Why The Definition of Marriage Matters

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I believe strongly that marriage is and should be between a man and a woman. Recently the Supreme Court decided not to hear arguments on the validity of same-sex marriages performed in Utah, which means as of right now, according to the government they are legal.

First, I want to state that different views and beliefs do not constitute bigotry, hatred or unkindness toward anyone. Read my blogpost "Bigoted? Prejudiced? Hateful? My Take On Gay Marriage" for a more in depth discussion about how disagreement should and can work. I strive to love all people regardless of any factors or things that are different from me. I can disagree and still show kindness and love.

Today I wanted to explain WHY I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman only and my understanding of the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It isn't because I'm narrow minded, think homosexuality is a disease, that same-sex couples will raise deviant children, want to deny people their "rights" or any of the other things proponents of "traditional" marriage have been accused of believing.

There is a two-fold purpose for why we are here on Earth - to gain a physical body, which provides a unique learning experience and environment that couldn't be obtained in a spiritual form only. This life is then for us to learn and grow in our physical body and to see what choices we will make during this time. We believe we lived before this life - in heaven with our Heavenly Parents and the whole human family. They are the "parents" of our spirits. However, we do not have recollection of this for the purpose of this time on Earth being a test: who will we choose to become and what choices will
we make when faced with challenges and difficulties.

The other purpose is to form families - the family unit is a core foundational unit of the entire gospel and the church's doctrine. This purpose is where the majority of the weight falls for my defense of marriage being between a man and a woman. One of the main purposes of LDS temples is to seal a husband and wife together for this life but also beyond. We believe families are eternal and what makes up eternity is our continued growth and progression beyond this life. We believe we can become like God is and will some day be gods and goddess with eternal posterity like God has now with us.

So marriage isn't just about today or now or even this life. It is about what eternity means and what we believe Heavenly Father wants for us in the eternities - to have eternal families with eternal posterity. Same-sex marriage completely undermines the entire foundation of the doctrine of eternal families. It is IMPOSSIBLE for two men or two women to have children biologically. That is an indisputable fact. In this life of course many heterosexual couples are unable to have children, but we believe that after this life our bodies will be perfected so that will no longer be an issue.

Now you may disagree with that foundation to begin with, but understanding the WHY of our defense of marriage being between a man and woman goes to the very core of our beliefs and is a much larger and complex issue and has nothing to do with denying rights or being bigoted or prejudiced.

Some may ask then, why God would allow people to have these feelings if they could never act on them without being condemned in the eternities?

That is a great question and I think no one can answer that completely. But there are some things I do know.

Every single one of us face challenges - things that tear at our very core and that feel like a weight greater than we can bear. Why do bad things happen to people in this life? Why would we be faced with feelings and emotions we were never supposed to act on?

Its a thing we call agency - or choice - we are here in this life to make choices. All of which will shape who we will become. Despite what society seems to encourage today, self-control and/or self-denial is not a bad thing and true happiness is not just about what we perceive that to be right now in mortality. Personal growth comes from making choices that are difficult for us. If we are to become like God, we need ALOT of growth of shaping. Heavenly Father wants to see if we will choose Him even when it is EXTREMELY hard.

One thing I do know beyond a doubt though is that Jesus Christ is my and your personal Savior. The Atonement is infinite - it has the power to strengthen us, change us, support us beyond what we can even comprehend. THIS is how you make it through choices and feelings that seem impossibly hard.

I also know beyond a doubt that Heavenly Father loves us and that He knows what true happiness is. Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be unhappy or face heartache beyond what is necessary for our growth and learning. And my understanding of eternity means that I stand firm and strong in defense of marriage between a man and woman.

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