Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Temples
It has been suggested by some that Mormons (and other Christians) hate gays because they worked hard to support Proposition 8 in Califronia, but this is not a fair accusation and misses completely the point.
Mormons believe in loving all mankind and to do well even to their enemies. However, loving our enemies does not mean to agree with wrong ideas, even if they are popular or politically correct. This is the reason because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints decided to support this legal fight to protect marriage.
I quote below a few parts of a very interesting article from Meridian Magazine written by Paul Bishop, a thirty-one year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department who describes what happened after Proposition 8 was voted in California
The controversy in California regarding Proposition 8 built to a frenzy in the days leading up to Tuesday’s election and then exploded into anger and violence in the aftermath of Prop 8′s slim passage into law (52.5% to 47.5%)…. Exit polls showed the proposition was supported by 7 of 10 Black voters, a majority of Latino voters, and by people with children under the age of 18 still at home. Clearly, it was supported by all people who believed marriage is a special and protected institution.
Many supporters of Proposition 8 were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and they worked hard to promote their cause - not out of homophobic hatred, but out of a love of Christ and a belief in the sanctity of traditional marriage.
Many of those who opposed Proposition 8 reacted to the defeat by accusing Mormon of hatred. However, Mormons simply believe that marriage was instituted by God and that should be between a man and a woman and used legal means to defend their belief (and they were not the only one, or the only church involved, by the way).
On the other hand, some of the demonstrations against the Church by supporter of gay marriage seem to be motivated by hatred and they singled out the Mormon Church.
These are a few pictures taken outside the Mormon temple that illustrate well this point.
Challenges to our faith are not new. Nor are they likely to go away anytime soon. But, as Elder Hales reminds us,
True disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition. We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice - who are ‘kept from the truth because they know not where to find it’ (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.
I agree with Paul Bishop that there are several lessons that can be learned from the current unrest:
Tolerance is not agreement and should not be a one way street. However, we must still remain tolerant of those who are intolerant of us.
Recognize the adversary at work here – making good seem bad and evil seem good.
We can only be disciples of Christ when we respond to adversity in a Christlike manner. To do less opens our actions to the influence of the adversary and hurts us even more.
We should never take for granted the opportunities we have to gather together in worship. We should never put off the opportunity to attend the temple. For these valuable things can be disrupted and possibly even closed to us – if not permanently, then at least on a temporary basis.
Pray. Often. Don’t forget to include those who are set against you.
Filed under: Italiano, Mormon Church, Mormon Missionaries, Mormonism, News & Politics
Yesterday I was attending my Sunday school class in my ward (Portuguese speaking ward) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and it was mentioned a time when, in Brazil, a school teacher had asked the students to present themselves by telling their names, interests, which church they were attending, and a few other things.
That story, to all people present, seemed to come not from another country and time, but from another world. We were all very aware of the situation in the US, where teachers would never have the courage to do that. What a different world that was!
I know that in the past people had discriminated others because of religion, and we all agree that a state religion is not good for freedom, but I wonder if people realize that currently all religions are discriminated in public schools, with the exception of the church of irreligiosity, that is presented as the only truth.
If sponsoring only one religion is bad in public schools, why we can’t make all religions welcomed in our schools, instead of completely banning them?
M. J. Sobran wrote :
"The Framers of the Constitution ... forbade the Congress to make any law 'respecting' the establishment of religion, thus leaving the states free to do so (as several of them did); and they explicitly forbade the Congress to abridge 'the free exercise' of religion, thus giving actual religious observance a rhetorical emphasis that fully accords with the special concern we know they had for religion. It takes a special ingenuity to wring out of this a governmental indifference to religion, let alone an aggressive secularism. Yet there are those who insist that the First Amendment actually proscribes governmental partiality not only to any single religion, but to religion as such; so that tax exemption for churches is now thought to be unconstitutional. It is startling to consider that a clause clearly protecting religion can be construed as requiring that it be denied a status routinely granted to educational and charitable enterprises, which have no overt constitutional protection. Far from equalizing unbelief, secularism has succeeded in virtually establishing it (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 51-52)
The plan is clear. The following talk by Mormon Apostle Elder Maxwell, given several years ago is really prophetic and illuminates what we are facing and what are the challenges of the future for true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Filed under: Mormon Church, News & Politics
According to CNN,
Thousands protested California’s same-sex marriage ban in West Hollywood Wednesday night. Californians passed the measure 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent in Tuesday’s general election, countering a state Supreme Court ruling in May that said the state constitution guarantees gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Passage of Proposition 8 sent protesters into the streets of Los Angeles on Wednesday.
This clearly shows how the election results for these constitutional amendments will not mean an end to the debate over same-sex marriage in the US.
Such an emotionally charged issue concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life – family, identity, intimacy and equality – stirs fervent and deep feelings.
There is the hope that in the future all parties involved in this issue will act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility. However, I do not expect that this will always happen, unfortunately.
I know that many have criticized the Mormon Church and other organization for supporting Proposition 8. It is important to understand that this issue for the Mormon Church has always been about the sacred and divine institution of marriage – a union between a man and a woman and has nothing to do with bigotry.
It is also important to be clear that the Church‘s opposition to same-sex marriage does not mean that the church condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians, including their rights regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.
The only ting that the Church is concerned about is that those rights do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.
For more information about the position of the Mormon Church on this topic you may read