I read so many comments from this article of active members of the church feeling confused and hurt by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not allowing children of same-sex couples to get baptized. It’s okay to be confused and hurt! It does sound awful! Let me see if I can help spread some light on the subject and answer a few questions that I also had while I am at it.
The first and biggest thing is make sure you read the whole article. The heading sounds terrible but the truth is that children of same-sex spouses can get baptized after 18 years of age.
There is nothing new about this policy.
My husband served his mission in Southern Utah and worked with children of people who practiced polygamy. These children have to go through the exact same process as the children of same-sex couples. They must wait until they are 18 to be baptized. Then, they have to be approved by a mission president but then that leader must request approval from the Office of the First Presidency in order to be baptized. They also must not be living with those parents as well as accept and be committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavow the practice of polygamy.
Why do children of same-sex marriage have to go through this?
The biggest answer is apostasy. Polygamy and same-sex cohabitation or marriage are very serious and both are grounds for apostasy. If these children get baptized and become a member of the church then start practicing the ways of their parents, then they have made a serious transgression compared to someone who has not joined the church because they are not held accountable. Since it is a more serious situation, it requires a more serious procedure to make sure that the child fully understands. This is why they have to wait until they are 18 and have moved out of their parents house.
What about the disavow of same-sex marriage?
From the comments I have read there seems to be a misconception of what this means. It does not mean that they have to disown their family or parents. This simply means that they understand that their parents’ practice is not in line with the church and that they will not participate in it themselves. It is the same way a person could understand that a family member doing drugs is not in line with church teachings but still love and care for them.
When my husband baptized a woman on his mission who was from a polygamous family her family and both her moms came and watched her get baptized. Same-sex parents will also be welcome to come and watch and support their child. It is not a choice between their family and the church, it is just making sure they understand that those principles they were raised around are not in line with church teachings. They will still be encouraged to love their parents like they always have.
So what can we do about it?
This changes nothing, we still need to love and welcome people regardless of sexual orientation. Should we still welcome people who are children of same sex marriage to church? Yes! Do not be afraid to invite and teach to children of same-sex marriage because they can join the church. They will just have more steps to take in order to be baptized. If they know the church is true then they will be willing to take those steps and wait until they are 18 just like this woman my husband baptized.
I hope this answers a couple questions or concerns. It is always okay to not understand but always doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith and pray for understanding. I know that this new policy changes nothing. We are still to love everyone and continue to teach this true gospel. I am so grateful for this amazing church that is run by Jesus Christ himself through his chosen leaders.