WBMW

Mormons Celebrate Easter With All Christians!

During this beloved Easter weekend, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has paused to make a statement on the Mormon Newsroom, to once again declare that Mormons stand with other Christian faiths, around the globe, to commemorate the sacred and holy mission of Jesus Christ:















The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrates Easter with the rest of the Christian world this weekend, remembering the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Church’s First Presidency released this Easter message:

Of all the tests we face, none hurts more than the death of a loved one. Through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ all are delivered from death and all will rise in the resurrection. And by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all may gain peace in this life, be washed clean from the sorrows of sin, and have hope of a glorious resurrection with the just.
At this Easter season we give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of all mankind. Because of His atoning sacrifice, He stands as our Advocate and Savior. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit.

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf




Video: He is Risen



In our eternal journey, the resurrection is the mighty milepost that signifies the end of mortality and the beginning of immortality. ~ Dallin H. Oaks 


tDMg 
Kathryn Skaggs

Mormon Newsroom:

Resurrection - Dallin H. Oaks

What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?

Easter Video: The Atonement and Little Children 

Sunday Will Come  Joseph B. Wirthlin

The Miracle of the Atonement C. Scott Grow


U.S. Supreme Court Trial: Prop 8 Round Up and Marriage Refresher

It would be nice to think that simply by listening to the audio from the Proposition 8 trial that went before the U.S. Supreme Court, it would become clear to the majority of Americans that re-defining marriage is not a good idea --  or certainly not without thinking it through.

It was interesting, at least to me, that one of the first arguments that I heard picked up by the media, as soon as information started to come out of the hearing was the reported 38 thousand, I think, or was it 40.... ? children currently living with same-gender couples in California bought up during the trial who are in need of the Court's concern when making a ruling in the case.

Children, as most here are aware, stand at the forefront of the battle to preserve traditional marriage and in the case to uphold Prop 8.  And who claim the legitimate right, of which so many, having faith-based values, desire to maintain.




Very late, the night before the hearing, I was dumbfounded that I was just hearing about a courageous 11-year-old girl, who had stood up in court, for her birthright to have both a mother and a father.  In fact, Angela Fallentine, whose own valiant story I recently shared here on WBWM, let me know about Grace; and since then, I can't stop thinking about her.

And yes, I am deeply concerned about the children mentioned in California, currently struggling with their family circumstances. However, when I think of the generations of children, yet to be born, that will be affected if America continues down the road to un-define marriage, 40 thousand children now, as sad as that is, will seem a very small number in comparison, to the exponential increase of suffering children, due to the choices of adults who refuse to acknowledge their birthright  -- and a society at large who will not do right by its children!

Grace...
""Minnesota state legislators considering a same-sex marriage bill for the state did not have an answer to an 11-year-old girl’s question on which parent is not needed.
“Since every child needs a mom and a dad to be born, I don’t think we can change that children need a mom and a dad. I believe God made it that way,” Grace Evans, 11, said before the Minnesota House Committee on Civil Law last week. “I know some disagree, but I want to ask you this question: Which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?”

She paused for eight seconds as the legislators on the committee sat silent.

Evans then said, “I’ll ask again, which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?” She paused again, this time for 13 seconds of silence from state lawmakers.

Evans concluded, saying, “I hope that you can see that every child needs a mom and a dad. Please don’t change your law on marriage to say otherwise.”

Nevertheless, the House committee voted in favor of the gay marriage bill and sent it to the full House. A similar bill is also before the state Senate.
Evans told legislators that her mom and dad each provide something unique to her life.
“Even though I’m only 11 years old, I know that everyone deserves to have a mom and a dad,” Evans said. “If you change the law to say two moms and two dads can get married, it would take away something very important for children like me across the state."" 
Fred Lucas (CNSNews.com) 
Video: Which Parent Do I Not Need: Mom or Dad?





For those of us, in California, who have stood in defense of marriage, as declared in the THE FAMILY: A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD, we have done so on a firm foundation of truth. In some respects, it is good to finally get to this point -though some are surely feeling that we have been here before. Yet with the stunning realization, and near disbelief that in a relatively short space of time immorality has declined even further and will not be making a return trip.
"Also evolving at a rapid rate has been the moral compass of society. Behaviors which once were considered inappropriate and immoral are now not only tolerated but also viewed by ever so many as acceptable." ~ Thomas S. Monson

Nevertheless, one thing is certain, for those of us who have stood in defense of marriage as declared in the THE FAMILY A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD, we have done so on a firm foundation of truth. As I listened to the court hearing there was a clarity as I heard truth argued throughout the case -- in that when questions were asked and a response was given: truth rang clear when spoken.

In 2008 California briefly legalized same-sex marriage, and citizens who opposed it, and who previously had passed an initiative to protect traditional marriage, were now ready to recommit their efforts to pass Proposition 8 -- this time a constitutional amendment.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at that time, released on the Mormon Newsroom important information, that directly addressed these issues, in support, and also introduced the relevant commentary: The Divine Institution of Marriage.

(excerpt)
"Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family."

In rereading this essay, and now having read the very important book, "What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense" (which I highly recommend) many of the core concepts are found in LDS Church teachings.

Ryan T. Andersen, author of WIM, has written an excellent explainer  entitled: Redefining Marriage Has Consequences, that should help you with your post-hearing discussions.


"We’re having a robust national debate over whether marriage should be redefined to include same-sex relationships. It’s an important debate. And in many ways — despite what some activists say — it’s only beginning."





I happen to agree with Andersen, and that's why I've collected a few resources here to help you get started having those important conversations about marriage -- with family and friends. Today, especially, and throughout this last week, for the first time, I saw those whom I'd never noticed before, share their thoughts and feelings about marriage; I was moved to tears. I saw many online conversations happening, and not all were easy -- but most came through with generally positive experiences, from what I was able to observe.

What ultimately brought Prop 8 all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court was a final verdict at the state level of it being declared unconstitutional. The LDS Church issued then another statement, again, affirming its position on marriage between a man and a women.(excerpt)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today’s decision. California voters have twice determined in a general election that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We have always had that view. Courts should not alter that definition, especially when the people of California have spoken so clearly on the subject.

I pulled out a few excerpts to share from the court transcripts, and would recommend that you take the time to either read or listen when you have time. One in particular, I found both sad and humorous at the same time -- almost Dr. Seuss-like.  Therefore I have left it in transcript form.

In Justice Scalia's attempt to establish exactly when it was determined that it is unconstitutional to exclude homosexuals from marriage in the state of California, seeing as this is critical to Mr. Olson's argument, Mr. Olson is not cooperating with the Justice and they both end up giving Dr. Seuss new material.

(also, please note how our culture changes by assumption... the sad part... the reality of the world we are living in...)

JUSTICE SCALIA: When do you think it became
20 unconstitutional? Has it always been unconstitutional?

21 MR. OLSON: When the -- when the California
22 Supreme Court faced the decision, which it had never
23 faced before, is -- does excluding gay and lesbian
24 citizens, who are a class based upon their status as
25 homosexuals -- is it -- is it constitutional 

1 JUSTICE SCALIA: That -- that's not when it
2 became unconstitutional. That's when they acted in an
3 unconstitutional matter -- in an unconstitutional
4 matter. When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit
5 gays from marrying?

6 MR. OLSON: That -- they did not assign a
7 date to it, Justice Scalia, as you know. What the court
8 decided was the case that came before it --

9 JUSTICE SCALIA: I'm not talking about the
10 California Supreme Court. I'm talking about your
11 argument. You say it is now unconstitutional.

12 MR. OLSON: Yes.

13 JUSTICE SCALIA: Was it always
14 unconstitutional?

15 MR. OLSON: It was constitutional when we --
16 as a culture determined that sexual orientation is a
17 characteristic of individuals that they cannot control,
18 and that that --

19 JUSTICE SCALIA: I see. When did that
20 happen? When did that happen?

21 MR. OLSON: There's no specific date in
22 time. This is an evolutionary cycle.

23 JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, how am I supposed to
24 know how to decide a case, then --

25 MR. OLSON: Because the case that's before
1 you --

2 JUSTICE SCALIA: -- if you can't give me a
3 date when the Constitution changes?

4 MR. OLSON: -- in -- the case that's before
5 you today, California decided -- the citizens of
6 California decided, after the California Supreme Court
7 decided that individuals had a right to get married
8 irrespective of their sexual orientation in California,
9 and then the Californians decided in Proposition 8, wait
10 a minute, we don't want those people to be able to get
11 married.

12 CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: So -- so your
13 case -- your case would be different if Proposition 8
14 was enacted into law prior to the California Supreme
15 Court decision?

16 MR. OLSON: I would make -- I would make
17 the -- also would make the -- that distinguishes it in
18 one respect. But also -- also -- I would also make the
19 argument, Mr. Chief Justice, that we are -- this --
20 marriage is a fundamental right and we are making a
21 classification based upon a status of individuals, which
22 this Court has repeatedly decided that gays and lesbians
23 are defined by their status. There is no question about
24 that.

25 JUSTICE SCALIA: So it would be
1 unconstitutional even in States that did not allow
2 civil unions?

3 MR. OLSON: We do, we submit that. You
4 could write a narrower decision.

5 JUSTICE SCALIA: Okay. So I want to know
6 how long it has been unconstitutional in those --

7 MR. OLSON: I don't -- when -- it seems to
8 me, Justice Scalia, that --

9 JUSTICE SCALIA: It seems to me you ought to
10 be able to tell me when. Otherwise, I don't know how to
11 decide the case.

12 MR. OLSON: I -- I submit you've never
13 required that before. When you decided that -- that
14 individuals -- after having decided that separate but
15 equal schools were permissible, a decision by this
16 Court, when you decided that that was unconstitutional,
17 when did that become unconstitutional?

18 JUSTICE SCALIA: 50 years ago, it was okay?

19 MR. OLSON: I -- I can't answer that
20 question, and I don't think this Court has ever phrased
21 the question in that way.

22 JUSTICE SCALIA: I can't either. That's the
23 problem. That's exactly the problem.

#####

"When did that happen?" 

"When did that happen?" .

 "There is no specific date in time. It's an evolutionary cycle." 

"That's the problem." 

"That's exactly the problem." 


This is as disturbing to me, as it is humorous -- and yet it shouldn't be. 


One of the most compelling periods during the trial, was when Justice Alito presented a series of sobering questions, in the form of a paragraph, regarding the potential effects of Proposition 8 if not upheld to, this time, General Verrilli, representing the United States. 

I'll be honest, as clearly I was not impressed by the arguments of the opponents to Prop 8, but I was very happy to see some of these very clear questions from the Justices' which will create in the public excellent questions for discussions. These two, which I've presented, as examples.

You want us to assess the effects of same-sex marriage, the potential effects on -- of same-sex marriage, the potential -- the effects of Proposition 8. But what is your response to the argument, which has already been mentioned about the need to be cautious in light of the newness of the – the concept of -- of same-sex marriage. The one thing that the parties in this case seem to agree on is that marriage is very important. 
It's thought to be a fundamental building block of society and its preservation essential for the preservation of society. Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. Same-sex marriage is very new. I think it was first adopted in the Netherlands in 2000. So there isn't a lot of data about its effect. And it may turn out to be a -- a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing, as the supporters of Proposition 8 apparently believe.

But you want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cell phones or the Internet? I mean we -- we are not -- we do not have the ability to see the future.
On a question like that, of such fundamental importance, why should it not be left for the people, either acting through initiatives and referendums or through their elected public officials?


The Court is not expected to rule until June. Until then, America is wide-open for discussion and regardless of the outcome, this is an excellent time to build bridges with those you have differences with on this issue. 

Standing up for what you believe doesn't always mean getting exactly what you want. It can often mean gaining respect, in order to live with mutual respect among those you have differences. One way that can be achieved, is by speaking your truth with confidence and honesty, and allowing others to do the same, without the need to defend or be offended when it is done in a respectful manner.  

My favorite part of the day, now late into the night for me -- my perfect ending to this chapter -- for me, was as I was finishing up this post I went over to grab one more link on the Mormon Newsroom, and noticed that the Church had posted a statement in response to the Prop 8 hearings to reaffirm their position on marriage. Just as I had said, marriage is a firm doctrine that we stand on and defend and build our lives and families upon. It is at the center of God's plan for our eternal progression.



In response to media requests, the following statement was issued today by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Today the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments regarding the definition of marriage in this country.
We firmly support the divinely appointed definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman because it is the single most important institution for strengthening children, families, and society. 
We hope the court will agree, and we look forward to the decision on this important matter
My last thought, is that marriage, as God has ordained, I firmly believe, more than I've ever believed it, is not changing. The Lord's prophets are clearly fixed and immovable on this matter. They have been consistent in reaffirming their position that marriage is only between a man and a woman, over and over again -- and done so in the most turbulent of political climates. They have invited members of the Church to exercise their individual agency, and if they choose to do so, to also stand with them on this matter, and as disciples have done in ages past, pick up the cross and follow...

tDMg
Kathryn Skaggs


Scroll down for marriage resource links and videos:


Video: Marriage Goes to the Supreme Court - Ryan T. Andersen Reporting




Video: Recap March for Marriage Washington D.C.
March 26, 2013



March for Marriage


Mormon Newsroom:



 Truth and Tolerance: Dallin H. Oaks

Amicus Brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -
along with other faith-based organizations, recommending that Prop 8 be upheld as Constitutional

MormonsandGays.org

God Loveth His Children

"You are a son or daughter of God, and our hearts reach out to you in warmth and affection. Notwithstanding your present same-gender attractions, you can be happy during this life, lead a morally clean life, perform meaningful service in the Church, enjoy full fellowship with your fellow Saints, and ultimately receive all the blessings of eternal life."

Political Neutrality: LDS Church Position



Understanding the Case: Marriage and the Supreme Court

Gay Marriage, Social Experimentation, and Legal Precedent By Laura Hollis

The Family in America: The Judicial Assault on the Family By Allan P. Carlson Ph.D

Public Discourse: I'm Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage




Photo Credits:
WallyG
heritage

You Said You Would and Then They Actually Ask You!

We've all done it: been willing to do something not really thinking we'd be asked to do it. Not necessarily with that intention, but not actually believing either, that the opportunity would come about. And then it does... and suddenly, reality sets in and you find yourself preparing to do something you never thought in a million years you'd actually be asked to do! 

But what about standing up for truth and righteousness? Have you ever been put on the spot, and had to stand up for what you say you believe -- and in opposition to those who are adamantly, and passionately against what you hold sacred?

Well, that last part doesn't happen to everyone... but life does have an interesting way of bringing about some incredible experiences for those who are willing to put their faith and trust in the Lord -- along with a strong dose of Courage!

That's exactly what happened to Angela Fallentine (and her husband), members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), currently living in New Zealand. I heard about this valiant couple from my friend, Jocelyn Christensen. Knowing my passion for standing up for marriage, immediately upon hearing from Angela, about her incredible experience, Jocelyn then wrote to share the story with me -- knowing that without a doubt, I would be honored to bring it here -- in defense of preserving traditional marriage! 


If their story of faith in righteous principles inspires you, as it has us, you probably won't be able to stop yourself from sharing it, too...


Jocelyn asked Angela if she wouldn't mind sharing more detail about their experience, and she was kind enough to respond:  


I was asked to share my story on defending the doctrines and principles as taught in The Family: A Proclamation to the World to New Zealand Parliament a few weeks ago. Thank you for this opportunity!

Late last year my husband and I (American-Canadians who live in New Zealand) became aware of a new bill going to Parliament called “Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Bill” which would legalize marriage between two men or two women. Just as in the United States, the airwaves and Internet were filled with talk of this bill—on both sides of the issue. Everyone in the country had the opportunity to send in a submission to the Capital, which would result in some being chosen to appear before Members of Parliament to discuss and defend their submission. We signed all the petitions we could on opposing this bill and shared it with family and friends. We knew that if the voice of the people were to be heard, we needed to put our beliefs into action, for wherever and whenever our Heavenly Father’s doctrine of marriage and family are concerned, silence is precisely what Satan wants.

For Family Home Evening last October, my husband and I decided to write our thoughts to Parliament defending traditional marriage between a man and a woman. There was a little box you could mark to indicate whether or not you would be willing to present your submission to the government in person. We looked at each other and said something to the effect, “We don’t know if we’ll get picked but we should at least be willing to stand as witness of God at all times, in all things and in all places.” A few months passed by and to our shock, we received word from Parliament that we both were chosen to appear before the Committee to discuss our submission. They decided to do something unique with us as we were a husband and wife with separate but similar submissions: They doubled our speaking time.

We found out that we were the only members of the Church in the country who were chosen. Now the pressure was on!

Our minds were swirling with all sorts of information and questions. Why us? What could we possibly say or share that could make a difference? There are so many wonderful talks, websites, research on marriage and the family. Where do we begin? We asked some friends and family for ideas but ultimately, we knew it was only between us and the Lord. We had about a week to prepare, and the pressure was intense--we prayed and studied constantly. We came to know, more than ever before, that the home is truly comparable to the Temple in terms of sacredness. We know that any outside influence from the adversary disrupts the process of receiving revelation and feeling the Spirit in our homes—which is precisely what Satan wants.

A few days before we were to present, we individually received our own powerful witnesses of exactly what the Lord needed us to write down and bring to the Members of New Zealand Parliament. I felt impressed to go back to the 1995 General Relief Society Meeting where President Gordon B. Hinckley explained and announced the historic “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” I have had a handful of powerful experiences where words of either Prophets or Apostles or the scriptures have literally shook me to the core, and this was one of them. I couldn’t deny it; and this meant I was now responsible to say things that no one else in the country would—things that would be unfamiliar or unpopular to say to the world these days. My husband had a similar experience and felt the hand of the Lord direct him to some profound thoughts and a story from President Uchtdorf. Although we were still nervous about what would go down at the hearing, we had absolute confidence and assurance that what we were about to read to Parliament was precisely what the Lord wanted. And that’s all that mattered.

Yet somehow, our confidence began to weaken as the day of the hearing came and the knots in our stomachs remained as we found out that this would be an audience hostile to religious belief and traditional family values. We dressed in our Sunday best and entered the ballroom of a hotel near the Auckland Airport where the Parliamentary Hearings were held for those in the North Island. Members of Parliament were at the front and the format for the Hearings mirrored a debate, with a moderator in the middle and Members of Parliament on both sides surrounding the room. Members of the press were on one side, and the video cameras on the other, filming each presenter. As we sat there, we heard arguments and pleas from both sides of this heated debate, but there was a striking lack of discussion on family, womanhood, fatherhood or religion. Some MP’s sneered and scoffed at a young Taiwanese woman who testified that gay marriage was legal in her home country and the effects it had on society, while other MP’s cheered and praised those who were championing immorality and gay adoption. The longer we sat there, the more we realized that what we were about to say would be in such stark contrast to the other presenters from either side of the debate that it would be very hard for them to hear.

As they called our names, we walked up together and sat down at the hearing table. The moderator told us we had ten minutes to give our speeches and then be questioned on the content of them. My husband, John, started first. As he shared a powerful story by President Uchtdorf and defended truth, and marriage and the family, I have never been more proud to have this good man by my side. There is something inspiring about seeing a man defend family and children. After he finished reading his statement, they asked me to read mine, leaving time for debate afterwards. As I started to read, I heard my voice echoing in the quiet room. I didn’t feel fear, but instead felt strength and power—and surprised (?) to feel some trembling deep inside as I read excerpts from the words of a Prophet of God.

The power of President Hinckley’s words were tangible as they hung in the air of the ballroom.

After I finished, the moderator announced that the questioning will begin. It was soon obvious that these MP’s were hostile to religious belief, traditional marriage and the family, and the importance of womanhood and fatherhood. Questions such as “Why is marriage so important anyway? Why not make broadened to include everyone? Should marriage be protected as a legal right? What exactly makes up a family? Aren’t we all part of a family and why should it matter exactly how it happens?”

At every opportunity, we answered with clarity that only a man and a woman create a family; the redefinition of millennia of history would water down the roles of mothers and fathers; gay adoption would automatically rob children of either a father or mother in the home, and so forth. We ignored the cameras, reporters and the videographers, and stuck to our guns firmly and politely. They thanked us for a clear and concise presentation and we handed each individual our statements and a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. We left the ballroom shaking and holding hands (tightly I might add!) We were given no accolades or support from the audience and it felt as though no one was on our side. Yet we had the strong feeling that although what we said would have been hard for many to hear, it was exactly what Heavenly Father wanted us to say.

All in all, we feel it was both the easiest and hardest experience socially or politically that we had ever been through. Easy in that when the Lord asks us to do hard things for Him, we know He’ll bless us. Difficult in that it was stressful and emotionally draining. This experience changed our lives, strengthened our marriage, and our solidarity in defending the doctrine and principles taught in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. 

In a nutshell, it was awesome! Although hard, it was such a positive experience! We know that although we were randomly picked to do this in New Zealand, there are millions of wonderful people out there who would have done (and will do) the same thing when given the opportunity. As I said earlier, wherever and whenever our Heavenly Father’s doctrine of marriage and family are concerned, silence is precisely what Satan wants.


Transcript of Angela Before New Zealand Parliament 
Preserve Traditional Marriage



Good afternoon, I am honored at the invitation to participate with you. As you can probably tell by our accents, my husband and I are immigrants to this country. We left our homeland of Canada and America to start a new life for ourselves and for future generations. In Citizenship Ceremonies, the beautiful New Zealand national anthem is sung, and I feel it is particularly fitting to share a few of its words today--for anthems are hymns that evoke powerful feelings in the hearts of a country’s people:

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
 Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

 I’d like to expound briefly on a few points in my submission, leaving opportunity for discussion afterwards. 
There has never been a time, at least in recent history, when we have been confronted with more challenging problems in our homes and families. We need not remind you that the world we are in is a world of turmoil, and of shifting values. Shrill voices call out for one thing or another in betrayal of time-tested standards of behavior. So many of the youth of the world, and likewise so many of their elders, listen only to the voice of self-gratification. The moral foundations of our society have been badly shaken.

There are those who would have us believe in the validity of what they choose to call same-sex marriage. We know there are a small number of people in this country who have feelings of affinity for the same gender. We love and regard them as our brothers and sisters. However, we cannot condone so dramatically redefining marriage without serious and sobering consequences for our families, communities, education systems and long held religious traditions and institutions of this country.

With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, those who have gone before us—as if they were standing here today-- would warn and forewarn on this bill to change marriage. In furtherance of this, I would like to reiterate our submission today with a reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which have been repeatedly stated throughout history. 
We, as a husband and wife and as citizens of this country, proclaim our belief 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. 
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. By divine design, fathers preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers help one another as equal partners.

We stand with those who have gone before us and warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. 
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. The accumulated wisdom of centuries declares with clarity and certainty that the strength of any nation is rooted within the walls of its homes. The institution that will save our broken society is not Parliament, it is the home. 

Thank you.

Courage: To Act in Faith When Fear is Present

Let's Talk About What is Marriage? And Why That's Important...

Last Stand to Save Marriage in America

Mormon Feminists Openly Seek Priesthood Ordination

Today's Mormon Feminists are bolder than ever, likely due to the support of liberal media outlets willing to exploit, at the drop of a lace hankie, the slightest negative tale to come across their inbox that could potentially convict what they perceive as the male dominant leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- in the sacred name of social justice and gender equality.





The last few months have seen an overabundance of attention given to these types of advocacy's --one of the latest claiming success.

However, the most recent campaign is by far the most brazen of them all, and one that the majority of conservative and faithful members of the LDS Church will be shocked to find out (and honestly question the claims that are made) that these are, many of them, also active members of the Church, -- though specifically women -- who have come together to question, what they believe to be a history of withholding, and to publicly advocate for, ordination to the priesthood.

SLC Fox 13 News Reports:
The push for women’s ordination within the LDS Church came after the Sunstone Foundation’s recent symposium in California, where Mormon and Catholic feminists joined together to talk about women’s roles in their patriarchal churches. 
“It’s difficult to be members only when you don’t have much of a say in how the organization is run,” said Mary Ellen Robertson, the executive director of the Sunstone Foundation, a group independent of the LDS Church that discusses Mormonism. 
Robertson said the Mormon feminists have launched a website, OrdainWomen.org, to encourage the dialogue. The group wants to know if men holding the priesthood is doctrinal — or merely the product of more than a hundred years of tradition. 
“I’m sure there are going to be some people who are threatened by those questions about whether or not we should ordain women, or who think that’s heretical to even suggest let alone advocate for it,” she said. “But I think it opens the doors to having those kinds of conversations.”
"In a statement to FOX 13, LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said, “It is the doctrine of the Church that men and women are equal. The Church follows the pattern of the Savior when it comes to priesthood ordination.”"


Mission Statement of Ordain Women:

The fundamental tenets of Mormonism support gender equality: God is male and female, father and mother, and all of us can progress to be like them someday. 
Priesthood, we are taught, is essential to this process. Ordain Woman believes women must be ordained in order for our faith to reflect the equity and expansiveness of these teachings. 
Last year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed its commitment to equality: “The Book of Mormon states, ‘black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God’ (2 Nephi 26:33). This is the Church’s official teaching.” Ordain Women embraces this statement. We are committed to work for equality and the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood. 
Based on the principle of strategic non-violent action, Ordain Women aspires to create a space for Mormon women to articulate issues of gender inequality they may be hesitant to raise alone. As a group we intend to put ourselves in the public eye and call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood.


This is unprecedented: that individual female members unite online to organize a campaign against LDS Church leaders to lobby for priesthood ordination -- by utilizing the media as their advocates to both protect themselves and to put pressure on the Church in an attempt to force desired change. In hopes of strengthening their case, based on numbers alone, they have joined forces with another faith, in which although we are great friends in together defending family values, we do not recognize priesthood authority.

J. Max Wilson has written some very interesting thoughts about this and the recent progression of Mormon feminism, that I think deserves some serious consideration. I've been following some of the conversations and activities of progressive Mormon women, online, for few years, and I feel that he's made some accurate observations. I've written about some of these things myself, but not to the extent that he has -- but I've certainly had concerns.

Over the last few years we’ve seen that Feminist Mormon Activists have encouraged a kind of civil disobedience to the prophets and apostles.

They have used self-referential echo chambers to amplify propaganda and magnify the perception of support based on demonstrably faulty data and unfounded claims.
They’ve organized protests for women to break LDS cultural norms during worship services by wearing pants to church and run media campaigns and petitions to pressure the church to allow women to give prayers in the LDS Church’s General Conference.

And they have blatantly misrepresented facts in order to stir up outrage at church leaders. 
But now they have taken things to a whole new level.

Read post:  Rules for Feminist Mormon Radicals – Moving the Overton Window


I honestly don't know what to completely make of all of this, other than to trust that the Lord, in is patience and long suffering, is in control -- and that we might want to keep in our minds the very recent words of His Prophet,  President Thomas S. Monson:

I assure you that the Church is in good hands. The system set up for the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve assures that it will always be in good hands and that, come what may, there is no need to worry or to fear. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we follow, whom we worship, and whom we serve, is ever at the helm. 
As we now go forward, may we follow His example. He left His footprints in the sands of the seashore, but He left His teaching principles in the hearts and in the lives of all whom He taught. He instructed His disciples, and to us He speaks the same words, "Follow thou me" (John 21:22). May we ever be found doing so.

As of late there doesn't seem to be a day that goes by, that I am not acutely thankful for prophets of God among us, who are ever upon the tower keeping watch so that we might know what is about, and how to navigate the darkness that surrounds us and our families.

In two weeks we will feast upon the words of the Lord, for an entire weekend of inspired General Conference messages -- of which I know we are all eagerly waiting to receive. I believe that the best thing we can do to prepare, is to follow previous counsel that we've been given: begin to ponder now, what we should seek an answer for, or about, during General Conference.

tDMg
Kathryn Skaggs

Updated: April 2013 Ensign -  Eternal Partnership in Marriage
BY VALERIE M. HUDSON, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICE AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, AND RICHARD B. MILLER, PROFESSOR OF FAMILY LIFE AT BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY



Last Stand to Save Marriage in America

It's almost unimaginable that a single, coherent, and reasonably mature individual in the country, could possibly be unaware that MARRIAGE has made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and from this point going forward, what can no longer be ignored by anyone is this: marriage in America is changing and if you've got something to say about it, and you've been holding out for whatever reason, now would be the time to say it... 


or forever hold your peace!

Well, not really, but now is a very critical time in the scheme of things, if up to this point you've tended to be one, who in order to avoid conflict on your Facebook wall, or wherever, rarely post anything other than pictures of cats kids, YouTube videos, or nice memes of some sort (I know, the cat remark was below the belt) --  to perhaps consider coming "out of the closet" for traditional marriage by being so bold as to posting something, anything, that says that you are, and do indeed...



And if you're really feeling crazy... like out of control CRAZY, why you could even go so far as to say something as bold as... like... you believe that every child has a natural birthright to both a mother and a father

Okay, one more... You could use the word... are you ready? Entitled! Don't you just love that word? I love that word! I love it because it's the most truest use of the word EVER! Children are inherently entitled to be raised by both a mother and a father. It is the truest truth in all the world.

What you should know?

Next week, March 26 and 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two separate cases challenging the constitutionality of existing laws: the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and  California's Proposition 8

What do we want to have happen? 

Court should uphold both laws and honor citizens authority to make constitutional changes at state level -- respecting the votes of over 7 million Californians. 

YES, even though you don't live in California -- what happens as a result of both of these cases will more than likely affect YOU!

Did you know the Church still affirms their support for Prop 8? 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined other faith-based religious organizations in filing an amicus brief in support of Proposition 8 recommending that the U.S. Supreme Court uphold it. 

I was so happy about that, so I blogged about it, -- so you know you're in good company when you continue to stand with the Church on traditional marriage. 

See post here: Prop 8: Many Surprised to See LDS Church Stand and Re-Affirm Position

There have been over 50 amicus briefs filed in support of Prop 8 and Doma, compiled by over 50 scholars with extensive research on the topic of marriage and family. Regardless of what mainstream media would have you believe, 41 states still maintain that marriage is defined as only between a man and a woman. Research strongly supports that biological married moms and dads matter to children and contribute greatly to their emotional health and well being.

Marriage Matters and We Need to Know Why:

It almost seems surreal to find ourselves needing to explain what marriage is and why it's important to preserve, but that's exactly where we are, so let's not be shy in defending what we know is right. Which means, those who care about marriage, have had to dig deep into the science and history of marriage, in order to analyze and articulate WHAT IS MARRIAGE? 

At its core, those of us engaged, know exactly what marriage is and as you look at it from the scholars' perspective, as "What is Marriage? Man and Woman: a Defense" by authors' Girgis, Anderson and George, who do so brilliantly, it's really a beautiful revelation to see unfolded in this manner, and a great exercise to undertake. 

In case you missed it, I introduced the book, "What is Marriage?" last week and again, highly recommend becoming familiar with it, or at the very least the general information in the post, and the included links. The authors of the book have been very generous with the content, in hopes of getting the information out to the public. They are, first and foremost, great advocates of preserving traditional marriage and booksellers last.

I know many are inclined to feel that they've either heard and/or are familiar with the main talking points of the current debate over marriage, and some perhaps even believe that the conversation is over -- enough having been said by everyone. However, I'm here to challenge that and assure you that such thinking is incorrect and encourage you to followup and investigate "What is Marriage?". I promise that the way the authors have articulated the information about what marriage is, will help you to better help others understand the importance of preserving marriage and give you a better appreciation for the institution that God has ordained.

See post here: Let's Talk About What is Marriage? And Why That's Important?

Sidebar: If I'm starting to sound like an infomercial, well, so be it...  this is that important. And yes, I know, the title of this post is a tad dramatic as well. You don't need to mention it in your comment. ; )

Okay, so what's happening?

An exciting event happening in Washington D.C. Tuesday, March 26th is the March for Marriage. I wish with all my heart that I could be there! I have such a yearning to stand up for marriage and be counted among others who feel the same as I do, but isn't it exciting just to know this is happening? 

On March 26th the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Perry case, which will determine if Proposition 8 – the citizens initiative approved by the people of California in 2008 to protect marriage – is constitutional or not. More importantly, the question of same-sex “marriage” and the right of Americans to protect marriage will be decided. We believe it is imperative that political leaders, the media, and the culture see that we care about protecting marriage enough to stand up and march for it.
But WAIT!

I did just find out about a marriage rally for those of you who live in Utah, and really hope that for those who live anywhere in the vicinity, you will make an effort to get this information out and try to attend. 


In the state of Utah we have chosen to hold a "Celebration of Marriage" at the Utah State Capitol. This will be an exciting community event, with Alan and Suzanne Osmond as the MC's, musical performances by Nathan Osmond and various Utah community groups, and speakers from several different religious faiths, members of the Utah State Legislature, and from the community. 

DATE: Tuesday March 26, 2013
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Utah State Capitol Rotunda
COST: This community event is free and open to the public--bring your family!
Chairperson: Mary Summerhays (801) 787-2697

Final thoughts:

I made a comment on my WBMW Facebook page today, in reply to one of my wonderful community members, where I shared a little wish that I've decided to re-share here with you, as we were discussing the need to continue standing for what is right: 


I keep dreaming that something will wake-up the people and they will start standing up and speaking loudly what is in their hearts, without fear of what others think of them. In the next week, before Prop 8 and DOMA go before the U.S. Supreme Court, America has just such an opportunity to be heard. Let us pray that more gather courage...

tDMg
Kathryn Skaggs

P.S. For those who may have forgotten, or may not know because you are new followers of this blog, but how I sign-off using the acronym"tDMg"... it stands for: to DO MORE good. I just wanted to make sure that you know that in every post I write, it is with that intention that I do so.

WBMW Latest Post: Principle Vs. Moral Conviction: Determining Factor for Flip-Floppers Like Senator Portman

photo credit: marriagemarch.org

Note: Please don't bother leaving negative comments, as I will not approve any that are not fully supportive of traditional marriage on this particular post. Thanks.