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On Nov 5th, 2015, the LDS Church confirmed that adults who enter a same-sex marriage require mandatory excommunication on the basis that they are now considered apostates. Also children living with same-sex parents or guardians will not be allowed membership in the church until reaching “legal age” and the individual “disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.” In the wake of the LDS policy changes and with raw emotion, cathartic candor, and yearning to find understanding amidst the ashes of a sense of scorched striving, the contributors to this episode sort through their emotions and attempt to see hope for how to move forward.

The new instructions are included in a revision to Handbook 1, the guide for stake presidents and bishops. The criteria for membership also requires an individual to no longer be living with a parent “who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.” A mission president or a stake president must now request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for an individual in these circumstances. Church spokesman Erik Hawkins released the following statement: “Church handbooks are policy and procedural guides for lay leaders who must administer the Church in many varied circumstances throughout the world. The Church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages. While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.”

Contributors: Jonathan, Laura, Berta, Kendall, Jay, Tom, Lisa

Music by Micah Dahl Anderson

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