Monday, October 13, 2008

What I Believe

I've been torn about whether or not to blog about this. But then we were asked to. In Elder Ballard's talk during the fireside about Prop 8, he asked us to use the internet to share what we believe. He told us to "go viral". I dislike getting in the middle of controversial issues, but this is just too important for me to gloss over. My family in California has been active in "campaigning" for Prop 8, and they have done what their bishops and stake presidents have asked of them. I am proud of them for standing up for Prop 8 unashamedly.

When I first heard about Prop 8, I was uncomfortable. I thought it sounded--well, mean. And of course it sounded mean--think about the world I've been raised in. "Equal rights" has been elevated to the Most Important Thing Ever. And obviously it's important! It's important for good reasons! However, I do not believe that it is the Most Important Thing Ever. The world shouldn't do something wrong in the name of "equal rights". The right thing should always overcome. (Furthermore, California law already gives homosexual people the same rights that straight married people have.) Anyways, like I said, I didn't like the idea of it. I've been raised in San Francisco; I am no stranger to homosexual people. I am not in the slightest bit homophobic--I know people who are, and frankly it disgusts me. I have homosexual friends and family. I love them, and their sexual orientation doesn't affect that. I want to be very clear about that.

I knew that I would have to consider Prop 8 very carefully and very prayerfully if I was going to come to terms with it--either direction I went. Living in Utah, I felt very removed from the issue. Over the summer, during a road trip, I talked to Christy and Danny about it. Only then did I learn about the letter from the First Presidency about this issue. Only then did I realize the magnitude of what was facing us, and how the Church was standing strongly. After that conversation, I did a little bit of research, talked it over with Kyle, and then did my share of praying about the matter. I got my answer, and I know how to vote. I know it isn't mean. I know that it's the right thing.

This is what the First Presidency said in a letter to congregations:

"The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage."

It is unequivocal. I just can't see how you can argue with that. The PROPHET has stated that in this moral dilemma, his position is UNEQUIVOCAL. He is the mouthpiece of Heavenly Father, and when he says something is unequivocal, I will absolutely believe him and follow him. That is certainly not blind faith, and to say so is offensive.

Elder Ballard addressed some of the repercussions of Prop 8's failure. I know that there is information going around how those exact repercussions are false and misleading. When I saw that, I was like "Oh, okay...I guess people are just paranoid". However, then ELDER BALLARD, our General Authority, one of the Twelve Apostles of OUR CHURCH talked about the truth of those consequences--and so once again, I readjusted my thinking and absolutely will believe it.

Marriage is important. Obviously. Since getting married, my understanding and awe of marriage has only deepened. When I think about the covenants I made in the temple with my sweet husband, I am full of gratitude, love, and reverence. Marriage is essential to Heavenly Father's plan. As I move on to the next step in my life (don't worry, I'm not to that step yet!) I am so full of love for the babies that we bring in to this world. The Proclamation On the Family, as well as the First Presidency's letter about Prop 8, emphasize that "Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage". That little sentence makes me cry. The power of family, the importance of family, is central to Heavenly Father's Plan of Salvation. We need to stand up for Families.

There is so much else to say. There are so many reasons to vote yes on Prop 8--but I've already stated the most important.


karenanderson said...

The thing that many Californians don't know is the gay partnerships still have all the same rights as married partners if they've declared their partnership. Also, school curriculum will follow--and I think that it should be the parents who decide when to tell kids about different kinds of relationships. There is a book about 2 princes who marry that is slated to come to Kindergarten. I really can't imagine having to read that book to my kids. And I have to think that in our very open and tolerant community, they still don't want me to be talking about the subject instead of them.

Nancy said...

Well said Becca! The school curriculum issue is one of the big factors for me. Frankly, I've never wanted my kids to be taught in school curriculum about heterosexuality (the whole "as long as its safe sex" thing) so why would I want them to be exposed to explanations about homosexuality? That's for our home, not the government authorities currently elected to send down the pipes to the classroom. I'm not sure if I explained that very well.

Katy said...

Well done, Schmec. I say, that what you say, is what I say.

Christy said...

Thanks for your thoughts Bec-well expressed. Im glad you're still a CA resident!

ms. lee of the lemon drops said...

Defining marriage as between one man and one woman is not taking away anyone's rights. The definition simply distinguishes a union that is biologically capable of producing its own children. Whether a married couple has children or not, I feel like this deserves a separate name--even the potential is kind of a miracle.

Actually this definition can be seen as the ultimate expression of equality our society has to offer: it takes one man and one woman. One could see a lesbian union as a marginalization of men, or a homosexual union as a marginalization of women.

Equality is especially important when it comes to raising children. Children deserve/need a father and a mother. Neither parent should be marginalized.

Yes, many children are already growing up in single-parent homes. Prop 8 should be a reminder to everyone that as a society we need to assist and strengthen families as much as possible. Really, as a society we should be most concerned with the success and health of our families.

peace out

Lisa said...

Thank you for your thought, Becca. I totally agree with you! Oh...and happy birthday!

Caitlin said...

This is really beautifully put Becca. And you're probably right, I'm just still having so much trouble working through all of this in my head. I respect the prophet's leadership, and I respect your opinion. I just feel like there are so many on this campus who are SO gungho on the issue and for the "wrong" reasons (like homophobia...) and are just plain hateful on the issue (like the e-mail I got from an anonymous commenter saying we shouldn't give ANY rights to gay people). I know you aren't one of them. Also, I admit I thought at first that Prop 8 would take away rights from civil unions/partnerships, but that is not completely right. So, what I'm saying is, thanks for the post, and thanks for still being my friend even if I am an apostate apparently.

Kaity said...

I wish i was still a california resident so that i could support prop 8 in a more formal way. this really is so so important and i so so hope it passes.

Bryce said...

Atta girl, Becca.