Controversial LDS BYU talk/Ensign Article

February 19, 2014 at 11:34 am 7 comments

I wanted to post this because it is another reason for me to think there are reason people need to get away from this church!!!

View the TV News address here…

(KUTV) There is controversy stirring over an article in the LDS Church publication the “Ensign.” The featured article for the March issue tackles “What is the Lord’s Standard for Morality,” The article just released has fired up LDS marriage and family therapists, some who say takes women back 35 years with this one simple article.

One major point causing concern is something referred to as the “rape mentality” many are saying is portrayed in this article as the standard for behavior. But that’s not all, the therapists we spoke to say the overall tone of the article creates fear instead of a healthy conversation about human sexuality which is an important part of life from beginning to end.

The talk in question was given by Tad R. Callister an LDS general authority at BYU Idaho. He says, “Our dress not only affects our thoughts and actions, but the thoughts and actions of others.” He goes on to say, “the dress of women has a powerful impact on the minds and passions of men, if it’s too low, too high, too tight it might prompt improper thoughts in the mind of a young man striving to be pure.”

The talk went unnoticed until it was printed in the church publication the “Ensign.” LDS therapists nationwide took to their blogs outraged by the “rape culture” ideology where women are responsible for a man’s sexual actions.

Kristin Hodson and Alisha Worthington are sisters, active LDS members and therapists who deal with sex issues. They say this talk not only belittles women but men. The women believe, “it lowers men down to not much more than an animal, just walking around with these lustful thoughts and breaking out like the Incredible Hulk and attack a woman if she is dressed in not the right way.” They say the message of fear and strict standards for women are not based in evidence, but based on cases in the Middle East where women who are dressed literally from head to toe are sexually assaulted and raped on a daily basis.

In the article Callister says that, “in the end most women will get the type of man they dress for.” This is the wrong message according to therapists who work with women on issues of self-worth. Hodson says, “it’s a very confusing line for women – they need to dress sexy enough to attract a man, but modest enough not to induce lustful thoughts.”

The article explicitly states there should be one voice on the issue of morality and parents, counselors and teachers should not be considered. Hodson says members of the LDS church should remember they are, “a church of families, strengthening the family and empowering parents to talk to kids about sex is more important than ever.”

The article also brings up issues of concern to several therapists where sex talk with adults is referred to as procreation on a childlike level instead of tackling the issue head on. There is concern that there is only fear, not talk of love and the good that comes from healthy sexual relationships.

To read more about topics tackled like masturbation, pornography and LGBT relationships check out the following links: has more information from the sisters who sat down with 2 News. Their book deals with many of the issues in the article released in the Ensign. To watch the full talk given at BYU Idaho R. Callister “The Lord’s Standard of Morality”/0_jrht2ioo

For a counterpoint discussion from and LDS Sex therapist blogger go to

By Heidi Hatch

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)


Entry filed under: Abuse, christ, dating, faith, friends, god, heavenly father, LDS, Make-Up, mormon, Pain, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, President, priesthood, PTSD, rape, Rape Support, Rape Victims, scriptures, temple, temple work. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

The Book of Abraham I Want My Name Removed!

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kristine Williams Davis  |  February 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    On Tues Feb. 18th, KUTV News covered some manufactured controversy concerning the March Ensign article by Tad R. Callister (previously a talk given at BYU Idaho). In my opinion, the coverage was a complete misrepresentation. Some LDS therapists took issue with the statement that “there should be one voice on the issue of morality”. What they neglected to point out is that God is that “one voice”. Elder Callister said that “God our Father needs to speak once on the issue of morality, and that one declaration trumps all other opinions”. Anyone who believes in God, should also believe the scriptural statements that “God is not a changeable God”, and therefore, his views on morality will not change. The “rape mentality” was also mentioned. Elder Callister said, “The dress of a woman has a powerful impact upon the minds and passions of men”. I think most people would agree with that statement. It is a huge leap to then point to “the rape mentality”.

    The LDS therapists also took issue with the statement that most women get the type of man they dress for. A man with huge ear gages, covered in tattoos, wearing grungy jeans, and skull tee-shirts, will also get the type of woman that he dresses for. She will most likely be a very nice person, but she most likely will not be a corporate lawyer, nor will he. First impressions count. Your future professional husband will be looking for someone who looks well put together, lest he be the talk of the office party.

    This talk does not “belittle women” or men. It is a guide to help us be happier and more comfortable being who we are.

    • 2. Provo LDS Girl  |  February 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Thanks for your comment, Kristine. I can understand your views, but at the same time, I hope you can understand mine. As a rape survivor, my first concern is how the church leadership understands rape.

      “Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation when there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

      – Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, LDS Prophet, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 196

      “Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please, young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives.”

      – Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, LDS Prophet, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 63

      As someone who survived, I no longer can make excuses for the teaching of the church. The man who raped me at age 15 was 38 years old. The day he raped me I was wearing a black sweater and blue jeans… Did I flirt with this man, hell no! Did I wear something revealing, hell no! I was a young woman who had turned to an older adult for help to get away from abusive parents. His thoughts were completely his own. Thats where the archaic thoughts and words from this LDS leader are completely off base!!! The man who raped me knew he could take advantage of me. That I trusted him. He said he’d kill me if I fought or said anything. When he was arrested he protested to even knowing me…

      Yes, modesty is fine to show respect for yourself, but to think you influence the ACTIONS of someone else is to point straight at the rape culture influence. Remember your own scripture… We’re brought here to act for our selves, not to be acted upon. Choice and accountability needs to be remembered when speaking of subjects.

      My rape was NOT my fault. It was completely the fault of the man who raped me.

      • 3. kristine williams davis  |  February 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm

        Absolutely. Your rape was not your fault. It doesn’t matter what you would have been wearing. Elder Callister was not talking about rape though. I think it was a big leap for the LDS therapists to suggest that he was. Rape isn’t about sex. It is about control and domination. I am so sorry that happened to you. If there is one thing that I wish he would have included in the article, it would have been to talk to both men and women about modesty, and not just the women. Incidently, I don’t agree with Spencer W. Kimball’s statement that it is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle. Having never been raped, I don’t know what I would do, but I suspect that there are situations where fighting back will get you killed, and trying to befriend your attacker may help you live.. I would guess that the spirit would help you know how you should react but obviously, Heavenly Father wouldn’t want you to die through no fault of your own. I too have always been bothered by that statement.

      • 4. Provo LDS Girl  |  February 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm

        Callister’s point, one of many, is to say that another human being has such an effect on your agency, thoughts and actions, that they would literally make them rape you by what you wear. You are not responsible for another person’s thoughts or actions! Even LDS doctrine in the Book of Mormon states we are beings to act for ourselves and not be acted upon. How could something you wear influence someone to do bad things. If a model in a magazine is modeling bras for say the Sears catalog, obviously meant to sell the product to women. A man gets ahold of that catalog and decides to masturbate in the bathroom with it… did that model make that man masturbate??? NO!! That’s the point that CALLISTER is trying to make. That a man can’t help himself. Something is like a magnetic pull and making him masturbate. NO!!!! HE MAKES THE CHOICE. EVERYONE CAN MAKE A CHOICE!!! That’s the problem with this talk and the similar talks of the church. They’re trying to make it the woman’s fault or the other person’s fault for actions or choices someone makes for themselves.

    • 5. JR  |  February 21, 2014 at 11:40 am

      May I caution you, Kristine, that God’s “one voice” has been so divided on this and so many other subjects through recorded history in canonized scripture and modern revelation that such a statement of yours is rife with error. If you want to believe that Elder Callister speaks unilaterally for the church in this matter, and that his voice is now scripture because he speaks for God, then you need to wait for his words to be canonized by the 15 and the ratification of the membership into official doctrine for it to be the full, “one voice” word of God.

      • 6. kristine williams davis  |  February 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm

        I am almost 53 years old and have been hearing the morality lecture for about 40 years. There is absolutely nothing new in this talk. It SSDD (same stuff different day). I believe it is the same because God’s word has not changed nor will it. It is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

  • 7. Cora Judd  |  February 21, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Modesty is in a person’s head. A person who can’t control his thoughts at the mere sight of a bare shoulder or thigh is a weak, immodest person. A person who acts on those impulses and then blames the victim for his thoughts and actions is a predator.

    And a church who defends these predators — and joins them in blaming their victims — is an unworthy, sinister organization.


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