Not Anti Gay? Prove it!

Living in a liberal state, such as I do here in California, often puts me at the forefront of some of the most controversial and hot button issues of the day.  Take for instance, same-sex marriage.  California continues to battle it out in court, the future of marriage.  It's no secret to anyone who reads this blog, that I'm a strong advocate for preserving and defending traditional marriage.  For me, that passion derives from both personal and religious convictions.  It's both moral and emotional for me -- a child of divorce.  Because I'm a Mormon, I've been accused, more times than I can count, of being anti-gay.  I've passionately declared, that I am not.


As dedicated as I was, and am, to have and still have stand, what many homosexuals refer to as a ban on gay marriage, via Prop 8, I am not interested in keeping the gay community from having true equal rights in society. (I do not consider SSM an equal rights issue) I want to see traditional or natural marriage, between one man and one woman, preserved.  I'm always saddened when anyone feels that a desire to preserve one thing, then automatically makes that person anti, to what another values or desires.   And yet, I can understand why they might perceive it to be so...


I've always believed that actions speak louder than words.  Living in today's pluralistic society has its challenges, particularly for those of religious faith.  Freedom of religion is precious, and enables us to feel confident that our moral values can safely be expressed, and help to create a moral society -- which then allows us to exercise our religion.   Religious freedom is at the very foundation of the United States Constitution.  From the perspective of those who do not value religion, nor have a desire to see such expression preserved, perhaps we can begin to understand how a misguided attempt to exercise that freedom, could be seen as hostile.


Mormons believe that following the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, during the period referred to as the Millenium, everything that opposes God's plan, will have been removed from the earth.  We believe that those willing to live a higher law, will be those left upon the earth.   During that time, we believe that Jesus Christ will reign sovereign, over all men.  But, now is not that time.  And until then, we need to understand that we are living in a 'telestial' or fallen world, where it has been given to all men, the right to exercise individual agency as they see fit -- to then experience the consequences of those choices.  As a society, all either benefit from those choices or experience the negative fall out.   In other words, this is the time that we have all been given a place to choose either righteousness or wickedness.  And in this situation, we must show a level of mutual respect and love for one another, and honor the gift that God has granted to all mankind.  Although this doesn't mean that we have to like or condone the actions of others.  And in fact, often times we will not.


So, what should this mean in the case of homosexuality in society?  Well, we can't deny, or ignore, that some who consider themselves gay, openly exist in our communities.  Clearly, God teaches that homosexual activity is a sin.  However, the world is now extremely liberal as compared to generations past, and many gays feel that their homosexuality is their identity.  Based on this belief, they feel that they have a 'right' to marriage.  Certainly the Mormon Church does not agree.  Just read The Family: A Proclamation to the World, to understand the doctrine on gender, marriage and birthright, as taught in Mormonism.   And it is precisely these specific doctrines that we should do all that we can to preserve in society.


Now, if we begin to try and wield religious freedom to keep the gay community from having their identity acknowledged, legal unions formed, partner benefits, etc...  then I submit to you, that we are abusing such power.  No wonder we would be perceived as an enemy to those who do not believe as we do.  In states across this nation, a rightful battle is taking place to preserve marriage as only between one man and one woman.  But let us be careful as to other potential legislation that may arise, which does not fall into the category of preventing immoral actions in society.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, set an excellent example of this principle within that community, when they officially came out and endorsed two Non-Discrimination Ordinances.  


Also of great interest, is the LDS Newsroom's report of a recent address, given by Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to Mormon single adults, entitled "Truth and Tolerance".


"Knowing how to communicate respectively and truthfully in the public square is critical, Elder Oaks said, because "living together with mutual respect for one another's differences is a challenge in today's world."  Elder Oaks emphasized that in religious and public life truth and tolerance go hand in hand.  "We must stand up for truth, even while we practice tolerance and respect for beliefs and ideas different from our own and for the people who hold them.""


You can read then entire report HERE, which I strongly recommend.


LDS parents are called to teach their children righteousness, by covenant, in a wicked world.  This is part of God's plan.  He has given us doctrines that if we live and teach by, our children will ultimately embrace -- and learn to discern truth from error.   Our children were preserved to come forth during this time -- a time which God and His prophets foresaw.   The greatest lesson we can teach our children, is the love that God has for all of His children -- and the plan that He has presented for our salvation.


As people of faith, it can seem harsh to our gay brothers and sisters, who oppose God -- when we stand to defend His Plan.  And this is why, that when doing so, we must be selective and show an increase of love.


Section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants instructs:
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
This faithfulness that is spoken of, is surely the love of God that He has for all of His children, and that He expects US to show forth among one another... 
tDMg 
Kathryn Skaggs








10 comments:

  1. My family was just talking about Elder Oaks' talk the other day. It is getting increasingly difficult to discern when to stand up and say "this is wrong."

    We were discussing the invasion of foul language into our lives by others. I recently objected (to a relative) the use of foul language on Facebook. Another family member thought that I should just have hidden the post, or hidden the relative. In the end, however, my objection turned out to be a good lesson for the offender, and she actually apologized. I made a point of telling her that it takes a big person to apologize. Had I not stood up for what was right, our Facebook relationship would have ended right there, but now it can continue with a new understanding of what is acceptable, and what is not -- and I have new respect for her for apologizing.

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  2. @LaurieBee -

    Well, you are very fortunate to have had such a positive experience -- and most of the time, in such a circumstances, we will. Meaning, on a personal level. All of us, as individuals, have a right and responsibility to create boundaries. Certainly the use of foul language in our presence is one of them.

    However, I believe that Elder Oak's talk is meant to take this a bit further -- into the public square. For example, it would probably NOT be a good idea for us to try and legislate the kind of language people are allowed to use in society, as a right of religious freedom. IMHO, that would be an abuse of that power.

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  3. I have strong feelings on this issue. I keep up on what is going on in the courts and such and when possible I like to donate to our favorite pro family group. I feel like the homosexual movement is the biggest threat to freedom of religion and parental rights. In a way, I definitely feel threatened by this group. You may or may not have noticed how in the last few months the LGBT groups have moved ahead openly in stating that who they want to reach is the children of Christian families. The "It Get's Better" campaign and SB48 in California which requires schools to add gay history into the k-12 curriculum, and disallows anything negative to be said about homosexuality, are two good examples of this bold move.

    I feel strongly that these laws and movements need to be spoken against for the good and safety of society. I know that by taking a stand on these issues makes me seem like a bigot or like I do not care for all of Heavenly Father's children. I feel the opposite is true. I think by not declaring truth we are causing more harm to more of Heavenly Father's children.

    On the same side, I think speaking out in a political matter is different then how one should deal with individual relationships. I wouldn't say to the gay people I have known or associated with that I think homosexuality is set to destroy religious freedom and parental rights. I try to be as friendly as I would with someone who shares my beliefs. With most people, I don't talk about politics. But I will contact people and ask them to contact legislatures and such. I try to be sensitive and only reach those who feel the same. Even with this, I am not sure I am doing things the right way.

    I will have to read the Dallin H. Oaks talk. This is a difficult issue and where one person's freedom crosses anothers is hard to decipher.

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  4. Absolutely, Kathryn. I think most of what's wrong in this country is the tendancy to "over legislate." As individuals, however, I think we really need to stand up sometimes and say enough is enough.

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    1. The idea that there is a homosexual agenda to destroy the family is ridiculous. You are the ones trying to stop them from having a family. LaurieBee is right in saying that most of whats wrong in the county is the tendancy to over legislate, but it is your side that is doing the over legislating with Prop 8, DOMA, "Don't say Gay" polices for schools, Don't Ask Don't Tell and more. It is homophobic propaganda that the homosexual movement will destroy religious freedoms or parental rights.

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  5. I love the way you put this because so many(including in the church) misunderstand the concept that I call, "love the sinner, hate the sin". Just because I disagree with your lifestyle/beliefs/actions doesn't mean that I hate you. And if I love you, it doesn't mean I have to accept what you do that I feel is morally wrong. God's laws have never been popular with the masses, but that doesn't negate the fact that He loves us and wants what is best for us. At the center of this controversy, I see parents torn because of gay/lesbian children. But the scriptures clearly say that those who choose family members over the Lord are not fit for the kingdom. Elder Oaks' talk, "Love and Law" is a good one that discusses this issue, too.

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  6. @Diane -

    I can't say that I totally agree with you, and yet I realize that many people feel the same way as you express here. Personally, I'm not ready to demonize all gay people, thinking that they have it out for me and my children, but will acknowledge a clear agenda by the gay community in general. Frankly, I don't believe that they really understand our position fully. I tend to feel that it is this lack of understanding from both sides, which unfortunately leads to adversarial feelings. And now that we all basically see each other as adversaries, naturally, we are going to push against each other at every turn. We begin to feel it is our duty to oppose all wants of the other.

    Certainly, the family is under attack, and the world is quickly becoming more and more liberal. I think most of us would agree. And this is precisely why those of us who value religious freedom in this country need to be selective in how we exercise that right. Because what's really in danger, is our ability to continue to exercise our religion. Currently, religious freedom in a right. There was a time that all men agreed on that truth. However, with the rapid growth of secularism and liberalism that seems to be taking over our country, those of religious faith are becoming less effective. The harder we push to legislate everything we don't agree with or feel is wrong, the harder those with a louder voice and influence in society will work to take away our rights.

    Therefore, as people of faith, we need to focus our efforts to stand for right, on those things that are of a moral nature. Preserving traditional marriage is one of these things. Gay adoption, in my opinion, is another. We can look to the Proclamation on the Family to know where we should focus our efforts in society.

    Yes, I am fully aware of SB48. I believe that the principles that Elder Oaks is teaching, (and I really hope members read his address), are very important in situations exactly like this. I could never tell anyone how to proceed on that bill. That has to come from a very personal place. But I would say, study the principles that Elder Oaks is teachings and then prayerfully as individuals we will know what we should do. What is right for one, may not be for another. The point is, be selective, prayerful and wise.

    These are such challenging times for all of us. But I do see the wisdom in the counsel of Elder Oaks in standing and protecting religious freedom, while also understanding the principles of tolerance and truth. Like I brought up in this post, I always have to remind myself that we are living in a fallen world, but we have been given the gospel to help us and our family navigate it.

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  7. i reallyy don't understand why the mormon church pushes so hard for traditional marriage...

    what is wrong with having traditional marriage alongside non-traditional marriage? in spain gay marriage is legal and it has had zero effect on the straight marriages... people still get married and have children... when suddenly society crumbles because of the gays over here I'll give you a heads up ;)

    don't know, don't get it...

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  8. I don't know if you are still there. It's 2012 and we are getting ready for the elections. I have two daughters who call me a "hater" because I'm against homosexuality. So I started doing some research and came across an amazing book...The Marketing of Evil. I am shocked to say the least with the absolute planning that went into making homosexuality and ok thing. I've only read the first chapter...I would love this book to have a happy ending...

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    1. I'm here! : )

      There is no question that there are, among some gays and liberals, a very calculated and ongoing agenda to normalize homosexuality. However, I know for certain, because I know a few gay people, that not all gays fall into such a category. Bottom line though -- I can't think of a better campaign to destroy the family, so definitely overall, this is not a good thing.

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