SALT LAKE CITY — Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offered some tough love on Sunday during the faith’s 189th Annual General Conference.
Speaking of those who’ve left the church or haven’t been willing to investigate its truths, Nelson warned that time was running out.
“Now, as president of His church, I plead with you who have distanced yourselves from the church and with you who have not yet really sought to know that the Savior’s church has been restored,” he said. “Do the spiritual work to find out for yourselves, and please do it now. Time is running out.”
Nelson also said that while the Savior did promise, “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” those who choose not to make the necessary covenants with God are “settling for a most meager roof over your head throughout all eternity.”
Nelson disabused the notion that all people will be with their loved ones after death. Resurrection assures that all will live forever, but “much more” is required for the privilege of exaltation with family, he said.
“The spirit in each of us naturally yearns for family love to last forever,” Nelson said. “Love songs perpetuate a false hope that love is all you need if you want to be together forever.”
However, “While salvation is an individual matter,” he said, “exaltation is a family matter.”
For a family to be exalted forever, Nelson reminded members that they must qualify for it by making covenants with God, keeping those covenants, and receiving essential church ordinances.
Nelson said he weeps for friends and relatives who — despite their generous gifts of time, energy and resources in this life — have ignored Christ’s pleadings to “Come, follow me.”
“They need to understand that while there is a place for these hereafter — with wonderful men and women who also chose not to make covenants with God — that is not the place where families will be reunited and given the privilege to live and progress forever,” he said.
Also on Sunday morning, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of the work that needed to be done in preparation for the Lord’s return.
Christofferson recalled the time he participated in a conference with a variety of religious faiths in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During those meetings he received an “unexpected, yet powerful and clear,” impression from the Lord.
“It was this — beyond selfless service, it is supremely important to prepare for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.
Christofferson believes the LDS Church is “uniquely empowered and commissioned to accomplish the necessary preparations for the Lord’s Second Coming.”
He pointed out that the current prophet has repeatedly emphasized that the gathering of Israel is the most important thing taking place on Earth today — “And if you choose to … you can be a big part of it.”
Christofferson pointed out that the Latter-day Saints have always been a missionary people, sharing the gospel with others and doing the “redemptive effort on behalf of our ancestors” is vital.
“This great and last dispensation is building steadily to its climax — Zion on Earth, being joined with Zion from above at the Savior’s glorious return,” he said.
Also Sunday morning, Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, emphasized the essential role love has in missionary work, temple and family history work, and home-centered church-supported family religious observance.
“As members, we can show our love for the Savior and our brothers and sisters throughout the world by making simple invitations,” he said. “The new Sunday meeting schedule represents an exceptional opportunity for members to successfully and lovingly invite friends and associates to come, and see, and feel a church experience.”
Elder Dale G. Renlund, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, stressed the part women play in missionary work, pointing out that about 30 percent of the church’s full-time missionaries are now female.
“What is needed is a loving, compassionate, spiritual commitment by each of us — men, women, youth, and children — to share the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Renlund said. “If we show love, kindness and humility, many will accept our invitation. Those who choose not to accept our invitation will still be our friends.”
On Sunday afternoon, Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of being “cleansed by repentance.”
Oaks, who is a former justice of the Utah Supreme Court and current member of the church’s governing First Presidency, says he has had the opportunity to see the contrast between the laws of man and the laws of God.
“Christ redeems,” Oaks said, “and His atonement is real.”
Oaks said the purpose of God’s plan is to “prove” us, to see if we will do all that God asks. Oaks warned that if sinful acts and desires remain unrepented until the final judgment, the unrepentant person will remain unclean.
“The atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the only way to achieve the needed cleansing through repentance, and this mortal life is our time to do it,” he said. “Although we are taught that some repentance can occur in the spirit world, that is not as certain.”
Also Sunday afternoon, Elder Kyle S. McKay of the church’s Seventy spoke of the “immediate goodness of God” in the Book of Mormon, scripture unique to the church.
“When the Lord or His servants say things like, ‘not many days hence’ or ‘the time is not far distant,’ it can literally mean a lifetime or longer,” McKay said. “His time, and frequently His timing, is different from ours. Patience is key. Without it, we can neither develop nor demonstrate faith in God unto life and salvation.”
However, having said that, McKay said that even while waiting on the Lord, there are certain blessings that come immediately — blessings that “will deliver you from everything that threatens to diminish or destroy your life or joy,” although he warns “That deliverance may take longer than you would like — perhaps a lifetime or longer.”
In a recurring theme during the afternoon session, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said Latter-day Saint homes should be fortresses against the evils of the world.
“In our homes we come unto Christ by learning to follow His commandments, by studying the scriptures and praying together, and by helping one another stay on the covenant path,” he said.
Rasband warned that the members’ homes are “only as powerful as the spiritual strength of each one of us within the walls.” He said Satan was warring for the souls of men, but in building a fortress of spiritual strength the advances of the adversary can be shunned.
“Your testimony of Jesus Christ is your personal fortress, the security for your soul,” he said. “When my grandfather and his fellow pioneers built the Heber Fort, they put up one log at a time until the fort was ‘fitly framed together’ and they were protected. So it is with testimony. One-by-one we gain a witness from the Holy Spirit as He speaks to our own spirit teaching ‘truth in the inward parts.’”
He encouraged members to put their arms around those who stumble and “lead them lovingly back to the fortress of spirituality and protection.”
Elder Gerrit W. Gong, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talked about the Savior being both the “Good Shepherd” and the “Lamb of God.” He said that of all of Jesus’ divine titles, none are more tender or telling than those two.
“These roles and symbols are powerfully complementary — who better to succor each precious lamb than the Good Shepherd, and who better to be our Good Shepherd than the Lamb of God?” he asked.
Gong called upon all members of the church to become shepherds in Israel.
“Our Good Shepherd cautions that shepherds in Israel must not slumber, nor scatter or cause the sheep to go astray, nor look our own way for our own gain,” he said. “God’s shepherds are to strengthen, heal, bind up that which is broke, bring again that which was driven away, seek that which was lost.”
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed the importance of programs in the church becoming increasingly more “home-centered and church-supported.”
Bednar quoted fellow church general authority Craig C. Christensen in suggesting ways in which gospel learning could emphasize the idea of being home-centered and church-supported.
“He suggested that instead of returning to our homes after church meetings on Sunday and asking, ‘What did you learn about the Savior and His gospel today at church?’ we should ask in our church meetings, ‘What did you learn about the Savior and His gospel this week in your home?’” Bednar said.
Bednar said Latter-day Saints should not expect the church as as organization to teach or tell them everything they need to know and do to become devoted disciples. Parents have a sacred duty to rear children in love and righteousness.
“Rather, our personal responsibility is to learn what we should learn, to live as we know we should live, and to become who the Master would have us become,” he said. “And our homes are the ultimate setting for learning, living, and becoming.”
Bednar said the ultimate missionary training center “is in our homes.”
On Sunday morning, Sister Sharon L. Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, spoke of the spiritual light that Christ provides to all. She also encouraged those who grieve, who are weary or who feel they just aren’t good enough to take heart.
“I testify that you are beloved,” she said. “The Lord knows how hard you are trying. You are making progress. Keep going. He sees all your hidden sacrifices and counts them to your good and the good of those you love. Your work is not in vain. You are not alone. His very name, Emmanuel, means ‘God with us.’”
Also in the morning, Tad R. Callister, who was just released as general president of the Sunday School organization, spoke on the atonement of Jesus Christ, saying that his sacrifice “gives us life for death, ‘beauty for ashes,’ healing for hurt and perfection for weakness. It is heaven’s antidote to the obstacles and struggles of this world.”
A former high school teacher was sentenced to six months in jail for inappropriately touching one of his students inside a classroom at Pleasant Grove High School.
“No parent sends their child to school to be abused,” said Judge Thomas Low in 4th District Court in Provo.
He ordered Ken Ayers, 41, to serve 180 days in jail and 36 months on supervised probation for the class A misdemeanor of unlawful sexual conduct with a 17-year-old.
“He had ample time and opportunity to remove himself from that situation,” said prosecuting attorney David Sturgill. “This is not just a mistake. This is not just a serious mistake. It was criminal.”
According to charging documents, a 17-year-old male student had entered to Ayers’ classroom after school sometime in 2018 for help with an English assignment.
While working on the assignment in the classroom, the student allegedly asked Ayers for sexual contact.
Sturgill said Ayers then checked the hallway to make sure the other teachers had left, locked his classroom door and inappropriately touched the student for 20 to 30 seconds.
Ayers and the teenager later reportedly texted one another and Ayers allegedly wrote he “liked doing it” and the sexual conduct was “cool.”
Police learned of the incident after the student told a clergy member about what happened and the clergy reported the misconduct to law enforcement.
“(Ayers) is an opportunistic sex offender,” Sturgill said. “He took steps to conceal what he knew he should not be doing.”
Defense attorney Mary Manley argued that Ayers is not a predator or a danger to society.
She added that two school staff members attended the sentencing in support of Ayers, and many family members, former co-workers and friends sent positive letters of support to the court.
“In this destroyed life he has created for himself, he is trying to pick up the pieces and move forward in a different way,” Manley said. “He entered a plea in order to take responsibility.”
During the sentencing, Ayers called his behavior “heinous” and added that he was receiving therapy and treatment to ensure another offense would not occur.
“I was the adult in the room and I am responsible for my own actions at the time,” he said.
The judge expressed surprise that the offense was only being sentenced as a misdemeanor. He ordered Ayers to register as a sex offender, complete sex offender therapy and have no contact or association with anyone under the age of 18.
SALT LAKE CITY — Saving what some might consider the best for last, president Russell M. Nelson announced eight new temples in his closing remarks on Sunday afternoon’s final session of the 189th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The new temples will be located in Pago Pago, American Samoa; Okinawa City, Okinawa; Neiafu, Tonga; Tooele Valley, Utah; Moses Lake, Washington; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Antofagasta, Chile; and Budapest, Hungary.
Insisting that temple is regarded as the most sacred structure in the church, Nelson preemptively asked members to refrain from outbursts — similar to ones that have occurred in previous announcements, including when a Layton temple was announced a year ago.
“Now, please, listen carefully and reverently,” Nelson counseled before announcing new temples. “If I announce a temple in a place that is special to you, may I suggest that you simply bow your head with a silent prayer of gratitude in your heart.
“We do not want any verbal outbursts to detract from the sacred nature of this conference and the Lord’s holy temples.”
Nelson also announced that a number of pioneer-era temples will “soon undergo a period of renewal and refreshing, and, for some, a major restoration.”
“Efforts will be made to preserve the unique historicity of each temple wherever possible, preserving the inspiring beauty and unique craftsmanship of generations long-since passed,” he said.
Among those to be restored are the temples in St. George, Manti and Logan.
Nelson said the work will require each temple to be closed “for a period of time.”
“When each project is completed, each historic temple will be rededicated,” he said.
What’s more, Nelson said that plans to renovate the Salt Lake Temple, Temple Square, and the plaza near the Church Office Building will be announced on April 19.
A Pleasant Grove man is facing felony charges after paramedics found him, his mother and four dogs reportedly living in “horrendous” conditions inside a trailer in Pleasant Grove.
Mackey Alexander Featherstone, 51, was charged on Thursday with intentional aggravated abuse of an elder adult, a second-degree felony.
On Jan. 24, he reportedly called the Pleasant Grove Police Department because his 78-year-old mother, Donna Featherstone, was breathing irregularly.
“Upon arrival at the residence, paramedics described the living conditions of the residence as horrendous — the worst they had observed in their careers,” charging documents stated.
First responders moved the woman off a couch and found she had been sitting in her own feces and urine. The woman said she had not been moved off the couch in two weeks, police reported.
“Paramedics also observed a bed sore on victim’s right leg that was almost the size of her entire right thigh,” charging documents state.
She was transported to the emergency room and died the next day of septic shock due to pneumonia, influenza and a necrotic wound in her right leg, police reported.
In interviews with police, Featherstone “was adamant that he did everything he could to take care of his mother,” court documents stated.
He also stated he had trouble with personal hygiene and didn’t know how to care for someone else’s hygiene. He claimed his mother had only been on the couch for three days, and he couldn’t smell the feces and urine because he had the flu for two weeks.
“Basically he was saying when he had the flu, taking care of his mother wasn’t a priority,” police reported.
Investigators discovered another sibling had been trying to get their mother into a nursing home, but Featherstone had made statements about harming himself if his mother moved out.
Prosecutors determined that Featherstone “intentionally and knowingly caused or permitted Donna Featherstone to be injured, or caused or permitted her to be placed in a situation where Mrs. Faetherstone’s health was endangered.”
He is being held without bail at the Utah County Jail. The next court hearing is set for April 15.
A good Samaritan was caught on the wrong side of the law after he reportedly used a stolen truck to help free a vehicle stuck in the snow near Tibble Fork Reservoir two months ago.
Dustin Rose, 35, was arrested on suspicion of wrongful appropriation, a third-degree felony, along with theft and possession of a controlled substance, both class A misdemeanors.
On Feb. 19, officers with the Pleasant Grove Police Department received a complaint that Rose had taken a pickup truck belonging to his parents, according to a police report.
Later that same night, three teenagers driving near Tibble Fork Reservoir got their truck stuck in the snow.
Rose reportedly stopped and used his truck to help the teenagers free their vehicle, but his truck also became stuck.
A deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office helped move the truck out of the snow and later realized the vehicle was stolen.
“(Rose) has a streak of good in him, he just needs to make that come out a little more often rather than taking things because it’s convenient for him,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
No charges regarding the incident have been filed in court.
When former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Thomas S. Monson announced on Oct. 6, 2012, that the church was lowering the age for full-time missionaries, the church was thrust into a frenzy of mission applications and an immediate need to create missions throughout the world.
Young men and women began putting off college and going on missions immediately out of high school. The growth in the number of missionaries serving went from about 58,000 full-time missionaries to about 89,000 in just over a year.
New data released by the church for the end of 2018 this week show the numbers have had a significant drop to only 65,137 full-time missionaries serving. The steady decline in proselytizing full-time missionaries has been on a downward slope since 2015. Church-service missionaries are on the increase with a year ending number of 37,963 serving.
After the initial surge following the 2012 announcement, Elder Brent H. Nielson, executive director of the church’s Missionary Department said in a 2016 report that the growth in the number of missionaries forced the church to make changes.
“That stretched our resources; it stretched our mission presidents just to take care of that many missionaries, even though we had created 58 new missions to do that,” said
In a 2016 report, Nielson said that the number of full-time missionaries leveled off at around 70,000 missionaries after the initial surge, “still way up from the 58,000 we had.”
“In the orderly process of accommodating changes in our numbers, we’ll be slowly closing missions because we don’t need as many as we required for the great increase we experienced in 2012-13,” Nielson said in a 2016 report.
At the time, Nielson anticipated the numbers would return gradually to a higher number. But the gradual increase Nielson was expecting never occurred. The numbers of full-time missionaries continued to drop.
By the end of 2017 the church began implementing reductions to achieve an overall number of missions that better fit the total number of missionaries and the needs in each region.
By the end of 2018 the number of full-time missionaries had dropped significantly to 65,317 — only 7,000 more than before the lower-age announcement in 2012.
During the same period of time there has been a steady increase in the number of church-service missionaries. Many of those missionaries are older couples and single women, and many live in their own homes.
Church-service missionaries have increased from 24,032 in 2013 to 37,963 in 2018; nearly 14,000 more are serving — an all-time high.
In her book, “The Next Mormons: How Millennials are Changing the LDS Church,” Jana Reiss shares her research which shows that of Millennials and Gen-Z members of missionary age, only 45 percent self-identified as “very active” in church.
However, Reiss also notes that those who remain active are more likely to have served a mission.
Full-time missionaries in the church are typically single men aged 18-25, and single women aged 19–25. Older single sisters and retired couples also serve as full-time missionaries.
The full-time missionaries generally serve between 18 months and two years, though some couples can opt for one year missions. They receive their mission assignment, or call, from the Missionary Department at the behest of the church’s top leadership, The First Presidency. The Prophet’s signature is affixed to all mission calls.
While full-time missionaries are assigned their mission, church-service missionaries may choose where they serve.
“Church-service missionaries are given the opportunity to choose a schedule that fits with their needs, typically serving at least eight hours per week for a period of 6 to 24 months,” according to church information. “Tens of thousands of church-service missionaries are needed every year to answer the call and devote the time they have to serving.”
The church statement adds that specific calls may vary, but all church-service missions work to provide relief, comfort and support to people around the world.
“With the church present in over 160 countries and the gospel taught in over 180 languages, there’s never been a greater need for church-service missionaries than there is today,” a church statement said.”
Like regular full-time missionaries, all church-service missionaries must be worthy to hold a temple recommend. They must be physically, mentally and emotionally able to fulfill the specific call and its related duties.
The church has recognized the many young men and women that may not be able to fulfill a full-time proselytizing mission could do well in a service mission.
On Nov. 16, 2018 the church announced changes to the recommendation process for young missionary candidates who could be calls to church-service missions. These expanded opportunities will allow more young people to serve as missionaries in various capacities that meet their personal needs or circumstances, according to a church statement.
According to the church, “beginning January 2, 2019, all young men and women in the United States and Canada — including those who may not be able to serve a proselyting mission due to health reasons — will use the same online recommendation process. They will complete recommendation forms, participate in interviews with their local Church leaders and undergo evaluations by medical professionals. Candidates will then receive a call from the president of the Church to serve either a proselyting or service mission.”
Police arrested a West Jordan man Tuesday night after he reportedly led police on a chase through Saratoga Springs before kicking and throwing up on police officers.
Police received reports Tuesday night of a vehicle running red lights, speeding and driving recklessly. Police located the vehicle and after verifying the license plate, discovered the vehicle was stolen, police reports state.
Officers attempted to stop the driver of the vehicle, but the driver refused and sped down Redwood Road, often going into the opposite lane of traffic to evade police, reports state.
Police stopped the driver, Michael Hardy, who had a warrant from the U.S. Marshal’s Office for probation violation, reports state.
Hardy, 45, was allegedly in possession of nine stolen credit cards, driver’s licenses, several syringes of what officers believe to be methamphetamine mixed with blood and marijuana.
When police attempted to put Hardy in the back of the vehicle, Hardy refused, kicking one officer and spitting vomit on another officer’s face, reports state.
Police eventually restrained him and transported him to Utah County Jail, where he was booked into jail on suspicion of one second-degree felony of receiving a stolen vehicle, one third-degree felony of failing to stop at command of police, nine third-degree felonies of unlawful possession of a financial card, two third-degree felonies of theft by receiving stolen property, two third-degree felonies of assault by a prisoner, one third-degree felony of possession of a controlled substance, one class A misdemeanor of possession of another’s ID, one class A misdemeanor of propelling a bodily substance, one class B misdemeanor of possession of marijuana, one class B misdemeanor of drug paraphernalia, one class B misdemeanor of possession of burglary tools, and one class C misdemeanor of driving with an open container of alcohol.
Hundreds of students and alumni filled Brigham Young University’s Cougar Quad with chants of “hey hey! Ho ho! Bring honor to the H-C-O!” “God forgives me, why can’t you?” and “students made it, we can change it,” Friday afternoon for a sit-in demonstration urging for a reform of the university’s honor code and how it is enforced.
Students agree to live by the university’s honor code — which bans actions such as the consumption of alcohol, premarital sex, homosexual behavior and growing a beard — in order to attend. Violating the code can lead to probation, suspension and expulsion.
The code has received increased attention after photos from the Instagram account Honor Code Stories began circulating around social media. An online petition to reform the honor code had gathered more than 22,000 signatures as of Friday morning, and those asking for an updated code have flooded social media with the hashtags #ReformTheCode, #ThatsNotHonor and #RestoreHonor.
The group behind the movement to reform the code, Restore Honor BYU, has posted that it is in support of standardized procedures and policies in the Honor Code Office, certified counselors to deal with sensitive issues, the right to record and receive transcripts of meetings with the Honor Code Office, the protection of legal rights, equal treatment and standards for all students and for a third-party student advocacy group to work as an intermediary between the student body and the Honor Code Office.
Grant Frazier, an organizer for the sit-in, hopes the event applies pressure on BYU’s administrators to bring about change.
“We need to be reminding them that this is something students really care about,” Frazier said.
With the end of the winter semester two weeks away, he said the movement will continue in the fall. He expects change to take time and for the current conversation to be ongoing.
He’s spoken with the Honor Code Office about the group’s wants.
“We love some of the compromises we have been coming to,” Frazier said.
Frazier said he wants the code to change to provide equal enforcement of the code for LGBTQ students to allow them to have relationships.
BYU posted multiple answers to questions on its website on Wednesday, stating that the university expels about 10 to 15 students annually for breaking the code, that students can’t get in trouble for not reporting another student’s violation to the Honor Code Office, that the office only accepts anonymous reports in instances where the behavior could impact the physical safety of the campus community and that ecclesiastical leaders aren’t allowed to reveal confessional conversations with the office unless a student has signed a privacy waiver.
BYU cares for its students and wants them to have a positive experience at BYU, Carri Jenkins, spokeswoman for the university, said in an emailed statement. She said BYU has met with students regarding the honor code since last week.
“These conversations have been very constructive, as students have shared with us their concern for certain processes within the Honor Code Office,” she said. “In some cases, these concerns do not reflect current practices; even so, we recognize that it is our job to help students understand what processes are in place.”
She pointed to the question and answer post the university published Wednesday.
“Our goal has been and will continue to be to help our students succeed at BYU. The students we have met with are committed to the Honor Code and ongoing dialogue, which we believe will lead to a better understanding of how the Honor Code Office can best serve our students.”
Riley Madrian volunteered at the sit-in Friday to help with crowd control. Madrian, a senior at BYU, said she became interested in the movement after seeing the Honor Code Stories account.
“I felt that now was the time to be involved,” she said.
Madrian said she’s had to educate others on what the group wants, and explain that the group doesn’t want to eliminate the honor code, but wants to reform it.
Holding a sign that read “judgement is for the Lord only,” Drew Crawford said he was expelled from BYU last year for breaking the university’s honor code. Crawford said he was reported to the Honor Code Office out of spite after sharing personal information with someone he didn’t want to date.
“My experience was very traumatic and spiritually abusive,” Crawford said.
He said the office asked him sexually-explicit questions and that he didn’t get to see the text messages that had been shared with the office until we went through the appeal process.
Crawford said he became so anxious during the process that he began harming himself.
He wants the university to eliminate policies that allow students to report on others.
“It’s not their job to see if people have repented or not,” Crawford said.
Students held up handmade signs and sang hymns such as “Love One Another” for the two-hour protest. Signs included messages such as “let gays date” and “what would Heavenly Mother do?”
Jake Dayton, a freshman, stood in the crowd with a rainbow flag tied over his shoulders. Dayton, who is gay, wants the honor code’s policies on gay students to match the policies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the school.
“I don’t want to fear giving a friend a hug and worrying about the honor code,” Dayton said.
Chandler Mesarch, a senior at BYU, came with a sign stating “more counselors, more equality, less HCO” to the rally Friday.
“I just felt like the Honor Code Office enforces things in a not-Christlike way,” Mesarch said.
Students held the demonstration in a university-approved area near the Wilkinson Student Center, where dozens watched from the balcony. Mesarch said she was there to support her LGBTQ friends, who she said are afraid to sit by students of the same sex out of fear that someone could report them to the Honor Code Office for homosexual behavior.
“An LGBTQ student can’t hold hands with someone they care about,” Mesarch said.
Emma Lynn, a graduate of BYU, said being allowed to report others makes it possible for students to use it as a revenge method against each other.
“There’s definitely a culture of ratting people out, which is divisive among students,” Lynn said.
She said that the movement to change the code is about protecting students, especially those who are LGBTQ.
The event included five minutes of silence for those who had been harmed by discrimination. The hundreds there went quiet, with only the sound of a clocking ringing out that it was 1 p.m. audible until an onlooker shouted at the group that those who don’t like the code should go to a different school.
Students stood and shared their stories about the Honor Code Office, including one where a black student said he was reported for having an unnatural hair color after dying his hair blond, and another student who said his brother was given a letter of expulsion in class after being reported for being gay.
Addison Jenkins, a student who is gay, addressed the crowd and referenced when the honor code was changed to allow students to be openly gay.
“We can change the honor code again,” he said.
He told the crowd there is nothing dishonorable about being LGBTQ, about men growing beards, about leggings or about using the bathroom in the apartment of someone of the opposite sex.
“It’s called the honor code,” he said to the crowd. “We want it to be honorable.”