Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mass Resignation from LDS Church

In an organized protest Saturday, thousands of people marched around temple square, signed papers prepared by a local attorney, and mailed their resignations from the LDS Church, demanding that their names be removed from the records of the Church.

Although the large majority of the resignations (known from Facebook polls) were already inactive or non-believing Mormons, the number of members reported by the church would still be affected. That is granted that the church membership records truly do deduct these resignations from their reports.

Church leaders and PR reps state that this is a minor resignation event, and the number of the church are still growing, higher that ever. What the LDS church does not report is the number of recent baptisms that go inactive soon after joining. One only needs to look at the number of stakes and wards to truly determine the growth of the church. A certain amount of "priesthood holders" is needed for each unit. In addition, a count of attending members each week is the main factor in deciding whether a new unit need be split, dissolved, or added.

Although the church membership appears to grow, the number of growing units does not match up. See the link below:

This is only one event, whereas several individuals across the US are resigning as a result of the newest policies and the facts released by the church and others that don't match its teachings.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Same-Sex Foster Couple Stripped of Child by Judge

Beckie Pierce and April Hoagland of Carbon County, Utah, have been ordered by Utah's Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen. Johansen stated that the 1-year-old girl would be better off with heterosexual parents. This same judge ordered a teen's hair be chopped off for cutting a small girl's hair in a restaurant.

Despite the biological mother's wish that the two women foster and adopt the girl, and their disagreement with the court order, the foster agencies are working to comply with the Judge. The mothers are devastated. The are already raising Pierce's two biological teenage children, and have stated that the little girl has joined the family seamlessly. 

LGBT rights activists are enraged that one ultra-conservative judge is tearing apart this family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In protest to the LDS policies in place last week, a group held a protest at Temple Square, and a candlelight vigil at Pioneer Park. These supporters of LGBT rights and equality are upset with the hateful message the policies represent. Same-sex parents are enraged with the attack on children for having committed no crime or sin.

Some are calling for a repeal on the policies, and an apology from the LDS Church. Neither of which are likely anytime soon. But many are recognizing the imminent effect on gay kids in the church at risk for teasing, judging, and bullying at school, or even expulsion by parents from the home (despite the church's plea not to do so). Even if no one knew a Mormon kid was gay, the internal conflict will often rise to depression and attempts at suicide.

LDS Leaders Defend New Policies

In response to the backlash, LDS leaders are staging interviews to attempt to clarify the new policies in the local leader handbooks. The policies prohibit children of same-sex parents from receiving a name and a blessing or being baptized, declare same-sex cohabitation serious transgression, and same-sex marriage a form of apostasy. Furthermore, these children must disavow their parent's relationship and never live in the same habitation.

The church wishes to clarify that the policy is meant to protect children, families, and the church from creating an environment of conflict. They hope this will prevent differences between church pressure and family teachings at home.

The message these policies send, however has more meaning than their declared purpose. Same-sex couples and gay people hear loud and clear that there is no bridge between Mormons and homosexuality. The pressure is heightened for people to choose their church, or a life that fulfills their natural attractions.

Friday, November 6, 2015

LDS Church : Children of Same-sex Couples Excluded

The second of two leaked policy updates for local LDS leadership, the Mormons have announced that children of married or cohabitating same-sex partners may not recieve a baby blessing and name, be baptized, or recieve any other ordinances that it provides.

Such children, whether adults or not, may not be eligible for these practices unless (1) they are of legal age--18, AND (2) they move out of the home of same-sex parents/guardians and disavow the practice of same-sex marriage/choabitation.

LDS spokespersons say these policies are to protect the home and church from conflict between what children are taught at home and what they are taught at church. Similar policies exist with children of polygamous families, they say, attempting to merit the policy.

But what about children that are gay in the church? This announcement removes all hope for combining their inherent and immutable sexual feelings with their upbringing, family, and future with being a Mormon. This conflict is already prevalent, but now will worsen with more depression and teen suicides. Also consider the gay Mormons that are adults, especially those in LDS schools like BYU. They no longer have hope for a life with a same-sex spouse and children while keeping a relationship with the church.

Punishing children for their parent's actions (that are only subjectively immoral by decree) is what the LDS church states is necessary.

There are already cases where gay parents sharing custody of children in the church are fearing that their children will not be able to serve missions, be baptized, ect, or even worse, are forced to reject the gay parents in order to follow their LDS plans.

The Trevor Project, as well as other suicide hotlines, saw a triple increase in calls the day after the policy was leaked. Some of these hotlines specialize in homosexuality and religion.

Although the news has not reported it, there are several parents who have children that have attempted and/or been successful at suicide since the policies were made public.

LDS Church : Entering a Same-Sex Marriage is Apostasy


One of two leaked policy updates stated to local Bishops and Stake Presidents in their manuals that any member entering a same-sex marriage is engaging in apostate behavior, which means he/she is eligible for excommunication. Previously, such wedded same-sex couples may have been admitted to membership, as long as they did not engage in homosexual behaviors.

In addition, same-sex partnership cohabitations are considered "serious transgressions", also grounds for disciplinary action and excommunication.

This policy further solidifies the anti-gay teachings of the LDS church. Despite their efforts at finding middle-ground for secular policy, policies like these highlight the "two steps back" it takes each time.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mormons One of Highest Devout Religions

Deseret News reported surveys that revealed Mormons to be the near-top religion for devout members.

The trend is surprisingly moreso with younger members. Overall, greater than 80% of active Mormons in almost all categories are firm with church attendence, scripture reading, prayer, certainty of God, putting all beliefs on faith, and say that the religion is the large majority of their lives.

At the bottom of the article, it notes that the approval of homosexuality in the LDS church has risen from 25% in 2007 to 36%, but only 25% approve of same-sex marriage, while 69% oppose it. Still, the numbers are higher than one might expect.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kentucky Clerk Attempting to Reverse Court Decisions

Kim Davis of Kentucky is now working with lawyers to reverse the decisions that put her in jail, put her in contempt of court, and forced her to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

Is Ms. Davis in the right to project her beliefs onto her elected and tax-payer paid position and affect the rights of other citizens?

The rage continues from the religious right, saying it is First Amendment rights being trampled when a person is jailed for their beliefs. But Davis was jailed for not fulfilling her court-ordered duties, even if the reason was religious.

Were Davis's actions a plan from early on to start a fire for a religious agenda? If she wasn't elected, she could simply be removed. But he must either resign (which she refuses) or be impeached by a vote, which isn't likely to happen in a small conservative community. The situation is very unique and brings to question whether it was orchestrated by either her or another conservative entity.