In the October 1998 Conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke about the issue of homosexuality. “People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gay and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times.”
Our social work class was recently privileged to hear from two homosexual men. Although we may not agree with their behavior, we listened and were educated about this pervasive subject and gained an understanding that is imperative to our ability as therapists. Unfortunately, when they arrived, we learned they had been “gay bashed” in the parking lot of our university, being referred to as “faggots” and mocked.
Certainly, such behavior does not reflect President Hinckley’s statement that we love these people as children of God. How tragic it is that bashing occurs at all, especially at a university considered to be Christian. To those who felt the need to speak so rudely, we make you aware of the words of President Hinckley in the April 1998 conference: “A holier-than-thou attitude is not becoming to us.” He further states: “Let us be true disciples of the Christ, observing the Golden Rule, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. … Love and respect will overcome every element of animosity. Our kindness may be the most persuasive argument for that which we believe.”
We realize that people who “gay bash” or ridicule others also deserve to be understood and heard. Perhaps they feel threatened by people who are different from them. However, just as the behavior of homosexuality is considered to be against church standards, so is mocking others.
If you don’t agree with homosexuality, do something constructive about it like appealing to your legislators. That is how we can stand up for truth and righteousness, not by yelling “faggots” at homosexuals who pass by.
Lance T. Peterson
Lori A. Tan