Tag Archive: Diversity

On Policy Changes

Last Thursday (5th November 2015) someone leaked the fact that the LDS church were making changes to the Handbook of Instructions 1, he shared it with John Dehlin who then let the world know about it.

In summary, the church has made the following main changes

  • Being in a same-sex relationship is now one of the 5 definitions of apostasy that a disciplinary council is mandatory
  • Any children who have any parent that it in a same-sex relationship will now not be eligible for blessing and naming, baptism, priesthood, mission.

This policy change is so wrong on so many levels, its hard to know where to start, apologies if this is a bit of a ramble.

The one that hits closest to home for me is the children one. In the interview that was released on Friday the rationalle that Mr Christoferson gave for the child related one, was it was protecting the children, they didn’t want to place the burden of mixed messages on children who are in a home with a same-gender couple. Why should a same-gender couple be any worse than being in the home of other things that are not deemed ‘good’ – For example a child could be in the home of a domestic abuser, or someone who is an arms dealer, or a rapist. Yet according to this policy those children would still be eligible for the ordinances while the one who has same-gender parents is not.

My home is what you could call a mixed faith home, while I mostly attend church with my wife and children, I am pretty open (though not often vocal) that I do not believe the truth claims of the church. I have been called anti-mormon by some people, yet my children are OK to be baptised if we wished it.

I am struggling to see what the children need protecting from, I would say there are bunch of other, much worse things that a child should be protecting from over and above a couple that are in a monogamous loving relationship. If you are looking for some worse situations have a look at the list of things that *may* need a disciplinary council (as opposed to the mandatory one for same-sex couples),

I have also been told ‘well its not going to impact many people anyway‘ to that I call bollocks!

First of all, because of the advice that had been historically given to people who came out as gay to their LDS leaders, they were often told to marry into a mixed-gender marriage anyway, with not great results, quoting from that article ‘Between 51 percent and 69 percent of mixed­-orientation Mormon marriages end in divorce, well above the roughly 25 percent of Mormon couples who split up’. There will be quite a decent amount of kids with gay parents in new

Second, you don’t have to be directly affected to be impacted. Speaking for me personally, while I am not directly affected by this I am deeply offended and that impacts me, it further lowers my view of the compassion, and sanity of those leading the church. Like most normal people if you see someone acting like a bully you want to stand up and say STOP! I see this the same way, this policy is hurtful and damaging and the church needs to be called out.

Over the weekend there has been a huge backlash to this, I am not sure the church was expecting that, but I guess thats obvious, as they tried to sneak it out of the back door. And this is my other big concern.

The church used an update to a document only available to LDS leaders to implement this policy, which I think has wide implications. opposed to a statement in last months General Conference. To me this signals cowardice and lack of morals, if you have something that is going to have a huge impact on people, at least have the balls to be up front about it. They only reason the church has had to release newsroom articles and the interview with Christoferson is because they were caught out.

It’s also worth noting that in the past the church has been very protective over Handbook 1, it will be interesting to see if they have the same appetite for a legal wrangle after this PR disaster.


Careful What You Ask For

You know the old cliché, “Careful What You Ask For…You Might Get It” ??

I fear I could be there soon!

For a while I have been feeling a bit bored in my career, I have not really ‘moved up the ladder’ for a few years now, and have been doing the same sort of thing for about 5 years now, I am really looking to broaden my skills and responsibilities so I can find different challenges.

Over the past few months I have been involved in a project where the guy who was leading the team, has not really been pulling his weight, nice enough fella, but just not up to the job, and thus a high profile 20 Million pound project is put at risk. So where the various gap’s have been appearing I have had to step in and get involved in areas that I have not really had much background in, and it has been alright! I have done a decent job, if I say so myself. Of course the bean counters, and jobsworth’s have been squirming in their pants, as I am stepping outside my proscribed role, but I say f&*k em’. The project stakeholders have been happy that I have kept the show on the road, and the project moves forward. And I am learning new skills, so for my next role I can sell myself as a more than just the guy with the screwdriver but the guy with the clipboard, and I will be moving on in my career development (btw- the other guy got asked to leave).

So what’s this got to do with the church I hear you ask…. ?

Recalling a church situation, where someone in a calling had not been pulling their weight, and while 20 Million Pounds is not at risk, you could argue as a believer, that other peoples spiritual development is damaged as someone in a position of responsibility are not doing what they should. This problem was frustrating. I was thinking really they should have be released, but as it was a small unit, and there was not much choice in warm bodies to help, they stayed. I firmly believe (I won’t use the “K” word) that even me, as an openly non-traditional believer could have done a better job. And therein lies today’s gripe…

There is an army of good people out there, who love the church, but are excluded from many things because they are non-traditional believers, but who would dearly love to get involved, hold callings and help out. But the church because of policy and lack of understanding and engagement with these people is missing out on their many talents, and I think the church as a whole is suffering through loss of these peoples skills.

I remember having a conversation with a priesthood leader about people attending while not believing 100% in everything the church teaches, his view is that is not something that he as a leader (and he implied the rest of the leadership) could never condone people attending while not sustaining all the beliefs.  I can see his point, you are either in, or you are out, but I don’t agree, as I don’t think it is reality. Who really believes 100% everything? Everyone will have their pet commandment they ignore, could be eating meat (eat meat sparingly), polygamy, becoming as gods, etc.

That mindset of only condoning 100% believers, leads to ignoring the non-traditional believers for callings. I also think if the church was encourage the use of non-traditional believers in callings, they would benefit massively too, as it would lead to a rich diversity and less insular organisation. Showing that people with a variety of beliefs can get along, and create a positive community for us to participate in, it’s a lesson I certainly would love to teach my kids and would like to see the organisation that has such an influence on their upbringing teach that lesson also.

“Careful What You Ask For…You Might Get It” – Now I have opened my mouth, you just know I am going to get the crappest job in the ward now … Sunday School President!

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