In psychology and logic, rationalization is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable – or even admirable and superior – by plausible means. It is also an informal fallacy of reasoning.” – Wikipedia

It’s been a whirlwind of crazy in the Mormon internet scene the last 24 hours. You know why, and if you don’t, go and read The New York Times. Now, let me tell you why all the justifications I’ve heard for this new policy suck.

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“This is to protect families.”

Newsflash: the LDS church doesn’t want to protect gay families. It doesn’t even consider them actual families. You can’t have it both ways, guys. And last time I checked, denouncing your parents at 18 isn’t any more “protective” of your family than at 14.


“This policy is no different from the policy regarding the children of polygamists.”

Sure. It’s the same as the policy for kids who are born to polygamists living as former prophets taught them to. But it’s not the same as the policy for the children of murderers, rapists, adulterers, child pornography producers, drug cartels, or creators of pyramid schemes. (Worth mentioning because Utah.)

Polygamy was illegal. It is also intrinsic to our eternal doctrine. So I mean, there’s that. 

Oh, and people choose to be polygamous. (Unless you’re Helen Marr Kimball and your dad makes you.) People don’t choose to be gay. Children don’t choose to be born to parents who are either. 


“This is to prevent kids from experiencing conflict between what their parents teach them and what the church teaches.”

My parents let me drink alcohol from the age of like… 12. They were not religious at all. They regularly told me reasons the church was bad. They also encouraged “having sex with enough people to figure out who you’re compatible with”, and only one of them gave me permission to get baptized. That was good enough for the church, who are absolutely fine with kids leaving the majority of their parents’ religions, lifestyles, and beliefs in order to join the church. There are endless other scenarios where a child is taught differently at home than at church.


“This stops kids and parents from being divided.”

My parents couldn’t attend my wedding because they aren’t Mormon.


“This enables children to make the decision at a time when they can better understand things.”


Also, the church thought a 14-year-old (well, several) was old enough to get married to a 36-year-old man, which certainly caused her distress and conflict. Why can’t a 14-year-old be old enough to get baptized into a church most people join at 8?

(That being said, most 18-year-olds in their right minds wouldn’t disavow their parents right to be parents in order to join the Mormon church. So both the church and those children are protected by this policy. Just not saved in the kingdom of God. Wohoo!)


“This policy came from God, not man. It’s Christ’s church.”

Was the policy denying blacks the priesthood from God? Not according to the church’s modern essay on the subject. Was polyandry from God? Was blood atonement from God? Was the doctrine of interracial marriage being an eternal sin from God? Was the practise of even the PROPHET lying to the law about polygamy after the manifesto from God? Was Adam-God theory from (Adam-)God? There are a LOT of things the church has said and done that it now fervently denies were EVER from God.


Finally, let’s be clear that there is absolutely no scriptural or doctrinal justification for this new policy. In fact, there is an extremely solid case to be made that it’s anti-scripture and anti-doctrine. (See: Article of Faith #2, the words of Christ, etc.)

In my opinion, there are some much more realistic reasons the church might not want the children of gay parents being baptized:

  • Allowing the kids of gay people to be baptized would expose members to the (shock, horror!) kids of gay parents, and would probably highlight the fact that gay people can raise very healthy, happy children.
  • Allowing the kids of gay people to be baptized would force the church to record their parents as their parents. But they’re gay. So they can’t really be married or considered parents or a family in the eyes of the church.
  • Not allowing the kids of gay people to be baptized further shames gay people/creates negativity surrounding gay issues, which is exactly what the church needs to do in order to cling on to its fraying and ever-changing doctrines.
  • The children of gay parents are, naturally, going to be more sympathetic to “the gay agenda”. People trying to change the church from the inside is not on the church’s own agenda.


Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.
  • alvinmaker

    Doesn’t Jesus Christ have 2 dads?

    • Ember1

      So–does that make Mary a polyandrist (and thus Jesus needs to denounce her) or an adultress? She was definitely an unwed mother–she was pregnant when she married Joseph. Was she married to two ‘guys’, or had the son of someone she wasn’t married to? Either way, isn’t that a big no no? I guess if you count it as her being raped, maybe that takes the responsibility off her, but that still leaves Jesus with a problematic parent…

  • Cathy den Boer

    See DEVIL, REVELATION, URIM AND THUMMIM. In imitation of the
    true order of heaven whereby seers receive revelations from God through a Urim
    and Thummim, the devil gives his own revelations to some of his followers
    through peep stones or crystal balls. An instance of this copying of the true
    order occurred in the early days of this dispensation. Hiram Page had such a
    stone and was professing to have revelations for the upbuilding of Zion and the
    governing of the Church. Oliver Cowdery and some others were wrongly influenced
    thereby in consequence of which Oliver was commanded by revelation: “Thou
    shalt take thy brother, Hiram Page, between him and thee alone, and tell him
    that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me, and that
    Satan deceiveth him.” (D. & C. 28:11.)


  • lemuel1976
  • ElizaAnnYoung

    As a happily married gay man (without children), I see this mostly as a form of quarantine. The church doesn’t want to face the consequences of having its members exposed to families with gay and lesbian families and our utter (normal) mundanity.

    Wonderful post, BTW.

  • HopefulSkeptic

    Such a great post! Was looking for one this concise all day. The blog posts that are attempting to defend this are reaching so far and trying so hard (but failing miserably when you apply actual logic), but it’s apparently enough to pacify and reassure LDS members that the Church can never do any wrong and that the people who are ‘offended’ by the policy change are misguided and ignorant. Church members will gleefully internalize any argument that validates their own beliefs (with gratitude to the apologists who provide the reassurance they need to feel confident in the Church leaders).

  • Ryan Gregson

    Honestly, I think we should be careful not to exaggerate our arguments, and not misrepresent the other side. To say that the children are required to denounce their parents at 18, is inaccurate. They are asked to disavow the practise of gay marriage, which I still think is a problem. But not to disown their parents outright.

    • Arwen Undomiel

      Yeah, it’s not the same. I try to put myself in their situation. I don’t have to renounce to my parents, I can still associate with them. I just have to agree that I don’t approve of the marriage of my gay parents. This would mean that two people who raise me with love, sacrificed form me, supported me financially, gave me a home, etc..all of which is possible in part becasue of their union/marriage. Then I become a great person, I study a career because of them, get a good job, etc.. again, this is made possible becasue of their marriage, but I have to denounce that union/marriage /home that was provided for me, saying this marriage/ family is a sin, in order to become member of this church. If that was my situation, I would not join that church.

      • Swagavad Gita

        THIS. I’m sorry, Ryan. I think you meant well, but Arwen has the stronger argument here. Think of it from the perspective of the parents of a kid. They raise him only to see him embrace the LDS church by denouncing their love? What. The. Frick.

        • Ryan Gregson

          I’m don’t disagree with anything arwen said here. Like I said, I still think it’s a problem. A huge one in fact. But this isn’t like scientology where you’re asked to disown family members, sever them from your lives. I’m only saying that if we want the intellectual high ground, we have to be more accurate in our arguments.

          • Jeff Dransfield

            But no one ever said it was like Scientology where you’re asked to disown family members and sever them from your life. It’s like talking about about a murderer and saying “well at least they didn’t torture them first” as if that makes it any less bad. I’m just not sure why you would feel the need to bring that up.

          • Ryan Gregson

            Seriously never mind. I’m only advocating accuracy, that’s it.

      • Huntington

        And don’t forget that they also have to move out of their parent’s household. Not sure if it’s OK to stay for a week at Christmas? Summer break from college?

        • kackyful

          Let alone the legal issues in custody situations! I can’t wait for this to implode.

        • Dorna Calkins

          ok now you are just being stupid, no one says they have to stop associating with their parents. Or visiting them, you can love someone and not think what they are doing is right.

          • Huntington

            Thanks for the insult, but it’s not me saying you can’t love someone and disagree, it’s the church that requires kids of gay couples to move out at 18 and renonuce their parents if they want to be baptized or go on a mission. No word on details, but what about living with parents after college or after a mission? Amazingly heartless policy. Destroying families.

    • Laura Carroll

      isn’t ‘not living with parents’ a form of denouncing? Are they allowed to come home during Christmas and summer college breaks and live with them while working and saving money? From the interpretations I have seen, that is not allowed…

      • Huntington

        I posted the exact same thing above before getting to this. I guess we’re on the same wavelength. This thing is so hateful and wrong and passes not even the simplest tests of logic.

        • Laura Carroll

          oops. guess i missed your comment. I have been semi-active for awhile due to health issues and have struggled with doctrinal and historical things for 50 years… i still see a great amount of good in the church community, but the policies and doctrines are becoming increasingly toxic to me. Just when I think I have adapted to the new level of toxicity, they come out with something new. Like every few months! I have been walking a tight-rope for years trying to balance it all…

          my family is rocked by this as we have a married gay son. They have no children but we have acquaintances who do… some of my kids are TBM, others are not, but one just posted his resignation as a result of this policy. my emotions are swirling. last night my my TBM spouse just posted on FB that he is done until further notice. This will kill my TBM children.

          When will the agony end?

    • Adam Wangeman

      Someone is baptized that act alone is ment to be a symbol of one’s belief in God and all he has commanded, which in the case of the LDS church means not supporting sexual relations between anyone but a man and a woman legally married. How then can anyone, dispite what their parents believe or do, be baptized without disagreeing with any believed sin of their parents? If they don’t believe it’s wrong why join a church that says it is?

    • Jeff Dransfield

      I disagree. I think asking someone to denounce the marriage of their parents as evil is immoral and backwards. It’s like asking the child of an interracial marriage to denounce the practice of interracial marriage before their allowed to get baptized at the age of 18 because their parents are living in sin. It’s wrong and backwards. To denounce a fundamental part of their parents lives as evil, to force them to say that their parents are wicked or ban them from your church is intolerant and hateful of an organization.

      • Ryan Gregson

        This is exactly what I’m talking about, I only said the argument should be accurate. But you’re misrepresenting my statement as some kind of excuse for the policy, as if I agree with it, I don’t! I also think it’s terrible! To denounce your parents and to disavow their marriage are two different things. Both terrible. There’s no use in conflating the two of you want to maintain a consistent argument. When you do, you give fodder to those who write their straw man articles ‘the 5 myths about the new policy’ or whatever. We really have the same opinion of this new policy, I’m only advocating for intellectual high ground.

      • Dorna Calkins

        My parents were drug addicts, I have no issue whatsoever denouncing their lives as evil. They were abusive both physically and sexually. They were both constantly cheating on each other. They were immoral and they were evil. If your parents do or live in a way that is contrary to your personal beliefs then it is not backwards to denounce them. I think you people are just very anti-Mormon and should ask yourselves why it is that you feel so strongly against the Church. Are you this anti-all churches?

        • Huntington

          Yet the church wouldn’t force you to denounce them. Why just this special case… especially since your parents sound like they damaged you. A same sex couple could be incredible loving parents and still get this treatment.

        • SattaMassagana

          Do you defend all churches, or just this church?

        • MyUsernameIsaLecture

          “should ask yourselves why it is that you feel so strongly against the Church”

          It’s because it’s true, and we can’t handle the truth—so we’re kicking against the pricks. (No pun intended?)

          Does that make you feel better? That’s what you wanted us to say, right?

          In reality, it’s because many of us spent a great deal of our lives (not to mention our money) with a Church that we now realize is false. Some of us even spent 2 years of our lives proselytizing the “truth” of that Church.

          When you spend 40 years of your life—starting during very early childhood—living and breathing
          a certain organization, and then realize that that organization is full of baloney, it’s not so easy to just “walk away.” The Church defines your life in many ways big and small—even after you leave, you still carry a lot of that baggage around with you.

          If it makes you feel any better, if I had been raised a Jehovah’s Witness, Muslim, or a Scientologist, I’d be just as vociferous in my criticism of those organizations.

        • MyUsernameIsaLecture

          “My parents were drug addicts, I have no issue whatsoever denouncing their lives as evil. They were abusive both physically and sexually.”

          You had awful parents. I’m truly sorry. I had an abusive father, and he made much of my childhood hell (though it sounds like you got it much, much worse.) I still carry around a lot of the crap he loaded on me. (Fortunately, he has mellowed out a lot over the years, and we have a pretty good relationship now. – I know many aren’t so lucky.)

          In my mind, there’s a special place in Hell for any parent (straight or gay) who abuses their children.

          But that’s not the kind of parenting we’re talking about here.

          We’re not talking about objectively harmful actions like abuse and neglect.

          “They were immoral and they were evil. … If your parents do or live in a way that is contrary to your personal beliefs then it is not backwards to denounce them.”

          It depends.

          There are situations where it’s all right to denounce your parents—like if you survived your childhood in spite of them, rather than because of them.

          But let’s imagine another not-too-uncommon situation: Let’s imagine that you were raised by parents who weren’t neglectful or abusive, who were always there when you needed them, who were affectionate and caring and who worked hard to ensure you always had what you needed. No parents are perfect, and no childhood is perfect, but most would agree that you had a pretty good upbringing.

          Now let’s pretend that those parents were voracious meat eaters, and sometime after you reach adulthood you decide that meat-eating is immoral and deeply offensive. So from that point on, you declare your parents immoral and evil—abominations in the sight of God.

          Yes, you could do that. But you’d kind of look like an a-hole. And I’d say that kind of “disavowal” is a sin in and of itself.

    • Amanda Shroads

      Have you ever really looked at the way the church treats apostates? Children of a same sex union would have to recognize their parents as apostates, thus people to avoid so as to not risk their own faith. Try being on the other side, try being an “apostate”. The church absolutely would encourage these kids to estrange themselves from their parents.

      • Ryan Gregson

        Uh, I kind of am an apostate.

  • Arwen Undomiel

    I think the main point of this policy is to make sure people are not exposed to gays/lesbians families, becasue it would be so terrible in the eyes of the leaders that regular mormons realize that these families are not so different from their own.

    Also, they don’t want to create conflict for these children? Yeah, that’s obviously not true because they are creating themselves a new conflict, which is the conflict of choosing to denounce your parents marriage to join a church. Isn’t this conflict too?

    What is more conflictive? Being taught something different in CHUCH and something at home? Or having to denounce you parents marriage saying it is a disgusting sin?
    Obviously, the last one is more conflictive.

    Children will always be taught different things at home, at school, in facebook, the internet, through their friends, etc. this is part of life. The church cannot attempt to control what parents teach their children in their home either. If they were inspired leaders they will realize the answer to conflict is not sheltering people from experiences/hiding infromation from them, but finding answers to conflict and the search of truth. Duh? Hello? Sick of uninspired, shameful and discriminatory policies like this one coming from supposedly inspired leaders. Good job first presidency. You have given us another reason to leave the church. Thanks to you many more people will not join the church in the future either.

  • Mike

    I guess we can throw out the law to honor your mother and/or father, should it apply. If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

  • Huntington

    I was surprised to get to the end of this and see that it was “written” by my great-great-great grandmother. Just proves we’re related, I guess, since I totally agree.

  • Shem

    What about kids for example who have a mother and father who aren’t even married which is technically living in sin? This is a conflict of what the church teaches versus what the parents are teaching or showing by example.

    There are more examples, but I hope my point has been made.

    • Amanda Shroads

      The church happily baptizes thise kids. Just not if their parents are gay. Totally makes sense right?

  • Shem

    I almost forgot to include a couple of scriptures that are being ignored:

    Matthew 19:14:

    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    Moses 6:54:

    54 Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.

  • The Frosty Boss

    Finally, the logical argument I’ve been waiting for:

    *Assume a priori that church leaders are bigots and church policy reflects their discriminatory tendencies
    *Therefore church leaders are bigots and church policy reflects their discriminatory tendencies

  • Dorna Calkins

    Your reasoning is faulty. First of all, men are fallible. God is not. All of the policies that you claim prove this new policy is bad were all products of the times they were made in. And when polygamy was instituted it was not illegal in this country. And just because someone is not officially baptized does not mean that they cannot attend Church and be welcome there. So you think that it’s just putting off the conflict? Well I hate to burst your bubbles people but children always always find something in their parent’s lives and ways of doing things to rebel against when they turn 18. Many studies have been done with children of gay parents and most of them show that the kids do not follow the parent’s foot steps. So how is this different? Bottom line is that there has always been a conflict between “Church” and the gay community. Being gay is not just a lifestyle. It is a choice, you have the feelings and you follow them. People choose every day to do things that are considered “sins”. They have multiple sexual partners, they cheat on the ones they currently are with, they lie, they cheat, they disrespect each other…..every day faithful members of all religions choose to not do the things they know are sins. For example they choose not to cheat even though the urges are there and are very strong. We all have shortcomings and weaknesses. It’s acting on those weaknesses that put us in conflict with what Heavenly Father wants for us. And your claim that the second Article of Faith proves this policy is anti scripture and anti doctrine is ridiculous. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. How do you think that even plays in? these children are not being punished. They are still welcome in the Church and they are still offered the same fellowship. It’s obvious to me that you are an ex-member with a bone of contention with the Church. Keep your venom to yourself so you are the only one who it hurts.

    • Amanda Shroads

      History 101: Polygamy was very much illegal when it was instituted in the church. You really should read some history and not the whitewashed version the church has given.

      Secondly, no. These children are not welcome in the church, as they said it would create conflict within their families. And how about use your brain and think of how this affects kids who have already been baptized. Are they going to be excommunicated now? What about parents with gay children in relationships? Will they have to disavow their children? What’s next, requiring people to “disavow” anyone who doesn’t agree with the church, be it family or friend?

      This is nothing short of a cruel and bigoted policy. Anyone who defends it is so brainwashed, it’s unbelievable. The cognitive dissonance they experience must be dizzying.

    • Farmmaa

      I’m not sure if I should be disgusted by your ridiculous statements, or to simply feel sorry for you.
      The complete brainwashing and cognitive dissonance the LDS has over the reasoning of their members is nothing short of dumbfounding.
      Polygamy most certainly was NOT legal in the US at the time the Mormon prophets were practicing it.
      Studies show that children of gay parents don’t follow in their parent’s footsteps ? No shit. Gayness is not passed down from one generation to the next, nor is it a learned behavior.
      Being gay is NOT simply a choice one makes !! This is just one of the many asinine untruths the church has convinced it’s sheep to believe.
      Do you honestly think that anyone would choose to live a life of discrimination, bullying and prejudice ???
      It is no more a choice than the choice that heterosexuals make to be with someone of the opposite sex.
      It is only considered a sin by those so called Christians who choose to be prejudiced and bigoted. It is not a shortcoming or a weakness.
      These children are welcomed in the church ? Are you seriously this stupid or just really naïve ?
      Sure, they can go and be ostracised by the membership and their peers because they are forbidden from participating in the very fundamental doctrines that make one a member of this cult in the first place.
      No one who agrees with or supports this policy has any right to call themselves a Christian – because you obviously haven’t a clue what that truly means.

  • Ashley Black

    i was laughing out loud how stupid this article was. I dont love the new policy and was hoping for some intelligent responses to complete my info searches and to get a different take on the matter. instead all i got was of course they all hate gay people etc… repeated over and over.

  • KTM450SXF

    There’s a head-scratcher. Zelph, I thought you’d moved on from being Mormon. T’would appear you haven’t quite.

    Oh, and by the by, “And last time I checked, denouncing your parents at 18 isn’t any more “protective” of your family than at 14.” – The Church expects you to denounce SSM, not your parents. Got a niece whose daddy cheated on her mom. She denounces his actions, yet still loves her parents. See the diff?

  • gatorat

    I wonder if this policy was a deliberate attempt to purge the church of members sympathetic to gay marriage.

  • John J Publicus

    Isn’t it time to begin actually ridiculing believers of dangerous fables?

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