Without question, we are living in an era when young Americans are leaving the churches of their youth at unprecedented numbers.And many are motivated to do so because they believe these institutions are unfriendly to the LGBT community.‘Disciplining’ the ECUSA therefore is about what one body is saying it will not do with another.” What is more, many members of the Episcopal Church believe that the American church will not be dissuaded from implementing its new, more inclusive marriage rites.“We can accept these actions with grace and humility, but the Episcopal Church is not going back,” explained Jim Naughton, a communications consultant and former canon for the Archdiocese of Washington, to Religion News Service.As such, the January 10 declaration from Russell M.Nelson, head of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church, that the church’s new policy was “revealed” was met by shock and dismay by many within the Mormon community.
For its part, the LDS Church continues to deal with the internal fallout of the church’s political support of California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 vote that outlawed gay marriage in that state after California’s Supreme Court had legalized it.
The declaration from Nelson, who is next in line to become president of the LDS Church—which also considers the head of the church a “prophet, seer and revelator”—means that the church’s new stance is not merely administrative procedure.
Instead, Nelson’s “clarification,” wrote Mayne, signals that the highest-ranking members of the LDS Church have elevated the church’s new policy to “near doctrinal status.” Leaders of the Anglican Communion, the world’s largest Protestant denomination, cited the Bible and tradition—not new revelation—to justify the censure of the ECUSA.
“Unlike traditional Christians, Mormons reject the concept of original sin.
They do so because they can’t imagine someone being blamed for the sin of another.” As Mitch Mayne, an openly gay man and practicing Mormon, explained in , many Mormons had hoped that the new policy would be adjusted and amended to give local leaders discretion to decide how to implement it, especially related to children of gay parents.