Monday, August 18, 2014

True Disciples of Christ Defend the Doctrine of Traditional Marriage

"To be a righteous woman is a glorious thing in any age. To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home—which is society’s basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife.” - Spencer W. Kimball (Full Talk)

I'm going to claim my glorious privilege as a woman in the winding up scenes on earth, today, by defending the doctrine of the family in this blog post.

Some misguided people declared yesterday that an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, is wrong when he said these things at a BYU Commencement speech this past week:

“Wherever we go, you and I as disciples of the Lord bear a solemn responsibility to proclaim the will of God to all people,” he said. “And one of the more demanding opportunities of our time is to stand up for the truth regarding the sacred nature of marriage.”
“Male and female are created for what they can do and become, together,” Elder Nelson said. “It takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world. Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. Men and women are distinct and complementary. Children deserve a chance to grow up with both a mom and a dad.”

 

Well if Elder Nelson is wrong . . .

Then so is President Packer:
"One cannot degrade marriage without tarnishing other words as well, such words as boy, girl, manhood, womanhood, husband, wife, father, mother, baby, children, family, home." (Full talk)
"The single purpose of Lucifer is to oppose the great plan of happiness, to corrupt the purest, most beautiful and appealing experiences of life: romance, love, marriage, and parenthood. . .The plan of happiness requires the righteous union of male and female, man and woman, husband and wife. Doctrines teach us how to respond to the compelling natural impulses which too often dominate how we behave." (Full talk)

And Elder Perry:
. . . I want to publicly profess my opposition to those who are so caught up in their own learning they believe with their enlightened minds they can change the laws of God. A consensus of mankind is not and never will be empowered to change these divine laws. . . these seemingly enlightened minds are trying to destroy the sacred institution of marriage with their erroneous doctrines and teachings. . . The union between husband and wife is sacred to the Lord, something not to be trifled with. The marriage covenant was essential to the Lord God to accomplish his mission and purposes for which he created the heavens and the earth. (Full talk)

And Elder Oaks:
"Because Satan desires that “all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Ne. 2:27), his most strenuous efforts are directed at encouraging those choices and actions that will thwart God’s plan for his children. He seeks to undermine the principle of individual accountability, to persuade us to misuse our sacred powers of procreation, to discourage marriage and childbearing by worthy men and women, and to confuse what it means to be male or female." (Full Talk)
Latter-day Saints understand that we should not be “of the world” or bound to “the tradition of men,” but like other followers of Christ, we sometimes find it difficult to separate ourselves from the world and its traditions. Some model themselves after worldly ways because, as Jesus said of some whom He taught, “they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43). These failures to follow Christ are too numerous and too sensitive to list here. They range all the way from worldly practices like political correctness and extremes in dress and grooming to deviations from basic values like the eternal nature and function of the family. (Full Talk)

And Elder Ballard:
" Brothers and sisters, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the proclamation to the world on the family, which was issued by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1995 (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). It was then and is now a clarion call to protect and strengthen families and a stern warning in a world where declining values and misplaced priorities threaten to destroy society by undermining its basic unit. . . Today I call upon members of the Church and on committed parents, grandparents, and extended family members everywhere to hold fast to this great proclamation [The Proclamation on the Family], to make it a banner not unlike General Moroni’s “title of liberty,” and to commit ourselves to live by its precepts. As we are all part of a family, the proclamation applies to everyone." (Full Talk)
"Let me say again that the family is the main target of evil’s attack and must therefore be the main point of our protection and defense. As I said once before, when you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense to Satan. When he wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O and casseroles. When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family. It does so by attempting to disregard the law of chastity, to confuse gender, to desensitize violence, to make crude and blasphemous language the norm, and to make immoral and deviant behavior seem like the rule rather than the exception.
We need to remember Edmund Burke’s statement: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” 6 We need to raise our voices with other concerned citizens throughout the world in opposition to current trends." (Full Talk)

And Elder Scott:
"The scriptures record, “And I, God, created man … ; male and female created I them.” This was done spiritually in your premortal existence when you lived in the presence of your Father in Heaven. Your gender existed before you came to earth. You elected to have this earth experience as part of His plan for you. The prophets call it “the plan of mercy,” the “eternal plan of deliverance,”  “the plan of salvation,” and, yes, “the great plan of happiness.” You were taught this plan before you came to earth and there rejoiced in the privilege of participating in it.
Obedience to the plan is a requisite for full happiness in this life and a continuation of eternal joy beyond the veil. Essential to His plan of happiness is agency—the right of personal choice. Also fundamental is the holy privilege of procreation to be exercised within the commitment of legal marriage. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. The family is ordained of God. As husband and wife, you have the responsibility to bear children and to nurture and train them spiritually, emotionally, and physically." (Full Talk)
"Two of the vital pillars that sustain Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness are marriage and the family. Their lofty significance is underscored by Satan’s relentless efforts to splinter the family and to undermine the significance of temple ordinances, which bind the family together for eternity." (Full Talk)

And Elder Hales:
"I wish to speak to all those who would like to know about eternal families and about families being forever. One year ago the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a proclamation to the world concerning the family. It summarizes eternal gospel principles that have been taught since the beginning of recorded history and even before the earth was created.
The doctrine of the family begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them. The Apostle Paul taught that God is the father of our spirits (see Heb. 12:9). From the proclamation we read, “In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life.” The proclamation also reiterates to the world that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102)." (Full Talk)

And Elder Holland:
". . . let’s be absolutely clear on what God wants for each of us. He wants us to have all of the blessings of eternal life. He wants us to become like Him. To help us do that, He has given us a plan. This plan is based on eternal truths and is not altered according to the social trends of the day.
At the heart of this plan is the begetting of children, one of the crucial reasons Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden (see 2 Nephi 2:19–25; Moses 5:10–12). They were commanded to “be fruitful, and multiply” (Moses 2:28), and they chose to keep that commandment. We are to follow them in marrying and providing physical bodies for Heavenly Father’s spirit children. Obviously, a same-gender relationship is inconsistent with this plan.
For various reasons, marriage and children are not immediately available to all. Perhaps no offer of marriage is forthcoming. Perhaps even after marriage there is an inability to have children. Or perhaps there is no present attraction to the opposite gender. Whatever the reason, God’s richest blessings will eventually be available to all of His children if they are clean and faithful." (Full Talk)

". . . rather than redefining marriage and family as we see increasing numbers around us trying to do, our age ought to be reinforcing and exalting that which has been the backbone of civilization since the dawn of it." (Full Talk)

"No, we can’t do everything, but as the old saying goes, we can do something. And in answer to God’s call, the children of Israel are the ones to do it—not to flee Babylon this time but to attack it. Without being naive or Pollyannaish about it, we can live our religion so broadly and unfailingly that we find all kinds of opportunities to help families, bless neighbors, and protect others, including the rising generation." (Full Talk)

And Elder Bednar:
"After the earth was created, Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden. Importantly, however, God said “it was not good that the man should be alone” (Moses 3:18; see also Genesis 2:18), and Eve became Adam’s wife and helpmeet. The unique combination of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional capacities of both males and females was needed to enact the plan of happiness. “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11). The man and the woman are intended to learn from, strengthen, bless, and complete each other.
The means by which mortal life is created is divinely appointed. “The first commandment … God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129). The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force today. Thus, marriage between a man and a woman is the authorized channel through which premortal spirits enter mortality. Complete sexual abstinence before marriage and total fidelity within marriage protect the sanctity of this sacred channel.
The power of procreation is spiritually significant. Misuse of this power subverts the purposes of the Father’s plan and of our mortal existence. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son are creators and have entrusted each of us with a portion of Their creative power. Specific guidelines for the proper use of the ability to create life are vital elements in the Father’s plan. How we feel about and use that supernal power will determine in large measure our happiness in mortality and our destiny in eternity." (Full Talk)

And Elder Cook:
"The need for civility in society has never been more important. The foundation of kindness and civility begins in our homes. It is not surprising that our public discourse has declined in equal measure with the breakdown of the family. The family is the foundation for love and for maintaining spirituality. The family promotes an atmosphere where religious observance can flourish. There is indeed “beauty all around when there’s love at home.” (Full talk)
"My challenge is that we join with people of all faiths who feel accountable to God in defending religious freedom so it can be a beacon for morality. We caution you to be civil and responsible as you defend religious liberty and moral values. We ask that you do this on the Internet and in your personal interactions in the neighborhoods and communities where you live. Be an active participant, not a silent observer." (Full talk)

And Elder Christofferson:
"Most sacred is a woman’s role in the creation of life. We know that our physical bodies have a divine origin and that we must experience both a physical birth and a spiritual rebirth to reach the highest realms in God’s celestial kingdom. Thus, women play an integral part (sometimes at the risk of their own lives) in God’s work and glory “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” As grandmothers, mothers, and role models, women have been the guardians of the wellspring of life, teaching each generation the importance of sexual purity—of chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage. In this way, they have been a civilizing influence in society; they have brought out the best in men; they have perpetuated wholesome environments in which to raise secure and healthy children." (Full Talk)
"In large measure, true manhood is defined in our relationship to women. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have given us the ideal to pursue in these words: 'The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. … By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.'" (Full Talk)
 
And Elder Anderson:
"As the world slips away from the Lord’s law of chastity, we do not. President Monson said: “The Savior of mankind described Himself as being in the world but not of the world. We also can be in the world but not of the world as we reject false concepts and false teachings and remain true to that which God has commanded.”8
While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not. In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman—Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured. Families are the treasure of heaven.9
Why do we continue to talk about this? As Paul said, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.”10 As Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to teach our Creator’s plan for His children and to warn of the consequences of disregarding His commandments." (Full Talk)

And President Uchtdorf:
See this speech where he discusses and defend the Proclamation on the Family at a conference on the family.

And President Eyring:
Referring to the Family Proclamation, President Eyring said, “Three things about the title are worth our careful reflection. First, the subject: the family. Second, the audience, which is the whole world. And third, those proclaiming it are those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators,” he says. “All this means that the family must be of tremendous importance to us, that whatever the proclamation says could help anyone in the world, and that the proclamation fits the Lord’s promise when he said, ‘Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same’ (D&C 1:38).” (Full Talk)

And President Monson:
"We cannot afford to be complacent. We live in perilous times; the signs are all around us. We are acutely aware of the negative influences in our society that stalk traditional families. At times television and movies portray worldly and immoral heroes and heroines and attempt to hold up as role models some actors and actresses whose lives are anything but exemplary. Why should we follow a blind guide? Radios blare forth much denigrating music with blatant lyrics, dangerous invitations, and descriptions of almost every type of evil imaginable.
We, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, must stand up to the dangers which surround us and our families." (Full Talk)

This talk from the Worldwide Leadership Training on the Family.


And General Relief Society President Sister Burton:
"The priesthood of God is a sacred trust given to bless men, women, and children so we can return as families to live eternally together in God’s presence." (Full Talk)
” Help wanted: covenant keepers to stand firm for truth and right. Help wanted: true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ." (Full Talk)

And General Young Woman's President Sister Oscarson:
"True conversion is more than merely having a knowledge of gospel principles and implies even more than just having a testimony of those principles. It is possible to have a testimony of the gospel without living it. Being truly converted means we are acting upon what we believe and allowing it to create “a mighty change in us, or in our hearts.”3 In the booklet True to the Faith, we learn that “conversion is a process, not an event. You become converted as a result of … righteous efforts to follow the Savior.”4 It takes time, effort, and work. My great-great-grandmother had a strong conviction that the gospel was more important for her children than all that the world had to offer in the way of wealth and comfort because she had sacrificed, endured, and lived the gospel. Her conversion came through living the principles of the gospel and sacrificing for them.
We have to go through that same process if we want to gain that same kind of commitment. The Savior taught, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”5 Sometimes we try to do it backward. For example, we may take this approach: I will be happy to live the law of tithing, but first I need to know that it’s true. Maybe we even pray to gain a testimony of the law of tithing and hope the Lord will bless us with that testimony before we have ever filled out a tithing slip. It just doesn’t work that way. The Lord expects us to exercise faith. We have to consistently pay a full and honest tithe in order to gain a testimony of tithing. This same pattern applies to all the principles of the gospel, whether it is the law of chastity, the principle of modesty, the Word of Wisdom, or the law of the fast." (Full Talk)

And General Primary President Sister Wixom:
"Tonight we gather together all over the world as His disciples, with a desire to defend and sustain the kingdom of God. We are daughters of our Heavenly Father. We are covenant-making women of all ages walking the path of mortality back to His presence. Keeping covenants protects us, prepares us, and empowers us." (Full Talk)

And former General Relief Society President Sister Beck:
“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. “And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.“If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming” (vv. 1–3).

How early did the Prophet Joseph Smith understand that this was going to be a theology about the family? He understood it when he was 17 and he began to be taught. What are the promises made to the fathers? Who were the fathers? The fathers were Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah—those ancient prophets who understood the doctrine of eternal families. The promises of the children made to the fathers was that their hearts would turn to their fathers. Their hearts would be turned to the blessings of eternal life that they could have. This is talking about temple blessings—temple ordinances and covenants without which “the whole earth [is] utterly wasted.”

So, if we teach about what is in every section of the Doctrine and Covenants, if we teach so that our students know all the rivers in the Book of Mormon, if they can name all the prophets of the Old Testament, if they can describe to you the pioneer trek and the history of the Latter-day Saints in the restored times but they don’t understand the promises made to the fathers and their part in it, it is “utterly wasted.” I would submit that all of our teaching is utterly  wasted if they don’t understand the context that all of this is taught within.
The proclamation on the family was written to reinforce that. It reinforces the family being central to the Creator’s plan. Without the family, there is no plan; there is no reason for it. I’m not certain that everyone of the rising generation understands that with clarity." (Full Talk)

And former President Joseph Smith, Jr.:
“Marriage [is] an institution of heaven, instituted in the garden of Eden.” (Source)

And former President Brigham Young:
"The ordinance of sealing must be performed here [in the temple] … woman to man, and children to parents, etc, until the chain of generation is made perfect in the sealing ordinances back to Father Adam; hence, we have been commanded to gather ourselves together to come out of Babylon, and sanctify ourselves, and build up the Zion of our God, … until the earth is sanctified and prepared for the residence of God and angels (DBY, 407)."

And former President John Taylor:
"The gospel that we preach is the everlasting gospel; it reaches back into the eternities that are past; it exists in time and it stretches forward into the eternities to come, and everything connected with it is eternal. Our marriage relations, for instance, are eternal. Go to the sects of the day and you will find that time ends their marriage covenants; they have no idea of continuing their relations hereafter; they do not believe in anything of the kind. It is true there is a kind of natural principle in men that leads them to hope it may be so; but they know nothing about it. Our religion binds men and women for time and all eternity. This is the religion that Jesus taught—it had power to bind on earth and to bind in heaven, and it had power to loose on earth and to loose in heaven [see Matthew 16:19]. We believe in the same principles, and we expect, in the resurrection, that we shall associate with our wives and have our children sealed to us by the power of the holy priesthood, that they may be united with us worlds without end." (Source)

And former President Wilford Woodruff:
"When all the family are united together, they enjoy a heavenly spirit here on the earth. This is how it should be; for when a man in this Church takes unto himself a wife he expects to remain with her through all time and eternity. In the morning of the first resurrection he expects to have that wife and his children with him in a family organization, to remain in that condition forever and forever. What a glorious thought that is!" (Source)
And former President Lorenzo Snow:
Encourage marriage, … and impress upon [others] the sacredness of that relation and the obligation they are under to observe that great commandment which was given of God to our first parents, to multiply and replenish the earth [see Genesis 1:28]. This is all the more necessary, in view of the present tendency in the world to disregard that law and to dishonor the marriage covenant. It is saddening to note the frequency of divorces in the land and the growing inclination to look upon children as an encumbrance instead of as a precious heritage from the Lord.4
[The Lord] has shown us that if we are faithful we will associate with each other in an immortal and glorious state; that those connections formed here, that are of the most enduring character, shall exist in eternity.5
The associations that are formed here, will be possessed by [us] in the eternal worlds." (Source

And former President Joseph F. Smith:
"God instituted marriage in the beginning. He made man in his own image and likeness, male and female, and in their creation it was designed that they should be united together in sacred bonds of marriage, and one is not perfect without the other.4
The lawful union of man and woman [is] the means through which they may realize their highest and holiest aspirations. To the Latter-day Saints, marriage is not designed by our heavenly Father to be merely an earthly union, but one that shall survive the vicissitudes of time, and endure for eternity, bestowing honor and joy in this world, glory and eternal lives in the worlds to come." (Source)

And former President Heber J. Grant:
Every father who loves the Gospel is ready and willing to go to the ends of the earth to preach it, and one of the greatest joys that any man can have is to be found in bringing souls to a knowledge of the truth. It ought to be a greater joy to us to train our children in the plan of salvation.7
Amongst His earliest commands to Adam and Eve, the Lord said: “Multiply and replenish the earth.” [Genesis 1:28.] He has repeated that command in our day. He has again revealed in this, the last dispensation, the principle of the eternity of the marriage covenant. He has restored to earth the authority for entering into that covenant, and has declared that it is the only due and proper way of joining husband and wife, and the only means by which the sacred family relationship may be carried beyond the grave and through eternity. He has declared that this eternal relationship may be created only by the ordinances which are administered in the holy temples of the Lord, and therefore that His people should marry only in His temple in accordance with such ordinances. (Source)


And former President George Albert Smith
"Grateful should we be for a knowledge of the eternity of the marriage covenant. If in this life only had we hope, we would indeed be of all men most miserable [see 1 Corinthians 15:19]. The assurance that our relationship here as parents and children, as husbands and wives will continue in heaven, and that this is but the beginning of a great and glorious kingdom that our Father has destined we shall inherit on the other side, fills us with hope and joy." (Source)

And former President David O. McKay:
Teach the young people that marriage is not merely a man-made institution, but that it is ordained of God, and is a sacred ceremony, and should receive their gravest consideration before they enter upon a contract that involves either happiness or misery for the rest of their lives. Marriage is not something which should be entered into lightly … or ended at the first little difficulty that might arise. The least young people can do is to approach it with honest intentions of building a home that will contribute to the bulwark of a noble society.4
 “Young men and young women who would live the happiest lives would do well to prepare themselves to be worthy of that form of marriage which God has ordained.”
Young people of both sexes should be taught the responsibilities and ideals of marriage so that they may realize that marriage involves obligation and is not an arrangement to be terminated at pleasure. They should be taught that pure love between the sexes is one of the noblest things on earth and the bearing and rearing of children the highest of all human duties. In this regard, it is the duty of parents to set an example in the home that children may see and absorb the sacredness of family life and the responsibility associated therewith." (Source)

And former President Joseph Fielding Smith:
This plan of salvation is family centered. … [It] is designed to enable us to create eternal family units of our own.28
Those who receive the exaltation in the celestial kingdom will have the “continuation of the seeds forever.” They will live in the family relationship.29
We are taught in the gospel of Jesus Christ that the family organization will be, so far as celestial exaltation is concerned, one that is complete, an organization linked from father and mother and children of one generation to the father and mother and children of the next generation, and thus expanding and spreading out down to the end of time. (Source)


And former President Harold B. Lee:
"Let us consider the first marriage that was performed after the earth was organized. Adam, the first man, had been created as well as the beasts and fowls and every living thing upon the earth. We then find this recorded: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” After the Lord had formed Eve, he “brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:18, 22–24.) … With the completion of that marriage the Lord commanded them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28.)
Here was a marriage performed by the Lord between two immortal beings, for until sin entered the world their bodies were not subject to death. He made them one, not merely for time, nor for any definite period; they were to be one throughout the eternal ages. … If you have carefully followed an explanation of this first marriage, you are prepared to understand the revelation given to the Church in our generation . . ." (Source)

And former President Spencer W. Kimball:
"Marriage, honorable marriage, is ordained of God. He decreed that the basic unit of society should be the home and the family, and we must be warned that the false culture of the day is turning away from this God-ordained plan. …To offset and neutralize the evil teachings in the media and on the cameras and in the show and on the street, we must teach marriage, proper marriage, eternal marriage." (Source)

And former President Ezra Taft Benson:
"Marriage is the rock foundation, the cornerstone, of civilization. No nation will ever rise above its homes. Marriage and family life are ordained of God. In an eternal sense, salvation is a family affair. God holds parents responsible for their stewardship in rearing their family. It is a most sacred responsibility. Today we are aware of great problems in our society. The most obvious are sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drug abuse, alcoholism, vandalism, pornography, and violence. These grave problems are symptoms of failure in the home—the disregarding of principles and practices established by God in the very beginning." (Full Talk)

And former President Howard W. Hunter:
"There is no more powerful principle of life to promote love, forbearance, and devotion in the home than that of eternal marriage. Good adjustment and performance in adult life depend largely on the quality of home life. The principle of eternal marriage is a most powerful stabilizing influence in promoting the kind of home needed to rear children who are happy and well adjusted. No church lays greater emphasis on producing a close, cohesive family life." (Full Talk)

And former President Gordon B. Hinckley (and all the apostles/prophets who signed this document):
“With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history.”1 Then he read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” This was the first time the proclamation was read publicly. (Full Talk)

And the Doctrine and Covenants (please note that the scriptures shared are by no means an exhaustive list):
Sections 2, 49:15-17, 131, 132

And the Pearl of Great Price:

And the Book of Mormon:

And the Old Testament:

And the New Testament:

And Jesus:
Matthew 22:23-33 and Luke 20:27-38 (worldly marriages only last for time - not for eternity), the scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants are direct quotes from Christ as well.

And Heavenly Father:

"And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him." (Moses 3:18)
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Contrary to popular belief of many well-intentioned but misguided folks  these days, the doctrine on the family as explained in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, is not some new-fangled policy implementation for our day, but it is an essential and fundamental doctrine directly from God that has always existed! It is special in that it explains with much more clarity what could only be discerned from the scriptural cannon with much careful study and prayer. But I digress. . .

If Elder Nelson is wrong, then so are all the other witnesses who have testified of the truths contained within it, including all the prophets, Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father Himself.

But they are not wrong. None of them are wrong. Marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God. It has always been so, and will always continue to be so, here and throughout eternity.

A true disciple of any individual, makes it his or her goal to follow and share the doctrines of the person to whom they consider themselves a disciple. As is clear to see from this post, we have myriad modern disciples who have testified of the truthfulness of this doctrine on the family, as well as those who bore their testimonies by the written word from the past

If we are unsure about this doctrine or any other thing, we can bring these testimonies to God and ask Him about the truthfulness of them. If we ask in faith and with trust in God, He will confirm them for us through His Holy Spirit. We don't have to be confused if we look to the correct sources for guidance.

We can choose to put our loyalties wherever we may, but as Elder Nelson beautifully and accurately spoke, true disciples of Jesus Christ defend the traditional family! Christ instructed His disciples, and all of us - that if we love Him, we are to feed His sheep. What do we feed them ? The Good, True word of God as taught by the Bread of Life Himself, and all His disciples throughout the ages. To be feeding Christ's sheep anything else, would surely be an act of giving them stones.

Have courage fellow disciples of Christ! If you are defending the eternal doctrine of the family as ordained and explained by God, you are fighting for the right side. You're gonna win in the end, too, by the way.:

“Principles which have been revealed,” President Wilford Woodruff said, “for the salvation and exaltation of the children of men … are principles you cannot annihilate. They are principles that no combination of men [or women] can destroy. They are principles that can never die. … They are beyond the reach of man to handle or to destroy. … It is not in the power of the whole world put together to destroy those principles. … Not one jot or tittle of these principles will ever be destroyed.”

140 comments:

  1. This is my new favorite post. Brilliant! And a huge thank you for writing this. It needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to read it! Our facebook, twitter, and pinterest accounts have proverbial rooftops, right?! :)

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    2. I also think this is fantastic, obviously took quite a bit of time and thoughtfulness and work.I find it interesting that the issue of race and the priesthood has become a main topic to defend the opportunity for gay marriage to become accepted. I don't feel they are similar in the least. In many of the things commented I noticed that it was always clear that the black men would receive the priesthood at some point. At no point was it ever even alluded to the being gay, let alone gay married, would ever be an acceptable act. I don't know all the millions of reasons a person may be gay and I know that God not only will be merciful and just with all of our shortcomings but that he can truly heal us. And yes, I am saying being gay is a very sad, difficult adversity and sin. It may be one of the most difficult things to understand and overcome but God so loved us that he sent his only begotten son to be able to succor his people, feel their pain, sin, and every problem we will experience and suffer so that we might not suffer if we would but repent and strive continually to come unto him. Thanks for spreading truth. I truly appreciate your effort and think it is praiseworthy. It is hard to be on th high end of this debate. Don't let the negative comments stop you. Keep up the great work. It is inspired in this time of confusion.

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    3. Lexie,
      Yes, they did think that Black people would receive the priesthood "at some point," but that point was considered to be sometime beyond this life.

      That doctrinal change came as a huge surprise to a lot of members of the church who happened to be racist. My great-grandma told stories about how some folks were downright angry with the change because they all thought it would happen during the millennium.

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    4. Thanks for your comment and encouragement, Lexie! You make a great point there about the policy implementation of the doctrine of the priesthood. I also sympathize with the plight of those who struggle with same sex attraction. I'm grateful that the atonement can heal our sorrows and the disadvantages of mortal life, too. So comforting.

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  2. I agree with Angela Jami, and you put some hard work into this. I have placed it on my Pinterest under Great Blogs for further reference, and on my Tweeter account! Have shared with specific Facebook friends. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I truly appreciate that. I feel so passionately on this topic. It has been sad to see so many get confused on this issue over the years. Thought it might be helpful to shed some light on the discussion by listing the quotes this way.

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  3. Love this. Great conclusion you draw: If you say he's wrong, then so are all the rest of the Lord's mouthpieces. You can really see how unified they are on the sanctity of marriage. Great post. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, too!

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    2. I'm sorry, Jelaire, but what you're saying simply isn't true. Saying Elder Nelson, or any of the Brethren are wrong does not mean that you're saying that they're all wrong.

      One man can be wrong without the others being wrong. Several can even be wrong. It's even possible for one man to be wrong sometimes and right sometimes. It is, however, impossible for one man to be right all of the time. Only one man has done that, and he's not Elder Nelson.

      It isn't necessary to put all of the leaders of the church into one box. They are men. They make mistakes. They are not gods unto themselves. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, not the Church of Elder Nelson.

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  4. Excellent article. Was thrilled when my wife pointed this out to me. Really terrific stuff.

    My main question for you is where and how did you find all those terrific quotes, especially ones that aren't so easy to find?

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

      Sister Beck's fabulous article was shared on facebook by a friend this last year. I loved it so much that I decided to save it in one of my pinterest folders for future reference. As I was searching her words, I found several references to other speeches from other General Authorities I might not have been able to find otherwise.

      The rest of them I was able to find with a little creativity and the powerful lds.org search engine! I would just type in the person's name as well as "marriage" or "family." I would scan for relevant talks on the results page and click on one that looked promising. I would then search that talk/lesson using ctrl+f for "marriage," "family," "man and woman," and sometimes "ordained." I would read the text surrounding the highlighted search words and pick the one I liked best, or else move on to another talk. (Those research skills I learned at BYU helped! Haha.)

      It was definitely time-consuming, but not all that difficult as all of our leaders are (obviously) on the exact same page on this issue. Mostly, it was just a matter of patience and careful reading.

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    2. Well, fantastic job. Thanks for the detailed reply. I honestly wouldn't have thought you could get that off of the lds.org search engine, which I am not that fond of. I usually use google to search lds.org (e.g. search for site:lds.org/general-conference and then throw in key words or a quotation and speaker names). Another terrific resource I have no affiliation with, but which is really first rate for quotes is:

      http://scriptures.byu.edu/

      which will allow you to search conference talks back at least into the 1940s as well as Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Journal of Discourses. It is fascinating to see how relevant and in many cases, prophetic, the talks from further back are.

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  5. This is quite a nice piece. Would you be interested in writing for the Family Proclamation Celebration coming up in September? Email me! Jocelyn.christensen@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you! I will shoot you a personal email, Jocelyn!

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  6. Sooo...this was AMAZING!! So good. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

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    1. You're welcome, Catherine! :)

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  8. Thank you for standing up for what is right! I was disgusted by comments left on news sites and I feel too weary right now to refute them. thank you for this. I will be sharing. I know that if the above are all wrong then none of us would be here!

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    1. Thanks for reading and for your kind comment, idahorhodes! Be not weary in well-doing! Haha. (I totally feel ya.) I have to take a break from the craziness every now and then to recharge. Seems like this issue of marriage has been a non-stop battle for pretty much my entire life! All more evidence that these are the last days and the Lord (and the evil one's minions) are hastening their work. It's more important than ever before that we stand with God's written word and Prophets. If we are standing with them, we're in exactly the right place - and we'll be able to give a hand up to those who are searching for the truth.

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  9. You do know someone could do a similar post with quotes from the prophets/apostles/church publications about blacks and the priesthood and all of them would be wrong.

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    1. Anonymous -

      Show me! Show me that post, please. I KNOW that a post (like I wrote here on the topic of traditional marriage) on why blacks shouldn't have held the priesthood, would not even be possible because the scriptures do not contain any DOCTRINAL reason why the blacks were withheld from the priesthood (the opposite actually!), let alone in every major part of the scriptural canon. I'd like to see a solid General conference quote from every Prophet in this dispensation including and before Kimball on the topic. You should include all the previous apostles, and general auxiliary presidents confirming that, too. You threw down the gauntlet - so go ahead and pick it up if you're so confident!

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    2. This seems pretty official.
      The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre‑mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality, and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the principle itself indicates that the coming to this earth and taking on mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintained their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.... Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or allotted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world.
      First Presidency, Official Statement of First Presidency issued on August 17, 1951

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    3. Sorry, correcting the year.
      August 17, 1949
      The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.”
      President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: “The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.”
      The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.
      The First Presidency”

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    4. Do you have an actual reference link for this quote, Sammi? (As well as official quotes from every other apostle, prophet, general auxiliary president, and from every major book in our scriptural canon?) Your attempt to bring attention to a completely separate issue - a complicated and intricate one, about which we still don't know everything there is to know - does not take away from the truth about marriage which is very plainly understood and clear to see in the scriptures and from the official quotes of every single prophet in this dispensation. Apples and Oranges, really.

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    5. It is not apples and oranges when there is a clear pattern that apostles and prophets CAN be wrong about things they claim are doctrinal. Good luck with your black and white world.

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    6. JamiLeigh
      Care to rethink this statement?
      “Show me that post, please. I KNOW that a post (like I wrote here on the topic of traditional marriage) on why blacks shouldn't have held the priesthood, would not even be possible because the scriptures do not contain any DOCTRINAL reason why the blacks were withheld from the priesthood (the opposite actually!)”

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    7. You still haven't accomplished with your comments what I accomplished with this post. How can you dismiss these scriptures for example:

      2 Nephi 26:33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

      Acts 10:34-35 ¶Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

      Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

      Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

      Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

      Where there are discrepancies, that means there is more to study and understand. Perhaps a cultural context, or the relationship of the speaker to the audience, and need to better understand the actual meaning intended by the words, and probably mostly on the part of all involved - a more solid understanding of the total doctrine as presented in whole! Part of knowing doctrine means that we study all the scriptures and words of trusted servants and find the patterns that are there. Your comments seem like they are aimed at seeing one thing, but without looking for true answers. That is troublesome to me.

      I'm sad that you post all these comments anonymously. Stand tall for what you believe - and put your face to it. I read several problems in interpreting those comments that were posted below as actual statements on the doctrine of race and the priesthood. They also don't account for the scriptures I listed above. I don't know if you are a temple attending member or not, but if you are, you might want to reconsider which side you are fighting for. I really hope you will rethink your statements, Anonymous.

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    8. I am a little confused, Jami--Anonymous’s point is that prophets who claim to be speaking by divine authority (about Blacks and the priesthood, for instance) can still be wrong about doctrine. You have gone to great lengths to quote scriptures *proving* that God's Anointed Prophets can be wrong even when they insist that they are speaking for Him. Does not this mean that you two agree? (Also, am I the only one who's confused about why you're trying so hard to prove that they were just racist jerks falsely claiming to speak for God?)

      This raises an interesting point, though--you agree that prophets can be wrong. Does that not mean that they might be wrong about this topic as well?

      Regarding your "gauntlet," claiming that something isn't doctrinal because nobody has pulled quotes from every prophet in the history of the modern church on the topic is a little absurd, and it most certainly is not an effective counterargument. To make such a demand is to deny the fundamental Mormon belief that revelation is continuing. Whatever happened to "...and we believe God will yet reveal many great and important things..."?

      I appreciate the effort to which you have gone in finding such a vast array of quotes on the topic of marriage (though not all of them will be about traditional marriage--some of the early ones will be about polygamy, I imagine): do not dismiss a conversation about such weighty matters simply because of a lack of arbitrarily demanded quotes!

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    9. Kirsti -

      I didn't say or imply that any of the prophets were "racist jerks." I would never say that. I did say that there have been discrepancies between policy on this issue, and scripture which pointed to a higher level of doctrinal practice than past policies being enacted allowed at the time. That says to me that there were things to learn and to explore about the issue for both leaders and church members. I'm not claiming to know all the reasons why policy was enacted that way, but by no means does that mean I was declaring our leaders were racist, either. I think the issue is quite complicated. I couldn't write all my thoughts on the topic in one comment either, that's for sure. One thing I do know from studying my scriptures though - understanding and implementing true doctrine is quite a process. A process that is very much still in the works today (as it has been throughout all time.)

      I believe we will learn more about other important issues in the future as we are faithful and true to God, His church and His chosen servants. I particularly look forward to more clarification on the specifics of women's roles/power in the Gospel! There is much more waiting for sure! But I know, like all gospel principles and doctrines, faith is required in support first before greater gifts of knowledge will be bestowed. And so I wait, and study, and wait to hear more - from God's servants and God Himself.

      I demand the quotes with actual links to the references so I can check them for accuracy and read them in context, because unfortunately people make up quotes, you know. How can I trust these quotes if I am not sure of their historical validity? One quote was already found out not to exist by a researcher in the comments section. . . I'm not saying that some colorful quotes don't exist from our past, or that all of these are even completely false, but I really need to be able to check their validity and context before responding and processing them. Fair enough?

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    10. I also demand all the quotes, not to be annoying or stubborn (though admittedly a bit sassily!), to illustrate the point that what I've done with my post here, is not possible with the issue of the blacks and the priesthood. Especially when the scriptures I listed above are taken into consideration. Every single prophet in this dispensation, as well each member of the first presidency, and the general women leadership, and each major book of scripture, including Christ and Heavenly Father? . . . They all confirm the same thing about marriage between one man and one woman being essential to the union. And that is common sense right? Man and Woman together are able to form an organic sexual union in which they can literally become one together, and have the ability/potential to create life, like God - life for which they are then responsible to care for. There is no other union (sexual or otherwise) capable of potential like that. There are some truths (including the truth about marriage) that get more clear with time and we know that was going to happen - because we are currently in the last dispensation! The truth is rolling forth in its entirety! Though there were hints of the truth about marriage (and the Law of Chastity) scattered throughout all the dispensations which are now coming together. The fact that these quotes and scripture all confirm the same thing says to me that this is a true and eternal doctrine. Not one we can just skip over. Through scriptural witnesses, and EVERY chosen mouthpiece of this dispensation, I think we are quite safe saying that this marriage of a man and a woman thing is not just going to change. Prayer has confirmed that for me, too.

      Now polygamy is another interesting discussion. But, the scriptures address that, too and so do the prophets: that when God commands it, it is appropriate, and it is only appropriate for those who he specifically instructs to follow that commandment. It is currently not appropriate practice. There are things I am still studying and learning about polygamy. It was enacted for at least of period of time in each dispensation to be able to raise up seed to God. Not a comfortable topic to discuss for sure, but not to be dismissed either. The current counsel is that we do not practice it, we are commanded not to - and if we do, we lose our membership in God's church. There is more to learn about the whys and the details. I know everyone wants answers now. Personally, I'm ok with studying the topic and waiting for more light and knowledge to come when it comes. I know who I trust.

      True doctrine is found in the scriptures, declared by the current prophets and confirmed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. They also bring good fruit. These guides for identifying truth have always served me well. I believe the doctrine of marriage - one man and one woman, being ordained of God, fits that mold perfectly.

      Thanks for commenting, Kristi. I appreciate your concern and questions. Hopefully my response was satisfactory.

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    11. I agree! The scriptures teach us how to study up on our doctrinal questions and I find (and am sure many within the church) that I use this same method as you have listed here. Patience is essential to this process too, as you have made note of. Thanks for your post!

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    12. Thanks for your support, TanyaG!

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    13. Ridiculous arguments Anonymous, Kirsti and Sammi. You hinge everything on the claim that your many quotes on blacks and the priesthood were wrong. If you weren't just cutting and pasting from some anti-mormon or pro-gay source you might also know that it was also taught that the day would come that curse would be lifted and blacks would receive the priesthood. Frankly anyone with a bit of scriptural knowledge can read some of the book of Mormon verses about the millenium and know blacks would receive the priesthood by that time (which Elder McConkie appears to have observed, by the way). Which all turned out to be correct.

      You provide no proof that their statements are wrong, just that they are incredibly politically incorrect, which does not help your case as it turns out. God has no regard for your modern sentiments and the scriptures are insanely politically incorrect all the way through. Haven't you ever heard of that He had a "chosen people"? Did you know there are promises made to those who live in the Americas? Purely based on where they lived. Did you know that being a descendent of Abraham or not has to do with whether or not the gospel went to first or second? And there is far, far more where that list begins.

      If anything, all you did was prove that the brethren of the last 150 years are at least as politically incorrect as the prophets in the scriptures. Which proves absolutely nothing.

      You didn't prove they were wrong, just that they didn't teach what you think they ought to have. It doesn't match the way you see the world. No big surprises in that package really.

      You have hinged pages and pages of cutting and pasting not on proving that the brethren were wrong, but merely that they were as ridiculously politically incorrect as the scriptures. Why are you wasting our time?

      All your effort has exactly nothing to do with gay marriage. It reminds me of those described in Isaiah who dream, and they eat, but they awaken and find they are famished. Pages and pages and all you did was prove absolutely nothing, cheering each other on all along the way. My goodness.

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  10. Have you heard of Brigham Young, JamiLeigh? Look up what he had to say about blacks and the priesthood...

    And it doesn't matter what our church says (by the way I fully believe and attend the temple regularly) because laws should NOT be based on religion. Think of how scary it's gotten in other parts of the world. Female genital mutilation, dowry "honor" killings, etc, etc. Our Pledge of Allegiance claims that we want Liberty and Justice for all. Many of our gay brothers and sisters believe deep down that they are alright with God. They already have children or someday want children and those kids should have the protection that marriage brings. I don't see gay marriage as anything that will break down society because it has been legal in other countries for decades. How much gay marriage is too much before God brings upon his wrath. As long as kids are putting bullets in their heads because they are too afraid to come out to their conservative families, I will stand up for marriage equality.

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    1. Some arguments are worthy of an answer. Some aren't. Instead of bothering to disagree with her, I'm going to summarize Becky's arguments. I kind of think they speak for themselves.

      Becky compares not having gay marriage to female mutilation and dowry killings.

      Many gays believe deep down they are all right with God.... from which we can conclude absolutely nothing. Not even if its really, extra, very specially deep down.
      Incoherent statement/question about gay marriage and wrath.
      Kids shooting themselves because afraid to "come out" to conservative families means we should support gay marriage. Apparently committing acts contrary to your own sexual nature has nothing to do with suicide. Only fear of conservative parents.
      More possible proof (I'll be honest Becky, your arguments are incoherent enough that I don't trust your quotes) that the brethren were at least as politically incorrect as the scriptures are for the first 150 years of church history, which is completely irrelevant, as it doesn't prove that they were actually wrong given that they also taught that the curse would one day be lifted, and it was.
      Apparently the bible was written centuries after Jesus was around.
      Biblical scholars are the ultimate authority. We apparently know they are right. I guess the question of man's religion has been settled now.
      Science will prove every quote you throw at it....whatever that is supposed to mean. I am going to throw the quote "cold fusion" at science in honor of the University of Utah, which I didn't attend. Apparently scientific discovery, which very often changes what science previously believed to be true, has come to an end.

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  11. Becky -

    I already addressed the blacks and the priesthood issue above. I give the same challenge to you that I gave to the other two commenters above.

    I actually wrote this post as a defense for traditional marriage from a non-religious perspective. The case can clearly and rationally be made without bringing up any religious tradition or sect: http://www.abitbackward.com/2014/01/why-does-definition-of-marriage-we.html. Kids deserve a mom and a dad. As long as our society continues to lie and devastate childrens' lives for their own selfish purposes, I will continue to speak out on this issue. There are few things more important or fundamental to society (and to building God's kingdom.)

    You stand where you feel you need to stand. I will be standing with God and all His chosen servants on this issue. I know that traditional marriage in a true and eternal principle.

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    1. Challenge accepted.

      http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/sermons_talks_interviews/brigham1852feb5_priesthoodandblacks.htm

      Taken from the Journal of Discourses (aka Conference talks of the time)

      the Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the preisthood nor his seed, until the last of the posterity of Able had received the preisthood, until the redemtion of the earth. If there never was a prophet, or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before, I tell you, this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of old Cain. I know they are, I know that they cannot bear rule in the preisthood, for the curse on them was to remain upon them, until the resedue of the posterity of Michal and his wife receive the blessings,


      http://mormonstories.org/top10toughissues/blacks.html

      1852: After listening to a Brigham Young speech in the Tabernacle, Wilford Woodruff records the following Brigham Young quote in his journal:
      "Any man having one drop of the seed of Cane in him Cannot hold the priesthood ... I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ. I know it is true & they know it. The Negro cannot hold one particle of Government ... if any man mingles his seed with the seed of Cane the only way he Could get rid of it or have salvation would be to Come forward & have his head Cut off & spill his Blood upon the ground. It would also take the life of his Children." (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Vol. 4, p. 97)

      July 13, 1859: In an interview with Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, Brigham Young was asked:
      HG: What is the position of your church with respect to slavery?

      BY: We consider it of divine institution and not to be abolished until the curse pronounced on Ham shall have been removed from his descendants.

      October 9, 1859: Brigham young, during a conference talk in the Tabernacle, as recorded in the Journal of Discourses 7:282, states:
      "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race-that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion."

      Are those quotes enough because I have plenty more.

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    2. Becky - Write a blog post with a quote from every single modern prophet, including Joseph Smith through Spencer W. Kimball supporting the so-called eternal, unchanging doctrine of blacks not holding the priesthood. Include scriptures from every major book in the cannon. Include quotes from all the General presidents of each auxiliary organization on the topic and apostles, too. If you can, please also have direct quotes from Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father on the topic. Please include actual links to all these quotes/scriptures so I can check them for accuracy and read them in context. Once you've written that blog post as I've prescribed you can link that here if you feel compelled to. Or you can just let this go, and focus on what is true.

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    3. Fantastic! "please also have direct quotes from Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father on the topic." Do you have those for gay marriage?

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    4. Direct quotes from Jesus? You realize that the Bible was written centuries after Jesus was around, right?

      I think you need to talk to a historian....

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    5. "Elder John A. Widtsoe tells us that the divine being speaking to us in the Doctrine and Covenants is Jesus of Nazareth. Apparently the Father does not speak in these revelations. He speaks through the Son. It is a fundamental doctrine of this Church that the Father has commissioned his Son, Jesus Christ, to look after the affairs of the earth and that all things pertaining to the Church are done by him. Although we pray to the Father in the name of the Son, the Son is the person who speaks to us in the Doctrine and Covenants.

      Some of the revelations are actually words spoken by heavenly beings. Many of the revelations are in the language of Joseph Smith and succeeding prophets. The ideas and impressions were given to them by the Holy Ghost and they were written in the best language at their command. The value of these revelations to all Latter-day Saints and to the entire world is clear." (http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1246) Christ spoke to us about marriage in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 is the most specific, though you can study the other sections I listed above as well. Notice his discussion focuses on marriage involving a husband and wife(s) - but not about marriage between the same gender.

      In Moses 3:18 as I cited above, Heavenly Father spoke (through the Son, but He was quoted): "18 And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him." God made a woman for Adam to be that help meet. God has spoken on this issue.

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    6. Or you could trust Bibkical scholars who have no agenda who have dated the main Gospels (as well as other Gnostc texts) to decades after Jesusof Nazareth walked the earth.

      We know this. It can be proven through the text, old documents of the Biblical texts, and cultural misplacements.

      If you're not willing to admit that the Bible wasn't actually penned by Jesus, this conversation is useless. Science will prove every quote you throw at it.

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    7. "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.”
      — Doctrine and Covenants Section 134: 4, 9
      There are more verses similar to this in the D&C. It isn't right to force everyone to believe what we do because "We know we are right!" There is this little thing called free agency....The Lord knew what would be coming down the pike when this revelation was given and I believe it is more applicable today than ever before in our Church's history.
      Article 11 - "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
      — The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      “Given the history of persecution that members of our church have endured, it’s easy to understand why the principle of religious tolerance is very important to us. But just as important as claiming this privilege for ourselves is the responsibility of all Latter-day Saints to preserve and protect this right for others – which means we may occasionally have to stand up for someone else’s right to a religious practice with which we don’t necessarily agree.”
      - Elder M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness: An Invitation to Understand the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1993, pg.98.
      Just some things to ponder...

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    8. Football Mom - I have already addressed your comment in my response to Malina below. You might also be interested to read my post on defending marriage as one man and one woman from a non-religious perspective. This issue is so fundamental: http://www.abitbackward.com/2014/01/why-does-definition-of-marriage-we.html.

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    9. I saw your post below...I also posted more quotes for you to ponder which you didn't address. Anyway, the problem with denying LGBT people the right to marry, is our GOVERNMENT decided to get into the marriage business. Many rights, protections, and privileges come from being married. It is unequal to deny a minority the right to marry based on the will of the majority. Our constitution was set up to protect people from majority rule. Also, who says that homosexual people can't be moral? That is a huge, and unkind judgment call! The ones that I know are some of the most caring, loving, MORAL people I know. That is why ONLY the Savior is to judge. You may judge for yourself, but NOT someone else's choices. One more thing I would like to point out. The leaders of the LDS Church are NOT perfect, neither is the Church perfect. Our Church has a VERY colorful history and our leaders have said things over the pulpit that are their own opinions and not the Lord's. Doctrine does change! My testimony is strong because it is based in the Savior, not the leaders. The Lord doesn't give them every answer and lets them (and us) stumble along as a way to let us exercise our faith. For a recent example regarding blacks and the Priesthood, the Lord could have straightened out our prophets who were influenced by the prejudices of the times a LONG time ago. He didn't. It took until Pres. Kimball spent much time in fasting and prayer before doctrine was changed and a prophet finally understood the Lord's will regarding many of His precious children. We cannot look at our leaders as infallible. It is unfair for us to put them on a pedestal of perfection and that they will never ever make a mistake. They have and they do (fact). They are very, good men trying their best, and sometimes they get it wrong. My testimony wasn't shaken when the leaders recently came out admitting that past leaders were prejudiced against black people, because I know they aren't perfect. But, back to the basics of your ideas on defending marriage as one man and one woman from a non-religious perspective, the bottom line is, if the government stays in the marriage business, you can't deny rights to a certain group of people because you don't agree with them. That is actually a good thing, because it protects us as members of the LDS Church too, being a minority church that a lot of religions despise. One more thing to say about D&C 134...you state that the founders didn't want to be forced to belong to the Church of England and whatever the King believed, you're right, they didn't. That also includes our Church and our beliefs. Not everyone wants to follow our rules just because we think we have the right since we "know they are true." Are you saying that D&C 134 isn't applicable anymore? We are breaking revelation that was given to us from our Articles of Faith to the Doctrine and Covenants when we force others to live by our ideas of right. I will stand up and defend a "moral" issue if it is going to hurt another, innocent person, such as abortion. I will not defend a "moral" issue if it is just my own prejudices that make it so I don't agree. In doing so, I am denying another person the right to live by their own conscience and I have been clearly told not to in the scriptures and our own Articles of Faith. If we pick and choose when we will let people live by their free will, and when we won't, I think we are being hypocritical to our own doctrine.

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    10. Football Mom - No person is denied the right to enter into a marriage. A marriage by it's very definition, requires one man and one woman - the declaration of their sexual preference is not required last time I checked! Most people who struggle with same-sex attraction, choose not to enter into a marriage and that is their choice. But they are actually treated equally when we used the conjugal definition of marriage. If we change the definition of marriage - many people are hurt. Children being the main ones hurt - as they grow up in a society which has principally/legally erased the necessity of fathers, which has told them their biological parents' have few responsibilities toward them, which has told them that they don't deserve both a mother and father. I don't think you are understanding my perspective on marriage very clearly. Probably because I am not being clear enough. Perhaps you should take a listen to this lecture - he is more eloquent in explaining it than I am: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWIhZ5xJJaQ and this with the Q&A Section: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEsHpmQBfvo. He addresses many of your objections. Like I said and have repeated many times - this is a fundamental issue that is not limited to just our religious sect, so we are actually not disregarding D&C 134 here.

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    11. Jami, that's just your definition of marriage. You can pull scriptures to support your definition, but there are also scriptures to support other definitions. That's the cool thing about words, they can have more than one definition.

      No offense, but Brigham Young, (funny story, I'm sitting outside of his home as I write this) decried your definition of marriage and basically said it was threat to society.

      Maybe, just maybe, it would be better to let each couple define their own marriage and, if they want, they can then go to our civil authorities to make their union official and legally protected. You are entitled to define your marriage any way you want—everyone else has the same ability.

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    12. The point in regulating marriage on principle, is that it protects what is of benefit to society. Nuclear families have been show in research to be (on average) the gold standard for children's well-being. And so, we support it. To want to allow any relationship to be recognized, however anyone feels and to give them all the same rights - that sounds like a case for the total abolition of marriage. Not wise, in my opinion, given my point above. Children deserve a mother and a father, and we owe it to them to protect the institution that encourages their parents to be faithful to each other and to them.

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    13. The jump from allowing gay people to get married and the abolition of marriage is huge, like jumping the grand canyon on a tricycle.

      You did just help me understand where you're coming from a lot better though: Regulating marriage on YOUR principles only protects those things that are a benefit to YOUR place in society.

      I understand why you'd defend your version of marriage. You're on the top of the social totem pole. You're white, christian, straight. There are 0 road blocks for you when you want to protect your family with the legal bonds of marriage. I understand why you'd want to hold on to that position. I get it. Survival of the fittest and all of that ... . What you're missing is that you can have your version of marriage without attacking the relationships of others. There is room for everyone at this table. We're not running out of marriage any time soon.

      I do have to nip something in the bud though. This "gold standard" nonsense is a silly excuse. It's a way for folks who don't like gay people to make themselves feel good about their personal prejudices by making it "for the children."

      If you really cared about kids, you would want them to find loving, stable families with parents who love and support them whether they happen to look like your family or not. Instead you've chosen to tell these kids, "nope, if you can't have the 'gold standard' you'll have to stay in your group home."

      It's like telling a starving kid, "Sorry, you can't eat this dinner because the ingredients aren't organic. You'll have to go hungry, but trust me, it's for your own good."

      It's disingenuous, and a sanctimony makes that me furious ... specially when it's results hurt real kids, right now, right here.

      Do you know what really hurts kids: abuse, hunger, neglect, parents who fight, parents who had kids when they weren't prepared to support them, parents who are so wrapped up in their own hobbies that they don't give them enough attention. We could use more blog posts about that and a lot less about how 100 ways you think gay people should have a little less than you do.

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  12. One thing to note is that several of these quotes from early leaders have to do with polygamy. Joseph Smith- Heber J Grant were taught AND taught that Celestial Marriage equaled polygamy. Brigham Young taught that monogamy was of the Devil. Maybe look into your own church's history of marriage (like Joseph marrying 14 year olds and women who were already married with living husbands---all info available on the church's family search site, BTW) before you assume what God's idea of a traditional marriage looks like.

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    1. Whatever. Those claims seem to come from those who were apostates and were adversarial to the church a the time they made the claims. Statements about Joseph Smith from those who remained true to the church seem to paint a different picture. Summary statements about them just gather up anything said by anyone at the time whether they were for or against the church and call it the truth, which is ridiculous.

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  13. Do we or do we not believe Doctrine and Covenants Section 134:9 "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied."

    Regardless of what we believe God says about gay marriage, our own revelations clearly state that we don't believe it just to influence laws to limit the rights of others. I support and fight for ALL families. Even if they don't fit the traditional mold. I fight for and protect my own family by supporting marriage equality. Because I believe that my brother should have the right to marry and spend the rest of his life with somebody he loves.

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    1. Important question, Malina.

      That scripture matches up well with the constitution and some of the reasons our country was founded - that people didn't want to have to belong to the Church of England and whatever the King of England believed!

      Now that doesn't mean that we shouldn't use our religious understanding to create better laws to serve the whole - in fact, Judeo-Christian influence has been helpful in creating a society where we have more freedom than any other country in the history of the world, because we supported some of the moral underpinnings of the 10 commandments in our Laws. Influences of a general religious/moral approach is not the same as having one sect be the dominant force/political control. And we have actually always been encouraged to try to encourage moral laws as best we can. However, the best, most moral laws can only be implemented with a moral people. We are seeing now that as people choose to live more immorally, it becomes harder and harder to legislate laws that can stand on any principle at all. And in these cases - all believers in God suffer. Their rights to practice their religion are stripped from them, and they begin to be persecuted. That's why it is so important that we do our best to stand for truth in a way that hopefully convinces others of the value of their worth, or else, calamity and ultimately anarchy await.

      Religiously moderated communities of people are not generally a good idea (judging from history) . . .UNLESS the people willingly joined in that community and they are free to leave if they wish as well. We have to protect the right of religious freedom for all - we should not dictate to others how they have to live according to one specific religious sect's code.

      The issue of marriage however, is able to be made without reference to any one religion - or even religious tradition at all. The argument I make for marriage from that perspective can be found here: http://www.abitbackward.com/2014/01/why-does-definition-of-marriage-we.html No one would be impeding your brother's right to spend his life with who he chooses to be with or have sexual relationships with those he might want to. It just sounds like your brother isn't interesting in forming a relationship that meets the qualifications of what a marriage is. And that is ok - he is free to choose a marriage (just like every other person) or some other sort of companionship or sexual relationship. But the point is that you cannot redefine something out of meaning what it is, without destroying that institution altogether. Give my post a read, and see what you think. Thanks for your comment.

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    2. @Malina: That is a very reasons and correct point. Also reflected in AoF 11 and 1 Corinth 10:-26-33 and some others. I feel same justices to help gay people to a save and secure life in our society.
      @Jami: I have now also read your page about the "Non religious reasons". I Would simply ask this one question. Would you object to name government marriage not marriage anymore but " XXXXCX" word of your choice. So Marriage is reserved for Chruchmarriages.
      From what I read your arguments are about the word "marriage" and i take it that you also want gays to have security and a safe life in our society. I think if you stress that more and make it more about that you would like the word "Marriage" to be for the church union and that you are in support of full gay rights. Than i believe people would be less troubled by your Post or comments. If I misunderstood you than i am sorry and fell free to correct me.

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  14. Racist comments made by leaders of the Church
    The leaders of the church up through the 1970s made it very clear why blacks were denied the priesthood. There are too many comments to list them all but here is a sample of the comments made by various LDS officials (emphasis added):
    Joseph Smith, 1st President of the Church
    "Having learned with extreme regret, that an article entitled, 'Free People of Color,' in the last number of the Star has been misunderstood, we feel in duty bound to state, in this Extra, that our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as members of the Church." (History of the Church, 1:378 79) http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/history-1838-1856-volume-a-1?p=332
    "Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species and put them on a national equalization." (History of the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 218-19.)

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    1. I looked up this reference here: https://byustudies.byu.edu/hc/hcpgs/hc.aspx. I'm sorry, but that quote is not there. At least, I did not find it in the History of the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 218-19. At least by that reference, it does not exist. I thought you may want to know.

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  15. Brigham Young, 2nd President of the Church
    "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.)
    You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un- comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race - that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, [p.291] and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion. - (Journal of Discourses 7:290-291, October 9, 1859)
    "You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:336).
    It is not the prerogative of the President of the United States to meddle with this matter, and Congress is not allowed, according to the [p.40] Constitution, to legislate upon it. If Utah was admitted into the Union as a sovereign State, and we chose to introduce slavery here, it is not their business to meddle with it; and even if we treated our slaves in an oppressive manner, it is still none of their business and they ought not to meddle with it. Journal of Discourses 4:39-40 (Aug 31, 1856)
    "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

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  16. John Taylor, 3rd President of the Church
    "And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? because it was necessary that thedevil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God;..."
    Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, page 304
    Wilford Woodruff, 4th President of the Church
    "And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cain the only way he could get rid of it or have Salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off and spill his blood upon the ground- it would also take the life of his children."

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  17. Apostle Orson Hyde
    The belief that blacks were less valiant in the pre-existence may have been started by Orson Hyde, an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This is the earliest statement we are aware of that discusses this:
    At the time the devil was cast out of heaven, there were .some spirits that did not know who had the authority, whether God or the devil. They consequently did not take a very active part on either side, but rather thought the devil had been abused, and considered he had rather the best claim to the government.
    These spirits were not considered bad enough to be cast down to hell, and never have bodies ; neither were they considered worthy of an honourable body on this earth : but it came to pass that Ham, the son of Noah, saw the nakedness of his father while he lay drunk in his tent, and he with " wicked joy," ran like Rigdon, and made the wonderful disclosure to his brethren ; while Shem and Japheth took a garment, with pity and compassion, laid it upon their shoulders—went backwards and covered their father, and saw not his nakedness. The joy of the first was to expose—that of the second was to cover the unseemliness of their father. The conduct of the former brought the curse of slavery upon him, while that of the latter secured blessings, jurisdiction, power and dominion. Here was the beginning of blessing and cursing in the family of Noah, and here also is the cause of both. Canaan, the son of Ham, received the curse ; for Noah wished to place the curse as remote from himself as possible. He therefore placed it upon his grandson instead of his son.
    Now, it would seem cruel to force pure celestial spirits into the world through the lineage of Canaan that had been cursed. This would be ill appropriate, putting the precious and vile together. But those spirits in heaven that rather lent an influence to the devil, thinking he had a little the best right to govern, but did not take a very active part any way were required to come into the world and take bodies in the accursed lineage of Canaan ; and hence the negro or African race. Now, therefore, all those who are halting concerning who has the right to govern had better look at the fate of their brethren that have gone before them, and take warning in time
    lest they learn obedience by the things which they suffer. " Choose ye this day whom you will serve." These things are among the mysteries of the kingdom, and I have told them, not by constraint or by commandment, but by permission.
    (SPEECH OF ELDER ORSON HYDE, DELIVERED BEFORE THE HIGH PRIESTS' QUORUM, IN NAUVOO, APRIL 21th, 1845 ..., p. 30)

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  18. Joseph Fielding Smith, President of the Church
    "Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.... we will also hope that blessings may eventually be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren-children of God-not withstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness. " The Way to Perfection, pages 101-102.http://www.barncow.com/curseofcain/
    "There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less." (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)
    "I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. "Darkies" are wonderful people,and they have their place in our church." Look magazine, October 22, 1963, page 79.
    President Brigham Young, answering a question put to him by Elder Lorenzo D. Young in a meeting held December 25 , 1869, in Salt Lake City, said that Joseph Smith had declared that the Negroes were not neutral in heaven, for all the spirits took sides, but the posterity of Cain are black because he (Cain) committed murder." The Way to Perfection, pages 105-106.
    "That negro race, for instance, have been placed under restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits, few will doubt. It cannot be looked upon as just that they should be deprived of the power of the Priesthood without it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born." The Way to Perfection, page 43.
    "Ham, through Egyptus, continued the curse which was placed upon the seed of Cain. Because of that curse this dark race was separated and isolated from all the rest of Adam's posterity before the flood, and since that time the same condition has continued, and they have been 'despised among all people.' This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith .... we all know it is due to his teachings that the negro today is barred from the Priesthood." The Way to Perfection, pages 110-111.

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  19. Spencer W. Kimball, 12th President of the Church
    "The day of the Lamanites in nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome... The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation...There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. Spencer W. Kimball; The Improvement Era, Dec. 1960, p. 923)
    Apostle Bruce R. McConkie
    "Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abra. 1:20-27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them... negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord's doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate." (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528)

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  20. Apostle Mark E. Petersen: (Part 1)
    "God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be in sin. Those who willfully sin with their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual death.
    "The reason that one would lose his blessings by marrying a Negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. "No person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood" (Brigham Young). It does not matter if they are one-sixth Negro or one-hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the Priesthood marries a Negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the Priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a "Nation of Priesthood holders.
    "The discussion on civil rights, especially over the last 20 years, has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinking of some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed their political affiliations to color their thinking to some extent, and then, of course, they have been persuaded by some of the arguments that have been put forth.We who teach in the Church certainly must have our feet on the ground and not to be led astray by the philosophies of men on this subject.
    "I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, 'First we pity, then endure, then embrace'.
    "Now let's talk about segregation again for a few moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? When the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation.
    "When he told Enoch not preach the gospel to the descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation. When He cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation.

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  21. Part 2
    "Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated them.
    "The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negro we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that he placed a dark skin upon them as a curse -- as a punishment and as a sign to all others. He forbade intermarriage with them under threat of extension of the curse. And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron curtain there.
    "Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, 'what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.' Only here we have the reverse of the thing - what God hath separated, let not man bring together again.
    "Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood.This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in their lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa--if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory." (Apostle Mark E. Peterson, Race Problems - As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954)

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  22. Apostle George F. Richards (spoken in conference)
    Conference Reports, CR April 1939, Second Day-Morning Meeting: Elder George F. Richards
    "The negro is an unfortunate man. He has been given a black skin....But that is as nothing compared with that greater handicap that he is not permitted to receive the Priesthood and the ordinances of the temple, necessary to prepare men and women to enter into and enjoy a fulness of glory in the celestial kingdom....What is the reason for this condition, we ask, and I find it to my satisfaction to think that as spirit children of our Eternal Father they were not valiant in the fight. We are told that Michael and his angels fought, and we understand that we stood with Christ our Lord, on the platform, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever." I cannot conceive our Father consigning his children to a condition such as that of the negro race, if they had been valiant in the spirit world in that war in heaven. Neither could they have been a part of those who rebelled and were cast down, for the latter had not the privilege of tabernacling in the flesh. Somewhere along the line were these spirits, indifferent perhaps, and possibly neutral in the war. We have no definite knowledge concerning this. But I learn this lesson from it, brethren and sisters, and I believe we all should, that it does not pay in religious matters, matters that pertain to our eternal salvation, to be indifferent, neutral, or lukewarm."

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  23. From the Australian Broadcasting Company Sunday night television show COMPASS:
    COMPASS:: So in retrospect was the Church wrong in that [denying blacks the priesthood]?
    HINCKLEY: No I don't think it was wrong. It, things, various things happened in different periods. There's a reason for them.
    COMPASS: What was the reason for that?
    HINCKLEY: I don't know what the reason was.
    COMPASS: Is it a problem for the Church that it is still..has a tag of being racist?
    HINCKLEY: No, I don't think so. I don't see that anymore.
    Reference
    http://www.i4m.com/think/leaders/Hinckley_dontknow.htm
    From Gordon B. Hinckley's interview with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes:
    Mike Wallace: From 1830 to 1978, blacks could not become priests in the Mormon church. Right?
    Gordon B. Hinckley: That's correct.
    Mike Wallace: Why?
    Gordon B. Hinckley: Because the leaders of the church at that time interpreted that doctrine that way. [cut]
    Mike Wallace: Church policy had it that blacks had the mark of Cain. Brigham Young said, "Cain slew his brother, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin."
    Gordon B. Hinckley: It's behind us. Look, that's behind us. Don't worry about those little flecks of history.
    Mike Wallace: Skeptics will suggest, "Well, look, if we're going to expand, we can't keep the blacks out."
    Gordon B. Hinckley: Pure speculation. [Laughs.]
    The "60 Minutes" program on the LDS Church Broadcast on CBS TV, April 7, 1996
    Transcribed by: Robert J. Woolley
    http://www.lds-mormon.com/60min.shtml

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  24. 2 Nephi 5: 21

    'And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.'
    Alma 3: 6

    'And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.'
    2 Nephi 30: 6

    "...their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people."
    NOTE: THE TERM 'WHITE' WAS CHANGED TO 'PURE' IN 1981.
    3 Nephi 2:15

    "And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites."

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  25. Jacob 3: 5, 8-9

    5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.
    8 O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.
    9 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness, and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.
    1 Nephi 12:23

    23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.
    1 Nephi 13:15

    15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

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  26. Mormon 5:15

    15 And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles; for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.
    Moses 7:8

    8 For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people.
    Moses 7:22

    And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.

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  27. Thank you for this! Love it all! It always makes me sad when people try to undermine prophets and apostles, especially sine that means they are undermining Christ.

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    1. Posting their own words is undermining Christ?!?!? It's not me that's doing that with words....

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    2. You are welcome! It makes me sad, too.

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  28. Want more? Because there are more. Prophets and apostles can be wrong about major doctrinal issues. Please remember this when you are preaching against human rights for our sisters and brothers. Love don't judge.

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    1. Standing up for what is right is not judging, it is simply standing for what is right.

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    2. Right according to who, the prophets and apostles? That's my whole point. They can and have been wrong.

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  29. Quotes on polygamy

    Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman empire....Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers.... Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord's servants have always practiced it. 'And is that religion popular in heaven?' it is the only popular religion there.
    Brigham Young, The Deseret News, August 6, 1862

    Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 12
    “This law of monogamy, or the monogamic system, laid the foundation for prostitution and the evils and diseases of the most revolting nature and character under which modern Christendom groans…”

    “Some of the nations of Europe who believe in the one wife system have actually forbidden a plurality of wives by their laws; and the consequences are that the whole country among them is overrun with the most abominable practices: adulteries and unlawful connections through all their villages, towns, cities, and country places to a most fearful extent.”
    - Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 12

    “Emma [Smith] took the revelation, [on polygamy] supposed she had all there was; but Joseph had wisdom enough to take care of it, and he had handed the revelation to Bishop Whitney, and he wrote it all off.... She went to the fireplace and put it in, and put a candle under it and burnt it, and she thought that was the end of it, and she will be damned as sure as she is a living woman. Joseph used to say that he would have her hereafter, if he had to go to hell for her, and he will have to go to hell for her as sure as he ever gets her.”
    - Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 17, p. 159

    “It is the duty of the first wife to regard her husband not with a selfish devotion... she must regard her husband with indifference, and with no other feeling than that of reverence, for love we regard as a false sentiment; a feeling which should have no existence in polygamy... we believe in the good old custom by which marriages should be arranged by the parents of the young people.”
    - Zina Huntington, wife of Prophet Brigham Young, New York World, November 17, 1869, as cited in The Lion of the Lord, pp. 229-230

    “Do you think that I am an old man? I could prove to this congregation that I am young; for I could find more girls who would choose me for a husband than can carry any of the young men.”
    - Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 5, p. 210

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  30. Also, what about the 11th article of faith? Many churches are comfortable with gay marriage and marry and ordain gay priests. We should be allowing others to worship according to their conscience. Elder Nelson's talk leaves no room for that.

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    1. http://www.abitbackward.com/2014/01/why-does-definition-of-marriage-we.html Give this post a read. The argument for marriage is so fundamental that it can be made without any reference to religion at all! Of course we have religious understanding that makes this issue even more important to us, too - but there are fundamental reasons why the definition of marriage should not be changed, that everyone can get behind.

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  31. Yes it is so very simple why he is wrong. Gay marriage is a governmental contract, same as the cover mental marriage for straight. Everything he says apply s only to Church (LDS) Marriage. And as far as i am informed no gay moment is jet in place to make gay Church marriage possible. And as that is a political topic and we promised in the Article of faith 11 that we grand rights to others to things differently, we have no right to tell people that our LDS marriage definition is legit for all. As well is he wrong in mixing the gov. marraige up with churchdef. and that is a common USA b´problem. Here in Europa we have Gay marriage and nobody is upset by it and nobody wants to oppose it here. As we know the different between the Power of the Priesthood and the Power of Government employees. One is for all eternity and the other is a contract only valid in the state in witch it has been given. So summon that up it is simple US stubbernes, thats why an Elder Uchdorf is able to have massages of diversity and inclusion and why other US General Authority fail to make this simple differences. Church leaders talk about church marriage preformed in the temple and politics may talk about the laws of the land. We over here support gay marriage as it brings values to people that we as members value high.

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    1. http://www.abitbackward.com/2014/01/why-does-definition-of-marriage-we.html I'd love for you to read this post on marriage. The argument for marriage can be made without any reference to any religious sect or even general philosophy (like Judeo-Christian, for example.)

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    2. You keep quoting yourself as evidence for your argument. Simply saying the same thing over and over doesn't make it right.

      You are wrong on this, Jami. You cling to the things that support your own conclusion, but you avoid or ignore the things that don't. But, for now anyway, it kind of looks like you're more interested in promoting your own blog than you are in searching out truth.

      I really hope this path doesn't lead you to sorrow.

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  32. More on monogamy

    The one‑wife system not only degenerates the human family, both physically and intellectually, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; it is a lure to temptation, and has always proved a curse to a people.
    John Taylor, Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 227

    Good to know YOUR marriage is degenerating the human family. ;)

    And maybe the scariest quote by a Prophet on polygamy...

    If we were to do away with polygamy, it would only be one feather in the bird, one ordinance in the Church and kingdom. Do away with that, then we must do away with prophets and Apostles, with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel, and finally give up our religion altogether and turn sectarians and do as the world does, then all would be right. We just can't do that, for God has commanded us to build up His kingdom and to bear our testimony to the nations of the earth, and we are going to do it, come life or come death. He has told us to do thus, and we shall obey Him in days to come as we have in days past.
    Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses 13:165

    Seriously, what do people think about THAT?

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    1. Chirp...Chirp...Chirp

      The silence speaks volumes.

      How dare you bring up valid arguments?

      Those quotes sure do sound eerily similar to what Elder Nelson and the rest of the quoted prophets in this blog post had to say.

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    2. John - My silence speaks volumes about the fact that I have two hungry kids and a husband to feed. Life goes on outside cyberspace, you know. I'd like to see actual links to all these quotes so I can verify the sources are trustworthy, and to read them in their proper context. I've given that courtesy to all who read my post!

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    3. I don't know that links are necessary. Corey supplied the references. That should be sufficient. Sometimes research has to be done outside of the internet.

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    4. It's true that some research needs to be done outside the internet. But if I can't personally validate it, I won't comment on it. Several of the links shared on this whole thread are dead, several are to quite sketchy weird homemade sites written by who knows who, one quote has been shown not to exist, and I don't know Corey personally. I don't just trust random commentators on the internet - sorry! But, giving evidence that is from a credible source and is able to be viewed in context - that's a place where we can talk more.

      Bye, now! I'm going to spend some time with my fam. My blog speaks for itself and this conversation isn't going to go anywhere.

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    5. Wow, you use "the family" as an excuse for everything.
      Those sources are credible. You said a lot of untrue and, frankly, hurtful things in your blog. You might not think they're hurtful, but that's just because you really don't understand the subject matter you've decided to take on.

      You expect us to trust you, a random commentator on the internet (you even cite yourself), but you won't bother to pick up a book and check the sources people hand to you. Yes, your blog speaks for itself, but all it's saying is, I only accept evidence that supports my personal theories, and the only people who seem to be agreeing with you, are people who already held the same sad views.

      All I hear from you is, "Gay people can't get married because 'the family,'" and "I don't have time to actually research my own faith because 'the family.'"

      Bonus points to you from expressing your thoughts and feelings. Negative points for not bothering to do a little homework before you show up for class.

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    6. So because the website looks "sketchy" you're choosing to ignore it? Honey, look up the Journal of Discourses, if you dare. You clearly know nothing about the religion you are pathetically defending. Read In Sacred Loneliness or Rough Stone Rolling (both written by active members and sold at Deseret Book) Study the history of the church. I am an active, temple recommend carrying member, but I HATE seeing ignorance about Mormonism like you've shown here. Did you know that Joseph Smith married 14 year old girls? Did you know he threatened them with spiritual death if they wouldn't do it? Did you know he married women who had living husbands? Did you know that Oliver Cowdry called his first plural marriage a "filthy affair"? Did you know he ordered a printing press to be destroyed because they were writing about polygamy and THAT'S why he went to Carthage? Honestly, if you want to talk about church leaders not being wrong, know your history at LEAST.

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    7. Mark said: So because the website looks "sketchy" you're choosing to ignore it?

      M Russell Ballard said: "Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce."

      https://www.lds.org/ensign/1999/11/beware-of-false-prophets-and-false-teachers?lang=eng

      There is also a lot of other counsel to beware of false teachers, including that given by Christ himself. Do you really believe the Savior would stand by your condemnation of someone for ignoring a website that seems sketchy to them?

      Mark said: "Honey, look up the Journal of Discourses, if you dare."

      Ummm, did you read the post. I have never seen such a thorough summary of gospel and prophetic writings on this topic than this very blog post, which includes quotes from early church leaders.

      But the other interesting thing about your statement is how openly proud and intellectually demeaning it is. You demeaningly use the word "honey" implying the recipient is a dimwitted youth, almost beneath your notice, and further hit the point by adding "if you dare" at the end, as if you were trodding a path that only the intellectual elite trod, and the writer is somehow an uninitiated novice.

      Personally, I love really love reading from the Journal of Discourses. I also don't have any illusions that doing so makes me superior. There are some really great talks in there for sure. Actually, if gaining real insight into the church is your goal, may I suggest you turn more to the scriptures. This isn't meant as an insult, but seriously, if you are a church member you really seem to be straying pretty far from the gospel. Not that the scriptures are just the basics by any means. They are far, far more than that. If you have read the Journal of Discourses then you should have read this statement by Brigham Young:

      Brigham Young: "The Apostle says, 'And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.'
      Allow me to explain this text. The Apostle could not possibly mean what the language of the quotation implies—that the whole earth would have been covered with books to a certain depth; no, but he meant, by that saying, there would have been more written than the world of mankind would receive, or credit. The people then were as they are in this day—they are continually reaching after something that is not revealed, when there is more written already than they can comprehend. Instead of saying the world could not contain the books, we will say there would have been more written than the people would carry out in their lives."

      In other words, drink from the fountainhead. I like the Journal of Discourses, but I still know the scriptures are the iron rod I need to hold on to. Remember how often Christ himself quoted from the scriptures themselves? Are you better than him? Do you know a better route to gospel knowledge than him? If Christ was quoted, but not cited, would you correct him by calling him condescending names and directing him to more obscure sources "if he dares". Because of course, when someone quotes from the D&C or other scriptures, Christ is being quoted.

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    8. [Continued reply]


      Mark says: "Read In Sacred Loneliness or Rough Stone Rolling (both written by active members and sold at Deseret Book)"

      Because???? There are so few actual first person sources on Joseph Smith's polygamy it seems to have become standard to turn to both the friends and enemies of the church for information about polygamy. Including second hand statements by apostates. Which is disastrous. Particularly since false statements by bitter apostates (first or second hand) are apt to be wildly exaggerated or downright false, but are also likely to far outnumber the statements by genuine and faithful wives who, like Mary, "kept all these things in her heart".

      Since you like the Journal of Discourses, let me point out another great truth from Brigham Young about why this is disastrous:

      "The history of Joseph and Mary is given to us by their best friends, and precisely as we will give the history of the Prophet Joseph. We know him to have been a good man, we know that he performed his mission, we know that he was an honorable man and dealt justly, we know his true character.
      But let his enemies give his character, and they will make him out one of the basest men that ever lived. Let the enemies of Joseph and Mary give their characters to us, and you would be strongly tempted to believe as the Jews believe." (Brigham Young Journal of Discourses vol 3)

      So stop reading histories by people who can't follow Brigham Young's advice about who their sources are. The author of "Rough Stone Rolling" told one of my family members in person that he didn't care whether he was excommunicated. Let the value he places on his covenants, his eternal marriage, and the gift of the Holy Ghost indicate the spirit in which he does his research and writing. Go back to the iron rod which will save your soul, instead of dubious accounts dressed up as intellectual insider truths. (And if you are as "discerning" as you seem to like to feel you are, may I point out that being published by deseret book means exactly nothing as to the spiritual value of a work. If the reading editor liked the work, and thought it would make money, when did that make it church doctrine -- I wonder whether in the same breath you would condemn the book "Mormon Doctrine" as not being authoritative, while holding up these charlatan histories as being "gospel truth" just because DB published them. An interesting contradiction.)

      Mark said "Study the history of the church."

      Excellent idea Mark. But do it following Brigham Young's counsel. Find faithful accounts of the history. I do not honestly believe many in our day could possibly have taken in all that Joseph Smith's History of the Church has to offer in depth of doctrinal exposition alone. I don't think it is humanly possible in just few readings of it. Or ten readings of it, for that matter.

      Well, that's all for now Mark.

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  33. "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of anyone of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them

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    1. " - Brigham young, journal of discourses.

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  34. Elder Nelson certainly is in good company! I remember reading in Spencer W. Kimball's 'The Miracle of Forgiveness', that he worried that those who try to redefine Marriage might go on to redefine it out of existence. The 'Free Love' movement in the sixties claimed that they didn't need 'a piece of paper' to prove their love. The 'Gay Marriage' advocates shout that gays need that 'piece of paper' to prove their relationship's legitimacy. What do these two groups have in common? Destroying the basic unit of society.

    ...I wonder how they'd like it if we redefined one their sacred cow words: 'Choice', 'Woman', 'Rights', 'Power', or 'Equality'? Shoe feels funny on the other foot, donchaknow...

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  35. There are too many problems with your post/comments to break them all down here. I'll just point out two of them. First, it seems that you do not think this post can stand on its own merit. A number of commentators have pointed out the fact that the LDS church has clear doctrine saying it should not get involved in political causes or that we should not impose our religious beliefs on the rest of society. You seem to understand this because your response has been to repeatedly copy the url of your other post about traditional marriage. I have read that post and the problem is you give no real evidence to support your claims. Sure, you link to articles about potential lawsuits against businesses refusing to participate in gay weddings. But where is the evidence showing that society as a whole is hurt by gay marriage or that children are at a distinct disadvantage if raised with parents of the same sex.

    Second, in your other post you seem to be quite worried that gay marriage will lead to either non-sexual marriages or marriages involving more than two people. For arguments sake, let's assume you are right and that those two things are horrible and should never be allowed. It is not acceptable to stop something good (gay marriage) in order to prevent something bad (non-sexual marriages, etc.). You should fight to allow the something good and still fight to prevent the something bad. Your argument is like saying we shouldn't allow teenagers to drive because it could then lead to them driving too fast or driving drunk. This argument to prevent gay marriage because of what might come next is a faulty one.

    How about we stop hiding behind our religion and let other people choose for themselves how they want to live? What is so horrible about giving a gay couple the same rights and privileges that are given to straight couples?

    The time will come when we will all meet our Creator. He will ask us how well we treated our fellow men. I'm afraid it will not be enough to simply say, "I was just following the prophet". You can almost here the sigh followed by this response, "Did I not give you a brain with which to think for yourself? You were given two commandments and two commandments only: Love God and Love Your Neighbor."

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    1. John...love your post. I know when I meet my Creator he will not say to me, "You were too compassionate and loving towards "those" people." It breaks my heart to see how self-righteousness takes away charity. The post above by "momsaid" is one of the most unloving posts I've seen on here. The LGBT people aren't trying to "destroy the basic unit of society." That comment is ridiculous. They only want to live their lives without being marginalized, demonized, and with the same rights others have.

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    2. John, I recommend these youtube videos for you to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWIhZ5xJJaQ and this one (the Q&A after his lecture): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEsHpmQBfvo. He explained all these issues you are bringing up about marriage very well. As for my meeting with God, that will be something between Him, my Savior and myself. No commentary on where you think I will be going necessary. Thanks.

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    3. I watched your suggested YouTube videos. I'm not sure what argument you are trying to make by pointing me to those YouTube videos. Will you please clarify? The speaker seems to be talking about the legality behind marriage and reiterates your thoughts about what he thinks will inevitably happen if gay marriage is legalized. Again, I will repeat my statement that we should not withhold something good in order to stop something bad.

      To clarify, I never hinted at where I think you "will be going". I merely suggested that the answer of "I followed the prophets" will not be a good enough reason for supporting discrimination.

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    4. John -

      He presents what I believe to be rational evidence that seems to indicate it would be harmful for children to be raised without either a mother or father. Severing biological links from parents in family make-up seems to cause more difficulty for children as well. While there is not enough solid evidence to say anything conclusively on the effect of children growing up in households with parents of the same gender, it seems quite logical to assume there would be harm done (on average) because of what we know from studying other family structures. He also presents evidence that same gender relationships might not be as stable - particularly lesbian couples in that they do not stay together as long, and that gay couples tend to be more sexually open (or monogamish) with other partners. Troubling findings that are important to consider. This link has info on the solid research we do have on family structure: http://www.familystructurestudies.com/

      He is making his argument on the principle, that if you take away elements from the inherent definition of marriage you no longer have the institution. It is important for law to be created on correct principles that hold up in multiple applications. It also isn't outlandish to say that throuples and others wouldn't demand legal recognition - that is already happening.

      You said, "How about we stop hiding behind our religion and let other people choose for themselves how they want to live?" If a same-sex couple should be given every single benefit that a married couple (one man and one woman) are given, then why not a throuple? Why shouldn't every other relationship combination be recognized and given perks by the law? To be consistent in your argument, you need to defend the "rights" of all people to live and be recognized and receive all the benefits in their relationships how they would like to be recognized. Without a solid principle to protect the conjugal definition of marriage in the law, anything goes.

      If you just think that the whole institution of marriage should not be legally recognized, I can understand that, too. Though, that is not my argument. I believe there is a benefit to society to encourage people to enter into marriages - to be committed to their spouse and the children that come as a product of that marriage - with government regulation of it (in a principled manner).

      I believe in addition to the rational, logical approach to marriage that God has instituted a law of Chastity. You don't have to believe that. But I do. I trust those in my faith who have spoken on this issue and God's written word on the subject. I know heartbreak comes when we don't follow Him. So, I have additional motives - besides what I can see as an argument about fundamentals of society in which every person regardless of religion has interest in. Those motives are that I teach truth that will hopefully encourage others to make choices in line with what God has explained is correct and incorrect about sexual relations and child-bearing and rearing, etc. I teach that and defend that because I believe that following God's law will ultimately bring them joy. I also believe every word of Elder Holland's quote above - that those who keep God's law of chastity, regardless of their circumstances, will be blessed for their obedience.

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    5. John -

      I need to point out that it is incorrect to say we should not get involved in political causes. Quite the opposite in fact! We are counseled to not encourage a state-sponsored religion. That doesn't mean that we can't use religious and moral principles in creating law. You may be interested to read this talk by Elder Ballard who elaborates on this very nicely: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1992/10/religion-in-a-free-society?lang=eng. It is called "Religion in a Free Society." It seems that we are actually experiencing the transformation of our nation to a governance under the state-sponsored "religion" of secular humanism these days. What a disaster that will be - a death mark on our freedom for sure. I fully agree with this quote from the above talk, as well as all the scriptures that encourage us to stand for what is right in both our private lives and political lives (For example: see Mosiah 29).

      From Elder Ballard:

      "If we would maintain the independence and freedom the Founding Fathers intended, we must work to preserve and protect the moral foundation upon which they built the U. S. government. We must stand boldly for righteousness and truth, and must defend the cause of honor, decency, and personal freedom espoused by Washington, Madison, Adams, Lincoln, and other leaders who acknowledged and loved God. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in the same predicament President Lincoln observed in 1863.

      Said Lincoln:“We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of their own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” (A Proclamation “to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation.”)

      Let us resolve to make our own families truly free by teaching them that God holds us all accountable. His laws are absolutes; breaking them brings misery and unhappiness; keeping them brings joy, happiness, and the blessings of heaven. Let us teach our families and others the importance of moral responsibility based on the laws of God.

      The freedom we give thanks for is at stake—for ourselves and for our posterity. No nation or people that rejects God or His commandments can prosper or find happiness. History and the scriptures are filled with examples of nations that rejected God. Let us be wise and remember the source of our blessings and not be timid or apologetic in sharing this knowledge with others."

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    6. A few thoughts...

      First, on the man from the video. In my opinion, you are giving too much authority to this man simply because he agrees with your views and he does it eloquently. You openly admit that he does not offer any real proof of the things he is arguing. When there is not enough evidence, it is never okay to assume anything. Well thought out opinions or hypothesis are not adequate reasons unless they can be defended with evidence.

      What about throuples? Would that be so horrible if three adults made such a decision to bind themselves together legally? As I have stated multiple times, a fear of a possible throuple is not reason enough to fight gay marriage.

      Finally, you seem to not understand the reason why we should leave religion out of politics. We, as individuals, are encouraged to be engaged in politics. We, as individuals, should be involved in the shaping of our laws. We, as a Church, should not be! The Church is to remain neutral! The Doctrine and Covenants is very clear about this. Even more than that, we should not be enforcing our religion and beliefs on anyone else. When you say "God has instituted a law of Chastity", which God are you referring to? The Muslim God? Mormon God? Catholic God? Jewish God? Hindu God? Buddhist God? Greek God? Roman God? Taoist God? I'm assuming you mean the Mormon God. Remind me again what percentage of the population is Mormon. How would you feel if a group of people started creating laws that you didn't agree with and their reasoning was simply because God said so? It's pretty hard to have a discussion with someone if they keep returning to the idea that God said so. That is what I mean about hiding behind our religion.

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    7. Ryan Anderson DID refer to studies with very statistically significant evidence that children are disadvantaged when they lose a biological connection and/or a parent of one gender - all on the link I shared above. So it is logical to assume that if children lose a biological connection(s) or a gender from a parent(s) by being raised by a same sex household, you will see similar disadvantages. The thing about social science, is that it is kind of complicated and messy, and you can't actually create and experiment and force people to live it, so things are debatable in this arena. But what we do know about families, we have studied for decades, in large number, with careful controlling for all sorts of factors (like education, income, etc.), including following thousands and thousands of kids for decades . . . and we are still able to see statistically significant results. Not to be sneezed at, IMHO.

      The proof in most of what he is arguing is self-evident over the history of all time. Those cultures which have valued high moral principles, commitment to their biological children over selfish interests, and God, have flourished. Those who have disregard these things suffer. Students of history have observed this time and time again.

      I do believe it is already getting bad and will continue to get worse as we disregard the time-tested, God given principles for living. Also, I have to say that it is horrible public policy to have laws not be based on principle, but rather on just whatever popular opinion of the day happens to be. In any case, people will obviously do whatever they want (laws or no laws), but I hope in discussing issues like this, I will give some people things about which to pause and consider. Hopefully it will make them question whether experimenting with what has always worked since the dawn of man should be so carelessly tinkered with. . . You believe what you want to believe, John. I will believe what I will believe. Everyone else reading this - believe whatever and whoever you want to believe. But, time WILL tell the truth about it for us (as it has through the ages) - my guess is, probably within our lifetime.

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    8. The last article by Ballard I directed you to was pretty solid in explaining the relationship between politics and religion. This one does it even better: http://sutherlandinstitute.org/news/2013/10/03/guest-post-mormonism-in-the-public-square/. When I talk about God, I believe I am talking about THE God. But I get what you are saying about everybody's Gods in theory. I believe that when people believe they have something of an absolutely true nature (coming from whatever God they worship, even nature's God so to speak) that they should share that truth with others and encourage others to implement it in their own lives. If what they believe is an Eternally true principle, we will see good fruit come from it as it is willingly accepted, believed and practiced - and even - adopted as law. No moral law can stand or be implemented when people live immorally by the way. It doesn't mean we should institute a Marshall law forcing people to live that moral law (which would be totally messed up) but we can talk and debate and then vote!

      More than one notable historian has chalked up the great success and immense freedom, prosperity, and success in America, to our morality as a people, who implemented a constitution and laws that took important principles from their religious Judeo-Christian ideas.

      All people are benefited by talking about how certain moral choices in their lives might be of benefit or harm to all of society. Because politics is oriented toward making life better for people, it follows that anyone who believes in a greater universal truth will have suggestions to offer on how to achieve that better life. Talking about issues with the approach we believe to be most moral and sound in logic is helpful in creating a better life, and hopefully in encouraging others to live more morally. I'm not just talking Mormons, I'm talking about ALL people. If a person doesn't believe in absolute truth, I think they should probably keep quiet to avoid being hypocritical. (Because if every person's choices are completely relative and just true for themselves, then they should believe that no idea for anything is better than another person's ideas - and consequently no law will work better than any other.) Anything goes. Though the fact that moral relativists still seem to advocate for things they think are right and wrong, indicates to me that on a spiritual plane, they know there is a higher truth to be found.

      The LDS church sees this as a fundamental and moral issue in society. I think they have every right to make their voice heard - as well as every other religious or non-religious group. From there, people can vote how they feel they should.

      Good times.

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    9. the argument that it isn't good to be raised without a mother or a father is lovely. That means every LDS person who is widowed or divorced should immediately go find alternate parenting and housing for their children, as they are no longer "the ideal" family for children.

      The fact is, when some of the best parents I know turned out to be gay folks, and some of the kindest, I realized I didn't know much about what I thought I knew. Two of the parents I turn to for support, love and venting are two lesbian parents who have fostered more than forty children. They help the helpless. They take care of the orphans and fatherless. The children who've been hurt and traumatized. They love fiercely. They believe in a loving God, and they are wonderful friends, PTA members, and parents. They have served others their entire lives. And when they travel to certain states they fear if one of them will be hurt, because even through they have been married for longer than I have, those states will not reconize their union. And one cannot be the next of kin to decide how things happen in a hospital. They cannot receive legal protections for each other and for their children becuase of the law. I do not NOT MIND that our church wants only straight people to marry. Fine. I get it. Penises and vaginas the procreation. I do not mean to be crass, I really do get it. However, I have a real problem that legally in our country, one can be descriminated against because of this. I think same sex couples should have the same rights as other couples and families. I think it's wrong. So all those prophets and apostles and whoever can be right that straight is great in the eternities. In the here and now, I am wildly ashamed and uncomfortable that so many in our church are happy to punish and discriminate because 'you're not as moral as I am! You sin in a worse way so you should have less rights as an American! Too bad!" It's ok to be an adulterous liar in our church. You can get your temple recommend back no prob, get married to your mistress in the temple lickety split. You never had the church say "the way you live and who you love is morally wrong, and we will not recognize your rights to marriage of that person. And we will work to make sure laws are enacted that make it so you can't just go marry your mistress for whom you left your wife and children. Say you're sorry, and we are good here." This is standard. And I find it reprehensible.

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    10. No, you don't get it.

      Here, the scriptures try and explain part of it.

      D&C 19: 15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
      16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
      17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
      18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
      19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.
      20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.

      You don't get it, because this is all remarkably unconcerning to you with regard to these people you write about. You may vent and cry on their shoulders. But you are remarkably unconcerned about THEM.

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    11. John

      You said "He will ask us how well we treated our fellow men. I'm afraid it will not be enough to simply say, 'I was just following the prophet'."

      Well, that is completely wrong. Because Christ addressed the matter personally:

      D&C 84:36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
      37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
      38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.

      Sure it is true that all the law and the prophets hang on the great two commandments. But you seem to have seriously misunderstood what Christ said there. He did Not say "these are the only two commandments that count". He said that all the law and the prophets hang on those two commandments. That means that everything you read of the prophets, or in the law of Moses (which is "the law" in question) is built up around those two commandments.

      That includes the commandments to sexually pure, as well as the consequences for not doing so.

      Now what you are doing is taking your personal definition of what it means to love someone and REPLACING the law and the prophets with your personal version of loving God, and your personal version of loving man.

      Whereas Christ was approving of the whole law and all the prophets, saying that everything they did was built around the centerpeice of those two commandments.

      So what does the word "love" mean to God? Does it mean the same thing it means to you?

      God loves his children, but he destroyed sodom and gomorrah by fire from heaven. That fits within his love as he understands it. Does that fit with your definition of love?

      When Christ speaks to the Nephites from heaven he enumerates the cities he has destroyed and how he has destroyed them. He tells them they were destroyed for their disobedience, and that if they will not now hearken to him, those who remain will also be destroyed. Does that fit within the word "love" as you understand it, because given that you don't see anything wrong with taking the existing panorama of sexual perversions and expanding it, I seriously doubt that you do.

      God loves his children, and introducing new ways for them to eternally destroy themselves is not something that he takes lightly, nor does he look kindly on those who cheer his children down the road to destruction, pacifying their doubts and redoubling their commitment to a path of despair and eternal ruin.

      There is only one true and living God as we read in the scriptures, and when we speak of what God has done or said, we mean him. As you noted, you will get to meet him someday.

      John, the stuff you write is deeply disturbed. This is the day of your probation. I don't know what you are involved in, but don't mess this day of opportunity up.

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  36. Many of the arguments made in your blog on what is the definition of marriage were used in the U.S. vs Windsor case that went in front of SCOTUS. The law firm that tried to defend DOMA failed to convince the majority of the judges using those arguments. You can view these arguments on SCOTUS website.

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    1. I listened to that case the day it was delivered. While there is currently legal precedent for same-sex marriage (especially in states like California), it doesn't mean that the laws that are being enacted in many parts of the country are based on principled (or moral) ideals. SCOTUS is not the source of all Truth, I'm afraid.

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  37. Well said John! JamiLeigh, your post comes across as self-righteous and judgemental. I doubt Elder Russell would be happy to know that members were using his words to argue with each other. Not really the point. Standing for something is great and very effective if you do it in a Christlike way - by loving others even if they don't share your opinion, but if you are standing for something in your own way, by arguing and treating people who disagree with you poorly, it doesn't work. You will not change anyone's mind about this issue - all you will do is to hurt people's feelings and make other people angry because of the way you treated them and marginalized their free agency. Church members already fight against the stigma of "We are so much better than you", and you seem to be communicating that quite well to the people who comment on your post. "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Standing for something IS very important, but it is more important to be kind, and build up each other, instead of tearing them down. And isn't it easy to judge people when you haven't felt their pain or walked a bit in their shoes. Or especially when the issue in question doesn't apply to you or your lifestyle at all. Quotes from church leaders are easy to find and interperet the way we want. I would look at both sides of the issue - read some quotes from the people who are actually affected by what it is that you are standing for so conscientiously.

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    1. I'm sorry you feel that way, Rebecca. That was not my intent to be rude. My objective was to share the gospel in the clearest way I could on this issue. I believe though that by speaking truth, I actually give people more opportunity to use their agency wisely: http://www.abitbackward.com/2014/02/charity-is-respect-for-others-agency.html. I share truth out of love. I'm not judging individuals - only God can do that. I'm just sharing His Truth on this doctrine. A firefighter might have to be bold or loud in his speech when he is trying to save someone from a burning building. Our society is crumbling before our eyes as we collectively disregard this most important issue, so I feel my clarity and directness is much needed. I care so much, I'm being as to the point as possible! Though in a social media situation, it is always hard to discern someone's true voice. I'll tell you what I do know - I God knows my heart. And I feel confident in His presence about what I'm doing and defending, here. I appreciate your concern, though. Thanks for your comment.

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    2. I think you're really fortunate that so many people are sharing their truth with in you in such diplomatic ways. If anyone approached me in the same condescending tone, you use to describe same-sex couples, I'd have a few very choice truths to share with them in return.

      You should consider renaming your blog "a bit rameumptom."

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    3. Anonymous: Most of the 130 or so comments are arguments against her blog post, but according to you she should feel "fortunate". After that, you throw a thoughtless insult at the author.

      I'm sorry, but that is disgusting.

      Your particular choice of insult is ironic. The worshipers you refer to, the Zoramites, had completely separated the conditions for salvation from the actually daily choices they made. They didn't care what the scriptures taught. They believed they were saved and others weren't, end of story.

      Now the author of this blog believes her salvation is closely tied to the things she actually chooses to do, and that moral choices are particularly relevant, which is fundamentally opposed to basic Zoramite ideals.

      However, the gay community likes to talk a great deal about how good it is, as do its advocates. But it wants salvation without actually keeping the commandments that God requires, that is without actually BEING good. Like those who prayed on the rameumpton, they think they don't need those commandments for salvation.

      If anyone stands on the rameumpton these days, I think the gay community would be prime nominees. The gay community wants salvation, they have a lot to say about how good they are, but they don't want to be bothered with God's actual commandments, scriptures, and requirements. In fact, just as those Zoramites, they generally think that despite God's plain teachings to the contrary they are going to get salvation anyway.

      No thanks for the disgusting comment. But thanks for reminding us of the rameumptom, and the kind of thinking that accompanied that bit of insanity. Salvation is based on God's revealed requirements, and no man made substitute is worth anything.

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    4. Rebecca Grant:

      No, God's method of teaching as declared in the scriptures is that "it becometh every man that hath been warned to warn his neighbor." He knows better than we do what really works.

      Now Christ did teach that some people would like his teaching, and some would not. But the reasons for it were very different than what you describe and we can trust that the Son of God knew the truth of it.

      John 3: 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
      21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

      Christ has obligated us to teach the gospel to all the world. He does say some people will hate it, and some will love it. He states that the reason some will hate it is because "their deeds are evil". It didn't have anything to do with the things you described. He describes those that will love it and come to the gospel as those who do truth.

      The JST of the scripture you use changes the meaning substantially. So what makes you think that homosexuality is a "mote" in one's eye, but writing a post against it is a "beam" in one's eye. Sounds like a bad judgement of the author to my mind, as it doesn't square at all with the scriptures ranking of sexual sin.

      Homosexuality may be a "lifestyle", but that has no bearing on whether homosexual acts are not also serious sin. Sexual transgression is next only to murder and the unforgivable sin, and homosexual sex is a perversion of sex. The fact that some people choose to live such as their lifestyle does not change either of those facts in any way.

      Trying to read the scriptures to force them to mean something different than what they clearly teach is called "wresting the scriptures", and is warned against in the scriptures themselves. The scriptures and prophets are quite clear on what constitutes serious sin.

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  38. Wonderful post and defense of the faith Jami. I'm definitely going to save and link to this page for future reference.

    I would suggest you not waste your very valuable time trying to sway these hard-hearted souls who will always be unswayed no matter how much evidence is presented before them. "A man (or woman) convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

    Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Lyle - and for the reminder. I needed to hear that tonight.

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  39. That is a lot of effort put into a post that draws the wrong conclusion.

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  40. JamiLeigh,
    You have been shown quotes with sources that you have not responded to. You have been quoted scriptures that directly contradict the scriptures you quoted. What do you say to those? This is all messy and complicated. MAJOR doctrinal changes have happened; blacks and the priesthood, polygamy, penalties in the temple, and more. It is either foolish or naive to assume this can't happen again. Until then, I will error on the side of loving everyone equally and not preaching against basic human rights for all. I pray to God that you never have a child, sibling, neighbor, or nephew that comes out as gay.
    Have you visited the churches website http://mormonsandgays.org/?
    A few things for your to ponder as well.
    In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: "If many believe so, it is so."
    In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

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    1. Interesting that you bring up argumentum ad populum. "If many believe so, it is so." - that fallacious argument seems to be employed by many (many more than the list of God's chosen servants) who say that God's Law of Chastity is no longer in force. I know that is not true. It still is and always will be - and there will be painful consequences for those who disregard it. I love all my brothers and sisters enough to speak the truth about this to them.

      The quotes I have listed are from those who I know to be God's chosen mouthpieces of today. When He created Adam and Eve, he presented to us the standard of marriage.

      You place your loyalties where you will. I place my loyalties with God, His chosen mouthpieces, and His written word - and by doing that I am supporting all of God's children in the best way I possibly can.

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    2. Maybe let people support and decide for themselves.
      That's kind of why we came to Earth, Jami.

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  41. Wonderful post on defending marriage and the family, Jami! Of course it wouldn't be true if we didn't have people attacking you on a totally different subject other than the one you wrote on! Not sure how blacks and the priesthood came into play. Hahha.
    Keep up the good work! I enjoy how elequent you write, but also how boldly and truthfully you stand up for what's right!

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    1. Oh, Heather - Your comment is perfect! Thank you. Seriously. Perfect point. Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate your support. :)

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    2. The topic of blacks and the priesthood connects quite well to the discussion of gay marriage, actually. Jami's post is saying that Elder Nelson can't be wrong about gay marriage because all these other leaders of the church have said similar things. So, if the prophets and apostles have never been wrong before, then we should always agree with them. However, if there was ever a time when they were wrong, then maybe we shouldn't be so quick to support their words.

      As it turns out, they were wrong about withholding the priesthood from black men. If they were wrong before, they could possibly be wrong again. Those who brought up blacks and the priesthood did it to show that we should stop and think about what those leaders are saying and not just assume they are correct because of the position they hold.

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  42. Reading the comments by past leaders is challenging, but there are relevant quotes that Anonymous has not included that add light to this issue and make the comparison to same-sex marriage weak. Starting with Brigham Young, there was the belief that the ban would be lifted. Brigham Young prophesied that the “time will come when [black members] will have the privilege of all we have the privilege of and more.” (February 5th, 1852 Speech before the Territorial Legislature). David O. McKay taught, "Sometime in God's eternal plan, the Negro will be given the right to hold the Priesthood. In the meantime, those of that race who receive the testimony of the Restored Gospel may have their family ties protected and other blessings made secure, for in the justice of the Lord they will possess all the blessings to which they are entitled in the eternal plan of Salvation and Exaltation" (Mormonism and the Negro, pp. 23). Harold B. Lee said, "It's only a matter of time before the black achieves full status in the Church. We must believe in the justice of God. The black will achieve full status, we're just waiting for that time" (Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride, Nov 16, 1972).

    The priesthood ban isn't an easy topic to address or understand, but I think it's important to not neglect information that offers further clarification.

    Polygamy and monogamy in the Gospel definition have the same central focus - posterity. In the Book of Mormon, in Jacob 2, the Lord commands the Nephites to have only one wife. He then adds a caveat in verse 30, "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things." Polygamy isn't an easy topic for us to understand, but something that has been meaningful for me is to do family history. As I observe the incredible seed that came from the early saints and from the practice of polygamy, my testimony of believing in prophetic counsel for particular times is strengthened.

    The words of prophets and apostles about sexual purity have blessed my life. Many things they teach aren't accepted by the mainstream of modern thinkers. I have experienced, though, the tangible blessings that come from abiding by these teachings. I have a testimony of the gospel sexual standards and I will continue to use that testimony as I navigate the contemporary issues that confront us. I love and trust the prophet and apostles.

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    1. Thank you for your comments, fernleroy. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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  43. I too love and trust the prophet and apostles. Thanks Jami for your post. The Lord's word is very clear when it comes to marriage. So glad to have a living prophet to look to so I don't have to get caught up in the world's word.

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  44. I question the speech and thoughts of all human beings, when it comes to Spiritual matters. Disciples follow Christ, not one another, their hearts burn in the presents of his Holy Spirit. They speak and act in the manner of Christ. Christ did not defend God, he humbled himself and gave himself away. Every word that comes out of the mouths of the Elders is not revelation, it is not Scripture and is not binding as a matter of Salvation.

    You may quote every person that has ever spoken of discipleship and not convince me or anyone else that follows the burning of their own heart that this is a principle of the Gospel, that it is the way of Jesus Christ or that it was a doctrine of the original church.

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  45. Jami, I am grateful for your research on this blog post. I am sure that it was a time consuming endeavor and I have benefitted from your work.

    Several of the comments are mentioning “Blacks and the Priesthood” in connection with the your comments/quotes on marriage as if to illustrate that the Prophet and Apostles have been wrong before and therefore they can be wrong now. I too believe that fallibility is not something that can be divorced from the human condition. However, I am uncomfortable with the concept that because church doctrine has been revised/changed in the past that church leadership can and will be wrong about any facet of church doctrine that is contrary to popular culture. For example, the LDS Church requires chastity prior to marriage, but after marriage a monogamous sexual relationship with your spouse is more than encouraged (as evidenced by insanely large Mormon families). This doctrine is revised/changed for every single individual. Does this mean that chastity before marriage is wrong because the doctrine will change? Certainly not. Does the knowledge that it will change make it any easier for the 16 year old being required to live it? In fact, the knowledge that it will change, perhaps, makes it significantly more difficult.

    I am grateful for the LDS Church taking its time in revising/changing church doctrine on Blacks and the Priesthood. Although I do not think that the marriage doctrine will change, I will agree that the Blacks and the Priesthood example is great for showing that sometimes things we think will never change actually do. This, for me, is not evidence of fallibility but of the importance of timing. The right timing makes all the difference for chastity, choosing a spouse and even having children. Demanding hasty changes is not only the wrong way to approach this, but arrogantly assumes to know and understand the proper timing for an entire religious community.

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    1. Thank you for your comments here, Kristen. As always, I appreciate your insight and wisdom! I think you make several key points, here. I think you are right in suggesting that this is an issue of pop culture dictating standards of chastity that are not in line with God's direction as we understand it. And that discussing it as though it will change will make it harder for many to respect it for the true principle/commandment it is.
      With your second point, I think we agree completely, but the semantics are what I am interested in discussing, here. I believe true doctrine doesn't change. However, policy regarding how a particular doctrine is implemented can be changed or revised as the conditions are right. For example, when I study the scriptures, it is my understanding that it has always been God's ultimate goal and eternal unchanging doctrine, is for all His worthy sons, to be holders and partakers of the gifts and responsibilities of being holders (of what I'll deem the male portion) of the priesthood. And for man and woman together to ultimately receive all that He has, with Christ as their Savior, if they prove their worthiness.
      However, as you suggested, proper timing is everything. It is arrogant to assume that a mistake was made when we don't agree with the timing of a doctrinal policy revision. I just see a distinction between the fullness of an unchanging doctrine, and the policy that controls to what extent that portion of the doctrine is implemented. Am I being too picky about words, here?
      I just think about the priesthood as it was in the old testament. Adam had it given to Him by Christ, and it was passed through the prophets, but (correct me if I'm wrong), it was always very much tied up with lineage. For example, only those men of Levite (?) heritage could perform rituals in the temple on behalf of the people. While being a priesthood holder used to be managed by an extremely exclusive policy (not wrongly, hatefully, or discriminatorily - just very limited in who could hold it, even if worthy), it eventually spread - most notably when Christ passed His priesthood authority to his Apostles (and to disciples in the Americas after His resurrection). Some of those apostles then gave the priesthood keys and authority to Joseph Smith during the restoration of the Gospel following the apostasy. As the church grew, more priesthood holders were necessary to be able to give more people opportunities to receive their ordinances and to lead their flocks, etc.

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    2. Even look at patterns of gospel sharing: the gospel was preached to the Jews before it was preached to the Gentiles. Or gospel law - the Law of Moses which set the foundation for the Law of Christ. An interesting concept to study in every aspect of the Gospel, but especially the priesthood.
      For reasons, unbeknownst to us - (perhaps if there were mistakes made, they were made in labeling/explaining the reasons for the policy timing implementation? Probably best to not speculate there too much either, because we really just don't know - though that is my instinct) the timeline of withholding the priesthood followed a slower path (and to some a quicker path) than was expected. Certainly slower than pop culture wanted. The fact that Joseph Smith had ordained black men to the Priesthood in his lifetime brings up questions to ponder on the matter for sure.
      In any case, the actual REASONS are not fully clear for the ban, but the timing was of importance. Again correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that several (or all?) of the prophets prayed about when to lift the ban, and none felt the confirmation until Kimball. All in the timing.
      I know that personally I wait excitedly for more revelation on the fullness of the Priesthood as it pertains to women. An exciting topic for sure.
      I like you, feel confident in our leaders and the timing with which they implement the policy changes that help us live and serve in God's Kingdom on a higher doctrinal plane. Even with our human frailties, this church is still directed by God, under His authority - and the truth is - the gospel works! Ordinances combined with obedience, bring great spiritual power, healing and joy to all who join the ranks.
      Sorry for the crazy essay. :)

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  46. I don't understand how you can advocate limiting a person's rights based on something over which he or she has no control. Sexuality is not a choice. Do you recall making the decision to be straight? I don't. As I'm understanding your logic, "studies" indicate that children are harmed by growing up in same-sex households. I'm sure children are also harmed by all sorts of life circumstances, including growing up in households with disabled parents, terminally ill parents, mentally ill parents, abusive parents, parents who are addicts - pretty much any parents who are not stable and loving. And yet, as long as you're straight and fertile, you can have be married and have children regardless of your ability to be an effective parent.

    I understand that we're trying to strive for an ideal family unit, but attempting to stamp-out gay marriage is an ineffective way to do so because being gay or straight does not have ANY bearing on your ability to raise healthy, happy, productive members of society. Education and economic status are far more relevant factors. If you are truly so concerned about improving the family unit, I would turn your attention to the factors that are actually destroying the concept of "family." Otherwise, you simply come off as a bigot.

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    1. Holly -
      If we understand what is inherent about the nature of the relationship called marriage, it becomes clear that if we change key, necessary elements to what makes a marriage a marriage - it just isn't a marriage anymore. It's like saying that roundness is no longer essential to describing/understanding the shape we know as a circle - as a circle. We might then start calling squares and triangles circles, too. Perhaps some circles would still exist, but the clarity and value of this shape wouldn't become less clear to all. Engineers might start building things that are not structurally sound when they said they wanted circular tubing, but really meant square. This analogy isn't that great, but I think you get the idea that there are ways of describing things that are essential to knowing what they are and preserving their identity and their unique value and usefulness. This is how I see the issue of the definition of marriage. The marriage issue though, is much more important that the definition of a shape, it is about the fundamental unit of society, it is about how children are conceived and raised. The institution of marriage encourages men to be more committed to the women they make babies with, and so much more.
      This isn't an issue about sexuality - on a legal level, but a matter of the importance of diversity of gender, and wherever possible, biological relation in children's parents. Sexuality may not always be a choice. And that is a very painful and difficult reality for many - especially for those who always wanted/valued a traditional family but see their sexual orientation as a significant or impassable roadblock to that goal. Despite the roadblock, creating a marriage (one man and one woman) is a choice some who are attracted to those of the same sex make. For some, it actually works out quite well and for many it ends in heartbreak. Some choose to live lives of abstinence in honor of their religious beliefs, due to their discomfort with marrying someone they do not feel sexually attracted to. Some choose to be committed to one partner of the same gender, or to have an open relationship. Some choose any number of alternative sexual relationships/hook-ups.
      The truth is that everyone - regardless of their sexual orientation - has the CHOICE with regards to how they will act on their sexual impulses. They really do. I know this statement is bothersome to many, but I know it is true. I believe people have the ability to control their sexual impulses. Just as every single one of us has different choices and things to sacrifice or change (or work to temper) about ourselves (desire to have more than one sexual partner, addiction, stubbornness, a harsh tone of voice, sarcasm, etc. You get the idea.) to make in regards to how we form our families.

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    2. So too do we all have the ability to choose how we will use our sexuality in relation to our marriage or relationships/companionships. Some, it seems, are given more obstacles than others, but even still - I have deep faith in everyone's ability to choose how they will use that sexuality. Everyone ultimately has to make choices that involve give and take, work, patience and diligence in taming our natural unseemly habits/inclinations in order to make our marital (and all) relationships as successful as possible. This is especially true when children come along. Because we are empowered to choose for ourselves what we will and will not do, and how we will react to internal and external stimuli, we may not always be able to get the perfect/desired outcome, but we are able to live lives of integrity to the values we do espouse.
      http://www.familystructurestudies.com/ This website has some helpful research that is quite significant and conclusive about the value of the nuclear family to children, (on average), and the difficulties that arise (on average) in every other situation. Biological ties, and the presence of one parent of each gender are very important - statistically significantly important to our discussion of the well-being of children. While we don't know a whole lot definitively about children from same-sex parents, the very solid research we have from the last 40-50 years about every other combination of family structure seems to indicate that anything but the nuclear family (on average) increases the difficulties for children. We absolutely should not dismiss all the other factors that make a family successful, like you mentioned here. Especially for those who don't have an ideal family structure for whatever reason. However we shouldn't dismiss the statistically significant evidence about family structure that we do know, either! Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We can value all at the same time. I'm interested in improving the family from all angles. While it is more subtle how I do that on this blog - I do actually promote positive family relations by blogging the kinds of activities I do with my family that help us be closer, healthier and happier all the time. I blog about how I work through difficulties in motherhood, about my children's development, about the projects my husband and I work on together that bring us closer. If you look for it (and you won't have to look very hard!) you will see that kind of stuff all over the place on this blog!
      From a religious perspective, I will be completely honest here - as this post was focused on the religious aspect, and tell you that I believe God's standard for sexual relations is and has always been, that they should only happen between a husband and wife who are legally and lawfully wedded. Complete chastity before marriage, and full fidelity after marriage. I believe we are reaping the negative consequences of disregarding this counsel from God in our society, today. Notice, this does not just apply to those with a certain sexual orientation, but to ALL of us. A spiritual law (obviously not a legal one - nor would I ever advocate for that this be a legally mandated law) applied completely equally to all people. I know many will reject this, but I have studied it, I have lived it and I have seen countless benefits in my life for having lived a life of sexual purity. I believe so much heartbreak would be avoided if we followed this counsel from God. I would encourage anyone to study the Bible or Book of Mormon, words of ancient and modern prophets, and also - to sincerely pray and ask God if this is a true principle. I know that it is. And I know we will be blessed for choosing to follow God's Law of Chastity.

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  47. This is a complex issue with good, intelligent people on both sides. I think we will do well to state our viewpoint, and supporting reasons, without resorting to calling people bigots.

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  48. First off, to respond to fernleroy. I did not call you a bigot. I simply stated that singling out a group of people to have less rights than others based on something out of their control (race, gender, age, sexual preference) makes you come off as a bigot, meaning being intolerant of a group of people.

    From your first response, I'm understanding you to say that sexual preference is not a choice, but acting on sexual impulses is a choice. Fair enough. BUT, do you think it's fair/moral/just/appropriate to draw a line between homosexuals and heterosexuals and say, "you, homosexual person, can only have a family if you agree to do so with somone with whom you have no sexual attraction, while you, heterosexual person, get to have a family with someone whith whom you do have a sexual attraction"? Also, I wholeheartedly disagree that a gay person can be fully satisfied in a heterosexual relationship. Would you be satisifed in a sexual relationship wtih a woman?


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  49. In response to your second comment, the website you point to is a little difficult to take seriously in light of its heavy religious and conservative affilliation. Moreover, the study has encountered severe criticism from major academic organizations:

    Major academic organizations including the American Sociological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Association dispute the validity of Regnerus' data and conclusions reached thereof, arguing that unlike previous studies, the statistically tiny number of same sex couples in a study who's sample group largely consisted of failed heterosexual marriages where one of the parents was allegedly homosexual, make it impossible to extrapolate any information about same sex parenting. A review carried out by the American Medical Association noting that:

    ... The data does not show whether the perceived romantic relationship ever in fact occurred; nor whether the parent self-identified as gay or lesbian; nor whether the same sex relationship was continuous, episodic, or one-time only; nor whether the individual in these categories was actually raised by a homosexual parent (children of gay fathers are often raised by their heterosexual mothers following divorce), much less a parent in a long-term relationship with a same-sex partner. Indeed, most of the participants in these groups spent very little, if any, time being raised by a “same-sex couple.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Regnerus#Same-sex_relationships_controversy)

    Personally, I think this is far too complex of an issue to study. People are more than just their race, sexuality, religion, etc. Thus, attempting to isolate one trait shared by a group of diverse people is likely to render inaccurate results. Looking at the issue from a rational perspective, however, it seems to me that, again, education and economic factors weigh far more heavily on the future success of a child and family than anything else.

    I understand that you have strong religious convictions and you believe your religious teachings are the correct way to live. I think that's fine, for yourself and your family and the members of your church, but you have to understand that not everyone is Mormon. There are numerous other religious beliefs, including none at all. And to the extent your religious leaders are going to proclaim from on high that an entire group of people cannot enjoy the same rights you and I do based on something over which they have no control, I find that extremely offensive. This country was founded on principles of tolerance and acceptance of everyone, to the extent you are not harming anyone else. I'm sorry, but there is simply no reliable evidence that homosexual marriages and families harm anyone. If the Mormon church wishes to exclude homosexuals from marrying in their church, that's one thing (don't agree, but I you all are entitled to you religious beliefs). However, marriage is not just a religious institution - it's a secular one as well (which really is the heart of the problems with this subject - total separation of church and state flub-up, but that's another discussion). Setting aside the religion, marriage is a fundamental legal right, and it should, and likely will be, afforded to all people regardless of sexual orientation.

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  50. Holly - Admittedly, this blog is arguing for traditional marriage from a religious viewpoint. We are wise not to dismiss reasoning simply because it is religious, though. We don't need to agree, but it can appear discriminatory to negate another's argument due to the religious nature of it. Here is a link to an article that gives more nuance and complexity to the topic of how religious views and marriage redefinition intersect.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/11/6758/

    Also, there are secular arguments, in addition to religious ones, defending the traditional definition of marriage. The secular arguments are overlooked by some people. Not everyone needs to agree with the secular proponents of traditional marriage, but it's important, for both sides, to be familiar with the best reasoning being presented for and against same-sex marriage. Here's a link to a Canadian. She is a Gale Professor of Law, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, and Founding Director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, Montreal.

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/multiple_author/Margaret_Somerville

    I included a link to a Canadian, assuming that you're probably already familiar with the work of Anderson and Girgis.

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  51. Also, as far as Regnerus' study is concerned, it's interesting that the "B" in LGBT is referred to as an "alleged homosexual" from a "failed heterosexual marriage". Here's an interesting link to a bisexual opponent of same-sex marriage and his thoughts on Regnerus' study being dismissed for the reasons you list above. It's an anecdotal account of one man, but it brings up some interesting thoughts. In my own experience, the same-sex parenting/marriage couples that I know, did arise from previous heterosexual relationships even though the individuals now identify as gay. I don't think they would prefer to be called 'allegedly gay', but that is what the critics of this study are calling them. Interesting, confusing stuff.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/08/6065/

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  52. "For Christ sent me . . . to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. . . . For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. . . . Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, . . . And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. . . . And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought . . . But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1-2)

    “O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” (2 Nephi 9:28-29)

    “Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.” (Jacob 4:10)

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