I knew very little about Proposition 8 in California. I had no idea it was on the ballot until just before the election. I certainly never heard that my church was heavily involved. Members certainly were, from what I've since learned, but the Church itself does not appear to have broken any laws involving support of political actions. Because of a blog I read from time to time, I heard about this article (and part 2) written by a policeman faced with the aftermath of the amendment's passage.
This post is not really about the Proposition 8, though. One line in his article struck me in particular, "[S]ince when do we as Americans stand by – no matter what our religion – while access to a place of worship is forced to close down because of aggressive outside influences?" He is referring to the decision of those in charge of the Los Angeles Temple to close for the day.
My wife and I were already going to the temple this weekend. We had pushed back a trip last week to this week so we could spend time with friends, but we finalized our plans before I read this article. Now, though, I am going with a deeper appreciation for the opportunity to enter the Lord's house. I hope others feel the same way and make an extra effort to go, as a show of appreciation for the special blessing it is to have such a chance. Not only does that blessing come from the Lord having established these beautiful buildings across the globe, but it also comes from living in a country where I am free to worship as I choose.
I will pray before I go, and while I am there, for the safety of all concerned - members of the church, innocent bystanders, and even the protesters - and for the hope that peace can be found again. After all, we live in a nation that has shown many times that we can settle our internal differences peaceably. I hope that civility can be restored, and that no further violence will occur.
I hope this incident gets members of the Church to attend the temple more regularly. I hope it encourages more people to realize the need to protect the rights of voting, free speech, and religion. Most of all, I hope this incident encourages all of us to appreciate our ability to worship in our chosen way in this country.
P.S.: After finishing this post, my wife shared this link http://www.preservingmarriage.org/ with me to show that the Church did take a stand on Prop. 8. Still, no laws were broken in that act. Also, there apparently was a letter sent out to be read, http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/california-and-same-sex-marriage. In the spirit of full disclosure, I include it here, though I had no knowledge of such a letter when I wrote this post.