40 talks in 40 days – Disciples and the Defense of Marriage, Russel M. Nelson

In preparation for General Conference, a lot of members I know are taking a 40 day challenge.  They read 40 General Conference talks (or Ensign articles) in preparation for Conference.  They challenge their friends to do the same.


…But I’m going to not just read the wonderful talk and talk about how wonderful it is.  No, we’re going to apply some reason, logic and science to what is said.  Day 1:

Disciples and the Defense of Marriage

Disciples of the Lord are defenders of traditional marriage. We cannot yield. History is not our judge. A secular society is not our judge. God is our judge!

It’s a bold statement and I give credit for that.  I’m not sure what “History is not our judge” means, given that the Race and the Priesthood Essay released by the church this year basically says that Brigham Young was a racist, and denies it was ever doctrine; so I would guess that historically speaking this talk may also be deemed “not doctrine” one day.  Secular Society can certainly take a corporation to court so Deseret Book, Bonneville Communications and the dozens of other companies owned by the church others may indeed be judged before “Secular society” including laywers and Judges.  Further, the 11th Article of Faith states that members are expected to be “Subject to kings, rulers, magistrates and in honoring and obeying the law” and that does imply some level of secular judgement being acknowledged.

But finally let’s take that last statement:  God is our Judge!  What has god said about “Traditional Marriage”

Everything Jesus said about Homosexuals->

Everything the Book of Mormon says about Homosexuals ->

Everything the Doctrine and Covenants says about Homosexuals ->

Everything the Pearl of Great Price says about Homosexuals ->

Everything Joseph Smith said about Homosexuals ->

SO out of all the modern revelation and direct words of Christ, we get nothing about homosexuality.  Sounds legit that this is a major issues for deciples.  Also, none of Jesus’ diciples talk about this.  Nope.  It’s up to Paul to discuss the topic:

Everything said in the New Testament about Homosexuals->

Romans 1:26-27

or this reason [idolatry] God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for even their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males, committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error.

So it’s a shameful act.

1 Timothy 1:9-10

“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine”

The law was made for Homosexuals.  Hmm.  Okay

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind”

Here we go, an actual condemnation.  The only other statement at all is Jude that changes the sin of Sodom and Gommorah (read it again, seriously) from not listening to sexual impurity:

Jude 1:7

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The Law of Moses decries homosexuality because “it is confusion” right next to where it decries shrimp and mixed-cloth garments.

The problem here is that it’s clear that Shrimp and lighting fires on the sabbath have altered, so what about homosexuality?  Could it be that once it is within the bounds of marriage, it is no longer an abomination?  If only there were a published revelation… say a modern one, to clarify this issue.

With true partners, one plus one is much more than two.

I agree with this statement.

And in marriage, a husband and a wife can form the most significant partnership of all—an eternal family.

Here’s the problem, why can’t two men form  a great family partnership?  Or Two women?  By this definition, you don’t want to defend families, you want to defend your kind of family.

Further, we’ve also ruled out single-parent families, haven’t we.  What about Punky Brewster, where she was the foster daughter of a single grandfather figure?  Don’t be dissing Punky!

What this talk is really about is about declaring his kind of family (Mormon, straight, two-parent) the only valid kind.  That’s not defending the definition of family, that’s attacking it.

He then wonders about what will be said at his funeral

I hope it is said that you were a good husband and ather or a good wife and mother, that you were a person of integrity, that you were kind and patient, that you were humble and hardworking, and that you were a person of virtue.

Contrast this with another quote:

“So I be written in the Book of Love. I do not care about that Book Above. Erase my name, or write it as you will. So I be written in the Book of Love.”
Omar Khayyám

Rather that being worried about standing for one religion’s virtue, show love to your fellow man without judgment so that love shows brighter than dogma.

It takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world. Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. Men and women are distinct and complementary. Children deserve a chance to grow up with both a mom and a dad.1

Again, defining family as only the kind he likes is not defending family, it’s attacking a large portion of families on earth because they don’t fit into a narrow-defined ideal.

You will likely encounter increasing debate about the definition of marriage. Many of your neighbors, colleagues, and friends will have never heard logical and inspired truths about the importance of marriage as God Himself defined it.

[Citation needed].  Where did God, himself define it?  Via Paul?  Did He forget to mention it in Genesys, to the Nephites or to Joseph?  Didn’t he define it as Polygamy as well?

Journal of Discourses 2:209-210; But if a man, in good faith and integrity, with righteousness as the girdle of his loins, take unto himself many wives, acknowledge and sustain them, and honorably care and provide for their offspring, it is all right with me, and with God.” – Orson Hyde, Salt Lake City, March 18, 1855

Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 13:188-189;According to the good old book called the Bible, when God saw proper to call out Abraham from all the heathen nations, and made him a great man in the world, He saw proper, also, to make him a polygamist,

George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 202 “It is a fact worthy of note that the shortest lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome…was a monogamic nation and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her.”

Brigham Young Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 128 “Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout Christendom, and which had been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious.”

John Taylor, Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 227 “…the one-wife system not only degenerates the human family, both physically and intellectually, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; it is a lure to temptation, and has always proved a curse to a people.”

It seems that since the Edmunds tucker act, God has been only too happy to redefine marriage, so why not again?  Why stake your name and your divine claim on the non-progressive side of history?  Why not defend all families, not just those that match your own?

This sounds like the voice of bravery in opposition to the world, but upon inspection it is the voice of bigotry in resistance to loving all of mankind.

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Last edited by Mithryn on August 27, 2015 at 10:25 pm

4 Responses to 40 talks in 40 days – Disciples and the Defense of Marriage, Russel M. Nelson

  1. Fenden Krell says:

    This is absolutely fantastic! it sounds like a lot of work, but I hope you dont get discouraged. Make sure to post them in /r/exmormon too! 😀

  2. Peter Boling says:

    Jesus most likely does mention gay, and even in the context of marriage. He excludes them from the Jewish traditional marriage requirement of one man + one woman in Mark 19.

    Here is a very long and well sourced thesis on the subject that builds a strong case. Link is to the synopsis of the theses, and at bottom you can click through to the actual arguments.


    • Mithryn says:

      I think this is a good rebuttal to the idea that Jesus said nothing. However; I think it’s still kinda wishy-washy to claim that “Traditional Marriage” is defended by the church known for polygamy, and they leave out all the traditional points about marriage such as marrying one’s brother’s wife that God really cares about.

      But thank you for the rebuttal.

  3. Steve says:

    Great piece, Mithryn! I look forward to more of these. I hope you’ll do one on Holland’s “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet” from April, 2015 where he insists on a literal Adam and Eve and a literal fall. That’s the kind of thing that will drive thinking people out of the church.

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