Prophet Matthew P. Gill
As the first Elder and Prophet of the church I am always mindful of the churches stance on matters of great important. It seems to me that we have been given a great blessing from God, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This blessing comes with great responsibility, it forces us to look deep within ourselves and to the standards that we profess to keep as a church and those that we hold up as a standard to the world. I stand here today as the first Elder and Prophet of the church and in doing so I wish to express to the world that the standards that we set are the standards the Lord God almighty wishes us to keep, and we will never betray those standards to fit in to a world growing ever more wicked by the day. I testify that the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ will continue its opposition to error, falsehood, and immorality. The mission of this Church is to sound the message of salvation no matter what the world does. The first and foremost mission of the church is to prepare our people for the coming of the Lord, a day soon to be at hand. As the world drifts further and further away from God and the eternal principles and standards that he sets such as virtue and honour, we can almost certainly expect opposition to the work of this Church. We may expect to see the time, as the Book of Jeraneck forecasts, that “When a people fall away from God they fall away forever, not for a little but for all time and I tell you these things so that you may take heed” (BOJ 18:93).
Now I speak today so that the church and the wider world may know that the stance we make as a church on morality may be firmly understood, for we declare firmly that it is not an outworn garment, faded, old-fashioned, and threadbare. We declare that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and his covenants and doctrines are immutable, and when the day comes and our sun grows cold and the stars in our heavens no longer shine, and the our world as we know it has passed away the law of chastity and morality will still be basic in God’s world and in the Lord’s church. God given values that seem old and meant for another time are upheld by this Church not because they are old, but rather because God has given them and through the ages they have proved to be right. I proclaim that they will always be the rule of this church.
So with this firmly in mind and having set the tone of this General Assembly I wish to speak to you today about two great evils that have crept their way in to the lives and homes of millions of people and have become the battle ground upon which many a soul has and is continuing to be fought over. Firstly I wish to address the unholy transgression of homosexuality. This great moral sin has rapidly grown amongst the nations of the earth and tolerance is giving it wider publicity. I wish to make it very clear today from this pulpit so that no misunderstanding is forth coming, the Lord condemns and forbids this practice with a vigour equal to his condemnation of adultery and other such sexual acts. let me be clear the Church will excommunicate as readily any unrepentant soul who is caught in the snare of this wicked and vile sin. If a person has such desires and tendencies, they should seek to overcomes them, the same as if he or she had the urge toward fornication or adultery, alcohol or nicotine. Let me be clear again in saying that the Lord condemns and forbids homosexuality in all its forms. It should be noted that we the Lords servants wish to express that, contrary to the belief and statements of many people, this sin, like fornication, is one that can be overcome and is one that can be forgiven, but again, this forgiveness can only be attained upon deep and abiding repentance, which means total abandonment and complete transformation of thought and act. The fact that many governments including our own and some churches and numerous corrupted individuals have tried to reduce such behaviour from criminal offence to personal privilege does not change the nature nor the seriousness of the practice in the eyes of God. Good men, wise men, God-fearing men everywhere still denounce the practice as being unworthy of sons and daughters of God, and The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ which is Christ’s church, denounces the sin of homosexuality and condemns it and will continue to do so as long as men and women have bodies which can be defiled.
Let us remember that the works of the flesh are many, as given by Paul “… perilous times shall come" I ask you are they not already are upon us? "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, … Without natural affection … incontinent …” (IVB 2 Tim. 3:1–3), again we read “… with vile affections. for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another … inventors of evil things …” (IVB Rom. 1:26, 27, 30). Do we not know our scriptures? for do we not read “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (IVB James 4:4.) These are just some of the ugly acts and activities that we call the world. These ugly transgressions Paul called “doctrines of devils,” and their authors “seducing spirits.” These distortions of the normal life have not changed and still prevail in the 21st century, except that they have grown more vile and permissive and vulgar and degenerate. Today I plead with our people everywhere, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (IVB James 4:7.) The Apostle Peter, who walked with Christ and taught in the greatest of evil cities in his lifetime cautioned us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (IVB 1 Pet. 5:8).
Now my brothers and sisters we know that even the Saviour said that the very elect would be deceived by Lucifer. The prince of darkness and evil here on earth will use his logic to confuse and his rationalise this sin and many sins to destroy our chances of salvation. He will shade meanings, open doors an inch at a time, and lead from purest white through all the shades of grey to the darkest of blacks. The world as far as we are concerned can have its norm, but the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ has a different one. It may be considered normal by the people of the world to practice homosexuality, but the Church’s standard is on a higher plane where this act of immorality is not done. The world’s norm may permit men and to do all sorts of fornications, but the Lord’s church lifts its people to a norm of total obedience to the commandments of God. The world may countenance promiscuous, filthy, sexual experiences, but the Lord and his church condemn in no uncertain terms any and all homosexual relationships and condemn most severally the idea of same sex marriage. We will not and never will tolerate this behaviour. This heinous sin of homosexuality is a sin is of the ages. Many cities and civilizations have gone out of existence because of it. It was present in Israel’s wandering days in the wilderness, it was tolerated by the Greeks, and found in the baths of a corrupt and evil Rome, indeed it was even to be found in the Holy temple of God amongst the corrupt prophet Rendonaneck, until he was forcefully removed from his place by the church in the days of Jeraneck. I know that this is a very unpleasant subject to dwell upon, but I am pressed by the Lord continually to speak of it boldly to the church and the world so that no one in the church will ever have any question in his or her mind as to the illicit and diabolical nature of this perverse program of the Devil. Lucifer deceives and prompts logic and rationalisation which will destroy men and women and make them servants of Satan forever unless we seek first the
Today we find the sentiment of “God made me that way,” prevailing amongst the world, they rationalise and excuse themselves for their perversions. They say repeatedly “I can’t help it”. But I proclaim today that this is blasphemy. I ask you, is man not made in the image of God? does he think that God made him to be that way. No! man is responsible for his own sins. Continually men and women continue to rationalise and excuse themselves until the groove of their sin is so deep they believe that they cannot get out without great difficulty, but this can be done. The difference between the reprobate and the worthy person is generally that one yielded and the other resisted. It is true that one’s background may make the decision and accomplishment easier or more difficult, but if one is mentally alert, they can still control their future. That is the ultimate brilliance of the gospel message, personal responsibility. Now, my dear brothers and sisters, I have spoken firmly and frankly against the sin of homosexuality which stands as the biggest sin of the time in which we live. Even though I dislike such a subject, I believe it necessary to warn the church and the world against the onslaught of the sinful tide that is smashing against our homes and our families.
Now I wish to address the second great sin that has hold over the world and has prevailed upon our homes or schools and our media and has a very selfish evilness to it that it has escaped the notice of many that proclaim to teach the gospel of Christ. This sin that I talk of continues to take the lives of millions and millions of souls every year, it is the biggest holocaust in existence today this evil of which I speak is the practise of abortion. Abortion is a growing evil that we stand against firmly. Certainly the terrible sin of premeditated abortion is hard to justify. It is almost inconceivable that an abortion would ever be committed to save face or embarrassment, to save trouble or inconvenience, or to escape responsibility, but sadly this is the case that we find ourselves living in today. I ask how could anyone submit to such an operation or be party in any way by financing or encouraging this behaviour? If special rare cases could be justified, certainly they would be rare indeed. We place it high on the list of sins against which we strongly warn the people against. This is why as far as the church are concerned abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices that is prevailing today. This Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ opposes abortion and we counsel all our friends and members not to submit to or participate in any abortion, in any way, whether it be for convenience or to hide sins. Abortion is one of the most revolting practices being engaged in this day, when we are witnessing a frightening evidence of permissiveness leading to sexual immorality. The world in all its evil and sinful glory has legalised abortion, therefore seeking to remove from this heinous crime the stigma of sin, I proclaim this is wrong and is not of God. We do not hesitate in telling the world that the cure for these evils is not and never will be surrender. Let us emphasise that right and wrong, righteousness and sin, are not dependent upon man’s interpretations and attitudes. Social acceptance does not change the status of an act, making wrong into right. If all the people in the world were to accept homosexuality, and abortion the practice in the sight of God would still be sin. We therefore as a church and as a latter day Mormon community take the solemn view that any tampering with the fountain of life is serious, morally, mentally, psychologically, and physically. To interfere with any of the processes in the procreation of offspring is to violate one of the most sacred of God’s commandments, to “multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Gen. 1:28.)
According to the Bible, all human beings are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and therefore all life is precious. Psalm 139:13–14 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And in Jeremiah 1:4-5 we read, “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." I ask can science give us the answer as to when we are fully human, No, science has given us wonderful information about the development of the foetus, the biochemistry, the physiology, the anatomy, unfortunately the question, when do we become human can not be answered by the scientists, its only from God's word that we truly understand that we are fully human from the time of fertilisation. It is because of this sacredness for life that we decry abortions and ask our people to refrain from this serious transgression. For we hold all life in sacred reverence and knowing that all life comes from God. Once again The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ vigorously opposes abortion and states that any of its members that have been guilty of being parties to the sin of abortion must be subjected to the disciplinary action of the councils of the Church.
In closing let me remind each and everyone of us what the Lord said in the 59th section of the Doctrine & Covenants of the church "Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it." With these words in mind having no others to equal there power or veracity I thank you for your attention and seriousness concerning these matters. I pray that the Lord, our Saviour will shine down his love upon you and send his Holy spirit to bare witness of the words that I have spoken this day. Let us call upon our deep reservoirs of faith, so that when the world presses in upon us, we stand firm and strong in our beliefs and principles, when the temptations of a decaying and, increasingly permissive and wicked world about us draw on our energies, sap our spiritual vitality, and seek to pull us down, we need to call upon those reservoirs of faith that can carry us over the difficult, the terrifying moments and years of adversity. Before I conclude my remarks today, I state again so that I am never accused before the Lord of not calling the world to repentance. In this time of great immorality the likes of which have not been seen since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah we should be made aware of the Lord’s concern about immorality and the seriousness of the sexual sins of the kind I have spoken of today and I call the world to repentance this day in the name of the Lord. I proclaim with the authority given me by God that he will not be mocked. His laws are immutable. True repentance is rewarded by forgiveness, but sin brings the sting of death. I know this is the Lords eternal programme and I know that we can go forward to victory after victory in his holy name. May he help us live his laws and achieve eternal salvation with the father.
In Jesus Christ Name. Amen.
With the world moving so fast and its ever changing levels of acceptance and tolerance to the different trends of people and there life styles, I would like to take this opportunity to address you all about just how important Marriage is to the Lord and what is acceptable to Him. We have listened to the prophet’s voice in this conference. I know that we will go back to our fields of labour strengthened in our faith and with a greater desire to help build his kingdom, and prepare the way for the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Now there is another beautiful tenet of the Church today that I would like to mention a few words about, and that is our belief in the eternal duration of the marriage covenant and the family unit. It seems incredible that, as plainly as that principle is taught in the holy scriptures, we should be the only church that so believes. Today the major Christian churches of the world still do not believe in the eternal duration of the marriage covenant and the family unit. They indicate that marriage is and remains “until death do you part,” which in substance is a bill of divorcement. If it is to last only until death parts us, then what are we going to do from that time on? Where are the ties that bind us together, all of that just to be parted when death comes along? For The Latter Day Church we believe that marriage is eternal and is sanctified by God and is therefore a sacred agreement.
Thinking upon this sacredness of marriage my mind is turned to how this wonderful institution is being destroyed by the evil of mans hearts and the ever probing spirit that is Satan. Satan has worked overtime on the intuition of marriage. First he tried to destroy it by making divorce an easy option for struggling families, then he works on the hearts of those in government to marginalise the intuition of marriage and when he found that was not being so effective he moved on to the interpretation of marriage, and worked on those less in tune spirits to cause a movement to come forth to destroy it. Today I am sad to say that the sacred institution of marriage is under attack, it is under attack by our own government and even by churches that profess to worship the most high God. the attack is relentless, it comes on regardless of who it hurts and the casualties are the minds of our young people and those who stand for righteousness. Today we have been told that marriage can be between two men and two women, as long as they love each other why not? Firstly they do not understand the meaning of the word love which in itself is a very deep and sacred thing and because of the perversions of man in our sinful state we have taken it upon ourselves to answer the questions that God has already given us in his holy scripter's. To often has the world left the safety and security of the scripter's and now finds itself living sinful blasphemous marriages and behaviour.
However the Lord has set forth his law and we The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ have been sent to proclaim it. We state here and now that marriage is between a man and a women only! and it has been so since the foundation of the world and so it shall remain for us. The scriptures are clear on this matter and they should be the foundation for argument for anyone who lives according to there teachings. The statement made by the Lord when Adam was placed in the garden. He said that “it was not good that the man should be alone;” and he made a help meet for him, and he said “they shall be one flesh,” (IVB), not two halves but one flesh, because he couldn’t have peopled this earth without the man and the woman, and it took two to make a complete person. This is what Paul meant when he said, “… as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22.) If it wasn’t good to be without a wife before the fall, it certainly won’t be good to be without a companion after the resurrection, and anyone who repudiates that actually repudiates the great atonement, because in that event the Saviour would only have atoned in part for the loss that came through the fall of Adam and Eve. These are great eternal truths that the Lord understood, and so the Saviour said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:7–9.) It couldn’t be written much plainer than that, could it? What did he really mean when he said that they should be one flesh and never be put asunder if it wasn’t that the marriage tie should project itself beyond the grave? Paul said, “… neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 11:11.)
It is my purpose today with the blessing of the prophet to endorse and to favour, to encourage and defend marriage between man and women. Many regard it nowadays as being, at best, semiprecious, and by some it is thought to be worth nothing at all. I have seen and heard, as you have seen and heard, the signals all about us, carefully orchestrated to convince us that marriage is out of date and in the way, that it is something that we can reinterpret to make our sinful lives more comfortable. There is a practice, now quite prevalent, for same sex couples to live together and even marry, I proclaim that this is a counterfeit of marriage. They suppose that they shall have all that marriage can offer without the obligations connected with it. They are wrong! in perverting the everlasting law of marriage between man and women they lose virtue, self-esteem, and refinement of character, if they have not been lost already. We can not continue to degrade marriage as we are doing without tarnishing other words as well, such words as boy, girl, manhood, womanhood, husband, wife, father, mother, baby, children, family, home. I counsel anyone who has been tempted of the devil to enter in to such a relationship, leave! Withdraw from it! Run away from it! Do not continue with it! Or, for in the eyes of God you can not and never will be able to make a marriage out of it. God does not love the sin that you are involved in and he condemns the steps that have been taken to help aid and abet this behaviour. Our very nation is in real danger of testing the patience of God. We have seen his presence draw further away from our land leaving it in darkness as in the days of Jeraneck.
Now a word of warning. One who destroys the institution of marriage takes upon himself a very great responsibility indeed. Marriage is sacred! To wilfully destroy marriage, is to offend our God. Such a thing will not be lightly considered in the judgments of the Almighty and in the eternal scheme of things will not easily be forgiven. God Himself has decreed that the physical expression of love, that union of male and female which has power to generate life, is the only authorised institution, marriage is between man and women. We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
Some say that the legalisation of same-sex marriage as a question of civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Some say that our right as a church to raise our voice on an this issue shows our lack of understanding of the world around us, but I say that it is critical and of such great importance that we stand up for the rights of God and the rights of the institution of the future of the family. The Latter day Church of Jesus Christ believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve and encourage traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious remit. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out against same sex relationships, as the prophet has done today. I also wish to say that we will always stand in opposition to attempts to legalise same-sex marriage and the attempts to force them upon us. Our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honour them as sons and daughters of God but that is as far as our principles will allow us to go. We can not tolerate their life choice and we can not tolerate them being joined in marriage. They like all sinners are welcome to join us at Church, but it is expected that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married and those laws are laid down by the God of us all even our Eternal Father.
Finally in closing many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, but i make it clear again in saying the Lord has not. From the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman, Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfilment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured. Families and marriage are the treasure of heaven. Why do we continue to talk about this? As Paul said, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen." As Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to teach our Creator’s plan for His children and to warn of the consequences of disregarding His commandments and this is why these subjects have been taught today and I make no excuse for doing so.
Brethren and sisters, I thank God for this great truth that has come to us through the gospel of God. That is only just a beginning. And to this congregation here today, and all that are listening in over the internet and those who will listen on video later. I bear you my witness. I know that it is the marvellous work and a wonder that our Father promised that if we respect the intuition of marriage that we shall be blessed. I am thankful that He speaks through this great prophet that he has sent to us, and I leave you my love and blessing and witness.
In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Third Elder & Standing Apostle Peter C. Barber
Third Elder & Standing Apostle Peter C. Barber