Monday, October 13, 2008

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.


Scott said...

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.

I hope that nothing in my comments has come across as intolerant or disrespectful of your beliefs. I've re-read my comments to both "Why I support Proposition 8" and "An Apostle Speaks about Prop. 8" and I don't believe that I ever said anything about your beliefs (or about anyone else's).

Believing differently than you and providing the reasons for my differing beliefs does not equate to intolerance or disrespect for your beliefs. Had I stated or implied that you had no right to believe as you do, you would be justified in calling me intolerant.

Here's the conflict that I (and many others) face:

The secular, legal and logical arguments for Prop 8 don't stand up to careful scrutiny. Every one of them either is based on half-truths or relies on the gut-reaction squicky feeling that most straight people get when confronted with the idea of gay sex. The only argument that can't be defeated is "This is what God wants."

Obviously, God's Prophet and other leaders of His Church believe that this is what He wants. Many members of the Church (yourself included, I have no doubt) also believe.

I think that most believe simply because they are told to, and I find this slightly disappointing because I believe that God wants us to receive our own confirmation from the Spirit that what the prophets tell us is true (rather than simply accept everything they say). However, many faithful members say that they have prayed for such a confirmation and that they have received it. I have to believe that the Spirit has witnessed to many that they should support Prop 8.

But I (and many others) have also prayed for a confirmation, with a sincere desire to know God's will, and have felt nothing but misery, sorrow and pain at the thought of Prop 8 passing. I realize that in forming my own opinion on the issue I may have made it more difficult to receive an answer (if the answer is contrary to what I have decided on my own), but I have tried in seeking an answer to be as open-minded as I know how to be, and I have never received that confirmation.

On the other hand, when I consider some of the gay people I have become acquainted with, some of whom have married and adopted children and created families of their own, I do feel touched by the Spirit. I honestly and truly feel that God does not view these families as being any less "legitimate" than the families of heterosexually married couples.

So I'm caught in the horns of a dilemma: On the one hand, the Prophet has spoken, and tells us that "protecting marriage" is God's will, and many members say that they have received witness of the truth of this statement. On the other hand, try as I might I cannot receive this witness for myself, and in fact feel spiritually certain that God sees value in all families, even those with two men or two women at their head.

I've got the same "credentials" you do: faithful mission, temple recommend, testimony of the Gospel, of Joseph Smith, of the Book of Mormon, and of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I read my scriptures and pray daily, by myself and with my wife and with my family. I attend the temple regularly. I believe I'm living the Gospel as well as anyone, and have done nothing that would make me unworthy of the promptings of the Spirit--in fact I feel its guidance on a regular basis.

But on this one issue, the Church and I don't see eye-to-eye, and as much as it tears me apart, I can't bring myself to believe that we're doing the right thing in California.

Anonymous said...

So a little off topic, but I'm intrigued to hear your opinions on the topic.

Do you think male members who struggle with homosexuality should marry and date women? Why or why not?


bravone said...

I have some close gay married friends in California. They are good people and I understand their desire to be legally married. I feel for them. However, I support Prop 8 for the same reasons stated in your post. I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is a pillar of civilization that we cannot afford to knock down no matter how we feel about our own same gender attractions.