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Speaking of God's essential truths, Elder Robert D. Hales has taught that the "doctrine is sacred, and will not change in the social and political winds of our day."
When the Lord's definitive document on the doctrine of the Family (The Family: a Proclamation to the World) came out in 1995, it was a beautiful and welcome thing. It was pure, happy, basic-as-it-gets truth. It is still as true today as it was 20 years go.
The doctrine is sacred and will not change. These are words of comfort to me that have become a motto of sorts. This line of fact tells me where it is safe to stand...where is holy ground. And that place is on the doctrine clearly outlined in The Family: a Proclamation to the World. That is why I use it so frequently to teach and direct my children.
I reference it to teach my children that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, that children are entitled to birth with-in the bonds of matrimony and to be reared by a Father and a Mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
I also use it to teach them that "Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."
I want all of my friends to understand, realize, and reach their divine destiny, which means returning to our Father in Heaven as family units. However, I realize not all of my friends will hear it, not all of my friends will believe it, not all of my friends will choose it.
I love them still. I love them in spite. I love them with a determination that as their spirit sister under our Heavenly Father's plan, I will not back down from sharing my love of family, because who knows but that I promised to do this for my friends before we ever set foot on the earth.
When I was in college, my friends all drank alcohol. One day, a friend of mine who fosters a great love of liquor said, "Jocelyn, I never ever want to see you with a drink in your hand. If you take a drink, I'll lose hope in everything. As long as you don't do it, I can believe in something better for myself..."
I never forgot that. I also never fully realized before that point, how much my friends were relying on me to keep the faith, to not yield, to not follow the crowd, but to live what I believed.
Today, Satan wants us to believe that no one wants to hear support for traditional marriage. Because of my previous experiences, I know that this is a lie. And it's up to you and me to call his bluff, but more than that it is up to us to test out God's promises. Many eyes are upon us as Latter-day Saints to see how we will respond.
Every day, I try to show my love for my friends who live a life or belief system different from my own. When I make a new friend who is LGBT, I find a way to share my own beliefs about marriage with them upfront, and immediately express my love for them as a person and my hope that our differences won't get in the way of a rich friendship.
I think this is important.
The greatest commandments we have are first to love God, second to love our fellow man. Even in this, Christ has set a pattern to follow.
My good friend who recently moved used to live in the downtown area of our small town. Her neighbors were a gay couple. She went out of her way to express her love for them. In a conversation, she clearly expressed her beliefs about marriage and followed it up with, "however, I want you to know that I don't hate you. I love you." The man she was talking to broke down in tears. He said, "No Christian person, has ever said that to me."
I believe there is a great need in the world for people to feel loved. You can be that person who, through following promptings of the spirit, helps someone to feel the love of our Heavenly Father.
We can and should do this, while standing squarely for the Lord's doctrine of family.
This post is part of a blog hop with these fabulous bloggers! We're talking about our marriages, giving tips, and sharing what we've learned but most importantly defending traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Click on the links below to read their posts.
Mandy @ A Bliss Complete |Hilary @ Pulling Curls |Emily @ Celestial Shine Magazine | Kerry @ My Random Sampler Jocelyn @ We Talk of Christ | Jenifer @ Moss Moments | Montserrat @ Cranial Hiccups Jennifer @ My Daylights | Camille @ Chicken Scratch 'n' Sniff | Angela @ Mormon Women Stand | Kathryn @ Well Behaved Mormon Woman