Well, that was weird.
Just over three years after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its policy of refusing to baptize children of gay church members until said children are 18, the church’s leaders reversed themselves.
Left hanging amidst all the news coverage yesterday was an answer to why the church leaders changed course so quickly. The big question: Was this a matter of doctrine or changing political realities?
The Deseret News, which is as close as one can get to an official voice of the church, said the following:
SALT LAKE CITY — Children of parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender may now be blessed as infants and later baptized as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to updates announced Thursday to November 2015 church policies intended at the time to maintain family harmony but perceived as painful by some supporters of the LGBT community.
The church also will update its handbook of instructions for leaders to remove the label of apostasy for homosexual behavior that was applied beginning in November 2015, said President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, who announced the changes on behalf of the First Presidency on Thursday morning during the leadership session of the church’s 189th Annual General Conference…
In a news release, the First Presidency said the changes were the result of extended counseling with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and "fervent, united prayer to understand the will of the Lord on these matters."
The article added that the switch was a change in church policies, not in church doctrine, but then added that “current revelation overtakes past teachings.”
So, maybe someone had a revelation about this? You see, “revelation” is not a word typically associated with policy decisions. That’s a doctrine word.