Since you're here, I'm going to tell you why:
Politics and political parties aren't going to save us or our religion or build the kingdom of God.
They may have an influence, but it isn't what we are to put our faith in. They aren't the solution to the problems in the US or the world, and that's what too many church members are seemingly placing their trust in.
It's fine and great that members understand the laws and the constitution and all that. Great! That's fine. But seeings how none of my friends are in any political position of power to do ANYTHING about the law, other than get arrested for not following it, that's really not the point.
Our government is corrupt. We know that. The constitution has been and is being trampled and shredded.
We know that too.
But the question is, as church members, what are we to do about these issues with the power we do have?
I disagree with the Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis' actions in denying licenses to same sex couples even though ordered to - but not because I support gay marriage. I don't.
Let's say that was a bishop or a stake president or one of the 70 who did that. What kind of fallout would that have in the church, on membership, on missionary work? It would be like banging on a beehive with a broomstick. You might as well shoot yourself in the foot as far as the work goes. You'd have just justified civil disobedience - or opposition to the law or even perceived law - and then put the church in the way of being sued or who-knows-what when people claim "President Monson made me do it." Smart. Real smart. (satire font). Imagine the media fallout.
Not only that - the woman doesn't have any eternal power whatsoever! Those marriages?? Till death, which will part them.
And they will never be sealed by genealogy work.
A Sealer, would forfeit his life before performing this ordinance on a same-sex couple, as well as the president of the church would revoke his keys and authority beforehand, or the Lord would take it.
So let's say that they do want to force the temples to seal gay couples. Do you *really* think at this stage of the game, with +140 of temples and a record number of missionaries and one chapel a day and more being built as well as recently purchasing 5% of the geographical landmass of the entire state of Florida for timber harvesting and growing faster than anything in the midst of a global recession that the church is just going to fold right now? Yah, try that, let's see what happens. Do you *really* think God is going to be silent in all this, with no consequences?
Do people really have a testimony of this work? This is the stone cut out of the mountain that Nebuchadnezzar saw. That's not to say there won't be opposition - oh certainly there is, has been and will be.
But like also with Nebuchadnezzar, nothing happens without the Lord's permission/allowance - as Christ said to Pilate "Thou couldst have no power at all except it were given thee from above."
So do people *really* think that this gay marriage thing is a surprise to the Lord? That somehow it slipped by him and that we're being forsaken? (Please stifle any 'yeah buts').
I know this and other things are going to be used by the Lord in his work. How, remains to be seen. But nowhere in the scriptures are we told to fret about it, or take up arms or be civilly disobedient or even being perceived as such. We are to be model citizens and be perceived as such in all circumstances and to the furthest extent possible. We know all these things are going to bring to pass a lot of end-times prophesy. Maybe one of the blessings is for us to have an opportunity to bear testimony about marriage to the world amidst these things.
Not only that, we have to discern and be knowledgeable about where our responsibility and obligations and those of others around us, begin and end Now, you can say she wasn't legally obligated....and that's why she ended up in jail. (Go back to the government is corrupt). But here's why I disagree with her further. She never announced she was going to work on the issue, try to find a solution to it, seek a compromise...nothing. It was about her rights, her beliefs, her values, her thoughts, and not at all about those she was obligated to serve who also have beliefs, rights, values, thoughts and feelings - it presented a "me me me" mentality - and now imagine a Latter Day Saint doing this and the fallout we would have.
Not smart. Not diplomatic. Not wise.
And haven't we been commanded to be wise?
We've been commanded to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
In my profession as a mental health counselor I sometimes work with individuals struggling with same-gender attraction issues who are fine with being homosexual, but not fine with the social struggles. I've also worked with gender identity issues - women wanting to be men and such.
And this is where my missionary experiences and the eternal perspective of the gospel comes into play. I know that not everybody is ready to be, nor can be, a Latter Day Saint right now, today, here, etc. I also know that people have been given, and chosen, different struggles in mortality from our eternal home before here - gender and sexual issues being among them. I also know that some people may convert to the gospel later in this life. And most, not until the next.
While outrage is certainly understandable in our world being turned on its head, we also need to have perspective and faith. Not just faith in the Lord, but faith in our fellow man as well. I see plenty of outrage. Not much perspective or faith.
While working with people on sexual issues, I tend to look at the issues as steps forward and progress towards the next step - eternal progression.
My last issue is that our conduct and attitude need to be conducive to people wanting to receive the gospel from us in the future. Throwing down some pat answer like we're Einstein because we know the law and THAT settles it is a jerkish attitude to have in front of those who have different opinions. Haven't Latter Day Saints figured out / realized / thought that these are big issues - very emotional issues and personal issues and lifelong issues to those people? How do church members like trite answers about their religion, marriage, beliefs? Not much golden rule being lived that I see - just outrage - and christlike demeanor being tossed aside.
All of these things that are happening are opportunities to teach and bear witness and build bridges! We just have to recognize them as such.
I don't mean to minimize or deny - I'm just looking at perspective, different perspectives - the perspectives we seem to miss. Perhaps the perspectives we have to take if we are going to live our faith in a fallen world.
These are hard issues to deal with. These are tough! They tax us spiritually, mentally and emotionally! But for the "supposed true church" (taking the perspective of a cynical/skeptical outisder having converted, myself, when I was younger) I would have to say: "I'm not seeing it."
I expect THE true church to know and reflect these things - especially if I was new to the faith.
Such a widespread seeming collapse of faith? True church? Really? Have you looked at this from a non-members' perspective, the skeptical perspective? No. These aren't the actions or thoughts of the true church when people do this.
Marriage aside, lets look at something more pressing: the land of Zion and what the Lord has said - trust me these are related:
27 Wherefore, I the Lord will that you should purchase the lands, that you may have advantage of the world, that you may have claim on the world, that they may not be stirred up unto anger.
29 Wherefore, the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you.
31 And if by blood, as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few shall stand to receive an inheritance.
33 I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man;
34 And the saints also shall hardly escape; nevertheless, I, the Lord, am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire.
We have a work to do in regards to redeeming the land of the Lord and we NEED to be on good terms - and have the ability to be on good terms - with our fellow man that we may accomplish this peacefully and invite them to join us that they might be saved with us.
We need to have more wisdom, more faith, more charity, more faith - because these issues are much bigger than marriage.
And Satan wants to - is striving to - divide us up into all manner of ites, so that he can have us war against each other and he's going to use this and everything else he can to do it. But we also need to have the wisdom and faith on this and every other issue so that we don't unwittingly....become the wicked, and suffer the same fate because we have a lack of godly knowledge, wisdom, charity or the spirit.
"Oh be wise, what can I say more?" (Jacob 6:12).
I hope we can be wiser for our eternal sakes, and see these things for what they really are.