Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why Must We Fight for California's Proposition 8

Many people have asked me, Candace Salima, for my opinion on California's Proposition 8 which threatens marriage and family as we know it today. I emphatically state that I strongly support Proposition 8. The reasons are wide and varied, some of which are details in an email I received today:

I don't know if you're aware of what's going on politically here in California right now but for the first time in my life I've seen the church take a stand on a political issue to the extent that we've had Ward gatherings for the past three weeks to physically canvas neighborhoods and make phone calls to registered voters to educate them about the language and affects of Proposition 8. I guess I was kind of oblivious to the wider reaching affects that this could have on all church members but found this informative e-mail interesting and decided to forward it on to you.

In a recent LDS Sacrament meeting in California, the focus was on Amendment 8 (The gay marriage issue). One of the speakers who, was an LDS judge in the area, had statistics that were 'mind blowing.'

For example, in Boston, MA (where gay marriages are now legal,) the Catholic Charities have closed their doors because the state has required them to allow adoptions to same sex couples, and they refused. They are a large and worthwhile charity with great power in the state and they were overruled.

A Methodist church has lost their tax exempt status because the minister refused to perform a marriage of a same sex couple (they were not of his congregation).

A physician who refused to do fertility treatments on a same sex couple because of religious reasons was sued, lost and the state is requiring him to treat everyone as equals.

Our schools will be required to teach, starting in kindergarten, that marriages make up many different combinations. The consequences are horrible.

Directly tied into ALL of this is our right to continue to go to the Temple. If Gay Marriage is supported by the government, then those who are same-sex married, who are 'LDS' and legally recognized as married by the government, can sue to be married in the temple.&nbs p; It is my opinion that the church will not bend on this issue, and our rights to go to the temple will be in jeopardy.

AND goodbye to those religious tax-deductions. Tithing, fast offerings, etc. We will lose our tax-exemption status if the government legally forces the church to support same-sex marriage'

These effects are far-reaching! I hope no one is upset by this Email, I would not want to offend anyone, but I believe this issue is not a political issue at all, but a moral issue that affects all of society.

The Proclamation on the family clearly gives a warning voice on this matter. I pray that this issue on the ballots will overturn the gay marriages occurring right now in that state, and help prevent other states from adopting this stance. I believe that it is important to support and defend traditional marriage, home and family.

Another friend says that her relatives in Sweden are even watching what goes on in California. Friends in Canada are watching. The whole world is watching to see what happens.

Let me make this as clear as I know how. All who follow the teachings of the Holy Bible will outlaws unless we accept and support homosexuality. We will not be allowed to emphatically state that we believe homosexual behavior to be a sin, witness the preacher in Canada who ran into this same problem. The statements listed in the email are very real possibilities.

Are Latter-day Saints ready to have the temple doors shut against us because freedom of religion and all the constitutional rights which come with that, will be gone? I am not. I treasure my time in the temple and would be lost if I could not attend. But what else would God do? He cannot bend on His own dictates on the matter and neither can His Church. The prophet would have no choice but to close the doors of the temple rather than sanction an abomination such as same sex marriages.

The proclamation on the family issued by the First Presidency, under President Gordon B. Hinckley, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clearly states:

The Family: A Proclamation to the World
© 1995, 2008 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
English approval: 5/08. 35602

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

All Latter-day Saints must stand, shoulder to shoulder, and support the Church in this fight against what could surely be the end of temple marriages for all, if Proposition 8 is NOT passed on November 4th. Fight for all your worth, for God will not be mocked.

See The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stance on Prop 8.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Alex Boye Concert in Orem, UT

There is a fantastic concert coming up and it's happening right in Orem, Utah on Wednesday, October 8th. Alvin and I are very excited about it and plan on being front and center to enjoy the music.

Alex Boye' is coming in concert and he's bringing his friends with him. Let me share a little bit with you about Alex. I went straight to his website because I happen to LOVE his voice. I mean really, this man can sing. Wait until you read his bio!

Alex Boye' was born and raised in London, England. He joined the church at the age of 16 and later served an LDS Mission to England Bristol. Alex sang regularly on his mission, and from the encouragement of his Mission President, pursued a career in music when he got home.

Alex became the lead singer in the European Boy band "Awesome", and signed a recording contract with Universal Records in 1996. The band had hits in over 15 countries, selling over half a million CD's and performed alongside such groups as N'SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, Missy Elliott, Bryan Adams, Mary. J.Blige, The Smashing Pumpkins, and George Michael to name a few.

Despite the fame, glory and fortune, Alex felt emptiness in his life that none of these worldly accolades could sufficiently fill. He explains, "I was climbing the ladder of success but when I got to the top, I found myself leaning on the wrong side of the wall". In 2000', Alex felt compelled to move to Utah, to pursue a career in gospel music, and is currently signed to Deseret Books' Shadow Mountain Label. Alex has since received the 2005 Male Artists Listener Award by the LDS Booksellers Association for his sacred Album entitled 'Testimony', and also received the "2006 Spirit of Heritage Award", for his notable work with the youth, an honor given to Senator Hatch, NBA star Thurl Bailey and Elizabeth Smart in previous years. Alex has been nominated this year for three Pearl awards by the Faith Centered Music Association.

Alex continues to have wonderful experiences in the Arts. In theatre, he has performed 'Smokey Joe's cafe'" at BYU, "Big River" at the Hale Center Theatre, and played Frederick Douglass in Frank Wildhorn's "The Civil War".

In music, Alex has had music featured in several LDS movie Soundtracks including Charly, The Dance, Baptist at the Barbecue,Suits on the Loose, and Church ball.

In acting, Alex played 'Abinadab' in The successful Lightsone Films production of 'David and Goliath' which has won a 'Dove Award', and is shown regularly on 'TBN' channel that has gone out to millions of Christians worldwide.

Alex has found much joy and purpose utilizing his personal experiences in the entertainment industry to educate and warn the youth through his powerful and engaging firesides on some of the dangers and perils of today's media and entertainment, and how they can affect our thoughts personalities, character, and spirituality.

Alex simply refers to himself as the "Token Black Guy in Utah". He loves to laugh, and says some of the highlights in his life have been giving a Book of Mormon to Prince Charles, recently joining the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and marrying his wonderful wife in the Salt Lake Temple.

He is a captivating entertainer who will be joined by a five-piece band and special guests Mindy Gledhill, Nicole Sheahan, Ryan Innes and Matt Abernathy for a night of pop, rock, soul, contemporary and inspirational music.

So come join us! It's going to be a wonderful night in Orem. Bring your families and friends, you won't want to miss this!

Alex Boye and Friends
Time: October 8, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Location: Scera Center: Showhouse II
Street: 745 South State Street
City/Town: Orem
Contact Info: 801-225-ARTS