If you have been following my posts up until this point, you may have been wondering if I have been trying to disguise the fact that my faith has colored my viewpoint. I can see where you are probably coming from, but you’ve missed my intent. I have felt that if I led out with my religion, anyone following who disagrees with taking a religious-based stance would tune me out. I wanted to show that there is more to my thought process than blind faith. That’s one of the things I love most about being a Latter-day Saint: we are NEVER encouraged to take anything on blind faith.
Being LDS affects my views on same-gender marriage in many ways:
- It makes me look deeper when I find things that contradict what I believe.
- The Book of Mormon contains a challenge in Moroni 10:3-5: Read the Book of Mormon, compare it to the Bible, pray with real intent about its truthfulness. Real intent means that you trust God to answer truthfully and you’ll act on the answer. Logically, it follows that if God shows you that the Book of Mormon is true, then the church founded around its teachings is the most correct church on earth.
- Even better, this is the principle that can be followed for anything I encounter in my faith. If I hear a teaching I don’t understand or that bothers me, I am encouraged to study anywhere I feel appropriate, come to a conclusion, and pray for confirmation that I am right.
- This means that my religion has trained me to look deeper when I am uncomfortable with something that is being said, written, or taught in any circle. When I kept hearing in mainstream media that science was proving that homosexuality was genetic and immutable, it didn’t fit. So I looked harder at what was being published and at sources outside of mainstream media. What I found is that very little has been “proven” on either side.
- Because I have found following my beliefs to be valid in other areas, I step out in faith in areas that are unclear.
- One example is the law of tithing that is taught in our church. From the outside, it can look like greedy leaders trying to glut themselves on the poor rank-and-file members of the church. What I have observed is that the money is handled in stewardship and is used as we are told it will be. Meanwhile, there have been times in my life when I was very concerned that paying tithing would leave me unable to adequately take care of my family. The promise found in Malachi says that I can prove God, and He will open up the windows of heaven to pour down blessings on me. I have been pushed to the edge of my faith, but the promised blessings have proven true every time.
- I have many more examples of increased understanding and being given greater emotional capacity as I have tried to pattern my life on the Saviors. Each on of these experiences gives me confidence that I will be able to listen to the Holy Spirit and recognize truth when I find it.
- Because I have had so many experiences that confirm that I have found eternal truth, it colors my view of the world.
- If I can believe God in the areas that I’ve been able to test on faith and have seen for myself that it works, then I find it easier to believe the things that I haven’t been able to test.
- I also listen to see what impressions I get through the power of the Holy Spirit. I again have enough experiences with listening to the Holy Spirit to trust when it whispers something is true or untrue.
In the end, I have studied what the scriptures and my church leaders have to say on the issue, as well as what I can find about scientific studies. I have thought the issue through many times, and I have prayed about my conclusions. My stance was not something I took lightly, nor does it mean that I hate those who disagree. In an earlier age, I would have been called a conscientious dissenter.
Here’s What My Church Has to Say about Marriage and Homosexuality
- A document called the Family Proclamation was issued in 1995, and defines God’s standards for marriage and family.
- The question is answered on Mormon.org. It is the same standard that I, as a single, heterosexual mother, have lived for the past 15 years.
- There is a website hosted by the LDS church that discusses the topic in depth.
- This is a transcript of an interview given by two church leaders. Their thoughts on celibacy are quite interesting, and match my experiences as a singe mom.
- This page at LDS.org lists some of the resources I have given, plus a few more.
Again, this is part of a series of posts that I have written over the past two or three months. Other posts include:
- The Religion of Science
- What Is Truth?
- It’s OK to call me a H8r
- Has Science Answered the “Homosexuality Question”?
- Observational Studies and Homosexuality
- What Do We Know about Sex Offenders?
- Given Its History, Can we Trust Science?
- Logical Truth as I Apply it to Same Gender Marriage
- Ethical Truth and Same Gender Marriage