Homosexuality, Feminism, and the Intelligentsia
This is the sixth in a 7-part series, A Compound in One.
Twenty years ago this year Elder Boyd K. Packer taught precious doctrines of submission in a beautiful talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council (the whole talk is worth a read). These gentle teachings would make him a target for three increasingly powerful secular movements that currently threaten the members of the Church:
Perhaps too many of us are strong advocates of our own specialized work or are such strong protectors of our own turf that we face the wrong way — maybe just sideways. Simplification and reduction must come. Simplification and reduction will come! If we cannot do it on our own — and we seem to be in that circumstance — the future will see us doing, in anxious haste, that which we might have done with deliberate care had we followed the vision which has been given to us.
Surely you have been anxiously watching the worldwide evaporation of values and standards from politics, government, society, entertainment, schools. Could you be serving in the Church without having turned to those pages in the revelations and to those statements of the prophets that speak of the last days? Could you, in working for the Church, not be conscious of or have ignored the warnings? Could you be blind to the drift that is taking place? Are you not conscious of the drift that is taking place in the Church? Could you believe other than it is critical that all of us work together and set aside personal interests and all face the same way?
It is so easy to be turned about without realizing that it has happened to us. There are three areas where members of the Church, influenced by social and political unrest, are being caught up and led away. I chose these three because they have made major invasions into the membership of the Church. In each, the temptation is for us to turn about and face the wrong way, and it is hard to resist, for doing it seems so reasonable and right.
The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals. Our local leaders must deal with all three of them with ever-increasing frequency. In each case, the members who are hurting have the conviction that the Church somehow is doing something wrong to members or that the Church is not doing enough for them.
Three areas where members of the Church, influenced by social and political unrest, are being caught up and led away.
In shuddering recognition, we must acknowledge that the three worldly movements causing more division among the Church than any others focus on homosexuality, feminism, and the ever-continuing sniping of the intelligentsia. Using our litmus test for the theology of the family, the doctrine of one becoming two becoming many, these all three smack of the influence of Satan.
The false belief that many hold that God will somehow change His mind about the structure of the family and one day seal same-sex spouses together is ludicrous when we know the mysteries of eternity. The idea that women must be made into caricatures of men, focusing on their personal or sexual fulfillment to the exclusion of families is ludicrous when we know the mysteries of eternity. The idea that our prophets are befuddled, delimited geriatrocrats whose views will be overturned by a more progressive generation of apostles perfectly fits the description of the proud intelligentsia, a foundationless building filled with pointing, jeering, laughing better-than-theys. How clearly Elder Packer prophesied.
More importantly, if we teach the doctrine, our youth can immediately identify Satan at work in the ideas that bombard them, and they will be protected.
In 1979, over three decades ago, Elder Neal A Maxwell uttered these prophetic words, bringing shivers of recognition:
Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions…. This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ….Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted….Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened….Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.” (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Feb 1979, p. 69-73)
The dualism we now face, the clear distinction between good and evil, the counsel of prophets and the challenge of Babylon, is a temporary dualism.
All things must fail, first, before we find a compound in one.