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Town Hall on LDS Church Policy Change

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This should be interesting. Are the right people being included in this for a fair and balanced discussion?

Tune in Dec. 8 for a Live Tribune Town Hall on LDS Church Policy Change

"The Salt Lake Tribune is holding a Town Hall on recent changes to LDS Church policy. As a result of those changes, Mormons who enter same-sex relationships are considered apostates and their children are barred from some blessings and baptism rituals unless they receive permission from the faith’s top leaders.

The public forum will explore the range of reaction within the church to this change. The event will take place at The Leonardo (209 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City) on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. Seating is limited. RSVP here. It will also be broadcast on KCPW 88.3 and 105.5 FM.

Moderated by Jennifer Napier-Pearce, the discussion will include Kendall Wilcox from Circles of Empathy, BYU Professor Roni Jo Draper, Erika Munson of Mormons Building Bridges, Darius Gray of LDS Genesis Group, and Rod Olson of North Star."

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I imagine this will be viewed as lacking balance because it doesn't accurately reflect the large number of church members who have given their full support to this policy. 

But I think it is great that the discussion is continuing, I applaud the Tribune for bring together a diverse group of voices, and I look forward to listening to the discussion. 

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Wow.

Quote

 

In Darius Gray's five decades as a black man in the LDS Church, "nothing has hit me as hard," he said Tuesday, as the Utah-based faith's new policy defining gay couples as "apostates" and barring their children from Mormon rites like baptism.

"I know what it is like to be labeled. I know what it's like to be considered cursed," Gray said, alluding to the church's now disavowed ban on black men being ordained to Mormon priesthood. "Words like 'apostate' don't sit easily with me or [seeing] children made to feel outside of the norm."

Because of his own history with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gray said, "It has been very difficult for me to find comfort in what is being said."

 

http://www.sltrib.com/news/3284491-155/video-tribune-forum-explores-impact-of

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It still stuns me that so many are surprised at this policy, which pretty much has already been in effect. People living in SS relationships have always been subject to church discipline and if their children were eligible to be baptized they would have to be carefully interviewed and it may have had the same effect anyway.

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28 minutes ago, Deborah said:

It still stuns me that so many are surprised at this policy, which pretty much has already been in effect.

Your answer is right there in your statement.  It's already been in effect so the creation of a special policy to single out gay couples is somewhat stunning to people.

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2 hours ago, rockpond said:

Your answer is right there in your statement.  It's already been in effect so the creation of a special policy to single out gay couples is somewhat stunning to people.

I really think it has to do with the fact that many were beginning to think that the church would eventually fully accept the gay lifestyle due to our support of the equal rights legislation in Utah. Maybe a lot of hurt feelings now but it has made clear the church's policies and many of the gays I've seen on FB are finally realizing they aren't going to find their lifestyle acceptable.

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26 minutes ago, Deborah said:

I really think it has to do with the fact that many were beginning to think that the church would eventually fully accept the gay lifestyle due to our support of the equal rights legislation in Utah. Maybe a lot of hurt feelings now but it has made clear the church's policies and many of the gays I've seen on FB are finally realizing they aren't going to find their lifestyle acceptable.

If by accepting "gay lifestyle" you mean recognizing gay marriage, yes, I think that there were and still are many members who thought that would go the same direction as our acceptance of the "black lifestyle".

I also think that there are many members caught off guard by the church singling out one type of sin in this way.

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Okay, let me see if I understand.  The scriptures are clear that homosexuality is a sin.  The Church has been clear that homosexual actions are a sin.  It is crystal clear to everyone....except for the activists that have proclaimed that the Church is not clear about homosexuality and that the scriptures really don't condemn homosexuality.  They further demanded that the Church needed a clarification to confirm God's will.  Then the policy comes out and you, rockpond, want to make the Church wrong for....providing the clarification that almost all the activists were demanding?!?

Yeah, I don't buy this bit of tripe you are selling as a need for loving compassion by the Church and the prophet.  What is really being said is some people will not be satisfied with anything the Church ever does.  Unless of course there is a complete capitulation and reverse the entire doctrine of the Church from the Garden to Jesus Christ to the restoration of Jesus' Church.  Just a cum-ba-yah rah-rah-rah for....if it feels good then do it because it must be good.  

Edited by Storm Rider

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52 minutes ago, rockpond said:

If by accepting "gay lifestyle" you mean recognizing gay marriage, yes, I think that there were and still are many members who thought that would go the same direction as our acceptance of the "black lifestyle".

I also think that there are many members caught off guard by the church singling out one type of sin in this way.

Black "life style"? Seriously?

How is it singling out homosexual action when it has always been considered a sin and subject to discipline?

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1 hour ago, Deborah said:

Black "life style"? Seriously?

How is it singling out homosexual action when it has always been considered a sin and subject to discipline?

The term "gay lifestyle" that you used makes as much sense to me as "black lifestyle".  I figured that was the best way to point it out. 

Homosexual relations were already covered by the handbook.  This policy targets children who are not guilty of "homosexual action". 

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2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Okay, let me see if I understand.  The scriptures are clear that homosexuality is a sin.  The Church has been clear that homosexual actions are a sin.  It is crystal clear to everyone....except for the activists that have proclaimed that the Church is not clear about homosexuality and that the scriptures really don't confirm homosexuality.  They further demanded that the Church needed a clarification to confirm God's will.  Then the policy comes out and you, rockpond, want to make the Church wrong for....providing the clarification that almost all the activists were demanding?!?

Yeah, I don't buy this bit of tripe you are selling as a need for loving compassion by the Church and the prophet.  What is really being said is some people will not be satisfied with anything the Church does ever.  Unless of course their is a complete capitulation and reverse the entire doctrine of the Church from the Garden to Jesus Christ to the restoration of Jesus' Church.  Just a cum-ba-yah rah-rah-rah for....if it feels good then do it because it must be good.  

Do you mind providing the exact scripture with homosexual in it?

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41 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The term "gay lifestyle" that you used makes as much sense to me as "black lifestyle".  I figured that was the best way to point it out. 

Homosexual relations were already covered by the handbook.  This policy targets children who are not guilty of "homosexual action". 

There is a difference between having same sex attraction and acting on it, hence the life style. It doesn't "target" children but clarifies that because of the parent choices there are consequences, and the policy is to prevent conflicts, whether you understand that or not.

 

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16 minutes ago, Deborah said:

There is a difference between having same sex attraction and acting on it, hence the life style. It doesn't "target" children but clarifies that because of the parent choices there are consequences, and the policy is to prevent conflicts, whether you understand that or not.

 

You're right, I don't understand how the policy prevents conflicts.  Perhaps you can explain that to me. 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Do you mind providing the exact scripture with homosexual in it?

To enable a quick response I went to google and asked your question, the following were some that came up on one site.  I did not do a thorough search of all scripture.  The first few do not allow any argument that homosexuality is a sin.  As you go down the list the you find scriptures that are more in the vein of condemnation by not mentioning the abomination or, said another way, it glorifies heterosexual sex between man and wife.  It then ends with those scriptures that discuss the creation and its purpose.  These are not King James scriptures quoted, but used the scripture quotes of the site.  

 

Leviticus 20:13 ESV / 12 helpful votes    

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

Leviticus 18:22 ESV / 12 helpful votes    

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV / 9 helpful votes    

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

Jude 1:7 ESV / 8 helpful votes    

Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Romans 1:26-27 ESV / 8 helpful votes    

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

1 Timothy 1:10 ESV / 7 helpful votes    

The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

Romans 1:24-27 ESV / 6 helpful votes    

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Romans 1:1-32 ESV / 6 helpful votes    

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, ...

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV / 5 helpful votes    

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:1-20 ESV / 4 helpful votes    

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, ...

Romans 1:27 ESV / 4 helpful votes    

And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Romans 1:26 ESV / 4 helpful votes    

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;

Proverbs 5:18-19 ESV / 4 helpful votes    

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.

2 Peter 2:1-22 ESV / 3 helpful votes    

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; ...

Isaiah 1:1-31 ESV / 3 helpful votes    

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. ...

Genesis 19:1-38 ESV / 3 helpful votes    

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” ...

Ephesians 5:1-33 ESV / 2 helpful votes    

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. ...

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV / 2 helpful votes    

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Kings 22:46 ESV / 2 helpful votes    

And from the land he exterminated the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa.

1 Timothy 1:1-20 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. ...

1 Corinthians 6:10 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 5:8 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Matthew 19:1-30 ESV / 1 helpful vote     Helpful  Not Helpful

Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? ...

Ezekiel 16:49-50 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.

Ezekiel 16:49 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

Ezekiel 16:1-63 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

Again the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. ...

Jeremiah 23:14 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

Genesis 1:1-31 ESV / 1 helpful vote    

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. ...

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23 hours ago, Deborah said:

It still stuns me that so many are surprised at this policy, which pretty much has already been in effect. People living in SS relationships have always been subject to church discipline and if their children were eligible to be baptized they would have to be carefully interviewed and it may have had the same effect anyway.

Deborah, I so much respect you.  But why should it stun you?  For a moment, can you put yourself in their shoes?  Better yet, put yourself in the shoes of a child with LDS friends and ward members unable to take baptism steps because of their parents??  When I was eight years old..I didn't care about the covenant..it was a right of passage and the biggest deal was I got to be baptized with my friends...all born in March..little things like this..they hurt.  It was unnecessary to do this to kids. 

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11 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

When I was eight years old..I didn't care about the covenant..it was a right of passage and the biggest deal was I got to be baptized with my friends...all born in March..little things like this..they hurt.  It was unnecessary to do this to kids. 

And it would be unnecessary for the kids to know if this hadn't been made public when it was intended for local leaders' eyes only. It could have been handled tactfully and with love. I also question how many children living with the gay parents would even be affected. I think because of the publicity many will claim they want their children baptized but wouldn't have had it not been made public. And remember this doesn't apply to children living primarily with the non-gay parent.

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Jeanne, to illustrate my point, my lesbian daughter can't understand her friends who are upset over this even when they have children. Why? Because none of them go to church anyway and their feigned outrage is rather hypocritical. In fact she laughed at them and asked why they are upset when they don't have anything to do with the church. The stopped and realized, yeah she's right.

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14 minutes ago, Deborah said:

And it would be unnecessary for the kids to know if this hadn't been made public when it was intended for local leaders' eyes only. It could have been handled tactfully and with love. I also question how many children living with the gay parents would even be affected. I think because of the publicity many will claim they want their children baptized but wouldn't have had it not been made public. And remember this doesn't apply to children living primarily with the non-gay parent.

1.  I don't think we should have secret policies in the church.

2.  Kids would find out when they were denied baptism... and it might even be worse if they and their parents went into a bishop's interview without any knowledge of the policy.

3.  You question the number of kids affected but obviously it was significant enough that the Brethren felt the need to single them out with a special section.

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46 minutes ago, Deborah said:

Jeanne, to illustrate my point, my lesbian daughter can't understand her friends who are upset over this even when they have children. Why? Because none of them go to church anyway and their feigned outrage is rather hypocritical. In fact she laughed at them and asked why they are upset when they don't have anything to do with the church. The stopped and realized, yeah she's right.

Thanks so much for your reply.  I understand now how you see this and appreciate that understanding.  That being said, there are others that are not in the same situation as your daughter's friends,  Like I say, I respect others opinions here.  But this is so not black and white,..those shades of gray are real and through the fog are people hurting. 

Thanks for getting back to me.  Each of us have different perspectives according to our life experience and knowledge.  I just want everyone to have a choice. 

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

1.  I don't think we should have secret policies in the church.

2.  Kids would find out when they were denied baptism... and it might even be worse if they and their parents went into a bishop's interview without any knowledge of the policy.

3.  You question the number of kids affected but obviously it was significant enough that the Brethren felt the need to single them out with a special section.

Because it is a policy for church leaders to follow it needs to be handled with inspiration and knowledge of the individuals involved. That makes it meant for those people. In the wrong hands it has caused contention and great misunderstanding. Kids are denied baptism anyway if the Bishop feels they are not ready. As to point 3, no I don't think this is the case. I think it is more along the lines of re-affirming what line is drawn in the sand for those who think the church will "soften" it's stance.

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2 minutes ago, Deborah said:

Because it is a policy for church leaders to follow it needs to be handled with inspiration and knowledge of the individuals involved. That makes it meant for those people. In the wrong hands it has caused contention and great misunderstanding. Kids are denied baptism anyway if the Bishop feels they are not ready. As to point 3, no I don't think this is the case. I think it is more along the lines of re-affirming what line is drawn in the sand for those who think the church will "soften" it's stance.

That's an interesting position you are staking out.  You are saying that the policy should have been kept secret while also saying that since the policy doesn't really affect many kids, the point of the policy was to draw a line in the sand for members who thought that the church would soften its stance.

So which is it?  A policy that should have been kept secret to only church leaders or a public message for all church members?

Finally, the handbook already allowed for leaders to handle these situations with inspiration and knowledge.  It already explicitly allowed a bishop to consider a child's situation and determine if baptism was appropriate.  The policy wasn't needed for that... so if you feel it caused contention and misunderstanding maybe you ought to look to the authors.

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2 hours ago, rockpond said:

So which is it?  A policy that should have been kept secret to only church leaders or a public message for all church members?

For church leaders to have clarity on where the line was. The fact that it was made public lets everyone know what the line is, but it needn't have caused the discord it has caused by being so blatantly advertised.

 

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A policy that should have been kept secret to only church leaders or a public message for all church members

It doesn't have to be one or the other.  Stuff in Handbook 1 is not secret given the number of church leaders who have access to it (at least 4 in every ward at any given time, plus there are how many in the stake and then past leaders so I am guessing at least 5% are familiar with or have access to the handbook for their callings or past calling...and if it is at their home) plus anyone can ask the bishop/leader to be able to read it for themselves.  I have on several occasions read it, including front cover to back several times.  Otoh, stuff in it is not publicly promoted; it is not meant to be used as a common reference for anything from newsroom releases (though it is done on occasion when necessary) to SS lessons.  IOW, it is easily available to those who need it and it should take some work to those who do not so that it is not used for casual entertainment, inappropriate management of others' callings, etc.

For example, the policy for polygamy has been generally known among membership for decades (long before the internet made the Handbook accessible to anyone willing to look it up on antimormon sites) even though it is listed in the Handbook 1, not Handbook 2.  It is not generally talked about in classes.  There is nothing secret about it, but it is not a part of typical church conversation...yet it has drawn a very effective line in terms of people knowing that engaging in polygamy is going to get you excommunicated.  It is there available as an official declaration of policy when it is necessary for the Church's position to be stated.  There is no question about it that I've ever seen, but just as there is no question about the criminal law against stealing, sometimes it still needs to be discussed in public discourse to explain behaviour of officials or expectations of the public.  

There is public awareness of the policy without total public access to the Handbook.  Thus a message to church membership...though if it hadn't been made a very public issue of, it may have taken more time to be shared (though I doubt it given the Church's grapevine) without the Handbook being meant for the general public or even general membership.

 

Edited by Calm

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4 hours ago, Deborah said:

For church leaders to have clarity on where the line was. The fact that it was made public lets everyone know what the line is, but it needn't have caused the discord it has caused by being so blatantly advertised.

 

Okay, so I can assume that you view it as a policy of men and not a revelation from the Lord?

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