Tuesday, March 3, 2009

All I Needed Was a Call that Never Came

On my way home from one of my classes today I was wondering what Joseph Smith would think about gay marriage. In jest, I thought to myself that he obviously didn't have a problem with alternate forms of marriage, seeing as he had as many as 33 wives and certainly asked others to practice polygamy. As I was laughing at the irony there, I suddenly realized that, at least according to information the Church presents, I was wrong. Joseph Smith did have a problem with non-Puritan forms of marriage. So much so that he reportedly accepted polygamy only at sword point.
“When that principle [of plural marriage] was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith … he did not falter, although it was not until an angel of God, with a drawn sword, stood before him; and commanded that he should enter into the practice of that principle, or he should be utterly destroyed, or rejected, that he moved forward to reveal and establish that doctrine” (President Joseph F. Smith, “Plural Marriage for the Righteous Only-Obedience Imperative-Blessings Resulting”, Journal of Discourses, Vol.20, p.28 - p.29).
Even Brigham Young said, "Some of these my brethern know what my feelings were at the time Joseph revealed the doctrine; I was not desirous of shrinking from any duty, nor of failing in the least to do as I was commanded, but it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time. And when I saw a funeral, I felt to envy the corpse its situation, and to regret that I was not in the coffin, knowing the toil and labor that my body would have to undergo;" (Qtd. in Brigham Young: American Moses by Leonard J. Arrington).

This made me wonder about how willing a Mormon prophet would be to change the definition (or allow for the evolution) of marriage. If these Mormon prophets had to be coerced by God to accept a form of marriage they found socially, emotionally, physically, and historically repulsive, then maybe the same would have to happen for a modern Church leader to accept gay marriage. I'm serious, bear with me here.

I feel like God Himself inspired me to accept gay marriage. It was hard at first, to reconcile that inspiration with what I had been taught, but I could do it because gay marriage was desirable to me intellectually and physically. But I could understand how someone who hated the thought of gay marriage so much and was so entrenched in the historical teachings of homosexuality that he wouldn't even be able to receive that inspiration I received. Maybe he just wouldn't be receptive to it, or maybe when it came it would be dismissed or fought against or even mistaken for Satanic influence. Maybe even the response could be "I'm not ready for this, God" or "We aren't ready for this."

The only thing, then, for me to wonder is why an Angel of God hasn't appeared before Thomas S. Monson with a sword to command him to endorse gay marriage yet. I mean, now would be the perfect time! (I think this summer might have been better, but I'll settle for now). I guess we all need to start praying that the sword bearing angel will come quickly and that Thomas S. Monson will heed his message.


Ezra said...

It's this line of thinking that makes me wonder if I shouldn't remain in the church, swallow my pride and wait for the change.

But then again, I need to live my life according to what I think is right.

El Genio said...

I have been praying for a change since the prop 8 disaster started. Lately it seems like I have no pull with the guy upstairs, but I don't plan on stopping my pleas anytime soon.


What I have a hard time swallowing is that these men really found it that difficult to accept.. particularly Joseph Smith. I mean, really Joseph? After all he often told women who were already married that he had been commanded to take them as spiritual wives-- at least several married women reported that in their personal journals.. and that certainly doesn't follow any mormon doctrine I know of! My personal opinion is this-- if Joseph would have been gay, or interested in guys at all, then gay sex would somehow be a part of mormonism. Everything else he appreciated, admired, and desired usually found its way into the theology somehow. A really good example is masonry! It has nothing to do with mormonism or any religion for that matter, but somehow our whole temple ceremony, most of the symbols etc are all masonic. Its very interesting. I too hope the day will come that the leaders will hear what you have heard (I too have heard that call and feel I was inspired the same way as you), and choose to heed and act bravely. But usually they wait until the VERY LAST MINUTE to do anything like that. So we will see! I fear most for young gay people who are growing up in the church. But like you said on your last post-- thats why we blog. So those kids can find out that the prophet's is not the only opinion out there. God is speaking to anyone who will listen! You rock.