This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Salt Lake Tribune asked readers to react to LDS policy changes making same-sex marriage a form of apostasy and barring children in these families from naming blessings and baptism rituals without the permission of the faith's governing First Presidency.
Readers responded in a big way, through our Public Insight Network. We have selected some responses from active Mormons that show the variety of opinions on this controversial step. They have been edited for grammar and brevity. (To become a source for The Tribune and add your voice, go here.)
Tyson Yapias, a Sunday school teacher
"The kids aren't excluded from activities. But if they are raised in such a situation that is contrary to the church's teachings, then they should be old enough to understand the promises they would be making when joining the church. If they live in a gay family, it would be very hard to keep those sacred covenants at a young age."
Nikki Packer, who has held multiple presidency positions with the Primary program for LDS children
"I am absolutely heartsick. There doesn't seem any real need to adopt this policy. We baptize children all of the time who have one or more parents who disbelieve or are not in good standing. This policy is so hurtful to gay members who love the gospel (and many do). To do this intentionally does not seem reflective of Christ's mission."
Alice Roberts, who has been a Primary president and in a women's Relief Society presidency
"I am struggling to reconcile how this policy is in any way acceptable. Church leaders have stated in the past that it is OK for an active member to support same-sex marriage, but now it would appear that that only applies if it is NOT your parents' same-sex marriage. I find the implications for this policy frightening. If same-sex marriage is apostasy, does that mean that those who associate with their LGBT-married family members are associating with apostates and will be disqualified from holding a temple recommend?"
Jeff Stenquist, who has been an elders quorum president in the all-male lay priesthood
"It seems logical that those not wanting to conform to church doctrinal standards are not eligible for church membership or church blessings. Participation in the church for minor children is always subject to the approval of their parents. It seems the church wants to make sure children are freely choosing a different path than their parents in order to obtain church membership."
Dave Hutton, who has been a bishop
"Those who are so strongly opposed to this are having a difficult time seeing the bigger picture and exercising their faith that our heavenly parents will provide a way for all of their children who have desires to make and keep sacred covenants a path to do so. The plan of salvation is both simple and infinitely complex especially when it comes to exaltation. If exaltation was granted only to those who leave this life 'perfect,' we'd ALL be in trouble."
Judd Bagley, who has held multiple church positions
"The policy against allowing children in same-sex unions to join the church is absolutely baffling to me. I cannot begin to see a legitimate reason for it and, indeed, if baptism is in fact a saving ordinance, it strikes me as cruel and deeply un-Christian. Excluding someone from membership for what they choose to do is one thing, but punishing someone for what any other person does is unacceptable."
Cosette Johnson Blanchard, who has been a women's Relief Society president
"My heart is broken, I am a mother of three children, two who identify as gay. All of my children love and support one another. We have cultivated a strong family bond. This announcement tries to break those strong family bonds. We will not let it. I am not sure what the future holds for my family. One thing I do know is that my core family will stay together, strengthen each other and lift each other up, no matter what! We will not let the church dictate to us what Family is! Any future partners, spouses and grandchildren who come into our circle in whatever way we are blessed, will be equals and loved without condition in our family!"
Scott Heffernan, who has been in an elders quorum presidency in the all-male lay priesthood
"It is awful. It is heartbreaking. I'm usually the tempered guy people can come to with their religious angst. But this has shaken me to the core. I have never felt this; I feel paralyzed. I have never felt this troubled in relation to the church. I don't know what I'm going to do."
Ben Coverston, who has been a branch president over a small LDS congregation
"The policy is bigoted. There's nothing loving or pastoral about it. I don't think I can wait another 10 to 20 years for the church to get it right. They need to stop it. Now."
Nathaniel Powell, who has been in an elders quorum presidency
"It's a wonderful policy. We need more leaders like the brethren who are willing to help make it clear the difference between right and wrong, by, among other things, refusing to give implied approval of gay relationships or adopting or raising children in gay relationships."