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GARY - Why is the Mormon church punishing the children with the new same sex marriage policy? God said to allow the children to come to him and forbid them not.
Children of murderers or adulterers can get baptized but children of gay couples must wait until they are 18, disavow same sex marriage, and get first presidency approval. And it is easier for a thief, pedophile, murderer or a child whose parents are of a different faith to get baptized than it is for a child of a gay couple.
Here is the poicy in question:
"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:
A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:
1. The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
2. 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."
Clarifications to this policy include, only applying to children whose primary residence is in a same gender marriage home and allowing children to continue on in church ordinances if they were baptized before their parents entered into a same gender relationship.
The intention of the policy is to protect, not punish children of gay couples.
From the First Presidency:
"Revealed doctrine is clear that families are eternal in nature and purpose. We are obligated to act with that perspective for the welfare of both adults and children. The newly added Handbook provisions affirm that adults who choose to enter into a same-gender marriage or similar relationship commit sin that warrants a Church disciplinary council. Our concern with respect to children is their current and future well-being and the harmony of their home environment."
Elder Christofferson said the new policy originates out of compassion. “It originates from a desire to protect children in their innocence and in their minority years. … We don’t want the child to have to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one way and the expectations of the Church are very different.”
Of courses the consequences of gay parents cohabiting or getting married do affect the children, in that they must wait until they are 18 to be baptized. Many parents do incorrect things for which their children might suffer. Any parent who really does want their child to be a member of the church, knows very well the Church's position about same gender marriage, which will never change, and should agree with this policy; otherwise why would they even consider allowing their child to join a church that they either can't be members of themselves or have been excommuicated from because of their gay relationship?
Parents who have committed adultery or murder or fraud or other criminal acts know that they are sinning and expect that their children will be taught this in the LDS church and have probably taught this to their children as well. However, gay parents who are cohabiting or married will not agree that they are sinning and will try to teach it as an acceptable lifestyle to their children. Thus comes a real conflict between what the kids learn in church, including what they have promised to live at baptism and what their parents believe. I very much doubt that gay parents are going agree they are living in sin and be fully supportive of the church's policy on that. The policy takes away the situation where a young child has to choose between the church and parents and maintains complete control the parents have for their child. By waiting to be baptized the children are not put in a position where they have to promise to live by doctrines that are against what their parents believe. We are setting the children up to fail if we baptize them without the full cooperation and support of the parents.
Parents with different religious beliefs are aware their children will be taught different doctrines and they accept that, otherwise they would not allow them to attend the Mormon Church. Those wanting to be baptized, who have committted serious sins (rape, murder, adultery, etc), know they have sinned, have agreed it is a sin, have repented of the sin, and have been determined by a Bishop to be ready for baptism. Once someone has repented, God forgives the sin and remembers it no more (D&C 58: 42). It's as if it never happened. Therefore there are no rapists, adulterers, or murderers who are allowed to be baptized.
The children of gay parents are always invited to attend church with their parents permission, even though they will not be baptized until 18. No child of any background is allowed to be baptized without their parents permission until they are 18. When they are adults they can make their own choice on it. When they do turn 18, it is still mostly a Bishop's decison on whether the person is ready for baptism. The First Presidency would most likely accept the recommendation of the Bishop.
I predict that this poicy will actually affect very few people except for those who are afraid it will because of what the church critics say about it.