Traffic for 2006 June 8 (entry 1)

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[Comments] (2) Stairway to Heaven: I wanted to post this so as to alleviate any confusion that may currently exist regarding the LDS faith and its tenets.

Letter from First Presidency of the Church to Church Leaders in the United States

We are informed that the United States Senate will on June 6, 2006, vote on an amendment to the Federal constitution designed to protect the traditional institution of marriage.

We, as the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, have repeatedly set forth our position that the marriage of a man and a woman is the only acceptable marriage relationship.

In 1995 we issued a Proclamation to the World on this matter, and have repeatedly reaffirmed that position.

In that proclamation we said: “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.”

We urge our members to express themselves on this urgent matter to their elected representatives in the Senate.

As you can clearly see, I am merely asked to express an opinion on this matter, either yay or nay as I see fit, as long as it supports the family as the fundamental unit of society. On the flipside, for those who so callously accuse me of not following the prophet, did you actually call your senator? If you did not, then you also did not heed his counsel.

Now to the meat of the conversation, which has unfortunately been taken out of context, The Family: A Proclamation to the World:

We, the First Presidency 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.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

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.

Now that it can be read it its fullness, I'd like to express my opinion on this statement. I believe in it. I love it. I take it very seriously.

I do not find within its meaning any clarion call to save the wicked world from the sin of homosexuality. What I do see in it are the attributes that I as a husband and potential father must strive to assimilate. I do not read this statement and think, well, time to go preach to the world how wicked they are. Rather, I see within it a statement that I can use to contemplate, plan and prepare ways to improve myself in regards to my relation with my wife, extended family, et all.

And sometimes it scares me, because I don't yet feel prepared to be a father. The Brethren state: "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." I see a plea to families to be true and faithful to one another, and see divorce and disrespect of spouse and children to be the disintegration that is set before me. And that is a problem that is inexcusably growing within the LDS church. I see nowhere in this statement a requirement to blatantly persecute those with beams while my mote grows and blossoms in a redwood tree. Because I should know better.

Of course it is easier for some to say this does not apply to them, that all is well in Zion. "Surely the Saviour is talking about those not of his fold." I sincerely ache for such people. This is a statement for me, and for you. May we use it for ourselves.

In closing, the Saviour spent much of his ministry with the publicans and sinners. And they accepted him, because he did not call them names like "publican" and "sinner." He did not condone their incorrect traditions, but he LOVED them until they changed. May we go and do likewise.


Comments:

Posted by Kristen at Thu Jun 08 2006 20:18

I am very sad that this "heated discussion" has come to this and it has convinced me that it is not worth getting into unless it is person to person because way too many things were misunderstood, assumed, and read into.

I am sorry if I offended anyone or hurt your feelings. I think you are all fine people. Thanks for always making me think hard about issues.

Posted by anonymous at Sat Jul 15 2006 13:07

exactly! let he who is without sin cast the first stone


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