Although we are critical of Mormonism, we are grateful when we see positive change that allows for more tolerance coming from Church leadership. Elder Oaks recently said in public remarks the following:

[Those in public office] remain free to draw upon their personal beliefs and motivations and advocate their positions in the public square. But when acting as public officials they are not free to apply personal convictions — religious or other — in place of the defined responsibilities of their public offices… A county clerk’s recent invoking of religious reasons to justify refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples violates this principle.”

He went on to say:

Constitutional duties, including respect for the vital principle of separation of powers, are fundamental to the rule of law. Government officials must not apply these duties selectively according to their personal preferences — whatever their source.”

“Parties with different views on the relationship between church and state should advocate and act with civility. … We all lose when an atmosphere of anger or hostility or contention prevails,” he said.  “We all lose when we cannot debate public policies without resorting to boycotts, firings, and intimidation of our adversaries.”

I think that this approach is a much more reasonable one from the Church. While we still feel the Church has not gone far enough, the reality is that people are able to believe what they want and the Church will continue to exist on its terms, not ours. Having a more tolerant attitude from all parties will lead to more open dialogue, which in turn can lead to even more positive change like this. Hopefully this message of tolerance towards those that believe and live differently will spread through the rest of the Church’s culture.


Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until he was excommunicated for adultery. During his disciplinary court, Elder Carrington tried to argue that he had only committed "a little folly in Israel!", but the current brethren couldn't be bothered to give him a break. Learn more about Elder Carrington here.
  • gcooper08

    As much as I like the flowery sentiment, his central argument (that we should replace the wall of separation between church and state with some kind of flimsy curtain) is severely misguided. Moreover, I have to wonder whether there is a catch somewhere. His speech seems like nothing more than a post-hoc attempt to come to terms with the fact the he and the church were and continue to be on the wrong side of history.

    • Arwen Undomiel

      Yes, I completely agree. How come the church is always on the wrong side of history? How come this church is always the last wheel on the bus that runs,runs, runs? How come his church is behind in all social issues? How come the prophets, seers and revelatory don’t have the discernment to see these things coming and be the first to lead for good?

      Yeah, they are not only behind, they have also become the stumbling rock in the way of social justice and equality for all. They suck.

  • Pink-lead

    Glad to see some softening of the rhetoric, but this comes primarily because the hard-lining of the past has failed/backfired.

  • Arwen Undomiel

    I agree that this “supposed change” seems good. However, experience has taught me not to trust the LDS leadership. Today something is wrong. Tomorrow the same thing is ok, and then they want to call it ” revelation”, when it’s just public pressure.

    This is the same leadership responsible for passing the law to give “religious freedom”, to those that did not want to serve gay weddings against their religious convictions. It’s becasue of this law, that some people have been able to discriminate the LGBT community with the excuse of religious freedom. This is the law that supported the attitudes of people like this clerk that did not want to do their job. This is the law LDS leaders proposed themselves and that passed, along with the law for fair housing for the LGBT community, in an attempt to conceal their main target: “religious freedom/permission to discriminate. Now Oaks condemns the actions of this clerk and I am supposed to believe him? Sorry, I dont.

    When I look at the whole picture, I have to believe this is just one more attempt to do damage control, only after the LDS has lost their political objectives, and after loosing many members who left church and sided with their LGBT families and friends. Let’s just wait a little and soon this church will come up with some other kind of abuse or deception “Mormon style.”

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