|Marriage and its Boundaries|
On June 26, 2015, in a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that the equal
protection clause of the 14th Amendment requires all states to license
(legalize) same-sex marriages in the US.
This decision does not change God’s commandment that marriage is a Holy union between one man and one woman, ordained by God.
The Zarahemla Branch reaffirms the doctrinal foundation of Church teachings on morality, marriage and the viability of the family. Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. Adultery, homosexuality and fornication are contrary to God’s law. The Zarahemla Branch does not condone or sanction them. It prohibits members from same-sex marriages, or any combinations of marriage other than one man and one woman, and its priesthood from performing them.
In the beginning God clearly defined the marriage relationship with these words:
“And I, God, blessed them and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:30 “And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and I took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof; and the rib, which I, the Lord God had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her unto the man.
And Adam said, This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:28-30 “And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply, and to replenish the earth.” Genesis 4:2
It is believed by the Lord’s servants who guide and direct this branch of the Church, the need to clearly affirm and amplify our position of supporting a scriptural basis for marriage. A legal contract or not, with this Supreme Court ‘s ruling that redefines marriage, may allow laws made by men to bind together same sex unions is very different from those principles of marriage taught by God. By holding fast to the word of God, we must support the institution of marriage as clearly defined by that word, that is, that marriage is between one man and one woman. The ministry at the Zarahemla Branch will adhere to the commandments of God and His son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Christ teaches us to have a love for God and of all men. We believe in treating all people with kindness and civility, even if we are in disagreement with them. This recent ruling does not change this divine counsel to minister to all. This ruling does not change our right to maintain the standards of our faith, including those that define the boundaries of morality and the good standing of our members.
As those ordained to oversee the flock, we are responsible to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to illuminate the great blessings that flow from heeding God’s commandments as well as the inevitable consequences of ignoring them.
It is important for the Zarahemla Branch to continue to support and promote the word of God and its teachings, “that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Ephesians 4:14 Our Lord said; “if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 “What I, the Lord, have spoken I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice, or by the voice of my servants, it is the same; for behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth for ever and ever. Amen” D&C 1:8