At 18, I Chose the LDS Church Over Polygamy

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This article was originally written by Steve Washenko for the Salt Lake Tribune. The following is an excerpt. 

I feel compelled to add my voice to the discussion over the policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not to baptize children who primarily reside with same-sex couples. For me, this topic is very personal. I was raised in a polygamous community, and an analogous church policy did not permit me to be baptized until I turned 18 and disavowed the practice of polygamy.

Many commentators assume that the LDS policy is meant to punish the children of same-sex couples. Many also assume that the policy will exclude these children from the LDS community, and that if a child should choose to join the church, she will have to disavow their parents. I heard very similar criticisms while growing up in the polygamous community of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). I was taught I would have to disavow my family, leave my friends and denounce any beliefs I grew up with if I ever associated with or joined the LDS Church.

At 16 years old, I started college in Cedar City, Utah. I moved in with LDS roommates who all knew of my background. At the time, I still attended a branch of the AUB. But despite this, and to my surprise, I was invited to attend LDS seminary, weekly singles activities and Sunday night firesides. I was even asked to be the president of an institute class. Never once after telling someone about my family or beliefs was I asked to denounce them.

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Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.