Friday, October 31, 2008

Summer is Nigh, following the Prophet

The following is a quote attributed to Elder Neal A. Maxwell. It was sent to me from a Stake President in Southern California. It's funny how these things work. Given current events I've been spending a lot of time studying this topic and I prayed for something that bridged the gap between what I feeling and what I was finding in reading and praying. These kind of spiritual nuggets of gold seem to come up only when you are searching for them and they come in the most unexpected way. Anyways I wanted to share this with the group.

"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. 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."

"This is hard doctrine, but it is 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. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . 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 counsel. 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.' Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat."

Monday, October 27, 2008

How we're tolerant people AND voting yes on Prop 8

This pretty much sums up how I feel on this issue. Its a hard one, but one I've carefully pondered and have thought out. Please watch this video before you make your decision on election day.

SURPRISE - PROP 8 SUPPORTS FREEDOM

PROP 8 RESEARCH – EFFECTS OF GAY MARRIAGE IN CANADA AND MASSACHUSETTS

SURPRISE - PROP 8 SUPPORTS FREEDOM - THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH

By William Clayton | JD/MBA Candidate
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Yale Law School

For most Americans, freedom is the paramount value. Preferring to live and let live, Americans naturally tend to oppose Proposition 8 believing that it restricts freedom. But a careful study of what has happened to freedom in countries and states where gay marriage has been legalized strongly supports exactly the opposite conclusion.

Laws frequently have unforeseen consequences. Such is the case with gay marriage. A study of the effects of the judicial imposition of gay marriage on the people of Canada and Massachusetts provides a clear picture of how it is destroying freedom of speech and threatens our very democratic way of life. Surprisingly, passage of Proposition 8 will actually strengthen our freedoms. Please don’t vote before taking time to carefully consider the following information to assist you in making up you mind about Proposition 8. Those who truly love freedom cannot afford to make a quick emotional decision about Proposition 8.

Most gays, particularly those who want to marry, are respectful of others views, but the activist Gay Lobby, that is driving the legal battles, has a very different agenda. A study of the world wide consequences of legalization of gay marriage, with particular attention to Canada and Massachusetts, clearly demonstrates that the agenda of the activist Gay Lobby is not granting homosexuals the legal rights associated with marriage but harnessing the power of the state to transform society into their image and suppressing all opposing views. The legal record shows that, given the opportunity they will force their views upon everyone else, including and especially young children. Their objective, as clearly seen in the legal actions taken and the instructional materials being used in the elementary schools, is not tolerance but celebration of homosexuality and “gay pride” while teaching that opposing views are mean spirited and hateful bigotry. And their attack extents beyond government supported institutions to private and home schools as they seek to deny parents the right to control the moral teaching of their children.

Society has rightfully removed the teaching of religion from the public schools, but the Gay Lobby seeks to use the courts to force the teaching of a new religion in the schools, the “religion” of gay activism. It is a religion of intolerance that has subjected those who voiced differing beliefs to ridicule, termination of employment, and even civil and criminal action for “hate” speech. To the Gay Lobby, separation of church and state means keeping the views of religions that disagree with their life style out of schools and government, while demanding that those same schools and government use tax payer dollars to teach their “religion” to young children and deny religious adoption agencies the right to direct children into homes with both a mother and a father. If left unchecked, their attack on freedom of speech will lead to the destruction of democracy in the name of tolerance.

Failure to pass Proposition 8 will give the Gay Lobby a potent legal weapon that will be wielded in California as it has been in Canada and Massachusetts . It will be used to promote the transformation of society and the suppression of freedom of speech. If this statement seems absurd, you owe it to yourself and your children and grandchildren who will have to live in the country you create with your vote to study this material carefully before voting.

GAYS ALREADY HAVE ALL RIGHTS OF MARRIED COUPLES UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW

Passage of Proposition 8 does not deny gays any rights under California state law. The Domestic Partners Act has already granted to gays all the rights of heterosexual spouses under state law. This Act, originally passed in 1999 and modified and expanded in subsequent years, culminated in the California Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, states its intent “to secure to eligible couples . . . the full range of legal rights, protections and benefits, as well as all of the responsibilities, obligations, and duties to each other, to their children, to third parties and to the State, as the laws of California extend to and impose upon spouses.” The final draft, under Family Code Section 297.5, provides that: “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.” And in Koebke v. Bermuda Heights Country Club, the California Supreme Court concluded, “a chief goal of the Domestic Partner Act is to equalize the status of registered domestic partners and married couples.” Consequently, gays already have all the rights and responsibilities of heterosexual couples under State law. Although there are some federal tax limitations based on the definition of spouses, those will no doubt be changed by the federal government in the near future without the need of redefining marriage.

NOT ABOUT EQUAL RIGHTS

So, if it is not about equal rights, what is it about? Why are the gay activists so focused on acquiring the word “marriage”? A look at what has happened in the states and countries that have bestowed that simple word on Domestic Partners is instructive. As so often happens, an apparently simple change in the law can have far reaching and unintended consequences. At least the consequences are unintended for those who unknowingly vote in favor of what seems like a simple question of granting others the right to live their lives the way they want.

A review of the consequences of the judicial imposition of “gay marriage” on the citizens of Massachusetts and the track record of government action in Canada show that, although the argument in favor of gay marriage is couched in terms of tolerance and freedom, the consequence of permitting gay marriage has been the exact opposite.

CANADIAN EXPERIENCE

In Canada, the granting gays the right to marry is being used as an excuse for an all out assault on free speech and religious freedom, attacking any with opposing views as bigots engaged in “hate” speech. The shocking depth of this attack is chronicled by Hans C. Clausen, former Editor in Chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, in his 66 page report published March 1, 2005 : (highlights added)

The "privilege of speech" in a "pleasantly authoritarian country": how Canada 's judiciary allowed laws proscribing discourse critical of homosexuality to trump free speech and religious liberty.

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-6559580_ITM

In this scholarly report, the Author examines Canada 's extensive legal regime prohibiting speech critical of homosexuality, illustrating how the Canadian judiciary's zeal for promoting the social acceptance of homosexuality has greatly diminished fundamental legal protections for open discourse and religious liberty. The introduction begins,

Giving credence to Alexis de Tocqueville's argument that in democratic societies the love of equality is greater than the love of freedomis a recently emerging trend among Western nations to legally proscribe speech critical of homosexuality. Such laws, in various forms, now exist in a large and growing minority of countries in Europe and North America . The goal of these laws is much grander than preventing discrimination against homosexuals; rather, the objective is seemingly to promote the social acceptance of gay and lesbian lifestyles.These laws provide for civil remedies and in some instances even criminal sanctions for speech considered offensive or degrading to homosexuals, and constitutional-rights objections to them--on the basis of speech and religious liberty guarantees--have been largely unavailing. Thus, achieving the social equality of homosexuals--conceived in sweeping terms--has, in many Western countries, outstripped legal protections for speech and religious freedoms.

Among other examples, Mr. Clausen describes the discipline of a Canadian teacher, Chris Kempling, who acted privately to address legitimate concerns about material he was being forced to distribute to his students.

Kempling, a public high school teacher and counselor, was initially suspended from his job for five months without pay (15) by the province's educational accreditation board for writing letters to the editor (16)--printed in the local newspaper, (17) but never introduced into any public school or classroom (18)--that argued, on the basis of scientific and scholarly research, (19) that homosexual relationships are unstable and gay sex risky. (20) He also criticized what he viewed as the pro-gay stance of the public education system. (21)

Kempling started writing his letters after being asked by presenters at a government-sponsored workshop to distribute copies of a gay-and-lesbian newspaper--which included advertisements for gay bathhouses, pornographic personal ads, and information about joining casual-sex and masturbation clubs--to students at his school. (22) He initially complained directly to his union and to the Minister of Education, but his complaints were ignored. (23) "When I realized that no one in authority was prepared to take any action, I decided to educate myself, and start writing directly to the public, to make parents aware of what was being proposed for their children," Kempling said. (24)

When the accreditation board learned of Kempling's letters, it launched a full inquiry: a government investigator was dispatched to Kempling's small town and was soon speaking with community leaders and Kempling's supervisors and colleagues. (25) Not long thereafter, Kempling--a thirteen-year employee of the public school system with an exemplary record (26)--found himself suspended and lacking support from his peers, his bosses, his union, (27) and even the B.C. Civil Liberties Union. (28) Although no evidence existed that Kempling's letters caused any disturbance or controversy at his school (29)--nor did any students or parents complain of Kempling's letters or job performance (30)--the B.C. Supreme Court upheld the accreditation board's decision to suspend Kempling for writing his letters, stating that "the appellant's discriminatory expression is of low value ... [and] is incompatible with the search for truth." (31)

After describing Kempling's suspension from his teaching position for publicly expressing his views on homosexuality, Clausen then mentions several other countries that have criminalized remarks critical of homosexuality: New Zealand , South Africa , Netherlands and Denmark . In 2004, the Canadian Parliament passed C-250, sponsored by gay legislator Svend Robinson. The legislation added "sexual orientation" to the list of protected minority categories in Canadian law. Because of this new law, religious leaders are fearful of speaking out against homosexuality and, notes Clausen, "Academicians also seem to be feeling the effect: some university professors are scared that the law will threaten free inquiry in the classroom and in their own publications." In one legal case, a Canadian court justified its suppression of free speech because it claimed that criticism of gays impacted an individual's sense of "self-worth and acceptance." The court also listed "self- fulfillment," "self-autonomy," and "self-development," as reasons to suppress free speech in favor of gays. Clausen points out that this argument is seriously flawed because it favors the speech rights of one group over another. The court also claimed that criticism of homosexuality damaged the "dignity" of gays.

Clausen ends his discussion by observing that hate speech laws that suppress criticism of homosexuality, if taken to their logical conclusion, would "require the abolition of democracy itself" and "It reflects a deep lack of faith in citizens' ability to distinguish truth from error, faults the 'marketplace of ideas' as inadequate and even dangerous, and claims that the coercive force of government-in the form of hate speech laws-is the solution."

Anyone who truly wants to understand where we will be headed in California if Proposition 8 fails should spend some time reviewing this careful analysis that traces the development of the legal prohibition of free speech in Canada .

Attack on Private and Home Schools

In March 7, 2007 - Gay activist groups in Ontario urged the Provincial Ministry of Education to exert more control over private and home schools to fight against the alleged effects of homophobia, objecting to religious schools teaching “only their own values.” An article in Ottawa 's Capital Xtra written by Tony Lovink, who describes himself as a gay Christian school teacher, claimed that "All private schools tend to be at least implicitly homophobic. And I would say all religiously formed independent schools are definitely homophobia.”

The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario says it is concerned that the provincial ministry of education was failing to exert "more control" over the curriculum used by private religious schools. The coalition also objects to private schools hiring teachers based upon the school's own qualification requirements.

In October 2006, the Quebec government ordered private Christian schools to begin teaching sex education in compliance with the provincial curriculum. Schools failing to implement these materials were threatened with closure.

In British Columbia , gay activists Murray Corren and Peter Corren were granted power over the provincial school curriculum as part of a lawsuit settlement. The settlement also introduced a policy prohibiting parents from removing their children from the classroom when gay-affirmative materials were being taught.

Seek to Shut Down Pro-Family Websites

Gay activists have demanded that the Federal Human Rights Commissions shut down three pro-family web sites run by Craig Chandler, a Canadian conservative and talk-radio host.

MASSACHUSETTS EXPERIENCE

You might want to believe that things will be different in the United States , where we are supposedly protected by freedom of religion, but nothing could be further from the truth. The experience in Massachusetts since the courts granted gays the right to marry has been an unrelenting attack on freedom of speech and religion that appears to be accelerating, taking lessons from Canada about how to use the courts to destroy any opposition to the teaching of their “life style” to young children.

Training Video – Teaching Gay Pride in Schools

A primary objective of the Gay Lobby’s agenda is the indoctrination of young children, starting in kindergarten with the idea that being gay is wonderful and free. You may say this is just reactionary fear mongering but unfortunately it is true. The following training video for teachers shows what you can expect in our California elementary schools if gay marriage is allowed to stand and possibly even if it isn’t. It was created by Women's Educational Media, which states that, "Waiting to teach children to accept differences of all kinds until middle school or high school is too late…." In one segment, teachers discuss teaching homosexuality to children even if parent's have moral objections to it, concluding that it had to be taught regardless of parental objections. If you do nothing else to educate yourself about this issue, by all means view this training video and ask yourself if this is what you want happening in the earliest grades in our schools. In particular, notice the attitudes being instilled in young minds that any opposition to gay marriage or homosexuality is “mean” and “hateful” and the use of peer pressure to enforce that prejudice. Excerpts of this training video can be found at:

http://www.massresistance.org/media/video/brainwashing.html

Legal Actions Against Parents

The Massachusetts courts have also held that the schools have no requirement to notify parents when teaching about homosexuality even in Kindergarten.

In April 2008, David Parker, father of a kindergarten student at Estabrook Elementary School, in Lexington, Mass. spent a night in jail and was charged with criminal trespassing after refusing to leave a scheduled meeting with of´Čücials at the school unless they provided parental notice of such lessons and gave him the option of pulling his child out of those classes.

The legal rights of parents to opt their children out of “gay pride” education has been smashed by the Massachusetts courts. U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by David Parker, ordering that it is reasonable;indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality. Wolf essentially adopted the reasoning in a brief submitted by a number of homosexual-advocacy groups, who said "the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children … would undermine teaching and learning…"

Attack on Religious Adoption Agencies

Not satisfied with using the power of the state to force the teaching of their views and the ridiculing of opposing views in the schools, gay activists efforts have forced the Catholic Charities of Boston , begun in 1903, to cease its adoption services rather then comply with state law requiring placement of children with homosexual couples.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/03/11/catholic_charities_stuns_state_ends_adoptions/

TOLERANCE – NOT THE OBJECTIVE OF THE GAY LOBBY

Most people would like to let others live their lives as they please in the name of tolerance in the hope that their own freedom would be equally respected. As a result most Americans oppose the state interfering with what out to be personal decisions including whom one chooses to marry. But an analysis of the activist Gay Lobby’s legal agenda world wide indicates that their objective is not mutual tolerance but use of the power of state to force their views upon everyone else.

Many gays are tolerant and respectful of others views, but their legal activists are pursuing a very different course. Most gays, especially those who want to marry, simply want to be allowed the freedom to pursue their lives as they think best and that opportunity has been provided them through the Domestic Partners Act. Unfortunately, the Gay Lobby is not satisfied with tolerance of their alternate life style. While decrying “hate” speech, they are teaching it to young impressionable children in the schools, teaching them that anyone who believes that homosexuality is wrong is an ignorant bigot.

The Gay Lobby wants to silence all disagreement and attempts to do so by twisting words and terms. Christians are called hypocrites. Those with traditional morals or religious beliefs are called homophobic. Disagreement is called hate. Honest opponents are called bigots, hypocrites and “forces of darkness.” Teaching homosexuality to young children is called “preparing them to become engaged and productive citizens.”

From the actual history of the legally enforced implementation of “gay rights” in the schools and courts, it is clear that the objective of the Gay Lobby is not equality under the law but the reshaping of society into their own image. It is not teaching children tolerance of the gay lifestyle but teaching them to celebrate homosexuality and “gay pride” and the eradication of traditional values in the process. They use the law and the courts to threaten and harass anyone who disagrees with their views and to shut down freedom of speech and to deny parents the right to control the moral teaching of their children. Their onslaught against our most basic and essential freedom of speech must be stopped or it will lead to the destruction of democracy in the name of tolerance. Tolerance is a double-edged sword. It needs to cut both ways. The Gay Lobby’s view of tolerance is one sided, using the force of law to promote their views while exercising that same force to limit the freedom of those who disagree with them.

Granting gays the right to the word “marriage” gives the Gay Lobby a powerful weapon that they will wield in their fight to transform society as they have in Canada and Massachusetts . Proposition 8 does not deny gays any legal rights provided to married couples under California law, but it will slow down the activist Gay Lobby’s assault on our most basic freedoms of speech and religion.

For this reason, it is imperative that Proposition 8 be passed in order to deny these activists one of their most effective weapons with which to bludgeon our freedom of speech and religion, denying freedom of conscience and religion to all who disagree with their views.

Passage of Proposition 8 simply confirms that all people are free to exercise their freedom of speech, expression and religion; tolerance for all will continue to be taught in California schools; same-sex domestic partnerships will continue to provide all of the rights and benefits extended to married spouses; and, “marriage” will continue to be defined as it always has: a legal relationship between a man and a woman.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't Lose Heart! We Arn't Standing Alone!


My Stake President sent this to me today with this note attached.

Putting a sign in your yard may make you a target but not like this.

"Sticks and stones my break my bones, but arrows will never hit me."

ONWARD! On to victory, President Y.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My new blog rules

Okay people, here's the deal. I have been more then liberal and more then patient with the comments that I've allowed to be posted on my blog.

I have endured outright attacks on my faith and religion. I've allowed way to personal insults. I have been compared to Muslim extremists. I have had people come right out and tell me how much they disrespect me and what a closed minded bigot I am. I've been called a sheep who blindly follows. I've been called ignorant and hateful.

I've been told my church is false, my prophet false and my opinions out and out wrong.

Wow, talk about showing real tolerance and acceptance for someone that you disagree with.

The irony of this situation is that if I was to go on some of the blogs of the people who are so quick to attack me an my opinion and spout the stuff they are saying about me, I would either be deleted or blocked. There is no way that anyone of these so called liberal and freethinkers would allow me the sort of space that I've allowed them. Over and over again. I wonder what would happen if I went to your blogs and started posting links to LDS Church websites and such? I'll tell you what would happen. The lack of respect would be overwhelming. I've provided my critics with more space for them to spread their distorted and blatantly anti-mormon opinions then they would ever afford me.

If I was to say even half of the things I've allowed here but against your point of view you would jump to the up and scream hate speech but some how its okay for you to mock my faith, my beliefs and my opinions. You think its okay to defend your point of view as the correct one, but if I have the nerve to claim the same privalage you say that I'm a tool of an evil and repressive organization. That's hypocrisy clear and simple.

I don't mind if you disagree with me, and yes if you want to post a thoughtful response cool, we may not come to a consensus but we can still agree to disagree. But if you are going to call me a tool or some other name. If you are going to mock me or tell me how little you think of me. Please go somewhere else until you can practice the tolerance that you preach.

That is going to stop. I don't mind someone disagreeing with me, but there is a need for people to be civil.

I'm sure that some people will jump to their guns and say "You are trying to take away my rights so I will say anything I want." Well okay. Turn that around. Now that you've done that don't ever accuse anyone of hate speech. If your going to mock my church and my values which is your opinion, don't get mad at me when I tell you that in my opinion you are living or promoting a wicked lifestyle. If you don't like the way I vote, let me remind you that you have just as much a right to vote also.

I refuse to apologize for my beliefs or my testimony. I also refuse to continue to be a platform for you to twist the truth and do exactly the type of things you are accusing me of. If you can't be civil or at least attempt to be polite I would rather not hear what you have to say and you won't find your comment posted here.

Just a scare tactic? The evidence speaks for itself

The battleground for Proposition 8 now centers around the indoctrination of children.

Opponents of Proposition 8 know children will be taught about homosexuality in the classroom and they're scared this issue will help pass Proposition 8.

We have all the evidence we need that taking over the classroom is the real goal:

Last week Californians were shocked to learn the California Teacher's Association-the state's largest teachers organization-had donated over one million dollars to the No on Proposition 8 campaign. With this donation, the CTA sided with the most radical anti-family forces.

Even after the public outrage over the CTA's million-dollar donation, they still gave more money against our families and our values with another donation days later.

Just this week the No on Proposition 8 campaign began airing a television ad featuring California's Superintendant of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. Abusing the power and trust vested in him by the people of California, Superintendent O'Connell has the audacity to deceive voters about homosexuality being taught in the classroom.

How does he respond to a class of first graders being taken to a same-sex marriage ceremony in San Francisco?

Yesterday, a school in Hayward is holding a gay "Coming Out Day" for kindergartners.

And how can he explain the following email we received this week from the mother of a five-year-old girl in Southern California?

"Pray for me. I've just started this battle. Ashley brought home a book from Kindergarten that says 'All Families are different--- Some families have 2 mommies and some families have 2 daddies.' I went and talked to the teacher and she knew what was in the book and was ok with it. She said she'd ask the principal what the policy is. I will not let it go. I just hope the school sides with me."

This is exactly what we can expect in every school is we don't pass Proposition 8. The CTA is committed to indoctrinating our children with "values" contrary to our own and Superintendent O'Connell is now their willing accomplice.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This is how low it gets - Superstars comments

After weeks of online debate over Prop 8, and both sides having their reason for why or why not the other side is using scare tactics, lies, and misrepresentations to further their cause. I posted the following which for me is the main reason. Of course I was instantly attacked by people who accused me of not praying for a spiritual confirmation. Which for the record I have and received. I was attacked for being a closed minded sheep. Well okay, then I will say in my defense that I know who my shepherd is and I will gladly follow him. Here is what I wrote.

But the final bottom line here is this. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I sustain the Prophet. When the Prophet speaks as the Prophet then I know that following him is what the Lord wants me to do. I need to put aside my own doubts and fears and have faith in him who God speaks through. Even if you toss out all the other reasons to support Prop 8. That is the single, most important reason. Because the Lord has asked me to. That's as clear a request as I can give.

We can't let our own feelings and emotions, wants and desires cloud what is clearly stated by the Lords Prophet. I don't call that blind faith, I call that faith.


Today this in response "Superstar" whomever he or she is sent me the following.

Just a little word substitution to show you how religious belief can get in the way of rights of the people:

"I sustain [Allah]. When [Allah] speaks as [Allah] then I know that following him is what [Allah] wants me to do. I need to put aside my own doubts and fears and have faith in him whom [Allah] speaks through. Even if you toss out all the other reasons to support [death to all Americans]. That is the single, most important reason. Because [Allah] has asked me to. That's as clear a request as I can give.

We can't let our own feelings and emotions, wants and desires cloud what is clearly stated by [Allah]. I don't call that blind faith, I call that faith."


He or she then added:

How is this any different from Proposition 8 and your fervent beliefs?

Okay first I've been very liberal about posting comments to my blogs, even if they disagree with my opinions, but I think this one is a little over the top.

First of all you are making an assumption that I am blindly following the Prophet. Secondly you are comparing all Latter-day Saints who do show their faithfulness to those who would resort to acts of violence to further their cause. Finally you are also now lumping all followers of Allah into one group of radical extremist that do this sort of thing. In all of the above your statements are as closed minded and bigoted as anything you've accuse me of being.

If you are a faithful member of the LDS Church part of that is sustaining the Prophet as Prophet, Seer and Revalator. When the Prophet issues a call to action, acting in his sacred calling as a the prophet, it is doing so under the direction of the Lord. Yes we should pray about it, but we also need to realize that having our own opinions about something doesn't count as spiritual confirmation that the Prophet is wrong. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed with our own emotions and not see the whole eternal picture. Sometimes Satan will use our emotions and desire to be right to cloud our spiritual receptions.

Now to answer your questions. Those who are choosing to use their agency to follow the Prophet and support Prop 8 are nothing like those few Muslim extremist that make up only a small portion of those that follow the Prophet Mahamad. For one thing we have a LIVING prophet. Secondly nowhere in the Koran does it state that they are to kill infindals being American and no one is advocating killing gay people. These are the misguided teachings that the extremists are holding to. Those who vote yes are exercising their democratic freedom to vote on an issue. You have the same right. No one is forcing it on people. If you don't like it or disagree with it vote no on it. Apparently you don't believe this because 8 years ago when the state did vote yes on Prop 22, four judges overturned the peoples vote so now we are voting again on it.

Superstar, I don't know who you are. You don't have a blog, you don't have an identity. You are anonymous. Yet you spout your opinions using the safety of other people blogs carefully hidden. I posted your comment and wrote this blog to show just how low some of those who oppose this will go with the name callings and accusations. This is insulting. Comparing those who are faithful members of the church to those who kill people to follow their beliefs goes beyond the bounds of good taste and into the absurd, irrational and insulting.

In closing it really makes me think twice of anything else you may have to say knowing that you will sink to that level.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Tolerant" opponents show true colors

Thousands of traditional marriage supporters have been victimized by the so-called "tolerant" opponents.

Reports are pouring in from across the state of voters' Yes on Proposition 8 signs being vandalized or stolen. Yes on Proposition 8 staff members' homes have also been targeted for vandalism and theft. There have also been reports of volunteers having been physically attacked.

"Destroying and stealing personal property-this is tolerance?" questioned Karen England, with Yes on Proposition 8. "What are opponents so scared of that they are attempting to intimidate and silence us?

"Opponents of Proposition 8 claim that we have nothing to fear about government-mandated same-sex marriage; it won't impact our freedom of speech or religion. How can we believe them when they're stealing our freedom of speech from our own front lawns?

"This is the type of intimidation and true intolerance we can expect without Proposition 8. This should be a wake-up call for every voter concerned about our precious First Amendment freedoms. That's what Yes on Proposition 8 is all about-saving our freedoms."

CA Teachers Union ignites Class war over Prop 8

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, the California Teacher's Association (CTA) has no intention of masking its agenda on marriage. The 340,000-member organization -- long considered a powerful branch of the radical Left -- took a risky step yesterday by donating a million dollars to defeat Proposition 8. The gift, which is now the largest contribution by any institutional donor to the ballot issue, raises the stakes in an already tense battle for parents' rights.

The CTA's own members, whose dues are fueling this opposition, are fuming. Many, like Randy Peart, (who is LDS) are questioning what same-sex "marriage" has to do with education. "It bothers me [that they're] spend[ing] my money on something I'm morally opposed to," she said. "Why not put that money into classrooms, into making a better place for these kids?" But according to CTA President David Sanchez, "...[I]t's a civil rights issue." And he's right. This is a civil rights issue -- for children who deserve to be raised by a mother and father.

The donation, CTA's second, should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who doesn't believe that schools are becoming dangerous incubators for the homosexual cause. If the union will stoop to using its dues to promote the homosexual agenda, then you can bet it will have no reservations about using its classrooms. Just last week, a San Francisco administrator took first graders on a field trip to their teacher's lesbian "wedding." How's that for indoctrination?

If California schools are promoting "teachable moments" like this for five- and six-year-olds, imagine what the middle and high school curriculum will look like! This is much more than a battle for marriage. It's a last stand for education and parents' rights. The CTA's million dollars will go a long way to undermining the truth. California families need your help! Log on to www.protectmarriage.com and educate yourself about the issues at stake in this fight.

- From Tony Parkins of the Family Research Center

On a personal level my mom is a teacher and so is my bishop and stake president. All three are forced to be members of the CTA. Unless the opt out their dues are used for this. Even if they do opt out, their numbers are counted in the figures that support this. Lets be fair, its one thing to belong to something that fights for something you oppose, when this happens you can walk away. Its another when because of your profession you are forced to join something that stands against what you believe in. How is this freedom?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Call to Action

I don't think it can be said any more clear then these two videos.





Here is what the Prophet has asked us to do:

The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008:

Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families

In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2 008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters.

The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage.

A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.

We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.

What really happened in Massachusetts

A few people have commented about the story mentioned in my previous blog about the parents who objected to what was being taught there kids. Here is their story.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/oct/08100812.html

Prop. 8 in Plain English

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lies and scare tactics? I don't think so

Yesterday's campaign finance report from the No on Proposition 8 campaign is startling.

The California Teacher's Association donated $1 million to the campaign. This is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars already pumped in to the campaign by the CTA in the last few months.

Opponents of Proposition 8 claim that it's all lies when we warn that your children will be indoctrinated about same-sex marriage and homosexuality. They claim that you'll be able to opt your child out of class when same-sex marriage is taught or discussed. But we know that the judiciary is actively promoting the homosexual agenda by their overturning Proposition 22 this year. And case law shows that parents are losing their rights as well.

Last week the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a father in Massachusetts who tried to opt his kindergarten child out of a classroom discussion about homosexuality. A lower court ruled that parents had no right to be notified when such discussions take place, nor will the children be allowed to opt out of the class.

If this is happening in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, it will happen in California.

With the help of the powerful CTA the homosexual agenda will be pushed in every classroom. Parents will be helpless to protect their children-because the government and judiciary have banned them from doing so!

These are not lies, or scare tactics-this is the truth because it's already happening.

Something both candidates can agree on

Two Apostles Speak about Prop. 8

Segments from a broadcast to Californian Church members addressing the Church’s doctrine of marriage and the Protect Marriage Coalition.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alma 30: Yes, even Korihor had a right to preach, BUT ...

Ironicly several people have tried to use a scripture in Alma to try to prove that the Church is wrong in encourging it's memebers to support Prop 8. Alma:30 (7-11)

7 Now there was no law against man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.
8 For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.
9 Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.
10 But if he murdered he was punished unto death; and if he robbed he was also punished; and if he stole he was also punished; and if he committed adultery he was also punished; yea, for all this wickedness they were punished.
11 For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a man’s belief; therefore, a man was punished only for the crimes which he had done; therefore all men were on equal grounds.

Okay this all sounds good. BUT the thing here is that this scripture is outlying the rights of Korihor (an anti-christ)who was preaching that there was no God and that people who followed commandments were foolish.

"18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof."

What this scripture says is that, yes, Korihor had every right in the world to preach what he wanted to and believe what he wanted to even if it was wrong. But that didn't mean that if man followed him that while they may not be judged on Earth for their actions, they still faced the wrath of God. Look at what happened to him.

What more if you follow this scripture to the conclusion you find that the church was doing exactly what the church is doing today in preaching against such spiritual deadly doctrine. The fate of Korihor for example is enough evidence of why we shouldn't question God.

I really don't think that anyone who has a testimony in the restored gospel would want to use this an example for justifying anything they do judging from what happened next.

Interestingly enough there was a law and punishment for adultery. I doubt you want to get into a discussion over that.

I would challenge anyone to read the rest of the chapter to see what happens next. Those who oppose Prop 8 are good at accusing the church of using half truths and such to scare you into voting. I think its ironic that they would use this scripture, taken out of contaxt, about a man who is doing exactly the same thing as a lot of those who would have us go against the council of the living prophets is doing today. And of course I'm sure once they read this they will then start to complain that I'm intolarant. Its the same one note tune.

What it comes down to is pretty simple. Let's put ourselves in the feet of those who were asked to board the ark. To follow Moses into the wilderness, to follow Lehi and his family, to leave Sodom and Gomorrah. All those people had a choice to follow the Prophet or not. Those who did, while it may have been rough were blessed. Those who didn't had no promise of blessings or protection and eventually paid for their disobedience. This is the same today. I don't know how to be anymore clear other then to say that the Prophet of God has asked us to act. It's now up to us to gather the strength to follow.

Legal background on Prop 8 and consequences

I have attached three things to this post. The first is a memo in response to several documents circulating that claim to argue against information sent to LDS Church leaders about the Consequences if Prop 8 fails. The second is the actual response with links and supplemental research material on the topic, the third is a copy of the actual "Six Consequences" memo. I hope this info is helpful. All three are from the source and aren't from second hand sources. There is also a wealth of info at the newsroom at LDS.org and www.protectmarriage.com.

As a side, don't go to yeson8.com seeking info in favor of the measure, its been purchased by the NO group and is used to direct traffic there way. This is a really honest move. In addition we just received word that a group has been organized to remove signs from peoples yards. There is a website were you are supposed to turn in your Mormon Friends as being LDS is their name is listed as a contributor. Talk about and exercise in tolerance.

______________________________

By now probably most of you seen a document circulating that attempts to refute the Six Consequences piece we are using to describe what could happen should Prop 8 fail. This anti Prop 8 document comes in different forms and supposedly from different sources. One apparent source is from LDS members who are opposed to Prop 8 because they believe the LDS Church is wrong. Another apparent source is from LDS members who claim to be in favor of Prop 8 but “believe” the Six Consequences are erroneous and not well grounded in the law.

Whatever the source the purpose is the same---to undercut YES on Prop 8 arguments and specifically the Six Consequences.

The Six Consequences literature we have been circulating has its origin and roots in the document found on the official LDS website. This document is entitled “The Divine Institution of Marriage.” What the opposition has been circulating attempts to undercut the legal concerns the Church expresses. Lest there be any misunderstanding, the Church’s legal concerns ( Six Consequences literature) have been vetted at the highest level and have taken into consideration the best legal advice possible.

The piece I have attached above, authored by William C. Duncan, spells out the legal opinions and precedents that undergird the Six Consequences literature. As you see fit please feel free to circulate the Duncan document.
_____________________

Most people are rightfully leery of buying something just because the seller touts his or her personal religious activity. In California, right now, there are groups working to defeat Proposition 8, the proposed constitutional amendment that would protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Part of their sales pitch is their religious identity.

They feel the need to advertise this because their own church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has officially announced its support for the common-sense measure that would reverse the actions of a bare majority of the California Supreme Court that ruled in May that a hitherto unknown and still unwritten provision of that state’s constitution required that marriage be redefined to include same-sex couples.

Most recently, an attorney and a group calling itself “Mormons for Marriage” have been attacking the idea that redefining marriage in California creates possible negative ramifications for religious liberty in this state. They have attempted to refute an anonymous document that lists some of these potential ramifications. They say the document misconstrues legal precedents and that, actually, there is no reason to worry that churches and religious believers will be harmed in any way if California redefines marriage.

Anyone can read the LDS Church’s official statement on the issue, “The Divine Institution of Marriage,” published on August 13, 2008 and available on the Church’s website [link: http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-divine-institution-of-marriage] for a careful and persuasive examination of this question that concludes that the redefinition of marriage does bode ill for religious liberty. Interestingly, one of the attacks cites to the Church statement to argue that the debate over marriage should be civil (a point on which all hopefully agree) but does not note this section.

In addition, eminent religious liberty scholars who have a variety of opinions on the subject of same-sex marriage all agree that a conflict between the state and religious organizations and believers is an inevitable result of redefining marriage [link: http://www.amazon.com/Same-Sex-Marriage-Religious-Liberty-Conflicts/dp/074256326]. How that conflict will work out may be a matter of debate but its existence is widely understood to be a given.

The California Supreme Court itself has made it abundantly clear that it does not think the Federal or State Constitutions provide a religious exemption to laws mandating identical treatment of same-sex couples or gay and lesbian individuals. In a recent, unanimous, opinion to this effect, the court said a doctor could not invoke his religious beliefs in a lawsuit brought against him because he did not provide an artificial insemination procedure to a woman in a same-sex couple. See North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. San Diego Superior Court, 81 Cal. Rptr. 3d 708 (Cal. 2008). [link: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S142892.PDF] In its opinion, the court said that even under the legal standard most protective of religious liberty the doctor would lose because the state had a compelling interest in requiring identical treatment of homosexuals. One judge wrote a separate opinion agreeing with the result and identifying the court’s
same-sex marriage decision as the authority for the proposition that every law must treat same-sex and opposite-sex couples exactly the same. Ibid. at 722 (opinion of Justice Baxter).

Since many churches’ religious beliefs do not allow them to provide employment, public accommodations, adoption services and other benefits to same-sex couples, it is not very hard to see that the court’s ruling sets up a serious quandary for believers.

Those who are now arguing that “all is well” for religious liberty say that it is not the redefinition of marriage that has caused these changes. In one way they are right, but their argument is also very misleading. It is true that states which have not redefined marriage have significantly interfered with religious liberty in advancing the cause of gay rights. They have relied on state statutes enacted by legislatures. These statutes, though, could be amended to make exceptions for religious groups. When the court redefines marriage, however, it makes the issue a constitutional matter and the court interpretation will trump any statutory exemption and might, as the California Supreme Court ruled, even outweigh other constitutional rights like religious freedom.

This is what the U.S. Supreme Court held in a famous case brought to remove the tax exemption of a religious college, Bob Jones University, which at the time forbade interracial dating. The government argued successfully in that case that the university should have its tax exemption revoked because the government’s policy of ending racial discrimination outweighed any other consideration. See Bob Jones University v. U.S., 461 U.S. 574 (1983) [link: http://supreme.justia.com/us/461/574/case.html]

It is common sense to most of us that racial discrimination is wrong and that a belief in marriage as the union of a man and a woman is a different matter. When the California Supreme Court ruled that marriage had to be redefined, however, they turned the issue of marriage into a civil rights issue and gave official government endorsement to the idea that those who believe in husband/wife marriage are bigots. The Bob Jones case and many other laws teach us that the law does not tolerate those it considers to be bigots.

Proposition 8 would overrule the California Supreme Court’s holding about marriage and allow those who believe in marriage to continue that belief without the official stigma of being considered bigots.

The marriage decision will have effects beyond religious liberty. One of the most obvious is that it requires schools to teach students of every age that there is no difference between marriage between a husband and wife and between same-sex couples. California law now requires that students in public schools from kindergarten on must be taught about “Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.” California Education Code 51890 [link: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=51001-52000&file=51890-51891] Now that marriage has been officially redefined, any discussion of marriage must include discussions of same-sex marriage. Another provision of the law forbids discrimination in any school program on the basis of “sexual orientation” which reinforces this policy. California Education Code 200 [link:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/edc/200-201.html]

This is not a hypothetical concern. In Massachusetts, the only other state to redefine marriage, this exact situation has arisen. Parents who objected to pro-gay curriculum at their children’s elementary school lost their lawsuit seeking an injunction to exempt their children from the material, in part because a federal court said the public schools “have an interest in promoting tolerance, including for the children (and parents) of gay marriages.” See Parker v. Hurley, 514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir. 2008). [link: http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/07-1528-01A.pdf]

There are other religious liberty concerns as well. In Canada, where marriage has been redefined, a Knights of Columbus hall in British Columbia was fined for canceling a reception for a same-sex couple’s wedding. See Chymyshyn v. Knights of Columbus, 2005 BCHRT 544 (2005). [link: http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/decisions/2005/pdf/Smith_and_Chymyshyn_v_Knights_of_Columbus_and_others_2005_BCHRT_544.pdf] The list could go on.

These concerns do not exhaust the potential harms to which Proposition 8 would respond.

When the California Supreme Court redefined marriage, they did so not only for the small group who might benefit from the change but for every citizen of the State of California. This change means that the law of California now strongly endorses three ideas: men and women are essentially interchangeable, children do not need a mother and father and those who disagree are bigots.

In reality, every healthy human society, across time and cultures, has had some kind of marriage institution to encourage those who might create children to take responsibility for those children and for each other. Marriage is fundamentally about children’s needs, not adult desires.

Our society owes children the opportunity, whenever possible, to know and develop a meaningful bond with their own mother and father. Marriage between a man and a woman is the best way to provide this opportunity.

California law now creates intentionally motherless or fatherless families where children will not experience the unique contributions of at least one of their parents.

Decades of social science research has effectively demonstrated that the best arrangement for children’s well being is to be raised by their own mother and father who are married to each other. Even married couples that do not have children promote society’s concern for children by providing an example to those that do and, by observing their marriage vows, preventing the creation of other motherless or fatherless homes.

Proposition 8 is not about taking people’s rights away. It is a simple way to protect marriage. It is also the last chance California voters may have to get their say on this matter.

William Duncan is the director of the Marriage Law Foundation. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Protect Marriage campaign in California or of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
__________________

Six Consequences the Coalition Has Identified If Proposition 8 Fails

1. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage. The California Education Code already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage. (§51890)

Therefore, unless Proposition 8 passes, children will be taught that marriage is between any two adults regardless of gender. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

2. Churches may be sued over their tax exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public. Ask whether your pastor, priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi is ready to perform such marriages in your chapels and sanctuaries.

3. Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston already closed its doors in Massachusetts because courts legalized same-sex marriage there.

4. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if counter to church doctrine, or risk lawsuits over tax exemptions and related benefits.

5. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines. It already happened in Canada, a country that legalized gay marriage. A recent California court held that municipal employees may not say: “traditional marriage,” or “family values” because, after the same-sex marriage case, it is “hate speech.”

6. It will cost you money. This change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits, including some already lost (e.g., photographers cannot now refuse to photograph gay marriages, doctors cannot now refuse to perform artificial insemination of gays even given other willing doctors). Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today’s activist judges), think of the money – your money – that will be spent on such legal battles.

My blog, my beliefs, tolerance and Prop 8

I wanted to address some of the comments left recently on my blog concerning my support of Prop 8.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a served a faithful mission for the church and I hold an temple reccomened. I know that Jesus Chirst is the Son of God and the Savor of the world. I know it is only through his atonement and his plan for us that we can return and inhariet all our Heavanly Father has to give us. I know that this is the only true church and that it is led by a living prophet. I know that Pres. Thomas S. Monson is that prophet. I know that Joseph Smith restored this church and brought fourth the Book of Mormon - Another Testiment of Jesus Christ.

As far as Prop 8 is concerned, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" provides enough of an argument, at least for those who consider themselves faithful members of the Church as to why Prop 8 needs to be passed. If that isn't enough I think the letter from the First Presidency urging us to put our best efforts into does that.

We don't have a Prophet just to follow when we agree with him. Our opinion doesn't make something right or wrong in the eyes of God. That's God's call. It's how we use our agency to be obedient to those things He has asked us to do that does.

The Proclamation wasn't given just to us as members of the church, but to the world. They were warning the world as to what will happen if these things continue.

These men are prophets, seers, and revelators. I raised my hand to the square a few weeks ago at General Conference to sustain them. Okay so I'm sure lots of people will say I'm following them blindly, because they disagree with them. But I've prayed about this, believe me, I struggle with SGA also.

When the Prophet speaks as the Prophet, and the Prophet asks us to do something, that should be a pretty good reason.

As for the hope of new revelation or whatever, I think the key here is that we need to consider that in order for any new revelation to be given, we have to be willing to accept and live the revelation we do have. We can't just sit around and ignore it until we get something better. We need to prove ourselves worthy by obeying what we have been told.

The bottom line here is simple. A. Acting on homosexual urges is a sin. B. In regards to Prop. 8, the Prophet has ask us to support it, not the republicans or the democrats - the Prophet. If you sustained him as such in General Conference, if you hold a temple recommend and said you sustain him as the Prophet, and if you say you have a testimony of the restored Church as led by the Prophet then what more proof do you need?

As for my blog, this is my blog. I will consider your opinions, I will even post them. But please remember that these are my opinions and beliefs, please at least respect that even if you do disagree with me. Please have at least some of the tolerance that you seem to think I lack.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

An Apostle Speaks about Prop. 8

In this clip Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints answers questions posed to him from a group of young adults.

Elder Bednar talks about "the tyranny of tolerance," this is an all to true occurrence and one only needs to read the blogs of those who oppose Prop 8 to see it in work.

The most frighting thing about the whole issue is what can happen to the rights of those who do stand against same gender marriage if Prop 8 fails. I guess separation of Church and State isn't an issue as long as the state is on you're side telling the church's what they can and can't teach and what they can and can't believe.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why I support Proposition 8



From 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."

“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” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008:

Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families

"In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2 008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters."

The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage.

A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.

We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.

From www.preservingmarriage.org

* Having tolerance without condoning — We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs.

* Unless Proposition 8 passes, California society will soon undergo a profound change in its basic understanding of marriage and family life. — That will affect everyone in numerous ways. Over time, greater acceptance of nontraditional marriage will be demanded of all people. This could impact the ability of any religion to teach and practice its beliefs.

* Proposition 8 will not hurt gays — In California, the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits.

* Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt children — If gay marriage remains legal, public schools will put it on equal footing with traditional marriage. Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages.

* Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt churches — The court’s decision will inevitably lead to conflicts with religious liberty and free speech rights. Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about marriage and family.

The bottom line is this:

The focus of the Church’s involvement is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.

— The Divine Institution of Marriage

Monday, October 6, 2008

General Conference Reflections

I have found that you get what you put into conference. Sometimes the lessons aren't things we need right then and we don't hear them. There are times when I may be feeling down and remember something I heard and then think, wow, that's what he must have meant. Sometimes I feel like a talk was written just for me. Sometimes maybe years from now I will need to hear what was said. Sometimes its the guy next to me that needed that message, who knows maybe he is struggling with something I don't know about and the talk will help him out.

When I feel like, "this is good but its not for me," are the times that I've chosen to put myself out of the spire of influence of the spirit so to speak. If that makes since. For instance, when I first heard Elder Bednar talk about how "we should" pray, I got a bit resentful and thought "how dare he tell me how to talk to my Father in Heaven, what right does he have?" Then I realized that I was letting pride take control and I tried it Saturday night. Wow. What an amazing experience. You know the more I prayed about the things I felt blessed with, the more I realized how many answers we did have and I also realized that sometimes the reason I felt so alone and lost was because I was the one who didn't want to accept them. It reminded me of what one of the Seventy said, "We can choose to walk with God or walk in some other direction."

The concept that "we don't know all, but we know enough" really touched me. I don't know all the answers but I do know enough. And the concept of "come what may" was one that I really do need to apply in my life. I may not know why things happen the way they do, but I can choose to act or react. Learn some valuable lessons or feel bad for myself and be the victim.

I've always loved General Conference. I like to attend it live, but sometimes I will be the first to admit that while I get a boost out of being around so many people who believe the way I do, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is good for an energy boost of the spirit, sometimes I wonder if I get all I should out of it. Because this time I wasn't in Utah and watched it at home, I decided to try an experiment. I prayed about it and asked the Lord to help me find one thing in each talk that I could use. I also made a point of staying off the internet and such so I could concentrate on Conference and not just have it on while I'm doing stuff. This was hard LOL! I do think I got more out of it this time 800 miles away then I did last April being in the Conference Center.

We are so blessed. We have so many answers that the world is struggling to find. When it comes to the topic of homosexuality we have the understanding of why acting on it is really a sin. For us its not a matter of "because it's sick or perverted" we understand how it will frustrate the Lords plan of salvation for us. How it would prevent us from gaining exhalation. Elder Nelson touched on this so beautifully. It is simple. We understand why marrige is central to the Fathers plan and why same gender marrige is so detrimental to it. These things are all very clear, and what is even more clear is how Satan will use everything in his power to get us to forget these truths, to feel sorry for ourselves, to lament what we are being ask to sacrifice and to feel like we are giving up part of who we are in order to be faithful.

I honestly feel that when we are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, that His way will outshine any other way. But I also know that if we dwell on what we wish could be, it is very easy for us to see other paths and then to further confuse the situation by convincing ourselves that while the gospel is a good path, it isn't for us. We do this because lets face it, we are good people and we want to be happy and we aren't specifically doing this to mock God, we are just acting on what feels right. The problem is that when it starts to feel right is about the time we have lost the spirit that tells us its not right.

I know some of this is hard to hear, believe me its hard to accept on a personal level. But its true. Before the answers we get will help us out, we need to be willing to accept them, even if we don't like them.