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.