Monday, October 14, 2013

Drawing The Line In The Sand

When Moses came down from mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments, he found that Israel had so quickly abandoned the True and Living God, reverting to worshiping the false golden calf idol of Egypt which also involved morally corrupting themselves.  Moses ordered the idol destroyed and then drew a line in the sand and asked "who is on the Lord's side"?

In this past Conference, LDS Apostles have again drawn another line in the sand notifying the world that the LDS Church is not going to budge on the issue of same-gender marriage. 

Our understanding of God’s plan and His doctrine gives us an eternal perspective that does not allow us to condone such behaviors or to find justification in the laws that permit them. And, unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has identified as unchangeable. . . . 

In this determination we may be misunderstood, and we may incur accusations of bigotry, suffer discrimination, or have to withstand invasions of our free exercise of religion. If so, I think we should remember our first priority—to serve God—and, like our pioneer predecessors, push our personal handcarts forward with the same fortitude they exhibited.   -- Elder Oaks, General Conference, Oct. 2013

Despite the proponents of same-gender marriage promising that if they got their way they would never go after religion for discrimination, we are now seeing reports of Christians in the wedding services and in the military targeted for their traditional family values.

A small minority mistakenly believe the LDS Church will eventually cave to social pressure the same way it did on polygamy and priesthood. Those who mistakenly believe this couldn't be more wrong because they don't understand the moral basis for the Church decision. 

LDS morality with regard to marriage has never changed and it is that a man and a women should have no intimate relationship whatsoever unless they first are married. That means if an LDS man were to have multiple wives than he must first have the consent of his first wife and covenant to financially support both wives.

If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. (Old Testament, Exodus, Exodus 21:10)

LDS Polygamy itself is not the same type of moral issue as same-gender marriage.  Polygamy has more to do with welfare and how a Zion people cares for the fatherless and the widow.  Even in polygamy, absolute chastity before marriage and complete fidelity in marriage is and always will be the immovable standard.

I will therefore that the younger women [re-] marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. . .If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; (New Testament, 1 Timothy, 1 Timothy 5:14-16)

The LDS Priesthood issue was not the same kind of moral issue either.  As I have explained before, the LDS Church was way ahead of the time in its opposition to slavery.  This opposition was a part of the reason for the Mormons being expulsed from Missouri and later the United States. 

While I am glad the priesthood is now availible to all worthy males, the initial shift in Church policy by Joseph Smith and them the reversal by Pres. Kimball, did not affect anyones eternal salvation.  But it seems it may have been a temporary organizational necessity to prevent more religious persecution that was threatening the survival of the Church.

The moral issue with same-gender marriage has nothing to do with 2 or more consenting adults determining their living and sleeping arangements. Rather, the moral issue with same-gender marriage is that children have the right to be born into families with both a mother and father as gender role models.  

LDS believe same-gender intimacy is sinful but recognize that consenting adults can choose to live together and sleep together.  However, when it comes to civil unions, same-gender couples should receive all tax and insurance benefits as married couples except for having children together using advanced fertility.  Baring and raising children by both a mother and father is the critical moral issue what sets marriage appart from civil union.

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