Do you want any more evidence that a powerful religious minority is bent on imposing its theological doctrines on the state constitutions of Arizona and California? Look no further than the words of LDS Elder M. Russell Ballard.
Ballard is a member of the Mormon Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which means that the church accepts him as a prophet, seer, and revelator. This gives his words special meaning among church members. In a special satellite broadcast to the church faithful, Ballard was clear about what they were really trying to do:
“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,” Ballard said.
The doctrine of Eternal Marriage is unique to Mormonism. An Eternal Marriage is one that is “sealed” in secret ceremonies in an LDS temple (a sealing, by the way, which can occur by proxy on behalf of deceased non-Mormon couples as well). Once sealed, the couple are permanently married on earth and in the afterlife in the Celestial Kingdom. The Celestial Kingdom itself is subdivided into three “heavens or degrees”, and only those who are sealed in eternal marriage in a temple while alive (or after death by proxy) will be permitted to enter into the highest degree of celestial kingdom. Once there, they will eventually become “exalted” and live “the kind of life God lives” — and some will even become gods themselves.
In yesterday’s hour long broadcast to churches in California, Utah, Hawaii and Idaho, church elders exhorted members to embark on a week-by-week strategy before the Nov. 4 election. In speaking of the church’s efforts to impose its theology onto state constitutions, Ballard reiterated, “What we’re about is the work of the Lord, and he will bless you for your involvement.”