Friday, November 6, 2015

Posting the heck out of the day: The LDS Policy Adjustments

The recent policy adjustments from my church (Mormon) have had me in tears. So I took it upon myself to research the issue and drown my sadness in Diet Coke. 

I pretty much drown everything in Diet Coke.

Here are a few points I would like to make that I have recently learned, or reminded myself that I learned long ago based on information readily available.

The LDS church does not seek to drive wedges between family members. I would not remain a member of an organization that did.

No child can get baptized without the approval of their parents. This has been the case in the Mormon church for some time, at least since the mid 80's when I was a missionary in Central America. By the same token, nor can a married adult be baptized without the consent of their spouse. A child from a polygamous family cannot either.

There are groups of people and areas of population where the LDS church treads very carefully so as not to put the safety of the native people in jeopardy. Take, for example, the proselyting in communist countries, or of Muslims. There are cultural differences that make it deadly for those in some cultures to convert to Mormonism/Christianity. Policy's that have been in place for some time are an issue of safety. 

The LDS church has a responsibility to all those who choose to be baptized. Those who are considering becoming a member of the LDS church should not have to choose between their membership and having a place to live or food to eat. They should not have to make a choice between their religious beliefs and their family. 

The only way same sex married couples would be able to live as their son or daughter believes as new members their parents should live would be for the couple to split up, and that is not what the LDS church wants. No prophet of god would ask that any child, or anyone in a culture that would harm them,  to have to choose between their family and their religious beliefs -- though some have made that choice.

Regarding the referring to same-sex married couples as apostates. Apostate is a strong word that we associate with anti-Mormons who cause pain to members of the church both in modern and ancient times. The current, accepted definition is thus: A person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.

Same sex marriage is at odds with the purpose of the church. It is possible to be gay without being considered an apostate. I am generally not considered an apostate – at least not by my bishop or stake president. But for a Mormon to marry one of the same sex would be considered generaly to be a renunciation of belief, an act of defiance – for lack of a better word. Dissenter, maybe? A subversion? That action would buck key issues of LDS belief and would be a step toward apostasy.

Second is the issue of judging and being judged. Judgment is not mine. Judgment is not yours. Judgment is His. And sometimes he delegates judgment to his servants. No one else.

A point I would like to make: People are being treated individually. This is not a blanket that covers anyone to shield them from the light. Bishops and stake presidents/mission presidents have been instructed to handle any exception themselves. Personally. This requires meeting with those involved who wish to be represented.

Are there extras that have to happen for any child who is in a home where the heads of that home are considered to have apostatized from the church? Yes. There may be extra steps they would need to take for other reasons as well. I myself had extras I had to do in order to marry my wife because I am a gay man. 

We are treated like individuals.

I must tell you that I am feeling much better about the recent events after I studied a bit and kept an attitude of prayer. While I grieve for those who are hurt by this action, I rejoice in the fact that God is just, and that His judgment will be fair and will be made out of love for us – with our best interest in a mind that is infinitely more complex than ours.


  1. You might find this helpful as well.

  2. I know that my marrying my husband 4 years ago was NOT an act of defiance but an act of love. I also know that God sent him into my life for a precious reason. Our love has grown exponentially and the fruits of our love has blessed my family, his family and our community in so many ways. God is far greater than the Mormon Church.