I have not emphasized my religious affiliations and views on this blog, but I see this beginning to change. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Last month the prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles issued a statement, The Divine Institution of Marriage, which includes the following:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has chosen to become involved, long with many other churches, organizations, and individuals, in defending the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman because it is a compelling moral issue of profound importance to our religion and to the future of our society.
In the fall of 1995, The Church issued The Family: A Proclamation to the World, part of which was quoted in The Divine Institution of Marriage.
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 . . . The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
There is much going on in our nation now, including changes in the way some people view the family unit. And those people are fighting the traditional view of marriage and family in the courts and through legislation. In Arizona (where I live), there will be a proposition on the November Ballet called Prop 102. The proposition simply says "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state."
I was up late a few nights ago reading about the Church's position on this issue and other issues being debated by political candidates right now. There was a lengthy interview of Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Lance B. Wickman about same-gender attraction. It was very interesting to me and gave clear examples about how members of the church should respond to various situations. One of the parts that struck me the most was:
PUBLIC AFFAIRS: On the issue of a Constitutional amendment prohibiting same-gender marriage, there are some Latter-day Saints who are opposed to same-gender marriage, but who are not in favor of addressing this through a Constitutional amendment. Why did the Church feel that it had to step in that direction?
ELDER OAKS: Law has at least two roles: one is to define and regulate the limits of acceptable behavior. The other is to teach principles for individuals to make individual choices. The law declares unacceptable some things that are simply not enforceable, and there’s no prosecutor who tries to enforce them. We refer to that as the teaching function of the law. The time has come in our society when I see great wisdom and purpose in a United States Constitutional amendment declaring that marriage is between a man and a woman. There is nothing in that proposed amendment that requires a criminal prosecution or that directs the attorneys general to go out and round people up, but it declares a principle and it also creates a defensive barrier against those who would alter that traditional definition of marriage.
I have been thinking about this for the past several days. Sometimes even when you can't change laws, or actions, or consequences, it is necessary just to stand and declare. And that's what Proposition 102 does for the people of Arizona. It declares marriage a union of one man and one woman. That's all. And I will declare it too. Through my blog and through my vote.
If you live in Arizona and agree with the traditional definition of marriage, I urge you to support Prop 102. Please visit Yes For Marriage for more information on what you can do. I have created a button that links to Yes For Marriage and am displaying it on my sidebar. If you are interested in displaying the button too, just copy the code below.
If you live in California, please visit Protect Marriage, Yes on 8.
They provided the code for their button on their website, choose or 150 or 250 pixels wide.
Florida residents please visit Yes 2 Marriage.