Monday, November 9, 2015

Church Policy is My Policy

I don't want to write a lot about this because I'm getting tired of the whole thing after it blew up like a volcano last Friday and over the weekend, and I've found my peace with it and I'm ready to move on, but I just wanted to say something here on my blog about the Church's policy change regarding gay couples who get married and the repercussions for them and for their children (don't know what I'm talking about? See here.) 
{Sorry, that whole paragraph was one very long run-on sentence!}  

At first when I found out that the kids of gay married couples will be unable to join the Church until age 18, I thought why would they do that and deny those children the blessings of church membership as they grow up? Of course they can still attend church and take part in many of its activities, just as their parents can, but they can't receive baby blessings, be baptized, or do temple work. I was curious about this more than anything. A little upset, but not really as my faith in Church leadership tends to be very strong--not a blind faith, but an informed and thoughtful one. As the reasons for this policy became clear, they made a lot of sense to me--logical and loving sense, and completely in the interest of families and children. I understand why these policies are being instituted, and I support them. My faith in the Church and its leadership is strengthened. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve know what they're doing and and they have the courage to do things that aren't popular but that are right. 

It's disheartening to see many members who are angry and doubtful, and it's also disheartening to see friends who have left the church who react with a mixture of derision, anger, criticism, misunderstanding, harsh judgment of the church and its members, and a sense of victory that they left this supposedly backward church before this ever happened. On the other hand, it's very encouraging to see that many members have reacted with understanding, support, and reaffirmation of their faith in the gospel and in the Church. I think there are thankfully many more supportive members than those who aren't. I'm sure there are also many members who are unsure about all of this right now and it will take them some time to work through it, and that's okay too.

The ONLY critique I have for the Church is that I think they should have issued a statement or press release early on Friday in anticipation of the coverage and controversy that this news was going to receive. I'm glad they released the video interview with Elder Christofferson later in the day on Friday, but I wonder why they didn't have anything ready to go earlier. They usually do, and I think that would have been helpful.

You know what's weird? I had a feeling last week that something was in the air and was going to happen. It was an impression I felt a few times. But I had no idea it would be something like this. I don't remember anything happening with Church policies in my lifetime that comes close to being as controversial as this has turned out to be, so it's kind of a new experience. I think this whole thing is a sign of the times, and I keep thinking of the parable of the wheat and tares being sifted and that it might have a direct application to this situation. 

And now I'm done. If people disagree with me and with the Church, they have every right to do so, but the Church and I also have the right to believe in what we feel is right. To quote from the 11th Article of Faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege."