I Stand for Eternal Families

Eternal MarriageLet me say up front, I am NOT trying to “attack back.” I fully, entirely understand the view of those who support the idea of same-gender marriage. I don’t want to be unkind in any way. I have loved ones, friends and family, who are gay or lesbian, and I love them dearly. I don’t want to show them the least disrespect, and I hope they understand that I totally empathize with and validate their feelings and point of view.

I also want to say up front that I don’t consider marriage a political issue, and my viewpoint is clearly not a political one. I recognize that. I also realize that many don’t share my beliefs, so I totally understand if you don’t believe or side with anything I say. I am always comfortable agreeing to disagree, and loving, caring for, and defending those I disagree with.

I believe marriage and family are intended to be eternal. I believe this life is only a crude (though essential) introduction to the eternal family experience we are intended to have in the eons to come after it’s over. I believe happiness flourishes best in families, and I believe that the love between spouses is one of the greatest powers for good in this world and in the eternities.

That eternal, ever progressing, eternally procreating family can only take place between a man and a woman.

Every challenge that prevents the opportunity of family union in this life can and will be removed with the completion of our mortal lives. Faithful, Christlike parents who couldn’t have children in this life will be able to have children after the resurrection. Widows and widowers will be reunited with their spouses. Orphaned children will have their parents back, and even parents who lose children will have the opportunity to raise them in the next life.

That eternal nature of families is at the very core of my personal belief system. It’s not just the most fundamental unit of society, but the fundamental unit of eternity. It’s the eternal nature of the human soul.

The beautiful thing about this is that even those who don’t know of those opportunities for eternal family can be given the opportunity beyond the grave, partly because of the loving efforts of people here. Effort is being made worldwide to find and seal families together to ensure their opportunity for these blessings. Eventually, there will be one great link of all children to all parents, going back to the beginning.

So what happens to people who marry someone of the same gender? What happens to their adopted children? What happens to their children’s adopted children when they choose the same path as their parents?

The answer is simple, and sad. The link is broken. A same-gender couple can’t be an eternal, exalted, and expanding family. I don’t know a softer way to say it. They can’t be sealed as an eternal family. Their marriage can’t be forever. There are answers for those who experience same-gender attraction. They are loved, both by us here and especially by their heavenly father, and they are not forgotten in His plan. (I discussed this in a post a couple years ago, if you want to see more about my view on this.)

I’m concerned for the couples, I’m concerned for their children, and I’m concerned that in all of our political arguments, we’re overlooking the eternal, spiritual side of a very personal, very emotional, and very human issue.

Again, I recognize that not everyone shares my personal convictions. But because I am certain of the eternal nature of the family, it would be cruel for me to keep completely silent. I love these people too much to not speak up. Because of it, I still don’t support gay marriage.

I stand for eternal families.

11 Replies to “I Stand for Eternal Families”

  1. I like how you express yourself on a very touchy subject. I am with you on this to.

  2. I don’t share your religion, so forgive me if I sound ignorant or offensive. I’m not trying to start a debate, I’m simply very curious in an academical sense: I am trying to understand why you believe that only a marriage between a male and female can be eternal. If it is because they can make children, then what is your view on a male and female couple who adopt instead of having children of their own (how is that different than a same sex couple adopting)? What exactly is it that makes a marriage eternal, in your view?

  3. Good question, Jbird.

    I’ll start with your final question: “What exactly is it that makes a marriage eternal?”

    Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, a family can be made eternal. That blessing is made available to us through living faithful to His teachings and taking part in the priesthood ordinances He introduced. Among those ordinances is the covenant of eternal marriage. Abraham and Sarah were sealed together by this ordinance, as were their posterity. This ordinance is a ceremony performed by the power of the priesthood, which means it is performed by someone authorized by God to perform the ordinance.

    This covenant promises the faithful that if they remain true to the covenants made (namely, to keep the commandments of God and remain faithful to each other), their marriage will last forever, and their children will remain their children for eternity. The term most often used for this is “sealing,” so that a husband and wife are sealed to each other forever, and their children are sealed to them forever.

    When a couple adopts, they can participate in this ordinance with their adopted child, so it is as if the child was born to them, and they have the potential to be a family forever.

    This life isn’t the beginning of our existence. We lived with God before we came to earth. Each one of us is a spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents. Gender is one of the essential characteristics of our pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity. We are part of God’s eternal family. We were not crafted or adopted by our heavenly Parents. We were born to them. God is literally our Father.

    God intends that we have the same opportunity for eternal family that He has. That relationship can only take place between a man and a woman. Adoption is available here, and it’s a good option, since there are some married couples who, for whatever reason, are not able to have children of their own.

    Another blessing given to us through the Savior’s atonement is that each of us will be resurrected. We will each receive our bodies back in their perfect, immortal form. At that point, all of the physical problems that prevented a couple from being able to have their own children in life will be fixed, so that those who have been faithful to the covenants they’ve made with the Lord will be able to continue having children, and growing their families throughout eternity.

    God wants us to experience the kind of life He experiences, and He is making it available to all who are willing to accept and live by those covenants. He’s the one who has declared that marriage is only to take place between a man and a woman. He’s teaching us to live by the eternal nature of our existence.

    I spoke more about this in a previous article, which can be read at http://blog.chashathaway.com/why-i-do-not-support-gay-marriage/

    My biggest issue with gay couples marrying and adopting is that unlike heterosexual couples, gay couples cannot be sealed to each other or their adopted children.

    Our Father in Heaven loves all of His children, and doesn’t want any of them to deny themselves of these blessings, but He also honors their agency, allowing them to choose their own actions, with the consequences that come with those choices. If you read that article I just linked to, there’s more discussion about this.

    Did that answer your questions? I understand this is a sensitive topic. Thank you for being so considerate in the way you asked!

  4. Chas, thanks for that detailed explanation. That really did help me understand your view better. Whether I agree or not, I always like to try to understand how people come to their opinions, especially when they feel strongly on an issue. I think if everyone sought more understanding of each others’ viewpoints it would be easier to reach conclusions, or at least compromises. The fact that there are so many ways of looking at one thing is part of what makes the world so amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I’m not sure I have ever read an essay on this topic I more completely agree with and relate to. You understand the Gospel the way I do, and that makes me feel our kinship more. I hope I get to meet you at some point. I mostly hope that the Gospel vision can help more and more souls to comprehend what eternal family life can really be.

  6. But as I understand it, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and everyone who doesn’t accept Mormonism in this life or the next, so why should you approve of the getting married? The logic just doesn’t add up from my perspective. I guess you can justify your thinking by saying maybe they’ll accept it in the next life. The bigger question is, why should any one individual’s or group’s personal beliefs, to which they most certainly are entitled, have any sway on what rights people outside of those groups have under the common law of the land?

    In short, people of any religious persuasion are free to believe whatever they want, but let’s please stop pretending that’s a valid argument for withholding the right to marriage from same sex couples.

  7. Z.TD, I understand your logic, but I have a hard time wanting to agree with something that I believe to be harmful to others. It takes away incredible blessings and happiness such as an eternal family. I don’t want anyone to miss out on that blessing. True it is their choice, but I am not going to be a means of helping them make that decision. This does not mean I don’t love them or anything of the sort. It is because I care that I cannot agree. God has given us laws to lead us back to him and our families forever. They are not always easy to follow, but I believe there is always a way. And I will be right there to help, not hinder, anyone from becoming all God has promised his faithful sons and daughters.

  8. Who made it your place to protect people from themselves? And you do realize that whether gay marriage is legal or not, you aren’t going to change anyone’s sexuality, right?

    The fundamental flaw in your thinking is that you want to base people’s rights on what you *hope the universe will be like *after you die, rather than basing decisions on known facts and reason in the reality of our present lives.

    And BTW, who’s plan was it again to take away agency to ensure people didn’t screw up?

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