The LDS church is wrong about same-sex marriage. Again.

Elder Larry R. Lawrence of the Seventy wrote an article titled “The War Goes On”. It appears in the April 2017 issue of The Ensign, an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Here is a quote from that article:

“Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, but same-sex marriage is only a counterfeit. It brings neither posterity nor exaltation. Although [Satan’s] imitations deceive many people, they are not the real thing. They cannot bring lasting happiness.”

See? This is just more proof that even in 2017, the LDS church just doesn’t get it. They can think they’re all clever and progressive by dropping the S from mormonsandgays.com, but stuff like this just reiterates how out of touch leaders are on the topic of its LGBTQ members. They literally don’t get it.

There are a few problems with this statement: Continue reading The LDS church is wrong about same-sex marriage. Again.

Following the prophet is easy when all you need to do is agree

A sacrament speaker brought up the November policy change today.

That marks yet another consecutive week of someone mentioning the policy change at least once during sacrament meeting, Sunday school, and elders quorum class.

I’ve beaten to death my feelings on the wordings and implications of the policy change, but as I was stewing on pondering the words of the speaker, a thought came to me that I hadn’t considered before, particularly connected with something the following speaker mentioned.

Why are Mormons so quick to stand firm behind the prophet when what he says requires no sacrifice?

In this case, I am definitely in the minority in my ward and stake regarding my feelings regarding this policy change. Most ward and stake members I know (and for that matter, Mormons I know outside of my stake) support the brethren on this change.

But it’s easy to support it. You don’t have to invest anything into supporting them. In fact, all you need to do is agree with them.

Let’s contrast this with home teaching.

Our high council speaker today reported that home teaching in our stake sits at 27%. That means that 3 out of every 4 families in our stake don’t receive visits from their home teachers. While anecdotal, friends of mine have shared similar statistics where they live.

So, back to my question: why are Mormons so quick to stand firm behind the prophet when what he says requires no sacrifice but so slow when what he says requires sacrifice?

Conversely, why am I labelled an apostate or a heretic when I disagree with the brethren on a policy (like the recent decision to prohibit children of gay parents from being baptized) but follow their counsel in other ways (like home teaching every month)?

Why are others not labelled apostate or heretics when they agree with the brethren on a policy (like the recent decision to prohibit children of gay parents from being baptized) but don’t follow their counsel in other ways (like home teaching every month)?

To be abundantly clear, I’m not judging those who don’t visit their home teaching families. I’m simply using that as an example. And it’s certainly not the only example we could use.

Finally, you know what the irony is in all this? Thomas S. Monson sat on the committee that established the current home teaching programme.

LDS policies on gay marriage leave more questions than answers

I’m sure by now you’ve read a recent change by the Mormon church regarding participants in and children of same-sex marriages.

As a parent of an LGBT teenager (who had earlier this summer left the church and experienced significant ostracization and judgement as a result), I can tell you that this policy change has been weighing on my mind heavily over the last two days. Continue reading LDS policies on gay marriage leave more questions than answers

Two problems I have with the family proclamation

Despite the fact that The Family: A Proclamation to the World has never been canonized, many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints treat it like scripture.

Whether it is scripture is a topic for another day. What I want to discuss is a couple of things I find problematic in the proclamation.

My understanding, based on the rhetoric of mainstream Mormons is that this proclamation is a response to efforts to legalize marriage equality. If that premise is true, I don’t think that those who drafted the document completely thought through how the wording would affect Mormon past.

Consider this from the first sentence:

. . . marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God . . .

Does that mean marriage between a man and more than one woman is not ordained of God? What about marriage between more than one man and one woman?

Does that mean plural marriage is unordained of God? Does it mean the current practice of sealing a man to more than wife is unordained of God?

What about this sentence from the seventh paragraph?

Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.

Does that mean plural marriage is not essential to God’s plan?

If plural marriage is not ordained of God and is not essential to his plan, why did as a church practice it at all?

If plural marriage is ordained of God and is essential to his plan, then how does it fit into the wording of this proclamation?

Church Admits Financial Support of Prop 8

Update: See below.

When I heard rumours of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints financial involvement to pass Proposition 8, last November’s ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California, I assumed they were lies spread because of malice toward the institution. Though I felt repulsed by the Church’s aggressive position, I thought it acted within its rights to encourage members in voting to strip away the rights of same-sex couples.

I also thought that the church was wise enough to respect the separation of church and state and refrain from actively funding the campaign. It turns out, I was wrong.

In a campaign filing, amid an investigation by Fair Political Practices Commission—a California state campaign watchdog agency, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has revealed it spent nearly $190,000 since September to help pass Proposition 8.

While many church members had donated directly to the Yes on 8 campaign—some estimates of Mormon giving range as high as $20 million—the church itself had previously reported little direct campaign activity.

But in the filing made Friday [January 30, 2009], the Mormon church reported thousands in travel expenses, such as airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals for the campaign. The church also reported $96,849.31 worth of “compensated staff time”—hours that church employees spent working to pass the same-sex marriage ban.

For all the crying about how the church has been unjustifiably targeted it’s incredible that it would have opened itself up to such a huge legal blunder and a public relations nightmare. I don’t know what the implications for class action suits by the 18,000 people who had their marriages annulled by the passing of Proposition 8 might be, but I hope it is a wake up call to those that think the church is legitimate in the way it went about robbing the rights of same-sex couples.

Correction: It turns out I was just a little confused about the implications of this report. As pointed out by JKS the filing was posted on time and the church did not break any laws with its involvement in Prop 8.

To be clear, all same-sex marriage rights were stripped using legal means.

Update: According to a few sources, it looks like, the Church has been convicted of 13 counts of late campaign reporting.

The cost of getting married

I was reading an article in Unlimited, a new Canadian business magazine aimed at young people. The article was about a young, engaged businesswoman who was in the business of buying a wedding dress. She claims the average wedding in Canada costs $25,800.

That seemed a little high to me. But then our wedding cost hardly anything in comparison. I thought I’d post our experience here, so others out the might realize that they don’t have to go into debt to get married. After all, we had enough debt already coming into our marriage. The last thing we needed was to grow it exponentially.

* Mary’s wedding ring: free (from her aunt’s first marriage)
* My wedding ring: $50 at the pawn shop (Mary’s pocket)
* My tux: $120 (my pocket)
* Mary’s dress: $300 for material (paid by Mary’s uncle, sewn by Mary’s aunt)
* Location: free (at the church/temple)
* Officiator: free (provided by the temple)
* Food: uncatered (made by Mary and her mum; paid for by both sets of parents)
* Cake: free (made and donated by Mary’s aunt)
* Decorations: free (donated by a friend of Mary’s family)
* Music: free (donated by friend of Mary’s family)
* Invitations: printed by Mary’s dad on his computer
* Photography: free (donated by a friend)

Having 300 people show up helped make it a success. So did having part of the local band “Zero Avenue” play for us.