Mormon Church to exclude children of same-sex couples from getting blessed and baptized until they are 18

From today’s Washington Post:

Children living in a same-sex household may not be blessed as babies or baptized until they are 18, the Mormon Church declared in a new policy. Once they reach 18, children may disavow the practice of same-sex cohabitation or marriage and stop living within the household and request to join the church.

The policy changes, which also state that those in a same-sex marriage are to be considered apostates, set off confusion and turmoil among many Mormons after the policy was leaked online. The changes in the handbook for local church leaders for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were confirmed Thursday by church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

“Church handbooks are policy and procedural guides for lay leaders who must administer the church in many varied circumstances throughout the world,” Hawkins said in a statement. “The church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages. While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.”

Further on down in the article:

The policy change on children of same-sex couples has been especially troubling to many Mormons, said Steve Evans, a contributor to the popular Mormon blog By Common Consent.

“People who support the church up and down have trouble with this,” Evans said. “It looks like you’re punishing children for the acts of their parents. I don’t think they are punishing children, but I’m really torn about it.”

Infants who are blessed are counted as “children of record” but are not officially members until they’re confirmed, which happens at baptism. Baptism is the sacrament that makes other sacraments possible; it’s necessary before marriage can be formalized, for instance.

I posted this elsewhere, but once again, if anyone is curious this is what one of the LDS leaders has to say on the policy change.

Additional discussion here.

Is this really that revolutionary a new policy? The Catholic Church in the UK has being doing this for a while.

Hm. I’ve been rather torn on the issue of same-sex marriage myself, regarding our own Church.

Reflecting on it, how do we deal with people who are fornicators, thieves, murderers, or other committers of grave sins?

Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me someone caught up in a mortal sin is probably not properly catechised. Therefore, should there not be less hope that their children will learn the faith properly?

On the other hand, People often end up embracing, or at least accepting, these sins for many reasons other than ignorance, or even maliciousness. Our gargantuan media produces a great deal of societal pressure to have sex, even outside of marriage - especially outside of marriage. Even without the media there is a great deal of societal pressure against virginity, and sexual responsibility. Furthermore, sexual relationships can help deal with the terrible feeling of loneliness we experience in our society. And they perpetuate themselves by also being chemically addictive (dopamine is a powerfully addictive drug).

There are many mitigating factors - factors that are to blame for the state of things other than the people themselves.

It’s probably too late for this, but the best course of action might have been to kindly, quietly, and politely tell them why fornication and sodomy will not work in the Christian faith, and focus. Instead, on those point on which we do agree. And failing cooperation there, we should make the Church shine like a polished gem to outshine the world.

The Mormon church doed not baptize in the" Name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Ghost" so their baptism just incorporates them into their church. Guess they can include them anytime they want. Feel sorry for those children growing up without both a
mother and father to raise them.

Actually we do. After calling the person by name the officiator says, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen”. The person is then immersed in the water. The issue with Catholics is that we do not believe in the Trinity as they have defined it.

To be fair I don’t think any Christian denomination, perhaps aside the Community of Christ which split from the LDS Church has such an unorthodox view of the trinity as you. Most Christians are Trinitarian, there are three who yet are one with exception to a small branch of Unitarians (there is just one). As far as I know Mormons are fairly unique in being henotheists so I can see why other Christians struggle to see you guys as similar to them.

I don’t worry if other Christians struggle with out beliefs. Just clarifying the baptism issue.

Well, Mormonism uses Christian words and terms but have applied very different, non Christian meanings, to them.

It always seems it’s the children that suffer in these situations. That said, I can understand that those children of same sex couples are most likely and obviously being brought up to believe this is acceptable behavior in the eyes of God and therefore that would be contrary to the hope the children would learn the proper doctrine of Mormonism.


The issue with Catholics is that the LDS do not believe in the Trinity. Full Stop. The LDS do not have a different take on the Trinity. The LDS are not semi-Trinitarians. The LDS are non-Trinitarians.

As far as not baptizing the children of gays and lesbians in same sex marriages until they are 18, I don’t think the policy is all that radical. Given that this follows the SOP of many Catholic parishes I think most on these boards will sympathize with the LDS policy.

Wait, the Carholic Church in the UK won’t baptize children who have a gay parent in an active relationship?

They will if they don’t live with the gay parent, but if they do no; they have to wait until the age of majority, and then condemn their parents lifestyle before they can join the Catholic Church.

I only know this because it has come up with a homosexual freind recently, before a personal tragedy he was planning to adopt but was informed any children in his care could not be baptized. I’ve since asked myself while investigating something else at three different parishes and they all agree on that.

It’s not the case in Ireland I’m told, but it is the decision here.

But is this a universal policy in the UK or the experience of your friend with his/her parish priest? I was under the impression that this decision is made by individual priests based on Can. 868 §1.

To be honest I don’t actually know, it’s not something that comes up very often I’ve been told since Catholicism is a minority religion in the UK, no where near as big or influential as it is in the US or Ireland. Of the three parishes I’ve asked so far they’ve been spread across two different dioceses and in both diocese it was the decision of the bishop not the lower clergy, one of the clerics I asked expressed regret and dissatisfaction with the decision by his bishop. In both cases though these were not new decisions and had already been in place for some time, long predating legislation concerning same sex couples and adoption in the UK.

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