It is interesting how everyone seems to refer to the Exclusion Policy in the past tense. Media headlines have proclaimed the “reversal” of the policy, or report that the policy was “rescinded”. The truth is, the Exclusion Policy is neither reversed or rescinded. The wording of the policy in the Handbook has been slightly modified, but the hateful, bigoted policy is still there.
The only difference for the children is that First Presidency approval is no longer necessary, but the children still have to go through an additional process before the bishop can approve their baptism or other ordinance. This basically allows the highest Church leaders to blame the bishops for implementing the Exclusion Policy and maintain their own plausible deniability.
The only difference for the gay parents is that they are no longer automatically considered apostates, and that “homosexual immorality would be treated in the eyes of the Church in the same manner as heterosexual immorality.”
But that really doesn’t change anything. The policy still calls same-sex marriage a serious transgression, which has always been grounds for discipline. The problem with the immorality statement is that it is carefully worded in order to be misleading. It sounds positive, like they are saying that same-sex married couples are no longer going to be disciplined for immorality simply because they are married. However, upon closer examination, this is not what this statement says.
The Church has been very clear over the last two or three decades that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and that any sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is immorality. Hence, ALL homosexual relations are considered immorality, even when it is within a monogamous, legal, and lawful marriage. This is how President Nelson can use a play on words to give the impression they are reversing the policy, but not really changing anything.
So nothing has really changed.
Leaving the Church is one valid way to respond to this deception and bigotry from Church leaders. However, there is another approach — to be a part of the movement that holds our Church leaders accountable to be honest and to not hide their bigotry behind the mantra of saying it is God’s law. In doing this they are throwing God under the bus and gaslighting the rest of us. This is a perfect example of “unrighteous dominion”.
For me, instead of leaving the Church that I have loved my whole life, I am standing up and fighting to restore the Church from the clear abuse of power and authority that President Nelson has demonstrated. I don’t want him to resign, but he does need to repent of his bigotry and make it right.
God has told us all what his laws are — to love God and love our neighbor. Any doctrine, teaching, or policy that is not based in love (or that only feigns love to justify bigotry) is clearly not of God. Church leaders are not allowed to cover their hateful bigotry by saying it was only God’s law. They appear to be trying to preserve their own authority and power, and doing everything they can to procrastinate having to repent of their own intolerance.
I am not giving the leaders of the Church a pass. I will continue to sustain them and pray for their success in doing good. However, for as long as they continue to deceive and resist repenting of their bigotry, I will continue to hold them accountable. The only truth that is worth anything is the full truth, not carefully phrased statements intended to deceive, that throw God under the bus, and that attempt to hide bigotry.
How do you intend to hold the leaders accountable while at the same time sustaining them? Will they even suspect you feel the way you do? I accept your strongly felt beliefs, but I would like to know exactly how you will hold them accountable. Perhaps we can all band together in support of your efforts.
How can you follow a leader that you admit is willingly deceiving people?
I honestly believe that if two same gender people held hands and kissed that no discipline would happen in most cases but of course there is always some bozo clergy that would not support that as okay.
I also feel that kids of same gender parents are able to be baptized but then again why would parents want them too? It’s a crazy world for sure and nothing is black and white as the Latter-day Saint faith says and nothing is what you’re stating here as black and white. There is common ground if all of us let things go and strive to work together.
Saying they are deceiving seems like a sure fire way to get excommunicated. See you in the post mormon group you’ll be welcomed open arms.
Nicely written! Thank you.
Yes it is sad that the Church leaders have a history of excommunicating people who actually hold them to be accountable. However, I expect someone who claims to be a prophet and is teaching what he calls truths in his speech to be able to hold up to the highest standards of truth.
When leaders of the Church use deceptive PR techniques and carefully phrased wordings to mask their true intent, when they gaslight us with inaccuracies and blame us for not accepting their revised history, and justify their own human failings by throwing God and bishops under the bus, I feel all people of conscience must do what we can to hold them accountable. I want to be as generous as possible to these men, but my integrity demands that I call out deception and bigotry when I see it.
As I mentioned in my post, I believe in repentance. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose. Prophets are never exempt from repentance, and they should set the example to the Church by repenting often.
I really believe there is a movement of like minded believers who want to be faithful in the church and loyal to our leaders, but at the same time stand for a higher standard. We expect more from our faith leaders than this kind of behavior. We expect them to be full of love for all of God’s children, and not just feign love while at the same time betraying them, and then blaming it on God’s laws. This is not consistent with office they hold, and if we members say nothing, then nothing will change. I also believe in forgiveness.
Forgive me but I don’t understand this intense desire to remain a member of the church when it’s whole premise has always been that it is God’s true kingdom on the earth and that a prophet will never lead you astray. That is clearly not the case and it’s just another man made religion; the book of Mormon is a compilation of common books in circulation at the time Joseph wrote it and we can go on and on.