By Holly Welker
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught me the concept of stewardship, of being entrusted to nurture, protect, and ensure the well-being of something you don’t own. Stewardship means you’re responsible both to the ones who entrusted you and to the beings or things you oversee. In LDS belief, parents have stewardship over children, bishops have stewardship over wards, and Adam and Eve had stewardship over the Garden of Eden. LDS apostles have stewardship over the church and its members—and over the planet and everyone on it, since the apostles consider themselves God’s only authorized spokesmen on earth.
I’ve been thinking about this in relation to the LDS church’s November 2015 POX, or Policy of Exclusion. That policy classified same-sex relationships as a sin of apostasyand denied being blessed as an infant and baptized at age eight to “a natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting.”
The leadership insisted the POX was God’s idea, but it never made sense, except as mean-spirited retaliation over the church’s defeat in its decades-long battle against gay marriage. Although LDS scripture states that “the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children” (Moses 6:54), the church seemed anxious to be the blunt instrument by which what it considered “the iniquity of the fathers” (Deuteronomy 5:9) was visited upon their children.
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