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


JAHS

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Do we have to point out that the Church of Jesus Christ is quite unlike the U.S. Senate?

 

This is the second time today I've had to address faulty comparisons between parliamentary government and the government of God.

 

You can try and point it out and fail miserably like you just did. :rofl:

 

Do I have to point out what our scriptures say about our parlimentary government and the US Senate Scott?

 

D&C 134

 1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society

 

God himself claims to have personally setup our parlimentary US Government by people he raised to the very purpose!

 

“I established the Constitution of this land,” said the Lord, “by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80).

 

President Ezra taft Benson said our Constitution is Divine... and a Sacred Document.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/98.5?lang=eng#4

 

This US Parlimentary Government is the closest thing to the Goverment of God we men of the Ladder days are going to get till the Lord returns.

 

Might I also remind you of another Senate floor VOTE that took place along... long... time ago in the heights of Mt. Olympus...

 

Abr3

 27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

 

All of those In favor of SUSTAINING Jesus Christ in his new Job as Savior say I

 

2/3 + 1 voted: I

 

All of those opposed say nay.

 

1/3 + 1 voted Nay

 

The Voting has been recorded:  Those who voted I, the Chior meets on the stand. Those who voted nay can exit at the rear. Have a nice life and thanks for voting. 

 

Here have a sticker.

 

My Senate Floor analogy stands on solid bedrock Scott. Are you really going to continue kicking againsts the pricks and tell me these scriptures don't mean exactly what they say they mean and that we in the church don't have a say by our sustaining VOTE?

 

I think you owe who ever you wrongly chastized earlier an apology.

Edited by Zakuska
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If the lds church would have put out a statement that all same sex couples who are members should encourge their child to be baptized at 8, would probably claim that the church wants their child to be baptized to brainwash them. First, same sex couples would probably be speaking against the church to their children. I don't think that they would be very positive about church marriage policy nor other policies that the church may have about the family. This would automatically turn the child against the church if the parents were constantly complaining about the church. It is much better not to be baptized than to be baptized and then become an apostate or just leave the church which most likely may happen. I see the church's decision as a way to safeguard these children.

Edited by why me
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No, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not punishing anyone: it is preventing children from being placed in situations in which they make covenants it would be difficult for them to keep. I see that as an act of mercy, not as a punishment.

 

 

Sometimes when I was young and had misbehaved, my parent would withhold my allowance.  Sure felt like punishment to me at the time.

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I am beginning to agree with you.  I have made a conscious decision to not be a part of the church because I am gay.  There is no place in the plan of salvation if you are gay.  I have accepted that and, though I have always supported my children's involvement in the church, I am feeling that the church is becoming overtly hostile to families that have a gay parent.  If my children were younger, it would break my heart that they could not be members of the church. I always thought that the church had a lot to offer someone who is straight.  Now I am feeling that if my children were younger, they would be nothing but hurt and anger towards the church for not allowing them to be members because of the choices I have made.  I think my counsel now would be to walk away from such an environment.  It is no longer a healthy place for children of a gay parent.  This is nothing more but a continuation of the attacks the church has made towards parents who are gay.  Prop 8 was an attack on the civil rights of gay couples outside the church.  Now the church is attacking the children of former members who are gay.

 

 

I think that you need to tell us more of your story. Most likely you were married to a woman when you had your children. If so, they would be members of the church. Or did you have your children when you were with your male partner?  I tend to think that it is the first one. Reading your posts, I have seen you more as a critic of the lds church. Most likely, if you were a gay parent of a 9 year old who you and your partner adopted but who was baptized at 8, you would not be that positive toward the lds church with that child. In fact, I can see you telling the child how terrible the church is toward gays. And most likely, the child would leave the church as a baptized person  before the age of 14. Would that be better than having the child wait until they can make their own informed position?

 

I think that this would happen in most gay families who are or were mormon. For the church, the child is important. Why put the child through such emotional harm? Much better to let the child be baptized when they are capable of making their own choices in the matter, after having the ability to 'reason' their way through it.

Edited by why me
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So maybe the church should stop baptizing all together since EVERY time a person is baptized they are making covenants that may be difficult to keep.  

 

I personally admit I am shocked God wants us to make the covenants he does so I sympathize with this point of view.

 

I see no problem with waiting though. I know many people who have had to wait a long time before experiencing the fulness of Church blessings and God seems okay with that too and in many cases allowed obstacles to remain that slowed their path to those blessings.

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I should have said that this OP wasn't intended as a place to discuss the policy itself. Moreso, it's about the approach to seeking truth.

Have we ever heard a scripture along the lines of, "Yea, mine anger did lead me to understand the mysteries of God...?"

Anger and other negative emotions and approaches can be part of normal feelings that we must process healthily. However, discernment imo is better obtained in peaceful approaches and peaceful processing itself.

Now I do think peaceful approaches would not conclude the Church is wrong. But, I'd hope that all would agree that peaceful decision-making approaches would tend to lead to good and right answers, whatever they really are.

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For those who are arguing that all is well because ordinances are available after death:

 

What is the point of this life, then?  Why proselytize?  If people who have greater knowledge have greater culpability, wouldn't it then be better to not tell people about the LDS church so that they don't have to live by and be judged by greater commitments and covenants in this life?

 

Is the logical conclusion that the child who dies before the age of accountability is in a better situation than the child who lives?  Or, the person who never heard of Jesus (and Joseph Smith, et al) is in a better situation than those who have?  The person who doesn't join the LDS church has an easier path that also leads to salvation than the person who does join?

 

And if you say that greater happiness and joy and growth is available if someone joins the LDS church in this life, then... why do you argue that it's ok when these ordinances are delayed or denied because everything is available in the next life?

 

(please don't respond with a red herring about the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church :) )

 

Yes, the ordinances are available after death but the fulness of their efficacy, according to our scripture, is mitigated if one rejects them in this life after having the opportunity to join and then chooses them in the next. To be clear we do not presume to define what qualifies as having that opportunity. It is judged by God and I am guessing varies based on the individual. If I have the opportunity and reject it I am cutting myself off from the fulness of salvation.

 

Now in cases where the covenants of the gospel are held back (polygamous children, same-sex marriage children, blacks before the end of the Priesthood Ban) that opportunity was obviously not there and God will not restrict them for receiving the ordinances posthumously.

 

As to more knowledge making you more culpable that is true but unlike most of the rest of Christianity we consider the knowledge of good and evil to have been a distinctly positive step. We consider knowledge to be good. There is no magic in the next life that makes you more likely to choose wisely there and you have to get the knowledge at some point so why not now?

 

Someone who dies before the age of accountability will be an heir of salvation. The usual explanation is that they did not need the test of this life at this time for some reason. Some suggest they need to experience life in a mortal sphere in the Millenium after the Savior returns but we are wandering into speculative territory here. I assume we will learn more as time goes on. The gospel is still in its infancy here. I definitely do not think that those who do not learn of Joseph and the gospel in this life are better off. Prophets have taught that it is less easy to change in the Spirit World then it is here. My understanding of this based on the teachings of President Kimball is that it is harder to change trajectory there but it you are on the right path perfection will be easier to achieve there then here once you have conquered the flesh enough here to get on the right road.

 

The more logical argument I have heard is that it is better to wait until you are old and then convert because you get the same reward. Here you get to the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. Is it worth it to labor in the "heat of the day"? I would argue it is. There is joy to be found in serving the Master even if that joy is tinged with more trials, pains, and afflictions then you may otherwise have faced. My life might have been more objectively comfortable if I had never heard of the gospel but I would not give up the sublime interactions I have experienced when the Holy Ghost is rushing through my blood like water or fire for a 10% raise, more recreation on Sunday, and countless hours spent in callings, scripture study, prayer, and two years saved from a mission. I am also confident that in time all will be well. I will be brought back to the presence of God and be drenched in joy and happiness forever.

 

And why allow for delays? I have to admit that here I have to take a jab at Christianity in general. I find our restrictions on children to make more sense for their spiritual and emotional welfare then I do Jesus's seeming refusal to bring the gospel to the Gentiles (and, to be fair, our own Priesthood Ban). Why make them wait then? I don't know. Same reason I wonder why God kept his gospel seemingly so geographically concentrated in a few areas in Pre-Christ times and why he left the fulness of the gospel off the earth for over a millenium in post-Christ times. In this case specifically I see a reason for it. That is more then we often get. Even if I did not I would just accept it. God can do as he likes. If he decides to strip the Priesthood for a time from caucasians in a pseudo-reversal of the Priesthood Ban he has that right and he does not have to explain why. He is in charge and can see reasons and individual situations that will develop because of decisions that we cannot. That is why I am convinced this policy will do more good then harm and even much of the harm will be turned to good.

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Formally join another church and advocate its teachings.

 

Just out of curiosity, how often does this happen?  If an inactive member is baptized into another church, is a disciplinary council held?  It sounds like it, if it is mandatory, but I'm wondering about the actual practice.

 

This was added to the handbook after I started talking about paradigm piracy and simultaneous Mormon/Catholic active membership on this message board about 9 years ago, so I like to think that I had a hand in the creation of that policy. Before I came around, there was no policy against joining other churches.

 

http://www.oocities.org/tribhis/paradigm.html

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In the Church Handbook, it states that formally joining another church and advocating its teachings counts as apostasy, with the assumption that you're okay as long as you don't advocate any teachings. But what about advocating membership (without teachings)?

 

Would I get in trouble if I encouraged Mormons to become cafeteria Catholics and/or infiltrate Scientology?

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I haven't read through all 18 pages of this thread!! I got to 23 on a previous one before it was locked!!!! This piece was written by a friend of mine. I have his permission to share it. I think it is well written, respecting all whose lives are impacted by this change in policy:

 

Withholding of Baptism for Children of Same Sex Parents – my thoughts
Most of Gospel teachings should be taught in the home. If a child is baptized into the Church with same sex parents there will be a conflict between what is taught in Church and what the child witnesses every day at home. Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is clearly stated in the proclamation which was given twenty years ago. It is specific, direct and crystal clear. Anyone choosing to live in a SS relationship is clearly defying the revealed word of God given through the Prophets. If the SS couple refuse to accept the proclamation to the family then what is the purpose of having association with the Church? It is like saying, “I want to be a member of the Church but on my terms, not God’s”.
Hopefully a child will be taken to Church with the parents (or parent if single) and taught the principles of the Gospel in a way that is not in conflict. 
The policy of not baptizing children in these circumstances is a blessing to them. They are not then making covenants with the Lord whilst witnessing their SS parents deliberately living at odds with those same covenants. What is the likelihood that a child living in a household where the parents live in contradiction of the marriage between a man and woman will take its own covenants seriously?
The church is not a club whereby baptism is the means of membership, but is a sacred covenant made between God and the individual concerned.
The child, once eighteen years old can then be baptised once they have shown they reject a homosexual lifestyle. He will then not have rejected the parents, only the lifestyle they have chosen to live.
The Church has sent out a clear message that it does not and will not condone SS marriage and homosexuality. It is clear there are those who were thinking that the Church was weakening in its stance. The fact is the Church is trying hard to love and include Homosexuals and Lesbians but making it clear that the lifestyle will not be accepted in the Church. This policy has re-confirmed the Church’s stand as well as protecting the children involved.
If people choose a gay lifestyle then they need to understand that those loved ones in their family will be negatively affected as a result. Excommunication is not new. It has always been the Lord’s way. If any members deliberately fight against and openly rebel against the Church and its teachings then that is the likely outcome.
The leaders of the Church (meaning the first presidency and quorum of the twelve) do not make decisions of this magnitude on a whim. They will have fasted and prayed, maybe for weeks or months to find out the Lord’s will on this issue. On the other hand, those who are enemies of the Church or members who are struggling, respond with a knee jerk reaction. Difficult to come to terms with at first? Maybe – but we should remember that God’s ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts. Isaiah 55:8
There must needs be opposition in all things. 2 Nephi 2:11 There is opposition in everything. The choice is, follow uninspired people, often hostile to the Church, or seek out God’s will through searching in prayer to understand. In other words, listen to the uninspired or listen to righteous men, called to be Prophets and turn to the source of all truth – God!  Alternatively we can follow the most recent blog – seeking for teachers with our itching ears, or follow the Prophet. If an individual believes that these men are prophets of God then what does it matter anyway? The fact is, the Church is true or it isn’t. If anyone thinks it isn’t then they should leave it – and then leave it alone! Better still they could repent and change – find the Spirit of God in their hearts. That is what the lord wants us all to do. Then they will see with Spiritual eyes – not the eyes of the world – men’s wisdom.
Baptism is not simply someone choosing to be baptised. A person has to be worthy and show that in their behaviour.
D&C 20:37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
In the case of an eight year old, it is considered the responsibility of the parent to ensure the child is taught correctly. 
D&C 68: 25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
How can parents living a SS lifestyle teach those things while openly defying the Lord’s teachings?
The sins of the parents always result in negative effects for the children. However God knows His own and He will watch over them. That said, we all have a responsibility to teach truth.
I have faith in the Gospel plan. I know that God is in control. We can thrash around as did Pharaoh and the children of Israel, and question God’s ways – but His ways are not ours. We need to be obedient and faithful.
I could go on but what would be the point?
Here is the summary of the whole matter, whether it be Polygamy, Blacks and the Priesthood, who wrote the Book of Mormon etc. etc. etc.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
When we stop fighting God and His teachings and His prophets, then we can move forward the way the Lord wants us to.
These are the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church). They are only incumbent upon those who choose to accept the restoration of the Gospel. If people do not believe the teachings they have three choices…
1 Turn to the Lord Himself through prayer in order to understand the doctrine through Spiritual eyes – this is the right course. Where else can we find truth? (see scripture below)
2 Reject the teachings and leave the Church
3 Reject the teachings and spend their lives trying to convince others to accept their views.
 
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
 
The instability we are witnessing is due to the double mindedness we see all around us. People trying to make the Church conform to their points of view. Of course the Lord knows what is best for us. Unfortunately there are those who disagree with that – hence the confusion, misrepresentation and muddle.
 
Alan Spedding
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And with SSM couples, won't they also teach their children to accept their lifestyle?

And with SSM couples, won't they also teach their children to accept their lifestyle?

If someone is gay and., does not make any children gay. But denying baptism seems to punish the mercy to the child, who will suffer for the sins of their parents.
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I am not angry, but fear for those who deny the mercies of a loving God. We baptize children who are in family that are part member or any other family environment. I do not support SSM, but children are being denied membership because of the sins of their parents?

The policy is the same for children of polygamous families, children of Muslim families. Even some adult Muslims require First Presidency permission for baptism because it could endanger their lives. All of these are put in place to safeguard those involved. Not out of some desire to punish. Heavenly Father knows the desires of those wishing to be baptized. He is not going to withhold any blessings from them because they are not in a position (because of the choices of others, in some instances) to fulfill their desire at that specific time. 

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Yes, well, the problem is that the blessings of the Gospel are now supposed to be available to everyone—even children. In the words of lds.org: "In theology and practice, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints embraces the universal human family. . . . The teachings of the Church in relation to God’s children are epitomized by a verse in the second book of Nephi: '[The Lord] denieth none that cometh unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.'"

 

You know the verse, but you forget what was required of every one of those individuals - repent and be baptized.  Do you think that all should repent or do you think we should create a separate class of privileged people to allow gays to indulge openly in sin without any consequences?  

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From the church. As the church continues to marginalize an already marginalized group of people it becomes an emotionally dangerous place. It is better to avoid such danger all together.

 

Who is marginalized; which group are you talking about?  I see happy gay people on every night of the week on television.  Every movie I go to talks about gay people; every paper I pick up I read about gay people; the forum talks ad nauseum about gay people.  Oh, you must be talking about Christians that actually believe that disciples of Christ have a responsibility to invite all to repent and come unto Christ.  I should have guessed.  

 

You don't really get to play that card anymore; it does not exist.  Gays have more rights than anyone else in our society today.  They have become the chosen class; the class that no one can touch for they are the beholding to no other group, church, people, organization, and the government makes it so.  

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The policy is the same for children of polygamous families, children of Muslim families. Even some adult Muslims require First Presidency permission for baptism because it could endanger their lives. All of these are put in place to safeguard those involved. Not out of some desire to punish. Heavenly Father knows the desires of those wishing to be baptized. He is not going to withhold any blessings from them because they are not in a position (because of the choices of others, in some instances) to fulfill their desire at that specific time

 

This is a good point, but unfortunately, none of those individuals are really important; they just don't belong to the privileged class and the media, all forms, is not cramming them down the throats of the public as they are with gay people.

 

This whole uproar is contrived because a privileged class feels they may possibly, at some time, in some other reality, not get exactly what they want when they want it.  Who is being harmed?  Exactly how many gay families attend church regularly and are committed to their children being taught the doctrines of the Church?  I have heard of divorced families where the spouse with primary care of child(ren) are active in Church.  When they visit the non-custodial, gay parent, the gay parent supports the desires of the full-time parent and takes them to church and are welcomed.  In this situation, the children would still be able to be baptized.  What I am not aware of is the supposedly large number of actively gay families that attend Church that are being harmed by the policy.  Where are they?

 

They do not exist.  This king has no clothes, yet the media and all those with a gay agenda are up in arms over what?  A privileged class may have been harmed IF they were active Latter-day Saints, which they are not.  

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No, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not punishing anyone: it is preventing children from being placed in situations in which they make covenants it would be difficult for them to keep. I see that as an act of mercy, not as a punishment.

 

Your mileage obviously varies.

 

I find it interesting that he says children have to wait until they are old enough to make an "informed and conscious decision" to be baptised. So that's not possible until they are 18?

 

So does that mean that all 8 years olds are asked to make a formal commitment to the church/God and be baptised before they are able to make an informed and conscious decision? Interesting.

 

He's right of course. All of my kinds had as strong a belief in Santa on the day of their baptism as they did of a supreme being. They were just doing what their parents and peer group encouraged them to do. Whether that continues right through until 18 is debatable though. 

 

If a child has their parent's permission, is a decision to be baptised at 12 or 15 or 17 one that can be informed and conscious?

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You know the verse, but you forget what was required of every one of those individuals - repent and be baptized. 

So a child of a gay couple has more repenting to do than any other 8 year old child?  Why can't they also repent and be baptized?

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