Wednesday, March 27

My Little Stand for the Family

Well you all know me and how very conservative the majority of my views are. This time around, I will admit, I was intending to stay completely clear of the recent discussions on marriage--not because I do not have a valid opinion to defend, but because I wanted to preserve the peace. But something about marriage just causes my heart to burn with emotion and I feel so strongly that it needs to be defended. Maybe it's because as a Latter-day Saint (or, Mormon), my beliefs are frequently mocked and trodden on. Maybe it's because I am stubborn and have to get a word in when I feel passionately about something. Either way, here I am, putting my "two cents" in. I will boldly say though, that I know the following things are worth so much more eternally than a mere two pennies.

The words I want to share are not my own, but I felt they were written so beautifully and articulately that I wanted to quote them. Because the first woman's comments are in response to words of others, there may be a little confusion which I will clear up if necessary.


I have never met these women and do not know anything about either of them except that we share the same views in regards to marriage. Disagree with us if you would like, but I will simply (and as politely as I can) reply with a defense of our belief that marriage is sacred, and ordained of God for one man and one woman. 

Written by Aly R. Taylor:

I do believe my entire world and life will change if gay marriage passes and that within 20 years our entire society will look more different than imaginable. I also know that it will affect my children and their children, for the worse...I also believe that divorce rates will go up if people do not appreciate the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is an important institution that makes our society better for many reasons, including an increase in stability which is better for the economy, and raising good children. Take a look at this article for an interesting opinion from someone who is a libertarian and not pro/against marriage but describes that in all likelihood it will make a change our life as we know it: 

[This is a very interesting read if you have the time to get through it]
 http://fireflydove.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/a-libertarian-view-of-gay-marriage/

Divorce rates would easily go up to 80% plus within 10 years if we keep ignoring the importance and sanctity of marriage, and our society will be worse off. From my experience divorce often creates unhappy or bitter people and broken families. That is but one of my 100 concerns with gay marriage.

It saddens me that very few people think of consequences to their actions nowadays. But you are right -----, it is a choice and hopefully my children will have such a burning desire and love for God that they will choose to follow him over any carnal desire.

Everyone is so concerned with making "history" that they don't think through the actual impact and the eternal perspective. I believe in eternity, and don't understand individuals who can say they follow Christ and go directly against his Word. To love Christ is to follow him. I love my fellow man, but that love for them and for God is what drives me to help his cause. It's like if you knew someone was about to commit murder, wouldn't you do what you can to stop them from committing this sin? Why would you not help your fellow man and do what you can to help them find eternal happiness versus worldly temporary happiness?

Written by Annie Z. Edwards: 

It doesn't have anything to do with sin or feelings. I have no problem with gays having a union and any and all tax or whatever benefits heterosexual couples have. But the sacrament of marriage is partially for pro-creation which physically can only be done one way. I feel there should be equal and separate benefits for gay couples and their unions but disagree with changing the definition if marriage. And having my own opinion on the subject while respecting your right to have yours does not make me intolerant. 

This link conveys the reasoning behind my belief that children thrive best in a home with one faithful father and mother. It is so worth your time! It was created by Erika Bahr. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNahtS4XJ8E&feature=youtu.be 

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.” ~Rachel Jankovic
If you are wondering what we as Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) believe in, this article called "The Divine Institution of Marriage" is put out by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and leaves no question as to what members of the Church believe in.
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/the-divine-institution-of-marriage 

Here is a video about it if you prefer that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsR9HPhsjJ4

This beautiful document, entitled "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," additionally conveys my personal belief in the sanctity of marriage and the family order:  https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation
There is more to say and more things I could express, but for now, I would like to leave this post as it is and ask you to respectfully keep your differing beliefs to yourself unless you have a question or comment that in no way needs to be censored. Otherwise, I thankfully still have the right to monitor what is said here and I will utilize that right. 

I appreciate your tolerance of (and patience with) my beliefs. Once you have read everything on this page, I invite you to share your beliefs--but only once you fully understand where I come from. 

If you desire, here is a link from a Christian woman whom I am not acquainted with, but I appreciated her thoughts on children and the family, shared here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/motherhood-is-a-calling-and-where-your-children-rank

"The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home."
~Confucius 

"The family is the first essential cell of human society."
~Pope John XXIII

"Science has established two facts meaningful for human welfare: first, the foundation of the structure of human personality is laid down in early childhood; and second, the chief engineer in charge of this construction is the family."
~Meyer Francis Nimkoff

"The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled. So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together, all the rest--schools, playgrounds, public assistance, and private concern--will never be enough."
~Lyndon B. Johnson 

"The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together--and that's the backbone of our whole business, catering to families--that's what we hope to do."
~Walt Disney

"If a country is to be corruption-free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who make a difference. They are the father, the mother, and the Teacher."
~Abdul Kalam

12 comments:

  1. I heard you out, now please hear me out. I hope to hear your responses to the following questions.

    You are making judgments about gays by saying they are "teaching fisting" in schools? That is ridiculous. Gay people (especially those looking to make a family) are not trying to corrupt children. Fisting is not unique to gay people anyway.

    Many only want to have families as well. How many families nowadays have both a mother and a father? Do you think single families should not exist? What about divorce?

    Also, everyone is a sinner. You cut your hair, eat ham, etc. What makes one sin worse than the other?

    If you know in your heart that your marriage is sacred because it is between a man and a woman, why does it impact your life if two other people get the same rights?

    I see that you are saying marriage is important in your church and your religion, but for the sake of politics, it is simply unequal to deny gays those same rights. Church and state are supposed to be separated. Not all people have the same religion, so it is unfair to put one religion's belief as law. It is arrogant to think that your religion is more important in the government than another.

    About the divorce rates, the divorce rates are high because of heterosexual relationships. Because gay people had to go so through so much turmoil to get married, they would appreciate it more. What about Britney Spears' 10 day marriage?

    If you are truly pro-family, you would be pro any family that loves each other and promotes development of children.

    Disappointed in a lot of the judgment of this post. I hope you can post responses to some of these questions and truly think about what you mean when you say pro family, because it seems that you are anti diversity.

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    1. I appreciate your questions. I will try to address all of them. I accept that you disagree with me and I'm not trying to change your mind because I'm sure that would be a waste of time. But I would like you to understand my stance, even if you don't accept it. If you do not want to respond, that is completely okay.

      I did not write that first part you spoke of but I have quoted it on here because I agreed with Taylor's other statements and because I feel that that is something that should not be taught, period. I would like to mention that I do know several people who are gay that I grew up with. I never ever would suggest that they are in any way worth less than me. I think most of them are great people and we get along really well. My primary concern is not who they love or how they choose to love, though I may disagree with it. I try very hard to love all people and (though I see you disagree) I do not feel that I am a judgmental person. People have their agency which to me means they can choose how they live and even though I sometimes wish I could change their choices, I know that is not how Heavenly Father wants it to be. I chose to become a Latter-day Saints and I choose to continue to live the standards of the Church because I have realized that my happiness is greater when I do so. I have many flaws, but I am always trying to better myself. I truly have no unkind feelings toward those who choose another lifestyle.

      As I'm sure you have realized since you read my post, I feel very strongly about the sanctity of marriage. I believe that marriage is ordained of God and that it is for man and woman. Marriage itself was begun as a pact between husband and wife and God. As our first parents, Adam and Eve were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. I believe that this is still in effect and to me, the purpose of marriage is not only to unite yourself with the one you love but to form a family and raise children that love their Heavenly Father and want to be with Him again someday. If my child were to have homosexual inclinations or choose a path I did not want for them, I would still do my very best to love him or her with all my heart.

      There are absolutely many families that find themselves in situations that are less than ideal. I know several women in my church who are single parents due to divorce or other circumstances. They do the very best they can but they know as well as I, that children need two parents. Though many argue that two men or two women can do just as good a job as a loving husband and wife, I have to disagree. I am sure that they are often very good at raising children and they may even have advantages that other families do not. But I believe (and it's fine that you disagree) that a child does best when he or she has a mother to provide nurturing, teaching, and essential emotional skills, and a father to provide protection, means of living, social skills, and other things. There have always been and always will be broken families or those with abusive parents, as terrible as that is. And children are certainly better off with gay parents than in such a situation. But if a mother and father are doing their best, and living the way they are supposed to, I believe that they are forming the ideal conditions for a child. I could argue too that history alone proves this and that God made a way for man and woman to procreate for this very reason, but I think my previous thought is more relevant and important. Divorce is a huge issue and I do not take it lightly. It is something that divides families and always for a selfish reason from at least one person involved.

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  2. I have been asked before: if these are my beliefs, than what about those couples who can't have children? I know people in that situation, too. That is a trial I cannot even imagine having to endure but I know-- and those who are of my faith and in that very situation know--that one day they WILL be given the opportunity to raise children. We also know that it most likely will not be in this life. As hard as a trial like that seems to me, I know Heavenly Father does not give trials that are too big for us to handle. He loves us and wants to test our faithfulness.

    Their are many reasons that this issue impacts my life, but I think the main reason is that it will impact my children. I do not want them to believe in the misconception that marriage can be treated lightly. For me, it is an eternal--not just a life-long commitment. It is so terribly mocked in today's society and it breaks my heart. I am sure it breaks our Father in Heaven's heart to see something sacred treated so lightly. I do not know the personal details of the short-lived celebrity marriages, but I agree with what you're implying--it is disgusting. Marriage is absolutely being taken less and less seriously. That gives me even more of a reason to defend it.

    Gay couples have the right to be treated equal by the government. They should be able to receive the same benefits that married couples do if they too are trying to build a family in their own way. Many gay couples already live together and are privately involved in a relationship. This does not affect me. What does affect me is when an attempt is made against something as holy as marriage. Were civil unions effectively given the same rights as a married couple receives, I would not complain. It does not affect me when a gay couple loves each other and wants to celebrate that. But for me, and billions of others, that is not "marriage." The definition of marriage needs to be left alone. I will give you one reason why: My church does not support the gay lifestyle and if gay marriage were to become acceptable, then members of my church could legally be required to "marry" two people who are breaking a commandment. If you read the above article put out by the LDS Church, you understand that we have no enmity toward gays whatsoever, but we cannot support something that goes against God's commandments. The church has no association with civil unions and would not be affected by a decision to make those legal. As you brought up, that is separation of church and state.

    I do not feel that I made that distinction--that my religion is superior to another's, but if I did, it was a mistake. I know that my church is founded on truth and the teachings of Jesus Christ. We may not be a perfect people, but our Church is true. I love being a Latter-day Saint and know that I have been blessed immensely because of its teachings, especially those of marriage and the family. I am thankful that my parents chose to raise my brothers and me in the gospel and that they have set an example for us of what a family can become. I am especially grateful for my knowledge that families are forever because I cannot imagine being parted from my husband, unborn daughter, or parents and siblings after this life. I know I will see them all again if we are faithful.

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  3. I just want to start by saying I appreciate that you are calmly stating your points and able to address the issues I bring up, and I hope that you can see that I respect you and your opinions.

    I agree with you that those types of issues should not be taught in school. So I'm assuming you are saying that being gay is a choice that one makes? It is hard for me to understand why God would make someone a way that he would not accept. In my eyes, there are things in the bible that are outdated. Like the cutting your hair or eating ham that I mentioned before. Some of these are no longer relevant. For example, God could choose to make some people gay in order to control our ever-growing population. Would you love your daughter any less if she were gay?

    These less than ideal situations that you come up with, still occur. There are many issues and situations in this world that are less than ideal, but you are correct that people have to do the best they can. I would agree that the ideal situation for a child would be a father-figure and a mother-figure. However, gay people are doing the best they can, just like those single parent families. I would pose that allowing gay people to marry would give that child a more ideal situation by recognizing their family in an equal manner. I understand that marriage is extremely sacred to you, and I think that is an amazing and beautiful thing. However, changing marriage by law, would by no means change it in your church. Your church would not be forced to do any gay marriages nor recognize them. This definition would solely be changed in the law for equality purposes. I would also like to say that children raised in gay couples are more likely to be treated right and loved. This is because gay people have to actively choose to have families and children, where as heterosexuals are able to "accidentally" have kids and in turn mistreat them. This is proven, and if you'd like to read more about it I could give you more information, but I'm in a little bit of a rush :)

    You mention this history of divorce. What about the history of homosexuality? Homosexuality has been shown in many species including monkeys, goats, penguins and many others for centuries. The only species that has homophobia is humans. Would you say these animals had a choice? So where is the difference here? Also, you mention that infertility is a trial. Could homosexuality be a trial? Could it be a trial for our generation to see how equally and fairly we treat someone else?

    I agree with you that our children should see marriage as an eternal commitment. I believe the same that you do that marriage is forever and should not be taken so seriously. I am grateful that you agree that marriage needs to be defended, but how can you prove that marriage between two people of the same sex is more likely to exhibit divorce?

    I also appreciate your support in equal treatment through the government. I would just like to reiterate that churches cannot be forced by the government to "marry" two people of the same sex. There are many preachers and other members of churches that do support same-sex marriage and would be happy and willing to do the "marrying". However because your church is private and separate than the government it could not be forced. I agree that that would not be fair.

    I really do appreciate your faith and how open you are to having this discussion. You are teaching me a lot, and allowing me to regain faith in people who are strong in their faith. I apologize for saying that you were judgmental, because in seeing your full reply it seems you are being quite open and loving. I would challenge you to refute some of these points or let me know your thoughts! Hope you're having a nice day.

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    1. Okay, so I am going to have to make this kind of quick--sorry. Thanks for hearing me out all the way. I did not want to create an argument or make anyone feel bad, I just wanted people to have the opportunity to understand my beliefs and where they come from.

      That's a toughie. I really don't know what I think for sure about gay people. I cannot definitely say I think it is a choice or that they are born that way because there is so much uncertainty. What I feel though is that many (maybe not all) have gay tendencies that they believe are too strong or too tempting to overcome or resist. And most of them do not feel that it is wrong to give in to them. For someone who believes in the bible, there would obviously be a conflict and I understand how it would be hard to see how a loving God could make someone that way for no purpose. What you implied though is what I believe--that being gay is a trial as much as not being able to have children is--I just think it is a much greater trial because you have to fight your physical desires. I obviously could be wrong, but I have to believe that because I feel that God created the anatomy of man and woman for a reason (to have children, as you know).

      I know many people, and possibly you included, feel that one should not have to resist those urges or desires. I know that a man can love a man as much as a woman, but I think when it becomes sexual or carnal, that is where a line needs to be drawn. To me, it is the same way that a married man or woman could harbor a physical desire for someone other than their husband or wife, but if they are trying to be faithful, they should resist those urges and not give in to temptation. Not everyone will agree with that thought, but that's just a small example of how I see it.

      And I think you are correct, that it is a trial. It is very hard not to be judgmental of those who do not live the way you believe is right, but it is unavoidable and a crucial part of this life. Members of my faith believe that we are given this life and given trials to prove our faithfulness and love for God. We believe that only those who are trying their best (at whatever level that might be) will gain the richest reward of being able to live with our Heavenly Father again. You really don't have to read this, but in the LDS scriptures, there is a chapter that is basically an analogy for what I just said and if you read it (it isn't too long), it might actually serve as a better explanation than mine: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/8?lang=eng


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    2. As for homosexuality throughout history, I still tend to think that it was never really what God wanted for his children. He does want our happiness--I fully believe that. But he wants us to be our happiest and reach our utmost potential which comes through creating an eternal family. Concerning the animals, I believe that they do not have the same responsibility that humans have to live worthy. Animals instinctually know that they must procreate in their respective spheres, which is probably why they were made with unique chromosomal amounts so that procreation is possible. That is of course speculation, but it makes sense to me.

      I will admit to you that I do not know very much about divorce rates and the part discussing it in my original post was someone else's thoughts, but my main thought about divorce rates is that they were significantly lower in earlier periods of history when the family unit was stronger. There is so much infidelity and other issues in society today that were practically unheard of a century ago. I cannot state that the divorce rates between homosexual couples would be higher because there isn't enough proof to show that, and I do not suggest that they are the cause for increased divorce rates--the destruction of the family unit is really to blame for that. Society has damaged the traditional family in a lot of ways which is one reason the world is becoming increasingly evil.

      I don't know how my writing sounds because I was going kind of fast but hopefully it did not sound offensive and answered your main concerns. I am glad that we had this discussion and that you were open-minded to my answers even when you disagreed with them. Also, I did have a nice day after I read your response this morning so thank you!

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  4. You really are debating your points in a peaceful manner which I really appreciate.

    I mean, from personal experience, I think that many gay people try extremely hard to not give into their gay tendencies. I mean, it is a complete struggle to have to deal with this piece of your identity and tell your family who you fear will be disappointed. It is hard to explain, but it just feels like something is burning inside you and you can never be truly happy until you love the person you are in love with. I'm sure you can relate that you couldn't be who you are without Dalin. I know that there are many churches that offer reparative therapy for gay people. However, the American Psychological Association, Association of Pediatrics and various other professionals believe that it does more harm to the gay person than it does good. (I can provide citations for this as well if you're interested) There truly is such an added societal and familial struggle for gay people which I know may be difficult to understand. This is another reason why I strongly believe it is not a choice..why would someone choose to do something that they would be forever ridiculed and oppressed because of?

    I agree that men and women were created to procreate. I just think there must be a need for population control, and what is wrong with having more love? and more people to adopt children who otherwise would age out of the foster system? It is not the "ideal" situation, but neither is more than half of the family situations now.

    As for sexual desires and urges are concerned, I think you would agree that love is such a strong, intense feeling. When one loves another, and truly loves that person (I'm not talking about the gays or the straights that have sex whenever and with whoever they want) it becomes a NEED to be as close and as intimate with that person as possible. I don't think your faithfulness example is quite to the same extent, because it isn't just a sexual desire there is that deep love involved too. (at least in the ideal marriages you and I are discussing)

    I find the article and your explanation on "trial" interesting. It is still just really hard for me to understand why God would put such a strong trial on one person. I am trying to really see this point better. What do you think about those who are Mormon who are gay? Are they living to their full potential, and will God accept them?


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  5. I think this is also somewhat interpretation--how God wants his children to be happy. Gay people understand that gays would not be happy without expressing that large part of who they are and developing their own eternal family just with that one difference. Do you think God would reject a Mormon family with same-sex parents (and some can even procreate with a sperm donor, and that child could potentially have three loving parents) that is completely faithful to him? the I know this might be tough to understand for you (not in a mean way, just that it isn't your personal experience)

    The divorce rate was significantly lower in earlier periods of history, you are correct. I feel that we have lost a huge part of the true meaning and love within the family and marriage. To me those who say they are "pro family" are contradictory, because they are only pro-one type of family. I am pro-any type of family that supports, loves and truly cares for one another. I do not support a family that does not have any kind of morals (i.e. do onto others..., etc) I just don't care what the family looks like, if that makes sense.

    I think that the world is becoming increasingly evil because people aren't loving each other. Instead people are caring more about themselves and not looking out for one another. Instead of caring, there is judgment which I think is detrimental to our society. Loving one another is so important, which is why I support any type of love.

    It wasn't offense at all and you did answer the main issues. I am glad that we were able to discuss and you could keep an open mind as well. I wish that all people as strong in their beliefs as you were able to hear others out as such. You have helped me better understand the side of the church. I'm glad you had a nice day, and I hope you and that baby are happy and healthy!!!!

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  6. I'm a different anon than the one before I just want you to read this and say what you think

    http://www.shaneblackshear.com/by-fighting-against-gay-marriage-are-we-just-worshiping-the-state/

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    1. Hello! So I just read it. To me, marriage is much more than a piece of paper also. Dalin and I were sealed for time and eternity under proper authority when we were married, which means that even if one of us were to die prematurely in this life, we would still have the opportunity to be together forever after death. Our marriage certificate means very little eternally, though to society it is the only thing suggesting we are legally wed. I am not even quite sure what government rights we possess that gay couples do not, but I have never once been asked to show my marriage certificate to someone to receive something, especially not from the government. Though if that's all it takes to make gay couples happy, then it seems to me that a civil union can and would accomplish the same thing a marriage certificate does. I explained to the person above that the most important thing to me about this issue is preserving the holiness of the definition of marriage. A friend recently posted this article which I found very interesting and I think this gay man's ideas are far more open-minded than most on the issue. I agree with a lot of what he is suggesting. You can read it here if you'd like. I truthfully was surprised by it but in a pleasant way: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9432/
      Basically, he understands well enough that for many, the issue lies not in the act of homosexuality itself (even if many believe it to be immoral--it is not our place to take away the agency of someone else) but in the altering of marriage. I really appreciate you presenting your view in a kind way. If you have more to say or something to ask about my views, then feel free.

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  7. Preventing same sex couples from the right to civil marriage is, by definition, treating them as inferior. I don't think any religious group should have to perform these marriages but the argument that it will change the face of marriage for the worse? Hardly, these are people who appreciate the sanctity of marriage because they've had to fight for it.

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I absolutely love to hear from you & will reply if I can!