You are currently browsing articles tagged Marriage.

Esau and Jacob

Recently, a friend pointed me to an interesting account of how the birthright blessings of the patriarchal priesthood were given to Jacob, and not Esau. According to the biblical account,

Esau and Jacob by Matthias Stom And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. (Genesis 25:21-26).

Commenting, Bruce H. Porter wrote:

The mother of the twins learned that “two nations” were within her, and that “the elder shall serve the younger.” It must be noted that the revelation concerning the birthright came to Rebekah, and not to Isaac the father of the children. Rebekah, knowing that Jacob was the chosen one of the Lord and the one who should receive the birthright blessing from Isaac, began the preparations.

Twice Rebekah commanded Jacob; “. . . obey my voice . . .” (Gen. 27:8, 13). Holding a position of authority, the matriarch directed her son in the arrangements that were to be made and the information that would be given to Isaac during the ritual blessing. She appeared not only to be fully acquainted with the liturgy, but also played a key role in the blessing itself. Jacob’s fears are manifested in his concern that he might appear to be the “deceiver” (vs. 12) and that there would be “a curse…and not a blessing.” This foreboding of Jacob was quickly silenced when “his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice . . .” Only in a position of authority may one be responsible for the actions of another, as Rebekah promised she would be. Had this been a deception, Rebekah as well as her son Jacob would be held accountable. Yet neither are reprimanded in the scriptural text by Isaac or the Lord. Jacob’s mother accepted full responsibility for the correct or incorrect (as it seemed) performance and acceptability of this priesthood ordinance as executed by the patriarch.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Two weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee ran a story entitled “Big Labor Backs Overturn of Proposition 8.” Here is what they had to say:

A coalition of labor unions announced Tuesday that it will file amicus briefs to urge the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned gay marriage in the state.

AFL-CIO More than 50 labor unions signed onto the brief including some of California’s most influential labor groups. Among them: the California Labor Federation, SEIU California State Council, the California Federation of Teachers, the California Nurses Association, the California Faculty Association, UNITE HERE! and the Screen Actors Guild.

Combined, the labor organizations say they represent 2 million California workers.

In the brief, the unions argue that Proposition 8 is invalid because it is not a “constitutional amendment,” but a “constitutional revision.” A revision requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to get on the ballot, where an amendment can qualify through the collection of signatures, as Proposition 8 did.

The revision vs. amendment legal argue is the key to the No on 8 campaign’s effort to overturn the measure, which 52.3 percent of voters supported.

“If a simple majority of voters can take away one fundamental right, it can take away another,” the unions argue in the brief. “If it can deprive one class of citizens of their rights, it can deprive another class too. Today it is gays and lesbians who are singled out. Tomorrow it could be trade unionists.”

The Yes on 8 campaign has said the courts should not overturn the will of the people.1

Following the story is a list of labor unions in support of the amicus brief. Some have wondered why trade unionists would support such a measure.2 That’s a valid question. What do you think?


  1. Goldmacher, Shane. “Big Labor Backs Overturn of Proposition 8”. 13 January 2009. Sacramento Bee. 27 January 2009.
  2. Big Labor for Big Love”. 16 January 2009. Beetle Blogger. 27 January 2009.

Tags: ,

Beetle Blogger and Kingfisher Column have quickly become two of my favorite and must-read blogs on issues that relate to marriage and family (hat tip to Tim at Latter-day Commentary). Links to both sites are in the sidebar on the home page of Believe All Things under the “Marriage & Family Bookmarks” section.


If you haven’t read their articles, you may want to visit their sites and add them to your list of RSS feeds. Here’s a sample post from Beetle Blogger about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that will effectively take away parents’ rights and transfer them to the state:

Beetle Blogger The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people (aged 17 and under) a comprehensive set of rights.  When a country ratifies the convention it agrees to do everything it can to implement it.

Sounds great doesn’t it?  Rights for children is always of ultimate importance.  We should all be eager to adopt this measure in our own country as well right?

Chillingly, there are many in the new Obama Administration who see UNCRC in this light and who are actively promoting the ratification of this international law in the United States.

See this information from :

“International law that seeks to empower the government to intrude upon the child-parent relationship is becoming an increasing threat. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a seemingly harmless treaty with dangerous implications for American families, is approaching possible ratification by the United States.

If this treaty is made binding upon our country, the government would have the power to intervene in any child’s life to advance its definition of ‘the best interests of the child.’ The scenarios that could occur—and are occurring—as a result of this dangerous notion are both manifold and frightening.

United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child Under the UNCRC, instead of following due process, government agencies would have the power to override your parental choices at their whim because they determine what is in “the best interest of the child.

In essence, the UNCRC applies the legal status of abusive parents to all parents. This means that the burden of proof falls on the parent to prove to the State that they are good parents—when it should fall upon the State to prove that their investigation is not without cause.”1

Obviously, the UNCRC will dramatically curtail the rights of parents if children become more fully wards of the state. According to Beetle Blogger, only two nations have not ratified the convention: the United States and Somalia. And “President-elect Barack Obama has described the failure to ratify the Convention as ‘embarrassing’ and has promised to review it as president.”

Prop 8 Reflections

On a different note, I found the following article informative about the many distortions being employed by the opponents of Prop 8. Keep in mind that this was written by someone (Euripedes) who participated in many online forums and documented his exchange with those who opposed the ballot initiative. In each case he presents the point of view of the opposition and his response to it:

Idea 1: Gay marriage is a civil right.

“Proposition 8… is itself unconstitutional because it deprives a minority group of a fundamental right.”

“Some of you ding dongs really need to take some time and actually read the Constitution before commenting on things you obviously know nothing about.”

Kingfisher Column Commentary: There are two classes of rights, often confused with each other: the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence and the civil rights granted by the US and state constitutions. As the Declaration of Independence states, the unalienable rights are endowed by our Creator and include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (I find it interesting that every discussion I’ve read online conveniently ignores that the rights in the Declaration of Independence are attributed to deity.) Federal civil rights are enumerated in the first ten amendments of the US Constitution (known as The Bill of Rights) and within several other amendments. These rights include things like free expression of religion, the right to carry guns, and the right to a fair trial.

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court threw out the same sex marriage law of 2000 stating that it violated, not the civil rights of gays, but the “fundamental right to marry.” What this did, upsetting a good selection of California citizens, was to equate marriage with the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence. In essence, a few judges in California created a brand new fundamental right. Those opposed to gay marriage rallied and got a definition of marriage ballot initiative to amend the state constitution. . . .

Idea 2: Rights are established by the Constitution and the courts, not by the will of the people.

“[Euripedes], you are complete moron.

1. The Constitution is the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND.
2. The PEOPLE CANNOT change the Constitution.”

Commentary: I found this comment funny, especially since it was directed at me personally. This person said this after I had written that California’s Attorney General, Jerry Brown, had overstepped his authority by filing an opinion to the California Supreme Court to get rid of Proposition 8.

The question is valid, however. Can the people change the Constitution and create or change civil liberties? The answer, of course, is yes. In the US Constitution, the 13th amendment, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery. In 1919, the 18th amendment was ratified that disallowed the manufacture and transportation of alcohol (known as Prohibition). Another amendment repealed the 18th. With reference to marriage in California, the state constitution limits marriage to 18 year-olds, to people of sound mind, and prohibits marriage between more than one man and woman. (Interestingly, in the California state constitution, marriage is implicit between a man and a woman.)

All of these changes to the two constitutions were validated by vote, not by the courts. So, by extension, Proposition 8 is a valid means of creating or limiting a civil right. The question with the California Supreme Court remains, however, whether the court will accept or reject Proposition 8 as an expression of civil rights, or as an expression of some made up, fundamental right to marriage.2

Euripides went on to list three more distortions that are noteworthy in the debate over Prop 8. Kingfisher Column consistently provides insights into the political issues affecting marriage and family.

I highly recommend both of these blogs for perusal.


  1. Beetle Blogger. “UNCRC – Death Knell for Parental Rights”. 12 January 2009. Beetle Blogger. 25 January 2009.
  2. Euripides. “The Pro-Gay Rights Mind”. 1 January 2009. Kingfisher Column. 25 January 2009.

Tags: , , ,

Today I came across the trailer to Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family. According to the web site:

Demographic Winter “Demographic Winter” denotes the worldwide decline in birthrates, also referred to as a “birth-dearth,” and what it portends.

Demographer Philip Longman (author of “The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity”) observes: “The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the 21st. century.”

Worldwide, birthrates have been halved in the past 50 years. There are now 59 nations, with 44% of the world’s population, with below-replacement fertility

Sometime in this century, the world’s population will begin to decline. At a certain point, the decline will become rapid. We may even reach population free-fall in our lifetimes.

For some countries, population decline is already a reality. Russia is losing three-quarters-of-a-million people a year. Its population (currently 145 million) is expected to fall by one-third by 2050.

The term “nuclear winter,” popularized in the 1980s, alluded to the catastrophic environmental impact of a nuclear war. The long-term consequences of demographic winter could be equally devastating.1

Here is the video trailer for Demographic Winter:

YouTube Preview Image

According to the producers:

When the great social experiments of the 1960’s were launched, and when concern over a “population bomb” loomed large, we did not have the social science and economic studies we have available to us today.  So the world embarked unknowingly on a self-destructive course.

Unfortunately, these “social experiments” were launched long before the 1960′s and have their roots in the false notion of Malthusian catastrophe theory. This will need to be the subject of a new post on the work of the political economist Mr. Thomas Malthus. Of course, as a Latter-day Saint I find inspiration in the statement:

I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine. And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine. But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low. For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves. (D&C 104:14-17).

While these “social experiments” have been going on for decades, it’s fascinating – and deeply troubling – to trace the ideology upon which these experiments were based.

What’s your viewpoint?


  1. Q & A“. Demographic Winter. 10 December 2008.

Tags: ,

During the course of debate leading up to Prop 8, an email containing a reference to a talk by Neal A. Maxwell made its rounds among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others. Many felt this talk which was given in 1978 – “Meeting the Challenges of Today” - was prophetic given the debate over Proposition 8. Perhaps one of the reasons many felt that Elder Maxwell’s talk adumbrative is because his message is directly applicable to the present debate.

YouTube Preview Image

Here is an excerpt of Elder Maxwell’s talk from which Seth Adam Smith’s masterful video was taken:

Discipleship includes good citizenship; and in this connection, if you are careful students of the statements of the modern prophets, you will have noticed that with rare exceptions–especially when the First Presidency has spoken out–the concerns expressed have been over moral issues, not issues between political parties. The declarations are about principles, not people, and causes, not candidates. On occasions, at other levels in the Church, a few have not been so discreet, so wise, or so inspired.

But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21).

President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life” (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ.

We are now entering a period of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: we shall see in our time a maximum if indirect effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism that uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of Western civilization to shrink freedom even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , ,

« Older entries