Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Priesthood lesson

Earlier this month we had the family lesson in priesthood meeting. This was the first paragraph from the "doctrinal section":

Family relationships are sacred and can grow stronger in eternity.

Encourage marriage, … and impress upon [others] the sacredness of that relation and the obligation they are under to observe that great commandment which was given of God to our first parents, to multiply and replenish the earth [see Genesis 1:28]. This is all the more necessary, in view of the present tendency in the world to disregard that law and to dishonor the marriage covenant. It is saddening to note the frequency of divorces in the land and the growing inclination to look upon children as an encumbrance instead of as a precious heritage from the Lord.4
[The Lord] has shown us that if we are faithful we will associate with each other in an immortal and glorious state; that those connections formed here, that are of the most enduring character, shall exist in eternity.5

As I read this, I immediately began bracing for negative comments about homosexuality and gay marriage.  I reflected on all of the lessons I've endured where people have made well meaning, but offensive comments. I began wondering what would be the right response if the derogatory comments started flying.  (I should note I have very strong opinions about marriage, opinions that wouldn't be too far out of mainstream Mormonism... but I can't stand the negative comments so many fellow members make out of ignorance.)  I wondered, if the negative comments did start should I out myself just to put in their place anyone who was making hurtful remarks.  I decided against that since the motive behind an action is sometimes more important than the action itself.  Luckily nothing was said... at least not in Priesthood meeting.  I hear that Relief Society was not so lucky.

As Paul says, we should “be ready always to give an answer to every man”.  So what is the right response?  I haven’t figured it out yet, but open to suggestions.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

brains and heaven

Recently my family and I were all in the car together for a three hour drive. We were listening to a Jonathan Coulton CD. When the song "re: Your Brains" came on and everyone started singing "All we wanna do is eat your brains!" I smiled and thought, "This probably isn't what most people think of when they think of heaven, but I think it's pretty close."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Another analogy

In my previous post, I looked at a couple of common analogies people use when talking about homosexuality. There is one analogy that I think does an OK job explaining what it would be like to be gay and celibate.

A newly returned missionary and a woman in his ward date, fall in love and in typical Mormon fashion are engaged to be married after a month. The day of the wedding is beautiful. The sun is shining; the smell of spring tulips fills the air. They have a reception at the church building, red punch and all. Then they leave for their new apartment where they will spend their first night together.

However, on the way to their apartment that first night, she has a stroke. By the time they get to the hospital, she is in a coma. When she doesn't revive after a month, doctors say there's only a 5% chance she'll wake up.

The groom, as painful as it would be, would take his sweetheart off life support. However, the bride's living will gives that decision to her mother, who is convinced that her daughter will wake up... someday. So she keeps her alive.

A year, two, three pass with no change in either the bride's condition or in the mother in law's refusal to give up hope that her daughter will wake up, if not today, soon.

Legally our groom is married and in Church parlance he's married for time and all eternity. But he has never had sex and, at this rate, he may never will in this life. The question is, should he even consider divorce? Is it OK for him to get a divorce so he can have that idyllic life his patriarchal blessing seemed to promise? Knowing that in general God frowns on divorce would it be better for him to live his remaining years as a married virgin? To not have someone to go home to each night? Someone with whom he can share his joys and sorrows? Someone to love and be love by?

As I've thought about this scenario (which is obviously contrived) I realize there is only one appropriate response for someone who is not the groom looking at this situation: Don't judge!

I wish we were all slower to judge each other.