SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has changed the text of Boyd K. Packer’s sermon on morality, homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Packer’s sermon claimed that homosexuality was not born of inbred “tendencies.”
In the Church’s online text version of Packer’s talk, the word “tendencies” was changed to “temptations.”
During his original talk, Elder Packer spoke of homosexual tendencies saying, "Some suppose that they were pre- set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, he is our Father.”
Another change to Packer’s talk includes the omission of the entire sentence, “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”READ THE ONLINE VERSION OF PACKER'S TALK HEREWATCH THE ORIGINAL TALK HERE
As president and the senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Packer is next in succession to become president of the church.
ABC 4 has requested a statement from the Church on the text changes made to Packer's sermon.
On Monday, the Human Rights Campaign, an organization dedicated to gay rights released a statement saying that President Packer needs to "correct" his statements
The HRC and other local gay rights groups organized a protest held outside Salt Lake City’s Temple Square
Thursday night to demonstrate against Packer’s speech.
Also on Thursday night, the Church released a statement about the protest, saying:
“Of course, the Church recognizes the right of groups to voice their opinion in the public square. However, those familiar with the Church’s doctrine on the importance of marriage and family know it is based on principles of respect and love for all of God’s children. We have continually emphasized that there is no room in this discussion for hatred or mistreatment of anyone.”
ABC 4 spoke with people on the streets of Salt Lake City to see what they think about the changes to Packer's talk.
Corinne Sugino, a local teen said, "I think that just proves the fact. When they changed it, they changed it because they were responding to negative criticism, and they wanted people to support them."
"I don’t think the Church has ever changed their stance on this issue. The church teaches love whatever our tendencies are," said Emery Smith, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "I think they are very similar words. We are all in temptation have developed tendencies towards certain things whether it’s alcohol or something else."
"I don’t think the church is caving into peer pressure in that situation. The talks are reviewed, but I still think the church has the right to go through and take a look and make adjustments," said Sam Lake, another LDS Church member. "We believe that God continues revealing to his prophets, and because of the reaction it wasn’t taken the right way. I feel they have the right because of what we believe in to go in and make any adjustments."
ABC 4 also spoke with Valerie Larabee of the Utah Pride Center. She said, "While I think the changes that have been made to the sermon are a step in the right direction, I don’t think they go far enough."
UPDATE: Late Friday evening, Scott Trotter, LDS Church spokesman, released the following statement regarding the edits made in Elder Packer's talk:
“The Monday following every General Conference, each speaker has the opportunity to make any edits necessary to clarify differences between what was written and what was delivered or to clarify the speaker’s intent. President Packer has simply clarified his intent. As we have said repeatedly, the Church’s position on marriage and family is clear and consistent. It is based on respect and love for all of God’s children.”