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Bill Reel Straw Man - 2015 Policy Edition

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50 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Then you aren't paying attention.

Previously it violated the covenant to have relations with someone you weren't sealed to by priesthood authority.

Currently it only violates the covenant if you have relations with someone other than your legal spouse.

What is the current legal status of same sex spouses in the United States?

I think we may be discussing different things. From what you said, for a few years in early Utah history it was required for those who went to the temple to only have relations with their own spouse who they were sealed to by Priesthood authority. And inside the temple, the covenant was only to one to whom you are sealed. This was a rule to get into the temple, as this was the higher Law of Chastity that was covenanted to in the temple. I understand this and see what you are saying. This is a higher more holy law and ideal for God, specifically aimed at those who are covenanting to keep the highest laws. This makes sense because the goal is also to get sealed to your spouse and be together eternally. This rule and the higher temple covenant were later changed to allow any one legally married could go to the temple. Is that all accurate?

But during those years that going to the temple required being sealed would it be accurate to say that all married couples in the rest of the world who hadn't been sealed were committing sin because God only recognized temple marriage at that time? Would someone coming up for a baptism being asked if they kept the Law of Chastity get rejected because they say, "Well I have sex with my wife." No, that is not the case. People were living the Law of Chastity who were married but not yet sealed and they were worthy to go to the temple. The standard to get into the temple changed and the covenant in the temple changed, but not the Law of Chastity itself (I mean the law given to Adam and Eve).

It's all different manifestations of the same Law of Chastity given throughout time: Man leaves father and mother and cleaves to his wife. Thou shalt not commit adultery. He who looketh on a woman to lust. To whom you are sealed. Legally and lawfully wedded. All the same big-picture law expressed differently.

Now, if God said today "It's okay to have pre-marital sex," that would be a change in the Law of Chastity. Or if God said, "You can now commit adultery as long as you use protection." That would be a change in the Law of Chastity. Or if God said, "Men can now sleep with men and women with women," that would be a change in the Law of Chastity. The reason these are real changes is that they run counter to all previous precedence in the Old Testament, New Testament, and all ancient and modern prophets. They break all of the previous explanation of the Law of Chastity.

The Law of Chastity since the beginning of time given to man-kind is pretty much "Sexual relationships only in a marriage (judicial or sealing) accepted by God." The requirements to get into the temple for a few years and the covenanting to a higher version of this law inside the temple for a few years didn't ever change God's big-picture Law of Chastity. And I don't think it's a good example of why God will allow same sex sealings in the temple, when this has been explicitly not allowed in the Law of Chastity since the beginning (a Man cleaves unto his wife). 

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15 minutes ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

I think we may be discussing different things. From what you said, for a few years in early Utah history it was required for those who went to the temple to only have relations with their own spouse who they were sealed to by Priesthood authority. And inside the temple, the covenant was only to one to whom you are sealed. This was a rule to get into the temple, as this was the higher Law of Chastity that was covenanted to in the temple. I understand this and see what you are saying. This is a higher more holy law and ideal for God, specifically aimed at those who are covenanting to keep the highest laws. This makes sense because the goal is also to get sealed to your spouse and be together eternally. This rule and the higher temple covenant were later changed to allow any one legally married could go to the temple. Is that all accurate?

But during those years that going to the temple required being sealed would it be accurate to say that all married couples in the rest of the world who hadn't been sealed were committing sin because God only recognized temple marriage at that time? Would someone coming up for a baptism being asked if they kept the Law of Chastity get rejected because they say, "Well I have sex with my wife." No, that is not the case. People were living the Law of Chastity who were married but not yet sealed and they were worthy to go to the temple. The standard to get into the temple changed and the covenant in the temple changed, but not the Law of Chastity itself (I mean the law given to Adam and Eve).

It's all different manifestations of the same Law of Chastity given throughout time: Man leaves father and mother and cleaves to his wife. Thou shalt not commit adultery. He who looketh on a woman to lust. To whom you are sealed. Legally and lawfully wedded. All the same big-picture law expressed differently.

Now, if God said today "It's okay to have pre-marital sex," that would be a change in the Law of Chastity. Or if God said, "You can now commit adultery as long as you use protection." That would be a change in the Law of Chastity. Or if God said, "Men can now sleep with men and women with women," that would be a change in the Law of Chastity. The reason these are real changes is that they run counter to all previous precedence in the Old Testament, New Testament, and all ancient and modern prophets. They break all of the previous explanation of the Law of Chastity.

The Law of Chastity since the beginning of time given to man-kind is pretty much "Sexual relationships only in a marriage (judicial or sealing) accepted by God." The requirements to get into the temple for a few years and the covenanting to a higher version of this law inside the temple for a few years didn't ever change God's big-picture Law of Chastity. And I don't think it's a good example of why God will allow same sex sealings in the temple, when this has been explicitly not allowed in the Law of Chastity since the beginning (a Man cleaves unto his wife). 

Of course, there was that long period of time when it was acceptable within the law of chastity to have sexual relations with multiple wives to whom the man was sealed (though not legally and lawfully wedded).

And there were the early years in the Prophet Joseph's practice of plural marriage when he was neither legally wedded nor sealed to (since the sealing ordinance had not yet been revealed) to multiple women with whom it is presumed that he engaged in sexual relations.

And there was the time when some couples could be legally and lawfully married but not permitted to be sealed due to their race.  And they weren't breaking the law of chastity (I presume) nor could they enter into that particular temple covenant either.

 

But, of course, it is possible to summarize all this at a high level with the statement that God only approves of sexual relations between male and female who are bound either by a spiritual or legal covenant.

 

It's also easy for me to look at this, along with other doctrinal developments, and think... yeah, we are still trying to learn and understand God's will.  And as a Father who loves his children and desires that each of them have a partner in this life, it is possible that God could one day reveal His acceptance of same gender marriage for His children who are homosexual.

 

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6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

But, of course, it is possible to summarize all this at a high level with the statement that God only approves of sexual relations between male and female who are bound either by a spiritual or legal covenant.

Exactly! I am glad we are on the same page 😉 

I personally don't believe the change will happen because I accept your summary above as eternal law. Again, this is especially important to doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ because of our theology on Heavenly Father/Mother and eternal increase, which requires two genders.

However, I am gaining good insight from this conversation because I have wondered how active members can justify and hope for a change in the policy to allow same sex sealings.

The question to be seen is if God never changes this law to allow homosexual relationships and the world continues to harass people who don't accept Same Sex Marriage, how will it impact the members of the church?

(or in an alternate reality universe, if God did command the prophet today to allow Same Sex Marriage in the temple, how would that impact the membership of the church?)

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6 minutes ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

I personally don't believe the change will happen because I accept your summary above as eternal law.

Most members apparently don't believe there's any such thing as eternal law.  It's all subject to God's whims of the moment.

I am not one if those.

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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

Most members apparently don't believe there's any such thing as eternal law.  It's all subject to God's whims of the moment.

Or possibly the current leader's whims 😉

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11 hours ago, Calm said:

Not really from my point of view. 

I stand by my position. 

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I stand by my position. 

Then respond to the CFR and provide proof of your accusations against rockpond.

Edited by ALarson
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Just now, ALarson said:

Then respond to the CFR and provide proof of your accusations against rockpond.

I was unaware of a CFR, but this would appear to be one of those odd instances in which I am being required to provide references for the expression of my own opinion. To which I routinely respond, “I am the reference for my own opinion.” 

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2 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I was unaware of a CFR, but this would appear to be one of those odd instances in which I am being required to provide references for the expression of my own opinion. To which I routinely respond, “I am the reference for my own opinion.” 

You have (wrongfully) accused me of being duplicitous.  I think that goes beyond being an opinion.

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I was unaware of a CFR, but this would appear to be one of those odd instances in which I am being required to provide references for the expression of my own opinion. To which I routinely respond, “I am the reference for my own opinion.” 

You made very specific accusations.  Back them up (with links and quotes) or withdraw the insulting accusations.

Here's the CFR:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71654-bill-reel-straw-man-2015-policy-edition/?do=findComment&comment=1209892366

 

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49 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Or possibly the current leader's whims 😉

Sadly, I think this is more true than I'd like to believe. There are lots of members who think it's just some guy who happens to be randomly selected as prophet and his whims are guiding the church, as opposed to the divine will of God.

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1 hour ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

Exactly! I am glad we are on the same page 😉 

I personally don't believe the change will happen because I accept your summary above as eternal law. Again, this is especially important to doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ because of our theology on Heavenly Father/Mother and eternal increase, which requires two genders.

However, I am gaining good insight from this conversation because I have wondered how active members can justify and hope for a change in the policy to allow same sex sealings.

The question to be seen is if God never changes this law to allow homosexual relationships and the world continues to harass people who don't accept Same Sex Marriage, how will it impact the members of the church?

(or in an alternate reality universe, if God did command the prophet today to allow Same Sex Marriage in the temple, how would that impact the membership of the church?)

What is "eternal increase"?  Is it the creation of spirits from intelligences?  Where is the doctrine that this requires two genders?

 

To the first of your two questions, I think we are already at a point where a majority support same sex marriage... I believe that surveys have shown that a majority of church members support same sex marriage (as an accepted civil process outside the church).  If we aren't there yet, the surveys seem to be showing a trend that will get there soon.  So, perhaps that is the impact to the members that you anticipate... further acceptance.

To the second of your two questions, I don't think that God will command the prophet to allow same sex marriage in the church or in the temple until a majority of members are ready to embrace such.  I believe that is what happened with allowing black members entry into the temple and ordination to the priesthood -- I believe we, as members, had to reach a critical mass (including among the Q12) in order for that revelation to be received.

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16 minutes ago, ALarson said:

You made very specific accusations.  Back them up (with links and quotes) or withdraw the insulting accusations.

Here's the CFR:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71654-bill-reel-straw-man-2015-policy-edition/?do=findComment&comment=1209892366

 

I’ve already given my reasoning. If you redefine a law to suit your own preference and then claim to embrace that law, you are by definition engaging in duplicity. 

That is sufficient to the moment. I don’t wish to engage in further fruitless, Orwellian back-and-forth on this matter, and I will not do so. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’ve already given my reasoning. If you redefine a law to suit your own preference and then claim to embrace that law, you are by definition engaging in duplicity. 

Where did rockpond "redefine a law"?

 

Quote

lds.org:

“What is the law of chastity?

We are to have sexual relations only with our spouse to whom we are legally married. No one, male or female, is to have sexual relations before marriage. After marriage, sexual relations are permitted only with our spouse.”

And, Rockpond’s post stating what he believes the law of chastity is:

Quote

“I believe the law of chastity is that sexual relations are only to be between those who are married.

 

Edited by ALarson
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14 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’ve already given my reasoning. If you redefine a law to suit your own preference and then claim to embrace that law, you are by definition engaging in duplicity. 

That is sufficient to the moment. I don’t wish to engage in further fruitless, Orwellian back-and-forth on this matter, and I will not do so. 

I didn’t redefine anything.  I was very forthright in both the expression of my beliefs, in quoting/citing church teachings, and in identifying how church doctrine differs from my position.  That is far from being duplicitous. Further, I was answering a question that specifically asked about personal beliefs of fellow members. 

Nice of you to make an accusation, repeatedly state the you feel it is accurate, claim you are backing out of the discussion, come back to once again defend your accusation, and then again state that you don’t want to participate in the “back and forth”. 

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5 hours ago, rockpond said:

Of course, there was that long period of time when it was acceptable within the law of chastity to have sexual relations with multiple wives to whom the man was sealed (though not legally and lawfully wedded).

And there were the early years in the Prophet Joseph's practice of plural marriage when he was neither legally wedded nor sealed to (since the sealing ordinance had not yet been revealed) to multiple women with whom it is presumed that he engaged in sexual relations.

And there was the time when some couples could be legally and lawfully married but not permitted to be sealed due to their race.  And they weren't breaking the law of chastity (I presume) nor could they enter into that particular temple covenant either.

But, of course, it is possible to summarize all this at a high level with the statement that God only approves of sexual relations between male and female who are bound either by a spiritual or legal covenant.

It's also easy for me to look at this, along with other doctrinal developments, and think... yeah, we are still trying to learn and understand God's will.  And as a Father who loves his children and desires that each of them have a partner in this life, it is possible that God could one day reveal His acceptance of same gender marriage for His children who are homosexual

I'm not sure why the policy is being discussed, whether to defend or criticize it, in terms of the Law of Chastity. It is not directly relevant. The policy's correctness or future does not hinge on interpretation of the Law of Chastity, but of marriage.

The policy concerns the marriage covenant and the balanced relationship between the parents, the children (under the maintenance or stewardship of the parents) and the Church, not chastity or anyone's moral standing or personal worthiness. The issue of same-sex marriage (a matter of apostasy over marriage by the interpretation of the Church), and the issue of same-sex cohabitation and same-sex parenting (a matter of apostasy over the perception of what marriage is by the children) is over marriage, not sexual immorality.

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4 hours ago, ALarson said:

Where did rockpond "redefine a law"?

And, Rockpond’s post stating what he believes the law of chastity is:

I'm not sure why the policy is being discussed anyway, whether to defend or criticize it, in terms of the Law of Chastity. It is not directly relevant. The policy's correctness or future does not hinge on interpretation of the Law of Chastity, but of marriage.

The policy concerns the marriage covenant and the balanced relationship between the parents, the children (under the maintenance or stewardship of the parents) and the Church, not chastity or anyone's moral standing or personal worthiness. The issue of same-sex marriage (a matter of apostasy over marriage by the interpretation of the Church), and the issue of same-sex cohabitation and same-sex parenting (a matter of apostasy over the perception of what marriage is by the children) is over marriage, not sexual immorality.

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45 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I'm not sure why the policy is being discussed, 

Probably because that is the topic of this thread.

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On 3/15/2019 at 10:42 PM, JulieM said:

Probably because that is the topic of this thread.

 LOL I see what you did there!

image.png.495e431241dbf42998948ebdc1255094.png

But I'll reiterate with some emphasis: I'm not sure why the policy is being discussed anyway, whether to defend or criticize it, in terms of the Law of Chastity. It is not directly relevant. The policy's correctness or future does not hinge on interpretation of the Law of Chastity, but of marriage.

The policy concerns the marriage covenant and the balanced relationship between the parents, the children (under the maintenance or stewardship of the parents) and the Church, not chastity or anyone's moral standing or personal worthiness. The issue of same-sex marriage (a matter of apostasy over marriage by the interpretation of the Church), and the issue of same-sex cohabitation and same-sex parenting (a matter of apostasy over the perception of what marriage is by the children) is over marriage, not sexual immorality.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, CV75 said:

 LOL I see what you did there!

image.png.495e431241dbf42998948ebdc1255094.png

But I'll reiterate with some emphasis: I'm not sure why the policy is being discussed anyway, whether to defend or criticize it, in terms of the Law of Chastity. It is not directly relevant. 

It was brought into this conversation here:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71654-bill-reel-straw-man-2015-policy-edition/?do=findComment&comment=1209892126

Some feel it's relevant, but I get your point.  However gay members who marry (SSM) are considered to be in Apostasy and may be excommunicated (and then their children are not allowed to be baptized).  Do you believe the policy has nothing to do with the Law of Chastity?

Edited by ALarson

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Whenever this discussion comes up, I often think of a very excellent movie called "Latter Days".  It is the story of a gay missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and how he navigates the waters the church has put upon him.  At one point in the movie, ths young missionary is standing before a discipline counsel where his father, who happens to also be the stake president. is judging his son on what an abomination his son is and  the idea of two men redefining marriage is something God could never approve of.  The son is taking all this abuse hurled at him.  But when the father makes that statement, the son for the first time interupts his father, the stake president.  He says someting like this.

What are you talking about.  This is a church that has redefined marriage over and over again.  It is the original church of accepting alternative marriages.  

Think about that.  This is the church that was ok with men marrying other men's wives.  This is the church that was ok with men having sexual relations with multiple women they weren't legally married to.  This is the church that for 150 years barred blacks from temple marriage based simply on prejudice.  Can anyone name any Christian church that has such a long history of alternative marriages?  Of all the church's that have defined what marriage is, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by far, has the most checked history of what that definition is.  Yet so many other Christian churches, without such a history, after much prayer, have come to the conclusion that just because you are a gay couple does not mean that you should be execluded from the body of Christ and that all children of God should be allowed to share life with a companion that loves and supports them.  The desire to be wth someone and share life with someone is fundamental to how we have been created.  If you are gay, that person happens to be the same sex as you.

Gay couples will be fine without participating in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  What is not entirely clear at this point is how many of the next generation will be ok with a church that excludes gay couples and their children from the body of Christ.  Only time will answer that question.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, california boy said:

What are you talking about.  This is a church that has redefined marriage over and over again.  It is the original church of accepting alternative marriages.  

Think about that.  This is the church that was ok with men marrying other men's wives.  This is the church that was ok with men having sexual relations with multiple women they weren't legally married to.  This is the church that for 150 years barred blacks from temple marriage based simply on prejudice.  Can anyone name any Christian church that has such a long history of alternative marriages?  Of all the church's that have defined what marriage is, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by far, has the most checked history of what that definition is.  

So true and that is what makes this discussion so ironic.  All it would take is for one of the leaders to say it's God's will (just as was done when polygamy was lived and also when the blacks received the Priesthood).  I do believe some members would still have an issue with it, but if they heard the Prophet tell them a few times that it was an answer to their prayers and it was given to them in a revelation,  they'd eventually support it, IMO.  Not all members, but most (since the majority already are in favor of legalized SSM, iirc).

Edited by ALarson
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3 hours ago, ALarson said:

It was brought into this conversation here:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71654-bill-reel-straw-man-2015-policy-edition/?do=findComment&comment=1209892126

Some feel it's relevant, but I get your point.  However gay members who marry (SSM) are considered to be in Apostasy and may be excommunicated (and then their children are not allowed to be baptized).  Do you believe the policy has nothing to do with the Law of Chastity?

Yes, I understand it was brought into the conversation; my point is that it is not relevant because the policy has to do with a shared view of marriage and the unworkable disconnect between the ssm parents, children and Church over a shared stewardship in relation to the child's baptism and subsequent ordinances on the path to temple marriage (if not in realization at least in precept). The law of chastity and marriage can be observed independently of each other (you can be married / unmarried and chaste / unchaste). So I think bringing chastity into the equation confuses the fact it is about marriage, as evident in considering ssm to be a form of cohabitation instead of an apostate form of marriage (just as infant baptism is an apostate form of baptism, not merely a baptism without authority).

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

Whenever this discussion comes up, I often think of a very excellent movie called "Latter Days".  It is the story of a gay missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and how he navigates the waters the church has put upon him.  At one point in the movie, ths young missionary is standing before a discipline counsel where his father, who happens to also be the stake president. is judging his son on what an abomination his son is and  the idea of two men redefining marriage is something God could never approve of.  The son is taking all this abuse hurled at him.  But when the father makes that statement, the son for the first time interupts his father, the stake president.  He says someting like this.

What are you talking about.  This is a church that has redefined marriage over and over again.  It is the original church of accepting alternative marriages.  

Think about that.  This is the church that was ok with men marrying other men's wives.  This is the church that was ok with men having sexual relations with multiple women they weren't legally married to.  This is the church that for 150 years barred blacks from temple marriage based simply on prejudice.  Can anyone name any Christian church that has such a long history of alternative marriages?  Of all the church's that have defined what marriage is, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by far, has the most checked history of what that definition is.  Yet so many other Christian churches, without such a history, after much prayer, have come to the conclusion that just because you are a gay couple does not mean that you should be execluded from the body of Christ and that all children of God should be allowed to share life with a companion that loves and supports them.  The desire to be wth someone and share life with someone is fundamental to how we have been created.  If you are gay, that person happens to be the same sex as you.

Gay couples will be fine without participating in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  What is not entirely clear at this point is how many of the next generation will be ok with a church that excludes gay couples and their children from the body of Christ.  Only time will answer that question.

There are so many LDS families that have family/children that are gay that the church will have to concede or lose members. Today my husband mentioned his brother who is a counselor in the bishopric saying that he doesn't expect his gay son to go through life w/o sex to someone he loves. This family is as stalwart as they come. His wife, my sister-in-law, for years worked on the Timpanogas temple grounds until they discontinued the volunteering program when there was a problem. Can't remember what my she told me about it, maybe it's been worked out. But now she works in the temple once a week. And before that attended the temple weekly. This is a woman that would go to the temple and spend all day when we'd go on vacation with all of the adults in the family to St. George and I'm almost sure she agrees with her husband. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

So true and that is what makes this discussion so ironic.  All it would take is for one of the leaders to say it's God's will (just as was done when polygamy was lived and also when the blacks received the Priesthood).  I do believe some members would still have an issue with it, but if they heard the Prophet tell them a few times that it was an answer to their prayers and it was given to them in a revelation,  they'd eventually support it, IMO.  Not all members, but most (since the majority already are in favor of legalized SSM, iirc).

This isn't about the law of chastity, either. It s about the definition of marriage, which is my point. Here we have a thought experiment contemplating a future change in the Church's definition of marriage. I don't condemn anyone for a such a sociological thought experiment, but it is an embarrassingly unstable rationale for criticizing a policy based on the current -- and long-standing in relation to the sex of the marriage partners -- definition.

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