Sunday, November 8, 2015

The New Church Policy

So I've noticed that this is becoming a really big deal. As most people may have heard, the LDS church recently announced a policy adding same-sex marriage as a definition of apostasy. In addition, leaders had clarified that children being raised in same-sex marriage may not receive a blessing as a baby, and cannot be baptized until they are 18.

Sadly, I'm seeing mostly one reaction, and it's not good. People are, for lack of a better word, flipping out about this. Honestly, I can see where they're coming from. Yes, the church has recently begun to reach out much more to those members with same-sex attraction, and encourage them to stay faithful.

However, I don't agree with the arguments against it. It was unexpected, and morally, it feels wrong. Honestly, there was a slight second when I began to have doubts about this change.

I began to think about it more. I have constantly stood up to bear my testimony and said "I know the church is true," and "I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God." Not only that, but every six months, I raise my right hand to sustain those general authorities. To claim that they are wrong would make me a liar.

Let's talk apostasy for a minute. Ever since the beginning of time, God has given commandments to his children. But we have rebellious phases where we don't listen to God, and reject his prophets and the gospel of Christ.

That's called a widespread apostasy, and the last one just ended in the last couple hundred years. But there's also personal apostasy, where a person rejects the teachings of the church. Apostasy is the reason why people get excommunicated. When a church that loves everyone so much that it sends teenage boys halfway across the world to talk to you and give you a book decides that they literally stop communicating with you, you done something wrong.

People are defined as apostate (to name a few) when they teach contrary to the teaching of the church or (I guess now) enter into a same-sex marriage. Wait, those are pretty much the same thing right there.

The Church has never claimed to be for same-sex marriage. In fact, they've been pretty clearly against it for quite some time. The fact that they're changing the policy to account for those in same-sex relationships isn't surprising.

But the thing that I felt a little uncomfortable with was the policy of children in these marriages. On the surface, yeah, it seems a little unfair that the children can't receive baby blessings or be baptized. But looking into it, I noticed that it is in no way punishing the children.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World reads, "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness...Husbands and wives-mothers and fathers-will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations." The parents of these children are going against what the church teaches. They are engaging in a union that is contrary to the will of the Lord. The children however are not, and therefore, don't need to be punished in any way.

To clarify, in the long run, the parents are going to be accountable for making a decision that prevents their children from living in a righteous family.

And the church won't prevent these children from even going near the church. They are more than welcome to come to church, mutual, seminary; they are even able to become baptized after they turn 18 and serve missions. The policy also only applies to same-sex marriages. If someone has same-sex attraction, or even if they've committed homosexual acts, they are not necessarily apostate. They are still welcome to come to church. They can have callings, and serve in the church.

In the end, I support the new policy. It's not done out of hate, it's done out of love. God still loves those who fall away, and wants them to come back.

Now keep in mind that what I wrote isn't church doctrine. It's just my thoughts.