Last night I saw a news report about Proposition 8 and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons). The report was critical of the LDS organization, of course, and in my opinion, rightly so.
I do not enter the political realm in this blog, but, the CJCLDS has satted they are not in politics, that Proposition 8 is a matter of morality. So, I’m going to speak to the morality of the Mormon organization.
The report stated that many members of the LDS church object to the organization’s deep involvement in politics. They had presented “church leaders” with petitions in a televised media event. A very well dressed and well spoken woman received the petitions.
Now on the surface that sounds and looks really nice; The LDS leaders are listening to their members.
First, the person who received the protesters was a woman. Women have no place in the organizational structure of the CJCLDS. They do not hold priesthood authority and, therefore, are not and cannot be “spokesmen” or official representatives of the Church. So the “church leaders” did not accept the petitions as stated. This was “the leaders’” way of appearing to listen and to avoid any possible embarrassing situation by sending a priesthood holder to deal with the malcontents.
Sadly, those members who “went public” in their opposition to the
church position will shortly receive a summons to their respective bishop’s office. The CJCLDS does not tolerate any opinion other than that of “the Brethren” – period. (“The Brethren” is what the leaders in SLC are called.)
A member has some freedom to believe whatever s/he wishes, but may not state personal beliefs in any public forum (including church meetings) or even to one’s own family in private when those beliefs do not conform to church policy.
We are dealing with a “morality” that does not allow women to hold priesthood or any other authority except over other women, and even then there must be a priesthood holder consulted in all decisions. The women cannot even schedule a potluck lunch without a male approving the event.
Womens roles are those of mother and homemaker. Women who must work are not quite acceptable and if married, their husbands are looked down upon for not being able to provide for his wife who should be pregnant with the fifth or sixth child.
On the day of resurrection women will remain in the grave unless their husbands call them forth from the grave. Polygamy is still the law of the church although it is no officially practiced. But, it is still on the books. In fact, a man may not enter the highest heaven (meaning be saved) unless he has more than one wife.
Joseph Smith Jr. translated the Book of Mormon from ancient "reformed Egyptian" script found on golden plates hidden a hill near his home in New York State. That book, declared and belived by LDS people to ber "the most correct book ever written" and much more correct than the bible, explicitly forbis polygamy. But, Joseph Smith, Jr. will be busy on Resurrection morning because he had thirty-three wives -- all at the same time. In fact, he received a revelation telling him to force another member to divorce his wife so he (Joseph) could marry her (they did, he did.). Talk about traditional marriage being between one man and one woman! The founder of the LDS church himself disregarded a principle teaching of the founding document (Book of Mormon), and yet it is not possible to cut gay people some slack because the bible, a corrupted book, can be interpreted to outlaw same-gender marriage. (Where did it say taht?)
Remind your LDS friends about the "non traditional marriages" their founders practiced until 1908 when the Book of Mormon forbidden practice of polygmany was officially suspended in the "Manifesto." And remind them that the prophet who gave that "manifesto" and said under oath that he was not sleeping with any of his plural wives, had, in the succeeding five years, thirteen children by various wives he was not sleeping with.
In the 1970s, several women were excommunicated for publicly campaigning for the equal rights amendment which The Brethren opposed. They were first called in and told to shut up. When they did not follow that council, they were seen as combative and “unrepentant” and disfellowshipped (could not take the sacrament, teach, speak in any public meeting or pray), and when that didn’t stop the women, they were excommunicated. For LDS people, that’s much, much worse than for it is for Roman Catholics. Excommunication is the ultimate tool of intimidation. It affects you, your ancestors, and your descendants into the eternities of eternities. That is what awaits those who have gone public in opposition to the LDS leaders being too political.
Additionally, it was not until 1978 that the church leaders finally ate their words and allowed black males to hold priesthood authority. That was twenty years after the Civil Rights Act, folks. And even then, it was only when world pressure had escalated that the leaders had to capitulate because they wanted to be accepted by the rest of the Christian world.
This is the “morality” of the church that is trying to force their morality on the State of California though political means. The ultimate goal of the CJCLDS is a total theocracy in the United States first, and then throughout the world. Members are expected to pledge their lives and their total resources at the disposal of the church to accomplish that goal. And they have -- California Mormons (less than two percent of the population) have given over seventeen million dollars to remove constitutionally guarenteed rights from aproximately ten percent (or more) of the citizens of California.