Comments about ‘LDS Church issues instructions to leaders on same-sex marriage’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 10 2014 1:45 p.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT


You stated "I am also grateful that the Doctrine and Covenants states that "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government."

Wow, your manipulation and misrepresentation of that verse from the D&C is funny. You neglected to include the whole context that says: "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied".

Here is what GEORGE WASHINGTON had to say about "religious influence with civil government":
"And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Religion has always had a hand in the founding principles of our nation and God willing it will continue do so. Your notion to exclude the voice of moral convictions of religious citizens from the dialogue in the public square is without historical merit.

Ogden, UT

The LDS Church has the full right under the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution to determine for whom it will perform marriage services and the use to which its meeting houses and religion-based facilities (Temples, etc.) will be made available. I sustain and support their right to do so.

To the extent their facilities are commercial in nature, the use of those facilities should be available to all, regardless their sexual orientation.

Galion, OH

is most unfortunate and sad when attempting to read the personalized commentary from those who believe they are being subjected to the will of God without due deference being paid to their government sanctioned choices. They do not understand that the law of man is fickle and subject to change with the prevailing political winds while the law of God is immutable and irrevocable and will prevail eternally in spite of their misguided understanding.

It has long been the foolish pride of man, since Satan combined with Cain, which has left the earth strewn with spiritually impoverished souls who have unwisely rationalized their behavior as being acceptable simply because others joined their cause, and government gave their blessing.

While my opinionated, heart-felt words may sting and offend, it is my love for my fellow travelers which induces me to pray for and have hope for them. It is better to believe there is a God and find you were right than to disbelieve and find you were wrong. The potential consequences will be eternal and now is the time to choose wisely.

sandy, UT

"The LDS Church affirmed Friday the constitutionally protected rights of its leaders and members to express religious convictions and called for civility and kindness in the debate on same-sex marriage." There is NO Constitutional guarantee to protect and "express religious convictions". There is a Constitutional guarantee to protect ALL expressions of convictions by all types of people. When one group exhorts their singular and self serving "constitutional guarantees" to the exclusion of others who are in the minority, then the Constitution flexes it's mighty arms and enfolds the minority to the exclusion of the majority. Therefore, the LDS Church's statement above about their right to express religious convictions is not a 100 % license for all to obey , respect, agree or whatever. All men are free to do the same.

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

Tolerance, understanding and kindness is FAITH.

Heber City, UT

I think kindness and respect are important. But there is a difference in treating someone with respect and actually respecting them. Are we to respect the beliefs of skin-heads and other racists because they too claim to know God's plan? Am I supposed to not ridicule the dribble that calls itself scientology? For that matter, why does any religion get a pass on reason? My "invisible friend told me to" is simply not a reasonable explanation.

I do not think that someone can truly justify their position or insulate themselves from criticism by using their religion or proclaimed religious beliefs. Like plural marriages, blacks being denied priesthood and claiming that all Indians are descendants of Jews, the view on SSM will wither away and die and be viewed as another nail in the coffin of religion.

Hold tight my LDS brothers and sisters...resisting with all your might will help accelerate the process.

sandy, UT

In this letter to the Church leaders and the Congregation I read several statements that were referenced by sources from the Book of Mormons.However,there were no Biblical or Book of Mormon references cited after this statement which appeared in this official Church Letter:
"Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well-being of society." Why Not ?

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

While "never" isn't a logical word, I venture to say the law will never impact the LDS right to perform marriages as they see fit. We've been distinguishing temple marriage between the "worthy" and the "unworthy" forever--and there isn't a peep of protest.

East Carbon, UT

Its called free agency, we all have it, we all will be judged by it! It is not our place to judge,it is the Almighty's! Sometimes that is very hard to do, but do it we must! This letter helps us to remember who we are as a people!

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

All people have the right to help formulate public policy, at least in a participatory Republic such as the United States.

There are clear public policy reasons to limit marriage to being between a man and a woman. Most obviously it is only in the case of man/woman sexual relations that the state has any interest in regulation. It is only because sex has the potential to create children that the state has any reason to regulate it.

The reason to have marriage is to seek as much as possible that children will be raised by their biological parents. This means marriage must be in a form that produces children. That form is of a man and a woman.

People are free to formulate other theories behind marriage. However to act as if this is not the theory that has defined marriage from time immemorial, and as if it is not the underlying theory of those who support the continuance of man/woman marriage is to deny reality in a way that leads to needless hate and anger.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

My general take on this is same-sex married couples would be found to be in violation of the law of chastity, and probably in a state of violating it that would be construed as flagrant rebellion and showing no desire or willingness to even attempt to abide by it.

Clearly they can attend church. No one is banned from attending church. What else such flagrant rebellion against a commandment of God would mean, I am not sure.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Actually, my assumption would be that missionaries would council people who are part of a same sex couple who express interest in the Church to get that relationship legally dissolved.

It seems some people are to absolutists. Even having been in a polygamist relationship does not ban someone from ever getting baptized. They just have to clearly and fully end all relations be they physical or legal with all except one wife. I would think that same-sex relationships would be treated the same way by requiring a total end to all relationships.

Medical Lake, Washington

I am often confused. Why is it that so many people who do not accept or agree with LDS doctrine and/or standards spend so much time griping about it?

I don't care for the Mafia and don't believe in the way they do business. And so, I don't affiliate with them, I don't do business with them, I don't spend a lot of time arguing about them. I also don't like many business establishments -- and so I don't do business there, but I don't stand out on the sidewalk in front and picket them.

I am LDS by choice. I believe in the doctrine, even as it becomes less popular. I don't strike out at other people or try to hurt or insult them just because we differ in thoughts. If you prefer the GLBT life style, go for it -- there are plenty of religions and organizations who accept and even endorse this life style. Stop complaining about my life style.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The claim about a 1963 leter in reaction to inter-racial marriage smells fake. In 1956 Spencer W. Kimball boldly declared "inter-racial marriage is no sin." You will not find any apostle anywhere saying the same about same-sex marriage.

The attempts to compare inter-racial marriage with same-sex marriage are insults to Mia Love, Alex Boye, and hundreds of other biological parents who have had children with spouses who are classed as a different race. Sex is relevant to the form, function and meaning of marriage. Race is not.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@firstamendment: I hope you realize that makes no sense. Why would Hitler destroy the Jews for opposing homosexuality, at the same time that he was rounding up and killing all the homosexuals? With those yellow stars, there were pink triangles. That book is neglected for a reason.


As for the LDS Church's statement, I commend it for encouraging all Mormons to work towards moral goals in their individual lives. But I wish LDS commenters here would take to heart the "live and let live" message it also contains.

Our religious freedom exists by one thin line in one Amendment of our Constitution. Before that line was written, early America was filled with religious persecution. Minority religions were exiled from colonies, prohibited from office, routinely punished, tortured, even hung in public as examples to others, including our early Quakers. (look up "Boston Martyrs")

That most important line builds a two-sided wall. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Let's not break it. Government needs to be free FROM religion to be fair to ALL our citizens. We should practice our religion, not impose it.

Kaysville, UT

The Catholic Church, Baptist Church and the Muslim religion is against gay marriage, besides the The Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That is a lot people who believe God says no to SSM. Arguments are made to be n the right side history. I'm sure arguments like that were made before Sodom and Gomorrah or the great flood in Noah's time.

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

"The church insists on its leaders’ and members’ constitutionally protected right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family and morality free from retaliation or retribution. The church is also entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members."

As a gay male, I practically stood up and applauded when I read this. This is exactly my position too, and that of many other gays. We're not asking the Mormon Church to change its beliefs about gays. We welcome them to practice their religion the way they see fit--as long as it's with civility to all, as stated.

But Utah itself isn't a "Mormon" state--it's part of the USA. Not every Utahn is a Mormon, but they're all American citizens. And that's the basis of why we seek marriage equality in Utah. Not to get the Mormon Church to believe/teach differently. But again, just to have the same rights as every other American citizen, Mormon and non-Mormon alike.

Note especially the last words in the above quote: ". . . for members."

St. George, UT


I am not suggesting we exclude the voice of religious people from civil discourse and you know it. Please don't twist my words. I am saying that if the civil rights of homosexuals are to be infringed, something more than "God said it's wrong" is required. You'll see.

And by the way, moral systems, by leaps and bounds, pre-date organized religion. From an evolutionary perspective, the foundations of morality are completely natural. Religions simply seek to bind people into moral communities and then reinforce the moral principles that serve it's own goals. Quite frequently, this selective morality promotes an "us vs. them" mentality and brings out the worst in believers. So much violence, discrimination, and ostracism in the name of religious morality. You can keep it.

St. George, UT


"Religion has always had a hand in the founding principles of our nation and God willing it will continue do so. Your notion to exclude the voice of moral convictions of religious citizens from the dialogue in the public square is without historical merit."

Christians are attempting to restrict the rights of homosexuals to enjoy their basic human and american civil rights, and you are ok with that. The law banning gay marriage is a religious law. I assume you would be ok if Muslims started passing laws to restrict your civil rights on religious grounds?

Salt Lake City, UT

With all due respect to the importance of marriage in society, historians and anthropologists would disagree with the statement that marriage was instituted by God through religious faiths. Marriage originated in ancient patriarchal tribal and community groups long before it was embraced by religions. And it was not about love or protecting children either. It was actually instituted by the men in these patriarchal groups to insure that his partner's children were really his, and to make women their legal property.

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