Elder Christofferson explains updated LDS Church policies on same-sex marriage and children

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • ashlihj Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 16, 2015 1:12 p.m.

    The church has always had the same stand point on this subject. They are doing it to protect its members. We should still respect and be kind to people who view it differently, but that doesn't mean that we have to agree with them.

  • alanjones520 Tustin, CA
    Nov. 13, 2015 6:24 p.m.

    Children of hetero parents who sleep around (cheating on their marriage), parents of an anti-Mormon church, a single parent who has a live in lover, and many more circumstances the children can be baptized, receive the priesthood, do temple baptisms. I am not defending gay marriage here but it seems odd that the sins of the parents in this case but not others, comes down on the children. What if a gay married couple believe gay marriage is wrong, but they won't leave their commitment to their marriage? So basically they renounced gay marriage? I don't have anything like this situation, so I am an outsider. I am an active member of the church with grown children and grand children, I see this as being unbalanced from the other situations.
    I thought Christ taught that the sins of the parents do not bring punishment upon the children.

  • Owhee5 2C, ID
    Nov. 11, 2015 8:35 p.m.

    Great decision.

  • Rogers Lambert Radford, VA
    Nov. 11, 2015 2:53 p.m.

    For about 150 years the Church tried unsuccessfully to defend a flawed racial policy. I sincerely hope Elder Christofferson's efforts are not a step down the same futile pathway trying to defend a flawed policy.

  • Contrariusest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 11, 2015 11:25 a.m.

    @Baccus0902 --

    "Down Under, I will follow your advice and write my letter of resignation. Thank you my brother!"

    I have read that there are mass resignations in the works. It was even reported on a local FOX affiliate.

    "Church members across social media are sharing their desire to resign from the church, due to their hurt from the policy saying children of same-sex couples cannot be blessed or baptized until they are 18. One Utah-based attorney and ex-Mormon — Mark Naugle — who helps people resign from the church free of charge, says he has received a flood of emails."

    "'There will be 1,400 people who won't be on the record coming in the next five to 15 days, just from my end. I'm also attending a mass resignation event on Saturday. They're starting at City Creek (in Salt Lake City) and I'll be going there with blank forms for everyone to fill out. And I think, according to Facebook, there are over 1,000 people that plan to attend,' he said."

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

    @Brad James --

    "what I the Lord have spoken"

    This is merely a new POLICY. Nobody has claimed it as a doctrinal revelation.

    Remember, the conditions to claim a revelation are pretty strict. Any other time the apostles speak, they are speaking with their own fallible mouths -- not God's.

    "This does not violate the 2nd Article of Faith"

    Of course it does. It is punishing children for the sins of their parents. Denying the fact won't make them go away.

    "An obvious misinterpretation"

    How exactly is this NOT a violation of the second article?

    Please be specific.

    "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)

    Apostle George Q. Cannon: "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. ...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.”

  • TrevorGowe Ogden, UT
    Nov. 11, 2015 10:03 a.m.

    No matter how supporters of the Church try to spin it this is simply a weak attempt to placate those who have criticized this new backwards ruling from the LDS church as just more bigotry. As usual they are lagging behind the progress of civil rights. Not too long ago this ruling might have been about interracial marriage, and all the "faithful" would have lined up to support it

  • Brad James Manti, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 7:13 p.m.

    @Baccus0902, so the Church of the Restoration is supposed to allow gays to violate God's laws? That doesn't make any sense with all due respect. The Bible speaks out against homosexuality so illuminate me, I don't understand.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 10, 2015 4:02 p.m.

    @ Down Under 12:07
    you wrote:
    "If you are member and don't agree with this clarification of doctrine write your letter of resignation from the Church and get over it."

    Wow! May be it would be that easy for you. But for many of us the church was the church of the Lord. We believed it was the Restoration promised by the scriptures.

    Many have said it before, I am gay and married in a SSM. You made a decision and declared me "an Apostate", even though I have defended the church and never said anything against it. I accept the new rule about me.

    However, I cannot be as forgiving when you are punishing the innocent. On the other hand, this may be the wake up call time to read the scriptures and re-examine the fruits produced here.

    Down Under, I will follow your advice and write my letter of resignation. Thank you my brother!

  • Brad James Manti, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 3:05 p.m.

    what I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. Doctrine and Covenants 1:38. This does not violate the 2nd Article of Faith, God is just and the children who are in these situations through no fault of their own, will be given a fair chance. If not, God would cease to be God. God does not have to use the standards of men to bring forth his purposes.

  • Brad James Manti, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 2:52 p.m.

    people quoting the second Article of Faith to say the Church leadership is wrong. An obvious misinterpretation but the 11th Article of Faith says everyone has the right to believe what they want so have at it.

  • Fan Base Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 2:32 p.m.

    @ AuC You're right. My mistake.

  • AuContrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 2:14 p.m.

    @Fan Base --

    "...same-sex married parents"

    They don't have to be married -- it applies if they are in, OR HAVE EVER BEEN IN, a same-sex relationship.

    Here's just a couple examples:

    ----------

    A divorced gay Mormon dad --

    Now comes the toughest task: telling his children that he could be kicked out of the Church... if he marries a man, and warning his two youngest, 11 and 15, that they might be barred from serving a mission .... "It's almost like they now have to choose between a gay father and a church that they love... This is almost too much to bear."

    -----

    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."

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 1:56 p.m.

    We argue these things mainly because we care enough about the members of the church and those around us! As hard as it is, I have to realize that it will never change! Why would God ever do these things to us? He created us and even the church has admitted that it isn't a choice. Yet, they choose to believe the most degrading things about us! They can do this to people who grew up in their families and communities and in their church! Why? Because they feel prejudice. Arrogant people automatically feel that God thinks the same way that they do! They do these horrible things to us and then they continue on with their lives, never caring about what it does to us! After all, we bring it upon ourselves. They do nothing wrong!
    It is simple! God would never hate his children in this way! Think of Christ standing among us! Do they honestly feel that He would do this to us, knowing what it does to our lives? They don't even think that what we believe about ourselves has meaning! More power to them!

  • AuContrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 1:31 p.m.

    @bj-hp --

    "It clearly states that the CHILD must be living with a parent who is in a same-sex marriage or relationship. That could mean either part-time or fulltime. IF the child is NOT living with a parent in the above relationship there is nothing that has to be done except to get parental consent."

    Not true at all.

    "a natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting," can only be baptized, confirmed, ordained to the priesthood or serve a full-time mission with approval from the Office of the First Presidency."

    This says nothing about where the *child* is living. *Any* natural or adopted child of a parent in a same-sex relationship is barred.

    Yet again -- how does this NOT violate the second article of faith, and the words of Christ himself?

  • Fan Base Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 1:16 p.m.

    Breaking news! LDS Church will not allow unicorns to be baptized. Wait... do we need a specific policy for unicorns? Maybe we should just instruct bishops to call the general authorities if something odd pops up. That way, the world won't attack us for anti-unicorn policies.

    Unicorn baptism requests come as often as those for children of same-sex married parents who have been excommunicated and completely alienated so a similar policy, or lack thereof, is probably warranted.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:48 p.m.

    Furry: I see you misunderstand the guidance. It clearly states that the CHILD must be living with a parent who is in a same-sex marriage or relationship. That could mean either part-time or fulltime. IF the child is NOT living with a parent in the above relationship there is nothing that has to be done except to get parental consent.

    This is the guidance given by Elder Christopherson and what the Handbook. This is the same as a child who is living with a polygamous parent as well. No difference in the two types of households.

    In fact if the parents do not share custody at all that the child is under the custody of the parent who is not in a same-sex relationship or a polygamous relationship the child only requires the permission of the parent with custody.

    This is the way it is throughout the world. It works and shows the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ to all his children as he provides clear guidance to his chosen servants.

  • AuContrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:36 p.m.

    @Down under --

    "They have NEVER said that a child would have to move out of their home."

    Actually, they did. You might want to read that announcement again.

    "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"; and "the child is of legal age and **does not live with** (emphasis mine) a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage."

    "I have a brother that chose not to follow the teachings of the Church."

    Yet again -- there's a HUGE difference between choosing not to be baptized and being BARRED from baptism.

    "You especially should not be quoting scripture as a defense for ignoring the voice of a prophet."

    Excuse me? Since when is the "voice of a prophet" MORE authoritative than the voice of Christ himself?

    Yet again -- how does this policy NOT violate the second article of faith? Nobody can seem to answer that question. Gee, I wonder why?

    "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)

  • DK68 UK, 00
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:34 p.m.

    I am an active member of the church, but as it stands this policy raises more questions than provides answers, which hopefully will be provided soon. In my view 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 priesthood service preparation they need to prepare for missions. By 18 it will be too late. 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?

  • dave_slc Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:07 p.m.

    I rather like this policy but I would extend it to all children of all religions. Rather than indoctrination from birth, why don't we let kids only learn about religion once they are old enough to understand the possible conflicts it can cause, be it familial relationships or incongruity with science? After all we restrict other mature content until they are 17, 18 or 21, why not religion?

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:07 p.m.

    AuContrariusier,

    Please don't put words into the mouth of the Church leaders. They have NEVER said that a child would have to move out of their home. A person does not have to disown a family member if they disagree with them or the Church. I have a brother that chose not to follow the teachings of the Church. Is fully included in all family events and is treated exactly the same as the siblings that have chosen to follow the prophet.

    You especially should not be quoting scripture as a defense for ignoring the voice of a prophet.
    If you are member and don't agree with this clarification of doctrine write your letter of resignation from the Church and get over it.

  • AuContrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 11:11 a.m.

    @Down under --

    "So you are saying that same sex marriage IS a sin. Thanks for the clarification."

    I never said any such thing -- but in this case, it's irrelevant whether it is or not. Whether or not it's not a sin, there's no justification for punishing the children.

    "A child does not need to disavow their parents"

    Of course they do. They must repudiate their own parents' marriage, AND move out of their home. How is that not a disavowal?

    "These are laws of God and He will not change."

    I'm pretty sure that God never said "refuse to baptize the children of sinners".

    In fact, Jesus himself said the exact opposite: "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)

    Yet again -- how does this new policy NOT violate the second article of faith?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 11:08 a.m.

    @Down under;

    There is nothing in "God's laws" that says being a child of an LGBT parent is a sin.

    Secondly, requiring the child to renounce it's parent's marriage IS denouncing the parent. Quite simple to understand really.

    The practice of treating THESE children differently than the children of other non-conforming straight couples in the church points to the false nature of the explanation offered.

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 10:40 a.m.

    Contrariuses,
    So you are saying that same sex marriage IS a sin. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 10:36 a.m.

    Intervention,
    Listen to the video before commenting. A child does not need to disavow their parents, just the practice. He explained that VERY clearly. Pay attention.

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 10:32 a.m.

    Nothing confusing here people. These are laws of God and He will not change. If you cannot accept it write your letter of resignation from the Church and live your lives outside of a Church you don't agree with. It is that simple.
    Some people will leave the Church but will not leave the Church alone.

  • AuContrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 10:06 a.m.

    @Brad James --

    "this may not necessarily be popular but it's right."

    Yet again -- how does this policy NOT violate the second article of faith?

    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."

    JC himself 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)

    Apostle George Q. Cannon: "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. ...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."

  • Brad James Manti, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 9:33 a.m.

    this may not necessarily be popular but it's right. Elder Chistofferson and the other Brethren in the Twelve commune with Jehovah. It is His Church and therefore they are inspired to give this counsel. They do not cater nor capitulate to the whims of the temporal world.

  • Tim B. Auburn, AL
    Nov. 10, 2015 8:08 a.m.

    This new policy does not protect children it takes the consent for children to be baptized from parents and the Child and rests it in the hands of the First Presidency of the Church. If parents felt any conflict on their child becoming a member of the Church they under the old policy could not consent to the blessing or baptism. So this policy is unnecessary unless its purpose is to exclude children of parents who have ever been involved in a same sex relationship from becoming members of the church without the church leadership insuring they had the "appropriate" disavowing view of their parent's "apostate" relationship. We are told it is ok for a member of the Church to be in favor of same sex marriage and still be temple worthy as long as they don't participate in same sex relationships. So this places a religious test on children that worthy members don't have to pass. It is wrong and inconsistent with the standard works. History shows us that the Brethren are not always correct. This is not a revelation canonized by a vote in general conference. Administrative policy is not revelation.

  • PhineasGauge Woodbury, MN
    Nov. 10, 2015 6:59 a.m.

    I think there are ways for the church to extend an olive branch with this new policy. The simplest way to do this is by saying that the mechanism for establishing a route for baptism through the blessing of babies will be changed to ensure that all babies are granted a blessing for those that would seek it. It would take a change of standard operating procedure but it would show the church does not want to relegate babies to 2nd class status. The 2nd piece would be developing a system that would allow instruction and guidance to children of SS couples that are looking to groom their children to a place that would allow baptism, with church approval. These measures would ensure that the church is sympathetic to the situation of the children of SS married parents that want to allow their children to live according to the standard the church mandates. These are policies the church could enact that shows a willingness to be inclusive without compromising their positions. It would take some effort but would show the inclusivicity that the teachings of Jesus espouse.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Nov. 10, 2015 5:15 a.m.

    @bj-hp 5:01 p.m. Nov. 9, 2015

    You need to revisit the policy and the Handbook section in question. Your comment does not portray accurately the new standard and policy.

    The new Handbook section says in part: "...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." The handbook addition also states that "a natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting," can only be baptized, confirmed, ordained to the priesthood or serve a full-time mission with approval from the Office of the First Presidency. Nothing is said about whether the child is actually living with the SS parent; merely that the child has a SS parent. My hypothetical was an actual and accurate portrayal of a ramification of this new policy.

  • AuContrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:35 a.m.

    @Twin Lights --

    "I think there are plenty of kids "raised in the middle of Mormon culture" who are not baptized."

    There's a huge difference between *choosing* not to be baptized and being *barred* from baptism.

    "It is not about deserving anything."

    Of course it is. That's exactly the message those kids will get from the church -- they aren't good enough to be baptized, because they have the wrong sort of parents.

    "If HT and VT are coming to the house ... and the child is attending church, you see no potential conflicts?"

    Again -- if the motivation were to avoid conflict, then the same policy would apply to mixed-faith couples.

    "Many mixed faith couples have an agreement on how to proceed with children."

    And you think it would be any different with same-sex couples? Remember, parental consent is required for child baptism. Same-sex couples would know exactly what they were getting themselves into.

    "No, there is no disavowal of parents."

    Of course there is. The kids must specifically disavow their own parents' marriage **and** move out of their home. How is that NOT a disavowal?

  • AuContrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 10, 2015 12:29 a.m.

    @Bob Tanner --

    "The Church is doing the right thing by not baptizing the children...to do so would put them in a very difficult situation
    that might pit the child against the child's family."

    Nonsense.

    If the motivation were truly to avoid family conflict, then the church would apply the same policy to all mixed-faith households.

    But it doesn't.

    Guess why.

    And remember -- parental consent is required for child baptisms. So we already know that any child baptized is doing so with the parents' blessing.

    "What more do you want? "

    For one thing, it would be nice if the church would refrain from violating its own articles of faith, and if it would be true to Christ's own words.

    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)

    Those are both very clear instructions.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 9:38 p.m.

    Apostle Christofferson did a wonderful job of explaining this issue. People of the same sex have gained legal authority from the Nations Supreme Court to be married in the eyes of the State. This does not mean, however, that they are married in the eyes of the Lord. The union between man and woman called marriage comes from the Lord and as men, we cannot change His laws. The Church is doing the right thing by not baptizing the children...to do so would put them in a very difficult situation
    that might pit the child against the child's family. The Church has provided a way to prevent that until the child is of legal age. I feel like the Church is being inclusive in that blessings are still given, the Church is supporting laws to protect same sex couples in the workplace and in housing
    etc. I am currently involved in situations where the Church is providing food and other necessities to destitute same sex couples and the giving is out of love for our brothers and sisters regardless of their religious affiliation. What more do you want? Sincerely, Bob Tanner.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 9, 2015 9:11 p.m.

    Coontrariusester,

    I think there are plenty of kids "raised in the middle of Mormon culture" who are not baptized. It is not about deserving anything.

    If HT and VT are coming to the house (as they will be if there is a member in the home) and the child is attending church, you see no potential conflicts? Many mixed faith couples have an agreement on how to proceed with children.

    No, there is no disavowal of parents. I changed my faith as a young person. I did not disavow my parents even as I left their religion.

    Yes, kids are innocent. No question. The is issue is about the introduction of conflict into a family.

  • TBirt Auburn, AL
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:50 p.m.

    The problem I see with the Church's explanation and most of the comments here assume that conflict is created between a parent who has been in a same sex relationship and their child who is attending church. This policy will primarily impact children who are already going to church and are going with the permission and consent of both of their parents (gay & straight) otherwise blessing or baptism would not be an issue. So if there is conflict with the church policies, that conflict already exists and has been handled by the parents as evidenced by the parent's consent. Church already has a policy that forbids baptism if the child's parents did not consent, so this new policy is not needed to protect children. This policy takes the decision out of the hands of parents and children who want them to be part of the church. This new policy does introduce conflict, stigma and deny children the benefit of making baptismal covenant and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, two ordinances children are taught are fundamental. It produces conflict in requiring the denial of the gay parent’s relationship. The child must to choose unjustly.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 9, 2015 5:01 p.m.

    This new procedure has no bearing on elderly couples as they already are probably baptized, endowed and sealed. The problem would be if the children who are taking care of them will allow the home teachers and visiting teachers to visit them. Otherwise they have nothing they can do.

    As for doing the baptisms of DEAD gay individuals really has no bearing on this policy either. It only affects the living not the dead. Also they will not be married in the temple as the relationship of marriage will be disavowed by the Church as The Church of Jesus Christ only recognizes marriage between man and woman. Same-sex marriage is against the Doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ.

    Furry mentioned a scenario but what she missed out of it all was the fact that neither of her scenarios had the children living in a same-sex marriage. The only required would be the permission of the father in each circumstance but as she stated the parents didn't care therefore the Children would be baptized and all other blessings when reaching age eight and so on.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 9, 2015 4:56 p.m.

    As young LDS mission I was instructed NOT to judge the individual who sought baptism.
    We were to baptism them all, and let GOD judge and sort them out...

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 4:38 p.m.

    In stark contrast to this a child raised by felons or drug addicts can, with parental permission, be baptized as a young teenager or even preteen. Does that make sense? what am I missing here?

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 9, 2015 4:15 p.m.

    I have a sincere question. Will elderly members of the LDS Church be allowed to live with one of their children (who happen to be married to the same sex) and remain members in good standing?

    What if someone's financial situation only allows for this? Not sure what to do with Mom if the answer is no.

  • Jazz need a SHOOTER Salt Lake City/USA, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 2:56 p.m.

    So what's the status of all the gay people baptized by the LDS Church after they died? Seems to be a few holes in your Doctrine of Baptizing the Dead....

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 12:15 p.m.

    Haven't heard a whisper about this in church. No letters or anything about this from the Bishop, Stake leaders, or First Presidency. It is a big item for gays and lesbians, but not so much for the ordinary member.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Nov. 9, 2015 11:52 a.m.

    So much for "agency"? These kids will thank the church later.

  • NatR Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 9, 2015 11:23 a.m.

    There are children right now whose parents are divorced and who are strong children in the Church who are now being told they cannot live with the parent that left for a SSM. This is happening......they are now being denied things within the Church. Church members are spending so much time talking about how an 8 year old cannot know how important the covenants are....and yet we do not change the baptism age to 18 for all.

    This applies to teenagers, etc. not just 8 year olds. There are also those who when they become adults may have truly wanted to convert to the Church, but think this through, should one of their same sex parents ever become terminally ill and need that adult child to live with them, the adult child will have to choose.....in what world would Christ advocate this?

    There was a reason Christ plucked corn on the Sabbath....it was to let individuals know that the were becoming so ingrained in their laws and policies that they had lost what was truly important to Him.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Nov. 9, 2015 11:21 a.m.

    It may seem odd, but this is really a blessing for these children. Now waiting until 18 to baptise Mormon kids that are born into the faith might seem more reasonable and prudent as well, if the church really is interested in their welfare

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 9, 2015 10:52 a.m.

    Interestingly, the people I know who are really upset about this are Mormons, not gays.

  • Coontrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 9:52 a.m.

    @Flashback --

    "What children are being affected?"

    Here's just a couple of examples -- from the NYT this weekend:

    ----------

    A divorced gay Mormon dad --

    Now comes the toughest task: telling his children that he could be kicked out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if he marries a man, and warning his two youngest, 11 and 15, that they might be barred from serving a mission under new church rules. "It's almost like they now have to choose between a gay father and a church that they love... This is almost too much to bear."

    -----

    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."

  • Coontrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 9:49 a.m.

    @Twin Lights --

    "Nor is this a punishment of any kind."

    Seriously??

    You think telling children raised in the middle of Mormon culture that they don't deserve to be baptized isn't a punishment? Can you just imagine all the playground taunts and bullying about that?

    "This helps lessen potential conflicts for the children and the parents."

    Yet again -- if this were the true motivation for the policy, then it would also apply children of mixed-faith households. But it doesn't.

    Guess why.

    "There is no disavowal of the parents. "

    Of course there is. The children have to disavow same-sex marriage AND move out of their parents' house. How is that NOT a disavowal?

    "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."

    "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)

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 9:25 a.m.

    AuContrair, What children are being affected? They can still be baptized. Just later in life, which for some might just be better. I'm not a fan of baptizing people just so they are baptized. In my church calling I see it all the time. Children getting baptized but their parents never darken the church door. I have several families in my ward that got their kids baptized for whatever reason but don't come to church. What good does it do to get their kids baptized? None in my mind. It just adds greater condemnation on the parents (or the Grandparents/siblings). They don't come to church.

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:46 a.m.

    If you believe the Church is true, and desire to be a member in good standing then you must choose to obey its doctrine. It is not the Church's responsibility to change to adhere to every fluctuation in mankind's morality, but to adhere rigidly to the standards set forth in Scripture and through revelation.

    If the Church waffles in its fundamental doctrine every time society changes its mind, we truly have built our house upon the sand and it will fall.

    Straight is the gate and narrow the pathway that leads to salvation. Regardless of our mortal desires, we must forsake them and follow Christ. If that leaves us unmarried and sexually unfulfilled, so be it. The truth of the gospel is more important than mortality and spirit-dulling needs. Yes, it's a hard, difficult road to walk, but if your faith in Christ is real, the rewards will be well worth it.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:46 a.m.

    This is just the beginning of separating the wheat from the chaff. I'm trying as hard as I can not be be the chaff.

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:40 a.m.

    Just read the article. Having served many years in local church leadership, and having seen family dynamics of amazing variety, this clarification makes perfect sense. Children must indeed be protected. Let there be harmony through those formative years as much as is possible. Do not allow pressures associated with those chosen alternate lifestyles and it potential conflicts to their faith to press upon the children. Let them be. It will all work out in the end as the Lord makes right all things and compensates all losses. For now, we protect the children and do what is possible for us to do to foster harmony in the home.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:38 a.m.

    There is a lot of comparing Same Sex Marriage with Polygamy. Well Same Sex Marriage is legal, P0lygamy is not. Yet, when Polygamy said to have been outlawed in 1890 with the Manifesto it was actuality still practiced in Mexico and Canada with new marriages entered into until the second in 1905. Knowing how the church acted then, is sad enough, how they acted last week is also sad. I wonder if it will turn out that this policy was just the opinion of men like the Blacks and the Priesthood. I just know on a personal level that my daughter who just got married to her partner, will proactively ask to have her name removed from the roles of the church but also two of sisters will do they same thing not because they are gay but because they support their older sister.

  • AuContrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:25 a.m.

    @Flashback --

    "Are you going to live by and keep the commandments or are you going to do your own thing?"

    Yet again -- the **children** aren't guilty of anything. Yet they're the ones being punished.

    "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression." -- Sound familiar?

    This policy punishes children who aren't guilty of anything except having the wrong parents. Please tell us all how that does NOT violate the second article of faith?

    "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."

    "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)

  • AuContrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2015 8:04 a.m.

    @play by the rules --

    "The church is protecting children from choosing between their parents and the Church."

    If this was the true motivation, then the same policy would apply to children in all mixed-faith households.

    But it doesn't.

    Guess why.

    @TheWalker --

    "In addition to teaching principles contradictory to their parents' lifestyle, allowing children of same-sex couples full membership would allow both the couples and their children to promote a homosexual lifestyle from inside the walls of the Church. "

    And so does allowing children of mixed-faith couples. So does allowing children of heterosexual fornicators. So does allowing children of thieves and murderers.

    Do you see a pattern here?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 7:56 a.m.

    "I've always felt it couldn't be resolved that way. What this has done has made the fundamental gap between our experiences and the doctrine much more visible. It's not something we can really avoid or ignore."

    That is the crux of the situation. Are you going to live by and keep the commandments or are you going to do your own thing?

    No children affected if living by the commandments is the choice.

  • No H8 - Celebrate Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 9, 2015 2:52 a.m.

    @ Hankel re: "I think that George Q. Cannon's statement is being misinterpreted here. There are various purposes for blessings. I don't believe, even for a moment, that Elder Cannon was referring to the blessing of a child for the purpose of adding his/her name to the church records..."

    Actually he was quoting what Jesus said in Luke 18:16. Jesus didn't pick and choose and Apostle Cannon didn't either.

    Recently, speaking in a homily Sunday for the ordination of 19 new priests for the diocese of Rome, Pope Francis told the new ministers: "With baptism, you unite the new faithful to the People of God. It is never necessary to refuse baptism to someone who asks for it!"

  • DVD Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 11:38 p.m.

    The LDS Church says the policies are divine revelation. So it boils down to whether it is actually from God or if it's not and the church leaders aren't inspired by God. LDS Scripture is presented as divinely inspired and one is invited to study it out while praying to God to ask whether it's true. Church teachings and directions from the prophet are said to be able to be confirmed in the same way. Study it out while praying and asking Heavenly Father whether this is truly from Him.

  • nathanaelchristensen Henderson, NV
    Nov. 8, 2015 10:33 p.m.

    I feel like what Elder Christofferson said makes sense. I don't believe the Church will condone same-sex marriages (SSM) because the Church teaches that it is a sin. In other words individuals in a same-sex marriage/relationship would undermine their relationship with Heavenly Father, making it impossible to be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. That relationship is more important than being true to sexual orientation.

    The policy change also makes sense from the perspective of the children in SSM families. The parents are in opposition to the Church's teachings. If the child were to be baptized and taught the Gospel (mostly by parents who are not living the Gospel) I am sure that the child would become confused. It seems like an extremely difficult situation: my parents teach me to go to church but they don't do what I learn in church...what does it mean to follow Jesus if mom and mom, or dad and dad only believe part of His teachings?

    Church leaders know and are concerned for these painful circumstance that were made possible in part by the supreme court's decision to allow same-sex marriage.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 9:12 p.m.

    "Jesus walked away from none. He gave his love to everyone. So I will. I will.
    Jesus blessed all he could see then turned and said 'Come follow me' so I will. I will.
    I will. I will. I'll walk with you I'll talk with you that's how I'll show my love for you. "

  • Big C Murray, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 8:41 p.m.

    Today at church was disappointing. In Sunday School the topic was apostacy and I could see a mile away where conversation was headed. I made a comment, "Just because a person disagrees with church policy does not mean they are apostasizing." I may as well have been tarred and feathered.

    That holier-than-thou attitude was part of the reason I was inactive for 20 years. And the assumption, yes assumption, that someone who disagreed with ANYTHING that church leaders put in a policy book meant that I was somehow lacking a testimony.

    Absolutely not. My testimony is firm, on bedrock. But I disagree with this policy wholeheartedly. This in no way means I am apostasizing.

    I was really sad and disappointed in people's words today. I think I will read my scriptures to get the REAL gospel.

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:56 p.m.

    This statement is consistent with Church Doctrine and shows nothing but inspiration. The church is protecting children from choosing between their parents and the Church.

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:47 p.m.

    I wish my parents had allowed me to wait until I was 18 to be baptized. At the age of 8 I was doing everything I could to please my parents, the other adults in my community and to be accepted by my peers. My baptism at 8 had absolutely nothing to do with faith, commitment or anything else except following in order to be part of the social order of which by circumstances of my birth I was part of.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:37 p.m.

    Call me a bigot, a mindless sheep, a kool-aid drinker, or whatever you want, but I support the prophet and the apostles and other Church leaders because my testimony is not based on whether or not the things they teach conform to my personal opinion and moral compass (which is obviously infallible-- said no one ever), but on the fact that the Spirit has confirmed to me that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored and has the priesthood keys and authority to receive revelation from God on its behalf. Remember that this policy is just that: a policy. Ten years ago, it was not necessary. At a future date, perhaps when the traditional family is not under constant attack (a day which is not likely to come), it may no longer be necessary. Nevertheless, today it is necessary, and an apostle of the Lord has come forward to confirm that fact. Who are you going to follow: the prophet or political correctness? The Church will go on without you, but what will you lose in the process?

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:12 p.m.

    Apparently, it has been overlooked that the SSM couple knows already what the Church's stance is. Yet, for their children's sake, they choose for them to become part of this Church--they want their children to be members, and all that it means. As many commenters note, it often includes time, effort, and monetary investment; these are gladly provided by these couples for the spiritual betterment of their young ones, just as many other parents have done for years. Does this sound to anyone like something bad? If the children are not interested in involvement in the Church, or the parents are not giving permission, this is all a non-issue, and we know it. So what is the real issue?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 6:53 p.m.

    Grandpa says:

    "It appears that the agenda of the progressive liberal is to undermine family life..."

    -- Asking kids to renounce their parents doesn't do that?

    @Light;

    Perhaps you're the one who needs to open your heart to the gospel of Christ, this isn't it.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 6:53 p.m.

    hockeymom says:

    "@Fully present
    Children who are baptized at 8 typically have the support of home & parents who are living for the most part according to Gospel standards."

    -- Really? My nephews both smoke and drink. My nephews NEVER go to church. My sibling had the children of my nephews blessed and then baptized at 8 (and my sibling only goes to church for blessings and baptisms).

    "Baptism in this church means standing as a witness of Christ, requiring one to "dis-avow" the practice of things like polygamy & homosexuality."

    Standing as a witness of Christ requires NO SUCH THING! That, my dear, is false doctrine and is reason enough to get YOU ex'd.

    @Castlepath;

    Jesus himself associated with sinners, and these children's sin is simply the "sin" of association.

    @FelisConcolor;

    So "a mere handfull" isn't worth keeping in the church? Jesus told you to leave the Ninety-and-nine and go after the one, didn't he? He seemed to think that the "mere handfull" was important enough to seek out.

    @DaveWY;

    Does it matter? Why?

  • the1andonlytravis OREM, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 6:38 p.m.

    If this what about protecting the family then the church should just require a parent consent form for the child to get baptized. This church isn't giving the family the choice. They are taking away free agency. Punishing a child is not Christlike. It is sad that some church members are trying to rationalize this.... Makes you wonder what else people would try to rationalize. Not sure how anyone can believe this came from God. If the church wanted to protect families they should have made this public and not tried to sneak it in the Handbook. It is sad an exmormon is the one that had to bring this to people's attention. The church tries to hide it not tries to act like it was to help the families cause people were angry. This is sickening. This is humiliating to the LDS church. The church believes children of hetrosexual couples are mature enough to be baptized at 8 but the children of hoosexual aren't worthy? This is pathetic people should not try to sugarcoat it.

  • Rogers Lambert Radford, VA
    Nov. 8, 2015 6:00 p.m.

    Elder Oaks recently gave a speech that seemed somewhat conciliatory toward those in same-sex marriage, and he was critical of Kim Davis who had refused to issue marriage licenses because of her opposition to SSM.
    I believe these very recent in-your-face rebukes of those i same-sex marriages (You are apostates and must be removed from the Church.) are meant to reassure our super-rich donors and our many, many conservative tithe payers that we have not gone soft on homosexuality.
    Like in so many other things, this is all about money.

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 5:49 p.m.

    In addition to teaching principles contradictory to their parents' lifestyle, allowing children of same-sex couples full membership would allow both the couples and their children to promote a homosexual lifestyle from inside the walls of the Church. Such a lifestyle has been condemned by both ancient and modern prophets, and I am grateful that the leaders of the Church have taken a stand against the seemingly non-stop attack on the family.

  • hankel Butte, MT
    Nov. 8, 2015 5:10 p.m.

    @ equal protection
    I think that George Q. Cannon's statement is being misinterpreted here. There are various purposes for blessings. I don't believe, even for a moment, that Elder Cannon was referring to the blessing of a child for the purpose of adding his/her name to the church records. No, we should never deny a child a blessing when the purpose is to bless with comfort,strength, healing, etc.), regardless of the child's parentage or the condition within the home, but the matter at hand is more than just "blessing" children. It also has to do with the child needing the support of parents who won't raise that child with confusion and even antagonism about a very important doctrine. The family unit with a father and mother is the Lord's way. It has always been that way. Any situation that goes contrary to that pattern is contrary to God's pattern.

  • jimbo American Fork, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 3:50 p.m.

    Aside from the issues with children, this policy seems to indicate that monogamous homosexual relations are significantly more serious than heterosexual fornication or adultery in the eyes of the Church. Put another way, a monogamous married or co-habitating homosexual couple are considered apostate and subject to automatic church discipline regardless of how they are otherwise living their lives. On the other hand, a heterosexual unmarried couple or married person could be having sex with multiple different people on the side and not necessarily be subject to the same or any church discipline.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 3:48 p.m.

    Any time a child is baptized, it should require the consent of both custodial parents. But the church has not shied away from baptizing children of nonmembers in the past. Children of inter-religious families go to church and hear about how their families are for "time only". Is this somehow not damaging? Children from "lesser" families who attend church and are baptized are well aware of their social standing. [SINGING] "Families can be together forever (but nor mine because my daddy doesn't believe or my mommy has a drug addiction)". Frankly I have a hard time undrstanding why it suddenly matters when the parents are gay.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 3:17 p.m.

    This is sad for the church and those affected. Plain and simply this is bigotry both in definition and intent. I find it sad that members can defend this decision and justify the reasoning.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 2:25 p.m.

    165 comments and counting. I wonder what percentage of these comments are from members of the church they are commenting on?

    What matters most to me is what the prophet says (not what gay activist say). And I really don't see why people not of our faith, think we should head them (instead of our Prophet).

    I really really want to know what gay members of the church think (not what gay outsiders think).

    I wouldn't expect them to like this rule, but I would expect them to accept it, and live it (if they sustained the prophet last week).

    Note... they didn't say you have to leave your family. They just established policy and procedure to help insure people don't get into a bad situation (where they are a member of the church, but know they can't live by it's rules).

    The leaders of the church aren't forcing anybody out. We have our agency. That has to be your decision (like everything).

    Anybody can stay in the church (gay or not), but you need to follow the procedure. Is that too much to ask, with all the blessings in store?

  • Rocketman Sausalito, CA
    Nov. 8, 2015 2:17 p.m.

    What to do with children who come from parents who are not married at all, or from single, un-wed mothers? All of the same logic could be applied to them as well. To be consistent, should these children also not be allowed to be blessed or baptized, due to the marital "sins" of their parents? Should they also be required to wait until they are 18 and disavow their parents' lifestyles? Out of similar love and compassion for those children?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 2:13 p.m.

    I had no problem with the church's position on things before this. And if they change the policy on this or something else someday... I will have no problem with that as well, because I believe they are guided and inspired by the head of our church (not pop-culture). Don't expect me to ignore them and follow you...

    And people who do not believe the things we believe, or sustain our prophet, why do you care what we believe? Doesn't affect you.

    This is not doctrine, it's a procedural. It could change without any doctrine changing. It's a rule... not doctrine.

    It must be what his prophets feel inspired is needed today. It may not be needed in the future. Times and people change, the gospel doesn't. But this isn't doctrine, it's a rule/procedure.

    The gospel is the gospel. Rules are rules. Rules change dependent on what we need, the gospel doesn't.

    This may seem harsh to some... but if you really believe Christ is at the head of his church... what can we do? Follow SSM activists and ignore him?

    Probably not.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 1:52 p.m.

    It's as simple as the primary song: "Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet don't go astray."

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 8, 2015 1:43 p.m.

    This has nothing to do with the children being guilty of anything. Guilt is not at issue. Nor is this a punishment of any kind.

    Baptism begins a covenant relationship. It can be hard for a child to follow that path without full parental support. The church membership also have responsibilities to those who have that covenant.

    This helps lessen potential conflicts for the children and the parents.

    There is no disavowal of the parents. What is disavowed is the principle of same sex marriage.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 1:39 p.m.

    My testimony wasn't based on sd marriage. Apparently some are. Good luck. Some leave the church but CAN'T leave it alone. I don't get it.

  • shamrock dad Yuma, AZ
    Nov. 8, 2015 12:28 p.m.

    Suffer the little children, that they may come unto me......I think somebody once said something like that.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 11:26 a.m.

    So many of you forget that children are not baptized in the church without parental permission and nothing in this policy prevents those children from attending church services and hearing all of the stuff you are saying this policy prevents them from hearing.

  • AuContrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 8, 2015 11:14 a.m.

    @TJ and @Truthfully --

    "I think anyone who puts aside their own biases and considers what is best for the children will know that this is by far the best thing for the children. "

    If the church were actually doing this because they believed it was best for the children, then they would ALSO be delaying baptisms for children of any mixed-faith or non-Mormon homes.

    But they aren't.

    Guess why.

    @Light and Liberty --

    "Homosexuality and SSM are deep sin. "

    Yet again -- the CHILDREN aren't guilty of anything. But they are the ones being punished.

    "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)

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

    @equal protection --

    "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**."

    Brilliant post, Equal.

    Now they just have to add that pesky little addendum: **"Unless they're children of same-sex parents, in which case the Second Article of Faith gets thrown out the window because reasons."

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 10:59 a.m.

    If a child has parents of the same sex they cannot be sealed as a family. The same reasoning applies to artificial insemanation. How can you seal a child to parents when you cannot identify the father. The lord defined marriage as between a man and a woman in the scriptures and through the proclamation on the family. Gods ways are not mans ways. A very difficult concept for many to underttand. There are individuals raised in same sex households who oppose same sex marriage. Society has no right to deprive a child of biogical parents. Children need role models of both sexes.

  • kranny utah, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 10:37 a.m.

    Utefan60--how is the Church's stance punishing a gay couple's child?

  • kranny utah, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 10:32 a.m.

    Bendana--and what was the difference in your heart and mind on this issue before and after asking the Church to remove your name from the records of the Church?

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 8:57 a.m.

    @ tm505 SJ, CA "There are circumstances not considered here. I share custody of my children with my ex-wife. Said ex-wife is in a same-sex marriage to her partner. This policy now excludes my children who spend time living with their mother..."

    Trust in your bishop who is blessed with the power of discernment. He will sort all of this out, no worries.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 8:35 a.m.

    I think anyone who puts aside their own biases and considers what is best for the children will know that this is by far the best thing for the children. I have a niece who is 4 yrs old and will not be able to be baptized because of this but, I know it is the best for her to wait until she has a full understanding of her parents choices and consequences before she decides for herself.

  • Truthfully Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 8:32 a.m.

    This is a good thing for everyone involved. I have this situation in my own family. My sister in law, who served a mission honorably says that she knows the church is true but she recently married another woman with whom she has been in a relationship for over 10 years. She has a four year old daughter and her partner is pregnant. Her partner has dennounced the church. I can only imagine how messed up the kids would be if they had one mom who believed in the church and wanted the kids to be raised in the church, while the other mom was against the church and did not want the children raised in the church. To further complicate that mess, the church and the couple have opposite views on same sex marriage. So the children are confused by parents who disagree on the LDS church and are further confused by one parent wanting them to live a lifestyle that is completely contrary to what the parents are actually doing.
    And some of you think the LDS church is not doing the right thing for the children. That makes no sense at all.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 8:24 a.m.

    re SSmith

    "Tell me again why any non-mormon or any non-believing mormon would care about these policy clarifications?..."

    I, as a cultural mormon, find the churches policy update to be a mean and spiteful reaction to the Sumpreme Courts ruling on SSM.

    Additionally, its antithetical to the proclamation on the family and the 'belief' that families can be together forever.

  • Sofi Fulton, USA, MO
    Nov. 8, 2015 8:10 a.m.

    I think it is amazing that our leaders respond so promptly and succinctly.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 8:05 a.m.

    I am happy that the church supports what my children have been taught at home. That is the way it should be. Those who don't want to think for themselves and now are critical of the church have been wanting the church to do their thinking for far too long. They mistakenly thought the church would make all their decisions for them. No need to pray or read the scriptures or suffer like others. Just "follow the prophet" they unwisely thought, until they actually were confronted by a choice (an easy one at that). Homosexuality and SSM are deep sin. God has commandments for a reason, to help us be happy. Sin will never be happiness, no matter how long you persist in it. I am grateful that my children, if they choose different than what I have taught them, will know that it was a choice and that they will live with the consequences of such, which in this instance could be excommunication. Will I still love them? Absolutely. They have been taught. My church leaders aren't their to walk me through every decision.

  • Jon1 Arlington, VA
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:50 a.m.

    This updated policy should not come as a surprise to anyone. For years the Church has adhered to the truth that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. The Church views this as an eternal truth. An eternal truth is just that, eternal. Eternal truths are not subject to the whims of man. Also, no one is required to accept truth. Another eternal truth of the church is the idea of agency. People can choose to accept or not accept eternal truths, but with choice comes the responsibility of also accepting the consequences of your choices. In other words, when you pick-up one end of the stick, you also pick-up the other end. This is not rocket science. The Church has always clearly stated their beliefs on any number of life's issues.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:28 a.m.

    Consider two children - "Jacky" and "Johnny".

    "Jacky", the son of a divorced couple: his father less active; his mother remarried, his step-father adamantly/vocally opposed to the LDS Church. "Jacky" attends church only because his grandparents take him, but believes/accepts the Church and its teaching.

    "Johnny", the son of a divorced couple: mother remarried, to a faithful priesthood holder, and they (with "Johnny") attend church on a regular basis. Father is a gay man, in a monogamous marriage with his husband. They also support "Johnny's" LDS activities and membership in every way.

    When "Jackie" turns 8, there is no parental bar to his baptism nor, at 12, any parental bar to his ordination as a Deacon (nor to any other priesthood succession). He does not have to disavow his parents to serve a mission.

    Not true for "Johnny" -- he has to sit and watch his friends achieve the things for which he thought he was being prepared (baptism, ordination), denied them just because of his father who he is required to disavow to be baptized, ordained, mission, etc.

    Johnny is excluded as "the other". Please tell me how that is in a child's best interests.

  • My house was stolen Roy , UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:10 a.m.

    Mathew19:13, 14 13.Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14.But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
    This is the Christian belief.

  • True Believer Utah, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 7:02 a.m.

    This is truly a Catch 22 position for the Church. If they were to bless, baptize, & proselyte these youth they would be accused of causing division and strife in families. If they exclude these children, so as to spare them the strife; they are then accused of bigotry. What was considered the exact same circumstance a year ago, prior to legislative efforts nationally has today only changed in people's minds. They believe the Church ought to evolve alongside Pop Culture. There are plenty of Churches that will accommodate these desires of the LGBT community and pop culture. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not one of them. Doctrine will not be modified that would negate much of it's teachings. There are some points of doctrine that will never change; the stance on Marriage between a man and a woman is among this group.The decision is well thought out, counseled, and prayed about in earnest. I wholeheartedly support the Brethren, the decision, and the Church. Unfortunately there will be those who will attack because they calling for diversity; will hostily refuse to extend that same courtesy to others.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Nov. 8, 2015 3:07 a.m.

    Wondering how the comments and reactions break down by age.

    I suspect that nearly all the "of course the elder is correct" folks are over 50, at the minimum

    And most of the "what an error" folks are younger (except for me)

    This is not an irrelevant issue, because the people in the age group questioning the doctrine are much more likely to have young children, and to have Gay friends.

  • tm505 SJ, CA
    Nov. 8, 2015 2:52 a.m.

    There are circumstances not considered here. I share custody of my children with my ex-wife. Said ex-wife is in a same-sex marriage to her partner. This policy now excludes my children who spend time living with their mother as well as me. I don't wish to separate my children from their mother or from her partner who has proven to be a kind and loving parent.
    To those whose knee-jerk assimilation who spout off things similar to
    "For those of us who want to remain close to our beloved brother, Christ, we will adhere to this revelation, and continue to love our neighbors as ourselves, as Christ directed us to do."

    If this truly came from God, surely he would know and account for all circumstances - I'm not even remotely alone in this situation. I will not stand by and force my children come to a church where they will be marginalized and excluded from the most basic of progressions in the church. True religion is taught in the home anyway I'm sure... I'll continue teaching them there principles of Christ's love, kindness and forgiveness.

  • Vicki06 Joseph, OR
    Nov. 8, 2015 2:10 a.m.

    I've had friends that were homosexual before I even understood what was soon to come and I never planned on turning my back on them. But they chose to turn their backs on me which hurt me very much. I understood that the CHURCH was very much oriented towards families and I was a single parent when I joined, but I still felt it fit me far better than any other Church I had been to. I also felt that it was more progressive than other Churches and wasn't so behind the times. But it seemed that I had put blinders on as I look back. I never imagined that the CHURCH would be hit with so many serious social changes so quickly and I have to admit that I felt far more comfortable with the CHURCH's protocol before they came out with "policies" on homosexuality. It still seems to me that we are all still children of GOD and I have already entered into covenants that I don't plan to break, but I feel torn into twp pieces lately and that can't be a good thing.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Nov. 8, 2015 1:53 a.m.

    In Luke 18:16 Jesus said...
    "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." He didn't put limitations on who the parents are. But then again, he didn't have the benefit of the Bishops Handbook of Instruction.

  • Steven Eischen San Bruno, CA
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:53 p.m.

    I am not a member of the Church, but I think this is a very responsible decision. One that places the welfare of the child in front of the desire to recruit members.

  • martian Herriman, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:36 p.m.

    Can a child whose parents are unmarried heterosexuals be baptized at 8? If they have to wait until they are 18, do they have to move out of that home and do they have to specifically renounce their parents' lifestyle? Not trying to stir the pot - I really want to know if this situation is treated the same or differently from same-sex couples and their children.

  • SacTown21 Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:30 p.m.

    What a mess. The church has moved even farther away from Christ's teachings. And I was a member for 34 years. So glad I decided to start thinking for myself.

  • hankel Butte, MT
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:06 p.m.

    The Lord knows the beginning and the end of all things, and He communicates His will through his holy apostles and prophets. People in and out of the church might express their opinions about church policy, but I know that church policy comes from God, not man. When it comes to eternal matters, men have tunnel vision. The Lord's vision is eternal, and it is always in perfect alignment with truth.

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:52 p.m.

    Does the LDS church understand that God created gay people? Or do they still think it is a choice? I am convinced that any person who is concerned about people becoming gay based on its acceptance in a church or society, must have same gender attraction as any heterosexual person understands they could not "choose" to gay.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:46 p.m.

    Once upon a Time ..LDS Apostle George Cannon: “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; and it is from such sources that in the case of children belonging to members of the Church ‘the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’ and all the attendant favors are frequently conferred upon the child. 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.”

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:06 p.m.

    ""What' he's saying is quite simple... The Church does not want children to learn SSM is a sin then go home to find their 'parents' engaged in sin. That's what the DNews article is implying, anyway."

    So if I follow this logic, then we should also protect those children where the word of wisdom isn't being followed at home. We should protect those children who live in homes where their is an abusive spouse. Why don't we worry about the confusion being caused in these kids lives? What about families that don't have morning scripture study, or family home evening? Or moms that work out side of the home? Should we protect these children by denying them church ordinances?

    The justification for this is paper thin. Would Christ deny a child of parents that live in sin? I don't think so. So why should we do that now?

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:01 p.m.

    @Shaun: "Also what are the church polices of children who have straight parents but the parents do not live the teachings of the church?"

    It's up to the local leader to make that decision... but, for kids with LGBT parents the ruling applies to all... no baptism until adulthood.

    @CPA Howard: "Let's not confuse a policy change with revelation."

    All policy changes are from revelation.

    "I was taught the Lord will do his work in the open and not in secret on in the shadows."

    The Lord does most of His work in secret... How many were on Mt. Sinai when Moses got the Ten Commandments? One. Should He not have delivered the message to all the House of Israel instead of just Moses? Would have made a better impression. How many people were in the Sacred Grove? One. Should He not have delivered His message of restoration to thousands instead of just one?

    @Utefan60: "The damage to the children by this action is horrifying and really sad."

    I doubt if there'd be maybe one in a thousand children with LGBT parents who'd be allowed to attend church.

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:50 p.m.

    It does not matter how or what anyone has to say on the matter as it is God's laws that we follow and if man do not like it too bad, I sorry but God does not change just because his children say so. I ask all parents would you change the rules you have in place for your children just because they do not like them or other parents do not have the same rules? No of course not you place rules on your children based on the values you with to teach and you do not change them and that is the way of God.

  • soutahnative Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:43 p.m.

    No children under the age of accountability (8yrs.) are baptized in the church. We believe that this is to set at naught, the entire purpose and mission of Jesus Christ "for how many little children have died without baptism"? Little children are alive in Christ and have no need of baptism. No person under the age of 18 can be baptized without the consent of parents (or the one that has legal guardianship) without specific approval of someone else. The church is not going to usurp the wishes of any parent nor be knowingly involved in that conflict. A child in this situation that may want to attend church cannot be "used" against the wishes (or life style) of his parents. Baptism at age 8 is not the only time it can be done. Maybe it can now be seen just what a "spot" homosexual marriage can do to a child. They have a tough enough life socially with out this on them as well. I think that some "parents" and their supporters may want to to analyze a little more carefully just what they are saying if this situation exists.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:18 p.m.

    There are many here that fail to understand why being in a polygamous relationship and a same-sex marriage are actually the same thing. This policy change is correct in every way. Many of you really don't understand that even though someone may be living in a sinful environment that somethings are very grievous. The policy as Elder Christopherson stated is protecting children. However, unlike all other relationships there is no same-sex marriage in the kingdom of God. These families destroy the eternal family and has been made perfectly clear by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Whether you want to believe it or not doesn't matter but this is the Lord's Church. What the Catholic Church does has no bearing as though he is a leader he receives no revelations for the people of the EARTH. That only comes through President Thomas S Monson the Lord's mouthpiece. Again the Lord has spoken and it is congruent upon all LDS to either accept or oppose. If you oppose you will become an apostate as you can not serve two masters.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:46 p.m.

    He's a special witness of Christ so he knows what he's talking about.

  • Tim B. Auburn, AL
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:30 p.m.

    The explanation is problematic. If the Church values family consent, then family should make the decision rather than having the Church making it for them. Children with parents involved in other serious transgressions such as murder, rape, drug addiction, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, or apostasy are not prohibited from baptism, nor required to disavow their parent's actions. Polygamist cases are different based on infiltration. This policy would prohibit even children of an active LDS heterosexual single parent from being baptized if the child's other parent left the marriage to pursue a same sex relationship despite that parent's consent for the baptism. Even if the noncustodial parent "repented," the child couldn't be baptized until 18 with Church approval. When evaluated carefully, this policy does not protect children or provide consent. It prohibits all individuals who have ever participated in a same sex relationship and their children from being members of the Church until they are adults with special permission and requires them to disavow support for same sex relationships as a condition of membership. It restricts membership based on the actions of others. It promotes conflict. It removes consent from the family. It's inconstant with scripture.

  • DN_AZ Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:21 p.m.

    The same critics that claim outrage are the same critics that would also be outraged if and when there was a news story about a young child that had same-sex parents, being taught that homosexuality was wrong and that marriage is to be between a man and a woman in the sight of God. They'd scream about how insensitive and damaging this message is to that youth. Don't fall for their outrage over this single policy. It's not about this policy, it's about the Church not agreeing with them and not supporting homosexuality.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Nov. 7, 2015 5:46 p.m.

    i don't understand what is wrong with the churches policy. I thought churches could regulate themselves. This policy says to same gender parents, "we won't interfere with your child." Whats wrong with that? And why would same gender parents want to bless their child and give it a name in a church that clearly teaches homosexuality is a sin? If we really believed in the bible, then this would be a non issue. That it is a issue is a clear indicator that nobody is really reading the bible.

  • jzwillows willows, ca
    Nov. 7, 2015 5:11 p.m.

    All these judgmental condemnations of a very simple and "pure" position taken by the Church. Without trying to sound holier-than-thou, before I read Elder Christofferson's explanation I contemplated the basis for the position and the reason he gave very clearly came to me (making children confront the fact their parents are committing very serious sins). How can anyone argue this would be cruel to children? If one would, rather than quickly pass judgment, in the spirit of prayer, consider his explanation, I believe it would be difficult not to agree with the decision. And again, the children and parents are still welcome to attend meetings and activities and receive priesthood blessings.

  • forget-me-not West Valley City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 5:01 p.m.

    Please enlighten me if I'm wrong. If one or both of a child's parents are in a same-sex marriage, the child is barred from receiving a naming blessing or being baptized. At 18 if the child renounces her/his parent(s) and gets special permission from a General Authority, the child, now a young adult, may be baptized, go on a mission and progress in the LDS church. All of this is claimed to be merely a policy change. It is not claimed to be a revelation from God to His prophet.

    The change was made so that children of same-sex unions won't get confused about what they would be taught at church and what they see practiced at home. Children whose parents cohabitate, but aren't married, whose parents have affairs, drink alcohol and smoke, etc. aren't confused about the discrepancy between what they learn at church and what their parents do at home. Therefore, they can be bless, baptized and have the Holy Ghost bestowed upon them.

    Have I understood correctly?

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 4:20 p.m.

    @Light and Liberty --

    "People find themselves at variance with the Lord's commandments, but don't want any consequence."

    The **children** are guilty of nothing, yet they are the ones bearing the consequences.

    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)

  • Utahkoke South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 3:59 p.m.

    Many MEMBERS think that President Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve woke up one day and decided to change things a little bit. Really???

    I'm sorry but it is difficult for me to "understand" how "members" of the church criticize and speak against those who have been call by Him, He is directing and guiding His leaders. Period.

    I know that we are not perfect, but if your life is not in harmony with the teachings of the church is time to reconsider to learn humility and gain a real testimony by following His teachings, doctrine and plan.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 3:28 p.m.

    @wrz
    "What' he's saying is quite simple... The Church does not want children to learn SSM is a sin then go home to find their 'parents' engaged in sin. That's what the DNews article is implying, anyway."

    But the child is just being prevented from being baptized. Nothing is preventing them from attending church services and hearing the same stuff as anyone else their age.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 3:08 p.m.

    Many on here are very poorly informed. There are thousands of LDS kids whose parents are gay, yes, gay.

    Sad that people will allow children to suffer for a supposed moral issue. It in no way elevates you to judge those children. You are showing a huge hypocrisy that is not being tolerated by most Mormons. I won't tolerate that, and I will be very vocal in my support of those children harmed by this terrible decision.

    This harm is happening and happening fast. The Salt Lake Tribune has over 7,000 comments about this issue in the last two days. Mormons who are truly living the gospel know you don't punish children ever! Hold on to those views and continue to hurt the innocents. It is absolutely wrong and against the spirit.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:56 p.m.

    Contraries: thanks for the "relevant" issues. The answer is simple. Open your heart and mind to the gospel of Jesus Christ, follow His commandments, and peace and joy follow. Don't follow His commandments and pain, anguish, and contempt usually follow. This is not something new. The"hope" that the church would change its position was a false hope. When do people on any question think that the Lord is supposed to make excuses for anyone's behavior, it doesn't make sense at all. Why even have commandments if we want to rearrange them according to our whims. Really! This is not rocket science. People find themselves at variance with the Lord's commandments, but don't want any consequence. How strange would that religion be? If people want to put a scarlet letter on themselves, then do it, but don't blame the church or God for it. He didn't do it.

  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:53 p.m.

    What an unfortunate and disrespectful stance. I have recently been attending Sacrament and have even been contemplating going to Sunday School and Priesthood. I have also stood by and allowed my wife to raise are two young sons in the Church. This decision is causing me to rethink both decisions. I view it as bigoted and unfair.

  • bbc SLC, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:51 p.m.

    " "We don't want the child to have to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one way and the expectations of the church are very different," he said. " But it's OK for kids with heterosexual co-habiting parents, a smoking/drinking/drug using parent, a convicted felon parent, a non-member parent, divorced parents, etc etc to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one way and the expectations of the church are very different. Don't those children deserve the same "protection" as the children of same-sex married parents??

  • jcm53byu ogden, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:38 p.m.

    I think the apostasy label makes the 'family harmony' spin a little silly. If the LDS church had come out and said we are not going to baptize anybody under 18 that whose parent/s are not fully integrated active members there would be no controversy. It obviously is a targeted approach to try to blunt encroachment of acceptance of gay marriage within the community of faithful Mormons, kind of like what was done lately with polygamy.

  • taatmk West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:54 p.m.

    This policy is clearly one to shield a child from conflicting lifestyles. Even mature adults whose life experience has taught them much have trouble with the dilema of attending church and hearing the doctrine of the family taught when their CHILD lives a gay lifestyle. I can't imagine how conflicting this would be to a tender child 's young heart. Yes, this policy is a merciful blessing for the children.

  • Bendana 99352, WA
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:33 p.m.

    I just made a very painful phone call to my mother, a life long member of the church, to let her know that this policy is the last straw for me. I have already written my letter to resign my membership and to remove my name from this church. The churches need to single out children and brand them as 'other' is just to reprehensible in my eyes and I can no longer stand to even be a 'non participating' member. I will never step foot in a Mormon church again, nor will I have any dealings with any family members who support this hateful policy. After talking with other friends and family I am not alone in this thought, if the church was hoping to 'prune the tree' with this policy it is working.

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:30 p.m.

    A couple of relevant excerpts from an article in NYT today:

    ----------

    A divorced gay Mormon dad --

    Now comes the toughest task: telling his children that he could be kicked out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if he marries a man, and warning his two youngest, 11 and 15, that they might be barred from serving a mission under new church rules. "It’s almost like they now have to choose between a gay father and a church that they love... This is almost too much to bear."

    -----

    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."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:17 p.m.

    @Frozen Fractiles.... I am with you on this one. I don't understand how a child is held to a different standard if their divorced parent who has joint custody decides to live a life style not in compliance with the Church's standards forfeits all their blessings of the church, regardless if that other parent is living in a gay relationship or plural marriage. Why is not the same standard applied if one parent is "shacking up" with their heterosexual companion.

    I don't think this was a "policy" that was thought all the way through.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:07 p.m.

    K
    You state: "A religion has the right to withhold membership from those doing something themselves to separate from the organization".
    As has been explained many different times on this site, what you say is not true for non-profit tax exempt corporate churches,like the LDS church. The reason is because all tax payers, including gays, remarried divorced women, etc..) are supporting the church by their paying the taxes for the church not paying taxes. Therefore, the church should give up their non-tax paying status, or treat all tax paying citizens equally and justly. Furthermore, genetically people are pretty much what god made them, therefore, why should they be excluded because of their inherited sex make up, any more than the size of their nose. If one doesn't like it then blame god the crater, not the product created.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:58 p.m.

    I understand the prohibition of Gay Marriage within the church - no issues there. But the exclusion of children from the benefits and blessing of the church, when the parents are supportive, makes no sense what so ever. When I went on my mission, my father who was married in the temple was not living in agreement with those covenants he made. I was at no time asked to renounce by fathers behavior. I went on my mission based on my own worthiness, nothing more, nothing less. It is completely consistent that there are parents who understand they are weak or have issues they need to work on, and yet support their own children in their choices.

    I just don't get it. I think the policy is wrong in the case of gay marriage, and it is wrong in the case of polygamy. No where should we be responsible for the behavior of our parents.

  • Grandpa who loves God and you North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:49 p.m.

    It appears that the agenda of the progressive liberal is to undermine family life and particularly Christian orthodoxy. The tools being used in this ongoing battle are in new laws using the words "discrimination, fairness, diversity, tolerance, and freedom of choice". And the progressives would like us all to believe that all religions are equally beneficial including even fundamental Islam and atheism. With the appointment of progressive, activist judges to the Supreme Court as well as other federal courts, we have seen the devastating effects of this progressive agenda particularly in the ruling of the Supreme Court as they have overstepped their authority in actually now making a national law regarding same -sex marriages. It is sad state of affairs when our Congress and DOJ both seem unwilling to exercise their rights with a balance of power to reign in the executive branch as our nation is spiraling downward into moral oblivion and unbridled debt.

  • hilary nottingham, 00
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:41 p.m.

    By the age of eighteen he or she will be thinking and considering for themselves. If they are in the church at all. Hopefully any decisions made will be positive.

  • Coug007 Lehi, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:28 p.m.

    There is real compassion infused in this policy, for children and families who are in different circumstances, as well as for all of us who look to prophet leaders to help us anchor our faith and lives in truth. In the course of time, all individuals have the opportunity to understand, accept, and live by truth and receive associated blessings. It's about eternity, not a single point in time. Sincere love and compassion to all of us, who are affected by these and other difficult challenges in our lives. I believe we will see the wisdom of this all around with time.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:27 p.m.

    If you believe the church is directed by the lord, you accept the policies.

    If you don't accept the policies, than you don't believe it comes from God, but from men.

    Just find something!

    Nothing complicated, or painful about this. It's plainly simple. You're either for or against the doctrine.

  • Christmas South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:02 p.m.

    I think people are sorely mistaken if they think the LDS church is evolving into full blown acceptance of homosexuality in all it's forms.
    With that being said, the LDS church should have been clear on the issue of homosexuality right from the beginning instead of pandering to the LGBT community (changing the BYU honor code, championing non-discrminiation bills, allowing gay leaders in BSA, making donations to gay organizations) and creating confusion in light of this new policy.

    If homosexuality is wrong in practice, it must be wrong in principle as well. It must be taught that it's wrong all across the board, not just in some instances.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:47 a.m.

    While the LDS Church's policy is applied to both polygamous and gay marriages, one could see why they could be treated differently. I have never heard of a person being fired or people calling for a boycott of a business because someone in the business said something could be perceived as negative about polygamous marriage. Can you image what would happen when a twelve year old comes home in a gay household and says "today we learned that sexual relations are wrong outside of a marriage between a husband and wife." Just look at all of the comments about how the church is requiring people to disavow their parents. I can disavow my parent's drinking, gambling, adultery, etc. without disavowing my parents.

    To most of the gay community, however, there is no separation between conduct and the person. If you do not accept their actions, you are not accepting them. Any disagreement is "hurtful." Just ask any baker, photographer, etc., who does not want to participate in a gay wedding. Their beliefs that actions are wrong simply does not matter. The Church's policy is wise and lessens the conflict that such children will feel at home.

  • kranny utah, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:29 a.m.

    Utahn in Houston--I agree that it isn't fair to put a child in this conflicting family situation. I have an in-law who was molested by his stepdad from the time he was a young child, thinking that it was a normal father-son relationship. He learned at age 16 in a psychology class in HS that this type of interaction with his stepdad was wrong. It created so much inner conflict that he attempted suicide several times. I can't imagine the confusion and broken trust that he feels toward his mother who stayed with this man for too long after it was disclosed what this stepdad was doing.
    The Church is doing the right thing for all.

  • DaveWY Afton, WY
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:26 a.m.

    I am not sure why parents living in a same sex marriage would want to have their minor children baptized into the church which teaches that same sex marriages are against God's plan. This policy appears to protect those minor children from having to choose between what they are taught at home and what they are taught at church until they are old enough to sort out their feelings for themselves. I support the policy.

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:09 a.m.

    The critics of the church are being rather disingenuous (which is nothing new) about this supposedly "new" and "exclusionary" policy.

    First off, I doubt there is more than a handful of married same-sex parents who truly want their kids to grow up in the LDS Church; without the sensationalism of the Media this policy would have been largely ignored by the general population and the gay lobby. The LGBTQ activists are pretending this is a horrible policy when in reality they had NO intention of letting their kids be raised as Mormons, even if the Church did allow it.

    Second, this is no different than what the Church has been doing for decades with polygamist families, yet I missed all the hand-wringing over that "heartless" policy. Simply put, when the relationship of the parents is fundamentally against LDS doctrine there is no way to reconcile it without creating conflict in the family. This policy is to prevent distress in families, not to shun children (the overwhelming majority of which wouldn't have gone to the LDS church anyway).

  • Utahkoke South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:08 a.m.

    Why is so difficult for "MEMBERS" to listen and follow our leaders?
    At the end of the day, if we truly believe that this is the Church of JesusChrist and that He lead his leaders, we should not fight against this policy or any declaration made to strength the families. We need to be respectful and kind to others, we have the choice to choose. We need to make sure that we choose the right, even if it takes humility, pray and a strong testimony that He lead His Church. period. If you don't believe that or it is hard to understand this policies, it is time to exercise faith and testimony. Because these times will not be easy.

  • rlsintx Saratoga Springs, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:08 a.m.

    I enjoy the comments and people's views.
    What would Jesus Do? Exactly what he has; called the leaders of His church to administer and lead it by the power of inspiration and revelation. The problem isn't them or this announcement, the problem is people seeking to have their favorite sins protected - thus having their cake and eating it too. The children will be fine not being baptized until they're adults and fully living their own lives, faithful to the moral dictates of the gospel. I see a lot of wisdom in clarifying as they have. It will all work out.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 11:02 a.m.

    Some people want to "cover their bases" by having children blessed, christened or baptized into a church on a "just in case" basis. "Just in case" I need the church later, someone to marry or bury me, or "in case they were right, I may have a foot in heaven's door".

    In the LDS church, when you are baptized whether at 8, 18 or 80, we believe a sacred and binding covenant is taking place, to "stand as a witness" of Christ, and the doctrines of our church. Our hope is that all who are baptized will remain, as it is the first of several ordinances that lead to eternal life. If baptism leads to temple covenants, then down the road you become dis-enfranchised with the church for whatever reason and engage in behavior/choices that are serious enough to have your membership terminated (polygamy, homosexuality, adultery, murder, etc.) we believe this has eternal consequence. Better to wait until a person can be "all in" and for the long haul is our position. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who says they want baptism is granted it.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:56 a.m.

    @Silver Stingray:
    "This appears nothing more than Elder Christofferson's attempt to put a positive spin on the church's latest public relations blunder."

    What' he's saying is quite simple... The Church does not want children to learn SSM is a sin then go home to find their 'parents' engaged in sin. That's what the DNews article is implying, anyway.

    "I'm afraid that few will buy it, including those who are both within and without the church."

    Those who won't buy it are free to do so... and to depart. The Bible clearly states not all will inherit heaven.

    @mightymite:
    "Damage has been done. There no soft spoken words or clarification that can fix this mess."

    How right you are. The damage originated in the US Supreme Court when it erred in a very serious way by 'passing a law' allowing SSM.

    @DonO:
    "How much better might it have been if Elder Christofferson... had given a heads up and put it in context during general conference."

    Conference is for preaching the good news. SSM is not good news... at least for those who will not accept Church teachings on this very important issue.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:52 a.m.

    It is interesting how many people are hurt or offended by this, but were not equally hurt or offended by the same policy being applied to children in polygamous situations. I think this is faux anger and no matter what the church does - other than condoning sin - will create the same reaction.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:52 a.m.

    Why is same-sex marriage in the "mandatory disciplinary committee" category, while attempted murder, forcible rape, spouse abuse, and sexual abuse are only in the "may require a disciplinary committee" category? Odd set of priorities there. Also, I really hope they interpret sexual abuse to cover all other forms of rape.

  • Castlepath South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:49 a.m.

    JowBlow: " We hear the question often. What would Jesus do? It seems pretty clear to me.

    He would do what He always does. Denounce the sin, but love the sinner.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:48 a.m.

    Obviously the answer to this situation and doctrine has been prayerfully sought by the Prophet and the Apostles. I am grateful for leaders who search for answers that may not be popular in the day. I am a convert and value dearly the sacrifices made by those who were unpopular in the very beginning of this Church to the point of sacrificing their lives to reveal the doctrine given by the Lord himself. That, after all, is one of the reasons a Latter-Day Saint is a member of this Church. They believe it is led by revelations of the Lord himself. We believe He lives and guides his people - just as He did in the Old and New Testament and in the Book of Mormon. We believe He is an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God and know what leads us to a joyful life on this earth and for eternity.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:47 a.m.

    This is nothing new. The church was already doing the same thing with the children living in polygamous families.

  • Castlepath South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:47 a.m.

    Jowblow: " We hear the question often. What would Jesus do?" It seems pretty clear to me.

    He would do what He's always done. Denounce the sin, but love the sinner. It seems pretty clear to me.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:39 a.m.

    The "clever" responses by those who, for some odd reason, want to be near the church, but can't really believe it's doctrines and policies, is baffling. With all the other denominations out there, some that support their views, you would think they would gladly join and put Mormonism behind them ASAP and never look back. I would say please reevaluate why they joined in the first place, and realign themselves with doctrines that were as clear as the moon and stars when they joined. This absolutely is about honoring those children, loving them, and giving them a chance when they are older, to decide if the truths contained in the church are of God or aren't. It honors the parents of same gender parents' position by not creating a conflict in a child's mind when they aren't old enough to understand it anyway. This is a win win situation for the parents and the children. It isn't ideal, but it certainly makes clear the choices.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:31 a.m.

    Principles of child development: A child's #1 most important role model/influence is their parent, for better or worse. A young child's brain though pliable thinks very concretely. Their conscience (sense of right and wrong) develops around 8 (scientific fact) though they can still be swayed by their circumstance, peers and experience. The human brain isn't fully developed until at least 21.

    People who claim they want an LDS upbringing for their children but don't live it themselves are sending a very confusing message - "Do as I say, but not as I do" and IMO is the height of selfishness. If you are not prepared to live it, don't expect your 8 year old to buy the "It's good for you, but not for me" rationale. Actions speak louder than words. The LDS leaders understand this and want to protect the children from that, as well as entering into covenants they statistically can't keep due to their influence at home. "We'll support him 100%" is a lovely sentiment, and the chance that child grows up successfully embracing the church for a life time, in spite of their parent's example would be very rare.

  • jonjon Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:29 a.m.

    People asking why there wasn't a heads up: Handbook updates are sent to bishops and stake president's only. They're the ones who approve baptisms and name blessings. One of them had to have taken a screen shot and sent it out. This was supposed to be understood internally first.
    The pattern of prayer, scripture study and temple worship have always provided me with the understanding I need to stay spiritually centered and understand God's law. Advise from people has never been as successful. When struggles confront you turn to the patterns that always provide understanding and comfort.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:25 a.m.

    "Baptism in this church means standing as a witness of Christ, requiring one to "dis-avow" the practice of things like polygamy & homosexuality"

    So, now we can lump "polygamy and homosexuality" together as a group of things that need to be "disavowed".

    Well, at least we know that the LDS church was not responsible for homosexuality in the USA. We cant say the same on the other.

    So, can anyone say that the LDS church will not approve of both sometime in the future?

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:20 a.m.

    The policy part that regard new members (children and adult children of same sex families not to forget polygamy) is very much the business of non members. It's nonmembers you are talking about. A religion has the right to withhold membership from those doing something themselves to separate from the organization. Not guilt by association. Just one more reason you are not as pro family as you want to be.

    What happened to not having a pope and having agency?

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:18 a.m.

    @hockeymom --

    "The new company would require a waiting/training period of employees"

    The church does not require a "waiting period" for mixed-faith homes.

    The church does not require a "waiting period" for homes of second marriages.

    The church does not require a "waiting period" for unmarried homes.

    Any way you cut it, the church is being quite obviously inconsistent.

    "Young child don't have the ability to separate the love of parents from the sin, nor should they."

    According to your argument, no children of *any* sinning home should be baptized -- no adulterous homes, no homes of thieves, no homes out of wedlock, no homes that in any way violate LDS principles.

    Instead we see the LGBT being singled out, and all the church's rationalizations fail.

    And before you point out polygamous homes: in case you (or the church) haven't noticed, polygamy is ILLEGAL -- and the rejection of polygamy was historically central to the very survival of the LDS church in this country. Same-sex marriage isn't, and wasn't. And that places them in entirely different categories.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:17 a.m.

    It is once again, heartening to see the number of posters (most of whom are surely Mormons) to this thread, who are questioning and critiquing the church leaderships stand with regards to same sex marriage. Those who will not be swayed in their opinions are those who will not have their lives and thoughts controlled by others. There is also another description of those kinds of people and that goes something like this--They don't need others to tell them when something is wrong, or when people are being treated unfairly. They are adults.

  • Thomas Haynie Medford, OR
    Nov. 7, 2015 10:12 a.m.

    This is no attempt at a positive spin. To spin is to try explain that one said something different than what one actually said. Elder Christofferson is simply saying that this is what the Church said and this is why it said it. There will be many, who have strong testimonies of the Church who will accept what he said at face value. There will be many who will not accept it and will try to explain it away with weak comments. I am personally glad that the Church has maintained a strong stance that homosexuality is a sin, regardless of whether one believes it to be genetic, psychological or just a choice. Many churches turn a blind eye and accept the philosophies of men, changing their doctrine based on popularity and politics. The Church does not ban homosexuals from the Church. Homosexuals ban themselves by their actions. All churches accept sinners, but unless the condition of acceptance is repentance there is no point. To profess Christ and continue committing the same sin without an attempt to repent is nothing more than drawing near to Him with their lips while their hearts remain far from Him.

  • utroyalwulff logan, ut, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:59 a.m.

    well if this is directly from god thats great, if you have to put some kind of spin on it im not so sure!

  • intervention slc, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:55 a.m.

    If you want to see a stark contrast Google Pope Francis views on Catholic baptisms, baptisms should not be withheld.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:50 a.m.

    @Fully present
    Children who are baptized at 8 typically have the support of home & parents who are living for the most part according to Gospel standards.

    @Tiago
    While your rationale sounds supportive, it is erroneous and still in conflict with church doctrine. Monogamy, yes, same sex, no. Does your gay friend have the home teachers over each month to admonish them to put their "house in order"? That's what blessing and baptizing a child would invite.

    @Contrariuses
    The nay-sayers are looking through rainbow colored glasses. Consider this...

    Imagine the church was a business (heterosexual doctrine) with employees, some who have come from competing businesses (LGBT homes). The new company would require a waiting/training period of employees, to demonstrate loyalty to their product before sending them out to sell it. You would protect your business from conflict of interest, ie: sales people delivering a biased or tainted message about your company to potential new customers.

    Baptism in this church means standing as a witness of Christ, requiring one to "dis-avow" the practice of things like polygamy & homosexuality. Young child don't have the ability to separate the love of parents from the sin, nor should they.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:45 a.m.

    "and second marriages where the mother has been married previously."

    Hmm. I'm not LDS, but does the LDS church make a differentiation between previously married women and previously married men?

    I am aware that men can be "sealed" to more than one woman, and women can only be sealed to one only.

    Regardless. One cannot deny the double standard when it comes to SSM. The penalties applied to the children are certainly more harsh than in any other situation than polygamy.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:42 a.m.

    @Aaron
    Small problem with that reasoning. Under this policy the 8 year old is still allowed to participate in most church activities including going to Church, learning about the ordinances and singing the song. What they also get to be denied full membership with all the implications that come with that for those that believe in the LDS religion. No matter how it is spun this had nothing to do with protecting these children.

  • Matt9898 Salt lake, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:42 a.m.

    What a shame! Same sex marriages are legal in the United States. The LDS church may not like it, I imagine the Church did not like inter-racial marriages either. But both comply with the law of the land, a land in which the LDS church resides. Perhaps it is time to seek new pastures.

  • Red Corvette St. George, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:37 a.m.

    Re: "If your testimony to the LDS church is true, you wouldn't question these long standing policies. from our leaders. You should be willing to follow ALL church teachings. not just the ones you agree with or are uncomfortable with."

    Policy should NOT be confused with revelation as the recent essays on polygamy and blacks and the priesthood so clearly point out.

    Morality is doing what is right, no matter what you are told.
    Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:20 a.m.

    As has been pointed out, those who take the church at its word--that God directs the affairs of the church in all things--will have to accept and support this policy. For me personally, in light of other concepts presented as true principles by church leaders over the years (including the literalness of the scriptural accounts of Adam and Eve, the great flood, and the confounding of languages at the tower of Babel; the idea that the Book of Abraham is a translation of texts on Egyptian papyri; the story that God sent an angel to threaten Joseph Smith with death unless he began to practice polygamy; the notion that God would withhold the priesthood from blacks), I have no problem viewing this policy as uninspired and potentially damaging. I know many wonderful people who are going to disagree with me on this, and who, as far as I can tell, don't have any animus toward gays. But it's going to hurt a lot of gay people and people close to them, including some who are really striving to follow church teachings.

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:15 a.m.

    @Aaron H --

    "Imagine an 8 year old boy from a SSM household gets baptized and then goes to church to learn that his two daddies can never be sealed in the temple (the culminating ordinance in Mormonism)?"

    Imagine an 8-year-old boy from divorced and remarried parents gets baptized and then goes to church to learn that his two parents can never be sealed in the temple, because his mother was previously married?

    Imagine an 8-year-old boy from a mixed-faith household gets baptized and then goes to church to learn that his two parents can never be sealed in the temple, because only one parent is Mormon?

    "The church's policy is certainly consistent"

    Actually, it is painfully and flagrantly INconsistent.

    "we see that it is grounded in respect for child emotional development, honest application of its stance on marriage, and an attempt to avoid complicated parent child conflicts."

    Nonsense. If it were, then the church would also be delaying baptisms for children of all mixed-faith marriages and second marriages where the mother has been married previously.

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 9:06 a.m.

    @Aaron H --

    "Imagine an 8 year old boy from a SSM household gets baptized and then goes to church to learn that his two daddies can never be sealed in the temple (the culminating ordinance in Mormonism)?"

    Imagine an 8-year-old boy from divorced and remarried parents gets baptized and then goes to church to learn that his two parents can never be sealed in the temple, because his mother was previously married?

    Imagine an 8-year-old boy from a mixed-faith household gets baptized and then goes to church to learn that his two parents can never be sealed in the temple, because only one parent is Mormon?

    "The church's policy is certainly consistent"

    Actually, it is painfully and flagrantly INconsistent.

    "we see that it is grounded in respect for child emotional development, honest application of its stance on marriage, and an attempt to avoid complicated parent child conflicts."

    Nonsense. If it were, then the church would also be delaying baptisms for children of all mixed-faith marriages and second marriages where the mother has been married previously.

    This policy is a blatant breach of the church's own second article of faith.

  • katy salt lake city, ut
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:50 a.m.

    It would be interesting to know how many same sex marriages with children have been baptized now. We can all choose which church we want to belong to. It's a good thing that this church has clarified once again their stand on immorality. They will continue to support rights of minorities in their employment and housing, etc. I think those in same sex marriages are not all that interested in participating in church anyway. If we don't honorably live the principles and covenants of the LDS church, why would we?

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:46 a.m.

    This only does what was inevitable. It forces those within and outside the church to either accept the fact that same gender relationships are not acceptable to God, or that this church is not led by God. Those who are confused have been swimming in shallow water. The doctrines of Christ, whether the sermon on the Mount or acceptance of God's definition of marriage, are of no small moment. They require your prayer and action to understand. They become mysteries, mysteries that some will kick against the pricks about, if you don't want to change your actions. For others, it is a confirmation of his God's great love.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:44 a.m.

    To all the Mormons who say, "why would a gay couple want the their child to get baptized or go to church."

    The reason why a gay couple or anybody who does not follow the LDS doctrine or teachings would allow their child to go to church is because they are unselfish.

    I for one do not believe in the church, they lost me a long time ago, but I would never in a million years stand in the way of my kids choosing to go to church or to be baptized. I would never abandon my kids if they found happiness in the LDS church.

    As far as answering the question of how would the child deal with learning their parents are not living the teachings of the church. As a parent I would sit them down and say to them this church has certain standards. Just because your dad drinks alcohol or coffee or whatever does not make them a bad person at all. In fact you can be a good person and drink alcohol or coffee but you just can't be a member of this church and do those things.

  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:15 a.m.

    @five-o

    "Elder Christofferson is an example of moral courage."

    Discrimination is not moral courage.

  • 410 thomas anywhere , MI
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:09 a.m.

    the prophets are men seeking an answer form the almighty.in all due respect, silence wound have been a better response.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Nov. 7, 2015 8:01 a.m.

    Some very good questions here on both sides - i see a lot of people wondering out loud what this means. I encourage all to go talk to people you trust and find out more information and what this means for you and those you love.

  • Big C Murray, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:59 a.m.

    "We believe that men will be punished for their own* sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

    *Except when I am born, through no fault of my own, to a same-sex couple.

  • Lyn52 Saint George, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:59 a.m.

    I see this as a major PR blunder by the church. Wonder how long before they back down (if ever)

  • DC Surfs ,
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:51 a.m.

    People in the church can have opinions regarding policy without being apostate. It's not the same as actively campaigning against doctrine or certain commandments. This was probably reactionary policy. It was probably brought about by a situation whereby the Church was forced to make a decision on it. I suspect this policy will not remain in effect for very long though but the damage will have already been done.

    Rather than put it into the handbook, couldn't this have been an evolving policy that changes with each unique situation? In the handbook for bishops, they simply write "defer to Stake President". Each situation is unique and requires parental approval from both parents anyway.

    Why are we purposely creating enmity between us and others? We already have bulls eyes on our chests due to prop 8. Can't we just love as Christ did?

  • DoloresCruz1982 BOULDER, CO
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:44 a.m.

    We do realize, don't we, that Elder Christofferson's explanation could be applied to all "part-member" families? Is there going to be a wider crackdown? How about the children of convicted murders (not all of whom are in prison), abortion doctors, drug dealers (including legal mariguana in Colorado where there are lots of Mormons), anti-Mormon "ministries", white-collar criminals ... where will this end?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:36 a.m.

    Cohabiting with a non-Mormon - child received a name and a blessing.
    Married to a non-Mormon - child received name and blessing and was baptized.
    Couple divorced, custodial parent left church - child, who had already received name and blessing, baptized.
    Two Mormons cohabiting - children receive name and blessing and get baptized.

    I know people in all these real world situations and more - but this policy allows those children the ordinances and blessings but not the children of same-sex parents. All the same conflicts exist, so why target one group but not the others?

  • EPDesign Salt lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:28 a.m.

    Conflict? Who do they think are taking these kids to church. These parents...want their kids to learn values and follow God. If two alcoholics take their kid to church, are you going to deny the child because their parents aren't following standard's? They take them so that their child might overcome what they couldn't. They are put in the middle because the parents want them to be there. And why, if the church is true, are they following what other religions do? This still makes no sense.

  • Aaron H San Antonio, TX
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:26 a.m.

    Imagine an 8 year old boy from a SSM household gets baptized and then goes to church to learn that his two daddies can never be sealed in the temple (the culminating ordinance in Mormonism)? He sings songs in primary like "Families Can Be Together Forever" and as the child grows a little older he learns that homosexual practice is sinful and that SSM constitutes an apostate practice. And after all of that, this child returns home to his SS parents and we hope that the boy well develop into a well-adjusted emotional child. The church's policy is certainly consistent and if we dig a little deeper to find the rationale, we see that it is grounded in respect for child emotional development, honest application of its stance on marriage, and an attempt to avoid complicated parent child conflicts.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:26 a.m.

    hockeymom, your statements are false and uninformed. I was the Deacons Quorum adviser and had two fine young men who were living in this situation They both progressed in the Church, and went on missions financially supported by their SS guardians.

    So many of these scenarios are being played out. Hockymom, what do you say to the tens of thousands of gay members of the Church that were told to marry, have families and they would be cured? That was the policy. The cure was dangled out there with no real support.

    Now those same families that have broken up are trying the best they can to be good members of the community and many of their children are being supported in activity in the Church. There is most often a very supportive environment where the child can be helped in Church membership.

    The punishment of these children who have done no wrong by a Church that encouraged their parents to marry is absolutely against the spirit. It is convoluted and not a very good decisions. I have reached out to my neighbors who are in this situations and offered my support. That's what Jesus would do.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:24 a.m.

    He said the new policy restricting children of same-sex couples from baptism until they are 18 originated from "a desire to protect children in their innocence and in their minority years."

    "We don't want the child to have to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one way and the expectations of the church are very different," he said.

    ==========

    This is incongruent...

    What about kids living in NON-married families?
    What about kids living in DIVORCED families?

    We baptized those kids all the time...

    This double-speak reminds me of "the conflict" of inter-racial marriages 50 years ago....

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:22 a.m.

    As a gay man in a SSM feel extremely hurt to be classified as an "Apostate", but I accept it and respect the decision.

    However, I cannot accept as kind, loving, protective, the new rule about our children. As a father I want what is best for my children, regardless my personal relationship with the church.

    I think the LDS Church provides a safe and rich environment for children development. As an educated and common sense parent, I always taught my child that the LDS Church is a positive organization even though "I" couldn't fully participate in it. However, my love for the church has always been there and her (my child) had all my support to enjoy the teachings of the church.

    As in many families, not everybody is an LDS but the love is the same.

    The leaders of the church have made a decision. I accept that and will respect it. But, please do not add insult to injury by attempting to justify the decision as an act of love.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 7, 2015 7:02 a.m.

    There is nothing complicated about this. If you're a believer of the LDS faith than you must live by its doctrines and teachings. If you choose to live a life style that is against the church's teachings power to you but please don't try to force your way of life on us. It's that simple!

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:33 a.m.

    Some people think that the LDS Church "announced" this policy change to the world on Thursday when in fact it was leaked by someone without permission to do so. One might say that LDS Church leaders should have anticipated a negative reaction to this policy and issued a statement accompanying it to try and explain its purpose. When one listens to Elder C it becomes clear that the LDS Church just mirrored their policy on polygamist families and didn't see this a great big new policy.

    Elder C's video won't likely soften the hearts of the Antis or those who find the LDS Church to be weird or just wrong. I wonder if it will soften the hearts of LDS feminists and progressives, or those who already had issues with the LDS Church? The bloggernacle was awash in critical posts Thursday night and is amazingly silent now that the LDS Church has addressed the issue. The same can't be said for the Trib site where the Antis gather to share their thoughts about all things Mormon.

    I believe this policy will be modified to more specifically address gay families, but it won't change the intent.

  • BobF2012 kitchener, 00
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:13 a.m.

    As Elder Christofferson said, this is no different than the children of polygamous parents. The Church supports families, and allowing children to covenant to things opposing their parents cannot be positive. Also, at 18 a youth who wants to be baptized must disavow same-sex marriage, not his/her same-sex parents.

  • Excluded Washington, AL
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:09 a.m.

    I am gay, married husband of a Mormon. We have been 100% excluded from my husband's family. They say that if he is apostate they will not be together in the afterlife, therefore there is no point maintaining a relationship in this one. I think they actually believe we are pedophiles, but at least they usually keep that opinion to themselves. We will adopt a child, and have no intention of raising our child Mormon, but this policy will affirm the exclusionary actions of my partners family and ensure that our child will have no relationship with their grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. We were unsure whether our child's grandparents might soften their attitudes towards our child when we adopt, because the child has no responsibility for our own 'terrible life choices', but this policy clarifies those muddy waters. By being designated an apostate, a complete stranger would be more welcome at my husband's family reunions than their own grandchild.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:08 a.m.

    Very well said, hockeymom.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 7, 2015 6:04 a.m.

    I must say that I am shocked that a church, ANY church, would postpone a child's baptism based on the perceived "sins" of a parent.

    We hear the question often. "What would Jesus do?"

    It seems pretty clear to me.

  • QuisnosRepublic Stites , ID
    Nov. 7, 2015 5:57 a.m.

    The most difficult road is that one which leads to salvation in this todays world. Those who were born in these latter days were the souls best representative of Gods purpose in these end times. That this trial will be so severe it will even shake the foundations of heaven itself.
    Satan given free reign. History tells us of the choices of same sex unions. one only has to study Sodom and Gomorrah or Greece in its final days , or Sparta which fell due to the lack of children as their slaves took reign.

    The proof that man cannot live without the hand of God and his Son Jesus Christ. Mans Dichotomy; good and evil; the realization of our ability to control our decisions so as to help guide us to the purpose That He has given us to perform. And today Many have left their service to Gods purpose as the eye of the needle grows ever smaller, Christendom in its final throws of testing.
    Someday All will stand before God in that day of Judgment. What will issue forth from our mouths when He looks into our eyes as we admit to our decisions here on Earth.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 7, 2015 5:54 a.m.

    "When I first heard the news report of the policy, I confess, it upset me. But then I took the time to do something that I am eternally grateful we CAN do. I prayed about it"

    Im curious. Has anyone ever "prayed about it" and concluded that Church policy or a Church Prophet was wrong?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Nov. 7, 2015 5:26 a.m.

    @ SSmith

    "Tell me again why any non-mormon or any non-believing mormon would care about these policy clarifications?"

    Because they affect human beings, some that I know and care about.

    Because the statistics on LGBTQs in Utah strongly suggest that the LDS church's fruits with respect to this population are not conducive to health and well-being.

    Because my personal moral compass tells me it isn't okay to see this happening and remain silent.

  • slowdive Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 4:30 a.m.

    Another example of The Church putting faith before family. Is too bad -- to my eyes, just another nail in the coffin of Org R... Is it any wonder why more and more people, kids esp (Millennials), are opting out? Saying I don't need this? I think in 10 or 20 yrs the ranks of the Nones will have grown to 50% of folks. Where will churches be then?

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2015 4:12 a.m.

    The Orwellian Newspeak in this "clarification" is really amazing.

    "We don't want the child to have to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one way and the expectations of the church are very different," he said.

    If this were the true motivation, then the church would never allow baptism of children in any mixed-faith home -- but they do.

    "Church leaders also added a new section to Handbook 1 to provide guidance to lay leaders about "children of a parent living in a same-gender relationship." The section instructs local leaders that those children cannot receive baby blessings or baptism."

    The Second Article of Faith states that the sins of the fathers shall not be visited on their children. Yet that is exactly what this policy does.

    "The policy changes released Thursday are meant to protect family relationships, Elder Christofferson said, not to limit the opportunities for children in the church."

    Protect family relationships by forcing children to renounce their own parents before they can be baptized? Seriously?

    "Experts say such conflict is bad for family harmony and the long-term spiritual journeys of children."

    And being asked to renounce your own parents isn't?

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 3:03 a.m.

    Why don't they just ban baptism of anyone under the age of 18? Do they honestly think an 8 yr. old child fully understands the commitments they are making for the rest of their life and eternity? They are 8!

  • JenniferP Paradise, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 3:02 a.m.

    Listen carefully to what the LDS church leaders are saying. They are simply protecting the children. Pitting children against parents will only create unhappiness and instability in a family. One of the biggest things this marriage movement has failed to address is the ramifications to children. The church's policy is designed to protect the fragile relationships in families. They have the best interests of children at heart. I trust the leaders of the church. I love them. I know they are men of God--and led by Him--a God who cannot, does not, change, or He would cease to be God.

  • robo Top, IL
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:49 a.m.

    Many are looking at this backwards. The church isn't causing the confusion. Those choosing to live a same-sex lifestyle are causing the problems. The church is simply clarifying the consequences for living a homosexual lifestyle as far as church membership. If parents want different consequences for their children, they'll need to repent and change their lifestyle. Actions have consequences. All sins of parents have consequences for the children, and they vary depending on the seriousness of the sin. Sexual sins are near the top of the most serious. Thus the consequences for all involved are more serious. Seems pretty rational to me.

    @CPA I am quite certain revelation to the Brethren preceded a policy change of this magnitude. Consider this: by your interpretation of the D&C, all disciplinary councils should be open to the public and everyone should be able to enter the temple anytime. It isn't a matter of secrecy; it is a matter of there is a time and place for everything.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:24 a.m.

    Elder Christopherson very clearly explained the stance of the Church which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had no other choice. The only thing I don't understand is why the Church was so condescending up to now with comments about getting along with everyone no matter what. (I'm paraphrasing) This was taken as a sign by many that the Church was about to change their mind about same sex unions. Finally the Church came out in a very positive way and told its stance on homosexual unions and children in such a union. According to Elder Christopherson, homosexual unions are of the same grievous caliber as, for instance, polygamy and those practicing it must be brought into Church court. He also made it clear that by no means the children adopted into this union are being punished but rather protected. Children of this union would never be able to partake of the ordinances of the Church while living in a family which could not support them. Those children, should they desire to do so, would be welcome into the Church when reaching the age of 18. Enter comment

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:13 a.m.

    I don't agree with the explanations offered by Elder Christofferson. He puts same sex marriage in the same category as polygamy, which has a unique and tortured existence specific to the Church itself. One can understand why a child of polygamous parents would be required to disavow polygamy prior to a mission -- after all, it was the Prophet Joseph who formally instituted polygamy in the Church and one could say in the US.

    Same sex marriage is different. To me it falls in the same category as alcohol, illegal drugs, premarital sex, gambling, and even just belonging to another religion, given that we believe ours is the only true and living. Do children of parents of who belong or participate in any of the above activities have to disavow their parents behavior to serve a mission? Are those children prevented from baptism or even a baby blessing?

    I'm sure the Church will eventually change its tune on this but until then those who disagree will as always be cast aside as not having enough faith, full of hubris, and difficult to begin with. So sad.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 2:02 a.m.

    This is a clear delineation of how the church cannot
    and will not lead the memberships astray. As Elder Christofferson pointed
    out happiness will not occur when people are living in sin.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:36 a.m.

    @hockeymom

    -Would an LGBT parent actually send their minor child to lds church?
    Yes. There are tons of LGBT people who love the church and want their kids to be a part of it. I went to lds church last Sunday with a gay friend and his two kids.

    -How would the couple explain the doctrine of the church to the child while they don't choose to live it themselves?
    They could explain that they believe in monogamous marriage--straight people should marry straight people and gay people should marry gay people.

    -How would the child feel knowing Dad & Dad and I can never be an eternal family?
    Probably similar to the other many situations where parents can't be sealed (prior dealings, children raised by non legal guardians)--they'd get peace that everything will work out in the eternities.

  • RustedHalo Australia, 00
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:33 a.m.

    Here's the thing. Christ, who I think has something vaguely to do with Christianity, never mentioned homosexuality once in his teachings. Anywhere. There is only a handful of references to it in the rest of scripture and no, Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because of it. So WHY does modern Christianity keep raving on about it and spruiking policies and generally carrying on> Over the last few decades, we have seen Christian groups demonstrating outside prisons where a murderer is about to be put to death, screaming support for the death penalty. We have had numerous attacks on homosexuality, people on the dole or equivalent and so on. But we never, ever hear Christians demonstrating outside political venues asking for more empathy, generosity, forgiveness, help for the poor and so on. I guess that Christ fellow just didn't know what he was talking about.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:16 a.m.

    I'm glad that Elder Christofferson addressed the many questions we all have-still no simple, straight-forward answers for every situation, though, and SS relationships affect all of us!!! These are people in our families and neighborhoods that are dear to us, and this whole thing came off pretty harsh. We should all take a minute to listen to Elder C and where the Church is coming from on this. His own brother, that he adores, lives a SS lifestyle-if anyone can empathize, he can, and he stands by the Prophet. I appreciate Elder C so much for all he does to advocate for everyone.

  • Aussie Teacher WESTON, VT
    Nov. 7, 2015 1:02 a.m.

    I can’t believe that the recent instructions in any way are aimed at ‘protecting’ the child. Do these rules also apply to children born to unmarried mothers? What about the child who is born through adultery? Are these children denied in the same way that a child of a same sex relationship are to be denied? Does the want to be missionary have to disavow an adulterous parent in the same way that the child related to a homosexual person appears to have to disavow that parent? Where does this finish? What about the parent who refuses to pay tithing? Will this stop their child from being blessed, baptised, given the priesthood or going on a mission? This really does skate on the same thin ice that the anti-Black policy skated for decades.
    A very sad day for a church that claims to have the Love of Christ at it’s heart. Would Christ treat the little children in this way? I think not.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:58 a.m.

    If your testimony to the LDS church is true, you wouldn't question these long standing policies. from our leaders. You should be willing to follow ALL church teachings. not just the ones you agree with or are uncomfortable with.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:44 a.m.

    I'll believe that this policy protects children as soon as the Church announces that it will cease to baptize children in part-member families, children whose parents are non-members (even with parental consent), and children of a parent who does not keep the law of chastity or other significant commandments. The rationale given by Elder Cristofferson does not hold unless it applies equally to all families consisting of less than two active, committed members of the Church.

  • Eddie Would Go FPO, AE
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:40 a.m.

    So, if "nothing is lost" by having to wait until 18 to get baptized, then why don't we all do that?

    Or better yet, wait until we are 78!

  • 04/13/2014 S. Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:36 a.m.

    Its to bad our civic leaders don't make the same stand for whats moral and right, instead of immoral and wrong. Its a behavior issue not a civil issue!

    Blackstone in "Commentaries Of The Laws", Section The Second, said, "Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depends all human laws; that is to say no human laws should be suffered to contradict these."

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:27 a.m.

    If the concern is to not ostracize the child, then not allowing him/her to be baptized, or hold the Priesthood (males), like his/her friends would be one of the worst things that could be done. This is almost a guarantee that he will be ostracized. It's one thing having them reject their parents lifestyle, but having them move out sounds more like rejecting their parents.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:24 a.m.

    I have to laugh at everyone trying to pretend this is about trying to "protect" children.

    No, this is about hate, discrimination, and intolerance. We all know it; let's just call a spade a spade.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:21 a.m.

    The only thing that has been clarified is how serious the church leaders are about putting one sin at the top of the seriousness scale -- same-sex sex. As long as children of unrepentant alcoholics/thieves/opposite-sex adulterers are able to be blessed and baptized, all the church is doing is declaring a line in the sand.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:20 a.m.

    Let’s say two LDS women decide to live together in a chaste, non-sexual relationship. Any problem from an LDS perspective? No; roommates at BYU and even missionaries do it routinely without any church repercussions. And suppose these women comply with every standard required for a temple recommend. Are they entitled to enter the temple? Of course.

    Now suppose that these women marry but still do not have sexual relations. Is the marriage sinful, notwithstanding that they keep the law of chastity?

    Now assume that these married women adopt and raise an orphan. He attends Primary, and eagerly anticipates and diligently prepares for baptism at age eight and to receive the priesthood at age twelve, just like all of his friends at church.

    How would these people react when the bishop informs them that “there will be no baptism, and by the way, sisters, you have been in a state of apostasy since the day you married, and you are now summoned to a church disciplinary council, where you may be excommunicated”?

    That’s what the revision to the Handbook seems to dictate.

    Something seems terribly wrong with this picture.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:17 a.m.

    Often, the reason for doing something casts light on whether it was the right thing to do. Peterk is right, that we can choose to follow our leaders, even when we don't understand. But, I am grateful for Elder Christofferson for explaining why this policy is being implemented, as after listening to him, the new policy now makes sense to me. Will this policy hurt the church? It seems the decision to go forward with the new policy came not with an eye to how the public would respond, but rather with concern for protecting the children from conflicts in their homes. I like the comparison to not proselytizing Muslims who live in places where rejecting that religion can cause them harm. This is an eternal gospel, and both the Muslims of concern and the children of same-gender parents will eventually be given the chance of accepting the gospel. If their opportunity is cut short in this life (for example, if a child dies before turning 18 and moving out of his parent's home), missionaries await them on the other side.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 7, 2015 12:05 a.m.

    I appreciate Elder Christofferson's respectful tone. Although I disagree vehemently with this policy and his proffered justifications for it, I don't question that he is speaking according to his own conscience and interpretation of what he believes to be good. I am glad to know that my membership in the church is not threatened by what will for me be a permanent disagreement on over this issue with the Church. The interview wasn't quite as clear on that point, and I hope that clarification is made elsewhere rather than in just a Des News article. Similarly, neither the interview nor the clarification in the interview made it clear whether supporting same sex marriage would disqualify one from obtaining a temple recommend, as opposed to being able to merely retain membership. Please provide further clarification, because if the answer is that support of same sex marriage alone is a bar to full-fellowship and participation in temple rites, then that would mark a clear exit for me. Many of us have dedicated our lives to this Church and we deserve to know the answer to that question.

  • suchfun1 St.George, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:55 p.m.

    This and numerous other LDS Church policies are strange, cruel and difficult for LDS and non-LDS to comprehend..
    So fortunate, along with others, to no longer be involved in any way, shape or form with this religion.
    Why in the world would a SSM family spend 3 hours in a building every Sunday with people who do not approve of them or the way they live, and then expect the children to join the Mormon religion at 18 years of age?
    America and the world now have abundant houses of worship that will welcome and embrace this family with love, acceptance, equality, and very open arms.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:44 p.m.

    @ John Locke and peterk
    Both of you have expressed my own thoughts very well. So true. Thank you.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:38 p.m.

    I said the same thing Elder Christofferson said yesterday. Surely if this is a post hoc spin tactic it is remarkably cunning. So cunning he found a way to go back in time to convince me.

    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.

    I am thankful that our loving Heavenly Father has given these children an extended hand of truth despite truly selfish people working to take the truth away. Good people can suffer from attraction issues in some form. Who hasn't? But good people don't intentionally deny children a mother out of self-interest.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:37 p.m.

    So this policy is meant to reduce tension berween the children of same sex couples and thier parents but in order for them to qualify to be baptized into the church they have to "disavow" thier parents?

  • intervention slc, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:30 p.m.

    So the church owned paper is now questioning others faithfulness, "self discribed faithful Latter Day Saints"?

  • Paul A ottawa, 00
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:22 p.m.

    This is exactly what people on faithful LDS blogs have been saying about the policy, nice to have official confirmation. Most faithful members are not going to have much of an issue with this, especially after seeing this video. There are those few who have deluded themselves into thinking that someday soon, when enough of the old guys are replaced that the church will embrace same sex marriage. They will have issues confronting the reality that the church never will change in that respect and some of them will leave, but the numbers will be few (but still get lots of media attention). Those who are already opposed to the church aren't going to change regardless of what the policy is or what the church says about it so why be concerned with them.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:14 p.m.

    I think that this is by far, in the best interest of the children.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:08 p.m.

    Everyone needs to take a deep breath and put this in perspective. EVEN IF the church allowed blessings/baptisms of children of SS marriage before the age of 18.....

    -Would an LGBT parent actually send their minor child to a church who's teachings are contrary to what they live at home? Would good loving parents actually choose to inflict such confusion on a young child?

    -How would the couple explain the doctrine of the church to the child while they don't choose to live it themselves?

    -How would the child feel knowing Dad & Dad and I can never be an eternal family? Depressed? Suicidal?

    -How will LGBT parents handle the division, contention, endowment ceremonies and sealings, etc. they can't attend?

    The nay sayers on this post are complaining for the sake of complaint. If they are critically thinking, legitimate people and not trolls - they will agree they would want none of these things listed above. If you still choose to complain....good luck with that.

    Many people have taken a "knee jerk" reaction over the past 24 hours. It gave a lot of us pause to decide if we are really sheep or goats - wheat or tares.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:07 p.m.

    The damage to the children by this action is horrifying and really sad. No policy of any Church should cause conflict to children. Obviously by the almost 6000 comments so far at the SL Tribune, this was a pubic relations blunder that moves the Church backwards. Attacking children for any reason can hardly be morally justified.

    I can only imagine the horror that many children will feel as they are shunned by their friends.

    This was not good as Jesus protected the children. This doe not do that in any sense of the word.

  • CPA Howard Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Nov. 6, 2015 11:03 p.m.

    I'd like to have those who feel that the children are being protected by this policy change, address Sal's point. Let's not confuse a policy change with revelation. Usually a revelation starts with verily thus saith the Lord, to my servant Thomas Monson; not we've changed the policy on page ... of handbook #1. Also, if handbook 1 is in sync with the D&C why isn't available to the church membership? I was taught the Lord will do his work in the open and not in secret on in the shadows. I won't leave the church over this, but I'll have trouble accepting this policy change.

  • peterk Highland, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:57 p.m.

    This is a difficult thing to understand and so grateful we are lead my living prophets who can see what we cannot see. At the end of this debate, and any difficult debate, must be our testimony of this — that we are lead by prophets who are God's servants. We can choose to follow them, even when we don't understand or agree.

  • Fritzi Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:54 p.m.

    Organized religions/churches usually will not baptize children under age 18 or the country's age of adulthood without parental baptism - very common. For years, the LDS church hasn't allowed children of non-baptized parent(s) to be baptized either until after age 18 or the age or legal adulthood according to the country. Instead of a policy release targeting only one type of parental married life-style, it would have been appropriate to reference abstinence of baptism to all under-aged children whose parents are not LDS baptized and not following the LDS religion.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:53 p.m.

    @jskains
    "If the Church allowed kids of SSM relationships to get baptized, people against the Church would find fault with that too"

    Two days ago the church allowed kids of SSM relationships to get baptized, I don't recall people finding fault with that. The rules were (and are for most everyone else) that children seeking baptism need parental permission.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:50 p.m.

    So I am confused, can children of same sex parents attend church still?

    If they can I do not see how it is any less damaging to a child to hear in Sunday class that their parents are living in "sin." If my previous statement is true it seems to me the policy should be that they can not attend church until they are of age.

    Also what are the church polices of children who have straight parents but the parents do not live the teachings of the church? Are the children also banned from baptism and blessings? If not I think it is a double standard.

  • SSmith Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:48 p.m.

    Tell me again why any non-mormon or any non-believing mormon would care about these policy clarifications? Critics are simply being disingenuous while pretending to care about a child who might want to be baptized or about apostate parents who might want their child to be baptized. Please...

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:42 p.m.

    If you believe that President Monson; the members of the First Presidency, and the 12 Apostles speak from a prayerful consideration of revelation coming from Heavenly Father, then you must believe the updated direction put forth today, as stated in this article. For those of us who want to remain close to our beloved brother, Christ, we will adhere to this revelation, and continue to love our neighbors as ourselves, as Christ directed us to do. There is no wiggle room here, no room for compromise. Heavenly Father has spoken.

  • five-o Logan, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:41 p.m.

    Elder Christofferson is an example of moral courage.

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:35 p.m.

    When I first heard the news report of the policy, I confess, it upset me. But then I took the time to do something that I am eternally grateful we CAN do. I prayed about it. Because we have been given prophets to guide us, and, if that wasn't wonderful enough, we have been given the right to pray and have their words confirmed to US individually.

    This is to protect the child.

    We members of the LDS faith consider the covenants made at baptism to be EXTREMELY important and binding. We also consider the commandment Honor thy Father and thy Mother to be EXTREMELY important. How do you think an eight-year-old child would feel, torn in half between those two, if they were in conflict with each other?

  • goldallen albuquerque, NM
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:35 p.m.

    This is a lose-lose situation for ANY church:

    Option 1: A church creates a hostile environment by baptizing kids as Christians, then sending them home to confront their {gay, lesbian, atheist, muslim or Jewish} parents. Media response: How DARE you interfere with a parent's authority! They have a RIGHT to raise their kids any legal way they wish!

    Option 2: A church will NOT intentionally create a hostile environment by baptizing kids as Christians, then sending them home to confront their parents. Media response: How DARE you deny children membership into your Christian church! Just because their parents are {gay, lesbian, atheist, muslim or Jewish}!!

    I bet EVERY Christian church has the same legal catch-22.

    What does ANY church do in this situation?

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:29 p.m.

    I'm glad that the Church is making clear what constitutes sin.

    On the other hand I'm sad that a 14-year-old Teacher in our ward cannot progress with his friends to become a Priest when he turns 16 or that his sister cannot now attend the temple with her Young Women friends to do vicarious baptisms. During the week they live with their lesbian mother and her partner. Weekends they live with their faithful father and faithful step-mother.

    I know that these prophet leaders speak for God and that if we maintain humble soft hearts He will give us more answers as to why this policy change.

  • Utexmom Flower Mound, TX
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:28 p.m.

    These new policies clarify that while we should be kind and considerate to those who make decisions in same-sex situations, we do not accept same-sex relations as worthy nor is the Church of Jesus Christ moving towards accepting this way of life into the path that leads to Eternal Life in families and Exaltation. This is an important distinction to be made. God is willing to receive all who receive His doctrine and live by His ways.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:28 p.m.

    @jskains... re: "Avoids Causing Family Rifts."

    Quite the opposite actually, divorced couples with children who want to go on a mission where one parents marriage has to be disavowed and they can't be living with their married same gender parent. The bullying that will occur for same gender children, the increased risk of suicides already high in Utah... The list goes on, whether we turn a blind eye to the facts or not.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:27 p.m.

    I think a lot of people thought that the Supreme Court decision would force religion to accept their same sex union.

  • rondonaghe Mesilla/USA, NM
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:20 p.m.

    Good luck in getting a child who was rejected as a baby to willingly darken the door of the LDS church when he turns 18.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:19 p.m.

    No matter how critics of the Church try to spin it, this is being respectful of same -sex spouses with children and the Church. The Brethren have declined to foster conflict in those families, and clarified requests from leaders about how to handle those situations. No one is telling children to disavow their parents as people, only the lifestyle that is inconsistent with Gospels truths.

    No matter how the critics spin and put misleading headlines on it, it isn't about hate, spite or intolerance.

  • Utahn via Houston Houston, TX
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:19 p.m.

    It is unfortunate that the first several comments to this article pan the clarification offered by Elder Christofferson.

    Is it fair to confuse or put a child into a position where he/she must choose between their same sex parents and a church that teaches marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God?

    Please attempt for one moment to consider how a young and impressionable child might react and respond to this conflict before you attempt to second guess the motives of the Church.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:16 p.m.

    If the Church allowed kids of SSM relationships to get baptized, people against the Church would find fault with that too. The policy is sound and avoids causing family rifts. But those with an agenda will be too blind to see that.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:12 p.m.

    This is obviously in response to the firestorm of negativity that's rained down on the Church since the policy went public. Once again it is forced to play catch-up. How much better might it have been if Elder Christofferson (or someone) had given a heads up and put it in context during general conference.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:07 p.m.

    Damage has been done. There no soft spoken words or clarification that can fix this mess.

  • Silver Stingray St. George, UT
    Nov. 6, 2015 10:07 p.m.

    This appears nothing more than Elder Christofferson's attempt to put a positive spin on the church's latest public relations blunder. I'm afraid that few will buy it, including those who are both within and without the church.