SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC4 NEWS) – Mixed reaction after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced its reversal of an LGBTQ policy. The Church now allowing children of same sex marriages to be blessed and baptized in the church, a quick change from the previous policy made in 2015. Despite policy changes, Taylor Winget and Dallon Smith say they plan to get married this summer and plan to stay active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Winget, 27, was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, even serving a full-time mission in Argentina. His fiancé Smith, 27, also served a full-time mission in Chile. Winget saying he is thrilled to have found the love of his life, “We got engaged February 3, and plan to get married at the end of August.”

The happy couple saying they have found their safest place with each other but say its been a journey to get here.

“It was shortly after my mission when I came out. I told my dad, who was a bishop, it was a really positive experience. He received me with love, compassion, kindness, as well as the rest of my family,” Smith explained.

“My family has been amazing,” Winget started. “I was so scared to come out to them because of things they had said in the past. Then just always being raised with the teachings that homosexuality is wrong. But when I Face-Timed them, I was crying of course, I was a mess. My mom immediately said, Taylor I’ve been expecting you to come out to me for the past two years. I know and I love you. My dad said the same.”

Winget saying it took him years to accept himself as gay, “If it was a choice to be gay or not, I tried really hard to be straight for a long time. On my mission I thought if I was obedient enough I would be straight.” Finally he says he just accepted it and found peace inside, saying he is confident God still loves him.

After telling their families, possibly their hardest announcement, they were relieved by the warm and loving reception. Winget and Smith have decided to stay actively engaged in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“I am as active as I can be,” Smith said.

Both men saying the church’s previous announcement in 2015, labeling same sex married couples as apostates and barring the children from baby blessings and baptisms only intensified an internal conflict and divided families. 

“It made it harder for me to accept myself for who I was and for me to say I was okay to be the way that I was born,” Winget explained.

“The Church always talks about family and I felt like the 2015 policy encouraged separation,” Smith said.

But the 2015 policy didn’t deter them, Winget saying their relationship with deity was deeper than that. “It’s not so much about me and the Church, it’s about me and God. And for me, going to church makes me feel close to God.”

Yesterday’s announcement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints rapidly reversing the practice and no longer labeling same sex couples as apostates, caused the couple to throw out the past and celebrate the now. 

“The Church is practicing what the Church preaches, which is love and acceptance of everyone,” Winget said. “There are still good people in the church. I think this is a step in the right direction. It’s still not full acceptance and full love, it’s kind of like love with conditions but again it’s a step in the right direction. It’s better than being apostate.”

Both Winget and Smith admitting their overall experiences within the Church have been positive. Winget saying, “I have never had a negative experience at church. I’ve only had good experiences. I reiterate that because I know it’s not everyone’s experience. I haven’t had a problem with going to church.”

“There are some things that will never make sense, or some answers we’ll never have, but that’s okay,” Smith said.  “I don’t have to have those answers. I feel Gods love; I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I’m with the people I’m supposed to be with. I love who I am, and who I have become, and I feel like my belief in Heavenly Father and my belief to become the best version of myself has helped me get where I am.”

The couple encouraging others to follow their own path. “If there are LGBT members of the Church that want to go to church, go to church if that’s what makes you feel good. Do it. You don’t have to stop going to church because you are gay. You can keep a strong relationship with God and be gay, because God still loves you. This policy is a step in the right direction, but no policy of the church is going to dictate gods love for you, it’s always there,” Winget explained.

Smith and Winget acknowledging that the Church still has a ways to go to become fully accepting and inclusive, but they also point out that the LGBT community has a ways to go too. The couple saying they don’t feel fully embraced by the LGBT community either because of their affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.