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Evergreen has a new website

March 04, 2013 By: Tom Coy Category: Religious Perspective, Resources

February 10, 2013

Evergreen is the Latter-Day Saints ministry to those with unwanted same-sex attractions. It appears that the leadership in the Latter-Day Saints denomination had been in serious discussions over the issue of homosexuality in 2012. A link on the new site’s front page contains an interview with Elder D. Todd Christofferson giving information about the website and the Mormon Church’s position on homosexuality. Some excerpts: “We’re not endeavoring here to try to cover the waterfront and address every issue that could be, and needs to be, addressed in different settings relating to same-sex attraction. But the idea is to open us, all of us, to greater understanding. And you’ll hear stories and experiences from quite a diversity of people and backgrounds and perceptions. They’re genuine; they’re real; they’re authentic. And while you see some saying ‘this didn’t work’ and ‘this did’ and a progression in life, we feel that this can only lead to greater sensitivity and better understanding, and that’s what we’re about.”

… “One of the things I like about what you see on this website is that people have hope. Some have not always had hope, and they talk about how they keep hope in their lives or bring it back if it’s been lost. To me, one of the key things, one of the key messages that comes from these experiences, as well as from the teachings of the Church, is that we approach it all with patience, but remembering that the person who’s really striving has the Savior in his or her life; has the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter; has hope; has happiness; and can live in a happy, hopeful way.”

… “There shouldn’t be a perception or an expectation that the Church’s doctrines or position have changed or are changing. It’s simply not true, and we want youth and all people to understand that. The doctrines that relate to human sexuality and gender are really central to our theology. And marriage between a man and a woman, and the families that come from those marriages—that’s all central to God’s plan and to the opportunities that He offers to us, here and hereafter. So homosexual behavior is contrary to those doctrines— has been, always will be—and can never be anything but transgression. It’s something that deprives people of those highest expectations and possibilities that God has for us.”

“That being said, it’s important to remember a few things that people don’t always understand or remember. And that is that homosexual behavior is not the unforgiveable sin. The Atonement and repentance can bring full forgiveness there, and peace. And secondly, I’d say that although we don’t know everything, we know enough to be able to say that same-sex attraction in and of itself is not a sin. The feeling, the desire is not classified the same as homosexual behavior itself. And the third point I would mention is that when people have those desires and same-sex attractions, our attitude is, ‘Stay with us.’ I think that’s what God is saying: ‘Stay with me.’ And that’s what we want to say in the Church: ‘Stay with us.’ Let’s work together on this and find friendship and commonality and brotherhood and sisterhood, here more than anywhere. It’s important that there be love and that there be hope. Love is not to say acceptance or endorsement, but it is to say inclusion and not ostracism. We want to be with you and work together.”