Marriage Equality

By: Guest
June 5, 2013

This is the first guest post from Justin.  He also blogs at LDS Anarchy.

Interviewer: But did [Oscar] Wilde identify himself as gay?

Stephen Fry: No, I don’t think he did. He talked about his nature — he was aware of what people’s natures were, to have sex with their own kind. He wasn’t an idiot — he was fully aware there was such a sexual orientation, but the noun “homosexual” did not yet exist in the English language.

I think Wilde had that advantage that he lived in a time when people were not nouns. You didn’t ascribe labels to them. While he was aware of his nature and never apologized for it, he didn’t shout it from the rooftops in the manner of a modern actor with a Larry Kramer sort of gay sensibility.

And I think those who try to read that into Oscar won’t find it there. You might as well wonder why Oscar didn’t have a Web site. He was more mature than our age is. I mean, he had very little interest in sins of the flesh, or he realized that it isn’t very important whether you call them sins of the flesh or not. The only things that matter are sins of the spirit. In that sense Oscar was quite religious.

That’s what so ironic — the religious complain about sins of the flesh, but sins of the flesh are not the kind of thing that Christ would object to. What you do with your penis or your bottom or anything else is so supremely irrelevant in a moral sense. It’s what we do with our personalities and other people that matters.

I still haven’t heard a convincing argument on how allowing gay marriage would affect my marriage in a negative manner.  It bothers me that we’re so focused on the hot button issue of “gay marriage” that the real issues affecting marriage [like spousal abuse, poverty, emotional fulfillment, etc.] end-up being ignored.

I think [despite what evangelical Americans will suggest] that the scriptures are largely silent on the issue homosexual relationships.  The scriptures that do condemn “men lying with men as with a woman”, etc. refer more to the practice of either:

  • sex-rituals [as in, not among married couples]
  • using anal sex to show “domination” or “subjugation” over a conquered group
  • the physical lust for the pleasure of the sex-act

So it’s possible that those scriptures are condemning those behaviors — not “homosexuality” as such.  As Stephen Fry is explaining in the quote above, homosexuality as a sexual orientation and same-gender relationships based on marriage covenants of fidelity between same-gender couples simply did not exist until relatively recently.

MarriageLoveMarriage is not about religion because atheists marry.  Marriage is not about procreation because the infertile marry.  I’d like to say that marriage is just about “love” between two people who desire to get married – however, the problem is we have allowed the State to license marriage and ascribe civil benefits to obtaining that license.  Cohabitation, shared beliefs, procreation, love, etc. – do not require legal permission from the government.  Civil rights and IRS benefits, however, do.

Marriage is basically the formation of a “corporation” between individuals.  This “corporation” gets legal benefits from the State [like any other corporation].  I don’t get upset every time a business incorporates — so why should I get upset when people want to incorporate a relationship?  The prohibition against same-gender marriage isn’t an issue because they’re not allowed to live together and love each other.  It’s an issue because the government’s involvement in marriage means that same-gender couples are not allowed to enjoy civil privileges:  receiving insurance through the spouse’s coverage, visitation rights in a hospital, adopting a child, filing jointly for income tax, taking family leave when the spouse is sick, making arrangements after death, etc. because their status is not legally recognized by a State-issue license.

Obviously, the solution to many of these problems is ejecting the State out of our home, family, romantic, and sex lives.  We have such a problem because with the power of civil benefits, the State is seen as legitimizing what relationships matter and which ones don’t.  The church should be at the forefront of getting the State and Marriage divorced because we [with all other Abrahamic religions] believe that humans were gathered into families prior to the establishment of civil governments.  Whether a couple is considered married “in the eyes of God” or not can have nothing to do with a State-issued license.  Thus, a good first step in this direction would be to no longer require a marriage license to perform religious services like for-time marriages and eternal family sealings.

But even if we want to be secular about it – the historical basis of the “family” was multihusband-multiwife tribes that shared food, labor, childcare, and sexual partners — not our present narrative of the two-parent nuclear family with a college-educated urban employment and a suburban house, with the 3 or 4 kids and a dog.  The church adopted itself into that institution [which is politically-termed “Pro-Family”], and re-framed our “Eternal Families” narrative to garner wider recruitment in the wake of the 1890 Manifesto and renunciation of polygyny.

The church, as presently organized, is a gerontocracy — so leadership today represents a 1950′s era American-style Mormonism from a Utah-centric, cis-, hetero-, anglo-, middle-class privileged lifestyle point-of-view.  And so, with the power concentrated in the hands of these few, we get a gospel presented in those terms only — with nothing for people whose narratives differ either slightly or greatly from that.  I think that with legalized gay marriage in the US being standing a good chance in the near future, the church could be at the forefront of presenting a family doctrine of fidelitous sexual ethics for both straight and gay members.

However, doing so would necessitate a re-evaluation of the stated positions on:

  • what the fundamental purpose of marriage covenants really is
  • what God’s design for getting adults together into families is really all about
  • and what is He wanting us to do/foster in human society by organizing ourselves this way

Because presently the regurgitated, stock-responses are not internally-consistent with themselves:

  • We parrot traditional American Christianity by saying that marriage is about One-man-and-One-woman, but we’ll all allow marriages after a spouse’s death and after a divorce [which would be serial monogamy — not a true mono-].
  • Then, as LDS, we take it further by sealing polygynous and polyandrous eternal families through our policy of sealing any deceased person to all spouses they had while living [which is, again, not one man and one woman].
  • And we’ll also use the natural law argument along with the other Christians to attempt to tie the purpose of marriage families together with reproduction — when many couples are infertile, or marry after reproductive age, and many couples are not economically-sound enough to provide for the maintenance of large families [especially when we keep them separate with sanctions against plural husbands and wives], and there are plenty of already-born children who aren’t cared for well-enough and could be adopted instead.

I think LDS are unique in the position of being able to associate marriage covenants with fidelity, cooperation, commitment, service, intimacy, fellowship, emotional fulfillment, and companionship — without needing them to be hetero- and monogamous.  And I think we can associate “the family” with greater purposes than reproducing children to fill-up the earth.  And while I think that marriage has a God-given “purpose” — I think it needs to be better associated with people having happy, loving, consensual, and faithful cooperative-unions.  If anything’s an “abomination”, it’s not homosexuality — it’s unions where people are taken advantage of, abused, lied to, cheated on, etc.  That should be illegal.  That should be a sin.

The problem is we get more interested in the outwardly-observable behaviors of the flesh — when the only things that really matter are state of the spirit or the heart.  The religious complain about sins of the flesh, but sins of the flesh are not the kind of thing that Christ would object to.  What you do with your penis or your orifices or anything else is absolutely irrelevant in a moral sense — especially when compared to our personalities and how we relate to and treat other people.

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60 Responses to Marriage Equality

  1. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    Read the section, Gender Complementarity Is Essential to Marriage, found here:

    http://www.millennialstar.org/general-conference-and-same-sex-marriage-a-personal-analysis/

    Is gender complementarity essential to marriage? If not, then gay marriage is perfectly okay. If so, then it becomes an obstacle to gospel progression, for no one can seal a same-sex marriage as a celestial marriage. Although atheists marry, the origins of marriage from the latter-day saint perspective is that it is ordained of God. Marriage, then, from our perspective, is not a man-made institution, but God-made or divine, beginning with the union of our first parents. Regardless of the religious or irreligious beliefs of the party, God ordains the permanent union of man and woman as a marriage. But does He do so in same-gender unions?

    There may be a lot more to marriage than we currently understand. It is curious that our doctrine of exaltation centers around marriage. Because of this, we LDS view marriage very differently than anyone else. But despite this enhanced view, we still may not be getting the full picture of what it is and why it is so necessary for gospel progression. For example, our revealed temple marriage is based on antiquity and has an exclusivity/non-exclusivity arrangement. Also, revelation given in this dispensation codifies the stewardship/concerns aspect of marriage. There there is the law of Sarah. Same sex marriage does not appear to have any of these characteristics and elements.

    As an anarchist, I say keep the gov out of marriage and to each his own. As a LDS, though, looking at all things from a gospel perspective, I am to oppose everything that stands in the way of the gospel, if it is in my power to do so. So, I think it all comes down to this: does same-sex marriage stand as on obstacle to gospel progression? (I’m not referring to my own progression, but to the progression of those who participate in it.) If not, then we can in good conscience support it. If so, then how can we justifiable support it?

    In other words, either marriage is or is not divine (God ordained). If divine, then what makes a marriage a marriage in the eyes of God? Is it the covenant alone, or is it the union of opposite sexes? If it is a covenant between two persons to remain together permanently (regardless of whether they love each other), then surely gay marriage is not a perversion. But if it is the permanent union of opposite sexes (regardless of whether they love each other), then would not same-sex marriage be a perversion of what God ordained?

    (I mention twice that love may not be an issue because people marry for many reasons, not just for love.)

    Again, “in the eyes of God” is the key for all those who believe that marriage is ordained of God. Thus, for me, I say to hell with a marriage license because I believe that in the eyes of God unlicensed marriages are valid. I also know that monogamy is lawful, per D&C 49:15-17:

    and again
    verily
    i say unto you
    that whoso forbiddeth to marry
    is not ordained of god
    for marriage is ordained of god unto man
    wherefore
    it is lawful
    that he should have one wife
    and they twain shall be one flesh
    and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation
    and that it might be filled with the measure of man
    according to his creation before the world was made

    and that polygamy (both polygyny and polyandry) is also lawful per D&C 132. But is same-sex marriage lawful? It doesn’t matter what I think about marriages in my own eyes, only what I believe God’s perspective is. In like manner, what needs to be arrived at is God’s perspective on same-sex marriage.

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  2. Marriage Equality | LDS Anarchy on June 5, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    [...] This post is published at Wheat & Tares — but I wanted to post it here for my own records.  So — if you want to comment on it, please do so over there. [...]

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  3. Justin on June 5, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    LDSA:

    Same-gender marriages being “lawful” [in the gospel-sense] are tough to call because the scriptures don’t have much to say on the subject. Scripturally-speaking — one cannot interpret the word “marriage” as meaning any other thing than what it meant at the time the revelations were given. Therefore the “marriage” that the scriptures are talking about must surely mean the “unions between a man and a woman” — and not between same sexes.

    But that may very well be only because the idea of same-gender orientation as a “lifestyle” and the creation cohabitating, faithful marriage relationships between same genders didn’t exist at the time the revelations were given – so obviously they wouldn’t be addressing that.

    So all that can be concluded is that God approves of men and women coming together via marriage covenants and commands them to do so. The rest is just an ambiguous area because the word of God is silent on the subject of cohabitating homosexual unions — so there is nothing in the scriptures that would make them not valid [or immoral] in the eyes of God because if it’s never expressly addressed as immoral.

    Since a “license” is legal permission to do that which would otherwise be illegal — and we know that God recognizes all covenants, contracts, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations that are made among humans both for time and for all eternity: regardless of who or what entity or entities ordained them [whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be] as being perfectly valid and binding until the parties are dead, at which point such contracts, etc. have an end — then your questions:

    …In other words, either marriage is or is not divine (God ordained). If divine, then what makes a marriage a marriage in the eyes of God? Is it the covenant alone, or is it the union of opposite sexes?…

    matter only insofar as we are wondering about any of those contracts, oaths, etc. continuing/enduring after the parties are dead [which means they're "of God", capable of enduring]. For to do that, then they must be made/entered into by the Lord or by His word and be patterned according to the scriptural laws He’s revealed.

    But whether or not any of that “God-ordained” stuff I mentioned above is true — it matters very little when we’re talking about the State removing legal barriers from same-gender couples who desire a marriage relationship. I mean — if a group of people actually believes that God has a “preferred” order for marriage families [be that hetero and/or monogamous -- etc.], then how would they ever hope to convince others of that by sanctioning, stigmatizing, and delegitimizing the experiences and feelings of those who differ from that narrative?

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  4. Nick Literski on June 5, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    #1:
    For example, our revealed temple marriage is based on antiquity and has an exclusivity/non-exclusivity arrangement. Also, revelation given in this dispensation codifies the stewardship/concerns aspect of marriage. There there is the law of Sarah. Same sex marriage does not appear to have any of these characteristics and elements.

    I’m curious about your basis for this conclusion. As a polyamorous gay man, I suspect I’m at least slightly qualified to address whether these issues exist in same-sex relationships. There is, of course, a stereotype (often hyped by those involved in anti-gay political activism) that gay men lack any and all inhibitions with regard to sexual exclusivity. The truth of the matter is that many gay relationships (whether monogamous or polygamous) are sexually exclusive. This appears to be more often the case with legally recognized marriages, as opposed to less formalized relationships. Sexual non-exclusivity is common in both gay and heterosexual relationships, whether the parties have agreed to that condition or not. To point at sexual non-exclusivity in gay relationships, with feigned shock and indignation, is hypocritical at best.

    I’m genuinely puzzled that you would think that the parties to a same-sex marriage lack stewardship/concern for one another. Perhaps what you really meant was that gay couples lack the patriarchal (and sexist) “pecking order” which is so common to opposite-sex unions?

    As for the “Law of Sarah,” I can assure you that the positive side of that concept operates fully in polygamous same-sex relationships. My partners are fully aware of one another, and fully consensual to all our existing relationships. The only part of the “Law of Sarah” we lack is that little “if she says no, ignore her and do it anyway” clause.

    As a LDS, though, looking at all things from a gospel perspective, I am to oppose everything that stands in the way of the gospel, if it is in my power to do so. So, I think it all comes down to this: does same-sex marriage stand as on obstacle to gospel progression? (I’m not referring to my own progression, but to the progression of those who participate in it.) If not, then we can in good conscience support it. If so, then how can we justifiable support it?

    We could easily spend all day listing the choices which LDS members do not politically agitate against, despite their beliefs that said choices interfere with eternal progression. Adultery would certainly “interfere with eternal progression” in an LDS viewpoint, yet the LDS don’t agitate for prosecution under existing adultery statutes.

    Again, “in the eyes of God” is the key for all those who believe that marriage is ordained of God.

    Why would you consider civil marriage laws dependent on whether or not your faith believes that its deity validates a particular marriage? The Catholic church believes their deity rejects marriages which take place after a divorce, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with whether civil law recognizes such marriages.

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  5. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I wrote a long response but when I hit the Post Comment button, I lost the whole damn text. Unfortunately, I’ve got no more desire to attempt to remember and re-write what I wrote. Maybe, if I get the urge to, I’ll come back later and try to unfold this again… I apologize for leaving you both hanging, but there’s no more gas in this tank.

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  6. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Not as good as what I originally wrote, but what the hell, I’ll give it another go…

    #3 Justin,

    But that may very well be only because the idea of same-gender orientation as a “lifestyle” and the creation cohabitating, faithful marriage relationships between same genders didn’t exist at the time the revelations were given – so obviously they wouldn’t be addressing that.

    Heterosexual relations have existed from the beginning and have remained unlawful ever since. However, God gave a provision (marriage) which, if applied to, made these acts lawful. Homosexual relations (including, likely, cohabitating, faithful relationships) have also existed since nearly the beginning, and have also been likewise condemned, but there has never been a provision given by God to make such acts lawful. So, we can’t say that there hasn’t been opportunity in the last 6,000 years to address this.

    So all that can be concluded is that God approves of men and women coming together via marriage covenants and commands them to do so. The rest is just an ambiguous area because the word of God is silent on the subject of cohabitating homosexual unions — so there is nothing in the scriptures that would make them not valid [or immoral] in the eyes of God because if it’s never expressly addressed as immoral.

    A marriage covenant is scripturally defined as always being between a man and a woman. Cohabitating homosexual unions cannot be fit into, or conform to, that definition. A civil union can be a cohabitating homosexual union, yet it is not considered marriage. A united firm (or united order) is an economic covenant made between men, yet it also is not considered marriage. There are all sorts of lawful covenants people can enter into, none of which is marriage. To be a marriage, a marriage covenant is required, yes, but also the sexual union of the opposite sexes, becoming “one flesh.”

    It is true that God recognizes all covenants, contracts, etc., but only insofar as they are lawful. And by lawful, I mean they conform to the word of God. So, for example, if me and two other men covenant to take your property and divide it amongst ourselves, against your will, that is not a valid, lawful, binding covenant. Even if our man-made laws recognized it as perfectly legal, it would still be theft. In like manner, a civil union is a lawful covenant, recognized by God as valid. But the instant the two partners start to claim they are married, they have crossed into perverting the right ways of the Lord territory, or into unlawfulness. It is unlawful for anyone to change, or seek to change, the definition of marriage. Only the Lord Himself can do this, since He is the one who ordained it. It proceeds from Him, was ordained by Him, appointed by Him and defined by Him. Anything outside of the bounds He has set cannot lawfully be considered marriage.

    Now, a civil marriage is not a rights issue, since a marriage license is a revokable privilege, and can and has been regulated from time to time. In other words, no one has the civil right to marry whomever they want. The state regulates the age, the health and the number of spouses you can have with the license, and even, formerly, the race. None of these regulations or their absence change the definition of marriage. But when you remove the regulation against same sex marriage, the definition of marriage suddenly becomes fundamentally altered.

    Changing a legal definition is the right of the State. It can define its terms however it wants. So, those against same-sex marriage can use their influence to keep the laws as is, and those in favor of it, to alter the laws. There’s really not much difference between a law that allows a street to be 15 feet wide and one that allows it to be 15 feet and 1 inch wide. None of such man-made laws conflict with the gospel. But when the changing of a civil law creates an opposition and perversion to a gospel appointment and principle, very big red flags go up.

    The Nephites had God-given laws, through Moses, Lehi and Mosiah. (You know all this. I’ve gone through this before on some other blog.) Whereas we Americans have man-made laws. So, we can’t compare our laws to those of the Nephites. Nevertheless, some of our laws are actually based upon God-given principles, even in their current, imperfect form. So, when we read in Alma 51 about the desire to alter their law, and Pahoran’s refusal to do so, it was precisely because their laws precisely conformed to God’s laws (i.e. they were God’s laws) that Pahoran refused to budge. Nephite law corruption, which occurred later in Helaman 4, meant that their laws no longer conformed to God’s laws.

    In like manner, whatever we have written in our law books, that conforms to the laws of God (even if only partially), should be sustained and supported, and everything that opposes those principles, should be swept away. So it is right and proper to keep the sex regulation on the books, since that aspect of the law conforms to the word of God. (The church made errors in the push to get prohibition on the books and then to keep it on the books, since the Word of Wisdom is not to be sent by constraint, but the current push to stop same-sex marriage seems inspired of God, despite any misguided arguments.)

    As you know, the Holy Ghost told me back in 2008, and subsequently, that the break-up of the church will have something to do with same-sex marriage. So, there is some hidden agenda behind this we are not being told. In other words, after same sex marriage becomes legalized everywhere, enforced by the strong arm of the State, what is the next part of the plan? It may not seem that the alteration of this law will have any effect on your marriage or on society or on the church, but that is not the prophetic indication that I’ve received.

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  7. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    #4 Nick,

    When I wrote,

    Our revealed temple marriage is based on antiquity and has an exclusivity/non-exclusivity arrangement.

    I meant that the husband is bound by the marriage to his wife, but not exclusively–meaning that he can take other wives if he has not entered into any vow of exclusivity–whereas the woman is bound by the marriage to her husband exclusively. This has no counterpart in same sex marriage. In marriage between a man and a woman, one is the steward (the husband) and the other is the concerns (the wife). Again, no counterpart in same sex marriage. Finally, the law of Sarah is non-existent among same-sex marriage. These three principles are part of our revealed doctrine. Not to mention the fact that marriage in defined in our scriptures as between only a man and a woman. So, of these four, revealed-by-God aspects of what makes a marriage a marriage, same-sex marriage fails in each respect to conform to the standard. Therefore, it is incorrect to call same-sex unions marriage. It is in no way, shape or form marriage. However, as the legal definitions are changing, it may be appropriate to call it “same-sex civil marriage,” since that is the authority it derives from. I will call it that from now on.

    Why would you consider civil marriage laws dependent on whether or not your faith believes that its deity validates a particular marriage?

    See the “Changing a legal definition” paragraph I wrote to Justin above and the two paragraphs that follow for the answer to your question.

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  8. Jeff Spector on June 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    This is all going to come down on the side of Point of View. Not laws, not the state involvement or non-involvement but our own or an organization’s POV. No amount of discussion will probably change that and all sides will use the available data and information to support their position.

    The concept of marriage as a recognized union (I won’t even use the term lawful) is largely a product of the middle ages and was as much about property rights and affiliations as anything. Love was not an issue. There is no evidence that I have seen that these unions involved same sex couples or groups.

    Arranged unions were the norm in order to preserve property rights and maintain power. Not even sure when idea of love enters into the picture at all.

    In fact, love is not enough in any relationship. So this idea of “who you love” is not by itself a good reason to join in a union. If that were the case, the divorce rate would be much lower.

    So, if a religion wants to limit their concept of marriage to a man and a woman (or women for that matter), what is the issue, if there is no restriction outside of that?

    IMO, the state has no compelling interest in any of those relationships except to protect children, which always seems to be the last thing anyone ever considers.

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  9. Nick Literski on June 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    A marriage covenant is scripturally defined as always being between a man and a woman.

    What “scripture” is that in? Activists I’ve seen try this have pointed to the union of Adam and Eve in Genesis. That’s all well and good, but the passage does nothing to exclude other kinds of unions—it merely indicates divine approval of one kind, without commenting on any other kind.

    To be a marriage, a marriage covenant is required, yes, but also the sexual union of the opposite sexes, becoming “one flesh.”

    That’s simply not accurate. Catholic annulment rules aside, there is no actual requirement of sexual union for a marriage to be valid. Further, what makes you assume that only opposite-sex partners can become “one flesh” during physical intimacy?

    In like manner, a civil union is a lawful covenant, recognized by God as valid. But the instant the two partners start to claim they are married, they have crossed into perverting the right ways of the Lord territory, or into unlawfulness.

    That’s quite speculative. I suspect most homophobic religionists would shriek and rend their garments, should you suggest divine approval of civil unions. :-) In any case, you give no reason to support your theory that marriage between same-sex partners would offend deity or “pervert” the laws of deity.

    Now, a civil marriage is not a rights issue…

    The Supreme Court of the United States has gone on record in fourteen different cases, declaring quite the opposite.

    But when you remove the regulation against same sex marriage, the definition of marriage suddenly becomes fundamentally altered.

    Utter nonsense, utterly unsupported. This “redefining marriage” trope was invented by religiously-motivated opponents of equality, in an effort to confuse their followers into ignoring the voice of their own conscience regarding simple fairness under the law.

    But when the changing of a civil law creates an opposition and perversion to a gospel appointment and principle, very big red flags go up.

    While that may well be true in the long-dreamed-of LDS theocracy, it’s a fairly bizarre statement in the context of a pluralistic society, wherein a multitude of spiritual traditions coexist. Declaring your own pitifully tiny religious minority the one true arbiter of civil law is quite nearly treasonous.

    In like manner, whatever we have written in our law books, that conforms to the laws of God (even if only partially), should be sustained and supported, and everything that opposes those principles, should be swept away.

    And what gives your miniscule minority faith tradition the right to determine, for a religiously diverse nation, which laws “conform to the law of” deity? A number of faiths in this country are completely convinced that deity approves of same-sex couples being united in marriage.

    As you know, the Holy Ghost told me back in 2008, and subsequently, that the break-up of the church will have something to do with same-sex marriage. So, there is some hidden agenda behind this we are not being told. In other words, after same sex marriage becomes legalized everywhere, enforced by the strong arm of the State, what is the next part of the plan? It may not seem that the alteration of this law will have any effect on your marriage or on society or on the church, but that is not the prophetic indication that I’ve received.

    Ahhh…now we get to the crux of the matter—something I’ve never seen you own up to. You consider yourself a prophet! Yet one more off-kilter LDS member, taking “personal revelation” to the extreme, wherein your opinions are transformed into the unquestionable word of deity. No wonder your entire opus is unsupported, yet worded as if your mere declarations made it so!

    As for your response #7, the entirety is so laughably sexist as to make reason stare. By the way—according to your definition, ZERO living marriages within the LDS church are valid marriages. The “Law of Sarah” doesn’t exist in any sense within the LDS church’s monogamous, ancestor-shaming, public-relations-driven image. That law can only exist in the context of plural marriage, ergo, YOUR marriage is every bit as “invalid” as you claim same-sex marriages to be. Congratulations!

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  10. Nick Literski on June 5, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Correction—-your response #9.

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  11. dara on June 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Justin:
    Read and re-read the scriptures and what the Brethren have to say on this issue. You can’t twist it around and make it something beautiful when it’s not. If you ewncourage others to participate in gay sex, you jeopardize your own exaltation? How? If that person/epople you encouraged to indulge in gay sex arrives at the judgement bar never having repented, it will be brought up that you encouraged indulgence rather than repentance.

    We are all interdependent and changing the definition of marriage for one group changes it for everybody so you can’t say it doesn’t affect you at all. In schools they are teaching that gay sex is fine when it is a very unhealthy practice physical and spiritually.

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  12. Nick Literski on June 5, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    #10:
    There is no evidence that I have seen that these unions involved same sex couples or groups.

    Then I would suggest some reading on the subject, such as John Boswell’s book, Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe. Further, I would encourage you to learn more about indiginous cultures, such as the Native American tribes of this continent, prior to European (read: Catholic) missionary invasion.

    So, if a religion wants to limit their concept of marriage to a man and a woman (or women for that matter), what is the issue, if there is no restriction outside of that?

    There is no legitimate issue against a church defining acceptable unions within its membership. It’s that “no restriction outside of that” part, which the LDS church seems to struggle with following.

    IMO, the state has no compelling interest in any of those relationships except to protect children, which always seems to be the last thing anyone ever considers.

    The state also has a compelling interest in governing the property rights of adults, which necessarily come into play as part of marriage (not to mention the unfortunate dissolution of such).

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  13. Nick Literski on June 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    #13:
    Read and re-read the scriptures and what the Brethren have to say on this issue.

    Dara, what your scriptures and your religious leaders “have to say on this issue” has exactly ZERO bearing on civil government in a religiously-diverse society. Perhaps you would be shocked to learn that a substantial number of American citizens consider your religious leaders to be servants of Satan. Why should their religious views be ignored, and yours get to determine civil law?

    If you ewncourage [sic] others to participate in gay sex, you jeopardize your own exaltation?

    Dara, what on earth makes you think that civil recognition of marriage has any bearing on whether or not individuals will engage in what you call “gay sex?” If you think we’re all being celibate while waiting for you to graciously recognize our relationships, you’re deluded.

    We are all interdependent and changing the definition of marriage for one group changes it for everybody so you can’t say it doesn’t affect you at all.

    The only group I’ve seen seek to change the definition of marriage is your church, and its accomplices in promoting Proposition 8 in California. Prior to Prop 8, marriage in California was not defined as “one man and one woman.” After Prop 8, the California constitution so defined it. You, my dear, are the one who desperately wants to “redefine marriage.” Others simply are coming to recognize that the same definition which has always existed should be open to all citizens equally, rather than just white citizens, or just heterosexual citizens.

    In schools they are teaching that gay sex is fine when it is a very unhealthy practice physical and spiritually.

    Regardless of your religious opinion concerning spiritual health, your claims regarding physical health are nonsense. While anti-gay activists have made all sorts of bizarre claims about what “gay sex causes,” they are simply unfounded. If you think you can give actual evidence otherwise, go for it. I’ll be happy to point out where you’re purely fantasizing, as well as where you’re relying on supposed summaries of “studies” which were utterly ridiculous (such as one “study” claiming that gay men died at the average age of 40, but not mentioning that they drew all their study subjects from AIDS clinics prior to the existence of effective treatment regimens).

    Please, Dara…stop repeating your unsupported nonsense every time this subject comes up, and actually educate yourself.

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  14. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    #3 Justin,

    An unlawful covenant is like an open (non-secret) or unspoken (heart) conspiracy:

    A conspiracy is “an agreement among conspirators.”
    A conspirator is “one who conspires : plotter.”
    A plotter is “a person who schemes or conspires.”
    To conspire means “to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement.”
    To plot means “to plan or contrive especially secretly.”

    The D&C 132 verses that deal with agreements and man-made authorities only pertain to the permanency of the agreements, not to their lawfulness. If all things were lawful, then we could use those verses as you have and say that all agreements are valid until death, but as not all things are lawful, we can’t:

    All things are not lawful for me, for all things are not expedient; all things are not lawful, for all things edify not. (JST 1 Cor. 10:23)

    Here are the verses in question and notice that they speak only of permanency and not of lawfulness.

    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.

    And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 132:7,13)

    Unlawful contracts do not have an end upon death, but immediately. They have no legitimacy whatsoever.

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  15. Nick Literski on June 5, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    You seem remarkably confused, “Prophet LDS Anarchist.” The OP is about civil marriage, not the internal teachings or practices of the LDS church. Your explications and proclamations are utterly irrelevant to the question at hand.

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  16. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    #11 Nick,

    The “Law of Sarah” doesn’t exist in any sense within the LDS church’s monogamous, ancestor-shaming, public-relations-driven image. That law can only exist in the context of plural marriage, ergo, YOUR marriage is every bit as “invalid” as you claim same-sex marriages to be.

    The law of Sarah is fully in force in the church, but only activates under polygamy. See my #1 comment above about the practice of monogamy being as lawful (and thus valid) in the church as polygamy.

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  17. Justin on June 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    LDSA [#6]:

    Your example about covenants, contracts, oaths, etc. made amongst people for the duration of their lives:

    So, for example, if me and two other men covenant to take your property and divide it amongst ourselves, against your will, that is not a valid, lawful, binding covenant. Even if our man-made laws recognized it as perfectly legal, it would still be theft.

    had one error — you introduced an unwilling participant, i.e., the person having their property taken. This doesn’t match-up with what I’m talking about as it relates to same-gender couples having legal recognition as a “married couple” [since that arrangement has no unwilling participants].

    dara [#13]:

    I’ve read and re-read the scriptures and what the Brethren have to say on this issue — and feel that you can’t twist it around and make “it” [I'm presuming your "it" refers to same-gender couples] something grotesque, when it’s not.

    No one is “changing the definition of marriage” for one group changes so as to affect everybody else. I was talking about taking what we call “marriage” and getting away from associating it with same-gender pairings — and instead associating it with fidelitious, committed, fulfilling, loving, cooperative-unions between consenting adults. And,

    I think LDS are unique in the position of being able to associate marriage covenants with fidelity, cooperation, commitment, service, intimacy, fellowship, emotional fulfillment, and companionship — without needing them to be hetero- and monogamous.

    And I think we can associate “the family” with greater purposes than reproducing children to fill-up the earth. And while I think that marriage has a God-given “purpose” — I think it needs to be better associated with people having happy, loving, consensual, and faithful cooperative-unions. If anything’s an “abomination”, it’s not homosexuality — it’s unions where people are taken advantage of, abused, lied to, cheated on, etc. That should be illegal. That should be a sin.

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  18. Justin on June 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    LDSA [#16]:

    In re: D&C 132,

    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 …

    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.

    If a person makes a covenant, contract, bond, oath, or vow — if they take an obligation upon themself — create a connection or association — or have some expectation, then that is of power or efficacy for [at least] the duration of this life. This is because it is a gospel principle that we stick to our word and keep the oaths that we enter into with free consent and according to our agency.

    You’re right about this section talking about permanence in these things — because I think its point is that should people want any of their valid/binding contracts, oaths, associations, etc. to remain in power, efficacy, force, etc. in and after the resurrection — then they better figure out what God’s pattern for that thing is and organize theirselves according to His word and His law.

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  19. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    This doesn’t match-up with what I’m talking about as it relates to same-gender couples having legal recognition as a “married couple” [since that arrangement has no unwilling participants].

    Yes, it does. The Lord is the unwilling participant.

    When I was a missionary, we always used the analogy of a police officer to explain priesthood. We’d ask if it was legal to go around dressed up as a police officer and start issuing citations, when we really weren’t cops and what would happen to the person who went to pay the ticket. Was the ticket valid? No. And what would happen to us, dressed up as cops? We’d be arrested on the charges of impersonating an officer of the law.

    In like manner, lawful marriage is ordained by God, even marriage between atheists. They may not believe it or accept the truth of the matter, but there is a third party involved, nonetheless, which allows them to come together and not sin during sexual intercourse. But “same-sex civil marriage” is not ordained of God, because it cannot be lawful (according to the law of God), and therefore He is not a party to it. Should they engage in sexual intercourse, they still break the law of chastity. But even if they remain celibate, by making the claim that what they have is a marriage, they are impersonating a marriage, so to speak.

    It’s a form of extortion, bringing the Lord into an agreement or covenant in which He does not participate. Even if you say you don’t believe in the Lord, the very fact that you are using, or claiming to use, His ordination (marriage), you are invoking the Lord.

    We say that the State is a third party in civil marriages, but this is not correct. The State is a fourth party. The Lord is the first party. The couple are the second and third parties. A minister that marries a couple could also be considered a fourth party. What makes “same-sex civil marriage” a perversion is that God is altogether taken out of the equation and replaced with the State. The State becomes God, moving from fourth party to first party and invokes His authority to ordain marriage. But because it has no authority to ordain marriage between people of the same sex, it becomes guilty of impersonating an Officer. In the case of ministers who join same-sex couples together, they become the impersonators.

    Civil unions invoke no such condemnations because they are not imitations of marriage. They are merely lawful agreements. But the instant you claim marriage, it puts you under the jurisdiction of the Lord’s marriage laws. The Lord cannot be separated from His marriage ordinance. This is why “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” The Lord is always a party to the marriage arrangement. But imitation marriage subverts His authority to dictate in these matters, while falsely invoking it. Thus, they become a law unto themselves and must face the consequence of their mockery.

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  20. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    If a person makes a covenant, contract, bond, oath, or vow — if they take an obligation upon themself — create a connection or association — or have some expectation, then that is of power or efficacy for [at least] the duration of this life.

    Only insofar as it was lawful. In other words, only insofar as it does not violate the laws of God.

    This is because it is a gospel principle that we stick to our word and keep the oaths that we enter into with free consent and according to our agency.

    Yes, but if the oath we’ve taken is to perform some bit of iniquity, the gospel requires repentance, not that we keep the unlawful obligation. The reason is because of the three sources of power: God, men and the devil. Even an evil conspiracy has power and efficacy to accomplish some evil work, which comes of the evil one, who empowers the agreement, but the covenant has no legitimacy, whatsoever. Same goes with the powers given to men. They are legitimate only insofar as they do not trample upon the laws of God. Consider the Talking to myself post. Or consider D&C 132:18. All parts of that covenant are valid, except the “and for all eternity” part. Why? Because no one has authority to pass the bounds that God has set, not even an earthly government. The same principle applies equally to “same-sex civil marriage.”

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  21. Brian on June 5, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    “Declaring your own pitifully tiny religious minority the one true arbiter of civil law…”

    I love you, Nick.

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  22. Nick LiterskiN on June 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    #16:
    The law of Sarah is fully in force in the [presumably LDS??] church, but only activates under polygamy.

    ROTFLOL!!!! Are you sure you’re not talking about some new church you’re organizing, “Prophet LDS Anarchist?”

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  23. Nick Literski on June 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    #19:
    In the case of ministers who join same-sex couples together, they become the impersonators.

    Unlike you, “Prophet LDS Anarchist,” I am, in fact, an ordained minister, authorized both ecclesiastically and by civil law to officiate legally binding wedding ceremonies. I have officiated for a number of same-sex couples. In each case, I can testify that the Spirit has borne strong witness that these unions are empowered and blessed by deity. There are simply no words to adequately describe the spiritual power accompanying these unions. That direct witness of divine approbation will trump your fearful rantings every time.

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  24. LDS Anarchist on June 5, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    More on the Lord as the first party. There is the Lord’s statement recorded in Matthew and Mark:

    what
    therefore
    god hath joined together
    let not man put asunder

    Thus, every marriage between a man and a woman, regardless of whether it is sealed in the temple or not, regardless of how secular it or the parties involved are, is a union joined by God. This statement only applies to man-woman unions (marriage). That is the context. Here’s the full quote:

    and the pharisees came to him
    and asked him

    is it lawful for a man to put away his wife

    tempting him
    and he answered
    and said unto them

    what did moses command you

    and they said

    moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement
    and to put her away

    and jesus answered
    and said unto them

    for the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept
    but from the beginning of the creation god made them male and female
    for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother
    and cleave to his wife
    and they twain shall be one flesh
    so then they are no more twain but one flesh
    what
    therefore
    god hath joined together
    let not man put asunder

    We have no justification to say that male-male unions or female-female unions are also joined by God. In fact, the counsel given by Paul, for unmarried people who are tempted to engage in sexual intercourse is to marry someone of the opposite sex:

    now
    concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me
    saying

    it is good for a man not to touch a woman

    nevertheless
    i say

    to avoid fornication
    let every man have his own wife
    and let every woman have her own husband

    (JST 1 Cor. 7:1-2)

    So, marriage in always spoken of in heterosexual terms, not because these were the customs of the times, but because this is the ordination given to man from the beginning by God.

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  25. Justin on June 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    So LDSA — what’s your opinion on this specific part of what I wrote in the OP:

    I think [despite what evangelical Americans will suggest] that the scriptures are largely silent on the issue homosexual relationships. The scriptures that do condemn “men lying with men as with a woman”, etc. refer more to the practice of either:

    sex-rituals [as in, not among married couples]
    using anal sex to show “domination” or “subjugation” over a conquered group
    the physical lust for the pleasure of the sex-act

    So it’s possible that those scriptures are condemning those behaviors — not “homosexuality” as such. As Stephen Fry is explaining in the quote above, homosexuality as a sexual orientation and same-gender relationships based on marriage covenants of fidelity between same-gender couples simply did not exist until relatively recently.

    Specifically in re: to the scriptures condemning homosexual relations because they referred to acts among non-married couples, rape, or physical lust?

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  26. zo-ma-rah on June 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    I have to disagree with the image. Marriage is not about love. There are plenty of marriage around that world that are arranged and do not have our western idea of romantic love. I think it is extremely ethnocentric to invalidate these forms of marriage by claiming that marriage “is about Love.”

    As far as the discussion is concerned I agree with the anarchist’s here that the government must get out of marriage. If the government can get out of marriage it will give freedom back to the individuals to decide what forms of marriage to accept or reject which is within their rights to do so.

    Nick Literski, are you the Nick Literski that “George Miller” of Mormonism and Freemasonry fame speaks so highly of? I’m surprised to see your Ad Hominem attacks against LDS Anarchist.

    I agree with LDS Anarchist that homosexual marriage is not theologically compatible with the Mormon view of marriage. I view gender complementarity an essential aspect of marriage in the eternities.

    Logically LDS Anarchist’s view that “Now, a civil marriage is not a rights issue, since a marriage license is a revokable privilege, and can and has been regulated from time to time.” is correct. Regardless of what the Supreme Court may have ruled. The very definition of license means that is may be revoked. If it may be revoked it is not a right. Is a driver’s license a right?

    However if we take marriage out of the government’s hands and put it back into the people’s hands, then it will allow for the multicultural nature of our society. People like LDS Anarchist can preach repentance against those relationships which he views as unlawful(God’s laws) and those was want to have their homosexual marriages can have them.

    You might say this is a problem it will require a massive reconstruction of the legislation of our country. However I think that this is both necessary and inevitable. As the American Empire collapses we have the unique opportunity of rebuilding society. We can either rebuild it in favor of liberty or tyranny.

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  27. James on June 5, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    So Justin,

    What’s your opinion of an eternal homosexual relationship? Or, an eternal relationship with children? BIC?

    Or, do you see it as a temporary relationship in light of the doctrine of Eternal Lives?

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  28. Justin on June 6, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    James [#27]:
    As far as my personal theological convictions — methinks that all homosexual marriage relationships will end at death, meaning I don’t believe they’ll continue in and after the resurrection. It’s just I’m completely live-and-let-live on the for-time arrangements — as long as consent is honored and all parties feel emotionally fulfilled and are cared for.

    And I’m of a mind that this topic is only a hot-button issue because we’ve allowed the state to “license” marriages — as though we needed legal permission to marry. If we’re going to keep the state involved in marriages — then it needs to apply equally to hetero-, homo-, monogamous, polygynous, and polyandrous couples [that's simply equality under the law]. Either that or we need to get the state entirely out of the business of formalizing marriage-unions and ascribing civil benefits and privileges to people who can get the “license”.

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  29. S on June 6, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    On a temporal level, I, too, think the government should get out of the marriage license business. Let people, of whatever sex and in whatever combination, contract as they see fit. However, taking that position might be wrong headed with respect to the spiritual salvation of God’s children. As Saints, I think we believe that governments are “good” structures that support the basic units of the church — the family. LDSA, and perhaps Justin, might want or foresee a time where we drift to a tribal society. (I’ve perused LDSA’s site before.) However, that does not seem to be what God wants at this time, or I presume 15 prophets, seers and revelators wouldn’t be working so hard to discourage SSM. Now, if you don’t think the FP and Q12 are inspired leaders, then all this discussion with respect to church doctrine and beliefs is academic. But if we’re going to be secular, then there’s not much reason to outlaw prostitution, drugs, and any number of “moral” laws that have their roots in Judeo-Christian mores. Take prostitution. If a woman (or man) wants to have sex with 5 partners a night, it’s not illegal. But if she wants to charge $50 a pop, it is? If a woman is in a relationship wherein she provides sex but is lavashed with gifts, that’s not illegal. But if her lover pays her in cash, that might be considered prostitution? Anyway, that “live and let live” is good in theory. In practice, it’s logical extension would encourage even more unrighteous behavior, which we, as Saints, would not want. I, for one, don’t want the sins of this generation on my head.

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  30. Justin on June 6, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    S [#29]:

    Anyway, that “live and let live” is good in theory. In practice, it’s logical extension would encourage even more unrighteous behavior, which we, as Saints, would not want. I, for one, don’t want the sins of this generation on my head.

    I think that if a group of people actually believes that heterosexual family coupling is a “better” or “preferred” or “natural order” for marriage — then how could they ever hope convince anyone else of that by villainizing their experience of sexuality, illegalizing their home-life, and condemning their feelings and experiences of love as being offensive to God?

    I think you can be a heteronormative group who believes in the Natural Law purpose of marriage being about procreation — and still be able to accept people who choose celibacy, reach-out and support people who struggle with infertility, as well as recognize the genuinely good families that same-gender couples are capable of being.

    In re: to the State being “in” or “out of” the business of solemnizing relationships,

    I’d ideally like to see any two people who choose to agree to live together as a marriage couple be able to have their bond formalized however they see fit and then be able to declare that such a covenant has taken place publicly/officially. They could apply for a notarized declaration that such a covenant took place to receive civil benefits — or they could choose not to do that.

    I mean — a “license” is legal permission to do that which would otherwise be illegal. Should the State have interest in certifying that a marriage covenant has taken place between two people [for property rights, child custody, etc.]? Sure. But dictating what that ought to look like and then charging for the legal “permission” to do it? Not so much.

    So I guess that’d be close to what LDSA was saying about “civil unions”. There would just be a legal certification that a couple considers themselves married and is acting accordingly. That’s about as far as I think the State should need to get into the whole business.

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  31. Nick Literski on June 6, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    I’m surprised to see your Ad Hominem attacks against LDS Anarchist.

    Admittedly, I should probably be more compassionate with “LDS Anarchist.” The fact remains, however, that he’s making absolutist declarations that aren’t even in harmony with LDS teachings. His scriptural exegesis is a bizarre combination of (a) claiming “the scriptures” say things that aren’t actually in them, and (b) outrageously strained “logic.” He sounds far more like some of the fundamentalist Mormon would-be “prophets” I’ve encountered, than any genuine faithful LDS member.

    When he uses such outlandish, bizarre declarations to support his preference of denying a group of citizens equal treatment under the law, it’s difficult not to openly mock him. You’re right, though–I ought to take the higher road.

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  32. Justin on June 6, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    LDSA,

    [#6] A marriage covenant is scripturally defined as always being between a man and a woman.

    Yes — everything that is said in the scriptures about “defining” a marriage covenant is tied back to the prototypical story of Adam and Eve. But you could use that same “scriptural definition” to say that a marriage covenant is only proper/moral when it is monogamous [which is what all the other Christians do].

    [#1] In other words, either marriage is or is not divine (God ordained). If divine, then what makes a marriage a marriage in the eyes of God?

    Fair question – either “marriage” is given its essence by “formal relation” [i.e., not the materials, but how they’re put together], or it’s about “the materials” [i.e., only a biological male and a biological female].

    Obviously, the traditional view is that certain kinds of materials are specially-fitted to only receive certain forms — such that its “matter” is essential to its accessibility to the “form”. But you’d still have to clarify what exactly the form of marriage is — what is the arrangement we’re trying to produce with “marriage”, or:

    * what’s God’s design for getting adults together into families is really all about?

    * and what is He wanting us to do/foster in human society by organizing ourselves this way?

    The Natural Law defense is the most common I hear, which states that the form involves reproduction. But I think that’s highly antiquated and does not reflect what we’re really doing when we desire marriage with another person.

    Or you could say that the unique form of marriage is love – or the realization of your True-Self through a cooperative relationship that allows you to develop and find fulfillment. But then what do we do with folks who genuinely and thoughtfully feel it impossible for them to realize their core identity and sexual development with a partner who is the opposite gender? I’m sure people will want to just say that they’re “mistaken” or “deceived”. But why? Because a patriarchal, heteronormative culture of Judean sheepherders received the word of God thousands of years ago and – guess what – received it in terms of patriarchal, heteronormative families?

    I just don’t think that without a new revelation [specifically addressing fidelitous same-gender families that would spell it out in clearer terms] I can agree on the “form” or “purpose” of marriage being anything other than forming relationship pairings filled with fidelity, cooperation, commitment, service, intimacy, fellowship, emotional fulfillment, and companionship. And I think that [barring a new revelation that changes my mind] LDS are the ones in a unique position for getting us away from traditional Christianity’s antiquated views regurgitated from a set of revelations they didn’t receive – and associating “marriage” with people having happy, loving, consensual, and faithful cooperative-unions – and presenting a family doctrine of chaste, fidelitous sexual ethics [whether families are hetero-, homo-, monogamous, or poly-].

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  33. LDS Anarchist on June 6, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Justin #25,

    There are only a few scriptures, all of them in the Bible, that refer to homosexual behavior. For example, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10 and Romans 1:27.

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination. (JST Lev. 18:22)

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (JST Lev. 20:13)

    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (JST 1 Cor. 6:9-10)

    But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (JST 1 Tim. 1:8-11)

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature; and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Rom. 1:26-27)

    First, if you are getting these interpretative ideas from some person or persons you have read (a book), heard (an audio file) or watched (a video presentation), I’d appreciate you giving me the references so I can review the interpretative source. If, however, this interpretation is entirely your own, I’d appreciate it if you give me the verses in question, the interpretation that fits, and your reasoning. It is hard to give an opinion on ‘scriptures that do condemn “men lying with men as with a woman”’ without addressing the specific scriptures referred to.

    However, just as a matter of equal application, if we take it as a principle that the scriptures condemn “men lying with men as with a woman,” then this would be a condemnation of “same-sex civil or religious marriage.” Why? Because men lie with woman they are not married to and men also lie with women they are married to. So, this would condemn both homosexual acts outside of “same-sex civil or religious marriage,” as well as homosexual acts within “same-sex civil or religious marriage.”

    Of course, if there really is no such thing as “homosexual marriage” in the eyes of God, then this puts all homosexual acts squarely outside of the bounds of marriage, regardless of any covenant two men may have taken. Their covenant of marriage, being unlawful, cannot bind God to acknowledge its legitimacy by being a party to it.

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  34. Justin on June 6, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    LDSA [#33],

    (1) We can toss out both of those scriptures from Leviticus out right — since we are not of the tribe of Levi, and since I don’t think you are going to suggest that we likewise follow the rest of Leviticus [e.g., not eating shrimp or bacon, not wearing mixed fiber clothing, and that we should begin prosecuting its enumeration of capital crimes]. Let’s just look at only the NT ones then.

    (2) What’s being assumed by using 1 Corinthians 6:9 is that the adults in same-gender families are “abusing themselves with mankind”. If their relationship is not abusive, then wouldn’t it be fair to say that their relationship is not being listed in Paul’s statement here? I could agree that the unrighteous ones would include those who “abuse”.

    (3) Same with 1 Timothy 1:8-11. Again, I find it very likely that when the author of 1 Timothy wrote, “defiling themselves with mankind” that they were not referring to what today’s same-gender couples desiring the legal license to marry are doing. Rather — it’s more likely to do with the cultural practices of the time, e.g.,

    * pagan sex-rituals [as in, not among married couples]

    * using anal rape to show “domination” or “subjugation” over another

    * people who were reveling in their physical lust for the physical pleasure of the sex-act

    (4) In Romans 1:26-27, you’re highlighting the reference to: “their women changing the natural use into that which is against nature; and likewise also their men, leaving the natural use of the woman” — but that’s missing the fact that what was condemnable was that these people, “burned in their lust one toward another.” Such that lust is the vile affection, not same-gender relationships as such.

    In re: to,

    First, if you are getting these interpretative ideas from some person or persons you have read (a book), heard (an audio file) or watched (a video presentation)

    I was not using anything specific — but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen refutations of the “scriptural condemnations of gay-ness” online before. I’m sure those could probably go into more detail on exegesis of the references. But, all-in-all — you selected pretty much the scriptures I had in mind when I wrote, “scriptures that do condemn ‘men lying with men as with a woman’”.

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  35. Nick Literski on June 6, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Of course, the same book compilation that “Prophet LDS Anarchist” quotes out of context from, also discusses slavery. It doesn’t condemn slavery. It tells you how to own slaves. Brilliant guidance for beyond the Bronze Age!

    However, just as a matter of equal application, if we take it as a principle that the scriptures condemn “men lying with men as with a woman,” then this would be a condemnation of “same-sex civil or religious marriage.” Why? Because men lie with woman they are not married to and men also lie with women they are married to. So, this would condemn both homosexual acts outside of “same-sex civil or religious marriage,” as well as homosexual acts within “same-sex civil or religious marriage.”

    AND, if you take any random series of 19 pages in the Bible, you can find an “P” on the first page, a “R” on the second page, and so on, until you spell out “PROPHET LDS ANARCHIST”! I’ts a divine mandate, I’m tellin’ ya!

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  36. Nick Literski on June 6, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    “…for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.”
    ~~~Joseph Smith, demonstrating how “Prophet LDS Anarchist’s”
    bizarre exegesis fails to make any useful points at all.

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  37. LDS Anarchist on June 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Justin #32,

    Everything that is said in the scriptures about “defining” a marriage covenant is tied back to the prototypical story of Adam and Eve.

    That is true only insofar as you bind yourself down to only the Bible. But I ain’t no Christian, so I’ll use the full Mormon canon, which has two sources of marriage patterns: Adam & Eve and also Abraham & Sarah. The four canonical books allow monogamy, polygyny, polyandry and multihusband-multiwife, but they still don’t allow “same-sex civil or religious or personal marriage.” (I thought I’d add “personal” to cover all bases, in case there are those who try to make a personal marriage covenant without using the State or any minister.)

    It is most definitely about the materials, that’s why every woman you have ever been with sexually will need to have that marriage union sealed by a temple sealer. Just as the ancients who screwed around had to take the women they were married to in their one night stands as their wife, the principle always shows itself as the materials. Take a woman as your wife but don’t have sex with her ever. Never consummate it. Never become “one flesh.” Are you two married? Nope. Go to a judge and ask for an annulment, explaining the situation that there was never any consummation and he’ll hand you an annulment pronto ’cause there never was any marriage.

    The marriage covenant pertains to the “taking of a wife.” It is always in the context of a man taking a wife. This is why homosexual unions can only be a perversion of the right ways of the Lord.

    There is no man without man plus woman. Thus, two men together, or two women together, does not a whole man make. Marriage is about completion, or about making a man and a woman “a whole man,” patterned after the image of God, to give Him glory. “In the image of God, male and female, created He them.” The taking of a wife is about making the completion permanent. None of these gospel principles have any application to same sex unions.

    What do we do with folks who genuinely and thoughtfully feel it impossible for them to realize their core identity and sexual development with a partner who is the opposite gender?

    That’s a separate issue altogether. That should not play any part in this discussion, whatsoever, because we are not talking about a man-made institution, but a God-given ordinance, so God’s will takes all the precedence when dealing with marriage. He’s got jurisdiction over this thing. No one has any right to abridge His authority and trample upon His rights to appoint marriage as He sees fit simply because some are unhappy about it. In other words, it is not our place to attempt to pervert God’s ordinance just because some desire that we change it to suit their preferences. There is no difference between this situation and Pahoran’s.

    If fact, taking this further–and spoken partly for Nick’s sake, since he takes me as a prophet, so I might as well prophesy, right? lol–this will be one of the sins of the apostate latter-saints of the future, as written in D&C 1:15, even the straying from ordinances.

    Once we establish what marriage is (heterosexual) and what it isn’t (homosexual) then we can go about dealing with “what do we do about them?” questions, without desecrating God’s sacred ordinance.

    Now, while I’m at it, let me address another part of your post.

    The only things that matter are sins of the spirit. In that sense Oscar was quite religious.

    That’s what so ironic — the religious complain about sins of the flesh, but sins of the flesh are not the kind of thing that Christ would object to.

    There is no essential difference between flesh and spirit, Justin. Therefore, Christ would object even to sins of the flesh. I may have to expound upon this in a separate post sometime. What you do in the flesh is done in the spirit and what you do in the spirit is done in the flesh. We are given these divisions only so that we can have some semblance of understanding, but flesh and spirit is essentially the same spiritual stuff. Our flesh is as much a part of our nature as is our spirit.

    verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual (D&C 29:34)

    Yes, even flesh.

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  38. LDS Anarchist on June 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Justin #34,

    (1) We can toss out both of those scriptures from Leviticus out right — since we are not of the tribe of Levi, and since I don’t think you are going to suggest that we likewise follow the rest of Leviticus [e.g., not eating shrimp or bacon, not wearing mixed fiber clothing, and that we should begin prosecuting its enumeration of capital crimes]. Let’s just look at only the NT ones then.

    No, we can’t toss out Leviticus 18 and 20. Those chapters were spoken “unto the children of Israel” (ch. 18) and “to the children of Israel” (ch. 20), which, of course, includes all 12 tribes. They have application, then, to you and me, if the principles within them were not fulfilled by Christ. The question, then, is were these principles fulfilled by Christ?

    We know that many of the principles still apply, such as the ones condemning incest, adultery, child sacrifice, taking the Lord’s name in vain, etc. And some of the principles do not apply, such as the instructions found in Lev. 20 about what to do about these transgressions: death, death, and more death.

    So, we can’t categorically throw out these two chapters, because the verses in question may not be specific to the law of Moses, which was fulfilled by Christ, but may contain eternal principles that may still apply even under the more excellent law of Christ.

    Does this make sense?

    How should one approach this dilemma?

    Should one approach it from the perspective that it must not have been fulfilled by Christ, and thus is still in force, unless there is NT evidence showing it was fulfilled?

    Or from the perspective that it must have been fulfilled by Christ, and thus is no longer in force, unless there is NT evidence showing it was not fulfilled?

    Either way you look at it, the NT is the second witness needed to determine whether the Lev. verses are still applicable today. If the NT speaks positively towards homosexuality, then we can say the Lev. verses have been fulfilled. If the NT speaks negatively towards homosexuality, then we can say that the Lev. verses have not been fulfilled, but are eternal principles as applicable today as anciently. Either way, Leviticus must not be tossed away.

    (2) What’s being assumed by using 1 Corinthians 6:9 is that the adults in same-gender families are “abusing themselves with mankind”. If their relationship is not abusive, then wouldn’t it be fair to say that their relationship is not being listed in Paul’s statement here? I could agree that the unrighteous ones would include those who “abuse”.

    Isn’t all sin self-abuse, though? Couldn’t the scripture have been written thusly and still remain true?

    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither abusers of themselves with fornication, nor abusers of themselves with idolatry, nor abusers of themselves with adultery, nor abusers of themselves with effeminiteness, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor abusers of themselves with theft, nor abusers of themselves with covetousness, nor abusers of themselves with drunkenness, nor abusers of themselves with revelry, nor abusers of themselves with extortion, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    The idea that it is that these relationships are abusive which is the sinful part seems a strained interpretation, since all sin involves self abuse. Also, such an interpretation requires abuse of the other person, but the verse is talking about self-abuse, not abuse of another person.

    Exactly how does someone abuse themself by having sex with another person? Is this condemning gay masochistic sex, while straight masochistic sex is okay? Doesn’t such an interpretation seem strained? Yet, Paul is obviously writing about self-abuse during gay sex. Doesn’t it make more logical (less strained) sense that Paul is emphasizing the abusive nature of the gay sex act, that it cannot be done in righteousness, at all, unlike straight sex which has marriage provisions that allow it to be performed in righteousness?

    So, this scripture, taken at face value, paints homosexual sex in a bad light, seemingly confirming that Lev. 18:22 has not been fulfilled by Christ.

    (3) Same with 1 Timothy 1:8-11.

    And what I wrote about the Corinthian scripture applies equally to Timothy. The emphasis on “abusing” or “defiling” is an interpretative emphasis on the spiritual and not carnal nature of sin, but you cannot separate the two, according to Mormon scripture.

    Now, if you are still unconvinced, consider the abusing others and self-abuse argument again. Can you really say these verses are talking about abusing others? If not, then, what form of self-abuse is Paul talking about? What is the most natural meaning that can be arrived at?

    (4) In Romans 1:26-27, you’re highlighting the reference to: “their women changing the natural use into that which is against nature; and likewise also their men, leaving the natural use of the woman” — but that’s missing the fact that what was condemnable was that these people, “burned in their lust one toward another.” Such that lust is the vile affection, not same-gender relationships as such.

    Righteous Warriors did a pretty good analysis of that scripture. You can read it here:

    http://www.righteouswarriors.com/controversial/article8.html

    Regardless of what Righteous Warriors says about female-female relations, though, two females that enter into “same-sex civil or religious or personal marriage” put themselves within the jurisdiction of God’s revealed marriage laws and thus come under condemnation for perverting it. It would be better for them to just live together, unmarried.

    Anyway, back on the topic of Romans, using the lust-as-the-real-sin perspective is still a there-are-no-sins-of-the-flesh perspective, which is erroneous. It also allows me to sleep with my neighbors wife as long as there is no lust or any other spiritual sin involved. Obviously that and other scenarios which could be imagined are absurd, but this is where such thinking can (and will–prophetically spoken again for Nick’s enjoyment–) lead.

    The truth of the matter is that there are both sins of the spirit and sins of the flesh. As the spirit and the body are connected, there will always be a corresponding reaction in the other part of us. In other words, imagine up some erotic scene in your mind, and your flesh will start reacting as if it was really happening. Put yourself physically in some such situation, and your spirit will also begin feeling the same.

    I suppose we could take this even deeper, but I think I’ll stop for now.

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  39. Justin on June 6, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    LDSA [#38]:

    I’ll just reply to your remarks about the spiritual/physical distinction.

    Obviously, yes — wherever the body goes, the spirit goes along — “all spirit is matter”, etc. However, the sense in which I was speaking relates to getting too focused on the physical nature of a thing as the identifying mark of it being sin/not-sin [e.g., two male gendered persons are involved, certain bodily orifices are involved] — rather than on the inner/spiritual nature of it [e.g., is it an unhealthy, abusive union or a fulfilling, cooperative one]. Or, the

    outwardly-observable behaviors of the flesh — when the only things that really matter are state of the spirit or the heart.

    I was speaking about the character of an arrangement — instead of focusing on the components making it up. Meaning I guess I betray my own position on the question I raised in #32 — in that I favor the belief that “marriage” is given its essence by “formal relation” more so than “the materials” making it up.

    I think you’re too quick to say: if it’s two men then it can’t be a “marriage”, like that’s the be-all-and-end-all line. Whereas, I don’t so much care what the arrangement and number of adults in a marriage family is — I’d rather we place the line on something more important, like if people cheat it can’t be a “marriage”, if people lie it can’t be “marriage”, if people abuse their spouse or fail to provide for their spouses physical and emotional needs it can’t be “marriage”. I’m completely live-and-let-live on the for-time arrangements administered by the state — as long as consent is honored and all parties feel emotionally fulfilled and are cared for. I mean, if we don’t think God recognizes their unions then we just shouldn’t solemnize their marriages in our temples. And then just leave them the heck alone.

    Whether or not I think [theologically] that God will recognize any same-gender marriages in and after the resurrection [which, as I said to James in #28, "methinks that all homosexual marriage relationships will end at death], barring a new revelation that specifically addresses fidelitous same-gender families that spells this all out in explicit terms — I think it’s best to say that we think the “purpose” of marriage is about forming relationship pairings where people are surrounded by fidelity, cooperation, commitment, service, intimacy, fellowship, emotional fulfillment, and companionship.

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  40. LDS Anarchist on June 7, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Justin #39,

    Marriage as an ordinance of the gospel

    If you look at the various ordinances of the gospel–such as baptism, the various laying on of hands for setting apart, priesthood ordination, confirmation (for the gift of the Holy Ghost), blessings of comfort and healing, etc., prayer, consecration of oil and graves, temple dedications and all the ordinances of the house of the Lord–some of these ordinances occur outside of a priesthood, or church-based, framework.

    For example, prayer is an ordinance of the gospel that everyone has access to, whether or not they pertain to the church and whether or not they have priesthood rights. Everyone born into this world is already pre-authorized to invoke the name of the Lord in prayer, calling upon God the Father in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

    Not so, though, with baptism. If you are baptized in another church, by a minister’s authority, you must get re-baptized into our church by our priesthood authority.

    However, if you are married outside of the church, and then enter into the church and go to the temple, you are not re-married by priesthood authority, but your marriage is merely confirmed by the priesthood, so that it may remain beyond death, to be later confirmed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

    This shows that some ordinances are ordained for all God’s children, while others are ordained only for God’s church.

    With this view and understanding in mind, marriage, all marriage, whether it happens within or without the church, is gospel jurisdiction and, as an ordinance of the gospel, it is our duty as saints of God to do all in our power to see that this ordinance is not altered or changed, or strayed from.

    All ordinances of the gospel have a prescribed rite. If not so, it would be impossible to stray from or change an ordinance. In other words, there must be a way to pervert an ordinance. For example, baptizing an infant = perversion, sprinkling people for baptism = perversion, praying to an idol = perversion, “marrying” two men = perversion. Anything and everything outside of a prescribed rite’s bounds is a perversion of that rite. Unauthorized changes to a rite are perversions. The only one authorized to change God’s rites is the Author of the rite Himself.

    Everything ordained has also been foreordained in the heavens, but since the scripture says, “marriage is ordained (not foreordained) of God”, we know that this is talking of an earthly, not heavenly, ordination.

    When did this ordination occur, in which all mankind was given authority to divide two-by-two in opposite sex marriage pairs? Who knows? Maybe before the Fall, maybe after it (which is my bet), but without a doubt this ordinance was given here on earth to the posterity of Adam. Which is why we do not re-marry people in the temple, instead we merely make their already valid marriages more permanent.

    One more thing: the saying, “whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God”, does not apply to same-sex unions because such are not marriages. So, in their case it is entirely appropriate to encourage gay couples not to enter into “same-sex civil or religious or personal marriage.”

    If you accept “same-sex marriage” as legitimate marriage, ordained of God, then the logical extension is that temple sealings must of necessity apply equally to such unions. If such unions are valid, and not perversion, then anyone in such unions can get baptized, priesthood and everything else. Nothing can be withheld from them, no gospel blessing, because such unions are not sin, but “ordained of God.” This is the logical extension of this thought.

    Are you okay with that?

    Also, the arguments you made in favor of homosexual behavior, but against abuse, defiling and lust, are entirely apart from marriage. In other words, someone could take those same arguments and make a case for homosexual behavior being perfectly okay outside of the bounds of marriage, just as long as there is no abuse, lust, defiling, etc. Your assertion of a marriage requirement is arbitrary, based on your belief that people ought to be married before engaging in sexual relations, for the scriptures mention nothing about okay-ing homosexual behavior within a marriage framework.

    Again, are you okay with two unmarried, loving men having sex with each other? Do you consider that a sin or not? If it is not a sin because they love each other, then why is it a sin for a loving, unmarried man and a loving, unmarried woman to have sex with each other?

    I favor the belief that “marriage” is given its essence by “formal relation” more so than “the materials” making it up.

    But does this bear out in reality? Consider the woman who wrote Sex as Nature Intended It. She was married to a circumcised man, then had an affair with an intact man. Because she was more completely joined to her lover, she felt “more married” to him than to her husband. Yet she loved her husband, but that loving feeling could not compete with the feeling of completeness she felt with the other man. The “formal relations” part is a mental/heart matter, in other words, spirit without body. But “the materials” part is both body and spirit, for spirit is in body. The material establishes a more complete connection than just the covenant. It’s the difference between God looking out into the Nothing and seeing what He imagines there, a plan of a future reality, and Him creating the thing in flesh within the Universe.

    Marriage is both formal relational covenant (the spiritual plan to connect) and material connection, but if we must choose which of the two is more of the essence of marriage, surely the material creation must win out.

    I understand the need to emphasize honesty, integrity and other noble principles in marriage, but if you leave out the other parts of marriage (the two halves becoming “one flesh”, or a whole man, unifying male and female into the singular man), then you will miss out on the actual purpose of marriage. In other words, you can have fidelity, cooperation, commitment, service, intimacy, fellowship, emotional fulfillment, and companionship between two people of the same gender, but they will not fulfill their creation to be in the image of God. Marriage is an ordinance of exaltation, not of salvation. Its purpose is to allow us to become like God, which requires man + woman, for that is the image of God, not man alone, not woman alone, not two men together, not two women together. So, reducing the purpose of marriage to your list of virtues over-simplifies the ordinance.

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  41. LDS Anarchist on June 7, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Justin, this post and the one you put on the LDSA blog have the first block quote different. I’m no longer sure where Stephen Fry’s words end and yours begins…

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  42. LDS Anarchist on June 7, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    These are the last three paragraphs of an article entitled, Three important perspectives on same-sex marriage, posted on a Catholic web site on April 17 of this year.

    So if the advocates of same-sex marriage control the terms of the debate, and the drive toward acceptance of homosexual alliances is unstoppable, what comes next? Masha Gessen, an influential and intelligent lesbian activist, recently told a radio audience that the acceptance of same-sex marriage “is a no-brainer.” But then, letting the cat out of the bag, she added that “I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.”

    In pushing for acceptance of same-sex unions, Gessen explained, “we lie that the institute of marriage is not going to change.” Of course it will change, she says. “I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally.” In their candid moments, the most astute homosexual activists acknowledge that their goal is not to gain access to the benefits that heterosexual married couples have enjoyed, but to abolish those benefits entirely.

    So we come full circle, back to Dreher’s point about the Christian understanding of marriage. The fundamental question facing America today is not which people should be allowed to marry. The question is what marriage is. We, as a society, might ultimately decide to restore the Christian understanding of marriage. Or we might settle for the age-old pagan version, based on natural law, upon which the Christian understanding is based. Or we might accede to the most radical demands, and jettison the notion of legal marriage entirely—with results that would guarantee the collapse of our civilization. What we cannot do is continue pretending that we all understand what marriage is, and we’re only arguing about the details of wording on the legal documents.

    Although I have been able to discern that there is an evil agenda in this push for legalization of “same-sex marriage,” I’ve not been able to answer the “what’s next” question. Nevertheless, I’m certain there are other aspects of this plan that come after legalization. Gessen’s comment is probably not the full picture. But it’s good to see people taking notice that there is more than meets the eye.

    Also, I am glad that this writer acknowledges that “the question is what marriage is.” That is, in fact, the very question that needs a proper answer. And everyone, apparently, has a different answer to it, even Mormons using the same set of scriptures.

    It is also interesting that the author believes that should the State “jettison the notion of legal marriage entirely” it “would guarantee the collapse of our civilization.” So, then we’d go back into (unfortunately, wicked) tribes, right?

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  43. LDS Anarchist on June 7, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    As I am not a part of apostate Christianity, I feel like I ought to use a uniquely Mormon scripture to back up my claims about “same-sex marriage” being a perversion. So, here’s a Mormon scripture, from “the law” of the church:

    Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else. (D&C 42:22)

    Now, this was a commandment, given to the church, applicable to all men, that they were to cleave unto their wives and to none else. Although it does not specifically address homosexuality, adherence to this commandment makes it impossible for homosexual relations to occur in righteousness.

    Another scripture along the same lines is found in Genesis, also given as a commandment:

    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife (Gen. 2:24)

    The Genesis verse, though, allows a loop-hole in that a man might be married to a husband and also to a wife and cleave unto them both, for there is no “and none else” phrase attached.

    Nevertheless, combining the two scriptures, we end up with a commandment to marry a wife (Genesis) and to love her and have sex with only her (the church law). There is no way around this, except to discard these scriptures. Thus, homosexual unions cannot be made in righteousness.

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  44. LDS Anarchist on June 7, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    And here is a scripture showing that there are two parts to this divine union, the covenant and the marriage:

    Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. (D&C 132:15)

    Btw, Justin, I hope you don’t think I’m picking on you. Normally, I just let people sit in their beliefs, but sometimes I will attempt a correction. In your case, I don’t think it would be right for me to remain silent. I think you deserve to have my best reasoning, regardless of what you do with it.

    And just so you know, but not that it matters any, although you wrote,

    I think you’re too quick to say: if it’s two men then it can’t be a “marriage”, like that’s the be-all-and-end-all line.

    I’ve actually been pondering upon this topic for years. In fact, I took my sweet, ever-loving time on purpose, withholding judgment so that I wouldn’t rush into any rash conclusions. And after all these years of thought, I’m finally ready to now say what I’ve written in these comments. And I’m only voicing this now because it is finally clear to me.

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  45. Justin on June 7, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    Justin, this post and the one you put on the LDSA blog have the first block quote different. I’m no longer sure where Stephen Fry’s words end and yours begins…

    It’s correct on the LDS Anarchy blog. Stephen Fry said:

    Interviewer: But did [Oscar] Wilde identify himself as gay?

    Stephen Fry: No, I don’t think he did. He talked about his nature — he was aware of what people’s natures were, to have sex with their own kind. He wasn’t an idiot — he was fully aware there was such a sexual orientation, but the noun “homosexual” did not yet exist in the English language.

    I think Wilde had that advantage that he lived in a time when people were not nouns. You didn’t ascribe labels to them. While he was aware of his nature and never apologized for it, he didn’t shout it from the rooftops in the manner of a modern actor with a Larry Kramer sort of gay sensibility.

    And I think those who try to read that into Oscar won’t find it there. You might as well wonder why Oscar didn’t have a Web site. He was more mature than our age is. I mean, he had very little interest in sins of the flesh, or he realized that it isn’t very important whether you call them sins of the flesh or not. The only things that matter are sins of the spirit. In that sense Oscar was quite religious.

    That’s what so ironic — the religious complain about sins of the flesh, but sins of the flesh are not the kind of thing that Christ would object to. What you do with your penis or your bottom or anything else is so supremely irrelevant in a moral sense. It’s what we do with our personalities and other people that matters.

    I sent this post to MH as a Word document — so there may have been some formatting errors along the way. And then I can’t edit posts on this blog.

    Btw, Justin, I hope you don’t think I’m picking on you. Normally, I just let people sit in their beliefs, but sometimes I will attempt a correction. In your case, I don’t think it would be right for me to remain silent. I think you deserve to have my best reasoning, regardless of what you do with it.

    I don’t think that. I understand where your perspective comes from and I think [as far as I'm concerned] you’ve presented your own views fairly — and they make good sense to me. The theology of it all [God wants opposite-gender pairings] is may same feeling too — you just lose me when we’re talking about: what kinds of behavior the scriptures against homosexuality are actually condemning — and what any of that has to do with whether same-gender couples today should have access to the same state-issued marriage license that hetero- couples get.

    You ask things like:

    Again, are you okay with two unmarried, loving men having sex with each other? Do you consider that a sin or not?

    as though my answer would have any bearing on the current controversy over allowing same-sex couples the same state-issued marriage license and civil benefits that heterosexual couples can get. Now — whether or not anyone considers same-gender sexual relationships a “sin”, and whether one considers their marriage “recognized by God” or not don’t really matter a hill of beans when we’re talking about equal treatment under the law.

    Obviously, I think the best way to fix it is to get the “law” out of the business of charging money for a legal license to call yourself “married” — and maybe just do something like certify/notarize marriages a la the civil union stuff you wrote about. Then religions would be free to solemnize/recognize marriages however they see proper according to the doctrines they accept.

    I’ve actually been pondering upon this topic for years. In fact, I took my sweet, ever-loving time on purpose, withholding judgment so that I wouldn’t rush into any rash conclusions. And after all these years of thought, I’m finally ready to now say what I’ve written in these comments. And I’m only voicing this now because it is finally clear to me.

    Well I [at least] appreciate you doing so because I’m still where I’m withholding my judgement [like you said you used to be].

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  46. Nick Literski on June 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    #37:
    It is most definitely about the materials, that’s why every woman you have ever been with sexually will need to have that marriage union sealed by a temple sealer.

    Where the Hell are you coming up with such bizarre stuff, “Prophet LDS Anarchist?” Dreams? Visions? Voices inside your head?

    The marriage covenant pertains to the “taking of a wife.” It is always in the context of a man taking a wife. This is why homosexual unions can only be a perversion of the right ways of the Lord.

    Why do so many religious zealots forget the existence of lesbians? A lesbian can “take a wife.” Maybe it’s just because two women having sex is (for some inexplicable reason) a sexual fantasy for many straight men?

    I might as well prophesy, right? lol–this will be one of the sins of the apostate latter-saints of the future, as written in D&C 1:15, even the straying from ordinances.

    LOL! Any remotely honest student of Mormon history knows that the LDS church has long since “strayed from” the ordinances established by Joseph Smith. In fact, any remotely honest person who reached adulthood before 1990 should know this, between the April 1990 changes to the Endowment, and the 2004/5 gutting of the initiatory ordinances.

    #39:
    I mean, if we don’t think God recognizes their unions then we just shouldn’t solemnize their marriages in our temples. And then just leave them the heck alone.

    BINGO! DING-DING-DING-DING-DING! Thank you, Justin, for the most clearly correct statement in this entire thread. (The rest, of course, has been largely entertainment value, as we watch a deranged would-be prophet descend into the minutia of his madness.)

    #43:
    Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else. (D&C 42:22)

    Notwithstanding “Prophet LDS Anarchist’s” attempted exegesis, the previous verses indicate that this statement is directed at “the church,” rather than to any particular gender. Ergo, if we want to play the exegesis game, it must be admitted that this verse applies to lesbians within the LDS church. In other words, LDS lesbians are commanded to love their wives with all their heart, and cleave unto their wives and none else. See, “Prophet LDS Anarchist?” Two can play your game!

    #45:
    Now — whether or not anyone considers same-gender sexual relationships a “sin”, and whether one considers their marriage “recognized by God” or not don’t really matter a hill of beans when we’re talking about equal treatment under the law.

    Justin wins again! This is exactly correct. “Prophet LDS Anarchist’s” claim that the LDS church has authority over every marriage performed throughout the world, whether religious or civil, can’t be taken seriously by any person who isn’t experiencing their own delusions of “prophetic” grandeur.

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  47. LDS Anarchist on June 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Justin #45,

    you just lose me when we’re talking about: what kinds of behavior the scriptures against homosexuality are actually condemning — and what any of that has to do with whether same-gender couples today should have access to the same state-issued marriage license that hetero- couples get

    Then I will return later and focus on those two points alone, and on this:

    I still haven’t heard a convincing argument on how allowing gay marriage would affect my marriage in a negative manner.

    Btw, do you view the temple’s defined law of chastity as a condemnation of homosexual behavior? Granted, that ain’t scripture and it actually goes much further than what the law of chastity actually is, as found expressed in the scriptures, which is encapsulated by those two verses I quoted in Genesis and the church law, namely, that a man shall 1) take a wife and 2) have no sexual intercourse with anyone except his wife. In other words, the temple wording directed at the sisters actually goes beyond the law of chastity, which is always only directed at the men.

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  48. Nick Literski on June 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    In other words, the temple wording directed at the sisters actually goes beyond the law of chastity, which is always only directed at the men.

    Utterly and completely false.

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  49. Rigel Hawthorne on June 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    First of all, I want to thank Justin for posting on W&T. I have appreciated my interactions with him on this blog and enjoy reading his insightful comments. It is nice to read his blog without going to the ‘dark, black blog’. :)

    I don’t agree with the negative comments about monogamy, but this won’t come as a surprise given my other comments and interactions with him. Your blog in the link has this quote:

    “Monogamy has been used as a means of controlling women in societies since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago and sedentary societies have greatly influenced the structure of human mating.”

    Any relationship form that is practiced without charity can be a means of exerting control. Children of polygamous families have emerged with stories that are frightening, as have children of monogamous families. The monogamous union provides complimentarity and the opportunity for two to be one flesh. If it is practiced with the pure love of Christ, I believe it fills all the needs of its participants for godhood.

    I do not see how looking at the relationships of pre-biblical primitive humans is useful in defining the optimal family construct. The biblical entry of polygamy into the covenant people was based upon Sarah having envy that others had children and she did not. That does not speak to non-monogamous unions as being the foremost plan.

    Brigham Young had a strong opinion that non-monogamous unions were elevated above monogamous unions, but it seems his answer to many things was more sex.
    —if a man is to have a posterity, he needs to have more sex
    —if we need to explain how Christ was conceived, it had to be sex
    —if a couple had no children because of male infertility, unseal their earthly sealing for a season and seal the wife to another man so she can conceive through sex
    —how were Adam and Eve’s bodies created? The Supreme Male and Female God Pair came to the earth to partake of food grown from the elements of the earth and had sex to create a child of the dust of the earth.

    Now, I think we can learn a lot from Brigham, but he spoke with limited understanding of reproductive endocrinology. If that understanding had been there, I think his doctrinal teachings would have had a greater permanence. Nevertheless, he points to the general ideal that being a God involves ‘colonizing’. We have earthly examples of Abraham being a colonizer, Moses being a colonizer, and in the latter-day church, Joseph and Brigham were colonizers. If God is bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man by population planets with His children, that is colonizing.

    It is difficult for a species designed to have complimentary sexuality colonize without sexual reproduction. Perhaps Celestial beings do not require sexual reproduction, but our earthly existence points to many things as a type of the Celestial condition.

    Now to counter your points a bit:

    •We parrot traditional American Christianity by saying that marriage is about One-man-and-One-woman, but we’ll all allow marriages after a spouse’s death and after a divorce [which would be serial monogamy — not a true mono-].

    OK…it is not good for ‘man’ to be alone, that is serial mono, I can see your point.

    •Then, as LDS, we take it further by sealing polygynous and polyandrous eternal families through our policy of sealing any deceased person to all spouses they had while living [which is, again, not one man and one woman].

    This does reflect that when God ordains it, polygynous sealings, both for time and eternity are permitted. I do not see the polyandrous sealings as being anything more than ‘we don’t know what to do and which husband she will claim in the next life, so we will seal them all and they can be unsealed as needed in the millennium.’ As I recall Emma Smith challenged Joseph that if he could have a polygamous wife, she could have a polyandrous husband, and I don’t recall that being met with acceptance.

    Marriage is not about religion because atheists marry.

    SEALING is about religion because participants must be members in good standing.

    Marriage is not about procreation because the infertile marry.

    SEALING includes promises of ‘posterity’ and the infertile are respected as their infertility being a consequence of their mortal experience. It would be inflammatory to say that being Gay or Lesbian is a consequence of mortality rather than an eternal attribute. The recent GA’s teaching that those with SGA would ‘rise’ in the resurrection with heterosexual attractions was not received well and felt to be coming from one who did not understand the sensitivities of Gay and Lesbian members well.

    Changing subjects, if Polygamous sealings were ultimately charitable and equal to or elevated above monogamous sealings, then it would seem that the ordinance should be designed where all parties could be entered into the sealing at one time. No ‘first wife ‘, ‘second wife’, ‘third wife’, etc. I have not heard of this happening. Has it?
    If not, it seems that the subsequent sealings are appendages to monogamy, as you could argue Sarah’s invocation of her law to be.

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  50. Justin on June 7, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Rigel Hawthorne [#49]:

    I do not see the polyandrous sealings as being anything more than ‘we don’t know what to do and which husband she will claim in the next life, so we will seal them all and they can be unsealed as needed in the millennium.’

    This bothers me for two reasons: one, it makes us look like the Sadducees when they tried to ask Jesus “Who’s wife will she be in the resurrection?” — two, it makes us look like we’re not a church that claims the supernatural ability to ask God things and get answers directly from His mouth. Saying, “Well, the woman is just going to pick her favorite one” is no better of a speculation than my more simplistic interpretation of the policy, i.e., If she’s sealed to three husbands in the temple then she’s going to have three husbands in and after the resurrection.

    As I recall Emma Smith challenged Joseph that if he could have a polygamous wife, she could have a polyandrous husband, and I don’t recall that being met with acceptance.

    I don’t know about Emma — but FWIW, quite a few of Joseph’s plural wives had still-living husbands [11 or 12 of them, I think] — so that would make those marriages acceptable polyandrous LDS temple marriages.

    … the dark, black blog — lol.

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  51. James on June 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Sorry I’m so late returning to this thread. I don’t mean to come to a discussion group and “hit and run”. I just got really busy, and wasn’t prepared for so many follow up comments.

    Since this is related by my other post, which was my first one on this group, perhaps I should say “Hi” to everyone, and hope my comments will be received in the light which I mean to give them.

    A few comments follow, interspersed among Justin’s comments:

    > Justin on June 6, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    >James [#27]:
    As far as my personal theological convictions — methinks that all homosexual marriage relationships will end at death, meaning I don’t believe they’ll continue in and after the resurrection. It’s just I’m completely live-and-let-live on the for-time arrangements — as long as consent is honored and all parties feel emotionally fulfilled and are cared for.

    James: I’m with you, Justin, on the “live and let live” belief. I’m very libertarian in my thinking, and believe the government should but out of marriage entirely. Of course, I believe they should butt out of almost everything else as well, but that is another subject.

    Consent/Agency is tantamount to me, along with its companion principle – accountability. ALL PARTIES need to consent, and it isn’t up to the rest of society to inflict their mores on everyone else just because they happen to be in the majority.

    >And I’m of a mind that this topic is only a hot-button issue because we’ve allowed the state to “license” marriages — as though we needed legal permission to marry. If we’re going to keep the state involved in marriages — then it needs to apply equally to hetero-, homo-, monogamous, polygynous, and polyandrous couples [that's simply equality under the law]. Either that or we need to get the state entirely out of the business of formalizing marriage-unions and ascribing civil benefits and privileges to people who can get the “license”.

    James: I may be mistaken, but I understood that the government began getting involved in marriages for the purpose of allowing that which was prior to illegal, such as allowing blacks to marry whites for example. I understand that a license grants permission to something which otherwise would be illegal. Perhaps there is an attorney on the list who could clarify what I just said above.

    Hear, hear! I resemble that remark (being a Mormon polygnist myself). Licensing of marriages? Reeks too much of the majority inflicting rules on the minority in a homogenous society. Groups can do such which allows people to come and go as they please, but free governments with police powers? With a Bill of Rights? Methinks not.

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  52. James on June 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    S,

    I appreciated your comments and reasoning except the below:

    >”Anyway, that “live and let live” is good in theory. In practice, it’s logical extension would encourage even more unrighteous behavior, which we, as Saints, would not want. I, for one, don’t want the sins of this generation on my head.”

    I understand the “live and let live” philosophy to part of God’s plan. Why? Because God’s plan was given to those who were supposedly the “noble and great ones” which included the children of Israel. I don’t believe the rest of the world fits that description. God, however, doesn’t ONLY speak to His noble and great ones but doles out to the rest of His children that which they are willing to a accept because they aren’t willing to accept the greater portion of His word. Here’s a good scripture which speaks to that point:

    2 Nephi 29:11-12
    11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the cbooks which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

    12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.

    God speaks to “all men” and “they shall write it” – not just the Jews or the Children of Israel.

    Yet, God doesn’t give to all men all the same laws, or laws on the same levels. They seem to be given the “lesser portion of the word”. They can live that which they are willing to receive because they aren’t willing to live that which they could have received (D&C 76 and 88).

    To me, at least, the idea that it is alright to create laws against “moral” laws such as drug use, prostitution, etc. as mentioned earlier sounds too much like Satan’s plan – that it is a good thing to ‘force people to be good’. Even people whose “scriptures” don’t match our own as Children of Israel.

    Take care!

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  53. James on June 8, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    A few comments follow, interspersed:

    >Nick Literski commented on Marriage Equality.

    >in response to Andrew S:

    > This is the first guest post from Justin. He also blogs at LDS Anarchy. Interviewer: But did [Oscar] Wilde identify himself as gay? Stephen Fry: No, I don’t think he did. He talked about his nature — he was aware of what people’s natures were, to have sex with their own kind. He wasn’t an […]

    >I’m surprised to see your Ad Hominem attacks against LDS Anarchist.

    James: It would appear you are afflicted with the same malady in your comments below;
    “bizarre”, “outrageously strained logic”, “fundamentalist Mormon would-be “prophets””, and “outlandish”. By what you said below, you did “openly mock him”.

    >Admittedly, I should probably be more compassionate with “LDS Anarchist.” The fact remains, however, that he’s making absolutist declarations that aren’t even in harmony with LDS teachings. His scriptural exegesis is a bizarre combination of (a) claiming “the scriptures” say things that aren’t actually in them, and (b) outrageously strained “logic.” He sounds far more like some of the fundamentalist Mormon would-be “prophets” I’ve encountered, than any genuine faithful LDS member.

    James: I can’t address any of Nick’s claims above about LDS Anarchist because I haven’t read them, but I do wonder about the problems with “would-be “prophets”” comments vs. being a faithful LDS member. Is towing the line better than holding to truth “no matter where it comes from”? Joseph Smith was a “would be prophet” to most people.

    >When he uses such outlandish, bizarre declarations to support his preference of denying a group of citizens equal treatment under the law, it’s difficult not to openly mock him. You’re right, though–I ought to take the higher road.

    James: I think the real problem is not “equal treatment under the law”, but that the laws exist in the first place. Lucifer’s plan is alive and well in Amerika.

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  54. KT on June 8, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    “We’re so focused on the hot button issue of “gay marriage” that the real issues affecting marriage [like spousal abuse, poverty, emotional fulfillment, etc.] end-up being ignored.”

    Too true!

    “Marriage is not about religion because atheists marry. Marriage is not about procreation because the infertile marry.”

    Good point!

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  55. Nick Literski on June 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    James: I can’t address any of Nick’s claims above about LDS Anarchist because I haven’t read them, but I do wonder about the problems with “would-be “prophets”” comments vs. being a faithful LDS member. Is towing the line better than holding to truth “no matter where it comes from”? Joseph Smith was a “would be prophet” to most people.

    James, it appears that “LDS Anarchist” considers his statements, including his attempted scriptural exegesis, to be representative of mainstream LDS thought. They are anything but mainstream LDS thought. Further, his manner of writing attempts to be declaratory, as if his words were indeed the unquestionable word of deity. When I say “would-be prophet,” I certainly don’t refer to the admonition of Jesus, who said that we ought all to be prophets. Rather, I point to his inartful attempt at claiming the mantle of divine authority, all the while making claims which are devoid of truth and reason. His writing reminds me a great deal of a certain man from St. Louis, Missouri, who used to make similar statements, all the while living in the back of his pickup because he had recently lost most of his material goods in a divorce from the woman he was physically and emotionally abusing. That man considered himself heir to the LDS throne, but his pretensions were brought up short after the government stepped in to investigate his terroristic threats against Gordon Hinckley, who was at that time president of the LDS church.

    You’ve pointed out, however, that I erred in comparing him to Mormon Fundamentalists. I apologize for that, especially since I have genuine Mormon Fundamentalist friends whom I respect and care about. In fact, I personally view certain Mormon Fundamentalist independents and groups to be far closer to the religion of Joseph Smith, than the modern LDS church ever pretended to be.

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  56. Brian on June 20, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Today, it was announced that Exodus International, the Christian gay treatment organization, is closing and has issued an apology to gays and lesbians. HUGE announcement, action. The Mormon counterpart of this movement, Evergreen International, has used Exodus over the years as an authoritative resource in gay therapy. Can’t wait to hear of their reaction. In typical Mormon fashion, I could expect, “deny, deny, deny”.

    Would make for an interesting discussion at Wheat and Tares.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57590238/exodus-international-controversial-ministry-offering-alternative-to-homosexuality-to-shut-doors/

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  57. LDS Anarchist on June 21, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Deny what?

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  58. skyglynn on June 29, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    these are interpretative thoughts i found appealing and copy it from some certain site:

    “Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 each condemn man laying with mankind AS WITH A WOMAN. Men don’t have a front hole to penetrate so what hole does that leave if a man wants to use a man in place of a woman?”, I responded. The general director was silent. I continued, “This is precisely what Paul is describing in Romans chapter 1. He is explaining the fertility cult practices of certain pagan groups. His observation of women exchanging the natural use is explained when he describes men doing shameful things with other men & uses the term LIKEWISE. Being a former Jew – he’s drawing from the Law of Moses for his legal context and that law forbids men anally penetrating men and it indirectly forbids men anally penetrating women – because under that same law – human dung defiles – was an “abomination”. Deuteronomy 23:12-14.”

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  59. tom on July 12, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    the seed of cain were low on moral law . murder gay sex any and every thing cain wanted was ok . side with the seed of satan if you wish .

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  60. LDS Anarchist on July 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    From the sidebar:

    Divorce rate higher for couples that share housework, study finds

    http://www.today.com/money/divorce-rate-higher-couples-share-housework-study-finds-6C9677194

    So, marriage equality as far as housework goes, may not be a good thing. ;)

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