Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. --Matthew 19:13-14
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, ...
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. -- Matthew 18:2,5-6
A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, 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 cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows: ....
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. -- LDS Handbook 1 16:13
The above quote was the leaked secret policy of the LDS Church as implemented Nov 3, 2015. Last week, on Jan 10, 2016, Elder Nelson doubled-down on the policy by informing the world that the new policy was given to the Church as divine revelation. The message given is clear that God does not want these children in his Church.
I cannot support such a policy.
In my mind this policy is irreconcilable with Christ's teachings in the New Testament.
My conscience will not allow me to condone this policy.
But I thought I'd at least give the Church's own teachings a final fair shake. I prayed about whether the policy truly was God's will. And I received nothing in response. So I prayed as to whether I should continue participating in the Church. And I received nothing in response. So with the last fragments of whatever faith I may have held I prayed that if God exists he really needed to give me something. I've participated in this church for 30 years and if that was going to continue I needed something--anything--to justify it. And I received nothing in response.
Which is the exact response I've received every time I've ever prayed: Nothing. So I'm forced to face two possibilities: 1. God doesn't exist. or 2. God exists but sees fit to deny acknowledging his presence to me.
Either way makes it clear that I can no longer continue my participation in the Church and stay true to my own conscience. I cannot continue to participate in the Church and not feel like a hypocrite every night when I try to fall asleep.
I went against my own conscience when the First Presidency asked Church members to write letters to their government representatives opposing the legalization of gay marriage. I felt it was wrong to deny the legal status granted to other people, but I was a BYU student and trying to be a good Church member. So I wrote my letter and I mailed it. And I have regretted it ever since. It was wrong. And I knew that I needed to be true to myself in the future.
Therefore I'm no longer participating in the Church.
Jess is continuing her participation in the Church, which is her right, of course. She listened to me and heard my concerns and didn't try to tell me I was wrong. I intend to give her that same respect.
4 thoughts on “Disaffiliation”
Well, I certainly don't support the policy as far as how it comes across. I guess I can tolerate the policy only because they extend the same policy to children of polygamous families and because I do think there is some truth to the idea that children should not be officially made members of a church which would require them to hold fundamental beliefs in direct opposition to those of their parents. I think there are many good people in the church who don't support the policy or the way the Church has treated/ continues to treat LGBTQ people. And while I understand why you feel like a hypocrite, I don't think that makes others who stay in the church hypocrites. I don't know that I can think of an instance where I could say "I prayed about x and God definitely told me y in return" but I know I can say that I have had promptings, ideas, inspiration, whatever you want to call them that I could not have had or known through only myself. And I definitely feel that my Redeemer lives (to borrow the words of the hymn). So while I don't agree with many policies and practices and cultural aspects of the Church, I think there is a core, true gospel of which we have probably a very, very limited understanding.
I support you. All of this has added to the reasons why I currently only go to sacrament meeting. Your conscience matters, and living true to it matters too. I support that you've thought ad prayed and struggled and come to the "solution" (for lack of a better word) that makes sense to you.
Ok... I wrote a comment and didn't click the "not spam" button, so it didn't post. I just want to say I support you. Right now, I only attend sacrament meeting for a variety of reasons, but Elder Nelson's comments have made me struggle even with that. Your conscience matters, and living true to it matters too. I appreciate that you've thought and prayed and struggled and come to the "solution" (for lack of a better word) that makes the most sense to you. You're doing what you feel is right, and I support that. I hope no one faults you for it.
Rereading my original comment here and it sounds like "let me bear my 'testimony' at you" when I meant it more as a dispassionate "meh, this is the best I can come up with as far as my view of the Church's truth claims" response. Sorry about that. Sadly, I think the last couple years have proven that the claims for the policy (to not come between children and parents) were disingenuous...as the Church has no problem coming between children and their parents the vast majority of the time and will excommunicate people who suggest that is inappropriate.