The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormon church, announced today that the children of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents can now be baptized in the church. In addition, the church said it no longer considers same-sex marriage "apostasy."
"At the direction of the First Presidency, President Oaks shared that effective immediately, children of parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender may be baptized without First Presidency approval if the custodial parents give permission for the baptism and understand both the doctrine that a baptized child will be taught and the covenants he or she will be expected to make," the Mormon General Conference Leadership Session stated on April 4.
"These parents need to understand that congregation members will contact them periodically, and that when the child who has been blessed reaches 8 years of age, a Church member will contact them and propose that the child be baptized."
As recently as 2015, the Mormon church taught that homosexual "marriage" was "apostasy." That has now changed. "While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline," stated the General Conference.
"Instead, the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way," said the General Conference.
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, "took as many as 40 wives, some already married and one only 14 years old," reported the New York Times. This fact has been confirmed by church officials.
Smith's successor, Brigham Young, also practiced polygamy.
Brigham Young and his successors, for decades, placed restrictions on black Mormons; black men could not participate in the priesthood, and both black men and black women were not allowed to worship in Mormon temples.
However, in 1978, then-Church President Spencer W. Kimball declared that he had received a revelation from God that it was okay to allow black men into the Mormon priesthood.