Helping our Children Choose Bipedalism

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.”—Ephesians 5:15

In the wretched hive of scum and villainy that we call “the 21st century,” there is probably no issue that demands our attention more than the need to produce faithful bipeds. Perhaps nothing is as fundamentally human as the ability to walk on two legs, freeing up the arms and opposable thumbs for higher things, like grasping tools and folding in prayer. Those who advocate a quadrupedal lifestyle deny, not only what is most human in us, but also what is most divine, for we are made in the image of He who walked, and did not crawl, on the water.

Indeed, the scriptures are replete with admonitions for us to walk upright. Consider Psalms 84:11: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Notice the emphasis on “walking uprightly.” It is a prerequisite to God’s blessings.

And then there is the key scripture in Leviticus 11:42: “Whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth . . . they are an abomination.” Could the Lord have been plainer in His scriptures? Things that walk upright are blessed. Things that creep upon the earth are an abomination.  To say otherwise, we would have to discount the Lord’s words in Leviticus.

And yet, the fallen world would have us believe that crawling around on all fours is just another choice, like whether to wear a white or a blue shirt to Church (wear white of course) or whether or not to have a tenth child (which, of course you should). Well, let us concede the point. If quadrapedalism is a “choice,” then so is bipedalism. We can choose to walk upright. And we can teach our children to choose bipedalism as well.

Here are a few concrete steps that you can take—steps refined through years of experience and practice with some of the most quadrapedally oriented children you have ever seen—to encourage your children to choose to walk upright.

  • Eliminate regular contacts with domestic quadrupeds. Nothing is more useful to Satan than the argument that “quadrapedalism occurs in nature.” While this is true, it is certainly no argument for choosing to do it ourselves. Lots of things occur in nature. Animals hunt and kill each other, defecate in public, and engage in pre-marital sex all over the place. This does not make it right. But if children are surrounded by domestic quadrupeds—dogs and cats and the like—they will start to love and identify with these creatures. This could lead to attempts to imitate their locomotive behaviors. If you must have a pet, consider a parakeet or a chicken. These avian amigos can be just as loving as a dog or a cat, and they walk in a scripturally appropriate manner—on two legs like they should.
  • Revise language that seems to support a quadrupedal lifestyle. If you take your children swimming, don’t use words like “front crawl.” This is not really crawling, you know. It’s just a metaphor. Instead, say that you will be doing the “Overarm Propulsion Thrust”—this is a more accurate term, to be sure, and it does not have the effect of subtly reinforcing quadrapedalism at the linguistic level. Similarly, if you must stay out all night drinking in a variety of unseemly locations, don’t come home and say you were at a “bar crawl” or a “pub crawl.” Just say you were bar hopping with your friends. Hopping is an acceptable form of bipedal locomotion.
  • Gently correct infants when they choose to crawl. Do not be harsh or judgmental; but redirect their attention towards bipedal locomotion, even if it is uncomfortable for them at first. Children will often experiment with crawling on all fours. Don’t be alarmed by this; they often do not know any better. But make sure that your children understand that, in your house, they are expected to walk like human beings, no matter how old they are. Part of being a good parent is setting expectations and enforcing correct behavior.
  • Point out good examples of bipedalism that you see when you are out in public. If a young woman walks by with particularly good bipedal bearing, say something like, “would you look at the posture on that one!” This will reinforce to your children that you value walking on two legs.
  • Make sure that you always give thanks—in your prayers, your testimonies, and your daily conversations—for the privilege of walking on two legs. Make sure that your children understand bipedal locomotion as a gift from God—a gift that anyone can choose and that only the truly ungrateful would ever reject in order to walk around on all fours like some filthy, loathsome beast.

This is important stuff. We all know that we live in a fallen world that has been turned over to Satan for a time. And he is dedicated to convincing us that evil is good, and that depravity is the new normal. That is the job description of the Father of Lies.

But we also know that Satan is no match for a godly family, for it is in the family that the gospel must be taught. And it must be taught by example, by precept, by diligent exposition of the scriptures, and, most of all, by the spirit. Our children do listen to us, even when they don’t seem to be paying attention. So let us all teach our children to walk upright before the Lord.


  1. it's a series of tubes says:

    Michael, why do you feel the need to twist the Church’s teachings regarding homosexual behavior into absurd strawmen, and then proceed to knock those strawmen down? I suppose it is easier than actually engaging with these issues and with those whose position you clearly despise.

  2. This is very amusing. And probably just a bit confusing to someone who didn’t know the context. :)

  3. it's a series of tubes says:

    Having now located and read the original article (deleted, but archived elsewhere), Michael, please allow me to walk back the tone of my first comment a bit. That article is a disaster.

  4. Perfect response, bravo.

  5. Best_ever.

  6. Fantastic! I hope the original ends up in the same bonfire as ‘Are you a Liberal Mormon?’

  7. David Harrison Smith says:
  8. Oh my gosh, too perfect.

  9. Thomas Parkin says:

    Well, and I’m glad you emphasized not only walking on two feet, but walking uprightly. For many years our son would walk around hunched over, with his arms pulled in, so that he resembled a Tyrannosaur. He was trying to live the dino lifestyle. We winked at it, until he began to live out his fascination in public. Then we began worrying. What have we done wrong? Our son does not even want to be a human being, he’d rather be a dinosaur. He isn’t even choosing to be part of an extant species. After much prayer and council with concerned leaders we sent him to a camp where they scared the bejesus out of him, and convinced him to choose the life of a real human boy. Now he is walking around, full upright like the cocky little s.o.b. we always hoped he would be. Surely God does not want us hunched over with dangling little arms, like an Allosaurus! He wants us to walk around like He does, floating in mid-air optional.

  10. For those worrying about walking uprightly, fortunately, we’re not quadrupeds (born with 4 legs.)

  11. A Happy Hubby says:

    I don’t understand. Kids today wouldn’t think of walking on all 4’s because they constantly have their 2 hands firmly on their smartphones! Many of the walk upright – right into things they didn’t know where in front of them because their eyes are glued on to their screen.

  12. Thank you. I really needed that laugh today. Also, props for the Star Wars reference.

  13. Dang. I couldn’t even find the archived article.

    I’m probably a better person for never seeing it.

  14. Anyone have a link to the archived article?

  15. We walk on two legs, not on four. To walk on four legs breaks the law.

    Off to the house of PAIN!!!!

  16. I was quite encouraged by the whole episode yesterday. People overwhelmingly recognized the original article as the rubbish that it was. ‘Twas not always so!

  17. What’s so controversial in the original article? Here’s what I read:
    -Being part of the procreative link in the generations of families is important
    -We should not be ashamed about temptations, but still view our ability to act on temptations as choice
    -Don’t worry about ridiculous boy or girl stereotypical traits and preferences as being a valid link to sexual identity
    -Don’t have sex outside of marriage
    -Nature/Nuture isn’t entirely settled, and regardless you shouldn’t entirely discount agency
    -Predispositions may increase proclivity
    -Be a better example

    If you strip away all the uncharitable excitement that people rile themselves into on the homosexual issues that continue to suck way too much air out of the room, it’s really not that controversial to me. Sure you could isolate a few sentences and make the proverbial mountain out of a molehill, but in general, my summary above feels like the author’s takeaway points and I don’t think they are all that bad. In fact, I tend to agree with all of the above points.

    Too bad people probably started targeting the author personally…

  18. Gerry, if you have any gay friends or family members, ask them to walk through the article with you and share their thoughts. If you don’t know any gay people, go make a new friend!

  19. Brilliant!

  20. Gerry, Her article was very dangerous. I spent nearly fifteen years of my life trying to do what she suggested. It ended with a suicide attempt two years ago. This stuff doesn’t work. God made me gay, and he loves me just the way I am.

    BTW, will you be offering up your own children to enter into mixed-orientation marriages for her little experiment?

  21. As a gay man in a mixed orientation marriage, the Meridian article as well as the sarcasm it has engendered causes me concern. There are many things in the article that I don’t agree with and the know-it-all tone that trivializes the LGBT experience is terrible. However, we need to find ways of talking about some of the important issues the article tried albeit clumsily to raise.

    Sexuality is not binary–I’m either gay or I’m straight; it’s much more a Kinsey scale of 0 to 6. For those teens on the fence, why not make it easier for them to choose heterosexuality? We need to make Church a safe place for all to discover themselves as His children. And everyone, including Church leaders and dissenters alike, has got to start admitting openly that there’s a lot about sexual orientation that we just don’t understand.

    While I appreciate the righteous anger from allies trying to defend their LGBT friends, I am afraid the satirical response to articles like this shuts down meaningful dialogue that we need to have.

  22. Mike, good point. Making the Church a welcoming place for all is a noble goal.

  23. The big theological issue the Church has refused to engage with is that God made homosexuals. That implies a lot. Elder Packer (rip) clumsily tried to deny this in the past but it’s clear to most everyone who is or knows a homosexual that (binary or not) orientation was not a matter of choice for them. If we have a problem with what God’s done, then we need to take it up with Him, not with them.

  24. “We can, and must, make it easier for someone with homosexual inclinations to choose heterosexuality.”

    Ask Carol Lynn Pearson how well that worked for her and her ex-husband. And, that was in an era when homosexuality faced a lot more opposition & difficulties than now. General Authorities now recommend against opposite sex marriages to “cure” homosexuality.

  25. Mike H., without speaking for Mike Smith I believe the application of choice applies best to people with fluid sexuality. No disputing what you are saying.

  26. Jeremiah,
    I’m far more worried about my daughter marrying someone addicted to pornography than someone with homosexual inclinations, but a desire to be a father of his children who have a mother united with him.

    Quite frankly, too many people are confused about sexual joy and attraction being the sole purpose of sex. The procreative familial dimension is key, with the uniting/pleasurable aspect of sex being there to serve the unity of the family and mother and father.

    I’d have no qualms with a daughter marrying someone who understood that biological and religious truth about the nature and purpose of sex.

    I’d also have no problem growing to love someone of the same gender if it was for the right reason. No homophobia here. Incidentally, if a gay person is repulsed by the idea of sex with the biologically appropriate gender, then they are a heterophobe. If they can’t learn to love and adore their best friend and eternal companion of the opposite gender, they need to learn about friendship, love and charity.

    I understand something about life, and the sexual complimentary procreative component of it that people fixated on the supporting role (attraction and pleasure) of sex don’t understand.

    Sorry, you’re eternally wrong on this one, even though you try to show charity, it’s just another debased ideology masquerading as higher law and it’s ultimately sowing confusion and causing issues that will hurt families for generations.

  27. ” if a gay person is repulsed by the idea of sex with the biologically appropriate gender, then they are a heterophobe.”

    Or, they’re gay.

  28. Word. I’m loving it! :-)

  29. Eve of Destruction says:

    >Sexuality is not binary–I’m either gay or I’m straight; it’s much more a Kinsey scale of 0 to 6. For those teens on the fence, why not make it easier for them to choose heterosexuality?

    Sexuality is not binary–correct. But choosing a spouse commits you to a lifetime (and presumably an eternity) of exclusive sexual relations with one person. And whoever that person is, they’re going to have a gender, which is generally binary (leaving out the possibility of a trans or gender-nonconforming spouse which would be the spouse’s choice, if there is an element of choice in it).

    I say this as the straight spouse of a mixed orientation temple marriage. I would not have married the dreamy, devout, returned missionary BYU grad whom I married if I had understood just how extremely difficult the choice to remain faithful to a woman is, when comparing a man who is only attracted to other women, with a man who is mostly though not exclusively attracted to men.

    As a sheltered LDS virgin on the straightest possible end of the spectrum, who only had enough life experience at 22 to experience “resisting sexual temptation” as not going past French kissing with my fiance until the wedding, I didn’t get it. How could I possibly get it. I sought out others in the same situation and eventually met five other temple married couples in mixed orientation marriages by the time I married, just over ten years ago. Four of the five were divorced before my spouse asked for a divorce. He did not cheat. But he was struggling so constantly that he couldn’t live his life and be himself; the only thing he had time for was struggling to remain faithful. He got to a point where his mental health was being affected by the constant extreme effort it took for him to remain faithful. I couldn’t bear to put someone I loved through that any longer once I saw it up close. The couple we knew who stayed married is in an ongoing cycle of repeated adultery, confession, forgiveness, then more adultery, which I know because they spill it all when they both repeatedly beg their friends to support them in their ongoing marriage. It just seems beyond odd to have a couple begging me to make it easier for them to choose to remain married to each other, but I suppose it’s not a surprising end result of what happens when an entire community is expected to make it easier for young people on the fence to choose heterosexuality.

    The mixed orientation model of marriage should not be held up as an ideal, although it was presented to me as such when I was considering it. I was told how Christlike it would be if I could find it in my heart to forgive my spouse for his same-sex experimentations before he met me and marry him knowing that he would always struggle somewhat with this. (Somewhat!) It should be made clear to anyone considering a mixed orientation marriage just exactly how extremely difficult it is. If someone wants to climb Everest, that is awesome and I will cheer them on, but if someone wants to make it *easier* for mostly-non-mountain-climbers to choose to climb Everest, without fully explaining just what they’ll be up against and what they’ll be risking–no. That’s irresponsible.

  30. Gerry, I also thought the article made a lot of good points. I particularly appreciated what it said about not expecting children to conform to stereotyped gender roles, and not shaming them.

    That said, I think it has numerous problems:

    It sets up an “us” and “them” framework in which gay people are other (e.g., statements like “we can be kind to gays and we can grant them legal rights.”)

    In its zeal to defend the heterosexual family, it throws adoptive parents and infertile couples under the bus, as it construes families as essentially being about having one’s own biological children.

    It reduces homosexuality to being about nothing but sex, instead of a complex attraction that includes sexual, social, and emotional factors. Reading this article, one might well conclude that gay people are sex fiends with no interest in controlling their attractions.

    It compares homosexuality to something like a hot temper or being shy. But homosexuality isn’t an addiction or a character flaw.

    It sets forth dubious and debunked ideas about what causes homosexuality, including poor heterosexual role models, being shamed for one’s toy preferences, and sexual abuse.

    And ultimately, its most fundamental premise, that one can choose to be heterosexual, has been devastating for a host of people whose attempts to change have led to feelings of failure, worthlessness, and hopelessness.

    I don’t think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill to note that these are fairly serious issues.

  31. Sometimes you just have to say what needs to be said. If we tailored everything for exceptions then most articles would be nothing but caveats — a tiresome droning of empty apologies.

  32. First I would like to state for the record that I do not advocate for (or against) mixed orientation marriages. In fact if one of my children told me they planning on entering a mixed orientation marriage I would suggest they carefully consider the cost. Very carefully.

    Second, I have an awesome marriage. That is in large part because BEFORE we married, my wife’s life experiences taught her to love and accept gay people without trying to change them. (So she gets that I think Nicholas Hoult is totally hot and I can voice this and she doesn’t feel threatened.) I also told her of my homosexual orientation very early in our courtship, our third or fourth date. I have a feeling (maybe just a misplaced hope) that one of the positive side effects from society’s new openness towards LGBT issues is that more young women and men will be like my wife: people willing and able to enter into successful mixed orientation marriage if they feel inspired to do so.

    Again, I’m neither advocating for mixed orientation marriage nor holding it up as ideal. But for some LGBT, a mixed orientation marriage may be the right choice. For some the right choice may be celibacy. For others a same sex marriage may be the right choice (or celibacy today and tomorrow same sex marriage). Pretty much the only option that is never, ever the right choice is suicide.

    I just fear that in advocating fiercely for our most gay members (who need our love and support) we eliminate choices for those still trying to figure out what is right for them. Please, let’s be careful to keep all options open for Heavenly Father’s children, every one.

  33. Eve of Destruction says:

    Congrats on your awesome marriage. Let me state that the following were also true of my marriage:

    – before we married, my life experiences taught me to love and accept gay people without trying to change them.
    – during my marriage, my then-husband told me what guys he thought were hot, and I never felt threatened.
    – my ex told me of his homosexual orientation very early in our courtship, before our second date.

    And we will have to agree to disagree, because I was willing and able to enter into a mixed orientation marriage when I felt inspired to do so, and it was a terrible mistake. It was only after I saw the toll it was taking on my now ex-husband and still-beloved-friend’s mental health that I understood that it was something I never should have embarked on.

    There is nothing that can possibly make a mixed orientation marriage work the same way a both-gay or both-hetero marriage works. It is an ongoing lifelong sacrifice. And let me be clear, I honor the tremendous sacrifice that you and your wife are making. I encourage you not to minimize it.

    Let me be frank, the first time you have an orgasm with someone who is as attracted to you as you are to them, because you are both oriented in a compatible way toward each other, THAT is the life experience I’m talking about that is not available to faithful LDS young adults pre-marriage. They’re basing decisions off of what married adults are telling them. When both-hetero-married adults are saying “sex is important but not the most important” and mixed-orientation-married adults are saying “we have an awesome marriage” — it’s confusing! They don’t understand what they are giving up! I thank my Heavenly Father that my then-husband knew (from his prior experimentation) that even though orgasm was technically working in our marriage, something was missing. Something was always missing. I didn’t understand it until I met and married my second husband, who is primarily attracted to women. And when I finally saw my husband deeper in love than I could have imagined him — with his boyfriend who I suspect will be his fiance before long.

  34. Eve,
    I’m sorry your first marriage ended the way it did. I am happy that you now have found love. And I’m especially happy that you and your former husband remain friends.

    You make sweeping generalizations about mixed orientation marriages (“there is nothing that can possibly make a mixed orientation marriage work the same way a both-gay or both-hetero marriage works”) based on your experience and your perception of other mixed orientation marriages. When counseling others, be sure to let them know that what you say is your opinion, not mine.

    Our experiences with mixed orientation marriage are obviously not the same. And neither of our experiences will be the same as any two other people entering a mixed orientation marriage. We should not feel we have a right to tell others considering a mixed orientation marriage that their experience will turn out like ours. We can only share with them our experiences and opinions and support them in their right to choose.

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