Ep 229 – Smackdown: New LDS Policy Punishing Children If Their Parents Are Gay


Posted November 6th, 2015

What’s worse than murder and rape? The only sin so powerful it punishes innocent children for the “sins” of their parents even if, you know, that doesn’t sound like Mormon Doctrine… In this episode, Bob, Matt, Randy, and Scott discuss the new policy changes from the Mormon Church that set apart homosexuality as a sin unlike any other.

Children of same-sex married people must now be 18 to be baptized and must disavow their parents’ marriage. Follow along as we smackdown the changes to LDS Handbook 1.





  • Malachi

    That was quick guys. And Glenn said it was all downhill from the last quick release? …can’t wait to listen!

  • My money is on the Church not reacting at all to the reaction to its “policy change.”

    An acquaintance who moonlights as a management consultant tells me that low and mid-level managers in organizations of all kinds are purposefully taught NOT to engage the customer, the employee, the student, or whoever. Instead, remain completely silent. By saying nothing at all, you elevate yourself above a person registering a complaint or a criticism: they’re the one with the problem, not you. The other major advantage of silence is that the quality and training level of managers and administrators these days is so low that, if they open their mouths, they can only lose. They are carefully coached to not say anything.

    Nothing takes the wind out of your sails like getting furious enough to poke the bear really hard with a really sharp stick and then being completely ignored by the bear. What they’re sayings is, “We hold all of the cards and we know it. We don’t have to care.”

  • wcassi

    Amazing – so excited to listen to this and vent with you. Thanks!!!!

  • Goto

    Oh my that was fast!!!

  • Frank Clark

    My first comment ever to your site. I loved that this was waiting for me this morning. Excellent job, and I am becoming a huge fan very quickly. Don’t ever stop!

  • Turdfurgeson

    Do you guys think that the leaders are just so myopic that this is an effort to contol the number of gay children being born into the church? Like I can just see those senile old bastards sitting up in the office building and going well… If there aren’t gay parents- we will have less gay kids to deal with Right? Obviously every gay couole is raising gay kids (eye roll)
    So I think they believe they are doing damage control by
    A. Pissing off the gay members so they just leave and don’t have to deal with them.
    B. Perform their own version of genocide, and withhold blessings (like they are theirs to fucking give) and control the future #’s of gays.

    I do love seeing my Facebook lit up with TBM’s going “WTF”. That’s a good first step to thinking for yourself.

    • Randy_Snyder

      I do think maybe this is a trimming of the fat thing. If they lose a small percentage of potential trouble sources, good riddance. We will come out leaner afterward.

      • Turdfurgeson

        Yeah, that was a lot shorter easier way to say what I was trying to articulate haha. But I think this is the future of the church, more conservative policy’s as they go forward and fulfilling their own prophecies of “separating the wheat and the tare’s.”
        Eventually it will just be Mike and his family left…;)

      • jewelspice

        your comparison to cancer really resonated with me. Thank you.

        • Randy_Snyder

          That’s kind of you to say. Thanks!

    • AxelDC

      This will have huge repercussions with some TBM grandparents.

      My aunt was not what you would call a good Mormon, but my grandma insisted that her children be baptized LDS. My aunt went along with this because it didn’t matter to her either way.

      There are lots of gay Mormons who have children, either adopted or from previous marriages. Can you imagine how their parents react when told that the LDS Church has banned their grandchildren from baptism?

    • It’s a tool, a wedge, they can drive between gay people, or at least admittedly gay people, and their special club. What’s really abhorrent about it is how coldly and obviously calculated it is to cause real pain for some people (the kids) who are not only totally innocent, but completely helpless to alter their circumstances. This is a window into the hearts of “The Brethren” like we haven’t had in recent times. Christ does not know these people.

      • Holding the family hostage seems to be modus operandi with these people.

        • You’re right! It always has been, hasn’t it? Even the “eternal families” bit from the earliest JS days was grabbing you by your family and squeezing.

        • Turdfurgeson

          Very valid point

  • AxelDC

    This is a reaction to Salt Lake City electing its first gay Mayor.

    • Duke of Earl Grey

      I’m sure any changes in the holy Handbook of Instructions are planned well in advance. This was not an off-the-cuff reaction to something that happened three days ago. It is an off-the-cuff reaction to something that happened about four months ago.

  • Thomas Moore

    Great job guys. This does affect many; my own niece whose husband came out later and they have 2 sons. So now these boys can’t be baptized, become deacons, etc… They’ll just be shown as “Not like us” and set aside. This shows how ignorant and vile the LDS corporation has become. To force kids to deny parentage and the things taught at their mother’s knee or how hypocritical was Holland’s G.C. talk https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/behold-thy-mother?lang=eng
    So, so mad and disgusted with the leaders and the followers who don’t say or do anything about this.

  • Tierza Rose Askren

    My heart also breaks for the still-closeted members who are in marriages – those who have to struggle with the decision whether to blow up their lives in order to be honest – why not add another level where they know that their choice will seriously cost their children, even more than it did.

  • Tierza Rose Askren

    Oh – and if you want to be even more deeply disturbed check out sites like “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman” and read how this policy is really just a kindness to these poor screwed up families.

    • The shit people are saying to rationalize this astounds me. I especially love the argument made by some in the comments that fornication doesn’t require the same extra loving policies that gay marriage does because you can just get married and fix the sin if you’ve been grinding gears with someone of the opposite sex. It’s 2015 FFS. Are we still teaching people to get married as a resolution to sin? That’s clearly the way to build a solid family foundation. **insert meme with Inigo Montoya and the word “family”**

    • Kim

      The “protect the children” argument in that post is such BS. If they truly wanted to protect children from mixed messages about the gospel, then my children should have been prevented from being baptized. I’m an atheist and take my children twice a month to a humanist congregation. This wasn’t even raised when my son was baptized last year and I anticipate zero questions about it in the future. (If this policy was gonna be universal, I actually would welcome my children to be prevented from baptism until age 18). But it isn’t about protecting kids. This policy is completely about shaming gay families.

      I’ve been sick about this all weekend. And there are of course many reasons why. But I think the reason that it bothers me the very most is how coercive the church is being with this policy. They are using children (not to protect them), but to use them as a leverage to shame their parents and grandparents. By withholding these ordinances, something required in their theology for salvation, they are coercively trying to shame parents into behaving the way the church wants them to. This is abusive behavior. LGBTQ members are in an abusive relationship with the church. There are moments when the church gives them a honeymoon stage of thinking things might get better, but then wham! abuse happens again. The church fits perfectly into the standard formula I use to teach about abusive interpersonal relationships. And when it comes to domestic violence, we know statistically how hard it is to leave the relationship. My only hope is that this policy makes it clear to others how abusive the insitution of the church truly is and that they need to leave for their emotional and spiritual safety.

  • Mike Sorbe

    I saw this this morning on local news. Can’t believe it, but yet some how not surprised. It’s things like this that affirm I did the right thing by resigning my membership to the church. One of the first things I thought of is the song, “I am a child of God” and part of the chorus. “Teach me all that I must do to live with him someday.” So apparently they are being taught they can’t have gay parents and when they are 18 they have to denounce their parents, not live with them, and say their way of life is wrong.
    You guys are doing a great job. Coming to you guys a little late, but catching up on previous podcasts. Keep up the great work guys.

  • Ryan Gregson

    You scooped Dehlin! well done.

  • seagullfountain

    This was great and so awesome to listen to this morning in affirmation that this absolutely fucking stinks. I think you covered everything — except the parallels to the long-standing policy regarding children in polygamous families (see LHP on fb). Also, though I love the swears myself, thanks for making this non-E so I can share with my tbm family.

    • Oh, whoops! That was unintentional on my part (forgot to flag it as explicit)… Meaning, Randy does drop a couple f-bombs. But maybe we’ll just let it slide? I could go back and mark it as explicit. But I think the MPAA might let this one live as PG-13 instead of R, lol.

      • Orrin Dayne

        Isn’t listing Randy as a participant the equivalent of flagging it as explicit?

    • Randy_Snyder

      You try saying fucking Dick fucking Cheney without the fucks!


      • seagullfountain

        All is forgiven in return for my new favorite catchphrase: “Jesus is rolling in his grave.” It’s like a heridiom — a heresy within an idiom, and I love it so much I want to gay marry it!

  • seagullfountain

    I need a citation for the studies on how damaging it is for kids of divorced parents to have to make disparaging comments about their parent, and how it makes them hate themselves. (I 100% believe it, I just want to read more and be able to cite for others.)

  • AxelDC

    Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. -Luke 12:3

    • Pink-lead

      On that same theme, let’s not call the lack of revelation or divine insight into homosexuality light. Lack of light equals darkness.

      Double down and re-trench elders. We don’t need more revelation when it’s already so clear in this ancient and unified book!

  • prickley.pete

    This is how I imagine the conversation at church HQ going:
    PR guy: Great news, due to our support of the anti discrimination legislation and our mormons and gays website we are polling much better on the survey question “Do you think mormons hate those with same sex attraction?”
    Oaks: Excellent, more people are finally recognizing that we hate those with same sex attraction and their choice to act that way.
    PR guy: Ummm, I meant that more people think we don’t hate those with same sex attraction.
    Oaks: Why would we want people to think that?
    Bednar: You PR idiots, you’re ruining all the headway we made with Prop 8!
    Renlund: What are we…
    Bednar: Shut up Renlund! We all know you were only chosen because you’re black!
    Renlund: I’m not black I just lived in Africa for a couple of years.
    Bednar: Did I say you could speak? The 12th apostle never speaks without permission! Don’t make me lock you in the box again!
    Oaks: Gentlemen, we have more important issues at hand here. We need to roll out something to show the public that we really do hate same sex attraction, or God will judge us for our unfaithfulness.

  • Duke of Earl Grey

    I’m pleased that all of you quickly noticed and pointed out that the way this policy is worded, it could affect any child of a parent in a gay relationship, even if they don’t live in the same household. Most, if not all, of the new stories covering this have missed that point.

    It does make me wonder whether the church intended this policy to apply so broadly, or if perhaps they only meant it to apply to children living with a gay couple. That wouldn’t really be a less immoral policy, though it would be less of a headache for the church. But that would mean the church, with its myriad of lawyers, somehow flubbed the legalize, and that I cannot believe.

    • There is precedent, like the King Follett discourse and some of BY’s ultra-racist rantings, for example, where a church leader took of on an oratory tear and said a bunch of stuff that later got canonized (officially or otherwise) without ever having been thought through all the way. I agree, though, that those incidents occurred before “the Prophet” was surrounded by a legal staff or was, perhaps, himself a trained attorney. It’s hard to believe the legal department didn’t know exactly what they were doing.

  • JohnnyBugEyes


  • Mike Sorbe

    I would really like to see a follow up podcast done that is a little longer than an hour. I would like to hear all the Quorum’s thoughts on this.

  • Orrin Dayne

    When a child of a gay parent is a minor or resides with a gay parent, there is just too much risk of “contamination” (i.e., TBMs meeting the gay parent and loving/accepting them and then rejecting the bigotry). The first presidency doesn’t want gay parents anywhere near a chapel. Not at a baptism, not at a baby blessing, not shuttling their kid to weekly services. To quote Green Eggs and Ham, not here, not there, not anywhere!

  • Loren Evans

    What I see is very vindictive and revengeful old men leading the church. They lost the war over marriage equal rights, so now they will take their pride out on the most innocent…the children of the gays that wanted to be married. Cowardly and so anti-Christ. As we integrate more and more into the communities, not only now are the parents apostates but the children are being forced to choose between their apostate parents and the church…and let’s not get on the torture those children will recieve at the hands of the ‘righteous’ member children. Christ taught to protect the children, the church has now proclaimed a war against children. So shameful.

  • WSM22

    Guys, the recordings seem to be a little wonky. Am I alone in having issues with the online file going to pot, breaking up and stuttering at about 1:09:20, whereas the download checks out at just over 1:08:00?

    The playback timer on the website shows a total time of 1:07:28, but the podcast keeps going well past that.

    • The timer inconsistency with the streaming version as compared to a downloaded version is a normal thing (well, normal, in the sense that it’s not caused by issues with the audio file). Do you feel like you missed a part of the conversation? Honestly, in the last minute, we accidentally included a “thank you for listening” message on top of us still talking. So that maybe was confusing, but then we talk for another minute and the real ending happens… somewhat abruptly with some music. I’m guessing you probably heard 99% of everything.

      • WSM22

        I’ll have to double-check again later as I should probably be working…

        Thanks for looking out, love all you guys do as an IoT podcast gang.

  • Duke of Earl Grey

    Early on, someone wondered why, of all things, the church was making a big deal about the baby blessings being denied, when that’s not even a necessary ordinance. It’s because for kids born in the church, that’s the moment the church cares about, the moment the name is entered into the church record. The baptism at 8 is almost a formality after that. So this policy says, “We don’t even want your kids’ names counting towards our 15 Million Strong™.”

    • Ryan Gregson

      It’s putting clerical convenience over spiritual significance.

      • Pink-lead

        I.T. Guy: Umm we can’t record the father and mother cuz’ their both men.
        GA: We’ll take care of that….

        • Ryan Gregson

          “I mean, we can’t just let those babies get blessings and then just not put their names in the records!”

  • R Piercy

    Something I am hearing and was only touched on lightly in the podcast was that this change in policy is similar (identical?) to the policy on polygamy and children of polygamists. In my opinion that was the primary motivating factor behind the change, to bring the two into alignment.

    The difference is that polygamy is an existential threat to the church. If the church can’t stamp out polygamy it ceases to exist and therefore cannot function as the soul-saving organization it claims to be. Gay marriage presents no such threat to the church. With polygamy there was a clear and present danger to the church, with gay marriage the threat is at best a distant possibility.

  • AnotherClosetAtheist

    So if I get ordained as a minister and marry a gay couple, will that get me excommunicated and my children blacklisted?

    I bet if I did it at Main Street Plaza, we could get some great photographs with the reflection pool in the background.

  • Brenton Swenson

    Hey, guys loved the episode, however, I’ve got some somewhat inside info on why this just happened now.

    Here in Seattle, there are two active and attending women who were recently engaged and planning to get married.

    The stake president initially told them if they got married, he would
    need to excommunicate them. So, they had to call it off, or else.
    However, he recently changed his mind a couple weeks ago, and said he
    would allow them to get married and retain their membership (and I heard
    keep their callings too). It’s been a big push here in the stake to try to feel gay members and former members welcome at church.

    I’m speculating that the stake president ran his decision up the ladder, and checked with SLC, and it brought about this whole fiasco.

    • TGD

      Highly possible scenario. I wonder if he regrets it now.

    • ChooseTheRice

      Yowza. I know those women. I was thinking about how this would affect them, not that they may have caused it.

  • Chad

    Thanks guys.

  • Conversus

    This will contribute to the violence against and death of gay men and women in places like Uganda and other such societies.

  • Turdfurgeson

    I want to see a smackdown on Greg trimbles blog. Man that guy is an asshole.

    My family is posting this on FB like its going out of style. Big sigh.

  • Ben Hamer

    Mentally I left Mormonism nearly 25 years ago. Tonight I wrote and signed my formal resignation letter.

    Thanks Infants for pointing out that now would be a good time to finally “take action” and “formally dissociate” from that institution!

    P.S. The episode was good even without Hamer. 😉

  • ChrisWir

    Here are three sample letters for RESIGNING: http://www.mormonresignation.com/
    I used letter #2. 🙂 Enjoy!

    Great episode – important topic!
    When the church goes out-of-its-way to press their steel-toes boot in the neck of innocent children – who they already have forced to the ground – members HAVE to react, because their(!) names are on that rough sole!

  • ES
    • Randy_Snyder

      Indeed. 20 min video from the church? What the hell is that?

  • Grady Tripp

    In this secretly leaked video, I know it sounds like Henry is telling Tommy that “they got the whole shipment”. However if you listen closely, he is actually saying “Elliot Ness is gay”.

  • This news was really hard for me to process. Thanks for the discussion.

    Also I loved the idea of resignations for the dead so much that I made a thing:


    • Turdfurgeson

      You sir- are a scholar and a funny bastard.

      • Adding a bit more spit and polish, then I’ll “leak” it on the reddit.

    • Randy_Snyder


  • wcassi

    Would love to know what Heather is thinking about the policy change. Please do a Part 2 with Heather, John, Jake and Glenn!

    • Randy_Snyder

      All four of them live in the Eastern time zone. They were all asleep so you were stuck with the West Coast and Mountain timers.

  • Pink-lead

    Hey Bob! Welcome back. You made the cogent point for me and the key word is sympathy which naturally brings along its concomitant contamination. The church can’t abide growing sympathy for these hardened sinners…..

  • ChrisWir

    Change their wording from “same-gender” to “intellectual” and then you know what’s coming next. 😉

  • homeless_disqus

    So if an adult wants to join the Mormon church (“missionary convert”), but has actively homosexual child living with them do they have to disavow them and kick them out of the home? Essentially they don’t per the policy but as D. Todd would say it just “two sides of the same coin”. #UchtdorfPleaseFixThis “Help us Dieter, you’re our only hope.”

  • jewelspice

    I am not even Mormon but I am supporting a niece who is having a faith crisis for the last year and this policy has my blood boiling. I so enjoy all your podcasts but am so glad Scott got you guys altogether and did this fabulous smackdown . I was once married to a former Mormon Foster Child, fundamental Christian GayMan who was trying so hard to be a heterosexual. I knew then, from my own experience that it is NOT a choice. I’m trying to educate my other TBM niece about this and want to shake my TBM convert brother and sister in law. I so look forward to your podcasts and i’ve learned so much. Thank you for your persepectives.

  • Ryan Gregson

    Just heard Randy’s shout out on RadioWest!