George Frey/Getty Images

On Thursday leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a surprising decision to reverse a controversial policy that condemned same-sex marriage and limited baptisms for the children of LGBTQ parents.

There was considerable backlash in 2015 when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new policy barring children living with LGBTQ parents from being baptized and declaring members of the church in same-sex marriages as apostates subject to excommunication.

After four years though leaders of the Mormon church announced in a press release Thursday the surprising decision to reverse that policy in an effort "to show more understanding, compassion and love..."

Previously children living with LGBTQ parents were limited from participating in naming and baptismal ceremonies which typically occur in the church at the age of 8. Those still wishing to be baptized were able to do so once they turned 18.

Following the policy reversal children of same-sex couples are once again allowed to be baptized, providing that they have their parents permission and that parents understand children will be taught and expected to follow church teachings.

While the changes are a softening of policy towards LGBTQ members church doctrine still considers same-sex marriage a significant sin.

"Previously, our handbook characterized same-gender marriage by a member as apostasy," Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the church leadership, wrote in the Thursday release.

"While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline."

For LDS members apostasy can be a serious punishment. Apostates, those who have turned away from church teachings, are frequently shunned and cut off from communicating with other members of the church, including family. For many LGBTQ members this meant the 2015 policy had devastating consequences.

Leaders now hope the policy's reversal will help change that.

"The very positive policies announced this morning should help affected families," Oaks wrote.

"In addition, our members' efforts to show more understanding, compassion and love should increase respect and understanding among all people of goodwill. We want to reduce the hate and contention so common today."

The announcement was good news for many who were glad to hear the church would be reversing the policy.

Though others were reluctant to pat the church on the back for doing the bare minimum to respect LGBTQ members.

And though it may be a step in the right direction for the church for those most affected by the 2015 policy the reversal seems too little too late.

Image by kamalpreet singh from Pixabay

Well that was a close call. That is everyone's main life mantra. If you really think about it, you'll know it to be true. Everyday we live, is another day we've survived, and death isn't the only thing we frequently sidestep. I have lost track of the amount of times my heart has almost gotten me into trouble. If I had been able to be with the people I thought I wanted in the past, I'd be in a mental ward right about now. Dodging a bullet doesn't even begin to cover it.

Redditor u/Not-an-Ocelot wanted to hear about the times that have made people give some extra thanks by asking... What's the biggest bullet you've ever dodged?
Keep reading... Show less

When your time is up, your time is up. And when we march off into the afterlife it feels like everyone wants one of two or two things. People want to go out in a blaze of glory and/or in peace and without pain. I don't know if both is possible but I'll choose option two please. What I know for sure is I definitely don't want to be smoted by a stupid death. Like, Lord, please don't let me die choking on fried chicken and an XL frozen Appletini at the Dallas BBQ because I was laughing to hard at my own jokes. Please.

Redditor u/BlueD_ wanted everyone to fess up about the times they almost met their maker in a less than dignified manner by asking... What's the dumbest way you almost died?
Keep reading... Show less

We may not know it, but sometimes things that seem routine or are just one of our personal habits can really hold back our lives.

One little change to cut those things, or to include new things, can really change the quality of our lives for the better. We have to be willing to drop old routines, which is hard and scary; and we need to be willing to accept new ideas into our space, which is also hard and scary.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

The photographers, DJs, officiates, and planners of the wedding industry hold a unique perspective.

They get to witness the lead-up to the couple's important, deeply symbolic day. Sitting at the table in that context offers those industry professionals a glimpse of the mundane dynamics of couples before the big event.

Keep reading... Show less