Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Zion's Camp

Let me be the first to call it as it is. A few years down the road from now, when Prop 8 is just a distant bad memory that will leave many of us thinking, "Did that really happen? Here? In the Golden State?;" faithful Mormons will begin comparing the campaign against gays to Zion's Camp. 

For those that are not familiar with Zion's Camp, feel free to read up on it on Wikipedia. To give a brief synopsis, the Mormons were driven from Missouri and forced to abandon their property; Joseph Smith received a revelation that they needed to go back and fight for it; a group of 200 members (mostly men) followed Joseph Smith back to fight; after much tribulation, a couple of miracles, and a long trek back to Jackson County, Joseph Smith received a revelation that they were to head back to Ohio without redeeming Zion. Many of the members were upset and lost faith, but many of those that remained faithful became leaders in the LDS Church. Today this story is shared as a faith-promoting story about following the prophet no matter what. 

Many of those who went on Zion's Camp went back to Ohio discouraged, confused, and upset that the Lord's will did not prevail, but at last they were willing to follow the prophet.  The whole thing was just a big test. Back then, the Latter-day Saints failed to regain Zion. Today, Latter-day Saints failed to stop the sea of monogamous gays from obtaining equal protection under the law and raising their families in safety and protection.

Just wait, I promise you that you will hear gay marriage being compared to Zion's Camp in a few years from now. Either Prop 8 will be overturned by the Supreme Court, DOMA will be overturned, or Californians will vote to grant equal marriage rights, but no matter what, I don't think anybody doubts the eventual outcome. And Mormons will be left wondering, why? Well, you heard it here first. It was all God's will. Just a big test for the Mormons.

On a side note, it seems like most believe that the California Supreme Court will uphold Prop 8. If they do, I promise you that Mormons will be done funding the fight against gays and equality will prevail in time. I cannot stop thinking about the middle class LDS family in Sacramento that was interviewed by the Sacramento Bee because they had donated $50K to the Yes on 8 campaign. I am sure they will become another piece of Mormon folklore about how blessed they were, and I am sure that someday Mormons will be talking about the horrible death that gay rights activists died for going against the Saints. Hell, I may even write a book about it.


El Genio said...

This is one of the reasons that prop 8 has been so painful. The church never expected to win - it was just an opportunity to stand up for something and get noticed for it.

Short term you're right, this will definitely be compared to Zions Camp. I can hear the Elders Quorum lessons echoing back and forth in my head right now. In the long term I would like to think of the event as something more similar to Mountain Meadows. In 50 years no one is going to want to talk about the atrocity that was proposition 8. Was anyone murdered? No. Still, the destruction of over 19,000 marriages doesn't strike me as something to be proud of.

Max Power said...

Of course it will be compared to Zion's Camp.

It's really obnoxious that those of us who disagreed with Prop 8 and refused to support the campaign will be known in the church history books as "un-valiant" and "faithless" rather than just we had a differing political viewpoint. *shrug*