Is Same-Sex Marriage Really a Satanic Counterfeit?

The War Goes On

In the April 2017 Ensign, there is an article by Elder Larry R. Lawrence titled “The War Goes On”. Overall, it is a good article with some valuable truths about how to defend against temptations and how to identify Satan’s counterfeits. However, when he uses same-sex marriage as an example of one of Satan’s counterfeits, he reveals that he obviously doesn’t know any same-sex married couples.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, but same-sex marriage is only a counterfeit. It brings neither posterity nor exaltation. Although [Satan’s] imitations deceive many people, they are not the real thing. They cannot bring lasting happiness.”
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Not only is this statement offensive to gay members, but it is heaping yet more abuse upon the already oppressed LGBT minority in the church. Come on Elder Lawrence, I know you are a better man than that. The Savior would never say such a thing that would cause so much hurt and rejection of sincere members who have been so marginalized and mistreated already. How would you like it if someone said your marriage was counterfeit and that you didn’t belong in the church?
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Not only is this statement hurtful, it is just plain inaccurate. Elder Lawrence claims that same-sex marriage is a counterfeit of real marriage because 1) same-sex couples cannot procreate together, 2) they cannot be exalted, and 3) same-sex marriage cannot bring lasting happiness. Is that really true? I think Elder Lawrence has missed it on all three points.
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1) Procreation. If Elder Lawrence thinks that same-sex marriage is counterfeit because gay couples cannot bear children, then he must also think that infertile couples who marry are also in a counterfeit marriage. How about a widow who marries again after menopause? Is that marriage also a Satanic counterfeit? Of course not! The ability to procreate has nothing to do with whether a marriage is real or counterfeit. Marriage is ordained of God for many reasons, not just because of the couple’s ability to procreate.
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2) Exaltation. Most of the revealed doctrine about exaltation is found in D&C 132 where we learn that it is gained through the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. Though the language of this revelation reflects a heteronormative perspective, there is nothing there that specifically prohibits same-sex couples from enjoying all the same blessings of eternal marriage and exaltation. It is understandable that since Elder Lawrence is heterosexual that he interprets the scriptures strictly from a heteronormative perspective, and that he (as many other church leaders) come to a hasty judgement against same-sex marriage, because they assume the scriptures say something that they don’t really say.
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3) Lasting Happiness. Elder Lawrence assumes that same-sex married couples can never have lasting happiness, because their marriage is a counterfeit, because same-sex marriage can never have lasting happiness, because it is counterfeit… This kind of circular reasoning cannot bear its own weight. Obviously Elder Lawrence has never met a same-sex married couple, and just assumes that we are all miserable. The truth is, same-sex married couples are just as happy or unhappy as heterosexual married couples. Following the counsel of church leaders, many gay members have entered into opposite-sex marriage and have been miserable, many to the point of being suicidal. After divorce and marrying someone of the same sex, they finally find true joy and lasting happiness. Within the church, same-sex couples could certainly be a lot more happy if they were accepted and included in their ward families, instead of being rejected, shamed, excommunicated, and labeled as apostates. That unhappiness is the result of church policy, not because the marriage is counterfeit.
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Please Elder Lawrence, be kind and loving to the LGBT members of the church. Please don’t call our marriages Satanic counterfeits. We want so much to be a part of the wards and stakes where we live and to contribute our talents and abilities to the building up of the kingdom. The Lord needs us just as much as he needs heterosexual members, and I know he is not pleased when faithful LGBT members are treated so inconsiderately by the thoughtless words of those he has anointed to minister to his children.
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6 thoughts on “Is Same-Sex Marriage Really a Satanic Counterfeit?

  1. Given that science today clearly shows that homosexuality is a product of both genetics and epi-genetics, i.e. homosexuality is a product of the womb, one has to come to the conclusion that God created homosexuals. If God has gone to the effort of creating homosexuals, there must be a divine purpose for their existence. To flagrantly state that gays are counterfeit and don’t exist is, I believe, an insult to God. Perhaps apostles need to get off their fat asses and sincerely ask God what the divine purpose is, rather than second guessing based on their personal prejudices, like we did with the blacks, and women, and other minorities that in time has proven to all be false.

  2. Pingback: Counterfeit Marriage | Dad's Primal Scream

  3. I’m not gifted in writing, and it is not my intent to offend anyone, but I felt that I should share this. This post is intended for those who are seeking understanding regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ opposition to same-sex marriage. My greatest desire is to not offend anyone and to help those who are truly seeking guidance on this sensitive issue.

    Whenever I have a gospel related concern I always ask myself, “Does this fit into God’s plan? Why? or Why not? Then I search the scriptures for answers to those questions. For example: Does same-sex marriage truly fit into Heavenly Father’s plan for His children? To me, the following scripture passages briefly summarize God’s plan for His children and help me understand why the Church and the Lord consider same-sex marriage to be a particularly “grievous” sin (Gen. 18:20).

    Note that these verses contain basic, core doctrines of the Church.

    Moses 1:39
    39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
    (This is Heavenly Father’s whole purpose)

    Gen. 1:27-28
    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…

    “To the first man and woman on earth, the Lord said, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply’ (Moses 2:28; see also Gen. 1:28; Abr. 4:28). This commandment was first in sequence and first in importance. It was essential that God’s spirit children have mortal birth and an opportunity to progress toward eternal life” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72).

    Gen. 2:24
    24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    Doctrine & Covenants 131:1-4
    1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
    2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this border of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
    3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
    4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.
    (In summary, these verses state a core belief/doctrine of the Church, that in order to receive eternal life (return to God’s presence and become like Him), one must be sealed to their spouse (of the opposite gender) in the temple by one holding the proper authority/priesthood.)

    Doctrine & Covenants 132:19
    19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; … shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—… it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
    (Note that the Church believes that all those who are exalted will continue to procreate after this life)

    It is understandable that those who do not believe these core truths/doctrines may struggle to understand why the Church opposes same-sex marriage. However, if the above scriptures are true (and I believe that they are) then, it should make sense why the Church must oppose same-sex marriage. I would invite all who are seeking understanding to accept James’ invitation:

    James 1:5
    5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    To those who believe that some are born with same-sex attraction, the following scripture may be relevant. I’m not saying whether this is or is not the case, nor am I saying that I don’t think God would allow someone to be born with same-sex attraction. I’m unsure what I believe regarding that. I believe the following verse is relevant in both cases:

    1 Corinthians 10:13
    13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    (In no way am I suggesting that it is easy to overcome same-sex attraction or any other sin for that matter. I am only sharing a scripture from the Bible, and I do know that through the grace of Jesus Christ we can bear, overcome, and/or escape ALL temptations. To say otherwise would imply that the Savior is not capable of helping us to that extent. Personally, I am grateful for all that the Savior has helped me to overcome in my life.)

  4. Regarding infertile couples, those who are unable to have children, through no fault of their own will not be held accountable. A different case is those who are able to have children but choose not to do so. The good news is that we will all be resurrected with perfected bodies. Those who are unable to have children in this life will be able to have children after the resurrection =)

    Regarding exaltation your referred to D&C 132. The “new and everlasting covenant of marriage” is a temple marriage. And in verses 19-20 it says that part of being exalted is having “a continuation of the seeds forever and ever, THEN sall they be gods”, meaning infinite posterity (only possible between a man and a woman). Eternal life is God’s life. God is married to a Heavenly Mother. He has infinite posterity. We cannot become like Him without marriage between a man and a woman in His temples.

  5. Regarding lasting happiness, I am sure many same-sex couples feel completely happy. However, as Elder Lawrence said, it will not be lasting.

    D&C 132:15 states ““…if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.”

    This applies to ALL couples, opposite sex and same sex alike. It’s no secret. I am sure Satan is please when an opposite-sex couple decides to not get married in the temple, because their marriage will be of no force when they are dead. This should not surprise them since both agreed during the wedding ceremony that they would be married “until death do [they] part”.

    President Russell M. Nelson said: “A couple in love can choose a marriage of the highest quality or a lesser type that will not endure. Or they can choose neither. . . .
    “The best choice is a celestial marriage” (“Celestial Marriage,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 92, 94).

    President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “There is no substitute for marrying in the temple. It is the only place under the heavens where marriage can be solemnized for eternity. Don’t cheat yourself. Don’t cheat your companion. Don’t shortchange your lives. Marry the right person in the right place at the right time” (“Life’s Obligations,” Ensign, Feb. 1999, 2).

  6. Elder Lawrence is correct when he says that same-sex marriage cannot bring exaltation, but that is only because church policy currently bans same-sex couples from being sealed in the temple. Since exaltation is reserved for couples who are sealed in the temple, same-sex couples are by default excluded from exaltation by church policy, just as black couples used to be excluded prior to 1978. Ironically, the church’s solution for gay members is celibacy, which likewise cannot bring exaltation. If same-sex marriage is counterfeit because it cannot bring exaltation, then anything other than temple marriage must also be a Satanic counterfeit. But yet the church continues to honor civil marriages between a man and a woman and to authorize bishops to perform these marriages. It is only same-sex marriages that are singled out for condemnation based on the premise it cannot bring exaltation.

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