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Bill Reel Straw Man - 2015 Policy Edition

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Posted (edited)

I feel very certain the life of this policy is not going to last more than another 10 years (if that).  I personally know of no member who really supports it and many are opposed to it.

And the youth really love their gay friends and most I know are pro gay marriage.

Edited by JulieM
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13 minutes ago, california boy said:

But, hey, if you want to believe that most people outside the church think this policy against gay families is wonderful then knock yourself out ...

Are you aware of a lot of publicity outside the church supporting this policy?  Because I am not.  

You've certainly mastered the art of attempting to control the narrative: 'this policy against gay families'.

But no, I'm reasonably confident that most people outside the Church have literally zero interest in or opinion about the Church's family-honouring policy that you despise so much and endlessly bring up.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

And I personally know no active member who is opposed to it. I suspect that says more about whom we both hang out with than it does about the supposed longevity of the policy.

Maybe it’s where we live?  I don’t know but you seem to live in the perfect Peter Priesthood ward (I love your stories!).

I’m in the YW’s presidency and none of us like this new policy.  We also hear what the youth are saying.  Also my husband is a very active member and in leadership but does not like it (pretty much feels like Jim Bennett does about it).  He has said those who serve with him either don’t like it or are just silent about it.

 

Edited by JulieM
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22 minutes ago, JulieM said:

I feel very certain the life of this policy is not going to last more than another 10 years (if that).  I personally know of no member who really supports it and many are opposed to it.

And the youth really love their gay friends and most I know are pro gay marriage.

You personally know of no member...?  How do you personally know a negative? In any event, I think I know what you mean. You really need to get out and meet more people. 

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1 minute ago, PacMan said:

You personally know of no member...?  How do you personally know a negative? 

I’m just being honest.  I’m an active member (in YW leadership).  All discussions I’ve had with friends and family about this are what I’m going on.  I’ve found many just avoid the topic or say they’re not comfortable with it (like Jim Bennett expressed).

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17 minutes ago, california boy said:

This is in fact a policy against gay families.  How can you dispute that.

I can dispute it because that's actually what happens when people approach a topic from completely different interpretative frameworks. Erecting an unsolveable wedge between a child and its legal parents is what would be against a family. (I honestly don't know what a 'gay family' is, but I'm assuming you mean a family that includes same-sex parents?)

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And second, I did not start this thread.

No, but you certainly have brought this topic up repeatedly as proof of the Church's wrongness, and you know it.

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For people that are aware of the policy, they just can't understand how any church would deny baptism to a child no matter who their parents are.

Again, please link to the data on this. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Agree! And Bennett I thought, would as well.

Would a similar policy against children being baptized who have hetero parents not married and cohabitating cause a similar stir?

I think a lot of the anger stemmed from the very, very specific wording and language used in the policy. To some it felt very bureaucratic and legal like. I guess that is how much the Handbook can read.

I talked with a missionary that served in West Africa and the challenges of polygamy and how to support families already consisting of many wives and children. It is a sticky situation to say the least...

Policies are never perfect, almost always someone is offended, hurt, or overlooked.

Hopefully the Bishop is using their best form of inspiration...which is information. 

 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

This is a thoughtful posting.  I do agree that this policy comes across as the church knowing what is best for the children and not the parents.  I would just like to add that it is not only the parents who are being discounted in this policy, but the words of the Savior himself.  Jesus taght very clearly how children should be received:

The whole point of baptism at 8 imo is that they are no longer viewed as "little children" but those capable of understanding some important principles of faith and agency.

Plus in no way does it prevent them from coming unto Christ as far as I can see as I don't see the baptismal covenant as the only thing we can do to come unto Christ, but I suppose that would depend on how it is defined.

My understanding of the Terrestrial Kingdom is Christ is present at least in the same way he was present in scripture (coming to teach and bless) and baptism isn't required for that experience, so why think baptism at 8 is required for coming unto Christ in mortality?

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

There is nothing perfect about my ward. About four years ago, we had a couple of fulltime Elders who told me they had made a mistake by inviting someone complicated to church. I asked them what was wrong with that. The senior companion said, 'Well, the bishop in my last ward asked us not to bring complicated people to church'.

I laughed out loud. 'Elder', I asked, 'do you have any idea how many people we'd have in sacrament meeting each week if all the complicated people stayed home?'

Blank stare.

'No one. Not one single person. We are a congregation full of complicated people. He'll fit right in'.

And fit right in, he has. It took two years for him to qualify for baptism, but he finally got off all the drugs he'd been using for nearly three decades. The resultant brain damage, however, still throws up occasional complications. He's currently in the mental health ward and has been there for nearly a month as a result of persistent psychotic episodes. Our solution: we visit him several times during the week. Three of us got to be there with him as he faced a tribunal hearing to determine if he should be placed on a treatment order. The senior tribunal member said she'd never seen a psychiatric patient with so much 'community' support before. This man's response: he bore his testimony of the Church to the entire panel.

But I can assure you that active, faithful members of my ward, most of whom I know well, fully embrace the Lord's teachings on the Plan of Salvation and the central role of the natural family.

Your ward sounds like it’s a very loving and accepting ward.  I know you serve valiantly and selflessly, Hamba.

I do think your last sentence includes those who are gay and choose to marry and have families. They are very much a natural family as far as I believe.  So yes, they are included in the Lord’s teachings on the plan of salvation in my opinion.

Edited by JulieM
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1 minute ago, JulieM said:

They are very much a natural family as far as I believe.

And I'm happy for you to believe whatever you wish, but in this case, doing so puts you at odds with every single prophet who has ever taught on this issue, from the Creation till now.

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Your ward sounds like it’s a very loving and accepting ward.

It is. They're good people whose lives and very natures are being shaped by their faith in Christ.

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I know you serve valiantly and selflessly, Hamba.

Many thanks! I certainly try. I'm grateful for the opportunities the Church gives us to seek to be of use!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JulieM said:

Maybe it’s where we live?  I don’t know but you seem to live in the perfect Peter Priesthood ward (I love your stories!).

I’m in the YW’s presidency and none of us like this new policy.  We also hear what the youth are saying.  Also my husband is a very active member and in leadership but does not like it (pretty much feels like Jim Bennett does about it).  He has said those who serve with him either don’t like it or are just silent about it.

 

I wonder how many of your friends, if any, knew previous to the creation of the 2015 policy of the existence of the parallel longtime policy for polygamous families.  I learned of that some time ago, thought it sounded wise, and after hearing some stories of kids in such families who had been baptized (both young and as adults) and experienced conflict, I felt my thinking was confirmed.  I went immediately there when I heard of the same policy for children with gay parents, guessed it likely meant full custody to make it consistent with polygamy and therefore felt and feel very supportive for it.

I also understand that there has been massive baggage attached to the children of gay parents policy due to the well publicized criticism that wasn't attached to the children of plural marriage policy which was hardly known as far as I could tell, which has created a different sort of conflict which may interfere with its purpose.

Edited by Calm
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21 minutes ago, Calm said:

I wonder how many of your friends, if any, knew previous to the creation of the 2015 policy of the existence of the parallel longtime policy for polygamous families.  I learned of that some time ago, thought it sounded wise, and after hearing some stories of kids in such families who had been baptized (both young and as adults) and experienced conflict, I felt my thinking was confirmed.  I went immediately there when I heard of the same policy for children with gay parents, guessed it likely meant full custody to make it consistent with polygamy and therefore felt and feel very supportive for it.

I also understand that there has been massive baggage attached to children of gay parents due to the well publicized criticism that wasn't attached to the children of plural marriage policy which was hardly known as far as I could tell, which has created a different sort of conflict which may interfere with its purpose.

Thanks for this, Calm.  I agree that it’s complicated:

As far as knowing about the policy for polygamous families, I wasn’t aware of it before.  I think many weren’t aware of it (and maybe still aren’t).

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, JulieM said:

As far as knowing about the policy for polygamous families, I wasn’t aware of it before.  I think many weren’t aware of it (and maybe still aren’t).

I agree.  I think this is part of the problem, if you are not aware of the similar previous policy, it can appear to be something created solely to target families of gay parents...and that feels uncomfortable.

Added:  Given what I know about polygamous families' reaction (one said the majority of her siblings and her father refused to talk to her...imagine that happening to a child of 8), I would be very uncomfortable with the removal of the ban on baptism in plural families.  Perhaps the dynamics would be sufficiently different in families with gay parents due to the different reasons that they exist, but it feels like a dangerous experiment to hope a child/youth wouldn't feel heavily conflicted even with parents that were very understanding.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, PacMan said:

 

My question is, why is this so problematic?  Why can't the church put the family -- even an alternative family -- ahead of baptism for a time where "[n]othing is lost to them in the end?"  How is this bad?  In fact, how could the church require anything else?

If what the church was saying were true why wouldn't it also apply to all non-lds or split faith families with parents in heterosexual relationships and not just polygamists?  Those families are just as likely to have religious or moral differences

Edited by sjdawg
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9 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Can you please provide a link to this data on what 'most people' think?

I"m most people.  I agree with California Boy😉

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10 minutes ago, sjdawg said:

If what the church was saying were true why wouldn't it also apply to all non-lds or split faith families with parents in heterosexual relationships and not just polygamists?  Those families are just as likely to have religious differences

Because the church isn't fundamentally asking them to renounce their family structures.  You're comparing apples and orangutans. 

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26 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Because the church isn't fundamentally asking them to renounce their family structures.  You're comparing apples and orangutans. 

I disagree.  But, this topic has already been discussed to death on this forum (the policy) and members either believe it's a good policy or they believe it's not a good policy.  As far as I can tell, no one here is going to change their mind about it either.  So do you have something specific you want to discuss about it?  I can search and post some past threads and discussions regarding this policy, if you're interested in reading through them.

As far as the policy, I personally think it's an awful policy for our church to have.  My Bishop agrees with me and so does my Stake President....and most every other member I've ever discussed it with privately.  Of course none of us speak out against it at church and like most, are just pretty silent about it.  I know many hope it'll be withdrawn, but I personally believe that will be years away and not until a younger generation is in leadership.

One of the main problems with the policy is that (at least for me), every reason given could also be applied to any other family where the parents are "living in sin".  Their kids are also going to learn at church about the sins of their parents and so on.  But they are allowed to be baptized, receive the Priesthood and advance in the Priesthood.  There's no way this policy can be explained to me that doesn't still ring of blatant discrimination.  I know the polygamy policy is always brought up as a defense...well, maybe that one should be changed as well.  There are all types of situations where kids have been disowned by their parents when the kids have decided to join the church and yet missionaries still baptize them.

All reasons for the policy simply fall apart when they are really analyzed and compared to other situations, IMO.

So, that's my opinion (already expressed in the threads I mentioned above too :) )

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Because the church isn't fundamentally asking them to renounce their family structures.  You're comparing apples and orangutans. 

I disagree.  Their family structures could just as easily cause the children to suffer.  If one parent is a non-member the children could be going to church continually and being taught that their family can't/won't be together.  They could be taught that their family is missing out on something by not having a priesthood holder.  They could be taught that a parent is a sinner because they drink coffee or an occasional glass of wine.  I've seen this pain and judgement in friends and family and it is real and caused by what the children hear in church

Edited by sjdawg
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14 hours ago, PacMan said:

In essence, Elder Christofferson explains that the family unit -- even a sinful one -- needs to be respected during a child's youth.  And, where a child would effectively need to renounce their own family structure, that's not a fair thing to require the child.  For a church based on family, this makes sense. 

So why allow a child in a family unit where the parents are not married to be baptized (and the boys receive the Priesthood)?  That family unit is also considered to be "a sinful one" by our church leaders.  Why wouldn't "a child effectively need to renounce their own family structure" just the same as if they lived in a home where their parents were in a SSM?  Tell me the difference here.

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