You Are Not Counterfeit. You Are Nothing Like Them.

Boyd Packer, left, and L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wait for the start of the first session of the 185th Annual General Conference. Photograph: George Frey/Reuters

Boyd Packer, left, and L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wait for the start of the first session of the 185th Annual General Conference. Photograph: George Frey/Reuters

It was the LDS General Conference this past weekend. The bi-annual gathering of the Mormon faithful where they listen intently as their church leaders (whom congregants believe are living prophets of God) issue edicts, and official doctrine. As a non-member of the organization, but a Utahn, I wait with baited-cringing-breath every session to hear the sexist, racist, homophobic drivel that spews from the pulpit. This conference was no exception.

L. Tom Perry, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles gave a talk about LGBTQ issues where he said, “We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established.” Naturally, folks who do not represent the “traditional” nuclear family of the Mormon ideology, particularly LGBTQ folks and their allies, took offense to the word counterfeit. And who could blame them? It was a horrendous jab aimed at them and their families. Offense is a natural response to being told that your love, and your families are a, “a fraudulent imitation of something else.”

I acknowledge your feelings dear friends and family, but I say this to you: Find solace in the fact that it is not you who is counterfeit, because you are nothing like them.

I’ve never met an LGBTQ family that would dare deride and condemn other loving families. I have never met proud gay parents who would question the love and tenderness of straight couples toward their children. None of my gay friends, family members, and former lovers would ever say the vile things the Mormon Church continually says about thousands of people (including, might I add, children).

You are not a counterfeit, because you do not pretend to be loving, caring, and open-minded like the Mormon Church. You do not claim to be an institution that puts the family at the center of your teachings, but perpetuates doctrine that causes parents to abandon their children. You do not tell adults that the most holy thing they can do is enter into eternal marriage, but encourage homosexual men and women to condemn themselves to lives of anguish in opposite-sex companionships.

You do none of those things, because, by and large, you are good people. You are not a counterfeit, and your love is not an imitation, because if it was an imitation of the hatred spewed with a veneer of positivity that the Mormon Church spreads,  you wouldn’t be the good people you are today.


  1. Not to start a fire fight here, but it sounds like you are fighting what you consider to be “hate” or “injustice” with an article written to slander and offend those you say are attacking in the first place. Do you feel that helps?
    Also, why attack so harshly for someone’s belief? It’s that mindset that has literally destroyed nations. Religious freedom is a two way street. They aren’t making you believe something, so why make them believe something. If someone told you they believe that only women could go to heaven (or something else you couldn’t believe and doesn’t feel right to you). After you debate and try to share your views of why that isn’t a “correct” view, if they still don’t agree, you don’t keep yelling at them, you don’t go around town and tell everyone how terrible and stupid this individual is. That’s childish, and will make this world a significantly worse place. Please stop fighting with hate, because that only multiplies itself. I don’t care what your political views are, and I don’t care what religion you are, or race, or sexual orientation, or gender, or whatever. Fighting with hatred and slander is cowardice. Deal with the problem like a good person, then you can call out other people for not being a good person.
    I try to love everyone (no one is perfect at this). I try to not call out people for their crap, but there is so much garbage and hatred online, when will it stop? I know with the law, things look like a mess. But you throwing around hateful words Will not only make no difference for the problem, but will make more confusion, and more arguing, and more hatred. Good job.
    For those that feel comforted from hearing about talks (that I would assume most of you didn’t watch anyways if you don’t agree with the religious congregation it was addressed to), I’m glad. Because the whole point of religion is to give someone hope and joy. If a certain religion doesn’t do that for you, then that may not be the religion for you. Please don’t hate people who feel that is the right religion. We’re all trying to get through life doing our best, and no one is asking for a fight. I’m sorry if my comment sounded hateful or uncaring, that is not my intention at all. I only wish for everyone to stop attacking anyone.

    • Christofolo P says:

      Cody, You said that the whole point of religion is “hope and joy.” Can you imagine if somebody called your family counterfeit? Or “not real”? Or destined for unhappiness or failure? Would that bring you hope and joy? The LDS Church is free to drive on the two-way street of religion. But they’re not free to impose their beliefs on families that don’t fit in their belief model.

  2. To whom it may concern:

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And I agree, that those who are LGBTQ are not “counterfeit and/or alternative lifestyles”. They are not only good people, but they are amazing people. I, too, have family members and extended family members, both related and non-related, who are either lesbian, gay, transsexual, etc. And I wouldn’t change a thing about them. I Love them for who they are and respect them for what they believe in.

    I’m commenting because I believe you had a misunderstanding to Elder Perry’s conference talk. His message was concerned on the things that are considered “temporary families and marriages” between a man and a woman and focused on building “strong family values”. I have used these same values to support, love and strengthen my family members and extended family members.

    There was NO ill intentions or slyness of words aimed towards the LBGTQ, nor should there be. The intentions you had, as you have noted, were to find flaws in their words, yet what you actually did was twisting the words that were spoken and reformed it into a topic of hate. And believe me, if there were anything spoken in conference that made me go “WTF??” I’d happily comply to it dispite my membership. But there isn’t. To any who have found Elder Perry’s talk was offensive, I ask of you to please listen again, but with an open heart and mind and that the Holy Ghost may clarify these words to you.

    Thank you.


  3. Though I fully respect your opinion on the matter, I have to pause and think… Why would you wait with baited breath to hear negativity coming from a religious leader that you choose not to follow, or believe in? One could argue you are inviting your own negativity into your life by allowing what others say have an affect on who you are. Why seek out something that you know will push away positive feelings. In what you have said in this article, I gather you have a very clear understanding of who you are and what you are looking for in this life. Therefore, why let negativity bring you to being upset? It seems unnecessary. And though the words spoken at this conference may not enlighten or inspire you, they will help someone else live a better life in sure. Everyone is different, everyone has opinions, but we don’t need to make those opinions part of our lives if we don’t want to, especially if it ignites negativity.

  4. It’s a misunderstanding……(oh, I see).

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