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Why Holland may have said what he said
More than a week after its delivery, apostle Jeffrey Holland’s talk at Brigham Young University continues to generate buzz online and offline, in public and in private.
To help you better understand the push-and-pull dynamics on campus that may have played a role in the church leader’s remarks, here is a primer with links to some past Salt Lake Tribune stories:
• Mere weeks after BYU quietly removes a section on homosexual behavior from its Honor Code, the church does an about-face and loudly proclaims that dating, holding hands with or kissing people of the same sex remains stricly forbidden at the school.
• In a major exemption from its Honor Code, BYU allows same-sex couples to dance together for a national ballroom dance competition on the Provo campus.
• A grassroots campaign seeks to rename the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building, noting that the school’s 19th-century benefactor owned slaves, and other campus landmarks that bear the moniker of church leaders with racist views.
• Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the governing First Presidency, delivers a major address at BYU, declaring Black lives matter is an “eternal truth all reasonable people should support.”
• A who’s who of conservative Latter-day Saint thinkers sign a “Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto,” seeking middle ground on orthodoxy while remaining true to the faith’s core teachings, including those outlined in the so-called family proclamation.
• Making a rainbow connection, students shine a light on LGBTQ issues at BYU by lighting up the mountainside Y above the Provo campus in rainbow colors.
• The school shifts its hiring practices for religious education, putting more emphasis on faith-building and less on academic scholarship.
• BYU issues an in-depth report from its Committee on Race, Equity and Belonging, revealing widespread and significant concerns about the mistreatment of minority students at the church’s flagship university.
• Discussions, debates and disputes intensify among students and alumni, donors and detractors, faculty and administrators, conservatives and progressives about whether BYU is becoming “too liberal,” especially on race, religious and political issues.
• DezNat foot soldiers — the loosely aligned, self-appointed Twitter troops taking upon themselves the duty to defend church teachings — target their social media barrages at progressive BYU faculty and LGBTQ students.
This much is certain: All eyes and ears will be on Holland next month when he steps to the podium at General Conference.
David Archuleta’s divine commission
When “American Idol” alum David Archuleta came out publicly in June about his LGBTQ orientation, he says, he did so with God’s blessing.
Just before the Latter-day Saint pop singer hit send on his revealing Instagram post, which has more than 178,000 likes, he prayed.
“When I had that prayer, God just said, ‘David, you know I trust you, right? I want you to post about what you’re going through right now.’ And it was just so clear what I needed to say,” Archuleta told “Today.” “I knew exactly what I needed to say, but I feel uncomfortable saying it because I like to keep to myself, especially with this kind of stuff. But I just knew I had to.”
Maybe you want to know what others are saying about Holland’s address, or how the star of a 1940 Hollywood movie about Brigham Young later converted to Mormonism. If so, click here to receive this and more newsletter items free in your email each week.