Even though the law may permit behavior that was once illegal, such as adultery, fornication, and same sex marriage, Mormons were told by an Apostle that they must set higher priorities of moral behavior.
Mormons, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attending the 183rd Semi-annual General Conference were told that just because laws have changed regarding what behavior is legal and what is illegal is not justification to violate the laws of God.
“Our twelfth Article of Faith states our belief in being subject to civil authority and ‘obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.’ But man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral,” explained Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
In addition, Elder Oaks said that Mormons must be careful that “other priorities” do not take the place of God. He offered as examples cultural and family traditions, political correctness, career aspirations, material possessions, recreational pursuits, as well as aspiring to power, prominence, and prestige.
“Are we bowing down to and serving priorities or gods ahead of the God we profess to worship? Have we forgotten to follow the Savior who taught that if we love Him we will keep his commandments? If so, our priorities have been turned upside down by the spiritual apathy and undisciplined appetites so common in our day,” Elder Oaks explained.
Toleration of different beliefs is also one of the fundamental principals of the Articles of Faith, and so he also counseled members to be respectful of the religious beliefs of all people, even those who have no belief in God. The eleventh Article of Faith states: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
“We know that through the God-given power of choice, many will hold beliefs contrary to ours, but we are hopeful that others will be equally respectful of our religious beliefs and understand that our beliefs compel us to some different choices and behaviors than theirs.
“For example, we believe that, as an essential part of His plan of salvation, God has established an eternal standard that sexual relations should occur only between a man and a woman who are married,” said Elder Oaks.
For those who think that lobbying for change, or even protests demanding change will bring about new and revised standards for Mormons, Elder Oaks made clear that will not happen.
“Our understanding of God’s plan and His doctrine gives us an eternal perspective that does not allow us to condone such behaviors or to find justification in the laws that permit them. And, unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has identified as unchangeable,” said Elder Oaks.
“But man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral,” he later added.
The presentation was broadcast live to thousands of congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now numbering over 15 million world-wide. The full text, video, and audio content of all the presentations will be available to the public within a few days of the conclusion of the conference at www.LDS.org