Mormon Church Shuts Down 12-Year-Old From Testifying That She is A Lesbian

Date October 2, 2018

Most religious organizations and followings around the round have guidelines and codes of conduct that members are either required to adhere by or expected to observe voluntarily. For The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), some of these rules may seem a bit on a limb.

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Take for example the instruction for social activities contained in the Missionary Handbook from Salt Lake City, Utah that expressly bans swimming. The guideline is more a safety concern than a faith-based requirement for followers.

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In addition, mormons are discouraged from taking pictures depicting civil unrest or uncivil behavior. Also, taking pictures of sacred objects and statues is frowned upon.

12-year-old is shamed for coming out

One other subject that is still raising concern among mormons is homosexuality. Back in January 2017, a 12-year-old girl a named Savannah decided to come out as gay in front of her church congregation. This was months after she told her parents that she was a lesbian.

Her parents promised to support her and did not try to stop Savannah from telling her story, even when she shared it with CNN. By December 2016, she felt a strong need to come out in church. She picked Fast Sunday to share her testimony.

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Savannah prepared her testimony and read it out to the congregation. In this part, she spoke about her desire to live a happy life and achieve her dreams.

I hope to find a partner and have a great job. I hope to get married and have a family. I know these dreams and wishes are good and right. I know I can have all of these things as a lesbian and be happy.

However, just moments after she announced that she was gay, Savannah’s microphone was cut off. At first, she thought there was a problem with it and turned to ask for help, but one of the church leaders asked her to sit down.

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Local bishop Judd Law told CNN that the video of Savannah giving her testimony was aimed at destroying the image of the church. He also claimed that the video was being exploited for "political purposes."

Church policy is conflicting

In 2015, official documents from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon church's official name were posted online by a former member. These documents clearly stated that church members in same-sex relationships are apostates. In addition, children of these couples are barred from baptism and church membership.

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The irony of the updated manual for missionaries is that it does not say gay people are not allowed to be members of the church, but it places severe restrictions on involvement that make membership a waste of time.

Addison Jenkins, a student at Brigham Young University and an openly gay mormon, sums up the so-called ‘November Policy' with these glaring words.

If you want to be gay and Mormon, okay, but you have to be Mormon. And you can’t really be gay.

The church released these guidelines months after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. For people like Savannah, this might be a bold 'Exit' sign.

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