LDS Church reaffirms doctrine of marriage, updates policies on families in same-sex marriages

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  • MrNirom1 Portland, OR
    Nov. 14, 2015 9:17 a.m.

    @Red Corvette.. He wept for a completely different reason! Assigning Christ's emotion of crying to this situation is disingenuous.

  • Contrariusest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 11, 2015 11:11 a.m.

    @Redwhatever --

    "you have not read the handbook."

    I'm QUOTING the handbook DIRECTLY, Red.

    Yet again -- "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. "

    It clearly says that ANY children of a gay parent in a relationship will be banned.

    "They don't have to disavow their parents either. They only have to disavow SSM."

    Of course they do. They have to disavow their own parents' marriage, AND they have to move out if they have been living with the gay parent. How is that NOT a disavowal?

    "Having ordinances delayed is not a punishment."

    Seriously? You think denying blessings to a kid isn't a punishment? That kid can't enter the priesthood, can't train for a mission, and you think it isn't a punishment? Then why not delay all baptisms til 18?

    "A mixed faith household can be fixed with a 15 minute interview."

    Exactly what "fix" do you have in mind, Red? You think that Jewish mother is going to convert?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 10, 2015 4:13 p.m.

    To "Contrariwhatever" you have not read the handbook. It doesn't say that the children of same sex parents can't be baptized. It says the children LIVING WITH parents that are living as a same sex couple must wait to be baptized. As I stated before, if the child no longer lives with the same sex couple, they can get baptized. Plus, even if they are living in a situation with same sex parents there still is an allowance for getting baptized. Read "LDS Church: Underage children of same-sex couples not eligible for membership" on KSL. It states quite clearly that it only applies to kids living with SS parents.

    They don't have to disavow their parents either. They only have to disavow SSM.

    Again, where is the punishment? Having ordinances delayed is not a punishment.

    A mixed faith household can be fixed with a 15 minute interview. A Same Sex couple requires more than a 15 minute interview to bring them into compliance.

  • AuContrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 2:08 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 --

    "the children of same-sex parents can still be baptized."

    Not according to the LDS handbook, they can't.

    "The only thing stopping that is the parents."

    Yet again -- the sins of the parents should not be visited on the children, remember?

    "it only applies to children "living in a same-sex household""

    No it doesn't.

    Yet again -- it applies to any "natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting" -- whether the child is living there or not.

    "Once they are 18, they can move out on their own"

    Right. They are banned until they are 18 and disavow their own parents.

    In direct contradiction to Christ's own words, and the second article of faith.

    "For example, you cannot show that the LDS church is punishing anybody"

    If you seriously believe that banning a child from blessings, priesthood training, and so on until they're 18 is no punishment, then why not set the baptism age at 18 for ALL kids?

    "That is the key issue"

    Yet again -- if that were the key issue, then the church would have the same policy for all mixed-faith households.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 10, 2015 1:32 p.m.

    To "Contrariwhatever" the children of same-sex parents can still be baptized. The only thing stopping that is the parents. If you want to be mad at anybody preventing a child from being baptized, confirmed, or ordained be mad at the parents. The policy states that it only applies to children "living in a same-sex household" Once they are 18, they can move out on their own, be baptized, confirmed, ordained, and go on missions. Again, nothing is withheld, unless the gay parents insist on having the child live with them. So it is the gay parents that are forcing the delay.

    No, you do attack people that don't agree with you. For example, you cannot show that the LDS church is punishing anybody yet you continue to argue.

    You think that it is irrelevant about teaching one thing at church only to have the opposite taught at home???!! That is the key issue, and much of the reason behind the policy.

    Again, if a Jewish parent wanted to have their entire family become part of the LDS church it would take little more than a 15 minute interview. It doesn't matter if you think they will.

  • AuContrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 1:18 p.m.

    @bj-hp --

    "This is a great protection for the child..."

    Yet again -- if that were the motivation for this policy, then the same policy would be applied to all mixed-faith households.

    "...polygamous relationship."

    Historically, the very existence of the church depended on the strength and clarity of its rejection of polygamy.

    The same is not at all true for same-sex marriages.

    And also, polygamy is **illegal**. Same-sex marriage isn't.

    "and you like many others want to use the children as a pawn."

    I guess Jesus was using children as a pawn, then.

    "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14 ; Mark 10:14 ; Luke 18:16)

    "They are not punishing the child"

    How is denying multiple blessings to an innocent child NOT a punishment?

    "there are consequences for that action."

    But according to the second article of faith, the CHILDREN should not be made to suffer that consequence.

    "Sealing of the Family"

    Sealing of the family can't take place in mixed-faith households either. Or in households where the wife has previously been sealed to another husband. Yet those children are baptized. Hmmm.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:56 p.m.

    Contr or whatever moniker you decide to use: This is a great protection for the child and the parents in a same-sex relationship. It has been done for years with those in a polygamous relationship. The problem is that if it was a SAME-SEX relationship you could care less.

    As Redshirt stated your only concern is selfish and you like many others want to use the children as a pawn. The Church of Jesus Christ with this procedure has taken the child out of the equation and puts the entire problem on the parents, where it should be. They are not punishing the child they are stating that when certain circumstances are taking place there are consequences for that action. Sealing of the Family for all eternity can't take place because of the fault of the parents not the children. Again the parents themselves are punishing the children, not the Lord's Church or the Lord. There are consequences for every action. The Lord doesn't recognize same-sex marriage and he is not going to allow the Church that bears his name to do so either.

  • AuContrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:41 p.m.

    @RedShirt --

    " according to you the LDS Church is not punishing the children."

    Nonsense. Of **course** it is. The children of same-sex parents are not allowed to be baptized, confirmed, ordained, OR serve in missions. How is that NOT a punishment? If denying multiple blessings is not a punishment in your church, what is?

    "yet you continue to attack people who do not agree with you. Is that your idea of treating people fairly?"

    I do not attack **people**, Red. Remember, the DN doesn't allow personal attacks. There is nothing at all unfair about attacking bad **ideas** and pointing out their failings.

    "Tell us what how you think what happens when a person is taught one thing at church and the complete opposite at home?"

    It's irrelevant. If this were the true concern of the church, then they would apply the same policy to all mixed-faith households. But they don't. Guess why.

    "Too get a mixed faith household compliant with LDS teachings it takes 15 minutes in the Bishop's office."

    Ummm, no. A Jewish parent, for instance, is never going to believe in many of LDS's core tenets.

  • DK68 UK, 00
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:29 p.m.

    I am an active member of the church, but as it stands this policy raises more questions than answers. This is not comparable to polygamy, but a lot more complicated. I know two families in my ward for whom this will have a very negative impact on the children's spiritual progress and developement. In both cases the childen live with their mothers, who are in lesbian relationships, but want their children to be raised in the church (their fathers and grandparents take them to church). Fortunately they are all above 8 and already baptised. But the boys now cannot progess through the priesthood and don't get the preparation they need to serve and prepare for missions. If their mothers' cohabited with a boyfriend rather than girlfriend, then would that be OK for the children? Why single out homesexual lifestyle above adultery and heterosexual fornication?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 11:21 a.m.

    To "Contrariwhatever" so, according to you the LDS Church is not punishing the children. Other people may, but that doesn't really happen since only 60% of Utah is LDS. But you still have yet to show that it is the LDS church that is even punishing anybody.

    You say you are out to help people who you think are being treated unfairly, yet you continue to attack people who do not agree with you. Is that your idea of treating people fairly? You say one thing and do the opposite.

    Again, how are the children being prevented from being blessed and coming to Christ? They will be allowed to go to church and all activities. If they need blessings, they can get those freely also.

    Tell us what how you think what happens when a person is taught one thing at church and the complete opposite at home? Does that make home life easier or harder for the family?

    Too get a mixed faith household compliant with LDS teachings it takes 15 minutes in the Bishop's office. For a family headed by a gay couple you have a lot more to do to bring them into compliance.

  • AuContrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:22 a.m.

    @ bj-hp --

    "this is The Church of Jesus Christ."

    The CJC LDS second article of faith says "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression."

    And JC himself says "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14 ; Mark 10:14 ; Luke 18:16)

    And apostle Cannon says "[....]All little children, no matter what their parentage may be, are innocent in the sight of heaven, and they should be received as such and blessed as such."

    This new policy contradicts all of those. And remember, this new policy is merely POLICY -- it has not been declared a doctrinal revelation.

    "This new policy protects the children and the parents in same-sex marriages."

    Nonsense. If the motivation of the church were to protect children from family discord, then it would have applied the same policy to all mixed-faith households. But it didn't.

    Guess why.

    "If the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had done nothing..."

    This sentence doesn't make much sense, but it appears to ignore the fact that parental consent is required for baptisms.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:55 p.m.

    When someone says "Why does the LDS Church feel it is smarter that Christ?" fails to understand that this is The Church of Jesus Christ. He is the head of the Church not a group of old men. It is his Church and he leads and directs the church.

    Open Minded Mormon: You actually know the answer to your question but prefer to cause contention. The answer is of course that all will be fixed and completed during the millennium which is much closer than anyone actually knows.

    This new policy protects the children and the parents in same-sex marriages. If the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had done nothing and when a couple complained about their parents doing a name and blessing for their child and complained about it would have jumped on the Church for that. So in all actuality it would have made no difference if no policy was in place the policy that was put in place, the same critics would have complained and tried to embarrass the Church. What will happen in the end will leave the Church and go else where saying the Church left me.

  • AuContrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 4:11 p.m.

    (cont'd from previous)

    "that is speaking of sins in the eternal perspective, not just the here and now."

    Seriously? You think it's hunky-dory to punish children for sins they haven't committed, so long as that punishment is only in the living world??

    "Can you tell us why YOU care..."

    I already told you, Red. I care for the same reason that anyone should care -- treating people unfairly is wrong. And treating innocent children unfairly is especially offensive. And contradicting your own bedrock principles (in this case, both the second article of faith and Christ's own words) just because you happen to dislike a certain group of people is reprehensible.

    @A Thompson --

    You haven't answered the question, Thompson. Why does the LDS church appear to think it knows better than Christ himself?

    "Christ rejects their rebellion"

    You seem to be trying to speak for Christ again. Are you sure you really want to do that?

    "those who speak against Christ's authority"

    Speaking of Christ's authority --

    "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14 ; Mark 10:14 ; Luke 18:16)

  • Coontrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 4:03 p.m.

    @RedShirt --

    "...Cannon has nothing to do with this issue."

    Of course it does.

    "In some minds there seems to be an idea that there should be a different form of blessing for children born of non-members and for those who are identified with the Church.... This is all wrong. If we take the example of our Lord and Redeemer, who is our pattern and whose example we cannot too closely follow, we find that He blessed all who were brought to Him. We have no hint that He asked whose children they were, or the standing or faith of their parents. His remark was, 'Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven;' and He laid His hands upon them and blessed them. All little children, no matter what their parentage may be, are innocent in the sight of heaven, and they should be received as such and blessed as such."

    "First, the children are not being punished."

    Of course they are. Can you just imagine all the taunting and bullying in the schoolyards after these children are told they don't deserve baptism?

    (cont'd)

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 9, 2015 3:05 p.m.

    So --

    Ir one of these children [aged 8-18] dies after the age of accountability,
    but BERFORE they are 18 and are allowed baptism...

    WHO'S SIN is their heads upon,
    and
    Who's responsible for their Salvation?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 1:51 p.m.

    Some people would have us think that they care about little children when they advocate abortion. Some people would have us think that they care for little children when they advocate open defiance of Christ's appointed spokesmen. Just exactly who do those people represent? Christ rejects their rebellion, so they cannot and do not represent Christ. Christ doesn't need their help. He is perfectly capable of selecting His own prophets and apostles, which again makes us ask those who speak against Christ's authority to speak to the world through prophets and apostles whom He has appointed, who gave you permission to change Christ's doctrine about marriage and the family?

    Pretending to care for children when you support the destruction of life in the womb shows us how far your ideology has strayed from Christ's doctrine about marriage and the family.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 1:47 p.m.

    To "Coontrariusester" I understand LDS doctrine better than you. Your quote from Geroge Q Cannon has nothing to do with this issue.

    It doesn't contradict the 2nd article of faith for multiple reasons. First, the children are not being punished. Second, that is speaking of sins in the eternal perspective, not just the here and now. This is covered in the LDS scriptures. I would give you the reference, but I think it is better for you to search and ponder the scriptures.

    Those are nice reasons why other people would care, but I didn't ask if other people cared. I asked "What I want to know is why do YOU even care? You are not LDS, nor do you have any intention of joining the LDS church, so how does this policy even have any bearing in YOUR life?

    Can you tell us why YOU care, or are you going to try to divert things again?

  • Coontrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 12:56 p.m.

    @RedShirtCalTech --

    "If you understood LDS doctrine...."

    Do you think you understand LDS doctrine better than an apostle?

    "LDS Apostle George Cannon: "[....]All little children, no matter what their parentage may be, are innocent in the sight of heaven, and they should be received as such and blessed as such."

    "why do you even care?"

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for people of good will to do nothing.

    One relevant example from the NYT this weekend:

    A married Mormon mom with a gay son --

    "It feels like they are extending an olive branch and hitting you with it.... It's like this emotional whiplash."
    [....]

    ... news of the new rules left her son sobbing and forced her and her husband to consider leaving a religion they have been desperately trying to stay in.... she can't comprehend singling out gay couples' children. "We just put a scarlet letter on these kids," she said. "This isn't my church. I don't see God in it. I don't see divinity it. It just feels evil."

    These are **real people** -- children who have committed no sins at all.

    How does this policy NOT violate the second article of faith?

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Nov. 9, 2015 12:10 p.m.

    To "Coontrariusester" who is preventing the children from coming to Christ? They can still learn the Gospel, attend LDS meetings, and enjoy all the benefits of membership. If they die before they are baptized, they have already met one condition, and that is accept baptism.

    If you understood LDS doctrine, and the LDS church, you would realize that your statement is nothing more than an attempt to make something out of nothing.

    What I want to know is why do you even care? You are not LDS, nor do you have any intention of joining the LDS church, so how does this policy even have any bearing in your life?

  • Coontrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 9:57 a.m.

    @Thompson --

    "After reading and re-reading the comments, it is very clear that too many people have the attitude that Christ is failing in His stated mission to stand as the cornerstone of what is good and proper and acceptable to Him and to our Father in Heaven."

    You might remind yourself of a few of Christ's actual words: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14 ; Mark 10:14 ; Luke 18:16)

    Why does the LDS church apparently feel that it is wiser than Christ himself?

  • Coontrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 9:45 a.m.

    @Light and Liberty --

    " 98 percent believe in gay marriage? That's news to me."

    I never said any such thing, so your surprise at a straw man is immaterial.

    "The church will flourish throughout the world"

    The church is already losing members faster than it has in 175 years.

    In 2012, in what can only be described as a rare candid moment, LDS Historian Marlin K. Jensen admitted that, "more members are falling away today than any time in the past 175 years." (reported on ABC 4 News Utah)

    From a 2012 Reuters story -- "In the U.S., only about half of Mormons are active members of the church, said Washington State University emeritus sociologist Armand Mauss.... Sociologists estimate there are as few as 5 million active members worldwide. [....] Not since a famous troublespot in Mormon history, the 1837 failure of a church bank in Kirtland, Ohio, have so many left the church, Jensen said."

  • Mrs. Thompson Springville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 4:31 p.m.

    After reading and re-reading the comments, it is very clear that too many people have the attitude that Christ is failing in His stated mission to stand as the cornerstone of what is good and proper and acceptable to Him and to our Father in Heaven.

    When has Christ ever failed? Yet, many believe that if He just wasn't so old-fashioned, that He would understand that the world is changing and that if He wants to be the leader of their parade, He'd better get with the times and change His doctrine.

    Is it possible that anyone feels so smug to give instructions to our Savior, our Redeemer, our Advocate? Is it just possible that they can't even see that they are rejecting Him, the only pure and perfect person to have ever lived?

    Thank goodness that Christ's prophets and apostles are not timid about representing our Lord and are not at all ashamed of Him, of His love for children, of His rules, and of His desire to bless us IF we are willing to follow Him without trying to substitute His doctrine with the philosophies of men.

  • ConservativeSmasher Anaheim, CA
    Nov. 8, 2015 3:34 p.m.

    I think this is a wise decision on the part of the church.

    They see how the issue of pseudo-marriage has completely torn apart every religion where it has reared its ugly head and they have wisely chosen to avoid it.

    Critics of this policy have to remember that it is the believer, who must change to conform to the religion - not the other way around.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2015 12:18 p.m.

    contrariuss,

    You are welcome to your opinion. Christ really doesn't care about opinions. He knows the value of family. He knows the place of family. He knows the responsibilities of family. He does not pit a child against the parents. He cares very much for the 55,000,000 children who were killed in the womb. He cares very much for the millions who have died or have been maimed as "collateral damage" in wars. He weeps for those who are hungry, who are cold, who are mistreated. But, you seem to forget that we are all His children and that His message for proper conduct is for all, not just those who think that because they consider themselves "adults" that Christ's doctrine of marriage no longer applies to them.

    No child is forced by Christ's Church to choose between Christ and the child's parents. When that child is able to support himself without aid from an adult, that child can then choose to serve Christ without being forced by a parent to renounce Christ's doctrine.

  • Liberal In Utopia SLC, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 12:00 p.m.

    Another PR disaster. Excellent sound policy from a "church". Blame the children! This is exactly the teaching of Christ and what "he would do". Correct?

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    Nov. 8, 2015 11:38 a.m.

    The Church doctrine on marriage nicely fits 'traditional' opposite sex couples. But the fact is families can take different forms and be just as successful and create a wholesome and loving environment. Gay people did not have any choice in their sexual orientation. Whether you accept that fact or not, it is true. For the Church to suggest that the creator of heaven and earth would command gay people to live out mortality single, celebit, and alone in order to gain exaltation in the next life is a pill very few sane people would swallow. In my opinion it would be cruel and unusual punishment.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:59 a.m.

    As I read this enhanced church policy, I feel that this is in preparation for future moral devastation. Today we think of polygamous and SSM families as a small minority, where the Church can easily work through the complications. In a future day, when the family structure has been corrupted throughout the world, we might see the day when a vast number of people will seek baptism without accepting the Lord's moral code for families.

    I'm sure that the Lord is directing His church, seeing the future with a perfect eye.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:48 a.m.

    A chief obstacle that those weak in the faith have with this clarified policy is that these children must wait until they are adults to receive the ordinances of the gospel. My nonmember parents resisted my conversion as a teen, and in those days I would have had to wait until I was 21 years old to be baptized.

    As it occurred, they relented when I was 18, and I gladly renounced every false doctrine that had surrounded me previously for the privilege of holding tight to the Pearl of Great Price spoken of in the scriptures.

    Most of the inhabitants of the earth have had or will have to wait centuries or longer to receive the saving ordinances of the true gospel administered by the Lord's priesthood. Let's not get so hung up on the passing of some years. Waiting is a unavoidable element of the Plan of Happiness.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:44 p.m.

    Contraries. I don't know where you get your statistics, but they make it difficult just from that standpoint to trust anything you say. 98 percent believe in gay marriage? That's news to me. Here is the truth. Most of the world's population has never heard of Mormonism and far fewer will never even register that Mormons consider those who live in same gender relationships as apostates. The criticism that many here on these blogs say will hurt the church are deluded. The Lord's church will stand out as clear as the stars above in the years ahead, however, just because their stands are the Lord's, not what is Politically Correct. The church will flourish throughout the world because it is a place of safety for all who want to be safe and find peace. In the meantime, for those who don't care, which represents a majority of the world's population, this so called tragedy of policy will not even register. It is an exciting time to stand up for truth, for God's standard of marriage,, and for the innocent children and pure hearts that want to do what is right.

  • prolific64 Waddell, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:42 p.m.

    It took me a while to really wrap my head around this. It didn't seem fair at all at first; totally contrary to what Jesus said about "suffer the children to come unto me." Then I realized that there is no reason to put children (or teenagers) in the position of feeling that there is a disconnect between what is taught at church and modeled at home. Kids are growing up too fast nowadays anyway, so no need to pile much more confusion onto their plates at this moment. Let them grow up, consider things from their perspective, and THEN welcome them into the waters of baptism. After all, as any convert will tell you, and even President Hinckley said as much in the "60 Minutes" interview with Mike Wallace, it is HARD to be Mormon. But we all should know that it is the hard stuff that makes it real!

  • Ophelia Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:13 p.m.

    Hearts have been broken over and over and over again. This policy is just one more bludgeoning blow to the hearts of those who love their gay children, parents, siblings, and friends. I'm starting to see how it is. I'm almost numb to it now...

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:42 p.m.

    @Mike Richards --

    "You, and many others, are upset because Christ will not be bound by your ideas."

    A swing and a miss, Mike.

    Remember -- less than 2% of the population believes in your version of Christ. That doesn't mean the other 98% have rejected Christ at all -- just that their ideas of Christ and yours don't agree.

    Personally, I favor the Christ who said: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14 ; Mark 10:14 ; Luke 18:16)

    "He loves children and he protects them"

    You don't protect kids by punishing them for their parents' sins, Mike.

    And you don't protect kids by forcing them to renounce their own parents.

  • Mtn. Man Bedford, WY
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:24 p.m.

    How silly to equate denouncing the errant doctrine of same sex marriage with denouncing parents. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Church never said that we should denounce parents who are under Church discipline..quite the opposite actually...love them, encourage them to come back and live the gospel. The Church stated that 18 year olds living in such a situation must denounce the doctrine and agree to follow the teachings of the Church in order to be baptized. The Church is attempting to keep discord out of the home by not pitting children against parents. I seriously doubt many excommunicated same-sex parents will want to have their children taught at Church that same-sex marriage is a sin and wrong in the eyes of the Lord. People are making too much of this. Those who disagree with the Church have not listened to Elder Christopherson's explanation, or if they did, they missed the whole point of it.

  • Priscilla247 USA, GA
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:44 a.m.

    Wow, I hope they "disavow" this policy asap, otherwise there may need to be a new version of the LDS Scriptures that says: "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not -- unless they are related to our gay brothers and sisters."

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:27 a.m.

    Mancun. The first presidency refused Madison Brown's baptism. She has publicly said she will never live polygamy and is not a fan. Because she did not publicly disavow her parents she was denied. We even saw her publicly refuse to their church when home one weekend because the church asked her not to attend such services. So yes adult kids of SS families will have to do more than just say they are straight and it's a sin.

    Stop sending missionaries out if not only their status but the status of their parents matter. Stop letting members in who grew up in other faiths or without faith cause that too will split the family. Be consistent.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:05 a.m.

    Rdahl. Love the sinner, hate the sin. The Church is God's church, not man's. It is His'S rules that we must follow, not man's. True, "Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species, and put them on a national equalization." HofC, V.5, pages 218-219

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:34 a.m.

    Contrariuses,

    You, and many others, are upset because Christ will not be bound by your ideas. He is sovereign, meaning that He reigns without any person's permission. His Church is a theocracy, not a democracy. He speaks and we can choose to listen or we can fight against Him. Those are the two choices.

    He loves children and he protects them from adults who would hurt them because of their belief in Him and in His doctrine of marriage. He will not allow children to be used as pawns by adults who stumble over His doctrine of marriage.

    As many have stated, Christ is not concerned with public opinion. He will not change His doctrine of marriage just because some people are being led away by those who have replaced His doctrine with the philosophies of man.

    The LDS Church is protecting children from adults who care more for what they, themselves, want and little or nothing about what Christ would have them do.

  • rdahl Shelley, ID
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:25 a.m.

    Love the sinner, hate the sin. The Church is God's church, not man's. It is His'S rules that we must follow, not man's. The Church has not and does not follow the whims of societies changing views but follows God's commandments. The Church is preparing us for the return of Christ by making us more pure as no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of God. I believe we are very close to Christ's return and we need put away all things that would hold us back. Same-sex marriages, unions and relationships have always been against the Church's teachings and while the world has accepted them, the Church should not bow down the the world. Remember, we are to be "In the world but not of the world". People have their free agency. If they do not want to believe what the Church teaches they are free to leave and join another church. The Church must be taken as a whole, you cannot pick and choose which of God's commandments you want to follow. The time is close people. Time to choose to follow Christ or not.

  • Britian Seattle, WA
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:13 a.m.

    The sifting process through word and deed proceeds as predicted both in and out of the church as the wagon train moves along. It is both sad and interesting to watch as the separation between the will of the Lord and the will of the people grows. So grateful for the revelation known as The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Either the Lord has restored his church and placed his Prophets and Apostles to direct and guide, or he has not. We all have been given agency to decide who we will listen to and follow. Isaiah wrote," For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:01 a.m.

    @Mike Richards --

    "You said that children of same-sex "couples" cannot be baptized unless they renounce their save-sex parents. That is a false and misleading interpretation."

    Nope, that's exactly what the policy says, Mike.

    "If that means that the parents have to learn from their children that Christ means exactly what He said, when Christ told us "one of a family, two of a city", then those parents have proven Christ right."

    You're contradicting yourself, Mike. In your previous post you said "Christ would never put a child in a predicament where the child had to instruct the parent". Well, which is it?

    The LDS Church claims that families are paramount -- yet this policy drives a huge wedge between parents and children. The church's Second Article of Faith declares that children shall not be blamed for the sins of their parents -- yet this policy does exactly that.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:10 a.m.

    Most of the comments here appear insular in nature and of a "we showed you" type of attitude. While those making the comments feel comfortable in their little "happy valley" comments on the world stage are almost all of a universal condemnation especially the policy concerning the children. I don't think the church has yet realized the magnitude of negativity that will result. They have the right to conduct their services in any legal manor they deem proper. They also should expect to be criticized when doing things not seen as appropriate by the general populous.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Nov. 7, 2015 3:47 a.m.

    On the Tribune website -- several stories, with about 10 times the comments posted here.

    Almost NONE of the comments approve - go read them, do not just blindly follow

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:14 p.m.

    By the way - the headline on the Ten O'Clock News:

    "Why the mormon church is excluding some children"
    ____________________
    Vanceone
    Provo, UT
    "Interesting how many people are letting their love of one of the worst sins, that of homosexuality, blind them to God. Even many in the church are being led astray."

    --- Interesting how some rank "sins" in this way.

    --- A Gay person, made that was by God (as your church now agrees), might have a loving sexual relationship with one person, yet be condemned as far worse than a married person who cheats, causing illigimate children, broken homes, etc, How bad are folks who are on their 3rd marriage who cheat or abuse children? How bad are public officials who do what donors want, against their oaths?

    ".... it has become abundantly clear that homosexuality is a main cause of hatred of God: they cannot leave God alone. Just as in Sodom, the homosexual community has pretty well made it clear that you will be forced to choose: God or them."

    --- ReallY? Keep looking out the window for the Gay folks with pitchforks, then.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:27 p.m.

    This policy wil cause no end of heartbreak to powerless young kids and their families.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:26 p.m.

    I cannot figure out which is worse, that the church discriminates in this manner or that members attempt to justify this type of action. Very damaging for the church and its precious image.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:18 p.m.

    Just finished reading every single comment. Thanks to the Deseret News for allowing Pro and Con ideas

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:17 p.m.

    Re: "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam and Steve's transgressions."

    Disingenuous sophistry. Nothing more.

    The Church's position is not punishment. Rather, it's thoughtfully intended to foster peaceful relations within families. The Church has a long history of trying not to encourage or enable unnecessary familial strife. We don't allow proselyting or baptizing new members in societies in which doing so would create serious enmity between a new member and his/her family.

    Imagine the untenable situation these poor kids would be placed in if they become active members of a church that is required to teach them that their parents are engaged in serious apostasy.

    If LGBT activists were actually interested in peaceful relationships within families headed by same-sex partners, they would welcome the Church's position.

  • mancan HC, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:09 p.m.

    It seems that a lot of commenters are misunderstanding the policy on baptizing children of gay couples. The policy does not prohibit baptism, it just says that permission must be given by the 1st Presidency. I don't foresee this preventing anyone from getting baptized, ordained, or going on a mission as long as they sustain the teachings of the Church. The Church is not trying to keep kids from joining the Church and being fully participating members, just trying to make sure that there is no question about if same sex relations are a sin.

  • EPDesign Salt lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:49 p.m.

    I am a child of God. I don't need the approval of any person, even the prophet, to love him. To pray to him. To be loved by him. Or to receive his blessings. My faith isn't shaken, because my faith and love is to him. not to any religion. I am and will always be his child, no approval by anyone needed. Let them keep their churches and temples. I will still love the church because I belong to God, not the church. We are all sinners. We are all his children

  • davidmpark Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:38 p.m.

    The Lord made this decision for His Church. Don't like it - take it up with Him.

    Besides, this only applies to members in the Church via it's by-laws. These don't apply to the general populace unless they wish to join the Church. These rules are already canonized in scriptures and are still valid unless undone by revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

    The only reason this is controversial is some folks who want to co-op the Church into their sphere of political influence; this clarification makes it difficult for such uncivilized politicking. The Church does not exist for such purposes.

    So, I really don't see what the problem is here.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:23 p.m.

    They were baptized by Joseph Smith...they left New York and followed the Prophet to Ohio and suffered persecution and left for Missouri and followed the Prophet. They were forced from their home in Missouri and settled in Nauvoo...following the Prophet. And when their Prophet was
    assassinated...they followed yet another Prophet to the Salt Lake Valley.
    It has always proved hard to follow a Prophet...Read the Old and New Testament...the Book of Mormon has a similar history. And when the society around the faithful fell into wickedness, they had to suffer for their beliefs, even unto death.
    A simple soul in Norway observed, "You have to wonder if there isn't something to the Mormons,
    they are persecuted so."
    Like my ancestors before me, I choose to follow the Prophet in this toppling world of "PC".

  • tonyloaf New York, NY
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:22 p.m.

    Quite the opposite of being harsh, I think the policy is compassionate regarding children. It prevents them from being put in the middle of a tug of war between church teaching and what they are taught at home. It also respects the authority and choices of the parents regarding their life style and the home environment they choose for the children.

  • Woohoo Somewhere, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:05 p.m.

    This policy is actually thoughtful towards SSM families. Can you imagine this kind of conversation after Church?

    Gay Parent: So what did you learn at Church today?
    Son: That homosexuality is sinful.

    The Church isn't interested in putting Children of LGBT people at odds with their parents. The Church takes precaution with other minors as well before allowing them to get baptized.

    If a person is under 18 and their parents are not members of the LDS faith then permission has to be given by the parents for them to get baptized otherwise they wait until they are 18.

    If a person was Muslim precaution is taken before they join the Church. There are plenty of rational logical arguments behind not allowing people to get baptized.

  • JasonH84 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:40 p.m.

    I am an active member of the church. My wife decided to leave the church 8 years ago and no longer lives the teachings of the church. We remain married and are raising children, some of whom have chosen to attend church. Under the reasoning of this new statement, I would think my son would be required to get permission from the First Presidency to go on a mission in a few years (the son of someone who openly opposes the church and its teachings). I'm not sure I understand how my situation is that much different than the child raised by a same-sex couple.

  • jzwillows willows, ca
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:36 p.m.

    I appreciate this policy and the fact that the Church is not providing an explanation. According to the scriptures and my conscience this forbidden behavior is a very serious sin with eternal consequences. Our youth should be protected from the wave of propaganda that teaches otherwise. Unfortunately Western Europe and the Americas have not taken the steps to protect our greatest resource, our children, from the propaganda that Russia has (by prohibiting propagandizing this fallacious information to the youth and by mandating schools have classes in religion).

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:27 p.m.

    @Vanceone "for it has become abundantly clear that homosexuality is a main cause of hatred of God: they cannot leave God alone. Just as in Sodom, the homosexual community has pretty well made it clear that you will be forced to choose: God or them. "

    Wow - over the top you think? I have known a number of gay men, and your statement in no way describes them. Your statement is incredibly hateful.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:24 p.m.

    Contrariuser,

    I reject your rebuttal to my post. You said that children of same-sex "couples" cannot be baptized unless they renounce their save-sex parents. That is a false and misleading interpretation. He has clearly told us that baptism is for those who believe in Him, on His terms, who reject the world, on His terms, who covenant with Him to keep all of His commandments. No one can be baptized into Christ's Church until they are able to put Christ first in their lives. If that means that the parents have to learn from their children that Christ means exactly what He said, when Christ told us "one of a family, two of a city", then those parents have proven Christ right. Christ invites everyone to be part of His eternal family IF they reject the philosophies of men and put Him first. You've stated the opposite; that men must reject Christ's doctrine and put the philosophies of men first.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:24 p.m.

    This policy seems to say that the age of accountability depends upon whether your parents are gay or straight.
    If an 8-year-old's parents are married and straight, unmarried and straight, divorced and straight or in prison and straight, he can be baptized.
    However, if his parents are gay, his age of accountability rises to 18.
    This 10-year gap seems excessive. Maybe a good compromise would be to make 13 the new age of baptism and accountability.
    Just trying to be helpful.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:09 p.m.

    @patriot
    People don't oppose the LDS churches position because those that oppose it are "hateful" the oppose these policies because the policies are hateful. You cannot take the effect and make it the cause.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:55 p.m.

    @Mike --

    "the world is now telling us that if parents are teaching something other than what Christ has told His people to teach, that a wedge needs to be driven between the child and the parent. Christ would never put a child in a predicament where the child had to instruct the parent."

    But that's **exactly** what the LDS church is now doing. Even once these children are 18 years old, they STILL won't be allowed to receive baptism unless they renounce their parents. That's one huge wedge!

  • forget-me-not West Valley City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:55 p.m.

    I know unmarried heterosexual parents who have had their infants blessed and their 8-year-olds baptized. These are parents who could have legally and religiously gotten married had they wanted to. Why the double standard? Why are the children of same-sex marriages punished for their parents' sins, but the children of shacking-up heterosexuals not? No children should be punished for the "sins" of their parents. The Kingdom of Heaven is composed of such as they.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:52 p.m.

    TracyAG don't despair read the handbook, their are exemptions, it is not an all or nothing, it just requires review and approval case by case.

  • Charity9 USA, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:34 p.m.

    People who think what the prophets say is "harsh" are saying that what God says is harsh because the prophets are his mouthpiece here on the earth. We don't always understand all the commandments, but do we keep them? Or do we choose which ones to obey and then call the others "harsh". the wicked have always taken the truth to be hard. God is in charge and He knows what he is doing. it doesn't matter what people say when they don't understand all the ramifications. Today too many place importance on their own opinions but in the end this won't matter one bit! Listen to God's Holy Prophets and they will lead you right! Don't try to find fault with their decisions because you are in essence finding fault with God.

  • jjarseneau Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:25 p.m.

    Some children come from a broken home caused by drug abuse, infidelity, even felonious activity. Why do THOSE children get to be baptized?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:19 p.m.

    We have two opposing points of view. One point, which I support, tells us that Christ is the head of the LDS Church, that His prophet and apostles serve us by serving Him and that all doctrine given to us requires our complete attention. The other point, which I oppose, is that Christ's Church is some kind of democracy where each person chooses for himself which doctrines Christ is obligated to support.

    Christ has told us that children are to be obedient to their parents, but the world is now telling us that if parents are teaching something other than what Christ has told His people to teach, that a wedge needs to be driven between the child and the parent. Christ would never put a child in a predicament where the child had to instruct the parent. That's simply not how Christ runs His kingdom.

    Christ's Church represents Christ's doctrine, not the philosophies of man. Same sex marriage is not Christ's doctrine. Children are not pawns to be used and abused by those who openly reject Christ's doctrine of marriage between a man and a woman only.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:04 p.m.

    I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I would offer the following observations.

    The LDS ought to be able to perform its rituals to whomsoever it choses. It's doctrine in completely within its own control, and I would not want it otherwise. Of course, there is a difference between what is legal and what is religiously acceptable in any religion, but the LDS has it rights to do its own thing.

    The bad part of all of this is the families affected. How many LDS grandparents are going to be anguished because their gay son or daughter has children or adopts them, and these precious grandchildren will be denied the benefits of their faith? What about aunts, uncles, neighbors and all the others involved in a child's life?

    I know that gay parents and their kids can still go to services, but there will be many exclusions for the parents and the kids. Some of these exclusions are very important to the excluded parties and their extended family and support system. I don't know how this will play out, but it seems awfully extreme. And just how does one explain this to a child?

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:52 p.m.

    This is all getting to be kind of predictable and routine and even a little boring.
    1. The Church makes some kind of policy announcement
    2. Those who don't like the church go ape wild and comment like crazy
    3. Those who do like the church defend it
    4. The comments and clicks go through the roof at a dizzying pace
    5. Three or four days later the comments and clicks slow down to a trickle and then stop
    6. Everything goes back to normal for a few weeks, and then...
    7. Repeat starting at #1

  • well informed Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:36 p.m.

    I support the updated policy by the Church.

    My question is why are we still involved with the Boy Scouts?

    Makes no sense.

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:26 p.m.

    How incredibly sad. You may not agree with the parents but to deny a child acceptance into your church is a most terrible of crimes. And to call them an apostate? This is not the GOD I know.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:25 p.m.

    A 9 year old whose parents polygamists or gay is not living in sin. If they want to join and the parents are fine let them join. If they are 18 hold them to the same requirements for baptism any other 18 year old would have to surpass. The public is mad at a church that would deny based in parents actions and not the potential members actions. Is this the caste system of India? They should be able to disavow the practice without having to publicly disavow their parents. Shame on them.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:23 p.m.

    @Castlepath: "It's hypocritical to say this policy is unfair to children, when same-sex marriage is all about denying the rights of children to be raised by a mother and a father."

    Same-sex marriage allows same-sex couples to have that legal protections and benefits as opposite-sex couples.

    As a benefit, children being raised by those couples get the legal protections and benefits as children being raised by married opposite-sex couples.

    Same-sex marriages do not remove any child being raised by a mother and father from their mother and father. Same-sex marriage does allow a greater degree of security to children being raised by two fathers or two mothers.

    As a side benefit, changes to adoption laws are making it easier for same-sex married couples to adopt kids in the system. Most often these couples adopt children with health issues or who are older or sibling groups. Those kids are classed as "harder to adopt" and very, very frequently grow up shuttling from one foster home to another - married gay couples are willing to give security, love, and be a forever family.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:22 p.m.

    There are many churches out there to choose from. Peter and Paul were very kind and very bold and they held church courts; the first three chapters of Revelation spell out the problems in the Church because of chaos and lack of unity. The members were to blame in those chapters, not the world. The Lord doesn't love us so much that he allows any behavior. He does not allow nor accept any behavior. Alma 6:3 There was wickedness inside the church (lack of humility and rebellion) and therefore, there was excommunication.

  • Sister Smith Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:21 p.m.

    I am also seriously considering resigning my membership. I wonder if there is any way to get a refund of all the tithes and offerings I`ve contributed over the many years.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:17 p.m.

    @patriot
    "Why do all the haters even care about this announcement? They aren't even members. "

    Because last night I saw several people I care about be seriously depressed about this announcement, a couple people consider leaving the church, and another post suicide prevention hotline information... just in case someone might need it. I'm not a member, and while I don't care whether or not people are members, non-members, leave the church, or join the church... I care about people who are having a difficult time with things. Maybe not as often as I should (definitely not as often as I should), but people are hurting over this, so why shouldn't I care?

  • TracyAG Roseville, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:13 p.m.

    @Patriot from Cedar Hills

    You just assume that the "haters" aren't members. Sad. I am a member. And not a hater, just confused.

    I GREW UP IN A GAY HOME. Yes, that can bring confusion. Thank goodness I found the church as a teenager, it was a huge support to me during that time. How grateful I am that I was allowed to be baptized. It's devastating for me to know that children in the same situation as I was when I was a kid won't be able to join the church. Very, very sad. People are falsely assuming that by not allowing children of gay parents to get baptized they are somehow protecting them and their families. As someone who grew up in a gay home and found the church as a teenager, I must tell you all that you are wrong.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 3:06 p.m.

    Children have always had to ask their parents for permission to be baptized; this respects the family---sometimes family comes first. Truth is not desperate for converts. Patience and time will bring the truth to the surface. Other times, when people leave on missions, and then family comes second. Abraham put God before his own son Isaac, and it ended up blessing them both. But often, family comes first, and the Church respects that.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:54 p.m.

    As always, when I comment on articles in the Deseret News about the LDS Church, I just look at where I am currently reading in the Book of Mormon to find answers ..........

    many "are consigned to a state of endless wo."
    while others "are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness."

    "And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression.."

    This insight into the plan of happiness was brought to you by Alma Chaper 28 verses 11,12&13 in the Book of Mormon.

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:52 p.m.

    If memory serves me correctly, this policy is similar to the policy that is currently in Handbook 1 regarding children who come polygamous families, so this recent policy statement should come as no surprise to anyone.

    Plus, membership in any church is a deeply personal and completely voluntary decision. Clearly the Church's doctrine on this subject is a deal breaker for people who might consider membership in this church. Thus they will embrace a church that more closely aligns with their personal beliefs. That's the beauty of religious freedom.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:46 p.m.

    Until 1978, the descendants of Cain were punished for his supposed sin. This is nothing new to the theology. Sad, but nothing new.

  • ConsiderOtherWays xMarks, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:44 p.m.

    The LDS church has confirmed a sharp increase in its condemnation toward same-sex relationships, legal or otherwise. The rebuke is aimed not only at adults whose lifestyle, for whatever reason, gravitated to same-gender relationships but also to the CHILDREN of these relationships.

    After reading articles on the subject I am left to understand that same-sex adherents are now placed in a lineup alongside murderers, rapists, and thieves and that their CHILDREN are to be placed into 18 years of isolation from church involvement as though they had somehow become tainted with some threatening virus. Can this possibly be the case?

    Those who live in an LDS community know by experience that many LDS parents discourage or prohibit their children from playing with non-member children. Now, think for a moment about what institutionalized segregation is going to do to that already shameful dynamic. It doesn't take a genius to see that this policy change places KIDS smack into the middle of the schism between the LDS church and same-gender members and potentially makes collateral damage out of them!

    If true, many of these kids will be shamed, marginalized and bullied and ultimately scarred for life...

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:39 p.m.

    The SCOTUS should have just outlawed the definition of a marriage relationship in the Bible. We have lots of mountains they could ascend and then come down with new commandments - by a 5-4 majority.

  • COCougar Northern, CO
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:34 p.m.

    Observation - most of the people decrying this and saying the church is awful are the same who have been saying such for months every time anything about the church comes up. My guess is they are either not members of the church or are not fully invested in said membership. If anyone fits into either of those camps, I would encourage you to study the doctrine, and pray with real intent to know the truth. I have done so and it has changed my life for the better. Every day is brighter because of it. To any within the church who have some misgivings about this - that is fine. Do the same I counseled above. God will bring peace to you. The church will handle this correctly.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:28 p.m.

    Interesting how many people are letting their love of one of the worst sins, that of homosexuality, blind them to God. Even many in the church are being led astray.

    I have no doubt that the church will be persecuted by our "tolerant" neighbors, the LGBT and their enablers. Any who stand for God will be so persecuted; for it has become abundantly clear that homosexuality is a main cause of hatred of God: they cannot leave God alone. Just as in Sodom, the homosexual community has pretty well made it clear that you will be forced to choose: God or them.

    Many will leave the church and support sin; for them I sorrow. But make no mistake: Wickedness never was happiness, nor is it godliness. Those who think that God would never draw hard lines in the sand need to reread their scriptures. Jesus was never a person to condone sin, and same sex marriages are indeed apostate; for they guarantee damnation in the sense that the people involved will never be exalted--of their own free will and choice.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:26 p.m.

    Baring the kids from gay families from joining the church is just ridiculous..... I am sorry.... I am a fathful member but this harkens back to some really old stupid policies against blacks. Why would you want to keep kids from being part of the church? Are kids of adulteress bared from church membership? What sins of the parents bares kids from participation in church activity.

    I don't get it.

  • Castlepath South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:24 p.m.

    It's hypocritical to say this policy is unfair to children, when same-sex marriage is all about denying the rights of children to be raised by a mother and a father.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:23 p.m.

    I applaud the Church for enforcing a principal of doctrine. Popularity does not make things right, example, pornography. Just because pornography rampant and is widely accepted as a victimless behavior does not make it right. Laws of God are left to God to change, not popularity.

  • snickerdoodle Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:22 p.m.

    @Laura Bilington: Your comments are inaccurate. The LDS Church has never taught that simply FEELING attracted to the same sex is sinful--it's the acting on it part that is the problem. I know people who struggle with same-sex attraction who are very active members of the Church and are able to take the sacrament, hold callings, etc because they do not ACT on their feelings of attraction.

    Additionally, as more children of gay parents reach adulthood, more have been speaking out recently in opposition to same-sex marriage. Those I've heard have specifically mentioned the confusion they've struggled with over gender-identity and roles. Being raised in such a situation affected them negatively and the resulting problems have continued to plague them on into adulthood.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:22 p.m.

    This new policy is another wedge to split families apart.

    My children were victims of the wedge policies of the LDS church when I no longer believed because of historical issues. The bishop told my now ex-wife to divorce me. My children are now wondering why the church is driving another wedge between families.

    I will formally resign now as I can't be part of such lack of Christian love.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:17 p.m.

    I spent a large portion of my mission preaching against original sin, now it appears as part of LDS doctrine too, anyone else confused?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:16 p.m.

    I'm just grateful we have the truth so we can stand up to these kids who have no blame in any of this.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:08 p.m.

    What the most churches forget, as institutions, they are a means to the end and are not the end itself. Its job is to help each of us work through whatever issues we have in life in order to return to the Father. If they exclude the sinner, those who are different, and so forth, then the church has failed in its purpose. As noted above, nature has dealt a hand to some, and is that not the hand of God? So how should the institution address this? Exclusion? Then it has forgotten that it is the means to the end and nothing more.

    As for some who think the Church will backtrack, to do so would be an admission that this policy was not divinely inspired. I don't believe it was.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:08 p.m.

    Why do all the haters even care about this announcement? They aren't even members. Belonging to the Church is a privilege that is granted upon complete complicance to the Lord's commandments. No one is forcing a person to keep the commandments but it is a requirement for membership. Go ahead and live in the secular world if that is your choice -- choices do have consequences.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:05 p.m.

    First, "Gay" does not necessarily equal "gay-acting." The policy specifically refers to "Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship," not "gay parents."

    The family is the foundation of our society. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints honors the special relationship between parents and their children. They have long refrained from teaching minor children against the wishes of their parents, nor do we teach people without permission of their governments (See D&C 134).

    I don't think minor children are prepared to be taught the Ten Commandments ("Honor thy father and thy mother") and the rest of our moral code without causing confusion.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:56 p.m.

    Jesus loves children. He blesses and protects children. Apparently, He has directed His servants, those we sustain as Prophets/Seers/Revelators, to implement a CHURCH POLICY that protects children. Can you imagine how conflicted eight-year-old children who are being raised in a Same-Sex-Parented home would be if they had to condemn the practices of their Same-Sex parents in order to qualify for baptism into the church they attend? How heartless would that be?
    "And thus we see how merciful and just are all the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men;" (Alma 50:19)
    Rather than criticize, we should all thank God for such a benevolent and merciful directive. Now these blameless and precious children can remain children, and wait to deal with heartbreaking adult issues until they are adults.

  • dustman Gallup, NM
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:54 p.m.

    Why are people still trying to guess why the church made these amendments to the handbook? Is anybody making comments here authorized by the church to explain why these amendments were made? If not, quit guessing and making the water more murky. Ask your bishop if you have questions about this.

  • dtlenox Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:43 p.m.

    Last year, my unmarried daughter wanted me to perform a blessing on her recently born child. She and her boyfriend were living together but not married. We were told that I could perform this blessing but not formally in church, and that it would not be recorded in church records. I was fine with that, and understand the reasoning behind it. The bishop was also invited and came to this blessing at our home. It was still a special blessing and I spoke as I would in church, trying to follow the promptings of the Spirit in this blessing. This policy statement is just a reiteration of the standard that official church blessings for babies can only be done in cases where the parents are in a heterosexual marriage relationship, clarifying that same-sex marriage is no different than any other relationship that doesn't fit the traditional marriage category.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:35 p.m.

    Mark 10:14 - "But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased , and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

    "much displeased.'

  • COCougar Northern, CO
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:24 p.m.

    The children are not being punished for the sins of their parents. There is just an extra level of approval to go through before baptism can happen. This isn't some kind of social club, it is Christ's Church. The children will be fine. The parents will have to pay for their sins. Parents are to teach their children the gospel and if they don't the sin is on the parents. This does nothing to change the church's position as to accepting those who are true seekers of the truth to come to worship God. All are welcome, including homosexuals. They cannot receive certain blessings just as someone living in adultery or any other number of sins cannot. The children who will be affected by this are a tiny percentage and they can petition the church for approval and each will be treated with much prayer and the proper decision will be reached. This, more than anything, stands as a clarion call to all that believe the church will bend to the LGBT crowd on doctrine that it will not do such.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:20 p.m.

    @InMyOpinionAlso - re "Children are harmed by same-sex marriage not the church."

    All the more reason for the Church not to treat the little critters as somehow different. How does one explain to an 8 year old neighbor that, no, I'm sorry, you cannot be baptized?

  • pbunny Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:19 p.m.

    The reason people such as myself (never been Mormon, never want to be) are upset by this is because of the message the policy sends. Do what you want in your religion, but know that the message sent is one that supports bigotry and exclusion and actively encourages the shunning of children. The idea conveyed is that same sex relationships are so egregious that children in the care of people in such unions are "Untouchable": unworthy of whatever your baptisms, namings, blessings, and memberships mean to you.

    It is disturbing, and heartbreaking frankly, to learn that these are the principles taught in your churches.

  • oddman ,
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:16 p.m.

    re:Kwall You're absolutely correct. We are punished for our own sins and not the sins of others. Would say the children who perished during the flood were being punished for the sins of others or being saved from having little chance of learning the principles of obedience handed down by God? While this may seem a stretch to you, think about the conflicts being taught by those who raise children in a constant environment not sanctioned by the Lord.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:06 p.m.

    @annewandering;

    Of course she knows that I have issues with the LDS church. She didn't know I want to have my name removed from the rolls and was going to wait until she'd passed on (she's quite elderly).

    @RedShirtCalTech;

    You're wrong. It is not "sin" for an LGBT person to be in as SS relationship. Your church is also wrong. If my mother feels pain every time she sees me, she will know that it was the church that caused it.

    @ConservativeUtahisBest;

    What you just posted was about r ape, not sex.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:04 p.m.

    I have a question for the ecclesiastical Scholars.

    If a woman has children in a opposite sex marriage. She decides to divorce and as is usually the case she is granted custody of the minor children. If that same woman enters in to a relationship with another woman, what are the status of the children? What if the natural parents have joint custody. What is the status of the children ?

    It seems to me the church is blaming the children for the sins of one or both parents

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:02 p.m.

    First adult children of polygamists and now children of gay parents require a special process for baptism, something an 8 year can do or a dead person. I had no idea the "sins" of the parents applied to the child's "sin" in the LDS church? Explain how there can be sin of familly association and not original sin? Interesting for a church less than 1% of the world's population in more than a centuries existence. You are going to have to stop knocking on doors and stopping people in the streets since you are limiting who can join the club. Guess you are used to people disavowing family with the marriage/sealing policy of the US that isn't a problem in most countries.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:00 p.m.

    @mtf1953:
    "I don't know why this is surprising to anyone. Or why non-LDS should care."
    Thank you for this attitude. This is how I wish everyone who is not a member of the church felt--leave the church alone and watch it die a slow death.
    Unfortunately, there is a growing segment that is getting more angry and hostile at the church. It has always been this way for followers of Jesus Christ and unfortunately always will be.
    You believe the church will wither and die. I believe it will continue to flood the earth in spite of the growing opposition, persecution and eventual outright war against the saints.
    Going back to your "why should the non-LDS care?"--the answer for us is that Satan is real and he stirs up the wicked to fight against God and all his followers.

  • freedom in 2017 SLC, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:59 p.m.

    Advise to those that have a hard time with this:
    If you are not LDS do what you do and worry about yourselves.
    If you are LDS choose to follow or choose to leave. Trying to direct the church without the calling to do so isn't your responsibility. There are a lot of pent up anger towards LDS from those that don't follow the teachings of the church or believe it to be true. Question, why do YOU care?

  • ladymargot Elk Grove, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:57 p.m.

    My son, since early infancy, was declared feminine by his first pediatrition, blamed on the possible cause of so much estrogen in the meats at that time. I withheld this information from him for as long as I could, I didn't want that to sway him in deciding his orientation. He has chosen to live a gay lifestyle. He had been considered to be the most spiritual boy in primary. He has struggled with this identity for many years. He was finally going back to church recently, although a gay branch in Berkeley, he traveled for 1 1/2 hours to get there. He and his partner are talking about having a surrogate mother to have a child for them. Now, I am faced with the idea that I may have a grandchild, that will not be allowed to be blessed or baptized into the church, until they are legally adults? They would never feel accepted in the church! What about the scripture in Luke 18:16 that says: "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God?"

  • UT Brit London, England
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:56 p.m.

    Jimbo Low

    I intend to do just as you stated. I was going to leave my name on the church rolls to respect my mother but this has pushed me over the edge. Out goes my family of five.

  • Left Field Cocoa Beach, FL
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:45 p.m.

    "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression." - 2nd Article of Faith

    Apparently the 2nd Article of Faith doesn't apply to these children who are denied the blessings and saving ordinances of baptism because of their parents' sins?

    If this were a movie, I'd be shouting "Plot hole! Plot hole!"

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:45 p.m.

    @ConservativeUtahisBest --

    "The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality."

    Nope. It didn't actually matter whether those angels were male or female -- the issue was that they were "other" ("going after strange flesh"), strangers.

    "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me." (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

    "Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city." (Matthew 10:14-15)

    "And punishments came upon the sinners... for they suffered justly according to their own wickedness, insomuch as they used a more hard and hateful behavior toward strangers. For the Sodomites did not receive those, whom they knew not when they came: but these brought friends into bondage, that had well deserved of them." (Wisdom 19:13-14, KJV)

    Sodom wasn't about homosexuality -- it was about rejecting and abusing outsiders and the poor and needy.

  • mtf1953 Berkeley, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:37 p.m.

    I don't know why this is surprising to anyone. Or why non-LDS should care. It is consistent with everything we know about the Mormon (LDS) church. Mormons live in their own bubble and are allowed to establish whatever rules they want about membership, blessings, missionary requirements, etc. The good thing about the internet and a long established free press is that the CJCLDS can no longer hide its rules and practices from the broader population of potential converts. This is a church that will die a slow death if it sticks to its 19 century beliefs. It will be fun to watch. PS - please don't respond with smoke-and-mirror church statistics about how the CJCLDS is growing.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:35 p.m.

    This is really quite simple--if you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints you have no say in this matter.
    If you are a member (as I am) you can accept the policy, wring your hands...or leave the church.
    To me it is a good and necessary policy. We want the family as instructed by God and those who were not raised with a righteous concept of family need to demonstrate to the highest authority that they do not believe that the way they were raised is the way they will carry on with their family life as a member of the church.
    There are many groups and churches that embrace Gay marriage and the Gay lifestyle. If that is what you want--there are many opportunities to live as you choose without harassing churches, individuals and groups who don't believe as you do.

  • ConservativeUtahisBest Murray, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:33 p.m.

    @Contrarius

    Genesis

    4 ¶But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

    5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

    In this instance "know" has a sexual meaning. So the men of Sodom wanted to "know" the 2 angels that were guests with Lot. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality.

  • bobdc6 park city, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:32 p.m.

    "The handbook also clarifies that the ordinance of naming and blessing a child may not be performed for children living with a parent in a same-gender relationship."

    So, what does the church have against innocent children? To condemn adults who can defend themselves and choose their own lifestyles is one thing, defenseless children who can't choose where to live or the lifestyle of their parents, is another. Time to rewrite the handbook? This does NOT look good to outsiders.

  • COCougar Northern, CO
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:32 p.m.

    The children will be fine. They can be baptized with approval - this just puts another layer of protection. Also, God knows and will judge perfectly. This is a non-issue. It is a clarification of what has already been stated many times before. I trust the prophet to know the will of God. Relax.
    And to those that believe that the church should change positions based on popular sentiment so they don't lose members - that would mean the church isn't led by God, so what would be the point. The church taking stands like this actually strengthens the faith of most because it shows the church will not be blown about by every wind of popular opinion.
    Separation of the wheat and tares, the sheep and the goats, the good fruit from the bad.
    Christ is at the head, hold true to the faith.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:21 p.m.

    Ranch
    Here, UT

    Are you saying all this time she did not know? I suspect by this time she has dealt with the pain as best she can.

  • faazshift Magna, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:17 p.m.

    That same-sex marriage is incompatible with the church should be no surprise. This has always been the stance of the church. Furthermore, it's biblical. So this was to be expected.

    The policy change having to do with children of those in a same-sex relationship is what seems to have set so many people off. Even I was a touch shocked by it.

    I do lean toward treating this on a case-by-case basis and having room for exceptions. But I do understand what is likely the motive behind this policy.

    Children of parents in a same-sex relationship would be required to denounce the practice. As such, it would likely result in great contention between parents and child.

    This policy helps to provide protections for the church, the prospective member, and the family. Everyone, regardless of sexual attraction, is absolutely welcome to attend and participate in the church. These children are no exception. They are not loved any less. All are welcome.

    Perhaps exceptions or revisions will come to allow greater flexibility. I know not. What I do know is that the church is true and I will respect the Brethren, rather than openly attacking them.

  • Big Loud Voie West Kelowna, 00
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:15 p.m.

    I have a difficult time with the latest LDS church policy for children of same sex relationships where ordinances, and missionary service is sought. It states that:
    1.The child ……. 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.
    In other words in the case of an adopted child who wished ordinances or to go on a mission and who has no other place to live other than with one or both of his same sex parents – he’s out of luck. Isn’t that’s real Christian like! Here’s how Fr. Peter Daly of a parish of the Catholic Archdiocese in Washington D.C. looks at the situation.. “Our parish motto is "All Are Welcome." We really mean it. That includes LGBT people, too. We welcome them to the Eucharist if they are Catholics. We baptize their children. We register the children in our activities and programs, just like any child. Welcome means welcome.” Maybe the LDS Church can learn something

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:11 p.m.

    I am a gay man, born and raised in the LDS church. I served a mission and lived the church's principles until I was in my 30's. I prayed about it and it was confirmed to me that being gay was not a sin and finding happiness in this life was not a sin.

    While I haven't considered myself Mormon for many years, up until now, I have refrained from having my name removed from the church's membership records out of respect for my mother, who is an active LDS member who works in the temple. I did not want to cause her any pain.

    This is the last straw. This evening, I will be submitting a letter of resignation to the LDS church and I will be on the phone with my mother to explain to her why. It may cause her some pain, but I can no longer allow my name to be associated with such bigotry that would tell children they must treat their parents in such a hateful manner as to reject them simply for being who they are. I know my mother will understand - she loves both me and my partner.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:59 a.m.

    re:bcoray

    may I suggest a better path --- talk to your bishop and follow his counsel.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:59 a.m.

    The justifications made here and elsewhere that this policy is a loving protection for the children is utterly ridiculous, offensive, and indefensible. So the argument goes that this policy is to protect kids who should not be made to deal with living in a same-sex household whilst learning at church that their parents' choice of a partner is abhorrent. Okay, then what about the kids who grow up in a part member family, being taught that they will be separated in eternity from one of their parents? Or separated from both parents for eternity for kids who have neither parent in the church? Do we deny them baptism in order to protect them from the psychological turmoil of those teachings? Of course not. We baptize these kids, and in some places in the world we baptize these kids in droves whether they have ever been to Church or not. On my mission when I grew uncomfortable with the kiddie baptisms and asked my mission president about it, he told me that "baptism is for everyone, the Celestial Kingdom is for the elite." Apparently baptism isn't really for everyone anymore. This is a dark, dark day for Mormonism.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:59 a.m.

    @james d. morrison;

    LDS apostle, Elder D. Todd Christopherson's brother is a married gay man. He attends the LDS church with his husband (who isn't a member). Do you think they would have their children attend with them or not? What would you have their children do?

    @ulvegaard;

    Voter majorities have never had the right to violate the constitutional rights of voter minority citizens. The judges did their jobs - correctly.

    @kamelkisser;

    You don't think we LGBT would give permission if our children wanted to be baptized?

    Neanderthal says:

    "Then, all that can be said to them is... 'sayonara.' "

    --- So typically Christian of you.

  • Oregon Girl La Grande, OR
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:56 a.m.

    How sad that we have become a church of exclusion. This seems to be in conflict with the 2nd Article of Faith. We are told to stay in the boat...but we keep kicking people out of the boat. Very sad indeed!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:56 a.m.

    re:Heirophanteye

    Apostacy is your choice my friend not God's. Apostacy has terrible consequneces too remember that. Try this instead -- open your mind and heart and stop listening to the false translations of the world but instead listen to God and reach out to Jesus Christ. He is the Savior for all of us.

  • Nanook of the North Burnaby BC Canada, 00
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:53 a.m.

    There's still "pressure" on our gay/lesbian young adults to "marry straight" in hopes that will "fix" them. There are still many marriages/families where one spouse is gay/lesbian. 75% of those marriages fail, often because the gay/lesbian spouse can't live a lie any more.

    So. John and Jane are married with a few kids. John is gay, but he was told "Go marry a nice girl and everything will be fine." But after a few years, John feels like a failure and a hypocrite, and decides he must divorce Jane and stop "living a lie". Both John and Jane agree on shared custody and on having the kids keep attending church and being baptized. John finds a partner he wants to marry when the divorce is final. Divorce comes before a judge, the judge (a Mormon) says "John, if they live part-time with you and your new spouse, the Church won't baptise them or ordain the boys. That's not fair to them. So despite what you two agreed, I'm awarding sole custody to Jane." Tell me that won't happen. Tell me that's "the best outcome" for such a family.

  • Deseret_Observer KAYSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:52 a.m.

    I think some perspective, at least from my understanding of Mormon theology, would address many of the negative comments regarding this policy and Christ's love for the children:

    Our Heavenly Father loves all his children. He loves us so much that he sent his Son to save us. That sacrifice, whether we accept it or not, saves us all from physical death. Through Christ, we all (save a very few) are saved and receive some degree of glory (eg. Telestial).

    One of the missions of the Church is to "Perfect the Saints" and prepare them, or "prove" them, to live the higher, Celestial law. So, perhaps the Church's motivation behind this policy is to help members live their life with this higher goal in mind. Those who choose not to accept this policy aren't hated by God or being cast off, especially the children. But it helps to remind those who seek blanket acceptance of their personal feelings and beliefs, that are not congruent with church teachings, that their "path" is not compatible with the core principles and ordinances of the church.

    Live the "higher" law or not; all are loved and are saved.

  • Thunderwink Sandy, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:44 a.m.

    Any remaining respect I had for the LDS church is now gone. There is nothing Christian, divine, or noble about the LDS church or those who defend it. This is a really despicable and mean-spirited move. You have your freedom of religion, I have freedom of expression to tell you what I think about it.

    This is a very dark day for Utah.

    Please, my many intelligent and kind Mormon friends - kick this corrupt and bigoted institution to the gutter where it belongs.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:36 a.m.

    I think there are legitimate issues with having children of same-sex couples in the church, and while I don't agree with the one size fits all approach taken, I can see the reasoning behind it. It's just the "disavows the practice of same-sex marriage" part of this that I think is unnecessary and overreaching. If they aren't doing that themselves, then why have them turn against their parents?

  • JHefner Killeen, TX
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:35 a.m.

    So, I grew up with my Dad out of the picture and my Stepmother being Gay, even when I served my mission I always wondered why my stepmother had not been excommunicated, do not get me wrong I love my stepmother very much, her and her partner are great I love them both, my stepmother went on to have a daughter and they adopted a son and raised them in the church, my sister who is pro same sex is totally inactive in the church and my brother who went on a mission is in a same sex relationship, it does affect your life. I was older and was better able to make my decisions, I love my family, do not condone their actions or choices, but I love them.

  • sddenizen Cardiff-by-The-Sea, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:33 a.m.

    I am deeply disturbed by this Church change of policy as it relates to children of SS couples. How is this consistent with the commandment to love thy neighbor (SS couple children).

    Discouraged!

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:28 a.m.

    One silver lining in all of this is that children won't be singing "Follow the Prophet" or "I love to see the Temple" from 18 months on and therefore will have their own testimony to lean on and not their parents' testimony.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:23 a.m.

    (child refers to an 18+ year old child of same-sex parents)
    '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.'

    Consider someone who is say... 22 years old and at college or whatever, they've moved out of their parents house. If they want to join the church, why is not being in a same-sex marriage, same-sex cohabitation, or having same-sex sex not enough? Why do they have to specifically disavow it? All the children of straight parents can support same-sex marriage in their ballot initiative votes and whatever (Mormons Building Bridges etc), and that's not an issue, so why do adult children of same-sex couples have to go a step further than everyone else, when that's the more personal connection? How is this not requiring them to denounce their own family if they want to join?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:22 a.m.

    Divorce and remarriage is adultery according to the bible. I want to see the LDS Church demand that children in these households now have to despise and renounce their families in order to remain qualified. Won't happen, because, well, hypocrisy. But that's never stopped them before.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:20 a.m.

    @wazzup
    "When you are baptized, you make certain commitments, which in this case, aren't being kept by the parents. Causes a lot of confusion and conflict within that household."

    An 8 yr old--or any child cannot be baptized without the permission of the parents. Now wouldn't you think the parents of the child would consider and be able to decide if baptism of their child would "cause of lot of confusion and conflict?"

    I don't agree that same-sex marriage should be lumped in with murder, incest or apostasy as necessary grounds for excommunication.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:19 a.m.

    The LDS Church is being pilloried in the national press (New York Times, Time, UPI, etc...). I won't be surprised to see a more conciliatory "clarification" statement come out of Church Headquarters very soon.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:18 a.m.

    To "Kwall" the kids are not being punished. If you look at it from a family perspective this policy actually protects the kids. It helps to keep them in their home until they area at least 18 years old. Imagine the confusion and hatred that would develop if you have a child going to church on Sunday and hearing that marriage is between a man and woman only, then that child goes home to their gay parents. This will help to keep more harmony in the home as the child grows up and can legally care for themselves.

    If you take an eternal perspective the child will not be punished. According to LDS doctrine those that would have accepted baptism in life will be blessed in heaven.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:17 a.m.

    @Neanderthal --

    "Tell us where you can find gay marriage in the Bible. Wait a minute... it was likely performed in Sodom and Gomorrah."

    Yet again -- Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't actually about homosexuality.

    "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me." (Ezekiel 16:49-50 NASB)

    Me: "How do you reconcile adulterous second marriages with the Lord's commandments?"

    You: "What you do is denounce sin and repent."

    But the LDS church performs adulterous second marriages with NO repentance. How do you explain that?

    And again: A man and a woman get married. The woman has been married in the temple previously. Therefore, she can not be sealed to her new husband, right?

    So will the church deny baptism to their children?

    If not, the rationalization about "gay parents can't be sealed, so the children can't be baptized" completely falls apart.

  • bcoray Garden City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:16 a.m.

    I am going to pray about this, because it hurts my heart so. I am hoping that this was an administrative add that was badly written. Pray.

  • tesuji Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:07 a.m.

    I'm grateful for a prophet and church leaders who teach God's commandments, and do not seek "to become popular in the eyes of the world" (1 Nephi 22:23).

    I wish the church would post an official announcement on lds.org (not there, that I can find it).

    And also explain about the kids; but it makes sense - any other course would lead to chaos in the church and inside these families, I imagine. And God often does not explain his commandments anyway. The important thing is that the kids can be baptized.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:03 a.m.

    @snickerdoodle wrote, "Frankly, I feel so sorry for the children put in these same-sex situations through no fault of their own. The confusion they experience over gender roles must be overwhelming."

    No, it isn't.

    Families with gay parents have family and friends who are straight. The gay parents have no problems relating to their straight neighbors and colleagues. The children are simply taught that some people are straight and some are gay and straight ones marry opposite sex partners and gay ones marry same sex partners.

    It's not confusing or overwhelming to a child of gay parents any more than to a Mormon child in Michigan who sees friends and neighbors drinking coffee when his parents don't.

    If you want to see confusion and overwhelming anxiety, think of what it is like to be a gay teenager living with parents who belong to a religion that teaches that how they feel is sinful and that the only acceptable role in life is to be married to an opposite sex person.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:02 a.m.

    May November 5th live in infamy forever. All one needs to do is ask: "would Jesus treat people like this?"

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:01 a.m.

    @Clay. Who is being punished and by whom? If you read the policy, the baptism has to be approved by the First Presidency. Just like a polygamist situation. When you are baptized, you make certain commitments, which in this case, aren't being kept by the parents. Causes a lot of confusion and conflict within that household. You think that not being baptized is worse than that confusion and conflict? God also said that marriage is between a man and a woman. What say you? Since you want to bring up scripture.

    @Red Corvette. Yes he did. Like the prostitute he encountered, 'sin no more'. Is gay marriage a sin? Most theologians think it is because it was stated early on that marriage is between a man and woman. Or are you saying Jesus would condone gay marriage? And please don't confuse this with the love he has for everyone, even those who sin and fight against God's laws. I would love to hear you answer that question: would Jesus condone or support gay marriage?

  • Heirophanteye Salt Lake City / Salt Lake County, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:01 a.m.

    I am saddened how people can think that I would choose to be gay. I would never seek the kind of sorrow this has brought me. The loss of my parents' love and being shunned by my siblings was never a desirable choice. This isn't a phase, a means of rebelling, or a choice in any fashion. I learned who I am attracted to the same way you did: one day it just happened. There was no choice involved. If I am an apostate, then God made me this way. If he makes my adopted child gay, he did so, not me. Besides, my Chinese daughter was otherwise going to be discarded so I am pretty sure I saved her life. If that makes me an apostate or her some type of freak that cannot be blessed, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not led by Jesus Christ and the President is not a prophet.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:55 a.m.

    @QuantCommenter:
    "A stance like this is likely to increase the exodus of members Marlin Jensen acknowledged a few years ago."

    Then, all that can be said to them is... 'sayonara.' The scriptures teach that not all will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

    @Contrariusiest:
    "Yet again -- there is no commandment saying "thou shalt not have a gay marriage." And Jesus never said a single word against homosexuality."

    Tell us where you can find gay marriage in the Bible. Wait a minute... it was likely performed in Sodom and Gomorrah.

    "How do you reconcile adulterous second marriages with the Lord's commandments?"

    What you do is denounce sin and repent. That's the accepted way to heaven. You may not be able to denounce being gay but you certainly can denounce, and desist from, gay conduct.

    @65TossPowerTrap:
    Okay, let's say that I'm the 14-year-old son of Adam and Steve. ... Tell me why I shouldn't be baptized?"

    You can be... just wait a few years. Actually, age 25 or more is a better age for baptism anyway. Gives a chance to clear the slate once and for all.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:55 a.m.

    @Esto Perpetua

    you said:

    "There are churches that have learned to be more loving and inclusive of LGBTs such as the U.S. Presbyterian and Episcopalian that now perform same-gender marriages. It is unfortunate that the Mormon Church leaders are refusing to learn and evolve, realizing that their opposition to marriage equality is discrimination against LGBTs."

    And the 1st Amendment allows you to find a Church which fits your world view.
    You've named two churches founded by Henry VII and John Calvin.
    If they float your boat then set sail.

    The Lord's commandments are not up for a vote or evolution.
    To disagree is not to hate or discriminate, so dispense with that bully tactic.

    I'm grateful the LDS Church is defending principles over politics.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:54 a.m.

    Contrarius

    So? This isn't a popularity contest. One must ask why do you care? You believe or don't. Frankly I don't try to tell other churches what their policies should be. Why do you feel it is your calling to tell the LDS church what to do?
    You might work on your own beliefs.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:54 a.m.

    Glad to see this needed clarification by the church. Sin is still sin in the eyes of God even if man tries to make sin legal. To those who choose to bring up the tired old political nonsense about "equality" I would refer you to a couple of talks given by LDS general authorities. The first by Elder Bruce Haffen of the Quorum of the Seventy titled "The Proclamation on the Family: Transcending the Cultural Confusion" and the second by By Elder D. Todd Christofferson Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles titled "Why Marriage, Why Family". These two excellent articles make clear the Church's view of the God centered family unit vs the worlds wrongful political correctness. Finally, the Church has made clear in the past that those who struggle with same sex attraction are welcome in the Church and can obtain a temple recommend but what they can't do is violate the law of chastity which incldues adutery, fornication and homosexual relations between two people. God has given moral commandents to free us from the tragic consequences of sin and allow us each to reach a full measure of happiness.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:53 a.m.

    Though the text of the 1995 "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" seemed crystal clear, I applaud the leaders of the LDS church today as they add emphasis to that proclamation.

    Given the many people who appear to believe and proclaim that homosexual marriage and heterosexual marriage is equivalent, some of whom attempt to justify their belief through reasoning they claim to be based in doctrine or scripture, it became apparent that such emphasis was necessary to clarify just how discordant such beliefs actually are with the church's **actual** doctrine.

    I wish all people were as interested in such clarity and integrity of purpose and principle.

    I also hope that drawing such a distinct and clear boundary between the truth of the church's doctrine and the myths that have risen in last couple decades since the proclamation will disabuse all those who might have become confused on the issue. Cognitive resonance is a very good thing.

  • SRPinPGH Pittsburgh/Allegheny, PA
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:50 a.m.

    "By their fruits ye shall know them."

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:46 a.m.

    My comment is VERY general in nature.

    Churches MUST, if they are to survive with any relevance whatsoever, work towards accentuating the POSITIVE aspects of Christianity.

    Accentuating the NEGATIVE, (GUILT)isn't a viable long-term strategy.

    AND - IMHO, it is what Christ would have wanted, were he here today.

    How about if we simply accept people as they are, but act as EXAMPLES to others of the joys of being close to Christ; WITHOUT making others feel guilty if they're "not as righteous" as us?

    "Righteousness" does NOT have a continuum scale, - i.e. "righteous on a scale of 1-10"

  • kamelkisser Evanston, WY
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:45 a.m.

    "If any of you went on a mission then you know that when a minor child is taught but their family is not LDS, that child can not be baptized without the parents permission.

    One of the strongest beliefs in the LDS church is the importance of family, if a child is baptized and the family doesn't support the same teachings, that child is in a no win situation and set up for failure. A child that wants to be baptized but whose family are not of the LDS faith they must wait until they are 18 years old if the parents don't give permission.

    If the non-believing parents give permission then you hope that they will be at least a little supportive of that child's decision but often they are not, they aren't always out right anti or mean or denying or anything like that, but they will say things like, we don't want you to go to church we want to do stuff as a family, etc etc.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:39 a.m.

    @DC Surfs

    you said:

    "A baby blessing is not a life saving ordinance. It's no different than giving a family member a priesthood blessing in a hospital room. If that family member is LGBT, there isn't any requirement for approval prior to giving that blessing in that instance. I'm not sure why it's so different for a baby blessing then."

    A baby blessing is not a "Saving Ordinance", however, a baby's blessing makes an official declaration regarding their name on the "records of the church". As does a baptism.

    Both also list the parents of each individual. And therein lies the issue.

  • Thanks for the article! Ames, IA
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:33 a.m.

    Well this will be a relief to members of the Seventy who have had to tell Stake Presidents to hold disciplinary courts and what to decide and then lie to members about it being a "local decision." Now it is PR to does the dirty work with blanket statements like these:

    If [The Church] "does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership" and "the handbook now includes being in a same-sex marriage under the definition of apostasy and as a circumstance that requires the convening of a disciplinary council" then the outcome of disciplinary courts on this topic is not really the decision of local leadership anymore.

    Let's all watch for the repeal of AofF2 and canonization of the Proclamation come April.

    It's the new honesty folks!

  • Just Truth Saratoga Springs, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:32 a.m.

    Quite the opposite. It's not a punishment to allow a child to reach legal age before deciding to live the way of a church or to live in the same household that is in direct opposition to said church.

    It's called being responsible by using sound judgement to help overcome a broken home setting. If so many adults can't understand this, then how can we expect children to be old enough to make an informed decision (let alone have the means to leave the opposing condition infringed upon them, so that they may even be able to live their beliefs)?

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:31 a.m.

    In one aspect, it is sad that such a policy would need to be put in to place. As I see it, the church must address such issues in order to counter a few who might be intent on establishing themselves as a legitimate LDS family while living contrary to church doctrine. Granted, if any such exist, they would be the smallest of minorities I'm sure. However, we have seen repeatedly in our country how it is these small minorities who are altering law and policy in major ways.

    Proposition 8 in California was approved by the majority of voters and overturned by one judge. I'm not arguing as to whether that was a good thing or not, I'm pointing how that there have been several instances recently where voter majority has been repressed by a handful of judges.

    The church isn't trying to deny access to Christ, they are trying to maintain doctrine which, more and more, is unique to our faith. And as a side note, baby blessings are not ordinances - baptism is the first ordinance performed in the church.

  • Jack from Ark Hensley, AR
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:29 a.m.

    Here is how to find the truth of this. Sincerely pray about it and ask for confirmation by the Holy Ghost. If you have issue with your answer see your Bishop.

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:28 a.m.

    This is absolutely absurd and I expect that there will be an about-face very very soon. Even if you believe that Homosexuality is wrong, it is completely wrong to punish children for something that they have no say in. I expect that there will be extreme backlash from many many members who see the absurdity of the Mormon church in this decision

  • james d. morrison Boise, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:28 a.m.

    Not really much of an issue since nobody in a same sex relationship was going to let his kid join the church anyway.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:26 a.m.

    I read about this in my local paper and came here to verify. The local story has been validated. I suspect this will turn into a huge PR nightmare for the Church...especially in places outside of the Utah "bubble."

  • cthulhu_fhtagn Seattle, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:24 a.m.

    Breaking news, LGQTB community: Church that has continually placed enmity between you and it continues to do so. It is probably time to stop worrying about them.

  • snickerdoodle Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:23 a.m.

    To me, this all boils down to protecting the children. It's no different than if the child is in a part-member family, where the decision to baptize is often postponed because conflicting beliefs would create problems and strife in the home. It also makes it very difficult to live the teachings when one's home life is contradictory to those teachings.

    People need to understand that baptism in the LDS Church involves making serious and binding covenants with the Lord. Breaking covenants is serious business with serious consequences. So it's better that these kids wait for membership in the Church until they're in a position to not only decide for themselves, but to better keep the binding covenants they will make. Frankly, I feel so sorry for the children put in these same-sex situations through no fault of their own. The confusion they experience over gender roles must be overwhelming.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:16 a.m.

    Jesus blessed the little children, but no one was baptized who would not disavow the idolatry rampant in the culture they grew up in.

    Any child can receive a priesthood blessing for whatever the Spirit directs. Giving a child a Name and a Blessing is something unique. In this case, the child's name is added to Church records, and the Church has a responsibility to help the parents nurture that child in the true faith. If the parents are apostate, then that help is not welcome. We have to wait until they child can choose for themselves.

  • UtahMaus Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:04 a.m.

    Baptism is a covenant – a binding agreement. While it binds you to some blessings, it also binds you to a commitment to live a certain standard, and binds you to the consequences of not doing so. How would it be fair or loving to bind a young child to a standard (and its consequence) they will not be taught at home, nor be supported in living?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:03 a.m.

    @boneheaded, but not a smidgen --

    "if you are more comfortable in another church, please, please attend there."

    In 2012, in what can only be described as a rare candid moment, LDS Historian Marlin K. Jensen admitted that, "more members are falling away today than any time in the past 175 years." (reported on ABC 4 News Utah)

    From a 2012 Reuters story -- "The LDS church claims 14 million members worldwide.... But census data from some foreign countries targeted by clean-cut young missionaries show that the retention rate for their converts is as low as 25 percent. In the U.S., only about half of Mormons are active members of the church, said Washington State University emeritus sociologist Armand Mauss.... Sociologists estimate there are as few as 5 million active members worldwide. [....] Not since a famous troublespot in Mormon history, the 1837 failure of a church bank in Kirtland, Ohio, have so many left the church, Jensen said."

    According to the Public Religion Research Institute, about 1/3 of the young people who are already leaving their childhood religions do so because of the hostile attitude of those churches towards LGBT rights.

    This is only going to make the church's losses worse.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:03 a.m.

    Yanquetino makes a good attempt for emotional rules in the church. I have a nephew the youngest of three children. The older two had been baptized and all attended church regularly. The parents were divorced prior to the youngest reaching baptismal age. The father was excommunicated. The youngest continued to attend church with his mother and siblings, but was not allowed to be baptized until a written permission was obtained from the father. Should the church have proceeded against the wishes of the father?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:02 a.m.

    @ annewandering, you say "In the end it all comes down to whether you believe the church is guided by God or man. If you believe it is guided by man then none of this matters in your life. If by God then trust Him. Have faith that He knows what He is doing." I used to accept that. But I look at history and see that it isn't so in most things. I demurred on the blacks and the priesthood, not questioning but deferring to the leaders. It turns out that it was racism and not inspired by God at all, plus the fact that it violated the core beliefs and teachings of the church. I am of the view that in the church, doctrine applies when it is convenient, and does not apply when inconvenient. This policy violates doctrine, plain and simple. It is a decision of men. It is not inspired. Despite all, I believe in Christ, the mission of Joseph Smith, and the core mission of the Church. But I do not believe in the infallibility of the Church, and this is one perfect example of why I don't.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:59 a.m.

    Some so-called experts are now saying that gay parents are better for children than straight parents. I don't think these "experts" opinions will ever be the basis on which the LDS Church adjusts its policies.

  • Summer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:58 a.m.

    John 6:66
    From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

  • Disco Vega MoTown, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:56 a.m.

    Follow the prophet, he will not lead you astray. In ancient Israel for some reason that was a difficult task even after repeated miracle after miracle; it appears to be a difficult task for some today too, even after repeated miracles. Those who don’t study and learn from history are destined to repeat it. - As for me and my house, we shall follow the Lord.

  • heidis Baker City, OR
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:54 a.m.

    If the "parents" are not adhering to the Lord's council, why would they care if their child be given a name and blessing in a church they no longer believe in?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:54 a.m.

    These are guidelines. There are bound to be special situations that will need clearance from higher church authority. The church is not arbitrary or mean or vindictive. The it is orderly.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:54 a.m.

    @Kwall:
    "How is a child living in a home with two non-member parents who are gay any different than a child living in a home where the parents routinely commit other sins? In both cases the parents are committing a sin but only one of them is grounds to deny children ordinances they need for salvation?"

    It has to do with the seriousness of the sin being committed. Sex sin tops them all... except murder... according to Church doctrine.

    @noinipo:
    "... I'm fine with the apostasy change, I just really really don't want children to be punished for their parent's decisions."

    Children are almost always punished for the aberrant behavior of their parents. The difference is... it's the parents doing the punishing.

    @Albemar:
    "Telling a child that they must denounce their parent?"

    They are not denouncing their parents. They're denouncing their parents' conduct. They still love their parents... even as Christ loves the sinner while denouncing the sin.

    @Nanook of the North:
    "But with this new policy? Nope, not gonna happen."

    Your daughter could fix it... by adhering to the teachings of the Church. Everyone has to give up some vices.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:53 a.m.

    First, this is about lawsuits.

    Couple get divorced. Mom gets custody. Mom moves in with girlfriend, with or without marriage. Dad, on a visitation weekend, has the child(ren) blessed (name on the records) or baptized, without permission of the custodial parent. Lawsuit.

    This happens with straight couples, I've read the reports. Adding the SSM twist just adds a layer.

    Second, this is about exposure. When gays started coming out en mass people who swore they didn't know anyone gay suddenly found they had gay family, gay friends, gay neighbors, gay coworkers *and* none of them were strange or creepy or perverts. They were regular people who happened to be same-sex attracted.

    If you let the children of same-sex couples get active, then their loving, committed, competent, same-sex parents might also be involved and then "regular" people in "real" marriages will start to see that same-sex marriages are also "regular" marriages and their families are "regular" families and another right-wing boogeyman is exposed.

    Xenophobia only works if the "other" stays very firmly other.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:48 a.m.

    @From Ted's Head --

    "Your comments about adulterous second marriages may be important to you but not to most LDS people as you are choosing your own interpretation and not one accepted by the LDS Church."

    Right. Because the LDS church is evidently happy to disregard a very specific commandment when it suits them to do so.

    "Gay parents cannot be sealed together nor their children to them."

    A man and a woman get married. The woman has been married in the temple previously. Therefore, she can not be sealed to her new husband, right?

    So will the church deny baptism to their children?

  • boneheaded, but not a smidgen SLC, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:47 a.m.

    esto
    i believe you should go where you are happy. no one makes you go to ANY church. if you are more comfortable in another church, please, please attend there.

  • djacob10 Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:45 a.m.

    The only reason we are having this discussion is because the world says Homosexual behavior should be accepted and does not look at it as sin. The Church considers it a sin to act upon those same gender attractions. Its A CHOICE TO ACT, whether it be same sex attraction or what ever God considers sin. I know these things are inspired and come from God not man, meaning what the church handbook says about children of gay parents. Yet we should still love them and help them.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:44 a.m.

    the Lord promised he would separate the tares from the wheat.

    If you read the handbook it js a guideline with some exceptions in exceptional cases which must be reviewed.

    The anti-church crowd simply brushes the whole with a broad stroke of what ifs, to find fault and discredit those they don't agree with at all. They would no more join the church if the church converted to their beliefs.

    And the anti-lds trolls abound and mock those that believe just because they do believe.

    Notice the handbook does not say the children of a person with same sex attraction can not be baptized. Only issue is when the parent acts on that attraction in relationships with another in violation of the Churches moral codes.

    It also does not limit the child's church activity if the parent repents and returns to living according to the Church's moral code.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:41 a.m.

    All of the scenarios where children are raised in less than ideal family situations have one thing in common. All those situations can be fixed by repentance and making things right. You can not fix a same sex marriage to align with eternal marriage and family without breaking up that family structure. While same sex families are not anywhere near ideal they do provide stability and shelter for the children. If they are broken apart the children will suffer emotionally and often physically. Why would the church want to have a part in that? There are many instances where baptism has been denied to children until they are of age because of home situations so this is nothing new.
    In the end it all comes down to whether you believe the church is guided by God or man. If you believe it is guided by man then none of this matters in your life. If by God then trust Him. Have faith that He knows what He is doing.

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:38 a.m.

    There are churches that have learned to be more loving and inclusive of LGBTs such as the U.S. Presbyterian and Episcopalian that now perform same-gender marriages. It is unfortunate that the Mormon Church leaders are refusing to learn and evolve, realizing that their opposition to marriage equality is discrimination against LGBTs.

  • Adano Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:36 a.m.

    This policy seems to assume that the only way a child winds up with parents in a same-sex relationship is by being born or adopted by a baby into that household. And yet...

    I have a cousin who married and had children before revealing to his wife that he had always been attracted to men. He married hoping it would change him; it didn't. They divorced. But in the eyes of the law, he remains his children's father. Because he has not lost his parental rights, he is still their father.

    How strange that this policy would bar his children from baptism, ordination, and missionary service. And what becomes of those who were already baptized? Are we going to excommunicate a child because the parents divorced and the father entered a same sex partnership?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:34 a.m.

    My dad did not live the teachings of the LDS church but not once did he ever tell my sister not to go to church or prevent her from go to church with her friends. He was there for her when she got baptized. He even took her to Lagoon to celebrate her baptism.

    Not once did he ever put her down or ridicule her for being LDS. When she got engaged and decided on a temple marriage he wasn't upset that he couldn't attend the ceremony but he was simply happy that she found happiness and found someone that she loved.

    When my sister had kids. He was there for the kids blessings and he was there for his grandsons baptism.

    He raised a daughter without the "teachings" of the church and she turned out fine.

  • Yanquetino Ivins, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:34 a.m.

    Question. Let’s imagine that there are two boys raised in a Mormon family, Hyrum (age 12) and Joseph (age 6), and their father dies or gets a divorce. A year later, their Mom falls in love and gets remarried to a woman, and they have legal custody of those children. Will the church excommunicate Hyrum, even though up to that point he has been an active deacon and boy scout? Or will they ignore their new policy and allow Hyrum to remain a Mormon? Either way, it’s certainly clear that they will now refuse to let Joseph be baptized at age 8, despite having been active in primary for many years, just like his older brother. This is a completely realistic scenario. When they ponder it, surely even staunch members must feel uncomfortable with this official policy deep down.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:32 a.m.

    Re: humbug

    "Children should not be making covenants at a young age which are contrary to the life styles of the parents. It's normal for a child to grow up and follow in the parents footsteps."

    We baptize kids all the time from families where the parents' lifestyles are polar opposite of Church doctrine. Did Abraham follow in his father's footsteps? No. Did Laman and Lemuel follow in their father's footsteps? No. Some of the rationalizations I'm reading are absurd.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:30 a.m.

    @Contrarius Yes, one or both of the fathers can repent and be accepted into the LDS Church, but they cannot be sealed together nor their children sealed to them. Your comments about adulterous second marriages may be important to you but not to most LDS people as you are choosing your own interpretation and not one accepted by the LDS Church.

    @65TossPowerTrap To disagree is your right, yet you said nothing to invalidate my statement about the gay parents being unable to be sealed together. In fact you supported my point by suggesting that some non-members "may" or your in-laws "probably never", each leaving open the possibility of repenting and embracing the Gospel as taught by the LDS Church. Gay parents cannot be sealed together nor their children to them. Most LDS Church members believe their ordinances to have eternal importance and none is more important than being sealed as it encompasses the other ordinances and is one of the prime reasons for a mortal existence.

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:28 a.m.

    Seems to me these policy changes are being made in anticipation of future problems that will arise with respect to churches and gay marriage. The churches that do not act now will get to experience the next wave of trouble.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:26 a.m.

    "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."

    Church or family. Heck of a choice.

  • prolific64 Waddell, AZ
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:22 a.m.

    But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

    So....how do we reconcile Jesus words with the new doctrine?

    Are we to deliberately go AGAINST what Jesus said? We are wiser than Jesus now?

  • Summer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:20 a.m.

    Matthew 10 being played out right before our eyes. It seems the LDS Church might just be the last organization that TRULY understands who Jesus was and is:

    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

    36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

    37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

    39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

  • UCONN Storrs, CT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:08 a.m.

    Cause we all know gay parents make gay kids, and straight parents make straight kids...

  • humbug Syracuse/Davis, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:05 a.m.

    Very good to have the policies clarified. And the policies are good. Sound doctrine. Children should not be making covenants at a young age which are contrary to the life styles of the parents. It's normal for a child to grow up and follow in the parents footsteps. Better to not be making covenants at a young age which will likely be discarded later, because of family loyalty and affections.

    These current church policies are good.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:04 a.m.

    @From Ted's Head --

    "can all be rectified through repentance and proper steps to accept and live the Gospel in this life or the next. The children can theoretically be sealed to their parents. This sealing cannot take place when the child's parents are of the same sex."

    Your attempted analogy falls flat, because the LDS church itself says that same-sex attraction is not a sin in and of itself. They only believe that the BEHAVIOR is a sin.

    So -- a same-sex couple can just as easily repent their behavior as an adulterous couple can. The LDS church will welcome the gay fathers with open arms as long as they are single and celibate.

    Yet the LDS couple is happy to baptise the children of adulterous second marriages, and not the children of the same-sex marriages.

    It still doesn't make any sense.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:04 a.m.

    Someone I know grew up in a home where the parents were essentially apostates and engaged in, shall we say, bad and illegal behavior. However, the mother insisted that the child engage in the church. With the support of a good ward, this child grew up and is now active and a strong contributor of the church. Despite the rationalizations we will see, my view is that this position is in direct opposition to the 2nd Article of Faith. It flies in the fact of the teachings of Christ. And as the blessing and naming of babies is not an ordinance of salvation, there is no reason not to allow if for any and all innocent children. The good that can come far outweighs the imagined harm. Gay parents have to wrestle with how to deal with their circumstances and their role with the church. But if they are positive towards the church, punishing children is absolutely the wrong thing to do. There is, in my view, no divine inspiration behind this policy. All the rationalizations and talking points won't change this view.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:04 a.m.

    Re: From Ted's Head:
    "@65TossPowerTrap In your scenario you cannot be sealed to your parents (or either of them unless they divorce and one or both repents and marries a woman and the couple are eligible to be sealed to each other.)"

    Big deal. We baptize 14-year-old kids with nonmember parents every day who may never be sealed to their parents. My wife's parents will probably never join the Church. I guess she should have never been baptized in high school, huh? Your rationalization is weak at best.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 9:00 a.m.

    @Gregg Fish wrote, "Blacks [in 1977] believed everything the church taught, hence the reason they wanted to join the church in the first place. With same gender couples, they directly disagree with one of the main core values and principles the church teaches. So why they would want their children to be taught the complete opposite of what they are practicing doesn't make much sense."

    As far as acceptance of blacks as equals, society had advanced substantially in the 20 years before 1978. And I suspect that blacks who joined the Church before that year believed that it was only a matter of time until the Church would come around conclude that they were worthy of the priesthood. They were right.

    "The faith early black members must have had is unfathomable to me, and I have the utmost respects for those members."

    I feel the same way about gays (and the women seeking the priesthood) who maintain their LDS beliefs in the face of the "apostate" label that the Church has put on them.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:59 a.m.

    @Laura Bilington --

    "Tek, I'm not sure what your source is, but I wouldn't be surprised if men raised by gay men are more likely to describe themselves as gay. "

    It isn't true. It's just more FRC nonsense.

    Just a couple of rebutting examples -- there's more out there:

    "Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers," published in the Jan. 1995 issue of Developmental Psychology: "More than 90% of sons whose sexual orientations could be rated were heterosexual."

    "Outcomes for Children with Lesbian or Gay Parents. A Review of Studies from 1978 to 2000," published 2002 in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology: "Twenty-three empirical studies published between 1978 and 2000 on nonclinical children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers were reviewed ....The studies encompassed a total of 615 offspring (age range 1.5-44 years) of lesbian mothers or gay fathers and 387 controls....Children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not systematically differ from other children on any of the outcomes."

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:55 a.m.

    To see doubt confuse and captivate people so easily over even our most basic truths, is deeply saddening. Don't listen to the naysayers. If you want truth look to the sky, not the gutter. Kneel down and ask! Obedience guides us to truth, not doubt and murmuring.

    This is a blessing for these children, not a hindrance.

    God gives a ship captain a map. If there is any map to trust, it's obviously this one. But he sets his tools aside and ignores the map. He goes his own path. Then God tells two crewmen, "I won't help you get promoted on this ship. I don't want you to learn after these patterns." One crewman ignores God and follows the captain's instructions. The second crewman started to doubt also, but turned to God and said "can you still help me another way?" He is pointed to a life-raft. An hour later the ship hits a rock and sinks.

    A father ignores God's instructions, then complains when God gives his child different instructions. Who are we to criticize the church here? Who are we? A crowd without the full picture.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:53 a.m.

    The children of unrepentant murderers, child molesters, adulterers and rapists can be baptized, but not the kids of practicing gays? Sure, homosexual behavior is a sin and those engaged therein should face Church discipline, but it isn’t apostasy unless they claim that it isn’t a sin. If the couple admits that their behavior is contrary to Church doctrine, how is their behavior apostate rather that simply a sin? Doesn't apostasy apply ONLY to those who are members of the Church who then denounced sound doctrine? Also, how can those who were never members of the Church be considered apostates?

    If an 18y/o wants to be baptized, is the Church going to conduct in-home visits to make sure that they aren't living with gay parents? The kid can just move out and contact the missionaries and be baptized w/o having to condemn their parents' choices. Will all converts be asked in their baptismal interview if they have gay parents and demand that the convert denounce their parents' lifestyle?

    This seems overly harsh.

  • 1857496 CLEARFIELD, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:52 a.m.

    I love how the media twisted this around to make it sound that children can [never] be members. A name and a blessing is not a saving ordinance. It creates a membership record, this is not the same as baptism and confirmation. Children can [still] get baptized if their parents are in a same-sex relationship, but would have to get approval until 18, this has been done for many years. Children also have to get approval to for baptism(if under 18) if parents are divorced or polygamist. Technically, nothing really new.

    So, the church is not holding children accountable for their parents. A membership record is simply a 'record', its not membership in the church until they are baptized, which they can do.

    Lastly, I find it interesting how so many people are angry about this. mostly because, if they don't believe in the teachings of the church; then why are they concerned about membership? If they don't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon or revelation, then why get upset if blessings you don't believe in get passed onto you?

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:50 a.m.

    @65TossPowerTrap In your scenario you cannot be sealed to your parents (or either of them unless they divorce and one or both repents and marries a woman and the couple are eligible to be sealed to each other.) I believe the LDS Church's policy is in place to delay that very important decision until you are of legal age.

  • chazkron Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:44 a.m.

    This clarification helps protect children from taking on covenants that they cannot possibly be expected to keep based on their family situation as children of apostates. It also protects children of faithful families who will not be taught that have gay parents is natural and normal at church. When Jesus said that we must become like a child to inherit the kingdom of heaven, he was saying that we must humbly be taught and accept what the Lord requires, like a child who submits to his parents. Mormons who will not accept this policy change are not becoming like little children.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:40 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi wrote, "In fact men raised by two gay men are three times more likely to describe themselves as homosexual which is evidence that being gay is a result of nurture and not nature."

    Tek, I'm not sure what your source is, but I wouldn't be surprised if men raised by gay men are more likely to describe themselves as gay. For the same reason that 18 year old males raised in the Church of Christ, Unitarian-Universalist, or Reformed Jew religions are more likely to describe themselves as gay than 18 year olds raised in families who attended the Assembly of God, Christian, or Jehovah's Witness churches. This has nothing to do with whether they are gay but rather whether they feel comfortable in being open about their gender orientation.

    Plenty of preachers who denounced homosexuality have been arrested and convicted of soliciting sex from other men. Ditto with members of Congress who, for years, diligently voted against equal rights for gays. And no, these weren't "mistaken identity" cases. But prior to their arrests, none of these men would have admitted that they were gay.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:32 a.m.

    @Hiyo The scenarios you list,
    -Children who are living with atheist parents (this happened in my own ward)
    -Children living with apostate parents
    -Children living in homes with a non member parent
    -Children living with parents involved with substance abuse
    -Children living with parents that are not married

    can all be rectified through repentance and proper steps to accept and live the Gospel in this life or the next. The children can theoretically be sealed to their parents. This sealing cannot take place when the child's parents are of the same sex.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:30 a.m.

    Okay, let's say that I'm the 14-year-old son of Adam and Steve. Let's say that I have two LDS friends who have fellowshipped me and taught me the Gospel. I'm attending church and Seminary and have developed a testimony of the Savior and the restoration of the Gospel. I want to be baptized. My fathers support my decision and are happy for me. Tell me why I shouldn't be baptized?

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:23 a.m.

    In my opinion the new Church policy of excommunicating gay couples who enter into legal unions as 'apostates' will at the end of the day do more harm than good for both the Church and the excommunicated members and their families. Especially in the state of Utah.

  • TracyAG Roseville, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:21 a.m.

    I grew up in a gay home and found the church when I was a teenager. I knew there would be people commenting on this, like Kav, who say the whole point of this is to avoid conflict. "This policy protects homosexual relationships as much as it does anything else." I assume our church leaders will try to take that approach as well. I'm sorry, but it's so wrong. To take away a child's right to be baptized because of the lifestyle of the parent is wrong. If a parent feels that it will cause conflict in the home, then they don't have to sign the papers allowing their child to be baptized. It should be a personal decision of each family. You are assuming that there aren't any gay parents out there who would be supportive of their child joining the church. The right of a worthy child to baptized should never be taken away because of something the parent did. End of Story. Period. I've been that child living in a gay home and found the gospel. This makes me stop and think though.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:20 a.m.

    There's not really anything that ought to be surprising to anyone here. Of course parents in a same-sex relationship can't give their children a blessing, because doing that requires being a worthy priesthood holder, which is impossible in that situation. Likewise, it makes sense that a child would have to be of age before being baptized because it would be impossible for someone who is still a minor to fully grasp that the way that they were raised is wrong and be able to rationally divorce themselves from that situation. It protects the Church from legal liability as well as prevents a situation where someone joins the Church without being able to do what is expected of a new member. They have to be on their own and out of that situation before that could even begin to be possible.

    Some people of course want to have their cake and eat it too but in this church that will never, ever happen.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:20 a.m.

    re Justiciaparatodos

    It is "strange" to have children at some point turn on their parents.

  • Gregg Fish Black Lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:20 a.m.

    @misty mountain

    NOT even close to the same thing. Blacks believed everything the church taught, hence the reason they wanted to join the church in the first place. With same gender couples, they directly disagree with one of the main core values and principles the church teaches. So why they would want their children to be taught the complete opposite of what they are practicing doesn't make much sense.

    The faith early black members must have had is unfathomable to me, and I have the utmost respects for those members.

  • dustman Gallup, NM
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:19 a.m.

    No one here should be guessing at what the church's policy behind this is. Please stop guessing why the church decided to do this. The church has the burden to explain it's decisions. Let the leadership explain. Everything else is just a guess and it's causing problems.

    I am so hoping this is not real. If it is real, the the First Presidency should own it, not some church spokesman. It seems like the first Presidency is always distancing themselves from actions like this. If it's right and heavenly Father wants this, then they should own it. If I as a member of the church need to explain this to my nonmember friends, the first Presidency needs to help me out here with some guidance or an explanation.

  • Paul A ottawa, 00
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:19 a.m.

    Children growing up in a home like that are being taught to violate the law of chastity. You can't expect a young child to reject the lifestyle of their parents and take a different path but an adult child can do that. It is better for them to not take on the covenants and obligations of membership until they are old enough to do that rather than make covenants they won't be in a position to keep. This is about protecting the children from being accountable for more than what they are able to control.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:19 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi --

    "refer to the Regnerus study"

    As you know perfectly well, that study wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.

    The journal that published it, Social Science Research, did an internal audit and concluded that its review process was faulty in failing to find "significant, disqualifying faults" before they published it. The auditor said the paper "should never have been published."

    Regnerus's own university, University of Texas, disavowed it, saying his conclusions "do not reflect the views of the Sociology Department of The University of Texas at Austin. Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of gay parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr. Regnerus' work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families."

    The American Sociological Association published their own thorough debunking of it.

    It's trash, Tekaka. Get over it.

    "In fact men raised by two gay men are three times more likely to describe themselves as homosexual "

    Nonsense. Don't believe everything the FRC tells you.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:17 a.m.

    While the church's policy seems harsh and punishing it is actually the opposite.

    Baptism is a covenant, not only a blessing, but a responsibility. I think we forget that part. You are not just joining a club or social group, or participating in a particular heratige, you are promising to live by certain standards and will be held accountable. This is the bottom line.

    Children should not be held accountable who come from families who are not living according to the teachings of the church. By not being baptized they will not be held accountable. It is merciful.

    What about children who have parents who are drunks or druggies or unfaithful? The distinction I believe is that society does not condone these parents actions or decisions. It's pretty clear to all that these are wrong. Society does accept gay couples and a small segment of society accepts polygamy. Children are actively taught these family situations are correct. This places them in a very conflicting position. It is wise to wait until they are older and can really decide for themselves.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:14 a.m.

    "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."

    Why?

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:14 a.m.

    God has never in the history of the world done anything but condone homosexuality as a sinful practice that separates us from his guidance and protection. Thank goodness in the shifting moral sands, there is one source we can count on for stability. It's His world, His game, He makes the rules. We are here to learn to live as He does and the sins of mortality apparently do not prepare us to become as He is.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:11 a.m.

    @Hiyo --

    "The church accepts membership for children in the following households:"

    And don't forget: children who are living with parents engaged in adulterous second marriages. Remember, by the Bible's own words, anyone who divorces for any reason except for infidelity and then remarries is committing adultery.

    How many of these adulterous second marriages does the church recognize every year?

  • Hiyo Dallas, TX
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:04 a.m.

    The church accepts membership for children in the following households:
    -Children who are living with atheist parents (this happened in my own ward)
    -Children living with apostate parents
    -Children living in homes with a non member parent
    -Children living with parents involved with substance abuse
    -Children living with parents that are not married
    All of these situations are against the values taught in the Family Proclamation and yet they still have access to the blessings of membership in the church. To single out children who are raised with homosexual parents can only cause harm to the children. This is not an act of a loving Heavenly Father, this is a policy made out of fear.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 8:01 a.m.

    I don't even recognize the church of my youth anymore. It is a sad day when youth are denied membership because of the perceived"sins" of the parents and how can the LDS church claim to care about families then demand that young adults renounce Thier families to become members?

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:58 a.m.

    @hockeymom asks, "Under what circumstance would a parent who is living in a same gender relationship want their child to go to a church that preaches Mother, Father, Priesthood, Temple, Traditional Family and then come home to a house that is contrary to what was just taught?"

    hockeymom, just replace "same gender relationship" with "black family in 1977".

    Although the Church permitted blacks to join, they refused to let them have temple marriages. There was no "at this time" or "but that may change" offered to blacks--just a firm statement of how things were. Period.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:52 a.m.

    For those who are saying that children are not harmed by being raised by a same gender couple (I won't say same gender parents, because only one is a parent), refer to the Regnerus study which found that children raised by same gender couples do suffer a great proportion of negative outcomes. In fact men raised by two gay men are three times more likely to describe themselves as homosexual which is evidence that being gay is a result of nurture and not nature.

    In addition, many children who have been raised by same gender couples lament the fact that a parent was missing from their lives. They say that their parent's relationship with someone of the same gender denied them of the other parent.

    I think that denying the validity of the Regnerus study is like denying the evidence of global warming. People only accept science when it agrees with their views.

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:51 a.m.

    My objection is that Children over the age of 18 may only be baptized or serve a mission if they leave the house of the parents that raised them..... give me a break ... we baptize 18 year old kids all the time who's parents are not members and don't ask them to move out of their parent's house. How is this good for the child or the family? Where do we expect these kids to go?

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:46 a.m.

    Three doors down from me lived a (nominally) LDS woman with (at the time) Six kids. She was still married to the father of #2 through #5, but was living with the father of #6, and pregnant by him with #7. And although she didn't attended services, the people in the ward were diligent about picking up her school-age children and taking them to church each Sunday.

    When she finally divorced her (legal) husband, she married the man she was living with-- in the local LDS ward. When the first of her children by this man was killed, the child's funeral was held at this same LDS ward.

    I'm reasonably sure that none of the ordinances were being denied to her kids. And I suspect that if her oldest child had wanted to serve a mission (he was old enough), he would have been welcomed, and not forced to denounce his mother and the adulterous relationship.

    Can somebody explain why Church policy treats the children of same sex couples differently?

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:40 a.m.

    @DC Surfs - The difference between naming and blessing a child and administering a Priesthood blessing is that Naming and Blessing children is an Ordinance recorded with the Church where a Priesthood blessing is not. So they are not the same things and should thus not be treated in the same manner. The Priesthood can and should administer to anyone who requests it, LDS or not, saint or sinner, whoever wants a blessing should get one. But Ordinances are very different.

    @Nanook - divorced parents with split custody would be a different matter all together. I'd imagine that as long as one parent is living the tenets of the Church and is in harmony with its teachings there would be little issue of ordinances for the child. The custody would most likely determine whether or not the child would be allowed to participate via Ordinances.

  • Matt9898 Salt lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:27 a.m.

    What about children of divorced parents? Or children of a parent that had an affair, or broke the law in some way? If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, that is fine. But what about the sin of pride or hubris. We all sinners and if you only bless children of unions free of sin, we will have no members of our church.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:27 a.m.

    @kwall & @1aggie - This policy applies to those involved in Same Sex Marriage but who want an affiliation with the Church, very similar to the policies regarding Polygamous marriage. The Church is defining what constitutes a marriage and what the Church will deem as a 'married' couple. Children in those relationships are governed by what the parents are doing and will remain so until the child is at an age that he/she can decide the direction to take. @kwall, it would be a VERY unlikely case that someone in a same sex relationship and who had zero affiliation with the LDS Church would walk into a Bishop and ask to have a child named and blessed. This policy does include that scenario but is aimed at those who want their children on the records of the Church yet don't want to live the standards of the Church themselves.

    The line we ourselves are drawing is certainly interesting, it is becoming clear that those who disagree are 'weeding' themselves out of the Church.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:20 a.m.

    So cohabiting with someone of the same sex constitutes apostasy requiring a disciplinary council, while cohabiting with someone of the opposite sex does not? I thought both were violations of the law of chastity. Why the difference? If sex outside of marriage is an apostate practice requiring a disciplinary council, bishoprics and stake presidencies will be spending a lot more time conducting disciplinary councils, which will diminish the time they could spend in otherwise ministering to the flock.

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:15 a.m.

    While this new policy may seem harsh and mean to some, we must never waiver from support of our church leaders. They are seers and revelators and we will never be led astray.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:08 a.m.

    My first reaction while reading this article was one of sympathy for those children of same gender households. Then I remembered God is in charge. Our hearts ache especially for the children who's parents have made decisions that take them from the truth of eternal families. Children of high profile and other apostates also come to mind. How can the church allow blessings and baptisms of children who are living lives where their most significant role models are living contrary to those teachings? Often one active parent might take the children to church, but they have at least one parent trying to live the Gospel. In same gender households, both parents are living contrary to the Gospel. There is no model for living or teaching correct principles in those households!

    Should blessings and baptisms of young children of same gender parents be practiced in the church, it would set up a scenario similar to anchor babies and citizenship. "If you allow my child to be blessed and baptized, why not allow my same gender "spouse" and I to be sealed in your temple?" God is protecting His church is all.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:06 a.m.

    I've read hundreds of comments about this new policy over a dozen or so sites and one of the most common misconceptions is that somehow the LDS Church is forever denying membership to children of someone who is in or has been in a same-sex relationship, invoking Christ's admonition to "suffer little children" to come unto Him. Firstly, the invitation is for all to come unto Christ. Yet not all can immediately be accepted into his restored church as some must wait until they have forsaken their sins and made a full repentance. Others must wait until they reach a legal age as their parent(s) forbid them from joining the LDS Church. This policy puts children of a gay parent into the latter category of needing to wait until they are of legal age and then they can join the LDS Church upon meeting additional requirements. There is wisdom in this policy.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:05 a.m.

    A few not-fully thought out thoughts

    1) This does seem like a strange decision, especially considering it directly affects a very very small number of people (I can't imagine that many same-sex couples wanting to have their children blessed in an LDS church) but will indirectly affect a great deal more.

    2) I wonder if this is more administrative that spiritual. Once a membership record is created it places an expectation for members of the church to minister to the person of that record. The child would have no way to transfer records if the parents move or remove themselves from activity in the church. I can't imagine we have lots of data of these situations but I assume these babies vanish from the church and are hard to track down.

    3) When someone commits to the Church they disavow all types of sin. Having these children specific disavow same-sex marriage seems a little excessive.

    4) Hopefully nearly all requests to the 1st presidency are approved and this is simply a way to provide greater support to people in these situations.

  • Gregg Fish Black Lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 7:02 a.m.

    @Kwall

    I See your perspective, I really do. However, I think this needs to be looked at with a deeper perspective. First off, a child blessing is not necessary for salvation. It is simply a practice that has several purposes, the main one being simply to officially name your child and put your child on the records of the church.

    Secondly, I think the church has it right on this policy. If the church allowed children who's parents are either non-members/former members or "members" that are no longer practicing, to get baptized, confirmed, ordained, etc, that would be irresponsible of the church. By doing so you would create a very hard environment for that child to be successful since neither parent is a member. Members, especially young and new members, need support to be able to continue in the gospel. By making it so that children can't do the things listed in the article because their parents are practicing members is actually protecting them until they are older and can stand on their own more.

    God is a perfect judge and will not hold children accountable because of the wrong choices their parents have made.

  • gastineau Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:53 a.m.

    I was raised by a pedophile who also was a respected priesthood holder. After he was discovered, my mom began to drink a lot. It was hard to stay in the church and I often felt unwelcome. Being gay isn't the same as being a pedophile (though, to be fair, the heart wants what the heart wants), but teaching young people to not follow the prophet does corrupt them. Let children make a commitment to follow the Lord when they are in a position and a mindset to honor that commitment. Otherwise what does the commitment mean? If I had ever said that there was nothing wrong with what my father did, church leaders should have questioned my faith in the Lord and his apostles.

  • EW HENRIETTA, NY
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:52 a.m.

    A friend's comment really helped me understand. I quote excerpts: "I understand the struggle many are having with the news articles regarding the LDS Church's policy.
    Ask a child psychologist about the cognitive dissonance inflicted on a child that goes to church hearing about eternal families and seeing pictures of heterosexual families in their church classes and then going home to parents that can't fit that mold. This has NOTHING to do with children not being worthy of God's love and everything to do with not placing vulnerable children in a position to judge their parents or feel that their families are less valuable. Children don't develop the neurological ability to manage ambiguity until their late teenage years.

    This is not bigotry, but a simple recognition of the emotional need of a child to be aligned with their parents until they are old enough to manage the ambiguity of conflicting belief systems.
    Take a deep breath. It is about doing the right thing for the child.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:52 a.m.

    This is not just a SSM issue. We had an issue in our ward where two non member married parents wanted their children to be baptized because they wanted them to learn and live the church teachings. The parents themselves wanted nothing to do with the church. They were denied baptism by the mission president, however were invited to continue to participate in primary and church activities.

    Baptism is a covenant, not just a membership ticket. If you don't live in a home where your parents are not able to help or teach then they become covenant breakers. Parents are primarily responsible for teaching their children, not the church. And when the actions of the parents cannot support church teachings, it would be detrimental to the child to make that covenant.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:39 a.m.

    Though I have been inactive many years, the church has never done anything I considered offensive enough for me to want to sever my ties with them officially and completely. They now have. My formal resignation can be expected in the church offices any day now.

  • Disciple of Christ Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:30 a.m.

    1962-U.S. Supreme Court declares prayer illegal in public schools; 1963-U.S. Supreme Court declares Bibles banned from public schools; 1973-U.S.Supreme Court declares abortion to be legal; June 30, 2015, U.S. Supreme Court declares same sex marriage legal in all States. 1967-Prophecy fulfilled in Luke 21:24 and Isaiah. 11:11-14; 31:4-7.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:27 a.m.

    @InMyOpinionAlso--

    " Homosexual marriage and relationships that are contrary to Gods commandments are."

    Yet again -- there is no commandment saying "thou shalt not have a gay marriage." And Jesus never said a single word against homosexuality.

    On the other hand, there IS a commandment saying "thou shalt not commit adultery". And the Bible explicitly tells us that anyone who divorces for any reason except infidelity, and then remarries, is committing adultery. Yet the LDS church performs marriages for divorcees all the time, doesn't it?

    How do you reconcile adulterous second marriages with the Lord's commandments?

  • FWJ Junction City, KS
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:18 a.m.

    A first principle is that God loves his children perfectly, and will always act in a way that will best lead to their eternal joy. Given that indisputable first principle, it behooves we less enlightened, often arrogant, mortals, to acknowledge that God knows more than us, sees things we do not see, and so we must ponder more deeply, and seek His wisdom. Thus looking past the knee jerk, typical humanist responses, one can begin to see the tender mercies of a loving God even within these policies.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:08 a.m.

    If critics would pause and reflect, they would see that this is an honest policy. People sometimes gloss over awkward inconsistencies. Less-active parents, living with a partner, may wish to have their child taken to church, to give them certain values. But it is an unkindness to subject a child to such a conundrum. This clear policy provides the guidance parents need to make informed choices.

    "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
    Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
    For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."
    (Luke 12:40-45)

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 6:01 a.m.

    Under what circumstance would a parent who is living in a same gender relationship want their child to go to a church that preaches Mother, Father, Priesthood, Temple, Traditional Family and then come home to a house that is contrary to what was just taught? Why would a parent want to confuse and subject that child to the doctrine when Dad & Dad or Mom & Mom are doing the opposite? I hope there are no same gender parents who would do that to their child anyway.

    The church has to protect children and themselves from any potential issues that arise. In this day and age, there is no use believing or dis-believing in select pieces of doctrine. Either you're all in or all out. Just dividing the sheep from the goats.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:53 a.m.

    Wow. There appears to be a lot of people that believe themselves to be more in tuned than the first presidency and quorum of the twelve. I wish I was that enlightened. But because I'm not I question the questioners, do you believe or not? If you don't then why should you care. If you say you believe you may want to rethink your question. I am glad the church has position of truth and knowledge. The easiest position is no position or whatever appears to be PC.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:47 a.m.

    Blessing of babies is not an Ordinance. Not allowing this to be done in an LDS Church does not withhold blessings as these are not binding in any event. It is a prayer offered by the father upon the baby asking the Lord's blessing. If the Church doesn't recognize unwed fathers, same sex fathers, polygamous fathers, etc., then that father is precluded from giving a blessing in an LDS church. They can of course offer the blessing in another venue e.g. at home.

    I think it helps to understand that the Church is merely being consistent with all practices outside marriage between one man and one woman. It doesn't sanction any ordinance or ceremony for anyone who is outside this parameter. We just happen to be focusing (a lot) on LGBT issues at the moment.

  • DC Surfs ,
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:35 a.m.

    A baby blessing is not a life saving ordinance. It's no different than giving a family member a priesthood blessing in a hospital room. If that family member is LGBT, there isn't any requirement for approval prior to giving that blessing in that instance. I'm not sure why it's so different for a baby blessing then.

    This seems like one of those issues where less is more meaning there is no good that comes from publishing something like this. Sometimes it's better for the Church to remain quiet about things and let it's lay clergy figure these unique situations out for ourselves. I really can't imagine a circumstance where this could become problematic. In addition, although it is not an ordinance, there is no reason why any such blessing should be deprived of anyone.

  • Alane MASCOT, TN
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:16 a.m.

    This is The Church of Jesus Christ or it is not. No grey area. Hold to what you know to be true. If there are questions, answers will eventually come. Please, stay in the boat.

  • QuantCommenter salt lake city, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 5:06 a.m.

    With only a few exceptions, the LDS church has a very low standard for baptism. In most cases, anyone that wants to can be baptized in short order. However these children are being required to wait until they are 18 and then, for all intents and purposes, renounce their family relationships to be members in good standing. This is the first time I have ever seen the LDS church promote a policy that approaches the Scientology practice of "Disconnection". While full disconnection is not expressly stated (or even likely intended) it seems to be the inevitable end to the policy for anyone that desires to be a full member.

    I have no problem with the LDS church choosing not to perform certain marriages in their buildings but from my perspective this policy takes dead aim at family units. A stance like this is likely to increase the exodus of members Marlin Jensen acknowledged a few years ago.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:54 a.m.

    @kwall

    you said:

    "I just don't get it. I was under the impression that we are punished for our own sins, not for the sins of others. And then to require kids to denounce their parents in order to be baptized when they are 18? Yikes".

    How is choosing to be baptized as an adult (18)...denouncing their gay parents?
    By that reasoning, would it not also be denouncing the parents if they were baptized after the age of 8 and before they were 18?

    This policy in reality does not tread on the parents rights to raise their children as thy see fit. This policy also makes it perfectly clear to a child that according to LDS doctrine, this lifestyle is not in accordance with LDS doctrine.

    One can disagree and many do, however this is the LDS Church's position and when one turns 18 they can choose for themselves.

  • goldallen albuquerque, NM
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:44 a.m.

    The LDS Church does not baptize people just to increase church membership. It is an ordinance which starts a promise to live a certain way. If someone CANNOT live the gospel, by choice or circumstance, it is better for them to NOT make the promise.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:38 a.m.

    To tolerate is one thing...
    To embrace is another...

    The LDS Church recently has led the way in "tolerance" for the Gay lifestyle, i.e. marriage, non-discrimination etc. as it pertains to current established law.

    However, as a Church, they maintain their 1st Amendment rights to establish and practice their own religion as they see fit.

    And right on queue, the LGBT movers and shakers are demonstrating that they will not be content until they can force every religion to comply and embrace their own world view.

    The Church will not and cannot ever "Embrace" Gay Marriage, it goes against everything the Church teaches (Proclamation on the Family), sorry, Steve and Barbara Young.

    Nor can it send mixed messages to the children of such unions by implicitly condoning such behavior.

    In a way, this policy actually demonstrates respect for parents by not intruding on the Gay Parent's household and their teachings.

    Sorry folks, the LDS Church is not a-la-carte with it's doctrine and policies. And nobody is twisting anyone's arm to subscribe.

    However, one is always free to establish their own religion by picking and choosing what they like and don't like.

  • 5th Amendment Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:18 a.m.

    @MyOpinionAlso re: "Children are harmed by same-sex marriage..."

    While that is a lovely claim, do you have any evidence from any mainstream medical, psychological or sociological organization where one go to determine if your claim is based on fact or unsupported opinion?

    Moreover, taking any optimal parenting rationale to a logical conclusion, empirical evidence at hand should require that only rich, educated, suburban-dwelling, married Asians can marry while excluding all other heterosexual couples. The absurdity of such a requirement is self-evident.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 4:10 a.m.

    Every major professional organization in this country whose focus is the health and well-being of children and families has reviewed the data on outcomes for children raised by lesbian and gay couples, including the methods by which the data were collected, and have concluded that these children are not disadvantaged compared to children raised in heterosexual parent households. Organizations expressing support for parenting, adoption, and/or fostering by lesbian and gay couples include (but are not limited to): American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychological Association, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Social Workers, and the Donaldson Adoption Institute. It’s not the gender of the parent that’s the key. It’s the quality of parenting that’s being offered by whoever is there, husband or wife, two women, two men, a single parent, as long as these factors are present: good mental health, good parent-child relationships, what we call an authoritative parenting style, which is warmth, stimulation, structure, and the availability of resources. Then we’re going to have a child who is much more likely to be healthy.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:56 a.m.

    Another well-deserved PR disaster, in my opinion.

    The Gay parents must be former members who have not lost their belief, or they would just join a church that accepted them and bring the kids

    Thus, parents who are really into lds beliefs try to instill them in their kids, but the church does not want the kids because of the parents.

    And, the 18 year old kid, who was never accepted, is supposed to be so hot to join that he/she is willing to denounce his parents and their marriage.

    --- I believe Jesus would tell us to think of the effect on the children, and be less rigid and harsh

  • Nunn24 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 2:09 a.m.

    The Church is right, here. The laws of God must be upheld.

    The characterization that this new policy would punish children, is false. Actually, the Church would be doing those children a terrible disservice if not for this new policy. Otherwise, the Church effectively would be condoning a lifestyle that is forbidden by God. Instead, the Church does these children a valuable favor by sending them, in this fashion, a message that this lifestyle is not approved of God.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:23 a.m.

    The LDS Church is punishing children for the decisions of their parents. That doesn't make sense to me.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:22 a.m.

    To Hope & Faith: not too crafty . . . at least the children of the porn addict can be blessed and baptized. Apparently the innocent children of honorable men or women in a same-sex marriage are to be treated as a lower spiritual class than are the children of a porn addict in a hetrosexual marriage. You can slice the construct in a number of ways and most of the outcomes will be unfair and even cruel. Treating adults arbitrarily is one thing, but please, spare the children!

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:13 a.m.

    Why does this apply to same sex married couples' children and not couples that are living together without getting married? seems like an unreasonable double standard.

  • Elder Wrong Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 6, 2015 1:03 a.m.

    Let's say one is a active LDS parent whose child is LGBT and wants to get married. Is that parent now considered an apostate because they support their LGBT's happiness by supporting the child's marriage?

  • FMolinski Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:44 a.m.

    How can you deny baptism to somebody because of their parents? Wouldn't those children need the gift of the Holy Ghost as much as any other children? Would it not benefit them? Does Heavenly Father not love these children and want them to be able to partake of all the blessings of his Church? How can you punish these children because of choices their parents are making? This goes against everything I know and love about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Can a child whose parents are living together and not married get baptized? How is that any different?

    This strikes me as horrifically un-Christian.

  • Nanook of the North Burnaby BC Canada, 00
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:33 a.m.

    We have an adult lesbian daughter who has been inactive for years. She may end up marrying another woman. They may have a child. My daughter might want her child to have the benefit of "growing up in the church", and might ask me to bless the child, or to baptise them when they're 8 years old, or to ordain him if he's a boy when he's 12. It might be a way to keep my daughter "connected" to us and to our belief in some way. But with this new policy? Nope, not gonna happen.

    How many families are there where mom and dad divorced because one of them was gay/lesbian and "came out"? And the kids spend half their time with each parent. And the gay/lesbian one gets a partner or a legally married spouse. And both parents want their kids to continue with the church. But now, the kids can't be baptised, the boys can't be ordained. What part of this makes any sense?

  • Albemar West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:30 a.m.

    All the claims of the LDS Church not being anti-gay... I never believed it and this just confirms it. Telling a child that they must denounce their parent? Really! How bizarre. And the comments found here of support for such treatment of these children is truly frightening. This also gives justification for family members to denounce and alienate their own children.

    Best wishes with following this path. I hope that those effected will swiftly move on and never look back.

  • DadofOne Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:24 a.m.

    To anyone saying that children are harmed by gay marriage instead of the church, please tell those gay children, from good Mormon families that statement. Tell those kids that, kids who will take their lives over this, because they feel so rejected and unloved by their spiritual home. Please tell them that before they're gone. I am heartbroken for them.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 6, 2015 12:11 a.m.

    For those commenting that this new policy makes perfect sense, and particularly in light of a similar policy for children of polygamists, I would ask what is the distinguishing principle for withholding rites from children of same-sex couples, and not from children of heterosexual couples whose parents engage in adultery, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, and any other number of "sins"? Further, what is the rationale for classifying same sex couples as "apostates" and not couples who, for example, commit other sexual sins like adultery, fornication, and sex abuse? To my view, there is no distinction other than the opportunity to paint our LGBTQ brothers and sisters with a brush of "otherness". It seems so incredibly hurtful.

  • BYU Student Provo, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:59 p.m.

    I don't know. I can't really accept this right now. I should change my screenname. I don't go to BYU (I've graduated) and I don't want to seem like some representative of the church. The devil's advocate part of me sees this rule and can make some sense of it, but it runs so counter to what I believe. Denying children the benefits and blessings of covenants because they are in a situation that they cannot change or control makes no sense to me. I don't like this and I'm deeply uncomfortable with it.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:53 p.m.

    I see this policy as a necessary protection for children to keep them from entering into the serious covenant of baptism, when such a covenant would have little meaning to their same-sex parents who openly challenge the commandments of God. This is no different than me, at age 17, needing my parents' permission to be baptized after having been taught the Gospel; which was a protection for me to not enter into something that could not be supported in my home.

  • Kav Boise, ID
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:52 p.m.

    The whole point is to avoid conflict in the home. You cannot very well expect to send your children to church, where they will be taught that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and expect that not to cause problems when they return to their home. However, when you are taught that over-eating is a sin going home to tell dad that he shouldn't over-eat; if he listens, it's not going to end his relationship. But that's exactly what would happen when the child speaks up about this topic at home. This policy protects homosexual relationships as much as it does anything else.

  • Red Corvette St. George, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:48 p.m.

    John 11:35

  • Clay Caldwell Gilbert, AZ
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:48 p.m.

    We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam and Steve's transgressions.

  • K. M. United States, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:44 p.m.

    To anticipate and respond to misunderstanding on this policy change, I really think we need to go back to fundamentals to understand what's going on.
    Ordinances in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are important, even essential to salvation.
    No one will be withheld blessings in the long run simply because of the actions of another, even if it be their parent(s). For instance, in the case that a spouse is unfaithful to his/her spouse after a temple marriage, the faithful spouse will not be denied any of the benefits and blessings associated with the sealing because of it, even though it be that they must be sealed to someone else later on.
    Ordinances are very serious matters, and they should only be made by those who are ready at that time to keep the associated covenants, and have every intention of doing so. Hence, we can begin to see that one of the motivations for this policy is making sure that the children involved are truly ready and able to keep those covenants. The policy requiring these children to wait does not imply unworthiness or that they are of less value.

  • Duke of Earl Grey Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:42 p.m.

    Tiago's comment at 10:50 is spot on. All the news coverage I've seen has characterized this policy as applying to children living with a same-sex married parent, but the wording of the handbook says no such thing. Any church leader giving this a strict reading could decide to apply this to any children with a parent in a same-sex relationship, regardless of whether they live in the same household. Unless the church intends this meaning, someone needs to clarify the new wording in the handbook.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:21 p.m.

    @Kwall

    All the more reason for adults to consider the effects of their actions (choosing to obey God, or reject His commandments) upon their children.

    As others have said, we all have weaknesses and struggle in our effort to endure to the end. But enduring is not the same as giving up or giving in. And there are many in the world who choose to openly rebel against God's laws.

    Because of that, the Church has the right to decide who can and who cannot be a member, and who is worthy to enter their temples. You'll be very much welcomed if you choose to attend our Sunday meetings.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:15 p.m.

    Very interesting.

    Right now, a baby of non-active members can be given a blessing by an active family member (such as a grandfather). But not if your parents are gay?

    Sad.

    If I were in charge, I would want gay couples coming and bringing their children to church.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:12 p.m.

    I think the church is wanting to make sure parents and children are not placed in a position to be at odds with deeply held beliefs while still living and being raised together. It seems respectful of the parents to not ask children to hold to teachings the parents obviously do not adhere to. There's clearly a recognition that a parent's wishes and beliefs come first. Children should be of a certain maturity to understand the difference between loving & respecting the person without agreeing with their actions before making sacred covenants.

  • noinipo Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:09 p.m.

    Has this been confirmed by the Church's PR department? I'm just wondering because I've seen pictures of the apparent apostasy policy change, and while it is in Handbook 1, the font in the picture is different from the font used in Handbook 2 which is available to download as a PDF from the Church's website. Also, where is the info about the baptism/blessing policy for the children coming from? I haven't found it anywhere and haven't been able to confirm it with a bishop yet. I also haven't found anything official about either policy changes from the Mormon Newsroom.

    I'm holding on to the hope that this was started as a hoax and got reported before it could be confirmed.

    (Just an FYI, I'm fine with the apostasy change, I just really really don't want children to be punished for their parent's decisions.)

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Nov. 5, 2015 11:04 p.m.

    @ Kwall, The Church is not suggesting that children are inherently guilty for the sins of their parents, nor are they telling children to denounce or turn their backs on those who raised them. Any religious denomination is within its rights to establish moral standards concerning what constitutes the definition of marriage. Marriage, ultimately, is either a moral construct with a moral definition or, for all practical purposes, it becomes a non-construct with no definition -- just a matter of opinion. The Church leaders are simply stating that children in same-sex relationships may join the church when they come of age, and affirm that they accept and follow the moral teachings and standards of the Church.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Nov. 5, 2015 10:50 p.m.

    The article talks about withholding ordinances from "children living with a parent in a same-gender relationship," but the new guidance is under the topic "Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship." See the difference?

    I think this needs clarified in the article. Do the rules apply only to kids who live with SS parents? Does shared or partial custody matter? Or, is this policy applicable to all children with at least one legal parent living in a SS relationship, whether or not the child lives with that parent?

  • Kwall Logan, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 10:41 p.m.

    How is a child living in a home with two non-member parents who are gay any different than a child living in a home where the parents routinely commit other sins? In both cases the parents are committing a sin but only one of them is grounds to deny children ordinances they need for salvation?

    I just don't get it. I was under the impression that we are punished for our own sins, not for the sins of others. And then to require kids to denounce their parents in order to be baptized when they are 18? Yikes.

    This just seems unnecessarily harsh.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 10:32 p.m.

    I have long supported the church and its leaders even when I couldn't understand what appeared to almost be a tacit acceptance of this trend in the world. Real love to me always meant telling the truth to those who are confused about it. Granted, this must be done with care, patience, and long suffering, but this is a policy and line that was much needed. The world is too much with us and those who are seeking after the truth will come back to the fold or reject it altogether. The line has been drawn in the sand. As word gets out, more will be drawn to the church for the safety provided to children and the strength that comes from living in a family structured the way the Lord has decreed. No cheering here, just a sobering acceptance of the Lord's voice.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Nov. 5, 2015 10:30 p.m.

    Since the LDS Church has chosen to publicly announce this new policy, it would seem to make sense to explain the rationale behind it. I'm not LDS but I can see where people would wonder why children are being denied certain blessings important to the LDS based on what their parents do.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 10:27 p.m.

    Suburbs of SLC,

    Crafty... really crafty.

    You want to know who's denying the children from coming unto the Savior? It's not the church. Look at the father who refuses to live right. A porn addict who isn't worthy to attend the temple is responsible for the harm he does to his family. That's not the church's fault. We all know who takes the truth to be hard, it's the people who refuse to live it.

    The Lord's church does what's best for children, and that is avoiding confusion. You are welcome to plug your ears if you don't want to hear what the church leaders have to say. But I welcome it. I've found their counsel to be ahead of its time and wise in every case. It's geared us to safety time and time again and it will continue to.

    Children will learn more from knowing what their father denied them than they would by living in a home that is full of confusion and conflicting practices. The Lord loves children. This, along with the rest of the gospel, only proves that even more.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 10:20 p.m.

    I believe this is the same policy as children who grew up in polygamous families. It would make sense that the same policy would apply to other family configurations not accepted by the LDS church.

  • Just saying 7 Indianapolis, IN
    Nov. 5, 2015 10:08 p.m.

    The article does not mention but I wonder if the temple recommend interview question will specify heterosexual marriage vs simply legally and lawfully married.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 9:37 p.m.

    I knew a polygamist family once that attended LDS services. They openly lived against the practices of the church. Because of that they weren't really members of the church. We still welcome them, treat them with respect, and befriend them. But we do not acknowledge what they chose to participate in. The children grew to go on missions and get married. They were not polygamists after their parents.

    What's interesting about it to me is the word "allegiance". If your father taught you every day that the sun Earth is flat, then God revealed to you otherwise... would you accept it?

    I believe that is the real challenge with children in homes where the parents are openly living against the teachings of the church. Being attracted isn't a sin. Everyone faces their attractions, appetites, addictions, substances and desires. It's not the attraction. It's what you do about it. One can't say "I refuse to keep God's commandments, but I'll raise my kid to" without raising an eyebrow. I think that's why it takes special permission.

  • Myrtle III Draper, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 9:28 p.m.

    It's worth noting that those in same-gender relationships still are always invited and welcome in all regular church services and activities. In fact, most members sincerely hope they will participate in the peace it brings, as they do for anyone. This is simply a clarification of how "membership" should be managed by lay leaders based on the doctrine of the church.

  • Suburbs of SLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 9:23 p.m.

    But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

    The policy against the children of polygamists is also unfair, but at least in that instance, the fear seems to be that those children could potentially choose to join the church before changing their minds and deciding to pursue a polygamous relationship. By contrast, being raised by gay parents has no impact on whether you personally would later choose to pursue a same-sex relationship.

    It's not like there are that many same-sex couples lining up to join or stay in the church; yet the fact that the church insists on making it that much more difficult to feel even marginally welcome--or to suggest that, at the very least, your children are welcome--is a needless aggression.

  • InMyOpinionAlso sandy, UT
    Nov. 5, 2015 9:22 p.m.

    The church is not to blame for this. Homosexual marriage and relationships that are contrary to Gods commandments are. Children are harmed by same-sex marriage not the church.