All these naysayers remind me of Laman and Lemuel. When Nephi asked if they had inquired of the Lord they said no. The comments that I read are all from those who are inactive and disaffected who have not inquired of the Lord. We have that great promise in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." James 1:5-6 "And when ye shall receive these things I would exhort you that ye would ask Got, the Eternal Father in the name of Christ, if these things are not true. And if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye many know the truth of all things." Moroni 10:4-5 "Prove me now herewith...." Mal 3:10. I for one will follow the brethren and heed their council. I have inquired of the Lord and have received my answer. Those who criticize and complain have not. Pray for them as Nephi did his brothers. Compassion and love should sustain us and help us to sustain our leaders, but we must also stand firm in the face of adversity. After all, this life is a test, is it not?
It is my opinion that most active church members are well grounded amidst this swirl. But we are facing an incredibly activist community that will continue to beat down those who may not be as certain of their testimonies and will never be content to just walk away. I have no doubt that the Brethren have been bombarded by bishops and stake presidents seeking clarification and policy since the Supreme Court ruling. They are well acquainted with every aspect of this issue and in particular the tender situation of minor children. Haven't we just seen how children were used against BSA? I am grateful for these clarifications. I don't consider myself one who walks in blind obedience but rather one who has made an inspired choice to hold on to the iron rod with both hands. I appreciate Meridian as a voice for truth.
Thank you Mariah for this article. It helped me a lot.
I think main difference here is that same gender couples are now, according to the recent handbook update, in a state of apostasy. Heterosexual unmarried cohabiting couples are not.
Polygamists would also fall into the apostate category and so the child baptism restriction applies there too.
Read the Facebook myths article on this site for more info about the new policy - it's excellent.
Thank you for sharing your feelings on this matter. I found it most enlightening.
Rick, the policy change concerning underage children of homosexual couples is incredibly complex.The legalization of gay marriage was not just another social change. It was a sea change of epic proportions for all of western civilization. Yes, the new policy was partly to avoid stepping between parent & child. But the Church also needs to protect itself (and its local leaders) from the barrage of harassment lawsuits that are surely waiting in the wings. Analysis of the various parts of the change makes it clear this is the only way for the Church to make its way forward through this new moral & legal minefield. It's an inspired change.
I have an answer for Rick. Part of the repentance process for an unmarried heterosexual couple living together could be (and hopefully would be, barring abuse in the relationship) getting married and staying together. For a homosexual couple, repentance would have to include splitting up. The dynamic is different.
Here's what I don't understand. If a child has heterosexual, unmarried cohabiting parents he can be baptized or ordained. At home he will learn that is OK to live together without being married. At church he will learn that his parents are living in sin. Why does the policy apply to gay couples who are living in sin, but not to straight couples living in sin? Why protect one group of kids from mixed messages, but not the others? I need some help with this.
Thank you for taking the time to think and to pray and to share your expression of truth. Please know that there are indeed many, many of us who are right there with you on this!
I never imagined i would say a day when so many mormons would downgrade the importance of Baptism, and the Gift of the holy ghost. It's not like the gift of holy ghost is important between the ages of 8 and 18 anyways. Absolutely nothing is being taken away. Please be Honest, all policies have tradeoffs.
I too thank you for your article. I wish there were statistics that showed how much that is written and posted on social media are the facts and how much is hogwash. I'm guessing about 90% hogwash.
Follow the Prophet and keep the commandments are our only way for peace and even safety.
I feel very sorry for those that have taken offence to the actions of the leaders of this Glorious Church and Gospel. The Church is built on the basis of revelation to the great leaders of this Glorious Church from Joseph Smith Jr down to our present Apostles and it is their job to tell us what our Savior wants us to do. It has nothing to do with what a people wants. I love the Savior I love the Prophets and will continue to follow them all of the way. This wasn't a new policy but rather a clear declaration of the truth to all people. This policy has always been in place but not every one has paid attention to it. All sin is subject to punishment. It has just now be made totally public so people will be aware that sin will not be tolerated and as always sin affects all people that know them. Children or other close family members or extended family are affected one way or other.
Richard E Muffler
I for one was not surprised by the twisting of the truth. Although there is more too it, I only quote what I feel to be most pertinent.
In 1856 Heber C. Kimball warned:
"Yes, we think we are secure here in the chambers of the everlasting hills, where we can close those few doors of the canyons against mobs and persecutors, the wicked and the vile, who have always beset us with violence and robbery, but I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to the extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brethren, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a TEST, a TEST, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand?"
(Source: Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp. 446-7)
Your opinion may be unpopular with the world, Mariah, but it is very popular with those that really matter.
Well said, easy to understand, and very encouraging. You, and all of our Saturday's Warrior, make us ole folks proud and very hopeful. Together we STAND, divided we FALL. Standing with you all the way! Love to you dear sister <3
The commandment to study scriptures is becoming more and more important. People are replacing their study of scriptures with a study of internet articles, and are basically worshiping their own words. Social media has become a new religion, a graven image of sorts. Scripture study brings peace. Social media lately brings anxiety, fear and frustration and is causing a huge divide. It is a cunning tool of our own self-destruction as a society we start to worship ourselves and our own ideas.
Well said. It is interesting that you would mention Amalickiah to apply the Nephite experience with the current events that we are experiencing. Excellent way of likening the scriptures to us. I love the Book of Mormon because it is a great source of explaining mortal life and the tendencies of mankind, as well as the tricks and lies of Satan. My study currently has me in those chapters that deal with Amalickiah.
In Alma 54, we read:
"23 I am Ammoron, and a descendant of Zoram, whom your fathers pressed and brought out of Jerusalem.
" 24 And behold now, I am a bold Lamanite; behold, this war hath been waged to avenge their wrongs, and to maintain and to obtain their rights to the government; and I close my epistle to Moroni."
Isn't it interesting that Ammoron would take the victim-hood approach that we see so frequently today? Here is the brother of an evil man who executed an evil plan to murder at least two leaders so that he could ascend to the throne as king of the Lamanites - who then blames the Nephites as thieves and murderers, as well as slavers who pressed their ancient relative (Zoram) into "slavery." This conspiratorial narrative is then used to incite the Lamanites into a war against the Nephites, so that the Nephites might be enslaved under the power of the teller of this great lie.
While Satan is the only enemy common to human beings, Satan cleverly convinces many of the "reality" of imaginary wrongs and false narratives of victim-hood. In such a condition, humans become blind and deaf to reason, to truth and to love. These false beliefs become mists of darkness that lead to the pathways that bring us into the great and spacious temple of pride and arrogance. Since the building is built with the bricks of lies and imagined wrongs, it has no foundation.
We are left to pray for the welfare of those of us found mocking in the great and spacious building and for those who wander about in those Satanic mists of darkness, since their agency has removed them from our direct influence. Even pleading and calling, as Lehi did (and as the Prophets constantly do), seems to have no effect upon bringing those in such a condition towards the paths that lead to peace and joy. We are left to trust in the mercies of Him whose great plan this is and to act according to His instructions and merciful and loving counsel.
So incredibly grateful for the power of studying the Book of Mormon everyday... reminds me of what President Benson said:
"It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance."
Beautifully stated, Mariah.
It does my heart good to hear such wisdom from younger people, such as yourself. I am an 81 year old great grandmother, and when we were young, we would hear comments at times that indicated that the day would come when many people would leave the Church, We used to wonder how that could possibly happen, but now it is easier to see. I agree with the comments above, and now realize that the persecution endured by our pioneer forefathers can be a strength to us, as we may have to endure similar persecution. This is truth on earth, and our Prophets are inspired! Faith in them is vital now, and in the future!
I remember as a youth hearing about the times to come where the very elect will be deceived. I didn't understand the how this would happen until now. I had no idea what the issues would be! I vowed that whatever the causes I would remain steadfast and unmovable! But as the author so beautifully expressed, I started to sink in the water until I prayed in the temple for understanding, which resulted in peace to my soul. Thank you for your words!
If someone leaves or distances themselves from the church, and ultimately from Jesus Christ, because of a clarification of His commandments for us, then - even as sad as it is - they really never had the guidance of the Holy Spirit with them in the first place. It is our responsibility to help them attain that precious spirit, but it is not our fault if they do not. Thank you so much for such a great article.
Excellent commentary. I have also felt the pain of reading posts by people who will be leaving the church over this which they mistake for a doctrinal change. Also the implication from all the negative articles and posts make it seem like there will be a rash of disciplinary councils to excommunicate members which as a former bishop is highly unlikely in my opinion,
This must have been an extremely difficult annoncement to make. These men do not move quickly nor with their eyes closed to the world. It is for me to support them and gently also support those who are hurting. To stand tall to the media who have no belief in a God but love turmoil. They have my prayers. All of them.
I have rarely read anything so poignant. This article made all that is in me want to rise up and cry, "Thank you!" and "Amen!" It was literally like a balm for my soul.
The uplifting spirit of this article stands as a bright reminder that becoming a member of the Church is all about our communicating directly with the Lord about the steps we will take to be true to His call to follow Him. From an objective standpoint, it seems to be a distinct fundamental that being baptized and joining the Church is a step to be taken only by those who are willing to live His commandments and follow His ordained prophets. If a person isn't committed to that, then they can still help out with Mormon service projects and even attend all our Sunday meetings. But just don't throw rocks at the very institution about which you like so much.
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