“The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley, writing about the Book of Mormon and comparing it to today.  First Presidency Message, Aug. 2005.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter  Day Saints has opposed “gay marriage” for a very long time.  The unelected Supreme Court of California has just recently decided that voters are not allowed to have a law that bans gay marriage in their state so a State Constitutional Amendment will be required.  This is ridiculous on so many levels and I will not take the time to address the silliness of the decision.

Not surprisingly, religious groups and other that also think traditional marriage is the only acceptable marriage will be seeking a Constitutional Amendment that will be on the ballot in Nov. 2008 in California.  The Church issued a statement calling the California Supreme Court Decision “unfortunate“.  The Church also clarified that it is speaking out on a moral, not political issue and therefore not in violation of their IRS Tax Exempt Status.  Also, The Church re-emphasized that Church members are “free to act and vote their own conscience”.

What is perhaps even more interesting/distressing is all of the comments attached to the story about The Church’s statement about the gay marriage decision.  There is also an interesting collection of comments attached to a KSL.com story that mentions the Church.

Many of the comments are for/against marriage, complain how bigoted The Church is and therefore the many, many members of The Church are also bigoted, etc…

One comment is about why The Church would say anything if people are free to vote their conscience.  I suspect it has something to do with teaching correct principles and hoping the people will follow the truth although they are free to not accept or follow the truth.

What is interesting to speculate about is why The Church’s official statement would choose the word “unfortunate”.  I will go ahead and speculate.  It is good enough for some scientific theories, so why not for this column?

The Church is led by God, who has called Fifteen Prophets, Seers, and Revelators to guide the world and more specifically the members of The Church in these trying and difficult days.  In 1995 The Church issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and has this relevant language:

“We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”

Perhaps the decision is unfortunate because it is just one more step towards bringing upon communities and nations “the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets”.  The Church has also been speaking very strongly about chastity, abuse, and other problems warned about.

We need to listen and obey, even when we are free to choose to disobey.  I am glad that The Church is still seeking to teach the truth to the people.

Comments Welcome

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