This Sunday, bishops will be asked to read a statement in Sacrament meeting requesting that members donate their time and means to make sure a constitutional amendment promoting one-man one-woman marriage is passed on the Nov. 8 ballot.
The purpose of this post is to discuss ways members can contribute to this effort, either in California or elsewhere.
I would respectfully ask anybody who would like to debate the merits of the Church’s effort to take their thoughts and input elsewhere. There are literally thousands of other blogs where you can debate same-sex marriage to your heart’s content. This is not one of them.
Modern-day prophets have spoken. The letter specifically asks members to donate their time and means toward this effort. The letter says that “our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.” The letter also points out that the Church’s teachings on this issue are “unequivocal.” Members are being told that local leaders will give them direction in the weeks ahead.
Based on my experiences in a bishopric and on the High Council, what this is likely to mean is that stake presidencies will receive guidance and training from the Brethren on how to organize this effort in California. They will then pass on this guidance to bishoprics and ward leaders. I have been told that past efforts helping marriage included placing signs on your lawn, passing around petitions and even going door to door.
If I were a Church member in California, I would take this message as clear direction from the prophet to “go and do.” I would approach it the same way I try to approach all callings or Church tasks I am given: by doing my best.
I don’t live in California, but I have literally dozens of family and friends there. My efforts will include calling as many people as I can to ask them to vote for the constitutional amendment. In addition, I will be promoting the Church’s efforts through this blog and in my other personal communications (when appropriate). If it is appropriate, and requested, I would be willing to donate my time by traveling to California and helping the effort in the days ahead.
I would like to point out that this is the same approach I have taken to all of my Church tasks. When Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi, I was asked by my stake president in Miami to organize a relief effort in our stake. We sent almost 50 people from Miami to Pascagoula, Mississippi, where we spent several days cleaning up and providing assistance. I see the effort to help preserve marriage in California in the same light.
I’d love to hear from other Church members on this issue. Obviously, members should follow the local guidance of their bishoprics. Many details are not available now. But I’d love to hear the thoughts of those who are preparing to help.