I realize a lot of folks are angry or discouraged by Elder Packer's words in General Conference. But I'm not. I'm actually encouraged.
When Elder Packer denied that homosexuality could possibly be inborn, and rhetorically posed the question, "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" he was asking the same question I and countless other gay folks have asked ourselves.
And the reason we asked ourselves such a question is because our experience of our sexual orientation as some fundamental, inherent aspect of our beings prompted us to ask it. Because our efforts to stamp this aspect of ourselves out, to deny it, to run away from it, or to "pray it away" simply and utterly failed, no matter how much faith we exercised and no matter how urgent our desire to be straight. Yes, this is an existential problem. It is very much about who we are, what our natures are. That is why the problem of gay suicide is very much connected to this issue. To be or not to be, that is the question. Gay suicide is the urgency of our desire to be something we are not crashing up against the reality of what we are. And out of the pain of the conflict, if we somehow survive it, comes that anguished question: "Why, God, would you do this to me?"
We can try to deny the data, but the data is there. The lives, the experiences, the struggles, the truth is all there, bigger than the denials.
So Elder Packer's speech is comforting to me. When he asks, "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" he is asking the right question.