Sunday, November 8, 2015

Policy Change

Life has been utterly crazy as always, and this week was no exception.  I wound up with a $475 car bill, lost my $100 sunglasses, bombed a test, and found out I'll probably need to choose between student debt or no life insurance (long, unrelated story).  I went to a much-needed session at the temple and exited to a beautiful fall sunset.

Then facebook exploded.

When I read the headlines, I'll admit, I was taken aback.  I decided to wait until I heard from the Church itself before posting my views on my wall.

There are essentially two policies that have been updated and which really shouldn't come as any surprise.  The first being that members who enter into same-sex marriages will be excommunicated. (well, duh!) The second is a little more complicated.  It stipulates that children of same-sex couples cannot be baptized as members of the Church until they are of legal age, and at that point they need to accept that their parents' marriage is against the commandments of God.  I found the following post more articulate than I could have presented, so I shared it on my wall:

"If your child wanted to join an organization that taught your lifestyle was immoral and wrong, and that organization wouldn't let your child join till they were 18, because they believe keeping harmony and avoiding conflict in your home is more important than another member on it's roster, would you hate that organization for trying to help your family be united despite different opinions of your lifestyle? Or would you say thank you for trying to protect my family from a source of complicated contention until my child is older and can make a more informed objective decision to join your group?"

Almost immediately, four of my friends (one of which is less-active, the other three have left the Church) started railing on me.  My lanta!  They scorned my post as "sugar-coating" "bull[$#!@]" and a host of other not-so-flattering adjectives.  I tried to explain that the same principle applies in policy to the children of polygamists, but that didn't satisfy them (of course).

If the Church were truly as cruel as they described it, would the missionaries target the children of gay couples and attempt to turn them against their parents?  Wouldn't the Church publicly condemn homosexuals to Hell?  But unfortunately, in today's victimization society, people will take things too personally and attempt to reap the benefits of being a victim or a sympathizer of such.

My friend posted the following as his status:

"It's one thing to say you disagree with your parents religion and to join another religion. It's another thing entirely to say you disagree that your parents should even be together. What the new policy says is that children have to be of legal age, and to disavow homosexuality. I was a missionary once, and I never had to deal with the situation, but can you imagine two missionaries asking a minor to disavow their parents marriage? That's a tough thing, unethical even, and I would agree that such situations require a little more than just bishop or mission president approval, and that kids are probably better holding off their baptism in that situation until they are old enough to fully understand the implications of disavowing all homosexuality.

The church is not salvation. No one is being damned here. No one is claiming these children are sinners. If you disagree with the church, this policy should be a comfort to you, the church will not allow minors to disavow their parents marriage. Instead, these children must wait till they understand the implications of their actions and be of legal age before they join the church.

I'm sorry that so many feel hurt by this policy change. I sympathize with your pain and anger even though I support this policy, and consider it a necessary step to prevent abuse from both inside and outside the church."

(Again, I found that this individual worded things much better than I could)

I just hope that everyone approaches this change with the Spirit.  I know that we are in fact led by a prophet of God.  Following the prophet without hesitation is not blind obedience.  When we know that the Prophet cannot lead us astray, that he is a mouthpiece of God, we need not doubt.  We should treat treat all of God's children with civility and respect, but we also need to defend the Gospel of Christ.  He loved all, but He was unafraid to call sin sin.  Standing for truth does not require hatred; it requires guts.

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