Also from the article:
The church also will update its handbook of instructions for leaders to remove the label of apostasy for homosexual behavior that also was applied in November 2015, said President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, who announced the changes on behalf of the First Presidency on Thursday morning during the leadership session of the church’s 189th Annual General Conference.
Church leaders make clear distinctions between church doctrine and church policies and said Thursday's changes are limited to policies, according to a news release on the church's official website.That distinction there are the end is worth noting. It had to be there to address people's obvious recognition of the flip flopping nature of the announcement. People needed some semblance of foundation that isn't shifting on them. But it was a distraction.
Policy, such as the one in question, wielded the power to give or remove salvation for some people. Usually doctrine would play that role but in this case policy did. The policy dictates who is apostate and thus can be excommunicated. Which the Church teaches voids saving ordinances. The policy also prevent(ed) baptism for certain people. That too is a saving ordinance prevented because of the policy. So why am I being reminded that doctrine didn't change? You see how that is a distraction from the growing power of policy? And who are we kidding? Doctrine does and has changed, but that's an aside.
Of what value is "unchanging" doctrine if policy can dictate, direct, or even trump the doctrine? If policy can be changed at will, and policy can trump doctrine, then those who control policy can change literally anything. All the while claiming doctrine didn't change.
This should look a lot like a foundation of sand, because it is. The Church gives, and it attempts to take away. Church-owned Deseret news editors seemed to struggle to explain the contradictions, even with a lot of words. All those words didn't seem to have any reconciliation to offer. Link.
As recently covered in a post, our faith can't produce the right kind of fruit if placed in men, and institutions. Faith should be in God. God not changing is one of the key traits that makes it possible to exercising saving faith in God. That he changes no. There's a big difference between faith in Christ and faith in the Church. One leads to God, the other does not. One changes all the time, the other does not.
What really illustrates this point is the 2015 policy recently gone back on was taught by President Nelson as revelation to President Monson in this talk.
|Salt Lake Tribute Article 2016|
The policy which was said to be revelation and the mind and will of the Lord has been... well you look at it and see. Did God change or is one of these policy changes wrong? Was one of them from God and not the other? The conflict is not one I'm making up. The news recognizes it too. Claiming that doctrine doesn't change in many ways very much misses a major point. The issue is one of God changing, or contradicting previous revelations.
Below are President Nelson's words from 2016 where he described the revelatory process and the revelation that was behind the 2015 policy.
This prophetic process was followed in 2012 with the change in minimum age for missionaries and again with the recent additions to the Church’s handbook, consequent to the legalization of same-sex marriage in some countries. Filled with compassion for all, and especially for the children, we wrestled at length to understand the Lord’s will in this matter. Ever mindful of God’s plan of salvation and of His hope for eternal life for each of His children, we considered countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios that could arise. We met repeatedly in the temple in fasting and prayer and sought further direction and inspiration. And then, when the Lord inspired His prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to declare the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord, each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation. It was our privilege as Apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson. Revelation from the Lord to His servants is a sacred process, and so is your privilege of receiving personal revelation.Dichotomies are really interesting. Our world is full of them. It helps us choose. We have to have opposing options to choose between. It's good exercise for our soul. Maybe everything is fine. Maybe these policy changes are no big deal and you can just forget about it. Maybe we are in an awful situation foretold by scripture.
The test is underway. I personally choose to turn to God, not men, not churches, but turn to God's word seeking Christ because with the decay of modern Churches will also be God's outstretched hand. But that's just me.