Please understand that when I write this blog post. I am NOT trying to stir up controversy. In fact, I am attempting to do the very opposite. I am trying to increase understanding. Many people don’t understand why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has taken such a strong stand on marriage being between a man and a woman.
I am not an official spokesperson for the church, but I wanted to explain my views as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as best and as simply as I can.
1) The sealing power has been restored to the Earth today.
In ancient times, the Lord gave His authority to His servants to act in His name. This meant that when they sealed something on Earth, it was also sealed in Heaven. Acts that occurred on Earth no longer affected things in this life only, but throughout all eternity. I believe that this authority in on the Earth and has been restored in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This means that there are servants on the Earth today who have authority from God to act in His name.
2) Temple Sealing makes marriages that can last for time and all eternity.
In the temple, if a worthy young man and young woman prepare themselves; they can be sealed by the authority of the Lord’s servants. This temple sealing is a bit different from the standard wedding. Instead of saying, “Until death do you part,” we are told that we are now married for “time and all eternity.” Of course, without real authority from God, these are just words. I testify, however, that I know that this authority does exist and can be found in the temples. I have been sealed to my husband and as long as we both continue faithful through this life, we will be married for time and all eternity. It is not a guaranteed ticket into heaven, but we have made covenants with our Father that will lead us there if we keep them.
3) Eternal progression allows families to continue after this life
I testify that families can be forever. “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal,and eternal identity and purpose.” In the next life, a sealed husband and wife will continue to have children. That is part of eternal progression. Children are an essential part of families and a key part of the Lord’s plan for happiness. Without children, things come to an end. Same-gender couples are incapable of having children. A man and woman, therefore, are essential for God’s children to progress.
4) Those that don’t have the opportunity in this life will be given it in the next
Often, I have heard or seen people say, “But what about heterosexual couples who can’t have children? Doesn’t that invalidate your argument about the point of marriage?” Not at all.
I testify that God is a just and loving God, and this life is neither the beginning nor the end.
The Lord has said in Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.” I testify that any blessings that are denied in this life will be multiplied in the life to come if we remain faithful. If someone is unable to marry in this life through no fault of their own, I know the Lord will make it right. If a couple is unable to bear children and they are faithful and keep the commandments, they will have children in the world to come.
That doesn’t make it easier to endure through this life and remain faithful, but it is a comfort. It is also possible to be chaste and pure.
I testify that whatever sins or temptations an individual will face (and we all do), that if we strive to keep the commandments of our Heavenly Father, the Lord will be by our side to bear us up, and show us how to overcome our trials.
5) The Lord loves everyone
The Lord doesn’t want anyone to be miserable. The purpose of this life is to bring about the immortality and eternal life of humankind (Moses 1:39). We also believe that we came to this earth to have joy (2 Nephi 2:25). When we encourage others to keep the Lord’s commandments, we shouldn’t be doing it because we want to make them feel guilty; we should be doing it because we love them and want them to have joy.
When Christ came to the earth, He boldly declared the doctrine of God. He didn’t lie or change it to suit what was popular. However, when He met those who were sinners, or people who acted contrary to the gospel, He didn’t mock them or turn them away. He loved them. He encouraged them to change their ways and follow Him, but He also accepted their decisions.
I want to emulate my Savior. I want to love everyone, regardless of their decisions, but I want to be brave in declaring the Lord’s words as well. When we truly love someone, we have the courage to tell them that they are making bad choices and to try and help them make better ones. True love is being honest, and when people know that you love them for who they already are, they are also more receptive to hearing your words.
6) The only way to achieve true happiness is through the Lord’s commandments
I know that if we keep the commandments of Heavenly Father and follow His plan, that we will be given more blessings and joy than we could ever imagine. The Lord only has one path that leads to true and unending happiness. There are many pleasures and temporary thrills on this Earth. There are even ways to gain temporary happiness. However, all of these will eventually leave people feeling unfulfilled and hungry for more. When true happiness from our Heavenly Father is found, we will no longer hunger in our souls. We will be filled.
I testify that I have eaten of the bread of life, and have felt the fullness of joy that accompanies it.
7) Any sexual act outside of marriage (between a man and a woman) is a sin.
Feeling attraction toward someone else of the same gender is not a sin. No one should feel that they are a bad person because they are feeling those temptations. However, when we choose to act upon temptations, we sin. It is normal to feel sexual attraction for another person. However, if we can wait to act upon those feelings until we are in the proper place and time (marriage), then we are being obedient to the Lord’s commandments, and we will be strengthened and aided. Our marriage will be stronger for having waited.
That isn’t to say that if a person were to be intimate before marriage or if they have sinned in other ways that there isn’t hope. Often in this life, we make mistakes. Everyone sins, every day. The point isn’t to lose hope in oneself; it is to find hope in the atonement of our Savior. Regardless of what we’ve done in this life, the Lord has suffered for all sins, and we can find comfort and peace in Him.
In conclusion, this is what I believe to be truth. You are welcome to disagree with me, but please try to understand me as well. If I encourage others to believe as I do, it is only because it has brought so much joy and happiness to me, and I want the same for them. When people choose a different path, I may sorrow for them, because I know they are missing out on so much more, but I also respect their decisions and continue to love them.
This is my view and understanding of marriage. My beliefs on marriage are centered around God and His plan for His children. If God is removed from marriage, then there is no meaning to marriage. With God, marriage means everything, and is central to His plan of happiness.