Why the LDS Church Will not Accept Gay Marriage
Heavenly Father may guide his church through his prophet but let’s face it; often Heavenly Father urges the prophet to do what society is urging him to do. The LDS church has to be sufficiently mainstream to attract new members. It will continue to adapt as society changes. Many liberal Mormons hope that the church will change its stance on gay marriage as a response to external pressures. Even though I am totally a non-believer, I hope the church will change for the sake of gay men and women who believe in it; however, I am not optimistic. I believe that the fact that the church responds to pressures is the reason it will not change; it needs to respond to pressures from the christian right, internationally, and within the church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a part of the christian right. Their belief in the atonement, in human depravity, and in a single pathway to God are closer to the beliefs expressed by evangelical Christians than by those expressed by the left. If the church is to appear mainstream it must look like evangelical Christians. Unfortunately evangelical Christians have not thrown open the door to the church. By participating in coalitions with other churches on the right, the Mormon church can affirm is Christianity and have a place in the mainstream.
The church seeks international expansion. If the church were to approve gay marriage, its efforts would be undermined. The church is growing fastest in Latin America. Most people in latin american countries have negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians. If the church accepted gay marriage persons, the church’s credibility would be undermined.
Pressures within the church will keep the prophet from getting a revelation on the gays’ behalf. While there are mormons who believe the leaders of the church mistaken, there are many who favor the policy. For some the policy gives them an excuse to maintain their bigotry towards the gays. Others believe that the doctrine of the church is unchangeable; reversing the policy on gay marriage could shatter that illusion. A person in my own family who is loving told me he would leave the church if the church permitted gay marriage. He believed that the doctrine of humans having spirit children would be undermined by gay marriage.
The other day, I heard a Mormon say that the leaders of the church respond the petitioning. I could sense in his comments that he was not satisfied with the church policy about gay marriage. He seemed optimistic that things would change. I am not so optimistic because I know that the church responds petitioning. Pressures from the christian right, other countries, and within the church will keep the church from changing at least in the near future. We can hope that future decades will bring a change in circumstances so that the Lord can speak to his prophet.