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The proposal before the World Conference to hold localized conferences to deal with church policy on divisive matters seems to be mostly attempting to address issues like homosexuality where in some parts of the world, the church could face serious obstacles if it allowed non-celibate homosexuals to serve in its priesthood. This is not a horrible solution, however I do not believe it will resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction.

If homosexuality in the priesthood is determined on a local level, what would be the status of priesthood or church staff in locations where homosexual behaviours would not be accepted for priesthood?

In places that would allow non-celibate homosexuals to participate in the priesthood, it would allow for at least Deacons, Teachers, Priests and Elders to be ordained, and would provide for Mission Centres hiring them for ministry positions more readily.

However, let’s say the places that will allow it allow it, and those who won’t won’t. Here are some situations I would expect to emerge:

-A homosexual priesthood member travels from their home in a location where they are permitted to serve in the priesthood and visits a congregation where such behaviour would prevent their ordination. Is their priesthood not valid there?

-Does the World Church not taking a stand on the issue mean that it cannot employ non-celibate homosexuals as the policy at that level would go unchanged?

-Does the World Church not taking a stand on the issue mean that World Church officers (such as the Council of Twelve) cannot initiate priesthood calls as the policy at that level would go unchanged?

Localizing the decision making process would likely not change the fact that non-celibate homosexuals cannot serve as Seventies, Evangelists, High Priests, Apostles, Bishops or as Presidents as all of these offices must be initiated by World Church officers.
Certainly at very least, homosexuals would still be prevented from serving in the World Church leadership (Apostles, Presidents, Bishops, Presidents of Seventy, Presiding Evangelist).

It is unclear how the Presidency would seek to overcome this issue.

For this reason, I doubt localizing the decision making will resolve the issue. Either the World Church continues to forbid non-celibate homosexuals participate in the priesthood, or it changes its policy. If it does change its policy, the “harm” it is trying to avoid may occur anyway.

If the regional conference idea is approved, it could potentially lead to increased acceptance of homosexuals in priesthood offices, but even then, it would be limited – such that it would still likely not be acceptable to many who are advocating for change in the policy.

What do you think? Is this an acceptable option?

If anyone knows anything I don’t please let me know.

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