Mistakes in Mormonism; or Why the Church Handbook isn’t Doctrine

First Presidency and the Twelve, circa 1898 (Wikimedia Commons).

By Gary AshcroftLet me preface my comments with a few statements. I am Mormon. I’ve been one for my entire life. I believe that the Gospel is true and that it can bring us happiness. I also believe that the Church is led by a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and that he speaks for God. I am proud of my membership in the Church and wish in no way to disparage it, abandon it, or equivocate as to my beliefs.That being said, I also recognize that the Church and the Gospel are not the same. The G … [Read more...]

What This Policy Shift Means To LGBT Mormons Like Me

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” – Matthew 19:4

I have struggled to comprehend my thoughts on the recent announcement by the LDS church concerning new policy changes in Handbook 1. There is an ever growing list of reasons why this policy change is both confusing and heartbreaking.As a young man I spent many Sundays contemplating my future, both temporal and beyond. I grew up seeing the joy on a child’s face as they’re baptized before their brothers and sisters. I grew up seeing the smiles of new parents as they bless their newborn before t … [Read more...]

Who does the membership ban really affect?

Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the most disheartening thing about Elder Christofferson's well-meant video, which attempted to address concerns about the new membership ban for children of a parent in a same-sex relationship, is that he provided no new information. The Church's motivation for this ban was already understood by many to be a desire to avoid significant conflicts between minor children and their parents. And a desire to make the Church's law absolutely clear (though it's ludicrous to think Mormons don't k … [Read more...]

Why Didn’t We Do This By Common Consent?

Wikimedia Commons

Reactions to the recent church policy changes concerning the children of married homosexual couples (which you can read about here here here here here here here here here here here here here here here and here) have made it very clear that this is an issue of great concern to many members, independent of their orthodoxy in the faith. That is to say, this isn't something that divides cleanly along "active" and "inactive," or "believing" and "doubting" membership lines.What's more, it is very … [Read more...]

These Arguments are Weak.

Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by JJ Feinauer

That “Insight into new LDS Church policies on same-sex couples and their children” post, written by a Michael Worley on Kathryn Skaggs’s blog, is making the rounds. Others like him have been circulating. People seem to think they offer compelling arguments. But beyond its presumption (the author has no special insight into God’s and Church leaders’ minds, but claims he does) and its condescension (“Bill Nye voice”) lie false analogies and rickety rationalizations.Before I analyze Worley’s arg … [Read more...]

I Won’t Go to Church Unless Everyone is Welcome

Charles Lock Eastlake, "Christ Blessing Little Children," (Wikimedia commons).

There is a lot yet to be said about the Church's recent policy changes to Handbook 1 regarding the children of LGBT parents. A few writers here at Peculiar People are still processing this, and our perspectives and opinions are as varied as the church membership itself. This policy doesn't directly affect me, but it does people I know and love. I don't want to distract from their stories, but I thought this was as good a time as any to air out my issues with the Church's position.When it … [Read more...]

If I left the Church

Rainbow Hands

The last few days have been less a whirlwind for Mormons, and more a tornado of emotions. The Church released updated policies to local leaders, in an amendment of the official administrative handbook that only leaders typically see. It didn't take long for former Mormon John Dehlin to leak the updates to the press, following which the Church promptly confirmed the updates to news sources, before remaining silent on the matter for an additional, excruciating, 24 hours. In those 24 hours of … [Read more...]

How I choose to see the revisions

"Christ in Gethsemane" By Heinrich Hofmann (Wikimedia Commons)

I write this as a heterosexual person, one who is not directly affected by the new strictures in the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI). For that reason, this is all very easy for me to say. I do not blame those who are 'closer to' this situation if their reaction is different from mine. I do not blame those who will leave. However, let's get one thing straight from the beginning: those who made this decision did not relish it. The Brethren do not look for ways to kick people out of the … [Read more...]


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