General Authority Articles


Latter-day Saints believe that God calls modern prophets, seers, and revelators to lead and guide His children, to teach God’s laws and eternal principles and to stand as “watchmen” of potential spiritual dangers (see D&C 101:45). The Lord’s prophets teach that sexual intimacy and the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We at North Star sustain that belief.

While science can inform our understanding of sexuality as part of the broad spectrum of our human experience, it is still far from conclusive concerning the origin and development of sexuality, including the multitude of factors affecting its qualitative variation from person to person. More importantly, scientific exploration will never be sufficient to frame the eternal lenses through which we see our potential and guide our life’s most important choices. God’s living oracles have spoken clearly and with divine authority regarding the order and appropriate bounds of sexual expression.

Major Statements on Homosexuality

The following are articles or addresses by members of the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church that either specifically address the issue of homosexuality or include major statements concerning Church doctrine and approach:

First Presidency Statement

President Gordon B. Hinckley
President Thomas S. Monson
President James E. Faust

 
First Presidency Statement on Same-Gender Marriage, 20 October 2004, issued previous to Utah’s vote on Amendment 3—a state constitutional ban on same-sex unions:

“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.

“As a doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture, we affirm that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The powers of procreation are to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

“Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family. The Church accordingly favors measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that do not confer legal status on any other sexual relationship.”

Source: LDS Newsroom

What Are People Asking about Us?

President Gordon B.Hinckley
President of the Church
Ensign, November 1998

 
“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… If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Why We Do Some of the Things We Do

President Gordon B. Hinckley
President of the Church
Ensign, November 1999

 
Discusses the Church position on homosexuality and reasons for getting involved in California’s “Knight Initiative,” Proposition 22.

“I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Same-Gender Attraction

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, October 1995

 
“Some kinds of feelings seem to be inborn. Others are traceable to mortal experiences. Still other feelings seem to be acquired from a complex interaction of ‘nature and nurture.’ … Different persons have different physical characteristics and different susceptibilities to the various physical and emotional pressures we may encounter in our childhood and adult environments. We did not choose these personal susceptibilities either, but we do choose and will be accountable for the attitudes, priorities, behavior, and ‘lifestyle’ we engraft upon them.”

Read the full article on LDS.org | PDF

Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, October 2007

 
“Some members exclude from their circle of fellowship those who are different. When our actions or words discourage someone from taking full advantage of Church membership, we fail them—and the Lord. The Church is made stronger as we include every member and strengthen one another in service and love (see D&C 84:110).”

Read the full article on LDS.org | PDF

He Heals the Heavy Laden

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2006

 
“The Atonement also gives us the strength to endure ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind,’ because our Savior also took upon Him ‘the pains and the sicknesses of his people’ (Alma 7:11). Brothers and sisters, if your faith and prayers and the power of the priesthood do not heal you from an affliction, the power of the Atonement will surely give you the strength to bear the burden.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Church Public Affairs Interview on Same-Gender Attraction

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Lance B. Wickman of the First Quorum of the Seventy
LDS Newroom, August 2006

 
“The continuing public debate over same-gender marriage has prompted many questions from the news media, the general public and Church members in relation to the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the marriage issue specifically and on homosexuality in general.

“The following interview was conducted in 2006 with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, and Elder Lance B. Wickman, a member of the Seventy. These senior Church leaders responded to questions from two members of the Church’s Public Affairs staff. The transcript of the interview appears below in order to help clarify the Church’s stand on these important, complex and sensitive issues.”

Read the full interview at the LDS Newsroom.

Recent Statements on Homosexuality (2010-Present)

The following are articles or addresses given since 2010 by members of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, or the Qorums of Seventy of the Church that either specifically address the issue of homosexuality or include major statements concerning Church doctrine and approach (see also recent Church Newsroom statements):

How to Survive in Enemy Territory

President Boyd K. Packer
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Seminary Centennial Broadcast, January 2012

 
From an address delivered on January 22, 2012, commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the seminary program.

“We know that gender was set in the premortal world. “The spirit and the body are the soul of man.” This matter of gender is of great concern to the Brethren, as are all matters of morality. A few of you may have felt or been told that you were born with troubling feelings and that you are not guilty if you act on those temptations. Doctrinally we know that if that were true your agency would have been erased, and that cannot happen. You always have a choice to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and live a morally pure and chaste life, one filled with virtue.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Cleansing the Inner Vessel

President Boyd K. Packer
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2010

 
“Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father. Paul promised that ‘God … will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’”

NOTE: A petition delivered to Church headquarters by the Human Rights Campaign as part of some social unrest around this talk elicited an official statement delivered by Michael Otterson, managing director of Public Affairs for the Church, in behalf of Church leadership.

Read or watch the full segment.

Decisions for Eternity

Elder Russell M. Nelson
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2012

 
“In our day civil governments have a vested interest in protecting marriage because strong families constitute the best way of providing for the health, education, welfare, and prosperity of rising generations.36 But civil governments are heavily influenced by social trends and secular philosophies as they write, rewrite, and enforce laws. Regardless of what civil legislation may be enacted, the doctrine of the Lord regarding marriage and morality cannot be changed. Remember: sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin in the eyes of God!”

Read the full segment.

No Other Gods

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2013

 
“There are many political and social pressures for legal and policy changes to establish behaviors contrary to God’s decrees about sexual morality and contrary to the eternal nature and purposes of marriage and childbearing. These pressures have already authorized same-gender marriages in various states and nations. Other pressures would confuse gender or homogenize those differences between men and women that are essential to accomplish God’s great plan of happiness.”

Read the full segment.

Protect the Children

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2012

 
“When we consider the dangers from which children should be protected, we should also include psychological abuse. Parents or other caregivers or teachers or peers who demean, bully, or humiliate children or youth can inflict harm more permanent than physical injury. Making a child or youth feel worthless, unloved, or unwanted can inflict serious and long-lasting injury on his or her emotional well-being and development. Young people struggling with any exceptional condition, including same-gender attraction, are particularly vulnerable and need loving understanding—not bullying or ostracism.”

Read the full segment.

Speech Given at Chapman University School of Law

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
Address delivered at Chapman University School of Law, February 4, 2011.

“Although I will refer briefly to some implications of the Proposition 8 controversy and its constitutional arguments, I am not here to participate in the debate on the desirability or effects of same-sex marriage. I am here to contend for religious freedom. I am here to describe fundamental principles that I hope will be meaningful for decades to come.”

Read the full segment.

“Be Still, and Know That I Am God”

Elder M. Russell Ballard
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
CES Devotional for Young Adults • May 4, 2014

 
“I also know that some of our youth struggle to understand how to explain the doctrine surrounding family and marriage and still remain kind, gentle, and loving toward those who do not agree. You may be afraid that you will be labeled as a bigot and as being intolerant. You may know someone who struggles with same-sex attraction or has made a decision to live in a same-gender relationship. Your love for that person as a son or daughter of God can create an inward struggle as you try to love and support him or her and still stand for the Lord’s eternal plan of happiness.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Spiritual Whirlwinds

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, May 2014

 
“Of special concern to us should be those who struggle with same-sex attraction. It is a whirlwind of enormous velocity. I want to express my love and admiration for those who courageously confront this trial of faith and stay true to the commandments of God! But everyone, independent of his or her decisions and beliefs, deserves our kindness and consideration.”

Read or watch the full segment.

“Trial of Your Faith”

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2012

 
“Another friend served an outstanding mission, followed by rigorous academic training. He hoped to have a family. His trial of faith: feelings of same-sex attraction. He wrote me recently: ‘I am promised in my patriarchal blessing that I will have my own family someday. Whether that will occur in this life or the next, I do not know. But what I do know is that I don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize the blessings God has promised both me and my future posterity… Living [the law of chastity] is a challenge, but did we not come to earth to confront challenges and to show God our love and respect for Him by keeping His commandments? I am blessed with good health, the gospel, a loving family, and loyal friends. I am grateful for my many blessings.’”

Read or watch the full segment.

Those Who Are Different

Elder Marlin K. Jensen
Of the Seventy, Church Historian and Recorder
Ensign, August 2010

 
“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.”

Read the full segment.

2010 Evergreen Annual Conference Keynote Address

Bishop Keith B. McMullin
Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

 
Address delivered at the 20th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 18, 2010

“In the midst of this contest of opinions and confusion, duly appointed and authorized leaders in the Lord’s Church are called upon to counsel and assist those struggling with same-gender attraction. Unlike the world, what these local priesthood leaders do can have an everlasting effect for good on the precious souls seeking their help. They become a means for increasing one’s faith in Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ, and in oneself. They become watchmen sounding the alarm, turning people from paths that are wayward to the one that leads heavenward. Priesthood leaders become instruments for introducing to man and woman a comprehension of God’s love and the eternal happiness He wishes to bestow upon them. It is for these reasons that I direct my remarks to the priesthood leaders who are in our audience today.”

Read the full address. | PDF

Additional Statements on Homosexuality

The following are articles or addresses by members of the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that include reference to homosexuality, as well as articles or addresses by other General Authorities and Officers of the Church that are specific to the issue of homosexuality, or that include statements specific to homosexuality. Articles and addresses are ordered first by ecclesiastical seniority and then by recentness:

Stand strong against the Wiles of the World

President Gordon B. Hinckley
President of the Church
Ensign, November 1995

 
In this address, President Gordon B. Hinckley introduced “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” issued October 1995 by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church.

“There are those who would have us believe in the validity of what they choose to call same-sex marriage. Our hearts reach out to those who struggle with feelings of affinity for the same gender. We remember you before the Lord, we sympathize with you, we regard you as our brothers and our sisters. However, we cannot condone immoral practices on your part any more than we can condone immoral practices on the part of others.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Reverence and Morality

President Gordon B. Hinckley
First Counselor in the First Presidency
Ensign, May 1987

 
“The Lord has proclaimed that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and is intended to be an eternal relationship bonded by trust and fidelity. Latter-day Saints, of all people, should marry with this sacred objective in mind. Marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices, which first should clearly be overcome with a firm and fixed determination never to slip to such practices again.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil

President James E. Faust
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Ensign, September 1995

 
“The Church’s stand on homosexual relations provides another arena where we offend the devil. I expect that the statement of the First Presidency and the Twelve against homosexual marriages will continue to be assaulted. Satan is only interested in our misery, which he promotes by trying to persuade men and women to act contrary to God’s plan. One way he does this is by encouraging the inappropriate use of sacred creative powers… Only sexual relations between husband and wife within the bonds of marriage are acceptable before the Lord.

Read the full segment.

PBS Interview with President Boyd K. Packer

President Boyd K. Packer
Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
Transcript of an interview conducted for the PBS four-hour special “The Mormons”, a first-time co-production between American Experience and Frontline that debuted on April 30 and May 1, 2007.

“We don’t discipline for the thoughts and tendencies, but for the actions. In one way there’s little different than a heterosexual person being under terrible pressure to misuse those sacred powers of procreation immorally. And the line is drawn there. That’s the individual’s responsibility to keep the commandments. They’re free to do as they want and go their way, but that’s the cost. We have a tremendous sympathy for them. That has to be displaced with something else in their minds.”

Read the full segment.

“The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected”

President Boyd K. Packer
Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2003

 
“The deceiver preys upon some passion or tendency or weakness. He convinces them that the condition cannot be changed and recruits them for activities for which they never would volunteer. But sooner or later that spark of divinity in each of them will ignite. They can assert their agency as sons and daughters created in the image of God and renounce the destroyer. That which they had been led to believe could not be changed, will be changed, and they will feel the power of the redemption of Christ. Their burden will be lifted and the pain healed up. That is what the Atonement of Christ is all about.”

Read or watch the full segment.

“Ye Are the Temple of God”

President Boyd K. Packer
Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2000

 
“We understand why some feel we reject them. That is not true. We do not reject you, only immoral behavior. We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you. You may even feel that we do not love you. That also is not true. Parents know, and one day you will know, that there are times when parents and we who lead the Church must extend tough love when failing to teach and to warn and to discipline is to destroy.”

Read or watch the full segment.

For Time and All Eternity

Elder Boyd K. Packer
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 1993

 
“A body patterned after the image of God was created for Adam, and he was introduced into the Garden. At first, Adam was alone. He held the priesthood, but alone, he could not fulfill the purposes of his creation. No other man would do. Neither alone nor with other men could Adam progress. Nor could Eve with another woman. It was so then. It is so today.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council

Elder Boyd K. Packer
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
May 18, 1993

 
“The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals. Our local leaders must deal with all three of them with ever-increasing frequency. In each case, the members who are hurting have the conviction that the Church somehow is doing something wrong to members or that the Church is not doing enough for them. To illustrate, I will quote briefly from letters on each of those subjects. They are chosen from among many letters which have arrived in the last few weeks. These have arrived in just the last few days.”

Read the full segment.

Covenants

Elder Boyd K. Packer
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 1990

 
“We are sometimes told that leaders in the Church do not really understand these problems. Perhaps we don’t. There are many ‘whys’ for which we just do not have simple answers. But we do understand temptation, each of us, from personal experience. Nobody is free from temptations of one kind or another. That is the test of life. That is part of our mortal probation. Temptation of some kind goes with the territory.”

Read or watch the full segment.

Pew Forum Interview with Elders Russell M. Nelson and Lance B. Wickman

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Twelve
Elder Lance B. Wickman of the Seventy

 
From a transcript of an interview published Wednesday, May 16, 2007, by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

“We consider the voting franchise to be almost a sacred thing. People have a right to express themselves. If there is one fundamental doctrine in which we believe, it’s the principle that the Lord has endowed every one of his children with agency, the opportunity to choose in this life. In a political sense, that means that in those societies that allow such choice to be made, that they have the opportunity and choice to exercise their voting franchise – agency – and they do that however they see fit. You have Latter-day Saints across the political spectrum in this country and in other countries.”

Read the full segment.

Religious Freedom

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
Address delivered at Brigham Young University-Idaho, October 13, 2009

“The marriage union of a man and a woman has been the teaching of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and the core legal definition and practice of marriage in Western culture for thousands of years. Those who seek to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those who defend the ancient order are trampling on civil rights. The supporters of Proposition 8 were exercising their constitutional right to defend the institution of marriage — an institution of transcendent importance that they, along with countless others of many persuasions, feel conscientiously obliged to protect.”

Read the full segment.

Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers

Elder M. Russell Ballard
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 1999

 
“False prophets and false teachers are also those who attempt to change the God-given and scripturally based doctrines that protect the sanctity of marriage, the divine nature of the family, and the essential doctrine of personal morality. They advocate a redefinition of morality to justify fornication, adultery, and homosexual relationships. Some openly champion the legalization of so-called same-gender marriages. To justify their rejection of God’s immutable laws that protect the family, these false prophets and false teachers even attack the inspired proclamation on the family issued to the world in 1995 by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles.”

Read or watch the full segment.

PBS Interview with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
Transcript of an interview conducted for the PBS four-hour special “The Mormons”, a first-time co-production between American Experience and Frontline that debuted on April 30 and May 1, 2007.

“Any more than I can see it compromising on its heterosexual position of chastity before marriage and fidelity afterward, I don’t anticipate it that [the church] would change on homosexual behavior. But none of that has anything to do with my belief in the value of that soul and the love that God has for that person…. I do know that this will not be a post-mortal condition. It will not be a post-mortal difficulty…These conditions will not exist post-mortality. I want that to be of some hope to some.”

Read the full segment.

PBS Interview with Elder Marlin K. Jensen

Elder Marlin K. Jensen
Of the Seventy, Church Historian and Recorder

 
Transcript of an interview conducted for the PBS four-hour special “The Mormons”, a first-time co-production between American Experience and Frontline that debuted on April 30 and May 1, 2007.

“The thing that we have to ultimately say … is, yes, there’s nature; yes, there’s nurture; but there’s also agency. We all have the capacity and power to choose. If you’re going to live your life within the framework of the Gospel, within the framework of our doctrine, then you’ve got to choose to marry someone of the opposite sex, and if you can’t do that honestly, then your choice has to be to live a celibate life. That is a very difficult choice for the parents, for the young man, the young woman, for whoever’s making that choice, and my heart goes out to them. I think we’re asking a tremendous amount of them.”

Read the full interview segment, or watch the documentary segment where Elder Jensen’s remarks are included.

The Threatened Demise of Religion in the Public Square – Talk Given by Elder Lance B. Wickman at J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Elder Lance B. Wickman
Of the First Quorum of the Seventy

 
Address given at J. Reuben Clark Law Society, February 11, 2010.

“As I travel about in my current capacity as a General Authority of the Church and as the general counsel of the Church, I often hear this question: What is the greatest challenge faced by the Church? I suppose there are a number of candidates for an answer—a continuing rapid growth that makes retaining new converts a top priority or perhaps finding and training local leaders. But from where I sit, the greatest challenge faced by the Church is the challenge to religious liberty that is growing worldwide. These challenges have a number of faces—from galloping secularism in some places, to the dominant sectarian or non-Christian religions in other places, to authoritarian governments that feel threatened by religion in still other places. I have chosen to address one aspect of this challenge to religious liberty that I believe confronts us here in our own country.”

In this address, Elder Wickman addresses several recent legal cases addressing homosexuality that potentially affect religious freedom.

Read the full address at the LDS Newsroom.

Same-Sex Attraction

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
Of the Seventy

 
Address delivered at the 19th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 19, 2009

“Some may wonder how the Church’s leaders can empathize with you when they haven’t been in your shoes themselves. Some may even wonder how the Savior Himself can really understand you when He hasn’t been where you are. But remember: Christ not only descended TO our conditions, he has descended BELOW our conditions, whatever they are, because ‘The Son of Man hath descended below [all things].’ The Atonement was possible only because of that descent, which Elder Neal A. Maxwell called Christ’s ‘earned empathy.’ He knows that every day may feel like a major battle for you.”

Read the full address. | PDF

How Same-Sex Marriage Weakens What Marriage Means

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
Of the Seventy

 
From chapter 24 of his book, Covenant Hearts: Marriage and the Joy of Human Love (Deseret Book, 2005).

“Same-sex marriage blurs the distinction between what society tolerates and what it endorses. Opinion polls show that a majority of the American people have grown more tolerant of gay lifestyles, just as they have grown more tolerant of personal choices on many lifestyle issues. Most people today would not consider adult homosexual behavior a crime. But the polls [at the time of this book's publication] typically show that roughly one-third favor same-sex marriage. The public draws a clear distinction between tolerating gay lifestyles and promoting them by the legal endorsement inherent in marriage. Said another way, Americans draw a clear line between ‘passive toleration’ and ‘active support’ of homosexual conduct.”

Purchase the book through Deseret Book or Amazon.

Read full chapter on GospeLink.com

Never Give Up on Anyone

Elder William R. Walker
Of the Seventy

 
Address delivered at the 19th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 20, 2008

“To gain perspective on the times in which we find ourselves and the challenges that are before us, I share with you a 1998 quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley: ‘Never before, at least not in our generation, have the forces of evil been so blatant, so brazen, so aggressive as they are today. Things we dared not speak about in earlier times are now constantly projected into our living rooms. All sensitivity is cast aside as reporters and pundits speak with a disgusting plainness of things that can only stir curiosity and lead to evil.’ This coarsening of our society and our culture has led to many distortions of truth and has left much of society confused. In this environment, we have the great blessing of being led by prophets, seers and revelators.”

Read the full address at EvergreenInternational.org. | PDF

Before You Knew Him/Her, I Loved Him/Her First

Elder Rex D. Pinegar
Of the Seventy

 
Address delivered at the 16th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 16, 2006

“Not long ago, a young man shared with me his feelings about his sister who has been living in a lesbian relationship for several years, and the rather difficult impact her choices have had upon his extended family and upon his own children. He said as hard as it is, ‘I don’t like to define my sister as a lesbian. I know her in so many other ways that are good and kind. That term alone does not define her as a person.’”

Read the full address at EvergreenInternational.org. | PDF

The Worth of a Soul Is Great

Elder James O. Mason
Of the Seventy

 
Address delivered at the 15th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 17, 2005

“We must see things as they really are. A friend of mine was born with an eye problem called astigmatism. His corneas are not perfect spheres. As a consequence, things are distorted when he forgets to wear his glasses. Trees, for example, do not have individual leaves, just masses of indistinct green foliage. From the back of the room the blackboard is a blur. By choosing to wear glasses, he sees individual leaves and even birds in the trees. He also sees words on the blackboard. His glasses do not cure his visual defect, however, with them he gets by quite well.

“Satan attempts to distort our vision, or make us blind. God’s plan tells me that my place in an eternal blueprint didn’t begin with my birth in the LDS Hospital. Nor will it end with my death and burial. The plan of redemption helps me understand that without covenants made in holy temples, in the eternities to come I will not enjoy the companionship of father, mother, brothers, sister, wife, children or grandchildren. We are eternal beings participating in a critically important temporary experience. This fallen earth is not our home. We are being tested.”

Read the full address at EvergreenInternational.org. | PDF

The Physical Body and the Power of the Atonement

Elder Merrill J. Bateman
Of the Presidency of the Seventy

 
Address delivered at the 14th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 18, 2004

“The Redeemer not only received the power to heal the physical body but also the power to heal the spirit. He received power to overcome spiritual death, to cleanse people from their sins, to sanctify them and make possible their return to God provided they would exercise faith in him. Jesus became intimately acquainted with each human being during the Atonement in that he experienced not only their sins, but their pains, afflictions, temptations of every kind, their sicknesses and weaknesses so ‘that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities’ (Alma 7:11-12). The scriptures declare that the Savior ‘descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things’ (D&C 88:6). Consequently, he not only has the power to help us, but knows how to help us given his intimate knowledge of our needs.”

Read the full address at EvergreenInternational.org.

“You’re Going to Be Okay… But”: On the Happiness of Mortality

Elder Robert S. Wood
Of the Seventy

 
Address delivered at the 13th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 13, 2003

“The prophet Lehi speaks of life as a ‘compound in one.’ Without loss, there will be no gain; without bitter, we cannot appreciate the sweet; without error, there is no correction; without justice, no mercy; without death, no life; without suffering, no atonement. ‘For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things…’ (2 Nephi 2: 11). If we are to be free to exercise our moral agency, we must pay a price: in uncertainty, error, on occasion subjection to the injustice and stupidities of our fellow beings as they are subject to ours; the inevitable decay of mortality which is the prelude to incorruptibility and immortality. Therein says Lehi lies the pathway to joy, if we but accept the only guide who will help us negotiate the pitfalls of the journey–Jesus Christ.”

Read the full address at EvergreenInternational.org.

God’s Love

Sister Sharon G. Larsen
Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency

 
Address delivered at the 11th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 15, 2001

“When life is not all we’d like it to be, we can always find voices and logic that will help us justify our discontent and give us reason, if not an all-out cause, to defend our feelings of discrimination and victimization. We feel at last someone understands and verifies that, yes, indeed, we are victims. Satan has noticed that this is a temptation that works. He makes it as difficult and distracting as he can to keep us from remembering the good news of the gospel of help and hope and healing.”

Read the full address at EvergreenInternational.org. | PDF

Some Gospel Perspectives on Same-Gender Attraction

Elder Alexander B. Morrison
Of the Seventy

 
Address delivered at the 10th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 16, 2000

“It is important to note that there are legitimate and morally acceptable forms of love other than marriage. There is a long-honored tradition–and rightly so–of sexually chaste but deeply rewarding friendships between and among men and women. Nothing I have said should be interpreted as a call to depart from that tradition. The choice before men and women today, as always, is not limited to heterosexual marriage on the one hand or homogenital sex on the other. There is still an honored place for plain, common friendship. The standard, however, is chastity outside of marriage between man and wife.”

Read the full address at EvergreenInternational.org. | PDF

The Law of Chastity Defines the Family

Sister Sheri L. Dew
Second Counselor, General Relief Society Presidency

 
From chapter 5 of her book, If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Hard: And Other Reassuring Truths (Deseret Book, 2005)

“Although I would defend the right of those with same-gender attraction to live as they choose, however, I can never defend the proposition that a relationship between two men or two women should be equated with a loving relationship between a man and a woman who marry. That is because I cannot betray or trifle with a law of God. A law that calls for complete abstinence from sexual relations before marriage and total fidelity within marriage. A law decreeing that sexual relations are to be deployed and enjoyed only by a man and a woman legally and lawfully married. A law that, as we learn in the temple, we must obey in order to have any hope of receiving celestial glory. This law? It is the law of chastity.”

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A Mighty Change of Heart

Elder Spencer J. Condie
Of the First Quorum of the Seventy
Ensign, November 1993

 
“I know another good man who was reared in a family without the blessings of the gospel. Through a series of unfortunate events in his early youth, he was introduced to homosexuality… One day two young missionaries knocked on his door and asked if he would be interested in learning of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”

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Is Homosexuality a Sin or a Biological Fact?

Brother Daniel K. Judd
Of the Sunday School General Presidency

 
From chapter 5 of his book, Hard Questions, Prophetic Answers: Doctrinal Perspectives on Difficult Contemporary Issues (Deseret Book, 2004)

“Some time ago I had the privilege of counseling with a man who had struggled with homosexual thoughts and feelings for most of his life… Through the time I counseled with him and the hears that followed, he experienced a roller-coaster of success and failure. Eventually he got to a place in his life where he… [n]ot only had he stropped having immoral physical relationships but he had also experienced a remarkable decrease in homosexual thoughts and feelings as well… I asked him whether he believed he had been ‘born that way.’ His answer was more than I expected. ‘Dan,’ he said, ‘I’m not sure whether I was born homosexual or not, but what I do know is that I feel I have been born again.’”

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Early Statements on Homosexuality

The following are older articles or addresses by Church leaders that are sometimes referenced. When reading these older publications, keep in mind that while core teachings regarding the divine order of marriage and the appropriate bounds for sexual expression remain the same, much has been learned about the nature of same-sex attraction since the time they were written, and that the language has evolved over the years in how we refer to issues about same-sex attraction.

To the One

Elder Boyd K. Packer
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
Address delivered at a multi-stake fireside at Brigham Young University, March 5, 1978.

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Read the full address at GospeLink.com.

The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball

President Spencer W. Kimball
President of the Church

 
“Homosexual conduct is serious sin. The unholy transgression of homosexuality is either rapidly growing or tolerance is giving it wider publicity. If one has such desires and tendencies, he overcomes them the same as if he had the urge toward petting or fornication or adultery. The Lord condemns and forbids this practice with a vigor equal to his condemnation of adultery and other such sex acts. And the Church will excommunicate as readily any unrepentant addict.”

Read the selections addressing homosexuality.

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A Letter to a Friend

President Spencer W. Kimball
President of the Church

 
1978 reprint of newly renamed 1971 pamphlet, “New Horizons for Homosexuals”. See the link “New Horizons for Homosexuals” below for the text.

New Horizons for Homosexuals

President Spencer W. Kimball
Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
34-page pamphlet written in 1971 — an expanded version of “Hope for Transgressors” — and addressed to homosexual Latter-day Saints

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Read the full article.

Hope for Transgressors

President Spencer W. Kimball
Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
Nine-page pamphlet written in 1970 by Elder Kimball, with the assistance of Mark E. Petersen, and distributed for use by branch presidents, bishops, and stake presidents in the Church.

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Crime Against Nature

Elder Spencer W. Kimball
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 
From chapter 6 of his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness (Bookcraft, 1969; Deseret Book reprint, 2004)

“Homosexuality is an ugly sin, repugnant to those who find no temptation in it, as well as to many past offenders who are seeking a way out of its clutches. It is embarrassing and unpleasant as a subject for discussion but because of its prevalence, the need to warn the uninitiated, and the desire to help those who may already be involved with it, it is discussed in this chapter.”

Read the full chapter.

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