Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It's About Love--Not Rancor

Yesterday, an article was published on Religion News Service (RNS) about an event we held in Berkeley on September 7th. The article was subsequently picked up by Washington Post, Huffington Post and a few others.

In it, the journalist talked about the evening itself as well as looking at how social media has fostered change in the hearts and minds of Mormons on topics like our LGBT brothers and sisters.

While I appreciate the coverage, I regret the positioning.

This isn't really about pushing back on Church teaching, our leadership, or our doctrine. This is about meeting people where they're at, and helping create a Mormon culture where everyone is welcome, just as they are--a culture our Savior Himself would foster. A more accurate headline would be, "Mormons use social media to build connectedness and community inside a faith that views them as 'different."

We're not the rebels the headline might believe some to think. We're simply the face of cultural change, and are engaged in this effort because we love our Savior, we love our fellow Mormons, and we love our Church--and we want us to be better.

This isn't about rancor. It's about love.


  1. Well spoken, Mitch. It is exactly the sense I got while attending the Affirmation Conference last weekend.

  2. I think it is important to point out that "we're not the rebels the headline might believe some to think." It's not rebellion at all, just trying to align ourselves with how our Savior would want us to be.

  3. We would not be where we are today without the "rebels" who made people aware that LGBTQ people existed and deserved a place at the table. It was movements like this which pushed the Church to rethink how it treats its LGBTQ members. If the "rebels" had quietly stayed in the closet the Church would not have advanced as far on this issue as it has. We do owe them some gratitude. And while I am certainly in favor of a big tent that welcomes all without rancor, regardless of where they are, I hope that does not mean, "except for any rebels who might make us feel uncomfortable." We need both the celibate LGBTQ person faithfully going to Church, and the rebel who will remind us (and the Church) that we still have a long way to go on this issue. We all lose if letting the self-loathing closet cases safely come out means those who like body glitter and speedos are not welcome.