Las Vegas, General Conference, Sex and Murder
Why do Mormons have such an anti-porn thing going on, but no one ever talks anti-guns in general conference?
Because I am kind of tired of people telling me to avoid porn at all costs, that our bodies are temples, and that sex is something sacred and reserved. Comparatively, gun ownership is overlooked as something sporty, and presumed to be used rarely (for the Harvest Holiday, I presume?) but it is not reserved, it is not for the sacred purpose of feeding you family. It’s just plain A-okay.
October 2017 General Conference Anti-Porn statement:
I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, including even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions.” -Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 62–63. Quoted by Neil L. Andersen in The Voice of the Lord, October 2017 General Conference. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/the-voice-of-the-lord?lang=eng
October 2017 General Conference Anti-Gun statement:
October 2017 General Conference Anti-Murder/anti-shedding of blood statement:
To be clear, I am no fan of porn. I’d prefer pornography to end. But I also prefer the sale of guns to private citizen to end, too.
Because I view gun ownership to be just as, if not more wicked than pornography. I recall as a child going to a friend’s house and playing with her in the attic that we easily unlocked because she knew where her parents hid the key. It was there that we discovered her father’s collection of playboy magazines. And her mother, regularly checking on us, discovered us – luckily before we saw anything bad. She chided us for getting into things that are “only for daddies.” But like old playboys, guns are locked away in closets and attics “only for dad.” And a handful of years later, I learned that one of the boys I walked to school with in the morning had died. From suicide. He knew where the key to the gun closet in his house was. And I went to his funeral. And I saw his mother, sobbing, being dragged out of the church, unable to walk. We were 12.
It is said that sexual sin (and it’s cousin, pornography) is “next to murder in seriousness.” Therefore, is it not reasonable that we, as Mormons, look at gun ownership and it’s cousin, MURDER as being as serious as sexual sin?
I lived in Las Vegas for a time. I was a young single adult and was very active in the church. I went through the temple for the first time there and loved it. As a YSA, friends and I would gather and go to the temple together, often listening to country music on the way there and the way home– soothing meoldies that invited the spirit and longed for “true love” in the way that YSAs sometimes do. I remember looking from the temple—high on the hill behind The Strip, and seeing the grid-pattern planning of Mormons dotted with the lights of the Luxor and Ceasar’s and others. From the vantage of the temple, I could tell exactly where to drive to get home, fiind a dozen local chapels, stake centres and even the Institute– all sans GPS. If I ever felt lost, I could drive to te temple, see my beloved city and find my way home.
And now, I love seeing the scores of Mormons in line offering to donate blood, and donating quilts to calm the injured and in shock…. And yet, I can’t help but wonder if those same Mormon hands have argued for the “right” to own guns, standing firmly alongside the future gunmen that would cause crisis after crisis. Because I know these people. And my heart is broken.