I am grateful to hear the Church call for civility and respect for those with diverging points of view on the subject of traditional marriage.
While I support the Church’s position on traditional marriage, I have members of my extended family and a close, personal friend who disagree with the Church’s position. In these cases, although we may disagree on this moral issue, there is no loss of love or respect for one another.
Before the Savior’s crucifixion, he spoke to his apostles in the upper room, saying:
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
(John 13: 34-35)
When my friend first announced his decision to live as a homosexual, I struggled with how I would respond. In the end, I felt strongly that the only course I could pursue with my friend was the path the Savior commanded—love one another.
Several months ago, I spoke with my friend about an email he had received from someone he had previously called his friend. The email he received was filled with unkind words from someone who professed to be a Christian and member of the Church. His words were not consistent with the Savior’s charge to love one another and I was embarrassed for this person. When my friend asked how he should respond to such an email, I told him not to dignify the email with any response.
In the course of this election season, with marriage propositions on the ballot in three states, it is my hope that the traditional marriage debate is defined by unwavering love and respect for one another, regardless of how we choose to define marriage.