Mormon church backs anti-discrimination proposals
By JENNIFER DOBNER and BROCK VERGAKIS (AP) – 49 minutes ago
SALT LAKE CITY — A Mormon church official .... says the church continues to oppose gay marriage, but supports LGBT rights that don't infringe on traditional marriage.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This is the official Church position on gay marriage and gay rights. I stand behind it 100%. Homosexuals are welcome to visit my Church, but to join, they must follow the same rules I must follow. I might add, I have had many homosexual friends, and loved them. Heavenly Father makes the rules. I just try to follow them and be a good Christian. I am and have always been heterosexual, but I am open to friendship with all, even when we disagree [what two friends agree on everything?!]. Heavenly Father loves all of us, the ones who follow Him, and the ones who choose otherwise. Jesus spent most of His ministry with those who behaved very differently from the way He preached and lived. He taught, "let him who is without sin cast the first stone." I am a sinner, and everyone who lives on this Earth is, because we are all mortal. But, Jesus warned us not to judge others. That job is for Him, on Judgement Day when He sits at the right hand of the Father. In our Church, we believe that we have much time to repent: We can repent up until the day of death, then we can repent while in the Spirit World, and we can repent during the 1,000 years of the Millennium until Judgement Day. All of us are on our own spiritual paths; we of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints echo the sentiment of our first Prophet Joseph Smith, who said he would defend to the death a person's right to worship how and when they may. Religious freedom is a guaranteed right in my country, the United States. I am happy not to complain when my neighbor talks about her very different Church, or whenever someone says their religion is better than mine, or if someone thinks religion is stupid. I am happy with my religion; if someone wants to know more, I'll gladly explain things. But, if somone is happy with their faith or lack thereof, I am happy for them. I would like everyone to know my Church and join it; but I will never press someone to leave where they are and come to my house. Instead, I will be friends with people of diverse cultures and religions while retaining my own, and agree to disagree. I will listen to your opinion, but I will not change mine, on religion. I have found happiness in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I have a forever marriage - a Temple Marriage. To me, the Temple is what sets our Church apart from any other. A marriage for time says, "Til death do we part." A Temple Marriage is for time and eternity. Nothing can make me want to give this up. Yet, this is only one of many reasons I love my Church and the Brothers and Sisters in it. We are worldwide; there are more members outside the US than in it. We include many fine members of color, and homosexuals who have decided to be celibate. Ours is the 4th fastest-growing Church in America. Members are growing in South America, Africa, and Asia. If you want to know more about us, check out www.mormon.org, and read up. If you have questions, you can chat live with a missionary, or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll try to answer any questions you have [note: these won't be "official" answers, because I am not a Church official. I am just a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Albany GA Ward, Tifton Stake].
My take on the homosexual rights fight is, give our brothers and sisters their rights that don't infringe on traditional marriage, and be kind to them. Don't be mean to anyone because of their lifestyles, or what they believe.
World peace begins with you and me. Remember that the shouting, violent voices on the news are unusual, or they wouldn't be news. Most people, I believe, are basically good and want to do the right thing, however they believe. The definition of "right" may vary some with individual beliefs, but "right" can be "lawful", "helpful", "moral", and all sorts of definitions. Only the wicked mean "right" as "my way" or use the term as justification for human rights violations. There is no justification for persecution on the basis of difference.