Friday, April 17, 2015

Elder Perry and the talk that was

I gave it a shot.  I tried to justifying what Elder Perry said in his conference talk. It was a good essay, and a lot of people read it. 

But, what if Elder Perry said exactly what he was meaning to say? After all, it wasn't off the cuff. The talk was written down, typed out and approved before we ever heard it. Did something slip by whoever was proofreading? 

(The thought of someone proofing makes me laugh. "Elder, did you mean to say 'Hamster' or 'Gangsta'?) 
What if Elder Perry believes that anything outside of eternal marriage -- a marriage being between a man and a woman worthy to enter the temple -- is not good enough? 

He is someone we sustain as a prophet. Do we go with the flow until they say something we do not like?

"We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established..." 

Those words were supported by Elder D Todd Christofferson who said:

"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 who come in purity and innocence from God. No one is predestined to receive less than all that the Father has for His children."
And Boyd K Packer, reiterated, saying:

"The only legitimate, authorized expression of the powers of procreation is between a husband and wife who have been legally and lawfully married."

It doesn't sound like anything was overlooked, nor does it come across as leaving a little wiggle room. I can't with a good conscious say that he goofed or used the wrong word, or went overboard.
Consider this quote by Spencer W Kimball (for whom I have a soft spot. He was the Prophet who signed my mission call).

“The holy prophets have not only refused to follow erroneous human trends, but have pointed out these errors. No wonder the response to the prophets has not always been one of indifference. So often the prophets have been rejected because they first rejected the wrong ways of their own society...

"Prophets have a way of jarring the carnal mind. Too often the holy prophets are wrongly perceived as harsh... Those prophets I have known are the most loving of men. It is because of their love and integrity that they cannot modify the Lord's message merely to make people feel comfortable. They are too kind to be so cruel. I am so grateful that prophets do not crave popularity.”

Prophets, after all, are not elected. They are not interested in maintaining the vote. Sometimes they aren't even unanimously sustained, as we all know. Those who spoke for the Lord in times of the Bible and the Book of Mormon were often put to death for the positions they took on religious issues that were at the forefront of the social world.

So, what does it mean for us if Elder Perry said exactly what he meant?


  1. Elder Perry has every right to believe that anything outside of eternal marriage -- a marriage between a man and a woman worthy to enter the temple -- is not good enough. Of course, in his case, it is eternal marriage between a man and two women (his current wife is his second, after his first wife died, and he was sealed to both of them in the temple, so in the afterlife he believes he will be a polygamist.) For someone like him who believes he has been sealed to two women for all eternity, maybe he should be more careful about criticizing "alternative lifestyles" when, for much of the world, his is definitely an alternative lifestyle. And when he implies that "alternative lifestyles" (read gay marriage) are counterfeit relationships, I and everyone else in a committed and loving same-sex marriage have every right to disagree with that belief.

  2. As always, thanks for your thoughts. Clearly, the LDS church is OK with Polygamy on some level. The scriptures are full of references to it. It was practiced for a time in the early church. As you mentioned, it is part of Mormon belief that polygamy or a close facsimile of will be acceptable in the afterlife. Elder Perry is sealed was sealed to another woman after his first wife died. My father is sealed to two woman. He was temple married to his first and sealed to his second after she obtained a temple divorce, or cancelation of sealing.

    Elder Perry was referencing a union of those of the same sex. It was not soft or gentle, and the more I read it the more clear it gets. It’s not going to happen. I think that Elder Perry is letting us know that. There is a difference in the sexes as far as the LDS church is concerned. Both are needed in a marriage, thought families exist in its absence – the exception that proves the rule. I can see their POV, even as I see others stand points.