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Church Policy on Gay Marriage and Same-Sex Attraction

What Mormons Believe About Same-Gender Marriage and Attraction


What is the policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding gay marriage? This article explains how God loves all His children, the difference between same-sex behaviors and feelings, how there's hope for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, and the Church's position on this issue including the Church's involvement with Proposition 8.

God Loves All His Children
We believe that every man and woman is a son or daughter of God and that God is our Eternal Father who loves each and everyone of us. Yet God "cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance" (D&C 1:31). Gay marriage is against God's plan for eternal families which is only possible through an eternal marriage between a man and a woman.

Violating God's Law
Homosexuality and Lesbianism are sexual sins because they violate God's law of chastity. In the opening paragraph of The Family: A Proclamation to the World it states:
"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."
Accepting gay marriage would mock God's eternal law of chastity, thus the Church cannot- and will not- support same-sex marriage.

Same-Sex Attraction
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote an excellent article on "Same Gender Attraction," which clarifies the difference between sexual behaviors and sexual feelings. He also explains how "the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we still have the power to resist and reform our feelings (as needed) and to assure that they do not lead us to entertain inappropriate thoughts or to engage in sinful behavior."1

Regarding those who struggle with same-gender attraction, Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th president and prophet of the Church said:
"People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.

"We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families."2
God's Warning
God's prophets, both ancient and modern, have warned that those who violate the law of chastity, including committing sexual sins of homosexuality, will be held responsible before God at the day of judgment. Latter-day prophets have also warned "that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."3

Proposition 8
In 2008 The Church of Jesus Christ became involved in California's Proposition 8 in defense of marriage and the family. In the Church Newsroom there's an informative and detailed article, "The Divine Institution of Marriage," which explains why the Church became involved with this proposition. Later the Church came out with a statement regarding the attacks on churches because of their support of this proposition.

There is Hope
Temptations of a homosexual nature come from Satan who desires to destroy us and make us miserable like himself.4 Succumbing to those temptations can lead into a destructive cycle of addiction, but there is hope. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ a person can repent and become clean from the spiritual death that comes from committing sexual sins.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has resources and support groups to help those who desire to overcome addiction and destructive habits, including those of a homosexual nature.

1 "Same Gender Attraction," Ensign, Oct 1995, 7.
2 "What are People Asking About Us?" Ensign, Nov. 1998, 71.
3 The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph 8.
4 See 2 Nephi 2:17-18,27.
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