The Cause of Christians

[ 8 ] Comments

by Emily

As we all know, the same-sex marriage issue is a hot topic right now, especially in Utah. Whenever my LDS Facebook friends post pro-gay marriage stuff, it just rubs me wrong and I think, “Do they not understand the Plan of Salvation?” As it makes me uncomfortable when they post pro-gay marriage stuff, I wouldn’t be surprised if it rubs them wrong when traditional marriage advocates post their stuff. Since I don’t like to be terribly opinionated on open Facebook posts, I’ve kept my mouth shut on the matter.

Recently, though, a graphic came around promoting a pro [traditional] marriage rally at the Utah State Capitol on Tuesday, January 28 at 7 p.m. Although I completely agree with the cause, I felt really uncomfortable showing up there, maybe being seen on the news, and having people from all over the country looking at me and calling me a bigot. I’ve read comments that are so hateful to those of us who still support marriage between a man and a woman and don’t believe that “right” should be extended to others. One commenter even stated recently that religion should be banned if it promotes a society that doesn’t give the same “rights” to everyone.

If it helps, think of the rally more as a conference or gathering, then it won't feel so intimidating. Please consider sharing this information so those who want show their support can.

If it helps, think of the rally more as a conference or gathering, then it won’t feel so intimidating. Please consider sharing this information so those who want show their support can.

In a private Facebook group, we began discussing the rally, and some were questioning why people are afraid to speak up about the rally and traditional marriage in general. Cheryl suggested reasons range from fear to ignoring the prophet’s counsel on families, to accepting defeat. In addition to the fear of being perceived as an overzealous bigot, I was/am definitely ready to just give up and accept the defeat. However, Diane shared five points that gave me hope and courage:

1. The idea [for the rally] is taken from France. Last year while the French government was legalizing same sex marriage, over a million French citizen’s marched through the streets because while the French generally support homosexuality they understand that children need to be raised by their mother and their father. The March was moving and caught international attention. It was a beautiful thing to see so many people in a sexually liberal nation out there showing that they care about the traditional family.http://www.lifesitenews.com/…/1.4-million-march-against…

2. Utah is the leader of the other 30+ states that have adopted man/woman marriage as part of their state constitution. Utah became a target the day after the Supreme Court heard arguments [regarding] DOMA last March. An out of state lawyer came from Washington D.C. to UT and with the ACLU got gay couples to start the law suit that killed our Referendum 3 on Dec 20th. This lawyer said (because of the Mormon influence) that if he could get UT, he could get any state.

3. So far the majority of Utahns have been silent on the matter. The media has been reporting that Utahns are ready to accept gay marriage. In fact, Utahns have been so silent that Representative Anderegg from Lehi reported that he received more than 200 calls from the pro-gay marriage side telling him not to vote to fund lawyers to fight Referendum 3 and no calls asking him to fund it. Rep. Anderegg thought this was not a good representation of his constituents so he made his own calls. Of all that he called, 12 said not to fund it, 16 were undecided, and more than 200 wanted the legislature to fund lawyers to defend Referendum 3. Not all Representatives are as good as Anderegg or care about what their constituents really think. The silence on the matter may just close the case for Referendum 3.

4. A rally at the capitol during the session is the most visible way for Utahns to end the silence and show support for traditional marriage. It will be a peaceful rally with some very good speakers. Bobby Lopez was raised by a lesbian couple and he has decided to speak out for children. There will be a Utah woman who was raised by a lesbian mother who will speak in support of childrens’ needs for a mother and father. We will not be shouting and cheering. We will be there to show the other 29+ states that UT cares about families.

5. In my personal opinion, I do not think it is an accident that UT’s marriage amendment went first. I feel like it is God giving a large gathering of saints the opportunity to lead the rest of the nation. We have been called to support traditional marriage and children being raised by a mother and father. The final paragraph written by prophets, seers and revelators that knew what we would be facing 19 years into the future called all of us: “WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

Additionally, Angela said:

When it comes to defending the family, silence is precisely what Satan wants. . . .  I don’t see anyone sharing this because they are indeed afraid.  Afraid of looking like they’re stirring the pot or getting all political. It is so so much more than this though, and if we just sit back and let it pass quietly, we will regret it. I saw this happen where I live in NZ. The people were all against SSM and SSAdoption, but they were too casual and it passed. NOW they are getting fired up and it is too late. Too late because they didn’t do anything. Our school systems are already changing to facilitate this, as are the adoption agencies. It is so ironic that the very people in Utah who should be the most vocal in defense of families are afraid to admit it on social media and share it.

Tonight I sat down with our son to read scriptures. I opened up to my spot in the Book of Mormon: Alma 48. I read the first two columns, but started getting so emotional I couldn’t read anymore and just began reading to myself and writing all over the pages. Can I just tell you that since I started blogging and getting involved in “issues” online, three times this has happened! I open up to wherever I am in the scriptures and what I read EXACTLY applies to whatever controversy is at hand, whether it be same-sex marriage or even Mormon feminism.

Let me summarize what happens in Alma 48. Amalickiah has just deceitfully become the king of the Lamanites after having the king killed then marrying the king’s wife. In verse 3, he seeks for even more power as he wants to also rule the Nephites. In fact, he did get some of the Nephites to follow him. As leader of this combined group of people, he “hardened their hearts” and “blinded their minds and stirred them up to anger . . . to go to battle against the Nephites.” In verse 7, we read that Amalickiah also gained “power by fraud and deceit.”

Is this not what has happened today? That old liar, Satan, through his servants, has tricked a great number of people into believing that the traditional family unit is not the fundamental unit of society and that a father and a mother are not necessary to provide the best environment for a child to grow up in and that a person is ruled by his or her sexual desires and that anyone who doesn’t agree with this is terrible and awful and a bigot.

In verse 4, Amalickiah “was determined . . . to overpower the Nephites and bring them into bondage.” Is that not what is happening with the issues with same sex marriage? The proponents of it are ready to bring the religious into bondage — to not be able to worship how we wish.

Opposed to Amalickiah, in verse 7, we have a righteous Nephite named Moroni. Rather than tricking and deceiving his people to do wickedly, he has prepared “the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord.” Do we not also have prophets today who have prepared and taught us to be faithful to God and his plan for families?

Moroni built up forts, banks of earth, and walls of stone to protect his people. Have we sufficiently prepared our defenses by hearkening to our leaders on our doctrine? (See Stephanie’s related post here.) Are we faithful to what we have been taught concerning families?

In verse 10 we learn that Moroni wants to protect his people so that “they might live unto the Lord . . . and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians.” They, too were fighting for religious freedom. They, too, wanted the opportunity to live unto the Lord as do many of us. I never noticed it before, but do you think the Lamanites said the words, “the cause of Christians,” with the same disdain that some of the secular world does today as if it is some contagious disease?

In verse 14 we learn that “the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies,” “never to give an offense . . . and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.” Did you hear that? They were to defend, never to offend, but if attacked, they could protect to the death. I see so many people doing this right online. They share their belief, and when questioned, state the truth. They do not go out picking a fight on the issue of same-sex marriage (although I’m sure it happens in some circles).

Additionally, in verse 16 we learn Moroni’s people did not glory “in the shedding of blood, but in doing good . . . and keeping the commandments . . . and resisting iniquity.” Verse 21 states that the people were “compelled reluctantly to contend with their brethren.” They were also “sorry to take up arms against the Lamanites.” Isn’t this how we feel? We don’t want to fight! We don’t want conflict! We want things to be good and to follow God under His laws. We want this contention to just go away so we can carry on in “the Cause of Christ.”

Do you know the reason Moroni wanted to defend “the cause of Christians?” He knew, in verse 15 and throughout the ENTIRE Book of Mormon, that if the people were faithful, “God would prosper them in the land*.” As we inhabit the same land, we know it is true today. We all want prosperity, not destruction.

So I don’t know if you’ll attend the rally, do if you feel so inclined, but please don’t be afraid to stand up for “the cause of Christ,” whichever one it may be.  Write letters, make kind comments and clarifications, love as Christ loved, let others know where you stand, bear witness of the truth, and know, as Nick said in his last post, that the work will not stop because “the caravan moves on.”

*An interesting thing though, just for pondering, is that although we know the Nephites would be prospered in the land if they were righteous, there’s a clause still in verse 15 indicating that being “prospered” might include being warned to flee or prepare for war. So perhaps prospering in the land may not always mean inhabiting a land and being successful, but merely being protected in whatever way is sufficient for our conditions.

rickwarrenquote-300x213

About Emily

I'm a busy mom of 4 living in Utah and have been married for 14 years. I went to Ricks & BYU and have a BS in Health Science and minors in History and International Development. I did my student teaching in Western Samoa. If I ever have time, I enjoy blogging and sewing (especially re-enactment sewing), but usually I'm just trying to make time to exercise and clean the house. I hope to someday remodel and get more into historical research.

8 Responses to The Cause of Christians

  1. Juliathepoet says:

    I enjoyed this post, and am fully supportive of people joining this rally, or any political rally, and except using their rights to freedom of speech, free association, and religion. I would hope that people on all sides, of any political issue, feel that they have a right to share their opinions and to follow their conscience. It is not only fundamental to the government and culture of the United States, the foundation of democracies, it is also a bedrock value of the LDS church, to allow individual thoughts and moral choices, based on personal experiences and revelation.

    I believe my only real disagreement, is with your interpretation of what Christ wants us to do, (and people have disagreed with what has been written about His gospel for centuries) and when you seem to be saying that there should be no consequences for those who oppose civil marriage for same sex couples, for sharing that opinion. I don’t think the potential consequences are unjust, but I believe that any time we try to apply the force of law to our religious beliefs, that we cannot expect there to be people who disagree with is, and if it the law hurts or deprives others of their dignity, there will be a societal process of naming that deprivation of rights, and the people who support(ed) that deprivation. That doesn’t mean that you can not, or even should not, continue to be vocal and proud of your thoughts and actions, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people on both sides of a contentious issue will not always be kind to those on the other side.

    Just as I support your right to believe, and express your belief, that same sex civil marriage should not happen, I support the right for people to disagree with you, in whatever language they choose to use. I have also seen “hateful comments” directed at people who believe same sex couples should be allowed to be civilly married, and even more hateful and abusive things said about people who are gay, lesbian and bisexual. Feelings run high on this issue, and while I understand that most people want to be thought well of, by others around them, and there are some succinct labels that are unflattering, if we believe that we are following the teachings of Christ, and acting as he wants us to act, we should not care what others call us.

    If you believe that Christ is, or would be seen today, as a racist, or a bigot, and you are following His teachings when doing things in those categories, then those words should be worn as a badge of honor. I do wish that the level of rhetoric and emotion could be toned down on all sides of this debate. Vilifying people of good conscience, who disagree over matters of civil governance, should be encouraged to exercise the freedom on speech that we enjoy as citizens. It would be wonderful if we all did a little better following the guidance given in the Articles of Faith, and recognized that we can only claim the right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of our own conscience, *if* we allow all men (and women) the same claim to worship how, where and what they may.

    If you believe that taking a stand is what God wants you to do, then do it! Don’t let nasty comments, or the fear of people thinking badly of you, stop you from doing what is right! Just don’t be surprised if those whose rights you are denying, are less than polite in their responses. They have the same right to the freedom of speech and religion as we do, as recognized in the Articles of Faith, in our claim to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience, and make that claim because we allow all others that same right.

    • Jeff says:

      Julia, while I respect the thoughtful way you wrote your response to this blog post, I have to say that I suspect the Prophet and Apostles would probably agree with Emily’s inspired post. It seems as though you are wading into the grey area of the issue of gay marriage, when the Lord has spoken so clearly and so succinctly on this issue through prophets and apostles that it literally cannot be misunderstood. If you look on LDS.org through the past General Conference addresses (even the most recent ones with statements by Elder Nelson and Elder Oaks on gay marriage), you’ll find they cut through the moral relativism we find so often spoke of in the world.

      There is also an extensive interview on LDS.org with Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman about your specific concerns about agency. In fact, they address it by indicating that it is the ultimate sophistry of the adversary when people say that what others do doesn’t matter, why should I infringe on their rights, etc. It is a great article and my paraphrasing does not do it justice. Check it out so you can see what I’m talking about.

      Also, in the most recent Ensign, there is an article titled “The Book of Mormon and Moral Relativism”, which talks about the very thing you are talking about:

      Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said: “The societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline. They have taught that truth is relative and that everyone decides for himself or herself what is right. Concepts such as sin and wrong have been condemned as ‘value judgments.’”

      His assertions, many of which may be familiar to a modern audience, contain the following:

      a. There is no God (see Alma 30:28, 37–38).
      b. Belief in Christ is “a foolish and a vain hope” (Alma 30:13).
      c. Those who believe in a remission of sins are under the effects of a frenzied or deranged mind (see Alma 30:16).
      d. Their derangement is caused by following the traditions of their fathers and the whims of corrupt leaders (see Alma 30:14, 23–28, 31).
      e. Man is a creature (see Alma 30:17).
      f. One “[fares] in this life according to the management of the creature; … and whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” (Alma 30:17).
      g. There is no sin and no need for a Savior (see Alma 30:17–18).
      h. Those who encourage people to keep God’s commandments are stripping away an individual’s “rights and privileges” (Alma 30:27).

      This last point is particularly dangerous, for it elevates one’s rights while avoiding any discussion of one’s responsibilities. In purporting to be in favor of individual liberty, moral relativism actually threatens one’s privilege to exercise agency by ignoring the negative consequences of not being cognizant of one’s responsibilities to others.

      • Juliathepoet says:

        As my stake president reminded us a couple of months ago, the church considers this to be a political issue, and one where people of good conscience can disagree, while holding temple recommends. (He quoted several general authorities, and even though I didn’t write the exact quotes down, it was clear that supporting civil marriages for same sex couples was not going to be part of the temple recommend questions.) While there are many things I do not know, one of which is what direction the church will take once same sex couples have the legal right to marry in all states, I suspect it will be similar to what has happened in Europe.

        The real focus of his talk, and in his presentations about mormonsandgays.org, was to reminded us that our duties to family members are not less, if they are gay, but that we have an even greater obligation to love and comfort them, no matter what choices they might be making in their personal lives. He encouraged us to set a good example, by teaching by example, that the love of the Savior reaches out to all, with no exceptions.

        I have read almost everything you suggested, although our Ensign subscription is still catching up to us after moving. I see a great difference between how the church chooses to solemnize ordinances, and how it conducts its affairs, and the expectations that Christ has laid out for us, in the parable of the Goid Samaratin. I see no reason not to believe Christ, that He expects me to be the neighbor to all those I come in contact with, not only those whose lives I approve of. For me, that means that I needed to spend a lot if time in study, prayer, and thought, before I could come to a conclusion about what my Elder Brother and Heavenly Parents expect from me. I make no claim that my answer is the only one that could be given, but I do claim my own experiences and testimony. I have worked hard, and home through hell, to receive mine. It is precious to me, and it guides me in my choices in many things, including my support of civil marriage for heterosexual, and homosexual couples.

  2. Well-said. Thank you for helping provide balance to this conversation, which takes courage right now! I loved the parallels you drew to the Book of Mormon.
    The quote you included by Rick Warren is especially apt and I plan to use it in the future.

  3. Kendra says:

    Church officials put out a statement on 10 January, 2014 in response to the 20 December, 2013 ruling in regards to same sex marriage. Enjoy

    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-instructs-leaders-on-same-sex-marriage

  4. Susan Green says:

    Please Emily, keep your religious views. Don’t let the world influence how you worship in any way! Please keep being a voice for the L.D.S. congregation who have truly forgotten what their religion stands for. Keep reading the Book of Mormon and staying strong to your sacred views. Keep your strong beliefs about marriage being between a man and a woman for the Plan of Salvation to continue after this life. Please don’t stop! Please, and I mean please, try to understand that this is not a spiritual issue, this is a human rights issue and religions do not hold the place of authority over any political group!! Marriage can still be kept sacred in the L.D.S. church. You can still hold the sanctity of a marriage between a man and a woman. Just please stop believing that YOUR religious views should override human rights in the political arena!

  5. Mary Fielding Summerhays says:

    Susan,
    I appreciate the calm tone of your comments, but don’t quite follow your point.

    Same Sex Marriage denies a child their biological right to have both a mother and a father. Why should gay sexual rights trump a child’s biological rights. I find it hypocritical to claim Emily is overriding other’s human rights when that is what gay marriage will do to children. In reality in all 50 state adults are free to live and love as they choose. They can even join a liberal church that will bless their union.

    This definately is a human rights issue as well as a moral one. If adult gay relationships are a human rights issue that need protection, how much more do children’s relationships need protecting, as a human rights issue?

    Marriage is the only institution that protects a child’s relationship with his mother and father.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>