Tad R. Callister, of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy has authored an article titled “The Lord’s Standard of Morality” in the March 2014 issue of the Ensign which is a throwback to the staunch and upright Vaughn J Featherstone Mormon Church of the 1970s. One parent had the following comments on the article which I thought were worth posting to a wider audience:
Having read the article in question the issues are:
- He does explicitly state that his advice supersedes the counsel of parents.
- He cites examples of fornication and adultery in two instances – both by men “seduced” by evil whores (introducing the helpless man theme)
- He cites Packer as the end-all authority on masturbation and how bad it makes you feel (actually it is guilt induced by men such as himself that prompt the bad feelings – not necessarily the act of self gratification)
- He cites homosexuality as being defective and a sin in and of itself to be cured by the Atonement.
- He loosely defines pornography as anything and everything prompting carnal thoughts – that’s the same thinking in rape culture that allows men to demean women for men’s own thoughts
- In his statement on clothing he blames women for any impure thoughts a man has – with the man’s thoughts being reflections of a woman’s righteousness instead of indicative of the state of the man’s own soul
- He essentially restates the ridiculous “hum your favorite hymn” way of dealing with sexual attraction.
- He provides more excuses from rape culture by citing secluded locations, late nights, and morally loose friends as satan’s grasp (denying the all encompassing ability for anyone and everyone to be completely responsible for their own actions)
- He makes the false argument that love cannot exist if he says it cannot (ie disobeying him as a self proclaimed voice of God)
- He begins extolling the beauty of repentance and Christ’s atonement erasing any and all sins and then veers off into “but” it’s better to be perfect to begin with essentially saying Christ’s atonement is a necessary evil for all of you that can’t attain perfection like you should be (gotta sell more copies of The Not Even Once Club)
- He equates man-made, cultural, induced guilt with proof of God’s disapproval (making yet another implication that he is the voice of God)
- He falsely portrays anyone and everyone living a life different from his view of perfection as not “truly” happy
- He ends by invoking God’s love with a threat – that this applies to the pure (perfect in LDS lingo).
It goes without saying that leaders who for over a century trusted that institutional racism was God’s Law have shaky credentials in being considered the ultimate authority on God’s standards. It is worth re-reading Matthew 23 to see just how Jesus felt about religious leaders who focused so much on the outward appearances and in doing so neglected the weightier matters of the law.