"I may be on the wrong side of history...but let it never be said that I was on the wrong side of God's plan."

Today, I want to share with you what my friend, Ben Anderson, so courageously wrote on his personal Facebook wall in response to the decision by the United States Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage across the Nation. When I read it, I was so touched by his genuine desire to follow his conscience and speak his mind knowing many would oppose him and offend some -- even those closest to him. What difficult times we are now living in with the challenge to be Christlike and keep sacred covenants to stand for what we believe “in all things and in all places." 

Most Americans value the principle of Religious Freedom. We are grateful for the First Amendment to the Constitution, which protects this most fundamental right in a free society. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded and is able to continue to flourish upon the basis.

However, if we allow our voices to be silenced by those with opposing, legalized views then we risk losing our ability to speak and more importantly act upon our faith beliefs -- and soon will find ourselves in bondage.

And for this, I am grateful for those of you like, Ben, willing to step out of your comfort zone (and many for the first time) being compelled to speak truth regardless of personal consequences. 

“Ok. I feel obligated now to express myself concerning the recent SCOTUS decision. 
The SCOTUS decision is a political nightmare. It circumvents the States’ rights. It ignores legitimate arguments concerning redefining marriage. It uses tenuous arguments not based on law...but based on "feelings" to come to a decision that in almost every way conceivable is "extra-constitutional.” 5 unelected individuals decided to overturn the legitimate legislative process in 16 states for the sake of making a 3% (being generous) minority feel equal (marriage is not forbidden to gay people...they have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex...just the same as me). This is in my view a miscarriage of the democratic republican system we live in. 
I have not to this point stated any religious position and would gladly argue the entire affair without addressing religious convictions at all. But I want it abundantly clear where I stand on this issue with regard to my religious views. 
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are not to judge unrighteous judgments and certainly not ignore the beam in our own eye. I am a sinner. I sin regularly...in fact, this very post is likely a sin...one in which I will have to lean heavily on the mercy of Christ through his Atonement.

Alas, I am an imperfect person and will sin until my last breath. My intimate recognition of my own sins makes it possible for me to see other's sins and withhold judgment of their sins. I can readily acknowledge that we are sinners walking through a journey that is our own and requires compassion and love from each other in order that we can buoy each other through the rough seas of living.

I have been as compassionate as I know how to be...which isn't all that compassionate by some measures. However, I want to express my firm belief that God ordained marriage not as a matter of "love" but as a holy rite to bring about His Eternal purposes. He ordained marriage as the natural source of providing His spirit children with physical bodies. It is immutable that the biology of man and woman are compatible and necessary for the co-creative process of bringing new lives to this earth. Love is not necessary for this process to take place...it is encouraged by our biology (for 97% of us at least) and certainly it makes marriage easier and more fulfilling but love is not a fundamental of marriage.

Marriage with love in it is divine and joyous and fulfills much of God's expectations for His children and so we are encouraged to find someone we can love for all Eternity. The holy sacrament of marriage cannot be redefined to insinuate that gender is interchangeable and unimportant. 20 years ago, the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were inspired to draft a document to unequivocally state the design of God with regards to the Family. [The Family: A Proclamation to the World] In it, they address the eternal nature of gender and its role in fulfilling God's plan. It also addresses the need for strong families built upon a foundation of loving parents, mother and father, who are united by marriage to raise children in righteousness. This 20-year-old document was well ahead of the cultural upheaval we see today. It is nothing short of prophetic. It warns that nations that ignore the importance of family as the fundamental building block of civilization will suffer great calamities. I believe that most of those calamities will be man-made and that people who seek “tolerance” while giving little to none will encourage them. 
Others often see things in their newsfeed, which they believe are "bashing" their opinions. While I see things that I believe are bashing mine. We are both right. I saw dozens...maybe hundreds of instances of Christian hating comments, posts, and shared articles over the course of the last few days. I saw people desecrate my sacred beliefs in pride parades and read of pastor’s spit upon simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know that most of my LGBT acquaintances would never do such a thing. That they do indeed respect a difference of opinion. 
What I also see, however, is a movement that screams "tolerance" at the top of its lungs while giving none and seeking specific opportunity to offend. And then claiming that any Christian who dares disagree with them is being "hateful" rather than just having a different perspective.

I do not "hate" people that sin. I do not hate people that have a different opinion than I do. I do not block, or unfriend people of differing political or social views. But I can tell you...I have been on the receiving end of hate. I have been called a bigot, a hateful person, ignorant, and many words that fall into a category I dare not share. And all this simply because I dare share my opinion. 
This is also a reason for me to fear...yes fear...the SCOTUS decision. This decision has emboldened people who attacked me for my opinion. It has shown them that they...the 3%...can wield power and force people to sit down and shut up. The decision opens up the door for businesses to discriminate based on the affiliation a person has with a religion or if they've ever expressed a different position from the culturally accepted position. A business will be able to justifiably claim that hiring a Christian with a public record that puts them in opposition to the "law of the land" will cause them harm. Fear of a LGBT boycott is apparently enough of a PR nightmare that hiring someone who has openly opposed SSM is enough to now discriminate against that person. Before you say that it would never happen...I can say that it has. (Brendan Eich of Mozilla?) 
With all of this said let me be on record. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. I may be on the wrong side of history...but let it never be said that I was on the wrong side of God's plan. 
 Lastly, let me say again that I don't want to lose friends for this position. If they feel so uncomfortable with my opinions that they cannot bear to be near or affiliated with me then I can only express sadness...there is nothing they could do to change the way I feel about them.”

Thank you, Ben. I know many can relate to your thoughts and feelings. I am proud to know someone like you, willing to stand for what you believe in the face of inevitable consequences. If ever there was a righteous use for social media, it is to use it to defend truth and righteousness in the public square. 


Kathryn Skaggs

Ben Anderson is a father of 6, happy husband and social media entrepreneur. While not a Washington native, he calls Kennewick WA home. Ben can be found online at Twitter and Google Plus.

You might also be interested in reading: The Legalization of Same-sex Marriage: We've Got This!

The Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage: We've Got this!

Immediately following Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that legalizes same-sex marriage in all 50 states, unabashedly and humbly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) stood as a shining example of how faithful members of the Lord’s Church should stand stating that LDS doctrine on marriage will not change.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today's ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court's decision does not alter the Lord's doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice."

Included along with the above statement is The Divine Institution of Marriage, which I highly recommend re-reading.

Although the complete legalization of gay marriage in the United States has been a sober journey, faithful members of the Lord’s Church are prepared -- we've got this! We’ve made covenants. We know the doctrine. We know the Lord’s position on the matter because Prophets and Apostles, who we believe are inspired by God, have counseled and taught us both the doctrine and to love those with differing views. Many have sincerely prayed for personal understanding and help to know how to navigate this issue on many different levels—both within and outside of the Church and in our families.

Surely, there could not be a more pertinent reason for God to have representatives on the earth today than to ensure that eternal truth relating to the family is available to every humble seeker of light. We live amidst the greatest moral confusions in the history of the world where right and wrong have literally been turned inside out. Many good people find it nearly impossible to distinguish truth against the continuous onslaught of politically correct immorality, let alone stand for it. However, as members of the Lord’s Church, we need not be confused by what is packaged in opposition to the Lord while some choose to disregard and even celebrate these temporal victories.

Marriage is ordained by God, only between and man and a woman. Period. This is love—not the current lie perpetrated in an unconstitutional motion by a handful of activist judges sadly found in nearly every state and by a few justices in the highest Court of the land. Don’t be fooled.

Beginning today, people who believe in moral absolutes and/or base their life’s determination upon eternal truth are about to face a historic challenge in buffeting being labeled as bigots, religious zealots, and/or fanatics, which will occur with increased frequency. Less than 10 years ago, today’s reality would have been the stuff of your worst nightmare.

If upholding and valuing God’s teaching about marriage renders people of faith on the wrong side of history, then so be it. We know that, too, is a lie. What those who choose to see us in a negative light don’t understand, or refuse to accept, or simply respect, is that our position is not one of fanaticism, judgment, or hate, but of love and trust. Our position on marriage is not our own, but God’s—the very Author of life. So stellar is His position, that it is impossible to reject it—the biology is absolute fact. If it were possible, the perpetuation of the human race would be damned.

God ordained marriage is a spiritual and physical revelation, thus cannot be converted into a manmade definition. It is a complementary relationship with a resulting intent to produce children. Thus the natural family makes its appearance. It is how God intended children to be born and raised, and it is what is best for children. The birthright of every child born is inherent in their conception: a mother and a father. Whenever possible it is the duty of society to ensure that every child is raised by a mother and father.

I firmly believe that the lie of same-sex marriage will be devastating to untold numbers of children whose inherent right to a mother and a father has now been stripped by the United States Supreme Court. Truly, this is one of the most violent acts of selfishness the world, thus far, has ever witnessed. Although my marriage is just fine and will be, any other assurances of how same sex marriage will affect untold generations are completely off the table.

Nearly 20 years ago the inspired document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was published and warned individuals, communities, and leaders of nations of the devastating results of not adhering to God’s counsel on the family:

“WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we 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.”

God-ordained marriage requires no government sanction, but great blessings are promised as it is supported and honored. No government, in reality, can declare it obsolete or redefine it. Because we understand this, we trust that whatever is happening in the world right now to try and undermine the great plan of salvation will ultimately fail. Just as every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, so too shall they who currently oppose His Plan concede that the only way to experience eternal joy is within a marriage according to absolute truth.

I hope these words from an Apostle of the Lord will give you strength and encouragement needed at this time and in the coming days to stand with Jesus Christ and His chosen servants.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

“Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.) President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had ‘never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ! We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism which uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of western civilization to shrink freedom, even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.”

“Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. M. J. Sobran also said, ‘A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it’ (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 58–59). This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.”

“Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic ounsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, ‘summer is nigh’ (Matt. 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat!”

How grateful we are for the Great Plan of Happiness and the knowledge we have about marriage, its purpose, and eternal families. I can honestly say that as a member of the Church I never anticipated the days we are now experiencing. I am committed, with love for others and the many differences we might have, to rise to the challenge given us by our Savior Jesus Christ to live His gospel with love and conviction—and above all, without fear.


Kathryn Skaggs

This post is part of a blog hop with these fabulous bloggers! We're talking about our marriages, giving tips, and sharing what we've learned but most importantly defending traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Marriage between a man and a woman blog hop
Jocelyn @ We Talk of Christ | Jenifer @ Moss Moments | Montserrat @ Cranial Hiccups