Today I read Esther 4 where Mordecai hears about what Haman is planning for the Jews. Obviously being distraught, he goes to Esther and tells her what is happening and asks her to go before the king. Esther is very reluctant because the king of Persia had one of the most ridiculous rules I have ever heard of, you could not come into his presence unless he sent for you. Talk about a man who loves his privacy! So it is very natural that Esther is scared to approach the king about this matter, especially considering Haman is in the kings good graces. But Mordecai reminds her that her life is not worth more than the entirety of the Jews. It reminded me of the covenant we all make at Baptism. To stand as a witness for God in all times and in all places. The covenant doesn't ask you to only do it when it is convenient for you, to only do it when times are good and easy. We promised to do it at all times, no matter what.
Currently we each of us, who live in the United States, have an opportunity to stand for what is right. The United States Supreme Court is debating whether or not to allow homo-sexual marriages. As Latter-day Saints, we understand that marriage is only between a man and a woman as decreed by God. Satan has done a really good job of convincing the people of the USA that in order to love and accept all men and women no matter what, we have to accept what they do. That is categorically false! We can love the sinner, but hate the sin. When Jesus was on the earth, He would tell people to "sin no more". He loved everyone, but was very firm in His commands that some people need to change their life style. I have several friends, male and female, who are more attracted to members of their own sex than the opposite sex. I love them and carry on friendships with them, but I do in fact consider their choice of lifestyle to be wrong. And let's be clear that while they may be attracted to members of their own gender because of biologics or whatever reason, it is their choice to act on it. I may be attracted to pictures of naked women, but it is my choice to indulge that attraction or not. Likewise they can choose to indulge it or not.
Now, standing up for what is right, especially in this situation, is not a matter of condemning those who do not believe as you do, or as God has commanded. Rather if the situation comes up, we are to point out God's way, and that we agree and follow God's way. Nothing the Supreme Court will decide in these next few days, perhaps weeks or months, will change that God has condemned ALL sexual relations except those between a lawfully married man and woman, man and wife. And if God is against it, I promise you that if we want to be in God's good graces, we need to also be against it.
I cannot stress enough that the question of whether or not two men, or two women, should be allowed to marry is not a question of civil liberties. It is not discrimination. It is a question of what is right. God has always had a stance on those who have sexual relations with those of their same gender, and it is not a kind one. I have heard many of my friends who indulge in homosexual relations state that they feel God is OK with them and I just smile and keep my comments to myself. I don't have the heart to tell them that they are dead wrong. God of course loves them and wants them to be happy and so if they choose to sin and be happy in their sin, God IS OK with their decision, but I promise you it breaks His heart and makes Him sad, because that is 2 sons, or 2 daughters, that will not be coming back into His presence. It is, again, no different from the heterosexual male, or female, who chooses to look, listen or other wise view pornography. Such a man, or woman, will not be allowed back into God's presence until, if, they decide to get rid of such a habit, which may in fact require lots of help from God and the Savior's Atonement.
Satan has done a great job of making those who love the sinner and hate the sin look like bigots and intolerant heathens. This is not the case, for most of us. Some of those opposed to same sex marriage ARE bigots and intolerant heathens, but I think the majority of them are just those trying to follow the will of God to the best of their ability. Those who actively practice a same sex relationship, just like those who get abortions for reasons other than abuse, or the life of the mother is in danger, are not allowed into the temple of God. This should spell out very clearly to those Latter-day Saints who might be on the fence about either of these two topics where the Lord stands on them. Yes there are those leaders in the LDS community that might abuse their power and forbid entry into the temple for unrighteous reasons, but the Lord takes His temple and the entry into it, VERY seriously. The handbook outlining the procedures for the temple are written by the Quorum of the Twelve, the First Presidency and those that they have chosen to help them through revelation of God. In short, God wrote them and gave the leaders of this church on the earth those rules and regulations. This is not a thing of man, but rather a thing of God. His will, WILL be done. We can either be on the right side or it, or the wrong side of it. The choice is ours to make.
I make no apologies for anything I have written above. They are the words of God and I am sorry if any choose to take offense at them, again, another choice we can all make, to be offended or not. God has always been clear on His stance on this subject and so we need to decide if we will align ourselves to His will, or try and force Him to our will. If you choose the latter, I promise you will fail. Satan will fall, all his efforts will come to nothing. While you may not regret your choice in how you handled these times and may still feel you are right, when the time comes that all is revealed, God will let us all know that His thoughts and desires on this subject have not changed. There are certain things that are SO important that God has not left them ambiguous in the slightest, ever. One of them is sexual relations and the creation of life. God cares greatly how people enter into this world, and how they leave it. And the procreative powers of our bodies are sacred and should be handled as such, and one more time, should only be used in the confines of marriage between a man and a woman, ONLY. If that ever changes, God will let us know. And until He does that, I don't care what names you call me, label me, or do to me, my feelings and thoughts are in line with His. I choose God over Mammon. Jesus Christ lives. Our Father in Heaven lives and He is very concerned with what happens in this life. True happiness is only found in keeping His commandments and if you want to know what those are, well He has written a couple of very famous books I would invite you to read and every six months His prophet on the earth, currently President Thomas S. Monson, speaks to the world and reveals His will to us. I love Him, He is my Father and Jesus is my elder brother and they, and ONLY they, know the way to true and everlasting happiness. I follow them and no other! Until tomorrow.