One of the things my Bishop asked me a few weeks ago was, "How do you reconcile what you believe with what the prophets have said in 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World'?"
Unfortunately, he did not give me the opportunity to adequately explain how I so reconcile the two. Some say it is impossible... I say it's actually quite simple (and requires zero refutation of what is said).
I will extract the statements which have been used to denounce same-sex coupling and follow with an explanation as to how I reconcile them with my stance on gay marriage:
We [...] solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of GodI believe I have mentioned my views on this before; however, to reiterate, stating that something is ordained of God in no way means that something else is not ordained of God.
This would be like saying, "An apple is a fruit. An orange is not an apple; therefore, an orange is not a fruit."
It would be a completely different story if they had said that marriage between a man and a woman is the only ordained marriage.
[T]he family is central to the Creator's planArguably, A gay couple with their children can lay claim to the status of "family."
Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.Arguably, homosexuality makes no refutations of one's gender and is, in and of itself, an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.Although I have a different interpretation of what it means exactly to multiply and replenish the earth, I will address the typical translation (implying populating the earth with billions of bodies).
Simply put, a gay couple is a barren couple and could arguably fall under the same pardon from this commandment as a barren heterosexual couple.
We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.The LDS Church actually has two definitions of sex. One is "the sacred powers of procreation" and the other is the sacred powers of unity.
Arguably, homosexuals are not "[employing] the sacred powers of procreation" when they have sex. Such is frankly impossible as they are not procreating or even attempting to procreate. They are employing the sacred powers of unity.
It would be a different story if they had explicitly said something like, "God has commanded that sexual activity is to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wed..." I know this is how it is often translated, but there are other ways to translate it -- which is the whole point of this post.
Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.Refer to my first statement, but I will add a different analogy: Eggs are essential to an angel food cake. So is flour.
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... By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.Indeed, there would be no way for anyone to truly reconcile this statement... if it weren't already reconciled for us:
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. (emphasis mine)
Really, it's not that tough to make some compelling arguments that would dissolve the believed concrete stance that 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' refutes any possibility that gay marriage could be appropriate in God's plan.
I will close with the following warning as presented in 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World':
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.... adding that one should consider what actions against gay marriage could arguably be doing:
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
- Gay couples are fighting to make covenants of fidelity in the eyes of their respective governments. Those against gay marriage are fighting to violate such chaste covenants.
- (I'm going to refrain from commenting on the abuse and violated family responsibilities... such is frankly obvious to those of us who have experienced it firsthand.)
- Those against gay marriage are fighting to disintegrate families.
- Those fighting against gay marriages are not fighting to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society... they are fighting to maintain and strengthen their religious sect as the fundamental unit of society.
up next... Reconciliation: D&C 132