Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stranger Than Fiction---at Deseret Book

We have a four-page letter we received in August of 2005 from a high-up executive at Deseret Book, that pretty much blew our minds. Once admirers of this person, we were very sorry to receive this letter. It seems the right time to make it public.

First a little background. We had prepared and submitted our book My Darling From the Lions (expert endorsements) about resisting and overcoming homosexuality as a counter to DB's quite shocking In Quiet Desperation, Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (no expert endorsements) which was
pretty much an apologetic excusing homosexuality. We stated the hope that DB publish the other side of the issue warning against the self-identification and cultural acceptance of homosexuality, the dangers of same-sex pornography, and the influence of the oversexed gay-affirming environment vulnerable young people today are exposed to. Our book was rejected (no surprise considering what they had published already on this topic), but we made it clear that there were others---experts--- who should write on this and hoped they  would publish the correct viewpoint. Our letter-writer said they disagreed with us but that they'd certainly look into publishing our view. Yeah, right. We immediately formed our own publishing company, Tidal Wave Books, and published our book. Later, our son wrote and submitted his book, Captain of My Soul, endorsed and praised by experts. Again, summarily rejected by Deseret Book. The letter mentioned above was written 10 years ago. In that time, to our knowledge Deseret Book has published no book about homosexuality from a true gospel perspective. On the contrary it has published another dangerous book produced by the same author of IQD filled with the same emotional sociological appeals and dead-wrong emphasis.

Funny, back then DB up and purchased 30 copies of our book, My Darling From the Lions, we assume because we were interviewed by Shelly Osterloh on camera in our home and were supposed to be on KSL TV, although the airing was cancelled at the last minute. "Too controversial," the producers said (no surprise coming from mainstream media). When we were invited along with other authors to buy advertizing in Deseret Book mailers, we worked up our ad, only to be told they would not include our ad. Yes, they censored us. Again. Soon after, our book was pulled from their stores, website and database. We heard that even when people asked for it store clerks said they didn't have it. Those copies they purchased are probably buried in some endless warehouse like where the arc of the covenant ended up on the first Indiana Jones movie.

As far as Deseret Book publishing anything true and politically incorrect about homosexuality today, our hopes are dead. Yes, they've rejected everything we've sent, even with highly expert endorsements. Anyway, we have this letter which we haven't made public until now. A few months ago we posted "How to Make a Vice Nice," or in other words how to call evil good. This letter is a perfect example. By the way, we have been told by a General Authority that Deseret Book is not an official arm of the LDS Church (despite perceptions), so we feel okay about what we're doing here. People need to know what's going on for their own sakes and the sakes of their families. Here's an excerpt from this incomprehensible letter we felt we should dig up:

"There are many challenging and perplexing life conditions, same-gender attraction being just one of them. As one example, I personally know individuals who, through the Atonement, have been absolutely and completely healed from their addiction to pornography. I know others who have pleaded and prayed and sought for that same healing in their lives, but as yet their attraction to pornography has not been lifted from them. In their cases, they draw upon the power of the Atonement to help them cope with a difficult addiction. They believe that their desires will change, but until then they draw upon the Lord's powers to help them cope, stay faithful, and be happy.

All of us have stiff challenges, challenges which come in various packages. Some obtain not only relief for whatever they are struggling with but a complete change of circumstance and a removal of that particular struggle; others do not experience a change in circumstance but are given the strength to deal with their struggles, and thus a measure of relief. All of this comes through the power of the Savior's Atonement."

These sentiments are the same as are communicated in In Quiet Desperation. And there is so much wrong with this smarmy nonsense it still makes our heads spin.

Can you see how this person is arguing for the weakness and has made these hideous vices nice?  They seem to think Jesus Christ is like a  garbage man who in his own good time comes to take away the garbage we haven't even bothered to put out on the curb. The word choices are telling. Apparently these aren't sins anymore, they're "challenges" and "perplexing conditions"  and "circumstances" like psoriasis or bad weather, that have to be "healed" or "lifted." They don't seem to realize that these sexual sins, unlike psoriasis or bad weather, have to do with the appetite and require thoughts, choices, actions. Notice how the the words sin and repentance are not used in this letter. Not anywhere on any of the four pages. Evidently this person isn't interested in encouraging people to overcome these miserable vices, just in  "understanding" them. How is that exalting? What good does it accomplish?  When has mere understanding ever freed anyone of a vice? It's just political correctness with no thought for the well-being and future of the inner person, the souls of God's children. There are no true principles that back up this nonscriptural view. This person isn't interested in being grateful to the Lord for his divine redemption that saves all of us wretches if we desire it (which our books are about). They are only interested in coddling the people who claim their "circumstances" as permanent, who have "difficult addictions" (that are also pleasurable), who haven't overcome their sins and don't plan to, who even identify themselves by them.

Isn't giving up our sins and becoming clean through humility, faith, and repentance what the Atonement of Christ  is all about? How can we overcome our sins we fail to perceive them as sins?

Let's get a few important things straight.  

We are the ones who change our desires or "attractions," not the Lord. It's called agency. People have to want to give up their sinful lusts. Christ won't make you want to do that. Porn users, insist though they might that they want to give it up, don't really want to give it up, and won't give it up until they want to. Maybe most modest decent people don't stop to think that, like a drug, pornography is an escape. It's lustful. It's sexual. It's exciting. It's pleasurable. People masturbate and reach orgasm while using porn. They play it over and over in their minds. They seek out more and more stimulating stuff. It's the same with any kind of sexual lust, such as homosexuality or adultery. There's a thrill to it. As St. Augustine quipped, "Make me chaste, Lord, just not yet." Yes, people like it. They are getting something selfish out of it. That's why they started it and that's why they use it. It may become physiologically addictive but it's still a sin they are responsible for instigating. Addicts are sinners, just like everybody else. They can get help. They can repent. They have to figure out for themselves what they really want, and this process goes on deep in the soul. And they most certainly will know when they experience the mighty change of heart.

No, the Atonement doesn't "heal" us like some miracle medicine. Christ takes away the guilt of our sins and pays the price of justice only if and when we forsake our sines, repent, and trust in him. He cannot take away our sins against our wills. We have to get humble, admit our fallen state, confess our sins, give up these sinful pleasures to Christ, emotional, mental, physical, sacrifice them on the altar of a broken heart and contrite spirit, and only then is the sin remitted through Christ's sacrifice, which takes faith. He said: go thy way and sin no more. Not: go thy way and keep doing what you're doing; in my own time I'll get around to changing your weak wicked selfish filthy heart. Alma was doing terrible things until he realized how bad he was. And boy did he! He was wretched, miserable, incapacitated unto death at the realization of his sinfulness, that is, until his mind caught hold of a thought. That thought was Christ as Redeemer, as Savior, as Deliverer, as Alma's way out of his great guilt and sin. He chose Christ and went his way repentant, changed, rejoicing. The Lord is there to make us clean and forgiven but it's all our choice. It's a conscious selfless sacrifice, not a waiting game.

Funny how our letter-writer doesn't mention any of these things. Indeed, they don't seem to value or understand them. They don't understand sin, and they don't understand repentance, and they don't understand the Atonement. The individuals mentioned in the letter who are addicted to the sleaze called pornography who claim they have pled and prayed and sought for "healing" do not appear to be wretched or miserable or self-condemning; quite the opposite. According to this letter, they are pious, faithful, and prayerful. They are painted as victims, not people with free will who have chosen a wrong path. Apparently this person thinks the Atonement is for giving comfort in sin, rather than what it is: a glorious opportunity for wrenching your heart away from exciting, self-indulgent, entertaining, escapist sins, humbly repenting, and becoming a new creature in Christ. This is not possible for people who enjoy their sins even a little, but it is quite easy for those who truly humble themselves and truly come to hate their sins. Easy. There is no such distinction made in this letter. It's quite incredible.

And what does "coping" with pornography addiction mean? Using it only occasionally? How occasionally?  And that makes it okay? What? That is not how evil works. And what does a porn addict staying "faithful" mean? Faithful to what? Certainly not Christ who is the author and finisher of all purity and goodness. And can a porn addict be "happy?" How can you be happy when you're spiritual sick and wrong, disobedient, in league with the devil, worshiping a false god?  Is "a measure of relief," whatever that is, what we want for people? That sounds like condemning someone to a measure of hell. Why this hideous mediocrity, to put it mildly? Aren't we supposed to be about perfection and exaltation? Hello?

Does this top ranking executive at Deseret Book really not know that people must seek out things like porn and homosexuality? That sexual sin is pleasurable? That it escalates? That it desensitizes people? That it's evil? That it ruins people's lives and kills their souls? That it even kills their bodies? And we're supposed to wait for the Lord to "heal" this type of wickedness, to "lift" it, to take it away? The scriptures never mention any such thing. What we read in the scriptures is: Repent! We certainly do not read anything in the scriptures like the humanist sociological babble coming from Deseret Book. Sorry, using porn, desiring porn, "coping" and "being faithful" while "attracted" to porn/homosexuality (and porn and SSA are most often interconnected) are inconsistent with faith, truth, goodness, decency, integrity, humility, chastity, purity, repentance, holiness, godliness, and belief in Christ.

Deseret Book is producing, approving, publishing, and marketing hopeless, self-serving, self-indulgent books which encourage porn addiction and promote homosexuality. And yet this letter says, " . . . we do go to great lengths to ensure that the books we publish are in harmony with Church doctrine." Somebody needs to do their homework, that is unless LDS doctrine is conveniently changing with the wicked times. It has been said, "Those who surrender on one issue tend to surrender on others as well." (D.French, Imprimis)

Apparently, some of the most pathetic and selfish and politically correct sins are suddenly just too hard to try to overcome anymore so we mustn't call them sins and they don't require repentance. And apparently Deseret Book gets to ignore scripture and decide which those are.

If you are not yet convinced these vices have been embraced by Mormons, go to a 6-minute video somebody at the LDS Church made in 2014 called Overcoming Pornography. Watch and listen with discernment. The words sin and repentance and the like are completely missing. Same with mormonsandgays.org. No sin. No repentance. Just a stiff challenge, a harmless condition, an innate identity. We're supposed to feel really bad for these people and not think about what pleasures they actually lust after and think about and do. Somehow these particular people don't have agency like the rest of us. They aren't accountable like the rest of us. They are just victims apparently. It might make you wonder what other sins are secretly being tolerated, excused, embraced, and will someday soon be published as perfectly acceptable, even as harmless, wholesome, and righteous.

With a little mental and spiritual effort it can be seen that this letter, these words, are how the anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon talked. No sin. No repentance. No Christ---certainly not the Christ who can redeem our sinful selves if we truly wish him to.

What has happened to Desert Book in the last 10-15 years is truly stranger than fiction.

The time is past due when parents must take matters into their own hands and pro-actively teach their children the right attitudes and the one healthy proper channel for their developing sexuality. Here are some helps: two age-appropriate books about God's plan and rules for male-female, romantic feelings, and human sexuality published by Tidal Wave Books which, according to our distributor, Deseret Book was not interested in. FOR FREE read and use the full text of Me Tarzan, You Jane (gently worded for the youngest children) on the SoL website's home page. Chased by an Elephant, the Gospel Truth About Today's Stampeding Sexuality, is for parents to use with their growing kids however they see fit. Discounts for orders of more than one---we just need to cover our costs. These books were labors of love--of God and His children. EVERYONE TODAY NEEDS THESE BOOKS or something like them. You can also get our books at or through BYU Bookstore.

1 comment:

Albert said...

WOW ! Are you folks a Breath of Fresh Air !! Thank you so very much for this. Sometimes I forget that I am not the only one who reads the scriptures and sees a "hard and fast" line. Just for once, I'd like to hear something like this - clear, unequivocal, not softened to the point of ineffectiveness - as a conference talk, much less, in Sacrament meeting, Sunday school, or Priesthood meeting.

The sophistry, excuses, self-justification, and thereby rampant immorality that have seeped into the church from the touchy-feely philosophy-babble have washed over us like a flood, and we're drowning in it to the point where it begins to feel "normal". Maybe that's why the Lord told us to gather OUT of Babylon, that we be not partaker of its' sins...

My anecdotal story: Near 23 years ago I was serving as a ward clerk, sitting in on my first ever "bishop's court" hearings. Two "endowed and sealed" women came in that day, one a widow who had committed adultery; the other a wife with young children who was, still, committing adultery with her boss "to keep her job" (they needed the money, so she was whoring behind her husband's back !?) After the counselors had both said something about compassion and disfellowshipment, the bishop asked me what I thought. I reminded him that I was only an Elder and not in the bishopric, he wanted my opinion anyway. I told them that the scriptures were clear: excommunication was the only remedy. I still have not overcome the look of shock on their faces, one counselor I never got along with well again, he didn't like me any better when he was the bishop 15 years later.

The Lord warned us against the "leaven of the Pharisees", Paul warned about the leaven of the wicked, and told us to have no fellowship with them. The poet Alexander Pope put it best:
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Our "society" has gone from "abhor" to "embrace" in about 40 years. Interesting number, forty...