LDS Articles of Faith

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

History of the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 535—541

LDS Church members and leaders who support the “Yes on 8” and “Protect Marriage” campaign believe that the magistrates (judges) on the California State Supreme Court were wrong, and are not honoring and sustaining the law as written in the California state constitution and interpreted by duly appointed and confirmed judges on the bench.

There is no reason to make this post longer: either you believe in being subject to the magistrates who were appointed to interpret the law of California, and honoring and sustaining that law, or you don’t.  Clearly, the LDS Church believes that this article of faith only applies when the magistrates’ opinions and law of the land are consistent with Church doctrine.  (Ironically, anti-polygamy laws were influential on the Church in the late 19th century, when the Church restricted its more expansive definition of marriage practices to become in line with the law of the land.)


40 Responses to LDS Articles of Faith

  1. A Coward says:

    Hey, I appreciate what you’re doing here, and the post of Brigham Young quotes is spot on, but this one is stretching the point. That article of faith talks about honoring and sustaining the law, but it doesn’t say anything about not trying to change the law. There is, of course, additional historical evidence to suggest that the dictates of this article are probably lower on the scale of religious importance than many other points of doctrine, but even without them, it’s pretty clearly a misread to suggest that supporting Proposition 8 is oppositional to this article.

    [Editor: Your reasoning is, well, reasonable. Should the Saints in oppressive states sustain laws that abridge human rights? Probably not. There’s not a clear line here to draw.

    I’m actually more concerned about the Church obeying the Internal Revenue Code, but I think bringing this issue up opens up an interesting and worthwhile discussion: should the Church passively obey, honor and sustain the law, or take a more active role? That’s a legitimate question that we will probably disagree on forever — my vote is for giving unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and that churches should stay well away from politics.

    The Catholic church has long opposed abortion and same-sex marriage legislation and managed to survive just fine. The LDS Church with respect to Proposition 8 is ultimately a question of magnitude, which is why this word “substantial” comes up so often.]

  2. Moses says:

    11th Commandment:

    Thou shalt not underestimate the deep pockets of God.

  3. sendtoharvey says:

    i can’t stand mormons anyways..they’re ridiculous…look at their beginnings..

    [Editor: I’ve left this up because I believe in free speech, and none of the words is inherently offensive. That said, I don’t see that this kind of comment helps us to achieve mutual understanding.]

  4. Brother Joseph says:

    The Article of Faith that is more relevant is the 11th: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    Apparently, this “allowance” only goes so far. Some revision is necessary. Perhaps, “… and allow some men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may as long as they substantively agree with us on issues that we think are moral ones.”

  5. deLok says:

    I grew up as a Mormon, spent 18 years leaning and studying about its doctrine, much of which I still use as a basis of faith and I agree with many of the answers they come up with in response to matters of faith. That being said, I am no longer a member of the church, not though fault of the doctrine, but though fault of interpretation of that doctrine and the actions of those who claim to follow its words. I spent my youth watching many, many individuals in the church twist the supposed words of God to what they wanted them to mean, and I saw many of the members of several congregations wear their religion like a suit of fancy clothes. They claim to be “tolerant” of other churches and peoples, and they are, at first. They are very passive aggressive in their methods, so much that many people seem to not notice it. The church does not tell you that you can not smoke, or drink, or participate in different activities, but if you do… Then woe be unto you, for you shall be looked down upon and ostracized for your choices. You will receive condemnation, rumors will be told about you, and you will be admonished. If you think the term “peer pressure” only exists for teenagers or children in school, think again. All of which is very sad, considering what a wonderful underlying basis the church holds, it could so easily be a foundation of peace, understanding, love and uplifting…

    Though I say this, I do not include everyone. There were a few people who were in fact spiritual giants, wheat among the chaff as they might say. The religion, as with many, did include some who were true to their God and to themselves, and I don’t want to seem to paint an utterly bleak picture with my words.

    Closer to topic, is how I am almost certain this “campaign” was run (as I still have many Mormon friends) regarding prop 8 and any other prop of the kind. Also, I recall what happened when I was younger and a like proposition was going though where I live. You would have gone to church on a Sunday, and during sacrament (the opening part of the proceedings not the actual passing), you will have either the Bishop or one of his councilors testify to you as to how wrong or right they feel this proposition is. They will admonish you to pray about it, and to act on your own faith regarding the decision. Then, you will continue with the proceedings and there will eventually come time for the various after sacrament classes where you will go and this topic will come up. The discussion will be single sided. If you do not agree with what has been decided by the church, your ideas and opinions will be noted, but you and your ideas will become the topic of rumors and doubts regarding you. Most people in the religion I assume know or quickly learn enough to simply keep their own ideas and opinions to themselves, I certainly did, very early in life.

    As Icing on the cake, and what I don’t understand is primarily this;

    Mormons believe that there was a conflict in heaven before the world began. God the father, unveiled a plan to his spirit children, of whom contained everyone who has, does, and will live on the earth. One that would allow them to go to earth, gain a body of flesh, and gain earthly experience so that they could return to Him at the end of their time on earth and become as He is in a way. But, He needed an advocate to go and help them to satisfy the scales of justice, to temper that justice with mercy, and to break the Sheol so that His children could return to Him and have everlasting life. Two advocates stood, one was Satan, the other was Jesus, both of them came up with a plan to be the one to help their brothers and sisters in this trial. Eventually, Satan was cast out of heaven with his 1/3 of the hosts of heaven because of his plan. He desired to take away the free agency (choice) of mankind. He would force them to do what was right, so that they might return to live with their father in heaven one again. On the other hand, Jesus said he would go and help them and teach them and sacrifice for them, but that they would have to make their own choice in the end, that he would take nothing of that choice from them.

    Now, most Christian religions believe, as do the Mormons, that Christ was goodly, being of God’s will, and that Satan was ungodly via opposing the decisions of God. If one believes that the freedom of choice was so vastly important to God Himself, that He would cast out 1/3 of his children from His home, and that the very devil himself was a product of this desire for God’s children to have this freedom. Would not forcing another person’s hand in the choices they make be ungodly? Isn’t this exactly what God cast Satan out from among his brethren for? This forcing of choice goes beyond simply homosexuality and into many other realms where they do not seem to hold to this ideal. Something that comes to mind obviously, is being Pro Choice. Pro Choice? As in, Pro-what God desired for his children?

    Now, I do not mean to be offensive to the religion by saying what I have, it is not a bad religion in and of itself, merely some of the people are a bit… ignorant? And I wish I had more to offer in way of argument of some sort, but they are a faith and even the Mormons teach their young that one can not argue religion and faith. This is obviously because faith is what you believe, and there is no factual basis for it to stand on or it would not be a “faith” it would be “knowing”. Because of this, the only thing I can offer are my own questions regarding said faith where they touch base with this kind of topic. I personally hope that God’s will prevails in this situation and that freedom of choice is returned to those who have lost it. I believe that God is, and that God loves all His children regardless of the small things like their religion, color, sex or sexual orientation. The thought that someone might believe that God would condemn anyone’s love is very sad and depressing sentiment to me.

  6. jim says:

    A couple of things come to mind when I read this, as well as the comments. First, from what I know about the church, the argument they have for supporting prop 8 is not only morally to preserve the sanctity of marriage, but also logically. To dumb down the argument to a large degree, A square block doesn’t fit in a round hole, does it? Also, deLok, from what my friend in the church told me, there is something called “The word of wisdom” which outlines that you should not drink, smoke, or participate in questionable activities. You should look into that. I would, but I gotta get to school

  7. George Bush/ Cheney says:

    Religious enthusiasts can say and believe in whatever storybooks, bible, new testament, old testament, legends, fables, fairy tales, middle testament or whatever. The point is they should appreciate the fact that they have been exempted from paying taxes all these years. Now if they begin to reach into their war chest to act like they are politicians, they are crossing the line between religion and government. So why not pay taxes like any other private company or citizen?

  8. denise says:

    catholic church had a lot to do with influencing legislation too. what about telling parishoners from the pulpit how to vote…or showing a video in church during a sermon!!!! This needs to be stopped..Church and state need to be separated!!!!

  9. Craig says:

    It’s quite a stretch to claim that a $2000 donation from a church with tens of millions of members constitutes a “significant portion of its activities”. The church has extensive disaster and humanitarian efforts going on all over the world. Not to mention the tens of thousands of missionaries.

    501(c)3 organizations are NOT prohibited from influencing legislation. If fact, it is expressly allowed by the IRS code. It’s just that influencing legislation cannot be one of its primary activities. I’m a Mormon, and the only thing political that I ever hear from the pulpit is that the church is politically neutral with regard to candidates and parties. Occasionally, the church will speak out on something like Prop 8, which it considers to be a moral issue, but those occasions are very rare and do not consistute a substantial activity by any stretch of the imagination.

    The church is always extremely careful not to violate its duties under the non-profit code, so I doubt this petition will have any impact.

  10. Tracy says:

    There’s a little thing called separation of church and state. It’s a law. But apparently Mormons believe they’re exempt from the law as well as exempt from paying their fair share of taxes. It’s about time the world showed them that our society doesn’t conform itself just to suit their outdated ways of thinking.

  11. Easton says:

    I am always amazed at the ignorance of all the good the Mormon church does for not only the United States but also its contributions to world-wide humanitarian efforts. They are ALWAYS the first on scene whenever a catastrophe breaks out and gives millions not only to those in needs but also other churches who are in distress.

    I support gay-rights. Gay individuals should be respected as the human beings they are. I love and support my gay friends. However, it is not new news to realize they are a genetic dead-end. Marriage is a ‘religious’ institution that has been adopted by civil laws because we as a nation recognize the strength of a family unit. A mother and father who bear and raise children, giving the benefits that nature intended. This is how productive members of society are formed. Don’t take my word on more ‘unnatural’ family structures and single-parent family structures to see the results thereof. Look up the studies yourself and find they produce societal problems.

    In the United States we live so abundantly I am again amazed that we have not slipped into total immoral iniquity. I would venture to say it is only the bible-belt and the Mormon Church that maintains the strong moral background by thwarting the degradation of society. I believe the Mormon Church sees the big picture and the slippery slope we are on. How can you blame anyone for trying to protect their rights this civil and religious topic of marriage? The separation of church and state laws were created to protect CHURCH from the STATE. Isn’t it interesting the ‘I’ll have my cake and eat it too’ mentality the gay activists have regarding passing laws that attack the beliefs of all kinds of faiths. Do you see any similar child-like tantrums only propagating stereotypes of gay-like behavior? The Mormon church legally and respectively put for efforts to protect their beliefs from future STATE GOVERNMENT legislation. Which to me is more or less taking the pulse of the population and the majority have answered. To those who say the Mormon Church falsified or exacerbated what proposition 8 was I reply your outlook is short-sighted and you need to try and look down the road a bit further and ask yourself what is to come.

    As always the minority is always the loudest, but will always be the minority. I appreciate the Mormon church for taking a stand and having the guts to speak out to protect America from sliding into the cesspool such as Pagan Europe.

  12. Willis says:

    This is one of the silliest arguments I have heard yet on Mormons and prop 8. Using legal means (supporting a ballot initiative) to influence legislation is not a violation of the article of faith–it is an affirmation of the article. “Being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” does not mean you can’t participate in the legal process. It means when the outcome has been decided, you don’t threaten violence to the opposition, deface their property or violate other laws in the process. If you don’t like the outcome, you can use legal means to change it.

    You’re really reaching on this one.

  13. Nikkie says:

    I thought that I might add a comment, since I’m one of those “ridiculous” Mormons. I have to admit that I’m a teensy bit offended. Not really by the article, which has some great points that I’ve been arguing since I heard about the church support of prop 8. More by the comments. As a pro-Gay Marriage and faithful member of the LDS church, I am annoyed that is seems as though none of you, with the exception of deLok, bothered to think of how the members might be reacting. Not all of us are in support of Prop 8. Yes, there is an overwhelming majority that did, and still do. Yes, our church has shown its position on gay marriage through the not-so-subtle letter The Family: A Proclamation to the World and asked the members to support the proposition. But there are quite a few of us who believe that it would be wrong and hypocritical of us to deny anyone the right to live how they wish (The 11th article of faith would probably be a better route when debating that issue though). I just thought that maybe you might want to have all of the information before you continue to judge every single member of the church based on what its leaders have said. I also wanted you all to know that while I disagree with my churches stance on gay marriage, I DO support the right for everyone to have an opinion. That should not be up for discussion.

    I’m also wondering if the other churches that were in support of prop 8 would be reprimanded in the same way as the LDS church. I’m not sure how involved they were, but I do know that the Catholic church asked its members to support the proposition. Does anyone know why that isn’t being talked about?

    And Tracy, I think you may have misunderstood. While the church itself (like every other church in the country) does not pay taxes on the tithing and donations it receives, every member pays their taxes. We pay our fair share, and then we donate 10 percent of our income to our church. The money is then managed in order to maximize its benefits, which include our humanitarian programs. Those people in yellow shirts who helped clean up after Katrina? That’s us. So please don’t try to make it sound like we’re ripping off the government.

  14. Rachel says:

    I am saddened but not surprised I guess, to see that many people are now attacking the LDS church. I think this is a misdirection of hate because 48% of people did not get their way. Years worth of court action is not satisfactory and so a scapegoat is needed for blame right now. Delayed gratification has never been a popular idea in California. The LDS church is certainly not the only church that spoke out to prevent the STATE from telling the CHURCH what it could believe. In fact, as long as we’re talking about churches taking stands on “legislation” let’s talk about something clearly in violation of this code which would be the endorsing of political candidates. When Mitt Romney was the potential candidate for Republican nomination, the church deliberately issued a statement declaring their nonendorsement of any candidate or party. But the LDS church is not concerned with influencing “politics.” The church simply desires to clarify when the doctrine of the church and wisdom of its perspective forsees moral problems in society. Churches are allowed to teach their doctrine. They are allowed to interpret their doctrine. As the free exercise of religion would attest, the state is not allowed to influence the church as far as its practice or doctrine goes. And, while we are pointing fingers, has anyone looked at any of the churches on the south side of Chicago where almost every single one was endorsing Obama as the next presdient? Or what about ACORN? Who directly accepts Federal funding and is supposedly not biased, recruiting people to vote for Obama? Should we eliminate tax exemptions altogether? No one should be able to benefit for any good thing they do! That seems like an excellent solution…

    Additionally, as was mentioned before, the LDS church is the first to arrive on the scene in disaster/humanitarian aid-necessary situations in the US and many parts of the World. If the LDS church was no longer tax exempt, it loses a lot of funding for relief like that. I hope the people of Louisana don’t get hit with another hurricane, because while individual members of the church would most likely still be there as fast, there would be a little less monetary relief (in the form of food/supplies/church buildings) to give.

    Shame on many of you, for desiring to take from a religion that does nothing but give.

  15. Harassed says:

    I’m not so sure that trying to revoke a tax-exempt status for the Mormon church would do any good.

    As a gay man, I work with several Mormon physicians in a rural hospital and from day one have been verbally harassed on a consistent basis even to the point of my employment being discussed among them in private in regards to me possibly being “a liability to the quality health care process due to an immoral lifestyle.” Luckily, my manager is not Mormon and finds their antics self-indulgent and arrogant or without a doubt I would not be working there this very day. I have experienced firsthand consistently – along with other gay or lesbian employees – being left out of work-related events by this group of people while all others are included, and I have been told directly during what I thought was going to be a friendly lunch meeting with two of these physicians that I should consider working at a hospital in a large city where “your lifestyle tends to congregate…you would feel more included and have more of a social life.” This, in the very small town I was born and raised, surrounded by family and friends.

    Time and time again I have filed complaints with administration, and time and time again they are told “lay off” but they are never penalized or disciplined in any way.

    I feel that the Mormons have the perception that they are the “keepers of the Earth” and that all others are just visiting their domain until we die. This is why I don’t think that trying to remove tax-exempt status from the LDS church, because they would influence and even purchase their way out of any such action.

    That is my point of view in this matter, although I am sure that there are a few (very few) Mormons out there who are much more open minded but must remain silent for fear of ostracism by their church, family, and close friends.

  16. Cddman says:

    To Harrassed: People harrassing you as you note above would be going directly against LDS teachings over the pulpit as regards treatment of others not of their faith or belief system: they are taught to treat everyone with love and kindness. Nearly every General Conference of the church has several of the leaders repeating this message, for years going back. Therefore, your harassers are in the wrong.

  17. both sides are outta line says:

    My sister was a prop 8 supporter. Not only did someone steal her Yes on 8 sign but they vandalized her property with spray paint. This whole battle, back and forth stuff is very embarrassing and troubling. Everyone involved is becoming malicious and spiteful. Everyone has freedom of speech, homosexual, christian or whatever else they may be. Just because a religion stands up for their convictions doesn’t make them intolerant or the like. Instead of making a personal attack on a people for what they believe in, why not spend energy on being constructive and going a more civilized route. No religion was “out to get” homosexuals. So I don’t feel that they need to target and retaliate. Vengeance only creates the appearance of that intolerance that so many are fighting against. Someone needs to stand up and be the example and the better person. All of this mudslinging is a recipe for disaster and hate. I have never seen a Mormon stand outside of a “gay rights center” and protest with thousands of members from their church. How terrible would that be? It is equally terrible that there was a protest at a Mormon temple. I know that all of this is a touchy subject but both parties are loosing their dignity over the issue.

  18. TIREDOFBS says:

    Every time, and I mean EVERY time I see some one question the methods or means of the LDS church, I also see a million LDS members come to its defense. There’s a saying that goes something like, pride goeth before destruction, isn’t there? No church, religion, government or organization of any kind is perfect, this is why people must always question authorities, to keep them sharp and legitimate. Even if that means swallowing your own damnable pride and asking yourself, “Is my church obeying the law?” I fully believe it is okay for that to be questioned even by the LDS church’s own members. That is all this is, a request for the IRS to look into something and ensure that it is legitimate. Was what the LDS church did legal and legitimate even for their tax exempt status? I don’t know. I don’t work for the IRS, and as far as I can tell, neither does anyone else who’s commented on this board. If the LDS church is not doing anything wrong, then the IRS won’t find anything wrong and nothing will happen no matter how many of these letters go out. The massive number of posts jumping immediately to a defensive position on the matter, I have to say, looks very bad, because it makes it seem as though LDS are perhaps a little insecure, or should I say lacking some faith? Nothing is perfect. Not the LDS church, or it’s doctrines, or the churches or doctrines of any other faith, and only by acknowledging that fact first and foremost can any community move forward and make progress. I’m going to just shut up now, though, because I assume those little gems of wisdom will just fall on deaf ears.

  19. The Mormon Church and its 10% tith has overturned civil rights in Calififornia. If they wish to be tax exempt and their tithers entitled to tax deductions, they must choose to be a religious institution or a PAC.

    The Mormons and their money control the State of Nevada, portions of Arizona, and the State of Utah. Their power is enormous due to the required 10% tith. Remember Al Capone was convicted of Tax Evasion, not murder, and he served a good stretch of his life in Alcatraz. Senator Harry Reid must renounce these political efforts of the Mormons or be removed from his leadership position in the Senate. Hillary Clinton should take his place as he is worthless as a person as well as a politician.

    Martin S. Friedlander, Esq.

  20. mick says:

    the LDS church actually did honor what the judges told them and the rest of cally. the judges said to the people of cally, “go and vote on prop 8.” so really the LDS church did honor what the judges told them to do. even if the out come what different, the LDS church would still honor what the people have said and deal with it, even if they didnt like it. so if the LDS church is actuall honoring what the judges told them to do, why dont people honor what the dision is and deal with is.

    because in the end, some one is going to win and the other side is going to have to deal with it. but over all, the LDS church did honor what was asked of the to do.

  21. TexasCowboy says:

    Thank you for establishing this website. It is one opportunity which allows people outside of California to participate in the process. The LDS is one major example of an attempt to violate Americans civil rights and potentially has long reaching affects for both gay and straight citizens. Along with the LDS, there is another group of 50 churches which also violated these same rules on Oct. 5, 2008 when the Alliance Defense Fund sponosored pulpit political statements telling its members how to vote.
    I support any action necessary to bring to light to the IRS violations of US Law.
    If enough people get involved, this issue will have to be addressed.
    I salute your efforts!
    Best wishes

  22. Nobody in Particular says:

    Summary of all comments above by Mormons: “BAAAAAWWWWW!!!”

  23. Allen says:

    That article of Faith means OBEYING the law. It is aboslutely constitutional and proper to try and change a law by legal and peaceful means. Show me a law that says that you cannot contest or attempt to change laws. If you don’t like the outcome of Prop 8, go out and campaign, like the Prop 8 people did.
    I am one of the ‘ridiculous’ Mormons and I follow the 11th article of faith. I don’t believe that gay marriage is right, from a moral point of view. I harbour no hate or ill-will toawrds gays, but doesn’t mean I agree with all their stances. If you believe differently, go and campaign, peacably, for what you consider your rights. BTW I’m not even American, I’m Israeli and left-wing.

  24. Efialtis says:

    There is nothing that prevents someone from trying to change the law. In fact, that is what the whole system is designed for. To stretch the AoF to mean that we should be subject to bad law or to no law, as whatever government deems “right” is a stretch.
    Governor Boggs, back in the day, made it legal to Kill Mormons with the Mormon Extermination Order…
    Should ANYONE just sit by and agree to live and obey and sustain THAT kind of law?

    Now, the people of California have spoken. Prop 8 is now LAW…if you feel it is a bad or unjust law, then CHANGE IT…go ahead, that is what the system was designed for…
    Bot don’t think that people, especially the MAJORITY of Californians (who are NOT Mormons, btw) will sit by and let the MINORITY dictate law.

  25. Lin in Las Vegas says:

    I have come to a very defining point in my life – to continue to be an “inactive” member of the LDS church or to actively withdraw my membership. I was raised in the Mormon church and have one daughter who is actively involved in the church. I support all of the activities involving her family and have two grandsons who have served missions. It would greatly sadden me if my decision would cause friction between myself and my daughter.

    Over the years there have been many times where I have disagreed with the Church, but none has raised my concern to the point of now considering officially leaving the Church because of their active involvement in Prop 8. Civil marriage is a Civil Right. If religions want to prevent same sex couples from marrying within their church, that is their choice. To deny individuals their civil rights is just plain wrong. To make such a change in the State or United States Constitution is a slippery slop that should be avoided at all costs.

    It seems to me that the new administration of the LDS church has become a bit radical and perhaps they need to rethink their positions regarding discrimination. Or they can wait until public outrage is such that they will have to have a “revelation” like they did when black men were not allowed to hold the “priesthood” and BYU was banned from playing NCAA basketball. I pray that the church leaders will have their revelation soon before many people like me decide that they do not want to consider themselves as members in an organization that discriminates.

  26. H says:

    Easton: So, even putting aside the fact that the Earth is over-populated and cannot continue to sustain the growing population that we, the human race, are subjecting it to, which makes continued procreation an ultimate dead-end if you think about it; you still believe that marriage is all about a mother and a father raising children? If that’s the case, may I assume that you believe neither infertile people nor people who never intend to have children should be allowed to get married? And may I also assume that you are blinkered enough to believe that every child raised by one mother and one father is raised well, not suffering from any kind of abuse, whether it be emotional, physical or mental? Because if you do in fact believe those things, I’m going to have to disagree with you most strongly.

    Rachel: You say that “The LDS church … spoke out to prevent the STATE from telling the CHURCH what it could believe.” Voting yes on Proposition 8 was not about protecting the church from being told what it could believe. No-one campaigning for gay rights wants to tell churches what they can believe. Voting no on Proposition 8 was all about preventing the church from imposing it’s moral views on everyone in the state of California, regardless of whether they agreed or not. For example, let’s assume you enjoy eating pork. I tell you that, actually, I’m from a religion that believes that eating pork is wrong (since there are a few such religions). I then tell you that because I believe that eating pork is wrong, then you cannot eat it either. Would you think that was fair, or would you say hey, I respect your right to not eat pork, but I want to eat pork, so I’ll continue?

    Harassed: I’m so very sorry that you’re suffering through that – they are clearly just bigoted hateful individuals – as others on here have said, the Mormon church, as most churches, preaches love. Are there any harassment laws that you (and the other homosexuals you work with) can use against them – go to the next level of complaints? Or is it a case of nothing much is going to happen because your town needs physicians? Either way, there’s some support here – my belief is that we’re all human, regardless of sex, sexuality, race, religion etc etc, and therefore should all be treated well.

  27. song says:

    To the Mormons who claim to have been against CA Prop 8: Please tell us exactly what you are doing to help change your church and prevent such blatant abuse of power from happening again? Is there anything you really can do?

  28. Jason L. says:

    It turns out you all have proved that the tax exempt status of churches would’ve been in jeporady if a church chose not to allow gays to marry in their houses of worship if proposition 8 failed. Why else call for this revocation. If propostion 8 failed and the LDS church denied gays the “right” to marry, you would’ve done the same thing. It is the classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. However, it is great that you all have provided evidence of this fact by publishing a website dedicated to revoking a churches tax exempt status based on their belief and theirfirst amendment right of free speech. Marriage is not a right it is a privelege extended to people by the people. No where in the constitution can you derive that marriage is a right……unless you read the constutition with ultra liberal eyes. Denying interracial marriage was easy to show that it violated the constitution because blacks, whites, browns, yellows, etc cannot choose to be anything but what they are. When the gay community can prove that they are born gay then that is the day I abandon this so called “ignorant” stance that I take. I am always willing to be proved wrong…..until then be happy with the Domestic Partnership Act which affords you many, if not all, of the benefits of heterosexual couples.

  29. song says:

    Efialtis: We ARE trying to change the law; precisely, the law that allows churches who engage in political action to remain tax-exempt.

  30. Jason L. says:

    To Tracy: What!!! Show me where in the Laws of the Land it says that the separation of church and state is against the law. Know your history before you speak. I challenge any one to show that there is a separation of church and state clause in the constitution or the declaration of independence.

  31. Jason L. says:

    Song: Define political actions. This issue transends political and party politicals. Heck, many will argue that it was Barack Obama supporters who put Yes on 8 over the top; people who are diametrically opposed to conservative ideas. People define political actions differently. I see this as a moral action. Therefore we are in an endless argument because I will also say my definintions are better than yours…..ah the beauty of always being right.

  32. Creig S. says:

    Jason: How would the churches’ tax status be threatened had Prop. 8 failed? Why would any gay person want to be married in your church? That’s ridiculous!!! We wouldn’t need your church to get married. Of course, whether it passed or failed, your church was still guilty of violating the IRS rules, but it would have nothing to do with whether you would allow gays to marry in your church.

    I think there is very strong evidence that same-sex attraction is at least half genetic, using studies with twins, brothers, and other family members there is strong indication that genes inherited through the mother have that influence. The other part has been suggested to be due to environmental influences during the natal period when the brain is developing, as well as later childhood experiences. The influences that cause same-sex attraction involve multiple genes and other influences that will be very complicated for science to sort out, so nothing can be absolutely “proved” today. But whether or not it can be proved, whether or not you will ever accept scientific proof, in any case, no body *chooses* to be attracted to the same sex and endure all the humiliation, derision, rejection, depression, suicide, job loss, excommunication and other negative experiences just because same sex attraction is just so great that we are willing to go through all that.

    Tell me, when did you “choose” to be heterosexual? Then why would you think that anyone else chose something different? One might choose a lifestyle, but one does not choose whom you are attracted to. For a gay man to “choose” a “straight” lifestyle is to be a gay man in the closet, not a straight man. And for a gay man to marry a woman is to commit fraud and abuse on the poor woman when he cannot enthusiastically give her the love and affection she needs. If you really did “choose”, then guess what…you are a bisexual (whether you like it or not). But then don’t assume all men, gay or straight are just like you.

  33. Creig S. says:

    Back to the original post of this — about the LDS church violating it’s own teachings in denying the rights of others to marry, while defending it’s own rights. Well, the LDS church is notorious in it’s whimsical ability for “revelations” from “God” to change it teachings. When it is politically expedient and convenient, there is suddenly another “revelation” that resolves it’s conflicts with the government or society. Somehow, when it is necessary, “God’s” law has given way to man’s law. So whatever was taught in the 1800’s isn’t really relevant today. It’s not the same church.

    To be fair, all churches evolve through the ages, certainly the Catholic Church has it’s own remarkable changes, although lately they are more honest and admit they come about through conferences by the Cardinals. One would think that God’s law is eternal and unchanging, if one believed that the Bible is the be-all of God’s law, but every church’s “God” seems to have become more enlightened as the society the church is part of becomes enlightened.

    I suppose that it would be better to be hopeful than cynical about the changes in the teachings of all the religions. After all, some day they might end up accepting homosexuality as just one more human variation, like being left handed, or begin good at mathematics, and not something evil or shameful. (BTW, almost any human variation has been considered evil or shameful somewhere, at some time, including left-handedness or being a “geek”.)

  34. celtcwrtr says:

    as a multi-generation native of california i’ve been incensed by the role of churches in changing our state constitution… is there also a violation of state law? and if there isn’t, there should be. and whatever “loophole” about supporting legislation vs. a candidate needs to be changed uno pronto.

    [Editor: There’s support brewin’ for exactly this idea.]

    and wasn’t the catholic church also involved in this debacle?

    [Editor: Yes, the Catholics were involved, but to a much lesser degree. Mormons are less than 2% of California’s population and provided around half of the money for “yes on 8”. Catholics are at least 10% of the California populace.]

  35. Joseph Smith says:

    So what you are trying to say is that one of the smallest christian groups in California is not allowed to have freedom of speech. This group is what percentage of California? 2% maybe in total population? You fear just a handful of people in your state because the some gay activists do not like their views. Is this how you choose to stomp on principles of Democracy?

    What about all of the Militant gays in california. Have you ever thought they are all guilty of insurrection against the state? What gives the gay person a right to trample on the rights of the straight majority? Who appointed gay people to be rulers over the people of California. Freedom is freedom for all. Gays can already get married. They can marry anyone they want of the opposite sex. So they have equal rights. Gays just want more rights than other people.

  36. Janet says:

    I find it difficult to understand why the Mormon Church in particular in the case of Prop. 8. appointed themselves to deny basic human rights to the Gay and Lesbian citizens of this State.

    We pay our taxes just like anyone else. We obey the laws like anyone else. We are activily involved in our communities and a good number of us are your health care providers, your school teachers, your bankers, your attorneys and yes even your silent military folks fighting in the name of our country. We are responsible citizens and we have families just like most everyone.

    What we don’t have is our basic human rights. Marriage is a contract between two people. The Church may chose to only allow marriage to be between a man and a woman, however, the state or the nation needs to separate itself from Religion.

    Why should the Mormon Church be tax exempt? So that they can throw millions of dollars to support a proposition such as Propl 8 in California? NOT.

    No church who preaches hatred should be allowed to be tax exempt. I certainly hope the IRS strips the Mormon Church of it;s N.P. Status. The Mormon Church is well known for being very wealthy and this just goes to prove it.

    Lets separate religion from state.

  37. lds501c3 says:

    Dear Joseph Smith,

    So what you are trying to say is that one of the smallest christian groups in California is not allowed to have freedom of speech.

    I already wrote a post about this point. I am a big fan of free speech — I publish all comments. But organizations requesting tax-exempt status are limited in political involvement for good reasons. Pick one: tax-exempt status or completely free speech.

    What about all of the Militant gays in california. Have you ever thought they are all guilty of insurrection against the state? What gives the gay person a right to trample on the rights of the straight majority? Who appointed gay people to be rulers over the people of California.

    Actually, the “militant gays” in California did not engage in insurrection, nor did their straight friends who supported equal marriage. They filed a legitimate lawsuit, and the state Supreme Court, comprised of judges who were duly “appointed” to determine the rights of the “people of California”, decided the case pursuant to the constitution which governed California.

    Freedom is freedom for all. Gays can already get married. They can marry anyone they want of the opposite sex. So they have equal rights. Gays just want more rights than other people.

    It’s not just gay people who support equal marriage. And those who do think that all people, gay or straight, male or female, should be given the free agency to choose whom they want to marry, whether gay or straight, male or female. They don’t want more rights than straight people — with equal marriage, straight people can also marry members of the same sex if they choose to. That’s an increase in marriage rights for everyone, gay or straight.

  38. lds501c3 says:

    By the way, I can’t easily move comments from one post to another; this post is really about whether the LDS church’s actions with respect to Prop. 8 were consistent with its 12th Article of Faith, so try to keep comments topical.

  39. vvise says:

    lds501c3 – Thanks for all your work…it’s useful to have a place where I can get a sense on how people have been and are feeling about this issue. I am a former Utah resident now living in California. I live in a county (a very family oriented county) that voted against this
    proposition by over 70%. Only one county in California had a higher percentage of “no” votes. We are not a county consisting of 70% gay people, nor are we a county of “gay neighborhoods” etc…this percentage represents the support of an entire community.

    I am a descendant of one of Joseph Smith’s closest friends and confidants. One of my great-grandfathers planted the first crops in Utah, many of my ancestors made the difficult journey west . And yes, some practiced polygamy. All were hard working honest people in search of freedom. My Grandmother was a kind and compassionate woman who imparted her values to us through a life well lived. I, too, have had many positive impressions of good works through the deeds of friends and family. Ironically, I found it necessary to leave Utah in pursuit of freedom for myself and for my family.

    I do not believe that the church’s actions were consistent with the 12th Article of Faith…with Prop 8 now back in the California Supreme Court we could have another opportunity to see if the LDS church will apply the 12th Article of Faith. Will raising the issue of 501c3 influence future action/s ?

    The LDS church has responded to the government on two notable occasions…the issue regarding polygamy (with the government poised to seize their assets and the statehood issue at hand)… the issue regarding African Americans and the priesthood in 1979 (as the government threatened withdraw their tax exempt status).
    The precedent appears to be that the church obeys, honors and sustains the law when they have to do so in order to a)protect assets b) attain statehood c) retain a tax exempt status

    Mick…the judges of California did not advise the voters of California to vote on this issue. This proposition, as well as Proposition 22 (2000) were on the ballot because petitioners gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. When Prop 22 passed in 2000, it was placed before the Supreme Court of California. The court ruled that it violated the equal protection clause of the California State Constitution. That is when petitioners moved to have Prop. 8 placed on the ballot. The legality of Prop.8 is now before the California Supreme Court. (The court consists of 7 justices, 6 were appointed by Republicans, 1 was appointed by a Democrat.)

    Efraltis…this is hardly a case of a “minority” trying to dictate…the final tally for the state of California is as follows: 5,769,939 Yes 5,266,794 No 238,389 Blank or Invalid
    (Note: some voters, when interviewed, thought a “yes” vote was in support of equality. See below) As noted above, the proposition and it’s legality will now be taken into consideration by the Supreme Court of California. As of this writing 44 members of the California State Legislature and our Republican governor have asked the court to invalidate the proposition.

    My concern with this election is that large amounts of the money in question was used to fund deceptive radio and television ads in order to influence voters. (Google “parents demand ad be taken down” for one example.)

    Jason…scientific studies are beginning to show what those of us who find ourselves in the 10% have always known. We are born this way. Made this way by the Creator, who, in my humble opinion, doesn’t make mistakes. Not a matter of being “recruited, ” or “converted”, you don’t become gay by learning about it in school (or anywhere else!) and, believe me, if I could make a “lifestyle choice” I can assure you I would not have chosen such a difficult road for myself or my family. (The “difficult” part being societal discrimination.) I am one of 6 children, raised in a heterosexual home, mom and a dad, no divorce, etc. and I am the only one who is gay, so nothing in the way of an “environmental factor” there. The one choice I did make was to be honest about who I am. I felt that it was important to set an example of honesty for my children (I have 3). I have a wonderful long term relationship. My children are now adults, (all heterosexual), and I have 6 grandchildren. I am very fortunate in having had the ongoing support of my friends and family…

  40. Tari Tessier says:

    Practical discussion ! I Appreciate the details , Does someone know where my company might find a fillable a form document to fill in ?

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