Sunday, June 7, 2015

I See... Redefining Marriage Again and Again and Again


(WARNING: I was warned by one close friend not to write this blogpost, which meant, of course, to the twelve year-old boy in me that I HAD to write it.) 

The Mormon Third Eye almost six years addressed attempted to redefine marriage when it came out in open support of material marriage- the policies and procedures support marriage to your favorite things.  It's time for an update.

There are two pivotal points on the current marriage definition spectrum.  On one end are those who believe in the divine directive that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God,  designed to accomplish his purposes.  On the other end are those who believe that marriage is a man-made institution, and hence should be modified to meet the needs of the age we live in- specifically, those in the same-sex attraction community who desire to establish committed relationships with their partner that include the type and depth of commitment that has been traditionally associated with heterosexual marriage covenants.  Most peoples' beliefs on this critical issue fall somewhere on the spectrum between the two pivots.  

The purpose of this post is not to expressly advocate one approach over another.  Although I personally oppose same-sex marriage on several levels, I respect and embrace someone's right to make that choice. If you are born on this earth, you were one of the privileged two-thirds of disembodied spirits in the pre-earth life who cast their support for Heavenly Father's plan that we would be free to choose between good and evil. Those who want to do wrong things must be allowed to make wrong choices.  Let's just leave it at that.

I can boil the current controversy over the definition of marriage to a “war of the words.”  Same-sex couples want to call what they have “marriage,” and judges in many states support this interpretation. However, traditional marriage supporters bristle at the legal rulings requiring them to share this term with the same-sex community. The Mormon Third Eye has creatively brainstormed three possible strategies to resolve this thorny issue. Which one do you think will work the best?  

First, traditional marriage supporters could create a new label for matrimony, a label so undesirable that  the same-sex community would have no desire to hijack it.  I'm thinking about something like “stinky armpit washing.” Heterosexual couples at BYU could be engaged to be S.A.W., (Stinky Armpit Washing). What same-sex couple would want to join hands in love and commitment and partake in “stinky armpit washing”vows?  The only obvious problem to this approach is that any term offensive enough to to turn off same-sex couples would be even more offensive to God- a huge drawback.

Second, the traditional marriage community could adopt a steady, rotating list of terms to describe marriage that could be changed every time one of them is borrowed by the same-sex community to describe their committed relationships.  These terms could be drawn from the over 500 documented invented languages in the world today (see www.conlang.org) in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts.  What's the Klingon word for marriage?


Third,  a man or woman who was sealed to each other for time and eternity in the House of the Lord could humble themselves before Him in personal, mighty prayer on a regular basis and seek a direct witness through the Holy Ghost that regardless of how man may define marriage, their marriage was indeed a divine, three-way covenant between their spouse and God, which could not be broken, altered, or marginalized. The obvious benefit to this approach is that when the spirit bears witness to the truthfulness of a gospel principle, nothing else matters.

3 comments:

  1. Very good, Richard! I especially like your third option as that seems to offer the most benefit, not only to the couple, but to mankind in general. However, I fear that it will be only lightly applied--if at all--even by many Latter-Day Saints.

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  2. My first impression of your "Third Option," inspiration, is this: it will only be desired by those who love with all of their hearts, the temple covenants they have entered into with the Father of heaven and earth, whose minds always dwell upon the power with which they have been endowed from on high, whose might and strength supports them to stand often in holy places, to ensure that all of their posterity from ages past and for ages to come, are encircled about with God's glorious sealing power, binding them together as forever families.

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  3. Scripture and history seems to suggest that religious people cannot expect their views to be fully accepted by the broader culture. Indeed, they ought to be surprised if a great deal of opposition does not ensue. The broader culture will continue to diverge from the divine principles laid out in the family proclamation, regardless of what any court or any legal treatise says on the matter. That ship has sailed.

    The question is how disciples ought to approach the issue. March into the top leader's palace and topple his graven images, and publicly challenge his ministers to a duel a la Elijah? Humbly and quietly submit as did Alma and his people in the Land of Helam? Respectfully consider and acknowledge others' views while kindly but boldly expressing our own, as per Elder Oaks? Agency is afforded in this.

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