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Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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I just received the following email with permission to share.  Here’s the critical part (full text below):

“To the [extent that] it’s within my power to apologize, I want to tell you that I am sorry.  I am very sorry.”  – Elder Marlin Jensen

People were audibly weeping.  Paul sobbed.  I put my arm around him. It was very, very powerful.  It felt very healing.”

================

September 24, 2010

I don’t know if you’ll feel the same stunned awe, amazement, and gratitude that I felt on reading this post, but I consider it to be evidence of phenomenal moral courage on Elder Jensen’s part. The stake in question is Oakland Stake, and the meeting was Sunday, September 19.

I double-checked with Karen, despite her heading, to be SURE that it was okay to pass this report on. She double-checked with Linda, who confirmed that it “absolutely” was. The “Kay” in Karen’s salutation is Kay Gaisford in Arizona.

Lavina

On 9/23/2010 6:24 PM, Karen Rosenbaum wrote:

> Hi Kay and Lavina,

>

> I figured you two could spread what seems to me positive news‑‑

>

> Before our stake conference last Sunday (I admit I didn’t attend‑‑I went to a spectacular production of Aida instead), there was a “by invitation only” meeting with the visiting seventy, Marlin Jensen, about reactions to Prop. 8. My friend Linda Schweidel, whose first husband was a gay Mormon, has been involved with our stake president, Dean Criddle, in setting up meetings at which non‑gay Mormons, gay Mormons, gay former Mormons, and non‑Mormon gays can all get together and try to understand one another. The one in the Berkeley Ward was enlightening and helpful. (I did attend that.) I don’t think there were non‑Mormon gays at last Sunday’s meeting, unless they were the partners of Mormon gays.

>

> Linda rushed off a brief report of last Sunday’s meeting to me today. She has left out a word or two, but you can figure out what she meant. I’ve copied a part of her report below. Paul is Paul Price, a very sweet man who lives with his partner in the Berkeley hills. He usually attends Sacrament Meeting. Matt and Pamela are our bishop and his wife, the Marosticas. Brett Bradshaw is the son of that wonderful Bradshaw man, the former BYU prof who has been so involved in PFLAG.

>

> Dean Criddle “MC’d” the meeting and introduced Marlin Jensen by saying that when there is a stake conference, the GA who’s coming to speak has the opportunity to find out if there are any issue of “particular interest” to the group and if so, he can address them.  Dean said Marlin had welcomed the opportunity to come listen to people who were affected/disaffected by Prop 8.  They basically opened the microphone to anyone who wanted to speak.  It got off to somewhat of a crazy start when one woman (I don’t know how she got in; again, the meeting was by invitation) got up there and said her twin brother is gay and told of her “devastation” she suffered at hearing the news and then proceeded to quote from the Bible about Sodom & Gomorrah.  I’m not kidding.  It was nuts.  Thankfully Dean quickly got up and thanked her and then she sat down.  After that, though, that wonderful Carol Lynn Pearson got up and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Bible says a lot of things.  The Bible says, for example, that I shouldn’t be up here, talking to you all,” and she went on from there.  So she remedied the situation, I felt like, and then every other person who got up was eloquent, articulate, and right on point.  I didn’t get up – Paul was my “date,” and I was sitting next to him, Matt and Pamela, so I was effectively hemmed in and plus, I felt like the others who spoke were making the points that needed to be made.  Marlin Jensen sat there and listened.  He’d that he appreciated the opportunity come listen and promised to take what he learned “back to the Brethren.”  (He is an extremely warm, kind, funny guy.  He pointed out that of the three‑tiered hierarchy of the Mormon church leadership, he’s in the bottom tier and thus, “very expendable.”  That got a laugh.)  What he did, though, was after everybody got up, and told of the suffering that Prop 8 had caused – the division, heartache, anger, frustration and pain – and when the last guy who spoke told him that the Mormon church owed the gay community an apology, he stood and said, “To the [extent that] it’s within my power to apologize, I want to tell you that I am sorry.  I am very sorry.”  People were audibly weeping.  Paul sobbed.  I put my arm around him. It was very, very powerful.  It felt very healing.

> Stake conference was good too.  Not as good as that meeting, but good.  Elder Jensen was again very warm and genuine.  Dean’s talk, though, was what really got to me.  He talked about “extending the tent” and including everyone because, as repeated, Charity Seeketh Not Her Own.  That was the main theme of the talk.  He said he’d gone to dinner with two couples (Brett Bradshaw and his partner Jeff and Trey and Guy).  He asked should we go to dinner with couples of the same gender, and love them and accept them?  “OF COURSE WE SHOULD!”  I loved it.  It was the first stake conference I’ve attended in a decade at least, and my sense of them was always sort of the fear and damnation.  This was a call to love, acceptance and kindness.
http://mormonmatters.org/2010/09/25/eld ... osition-8/



Can anyone confirm this?
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Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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I wouldn't doubt it. They had a conference a year or so ago on the topic of being more supportive of gays.
http://www.clpearson.com/oaklandstake.htm

Also, it is the next logical step after the Church supporting the gay rights ordinances in Salt Lake City and all over Utah.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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I admire the Church's position on Prop 8.

This from Wikipedia fwiw:

Political parties
On April 22, 1998, Jensen was sent by the First Presidency to give an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune in reaction to a recent First Presidency statement[23] and to explicitly state that someone could be a devout Mormon and a member of the Democratic Party.[10] He lamented Utah's Democratic Party decline, and regretted that the Republican Party might be seen as the "church party". In addition, he felt that good Latter-day Saints will have conflicts and must pick and choose from either party's philosophy.[10]
Coming from a church official on assignment from the First Presidency, the comments surprised many prominent Utah politicians and Latter-day Saints.[24]
[edit]The Mormons (PBS)
Jensen featured prominently in the 2007 PBS documentary The Mormons. His March 7, 2006 interview probed a variety of subjects, including some controversial topics.[25]
Doubt: Jensen described questioning his religion while in philosophy classes where he had to "test [his] belief against...other theories." This led him to reinforce his faith through deeper study.
Correlation: "We are really trying to take account of cultural differences and to not feel that this Utah influence or even the American influence has to be worldwide."
Folklore of the priesthood ban: Jensen recalled his attempts to have the church repudiate the rationale some use to explain the priesthood ban.[26]
Historical truth claims: "I think we take it very literally. We don't deconstruct and feel that what we have is the figment of language or our imagination, or that there is some middle ground. I know that is very polarizing. In a sense, I think the hardest public relations sell we have to make is that this is the only true church."
Homosexuality: Jensen said the gospel allows either heterosexuality or celibacy. He sympathized with celibate gay members, since the church cannot offer them hope of eventually finding love in this life as it can with single heterosexuals.
Faith-promoting history: Jensen questioned whether the Church Historian should only focus on reinforcing faith, or if he should also focus on "objective" histories.
Excommunicable doctrines: Jensen mentioned that members may receive disciplinary action in supporting gay marriage or opposing Book of Mormon divinity, if they are "openly vocal" and "malign the leadership in the church for not adopting that position."


I urge all to avoid jumping to conclusions based on hearsay or what appears to be unconfirmed hearsay...
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"unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time..." DC 112
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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In addition, he felt that good Latter-day Saints will have conflicts and must pick and choose from either party's philosophy.

I didn't realize I had to choose between Democrats and Republicans. I guess the keyword is "good" as I must not be since I choose the best candidate (many times from the Constitution Party) period.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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I've read the hubub on this. What I sense was that he was apologizing for offending gays, not apologizing for the church's position. He maybe have apologized for some of the tactics. People read too much into this.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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It sounds like they were hearing only what they wanted to hear and ignoring the truth.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Carol Lynn Pearson’s comment on the Mormon Matters thread is informative and confirms the meeting:
The headline “Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8″ is a bit misleading. I was present at the meeting. There was a great deal of pain expressed by a number of people about their experiences around Prop 8 and the larger context of church policy regarding gay people. It was a remarkable meeting, and Elder Jensen took copious notes and was visibly emotionally touched as he listened to the stories. At no time did he say anything like, “I know Proposition 8 was a mistake and I apologize for that mistake.” He was responding personally and in general to the extraordinary pain he was witnessing. No one had a tape recorder, but I wrote down the words, “…Do we owe an apology? I will say I am sorry. To the full extent of my capacity I say I am sorry.” It was a sincere and moving statement. It would not be constructive to make his statement sound like something it was not. The meeting itself was an historical event, for which I and many others are deeply grateful.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Did someone say church members have to choose between Democrats and Republicans ? I musta missed something. In the April 1976 General Conference, Ezra Taft Benson told us we should select only those who understand and will adhere to constitutional principles. Of course, he also said that to do this, we need to understand these principles ourselves....."We should understand the Constitution as the founders meant that it should be understood."

In 2008 the choices were pretty well narrowed down in both the Republican primaries and in the November election. Same in Utah in November 2006.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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So next, the church will have a "Sodom" Ward in San Francisco?

20 second jokes;

There probably won't be a lot of "turn-over".

What, no Primary?

"Mutual" will take on a whole new meaning...

"Relief" Society will be officiating and directing all ward activities from now on and a "Change Room" will be provided for those who wish to Cross-dress.

There will be no "First" Counselor in the Bishopric, only a "Second" Counselor.

All references to Sodom and Gomorrah will henceforth not be allowed to be preached from the pulpit.

Any "wife"-swapping will have to be coordinated through the Bishopric.

No temple recommend interviews will be allowed, pending direction from SLC regarding Sodom-based marriages.

Any and all Testimony Meetings will have adequate boxes liberally distributed of Kleenex available for crying sessions.

There will be no "back bench" allowed in the chapel.

Emphasis will be given to the topic of; "Love they Neighbor".

Where is a "Fundamentalist LDS", when you need one? Wait, wait, that would be polygamy among men, right?
_________

Okay, I am now going to church to repent... :mrgreen:
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Moss Man wrote:
In addition, he felt that good Latter-day Saints will have conflicts and must pick and choose from either party's philosophy.

I didn't realize I had to choose between Democrats and Republicans. I guess the keyword is "good" as I must not be since I choose the best candidate (many times from the Constitution Party) period.




Well said.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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One of the young adult women in Sunday Scchool got upset with my wife when my wife pointed out that in today's society gays actually have days of "pride" -- this was in reference to a scripture in Isaiah that said that many boast of their sins openly. The woman said we have no right to get down on gays. My wife pointed out that she does not get down on homosexual people but it is our duty to proclaim what is, and what isn't, right in God's eyes.
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Elder Jensen did not apologize for Proposition 8. He showed sorrow and pain because Proposition 8 was necessary. He did not condone homosexuality.

The way I read your post is that you are now questioning the position of the Prophet and the Twelve. Either Thomas S. Monson is a prophet or he is not. You will have to decide that in your own mind. If the prophet is wrong on same sex marriage, he is probably wrong on many other issues too. You decide.

Remember how Jesus dealt with the Phariasees. He was firm, just like President Monson is firm on same sex marriage. He doesn't water down the doctrine to satisfy everyone. God didn't come down and console the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.

To me President Monson is right on every issue every time. Proposition 8 was the will of God.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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No, those individuals live in "Prides", like lions. And those "Prides" are what destroyed previous so-called civilizations on earth (the various forms of immorality that they practiced).

I wil quote myself one more time from the pulpit; "I know that particular way of life is a perverted, forced, evil, wicked, learned trait and a person is not born that way. I repeat, it was forced on them by other wicked men and women and misery loves company. That debauchery can and must be repented of. I will always understand that the word “Pride” may have a very different connotation in the Book of Mormon than what we as Latter-day Saints are used to.

When Pride destroyed Book of Mormon civilizations, I think of all those tens of thousands today, who proudly parade under the rainbow banner, participating in Prides today and use red and black pirate colors to spread Sodomy throughout the land. We need to stand for morality and uphold "The Proclamation of the Family" as our battle cry."
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Mazal wrote:

> Stake conference was good too.  Not as good as that meeting, but good.  Elder Jensen was again very warm and genuine.  Dean’s talk, though, was what really got to me.  He talked about “extending the tent” and including everyone because, as repeated, Charity Seeketh Not Her Own.  That was the main theme of the talk.  He said he’d gone to dinner with two couples (Brett Bradshaw and his partner Jeff and Trey and Guy).  He asked should we go to dinner with couples of the same gender, and love them and accept them?  “OF COURSE WE SHOULD!”  I loved it.  It was the first stake conference I’ve attended in a decade at least, and my sense of them was always sort of the fear and damnation.  This was a call to love, acceptance and kindness.
http://mormonmatters.org/2010/09/25/eld ... osition-8/



Can anyone confirm this?


I wanted to edit the post below by prefacing it with the fact that I believe the above idea is what the writer got from it, not what Elder Jensen meant. I don't believe he meant that Charity "seeketh not her own", in the way they thought he meant it...

I loved this part. It made me laugh. Really? Is THAT what that scripture means? that we should accept others because we don't seek just our own?

Or does it mean we don't seek our own will over God's will?

This is laughable.

God DOES seek his own. And he asks us to do it through missionary work, but it doesn't mean we accept all people for who they are. We accept them for what they can be, and expect them to conform to God's commandments.

I know that is what he expects from me. And he is merciful because I fall short, but at least we have an understanding that I have to try and try and try...every day!

I have dear friends that have left the church because they are gay. I know for a FACT that they were not shunned. They chose to leave because they couldn't have sexual freedom. They chose sex over God. And our association. We continued to open our doors to them but they shunned US, not the other way around. But we should feel guilty?
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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They became part of the great and spacious building crowd, so no, we should not feel guilty for holding onto the iron rod of the Gospel.

They need to repent and stop practicing Sodomy.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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pritchet1 wrote:No, those individuals live in "Prides", like lions. And those "Prides" are what destroyed previous so-called civilizations on earth (the various forms of immorality that they practiced).

I wil quote myself one more time from the pulpit; "I know that particular way of life is a perverted, forced, evil, wicked, learned trait and a person is not born that way. I repeat, it was forced on them by other wicked men and women and misery loves company. That debauchery can and must be repented of. I will always understand that the word “Pride” may have a very different connotation in the Book of Mormon than what we as Latter-day Saints are used to.

When Pride destroyed Book of Mormon civilizations, I think of all those tens of thousands today, who proudly parade under the rainbow banner, participating in Prides today and use red and black pirate colors to spread Sodomy throughout the land. We need to stand for morality and uphold "The Proclamation of the Family" as our battle cry."

(emphasis mine)

I think the emphasized portion kind of strikes at the crux of the matter - at least as I see it. Most of us think of homosexuality as much more serious than fornication and even adultery, because it is unnatural and the thought of it turns our stomachs. And so anyone that could be attracted to that is that much more vile and disgusting. And I think it is that disgust and repulsion that we need to get rid of. We need to hate the sin and love the sinner. As Pritchett says here, the same sex aspect in most if not all cases was forced upon them by a third party. There natural sexual instincts have been perverted and twisted. The sin is that sexual activity takes place outside the bonds of marraige. The same sex aspect is in need of healing and purification, but in my opinion it should not be treated as a more serious sin than any other sexual sin, and again, in my opinion is actually less serious than adultery in cases between single individuals as marriage covenants were not broken.

I am not condoning or making excuses for homosexual behavior. What I am saying is because most of us find it so unnatural and gross, we put an additional stigma on it and we tend to think worse of gay people than of other sexual sins because the others we can relate to and we can understand how someone could fall into that sin.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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The nastiness comes from the effete perversion of our children in the agenda of less than 2% of the population, forcing their sodomic beliefs on the innocent and that we feel powerless to stop it from happening in school and the media.

And now apparently even in the Kingdom of God.

Follow the Prophets.

I'm sure there will be more discussed in General Conference on this particular topic.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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pritchet1 wrote:I'm sure there will be more discussed in General Conference on this particular topic.



No way! They wont have time with all the talks on going to the tent cities and how your years supply (not Temple recommend) will be your ticket in. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/holly-wel ... =Politics#

Huffington post covers the "apology"
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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My mom said that all three member of the First Presidency were noticably somber and sad at the R.S conference last weekend. She said that President Monsen teared up a few times during his talk even though what he was talking about did not seem to warrant it. A few people commented that he seemed to stifle a sob a couple of times and then would put on a big smile which seemed forced. (Sincere, but like he really had to dig deep to put a smile on his face, if that makes sense.) Also, she said President Uchdorf (sp?) is usually very cheerful and waves to people and he was not that way at all, and President Eyring she said looked like he was sitting on the edge of his seat and was very tense throughout the conference.

Sorry for the derail, it will be very interesting to watch G.C. this weekend. I know they always encourage the priesthood to attend the priesthood session, but she said it seemed like it was more strongly encouraged than is usual in church last week. ( I didn't notice this in my ward though, but of course plan on being there.)
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Thanks! :)
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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This is going to divide the church.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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pjbrownie wrote:This is dividing the church.


Fixed
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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tribrac wrote:
pjbrownie wrote:This is dividing the church.


Fixed





Fixed how?
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Rincon wrote:
tribrac wrote:
pjbrownie wrote:This is dividing the church.


Fixed





Fixed how?


Changed it from "This is going to divide the church to this is dividing the church. :wink:
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Changed it from "This is going to divide the church to this is dividing the church. :wink:[/quote]



Maybe so, one of my good friends already left the Church over it, and he is not a homosexual. I wonder if the Prophet will ever take a stand I cannot live with. I hope not.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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Those who have left the church because of this issue do so, due to sexual deviancy and peer pressure (pun intended) or desire to avoid embarrassment from those living in the great and spacious building.

Sodomy is still not acceptable to the Lord.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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pritchet1 wrote:
I'm sure there will be more discussed in General Conference on this particular topic.



No way! They wont have time with all the talks on going to the tent cities and how your years supply (not Temple recommend) will be your ticket in.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

I havent had a chance to watch the Relief Society conference yet...but have it recorded and plan to.
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Re: Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8

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ndjili wrote:I havent had a chance to watch the Relief Society conference yet...but have it recorded and plan to.


I watched it at home with my wife. The messages were all good and President Monson cracked me up a little with one of his stories. My favorite moment was when Sister Allred was speaking, at one point you could see President Uchtdorf in the darkness just smiling this huge smile......I loved it!
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