no matter how you slice it, you guys were affected by my post. even if my writing wasn't responsible for the effect, the content alone was enough to cause some tremors. i get that. but i share all this to say one thing: i love you. to you who read the post: thank you for being open enough to read it. thank you for your feedback.
for this post, i am closing the comments. if you must reach out another way, go ahead. but if you don't need to, then don't. at this time, i'm not interested in personally swimming through another flood of your wildly varied emotions. although i can't be grateful enough that they are there. another reason i'm closing the comments is because the meat of this post is so sacred to me. i'm going to share precious truths that i've learned as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints and that have been confirmed to me on individual occasions through private revelation with heaven. although my message is one that i preach with gladness, it is still precious and holy to me. and sharing it in conjunction with my political opinion on the topic of same-sex marriage subjugates it to the knee-jerk opinions of all of you readers. and although there are many of you who will respect these ideas as precious to me, there are some of you who will attack, disect, and compartmentalize until every sentence is no longer what i said at all.
on the first post, i made an appeal to fellow lds friends as U.S. citizens, under the terms that whether we are willing to recognize it or not, this is a civil rights issue. if i were to divulge anything further from the first post here it would be: failing to recognize this as a civil rights issue is only ignorance. ignoring this fact doesn't add any honor to the mission of our church. it just doesn't. it just doesn't. and because i value the work so much, and my membership in our beautiful church, and this country, i'm speaking up. and that is why. not because i'm falling off the straight and narrow, not because i don't follow the prophet, not because i support the end of society.
on this post, i'm making an appeal to fellow lds friends according to our lds doctrine. i don't plan to talk about this forever or go into every detail. because we could talk, literally, til no end. here i'll explain key doctrines of the church as i understand them that have affected my political stance on the question of same-sex marriage. so here goes:
we believe that we lived in heaven with God the Father before this life as His eternal spirit children. we believe that we are all spirit brothers and sisters, and that Christ is our oldest brother. we believe satan is our older brother, too. while in our pre-earth existence, Heavenly Father presented a plan to all of His children that would allow us to become like Him, to eventually enjoy perfect bodies of flesh and bone and to live with those we love in eternal happiness. we believe He created the plan because He loves us and wants us to be happy.
through this plan, Jesus Christ would be our Savior from sin and death, if we accept His gospel. the plan meant coming to earth without a memory of our pre-earth life, wading through ups and downs, good and bad, happiness and sadness. our life on earth was meant to be a test; a way to prove to God our worthiness to return to live with Him again. however, in this plan, we wouldn't stay on earth forever. death would eventually meet each person, the spirit leaving the body in the grave, going on to live in the spirit world. the spirit world is a holding place for the spirits of those who have passed on, but have not yet received glorified bodies. when the time is right, each spirit is resurrected, which is a reunion of the spirit and it's body which has been perfected without flaw. resurrection is a gift granted to each child simply because they made the choice to come to earth.
after the resurrection, God will bring each of His children before the Savior Jesus Christ to be judged of their choices. based on their works and the desires of their hearts, each child is given an eternal reward. in our lds doctrine, we know there are three kingdoms or degrees of glory, the celestial, terrestial, and telestial kingdoms. we don't know everything, but we do believe eternal life in the celestial kingdom is the greatest gift God can give us.
imperative to this plan is our willingness to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. while not all of God's children have the opportunity to receive the gospel on earth, some of God's children are presented with the gospel and have the choice to accept it or not. we believe that Christ taught the gospel in the spirit world, and that the plan includes extending the opportunity for all of God's children to hear the gospel in that realm.
when God the Father presented this plan, He knew there would need to be a way to save His children from death and sin. Jehovah (Jesus) presented Himself as a volunteer to be the Savior for all of God's children.
Lucifer (Satan) was there, too. he opposed the plan presented by God. because he wanted God's glory for himself, he presented a similar, yet different plan to us. his plan meant coming to earth, but without the choice to do wrong. by default, we would be forced into heaven.
with both plans before us, a great war ensued. it wasn't a phsyical war, but a war to win souls. for some of God's children, it was easy to choose the plan of Christ. but for others, it was a more difficult decision. we were there for many, many years before any final decision was made, and we had plenty of time to choose a plan. through the scriptures we learn that one third of God's spirit children chose the plan of Satan. because they chose to be deceived, we believe that they will never again have the opportunity to come to earth, gain a body, or live in eternal happiness. for those who chose Heavenly Father and Christ's plan, each child had or will have the opportunity to eventually come to earth and make their way on through the eternities.
the great difference between the plan of God and the plan of Satan, according to our doctrine, is granting God's children the gift of agency, as we call it, meaning the freedom to choose. explained this way, it could be said that agency is one of the greatest gifts our God has granted to us.
there has never been, nor ever will be a time or circumstance where God will infringe upon our agency. because of this, life is hard. but, because of this, life is so good. He lets us choose for ourselves, good or bad, right or wrong, happiness or sadness. the divine purpose of this life is to make choices, and without any force or infiltration from Him, eventually choose the ultimate good, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
doctrinally, this eternal principle of agency is a structural foundation to my approach to politics and the basis for my separation of church and state. God will respect our freedom of choice unconditionally. even as a loving Father, He will suffer as He witnesses His children condemn themselves to misery, without forcefully intervening. He will never force us to choose right and He will never take away our ability to choose for ourselves, as much as He wants to see us make good choices. instead, He will quietly, lovingly, gently, and unendingly coerce our spirits to recognize for ourselves the path to happiness.
as a U.S. citizen who enjoys freedom of speech, i try to help others find the path to happiness, using God's help as a tool (this is a reference to missionary work). just as proudly, as a U.S. citizen, i support freedom to marry. as simply as i can state my reasoning, this post is the truest reason why. at this point, if you don't understand why, under our lds doctrine, i support same-sex marriage, then i don't believe there is anything more to be said.
as i ended the first post, please take some time to think about these teachings. i do believe they are true, with all my heart. as a latter-day saint, you may have heard this a million times. ponder and pray about them, and how they apply to the question of same-sex marriage.
thank you for your time.
thank you for your time.