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kllindley

President Nelson's Devotional: "The Love and Laws of God"

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12 minutes ago, T-Shirt said:

I haven't posted in a long time and I can't believe I am allowing myself to be sucked in, but here goes...   I believe the original policy was arrived at by revelation and that the current policy is also the product of revelation.  There is no contradiction.  First of all, contrary to what many are saying, the policy was not rescinded or put back to what it was before.  The newer version still does not allow children of gay parents who are cohabitating to be blessed or baptized unless certain requirements are met.  The new version simply better explains the requirements for the exception and moves the responsibility, for the exception to be made, to the bishop instead of the First Presidency.

I believe the original policy was exactly what the brethren said it was, the result of a sincere concern of causing a divide in families with gay parents.  It was a concern born out of love, and nothing else.  The brethren discussed the matter and sought to know the Lord's will.  Through the revelatory process, it was determined the will of the Lord was that children in such families should not be blessed or baptized, unless the parents fully understand and support that the child will be taught doctrine, concerning chastity and marriage, that is contrary to what they are seeing at home.  In addition the Parents understand that ministering brothers or sisters will be assigned and they will be contacted from time to time.  In the case of a blessing, the parents must understand that when the child nears the age of eight, preparations will be made for the child to be baptized.  If these conditions are met, an exception can be granted.  The First Presidency learned, over time, that every time an exception was sought, it was granted.  The revised policy simply shifts the decision to the bishop, but the requirements must still be met in order for an exception to be made.

I will admit, from my perspective, that the written policy was badly worded and didn't really explain the process of granting exceptions.  However, the written policy was not intended for the public and , although not spelled out in the handbook, Stake Presidents were instructed on the process for granting exceptions

Ultimately, the only real changes are the wording and who makes the decision for an exception.  Otherwise the policy remains the same.  Both were arrived at by revelation.

I respect your view but for me it doesn’t make sense that God would reveal a specific policy that would cause such heartache, confusion, and weeping among the Saints that it would drive the prophet and apostles, who had received the revelation, to pray for it to be changed. 

 

Side note regarding the change to the policy:

1.  We don’t know what the wording will be.  The latest revision of Handbook 1 still has the very first version of the Nov 2015 policy along with a link to the FP letter from the week after. 

2.  The Bishop already has the keys to approve, deny, and administer Aaronic Priesthood ordinances within the Ward.  So moving the approval from the FP back to the Bishop does represent a reversal of the policy. 

3.  We’ve been told that those who are in a same sex marriage will no longer be considered apostate (mandating formal discipline) so that is a reversal as well.  Though still not published so I’m only working from the April press release. 

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22 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

I’m at peace in my engagement in the church. I know I don’t fit in to one or the other usual camp on this issue and i’m okay with that. I hope, whatever level of engagement you have in the church it come eventually with a sense of peace as well.

with luv, 

BD

Unfortunately, I don’t think my engagement with the church will ever bring me a sense of peace again. That’s sad because it was once the opposite.  But it’s something I’ve decided that I will need to live with. For better or worse, from the beginning of my faith transition, I’ve had a nearly uninterrupted string of somewhat high demand callings that keep me closely connected to the church.  I blame several really good men who have served as my bishops. :)

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13 hours ago, CV75 said:

Handbook instructions typically arise from local leaders asking the same questions due to a common lack of experience and understanding. There was always room for exceptions anyway. I'm guessing that experience and understanding expanded rapidly over the 3-1/2 years, I'm guessing due to expanded public awareness, and so such instructions were no longer needed. The same with definitions provided in policy.

I am suggesting that the same kind of empathetic supplication for those affected by the original policy is a pattern that was also evident in getting revelation for the even smaller temples President Nelson recently announced.

 

So you don't think it came from revelation either?  Just from input on how the Nov policy was affecting the members.  Or does it take a revelation to interpret the feedback and figure out that the policy was not working.

I don't want to put words in your mouth.  But this is what I am getting from your answer.  

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It amazes me how President Nelson can outline the process of receiving revelation & Tell us precisely that it was revelation, in a sermon where the Spirit overwhelmingly testifies that what he is saying is true, and we still have people denying that it's revelation.

How much more clearer does the Lord need to be? How much power does he need to call down before you will acknowledge that God is present in and revealing His will to His servants? 

May I suggest listening to the truths Pres Nelson was teaching, particularly number 5?

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With due respect, President Nelson says it is revelation, and many believe him.  But, perhaps, as many wonder why this policy has been so confusing and troubling for the Church as a body religious and individually from President Nelson to the least.

Don't attack children.  Bring the little ones to Jesus.

The millennials, the young genxrs are shook as groupings in the church.  I know two GAs who are troubled by the proclamation.

Edited by Jake Starkey

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I want to clarify a few things, because I see so many talking all around this policy stuff and no one seems to be making much sense to me.  SO let's start:

In November 2015, people got wind of the policy change that the church had made and put into Handbook 1.  It stated rather simply, that children who have parents who are LGBT cannot receive a name and a blessing.  It goes on to say that a child who has parents or a parent who is in a same-gender relationship cannot be baptized, ordained or be recommended for missionary service unless the child gets permission from the first presidency but also must 1.  disavow the "practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage" and 2. the child is of the right age and does not live with a parent who is in a same gender relationship.  It also indicated that adults who choose to enter into a same-gender marriage or similar relationship commit sin that warrants a Church disciplinary council.  

Quote

lds handbook screen grab

As everyone knows it was a big shock to many and many took issue with it.  A week later, the Church addressed it with some changes:

Quote

Our concern with respect to children is their current and future well-being and the harmony of their home environment. The provisions of Handbook 1, Section 16.13, that restrict priesthood ordinances for minors, apply only to those children whose primary residence is with a couple living in a same-gender marriage or similar relationship. As always, local leaders may request further guidance in particular instances when they have questions.

When a child living with such a same-gender couple has already been baptized and is actively participating in the Church, provisions of Section 16.13 do not require that his or her membership activities or priesthood privileges be curtailed or that further ordinances be withheld. Decisions about any future ordinances for such children should be made by local leaders with their prime consideration being the preparation and best interests of the child.

All children are to be treated with utmost respect and love. They are welcome to attend Church meetings and participate in Church activities. All children may receive priesthood blessings of healing and spiritual g

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/pages/church-handbook-changes?lang=eng

You can see now, that it is not required that a child not be living with his/her parents who are gay. Previously that was a requirement before bishops and stake presidents could even bring a particular case to the first presidency for approval.  Now with the clarification a child whose primary residence was with a same-sex couple and had already received "privileges" with regard to membership and priesthood, well that child can still progress and get more ordinances.  That is to say a child who was a teacher at 15 and was living with his parents who were a same sex couple could still be ordained a priest at 16 and still be eligible to go on a mission without 1st presidency approval.  It's not clear whether such a child must disavow his parent's relationship though.  That seems to still apply.  

Interestingly I want to note, that a few months later Pres Nelson addressed the topic by saying

Quote

we considered countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios that could arise. We met repeatedly in the temple in fasting and prayer and sought further direction and inspiration. And then, when the Lord inspired His prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to declare the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord, each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation. It was our privilege as Apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson. Revelation from the Lord to His servants is a sacred process, and so is your privilege of receiving personal revelation.

The odd thing here to point out is the policy changed within a week.  It was heavily considered and prayed about, and then a week later it was changed.  Then as time went by president Nelson and the other GAs got wind of the pain people were dealing with due to the policy change.  As in they didn't consider such pains when they laid it out, after their countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios.  

3.5 years after the policy change the church came out and rescinded the policy:

Quote

Children of parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender may be baptized, if the custodial parents give permission for the baptism and understand both the doctrine that a baptized child will be taught and the covenants he or she will be expected to make, said President Oaks.

  • A non-member parent or parents (including LGBT parents) can request that their baby be blessed by a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder, said President Oaks. These parents will need to understand that congregation members will contact them periodically, and that when the child who has been blessed reaches 8 years of age, a Church member will contact them and propose that the child be baptized, said President Oaks during the leadership session.
  • While Church leaders still consider a same-gender marriage by a member to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline. Instead the “immoral conduct in heterosexual and homosexual relationship will be treated in the same way,” he said.

So the policy change from 2015 was clear a child of a parent or parents who are/is in a same sex-marriage cannot receive the ordinance of naming and blessing a child.  that was completely rescinded.  

A person who was in a same sex relationship, according to the 2015 policy change, was to be subject to church discipline and labeled an apostate.  That was rescinded as well.  While it may require church discipline they would not necessarily be treated as apostates.  And something the church has never said, to my knowledge, was that immoral conduct within hetero and homosexual relations will be treated the same way.  

I've noticed quite a few people say something like, "nothing was rescinded".. But that is not true at all.  Additionally what was rescinded was the need to get first presidency approval for particular cases.  

Recently Pres Nelson said  

Quote

We knew that this policy created concern and confusion for some and heartache for others. That grieved us. Whenever the sons and daughters of God weep—for whatever reasons—we weep. So, our supplications to the Lord continued.

They didn't seem to anticipate the pain they caused even after much thought and prayer.  It's hard to believe too that they put a ton of thought into the policy change to begin with since they changed it a week later, after some backlash.  It's interesting how much the church bends to bottom-up or outside pressure.  I mean it's good the Church can respond to such and act accordingly, but it's also a particular paradox for the Church.  The Church isn't supposed to do that.  It's supposed to be receiving Gods will.  

At one point it was God's will to not allow a child with a parent or parents in a same sex relationship to given the ordinance of naming and blessing.  Now that will of God is not true.  It was God's will that people who are in a same sex marriage or relationship should be subject to church discipline and considered apostates.  Now that particular will of God is not true anymore.  

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The believers should uphold President Nelson to God and request God's favor fall upon him and bless him with clear sight and knowledge how to move forward.

I do believe that he is simply out of touch with church members increasingly under the age of 50.

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59 minutes ago, Jake Starkey said:

The believers should uphold President Nelson to God and request God's favor fall upon him and bless him with clear sight and knowledge how to move forward.

I do believe that he is simply out of touch with church members increasingly under the age of 50.

Ah, good old ageism. The socially acceptable prejudice. 

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You mischaracterize but I forgive you.  Two young relatives, both back from their missions, simply state they don't get why President Nelson et al are out of touch with what is important: love thy neighbor.

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19 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

It amazes me how President Nelson can outline the process of receiving revelation & Tell us precisely that it was revelation, in a sermon where the Spirit overwhelmingly testifies that what he is saying is true, and we still have people denying that it's revelation.

How much more clearer does the Lord need to be? How much power does he need to call down before you will acknowledge that God is present in and revealing His will to His servants? 

May I suggest listening to the truths Pres Nelson was teaching, particularly number 5?

It becomes complicated for many when previous prophets taught that black people were trash and that Adam is God the Father. 

Forgive me for not believing Nelson’s PR campaign that the original policy was revelation when it only lasted 1 week before it was changed and less than 5 years before it was rescinded. 

Edited by 10THAmendment
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8 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Ah, good old ageism. The socially acceptable prejudice. 

I am curious.  What do you think was the root cause of the church leaders apparently being blindsided by the firestorm that happened both within the church and with the general public in general after the announcement of the Nov policy?  Or do you think they fully anticipated what happened?

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sigh.

PROPHETS ARE FALLIBLE 

GROW UP AND GET OVER IT.

Get your own testimonies and get on with life.

please resume the senseless squabbles :)

 

Edited by mfbukowski

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Yes, prophets are fallible, and the church body that acts as if they are not, they need to get over it.

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16 hours ago, Jake Starkey said:

You mischaracterize but I forgive you.  Two young relatives, both back from their missions, simply state they don't get why President Nelson et al are out of touch with what is important: love thy neighbor.

I find it increasingly ironic that Satan is using a most sacred Godly principle like love to pull people away from God's gospel.

"All the religion you need is love" seems to becoming more and more prevalent.

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5 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I find it increasingly ironic that Satan is using a most sacred Godly principle like love to pull people away from God's gospel.

"All the religion you need is love" seems to becoming more and more prevalent.

Probably a good reason people say this: https://medium.com/publishous/does-religion-breed-hatred-bigotry-and-violence-769d443f4809

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3 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Doesn't matter why they say it.  It's still wrong.  God requires love, but not only love.

Satan is truly crafty getting people to ignore God's gospel in favor of a disneyfied, undefined version of Christianity.

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I find it perplexing that LDS continue to become more confused as a group and individually with this proclamation.

Rick Turley apparently is not making any inroads on the perception of Nelson and Oaks about younger generations.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Doesn't matter why they say it.  It's still wrong.  God requires love, but not only love.

Satan is truly crafty getting people to ignore God's gospel in favor of a disneyfied, undefined version of Christianity.

There are too many philosophies out there, and some are cult driven. I think the spirit we each have inside and the moral compass, is far better than believing something incorrect. 

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10 hours ago, california boy said:

I am curious.  What do you think was the root cause of the church leaders apparently being blindsided by the firestorm that happened both within the church and with the general public in general after the announcement of the Nov policy?  Or do you think they fully anticipated what happened?

I think they expected some backlash. I think they may have been surprised at how many petitioned them for an exception. I would have been blindsided. I would assume very very few would have wanted their children baptized. I also believe there was a genuine concern that well-meaning bishops would baptize at mom or dad’s request and that the other parent in a same gender relationship would object after the fact. It has always been a requirement in my memory to get permission of both parents (assuming both have custody) but it was usually verbal and enforcement on making sure to get both was lax.

I think they quietly took another tact. Going forward the church wants scanned copies or baby blessing and baptism forms with the signatures of all custodial parents. Same effect, much less visible. Minor annoyance to us poor overworked clerks who have to collect the signatures but we will bear up.

I think it was a good learning experience at many levels of the church and I do not doubt both changes were inspired.

Now I just wish they would update the stupid handbook so we know how much of it was rescinded.

I think there is a shift going on and it has happened throughout my lifetime. The gospel went first to the honorable and upright of the feast and all but a few spurned the invitation. Now we seem to be collecting the derelicts. Look at the massive increase in support for the disabled, the mentally unwell, and the weak. Missionary opportunities are expanding. I do not believe we were ever generally dismissive or uncaring about those in pain but they seem to be the focus now. Just a personal suspicion that the wedding feast is gathering weirdos now like the parable. After all I am here now.

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3 hours ago, Jake Starkey said:

Yes, prophets are fallible, and the church body that acts as if they are not, they need to get over it.

That's us.  People who post here of course as representatives of the masses I suppose.

Prophets starting with Joseph have repeatedly said that prophets are fallible- what "church body" did you have in mind?

Edited by mfbukowski

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