Oblivion (A Mormon Teen Speaks Out for Others, Part 1 of 2)

By Susannah Montgomery (also posted at FeministMormonHousewives.org)
Oblivion (noun): Official disregard or overlooking
My name is Susannah Montgomery and I’m fourteen. I have a gay brother named Jordan and he is a year older than me. He is my best friend and I love him. As his sister I feel like I have to defend him and other gay people also. A few weeks ago Jordan and I went to EFY. One of the classes I went to had about a hundred people there, so on average about ten of them were gay. The teacher brought up the topics on what the church thought about gay people. He said that it is a choice and you can only be happy if you follow the commandments and the church’s definition of family. I noticed that Jordan was in the class and was close to tears. I raised my hand and said, “So are you saying that gay people should be alone for the rest of their lives?” The teacher said yes. So then I asked, “Does the church have a position on being gay?”  I already knew the answer but I wanted to see if he did. His answer surprised me because he said no. I said, “Yes they do. The church just came out with a website called mormonsandgays.org that says in the first sentence that being gay is not a choice.” He didn’t respond to me. I thought to myself that this man is completely oblivious to these gay people’s lives and the trials that they have to go though.
After class was over I went to talk to the teacher. I told him about the website and we had a very long discussion on the gay topic. This man had no idea about what he was talking about when we had this conversation and his lesson.  He kept saying that marriage is between a man and a woman, which is great and the church says its right, but he also said that’s the only way to be happy.  I told him I know plenty of gay people and they are some of the happiest people I know. They’re not choosing to be gay. They are born that way. God created all of us and he never made a mistake and we are all sons and daughters of God.  I think that is what most people disregard or over look. Also Jesus said love everyone, he never said love everyone except gay people. The church is always telling us to be more Christ-like and they’re right.
About half an hour later the teacher left and the president of EFY came up to me and I felt like he was completely oblivious to the gay community as well. We had a very similar conversation that I had with the teacher. Both men had never read the mormonsandgays.org website and had never met a gay person that was out of the closet. They just assumed that being gay is wrong because they weren’t educated on what the word gay even meant. They never took the time to learn about the gay community. Many young gay people are depressed and in Utah there is about one gay suicide every week. They are depressed because they are thrown out of their homes and they lose their families. They are also depressed because they are tired of being told that they are evil and they are choosing to go to hell. They are bullied and some find themselves committing suicide. When our conversation was over I noticed that a friend I met a day earlier was with me the entire time. She thanked me for standing up for the other gay people in that class including herself.
Another experience I’ve had was at girls’ camp, a week before EFY. All the girls my age went on a two day hike and once we set up camp we had dinner. After dinner we had a question and answer lesson where the girls asked the questions and our Stake President would answer. So I asked, “If a gay couple adopts kids can they be sealed together?” I could tell by the expression on his face that the question caught him by surprise. He talked for a few minutes and to sum it up, he basically said that they can’t. He kept trying to change the subject but I wouldn’t let him. I asked more and more questions and he didn’t really have the answers.  The last question I asked was, “Does the church have a position on being gay?”  He said, “No, they don’t.”  Here is another person who is completely oblivious to the gay community. So I said, “Yes they do. The church has a website called Mormons and gays that says that it is not a choice being gay.” He ignored me for the rest of the lesson, no surprise to me. The word spread on what I had said and done. I got some not so nice looks when we got back to camp. But to my surprise some girls and church leaders came and told me that I have their support and some told me some very personal stories that were about people or family members that were gay. They thanked me for saying what I did.
These experiences I’ve had have taught me that you have no idea who you’re helping if you stand up for what you believe. They’ve also taught me that not everyone knows about gay people and they don’t know that what they say can really hurt people. So, if anyone doesn’t understand, it probably means that they are oblivious and need someone annoying like me to tell them the truth. If you don’t know any gay people, you should try to meet one because it helps open your eyes to see what they go though and you will become more understanding to everyone.

Susannah is 14 year old Mormon teen living with her parents, her 2 brothers and her 2 sisters. Susannah’s hobbies are playing harp and crocheting. She loves playing with her 2 dogs, and she plays an awesome game of basketball. (Her family is featured in the Family Acceptance Project Video ‘Family’s are Forever‘.)

Part 2 here

42 comments for “Oblivion (A Mormon Teen Speaks Out for Others, Part 1 of 2)

  1. Whitney Weddell
    August 16, 2013 at 10:20 am

    You GO, Girl!!

    • Maria
      March 16, 2014 at 9:31 am

      What a wonderful sister and person.

  2. Mungagungadin
    August 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

    You are making the Mormon-world a safer place for its LGBT. Angels are your out-riders. Keep going!

  3. Daniel Butler
    August 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Awesome. Thank you for your bravery! So many people are completely ignorant of the issues, and the church’s positions. Usually only those who are gay or know people who are gay know about it. And those who are gay aren’t often in a position to teach others, or if they are will be regarded as not very trustworthy on the issue. Which is bizarre since they’d be the ones most likely to know.

  4. Tabitha
    August 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Susannah, you are a true disciple of Christ and an amazing young woman. Thank you for sharing these experiences and for your strength of character and love for others!

  5. Lyle
    August 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I really appreciate your comments. All church leaders need to be on board about the gay issue.

  6. Emily
    August 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    You are such an amazing young woman….with an incredible family. I am so proud of you and how you stand up for what you know to be right. You are such a wonderful example to all you come in contact with of true Christ-like love.

    August 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I admire anyone who stands up for what they believe. Having said that, I think Susannah is both right and wrong. I believe that some people who struggle with gay feelings are born that way while others choose it (experimentation, etc.). I also believe the same about pedophilia and other deviant sexual behavior. I happen to have a family member serving a 14 year prison sentence for child molestation. He started exhibiting his sexual deviancy at age 5. He was never molested or abused. I can tell you with absolute certainty he was “born that way”. He never developed a natural attraction to anyone other than prepubescent girls. It is something he will struggle with his entire life to overcome. Fortunately, it’s still considered immoral, harmful and illegal but there are “so-called” experts who are pushing to accept sexual relationships between adults and children claiming they are just as natural and nurturing as any other accepted relationship. Do an internet search, it’s appalling. My point is, deviancy is still deviancy. While we need to always show love and compassion to those who struggle with gay feelings, accepting them for WHO they are, it is important to remember that God’s mercy doesn’t trump God’s laws. It all comes down to your own personal testimony. Do you believe eternal marriage is a divine covenant between a man and a woman? Those who struggle with gay feeling will have to decide if they want an eternal family with a spouse of opposite gender and natural born children or not. There is an interesting story that has been circulated about a LDS gay man who decided to sacrifice being with someone who he is naturally attracted to with having an eternal family. He’s married with kids and even has a healthy sex life with his wife whom he loves and is very happy with. I thought his story was very inspiring. I support anybody’s decision for forgo the eternal plan for families for an unconventional family that they find happiness in. We all have our free agency and I don’t think we should judge another’s choices. I agree that people need to be educated but I also believe that the gay propaganda and gay agenda is harmful to our society and culture.

    • Daniel Parkinson
      August 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Jennifer. Please go listen to the Josh and Lollie Weed interview at MormonStories.org. He is the the gay Mormon you are talking about and Lollie is his amazing wife. If you listen to them you will see that they don’t agree with what you are saying here, and in fact, he has spoken out against people using his story in this way. They respect peoples decisions about whether they should be celibate, in a same-sex relationship, or in a mixed-orientation marriage. He and his wife also support our right to same-sex marriage. They also have seen mixed-orientation marriages fail, and have seen dear friends suffer painful consequences. Josh and Lolly Weed are role models. They are a role model of a loving couple. They are also role models of people who actively advocate for more love and acceptance of our LGBT brothers and sisters. I suspect they would be proud of what Susannah has done and said, because they are doing the same thing in their Stake in Portland and have helped make the Portland Stake a very welcoming place for ALL LGBT people. Please listen to their inspiring interview:

      • JENNIFER
        August 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        Daniel, I don’t disagree with you! I don’t condemn anyone’s right to choose what makes them happy. That was one of my points exactly.

        • Laura Thompson
          March 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm

          Jennifer, your message is contradictory. You grouped gay people with pedophiles and “other sexual deviant behaviors.” “And God’s Laws doesn’t trump His mercy?” Do you speak for Him? Have you been chosen as the new Prophet? You have obviously missed the mark. Your brother is obviously a sick individual who needs help. Please don’t lump him with gay people because you are no better than the people who protests at a soldier’s funeral with the sign “God Hates Fags.” Being a pedophile has nothing to do with being gay.

    • Becky Coombs
      August 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      “Do you believe eternal marriage is a divine covenant between a man and a woman?” 35 years ago, the question would have been – Do you believe eternal marriage is a divine covenant between a NON-BLACK man and a woman? The answer to your question may be very different today than it will be in 35 (or however-many) years. I will not speak for the Lord – that would be very arrogant. Those who have the authority to speak for Him have spoken. From the official church website:
      “…As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.” – Elder Quenton L. Cook

      “…We don’t counsel people that heterosexual marriage is a panacea. You’ll see in some of these experiences that are related on this site that it has been a successful experience in a few cases, or some have expressed the success they’ve found in marriage and in raising a family and in the joy and all that has filled out and blessed their lives as a consequence. But that, we know, is not always true. It’s not always successful. Sometimes it’s been even disastrous. So, we think it’s something that each person can evaluate and they can discuss, both with priesthood leaders and family and others, and make decisions. …” -Elder D.Todd Christofferson

      I am content to leave the judging and the future in the Lord’s hands. BTW, what is “the gay propaganda and gay agenda” that is harmful?

      • JENNIFER
        August 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        Thank you Becky, I love those quotes and I agree. I am also content to leave the judging and the future in the Lord’s hands. I believe I made that point about the judging already. As for the future, you bring up an interesting point. I understand that the leaders of the church asked many times to allow blacks to hold the priesthood and were told “no” until the answer was “yes”. Only the Lord understands his timing in all things. IF in the future the Lord reveals to his prophet that same sex temple marriages can be performed then I will accept it. Until then…homosexuals will have my love and support for WHO they are but not necessarily for their choices.

        I’m going to answer your question because I’m hopeful you are not just being defensive but really want to know where my comment was coming from. In answer to the propaganda… simply turn on your television and you will see all the clear and blatant promotion of homosexuality. Call it the promotion of acceptance, awareness, tolerance, call it whatever you want but it’s everywhere! Every media outlet is engaged. You’d really have to be desensitized or sheltered not to notice. I believe it’s just as harmful as the increased graphic sexual depiction, nudity, language and violence that is promoted right along with it.

        As for the agenda…research Communist Manifesto and Agenda 21 for starters. Then take a look at the strong political movement to demand acceptance of everything homosexual from laws and policies, to entitlement programs, to business, to church policy etc. Watch the film Agenda: Grinding Down America (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEHEOPpTNsw.) Pay special attention the end. This is the first political documentary I have seen that completely nails it at the end. Everything this country (world) is facing is designed to attack and destroy ONE THING and one thing only….THE FAMILY. If you can destroy the family, you win. The world will continue to digress and fall apart. Satan knows what he’s doing folks.

        I spoke up on this forum because first because I disagreed that all homosexuals are “born that way”. I related it to my family member because I see a correlation. And trust me when I say that I am quite painfully aware that one is consensual and the other victimizes. Take away the victim and incest and you are left with two classifications of people who are just not attracted to boobs and hips. That’s an over simplification, I know but it’s the only way it makes any sense to me. It also scares me to think that we will accept one and then the other. More and more discussion is taking place to reduce the age of consent. It’s only a matter of time.

        Second, I believe love and acceptance of those who struggle with homosexuality needs to be expressed. That we should respect individual agency as long as it doesn’t hurt others. It’s the right thing to do and there is much to overcome. I’m impressed with Susannah and her courage to educate those around her who are less informed. I also believe I should be allowed to disagree with the notion that homosexuality is normal and that it should be accepted into our society’s moral structure. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to support the individual without supporting the agenda but I think our church is doing a brilliant job of it.

        • Daniel Parkinson
          August 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm

          You should check out what is happening in Russia with LGBT people. Google it. I am sure you will think they are doing the right thing there where they have made laws with similar language to what you are using here. They are making it illegal to speak out in any way in support of gays or even show any sign of support gays or you are arrested. And I also suppose that you think the push for a boycott of the Olympics because of this gross human rights violation is just gay propaganda. I suppose you think it is the gay agenda to fight against these policies that lead to police brutality against gays, but also lead to vigilante groups pursuing and torturing/killing gay teens, all filmed on youtubes which are then widely distributed with no legal repercussions because that would promote the gay agenda. Susannah even pointed out that there is an average of one suicide a week of young LGBT Mormons in Utah. These kind of attitudes are what drives that. I wish you would talk to one gay teen and find out what their experience is like in Mormonism, where they are treated with open hostility, and where they are regularly compared to murderers and pedophiles. I wish you would watch the Family Acceptance Project video linked in Susannah’s post above that shows how her brother became suicidal when he realized that his church hated him (and her brother has never disobeyed the law of chastity). I wish you could talk to one of the 400 LGBT Mormon teens who roam the streets in Utah because their families kicked them out for being gay. Susannah is educated on this issue, and she is distraught about how most Mormons are oblivious to the reality of these young Mormons and the torment they face on a daily basis in their communities and especially in their wards. Did you ever receive messages in church that God would rather have you dead than be what you are? These kids hear these messages and they kill themselves. Please go talk to some of them, and open your heart to their reality. Susannah has done that.

        • Gina
          August 17, 2013 at 6:28 am

          These are things that destroy the family:
          -fear and hatred
          -drug and alcohol use

          Gay people do not destroy families.

    • Gina
      August 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      I appreciate your awareness that LGBT people deserve respect and rights. I am sad, though, that they are considered deviant and brought down to the level of pedophilia. Pedophiles have victims.

    • Lucy
      March 13, 2014 at 6:30 am

      I can’t believe you just compared me to a pedophile imprisoned for molesting young girls. Being gay is not immoral or deviant. Your post is extremely judgmental and simply misinformed.

  8. Becky Coombs
    August 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    WOW WOW WOW! You go, girl! We need more young women of courage and compassion.

  9. Jimmy Palmieri
    August 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    It always amazes me, that so much hope lies just a generation ahead. I love this girl, and I don’t know her. Her brother, and family and people who are lucky enough to be her friends, are being touched by an angel.

  10. Dennis
    August 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Wonderful post, Susannah! The mormonandgays.com church is wonderful for helping gay people and others as well!

  11. Jake D.
    August 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Unfortunately religion has grown to be about control. Institutions grow with behaviors to insulate and protect that institution. In the case of the church it’s fear, control, to insure tithing revenue.

    Independent thinkers like Susannah are what’s right with the world because they love morally and unconditionally without fear, manipulation, and control.

  12. Gina
    August 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Your essay is so good! Little Miss Thang, YOU need to be an EFY instructor. You for sure are a leader.

  13. andrew h
    August 16, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    When will “Part 2” be posted?

    • Daniel Parkinson
      August 16, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      Tomorrow early (just a few hours from now actually 🙂 )

  14. carol Lynn Pearson
    August 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Great stuff, Susannah! Very PROUD of you, and so great to be walking with you and your family on this territory. All XO, CLP

  15. Chris
    August 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you for such wonderful words! You seem like a wonderful young woman with a good head on your shoulders. I’d like to reapond to what you’ve written, albeit briefly.

    Your sentiments regarding the absolute necessity of love, compassion, respect, etc. toward individuals struggling with same gender attraction (and those who are not struggling with it) is spot on. Just like with any virtue, however, it can be warped to suit the motives of an individual or group.

    Sin is sin and God will never change that. Homosexual relationships are always wrong (sexual or asexual). It does not matter if a person was born with a certain predisposition to commit certain sins, they must refrain from doing them if they are to be a disciple of Christ.

    A prime example would be people who suffer with violent tendencies toward others. This is a natural impulse some are born with but must not be acted upon by true disciples of Christ. This includes acting upon these feelings with other consenting adults such as in MMA competitions or the like.

    Thus, I become uncomfortable when you say things like, “If a gay couple adopts kids can they be sealed together?” Be sure you express your feelings in terms of the scriptures and words of the prophets (if you’re attempting to be a disciple of Christ, which you seem to be). A gay couple cannot exist within the bounds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and even more so when associated with the temple (the fullness of the gospel). Also, you seemed to have something of a disrespectful attitude toward a stake president (i.e. presiding Priesthood officer).

    My hope is that we can all work together to increase love and compassion for homosexual friends while encouraging conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    • Daniel Parkinson
      August 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      How come so many Mormons have to qualify their love EVERY time. We can’t seem to tell a gay person we love them and accept them without reminding them that we ‘hate’ the sin. Can we have a single conversation with them or about them without reminding them that we think that they are sinners? Do we do that with other people? No wonder the vast majority of LGBT leave the church. No wonder so many of them commit suicide. This is what conditional love looks like. Please think about what a young gay man or woman who has never had any sexual relationship must feel when they sit in church and be reminded of their ‘sin’ constantly (especially when it is a sin they haven’t even committed!). You have a vastly different vision of Christ-like love than me. Take a lesson from President Uchtdorf when he said “Don’t judge me because I sin differently from you.”

      • Chris
        August 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        “How come so many Mormons have to qualify their love EVERY time.” Because of reactions like this one.

        “This is what conditional love looks like.” Excuse me? On what are you basing this false assumption? That’s quite rude…

        “Please think about what a young gay man or woman who has never had any sexual relationship must feel when they sit in church and be reminded of their ‘sin’ constantly (especially when it is a sin they haven’t even committed!).” Everybody must deal with exactly the same thing in the Church of Jesus Christ. We all have inclinations to do evil, each with his or her own thorn. The difficulty arises, I think, when an individual gets tired of resisting the sin or when they decide they want to do it anyway and look for an excuse (sometimes). If we feel that uncomfortable in church, we need to reexamine and redouble our faith in the Atonement to change our very natures and desires. Until that change occurs in regards to our own difficulty, we must exhibit faith (and, perhaps more so, hope) that our weaknesses do not make us sinners – only when we give in to those inclinational weaknesses. (see Ether 12:27)

        I apologize for offending you; it was unintentional. You may want to examine this talk by Elder Bednar: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/and-nothing-shall-offend-them?lang=eng. It will change the way you react to individuals who express something you think is an attack on one of your beliefs or greater light and knowledge. I’d also highly recommend Elder Hafen: http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=651.

        • Daniel Parkinson
          August 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

          Chris, you didn’t offend me. What offends me is that the majority of LGBT Mormons feel so persecuted at church that they leave. What offends me is that on the average one gay LDS member commits suicide every week. Do you really think these gay people don’t know better than you what the church’s stance is on the sinfulness of homosexuality, after hearing this every single time the issue is brought up. They hear this loud and clear. What I am trying to point out to you is that it is that by reminding them of their sin so frequently, you are effectively driving them out of the church, and you are helping contribute to their suicides. I really wish you could stop and think about why Christ commanded us to love and commanded us not to judge, and stop and think about these despairing youth who suffer so much from their Mormon experience.

          • Chris
            August 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm

            I will certainly give that greater thought. I have given it much already but such an important subject deserves as much as necessary, as you seem to full well know.

            Where do you get that suicide statistic?

            I’d like to note that we both seem to agree on the importance of the last lines in your most recent post. I am also concerned about individuals who may take incorrectly the ideas in the original post in such a way as to either encourage or permit seriously sinful behavior. it’s more important to avoid send them to feel comfortable in this life, don’t you agree?

  16. Chris
    August 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    “to avoid send them” should read “to avoid sinful behavior than” (Vocal diction doesn’t always work. lol)

    • Daniel Parkinson
      August 20, 2013 at 5:48 am

      I think any parent of a gay or lesbian teen would rather see them engage in sinful behavior than commit suicide. Many LGBT young people commit suicide because they know they can’t live alone, and believe that God would rather have them commit suicide than enter into a same-sex relationship. I strongly disagree and can’t imagine a gospel of love that encourages suicide for anybody. Everybody sins, every day. I have to believe God would rather they stay alive, even if they aren’t living a perfect life. That is why he provided for them with the atonement.

      • Chris
        August 22, 2013 at 12:20 am

        “because they know they can’t live alone”

        I sure hope you didn’t really mean this. If some person out there has a mindset that living alone is so terrible, they haven’t experienced real trial. This can’t be true, especially for the LDS-LGBT community. There are far more difficult issues than this. Every older single adult in the Church struggles with this issue and most of them do it miraculously and bless others and live after the manner of happiness the entire time.

        Somehow you’ve convinced yourself that I’m not aware of the difficulty associated with being a homosexually-geared member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Somehow you think I haven’t spend a lot of time thinking about, trying to understand, ponder the feelings of, befriending, and praying for these fellow citizens in Christ.

        Now, that said, certainly you understand death isn’t the big issue about suicide. Death is simply a part of mortality – no real loss or punishment occurs for the departed. The sorrow is generally a quasi-selfish feeling of those “left behind” (or “left ahead” as it were). It’s a longing to be with that loved one again. Death is not some awful thing to God. Thus, when you say “I have to believe God would rather they stay alive, even if they aren’t living a perfect life,” I must disagree. To God and anybody with an eternal perspective, sin is evil while death is no evil at all as far as the dying is concerned.

        Suicide, however, does have an added element of sorrow because of the distorted, depressed, and incomprehensibly awful thoughts of those who choose (in one sense of the word) to do it. That’s the real big issue with suicide.

        • Daniel Parkinson
          August 22, 2013 at 8:35 am

          I for one, think it is a HUGE issue when a 20 year old dies for ANY reason, especially if it is totally preventable. These suicides are a tragedy beyond compare because they are basically being killed by the intolerance and indifference of their own communities.

          You are nicely demonstrating the attitudes that lead to the despair that LGBT people face. Denying the reality of their hardships never did and never will help. It only increases the alienation they feel.

          • Chris
            August 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

            “Denying the reality of their hardships never did and never will help.”

            Are you serious? How can you possibly think I’m denying the reality of their hardships, especially in light of the last paragraph in my most recent response? You are choosing to be ignorant, in part, by ignoring the obvious in what I’m saying.

            On what evidence do you base your conclusion that “they are basically being killed by the intolerance and indifference of their own communities”? This may be the case but I’ve not seen any research that indicates it. I’ve seen much more research that indicates a deeper mental issue involved in most suicides.

        • Daniel Parkinson
          August 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

          Chris, please read this brochure. It includes information about what really causes the suicides. And the problem is the negativity the LGBT kids face at home and in their communities. http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/files/FAP%20LDS%20Booklet%20pst.pdf

          • Wendy Montgomery
            August 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm

            Thank you, Daniel, for being a loving voice of concern, compassion and reason – and hopefully mitigating the damage done by some comments here.

          • Chris
            August 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm

            The brochure seems wonderful! I haven’t read the entire thing yet but I have read the parts dealing with suicide. My first reaction: this is talking about youths experiencing familial rejection. This is wrong and I’m not sure what it has to do with our discussion. I have neither encouraged or condoned the rejection of LGBT youth (or anybody for that matter). Additionally, none of the listed “rejection behaviors” have anything to do with anything I’ve said above.

        • Daniel Parkinson
          August 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

          Chris, I really appreciate that you took the time to look at the brochure. It is a sign of an open mind when you take the time to inform yourself, even though you disagreed with some of the arguments presented here. Thanks

  17. Lisa Glad
    March 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    THANK YOU, Susannah! You are setting a beautiful example for the rest of us to follow; keep it up! Your entire family gives me hope for our world. I have shared your post and hope I can be as strong and eloquent as you when opportunities arise to enlighten the world.

  18. David Laney
    March 22, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    If you believe that the Church is led by a prophet, the question of right and wrong is closed. If you don’t, there are many other churches.

    • Becky Coombs
      March 23, 2014 at 11:48 am

      David – “If you believe that the Church is led by a prophet, the question of right and wrong is closed. If you don’t, there are many other churches.”

      “The invitation to trust the Lord does not relieve us from the responsibility to know [truth] for ourselves. This is more than an opportunity; it is an obligation – and it is one of the reasons we were sent to this earth. Latter-day Saints are not asked to blindly accept everything they hear. We are encouraged to think and discover truth for ourselves. We are expected to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth. Brigham Young said: “ I am… afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security. … Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates.” “So we continually seek truth from all good books and other wholesome sources.” (President Uchtdorf, CES fireside in Salt Lake City, Utah January 14, 2013)

      The question of right and wrong is never closed.

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