LDS Church Apologized for Prop. 8?

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I read Article VI Blog and noted this news item: Apologies.

It appears that Elder Jensen of the seventy may have apologized in the Oakland Stake for the hurt of Prop. 8 and the LDS Church’s stance on homosexuality.

Reading more, it appears that the Oakland Stake has made a concerted effort to stamp our bigotry and any feelings of resentment and issue clarifications on our church’s doctrine. You can read the material here, noting that when the Stake President speaks (read his talk), members of that stake should pay very careful attention.

Some homosexual activists, including those in the LDS church, feel like some progress has been made. I assure them they are getting their hopes up falsely. Nothing has changed with the church’s position on homosexuality, except some of the members may have been given a wake up call to repent and align themselves with the doctrines of the church.

What are those doctrines? It is very simple. First, you have to disabuse your mind of the connection between homosexual tendencies and homosexual acts. Having thoughts is one thing, but acting out those thoughts is an entirely different matter.

Our church’s stance is that being tempted is no sin. However, giving room for that temptation and allowing it to fester in your soul will likely lead you to do things you will regret.

The church’s policy remains that intimacy, in particular sexual relationships, should be kept within marriage. The stake president of the Oakland Stake emphasized that this commandment is two-fold: One, do not share intimacy outside of marriage, but more importantly, two, become intimate with your spouse within marriage.

I don’t mind the fact that members of my ward may struggle with homosexual temptations. I certainly struggle with heterosexual temptations. It is the lot of men, and to a lesser degree, women, to shoulder the burden of managing your thoughts with relation to intimacy. Whether the temptation is pointing us to members of the same or opposite sex, or animals or inanimate objects is irrelevant. It is no sin to be tempted. Even Jesus was tempted.

It is a sin to entertain those thoughts, although it is a small sin that can be easily remedied. It is a much larger sin to act out those thoughts, and repentance then becomes proportionally more difficult.

Elder Jensen’s apology sounds like he is sorry that so many members of our church acted with something less than Christ-like charity to those suffering in sin. The church is supposed to be a place of refuge and relief from our sins. We are supposed to welcome those who have sinned and share with them their struggle as they work to get that burden lifted off of their shoulders.

In other words, if you find yourself despondent and lonely and miserable, you should be able to come to the church and find members who will love you and help you find a bit of peace. Eventually, you will come to realize that true, lasting happiness is available only to the penitent, and so begin a long, difficult journey to find relief, where the members of the church should be your faithful companion and servant.

On Prop. 8, I can see how those who do not understand the church’s teachings on marriage and intimacy can not understand why the church decided to involve itself in this political decision. However, when you come to understand what the church teaches about marriage in general, not just marriage in our temples, but civil marriages, you will see why it is so very important for our religion and our mission to save the world that we support an amendment to keep marriage between one man and woman. In short, it is man’s destiny to form families through marriage, and it is a disservice to any child to be born out of wedlock without a father and mother to claim as their own. It is an affront to God and his plan to allow these things so to be. Without a family to call their own, with a loving father and mother, the journey back home is incredibly difficult and all but impossible, save for Christ’s redeeming love.

If you have devalued marriage to the point that it is “just” a contract between two consenting adults, then you will not understand this.

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2 Responses to “LDS Church Apologized for Prop. 8?”

  1. demo kid Says:

    If you have devalued marriage to the point that it is “just” a contract between two consenting adults, then you will not understand this.

    The entirety of your rambling about marriage can be refuted very simply.

    I am not Mormon, nor are millions of other people to whom civil marriage law applies.

    The rather childish comparisons of homosexual partnerships to bestiality completely ignores the fact that whether a bigoted institution condones relationships it cannot control, these relationships still do result in households. Civil law actually has little to do with love or romance or notions of religion or (as you put it) what body parts you put where… it has to do with the maintenance of a household under rights provided by the state.

    But let me put this another way. Under my former religion, I would not be allowed to marry someone who was not baptized. This, of course, was a very serious issue within the church! To share a sacrament, one had to be able to participate within the Church and carry on the faith. Even marrying Christians outside the faith required special dispensation. Without such dispensation, any marriage to a nonbeliever in the faith is null and void.

    For those actively practicing the religion, these are issues that are taken very seriously. Should this be enforced by civil marriage law? In the past, in certain places in the world, it was. However, this is not a matter for the state. There is no reasonable case to be made for the power of the government to be used to enforce something that is only the business of a church and its members.

    Finally, for all of your whining about the “debasement” of marriage, I find notions of religious marriage to be quite “debasing”. The idea of a partnership of what should be equals to be reduced to a master-servant relationship that hearkens back to the gender roles found hundreds of years ago? Don’t assume that my notion of marriage would be universally considered to be “debased” when yours is the one that is better left to the dustbin of history.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      I am not Mormon, nor are millions of other people to whom civil marriage law applies.

      Then why do you care about marriage at all? If marriage isn’t important to you for forming families, why are you hijacking our institution (including all the religions who value the sanctity of marriage)?

      The rather childish comparisons of homosexual partnerships to bestiality

      What makes one thing that is forbidden different than another thing? If you are willing to re-write the code of morality, what stops you from going further?

      That’s why we don’t tamper with the laws of morality. When you decide you can play God and redefine what is good and evil, you end up with millions of people dead.

      I’m sorry that your former religion had some weird rules; you are free, however, to choose which religion you adhere to, and whether you personally accept all the tenets of that religion.

      Unfortunately, when the state weighs in on matters of religion, that freedom disappears. So there better be a really, really good reason why the state makes a declaration in religious grounds, and it better be to the maximizing of freedom for all.

      That reason is simple. The consequences of violations of this moral law affect not just the two consenting adults (who are burned beyond recognition when they sacrifice their will to their lusts), but the children who are a by-product from this relationship. These children are doomed. Every study ever done shows that children who are born out of wedlock do significantly worse than those born within wedlock. The evidence is here and it is obvious, although everyone who has been on this earth for more than twenty years and cares to look for evidence will quickly recognize it for what it is. (Unless, of course, their conscience has been so scarred by these acts that they cannot recognize right from wrong—something you seem to have difficulty doing.)

      Of all the arguments that have been made for homosexual marriage, the only one absent is the one pertaining to the children. Why do they not meet us on this ground? Because they lose when they try to argue that homosexual marriage helps children. Instead, they have to focus on the precise things that marriage is not about, but the tools used to make marriage what it is. It’s like a general who forgot that war is about securing our country and instead focuses only on killing the enemy or training his troops or assembling a vast army on paper incapable of doing what needs to be done.

      The end of marriage, the purpose, is to create families where children can be brought into this world with the greatest chance of success. It is to provide a loving male and a loving female who can both teach the child both aspects of our human soul. It is about having nurture and education occur within the walls of the home. It is about creating a micro-nation where all those involved pledge their love and loyalty to each other, and all can count on the same. This is how we build up a nation stronger than anything in the history of the earth: by obeying God’s simple command to form families, man and woman, and to abstain from bringing children into this world any other way.

      You cannot argue that the above is only LDS doctrine, or even just Christian doctrine. Every religion that ever survived has supported the concept of marriage and of keeping sexual relationships within marriage. Even those who profess no religion can deduce for themselves the importance of the family and marriage and decry out-of-wedlock births and sexual relationships.

      The idea of a partnership of what should be equals to be reduced to a master-servant relationship that hearkens back to the gender roles found hundreds of years ago?

      You probably believe I think that men are superior to women or that women should submit to the will of their husbands absolutely. If so, you know nothing of my religion or the religion of the vast majority of Christians and others who believe that marriage is ordained of God and not of man.

      Would it help to explain it once more?

      What you’ve described is not part of any church’s doctrine that I know of (except Fred Phelps’, but we all agree that he is wrong.) In fact, you’ve just laid out the counter-example that we preach and teach in our church, the precise thing that should we become, we will be serving the devil.

      Marriage is an equal partnership that can only succeed to its highest degree of glory when both the husband and the wife completely sacrifice their own desires for their spouse’s.

      In marriage, the husband is the head, but like Christ, who is the head, that is an added responsibility without any added benefits. The husband must love their wives as Christ loves us, sacrificing everything he is and can ever be for the good of his wife. He is supposed to live the highest level of obedience to God’s commandments out of love for his wife. The wife’s responsibility is hardly different. By submitting herself to the will of her husband, only inasmuch as her husband has submitted to God’s will, they both become unified and one in God and his love.

      Let me put it to you in more agnostic terms. When the husband tries his very level best to be the best person he can and in doing as much good as he can, and when he demonstrates unconquerable love for his wife not just through words but actions, and when the wife demonstrates her love by doing her very level best to do what is right, then they both become one in love in mind, body, and spirit, and they both enjoy the highest level of marital bliss. If the married couple turn their hearts to each other and to doing what is right and good and moral, then that is best.

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