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Friday, July 12 2013

A Letter to Same Sex Marriage Advocates

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prop 8

Over the last week I have watched as many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the courts DOMA ruling. Ranging from fond comments on "how far we've come" to out right praise of the court; I found the exuberance rather curious.

Following the numerous posts and debates over the subject I found nearly all of the debate missed some very important issues. In  nearly every case the parties were debating the immediate impact of ruling on adults and local laws and no one asked LDS supporters of same sex marriage how they could explain the issue’s theological implications. It is true that many individuals alluded to this issue, but no one really asked the terrible questions which arise when one examines the doctrine of the eternal family in contrast to the impact of temporal same sex marriage.

Here I aim to broach some of these questions as if I were to write a letter to my imaginary cousin.


Dear Cousin,

I am deeply interested in your feelings on the DOMA ruling. I could see from your Facebook posts that you were apparently very pleased with the idea of continued same sex marriages in California. I know you served your mission in the LA area and have friends there.

You and I have been close for most our lives. Recently our paths and opinions have diverged in a way neither of us ever thought possible. You have asked me just why I am opposed to same sex marriage and I don't feel I have ever done justice to that question. I will try in this letter to flush out more of my thinking for you to understand. At the same time I will ask some things of you here which you will not like. Just as I know your questions on my judgment of marriage is not a judgment of me, please know that my questions of your judgment is not a judgment of you. I have never felt any malice to you, even in our deepest disagreements. I do, however, want to introduce some issues for you to consider concerning the marriage debate and the conflicts I perceive it causes with the faith you and I share.

In the past when this tender subject has been touched upon by you have often become angry saying "You’re not God! I don't have to explain myself to you!" That statement would be true if the ideas you were asking me to accept and tolerate affected you and only you. However this issue is different. You and your associates are pushing for a course of action that will affect millions of lives and alter society forever. Given the sweeping impact of the philosophy you advocate, you do owe an explanation concerning how you believe this will affect the nation and future generations. If you cannot explain why this is a good thing in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then all the secular arguments in its favor are useless. If it is bad in the light of the Gospel, it cannot be good for society. To this point all you have given me to consider is secular arguments and a convenient interpretation of "love thy neighbor."

For the sake of background I would like to lay out what I understand to be a disturbing trend in the Church that seems to arise often in relation to the Church’s stance marriage.

In its response to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ruling the Church states “Regardless of the court decision, the Church remains irrevocably committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children.”

At the very same time many Latter-day Saints celebrate Same Sex Marriage (SSM) and its accompanying social revolution.  I feel the dichotomy astounding. It seems that many Latter-day Saints treat the Church as a mere temporal institution on some issues (the ones they don’t like) and God’s Kingdom on the parts they do like, as found in the words of Joanna Brooks, “… thousands of progressive LDS women and men today call ourselves “Mormon feminists” — rejecting parts of Mormonism that promote inequality while holding to affirming elements of our tradition.”

These words I feel are written as if the Kingdom of God, and His doctrines were a buffet from which we are free to pick what we like and what we don’t like. This is a fallacy in every way.  In the end either people like Mrs. Brooks are correct, and the Church is wrong in its actions and doctrine, or people who think the way she does are wrong. 


The Family a Proclamation to the World


This state of affairs follows on the heels of an apostolic defense of marriage that is unbroken from the time of Adam to Thomas S. Monson. This doctrine is most recently and clearly outlined in The Family: A Proclamation to the World and countless other addresses. 


No matter the intellectual acrobatics one might undertake to avoid it, marriage is God’s eternal standard and it is His to define.  Any action or philosophy we may espouse to the contrary in this ignorant present can only be seen as the whining of a petulant child or the height of arrogance.  A few weeks ago, Elder L. Tom Perry said, “For man to substitute his own rules for the laws of God on either end of life is the height of presumption and the depth of sin.”


I know, you have told me before that “the Church is a politically and ideologically diverse body." However, I cannot see how that excuses those who seem to have rejected the Prophet’s lead on the issue of marriage.


No, it does not and cannot. The existence of a diversity of ideas does not mean that all ideas are equally valid. It means that no small number of saints have placed their own temporal hubris over the wisdom and council of God’s Prophets.


As you have pointed out, the Lord wants us to be a Zion people, of one heart and one mind.Such a state requires we are obedient as a body of Saints. The Lord has said "I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.


81 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this article. It gave me things to think about that I hadn't considered before. It has helped to clarify my thinking on this issue.
  2. Thank you for writing this. My prayer is that it will serve as a written address to all who are tired of hearing that God is wrong and man knows best.
  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. It is a very sad thing to know that so many members of the church supports ssm against what the Lord and his servants are advocating. Thank goodness all will eventually answer to the Lord in the end.
  4. Boy! Your cousin will surely appreciate this. I hope you can correct his demon thinking ways.
  5. Thank you so much for addressing this issue in such a respectful manner and putting into words my feelings as well that I can now share with others. You hit it dead on.
  6. Thank you so much for this article. It articulates much of what I feel but could not voice. I am showing it to my husband who is in the bishopric.
  7. Thank you for this timely reminder of who truly leads and guides the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and just a little of what it means to sustain the prophets and apostles. This is not the first time in history that the adversary has tried to destroy the Church from within and sadly, it probably won't be the last. Good article that could have used some editing.
  8. Well said. This was just super. SO good at saying what many of us would like to say to fellow members of the Church who seem to have fallen into blind lock step with those out of the Church on this issue. Thanks for this article.
  9. good read
  10. Thanks for putting this together. I have saved it for a discussion "yet-to-be" that will be come when the time is right.
  11. The scriptures foretell of a time when those who do not obey the Lord's servants will be "cut off" from among the Lord's people. That time is not yet, but will come. As stated in the article, we can't pick and choose what principles we obey by straddling the fence. We are either on the Lord's side or we aren't. All of us have to be careful that we aren't "fence straddlers". Of course, this can be caused by lots of other sins as well as the issue of same-sex marriage support. What the same sex marriage supporters fail to recognize is that we can love others without "jumping into their boat".
  12. How do I convince my non-member friends that laws affecting the private lives of non-members should be based upon whimsical LDS doctrine -- they are all aware that not long ago the LDS Church defied society and supported a marriage concept that definitely was NOT "one man - one woman"? And in light of the terrible price, a third part of his spirit children, that my Father in Heaven paid in establishing the principle that we absolutely must not force our beliefs and standards on those who disagree with our doctrine, how do I convince myself that it is ok to pass laws requiring compliance with LDS doctrine?
  13. I wonder if Meridian will publish unfavorable comments? I'm your cousin, Jim, and I'd like to tell you why so many LDS people are celebrating the Supreme Court DOMA decision. In the first place, it decriminalizes on the federal level an act of love between two people. You must not know that our wonderful cousin Elise is gay and has been in a committed relationship for years. No one with a heart would want to deprive her of the unique joys that come from a marital union. Why would we? She reveres the institution of marriage as God-given just as we do. Her desire to be legally wed does not threaten the sanctity of marriage; in fact, it exalts it. Second point: your letter -- with its not-so-discreet insinuation that we supporters of gay marriage are apostates -- ignores history on so many levels. Do you not know that President Young warned the Saints against following "the brethren" without receiving spiritual confirmation. He did not want blind obedience. Do you not know that the first president of the Church -- Peter -- got it completely wrong when he resisted the Lord's command to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Do you not know that President J. Reuben Clark stated in conference that "not everything" that comes from the leaders is from God? And, more recently, do you not know that no-less an iron-rodder like you than Elder McConkie said everything ever said or written by the brethren about the Negro Doctrine was wrong? In fact, the black prohibition never was a doctrine, merely a well-intentioned policy. That's what the prohibition against gays marrying is: a misguided policy that can and should be changed. My dear cousin, why do you not see that your vehement opposition to gay marriage is a violation of the Second Great Commandment -- to love our neighbors as ourselves. Nice to hear from you.
  14. Thank you for writing this. I think we need more efforts (like this) to appeal to a persons spirit. So much of what I read on this particular debate is in the attitude of "I'm right. You're wrong." Which rarely does much good. Appealing to the heart and soul of someone's testimony and reminding them of truth they have embraced in the past is definitely more affective. I appreciate your words, your doctrinal research and foundation and your eloquence in putting them all together. Thank you for being bold. :)
  15. Thank you for this clarification of thought so we may know how to answer dear friends on this subject.
  16. James- It is your Cousin. It is true that I served in LA and I accept the ruling on SSM (as you call it). As you know I believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates. I accept and obey the laws. I did not vote for Prop 8, but obviously it does not matter how I voted. I will say that the most important law is to Love One Another. I understand the concept of obedience and temple covenants, but as people seek SSM, they are not seeking those covenants. It is not my place to condemn them anymore than it is to tell all people they must go to the temple. There are many married heterosexual couples that do not seek to go to the temple, even as members. For whatever reason, there are those that willfully choose not to have children. The expectation of temple marriage and celestial laws are such that people must seek that endowment. It would be as Satan seeking to mandate that all return and take away glory from God for us to require temple marriage. Bishops marry people outside of the temple. Why? If only a temple marriage will get us celestial glory? Well, because we will be judged by God. They will be accountable for not going to the temple or choosing to not have children. The will disconnect family lines and lose eternal blessings of progeny and sealing. Those that choose not to marry at all will also have fewer blessings, but they will still be loved and judged by God and we are not judges in Israel. They choose to limit the blessings they receive. They are accountable for those choices and have that agency. There is an impact on families and children, but eventually they are accountable for themselves. The Lord knows what our circumstances were when we started in this life and will judge us on what we do with the talents we are given. They will not hide their talents in the dirt because they were not given the blessings of a mother and father. Encourage all people to seek truth and use the things that they have. Cultivate the spirit and use of the good they were given instead of shorting them even more. The Master is the one who will decide whether they have done enough. It is not your place. I am not seeking to promote SSM, but I believe it is important to let others believe and worship how where or what they may. Even civil marriage is not the same as temple marriage. In times past, the concept of marriage was about commitment and family for a lifetime and eternity. Unfortunately, divorce and convenience have changed that. Baptism was done in similitude, but why wasn't marriage? If it is so important to have a heterosexual equal partnership, why do we not know more about a feminine God partner? Marriage may have been ordained of God, but it has not been exemplified as a necessary ordinance by Christ. Why not? And what about polygamy? There are so many things that we still have yet to understand. I still believe that Mormonism has the most correct, but there are still issues with interpretation.
  17. Very well-stated. I have friends who are gay and it saddens me to think of their eternity if they continue to practice their deviant sexuality. I realize they can't help their feelings, but they don't have to act on them. I am a single woman (divorced for many years) and I can't have sex either (finding a man to marry is not easy). Celibacy is doable.
  18. We have the Lord’s way and Satan’s way. Satan has always used secret combinations as a way to put his plan into effect. He always wants to put counterfeit into play that mimics what the Lord’s wants. The Lord’s plan is open for all to see. Satan public face is enticement with hidden agendas. Satan is clearly gearing up to put his millennium in effect with him as the Christ. In WWII, the Nazi Third Riche is a recent example of Satan trying to set up his kingdom before Christ could. One of the hall marks of most or all secret societies trying to control the world is the use of homosexual acts as a part of their sacred “temple rights” for their upper elite. (Hitler was homosexual) In the Lord’s plan, heterosexual sex with an eternally bound married partner as the highest form of His temple rights. When we see rampant homosexuality in the world, we know that his secret combinations are among us as predicted in the Book of Mormon. If you want to see what Satan’s world is like, view the show on The Science Cannel called, “Through the Wormhole”. It has children being created in labs from cells of individuals, even of the same sex, with children not knowing whom their bio-parents are, raised in government schools and indoctrinated by the system. Because this system needs to control the birthrate, only homosexual expression will be legally allowed. Satan’s plan not God’s plan.
  19. Dear Curt and JA, I am so sorry to hear how your smug attitudes are once again displayed when talking to the members of our family about this most important subject. Jim told me to be cautious if I was to ever have a discussion with you about it. However, the realization that two people want to have a committed relationship is fine and dandy, but then what about children? Those that want SSM want to drag children into the relationship as well. Pretending that they are in a God-sanctioned marriage with children does mock God, pure and simple. The "marriage" is temporal at best and therefore those children will never have an opportunity to be sealed to their parent's. You have now robbed them of that opportunity. At least, if the Temple ordinances were completed for them after a heterosexual couple died, the children could be sealed to them. That is God's law and not man's. No he will not take away your agency but you are taking away the agency of the children you want to adopt or create by other means. Please consider. Your cousin, June
  20. The article clearly states a self-consistent position, but it fails to persuade this Mormon lawyer to that position. "If it is bad in the light of the Gospel, it cannot be good for society." "Marriage is God's eternal standard and it is His to define." These statements are categorical and self-serving. They do not kindly persuade the secular state to adhere to one particular denomination's set of definitions. Human government cannot risk using a sectarian definition to underpin secular laws. The laws are secular so that they can apply beyond the authority of any single religious denomination. To participate in a state including non-Mormons, we have to give the non-Mormons equal credence in defining the terms of that state.
  21. I suspect some Latter-day Saints have drifted on this issue because we don't give as much attention to the Bible as we ought, which makes it very clear throughout what the Lord's views are. In fact, I suspect it was no accident that Sodom and Gomorrah were situated near the Dead Sea. We can clearly see there what occurs when life is "pent up" and does not flow on to new venues. Same sex relationships are similarly a Dead End. Only through procreation [as is possible between those of two sexes] can life flow forward, thus continuing to bring vitality to what would otherwise be a Dead and Decaying World.
  22. I am neither a General Authority nor a legal/Constitutional scholar. However, it seems to me like the church's position is dealing with the ideal and there is also a legal/constitutional perspective. At one point in our history, we argued vehemently for our collective right to practice polygamy, but we yielded to the Supreme Court's decision against polygamy. Now the Supreme Court has ruled against prohibitions/discrimination against same-sex marriage. I think there is a lot yet to discuss regarding this whole issue. Morality is God's law. The Constitution, which we acknowledge as being inspired by God, is the law of the land. Until the Lord comes to reign personally, The constitution will always be an imperfect attempt to institutionalize God's law or morality. Individually, we can and should do our utmost to live God's Gospel. We don't, however, have the right, even collectively, to deny others the right to live according to their own conscience, however flawed that may be.
  23. To the Cousins … Your arguments are certainly persuasive. Yes, people have the right to love each other. Yes, prophets can suffer from personal opinions which are not inspired. I heard my second cousin, Henry Dinwoodey Moyle, a member of the First Presidency, answer a question from one of the missionaries in Germany that man would never walk on the moon. He was wrong. But your arguments fail when confronted with a Proclamation from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, read in a Church Conference by the President and Prophet of the Church, that clearly and decisively states a DOCTRINE in unequivocal language , “that the powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife” … it seems that all counter arguments are moot except one: that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve do not speak for God, and the passage from the Doctrine and Covenants that states “… whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” … is not of God. We all have our free agency.
  24. Thank you! If as a society (even just an LDS society) we approve of this counterfeit definition of family and happiness, wouldn't we all be responsible for the eternal sadness it would cause when those family relationships cannot be eternal?
  25. @Kurt Busse and a lot of others All laws are based on some concept of morality (right/wrong, good/evil, ehthical/unethical...etc). As Thomas Sowell points out, slavery is illegal in this country, and around the world, because Western Europeans and their descendants around the world (the vast majority of whom were Christian) decided that it was wrong to enslave people. A great deal of effort was required to stop slavery worldwide. Had (for example) things gone differently at the second Siege of Vienna (1683), slavery could well be legal and common throughout most of the world. The idea of marriage as a union between males and females is found in societies throughout the world. It is hardly a uniquely LDS or even a uniquely "Conservative Christian" doctrine. I'm dissapointed that someone with a JD doesn't comprehend that. It is also somewhat disingenious to use the words of the Savior or the scriptures if you are asking people to only use "secular" reasoning.
  26. Those who support or engage in gay marriage will one day run smack dab into a brick wall------when they pass through to the other side of the veil. Period. No exaltation. No godhood. No continuance of the seeds forever and ever. No kingdom of their own in which to rule and reign. Only to live separately and single from all eternity to all eternity as a ministering angel to someone worthy of a far more, and exceeding, and eternal weight of glory. Now, if they are willing to accept those limitations, and trade a diamond for a penny, then be my guest.
  27. I personally got the impression that Jesus was less concerned with the theological or political implications of his teachings, and just wanted everyone to stop being mean to each other. In my experience, almost all of the meanness in this issue is on your side, no matter how nicely you talk while you're hurting others, and what meanness I've seen from the other side is justified because of your actions.
  28. The Jesus of the New Testament advocated a radical, untested break from tradition, in favour of love and acceptance and away from laws designed to put people in their place. He flaunted his own rulebreaking, held up nonmembers as examples against the cruel Church leaders of his day, and explicitly said that kindness -- not ordinances done "in his name" -- earned you a ticket to heaven. Like he did, I see a lot more genuine love and compassion and willingness to break with abusive traditions outside of "his" Church than inside it, and I think the obviousness of this fact is what's causing the schism in your membership.
  29. The first commandment God gave was to "multiply and replenish the earth". You have to realize that any action which would threaten this or pervert it , will affect innocent and guilty alike, and result in severe consequences for everyone.
  30. Thank you so much for reminding us of the clarity of the messages given by our prophets. The Proclamation on the Family becomes more meaningful by the day, as our society drifts further and further away from the very foundational teachings of the gospel. Same sex couples CANNOT procreate. Therefore, there would be no purpose in being sealed in the temple since they will have no posterity.
  31. We either believe that the bible contains the words of God or are those of men. If they are the words of men then the Gospel is false. If they are as I believe the words of God, then same sex marriage is an abomination according to my reading of the scriptures. And as Gods word is unchangeable no amount of mens legislation will change his word.
  32. My name is Thomas Gilliam i am a Latter-Day Saint i a believe marriage is one Woman and one man . I do not believe in gay marriage they here to destroy our faith i will see to it that and not support gay marriage in our church it is wrong i believe in the word of God that same sex marriage is an abomination.
  33. As we have seen Man cannot legislate morality. People are free to choose in this life - but not choose the consequences. Great article. Thanks for sharing.
  34. Dear Cousins, Whether or not gay marriage is blessed of God is not the issue here. The point of legalizing gay marriage lies on the correct principle that all people are free to pursue happiness, modeling their own lives after the dictates of their own consciences, not mine or yours, or even the prophet's. For any person or people, however righteous, to enforce their own understanding of God's laws upon any other is very simply wrong. We all have the right, by the agency which God has granted, to choose our own way and by His law, we may not infringe on the liberties of any other to do just that. On another note, it is my opinion that a God who would damn the eternal progress of an innocent child because of the choices of his/her parents is no God, but is a counterfeit and I am offended that some of our cousins would speak of my Heavenly Father in such a cruel and limited light as if His open arms can be cut off to some by the choices of another. That sort of idea is evidence of misunderstanding of the fathomless love and genius of the Almighty out of ignorance. Well, I am sure God forgives ignorance, as is stated by His own mouthpieces, so I ought to as well. Take care!
  35. I'm not sure I'm a cousin. WhAt I am is a supporter of God's law and the constitution. On a purely constitution level, if we accept that marriage is a covenant between man, woman and God then ALL MARRIAGE is UNCONSTITUTIONAL thanks to the first amendment. Or at least those tax breaks afforded to married couples are. Marriage is a religious act. What the government chooses to recognize for tax purposes should not hinge on God's law. The first amendment is fairly clear that the government should not be in the business of telling the people what God's will is. By defining marriage, that's exactly what it would do. It's a tricky spot to navigate. But if I'm not mistaken Jesus told us to render to Caesar what is caesar's. Same sex marriage does not have to be recognized by the church. The Catholic Church doesn't recognize marriages outside its walls yet the government and the rest of the world does. Same sex attraction is not a sin. ACTING on those feelings is. Just as acting on any sexual relationship outside of marriage is. How many of you would be willing to call your nonmember friends and family members who are in heterosexual relationships outside of marriage deviants? It is the same law of chastity being broken. We all have sins. We have the luxury of being able to choose not to add treating people poorly to the list of sins. I teaching my children to treat ALL of God's children with respect and kindness, that everyone sins (some knowingly and some ignorantly)... Teach correct principles with kindness and love. I have seen this approach work miracles.
  36. I reminded of a statement by Gordon B. Hinkley in conference. (I'm parapharsing, but not by much) Some people say that I hate homosexuals. That is not true. I invite everyone, regardless of their sins, to repent and come unto Christ. There is love and hatred on both sides of this issue. It is unwise to suggest that "irrational animus" is the only possible motivation for disagreement with same-sex marriage. A marriage license (like any other license) is a statutory privilege, not a right. There are plenty of heterosexuals and heterosexual couples who don't have one.
  37. Same sex couples CANNOT procreate. hey Maryann (What's your game now, can anybody play...it's a song reference...hahahaha), you said, "Therefore, there would be no purpose in being sealed in the temple since they will have no posterity. " Does that logic apply to the senior couple in my ward too old to have kids?
  38. I am especially disturbed by the fact that people that share my faith in the Restored Church of Jesus Christ can question our Prophet's statements on marriage. Don't these people believe that the true gospel was restored to prepare for the return of Christ and that the Lord would never allow the Prophet to lead the people of the Church astray? If such is the case no need to debate on whether the five Supreme Court Justices who decided to do away with DOMA - not all nine of them - were right or wrong. We either support the Prophet 100% or walk away from what we consider to be a manmade Church!
  39. Ok so referring to the line "but no one really asked the terrible questions which arise when one examines the doctrine of the eternal family in contrast to the impact of temporal same sex marriage." So what about these "man and women" marriages done in the temple for eternity? I had one, and I take it very seriously. Something I can't wrap my head around is when people get married and sealed, then their spouse passes AND THEY GET REMARRIED! Isn't that temporal? They know they have a spouse waiting for them in heaven eternally and they marry (some even get 2nd temple marriages!) Why do they do it? Companionship, love, ect. So why is this not frowned upon? Heavenly Father made some people’s hormones different than most people the same sex, and gave us all the ability to love and feel compatible with only certain people. That means if it just happens to be someone the same sex as you that is the only person you feel that way with and want to spend your life with, you shouldn't? You should force yourself to love someone of the opposite sex that you don't love with all your heart, make a commitment to spend eternity with that person and bring children into a house hold of fake love? Does that sound right to you? I have a friend who married the love of her life in the temple; she dreamed of getting old with him, she died at 24 years old. He was left with their newborn child and a couple years later remarried i the temple to someone else and has nothing to do with his 1st wife’s family they are not allowed to see the little girl. Is this ok? Jesus said love everyone treat them kindly too. I chose to let people make their own decisions. If you want to remarry after a temple marriage, wear pants in church, marry the same sex, that's between you and god. There are plenty of things I don't choose for myself, and plenty of things I don't personally agree with but I respect that someone else has chosen those things and that's why we chose Heavenly father's plan not Satan's for CHOICE!
  40. Thank you for the article. I am one of the women who has been affected by the issue of SSM. I am now divorced from a person who CHOSE to live two lifestyles. One, being a person who was in high callings of the church, and also sleeping around with many men on the other. He is now living a very open homosexual lifestyle and fights everything that has to do with God. He has taken me to court over and over for the past 5 years, all claiming "he has his rights", while on my end, I literally have hundreds and hundreds of pages of documentation of the abuse he regularly threatens my children and I with. Of all the years in court, the system, and my ex, yells more about his rights, then the safety and care of the children. No one really wants to understand that when one right is given to a "group", to another is taken away. As a single mother, and a woman who has continued on with faith in the truths of LDS doctrine, it has made my job so much more difficult. Church members who have empathy for the SSM propaganda, out right deny the hardships and abuse that the spouses and the children have to endure. This certainly doesn't match any scripture I have ever read. God needs his members to follow HIS law, and throw away the apathy towards sin. This is not written by an angry ex wife, but a woman who has endured much by this choice of lyfestyle that seems to be so vogue in today's world. BTW, if you are reading this and saying a homosexual can't help who they are attracted to, then you must also say a pedophile can not help who they are attracted to, or an adulterous spouse can not help who they are attracted to.
  41. Same sex couples can adopt and raise others of our brothers and sisters in a life style that will make it harder for them to meet again with our Heavenly Father and Mother. To not care about helping others to attain what we hope to attain is to follow the teachings of the Adversary and throw those children under the bus.
  42. Charley Brown you made more sense than all the rest. I support the Prophet 100%. End of debate.
  43. There are few questions about life that the church cannot answer satisfactorily for me, but the question of why people are gay/lesbian is one. I have gay/lesbian/transgendered friends that I love dearly, who are good people, who struggle through life just as we all do and so wish I could understand why they are the way they are. But I don't know why. However, I know that our Father in Heaven loves them as much as he loves me. My job is to love them too. My testimony is such that I know I must follow the Lord and the prophets in faith, even when I don't understand the full purpose or meaning. I'm glad the church is unchanging, the same yesterday today and tomorrow. A church that changes with "modern times" is not the church of God. I'm sorry that gays struggle as they do, as a single woman in my late 40s I have my own struggles around not being married, but I am not going to ask God to change who He is or what is best for mankind for me. I can love my gay/lesbian friends without being their judge - God is their judge and He will judge them with love and righteousness. I don't think we have the capacity to understand how He will deal with them in the end because only He knows why they are the way they are and what they've faced and how they've dealt with it. No one can say a homosexual will not enter the kingdom of God - if they have not the gospel and a full understanding they will be no more held accountable than the African bushman who lacks understanding. Each of us are doing the best we can in life with what we have. They're not perfect and neither am I and for that I'm grateful that God is my judge and not man.
  44. This letter was directed at members of the LDS faith. From some of the comments, this point was obviously missed. It amazes me that this is even an issue within the LDS faith. The doctrine of marriage is clear. Marriage throughout all history has meant a union between a man and a woman with the intent that this union will produce offspring in this life or the next. Obviously some couples cannot have children. This is the foundation of God's plan and it is also the foundation upon which a strong society is built. The world has successfully removed the procreative aspect of marriage. This new "marriage" is no longer marriage. In fact homosexuals do not really want marriage, they want to destroy it. I have heard this out of there own mouths. I have to admit, however, that heterosexuals have done more to destroy marriage than any other group of people. BTW the US Constitution will be the law of the land during the millennium. This is what Isaiah meant when he said: "for out of Zion shall go forth the law. (Harold B. Lee, Ensign Nov. 1971 quoting George Albert Smith from the Idaho Falls Temple dedicatory prayer.)
  45. Thank you, Your information will help me when I talk to others about this subject.
  46. I don't know of anything in nature which forms a union of same sex except man. It cannot exist;; it cannot reproduce. It would eventually come to naught. It is not natural, whether you believe in God or not. It is an experiment and destructive to the natural place of families with a father and mother and their maternal roles. I have no issue if someone wishes to live this lifestyle, but I do not think we need to change the Constitution for allow it.
  47. I remember being taught from the time my parents joined the Church (I was 5) that God/Heavenly Father is the same, and His Laws are the same Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. It is people that 'choose' to change what He has taught. One Man-One Woman. Pure and simple
  48. I find it interesting that so many heterosexual couples are choosing to not marry and just live together while homosexual couples are fighting so hard to be married. It appears to me that both just want to be contrary to God. Marriage is of God. If you don't want to follow His law, why are you fighting so hard to be married. As long as you are contrary to God's law, the devil is happy.
  49. Did the prophet ever explicitly command the membership to oppose SSM? Why not if it's such a big deal?
  50. Let me make a parallel: I don't drink alcohol. I don't want my kids drinking alcohol. I tell them "Aside from the Word of Wisdom, there's a lot of alcoholism in your genes, so don't even try it, m'kay?" But at the same time, I support alcohol being legal. If anyone ran for office on a program of making alcohol illegal again, I'd vote against them. Why? Well, in this case, last time we tried it, the "side effects" were horrible. I have excellent reasons for wanting to keep alcohol legal, even though I think it's sinful and I tell my kids to stay away from it. Now, same-sex marriage? Yup, I still believe sex outside of single heterosexual marriage is a sin. But as a matter of public policy? As a litmus test for the politicians I support? I believe that the "side effects" of preventing same-sex couples from having the same benefits as opposite-sex couples are horrible. Besides, any decent democracy -- and the US is supposed to be one -- does NOT allow religious views to dictate policy. Many Christians (and Muslims and others) think same-sex marriage is bad and should not be legalized. But many other Christians and others think otherwise. All the reasons offered in this letter for preventing same-sex marriage are religious in nature; and so, without better "evidence" we can't continue to ban same-sex marriage. I know many of you here seem to want America to become a theocracy; but doing that before Christ returns would be the worst mistake we could make as a society. So understand this: It is OK to believe that something is a sin, but to also believe that it should be legal in your nation. True freedom of religion means that unless we have good non-religious reasons on our side, or unless we have a really solid consensus among citizens of all beliefs, we can NOT impose this view on the rest of the nation.
  51. What we are seeing by the responses to this article are the fulfilling of 2 prophecies: the separation of the wicked from the righteous and the parable of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins. What amazes me is that there are so many who claim to beleive in the church and sustain the living prophets, yet when it comes to standing up for something and doing what is right, completely cave when it may affect a friend or loved one. We now can clearly see the battle lines for the days ahead and the source of the trials for those who want to stay close to The Lord. When people who try to claim that we are to somehow love them and accept them for who they are, believe a lie and think that they "are born that way" and cannot help themselves. When someone has sex of any kind, it affects their brain and changes who they are. When the sex is with those of the same sex it also alters their memory and they claim to have always "been that way" when in reality they were just tempted over the years and finally succumbed. No, they were not "born that way" they gave into temptation and now their brain is altered and only true repentance can change things back. It is not easy but it can be done. But going out and supporting their lifestyle all in the name of "love" is wrong and placing their membership in serious question. Don't be one of the 5 foolish virgins and miss out. Don't be on the side of the wicked when it gets too late.
  52. So many of these comments really depress me. If you are flaberghasted to hear that some LDS support marriage equality, well . . . try listening to what they have to say, instead of just assuming you know what their reasons are. The Supreme Court decision is correct, because we live in a land that believes in separation of church and state. You just can't get around that. Being the Only True Church in the World does not trump the Constitution. Maybe you think it should. But it doesn't.
  53. Do you not publish negative comments? How can you ever even attempt to understand someone else's viewpoint, if you don't allow them to speak?
  54. @Ed M It is interesting to me that you make the incredible claim that "marriage throughout all history has meant a union between a man and a woman." I wonder if you have actually engaged in a study of marriage throughout all history? I recommend Stephanie Coontz' "History of Marriage," which will surely disespouse you of this idea. The marriage that you claim to exist throughout "all history" is actually an invention of the last two hundred years. Please study history before making egregious claims.
  55. If you believe society ought to legislate against a child being raised outside of a family consisting of a married man and woman, how about all the children being raised by single and divorced parents and unmarried heterosexual couples? There are many more of those types of families than there are gay couples. To be consistent, if you want to impose religious views on society, you would have to lobby to do away with anything outside of traditional marriage. Like it or not, the fact of the matter is that the traditional family of marriage between one man and one woman with children constitutes the minority of households in the United States today.
  56. Polygamy brings lots of children into the world. And, if SSM becomes more accepted and legal in the land, it stands to reason Polygamy will stand the legal test too... especially in light of of the children's argument, as well as the Constitutional premise for a pluralistic society which includes conservative Muslims with their doctrines. The point is this: the advocates of SSM haven't yet answered the eventual polygamy dilemma, which will have a major unintended consequence given the foothold of conservative Muslims in America. And, the author of this article - along with other conservatives - still have not captured the real threat message on our society... namely, legalized polygamy. The unintended consequence of polygamy is the only message that can awaken the fears and action of the overall society in America. So, until the SSM advocates - and their opponents, like the author - can address the Polygamy question, you are not going to get a strong majority of citizens to support either way (because at the moment, it's about even).
  57. Kelly Smith, you seem to be claiming that gays and lesbians aren't "born that way", but that they only become so after having sex with someone of the same gender. Do you KNOW any gay or lesbian people? Have you talked to them? More importantly, have you LISTENED to them?! One of my daughters is lesbian. At least until she was 19 and moved out, she had NEVER had sexual relations with ANYONE, male or female. She just told me she loved having boys as friends, but she was never attracted to them; she's only attracted to girls. We didn't "raise" her any differently than you'd expect in an active Mormon family with 6 kids. She didn't "choose" to be "that way." Talk to some gays and lesbians yourself. The vast majority of them KNEW they weren't attracted to the opposite sex well before they EVER engaged in any sexual activity. Sadly, it appears that you are the one believing myths and untruths. Meet some of these people, talk to and listen to them, and educate yourself.
  58. The article said "You and your associates are pushing for a course of action that will affect millions of lives and alter society forever."...they have said that when Catholics were allowed to marry Protestants in Europe, when Inter-racial marriage was legalized, and now they are saying it again. At a certain point you should understand that society is made up of stronger material than you think,
  59. “Did the prophet ever explicitly command the membership to oppose SSM? Why not if it's such a big deal?” After all of the teachings and commandments in the Bible and Book of Mormon for all ages the Prophet should not need to add to it. But we have always been given what is simply called agency. * “The marriage that you claim to exist throughout "all history" is actually an invention of the last two hundred years. Please study history before making egregious claims.” Now we read here that Joseph was not married to Mary. WOW * “how about all the children being raised by single and divorced parents and unmarried heterosexual couples?” Yes we have many problems to deal with today and there are many agencies like the Optimist Youth Home & Family Service in Los Angeles which deals with around 500 youth and foster kids every day (WWW.OYHFS.ORG) Many are kids removed from homes for their own protection, many are probationary youth who feel that no one cares about them until they get to the Home, many are foster kids who were simply unwanted.
  60. I really appreciated being able to read the article you wrote and I would like to add my witness to many others here who have felt impressed to defend the sanctity of marriage as established and defined by God in Holy Writ. Biblically, we have learned that before calamites and judgments of God have been given to His children on earth, He has sent prophets to warn of the impending destructions as a means of escape. Those who have repented have been delivered by the hand of God, while those who chose to not repent suffered the foretold consequences. How appropriate and timely that the Proclamation on the Family came from prophets to humankind at a time when the world was ripening towards decisions and legislations that would prove to undermine God's holy purposes and direct man's moral compass in a downward direction! When God's mouthpieces speak and His directions are ignored, there has always been and will always be a terrible price to pay.
  61. Love has been raised as a key to this issue. And it is. Jesus Christ came to pay the price for sins, which includes all of us as sinners. But He said to the adulterous woman, "Go and sin no more," not "Adultery is okay now." We are warned about turning His grace into lasciviousness. (Jude 1:4) I have known at least 3 individuals who did pursue the Gay Lifestyle. They have since come back, sorrowful for that detour in their lives. But they lost a lot in the meantime. The reason this issue is getting so much response is that so many of us feel it is the breaking of a huge dam, allowing lasciviousness to inundate civilization, [I lived in San Francisco for a time; saw the terrible excesses of Gay Pride Parades and the anonymous sex bath houses]. So we do have the right, even responsibility, to try to stem the tide. This does not mean we do not deeply love those tempted in this way. For we all have our own admitted temptations. We love them, but we love the Lord more. And we feel a frantic need to try to preserve a society where our children are not confused by false ideas and morals, seemingly a greater and greater lost cause.
  62. if being gay is a choice can someone please explaine to me why at age 6 my grandson (19 now and gay) would cut pictures of boys out of magazines and keep them in his desk. when i ask why he did that he replied,"because i think they are cute." when i ask why he didn't cut out pics of girls he replied " cause girls aren't cute." this little 6 yr old boy knew nothing of gay. he just knew how he felt even then at that young age. i still believe it is not a choice. and i love him and my 5 gay cousins as much as i love any other family members. legally, i think the church and government should be seperated. i would not want to deny gay people the privelage of marriage. as for children having a mother and a father, i was sealed in the L A temple to a man who physically abused me and my 5 children. he had affairs (one with a church member). after 13 years and against church counsel, i divorced him. my children said it was the best thing i ever did for them. he was later found to have been a rapist and was even questioned over a murder. i pray that that is not what the church is talking about when they say children need a mother and a father. i have a child that calls me every mothers day and every fathers day. i was both and my children turned out fine and are great parents themselves today. being a mom or dad is not what makes you a good parent, it is what is in a persons heart.
  63. @Josh, I did a littler research on your recommended author, Stephanie Coontz. She was a member of the campus (Berkley) political party SLATE, a far left, pro-communist group. She also had a leadership role in the Young Socialist Alliance and was as member of Socialist Workers Party. I would likewise suggest that you study history as families, marriages and religion have not done so well under communist rule. It is clear why you and Ms. Coontz believe that marriage was "invented" in the last two hundred years.
  64. @Josh, I did a littler research on your recommended author, Stephanie Coontz. She was a member of the campus (Berkley) political party SLATE, a far left, pro-communist group. She also had a leadership role in the Young Socialist Alliance and was as member of Socialist Workers Party. I would likewise suggest that you study history as families, marriages and religion have not done so well under communist rule. It is clear why you and Ms. Coontz believe that marriage was "invented" in the last two hundred years.
  65. I am really depressed by many of the comments on this article. I am a faithful member who happens to be gay. I'm not in a relationship. I have not ever acted on my feelings. I try to not be offended by many of these comments, however many are hurtful. I am not a person with "deviant sexuality". I am a person who is loved very much by my Heavenly Father as I am. I feel that many are judging those of us who feel that our values and Church teachings cannot be enforced upon those of our brothers and sisters who are not of our faith. Really, our Father in Heaven will judge us for what we think and feel. I really wish that more of my brothers and sisters in the Gospel would stop judging me, and others, for the decision to not live a lie by dating or marrying someone I just wouldn't be attracted to or able to love fully in this life. Please find a way to love us, even if you don't understand why we feel the way we do. Please help us to be patient in waiting upon the Lord and his timing to satisfy the same desire for family and children you heterosexual brothers and sisters have. For me, I know that the Lord will give me this desire of my heart, if not in this life, then perhaps in the next. Please realize that in some respects being gay and faithful members is less easy than being single in the Church. Many who are single in the Church, but are heterosexual in orientation have the hope of being married in this life, and in the Temple. Many of us who are gay do not. This isn't due to a lack of faith in the Lord, but rather a realistic view of ourselves and our capacities. Many of us realize that the ability to completely love someone of the opposite sex isn't going to happen until we are fully healed, either in the Millennium or the next life. Many of the comments I see and hear do NOT help in with respects to being patient and waiting on the Lord. They don't help me to feel safe within the Church sometimes because I'm afraid to discuss my feelings with others as it relates to this issue. The fear would be that of being rejected or called a pervert, when I clearly am not.
  66. When the time comes and you stand before innocent children who are being raised by same-sex parents, will you look them in the eyes and say “I am proud that I supported measures that robbed you of the opportunity to have married parents, and receive health care coverage through them?” Children can't choose what family they are born-- or adopted-- into. Children should not have to pay the price.
  67. Silly Josh! Of course the argument of anyone who belonged to a far-left organization should be immediately discarded as worthless! Obviously only the research of right-wing academics is ever valid. (please note my sarcasm-- although, sadly, many here would probably agree with that statement).
  68. Also, roughly 150 years ago, our church thought that marriage was between one man and multiple women. Did anyone ever stop to think that our history with polygamy makes us kind of a laghing-stock when we attempt to define what "marriage" is now?
  69. We are all born on this earth with trials. Some are born mentally handicapped, others with out arms or legs or sight. Some people struggle with addictions. I could go on and on. None of them ask to be born that with those trials, never that less the Lord expects us to live his laws and follow his teachings regard less of the trial that we are given in this life. We live in a mortal world where the laws of nature don't always function perfect either. Why some people are born with same sex desires cannot be explained, but it does not change the laws of God. I love my cousin regardless of his choices. But we will have to answer for every choice we make and how it affects others.
  70. What the author says is all well and good, I agree with him. His argument though, condenses to one idea; we should support traditional marriage because church leaders say so. One criticism of the church is that we are blind sheep that follow dictates from Salt Lake City. We are not blind sheep. We are seeing sheep who are trying to follow Christ, our Shepherd. As such, we are entitled to our own confirmation from God as to the truthfulness of doctrine set forth. The article by Jim Smith should inspire us all to seek for this confirmation that same-sex marriage is antithetical to God's purposes. We of the church should be supporting marriage between man and woman. In addition, those who rejoice over the recent Supreme Court rulings are evidently unaware of the threat to religious freedom. Also note that California passed a constitutional amendment supporting traditional marriage. The Supreme Court did not overturn that law, yet it is being flagrantly ignored and defied in California. The constitution of California is a worthless piece of paper. There is no democracy here, only tyrrany. While others endorse the rights of the homosexual, the rights of the voter have been abolished. Here in California I see a much bigger problem than gay rights. While I am voicing my concerns I should add that the term "gay rights" is misleading. Gays have no more nor no less rights than anyone else. There is no such thing as gay rights, specifically.
  71. I appreciate the article published in the New Era (July 2013), entitled, "Conviction With Compassion," by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Under the sub-heading, "Don't Others Have Their Agency?" he said, "Young people may wonder about the universal applicability of this position taken or that policy made by the Church saying, 'Well, we know how we should behave, but why do we have to make other people accept our standards? Don't they have their agency? Aren't we being self-righteous and judgmental, forcing our beliefs on others, demanding that they, as well as ourselves, act in a certain way?' In those situations you are going to have to explain sensitively why some principles are defended and some sins opposed wherever they are found because the issues and laws involved are not just social or political but eternal in their consequence. And while not wishing to offend those who believe differently from us, we are even more anxious not to offend God." From my own observations, it has become clear, that the Constitution hangs on the threads of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and that both hang in jeopardy, once marriage is redefined.
  72. God asks us to do two things at once, both hard: Feel about people the way He does, and feel about Sin the way He does. I've seen plenty of people who are good at one or the other, and not as many who are good at both at the same time, but those who are share a common trait: Humility. Humility is about bending to God's will. Humility is about healing the blind and cleansing the temple. I'm not so good at either. But I'd like to be. I have noticed that Humility is especially hard to stay in with people who sin differently than I do. I am sympathetic wtih anyone who's trial involves same sex attraction. I sincerely believe anyone with that challenge who will submit to the will of God in this commandment, as in all others, will find a higher happiness than in rejecting God's counsel on the subject. That's been my own experience with resisting the temptations that more naturally beset me. Christ-like love is humility, and humility is always going to require an attitude of "Thy will be done.", and I should add, " . . . on Earth, as it is in Heaven."
  73. THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST of LATTER-DAY SAINTS MUST BECOME A GOSPEL OF FULL INCLUSION. All humans who can live the moral standards of our religion should have membership in this church. All of mankind, regardless of sexual orientation if they live the moral standards within the sphere of their sexuality. It only matters that they follow moral standards and get married before sex. The Priesthood is the power to act in the Lord's name can be done by all, who live the standards of the church. The same principles and standards will apply for temple marriages. Mixed families are the fact of our world today. All families who make covenants with the Lord to be obedient should be sealed together. Jesus would have us take the banner for all the world to see...... Then we have to epitomize love and acceptance...... All humans every son and daughter, mother and father, father and father, mother and mother,all sexuality all together preparing the world for the Savior. Every human that is willing to live the standards of our church need to be accepted. Women and men who are obediant to the laws of priesthood should be able to use it, under the guidelines of moral purity. MORAL PURITY IS THE STANDARD....of our lives, so we must make Sealing blessings be upon all families who live AS A FAMILY ,proclaims that redemption through Jesus Christ is available to the entire human family on the conditions God has prescribed. It affirms that God is “no respecter of persons”and emphatically declares that anyone who is righteous—regardless of RACE, GENDER, SEXUALITY, is favored of Him. The teachings of the Church in relation to God’s children are epitomized by a verse in the second book of Nephi: “[The Lord] denieth none that cometh unto him, black and white, RED,and YELLOW, bond and free, male and female; . . . all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile, Muslim and Hindu ect." There will be a perfect gift for the world this Christmas........Opening the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST TO THE WORLD....Merry Christmas!
  74. I remember meeting a man on my mission that struggled with homosexuality. Today he has a wife and kids, and even works in the temple! He has also admitted that he still has homosexual thoughts--but he doesn't act on them! THAT'S what's important. We all have temptations, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, but what makes us who we are is whether or not we succumb to such things.
  75. To Curt, JA and others: The FIRST GREAT commandment is to love GOD - The SECOND commandment is LIKE UNTO IT - but not exactly the same. Love God first. "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." That must come first - THEN and only then can you use the second commandment correctly. Christ loved the woman caught in adultery, but He did not sanction her actions. If we were to use Curt's logic, in order to love the adulterer, we would have to sanction their behavior.
  76. In the context of this discussion about the legal definition of marriage, it does not matter what you believe about the theology of marriage or heaven. It matters whether you believe others should be allowed to hold their own beliefs about marriage and heaven. They say a war was fought in heaven over the freedom to exercise moral agency. Apparently that battle is still going on here, and, as a general rule, I try not to be found on the side of those opposing moral agency.
  77. This opinion seems to diverge somewhat from the Church's stance as articulated on http://mormonsandgays.org. I would recommend going there and reading it and watching the videos. It seems to be taking a noticeably more nuanced and gentle approach to this issue.
  78. A great post! It's not as complex as most people make it out to be. I see a great many rationalizations when it comes to the acceptance of same sex marriage, and all are at a dead end when it comes to eternity. We should follow the prophet, believe the words of God and trust in our savior Jesus Christ.
  79. This battle is lost. I'm glad. I'm ready for us to be the church of helping the needy, visiting the sick and clothing the naked. I'm tired of us being thought of as the anti gay church.
  80. I would ask all those who support gay marriage to ask God with an open heart whether or not it is ok or not. You receive revelation for yourself. Read the scriptures, listen or read what church leaders say about it, go to the temple and think about the issue. There was once a time when I too did not understand the church's opposition to it or why I should make a personal stand against it. I would also say this, to stand up and tell a person who drinks and drives that it is unsafe to drink and drive is not hateful, nor is it hateful to prohibit the action in law. How can I stand aside, when I know how much pain and heartache will come to them and others?
  81. there is so much hate. the lord loves them just as much as he loves you. let he with sin cast the first stone. there is so many people throwing stones! supporting gay rights is not against church policy. The definition of marriage is what is wanted to be protected. they live in the United States and they deserve to be treated as not only citizens but as children of God. Love and tolerance can exist together.

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