LDS Church issues instructions to leaders on same-sex marriage

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  • Right2Worship Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 16, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    I believe that we treat our fellow brothers & sisters with love & that this article shows consistence in that statement while adhering to our beliefs.

  • RevCouncil Georgia, Georgia
    Jan. 15, 2014 5:13 a.m.

    Amen! Only God (the Great "I AM")knows what is best for man and women, whom He created. Just read His instructions in the Holy Bible where He describes the details of His creation in Genesis 1:27 & Genesis 2:22. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    Free agency, people. You can't force people to live by your standards just because you are the big fish in the world's smallest pond. Also, who are you to judge perfect strangers?

    Jan. 14, 2014 1:33 p.m.


    Why do you think gay marriage will cause "great calamities?" Are you saying gays are up there in evil with murderers, thieves, drug dealers, and terrorists, to name a few groups of very evil people? And are you really letting off the hook the greedy Wall Streeters, politicians, big-business polluters, and [gasp] leaders who rule mercifullessly to force religious convictions into law? They might have something to do with "great calamities" happening present day. Looking at everything in perspective, is gay marriage really what your God has said is the line in the sand before said "great calamities" are wreaked on us? If you are looking to convince people who are non-mormons, you'll have to go beyond citing mormon scripture to convince us to do things that hurt our neighbors just to fall in line with your beliefs. If it really is a threat to humanity, we'll listen.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Redshirt1701 wrote:

    "The church has kept itself separate from the state."


  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 14, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    To "InLifeHappiness" what are you talking about. Do you realize that the Church didn't beautify downtown for "Christ's return". Christ is not going to be returning to SLC, he will be coming somewhere else according to LDS doctrine. The LDS church has beautified their land, and their business arm has done what it can to make money while revitalizing downtown.

    Much of what they have done has gone against the desires of government. They have had to fight against the Mayor and SLC planners, so I don't think that they have merged with the goernment, and are doing as Brigham Young prophesied. The church has kept itself separate from the state.

  • InLifeHappiness Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    Utah's religious leaders have scrambled to "protect" their state from what they fear as an alternative marriage of SSM. Yet, they do not look at the continual hypocrisy of polygamist marriages that have impacted little female children and the implementation of the lost boy syndrome. According to UCLA Law Stats, Utah has the most same-sex parents in a metropolitan city nation-wide and The Advocate has claimed it the most gay city for numerous years. Religious leaders have spent mega money over the last 40 years to beautiful downtown SLC for Christ's return - does He need a beautification and place to speak? They forgot to listen to Brigham Young who prophesied what UCLA and The Advocate confirmed. Nor did they adhere to keep state and church separate as Joseph Smith counseled in Articles of Faith 11, 12. If only - now Utah is the forefront of more prejudice and disdain.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 14, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    To "ThinksIThink" the LDS church still advises against interracial marriage. Not because of any racism, but because of the difficulties in combining 2 distinct cultures. The church is trying to ensure that the marriages that people enter into have the greatest possibility to succeed. Removing cultural differences is a big step towards success in marriage.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Jan. 14, 2014 2:43 a.m.

    The LDS church stood strong against interracial marriage on the grounds it was God's will. Now it stands against gay marriage.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 13, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    Here is pretty much the classic example of asking someone to pay for the sins of another.
    I thought that Jesus died to cleanse all of us.

    Saratoga Springs, UT
    Homosexuality is, always has been, and always will be a moral crime of immense magnitude.
    --- Continuing through your post, you ask 2 loving people who want to marry to pay for all the adulterers, the divorces, the single mother births, etc.

    This land has been declared to be a land of freedom as long as its inhabitants observe the laws of their Creator.
    --- Really, I thought the Constitution covers everyone!

    I predict that the persecution of those who do not accept society's values will become more severe.
    --- Actually, society's values in 2014 say that people who single out a group as a scapegoat for the ills of the world are meanspirited and wrong

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    The logical conclusion for those who believe that they were made gay is quite puzzling. They seem to excuse themselves for not being able to reproduce, but God, who knows all, holds dearest the power to create life, something represented by the 50 or 60 billion children that he has placed here on this earth. I hold it as blasphemy anyone that proposes that God engages in the same behavior exhibited by the Gay oommunity, who, unlike the women caught in adultery, are quite pleased with their actions. One must only conclude that truths can only be understood by the same spirit that caused the repentant adulterer to change her ways. However, if we aspire to be Gods, or even just saints, it is incumbent upon us to seek to know the truth, no matter what the outcome of our search. God has spoken in both ancient and modern scriptures of the evils of sexual immorality, especially the evils of Homosexuality. You can debate me all you want and I will readily concede that I am a poor example of christian living, but you can't tell God the same. His word is final.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Jan. 13, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    Something that many (in and out of the Church) seem to forget is that the Church has been dealing with people (and members) that don't abide by the Law of Chastity for its entire existence. Homosexual behavior is not fundamentally different, it is a violation of that very fundamental law.
    Just as we have lived with neighbors, friends, and family members that are adulterers and fornicators from the beginning, so shall we live with neighbors, friends and family members that are actively homosexual. We understand the eternal and temporal consequences of violating the Law of Chastity to be more severe than for many other sins. Regardless, we all have to live with sinful people, including ourselves.
    Along with this, we as a people will continue to advocate for a broader society that embraces and encourages that which it moral and good. Civil law is simply an expression of a society's values.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Jan. 13, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    You've quoted part of a sentence in such a way as to muddle its meaning. Here is the complete quote: "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."
    The Church has always been very careful to follow the belief expressed by that complete thought.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    I love so many people in the Church! It is very difficult and probably always will be, but one day we will all face God and I am going to ask him why? Why is it that we should be treated differently? Don't you think that if people choose to have respect for us, they will allow us the same right to live according to what we believe? Don't just say in words, but show it in deeds! That is what the problem truly is, the fact that what LDS people believe about us is not good! Guess what, your going to act on it! You are going to put us down again and again! nobody will do this to me and tell me it is ok! It may be one or two people that you deal with! Think about how many people we deal with each day and each one has his or her point of view! We are suppose to respect that and I do! It wouldn't be so hard if I didn't care! I wish that I could just not care, but I know that I always will!

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    God had everything to do with those of us who are gay! It wasn't something that we did to ourselves and if people want to insult us by saying that we are immoral, what can we say? I can stand up for myself because I believe God gave each and every one of us an ability to look within and know who we are! I look inside of myself, and I know for whatever reason I am gay, it is part of the plan! It is an insult to treat us as if we are stupid and it is an insult to take a few scripture out of the Bible and do what people do with them! If you don't think it is an insult what is happening to us, then just ask yourselves why it is that we don't deserve to live our own convictions? Why do people feel they have a need to degrade us, because that is what is happening. If it happens to be a part of your beliefs, then that belief is demeaning to us! To say these things come from God is truly an insult.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 13, 2014 2:10 p.m.

    To "Owen" yes, scripture is doctrine. Actually, doctrine has not been cannonized six times. Declarations and revelations have been cannonized.

    Read D&C 68:4 "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."

    So, if the Prophets have spoken while moved upon by the Holy Ghost to declare that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that we should support laws delcaring such, according to the LDS scriptures it is the will of the Lord. Should we follow the will of the Lord or not?

    Those that look beyond the mark are those that, like the ancient Jewish people, look for specific steps to be followed to know that something was done correctly. Since the scriptures declare that the only thing that is required for something to be considered scripture is for the church leaders to speak as moved by the HG, how do you identify when that has occured?

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    Scripture is doctrine? No. Regardless, I'll wait for our leaders to declare the proclamation doctrine - after the process they've always followed. Doctrine has been canonized six times in our faith's history. Three steps have always been followed: approval of the First Presidency, the concurrence of the Twelve, a sustaining vote of the entire membership. Imagine if a church lobbyist (the Proclamation grew out of the first SSM political battles) had drafted a proclamation on race in the heat of the civil rights battles. Imagine if we had framed it and hung it on our walls 50 years before admitting our racial policy (then called doctrine) had no basis in doctrine or the scriptures. Be careful when looking beyond the mark.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Jan. 13, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    Owen again you miss the point. Re-read what the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have stated especially with what this statement said towards same-sex marriage. They are using exclusively The Family: A Proclamation to the World as a teaching tool pertaining to marriage and the family. You are arguing something that is clearly DOCTRINE. Everything in the Proclamation has been stated and restated in the scriptures from the time of Adam down to today. Nothing in the Proclamation is new nor was it ever new. Therefore, as someone else has mentioned it is SCRIPTURE and it is best that those who oppose it as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints adhere to it. The reason it is scripture is because it is based on scripture. It is based on the teachings of the LDS Church for as long as I have been alive and it is based on the teachings of the Prophets since the beginning of time. It doesn't need to be canonized because it was already scripture. That is why it is an inspired document because it was already scripture.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    To "Baccus0902" you didn't answer ChrisB's question.

    You claim to be LDS, and the doctrine of the LDS church says that the Prophets speak for god. If they have spoken for God regarding SSM, then why do you not support what God has spoken through his prophets?

    To "The Caravan Moves On" yes the church encourages its members to think for themselves, but if I think that it is ok to drink just a little bit of wine every day does that make it ok? Just because you are to think for your self, that does not mean that you are to justify sinful behavior using whatever logic you see fit.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    Bj-hp: again I point out: A prophet's verbal description of the Proclamation in conference: "it qualifies according to scriptural definition as a revelation, a guide that members of the church would do well to read and to follow.” And then editing his own words, described it thus: "It is a guide that members of the church would do well to read and to follow.” Like the dietary guidelines in the Word of Wisdom. Your (or the PR department's) use of "doctrine" does not make it so. My inspired leaders have always had the good sense not to canonize such proclamations without common consent. Let's hope inspired minds continue to trump legal/PR experts and edit it to match the scriptures in which Gods created humans by using power to organize elements. We have no idea (unless you are advocating canonizing the journal of discourses) how spirit children are created and whether gender plays any role.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    I honestly doubt those active LDS members who are homosexual would request that an LDS bishop marry them.They understand the Church's position regarding homosexual marriage. Only the militant gay crowd would attempt to force the issue...along with perhaps the White House.

  • rogerawilkins Lehi, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 11:56 p.m.

    People have a right to choose. Freedom has a price. You are free to choose, however, there will be a consequence for the choice you make. You can choose to listen to God or not listen to God. If God says marriage is for a man and women and not for SSM, then there will be consequence for not listening to God. Truth cannot change. Truth is eternal. God knows what is right because he is God and have seen what happens if SSM marriage happens. So, you can choose eternal life or death (separation from God).

  • Sassy83 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 11:07 p.m.

    The bottom line's all about respect AND equal treatment under the LAW. It's no longer 2004 in Utah. Let's hold another vote Mr. Gary Herbert. Then we'll see what Utah really wants!!!

  • Mountain Fox Davis, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 6:46 p.m.

    Nice article Mr. Tad Walsh, short and to the point. I love how the church has and always have approached this. It is obvious that we can not legislate moral values, so if it is possible, I would hope that the same sex community would at least be willing to change the word "Marriage" to something else that would mean a union between the couples and allow them the government benefits they desire. Love the sinner not the sin, respect begets respect. God Bless.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    the darkest night makes those without a candle lost. I am stunned by the lack of civility toward God! the narcissistic behavior of those who believe that God will some day validate poor choices is without historical equal. Abortion showed the extent to which people will go to extinguish the light of God through a child and now we must forbear when two people decide to disregard God's plan, the value of the opposite gender, as well as the societal imperative to marry, have children, and contribute to a cause higher than themselves! how sad! Welcome to a brave new world, one that only the brave will be able to survive!

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Jan. 12, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    Owen: Again you are taking and making falsehoods about what the Prophets have stated. First they never stated that the Priesthood ban was wrong. They stated that when instituted by Brigham Young instituted it that he did state it would be reinstated at a later date. That did come true in 1978. Polygamy was never stated as being wrong. The time had come that it was no longer needed. The Family, A Proclamation to the World is an inspired document that we are to use to teach our membership what the meaning of marriage and families are about. This document states emphatically that marriage is defined by our Heavenly Father from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. The Doctrines in the proclamation will stand as a testament against those who continue to be deceived by Satan as his angels about marriage and the family. Failure to heed the warnings in the proclamation will be a testament against all those who are openly rebelling against the word of the prophets who are the mouthpiece of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Homosexuality is, always has been, and always will be a moral crime of immense magnitude. As such, every prophet, living and dead, who has ever spoken on the subject has declared it so. The First Presidency is merely reiterating what has been repeated time and again for thousands of years.

    This land has been declared to be a land of freedom as long as its inhabitants observe the laws of their Creator. Today, more than half of the children born in America are born to unmarried women, half of our marriages end in divorce, nearly 1 million unborn children are aborted annually, chastity is often seen as an outdated value, and homosexuality is touted as an acceptable lifestyle. As our society's morals continue to degrade, I predict that the persecution of those who do not accept society's values will become more severe.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Jan. 12, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    You made a comment that the world would be better off if everyone followed the law of chastity. I agree. So, if we had a magic wand and could make everyone do what we think is best, what would we do about gay people? According to the law of chastity, there is no chaste way for a gay person to experience romance and sexuality. The impluse to love (and we are not just talking about lust) needs to be dialed down to zero: Total celibacy. Would the world be better off if every gay person stayed alone forever? Read the recent DesNews series on Living Lonely. It states that "humans are not designed to be alone." I have a lot of gay friends who are not LDS. They respect me, but they are not going to join the church. I don't expect them to be celibate forever. I am happy for them when they find someone to commit to. I think this is better than promiscuity or cohabitation in exactly the same way it is for straight people. So SSM seems to support the law of chastity principles of faithfulness and fidelity for gay people.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 12:51 a.m.

    @ bandersen

    Our civil rights are actually being expanded. Nobody is losing any rights by legalizing SSM. Also, the real motive arrived long ago. It's all about equal treatment.

  • StringFellowHawk Blaine, Wa.
    Jan. 12, 2014 12:43 a.m.

    Hate the Sin....Love the Sinner, isn't that the way it's supposed to be? I can get along with anyone who are homosexual, they are human beings, though misguided or misinformed as they may be, they are still God's Children, and worthy of respect as such. I cannot and will not, support their life style, but after all, they do have their free agency and therefore free to make their own choices decisions. I do not agree with them, but do I hate them for that?....No, I do not. I follow the direction of our Heavenly Father and our Prophet, and I agree totally with them, in that the Holy Institution of Marriage is between a Man and a Woman.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:20 p.m.


    You speak as a person with profound wisdom. Thank you for sounding the alarm to awaken us from the deep sleep we are in. As we slumber our civil rights are even now being trodden asunder. Let us speak now with a voice of civility, but with a resolve to declare that our first freedoms must never be abandoned.

  • Country.berry Savage, MD
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:56 p.m.

    The church is still entitled to its beliefs, even after gay marriage is allowed. So in this country where you have the right to freedom of religion(or no religion) why has the church fought so hard to keep others from practicing their own beliefs? I'm not trying to be antagonizing.But really this all comes down to religion. There is separation of church and state.

  • Sassy83 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    To JNA

    You are dead wrong. Why would LGBT people want power. What purpose would that serve? They have been living a life of discrimination and bullying for years. They just want equal treatment and respect of people. The sooner we can all learn to love and respect our fellow men, the sooner we will all live in a world of peace and harmony!!!

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 5:35 p.m.

    bj-hp: as far as being "at odds" with Jesus on this issue. I believe I'll let him be the judge of that. And those who have responsibility to interview me a few times a year. So far, so good. I understand where most LDS scriptural literalists are coming from. They, like you, believe that 21st-century-style Mormon marriage was practiced from the beginning of time, despite the fact that their leaders have taught something else and history shows even another thing completely. But you misunderstand the history of your own doctrine on interracial marriage and priesthood eligibility. Even the church now admits the justifications for those now-changed doctrines were false. And both certainly we're considered to have originated in the Garden, if not before. The Proclamation is a political document that can easily be edited to be gender neutral except for one sentence. In every official creation story in our faith tradition, God or Gods (all male) create Adam by using their power to command the elements. Maybe gender roles and relationships beyond our limited existence are beyond our limited understanding.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 11, 2014 5:05 p.m.

    "The letter urges congregational leaders to teach members the church's doctrine in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," issued in 1995."

    Just look at how the USA has changed on the issue of Gay people since 1995.

    The best the mormon leaders can come up with is "Be civil to them"

    This ENTIRELY begs the question:
    ____"When will the prophet hear from God that Gay persons born into mormon families must no longer be shortchanged, nor relegated to a lesser status, nor be encouraged to lie in order
    to be accepted?"

    No matter how wonderful the "prophet" is, he is a man who reached adulthood before 1950.

    I think that God is way ahead of the mormon church:
    -- He created many thousands of Gay children in mormon families, and expects the church to treat them equally.

    I believe that lds people deserve a more enlightened answer, rather than continued announcements that avoid dealing with the issue.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    Rushing up to the Capitol steps is not a reason to make a law. I think the story of narcissus is relevant. Gay marriage is unnatural, demeans Gods love, and rips apart the civil rights of the people of utah. It demeans the opposite gender by saying "you are nothing. I am everything. Look at me!" A generation raised on a steady stream of narcissistic behavior is certain to seek the mirror to reflect itself. How sad! Make no mistake slumbering citizens. This isn't about equality. It is about compulsion. Misery loves company! The real motives are coming. Members of the church have been put on notice. It is a mystery to me how anyone would want to be considered a follower of Christ, but want him to change His laws to fit his own narcissistic behavior. The counterfeit of real marriage is here to stay, but the real issue is whether sleeping citizens recognize that their liberties and civil rights are being thrown out the door by activists judges and a vocal minority. Hopefully, those who understand the Constitution and love it will begin to defend it.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    I respectfully reply to you that there is more to heterosexual concern with SSM than "God said it's wrong" In my view, it is an intellectual, biological, anatomical, and moral counterfeit. Additionally, many credible studies have concluded that SSM is an inferior model for rearing children. I totally understand your view that sometimes in various cultures there is and has been some violence, discrimination and ostracism in the name of religious morality. That said, I am personally familiar with a multitude of instances where religion has also inspired folks to be kinder, gentler and more loving to their fellow beings. You and I have greatly differing points of view about SSM and that is OK. I respect your views and I hope you will respect mine? I hope we as citizens can find a win-win solution that meets the needs and rights of both sides of this issue. If we don't, I fear a future society that may not be kinder and gentler.

  • woodeye1943 TOOELE, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    Life is meant to follow law and order. In the case of marriage is meant to be the Lords standards, which is not same sex marriage any more than those who choose to live out of wed lock. Now said doesn't mean people aren't suppose to care for each other because you disagree with the desires of another.

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Jan. 11, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    @Chris B - "If you Mormons believe your prophet speaks for God what is there to "regret"? Shouldn't people always support what God says?"

    Everyone, even members of the Church, has a right to their own opinion and must decide for themselves what they must do. To demand or expect blind obedience is not something that one believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ would desire.

    Anyone who believes the Gospel forces them to do anything does not understand it.

    We are given the Gospel freely and *asked* to obey its requirements. We take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ by choice. But those who choose to obey the Gospel must also understand that its principles and doctrine must be obeyed to obtain its blessings. That principle has been that way since the time of Adam and should always be made clear before anyone accepts the covenant.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    "The same principle of equality ensures each of us are able to live our own lives as we see fit. I hope Utahns can get better at sharing the public square, treating other civilly and start being better neighbors."

    NYCUT...What would you say in light of your words above to the business owners who have lost their livelihoods because they were forced to either defend their right to "live their lives as they see fit" and not cater to gay weddings? A baker, a photographer both have lost ALL they worked for ALL their lives. Where is the equality in that? Where the civility? Everyone was assured that wouldn't happen, but guess did. Civility only seems to work for the other side. There are plenty of Mormon owned business who will Marriott Hotels welcomes and goes after the business on a website designed ONLY for GLBT weddings and receptions. Why persecute the little guy?

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    I think the church has some legitimate concerns beyond section 130. One of them is that by not performing ssm's, it might be seen as acting outside the law, resulting in the loss of authority to perform marriages which are recognized by the state. I do not think that threat can come to pass, history to the contrary notwithstanding. Nor do I believe that section 130 supports the idea of natural law having the ability to trump God, nor that mankind can do so. I always thought that the primary law of Christianity was to love God and serve his children.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    As an atheist, I believe contrary to almost everything Mormons stand for. Yet I was married to my LDS wife by a Mormon Bishop, and although we held our wedding and reception in a much nicer venue than a Mormon building, we could have easily done the cheap reception in a Mormon cultural hall.

    But LDS same sex couples are not allowed to do so?

    That just seems a bit petty to me.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    The personal rancor reflected in that remark I don't intend to dignify with comment. But I would like to address your general attitude of hopeless negativism. First, I haven't read any comment where someone claims their "invisible friend" told them to do anything, so please stop with the baseless attacks on religionists.

    Second, the fact that religionists do not base their beliefs or arguments for opposing same-sex marriage on tangible or "reasonable" facts does not preclude them from voicing those opinions, nor does it mean they're wrong. Just because they do not explain their moral conviction to your satisfaction does not negate their opinion or belief. "Reason" is based on interpretation and point of view, so despite the facts there will always be differences of opinion. The key takeaway from your comment is that if religionists were as intelligent as you, they would undoubtedly take your position on the matter. That's pretty presumptuous. There are very intelligent people on both sides of the debate.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    The LDS hierarchy is more concerned public perception than non-members' morality. The LDS church wants to be seen as a mainstream religion. That image is clouded by their association of polygamy. They have been fighting that association ever since they forbid it. If Utah legalizes gay marriage then members will be asking for plural marriage. The LDS church will either have to allow it or answer why it is still wrong. They will then be once again linked to plural marriage and mainstream acceptance will be gone.

    It's easier for them to fight gay marriage than fight that battle.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    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.

  • johnthomasjones St. George, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:11 a.m.


    "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?

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:04 a.m.


    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.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    "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."

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    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.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    @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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    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.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    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
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    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
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    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.

  • Abbygirl East Carbon, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    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!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    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.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    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 ?

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    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.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    Tolerance, understanding and kindness is FAITH.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    "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.

  • ldsironrodder Galion, OH
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    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.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:21 a.m.


    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.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    @TwoForFlinching, I would ask which side is really trying to force their standards and beliefs here.

    LDS leaders are calling for civility and respect on both sides. LDS people have stated their position and it will play out in the courts. There is a moral and a legal component to this issue and if the law determines gay marriage is allowed, Mormons will uphold the law because that is also a tenet of our religion, but from a moral standpoint we are saying we stand in favor of traditional marriage, not against gay people.

    It is a position that says marriage between man and woman is worth protecting as a unique and essential institution of society for the well being of civilization. You can of course disagree, but it is a matter of conscience for Mormons.

    LDS people have never been in favor of forced anything. The thing nobody is talking about are the unintended consequences changing the definition of marriage. For example, what would then prevent someone from arguing prohibition of adult/minor relationships would be discriminatory? The decision to allow gay marriage opens up a potential Pandora's Box that most people have not yet even considered.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    It appears to me that there is great concern that adoption of same sex marriage laws may impinge on the temple marriages via the route that selective marriage practices show discrimination and that the governmental authority of the church to conduct marriages will be terminated. As central a threat as that is, I think it is doomed to failure. The church has dealt with marriage authority before, and practice of religion is what is protected. I fear the effects of repressing minorities in places where the church has great power and influence will generate more powerful resentment against it. An example is the forger who bombed people in SLC

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 11, 2014 6:25 a.m.

    The moral strictures and goals of the Mormon Church are truly admirable, and I would encourage all practicing Mormons to work towards those goals...

    In their own lives. Not collectively, but individually.

    And, I would like to remind all practicing Mormons that your ability to practice your religion at all is protected by only one thin line in one Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Until 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 Constitutional line, which gives us religious freedom, is a two-sided wall. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If we cherish our religious freedom, we must also cherish the freedom of the government FROM religion, to accept that secular goals, led by science and sociology and equal treatment for all, must undergird the equitable law of the land.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Jan. 11, 2014 6:04 a.m.

    Owen: You really do miss the point in that inter-racial marriage and the priesthood were not doctrine in the same sense as marriage. Marriage between man and woman has been doctrine since the beginning of time. It was doctrine in the Garden of Eden. It was doctrine in Egypt. It was doctrine in Israel at the time of Christ. It was doctrine at the death and resurrection of the Lord and it is doctrine today. It is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The words of the "Proclamation to the World, The Family" is prophetic as it is basically taking all of the teachings pertaining to marriage and the doctrine into one document. Failure to see or understand that puts you at odds with the Lord Jesus Christ. This isn't the same as the statements on inter-racial marriage or the priesthood. Those who feel this will change don't understand the scriptures and don't understand the doctrine it is applied to. Heavenly Father defined marriage when Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden. That has not changed. Heavenly Father defined marriage at that time as marriage between man and woman.

  • Florien Wineriter Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 5:33 a.m.

    A bold and welcome statement. Respect for individual ri9ghts and freedom is a rare commodity today.I hope this example will will begin to restore kindness and compassion to our jaded society.

  • Clinton Draper, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 5:32 a.m.

    @Blue AZ Cougar Since members of the Mormon church who commit adultery are typically excommunicated or at least disfellowshipped, and since homosexuality is a sin for some of the same reasons that adultery is, I would go out on a limb and say that while practicing homosexuals are welcome to attend church meetings, they likely wouldn't be allowed to be members of the church and therefore would not be eligible to hold any position within the organization.

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    Jan. 11, 2014 3:48 a.m.

    Read a bunch of the anti-marriage equality posts . . . I have got to strongly disagree with the good intentioned statements of Church members who try to characterize this issue as an attack on their religious freedom. Gay people have endured second class citizenship in this country for hundreds of years. Not to mention the stigma, exclusion and attacks by many so-called "kind and loving" christians. Church leaders have not helped the situation either (i.e. Boyd K. Packer, Spencer W. Kimball) who persistently labeled gay people as perverts who, in order to achieve God's eternal blessings, are instructed to live a mortal celibate life? I would call that hell on earth. No thank you. The Church will lose this battle on principle and it is way past due. Gay people and their supporters will not retreat in this battle one inch. The next step is to fight for the rights of gays in Africa, the Middle East and other countries where it's open season to brutalize human beings because of their god given sexual orientation.

  • Saguaro Scottsdale, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2014 3:07 a.m.

    I am not surprised by several comments that start out talking about marriage and end up talking about taxes. We often fear most, that others will do to us what we have done to them. Opponents of SSM would take away a tax exemption from Edith Windsor, married in a country that democratically chooses to recognize her marriage, and resident of a state that has democratically chosen to recognize her marriage. A majority of voters in places like Utah would take away from her an exemption for married people worth half a million dollars. Judges who saw that as unfair, are labeled activists.

    The small minority of SSM couples do not want to take away any tax benefits from churches. They just want to get married, and to pay no more taxes than other married couples. Taxation without inclusion in civil rights may not be tyranny, but it certainly is an issue in any civil discourse about civil marriage.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:58 p.m.

    Fools mock, for they shall mourn.

    So be it…

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:49 p.m.

    "no comment" you may be right about some things, sadly, we have learned little from the past because the media filters the truth, but that is not without precedence: "Another probable reason for Hitler's anti-Semitism is traditional Judaism's appreciation of women and its fierce opposition to homosexuality..." German-Jewish historian Samuel Igra in his neglected 1945 book, Germany's National Vice.

  • AlaskanWinnipegger Palmer, AK
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:32 p.m.

    @no comment

    I think that's one of the blessings for the tithing funds of the church. Yes, will the Church have to cut funding on some of it's programs (the discounted tuition for BYU, perhaps) - sure, but because the Church has frankly a better economic status than the US, it will be fine.

  • aubrey1 orem, utah
    Jan. 10, 2014 11:05 p.m.

    The church should have had more foresight than to fight ssm. I've always said that they should have instead lead the charge for equality. They could have done this by using their political influence to remove the institution of marriage completely from government control. Marriage benefits granted by the federal/state gov'ts have always been unconstitutional. In the place of "marriage" the corrected/new term might have been a legal status similar to power of attorney or partnership, then the word or term "marriage" would be mute and of no consequence. Most of us have no problem making things equal for all, it's the "marriage" word that causes conflict.
    If the church is smart they will use their voice and resources to take marriage completely out of the gov'ts hands, change it to a legal status, then love people and keep the term "marriage" to be defined by churches or other institutions. Love all and give them freedom. A win win.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    I am very glad the church goes into the fighting finally and declares peace.
    It is comfort to all of us, that we do have moral obligations to include others in our midst, despite their believes. They are welcome in Utah and in the LDS church.
    But no persecution please.

    Maybe we all can join together in doing good to others, and remind us of the priorities in life, to bless those who seek truth and peace.

    Reminds me of Moroni, when he said : "Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved."

    I believe the purpose of the church is to raise our awareness to repent and thereby making the purifying atonement available to us. Whatever people want to believe...but to be purified in Christ means to come unto Christ with full purpose of heart.
    A very personal decision.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:28 p.m.

    This is all well and good, but I still don't understand why people feel like they can force their standards and beliefs over everybody else. Believe what you believe and live your life as you see fit, and allow everyone else to do the same. Live and let live, people.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:17 p.m.

    A verbal description of the Proclamation in conference: "it qualifies according to scriptural definition as a revelation, a guide that members of the church would do well to read and to follow.”
    After editing by a prophet: "It is a guide that members of the church would do well to read and to follow.”
    In this statement written by the legal/PR dept.: "doctrine."
    Which is it? The church made similar statements in the past about interracial marriage and priesthood eligibility. It has always had the good sense not to canonize such statements. Let's hope inspired minds continue to trump legal/PR experts. Imagine the damage a canonized Proclamation on Race would have done 50 years ago.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    Christopher Hitchens said it best, “How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.”
    Gays will be able to wed in all 50 states due to governor Herbert's desire to take this all the way to the Supreme Court and churches everywhere will lose the young people they so desperately need to keep. I see this as a win-win all around.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    The Church has also said,

    You can be a Democrat,
    pay your taxes,
    go out and vote,
    and obey ALL of the laws of the land [which includes speeding].

    When members stop picking and choosing which Church statements to obey,
    I will stop making comments of the DN articles.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    Jeff in NC: I disagree with what you said. It will not hold the Church of Jesus Christ back. In fact, it will allow the Church of Jesus Christ to grow even more abundantly across the United States and the World. We are in the last days and this really spells out the prophesy that good will be called evil and evil called good.

    This has never been about rights. It is completely and entirely a moral issues. Modern prophets have spoken and the Lord God has stated through his prophets his will as we get closer to the second coming of the Lord. President Thomas S Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece today just as Moses, Isaiah, Jacob, Abraham and others were in their day.

    This will bring great calamities upon the United States. It may not happen right away but it will happen and when it does, people again will disobey the word of the living Prophets.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    baccus: Believe me when I say this! The whole Gay marriage thing is has been blown way out of proportion by the media and by those who are gay and want everyone else to validate it, regardless of any other point of view from God or citizen! To say that I don't support gay marriage because of what my leaders teach about it is so far off the radar to be ludicrous to even mention. For me, this is simple: It is an unnatural way of living and not only doesn't need a prophet's word, it doesn't need anyone's word. It comes under the title of common sense and intuition, which tells you something about the truth. the truth doesn't need any body's validation, least of all a prophets. Far from running my life, the prophet's word usually validate what I already knew to be true!

    This absolutely is a right of the sovereign state of Utah to make. For those who don't understand the concept inherent in the 10th amendment, read it! Those words have meaning, despite those who want to press the delete button on our rights and freedoms!

    Jan. 10, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    A Very respectful letter from the LDS Church Leaders regarding Biblical and eternal truths which protect 'civilization's heart', namely the Traditional Family Unit.

    It may not/will not be popular in some segments of society, but then again,standing for truth has never been easy, and it will only get more difficult from here-on, to be sure.

    May God Bless our nation leaders to:

    -Protect and promote the 'Institution of the Family' as God has sanctioned from the beginning of time;
    -Maintain and protect Religious Freedom and Matters of Moral Conscience;
    -Uphold the Constitution (not re-define it) including States Sovereignty; and...

    May He continue to protect this Great State, and nation to be a refuge of Freedom, Light and Truth for generations yet to come.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    @no comment
    "Who would have believed a couple of decades back that the US government, in defiance of the US Supreme Court, would overrule a Utah law ?"

    Uh... the Supreme Court could ultimately rule to overturn the Utah law.

    @Chris B
    Practically half of Catholics in the US don't agree with the Pope on same-sex marriage, while the other half don't agree with the Pope on income inequality.

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    I will stand with the Church ,and what it teaches. I support the leaders of the Church.will you stand with them,? Or are you standing with man? Choose you this day who you will serve.

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:20 p.m.

    Is there some kind of divergent belief that the 'threat' of losing tax exempt status is something the 'leaders' even spend an iota of thought upon? I do believe that the tithing of the faithful members and other invested incorporated funds are well sufficient to withstand with ease of mind any forthcoming taxes that 'may' be levied... The doctrines will not change by the interposition of men. Threaten all you want, but the work will go forth boldly, nobly and independent come whatever winds of change may bring.

  • JNA Layton, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    To: No Comment

    Amen and Amen, if anyone out there thinks this is about equality it is not. It is about the acquisition of power and to force religions to marry or face the consequences. Your post was dead on.

  • well informed Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:13 p.m.


    great comment. I completely agree.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:50 p.m.

    @ Baccus0902 - Leesburg, VA
    @ Chris B

    " @Baccus,: Interesting you say you regret the decision, but as a Mormon don't you believe that your prophet speaks for God? So you regret what God has said?"


    You seem to know very little about LDS Doctrine. The church always taught me to think for myself....."

    Baccus -

    Yes, church leaders have always taught us to think for ourselves. However, you're leaving out one little piece of info that changes everything. They taught us to first think for ourselves (i.e., to "ponder it in our minds"....Doctrine and Covenants section 9) but to ultimately yield our will to God.

    You're not talking about that last part.


  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:42 p.m.

    I cannot speak for others, but a number of posts seems to say the Church is doomed because it may lose tax exempt status. I'm not sure what legal grounds the government could have to do that, but I do not trust the SCOTUS to follow law, moral majority, will of the people, common sense, or wise conclusions that are best for society. I trust the prophet far more in that regard. But I just want to put my stake in the ground that I do not pay tithing in order for a tax deduction. I trust that the vast majority of Church members would not cease tithing donations over taxing issues. And I trust that the Church would adjust expenditures accordingly. Prophets have encouraged us to get involved in politics, and that is our best hope to influence good politics. Also, every good work that we do, especially when challenged by governments, will be blessed by God and will bring good fruit in the long run. In God we trust!

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    @ Baccus0902 - Leesburg, VA - "The LDS Church has made an official statement, which is reasonable, respectful, and clearly expresses its opinion and rules about Same Sex Marriage. As an LDS I regret the decision. However, I have no recourse other than accept it as the voice of the authorities of the church."

    The problem, 'baccus0902', is that you think this is the voice of the "authorities of the church" and not the "voice of the Lord."

    Yes, that makes all the difference in the world.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    This statement was written by several attorneys. The names Dallin H Oaks (Former law professor at U of Chicago and Utah Supreme Court Justice), D Todd Christofferson (Fromer associate general counsel for NationsBank), and Quentin L. Cook (Former San Francisco Bay area attorney) come to mind. Several businessmen in there as well, with some good PR abilities.

    I do not think that many people are unclear about the Church's stand on SSM. They are pretty upfront that they do not find it to be morally right.

  • mlngilbert Stockbridge, GA
    Jan. 10, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    Mack2828- I am a little lost as to why you claim the prophet has not spoken boldly about this situation. It seems to me he stated the church's position very clearly and boldly. Just because the church has said not to treat gay people or those who support it with any disrespect, hate or malice does not mean we are refusing to live up to and stand up for our convictions. I don't see any clearer or more bold way to tell people where we stand on this issue. The prophet has stated to its members the leaders are not to perform these marriages or allow the church buildings to be used for these purposes. I do not see treating anyone with hate or malice as the right way to handle disagreements on the nature of marriage.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    Latter Day Saints believe in chastity (sexual intimacy is limited married heterosexual couples) If we actually had a chaste society this is what we could expect:

    A. Fewer divorces since there would be no infidelity.
    1. Fewer children psychologically damaged by divorce; more socially well-adjusted children.
    2. Less Poverty; fewer children raised in poverty.
    3. Less abuse of children
    4. Fewer children neglected.
    5. Fewer custody issues.
    6. Less crime, drug and alcohol abuse.
    7. Fewer betrayed spouses.

    B. Sexually transmitted diseases completely eliminated.

    C. Fewer unwanted pregnancies.
    1. Abortions rare. No need for abortion unless there is serious risk to the mother’s life or health. No psychological problems associated with abortion.
    2. Children raised in homes where they are loved and cherished.

    D. No pornography and the problems associated with it.
    1. Fewer sex crimes and fewer victims of sex crimes.
    2. Healthier relationships between husband and wife.

    What is the matter with encouraging chastity? Why are LDS criticized for encouraging that kind of society? Wouldn't things would be a lot better if we actually really tried to the law of chastity?

  • Sassy83 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    Being Mormon, I also believe in the 12th article of Faith which states, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates. In obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." All men are created equal and under the law they should be treated equal. If it is decided that LGBT people should marry then we should sustain the law and be fine with it. We should not bully or discriminate in any way. It is our job to love all people, just as the Savior taught.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Jan. 10, 2014 5:22 p.m.

    This is a great statement. No appeasement, it is what it is.

  • BlackDiamond Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 5:00 p.m.

    I am a Mormon and proud of it and support the what leaders have to say. God has never allowed same sex marriage and he never will.

    I also support you @Chris B

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:59 p.m.


    But remember, even so influential a person as Thomas Jefferson himself Did Not get that specific phrase "wall of seperation" into the Constitution, even though it is said he wanted it included. Instead we ended up with a "neutrality clause" on religion. No law for or against shall be allowed. Or to put it another way, Congress is staying out of religion althgether.

    One thing though about the quote you gave. When I read it what I see is TJ making an argument against state sponsored religion such as England had/has in the Church of England. What Mr. Jefferson I believe was saying is that he did not want a Church of America. He wasn't really addressing what the, for lack of a better term, private, religions or churches would do.

  • archemeedees Tooele, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:57 p.m.

    The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

    Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.

    Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.

    We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

  • WriterChick St. George, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    In the actual statement by the church it says: "We invite you to pray that people everywhere will have their hearts softened to the truths of the gospel, and that wisdom will be granted to those who are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future."
    So no, we are not trying to push our beliefs on other people. We simply realize that the way we vote on issues such as this one affects our society's future, and we believe that the legalization of same sex marriage will have a negative effect on society.
    It bothers me when members within the church vote for same sex marriage, because if they believe that the prophet really does receive revelation for the church, then they should believe that it is God who is against same sex marriage. Shouldn't they believe that God is always right? So.... God is against it, but they are for it? That seems backwards to me,but I guess they have to right to believe what they want.

  • aunt lucy Looneyville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    If you truly have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints then this is "End of Story." If you have a testimony of the Gospel then you know the Lord, through his mouthpiece has just spoken. Good enough for me. In troubled times, oh how I appreciate the clarity of the Lord.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    RE: no comment

    If we have followed the counsel to be debt free, prepared for the storms of life we will ride out the secular storm. I think this is the trial of our generation, to stand firm and bear the stripes of secular humanism that will be laid upon our backs. Our spiritual ancestors crossed the plains and suffered the rigors of the elements. So we will be tried and refined as necessary in this furnace of affliction.

    IMHO the goal of the secular humanists is control, control of others in as many aspects of their lives as possible in order to coerce the public into conforming with their view of life and society. Gay marriage may be but a tool to advance this goal of control of society.

    We need to fasted our seat belts and put the tray in an upright position, it's going to be a bumpy ride from here on out.

  • Relocated Southerner Logan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    I have been saying this for a long time. The way to keep the churches from being sued or losing their tax-exempt status is to have the churches get out of the LEGAL marriage business. Since marriage affords LEGAL and TAX benefits to the parties, everyone should have to be LEGALLY married by an official of the state -- be that a justice of the peace, judge, whatever. Then if the couple wants their marriage blessed -- either in a cathedral, synagogue or temple (LDS or Jewish or whatever) -- the couple can then go to their priest, bishop, rabbi, etc. to have their marriage blessed for the records of their own church or synagogue. Members of the clergy should not be allowed to perform LEGALLY binding marriages; that should be a function of a state official. If everyone were to do this, there could be no worry about being sued for refusal by some members of the clergy to perform a marriage since the church/synagogue ceremony would strictly be a religious rite.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    " @Baccus,: Interesting you say you regret the decision, but as a Mormon don't you believe that your prophet speaks for God? So you regret what God has said?"


    You seem to know very little about LDS Doctrine. The church always taught me to think for myself.
    "the glory of God is intelligence" Education, study and personal revelation are there to guide our lives as children of God and that is one of the strength of Mormonism.

    You may find many LDS that do not question what the authorities say. Well, that is their prerogative, However, because of their blind faith they are going against the teaching of the leaders of the church.

    How can you become a god if you don't dare to make decisions for your own life?

    I didn't believe in priesthood discrimination and I don't believe that God is against SSM.
    That is my belief and that is between God and myself.

    I will continue studying the scriptures, praying and developing my personal relationship with God. I cannot in good conscience to consider myself an LDS in good standing.

    I love the church and will pray for it.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:06 p.m.


    "If they really are prophets, why not just come out and boldly state the truth??"

    They have -- on various occasions. One occasion was issuing "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." How many times has the church issued a proclamation to the entire world? Not a lot, my friend.

    Did you also know in November 1995, President Hinckley and Elder Neal A. Maxwell presented President Bill Clinton and vice president Al Gore with a copy of the proclamation on the family as they met in the White House to discuss ways to strengthen families?

    You can confirm by doing a Google search for the terms "president hinckley bill clinton proclamation family." The first handful of results is sufficient.

  • U of U Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:58 p.m.


    "Ok, so the church just stated what it believes. So what. Now why are those beliefs being translated into public policy and law?"

    Saying that LDS Church beliefs are "translated into public policy and law" is a stretch. Yes, people may vote with their religious conscience, and that is a right.

    Not to mention that there ARE non-religious arguments to supporting traditional marriage. See the publication "What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense" by Sherif Girgis (a former Rhodes Scholar studying for a law degree at Yale and a Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton), Ryan T Anderson (a graduate of Princeton and a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at Notre Dame and a fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.), and Robert P George (J.D., Harvard; D. Phil., Oxford is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School).

  • skrekk Dane, WI
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    Funny that the LDS church issued a very similar letter in 1963 after Utah allowed mixed-race marriage.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    The Curch does not dictate State Policy. With that said as a member that does not preclude me from getting involved with politics. As you ask questions it shows you have a belief systme and I have mine. I am entitled to support a political stand that I believe in, just as your are. Don't even try the argument that it is about rights. Marriage is not a right. As such it requires a license. The States have the RIGHT to set laws and rules for their States. CO is now selling marijuana and that conflicts with the laws of the Federal Gov. When the Appeals Court rules and the Supreme Court rules (either side will appeal) then both sides will need to accept the ruling. Just becuase you have a different BELIEF does not make it so I cannot have mine! You all scream that our beliefs are affect you but you try and force your beliefs on me and others.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    We do not live in a Theocracy, we live in a Republic where the majority does not get to vote away the rights of the minority. I for one do not believe in your god, therefore saying it's god's law means nothing.
    “Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
    ― Thomas Jefferson

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    It seems like the prophets we read about in the scriptures boldly denounced sin without reservation. This statement sounds like it was carefully crafted and scrutinized by attorneys and public relations people.
    If they really are prophets, why not just come out and boldly state the truth??

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    I've said it before but it's worth saying again:

    "How many legs has a dog, if you call a tail a leg? Five? No. Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." - Abraham Lincoln

    If the government classifies an SUV as farm equipment for tax and emissions regulation purposes, does that make it farm equipment? No. That's absurd. It doesn't matter what a silly law says, it can't change the facts.

    If the government classifies a homosexual relationship as a marriage, does it make it a marriage?

    If the government declares a man to be a woman because of his "preferred gender identity" does that make him a woman?

    The answers to both of these questions is a clear No. Giving somebody an ID card with the wrong gender doesn't change his real gender, it just perpetuates a sham. Giving people of the same gender a marriage license doesn't make it a marriage, it just perpetuates a sham.

    Society will have to face the real facts eventually.

  • Elms OGDEN, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    Ok, so the church just stated what it believes. So what. Now why are those beliefs being translated into public policy and law? This is supposed to be a secular society. Gay marriage hurts no one. It affects no one except gay people. The religious convictions of the majority should not be codified and enforced against any minority. That this is happening and Utah is being run as a Mormon caliphate is sickening. The argument I keep hearing is "But what about the children?!". What children? Gay people don't accidentally get pregnant. The few who will have kids would really, really, really want to be parents. They'll be great parents and it's better that the kid go to them than bounce around foster homes. Teach what you want to your members in your church. Keep those beliefs out of government.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:30 p.m.


    You quote D&C 134:9, but you didn't complete the verse that changes the entire context. Here is the whole verse:

    "9 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."

    Since when did the gay marriage movement become a religious society and claim spiritual privileges they are being denied?

    Even with the large LDS presence in Utah, are the rights of Catholics, Muslims, Baptists, etc. denied somehow because LDS church leaders have taken over the local government? Of course not.

    Please don't wrest (twist) the scriptures.

    Jan. 10, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    It's frustrating. The overwhelming majority of people who support SSM have absolutely no interest in changing the LDS church's religious beliefs, however misled we think they are. Yet if you read the LDS' statement, it makes it sound like that is what is happening and that this is all about the church protecting their religious tenets. It's the opposite: religious tenets were used to create discriminatory laws against real people, and it is not just. I do respect mormons' religious beliefs. Please, continue your pursuit to eternal glory as you see fit, but persecuting good gay families does not make your pursuit any grander, in fact I think it may only hold you back.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    Baccus: This issue of marriage between a man and a woman is not a political issue. It is a religious issue. The government needs to get out of the way. This is God's law. And He will have the final say. I appreciate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' leadership making a strong statement on this issue which will be read from the pulpit in our meetings this Sunday. Some may not agree; it is, nevertheless, from our Prophet.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    How does this affect missionary efforts when missionaries come upon same-sex couples?

    The church requires potential converts who are living together to be married, and in some areas of the world this is a frequent stumbling block, as many couples who are co-habituating are not married.

    Presumably it will be like when the church previously encountered blacks who were potential converts, or the church's stance on sending missionaries to predominantly black nations, such as in Africa.

    My hunch is that if a same-sex couple that was married legally expressed interest in the LDS faith, the missionaries would back off, and decline further teaching or engagement.

    Like the other news today that the federal government will recognize the 1000 or so legal weddings that occurred in Utah over 18 days, while the state does not recognize them, we're living in a situation of ambiguity.

    Jan. 10, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    @ChrisB, better be careful with calling out Baccus. You believe the pope speaks for God, yet there is an even larger percentage of catholics that support SSM than LDS. Why are the catholics not following their leader, if he speaks for God?

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on supporting traditional marriage. But it is still up to each individual to make that decision as part of his/her gift of agency, weather you believe your church leader speaks for God or not.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    The church is less concerned with its tax-exempt status than you would think. The church isn't a tax-exempt organization worldwide, so I don't really see that as a deal-breaker. That really only applies in the U.S. and a handful of other countries. Besides, the law of tithing was never meant to be a vehicle to obtaining tax breaks. It's a law that was revealed in Old Testament times and exists in the church worldwide. Might be slightly less burdensome for someone in the U.S. to pay tithing (due to the tax breaks) than someone in Nigeria or Indonesia or Japan, but that doesn't mean the church would implode if it lost its 501(c)(3) designation. Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

  • Upson Downs Sandy, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    The Church makes it's doctrines and positions very clear on SSM. The question for me is how can Church Members, who say they are active LDS and support it's doctrines, then go out and overtly support SSM, as though the Church's position is totally irrelevant? To do both is incompatible with living in reality.

  • Aeron Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    @get her done: "Are same sex married couples allowed to attend church or hold positions?"

    All are welcome to attend church. :) In order to have a calling/position in the church, members need to be attending on a regular basis and living consistent with the principles and beliefs taught by the church. One of those principles is the law of chastity--that you don't engage in sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage. Marriage in the church is defined as between a man and a woman. So for this reason, anyone in a same sex marriage would be very welcome to attend church, but they would not be given a calling to serve.

  • no comment New Orleans, LA
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:06 p.m.


    Within 10 years the Church will lose it's tax exempt status over it's refusal to perform gay marriages.

    What does that mean?
    1. The US Government will tax the church like a business.
    2. We all know how the IRS treats it's political enemies. Consider the Church enemy-of-the-state #1.
    3. No more tax deductible tithing or offerings.

    500 years of religious freedom destroyed over a couple of decades!

    Sound extremist? Who would have believed a couple of decades back that the US government, in defiance of the US Supreme Court, would overrule a Utah law ?

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    @get her done
    Yes, same-sex married couples are allowed to attend church. Anybody is welcome to attend LDS services (as long as they aren't disruptive and are wearing clothes I suppose). As for holding positions, I'll go out on a limb and say 'no'. This is just my though/interpretation, but given the church's position on same-sex marriage, a same-sex couple would not be living the standards of the church, and would therefore be precluded from holding positions or callings.

  • Maxx Rexburg , ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    This is a sacred truth that applies to all the earth not just to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By not standing as a light on the hill, and a beacon of truth, we are assisting our brothers and sisters on the path to hell and allowing them to take us there at the same time. In the super hero society today in which we live, we often hear “with great power comes great responsibility.” Power is knowledge, knowledge is truth, and truth is what we have, so we are the only ones with the true power or knowledge that have the responsibility to stop it. So we can watch the world burn and burn with it or act. That is the choice, there is no other, and the time is now.

  • Cyril GH Ghana, 00
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    God's representatives have spoken. So shall it be. They have been kind enough to make the statement in a manner that will cause no contention.
    I am LDS. Give us the respect we deserve to keep our religion as our God will have us keep it.

  • Maxx Rexburg , ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    Where much is given much is required or in scriptural terms “He who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation”(D&C 82:3) applies directly to us as members of the Church in this situation. We know the truth through the Proclamation to the Family and because that precious knowledge has been given to us our Heavenly Father is counting on us to support His truth regardless of what others may “know” or say. We know the Plan. We know why people are married. We know why they have families. We know why we came here and why many more are coming here and what they have a right to. That is a Father and a Mother not of the same gender but how Gods laws and truth have ordained it, to be born into a marriage solely between a man and a woman and to be raised correctly by them. Earth is not the destination but rather an intersection of four roads. We cannot go back we can only go forward. Continued on my next post…

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    Thanks for the honest post to this article. I imagine being an LGBT affiliated member of the church has got to be a very difficult thing at times.

    One thing I thought of as I read your post was how oftentimes we (myself included) place a lot of emphasis on what people think, especially in religious settings. I believe President Monson is a prophet, and I would undoubtedly care to know what he thought of me (if he knew me personally). But beyond that, I care what God thinks of me. I'm reminded of the scriptures that teach us to not fear man, but to fear God. I'm reminded of what the prophet Isaiah said: "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."

    I think we would do well to remember that our maker loves us and has instructed us to follow certain commandments that will help us lead happy and fulfilling lives. Joshua 24:15. Thanks again for your honest post.

  • HeresAThought Queen Creek, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    I know that the General Authorities speak and direct with inspiration, and that this gentle but clear counsel is given after much prayer and consideration for all those listening. It reassures me that belonging to this church is the right decision for me.

  • Maxx Rexburg , ID
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    In my study I found that truth is truth regardless of what others may say. As members of the church we do not know all truths, but what we do know is what our Heavenly Father, being the author of all truth, has revealed to the Prophets and what they have shared with us. This is especially true when it comes to the nature of the family and marriage. With the family under attack and the nature of society teaching us that we should be accepting and tolerant of others views I feel that many young Latter-day Saints try to be in the middle and say that others can do what they want or they feel is right, so they don’t agree with gay marriage but they don’t actively oppose it, which is a mistake. As members of the Church we know the truth, the whole truth in this matter and others only have pieces and so their responsibility is different than ourselves. Continued on my next post...

  • nycut New York, NY
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    "Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established."

    It is refreshing to see LDS church leaders make a distinction between civil law and LDS moral laws.

    For the United States to be true to its principles, equality in the law will prevail, and I do hope the LDS devout will take comfort in the fact that their beliefs remain theirs to have and to hold, which indeed, is all they ever were.

    The same principle of equality ensures each of us are able to live our own lives as we see fit. I hope Utahns can get better at sharing the public square, treating other civilly and start being better neighbors.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    Baccus0902: The Church has NEVER tried to interfere with ANYONE'S right to live their life according to the dictates of their own conscience. The Church has never tried to take away anyone's free agency to live anyway they choose. You can choose to live any way you want.

    But, choosing to live any way you want is not the same and trying to redefine marriage. That's different. The Church has only tried to protect marriage and the family which is the standard that has stood for thousands of years and have proved to be very efficacious for mankind.

    As a member of the Church I wish you well.

  • Buzzards LEHI, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    I suspect this is the first brick in the wall the church is trying to build between it's standards and the day when the government comes after it's tax-exempt status. I only hope we can build it strong and thick enough.
    Remember: "The power to tax is the power to destroy"-Daniel Webster.
    I can promise you those on the other side of this issue know that.

  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:45 p.m.


  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    * cannot make bad into good
    * wrong cannot become right
    * evil does not transform into good
    * a lie does not become truth
    * stealing is not charity

    No spin, majority, wishing, judge, or certificate can change these things.

    After all that's been said, and done-

    Gay marriage is what it is.

    Doesn't mean we go around hating, or hurting others. We are free to make our own decisions.

  • Cougar Blue 1 Henderson , NV
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    Well written statement.

    Baccus: While I disagree with some of your comments, I appreciate your civility. I wish people could agree to disagree on this matter with more kindness to each other. And believe me that goes for both sides.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    The letter states "Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society"

    I understand and respect the right of religious people to believe this. At the same time, I am grateful that civil law (often prompted by humanism and scientific progress) has repudiated those aspects of God's law/Biblical morality that are in fact, immoral.

    I am also grateful that the Doctrine and Covenants states that "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government." I hope this also qualifies as doctrinal guidance that Mormons will respect and uphold.

  • get her done Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    Are same sex married couples allowed to attend church or hold positions?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:22 p.m.


    "I have no recourse other than accept it as the voice of the authorities of the church."

    And Mormons believe that these authorities you mention speak for God correct?

    Interesting you say you regret the decision, but as a Mormon don't you believe that your prophet speaks for God?

    So you regret what God has said?

    As a non-Mormon, I don't get it. If you Mormons believe your prophet speaks for God what is there to "regret"? Shouldn't people always support what God says?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    "Church leaders also requested reciprocal civility for the church's positions."

    Them doing what they want with regards to their own meetinghouses and temples is perfectly fine with me.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    I am not Mormon but I stand with Mormon prophet Monson(and Pope Francis) on this issue!

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    "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. Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and crucial to eternal salvation."

    There it is. That pretty much sums it up for all of the LDS members who have been confused on this issue.

    I appreciate this statement being issued by the Church and applaud their call for civility on both sides.

  • windsor City, Ut
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    Love the always careful wording of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve so no one on either side can misunderstand their position or statements.

    Also liked that they reiterated that while we as LDS disagree with those who support SSM, we will treat them kindly and allow them to believe and act as they will....

    Just as we hope supporters of SSM will reciprocate and allow us the same freedom to believe and act as we will---

    And that they would offer the same kindness to us.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    The LDS Church has made an official statement, which is reasonable, respectful, and clearly expresses its opinion and rules about Same Sex Marriage.

    As an LDS I regret the decision. However, I have no recourse other than accept it as the voice of the authorities of the church.

    As an LGBT man I respect the LDS church decision and certainly accept their rejection to SSM.

    There is no resentment and as always I wish well to all the saints.

    However, the conflict has never been because supporters of SSM want to use the LDS buildings or LDS to officiate in our ceremonies. The conflict is because the LDS church has interfered in politics in an attempt to prevent some individuals to live their lives according to the dictates of their conscience.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    Read the entire release from the church website. Well done!