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In a stunning reversal, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Thursday that it is walking back a controversial 2015 policy that affected members in same-sex marriages and their children.
The 2015 policy had prohibited children of same-sex couples from being baptized (which Mormons can do beginning at age eight) and also from being “blessed” as infants. Priesthood ordination for tween boys and missionary service for young adults were likewise off the table for children born to same-sex couples unless they were willing to publicly disavow their parents’ relationship after turning eighteen.
Policy - Parents - Members - Marriage - Relationship
The 2015 policy also targeted the parents, stating that any adult members who were in a same-sex marriage or long-term homosexual relationship were in “apostasy,” and subject to a mandatory church discipline council.
On Thursday, the Church abandoned both halves of the policy, which has become known as “the ban.” Children of same-sex couples are now eligible for all ordinances and opportunities in the church, and their parents will no longer be regarded as in apostasy, though same-sex marriage is still considered a “serious transgression.”
Change - String - Announcements - Leaders - Revelation
This change comes as the latest in a string of announcements that church leaders are heralding as revelation, from major women-friendly updates to the church’s temple endowment ceremony to amendments to the missionary program.
But it’s a particularly surprising one, given that the current president of the Church, Russell M. Nelson, was the leader who most ardently defended the 2015 policy as a revelation of God.
January - Apostle - Thomas - S - Monson
Speaking in January 2016, when he was still an apostle and had not yet replaced the late Thomas S. Monson as president of the Church, Nelson said the ban was the result of the church’s top leaders meeting “repeatedly in the temple” to seek God’s guidance. God, Nelson said, had “inspired his prophet . . . to declare the mind...
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