"Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven".
Matthew 19:14 is one of the most beautiful teachings that Jesus ever taught. Its a teaching that resonates with those of all faiths. The beauty, innocence, and divine potential that radiates from every child is easy to recognize by all. Unfortunately, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has adopted a new policy that unfairly treats a group of children. The new policy states that adopted and biological children of homosexual couples cannot be blessed in Church or baptized. They are allowed to be baptized only when they reach the legal age of adulthood and disavow the practice of same gender marriage and are no longer living with their parents.
This new policy violates Church doctrine and goes against the core tenants of the Gospel of Christ. This is a policy that I full heartedly condemn. This policy will be a stain on the Church perhaps to an even greater extent than the policy of banning blacks from holding the priesthood.
One of the key doctrines of the restoration is that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgressions. This teaching is beautiful and clearly rejects the false teaching that man is born in a fallen state, already condemned to hell. Children are innocent and are not stained by their humanity or parents. They will grow up, they will sin and be in need of the saviors atonement, but it will be worked out individually. They will pick up bad traditions and habits from their parents, but if parents fail to teach their children correctly they will be held accountable for not teaching their children. The policy to deny saving ordinances to the purest of the pure based on the gender of their parents is a violation of this teaching. In the last days the hearts of the fathers are supposed to be turned to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. What a beautiful teaching. This policy will instead drive a wedge between children and their parents, in essence forcing them to choose between membership in the Church and a relationship with their parents. In excluding children from the Church the new policy is doing exactly the opposite of what Christ taught.
Openly condemning this misguided policy is a bold step for a faithful practicing Mormon, but what other step can I take? In a 2013 General Conference address Elder Oaks taught that we need to speak up and speak on behalf of children because they do not have a voice to do so themselves. I'm speaking up on behalf of the children who will feel the pain of exclusion and the pain of rejection that this new policy is forcing upon them. I call on the Church to reverse this policy and to let the little children come unto Christ: for such is the kingdom of heaven.