Sunday, November 09, 2008

Those Who Disagree

I had a realization this morning about the debate over same-sex marriage. There is some portion of the population who opposed Prop 8 who are not gay themselves, but don't think marriage is a moral issue. When marriage is looked at as optional for strait people, then one of the most compelling reasons against gay marriage evaporates.

The moral standard that matters is that sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin. All kinds of things have attacked that standard over the last 50 years or so: no-fault divorce, the increasing frequency of divorce, the cultural expectation of couples shacking up for a while to try out 'marriage-lite' before making the real commitment, and yes, the push to promote gay marriage as the moral equal of heterosexual marriage.

Society has a vested interest in the success of marriage. There are decades of research studies showing the disastrous effects of divorce on women and children. Poverty, bad behavior in schools, crime, and the likelihood of the children getting divorces all increase when parents separate. Even the divorce of parents of adult children has bad consequences.

This culture needs to push back against more than just gay marriage. There is only one way to accomplish that. Hearts and minds need to be changed - one at a time if necessary.

Alma told us how to do it and it is incredibly difficult:
And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God (Alma 31:5).
To change hearts today, after more than a generation of neglect, will require miracles greater than the parting of the Red Sea. Notice that the children of Israel who saw that miracle could not abide the commandments of Moses. They wanted to go back to Egypt when things got tough. They told Moses:
For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness (Exodus 14:12).
The Lord had to raise an entire generation for 40 years in the wilderness before he could take these people to the Promised Land. Has modern society been in the wilderness long enough, or do we need more trouble before we will collectively listen to the commandments of the Lord? Based on the prophesies of the last days, my money is on more trouble coming.

No wonder prophets, seers, and revelators were inspired to give us this document 13 years ago:
We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

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