The Salt Lake Tribune has a story on Elder Nelson’s talk to young adults Sunday night in which the senior apostle makes it as clear as can be that the Church’s policies are the will of the Lord.
The Mormon Newsroom has not reported on the talk yet, so my post will have to rely on the report from the Tribune, but here are some key paragraphs:
After same-sex marriage became legal in several countries, including the United States, the LDS Church’s top 15 leaders wrestled with what to do, weighed all the ramifications, fasted, prayed, met in the temple and sought God’s guidance on the issue.
Balancing their understanding of Mormon doctrine about the “plan of salvation,” which is built on male-female marriage, with compassion for children of same-sex couples, Russell M. Nelson, head of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said Sunday night, “we considered countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios that could arise.”
Then President Thomas S. Monson, considered a “prophet, seer and revelator” in the 15 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, declared “the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord.”
That led to the Utah-based faith’s new policy regarding same-sex Mormon couples — that they would be labeled “apostates” and that their children would not be allowed baptism and other LDS religious rites until they turn 18.
“Each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation,” Nelson, next in line for the Mormon presidency, told the faith’s young adults in the first official explanation of the hotly debated policy’s origins. “It was our privilege as apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson.”
Nelson explained that revelation from the Lord to his servants is a sacred process.
“The [three-member] First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counsel together and share all the Lord has directed us to understand and to feel, individually and collectively,” he said. “And then, we watch the Lord move upon the president of the church to proclaim the Lord’s will.”
Elder Nelson also said that this is a time for choosing:
The safest course, Nelson advised, is to heed the words of Mormon leaders, particularly Monson.
“Prophets see ahead. They see the harrowing dangers the adversary has placed, or will yet place, in our path,” Nelson said. “Prophets also foresee the grand possibilities and privileges awaiting those who listen with the intent to obey.
” … You may not always understand every declaration of a living prophet,” he added. “But when you know a prophet is a prophet, you can approach the Lord in humility and faith and ask for your own witness about whatever his prophet has proclaimed.”
Nelson, who became president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles last year, warned his listeners to beware of those who might tear down their faith.
“The somber reality is that there are ‘servants of Satan’ embedded throughout society,” he said. “So be very careful about whose counsel you follow.”
In the end, the apostle reminded the young people that they were born for this time — with an important assignment: to usher in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
My thoughts: there are members who continue to doubt whether the Church has revelation from God on its policy toward same-sex attraction. Elder Nelson has made it clear that it is a time to choose. As for me and my house, we will follow the Lord and his prophets.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell made the following prophecy in 1978, which we are seeing fulfilled in our day:
Discipleship includes good citizenship; and in this connection, if you are careful students of the statements of the modern prophets, you will have noticed that with rare exceptions—especially when the First Presidency has spoken out—the concerns expressed have been over moral issues, not issues between political parties. The declarations are about principles, not people, and causes, not candidates. On occasions, at other levels in the Church, a few have not been so discreet, so wise, or so inspired.
But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21).
(h/t to Brian Duffin for this post).