TL1157.  Mill stone in wall at Mill End TL112573

First and foremost, let’s be clear what this is: a change, and not a clarification.

If this was truly a clarification of an already well-thought-out policy, then it would have been clarified somewhere in the 20 minute faux-interview that Elder Christofferson gave with President Newsroom. But it wasn’t. Hence, every believing Mormon that is praising the brethren for this change should be thanking the very people they have been calling to repentance this week.

The change of how the policy will be enforced is as follows:

The provisions of Handbook 1, Section 16.13, that restrict priesthood ordinances for minors, apply only to those children whose primary residence is with a couple living in a same-gender marriage or similar relationship.

What this policy fails to acknowledge are children that spend equal time between a gay family and a straight family. It should be remembered that many such families exist as a result church-encouraged mixed orientation marriages and that relationship ending in a amicable divorce with shared custody.

Also changed is the rules for children that have already been baptized:

When a child living with such a same-gender couple has already been baptized and is actively participating in the Church, provisions of Section 16.13 do not require that his or her membership activities or priesthood privileges be curtailed or that further ordinances be withheld. Decisions about any future ordinances for such children should be made by local leaders with their prime consideration being the preparation and best interests of the child.

Like a cell phone plan, gay children have been grandfathered in to the Gift of the Holy Ghost, priesthood service (assuming they are male), and missionary service if they signed up prior to Nov. 5, 2015. Otherwise, these children will still be denied the same blessings their friends could be receiving.

Of course, we should all be reminded that

All children are to be treated with utmost respect and love. They are welcome to attend Church meetings and participate in Church activities. All children may receive priesthood blessings of healing and spiritual guidance.

The ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson was more fair than this. That way, since we don’t want our kids to catch the gay, we could at least have gay primary and priesthood meeting. Of course, God has never been about being fair or judged people based on their own merit and actions. And it’s like Elder Christofferson said, how can we expect these kids to reach a logical, informed decision before they have reached the age of maturity? This, of course, is different than the age of accountability, which is eight years old for the kids of straight parents. If anything, this highlights how much the definition of respect and love differ from that of the average person.


While this change of enforcement will now affect less kids, the bottom line is that it still affects kids. The most emotionally and spiritually vulnerable are being used as pawns in the Church’s determination to maintain their brand of happy, straight, loving families. It is gross.

What makes it even more revolting is that it is done under the guise of Christlike love. Michael Otterson said in the Church’s press release:

“There is a strong tendency today for many to talk of Jesus Christ as if His teachings on love were somehow inconsistent with his teachings on divine commandments. Of course the Savior’s love was never withheld from anyone and His words on the cross exemplify that. But, He also expressed love by teaching clear doctrine and standing firmly against sin with sometimes-tough lessons for which people rejected Him.”

The Church does not have the moral high ground. Tell me, when did Jesus say that gay parent’s kids should not receive of his blessing? Since when did the sin’s of the parents leave the child spiritually lame?

Tell me, what did Jesus require in 3rd Nephi 11 for baptism? When was having gay parents a sin that needed repentance through disavowal and a change of residence?

How about you cite those instances in scripture, instead of justifying yourself by how the Church has been similarly discriminatory to their religious cousins, the polygamists?

When did Jesus tell you to build a great and spacious $1.5 billion dollar mall? When did Jesus tell you to bury historical information about the Church? When did he tell you that Joseph’s polyandry and polygamy were cool despite it’s contradiction to D&C 132? When did Jesus change the temple ordinances? And if he did tell you to do all this, when did Jesus start working in the dark and in secret?

It appears that “thou shalt not associate with gay marriage in any form” is now a more fundamental tenet of Mormonism than love one another, everyone being equal in the sight of God, and each of us being accountable for our actions.

But Michael Otterson is quick to remind us that this isn’t the lesson to be learned here:

The episode demonstrates clearly the dangers of drawing conclusions based on incomplete news reports, tweets and Facebook posts without necessary context and accurate information.

Yes, it clearly demonstrated the danger that when the Church does stupid stuff, its image will suffer. People weren’t mad because of a random blog post, they were mad because of the actual wording in the handbook (rather than your incomplete PR videos and Facebook posts, thankfully). If you wanted to give context or give us insight with the complete picture, Elder Christofferson could have addressed these problems and put it to rest last week. Instead, you have waited until public pressure from within and without of the Iron Veil convinced you to change your position.

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” When it comes down to choosing faith in the brethern or charity towards my fellow man, I will always choose charity. If it turns out that one day we are caught up the meet Jesus at the judgement bar, I hope that my testimony will added to the millstone that will hang around neck of Church leadership.

Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until he was excommunicated for adultery. During his disciplinary court, Elder Carrington tried to argue that he had only committed "a little folly in Israel!", but the current brethren couldn't be bothered to give him a break. Learn more about Elder Carrington here.
  • Arwen Undomiel

    at least this time they cant blame bloggers and anti-Mormons for what they do themselves. The truth is that all the problems church leaders have is because of their own doing. its just easy and convenient for them to blame everyone else for their lack of moral ground and zero spirituality.

    • Angela Anderson Murdock

      When you are baptised you covenant to keep the commants and always remember Him. You are held to a higher level of accountability. When my husband was a missionary they were hesitant to baptise children whose parents were not active and who depended on their parents to get them to church. Its not good to make covenants that you cant keep. When children are living in a home where their parents actions can keep them from keeping their covenants, its in the best interest of the child to not make those covenants. According to my understanding, when you are ordained to the priesthood, there are responsibilities that go along with it. Higher ordinences in the priesthood comes with higher levels of responsibility. Fulfilling your priesthood responsibilities is part of keeping your covenants. Allowing highly impressionable children who live primarily with parents who actively teach through their example ideologies and ways of living that are opposed to the teachings of the gospel, and who may at any time refuse to continue to allow their children to attend church meetings or associate with members of the church, to make covenants that they are unable to keep without depending on those same parents is irresponsible. Not utting them in a position where they may be forced to break their covenants is an act of love, not hate. They may still attend meetings and activities and are still welcomed at church so that when they are old enough and in a position to be able to make covenants and keep them, then they can be baptised.

  • Mike

    When he says:

    “The episode demonstrates clearly the dangers of drawing conclusions
    based on incomplete news reports, tweets and Facebook posts without
    necessary context and accurate information.”

    Is he talking to members or us apostates? First he lies about it being a change, then he blames his audience for the misunderstanding, One wonders if the “dangers of drawing conclusions” is also a sin requiring a court of love.

    What’s also interesting is the statement in the clarification:

    “Revealed doctrine is clear that families are eternal in nature and purpose”

    Do they mean the formerly polygamous (and clearly reinterpreted) revealed doctrine?? When are they going to fill the members in that they will only be servants for the polygamists? Oh wait, it’s the members fault if the didn’t draw the proper conclusions! Too Bad! Thanks for playing Mormon Mind Games!

  • Kamis Dewey

    If they had scriptures to back themselves up, maybe I could stand it. But the explanation, “because we say so” will never, EVER sit well with me. Have we as a people become so complacent in following a leader that we will forget the admonitions of our own scriptures which we believe are the Word of God?? We will ignore our own consciences to follow a man’s understanding?? Policies are not doctrine. Policies that go AGAINST the Gospel message are WRONG.

    Mmmm, apostasy. It’s not the defecting members that are mistaken.

    -newly atheist universalist

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