A reader writes:
As a straight Mormon who knows and loves many homosexuals, rest assured that that speech is causing major ripples among the Mormon faithful (see Jana Riess' excellent blog post on this). Boyd K. Packer doesn't speak for me. I'm sorry and embarrassed by the damage my church has done to countless gays and lesbians both within our little flock and outside of it. With a leadership that is all white, all male, and all old, and that the membership accepts as "prophets, seers, and revelators," I don't know how much of an effect dissenting voices within Mormonism will have. But there are dissenting voices.
My husband and I were invited to that meeting in Oakland and spoke to Elder Jensen afterward. Earlier we and our daughters had dinner with the Oakland Stake President at a friend's house. I do believe there is a thaw. Notwithstanding Elder Packer's virulent words, I'm hopeful. Packer has a history of being one of the most conservative (understatement) of the apostles, and one of the oldest. Yes, his words carry a lot of weight. Yes, the leaders allowed him to say those words from the pulpit (and make no mistake, little is said at conference that isn't vetted). And yes, they were vicious in their homophobic ranting. But they are the old guard. Talking to the stake president, Elder Jensen and my very large extended family in Utah, I see hope for the future.
The article you linked to mentions the existence of some "Mormon feminists" blogs, which intrigued me. I went to one, called Feminist Mormon Housewives, and found a lengthy and thoughtful discussion thread about the Packer sermon. Most of the posts consider Packer's statements to be appalling.
Video and transcript of Packer’s remarks here.
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