Monday, August 24, 2015

Marriage and Family Matter Today

copyright: Karen Larsen photography. Isn't she amazing?!!  Gorgeous!
Yesterday I taught our youth Sunday School class about marriage and family.  It helped that the only youth in the class were my children and that marriage and family are one of my favorite topics, even my field of study in college!

The major point of the lesson was helping the youth to think about the 'whys' of marriage and family and then how to communicate effectively, kindly, and succinctly those principles and doctrines.

We discussed the doctrines and principles, read The Family:  A Proclamation to the World, and read President Hinckley's address about "Why we do the things we do."

Then I had the kids give me question that they have heard at school:

"What do you have against same gender marriage?"

Then the kids spent 20 minutes writing the answer to that question, then we read them to each other.  I heard many of the same points we have discussed here at the house, which was good.  That means our teaching is sinking in right?

I am trying to get myself into bed earlier since seminary started today.  But--

I felt it was important to explain why marriage and family matter today.  Do you realize that The Family:  A Proclamation to the World was give 20 years ago next month?  20 years ago!

I was there when President Hinckley shared it with us for the first time at the General Women's Meeting September 23, 1995.  I remember when he read it that I thought, "Wow, that is great!  I believe that! Doesn't everyone?"

Look where we are 20 years later---only 20 years later---not a generation, not my grandmother's day, not even the time it takes to be considered an adult old enough to consume alcohol.  Crazy!

Marriage and family, the Lord's way with His definitions, is the way to happiness and peace in this life.  It is what brings about the best good for the most people.  It is the right of children born and unborn, to have two parents of differing genders bound together by covenants to love and honor each other, to stick it out and work out their differences, to do it for the benefit of society, for something beyond themselves and their personal happiness, to fulfill their obligations to the rest of the people who share this earth with them.  Yes, we have responsibilities to be the best we can be and to do it for other people, not just us.

I read an article today, shared by a Baptist preacher who tried to explain that unwed pregnancy isn't a sin.

Wow.  He missed a few points.  Yes, that baby is innocent.  He/she did nothing wrong.  He/she was probably just so excited to get a body and have his/her experience in mortality that he/she jumped for joy and took the opportunity!  But the young woman's pregnancy was a direct result of sin, premarital sex.  His point was that she needs love and comfort and to be treated fairly----I agree with that.  She doesn't need to be the topic of gossip or whispering in her church congregations.  I agree with that.

But you cannot celebrate her actions without encouraging others to make the same choice she did.

And back to the point, what about the baby.  What have her (and his, because we know she didn't do it alone) actions cost the baby?  What have their actions cost the two young people who participated in bringing that baby here?  It has cost them a lot (much more than any financial costs!).

What are the differences if that baby is born into a family who are married and bound together by covenants and moral feelings about their obligations and responsibilities to others in their communities?  What are the differences for the youths if those are their choices as well?

Of course, there are other, greater ramifications when you want to add same gender couples into the equation---and not just for the children.

Those of us who do not believe as they do, well, they are calling us names and trying to prove through the legal system that our beliefs are unconstitutional and bigoted.  Last I checked, this was a free country and a man or woman was free to believe how they want, and worship how they want, and speak how they want.  So how are my beliefs unconstitutional?  Am I free to have them?  Then I do.  Sorry they are different than yours.

With the civil rights movement, men and women were being treated unfairly because of their color.  They were not allowed the same freedoms others experienced because of their skin.  That is wrong, then and now.  The laws were inequitable.  Today they are trying to tell owners of businesses that they cannot choose who they offer their services to.  They are trying to force people to participate in society in ways that go against their beliefs.  That is a very different thing.

Those same service are not being denied to homosexuals.  They are free to get them elsewhere.  There are people who will serve them and cater to them, even.  But they want to force those of us who have moral objections to participating in their life styles to do so.  That is wrong too.  Since when should people be forced or fined for upholding their beliefs through their actions?  Are their actions harming them, denying them rights?  Nope.  It just goes against their conscience to participate in those ways.  People should not be forced to violate their conscience or beliefs.  That is what goes against our constitution, not the other way around.

So now I have typed way more than I intended to and I am up past my bedtime.   So wish me luck for seminary tomorrow!!  Good night.

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