There Are a Lot of Counterfeits Out There, What’s in Your Wallet?

The latest manufactured outrage related to the church has to do with what should be an unsurprising paragraph by an Elder Lawrence in the April 2017 Ensign.  The key quote is given below:

Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, but same-sex marriage is only a counterfeit. It brings neither posterity nor exaltation. Although his imitations deceive many people, they are not the real thing. They cannot bring lasting happiness.

I have unfortunately seen some very twisted and forced spins on this statement, that have resulted (intentionally) in unnecessary questions.  The key to understanding this paragraph is that the posterity spoken of is the eternal, sealed posterity of a temple marriage, rather than the simple biological ability to reproduce, or adopt children during mortality.  Also the happiness spoken of is the eternal happiness available through exaltation.

What I wish to add to the conversation is that there are countless counterfeits out there (which is in keeping with the article).  But before I do, I would like to point out that calling something a counterfeit need not be a fighting word, in this context it can be helpful and descriptive.  This article points this out:

Remember, counterfeits are not the same as opposites. The opposite of white is black, but a counterfeit for white might be off-white or gray. Counterfeits bear a resemblance to the real thing in order to deceive unsuspecting people.

So to extend this idea within the topic of marriage, one could make the case that any marriage outside the temple has something of a counterfeit nature to it from a Mormon perspective.  Thus even heterosexual marriage, if not sealed in the temple, is a counterfeit.  A non-temple marriage of any kind will not bring an eternal posterity, exaltation, or the same level of eternal happiness as an eternal marriage will.

This idea can be extended to many topics.  If we wish to discuss religion, we could make the case that from a Mormon perspective all other religions have a counterfeit nature to them when compared with the restored gospel.  While they may do many great things, and appear to be the real thing, they preach of false Christs and false salvation.  They lack priesthood authority and perform counterfeit ordinances.  They are counterfeit gospels.

We could take any area of righteousness and discuss counterfeits.  Sabbath day observance may be as good an example as any.  Recreation, shopping, or watching football on TV (all of which I have done sometimes) on Sunday can be a counterfeit to meaningful worship on the Sabbath day.

I hope you get the picture.  The world is full of counterfeits to full gospel living.  Those who are outraged that the idea was applied to same-sex marriage could take some comfort in this I suppose.  These folks are not alone.  Counterfeits are all over the place.  And if we extend the analogy to counterfeit money, we may all have some counterfeits in our own wallet right now.

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