In a world of conflicting voices, it is important for us to understand and be able to articulate the Church’s teachings on homosexuality.
Recently, there have been conflicting views among some Church members about whether judicial rulings regarding same-sex marriage should be upheld. Groups such as Mormons Building Bridges are actively asking for the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Church has provided an article in the Gospel Topics section of lds.org to help us understand same-sex attraction. The article begins with an expression of the sensitivity of the discussion: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that same-sex attraction is a sensitive issue which requires kindness, compassion, and understanding.”
Then the article clearly states the doctrine. “Sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married. . . . The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirms the centrality of doctrines relating to human sexuality and gender as well as the sanctity and significance of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”
Quoting a statement by the First Presidency, the article explains that having homosexual feelings and inclinations is not sinful. However, acting upon those feelings is sinful because the behavior conflicts with the “doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture . . . that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
However, the Brethren are equally clear about treating one another with compassion: Church teachings “should never be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down.”
Church leaders stress the need for kindness and love, reminding us that all of us are children of God. Although we have our differences, we should exercise the love, respect, and agency upon which the Church is founded and accept all people as our brothers and sisters.
The article quotes a statement by President Boyd K. Packer to people attracted to the same sex: “We do not reject you. . . . We cannot reject you. . . . We will not reject you, because we love you.”
Source: Gospel Topics
—Breanna Simmons, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Learn more about the Church’s beliefs on same-sex attraction by viewing the content on the website Mormon and Gay.
For insight on having charity for individuals of all sexual orientations, read the Mormon Insights article “My Increased Respect for Those with Same-Sex Attraction,” by Austin Tracy.