Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Winning is Such Sweet Sorrow

I was surprised at my reaction to Proposition 8 passing. I did not feel compelled to participate in campaigning for it, and the extent of my contribution was summed up in a few posts here and comments there. Yet, when I heard it passed, I was awash with a complicated flurry of emotions.

First was relief. Although I can understand that others may feel differently, to me it seemed a symbol of morality. Not all is lost, not all lines have been blurred for all people.

Close thereafter was a much more powerful rush of mourning. I knew that the lives of many would be affected by this, and there must be an immense agony incited by the passing of the amendment. Although it is unlikely to be believed, I ache for the hearts of those who believe they are doing the right thing. I hate pain in anyone, and can understand the feelings of loss, rejection and emptiness that must be felt by so many. Many members of the Church have and will leave because of it, much hatred will be deepened. That can't help but sadden me.

Finally, was a feeling of resignation. It is not over. It is likely that the judges will overthrow this decision as well, since they see it as a human rights issue. Moreover, hatred against the Church is reinforced, perhaps beyond repair. I see this as inevitable, given time, but that does not make it easy to witness.

The whole thing has me feeling rather wrung-out, even though I did not participate. My personality is one that just wants everyone to get along, yet I have a streak of loyalty to what I know to be true. It hurts to defend what I believe in, but I must do it. To me it is a choice between evils, and not much of a choice at all.

Unfortunately, that is often the lot of mortality.


  1. I know the actions of the LDS Church have significantly detrimented [sic] my opinion of her.

    I was sincerely and seriously considering returning to Church... until all this Prop 8 crap came about.

    I am more than willing to live a celibate lifestyle; I was prayerfully considering rededicating myself to refraining from seeking out a male spouse... but the actions of the Church in regards to Proposition 8 have nothing but re-enforced to me that their beliefs concerning homosexuality are not buoyed up with the Light of Christ -- in no way was the light coming from the Church bringing me closer to believing in Christ, but pushing me further away (again, even as I was completely willing to accept the teaching that the only God-ordained marriage is one between a man and a woman).

    In a way, though, I am grateful. I was given the opportunity to witness even more deeply the lights radiating from the homes headed by homosexual couples... and never before have I understood to the degree I do now what it means to be Christian as these lights were bringing me to my knees in worship of God Almighty, even Jesus Christ in ways more powerful than ever I have felt before.

  2. I have been wondering over the past few years how the tide of public opinion would come turn against the LDS Church.

    Prophesies relating to the Second Coming of Christ seemed to foretell times of great persecution; but for most of President Hinckley's tenure we seemed to be basking in the glow of very positive public relations.

    Perhaps the "gay marriage" issue, with all its attendant ramifications and implications, will be the catalyst.

    Even though at this time the majority of Americans who had a chance to vote on the issue upheld the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, the pressure for the courts to intervene yet again is very strong.

    My personality is also one "that just wants everyone to get along," and I find it very distressful to see how devisive this issue is for many members of the Church.

    May God help us to find ways of reaching out in love to ALL of those around us, even as we remain loyal to principles we hold to be true and God-given.

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  4. Your post captured something very similar to what I posted last nite.

    These are hard times.

    Chedner, I'm sorry for your pain. I hope you can come to a place where you can again consider coming back, and that you can find people close to you who can help you in that process. (Have you seen the forum at

    I also hope you can come to know and understand the reasons for the Church's position. And to see that it is not incompatible to coming to Christ. Nor is it incompatible with being Christlike.

    roann, I appreciate what you have said...particularly about both showing love and holding true to the doctrine and principles of the gospel.

  5. m&m: I know and understand exactly from where the Church's position stems.

    I know the words behind it all... but actions speak louder than words -- and certain actions (on all sides) have indeed spoken clearly to me.

    Saying, "I am Christian... my words are Christian... my actions are Christian" does not bring people to Christ -- never has, never will. Only those actions and words that foster the Love and Spirit that is Christ will bring one to Christ.

    And I must simply ask: How many people have been brought to Christ through the actions of the LDS Church in regards to Proposition 8?

    How many people -- including, very specifically, people who believe that eternal marriage can only be between a man and a woman -- have felt doubt concerning the validity of the LDS Church because of her actions concerning Proposition 8?

    Again, actions (more specifically, consequences of actions) speak louder than words.

  6. chedner,
    I understand what you are saying.
    I guess time will tell. As strange as it may sound I believe there may be people who will come to the Savior through ordinances of the gospel because the Church will be a beacon of constancy in a world of shifting values.
    That also means some people will be offended by it all, and that is sad to me. But we can't apologize for our doctrine. The Savior never just said, "Do what you will and you can come unto me." There have always been commandments, guidelines, expectations, sacrifices expected to truly come to Him. Discipleship is hard at some level. It requires us to give up some things. For each of us, those things will be different. But to expect 'love' to translate to 'acceptance of sin' misunderstands the gospel.

    I agree with you, though, that our actions must reflect Christ. If people respond in anger, pride, unkindness, then we risk turning people away. But please don't equate holding to doctrinal truth with unkindness. They are not the same thing.

  7. I understand how this is a difficult issue - but it's a distanced understanding.

    I'm confused when I see members of the church make comments about the church that intimate that the doctrines, decrees, et al - are that of the church.
    This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is the Lord's church. It is not a church of man or people.

    In D&C 1, the Lord, in HIS preface to his book of commandments states that whether He speaks or his servants speak, it's all the same.

    This is not about people. God says "No" and we can either say "I agree with that" or we can say "I disagree with that" . . . but we still know that whatever God says is how it's going to be.

    History is preserved so we can be wise. Wisdom defined: "accumulated philosophic or scientific learning". Therefore we have history, or scriptures preserved for many reasons. To learn the mistakes of the past is one among them. We can see from history that a majority of people will be in opposition to the Savior and HIS teachings - hence, straight is the gate and narrow is the way. Why is it narrow? Because few will cite with the Lord. We have the dream of Nephi where he saw many in the great and spacious building.
    Were there many? There were.
    Why were there many? For the same reason - many in opposition to the laws and commandments of the Lord.

    History tells us that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their wickedness. We can learn wisdom from this.

    Mormon and Moroni state emphatically, repeatedly, that unless the inhabitants of this land keep the commandments of the God of this land, they will be cut off! Let the record show that it was true.

    History tells us that states/countries that bring the people under bondage of communism/socialism never ever work. They don't. It can't be proved. It always ends in murder and bloodshed.

    So, when we find opposition between our lives and the commandments of God, we must ask ourselves:
    "Is this between me and the church?" Answer: Not directly.
    "who is this about?" Answer: You and the Lord.
    "Is it possible the Lord is wrong?" Answer: No.
    "Does the Lord ever Change?" Answer: No.
    "Does man ever change?" Answer: Constantly.
    "Can one be deceived if they follow their own conscience or feelings?" Answer: You better believe it!
    "Can one be deceived if they follow the scriptures and the prophets?" Answer: It's not even remotely possible.

    Back in the 80's when President Kimball scolded members of the church for dressing immodestly and some of the members were upset, who was in the wrong? The Lord, through his servant, or the people?

    Our own personal salvation is not fun. it is tough. It is difficult. It is war! Satan has great hold upon the hearts of men. The spirit is in constant struggle with the flesh. The natural man is an enemy to God.

    When the children of God quarrel with his commandments it's usually because of pride (the universal sin; we all deal with it). We're seeking after what we want and we fight against what HE wants.

    Don't forget now, "he that shall lose his life shall find it in the next. He that shall find his life shall lose it in the next."

    Our Father in heaven, who loves us and hates our sins, has told us the correct way to build families. Therefore, anything contrary to what he has revealed to us through his prophets is incorrect.

    What will we do? Will we be wise?

    You can not serve God and Mammon. Every kingdom divided against itself will fall.

    Those looking for solace and comfort in their struggles will not find it until they have endured. The Savior of the world suffered more; are we greater than he?

  8. Chase—While I agree with much of what you say when examining my own obedience to God, I think it is unhelpful to draw a line that says "God's side" and "the OTHER side". It's important to remember that God's side is the side of His children. That applies to ALL of his children. When we express our opinions in the way of "obey this or you are rebelling against God" in a way that precludes demonstrating the love of God, it does not accomplish the purposes of heaven.

    Part of the point of this topic is that you cannot uphold the law without upholding the entire law, including the first and greatest two: love God and love your neighbor. I've always felt that these are really one law, since you can't love God without loving your neighbor.


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