*I would like to preface this post by saying that I am striving to return to my Heavenly Father and want to link arms with anyone who will join in my journey. It is my intent to teach God’s law, as far as I understand it, so others might join in my pursuit. Also, should you choose to not believe as I do, I want you to know that I am not your judge and that I love you regardless. I take sole responsibility for the content of this post.
There is a touchy subject lately and sadly, it is the doctrine of the family.
Elder Christofferson says,
“There’s no kindness in misdirecting people and leading them into any misunderstanding about what is true, what is right, what is wrong, what leads to Christ and what leads away from Christ.” (i)
With this council in mind, and with love as my motive, I defend and proclaim His doctrine of the family. I do this with a particular focus on how this doctrine relates to homosexuality and do so because many are calling sin good- which does not bring souls unto Christ. I do recognize that this is not a popular opinion today, but then again, defending God’s law is not a trendy pursuit.
WHAT IS GOD’S LAW?
For by the law is the knowledge of sin. (ii)
No one but God Himself dictates His law and it is recorded beautifully in the scriptures. Thankfully, we have easy access to His law today so we can study it and internalize it.
We must first understand that marriage is Holy. Mark records the Savior saying, “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.” (iii)
On the flip side, any sexual relations outside of God- sanctioned marriage is considered adultery which is strictly forbidden, even in the 10 commandments. (iv) The Bible contains commandments (v), warnings (vi) and at least one terrible tale of woe (vii) regarding homosexual behavior. It may be our choice to deny the law of God but the fact is that God has said that homosexual relations are a sin. Calling them anything less does not lead anyone to Christ.
Today, men and women are striving to redefine marriage. They may justify same-sex marriage as legal on this earth but that is the extent of the power they wield. Laws made on earth carry no validation in the Heavens above, which are ruled by God Himself. Any effort made to justify sin makes a mockery of God’s law and will have no effect when we face Him in judgment. Claiming God’s law to be different than what it is places a wedge between us and our Savior.
Yes, He is a loving God but His law cannot be changed, even by Him. He is an unchangeable being who would “cease to be God” (viii) if He broke His own law. In His great mercy, He is consistent and He let’s us know His law so we can choose to obey it or not.
WHAT IS SIN?
In short, sin is anything that separates us from God. Anything. There are “divers” ways to sin and all of us do so with only one exception: the Savior Himself. The rest of us are fallen and here is the problem: God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. (ix) Thus our actions create a chasm between us and our return to our Heavenly Father.
One obstacle with legalizing same sex marriage is that, in some people’s minds, the change in law makes such behavior un-sinful. This might calm guilt on this earth but the false peace experienced now will turn to heart ache when facing God and true disappointment for blessings which might- have- been. No man- made law can change anything declared by God. The thought “makes reason stare.” (x)
HOW TO TURN FROM SIN
Truly, my heart aches for those who struggle with same gender attraction. Among other things, I recognize that this particular temptation can be accompanied by intense feelings of loneliness and isolation. The truth as to why I am so bold regarding this issue and am even risking rejection among loved ones, is because I love those who are struggling and know that they have eternal potential. Justifying sin, any sin, has the potential to rob those I love of eternal blessings. Rationalizing the breaking of covenants holds eternal consequences and I will not participate in this adversary- inspired ruse.
I make no pretense that turning from sin is an easy thing to do. I do, however, know that the peace found from true repentance is worth every effort we can muster.
The only hope we have to overcome sin lies in our Savior. He can swallow our guilt and replace it with peace. This much I know; we can do all things with our Savior by our side. He knows your pain. He. Knows. He lived your exact agony, which no earthly being can possibly claim. This makes Jesus Christ the only being qualified to restore your soul. He is the singular source of healing.
I offer a strong caution: If, while seeking repentance, others seek to justify your sin and soothe your guilt, run. Don’t walk, but run to someone who will help you see what sin is and lead you back to the safety of the Savior’s embrace. Never allow a worldly view to keep you from Heavenly blessings. Relief from guilt can be experienced from true repentance, as that is when grace can take effect.
WHO IS THE JUDGE?
Thankfully, judgment is reserved by God. (xi) This allows anyone who loves His law to simply proclaim it without judging others. After all, we proclaimers are sinners also. We will face Him and be accountable for anything we have not repented of like all others.
HOW TO LOVE PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF SIN
We understand why some feel we reject them. That is not true. We do not reject you, only immoral behavior. We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you. -Boyd K. Packer (xii)
I have been deeply saddened to hear of others shunning those who have chosen to live a homosexual lifestyle. People should never be identified as to their sexual behavior or orientation. We are first and foremost sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. By viewing others with this eternal perspective, we can see everyone as treasured brothers and sisters. Especially those who have covenanted to take His name upon them should represent Him with greater love.
Elder Bednar recently taught this with the following statement, “There are no homosexual members of the church. We are not defined by sexual attraction. We are not defined by sexual behavior. We are sons and daughters of God, and all of us have different challenges in the flesh.” (xiii) Unfortunately, Elder Bednar’s statement has been cut up in the media to only say, “There are no homosexual members of the church,” which misrepresents the entirety of his message.
When we do see everyone as sons and daughters of God we can treat everyone with unconditional love, kindness, and without prejudice. Inclusion into families and societies can incorporate all. We should recognize that, like everyone on this earth, we also fall short of the glory of God. Our singular goal should be to return to God’s presence and grab the hands of anyone who will come with us along the way; always doing our best to represent our Savior.
As a society, we can additionally show love by supporting laws that support equality which do not restrict or alter our rights of worship. (xiv)
True love should proclaim God’s law because obedience to His law, accompanied by grace through our Savior, is the only way back to His presence. I, therefore break with trend to bring a happier message of love that lasts much longer than this life. A message of eternal joy, peace and eternal families. To my Heavenly Father I declare, “(I) LOVE Thy law. (I) will obey.” (xv)