Friday, July 3, 2015

Thoughts on Independence, Moral Agency, SSM and Eternal Truth

I've been asked by more than a few followers of this page why I haven't posted anything about the recent ruling of the SCOTUS on same sex marriage. The short answer is that Patsy recently decided to exchange her bad knee for a cobalt steel replacement part, and her surgery and recovery have pre-occupied my free time. Now it's Independence Day weekend and I have a chance to reflect.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America
I find these latest developments in the LGBTQ (yes "Q" has been added - meaning "questioning" my sexuality) agenda to be so ironic. On the one hand we find advocates asserting their independence and exercising their moral agency to choose homosexuality. And on the other hand they could not be more anti-Christ than they are.

It was Christ in the pre-existence who championed our moral agency. We who walk the earth today were there as pre-mortal spirits. We sanctioned the plan of our Father in Heaven, the centerpiece of which was the ability to choose between right and wrong here in mortality. The consequences for our choices are not always immediately in evidence. Sometimes years go by before we reverse course and repent. Knowing there would be universal opposition to the truth, promoted and advocated by Satan and his minions, we accepted the offer of our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, to come to earth, live the perfect life, and sacrifice Himself for all of us to satisfy all the demands of justice under the laws of God. There weren't "two plans" put forward - only one plan - and our Lord and Savior became the Chosen One to implement that plan.

So I find it sadly ironic, because there seems little more that I could offer at this point that I haven't already said on the matter. The plan of salvation, referred to as "the great plan of happiness" (see Alma 42) by Alma, has as the bedrock principle the creation of mortal bodies to house the spirits created by God. In order to bring to pass the immortality and the eternal life of man (see Moses 1:39), God's stated purpose for His existence, we must assist in His work by bringing to pass the mortality of man by providing the mortal bodies for those spirits. Gender identification is also imprinted as part of the plan. Males and females are distinctly unique in the creative process. Each contributes a piece to make a new human body. The two parts are joined together in a holy union, a holy matrimony, to complete the plan.

The perversions around human sexuality are no longer secret, nor spoken in hushed secret corners. In fact, those perversions which until a few years ago were against the laws of most states, are now freely available to all who would choose them. The SCOTUS, make that one justice of the SCOTUS in a 5-4 vote, who wrote the majority opinion, has chosen for the whole nation based upon the popular opinion of the electorate as registered in recent polling data about same sex marriage. I accept the ruling of the SCOTUS as the supreme law of the land in the highest court, even though I would side with those four justices who dissented.

You can herald the triumph of so-called "equal rights" and "equal access" to marriage if you choose - that is your right as well - but this latest decision has little to do with a Constitutional right. This wasn't about the Constitution, observed Chief Justice Roberts, writing in his minority opinion. Roberts correctly observed the Court had overturned the voice of the people who had voted to retain the definition of traditional marriage in the several States through their elected representatives in the Republic established under the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution can an "equal right" to gay marriage be found. You won't even find a definition of traditional marriage there. Instead, the Founders wisely left to the States the definitions and resolutions of those kinds of issues. At the federal level, power of, by and through the people's voice has been trampled upon once again.

This was about advancing the anti-Christ agenda, nothing more, nothing less. He didn't say that, I did.

Why anti-Christ? Because the argument that "God made me this way and there's nothing I can do about it," is fundamentally flawed. Those who so assert also claim there is no need to repent of their perversion because God made them that way. "I'm not sinning because there's nothing I can do about the way I am." How convenient. Those of us who were also made by God, by the extension of that reasoning must also get a "free pass" for repentance. We truly live in a day of "live and let live" and "God will beat me with a few stripes in the end" (2 Nephi 28:8) but I'll eventually be saved in my sins because God loves me just as much as He does you. But as scripture reminds us, no one is saved in their sins. (Alma 11:34-37). The subtle rejection of the need for a Redeemer and the need for repentance is what is at the core of the LGBTQ agenda. However, you won't hear it expressed in those terms from them. Being "anti-Christ" isn't subtle enough for them. Instead, they seek to "normalize" the perversion so revulsion evaporates.

The perversions in the flesh are analogous to the perversions they make in the Word. A lawyer asked the Savior a question: "Master which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:35-40).

In the name of "loving our neighbor" tolerance reached its pinnacle under hashtag #lovewins on word of the SCOTUS decision. It may be "love" in the eyes of homosexuals, but it still classifies as perversion as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. The legal definition of love now having been defined by the courts notwithstanding, marriage between a man and a woman is God's law.

I find it nothing short of stunning how quickly this agenda has advanced in public opinion. Even among members of the Church there seems to be a "no big deal" attitude. "If gay people want to get married, that's fine with me, what's the big deal?" they seem to repeat among themselves, as though there will be no consequences for those who have chosen their perversions. The weakening of the moral fiber not only in America but world-wide, is well-documented and now continues without much resistance it seems. What was once the silent sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is now splashed boldly in rainbow colors illuminating the White House.

There is no other word than "stunning" to describe it. People forget that in both elections in 2008 and 2012, President Barack Hussein Obama was elected by stating his support for traditional marriage to avoid risking the alienation of voters in the Hispanic, Black and other religious communities who also favored traditional marriage. And now a rainbow colored White House in celebration of same sex marriage? Well, there you have it. . . that's stunning! You can ask yourselves why it happened so quickly, but the easy answers might be the influence of media, including television sitcoms and the attempts by advocates to "normalize" homosexual behavior. "We're just like you are," they will claim, and being the tolerant neighbor-loving and embracing people we are, and not wanting to be classed as "homophobic" we have come to the conclusion it can't be all that bad. That's how public opinion shifted so easily. One author called it "The Big Gay Lie."

The First Presidency

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Either this week or the following week, congregations in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be discussing a lengthy letter produced by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We sustain these fifteen men as living prophets, seers and revelators. The topic of their letter to the Church will be the recent SCOTUS decision. Once again members of the Church will be given an opportunity to absorb, digest, discuss, and either support or oppose their leaders on this topic. It is not the first chance, nor will it be the last to weigh in.

The assaults on religious freedom will continue unabated. I would expect the Church to continue to be the bastion of eternal truth it has always been. They constantly warn against being "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of [false] doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (See Ephesians 4:11-15). These fifteen men are the very reason Apostles were chosen and ordained in the meridian Church by Christ, and they are the modern-day counterparts.

I have read a lot, the ruling itself, all the dissents and much more while Patsy has been rehabbing her new knee. I have seen the comments of a lot of "good" members of the Church on forum boards and their social media postings. There are many who assert that like the question over Blacks receiving the priesthood and even longer ago with the rescission of plural marriage in the late 1800s, the Church will eventually come to its senses and bow to public opinion and political pressure on this issue too. They foresee a day when same sex marriages will be performed in the temples, just as Blacks were eventually granted equal access to all priesthood blessings.

But sadly, they will be wrong. Some say the Church will be on the wrong side of history unless it yields to public pressure. The passage of time will prove otherwise. Unless God has it in His mind to alter the bedrock doctrine of the great plan of happiness that has been revealed since the Creation without equivocation in Holy Writ, this question of "marriage equality" is nothing more than a cleverly crafted sophistry devised by Satan and his minions to separate the man from the woman. Since the plan was announced by our Father in Heaven and Satan opposed it in the pre-mortal council where we all upheld the plan, that has been his aim. (Moses 4:1-4). Don't forget that every single professed homosexual today is the product of the union of a man and a woman. Life is possible in no other way. If Satan succeeds in separating the man from the woman, if he undermines and erodes the underpinnings of traditional marriage, then the Father's announced purpose of His work and His glory can indeed be thwarted. That is Satan's aim, and he is making stunning progress toward achieving it. But in the end, he doesn't win if scripture is to be believed. (See a sampling in Revelation 19-22).

Don't seek to become an erudite so-called "Devil's Advocate". He has plenty of help already. Instead, seek to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ, not an anti-Christ who promotes and hails the LGBTQ agenda under the banner of political progress or equal rights. It is none of that. When you support and encourage their agenda you are in the ranks of the anti-Christs. You can't have this both ways any longer. The gulf between the two worlds is widening and can no longer be straddled comfortably as in the past.

I sound the warning voice here to those of you who are blindly advocating for something you don't fully understand - don't swallow the Kool-Aid by filling up your social media posts with exultation over what appears to be a "victory" for equal rights under the law. There are many examples of morally reprehensible behaviors that are legally protected. Abortion rights might be the most obvious example. This SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling is a short-term victory, like everything else that resembles a Satanic idea in opposition of eternal truth. Here's a sample from the Church's response:

"A family built on marriage of a man and a woman is the best setting for God’s plan of happiness to thrive. That is why communities and nations generally have encouraged and protected marriage between a man and a woman, and the family that results from their union, as privileged institutions. Sexual relations outside of such a marriage are contrary to the laws of God pertaining to morality.

"Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We invite all to review and understand the doctrine contained in 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World.'

"Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same‐sex marriages. Nevertheless, all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there."

Just as I have exercised my freedom of speech rights here, those of you who oppose my point of view are also free to express your opinion. We are all independent and we are free to choose whatever position we would like. We can do so respectfully but vociferously in whatever forum we elect. Remember, the blessing of moral agency, the freedom to choose and the subsequent consequences that go with those rights are all part of the plan of salvation. All of it has a root in God our Heavenly Father and in His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who is our Redeemer. When you exult in choices outside the parameters of God's perfect plan, please stop to think twice before going further down that path.

I've had occasion recently to review every single entry in the personal journal of President Harold B. Lee. It has provided great insight into the inner workings among the men we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators. As part of that reading I also spent last Sunday re-reading the General Conference sermons of all the General Authorities during the 18-months tenure of President Lee. I discovered this statement in the General Priesthood Meeting of October 1972:

President Harold B. Lee, 1972
"I want to warn this great body of priesthood against that great sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, which has been labeled as a sin second only in seriousness to the sin of murder. I speak of the sin of adultery, which, as you know, was the name used by the Master as he referred to unlicensed sexual sins of fornication as well as adultery; and besides this, the equally grievous sin of homosexuality, which seems to be gaining momentum with social acceptance in the Babylon of the world, of which Church members must not be a part.

"While we are in the world, we must not be of the world. Any attempts being made by the schools or places of entertainment to flaunt sexual perversions, which can do nothing but excite to experimentation, must find among the priesthood in this church a vigorous and unrelenting defense through every lawful means that can be employed.

"The common judges of Israel, our bishops and stake presidents, must not stand by and fail to apply disciplinary measures within their jurisdiction, as set forth plainly in the laws of the Lord and procedures as set forth in plain and simple instructions that cannot be misunderstood. Never must we allow supposed mercy to the unrepentant sinner to rob the justice upon which true repentance from sinful practices is predicated."

Note in his statement, there is no "special class" that eludes the demands of justice because "I was born this way." As President Lee suggested way back then, "every lawful means" to oppose same sex marriage has been undertaken, and time and again the courts have struck down those attempts. Losing in the court of public opinion, however, is no new development the Church is seeing for the first time. It has been the unrelenting reality of the Church's existence since 1830. The Savior faced rejection daily during His mortal ministry. The rejection of the world is the inherent theme of walking the straight and narrow path leading to the tree of life, and those who mock today may find in their ranks the members of the Church who have been deceived even when they were once among "the very elect". (See 1 Nephi 11-14; D&C 45:57-59; Matthew 24:24; JST Matthew 22; 37; D&C 33:16-18).

One son asked me last week if this assault on religious liberty would force the Latter-day Saints into the seclusion of our religious practice in our homes. I reminded him of the Church's missionary mandate. We cannot invite the world to "come unto Christ" by living like cloistered monks behind the protection of the walls of our homes. We as Church members must vigorously defend eternal truth as only found in the revealed word of God. Anything outside that scope, while legal and politically progressive (even correct!), may not be, and often is not, moral.

Even the SCOTUS does not have the final word on the moral code as defined by our Creator.