Change from “Homosexuality” to “Homosexual Behavior” in the New Edition of Scriptures

ScripturesMany of you have heard by now that the LDS Church has released a new edition of scriptures. Much attention has been given to the changes to the headings of the Official Declarations, but going through the extensive list of changes (you can read them here), I noticed one that would be of interest to the readers of this blog.

In the Topical Guide, there used to be a heading called “Homosexuality.” This has now been changed to “Homosexual Behavior”, which not only reflects how it is referred to in other Church publications, but also more correctly corresponds to how we see things today.

We understand that there is no shame or unrighteousness involved in experiencing homosexual feelings, but only in the behavior. But I believe that historically (even as recently as 30 years ago) this is how the term homosexuality has been understood by many. The idea that homosexuality was not just something that one did, but is also something you are, is a fairly recent concept.

In fact, many of the more controversial statements, that some have found offensive or derogatory about homosexuals, when viewed in the context that the Church leaders were referring to those engaging in homosexual behavior, not merely experiencing the feelings, no longer appear so controversial or offensive.

In this way, this change actually has a lot in common with the vast majority of other changes made to the LDS edition of the Bible, which are primarily modernizing and correcting changes in spelling.

Language is a dynamic and living thing (at least since the Tower of Babel). So long as it remains so, we will need to revise some things to maintain that understanding. This is something we can all keep in mind as we are considering the words of Leaders and Scripture.


About Jeff

Jeff experiences same-sex attraction. You can call him “gay” or a “homo” or a “moho”, and it won’t offend him, but honestly, none of those labels feel like they fit. Most of the time, he thinks of himself as slightly bent. He also dislikes being described as “struggling” with same-sex attraction. While it can be a struggle at times, most of the time, there are five or ten other things in his life that are a much bigger struggle for him. He doesn’t believe God intended us to be in a state of constant warfare with our inner natures. The scriptures say, “bridle your passions,” not to eradicate them. He has an academic background in biology, chemistry, and psychology. His interest continues in those subjects, but being insatiably curious and a voracious reader, he also has interest in history, literature, and of course religion. He is married to a beautiful woman named Tanya and they have one son.
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One Response to Change from “Homosexuality” to “Homosexual Behavior” in the New Edition of Scriptures

  1. avatar D Christian Harrison says:

    I was pleased at the change ( though there needs to be a lot more change for me to be truly pleased ). But it was dampened considerably when I saw that they still include references to the story of Sodom, which has nothing to do with homosexuality.

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