Last evening, 10/08/08, Elders M. Russell Ballard and Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy participated in the The Divine Institution of Marriage Broadcast 10/08/08.  My rough notes of that broadcast follow below.  The Church has posted on it’s website portions of that broadcast, which you can view here.  I encourage you to do so.
M. Russell Ballard, Quintin L. Cook

7:30 p.m. Elder Clayton, conducting

Teach and provide information to provide context future of church.  The move to legalize same sex marriage is major concern leaders of the Church.

7:31 p.m. Elder Russell M. Ballard Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Thank you for attending broadcast.  Let this our be as though we are in his living room having a talk.

First Presidency has directed to bring us together to discuss critical and important themes.

Hopes we sense Spirit. Take time to ponder and consider message carefully.  We each are in a position to influence the world for good.  We are the future of the Church.  Will protect Kingdom, and raise future generations prepared for Savior’s coming.

Focus on importance of family and marriage.

1995 Proclamation to World.  Not an everyday occurrence.  Are relatively rare.  Clearly declared Church position on marriage: Is ordained of God.  Family central to creator’s plan for destiny of His children. All created in image of God.  Are sons of Divine parents.  Gender essential characteristic.

Elder Nelson, made this very clear to Church Sunday afternoon.  Church has provided additional insight on a new Church website.

Marriage between man and woman central to plan of Salvation.  Marriage linked to procreation.  Only men and women can naturally conceive children.  Is a sacred and precious power.  Misuse weakens family and social fabric.

These are eternal truths, upon which core doctrine of Christ is based.  We cannot walk away or alter core doctrines, despite what the world thinks.  Marriage initiated on earth, with Adam and Eve.

Alma taught why we are asked to live by certain standards.  God gave us commandments after having made known to us plan of redemption.

Pearl or Great Price teaches us the heavens are many.  Cannot be numbered unto man.  There is no end to God’s works or words.  My work and Glory to bring to pass immortality and eternal life of man.

Marriage and family cornerstone of Christ’s plan.  Today forces working to destroy family and marriage.  Divorce increases.  Porn destroys that which is sacred.

President Monson has taught for us to be strong.  Face of sin wears mask of tolerance.  Behind facade is heartache and pain.

If so called friends urge you to do wrong, stand for the right, even if alone.  Have moral courage to be moral light for others to follow.

Glorious feeling to know you stand with clean and confidence.

Heed President Monsons’ words.  Stand up for that which is right.  Can take a moral stand and do it respectfully.

Eight years ago many worked to pass Proposition 22.  The California Supreme Court ruled against the people’s vote, legalized same sex marriage.  Again we participate with coalition of churches and individuals sponsoring Proposition 8.  It will change the California Constitution. That only man-woman marriage will be recognized.

Heart of issue is the essential doctrine of eternal marriage and role it plays in God’s plan.

President. Hinckley: Some portray same sex marriage as civil right.  Not so, is matter of morality.  Others question our right to raise our voices on this issue important to families.  We believe preserving traditional marriage within our religious and other liberties.

We are engaged in conversations through technologies, which in another age seemed like science fiction.  Members are encouraged to join the message.  Some will blog or talk with neighbors.  These will be major elements of people informing people.

We must always be respectful of others.  Should never be interpreted to be hatred of gays or others with different beliefs. Please let us remember the need for understanding, honesty and civility.

Proceed with love, kindness, and humanity to all people.  Prayerfully consider our involvement.  Family with father mothers anchor of society.  Final paragraph of Proclamation on the Family quoted.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This is our goal and purpose.  It is our doctrine.  Remember our place in teaching this.

May God bless us in every way as we move forward in this important work.

7:44 p.m. Elder Quentin L. Cook, Quorum of The Twelve Apostles.

Lived most of life in California, loves it and its people.  Marriage sacred institution of God.  Trifling with it not part of god’s plan.

Central message of Christ to love all brothers and sisters.  Many good people who disagree with Church’s teachings.  Be respectful of others and their opinions.  Are faithful temple worthy church members who are afflicted with same-sex attraction.

Tolerance: Today the view is that tolerance overrides important Gospel principles.  Those who favor same sex marriage contend tolerance demands they be allowed to marry.  But this is different meaning of tolerance.

Christ taught Love thy neighbor.  He loved sinner while decrying sin.  Love and forgiveness of one another is tolerance.

World’s definition means condone, acceptance of wrongful behavior as price of friendship.  World insists unless we accept the sin we do not tolerate the sinner.

Tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards.  Tolerance now means we accept behavior contrary to our standards.  Is this what Christ taught?

Sermon on Mount Christ very clearly taught against immoral behavior.

We are light of world.  Men don’t light candle to put under bushel.  Let our light so shine before men.

Vs. 19.  Whosoever breaks commandments, he shall be called least in Kingdom of heaven.

We have obligation of being heard on important matters.  1994 Church with foresight warned to reject marriages of same gender.  This was prophetic timing.  Predated nearly every effort of same sex efforts.

First Presidency in its letter asked we do all we can to support proposed amendment donating means and time.  Our best efforts are required.

There are those who promote beliefs and practices contrary to our own. They have First Amendment rights to do so.  We also have those same First Amendment rights.  There will be those who reject our message.

What is wrong with same sex marriage?

Contrary to God’s plan.  Will lead to conflict of free speech rights, religious liberties also.  Society to become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about family and marriage.  We will be labeled as intolerant subject to penalties.

1.  Curriculum in public schools.  All provide this education, re marriage and parenthood, including sex education.  California court now declared same sex marriage be given equal treatment under law.  Children receive age appropriate sexual relations education, now gay marriage sexual relations.

2.  Religious adoption agencies.  MA example of Catholic Church being forced to place with same sex couples.  California will likely face same choice.

3.  Religious tax exempt status.  Those who refuse same sex marriage will be targeted on Tax exempt status.

27 states already have constitutional amendments similar

21 additional states have court cases or statutes defining marriage as between man/woman

Only MA and CA courts have imposed same sex marriage.

Six other courts have reached opposition decisions (all supreme court decisions)

Need to have love, compassion and humility as we move forward with our cause.  Take confidence loving God has inspired First Presidency to raise their prophetic voice.

7:56 p.m. Elder Ballard and Cook both address:

Now focuses toward young single and married adults.  Discussed blogs, facebooks, twitters, and the like.  Internet a powerful for both good and evil.

Asks to use these skills to the benefit of building kingdom of God and good uses.

Example.  Pres. Hinckley passed away.  Youth texted to wear best clothes the very next morning. There were masses of text messages.

Three major talks given by Ballard:

Hawaii, BYU Idaho, BYU management society.  Today many conversations going on about Church.  They will go on with or without Church involvement.  We can engage and that we should go viral.

Tools to help us.  Print, Radio, Internet, TV all used to carry Gospel.  Another step tonight.  Posted information to help articulate why Church wants to preserve traditional marriage.  Have established new website with pod casts.

Can engage and share meaningful stories. Blog, post videos and join the conversation.  He doesn’t understand how it works, but youth does.

Take time to prepare.  Study scriptures, study materials, and ask in prayer.  Remember we are members of Savior’s church.  Soft answer turneth away wrath.  No need for hurtful cutting exchanges.  Be respectful of all opinions.  Be careful in work place and other places.

Let’s have a respectful conversation with neighbors, friend, and co workers.  Let’s protect most sacred to God.

8:03 p.m. Elder Clayton additional resources to consider:

Invite to help in our efforts. Much will happen.  Sprint not marathon.  Now is time to shine.  Grassroots efforts now engaged.

Three phases: This actually works.

1.  Voter ID phase.  Consists canvassing of voter preferences.

2.  Advocacy persuasion phase: persuade those undecided

3.  Get out vote phase.  Voters encouraged to vote

Activities upcoming.

10/6/08 Phase one canvassing, and phase two also continue this period.  Yard signs blossoming.

Early contacting of yes voters.

10/13/08 More phase 1 canvassing.  Also phase 2.  And now phase 3, contacting voters.

10/20/08 Phase 2 advocacy and persuasion. Also Phase 3.  10/20/08 deadline for voter registration.

10/27/08 Eight day final calling blitz.  Phone banks available for this.  Persuasive and get out vote calls

11/3/08 All day calling centers.

11/4/08 Get out the vote, help voters get to polls.

Need 30 people in each ward donate 4 hours each week between now and election.

There is hope for the family because we are involved.  Long after we are gone, CA will still be ours and our children.  Want to preserve CA we love.  Marriage still sacred bond.

Moved to California when 2.  Went to school in Whittier.  Raised family in Irvine.  Practiced law in California and lived here for 42 years when called as General Authority.

Consider as time allows:

Young families substantial involvement may not be possible.

Respond with time and energy.  Encourage all young single and married adults to help.

1.  Register to vote.
2.  Contact out of state family, are registered, and ordered ballot
3.  If young single adult or student ward, contact bishop and get prop 8 coordinator of ward.  Volunteer as much as you can.
4.  If young single or married adult, contact institute and get prop 8 coordinator and volunteer.
5.  Set aside Saturday’s 9 to 2 to call or walk.
6.  Weekend before election through election, set aside as much time as possible to help and volunteer.

For those using Internet, Church has prepared several resources.  Will also help you inform and persuade others.  Multi media includes videos, website and Internet sharing tools.  Post on blogs and social media sites.

Some of new website’s videos shown.

8:27 p.m. Elder Ballard/Cook Final thoughts

8:28 p.m. Elder Cook

Church doesn’t support candidates or parties.   But moral issues Church does support significant ones.  So we go to Church members after First Presidency called to give best effort to support sacred nature of marriage.

8:30 p.m. Elder Ballard:

Thanks for time given.  Received invitation from Catholic  Church and evangelical churches to join with them in coalition.  Catholic and evangelical churches involved.  All trying to enlist help and effort of people so coalition brings about a positive result: that marriage kept as between man/woman.

Who do you know not members of church that feel similar to you about marriage?   Seek them out and enlist their help.  Marriage is so deeply important as it pertains to Church’s doctrine.

Earth created so God’s children had opportunity to experience mortality.  To choose good and evil.  Striving to seek truth and Christ in our lives.

Other Sources:

Real Clear Politics

Calls About Prop. 8, Deseret News

Young Mormons Urged to Join Fight, Salt Lake Tribune

Millennial Star