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LDS apostle's gay brother worries for future of LGBT people in the church

LDS apostle’s gay brother worries for future of LGBT people in the church
LDS apostle’s gay brother worries for future of LGBT people in the church
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(KUTV) The brother of a Mormon apostle says he worries that gay people - such as himself - will have a harder time finding a place in the church with a new policy dealing with same-sex couples and their children.

Tom Christofferson spoke Nov. 6 on a podcast on the blog Rational Faiths. He said he started returning to church eight or nine years ago while still living with his partner and received a warm welcome from his bishop.

He worries -- with the new policy -- that won't be as much the case now.

"I worry for people who come after me," said Christofferson. "Will they have the same opportunity? Will they be able to go to church even though they're in a committed, monogamous same-sex relationship and feel welcome?"

Christofferson, who is gay, is the brother of Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Christofferson spoke in a video released Friday by the church in which he defended the policy that labels members who enter a same-sex marriage as apostates and forbids the minor children of same-sex couples from entering the faith.

"This is about family, this is about love," the apostle said, adding that the church wants to protect children. "We don't want the child to have to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one way and the expectations of the church are very different."

That policy, first reported by 2News last week, specifies that children of same-sex couples cannot receive a naming blessing as a baby or be baptized into the faith at age eight, as other LDS children are. Only once a child of a same-sex couple turns 18, moves out of the household, and disavows same-sex cohabitation and marriage can a baptism happen, but it would require the approval of the church's governing First Presidency.

"It also seems to me that it continues to treat people as groups instead of as individuals," Tom Christofferson said in the podcast. "I feel like my relationship with the Savior is an individual one."

Christofferson said while he has also wondered about the way forward for him now, he is trying to remain optimistic.

"All I can do is try to continue to walk in faith and hope that someday I will better understand or that all of us will have a different understanding and will move to a different place," he said.

Click here for the podcast.

Click here for Elder Christofferson video.

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Follow Daniel Woodruff on Twitter @danielmwoodruff for breaking news, updates and more.

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