Seek Ye First to Make the Kingdom of God Rich

It’s been a super busy week for me, what with all the media interviews and fulfilling my church calling outside my ward boundaries and all. Whew!

There has been a lot of fuss the past few days about the cover of a forthcoming issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. The article inside is about the financial dealings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), in which I am a leader. It’s so sad to see that people are criticizing the prophets just because they’re clever enough to use tax exemptions, free labor and secretive accounting practices to build the wealth of The Kingdom.

And now, there’s this:

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Prophets and Progressives

One of the most amazingly faith-promoting things about being a Mormon is witnessing how eternal truths are declared to the people of the world. Because I love public relations and good publicity, I get really excited about anything posted in the Newsroom section of the LDS church website. You can imagine my ecstasy when this new article showed up on my smartphone:

Mormon and Modern

We can be super nice and progressive, so long as we follow the prophets. Mormonism is a dope, chill religion that is both new and ancient. It can bridge any gap. It can reconcile all differences. It can seal all breaches. All you have to do is study the answers the prophets give, pray to get the appropriate answer, and never think about it again. Mormon thought encourages integration. An even better word might be assimilation.

Mormons welcome truth from whatever source and take the pragmatic view that where religion and science seem to clash, it is simply because there is conflicting data and a temporary barrier to reconciling the two. In other words, since all evidence is equal, the most reasonable thing to do is to draw a big circle around it and just follow the prophets.

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has encouraged “a harmonious combining of both the intellect and the spirit.” President Packer has also warned us that “Some things that are true are not very useful,” and intellectuals are a threat (also, gay people and feminists). So, when working to achieve a harmonious combination, be sure to include only the useful stuff, which is outlined either by the prophets or given to us by the Spirit, which always agrees with the prophets.

The scriptures teach us that we “must study it out in [our] mind.”  From this the answers will come. This pattern of inquiry opens us to expanding spiritual possibilities by limiting our exposure to the corrosive influences of critical thinking, the rules of logic, and sources of information that do not support the doctrines and policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Remember, the church and the world overlap. They can benefit from one another when approached with fair-mindedness, humility and wisdom. Just as in the cases of Prohibition, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Proposition 8. As we ponder on the current war against religious liberty, let us find safety in the trump card of prophetic leadership.

Taste the Rainbow

The ever-lovely One Million Moms group  is raising the alarm about THE DANGERS OF RAINBOW FOODS. (Has anyone asked for their member count? I hear the Member and Statistical Records Division of the Finance and Records Department of the LDS church is super-amazing at accurate numbers. Someone should get them on the case.)

Most everyone with an connection to the Interwebs has seen the fun Rainbow Oreo picture designed by the nice people at Nabisco and Kraft. In fact, they’re so nice someone should really send the missionaries to see them. They’d make fabulous Mormons.

This all got me to thinking how cool, awesome and special it would be to have Multitudes of Mormon Moms (including those in Mixed-Orientation Mormon Marriages) make marvelous mayhem by taking rainbow casseroles to the next ward activity in their area.

Also, I think someone really needs to point out to the One Million Moms people how many foods have a well-known gay liberal bias. Bon appetit!

It’s Hip to Raise Your Arm to the Square

I am Mitch F. Mayne, and I’m filled with engorged thankfulness for the opportunities I have in my role as a Mormon Gay Leader to feel kinship with my LGBT brothers and sisters. One of the most stimulating ways I have found to help others feel this affirming affinity is to share with them the blessing of sustaining our church leaders. Each of us should be eager to raise our arm to the square and pledge our loyalty to our church leaders, even if they might be wrong on a plethora of issues LGBT people face.

As a leader myself, it is my privilege to answer the following question with a resounding YES.

Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?

If a Mormon wants to be in good standing and be qualified for church leadership, as I am, he or she must answer this question with an unfailing, full-throated YES. A good Mormon must be temple-worthy, and a YES answer to this and fourteen other questions is required to be granted a temple recommend and clearance to serve in most church callings.

It’s okay for us to question (in our minds, but not publicly) whether a church leader is inspired by the Lord. That can set us on the path to thinking it through to the logical conclusion that our church leaders ARE inspired. This gives us an opportunity to feel the Holy Ghost confirming this to us. Do not trust any other answer, even in the face of compelling evidence that a church leader is wrong. Some may tell you this is a form of confirmation bias. The eternal reality is that it is confirmation of the truth. Even if our leaders are sometimes wrong or abusive, their wrongness and abuse is also inspired of God, to test our faithfulness to the Lord’s church. Let us all raise our arms to the square.

Excommunication is the Mormon way to say “I Love You.”

One of the best, and still very common, ways for Mormon leaders to show their love toward gay people is excommunication. It’s important to show love for people, even if it’s tough love through abusive processes that strip away a person’s identity and belief system with the finesse of a high-pressure stream of turpentine. Only through stripping (not THAT kind of stripping; get your mind out of the gutter) can the human soul be prepared to receive the lacquer of eternal identity as found in the doctrinal truths of Mormonism. But even this inspired process of love is sometimes abused. Sometimes, a Mormon is excommunicated in the wrong way (especially when it involves THE GAY). And when that happens, the first thing to do is draw media attention to it and/or blog about it.

Now, you’re probably sitting there yelling the screen, “The FIRST thing you do is to tell a recently excommunicated person to rely on their close friends and find a good therapist with experience in helping people work through ecclesiastical abuse!” I know how you might think that. But good PR is the first step to healing. Trust me.

So, if you know of a recently excommunicated person, assure them that it was done out of love, and even if it wasn’t, they will be blessed for believing it was out of love, because church leaders don’t lead us astray. They lead us to the truth, even when they are wrong.