Abortion was a heated issue when I was at Berkeley more than thirty years ago; gay marriage not even a shadow on the horizon. All those years ago, my sensibilities were entirely liberal if not rabidly radical. I saw opposition to abortion as the evil that many find in opposition to gay marriage today.
I remember clearly my Berkeley circle being taught the power of words in fighting the good fight. We were told never to say “pro-life” but always to contrast “pro-choice” with “anti-choice” because it removed anything verbally positive from our opponents’ argument. It also reduced their argument against us into a hateful position against choice.
I see the same thing happening in the arena of gay marriage. If the issue is defined as conflict between “marriage equality” and “marriage inequality’' then good guys want to be on the equality side. I know I do. There’s absolutely nothing verbally positive about inequality, indeed it is a hateful position. But what if phrasing the issue in terms of equality reduces the argument so much that the “pro-eternal life” aspect vanishes?
Carefully chosen words can obscure but not undo outcomes. In abortion, a human life is prevented from happening. In gay marriage, an eternal life is prevented from happening—or at least hangs by a thread. Here again, words are vital. We are all spirit children of a Heavenly Father, and as such our spirits will go on forever. “Eternal life” is something else, an immeasurable enhancement of forever where we—only as male and female couplings—can have eternal increase, children, eternal life.
I take comfort in knowing that only God knows our hearts, only he judges our souls. No matter what behaviors we engage in on earth, the inner workings of our hearts weigh heaviest on the scales of judgment. Having said that, I agree with Dr. Phil that the best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior. Gay people who act on homosexual inclinations in this life take those inclinations with them, just like I take my un-mastered temper and impatience with me, into the eternities.
With God all things are possible, and the Mormon Church is adamant that a homosexual who foregoes acting on those inclinations physically in this world will find those inclinations left behind in the next.
You can argue the doctrine, and many do, but the doctrine is what makes the Church the Church, and if the doctrine changes, it’s not the Mormon Church anymore. And don’t bring up blacks and the priesthood because that was never doctrine to my knowledge. The only doctrine I have ever found, and believe me I have looked, is the revelation granting blacks the priesthood. There is absolutely nothing official to my knowledge that documents the beginning or the reason for withholding the priesthood from blacks.
On the other hand, I lose count of all the official teachings of the plan of salvation, which, by definition, must prohibit physical relations between those of the same gender. Eternal life, or at least its best chance, depends on it.