Church members have been counseled to keep journals. Does that apply to general authorities as well? Elder Steven Snow will answer that question.
Elder Snow: We haven’t spoken a lot about journals since President Kimball’s time. But it’s important to leave a record for your family to let them know about your faith and your challenges, your trials, your difficulties, what you did, what your faith meant to you.
GT: Now, we’ve heard that some of the general authorities have been told not to write journals, because of…
Elder Snow: President Packer was. We try to encourage the new brethren to keep a record. Now, as a general authority, your journal belongs to the church. So you sign an agreement, when you’re called that that’s the case, all your personal papers.
GT: Oh, really?
Elder Snow: All your personal papers that relate to your time as a general authority are technically Church property. That’s a legal agreement that you sign. Now, if you’re good enough to keep a journal and not make reference to any of your church service, you could do that. But that’s pretty hard to do.
I will also ask him about questions of church and state. Is it ok to be a democrat?
Elder Snow: I’ve been an active as a Democrat before my call as a General Authority.
GT: Wow, I think that’s a secret. I don’t think very many people know that.
Elder Snow: Well, I don’t think politics enters into too much in our calling as a General Authority.
GT: I believe. Elder Jensen before you was a Democrat as well.
Elder Snow: Yeah, we used to talk to each other about the results of the elections. He’s always been a good Democrat.
GT: Do you have any sense and I don’t want you to name names, especially if you don’t want to, but do you have any sense for how many of the Quorum of Seventy or apostles lean towards the Democratic positions?
What were his feelings about the policy excluding baptism for children of gay parents? He has some candid responses that you won’t want to miss. Check out our conversation….
Don’t miss our previous interviews with Elder Snow!
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.
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…