The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released an updated version of Handbook #1 Thursday, Nov. 5, reaffirming the qualifications for disciplinary councils and apostasy.
The updated handbook includes a new section entitled “Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship,” which clarifies that children naturally born or adopted into a same-gender relationship, may not receive a name and a blessing.
“Church handbooks are policy and procedural guides for lay leaders who must administer the Church in many varied circumstances throughout the world,” said Eric Hawkins, spokesman for the LDS Church told Scroll in an email interview. “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.”
In addition, children of same-gender relationships may only be baptized, confirmed, ordained or recommended for missionary service only after a mission president or stake president receives approval from the Office of the First Presidency.
The child must meet two qualifying factors for approval of a baptism, according to the handbook.
1. The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.
Same-gender marriage has been added to the list of defining factors of apostasy as it relates to assisting Church leaders know when disciplinary action is to be taken, according to Deseret News.