Last fall when the LDS Church Handbook statements on gay couples and their children were leaked to the media without context or explanation, it created some division and misunderstanding across our community and within the church.
Particularly because of our work with families, we were sad that it initially sounded so dictatorial and unloving; but we were grateful for the subsequent clarification, wherein the church explained that “a purpose of the Handbook is to provide bishops and other leaders with a standard reference point when they make decisions” and assured that “church leaders are encouraged to use the Handbook in conjunction with the guidance of the Holy Ghost” and with “sensitivity to individual circumstances.” And finally, we welcomed the reassurance that “Of course, there are always situations that fall outside general guidelines.”*
Unfortunately, many never saw the clarification and so their concerns continue to fester. . . .
One thing we know for certain: It would be hard to find an institution or a group of leaders anywhere that cares more or focuses more attention on the welfare and well-being of children than the LDS Church.
As members of that church, but with so many of our contacts and clients not being members, we always find that when we get on the subject of families, we have so much more in common than we have differences. We also find ourselves frequently trying to build bridges and avoid misunderstandings. For what it’s worth, here are our thoughts on how to do that on this particular issue: