Parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender may now request that their children be blessed as infants by a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder, and their children may also be baptized and confirmed after they turn eight years old without First Presidency approval, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, announced during a leadership meeting prior to general conference.
In addition, although same-gender marriage is still considered “a serious transgression,” the Church will no longer treat it as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline. “Immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way,” President Oaks said.
These policy changes “do not represent a shift in Church doctrine related to marriage or the commandments of God in regard to chastity or morality,” the First Presidency wrote in an official statement. “The doctrine of the plan of salvation and the importance of chastity will not change.”
President Oaks said the policies should help affected families, and, “in addition, our members’ efforts to show more understanding, compassion and love should increase respect and understanding among all people of goodwill.”