Proposition 8: What Happens if Loving the Mormons Doesn't Get Them to Change Their Minds?

There's a lot of hatred going around right now for Mormons. In the name of tolerance, many homosexual marriage advocates are being grossly intolerant of our beliefs. There are, however, the notable exceptions. Among them are those who realize that hatred doesn't get anyone to change their point of view.

But in the case of Mormons and others who oppose "homosexual marriage", what happens if loving them doesn't get them to change their minds? Is this "love" sincere, or is it only a short-term tactic?

The statistics surrounding Proposition 8 are interesting:
  • 70% or more of blacks voted in favor of Proposition 8.
  • 84% of regular churchgoers voted for it, which 83% of never-churchgoers voted against it.
  • A significant majority of Hispanic voters supported Proposition 8.
  • Catholics supported Proposition 8.
  • Jews supported Proposition 8.
Yet the bulk of the protests are targeted against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That's actually fine with me. It would be much better if it were accurate, but in any case, free PR is a great thing.

Similarly to what I have pointed out here before, Connor's Conundrums notes that such attention most often redounds to the LDS Church's benefit. The current salvo--that we are Gestapo agents that

Somehow I'm afraid that non-marital rights aren't the ultimate goal of the homosexual marriage lobby. In other words, I'm not feeling very much of the love just yet.

hate homosexuals--is pretty much as easy to disprove as the fact that we don't have horns on our heads.

While a large percentage of the protesters seethe with a special venom reserved for the LDS Church, a significant portion of them don't agree with hate as a tactic--ever. I appreciate such sentiments.

Utah State Senator Scott McCoy said:
Today we have a great opportunity before us to begin to bridge the divide between the gay community and the LDS community and to seek out common ground. I take LDS Church leaders at their word that they are not anti-gay and that they sincerely understand that gay and transgender individuals and their families are in need of certain legal protections and basic benefits. I appreciate their statements that they do not oppose legal protections for gay people like those already enacted in California law that do not conflict with their genuinely held beliefs about marriage. This is our chance to come together and work to enact basic legal protections for gay Utahns. I am hopeful that the LDS Church will accept our invitation to heal our communities by bringing its considerable social and political influence to bear in support of laws that prevent discrimination and provide for the legitimate needs of all Utahns and their families.
I've met Senator McCoy once, and he seems like a sincere man. For now, I'll take him at his word as well. But it might be a while before we see if he really is sincere. After all, even Senator McCoy admitted that a great number of his constituents are LDS.

A brief by Equality Utah, which I received in my inbox today, seems a little less on the "love" side, and a bit more on the "taunt" side.
The LDS Church has articulated it is not “anti-gay” but rather pro-marriage and it “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.”

During this press conference Equality Utah will be asking the LDS Church to demonstrate its conviction on these statements as well as its willingness to secure such rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Utahns.
From my perspective, the issue for the Church has always been about marriage and not about human rights. So...is this really love coming from the "homosexual marriage" advocates? Or is it just another attempt to get another step ahead through false compromise? Are homosexual marriage advocates willing to see our point of

So...is this really love coming from the "homosexual marriage" advocates? Or is it just another attempt to get another step ahead through false compromise?

view that marriage is not a "right" but a responsibility, if we are willing to agree that homosexuals should have the rights listed by LDS Church leadership in a recent public statement--which, actually, we've done all along?

Somehow I'm afraid that this isn't the ultimate goal of the homosexual marriage lobby. In other words, I'm just not feeling very much of the love.





Comments

  1. It should be obvious that the legalization of homosexual marriages would bring to proliferation of all sorts of perversions in the future.

    Here we go. Without waiting to conquer a bastion at a time the advocates of perversions have hastily moved forward to demand benefits for lesbians, transgenders, and bisexuals.

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  2. I enjoyed this article, which reads in part:

    "We just lost a ballot fight in which we were falsely but effectively portrayed as attacking religion. So now some of us attack a religion? People were warned that churches would lose their tax-exempt status, which was untrue. So now we have (frivolous) calls for the Mormon Church to lose its tax-exempt status?"

    I obviously don't agree with a lot of what the author says in this article, but I'm glad to see somebody in the opposition camp that has thought through his actions logically...

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  3. Frank, Its very easy to use the word 'hate' to characterize anyone who thinks the church is sticking its nose some place it DOES NOT BELONG. Its just not that simple is it.

    It reminds me of the Jews who told other Jews not to hate their Nazi executioners.

    Why in hell should a gay person not hate you? Are the hated ALWAYS innocent?

    If you want to get real about HATE, get real about the hate coming from anti-gay bigots. Yes bigots.

    I am not gay by the way. But I sure do lose respect for people who insist on following a VERY corrupt interpretation of the Bible out of blind obedience to some master when that ignorance leads to STICKING YOUR NOSE WHERE IT DOES NOT BELONG.

    I hope one of your kids is lucky enough to be gay, so you may learn to love a gay child and realize how very evil your church is (on this issue).

    If you would like to see the hate from coming from your Church, listen to this testimony from a Senate session.

    Do you endorse Chris Buttars views? Do you count among your friends people who re-elected this bigot?

    Surely there are other subjects that are more sorely in need of your voice for justice than defending a rich church that supports war, death and bigotry.

    And Frank. You are a grown up. It IS bigotry by ANY definition. I am struggling with my respect for you and, your church. Really.

    Can you help me not hate bigotry? I hate bigotry when it happens to Mormons. Or will you insist on calling it hate so you can stay in denial about your own troubled conscious.

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  4. Frank,

    Glen Brown has posted something for you to see.

    I hope it works.

    Here's why. I hold you in my mind as an exception to that negative stereotype. You know the ones, and you know why.

    You are not afraid to take a stand, even an unpopular one that may bring you grief and cost an important calling or two.

    Please don't scratch your name from the "Book of Love" on this one.

    Its not really about the church. Its about what kind of American you choose to be.

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  5. As soon as you see homosexuals lobbying and fundraising and spreading misinformation in order to deny Mormons equality under the laws of a governing state body, the argument you use here will be credible.

    Until that happens, you are a hypocrite Frank.

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  6. Back in the 60's I dated a white girl in my Baptist church.
    I can remember back then that the congregation thought what interracial dating was wrong.
    "What would happen to your children" was the comment I heard a lot.
    Her family put a lot of pressure on her and eventually we split up.

    I eventually married someone of my own race but I've never forgotten the bigotry and ignorance of those Christians in my church.

    I eventually dropped out altogether and haven't been back to church in years.

    So I understand what gays are going through now.

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  7. So far, I think everyone here has missed the point. Which is this:

    The statistics surrounding Proposition 8 are interesting:

    * 70% or more of blacks voted in favor of Proposition 8.
    * 84% of regular churchgoers voted for it, which 83% of never-churchgoers voted against it.
    * A significant majority of Hispanic voters supported Proposition 8.
    * Catholics supported Proposition 8.
    * Jews supported Proposition 8.

    Yet the bulk of the protests are targeted against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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  8. Thanks Cameron, for helping them focus like a laser beam on one of the more salient points.

    Cliff,

    You're right: it's not that simple. But I didn't make it that simple. There are a lot of people who don't hate the LDS or anyone else for standing up for what they believe in. I just wish you could convince me that you're one of them. Do you agree with my premise/compromise, and do you think Glenden and Senator McCoy agree with it, that we support rights for homosexuals but we don't support marriage for them? Or is that just not quite far enough? That's the "love" I'm talking about.

    P.S. I'll read Glenden's article and look behind the Senate Session link and comment on those later.

    Riley,

    Have you ever noticed that when you get angry and hateful, that your comments don't make much sense? You have NO evidence that Mormons perpetuated misinformation.

    Hamster,

    There's a huge difference between interracial marriages and homosexual marriages. Contrary to what you might think, the LDS Church never opposed interracial marriages. Its leaders simply warned members of the Church that sexual intimacy and financial issues are enough of a strain on any relationship, that to add markedly different cultures (not just black/white) into the mix might strain a relationship to the breaking point. I don't think that's such a big difference anymore. I know two couples where one spouse is black and the other is white, they are members of the LDS Church and they're all doing just fine.

    Connor,

    Good point. That frivolity and false portrayal of LDS stances could quite properly be deemed as hateful.

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  9. Hamster
    There's truly a huge difference between interracial marriages and homosexual marriages. All the races are only branches of the same tree. So physiologically there is no problem in interracial marriages. Culturally there was. But currently those borders are gradually being washed away.

    But the main mistake we are all makeing here in the issue of Prop8 is that many of us are failing to differentiate between the rights of homosexuals and the benefits they are seeking. Nobody can take their right to practice it. They are currently not fighting for their rights, but for BENEFITS.

    Now, you may say they have their right to enjoy the same benefits the normal couples (male and female) do.

    But let's reason calmly. Legalizing homosexual relationships will send a wrong signal to the growing generation. Particularly conveying that it is normal. This will bring to proliferation of it and later of all other sorts of perversions. So, in order for some homosexuals to enjoy benefits the society has to sacrifice its morality. Is it worthed? The answer is, NO. Unless you think that homosexuality is not a perversion. If you do believe that it is not a perversion, then I guess they have won some victory over many in the society despite any racial affiliation.

    There are numerous ways for homosexuals to still have the same benefits without legalizing their unions. So it is not necessary for them to legalize their unions. I am sensing that the only thing that is going on here is that Satan is trying to spoil the growing generation. He is actually laughing at the stupidity of our society in this matter. We should not even discuss this matter. The Prop 8 should not even been brought up to vote on it. There are more serious problems plaguing the society. We are free falling without a parachute and are trying to notice and fix flaws in each others hair style.

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  10. Cliff,

    What to my wondering eyes did appear when I clicked on the link to your article about "testimony from a senate session" was that MY COMMENT was the very first comment to your article. The only facet of that particular argument that we disagree upon is whether homosexuality is a choice. I re-produce my comment from your article here for others to focus on:

    Only one thing I disagree with in the post. Although the inclination to sexual preference is strong, I think it is just that–a preference (or a choice) and not an orientation.

    Other than that, I agree with you. I think homosexuals who don’t flaunt their homosexuality should be respected just like any other human being. Those who do flaunt it should receive the same amount of respect as those who flaunt their heterosexuality.

    I find it ironic that parents want to protect their children from the bogeyman of homosexual proselytization, yet they buy them the latest Justin Timberlake album and smile approvingly when their daughters dress and act just like Paris Hilton.

    The acolytes of heterosexual promiscuity are much more numerous and active than those of the homosexual persuasion.

    You also wrote (or quoted) the following:

    Gay and Lesbian people are going to live in the state of Utah.
    We’re gonna be in the high schools.
    And we’re gonna have families.
    And we’re gonna be raising them here.

    And I would simply ask
    that you allow us to do that
    and leave us alone.

    I completely agree. How is that you're not trying to understand that my perspective (and the LDS Church's, for that matter)--that homosexuals have rights and that they should always be respected, agrees with you in essentially everything except for "homosexual marriage"?

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  11. I was referring to the hate coming from active members.

    I fully get your apologetics. Save it.

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  12. Cliff,

    You get it, but you don't like to hear it. So I guess I will save it, because it's falling on deaf ears.

    You're right that there are a lot of Mormons who are hateful of gays. I found out in a discussion with my co-workers that unfortunately there are some right here at BYU. But to say that I am hateful and that LDS Church leadership is hateful because we oppose "homosexual marriage"--I can't see that as anything other than a hateful assumption.

    So please stop assuming it.

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  13. So Frank, if
    "You're right that there are a lot of Mormons who are hateful of gays."

    What makes you think you are any different than the Mormons you call hateful? You both want the same result.

    Do you really think your, your superior ability to "apologize" is or should be taken any differently by those you defame with your doctrine.

    THEY don't care Frank. They don't care what you think.

    You live on a planet with other people. As long as you really believe you have some special knowledge, you remain a weak link in our common humanity.

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  14. Well, I don't know how to tell you this Cliff, but I am LDS and do have gay people in my family. I love them just the same. In fact, there are few people I like to talk football with more than one of my gay aunts. And I learned how to tie my shoe, read a clock, know right from left and other necessities of life from a gay, very talented uncle that I would never want to change that relationship with.
    As far as rights and benefits for homosexuals, I believe they should be available to them. Marriage is a sacred union that should not be tampered with in my opinion. It is something that should be sacred to anybody that enters it. I have a hard time with this subject cause I believe that homosexuals should have the same rights as anybody else. I also have a hard time figuring out where government as a say in whether homosexuals can marry or not. Marriage seems to be more of a spiritual nature than a government one. So I guess I really don't have a "solid stance" on this issue. I don't understand however, how people can bash the LDS church because they took a stance where a lot of other organizations took a stance as well. It is a moral issue and anybody, including churches can take a stand on whatever side they choose. I wouldn't blame anybody for taking a stand on something they believe in, even if it differs from mine. As long as it is something they truly believe in.
    One thing I do know, and Frank as said this as well, is that there is a lot of hatred for homosexuals in the LDS faith. I am sure we are not the only faith with people that do act like bigots. They are everywhere. It is a sad thing that people look at that and think everybody is that way. That is the equivalent of assuming that because somebody with a bald head is automatically a skin head and a neo-nazi. I know dang well that isn't the case. And I know dang well that not everybody in the LDS faith is a "bigot" when it comes to homosexuality.

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  15. Cliff,

    I have come to the conclusion that each time I try to clarify my position, you think I am groveling at your feet.

    I'm not.

    What makes you think that you're not hateful yourself, by the way? Of course...I know...you're the psychiatrist and I'm the patient. In your mind it's always been that way. And like so many other things about you, this, probably, will never change either.

    There you go, once again, speaking for a plethora of other people that you've never met.

    Maybe they do care about what I think. I'll wager that Senator McCoy does. And I'll wager that quite a few people--the ones that actually try to see my point of view--do as well. With your blinders, you probably can't see that. Self-analysis has never been one of your strong points.

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  16. The LDS church and Catholics, etc. followed their moral obligation, to oppose the acceptance of sin as something it is not, even if it hurts gays feelings. It is unfortunate that gays aren't satisfied with gay partnerships. If gays are allowed "gay marriage" I don't think it will fill the moral void in their lives. Gays will continue to attack churches and the Bible that label homosexuality as a sin. I'm glad that traditional marriage has been protected.

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  17. Very good point Anonymous. Although in the case of LDS Church, I would rather see them spending 20 million on building apartment complexes and housing their own poor rather than spending it on a campaign for Prop 8. Actually they are rich enough to do both. Poor LDS, or those who are struggling hard to pay their mortgages would not take any explanation/justification. Twenty million is a huge amount of money. Even in hundred dollar bills it would fill a closet to the top.

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  18. I just laugh every time someone says the church spent $20 million on Prop 8. You can look at the donation records maintained by the CA Sec of State and see that there is no such donation. I think I have heard they made a $2500 in kind donation, which was the airline tickets for leaders to come to California to meet with the Coalition.

    The fact is that the church encouraged its members to do all they could. The amount given to the cause was determine by the individual. There was not any coercion of any kind used to "force" members to donate.

    So if you have a problem stop blaming the church and come talk to us members, who last time I checked are not charitable organizations and can make any political contribution we want, it was not tax deductible.

    I get tired of people thinking we are mind numb robots who do what ever we are told. That some how because we are members of the church that the donation was made by the church, I can garuantee that there are a lot of members who decided not to give. I don't think there was 750,000 donations made by LDS members in CA.

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  19. I have no interest in getting the LDS Church or Mormons to change their point of view. I just want to prevent all religious organizations from imposing their beliefs on everyone else through unconstitutional legislation.

    This is the United States of America, and we have rights. If you take our rights away, that's un-American. Got it?

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  20. Richard,

    I agree. It's all about Constitutional rights. Homosexual marrige has not, until 4 judges in California took in upon themselves, ever been seen as a Constitutional right.

    It simply isn't.

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  21. RAP08,

    A very good point. A lot of people seem to misunderstand this point that the LDS Church organization only paid about $2,000 to the effort. It was the other approximately $19,998,000 that was given to the cause by individual people who happen to be Mormons. Maybe that money could have been spent for apartment complexes, etc. But those individuals freely chose to give their money to Proposition 8.

    A great case can be made, so I will introduce it, that if homosexual marriage becomes legal, we'll need to build a lot more homes for the poor. In a nutshell, it has been proven beyond doubt that nuclear families--with loving fathers and mothers in the home--are much more able to provide the necessities for their children than any other type of family.

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  22. I just want to prevent all religious organizations from imposing their beliefs on everyone else...

    Imposing? Hmm, funny word.

    Might one also argue that if Prop. 8 passed, the GLBT community would be imposing its beliefs on everyone else?

    This is not about religions organizations (or any other organization), since at the end of the day it's the individual who votes based on his own beliefs, perspective, and world view--whatever those may be, and whatever organizations may or may not influence them.

    ...through unconstitutional legislation.

    It's not unconstitutional when it's part of the constitution. Hence the amendment.

    One might argue that the amendment was unconstitutional itself, but the only basis for this is the opinion of four individuals on the Court who created this "fundamental right" out of whole cloth, performing what the dissent called "legal jujitsu". It's a stretch to say that the Constitutional grants every individual the right to marry whatever other indvidual s/he pleases.

    This is the United States of America, and we have rights.

    Indeed we do. But rights and privileges are different matters, and those who claim that marriage is a right are, in my opinion, misguided. The real right jere is the freedom of association. Gays are still able to shack up with whomever they please. But turning state-sanctioned marriage into a right is not the answer.

    If you take our rights away, that's un-American.

    Letting the majority of individuals in a sovereign state choose, through the electoral process, how they will be ruled and how their government will act, all in response to a decision made by four individuals who created a "right" out of thin air is very much the American thing to do, thank you very much.

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  23. Second to last paragraph should read "the real right here", not jere.

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  24. I'm going to respond to some comments by Frank and Connor. Same-sex marriage per se is not a constitutional right, however under the 14th Amendment the states are forbidden to enact any law that does not apply equally to everyone.

    Tyranny of the majority is un-American, that's why we have constitutional rights and courts to enforce them. You can't casually dismiss people's rights because "judges... took it upon themselves" to point out what was already written in the California state constitution. That's the job of Supreme Court justices.

    Let's face it, you are flying in the face of the law and the Constitution because religious authorities told you to.

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  25. Isn't there any Law forbidding to teach immoral stuff to the growing generation?

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  26. Same-sex marriage per se is not a constitutional right, however under the 14th Amendment the states are forbidden to enact any law that does not apply equally to everyone.

    The 14th amendment argument presumes that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right that should not be treated differently than heterosexual marriage. After all, marriage is open to all individuals, regardless of sexual preference. For that reason, states have taken it upon themselves to define just what a marriage is, so that all parties understand how they may enter into that contract, if they so choose.

    Another argument is found in Family Values an the New Society (1998) by George Patrick Smith:

    Another constitutional argument attacking the prohibition against same-sex marriage holds that it is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for a state to deny by reason of sex the right to marry. Discredited as a part of the doctrine of substantive due process, this argument has not been persuasive at all. Yet, it has been suggested that under Equal Rights Amendments to various state constitutions, a homosexual or lesbian citizen could argue that the right to marriage should be regarded as an absolute right since most of these statutory rights mandate they cannot be abridged because of sex. Since the U.S. Supreme Court has shown itself keen to eliminate sex-based classifications through the authority of the Equal Protection Clause, this argument might well have merit here.

    Traditionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a legislative classification which results in the denial of a fundamental right--here, marriage--may only be sustained when it has been shown that compelling state interest directs this course of action. In testing the extent of the state interest in structuring such a legislative scheme, the challenged state law is subjected to "strict scrutiny".

    In assessing the validity of such legislative classifications, current decisions by the Supreme Court suggest it will weight societal interests in validating a particular statutory classification with the injury inflicted allegedly on these individuals subjected to the legislation. Accordingly, if societal interests are deemed more substantial than the harms, the prohibitory scheme within the challenged states should be upheld. It would seem likely, in view of the level of antagonism and nonacceptance by the public in general toward homosexuality, that the interests of homosexuals in recognizing same-sex marriages would not be held superior to those of the public.


    Or, in other words, if the public defines marriage to be between a man and a woman, then the 14th amendment does not apply since all parties are free to enter into that contract as they may desire.

    Tyranny of the majority is un-American, that's why we have constitutional rights and courts to enforce them.

    Constitutional rights (as opposed to natural rights) are what the constitution say they are. Thus, they people may vote (through the tyranny of the majority, you may argue) to determine what those constitutional rights will be.

    You can't casually dismiss people's rights because "judges... took it upon themselves" to point out what was already written in the California state constitution. That's the job of Supreme Court justices.

    You've missed the point of my previous comment: nowhere in the California constitution does it state that homosexual marriage is a fundamental right. As the dissent argued (and let's be clear--this wasn't a lopsided judgment.. a 4/3 vote is not too definitive.. perhaps it's the tyranny of the majority of the Court?), the Court performed "legal jujitsu" to come up with this right, since it did not previously exist (hence the "whole cloth" statement I made above.

    To your point: they can't point out something in the constittion unless it was written there, and in this case, it wasn't. They used judicial smoke and mirrors to claim that the constitutional right exists.

    Let's face it, you are flying in the face of the law and the Constitution...

    What law? And the constitution? If I recall correctly, CA voters decided to include in their very constitution the affirmation that marriage is heterosexual in nature. How is that flying in the face of the constitution, if it's in the document itself?

    ...because religious authorities told you to.

    I supported this Proposition before the Church got involved in any way. Regardless, does it matter who and what influences our votes? At the end of the day we each decide as we please, whatever our world view, perspective, and influencing factors may be. You have your own, as do I.

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  27. Are you saying the people are the slaves of the Constitution. You are forgetting that the Constitution is created to serve the people. it is not the other way around. It is created by wise people though. Not the majority. So if those wise people have omitted something, it may be and must be corrected. And, do not separate natural rights and freedoms from the Constitutional rights and freedoms. Constitution is to reflect natural rights and freedoms. If it does not, then it must be corrected. Either by wise people or under majority pressure. I am not saying the majority is always right. Neither I am saying wise people are always wise. I am saying that while discussing an issue (in this case the homosexual marriage) we have to do what is right, what is moral. No wonder religious organizations have interfered. Remember that laws are not written to be immoral, to promote immorality and perversion. It is the other way around. The laws may be insufficient to cover all the endlessly growing spectrum of human immorality. that is why they, the laws need to be corrected to adequately cover the current state of human immorality. Again, it is a big mistake to separate natural freedoms from the Constitutional ones. The Constitution is written to reflect the natural rights and morals.

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  28. You are all devoting a lot of words to defend the indefensible.

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  29. Richard,

    It's not like you to flippantly dismiss cogent argument. Sure, everything must be constitutional, but it's not exactly as easy as you say it is to determine what that means. Constitutions are amendable, and once the amendment passes, then THAT is what is constitutional.

    You said earlier that

    under the 14th Amendment the states are forbidden to enact any law that does not apply equally to everyone.

    Is it equal application of the law to allow children to marry each other? How about men and boys? How about polygamy? Your broad interpretation of the 14th amendment would, for starters, require us to strike down laws against child marriages, buggery, polygamy, and polyandry.

    Virtually every Constitution enshrines (1) the ability of judges to interpret the constitution, and (2) the populace to amend the constitution. Ironically, (as Connor clearly stated above) the judges interpreted the Constitution in a clearly unconstitutional way by finding something that was not even there, and rather than the judges being impeached for overstepping their bounds, this judicial maverickism was overridden by the voice of the people according to a constitutional amendment process.

    I hope the judges don't think they can interpret that amendment out of existence. Otherwise we will have anarchy.

    For Conan the Barbarian Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown to be speaking out against this--now THAT's unconstitutional.

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  30. I am a Mormon. I believe that the Church was wrong to get involved with Proposition 8. I also believe that the reason the Church has such a problem defending its position on marriage has to do with the Mormon Church's long-time confusion about what marriage mean. I am talking about polygamy: Is marriage okay between a man and multiple wives? Why was it okay in Joseph Smith's time but not now?

    Until the Church comes out and says that polygamy has ALWAYS been a sin, the Church cannot triumph on the issue of what marriage is. And it will be part of the total undoing of the Mormon Church.

    By the way, I am totally opposed to same-sex marriage and homosexuality, but I feel that God should take care of that problem, not the Church.

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  31. Anon -

    There is no confusion about the definition of marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Under polygamy a man is allowed to have multiple marriages, therefore multiple wives. Each marriage is a separate contract between the man and woman and God, if it is a temple sealing. The dissolution of one marriage has not impact on any others.

    Practicing polygamy is a sin when God has not given instruction to practice it. It is not a sin when he has, so you will have to take that up with him.

    The Church is the Kingdom of God on earth; it will not be undone :) These are the end times and the church and the priesthood will not be taken from the earth again.

    If you think God should not get involved with politics regarding moral issues again I would encourage you to talk to him about it. He can explain his reasoning for having his prophets give the instructions that they did. You are entitled to an answer, just be sure you are ready and willing to accept the answer.

    I live in California and so when the letter from the prophet was read by our bishop it was very powerful. I have seen members progress from your current stance to being 100% behind the effort to pass Prop 8. Why the change? Because they exercised faith and followed the prophet and then came the confirmation from the Spirit.

    I wish you had been able to attend some of the testimony and Sacrament meetings during the process, they were very powerful.

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  32. Dear Anonymous, I am a Church member too. But I think this time the Church was found to be on the right side of the conflict.

    About the New and Everlasting Marriage Covenant, which you call polygamy. It was not a sin. It was not revoked. Neither was the Law of Consecration, by the way. There are no corresponding revelations but only declarations.

    So, instead of fighting against God given commandment of polygamy I would suggest to study it, and to try to understand.

    Visit this website http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/. It may help you to clarify some things. You will see that all of those who were sealed to Joseph Smith, did it voluntarily after receiving a personal revelation about the principle's God given nature and grave importance.

    You may have a lot of questions, though. Like, what was Joseph Smith telling that was so convincing. Nobody knows it. That information is lost forever. But devoting some thought and pondering you may receive a revelation about it. I myself have obtained some idea after studying the contents of the website. Some were arguing that Joseph Smith was a pedophile by pointing out to the fact that he married 14 and 16 year old girls. You will discover that Joseph Smith married more women over 50. So, it was not all about pedophilia. I do not know why he was marrying to himself already married women. We may not know it unless we study the Church history in details. It may be because the husbands of those women were not Priesthood holders in Joseph Smith's eyes also in the Father's. Those husbands may have been ordained into the office but it is possible that they have lost it, the Priesthood. That is why Joseph Smith found them unworthy and their wives lost. That is why maybe he found it necessary to save those women by not leaving them without a husband in the exaltation. Again we may only guess, or we can receive a revelation if we ask earnestly. I hope you still consider Joseph Smith a prophet of God. If you still have some doubts I suggest you clarify and finalize your testimony of Joseph Smith first.

    It is because of our extremely shallow understanding of the Doctrine that we often consider polygamy as a sin. In the D&C the Father indicates very clearly that no one can get to the Celestial glory without the New and Everlasting Marriage Covenant with plurality of wives as the integral part of it.

    Now you may say, so be it, I still have a chance to be in the Terrestrial or Tellestial realms. You will be dead wrong. The Church members who have been baptized and received their endowments do not have access to the Terrestrial and Tellestial kingdoms. These two kingdoms are for those who did not know the Law. In contrast for us, for those who knew the Law, the LDS, there is only one place, actually two, either the Celestial Kingdom, if we keep our covenants, or the Outer Darkness if we do not keep our covenants with the father which we made in the temple while receiving our endowments. So, the requirements are too harsh for us LDS. Read the D&C 76. Remember also Christ's words "My blood will not cleanse them if they hear me not." This principle is only applicable to us, LDS rather than to anybody else.

    Best regards

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  33. Anonymous (the last one)-

    I am not sure how the website you shared is supposed to strengthen a persons understanding of polygamy. I think it is better to point to the church’s sites for answers: one Church site on polygamy there are others.

    On this site it corrects some of the misinformation you shared namely-
    About the New and Everlasting Marriage Covenant, which you call polygamy. It was not a sin. It was not revoked. Neither was the Law of Consecration, by the way. There are no corresponding revelations but only declarations.

    You are correct that the principle was not discarded just the practicing and teaching. But Wilford Woodruf did receive a revelation of what would happen if the church did not stop practicing polygamy, which is why they issued the “Manifesto”.

    You also stated-
    In the D&C the Father indicates very clearly that no one can get to the Celestial glory without the New and Everlasting Marriage Covenant with plurality of wives as the integral part of it.

    I think you are confusing the Celestial Kingdom with highest degree of that kingdom. We can read id D&C 131:1-2
    1 IN the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
    2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];


    Admittance into the Celestial Kingdom is through Baptism.

    I again agree with your encouragement of reading D&C 76 but I do not agree with your assessment that members of the church can not end up in the other two kingdoms. You maybe thinking of vs. 72 Behold, these are they who died without law; but you are forgetting vs. 79 These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God. I think that these verses are logically ‘or’ statements not ‘and’. So a person who is a member, has the law in this life, can end up in the Terrestrial Kingdom if they are not valiant (vs. 74 helps clarify).

    Similarly the Telestial Kingdom is a likely spot for a member who commits a heinous sin, like murder, but does not deny the Holy Ghost (D&C 76:83).

    My understanding is that to become a son of perdition you have to KNOW Christ and deny him and the witness of the Holy Ghost. Simply having faith in Christ and going to the temple and then falling away is not sufficient to warrant the label of Son of Perdition. For instance Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon could have become sons of perdition because of their knowledge of Christ through visions. I having had no such experiences can not, though I can lose my reward promised when I was endowed and sealed to my wife.

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  34. To RAP08
    The website I had directed the first Anonymous to provides stories and testimonies of Joseph Smith's wives. Which are mostly unknown to the Church members. In contrast the site you were suggesting to visit contains common knowledge. It does not contain any explanation as to why the Everlasting Marriage Covenant was so important. While the personal testimonies and stories of Joseph's wives provide a lot on the importance of the principle.

    Actually, what misinformation which I supposedly shared, does the Church's site correct? There is no word there about Polygamy being a sin. Is there? Or, does the Church's website claim that The Everlasting Marriage covenant was revoked. It only states that it was stopped just because otherwise the Church would be compelled to stop it. Again, it does not say that it was revoked by God. So, what misinformation are you talking about? The Church website does not claim that Manifesto was a revelation. It says that the Church members believe it is. Which does not make it, the Manifesto, a revelation. The Manifesto is not officially recognized as revelation by the first presidency. Wilford Woodruf only saw a vision as to what would happen to the Church if they did not stop practicing polygamy. That's it.

    Again, Wilford Woodruf did not receive a revelation. He rather saw a vision what consequences would follow if they did not stop practicing polygamy. You are confusing revelation with vision. Every intelligent being could figure it out without claiming any vision. By the way, Wilford Woodruf continued practicing polygamy even after the declaration, Manifesto. That is why he was in a run and died in California.

    Let's leave aside the three degrees of the Celestial Kingdom. It is a subject of a longer conversation.

    Where did you get that "Admittance into the Celestial Kingdom is through Baptism." Can you bring in any scripture to support your claim?

    D&C 76 verses 71 to 79 are all about those who "died without the Law" also those "who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them." Why did you decided that all of a sudden the Father would in the last verse (79)speak about those who knew the Law? You think wrong that these verses are "or" statements. Where did you see any "or" there? Your conclusions based on your erroneous thinking are wrong. Additionally, verse 74 is only the continuation of the 73 and is all about those "who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them." So, it is not about baptized Church members but those who died without the Law. That is why the Lord visited them to preach the gospel.

    Telestial kingdom is not at all a likely spot for Church members. Starting from verse 80 the Father describes, "These are they who received not the gospel of Christ." It is nothing but a groundless wishful thinking for LDS to hope to have some spot in there.

    You are again dead wrong in your last paragraph. Your understanding is again nothing but a wishful thinking. So, you are saying you do not KNOW Christ. That is why you will never qualify to be Son of a Perdition. Could it be that, because you do not want to ever qualify to be a Son of Perdition, that is why you do not want to KNOW CHRIST? Do you really think you can trick Him? What a petty justification is this? "Simply having faith in Christ and going to the temple and then falling away is not sufficient to warrant the label of Son of Perdition." Sure it does. How can you have faith in Christ without KNOWING Him? How can you make a covenant with the Father in the temple, then turn away from Him and not be labeled as Son of Perdition? You are forgetting that after your baptism you received the Holy Ghost, in other words the Spirit of God. Holy Ghost is inseparable from Priesthood. How can you fall, turn away from your Priesthood without denying the Holy Ghost.

    You are not the only one who is making this fatal mistake. Great majority of the Church members play dumb, stick with safe verses of the Doctrine, do everything possible to avoid reading harsh and obligating parts of the Doctrine. The aim is to trick God and to save themselves. But do not forget, "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance." (D&C131:6)

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  35. Anonymous –

    I must apologize I thought you would be familiar with all of the text in Official Declaration 1, here are some excerpts:
    I have had some revelations of late, and very important ones to me, and I will tell you what the Lord has said to me. Let me bring your minds to what is termed the manifesto. . . .
    The Lord showed me by vision and revelation exactly what would take place….
    . . . I saw exactly what would come to pass if there was not something done. I have had this spirit upon me for a long time. But I want to say this: I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me. I went before the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord told me to write. . . .


    I get the impression there were some revelations, would you? This was the point I was trying to make. Would you only be convinced if President Woodruff had written down the full contents of all the revelations and had the church ratify it as scripture before accepting it?

    The Manifesto was put before the body of the church by President Lorenzo Snow for a sustaining vote, which was unanimous. I think this means the First Presidency sustained it also.

    I guess I should have said receive testimony of Christ, baptism, obedience, faith, holy ghost etc. are required to enter the celestial kingdom. My point was that marriage is not one of the requirements set forth in vs. 50-70. Our understanding of the Celestial Kingdom was expanded in D&C 131.

    I guess I could be wrong about vs. 79, been known to happen, but vs. 74 states Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. I agree it is a continuation. So when vs. 79 talks about not being valiant in the testimony of Jesus, I assumed it talked about a different group of people. If there is a way a person can be judged to be not valiant in something they had not received please explain.

    I guess I need to explain what I mean by KNOW Christ. Of course I know of Christ, I believe in Christ, I have Faith in Christ, I testify of him but I do not have first hand knowledge of Christ. By this I mean I have not been blessed to have seen him like the brother of Jared or others like him. It may be splitting hairs but that is what I have been taught.

    I am not playing dumb, I have no intention of taking that path. Since that is not my intent I must admit I do not stay awake at night worrying that if I do not go home teaching or go inactive for a while I am going to outer darkness. I am still learning line upon line, precept upon precept and have faith in the mercy of Christ and that his atonement is sufficient for me.

    I would point out that the temple recommend questions do not ask if you have an absolute knowledge of anything only that you have a testimony.

    These scripture would seem to apply. There is only one unpardonable sin.

    D&C 132:27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.

    Alma 39:6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.

    D&C 76:34-35 Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—
    Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.


    Elder Richard G. Scott taught
    I testify that of all the necessary steps to repentance, the most critically important is for you to have a conviction that forgiveness comes in and through Jesus Christ. It is essential to know that only on His terms can you be forgiven. You will be helped as you exercise faith in Christ. That means you trust Him and His teachings. Satan would have you believe that serious transgression cannot be entirely overcome. I testify that the Savior gave His life so that through repentance the effects of all sin can be put behind you, save the shedding of innocent blood and the denial of the Holy Ghost

    To which I say Amen.

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  36. Oh one last thought you can't even be excomunicated for falling into inactivity, whether you have been endowed or not. I think the church would make it a practice of excomunicating son's of perdition.

    Do you think Emma Smith is going to Outer Darkness?

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  37. RAP08
    If the Declaration 1 was a revelation it would not be called Declaration. Had Wilford Woodruff received a revelation he would not mention "very important ones to me." This betrays his desire to make it binding for the Church members. If it was a revelation he would not need to say something like that. A revelation from God is already binding without any additional statement like "very important ones to me." Pay attention that no statement like this has ever been attached to any revelation from God. Additionally, any revelation starts with either "thus saith the Lord, thy God..." or, "Hear the voice of my mouth..." or something like this. And again, contains its verification in itself and does not need additional statements to convince those to whom it is addressed.

    So, your impression is wrong. It is not a revelation but a declaration. And again, if it was a revelation the Church would ratify it as scripture. Who would dare to abridge the text of a revelation given by God himself. The answer is, none. No prophet would take a responsibility to conceal all the text of the revelation. Revelations from God are addressed to the Church, the members, and none would dare to hide it from them. First of all those through whom the revelation was given. But if you are still inclined to think of the Manifesto as revelation, then you better specify it as a personal revelation. In other words revelation given to Wilford Woodruff for his eyes only, not for the entire Church. And again, there is no word in the Manifesto that God had revoked the Law. None of the Laws of the restoration have been revoked. They are eternal laws.

    It is true that Manifesto was put before the first presidency for a sustaining vote. But notice that it was not sustained as a revelation to the entire Church, but as a Manifesto, ONLY.

    The D&C 131 is not a huge text. there is only one verse about the three degrees of glory inside it. So our understanding was not expanded much in there. It is maybe true that the highest degree is for those who have kept the New and Everlasting Marriage Covenant. But there is no concrete indication as to who will inherit the lower two glories. There is no time to go over this.

    The verse 74 is about those who have died without knowing the Law, but were decent people. Consequently Christ will visit them in the spirit world to preach the gospel. If they accept it there, they may go to the Terrestrial world. If not, they may be sent to the Telestial world or wherever Christ will send them. Verse 79 can nowise be about a different group of people. There cannot be disorder in the words of God. The House of God is a house of order. We only need to try to understand it. First, the word valiant is not only applicable to us, LDS, to those who have received the law in the flash. One does not need to be LDS to be valiant or not valiant. Similarly one does not need to be a baptised LDS to have testimony. The verse 79 speaks about those who after hearing the word of God in flesh, gained testimony of it, but were afraid and walked away without any desire to know the whole Law in its entirety, and to be baptized. From parable of the sower "these are they who receive the word among thorns." After hearing the word and having a testimony of it, they gave in to the pressures of the world. Therefore they are they who died without the Law. So, the verse 79 is still about the same group of people. It also could be about those who listened to the word of Christ in the Spirit World, but didn't choose to be fully enlightened, didn't stay valiant. It's a possibility.

    "Of course [you] know of Christ." So do all the Christians of the world. Notice that you are afraid to say that YOU KNOW HIM. Why? Because you are not sure whether you do or not. Then, you really do not know Him. Of course, you "have not been blessed to have seen him like the brother of Jared or others like him." But neither did Brigham Young, nor anybody else in the Church. So? Also, how can you believe in Christ, have Faith in Christ, testify of Him without having first hand knowledge of Christ? Actually you do not have to see Him to KNOW HIM, to have a first hand knowledge. Your Priesthood already assumes that you KNOW HIM. Have you not been urged at your Elders' Quorum meetings to KNOW HIM? So, you are still trying to fabricate an excuse.

    It is good if you are not playing dumb. But I guess my time spent to respond to you is not appreciated. And do not bring everything down to home teaching or inactivity. We are talking about things much higher in rank.

    By the way, testimony IS ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE. It is faith that is not absolute knowledge.

    You have brought in good scriptures about the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. I hope you are not arguing that murdering someone innocent is the only unpardonable sin, qualifying someone as son of perdition. In Alma 39 it says that, denying the Holy Ghost which you have received is a sin and is unpardonable. Can you explain what does it mean "whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God" (Alma39:6)? Or "in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death (D&C 132:27)? Or "Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame" (D&C 76:34-35)? In all your verses, the denying of the Holy Ghost, which you received after your baptism, is not only literally murdering an innocent person, but also denying Him, the Truth, any truth (remembering "I am the truth") and calling the truth a lie and a lie the truth, thus (metaphorically speaking) crusifying Him, putting Him, the Truth, to an open shame. So, calling the truth a lie, and calling a lie the truth, you definitely deny the Holy Ghost, therefore do you qualify to be a son of perdition. Additionally, denying any truth (not only a religious truth) will also qualify you to be a son of perdition. Remember that when He said "I am the truth" He did not mean only religious truth but rathe all truth. First the truth about yourself.

    Also, pay attention at D&C132:27 "after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord." DAMNED can never mean a place in the lesser glories of the Celestial Kingdom.

    I think you are paying too much attention to the forgiving side of Christ rather than His justice side. Again, this is generally done to bypass any judgment on the Great Judgment Day.

    About your last thought.
    Inactivity is not qualified by God as a sin in the Doctrine. As a matter of fact, the Father never provided any word about the frequency of Church going in the Doctrine. Actually, there is no commandment to build a church building and to go to it in the Doctrine.

    You think correctly that the Church "would make it a practice to excommunicate son's of perdition. Actually, they did it in the early days of the Church. As a matter of fact sons of perdition excommunicated themselves, later turning all their power against the Church and Joseph Smith. Now, why does not the Church excommunicate for denying the holy Ghost, for denying any truth and for putting Him on an open shame? Have sons of perdition ceased to exist? What if thre is another reason? But let's leave this aside for now. It is too soon to talk about this.

    I would only advise you to not judge things by Church policies and practices. Study (do not just read) the Doctrine while having left the Church indoctrination aside. If you do this, hopefully in a year or two, you may see Doctrinal principles that are so cunningly being hidden from us.

    As for Emma Smith, I am not sure where you're going with that. If you mean Emma being disobedient to Joseph Smith, if you mean Emma denying the doctrine of polygamy after being fully instructed by Joseph Smith about its essence and importance, actually, the New and Everlasting Marriage Covenant, I would say that according to the Doctrine she should be destroyed. As for being subject to the Outer Darkness, I do not know. I have not thought about that before. If you told me which part of her disobedience do you have in mind and gave me some time I might answer your question.

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  38. Rap08
    Take a look at D&C 132:52,54,64

    52. And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
    • • •
    54. And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.

    64. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

    These verses may somewhat answer your question. I still do not have enough information to judge where exactly Emma Smith is going to be sent to on the great judgment day. If you still want me to answer your question you better provide me with all the information you have about her. Although I am afraid even then it may not be enough to achieve a final determination.

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  39. My inquiry about Emma related to her leaving the church and helping to her son Joseph Smith III become the leader of the RLDS. I do not know, in fact doubt, if she was excommunicated, though today having official membership in another church is grounds for a disciplinary court. I thought your position was if a person left the church they were bound for outer darkness. You clarified with your statement about inactivity.

    I guess we will agree to disagree about some of the details we discussed. I appreciate you taking the time to explain your positions.

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  40. There is still not enough information to make a final judgment about Emma Smith. She left the Church after Joseph Smith's death, but she did not leave the Doctrine entirely. She rejected some parts of it, though. If rejecting the polygamy issue makes her a son of perdition, then all of us in the church are sons of perdition, since we have rejected it also. Additionally we have rejected the Law of Consecration and have come up with pseudo-doctrinal principles. As a matter of fact, even though we have not changed the text of the Doctrine, we still intentionally turn a blind eye on the harsh parts of the Doctrine while overemphasizing its soft and safe parts. So, we, the Church as a whole qualify more than Emma for sons of perdition.

    About my position that if a person left the Church they were bound for outer darkness. I was talking about the Church of Joseph Smith's time. What I was saying is that if a person was baptized and held the Priesthood, but later decided to leave it all, then it would make him a son of perdition. Joseph Smith taught that a person had three choices BEFORE the baptism, i.e., either to accept the doctrine and be baptized, or to reject it and walk away, or to choose to remain neutral. But that AFTER baptism a person had only two choices, i.e., either to adhere to the Doctrine, or to reject it, which, the rejecting of the Doctrine, can nowise be without the enticings of Satan. Now, it is logical to assume that giving in under enticings of Satan means to sin against the Holy Ghost, against the Spirit of God. The scriptures in your previous comment demonstrate clearly that shedding innocent blood is not to be understood only literally. That is why all the current Church from top to bottom are sons of perdition since we have mostly rejected the true Doctrine and have replaced it with pseudo-doctrinal teachings. Therefore, leaving the Church now because of its corrupt state will not make one a son of perdition. There are a myriad of other cases, though. My statement about inactivity clarified only one thing: that inactivity is not even an issue in the Doctrine. Simply because activity and church going are not. The only issue in the Doctrine is whether one is living it or not.

    I guess it is your right and a way to agree to disagree. But you better clarify which of my points do you have in mind. It is good to know that you appreciate my time spent to explain things. But it seems to me that you are walking away without defending your position

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  41. Anonymous - I feel much like Joseph Smith did,
    for the teachers of religion of the different sects [You and I] understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible [or any other scriptures].

    Since we disagree on some fairly basic principles, I felt it would be more contentious and thus not productive to continue to argue the points.

    We are at different points in our progression, who is to say which of us is right, I think we will both continue to learn and grow and eventually we will both arrive at the truth.

    Besides I felt like we had hijacked Frank's posting :)

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  42. RAP and Anon,

    Hijack away! It's been a very interesting discussion.

    Thanks!

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  43. RAP08
    I am not interpreting scriptures. I have only suggested you to read and study those same scriptures without the Church indoctrination. And do not try to hide behind statements like Joseph Smith's. It does not apply to this case. We are not preachers belonging to different sects.

    But I guess nobody wants to hear inconvenient messages. Remember, though that turning away from truth constitutes denying Him, the Spirit of God, the Holy ghost. Frank, I hoped that you had opened this blog in pursuit of truth. Alas, I was mistaken.

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  44. As I’m sure I’ll be touching quite a bit on this topic as I continue my series on the separation of Church and State, I’ll just touch on a few points:

    The resentment surrounding the passage of Prop 8 is focusing on our Church because the LDS Church was so visible and proactive in supporting it. Yes, other denominations supported Prop 8. But the Church (either directly or indirectly) accounted for between 40-70% of the funding for the campaign, certainly the largest amount by denomination, and were the most proactive in pressuring its members to participate in the campaign. Given those circumstances, it is only natural that the Church would bear the brunt on the backlash. They earned themselves the right to be targeted.

    Note, I am not in any way justifying vandalism, violence, or other criminal behavior. But I cannot blame them for their frustration, and support them in their peaceful protests.


    Given the whole history of the Church regarding homosexual issues, it is hardly accurate to say that they have supported relationship rights “all along.” Leaders in the hierarchy have previously recommended corporal punishment for homosexual acts. The Church has officially supported electroshock therapy to “cure” homosexuals, and insisted that if they just trust God and accept a heterosexual marriage, God would cure them. These were not some ancient history, but attitudes from the last few decades, so we might forgive homosexual activists for being skeptical about the recent assurances that the Church supports relationship rights, as long as it is not called marriage. Given the frequency with which they’ve been faced with outrageous homophobia within the membership of the Church (and I’ve seen plenty), I’m not surprised so many have a “special venom” in their anger toward the Church. When people are constantly faced with hate, they usually learn to hate.

    Speaking of the relationship rights issue: You seem to be suggesting here, as you have in the past, that you (and the Church) agree that homosexual relationships should receive some level of protection--so long as those rights are not considered “marriage.” When I’ve pointed out the need to protect the right of other faiths to perform homosexual marriages if they feel it morally acceptable to do so, you’ve insisted that they are allowed such a right--as long as that marriage does not receive legal sanction (ie, rights). Do you see the inconsistency here?

    If you want to define marriage as a “responsibility” rather than a “right.” Fine. I really don’t see the point of the semantic game. Why do we have the right to enforce our religious beliefs on others and deprive them of that “responsibility” via government authority? How can we infringe upon their freedom of conscience like that? I think the protection of their freedom of conscience is all that they are asking. Why should they expect to compromise on this basic right? Why imply that they have some sinister plot? What is it you think they are trying to accomplish?

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  45. One last addendum; I'm not sure why you are labeling the anger of the homosexual community as "intolerance." There is nothing in the concept of tolerance (which is but a pale imitation of the true principle for which we are supposed to stand) which suggests that people should tolerate and accept the effort of others to restrict their rights.

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  46. Derek,

    Thank you for re-invigorating the conversation.

    I may perhaps need to study the history of what the church taught about homosexuality. I could be wrong, but I don't think that official church doctrine/policy ever included advocacy of corporal punishment for homosexual acts (unless you're referring to such acts in public, in which case I advocate corporal punishment for that as well as heterosexual acts in public).

    I personally still think that people can change their orientation, and in the eternal scheme of things, it would be well for them to attempt to do so. I'm not sure whether the Church ever recommended heterosexual marriage as a "cure" for homosexuality, though.

    The semantics of "responsibility" vs "right" are elaborated on in previous posts here and here. In all of this discussion, why do advocates of homosexual marriage never intimate that they care about how this might affect children?

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  47. To Derek
    The homosexuals are not fighting for their rights but for BENEFITS. Nobody can restrict them to practice whatever they practice. Their desire is to legally marry to enjoy monetary BENEFITS, which they can enjoy actually even without legally marrying. There are number of legal ways available to them to achieve their BENEFITS.

    We have to consider what impact will the legalization of homosexual marriage have on the growing generation. I am afraid you are missing this important aspect of the problem.

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  48. Benefits are indeed part of the reason homosexuals are fighting for equal treatment of marriage. And why not? There is no legitimate reason homosexual relationships should not receive the same benefits of heterosexual relationships. One might question why we feel government needs to give benefits for marriage; but if we are going to give those benefits, we should not discriminate based pretty much solely on the religious belief that homosexual relationships are bad.

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  49. I understand we live in a legal matrix.

    Heterosexual marriages always had their inherent benefits independently, and before any government institutions. We, the government, only put on a paper whatever the heterosexual marriages already had. We did not create those benefits out of thin air and did not give it to them. Again we, the government, only recognized and put on a paper the benefits inherent to heterosexual marriages.

    Homosexuality, though, is not a religious issue. It is a perversion independent of any religious belief system. Physiologically it is an abnormality. Even the contemporary science cannot explain what it is and what causes it.

    By legalizing it we, the government are sending a wrong message to the growing generation, particularly conveying that it was normal, which it is not. Thus by legalizing homosexual marriage we will be mis educating the growing generation, thus opening the field for more perversions. The bottom line is that things must be called by their correct names.

    The legal matrix is unable to cover all the endlessly growing spectrum of human immorality. The homosexual marriage issue cannot be resolved via legal means. The legal system must be corrected to fully cover the current spectrum of immorality. Remember that laws were created to protect against human immorality, theft, robbery, plunder, physical and verbal abuse, etc. The above mentioned immoralities were labeled as crimes after being put on paper. So, if homosexual marriage is still out of paper, it does not make it a moral thing. We, the society, the government, need to ponder a lot before rushing to allow it just because it is not on a paper yet. We may need to decide, hopefully, that the homosexual marriage must be banned and put on a paper as a law. Which California already did. People are not the slaves of the law. The law is created by the people to serve them. On this planet homosexuality is abnormality. Therefore we may want to have corresponding laws to ban homosexual marriages.

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