Personal Online Journal

Friday, January 12, 2018

Faith, Family, and Discipleship as a Gay Mormon

This is an interesting podcast "Faith, Family, and Discipleship as a Gay Mormon | An Interview With Tom Christofferson" (Terryl Givens  link to podcast)

One part that struck me from Terryl.
we have apostles saying, “Well, we don’t fully understand all of these things,” with the kind of blithe, faithful acceptance of that statement when it was issued by President Wilford Woodruff in 1894 when he said, “We’ve been doing sealing wrong for 51 years. We’ve been doing it dynastically, but today the Lord said that no, we need to be doing it father to son, son to father, and there’s a lot more to be revealed that we still don’t have.” From the records that I read of that period, there were many grateful, happy members that said, “Yeah, I thought it wasn’t quite right the way we were doing this sealing dynastically, polygamously.” So now that’s been straightened out, but we still haven’t seen the finished product of what it’s going to look like. It seems like we’d all be better off if we could just be a little more chill and say, “This is a work in process,” right? The restoration is still unfolding. We don’t understand fully the nature of familial organization in the world to come, but the most important thing — the thing that hasn’t changed from Joseph’s original vision to the present — is that there will be eternal bonds of affection that will be honored, preserved, and magnified. I think that’s a beautiful way to look at it.
I like this part from Tom.
I get so uncomfortable when I hear a little four-year- old or five-year- old say, “I know the Church is true.” I love their feeling, but I wish they were saying, “I know that Jesus loves me,” because they do. I know they do. I think they’re born with it. I wish we started there — really focused on the Savior; that every one of us has that individual connection and that’s what we build on. Then, the Savior created or restored a vehicle to help us as a people help all around us come to Him It’s not that we lose our faith in the Church and therefore, there is no Christ — it’s that we always know that there is Christ, and the Church and our understanding and testimony of it builds on that.
Terryl Givens: What changes would you like to see in your lifetime in our culture — not officially, not doctrinally. Where can we do better? 
Tom Christofferson: I think about it as if we would acknowledge that there is a temple standard of worthiness and a chapel standard of worthiness, and that they exist side-by-side in the Church. There are some who are able and desirous of being able to make covenants and exist in a temple standard of worthiness, and others who are not there at any point in time.
To me, the chapel standard of worthiness is if you walk through the chapel doors — if you’re willing to walk through the door — and you want to have some kind of a connection to Christ, you’re worthy. That’s where I wish we would make our biggest change. 
Terryl Givens: What a beautiful idea. 
Tom Christofferson: We have that sign on the door that says, “Visitors Welcome” — it should say “All are welcome.” This is the home for anybody and everybody who wants to be a follower of Jesus Christ. They don’t need to show us their repentance; they don’t need to show us progress in their lives. Our job is just to open our hearts, our minds, and our arms, and be there to be support. They’ll help us know what would be useful that we can do. In my mind, it’s all there. It’s just acting on what we already know and freeing ourselves of the fear: the fear of the unknown, the fear that if the Lord is really as generous and as forgiving and as full of grace as we think, does that mean that our performances didn’t matter after all? 

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