Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mormon Code Revealed!

THAT headline is going to generate some traffic....

But this is really a post to finish off the debate with The Third Avenue.

T3A: Dis-Honor Code
TWAtM: BYU's Honor Code and Gays
T3A: I am no theologian but...
TWAtM: Going the Rounds on BYU and Gays
one last post on this, I promise

I've decided that part of the problem is a little misunderstanding about a key term. That term is "The Gospel of Jesus Christ."

When Latter-Day Saints talk about "The Gospel," we aren't just referring to the teachings of Jesus. We are also talking about the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles from Adam through Gordon B Hinkley. While there have been no additions to LDS scripture since 1978, we are to take the words of our living Prophets and Apostles like scripture.

From Gordon B Hinkley, God's Prophet on the Earth today:

Question 2: What is your Church’s attitude toward homosexuality?

In the first place, we believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We believe that marriage may be eternal through exercise of the power of the everlasting priesthood in the house of the Lord.

People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays 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. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.

We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity (October 1998 General Conference)

Yes, BYU is an educational institution. However, they are first and foremost a religious institution. Therefore, they have a right and duty to say what sin is, and to punish accordingly.

Now that I have that out of the way, some more Mormon Sayings and what they really mean:

(1st, 2nd, 3rd, 10th etc.) Generation Mormon: Usually said as a source of pride. It refers to the longest chain of ancestors who were members of the Church. 1st generation means that you are a member, but your parents and grandpartens aren't. 2nd generationers have LDS Parents, but non-LDS Grandparents, and were usually raised in the Church. You usually don't hear 4th- or 5th-generation Mormons talk about the subject much, because they don't usually know the person in their family who joined the Church and aren't of Pioneer stock.

Pioneer Stock: This means you are related to at least one person who arrived in Salt Lake City between 1847-1863.

YSA: Young Single Adult. Any non-married Mormon Male between the ages of 21 and 31, or Female from 19-31. TSAs can attend a Singles Ward, comprised mostly of other single people. The only married people in the Singles Ward are a few selected leadership positions. YSAs can also attend traditional wards, often referred to as "family wards" by YSAs. See also: Menace to Society.

Menace to Society: This refers to a quote from a Church leader many years ago about what age an unmarried LDS male becomes a Menace to society. However, nobody can find the source, and most people disagree on who said it. In fact, a man becaomes a menace to society if he's not married by the time he returns home from a mossion, is 25 years old, or hits that magically round age of 31.


Reach Upward said...

Bob, your list is way short of complete. There are entire books written on this subject.

The menace to society thing is a moving target. But by the definition listed, I was definitely there, since I did not marry until age 26. A couple of years ago we were told in a priesthood leadership meeting (see, there's another Mormon term) that statisics show that young men in the Intermountain West that have not settled into their career (or are not solidly on the path to their career) are statistically likely to have lifelong financial problems, are less likely to marry, and are more likely to divorce if they do marry. So, maybe the menace to society thing has mutated to have multiple factors beyond age itself.

Reach Upward said...

Oops, I meant to say that men that are not firmly on the path to their career by age 27.

Oldenburg said...

thanks for your clarification...despite being a 6th generation Utahn, much of the terminology is confusing.

If THAT is what BYU means by their statement, then sure it is justified. It just doesn't make it right in my view.