Friday, November 21, 2008

Delving into unchartered territory...

I received a difficult to read email forward just a bit ago. For any readers who were unaware, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's not a statement I take lightly. It has huge implications, and is pervasive throughout my being. It is who I am. It is why I get out of bed every morning, why I make dinner every evening, why I go where I go and do what I do. It has been commented only recently by my son's teacher, "I don't know how you do all you do..." and my faith in Christ, my particular faith in the teaching of this Church regarding Christ, is the answer. I do what I do, because, "If not by me then by whom?" My Savior has given so much to the world, to little old me, it is in my hands to do all that I can for my brothers and sisters as he asks it of me.

I am not perfect. I actually get a lot of it wrong. However, my intentions are good, I obey the laws of the land, I respect the right of others to disagree, and I try not to be contentious, although it is definitely in my personal nature. I take heart that my politics favor agency for those on the earth today, trying to stay out of moral legality. It was with great difficulty that I listened to the prophet of our church, a man who receives direct inspiration from God for us in our day, tell us that we need to be opposed to gay marriage.

I was stunned. Obviously, we preach, and I believe, that homosexual relationships are inappropriate before God. It is not in His design. This gift has been given to men and women, in order to fill and replenish the earth. But to take a political stand, which the Church works very hard not to do, on such a personal topic was hard for me to swallow.

I finally determined to make peace with the issue when a fellow blogger, not of our faith, raised her concerns about the Church's involvement in her area of the country. It was time to seek for myself why the Lord felt so strongly on this issue, not just that it is wrong to practice that lifestyle, but to not be legally married.

The conclusion I have come to is almost lost in the semantics. The Church has not asked then homosexual people not be allowed to live together. We don't oppose that these couples receive health insurance through each other's plans, death benefits, tax benefits, raise children, or even hold hands in public, and so on and so forth. We, as a Church, oppose the use of the word marriage to define that relationship. Marriage occurs when a man and a woman come together before god, and begin a family. From the official Church news website:

"Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family.
It is true that some couples who marry will not have children, either by choice or because of infertility, but the special status of marriage is nonetheless closely linked to the inherent powers and responsibilities of procreation, and to the inherent differences between the genders. Co-habitation under any guise or title is not a sufficient reason for defining new forms of marriage."
-full article found here:

Oh. That tells me again, we are not opposed to people of that mindset receiving the rights and privileges given to those of a heterosexual persuasion. Just don't corrupt the word marriage any more than it already has been by the word divorce, please. Marriage used to be a lifelong commitment, even an eternal nature, a triangular covenant made in a church before God. But often now is not seen that way. When it becomes inconvenient, we quit. But the thing I want my children to know, is that when children are involved (as is often the case in heterosexual marriage) divorce will never sever that tie. That father and mother are forever connected, whether they like it or not, through the child they created. So don't create one unless you want that connection!

Back to topic, though, the state of California voted against Gay marriage in November. Not against gay rights, or homosexual partners living together, but against their saying they are "married".

And apparently, Latter-Day Saints are an easy target:

Yes, the police are protecting the Los Angeles temple from... demonstrators.

Perhaps it's because, as a rule, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints try to respect other's opinions. I know that, as a CHURCH, all laws and guidelines were followed in lobbying against California's Proposition 8. Now, just like the church itself didn't back Mitt Romney when he ran for president, there are individual members with their own agency to do their own thing. I refuse to say no member of the Church in California broke the rules out there, it simply is not a likely statement.
But, as a member who has had to take tedious steps to try to handle being reimbursed for items, and provide documentation up the wah-zoo, and not been allowed to show Disney movies to a nursery class because of copyright infringement concerns, I know that the Church follows the law. Perhaps a primary teacher was spotted in your neighborhood, putting up a sign in an illegal spot. Or a Young Men's president was scene taking a No on 8 sign from your yard. If so, I apologize for your being offended. I am equally offended by those who break the rules and hurt others by doing so.
But my friends, those picture of the temple in Los Angeles hurt. Badly. Worse than the signs screaming hatreds that were in other photos in the email. Because if it had been a Jewish church, their would have been an up in arms. Or a Catholic, Methodist, or any other. Shucks, they didn't even attack a Mormon CHURCH, they attacked the TEMPLE itself. A place Holy and infinitely more Sacred to us. Were there cries of hate crimes? No. Was there righteous indignation? Or restraint from those officers standing by, watching the vandalism? Apparently not. Because of all the churches who involved themselves in the cause, we are humble enough to turn the other cheek. To strive to be peaceable, and to avoid contention, knowing that Satan is the father of all contention, and not wanting to invite him into our hearts.
I do not refer to God as God. The world has taken the word "God" and desecrated to something no more than a meaningless exclamation. I believe in the power of Deity, and so to refer to Him I use the term Heavenly Father, not only because I believe he is the Father of my spirit, but because I want to show the respect in my voice that I feel in my heart.
Will we need a new word for marriage?

1 comment:

Alyson said...

good opinion about gay 'marriage' thanks for sharing.
and thanks for the comment about my flu. I'm not throwing up anymore, and can take in gatorade...isn't that all I can 'do' for it???
I think the hospital can only rehydrate me no??