Elder Marlin K. Jensen
Of the Seventy
Ensign, August 2010
From an address delivered during a stake conference broadcast in Utah County, Utah, on September 7, 2008. The following selection is the segment of the larger address that addresses homosexuality. Read the full address on LDS.org.
The desired outcomes of a gospel-centered life are held up as ideals for which we are all encouraged to strive. Although such ideals are doctrinally based and represent desirable objectives in our quest for eternal life, they can sometimes become sources of disappointment and pain for those whose lives may vary from the ideal.
Discomfort and unfulfilled expectations may exist, for example, for a divorced Church member, for a person still single though of marriageable age, for a person struggling with bouts of depression or an eating disorder, or for the parents of a wayward child. Other Church members who may feel culturally conspicuous are those in a racial minority, those struggling with feelings of same-gender attraction, or young men who, for whatever reason, choose not to serve a mission at the usual age. Members who repent and whose transgressions require formal and thus more public Church discipline also often find their social interaction in the Church to be quite awkward.
Even when they are worthy, members whose lives don’t fit the ideal and thus are considered different often feel inferior and guilty. These feelings are heightened when we as their brothers and sisters fail to be as thoughtful and sensitive toward them as we ought to be. Consider, for instance, the unintended impact on a childless married couple when a member of the ward asks them when they are going to have children, not realizing that they have wanted to have children for a long time but have been unable to do so.