An Open Letter to the Mormon Church About Prop. 8


 

The Angel Moroni

The Angel Moroni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
To the Mormon Church, 
 
 
 
 

 

Your efforts in garnering both financial support and utilizing your religious institutional influence to galvanize your membership (both inside and outside the state of California) to support the passage of Proposition 8, has revealed the Church’s intent to force its agenda on to the political landscape.

 

You have been vocal and have proclaimed to the world in no uncertain terms that your beliefs center on the family built on the foundation of marriage between husband and wife – a man and woman only.  This is driven by your eternal concept of marriage between a man and woman (in your eternal theology a man and women) as the highest possible existence of eternal happiness and exaltation in your Heaven.  Well, you are entitled to your beliefs. It is America, after all. 

 

However, to launch an institutional campaign along with the fundamental Christian groups into our government election process is not right. No matter what legal loop holes or precedence is cited, organized religion should stay out of government and the politics.  

 

Ironically, some of the vicious attacks against the early Mormon Church or more correctly, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, were by fundamental Christian groups working the machinations of government to destroy it. I guess the Church has taken some lessons from its former enemies. 

 

Of course, there is a bigger picture to this than simply fighting the gays. You, The Mormon Church or Latter Day Saint Church believe you are the literal restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ on earth with His full authority.  In fact, when your prophet Joseph Smith had his First Vision, he was reportedly told by God the Father and Jesus Christ that none of the Churches on the earth (including every Christian Church) were true and that they were an abomination in their sight.  

 

18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

  19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

  20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; (Joseph Smith History Chapter 1:18-20)

With your belief  that you are Jesus Christ’s only true Church on earth, and the only one authorized to act on his behalf as far as the affairs of men, I am sure your actions, as far as Proposition 8 are seen by you as divinely inspired.  Pouring all the millions of dollars into advertising and calling up your members to action in the spirit of that mission, you see as part of God’s plan. 

 

I am sure that was his plan back in June of 1978, when you finally allowed black men to hold the Priesthood in the Church. Somehow before that  date,  your Jesus felt all Black men were not worthy to hold it.  Some of your former leaders over the pulpit have mentioned that it had to do with what they did in their pre-existent spirit state and that while on this earth they would not be able to exercise leadership in the church until 1978. Then all of sudden, in a revelation to your prophet, the Lord said it was time. I also know that the Church was growing into a lot of Black nations and you needed leaders. The Lord is practical after all, I guess.  

 

Oh yes, Utah was also one of the last states to make interracial marriage legal. Also, one of your books of scripture speaks of a dark and light skin people.  The dark skin people were prophesied to become “white” and delightsome when they heard the gospel and accept it.  Oh yea, you later changed the word “white” to pure.  You felt that would help clarify the meaning of it. That clarification took a while didn’t it?  You Mormons sure have an obsession about the color of people’s skin.  

 

Your Jesus was also practical back in 1890, when the Church discontinued polygamy, which was an eternal law.  However the U.S. Congress forbade it. I think the Church still believes in it for heaven but not practicing it for the time being on earth.  Of course, there are those pesky splinter groups in Southern Utah, Arizona and Texas. This is because your prophet at the time saw a revelation where he said,  

 “The Lord showed me by vision and revelation exactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice. If we had not stopped it, you would have had no use for . . . any of the men in this temple at Logan; for all ordinances would be stopped throughout the land of Zion. Confusion would reign throughout Israel, and many men would be made prisoners. This trouble would have come upon the whole Church, and we should have been compelled to stop the practice.” (EXCERPTS FROM THREE ADDRESSES BYPRESIDENT WILFORD WOODRUFF REGARDING THE MANIFESTO, Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration 1)

 

 Now, back in the 1970’s you were one of the most outspoken and politically active groups against the Equal Rights Amendment for women.  You used the same argument that you are using in the current debate that the passage of that amendment would have also undermine the family and that it will actually work against women.  

 

Of course this viewpoint was coming from a church leadership of entirely white men (at the very top of priesthood leadership). Sure Utah women got the right to vote first; sure you have an active lay leadership of women in women organizations; leadership over youth organizations; women in missionary organizations; and in children’s organizations.  They just can’t hold the priesthood and be prophets over the whole church.

 

 Apparently motherhood is their calling. Not to downplay motherhood, because I agree that  is a noble endeavor, but I have a hard time seeing that women would not make good priesthood holders since there are now many examples of great women ministers and leaders across other churches. Jesus only knows, I guess.

 

With your spotted history in dealing with minority group rights within and without the church, your current political campaign with Proposition 8 is of great concern.  The polished All American image that the Mormons have carefully crafted into the consciousness of America over the decades is simply a veneer to an antiquated pioneer, patriarchal, bigoted religious system that is holding on to a power base for its purposes.   

 

You do not know the wonderful gay and lesbian couples who have loving and caring relationships. They do not deserve to be marginalized by you through the lens of your religious beliefs that I frankly find rooted in bigotry and not remotely Christ-like.  

 

You are doing more to spread hatred and to plant the seedlings that cause more violence and discrimination. 

 

You have no business trying to influence the political debate according to Mormon beliefs no matter how divinely inspired you think you have been appointed to act on this measure. Organized Religion has to be separated from Government.  

 

Sincerely, 

A California Voter 

 

There is more at stake here then gay rights.   There is the growing influence of a politically powerful, despotic Church riding on the coat tails of an ignorant fundamental right wing tide. 

It is time we close our door to the Mormon Church to our political business and our doors to their gospel of exclusion.   

Vote No on Proposition 8!

16 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Mormon Church About Prop. 8

  1. I believe strongly of our Savior Jesus-Christ. I try my hardest to follow his teaching which is to love and to serve EVERYONE. I do not hate anyone, nor do I hate homosexuals. I watch Ellen quite often and think she’s hilarious. I am also a huge fan of Elton John. I have family members who I love, who are homosexual. I wish nothing but happiness for everyone. However, I do not believe homosexuality is an attribute that people aquire at birth and have no choice over. I believe homosexuality is an action, an action I believe to be wrong. Therefore I could not cast a vote which would allow a practice to continue that I believe is wrong. It’s as simple as that. i realize that people will judge me for this belief. Which is sad because I do not judge or persecute those who believe differently than me. People are so adament about equality and tolerance, but when things didn’t go their way what are they doing? Writing hate articles and forming hate rallies against a scape goat people…Mormons. Mormons are not the blame for prop 8 passing. Yes they had alot to do with it, but they were not the only ones. If you want freedom and equality for everyone, then that should really include everyone. Even Mormons. Furthermore, if you are to write an article about a people you should really get your facts strait. Mormons do not have their ‘own’ Jesus as you kept saying over and over. They believe strongly in Jesus-Christ in the Bible. Same Jesus as every other christian denomination. Just because they have some extra believes, such as the book of mormon for example, does not mean their savior is someone different. Furthermore, Mormons did take part in polygamy…..over a hundred years ago. They do not practice it today nor do they hold silly believes that inorder to reach the highest heaven a man needs to have mulitple wives. That is sooo not the truth. And as for women. I am a woman and do not feel discriminated because I do not hold the priesthood. So please do not feel you need to plead my cause. As a woman, I have my own unique role in life. I am perfectly happy in that role. I don’t expect anything I say to change how you feel about me or my faith. People have been making false accusations about me and my religion all my life and into history. I don’t expect it to change anytime soon. But I felt I had to say something because, like you, I feel strongly about this issue.

  2. Lizzy,

    Your Church just spent millions of dollars to help pass an amendment to take away the rights of marriage of LGBT individuals in California. As an insitution, we have every right to protest its actions and will continue to do so until equality is realized. If that makes you uncomfortable. Too bad. Your Church and your vote broke the hearts of many same sex couples on Nov. 6th. We will fight your bigotry and your hate. No matter how you put it it, it is still hate.

    The purpose of my letter was to look at your own church’s history which I know very well and learn from the discrimination heaped upon you because of your beliefs. Your church’s actions today do not reflect that empathy but the opposite.

    I took several years of church rleligion courses. You need to reread it. Plural marriage isn’t practice now but is an eternal prinicple in the Mormon church that is practiced in the eternities. But I will not further debate you on points of faith. Believe whatever you want. Just don’t impose your church’s beliefs in our governments processes or my civil rights!

  3. It’s not Gay Marriage specifically that we object to, it’s any definition of legal and lawful marriage outside of the union between men and women. As a practicing Mormon with a belief in Marriage as an eternal and sanctifying principal, I am deeply worried about the tendency for marriage to be watered down; not only through the watering down of its definition, but in the increase in divorces, and the light treatment of the marriage commitment by the American public.

    What is marriage, to an average American? I can’t say what goes on inside another person’s head, but it sure looks to me like marriage has been relegated to the status of a mere ceremony, a signing of a piece of paper. Standing up in front of your freinds and loved ones and declaring your love. If that is what you want, go for it! But that is not marriage, to me. Marriage is an eternal commitment. The seedbed of family, of priesthood keys, of sealing relationships that sanctify and extend back through the generations to Adam. This takes men, and women.

    I realize that you don’t understand my beliefs. I can handle that. Just don’t call it hate, don’t call it oppression. I don’t hate, and I don’t oppress. I have many gay role models, and gay friends, too. It is none of my business what sort of relationship others around me choose to have. It’s not my place to condemn or criticize.

    But if I did not stand up to defend something that is a cornerstone of my religion and beliefs, then I would not be a good Mormon. And I would also not be taking an opportunity to perhaps help others see what marriage really is, what it really ought to be. And how far we have gone from that.

  4. tasithoughts said:
    “Your Church [Mormons] and your vote broke the hearts of many same sex couples on Nov. 6th”

    Do not blame the outcome of Prop 8 on the Mormon church. They stood up for what they believe and when it came down to it, Californians were left to choose however they wished. It was the state of California that decided to pass Prop 8, not the Mormon church.
    God intended family and marriage to be between a man and a woman. It is not natural otherwise….two men cannot make a baby nor can two women. That is the bottome line.

  5. RESPONSE TO NOSENSEGIRL:

    Your opening sentence makes no sense. You stated, “It’s not Gay Marriage that we specifically object to, its any definition of legal or lawful marriage outside of the union between a man and a woman.” You must have a strange definition of what a “man and woman” is or what “Gay Marriage” is. Last time I checked Gay Marriage means a same-sex marriage and not between a man and a woman.
    The LDS church has constantly changed their definition of marriage anyhow. You have the audacity to say this is marriage, when the churches definition has changed twice. Before 1978, marriage was between a man and woman who had white and delightsome skin, which excluded the filthy and loathsome race, which had a skin of blackness. I’m referring to I Nephi 12:23, Alma 3:14-16,II Nephi 30:6 and Jacob 3:5-9, none of these racist statements are mine; they are in your divine revelation. Before 1890, marriage was between a man and a woman (or women) who had white and delightsome skin.
    Marriage to a faithful LDS member occurs in a sealing ceremony in the temple, so what is all the concern about what goes on outside the temple? You said so yourself, marriage is eternal and this can only happen inside the temple. From your point of view, a marriage in a Catholic church or one performed by a civil servant is meaningless in Heavenly Father’s eyes, because it is NOT a covenant sealed in the temple, isn’t it? I don’t understand why the concern. If the marriage is not a sealed temple ordinance, isn’t it already hopelessly watered down?
    Marriage is not an eternal commitment; it is a covenant that can be broken by either the wife or the husband. If the husband and the wife are faithful unto the end, then the marriage is eternal. I would think that the Mormon Church would be spending more time and effort on the 42% divorce rate in Utah. Refocus on the bigger problems, if you feel they can be solved. Otherwise feel free to marginalize a very small group of people, in order to ignore the bigger divorce rate among LDS members.
    Utah has made it it’s business. Church members have donated 20,000,000 dollars to the YES on proposition 8 ballot. LDS members have made it their business, so don’t say it’s not your business. Utah has no domestic partnership laws that protect rights of same-sex couples. Your lack of criticism and your failure to condemn the lack of a lesbian partner to visit her partner in the hospital, is you admitting to the marginalizing of homosexuals.
    You are not a good Mormon, otherwise you would turn your attention to a more important issue, the divorce rate, which causes LDS members to break their marriage vows, which as you said is a cornerstone of your beliefs.

  6. RESPONSE TO DIZZY LIZZY-

    Let’s look at two of the statements you made early in your reply. First, “I could not cast a vote which would allow a practice to continue that is wrong” That statement by it’s self, doesn’t sound bad. I don’t want murders on the streets, since they choose to murder and I think it’s wrong. I think alcoholics should get help, because it messes up their life and at one time they made a choice to drink.
    Second, “I believe homosexuality is an action, an action I believe to be wrong.” I am going to equate wrong with bad or definitely not good. It sounds like you would be comfortable with the pre-1980 entry in the American Psychiatric Guide to Mental Diseases, which lists homosexuality as a mental disease that should be treated. This was the basis of not allowing more than three homosexuals to congregate together, and locking homosexuals in psychiatric wards until they were cured, died or killed themselves during the 1960’s and 1970’s. What it boils down to is that you think sodomy is wrong. If you believe the action is wrong, shouldn’t you advocate for those older laws?

    Lizzy you are making a judgment based on your beliefs, which is O.K., it’s a freedom we have as citizens of the United States of America. Jesus may have said not to judge, but we all do, besides the LDS church has the authority to judge. So, sweep away your feelings of being judgmental, your leaders told you to do it. Don’t be confused about what Jesus said and what the Prophet is saying, it’s just a matter of interpretation. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

    Church members have donated 20,000,000 dollars to the YES on proposition 8 ballot. LDS members have made it their business, so don’t say it’s not your business. Mormons, Catholics and Full Gospel African-Americans are to “blame” as you put it. Mormons have done this crap in Alaska and Hawaii and have got away with it. We are here to point a finger at you. People need to know who financed 40 to 70% of the YES on prop 8. If you are uncomfortable with the results of your actions, that is unfortunate. How would you feel, if the federal Government said, Mormons could no longer get married? In a blatant violation of the first amendment the Federal Government forbade many Mormon marriages, by targeting only LDS members with the Morrill Act of 1862 and the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887. You are an actual part of the problem, not a mere scapegoat. The LDS church did encourage it’s members to contribute to the prop 8 campaign and is one of the major reasons that it passed, so don’t use the word scapegoat incorrectly as you have.

    You really did not pay attention in Sunday classes or you are ignorant of what other Christians believe about Christ. It is NOT the same Jesus. Jesus is the Son of Mary. Who is the Father of Jesus? Mormons have a very different answer!!! Mormons do not believe Jesus has been God for all eternity, whereas most Christians do. Most Christians worship Jesus as part of the Trinitarian Godhead, while Mormons believe in the three Gods, which are not Trinitarian. Do you worship Christ and the Holy Spirit? Of course you don’t. The Mormon Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan, this not so in traditional Christianity. The Mormon Jesus had to be married, but the traditional Christian thinks he was single. This rhetoric about the LDS Jesus being the same Jesus of traditional Christianity is a lie.

    You should get your facts straight and think through where your statements led you. If you can see my point of view, you can see why your church is oppressive.

  7. John-John,

    I whole-heatedly agree with your passion in these comments. I can’t confirm any of your summation of the Mormon doctrine, but I can say this about the vote for Prop 8, the concept of marriage and other excuses that people use to explain their discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry:

    “They stood up for what they believe and when it came down to it, Californians were left to choose however they wished. It was the state of California that decided to pass Prop 8, not the Mormon church.
    God intended family and marriage to be between a man and a woman. It is not natural otherwise….two men cannot make a baby nor can two women. That is the bottome (sic) line.”

    People made their decision on their vote on lies and claims that had absolutely no merit. The commercials used propaganda to distract people from the real issue: the STATE’S granting of rights to EVERYONE, not just those that met the genital confirmations. The courts (whose job in our 3 ring circus of a governing body is to interpret the law in relation to other laws and The Constitution) decided that you can’t have a main requirement to apply the law equally to all persons (the equal protection clause) and then grant rights under the law unequally. Thus, marriage cannot be discriminated on a STATE level against gays and lesbians, especially considering it’s further discrimination on the basis of gender.

    If the majority (by ANY margin over 50%, starting at 50.000000001 % I suppose) can take away rights, yes take away rights already owned by persons, merely by voting in a special clause into the constitution that somehow supersedes another section, then where does it stop? That may not be a legal question, but an ethical/moral one: when they came for the Jews, I said nothing, for I am not a Jew… maybe you have heard that one? You know how it ends….just be aware of the awful awful example you are setting by following this path.

    As for marriage as “defined” as only between a man and a woman, because they can procreate, that’s absurd logic. Marriage isn’t required to have children, and in fact plenty of people who CAN’T have children get married without any hysteria about. Older people, sterile people, etc. Such hypocrisy!

    So far, all these arguments do nothing but cover for people who get grossed out thinking about two wee-wees or two hoo-hah’s, becuase so far, that’s all I think this is about!

    The state has a vested interest in promoting stable, loving, supportive relationships: it increases the probability of a stable, prosperous populace. That’s it! Not religious test, no procreation test!

    And don’t think for one moment that “marriage” in the legal context has not be redefined plenty in time. It’s not an eternal, timeless concept. Just looking back into America’s own history shows us that we have adjusted the definition using contemporary mores, using the example of interracial marriage or marriage between slaves. Just shows that humans are growing up and maturing!

  8. It is so disingenuous of Mormons to pretend that the Passage of Prop 8 isn’t the direct result of declarations and letters direct from the first presidency that mobilized members into donated as much as 2/3s of the money raised to support the passage of Prop 8. These same divine directives (what else is a message from a leadership that is believed to speak for God) mobilized members to man phone banks, to hit the streets and work as no other members of any other of the “coalition” of churches the Church uses as it’s cover did.

    Their money, and own propaganda was based almost entirely on outright lies. On scare tactics and innuendo that implied that the Church would be “forced” to perform Gay marriages or be sued for discrimination when their own lawyers know full well that there isn’t a remote possibility that this could legally happen. There is no such American precedent. The Constitutionally guaranteed ability of the Church to exercise its faith in the way it sees fit shields them from any such lawsuit or legal proscription. They would be able to practice their own beliefs about marriage within their church regardless of the outcome of the Prop 8.

    The real key here is that Church has been hiding behind an excuse for their misdeeds against Gays. Their official position for the last decade or so has been that they can not condone any kind of sexual relations outside of wedlock. It gives them a simple logical warm and fuzzy reason for discriminating that on the face of it seems like a “reasonable” faith based excuse.

    What the church does not want to happen is for Gay Marriages to be performed legally by anyone. Regardless of whether they ever perform a single Gay marriage, legal standing for the marriages of LGBT folks will cast a spotlight on their continued discrimination against LGBT people. If marriage is available and accepted legally for LGBT people they loose their easy excuse, and would have to just admit outright that they opposed Gays for no other reason than they just don’t like us. All This “We love all people” stuff would be exposed for the lie it is.

    You can’t love and support your Gay family and friends and deny them the Equal protection under the law. As a recipient of your supposed support I can tell you it is empty and meaningless. It’s like inviting me to dinner and then asking me sit out back at a picnic table while you all enjoy the nice china & Grandma’s sterling silver in the dining room while I watch through the window. Sure you’ll ask me a question about how to make a lovely table scape for the meal or for my help selecting the furniture and china, but to actually be asked to use it would be to much.

    Mormons cannot have it both ways. The Church crossed the line. Yes others were involved and believe me the LGBT community has noted their participation and plans to address it too. You don’t get off the hook just because you put yourself in league with a other bigots. And yes any Mormon or other person who contributed in any way including voting for Prop 8 is a bigot. You took away constitutionally guaranteed rights from a single group. You perverted the Democratic process.

    But thankfully you also woke up my community.

  9. nosurfgirl, you need to ask yourself, who is really watering down marriage? Is it the gays, who have only been able to legally marry in this country since 2005, and then only in a few jurisdictions? Or is it the straights, who have had a virtual monopoly on marriage and have run it straight into the ground?

    Yeah. I think it’s your guys’ fault, too. Thanks for blaming it on us, though.

  10. wow, I didnt’ realize you all were mormons at some point in your lives. You must have been if you claim to know more about mormon doctrine than actual followers of that faith. Come on guys, you can’t “tell” a person what they believe!

  11. I am LDS, and I just want to say that 20M could have been spent to promote the church’s position on loving our fellow neighbor! I struggle with this issue even in my own church and have not been fully fellowshipped, so I can understand why they chose to spend their money on staking a claim!

    But, a prophet has spoken to the world, suggesting that we support the Yes on 8 campaign. Although I didn’t contribute, I did vote.

    There alot of people out there who have respect for the tough trials that await youth that are gay! If the Mormons aren’t going to bring them up with love, and acceptance, then they get turned out into the world, that says it’s ok to marry the same sex.

    The saddest part about this whole Prop 8 initiative is that both sides forgot to remember that there is love for each other on both sides. Mormons don’t want to see people lost if they enter into relationships not between a man and woman. Others don’t want to persecuters and fighters of men, losing their peace!

    But where is the common ground where America loves each other? I think it begins by remembering that each of us is entitled to worship how where or whom they choose. I think it’s important to be kind and sensitive to those around us, and not to judge people incorrectly, as with that same judgement that ye judge, shall also be judged to you.

    And, I think we need to carry one anothers burdens. Did we forget that we are all created equal under the sight of God? Do we only carry the burdens of those with current temple recommends? Are we only a good samaritan only to the next door neighbor who dashes out to get to the 3 hour block of Sunday meetings on time?

    If you ask me, there really must be a devil, becasue he surely wants us to fight each other so he won’t have to do any work himself.

  12. All of you bashing the mormon church should feel like idoits! FYI! The mormon church didnt put in a cent to prop 8! And also all they did was ”ENCOURAGE” there members to vote against gay marrige! So how bout before you are going to call out a religous orginazation and cite them for false things think about it first! Oh wait you dont! You dont have brains!

  13. Will,

    You accusation of people not having brains because of your defense of the Mormon Church on this issue..says enough about the unfortunate mentality that continues in the minds of those who promote the religious principles of a sect being perpetrated on the political agenda.

    JP

  14. I just started laughing when I got to the part where Ellen states that the Mormon’s of view was “not remotely Christ-like”. I think she can speak with authority on that subject, since her words were mean-spirited (“antiquated pioneer, patriarchal, bigoted religious system”), and her entire write-up was an attack of the Momon’s, without a single persuasive sentence addressing the benefits of gay marriage.

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