No, I did not misspell a ton of words in the title of this post.
If you are familiar with the movie The Princess Bride, then you know exactly why the words are spelled the way that they are.
If you are unfamiliar with the movie, I have a little clip for you so we can all be on the same page...
BEFORE I BEGIN...
Because this post will be addressing a subject that is very personal and of a sensitive nature, I fully understand that those who are reading this post may not agree with some of the things that are written in it. My goal for this post is to share what I believe to be truth and to do it in a manner that is respectful of those who believe differently then me. We can do that, you know. We can have different beliefs, different ideas, different values, and still be kind to one another. AND, dare I say it? We can even LOVE each other.
We live in an age of instant communication. Sometimes that is wonderful and sometimes...not so much. With a few key strokes and the click of a mouse or finger press on a screen, words are out there in cyberspace forever. I will be the first to admit that I am not proud of everything that I have ever posted on social media platforms or my blog. However, as I have gotten older, I have realized that I need to choose my words carefully because my children, grandchildren, and so on will read these words. What kind of a legacy do I want to leave? Do I want my great great grandchildren to read my words and think, "Wow. My grandma was kind of a bully." Or do I want them to be proud that their grandmother shared her love for the Savior, her desire to be His disciple, and her hope that people could co-exist and disagree about things in a kind and respectful manner?
I choose the latter. I give a lot of thought, say a lot of prayers, and really care about every post that I write. It's important to me.
Unfortunately, I like to ramble, which is exactly what I am doing now. Time to get to the meat and potatoes of this post.
WHAT I BELIEVE...
Because I believe these things, I also believe that "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is "a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices" that the Church of Jesus Christ has always had (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov 1995, 100). Some people argue that through this Proclamation, the church is trying to create new doctrine or that it is not doctrine from God at all. But as I have studied the Proclamation intensely over the last two weeks, I know that the statement that President Hinckley made back in 1995 is true.
WHAT STUDYING THE FAMILY PROCLAMATION HAS TAUGHT ME...
What I have learned from studying just the first paragraph of this inspired Proclamation to the world...
*Families are central to God's plan for us. We have been part of a family from the very beginning of our existence.
*God gave us families to help us learn correct principles, to bring us happiness, and to prepare us for eternal life.
*Even Christ, a perfect being, had an earthly family. He needed that earthly family and the experiences that can only come from living in a family in order to learn and to grow.
*Satan targets families because he knows how important they are to God's plan. His ultimate goal is to frustrate God's plan and he does this by creating chaos in our lives--particularly in our families.
*Family life in the presence of God will follow the pattern established in the Proclamation.
*Truth is truth, and we don't know all things, no matter how educated we are.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
Yes. I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God. But allow me paint a picture for you...
Let's say that sometime in the future one of my children, grandchildren, or other family member or friend comes to me and says, "Mom (or grandma or Des, whatever the case may be) I am gay. I have also fallen in love with someone and we want to be married." Any guesses as to how I would respond to this person that I love?
Some of you reading this may jump to the conclusion that because I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God and that no sexual relations should take place outside the bonds of marriage that I would say, "No. This cannot be. You may not get married and what you are doing is wrong."
On the contrary, in my mind, when I have thought about this scenario (and believe me, because of the world in which we live, I have put a lot of thought into this scenario), this is what I feel I would say,
"I love you. Thank you for trusting me with this information. I am sure that this was a hard thing for you to say to me knowing that I believe what I believe. Nothing that you have told me changes the way I feel about you. You will always be my child/grandchild/friend/etc. And although I don't agree with the lifestyle that lays before you, I will be there for you. If you want to get married, I will be there, on the front row. I will love you and I will love your significant other. I will also pray that the both of you will be able to find peace within yourselves and with God. He loves you both and I know that He has a place for both of you in His kingdom."
WE DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING...
Friends, family, strangers--whomever is reading this post right now--we simply don't know everything. There are so many things that God has in store for His children that simply have not been revealed yet. Now, having said that, because God's laws will never change, I don't ever foresee His law relating to marriage between a man and a woman changing. I am not a prophet and so the words that I am writing are solely based on revelation that I have received in answer to MY questions. However, we have had prophets and apostles speak on this very subject and God has always guided us through prophets and will continue to do so.
FAITH IN GOD'S PLAN...
Here's what it comes down to for me.
*I have faith in God's perfect plan for His children.
*I have faith that there is a place for every single person in the kingdom of God.
*I have faith that if we keep God's commandments, make and keep sacred covenants with Him, and allow our will to align with His, then we will be blessed with peace about things that we don't understand. That peace may come quickly, but more often, it comes slowly, in bits and pieces over a long period of time. The trick is, we have to hold tightly to those bits and pieces. We have to cherish them and continue to study and pray or those bits and pieces will disappear.
*I know that being blessed with peace about something that you are questioning, doesn't necessarily mean that you will receive an answer to the "Why does it have to be this way?" question. What it does mean if that you can receive peace in knowing that everything will work out in the end and that you will be strengthened as you try to press forward with faith. I know this to be true because there are many questions that I have that I simply have not received an answer to. But as I rely on my faith, my knowledge that God loves everyone, and my own personal desire to keep sacred covenants, I have found the peace that I need to keep going.
AGAIN WITH THE RAMBLING...
It's one of my weaknesses for sure.
I think I have belabored this subject enough. And now, the choice is yours, and isn't that wonderful? We have all been blessed with the gift of agency which allows us to ask for ourselves. Sometimes the trick is, asking the right questions to receive the answers that will bring us the most peace. I'm still working on that...
WHY ETERNAL FAMILIES?
This page is dedicated to sharing information regarding God's plan for families, how we can strengthen our family relationships, and how the Savior can heal even the most broken of hearts.