I read it right before I went to sleep last night–which wasn’t a good thing.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not baptize a child under 18 who is the child of a same-sex couple either married or co-habitating. Once the child turns 18 and is no longer living in that household, he or she can seek approval then.
That meant I couldn’t sleep for at least an hour because I wasn’t in a very good mood. My first response?
How dare they.
And then the morning came–and I had a memory that struck me out of nowhere.
I started learning about the church when I was 18 and I still lived at home. I was still several months away from college, my parents were active in the Pentecostal church, and I was raised so anti-Mormon that we hid in closets when those black-tagged visitors would knock on our door. Needless to say, it was scary when the day came to tell my father that I wanted to be Mormon.
Although my mom was more accepting of the idea, my dad was a tough nut to crack. He wasn’t happy with me going to church or reading the Book of Mormon and we fought like cats and dogs. The missionaries refused to come over to teach lessons when they weren’t welcome–they even sadly told me I couldn’t be baptized quite yet–because they “aren’t in the business of pitting me against my parents”. Now, they didn’t push me away, mind you. That’s important to note. Every time I showed up at church they made sure to do whatever it took to answer my questions and give me whatever literature I requested. Each sunday they’d even meekly ask, “Is your father ok with us coming over this week, perhaps?”
Although I itched to be baptized–it was respect. I see it now that within a church that strives to make families eternal, the last thing they’d want to do is baptize a young girl still living at home with parents who could potentially kick her out, disown her, or be driven even further from the gospel. My parents weren’t like that of course, but it was the missionaries’ jobs to do things the right way. Some time later on, after my parents agreed to have them over for dinner, and after we were all eventually baptized and even went through the temple together, one of my missionaries said to me, “I always had the faith that YOUR faith would make it all alright.”
And I repeat that memory in my head now with the controversy being stirred up by those within, and outside of, our great church of Christ. Just like me, the church is striving to protect these beautiful children who live within a home that is contrary to God’s will. Does that make the LGBT bad people? Of course not! There are Gay and Lesbian parents who are loving and wonderful and raise such good kids. Our church has gone the extra mile to make sure that they know that. They are loved and valued beyond comprehension! But the fact remains that the child’s home and church would be very different from one another. The things the children would be learning–the covenants the child would be taking on–would mean that their very living condition is out of alignment with the gospel. We can all agree on that. The child would eventually have to choose between the parents’ or the church’s doctrine. And that doesn’t support the gospel OR families.
Sooner or later the teachings might pit the child against his or her own parents. There might be fights. A lack of trust. Or maybe the child, defensive of his or her parents, would grow bitter against the church and leave or retaliate, which would be much worse than never having been baptized in the first place. There are a barrage of things that could lead to a slippery, dark slope.
We aren’t in the business of baptizing members just to leave them gasping and flailing for air. Baptism is sacred–very, very serious. Those who are baptized and eventually go through the temple make promises and covenants that last eternity. Now, seven years later, and looking back upon my journey to where I am, I understand why my missionaries did it they way they did. Because of how they did it, my family was united. There was love. My dad died a priesthood holder with a temple recommend at his bedside. My decision to go to BYU-Idaho was a happy one. There was peace and understanding with my decision.
If someone, younger than 18 and still living at home, takes that all on without support–there will be horrible repercussions. And that doesn’t just go for the LGBT community. There are a hundred other circumstances. My husband, who served in Africa, said that same policy was practiced among the children there who had Muslim parents. Because of the threat to the children’s safety (because of religious law) and the lack of support, it was simply off limits to baptize a child without parental consent.
I’m not a spokesperson for the church. In fact, I keep deleting and re-writing lines of this blog because I don’t have an agenda and I don’t want to sound like I do. I don’t know everything. Sometimes things hurt me, like they do you, and sometimes my perspective is so narrow that I have to get on my knees to ask for His perspective instead.
“Suffer the little children to come unto me,” I kept saying in my head last night. And I realize now that the church, which is founded upon Christ, never said they should not. We believe that Christ loves all children, from conception to last breath. And we believe that regardless of skin color, nationality, sexual orientation, intelligence, or religion he loves so unconditionally and wholly that there will be a day when everyone will have a chance to say “Yes” to him and commit to him, whether it’s in this life or the next.
This policy is not to keep the children away. It is to make sure they have a sure chance of not only coming, but staying.
I don’t know everything, and sometimes I wish I did. Because it takes a while for me to swallow doctrine at times. I’m the type of person who gets angry first about things and then thinks later. I know it should be reversed, but I’m only human. As a convert to the church, sometimes I sway to the liberal side of things, and the only way to rein me in is to show me why certain policies are there for the exact reason I’m passionate about. To protect. To defend. To lead in righteousness. When I open my eyes and broaden my look at things I more easily see that the very things that seem harsh or hard to take are the very things that protect the family, protect eternal principles, and protect the Lord’s flock.
So many covenants we make as LDS members, we realize the grave nature of them. We’ve all heard the expression, “To reject the Lord after knowing the full truth, it would be better if you weren’t even born.”
So why would we play with the fire?
Christ leads and guides this church and inspiration and revelation in our day is to make sure our standards stay high, even when the world’s becomes low.
I’m humbled that during the times when I’m doubtful or unsure, He fills in the blanks. He reminds me to pray. To trust and have faith that His love and His perspective is so much greater than my own.
I at least know that much.
And for now, that is enough.
UPDATE: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responds to policy change in this powerful video:
219 thoughts on “This much I know: My take on the LGBT Mormon controversy”
Whi, I absolutely love your comments and would like a copy of it to share.
Kayla – I love your posts! I am a little worried about your phrase ““To reject the Lord after knowing the full truth, it would be better if you weren’t even born.” I always thought it was “…. would be better if you had not known the truth / been baptized” something like that. Everyone should have been born, no matter what they do with their lives. That’s the whole purpose for this earth is for us all to have been born, and why abortion is such an abomination.
D&C 76:31-32, I believe these are the verses she is referring to.
I stand corrected! 😉
That phraseology is in Scripture actually
When I first read this information, I too had basically the same gut reaction. I was raised in an inactive family and chose at the age of 9 to be baptized and go to church and activities on my own. My parents were neither negative or positive about my choices. Being a child who is the only active member is a challenge.
i understand the ordinance part, but if a couple is willing to let the child attend church activities I hope and prayer that all love and kindness is shown to all of them so that child continues to feel (as well as the couple) the Saviors Love. That is how we know when we want to be baptized and make and keep other sacred covenants with our Father in Heaven.
I am so grateful my Father is in charge of this whole plan. The prophet looks to Him for guidance. We follow the Prophet.
I would liken it to the problems of a cohabiting couple seeking the gospel, if they’re living in opposition to the law, they must correct that before they can be brought in. It doesn’t mean they aren’t welcomed and loved before they are baptised into the church, just that they must correct their lifestyle first. In this case it is the parents living out of alignment with the values of the church and it could cause problems in either or both directions for the church to admit children and then teach them that their parents are not living according to God’s plan, better to wait until they are adults and can make the choice themselves,
Very well said, I too was upset when I first heard of this, but pondering and praying had me see why also, and you seem to put my thoughts into words for me. Thank you-
Loved it – thank you
This policy change and policy clarification, will cause a lot of contention in the public arena, but will lesson the contention in the family. Kayla explained how very well.
This is my perspective as well and when thought in this light it is one of love.
It is with deepest gratitude that I want you to know how much of an impact you have made in my life on difficult issues. I was angry last night when I heard the church’s policy. How unfair to babies and children who are innocent. Could our leaders be wrong? This was just a policy not doctrine, right? Then after a night’s sleep and a bad day I began to see things more from the Lord’s perspective. This isn’t the first time the Lord had dealt with wayward parents and innocent children. What will be taught in the home of the LGBT couple? Your post reminded me of several sad experiences as the ward mission leader where young adults joined the church holding so much promise but didn’t have the support of their parents. As much as we tried they fell by the wayside. This was a great age group to teach but when mom and dad hold the purse strings or provide a place to live, you have two choices live by their rules or try a homeless life. Now I have ancestor immigrants who left homes to be members. I have often wondered why can’t these young adults stand firm like many of my ancestors. Then again you’ve nailed it in your blog. We shouldn’t be so quick to baptize that we cause strain in the family and cause those who have made covenants to be in a position where they can’t keep them. It is a tough policy to swallow but the more I ponder on it the more see the loving mercy of the Lord and we need to see beyond the now and marvel as the future unravels. I believe that God loves the LGBT as much as he does any of his children and He will find a way in a future day to heal them as we need to be healed.
I don’t agree with this policy. Many, especially in the beginning of the church, had to leave family, friends, etc just to become members. Emma Smith congress to mind. She was never accepted for her belief from her father and Joseph never told her, “oh, don’t become a member of the church, don’t read the book of Mormon, I would hate for there to be strain in your family because of truth.” Matthew 19:27-30
27 ¶Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
I know of a story of a Muslim woman who was rejected by her family for becoming a member, kicked out, etc. She received many blessings from that experience. Of course them you have Mormon families that cat out their children when they go astray. Either way, one day we all have to choose. If a child is old enough to be baptized and know the covenant they are making, they should be allowed to, especially if the parents give their consent.
These examples are grown adults, who are fully formed emotionally. Emma had a husband and Joseph’s entire family for support. The Muslim woman you referred to, was she in the U.S.? Her life was probably not threatened. Even if both parents are consenting, the child is living in two diametrically opposed environments. That is not healthy for their psyche.
I can understand where your coming from but in this day and age of confusion and contention and moral decay, most 8, 9, 10 year olds are not mature enough to understand the consequences and long term effects of what they are going to have to go through. The church is not in the business of setting up children for almost certain heartache in this decision. And make no mistake it will be almost automatic in these circumstances. They should wait until they are older and can deal with the emotion that is most certainly attached.
Well said. Gentle hugs from a distance.
Reblogged this on 8ways2 and commented:
What powerful thoughts on a sensitive topic.
A beautiful story and explanation. It makes sence to me.
Well well done! I have read 100’s of responses and only a couple with this made any sense. Can we share this on My Calling Org like we did last year with one of your other masterpieces?
Thank you Ryan! I’d be honored if you shared it!
I think it goes deeper. If a child is told they can be sealed to their parents, but in the case of same sex couples, they cannot as same sex couples themselves cannot be sealed it truly is far better to allow that family to not be divided until the child is of legal age, able to understand fully what acceptance and full practice of the LDS Church’s doctrine. What good does it do a child or adult to baptize them then have them turn around and say, “hey, wait a minute I don’t agree with that and I can’t support it.” Now apostacy is in action and a far greater situation to deal with then having to wait for baptism. As a missionary I received a phone call from another Elder. He told me a man I had taught wanted to join the Church and needed to be interviewed for baptism. I had taught him therefore I was not able to perform the interview. I explained that then asked, “Why did he want to join? What made him change his mind?” The reply, “the oui ji board told him to.” The baptism didn’t happen because the man was seeking a source of spiritual guidance away from the Father. I sustain the First Presidency and other general authorities. We have been asked to treat all our Father in Heaven’s children with dignity. The church has stopped working to prevent same sex unions. The agreement was that the church would be left alone by entering such an agreement. It does not appear that the agreement is being honored. I also find it quite ironic that those who would not join the church themselves are extremely vocal and those in the church already are not sustaining the Brethren. Of course it is choice. With choice you get a consequence. Consequences are not always known until the decision is made and then it may be too late. A radio program said that God is not keeping up with society. When was it ever His job to make everyone happy or to change His ways? I’m done.
Thanks , yes , it does go deeper..there is more…
Eternal tragedies ONLY take place by choice. Now that choive is solely on the parent.
Good commentary. Thank you. People can get very angry when God doesn’t change, yet He often assures us He never changes. This is so we could know the rock we lean on won’t fall apart on us or crumble. This should be comforting, but many are instead upset and distraught.
Except the church (God) changed when it came to polygamy not being ok, and when it came to black men holding the preisthood. Seems like the church changes God to suit their purpose.
This line of reasoning doesn’t really make sense to me. I saw someone post a comment on Facebook to the effect that this new policy is an act of mercy to children, just like the priesthood ban was merciful to blacks.
It doesn’t make sense for a couple of reasons:
First, it’s based on a long string of possibilities: this might happen, that might happen. In your case, the missionaries applied judgement in a real situation with real opposition. This policy doesn’t care if there’s actual opposition- it applies a judgement universally.
Secondly, the idea that we save people from baptism because their life situation will make it difficult to remain active seems wrong to me. On my mission, I wouldn’t have taught half the people I taught if I applied that filter. And, again, it’s a judgement applied universally.
This policy was unnecessary. If it was truly about saving children from the hardships of opposition, then the policy should have been worded generally with discretion given to local leaders or missionaries. No need to single out gay people.
Your post was heartfelt, but I believe your initial anger was more justifiable than your ensuing rationalization.
If you ever believed in the church, you would remember that the atonement covers all. Children of LGBT’s are not being denied the blessings of the church now or ever. They will come in time to those who really want them. Blanket policies are put in place to remove confusion. Wise and inspired leaders under the direction of the spirit will act according to His will. This policy weeds out those who are dis-ingenuous, and still protects and supports those who are sincere.
If this is true, then why have a child baptised at all? Should anyone under the age of 18 be baptised? If you believe that one cannot enter Heaven without it then is not LDS not condemning children to hell if they die before the age of 18?
Do a little research about baptism in the LDS church. Unlike other churches, we believe no child will ever be damned if they die without baptism – nor any adult who would have accepted it in this life if it had been offered to him. In the LDS church, we have temples for doing vicarious work for the dead. If my Grandma died before she was baptized, was a good woman and would have accepted the gospel if she’d had the chance, I can go and be baptized in her name – on her behalf in the temple. We believe she can choose to accept that work or not on the other side. Same goes for sealing children to parents for the dead. Baptisms for the dead are even done for “wicked” people – as we believe there is missionary work being done in heaven to reach those people. The Lord gives us all a chance to have those saving ordinances, no matter how late they may come. Don’t worry – God covers all our bases – if we let Him.
Jeff, yes, exactly. Thank you for your response, putting in words what I havent been able to formulate yet. And no one seems to be talking about why this sin is being singled out? Labeled apostasy?? Really? There are so many other sins that are not being labeled this way that need to be. And why 18, becauae they are being told they must MOVE OUT, no other baptismal candidate, no matter their home life is being denied a blessing at birth (which isn’t even an ordinance by the way so whats the issue?) or having to wait until they are 18 to make the choice of baptism. If the logic is to ensure maturity to understand the consequences of your choice, then no one should be baptized until much later than age 8. And while we are at it, are we disregarding A of F #2?
Also, there are so many different scenarios that this policy is not helping. Such as a child born to a man and woman who divorced when one of the spouses comes out of the closet, they both remarry and share custody, so part time the child is in a hetero parent home and part homosexual parent home, according to this policy, the kid can’t be baptized.
Hopefully all of that makes sense…just had to get it off my mind and out there.
While the LDS church has made wonderful efforts to protect the civil rights of the LGBT’s at least in the State of Utah, they are also aware that the left has an “agenda” and seems to continue to want more and more and more. Even they have to agree with that. There will come a time when marriage of LGBT’s in the temples and churches will be demanded as a “civil” right – or the church prosecuted for discrimination. The practicing homosexuals ARE apostates. They have rejected church doctrine on the issue, and in many cases outright broken temple covenants. Yes, that makes them apostate. Formally classifying their previous memberships that way, protects the church from having their religious freedom challenged and the sanctity of their temples violated.
Also custody issues can be challenged. If a gay parent wants to claim his/her LDS ex wants the children baptized, that person may loose custody of the children to the SS household, if a liberal judge decides baptizing the children into a church that does not condone the ss marriage, alienates them from that parent. This does protect the children and on more levels than we can comprehend.
Apostasy means not being willing to turn from sin and follow the Lord. Living in a same sex marriage necessarily means an unwillingness to abandon a lifestyle contrary to God’s commandments. This is not singling out one sin, but drawing a clear line showing that secular law cannot change God’s law.
Completely agree with you 100%. I mean if this is about saving heartache for the children why don’t we say that all children who live in conditions opposite to the churches teachings have to wait until they are 18…?
Jeff nailed it.
Don’t forget those children CAN be baptized at age 8 they just have to go through a higher chain of authority in the church and then it gets considered on a one one basis.
Couldn’t have said it better myself! 🙂
I have followed you for a little over a year now, (I think) and I don’t always read your blog when it comes to me on Facebook but this writing has stirred me. Not in a bad way but in an understanding way. You are not a general authority, nor a religious zealot, or for that matter always right which is OK since I am not either…
This new policy was received here in SLC as a very big thing, if I had been back in California where I lived for @ 60 years, I am sure I would not even be confronted about this. I now live in SLC and it started almost the minute the announcement was published here. I believe in the gospel with all my heart and will sit with that knowledge. I now, due to your comments, have a platform of understanding that will not only help me with speaking to others but most importantly gain a deeper testimony for my beliefs. God is orchestrating this world and he has commissioned great men and women to bring it to it’s celestial glory. Thank you for pointing me in the right directions, and sometimes that is a hard thing for me to accomplish.
The church has always refused to baptize children who do not have their parents’ permission. I don’t see why the same policy wouldn’t be suitable for this situation. If the gay parents are in support of their children’s choice, there will not be any contention. If they are not in support, then the kid doesn’t get baptized.
Besides, this new policy only allows 18-year olds to be baptized. These aren’t kids. These are adults. And even then, these adults can only be baptized if they get First Presidency permission, and if necessary, move out of their house.
As the policy is written, adult children of same-sex partners also cannot be baptized unless they get First Presidency permission. That means if I am 40 years old and my gay father lives five states over, I cannot get baptized without First Presidency permission.
The policy needs to be rewritten to mean “adult children living at home.” This policy is not ONLY about keeping peace in homes. At least not the way it is written.
Your prospective on this is so amazing. You may not know everything. But what you do know makes you an amazing person. It totally makes sense how you explain it.
As a ward missionary leader and a home teacher to an inactive family I was faced with the situation where the Missionaries were waiting for the children of that family to turn 12 so they could be taught the discussions. The parents were not interested in church participation, but would allow their children to be baptized if the request was made. I repeatedly would caution ward council meetings and stake missionary meetings that this was not a good idea, baptizing children in families where there wasn’t any support. I was treated as a heretic, one that should be sent to the fire. The children would be baptized right into inactivity. As a home teacher I would even pick the kids up and take them to church, only to find them back home by Sunday School. The question is if there is so much wisdom in not allowing children of gay couples church ordinances, why isn’t that wisdom equally applied to inactive and non member families? Fundamentally the principle is exactly the same, and there is wisdom if it was applied in equally all situations, but something quite different when isolating a particular community.
A few years ago, in the ward I am in now, two children were baptized and had the parents permission. I was….the…only….one in the whole ward to welcome those kids, sit with them, get them to activities, etc. (the ward people suck….sorry, but it is the truth). My time was taken over because I was caring for my spouse’s parents. I called people to help those kids. The Bishop at that time knew. No one took notice. The kids are now inactive. No child should be taught or baptized if parents are not members. Not until age eighteen.
So let me get this straight, according to Mormons, “gay marriage is a grievous sin, which requires discipline” even though its perfectly legal, yet no Mormon has any problem whatsoever with singing the praises of the founders of their church, knowing full well that they violated EVERY law governing marriage by claiming their followers wives as their own?
Yet no Mormon can produce a law that condones polyandry in any way.
You forget that when it comes to religion, we’re not necessarily particularly concerned with what’s “legal”. If murder became legal, we’d still say it was a grievous sin. While we generally believe in “being subject” to laws of the land, we’re still more concerned with God’s law.
Also, a few points of correction: At the time, where they were actually living, there weren’t always laws about polygamy. Once Utah became a state, things got sticky and changed. Also there was plural marriage but not so much on the one man claiming another man’s wife as his own.
Also not sure what polyandry has to do with your point?
Apparently Mormons, like you, are not concerned about God’s laws either, like the 10 Commandments, two of which were violated by JS and BY’s pracitce of polyandry and the so-called “Law” of the Priesthood, which roundly condemns polyandry in no uncertain terms, as adultery, yet Mormons continue singing the praises of Joseph Smith, knowing full well that he practiced polyandry. How you fail to see the inherent hypocrisy of that, speaks volumes.
Actually a lot of LDS folk are unaware of any polyandry on his part. As far as I am aware, there were women sealed to him after his death in a fit of confusion which indicates it wasn’t really his choice. But I’m not particularly aware of any other cases of it and I did, after all, have a class on the guy. If you want to argue that part was glossed over, I guess you could, but it did take into account his other oft-criticized mistakes so whatever.
In any case I’m not particularly worried about it since God can work through imperfect people who make huge errors as He did several times in the Bible; I’m more worried about what flaws I have to overcome.
And if murder became commandment…? That is the concern–religious authority speaks, and “the thinking has been done.”
I’m not so sure about that – I think this whole controversy proves that on more alarming situations, individual members (of this church at least) will very often seek personal confirmation before going along with things.
It’s not as though “murder” has never been commanded by God (and I put it in quotations because it only applies if your definition of murder is strictly killing someone else), but that’s been pretty highly specialized cases long, long ago. If it came up again, I highly doubt that it would be a largescale thing…and if it was, well, like I said, I doubt there wouldn’t be a lot more controversy about it.
Thank you for helping me understand.
Very mature perspective! Thank you for the post. All policies are necessarily general in nature and do not address the exceptions. They will be dealt with in a case by case basis.
This has been the only thing that has given me any peace over the past few days! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective. Super helpful!
Hey, when I first heard about it, I was furious too, assumed there was a mistake…except I didn’t even come to the conclusion on my own, someone else had to point out why this would happen to me, so don’t feel bad for only being human, eh?
K this is a good post BUT you do realize even if they are 18 they have to believe gay marriage is wrong essentially choosing religion over family
What they are actually doing is choosing to follow Gods Plan for marriage. There is no rule that they have to denounce their family.
Love your thoughtful, reflective posts. My favorite part today – go to the Lord and ask for assurance when there are doubts or conflict…
I loved your post but one thing that stuck out to me was that you said your parents were Pentecostal. I come from the same environment. My mom lives very much “filled with the Holy Ghost “. She speaks in tongues and what not. My father is just stubborn and believes what he believes. My question for you is, what did you noticed that helped soften their hearts? I would love for my family to even open their hearts for a moment and experience the gospel, i would be very interested to hear what helped with your family.
Thanks so much for your post.
Thank you for your post. I don’t believe I could have said it better myself.
I cannot thank you enough for writing this post. I believe that your humility, transparency, and graciousness demonstrate the life that our God made possible through Jesus and His sacrifice. Your writings are so refreshing and relatable.
Keep being real, Kayla. We need writers that address the realities of living the faith, and thereby helping us to succeed.
1614 Meadowview Ln
Martinsville, VA 24112
Thank you for sharing your insightful and deeply personal experience. I relate wholeheartedly to the evolution of your thoughts.
The problem is this policy is hateful at it’s core. I’ll also mention the fact that should be recognized that not all families are functional, whether or not you learned to accept your own bloodlines opinions is your own decision but there are certainly people who are not close to their own families and for perfectly fine just reasons (abuse, inability to accept their opinions, I think you get the point.) Just because someone is “family” by either law or blood, doesn’t mean they hold a special place in your life all though traditionally it is so and I love my parents as well as they love me.
But I digress to my point, the reason this policy is hateful is it is starting conflict before it happens. There’s no point, we’re not animals, you might keep two different dogs away from each other so they won’t fight and get hurt, but people “tend” to be more civilized and open minded, there’s something about complex thought processes that keep us from lashing out at a certain person for no reason or even just a preconceived one about sexuality or race or size. Unfortunately I can only say people “tend” to do this as there has been proof in the past, of people letting their preconceived opinions of another human take control and let them start conflict where there is none. You can’t get around individuals being unreasonable it’s dumb but it happens that’s the bottom line.
It sounds like this writer’s parents were being unreasonable to their child by not letting her join the church she wanted, but if any LDS parents are not willing to let your own children decide for themselves what church they will go to then I think you know the news I’m about to bring to you. You are NO BETTER than this writer’s parents who shunned their own child for interest in the LDS church. That being said I’m not going to make the assumption that an LDS member will not let their children join the church of Judaism if that’s their choice. There are certainly LDS parents that are totally fine with their child’s decision to be an Atheist. It may be unlikely, coming from my experience living in a heavily LDS area for 18 years, however, I have no right to assume conflict, and I will say I have been greatly surprised by some of my Mormon friends and parents alike in their ability to be very genuinely kind and understanding.
To say that it is necessary to keep these children of gay parents out of an LDS church simply because their parent’s will revolt is an assumption that is fundamentally the same as if I assumed that every LDS parent would revolt to their child’s decision to be an atheist. Although both situations are likely I would say, as the LDS church supports strong family united through scripture and church, and LGBT people are rejected by the LDS church anyways so it makes sense that some wouldn’t approve of a child’s choice to join the church, but the point is, someone in the church decided that there needs to be a proactive prevention of this potential issue. That the idea that there might be some LGBT parent’s who support their children’s choices is inconceivable, and that to avoid the situation altogether it would be best to exclude these children completely rather than to take it on a case to case as was done with this author’s story. It IS PREJUDICE I fully believe this.
There is no reason to assume hate and conflict where there is none, and I fear we as humans continue to make this mistake again and again. There was no reason to assume black and white people couldn’t get along and separate them by Jim Crow laws, there was no reason to assume the Japanese were terrorists in WWII and separate them “just in case”. There is no reason to assume that gay parents aren’t open-minded and while, yes, there is good reason to believe an LGBT couple might prefer their children not to join a church that considers their unity sin, to make a proactive law against a situation where this might not be the case, is really plain childish, similar to how “cooties” work on the playground. The problem is that as adults we’re supposed to be more informed than children, we’ve been here longer, there’s not really an excuse for adults to be playing this sort of game.
Thanks for reading, I know it was long, probably too long for most to sit and read but I think I made some points that will hopefully resonate, I know not all LDS are in favor of this, I know very just LDS individuals who realize this is a mistake.
I have never questioned the presidency of the church as I believe they receive revaluation straight from God. I do, however, have many friends who are in same sex marriages and they are all very loving, accepting, and opened minded. It fascinates me to just sit back and listen and read how everyone is taking this in. I see both sides of the issue. The only thing I do know for sure, is that the church does not want to break up families no matter the case.
I wonder if anyone will even read this but here goes: The Mormon church is great, no doubt, but it seems to me the Leaders of the Mormon church are trying to play it safe, too safe to even to be legit. Makes me wonder if they are loosing their spiritual guidance because, first of all gay people are sons of God and to his eyes just as valueble as any other human, in Christian methodology gays dont marrie but why make their adopted children a special case? They might as well just say baptisms for anyone should be once they are over 18, and those born in the church or those who have atended for several years could be baptized at a younger age, something more around 13 or 15. Members of the church should really start requesting and even demanding if necesary they get their act together. Remember there are 3 heavens or in other words 3 main category heavens, the 2nd of which according to the Mormons themselves is for non married, who become like master angels, so not all 100% males have to be married to a woman, there can be a small % that could care less about having to marry the diferent sex. think about that for a second.
You have one Fine daughter bro! With all do respect. If she doesn’t mind poligamy I’d really much like to meet her.
I don’t want to say this in any way that comes across as mean! I realize that this opinion is coming up in a lot of blog posts so I just have to put in my 2 cents. I realize when some controversial new policy comes out people will come up with many reasons to explain it so they don’t have congnitive dissonance, but I’m such a logical person, that the illogical reasoning kind of leaves me a bit batty, if the reason was the church didn’t want to break up families or cause conflict, the church would not even have the kids of those parents come to church bc they are going to be taught that what their parents are doing is wrong.
It’s like when people say that women don’t need the priesthood bc they can give birth or be a mother, which isn’t logical bc fatherhood=motherhood. I rather just have the real reason or no reason and just have to accept it. Sometimes the reasons aren’t easy or politically correct. 🙂
Hope your comment makes no sense and is not logical at all. The LDS church allows all to come and worship. Everyone is invited! They could never monitor if LGBT people were bringing their kids to church or not. Besides that would be absolutely ridiculous.
You sound like a great person who finds real solace in her faith. This definitely is one of the best posts I’ve seen about this policy. You are honest and straightforward.
I am wondering if you feel as though you would’ve been better off to not even asked for your parents permission to be baptized and have the missionaries tell you that you don’t have the option until you’re 18. Would your family have gotten baptized?
If you feel that would’ve been better to wait, do you support this policy for all children living in situations contrary to God’s ideal? Or, do you hope that maybe if a gay, maybe mormon parent should be able to give permission eventually?
These are questions I have not yet answered myself. Thank you for your efforts to promote peace and love.
Thanks for a calm perspective. Most have a knee jerk reaction without thinking about it.
Those that accuse the church of hate, are the ones spewing vitriol and hate against the church. Without fail, the ones crying for love and tolerance are intolerant and hateful to those who are not in lockstep with them. Ironic. And hypocrites.
My parents were converts. After a few years they got personally offended and quit church. I was the youngest and ten years old at the time. I went to church on my own, by myself. My ex family hassled me for going to church. After I became an adult the hassling quit, turning into down right hostility for staying in the church. My father would not talk to me for three years after I came back from my mission. I finally had to cut myself off, which is why I use “ex” family. No, I am not lying. So I understand the policy.
I think there’s a reason why so many of you had a gut reaction that this policy is exclusionary and mean spirited. It’s because it is. The policy when I was on my mission was from a JS quote to first seek approval from the head of the home before you start teaching. That makes sense. If the missionaries had told you that you have to move out of your home, disavow the Pentacostal church, and then receive approval from the First Presidency in order to be baptized that would be equivalent. The church has essentially written off these children and the sad fact is, most of the children effected are from marriages back when the church was encouraging gay members to marry people of the opposite sex. The church set these people up for divorce and then abandoned them.
I am not following your logic. I think there are a lot of children whose home and church are very different from each other. If that is the reason for the LGBT decision, then what about children who have parents who drink, smoke, fornicate, abuse, etc? Their home and church are very different from each other too. Should they not be allowed to get baptized? I haven’t read anything about it but I am guessing that is not the real reason for the LGBT decision. I was raised in a very abusive home and I was allowed to get baptized. To say that my home and church were very different would be a huge understatement.
Imagine this, Michelle. A young teen, still a minor develops a testimony of the word of wisdom and pleads with his parents to stop drinking, smoking, etc. – or of Temple covenants and pleads with his adulterous parent to end an affair. They can comply and repent and the family remains in tact. Another minor teen in a ss household develops a testimony that marriage is between one man and one woman and pleads with his ss parents to…… what? Break up? Destroy his own family? Sever ties with loved ones, threaten his home and stability while still dependent on emotional and financial familial support? It’s not the same thing at all. The latter would have consequences best not explored. When the minor is an adult and less dependent, he can then make that adult decision with a fully mature brain, able to weather the consequences.
What if the adulterous parents don’t comply and repent? Would that have consequences best not explored too?
Kayla, thanks for this loving, powerful clatification.
I, too , studied the Gospel when I was 19. Sctually stopped two missionaries on the street to tell them how wrong they were…4 months later I was in the family car ,35 miles from home.. I said to my parents, thst I was thinking about joining the church. It was not a surprise to mom. But dad said: ” I think I am going to stop the car and let you walk home.” I chose to acceot tge Savior and zHis church. The last 48 years have been marvelous!
Well written. I’m still not sure, but this is the most well thought out response I’ve heard in support thus far. I can accept what you say about baptism. Frankly, I think it has become too much like a rite of passage with children in the faith and not the serious ordinance it is meant to be. So waiting is a good thing.
But why not allow the baby blessing? This is simply giving that child a name and a priesthood blessing as he/she starts on life’s journey. To disallow that really makes no sense to me.
A lovely Priesthood name and blessing can be done for any baby, any time anywhere. When it’s done in the church, the baby is then on the church records. The expectation now, is that Home and Visiting teachers will come and preach to the family in their home once/month, the child will be expected to attend primary and then become baptized. Still awkward and potentially harmful for everyone involved. Best done in private. The blessing is still the same, which is likely all the ss couple wants anyway.
Excellent and very well articulated article! Kudos!! 🙂
If a policy is over 45 years old, this is new?! When I joined the Church in 1970, this was policy. I know because though gender wasn’t the issue, it was explained to me then…The parents are the the leaders in their home and it is not the Church’s purpose to supercede that leadership. Whether gender, religion, cultural or any other situation which might compromise a family as the fundamental unit, let us remember it is the family which is forever. It’s also why we do temple work so when it can’t happen it for families, those families still can have the opportunity.
Another brainwashed Mormon who lets tingly feelings govern his/her life. The spirit is a lie, everything you believe in is a lie, and you’ll say that my comments are just “Satan trying to lead you off the path.” Get off your high horse and realize something: You. Are. Living. A. Lie.
Thank you for this and for sharing your story. You out into words what I feel in my heart.
The church likes making daft policies without ever even talking with the affected constituents. The reason there are so many kids with same sex parents is because their policy was to tell gay men to marry women. Who came up with that one? This policy makes rapists and murderers more welcome in the church and in Mormon families than gay people. I would never raise my child within such a hateful cult, nonetheless we have blood relatives who will never get to know our child because of this stupid, hateful policy, that simply tells them that they should treat us like satan. You cannot say you love gay people but then also tell them they are worthless, evil, and should be excluded from families on the other. The church’s policy is directly responsible for the gay Mormon suicide crisis in Utah. Yet you blame the victims, and use their suicides to justify why being gay is not part of gods plan. The only way the church will ever get a handle on this issue is to come to the table recognizing the asymmetry of power between them and their victims, and then seek to listen with an open heart. This will never happen in a million years, because the church sees themselves as victims of a hateful gay agenda challenging their authority.
My child will never be a member, but his only 2 grandparents, 8 uncles and aunts and 42 cousins will never get to know him because we are evil apostates to be shunned and excluded. I don’t care that they are Mormon, but they care very much that we are apostates, and felons would be more welcome at family activities than we will. Thanks to the fact that policy drives culture very strongly in the lds faith, and the leadership is completely tone deaf.
If this policy is really there to not pit children against their parents then this policy should apply to all children who are cohabitation with parents are not both members of the lds church, but it doesn’t, it only applies to the gay ones. That discrimination, period. And no amount of justifying changes that.
Jeremy you are actually wrong. This policy has been around for years with muslim children and polygamist children. My question is, why the outrage now? Oh perhaps because it has fallen into the LGBT camp where everything the LDS church does is turned into supposed discrimination.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful personal experience. It lifted my heart knowing that someone will be touched to understanding. As members of the church our hearts go out with love to all those affected and we go forward in faith knowing the path we are choosing to follow The Savior. There is still much love to give and service to do, but it is your message that guide change hearts. Thank you!