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Letter to our Senators

My wife and I just wrote to our state Senators as counselled by our Stake President last Sunday. Here is what we had to say:

We know you have received many statements from Latter-day Saints and others concerned about the upcoming amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. We realize that it may not be primarily a religious question in the eyes of others, but for the Latter-day Saints it is and so we will speak in context of religious belief here.

Our family hopes that many members of our faith were able to look beyond the seemingly innocent intention of this amendment and instead towards our history and the basic principles that the Mormon church grew strong by adhering to. Any LDS person should be able to tell you the following: "Free Agency" as it is called, is one of God's greatest gifts to man, and gives us our divine potential. It literally allows us to become like God and inherit all he has to give us. It was Satan's design to eliminate Agency, and instead to force all to follow his will so that all might be saved. Jesus Christ instead opted to follow the Father's plan, allowing men to freely choose Good and Evil, knowing that some would be lost along the way, and to give all glory to the Father. It is admitted that Free Agency does not give one the right to do anything, for there are consequences, often grave, be they legal or otherwise, to every action we take.

The idea that the existence of "Gay Marriage" would be a threat to our own morals, or that eliminating it would somehow rescue the people who would have partaken in it from a sin is preposterous. To be frank, a homosexual is going to be homosexual whether they are allowed to marry or not. Our family believes that a Church has responsibility to instruct and place restrictions to define the morality of its own members, and that it can preach its message to other human beings in love and hope to convert them, but we see the marriage amendment as serving no ecclesiastical purpose to the ends of moral righteousness. Further, it will put a greater rift between the few homosexuals who are Latter-day Saints or would be interested in our religion and possibly in reforming their life and habits, so it is actually damaging to the Church, not to the Public Opinion of the Church, but to the souls of individuals, to be caught up in this.

Turning to the past it is apparent that the definition of Marriage in the Latter-day Saint tradition includes Polygamous relationships: Not actively, today, but historically (and in the future), including such figures as Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Jesus Christ and Adam, and God the Father. Our history contains bold statements to this effect, and an amendment which would define marriage to be between a man and a woman would further strengthen the intolerence of polygamous families as well, which is also a concern for Muslim families which may move into the U.S. These are only the offenses clearly seen from our perspective.

As a family, we think any definition of marriage (which holds such a sacred and important place deep in many peoples hearts) is bound to step on some toes. The ideal, in our opinion, is that the Government would have no say in the personal act of "Marriage", which would be between two (or more) individuals, and their God, Gods, Godess, or Godesses (whatever their belief), but that Government would instead provide a fair set of benefits for those who cohabit together in any committed arrangement, whether it be husband and wife, two sisters, a mother and son, a polygamous Muslim family, a heterosexual couple unmarried, or a homosexual couple. Marriage itself should play no role in the issue, and it should instead be considered as two questions, one of the heart, and one of the law, with clear distinctions between them. Surely no Latter-day Saint, nor anyone else, aught to be opposed to providing equal rights to a poor old widow and her daughter trying to make ends meet, just so long as the word "marriage" is left out of it, and it should be the same for every such arrangement. Obviously, this ideal is only an ideal, as religious and civil Marriage have historically been tied together in our society.

We see any definition of marriage as the beginning of a slippery slope where groups with specific beliefs will try to gain more and more ground against minorities, even when the issue is one that does not actually impact the majority or prevent them from living as they see fit. If the concern is one of taxpayers feeling like they should not be supporting same sex unions, then they need to reevaluate government entirely. Government supports many people who others would not generally approve of, adulterers, liars, thieves, people who swear, smoke, gamble, drink alcohol, etc. It is impossible to be a taxpayer and not lend support to some with whom you do not agree, but on the other hand, those very people are tax payers themselves, and help to support the majority whether they want to or not. It is a give and take system.

Our family has strong feelings on this amendment, and we urge you to vote against it. Further, we urge you to help support any causes that further the separation of the religious and personal interests of marriage from those of the government's necessity to define partnerships. This will allow greater religious freedom, and help to strengthen the true traditional family by paving the way for the arrangement of the ancient patriarchs, that is to say: polygamy, to be permitted again in the U.S. some time in the future. If we want to work against a perceived "problem" of homosexuality, all with such a desire should strive to do so in non-violent ways: Teaching and exhorting people to choose good of their own will, and providing loving assistance and counseling for people wanting to recover or repent from homosexuality or same sex attraction.

Thank you for your time and consideration as you try to weigh out this important issue and choose the correct answer, not necessarily the popular one.

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