Friday, November 6, 2015

Policy and Doctrine and Being Faithful

If you are Mormon like me (or not living under a rock), you know my church has a policy now on not letting kiddos join the church if any of their parents (because divorce is a real thing, yo) are in a lgtbq (hope I got all the right letters in there correct) relationship. (There is the polygamy rule like this, but, apparently that has been the deal for awhile now.) Now, when these children in these homes turn 18, they must "disavow" their parents' lifestyle and get special permission to be baptized, blah blah etc.

There are a lot of feelings in this for a lot of people. I have some strong feelings in here. Strong, bu still evolving. I could elaborate on them. I could bring up the fact that we don't do this to children of serial killers, rapists, child molesters, wife beaters, people who violate the Word of Wisdom (gasp)... people who join militias to fight law enforcement, white collar criminals, or terrorists. I could talk about our Articles of Faith that this policy is in direct conflict with. I could talk about all sorts of stuff. Then you (or someone who doesn't agree with me) could talk about doubting your doubts, sustaining the prophet, trusting God. It could be an exciting time.

I don't want to do that. I'm still sorting out how I feel, and how/what I can reconcile and still feel that I am being true to my core ideals. But, while I am thinking (and this is going to take me some time and, before you ask, nope, I don't want your opinion right now, but thank you), I want to tell you a truth you need to accept.

This is a policy.

It is not scripture. It is not doctrine.

Policies are devised by legal teams and they are there for CYA (cover your arse) purposes. Yes, I'm sure church leaders look them over or even come up with ideas, but, even so, this is a legal thing. I understand the need for policies in any organization. But, still, a policy is not doctrine.

I am not required to have a testimony of the truth of the policies of my church. You aren't either.

(And before you try to argue this at all, have you ever read the ENTIRE handbook? I haven't. Most members don't have access to it, so we don't know what is in it. If I can't read something, how can I know that what is in there is true? I can't. I would need to read it, just like you would need the same thing. Let that roll around in your head a bit.)

I can disagree with a policy and STILL be a faithful member of my church in good standing. If you tell me otherwise, then you need a time out because you aren't the spiritual boss of me.

I can disagree with a policy and say so, I can still be a faithful member of the church, I can still have a testimony of the gospel and the doctrine, and I can go to church happily each week because I am going there because of the spirit and the gospel, not the culture or the policy.

There is a big difference between the gospel of my church and the culture. I believe in the gospel and I believe the culture needs to change. But, I can't want it to change and then sit here and complain. I have to show up and be the change.

So, today I tell you that questioning a policy doesn't make you bad or less of a Mormon. It makes you a free thinker, and God seems to like those types of folk. To spin off my favorite Mormonad, "Be your own kind of Mormon." We need all types to make our church better, now, more than ever. So, go think about this. Or don't. But, no matter what you do, remember, someone can feel differently than you do about this, or any other issue, and still be a good, faithful member of the church. For pity's sake, someone can be different from you and a member of another faith, or have no faith system and be an amazing person. But, that is another discussion for another day.

 So, sit back, take a breath, and let everyone think for themselves. We'll all be much better for it.

P.S. Just for fun,  here are some policies I know I disagree with in the church handbook: vasectomies and surrogate pregnancies. Look them up for yourself and interpret at will. I have disagreed for years,  but still belive in my church.

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