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Talking about Same-Sex Attraction

Conversations about same-sex attraction require love and understanding.

In a world where more and more people believe that right and wrong are relative, the teachings of the Mormon church about same-sex attraction stand out. Mormons believe that only marriage between a man and a woman is of God. But does that mean they reject people who experience same-sex attraction?

The answer is an emphatic no! In fact, someone can be both Mormon and gay. Focusing on the need for love and sensitivity, the Church recently updated its official website mormonandgay.lds.org, a resource containing Church beliefs and inspirational stories from members and leaders.

The purpose of the website is to reflect the Church’s perspective on how we should treat each other and to help us understand same-sex attraction through a gospel lens. We should try to live what Jesus Christ taught when he said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). God loves all of his children, and we should too. In a video on the website, Elder Quentin L. Cook says, “Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion, and outreach.”

Mormonandgay.lds.org also offers those who identify as gay, lesbian, transsexual, or bisexual—and their loved ones—a place to find hope and inspiration. Through interviews, five individuals, along with their families and friends, share their honest feelings and experiences in dealing with same-sex attraction.

We don’t have all the answers as to why some people experience same-sex attraction, but adopting an eternal perspective helps all of us know that everything will work out in the end. God is merciful and just, and he sees a bigger picture than we do. We all need Jesus Christ, who offers us hope through our mortal trials.

In another video on mormonandgay.lds.org, Elder Dallin H. Oaks teaches us, “The gospel is a gospel of hope. The Atonement is the greatest possible ingredient of hope. And love is the minister of hope.”

As we develop more understanding for those experiencing same-sex attraction, we can increase our love for them and our hope through Christ. And just as the title of the website reflects, a person can be both Mormon and gay.

Gain more understanding by reading what the Church teaches about same-sex attraction and listening to people’s experiences on mormonandgay.lds.org.

Source: mormonandgay.lds.org

—Lynne Crandall, Mormon Insights

feature image by annie spratt

Find more insights

Learn how to reach out to friends and loved ones by reading Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s conference talk “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction.”

Read an interview with Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Lance B. Wickham on this topic.

Discover more of the Church’s beliefs about same-sex attraction by reading its topic page on Same-Sex Attraction. 

Read more about same-sex attraction in this Mormon Insights article by Breanna Simmons: “Understanding the Church’s Stance on Same-Sex Attraction.”

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5 Comments

  1. I think a good way to help those struggling with same-sex attraction is to help them understand that they are not their feelings. We all have inclinations and perceptions that, in some degree, are not in harmony with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Heterosexuals can (and of course, very often do) struggle with inappropriate feelings towards the opposite sex. I don’t see how that is much different (slightly different, yes) than struggling with homosexual inclinations. In the end, and no matter what the specific feelings, we all must put off the natural man and yield to the Spirit.

  2. Scott, I think you hit the mark right on. In a recent face-to-face event for the youth, Elder Holland made a comment that essentially says what you say here. The issue does not have as much to do with the attraction as it does with our willingness to obey. We all have sins and issues to resolve. We are here on earth to see if we can choose to put off the natural man, however it affects us.

  3. This brings up so many good points-we all need Christ. When it comes down to it, we are all God’s children and He loves us all. No matter what our stance is, we can show love to those who may seem different from us.

  4. Pingback: My Increased Respect for Those with Same-Sex Attraction

  5. Pingback: Keeping Homes Intact: The LDS Church and the Children of Same-Sex Couples - Latter-day Saint Insights

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