Yesterday the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a heavy update to its policy regarding same-sex couples. But the hardest part of it all had to deal with children of same-sex couples.
“A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabitation, 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 cohabitation, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:
“A mission president or 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:
1. 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.
2. 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.”
This update should come as no surprise. The Church has been very clear on its position regarding marriage.
“We, The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between a man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” –The Family: A Proclamation to the World
The majority of a child’s growth in the Church happens at home. Children who are raised by couples who are engaged in a same-gender relationship are being raised in a environment contrary to Church doctrine. Should the Church allow membership to children living with same-gender couples, these children would likely grow up with different views and opinions, and thus not be educated in pure gospel principles.
Let’s not forget, too, that in no way does this prevent anyone from attending Church meetings.
I’ve mentioned these as updates to policy rather than changes. These measures for children are very similar to those taken for children who belong to polygamous families. In fact, any underaged individual who desires membership in the Church needs to have a parent/guardians permission prior to baptism.
This update in policy has no affect on my membership or testimony of the Church and its teachings. If anything, it reinforces my faith.
The Church is pro-family. Make no mistake about it. But, also understand, the Church also enforces its doctrine and will continue to advocate for traditional marriage. Rather than jumping to conclusions, or relying wholly upon the opinions of others, seek to understand the reasoning behind the matter from proper sources, including prayer. And above all, trust in God.