Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why Marriage, Why Family

by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

I am so grateful for prophets and seers who can see the future and prepare us and warn us for the things that are to come.  This conference had 6 different talks on the importance of marriage.  Not too many months after, the United States Supreme Court ruled, legalizing same-sex marriage.  The six talks on the subject of marriage was no coincidence.  

This talk was powerful.  It listed plainly why same-sex marriage doesn't work.
Elder Christofferson begins with a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that teaches us the difference between love and marriage between a man and a woman.

"In. . .love you see only . . .your own happiness, but in marriage you [become] a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind. . .Love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God."

To help us understand why and how this is true, Elder Christofferson reviews with us "THE PLAN" (which is known by various names, including "The Plan of Salvation, "The Great Plan of Happiness", and "The Plan of Redemption") .

We first existed as intelligences, that were given form, or spirit bodies, by God. God desired for us to have the privilege to advance "like unto himself".  "THE PLAN" was for us to go down to earth to be tested to see if we would be obedient to everything God commanded us to do.  "THE PLAN" offered us a way to complete or perfect our spirit.  If we agreed to participate in this plan, we would "be added upon" with a physical body.

If "by our choice we would demonstrate to God (and to ourselves) our commitment and capacity to live His celestial law while outside His presence and in a physical body with all its powers, appetites, and passion" we would "have glory added upon [our] heads for ever and ever", which included a resurrected, immortal, glorified physical body.

Elder Christofferson then teaches us that "At least four things are needed for the success of this divine plan":

1.  The Creation of the Earth as our dwelling place.

2.  The Condition of Mortality- "[The] Fall created the conditions needed for our physical birth and for mortal experience and learning outside the presence of God.  With the Fall came an awareness of good and evil and the God-given power to choose.  Finally, the Fall brought about physical death. . . "

3.  Redemption from the Fall - ". . . the plan would become void without some way to overcome death in the end, both physical and spiritual.  Thus a Redeemer, the Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, suffered and died to atone for Adam and Eve's  transgression, thereby providing resurrection and immortality for all.  And since none of us will have been perfectly and consistently obedient to the gospel law, His Atonement also redeems us from our own sins on condition of repentance."

4.  The Setting for Our Physical Birth and Subsequent Spiritual Rebirth into the Kingdom of God-   "For His work to succeed to "[exalt us] with Himself," God ordained that men and women should marry and give birth to children, thereby creating, in partnership with God, the physical bodies that are key to the test of mortality and essential to eternal glory with Him."

"Knowing why we left the presence of our Heavenly Father and what it takes to return to be exalted with Him, it becomes very clear that nothing relative to our time on earth can be more important than physical birth and spiritual rebirth, the two prerequisites of eternal life."
"A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God's plan to thrive - the setting for the birth of children. . ., and the environment for the learning and preparation they will need for successful mortal life and eternal life in the world to come.  A critical mass of families built on such marriages is vital for societies to survive and flourish.   That is why communities and nations generally have encouraged and protected marriage and the family as privileged institutions.  It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults.

I love that last part- It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults.
 I recently had a frank discussion with an acquaintance about same-sex marriage.  She was voicing her opinion that she was in-favor of it, because "doesn't everyone deserve to be happy"?
Elder Christofferson answers this with a resounding No.  Marriage between a man and a woman is part of "The Plan".  It is of God. It is what we agreed to in the preexistence.   It is our duty, our "responsibility towards the world and mankind." 
"Neither we nor any other mortal can alter this divine order of matrimony.  It is not a human invention.  Such marriage is indeed "from above, from God" and is as much a part of the plan of happiness as the Fall and the Atonement."

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