President Obama Finally Said What We All Knew Was Coming

I remember being in an office building elevator in Dallas, Texas with two other people about fifteen years ago.  They were talking about a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court at the time, where a fellow by the name of James Dale sued the Boy Scouts of America for removing him as an assistant scoutmaster on the basis that he did not match the ideals of the organization because he was an avowed homosexual and a gay rights activist.  Dale claimed this violated a New Jersey state public accommodations law.  I was intrigued.

I read the decision the day it came out.  Justice Rehnquist wrote the opinion, joined by Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas.  Basically, the Justices found that the public accommodations law violated the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment right of expressive association.  There were two competing interests at play.  First, New Jersey had a legitimate interest in promoting equal access for all people in the state.  Second, the BSA had met the standards for making out a claim that they had the right to associate with folks who stood for their ideals, which at the time did not include homosexuality.  The decision, while controversial, basically said that a First Amendment right (expressive association) trumped a competing, well-intentioned state interest (equal protection).  The case was Boy Scouts of Am. v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640, 120 S.Ct. 2446 (2000).

While touted as a victory for the Boy Scouts at the time, the decision was not generally popular, and ultimately became a catalyst for an increase in litigation against groups with similar stances which were seen as oppressive in regards to the LGBT community’s rights.

Few predicted how quickly the tide of public opinion would change in favor of the LGBT community’s rights in the ensuing fifteen years.

In June 2015, the US Supreme Court made another major decision.  It was decided that all people have a fundamental right to marry under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015).  This landmark decision included considerable discussion about the speed with which public opinion changed in regards to LGBT rights.

The news agencies couldn’t print enough stories capitalizing on the public response, which was largely positive.

The LDS Church has long advocated for equal rights for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.  The Church was concerned, however, with protecting traditional marriages and families.  Many saw these two goals as conflicting, but they did not directly disagree.

Enter President Obama.

President Barack Obama greets Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the same-sex marriage case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, as he is welcomed to the stage to speak at a Democratic National Committee LGBT fundraising gala, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, held at Gotham Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

At a Democratic Party National Committee fundraiser held in Gotham Hall in New York on Sunday, September 27, 2015, President Obama said,

“We affirm that we cherish our religious freedom and are profoundly respectful of religious traditions.  But we also have to say clearly that our religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights.”

Wait, is he trying to distinguish between religious freedoms and constitutional rights?  Aren’t those one and the same?  Keep in mind, President Obama taught this very subject – Constitutional Law – in law school.  He knows exactly what his wording means.  Lawyers are nothing if not careful with their choice of words when it counts.

This isn’t misquoted or taken out of context, either.  Read the full, official transcript directly from the White House:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/27/remarks-president-dnc-lgbt-gala

The First Amendment gives, as its first directive, a very clear statement, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof[.]”

The ultimate battle, in the next few years, regarding freedom of religion, will be whether the government has the power to direct how a religion administers its own beliefs.

Could the U.S. government ever go so far as to order a church to violate its own religious beliefs in the name of equal protection?  Could the LDS Church be ordered to perform marriages or even sealing ordinances for non-traditional relationships?

just-married-398309-galleryIt seems that this battle was foreseen by prophets many years ago.  While not announcing any new doctrines at the time, The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was written by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  This formal declaration succinctly and clearly stated God’s position on marriage, family, and gender.

The first two paragraphs set the stage for President Obama to come and challenge religions such as the LDS Church on their most fundamental beliefs.

“WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim 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.

“ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

What do we learn here?  We learned ten of the most sacred, important, fundamental, and eternal laws given by God to man.

  1. Marriage is only meant to be between a man and a woman. Traditional marriage is the only type of marriage God approves.  While non-traditional marriages may be legal in the world’s eyes, they are a violation of God’s commandments.
  2. Families are central to the Great Plan of Happiness. What is the purpose of this life, and what is our goal in the hereafter?  We want to be just like our Heavenly Father and Mother – we want to create spirit families, provide bodies for them, and give them the same opportunities to learn and grow and progress which we have been given.
  3. The Plan of Salvation’s goal is the eternal life of God’s children. Eternal life here means to be glorified in a resurrected body, and to become parents to our own eternal families.
  4. Humans are not the product of happenstance or uncontrolled evolution. While Heavenly Father certainly uses natural, scientific, and even Darwinian processes to create life, we are not descended from apes, let alone one-celled organisms.  When we were first created, we were created in the same form as our Father and Mother in heaven, which is the same form we humans have today.  Are we, as a species, changing slowly over time?  Sure we are.  Humans have changed in life longevity rates, height, intelligence, size, and many other ways.  What hasn’t changed is that we were created in God’s image.
  5. Both males and females have been created in the image of God. Yes, that means men are created in the image of Heavenly Father, and women are created in the image of Heavenly Mother.
  6. We have both a Heavenly Father (God) and a Heavenly Mother (Goddess) who are our parents. God did not create us alone.  He and his wife did so, and they have cared for us ever since, and will continue to do so just like good parents should.
  7. Each person on earth is divine in nature and has a divine destiny. People were not created to fail.  Every single person who ever lived or will live on this earth has the potential to become divine, meaning that we can be exalted and glorified and have eternal families if we are obedient to the Plan of Salvation.
  8. Our genders were determined before we came to earth. Our gender is an essential element of who we were in our pre-earth life, and will continue to be essential throughout our entire eternal existence.
  9. Our spiritual gender is the same as our physical gender, and remains unchanging. Anyone who claims they are actually meant to be one gender, but have the physical body of another, is simply wrong.  None of us are perfect, and we all misunderstand things in life, but gender cannot be “reassigned” on the whim of the person.
  10. Our soul’s gender has an eternal purpose. Because our eternal goal is to become parents of spirit children ourselves, our gender is entirely important in reaching this goal.

 

I want to be clear on one thing.  In no way am I advocating against the LGBT community, the U.S. government, a certain political party, or even President Obama himself.  None of those are the aim of this blog.

Religious freedom is the goal here.  I claim the privilege of worshiping the Almighty God and I afford all people that same right. Article of Faith 11.

Do Mormons hate the LGBT community?  Of course not – Mormons are Christians.  Then why doesn’t the LDS Church allow gay marriage?  The answer lies in the most basic doctrines and commandments God has given us.  We seek, as husband and wife pairs, to live in a manner so that we can live together forever, become exalted, and be with our family forever.family-396160-gallery  If marriages which could not result in children in this life or the life to come were to be sealed in the temples, they would frustrate the very Plan of Salvation.  We do love all people regardless of their choices, however.  We don’t teach that any hate should happen, for any reason.

So no, the doctrine of the Church is not meant to discriminate against another person’s choices.  In a media statement, the Church stated, “Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society.”  Mormon Newsroom, June 29, 2015.  We learn in Proverbs 19:16 that “He who keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul.”

The Family: A Proclamation to the World is not meant to attack others, but instead clearly states what the Mormon Church believes, and claims the intention to protect those beliefs under the Constitution of the United States of America or any comparable law worldwide.

We are cautioned in Doctrine and Covenants 46:7 that we are to seek God’s will, and not the “commandments of men.”

However, the Twelfth Article of Faith from the LDS Church says that we are to obey civil laws!

Oh no!  How will we obey earthly laws and God’s laws if they conflict?  

1 Nephi 17:3 says, “And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them”.

philippines-young-couple-visits-the-temple-1336831-galleryIf the president or anyone else has a goal of using man-made laws to force religions to violate God’s laws because His laws conflict with the current whims of public opinion, the conflict will be epic.  In the end, however, obedience to God’s laws, which are eternal, is a choice each individual makes with their God-given agency.  Only eternal truths lead to salvation.  Our faith in our Heavenly Father and our diligence in seeking answers will allow us to remain obedient to God’s commandments even when life makes that difficult.

76 thoughts on “President Obama Finally Said What We All Knew Was Coming”

  1. There are lots of assertions made in this post which aren’t founded on fact in addition to plenty of falsely-drawn conclusions.

    To highlight 2:

    1) Religious freedom is not one and the same with constitutional rights, but rather one of a number of (sometimes competing) rights.

    2) Of the 10 listed points, only points 2, 7, and 8 are actually asserted by the first two paragraphs of the proclamation… the others are all the author’s illogical extrapolating.

    Deliberate misleading and deceit ares the devil’s tools, no?

    1. Thanks for the comment. Let me explain.
      Religious freedom is not only a constitutional right, but it’s the very first right claimed in the Bill of Rights, and was the leading impetus for the Revolutionary War which led to the formation of the country. Yes, it is a constitutional right. I’m not sure how one could see that otherwise. Historically, laws curtail religious freedom only when it puts people in danger, really. It’s similar to the limits on free speech (also a right).
      Illogical extrapolating? I believe these are logical deductions (or direct quotes) from the Proclamation. Which ones do you feel are illogical?
      I encourage free discussion (on topic) on this site – positive or negative. However, I encourage you to please back your comments up with sources, logical arguments, personal stories, or whatever you would like to share to help us understand what you are saying.

      1. When the bill of rights was written there were originally 2 more articles that came before religious freedom but they weren’t ratified, making religious freedom the 1st amendment. So the order doesn’t actually mean anything. They’re all equally important and sometimes conflicting.

      2. The only assertion I’m making here is that this post isn’t logically sound, twists conclusions, and presents a lot of opinion as fact in a persuasive yet dishonest way. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that this was not your intent.

        Of course religious freedom is a constitutional right. Put the strawman back in the closet as no one’s claimed otherwise. But as you yourself mentioned, the government can and does curtail that right when it harms or puts others in danger. You simply disagree with current lawmakers on what constitutes sufficient harm or danger.

        I’ve already told you which points of the 10 are unsupported by the proclamation. To help elucidate, let’s examine your point #1. The document states that man/woman marriage is ‘ordained’ of God. That means only that it has His approval. It says nothing about what other forms of marriage may or may not also have approval. To make the logical step from ‘ordained’ to ‘only valid type of marriage’ requires additional information from elsewhere in your belief system that supports that conclusion.

        Most of your other conclusions are faulty in a similar manner.

      3. There’s nothing logical about religion, so do not ask for logical arguments on a topic that is not logical.

      4. Using C’s logic, then by stating that we are children of heavenly parents, it could be that God is gay and has a male partner who is also the father of our spirits, too. Perhaps through some sort of spiritual adoption process, I don’t know.

        OR, perhaps parents means just what we know it means – our spirits were created through the same creative process our bodies were here on earth.

        I submit, therefore, that C must add #6 to his list.

      5. @Scott Thompson: I’m not going to presume that I know *anything* about how spiritual procreation happens, and I’m not aware of any official revelation on the topic, so you can assume what you like, but keep in mind it’s just that – an assumption.

        In all actuality, while most Mormons have no doubt in their mind that they have a Mother in Heaven, there’s very little doctrinal proof of a Her (or even none, depending on what you allow as your sources… really the hymn “Oh my Father” is the best we’ve got, and it’s more of a ‘well it sure would make sense that we have a Heavenly Mother!’ than anything else), and the Proclamation itself doesn’t reference one. Of course I don’t know the truth of the matter, but there certainly seems to be space left in the document for a situation you describe.

        So for this reason, I still leave point #6 off.

    2. So, what YOUR saying is that the author of this blog is using the Devil’s tools to try and mislead people? Did you even read the entire article? Or are you just looking to cause waves by being anti-mormon and obnoxious?

      1. Anti-Mormon? To me, C sounds like someone who very well could be a Mormon and is pointing out what he/she sees as some flaws in the post. As a card-carrying Mormon I happen to agree. The post is alarmist, and, as C points out, twists conclusions to the author’s own interpretation, as well-intentioned and sincere as that surely is. Can you explain what you find obnoxious about C’s criticism?

      2. Yes, I’m saying that persuasive deceit is a evil tool, and yes, it’s present in this article, intentionally or otherwise. (And yes, I read the entire article.)

        I’m not anti-Mormon but I am anti-Untruth, and there was enough of it here that I felt like it was worth speaking up even if that made waves and was viewed by some as obnoxious.

  2. [First line removed for violating site’s respectful language policy. The rest is unedited.] You do not talk for all Mormons. And, just as with the priesthood ban, fear of homosexuality is completely man made and the leaders of this church are just as human as the next. As you said…. Wording is very important for lawyers. The PROCLAMATION (not revelation) was created as part of an amicus brief by oaks law firm. President Hinckley stated it is not doctrine. Your inability to separate church and state, to spread doomsday fears, perpetuates the belief by others that this is a cult. Get over your persecution fears. The government didn’t force us to treat Black’s as equals either. We’re allowed to discriminate and practice hate within our religion as much as we want. We just can’t take it into the public sphere

    1. Unfortunately you are right. The author does not speak for all Mormons. However, Bal does speak for all Mormons who understand and believe Gods will, and have faith in the divine revelation of prophets and apostles. Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 says: “whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same.” Prophets and apostles have authority and responsibility to speak on behalf of God. Thus, everything that they have ever said and will ever say is Gods will. Believe what you want, but according to apostles today, only marriage between man and woman is ordained of God (https://www.lds.org/church/news/church-leaders-counsel-members-after-supreme-court-same-sex-marriage-decision?lang=eng).

    2. The proclamation was unanimously set forth by the two highest leading councils of the church. And if it bears the copyrighted insignia of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which it does, it is doctrine.
      There is no conflation of church and state in this article.
      “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” – Thomas Jefferson. This article is about protecting the separation between the church and the federal government.
      And during my whole 25 years as a practicing Mormon I have never been encouraged to hate people. In fact, I was taught this song in primary:
      “If you don’t walk as most people do,
      Some people walk away from you,
      But I won’t! I won’t!
      If you don’t talk as most people do,
      Some people talk and laugh at you,
      But I won’t! I won’t!
      I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
      That’s how I’ll show my love for you.
      Jesus walked away from none.
      He gave his love to ev’ryone.
      So I will! I will!
      Jesus blessed all he could see,
      Then turned and said, “Come, follow me.”
      And I will! I will!
      I will! I will!
      I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
      That’s how I’ll show my love for you.”
      Also, I’m very curious to know exactly what you mean when you call the church a cult. What is that supposed to mean?

  3. “ordained” does not mean that it has God’s approval. to ordain something (different to ordaining someone) means to make a decree, an order, a law, a commandment. marriage between a man and a woman is not a friendly suggestion. it is a commandment. no other commandments or friendly suggestions regarding marriage have ever been hinted at in the scriptures. again, marriage between a man and a woman is a commandment; hence, all men and women should strive to be married if possible. it is an essential step in our progression towards eternal life.

    1. oh… and the reason that the proclamation to the world is not ratified as scripture, very simply, is because it is not something new. it contains no new commandments. no new revelations. no new beliefs. nada. it is a proclamation to the world of what the church already believes and what the scriptures already contain regarding the eternal nature of the family.

      1. The Proclamation specifies our beliefs, to show memb ers and the world what we stand for. Spencer W Kimball, in his book ‘The Miracle of Forgiveness’, warned that people who would change the definition of marriage, would continue until they had defined it out of existence.

  4. This is fear mongering at its worst with unsound logic throughout. Also, look up the meaning of “penultimate.” You use it incorrectly. Which is just the tip of the iceberg.

  5. When you use the argument that marriages that can’t produce children would frustrate the Plan of Salvation you are basically saying that families such as mine (infertile and children adopted) are somehow less valid than those that produce bio offspring. So, thanks for that. Now you probably don’t mean it that way, but I’m just going by your choice of words (which as you pointed out is very important to you).

    1. Kay, sorry you took it that way. The article meant nothing of the sort. Adopted children, children born naturally now, and children born during the Millennium all get to enjoy the blessings of being in a family which has been sealed together.

    2. Kay,
      You are straining at a gnat. He said CAN”T produce offspring. Man/Woman marriage CAN produce offspring. Infertility is not necessarily permanent and it has the divine capacity for offspring. Homosexual marriage CAN NOT produce offspring. That is what would frustrate the Plan of Salvation. Don’t forget the eternal perspective. I was married to a non member for many years and did not require that others stop talking about temple marriage to avoid hurting my feelings. Work on your faith that the Lord will sort it all out in the end and give folks the benefit of the doubt. This is the best way to explain the purpose without a whole essay.

      1. In addition, one of the seminary lessons for this past week pointed out how there are many others who, due to physical or mental impairment, can’t fully participate in marriage and family. The guidelines don’t change to accommodate them, even though we want to be as considerate as we can when discussing those commandments.

        Thanks for sharing your experience and insight.

    3. It’s not the way he took it, it is exactly what you said. My SIL who is also a very devout LDS Woman who happens to be infeltile had a nice cry over that point…. Not very sensitive 🙁

      1. The article reads, ” If marriages which could not result in children in this life OR THE LIFE TO COME [emphasis not in original] were to be sealed in the temples, they would frustrate the very Plan of Salvation.”
        Infertility is considerable struggle for some couples. I don’t pretend to understand how difficult that must be. However, once we are resurrected and have perfect bodies, won’t those couples be able to bear and rear children? I’m looking forward to resurrection morning. The Plan of Salvation and eternal families are all centered around the idea of having children, but nothing says that could only happen in mortality. With a perfectly just Heavenly Father, we can expect that all faithful couples will enjoy the blessing of having a family.

    4. There is real danger to society when marriage is wrested from the power if procreation or when the consequences of sexual behaviour that should be reserved for marriage is severed from the act via contraception or abortion.

  6. Here is the thing that bothers me when discussing this topic, under what article in the constitution, or its amendments, is marriage a guaranteed right? It does appear in the document. Marriage is not a right, and certainly not a constitutional one. Marriage should not be regulated by the Government.

    1. 1967, SCOTUS decision, Loving v. Virginia, in a unanimous 9-0 decision:

      “These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the VITAL PERSONAL RIGHTS [emphasis mine] essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

      “Marriage is one of the “BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS OF MAN,” [emphasis also mine] fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”
      – See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/388/1.html#sthash.6lIRcdHy.dpuf

      1. I don’t think the traditions of judges meets the qualifications for calling marriage a guaranteed, Constitutional right.

        It’s a religious rite. And while government does receive some benefits from having citizens in strong marriage relationships (not the least of which is being able to tax it), that doesn’t mean governments are really justified in arrogating control of marriage.

        I’d say these legal precedents you mention are examples of departure from Art. I sect. I. If all legislative power is in the hands of Congress, then a judiciary that strikes down laws rather than issuing judgment based on laws is out of bounds. But again, this is another tradition of the judges.

      2. Scot: I don’t think it’s fair to the Constitution to refer to SCOTUS decisions as “the traditions of judges.” I’ll get to that in a bit. You’re right when you say marriage is a religious rite; but it is ALSO a civil “rite”, because our society over the last few centuries has given certain privileges and status to married couples that unmarried people didn’t get.

        As for the role of a judiciary in a constitutional democratic republic, imagine if you had the Constitution and Congress and a President, but no judiciary (or, at least, no judiciary given authority to rule on the constitutionality of laws). Now think back over the history of the US to the THOUSANDS of times when legislatures and governors and Congress and Presidents have passed laws that very obviously violate the rights of this or that person or group of people. Would you want a nation where there was no “check and balance” on that sort of thing? I sure wouldn’t. I’m GLAD there’s a judiciary that DOES have authority to spank legislators and executives when their laws violate people’s rights. Heck, I actually LED a constitutional lawsuit in Canada regarding the fairness of electoral districts, and WON. A judge told the legislature and executive “Sorry, this district map violates the rights of a bunch of your voters. You have to change it, and here are some extra criteria that you have to follow when you change it.”

        So please don’t fall into the canard of “judges making laws is bad”. A judiciary with authority to tell legislatures and executives that this or that law or policy they passed violates the rights of some citizens, and with authority to tell them to fix that law or policy in such a way as to end that rights violation, is a CRITICAL and NECESSARY part of any nation that is governed by a Constitution, respect for individual human rights, and the rule of law. (Which certainly applies to both the US and Canada.)

      3. To clarify, in each of those decisions, they were referring to marriage as a construct entered into between a man and a woman.

        People have redefined what marriage means and then used those decisions to support their “civil rights” to be married. They were wrong. The court was wrong to accept the argument based on the change in the definition.

      4. I don’t think we can deny that there was a lot of judicial activism, even judicial tyranny in the extension of marriage to those for whom it was never intended. The result of gay unions is families in which kinship, identity, and lineage is confounded–an unfathomable cost to children and society.

      5. So where do you draw the line? Now that there’s same-sex “marriage”, people will want group marriage and marriage to minors. We have not yet contemplated the calamitous results of this new order.

  7. In spite of what the Church says, the best way to protect religious freedom is to protect the rights of others, especially the downtrodden. You can have religious freedom all day and night. What you can’t do is use that as a reason to impede the rights of others. Freedom of the press doesn’t compel anyone one to read. Freedom of religion doesn’t compel anyone to abide by some else’s standards . The equal protection clause DOES compel society to allow others the same rights we all have, including marriage. The 11th and 12th article of faith says the church has the right to believe and do as it wishes. They also compel us not to interfere in the belief affairs of non members. They also clearly state that the church and its members obey and respect the law. The law now includes marriage equality and equal protection, which includes equal access to public accomodations and gov’t services.

    1. The ‘downtrodden’ you refer to: are they the same ones who file malicious lawsuits against their targeted Christian businesses? When a bakery owner receives death threats from supporters of redefined marriage, how does it help further their claims of victim status?

      Jesus invites all to come unto Him. The Adversary/Accuser/Diabolical/Fallen Angel wants to force all to obey and conform. Which example do you agree with?

      1. Yes, John Carpay wrote that “the urge to avoid hurt feelings and the urge to achieve peace THROUGH CONFORMITY (albeit only superficial peace) are powerful forces that challenge freedom.” We live in a pluralistic society; not everyone supports same-sex unions or majoritarian views.

    2. Anyone can now get a marriage license but one cannot dictate that it be signed by Kim Davis. We still believe in religious accomodation. Unfortunate that the Supreme Court forged ahead on their own, not giving states time to legislate their accomodations yet. That will be the work of the coming years only now, much of it will come about through litigation and complicit-based conscience objections.

  8. I loved this article. The 10 points don’t say wrd for word but give the underlying meaning! Thanks so much for your great insight!

  9. I just want to point out that the church will never be forced to seal homosexual couples in the temple. If the law required that, we would turn to what they do in England: you are legally married outside the temple and then go inside to be sealed (aka sealing is no longer considered a legal marriage). I like the blog, I just don’t want people to be unnecessarily about that.

    1. S- can you back up why you think the author doesn’t understand constitutional law. I admit I am novice at constitutional law, but your comment shows an ignorant and bullying attitude.

  10. science teaches that man and ape have a common ancestor not that we evolved from apes just wanted you to know and maybe you can fix what was written in the stuff above

  11. “On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital,” Obama said. “How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision — which applies only to civil marriages — changes that.”
    – President Obama on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

    1. Interesting how quickly he jumped on the bandwagon once public opinion shifted. Not much of a leader, I think–government by the polls!

  12. Yikes, this is a bit, (bunch), of a stretch. Couldn’t we see this in a much more current and timely context, perhaps as commentary regarding the Kim Davis fiasco and her trumpeting of religious rights in denial of constitutional rights?

  13. Why do people want to impose their beliefs on me I don’t know. If I want to get married I will marry who I want to spend my life with not by what some bible thumping maniac dictates is the proper course. I’m catholic and gay so does this mean I am going to sue the Catholic Church to marry me.. Hell no!! I’ll simply convert to another church that will do the deed and will not say I AM GOING TO HELL. This life is too short not to enjoy and it is my right to enjoy as much as I dam well please. I have no issue with churches that does not condone same sex marriage but I do have s problem when they start telling me how to live my life. YOU ARE NOT GOD!!! Peace

    1. Remember that all of this social engineering has not just a moral cost but a financial price tag. Same-sex unions draw our dollars for pensions, benefits, etc. That is something that has been thrust upon the rest of the populace. As a nation, we are spending our moral capital at the same rate as we are squandering our financial capital.

      1. “As a nation, we are spending our moral capital at the same rate as we are squandering our financial capital.”

        America has spent its moral capital on its genocide of aboriginal Americans, on its enslaving of hundreds of thousands of Africans and millions of their descendants, on its many wars of conquest, on the greed of its robber barons from Rockefeller to the Koch brothers, on the corruption of its government as bought and paid for by those who think their riches make their needs more important than the needs of We the People, on its corrupt interference in the sovereignty of dozens of nations around the world, interference almost always guided by the love of money but cloaked in the veneer of “democracy”, on its continuing claim to be “Christian” mocking its continuing refusal to share its enormous wealth to help the poor and needy even within its own borders never mind the rest of the world, on spending trillions of dollars on a military system that flushes more money down the toilet in a year than would feed every hungry schoolchild in America and can’t even ACCOUNT for an average of half a TRILLION dollars each year, on a culture that celebrates violence and sex while hypocritically also trying to claim a higher standard of morality … shall I go on?

        If there are reasons why America is under condemnation from God — and I am quite sure that it is — then allowing people who love each other to share in the privileges of marriage even if they’re the same sex is a sparrow’s fart in a hurricane compared to Every Other Single Reason why America is doomed. America’s biggest problem doesn’t have anything to do with people’s genitals and what they do with them; it has to do with its all-encompassing worship of Mammon. It’s the lust for money and power that’s turned America away from God, not any human lust for each other (excepting, of course, that lust that makes people exploit and abuse and objectify and destroy other people).

    2. Wow!! I didn’t read any of this into it. Maybe there’s more ambiguity in this than I realized or maybe it’s like a parable. Truth is truth regardless of whether you believe it…. or not. Freedom of speech and free agency is a right afforded to us all, can we celebrate and embrace it without the name calling or putting down of others beliefs? I respect what you say and would fight for your right to say it. But please, show some civility towards others. I don’t believe he is trying to tell you how to live your life but sharing about how we live ours. Peace out bro.

  14. C,

    I like your clarification that governments can/do curtail rights. One person’s right to swing her arm around ends where another person’s nose begins. So that’s the reality. An academic question we could ask is whether they should or not. A more practical question is which ones should they not be able to curtail. And the question of the day is how religious expression will be balanced against government-sponsored benefits. I think shorst’s example from England is a pretty good resolution. People outside a religion can have everything the government provides, while those inside a religion can have their belief that there is more than what the government provides.

  15. “The LDS Church has long advocated for equal rights for all people”
    Huh? Just talk to any Mormon woman who has made a pledge of obedience to her husband in the temple about equal rights.

    Obama said: “Our religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights.” This means:
    Just as my right to free speech doesn’t include the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, your right to religious freedom ends when it interferes with the religious freedom of others.

    You are free to abstain from gay marriage, preach against gay marriage, teach your children not to engage in gay marriage: those are your beliefs and you are free to practice them. But you are not free to impose those beliefs on others who believe differently than you.

    1. Yet you are free to impose your beliefs on those who believe differently than you. This makes no sense.

      Also, you have no real understanding of what that “pledge” to which you refer is all about, as demonstrated by your post.

    2. We can advocate for laws that reflect the higher law of morality. We have every right to participate in the political process. Those who reacted violently after Proposition 8, for example, revealed themselves to be anti-democratic more than anti-religious.

  16. I am not a biblical scholar but I believe in God and believe his word and guidance did not end with the printing of the Bible.
    “We beleave in the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (8th article of Faith).
    The King James version was commissioned to be translated into English in 1601. As far as different Bibles… there are MANY. Each one translating the text slightly differently to make it more clear to the reader, updating the language a bit since few of us speak old-english, latin, or greek.
    All translations can be reviewed by scholars, compared to the original Greek, etc. and critics will go line by line to pick apart what it says or doesn’t say. Remember, the King James version is a translated version and is the basis of our beliefs. Someone above pointed out it doesn’t say anything about abortions… well, it doesn’t say anything about global warming either.
    The point is, God’s words have been shifted ever so slightly to better understand in our language, but translators throughout history deleted chapters or changed words that they believed irrelivent at the time. That’s why the words and counsel of a living Prophet are so valuable. He conveys the messages we need to hear now for this time. Those mesages are very clear about marriage, our standards and other LDS beliefs about the family.

  17. Most of the arguments I am reading see., to me, to be people making excuses for disagreeing with the words of the prophets. It’s very simple. The proclamation is church doctrine. Since Satan and his followers in the world will do anything they can to thwart the work of The Lord, the law firm was used to assure the wording was not illegal or questionable. The proclamation in no way condemns any other person or group. It is simply a clear statement on the LDS churches beliefs and doctrines.
    Other groups and people will attack the church, its doctrines, beliefs, its leaders, or its followers to thwart the progress of The Lord’s work. It won’t work.
    “No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, armies may assemble calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth…”. (Joseph Smith)

  18. Just a note, here: There are a lot of biological and social processes that determine gender. It’s very possible for a person to be chromosomal and even genetically one gender but physically another. For example, an XX female may have a trans-located SRY gene, causing her to express male traits, including the development of male genitalia and a male-typical neurodevelopment. A genetically-typical XY male may not have the the required testosterone levels at two vital periods of gestation, causing a male-typical body with a female-typical brain, of vice-versa. A male can be testosterone receptor-deficient, causing possible growth of both sets of genitalia. There are too many variables to say say gender clear-cut.

    1. All complications of mortality and a fallen world (some of which are so bewildering at present) will be perfected at the resurrection. Our duty, whoever we may be, is to live a chaste life and deny ourselves of all ungodliness. All will be restored and compensated for through the atonement of the Great Physician.

  19. As a supporter of the right for same sex couples to marry AND a supporter of the right for churches to deny marrying them, I really believe there is some fear mongering going on here. Obama was referring to individuals such as Kim Davis who works in the public sector. As a tax payer funded government employee she cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses based on her religious beliefs. This was not referring to institutional churches.

    And for the record, most gay people (who outnumber Mormons in this country 2 to 1) don’t care one bit about who we seal in our temples anymore than they care who we baptize or who can be endowed. They simply see it as a Mormon oddity and just want Mormons to live and let live.

  20. This article and it’s blatant bigotry and ignorance reminded how painful it was to grow up Mormon. I am so glad to be rid of it. Marriage is between two people in love. End of story. Your religious beliefs hold no sway. Get over it already.

    1. Marriage is about more than love between adults. It has enjoyed a privileged position in society (reserved for a man and a woman) because it is also a “post of responsibility” as Elder Christoffersen quoted. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the ideal conditions for the bearing and raising of the next generation in a manner that benefits society and encourages the full potential of children.

  21. Let’s get something straight. Your right to worship how you want is not being taken away. Your religion is not being forced to open its temple doors to gay marriages.

    I may not be part of any faith, but if for any reason someone tries to force your religion or any other to change your right to worship how you want I will stand with you. That’s what Religious Freedom means.

    You don’t get to stop two consenting adults from marrying each other the same way a Jew or Muslim can’t stop you from buying bacon.

    And if you really want to get into what marriage is ordained by God and talk about “traditional” marriage let’s take a look at the bible. Polygamy was ordained of God. Marrying your slave was ordained of God. Having concubines was ordained of God. Even marrying a woman you raped was ordained of God.

    1. Marriage is about more than love between adults. It has enjoyed a privileged position in society (reserved for a man and a woman) because it is also a “post of responsibility” as Elder Christoffersen quoted. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the ideal conditions for the bearing and raising of the next generation in a manner that benefits society and encourages the full potential of children.

      1. What about those heterosexual couples that can’t have children? Saying marriage should solely be for procreation and raising children harms those that want children so bad, but can’t have them. I have seen first hand couples fall into deep depression because they feel they have sinned or are unworthy to have children because of this kind of thinking. I have also seen a stigma that has been placed on adopted children in the faith because they’re not “their” kids.

        Also I would love to see any unbiased study that says a same sex couple raising children damages them. I have yet to to see a real peer reviewed study that shows this is harmful. In fact I see everything just opposite of that.

    2. Freedom to believe, speak, and worship are part of our religious freedom but Elder Hales spoke of FOUR cornerstones of religious freedom. One of the most vital is the right to freely EXERCISE our religion. This means LIVING our religion in the public square– health practitioners don’t have to participate in abortion. Public officials could be accommodated in not issuing marriage licenses for same-sex unions had the Supreme Court not jumped ahead of the states.

      1. This is completely unreasonable. If you work for the public you serve all not just those that believe in the same system you do.

        Would be ok going to Walmart and having a cashier refuse to sell you pork because they are Jewish or Muslim? Would you be ok having a doctor that wouldn’t give a blood transfusion because they are Jehovah’s Witness?

        If you allow this for one group of religions you have to open it for all. Imagine the can worms you would be opening to accommodate all people of faith to always act by their religious dogma.

        You say this is about religious freedom, but it’s really imposing your beliefs on others.

    3. I would just like say i greatly appreciate what Jon said in the second paragraph of his post.

      I would also like to add i am LDS, but if for any reason someone tries to force any religion to change their right to worship the way they want i would also stand with them.

      I see no reason why people can’t just accept that people believe differently than one another. In the end we will all find out the truth whatever it may be. Or if when we die we just cease to excist then guess we won’t know anything haha.

      1. I really liked this post. There was a lot of great information about the church, as well as questions to ponder.

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