Marriage of Mormon Gays

The modern theory of marriage is that two people who are in love should join as a union. Nothing else matters and is subjected to this quality. Interesting enough, the reason to get married is less about love and more financial or legal advantages. There are tax incentives and social contractual obligations for both the couple and State. According to the law, the two become essentially one with some caveats. It also seeks to publically legitimize the relationship, opening up an acceptance of the bonding. These social, financial, and political fortunes have always been the glue that holds the concept of marriage together. Love is actually the least important issue, and history has until relatively recently recognized that fact.

Pointing out that historically there have been many reasons for marriage beyond love is not to say it wasn’t a factor until the modern era. Instead, it is a recognition that marriage is a social construct for contractual and not emotional connections. Kings and Queens married to continue ruling an Empire. The rich conspired to marry off sons and daughters to create fortunes. Religious people married as an obligation to God for the perpetuation of the next generation. Love and attraction was necessary, but secondary or less. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising at a time when “love” trumps all, that less than half the marriageable population actually ties the knot. Who needs commitment when one can (as easy divorces indicate) fall in and out of love? The rich apparently, as a NYT article (see side link) explains according to a study. Its just become expensive for especially the poor.

For Mormonism, marriage is more old fashioned than the “new” old fashion. It reaches farther back than gender roles, white picket fences, and 3 or more kids. Like the traditional religious purpose, the main factor of marriage is an obligation to God for raising up the next righteous generation. Romantic love is not discouraged, but its not required. Above all, this marriage between a man and woman to form a family is far more than a suggestion; it is a commandment of God. For this reason, anyone who is capable must get married as a religious practice. More than this, it is necessary for full Exaltation in the Eternities. Those who claim to be attracted to the opposite sex can be as equally obligated to form a proper family unit as a heterosexual, so long as they are honest about their weakness.

The source for this view of marriage requirement can be found, although not the only place, in section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is here that the new and everlasting covenant in relation to marriage is revealed. The subject is how the ancient Patriarchs were allowed to marry more than one women, but goes beyond this question. The significant portion in verse 7 reads:

7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

This is a very legal sounding statement. No room is open for error in understanding the importance of proper actions by the proper authority. Relationships cannot exist in the next life without sealing by the Holy Spirit as predicated on official Priesthood involvement. If there is anything done by the world’s standards or authority, it will not last longer than mortality.

Consequences for not getting sealed to a spouse is in verse 16 to be held back from full blessings:

Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

Perhaps remaining as an angel in the Celestial Kingdom is not the worst that can happen. Certainly there is happiness to be found in serving those who have reached a greater reward. Conditions in the lower Kingdoms are less than known. Nevertheless, those who do get married in the everlasting covenant, according to verse 20, are in a far better position:

Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

The section continues to explain those who are sealed must still follow the commandments for it to be of any power in the next life. Unauthorized marriages past the first one are a sin that can cost Exaltation. Jacob 2 in the Book of Mormon warns of the gross error having more than one wife without revelation to support its practice.

Other scriptures insist that the only proper union of marriage is between a man and a woman to start the foundation of a family. When God first created the male, he saw how lonely life would be for the single individual. It teaches in Gen. 2:21-24 that He responded to this situation by making a second half of the human family who became a couple:

“21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Jesus reiterated in Matt. 19 the creation of marriage by God, although in the context of divorce. He was challenged to answer the question if it was right to “put away” a wife for any reason. He responded by saying, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” and then, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” The bonds of marriage are not to be trifled with or there will be serious consequences both for this life and the next.

Marriage is instituted to increase the human population and not companionship alone. Genesis 1:28 states God blessed Adam and Eve and said, “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” That isn’t to say this is only possible in the marriage state, but by the commandment of God it is the only authorized condition to have children. That includes making some official and public commitment to each other that may only last for time.

It is the responsibility shared by both men and women to get married. Once together as one, these couples are commanded to have children no matter if boys or girls. The only thing that should be stopping these two commandments, if in our power, is adherence to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. There is no waiting. There is only guidance and revelation. Otherwise, the Lord wants both genders to take the creation of family seriously. President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve stated:

The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood. Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling—from which they will never be released—is to one another and then to their children.

Those who consider themselves gay are not immune from the commandments of God to get married. And as has been taught, the only rightful eternal marriage is between a man and a woman. There is evidence to believe that even those who might not be romantically inclined to marry the opposite gender are still obligated to do just that. There are examples of such unions working out when full disclosure for both parties before the ceremony is brought forward. Doctrine teaches that one doesn’t have to go on a mission to be Exalted, but one does have to be married in the House of the Lord. Hopefully in most cases its done for those who are in love, but sometimes following the Lord is about sacrifices. Joseph Smith said, “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” Certainly many who entered into plural marriage, both men and women, were sacrificing their own and society’s understanding of morality.

One doesn’t have to be married in mortality to be exalted either, as was pointed out during a personal discussion. Many who have died before the proper age, or who have mental or physical conditions that prevent marrying, would have no chance of salvation. That means that the alternative, considering that male and female union is the required Eternal and biological condition for marriage and family, is to remain single and celibate. Perhaps there are some who are “called” to this position. There is certainly precedent for this, although the Matt. 19:12 scripture is vague:

For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.

Most commentators reject this as having anything to do with gays. After all, Paul in 1 Cor. 7:4-11 talks about serving as unmarried with no hint he is speaking to anyone other than those who would marry opposite gender. That doesn’t preclude this used as an example for gays who want to remain active and faithful to God in the Church if they so feel the Spirit. The official position of the LDS Church on the subject of marriage still demonstrates a strong and yet compasionate stand:

The Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and behavior. While maintaining that feelings and inclinations toward the same sex are not inherently sinful, engaging in homosexual behavior is in conflict with the “doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture … that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

Because the Church believes that the sacred powers of procreation are “to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife, … any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family.” Accordingly, the Church favors measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. However, “protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not remove Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people.”

In then end it is up to each person to decide for themselves how to respond to weaknesses that invite sin. Some challenges might be more difficult than others. Clearly from the above it should be understood that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to the Lord. Eventually, in this life or the next, it is required for full blessings of Exaltation in the Eternal plan of Salvation. Marriage for those who are attracted to the same gender is an option so long as its with the opposite gender if following the Lord’s directives. However, the LDS Church also warns that it is not to be an answer to the problem of same gender attraction. Perhaps remaining single and celibate, and gays are not the only ones who go through that in life, is the better or revealed choice. Other options than marriage to opposite gender or single celibacy are not acceptable to the Lord as revealed by Scripture and modern prophets.

58 thoughts on “Marriage of Mormon Gays

  1. “Clearly from the above it should be understood that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to the Lord.”

    And, strangely, the love of two people works just fine without that assumption. For all the promises of heaven (or threats of hell) in the next world, religious people seem to spend a GREAT deal of time considering, debating, speculating, and – worst of all – VOTING on how other people should spend the frighteningly-short amount of time they have on this planet. If you’re so absolutely convinced you’re right, then what do you care if other people go to hell? What POSSIBLE concern is it of yours what two (consenting) people do in the privacy of their own bedroom? Or courtroom. Or living room. Or pool room. Other people’s quest for happiness, as long as it doesn’t *literally* intrude on yours, is the least of your problems.

    Arguing that god doesn’t exist (none of the thousands of gods, to be more precise, exist) is pointless to a believer. Believe what you want. But leave other people out of your belief. You’d appreciate a member of ISIS doing the same for you.

  2. “And, strangely, the love of two people works just fine without that assumption.”
    No it doesn’t. It cannot, because even in theory gays cannot have children that is the very purpose of marriage.

    “What POSSIBLE concern is it of yours what two (consenting) people do in the privacy of . . . ”
    So long at it was private, not much. But these “consenting” adults are asking for public recognition that can effect other aspects of society or economics. If they keep it to themselves like they used to, then I would agree. I hope you feel the same about three or up to 100 consenting adults to be consistent. All of them, of course, seeking state recognition and all that comes with that.

    Religious people concern themselves with other people in this mortal life because it is during this short time that Eternity for everyone is decided. It is precisely because of our convictions that religious people are so active. Obviously by your comments here you have no idea what religious people actually believe or you would’t be so ignorant of how important mortality is to a believer. We care if other people go to hell because God has told us to make it our business. A truly believing religious person doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, but seeks to save them from the consequences of false beliefs and sin.

    Aside from that, we live in this world with everyone just like an Atheist does. The actions of many individuals in the privacy of there homes spills out into the social world we live in. What you or I or that quiet person down the street does or says effects morals, laws, economics, and the market place of ideas. Religious people don’t live in a vacuum and therefore won’t live in one no matter how much you wish they would.

    “You’d appreciate a member of ISIS doing the same for you.”
    So long as a member of ISIS came into the United States, as per your example, and became a citizen, then they have a right to but into my business just like any other citizen. If they brought up their ideas legally and sought to VOTE on them, that is there right. I will vigorously oppose them through the same non-violent legal system, but so long as they do so with legal means as citizens I am not going to tell them to shut up, sit down, and sit in the back of the bus. Not that a member of ISIS would do more than kill on the spot since you brought them up as a red herring.

  3. “religious people seem to spend a GREAT deal of time considering, debating, speculating, and – worst of all – VOTING on how other people should spend the frighteningly-short amount of time they have on this planet. ”

    Should religious folk not have the franchise? Please elaborate. I’m curious.

  4. Danielsan … we care because we love our brothers and sisters in this world, and we want them to experience the true joy that is found in following the commandments and living the Lord’s law and standards. And in some cases, some of them are actually our real brothers and sisters, and we’d like our whole family with us in eternity. That’s why it matters.

  5. As a nevermo and agnostic-atheist in my mid twenties who has been very aware and keen on American politics and the social issues that are attached, from an unusually young age…I find it fascinating and amusing the way the conversation about gay marriage has evolved.

    I was young, but I do remember the ’04 Presidential campaign and the outright demonization of gay people that went on. I remember people talking about end of civilizations and pedophilia…I remember that even the offering of Civil Unions was deemed by many religious conservatives to be a bridge too far.

    Now, that gay marriage being legal in all 50 states is imminent, the language among religious folks has changed…Now they are the humbled being bullied by the nasty queer mafia. Now they are rewriting history and speaking of wanting gays to have all rights…just not that “sacred” word. Any other word but not MARRIAGE.

    Now, it is not about perverted queers, but religious liberty and the god-given right to turn the sinful away at the inn.

    I wonder if this is how the segregationists felt when the earth shifted beneath their feet…

  6. I hold it true that thoughts are things;
    They’re endowed with bodies and breath and wings;
    And that we send them forth to fill
    The world with good results, or ill.
    That which we call our secret thought
    Speeds forth to earth’s remotest spot,
    Leaving its blessings or its woes
    Like tracks behind it as it goes.
    We build our future thought by thought,
    For good or ill, yet know it not.
    Yet, so the universe was wrought.
    Thought is another name for fate;
    Choose, then, thy destiny and wait,
    For love brings love and hate brings hate.

    — Henry Van Dyke

    First order principle. God is spiritual, Satan is natural.

    From an eternal spiritual standpoint, taking as a beginning at least the war in heaven and as an end the wrapping up of this world’s purpose at the end of the millennial era, spiritual striving is all about thoughts as well as deeds. The earth and all of us who dwell here are connected. And in our thoughts we either honor God or honor Satan.

    Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

    1 Nephi 22:26 And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.

    By our thoughts and private deeds we worship the god of nature, Satan or the God of Spirits. According to the verses above, honoring Satan gives him power on this earth. Honoring God, diminishes Satan’s power.

    I do not fear same sex attraction, but I fear yielding to it, so I am a homophobe–not for my soul’s sake but for the world’s sake.

    “Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”

    Proclamation on the Family

  7. I believe in no gods…but the god of nature seems much more attainable to me than any other.

    The demonization of the flesh in order to attain eternal life in the spirit is a futile exercise.

  8. Kay, as Latter-day Saints we believe that we will be resurrected with perfect bodies, free from sin. We don’t demonize the flesh as you say. We all have shortcomings and weaknesses to overcome in this life. We believe that choosing to act for ourselves and to overcome our weakness and shortcomings is a big part of mortality. Just because a person struggles with one thing or another, does not mean that they have to be ruled by those things. We are motivated by our belief in Jesus Christ, who we believe suffered for all of our pains, weaknesses, shortcomings, and sins — and who helps us gain all things, and overcome all things.

    We are trying to be like him and follow him. It is a core part of our belief that sexual relations are to be had only in the boundaries set by the Lord, which is one man and one woman who are married. We also believe that children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, which gives them access to the covenants of salvation. (See the Family Proclamation for more detail:

    To equate Latter-day Saints to segregationists because of this, is a weak argument. If anything, because LDS beliefs are rooted in eternal principles, not the whimsy of popular culture, they will last, and have lasted for thousands of years. Our Heavenly Father loves all of His children, even you, Kay, and He wants us to return to Him, but we have to follow His path back. We are free to choose — the world’s way, or the Lord’s way.

  9. If calling Satan the god of nature is not demonizing the flesh…I do not know what is.

    I think the comparison with segregationists is very appropriate and apt.

    Those people also justified their bigotry by quoting scripture – because in Genesis god separated the races at the tower of Babel…I will not mention what scriptures the LDS church, or average Mormons, might have utilized for the cause against “race mixing”…but I do believe (unless my research is wrong) that well into the ’80’s Mormon literature was discouraging black/white marriages for the moral good of all.

    Just like the good Christians who oppose same-sex marriage, they also claimed that one of their main concerns was the innocent children who would be trapped within these spurious unions. Yes, there was a time when it was very common to hear good Christian folks pontificating about the tragedy that was biracial existence. Oh, the poor children would be so confused! They would not belong anywhere! It was a given that they would be rejected by both sides of the family. Those poor children! Sounds so familiar!

    And when all else failed, the good folks pointed to science to buttress their argument — The races were never meant to mix…just look at the natural order! All the races were separated on different continents don’t you know! The negro in Africa; the Oriental in Asia, the white man in Europe etc.

    These good people were incensed that even one person would put forward the malicious idea that they were, in the least bit, motivated by any bigotry or animus…They were just traditionalists, who knew that society would fall apart if marriages like Mia Love’s were allowed to stand! Their’s was a righteous cause!

    We live in a world today, where the segregationists are beyond the pail. Their beliefs are antiquated and unthinkable…but back in their hey day…They were just good Christian conservatives.

    I see the same evolution of thought ahead for us all on the issue of gay matrimony. I believe some time in the future…a decade or 2…people will be just as confounded that so many people exerted so much energy trying their darndest to prevent two men or women from marriage. The youth will shake their heads in disbelief that such a time ever existed, and the old people, or older people, as I will be then will have to jog our memory to explain the justifications that were put forth in such a hateful cause. And the arc of history will bend ever toward justice.

  10. Kay, I’m not sure what you are trying to “prove” here, because as far as I see you are using the same old, worn out anti-Mormon arguments that always seem to get tossed around. It’s clear you are firm in your beliefs, which is fine. I am firm in mine, as is Jettboy and the other contributors here at M*. I’m not going to argue with you about this — I’ve shared the truth about why Mormons believe the way they do, which you have totally mocked and rejected. Thanks for stopping by and I wish you well on your travels thru the internet.

  11. Kay,

    My first thought was to try to respond to your arguments.

    Then I realized you hadn’t actually made any, so this would be futile.

  12. What did I say that was filled with hate or bigoted against religious people. I would March and fight for members of the LDS church to practice their religion as they see fit (so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others), as I would do for any other religionists.

  13. Language my dear Kay, language. How we say things is as important as what is said. Your antagonism is brimming to the rim. Calling Mormons racists no better than slave holders is not a way to gain any respect for those who you disagree with and have a congenial discussion.

  14. To jettboy: I never compared anyone to slaveholders. I do not understand why you would say that I did.

  15. Kay, your “For the children” argument is incorrect. The comparison to mixed race marriages, from this angle, does not match. No children can be created without both male and female input. There’s no getting around that. Same sex marriage partners simply cannot create children. Yes, there are ways to adopt and get donor input for one side or the other, but this does not change how these children are created.

    The Proclamation on the Family states: “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”. Studies are continuing to show that it is best for children to be raised by their genetic parents.

    Yes, there are many other family configurations, but none of these are the ideal, and all would be better having the ideal, but the ideal may not be possible. My sons from my first marriage certainly would have been better raised if I had not divorced their mother. Yes, this argument has been lengthened to anti-miscegenation arguments, but that was based on the incorrect assumption that those of other races were something other than human. Also, although there is an ideal, marriage should never be used as a measure of status, with those in one state looking up to or down on those in a different state, any more than we should use age or wealth to categorize and dismiss others.

    Why be against allowing an additional, non-ideal family type, you would ask? That’s not what’s being objected to. The objection is in making same sex marriage the same as the ideal. Even if you don’t believe in God or that God wants families, it’s delusional to take all the studies in aggregate and decide that this new ideal is just as good based on some narrow studies that show there might not be any significant difference.

    Now, if you object to the State giving advantages to those who are married, having the potential to create children or at least being an example of the ideal, that’s something else altogether.

  16. Though I did not address my comment to either Kay or Danielsan (Yoroshiki onegai shimasu), I was answering in general to the thrust of your combined question which I believed was still on the table, i.e., why would we care what others do as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, let alone vote for laws to protect and preserve the definition of marriage and family.

    I was not arguing for the rightfulness or righteousness of our position. That requires common ground in the belief in God and an afterlife (and a pre-earth life for that matter.) No, I was only trying to help you see why people can care about what others think and do and even vote to restrict activity–which we all do by the way.

    I truly do “hold it true that thoughts are things.” No, I don’t want thought police but I do want to fight by thought and good deeds, even by sparring with you, by prayer for you and me and mine, by worshipping God in truth as I am given the sight to see the truth, because to us there is an unseen battle for the souls of humankind. I, we, care about you. Some get carried away in the “heat of battle” and say unkind things, rail as it were. We are counseled not to rail against our “enemies” because these thoughts and acts work against us, damage us, and rather work for our enemy. We are counseled rather to pray for them. When we rail, ironically, it is as though we jump to the other side for a moment even when we think they are fighting for right. Please forgive. It is hard to watch those we love most dearly lose sight and turn and fight against us. While here we are still only human after all.

    I’m not asking you to believe it, I’m just asking that you see why we are motivated. We actually believe and perceive that many sisters and brothers are yet to come to earth and will be saddled with the belief systems of the people and the culture into which they are sent. Breaking free of that is difficult.

    In the warning you see bigotry and hatred (I do understand that your position may be all there is without a belief in a larger, otherworld) I see an impassioned plea to all–that pain and confusion and yes, war, will ensue the more we give power to the enemy of our souls.

    When I say I am a “homophobe” I do not mean I am a homosexualpersonaphobe, I am a homosexualactivityphobe, in the same way I am afraid of the effects on society and individuals of premarital sex, pornography and the focus on sex, and extra-marital sex more than all. Each, in the view of our doctrine, leads to destruction of family, erosion of the ideal of combined and balanced mother/father as an inseparable and enduring unit to their children from generation to generation.

  17. “even when they think they are fighting for right” should read “even when we think we are fighting for right.”

  18. Fine Kay, you compared to segregationists and not slaveholders, but the name calling as no better than racists (segregationists) is still there. Still not a way to have a respectful discussion.

  19. I personally know scores of people who are attracted to the same sex who have resolved some of the issues in their lives that caused the attractions and got to a place where they felt that marriage would be healthy for them and for their spouse. More power to them. The website SameSexAttraction .org shows some of the things people can do to deal with their attractions in healthy, gospel-faithful ways.

  20. So two men cannot procreate, nor can two women….I just do not get what this universally acknowledged fact has to do with gay marriage rights.

    I invite all of you who are so concerned about those poor unfortunate children who are being robbed of life with their biological mothers and or fathers by selfish gays to head over to YouTube and search out a channel called GayFamilyValues.

    It features two gay dads raising a son and daughter whom they adopted after the biological mom was deemed unfit by the state.

    I would particularly like you to watch their adoption story video.

  21. To jettboy: The reason that I feel unapologetically justified in comparing the opponents of same-sex marriages with the opponents of mixed race marriages, is because I recently watched a documentary about the Loving vs. Virginia case and was astounded to hear and realize that the arguments had not changed in more than half a century. Seek out the old footage and see for yourself.

    I also believe that it is the finding of marriage as a constitutional right in that case which will be used as precedent at SCOTUS to bring down all marriage bans in the U.S. next year.

  22. Kay, yes, inspiring stories abound. You seem however to have missed my second to last paragraph.

    Why be against allowing an additional, non-ideal family type, you would ask? That’s not what’s being objected to. The objection is in making same sex marriage the same as the ideal. Even if you don’t believe in God or that God wants families, it’s delusional to take all the studies in aggregate and decide that this new ideal is just as good based on some narrow studies that show there might not be any significant difference.

    These men do a wonderful thing doing their best to raise a child that comes from one of them. There are step parents the world over who do the same. That still does not make it the same as the ideal.

  23. So the fear that gay marriages will be deemed under law to be equal to heterosexual marriages is the underlying motivation? History is constantly repeating itself…

    Please note, that your church, and you can still teach that gay couples are inherently unequal or inferior to straight couples. Just as there are still people who believe that same raced marriages are inherently superior to mixed race marriages more than 47 years after SCOTUS ruled that states do not have the right to prohibit marriages among different races. No court decision will alter your right to hold any opinion.

  24. Kay, once again, it’s not religious fear, but that the elevation of same sex marriage to the same level of opposite sex marriage goes against scientific consensus.

    Granted, scientific consensus was also against miscegenation, but we do know now that there is no difference between the so called races, and never was. Yes, consensus on the ideal environment for raising children could change, but we’re dealing with now, not an unknown future no one agrees upon.

  25. Intriguingly, Mormon theology on the matter of marriage and parentage has since the beginning allowed for the possibility of post-mortal correction and adoption.

    There were many women who decided that in eternity they would want to be married to Joseph (presuming he agreed), even though they were married to some other individual. As has already been discussed, we expect that even those who die without benefit of marriage in this life will be able to attain that status in the post-mortal realm, necessary to exaltation, if they so desire.

    Similarly, Mormons have always honored the bonds between parents and their adopted children.

    I can imagine a future where those individuals already in committed same-gender marriages might encounter the gospel, desire to join, and possibly be admitted to membership as actively gay couples. Yet it would still be understood that, to gain exaltation, in eternity these same gender spouses would have to embrace the family configuration of heaven.

    Now in this life, is it necessarily good that two long-term spouses and their children dissolve their family in order to embrace the gospel?

    This is the current understanding. But one could certainly argue that a family, no matter how different from “the ideal” is still a sacred construct that should not be lightly destroyed.

    The arguments you hear against miscegenation and same-gender marriage are the kind of arguments you will always hear when a new and risky practice is being introduced. But there comes a certain point where that which was new and risky has become status quo.

    Once same-gender marriages become truly part of the status quo, I think we will still find that there are risks that make same gender marriages less desirable with respect to society’s needs, if the studies I have reviewed are to be believed. Too many people treat children who are not of their own get like possessions, to be manipulated and abused (specifically, children in homes where the biological parent is with a non-biological parent are at greater risk of abuse and depression).

    As for those who are already within the LDS tradition as they mature to the age of considering a procreative and sexual future, the teachings of the Church are clear that sex is to be kept within the bounds of matrimony. It is also clear that the only marriages that have a hope of persisting into eternity are those that have been sealed in the temples. Everyone else can claim that their unions will be eternal, but it’s like someone claiming that a self-made check they printed out on their home inkjet will be valid and redeemable for actual currency.

    Until such time as same gender unions might be allowed in the temple, it would be unwise for an LDS person to enter into a same gender marriage, if they want to hope to be eternally with the person they will end up building a life with in mortality.

    Perhaps better to openly acknowledge one’s attractions, but then select as a mate a friend with whom you could hope to spend an eternity in the service of God, which service has always required sacrifice.

    However I’m not even so sure the modern discourse is about same gender marriage as much as it is about rejecting the idea that marriage is either necessary or should require sacrifice to maintain, if such sacrifice becomes necessary due to sickness, financial downturns, or other challenges.

  26. By the way, it may be true that miscegenation does not necessarily risk biological harm, the way breeding a horse and a donkey might. However when two individuals are from vastly different cultures, there will be a risk of harm.

    In this sense, though, it is about being unequally yoked, rather than yoking together two different beings that, if allowed to get frisky, might produce a mule.

  27. I wrote:

    “Now in this life, is it necessarily good that two long-term spouses and their children dissolve their family in order to embrace the gospel?”

    Actually, we already have this quandry with respect to polygamy in those countries where it is legal.

    Slightly less problematic is the current policy that couples who are living together may not be baptized without either giving up an illicit relationship or legalizing a common law marriage. There may be times where this is more wrenching, such as when one of the two partners is unable to enter into a legal marriage. But more often people go ahead and willingly become legal spouses as a prerequisite to embracing the gospel.

  28. I can’t quite understand the connection between marriage as a religious construct with the oft quoted prophetic teaching that “all marriages are meant to be eternal.” I have the same disconnect when I try to understand why we allow people who’ve already been sealed to remarry. On the one hand, modern day prophets have tended to romanticize marriage and the relationships between husbands and wives. Yet, on the other hand, those relationships disappear with a shovel full of dirt tossed onto a casket. Technically, there is nothing wrong with remarriage within an hour after your spouse’s death. All legal even if distasteful. Yet, we can’t explain why it goes from being distasteful to perfectly fine a year later. It’s adultery to have feelings for someone other than your spouse while he or she is alive, but being alive in the Spirit World apparently means nothing. What a mess.

  29. As per my post, why those who belong to the LDS Church and have same-gender attraction should get married to different genders or remain single. For the other posts? Different things not completely related (although meg actually talks about the OP subject).

  30. IDIAT, I also share your thougths on the whole remarriage issue. It makes sense to me that sealed couples should be fiercely loyal to eachother in this life and in the next in order to qualify for the blessings of eternity.

    However, that is not the way the world nor the Church thinks. Therefore, while my wife and I have agreeded to only marrying eachother even if one of us departs this world far too young, others will choose differently. I’m satisfied in knowing my wife will remain only mine forever, and that is enough for me.

    In Portuguese there is a little rhyme that goes like this: Sol e chuva, casamento da viuva. This translates to “Sun and rain, a widow gets married”. The sun represents the joy of the widow in remarrying, the rain is the tears of the deceased spouse crying from heaven. I imagine this is not far from what happens in the spirit world to a number of deceased husbands and wives receiving news of the remarriages of their eternal companions.

  31. I agree with Jettboy that “marriage for those who are attracted to the same gender is an option so long as its with the opposite gender if following the Lord’s directives.” Jettboy quotes D&C 131:5 “All covenants, contracts, etc. that are not.. sealed…through the medium of mine anointed… are of no efficacy…after the resurrection.”

    In other words, God makes mincemeat of all marriages, gay or strait, unless they are sealed in the temple. Marriage in the context of eternity is nothing but a one night stand. Only sealing through the priesthood is eternal. And sealing, as explained in the rest of D&C 131 points out, is not only about romance and love, but also about “espousing other virgins,” and consenting to them, or being “destroyed.” Sealing, as explained by God to Joseph Smith, has little to do with our modern LDS notions and expectations of marriage, but is an ordinance, pure and simple, the New and Everlasting Covenant of the Priesthood.

    So attraction is not really necessary. What is important is the ordinance, at least in the LDS scriptural context. Love is important, but love for all, the spouse you are not attracted to, former gay lovers, your enemies, your friends, everyone. That seems to me the tough love that D&C 131 actually presents.

  32. I find it concerning and frankly, disturbing, that there are some members of the LDS church who actually think that same-sex marriage would ever be okay in God’s eyes and the temple. To believe so is to have a complete misunderstanding of the doctrine of the plan of salvation and the doctrine of eternal families, let alone a complete disregard for the doctrine of eternal marriage. It is and always has been, and always will be between a man and a woman. We follow the pattern God Himself set forth from the eternities. We have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. Those our our Heavenly Parents and the ideal in which all eternity rests upon. To try to assume that God will completely disregard and mock His own laws and the entire basis of eternal life is beyond me.

    It will never happen. Ever. Members who suggest or teach this hypothetical ideas should stop preaching false speculative doctrine. Which is precisely what it is and I’m, for one, growing weary of this. It does no good.

    (And to folks just waiting to respond and use the worn out blacks and the priesthood argument to try to make a comparison about God “changing His mind” should stop and go back through these threads to see how that archaic argument is completely false and misleading in order to support Him “changing His mind” on same-sex marriage).

  33. “The arguments you hear against miscegenation and same-gender marriage are the kind of arguments you will always hear when a new and risky practice is being introduced. But there comes a certain point where that which was new and risky has become status quo. Once same-gender marriages become truly part of the status quo, I think we will still find that there are risks that make same gender marriages less desirable with respect to society’s needs, if the studies I have reviewed are to be believed.”

    So are you saying that there are still risks that make interracial marriages less desirable with respect to society’s needs? So society (US society in this case) would be better off if whites just married whites, latinos married latinos, and blacks married blacks? Interracial tension in the US is largely attributable to the prejudiced and segregationist cultural norms of early Anglo-Saxons which became the basis of their anti-miscegenation laws. These laws, in turn, contributed to the perpetuation of interracial boundaries and tensions. Contrast this with Brazil where Dutch and Portuguese settlers were more accepting of interracial marriages to indigenuous and black African inhabitants and did not originate any anti-miscegenation laws. While Brazilian society is not exempt from racial prejudices, it is collectively and historically much, much less than the US. Brazil never went through any civil rights movement, because it simply didn’t to. There never was any racial segregation wired into the laws. The US arguably would have arguably had a history of greater equal treatment to all races and ethnicities had there never been any laws forbidding interracial marriage. Also bear in mind that virtually every human being living today is a literal product of miscegenation at some point. If you go far enough back in anyone’s genetic history, you will find two people of different ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds who mated.

  34. Kay are you LDS? I strongly testify to you that it is not a good idea for Latter day Saints to support gay marriage. this is coming from someone who has been immersed in the lifestyle and I’m still having trouble getting away from it by supporting gay marriage you jeopardize your own exaltation.

  35. If you are non-LDS I can understand your concerns, no matter how strongly I disagree and will fight for the “status quo” of different gender marriage. Truth is that if I had my way there wouldn’t be any “no fault” divorces either. I don’t care about the whole past of interracial marriages, when the whole point is that gays cannot biologically even in theory be considered a couple, the very purpose (religious or not) of marriage. I know about the whole counter argument about those couples who can’t have children. They are rare, but many eventually are able to without much help – and children deserve a mother and a father. Since “rights” come int this, I think that should be a child’s right to a two parent family unless there is an unavoidable reason. Still . . .

    May main point is similar to other viewpoints from Mormons here. Any member of the Church who believes that some day the Church will accept gay marriage is presenting false and unsupportable teachings. It goes against the very core of Mormonism. Dare I say that it comes close to expressing “Adam-God” degree of theory that can be at the least reason for disfellowship. This OP (although others added some interesting angle to the discussion) is mainly for those who claim they are members of the Church and yet have “liberal” ideas about some future changes.

  36. I perhaps should have clarified that it is when prospective marriage partners are from widely different cultures that there is risk.

    However when we are talking heterosexual marriage, the very fact that a male person is wedding a female person is already introducing a huge cultural difference. But that diversity in marriage is actually expected. So therefore it isn’t as risky as such a magnitude of difference would be along other cultural lines.

    As for my comments about the possible manner in which same-gender marriages might be handled in future is informed by knowing that, ultimately, God wants His children to return to Him. And so I can envision a time in the future when those who entered into same-gender relationships prior to knowing of the gospel will not necessarily be forced to end established family relationships.

    For example, if a member of the Church decides to have their gender surgically altered, that has been grounds for excommunication (not sure what the handbook says now – the question when I had it arose from how to interact with an investigator in Italy back in 1984/5). However if someone who has already altered their gender surgically becomes converted to the gospel, they are permitted to be baptized. At the time, however, it would not have been permissible for such an individual to enter the temple, as so much of that experience is highly gender-specific.

  37. Meg,

    I tend to disagree with this:

    “And so I can envision a time in the future when those who entered into same-gender relationships prior to knowing of the gospel will not necessarily be forced to end established family relationships.”

    Well, maybe it depends on how you define “forced to end established family relationships.” I think that there is no evidence that in the past 50 years that a man with more than one current living wife would be allowed to remain married to more than one and still be baptized. Likewise, a man and a women living as common law spouses with children could not be baptized without marrying first. Something in those relationships would have to change before baptism would occur. So then why would you think that same sex couples would be treated any differently?

    I am not saying that they would have to sever all contact. But certainly, their living arrangements would have to change. So, unless I misunderstood what you were saying, I do not see it happening.

  38. When I read, “God wants His children to return to Him” I can’t help but add “return him as we were meant to become, which is even as He is.”

    God wants his children to become like him. I don’t want my view of both discipleship and exaltation to be downgraded to an unrealistic and unsatisfying image of us children sitting around the fire with God in the same way an elderly patriarch/matriarch wants their kids home at Christmastime.

    For one, it clearly doesn’t work (just where DO you spend Christmas and Thanksgiving, etc. in an eternity filled with immortal generations both above and below you in the family tree), and two, it’s nothing like what’s promised in the temple ordinances.

    I take the simple view that our work is God’s work and to be exalted is to become like him and continue that work. Which plainly isn’t possibly if you’re not like God and believe yourself destined for a relationship outside of husband-wife. And if the church’s mission is to provided the teaching and ordinances that lead to exaltation… why facilitate anything which not only detracts but contradicts the nature of exalted beings?

  39. So Madison and Justice, who are in a same gender relationship in 2087, have adopted 8 orphaned children due to internecine wars that have killed all these children’s relations. Madison, Justice, and their children have lived as family for decades, with grandchildren now arriving.

    The one day two same-gendered missionaries knock on the door of Madison and Justice. Unaware of the reason why Mormon missionaries are paired with another person of the same gender, Madison and Justice invite the sweet couple in, feed them dinner, and allow them to share their message.

    The message touches them, this idea that God is a personal God, that miracles are a real manifestation of that God’s love, that Christ died to save us, and that in this last day, God has established again prophets and apostles, indeed the same organization that existed in the primitive Church.

    And then, lingering after the closing prayer, the missionaries ask how Madison and Justice came to become roommates. They look fondly at one another and say, “We’ve met working together in [name terrible human rights disaster location of 2064]. We married while they were shelling the town, unsure if we’d live to see another day.”

    At this point, I imagine the missionaries looking a tiny bit stuffed, but continuing to make an appointment for a subsequent discussion.

    I can see any of a number of scenarios ensuing. Obviously one is that the missionaries rock back on their heels, shout “SINNERS!!!!,” wash the dirt from their feet as they leave the residence, and go forward from there. Or perhaps they ask if they can invite Madison and Justice to meet with the local Bishop, and let the Bishop inform the older couple of a need for them to break off contact with one another. Or perhaps in that day those who have obeyed the laws of the land, but not the laws of God as we understand them, are permitted to make some step towards Church membership, but denied the opportunity to solemnize their union in the temple.

    Clearly those who don’t understand the reasons for heterosexual-exclusive pairings in eternity will hope that Madison and Justice can enter the temple as legal spouses and emerge as a couple whose earthly vows have been given the promise of validity in eternity. I personally don’t see that happening.

    But I’m not certain that requiring long-term, faithful spouses with many children to break off all contact is necessarily the only way such cases might be appropriately handled in future.

    Obviously, in all these things I am merely opining. In the mean time, I delight to watch how the Church rolls forth and embraces the disparate individuals who once upon a time fought side by side for the right to come to this earth, even though such a step risked never being allowed to return to God, the Father.

  40. Kay says: “What did I say that was filled with hate or bigoted against religious people. .”

    Kay, I have to wonder if this is even true. Don’t get me wrong. I do not doubt I would March and fight for members of the LDS church to practice their religion as they see fit (so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others), as I would do for any other religionists that you honestly believe it. But human beings have an uncanny ability to be inconsistent and unfair in their application of morality.

    I did a post a while back about this in a, of course, much less controversial subject:

    The key point here is that we user our sense of morality to decide who is or isn’t in need of moral correction — thereby allowing us to “personally attack” those that we disagree with while feeling like we are not doing that.

    When you say “so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others” my guess is that that is an all purpose get-out-of-jail-free card for you. Rights are such a vague notion until encoded into law somehow. It is not at all obvious what we do or don’t have a ‘right’ to until then – and frankly it’s not all that obvious afterwards either and it can change. Is there a right to healthcare? Is there a right for states to set their own marriage laws? Is there a right for homosexuals to call their unions marriages? Is marriage literally a right to anyone? Just the monogamous — gay or straight? Is there is right for religious people to not do things that go against their beliefs — like say take wedding photos of a gay marriage? Is there a right for gay people to not be denied commercial services? Is there a right for religious people to at least speak their beliefs and not have to worry that it might affect their job? Is there a right for a religion to not have the laws made such that they are disadvantaged in their ability to thrive? Is there a right that gays have to the same? Do religious people have a right to have a say in how they locally define marriage? Is denial of that a sort of disenfranchisement?

    These all seem to me to be legitimate possible ‘rights’ yet some of them are literally mutually exclusive. There is no obvious moral principle by which we can determine which are correct and which are not. But I’ll bet you see Mormon’s as violating gays ‘rights’ when they backed Prop 8.

    The whole case with Brendan Eich shows us how we easily retroactively apply ‘rights’ (specifically with gay marriage in this case) backwards in time. (I saw one blogger actually state that forcing Eich to change his beliefs or be ousted was morally correct because he’s just a bigot and bigotry can’t be tolerated. He had his change to change his tune and didn’t.)

    The idea of a ‘right to marry’ like this sprung out of nowhere from judges that were only doing so because they felt the supreme court had essentially pre-ruled in their favor (that is why you can state with complete confidence what the outcome will be, so it is in fact a “pre-rule”).

    If tomorrow one specific person on the supreme court for any reason suddenly needed to retire and someone new needed to be chosen that disagreed with him on ‘a right to marry’ vs. a ‘right to define marriage’ there would be an immediate and drastic rethinking by ‘the courts’ (as if those are some specific entity) overnight. If the supreme court signaled their willingness to let states have the ‘right’ to decide and let all people have a voice in their laws and government, then suddenly who is infringing whose rights is suddenly opposite of what it was a moment before. It is doubtful, however, that you’d then suddenly recognize that right — even if the law is now against you. You’d probably at least expect to be able to write a post on your own blog explaining your point of view and expect to not ever have to worry about being legally harassed in any way at all over your view.

    And now that marriage has been redefined as a right (instead of, say, a contract as it was before it was defined as a right) what does or does not equate to “infringement” of a gay person’s rights? Many people already do argue that even religiously teaching against homosexual behavior is a violation of a gay person’s rights. And frankly, in a sense, they are right about that – depending on whose ‘rights’ we most care about and how we are currently defining ‘rights.’ Rights are not the obvious things you think they are.

    But we don’t think of ‘rights’ in terms of ‘something legally created’ we think of them as objective and universal moral rules that are obvious. In short, what you really said is probably something more like “I would March and fight for members of the LDS church to practice their religion as they see fit [so long as I agree with them morally and doctrinally], as I would do for any other religionists” which is undoubtedly an accurate statement for everyone in the world. It far more difficult to defend the rights of those you see as moral enemies.

    Consider the fact that you’re having this conversation at all. Someone writes a post explaining a religious doctrinal concept and you just can’t leave it alone. You come and liken it to people taking away other people’s rights (your reference to segregation was specifically that) and you just couldn’t help it but make fun of what some see as ‘religious rights’ (“Now, it is not about perverted queers, but religious liberty and the God-given right to turn the sinful away at the inn.”). In other words you’ve already shown a lack of willingness — at least to some degree — to let churches set their own doctrines. (Or ‘turn the sinful away at the inn’ as you called it.)

    I honestly think it is doubtful that if the laws did start to outlaw various types of religious beliefs and practices that you’d immediately even be able to tell that the rights of others was being infringed upon. I think you’d tell yourself “but those beliefs were infringing upon other people’s rights” and thus feel it was justified. And it would be very hard indeed for you to see the inconsistency in your behavior. Hopefully at some point that would change for you and you would (if this were to actually happen — hopefully it never will) march to protect religious people you disagree with. But I think you need to consider the possibility that you really and truly don’t know where you’d fall just yet and that this is far more difficult than you are making it out.

  41. Meg, in your comment you clearly suggested that interracial marriage was something that was new and risky which became status quo and then stated: “Once same-gender marriages become truly part of the status quo, I think we will still find that there are risks that make same gender marriages less desirable with respect to society’s needs.” Basically what you were suggesting is that we either will find or should have found that there are risks that make interracial marriages less desirable for society’s needs. You then qualify this by saying, “I perhaps should have clarified that it is when prospective marriage partners are from widely different cultures that there is risk.” I can’t think of two more different cultures than eighteenth century British culture and eighteenth century African culture(s), or even eighteenth century Portuguese culture and African culture(s). Did Northern European-descended white Americans take on risk by marrying a black African partner? Yes, indeed they did. You are right. Massive cultural differences probably made it so that those individual couples faced greater challenges than same-race couples tended to experience. Were these marriages less desirable for society’s needs? Not in the least. In fact these marriages were hugely beneficial to society for they helped break down racial barriers and prejudices that people had. They helped very different cultures assimilate with each other over time and feel a greater sense of unity and identification with each other, much more so in Brazil than the US, of course, since Brazilian society never originated any segregationist laws. The individual risk of marrying someone outside one’s culture was by and large a huge gain for society on the whole. If cultures don’t intermix, they remain separate from each other and insularity and mutual suspicion can become huge problems.

  42. Hi Brad,

    I wrote what I wrote because my mother and father were from two different races and married at a time when it was still void and prohibited to do so in the state where they lived. I have seen all the objections others raised realized in their decades as both married and then divorced individuals.

    I mostly fall in love with white men, but my sibs have married men and women, Mormons and Muslims, Black, Yellow, Atheist, and various other distinctly different sorts of individuals. Reflecting on this varied melting pot of humanity, I realized that I should stipulate that it is diverse cultures rather than diverse races that should be considered when assessing the risk of two individuals might face serious difficulty.

    By the way, every once in a while I say something that is perhaps a bit incorrect or hurtful or written using incorrect spelling or grammar. My husband, once upon a time, saw one such comment from me and suggested that he should moderate what I write on the internet.

    I sweetly told him that would not be happening.

  43. Meg, thanks for the clarification and your story. Yet I feel I still need to reiterate. What I’m taking issue with is not the idea that an individual might take on risks by committing to marriage with someone from a different culture and/or race, which they may not face by marrying someone of a very similar cultural background. In fact I’m in full agreement with you on that point. What I’m taking issue with is the idea that collectively intercultural and/or interracial marriages “aren’t desirable with respect to society’s needs.” There are a great number of divisions in society along cultural as well as racial lines, and intercultural and interracial marriages in a great number of instances across space and time have contributed greatly to bridging cultural, ethnic, and racial gaps, even if individuals may take on greater risk by marrying someone of a different culture/race/ethnicity.

  44. Brad Lee – there are some gaps that aren’t meant to be bridged. Throughout history, there are times when God has commanded His people not to mix with others. Superficially, I agree that “bridging” is a good thing. After all, we are all children of God. However, at times, bridging, mixing, and stirring the melting pot is not a good thing. The key is to follow prophetic advice on when bridging is good, even advisable.

  45. Brad,
    The need for society to have color/culture blind families will never be more important than the need for the family in the first place. Which is primarily to bind husband and wife as they raise children together.

    Is the marriage is stressed or broken, that has an affect on the individual members which affects society. If it’s happening en masse, that has huge implications for society.

    I’ll just add I’m not opposed to interracial marriages or intercultural marriages, especially as when Christ-like love is at the goal of the two partners. But the “need” of society to have diversity in its relationships is a shallow one. In fact, I’m sure it’s not a need at all. We don’t “need” diversity (if we did I suppose most marriages in history were lacking, including my own). We need mother’s and fathers.

  46. Did anyone watch the TLC show? All I see on facebook are what basically amount to anti-Mormon attacks (some of them from Mormons!) about how the show was awful because the church forces people to deny themselves (apparently they don’t think Matthew 16:24 is a true scripture).

    Some of it comes from fairly liberal Mormons, who apparently have no problems judging others (they get all mad and say “don’t judge” if they think you are implying apostasy, but have no problem declaring that people who follow the Church’s teachings are “cracked” or whatever).

  47. Interesting post and comments. I enjoy reading the thoughts and opinions of so many well-spoken, intelligent, and thoughtful individuals. Sometimes, I notice, we take things as sure, when possibly they are not. In my research of polygamy (admittedly somewhat less than others who post and contribute here), it seems that many involved, up to the highest of church leaders, saw this as doctrine and could not fathom it ever changing. Especially because so many sacrificed so much in practicing and defending this practice/doctrine. But, here we are. Polygamy is no longer authorized and grounds for ex communication. I bring this up in comparison to Meg’s opining about same sex couples possibly being able to function within the church. I don’t necessarily agree with Meg’s thoughts, but at the same time, I worry about the testimonies of those who confidently say, “That could never happen,”
    Right now the prophet has made clear the church’s position on same sex marriage. I follow the prophet and support that.
    In my reading about LDS polygamy and it’s demise, I started to ask myself, “Would I still be in the church if something I had sacrificed so much for was taken? Would my testimony still be strong?” Many apostatized because of this, and I can honestly understand why. (I’m not saying I want polygamy, I am sympathizing with the pain and probably feelings of betrayal when losing something they fought and sacrificed for, which some didn’t even want in the first place)
    I hope that whichever direction the prophet takes on same sex marriage (or any other issue, for that matter), I will be strong enough to follow the prophet, but to also gain my own testimony of that direction in the process.

  48. Speaking of electronic devices, our speaker today told of conducting an important interview when he was a mission president with a woman desiring baptism. He was in his car in a traffic jam. At a critical moment while she was resolving an old regret and beginning to appreciate the efficacy of the Atonement his cellphone beeped to alert him that the charge had depleted. His previous experience with this particular phone indicated that he had seconds to warn the woman that he would have to call her back later. Instead of interrupting her he listened then responded. Ten minutes later the conversation concluded. She said goodbye and his phone died. I have experienced similar technological events when the activity of a machine or electronic device defied rational limits. I believe we are surrounded by unacknowledged miracles.

  49. Interracial marriage is not the problem. It is the “unequally yoked” marriage where a fundamental difference in outlook and expectation exists that causes disillusion and eventual dissolution of the union. This can occur between people raised in the same neighborhood, even the same ward with superficially similar backgrounds. Although sharing a religion is often an effective bridge, it is important that there are other fundamental similarities. I know many couples who have very different cultural backgrounds who have the Gospel in common and enjoy successful marriages. As for interrupting the long term partnership of a same sex couple, there are many cherished practices that must be sacrificed before baptism. I believe the scripture about becoming a eunuch for the sake of Christ is particularly apt in the circumstance.

  50. I certainly agree that under current rules, that is the choice a same-gender couple would have to make. And I don’t see any reason to suspect that the eschatology will change (belief that only opposite-gendered spouses will have hope of eternal union). My only thought was the possibility of a minor relaxation of temporal stances. Though I know for many here, such a relaxation would be akin to Manasseh deciding it was OK to embrace infant sacrifices, sending many of his own children through the fiery death demanded by those who worshiped Moloch.

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