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”
As a divorced, gay, ex-Mormon father, I have made a conscious decision not to stand in the way of my children participating in church with their mother. I’ve made that decision in order to make sure my relationship with the church does not negatively impact my relationship with my children or my relationship with my ex-wife. With this new policy, the church has taken that choice away from me; now just because of who I am married to my children cannot be baptized or ordained, and won’t be able to serve missions without disavowing my marriage. Meanwhile, if you believe in the doctrine of the church then my children are denied the gift of the Holy Ghost until they are adults. This policy either says that my children don’t matter or that baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost don’t matter; which do you choose?
May I encourage you to read Moroni Chapter 8. I felt the Lord directed me to this scripture because the same question asked on my wall. May also say trust that God will make your children stronger based on their circumstances. Aside from that remember that they and yourself are welcome to come to church and participate. Your are also able to receive blessings at your request. I also say that I admire you for willing to put the Happiness of your children and former spouse in their own hands. I wish more parents were like you. Thank you. Don’t forget Moroni 8! God bless you brother.
Thank you for what I’m sure is a heartfelt recommendation. I read Moroni chapter 8 at least 30 times, likely many more times since it’s a commonly-referred to chapter, when I was a believer. I’m no longer interested in what the scriptures say. As far as the church goes, the only thing that matters to me is my children’s wellbeing.
They will be of age 18 they can go on a mission
Only if they don’t live with me and they disavow my marriage. The requirements are very clear in the policy.
It is honorable & respectful of you to think of your children’s needs first & foremost as a gay man. I’m sure some cases are unique & will be individually addressed to the First Presidency. However, with those thoughts, let me say that I come from a part LDS family. My dad raised me Mormon at the request of my dying mother when I was young but in that time, he left the church and would waiver back & forth with how he felt regarding the church. He was at odds with himself. Sometimes he was OK, sometimes angry, fault finding & bitter. My siblings & I were caught in the middle of conflict several times. Lots of tears but overall, I consider myself lucky compared to some. I can see the wisdom in this new policy.
As a general recommendation it may be wise, but as a strict policy requiring First Presidency approval for exceptions and outlining very specific circumstances where those exceptions can be made (mine is not included), it’s a case of the church standing in the way of my right as a parent to determine what is best for my children. No one-size-fits-all policy can do a better job of parenting than actual parents can.
The Mormons believe that we pay for our own transactions not Adams…
Is not this contradicting that passage?
Why should your children pay for your own life choice?.
This is assuming it’s a punishment. If one chooses to see it that way, then it can appear contradicting. However, the motivation for this policy, according to the church, is for the protection of family unity. At this point, the church would rather distance themselves from any potential issue that would threaten family cohesion.
Children have to pay for their parents bad choices all of the time. I this case, the church is protecting them from heading down a course that is in direct contradiction to their parents course. Baptism should lead to the temple, a place that their parents cannot enter based on their choices.
It’s not a choice.
This isn’t a punishment to the child. The Church did this because it’s hard for a child to go to church, learn one thing, then go home and learn the opposite. It is meant to help and protect the family. The Church only did this under the direction of the Lord. Maybe have a little more faith that the Lord knows what He’s doing when He does this.
Ben, I just wanted to commend you for a very well put perspective. I know that this policy will affect many in a similar situation and even though not explicitly expressed as punishment is going to punish families like yours who are tolerant of both religious beliefs and the life choices of their LGBTQ members.
Thank you, Rob.
What is harder to accept: A Policy or a new Change in Policy?
One of our long established policies requires permission of parents to be baptized. If that were a new change in policy it might also be hard to accept. We had two young women in our ward who had to wait until eighteen. For many years they traveled four or five hours on youth temple trips, and just relished being their on the temple grounds although unable to enter with their friends. Many in the ward thought they better appreciated things of the gospel. It was the desire of their hearts for many years to be baptized. Some of the baptized young women departed from the gospel when they came of age and got out on their own. Not these two. That old policy wasn’t holding them back.
The trouble is the change in policy which is the bitter pill. We would have imagined all kinds of strange outcomes at the outset, if this old policy were new when these girls first learned of the gospel, and would have to wait.
Having said that, I think it is good that our hearts should be torn for the children who sorrow and are heavy laden.
Still, the good news is that we knew before we came here that it would be so. Beyond it all, we shouted for joy for we trusted in the love of the Messiah. Imagine the trust we had that He would fulfill his promise, and suffer for each of us, to free us from eternal mortality and damnation of ever returning to God.
Who sinned, these children, their parents, or the policy maker that these would be denied? Neither: but that the works of God should be made manifest in them.
I don’t think it’s the difference between policy and change in policy, but rather the difference between a reasonable policy and a horrible policy. I absolutely would not want my children to be baptized without my consent, nor would any reasonable person believe that’s a good idea. To exclude a group of children from baptism, regardless of their parents’ consent, for an arbitrary reason like this, is just yet another example of the church trying to apply blanket policies without considering the individual.
Do your children live in your household? If not, I don’t think that policy applies.
Every one that has served a mission knows that investigators have the company of the Holy Ghost as a “trial version” until they are ready to be baptized. If for any reason they do not enter the covenant, the Holy Ghost slowly retracts.
Otherwise it would not be possible to gain a testimony.
I am sure, as long as children that cannot be baptized for policy reasons, but are faithful and active, they have the Holy Ghosts company.
To sum up, I am sure neither your children will miss any blessing for being faithful nor you for supporting them.
The policy itself says nothing about who minor children live with. It only says that children who have a parent in a same-sex relationship cannot be baptized until they are adults, they no longer live with that parent (as adults), and they disavow same-sex marriage. I’m not concerned about my children being denied blessings because I don’t believe those blessings are a real thing. I am concerned with my children being treated as second-class citizens because of who their father is.
Ben, kudos to you for thinking of your children first as you seek to hand them the reigns of their own life in determining what is best for them rather than forcing something on them based on your desires. That is very admirable.
As to your comments about the covenants that your children may be missing let me relate a thought I had. I find it somewhat ironic that today’s society has eschewed the commitment of marriage for the non-commitment of living to together so they can “try it out” before making such a big commitment. But in the same breath society demands that they be able to make a similar commitment (which is just as important in the Lord’s eyes as marriage is) at 8 years old when the child is still trying to figure things out and is impressionable. So similar to the “trying it out” attitude of society’s bent to live together w/o marriage where they enjoy all of the benefits w/o any of the commitment, think of your child’s experience in the church w/o formal baptism as “trying it out” for a time until they get to the point where they are ready and able to make the very serious commitment which will be recorded on earth and in heaven. During this time they can attend church and all of the activities. They can receive blessings. They can have home teachers. There is really only a small subset of things they can’t do while they are “trying it out”. Contrary to what the headlines like to sensationalize, they are welcome to participate in the church and enjoy the associated blessings.
Smart analogy Bob. I’ll add to that, while the kids who were baptized at 8 have to negotiate repentance and such – the 18 year olds get a clean slate after all their youthful foibles have passed! Not to mention, if they are doing all they can to live righteously in their youth, as they are prepping for an 18 year old baptism, the Holy Ghost WILL be their companion. They can ask for it, and He will be there. How else will they know that baptism is right for them if not having reassurance from the Spirit?
Ben Christensen, trust that the Savior will do what He says he’ll do, and all will be well. Best wishes to you and your kids!
So you’re saying that you agree with the “trying it out” policy for marriage? I have to say, I entered my current marriage much more confidently because I’d lived with my husband for a year before that. Personally, I have no problem with children having to “try it out” before being baptized–age eight makes absolutely no sense as an “age of accountability”–but my concern is that my children are being singled out and required to “try it out” when no other child has such restrictions. How would you feel if your eight-year-old were singled out in that way?
Unfortunately, no matter how much they want to avoid it, the unrighteous choices of fathers hurt their children. If someone thinks that they can transgress and keep the blowback from hitting their loved ones, they are simply wrong. This is one of those ways. We may not be able to choose our trials, but we can choose our choices. How would it be to put the spiritual needs of our children before our wants in life?
I’m well aware of the fact that my choices have consequences. As hard as I work to mitigate the negative effect of my choice to divorce, I’m keenly aware that I cannot completely eliminate the impact on my children. In this case, however, my children being arbitrarily denied a rite of passage they’ve been looking forward to is not a natural consequence of my actions. It’s an arbitrary decision made by church leadership, and you can bet your temple recommend they’re going to know who’s responsible for them being treated as second class citizens at church. In the end, the church’s apparent fear that children of same-sex couples cannot possibly grow up to be faithful members of the church will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You and others may view baptism as a “rite of passage” or some kind of status symbol in church, or the thing that everyone just does to be part of the club, but the reality is that it is none of those things. It is a covenant that is just a step that is intended to lead a person to the Holy temple. So I have to ask: even though you are living a homosexual lifestyle and have endorsed it with marriage, in open defiance of the Church standard, do you teach your children that what you are doing is a grievous sin, or do you teach them that you believe God accepts it? The problem is that gay marriage is in total opposition to all that the holy temple is about. So if your children are not raised toward the standards of those highest ordinances, then why would baptism be an appropriate ordinance for them to receive at this time? And is your choice to live in this relationship more important to you than their receiving these saving ordinances? There are many selfish choices I could make that would seriously impede the growth of my children, so I don’t follow them. You could sacrifice your own for your children. No one doubts that it would be a sacrifice, but you could do it if you really want this for your children.
I assure you, mormoncyclist, that if I had any shred of a reason to believe in the truth claims of the LDS church, I would not be in the happy, healthy relationship that I have with my husband–I would still be suffering miserably in a heterosexual marriage, in the hope that God will make it right in the next life. So no, I don’t care about “saving ordinances” for my children. What I do care about is their emotional wellbeing in the real world, in this life. They are being raised by their mother in the LDS church and taught that the rite of passage of baptism is a saving ordinance, so it matters to them. Which means yes, their ability to participate in that rite matters to me too. How they are treated in church and in their community (we live in Orem, Utah, so church and community are pretty much the same thing) matters to me, and if my son is unable to pass the sacrament when he’s twelve, you can bet he’s going to get crap about it from his peers.
Are my children being taught different things in my home than in their mother’s home? Yes. That is a reality of divorce and also a reality of having parents with different beliefs, whether those parents are married or not. But I make a point not to directly contradict things my ex-wife is teaching my children, and she makes a point not to emphasize the parts of Mormon doctrine that vilify me and my marriage (because guess what? if you’re straight, it really doesn’t matter whether you believe homosexuality is a sin because it’s not an option you’d consider anyway). If believing that same-sex marriage is a sin is so vitally important to your doctrine that it’s a prerequisite to baptism when in reality it’s less than five percent of the world’s population that would even consider entering into such a marriage, then I’m sorry but your priorities are messed up. Why is it so important to know whether someone else is sinning if that sin is not something you’re remotely tempted to commit yourself?
There are certainly many people who have many different views about what the ordinance of baptism means, and they teach their kids what they think it means. You may view it as a “rite of passage”, and maybe your wife does too. You may view your son receiving the Aaronic priesthood as a rite of passage as well, and a lot of other people do too, and consider that those things should just be a matter of course. I understand that where you live, you are surrounded by many people who also view those ordinances the same way too, which is why this policy is so difficult for many people to understand. I also recognize that a social stigma exists in many members of this church toward people who don’t receive these things, and that is unfortunate. However, none of these ordinances are rites of passage, no matter how many people around us erroneously believe them to be. They are covenants and steps to greater covenants and blessings. If we choose to view them as simply a means to gain acceptance in the eyes of others, to fit in, or advance up the social ranks, then we are viewing them the way many people do- in error. Receiving ordinances should not be about gaining favor in the eyes of our fellow members. I admit that people view them this way, but it doesn’t change the true reason for the ordinance. Your kids shouldn’t be involved in the Church for some kind of social acceptance in their community, although many people are “active” for that exact reason. That is shaky spiritual ground to be on. However, I would be willing to bet that if your children can defy the challenges that will certainly come, and hold fast to all that is available to them in this church, and press forward with faith that at some point they will receive these things, then they will in the due time of the Lord.
The story of Moses Mahlangu in South Africa in the Apartheid era comes to mind. He discovered the church, but by law was forbidden to enter the church-not only was baptism forbidden him, but neither he nor his family nor friends were allowed to physically enter the church building. So for years, they sat outside of the church building; not protesting with signs and criticisms and claims of injustice, not even with the least bitterness toward the leaders, or even the government that imposed this, but simply sitting next to a window that was opened to them so that they could at least listen outside to what was taught. Definitely catching the crumbs that fell from the master’s table; crumbs meant for the children of the master (think of Christ and the Gentile woman). Eventually, he was baptized and ordained. This created some saints who now have unshakable faith in their God. I think it could be so for your kids too. And really, that’s what this gospel is really here to do for us.
My breaks for people who are affected so deeply by this policy. It’s not the same as having parents who don’t like or agree with Mormons. I grew up in the Bible belt of Texas, never even meeting a Mormon. We didn’t have to hide when they knocked on the door. They never did. I became a Mormon in my 20’s. My uncle, a pastor, told me I would go to Hell. How is this the same as denying baptism for a child of a gay parent at the age of 8, in which the gay parent still supports their membership in the church?
I don’t understand. But I feel your pain and my heart aches.
Thank you, Dee.
This really is nothing new. It’s the same for polygamists and it was the same for me when I wanted to join the church 43 years ago. (no one was up in arms over those things, why not?) My parents were dead set against me being baptized so I had to wait until I was 18 and living on my own. Yes, I was living on my own at 18 because my parents moved to another state and I didn’t want to move with them. They were loving parents and straight as an arrow. It had nothing to do with a same sex situation. Children of same sex relationships are not asked to disavow their parent. They do need to disavow that practice.
I had the same first reaction and felt truly sick… THANK YOU so much for posting this. It was absolutely BEAUTIFULLY written and it helped the logic of it all to come through… you warmed my heart and calmed by soul… forever grateful! (Keep on writing! It is definitely your calling!)
It’s the children being raised LDS by gay parents that this edict is going to destroy. There are many of those children currently being raised with the gospel who are expecting to be baptized at age 8 with the approval of their same sex parents. Those children will be excluded and they are not going to understand why their LDS cousins and friends can be baptized while they are not worthy. This was not thought out very well and this blanket edict is inappropriate for many situations. My children’s father is gay and he teaches our children that we are a forever family because he and I were sealed in the temple and they were born in the covenant. Our children are not taught philosophy contrary to the church and there are many children out there in this exact situation. But if they live with same sex parents, regardless of their upbringing, they are excluded. My undergraduate and Masters degrees are psychology based and I work with children every day, plus I have 10 of my own. This is not going to protect the children, it will damage them. Children raised in situations where the LDS principles are not taught in their home are a totally different situation. But this edict does not distinguish. And it’s wrong.
Asking these children to wait a few years to be baptized is going to “destroy” them? Does it “destroy” the children from polygamous backgrounds who are also asked to wait? Does it “destroy” the children in Muslim countries who are asked to wait? Or does it, perhaps, protect them? I think it is the latter.
It makes those people stronger with greater conviction rather than a simple rite of passage at age 8. My favorite example of this is the woman willing to take crumbs from the Lord’s table to which the Savior replied, Never had he seen such faith. http://gaymormonguy.blogspot.com/2015/11/waiting-on-lord-same-sex-adoption.html
Try being the parent of a sweet 7 year old (which I am) who has raised this child in the church, who is surrounded by his lifelong friends who are also about to turn 8. This sweet 7 year old cannot be baptized in the Church because of this new policy. This is not protecting anyone. Thousands of little ones will suffer this year because of it. Stop defending policy. This is not revelation, this is a policy that is hurtful and while I respect the stories we’re hearing of how wonderful it was at age 18 to be baptized, some kids have been raised faithfully in the church and cannot now be baptized like their peers, like they’ve always wanted to be. Suffer the little children…or are we making them suffer? Put your feet in these shoes and see how painful it is. Does it destroy them? Come over to my house tomorrow and see how utterly devastated my son is and you can know for yourself.
You are ignoring what everyone is concerned about here. It’s singling out some children that are active and telling them they are not good enough no matter what they do or what good choices they make due to circumstances outside of their control, when they are young and at a very impressionable age. This decision by the LDS church is going to be harmful to families and especially innocent children.
It’s interesting that blacks were allowed to hold the priesthood for the first 22 years that the church began.They Brigham Young came along and decided that was a bad thing. The church eventually rescinded this and they will rescind their recent rulings also. It’s a shame they cannot see the damage they are doing to youngsters in the meantime.
No where does this policy say that the children of gays aren’t “good enough”. It’s just an unfortunate situation that they currently live in and the full blessings of the Gospel will still be theirs down the road should they want them. This is fallout from Gays pushing their agenda so far that the churches – not just the LDS church – have to make policies and changes to protect their beliefs. Those 5 Supreme Court judges thought they could hammer down the gavel and everyone would step in time and all would be well. Look at the issues they have stirred up! The Law of the Land is not God’s law, and we have to find some kind of compromise and balance. It’s clear the LGBTQP agenda will continue to push until all religions are abolished and things of the spirit give way to things of the flesh.
I have no background in psychology, and I feel so very unqualified to be in any conversation with you. But I do know a few things, and I know these things strongly enough to feel that I must speak. God loves all his children. Every single one of them. God also knows all things. Sometimes we as humans can know quite a bit. But none of us come close to knowing all that God knows. So I am sure that we are in agreement as to the nature of God. The question then is. Are the leaders of this church prophets of God? Well, only God can truly answer that question…
Just because a person is a prophet doesn’t mean they can’t be seriously wrong on policy or even doctrine. The church has disavowed things that Brigham young preached, and the racist policies that were popular as a result (and only after they became unpopular I might add- not that they didn’t ask God- they just had to have society poke them hard enough to even consider asking him) How many times did they require Bruce R McKonkie to retract his statements and issue apologies.
This policy isn’t even a doctrine- it’s just based on doctrine… Similar to the Pharisees policy that walking more than 40 feet on the Sabbath violated the commandment to keep it holy…
Just because 15 men reach consensus doesn’t mean it was inspired and we all have the holy ghost to teach us the difference… But he still won’t stop us from comforting ourselves with the brainwashing we’ve put ourselves through.
I am absolutely shocked, horrified and annoyed by this new policy. While I believe in living and letting live, I understand that some Christians believe the bible specifically says homosexuality etc is bad. I believe this is their honest interpretation of gods word (whether or not I agree with the interpretation in a literal sense). As such they are free to teach this if they are so convicted to do so. For arguments sake let’s say the bible does say it’s wrong (in a literal sense) then I think many Christians who are within the church(es) who believe this have taken a stand on this issue in direct conflict with many of Christs other teachings, to not persecute or judge, to love and accept. I often say it is hypocritical and absurd that any Christian church thinks that other denominations of Christian churches are wrong as they are in no position to judge others, however specifically LDS believe they are the only “true” church and the only ones acting under the direct authority of God through the profit. This new policy of the LDS church has clearly made me realize that specifically they ARE WRONG. Why? Everything in the bible tells us that God would not turn away any sinner (all of us) seeking salvation, and certainly not a child. Therefore the claim they act under the authority of God is clearly false. This policy is obviously the work of a man (who might do well to remember he is also a sinner) who feels that they are losing the battle and wants to personally punish homosexuals for their choices by holding their children’s salvation/baptism hostage. Absolutely disgusting HUMAN abuse of power that clearly does not come from God. It’s almost laughable that they chose to do this without realizing that it is not different than saying because they are sinners their own children cannot be baptized. Again the argument of the bibles take on homosexuality is an argument for another day. However even assuming that were true, this policy is absurd and against everything Christ teaches. If the LDS church was the “true” church then God would have struck down these false prophets prior to them making these changes. Therefore despite my argument that none of us has a right to say that any other Christian church is wrong or claiming I don’t believe any one church is the only one that has it right, I have to amend that by saying the LDS church specifically has it WRONG. Perhaps the Prophet needs to reread the bible and remind himself what it means to live like Christ. If you believe in Satan then this policy change definitely makes me wonder if Satan has infiltrated the LDS church as no man of God and certainly not God himself would deny a willing soul salvation regardless of their own sins, much less their parents choices. Listening to this video made me cringe. Where in the bible does it say that it’s mans job to discipline other sinners for their sins!!!!! How dare you justify your policy change saying it is because it would not be appropriate for home visits to such sinners homes. We are all sinners. If you actually believe what you preach then by that standard you are not worthy to have a home teacher in your home. Lest we not forget you are a sinner. Wow. Just wow. You have gone beyond any sin of “this magnitude” as you say it. You have sinned above all claiming to receive direction from God when in fact you are directly acting against all that he is by trying to be a judge and above all by holding another’s salvation/baptism from them by judging as a man that a “sin” by a parent is worthy of such “discipline” for a child. Shame on you. I pray you free yourself from satans influence and find the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Ps. Please discard my membership in this church so obviously taken over by sinners no longer influenced by God but rather by Satan.
Other members are taking a less daunting view of this new policy saying although it is very mis-guided it was intended to not put those children in an awkward position. However tell me then why you allow a child with atheist parents to get baptized, or perhaps a child who’s parents are living out of wedlock to be baptized is that not the Christian affliction to be conflicted and to choose right. This is nothing more than a way to punish homosexuals and justify acting against all Christ teaches. This policy is so misguided it is ridiculous. Tell me a child is not going to be in a worse position not being allowed to be baptized because of their parents choices rather than being baptized and perhaps being a little conflicted that their parents choose to live a Certain way. Now you have put them in a position to reject a parent, to run away or to try and feel the responsibility to change their parents if they want to be baptized. I will shout from rooftops if I have to but it is clear to me that the prophet who chose rather than being guided by God to implement this policy is false and acting under the influence of Satan. Ps. I am not Gay nor do I know anyone within the church who is but this absolutely has shaken any belief I had that there is a living prophet. I’ll keep my own personal relationship with Christ and tell anyone who will listen how wrong this policy is and what it means to the legitimacy that the leadership of this church is acting under any more authority than any other church. Churches are full of sinners seeking salvation and those sinners make mistakes. The implication that those things the prophet puts forward are direct from God are shattered as it is so glaringly obvious that this is a flawed man made policy, that beyond a flaw is going to hurt people and the church. Either the leadership is not listening to God or not asking as this is a terrible terrible mistake. I hope and pray you pray on it and quickly fix this before anyone gets hurt by the policy.
The children aren’t unworthy of baptism- that is never hinted in the new policy, much less said. The policy and the explanation of the policy both make that abundantly clear. This is about providing a safe environment for children by not pitting them against their parents.
And no, this “edict” is not without exceptions, just don’t expect them to come often- they involve the First Presidency directly. Your situation sounds like a potential for one, but I’m obviously not in a position to figure that out.
The blessings of the sealing ordinance and and any other saving ordinance are conditional upon our obedience to the covenants made in that ordinance, one of them being the law of chastity, in the case of the temple. Just because he received the ordinance doesn’t automatically entitle him to the blessings.
Thank you for this article, well said and really a great perspective that more people in and out of the Church need to understand.
I know that as much as we love our gay brothers and sisters, our love pales in comparison to the love that our Heavenly Father has for them. I was obviously curious to find out more info to understand the policy more. I know there will be times that I may not see things as clearly but I know I will always be safe if I stand with the Lord by standing with his servants the prophets.
I had been taking a Facebook hiatus and I watched this before I finally saw all of the hullaballoo. And after having watched it, that is all it seems to be.
If this is true, then why baptise anyone under the age of 18? I thought the church was supposed to be there to help young people through the hard decisions. So you are okay with condemning the souls of children to Hell should they die before they reach the age of 18? Doesn’t sound very Christian to me, or loving for that matter. It just sounds like a very base form of coercion. Personally I don’t think any of you or any one regardless of faith, regardless of religious claims speaks for God. What audacity!!!
Should anyone die before they are baptised, they are not condemned to hell. This is not the way of the LDS gospel. All people have the opportunity to accept Christ and his gospel in the next life.
Fortunately, dying without baptism (in the LDS worldview) does not condemn anyone to hell. Everyone has a chance, in this life or the next.
Because you don’t believe in the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it will be hard to comprehend. I don’t mean that in a condescending way at all. Quite literally, without the religious convictions that people converted to the LDS gospel have (viewing homosexuality as a serious sin), it would be hard to understand and agree with. However, we view baptismal covenants as a contract between Heavenly Father and the person being baptized. A contract that, if broken, denies the person entrance into the celestial kingdom. We believe Heavenly Father is a loving God, however he is also a just God. In preventing these kids from entering into that contract until they are emotionally and mentally able to navigate the complexities that would inevitably come from being taught at church that their parent(s) are participating in a sinful lifestyle and that they can’t support that lifestyle if they want to keep their covenants to their father in heaven, would be so unfair to a child! And by living in the household and depending on them for all of their basic and complex needs could really cause some turmoil for a child. At the age of 18, they’re old enough to live on their own and have their own convictions, thus entering into those covenants with God, still allowing them to love their gay parents, but not having to live in the same household and inevitably support the lifestyle that gay people choose to participate in. Yes, as faithful members of the LDS church, we do believe that the gay lifestyle is a choice. This protects children from making covenants that, if they renounce later in life, have much more serious consequences. This is an eternal protection for them and their innocence in God’s eyes. They can still attend, participate in, and be a part of everything that is “being a member” but they are protected from having to navigate the turmoil that being a part of both worlds could cause, especially knowing that they’d entered into a contract with God that is eternal. If you don’t believe the doctrine, it’s easy to be judgmental about it. But don’t you see that you are judging us for our religious convictions? It goes both ways and in fact, is not a mean or hateful action at all if you understand the purpose behind it.
But we do allow children all the time to make the covenant of baptism without being emotionally and mentally able to navigate its complexities…its called being 8 years old. My 10 year old, who was baptized at age 8, is honest when I ask her about her testimony to tell me that she doesn’t have one. I’m not worried, I believe it will come with time as we continue to live the gospel. So she shouldn’t have been baptized? If that is the case there would be such a few number of children who really understand the contract of baptism that are ready. And, also, by the way youth can not participate in everything that “being a member” entails…they couldn’t do baptisms for the dead, as many ward YM?YW do, they could never have a calling as a quorum or YW president, counselor or secretary, the young men couldn’t prepare, bless or pass the sacrament. There is plenty that they can’t do.
The thief on the cross next to Jesus also want baptized, but his heart was in the right place. Where did he end up?
What strikes me most about this policy change that I didn’t come to understand until after the hurt and anger had passed and after I had poured out my heart to God is that this policy is actually extending the time of grace and innocence for these children. They won’t be denied salvation because they were unable to be baptized at 8. What a wonderful and merciful God!
The bottom line is, this statement comes from the Prophet of God!! Enough said!!
Actually, it didn’t. It came from a Church spokesperson. It did not come from across the pulpit, so it remains the dictates of man until then.
D&C 1:37-39 37 Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.
Elder Christofferson is one of the Twelve Apostles. I would also ask that you read Moroni 8. Brought a wonderful peace and solace to my soul. Pray before you read. The spirit can help you more than I can.
An official statement by a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator acting explicitly in his office as an Apostle on behalf of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Seems to check all of the boxes.
Check lesson 11 from Teachings of the Prophet Errata Taft Benson. It addresses this concern specifically.
Read the essay on lds.org called Race and the Priesthood. For 130 years we prohibited black men from being ordained to the priesthood, and black men and women and families from temple blessings. A First Presidency message in 1949 stated some doctrinal “reasons” for the practice. The “reasons” were taught in Sunday School when I was growing up. The essay now says it was policy, not doctrine and that Brigham Young was just a man of his times. I don’t think being racist because of church policy, practice or doctrine was ever actually condoned by God. That we each would use the critical thinking skills God gave us, lay the foundation for our own salvation, and not follow blindly. The Church is not God.
Kayla, you are truly gifted with words. I always enjoy reading your words of wisdom. This new policy from the Church has been a very difficult one for many people. From my viewpoint, we are inviting the children in to watch us eat the most delicious feast they can imagine – but they are asked to watch us through a window – they can never fully enjoy the feast for themselves. It feels like discrimination. It feels like those from same sex parents will continue to be treated like outcasts –
I understand the words you have written and the analogies used. I have always found it difficult to teach the concept of “forever families” to those from broken homes, those who remain single, those whose parents have turned against the church. What does it mean for them? Why would a child from a same sex couple be any different? It seems like the longer I am in the church, the more discriminatory it feels.
Remember to pray and put your trust in the Lord that all things will be worked out according to his grace and mercy. Whether in this life or the next. All people have the opportunity to accept the gospel in the Spirit world before judgement. If you do not have a song testimony of the plan of salvation, I highly recommend reading and studying and praying to gain a testimony of it. For in these situations where there are policies we don’t fully understand that seem to be discriminating or hurting families, we can rely on the spirit and the plan of happiness to comfort us and remind us of the importance of eternity and the atonement.
Reminding people to pray is pretty condescending. How do you know they haven’t prayed and found an answer different from yours? Discrimination is discrimination, whether you get a soft fuzzy feeling about it or not.
does it ever occur to the people who say this was done in love to protect – that these children are denied the gift of the Holy Ghost which every person NEEDS. Especially those who will be discriminated against?
These children are not being denied the gift of the Holy Ghost for the rest of their lives. They just have to wait a bit longer. In this regard it’s no different than someone who joins the church later in life. They can still feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, and can still pray and ask God for protection, guidance, strength, etc. No blessings are being denied. Some just come later than others.
The comment i have is there wasnt two adams and two eves only one adam and one eve
The church makes mistakes, this policy does not feel like the God I know and love with all of my might mind and strength. So if we disagree with the church on something it should mean that we should never have been born? Disagreeing with the church does not equate to rejecting the Lord. I love the Lord, my LGBT friends love the Lord- “To reject the Lord after knowing the full truth, it would be better if you weren’t even born.” This quote should NOT be used unless we want suicide rates to sky-rocket. Where did that quote even come from, a source would be nice.
Doc& Cov 76:30-32
This, D&C 76:30-32, is an often misunderstood scripture. In order to fall into the category that this scripture describes, being on par with the devil and his angels, would require one to deny the witness of the Holy Ghost while being face to face with Him. I’m not aware of anyone who ever received a body doing that. Sure people come to some understanding of the truth and fall away, but that is not the same. In the end, Jesus suffered all and is the only person who ever lived on Earth capable of completely understanding, therefore being qualified to justly judge.
Thank you for your words. Beautifully written.
This is perfect. Now you just need a share button for Facebook. Thank you for a perfect, personal take on this issue. God bless you!
I read your post several hours ago and though I disagreed with the conclusion you came to, I didn’t know how to respond to your very personal and meaningful story in a way that wasn’t disrespectful. But I just realized what it is that your story misses. Imagine if the missionaries had come to your home and your father had been willing to support your choice to be baptized – but the church had told you “NO” because of who you father was. Imagine if your mother had been a member and you had been raised in the church and yet, even if your father agreed to your baptism, you were not allowed to be baptized because of who your father was. Now imagine that you turned 18 and the only way you could be baptized, even if your father supported that choice, would be if you had to tell the world that your father was wrong and bad and you could never live with him again. Would that feel like love and support and kindness and like anything you can imagine Christ doing? Ever? For families with gay parents who do not want their children baptized the very same rules that were in place for you were and are already there. All the rest of this is unnecessary unkindness toward imperfect families who are trying to do the best they can. And the majority of the cost of these policies – and what a cost – to be rejected by your community – to see every other child be baptized and know that the only people keeping you from that is the church – falls on innocent children. Church leaders can be wrong. They have been before. They are now.
If a gay couple is found within the church, they are now to be excommunicated (being apostate). This clarifies the difference between being a gay person in the church who will not live the lifestyle of a gay person, wishing to keep his or her covenants from the gay person or persons who choose to establish a lifestyle which has been unequivocally forbidden to church members who wish to maintain their membership. I doubt there exist but few church members in the latter category, and even fewer who have made the decision to bring a child into the relationship, through surrogacy or adoption. I think what we have here is not actually a response to growing pressure to baptize all the gay couples’ children in the church, but to make it clear that the love and fellowship the church wishes to extend to its gay members is NEVER to be mistaken for validating a choice to willfully engage in the gay lifestyle.
My first response to the news was shock and then immediate suspicion about the manner in which the news came out. Now I understand that someone wishing to harm the church leaked the handbook changes ahead of the church leadership announcement. This tactic is becoming more common, and I suppose we should expect more to come.
Our society has been building up its sympathy and empathy for the gay population, with both good and bad results. If we wish to show compassion and friendship, that is good, but if we then need to extend validation of sin to be truly compassionate, and even encourage it, then it is wholly gone wrong. It looks like there are many in the church who have sided in their sympathies not just with loving their gay friends, but in supporting the lifestyle openly.
By making clear the distinction of what constitutes apostasy in this matter, all the members who care about this issue must search their hearts and minds and come to a decision on who and what they can settle on, and essentially on what side of the fence they want to be. It is going to become more difficult for members to justify their membership while simultaneously supporting causes the church can never endorse (all claims of church doctrine “evolving” aside). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can never dislodge eternal truths about gender. Heavenly Father is not gay. Men do not procreate with other men. To imagine a possibility otherwise is to admit that the master of lies just sold you a fool gold’s mine in Arizona. It is truly amazing how successful the adversary has been at normalizing a condition which should never have been normalized, any more than it would be right to justify the mistreatment in ANY way of those who are gay.
However, compassion and friendship alone isn’t and never will be enough for a growing number of the LGBT community and its sympathizers. They wish to eradicate any churches’ doctrine that exposes the sin of acting out gay the lifestyle. Taking no prisoners. No such thing as agreeing to disagree. Is this attitude also taking root among the members, many of whom have family members and loved ones who are gay? One thing seems to be certain–both sides are asking us to choose, and never before in our Church history has the pressure of the choice been more been more equalized on both sides. I expect more “earthquakes” of doctrine and clarity to come forth from our leaders as time goes on, and from He whose Church this is (as I firmly believe) until all have an opportunity to plumb the depths of their beliefs and take the stand that will ultimately be theirs. This is our right, it is what we were promised before we came to the earth–it is the freedom of conscience we all have to choose this day whom to serve (as we see it), and we will be exercising that choice soon enough.
Well said, Pauline. As I have read the many comments of those who are so adverse and critical of this current policy and the prophets of the Church, I am wondering why they even care. They have chosen to be apostate. They are free to do as they choose. It’s obvious they are not believers. So it really shouldn’t matter to them what the policies are. They can just turn their backs on it all and go their merry ways. Live and let live. As for me and my house, we choose to follow the prophets because we have testimonies that they are the mouthpiece of the Lord, whose Church this is. Yes, they are human like the rest of us, but they have been ordained and set apart as chosen servants of the Lord. They are most honorable men. I am so grateful for their leadership.
If you listened closely to Elder Christofferson’s video, he spoke of this policy as being parallel to polygamy. My husband was raised in polygamy. His father left his first family and entered into a plural marriage, because he thought the Church leaders were in error to abolish polygamy. He chose not to follow the prophet. He and his second wife (my mother-in-law), were excommunicated from the Church. My husband, the oldest child, and his five siblings grew up without being blessed or baptized into the Church. My husband went to Primary and loved his teacher. When he was 25 years old, the bishop of the ward boundaries that he lived in contacted the family. To make a long story short, my husband and his brothers were baptized into the Church. My husband felt blessed to pay tithing. He was ordained to the priesthood, as were his brothers. I met him after he was baptized. He had to disavow the practice of polygamy before we could be married in the temple. Over the years, my husband served in bishoprics, on high councils, and as a bishop. He had a brother who served on a high council and was a bishop. He had another brother who served on a high council and was a counselor in the bishopric. They were blessed to serve in other callings as well. Our seven children have all been endowed. The six married ones have temple marriages.
I firmly believe that the children affected by this new policy are not “doomed” to a miserable, ostracized childhood.
It makes me sad of heart to hear people tear down the Church. I perceive that those who do are not at peace. They are full of turmoil and doubt and contention. That’s exactly what Satan wants. I am sorry for them.
What a great example.
I think a lot of confusion and criticism about this policy stems from many people’s misunderstanding about the true nature and purposes of ordinances to begin with. In and out of the church, so many seem to view them as social events or means of social acceptance, instead of covenants and steps toward more covenants, which carry solemn obligations. When a child is growing up in a situation that jeopardizes their ability to honor those covenants, they need to be protected from being compelled into making those covenants until their situation supports it. A bishop can evaluate the situation and determine if it is appropriate so request a special dispensation to have it performed. The first presidency makes these decisions all the time.
Your husband is a great example of how strong faith can be developed in these types of situations.
“To reject the Lord after knowing the full truth, it would be better if you weren’t even born.” This is exactly what the Church has done. Read Matt: 19:14. It is a very straight forward commandment from Christ. Then read what Paul says about Charity (the pure love of Christ). Christ in Matthews, wasn’t talking about teenagers, now was He? This Church Policy lacks Charity and flies in the face of Christ’s commandment regarding little children. So, you might want to read your own statement about rejecting “The Lord” by following the workings of man. Christ would not contradict His own scripture, so if I were you I would avoid drinking the Kool Aid.
Sorry Kayla, your story doesn’t work. It has always been policy to have parental permission for minors to get baptized. The new policy won’t allow baptism even with parental consent. That is a big difference. You should really ask yourself how that would make you feel if that was your situation. Loved? I doubt it.
Sharon Gorner, you seem to think that if a prophet speaks, well then we shouldn’t question. What about this gem from a once prophet?
“From the days of the prophet Joseph Smith, even until now, it has been the doctrine of the church, never questioned by any church leaders, that the negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the gospel.”
(Pres. George Albert Smith, Letter to Lowry Nelson, July 17, 1947; Special Collections and Archives, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University) Here’s a link to the actual letter:
Click to access Lowry_Nelson_1st_Presidency_Exchange.pdf
Here’s another beauty spoken by George Albert Smith when he was an apostle.
“We breathe the free air, we have the best looking men and handsomest women, and if they [Non-Mormons] envy us our position, well they may, for they are a poor, narrow-minded, pinch-backed race of men, who chain themselves down to the law of monogamy, and live all their days under the dominion of one wife…”
(Apostle George A Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, page 291)
These are real quotes. You can look them up. I could give several other examples. They lead me to conclude that the prophets get things wrong from time to time. Very wrong.
I am absolutely shocked, horrified and annoyed by this new policy. While I believe in living and letting live, I understand that some Christians believe the bible specifically says homosexuality etc is bad. I believe this is their honest interpretation of gods word (whether or not I agree with it). As such they are free to teach this if they are so convicted to do so. For arguments sake let’s say the bible does say it’s wrong (I do not believe this) then I think many Christians who are within the church(es) who believe this have taken a stand on this issue in direct conflict with many of Christs other teachings, to not persecute or judge, to love and accept. I often say it is hypocritical and absurd that any Christian church thinks that other denominations of Christian churches are wrong as they are in no position to judge others, however specifically LDS believe they are the only “true” church and the only ones acting under the direct authority of God through their profit. This new policy of the LDS church has clearly made me realize that specifically they ARE WRONG. Why? I guarantee everything in the bible tells us that God would not turn away any sinner (all of us) seeking salvation, and certainly not a child. Therefore the claim they act under the authority of God is clearly false. This policy is obviously the work of a man (who might do well to remember he is also a sinner) who feels that they are losing the battle and wants to personally punish homosexuals for their choices by holding their children’s salvation hostage. Absolutely disgusting HUMAN abuse of power that clearly does not come from God. It’s almost laughable that they chose to do this without realizing that it is not different than saying because they are sinners their own children cannot be baptized. Again the argument of the bibles take on homosexuality is an argument for another day. However even assuming that were true, this policy is absurd and against everything that Christ teaches and is. If the LDS church was the “true” church then God would have struck down these false prophets prior to them making these changes as last time I checked salvation/baptism was not a gift that a man had the authority to withhold or make up their own rules about. Therefore despite my argument that none of us has a right to say that any other Christian church is wrong or claiming I don’t believe any one church is the only one that has it right, I have to amend that by saying the LDS church specifically has it WRONG. Perhaps the Prophet needs to reread the bible and remind himself what it means to live like Christ. If you believe in Satan then this policy change definitely makes me wonder if Satan has infiltrated the LDS church as no man of God and certainly not God himself would deny a willing soul salvation/baptism regardless of their own sins, much less their prents choices/sins. Wow. Just wow.
I am absolutely shocked, horrified and annoyed by this new policy. While I believe in living and letting live, I understand that some Christians believe the bible specifically says homosexuality etc is bad. I believe this is their honest interpretation of gods word (whether or not I agree with it). As such they are free to teach this if they are so convicted to do so. For arguments sake let’s say the bible does say it’s wrong (I do not believe this) then I think many Christians who are within the church(es) who believe this have taken a stand on this issue in direct conflict with many of Christs other teachings, to not persecute or judge, to love and accept. I often say it is hypocritical and absurd that any Christian church thinks that other denominations of Christian churches are wrong as they are in no position to judge others, however specifically LDS believe they are the only “true” church and the only ones acting under the direct authority of God through their profit. This new policy of the LDS church has clearly made me realize that specifically they ARE WRONG. Why? I guarantee everything in the bible tells us that God would not turn away any sinner (all of us) seeking salvation, and certainly not a child. Therefore the claim they act under the authority of God is clearly false. This policy is obviously the work of a man (who might do well to remember is also a sinner) who feels that they are losing the battle and wants to personally punish homosexuals for their choices by holding their children’s salvation hostage. Absolutely disgusting HUMAN abuse of power that clearly does not come from God. It’s almost laughable that they chose to do this without realizing that it is not different than saying because they are sinners their own children cannot be baptized. Again the argument of the bibles take on homosexuality is an argument for another day. However even assuming that were true, this policy is absurd and against everything Christ teaches. Is the LDS church was the “true” church then Fod would have struck down these false prophets prior to them making these changes. Therefore despite my argument that none of us has a right to say that any other Christian church is wrong or claiming I don’t believe any one church is the only one that has it right, I have to amend that by saying the LDS church specifically has it WRONG. Perhaps the Prophet needs to reread the bible and remind himself what it means to live like Christ. If you believe in Satan then this policy change definitely makes me wonder if Satan has infiltrated the LDS church as no man of God and certainly not God himself would deny a willing soul salvation regardless of their own sins, much less their prents choices. Wow. Just wow.
I am absolutely shocked, horrified and annoyed by this new policy. While I believe in living and letting live, I understand that some Christians believe the bible specifically says homosexuality etc is bad. I believe this is their honest interpretation of gods word (whether or not I agree with the interpretation in a literal sense). As such they are free to teach this if they are so convicted to do so. For arguments sake let’s say the bible does say it’s wrong (in a literal sense) then I think many Christians who are within the church(es) who believe this have taken a stand on this issue in direct conflict with many of Christs other teachings, to not persecute or judge, to love and accept. I often say it is hypocritical and absurd that any Christian church thinks that other denominations of Christian churches are wrong as they are in no position to judge others, however specifically LDS believe they are the only “true” church and the only ones acting under the direct authority of God through the profit. This new policy of the LDS church has clearly made me realize that specifically they ARE WRONG. Why? Everything in the bible tells us that God would not turn away any sinner (all of us) seeking salvation, and certainly not a child. Therefore the claim they act under the authority of God is clearly false. This policy is obviously the work of a man (who might do well to remember he is also a sinner) who feels that they are losing the battle and wants to personally punish homosexuals for their choices by holding their children’s salvation/baptism hostage. Absolutely disgusting HUMAN abuse of power that clearly does not come from God. It’s almost laughable that they chose to do this without realizing that it is not different than saying because they are sinners their own children cannot be baptized. Again the argument of the bibles take on homosexuality is an argument for another day. However even assuming that were true, this policy is absurd and against everything Christ teaches. If the LDS church was the “true” church then God would have struck down these false prophets prior to them making these changes. Therefore despite my argument that none of us has a right to say that any other Christian church is wrong or claiming I don’t believe any one church is the only one that has it right, I have to amend that by saying the LDS church specifically has it WRONG. Perhaps the Prophet needs to reread the bible and remind himself what it means to live like Christ. If you believe in Satan then this policy change definitely makes me wonder if Satan has infiltrated the LDS church as no man of God and certainly not God himself would deny a willing soul salvation/baptism regardless of their own sins, much less their parents choices. Listening to this video made me cringe. Where in the bible does it say that it’s mans job to discipline other sinners for their sins!!!!! How dare you justify your policy change saying it is because it would not be appropriate for home visits to such sinners homes. We are all sinners. If you actually believe what you preach then by that standard you are not worthy to have a home teacher in your home. Lest we not forget you are a sinner. Wow. Just wow. You have gone beyond any sin of “this magnitude” as you say it. You have sinned above all claiming to receive direction from God when in fact you are directly acting against all that he is by trying to be a judge and above all by holding another’s salvation/baptism from them by judging as a man that a “sin” by a parent is worthy of such “discipline” for a child. Shame on you. I pray you free yourself from satans influence and find the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Ps. Please discard my membership in this church so obviously taken over by sinners no longer influenced by God but rather by Satan.
Other members are taking a less daunting view of this new policy saying although it is very mis-guided it was intended to not put those children in an awkward position. However tell me then why you allow a child with atheist parents to get baptized, or perhaps a child who’s parents are living out of wedlock to be baptized is that not the Christian affliction to be conflicted and to choose right. This is nothing more than a way to punish homosexuals and justify acting against all Christ teaches. This policy is so misguided it is ridiculous. Tell me a child is not going to be in a worse position not being allowed to be baptized because of their parents choices rather than being baptized and perhaps being a little conflicted that their parents choose to live a Certain way. Now you have put them in a position to reject a parent, to run away or to try and feel the responsibility to change their parents if they want to be baptized. I will shout from rooftops if I have to but it is clear to me that the prophet who chose rather than being guided by God to implement this policy is false and acting under the influence of Satan. Ps. I am not Gay nor do I know anyone within the church who is but this absolutely has shaken any belief I had that there is a living prophet. I’ll keep my own personal relationship with Christ and tell anyone who will listen how wrong this policy is and what it means to the legitimacy that the leadership of this church is acting under any more authority than any other church. Churches are full of sinners seeking salvation and those sinners make mistakes. The implication that those things the prophet puts forward are direct from God are shattered as it is so glaringly obvious that this is a flawed man made policy, that beyond a flaw is going to hurt people and the church. Either the leadership is not listening to God or they are not asking as this is a terrible terrible mistake. I hope and pray you pray on it and quickly fix this before anyone gets hurt by the policy.
Let me say first that I have always had great respect for the Mormon Church. I grew up with Mormon friends, and went to grad school in Utah, including law school at BYU. So it makes me so incredibly sad to see this policy clearly written from a position of fear and misunderstanding. Yes, I know that many would like to sweep their concerns under the rug, claiming that if it came from the Church, it must be from God. But as many people have pointed out, the Church has been wrong before. And it is now.
I saw the incredible social pressure placed on children in Utah, Idaho and other concentrated LDS areas…children as young as preschool and kindergarten. The “good LDS” kids were invited to birthday parties and other events, while the non-member and “less than ideal” LDS kids were excluded. It was so horrible that after 10 years in SLC, we had to move our kids out. They were being systematically bullied for not being Mormon…bullied by parents who wrote those invitations and kids who wouldn’t play with them or come to our house.
Now place yourself in the position of a seven year old in Utah. Most of your classmates are getting ready for baptism…it’s a big deal. But now you, because your parents aren’t acceptable any more, are pushed aside. YOU, a child, are told that you and you alone among your classmates and friends will have to wait another 10 years or more and ASK permission to be baptized. Do you think that child will feel loved and protected? Do you really believe that child will be invited to the parties any more, or included in the events? Come on…be honest.
And what about when that child reaches the very difficult years of Middle School and High School? Does a child already struggling to find themselves and deal with the challenges of hormones and cliques and body image need yet another reason to feel excluded and “less than”? Is it loving to encourage them to turn on loving parents, and hate them for causing the problems, leaving these fragile kids with no trusted family to which they can turn? It doesn’t take a lot to foresee the incredible harm this policy will do to those families, no matter how caring and supportive they might be.
And then consider the young man or woman growing up in the LDS church, realizing that they are gay. From the start, this policy tells them that they are so awful that even their children, should they have or adopt any, will also be tainted by association.
Will children and teens die because of this policy? No question. Will families….loving, caring families be destroyed? Without a doubt. Will there be witch hunts and cases of people reporting other families for maybe being in violation? Absolutely.
And in every case, it is the children who will suffer.
Thankfully, the LDS Church does not have an infallibility doctrine. I can only pray that they will realize the perhaps unintended but deadly consequences of this policy and remove it from their manual, with a sincere apology for any harm already caused.
Lindsay, like you, I hope the church retracts this policy before innocent children are adversely affected. Ben’s comments earlier poignantly describe the dilemma faced by many families. The church has been mostly a good influence in my life, but this policy makes me ashamed.
Hi Kayla- I am not a member of the LDS church, but what you wrote was beautifully done in a most genuine manner, and shows where your heart is and how very much you are trying to walk in our Lord’s path. I am sure so many others have the very same thoughts as you. I am compelled to tell you that I, as a Christian, believe that a marriage is between a man and woman. That doesn’t mean a ‘gay’ couple can’t raise a wonderful child who grows to love our Lord and follow Him. It means they are a same sex couple raising a child as parents…period. My brother was gay, and believed that a ‘marriage is between a man and woman’, and also believed that God loved him and would be waiting for him.
I wish you peace, and a lightened heart, knowing that God knows what’s in our heart and who we truly are. We are all imperfect and he knows that. Keep shining!
Not many of us doubt that this will provide protection for the reasons explained. It all sounds like a fantastic idea! The church should really implement it! Like, for ALL children who have parents who don’t support the church and make it hard on the child in their home life. For all families that may be strained by children who go to church and learn that their parents are doing things wrong. Let all of these children have more time to make such a critical decision, because maybe 8 years old is a little young without full family support. None of this sounds bad until you DISCRIMINATE only against certain children (who are innocent, haven’t done a thing wrong). Then you’re either forgetting about all the others, or not true in your reasoning and targeting children for their parents choices, which is so so wrong. And I am a believing member who is just heartsick over this. It is not fair. As a teenager, I was targeted by some women in the ward, because of choices my father made. They gossiped and told lies about our family, and I did nothing wrong, but was punished. I would venture a guess that life in the church is already hard for these kids, why do they need additional stipulations singling them out as different because of who their parents are? Why not offer them the same opportunities and agency to choose as everyone else? (It’s not the same if it’s not in the same timeframe).
Can’t believe it’s 2015 and people still follow fairy tales. None of you Christians can agree on anything because you interpret (key word) the passages of your holy books differently and lay claim to what’s “true”. The Bible is full of gaping holes and the Book of Mormon is even worse. Pull yourselves together people and embrace what it means to be human and different from one another. Religion only separates us.
This policy- not doctrine- assumes that gay parents hate the church and a child being baptized would cause contention. So not true! I have very close friends – a lesbian couple, that love the gospel and wish for their children to be blessed and baptized, knowing that they will need to have discussions about their relationship and how that exists in a Mormon realm. This choice has been stripped away from them and they are devastated! Yet, my child abusing cohabitation alcoholic cousin that hates the church begrudging allows his dad to bless and baptize his children into the church to appease his family. How is that ok? Conflict about how parents live their lives happens even when they aren’t gay. If we want to protect children from conflict, all of them should wait until they are 18. Now, the children of gay parents that love the gospel and attend church will be singled out and but allowed to participate in the church because two men or women are raising them. There are more gay Mormons than you think. They are already struggling to know how they fit in. Now they got the message loud and clear: they dont.
Unless you are a gay parent and can feel this pain first hand, , you really don’t have a place to say this is a good thing and that it won’t hurt the children. You have no clue how that would feel.
And until all parents that arent completely living and teaching the gospel in their homes are treated the same way, this policy needs to be halted.
I also dislike how the church tried to sneak it into the manual. This type of change deserved the publicity. Pretty cowardly in my pov.
What would Jesus do ? I don’t believe that the leadership of the LDS Church are in touch with the True God. This sounds like something a demi god would do. Hope you enjoy your Discrimination Mormons. I want no part of this. It was proven over 20 years ago. .. when a pregnant mother is under too much stress she does not produce the proper amounts of hormones to the fetus = gay. You are calling homosexuality a sinner. . This is like calling someone with dyslexia a sinner! LDS people you need to go back to school. The brainwashing is in calling it a ( life style) like it’s a choice. Do kid yourself. Enjoy your unjustified discrimination. I believe it is Wrong of you.
“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.”
As a “liberal” member of the church I too am having a hard time with this policy. I’m also working on keeping faith in a religion full of contradictions. What I disagree with the most is the inference that somehow being “liberal” and mormon is a contradiction and that being “liberal” means that somehow you have to be “reined in”. Why is that?
“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.”
This was a good perspective that I respect it, especially the experience of being a convert to the church and how becoming a member affected your family. I’m not sure how to feel about the above comment. Being liberal and being a Mormon I sometimes have conflicting values, but this seems to indicate that to be Mormon you have to be conservative or be “reigned” in.
I thought this was a great example of the Church’s approach and their new policy. Thank you for sharing your story, I am happy to know that all is well with your family.
There are numerous policies about baptism – people from muslim countries e.g. have to have an interview with the mission president, who has to make sure no one’s life gets in danger.
Many critics argue that this policy is taking away an opportunity for children (or rather teenagers) whose gay fosters are perfectly ok with the baptism.
The respond to that is – policies are policies, not commandments, they are general rules of conduct, exemptions can be made.
I was 17 and living at home when I wanted to be baptized – which you don’t do when you are Greek and that was the strong opinion of my father as well.
However, a GA authorized that I got baptized anyway, things worked out with my father although he did not get baptized on this side of the veil.
The church is using a political tactic of, if you tell people something enough, they will eventually accept their message. This is not a policy of love. With the church’s reasoning, I think we should not baptism children whose parents transgress the Word of Wisdom. After all, the children will learn at church that drinking and smoking is a sin and they might condemn their parents, causing discord in the home. The point is, if children of gay parents are allowed to attend church, baptized or not, they will hear that gay relationships are a sin. As a granddad who had always planned on blessing, baptizing, giving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, etc. to the children of my gay sons (with their permission and blessing) my fear is, not only will they have to deal with those teachings, but they will constantly be asked, “why hasn’t your granddad baptized you?” or “you are in the Boy Scouts and attend Aaronic Priesthood, why don’t you pass the sacrament?” To these questions, my grandson would have to answer, “I have two dads”. Or other kids would say, ‘his parents are gay”. Of course I no longer plan on taking my grandkids to church because, with this policy of love, I am certain my sons will not allow their children to attend church, especially because the policy mandates that an 18 year old must renounce their parents and move out of the home.
The problem with this policy, is that it is a blanket policy and does not take into consideration mitigating circumstances.
I’m sorry. I stopped reading your blog as soon as you said you were 18 years old when you converted (emphasis on converted). (And I’ve been trying to remain humble and read from all of the many perspectives given.) Because that’s when your opinion became irrelevant and stopped applying to this policy change. (<Not intended to be rude, sorry if it seems that way, I'm just trying to be direct…. for the sake of CHILDREN.) (<also, not trying to yell, there just isn't any way to italicize or underline in these things.)
Your experience validates the arguments that are a distraction to the real issue. If I go back and read through your blog I will probably feel some sympathy for how difficult joining the church was for you at 18, but I won't find any connection between what your story was as a young adult convert and what a 7 year old's (already attending since birth) story will be. The 7 year old who has heard their whole 7 years of existence about how important, imperative, and collective (meaning all their friends will get to participate in the milestone ages of receiving ordinances, but not them) these things are. Whose parents (regardless of sexual orientation) supported their participation and decisions to commit.
Please understand, I find nothing wrong with testimonies and stories about overcoming great obstacles such as yours, but please reconsider how your attempt at drawing parallels to that of little kids falls extremely short.
Looking at this from a non-spiritual point of view, no matter what course the LDS Church took, there would be problems. Legalizing same-sex marriage put the Church in a no-win situation. I can see huge conflicts if the Church did allow children living in same sex homes to be baptized. Basically the only easy resolution would be to fully endorse same sex marriage, but that would create nuclear war within the membership, as LDS doctrine teaches that traditional marriage is the foundation for everything, and the majority of active members wholeheartedly believe that. Personally, I believe the Church made the best decision for everyone involved. We need to now move on, even if we have to agree to disagree. There has been too much anger over this issue. Time to focus on finding common ground and helping and loving each other. Nothing in this new policy says we can’t do that.
I’m gay. I was rejected by the mormons I grew up with- starting at the age of 8. (1961) You can take your church and shove it. It is a mindless piece of garbage. And I know this because I had to heal myself when I was 35- and the joke’s on all you fools.
Wow. Bitter much?
When we seek to alter his commandments in the least degree, we create a bastardized code of conduct that will lead to disharmony among the members of the society in which the altered code of conduct is practiced. Ultimately our ideas will fail.
Revelation vs “policy” remember always this two words. This is just a “policy” no doctrine so do not take this is a revelation. it is only a temporary guideline for some time. Later on it will be change as many other policies in church have come and go. by the way this new policy goes against basic doctrine and doesn’t stand the scrutiny of any logical sense neither. kids of nonmember parents have been baptized in the church for many years regardless of the parents lifestyle, with the parents authorization. so please, do not use the argument that the church is trying to prevent conflicting teachings from the parents and the church.
I’m LDS and frankly, I don’t know why this is such a big deal. If you’re in relationship that the church obviously does not condone, and your child cannot be baptized, why do you care? Apparrently, it doesn’t bother you enough to change your life, but an entire religion should change their doctrine for you. No. I’m proud of my religion and what we believe. Take your children to another church that condones your lifestyle. It’s not like there aren’t any out there. It may come as a shock to you, but there are many, many people who don’t approve of the choices you made in your life, nor do they want their church to become a church led by public vote. If you don’t like it, find somewhere else. The entire world does not revolve around you and your family. You made your bed, now lie in it. No pun intended.
Mindy, you need to think outside the box of your limited experience. I am gay. If I were raising my children alone or with just my husband, believe me they would not go anywhere near the LDS church. But my children also have a mother, and my ex-wife is a believing Mormon who wants to raise our children in her church. I’ve chosen not to stand in the way of their participation out of respect for her, but the church doesn’t want to let me make that choice. As a result, my believing Mormon ex-wife and my believing Mormon children suffer.
It’s also naive to assume there isn’t a situation where children of same-sex parents would want to join the church of their own free will. Many parents allow their children to explore religion on their own, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the child of gay parents would have Mormon friends who introduce him or her to their religion. If those gay parents are open-minded enough to give their consent, it’s ridiculous that the church won’t allow it.
I think as a mormon your comment was very rude. Should you not show a better example?
Imagine a lesbian couple that has a 7 year old child. And they have been allowing their child to attend the Mormon Church with true believer family members. Partly to allow the child to bond with these family members, and party because they don’t mind their child being exposed to some of the positive things religion can provide. But with this new policy the LDS church has of not allowing a child living under the same roof as their gay parents to become a member of the LDS church things are going to change. True believer Grandma isn’t the type to let her grandchild’s salvation be at risk. The church would never lead her astray and she is willing to strain her relationship with her lesbian daughter to the breaking point to secure her grandchild’s membership in the church. While the lesbian parents are disinclined to allow their child to attend a church that is so troubled by their relationship that they won’t even allow their child to be a member. They are also facing ugly manipulation by family members to get their child to remain in contention for salvation in the highest kingdom of the Mormon Church. Grandma is even threatening no inheritance unless she gets her way. Yes these family problems happen and DIVISIVE policies like this contribute to the problem. These are not family friendly policies. The LDS Church’s explanation that the policy change is going to help the child from having to make tough choices is lame. It is not a policy of inclusion; it is a policy of exclusion. A policy that shows they have no concern for the child. Shouldn’t the LDS Church want to expose itself to as many as possible? Shouldn’t they want “sinners” as they would consider them could learn and grow with the church? Nope! They are more concerned with isolating their members from Gay people. Cause if you like gay people you may find yourself at odds with the LDS teachings. They never made a policy that a child living under the roof of parents that are unmarried and fornicating can’t become a member of the church. Why so harsh on the child of gay couple? I would stress to Mormons to think for yourselves. Realize that the church does change over time, and that members do have a say in the direction of the church. If you could go back in time to when Brigham Young was the Prophet and interview a Mormon, they would be adamant that polygamy would never end, interracial marriages with blacks would never be accepted by the church, there are people on the moon, and they know all this because the Prophet never gets anything wrong. If you just got offended, then the teachings of Brigham Young himself offended you. These are right in Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, but since they aren’t faith promoting they are not discussed in church. My point is to be the Mormon that is ahead of the problematic positions of the church. This is a “he who is without sin cast the first stone” moment. The LDS church doesn’t get everything just right, but they can change and get better. But a policy like this seems like casting a stone, not extending an Olive branch. Homosexuals have always been around, but in the past they were not accepted and had little to gain from coming out. Don’t worry! Everybody in the human population is not going to go gay all of a sudden. Don’t let fear guide your decisions. It is natural for humans to not like change. It can feel wrong and lead to concerns that society is spiraling out of control. But I assure you that years into the future our society will generally be much more at peace with the topic. Just as the topic of interracial marriage isn’t an issue in the Mormon Church as it was when Brigham Young said; “If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot.” (Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110) So obviously the Mormon Church can change, but which way will it go on the issue of homosexuality? Sure they have made it clear on marriage, but policies toward innocent children seems like an offensive move. If they keep the current course the church will isolate itself and attract those hateful toward gays. You don’t have to agree with their lifestyle, but anything seen as an attack makes others stand against the attacker. I don’t see any way our younger generation is going to have the same attitudes toward gays as many in our older generations. Things are going to change and it will be a better place for all. Perfect? No. But I would hate to see the religion of my childhood adopt policies that I have to stand against. And that is just what they did with this change. I knew the information age wasn’t going to be easy for the Mormon Church. Make sure they don’t turn your religion into fearful society that can’t rub shoulders with those you don’t agree with. Love, service, and inclusion would be a much better direction.
It kind of sounds like people have the idea that the Church is led by a buck of old bigots. A person with a testimony, received by the power of the Holy Ghost, would say that this is the Lord’s church, who has entrusted it into the hands of men who, although imperfect, are given the right by God (through priesthood keys, which are the right to control and govern the use of it) to determine how and to whom ordinances are administered. That person would then know that these are men, not guided by hate or bigotry, but by what they truly and honestly feel to be what the Lord would do.
Speaking of exclusion: so many are talking about how unchristlike it is to exclude people, but they forget that the first instruction the Lord gave to his apostles was to only teach and baptize Israelites. That excluded a great deal of people. That didn’t change until after Christ was resurrected and instructed Peter to accept Cornelius.
Now will anyone accuse Christ of hate or bigotry because he required people to wait?
I have an honest question that I think summarizes my whole issue – If you believe blessing and/or baptism is necessary for entrance into eternal life in paradise how can you condemn the children of LGBT parent who die before the age of 18 to hell. How can you allow if condone the eternal suffering of their souls because of who their parents are?
The honest answer is that no one will be deprived of the necessary ordinances, because of the vicarious work for the dead performed in the holy temples. Anyone who dies without baptism will have the opportunity to accept one that was performed in behalf, by someone on earth, for their name. Same goes for endowments and sealing to families.
“Our church has gone the extra mile to make sure that they know that. They are loved and valued beyond comprehension!” I am not sure where *your* church is located, but the ‘church’ that resides in CA has not gone out of it’s way to make sure I am loved an valued beyond comprehension. In fact they have done the opposite. As a LGBT former LDS member, I can tell you whole heartedely that I have never been more ashamed of being LDS than when prop-8 happened. I am not sure what extra mile you are thinking about. In the LGBT community, this is sadly not how it has been experienced.
I cant help but see broken hearted children who are already in the culture being shunned or placed in the “other” category. For example there must be kids who unlike their friends at church can’t be ordained a teacher even though it was fine when they were ordained a deacon–prior to the institution of this policy. What bishop wants to make sense of that to the kid who has done everything right? It’s not a policy coming from love. It’s a fearful bigoted ridiculous policy.
I have long enjoyed this blog. When something happens that shakes my fragile faith, I often come here knowing that I will leave with a new perspective. I say my faith is fragile because I’ve struggled so much with keeping faith during many medical trials, including depression where it feels as if a bubble keeps any joy or happiness or the spirit from entering. It’s difficult to sit in a room where many “feel” the strong spirit, and I feel nothing. Have I done something so wrong? God could surely reach out to me if he wanted, yet he doesn’t. I’ve asked why? But it wouldn’t be fair for him to touch my heart when he doesn’t do so to everyone else that struggles. So, for now, I hold hope close to my heart and faith is built on hope. Thank you for this blog. Thank you for helping me see new perspectives and for doing the same for so many others.
On this topic, it saddens me that the LGBT community feels as if their children are being punished. I was baptized at 8 because that’s just what was done. How I wish that I could have understood and waited until I was 18! It would have given ME the choice and not my parents. I’m grateful overall, but these children will be stronger and get to make the decision themselves instead of their parents making it for them. And, why should parents who live in opposition to the church’s standards and teachings, why would they teach their children about the church? It doesn’t make sense. They would, in essence, be teaching their children “don’t live like I’m living.”
I can only hope that families caught in this struggle will put their children first. I hope that parents that are divorced (such as Ben who has commented here) won’t teach their children hate towards the church which will in turn leave their children choosing between mom and dad and their different belief systems.
God has said to love one another. I love my LGBT friends. I don’t agree with the way they choose to live, just as they don’t agree with mine. But with respect and love, we are able to remain friends. Isn’t that what you would want for your children too? Teach them to respect all people. Let them figure out how they feel about the church without telling them how to feel.
So why not wait until ALL people are 18 to be baptized? For the sake of the children.
I miss my sister n brother. My ex hurt me so. My new love are just starting a relationship. I want it in God name n blessed to grow I prayed all my life for him. Please. Jesus name Amen.
Latter-Day Saints: Mormons
There’s more (wrong) to them than just their history of polygamy. We have Joseph Smith to thank for that. Again, all this heresy and apostasy began with one man that they accept as an apostle and prophet.
They believe we are all spirit children of God and existed with God prior to creation. This begins the subtle hint that we are somehow worthy of equality with God.
They deny inherent depravity and would have us believe that we a ‘good’ – life is about the lessons. They promote the view that all will be reconciled to God – saved. This would have us not search for a Savior. This has us deny that there is righteousness and wickedness, godliness and sin. Inasmuch, it would have us minimalize our confession of being sinful and in desperate need of saving. It also distances us from the concept that our sin is what separates us from God and that He alone has saved us by grace.
They produce their own book to be equivalent in authority to that of God’s Word (the Book of Mormon); so, they are open to new Revelation. God’s Word (the Bible) is a closed Revelation. We as Christians are to seek Illumination to THAT Revelation. God is not giving new truths or changing His views. He is not granting to one some insight that would be otherwise contrary to the rest of His Word. But, you be the judge of your own conscience. Do you take a created beings word for it – or do you seek God’s Word?
They attempt to make for their selves a heaven that is ‘good’ enough for god to return to – their Zion. This is a unique little exclusiveness that is partial to geography. They also teach that god has a particular plan for Israel in America during the 1,000 year reign. They make their selves out to be the New Israel – prior to Christ’s Coming. And, the land that was promised to Israel is now REPLACED in the good ol’ U.S. of A. WOW! We who are in Christ are adopted into Israel. But, for those who are national Israel – their land is in the Middle East (and its boarders are yet to be that which God has granted them). Our ‘promised land’ is in the New Heaven which Christ will bring with Him. It is not something we can build with our hands to be worthy of God’s Glory – it is God’s Glory revealed to us on the Last Day.
You unfortunately got so many Mormon teachings wrong here that it is hard to believe it was done in simple ignorance. Either you need to improve your research if you really want to interpret Mormon doctrine, or you are willfully spreading lies about it, which would then make you a liar- inexcusable regardless of your purposes for it. I give you the benefit of the doubt, and will suppose that you aren’t wilfully trying to deceive your fellow men about what the Church teaches.
Rather useless conversation to reply with nothing but Web links. I suppose I could just say, lds.org over and over, but everyone knows how to get around the internet, and that does basically nothing for discussion.
Also, it appears that you are simply using this blog post as your forum to air your doctrinal grievances with the Church in general and not directly contributing to the discussion pertinent to the original post.
A true follower of Christ would be fighting against the work of the Devil, not against an organization that devotes many resources in efforts that fall perfectly in line with what Christ taught his disciples to do. Christ taught that you will know them by their fruits; you are ignoring the fruits in order to attack the Church on what are, at best, peripheral issues; not what the Church is trying to accomplish in the world. With the overabundance of unquestionable evil in the world, why do you choose to devote your efforts against a church that professes and seeks to emulate Christ (although not in agreement with your personal, subjective interpretations) instead of focusing that effort on those who don’t profess in Christ at all? We claim to be on His side, and we arent doing any worse at it than anyone else, some might argue that we are more effective at it because of the massive scale that the Church is doing these great things on. I suspect it is because you have some other hangup with the Church that is not really doctrinal at all, and no matter what good we ever do, you will try to tear away at us. With Satan. So how does it feel, directing blows where Satan directs his?
Having left the Morman church and trusted in the true Christ of the Bible…my prayer is that you would rethink your decision. The lds church believe Satan/Lucifer and Jesus are brothers and Jesus chose the right way and Satan the wrong way. Jesus Christ is the creator of heaven and earth and everything in it. He therefore created Lucifer then because of sin found in him , lucifer…(he wanted to be like the most high God…see Isaiah 14:12-15) …so this doctrine of the church is wrong. If an elder or leader in the church says the church doesn’t believe that anymore then again the church is saying God changed his mind but the Bible in Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. Jesus is God…and the creator he and God the Father and the Holy Spirit are one and have existed for all eternity and will for all future eternity. And btw we will not become gods no matter how good we are, another tenant of the lds church. Praying for you! If you would like to talk I would very much like to visit with you!
Your opinion and interpretation of [Mormon] doctrine is entertaining even though it is flawed as is so commonly done. At least we have prophets who claim to receive true revelation; your errant understanding is wholly your own. No doubt you were a member once, for whatever that is worth (not much), but at least even former members can spell the faith’s nickname correctly prior to spewing gross misrepresentations of their official doctrine. If you would like to talk and learn how to get it right, we would very much like to visit with you!
Sorry for misspelling the church nickname that was not intentional nor did I mean to be disrespectful. The point I am and was making and wasn’t very clear on is that the God of the Mormon faith and the God of the Bible must be two different gods because Mormon doctrine isn’t consistent with the Bible. It is man made and forever changing. How can one put their faith in a God that is forever changing? The God I serve is steadfast and true. He is forever faithful! He is sovereign, righteous, just, love, eternal life, all knowing, all power, everywhere, never lies and never changes. I do have several scriptures to back this up if interested.
It must be that your interpretation of change is misplaced, because God’s church has changed many times (the Bible attests to that); it doesn’t mean that anyone implies that God changed his mind or something. But I think you know that. You seem to be more intent on directing your efforts against where you perceive to be “chinks in the armor” of the Church’s doctrine-the way Satan does. You are completely ignoring everything that the Church does that emulates Christ, in favor of picking a few peripheral nuances to put into a nutshell, then purposely using them to portray what the Church “really” is. All good comes from Christ, and what the Church does is good. That is why Satan fights it, and so are you.
I have an additional comment. Your statement “at least we have prophets who claim to receive true revelation” perhaps is the most revealing (no pun intended) because the Bible is all we need. If one studies the Bible and understands scripture from an exegesis viewpoint then there is no further need for added revelation. When the Bible is studied from the original languages and looked at by the historical setting, who is being talked to and so forth then understanding is there. If man doesn’t utilize exegesis then man will employ eisegesis and make scripture say whatever they want.
Also…as a side note, my families history can be and has been traced back all the way to Joseph Smith…so Mormonism has been in my family for a long time and I have seen and heard of numerous changes within the Mormon church which further points out that it goes against scripture because God is unchanging. I am thankful that now I don’t have to worry about getting the latest revelation from someone else…
The idea that a church can’t change because God doesn’t change is full of error. Anyone that knows the Bible knows that God’s chuch, during the many times it has been on the earth, has changed, many times and in many ways. The Mosaic laws, preaching the gospel to gentiles, and several other examples, all show that God chooses to administer his church to people in different times and different ways, in different degrees, according to His wisdom. People sit back and criticize because they don’t understand as He does. Imagine if people decided to reject all scripture that came after Christ was resurrected? There would be no New Testament. So who thinks they get to decide when God is done speaking to the world? No man or woman does.
On another note concerning exegesis versus eisegesis: you will never be able to fully objectively interpret the bible. Regardless of how many scholars form panels, no matter how fully you think you understand the people, places, and situations, individual or collective opinion will always make up a great part of how scripture can be interpreted. The Bible contradicts itself many times if viewed in an exegical light, and some people feel like they need to twist interpretations to avoid admitting that it is, in fact, incomplete, as it makes dozens of references to passages that were once there, but no longer are. Also, do you consider the Apocrypha to be included in your definition of the only word of God, or did you let a panel decide that for you by using exegesis as well?
There is a substantial portion of the Bible that was written in the spirit of prophecy, and therefore can only be fully interpreted through that same spirit of prophecy. Which is why God called, and still calls prophets. Panels of scholars and lay individuals can’t do that for their fellow Christians. So, either people listen to prophets to help them properly apply holy scripture to teaching others, or they sit around and argue with each other about who is more right-which then puts you where Joseph Smith was. The Christians of his day couldn’t agree, and they can’t any better these days. It’s a joke to argue about what one thing or another in the Bible really says. No one can even settle on one translation to argue over, for that matter. And if you are selectively picking at relatively obscure points of doctrine to use against the Mormon church’s entire mission of bringing others to Christ, then I would question who you are truly serving. True followers of Christ will be contending only against the church of the devil. One would do well to refer to Mark 9:37-41.
Again I am not trying to be disrespectful or ugly regarding the LDS church. I truly believe the fruit of the Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22-26. Also, I do not rely on man to determine scripture but the Holy Spirit teaches us comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Cor 2:13. If we walk in the Light as He is in the Light …1John 1:7. I seek Jesus Christ and His righteous. No man comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ. John 14:16. What is the gospel…the good news whereby one must be saved? 1 Cor 15:2-4 explains what we must believe… It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. (this is the NLT but the King James, New King James or the NIV translations will all convey basically the same message)
We believe a set of facts about the One who saves us….Jesus died for our sins, was buried and was raised from the dead on the third day. If we believe in what Christ did for us we are saved…then the Spirit will guide us into good works Ephesians 2:8-10. This is the message that will assure our place in heaven…faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. I mention all this because I recently attended the funeral of my cousin who has been Mormon since he was 8 and very active within the church. The elder or church leader (sorry I don’t recall his position title) was giving what was a “gospel” message and basically he stated that the work for the saving of our souls was done in the Garden when Christ sweat droplets of blood. He didn’t mention the “Cross” or that our sins were poured out on Christ during the time He hung on the Cross. It wasn’t the droplets of blood in the garden. I am concerned about others and this is my reason for stating the Gospel message succinctly. In love I share these scriptures and respectfully ask that you consider this.
I know from my own personal experience that many will try and trash Mormon’s and their beliefs. I only mentioned previous things to point out the changes from those in leadership within the LDS church. I came to the realization that many things the church does and continues to do is good but good isn’t enough to get me saved.
Thanks for your consideration.
I agree with the things that you just said about Christ. I suppose we could sit and argue about small details that are not fully laid out, not even clearly and distintly in the Bible about how many nails were driven into the cross or exactly what Christ suffered or when or where he suffered it, and we both could claim that we are guided by the spirit, but I don’t think it is correct to pick apart every thing someone says to ball it up with some scripture references and hurl it back into their face in an effort to be right. But as far as the essential saving truths, I can see that we are in agreement. I also believe that we will come to understand things much more clearly after this life, and someone isn’t going to be damned because of some misperception of some obscure fact. What is not obscure in scripture is what you mentioned above, that saLatin is in what Chist dIid and our Faith in him. What someone taught at some funeral really has no bearing to the rest of us; I won’t hold against you or your faith what someone else said or taught somewhere. Just because they didn’t include something that I considered to be essential or said something that isn’t in line with my chosen interpretation. We have far greater spiritual threats in this world now. Christ’s forces should not be divided.
Interesting interpretation of Mormon (note – two letter o’s – no letter a) doctrine. Sad to see how misinformed you are. Maybe read some LDS publications if you want to know what we really believe. Things that are published by the church, speak for the church. You will find all kinds of things out there published by people without full knowledge and authority on all things “Mormonism” that are intended to discredit and distort our beliefs. If I wanted to know how to fix my car – I”d consult my own vehicle owner’s manual – not someone else’s.
Absolutely! I like the analogy. Any real lover of truth will try to avoid any untruths or misrepresentations in order to get the true story on something, even if they won’t agree with it. Real lovers of truth will also refrain from purposely disseminating information that they know misrepresents the referenced organization’s intentions. Any person who thinks they can deceive and spread falsehoods and help God are impure fountains and are furthering the Devils work of lies and fight against what is good.
to Kelly T….why direct someone to only what the LDS church publishes or brochures from the church. Can the Mormon faith be defended from only the Bible? The Bible is the mind of Christ and He says in His word Rev 22:19 not to add or take away from it. I agree that the LDS church does a lot of wonderful things. I love the people and have a lot of family still in the Mormon faith. My main concern is the message of salvation…that is why as asked earlier…”Who do you say Jesus Christ is and what must one do to be saved?
Ok…so you get to decide who is spreading falsehoods and who is doing the devils work? Are you so blinded by LDS doctrine that you won’t consider anything else. Are you so blinded that you don’t or won’t look into what your church has taught in the past. It is easy to say look at what the church teaches today because they keep changing to fit what society will except. It use to be that blacks were not excepted but then the prophet in Utah said they are ok to accept. Let me ask a very simple question that will get to the heart of the matter. Who do you say Jesus Christ is and how do you know you will be in heaven once this life is over?
Does the devil try to guide people to emulate Christ? Does he entice them to feed, clothe, and shelter the needy? Does he encourage strong families, protect children, strive to help needy people to not only receive basic necessities of life but help them to elevate their own lives by beginning to pattern their lives after the example of Jesus Christ? To be contributing, responsible members of society? To build up the waste places? Which of these works do you condemn us for? The way someone returns to the Father is by knowing the Son. It is by emulating the son that we come to know him. So while some people sit around and argue and point fingers about who Jesus really is and who fits some group or other’s definition of what a Christian is, others are trying to live the way he taught us to live, which is how one truly becomes His disciple. The Church is doing that. You can disagree with all kinds of statements that people have made in the past; the Church makes all that available to you to criticize. But don’t confuse those peripheral nuances with the true core of what we are trying to accomplish in the world, which is doing what Christ taught. You can go ahead and judge us with your harsh, rigid ruler, but it will be used against you in the day of judgment. I still wonder what your real problem with the Church is, because we are diligently striving to do what He showed us to do, and you think you are some kind of crusader that is doing Gods work in tearing this down (like Saul). He said, “ye shall know them by their fruits”, but you apparently think that a follower of Christ should be doing something else? You are completely missing who the real enemy is in this world. Either that or you are fighting against this church for some private reason.
Funny how so many people think it is unchristian to put exclusions or limitations on how His church is administered, when He did just those things before, during, and after his ministry on earth, and it stands to reason that if He still guides His church, then there might still be limits and restrictions imposed these days. Sometimes we think we understand why; we usually don’t.
To chrisitanpowerloveshere… I’ll try to answer some of your thoughts…. If I were searching for a vehicle, I would by all means consult the consumer reports. multiple sources of information and opinion, collect data and make an informed decision about which vehicle to buy. Yet finding truth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a matter of the heart and the spirit. And who’s to say whos heart is more true and pure?
Clearly, you are content with the belief that all one has to do is accept that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and that’s all it takes to be saved. Sounds blissfully easy. Who wouldn’t want to jump on that bandwagon?
In the LDS church, we do believe that God and Jesus Christ require more from us. We believe God, Elohim, is the Father of all the spirits who have or will ever come to earth. Jesus Christ is his literal and only begotten son in the flesh. They are two separate beings. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead who testifies of the truth of all things to us, and gives comfort, light and knowledge. The three make up the Godhead.
Christ came to show us the way, (works) then give His life (grace) so that we could all come back to the Father through Him. Those works are like a set of instructions how the works are to be done. “Feed my Sheep”, “Keep my Commandments”, “Love one Another”. And since He knew we, being mortal are imperfect beings and could never come to the Father in our imperfections, and full of short comings, he Atoned (grace) for our sins, in Gethsemane. His “drops of blood” were the physical manifestation of His taking upon Him all the sin, grief and pain of the world. Only a God with a mortal body could perform such a miraculous act. If He was able to feel what we feel, only He can be the mediator on our behalf for the Father. We do all we can, and then Christ, through his Atoning blood, makes up the difference.
The cross was the instrument of his death, commonly used by the Romans at the time. It has become a symbol for many believers over the ages that that is where the suffering happened. Jesus being a mortal God, could have withstood the Cross, yet when it was “finished”, being a mortal God, also chose to “give up the Ghost” – His own spirit when the time came for Him to do so. In the LDS church, we believe though the Cross was excruciatingly painful and difficult to bear, that Gethsemane was the sacred place and time the Atonement happened.
Let me be clear – I don’t expect that my “good works” will save me. I still have such a long way to go. I am as imperfect as they come. But I do know that because I love Jesus Christ, and trust that He will do what He says He will do, and by staying on the “straight and narrow”, trying to be like Him and do whatever He asks of me in this life, He will petition the Father on my behalf and make up the difference for me. It is neither by Grace or Works that we will be saved, but by both.
And these truths penetrate my heart, and for me they feel right, good and true, and that’s why I “chose” Mormonism. I try to live by these precepts, and I would invite all to come, as well. And if they find another church that feels more right, good and true, by all means, you are free to worship how, where or what you may. I will not try and tear down your beliefs, and I would ask that you give me the same courtesy.
Mormon cyclist is right – with all the wicked in the world, Christians of all sects should be standing together, rather than in opposition to one another. There are bigger fish to fry in this day and age than who got the details of Christianity right. I will just suffice it to say, I’m glad to have found a fellow Christian on this blog, because we need more of us fighting against what’s wrong in the world, that nit picking over what’s right.