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In the same-sex marriage debate, I have heard it argued that the government should have no involvement whatsoever. Let individuals and churches define marriage for themselves. Its an intriguing idea and seems ideal from a libertarian perspective.
I don't see this ever happening, but if it did, I am curious about how the LDS church would handle such a situation. The church currently recognizes all legal heterosexual marriages as valid. How would the church decide what or what is not a valid marriage if marriage were privatized?
When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression--LDS Church moves their Same-Sex Marriage fight to MexicoBy Daniel2
I came across two articles today and I was struck by the contrast:
How is anyone's freedom to think being threatened by same-sex marriage...??
Ironic that the church is still beating their drum to the tune that legal recognition of same-sex marriage to be a matter of “religious liberty,” given that the denial of legal recognition of same-sex marriage refuses to equally recognize and respect those religions that recognize and sanction marriages between same-sex couples.
Now contrast the above tone and rhetoric with the thoughts brought up by this second article, which struck me as very applicable:
Several people have noticed a pattern—when the tension between mainstream society and the Church becomes too large, the Church modifies to ease the tension. The two most obvious examples are polygamy and the racial priesthood ban. Many people think that society will continue to become more and more accepting of same-sex families as a normal, healthy variation of families, leading to more and more tension between mainstream society and the Church. Several predict this tension will be resolved by the Church updating its position on same-sex families. Others say this will never happen and anybody who thinks in might doesn’t understand the clear doctrine behind the Church’s current position.
I’d like to discuss a counter-argument to this: the theory of evolution. Apparently, a BYU professor and 84.26% of the participants on this message board think that faithful members of the Church can believe in evolution. On the one hand, I agree—faithful Mormons can believe anything they want—as long as they pay their tithing, don’t smoke or drink, attend church, and don’t make waves, they can believe pretty-much anything they want about anything and still get a temple recommend. But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean their beliefs are consistent with doctrine.
The doctrinal point in question has been called by Bruce R. McConkie "The Three Pillars of Eternity." In his own words:
The three pillars of eternity, the three events, preeminent and transcendent above all others, are the creation, the fall, and the atonement. These three are the foundations upon which all things rest. Without any one of them all things would lose their purpose and meaning, and the plans and designs of Deity would come to naught.
If there had been no creation, we would not be, neither the earth, nor any form of life upon its face. All things, all the primal elements, would be without form and void. God would have no spirit children; there would be no mortal probation; and none of us would be on the way to immortality and eternal life.
If there had been no fall of man, there would not be a mortal probation. Mortal man would not be, nor would there be animals or fowls or fishes or life of any sort upon the earth. And, we repeat, none of us would be on the way to immortality and eternal life.
If there had been no atonement of Christ, all things would be lost. The purposes of creation would vanish away. Lucifer would triumph over men and become the captain of their souls. And, we say it again, none of us would be on the way to immortality and eternal life.
That’s classic Mormon doctrine and is absolutely central.
Here is a quote from the book Straight Answers to Tough Gospel Questions by Joseph Fielding McConkie:
Q: Is the theory of evolution compatible with the doctrine of the Fall?
A: No. We can tug, twist, contort, and sell our birthright, but we cannot overcome the irreconcilable differences between the theory of organic evolution and the doctrine of the Fall.
This is of course true, and is supported by multiple books of scripture, the temple ceremony, and multiple generations of latter-day Prophets. Despite all of that, thanks to our modern sensibilities 84.26% agree that Mormons can believe in evolution.
So if Mormon doctrine can evolve enough to make room for organic evolution, why can’t it evolve in a way that makes room for same-sex families? The change to the core doctrine to make room for evolution is by far the more drastic.
I really don't have any doubt that in the future the LDS church will change its policy regarding same sex marriage. I am sure that will be disputed by many, and thats fine, just start a new thread on it. If I, and others, are right about this,I think allowing Gay couples to fully participate in the Sunday experience will be relatively easy to do. The real question becomes, is there ANY WAY to fit homosexual marriage into a traditional(ish) Mormon exaltation theology, or will it have to be discarded to accommodate, should this prediction come true? I am a strong believer in exaltation, but I also am fairly convinced that for many individuals, there is no way they will be happy or whole with a spouse of the opposite gender. Your serious thoughts on this are appreciated...
I have been interested in this question for quite some time. Does reading the Book of Mormon affect whether a person supports same-sex marriage?
I will state up front that I believe there is a link between these two things- reading the Book of Mormon and not supporting same-sex marriage. I ask for your honesty in this poll.
Update- sorry. I changed the poll because I realized that I could not capture any correlation or lack thereof between reading the Book of Mormon and support of same-sex marriage. Should have seen that before. Sorry.