Usually, I try to avoid “hot topics” until I have had time to think them through for a few weeks. Today, I feel that I should point those who read this blog to some resources that help define how Jesus Christ could preach love for all and deny children membership in His church.
I must admit that I was taken aback when I saw the news yesterday morning. I couldn’t piece together the idea, but I was late for work and didn’t have a lot of time to try to sort through things. I decided that I would continue in faith until I could spend more time pondering and praying.
Of course, others did not wait, and the internet exploded. A battle ensued between those who felt the church was harming children in a backlash against the Supreme Court and those who saw wisdom in the policy change. As I caught up on the reading last night, I began to feel much more comfortable with the decision.
One of the things that I have always loved about the church is a rather unspoken principle of protecting and defending the innocent and those who are unable to defend themselves. In this case, that would be the children. The “new” policy simply clarifies what has already been in effect, and also applies to children whose parents are in polygamous relationships. The culture and the atmosphere of the home is in direct opposition to church doctrine, standards, and expectations. The child is in no position to effect changes. So, baptizing a child who lives in such a home places them in the middle between family and church. There is no love in placing a child in that kind of conflict.
In the end, this isn’t a new policy for the church. Is is a clarification of an existing policy that has been adapted to the changing status of marriage in the United States. God still loves all of His children, and He still welcomes all who are willing to follow Him in faith.
Elder Todd Christofferson, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was interviewed about the changes to the church handbook. Anyone can watch the video.
Lds.net provided a thoughtful opinion piece responding to the handbook update.
The church did NOT change its directions to members and leaders regarding same sex attraction, and church policy and doctrine is actually more respectful than many Christian denominations.