On May 22, 2009, PBS, at Religion and Ethics News Weekly, released a segment about Mormons and Proposition 8. A timely subject considering the impending Supreme Court decision. The twist, however, is that the Mormons interviewed are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who consider themselves active, but disagree with the Church on the matter of same-sex “marriage.” I didn’t actually watch the video, but I read through the entire transcript and was quite astonished at a certain number the member’s opinions. I wrote my thoughts into a comment, but since they are moderated I am not sure if it will be posted. (I promise I didn’t use any foul language or get mean or anything). :0)
Because I feel passionately about this particular subject, I’ve decided to give voice to my opinions here as well. The following are some of the thoughts shared by interviewed members of the Church that I happen to strongly disagree with. I can imagine that some of what I say here might raise the eyebrows of those not familiar with the finer tenets of my faith, but, as always, I hope that mutual respect and tolerance will dictate the tone of any discussion that may ensue.
That said, let’s begin.
“Dr. CHAN: Our church is the church of Jesus Christ, first and foremost, and my understanding of the Gospel of Christ is that it’s a Gospel of love and acceptance. So it seems like a policy that’s about discrimination, which often goes hand in hand with fear and hatred, not about love and acceptance, and that for me is really troublesome.”
I believe* that members of the LDS Church who are okay with homosexual "marriage" do not actually understand the eternal nature of marriage and family. They do not understand the Lord's gospel as He has delivered it to us through ancient and modern-day Prophets. Why would any active member of the Church ever vote for or promote a measure that would encourage any of God's children to abandon the ONE UNION that can offer them exaltation and life with their Father again? According to our religious beliefs, celestial marriage, between one man and one woman, is essential to achieving the Celestial Kingdom and becoming Gods and Goddesses like our Heavenly Parents.
“The subject of marriage is debated across the world, where various arrangements exist for conjugal living. My purpose in speaking out on this topic is to declare, as an Apostle of the Lord, that marriage between a man and a woman is sacred—it is ordained of God. I also assert the virtue of a temple marriage. It is the highest and most enduring type of marriage that our Creator can offer to His children.
While salvation is an individual matter, exaltation is a family matter. Only those who are married in the temple and whose marriage is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise will continue as spouses after death and receive the highest degree of celestial glory, or exaltation. A temple marriage is also called a celestial marriage. Within the celestial glory are three levels. To obtain the highest, a husband and wife must be sealed for time and all eternity and keep their covenants made in a holy temple.”
. . .
“We, as the Lord’s prophets and apostles, again proclaim to the world that ‘the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.’
We further proclaim that ‘all human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.’”
. . .
“That proclamation on the family helps us realize that celestial marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does any other relationship. The earth was created and this Church was restored so that families could be formed, sealed, and exalted eternally.”
. . .
“These truths are absolute. Members of this Church invite all people to learn them and to qualify for eternal life. We invite all to gain faith in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ, to repent, to receive the Holy Ghost, to obtain the blessings of the temple, to make and keep sacred covenants, and to endure to the end.” [emphasis added]
[Celestial Marriage, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Nov. 2008]
So while these active members of the Church are promoting a belief that is directly contrary to the Lord's commandments as revealed through His Prophets and through "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," in truth, they are further facilitating and solidifying the sub-celestial or ignoble eternal existence of those who suffer from same-sex attractions. And this they are doing in the name of love and acceptance.
“Ms. COMPTON: This has not challenged my faith, no. My faith is independent of the morality or the politics of gay marriage. It’s deeper. My faith is in a Christ who loves everybody and wants everyone to come to him, and a God that loves the world no matter whether they are Mormon or Muslim or Jewish or Catholic, and wants all of us to be there and all of us to treat each other like we’re brothers and sisters and not like we’re them and us.”
Yes, Ms. Compton, Christ does want "everyone to come to him," but how can they when you and others are facilitating and promoting a union that, by it's very opposite-sex omission, actually takes them farther away from our Heavenly Father and our Savior?
“Ms. FAHEY: I even had some friends say that they still think that homosexuality is a choice. I don’t think the church leadership feels that way but members — some members feel that way, wrongly of course.”
To Ms. Fahey, who has decided that all those who believe homosexuality is a choice are wrong, I would suggest she read the latest statement from the APA on the nature of homosexual origins. No one can prove what causes homosexuality, though theories abound. Some say nature, some say nurture, and some say both. I believe the last, but my opinion cannot be proved as is the case with the other two opinions as well. That debate is beside the point, though, as is so well-expressed by Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman in the quoted interview excerpt following the APA’s statement below.
From the APA:
"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles...."
That contrasts with the APA's statement in 1998: "There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality."
[Source: A Guy in the Window]
And from the LDS Church:
PUBLIC AFFAIRS: You’re saying the Church doesn’t necessarily have a position on ‘nurture or nature’
ELDER OAKS: That’s where our doctrine comes into play. The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions — whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on.
ELDER WICKMAN: Whether it is nature or nurture really begs the important question, and a preoccupation with nature or nurture can, it seems to me, lead someone astray from the principles that Elder Oaks has been describing here. Why somebody has a same-gender attraction… who can say? But what matters is the fact that we know we can control how we behave, and it is behavior which is important.
[Same-gender Attraction, LDS Newsroom]
Curious that the APA is backpedaling now, when liberal thought and homosexual marriage activists will spit upon them and sneer at them for it. I’d like to know the events and discoveries that led up to that statement.
“SEVERSON: As other states take up the issue of gay marriage, Mormon church leaders this time around have not asked members to get involved. Meanwhile, the California Supreme Court is once again considering the constitutionality of the ban on gay marriage. Their decision is expected soon.”
Severson, it is possible that Church leaders haven't asked members to get involved in other states because voters haven’t been given the chance to get directly involved in other states! It just so happens that California is the ONLY state in which the issue of same-sex "marriage" was put to a vote by the people. In all other states where it has been legalized, it has been pushed through by judicial fiat and sly legislatures meeting on the fly and giving little or no advanced notification to the people that the legislation was even being discussed. It's amazing what Tim Gill's money can buy. Amazing.
*All opinions expressed are my own. Doctrinal misinterpretations (if there are any), are my own and should not reflect poorly on the LDS Church. For official doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please visit LDS.org.