Friday, November 6, 2015

Does the LDS Church hate children in LGBT families?

The answer is:


It doesn't.

But the church doesn't allow gays to participate in certain aspects of their meetings and rites, yes?

Yes, and the same applies to any heterosexual people whose sexual actions are not in accordance with church doctrine. 

However, the latest policy changes and additions to the church handbook of instructions has put even long-time members in a state of unrest. The two changes are as follows:
  1. Same-sex marriage now falls under the category of apostasy.
  2. Children in custody of same-sex parents may not be granted membership in the Church until they (1) are legal adults, (2) have disavowed the practice of same-sex relationships,  and (3) have moved away from home.
When I read the new policies, I wasn't surprised by the first one.  The second one caught me off-guard but after thinking about it, I realized that it, too, made perfect sense. Here's why.

Same-sex marriage now falls under the category of apostasy.

The original definition of apostasy is "any repeated actions that are in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders." When we think of an apostate individual, we usually think of someone who organized public protests or who is hostile toward the Church. However, it would behoove us to notice that the definition of apostasy says nothing about the manner or attitude in which you oppose. 

In the Church, one of the core doctrines states that a man and a woman joined in traditional marriage are essential in the eternal scheme of things; we believe that the family is the central unit of not only this life, but the hereafter as well. We also believe that marriage is a divine institution, not a man-made one. Man has no right to redefine its parameters. Thus, if any member chooses to live as an open homosexual, he/she would be openly and deliberately opposing core doctrine espoused by the Church. Said members' actions would fall under the category of apostasy.

Children in custody of same-sex parents may not be granted membership in the Church until they (1) are legal adults, (2) have disavowed the practice of same-sex relationships,  and (3) have moved away from home.

Imagine you're a child being raised in a same-sex parented home. You love your parents because they love you. They care for you, get you involved in extracurriculars, support your fundraisers, games, and recitals. They may even be parenting you better than many of your friends who come from broken heterosexual families. Your parents are good people and are raising you to be a good person.

Now imagine that you really like what you've seen in the LDS Church. You may even have extended family members who take you once in a while. You really like going to church and your parents have never said you can't. You want to be baptized, but there's something you need to know: the Church teaches that while your parents are good people, they shouldn't be married because God says it's immoral and goes against (and even hinders) His eternal plan. 

How on earth could you expect a child (or even a teen) to rationally contemplate that concept? To understand that while no one hates your parents, the Church teaches that the very nature of their relationship is immoral? To accept that as good as your parents are, the Church teaches that unless they stop acting on their own homosexuality (not to be confused with pretending they don't have that orientation), they will not make it to heaven?

Why would anyone think it's okay to baptize someone who wasn't mature enough to make and stick to that decision?

It is a very wise decision by the Church to not allow someone being raised in a same-sex home to be baptized until he/she is old enough to clearly understand what disavowing your parent's homosexuality means: You don't hate your parents and you never will. You have chosen to accept the belief as taught by the Church that while they're good people, their choice to lead homosexual lives is immoral and has eternal consequences.

Now, even if they understand what they're doing and their parents are okay with it, the new policy states that child still has to move away from the parents' home first. Some have wondered what the difference is between a child in a home where their parent smokes or drinks vs. a child in a home with homosexual parents. After all, both situations are ones in which the parents are not living the gospel. 

The difference is this: While things like smoking an drinking are bad, immoral practices, they're habits that aren't part of the underlying core foundation that makes a family what it is. The very nature of both the parent's marital relationship and the accompanying values that said relationship brings into the home influences family life more than people realize. Thus, a family that started with a homosexual relationship will always have that aspect as an undercurrent in the family structure. This is something that (unlike smoking and drinking) the child/teen could not avoid were he/she baptized while still living at home. In order to fully live the gospel, the child would need to live elsewhere, which necessitates delaying baptism until legal adulthood.

Instead of ridicule, the Church should be applauded for putting provisions in place that protect young children and teens from making a decision like baptism until they're sure they know what they're doing and will be able to live according to the doctrines they promise to uphold when they're baptized.

So, yes, the new policies really do make perfect sense. 

*Please note that no one, regardless of membership in the Church, is barred from attending Church meetings (including the main worship service) or activities. Ever.

1 comment:

  1. The first thing I posted on my wall when I saw this was how PROUD I am of our church for NOT CAVING to "what's popular" in the world today. I thank God we have strong Priesthood leaders that are guiding us today. We so need it. These are the last days.


I welcome fun, civil, and respectful discussion. See "The Blog and House Rules" for what that means to me.