This article is adapted from D. Lauritsen, Mormons Under a Microscope, Cedar Fort, Inc. Springville, Utah, 2010, pp. 21, 22.
Mormon Beliefs on Homosexuality
“We love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church.”1
Elaborating on President Hinckley’s statement (above), Elder Dallin Oaks, Mormon apostle, said:
To me that means that a person with [same-gender] inclinations, where they’re kept under control, or if yielded to, are appropriately repented of, is eligible to do anything in the Church that can be done by any member of the Church who is single. Occasionally, there’s an office, like the office of bishop, where a person must be married. But that’s rather the exception in the Church. Every teaching position, every missionary position can be held by single people. We welcome to that kind of service people who are struggling with any kind of temptation when the struggle is a good struggle and they are living so as to be appropriate teachers, or missionaries, or whatever the calling may be.
There is another point to add here, and this comes from a recent statement of the First Presidency, which is a wonderful description of [the Church’s] attitude in this matter:
“We of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reach out with understanding and respect for individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender. We realize there may be great loneliness in their lives, but there must also be recognition of what is right before the Lord. . . . We encourage Church leaders and members to reach out with love and understanding to those struggling with these issues. Surely if we are counseled as a body of Church mem- bership to reach out with love and understanding to those ‘struggling with these issues,’ that obligation rests with particular intensity on parents who have children struggling with these issues.”2
Mormon Beliefs on Same-sex Marriage
Regarding the issue of same-sex marriage, the LDS Church published an extensive explanation of its position under the title “The Divine Institution of Marriage,” which appeared in the August 13, 2008 edition of News room, the official outlet for the Church’s Internet news service (which can be accessed at www.newsroom.lds.org). In part, the news release stated:
The focus of the Church’s involvement [in supporting the passage of California’s Proposition 8] is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.
The Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a husband and a wife united in the bonds of matrimony.
The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither consti- tutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness, and humanity toward all people.3
1. Gordon B. Hinckley, as quoted by Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, www.mormonnewsroom.org/
3. “The Divine Institution of Marriage,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, www.mormonnewsroom.org.