General Question

ibstubro's avatar

How does it serve the Mormon church's overall goals to prohibit church rituals for the children of same-sex couples?

Asked by ibstubro (18636points) November 11th, 2015

Source

Source

“Sons and daughters of murderers, adulterers, fornicators, drug addicts, unwed mothers, divorced parents and sometimes non-Mormons can be welcomed into the community with such special rites, born of the Mormon belief that children are born innocent, rather than carrying the weight of their parents’ sins.”

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36 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ibstubro – you are trying to make religion follow some sort of logic. Religion doesn’t follow rational goals “serve their purpose”—belief and their rules are paramount.

Remember that LDS church is even more hierarchical (and frankly, intolerant) than many other religions. Their dogma is very strongly white-male bound, with women and non-whites less valued.

So what you have here is the Elders (capital E) saying that their doctrinal dislike of gays is stronger than any desire they have to help people live better lives.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

SUPER GREAT answer @elbanditoroso !!!

tinyfaery's avatar

It doesn’t. A mass exodus is coming.

ibstubro's avatar

How does alienating the children punish the parents?

Let’s see.
The parents are gay.
The parents believe in (the cult of) Mormonism.
Mormon’s deny the teaching of LDS to the kids of gay parents.

Seems to me like you’d do everything you could to keep the kids in the church.

Religion wasn’t one of my topics, @elbanditoroso. Practically speaking I was asking about strategy.

I hope the exodus is a large percentage, @tinyfaery, as to a number.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I can see why a lot of religions would punish the kids of gay parents. It has to do with nothing other than wanting to keep the “infected” out – and I can see it more of Mormonism than I can in certain other religions (a huge, huge chunk of my family is Mormon [partly because they are massive breeders]). If you aren’t “pure”, you can’t be a part of it at all. My grandmother wasn’t allowed to attend her granddaughter’s wedding in the temple because she wasn’t Mormon. They made her wait outside in the pouring rain, through the entire ceremony, and her two daughters who converted to Mormonism in their late teens to early twenties (after meeting two Mormon men) didn’t say anything about it, because they believed it was the right thing to do. My grandma was heartbroken.

So, like I was saying, they probably think the children are too muddied and so they cast them out, so that the “purity” of the cult (all organized religions are cults) isn’t tarnished.

filmfann's avatar

LDS is not a religion; it is a cult.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t get the problem. Are the gay parents allowed to be part of the church if the Mormon church isn’t ok with gay people? If not, why would there even be an instance where gay people are trying to get their child baptized? If gay people are allowed in the church then it’s illogical the church would not baptize the kids.

I can’t be too harsh about the Mormons, the whole Christian idea of original son makes no sense to me. A brand new perfect child needs to worry about sin? I don’t know how the Mormons specifically think about baptism. Is it done at birth like many Christian faiths?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ibstubro wrote “Religion wasn’t one of my topics, @elbanditoroso. Practically speaking I was asking about strategy.”

But when you are talking about the strategy of a religious institution (LDS), you necessarily are bringing in religion. Compare the LDS church to a large corporation (which, not surprisingly, it is). Religious beliefs (to a religion) are parallel to the corporate mission statement (of a commercial enterprise). They are inextricable.

ibstubro's avatar

Thousands
@tinyfaery but I don’t know if that’s a significant dent.

Buttonstc's avatar

@JLeslie

Similar to what you’ve expressed, I’m quite frankly amazed that there are any LGBTQ who want to have anything to do with the Mormon church at all since they’ve made it pretty clear how much they despise them.

There are now so many Christian groups (and more all the time) who classify themselves as open and affirming and welcome gay people with open arms.

Why would they want to hang around the Mormon church. That would be like going to Fred Phelps’ church. Who wants to be regularly told how sinful and deserving of hell you are and then sign your kids up for the same type of indoctrination. Can you imagine the internal conflict and torture that it puts those kids through?

I honestly don’t get it. I would move me and my kids as far away as possible from the nearest Mormon church (or any other Christian or Muslim group with similar narrow mindedness and condemnation.) I would keep my kids away from that crap at all costs.

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc And, yet Marriott has proudly advertised and solicited gay weddings and receptions at their hotels for many years. I just don’t think the majority of Mormons are homophobic or hateful. At the same time it doesn’t surprise me the official doctrine is anti-gay. @tinyfaery‘s link said the children can be Mormon once they are 18. It’s just about the gay couple really, not about the children. It’s not like the child, eventually an adult, has done sort of permanent black mark that he can never enter the church.

kritiper's avatar

The Mormon afterlife would have to open up a whole new universe of worlds to live the afterlife in, so it would be just too much work. Besides, it just isn’t natural.

ibstubro's avatar

That’s my point, @JLeslie, @Buttonstc. If a gay parent would allow their child to be indoctrinated by the Mormon church, Why would the church refuse?

“18. At that time children may disavow the practice of same-sex cohabitation or marriage and stop living within the household and request to join the church.”
This sounds more like Scientology, @JLeslie.

And it may interest you to know that Brigham Young owned a tavern, believing that it was better for the pious to serve the heathens that heathen-to-heathen.
Early in the church followers were that if they were unable to forgo chewing tobacco during services in the Temple, that they should at least be discrete about it, i.e. not spit on the floors.

Buttonstc's avatar

@JLeslie

But in order for these kids to officially become a Mormon at 18, there are strings attached.

They must disavow their parents marriage. The people who raised them, love them and in their formative years taught them the values they live by must now be considered apostates.

How the hell does that contribute to the family unity and family values they claim to be all about? Disavow is not a word to be taken lightly and neither is apostate.

These guys are talking out of both sides of their mouth. Sure, they’re happy to keep these parents on the church rolls in order to inflate their numbers but they’ll happily consign them to hell?

Oh yeah, they’ll accept their money for wedding receptions while classifying them as apostate? That’s the most ridiculous bunch of crap I’ve heard in a long time.

If you had gay or lesbian parents who raised you in loving home would you be willing to disavow the marriage that was the basis of that loving home just so you can hang out with Mormons who tell you your parents will rot in hell.

What a screwed up mess. They’re basically requiring the kids to be turncoats and traitors to their own parents just so they can have the dubious honor of joining their church. That’s about as bad as the Hitler youth. How insidious.

Seriously, would you, @JLeslie be willing to disavow your parents just because a bunch of bigots require it? I’m guessing no.

I hope every single LGBTQ person and their friends and family leave the Mormon Church in droves. They need to teach those hypocrites a lesson.

I never thought I’d see the day when I had anything positive to say about the Fred Phelps group but here it is.

At the very least they aren’t talking out of both sides of their mouth. They are remarkably consistent with their misguided hatred.

They wouldn’t hold a gay wedding reception in their facility even if offered millions to do so. They believe what they believe and are consistent about it.

They certainly won’t be putting any gay people on their church rolls just for a higher count. They don’t want to have anything go do with them. At least they are honest about their hate. And you can deal with that because you know exactly where they’re coming from.

But the Mormon church is sending out the worst type of mixed message that I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely ludicrous.

“Come spend your money with us for your wedding so that we can preach to you about your consignment to hell. And we will allow your children to join us when they’re 18 as long as they’re willing to consider you apistate and disavow the family which raised them.”

What a load of hypocritical crap.

I honestly can’t understand why any gay person would want to come within 10 miles of any of them or subject their kids to schizophrenic mind games. Good grief.

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc I don’t want my kids (if I had some) to even step inside a Christian church that is going to tell them their mom is going to hell, because she doesn’t accept Jesus as her savior. So, I don’t see the Mormons as much different than many other sects of Christianity when push comes to shove. Not to mention some of the Orthodox Jews can be pretty brutal if you don’t stay in the community. Children get shunned, families disconnect.

This shit happens in many religions, but the Americanized version, many Americans aren’t so fervent in these things. We have cafeteria Catholics, Reformed Jews, and Mormons who can be friends with non-Mormons.

I understand why people want their children to play with kids in their religion, and marry people in their religion. It seems like it would be an easier road, especially if the people practice their religion.

ragingloli's avatar

Why would same sex couples even want to join a religion that hates their very being?

Buttonstc's avatar

@ragingloli

You and I are wondering the same thing. Makes no sense at all.

But it wasn’t until now that I realized how two-faced the Mormon church is being about it.

Annoys the crap out of me.

Buttonstc's avatar

@JLeslie

“the Mormons as different from many other sects of Christianity”.

I see a definite difference. The other groups (Christian, Muslim or otherwise) don’t use gay people on the church rolls to pump up their numbers. They will not grant them membership to begin with. At least they’re being consistent.

Plus, they aren’t seeking out their business for marriages the way the Mormon-owned Marriott is cashing in. What absolute hypocrisy.

Obviously, I strongly disagree with the anti-gay stance of any of these groups.

But if that’s your group’s doctrinal foundation principles (as it is with the Mormons) then stand by your convictions and stop being so two-faced about it just so you can cash in and inflate your numbers.

At least the anti-gay groups make their position clear. There are no mixed messages. At least this frees gay folks from harboring any illusions about eventual “acceptance” and they can go find a group willing to accept them just as they are. There are plenty of them.

But the Mormons are welcoming with one hand and a slap across the face (for eternity yet) with the other hand. Pretending to the kids that they’ll be welcome (as long as they’re willing to disavow and sever ties with the same sex family who lovingly raised them.)

There is no other anti-gay group who does that kind of two-faced stuff (that I’m aware of) other than the Mormons who love to proclaim long and loud about how much they value the family (as long as it’s not a same sex family)

Gay families have to denounce each other if they want admission to the special club. It makes me want to throw up just thinking about it.

Prior to this issue I just figured that gay people wouldn’t want to be within ten miles of a Mormon church and the feeling was mutual. Well, apparently not and I just find the Mormons treatment of gay folks to be the height of hypocrisy. Aaarrrgggh

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc Are you saying the Mormon church allows gay people to be members, just not their children? I’m confused?

Remember the Jazz Singer? He was still Jewish and married a shiksa and his father tore his own jacket to declare his son dead.

Buttonstc's avatar

According to that article that was linked upthread, apparently so.

As a matter of fact they mentioned that lawyers have volunteered to assist any of those who want to withdraw their membership.

The reason being that the church doesn’t strike people from the rolls. They must notify in writing that this is what they wish but even then there’s a lot of foot dragging about it.

Apparently kids can become members of the church (I mean kids in general) at a fairly young age.

I’m sure there are a lot of them who didn’t know they were gay at that time (or were in denial about it or desperately praying to God to cure them as many gay folks have spoken about.)

So yes, there are apparently a sizable number of gay folks who are members.

But according to that article, this recent change in policy applies only to the children of same sex parents who must wait until they’re 18 before they can join the church. However they must disavow their parents marriage in order to to so. Why they would even want to is beyond me but that’s what all the recent fuss is about. I hope that they all, as well as their friends, leave in huge numbers to send a message to the hierarchy. And then I hope they find welcoming churches where they can be themselves.

Didn’t you read the article? It’s pretty clear.

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc I skimmed the article. I still don’t care that that is their policy. Many churches have crackpot policies. I prefer they didn’t of course. It’s up to the Mormons to make the change in my opinion, not us onlookers. They need to sway their church members and church leaders to rethink the policy.

Buttonstc's avatar

They need to stop being so two-faced about it.

JLeslie's avatar

Churches are often two-faced.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m going to add that when I wanted to go to Hebrew school my dad went to the synagogue to find out how much it is. It was too much for him, so he told them how much he could afford, and they said no.

My SIL went to the local Catholic Church to put her kids in CCD classes and they pestered her to have to attend mass, she is not a church goer, and of course pay out some money. Not just to pay for the classes mind you. She didn’t want to agree, she just wanted her kids to go. They basically didn’t care that they were getting two more members with the children. They seemed willing to pass on them if they didn’t get her too. They had already lost her, but not to the point she wouldn’t put her kids through CCD. She eventually worked something out, I’m not sure who gave in. The kids went to classes.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think this is a classic battle between old view and new views; between conservatives and liberals, between tradition and change. In that respect, this is like any religion – Judaism, Catholicism, and even to a degree, Baptist.

This isn’t really an age thing per se (although the Mormons are governed by a Council of Elders) – its the struggle between progressives and traditionalists.

I understand that there are a non-trivial number of progressive Mormons who, although devout, want to modernize church teaching and attitudes. Not just about homosexuality, but also about environment, morality, womens’ rights, and so on.

But there is still a massive number of the ‘traditional’ Mormons, who follow every word, go on their missions, are active members of their stakes, and (most importantly) accept the chuch teaching unquestioningly. Again, in this respect they are identical to most other religions.;

ibstubro's avatar

I feel like a broken record.

Why would a cult refuse to indoctrinate the children of a group that the cult disallows?
The gays want you to teach their children and you refuse?

Pandora's avatar

Just an opinion, but I think they probably see that they have more to lose. Their doctrine would teach the children to see gay marriages as being a sin and living in sin. Their parents would tell the kids it’s not a sin. The child would then have to reject one. The parents that are raising them or the church they probably have little understanding for. They won’t ruin the only chance for a home they have.
Now if they don’t back the kids into a corner to be accepted, then they are sending a message to their congregation that being gay and living a life style that isn’t straight, isn’t a sin. So what else isn’t a sin? Having affairs, living with someone without getting married, not reproducing (something they are great at), having friends outside their faith.
They would have opened a can a worms that they would have a hell of a time closing later. The list you gave above, most faiths believe you can repent and change those. Gay couples aren’t going to separate and suddenly live a straight life style and tell their children that being gay is a sin.
So the real question, is what would they have to gain? They probably look at it as they may win and gain 2 new Mormans, who will eventually side with their parents, but how many will they lose in doing so.

And why would gay parents want their kid in any faith that sees them as sinful unless they agree with that faith view on homosexuality (doubtful), or just propaganda.

MikeA's avatar

To answer this question, we must first understand what IS the overall goal of the LDS Church.

The overall goal of the Church is for families to come unto Christ and ultimately be bound together, or “sealed”, for all eternity in a holy temple of God.

That is the ultimate goal of the LDS Church.

So why does it appear that the Church is cruelly singling out the children of same-sex couples that are cohabiting and denying them membership? The children of a man and a woman “living in sin” who are not married may be blessed and baptized. The child of a homosexual man who is NOT cohabiting—yet may be engaging in illicit liaisons with a myriad of other men—that child may be blessed and baptized too.

So why this seemingly double standard?

Here is the answer: This policy that prohibits the children of cohabiting same sex couples from membership in the church is designed to protect the children and to preserve familial relationships within that home.

You probably just read that last sentence and think I’m crazy, but please continue to read and understand what I mean.

In the Church, homosexuality is a sin. It always has been a sin and always will be a sin. Adultery is a sin too.

Additionally in the Church, a family starts when a man and a woman join in marriage. Despite all of the insistence that a homosexual union is the same as a heterosexual one, that is simply not true. Men are different from women. Women are different from men. Gender is an essential component of what a marriage is. This will never change in the Church, despite the legalization of marriage in the world.

Again, the ultimate goal for the Church is to get families to the temple to be sealed. To enter the temple, they must abide by all of the commandments in the Church.

So for the heterosexual couple living in sin, getting to the temple is relatively easy. They simply need to go down to a judge, get married, and begin living all of the church commandments. (Attending their Sunday meetings, paying tithing, etc). Once they do all of this, they and their children can go to the temple.

As for the single gay man with a child, this one is a bit more complicated but still possible. He simply needs to stop acting on his homosexual desires and start keeping the commandments of the Church. If he wants to be sealed as a family, he needs to marry a female. That’s it. I know this is complicated by the fact that he is not attracted to females, but Mormons believe that if it is not possible for him to marry a female in this life, God will mercifully allow him that same opportunity in the next life—if that is what he wants.

So let’s get to our final example, the same sex couple living together with children. How do they make it to the temple? The ONLY way for this couple to make it to the temple is for their family to break up. In the other scenarios I described, the families were able to stay together as they repented and change their lives. In this case, the two men must separate. So now, where does the child go? With which father? Hypothetically, if these men did repent and marry females in order to be sealed in a temple, which family is the child sealed to? Which dad?

This is the mess that is created.

This is why the church, in order to protect these kids and their relations with their parents, withdraws.

Think of this: The child of this same sex couples goes to church each Sunday. Guess what they teach as doctrine in primary class? God has prophets. These prophets have said that marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is a sin.

Then this 6 or 7 year old child goes home to his two dads and what do they teach him? Well, the prophets don’t know what they’re talking about. The Church is wrong. The Church is full of hatred and bigotry.

How does a 6 year old child process this?

He cannot possibly reconcile this. The church recognizes this and that is why it insists on not letting the doctrines of the church negatively affect this child in his tender years. The child can still attend the church. However, to officially be baptized, he must be old enough and mature enough to make the decision to join a church that is going to insist that his parents are living in sin and must break up.

This is why the policy is in place.

A couple of more clarifications: Homosexuals and their children are never, ever barred from attending an LDS Sunday service. Nobody is barred for that matter (assuming they aren’t disrupting the service). If the same sex family wants to attend church, they are free to do so and will not be asked to leave. They won’t, however, be allowed to participate in the sacraments of the church, including attending the temple.

Additionally, in order to join the church at 18, the child must repudiate and renounce the practice of same sex marriage/cohabitation and not live in the home. He is NOT required to renounce or repudiate his parents. Some have likened this practice to how scientologists or JW’s will cut off their family members if they leave the church or are declared “suppressive”. This is not the case in the LDS faith. Although the child cannot be living in the home, he most certainly is allowed to communicate and visit and participate in all other functions of that particular arrangement.

I hope this helps to explain this policy. Feel free to comment or private message if you have more questions.

Buttonstc's avatar

@MikeA

I’m curious then about what happens in cases of divorce and one or more remarriages.

Obviously, divorce is frowned upon, but it does happen to many Christians, Mormons included.

So, how is that resolved regarding who is sealed to whom in eternity. And where do the kids (and step-siblings) of blended families fit?

How can the children of the divorced be “sealed” with the parents of a marriage and family that was dissolved?

I’m especially wondering about situations where the divorce occurs when the child (or children) are very very young and are really raised far more, in reality, by the step-parent rather than their biological parent ?

MikeA's avatar

@Buttonstc That’s a good question. Children do not become “unsealed” to their parents, even if their parents divorce or one of their parents is excommunicated from the church for whatever reason. In the case of a young child who is sealed to one parent, but effectively raised by a step-parent, it is possible to be sealed to the step-parent, but it requires special approval from the leadership of the church. It is also important to keep in mind that the most important link is that between spouses. Children eventually grow up, and while it’s important to be sealed to parents, it is more important to be sealed to your spouse, and then to remain loyal and faithful to him or her, and to God, for the remainder of your life. I hope this answers your question.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@MikeA Okay, so what about divorce? How much is that frowned upon?

MikeA's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Divorce is frowned upon quite a bit. The Church teaches that couples should do everything they can to stay married. However, the Church also recognizes that divorce is necessary in some cases, and people are permitted to end their marriage, even those sealed in a temple.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@MikeA Just wondering, because one of my Aunts, who is very Mormon, has been married four or five times.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well in short it doesn’t serve them well at all. I think I recall them losing about 10,000 members over this. Not 100% on the exact figure. But they lost a staggering amount of followers over this shortsighted policy.

All I can say is, I’m glad I’m not a Mormon.

ibstubro's avatar

A church that prohibits children from church rituals.
It boggles the mind, @NerdyKeith.

Just as they were about to have people convinced they aren’t a cult…

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