The LDS Changes For Children Of Same Sex Parents Is About Love, Not Hatred

Posted on Nov 6 2015 - 12:40pm by Markell

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My Facebook news feed is full of people talking about the new changes to the LDS church policy, especially in regards to children of same sex couples. 

I have some thoughts about this that I feel prompted to share. I pray that my intentions come across as pure and that you will read this post with an open mind. I have many friends who are in same gender relationships and I love them very much. So often our minds are made up about issues before we really look into what they are about, and I’d just like to share my perspective on this particular issue. 

For reference, this is the policy change I’m talking about. It has been added to a handbook for leaders of the church: 

Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:

A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:

  • The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
  • The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.

On first glance, it seems like this policy restricts blessings to children born into families with two mothers or two fathers. Not allowing them the blessings of baptism seems like a “curse because of their parent’s sins” kind of a thing. 

But if you take a second to understand what an LDS baptism entails, you’ll understand the reason for this change, and why it truly is out of love. 

In the LDS church, we believe that with blessings, comes responsibility. Baptism isn’t just an ordinance needed for eternal salvation, but it is a sign of our commitment to living a different sort of life than the world sees as normal. When we are baptized, we are entering into a covenant with God. A covenant is a two way promise. We promise specific things to God, and He makes promises in return. God is bound to do what He promises. So if we live up to our end of the promises, we are guaranteed certain blessings. 

The covenant we make with God when we are baptized is that we will take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end. In return, He promises that all the sins we have made prior to being baptized are forgiven, and that if we live up to our end of the promises, we will have eternal life. This article is a really good one if you want more information on the promises of baptism. Each week in church, we take the sacrament and renew that covenant. We have the opportunity every day to repent and each week we take the sacrament and recommit ourselves to those covenants we made at baptism. 

When we talk about “His Commandments” we are talking about the commandments in the scriptures, and those given by latter day prophets. Yes, the LDS church believes we still have a living prophet on the earth today. And why wouldn’t we? Why would God send prophets in the biblical days and not now, when the world is so chaotic? 

There are many commandments that have been given. It’s not expected that anyone is perfect, but that they do their best to live up to the commandments. I know, through my own experiences and the experiences of others, that the commandments have been given to us to make us happy, not to make us miserable. I’ve lived both lives, one following the commandments and one going against them as much as I possibly could, and I promise, life is better when I am following them. 

One of the most important teachings and commandments of the LDS church is the focus on the family and the commandment that marriage is only between a man and a woman. God cannot change the laws based on popular opinion. He cannot say it is okay to do something that goes contrary to the plan of happiness. 

So when children and teenagers are baptized into this church, they are promising to keep the commandments. That promise is hard enough with support at home, even more so if the family is living a life contrary to the commandments that the child has promised to keep. Inevitably, there will be contention in the family, something the church never wants to be responsible for. By getting baptized when they live in an environment that isn’t conducive to the church teachings, we are setting them up for failure. 

Children who have same sex parents are more than welcomed in the building, and so are their parents. They can come to the meetings, they can participate in activities, and be loved by the members. EVERYONE is welcomed into our buildings. But they cannot make promises that they aren’t willing to keep. Yes, this means they cannot receive the blessings that come with those promises, but it also means they aren’t responsible for the responsibilities that come with making those promises. They aren’t required to live a life contrary to the lives of their parents. Once they are able to live a life that coincides with the teachings of the church, they are able to be baptized. At that point, all of their previous sins will be forgiven and they will be more likely to be able to keep their baptismal covenants. 

I hope I’ve been able to adequately explain how I feel about this and why I really do think it is a good thing. You don’t have to take my word for it. Pray about it. I promise that God will give you the answers you’re seeking for. 

Feel free to disagree with me, but please keep comments civil. I’m grateful we live in a country where everyone has the freedom to belong (or not belong) to what ever church they want.
 

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6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. stacymbrady November 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Allow me to be a positive comment before any negativity ensues. Great post. I wholeheartedly agree and if more people were to really think about it and pray about it, I think they would come to similar conclusions. Don't let the hate get to you if you receive any. We need more voices like yours. Stand strong. 🙂

    • amouseinmykitchen November 6, 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to give me your encouraging words.

  2. Bethany November 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Thanks for having the courage and clarity of mind to lovingly explain something so many people are struggling with. I have a hard time with contention and I'm often not sure what to say when misunderstandings arise. It helps me that others find the words I can't.

  3. Lestat November 6, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    I wont swear curse words at you or anything but I do have to say this, In your king james version of what you all follow does it not say do not judge lest thee be judged also. Honestly who gives anyone the right to judge someone and to keep them from getting baptized if they would like to be saved and clean, Honestly nobody has that power, if you think that a church or anyone for that matter does i believe you are sadly mistaken, I know i will probably get flac for this but honestly I don't care. I hate and i do mean hate the fact that so many in this world are against someone that is in love with someone reguardless of if its a man and man or a woman and woman. Let me ask you this are you GOD or a GOD honestly? Do you have the power to judge someone truly? I am not christian i have studied many religions but honestly do you have that power? I would like to think not, It is not you or anyone on this earth that will judge someone when that day comes so why do you all judge someone now. Those who are against gays is a blasphemy in itself if you think about it. You are taking it upon yourself to judge someone when you are not the GOD or Whoever you believe in in the first place. Anyways that is what i believe. I wish you the best in all your endeavors and may whoever you believe in bless you.

    • LadyK November 6, 2015 at 11:32 pm - Reply

      No one is judging gay people. But we do believe that living that kind of a lifestyle is against God's commandments. If someone stole something you would call them a thief. If someone lied to you then you would call them a liar. The title is a.statement and not a judgment. If someone chooses to live a homosexuality lifestyle then that is their choice and if you believe in the Bible, as LDS members do, then holding them accountable is no different than holding a thief accountable. This is a very difficult decision that the church leaders have made and I am sure they did so after much fasting and prayer.

  4. Gossamer November 6, 2015 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    "Negros are more than welcomed in the building, and so are their parents. They can come to the meetings, they can participate in activities, and be loved by the members. EVERYONE is welcomed into our buildings. But they cannot make promises that they aren’t willing to keep. Yes, this means they cannot receive the blessings that come with those promises, but it also means they aren’t responsible for the responsibilities that come with making those promises."

    If the Mormon church is so concerned about the preserving the sanctity of marriage and less about punishing gay people then why don't they adopt the same policy towards the children of divorced parents. Especially those who have married in the temple? Does that not make more sense?
    After all that was an actual solemnized ordination in front of God himself.

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