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175: Same Sex Policy Changes: My Thoughts

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Tonight I have released a short episode sharing my thoughts on the policy changes that occurred today which imposes a view of those in Same Sex Marriages absolutely as apostates and which withholds ordinances from children of same sex couples without the child doing anything wrong with their agency.   It is my Mormon right to raise a hand opposed and I do indeed dissent.


23 thoughts on “175: Same Sex Policy Changes: My Thoughts”

  1. Amen Bill. We are with you. Thanks for the amazing help through this nightmare of a journey. All the best to you and your family, I know you will be so blessed for all you’ve done.

    1. That is ok Darrell .I just subscribed twice to make up for your decision. Maybe you could explain how this handbook change is consistent with 3 Nephi 12: 23 or say Ezekiel 18 :14. Ah you can’t can you but I understand the handbook takes precedence over scriptures doesn’t it.

  2. Thank you for expressing so eloquently my thoughts on the subject. Your podcasts have helped me immensely over the last 6 months of my faith journey. Don’t ever forget the hope you bring to others grappling with the same issues. Thank you so much.

  3. Thank you for giving me the courage to also raise my hand in dissent. I am so tired of being told by my mormon peers that I should sit down and shut up because this policy has come from the prophet. My free agency extends beyond agreeing with everything I am told to agree with. I have the right to disagree.

    1. We really are not asked to vote on matters of church policy on that we sustain leaders in their callings. Do you no longer sustain leaders in their callings if you disagree with a policy they adopted? I am not picking a fight, I just want to know how you “dissent.”

  4. Bill, thank you for your courage and integrity. I have followed you for awhile and this was one of your best. You are a genuinely Christlike man and are an example for us all. Keep up the good work at being a voice for many active members who are struggling. Christ would not exclude anyone from His church, especially the little children.

  5. This policy is not scriputally based. There is nothing in the Book of Mormon to support denying baptism to one who has demonstrated themselves worthy. Yes, it is common to get permission of non-member parents to allow their child to join the Church, but this is completely different! Show me anywhere in the scriptures where the Lord denies the saving ordinances of the Gospel to anyone willing to keep those covenants.

  6. Pingback: So, You Heard Mormons Don't Like Gay Couples and Their Kids? (or, The New Policy Sucks) - Nearing Kolob Nearing Kolob

  7. Thanks for your voice of reason Bill! If, as stated, it is better for children to not attend or be a part of this church if it would cause problems in their family…. well it gives me something to think about in regards to my own family and children.

  8. This is not a doctrinal change to the Church, it’s a matter of policy. Many policy matters have no scriptural backing, nor is it probable to assume that ALL policy can be rooted in a particular verse of scripture. It’s not even a real policy change as much as a policy clarification, but no real change. Muslims cannot join the Church without being interviewed by Gen. Authority and must be 18 to be baptized and must live in a place where they can be safe to do so, children of polygamist families can’t be blessed/baptized until they are 18 for similar reasons to this discussion and must be interviewed by an Apostle, but because the policy had now been clarified for a rising group of people that didn’t exist even 5 years ago (federally recognized same sex marriage) this policy is somehow troubling to some LDS people. I see it as no difference to the policies in place, that were already understood- at least understood by me. In fact, I can see this as a blessing for the children of same sex marriages as they get the unconditional blessings of the Atonement of Christ until 18 as that is the age of accountability they will be held too.

    No hate or anger should be taken on MY opinion and let it be known I hold no ill feeling towards any member or group of our society. I have intended the tone of my writing to be calm and thoughtful, not mean spirited. Your entitled to disagree, after all it all comes does to opinions, but doctrinally, we should all be able to agree, that nothing has changed, the Church is still True, Pres. Monson is still the Lords Prophet and mouthpiece, etc.

    On a different note, can we please stop using our callings as some sort of authority to our personal opinions. Former Bishop, Stake Pres, Seventy does not make your opinion on Church matters any more relevant than a Sunday School, Primary, or YM/YW teacher, leader, etc. Can’t we just say “it is my opinion,” or if you must “from my experience, it is my opinion…”. Having been a Bishop adds nothing to the content, just the same as saying, “I strongly agree or disagree,” which is just a verb that is used to stress your opinion, which after all will end up being just that, an opinion.

  9. Thanks for your work, Bill. I am taking comfort in the fact that this is a policy and not a doctrine, and I’m holding out hope that it will change. Church Handbooks and policies have changed regularly. While some believe that all such policies are established through revelation, I’m not aware of church leaders claiming that – although I don’t doubt that most policies reflect the best inspiration that the leaders are willing or able to receive. We don’t have to look further than the Gospel Topics section under “Race and the Priesthood” in to find the most egregious example of Policy being formed around Opinion, evolving into Revealed Doctrine before ultimately being repudiated as misguided Opinion… by the church. I can’t speak for anyone else’s inspiration. I don’t know if this policy is inspired or not. I only know it does not feel like it to me. And I know that ultimately I’m accountable for my inspiration and no one else’s.

  10. Have you considered the possibility that, despite the contradiction you mentioned, which I’m sure the First Presidency took very carefully into account, they might be trying to protect the Church against a Trojan horse?

    Now that same sex marriage is legal in every state and is becoming legal in country after country, how should I, as a ward clerk, record the blessing of a child adopted by “parent 1” and “parent 2”, when both “parents” are of the same sex and have the same legal rights over the child?

    My guess is that they foresaw the ramifications of this kind of issue, which could lead the state to force the church to recognize, in a way or another, same sex marriage.

    You and I know that the church will not subject itself to that kind of situation. The result is that EVERY child blessing and baptism of youths under legal age will have to be suspended in the jurisdictions where should such rule be applied.

  11. Thank you, Bill. You expressed exactly what I’ve been thinking. This is a heartbreaking decision by the church and, like you, I believe we need to say so.

  12. I’m puzzled sometimes as to why people think the church would allow SS couples to parade into sacrament meeting for a babys blessing right before this sacred ordinance, as if to acknowledge a marriage that is the antithesis to the Lord’s law on marriage. Our leaders have the right and responsibility to protect our holy places of worship and to uphold correct principles.

    “Visitors are welcome” doesn’t mean come in and do anything you want. And make no mistake, there are those who have as a strategy “normalization” of SS marriage or families within the church or within church life. That’s basically like saying, the more we show them sin is ‘normal’ (but everyone is doing it) the more they will be inclined to tell the Lord he is wrong on marriage. The policy draws a line that really has always been there.

      1. Emotional appeal? Do we not call chapels the house of the Lord and has the church not prohibited its use for SS marriages or anything having to do with it?

        Look at it another way then. A 7 year old from a SS family is at church in CTR7 when the lesson “Temples and Eternal Families” is taught. What are the dissenters expecting the teacher to do?

        The lesson includes showing a picture of Adam and Eve and having a discussion then moving into what the church teaches about marriage, families and the temple.

        What questions can you imagine this child asking, and what answers do you think the rest of the class and the teacher is going to give this child? What report is this child going to take home and what answers are his/her parents going to give?

        1. but the policy only affects a child who is at church anyway. so he gets that confusing message whether there is a policy or not, so please show me how he is protected? and less confused?….. unless of course your hoping the policy deters him from even coming to church at which point your right but opening another can of worms

  13. No, I don’t have some secret wish people would not attend. But I reject the notion that I can’t expect the protection of the sanctity of ordinances and the houses of worship and be kind at the same time.

    The message on marriage is not confusing, it is only confusing because of what the parents have chosen, first to break the law of marriage, and then move on to bring children into these family units. Their choice is their choice, but that doesn’t mean the church sits idly and not act where doctrine is being corrupted or subverted by church members. My own take is, while the church does not recognize these marriages and family units as being in line with the Lord’s plan, it does recognize that this is nonetheless a family in the civil/legal sense, and it should respect the authority of the parents over the children in that home, an authority the church obviously challenges and brings into question when children are brought to church and taught that their family lives conflict with what the Lord wants, that is the protection I see. From what I gather about the policy, the church’s protection goals here are two-fold, the child AND the church.

    I reiterate my own observation as listed in my previous post, and which one of the posters above allude to with the ward clerk example. It is my belief the church will not acknowledge in any way SS marriage, whether it is through policy, or other types of actions that allow the normalization of SS marriage/families within the church, like baby blessings and baptisms.

    A note on the claim children are being punished: the door is not closed to them just because they cannot be baptized at 8 years old, but have to wait until they can make a decision to accept the Lord’s law on marriage over what their parents have decided at a later age. Also, the church is not saying, stop loving your parents, I believe children who grow up in SS families will always love the people who raised them, rather, the church is saying in order to be baptized, you must recognize that SS marriage is wrong, and it goes against God’s law. This must be understood by dissenters who are being intellectually dishonest every time they complain about this and lump disavowing the practice together with this idea that they are being asked to forget or not love their parents anymore.

    The same is true for the Christopherson quote you mention about supporting SS marriage. I don’t know how it can be unclear that you can support a political position and still uphold doctrine, he was not providing conflicting information at all. Can a LDS member not support a gay person’s right to enter a marriage if they wanted and still uphold the doctrine? I think many can and do in spite of the narrative that’s being pushed right now that you cannot.

    Just a note on this idea this policy is not doctrinally or scripturally based. This is dangerous thinking. D&C 43 can be applied today to what the bretheren do. SS marriage basically subverts the doctrine (classic definition of apostasy), so it really is misleading to claim this policy is not based on doctrine and backed by scripture (see D&C 43:8 – 9; D&C 43:11; D&C 43:15)

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