Twenty years ago, church leadership felt inspired to compose The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I had no idea then that the short phrase, "between a man and a woman" would be so controversial that a Supreme Court case would be heard about the definition of marriage.
and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
(First paragraph of The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
I disagree with the decision of the court, because I believe in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I understand that not everyone was disappointed when the ruling came down. Many celebrated. My Facebook feed looked like someone spilled a Crayola box over it. Some of the posts have been simply happy, but others have adopted a "take that" sort of attitude. I've read posts saying that anyone who doesn't support the new definition of marriage is not a true Christian.
My post last Monday was written in preface to this new series of posts. I know many who hold similar views to mine are scared to speak up; frightened of being belittled or verbally attacked, or labelled a hater or bigot. I cannot be quiet any longer. I do not want my previous silence to be misinterpreted as agreement, nor do I want my posts to be misconstrued as hateful. I merely want to express my point of view, and I hold no ill will toward those who hold a different view.
To a large extent, religious views provide a dividing line for the issue of marriage. Those who think, as I do, that marriage between man and woman is ordained of God, are not prone to change their minds because a panel of mortals has decided otherwise.
Sometimes, as mentioned above, those who support gay marriage try to sway the more traditional believers by talking about the command to "love thy neighbor as thyself." Certainly, that is an essential command--the second of two "great commandments." But what is the first great commandment? Matthew 22: 36-37 reads:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.Master, which the great commandment in the law?
I mention the first great commandment not because I think we have to pick and choose between the two (we don't), but to emphasize priorities. Our first commitment should always be to God. If He has set up the pattern for marriage, we should honor that pattern.
Of course, God is a God of love, and wants us to love one another. Often, the account of the woman taken in the act of adultery is brought up to show that we should be accepting of all. I think that is an excellent example to remind us that we all fall short and should not berate others for their errors. It does not demonstrate that the Lord's commandments can be disregarded. Jesus did show mercy for the woman, but he also instructed her to "Go, and sin no more." (John 8:11) His words imply that her actions had been sinful, and He was admonishing her to repent.
It absolutely is possible to love sinners, yet not condone sin. If not so, the world would be a very loveless place, as we are all sinners.
He that is perfect can stand as a judge, but for the rest of us, we need to refrain from judgment. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a counselor in the First Presidency of the Church currently, gave an excellent talk on this topic in 2012. He stated:
Yes, of course we should forgive. Forgiveness does not mean we give up on the laws of God, though. We hold up the Lord's standards and values, and constantly strive to live them.
I will continue to do all I can to support traditional family values. More posts will follow to address other aspects discussed in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
Thanks for marriage, and commandments from a loving Heavenly Father.