In a meeting with senior leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today, the First Presidency provided instruction on new policies relating to LGBT members. President Russel M. Nelson said, “We are all eye witnesses to revelations from the Lord as he guides the affairs of the church.” President Oaks instructed that, “We want our members and our policies to be considerate of those struggling with challenges of mortality.” The First Presidency taught that these changes would be positive, inspiring and will bless many lives.
The details of the instruction are as follows:
- Children of parents who identify themselves as LGBT may be baptized without first presidency approval if the custodial parents give permission and understand both the doctrine that the child will be taught and the covenants he or she will be expected to make.
- A non-member parent or parents (including LGBT parents) can request that their baby be blessed by a worthy Melchizedek priesthood holder, and when the child reaches eight years of age a church member will contact them and propose that the child be baptized.
- Previously, the church handbook characterized same-gender marriage as apostasy. While this is still considered to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of church discipline.
They concluded by saying our members’ efforts to show more understanding, compassion and love should increase respect and understanding among all people of good will.
These new policies do not represent a shift in church doctrine related to marriage or the commandments of God in regard to chastity and morality.