For behold, because of…the many little dissensions and disturbances which had been among the people, it became expedient that the word of God should be declared among them, yea, and that a regulation should be made throughout the church. Alma 45:21
Due to a recent policy statement by the Church regarding the delayed baptism of children of gay parents, there has been a plethora of chatter in social media and elsewhere. When we heard this news just today, we read some of the comments by friends and family.
As I thought about my own feelings on the matter, I was not a whit concerned with the policy, nor did I question it. I completely trust the Brethren. The thing that did strike me is how thankful I am that the Church actually has a system of regulation, and these regulations apply to Church members in all the world.
There are two handbooks of instruction used by Church leaders worldwide. Handbook #1 is for local leadership and handbook #2 is for general and local officers of the Church. The newly released statement of policy regarding children of gay parents will be included in these handbooks. And for that I am very grateful.
What is the policy on this same topic in the Baptist Church, the Pentocostal Church, or the Assembly of God? I daresay they have none as a unit. Here in Uganda, we sometimes struggle with what is termed the pastor mentality, wherein a pastor of a church runs things his way. He may say something from the pulpit regarding morality, for example, yet be immoral himself in his personal life. If it weren’t for these general handbooks of our Church, there would be little consistency or fairness between congregations.
I’m so thankful to belong to a Church that has policies and procedures that everyone is expected to abide by. There are many sensitive issues addressed in the handbooks, some of which may raise questions by those outside the Church. But be assured there is a plan. There is a system. And we should expect the same answer to these questions or concerns in Uganda as we would get in Salt Lake City. Now that is very, very cool.