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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It is Better to Represent Ourselves Than to be Represented By Others

In The New York Times of Friday 18 November 2011 we read,

Top Mormon leaders had hired two big-name advertising agencies in 2009, Ogilvy & Mather and Hall & Partners, to find out what Americans think of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Using focus groups and surveys, they found that Americans who had any opinion at all used adjectives that were downright negative: "secretive," "cultish," "sexist," "controlling," . . .  "anti-gay". . . . the biggest stigma . . . is the belief that Mormons are not Christian (Laurie Goodstein, "Mormons Use Big Ad Campaign to Counter 'Cultish' Perceptions", The New York Times, A1, A 20).

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ, we seek to represent ourselves rather than be represented by others. Therefore, The Mormon Eagle takes the liberty here to put to silence the ignorant and misinformed.

"Secretive" and "Cultish"
The word "secretive" has to do with the misconception that LDS temple rites and ceremonies are secret, and that Mormons are exclusionary.  The word "cultish" also might coincide with "secretive" in speaking of the House of the Lord and sectarianism's misconceptions arising thereform.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  The prophet Nephi wrote,

Wherefore, [the Lord] commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.  Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me?  Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.  Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship?  Behold, I say unto you, Nay.  Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation?  Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.  Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness?  Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden (2 Nephi 26:24-28).

Elder Russell M. Nelson explained, "Because a temple is sacred, the Lord asks that it be protected from desecration.  Anyone may enter who is willing to prepare well for that privilege. . . . we must qualify for admission to the temple. We prepare physically, intellectually, and spiritually" (“Prepare for Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, Mar. 2002, p. 18–19).  Thus, although the world may say the Latter-day Saints are exclusionary, we have seen from Scripture and the words of an Apostle of the Lord that they are not.

"Sexist" and "Controlling"
Many uninformed feminists complain that the Church is controlling of women because of their misinterpretation of how the Priesthood of God functions.  The Priesthood is not the men of the Church, but rather the Authority God gives to mankind to act in His name - specifically the Authority to govern.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained succinctly how the Priesthood is supposed to work.  Said he, "The blessings of the priesthood, such as baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, the temple endowment, and eternal marriage, are available to men and women alike.  The authority of the priesthood functions in the family and in the Church, according to the principles the Lord has established" ("Priesthood Authority in the Family and the Church", October 2005 General Conference).  In our Sacred Houses, we learn that both the woman and the man govern the family together in righteousness - through the Authority of the Priesthood - which the man and the woman covenant to honor in both the Endowment ceremony as well as in the Sealing ceremony.  Husband and wife are equal partners is raising a family up unto the Lord; none is above the other.

"Anti-Gay"
As of late, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been vehemently attacked in the national press by certain unscrupulous characters who do not understand our theology.  The LDS Church is not anti-gay, but pro-family.  The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children."  This should be enough for any literate person to understand our theology upon the subject.  In order to explain this further, we read the words of the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning the marriage covenant.  The following revelation was given 12 July 1843 in Nauvoo, Illinois.  A paragraph from it reads, 

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever (D&C 132:19).

The above quotation answers the question as to why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fights against the homosexual agenda - namely that exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of God can only be given to a man and a woman married within the House of the Lord, thus preserving the sanctity of the family to the fullest.

I know the words written herein are strong words, but I know they are true.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living Church upon the earth.  I know if the doctrine of the Church is heeded by the world, all troubles, wars, and contentions would cease.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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