The prophet Jacob chastened the people for, among other things, sexual immorality - leading to further discussion in both the seminary and institute manuals. The institute manual included a quote from Elder Richard G. Scott which ended with the following paragraph:
"Sexual immorality creates a barrier to the influence of the Holy Spirit with all its uplifting, enlightening, and empowering capabilities. It causes powerful physical and emotional stimulation. In time, that creates an unquenchable appetite that drives the offender to ever more serious sin. It engenders selfishness and can produce aggressive acts such as brutality, abortion, sexual abuse, and violent crime. Such stimulation can lead to acts of homosexuality, and they are evil and absolutely wrong” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 50–51; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 38).Say what??? I had to go back and re-read this a couple of times. I was OK with everything he said prior to this paragraph. If he had ended with the first or second sentence of this paragraph I would have been OK. But, to suggest that sexual immorality leads to brutality and violent crime? I've known a lot of people who, according to LDS doctrine, are sexually immoral. Good people - who just don't agree that sex should be limited to married couples. To suggest that, if they don't get married, they will eventually become brutal and violent criminals just seems ludicrous. I'll wager a guess that most people who are brutal and violent probably have no qualms about sexual immorality - but to suggest that their sexual improprieties led them to become brutal and violent is like saying all people who have died have consumed water - therefore, water must be hazardous to our health.
And the whole business of sexual immorality leading to acts of homosexuality - I just don't get that at all. Is he suggesting that heterosexual boys who keep having sex outside of marriage will eventually get bored with girls and start banging other boys?
And, to equate homosexuality with brutality and violence - seriously, does he even know any homosexuals? As a group, homosexuals tend to be far more humble and passive than their heterosexual counterparts. Show me two guys - one gay and one straight - and ask me which one is the brutal and violent criminal - and I'm going to say that, in all likelihood, it's the straight dude.
What especially bothers me is that, while the quote is from several years ago, the institute manual itself is brand new - copyright 2009. Do they not ever stop to consider how the quotes they put in these manuals might affect people? Consider the young man, sexually chaste his whole live - yet struggling with unwanted feelings. Perhaps he's a returned missionary - trying to figure out why his missionary companions were more attractive to him than girls. How is he going to feel after reading this passage? Uplifted with the knowledge that he is right with God? Or is he going to feel dirty and unworthy simply because of these feelings he has - feelings he's never acted upon?
Mind you, I'm not excusing sexual immorality. As I stated in my last post about my journey - I place a high value on fidelity within a relationship. I just think sometimes, these guys don't know when to stop. Surly God did not reveal these "truths" to him.
Some might say I'm nit picking - and perhaps I am. But, I'm in a position where I'm supposed to teach these things to our youth. How can I relate things as "inspired teachings" that I personally see as stupid and dumb? And, if he totally missed the mark on this very serious topic, how can I trust anything else he says?
Yesterday in priesthood meeting the lesson was on Adversity. As part of the lesson, a quote was read by Boyd K. Packard where he taught that "gender was determined in the pre-mortal existence." Not really quite sure what that has to do with adversity - but it somehow led to a discussion of California's proposition 8 centering around this being an unpopular teaching in the world today - because, apparently, all of us gay guys want to be girls.
. . . people just shouldn't talk about things they know nothing about.