Friday, June 26, 2015

Why We Stand. Why We Fight.

Well.  It happened.

I think we all knew that this day would come.  For a long time I thought that it would come about by the voice of the people, not through activist judiciaries.

As I was barraged by notifications and news clips regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, I thought back to all of the time, money, and effort that we put into protecting the sanctity of traditional marriage.  We made hundreds of phone calls, staked signs throughout our hometown, and donated financially.

I also remember being bullied on camera at school by the "Gay-Straight Alliance" club for supporting Prop. 102 (the concurrent Arizona equivalent of California's Prop. 8).  The amount of spite that was aimed at members of our church was unbelievable.  I remember being cornered in my German class because I didn't think that the LDS Adoption Agency should be forced by law to allow same-sex couples to adopt.

Before I continue, I want to clarify that I don't think that gay people or their "allies" are all immoral, mean, cruel, crass, etc.  Most aren't, frankly.  Obviously those who shout the loudest are those who are heard.  I find their mudslinging of their political opponents to be hypocritical.  (I recently discovered that I struggle with being judgmental towards people who are judgmental towards people who they perceive as being judgmental.  Does that mean I'm judgmental towards myself?)

I have often wondered why we care so much.  It seems that the 11th Article of Faith, which states that we as a church believe that all mankind should have the privilege to "worship how, where, or what they may."  Doesn't that belief extend to the moral decisions of others?  Isn't the United States' Constitution (a document inspired of God) built on the premise that individuals should be able to choose their beliefs and behavior as long as their actions do not infringe of others to do the same?

Although the morality of the world may be rotting around us, aren't we supposed to "turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5:29) and be "patient in all [our] sufferings" (Alma 20:29)?

It occurred to me that followers of the living God have run from persecution throughout recorded history.  From Egypt.  From Babylon.  From Athens, Rome, London, Amsterdam.  From the United States.  My ancestors escaped the hands of those who attempted to rule their conscience, settling in Mexico.  Yet, the world continued to expand its domain.  The Mormons joined the jurisdiction of the United States, the alternative potentially equivalent to suicide.  We had been backed into a corner.

From that point, the morality of the world has spiraled downward, further away from the standards of God (which it had so closely followed for so long).  Our Church, which was spat out of this nation only to be dragged back into it, is now infused with American society.  However, we are supposed to be "in the world, not of the world."

We have no where else to run.

In my personal scripture study, I have recently reread the story of Captain Moroni and his "Title of Liberty."  He campaigned throughout his people for the defense of "their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians" (Alma 46:10).  A group of judges had gone against the voice of the people in pursuit of power, jeopardizing the foundation of their government and compromising the values of Christianity.  Later, the sons of Helamen explained that they would not fight their brethren if they would leave them alone (Alma 56:46).

I am in no means promoting violence against those who disagree with our beliefs.  We need to stand up against evil.  Satan and his corrupt substitutes for love and connection will continue to try to permeate our lives, but we don't have to let him in.  As Edmund Burke reportedly said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

That is why we stand.  That is why we fight.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

D&C 58:2-4

"For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments...and he that is faithful in tribulation...Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.  For after much tribulation come the blessings.  Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory: the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."

With my mortal understanding, I can't quite comprehend the purpose(s) behind same-sex attraction.  However, I know that there is a reason that God has permitted these attractions to occur.  I also know that through tribulation comes growth and other blessings.  I believe the harder the trial, the more glorious the triumph.  I can only imagine the eternal rewards for obeying the sacred law of chastity!