Welcome to MormonVoices. Our volunteers respond to public discussions and comments from public figures that misrepresent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We encourage and direct Mormons to get involved in online discussions and thereby help shape the public understanding and perceptions of the Church. Please join your voice with ours, and become a member of MormonVoices.

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Marriage

For Mormons, marriage is not incidental.  It is central to our theology.  In 1995, the united First Presidency and Twelve Apostles published an official Proclamation stating that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”  LDS scripture teaches that eternal life with God can only be reached by married couples and that the family should provide love, service, and opportunity for growth.

The Proclamation is addressed not just to church members, but to everyone.  It warns that “the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”  Social science provides supporting evidence that the decline of marriage and stable family relationships has been a disaster for many adults and especially children.

The Church’s steadfast belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman is based on doctrine and sincere reasoning, and not on negative emotion toward others.  The Church supports non-discrimination ordinances to protect those with same-sex attraction, and consistently teaches that everyone should be treated with respect, love, and understanding.  The Church’s stance on Proposition 8 and similar measures, therefore, is based not on animus but on doctrine and a desire to protect the health and stability of traditional families.

The Church, with many others, is concerned that recognition of same-sex marriage could accelerate trends that harm families or prevent their formation.  This concern is based both on doctrine and on the work of reputable scholars who have shown some of the possible effects of legalizing same-sex marriages.  It is difficult to summarize this body of scholarship in a single blog post; entire law reviews and scholarly books have considered the possible effects of this policy change.  It is biased and incorrect to conclude that the Church is “anti-gay” or “bigoted” in light of the work of serious scholars which supports the Church’s stance.  Reasonable people of good will may disagree on the future consequences of new policies.

Moreover, reputable scholars have also written alarmingly that the legal recognition of same-sex marriage may cause negative consequences for freedom of religion.  Among them is Dallin Oaks, a current member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the LDS church who previously worked as a law professor and as Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and who is recognized as an expert on the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  Oaks observed:

“A few generations ago the idea that religious organizations and religious persons would be unwelcome in the public square would have been unthinkable. Now, such arguments are prominent enough to cause serious concern.  It is not difficult to see a conscious strategy to neutralize the influence of religion and churches and religious motivations on any issues that could be characterized as public policy.”

In Massachusetts, Catholic Charities have already been forced to stop providing adoption services in order to avoid being forced to violate Catholic belief regarding marriage and family.  Additional consequences to religious institutions and individuals are also likely to occur.  The LDS church therefore reasonably opposes measures that could restrict its members’ constitutional right to free exercise of religion.

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MDL.org is now MormonVoices.org

Mormon Defense League is now “Mormon Voices” and our new URL is www.mormonvoices.org. You have automatically been forwarded to our new website. Our mission is the same, but our emphasis will be to help members become involved in critical conversations online.