Family of four standing in front of door in New Delhi.

Why It Matters How We Use the Word Marriage

Why do Church leaders object to the use of the word marriage in the context of homosexual relationships?

Marriage is ordained of God.In light of current conflicts concerning same-sex marriage, Mormon Newsroom published an article explaining the Church’s stance on marriage.

The article reiterates a statement made by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God” (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”) and explains why the Church defends this traditional definition of marriage.

Changing the definition of the word marriage may cause us to forget the divine purpose of marriage. The institution of marriage has always been linked with the ability to procreate (see Matt. 19: 4–5). The Church emphasizes that this ability is not to be abused and is to be used only between a man and a woman who are lawfully wedded.

The article explains that the strength of a family is based “in part on the differing qualities and strengths that husbands and wives bring to the task by virtue of their gender.” A same-sex union, on the other hand, does not connect differences in gender, nor does it fulfill the divine purpose of marriage. Accepting a homosexual relationship as the same institution as traditional marriage therefore “decouple[s] marriage from its central role in creating life, nurturing time-honored values, and fostering family bonds across generations.

After addressing how same-sex marriage would affect religious freedom and how it would affect society in general, the article states: “Strong, stable families, headed by a father and mother, are the anchor of society. When marriage is undermined by gender confusion and by distortions of its God-given meaning, the rising generation of children and youth will find it increasingly difficult to develop their natural identities as men or women. Some will find it more difficult to engage in wholesome courtships, form stable marriages, and raise another generation imbued with moral strength and purpose.”
Mormon Newsroom states four purposes for its document:

  1. “To reaffirm the Church’s declaration that marriage is the lawful union of a man and a woman.”
  2. “To reaffirm that the Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are acceptable to God only between a husband and a wife who are united in the bonds of matrimony.”
  3. “To set forth the Church’s reasons for defending marriage between a man and a woman as an issue of moral imperative.”
  4. “To reaffirm that Church members should address the issue of same-sex marriage with respect and civility and should treat all people with love and humanity.”

Read “Explaining Religious Freedom and LGBT Rights”
Source: Mormon Newsroom
—Jessica Staples, Mormon Insights
Photo courtesy of LDS Media Library.

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One Comment

  1. I’m thankful that the Church’s article helped me put into context all the issues I have been hearing about regarding marriage. It clarified the Church’s stance and especially helped me understand the implications of changing the law. I guess it woke me up to recognize there are so many more things people are debating about than just the morality of LGBT—there are lots of social repercussions that I wasn’t totally aware of.

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