Sunday, October 26, 2008

Is California Proposition 8 Putting LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson In The Position Of Being A Modern-Day "Gideon"?

The continuing controversy over the involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the California Proposition 8 campaign is not only attracting opposition outside the ranks of the Church, but is provoking serious dissension from within the Church's ranks itself. Even active Melchizedek Priesthood holders like Andrew Callahan, ordained to the office of a High Priest (which is also a prerequisite for LDS men who serve in leadership positions like bishop and stake president) have publicly opposed Proposition 8. And they've increasingly crossed the line separating opposition to the measure from opposition to the Church itself, thus compromising their membership status.

But is this necessarily a bad thing? Is there no good which can be derived from it? The church has taken membership hits before as a result of controversial decisions, to include the indefinite suspension of plural marriage in 1890, the church's opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, and the extension of Priesthood membership to worthy Negro males in 1978. The Church not only survived those membership hits, but has continued to grow.

Thus if some members choose to depart the Church because of its support for Proposition 8, the Church will ultimately survive that as well. Because it may well be possible that the Lord is using Proposition 8 as a device to "thin the herd" and prune the diseased branches from the Gospel tree.

This has been done on mumerous occasions throughout the 6,000 years of recorded human history. One of the most prominent examples which comes to mind is the Old Testament story of Gideon. Gideon was tasked to assemble a military force in Israel to oppose one of its enemies in a forthcoming battle. And 32,000 Israelis of several different tribes responded to Gideon's call.

Too many, said the Lord. The Lord was anxious to demonstrate His power once again to Israel, and a force of 32,000 men would encourage them to boast in their own strength rather than give the credit to the Lord. So the Lord instructed Gideon to send home those men who were afraid. So 22,000 men returned home and 10,000 remained.

Still too many, said the Lord. So Gideon subjected the remainder to an additional test. He took them down to the nearest river to drink. Those who stuck their faces in the water and lapped it up like a dog were sent home. The others, who scooped up the water with their hands and drank that way, were permitted to remain.

Only 300 troops survived the second test. But, as the late Spencer W. Kimball once said, faith precedes the miracle. The Lord waited until nightfall before instructing Gideon to attack the Midianite camp. Gideon gave each of his men a trumpet, a torch, and a clay jar. They quietly surrounded the enemy camp, each torch hidden inside a jar. At Gideon's signal, every man blew his trumpet and broke his jar. God confused the Midianites, and made them turn on one another. The confused survivors ran and continued to retreat across Israel.

With no losses on the battlefield, three hundred men successfully fulfilled a task that 22,000 men may not have accomplished.

Thus it is quite possible that the Lord is using Proposition 8 for a similar purpose. This means Church President Thomas S. Monson is in the same position now as Gideon was thousands of years ago. And no one has been more meticulously prepared for service as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator than President Monson. He has been in the inner circle of leadership now for 45 years, having been first ordained an Apostle in 1963 at the age of 36. President Monson clearly was marked out for service early in his life, and perhaps was foreordained to be a modern-day Gideon, to preside over a regrettable but necessary "thinning of the herd".

Latter-day Saints who oppose Proposition 8 and who oppose the Church's position do NOT completely understand the fulness of the Gospel, and do not comprehend the plan of salvation. The LDS Church does not exist merely as another way to worship the Lord; it is fully equipped to place people on the fast track towards Godhood. This means not only earning celestial glory, but celestial glory with exaltation. The difference: Celestial glory alone brings eternal life (singular), but celestial glory with exaltation brings eternal lives (plural). In the latter case, one does not merely exist as a celestial being, but, being ordained unto Godhood, one also acquires the power, in concert with an eternal spouse, to propagate spirit tabernacles for the untold number of unorganized intelligences who are waiting to be acted upon.

Two people of the same gender cannot propagate a mortal tabernacle. So, just as only one man and one woman can together propagate a mortal tabernacle, only one man and one woman will be able to propagate a spirit tabernacle in the celestial kingdom. Thus you should now be able to understand why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can never and WILL NEVER change its opposition to the practice of homosexuality.

Latter-day Saints who cannot reconcile themselves to the Church's position on homosexuality should consider resigning with honor and departing our ranks in peace. You will not become a son of perdition merely by resigning the Church; you can find another way to serve the Lord more in consonance with the dictates of your own conscience. However, if you stay and fight against the Church, you risk, at some point, crossing that line in which you commit the unpardonable sin of denying the Holy Ghost after having received a personal manifestation of it. This means not only will you not come forth until the second Resurrection (the Resurrection of the Unjust), but you might be found to be "filthy still", classified a son of perdition, and exiled to eternal life with Satan, possessing a tabernacle with no glory.

Do not trade eternity for "equality". Satan has hopelessly hijacked "equality" and turned it into the greatest honey trap of all time. Either get on board, or get out of the Church. But don't fight against the Church, because you risk unintentionally fighting against the Lord Himself.


Anonymous said...

Don't leave the church if you oppose proposition 8. I've only heard of one person in my ward that was struggling with this issue - it doesn't mean there aren't more but it does not appear to be "thinning the heard." There are good people in the church who have expressed their honest opinion and there is nothing wrong with doing so - especially when there is no ill will intended.

Deseret Dawg said...

The controversy may vary from one ward to the next. It is good that your ward has been spared for the most part.

But the suggestion to leave the church is directed solely towards those who have made up their mind that the church is wrong about gay marriage. They could end up facing a disciplinary council like Andrew Callahan will in November. It is better for people like that to leave voluntarily until they can reconcile themselves.

Diana A said...

I think you have some interesting thoughts and passion on this topic. Although I stand on the same side as you, I don't agree with you instructing people to leave the church over opposition to one issue (or any issue, for that matter).

Even if someone has made up their mind (like Callahan)-it's not under your authority to tell someone to leave. Leave that to God, and to the Stake Presidents and bishops who provide.

Other than that-thank you for your comments, links, and insights.

Deseret Dawg said...

Diana - I claim no "authority" to tell anyone to leave the Church. But if someone is so disaffected that they publicly oppose the Church, how does their presence continue to benefit us - and them?

Remember what Sonia Johnson put us through nearly 30 years ago with ERA?

Mark and Cyndy Weiss said...

As a church, we don't invite people to leave. The Savior made that clear when among the Nephite nation. Even if they choose to "cross a line" that results in church discipline, that discipline is not about punishing them so much as it is part of a process that can bring them to decide for themselves that what they are missing is more important than the ideologies they once felt were paramount. In all such cases, we are commaned by the Savior to minister to them and find a way to bring them back.

There may be some members of the church for whom the doctrines of the church have meant less than their social experience. This is never healthy. Again, the Savior taught about seeds sowed, that fell on ground of different types. Not all were fruitful.

There are many who are learning for the first time about the church, it's courage and it's doctrines because of the actions of the gays and lesbians. We thank them for bring our doctrines to more and more people each and every day. "For the elect will hear my voice and harden not their hearts."

seamus said...

“Bigots have always thought themselves to be fair, enlightened, and right — even when they are unfair, ignorant, and wrong. Those who support Prop 8 are no better than any other bigots. That religious sects are among those attempting to “proposition” society should not surprise us: religion is often a comfort to bigotry and a haven for hypocrisy.
In its vast material support for Prop 8 the church crossed the line in more ways then one. From imposing its doctrine in the civil arena and underming the equal protection of all Californians to becoming once oppressed now the oppressors. The Church rightly deserves all the opprobrium it is now receiving from both inside and outside.

Anonymous said...

I am LDS nand have a hard time reconciling thechurches political efforts and actions against 2 things:
1) D&C 134 which provides the LDS doctrine on how the churches involvement in government. The whole chapter is worth the read, but can be summed up in verse 9 which states, "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government." The church has most certainly mingled it's religious influence with the civil government on this matter.
2) In the pre-existance we all voted for the freedom of agency to the extent that we knew some would sin and not make it back, including even ourselves. Now we vote to limit each other in their use of agency. It really doesn't control how people will live, but it does take away their agency. If they had the freedom to choose, they would be married. So we have taken their agency on this subject. Them marriing doen't mean I can't. And if I am really going to move forward on making a future better for my children, I need to vote in laws that prevent music like, "I kissed a girl and i liked it", sung by a girl... So if we are going to take back our vote in the pre-existence, lets do it all the way and just force people to heaven, including our children, by only permitting the right choice to be presented. But what about opposition in all things? Isn't that required to have agency acording to Nephi 2? If we only have 1 choice we don't have agency and without agency we can't be exalted or condemned, that is the whole point of 2Ne. 2!