Still scratching your head over the LDS Church’s new gay policy?
Apparently, “the clue is in the handbook.”
Rock Waterman was disciplined and excommunicated for advocacy that the church had departed from the kingdom Joseph Smith established. He wrote:
“I’ve been on the phone recently with three former bishops who all informed me they had been instructed by their higher-ups that the Church Handbook of Instructions is the only source they are to consult in the performance of their duties, barring even the scriptures. This would also explain why the Church released a training video featuring President (Thomas S.) Monson actually testifying of the Church Handbook, and did so in the name of Jesus Christ!”
The Church Handbook of Instructions is the church leaders’ handbook that was changed to make same-sex couples apostate and their children forbidden from church blessings.
The whole section:
The Clue Is In The Handbook
In recent years the LDS Church has shifted its stance regarding homosexuality among its members. In the past, anyone declaring himself to be openly homosexual was immediately subjected to Church discipline, and almost always expelled from the Church. This is what happened to my best friend in my senior year of high school, a wonderful kid I had brought into the church, but who later admitted to having feelings for me of a nature I had never suspected. Eventually he found new friends, and he and I went our separate ways; but when he admitted his sexual proclivity to one of the Young Men leaders, that leader took immediate steps to have my friend excommunicated. This was around 1971, and was the normal procedure back then when homosexuals were discovered within the ranks of the Church. (It was not known then that many hundreds, if not thousands, of devoted gay members secretly served missions, then went home and dutifully married an unwitting young maiden in the temple for time and all eternity.)
Today the Church recognizes that same-sex attraction is a fact of life for some people, and that such tendencies in a person don’t mean that person cannot have a strong testimony of the restored gospel. So it is not unheard of today for someone to be both LDS and homosexual. I happen to know a gay man who is the gospel doctrine teacher in his ward. The official position of the Church today is that same-sex attraction in a member becomes a problem only when that member acts on his feelings and engages in sexual relations with another person. In other words, the law of chastity holds for all members of the church, whether gay or straight.
But with the recent supreme court ruling of Ogergefell v. Hodges, the very existence of homosexual members within the church brings with it the possibility of an unwanted confrontation. What would happen if two faithful, devoted, temple-worthy members of the church who happened to be homosexual approached their bishop with the desire to be married in the temple according to the tenets of their faith? And what if that bishop denied them that wedding? Could the Church face the possibility of a legal action by the State requiring them to treat such a marriage in exactly the same manner it would if the couple had been a man and a woman? Could it not one day be considered “fundamental public policy” that a gay couple should have the same access to a wedding as any other couple in the Church they happen to belong to, especially when that Church is licensed by the State?
I believe the possibility of this hypothetical scenario occurring one day is what has been keeping our leaders up at night.
But they have also come up with what they believe could be the solution to this problem.
Concurrently with the new policy inserted into the Church Handbook of Instruction prohibiting the children of gay couples from being either blessed or baptized, another important policy change was inserted in Handbook 1 at page 6.7.2. What this policy change does is place same-sex marriage in the category of apostasy.
Like it or not, I had to admit this was a brilliant legal maneuver. Although sexual relations between two persons of the same sex remains in the category of sin, same-sex marriage now constitutes full-blown apostasy from the Church. Why? Because apostasy infers a complete rejection of the core fundamentals of the entire religion and all its teachings.
Mildly serious sins such as rape, robbery, or attempted murder can be repented of without the sinner necessarily having to undergo formal disciplinary proceedings. But Apostasy? That’s a serious one, Bubba. Take it from me, all it takes is the mere accusation that you are an apostate, and you’re out on your butt.
This may seem far-fetched to the average Mormon but remember, these rules are not intended to play to members of the church. These policies are aimed at outsiders in the legal community who may one day be judging the Church based on its legitimately held policies. This is also why the Church in recent months has spent so much time and energy instructing local leaders on the importance of following the Church Handbook of Instruction. When government lawyers are investigating an incorporated church for infractions, they aren’t interested in that Church’s religious beliefs. What they want to see is the Church’s policies, practices, and procedures. I’ve been on the phone recently with three former bishops who all informed me they had been instructed by their higher-ups that the CHI is the only source they are to consult in the performance of their duties, barring even the scriptures. This would also explain why the Church released a training video featuring President Monsonactually testifying of the Church Handbook, and did so in the name of Jesus Christ!
The thing that makes Monson’s odd testimony all the more disconcerting to me is that at least one blogger has noted and documented that in the past ten years, Thomas Monson “has not borne testimony of any of his own Church’s unique foundational doctrines, including the truth of the Book of Mormon or the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith in any of the church’s General Conference meetings”
But he enthusiastically bears his testimony of the corporate handbook.