Wednesday, October 28, 2015

LDS Leader Ballard Speaks at World Congress of Families

The World Congress of Families conference met this past weekend for the first time in the US. Considering Utah's extreme conservativism, Salt Lake was the city of choice to host it. In addition, several LDS leaders, including LDS Apostle Russell Ballard, spoke at the assemblies.

Although the words Ballard gave were the expected conservative rhetoric the LDS church always provides, Ballard also asked that kindness and civility always be the way to communicate with those who have differing opinions. He praised the legislation in Utah that protected the LGBT from public discrimination, yet also outlined and preserved the right for religious people to express their opinions against opposing lifestyles.

He mentioned an example where a school refused to warn parents about a story that was read about two princes falling in love. He called this a "diminishing of diversity" and "skewing of scales of equality". Although parents should be aware of the material their child is given, it is hardly less diverse and equal to have one story read be homosexual, where the other 300 stories they are read are heterosexual. A parent is free to remove a child from what they want to (even at the expense of the child), but having material removed for all children is really what "diminishes diversity" and "skews the scales".

LDS Doctrine begins and ends with the "natural", "nuclear" family. It warns against alternative "conterfiet" lifestyles. That has never changed. But, it has made small steps to be *more* fair in its influence in politics, and has called for civility amoung its members, condemning violence and hateful speech.

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