Saying “I do” may be more intense than anyone could have imagined.
On Oct. 31, Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis told the Huffington Post they only got married to their husbands after same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States. They didn’t think it made sense to get married while their friends weren’t able to.
In the October general conference, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke on the importance of marriage and families while quoting The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Many people criticized him and even called him homophobic for what he said.
We as Scroll staff believe in The Family: A Proclamation to the World and its doctrine, but we do not believe in imposing our convictions on other people.
Just like Elder Oaks, we believe in the doctrine of marriage as described in the proclamation that “a marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.”
That does not put us in a position to judge other people for choosing contrary to the doctrine of God.
We all received the gift of agency before we came to Earth and because of that everyone gets to choose what to believe and what to obey, even if it’s not according to God’s teachings.
We have the right and even an obligation to defend the truth like Elder Oaks did, and so does everyone else.
The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proves how horrible it is to suffer from the world’s intolerance.
Many challenges and burdens were imposed on the first members of the Church and most of them lived running away from persecutors for a long and painful part of their lives.
It was never easy to be a member of the Church and it’s not going to get easy nowadays either. The world is changing, and the values of God are being disrespected.
The Church leaders were inspired to write the proclamation on the family over 23 years ago. Elder Oaks said he was one of the six remaining Apostles who worked on the family proclamation.
“Subjects were identified and discussed by members of the Quorum of the Twelve for nearly a year,” Elder Oaks said in his conference talk. “Language was proposed, reviewed and revised. Prayerfully we continually pleaded with the Lord for His inspiration on what we should say and how we should say it.”
Later, the First Presidency made further changes and then presented those words to the Church during the general women’s session of general conference in 1995.
“With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, as he announced the family proclamation.
Those leaders prayed about and discussed every single word used in the family proclamation. They were inspired to write those words and we know them to be true.
However, the gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t just about love and acceptance of others, it is also about sharing.
God expects us to share our beliefs with others from the same or different faiths, but never to impose them.
Agency was given to everyone and just as we are grateful to have the freedom to speak and believe, so is everyone else in this country.
It is not in our power to judge people for their choices because we make mistakes all the time. It’s not because we attend BYU-Idaho that everyone is perfect and is striving to be like Christ.
Everyone makes mistakes and struggles with something different. Like President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in April 2012 general conference, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”
Let’s love more and judge less.