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Handbook Update, Gay Marriage, Apostasy, Resignations... (Merged Thread)


JAHS

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No, it is the opposite imo. It allows them to not agonize over whether or not to be baptized until they are old enough to handle the family dynamics because they are more independent, emotionally mature, etc.

No offense, but that is total nonsense.  I can tell you from personal experience exactly what it will do.  As someone who was denied baptism as a child because of her parents sins, I grew up with the notion that I had been rejected by God.  Through out my childhood I believed that God didn't love me and that there would never be a place in heaven for me.  To this day I still have crippling emotional scars as a result of this event.  Fortunately, I wised up as an adult and left that church... and found the LDS church.  I never dreamed we would do something so cruel to children.  My heart is absolutely breaking over this!

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They seem to be more same than different.  Can you explain what you believe the differences are?

Listing the differences between SSM and polygamy seems to be stating the obvious. Listing the differences from the Church's perspective seems even more obvious--seeing as we once promoted polygamy. I'm really not sure how this is not obvious to others. What are the similarities?

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Believe it or not..my greatest concern personally is for the present day LDS primary children.  Sometime this month, they will probably sing a primary song about following the Prophet.  As they grow in the church and learn what is and is not acceptable..they will get to feel exceptional and more special than some of their classmates..or sit by someone of the age of 8 that is not allowed to be baptized.  It is such a teachable moment for me personally..that I made the right decision leaving the church i 2008. 

 

Never ever have I felt more sadness and disappointment in what I thought would be a beginning of opening doors in compassion and truth. 

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I've served as a bishop's counselor for years now and have seen plenty of times where decisions have been made to not follow what the handbook says.

 

Regarding scripture and AF2... Children are supposed to be free of their parents sin.

 

Children can't be punished for parental sin (meaning, they are not considered to be sinful just because their parents sinned-they don't need to repent of anything).  Children are never free of the consequences of their parents sins in mortality.  We aren't free of the consequences of adam's sin, even though we aren't held accountable for it.  This policy seems to work the same way for the children of ss adults.  I'm not seeing the conflict.

 

Do you believe that with this policy the church is teaching that the children of SS parents are sinful and are accountable for their parents' sins?

 

I get that bishops have some leeway, but if the handbook says specifically "you cannot baptize these people" can the bishop baptize those people and he retain his calling?  Is there a line that a bishop cannot cross?

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No, sorry, it's a saving ordinance... you don't get to write it off as "timing and the bigger picture".  The Church is creating the problem for children of gay parents.  Not the children.

 

Just last month my ward bent over backwards to the get a child baptized.  That child is the son of a man who is completely inactive and living in an adulterous relationship. That child did not have to move out of his father's home!  He wasn't forced to answer for his dad's sins!  We didn't need first presidency approval!  This is a biased, mean-spirited policy.

Of course baptism is a saving ordinance. Sometimes people have to wait due to circumstances beyond their control, such as the sins of the parents that have been imposed upon them. Subject to the particularly faith- and covenant-undermining circumstance of being raised and indoctrinated by a same-gender couple, a person needs time to see the bigger Gospel picture and demonstrate that he captures it, and so the body of Christ shepherds him in a particularly attentive and sensitive manner so that all receive the full blessings of D&C 20:37.

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And the national media attention begins:

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mormon-church-bars-children-same-sex-couples-baptism-blessings-n458416

 

From the article, quoting John Dehlin:

 

"What's even more disturbing about this new policy change is that the children of LDS murderers and rapists can still get baptized, but children of legally same-sex married couples cannot. This is troubling even by Mormon standards."

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How so? The policy says "child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, " So where the child lives does not matter. What the child does or believes does not matter. All that matters is that the SS parent lives in a relationship (cohabitation or marriage). 

 

It doesn't say where the child lives does not matter.  That interpretation has been added by you.  Maybe it does matter and maybe it doesn't.  I prefer to wait and hear what the church actually says about it.

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I asked this question before, with a bit of hyperbole, but I really want to know why there is any expectation that this could not be expanded to parents of gay married children? Why is there any reason to limit this to children forced to reject how their parents conduct their lives?  Why can't the same reasoning be used to require a parent to disclose to leadership that they reject their own children's lifestyle? If a child can be asked to account for his parents, certainly a parent can be asked to account for his children, regardless of their age.

Edited by CA Steve
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I said a few months back that when people realized they could not reshape the church in their image, many if not most of the SSM advocates would leave. This is the next such sifting event. There will be others. I do not doubt the Church will take a lot of cheap shots over this (see the Tribune). I also do not doubt many will leave. That's their choice. 

 

This is the right policy decision to protect the child and the Church. 

 

"We thank thee, O God, for a prophet."

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Which would include children in a joint custody situation too.

 

It definitely might.  Children can be in a joint custody situation and not live with both parents though.  Sometimes children in such circumstances live with a primary parent and only stay with the other parent for visits a couple weeks out of the year (I have a cousin that is dealing with this).

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Well now the beliefs of the church can not be entrenched in the minds and hearts of children due to a ridiculous policy.  And you think this is a good reason the policy has been instituted??

LOL as if the children read the policy. No, their parents indoctrinate them, whether in the teaching of the Church on the subject or something antithetical to it.Yes, I agree the policy was instituted for good reason, and I've posted my thoughts on that a couple of times.

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How is denying blessing & baptism to children an act of love, compassion, and mercy?

They're not accountable for keeping covenants they may not be prepared to make.

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Children can't be punished for parental sin (meaning, they are not considered to be sinful just because their parents sinned-they don't need to repent of anything).  Children are never free of the consequences of their parents sins in mortality.  We aren't free of the consequences of adam's sin, even though we aren't held accountable for it.  This policy seems to work the same way for the children of ss adults.  I'm not seeing the conflict.

 

Do you believe that with this policy the church is teaching that the children of SS parents are sinful and are accountable for their parents' sins?

 

I get that bishops have some leeway, but if the handbook says specifically "you cannot baptize these people" can the bishop baptize those people and he retain his calling?  Is there a line that a bishop cannot cross?

 

The children we are talking about are ages 0-18. So yes, many (most) of them are accountable for their own sins. If you believe that baptism, confirmation, taking the sacrament, performing temple baptisms, using priesthood, etc. work to purify and sanctify people, then denying those things to these children does in fact punish them. We can hope for the day when such punishment is corrected. But just as with denying the priesthood to blacks, the present harm is still very real.

Edited by Buckeye
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How is denying blessing & baptism to children an act of love, compassion, and mercy?

They're not accountable for keeping covenants they may not be prepared to make.

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Where I find John Dehlin's argument follows apart is that there isn't a family unit or lifestyle centred around raping and murder. If there was I'd imagine the same policy regarding the renouncing of raping and murderinf families as in line with the the doctrines of the Lord.

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I hope Brother Scott Lloyd has his iPhone handy because I have a prediction!

 

Within 30 years I predict that this unscriptural policy will be the subject of an "essay" posted to the Church's website.  The Church will explain why it ignored its own teachings and doctrines and describe how past (our current) Church leadership sometimes made mistakes by ignoring:

 

1.  Children are accountable at age 8

2.  Men/women are only accountable for their own actions and not the actions of others 

 

What's next?  Denying baptism to children of smokers, coffee drinkers, or alcoholics?  What about obese parents?  Or parents who don't pay a full tithe?  

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And the national media attention begins:

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mormon-church-bars-children-same-sex-couples-baptism-blessings-n458416

 

From the article, quoting John Dehlin:

 

"What's even more disturbing about this new policy change is that the children of LDS murderers and rapists can still get baptized, but children of legally same-sex married couples cannot. This is troubling even by Mormon standards."

Wow.

 

I saw it posted that John Dehlin is being credited (or blamed) for leaking the new addition for apostasy in the church handbook and then the church leaders admitted it was true and went public with it.  Is this true?

Edited by ALarson
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Copied from somewhere else, but it largely mirrors my view:

I had the same thought and I found this post, not sure I agree with all of it, but it does present a different perspective.

"Did you know that, in the LDS Faith, a child cannot get baptized without their parents' approval? A spouse cannot be baptized without their husband's or wife's consent? And, in addition, if the parents practice polygamy, the child cannot get baptized? The church does a TON to protect children and spouses from being taught one thing at home and another thing at church.

Did you know that the LDS Faith is very careful in how it proselytizes Muslims? Even in countries that protect the religious freedom of both Christians and Muslims, there are cultural differences that make it dangerous for Muslims to convert to Christianity.

Each of these boundaries provide protections for the church, the prospective member, and the family. For the church, it allows them to clearly teach God's plan of Salvation (centered on Jesus Christ and marriage between a man and a woman) without worrying that those they teach will face conflict at home. For the family members of those involved, it allows family autonomy and reduces conflict and secrecy. For the prospective member, it helps them not have to lose vital family relationships (and, if they are under 18, food and shelter).

While Christ does ask us to be prepared to give up family to follow him, (Matthew 10:37), he never teaches that one should attempt to be both a good family member and a good church member, if those two are at odds.

Let me explain one more thing before I address the reason I wrote this post, if you'll bear with me. It is not a small matter to become a member of the LDS Church. As I explained above, if an adult Muslim wants to become a member of the church, the church may still decline to baptize the candidate simply because of cultural conflicts. Those who were raised in polygamous households also have extra requirements asked of them if they wish to be baptized. This policy is not a sign of a lack of love, but rather, in the context of the plan of salvation, a recognition that the doctrines and ordinances of Christ are for all in His time, not ours. See Isaiah 55:8-9, Proverbs 3:5-6; Alma 40:8; Moroni 8; Doctrine and Covenants 88:73.

In this context, two policies accurately leaked to the media today-- and, in at least one case, reported sensationally-- make more sense. I (and the media) say two policies, but I will split them into three policies.

The first policy is that choosing to be married to a same-gender partner is incompatible with church membership ("apostasy"). As I mentioned above, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is centered on the value of Christ's atonement to the bond between a husband and a wife and their children. While individuals may experience and act on same-sex attraction without being apostate, the church considers the step of being a party to a same-gender marriage as a sufficient repudiation of the doctrine of the plan of salvation to constitute apostasy.

The second policy, like the ones I began the post with, has the effect of not putting children at the center of a conflict between their household and the teachings of their church. The policy is that any child who is being raised by a same-sex couple may not receive baptism or be blessed as a baby. Like with the policies I mentioned above, it protects not just the child, but the church and the household who is raising the child. Conflicts are inevitable if a child is taught that those the child's legal guardians are sinners-- and the only way for them to stop being sinners is by ending their relationship.

The final policy is that those who are adults and were raised by same-sex couples must meet extra standards before becoming baptized. This, like the policies regarding adult muslims and adult children of polygamy, serve to protect the candidate. In the context of the plan of salvation, this policy will aim to help people come closer to Christ by helping them be baptized in an environment where they can spiritually grow"

Edited by halconero
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It doesn't say where the child lives does not matter.  That interpretation has been added by you.  Maybe it does matter and maybe it doesn't.  I prefer to wait and hear what the church actually says about it.

 

Here's a screenshot of the actual manual. Knock yourself out:

 

 

sgm.jpg

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Have te brethren released an official statement? I'd rather have this discussion when that happens. From my understanding this is from the Bishop's handbook which isn't available to the public--at least it's not supposed to be. There's a lot of anger, confusion, and misunderstanding, which is completely uncharacteristic of the brethren. I think it bet to hear from them first

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Since the policy of the last 100 years or so is effectively the same as the new clarification about the status of families practicing same sex marriage...

 

I was wondering what distinguishes children of polygamist families from children of gay marriages in the eyes of those who are expressing their concern about the new handbook of instructions and how it will be implemented?

 

Nothing.  It is just as unscriptural to deny baptism to these kids as well.

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Children can't be punished for parental sin (meaning, they are not considered to be sinful just because their parents sinned-they don't need to repent of anything).  Children are never free of the consequences of their parents sins in mortality.  We aren't free of the consequences of adam's sin, even though we aren't held accountable for it.  This policy seems to work the same way for the children of ss adults.  I'm not seeing the conflict.

 

Do you believe that with this policy the church is teaching that the children of SS parents are sinful and are accountable for their parents' sins?

 

I get that bishops have some leeway, but if the handbook says specifically "you cannot baptize these people" can the bishop baptize those people and he retain his calling?  Is there a line that a bishop cannot cross?

 

I don't think that this policy is saying that the children of gay parents are sinful but it is holding them accountable for their parents' sin.

 

I don't know what the line is that a bishop cannot cross.  All I'm saying is that I have watched bishops and stake presidents apply policy in ways that differ significantly from the handbook.  In the spirit of the OP, consider these scenarios:

 

1.  8 year old child is living with her lesbian mom who are no longer members of the church.  Grandma wants her granddaughter to be baptized.

 

2.  14 year old boy is living with his active LDS mom while his gay dad is living with another man out of state.

 

#1 above seems fairly clear cut given the new policy.  But I could see a bishop and stake president deciding that they could ordain the YM in example #2.

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