Brad Carmack is a former traditional marriage advocate who suddenly jumped the shark while at Brigham Young University. During his last year at BYU, he wrote and openly distributed a book about same-sex marriage and homosexuality entitled "Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective". Carmack believes that Mormonism can abide gay marriage because both Mormonism and same-sex marriage are unequivocally pro-family. Carmack's personal blog further illustrates just how far he goes, although in this January 2012 article in the BYU Student Review, he is quoted as saying he still believes that LDS Church leaders are divinely inspired.
But here's the passage that damns him:
I also discovered that there is room within LDS theology for embracing gay families. Yes, I know the church vigorously opposed same-sex marriage in Hawaii, Alaska and California. Yes, many cite the church’s "Family Proclamation" and the 2010 Church Handbook of Instructions as clear condemnation of all homosexual behavior. However, the church’s law of chastity has always been explicitly tied to legal marriage — in which case a monogamous, legally married LDS same-sex couple in Massachusetts is already abiding the law of chastity.
Note the bold, italicized part. If Varmack is tying the church's law of chastity to the legal definition of marriage, and gay marriage becomes legally-recognized marriage, then, according to my interpretation, he's advocating that if gay marriage becomes the law of the land, the Church start solemnizing gay marriages. Perhaps even in our temples. Without a authorizing revelation from the Lord.
This is apostasy. During the recent 182nd Annual General Conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve reminded us that the central principle of the LDS Church is revelation, not agitation:
The President of the Church may announce or interpret doctrines based on revelation to him (see, for example, D&C 138). Doctrinal exposition may also come through the combined council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see, for example, Official Declaration 2). Council deliberations will often include a weighing of canonized scriptures, the teachings of Church leaders, and past practice. But in the end, just as in the New Testament Church, the objective is not simply consensus among council members but revelation from God. It is a process involving both reason and faith for obtaining the mind and will of the Lord.
Revelation, not agitation. It doesn't matter what Brad Carmack thinks. It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter if gay marriage becomes the law of the land. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not run by polls or surveys. It's run by revelation.
Brad Carmack is welcome to advocate for gay civil rights, is welcome to advocate that the legal definition of marriage be extended to same-sex couples in the secular realm, and is even welcome to advocate that we improve our fellowship with church members dealing with same-sex attraction without any adverse impact upon his church membership. But when he starts advocating that the church actually solemnize same-sex marriages without an enabling revelation from the Lord, he's crossing the line into apostasy. His priesthood chain of command needs to counsel with him, enlighten him as to the error of his thinking, and lovingly bring him back. And if he fails to respond, a disciplinary council must be the next step. Not because we want to be rid of him -- but because if we are to live up to our calling as being the fully-restored Church of Jesus Christ, we have to remain distinguishable. The Prophet Joseph Smith did not seal his testimony with his blood just so we could become another copycat sect.
It is commendable that we want to reach out to the rest of the world and show them through our "I Am A Mormon" campaign that we don't have horns and a forked tail. But we were intended by the Lord to become a peculiar people, so that others could readily identify us by our doctrine and our example. It's time for us to become a peculiar people once again. I do not exclude the possibility that the Lord might authorize us to change the definition of marriage at some time in the future; after all, He did authorize us to change the definition of priesthood eligibility in 1978. But He will do it in His own way and at His own pace -- and announce it to us through the designated authorities when He is ready, and NOT ONE SECOND before.
Three commenters to the Tribune story share my concerns (after the jump):
Jem44 April 4th 9:00 A.M:
Brad and all are welcome to their opinion, but I hope it is clear that these are Brad's opinions, NOT DOCTRINE. As an "active" member of the church, I am really surprised that he is misrepresenting the gospel and doctrine based on what he likes to believe. If he went to church, he understands the difference.
He claims to interpret church doctrine and policies at his leisure, but what he attributes to the church is almost all incorrect.1. The Proclamation to the World on the Family is considered doctrine in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - day Saints, sometimes called Mormons. Brad claims it is not. This is wrong.2. In that document, the church clearly outlines the doctrine on marriage : its is not just about being a legal marriage. It is about a legal marriage between a man and a woman. No other combination. "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."http://www.lds.org/family/proc... 3. The author of this article also infers that there is a doctrine, or understanding in the church about a "spiritual sex" that may be different from our physical sex. This is incorrect. The church doctrine does not support that. the Proclamation to the World on the Family:
"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."
4. Chastity is not defined in the church by any marriage that is considered legal.
"Chastity is sexual purity. Those who are chaste are morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions. Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage. It also means complete fidelity to husband or wife during marriage."
5. The author also implies that the church is creating a world that excludes gay people. The Church does not believe in gay marriage and the doctrine is that homosexual sex relations is un-chaste and a sin, (just as is all sexual relations outside of a woman and man marriage) but the church is NOT hateful of gays.
A quote from former Prophet and President of the church, Gordon B. Hinckley:
“People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God."
(Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign , Nov. 1998, 71)
If you are interested in learning more about the church's actual position on homosexuality,
follow this link:
I hope all who are reading this article will take into account that the author, Brad Carmack is speaking from his own opinions, on behalf of himself, and is stating incorrect and false things about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe and teach.
Able Dog April 4th around 7:00 A.M:
Sad to see some LDS members, however noble and compassionate their intentions, seeking to counsel the Prophet. The philosophies of men. The Proclamation on the Family makes it clear that a child has a right to a mother and a father. That is counsel from the Prophet. Same-sex marriage goes against the purposes of eternal marriage and the procreation of spirit children. Rationalize all you want, but you are deceiving yourselves and stunting your own spiritual progression.
LDS_Ute_Fan April 4th around 7:00 A.M:
From a strictly LDS perspective, this argument does not hold up. There are many flaws in this letter.