Last week we asked Meridian readers what you can do to stand for marriage and were bombarded with great ideas. Here they are:

I “stood up for marriage” in California by responding to the Prophet’s request to go door-to-door when this issue was on the ballot. The voters cast their votes in favor of traditional marriage, but it was overturned by a higher court. I am still glad I responded out of obedience, but I have a hard time believing “standing for marriage” is going to make any difference in our current political and social climate. In fact, being vocal about our beliefs in traditional marriage only seems to ignite people’s anger. Seems to me a better approach is to be a good missionary.

Maryann

Thanks Maryann for your efforts with Proposition Eight. Your influence was surely felt then even though it was overturned by a higher court. I love your suggestion to just continue to ‘be a good missionary’! We can never know how far reaching a good example can continue to be. Line upon line we go!

I think one of the most important things that we can do as adults is understand what is at stake in the debate. It is not as simple as it appears. I believe parents need to be able to not only answer the questions of their children, but proactively teach why preserving marriage and strengthening family is important to our nation. Most youth I know are forming opinions by what they hear around them, not what is truth. While they somewhat understand the morality issues, many do not understand why we cannot just live and let live; therefore what they learn at church and are taught by the world do not mesh. When challenged they often become angry at the church.

JoAnne W. Roberts

Your thought about what is at ‘stake’ here is very relevant. The strength of the family is of great importance to the health and vitality of any nation. Thank you for the reminder that we have to continue to teach our children!

It takes courage. If on a Facebook post we declare tolerance for gays and pride in a community’s “gay pride” parade, we will receive lots of “likes.” Whereas if we tell the truth, that there is a better way, we receive hatred and removal of “likes.” Therefore we can put our faith in Christ and our faith in the Truth ahead of our desire for popularity. Truly we owe our lives to our parents and we owe our salvation to Jesus Christ. Loyalty to Christ and to the Truth takes courage.

Mary Jane

We ever seem to have to be putting ‘popularity’ in perspective! Putting our faith in Christ and His Truth is our goal. It’s never too late to raise ‘The Title of Liberty’!

I think one of the most important things we can do is to gather the courage ourselves to “come out of the closet” in support for the family. We have been exhorted time and time again, especially recently, about this issue and its importance by prophets and apostles. I don’t think they talk about any other social or political issue more than the definition of family. I think many of us are just afraid. But we must gather courage, as Elder Christofferson spoke of on Sunday in the CES Fireside, to stand with Christ. Anti-family is anti-Christ, as Julie B. Beck stated in her talk “The Doctrine of the Family”. You don’t have to be obnoxious or argumentative and you don’t have spend a lot of time doing it. But you can confidently comment in support of marriage when the opportunity arises. And it arises often. Or give reasonable and rational points on why the norm of family is important to society on FB. Or why you think a society that protects children’s right to a mother and father is the kind of society you want to live in. It’s just little things. But you have to commit to commit. It gets easier once you start.

Nicole Brinkerhoff

The eternal nature of FAMILY IS our hope for the future. Admonitions from our leaders to protect and preserve these values should not and cannot be set aside.   Let COURAGE be our motto!

There is a reason for supporting traditional marriage in the scriptures. Seventeen scriptures, ten in the Old Testament and seven in the New Testament condemn homosexual conduct. If we believe in the Bible and that God, not man, defines what sin is and what conduct will bring blessings and what conduct will bring emptiness and pain, then we cannot simply buy in to the philosophies of men. If we change our institutions to enable, permit, and allow homosexual conduct, we are facilitating, fostering, and encouraging sin and affronting our God.

Tom Johnson

“I stand for marriage because the disintegration of the natural family worldwide is alarming. The natural family with one mother, one father, and one or more children is the nucleus of God’s plan for his children on this planet which He created for us. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have been admonished to “promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” (The Family, A Proclamation to the World, LDS Church 1995) Families are breaking up and falling apart all around us. There is so much noise from voices shouting through the media that the natural family is not a necessary part of society in our “modern” and “enlightened” culture. Pornography, the “Human Rights” Agenda, and even storybooks written for young children are working against the natural family consisting of a mother, father, and children. The only way this noise is going to stop, is for the average mother and father to become educated and help others learn about the powerful forces at work attempting to destroy the very fabric that holds society together.  As members of the Church, we have a responsibility to make the world around us a better place. Becoming educated about the state of marriage and family in the world is a good start. 

I stand for marriage because I am concerned for the future of children. The elementary school curriculum that is being taught in several states sings the virtues of same-sex relationships and eliminates any notion of the beauty and necessity of the natural family. Children want to believe and trust their teachers. They absorb this flawed information as if it’s true. The more we learn about what’s really going on behind the scenes when it comes to the “marriage” issue, the more powerful we will be to teach our children, to be involved in the school and community, to have understanding and loving discussions with people so their eyes will be opened to the truth.

If we, who know what God’s plan is for his children, ignore that very plan by ignoring the issue, there may be some devastating consequences to our children and families. Our own Family Proclamation states: “We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” 

There are people in this world who are organized in their efforts to destroy the natural family. What are they afraid of? Why would they want to eliminate the family? Because they know how powerful the family is. There must be a swelling grass-roots movement of people in favor of and educated on the topic of “man-woman marriage” in order to make a difference. We can make a difference if enough of us know what’s going on and start making some of our own noise. NOTHING will be accomplished in favor of the family if we believe that nothing we do will make a difference.  The more educated voices speaking out for the family, the better.” 

Thank you for discussing this topic on the Circle of Sisters!  Please feel free to add my voice to the Circle of Sisters. There are so many directions one could go with this topic. 🙂 I am passionate about sharing my voice and appreciate the opportunity to do so. 

Thank you!

Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Revelations 3:15

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Doctrine and Covenants, 29:34

Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.

Imagine yourself trying to teach morality to your children and grandchildren in a world where morality is frowned on and immorality is exalted (I know, it’s pretty close already).  No, don’t just say the words–really close your eyes and imagine yourself doing it.  Feel the resistance from your children who have been brainwashed.  Feel your horror and frustration as your hear them defending homosexual behavior, homosexual marriage–maybe even joining that culture because, as we all know, it’s “perfectly normal”.  Feel yourself fruitlessly trying to un-teach what they’ve already learned and internalized while you were asleep at the wheel.

How will our children behave the way we would like if we refuse to behave that way ourselves as parents?

Did the Lord say, “Don’t worry, kids, Christ will come to save the day so you don’t have to get your own hands dirty fighting for what’s right?”  In fact, don’t we believe that, AFTER ALL WE ARE ABLE TO DO OURSELVES, only then will Christ make up the difference?

I firmly believe we will be judged, not on whether we win the battle, but on how hard we fought the fight.

Helen Watts

Strong and encouraging words of counsel Helen. Your scripture references are another reminder of the importance of standing for truth. I am with you on FIGHTING THE FIGHT!

Marriage is the most sacred ordinance there is in God’s kingdom. When a man and a woman come together, they can create life, and with that comes a deep responsibility to raise and nurture that life. When homosexual parents raise children together through any means, they are denying the children of any parent of one gender, and are turning the children into something to validate their relationship rather than focusing instead on what is best for the child. Even God our Omnipotent Father has told us we, His children, are His focus (see Moses 1:39). The society where children are a tool to validate someone’s carnal desires is truly depraved.

When a society begins to degrade the idea of the unique qualities and roles of being male or female, it begins to destroy the idea of ordered justice and liberty in the society (including free exercise of belief – consider Christians who have been severely fined because of refusing to work for a homosexual wedding). More visibly, forgetting the value of the genders chips away at the reproduction of the next generation and makes values more difficult to pass on to those children that are born, since they see only hedonism and are taught entitlement to sin rather than responsibility to the family or to the society. Historically, once any society has embraced entitlement to sin including the practice of homosexuality, that society has not survived long. Or, as we know, “the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” So, standing for marriage is literally vital to the survival of our society.

-Kami N.

Your comparison of ordered justice and liberty and degrading the unique qualities of male and female were insightful. Thank you for your firm stand on the divine and sacred ordinance of marriage!

Why stand for marriage?  I stand for marriage because I trust God.  I trust that marriage is ordained of God, and as such is the ultimate foundation for the family unit.  The joy to be felt in a happy marriage and family is at the very heart of God’s perfect plan.  It does not come without effort and anguish and days each would impulsively flee it absent true commitment to One greater than ourselves.  I trust that there is no other type of relationship which can bring the level of personal growth and happiness equivalent to that which comes from the service, sacrifice, struggle and commitment demanded in a relationship model which was ordained of God from the beginning. 

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that eternal life grows out of marriage.  I stand for marriage because through the experiences entailed in that exclusive, God-ordained relationship–bitter and sweet–I believe I will ultimately become like God.  Because of experiences in my marriage relationship, I feel certain that through mostly imperceptible and gradual growth, someday I will be full of patience, widsom, mercy and love in perfect balance.  These priceless qualities are to be acquired and perfected only after many years of striving to become a master of repentance and forgiveness in the crucible of difficult ,and frequently less than ideal, mortal experiences, often including the challenge of child-rearing by two people with different opinions and backgrounds.

I stand for marriage because a home where there is a strong and happy marriage, or even a struggling marriage where there is commitment and effort to improve, is the best environment for optimal child development and well-being.  What deep sense of security, safety and emotional well-being come, at any age, when looking at the father and mother we have known and loved throughout life, and to know that they love each other.  To hear them cheerfully converse, smiling and laughing together and looking into one another’s eyes with genuine love and affection brings something all the wealth in world can never buy.  I stand for marriage because, although it is one of the most demanding of all human endeavors, it is the one of the greatest gifts a caring, unselfish parent can give their precious children.  

Valerie Mills, wife of 24 years and mother of five children, Bountiful, Utah.

Ultimately, it is all about our TRUST in Gods infinite wisdom. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt feelings about marriage and the joy that comes when a man and woman work together towards eternal goals.

 Elder Dallin H. Oaks encouraged us to choose between things that are good, better, and best.”  I believe that actively supporting marriage is one of the “best” things.  31 states are watching the Supreme Court’s reaction to Utah’s case, and hoping that they, too, can maintain their people-driven definition of marriage.

 Elder Russel M. Nelson, at the BYU Commencement last month said, You and I as disciples of the Lord bear a solemn responsibility to proclaim the will of God to all people.  One of the more demanding opportunities of our time is to stand up for the truth regarding the sacred nature of marriage.” I believe the words of this apostle of the Lord. “The day is gone when you can be a quiet, comfortable Christian.”

 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filed last week as a “friend of the courts,” meaning that they support Utah in this case.

 I agree with the principles in this opinion-editorial printed in Utah newspapers and written by my brother, David: “Same-Sex Marriage:  Why should Utahns even care?”

 My son is reading, All Quiet on the Western Front, for his English class right now.  As terrible as World War I was, I believe that there are causes in life that deserve our utmost support and sacrifice.  

 Standing for man-woman marriage is not discriminating against homosexual friends and family that we love.  It is the Utahns that were discriminated against when our law was struck down by one federal judge.  

In Paris, France, when a similar rally was held to support traditional marriage, over 1,000,000,000 (one million) people showed up.  Will the world see such a display of support from Utah, the most “conservative, family-friendly” state in the nation?

Nettie

Thank you so much for sharing your blog and your information on what was accomplished in support of marriage in France. These are the things that get us all excited about taking a STAND!

Thank you for calling attention to this important need. We should stand up for marriage because we are under covenant to do so. 
1. Testify of our faithful families. I can and do testify of the joy of family.  I was born of faithful parents who gave me 10 siblings. Our parents were committed to teaching us true doctrine as their highest priority. My parents also were reared in homes in which the Gospel was lived and taught. When married I held scripture study and family home evenings regularly. My husband was a faithful priesthood holder.  Now in old age, we are still blessed by good families.

2. Testify of the joy of courtship and marriage. Write it and pass it down to future generations. Although my husband died young, I have saved many beautiful courship letter which he had written. My parents also often wrote loving words to one another. Mother prepared compilations of family history, including many of these loving tributes. Although my parents have died, I can remember and show their love.  My mother’s parents also corresponded as true friends before their marriage–he a missionary abroad and she a student and teacher. Grandma saved these letters, which I have found, copied and transcribed. These letters of several generations are evidence of the hopes and joys of courtship and marriage.

3. Some may enter into the public debate. I have written optional editorials supporting families and true marriage, and submitted them to our local newspaper for publication. These were well-researched and carefully composed.

4. Form units of fellowship in defense of marriage. Knowing the truth of the doctrine of faithful marriage between a man and a woman, I want to join the ranks of others with the same purpose. It deserves our support. I am glad to know of the rally for marriage in Salt Lake City Sep. 18. As the song says, “This is worth fighting for.” Or “Give me ten men who are stout-hearted men and I’ll soon give you 10,000 more.”  I live in Idaho and want to find and offer fellowship among defenders of marriage of all faiths.

5. Engage in correspondence, including social media. Because the opponents of true marriage and families effectively utilize social media, we must be wise and brave in defending our faith in spite of likely social stigma. My experience has been that, under guise of virtue, our foes seem to  destroy that which is virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.

6. Know that this is a moral stance, not a political issue although our enemies have made it appear political. State and federal laws defining marrage, which are being challenged, were properly enacted in a bi-partisan manner.

7. Stand up for Marriage.
Thank you for offering this forum.

Mary Jane Fritzen

What wonderful suggestions on how to STAND FOR MARRIAGE. I love the idea of sharing with our children and grandchildren about wonderful marriage relationships and the joy of this sacred union. Thank you for your involvement and for so many wonderful ideas for all of us to ponder!

We are not against anyone. We are for an ideal that has been upheld by thousands of years of history, law, and religion.  Redefining marriage does more than widen the circle to let more people in — It totally changes marriage from a child-centered institution into an emotional bond between any consenting adults. Marriage is about more than emotion. It is about connecting children to the mother and father who made them.

Decades of research tell us that the ideal for children is to be raised by both a mother and a father. Men and women are not interchangeable. Fathers and mothers are different in distinct and complementary ways.  For example, which parent tosses the baby up in air, and which parents says “Honey, not so high?”  Fathers tend to challenge their children, while Mothers tend to be more protective. Children want and need both. 

There are many things you can do to show support for traditional marriage. Start by strengthening your own marriage. Witness the truth of marriage by holding hands in public.  Teach your children the importance of mothers, fathers, and marriage, as well as the importance of treating everyone with kindness and respect. Learn to articulate why traditional marriage matters: “because children need a mother and a father.”  

Laura Bunker

Interesting thought about how redefining marriage changes it from a ‘child centered’ institution into an emotional bond between any consenting adults. Indeed, ‘Heavenly Father created a beautiful plan’ – words in a verse of a favorite primary song, ‘I Lived in Heaven’…. ring ever true!

I so appreciate your ‘passion’ on this subject. There is much to be concerned about and much to be accomplished in making our voices heard. Thank you for your frank opinions and your desire to make a difference. If you are aware of ways to make our voices heard, please let others know so we can join forces.