Friday, August 29, 2008

Find an answer for yourself: Proposition 8

I support the prophet and apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I support them because I feel in my heart that they are true leaders, called of God. I have listened to their words, read the scriptures, and prayed to gain these feelings. That is what God asks us to do-- to find out if the prophet is really a prophet, who is teaching the truth. We can't rely on what anyone else says-- we have to do the work and find out for ourselves.

So you can imagine my chagrin and utter bewilderment when I came across a website where members of our church are complaining that the church is forcing them to support Prop 8 in California.

First of all, that doesn't make any sense. If you don't believe what a church is teaching you, then stop going to that church. How does a church have the power to force you to do anything?

If you are a member of the church and you have a problem with what the prophet is teaching, that is your own personal business. But please don't post all over the internet about how the church is taking away your agency and forcing you to do anything. You have the freedom to do whatever you want, and believe whatever you want.

Second of all, the Proclamation on the Family has been around since 1995. It is not new. So if you are surprised at the church's adamant support of Prop 8, that doesn't make any sense either.

What the prophets teach has never been popular, since the beginning of time. There have always been grumblers when what the prophet said was not easy to hear, or when it went against the societal norms of the day. I am sure that many people were offended or angered by what Noah or Abraham or Peter or Paul had to say. That doesn't mean that what they said was any less true. In fact, it shows that they were willing to teach something unpopular, and that makes them even more credible.

So I would encourage anyone who has any doubt about the words of the prophet of our day to study them and pray about them. Find an answer for yourself.


michele said...

Hi Adele! I have to admit that I haven't been reading up on this issue. I just checked out the official news release on the church website here
and there were a couple things that stood out to me after reading your post:

"On June 20, 2008, the First Presidency of the Church distributed a letter about 'Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families,' announcing the Church’s participation with the coalition. The letter, which was read in Latter-day Saints’ church services in California, asked that Church members 'do all [they] can to support the proposed constitutional amendment.'"

And later it reads, "As Church members decide their own appropriate level of involvement in protecting marriage between a man and a woman, they should approach this issue with respect for others, understanding, honesty, and civility."

So according to this article, the church has asked (not commanded, not forced, not even called) members to support Prop. 8, instructing them to choose their own appropriate involvement in the coalition. That means a Latter-Day Saint can choose to not be involved at all and still be in good standing with the church.

Then again, I don't live in CA and I don't know what it's like to be in a ward surrounded by supporters of the proposition and be one of the only ones who doesn't.

And like I said earlier I haven't read all of the information out there so I may be missing something.

sallysue said...

Adele, I love how passionate you are about things! And a big AMEN to the fact that no one is being forced into anything. There is the fact that agency still exists, and will always exist. Perhaps these people are feeling pressure from their peers, and interpreting that as pressure from the church.
I like Michele don't know much about what is going on, and need to learn more.

Josh said...

I love your post... and I love you.

But that aside, I agree with your post. And although the "encouragement" from the prophet wasn't a "commandment" I wonder what the response would be if it was?

I do not believe in blind faith. In fact, I detest it. But I do believe that there are things that you can have faith in that never falter when it comes to doing what is right, and faith in the prophet is one of those things. And that is just because he is acting on behalf of a loving Heavenly Father who knows ALL things. It is not blind faith that comforts me in this, but a faith that has come through study, prayer, and revelation through the Holy Ghost. It was not easy to obtain or at time even to sustain, but it has been priceless in worth never decreasing in value.

I support and love my living prophets of God. There is a lot of confusion out there about what is right and what is wrong. Where something is right just because I can do it without directly hurting anyone else and where something is wrong because it restricts me from doing what I want to do. But truth doesn't work that way. What is true is true and what is not is not. We must seek out what is true and hold to it with an iron grip never letting go.

I think this is the most blunt I have been in my blog commenting/posting career, but I seek after truth and when I find it I fight for it. I can’t compromise on truth. The prophets are real, living, and set apart through God’s holy priesthood to lead us in the right way, even when it isn’t popular or in the realm of our current reasoning.

merrilykaroly said...

Michele and Sallysue, after reading your comments I wanted to add that I hope this post didn't sound judgmental or insensitive. I know that there are good people who really struggle with these issues. My point is not to judge anyone because of these struggles, but to discourage members of the church from writing negative, untrue things about the church on the internet, and to encourage people to find their own answers. I hope that makes sense!

jensenlife said...

I absolutely agree with you adele! I am sooooo greatful to have a prophet to giude me-because i know very little and would see things differently if i did not listen to him! I really admire your faith and boldness in speaking the truth, you have ALWAYS been such a stong example of courage and truth! Your whole family has been! It's scary times right now, especially here in california with a family of my own. I want to protect my girls from being so easily led to misunderstand the doctines of Christ. California, as well as the rest of the world is very confused and even "good people" don't know what to do in this situation, it's really sad. I like what Josh said about truth though, "What is true is true and what is not is not" I always think about that when i hear a "relitive truth" Even though a "fad" says something is true or right that doesn't mean it really is. Truth is not relivet to the situation, it does not change. Christ and the church has set forth true doctrine that doesn't change! ok all done *sigh...*smile

The Petersons said...

You are amazing and I appreciate your courage to post something in a medium where anyone can read it. Thank you. I didn't have a problem with the Church's stand on proposition 8, but your testimony of living prophets and faith in the Church's teachings has strenghtened mine. So, again, thank you--we miss you guys.

Steph said...

I love what you had to say and how you said it! I am glad that you do stand up for what you believe and I am glad that we have the gospel in our lives and with our families so that when life's hard choices and decisions are thrown our way we know what we believe and how we want to face those challenges.

I agree with you too. Everyone can believe what they want and have their own stance on issues, but I am glad we have a living prophet today and you're so right, just because it's not easy doesn't mean it's not true. Everyone has to have their own testimony. I am just so grateful that I have mine :)

Lanenga Family said...

Adele! Thanks for your post! It is good to know that members all over are supporting us here in CA. It is an issue that was voted on in 2000 known as proposition 22 (back when I was still living at home before college). This proposition was to protect traditional marriage, and the same effort was put out by the members of the church. Proposition 22 was passed with a 60% vote. Then the CA supreme court overturned the people's decision stating it was unconstitutional. Now, the proposition to protect traditional marriage is proposition 8 and will be on the ballot in November. If this is passed it will be an ammendment to the California State Constitution, and only marriage between a man and woman would be legally recognized. We are doing what we can to inform those around us of proposition 8 so they are informed. Like you, I know that marriage is a sacred covenant, meant for man and woman. As Stephanie said, I'm grateful for my testimony and for "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" which clearly defines marriage between a man and a woman. And for prophets who guide us and direct us. I can't help but think how prophetic the Family Proclamation was, and I'm grateful to know that we know the truth.