With the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pretending to be looking for middle ground in an effort to use religion as an excuse for businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community, the question must be asked, why? Why would the Church lie to the world like this? Do they even realize they are lying or are the deceiving even themselves? If the Church is based on revelation, why isn’t the Lord fixing this problem?
There is no Doctrinal basis for this, thus all opinions are just that – opinions. To have an educated opinion, one must look at the full picture.
To begin with, only two men have ever been called by God to lead the Church. One was Joseph Smith Jr. He was the architect of the restoration. Like John the Baptist before him, Joseph Smith Jr. was tasked with restoring the church in preparation of the coming, this time the second coming, of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.
The other was Lorenzo Snow.
After Joseph Smith died, the Church was in turmoil. Who should lead? Brigham Young won the vote of the majority of Saints and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles took control by the will of the members. Three years later, Brigham Young took over as the President of the Church, as Smith had been before him. After Young died, the Quorum of the Twelve took charge again for three years before John Taylor became president. After his death the Twelve took charge again, this time for two years, before Wilford Woodruff became president.
All this changed the day Wilford Woodruff died. Almost immediately after Woodruff passed away, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared before Lorenzo Snow in the temple and told him that he needed to become the President of the Church right then, and not wait has had previously been done. Since then, the Senior Apostle takes over the Presidency as soon the president dies. It is a calling based on life and death, rather than on the Lord. The idea is that God will clear a path for the man he wants to lead the Church by killing everyone else. We have not had anyone else told they should take the helm, and technically the Lord would have to tell the senior Apostle if He wants the Church to pick another to lead as president.
Officially, there is no doctrine as to how the new president is called. The prophet has the keys and runs the Church, but there have four additions to doctrine since the death of Joseph Smith Jr. The most recent wasn’t even a change, it was the Lord telling the Church leaders that a man-made policy, that “blacks” couldn’t have the priesthood, was wrong. We are still waiting for the Brass Plates, the rest of the Book of Mormon and other scriptures we have been promised.
All this leads to some questions that directly tie in with the Church’s current position on dealing with homosexuals living outside of our religions and the religious freedoms they would like to enjoy.
To begin with, just as anyone that reads Article of Faith 1: 2 knows that “blacks” should be allowed to receive the priesthood, as even if it were true that they were descendants of Cain (Genesis 4: 15/Moses 5: 40) or Ham (Genesis 9: 25-26/Abraham 1: 22-27), Christ’s grace would have ended this curse the moment they accepted His as their personal Savior, and accepting Him would be fruitless without receiving the priesthood (Galatians 3: 29/D&C 84: 33-37).
Likewise, anyone that reads Article of Faith 1: 11, the passage the Church quotes often in its “freedom from religious oppression” propaganda, should know that same-sex marriage is protected as a religious freedom.
There is no doctrinal exception for the anti-Christian policies of the Church. Nor is there anything that voids us from damnation if we blame the Church for our sins by agreeing with bad policy.
It should be made clear that we do not have the authority to stop bad policy, but we do have the moral obligation to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
Still, none of this answers the question of “Why?”
Why didn’t Jesus Christ appear to any of the presidents of the Church and demand we give “blacks” the priesthood? Why isn’t the Lord appearing now to tell us to mind our own business? If the Lord did come and tell us to change our doctrine, why hasn’t this been revealed to the members and taken to a vote, adding to the D&C?
For one, the Lord lets the Church make it’s own mistakes. The Lord did tell Joseph Smith Jr. not to let anyone have the first 116 pages, Smith kept insisting and they were lost (D&C 10: 1). As far as we know, the Lord never told Smith to open a bank in Kirtland, nor did he tell him not to.
This applies to the Church today, as the Lord is still letting those that lead the Church make mistakes and deal with the consequences of those mistakes.
This does still bother me, as it begs the question, “Why would the Lord allow the Church to do something that clearly chases good people away?”
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” – Paul (1 Corinthians 10: 13)
While the Church will error, we shouldn’t loose faith. The Lord made a way for us to move past it, and in fact if more people would stick around and speak up, perhaps less mistakes will be made. If only those that don’t like “blacks,” homosexuals, etc stay in, the Lord’s work becomes frustrated and it grows harder to repent and bring the Church back to the path of righteousness in these matters. The Church is still true, in the Christian sense of the word, as it still exists to bring souls unto Christ. The moment it stops doing this is when the Church has truly fallen.
When praying on this myself, the Lord reminded me of what He told Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio back in 1833:
“not by commandment or constraint… adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.” – D&C 89: 1-2
These were the exact words the Lord spoke to me as I pleaded with him for the answers to the questions of why written above. It’s because the Church reaches out to the lowest common denominator. Should a true Christian bake a cake for a same sex wedding? Yes. Should a true Christian let a lesbian work in their restaurant? Yes. But this is the higher law, the Law of Christ. It is not the Law the Church teaches.
Look at the point of teaching on Sundays. If our goal is to have our calling and election made sure, why do we teach about baptism and the temple? Because these are the lowest common denominators. If the person listening hasn’t been baptized, the need to be as it is one the first steps in becoming a Christian. From there, everything we do leads us to the temple. Once in the temple, the Endowment is a check list of all the things we have done up to that point. We make no new covenants in the temple. What then is the point of the temple? It is an invitation to have your calling and election made sure. It lets one know they have taken all the steps and asks us to come just a little bit further. But the Church ends its teachings at this great invitation. The temple is the lowest common denominator, it is some thing with the “capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.”
Thus we see that the Church, in its attempt to find the lowest ground, becomes an object of question for those that have risen past this lowest water mark. However, once we attack the Church, demanding change, we too sink to the same level. We must then teach correct principles and wait for the water to rise. After all, there is something everyone in the Church falls into that would put them in one of the Church’s lowest common denominator. We all have our own weaknesses and are all struggling with sin. Rather than looking at the Church with distant, we should look at our own lives, to erase our own sins and to be invited into the Church of the Firstborn.
While we do not have all of the answers, we must pray for personal revelation and not give into temptation. As the Savior said:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7: 1-5
We are not prefect, thus how can we expect the Church to be? It is made from imperfect beings – including ourselves.