Sunday, 9 October 2016

Official Church Statement: Transgenderism

The beauty of the restored gospel is that we know for a surety that we lived before we came here to this mortal realm, that we did indeed have a life and that we lived it in the presence of our Father who created us and that we were created in his image. We know that we had bodies were defined in to genders that we were both male and female before our mortal birth and that we were created thus by our father, our creator God. We have this knowledge because of the restoration of truth handed down to us by our founder and prophet Joseph Smith and through the restored scriptures. This doctrine gives us clear and distinct answers to questions that have plagued men for generation, Who are we? and where do we come from? I believe that we are the only people in the world to have this knowledge and because of this we should know better when it come to accepting corrupt ideologies of the world and teaching them to our children and young people. As holders of this knowledge it is our responsibility to tech the truth and tech that we are what we are because we have been created this way by a God who loves us. There are those who belong to the latter day faith that believe in the pre-existence but have taken hold of the corrupt teachings of the world and folded them in to one t make the gospel seem more appealing to the world and the younger generation. It is our duty to teach truth no matter how distasteful it is to the world and no matter how unpopular it may be to the younger generation.
 
What must be understood if we are to tackle the dangers of transgender thinking is that we lived as spirits before we were born. We lived in the presence of God in the spirit before we came here, we desired to be like him, we saw him, we were in his presence and sought to become like him. There is not one soul who has lived that has not seen both the Father and the Son and in that same state in the spirit were formed in to their gender states as they were created by God. It is true that we did not have bodies of physical flesh but we had bodies of spirit formed in full likeness of God in all their glories, in short we were full personages in reflection of our Father. However this knowledge in all its beauty has been forgotten or distorted and the dangers of the world have crept in to our homes. The world would have us think that much of what is written in the Bible and other sacred texts is of little consequence for our lives today and so dangers have arisen and one danger that I find worrying is the danger of transgenderism. The issue of transgenderism isn’t going away anytime soon, it may only become more prominent in our society. It’s just one symptom of the fierce spiritual battle that is raging in our wicked world. A secular mindset is increasingly capturing the hearts and minds of not only our young people but our society as a whole and they are being deceived into believing that morality and gender can be whatever they want it to be. Without the foundation of the absolute authority of God’s law, the world is adrift in a sea of moral relativism where man makes the rules and determines “truth.” and when this happens nothing good comes of it, in fact death and destruction follow in its wake.
 
The gospel and the restoration provides the only true foundation for our thinking on this issue. Starting with God's law laid down in the scriptures we know that gender was created by God and that people were created “male and female” (Genesis 1:29–30) from the beginning. Of course, sin has affected everything, including gender, and, as a result, some people have a real struggle with gender identity. We need to have compassion for these individuals of course, but that doesn’t mean we should accept and embrace sinful behaviours and choices! It means that we should lovingly and gently expose sin and share the life-changing message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all people and the joy and knowledge of the pre-existence. We should as a church stand firm on what we hold true, we should never bend to popular opinion or belief just because we are under condemnation from the world, after all the world is in the pay of the great evil, Satan and are we in his pay? NO! we are in the service if God and he is for truth always.
 
As Latter Day Mormons I think that sometimes we can forget that we have a wonderful resource in the Bible, that was and is given to us by God for our education in life. So it is to the Bible I look. The Bible teaches that manhood or womanhood is not incidental, it has been given us by God as a gift. We inhabit our God-created bodies as vessels of delight, temples of the Holy Spirit, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19. Our sexuality points to what theologians call “complementarily.” Men and women are one “kind” (1 Corinthians 15:39), but we are not the same. This is true in several respects. As Scripture indicates and common sense shows, men and women are different anatomically. Adam named his wife “woman” because she was distinct from him, a man (Genesis 2:29). Only a man can provide the raw material by which to procreate; only a woman can bear children and nurse them. However from the start Gods wonderful plan for mankind was the target of Satan. he looked and beheld a wonderful perfect design and wanted to distort and twist what God had crated and ordained and has attacked the family and self identity ever since Adam and Eve walked out of the Garden of Eden. The word wide flood was sent because mankind was neck deep in sin and sinful behaviour similar to what we have today and I believe gender identity plays a big part in that. We know through scripture that the “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), As a church we recognise that there will always be those who will use situations like gender identity to try to fulfil their own sinful lustful desires. This has created a dangerous situation as there’s no doubt sexual predators will and have always used these development to their full advantage and with Satan as their ally its easy in a sinful world for them to succeed and drag young impressionable minds with them. It is important for us to remember this comforting Scripture:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) What people need is not accommodation of a sinful lifestyle. They need the gospel of Jesus Christ! After all we read again:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–11) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) And we as believers need to be equipped with solid, answers to meekly and gently engage the culture for Christ.
 
However I am afraid that all to often we see the profound tension between God’s design and Satan’s attacks on this design everyday in our lives. The Lord created man and woman and gives them specific roles to play for His glory; Satan targets man and woman and induces them to upend God’s design. God orders and structures, Satan tears down. God brings life, Satan destroys it. These tragic patterns are as old as the earth. They are not new, but they do morph with the times as we are seeing today. Western culture is making good on this rebellion. It denies the distinctness of divine creation, it tears down the uniqueness of the sexes, and it rebels against the lordship of Jesus Christ. The wisdom and design of God is rejected, and the Word of God, in sum, is reviled. I see this all to often in my home having a young man growing up in the gospel and also in the world. We as parents teach the principles of Christ to all our children and I see the dangers of how the world captures the hearts and minds of the young and the power of Satan.
 
I guess in summing up I want us to remember that we must always show love and compassion to those caught u in sin, but we must never condone their behaviour or their choices, we must never allow their lifestyle to permeate our church or our culture. The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ stands firm on the foundation that we do not allow or condone homosexual relationships or the LGBT movement in our church, but we do not hate. I make an appeal to all those living under this cloud to seek the Lord and he will seek you in return. let us not condone sine and let us remember that we are who we are because of God and because we were created this way by him and it is not an accident but a design and meant to be.
 
Matthew P. Gill
Prophet & First Elder

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