Thirteen years ago, a gay couple (two men) moved into my neighborhood. We met during a national-night-out held at my home. My wife and I were sitting in lawn chairs set up in the driveway, awaiting whatever visitors might come. Up walks 2 tall, slim and nice looking men, along with two young children. Introductions were made. It quickly became apparent that they were gay. Their children were adopted. It had only been a few days since they had moved in.
At the time, I was still a traditional believing Mormon. I KNEW homosexuality was a sin. One of the absolute worst sins. Maybe worse than murder. Never before had I met a gay couple. I had read about them. I was aware that some even had children. Now, open homosexuals had moved in just a few houses down the street. My first thought was, “How will this affect the value of the neighborhood?” Warily, I put a friendly smile on my face.
As the night transpired, I found these two men to be delightful and normal. At least, as normal as homosexuals could be. It turned out that both my wife and I really enjoyed their company.
At the time, I was serving as the ward mission leader. During my 64 years on this earth, I have served for over 15 years in missionary callings. For those not familiar with the Mormon church, when I speak of anything missionary, I’m referring to proselytizing…recruiting people to join the LDS Church.
Over the next few days, this gay couple and their children were frequently on my mind. I had told them I was Mormon, but hadn’t invited them to church. In their sinful living arrangement, these heads-of-household were not worthy of baptism. I pondered, “Will the church eventually make an accommodation for gay couples to be accepted in our culture.” I mulled over various possibilities of how this might happen.
Finally, I reasoned out a conclusion. It’s the children. Jesus loved the children. Both in the Bible and Book of Mormon. He invited all the children to come unto him. At one point he fussed at His apostles for restricting children from coming to him.
My logic went like this: Jesus will find a way for the children’s sake. If the parents are gay, the only way to reach the children would be to somehow accept the parents. So…I was confident of a coming prophetic declaration on how gay couples were to be accepted into our congregations…for the sake of the children.
Oh…The Illogic of My Reasoning!!!
In November 2015, eleven years after that memorable national-night-out, the prophetic declaration came. If gay couples married, they would be subjected to a mandatory church court. Excommunication was almost certain. And their children….they were immediately excommunicated from the blessings and ordinances of the gospel. No church court required. These innocents were simply and summarily banned from the blessings that were privileged to the children of hetero parents. No baby blessing. No baptism. No gift of the Holy Ghost. No priesthood. No temple attendance.
The children that Christ beckoned were now banned, prohibited, outlawed, censured, forbidden and discriminated against. Vulnerable before. Victimized now. “The least of these” before. Totally excluded now.
Eleven years previous, my logic had spoken. Eleven years later the prophet had spoken.
Eleven years previous, I had a vision of all children accepted by Jesus. Eleven years later, a prophet had a vision of which children were not to be accepted.
Just So You Know
My logic is often flawed. But, in this case my logic and my heart are in agreement. The November 5th policy is NOT of God.
If the apostles think this policy IS a revelation from God…then put it up for a vote. I have the guts to openly speak out for the marginalized children. They should have the guts to obey the Law of Common Consent. This gorgeous law requires that all revelations be presented and ratified by the rank and file members. Or rejected!!!
How Do I Feel Today About Anyone Who Is Gay?
My opinion has changed….a lot!
I offer this apology for my church’s past wrongs to the LGBT community. And…an apology for my prior support of those wrongs. Click HERE.
We’re all normal. Click HERE.
Information on the Law of Common Consent. Click HERE.