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Showing posts from May, 2011

Is marriage a right?

Is marriage a right? I suppose it depends on what definition of marriage is used. If marriage is a religious/spiritual institution, then it is a right because we believe that all people have the right to exercise whichever religion they choose. If it is merely the expression of love and commitment that two people will dedicate their lives to each other, then I believe this is also one of the fundamental human rights. In my opinion, it is only a legal/political definition of marriage where its status as a right may be called into question. In our society, couples who are legally married enjoy certain benefits that two people who are not married do not enjoy, such as inheritance rights upon the death of one spouse. For this reason, I assert that this definition of marriage is not a right but a privilege. 

What is the difference and why does it matter? A privilege is something that is granted only upon meeting certain criteria. For example, upon completing education at a university a per…

The Engagement

I've written about Conrad twice now--how we met, and then my second trip down to Dallas.  So, if you want more details about that part of our relationship, you can read about it in those two posts.  This post is to answer some specific questions about our engagement, since that is now public knowledge on facebook.  We've been engaged for a little while, but I wanted to let my parents know before I announced it publicly.  So, now that I've told my mother and Karen's, we decided to announce it.

First: "Who proposed?"  That's a difficult question to answer.  The first time the subject was brought up, Conrad simply said "I want to marry you."  So, in a way, you could say that he was the one who proposed.  Since that time, we've both proposed to the other amidst everyday conversation.  One time while we were chatting on Facebook I said "Will you marry me?" and he said "I'm eating tater tots."

Second: "When/where is th…

Clearing the name of the Church

Many people have, in public and in private, informed me that some of my posts have seemed to be very bitter toward the LDS church (and any other group who bespeaks homosexuality), so I would like to apologize if I have been unclear on the matter and more completely articulate my feelings on the matter.  I have no bitter feelings toward the LDS church.  I support the Church and wish that I were allowed to fully participate in it as I once did.  It is a good, helpful organization.  Its purpose is to help people become like our Savior, which is a very admirable purpose and one that I can fully support.  I truly wish to be like Christ and to help all of my friends and family to do the same.  Since this is the core focus of the Church, I support it in that measure.  The Church does so much good.  There are so many things that it has done to help out third-world countries and clean up after natural disasters.  It has a program designed to help young men (who would otherwise not have the opp…

A week with the man I love

I have spent almost a week here in Texas with my dear Conrad. It has been a very magical time. As I was flying in on his birthday, I remember the excitement building up inside of me. The happy day at last had come--after over a month of anticipation. Originally, the plan was that I wouldn't see him until my birthday in June, when he comes to visit me, but plans changed and so I was able to come see him for his birthday. 

When I got off the plane and met him at the baggage claim, we both could hardly contain our excitement. We embraced--a warm and long-awaited embrace. No more would I have to hug a pillow, pretending that it was he. Now I could hold him in my arms. Oh, the magic of being with the one you love!

This week has been wonderful. We visited some of Conrad's friends that he goes to see weekly and watched Smallville with them. On Saturday, Conrad's brother got married and we attended the ring ceremony which took place after the temple sealing. I was quite flattered …

Outreach

A very dear friend just reminded me of an essay I had written back in high school about the hymn Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy. I love that hymn very much and I wish that I still had that essay I wrote so many years ago. I will quote here the words of the hymn and attempt to recall some of the sentiment I expressed then, but more importantly that which I now feel.

1. Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
[Chorus]
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
2. Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.
3. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.
I have always had a deep desire to reach out and save the "fainting, s…

Reasons to Marry

Throughout the ages, many different reasons or motives for marriage have existed.  Sometimes there were political reasons, sometimes economical reasons.  Sometimes marriages were arranged by parents or other people in society.  Sometimes people were married in name only and did not treat each other as lovers.  I wish to explore reasons why people in modern-day America marry.  With the possible exception of celebrities, and perhaps politicians, I will assume that these reasons are personal and not superficial, such as the reasons aforementioned.

Lawrence Kohlberg devised a scheme including 6 stages of moral development.  Let's use this model in discussing possible reasons that people would marry.  In particular, I wish to discuss reasons why a homosexual would marry a member of the opposite sex.

Stage 1: Obedience and punishment driven.  In this stage, people make decisions based on the punishment attached to them.  The more severe a punishment for a specific act, the more "ba…

Sodom and Gomorrah

I was always taught that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because homosexuality ran rampant in them.  I have heard repeated several times over that the sin of Sodom is homosexual behavior.  After having studied the Bible more closely, I cannot understand where anyone would get this idea.  Let us review the entire passage concerning Sodom and Gomorrah, found in Genesis 19.  (All Bible passages quoted will be from the KJV.)
1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

2And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread…

Is it a sin?

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I've been thinking a lot about what evidence there is for the case of homosexuality being moral or immoral. Certainly, there are passages in the Bible which can be interpreted to say that it is immoral, but there are also very simple explanations for why those interpretations are not valid.  There are many churches now that currently teach that it is immoral, most of which base that belief of off those passages from the Bible.  But, what litmus test did the Savior give?  He said that ye shall know them by their fruits.

Let us examine, by their fruits, the morality of "the gay lifestyle".  One of the reasons why I held out so long on believing those who say that "gay is ok" is the mere argument that "the world" will tempt you to do Satan's will--they will tell you that something is ok when in fact it is not.  So, let's examine some of those.  Yes, there are people who will tell you that drug abuse is ok.  There are those that will encourage you…

Finding Fault

I agree with the idea that a Christian should give other people the benefit of the doubt--that one should be quite lenient with other people and their (real or perceived) failings.  I do not believe it is Christlike to look for faults in other people.  I do not believe that it is a good idea, once found, to publish faults about people either--that's called gossip or slander and when someone gossips to me about someone else they lose some respect in my estimation.

There is one thing that I'd like to discuss; however, which is that I feel this particular concept of general Christianity seems to be carried a bit too far sometimes with leaders of the LDS Church.  There is a difference between not finding fault in a person and believing a person to be wholly infallible.  Many times, from the things I hear from faithful latter-day saints, I feel that it is the latter that is happening rather than the former.  According to Mormon doctrine, all humans are fallible.  The only perfect b…