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In response to Elder Russell M. Nelson and President Thomas S. Monson, two men I dearly love and who have helped me over decades of friendship, I would simply say the following: To deny the sacraments of the Mormon church to children of gay parents is a mortal sin worthy of excommunication. One of the articles of faith of the Mormon church states unequivocally that we are accountable for our own sins, no one else's. And I don't believe that being born gay is anyone's sin.

Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven." Jesus never divides people. Jesus never judges people. Those who do are in danger of hell fire and violate Jesus's injunction against using God's name in vain.

I don't think Jesus gives a tinkers' damn if I say, "Oh my hell" when I hit my thumb with a hammer when fixing my roof. But I know he will punish those who invoke his name when we harm the innocents.

Jesus says that such people would be better off if they had a millstone placed upon their necks and be thrown into the ocean. Great Salt Lake is closer.

These old men, whom I love and honor and sustain, do indeed speak for the institution, but as the great-great-grandson of Diantha Huntington Smith Young, married to Joseph Smith (and Brigham Young, at Joseph's death) and Zina Card Young and Hugh B. Brown, I speak for the blood. These saints, not remembered for their orthodox ideas on marriage, weep for such apostasy.

The law that now recognizes gay marriage is precisely the case law that will one day soon legitimize polygamy. The case law I have taught for over 50 years.

Ed Firmage

Salt Lake City