Gays & the 2nd Article of Faith

There was an interview released last week where Paul Reeve admitted being the source behind the Race & Priesthood essay at LDS.org.  While I think that was a nice scoop, there was another part of that interview that I think is very important and may have gotten lost in the headline.

I have been very vocal about the ban on gays as being a wrong-headed move.  Three days after the ban was announced, I wrote a post excoriating the ban.  A few weeks later, I compared the gay ban to the black ban.  I believe the gay ban is a violation of the 2nd Article of Faith that states “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.”  Some have disputed with me on that point, saying that the 2nd Article of Faith should be limited strictly to “Adam’s transgression” and does not apply to Cain or Ham’s transgressions.  Of course I disagree.  Apparently Orson Pratt disagrees too.

In the interview Becoming a Fanboy of Orson Pratt, Paul Reeve states that Orson Pratt argued with Brigham Young over slavery.  According to Young, Cain and his descendants were cursed and slavery and the priesthood ban.  Pratt pushed back against Young.  Paul tells us:

Orson Pratt gives a speech where he simply speaks out very strongly against the bill the legislature is debating.  He speaks out strongly against slavery.  He says if the Utah Territory legalizes slavery it will put a black mark on the territory.  A variety of countries were emancipating their slaves, outlawing slavery.  The British Empire had already done so, obviously the U.S. had not, but Pratt said this will harm our missionary efforts when we go abroad if people become aware that as countries are getting rid of slavery, we’re legalizing it.  He says we should reject the bill outright and says that if Utah Territory does this the angels of heaven will blush.  He’s very strong in his notion of why this is wrong.

He argues that curses are not multi-generational, so God may very well curse a people but it’s only that people.  It doesn’t pass down from generation to generation, so he’s rejecting the notion of a multigenerational curse might impact if black people truly are the descendants of Cain, that doesn’t matter to Orson Pratt because curses are not multigenerational.  It would only apply to the generation that God cursed, not to however many generations later, so it’s a very singular kind of position he stakes out in Mormonism and ultimately he doesn’t win the day but he is speaking out against Brigham Young and they are butting heads in that legislative session.

In the part of the interview that was promoted about Paul’s authorship of the Race essay, Paul is asked about modern issues, and specifically if the black ban is comparable to the gay ban.  (Quotes with permission.)

GT:  I know some historians have likened the ban on blacks to the current ban on gays within the church.  Do you see these as similar or is there significant difference?

Paul:  Well I guess there are ways in which I could see them as similar and ways in which I think they’re distinct.  The similarities could be that, is this simply the sort of cultural context, right?  That is somehow seeping in, it would be hard to argue that the cultural context of America moving towards legalizing gay marriage didn’t impact Mormonism, right?  So it’s Mormonism responding to its cultural context the same way that Mormonism seemed to respond to the racial context in the 19th century, so a parallel there, but I think also important distinctions.

So for race and priesthood in particular there is an historical precedent, right?  Black men were ordained to the priesthood in the early decades of Mormonism and I’m not aware of a precedent for gay marriage in the early decades of Mormonism.  Then the other important distinction is that black people in Mormonism were the only group prevented from having all of the saving rituals that Mormonism requires for the Mormon heaven.  You can be gay and receive all of the saving ordinances that Mormonism requires, and so black people are the only group that I’m aware of that were ever prevented from receiving all of the saving ordinances so it’s not the same kind of pressure point.

Now I realize that gay Latter-day Saints like gay marriage as a part of that process, but nonetheless they’re not barred from receiving the Endowment, they are not barred from temple participation like black people were.  Black people were prevented from receiving all the saving ordinances and the same thing for female priesthood ordination, right?  You could make the same kind of case that it’s not necessary for saving ordinances and so it’s not the same kind of issue as it was with black Latter-day Saints who were only allowed to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost but were prevented from receiving the other saving ordinances that Mormonism defines as necessary for exaltation.  So that’s the only case I’m aware of that comes in to impact.

Now if we talk about the more recent marriage policy, we’re talking about children of gay couples who are being prevented from those saving ordinances, there may be a new parallel there, right?  Being prevented from the saving ordinances, not of your own volition but simply because your parents are in a gay marriage, so that’s the first time that I see us returning back, or Mormonism returning back to something, that they had prevented a group, in this case black Latter-day Saints from receiving all the saving ordinances and now they’re preventing—and not because of their own sins, right?  Not because of worthiness but because of Cain killing Abel, and in this case once again gay parents, children of gay parents not because of their own choices but because of their parents’ choices.  So that is a parallel that I see that wasn’t in existence before the most recent policy came into play.

GT:  That brings up another point.  I know that immediately after the announcement, the November 2015 Announcement I believe it was, where they prevented children of gay parents from being ordained, baptism, or whatever, I know a lot of people came out with the Second Article of Faith as Orson Pratt did in the Legislature:  “Men should be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression.”

I’ll tell you what, I’ve had some debates online about whether, does God punish as Orson Pratt said, only this generation, or does He punish future generations through not allowing ordinances.  Some people say well God’s cursed lots of people and you can read the Bible.  There’s lots of curses in the Bible that are supposedly from God, or the prophets claim are from God.  So how do you interpret?  I guess I’m putting on your theologian hat on there.

Paul:  Yeah.

GT:  But how do you feel about that, especially with regards to the Second Article of Faith?

Paul:  Sure, so my understanding of curse is not something that God distributes but in fact that a person may curse themselves as a separation from God and it’s through the person’s actions and that can be overcome simply through repentance.  So I see that as how curses are supposed to operate. It’s not how Brigham Young articulated it and Orson Pratt, as you note, pushes back against it and I see it as a violation of the Second Article of Faith.  Absolutely, I see the position that Brigham Young staked out in 1852 as a violation of the Second Article of Faith.  He’s holding all black people accountable for Cain’s murder of Abel, something they did not participate in.  That’s a violation of the principle Joseph Smith establishes in the Second Article of Faith, and I see then the November 5th policy also as a violation of that Second Article of Faith.  Holding children of gay couples accountable for decisions they are not making themselves.  Yeah.  So I absolutely see it as a violation of the Second Article of Faith.

GT:  Great, one other parallel I just wanted to point out.  You mentioned the one drop rule, that there were probably lots of people with more than one drop of blood who were ordained but they looked white.  With the gays, there have been lots of gays ordained, not openly.  Maybe they got married in the temple or whatever, got the priesthood as they should have done at certain ages, but then came out as gay after, and now they have priesthood.  So it’s kind of interesting to me, it seems like we’re reverting back to the days of Brigham Young.  We’re trying to prevent this, but it’s an impossible thing to prevent.  What are your thoughts on that?

Paul:  Well yeah, I mean a person even could be openly gay and hold the priesthood and be ordained to the priesthood as long as they are adhering to what the Church articulates as its Law of Chastity, right?  So you can openly identify as gay and still be ordained to the priesthood so that’s a way in which it’s a distinction or a difference from how the racial priesthood restriction operated.

But you’re right in terms of a person’s sexual identity and if they’re open about it or not open about it and being ordained to the priesthood happening regardless of whether they’re open or not open about it.  So it is like the one drop rule.  It’s impossible to police.  Trying to police someone’s sexual identity is also very problematic as well.

Do you think the gay ban is a violation of the 2nd Article of Faith?  How do you react to Paul’s statements?


46 comments on “Gays & the 2nd Article of Faith

  1. The “gay ban” is a cute marketing nickname. It doesn’t actually ban children from receiving ordinances, just postpones in order to lessen strife in the family.

  2. Its not a violation of the 2nd article of faith. The children are not being punished nor are they cursed. This isnt even about a gay parent, its about living with one of your parents who is in a homosexual relationship with another person living in that same residence. Its obvious that the church teachings on family and the childs upbring are starkly opposed and so the obvious reason why the provision to not create problems in the home. If one wants to actually get technical about it, its the fault of gay parents that hinder their children, not the church.

  3. It is over the top silly, and completely inaccurate. It is not a ban in the least, just a postponement until they reach 18, which is a pretty good idea in many cases. It baffles me how far people will stretch things to match their politics.

  4. D&C 68:25-27

    25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.

    26 For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized.

    27 And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.

    You’re all violating scripture. It says 8, not 18. I guess the sins be upon you.

  5. Or, we could assume it’s applied pretty much like it says. The sinning parent,who caused the mess for their kids, gets an extra shot on judgement day. Not that they care.

  6. Matt 7:2 “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

    I hope God punishes you all for your parents sins.

  7. Just curious, does anyone think Orson Pratt was wrong for using the 2nd article of faith against slavery and the right for blacks to vote?

  8. The parents are teaching the kids to get baptized at 8. You can’t blame that on the parents. They’re following the D&C, and nothing the kids have done warrants exclusion from baptism.

  9. So, as the 2nd AoF says, men will be punished for their own sins. One presumes that means at the judgement bar of god, based on the clear evidence of life. It doesn’t say that we’ll be shielded from the consequences of other’s actions here on earth. And kids usually end up being the recipients of their parents bone-headed moves.

  10. Let me repeat. The parents are teaching the kids to get baptized at 8. You can’t blame that on the parents. They’re following the D&C, and nothing the kids have done warrants exclusion from baptism.

    Whether the parents are bone-headed has nothing to do with the fact that kids should be punished for their own sins, not their parents bone-headed sins. Of course kids get the raw end of the deal in a lot of cases with bad parents, but God says kids should be punished for their own sins, not their parents bone-headed sins. God is not the author of this bone-headed policy and to blame this on God is an affront to God. God’s not a racist either, despite a century of Brigham Young to Bruce R. McConkie’s insistence that God is a racist. Orson Pratt made that clear, and this is a similar situation.

  11. Let me repeat. The kids are not being punished. They are being forced to wait, a consequence of their parents actions, actions which those parents will have to answer for in the hereafter. In the grand scale of things, being asked to wait to be baptized is trivial compared to the agony those kids go through when their homes are torn apart by a “me-first” parent who runs off to live with their sex-mate. Why not condemn the real root cause? For that matter, given all the worrying about “the children”, why not shame those parents into staying and living up to their covenants, instead of cheering them on?

  12. “The kids are not being punished. ” How is not receiving the Holy Ghost not considered a punishment? Are you aware that many probably won’t join the church at 18? Why do you find this acceptable when the gospel should go out to all, and all who are worthy should be baptized? (The parents seem to be distracting you. Please do not focus on the parents, focus on the children.)

  13. Let me add a similar situation that I’d like you to comment on.

    Maddison Brown has publicly proclaimed “I will not be a polygamist” (this from July 2014) but apparently a recorded statement with witness affadivits wasn’t good enough for the First Presidency.

    “I got a phone call and they aren’t letting me get baptized — it’s too contradictory and they hope I reconsider [joining the Mormon church] when we’re not such a public family,” Maddie reveals to her stunned moms Janelle, Robyn and Meri. “Because I won’t publicly disown my family or publicly disassociate with them, it’s too controversial for the Mormon Church so they asked me not to get baptized…they said they hope ‘I’m not bitter’,” adds Maddie…

    “This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jesus Christ wouldn’t be doing this,” she insists. “I don’t know if I want to [join the Mormon Church] now, because if they want me to publicly denounce my family, why would I want to be a part of your church?”…..

    “It shocks me. From day one I’ve said, I don’t want to be a polygamist, but I love my family. I love my parents, but it’s their choices. I will continue to love and support and endorse their choices if it makes them happy,” vows Madison. “[The Mormon Church elders] didn’t like that.”

    See https://mormonheretic.org/2015/11/08/suffer-little-children-and-forbid-them-not/ There are many children who won’t get baptized and become bitter because of this polciy. You’re happy with them as collatoral damage? Are you happy that Madison Brown, AN ADULT, can’t get baptized despite saying she doesn’t want to be a polygamist?

  14. You can also check out what Lance Allred said. Lance was allowed to join the church, but In a Salt Lake Tribune op-ed article, Lance Allred describes being bullied by others because of his polygamist upbringing.

    The LDS Church and its devout followers are playing coy and completely disregarding the social ramifications a child will endure when it flippantly says, “When they are 18 they can be baptized.” Sure, when they are 18, after going through their most formative years as a teen, through a gantlet of mental abuse, developing who knows what kind of emotional complexes and illnesses.

    You seem to be ignoring the social consequences too.

  15. “Don’t make it about the parents”? That’s the whole point. Choices by the parents are causing this. No way to dodge or sugar coat it. Those who claim to be so concerned about the kids should be focusing on the parents bad behavior.

  16. This conversation sounds eerily similar to a conversation in John 9:1-3, and you sound like a Pharisee.

    1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

    Too often people like you blame the wrong person. The CHILD did nothing wrong. Don’t punish the child. You won’t answer any of my questions in my previous comment because it defeats your narrative. Your narrative about the parents is 100% wrong, and Jesus would say so just as he did in John.

  17. The parents caused it. Absent their actions, this wouldn’t happen. You seem very insistent that the gay parents be absolved of all responsibility. I don’t understand that. They being a ton of misery into their kids lives when they break up their families. This is just another bit piled on top. And it is their fault. All of it.

  18. *Men should be punished for their own sins, and not THEIR PARENTS transgressions.

    *And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.

    *…who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither…

    *suffer the little children to come to me.

    *It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

    You can’t find a single piece of scripture that supports your idea because there is no scripture that says a parent’s sin prevents a child from being baptized. Find me a scripture that says that. We baptize children of sinful parents every day. But this beam is in your eye that says this parents’ sin is somehow so great that the Atonement of Christ can’t cover a child, who is incapable of sin in the first place according to Mormon doctrine. I’ve documented scriptures that say we should baptize at 8, and not offend children.

    We don’t punish blacks because of Cain or Ham. The church shouldn’t punish a child because of his/her parents. It’s unscriptural to do so. I’m tired of your argument “because of the parents!” Bull. You haven’t a scriptural leg to stand on.

    *”For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

    I hope God punishes you for your parents sins.

    *Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    You offend God and take his name in vain by defending the indefensible policy. I’m done arguing with you. You work iniquity.

    (And no, I’m not absolving the parents of responsibility. They’re responsible for their sins, not their child, and the child is not responsible for the parent’s sins. Don’t twist my words. I never said that and I don’t believe that.)

  19. “I’m not absolving the parents of responsibility. They’re responsible for their sins, not their child, and the child is not responsible for the parent’s sins.”
    Excellent. We agree. Exactly how is the child being punished? At the judgement bar they are not taking any of the punishment. Waiting a few years for baptism? That happens all the time, in all kinds of circumstances. Disappointing perhaps, but hardly “punishment”.

    Frankly, this is all just another canard for those peripherally involved with the church to attempt to push a homosexual agenda onto it.

  20. I’ll answer your question if you can find me a scripture supporting your position.

  21. The primary thing that the scripture you are trying to use is that the parents should be teaching their children about repentance. As people who have made a solemn public commitment to violate church teachings regarding serious sins, they are not demonstrating this. Thus they are violating the instruction. D&C 8 should only be applied to the most ideal circumstances.

    The general principle for waiting is in Moroni chapter 8. This speaks plainly to the evils of baptizing little children. Eight years old is the bare minimum for baptism, only in the best of gospel homes.

    Waiting until 18 need not be looked at as a punishment in the least. Simply wise waiting when there is an obvious conflict in the home.

  22. Eric, with all due respect, you’re a sinner. I’m a sinner. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

    All parents are sinners. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

    D&C 1:31. “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;”

    If you’re going to be consistent and look at parents sins as disqualifying, then nobody’s children should be baptized. We all sin. That argument is just inherently problematic and inconsistent.

    “Waiting until 18 need not be looked at as a punishment in the least.” That flatly contradicts scripture. In D&C 138:57, Joseph F Smith records that people in the spirit world need baptism and view this imprisonment as “bondage”.

    I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.

    They would be out of bondage of they could have been baptized in this life. Surely some children will die without baptism, either before age 18, or will choose not to be baptized at age 18. Are you guaranteeing this “delay” for children whose sinning gay parents taught them about repentance and baptism, will be baptized? You’re not concerned that children who die before age 18 and don’t get the Holy Ghost will be in this bondage spoken of in D&C 138?

    Seriously you have not a scriptural leg to stand on. This policy is theologically WRONG and unchristian!!!

  23. D&C 1:38. There’s your scripture. Which ipso facto indicates that this “not-a-ban-ban” you’re all worked up about is “legal”.

  24. Huh? Aren’t all things to be done by common consent? (Because I’d not consent.)

  25. It is of course absurd to say that all sins are the same. And most sins do not come with a permanent, public commitment to the sin. You are stuck in very absolute thinking on this issue to support your politics. Making a permanent commitment to the sin flies in the face of an attitude of repentance. Repentance must be shown first prior to baptism. That is a big part of what you are intentionally missing. You want the baptism without the commitment to repentance in a bizarre absolute. I do not believe that this is either real or sincere here, but that seems to be the stand.

    Yes there is a guarantee that all will be able to accept a baptism. There is not some eternal crisis here. There were hundreds of years where baptism was not even available to anyone during the apostasy, And many even today do not have any real opportunity for it. It is not an all-or-nothing right now condition. If there is real conversion/commitment then everything will be fine.

    We do not go in for infant baptism for several good reasons – again Moroni 8. There should be solid commitment and understanding and repentance before baptism. Painting some unnecessary black and white right now scenario is what leads to your constructed false conclusions. Seriously, read Moroni 8. The children will be just fine. The atonement will cover them.

  26. “You are stuck in very absolute thinking on this issue to support your politics.”

    This is baloney. I have never mentioned politics in this post, but have stuck to a strictly theological argument. You’re the first person who mentioned politics, and you really don’t have any idea what mine are. Stick to the scriptures and quit deflecting.

    “Repentance must be shown first prior to baptism.” Which is what I have been saying all along. If the children are worthy and are repenting, don’t conflate parents’ sins with childrens’ sins. We baptize children of cohabiting parents every day, parents “living in sin” all over the world. We baptize children of mothers who have aborted. The Apostle Paul actually incited a riot in which an apostle was killed, but apparently was worthy of not only baptism, but a vision of Jesus. No sin is truly disqualifying–even murder (though I think that is truly an egregious sin.) Worthy children should be baptized at 8 years old, regardless of their parent’s sin status. Otherwise, nobody could be baptized. Quit the conflation. It is wrong.

    “You want the baptism without the commitment to repentance in a bizarre absolute.”

    I’ll tell you what is bizarre–this statement. I never said I didn’t want a commitment to repentance. You did. I agree, that is a bizarre statement YOU made. I didn’t make it. Stop the bizarre fake paraphrases from me.

    “Yes there is a guarantee that all will be able to accept a baptism. There is not some eternal crisis here.”

    So why do we have section 138 in the first place? Why do we have baptism for the dead? Apparently Joseph Smith thought it was an eternal crisis, so that’s why it was implemented. But apparently you think it’s fine to put these children needlessly in “bondage” in spirit prison because of something their parents did? That’s not theologically justifiable.

    Oh, and I love you wresting Moroni 8. I’ve never talked about infant baptism here, nor am I justifying infant baptism. That scripture would only apply if I was promoting infant baptism, but I’m not. It certainly does not overrule D&C 68.

    Your arguments and fake paraphrases are absurd. You have no theological basis for this crap policy, and you know it.

    (I’ll give you a little credit for trying to pull some scriptures into your argument, but it’s a crap argument and your scriptural case is so fundamentally flawed that it doesn’t refute anything I’ve said or scriptures I’ve cited.)

    Suffer the children to come unto Jesus and deny them not.

  27. Individuals all over the world face consequences from their parents lack of conformity to the gospel. This has been true throughout history. Such mortal consequences of parental choices cannot be what AOF 2 is about.

    AOF 2 is a refutation of the doctrine of the idea of original sin. I do feel you are reading far to much into it. But AOF 2 and the idea of original sin is why there is a connection to infant baptism. Since we reject infant baptism, we understand that children do not need baptism. We wait. Under ideal circumstance we wait until 8 years of age. Otherwise we wait longer. Church leaders obviously feel that in the circumstance of children with married same-sex parents that waiting is a wise thing to do.

    So what other punishment are we talking about? Again, the mortal consequence of parental choices are not it (in regards to AOF2). If there is any suffering in the spirit world it would be for unrepented of personal sins (not anyone else’s). I feel certain that the darkness and bondage has to do with the darkness of a lack of knowledge of the plan of salvation, and the bondage of sins not repented of. Vicarious baptism for the souls you are talking about will surely be a formality, with only temporary waiting.

    It seems to me we are left with how much of a punishment is the spirit world for those who have faith and repent and are waiting for the formality of baptism? There are literally billions in this condition right now, and their parents were not married same-sex couples. Thus there is no unique punishment here.

    So to recap:

    P1 – We reject infant baptism to wait until the child grows in knowledge and repentance.
    P2 – In ideal circumstances we wait until 8, otherwise we wait longer.
    P3 – Consequences of parental choices are faced by everyone in mortality – it is not unique in this case.
    P4 – A huge number of souls have faith in Christ and are repentant in the spirit world waiting for the formality of baptism. This is not a unique condition, nor a punishment for the sins of others.
    C – Waiting for a time for gospel knowledge and repentance during mortality or the spirit world is neither unique, nor a punishment for Adam’s transgression in the context of AOF2.

  28. Eric, just curious. Was orson Pratt correct in saying the curse of Cain (and associated justifications of slavery/priesthood ban) were violations of the second article of faith?

  29. My current opinion is no. To me AOF2 is a refutation of original sin. So we are talking about punishment from God for personal sins rather than being held accountable for Adam’s sin. Anything more is reading to much into it.

    If one believes that the priesthood ban was racism (which I assume you do), and we admit that folks face racism all the time in mortality, then such racism is not really unique, nor a punishment for the sins of Adam (or even others). So personally I do not think it applies.

    In general, we all face consequences in mortality by the wrong actions of others. It happens all the time. To say that facing some consequences from other’s behavior will never happen because of AOF2 is expanding the scope well beyond any reasonable purpose.

  30. To push this further, I do not believe that AOF2 can be re-worded to state:

    We believe that man will never have to face any consequences due to the sinful actions of others.

  31. I answered your request for a scripture. It’s a doozy of a scripture. It essentially says the living prophet can override everything else, because he speaks with the authority of the Lord. And we give common consent every 6 months at general conference when we sustain the prophets.

    Time for you to answer the question:
    -“Exactly how is the child being punished? At the judgement bar they are not taking any of the punishment. Waiting a few years for baptism? That happens all the time, in all kinds of circumstances. Disappointing perhaps, but hardly “punishment”.”

    I’ll add another question, which you didn’t commit to answer, but I’ll give it a shot:
    -If this is really about the suffering of the children, why aren’t you (and your compadres) hammering the ones who cause this suffering (the gay parents)? The suffering they cause ranges far beyond just waiting a few years for baptism….

  32. Eric, I view apostle Orson Pratt (along with his brother Parley) as the two most important Mormon theologians after Joseph Smith in the 19th century. (The Pratt brothers both understood theology better than Brigham Young.) As such, (1) I’ll defer to Orson’s sound reasoning over yours, (2) I’ll defer to Paul Reeve’s over yours, (3) I’ll defer to my own theological foundation in the many scriptures outlined here. It takes guts to call an apostle’s interpretation wrong, so I’ll give you credit for not shying away from the question. I feared you’d go with a racist interpretation, but I’m glad I was proven wrong at least.

    Scott, Your scripture (and NO explanation) were much weaker than Eric’s. (See there’s 2 compliments for you Eric!) I already answered your question when I referenced D&C 138 as those in spirit prison being subject to “bondage.” I’m not hammering the parent’s sins because it is irrelevant to the discussion which I’ve said multiple times. Parents are responsible for parents sins. Children for children. It’s really theologically simple, and 100% compatible with the 2nd Article of Faith. Once again, quit conflating the issue. The issue has always been the children, not the parents. You seem incapable of not conflating the issue here. Why is that? I seriously want you to answer these questions: Are you willing to be judged for your parents’ sins? Is that compatible with the gospel? Don’t we have 1 Savior that covers ALL SINS? Do you have to cover your parent’s sins? Are you atoning for your parents sins? (I wouldn’t mind Eric chiming in on these questions too.)

    I will also add that both of you are violating the child’s principle of free agency. The child has no free agency because the ability to choose baptism has been taken away from them. No matter the desire of their hearts, no matter their faith, no matter whether they disagree with their parent’s relationship, they cannot choose baptism. There’s another violation of Mormon theology.

    Seriously the ban is theologically despicable, as theologically despicable as infant baptism.

  33. So you’re saying that Christ, through a prophet, declared that children should be baptised at 8, but Christ, through a prophet, is not allowed to issue a modification to that? Such strange limits to place on Christ.

  34. Scott, this is getting silly. Are you saying that Christ makes it a habit to contradict his own doctrine? Because if Christ makes it a habit to contradict himself, I’d say he is the author of confusion. Christ isn’t the author of confusion. You are. Your arguments are not Christlike in the least bit, and you contradict yourself and scripture.

    Really if you can’t quit contradicting Christ’s doctrine, I’m done talking to you. In Mark 3:5 Jesus said, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” If Christ plays green-light, red-light with his basic commandments, how does his house stand?

    Seriously, I’m tired of your circular arguments here. If I get one more ridiculous comment like that, I’m going to shut you down. I feel like I’m in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. To date you’ve brought no valid scriptures to this theological argument.

    In the words of Jim Rome, have a take and don’t suck. You have a take, but your take sucks. I should have buzzered you a long time ago for these sucky arguments. At least Eric’s making a weak attempt to tie this to infant baptism. You got nothing.

    You didn’t even bother to address my questions. This is your last chance. Otherwise, move along to another topic or you’ll get buzzered.

  35. If supporting the prophet means I’m buzzered, so be it. At least we know we’re on opposing teams.
    Oh, when you finally Crack open those scriptures your so fond of quoting, you’ll find there’s many times when Christ/Jehovah told his people to do something that went against his basic doctrine/ commandments. Just sayin’.

  36. If the prophet told you to kill your son, would you do it?

  37. Your call to authority is interesting. If this were Mormon poker, my hand would include the current prophet, First Presidency, and Q12. I would win this hand easily. And for what it is worth, BH Roberts ran circles around the Pratts. So you do not have to take my word for anything – as it should be. To take some obscure, unofficial statement O.P said over the entire current church leadership over criteria for current baptism is not solid ground. It takes a lot more guts to call the entire current church leadership wrong, than some obscure statement from a guy known for wild speculations. Additionally the scriptures you site do not contradict waiting for baptism in light of Moroni 8.

    It is not surprising that you expected something like racism. That is what you folks do to anyone you disagree with.

    You need to stop calling this a ban. It is not and you know it. Calling it a ban intentionally in order to deceive and make the church look bad is simply lying. Talk about guts! I urge you to stop this at once. Every time you use the word ban in this way it is an objective and intentional lie. Infants are not banned because they must wait until they are 8 to be baptized, any more that children of same sex married couples are banned for waiting until they are 18.

    It is really not that unreasonable. Children in devout Mormon families must wait until they are 8 for baptism, children in the homes of apostates must wait until they are 18. There is no ban,

    Also, there is no agency violation here. Good grief. You do not get to believe however you wish and legitimately call it gospel because you have agency. You do not get to behave however you wish and call it righteous because you have agency. God gives commandments and instructions through his prophets. Our agency is to follow or not. It is not a violation of agency to have a temple recommend in order to go to the temple. There are criteria to meet. Our agency is to meet the criteria or not, but we do not get to go to the temple just because we have agency. Same for baptism.

    Also also, there is a great irony in wanting to join a church if you disagree with it. A baptismal candidate will be making very solemn commitments to the restored gospel. The keepers of this restored gospel say that you need to wait until you are 18. The convert will gladly say okay to this instruction. If they do not, one wonders just how converted they are.

  38. MH, Been too busy to check in much lately. I think that you have stepped off the wrong foot here with your very first scripture. Doctrine and Covenants 68:25 puts the onus of teaching the children the correct principals of repentance, faith etc. Now here is the problem. This will necessarily include the SSM sin that is the teaching of the church. So, will a parent in such a relationship tell a child that is preparing for baptism that he or she is living in a relationship that is a sin in the eyes of the Lord? Or will such an one tell the child that the church is wrong on this point. Do you honestly believe that anyone in a SSM marriage will tell a child, teach them the correct doctrine, that homosexual acts are sinful, and that they are apostates and that the church is the true church?

    At this point, your own viewpoint on homosexuality and SSM are irrelevant, as are mine. The only relevant teaching is that of the church. It is a viewpoint that must be understood and accepted by the baptism prospect and taught to the child by the parents. A child at eight years of age may understand that it is wrong, but in order to be baptized must repudiate such. Do you really wish for a child to be placed in such a situation?

    In the end, no saving ordinance will be denied, only delayed. And during that period of time, the sins of the child will evidently be upon the heads of the parents. In your narrow interpretation of the reference to eight years of age, you do not allow for any exceptions. But exceptions have long been granted in different cases.

    Your reference to Maddie Brown’s situation is a bit one sided. The policy for children of polygamous parents is pretty much the same. Maddie says that she does not want to be a polygamist, but she is unwilling to repudiate polygamy itself. She calls it repudiating her parents, but if she really believes that doctrines of the church, she will believe that the practice of polygamy was ceased on the order of a prophet of God by revelation.


  39. Glenn, long time no hear. I’m getting really tired of this topic. Of course we baptize children of adulterous parents every day. There is no prohibition on that. Parents drink, smoke, do drugs, steal, go to jail, but yet there is no prohibition on baptizing their children. It’s a hypocritical stance to prohibit children of gay parents but not adulterous hetero parents. As Eric likes to point out, lots of parents break the law, break the Word of Wisdom, and don’t teach their children righteous principles, but we don’t bat an eye about baptizing their children. We even let the dad baptize the kid if he obeys the Word of Wisdom for a week, never mind that he’s a raging alcoholic who physically abuses his children; meanwhile the temple married gay dad (who married a woman because of church teachings and is now divorced) taught his children correct principles of chastity, but somehow that is worse than an abusive alcoholic who smokes? Come on. It’s complete hypocrisy, and the beam in your eye is ridiculous.

    I’ve already posted and said that the situation with Madison Brown is unchristian and wrong. I’m not going to change my mind on that–that policy is even more ridiculous because Madison is in her 20s now, and clearly not a minor. So she gets to wait until after her death to get baptized, missing out on all the UNIMPORTANT blessings that are NO BIG DEAL because she was born to the wrong parents. Obviously the Gift of the Holy Ghost is (and priesthood ordinations for males) is completely over-rated and worthless thing with no eternal significance anyway. (At least if I listen to Eric, Scott, and you). What a load of crock.

    If the delay is no big deal, why not just let everyone be baptized that way?

  40. MH, Fortunately you are not the arbiter of right and wrong or what is “christian” for the church. I realize that you get tired of defending your viewpoints on your own blog when you get a lot of pushback. Also, you do seem to be getting a bit hyperbolic in your diatribe against how you view some of the church policies.

    I do not know of any raging alcoholic that will teach his children correct principals, consent, and request that the child be baptized. Do you really know of such? All pf the raging alcoholic child abusers that I have known about have kept their children from church and kept them as bottled up at home as possible to keep the abuse from becoming known.

    There is a difference between the situations you are talking about and two specific situations where people are in solemnized relationships that have been declared anathema to the doctrines of the church and the people declared apostates.

    But you did not address my points about the child being taught correct principals about SSM by those involved.

    As for the 2nd article of faith, maybe we should also look at some other scriptures to try to understand that maybe we do not see things as the Lord does, or as well as He does.

    Numbers 14:18 The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

    Also, just a bit about the priesthood ban. You do realize that Brigham Young was not the author of that statement do you not?


  41. Glenn, pretty good pulling out a scripture from the Old Testament. I find that scripture from the Law of Moses to have been fulfilled through Christ, and find it contradictory to the 2nd Article of Faith as well.

    I probably am a bit hyperbolic on this topic. I find the policy an abomination, and really can’t understand why good people like you, Eric, and Scott are defending such an abhorrent policy. Really it is a disgusting policy. Despite my so-called hyperbole, I can’t truly express how God-awful this policy is, and it disappoints me to see anyone defend it because it seems so against scripture. I just find it offensive to blame bad behavior on God, as was done for years to defend the priesthood ban. I put this at the feet of Brigham Young, and note that Orson Pratt said “angels will blush” if Utah approved slavery. I believe Orson was right and speaking God’s truth. I call it blasphemy for anyone who wants to blame that ungodly policy on God. To blame God makes God a racist, and God is not a racist. It is offensive to me–hence the hyperbole.

    But tell you what. Please listen to these 3 podcasts, and then we can comment on Pratt’s godly words.




  42. Since there’s little chance of you allowing something through that disproves your precious theorem, I’ll add one more factoid.
    I grew up in a home that was split when or parent ran off with their gay lover. Unusual for the time, but just as painful. Had the so-called-“ban” been in place, it would have affected us. But that would have been minor, another insignificant indignity compared to the constant drumbeat of major afflictions heaped on us. People like you, who give runaway gay parents solice and excuses, make me sick. Really want to help? Fight the real problem, not the made up one. I don’t expect that will happen though. To far out of your comfort zone.

  43. […] meetings.  I’ve written about the gay policy here on my blog, and I think it is one of the most unchristian policies our church has ever implemented.  I have tried to bite my tongue, and wondered if I should even […]

  44. […] meetings.  I’ve written about the gay policy here on my blog, and I think it is one of the most unchristian policies our church has ever implemented.  I have tried to bite my tongue, and wondered if I should even […]

  45. A heretic is a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted. You have named your blog correctly. Actually, I would go further. I believe you are in apostasy if you are not willing to accept the decisions of the Q12 or FP. They have the authorization to make decisions that are binding on the church as a whole as referenced by Scott in his remarks above. Your social or political view may be important to you, but not to the Lord. I will stand with the Brethren. They are the closest to the Lord.

  46. Jesus was a heretic. I’m just trying to be like Jesus.

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