Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fellow Mormons Who Advocate Same-Sex Marriage©

Since the decision on Friday to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide I have been reading around the web a bit among some of my fellow church members, especially some of the younger set.(1)  For the most part they seem to be very pleased.  A number of them have put on their FaceBook pages a link to Elder Christofferson's earlier statement that it is okay for members to defend same-sex marriage on the web.  They do so as if it is a statement of agreement.  What he actually said is that the church is not going to "force" its members to accept church doctrine, but to use "persuasion" in discussions with them.  It is wrongheaded to think they are just fine because they will not face church discipline.  The clear implication of his statement is that they are still in error.  In fact, the church's position on the matter has not changed and will not change.

With Elder Christofferson’s “permission” it appears that many of them think they are free to debate with the Church and try to change the Church’s position on the issue. In this they are self-deluded or simply ignorant. The fact of the matter is, many of our younger generation simply do not know the doctrine of the church, particularly about marriage and family, as well as they should; so it is largely a matter of ignorance, both of the doctrine and of how the Church operates.

One thing that many members who take pleasure in the Court’s decision do not think about are the long term consequences of it. One young woman I read today was very dogmatic in saying that this decision will not force the Church to perform same-sex marriages. How in the world could she possibly know that?  It was a wish in the form of a declarative sentence. Given the surprises we have witnessed in the last twenty-five years on this and many other issues, her misguided certainty is only exceeded by her hubris. But even if she turns out to be correct on the issue, one thing she ignores is that the LGBT movement will not be content with this “victory” and Mormons and other Christians or other religions who object to same-sex marriages, or who refused to perform them will certainly be labeled as ‘bigots.” You can bet they will not be content to let us have our religious opinions that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. They do not want tolerance, they want the world to embrace the idea, and they will be relentless in seeking to destroy those who disagree with them. 

And there is yet another problem my fellow Church members who applaud this decision have not taken into account and that is what is considered “legal” is soon accepted by the general population as “moral.” Among other problems this creates, it will make proselyting among the LGBT community and those sympathetic with them even more difficult than it is now, because they will be content with their lifestyle as both legal and moral because the majority says it is okay.

The “it is legal, therefore it is moral,” attitude has even wider implications that are not often taken into account. I will just mention one here. When the government interferes with religion and begins to dictate religious policy, doctrine, and practice, historically that has been one of the first steps to Apostasy. I do not fear apostasy of the Church; the Lord has told us that will not happen in this dispensation.  Apostasy from the Church is another matter.  Government interference will deepen apostasy where it already exists, in and out of the Church. Moreover, the polarization is becoming more and more acute and we can expect that pressure will be exerted upon the Church not only by the LGBT community, but eventually the government as well.

We have had forced upon us a serious and gigantic step in our ongoing descent to the lowest common denominator.

Let’s think together again, soon.


1.  I have written two other editorials about this subject which you can access via the links below.  I especially recommend the second one for the youth.  Please take a look at it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Founding Statesmen vs. Hillary Clinton©

My patriotism was rekindled and deepened and my appreciation for the Founding Fathers was heightened by a recent trip to Virginia. There we visited the founding settlement of Jamestown, the site of the last battle of the Revolutionary War, Yorktown, and the home of Thomas Jefferson in Monticello.  It was a grand experience. On site and in the museums we read and learned, saw and imagined, listened and were emotionally stirred. I came away with a renewed appreciation of the grand statesmen who founded, built, and led this country. John Adams had an exalted view of his compatriots. Speaking of his work in the First Continental Congress in 1774 he wrote:       
It is to be a school of political prophets I suppose–a nursery of American statesmen. May it thrive and prosper and flourish and from this fountain may there issue streams, which shall gladden all the cities and towns in North America, forever.(1)
Jefferson looked upon his colleagues as an “assembly of demigods.”(2) We may be tempted to think Adams and Jefferson had an over-exalted view of their “band of brothers” in the Revolution, but given the perspective of time and place, the evaluation is closer to fact than fiction. Something like fifty (50) or more such men participated–names that are stars in the American sky. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Franklin, Henry, Lee, Jones, Rush, Jay, Paine, Revere, Hale, and two score more who are lesser known, but certainly in the first tier. Most nations are considered fortunate to have one or two or maybe a half-dozen such men in a long history. What can one say about such a group coming on the scene at the same time in the same place? It was nothing short of a political miracle, one which I believe was orchestrated by the Almighty. But whether you share that view or no, I think you will agree with the general assessment that there has never been anything like that collection of political genius on earth at one time in one place, ever.(3)

Sure, they had their weaknesses, sins, character flaws, and myopias. But the myopias they harbored were not pandemic. What was almost universal was their phenomenal vision about what they were doing and the destiny of this country. Let Paine and Adams speak for all. First, the more limited view of Paine:
The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ‘Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent–of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe. ‘Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed time of continental union, faith and honor.(4)
Adams was more expansive:
Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, and measure in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of a revolution the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations.(5)
Vision like that is uncommon except in the most clear-eyed statesman–political prophets as it were.  These sentiments ignite a fire in the heart and soul. But there is more, of course.  Early on America indeed, turned out to be “a nursery of American statesmen.” They also knew who was behind the venture. John Dickinson left one of the most amazing statements on this subject of any I know about:
Almighty God himself will look down upon your righteous contest with gracious approbation.You will be a “band of brothers,” cemented by the dearest ties–and strengthened with inconceivable supplies of force and constancy, by that sympathetic ardor, which animates good men, confederated in a good cause. Your honor and welfare will be, as they are now, most intimately concerned; and besides–you are assigned by divine providence, in the appointed order of things, the protectors of unborn ages, whose fate depends upon your virtue.(6)
Statements like these could be multiplied many times. Their vision, their sentiment, their passion fueled the Revolution. Religion, specifically the Christian religion, despite what we may have been told in our grade-school classes or by modern liberal intellectuals, provided the foundation principles upon which the Founders built. Moreover, as Dickinson said above, the fate of the endeavor depended upon their “virtue;” they generally believed it was necessary to incorporate those principles and ideals into their very lives in order for the experiment to succeed and be perpetuated. Here is Washington:
I make it my constant prayer, that God would have you and the State over which you preside in his holy protection; ... that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion; without a humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.(7)
Even the modern liberal Democratic President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, understood this heritage.  A century and a half later he said:
No greater thing could come to our land today than a revival of the faith–a revival that would sweep through the homes of the nation and stir the hearts of men and women of all faiths to a reassertion of their belief in God and their dedication to His will for themselves and for their world. I doubt if there is any problem–social, political, or economic–that would not melt away before the fires of such spiritual renewal.(8)
I conclude this important and potent collection with this warning from Thomas Jefferson:
It is a law of nature that the generations of men should give way, one to another, and I hope that the one now on the stage will preserve for their sons the political blessings delivered into their hands by their fathers. Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible.(9)
I am motivated to assemble this collection as a reminder to myself, to share with you, and to make an important point. Those whom I have quoted and referred to above are widely held by Americans, historians, and political pundits, to be some of the elite of American statesmen. They not only show forth prescient vision and exude great motivating passion, but they possess something else. Part of their eloquence goes beyond vision and passion–they were statesmen, but not because of these things. They were statesmen because they were wise, possessed solid judgment, and most of all clarity of principle. That is becoming more and more rare, at an alarming clip.

I am skeptical that Adams' prayer that the "nursery of American statesmen" will "thrive and prosper and flourish" is being answered as he requested. After the first batch, Lincoln stands out--a truly, internationally acclaimed statesmen. From there? Well maybe the two Roosevelts, but the crowd is thinning, and presently very thin.

Where does Hillary Clinton stand in all this? Well, for one thing, we shall never hear the exalted vision and expression of a Washington, Adams, or Jefferson from her.  She won't even come out from behind her security blanket to talk with reporters.  She will never be a great stateswoman. She doesn’t have the makeup for it. She is, in fact, infected with the "gangrene” Jefferson worried about. 

Her vision has gone down the wrong path, the path of corrupt principles as Jefferson warned. Harsh judgment? Yes, because she has abandoned the most cherished principles of the Founders. She sees the solution to America’s problems in monstrous government and billions of currency. She would take from those who have earned, to give to those who have not earned to foster social programs that do not work. She would redistribute the nation’s wealth. She is a socialist in this and many other ways. All this in light of two-hundred years of historical evidence that such redistribution does not eliminate poverty, but entrenches it with a host of accompanying ills and evils, not the least of which is a sense of entitlement.  

More important than this, however, is the fact that she does not possess the wisdom and judgment which the Founders and other statesmen had. She has difficulty seeing beyond her own lust for power. She has monumental hubris and self-confidence, but she does not possess other elements of character Washington praised. She is weakest in honesty, integrity, and true American principles. The gangrene is too deep; she does not have the makeup which statesmen and women have.

So, I ask, why put our eggs in her basket? We all lament the political and moral declension which has taken place in Washington in the last half century or more. A common plea of the Democrats in recent elections has been not to go back to the “political establishment.” Goodness, Hillary personifies the “political establishment” of the Left. Why in the world would anyone want someone who is the pure embodiment of Washington’s lies, insincerity, equivocation, evasion of responsibility, political manipulation, unresponsiveness, smoke and mirrors rather than transparency, influence peddling, deals in smoke filled back rooms, and a litany of things that highlights her self-serving nature that is a mile long?

I say, we can do better. We must do better! Lets find a statesman (or woman), who shares the principles of the Founders, who has the wisdom and judgment of the Founders, who seeks to have the kind of character called for by the Founders. Lets find someone with the vision of the Founders and who possesses the nobility, goodness, and class of the Founders. Hillary is neither a political prophet nor an American statesman; she just doesn’t have the right stuff!

Let's think together again, soon.


1.  David McCullough, John Adams, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001), p. 24, emphasis added.

2.  Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 30 August 1787, in John P. Kaminski, ed., The Quotable Jefferson, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 222.

3.  This brings to mind the famous anecdote about JFK when he convened his cabinet of intellectual giants.  He is reported to have said, there had not been such a collection of genius in the White House since Thomas Jefferson took supper there alone.

4.  Thomas Paine, in Gordon Leidner, ed., The Founding Fathers: Quotes, Quips, and Speeches (Naperville, IL: Cumberland House, 2013), p. 42.

5.  John Adams, letter to William Cushing, 9 June 1776, cited in Gordon Leidner, ed., The Founding Fathers: Quotes, Quips, and Speeches (Naperville, IL: Cumberland House, 2013), p. 9.

6.  John Dickinson, member of the First Continental Congress.  Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (1767-1768).  Paul H. Ford, ed., The Writings of John Dickinson (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1895), vol. 1, p. 405.  Cited in Brad O’Leary, God and America’s Leaders: A Collection of Quotations by America’s Presidents and Founding Fathers on God and Religion, (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2010), p. 133, emphasis in original.  President Dwight Eisenhower, provided this similar analysis:  
You can’t explain free government in any other terms than religious.  The Founding Fathers had to refer to the Creator in order to make their revolutionary experience make sense; it was because “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights” that man could dare to be free.  They wrote their religious faith into our founding documents, stamped their trust in God upon the faces of our coins and currency, and put it boldly at the base of our institutions.  And when they drew up their bold Bill of Rights, where did they put freedom of worship?  First, in the cornerstone position.  That was no accident. [Dwight D. Eisenhower, in Albert M. Wells, Jr., comp., Inspiring Quotations Contemporary and Classical, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1988), p. 211.]
7.  George Washington, address to the Governors of the states on resigning as commander-in-chief, cited in Samuel Smiles, Happy Homes and the Hearts that Make Them, (Chicago: U. S. Publishing House, 1898), p. 284, emphasis added.

8.  Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Elizabeth Dole, comp., Hearts Touched With Fire: My 500 Favorite Inspirational Quotations, (New York: Carroll & Graff, 2004), p. 60.

9.  Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 9 March 1821, in John P. Kaminski, ed., The Quotable Jefferson, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 216.