My Reply to Life Site News

Dear Life Site News,
I can’t believe you guys ran that vile garbage about the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints without any real confirmation of the facts, just the word of an obviously disgruntled ex-member. The journalism if it can be called that was shoddy and did not portray the the Church at all accurately. Laura Stone has some kind of ax to grind with the Church and is not a credible witness of what goes on in the church.
I am a faithful Latter Day Saint I was baptized in 1998 at the age of 28, fell away for five years and came back in 2003. I have been a devout member since. Being that I was 28 years old before joining the church, I had a whole sex life before joining and none of what Laura details in her hate-filled diatribe is at all truthful. Ms. Stone’s characterization of sexuality within the Church are gross distortions and falsehoods of the highest order. So let me set the record straight for you.
1) First of all it is the Book of Mormon, not the Books of Mormon. There is only one Book of Mormon. While we do have other books like Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price and the Holy Bible (shocker we read the Bible!)they are not the Books of Mormon.
2) No one is “obsessed with finding a future spouse” in the Church. While it is an important part of the Plan of Salvation the Church fully recognizes that not every adult is married in the church. It also recognizes many may never be wed. It does not discriminate nor does it push some kind of warped marriage agenda onto the members. If they are so obsessed with “finding future spouses” why did Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles say, “The commitments of single adults can anchor them through the difficult years of waiting for the right time and the right person. Their commitments of service can also inspire and strengthen others.” [“Timing”, Liahona & Ensign, Oct. 2003, 15] Not to mention the Second Counsleor in the Relief Society General Presidency, Barbara Thompson, is herself an older single woman! Would they nominate a single woman to such a prestigious position if they were “obsessed with finding a spouse” for everyone.
I am also a single woman in the Church. More specifically I am a single mother. In fact, in my stake [a stake covers a certain region and within that region are individual branches or “wards”]which is the Los Angeles Stake, between 60-70% of all adults are single. And not everyone within that group is obsessed with “finding a future spouse” Do we want one? Some do. Some do not. There is no push to get people married to anyone who comes along. Temple marriages are sacred and are not to be taken lightly.
3)Her allegation of grown men “imprinting on the smallest of children” is tantamount to calling them pedophiles! My brethren and priesthood holders are not pedophiles! There is nothing, absolutely nothing, within LDS culture that advocates such depravity. How dare she insinuate that LDS men and priesthood holders have child brides. We are not the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, nor do we condone their practices. I am in a family ward and I am one of the few singles in my ward, almost everyone else is married. And I can assure you there are no 60 year old men married to 20 year old girls. Any age differences between spouses is minimal. She owes every priesthood holder an apology for her unjust libel and defamation of their character.
4) There is no “false chastity” or “obsessive attitude towards sex” . First of all, there is no such thing as false chastity. You are either chaste or you are not. This is sexual purity as defined by the Church in “For the Strength of Youth, Fulfilling Our Duty to God” booklet given to all the youth n the church. “Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife.”[pg 26] does that sound like we are all repressed to you? Just because the youth and those who are not married are taught to respect our bodies and those of who we date does not a repression make.
If anyone is obsessed with sex, it is Ms. Stone and I think she needs a 12 step program for sexual addiction. I would be happy to recommend one for her because after years of doing sexuality my way, that is exactly where I found myself-a sex addict. So I know what one looks and sounds like. I am now chaste and plan on having a temple marriage one day. But in the meantime I have been freed from sexual obsession and a lot of that has to do with the genuine love and acceptance I found in the Church, along with Christ’s transformation of me and my life. While the physical urges still kick in once in a while I am more able to handle them now and not give in. It has been nearly four years since my last physical encounter with a man. But it has also been four years of no heartbreaks, no diseases, no lies, four years of peace, serenity and love. A righteous yearning to have an eternal marriage does not make one obsessed. While it is not easy and at times it is painful, I have faith in Jesus Christ that I will be rewarded for my obedience to his commandments.
In closing, there was not one ounce of truth in any of Laura Stone’s claims. The people of the church do not constantly talk about sex. There is no obsession about sex or finding a future spouse. There is no pedophilic culture of child brides. You should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing such unwarranted bigotry of my church. The same church that when my friend’s grandfather’s house burnt to the ground put him in a hotel for the week and paid to furnish his new house and while my friend’s uncle was a member, his grandfather was not. Yet the church reached out to his family in time of need. That is the truth about my church, not Ms. Stone’s vicious allegations.


Dena Leichnitz


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