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Mormons Value Traditional Marriage

I deeply value traditional marriage and what this most fundamental union means, not only to the basic unit of society, the family, but to community at large.  I actually prefer the term 'natural' marriage, as I personally believe that marriage is ordained of God, the Creator of all, to be between a man and a woman.   It is through this type of union that children are brought into the world, naturally.   If we had to depend heavily on alternate ways of producing children to perpetuate society, outside of "natural" law -- the future of society would be quite bleak.

Historically, the more people society produces the more we have progressed as a people.  This is one reason that traditional marriage is in the states' best interests to protect and encourage.  Not only is this about a healthy population, but even more important, this has everything to do with maintaining a moral society.




From a Mormon perspective, the motivation for preserving traditional marriage is based in our belief that the family is eternal.  We believe that we lived in the family unit before we came to this earth -- thus our usage of the terms 'brother' and 'sister' when referring to fellow members of the Church.  We also see the entire human race as our brothers and sisters, with God as Father over all.  We believe that if we follow God's plan for creating families here, our families can be together in the next life and throughout eternity.  

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, life has great purpose -- beyond our individual inclinations.  Therefore, we believe that every child of God is entitled to both a mother and a father.   There is no other way for a child to come into existence than through what one male and one female, together, can accomplish.  To deny this natural birthright is to deny the existence of a Creator.  

While many observers, outside of our faith, believe our desire to preserve traditional marriage is targeted at those who are living a homosexual lifestyle, this is incorrect.  However, the majority of Mormons do not support same-sex marriage -- as it is opposed to God's eternal plan for His children.  But certainly, it is not an anti-gay movement. 

Preserving traditional marriage has everything to do with maintaining a moral society.  The kind of society that supports and encourages marriage and family the way God intended.  Marriage is a sacred union, specifically for these reasons.

Prior to the same-sex marriage movement, people of faith had never had these moral values challenged in the way they are currently.  Less than a generation ago, mainstream society held these same values.   Children were raised that they, too, would grow up, get married and have children.  The natural assumption in this counsel was that they would marry someone of the opposite sex.

Today, as morality in society is on a rapid decline, to the point that many choose to ignore religious upbringing and even deny the existence of God -- it is becoming a greater challenge for parents to raise moral children.  When society sends the message that those things which God would not approve are approved by society at large, this undermines the ability for those who believe in God to teach His ways.

The push to legalize same-sex marriage continues to grow, as society continues to decline morally.  The normalization of homosexual relationships is at an all-time high.   The increasing pressure, by the liberal mainstream media, for the public to accept the homosexual lifestyle, has gone too far.  The message they are sending, is that in order to be considered tolerant of gays, society must redefine the definition of marriage.

It seems to me that society is being whipped from A to Z at lightening speed, without being given the chance to pause, and consider that there IS an in between!  

Sadly, polls continue to show that more people are falling for this distortion of what it means to be tolerant of the gay lifestyle.  Most have no problem loving and accepting someone who considers themselves gay.  However, we need to be careful that we don't allow ourselves to be manipulated into thinking that because we oppose a certain action or lifestyle, that this translate into a total lack of acceptance for someone -- even to the point of hate. 

The gay movement is actively using this strategy to convince society that tolerance for the gay lifestyle is a willingness to accept homosexuality as "natural" human behavior, thereby confirming that marriage for them is an "equal right"-- that they have been denied.   And if you are not tolerant on their terms, you are then considered to be a bigot and/or religious zealot.  There is no in between.  

This is clearly a false supposition.

Personally, I haven't bought into such nonsense.  I know who I am, how and why I believe -- and  most importantly, how I feel about my brothers and sisters who choose a homosexual lifestyle.   I have great compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction.  I am particularly inspired by those who are of my faith and have made the choice to remain active in the Mormon Church.  I know it can't be the easiest road, but I do believe it is the best choice.

tDMg

24 comments :

  1. Well said Kathryn. We need to share the 'why' more often and be heard instead of allowing others to just put words in our face and expect others to accept that is our reasoning. My reasons are a bit different, but very similar.

    Personally, I think the 'law' ought to just get out of the marriage business all together. Make all associations 'civil unions' and leave Marriage to the churches. Problem solved.

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    1. I know that "getting the law out of marriage" is an appealing idea, but it is incredibly unrealistic and would have horrible unintended consequences. See here: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/04/5073

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    2. Great link Cassandra. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Out there in the world, the functional definition of marriage has changed 180 degrees within a generation. Today, the big commitment is to 'move in together'. Marriage, it seems is left for some future date.

    I'm intolerant of moves to change the concept of marriage beyond it's celestial definition.

    If insurance companies wish to insure 'partners' however tightly or loosely that is defined is an economic question that needs to be completely separate from the concept of marriage.

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  3. One thing that I will be making a point of to my children as they grow up is that in the temple we are sealed to our spouses and to our family members. That way, even if/when society changes the definition of "marriage" to be between any two consenting adults, they can know from the terms alone ("sealing" vs. "marriage") that the world's version of two consenting adults being joined together is not the same as God's.

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  4. I am gay person...meaning, having or showing a merry, lively mood (dictionary. But, I do not subscribe to Homosexuality. Call an 'Apple' an 'Apple.' Instead of using the term out of content, 'gay' to mean homosexuality, as this community seeks to construe, call it an Apple.

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  5. Yeah, it's a tough problem. The LDS (or Mormon) Church is NOT anti-gay, and we are never counseled, taught or advised to be bigoted against anyone. But we believe strongly in traditional marriage and must stand by it. Many of us are not in favor of gay marriage-that does not make us an enemy of gay people. The liberal media loves to make it look that way, though. They have touted us as enemies of homosexuals. There are other very specific religious groups that most definitely ARE the enemies of gay people. Please do not include the Mormon people among them. There are many things that are now considered normal in this world that really are tearing at the moral fabric of society. Personally, I don't even think gay marriage is one of the biggies. Shall we talk about unmarried couples living together? How about teenage promiscuity? How about the guy who has 6 kids by 6 women and doesn't support any of them? Or the young woman on the other end of that issue, who has all the kids by different men and can't support them? I would actually vote in favor of gay marriage is someone could solve these, what I consider to be much bigger issues.

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  6. Thank you for expressing yourself so well.

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  7. I do find it strange that people accept "civil unions" and equal legal rights for same gender relationships, but by applying the label marriage to it, then it becomes wrong? On the surface it would seem that the only difference between what is tolerated and what is not is the use of a word to describe the relationship.

    Having thought about it, I think the concern comes from what is perceived as an attack on a very core belief of religious communities. It would appear to be a very deliberate move to claim the use of a word traditionally connected to a relationship cemented in a church environment, by those with no real interest in the rest of what goes with such a connection.

    If the word marriage is devalued from the ideal of a man and a women then where does it end. What will be the next change to marriage that will be thrust upon us.

    It also seems that a large number of those that demand equal rights also have a disdain for all that marriage in a religious sense suggests. Many do not want the other aspects of a true marriage such as including a third person within that relationship namely GOD.

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  8. "how I feel about my brothers and sisters who choose a homosexual lifestyle."

    People dont "choose" to be gay(have SSA) they just are. What would you do with all of the people that are born with sex organs of both male and female? What would you do with the children that have no one to adopt them? "Gay" families are usually loving homes and children need parents to adopt them. I am an adopted son to the traditional nuclear family but i think that children need a stable home life and not one of "foster" parents. What the SSA crowd wants is the same rights as the rest of us have. It is not like a criminal that "choose" that lifstyle, in fact the "lifestye" of gay people is as diverse as any striaght person. There is no "gay lifsty;le" there is just life as a human being.
    just sayin!

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    1. I'm not here to debate whether homosexuality is nature or nurture. Bottom line -- we don't know. For some, perhaps. Others, it is a choice. Choosing the "lifestyle" -- to act on homosexual inclinations -- is a choice.

      My concern is more along the lines of what children are 'entitled' to, by a natural birthright -- and that is to have 'both' a mother and a father. I understand that not all situations can be ideal and that there may be times when we settle for what, best, can be achieved. Nonetheless, I am much more interested in advocating for the 'rights' of children, than for adults who make choices, contrary to God's plan, for themselves. Children have no advocates in this discussion.

      From an LDS perspective, we believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family, established under this marriage covenant, can become an eternal unit. We believe this is God's plan for all of His children.

      If you are not Mormon, I can understand that you might have a completely different perspective and, of course, I respect that. I'm simply helping you to understand what I, as a Mormon, believe -- my opinion.

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    2. I pray that you never have a gay child

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  9. I agree with the headline but not with the legal implication. Yes, I value traditional marriage. I think it's wrong to get knocked up, get married, realize marriage is hard, and get divorced, all within 4 years- that's wrong. I don't agree with it. It's harmful to our definition of marriage. But is it legal? Sure. We battle this immoral approach to marriage on other fronts, because we value agency. We don't FORCE people to line up with our morals.
    The fact is, the law has never aligned with the "celestial" definition of marriage we hold dear. For that, we have the temple- we set our own definition.
    For a religious organization that has been persecuted in the past for approaching marriage differently, you'd think we'd be a bit more tolerant. The fact is, laws exist to protect rights. A gay marriage infringes on NO ONE's rights. Two consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want. The mormon definition of marriage is going to be a higher standard, just as it is now- even if the law doesn't enforce OUR standard.

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    1. Jennifer -

      I appreciate your opinion on this topic, I just happen to strongly disagree.

      Personally, I continue to see great value, to society, for all concerned, Mormons included, to continue to use their individual agency to promote and preserve traditional marriage -- come what may. I see no problem with such actions in a pluralistic society.

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    2. The problem is you are confusing "promote and preserve" with "legislate". I'm all for promoting and preserving. But I get very uncomfortable using the law to limit free agency when it comes to issues that don't infringe on anyone's rights, because I hate to think what would happen if the majority's "morals" were forced on me.
      Promote and preserve freely. Rewrite state constitutions to limit the world to what I view as moral or ideal? Yeah, not so much.

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    3. Again, I disagree.

      Personally, I've never considered agency "free". It's improper use comes at great cost to those it affects, including the individual -- whether they understand, in the moment, or not.

      The preservation of traditional marriage is a positive for any society. Whatever we can do, as community, to ensure that the family, as ordained by God, is upheld, ultimately brings blessings to a nation.

      The Book of Mormon is explicit in teaching the simple math that when we obey God's commandments, we are blessed. When we do not, negative consequence will eventually result. We are taught this principle not only as individuals, but as nations. The Constitution is an inspired document, intended for a moral society. When and if society decides to reject these truths, as a people, the scriptures are clear on the consequences.

      Granted, separation of church and state are extremely important, but morals do have place in society, as they are ultimately the result of an individual's conscience. Freedom of religion/conscience rest on this principle.

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  10. The thing is Katherine is that my mormon co-worker's daughter has had two fiances by the time she was 19 and married a guy after less than 6 months of knowing him. Plus, she's raising the children in poverty.

    How does this living arrangement respect traditional marriage? Shouldn't my parents, who have been married over 40 years, take offense to this type of rapid marriage and lack of financial planning for the children that she already has?

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    1. It does not.

      Should we then, as a society, have no boundaries, or guidelines, as to what is moral, or considered right by the majority in our community? IMO, to use others' misconduct and lack of good judgement, as justification to not maintain and create what is best for society, in general, is irresponsible.

      Fortunately, we have a system, in this country, that allows us to create important boundaries, pertaining to what we value, as a nation. This process is brought about by individual opinions and collectively is decided for the whole. I respect that, and appreciate the right to be involved.

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    2. I agree with you, I think. The response above looked like a lawyer typed it.

      But, yes, my co-worker is holier than thou. And he's against gay marriage. The thing is, his daughter is actually cheapening the value of marriage by trying to get married so quickly without any solid financial foundation. Furthermore, she and her husband lack any type of education which would raise their incomes and future job prospects.

      Raising children is poverty is never the answer. I just know that my co-worker's church pushed this situation on these kids. Yet, they're the first to say that gay marriage is immoral. Raising kids in poverty on one income (via a high school diploma) is immoral too.

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  11. I find it very ironic that you discuss maintaining "the family" and the morality of society and how an LDS view point strives toward these goas. The ironic part about this is that UTAH (headquarters of COJCOLDS and home to more Mormons than anywhere else) has some of the highest rates of pornography use and addiction & fraud and BYU Law School has some of the highest rates of attorney graduates that are disciplined by the Bar for unethical conduct. So, if society at large were going to model themselves after the LDS view on things, could we all then expect to have higher rates of pornography use, fraud and unethical conduct???

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    1. When I was raising my teenagers, and things weren't going the way I had 'planned', as we taught firmly the gospel in our home, for a brief while I lost faith in my ability to be an effective parent --and heaven forbid I should think to tell anyone else what they should be doing.

      What 33 years of parenting has taught me is that the power of agency, and the right of individuals to exercise such, holds accountability on the individual -- not the principles/truths they oppose.

      That others choose contrary to what is 'right' has no power to diminish it, or the blessing that come to the obedient.

      I find no value in your logic.

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