The LDS Church denies baptism and other sacraments & ordinances to the children of same gender couples

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iu-2By tradition, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, children are baptized by their father at eight years of age. Sometimes they are baptized by their grandfather, an uncle or an older brother. But it is usually a family event, because families are important to members of the LDS Church, the Mormons. So important that the LDS Church teaches that families are eternal. Because the Church teaches that families are forever, the Mormons believe that couples should be married in an LDS Temple by a man who has been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood, the priesthood which holds the keys to marriage for time and all eternity. Then the children born to a couple married under that covenant are sealed to their parents as an eternal family.

In LDS theology, eternal families actually predate life on earth. The Mormons believe that prior to the creation of the universe, all human beings were born in a pre-existant spirit world as unembodied children of heavenly parents. After life in the spirit world, folks await an opportunity to be born into the physical universe for the purpose of obtaining a physical body. This belief is why LDS families are often very large, to give as many children as possible from the spirit world the opportunity to be born into an LDS family on earth.

In addition to their baptism at eight years of age, most children born to LDS families are given a name and a blessing as an infant, soon after their birth. This ritual is also usually performed by their father or another male member of their family. The name and a blessing is commonly given during the regular worship service of the local LDS congregation, a ward or a branch.

However, earlier this past week on 5 NOV, KUTV in Salt Lake City announced that the LDS Church will not allow the children, biological or adopted, of same gender couples, legally married or cohabiting, to receive a name and a blessing at birth, nor baptism at eight years of age. Additionally, to receive baptism into the LDS Church, the child of a same gender couple must be of legal age (18 to 21, depending on the nation), must stop living with their same gender parents and must disavow same gender marriage to a General Authority. The final decision to allow the baptism is made by the First Presidency of the church in Salt Lake City.

In addition to the instructions regarding the children of same gender couples, the change in policy has formally added same gender marriage or cohabitation to the LDS Church’s list of sins defined as apostasy. Anyone who is considered an apostate is subject to immediate church discipline which may include excommunication. other actions considered apostasy include joining another church and advocating its teachings, or repeatedly advocating any teaching contrary to LDS doctrine.

On Friday, the LDS Church released a 10 minute Church produced video interview with a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Elder D. Todd Christofferson explains in the video why the LDS Church has taken this abrupt and unexpected step.


The policy has caught many folks off guard and has thrown GLBT parents into shock at the abruptness of the policy change. KUTV, interviewed a gay father living with his partner who is acting as a spokesman and an advocate for other GLBT parents. He is reporting that the policy not only applies to the children who are the sole custody of same gender parents, but appears to include the children in shared custody situations. The man has reported that he was contacted by a parent whose shared custody child was scheduled for baptism this weekend and has now been told that the baptism will not be taking place.

iuThis new policy also drastically changes the adolescent and young adult lives of the children of same gender parents, especially young men who usually are ordained to the first office of the Aaronic Priesthood at twelve years of age. Also young adult men and women who usually go on missions for the LDS church soon after high school graduation. To be allowed to do so under the new policy will require that they also leave their same gender parent’s home, disavow same gender marriage and receive approval after an interview with a General Authority of the church.

Changes to LDS Handbook 1 Document 2 Revised 11-3-15 %28003%29

This story was gathered from various reports at KUTV.
The images and video are copyright by Intellectual Reserve.
The main image is the LDS Temple in Manti UT, built 1887-1888

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20 Responses to "The LDS Church denies baptism and other sacraments & ordinances to the children of same gender couples"
  1. Many thoughts came to mind while reading your article, including "our church has its own problems; Central Florida for one". Then, I did a little research and found that the Cafe posted about Central Florida last spring. Not very Good News in either post.

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  2. Thanks David for the information on the LDS church and its structure. Makes their decision understandable within their system but still heartbreaking.

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    • I hope it isn't true, but a woman who knows many LDS folk has reported on the Cafe FB page that she was told 2nd hand that students at BYU (there are three; UT, ID & HI) who are known to have parents in same gender relationships, were called yesterday and told that they needed to renounce same gender relations or make arrangements to leave the university. If true, they hopefully get to finish the quarter before they must leave!

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  3. I find this confusing.

    Are you saying that you believe baptism into the beliefs of the LDS--including its account of eternal families predating life on earth, etc--is a good thing and so to be denied it is 'heartbreaking'?

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    • I have explained LDS beliefs to allow folks an understanding of the importance of family to Mormons, and so how disrupting and disconcerting this policy is for LDS families.

      This is not meant to be a dissection of LDS doctrine.

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    • Christopher-- I know many LDS families (Lander WY was about 1/3 LDS) and I feel heart broken for them and the position it must put them in as families. I know more about their beliefs and lives but I still feel compassion. Being denied a place in the family and church (the church is the center of their lives) is heartbreaking - especially for children.

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  4. I work at the Health Department and the following is from a Familly Planning memo we just received yesterday:

    "The words “household,” “family” and/or “economic unit” can be used interchangeably to refer to a person or persons who usually live together (although not necessarily) and share economic resources and consumption of goods or services."

    You will notice the word marriage doesn't appear. The state is having enough trouble with defining what a family is or isn't. There is bound to be continued stress within relegious bodies as they in turn must adapt to redefinitions.

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  5. You have a large family to give many opportunities for the spirits of the family to be born into yours. When one does, you are told to cast the child out. What happens to your forever broken family now and in eternity? Forget religion. Think family. This is your very own child. Do you stay in the church or deny your own offspring? There is no good choice here. Everyone in the family will be damaged, no matter what you do. I can't see God asking this of you. But that's just me.

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  6. Wonderful (not so much) to see the Mormons adopting the practices of St. Luke's Cathedral, Dio. Of Central Florida in Orlando!

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  7. Could this be an attempt to encourage/pressure Mormons in a same-sex marriage to divorce their spouses for their children's sake?

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  8. For those affected by this recent decision:

    The Episcopal Church welcomes you.

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  9. I know the most important point of this story is the stress and pain being (newly, to a greater degree) imposed on Mormon LGBT families.

    But when you read "The Mormons believe that prior to the creation of the universe, all human beings were born in a pre-existant spirit world as unembodied children of heavenly parents", it's hard to not immediately think "Carve 'JESUS CHRIST' in large letters all you want to, Mormons, but you have a COMPLETELY different religion from Christians!" :-0

    [Yes, I realize a good many Christians---esp. conservative Evangelical ones---say that about us Episcopalians. Kyrie eleison.]

    I echo a heart-filled "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!"

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    • LDS Church does hold those beliefs JC - and others like women cannot go to the highest heaven unless their husband calls them by their Temple name. During Lent one year our church in Lander invited a different faith leader talk about their beliefs. The LDS "seminary" teacher (the person who teaches the teens) came one evening. It was fascinating - but not terribly convincing to anyone.

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  10. Mormon boy denied priesthood ordination because his mom is living with a woman

    See more at: http://janariess.religionnews.com/2015/11/10/mormon-boy-denied-priesthood-ordination-because-his-mom-is-living-with-a-woman/#sthash.BrI4nHsA.dpuf

    It will prove interesting how this pans out for the LDS Church. Here is a family with shared custody of their oldest child with his biological mother and her same gender spouse, deciding that their other children, who have no biological or parental relationship to the oldest child's mother, will also not participate in the church's sacraments and ordinances if the oldest child can't. And anticipating possibly seeking a new church home.

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