With recent events in the United States and in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding same-sex marriage, I have been having an almost constant debate in my head. I have read a lot of posts and articles written by people in and out of the Church with varying opinions and I agree with many of the things that I have read.
There seems to be two sides to this situation, with one side asking for love and tolerance and acceptance of individuals who are attracted to members of the same sex and the other side taking a moral stand for revealed truths and the commandments of God. One side claims that God is love and we should be sharing that love with all of our brothers and sisters and the other side claims that God is order and that his laws do not change and we need to keep his commandments if we want to receive his blessings in our lives.
I do not believe either side is wrong with these statements. God is love. God does not change,
his commandments are eternal, and when human behavior needs to change, God will reveal new light and truth through his mouthpiece, the Prophet.
I, then, find myself asking the following question: How does the Christ-like individual react to the current situation? How do we balance love and tolerance for all of God’s children with standing for truth and right and keeping God’s commandments?
I will not claim to have a perfect answer, I am writing this post partially to work through my thoughts on this subject. I want to invite all of you to join with me in studying the scriptures to find the answer to this dilemma. I will be reading in the Book of Mormon and in the New Testament and even the Doctrine and Covenants to find how men of God, including the Savior, dealt with similar situations. How did Jesus and his appointed prophets teach true doctrine that went against accepted social norms of the time? How did they stand firm in defending God’s eternal laws while still showing his love and compassion with an understanding that all men are children of God?
I think I will start with Jacob in the Book of Mormon, I seem to remember around chapter 4 or so, that he had some strong words to say against the people who were not keeping the commandments of God, but he still recognized that there were many who came to him, as a prophet, looking to “receive the pleasing word of God”.
And I will do a read through of the New Testament, at least the Four Gospels, and focus on how Jesus Christ taught. He has some very strict things to say to the people as he taught them the higher law, and many things that he taught were not well received, yet he is generally accepted as being the Master Teacher, and the Embodiment of the Love of God. Certainly we, as his disciples, can learn from him how best to lovingly teach the doctrines of the Father to a society that has chosen to disobey his commandments.
And I will also examine Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants. Here, too, was a man that was certainly filled with the love of God for all his fellowmen and who certainly had to stand unashamed of the commandments of God.
That will be my scripture study for the next little while as I attempt to reconcile for myself how God wants me to act in the current political situation. I return again, as I find I often do, to Nephi’s simple testimony, “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things”.
I know that God loves his children, and I know that we are all children of God. I know that he wants us to treat each other with love and respect, with patience and understanding. Yet, I also know that “straight is the gate and narrow is the way” and that the Lord has said, “if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you” (Doctrine and Covenants 78:7), “for he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:22).
I now need to find out how God would have me act with regard to my brothers and sisters in the world, and what he would have me say and do. And so I will delve into the scriptures and study the life of the Savior to find what he would do. I invite all of you to follow along, read along with me and share your thoughts. Together we can certainly find an acceptable answer.