Posts Tagged ‘Elder Holland’
“At this Easter season of hope and renewal we testify of the glorious reality of the atonement and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance and provided the answer to the question of Job, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ (Job 14:14).
“Because of the Savior’s resurrection we will overcome death and become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace fills our hearts and eases our minds. Jesus is in very deed ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6).
“We give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. To each member of the human family He stands as our Advocate, our Savior, and our Friend.”
Jesus Christ is central to Mormon beliefs and doctrine. Sermons given at the Church’s recent worldwide general conference included doctrinal discourses on Jesus Christ. A video summary of a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, focuses the attention of “those who are alone or feel alone or, worse yet, feel abandoned” to the life of Jesus Christ, and can be viewed here:
As I watched Elder Holland deliver this General Conference address last Sunday, I was profoundly touched by his eloquent and moving description of what the Savior passed through for us. I was very impressed by how clearly he taught that he went through the atonement alone. Even the presence of the Father left him in the end.
For those who suffer with loneliness or who feel abandoned, we can never say that the Savior does not understand. He trod the wine press of the wrath of God alone, with none to assist him. He is indeed our advocate with the Father, having paid the price of suffering for our sins. He is our friend and will not leave us alone.
I loved Elder Holland’s introduction in his article in this month’s Ensign magazine on same-gender attraction. He was speaking with a young man in his early twenties who said, “I don’t know if I should remain a member of the Church,” he said. “I don’t think I’m worthy.” “Why wouldn’t you be worthy?” I asked. “I’m gay,” he said. I suppose he thought I would be startled. I wasn’t. “And…?” I inquired.”
The young man was surprised and asked how he could be a member of the church if he felt attracted to men instead of women. He wondered why he felt that way. Elder Holland said that same-gender attraction was not a sin and asked the young man if he had acted upon those impulses and thereby broken the law of chastity. No, he hadn’t. Elder Holland then said that although he could not answer why the young man had those feelings, he could offer hope and encouragement because he was trying to keep his covenants.
Does this subject make us uncomfortable? It shouldn’t. If an apostle of God can write and speak about this and make the church’s position on this difficult subject clearer then we can and should too. Elder Holland quoted another Apostle, Elder Packer in speaking to those with same-gender attraction. “We do not reject you,” he said. “We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you.” Isn’t that an amazing manifestation of the love of Christ being demonstrated by an Apostle of God?
This subject has received considerable attention lately and probably will for years to come. I hope that anyone who seriously investigates the Church does not misunderstand what the Lord’s servants are teaching here. Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman responded in great depth to this question in an interview posted in the newsroom on lds.org. It is unfortunate that those who are trying to push same-sex marriage are misstating the church’s position on this. They sometimes blatantly lie and claim that the church does not allow homosexuals to participate.
President Hinckley has said this about those who struggle with same-gender attraction: “We love them as sons and daughters of God…If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church.” He also said, “Our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.”
This is a difficult subject but one which members of the church need to understand. What do you think? Should we not talk about stuff like this or is it important to know what the Lord has taught through his servants about same-gender attraction?