In a video interview on Friday, Elder D. Todd Christofferson confirmed the policy updates added to Handbook 1, a resource for local leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On November 5, the Church updated its policy, stating that children living with parents or guardians in a same-gendered marriage or cohabiting relationship cannot be baptized until of legal age. In addition, children of same-sex couples may not receive a baby blessing.
Once the child reaches the age of 18, and is no longer living with his or her same-sex parents, the child may choose to be baptized into the Church only after he or she “accepts and… commit[s] to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.”
Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, clarified that any individual may receive priesthood blessings of healing, comfort or guidance if he or she wishes to receive one.
During the interview, Christofferson addressed many of the questions that have resulted from this policy change. The apostle addressed why children of same-sex couples must wait for baptism, the importance of families, how the Church will continue to advocate for LGBTQ individuals to be treated fairly in regards to housing and employment, and that the Church recognizes individuals have a right to choose to participate in a same-sex marriage relationship in many countries, including the United States.
Mormon Newsroom reports that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles approved all of the changes.
Watch the video, posted above, to hear Elder Christofferson’s response.