We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
I was glad for this Article of Faith last week. The ferocity and volume of protesters outside of temples nation-wide over the last two weeks has really shocked me. It reminded me distinctly of the speed in which Book of Mormon people fell from righteousness to outright rebellion and destruction. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the level of protests against the Church because of Proposition 8.
I’ve been pondering deeply the issue of Proposition 8. The effects reach deeply across a broad spectrum of America, and it is certainly something worth discussing and debating in an intelligent, civilized manner. I imagine it is only a matter of time before my opinion on the matter (I am in favor of Proposition 8 ) is questioned by someone somewhere, and I’ve been thinking through a response that is both legitimate and logical to me and that is based on my faith in Christ rather than the philosophies of men.
Last night, Courtney and I discussed the issue briefly, and she mentioned that her response would be to point out Biblical examples of the Lord’s opinion. She mentioned Sodom and Gomorrah as well as some scriptures that condone that lifestyle. As I thought of those examples, however, I became convinced that the Bible cannot provide ultimate answers to this question. Playing Devil’s Advocate, I pointed out that Biblical prophets had multiple wives and concubines, a practice that is not continued today. I pointed out also that the Church’s own opinion on topics ranging from polygamy to tobacco and alcohol usage to who can hold the priesthood have changed since the inception of the Church in modern times, let alone when compared directly to the Church of Christ’s time or earlier. In some sense, we are much as Joseph Smith who could not resolve his question by a direct appeal to the Bible.
I arrived at the conclusion that this issue is best resolved by a direct appeal to the Lord, and, as luck may have it, we have just such an appeal recorded. The Proclamation to the World: The Family clearly defines the Lord’s stance on marriage as do the words of prophets and apostles through out time. This is the answer.
I decided that my position on Proposition 8 can easily be explained in four simple, straight-forward questions:
- Does God speak to prophets today?
- If God speaks to prophets, is that important and valid in our lives?
- If God speaks to prophets, what has He said about this issue through His prophets?
- If God has spoken and His words matter, what should I do?
I testify that God does indeed speak to prophets today and that that knowledge may be the single most important thing outside of a testimony of Christ that you will ever know. I testify that what God speaks to prophets is of an utmost importance to us. I testify that God has spoken plainly on the issue of Proposition 8.
My responsibility is to gain a testimony of divinely inspired prophetic counsel and to act accordingly. I have a testimony of the sanctity of marriage and the fundamental placement of the family within the Gospel.
My opinion on Proposition 8 is not motivated by hate, inequality, oppression, or any of the other claim made by those who disagree. My opinion is based on my testimony of the Savior and His continued role and interest in the lives of people on this earth. My opinion is based on my testimony of modern prophets. My opinion is based on my testimony of the family. And that testimony is available to any who willfully and sincerely seek it.