On Thursday, Nov. 5, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began to, once again, receive negative publicity in regards to a new change made to Handbook #1.
The change states that children of parents living in a same-gender relationship will not receive a name and a blessing at birth, nor will they be permitted to be baptized into the Church until they are 18 years old and no longer live with their parents.
The change was only publicized briefly before Thursday by statements given by Eric Hawkins, senior manager of media relations for the LDS Church.
On Friday, Elder D. Todd Christofferson provided more context regarding the policy during an interview with Michael Otterson, managing director of Church public affairs.
I’m not going to say the Church is wrong because I have already made the decision to trust in the leaders of our church and to trust in the Lord.
But, I will say I’m disappointed.
Not disappointed in the change to the handbook or the policy, but disappointed in members of the Church who are angry or who have spoken out against the Church on social media platforms about the decision.
One particular post on my newsfeed included stating that this person (who posted the status) was ashamed for thinking the LDS Church was moving toward greater acceptance and less alienation.
This person ultimately expected the Church to change its doctrine to fit more with the ideals of the world.
The Church does not conform to the world. Ever.
The Lord’s doctrine is perfect and unchanging.
Church leaders frequently counsel members to stay away from worldly influences, and I guess this is just another test the Lord is throwing in our direction.
“From the teachings of the Savior, we have adopted the common saying in the Church, ‘To be in the world, but not of the world,” said Elder L. Tom Perry in his talk titled, “In the World,” during the April 1988 General Conference. “We should continually remind ourselves to keep our lives in harmony with the Lord’s laws.”
Elder Christofferson said that even though same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States and other countries, and people have that right if they choose to do so, it is still considered a serious sin in regards to the Church.
I’m not saying that I don’t support same-sex marriage, because I do, but I also have a responsibility as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to respect and support our leaders’ decisions.
I know it’s difficult to agree with some of the things our ecclesiastical leaders have asked of us, but we as a Church sustain them twice a year during general conference, which means we sustain their decisions.
Presidents Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf are men called of God as prophets, seers and revelators to help guide us through our time on earth.
They know things about the gospel that we could not even begin to know.
Where do we get off thinking we know more — about the gospel, the world, the Lord — than they do?
As members of the Church, we need to support our leaders and their counsel, rather than openly show contempt for the way the Church is run.