Presentation on theme: "Individual Identity and Purpose All human beings – male and female – are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly."— Presentation transcript:
Individual Identity and Purpose 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. Proclamation, ¶ 2
Proclamation Truths about the Individual Created in the image of God Beloved spirit son/daughter of heavenly parents Divine Nature Divine Destiny (requires physical body and earthly experience) Gender is essential characteristic Premortal, Mortal, and Eternal Identity and Purpose Temple ordinances and covenants required to return to presence of God Marriage to spouse of opposite gender essential Accountable for violations of covenants of chastity, abuse, or family responsibility
Understanding the Individual in the Family Context The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Oneness Sameness Each part has different contributions (D&C 46:11-12) Every part is essential and valuable (1 Cor. 12) Whole is possible only when parts selflessly give— “lose self” in “anonymous” service to whole Losing self = humble submission = recognition of worth “Humility is not the disavowal of our worth; rather, it is the sober realization of how much we are valued by God.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell Losing self = charity = divine confidence and power (1 Cor 13, D&C 121:45-46)
Individual Worth and Worthiness Worth A divine given, not of this life Revealed by Holy Ghost Constant and unchanging-- cannot be: earned or affected by this life affected by people increased or decreased annihilated or destroyed Worthiness Dependent on: What we do (agency) Our love for the Savior His grace “Erosive error gradually makes one less and less of an individual…” Elder Neal A. Maxwell The better we are as individuals, the better the whole can be. Understanding Worth Encourages More perfect view of who we (distinguished from what we do) Love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Repentance
The Essential Characteristic of Gender God created us male and female. This is not a mistake or a variety of genetic or hormonal chance. What we call gender is an essential characteristic of our existence prior to our birth. Gender is part of our eternal identity and essential to our eternal progression. Text, p. 223 vs. The Social Construction of Gender Contemplation Questions How is gender an essential part of individual identity? How is it related to worth and worthiness? Why is understanding the eternal nature of gender important here and in our eternal progression? How do you feel--emotionally and spiritually--about your gender?
The Low Incidence of Homosexuality in the US 1%2.8% Living In Rural Areas 3-4%2?%* Living In Suburbs of those Cities 9%6.2% Living In 12 Largest US Cities 2.8%1.4% 2% Sexually attracted to members of the same gender MenWomen 6%4% Had sexual relations at least once with member of the same sex in the past year 9%4% 5%4% Since age 18 Since puberty Consider themselves homosexual or bisexual * No clear data Source: “Sex in America” (University of Chicago national sex survey, 1994)
Legal Status of Homosexuality in the US 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act 2000 Vermont Civil Union Law 2000 California Domestic Partner Registry 2003 (Effective 2005) California Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act ?? Federal Marriage Amendment
Position of the Church on Homosexuality Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We love those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are. We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. We cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley (Nov. 1998), “What Are People Asking About Us?” Ensign.