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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 04:23PM

After reading articles in The SL Trib, the Deseret News, and online posts from exmo or progressive mormon sources and links that TBM family members and friends have posted about Jeff's talk to BYU staff, I felt I needed more real info. So I 1) looked up and read the entire actual talk by Holland, 2) looked up and watched Matt Easton's 2019 Commencement speech, 3) read Matt's open letter to Jeff Holland and 4) listened to the multi-hour interview with John Dehlin and Kyle Ashworth where he so articulately told his story. The only conclusion I, or anyone who dares to read/listen to the primary sources, could possibly conclude is that Jeff's speech was the most passive-agressive thing I can ever remember coming from the mouth of an officer of the Corporation of the (LDS) President.

Holland lamented, "the real successes at BYU are the personal experiences that thousands here have had, personal experiences difficult to document or categorize or list." Yes. And guess what? Matt and thousands of other LGBTQ students who have attended BYU throughout the decades have had personal experiences too.

Matt told a lot of those experiences and so many of them were great ones for which he expressed thanks. Good lord, he was the valedictorian for the largest commencement BYU has. He noted how great many of his professors were, how stalwart he was in his student ward, how closely he held to the honor code--so much more so than most of his ward members or roommates. So why are his personal experiences to be discounted by Jeff & Crew? Why do other people's sons and daughters who didn't get in because students the likes of Matt were taking up space, deserve to be there before a student with a 4.0 GPA, a returned missionary, an exemplary church member?

Because Matt made the mistake of being moved by the death of a gay student. Another student who, like him, could not be "fixed" by BYU, no matter how terribly hard they tried. Matt's mission president had laid his hands on Matt's head and declared him cured, if he was faithful. So he wanted to be in an environment that allowed him to be faithful and have as few worldly distractions as possible. But it didn't work. Not for him and not for the gay student he met and lost. And not for thousands of other students who want so badly to be what the church tells them to be. But it's impossible. No amount of praying, no amount of scripture study (and Matt had done WAY more of that than any young adult I ever knew) is going to turn them straight.

Matt, as many professors and staff at BYU, many active church members, and many caring former church members, was and are grieved by the deaths of our LGBTQ young people. You know who's not? Jeff Holland and company. You can't disparage someone for caring, for wanting to do the one thing he can do to send a message to others like himself that they are children of God and BYU can be a good experience for them too and their lives are as important as any other student's, and claim to have cried tears over their deaths. Jeff cannot even recognize those students as the gay human beings they are. To him they are just people "with this same-sex challenge," like it's not having a car or dealing with poor eyesight.

He is as phony as a dollar bill from Nauvoo Bank. He was pushing them to their deaths and we all know that he will have blood on his hands because there ARE students who are on the edge and his hateful words will be all they need. He. Won't. Care! He's worried about the donors to the school who wrote to him and wanted to know why Matt was ever allowed to be there. He made very clear that a donor is more important than a student's life.

Matt did not commandeer the speech. He wore a stole to honor a student who died, he wanted to further honor that student by making his death mean something--by making a clear statement that "we are here, I am one of them, and I want no more deaths." It was a very small, maybe 2 sentences, of his entire speech. It wasn't ABOUT his being gay, it was about all students being welcome at BYU. I worked with a guy who was in the audience. He is an active church member, his daughter was graduating that day. He got it. His wife got it. The teachers who reviewed Matt's speech got it. The freakin Dean of his college got it and wholeheartedly approved it. Because they also care. They are also tired of the deaths.

The "friendly fire" he alludes to (that is not very friendly) is coming from HIM. It is ACTUALLY KILLING PEOPLE!!! Get it, Jeff??? People are dying and you are worried about what someone stating he is a proud graduate of BYU and god-forbid a gay one, will lead to other people making life-affirming statements at commencement? You want to make people think you're talking about people saying something like "I'm a proud coffee-drinking, pot smoking, alcoholic!" But you're forgetting, those things are actually against the honor code and no faculty or dean would approve it. Being gay is NOT against the honor code. And he did NOT violate the law of chastity. Maybe just being proud is against the church.

We've already seen the one upside to all of this--that it was the final straw that many people needed to leave the mormon church. But Jeff will also blame that on the BYU professors and not the hateful people like himself who run the organization, as he said he had a friend who left the church because she was radicalized by BYU professors. A guy I grew up with accepted and even performed the marriage of his gay son last year. He is an adjunct BYU professor--I'm sure he's considered one of the "radicalized" ones. Seriously, Jeff? THINK. If accepting the gay students didn't ring true and right to your "friend" (your word, probably not hers), she wouldn't have left. Quit trying to skirt out of taking blame for the ever-increasing exodus of the good, educated, caring and compassionate church members. You'll always have complete sheep who will bow their heads and say "baa." At least for the small amount of time that your hateful ass will be on this planet.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 04:33PM

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 04:37PM

Jeffery Holland suffers from depression. Chances are good he takes antidepressants. They can affect people in funky ways. The guy is an emotional roller coaster. He cry’s all the time and then loses his temper on a whim. He’s got these fantasies he holds dear and if you mess with his fantasies look out. Jeff is going to cry and then yell at you. Don’t you dare change BYU or say the Book of Mormon is a fraud.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 02:39PM

So he needs to be more valiant in living the gospel?

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 04:44PM

Being gay is NOT against the church.

This fact was one of the many nails in the coffin where my testimony is.

I learned as a Mormon that there are letter and spirit things in Mormonism. Letter of the law is having sex outside of marriage was against Mormonism. Having a homosexual attraction was not against Mormonism. At least as I understood it.

So, it doesn't make sense that the top leaders concentrate on things outside their laws. And there are so many tangential things important to Mormon leaders. Listening to GC one can hear the occasional feel-good Christian stuff, the thou shalt not stuff, and a bit of this stuff but usually not.

And then in talks outside of GC their gloves come off and their crazy hats on. Talk about doublespeak, mixed messages, and showing lack of inspiration.

Did Jesus ever "speak as a man?"

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 06:19AM

Mormonism is about a worthy male being sealed in the temple to a worthy female. The entire goal of the church is about being exalted which requires two members of the opposite sex to achieve.

Also the church benefits from this doctrine because it produces more church members. The church does not want you marring a non-member and it’s not going to have same sex sealings in the temple.

Sure you can be Mormon and be gay. I’m sure you can be legally married to a same sex spouse and still be Mormon. At least then you can have sex and not be breaking any commandments.

Heck, you probably can be gay and get into the lower part of the Celestial kingdom but exaltation is out of the picture.

I have no idea why anyone gay would want to be a Mormon. I’m straight and don’t want to be Mormon.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 10:43AM

Rubicon Wrote:
> Sure you can be Mormon and be gay. I’m sure you
> can be legally married to a same sex spouse and
> still be Mormon. At least then you can have sex
> and not be breaking any commandments.

I'm not so sure. Gay marriage seems to be enemy number one for Mormon leaders.

> Heck, you probably can be gay and get into the
> lower part of the Celestial kingdom but exaltation
> is out of the picture.

Or be a slave.

> I have no idea why anyone gay would want to be a
> Mormon. I’m straight and don’t want to be
> Mormon.

I've known a few very religious gay men. I actually met and spoke with a man who was gay and had been working for a church for whom his faith was everything.

I can understand being gay and wanting to be Mormon. I can understand being polyamorous and wanting to be Mormon. Heck, what about polygamists? They think they can be like their founders.

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Posted by: blackcoatsdaughter ( )
Date: September 04, 2021 06:21PM

"I have no idea why anyone gay would want to be a Mormon."

Because they claim to have the truth. If it is the truth about our life here, why wouldn't you sacrifice everything to attain it?

If they're gay and Mormon and suffering, obviously, they'd rather not be suffering. But they do because they've been brainwashed to believe the scam. And when you're taught that suffering and sacrifice for obedience is a virtue? Then you learn that the pain you feel means you're good and righteous, because you've earned your worthiness.

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Posted by: gemini ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 05:02PM

It is already having an impact in my own family.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 11:20PM

I’m so sorry Gemini. If anyone needs to school ol Jeffery, it’s you! Your family has been at ground zero of this issue for many years. The ranks of gays at BYU is not just limited to students.

I was just reading a FB post from a mother who lost her gay son to suicide. She quoted Elder Uchtdorf (sp?) and apparently (I haven’t verified the quote), his words about the condemnation of LGBTQ church members was “Just Stop!” Do we wonder why he’s no longer in the FP?

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 06:25AM

I would love to see Uchtdorf become prophet. I’m sure the more orthodox apostles would crap their garments over the changes he would bring forth.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 07:52PM

I’m not sure the aggression is passive.

A friend said he expects Oaks to double down in GC next month.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 08:47AM

Well, he is speaking out of both sides of his jowls when he first proclaims “we love you, I have cried a river of tears for you, you are welcome at BYU,” and then out the other jowl it’s “don’t speak about it, especially in the context of being a proud BYU student, don’t EVER touch someone you’re attracted to in any way-not in the ways straight students are allowed, and do NOT seek safety in Faculty, staff, or students who want to rally or turn the beloved Y into a rainbow. Don’t make us explain to our donors why you’re taking up the space of their children who need to find spouses.”

That’s textbook P/A. But you’re right, Oaks will probably drop the passive platitudes and just go in for the kill. “There is no place at BYU for anyone who chooses to take on a same-gender challenge, nor for any radicalized faculty or staff who won’t get a concealed musket permit (being printed as we speak) in order to send signals that they’re a safe person. We will find you and we will clean house! (And as an added bonus we’ll be able to accept many more 2.5 students and help them find spouses too).”

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 10:39AM

"Don’t make us explain to our donors why you’re taking up the space of their children who need to find spouses."

I have a good explanation for him. Keep BYU going better with lots of donating alumni who didn't get married right after their mission early into their schooling at BYU and started popping out children.

Why cater to the meat market alumni? Sounds awful to justify educating your young solely for the "need to find spouses."

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 02:34PM

That was the ONLY reason my father sent his daughters to college in Utah (or to Ricks). And he made sure we understood that. Never once--not one single time did he ever call me and say "how are your classes going?" or "how are your grades?" It was "are you dating?"

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 02:58PM

Barbaric but hey, they tacitly accept polygamy and wives as possessions.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 02:44PM

The advanced age of the self-proclaimed apostles seems to be a blessing in disguise. They just can't help themselves. How will that work in today's world?

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Posted by: Eric K ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 08:32PM

Thanks for putting this together

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: September 01, 2021 09:12PM

Tailspin, going down in Flames.

Could it be that JH is the slightly unwitting Front Man while other GAs sit back, waiting & watching reactions, some agreeing, others Not So Much with his attacks / messages / goals- ideals?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2021 11:32PM by GNPE.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 01:05AM

*Sound of a standing ovation*

You put it better than I could have, NormaRae.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 10:29AM

Stunning triangular writing, NormaRae. Head, heart, and fingers working in perfect unison.

Tragic to think that the deaths happening when Oaks was running the show--including free electricity for the gay kids--- when I was there early seventies, weren't the last ones but seemed to continue non stop.

I hope Oaks does double down next conference. Perhaps the best way forward isn't for Oaks, Holland and Ilk to find some decency and humanity but instead to display their cowardly vindictiveness as an eclat to make it clear to all what they really are. Shallow selfish mean spirited little men who need to be worshipped and obeyed to feed their cavernous sick egos and don't care who they roll over while doing that.

They just can't admit they are wrong because then they will have to admit they weren't inspired of God in the first place.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 01:56PM

"Free electricity for the gay kids." I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I guess both. And I've thought the same thing that maybe in the long run it will be better if they just keep showing their true colors. I mean, it can't be THAT long, at least for Oaks. But then again, we've seen what kind of damage nonagenarians can do in the church. And for those who say "you're out of the church, why do you care?" I say that those of us who are of the pre-correlation age and who have large families know darn well that the odds of some of the posterity of our parents dealing with "that same-gender challenge" are high.

Why can't they do more than bringing a picture of Jesus and his nipple onto the scene? Why not bring Jesus' teachings in also. I mean, last Sunday I heard an incredible sermon in an Episcopal church about why, if we're followers of Christ, we have no place judging other people. The Episcopalians can say it, but the TRUE church of JC can't? Kinda curious, ya think?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 02, 2021 03:30PM

"And for those who say "you're out of the church, why do you care?"

Because our empathy level sky rocketed as we saw through the shallow controlling ways of that church. Because when you have been caused pain, one very human reaction is to not want anyone else to go through the same; to want to warn them. And, not saying anything seems like aiding and abetting.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: September 04, 2021 05:30PM

I was just catching up on reading, and read the WaPo article about Mr Holland's Fiasco. Author Jana Reiss brought up an interesting point I hadn't thought of.

>Holland said it was inappropriate “if a student commandeers a graduation podium intended to represent everyone getting diplomas in order to announce his personal sexual orientation.” The apostle said this choice set a precedent for the triumph of “individual license over institutional dignity.”

It has been pointed out many times now that the student did not "commandeer" the podium. But Holland's charge that the student had an obligation to represent everyone getting diplomas gets interesting when you look at who Holland quotes in his speech.

The following is an extended quote from Reiss' essay. I'd try to summarize, but she hits so well the patriarchality of his speech, plus both the implicit and explicit sexism. It shows how Holland is a creature of his own culture (we all are) and how that deeply colors his speech and thought patterns.

What I take from his remarks is that people speaking at (or on behalf of) the university aren’t supposed to let their personal experience or cultural framing run the show. Rather, they should aim to represent everyone. If they don’t, “we simply end up with more divisiveness in our culture than we already have — and we already have too much everywhere.”

However, Holland’s speech is about his own very personal experience of BYU, which he has loved for more than 70 years, from his childhood through his time as a student and eventually its president. The speech is also clearly shaped by Holland’s own race, gender and sexual orientation — important facets of his social location.

We all do this. Some people, like the BYU valedictorian, are just more conscious of it and transparent about it.

Let me explain what I mean by doing something people learn to do at a university: analyzing a text for its cultural assumptions and social location. By doing this, we learn to examine our own assumptions and location, which can be humbling and eye-opening. Through the years, my readers have pointed out to me (sometimes even politely!) where my words have revealed my blind spots. Seeing how narrow and culturally conditioned my outlook can be has been eye-opening.

Let’s look at what Holland’s speech tells us about gender. At least 15 men are cited in the speech, from Holland’s fellow church leaders (Russell M. Nelson, Spencer Kimball, Dallin Oaks, etc.) to past and present BYU professors and administrators (Kevin Worthen, Hugh Nibley, C. Wilfred Griggs, etc.) to some of the greats of English literature (John Milton, Robert Frost).

Since women make up half the general population, and are more common than men among the membership of the church, we would expect their citations to be equal or greater than the citations of men — especially if the goal of a speaker at BYU is to represent everyone.

Yet women are wholly invisible, unless you count Holland’s jab at a much-married Hollywood star of the 1950s (“As Elizabeth Taylor said to her eight husbands, ‘I won’t be keeping you long’”) or his brief mention of his mother, who taught him what the “Y” symbol stood for when they passed by the university in his childhood.

The speech closes by referring to BYU with a feminine pronoun. In a bygone era, inanimate objects such as ships, storms and nations were commonly assigned a gender in the English language; universities, though, were typically not, so this is an interesting departure. I think this unusual practice makes more sense in the context of the entire speech, which is about protecting something Holland perceives as vulnerable.

It is a “pedestal” speech, of the kind women in the church are used to hearing: Women are special, women are unique, women are to be cherished and safeguarded in a changing world. Here, BYU is special, BYU is unique, BYU is to be cherished and safeguarded in a changing world. Of course the university is coded as feminine.

Now let’s look at other social locators. Every individual who is named in the speech is white; there is not a single person of color. As well, every person is American or northern European. And as far as we can tell based on their marital history, every person is heterosexual and cisgender.

Meanwhile, racial diversity is rapidly increasing around the world. In the U.S. earlier this month, census data revealed more than 40% of the population are people of color, and the white population declined for the first time in any census taken since 1790.

In the LDS church today, roughly 6 in 10 members live outside the United States. Its most promising area of membership growth right now is West Africa; membership growth in the U.S. is basically flat and in northern Europe it is actually declining in some areas.

In short, to only mention white male heterosexual church members from the U.S. and northern Europe doesn’t meet Holland’s own standard of BYU speakers needing “to represent everyone,” as he put it. Instead, the speech is an homage to an idealized university of a bygone era.

Full article:
[no paywall here]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2021 05:31PM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 04, 2021 06:22PM

I visited my university campus a little more than a month ago. The university had gone on a building boom, and the campus had changed dramatically since I attended more than 40 years ago. Entire departments have changed how they do business. Majors exist that did not exist in my day. I don't know a single professor of mine who is still there. The campus is much more diverse.

As a friend of mine said, "Today's students are having a different experience than what we had." It's IMO worse in some ways, but better in many ways. Regardless, it's *the students'* experience for the time that they are there. Their experience reflects the times in which they attend school.

Holland doesn't fully grasp that universities are living institutions that must either grow with the times, or die. Matt Easton's commencement speech is indicative of this change.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: September 04, 2021 06:31PM

I don't think the composition or characteristics of the BYU student body have changed much. The one thing that is different is that gay people are no longer willing to be tortured.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 04, 2021 08:00PM

IMO the students have grown up in a different age where they know gay peers, or have gays in their families. There has been a trend toward much greater tolerance in younger people, and I would be surprised if this has escaped even Mormon students at a Mormon school.

Their professors, likewise. The article hints that at least some of BYU's faculty are willing to push the envelope.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: September 04, 2021 08:52PM

That is true. The composition has not changed much in demographic terms but the younger generations are far less tolerant of abuse. I think the gay kids and their cohorts have changed together, neither willing to brook gender-based cruelty from authority figures. And yes, some of the adults have progressed as well albeit timidly given the power the church has over their careers.

There is no way the conversion therapies of the 1970s would be permissible on a Mormon campus today. Thank heaven and whatever gods may be for that.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 07, 2021 05:48PM

My college kids would agree with you. Gay hate is non-negotiable on their campus. You would be hard pressed to find a campus that is.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: September 04, 2021 06:50PM

You should send your letter to the SLTrib.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 07, 2021 05:29PM

Well I attempt to keep my religious and/or political opinions to sites like this or liberal sites where people would expect to find them. On these sites, people who are offended by it would have to purposely go looking for it, in which case I don't care if they're offended. Everything I post here is seen by family members who just need to have something to gossip about. But they purposely look for it so fukkem.

But I prefer to keep my social media platforms or publicly viewed sites as politically-free as possible. The most I do is occasionally provide some facts to people passing along memes just because they agree with it when it is factually incorrect and they don't have the proclivity to check facts or ever write their own opinions. If they're offended they can disconnect from me, I don't post it publicly. I HATE memes or people who can't put two coherent sentences together so they just forward other people's opinions. I don't mind if it's only sometimes, but some people ONLY post that way. I want people to tell me what they think. In their own words. Just have real dialog. That's usually what we get here.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: September 07, 2021 11:10PM

dog & pony

mutt & jeff

Abbott & Costello

(15) Stooges - Apostates

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