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New LDS Church rules calling same-sex marriage "apostasy," with no baptism or priesthood for children until they turn age 18 and leave the family, reflect the strict Spencer W. Kimball era.

Other parents commit grievous sins, but their children are not asked to leave. Even Christ associated with alleged "sinners." Elder Dallin Oaks had championed civil gay rights and protections, and Elder Todd Christofferson assured same-sex supporters rights to their personal beliefs — without coercion or loss of privileges.

How would a worthy young male explain that he cannot pass and bless the sacrament with friends? Would he stay, feeling confused, shut out and punished? To "repent," same-sex couples must separate, leaving children with a single parent — creating the risky situation Oaks discourages. An estimated five percent of all people are homosexual. That could involve some 750,000 members — plus their families!

Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," not, " . . . unless the parents are in a same-sex relationship." As the Articles of Faith teach that men will be punished for their own sins, would that include the transgressions of a parent? Church leaders are caring, and concerned, so members anticipate further inspiration and compassionate clarification.

Terry O'Brien