Monday, November 16, 2015

Invictus Pilgrim Memoir Post #4: "Inborn Tendencies Toward the Impure and Unnatural"

My world changed forever on Sunday, October 3, 2010. That morning, I heard four sentences that wrecked my faith in Mormonism, eventually shattered what was left of my marriage and destroyed a false persona that I had carefully maintained for most of my adult life. These words, which quickly became infamous, were uttered by the second most senior apostle of the Mormon Church in his address at the Church’s October General Conference. In the midst of a sermon about moral purity, President Boyd K. Packer read the following sentences: 
“Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, He is our Heavenly Father.” 
As a heavily closeted gay man, these sentences cut through my heart, as they no doubt did with countless other Mormon men and women who were privately and painfully struggling, as I was, with same-sex attraction. Packer’s words, heavily coded, were reminiscent of the period of my youth and young adulthood when the Church railed vociferously against the “abomination” of homosexuality. I felt that I was being dragged back into a very dark place of self-loathing, shame and despair ...

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