|LDS Conference Center where General Conference is held|
Elder Oaks stated, "Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious."
He went on to say, "When our positions do not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously and practice civility with our adversaries. In any event, we should be persons of goodwill toward all, rejecting persecution based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or nonbelief, and differences in sexual orientation."
|Elder Dallin H. Oaks giving a talk at General Conference|
As I mentioned earlier, this talk was very timely. After the district court ruling last December, my initial impulse was to find a hole to hide in for a few weeks, as I knew the hateful rhetoric and contention among those both in favor and opposed to the ruling was sure to follow.
But here, just two days before same-sex marriages were once again legally recognized in Utah, Elder Oaks was telling Church members to disagree without being disagreeable, to avoid contention and to show good will toward those of differing sexual orientations.
And the difference I've seen between the response two weeks ago compared to ten months ago has been like night and day. I have heard very few people say anything negative against those with opposing views. In fact, by comparison, the change in the legal recognition of same-sex marriage has been discussed very little this time around as far as I have noticed. It was very heartening for me to see this change.
Elder Oaks closed his talk by saying that "as followers of Christ we should live peacefully with others who do not share our values or accept the teachings upon which they are based," that we should "lov[e] our neighbors of different cultures and beliefs as He has loved us...[and] we must press forward, having 'a love of God and of all men.'" (Elder Oaks's full talk can be found here.)
|The interior of the Conference Center during General Conference|