked up on its' God's Families and servants and subjects to the point of overflowing. The damn needs to be broken.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Binky42

      Crazy. Just plain crazy.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Observer

      – Isaiah 34:7 “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”
      – Job 39:9-10 “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?”

      September 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • thierryjtaule

      i hear the cookoo clock sound. "coo koo..... coo koo .......coo koo!

      September 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Observer

      What do you Ob truly know about Fractal Cosmology and Celstial Cosmology and Cellular Cosmology?

      Why must you Observerer always bring up the foibles of the Gospel when I told you the we should "RIGHTLY divide the word of Truth?

      2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Observer et al,,,,,,

      Mat 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

      In searching have you found yet, “The Kingdom of God?”

      Jhn 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

      The Lord Christ Jesus has stated himself that this world is NOT of His Kingdom and perhaps never will be,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

      Being God’s husbandry, we are all given the chance to procreate and thru procreation God places His Hopes that one day soon someone will have an eye to see and in seeing know without a doubt that we are outrightly but Buildings of God’s grand design!

      1Cr 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

      Some of God’s buildings are as Temples and in these Temples of Godliness, does reside the spirit of God’s wealthiness. I though am but a building for I did spend most of my days, not doing the things that God has set upon me to do. I nowadays write what the Holy Spirit inside me dictates to me to write.

      Luk 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside/within you."

      Alas, The Kingdom of God is truly inside us! Thank you Lord Christ Jesus for saying it in your Word!

      Thus the Truth is revealed and rightly I may add.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Observer

      Truth is indivisible. You can SEPARATE truth from lies, but you can't DIVIDE it. It's the same lack of math knowledge shown in the Bible when it claimed that pi was 3.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • victoria

      So will the project end in 2012? Have we learned what we needed to learn?

      September 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • steelerguin

      Richard, you may be quoting the gospel but have no idea about its meaning or context. The new testament is about Jesus and not about this crazy cosmology stuff. I pray that your eyes may be opened.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      victoria wrote on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm, stating, "So will the project end in 2012? Have we learned what we needed to learn?"

      Mixing the Mayan decree are we? GOD and His Sons, the Gods who inhabit our bodies which are but temples and buildings of cellular designations do not want an end to come to our civilization. They want us to flourish and gain countenance in the many things to come in our ongoing generations far into our futures. We do need to be a globular civilzation worthy of stepping foot across this deep spatial void or Sea of Nothingness which is GOD's Holy Spirit.

      GOD, the Celestial Cosmos is a foreverness and HE is remaking the Cosmos as we speak. It will eventually become a new earth, unlike that of this earth! This though will take an eternity of Time and we will become GOD's chosen generations in future Time where we build things with stars and planets and moons the likes and means and ways not yet rationalized by science.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Zzzzz

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

      September 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Richard,

      Keep talking about "GOD's Holy Spirit" being the "Sea of Nothingness" and you might be able to unite people of both sides of the issue of religion.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      steelerguin wrote on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm, stating, "Richard, you may be quoting the gospel but have no idea about its meaning or context. The new testament is about Jesus and not about this crazy cosmology stuff. I pray that your eyes may be opened."

      I do know steelerguin, that our Lord Christ Jesus died for every Life sins be it in the past or present or ever more and in His taking His stance to die for us and our sins upon the Cross at Calvary, we are admonished of guilt and found blameless. My life passings were wrought in sinfulness ways.

      Now in my 50's I can only loook back and see that which I have done wrong. I cannot change it nor would Christ Jesus want me to. My now Life is anew and full of the Holy Spirit's warmth deep inside my heart. I see what the Lord wants me to do and I do it. I play my guitar. I dream about an artwork He wants me to do. Soon, I will do it even though this artwork will take the rest of my Life to accomplish, the Lord will grant me the Time to complete it. I am a lowly god built by a God whose family members and servants and subjects do all live out their days inside me, my building my temple built by God and is in residence thereof..

      "crazy cosmology stuff"? Hardly! Fractal and Celestial and Cellular Cosmologies are the dreams that GOD did manifest and His Holy Spirit that is the Sea of Nothingness oand we call it Outer Space. This Nothingness goes deep inside all things to the depths of Inner Space where there are miniature universes very similar to the universes within the Celestial Heavens of Outer Space. Our Cellular bodies are more than buildings. They are a miniaturized Cosmos of Intellectual Design fabricated by GOD's Sons.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Observer

      Richard,

      You really didn't answer steelerguin's question about the "Sea of Nothingness". It didn't come from the Bible. Did it come from the Internet or a dream?

      September 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Observer wrote me on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm stating, "Richard, Keep talking about "GOD's Holy Spirit" being the "Sea of Nothingness" and you might be able to unite people of both sides of the issue of religion."

      R U pulling my leg on this subject or are you coming towards and understanding regarding my Faith?

      No matter, I will magnify the concept.

      The Holy Sea of Nothingness which we call Outer Space and does hold innumerable amounts of Celestial Universes does have many rivers and streams and creeks that are swept inwardly and hold in their confining ways miniaturized universes we know of as being atomic in nature of thoughts. GOD, who is the wholeness of the Cosmos is ever stretching Himself outwardly to give new life by way of new universes their chance rewards for keeping each and every body of cellular life together for as long as possible. Inside Life which are but buildings, temples and yes miniature cosmos there lives GOD's children and their many generations. Our reward will be a granting of a singular heaven of immeasurable heavens here upon this earth;s (Gaia) Heavenly Realms. It, a singular heaven is where we will find an eternity to live life with richness and abundant measure.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jesus, Dickie, get a freakin' dictionary and a thesaurus. You're a moron.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  11. My God's Bigger Than Yours

    This is ridiculous. Have fun making friends with all those people who think you're going to hell. Idiot.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Dave

      Sorry, I'm a faithful LDS and in no way do I believe he is condemned, nor would majority of LDS members.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Gregg

      Get real! He is condemned by that crazy church. He is not the only one they condemn. They condemn all gay people, all dead gay people and all future gay people. They are sick and are looking to breed with reckless abandon to make certain that they have a large spiritual family in the sky.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Fellow Mormon

      I too am Mormon.
      (a straight married Mormon woman with 4 children)
      I have nothing but positive feelings, and best wishes for Mitch. I absolutely DO consider him an equal. I don't pity him, or envy him. He has strengths, weaknesses, and trials just as I do. He is no more condemed to Hell then I am. Just like Mitch I'm trying to be the best person I can be. Trying to love and serve others.
      It's unfortunate that the stance of Mormons is so often misunderstood. God is awesome! He loves ALL of his children! And only God can judge us in the end. Marriage is sacred to me, and I believe that certain intimate relations should take place only after marriage. (Between a man and woman)
      I can only imagine how hard it is for some who don't have the opportunity to marry. Be they gay, fat, different, or just haven't found someone to love. I deeply admire those that are still able to live moral, honorable, productive lives.
      Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.
      My words are not meant to offend, they are my personal convictions. I'm honored to live in a world where I can express mine, you can express yours and we can both learn from each other.

      September 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  12. Pete

    Mitch has got BALLS!

    September 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  13. N

    A bishop's executive secretary is hardly a 'leadership position'. They make it sound like he's been relocated for this special 'appointment'. In reality, almost everyone in the ward has a calling. They like to keep everybody busy. The executive secretary is just a fancy way of saying the guy who schedules the appointments at the local meetinghouse. They probably gave that job to him because they'd rather he not have a different calling with the youth or as a sunday school teacher.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Mrs. Ashby

      This guy has NAIVE written all across his face.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  14. With Love for Neighbor.

    The Bottom line is Jesus taught one way to live. One culture so to say.
    And it involes "agape love" principled Love for God and then neighbor.
    This is what Jeuse taught. We can't not change what the bible says to suit our mood of the day.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Does "love thy neighbor" matter when h0mophobic Christians trash gays?

      September 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • With Love for Neighbor.

      h0mophobic not at all.
      All people on our planet seek to be happy.. We are all looking for true Happiness??yes
      That is what the bibles mesage is. How to find True happiness.
      Armegeden is the end of this system of wickness. A warning of jugdment was also included in Jesus message
      thats all ...

      September 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • meccano

      The bottom line is you have no idea what Jesus taught and you just take other's word for it who themselves pick and choose from writings about him. Your faith is based on faith – NOT bottom lines. The faith that who you are listening to is correct and has no basis in reality one way or the other BECAUSE IT IS BASED OB FAITH and not FACT. THAT is the bottom line.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Mrs. Ashby

      Assuming that we give any credence to the Bible whatsoever.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "We can't not change"?

      You know, you're right, we can't not change the nonsense we read in the Bible. We have to do just that. Change it.

      Because it's wrong.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  15. God

    He can serve until he actually does something gay. That is gay.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Observer

      What about the far far greater number of Christians who commit adultery by remarrying? Does anything happen to them for adultery?

      September 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    Mormons try very hard to be politically correct, but their own docu.ments betray their true beliefs.

    "The Juvenile Instructor" is an LDS tome used to indoctrinate children.
    Here is an excerpt from an early edition:
    "We will first inquire into the results of the approbation or displeasure of God upon a people, starting with the belief that a black skin is a mark of the curse of Heaven placed upon some portions of mankind. Some, however, will argue that a black skin is not a curse, nor a white skin a blessing. In fact, some have been so foolish as to believe and say that a black skin is a blessing, and that the ne.gro is the finest type of a perfect man that exists on the earth; but to us such teachings are foolishness.
    We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God's favored servants being of a black race...every angel who ever brought a message of God's mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun. (Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 3, page 157)
    100 years later, LDS followers became more "tolerant" and published statements like this:
    "I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Neg.ro. Dar.kies are wonderful people, and they have their place in our church."
    – Joseph Fielding Smith, Look magazine, October 22, 1963, page 79
    In 1947, Dr. Lowry Nelson – a Mormon himself – sent a letter to the Mormon First Presidency questioning the official racist doctrines.
    The reply he received said, in part:
    "From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Neg.roes are not ent.itled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
    "Furthermore your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Neg.ro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient partiarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous."
    – George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay
    Finally, in 1978 the Mormons had a revelation allowing blacks into the priesthood – conveniently at the exact time that they were expanding beyond the U.S. into countries full of "cursed" people, like Brazil.
    Today, while there is no official policy of segregation, the old prejudices still exist.
    Black LDS church member Darron Smith wrote in 2003:
    "Even though the priesthood ban was repealed in 1978, the discourse that constructs what blackness means is still very much intact today. Under the direction of President Spencer W. Kimball, the First Presidency and the Twelve removed the policy that denied black people the priesthood but did very little to disrupt the multiple discourses that had fostered the policy in the first place. Hence there are Church members today who continue to summon and teach at every level of Church education the racial discourse that black people are descendants of Cain, that they merited lesser earthly privilege because they were "fence-sitters" in the War in Heaven, and that, science and climatic factors aside, there is a link between skin color and righteousness"
    Mormon scripture specifically referencing race includes (from the Book of Mormon):
    1 Nephi 11:8
    1 Nephi 11:13
    1 Nephi 12:23
    1 Nephi 13:15
    2 Nephi 5:21
    2 Nephi 30:6 (1830 edition)
    Jacob 3:8
    Alma 3:6
    3 Nephi 2:15
    Mormon 5:15

    I haven't done a hunt through their archives for references to hom.ose.xuality, but it is on the docket!

    September 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • REM

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

      September 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  17. Brain

    This is as bad as "Pray the Gay Away." Mormon church saying it is okay to be gay just don't act on it is one of the most descructive things they do. Then when the Gay mormon's acts on their feelings, they are left with shame and feelings they did something wrong. This is why Suicides are so high with Gay people who are brought up Mormon.
    Please take this posting down. It is very descrutive.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Wendy

      Hear! Hear!

      September 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • pancho

      I don't understand why the need to be accepted. If I disagree with your lifestyle why do you have to make me accept it. Why do I have to go against my belief just so you can feel good about yourself. The truth is that if you are gay and you leave like that then that's you. I don't hate you, I don't dislike you, I don't discriminate but by no means am I accepting that life style. That's my choice just like its your choice to be ok. I won't judge you for your decision so don't judge me for mine.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  18. zach

    The million-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust?Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. God, who the Bible says is "rich in mercy," sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for guilty sinners. We broke God's Law, but Jesus paid our fine. That means He can legally dismiss our case. He can commute our death sentence: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and God will grant everlasting life to all who trust in Jesus. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

    Romans 10:9

    needGod.com
    Livingwaters.com

    September 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • With Love for Neighbor.

      I don't wnat to debate the heaven and hell doctrine with you.
      however very nice post... iamjw

      September 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I think you've been watching too much Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  19. zach

    The million-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. God, who the Bible says is "rich in mercy," sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for guilty sinners. We broke God's Law, but Jesus paid our fine. That means He can legally dismiss our case. He can commute our death sentence: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and God will grant everlasting life to all who trust in Jesus. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

    Romans 10:9

    needGod.com
    Livingwaters.com

    September 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Jesusistheonlyway

      nice post zach up till the part where u say repent to be saved. Did you that is not found anywhere in the Bible. Whenever you see repent referring to salvation is means "to change your mind" in the Greek. look it up. Eph 2:8-9 Not of works.
      It talk about how God even repented in the book of Jonah. Well guess what? God doesnt sin so He cant turn from sin. the word there meant simply to be sorry. just trying to clear you up.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Nonimus

      No, No, No. The only way to salvation is to kill Jesus in combat. Did he not say, "No one comes to the Father except through me?" It seems pretty clear to me, the only way past him is through him, i.e. kill him.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  20. With Love for Neighbor.

    I agree.. A man is unfit as jugde over other men.
    However. This man has assumed a leadership position in a SO*Called church..LSD 😦
    I personaly do not share in SIN. So this promotion by the church. Nor the mans actions can be condone.
    Jesus is jugde over all live souls. I feel very sorry for anyone that is lead astray by this group/man.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Observer

      Do you eat shellfish or talk in church?

      September 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Mike in TN

      It's spelled JUDGE!

      September 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Darren

      "A man is unfit as jugde over other men."
      That's not true. We have hot buns contests nearly every weekend where men judge other men.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.