Fether

Church policy change on same sex marriage

Recommended Posts

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/first-presidency-messages-general-conference-leadership-session-april-2019

 

essentially:

- Children of same sex parents can now get baptied without first presidency permission

- Same sex marriage is no longer considered “apostasy” but will be treated similar to heterosexual type sexual sins.

Edited by Fether

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Beginning immediately, children 8 and older whose parents identify themselves as LGBT may be baptized without First Presidency approval, President Oaks said. Latter-day Saints baptize by immersion, and baptism and confirmation give a person membership in the church.

President Oaks said local church leaders should obtain permission from custodial parents for a child's baptism and ensure that they understand the doctrine church members will teach a baptized child and that he or she is making a covenant to live the principles of the gospel as taught by the church.

In my mind this was the issue the whole time and probably will still cause issues in those homes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly... while I realize a lot of people will be happy about this, it makes me really worry.  I worry that it's going to put families in an awkward position -- kids being taught that their dad & papa's relationship is wrong in one venue and that it's totally ok in another.  That unrepentant dad & papa's would resent that.  Primary teachers being caught is the middle.  Little eight year olds feeling like they have to choose.  ... 

Edited by Jane_Doe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sort of in the process of spitting out my drink here...

Quote

At the direction of the First Presidency, President Oaks shared that effective immediately, children of parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender may be baptized without First Presidency approval if the custodial parents give permission for the baptism and understand both the doctrine that a baptized child will be taught and the covenants he or she will be expected to make.

A nonmember parent or parents (including LGBT parents) can request that their baby be blessed by a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder. These parents need to understand that congregation members will contact them periodically, and that when the child who has been blessed reaches 8 years of age, a Church member will contact them and propose that the child be baptized.

Previously, our Handbook characterized same-gender marriage by a member as apostasy. While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline. Instead, the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.

The very positive policies announced this morning should help affected families. In addition, our members’ efforts to show more understanding, compassion and love should increase respect and understanding among all people of goodwill. We want to reduce the hate and contention so common today. We are optimistic that a majority of people — whatever their beliefs and orientations — long for better understanding and less contentious communications. That is surely our desire, and we seek the help of our members and others to attain it.

 

I guess my initial impression, is we've always been trying hard to do that last paragraph.  And our leaders are altering the policy because they figure we can do it better this way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really struggling with this policy change. I'm really trying not to, but I remember President Nelson talking about the last change being revelation. A revelation that only lasts 3 years? An action that leads to seperation from God for eternity is no longer apostasy? I don't want to feel shook, I don't like this feeling. I'm just glad I know this is Christ's church, this would be really hard without my testimony in Christ.

Edited by Midwest LDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

4 minutes ago, Midwest LDS said:

I'm really struggling with this policy change. I'm really trying not to, but I remember President Nelson talking about the last change being revelation. A revelation that only lasts 3 years? An action that leads to seperation from God for eternity is no longer apostasy? I don't want to feel shook, I don't like this feeling. 

Agreed.  I’m sure getting tired of defending Church policies as inspired, only to have the Church leadership kinda sorta suggest that the policy maybe wasn’t inspired after all.  

To clarify:  I’m not questioning their inspiration per se; I’m just expressing frustration at the apparently poor ways that some of those inspirations are being articulated and communicated.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Just_A_Guy said:

 

Agreed.  I’m sure getting tired of defending Church policies as inspired, only to have the Church leadership kinda sorta suggest that the policy maybe wasn’t inspired after all.  

That's what I'm feeling too. 

Edited by Midwest LDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

 

Agreed.  I’m sure getting tired of defending Church policies as inspired, only to have the Church leadership kinda sorta suggest that the policy maybe wasn’t inspired after all.  

Such is the legacy of Mormonism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

Such is the legacy of Mormonism.

I think it’s been pretty easy for apologists to categorize past policies as, at least, being appropriate for the time and place in which they existed.

This one is harder, because as @Midwest LDS says—what has changed in the last three years, really?  

(Other than, the mass apostasy of featherweight Mormons who couldn’t reconcile themselves to the 2015 policy.  Hmm, maybe that’s it.  Maybe it was supposed to be another “Zion’s Camp”/wheat-versus-tares sort of moment . . .)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay I dug a little deeper and read the whole press release. There is not a change of doctrine going on here, just a change in a small specific policy. President Oaks:

"Previously, our Handbook characterized same-gender marriage by a member as apostasy. While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline. Instead, the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way."

The sin is still serious, it's just going to be treated the same as any other sexual sin. I have to admit, though this is my first experience of not having a testimony of something the church does right away and I don't like it. Hopefully conference will clarify things a little bit. I don't have to believe this immediately, I can take my time with it as it does not affect the testimony I've had my entire life in Christ and his church.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Midwest LDS the "apostasy" thing is merely word play. It has no actual bearing on the way things will be handled I believe. It's just removing a controversial term that was causing some people grief because some people are weak and foolish.

I can't say I understand it any more than I understand any of the "softened" approaches being implemented -- but I don't think it's really that big of a deal.

I will grant, the wording is poor and ambiguous. How can "the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships [...] be treated in the same way" when living in a heterosexual married relationship is wholesome and living in a homosexual married relationship is "serious transgression"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Midwest LDS said:

I'm really struggling with this policy change. I'm really trying not to, but I remember President Nelson talking about the last change being revelation. A revelation that only lasts 3 years? An action that leads to seperation from God for eternity is no longer apostasy? I don't want to feel shook, I don't like this feeling. 

I am trying to understand your struggle. Why is reveled changes in policy after only 3 years problematic for you? Are you supposing that conditions can't change enough in three years to warrant a change? Are you supposing that the divine reasoning behind the first revelation isn't different than the second?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

@Midwest LDS the "apostasy" thing is merely word play. It has no actual bearing on the way things will be handled I believe. It's just removing a controversial term that was causing some people grief because some people are weak and foolish.

I can't say I understand it any more than I understand any of the "softened" approaches being implemented -- but I don't think it's really that big of a deal.

I will grant, the wording is poor and ambiguous. How can "the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships [...] be treated in the same way" when living in a heterosexual married relationship is wholesome and living in a homosexual married relationship is "serious transgression"?

Thanks, I appreciate it and we are of the same mind on this now. After some thought, study, and prayer I'm feeling better than earlier.

Edited by Midwest LDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

@Midwest LDS the "apostasy" thing is merely word play. It has no actual bearing on the way things will be handled I believe. It's just removing a controversial term that was causing some people grief because some people are weak and foolish.

I can't say I understand it any more than I understand any of the "softened" approaches being implemented -- but I don't think it's really that big of a deal.

I will grant, the wording is poor and ambiguous. How can "the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships [...] be treated in the same way" when living in a heterosexual married relationship is wholesome and living in a homosexual married relationship is "serious transgression"?

If I'm understanding their intent, living in a homosexual marriage may no longer be listed under situations in which a disciplinary council is mandatory. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

How can "the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships [...] be treated in the same way" when living in a heterosexual married relationship is wholesome and living in a homosexual married relationship is "serious transgression"?

Unmarried heterosexual relationships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, wenglund said:

I am trying to understand your struggle. Why is reveled changes in policy after only 3 years problematic for you? Are you supposing that conditions can't change enough in three years to warrant a change? Are you supposing that the divine reasoning behind the first revelation isn't different than the second?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I'm good now. I was struggling because my initial reading had lead me to believe they were moving towards an open recognition of sin, but after some thought, study, and prayer I can see that it's not really that big of a change. See my earlier post with President Oaks quote.

Edited by Midwest LDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

How can "the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships [...] be treated in the same way" when living in a heterosexual married relationship is wholesome and living in a homosexual married relationship is "serious transgression"?

The Church doesn't recognize as married the homosexual relationships. The world can label things as they may, but the Church must view things as God wishes.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Honestly... while I realize a lot of people will be happy about this, it makes me really worry.  I worry that it's going to put families in an awkward position -- kids being taught that their dad & papa's relationship is wrong in one venue and that it's totally ok in another.  That unrepentant dad & papa's would resent that.  Primary teachers being caught is the middle.  Little eight year olds feeling like they have to choose.  ... 

I can not imagine any gay/lesbian couple wanting their child to be baptized - has there ever been a case since the policy went into effect?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, mnn2501 said:

I can not imagine any gay/lesbian couple wanting their child to be baptized - has there ever been a case since the policy went into effect?

The more likely scenario is that a child's parents divorce and one of the parents enters into a homosexual marriage.  The child in that situation would be affected by the policy.  

Revoking the policy means that the same policies that apply to children of divorced straight parents apply to all children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, mnn2501 said:

I can not imagine any gay/lesbian couple wanting their child to be baptized - has there ever been a case since the policy went into effect?

Yes, usually for cultural reasons: they come from an LDS family, everyone was baptized at 8, and they want their kids to be too.  There was a lot of feeling excluded because the answer was "no" and feeling like the kids were being punished for the crimes of the parents.  

Speaking personally... I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I liked the kids having that protective shield: policy protecting a small one from being put in that horrible awkward spot of choosing between Christ and their parents.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, mnn2501 said:

I can not imagine any gay/lesbian couple wanting their child to be baptized - has there ever been a case since the policy went into effect?

This is my sense as well. The policy change wont effect outcomes so much as it calls the agitators bluffs.

The more I think and pray about it, the more joyful I am.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

The more likely scenario is that a child's parents divorce and one of the parents enters into a homosexual marriage.  The child in that situation would be affected by the policy.  

Revoking the policy means that the same policies that apply to children of divorced straight parents apply to all children.

IIRC, the Church backpedaled off that absolutist application almost immediately.    I’d have to look it up, though.  

As far as gay marriage no longer being “apostasy” per se—the thing is, we’re now going to have situations where a) married gay couples are trying to say, with a straight face, that they aren’t having sex (honest!); and b) married gay folks are being specifically asked during the course of their disciplinary councils, whether they are having sex.  This is only going to get more interesting . . . 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now