By BoLOHUKE payday loans uk

“All Are Alike Unto God”: Reflections on Proposition 8

Guest poster JBK presented this speech at an ecumenical No on 8 rally this morning in Southern California.

November 1, 2008

I am a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Mormon, a mother, a writer, a scholar, a feminist, and a community activist. I am also the descendent of Mormon pioneers. My grandmother’s grandmother crossed the plains from Iowa to Utah in 1852 when she was just one year old. Her parents pulled a handcart because they were too poor to afford oxen.

Mormonism is my spiritual and cultural home, and I attribute most of what is good in me to my Mormon upbringing. I am proud to be a Mormon because we are a people that believe in working hard together and making tremendous sacrifices towards fulfilling a great vision: a vision of building up Zion on this earth. What is Zion? In the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of Mormon scripture, Zion is defined as “the Pure in Heart” (D&C 97: 21).

In June, a letter was read over the pulpit in every Mormon congregation in California from the First Presidency of our Church, asking members to “do all they can” in support of Proposition 8. In the months that have followed, we have seen a political effort among Mormons unprecedented in the history of the Church.

I want to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice put forth by thousands of Mormons. It is estimated that Mormons who make up 2% of the population of California have contributed between 40 and 70% of the donations to the “Yes on 8” campaign, and a considerable percentage of the workforce.

I am here today, though, to stand as a Mormon, a citizen of California, a voter, and a mother and explain why I cannot join my fellow Mormons. My personal faith and my conscience demand that I vote No on Proposition 8.

To continue reading, see this link.

Filed in Uncategorized | 21 responses so far

21 Responses to ““All Are Alike Unto God”: Reflections on Proposition 8”

  1. 1C.J. Warburtonon 01 Nov 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks so much for this beautiful statement. I wish more of us had the courage you’ve shown here.

  2. 2Kathrynon 01 Nov 2008 at 9:43 pm

    As an active, temple-recommend-holding Latter-day Saint, I am in full agreement with everything Laura has said. I applaud your courage, Laura, in expressing your opinions so eloquently.

    [Note from Laura: Though I would love to be able to take credit for this document, JBK is the one who should be applauded for her eloquent courage. It's great to have thoughtful guest posters, isn't it?]

  3. 3MayaLinnon 02 Nov 2008 at 5:56 am

    Thank you, JBK, for pointing out that Proposition 8 severely abridges Civil Rights that the Mormon Church itself has fought so hard for in the past, such as the right to engage in marriage practices that the rest of the U.S. found abhorrent.

    Many of us will remember that it took a public outcry (for example, the San Jose, CA basketball team’s picketing and black armbands at BYU basketball games) and a decrease in church members’ support for racist policies before church leaders were motivated enough to ask for further light and knowledge on racial equality.

    I applaud your courage in advocating for fair treatment for all families.

  4. 4Sarahon 02 Nov 2008 at 8:36 am

    Wow.

    She expresses so eloquently what is in my heart.

    It gives me renewed strength to attend church today, and I look forward to attending the candlelight gathering this evening at the SLC library.

    Thanks for the post!

  5. 5Megon 02 Nov 2008 at 11:20 am

    You guys are truly courageous and I applaud you for keeping your hearts and minds open!!

  6. 6Rhondaon 02 Nov 2008 at 9:32 pm

    The topic of homosexuality and Proposition 8 is difficult for almost everyone I know. Both sides of the issue have tender feelings when it comes to the people they love. Like many of you, I have close family members and friends whom I love dearly who have embraced this lifestyle. They are in loving, solid relationships, one of which has had a partner for more than fifteen years.
    For me, when deciding which side I truly stand on I must decide for myself what is truly right as I study the scriptures, read our prophets words, and pray. I think of the story of Nephi in the Book of Mormon as he humbly prays to the Lord to know the truth concerning his father Lehi’s dream. Unlike his elder brethren who rebelled against their father Lehi and used their own understanding rather than the truth from Heavenly Father, Nephi sought the truth of all things from God.
    I am grateful for the wisdom from our prophets of old as well as prophets today who encourage us to not follow blindly but to study it out in our minds and let the Holy Spirit guide us to real truth. Because of this knowledge I was able to gain a stronger testimony of the love our Heavenly Father has for each of his children and his invitation for all of us who are confused and heavy burdened over life’s challenges and Proposition 8 to come unto Jesus. The love they have for us is unconditional no matter what our choices may be.
    When considering Proposition 8 I had to wonder whether or not God accepted marriage between two people of the same gender. I also wondered if God believed people were truly born gay or whether he thought they could overcome it in this life. As I turned to the scriptures I found all of my questions answered.
    Our loving Savior gave us a beautiful plan of happiness. He promised us a living prophet to guide us in these turbulent times. He also promised us that our prophet could not lead us astray. I believe in eternal marriage. I believe in the Proclamation on the Family. I believe in the temple ordinances I received and know that the plan of salvation is clear and concise.
    We must remember that our Savior’s mission was to give us agency. The opportunity to decide for ourselves was given to us at a heavy price. His life was the price in hope that as we came to this earth and had experiences we would choose Him over the temptations of this life. As much as he loves us He has also stated in Alma 45:16 “… the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.”
    Our loving Savior stated in Deuteronomy 23:16-17 “He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him. There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” I hope that as we choose for ourselves that we ask ourselves these simple questions: What has the Lord stated over and over again concerning chastity and marriage? What have our prophets taught us over and over again? Why do I attend the temple and what is its purpose? Am I found on the right hand of God in sustaining the Prophet of God on a very serious moral issue that will affect our state and nation or am I found condemning him?
    The scriptures have clearly stated that homosexuality is a sexual sin. I encourage you to study the scriptures as I have done. Although it is difficult for me to explain to my gay friends and family my position I must stand for truth and righteousness. Here are a few scriptures that will help you in deciding which side you will stand on: Romans 1:22-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Leviticus 18:22-23, Proverbs 5:3 and 7:10, Alma 38:12, 2Nephi 13:9.

    I challenge you to remember the many covenants that you have made with the Lord. You have promised to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ, to follow him, and to be like him. The Lord has directed our Prophet today to ask us to speak out on a difficult subject. I know that God loves his children, yet he will not stand by and allow marriage to be defiled in such a way. It is our responsibility to be God’s army and be found on the right hand of the Lord.

  7. 7Paulaon 02 Nov 2008 at 9:53 pm

    I am having GREAT difficulty with trying to understand what the fear is when it comes to having gays marry. Their marriage will NOT harm the marriage between a man & a woman. They will NOT become a threat to anyone, any church, any school, etc.

    All these people want is to have the same rights as we have. They want to have a marriage with the person that they so truly love. They want to be accepted in this world. They want to feel like they belong. It has taken YEARS for the men & women who are gay to have their closet door opened & come out into the world. BUT so many want to push them right back into the closet & lock the door. WHY??

    These people are hard working, professionals. They are a great asset to the community. For many of you who fear the gays, you have no idea when you are in the store if you are standing next to one. You have no idea…the person checking your items at a grocery store might be gay. The waiter or waitress that is taking your order might be gay. Your lawyer might be gay. Your doctor might be gay. You just NEVER know who is & who isn’t. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.

    The Mormon community is suppose to be one of love, understanding, family values. But many of you have had gay children. And many of you have turned your backs on your OWN children. How can you do this? I realize that you & many others DON’T believe it when you are told that the child was BORN gay. It’s NOT a choice in lifestyle. EVERY family has or has had a gay family member. Turning your backs on them won’t make them go away. Mormons are known for their love of family. So when I hear what you do to a gay child, it breaks my heart because you are showing the ugly side of humanity.

    And what about the gay children who commit suicide? Those poor children. They were turned out into the cold. They were shut out of their family unit. They were shunned by the same people who vow to place their family FIRST. That’s unless you are gay.

    There will ALWAYS be gays in this world. They should NOT lose their rights as a human being.

    It amazes me that you don’t see divorce as a bigger threat to the family unit. Or adultery. Or the economy. Or many other issues. You say that a child deserves a mommy & a daddy. I say that a child deserves 2 LOVING parents…and it doesn’t matter if they are a man & a woman, 2 men or 2 women. As long as they are loving, devoted parents. A child can NOT be turned gay. I know many loving, gay couples who have adopted the children that no one wants.

    To listen to the many Mormons that are so hateful when it comes to getting Prop. 8 passed. And I know that you don’t like it when you are told that you are being homophobic or racist. But to me, that is exactly what it sounds like. And I would have more respect for people if they were HONEST about their feelings. I don’t want to hear lies. I want to hear the truth.

    I agree with marriage NOT being taught in school. And I honestly don’t think it will be taught. In fact, I know a few teachers & as of right now, marriage is NOT taught in Ca. schools. And I agree that certain things should be taught by the parents.

    I don’t feel that the gays of this State or any other State should have their rights taken away. By doing that, we are NO better than the other countries that we have invaded because we felt their citizens were being treated poorly by their Government.

    I feel that we ALL need to take a BIG step backwards & see what we are doing. By trying to get Prop. 8 passed, this will open the door for ALL other religious institutions to start making amendments to the Constitution. And that can NOT be good for this State or any other State. The Mormons don’t want the gay to have any rights…next the Catholics will try to make birth control illegal…and the list goes on & on.

    We are ALL humans. We were ALL placed here by GOD. We should all be tolerant of one another. We should all have the right to vote for who we want to vote for without being ridiculed. I think we have forgotten how to treat one another during this voting year.

    As a Mormon, I will be voting NO on 8. I can’t look at any of my friends who are gay & honestly feel like I am better than they are…because I am not. I can’t look at them & tell them that I don’t believe they deserve the same rights as myself. I can’t tell them how much I love them & then stab them in the back. I just can’t.

    As a Mormon, I am taking a long, hard look at what this church is teaching about tolerance or the lack of. I can’t live in a State where all people are NOT equal.

    This Presidential race & Prop. 8 have brought out the worst in people. And that is very sad. People don’t talk to one another. Neighbors are against one another. Signs are being destroyed by one party or the other. Vandals are striking. And with all of this going on, we wonder WHY other countries don’t respect us??

    I hope that everyone can get along & learn to be tolerant of one another. If we can’t, this country is in trouble.

  8. 8Jeanmarie Toddon 03 Nov 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I was raised in the LDS Church and served a mission in Japan. Eventually I left the Church, just to make full disclosure here. I am straight, not that there’s anything wrong with that — nor anything especially right or virtuous about that; it’s just the way I was born. I know and love many wonderful gay people, including one of my cousins, Brett, who was married to his longtime partner and co-parent this year here in California. I was dismayed to learn recently that the LDS Church is one of the big financial contributors to the Prop 8 campaign. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. I was very pleased today to find this Website, and I commend those LDS brothers and sisters who are standing up for tolerance and separation of church and state. Rolling back civil rights is not a step forward and not something this or any church should be involved in. Gay marriage is a force for stabilization and protection of children and families. The marriages of straight people aren’t threatened by gay unions, but we are all threatened by ignorance, lies, intolerance and the erosion of civil rights and civil society represented by Proposition 8.

    [Moderator's note: Although the Church has encouraged members to donate to Prop 8 and LDS members are responsible for the largest chunk of donations, according to public donation reports, the Church itself has only donated a little more than $2,000 to cover travel expenses of Utah-based church leaders who traveled to California for meeting(s).]

  9. 9Carrieon 03 Nov 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Prop 8 is an act of aggression. The church might not see it that way, but the people who it will affect the most will, and in this instance I think that is the opinion that counts.

    The United States has what turns out to be an imperfect separation of church and state. I would love to see us come together and reinforce the rights of churches so they can practice and run their extensions (such as universities) without interference, but I am afraid that the result of the support (regardless of the outcome) will lean towards force.

    For this I am sorry, for everybody.

  10. 10Angieon 03 Nov 2008 at 10:54 pm

    I’m so excited I found this website. I grew up in AZ in a heavily populated LDS community, I have many LDS family members too. I have always been treated sort of like an outsider, I’m not LDS. In AZ there is a proposition 102, that would like to write a clause in our constitution against gay marriage. I only know one person who is LDS that is against this but she says she will not share this at church or with others because, she is afraid she will be looked down upon. I sent her this link! I’m against this bill for main reason, it is not christ like. If infact homosexuallity is wrong then Jesus will decide. I believe people are born this way, and if they could change this they would, life could be much easier for them if they did. I always have thought of the LDS community as judgemental and intolerant of others. this group helps me see that not all are that way, that some give the church a bad wrap!

  11. 11Jeffreyon 04 Nov 2008 at 4:06 pm

    You probably won’t post this because it represents an active member of teh LDS Church’s views, and views that are contrary to your blog, but I thought I’d at least try to explain.

    I think the bottom line is: As a Mormon, do you believe that there is a Prophet of God? Yes? Then the next logical question is: “Why are you opposing the letter (and also their teachings) written by the Prophet and signed by the First Presidency?

    Either you believe in a Prophet inspired by God and modern revelation or you do not. There is no middle ground on this issue. The Church has consistently said that they are not being intolerant and hateful, but simply stating our very doctrine, as in the Proclamation on the Family (again, inspired by a Prophet of God and the Twelve Apostles). It is very clear.

    Our church is under a lot of fire right now in California because of Proposition 8. I completely believe in being tolerant towards all but I also am very convicted to following my Prophet and his councilors and stand behind the church in things they feel are important enough to take this kind of fire. I am grateful that in a time where our world is becoming so tolerant of things that are so wicked, I know that the church will always stand as a witness of Christ and his teachings. We never have to worry about the church “giving in” to the ways of the world.

    I just hope all of us can remember right now that there isn’t room for us as members to sit on the fence when it comes to issues the church is taking a stand on. We can be loving and tolerant to all but in no way should this love or tolerance ever be mistaken for acceptance. Our church needs the support of its members which means there are no gray lines when deciding which side you are on. Many of us work with all sorts of people from all different religions and backgrounds. Now is not the time to sit back and not let people know of your support for our leaders and the teachings of our church. Just remember, it isn’t just the LDS people who have been taught the importance of the institution of the family. There are other large religions out there that are fighting to preserve this belief as well as protect the lives of unborn children. We are not standing alone. If our opposition is going to make us out to be “untrendy” or “unenlightened,” so be it. I would rather have someone question my trendiness than to wonder how faithful or convicted I am in my beliefs.

  12. 12Lilia Veronicaon 05 Nov 2008 at 2:37 am

    I applaude your convictions as a matter of fact I applaude anyone who stands for their values. I do it because of something that The Church teaches, AGENCY. Yes, FREE AGENCY. The Church Teaches to love and respect everyone, even those with whom we disagree. The way I see it, is that whatever you or anyone elese belive or chose to see as true is of no consequense to me. My obligation as an individual, who whappens to be a Member of The Church, is to stand and fight for my convictions without saying “you are wrong”. I do it because I alone will have to stand before my Judge and Savior at Judgement Day. He is going to ask about me and me alone what I did or did not do. From the moment that it was revealed to me The Church Was True, I have been or have come agree with My Religiuos Leaders, by pondering on what they tell me. Heavenly Father in His Infinite has seen fit to tell us to do so, MORONI 10.

  13. 13Carrieon 05 Nov 2008 at 8:29 am

    Jeffrey, why would another’s view of your beliefs concern you at all? And if there is no middle ground, why does the doctrine say to follow the doctrine before following the prophets, if they conflict?

    Let’s not compare this to the abortion issue. It isn’t the same.

  14. 14Aydinon 05 Nov 2008 at 9:03 am

    I have dear friends that are LDS members – I am extremely hopeful in LDS by seeing that some of their members choose to think for themselves and ask their own hearts if prop 8 is right or wrong. In my opinion for the LDS church to fund and politically support such a hateful proposition is not the direction that its founders had in mind and counter productive to its faith.

  15. 15Jenna G.on 05 Nov 2008 at 10:21 am

    The day after the election, and I am saddened at what both California and Arkansas have done to civil rights. I am a life-long member of the LDS Church. I made the decision early in life that I believed in this gospel. And I, like many of you, believe that the Church’s involvement in a political decision that strips others of fundamental rights is not right.

    I was speaking with my husband about this. We’ve had a theory about Satan’s subtle tools to lead us the wrong way. Noise and speed have always been the obvious ones to us. If we move to quickly through our lives, if we fill it up with unnecessary noise, we won’t be able to hear the still small voice of the Spirit telling us what is right.

    But, with the recent ballot measures targeting the fundamental rights of gays and lesbians, I see another one of Satan’s subtle tools. Disguise hatred in the form of piousness. So many people in support of these measures have justified their actions because “it’s the right thing to do.” If the Bible says being gay is wrong, then it’s OK for me to hate gays, right? Of course not! We know this, but then those people visiting this site likely did not need to be told this, either. If we stop to think that hate is hate, no matter how ethical we feel our choices are, we might reconsider our vote.

    My biggest regret in this matter was that I did not speak out more at Church. There is a fear that I’m sure many of us felt about being overtly opposed to suggestions of the prophet and other church leaders. I spent most of the last few months sitting in the hallways reading my scriptures, rather than in the room listening to the one sided messages. I wish I had been brave enough to show them an alternative viewpoint.

    I am relieved to find this web site, to know that I am not the only one out there who can reconcile my love for the Gospel with my love for all people. THANK YOU for being here!

    With love to all, Jenna

  16. 16Lauraon 05 Nov 2008 at 11:33 am

    For those of you who don’t know,

    Arkansans on Tuesday approved a ban on unmarried, cohabiting adults from adopting or fostering children.

  17. 17Emilyon 05 Nov 2008 at 11:54 am

    As upset as I was to see the results of proposition 8 this morning, I am encouraged by the fact that we are to this point. Even 20 years ago, things were a lot different. It will not be long before homosexual marriage is accepted by the law. We just need to keep passing along the message of love and acceptance and help others understand that being gay is not a choice.

    I am a member of the LDS church and I do love the gospel, but am deeply disturbed by the first presidencies backing of this initiative and encouragement of its members to instill false fear in others to get them to vote for Prop 8. My conscious tells me that what they were doing was wrong, and it confuses me as to why so many people in the church fail to recognize this.

  18. 18kerryon 06 Nov 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Greetings through tears, prop 8′s supporters have created pain and hurt. Not Christ-like fruit. “you will know them by there fruit’. Do poeple in this country only get rights deemed exceptable to certain other people’s religious belief ? Christains in the south over whelmingly supported slavery. When the racial ban to marry the person of ones choice was struck down it would not have been supported by the majority. But it stood as law and in time (most ) of us understand that to be a personal civil right. If as yes leaders have claimed that they support “rights” of same sex couples just not marriage. If that is in fact their view then maybe the state should leave marriage to religion and convert all state recognized marriages to domestic partnerships ! After all its the ‘same” according to yes leaders.

  19. 19kerryon 06 Nov 2008 at 12:18 pm

    The Mormons and and their strange bedfellows the knights of columbus gave 10s of millions of dollars to take away equality in Ca. This money did not feed a straving child, house the homeless, buy any mostiquto net to prevent malaria, ect. I find it unconvinable that their God will not judge them harshly. Seems to be the ultimate sin. SHame on them!!!!

  20. 20Elaineon 09 Nov 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Kerry, you should check out lds.org and all of their humanitarian efforts. No, the money for Prop 8 did not go towards starving children, homes, and mosquito nets but there IS money continually flowing to help humanitarian aid. So please don’t judge the Church in saying that they don’t care about the starving children, homes for the homeless, and diseases, because they do.

  21. 21Shannon Leeon 16 Nov 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Wow. What a beautiful post. You’ve said everything I’ve wanted to say, so that I could not add a thing to it. It’s so nice to know that so many others share my sentiments on this issue. We may be outnumbered, but we’re certainly not alone.

    I keep thinking that there’s something wrong here. Something we’re not getting. In spite of what we’re taught in the Gospel and in the scriptures, God doesn’t make mistakes. The gays and lesbians in our society are here for a reason. They do not choose to be who they are. They simply are what they are, and do not need to be changed or fixed. But what are they here to learn? Or better yet, what are we to learn from them?

    I’m hoping that what we’re meant to learn is that there has been no greater law given to man than to love one another, unconditionally. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

    Would we like it if they now held a vote on our marriages? Would we like to be treated in the way that they have been treated? It’s something to think long and hard about. I hope.