Thoughts on the LDS Gay Policy Revision
November 28, 2019, 7:00 PM

It is interesting to see the LDS church’s recent revision of its policies on same-sex marriage and on baptism of children of same-sex couples. (See https://www.sltrib.com/religi…/…/04/04/lds-church-dumps-its/.) Because the LDS church does not baptize any child until age 8, it only made sense to remove the ban on baptizing children of such couples, since all responsibilities connected to LDS baptism appear to fall entirely on the child. According to the writer of this article, blessings can be done on younger children on the same basis that they can apparently be done even for the children of non-Mormons, who will then be followed up until they are old enough to be baptized. One can only wonder what they would have done if they had practiced infant baptism, since the faith of the parents would then become an issue, as it is for us.
As for same-sex marriage, the decision was to no longer treat them as “apostate,” which would call for disciplinary action, i.e. excommunication. Homosexual behavior remains sin according to the LDS church, but it is to be treated the same as heterosexual immorality. Adultery and fornication have often been disciplined by excommunication in the past, but apparently is being handled less drastically at the moment.
I am glad to see that the LDS church is remaining firm on its moral convictions regarding the law of chastity (as they call it). In recent years, they have paid a hideous price for their stand, which is a stand many of us agree with. The central Biblical ethic proclaimed by Genesis, Jesus, and Paul, “The two [a man and a woman] shall become one flesh,” is worth defending.
Joseph Smith appears to have said nothing specific about homosexual practice, although there have been strained attempts to find homoeroticism in Joseph, such as the sound bite where he calls a male personal secretary of his at Nauvoo his “wife” because they spent so much time together. I would say, don’t believe it.  I will say more about this in my next post.
If I were advising the LDS leaders, however, I would encourage them not to invoke “revelation” as the basis for their decisions. In his book Thus Saith the Lord, Duane Crowther makes an important distinction between “policy” and divine revelation. The current prophet, Russell Nelson, made the mistake of identifying the previous policy as based on revelation made by God to the previous prophet. Don’t let your policies rise to the level of revelation. The God of the Biblical apostles and prophets is not a human being, that he should change his mind.


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