At 18, I Chose the LDS Church over Polygamy

What a sweet testimony of the love and understanding we should all have for each other: "I have been an active member of the LDS Church now for 10 years and have never once felt like an outcast because of my background. Every time I have opened my mouth or told someone about my background, they have always treated me with love, kindness and understanding. . . During my childhood, I was taught that the LDS Church would require me to disavow my family and friends, but in my experience that was not true."

I feel compelled to add my voice to the discussion over the policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not to baptize children who primarily reside with same-sex couples. For me, this topic is very personal. I was raised in a polygamous community, and an analogous church policy did not permit me to be baptized until I turned 18 and disavowed the practice of polygamy.

Many commentators assume that the LDS policy is meant to punish the children of same-sex couples. Many also assume that the policy will exclude these children from the LDS community, and that if a child should choose to join the church, she will have to disavow their parents. I heard very similar criticisms while growing up in the polygamous community of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). I was taught I would have to disavow my family, leave my friends and denounce any beliefs I grew up with if I ever associated with or joined the LDS Church.

At 16 years old, I started college in Cedar City, Utah. I moved in with LDS roommates who all knew of my background.

Lead image from Salt Lake Tribune.

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