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Why Polygamists are a Threat to LDS Church (Part 6 of 8)

The LDS Church still has an Exclusion Policy when dealing with converts from polygamist groups.  Why does the LDS Church seem so threatened by polygamists?  Apostle David Patrick and Seventy Benjamin Shaffer explain why they think polygamists are so threatening to the LDS leadership.

GT:  So the [LDS] Church has a huge concern with [polygamists joining the Church] and so they’ve implemented this [Exclusion] policy. Then when the gay policy came, they [justified the policy by saying,] “Well we’ve been doing this with polygamists for years. What’s the problem?” I don’t like this policy. I don’t like it against polygamists either, but I do understand the concern because it does seem like, especially here in Utah, they don’t want you guys infiltrating our church and then taking people away. But I think it also happens that we take away some of your church members that don’t like polygamy.  To me it goes both ways. But, we’re more concerned about our people leaving than your people joining.

GT:  I don’t know how true this is, and I know that you don’t speak for all fundamentalists, either. But we’ve heard that that, I want to say it’s the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), but I might be wrong on that, they will say, “Well, go get your LDS temple endowment and then come join us.” Are you familiar with that reasoning?

Benjamin:  Yes. Well, more than 40 years ago, that was kind of the essential viewpoint of almost all Mormon fundamentalists.  There was about a 50 year stretch from John and Lauren Woolley in the early 1900s, through Rulon Allred, where we also kind of believed that was the program. As David explained, there were keys outside the church and they were keys inside the church. We believe, in Christ’s Church, we’ve now rejoined all those keys into one organization. But during that time period, that 50 years, there was the idea that if you wanted to receive certain blessings and certain ordinances, or complete those things, you had to go to the fundamentalists, but you started in the [LDS] Church, first. So, for example, Rulon Allred did not build a temple.  He didn’t believe it was necessary, because the mainstream LDS temples were still viewed as authoritative sources to receive that ordinance.

David:  Rulon Allred was the leader of the Apostolic United Brethren.

GT:  Yeah.

Benjamin:  Joseph Musser and Rulon Allred, which were the founders of the AUB, they said exactly that.  They told their people, “Oh, well, you should definitely, of course, come to us, but don’t join the AUB and do these higher things until you’ve done the earlier things.  You’d be skipping a step.” So, they really only accepted members–they weren’t a whole church, right? They were an appendage to the church.

GT:  They were funneling people to the LDS Church and then saying, “Okay, get this all done, and then we’ll give you the graduate degree.”

Benjamin:  So excluding children, that was exactly the church’s response to the AUB policy of saying, “Oh, we’re an auxiliary to the church, essentially. So you want all of your children to be members of the mainstream LDS Church, and then you want them to go on missions and you want them to go to the temple, get married in the temple, and all that sort of thing, and then become part of our priesthood group to complete their gospel training.”  But they view themselves, like I said, only as that auxiliary or just as a capstone to everything the church was already doing. So their view was that the church was meant to be a pipeline that led [to them.]

David:  In all fairness, that may not be their view today.

Do you agree with this exclusion policy for children of polygamists?  Don’t miss our conversation as Benjamin explains why the primary song “I Am a Child of God” teaches the Adam-God theory! Check out our conversation….

Benjamin Shaffer & David Patrick explain why there is still an Exclusion policy for fundamentalist converts to LDS Church.

Don’t miss our other conversations with David and Benjamin….

385: God in a Box or Pyramid?

384: Documentary Hypothesis & Adam-God

383: Intro to Adam-God Theory

382: Scriptures of Christ’s Church

381: Intro to Christ’s Church

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Do You Disagree with the Exclusion Policy? (Part 6)

In November 2015, the Church issued the PoX, or Policy of Exclusion.  The Exclusion Policy prevents children of gay parents from being baptized or further ordination in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In our last interview with Kurt Francom, we’ll get his opinions, and my opinions, and you’ll find out they are in disagreement quite a bit. It’s also a wonderful way in which we model that people can disagree but still maintain good friendships, even in Sunday School.  So, this is an important conversation, and I hope you check it out.

GT:  But at any rate, I mean we make such a big deal about a child being baptized at the age of eight. It’s in the Doctrine and Covenants. I mean it’s scripture. And Jesus said it’s better than a millstone be hanged around the neck than to offend these little ones. Okay. Now the church leaders are, number one, they’re ignoring this apparent Doctrine and Covenants scripture when it comes to children of gay parents. Number two, they seem to be ignoring the second article of faith: we are punished for our own sins, and [not for] Adam’s transgression and some people try to say, “Well, it’s just Adam.” No, I should not be punished for your sins. You should not be punished for my sins. My children should not be punished for my sins. I mean, we all have free agency, right?

GT:  If my child can’t get baptized at age 8, because I’m gay or whatever, that’s not right. That just feels wrong to me. And I know that a lot of people say, “Well, when they’re 18, they can do it.” Then why doesn’t everybody get baptized at age 18? If it’s so important that we’ve got a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that they’re supposed to be baptized at age eight, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal.

Kurt:  Right.

GT:  And there are people between the age of 8 and 18, even that get baptized and fall away from the church, so why would we think that a kid who doesn’t get baptized at eight is suddenly going to get baptized at 18? Especially given that they have to repudiate their parent’s relationship. That logic doesn’t make any sense to me.

Kurt:  Yeah. And, wrestle with it. It breaks my heart when people wrestle with it to the point where they just completely separate themselves. Am I in favor for the policy or against it? I see both sides and I’m just trying to maintain in patience as we figure that out.

GT:  I’m trying to be patient too, but it’s hard.

Kurt:  Yeah, I know. But we need you there on Sunday. We need you to have influence and keep battling there. And I’m not trying to dodge it. I just, I see the struggle in that question. But at the same time, we just have to step back. And part of the greatest thing about being a leader, being a bishop is you have so much empathy for bishops after that. You have so much empathy for apostles after that, for leaders. These are difficult decisions and is the policy the best answer? Maybe, maybe not. But, they have the keys to direct, and they are directing, doing the best that they can. Whether it is exactly right or exactly wrong, or their lack of action in the bishop interview issue is exactly right, or exactly wrong, they’re doing their best to direct. And I think all things considered. We’re moving in the right way and nobody will ever regret having patience, more and more patience with their leaders, and holding on and in the wrestle.

Kurt:  And I love that scripture about Jacob wrestling with the angel or with God. And he got to a point that he refused to let go until God blessed him. And so you must refuse to let go until God blesses us and brings greater light and knowledge and then while doing that realize that these leaders are doing the best they can and they deserve some patience.

Check out our conversation, as well as our other conversations with Kurt…

The Church says children of gay parents can't be baptized. Does this conflict with D&C 68:25?
The Church says children of gay parents can’t be baptized. Does this conflict with D&C 68:25?

222: Should the Church Modify Bishop’s Interviews?

221: Results of Faith Crisis Research

220: “We’ve Got to Have These Difficult Conversations”

219: Ministering to the Faithful & Faithless

218: Is it Bad to be Called LDS or Mormon?