Friday, May 9, 2014

Thoughts on "Mawage"

I thought I'd just use this as a catchy title as opposed to the usual, but yes, this post is about same-sex marriage.

Not all members of the Church agree on this, and not even all gay members do either!  But I figured, since I am both gay and LDS, I might as well offer my perspective and hope that it helps someone gain a better understanding (or maybe it will make someone mad, but that's OK).

Ever since same-sex marriage became more of a reality here in Utah back in December of 2013, when it was legalized for a few days, it has been on my mind just about every day (call me obsessive).  As can be expected, the Church issued several statements on it.  I understood and knew that sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and a woman was wrong.  I understood (or so I thought) A Proclamation to the World and that it was...to the world and not just The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I also understood that we try to respect those who believe differently.  In fact, it is one of our Articles of Faith: "...let them worship how, where or what they may."  Therefore, I began to wonder, "why are we being so vocal about this, and why did Utah appeal?  As a matter of fact, why are several other governments and organizations taking a stand against same-sex marriage?"

Since I sustain the Brethren, I knew that this was all probably for a good reason; however, I was very conflicted for a few days.  I wanted to know why.  I prayed for peace and closure.  My prayers were answered rather quickly.  Upon reading The Family: A Proclamation to the World, the following paragraph struck me rather strongly:

"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."

This is either true, or it is not.  I believe it is true, and that is why I cannot, in my right mind, support same-sex marriage.  Even if I did support it, I wouldn't deny the words of prophets.  This statement is much more basic and easier for me to understand than nit-picking about civil rights, about how homosexual marriage somehow affects someone else' heterosexual marriage (which I do not believe), about how "love is love," etc.  Either the family, as organized by God, is the fundamental unit of society or it is not.

Now, do I believe that gay people should be allowed to have rights as human beings?  Of course, and that is largely already true!  Do I believe that gay people who choose to be in same-sex relationships deserve rights that we generally associate with marriage?  Of course!  Do I believe that God loves gay people?  YES!  Do I believe that because He loves us, we can do what we want and have it all be OK?  No.  Furthermore, do I believe that He would want us changing an institution that He has already ordained and defined?  No.

This isn't to say that homosexuals are ruining the world.  That's a very closed-minded way of looking at it.  We don't have to look far to see that the family, as a central part of our society, has been under attack for ages with issues such as abuse, no-fault divorce, infidelity, sex outside of marriage (homo or hetero), abortion, etc.  I realize that people die, and that divorce is what is needed in some circumstances, but I've heard messages actually promoting single-parenthood, like it is something desirable and better than raising children in a (healthy) marriage relationship.  The legalization of same-sex marriage just furthers the process of breaking down the family.

Who knows what the "calamities" will be?  I do not believe that we will all be struck by lightning or buried in the earth.  I believe that it will be a gradual decline from the inside out, just like other civilizations that have passed away.

I realize that those who have different beliefs will not agree with me, and that's OK.  I love you.  This is just how I came to my conclusions, and it makes sense to me.

Now, on a more personal note, I do wonder about those who are active and believing Latter-day Saints, and also support same-sex marriage.  It kind of feels like I'm being worked against by members of my own faith.  I do not judge them for it.  With the understanding that we currently have, I don't believe that there would be personal worthiness issues or hellfire and damnation (as some people think).  I just know that if it were me, I would have a hard time reconciling it with my temple covenants.  And when it would come time to defend my beliefs on the matter, would I throw them out?  Would I apologize for my beliefs?  When the Church and the world get further and further apart, what side would I choose?

In conclusion, please do not misunderstand me.  Please read my other posts.  I LOVE gay people.  I know what it's like.  In fact, I'd probably attend a gay wedding if I were invited.  I have no doubt that it is possible to fall in love with someone of the same sex.  Who knows?  Maybe I've fallen in love several times.  That love can actually be very beautiful when it is kept within the bounds the Lord has set (not talking about romantic/sexual relationships here).  With that being said, I know that marriage and family have been ordained by God (just as much as I know that I'm attracted to guys).  I know that in the end, most of us will be amazed at the mercy that will come through Jesus Christ...I'm just concerned about our society while we are all still living in this world.