Saturday, July 4, 2015

Marriage and Family and Truth

I felt a profound sadness when I heard about the US Supreme Court decision on June 26. Initially I felt disinclined to share my thoughts about it, until I realized that if I don't share them, then people will never know what I think. So I'll share a few things that have come to mind.

I believe in the marriage of a man and a woman because that is what is necessary for God's plan of happiness to work. God ordained this specific union to be the way for His children to achieve certain blessings only available to families, and families connected through generations. The way that God provided for that to happen was for a man and a woman to be married, unite emotionally, spiritually, and physically, to create a family unit, starting with just the two of them. This family unit would have the gifts and contributions of both of the sexes, and would offer them unique opportunities to learn and grow by working together toward creating a unit that would last through time and eternity.

In order for us to learn and grow, we needed to obtain physical bodies to house our spiritual bodies. Through their physical union, both the husband and wife contribute to the beginning of a new body forming. Then the woman's body nurtures it and helps it grow, and the baby (body and spirit) is born to the couple. It is their responsibility to see that the baby is fed, clothed, taught, and otherwise taken care of. They naturally love the child, and have a natural incentive to care for it—in a sense, it is theirs.

Creating bodies for (inviting to come to earth) and raising children is not the only purpose of marriage. Couples married in God's way are sealed for eternity, and they are promised blessings that depend on them staying a couple, together forever. The blessings they receive are for both of them, obtained only together. I believe that marriage is meant to last forever, and that God has additional purposes for it beyond the grave, some that we cannot even fathom.

Our wedding rings
 Photo by Jessica Kiel
But why does this matter in a discussion about a law that will only be here on earth, in one nation on earth?

Truth affects all of us, no matter how aware we are of it. Fighting against the truth or acting contrary to what it teaches us does not bring progression. When we deny a power like God, or moral law, we choose to act contrary to truth, and lay ourselves bare to the inevitable negative consequences, just as we receive positive consequences for choosing to act according to the truth (see Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21). For example, lying to a friend to cover up something you did will make you feel bad inside, and will damage your relationship with your friend. Pretending that lying is good does not change the consequence for doing it.

I want to live in a nation that recognizes truth and acts accordingly. Or at least doesn't act completely contrary to truth for the sake of popularity or political correctness or whatever.

When "marriage equality" is treated as a civil right, it threatens my ability to act on the truth that I know without persecution. And that is bad, especially when the very things I see as wrong, and the actions and lifestyles I want to teach my children to avoid, are not only ratified by, but also promoted by, the country I live in. It  also threatens to make it not only acceptable but the reigning policy to persecute me and treat me like a bigot for not recognizing what the state now defines as a civil right. All because I believe an eternal law that contradicts what is now national law.

Condoning a relationship that inevitably leads to serious sin is not tasteful to me. But not because I hate people who choose to live a gay lifestyle—it's because I hate to see what they're doing to themselves. Acting on homosexual feelings is sin. Sin separates us from God. I don't want to encourage, or participate in celebrating, behavior that separates anyone from God.

I hope we can learn to learn and act according to truth, loving individuals and being tolerant of others' beliefs in the process.

Additional places to learn about the importance of family in God's plan:
The Proclamation to the World: The Family
"Why Marriage, Why Family" by D. Todd Christofferson
"'Guardians of the Hearth': Establishing, Nurturing, and Defending the Family" from Daughters in my Kingdom
Letter responding to the Supreme Court ruling

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