I lived in California for forty-five years. My husband and I were serving in a Young Single Adult Ward when Proposition 8 came about. This proposition defined marriage as between one man and one woman and if passed was to be an amendment to the California constitution.
Our ward received a letter, as did every other ward in California, from the First Presidency. In it, they asked us to donate our time, talents and anything that we could to keep marriage between a man and a woman. For the first time in my life, I was going to need to support a political cause that had moral implications, which we did so willingly.
In our YSA ward, we were very involved in the cause for Prop 8 and made phone calls, put up signs, handed out signs, knocked on doors and as a couple attended a Proposition 8 rally in Los Angeles. We were the only ones on our block that had the blue and yellow signs in our front yard. I was very proud of the young adults as they seemed to fearlessly serve as the Prophet had asked.
We watched as the opposition tore down our signs, called us bigots and haters, defaced cars, homes, and even our temple grounds when Proposition 8 was passed by the voters of California. People who supported Proposition 8 were targeted, shamed, and some even were fired from their jobs. There were mass marching and newspaper editorials calling us all manner of names. A black list of those who donated $100 or more in support of Proposition 8 was created along with their names and addresses for the purpose of shaming, harassing and boycotting any business owner. Proposition 8 passed by the vote of the people and was added to the State Constitution. The mayor of San Francisco defied the California Constitution and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Eventually, the courts declared it unconstitutional and the state’s liberal Attorney General refused to defend it even when it was taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
About four and a half years later my husband’s non-member son who lives in Oakland became engaged to his boyfriend. We knew that there would be an upcoming “marriage” in about six months. We had some hard decisions to make because we knew that we would be invited to the wedding. For six months we studied the scriptures, attended the temple with a specific prayer in our hearts, prayed together, fasted, studied conference talks, and talked with our bishop and stake president twice. We knew in our hearts what the right answer was going to be, but we hoped that there was some way to attend this ceremony while still honoring God’s definition of marriage and not being hypocritical (after standing so strongly for Proposition 8).
In answer, we both had different experiences. For me, it was one of the temple covenants. The words of the covenant burned in my heart and I understood what it meant. For my husband it was a scripture from the Book of Mormon; Moroni 7:45:
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and REJOICETH not in INIQUITY but rejoiceth in the TRUTH, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
We decided to “rejoice not in iniquity” and to avoid this unholy practice. We could not honestly celebrate this union. When the invitation came, we politely turned it down without judgment or preaching, but thanked my husband’s son for the invite. The consequences of this decision were enormously painful. Extended family members got involved and we were verbally scolded, written several nasty letters, accused of bigotry while hiding behind the “rock of religion,” publicly humiliated, left out and told that we were poison if we could not accept his son’s lifestyle 100%. Needless to say, it was very painful to everyone involved. This is where “beareth all things” came into play.
It’s been four and a half years since that experience. We have continued to be kind, loving and patient with my husband’s three children. We have prayed for forgiveness and tolerance on their part and we have had to forgive their hurtful actions toward us. Over time, the forgiveness came. We were once again invited to family gatherings and stronger relationships are being rebuilt. My husband’s daughter has even returned back to God. This is nothing short of a miraculous answer from God who blesses us when we stand for His truth.
Dona Huber has been married to her best friend for 18 years. Together they have eight children and 18 grandchildren. She was born in New Jersey and moved to California in 1969. She lived there till 2015. She and her husband moved to Utah to be closer to the majority of their grandchildren. Donna is a child convert from the 1960s New York World’s Fair. She currently serves as a primary teacher.