Thursday, April 15, 2010

Seeking a Revelation for the Church, Part II

By Mister Curie

The Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), which largely claimed to be the True church of Jesus Christ due to the belief that succession rights of the Prophet were through the lineage of Joseph Smith rather than through the Quorum of the 12 Apostles (as contrasted with the LDS church based in SLC), recently received and approved a revelation granting full membership rights to gay members, including gay marriage.  This adds Section 164 to their Doctrine and Covenants.  Further details on this momentous occassion are available on the blog By Common Consent.  The actual wording of the revelation now known as D&C 164 can be read here.

Of note, the Community of Christ extended Priesthood rights and responsibilities to women in 1984 in D&C 156.

A fascinating podcast on the Succession crisis in the LDS church that lead to the different branches can be listened to at the following links: (Part I) (Part II)

I suspect that the LDS church will grant Priesthood rights to women before they fully accept homosexuals, so if we use this timing as a guideline, approximately 26 years after women get the Priesthood, gays will be able to get married and be fully accepted in the LDS church.


  1. I doubt this would do much to change anything, to be honest. The Brighamite branch has basically ignored everything the CoC has done. Also, unfortunately, this might trigger a massive exodus from the CoC, which is the real shame. Liberal churches (Episcopalians/Anglicans, United Church of Christ, etc.) never seem to have the membership base which the fire-breathing sects enjoy. *sigh*

  2. I can't say this definitively because I don't really know that much about the CoC, but it seems that they are trying to find a way to really minister to the people. They appear to understand that showing true Christian love is often difficult and challenges our ideas, prejudices, and understanding of the world. The approach of the LDS church (in SLC and most places locally) is focused on following the prophet and complying with a restrictive code rather than engaging in a group effort to understand how to love others and help them discover the best part of their humanity. It seems like the CoC is willing to accept that the cost of this may be that some people leave in protest. The LDS church has made a similar bargain regarding its political involvement in gay marriage. The difference is that the latter lacks compassion and a willingness to understand.

    I don't think the LDS church will come to a realization that they NEED LGBT people in the church. In 1978, the church finally realized that they needed people of African descent and those who thought the "priesthood ban" was unjust and racist. There may come a day when the church realizes the incredibly valuable contributions women would make as full participants in and holders of the priesthood. What I can't see is how the church can reverse its stance on homosexuality in my lifetime. If it can't do that, then it can't accept gay relationships and gay marriage.

    While officially the stance is that the church welcomes gay people so long as they are celibate, that invitation is disingenuous. In some places in the church, two men or two women kissing is enough for official ecclesiastical probation, or more. The real message isn't celibacy, it's a de facto requirement to "pass" as a completely straight person (whatever that means). Call me jaded, but I don't think the church as an institution wants us at all.

    There are many members of the church who fully accept gay people and try to reconcile their belief in the church with the love they have for their gay family members and friends. I applaud them and thank them. But the LDS church doesn't change due to a critical mass of members doing anything. Unless the top 15 unitedly agree on the need for change, it simply doesn't happen. Until they see the need for change, the fire-breathing that LDS Brother mentioned will continue.