Yesterday a video clip from Elder Bednar was making the rounds on social media in which he stated that “there are no homosexual members of the church” and that “we are not defined by sexual attraction.” Most of the comments I have read were negative, that Elder Bednar was denying gay Church members’ existence. I sympathize with those pained by the apostle’s words. It is very possible that Elder Bednar’s remarks were inspired by Elder Boyd K. Packer’s talk “To the One,” a talk he gave at a fireside in 1978. I confess that it’s not a talk I’m terribly fond of.
But I choose to give Elder Bednar the benefit of the doubt. It was his off-the-cuff response to a question. Now I certainly don’t want to be seen as putting words into anyone’s mouth, and I certainly can’t get into Elder Bednar’s head to know his intent, but here’s how I choose to interpret his words:
In Christ’s Church there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, there is neither heterosexual nor homosexual, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Call my interpretation a misreading. Call it willful denial. I will call it charity.
5 thoughts on “How I Choose to Understand Elder Bednar’s Words”
Willful denial. But because the line is a product of fundamental misunderstanding, there is no correct version. Therefore, go with charity.
If we have no communication with an authority, then tacitly contorting his corrupting words into something actually gospel-like is indeed charity. Doing the same for someone with whom we are in relation can be an unhealthy co-dependency.
Are we in relationship with general authorities? If so, intervention may be more charitable than smoothing.
Well, I think Paul saying there is no male nor female in Christ is actually far more damaging for Mormon doctrine than anything Bednar said.
Of the eight things you mention, only homosexuality has ever been called an abomination by the Lord.