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.


  1. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all answer. I would not recommend outing yourself in that situation unless you and your wife had already discussed and agreed that it was time to come out to your ward.

    1. i agree on the outing myself for what is probably a petty reason. my wife and i have discussed it. she is fine with me doing it whenever i want. i'm not sure when the right time will be. i probably won't do it until i've told my children, at least the ones who are old enough to understand. but i won't do that until i'm ready for everyone to know. i don't think they'll be able to keep that to themselves. for now i'm keeping quiet.

  2. I remember such preemptive bracing in my mind when these lessons came up at church also. I wondered if some testimony meeting went into negative talk about gays, maybe I would just stand up in the audience and stay standing until someone asked what I was doing. I would then say "I just wanted the ward to know who they were speaking about."

    Luckily for me the negative talk never happened. This months ward theme is marriage and family though, so there is more opportunities to see if I have the guts :)