04 June 2006

Love and the MPA

I have written elsewhere how I feel about the Marriage Protection Amendment. I would like to write here about a disagreement that I have with many of the people who support it.

Of all the scriptures that relate (or loosely relate) to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, here is one that I think is the most neglected:

Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy. (D&C 121:43-45)

My questions to those who actively support the Marriage Protection Amendment:

What have you done to show "an increase of love toward" same-sex couples?

What have you done for same-sex couples to show that your "faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death"?

Do same-sex couples "esteem [you] to be [their] enemy"?

Have you pursued these goals with the same vigor with which you have supported the Marriage Protection Amendment?

Besides restricting marriage to a man and a woman, what have you done to "maintain and strengthen the family"?


The Samuel Principle and MPA

The First Presidency (FP) of the LDS Church recently issued a letter in which they "urge our members to express themselves" on the Marriage Protection Amendment "to their elected representatives in the Senate." My feeling about this issue, for quite some time, is that it is not important to me. That is not to say anything about how others view it, just that I have never cast my vote based on this issue.

When I read the FP's letter, I thought I would obediently "express myself" by writing a letter saying, more or less:

"Dear Senator: Whether you vote 'yea' or 'nay' on June 6th will make no difference on whether I vote for you. Rather, I will continue to base my vote on other issues."

As I was preparing my Gospel Doctrine lesson this week (1 Sam 2-3, 8), I had a change of heart. In chapter 8, the children of Israel ask Samuel to appoint them a king. Samuel asks the Lord what to do and he is told that by asking for a king, Israel is rejecting the Lord. Samuel is told to “solemnly protest” choosing a king, but to let Israel make their own decision. Samuel warns of the terrible things that a king will bring, but the people respond by saying, “Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us.”

I saw some parallel in the way the Israel listened to Samuel and how I was listening to the FP. After this study, some thought, and some prayer, I have revised the letter I will write:
"Dear Senator: I hope that you will vote 'yea' on June 6th. This issue is not of singular importance to me, but is likely to influence the way I vote in upcoming elections."

I still feel stronger about other issues than about this one, and those issues will take precedence when I go to the polls. Two candidates being equal on those other issues (which also have moral implications), I will vote for the one that voted 'yea' on June 6th. (I feel that I should note that my "list of issues" is very short.)


03 June 2006

How Like Unto Moses?

Quick!—name three prophets who were “like unto Moses.”

1) Moses (by definition)
2) Jesus (see here, here, here, here, and here)
3) Joseph Smith (see here, here, here, here, and here)

What are the characteristics of Moses?
A) Lead a nation
B) Delivered the Laws of God to the people

How do the others fit this pattern?
A) Redeems us as “his sons and daughters” (see here and here)
B) Established the new covenant (ie. the New Testament)

A) Laid foundation for the establishment of Zion and lead Saints westward to Zion
B) Delivered the Laws of God in the form of scriptures and church organization

Which characteristic (A or B) is the most important?
Moses is revered by the Jews because he gave them the Law. Christ could replace (or change) the Law of Moses because he is greater than Moses. Joseph’s most important duty was in reestablishing the Law of God.