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LDS First Presidency shares letter clarifying handbook changes on same-sex marriages

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Blah Blah (Photo courtesy Mormon Newsroom.)

Temple Square in Salt Lake City. (Photo courtesy LDS Church)

The First Presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote a letter to clarify a policy saying children of same-sex couples cannot be baptized into the Church until they are no long dependent on their parents.

“Our concern with respect to children is their current and future well-being and the harmony of their home environment,” the First Presidency wrote in the letter.

The letter clarified that children of same-sex couples who are already members of the Church will not have their membership revoked.

“All children are to be treated with utmost respect and love,” wrote the First Presidency. “They are welcome to attend Church meetings and participate in Church activities. All children may receive priesthood blessings of healing and spiritual guidance.”

Following the release of updates to “Handbook 1,” a manual used to help Church leaders advise their congregations, the Church received some backlash from the blunt wording. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve held a video interview to address some of the concerns.

On Mormonnewsroom.org, the Church further clarifies that the changes in the handbook were not changes to the doctrinal position, but provided more guidance to help Church leaders use the Spirit to guide them in leading their congregations. It also clarifies that “it is not a sin simply to feel attraction to another person of the same sex.”

In response to the handbook update, a group of about 1,000 members of the Church’s 15 million worldwide membership said they would join a “mass resignation” from the Church on Saturday. A poll on the groups Facebook page says most of that group consider themselves inactive (473 out of 754 votes cast). Only 42 of the participants attend Church at least once a month. (Statistics were counted on Friday, Nov. 13 at 11:18 a.m.)

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