Salt Lake City ABC affiliate ABC4.com
is reporting that the Mormon Church has altered Boyd K. Packer's
In the original sermon delivered Sunday
at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (the Mormons)
180th General Conference in downtown Salt Lake City,
Packer told millions of followers that being gay was not born of
inbred “tendencies.” But in the church's online transcript, the
word “tendencies” was changed to “temptations.”
And the sentence, “Why would our
Heavenly Father do that to anyone?” was omitted entirely from the
following passage: “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot
overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies towards the impure and
unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?
Remember, he is our Father.”
Packer, the president of the Quorum of
Twelve Apostles, also railed against gay marriage. “To legalize
that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and
penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.” At the
behest of their leaders, Mormons donated millions to the 2008
campaign to ban gay marriage in California.
activists held a silent protest against Packer's speech on Thursday.
In a statement released Thursday night,
the church said it “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.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest gay rights advocate, called the apostle's statements
“inaccurate” and “dangerous.” The group told the AP that
they'll deliver more than 100,000 letters to church headquarters on
Tuesday asking Packer to recant his statements.