Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Self-Checklist of Four Things in Response to the Gay Marriage Ruling

After yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage some people are celebrating and some are despairing. Although I cannot control what happened yesterday, I can control my own discipleship to Christ. Here is my own personal checklist in response to this event. 

1. God created marriage and family. God created the rules for marriage and family. When God speaks do I listen to God or do I "get with the times"? 

What is my yard stick by which I measure what is right? Is it God's word or current trends of the world? 

The Family Proclamation clearly states God's doctrine on marriage and family. Through revelation to prophets, God said, "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. ... God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. ... 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."

And remember, all people are commanded to keep the law of chastity, not just gay people. God's law of chastity applies also to people who have never married, are divorced or are widowed. Married people are commanded to have complete fidelity within marriage. All people are commanded to keep the law of chastity in their hearts, which includes avoiding immoral and pornographic movies, television shows, books, and magazines, and not becoming walking pornography by the way we dress. (See For the Strength of Youth and Matthew 5:27-28 and "Chastity.") 

2. Am I being kind and loving to those with gender issues? 

Believing differently does not give me license to be mean. Jesus ate with sinners. Nobody is perfect, including myself. I sin. You sin. We all sin. Let's be nice to each other and understanding that many who are suffering with gender issues truly don't want to feel the way they do. This issue causes heartache for many people so let's be kind to them.  
President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.
We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families” (Ensign, Nov. 1998, emphasis added).
Yesterday the Church published this statement in response to the gay marriage ruling: 
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today's ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court's decision does not alter the Lord's doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice."
The Church has outlined its doctrine and position on marriage in the document The Divine Institution of Marriage. 

3. How prepared am I for the calamities foretold by prophets, scriptures, and in the Family Proclamation? 

Here is what the Family Proclamation says:
"Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
If you've studied the prophesies of the Second Coming lately, including the signs in the heavens, it is easy to see we are getting close. We’ve been told by scriptures and prophets that before Christ’s coming calamities will happen. Buckle up. We’ll be seeing more of them soon. 

How prepared are you? If you knew that in nine months that you were having your first baby and becoming parents for the first time, something that will drastically change your life forever, would your priorities suddenly change?  Would that effect what you think about, talk about, read, and spend your money on? Seeing so many signs that the Second Coming is getting close, should that change how we think, talk, read, and spend money? How ready is your spirit to see the Savior again? How ready is your "supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, other necessities of life" that our prophets have commanded us to obtain? (See President Monson, Ensign, September, 2014)? 

4. Since persecution will likely intensify, how tightly am I holding on to the iron rod?  Am I ignoring the mockers in the great and spacious building, and keeping my eyes on the tree? 

Elder Robert D. Hales said, "In recent decades the Church has largely been spared the terrible misunderstandings and persecutions experienced by the early Saints. It will not always be so. The world is moving away from the Lord faster and farther than ever before. The adversary has been loosed upon the earth. We watch, hear, read, study, and share the words of prophets to be forewarned and protected. For example, 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' was given long before we experienced the challenges now facing the family" (Ensign, Nov. 2013, emphasis added),

Glenn Beck predicted that 50% of church-goers will stop attending church in the next five years because the persecution will be too much for them to handle. How do I prevent becoming one of that number? How strong is my own foundation in Christ and His Church? How tightly am I holding onto the iron rod -- the word of God -- found in the scriptures, modern prophets, and the Holy Spirit?  How well am I able to ignore the mockers in the great and spacious building?  Do I care more about what God thinks or man thinks?  Am I ready and willing to stand for truth, not moving, even if it means I stand alone? 

Here is an invitation to myself and to you. 

We MUST strengthen and deepen our own testimony, our own conversion if we’re going to stay strong during these winding up days when things get more intense. Satan keeps upgrading his battle plan so we need upgrade ours as well. Remember, we are at war here. 

Hold to the rod with all of your might. Feast on the scriptures, rather than just skimming the surface. Learn to connect with God and receive personal revelation through the Holy Ghost. Use the internet to spread truth, light, and goodness, and to defend and strengthen marriage and family. Do everything you can to strengthen your own family. Increase the light in your own life and in your family with the small and simple "Sunday School answers" of prayer, scriptures, service, kindness, holy music, family home evening, family history and temple work. Choose to be on God’s side of the line no matter how hard things get, and dig in your heels. Do not move. Stand in holy places. Stand for truth, even if you get persecuted, and even stand alone. 

Click on the video above called "Dare to Stand Alone." 

UPDATE: After I wrote this post I saw a wonderful article in Meridian Magazine that I recommend about this topic. 


Sara Jolie said...

Thank you for posting this. I love the Lord and want to follow Him too.

Deb said...

Good post - well written. The only thing I would take issue with is Brother Beck's prediction. I think we need to be careful about spreading fear and that seems to be a lot of what he does. Maybe he is right. I sure hope not, but the thing I do know is that his predictions are only his. I don't think I have heard any general authorities give these statistics. If they have, I would sure be interested in hearing them. I am not sure why the church continues to build temples so few people will be attending them in five years. I guess the point is that rough times are coming and we have to know where we stand and we willing to hold tightly to the iron rod. Good food for thought on "touchy" subject.

D&J Savaiinaea said...

Thank you. Many of your comments match up with what I have spent the past couple of days pondering on. Yes trying times are coming and we must have oil in our lamps. Thank you.

Becky Edwards said...

Deb, You make a good point about Glenn Beck and spreading fear. I was trying to wake people up to the fact that it is going to get harder, thus the need to intensely strengthen our own testimonies and conversions. Thanks for your comment!

Eric J Smith said...

Great post, Becky. You summed up my feelings on the issue really well!

C.J. Poulsen said...

This is a very well written blog post. Thank you for sharing your insights Becky. I too want to follow the Lord, Jesus Christ, and His chosen prophet and apostles during these last days before His Second Coming return. This song has been on my mind all day: Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Now is the time to show.
We ask it fearlessly:
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
We wage no common war,
Cope with no common foe.
The enemy's awake;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

Anonymous said...

So, you love and want to help gay people but you're also at war with them.

Anonymous said...

It's important to not let the false narrative / rhetoric of the gay rights movement to misconstrue the position of those who support traditional marriage.
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley in 1999 said this.

"Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.
I commend those of our membership who have voluntarily joined with other like-minded people to defend the sanctity of traditional marriage. As part of a coalition that embraces those of other faiths, you are giving substantially of your means. The money being raised in California has been donated to the coalition by individual members of the Church. You are contributing your time and talents in a cause that in some quarters may not be politically correct but which nevertheless lies at the heart of the Lord’s eternal plan for His children, just as those of many other churches are doing. This is a united effort."

(1999 October General Conference, Why We Do Some of the Things We Do, Priesthood Session - Gordon B. Hinckley)

Unknown said...

Love your blog Deb! Thanks for standing and sharing your testimony even though some may mock...

ozklomp1 said...

It has been shown in all walks of life, races, countries, backgrounds that most people know that they are Gay from a very young age, nothing to do with enviromental influence. That means they are born that way.
So are you saying that God got it wrong with these people?

You quote that procreation is between man and woman - of course it is the whole meaning of the word makes that obvious. If it is the act itself or marriage then maybe you should of used a different example.

Using the Bible to back this idea is the same as saying that people working on Sundays (nurses, doctors, police, fireman and more)are not real Christians as quoted in Exodus and Leviticus this is the Sabbath and should be held as it is quoted??

In saying all of this, obviously not agreeing with a lot of it, I still admire anyone willing to stand publicly and declare their belief for the Love of God and his word. That does take courage in this day.