Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Believe in God's Work and Democracy

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540).

It seems that Joseph Smith's words were not meant only for his own time. Persecutions are raging and mobs are combining again today. After hearing about the churches the have been vandalized, I couldn't go any longer without writing my feelings on everything that has been going on with the protesting of Proposition 8. I saw a sign of one of the protesters at Temple Square that read, "Proposition 8=hate." I would say that protesting, holding angry signs and yelling angry words, not letting people into their places of worship and defaming their places of worship is what equals hate. I don't believe in same sex marriage, but I would never stand outside of a place where they are being married and hold signs, yell angry things, or vandalize anything sacred or special to them.

The scary thing about the protesting is that it isn't just about protesting the LDS church, it is a protest of democracy and the men who founded this nation as a place of freedom--men inspired by God. How does democracy work? Issues are brought before the people, the people vote, and the majority rules. It may not always seem fair or end up the way you want, but that is what America and democracy is. It is the best form of government there is. The issue (Proposition 8) was brought up, people voted, and the majority ruled. I can't stand Barack Obama and don't believe that he should be our next president, but as an American and someone who believes in democracy, I accept it. I don't have to like him, I don't have to believe in him, I don't have to support him, and I can be afraid of where he and other leaders of this nation are going to take us, but I will accept because that is what the majority ruled. I may fear the worst, but I will hope for the best. (Oh, and just as a side-note, on the news they told how 71% of African Americans in California that voted for Barack Obama also voted Yes on Prop. 8. That shows that it isn't just LDS people and the ultra conservative wing that believe in it. Even liberals who voted for the most liberal president this nation will ever have had believe in Prop. 8.)

I talked to a friend the other day about how I felt these protesters were protesting democracy and she agreed--she put it in a very simple and truthful way, but a way I had never thought of before. She said that it is silencing the voice of the people. The people have spoken--we still believe in "traditional" marriage. Taking this away is taking away the voice of the people. When the voice of the people is taken away, democracy stops working. Some of you may think that Prop. 8 silences the people who don't believe in it. Nope--believe me, we hear their voices--their voices of anger and hypocracy. They want us to accept them and their way of life, but as they have made so clear, they protest us and our way of life. How can they be so blind? But then, I suppose that is what anger does--it blinds you.

I have felt so saddened by what has been going on. But I take comfort in the words of the prophet, Joseph Smith. Despite the rage and persecutions, no matter how many mobs try to hurt us, we won't go away. God's work will continue.


jennzech said...

I love your post. It sickens me how people can't respect one another. The vandalism, the protests, etc. really make me sad. There are a lot of churches and people that supported the proposition, yet they choose to target the LDS church.

In South Ogden, a family who supported Barack Obama hung a US flag on their house when he was announced as president-elect. Within 20 minutes, someone burned the flag in their yard.

What ever happened to people being civil? What ever happened to mutual respect for each other? Not only did it disrespect that family, but it disrespects our country.

I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, but I don't believe that all speech is right. Hate doesn't solve anything. I think we all can stand up for what we believe in without treating people wrongly. I think that's what happened in California. Like you said, the people spoke. They voted. Everyone should respect that.

Tacy said...

I can't believe people burned that flag to the ground! You are right--it does disrespect our country and what democracy stands for. It is sad. But like I said, even if I fear the worst, I will still hope for the best because that is what brings peace. Thanks so much for your comment--it really means a lot to me!

jennzech said...

Yeah, we just have to remember how blessed we are to have what we have and know what we know. We will be protected if we stay on the path that God has paved for us.

I don't mean to get overly spiritual, but I sincerely believe that, and I know you do too.

It's easy for me to get offended by the things people say about my religious beliefs because it is so near and dear to my heart. I have to constantly tell myself that everything will be fine. There are going to be people who are going to say and do things that aren't right or respectful.

I guess we all just have to have faith that if we live as examples, treat each other kindly, and stay true to what we know, things will be fine.

Now I'm rambling on your blog. Sorry! :)

Lance Stine said...

I saw one other person who has the same point of view. An Arizonan too.

This is all so true. This should be in newspapers not articles about celebrities not paying taxes.

Nate & Millie said...

Your exactly right!

Cookie said...

And yet all of these trials can become turning points: opportunities to learn, to love more deeply, to develop greater kindness and patience, to forgive and cast aside old grudges or resentments. (Lloyd Newell)