Natural Marriage: Humanum A New Affirmation

Humanum New Affirmation Marriage

Why do weddings still move us? We do not become emotional when business partners strike a deal. We shed no tears at a friendly handshake. We feel no such joy to hear of “casual” mating.

A wedding is different. Here stand a man and woman, entering together into a new life.

And yet it is more than this. They are about to enter the generations. Their union proclaims life: their parents and grandparents still live within them. Humankind lives within them. The cultures and creeds of the world live within them. They are there—in the blood. Those bearing witness know this truth. They too have been born from a union of man and woman.

Personal Thoughts On President Eyring's Marriage Address at Vatican

An Apostle of  Jesus Christ from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) just spoke to a global audience of faith leaders, by invitation of Pope Francis – at the Vatican!

I hope you take the opportunity to sit down and watch/listen to President Henry B. Eyring’s inspired address delivered during the Vatican marriage summit on the complementarity of man and woman to witness the truth of natural marriage and the family as God has ordained and to present personal evidence. (See also The Divine Institution of Marriage.)

What he spoke and how he spoke it, for me, is among the most inspired teaching I have ever experienced on the necessity of defending marriage, only between a man and a woman. I truly felt God was with him as he delivered his speech, which included an extensive recitation of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

His delivery touched me deeply -- so humble. For some reason, I had this image in my mind that he would be standing before a large body and give a powerful and moving address in defense of the family – shake the earth! I’ve been to the Vatican. The outside court is astoundingly large. I guess I pictured him out there – I don’t know.

Anyway, rather he was sitting down and reading his address, methodically, with sincere feeling – nothing showy about it – at all. He wept. He witnessed. His character emanated through his inspired words.

Vatican: Top Mormon Leader Addresses Global Audience During Vital Marriage Conference

Religions of the world, by invitation of Pope Francis, have come together at the Vatican in Rome to uphold natural marriage during an unprecedented conference: “The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” This is sure to be a profound gathering, necessary due to the current marriage culture quickly eroding the beauty and importance of the covenant of marriage as a man and woman linked to children. 

Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. It is a holy sacrament. This conference provides a way to bring together those who desire to protect marriage and share a common witness of its importance and why.

President Henry B. Eyring of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints addressed the conference on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 to share our deeply held beliefs about marriage.

You can read the complete text of President Eyring's speech at the Vatican Marriage Summit, here. Watch the video right here: 


Regardless of What You Think About Joseph Smith and Polygamy

joseph smith polygamy gospel topics essays
Regardless of what some want to think about Joseph Smith, the Church is true. And whether you struggle with the principle of plural marriage, or not, or think polygamy even when commanded of God immoral it doesn't matter. It won't change a thing in relation to the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- it happened and Joseph Smith is the one whom the Lord called to establish His Church in the last days; knowing full-well his character. Bottom line: the stone cut out of the mountain will continue to roll forth until it fills every corner of the earth and sounds in every ear!

I find it interesting that some members who were not aware of the complete history of the LDS Church in relation to polygamy would so easily question the integrity of the Church when finding out that like Abraham and other ancient prophets, God would require it of Joseph as well. Surprisingly, some have even left the Church upon finding out this information unable to reconcile the history in relation to the truthfulness of the gospel -- deeply sad. And it is from these sources the media is currently having a heyday with their eager willingness to make Joseph out to be something he never was – unrighteous.

I'm not suggesting I fully understand polygamy, like it or even know everything there is to know about it -- I don't. What I am saying is that the Lord provided a way for every sincere seeker of truth to know if Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and it has nothing to do with how many wives he was sealed to and what the ages of those he married were; as if that matters. It doesn't.

What matters is that Joseph was obedient to what the Lord commanded him and that, to me, knowing what I do know about the history is incredible. Who among us has similar faith in keeping covenants we've made regardless of the price? Not so many, I think. Which is why those who do are considered, by God, "elect."

LDS Church Breaks Silence about Mormon Underwear and Members React

mormon underwear
From out of nowhere and shocking to some members of the Mormon faith, myself included (to be honest), on a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released an unprecedented video about the sacred, holy temple garment worn by covenant members of the Church -- with photos, titled: Sacred Temple Clothing (a.k.a. Mormon underwear). And, Mormons are reacting...

The reactions by Mormons, mixed to say the least, aren't just about the temple garments being neatly laid out for the world to see, but also shown is the temple clothing (robes of holy priesthood) worn only inside a Mormon temple; sacred to members of the Church. So sacred, that most don’t purposely show the temple clothing to their own children until they are preparing to go to the temple themselves – as adults.

LDS Church Responds to Supreme Court Ruling Refusing to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in response to today's Supreme Court ruling refusing to hear same-sex marriage cases has released this statement on the Mormon Newsroom:
The succession of federal court decisions in recent months, culminating in today’s announcement by the Supreme Court, will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God. In prizing freedom of conscience and Constitutional guarantees of the free exercise of religion, we will continue to teach that standard and uphold it in our religious practices.Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Church leaders will continue to encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation.

Oct 2014 General Conference: How to Watch, Invite and Share! #LDSConf

Information for Oct 2014 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: This much anticipated meeting will be held in the LDS Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. This is an exciting time for Mormons worldwide!  We have the opportunity to hear from our Prophet and President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, as well as many other prominent Church leaders to receive relevant counsel and direction to help strengthen us as individuals, and as a people, committed to living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

About General Conference:
"General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others who are interested gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders.

All sessions of General Conference are available, live, on the Internet at LDS.org.

General Women's Meeting: Disciples of Jesus Christ and Gender Equality

Sometimes I wonder if I belong to the same church as other members. But then I have to remind myself that because I'm a 'tad' older than some, I might be aware of just a few more facts about my faith: Mormonism. 

For example, not once have I ever questioned my discipleship -- I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. Such a designation has nothing to do with gender but covenants. Therefore, when President Dieter F. Uchtdorf during the October 2014 General Women's Meeting referred to the women of the LDS Church as "blessed disciples of Jesus Christ" I didn't give it a second thought -- of course we are. Duh. Did I think it was a lovely way to address the sisters? Yes. But that's where it ended. Now, what are you going to teach me?

No disrespect intended, but upon initially hearing that President Uchtdorf's simple reference got picked up by national media as a big deal I had to laugh. I mean, isn't the definition of disciple, from a Christian perspective, a follower of Jesus Christ? And then I recalled that many don't consider Mormons Christian so perhaps that was it?

Nope. I was totally wrong. Apparently, Mormon feminists had an epiphany about a few things said during the meeting. (Pertaining to priesthood and gender equality.) When they heard President Uchtdorf address the women of the Church as disciples, they were floored. He also referred to our having "heavenly parents" -- part of Mormon doctrine. Anyway, with that and a few other tidbits off they went to noise abroad their new discoveries! Here's how the Huffington Post reported the good news:

Got Pain? Me, too. Now what?

As children of covenant, we turn to our Heavenly Father at all times and in all circumstances for His guidance and answers to life’s most difficult questions and challenges. Life is a test. Whether we experience emotional pain due to a personal trial of faith, or are negatively affected by those nearest to us (for divers reasons), we seek the relief and peace, which can only be found through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

When the Conversation Does Not Support the Doctrine

Recently though, there’s been a noticeable uptick in online conversations focusing on pain – namely, emotional pain experienced by some Mormon women; most self-described as feminists. This pain is directly associated with being a female member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is said to be the result of a widespread, perceived gender disparity.

The dialogue goes something like this: LDS women in large numbers are experiencing deep pain due to feelings of inequality in the Church and therefore… Most often, these feelings are in response to a negative encounter(s) a sister has had with a person who exercises priesthood authority -- a man. Other female members (presumed to have never experienced similar pain) are labeled as judgmental of the expressed pain -- making it difficult for those struggling with pain to find unity and empathy among the body of the Saints. In order to fix the perceived inequity, changes in LDS Church policy must be made. And from the most progressive voices, only female priesthood ordination will ultimately satisfy.

Note: This post is not about whether or not changes in LDS Church policy should or should not be made and what those changes should be. It is about what the catalyst for change within the Church should be based upon. Is it inspired? Or, is it contrived? And, does it matter?

Mormon Apostle to Speak on Member Use of Social Media and Internet

You're darn right when I find out an Apostle of the Lord, Elder David A. Bednar, will be the keynote speaker at the BYU Education Week Devotional, this Tuesday, August 19th, on the topic of Social Media I'm going to blog about it. Especially when, coincidentally, I will be there. Boo-Yah!

You also may have heard that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has updated Handbook 2 with new guidelines for using social media and the Internet.
In addition to the new handbook language, a companion article has been published that gives examples of what can and cannot be done: Use of Online Resources in Church Callings

“Members are encouraged to use the Internet to flood the earth with testimonies of the Savior and His restored gospel. They should view blogs, social networks, and other Internet technologies as tools that allow them to amplify their voice in promoting the messages of peace, hope, and joy that accompany faith in Christ. 
Members are encouraged to share messages from official Church websites and social accounts, as well as their own words, images, and media. As members express their own thoughts and feelings, they should not give the impression that they represent or are sponsored by the Church. 
As members use the Internet to hasten the work of the Lord, they should exemplify civility and focus on sharing praiseworthy messages that strengthen those with whom they come in contact.” (Handbook 2)

How did I get so blessed to hit this unprecedented event, when I haven't attended #byuedweek in well over 10 years? Seriously, this was a last minute decision to go/come. (I'm in Utah right now -- just got in today.) Honestly, I don't believe this is coincidence at all. Do you? It's as though the social media stars have aligned so that I could attend, in the flesh, seeing as I have such a love and passion for sharing the gospel online via social media and have been doing it for quite sometime.

You might recall that I was invited to speak at BYU Women's Conference just this last May on a related topic -- Social Media: New Ways to Share the Gospel Online. I genuinely believe that social media is the Lord's Power Tool. I'm still planning on posting my presentation, soon. (Post in draft, some technical difficulties getting slideshow to setup properly. Sigh.) Hopefully, it will be fully in keeping with what Elder Bednar will teach and counsel us about this week and perhaps I may even update some of my content with the new counsel and direction --- I imagine that I will.

But that's not all. My current calling, kind of unprecedented, too:  Social Media/Blog Specialist on my local Mulit-Regional Public Affairs Council. (MRPAC)True. As you can see, my life of service and choice of activity revolves around this topic. From my perspective then, it seems only fitting that someone upstairs has finagled things so that I will be sitting in that Marriott Center come this Tuesday morning. Thank you!

How to Watch BYU Education Week Devotional Online, August 19, 2014:

Now, for those of you just as interested in this topic as I am (which should be many of you, seeing as you're on the Internet reading this post and you're a covenant member of the Church) Elder Bednar's address will be streamed live at 11:10am MDT on BYU-TV and the Mormon Channel. Be sure and visit LDS.org to learn more and definitely don't miss this devotional.

I'd also like to encourage those of you active on various social networks, such as Twitter (#TwitterStake) and Facebook, to help share Elder Bednar's words in real-time using hashtags #byuedweek and #byudevo as a way to get more involved and really show the power of social media to broadcast a message, broadly. Because that's how we use social media when one of the Lord's Special Witnesses' speaks. Right? What a wonderful and fun opportunity to be a part of this event.

And, FYI, rumor has it that Elder Bednar's presentation will be very social media friendly with perhaps an invitation to participate in real-time on the Internet. (Maybe.) So, consider yourself being given a head's up on how cool this broadcast is going to be and how you can be part of LDS Church History!

Okay, I'm really spreading rumors today... but I've also heard in some of my online LDS circles that we might even hear about a new Church website (or initiative) in conjunction with this broadcast. Sort of a way to bring many of our efforts to do good online, together. Just sayin. I have absolutely NO inside, official scoop -- other than it all seems to fit a pattern I've seen in the recent past and Church social media 'stuff'. 

Anyway, I'm excited and hope that you are, too. And, really, really hope you'll join me and share this event and the buzz surrounding it in real-time, this Tuesday. (And this post to get the word out.) Okay, done rambling. Don't miss it! These are truly exciting times!

Lastly, in preparation for the devotional (because his address is part 2) the Church is encouraging members to review Elder Bednar's powerful address: Things As They Really Are. If you've never listened or read this talk, it's a must. I took the time on my flight today to re-read it and really study it. Whoa! I thought it was great when he first gave it (I was teaching Seminary at the time), but oh my it is even more relevant now. All I can say is, read it and prepare to be taught by this Apostle of the Lord, big time

"Obedience opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. And the spiritual gifts and abilities activated by the power of the Holy Ghost enable us to avoid deception—and to see, to feel, to know, to understand, and to remember things as they really are. You and I have been endowed with a greater capacity for obedience precisely for these reasons. Moroni declared: 
“Hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him. 
“Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God” (Mormon 9:27–28)." 
Elder David A. Bednar,
From a Church Educational System fireside address delivered at Brigham Young University–Idaho on May 3, 2009.


Kathryn Skaggs

Photo Credit: LDS.org