Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Larry King Live: President Gordon B. Hinckley Shines

As I write, I'm watching Larry King interview Gordon B. Hinckley. I'm impressed with President Hinckley's charm and wit, in spite of the toll of age, as he fields a wide variety of questions from Larry King. I also respect President Hinckley's optimism about life and the challenges we face.

I was intrigued with what I saw as a frank but gentle and understanding response to questions about working mothers. He's not out to give them a guilt trip, and understands the need for many to work, but wisely reminds us that our greatest satisfaction in life will come from our families, and that there are great blessings to children when they have mothers who are there for them. He urges us to simply "be careful, and do the best we can."

His comments on gay marriage had a similar tone: we love our brothers and sisters who struggle with the problem of homosexuality, and want to do all we can to help them. When asked if that problem is something people are born with or choose, President Hinckley said he didn't know, that he's not an expert in such things. The spirit of his remarks was on our desire to help, not to blame or condemn. "We are not anti-gay, but pro-family." Based on my experience in the Church, I fully agree with that. Of course, from the perspective of many in the gay community, to suggest that it is a problem or that homosexual activity is against the commandments of God is vile bigotry and hate, but they are wrong.

Overall, a lot of good answers and an interesting program, interspersed with some excellent music from an event with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Goodness sakes alive! Hinckley a'natural' boy', and maybe a 'natural' geriarch too?

In his recent interview with President and CEO of the Mormon Church, Gordon B. Hinckley (I daresay I resist calling Hinckley "Prophet" after this interview), Larry King gets Hinckley to admit he was a 'natural' boy (in the fashion of sinful 'natural men'). But after hearing Hinckley's offensive, unmeasured, and sheer idiotic views on homosexuals, I really have to regard Hinckley as an error-ridden natural geriatric, as well. And, if a prophet at all, Hinckley is one who apparently didn't have his ear piece turned up when God was giving him the low-down on the nature and etiology of homosexuality.

To whit, I've posted below that portion of the transcript in which Hinckley alienates himself from gays and lesbians, and shows the world his idiocy (as opposed to prophecy).


KING: ... we were all people.

But as the mores have changed - for example, I know that the Church is opposed to gay marriage.

HINCKLEY: Yes.

KING: Do you have an alternative? Do you like the idea of civil unions?

HINCKLEY: Well, we're not anti-gay. We are pro-family. Let me put it that way.

And we love these people and try to work with them and help them. We know they have a problem. We want to help them solve that problem.

KING: A problem they caused, or they were born with?

HINCKLEY: I don't know. I'm not an expert on these things. I don't pretend to be an expert on these things. The fact is, they have a problem.

KING: Do you favor some sort of state union?

HINCKLEY: Well, we want to be very careful about that, because that - whatever may lead to gay marriage, we're not in favor of.

We - many people don't get married. Goodness sakes alive. You know that.

Many people who have to discipline themselves. If they transgress, they become subject to the discipline of the Church. But we try in every way that we know how to help them, to assist them, to bless their lives.

KING: It's hard to be a Mormon, isn't it?

HINCKLEY: No. It's wonderful.

KING: Not hard.

HINCKLEY: No, no. It's just wonderful. It's demanding. Great expectations. I should say so. But it's wonderful.

KING: Wonderful to resist the temptations of life?

HINCKLEY: Oh, you don't go around resisting. You just develop a positive outlook and walk forward with faith.

KING: What do you do ...

HINCKLEY: We don't dwell on the negative. We dwell on the positive.

KING: What do you do with temptation? What do you do with it?

HINCKLEY: Set it aside. Put it behind. Leave it there.

KING: And you've been able to do that all your life.

HINCKLEY: I tried to, yes.

KING: Were you ever, as a youngster, did you ever stray?

HINCKLEY: Oh, I was a natural boy growing up, of course I was. Just a freckled-faced kid. Sure.

KING: I'll bet you were.

HINCKLEY: Sure.

KING: I'll bet you had a little rascal in you.

HINCKLEY: Sure I did.

KING: OK. It's good to know ...

HINCKLEY: Sure.

KING: ... that God blessed you this way.

HINCKLEY: I've been blessed so abundantly that I can never get over it. I just feel so richly blessed that I want to extend that to others wherever I can.

KING: Hope you have a long life.


I find it most revealing how gays and lesbians, whether masochistically and mindlessly following the totalitarian edicts of the leaders of the Mormon church and its mytho-history, or not, are referred to by Hinckley in this interview as the categorical "Other'. Hinckley implies all good Mormons are quite apart from and divorced from "Them" -- these so called gays with a "problem" (read: sin) that only Hinckley and other good Mormons can solve. And Hinckley's "solution"? Homosexuals: Discipline yourselves or the Church will take disciplinary action against you.

"I dunno what causes homosexuality", Hinckley appears to say. "Maybe its innate and congenital at birth, or maybe they choose it growing up in rural, heterosexual Mormon farming communities. But what I do know is that it's a very big sin, and all you need to do is resist (what mat be your perfectly and wonderfully God-given nature), put it aside and behind you, and leave it there, with the positive optimism that the Church's electro-shock aversion therapy and coerced 'trade-in-your-homosexual-for-heterosexual' marriages will cure you." Gee wilikers, maybe -- to turn Nancy Reagan's injunction -- the solution is as simple as, "Just Say 'No' To Homosexuality."

And please, please, Brother Gordon: Next time you and God are chatting about Church and social policy regarding the gays and lesbians in our families, please turn up that ear piece during the part where He tells you about where homosexuality fits into his perfectly good Creation. You know -- where he mentions that the birds and bees have wonderful homosexuals in their midsts too, where he talks about lesbian seagull couplings and same-sex pair bondings for life among penguins in the Bronx Zoo, the lactating, nursing male cats, the male-turned-female wrasses, and the "cross-dressing" squid in Australia, and such. Though you missed it, Brother Gordon, that, too, was an important part of the conversation with God.


You can read the whole transcript of Larry King interviewing Gordon Hinckley at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0412/26/lkl.01.html



I'll be praying,


Shaun

Anonymous said...

This is more a response to a comment that was made by a previous reader - Shaun. Gordon B. Hinckley is simply stating the beliefs of his Church. Although Shaun may disagree with those beliefs, Mr. Hinckley's assertions are founded in doctrine, Shaun tries to invalidate those assertions with weak comparisons to seagulls and wrasses. (Try comparing apples to apples, not oranges).

Homosexuality among humans is not natural. Mr. Hinckley's command to resist is to both heterosexual and homosexual. Abstinence must be practiced outside of marriage. That is why is is important to the church to take a stance against gay marriage.

I also think it is important for Shaun to understand that bigotry means hatred against the person. Mr. Hinckley stated that the church teaches to love the person, however do not condone the act of homosexuality (i.e., Love the sinner, hate the sin).

Shaun also accuses Mr. Hinckley of being a geriarch (read: ancient). I don't think his ability to hear has anything to do with his ability to listen to God. While his hearing may be perfectly fine, I don't think God would allow his prophets to miss something as important as the nature of man. Meaning, homosexuality is not natural, nor is it of God.

Anonymous said...

As an active, gay, married member of the LDS Church, I have to say that President Hinckley's remarks fulfill what I've believed to be true for many years - that the Prophet of the LDS Church has not received any substantial revelation on homosexuality.

The LDS Church and President Hinckley ought to be more concerned about teaching the truth based on facts, rather than defending outdated policies and doctrine regarding homosexuality. Moreover, if the LDS Church is sincere in their desire to teach the truth, the leaders need to be completely frank with their membership and state something such as:

1. Sexuality is not something anyone chooses (gay, straight or bisexual);

2. Sexuality is not maleable; (you cannot change it); and

3. Clearly - quite clearly - marriage between gays/lesbians and heterosexual partners should at all costs be discouraged.

I know many gay/lesbian members (or former members) who married with the hope they'd change their orientation. This was based on counsel given to them by their church leaders and from written opinion and counsel in church literature such as "The Miracle of Forgiveness" (Spencer W. Kimball) and "To the One" (a BYU address given by Boyd K. Packer).

Based on my experience with this - one that I'm living now - is had I valued my own instincts, and the promptings I'd received from the Lord, I would have ignored the misguided counsel given to me by the LDS Church (regardless of sincerity or intent) and instead worked to live an authentic and fully honest life - not a life where much of me is hidden in order to make everyone else comfortable and happy - ultimately, at my own expense.

IMHO

Anonymous said...

Why does a new revelation need to come out to confirm what God has taught from the beginning? Homosexuality is not ordained of God. Pardon the cliche, but God created Adam and Eve, there was no other way the family of God could work.

While many believe sexuality is not a choice, they obviously have not paid attention to the long standing commandment that God has given regarding sexuality (homosexual or heterosexual). That commandment is that sex is limited to a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully married. You DO have a choice and the guidance from the Lord is to refrain from ANY sexuality until you are married to a member of the opposite sex. And THEN, it is to be only with your spouse.

Mr IMHO's belief that his choice to follow the counsel of his prophets was incorrect is obviously his own inability to decipher the difference between the natural man and a man who follows the enticings of the Holy Spirit (Mosiah 3:19). Temptations have been laid before him to believe he has tendencies towards people of the same sex. These natural tendencies are not from God, but the flesh. Part of our life here on earth is to learn to control those desires and follow the Lord's plan. Choice is available in this matter.

How can Mr IMHO state that he is a member of the church and proclaim that marriage is not of God? Statements like that grant excommunication (unless you've already accomplished that), because it is clearly against the tenets of the church (read: anti-mormon). Try talking to your bishop about your public statements against the church.

God has not changed, and he will not. That is his nature. To call a commandment "outdated" is foolish and wrong.

BM

Anonymous said...

Homophobia and heterosexism are the only "homosexual problems." And sometimes, just sometimes, I think the problem is not with "them" (as President Hinckly assigns it), but with "us" -- We Mormoms who blindly follow the each and every utterance of our leaders. Even Prophet Hinckly is not infallible: if he were, would not he supplant Christ, as our Father In Heaven's only perfect son? Now THAT idea -- of a perfect Prophet -- REALLY upsets my apple cart!

Anonymous said...

I vehemently object to the portrayal of President Hinckley as herein set forth. Let me be clear on this. As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have payed close attention to the doctrines of the church as set forth by President Hinckley. In an official statement, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve clearly stated that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that marriage not between a man and woman is counterfeit. We are against any homosexual practices. And I object in the strongest terms to insinuations otherwise.

Anonymous said...

No one is perfect except for Christ. Of course President Hinckley will not tell the world he is perfect, because he is not. But one thing is probably true, he closer to perfect then any of us. He is good man and strives to follow the Lord. Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet of God, whether you agree or not. I'm really sorry that a lot of you people aren't willing to see the best in people, even if they don't have your opinion. Of course you are entitled to your own opinions, as I am entitled to mine.

Anonymous said...

Let me just say some things here. Number 1: Homosexuality is wrong, it's an abomination in the Lord's eyes.Sodom and Gamora were destroyed from the Earth when they had reached a point of sin so vile the Lord could tolerate it no more. The majority of the civilization was homosexual. Number 2: I'm saying there is no possible way that anyone can be born gay, they might be born with certain temptations, just as all people are, but they need to push these temptations away. We all want to have sex but we abstain until marriage. TEMPTATIONS CAN BE OVERCOME. It's called self-discipline and self-control people! There is no room for it in society, it leads to the downfall of society, and families. You can overcome this,you don't have to have same sex attraction, I'm not going to call it homosexuality anymore because that gives you a label and an excuse. "well other people do it so i can too" you're a moron! Those acts are the most disgusting and vile acts I can think of, other than murder. I could give a crap less if I'm being politically incorrect. It's not ok. It never will be ok. It will never lead to happiness, only emptiness just as all sin does. Yes it is a sin. A disgusting sin. I can't believe people think it's intolerant to have morals. Everyone who thinks same sex attraction is ok, is a complete idiot. Read Genesis, it says that man will leave his family and cleave unto his WIFE and they shall become one flesh. It also says that WOMAN was made to be with man, not man for man. That's why God created Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve. If you think otherwise you're in for a big surprise when you meet the Lord after this life, or during this life whenever the second coming is. This country is falling apart from the inside out because we no longer have any morals. We justify all these stupid things because a few people have certain tendancies and no self-control. Grow some balls and overcome your temptation, don't give in because the world says it's ok. This country needs God back in it, stupid aetheists taking God out of the pledge of allegiance and off money are also morons. To not believe in God you have to be THE most unintelligent person ever! There I said it. That's about all I have to say right now.

Anonymous said...

Oh one more thing, The lord said whether it is by my mouth or the mouth of my servants it is the SAME. PROPHET Gordon B. Hinckley speaks for the Lord and for the church. We are not blindly following him you idiot, we are promised that he speaks for the Lord, do you not read your scriptures. Satan is the one planting doubt in your heart, maybe you should pray and seek more faith to follow the prophet and to believe in the words the Lord has said. Once more, whether by my mouth or by the mouth of my servants it is the same. Now I'm sure that's not verbatim, but pretty close. Amos chapter 3 verse 7: Surely the Lord will do nothing except he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets. Gordon B. Hinckley is right, homosexuality is ALWAYS wrong, no if's and's or but's about it. The church does not condone it, neither does the Lord. He's called it an abomination.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. There is no way anyone can be "born gay." I think it is possible to be born with gay tendancies, just like it is possible to be born with violent tendencies, or just about any other psychological tendency. HOWEVER, there is still a RIGHT and a WRONG way. We are all born with weaknesses. If violence is someone's weakness, they need to work to do what's right. If lack of humility is someone's weakness, they need to work to do what is right. The same follows, if gaity is someone's weakness, then they need to work to do what is right. Therefore, the only true issue here is to do what is right, or not to do what is right, same as any other issue. The question then: is homosexuality wrong? 2 Timothy 3:1 says "in the last days perilous times shall come." And he lists examples of what will be in those times. None of those examples are of physical peril--they are spiritual peril. And one of the pitfalls he lists is: "men shall be....without natural affection." Our souls are in danger. We are indeed in perilous times. Homosexuality is ineed one of the perils. Last poster, I copy your words: "homosexuality is ALWAYS wrong, no if's and's or but's about it. The church does not condone it, neither does the Lord. He's called it an abomination."

Bruce said...

These last two comments perfectly, and I mean p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y summarize exactly what is wrong with the Church.

It's members.

President Hinckley's comments are Christ-centered. He adheres to what Christ taught as the first and second great commandments. Love God with all thy heart. And the second (great commandment) is like unto the first, to love thy neighbor.

Upon these two great commandments "hang (are the foundation for) all the law and the prophets".

These last posts above mine from supposedly, faithful LDS members go against the 'great' law, and President Hinckley's comments that we:

1. Love them
2. Try to work with them
3. Help them

Each person must work out for him/herself how best we love those who are different from ourselves, or make choices that we disagree with.

President Hinckley himself says that he does not know whether being gay is inborn. Do you think he hasn't sat in and actively discussed this issue for hundreds and thousands of hours? Do any of you really think you are more informed that he? It is the very height of prideful thinking to pick and choose which of the tenets of our faith you will choose to follow. You are no better than the adherents of any other faith in which its followers pick and choose according to what they find most convenient to believe in.

Our prophet says we are to love homosexuals just as Christ commanded we are to love Him and each other. When you have mastered that particular commandment, you can then bend the knee and seek guidance for how best to work with and to help those you feel you are now qualified to help.

As you do so, please keep in mind President Wilford Woodruff's admonition from lesson 10, page 105 of the priesthood manual:

"...I say to my brethren who bear the priesthood, we have got a mighty warfare to wage with the [adversary]. We cannot escape it. What will they do to you? They will try to make us do anything and everything that is not right. [The adversary] would be very glad to make me and my brethren think we are great men, smarter than any one else; to divide us one against the other, and to cause us to seek to confess our brother's sins instead of our own. "

Now why would the adversary want us to "confess our brother's sins instead of our own?" So that you and I take our eyes off the true goal of living a life centered in love for God, and for our fellow man.

Do any of you really think that people who are gay have actually chosen to be so any more than you have chosen your own sexual orientation? Please, do you really think you are so much wiser and more knowledgeable the tens (and perhaps hundreds) of thousands of gay members who are experiencing this torment today? Are you so much wiser than President Hinckley himself?

I had a professor at BYU who was and is gay. He was in a bishopric at the time, married with children. When he was called into the bishopric, he disclosed his orientation to the bishop. The only thing that mattered was his worthiness, and yes he was worthy despite being gay. He was a much beloved counselor in the bishopric, whose children served missions. Full of the spirit, who bore a strong testimony of the prophet, BOM, and Joseph Smith. He was promised these feelings would go away if he were to serve a mission (he did, and became the Assistant), and then again was promised this if he were to get married (which he did). He is still who he is. His life has also been terribly difficult, even tormenting -- beyond the ability to describe in words. Not just for him, but for his wife -- do you think she doesn't know who her husband really is after all these years?

He is who he is, just as you are who you are -- which is why you and I still struggle with whatever is that we struggle with after all of these years.

I hope this starts to sink in to those who are slow to recognize that the world may not be so black & white as they had been led to believe.

Life is hard, full of difficult choices -- or have you forgotten the torments of your own life, your own personal dilemmas?

Follow Christ's example. Follow the prophet.

Continuing with President Woodruff's admonition:

"...And if our eyes are open to comprehend the things of God (through your humble obedience to the two great laws), we can comprehend our responsibilities;..."

It is a hard thing to understand that we are all the way we are, each of us no better than the other -- only some of us have a much easier experience in life when you are born with those things that make it easier for you to fit into the mainstream.

But have no doubt about it. You will be held accountable to love those different from you, and whose choices are different from yours. This love will be evident in your thoughts, your words, your deeds, and your actions. God is no respector of persons, and he made each and every one of us as we are.

Now we are here in this life, with our bodies. We must each make choices for which we are each to be held accountable for to God.

Those of you born into the mainstream, who have always had heterosexual attractions, much has been given to you and much is required. First and foremost, above all else what is required is to show forth love to God and all of His children, your brothers and sisters. If you do, then will your words and actions ring with charity, and if not -- your words and actions are worthless and best kept to yourself.

But may they ring with love!

Anonymous said...

I see. Those who are TBM believe that homosexuality is an abominable sin, so sayeth the Lord. Well it's true some man long ago wrote those words down and said God told him what to say.

Why are they choosing THAT particular sin to condemn so whole heartedly and with such love and faith in their hearts and minds?

If we're going to take the words of the Bible LITERALLY word for word and state that every one of those "laws" must be followed, well then, true believers, you need to get out your rocks and knives because:

1) you need to kill your own children if they disobey you, as that is one "law" of God that we are to follow to the letter
2) we need to stone all those wretched rape victims, for that specific punishment for their sin is mentioned in there, too
3)adultery merits a death sentence, too. Oops, there goes approx. 3/4ths of the male married population of the earth. Because lusting in your heart IS ADULTERY TOO, so sayeth the Lord thy God.

Other "abominations" included are:

cross dressing (it actually just says wearing a man's clothes if you are a woman, but you get the drift)

remarrying your first wife if she was married in between marriage 1 and 2

shaving off your beard. yes, it does say that.

charging or PAYING interest is another abomination, punishable by death. Watch out, good old mom and pop, I think I saw the grim reaper headed out to your place just now. You DO have a mortgage don't you? Well then, your head's on the chopping block, too. No excuses.

Very factual light-hearted discussion of these and other "abominations' here:

http://home.earthlink.net/~ggghostie/abominations.html

And what about Jesus saying he who is without sin may cast the first stone? That statement basically says there is NO ONE on earth that may stand in judgement of ANY sin or ANY sinner. Period. Not you, not Hinckley, not the Mormons, not the Episcopals, the Catholics, the Methodists, the Baptists or anyone else calling themselves Christians.

So you abominator-haters that say you are christians and LOVE one another as thyself? You've got some very heavy work to do in future to be able to face your Lord and master when he comes again, to be able to say you held yourself to that very simple standard, the same one He himself held to while on this earth.

Good Luck.

Veronica said...

That is whats wrong with the church?? "NO" thats whats wrong with society..and people like you who think that its O.K. Its not he church. Everything is in the bible, maybe you should try reading it and learning it. Love thy neighbor is a commandment of God, and we do. Everyone has trials in life, homosexuals arent the only ones. So stop blamming the church because you dont like what the Word of God says. Its not only the LDS church that doesnt beleave in same sex relations..thats every church I've ever known. So I suggest you Pray and hear what the Lord has to say.
Ant blame yourself for who you are not no one else cause only you can change it..and stop trying to change the rest of the world to suit your life.

Sivuyile said...

I do not understand why one always find excuses not to beleive, rather than to believe!

But this consept has always existed since the worls was. When Noah was commanded to built an ark, most laughed at him and thought that he was an "idiot"! When the flood came, were the people still laughing or did they regret it?

Basically what I'm trying to point out is that Heavenly Father has always called Prophets to lead His people on earth. Unfortunately not many choose to listen to them - because they always search for excuses not to beleive.

I do understand that not everyone accepts the fact that Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley is the Prophet of the world today - so I would like to pose a challenge if there be such - take time to study that man, read his talks, his qoutes, attend LDS Conferences if possible, and just find reasons to believe what he teaches - you will be suprised at what you will discorver.

I know that Pres. Hinckley is the Prophet of the world in these latter-days and that he does recieve direct revelation from God Himself.

Anonymous said...

Ya i have something to say to some of you have you ever really thought about homosexuality it's killing society and is not a part of gods creation if it was a part of gods creation then people of the same sex would be able to have babies, if everyone in the world were homosexuals well there wouldn't be anyone left would there so ya i do think that homosexuality is wrong!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The gospel teaches us that our natures can, and must be changed in order to inherit eternal life. Anybody who claims that human nature is not malleable is a liar who resists bending their will to that of the creator. How can you be saved if you persist in holding on to carnal, sensual and devilish nature.

People are born will weaknesses. When you feed that weakness through action, thought or entertained desire, you feed the weakness into a monster. When I eat chocolate, I crave chocolate. Your heart follows where your thoughts lead.

We all have weaknesses; but we don't all give in to them. The idea that God made you this way or that way is ludicrous in the context of the revealed gospel. We are each the sum total of our choices. Those who believe they have power to change their desires can change them...I'm a living witness of that fact. Those shrug off personal accountability and adopt the belief that they are the way they are and that is just that are right too.

We might struggle mightily with some demons, and some struggles might last a lifetime; and some only go out with fasting and powerful prayer, and strict immersion in virtuous environments, literature and music.

I believe the most damnable doctrine and ugliest lie is that a person's nature cannot be changed. Anybody to CHOOSES to internalize this belief has chosen damnation...for their progress is stopped.

noel clark said...

Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley is a true prophet of GOD....he is also human like us.as member of the church we regard him as our leader who is not afraid to give his own ideas about the issue being asked.im very proud of him.he is agood leader and we dearly loved him very much.