LDS Church On Wrong Side Of History, Denies Blessings To Children Of Same Sex Couples

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John Dehlin who was excommunicated from the LDS church earlier this year over his backing of gay marriage and gender equality  brought to light a disturbing new policy by the Mormon Church that states same-sex marriage is the same offense as murder, rape, and spousal abuse.

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From John Dehlin’s Facebook:

Probably worth noting at some point that the new policy appears to put legal same-sex marriage on par with murder, rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, etc……but it’s almost worse, because (as Kimberly Anderson notes) children of murderers can sill get baptized. This is crazy even by Mormon standards.

The changes are listed below:

November 3, 2015

Policies on Ordinances for Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship

The following additions to Handbook 1 have been approved by the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for immediate implementation.
A new section in Handbook 1, 16.13 will be added as follows:

Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing. A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be  baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:

A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:

  1. The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
  2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.

Handbook 1, number 6.7.2 is to be updated immediately as follows (addition is highlighted):

When a Disciplinary Council May Be Necessary

Serious Transgression

. . . It includes (but is not limited to) attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations (especially sexual cohabitation), deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities, . . .

Handbook 1, number 6.7.3 is also to be updated immediately as follows (addition is highlighted):

When a Disciplinary Council May Be Necessary Serious Transgression

. . . It includes (but is not limited to) attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations (especially sexual cohabitation), deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities, . . .

Handbook 1, number 6.7.3 is also to be updated immediately as follows (addition is highlighted):

When a Disciplinary Council is Mandatory

Apostasy

As used here, apostasy refers to members who:

  1. Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.
  2. Persist in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after they have been corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.
  3. Continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects (such as those that advocate plural marriage) after being corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.
  4. Are in a same-gender marriage.
  5. Formally join another church and advocate its teachings

Scott K. Fausett an openly gay member of the church shared his feelings with reporters. Curtsey of KUTV in Salt Lake City:

“[I’m] surprised, shocked, dumbfounded, upset and hurt,” he said. The information is still sinking in, but most of all, he said, he feels “betrayed.”

Fausett will now live with the title of “apostate” as an openly gay member of the church. What he can’t live with, he said, is the idea that his children may have to disavow him to continue in their own faith.

“It is one thing if the LDS church doesn’t want me being a gay person in their church,” he said. “But now to exclude children of a gay person makes no sense to me.”

The language in the new policy surrounding children will have psychological consequences. The church is basically pitting children’s love of their families against the love of the church with their aggressive anti-gay stance. The framers of the document phrasing is filled with spite, seeming resentful that same-sex couples are permitted to have custody of children.

Wendy Montgomery, who has a 17-year old gay son made the following statements, “It feels like they are extending an olive branch and hitting you with it.” She continued, “We just put a scarlet letter on these kids. This isn’t my church. I don’t see God in it. I don’t see divinity it. It just feels evil.”

KUTV also reports:

Montgomery said Friday the news left her son sobbing and forced her and her husband to consider leaving a religion they’ve belonged to for generations. She said the couple has been trying desperately to stay in the church despite a harsh reception to their son coming out.

Montgomery also echoed a response shared by many on social media: She can somewhat understand the hard stance on same-sex marriage, but she can’t comprehend singling out gay couple’s children.

This comes at a time when Pope Francis has called for allowing all children to become Baptized if they choose, even if their parents are a same-sex couple. With the negative backlash, there is no doubt that the Mormon faith has damaged their image, especially as they continue their battle routing out racism within their faith.

If they decide to uphold their new regressive policy, there is no doubt that the LDS community will have to apologize for the transgression in the near future. Not only are they on the wrong side of history they risk ostracizing a large portion of their congregation.



While it may be within their religious freedom, it most definitely was a heartless decision that spits in the face of the supposed inclusive nature of Christianity and those who have dedicated their life to the church.

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