This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
It is reassuring to see strong believing Mormons, along with progressive and post-Mormons, raise their voices against the new policy excluding children with married gay parents from receiving important ordinances in the LDS Church.
These withheld ordinances include baptism commonly performed at the age of 8 years old. All the important ordinances in the Mormon church are now being put on hold until the age of 18 for children of married gay couples after the children disavow their parents' marriage.
This is baffling coming from a church that teaches in its own scriptures that Christ invites all to come unto him through baptism and that men will be punished for their own sins.
Thousands of members have officially resigned from their affiliation with the church or slipped away quietly because this new policy was the last straw for them. All the major media sources have picked up on the outrage of too many affected directly or indirectly by this new policy. Righteous indignation finds its place in this issue. Many hope that the prophet and apostles will take this opportunity to closely look at the way they are acting "in the name of God."
In an explanatory statement on the policy, Elder D. Todd Christofferson claimed that the policy was based upon love. However, neither he nor supporters of this policy are able to illustrate any positive outcome from it. So far the major outcomes of this policy have been bafflement, broken hearts and homes in deep turmoil. It is hard to believe that the leaders of the Mormon Church sat together with the goal of increasing love and fellowship for children of gay parents, then came up with this policy as a result. The lack of transparency and dishonesty of the leaders is extremely hurtful.
What the leaders tend to forget is that the only power they truly have is the one members of the church are willing to give them. By intentionally veiling the true reasons for the new policy they show that what they did was not inspired. How can the members see this policy as coming from God? Many foresee this new policy going down in LDS history as a future "mistake from the past."
Prophets and apostles advocated in favor of polygamy, against racial desegregation, against the ERA, against the civil rights movement all in the name of divine inspiration. As political pressure mounted, they flipped on the more humane and commonly accepted side. The outside pressure became too strong and sudden "revelations" appeared to change the position of the church. One would think that because the leaders claim such proximity to Christ, they would be in the forefront of social justice issues. But it hasn't been the case. It is usually after significant outside pressure that the church suddenly changes its stances.
LGBTQ allies in and out of the church have hopes to see the leaders act more humanely toward our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. Groups such as Mormon Building Bridges, Mama Dragons, the Mormon Mental Health Association, the Out in Zion Podcast participants and others are working very hard to foster understanding and complete acceptance of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. We know that eventually the leaders will come around to fully accept and embrace the complexities of human sexuality. In the meantime many are suffering.
Many members wish the LDS Church were leading the cause for social justice rather than being forced to accept the equality that others are fighting for.
I have no doubt that Mormonism's position on gay marriage, including this new policy, will eventually change. At some point in time, the outside pressure will become so great that their obsolete position will no longer be tenable. Until this change happens, an increasing number is left wondering what the real reasons were for creating this painful new policy because it certainly was not love.
Julienna Viegas-Haws was born and raised in Belgium. She served an LDS mission on Temple Square and graduated with a B.A. in international politics from Brigham Young University. She currently lives in Texas with her husband and three children.