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The Mormon Church’s Official Prop 8 Website

Timothy Kincaid

October 9th, 2008

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has set up a website to provide inspiration to their members in their efforts to change the California State Constitution – through Proposition 8 – to be more in alignment with Mormon theology. Because Mormons have a unique understanding of The Divine Institution, their talking points are different than those for, say, an evangelical Christian or a Catholic.

At preservingmarriage.org, you can read a letter from the Prophet, check out an interview with Elders, listen to an Elder threaten young Mormons with a “decreasingly tolerant environment” from gays who “push at the edges of what is legally allowable”, read about the Divine Instition of Marriage and how the “course charted by Church leaders” is “the only course of safety for the Church and for the nation”.

The primary purpose of the site, though, is to provide young Mormons with a video to download to their personal websites or networking sites. It’s full of young faces repeating endlessly that they support Proposition 8 (though not much substance as to why).

What’s missing, however, is any reference to this being a Mormon video or that the pretty young people are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Nor do they admit that their support for the amendment is based in their church’s theology and unique beliefs about the nature of marriage. As apostle M. Russell Ballard said in a church broadcast this week:

We know that it is not without controversy, yet let me be clear that at the heart of this issue is the central doctrine of eternal marriage and it’s place in our Father’s plan.

Nope, they just slap this on their MySpace without explanation.

How very sad that a church has to specialize in secrecy and deception in order to try and influence the voters of California. I’ve lost a lot of respect for that denomination for their dishonesty in this campaign.

Comments

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Stefano A
October 9th, 2008 | LINK

They lost much of my respect years ago with the conceit to “convert” individuals by “after death” baptism.

cowboy
October 10th, 2008 | LINK

You are quite correct, Mr. Kincaid, their logic is shallow and faulty. It’s a battle for Mormons to influence the laws towards their dogma at the expense of discrimination to a segment of society. They would have kept the laws favoring racial discrimination if they could but they could not face the world’s condemnation. So, they changed their dogma. Their acts to discriminate against gays need more world’s condemnation.

julie
October 12th, 2008 | LINK

wow…a lot of misinterpretation going on here in regards to discrimination. marriage btwn man and woman is NOT an idea created by the mormon religion! we happen to believe in it but it was NOT created by them and is therefore not just our dogma. we simply believe strongly in it as do MANY christian sects. i watched the other video that is on the SAME page as the one you referred to and they were not “secret” about the fact that they were members of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. this is the first time i saw the video and it was clear that the objective of the video was to show young people who support marriage…NOT to shove the religion in people’s face. If people who watched the video were to wonder where it came from there was CLEARLY a place to find info about who supported and created the film in the first place. that is not what I call secrecy. i sure don’t get why gays want to be married anyway!?!? just call the lifestyle what it is: a gay couple instead of trying to justify it as a traditional thing by calling it marriage. i hope you don’t delete this comment just because i don’t agree with your blog entry. non-gay opinions matter too.

Stefano A
October 12th, 2008 | LINK

Wow! Just wow! Is correct.

Using your biblical meaning of marriage as being the sole determinant and imposing that upon a secular institution which does not bestow any religious sacraments upon marriage…

i sure don’t get why gays want to be married anyway!?!? just call the lifestyle what it is: a gay couple

Could not get any more demeaning. Simply completely discount the validity of our relationships. No matter the love is as great, the commitments as deep.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen someone so blatantly devalue another person’s life and relationships to be meaningless. Your comment is the equivalent of the racist attitude of African Americans being sub-human.

And talk about ignorance. A committed gay couple’s life style is identical to a heterosexual couple’s life style. What you and your husband do in bed is NOT your life style. It is your sexual orientation. Lesbians and gays share the same diversity of life styles as do straights.

Benjamin
October 12th, 2008 | LINK

This whole thing makes me angry and sad. I am a gay Latter-day Saint who is once again very angry but most of all incredibly sad with the institutional Church for it’s terrible habit (since the 1970′s) of doing all within its power to take away the civil rights of sexual minorities. I am so incredibly sick and tired of the LDS Church taking it upon themselves to use millions of dollars to keep GLBT people from having marriage equality with our heterosexual brothers and sisters. Taking away rights from anyone is wrong and it is very destructive to the wholeness and diversity of our society. GLBT people are an integral part of American society and even of the LDS Church (most are in the closet) but to have us return to the closet and to relegate us to second class citizen status is harmful to our society. It is harmful to our souls as it crush’s our very spirit. Most Mormon leaders don’t have a clue about who we are as they see all human relationships through the narrow lenz of their doctrine of marriage. Since we don’t fit into the puzzle they don’t know what to do with us and they would rather that we just be invisible. They’re going to have a rude awakening when California votes NO on prop 8 and they also wake up and most of their beloved Republicans are kicked out of Congress and replaced by Democrats including a new Democratic President – Barack Obama. The paradigm shift is about to happen and they had better start evolving or they’ll be left behind.

It’s time the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints woke up and started to take responsibility for the hurtful things (i.e. “pervert”, “abominable”, “sinful”, “evil” etc.) that leaders have written and said over the years that have broken up families with GLBT members, caused major depression and even the suicide of thousands of its GLBT members. This is a horrific thing for any organization to do let alone an organization that carries the name of the Prince of Peace.

There is a tremendous amount of good that the Church has done in the world since it’s beginning in 1830, however, their treatment of GLBT members and GLBT people in general is inexcusable. As our society grows the majority of people in our society will one day not put up with bigotry against GLBT people and at that time the Church will be forced to make changes to their policies. They’ll just seem arcane and out of touch with reality to far too many people.

Stefano A
October 13th, 2008 | LINK

Benjamin,

Thank you for that post.

Benjamin
October 13th, 2008 | LINK

I just watched Elder Bednar’s talk with LDS young adults. Though I liked the tone of the conversation the underlying message was insidious because there is absolutely no evidence that Church’s will be persecuted with a “tyrany of tolerance”. I have heard these arguments from Evangelicals before (the folks who hate Mormons and write anti-LDS literature and give anti-Mormon lectures) and they don’t back up their allegations with facts. Elder Bednar sounds like a Republican sometimes (judges legislating from the bench) and dogmatic at other times. Hierarchical religions hate to have their influence on society decreased. It’s a “troubling thing” for them so they use a lot of fear and shame to get people to believe that if they allow society to change that the calamities of the last days will come. Sorry but that just aint so.

There are many different forms of marriage in various cultures. If the LDS Church has a large membership in an area where polygamy is the norm then does that mean that it has to go back to it’s old 19th century form of marriage? Obviously it doesn’t but there are many different circumstances that the Church finds itself in and it adapts without changing its core principles.

The “Father’s Plan of Happiness” was very different if you look at the Lectures of Joseph Smith, Jr. from the Kirtland, Ohio’s School of the Prophets and what you hear today. The doctrines you often hear reiterated today are somewhat reactive in tone to GLBT people and our desire for equality. They have changed and emphasized marriage in a different way. Gay people are not happy in a heterosexual relationship and we are deeply happy when we are in a committed relationship with someone of our own gender. That is our orientation. Again we don’t fit into their narrow plan of happiness. Fortunately I know that God’s plan of happiness is much bigger and infinite than the narrow view they place on heterosexual marriage. I know that God is far more universal in His love and embrace of all of His children than only a heterosexual marriage. A heterosexual marriage will always be the general norm. That does not negate the fact that a minority group of people who are attracted to their same gender have every right to their happiness in all equality as well.

Daniel Jenkins
October 13th, 2008 | LINK

If the meddling Mormons succeed in revoking my recent marriage, I think it will be time to target them and their marriages. I know it’s a long shot, because gays are a small minority and easily tyrannized, but passage of Prop. 8 should lead to a proposition effort to remove heterosexual marriage from government altogether. Homosexuals, after all, pay taxes and should receive equal benefits under the law. If the Mormons want to hold marriage as a “special right” for heterosexuals only, then they should lose all benefits that come with a legal ceremony. I sure would like the chance to vote on their marriages as well. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that. I’m voting NO on Prop. 8.

john
October 16th, 2008 | LINK

first off. stefano, mormons goals are not to convert people. lets have that known to everyone. and second, threaten is a harsh word to use. the leaders of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints never are harsh, disrespectful, or threatening. they are the most humble and nice people on the earth.

john
October 16th, 2008 | LINK

second, the church members havent been writing the things your talking about benjamin. “pervert”, “abominable”, “sinful”, “evil” etc.) those things come straight from the bible that, if you truely are a member, believe in. so talking negatively upon the church members who quote what the lord says is slandering the lords words. and daniel jenkins. it would be nice if you showed respect toward people. you are so for respecting the homosexual people, as are the lds saints, but then you use such disrespectful words and phrases towards the mormons. and just for informative purposes to you all, marriage has its origin in the garden of eden with adam and eve, under the authority of the lord. i dont know about you guys but god, who is omniscient, probably knows what he is tlaking about when he adresses these issues in the bible.

lastly, for stefano, reguarding “our bible”, the sole purpose for our use of the king james version of the same bible which is studied in any christian religion, is because it was proven by historians to be the least translated bible in this day.

and i in no way mean to offend anyone. i do not look down on homosexual persons at all. they are normal members of society and are no different than you and me. but because they are challenging the teachings of the bible with gay marriage i will vote yes on proposition 8

Stefano A
October 16th, 2008 | LINK

first off. stefano, mormons goals are not to convert people. lets have that known to everyone. and second, threaten is a harsh word to use…

Where did I ever say anything about Mormon’s “threatening”.

And you cannot deny that Mormon’s DID INDEED baptize non-mormon’s after their deaths and then list them as Mormon. There was a tremendous amount of animosity created on the part of Mormons and Jews, for instance, (which has since been somewhat resolved), because the Mormons were using Holocaust death lists as one source of obtaining information in order to do so.

As to your other points, I don’t care what your religious views are about homosexuality. Those do not concern me, are not the principles upon which I guide my own life, and I have no objection to you using your religious beliefs as a guide for your own personal life or for that of your faith group. However, whether or not a Mormon or anyone else for biblical reasons believes homosexuality to be “sinful” is irrelevant to Proposition 8.

Allowing same-sex marriage has nothing to do with altering internal religious theology or dogma with regard to what forms of marriage a religious group will recognize or concent to marriage. We’re talking about CIVIL government recognition of marriage. The government bestows NO sacramental meaning upon marriage whatsover.

Stefano A
October 16th, 2008 | LINK

BTW: I’ve not made any comments about your “bible” or any other specifics about your faith beliefs. The only thing I said was that I lost “respect” for Mormons over the Baptism thing and took affront to your self-righous arrogance in discounting our relationships. I said nothing about not respecting your relationships, nor have I said anything about not tolerating your freedoms to practice your faith or doing anything to force the Mormon church or any other church to recognize same sex unions or relationships.

Stefano A
October 16th, 2008 | LINK

PS. I also put “convert” and “baptize” in quotations in my original post so as it indicate a common reference of vernacular symantics with regard to general concepts rather than any specific meaning of the two words. For the wide majority of people, if you are of one faith and are then baptized in the name of another faith, that is a faith “conversion”.

To do that without the specific request of any individual, I find not only to be disrespectful of that individuals chosen faith, an affront to that person’s liberties to chose a faith, but also the height of conceit on the part of Mormons to make that decision and take it upon themselves to do so.

Stefano A
October 16th, 2008 | LINK

PSS

With regard to marriage, when you obtain a marriage license that is to have the legal CIVIL recognition of your marriage. That CIVIL license is in no way a sacramental or religiously sacred document. It has no more religious meaning that drivers’ license.

Still Married
November 6th, 2008 | LINK

Gay man here! Still happily married. Not sure what the Natzi Mormons succeeded in?

So I have a piece of paper from the vital records office that says certificate of marriage, and it is just like my birth certificate. I did not go to any church to get it. My marriage has nothing to do with the church or Mormons. Oh and even though prop 8 passed I am still legal. So take that and choke on it Mormons!

Why did people fight so hard to take this away? Because they have hate in their hearts and they believe a book that has nothing to do with me. And they think this legitimizes gays and they hate that.

Prop 8 will be overturned anyway and eventually the straight couples may lose big on this one. Eventually the US Supreme court is going to take the words marriage off all the documents in the US if this keeps up. It is just a matter of time. Equal rights always wins as history shows us.

Julie L. Tag
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

When the Mormons learn that The Sealed Portion of the B of M (spoken of in Ether 4, 2Nephi27 & Isa 29)has been translated (free to read at http://www.thesealedportion.com) and discover that J. Christ had two gay apostles…aren’t they going to feel foolish!!!

Julie L. Tag
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

PS. I’m sure you’ll also quickly recognize and understand why it had to come through someone other than the uninspired leadership of the LDS church (one earring in each ear? Oh puhleeze)…the same way Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite were called, though Alma and Nephi were the current presidents of the church, those men were chosen to call the church to repentance.

Be set free at last of prejudice, hatred, discimination, judgment, misery, unhappiness, etc., etc.

Partake of the sweet and delectable fruit of truth.

Dave Pruett
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I’m not sure if some of you simply missed it or your extremely seeing impaired, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has their name all over the bottom of the http://www.preservingmarriage.org/videos.html page. You claim you have your rights well so does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and all of it’s members. We all have our differing opinions and stances. You do not have to agree with mine and I do not have to agree with your’s. If you want to take the side of an issue or proposition or anything else in this great country you go right ahead and do it. That’s what our country was founded on. The pursuit of happiness is a good one. How about freedom of speech. There are alot of great freedoms that we have in this God blessed country. Why don’t we all just try to get along and let each other live our lives the way we want. We will all answer to the same authority someday. I myself am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I do not jam that down anyone’s throat. If I disagree with gay marriage and don’t beleive in it in any way, this country affords me the rights to do so. You have those same rights and many others as well. I’m not going to go into my religious beliefs or impose my political views on you. I’m not even going to go into my own personal views and opinions as to why I am against gay marriages. But I will say this, we’re all here on this earth at this time. Many of us need others (gay or not) at different times in our lives. I can only hope that we put aside our personal opinions and views and lifestyles and simply show more love and compassion to each other, irregardless of the current or future laws of the lands. Please be happy with yourself. That’s my goal. Life is hard but it’s also beautiful. With all my heart I wish all of you the very best life has to offer. With all that I am I sincerely mean it. God Bless You.

Julie L. Tag
December 2nd, 2008 | LINK

Meet and hear the translator of The Sealed Portion at a symposium…

Dec 6th Saturday

SLC Library 400 S. & State St.

9am-5pm

4th floor

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