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Conditional Love: The LDS Church And LGBT Families

By Ldsapologetics
Conditional Love: The LDS Church And LGBT FamiliesHere's what Christ said about accepting children into His midst:

"15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." Luke 18:15-17 KJV

So Jesus was not just willing to accept but adamant that those who would come to Him could. Him accepting all was a key feature of His life and ministry.

And what of His one true church? Well, for one, they believe that His love is conditional and for another they don't seem to believe or hold to the 2nd article of faith which states "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression."

No, now all children are responsible for their parents "sins." Which I don't believe. And I don't believe that being true to the way God Himself made you is anymore an abomination than being left handed.

No one chooses to be straight so I don't get where the idea that being gay is a choice comes from but being an asshole is a choice and they can still get baptized, confirmed, receive temple recommends, take out their endowments, and be sealed. 

Still, we, according to the articles of faith as written by Joseph Smith are responsible only for our own sins. Logic follows that children of sinners should not need special permission for the privileges that other members need only ask their bishop and/or stake president for.

Madison Brown's parents are polygamous. Her family is the focus of a TV show called Sister Wives on TLC which has been fairly famous and well known even to those who have never seen it.

She was deeply interested in becoming a member of the LDS church, but like the Apostles who rebuked the children who wanted to come unto Christ, our modern Apostles forbid Madison from even being baptized a member unless she denounced, disavow, and city off her family. Which is a key feature in cults. Which will be a post for another day.

Because families are forever, right?

There are, from my research, plenty of polygamous families as members of record within the LDS church. It seems, as this decision came from the first presidency, that the church simply wanted to avoid bad PR. And other than building luxury condos and shopping malls, PR is much more important than saving souls or accepting God's children into His one true church. Accepting children and their parents was all Jesus seemed to do with His life and ministry.

See, according to the Apostle Paul "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 KJV

So if that's true, if it's true that the only sinless human was Jesus Christ, then none of us are in a position to judge or condemn which is why Jesus taught us to judge not. Or that we would be judged by God by the same standard we judged others.

And even if some would argue that you must turn from sin to be accepted by God that doesn't jive with the idea that we all sin and have fallen short of God's glory. Meaning that the most we can do with our lives is to sin less today than we did yesterday and over the course of our lives we will be much improved. But we will never be sinless or perfect.

And this idea that we are to be cut off from God by being denied saving ordinances doesn't make sense to me either. For one, secret ceremonies and secret handshakes do not save a soul.

But living Christ's teachings will. Living them as best we can and as best as we understand them those teachings save lives and they save souls. They are the only things that can save this world.

Because these elitist and exclusionary policies and doctrines deny the validity and power of the Atonement. By denying the idea that Christ suffered for our sins, past, present and future, these policies deny that we have all been forgiven of our sins.

It seems to me that the atonement cannot be static but rather it is ever present in our lives from the moment we are born until the moment that we once again find ourselves in the presence of The Lord.

Part of the core problem that has resulted in these two exclusionary and elitist examples(Madison Brown being denied membership and children of LGBT parents being denied membership as well) is not just that they deny the power and nature of the Atonement and the 2nd article of faith, but that they are by their very nature pharisaical.

And by that I mean that as Phil McLemore states in his Sunstone article "Hindering the Saints" that Jesus' statements about the Pharisees asserted 3 things:

"1.That they were hypocrites.

2. That they did not understand the inner meaning of the Law and the scriptures.

3. That they had set up a system to measure spiritual status and worthiness that emphasized external religious practices, thus neglecting the inner path of spiritual rebirth, which is 'the key of knowledge.'"

I think as people the LDS Apostles fill every one of the 3 assertions Phil McLemore states in his article. More specifically I feel that current church theology, doctrines, and policies are also fundamentally based on a pharisaical world view. Specifically the works based model of worthiness. But not just worthiness to hold a temple recommend but the worth and value of a soul.

This pharisaical model means that your worth as a person, as a child of God, and your worth to be loved is all based on the works you do or don't do.

As in if you're a woman or young girl and you wear "immodesty" clothing you loose your worth. If you have sex before marriage you loose your worth. If you break the word of wisdom you loose your worth. These violations have little to do with whether or not you have negatively impacted your own life or the lives of others. They do however have everything to do with keeping up appearances and following arbitrary rules.

Conditional Love: The LDS Church And LGBT Families

LDS leaders from bishop to Apostles and even the members of your ears will see you as a second class member and person for these violations. But worst of all they will tell you God loves you less as a result of breaking these rules. And tragically many believe them.

But for any of that to be true God's love would have to be conditional. Thankfully it is not, it never was, and it never will be. If it were, God would not have sent His only begotten to suffer for all of humanities sins, and yours, including the ones you haven't committed yet.

Agape is the Greek word for love. Eros, Philia and Storge are the other types of love found in the New Testament. Eros is sexual love, Philia is brotherly love or comradery and Storge is family love.

But agape is the highest form of love in the original Greek of the New Testament.

This definition signifies an unconditional love. A boundless, limitless, and eternal love. Jesus gave His life because His love for us is unconditional and unmerited. We did nothing to earn that love and so we can do nothing that will sever that love.

We are loved by God because we are His children and in someway a part of Him. I love my children regardless of how horrible they can be. I would never kick them out onto the streets, abandon them or disown them for any reason so I find it impossible to believe that my love for my children is somehow stronger or better than God's love for us.

One of my children came out as gay, another is trans and the 3rd (out of 4) is pansexual. The thought to love them less or discipline them, or threaten kick them out to the streets never crossed my mind. I cried for knowing I would not always be able to protect them from the hate, the vitriol, and the venom spewed by others who refuse to see their worth. And especially those who spew venom in the name of God. There have been many who have taken their lives over such hateful anti-LGBT doctrines and policies. As there will be many more suicides due to this recent policy clarification. Which I will devote a desperate post to as it deserves one.

I am deeply disturbed by parents who have done more than threaten but actually cast out their own children for staying true to the way God made them.

I may be a good parent, I may be a good Christian, but I am not better or more loving than God, so to say that God's love is conditional would be to say that I, and parents like me, are.

If Jesus welcomed all people but children especially then how much more are we to welcome children into our church regardless of who their parents are or what they have or haven't done? And how much more are we to welcome our own children and grandchildren into our homes despite their sins and imperfections?

Love based on conditions isn't love. It is a lie. It is a terrible lie.

Conditional Love: The LDS Church And LGBT Families

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