Sunday, August 24, 2008

California Marriage Amendment

Those of you in states not named California may be interested in what we are doing out here! Besides that, I've been itching to post on this item... (I apologize ahead of time for the length!)

Proposition 8 is up for a vote this November. A 'yes' vote amends the state constitution to define marriage as legal only between one man and one woman. A 'no' vote allows same marriage. I am part of the local leadership organizing efforts to pass this amendment. For the past two Saturdays we have gone door to door passing out information and specifically surveying the registered voters on how they plan to vote. This effort will continue well into September with the goal of reaching all registered voters in the state. In late Sept and throughout October we will return again to all the 'undecideds' in an effort to try to win them over. We will have further activities in the days leading up to voting day centered around ensuring that all the 'yes' voters DON'T stay home on voting day! 50.1% of the vote passes the amendment.

Members of the LDS church are heavily involved. In June of this year, the LDS Church's First Presidency sent a letter that was read to all wards and branches in California asking them to donate of their time and means to help pass this proposition. In it they stated that "our BEST efforts are required..."

The proponents of same marriage are doing their best to confuse people about the issue. Just last week they started sending out bumper stickers that say "Save Marriage - Vote No on Prop 8" (a no vote will allow same marriage). Any ballot proposition has a title. The attorney general changed the title of our amendment from "An Amendment to define marriage as legal only between one man and one woman" to "An amendment to eliminate the rights of same couples to marry." Two appeals to the courts to have the original title language restored were unsuccessful. The judge did not agree with our argument that the attorney general had illegally prejudiced the proposition. Go figure. The language of the proposed amendment however cannot be touched by any government official and will be listed on the ballot as it appeared on the public petitions.

Church members are taking the lead on all volunteer efforts across the state. No other group comes close to providing the help that church members are giving. As well as we are doing in comparison to other organizations, I still get a little concerned as I see a percentage of members complaining about why the church is getting involved. There is also a percentage who have been duped into believing that this issue infringes on the freedom of others and that we should "butt-out." To which I say:

1- As President Hinckley has repeatedly stated that the church does not direct anyone on who to vote for, nor do they typically comment on the many and varied ballot initiatives. However, the church has always taken a stand, and encouraged the members to do the same, when moral issues are at stake.

2- Do we believe in prophets and apostles or not? When a prophet gives us specific direction, what is our response? Do we respond as we should, or are we like those to whom the prophet Samuel the Lamanite spoke to who revered those as prophets that only told them what they wanted to hear? Because we don't recognize the danger that the prophets and apostles do, does that mean the danger does not exist? Are we like those to whom Ezekial spoke? -

33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

3- Tolerance means love and service, not condoning and allowing the sinful behavior to continue (or in this case allowing it to become public policy). Christ did not accuse the woman taken in adultery. He helped and encouraged her, but did not condone the sin.

4- I believe that too many LDS misunderstand the doctrine of agency. Agency and freedom are NOT synonymous. Freedom is part of agency. Knowledge of the laws of heaven is also a part. Agency is the power to follow Christ. When we obey Him, our agency is increased. When we disobey Him our agency is decreased. Therefore, we are not helping our brothers and sisters by supporting them in sinful behavior (by allowing the passing of enabling legislation).

5- It is a gross misjudgment to think that this current legislation will have no effect on society. In a conference call with all stake presidents in California, Elder Clayton of the Seventy and Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve stated that in the continuing battle for morality and family values in this country, "this amendment battle in California is the 'Gettysburg' of our day." If you recall, during the Civil War, had the armies of the north lost at Gettysburg, the armies of the south would have had a clear path to Washington D.C, and could have forced a cessation of the war, leaving the states split. Our leaders see this current battle as equally as critical in this moral war - in part because of this scripture, which was also cited in the conference call: Mosiah 29:26-27
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of
the people.

27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

What is at stake is not the rights of same couples to marry, but freedom of religion (passing the amendment does not change the privileges and protections homosexual couples already have). By winning this November, homosexual couples are essentially granted 'civil right status', the same as race or gender. When a segment of society is granted civil right status, then the court and executive systems are given power to enforce laws supporting that behavior. What happens to churches when their doctrines run opposite of the laws of the land?

A further treatment that is well done is at:

One other thought I had this week: One of Joseph Smith's more widely repeated prophecies is that "the time will come when the constitution will hang, as it were, by a single thread, and at that time, this people (meaning the members of the church) will step forward and save it from the threatened destruction."

Currently in California, the overwhelming majority of the grass roots volunteer efforts are being done by members of the LDS church. The majority of the local, regional, and area organizational leadership are LDS priesthood holders volunteering their time to get the work organized and done. When all the donations are in, the biggest single donor group will be the church and its members. Although the full realization of the prophecy is yet to take place, as I witness what is happening here I cannot help but conclude that this is a beginning of the fulfillment of that prophecy.

It may be that the final fulfillment may take place in some place other than in the nation's capital (perhaps wherever just men and women are gathered?). But as one observes what is happening in this amendment battle, it is evident that whenever and however the continued battles over moral constitutional issues take place, church members will play a lead role.

If you want to help with donations, go to


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Triathlon update

Some have asked for some specifics...
The triathlon I participated in was of the "sprint" format. The swim was 500 yards, but it was an open ocean swim. It was brutal!!! The waves were crashing at 4-6 feet. It took me twice as long as the same distance in the pool. The bike portion was about 19 miles and the run was 3.2 miles. And yes, I am up for doing this again!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dan The Tri-Man

Maybe Dan the Sprint Triathlon Man. Several guys from work signed up several months ago to participate in this triathlon in Camp Pendelton. About 3 weeks before the race Dan decided that he better start training in some way. So one week he ran during lunch, another week he swam, and finally he biked. He had fun and hopes to continue doing some type of organized events in the future.

The Wizard and I

I finally saw Wicked and I loved it! Everyone performed so beautifully..... I had to wipe a few tears every once in a while.

Growing up my dream was to be on Broadway and seeing the show made me realize that somewhere down in the corner of some part of me, hidden behind the desire to change diapers, speak in monosyllabic words, drive a minivan, and break up disagreements, I still have a love for performing. But for now my only stage is in my living room and my only audience is made up of little boys who run around the house playing with their lightsabers. And in all seriousness, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Home Alone

Well, I still have Joshua but it's pretty lonely if you ask him. The boys went back to school yesterday. Jacob went for the first time. He did pretty good. Brandon and Blake told him that he broke the record in the family for not crying on the first day of Kindergarten.

The boys are going to a new school this year. We are excited for this change. It's a charter school and they get out of school at 1pm. Everyday! (Yes, that means I have to manage my Costco trips a little better.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

When I meet the wizard....

I get to see Wicked tonight!! I am so excited. My sister Ericka and her in-laws are in Carlsbad and we will meet up to watch Wicked at the Pantages Theater. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law are going, too. I can't wait!