LDS Church Leaders Issue New Directive On Gay Marriage

LDS Church Leaders Issue New Directive On Gay Marriage
LDS Church Leaders Issue New Edict On Gay Marriage

(This article originally appeared in Gephardt Daily on June 30, 2015.)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 30, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — Top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have issued a letter addressing the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriage in the United States.

According to LDS Church leadership, the letter is to be read in church meetings across the U.S. and Canada beginning Sunday, July 5 .
The directive was issued by the Council of the First Presidency along with the Quorum of the Twelve.
It was signed by LDS Church presidents Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
The church letter is a follows:

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
OFFICE OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
47 EAST SOUTH TEMPLE STREET, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84150-1200

June 29, 2015
TO: General Authorities; General Auxiliary Presidencies; and the following leaders in the United States and Canada: Area Seventies; Temple, Stake Mission and District Presidencies; Bishops and Branch Presidents

Dear Bretheren and Sisters:

Enclosed is a statement by the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in response to the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States. The statement also pertains to the situation in Canada. Local leaders are asked to meet with all adults, young men, and young women on either July 5 or July 12 in a setting other than sacrament meeting and read to them the entire statement.

Also included is background material which may be helpful in answering questions that arise.

Stake presidents are asked to see that bishops receive copies of this letter and the enclosures.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas S. Monson

Henry B. Eyring

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 

RESPONSE TO THE SUPREME COURT DECISION LEGALIZING SAME‐SEX MARRIAGE IN THE UNITED STATES

June 29, 2015

Because of the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court and similar legal proceedings and legislative actions in a number of countries that have given civil recognition to same‐sex marriage relationships, the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐day Saints restates and reaffirms the doctrinal foundation of Church teachings on morality, marriage, and the family. As we do, we encourage all to consider these teachings in the context of the Plan of Salvation and our Heavenly Father’s purposes in creating the earth and providing for our mortal birth and experience here as His children.

Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well‐being of society. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:27‐28). “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and vital to eternal salvation.

A family built on marriage of a man and a woman is the best setting for God’s plan of happiness to thrive. That is why communities and nations generally have encouraged and protected marriage between a man and a woman, and the family that results from their union, as privileged institutions. Sexual relations outside of such a marriage are contrary to the laws of God pertaining to morality.

Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We invite all to review and understand the doctrine contained in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same‐sex marriages. Nevertheless, all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there.

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility—even when we disagree. We affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same‐sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully. Indeed, the Church has advocated for rights of same‐sex couples in matters of hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment, and probate, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

The Church insists on its leaders’ and members’ right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family, and morality free from retaliation or retribution. The Church is also entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members.

As members of the Church, we are responsible to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to illuminate the great blessings that flow from heeding God’s commandments as well as the inevitable consequences of ignoring them. We invite all to pray that people everywhere will have their hearts softened to the truths God established in the beginning, and that wisdom will be granted to those who are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future.

THE COUNCIL OF
THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND
QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER‐DAY SAINTS

Background Material for Bishops and Branch Presidents
On the U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Same‐sex Marriage

The Church has provided a statement dated June 29, 2015, prepared by the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same‐sex marriage in the United States. The response reaffirms the divinely‐revealed reasons and proper doctrinal context for the Church’s unequivocal position regarding matters of morality, chastity, marriage, and the family. As the response notes, the Church’s teachings on these subjects are grounded in the scriptural declarations of God’s eternal plan for the salvation and exaltation of His children and are framed in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” While the statement stands on its own, below is additional information that may be helpful to you in responding to questions that may arise.

For much of human history, civil laws have generally been compatible with God’s laws. Unfortunately, there have been notable exceptions to that pattern. For example, it is legal in the United States to perform an abortion on an unborn fetus. However, this practice is not morally acceptable before God. (See Handbook 1, 17.3). The consumption of alcohol, while contrary to God’s law, is legal in most nations of the world, but the physical and social toll for doing so is a painful matter of record. So, too, with issues of unchaste sexual behavior, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual in its orientation. As the First Presidency has previously said and as this current response affirms, “Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society” (First Presidency letter on “Same‐ Sex Marriage,” January 9, 2014).

What is the Church’s Policy on Homosexual Relations?

“Homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God, is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality, and deprives people of the blessings that can be found in family life and in the saving ordinances of the gospel. Those who persist in such behavior or who influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline. Homosexual behavior can be forgiven through sincere repentance. “If members engage in homosexual behavior, Church leaders should help them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of repentance, and the purpose of life on earth.

“While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender. “If members feel same‐gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances” (Handbook 2, 21.4.6).

Does the authorization of same‐sex marriage affect my right to religious freedom?

Our individual right to religious freedom is protected by the First Amendment to the United States’ Constitution and by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As we exercise that right, we must also exercise tolerance and respect toward others’ rights but do so without condoning behavior that goes contrary to the laws of God. “While we strive for the virtue of tolerance, other commendable qualities need not be lost. Tolerance does not require the surrender of noble purpose or of individual identity. The Lord gave instruction to leaders of His restored Church to establish and maintain institutional integrity—‘that the Church may stand independent’ (D&C 78:14)” (Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Teach Us Tolerance and Love,” April 1994 general conference). How do I respond respectfully to those who consider the Church’s position on this matter unchristian? Our objection to same‐sex marriage is not based on animosity toward anyone, but on our understanding of God’s purposes for His children. For us, the issues are not simply “tolerance” and “equality.” The issues are the nature of marriage and the consequences of redefining a divinely established institution. In addition, redefining marriage in the law can have profound consequences for society, particularly for children. Mothers and fathers matter, and they are not interchangeable. “On the subject of public discourse, we should all follow the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should . . . be good listeners and show concern for the sincere belief [of others.] Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. We should be wise in explaining our position and, in doing so, ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs and the free exercise of our religion” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Loving Others and Living with Differences,” October 2014 general conference).

What if I have reservations of my own regarding the Church’s position on this subject?

“Members who . . . have doctrinal questions should make a diligent effort, including earnest prayer and scripture study, to find solutions and answers themselves. Church members are encouraged to seek guidance from the Holy Ghost to help them in their personal lives and in family and Church responsibilities.

“If members still need help, they should counsel first with their bishop. If necessary, he may refer them to the stake president. “. . . Stake presidents who need clarification about doctrinal or other Church matters may write in behalf of their members to the First Presidency” (Handbook 2, 21.1.24).

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462 COMMENTS

  1. Wow such hateful comments! I am always amazed at how intolerant others are when a point of view is expressed that is not there point of view. This country was founded on these constitutional rights so the respect goes both ways and we all deserve respect despite our views!

  2. You people who are against what the church has said are hateful, hateful, bigoted religophobes. Respect and love goes both ways.

  3. I agree with the laws of the church teaching because the law of the land is wrong in this matter I sure don’t surport gay marriage never have never will.

  4. What a bunch of selfish and hateful people. Always trying to push their beliefs and morals on society. You know it’s a choice, and everyone can stop if they try really, really hard.

    And, I’m talking about the church.

    • At Shawn: This is how the world ends. Anyone who disagrees with your beliefs is now selfish and hateful. You’ve done a marvelous job vilifying people for one of the very things you have been fighting for…the right to express your views without retribution or retaliation. How can you in good conscious say things like this about people you obviously know nothing about. If I were you, I’d be happy you about the ruling, and I would go about encouraging people to stand up for what they believe just as you have done rather than trying to silence them be calling them hateful. Just a thought.

    • No. The church is not selfish or hatred. Obviously you did not read it. It is saying that according to LDS standards, we do not agree with nor condon it. But as a member of the church, we should not outcast them, or be disrespectful to those who choose to live that life style. We are not trying to push our beliefs and morals on society. All this is, is showing what will be read in LDS church’s ONLY. This is put for public view, not to be ridiculed. If you do not like simply don’t read nor follow it.
      I am a member of this church, there are plenty of things I do not agree with the church on. Such as smoking, something I do. Like gay marriage and smoking, the church does not agree, but it is a personal choice. It will not affect if the church welcomes you or not. We welcome any and everyone. the church does not hate on gays. It just does not agree with it. You need to sit there and read it thouroughly. Instead of post ignorant comments such as this.

    • The church does not “push their beliefs” on anyone. Everything the church teaches to anyone is an invitation to accept or decline. It’s about choice and free agency.

    • Oh, really? Because I thought you were talking about the gay lobby that you apparently belong to. I find your hypocrisy hilarious and ridiculous.

    • Shawn I have found members of the church to be among the least selfish OR hateful people on the planet. They serve their fellowman willingly, joyfully and generously and they love and tolerate those who call them selfish and hateful. You might be thinking of ISIS.

  5. “God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. ”

    So why’d they back track on polygamy, and blacks holding the priesthood then?

    “Indeed, the Church has advocated for rights of same‐sex couples in matters of hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment, and probate, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.”

    So, were ignoring the money you donated to fund Prop 8 in California?

    • The church did not backtrack on polygamy they banned it when the government banned it….also known as “following the laws of the land”.

    • As a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we truly believe that direction comes from God to our Phrophets then to the Church as a whole.

      Polygamy and Blacks holding the Priesthood were both changes in policy not doctrine. And both of these changes came from God, not man. If you are interested in understanding these changes you can read about them at the end of The Doctrine and Covenants.

      As for prop 8, it is my understanding that there was more to that proposition then gay marriage, but that religious freedom would also be effected. Every American should strongly defend their right to believe as they choose.

    • As a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we truly believe that direction comes from God to our Prophets then to the Church as a whole.

      Polygamy and Blacks holding the Priesthood were both changes in policy not doctrine. And both of these changes came from God, not man. If you are interested in understanding these changes you can read about them at the end of The Doctrine and Covenants.

      As for prop 8, it is my understanding that there was more to that proposition then gay marriage, but that religious freedom would also be effected. Every American should strongly defend their right to believe as they choose.

    • prop 8 was only pertaining tpo marriages between a man and woman. not matters of hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment. educate yourself

  6. You are correct, Beerz, we are to obey the law of the land, “unless” it is contrary to God’s law. Gods law always comes before “Mans” law. Below is just one example. Jesus also healed on Sunday ( or whatever the holy day was then) That too was against the law.

    The Apostles Before the Council
    Acts 5:28 ….. “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

  7. I believe this statement by the LDS church leaders is correct. The statement is respectful and clear on where the church stands on the topic of homosexuality. So many responses are also respectful and clear whether for or against this official statement. I comment those responses!

  8. How can the church act like it has the moral high ground on the issue of marriage when it commanded its members to practice polygamy? The hypocrisy is just one example of the church forgetting its own history.

    • How about God’s promise, what you make true on earth, I will make true in heaven? Are you saying that God will back out of a promise made to the original apostles?

    • This is not the church forgetting its history. When the government made polygamy illegal the church stopped practicing it because we follow the laws of the land. This doesn’t mean that because something is legal that its ok with the church, we are told not to drink or have sex outside of marriage even though that’s legal. We follow God’s laws as well as the laws of the land but God’s laws come first.

    • The church does not act like it has the moral high ground, it is just stating to its members what the LDS church believes.
      And yes the church practiced polygamy, it was not for just fun and games. If you were authorized on to do so there was an important reason behind it, such as financial issues due to women not being able to work certain jobs now being allowed to own land.
      Before you go saying this about the church like this, please know the facts and know what your talking about before you sound so ignorant.
      “Only the Church President held the keys authorizing the performance of new plural marriages.”

    • The Church does “NOT” Command its members to practice pologamy. As a matter of fact, the church has Forbid Pologamy. I am thinking that you may want to perform your “DUE DILIGENCE” before making a statement like this. And for the record, Pologamy was used as the people were coming across the EMPTY PLAINS as they headed west and escaping the persecution and as the men died, others took upon them the other man’s family. When the Need for this ended, so did Pologamy.

    • It is my firm belief that polygamy is not immoral. Is it illegal “in certain countries”? Yes. But then are we not all learning all over again that, morality does not = legality?

    • In the Bible there were many times when polygamy was condoned by God and other times when it was not. It is according to the plan and purposes of God ‘to raise up a righteous seed unto him’ but not to have wives and concubines to satisfy your lusts. Before condemning things you don’t understand, you may want to do your own research to find out the truth of why polygamy was practiced for a short time. Only about 3% of the worthy men were asked to take more than one wife in order to provide for those who had lost their husbands. This was an act of service and unselfishness and in most cases a greater burden on those men. Again, it was a test of obedience and sacrifice….the 2 great refining principles that most people in the world today no longer know the meaning of, let alone comprehend.

  9. Those commenting due to hatred toward the LDS faith or the article itself did not fully read it for understanding. The church is not saying to retaliate, hate, diss own or not tolerate those wishing to act as now allowed through the supreme court ruling. They are saying they are welcome in the church houses and are welcome to participate. They even said those having those thoughts and not “acting” on them are welcome to hold callings and attend the temples.

    For the person who used the argument of “obeying the law of the land”, You are fishing for something to argue. The laws of our land clearly state you can smoke if 18 and drink if 21. The church teaches against both of these regardless of age.

    The church teaches against homosexuality and will not perform weddings on their property but will welcome them to worship in the churches or participate in other activities.

    The church encourages people to not gamble but it is legal in several places.

    The church and its membership have always claimed to be a unique people and will not turn people away. You can be excommunicated in the LDS faith for whatever reason and are still welcome to worship the following Sunday. The church doesnt ever push people away. People run themselves off. People choose to be offended. People choose to feel left out. People choose to come or go.

    In the end it is your choice and none of this LGBT stuff has anything to do with the church.

    If I were to voice my opinon on facebook and twiiter and in public like most of my friends or acquaintances it would get ugly. The reason being is we are all Bigots in the true sense. We ALL want to argue our own opinion to the point of us being right/correct or we want to express how wrong someone else is.

    Get over it already. If you hate the church then dont go to church. If you disagree with Homosexuality then dont be gay.

    In the end we are all the same. We are either male or female and we live on earth in a body. We should care for each other and stop complaining. We should serve each other regardless of each others choices.

    “Dont worry be Happy……”

    • No, that’s exactly what they are saying, they are saying essentially “we reserve the right to hate gay people whenever we feel in conflicts with our religion.” The law “love they neighbor has been in effect for basically ever, yet when has “god’s law” ever stopped the members of the church from hating on gay people?

      • If I’m reading this correctly they aren’t saying they hate gay people ..only the sexual behaviour they engage in!..so if one was a thief he would be still loved but not his actions ..love thy neighbor and thy enemies as thyself

  10. Um, a few things:

    1) If preferring the same sex is against God’s will, perhaps God should stop making people who prefer the same sex. Sadly, the LDS church feels that a person who is biologically predisposed to preferring the same sex is committing a sin, yet the person was made that way. What’s a gay LDS person to do, other than bear the weight of crushing guilt placed upon their shoulders by the leadership of the church? What a horrible place the church puts LGBT’s.

    2) There is a continuum of what’s “normal”. Same-sex preference fits squarely within that continuum. It’s the way it’s always been, is, and always shall be. Guess what? It also exists in the normal continuum in the animal world. Not a choice.

    3) It’s been proven time and again that you can’t “pray away the gay”. Why? See #1 and #2. It’s not a choice folks.

    4) If you feel you are somehow impacted by marriage equality, please consider that either you or your spouse may actually be gay. Then, congrats! You may live and love as you please!

    5) The constitution of the United States protects your freedom to practice your religion. Please also be aware that it protects me from your religion. You may not, according to the constitution, force your religion on me.

    6) Everyone is tired of hearing “hate the sin, not the sinner”. Just love. Don’t hate.

    Cheers!

    jm

  11. You are either for God, His Son Jesus Christ, and His Church led by Him through His prophet and apostles or you are against Him. I pray that in this hour men’s hearts will not fail them. Stand with God. Remember brothers and Sisters. We represent God and His Church to the people not the people to God and His Church.

  12. Everything said is so true. The laws of man are not always the laws of God. Sometimes God’s laws will be a lot stricter, and why not? It was hard for Jesus to go through all of his trials. The man or woman who feels same gender attraction but does not act on it is a hero. James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Read the next verse after this one. Its a bit strong, but still the word of God. If the Bible is true nobody can say “God made me this way”

  13. utah is the largest per capita for homosexuality….. And the greater percentage are LDS… You should deal with your own demons within your selves and your closeminded teachings. My ex father in law is a quarum of the 12 apostle. He was a very good man and I would say he is the most open minded of the bunch. My daughters go to church and one is baptized. But they are not taught these ways of the church. They are around gay and lesbian couples and they will never treat them any different than anyone else. I believe that gay and lesbian familys are more than addiquite to raise a family being LDS or not…..a lot of the problems are the members of the church have so many pent up and repressed feelings that the act out on children and never have a real consiquence given other than that child being hurt, in more ways than one. Denial and not accepting homosexuality is fuel that fires your demons. So I ask you all, I guess you are wondering why I brought you all here today.? It is to tell you all to wake up… Thank you .
    .H.

  14. Questions about polygamy or blacks holding the priesthood are good questions to be sure, but they are just not relevant with regard to questions of morality. If you don’t understand why polygamy is no longer in practice or why blacks did not hold the priesthood for a period of time, then there is no way those questions in your mind will help you to understand why God will not change regarding not only the practice of marriage, but the unchanging doctrines behind His moral laws of sexuality.

  15. The lds church is a hurtful sin devised by satan. It appears inclusive and kind, but couldn’t be further from it. satans way of making a human feeling tool of deceit and lies.

  16. I think everyone should be gay. The government should make it illegal for the traditional marriage between a man and a women unconstitutional. We should all be gay and marry the same-sex. Our society would thrive. We would have so much peace and love. Our children would grow up in prosperity. It would be wonderful. Disease and strive would disappear. We would stop arguing with everyone.

    If they don’t make it illegal they should at least define what marriage is. If it means what it has since the dawn of civilization then leave it that way. If two people of the same sex want to get married then ok, cool.

    Marry someone of the opposite-sex. If they don’t want to fine, but by definition it is not a marriage it is a union. Don’t call it what it isn’t. It’s clearly a union between two people. Afford them all the rights of a “marriage” but don’t call it what it isn’t.

  17. But the church does condone incest as if the Adam and eve story is true, their sons and daughters would of had to inter-breed to populate the earth..

  18. Not to mention the percentage of missionaries who return home and have become homosexual during there mission

  19. Also how much of a hypocrite the church is… how can a religion preach not to drink soda and alcohol yet own majority stock in coca cola and budwieser?

  20. since none of those people you have listed are anyone that i put faith in….i would say i do not believe in them….they are not of my faith…and my faith and my beliefs are right….so therefore, your ‘so called laws’ do not apply to me…or my faith… i was taught LOVE….all you christians preach is hate…you will say anything to make yourselves feel right even when you know you are wrong…..that’s call lying… but i am an american…and i will obey the american laws… i was born christian…that changed after seeing the evil done by christians in the name of the church after i was taught that the teachings of jesus were all that mattered….i would not be christian again is someone paid me…

  21. The prophet of God communicates the mind and will of our heavenly father to us. Its a commandment for a man and a woman to be legally married as husband and wife anything short of that is not the lord’s way. Following the lord’s way will bring the world and families peace and joy in abundance. Surely the lord God will do nothing but to reveal His secret to His servant the prophet (Amos 3:7) Follow the prophet he knows the way … God bless the church leaders for their work, for speaking the truth without fear or favor.

  22. I think any preacher should have the right to remind his or her congregation about God’s stand on an issue, whether society likes it or not. Having said that, this article also remind the members to treat gays with respect. Well written in my opinion.

  23. The longer I live the more convinced I am that the best answer to serious sin is to preach repentance. Love God, love your neighbour, teach the truth and oppose sin even when it is unpopular and stand by the good sense of the commandments of God and the teachings of His living prophets even Thomas S. Monson – who have just spoken God’s truth.
    Remember James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

  24. I have same sex attraction. I am a member of the LDS church. I am married to a member of the opposite sex. Have children. Support gay right. Again I say, I have same sex attraction, but have CHOSEN to never act upon it. Yes it was a CHOICE. I could have CHOSEN to be a lesbian (opportunities were there), but I CHOSE to follow God’s Plan. No it has not always been easy to keep on the path of righteousness. Society tempts, movies tempt, tv tempts, individuals tempt, but following God’s standards has always been more tempting.

    • Just because you have “CHOSEN” to not “ACT” on your same sex attraction, does not mean that you have “CHOSEN” not to be homosexual. All it means is that you have chosen to not act on your homosexual feelings. You were still born a lesbian….you did not choose to be one or not be one.

      A little off subject now…..I have been reading the comments posted here. Regardless of what you believe, what you disagree with, or what you like or don’t like, that is perfect.
      We live in a nation that allows for people to speak their mind….it’s the American way.

      Just remember….alot of people….men, women….straight, or homosexual….fought for you to have….and keep…..that right. Many lost their lives do that you can keep that right.

      I am just one of those many. I truly enjoy seeing that right being used. I fought so that you can engage is coversation….so you can agree and disagree.

      LDS….I don’t agree with your stance, but that is okay. Please, keep your stance. I will respect it….as you will respect what I believe….for that I thank you.

  25. “God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. ”

    So why’d they back track on polygamy, and blacks holding the priesthood then?

    “Indeed, the Church has advocated for rights of same‐sex couples in matters of hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment, and probate, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.”

    So, were ignoring the money you donated to fund Prop 8 in California?

  26. OMG! You’re uneducated sick in the head people! People don’t choose to be gay or not. People were born this way. It was proved by so many studies. Do some research on the internet at least.

  27. I know that what the prophet has said is true. When the laws of the land conflict with the law of God, lets go with Gods dictates, it will bring us untold happiness.

  28. Great works of council and a just a reiteration of core values and a proof that we LDS members do not hate gay people but we strive to live our lives by obedience to God commandments, grateful to have men like this to guide us through this perilous times.

  29. It bums me to see us humans fight one another when we are all 99% the same. It’s only 1% that differentiates us, and yet we “choose” to polarize differences by many times that. Religion teaches love, yet many cannot practice it unless others share such similar thoughts. “Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate.” – Uchdorf.
    Christ is the example: Romans 13:
    8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
    10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

  30. As the wife of a Mormon,gay man, sealed in the temple to him, I know VERY WELL it is not a choice. Just like we straight people don’t wake up one morning and say, “Hmmm, should I find men attractive today or women?” That is ridiculous to suggest that it’s a choice. If you have ever had a gay person in your family or in your life, you would understand the struggle they face not being able to act upon what they feel as naturally as we straight people feel about the opposite sex. The ignorance among LDS members and the lack of love and tolerance is repulsive to me. When my husband came out to me, he was devastated to have to tell me and compromise the foundation our marriage was built on. But, it was better for me that he was honest. We have children together and we have explained to them what their father is dealing with. THIS WAS NOT A CHOICE! He did not want to disrupt our world. But he needed his wife and family to help him be strong. It would be interesting to know what vices you people pointing your fingers deal with on a daily basis that might possibly cost you your temple recommends or your membership in the Church, but you are just covert enough to avoid having to reconcile your sins. STOP JUDGING. It’s not your place. God help the ignorant and hateful members of this Church.

  31. Here’s the bottom line friends. In any situation, there us one simple question to ask: What is the purpose? There are but two answers: fear or love. All this contention, arguing, and defending one’s “beliefs” is merely a smokescreen. A barrier keeping us from the peace and love within. “Defenses do what they would defend.” Regardless of which side of the issue you are on forgiveness will take you beyond it, in the sense of forgiving yourself for believing that anything outside of you can have an affect. We always have a choice, fear or love. The choice for fear is merely a delay and actually a call for love. Let go of your need to be right and love is all that remains.

  32. This is repulsing, this is just another excuse to allow religious people to hate, discriminate, judge, and be prejudice towards homosexuals from a religious platform. On the subject of homosexuals being for this, that’s the equivalent of black people liking slavery. I mean how can you enjoy being repressed? I know it says to love all people, but come on… seriously? That’s been a rule since the birth of Christianity, and having a leader tell someone “don’t hate people for their differences” has literally never stopped anyone.

  33. This article just basically reaffirms where I have stood on the sunject of Gay Rights. I completely agree with the idea that homosexuals should have the same rights as me or you. But I don’t think their rights should infringe on the rest of our’s. They have their rights now. And we have our’s so lets just leave it at that.

  34. It is amazing to read what everyone is writing. It is so clear that each one writing here has a preconceived belief on this issue so are unable to even openly read and consider the other side’s comments and position. One side is even reading something into the LDS statement that is not even there. What is even more amusing is the folks that do not believe in God or the Bible and their belief is based on a notion they pulled out of their butt and nothing more. To come to an intelligent belief one way or the other both sides of the topic must be researched in depth….not merely decided by one’s thoughts or on reading one or two books. It is evident from their statements that they have never done research on the authenticity of the Bible and clearly have never read it through. Several atheist have set out to disprove the Bible doing deep research and have all come back believers in the Bible. There is overwhelming proof but one can only know it
    if they do their homework. The LDS church is sincere I believe but neither have they done an unbiased study of The Bible or they would know that the writings of Joseph Smith are incorrect. That book is not even grammatically correct. They too approach the Bible with preconceived notions and wrong beliefs coming from the Book of Morman. If they could only do what they are asking the other side to do in clearing their head and take an objective look and do their homework instead of believing what mom and dad and grandma and grandpa blindly passed down they would be shocked at the truth about the Book of Morman. We are coming down to the final time in this world and I my advice to ALL would be to do your homework on what is real and true and then make up you mind on what you believe and don’t believe. Become an educated person on the subject and not a novice who forms opinions based on what they feel. I’m sure glad my doctor doesn’t treat my health issues based on what he feels or on a book or two he read. I want a professional opinion based on research and study. All of you should too.

    • Oh the irony of your statement. Reading that you say one must research and know both sides of the topic is true, but funny as you give your advice. The fact that you cannot even spell the word “mormon” correctly tells me of your ignorance and lack of taking your own counsel. It was just too much for me not to comment. While I agree with the idea you profess, your comment clearly identifies that even as it is spoken, it is rarely taken. If you were to read the Book of Mormon and not just believe blindly in what your pastor said (oh more hypocrisy) then maybe I can read your comment without chuckles and entertainment value.
      And as a doctor… I will tell you what most of my colleagues will confirm, and that is that every doctor makes decisions based on both what they feel and what they know from best practices. If you are true to your words here, then research both sides, until then you are just another ignorant comment with no truth above your own feelings on the topic and offers no validity to any of your words… even the true ones.
      I stumbled upon this website and won’t be back to read comments. I just wanted to point out the flaw in your “logic” for your own benefit. good luck in life my friend.

  35. The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints stop practicing polygamy because our nation pronounced it illegal. Which was set into law in an illegal manner. They did not back track. They were obeying the law of the land. As for the black issue, many our prophets prayed for the day to allow the priesthood to go to every worthy male. That was not back tracking either, It was waiting on the Lord. This country was founded on religious freedom and freedom from oppression. If you are a member you strive to live after the example of Christ. If you are not a member we do not seek to make you believe or practice what we do. But we cannot allow you to force us to live by your standards either. That would be against God’s law and all this nation was built upon. “Choose ye this day….but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”

  36. I join my voice to the voices of the prophets to testify that same sex marriage is evil. Romans 1:24-27. only demons will abet to or practice it.

  37. The person that wrote the previous comment stated that the church believes in obeying the laws of the land. Though it is probably obvious to most people, it may be necessary to point out that the church’s lack of support for gay marriage is not in any way shape or form illegal. Therefore the church is still obeying the laws of the land.

  38. Lets leave religion out of this for a moment. All mankind is born with and holds an innate knowledge of wrong and right. In all of our heart of hearts, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we know wrong from right. Even as you read this, you know that this is true. Those who live outside of this personal knowledge despise truth and they despise anyone who speaks it. They fight truth, knowing that they are fighting truth to justify their divergence from personal integrity and truth and their inability to honor and live it. Everyone knows it, including them and they look like fools.

  39. I thought that was beautifully put, and so clear and precis. Understanding God’s plan is what helps us all make the right choices in this life. And I agree, love the sinner, not the sin.. He has set up the foundation for eternal happiness, and so little is asked of us. I pray that those that can not see or reach what the Lord need them to do, that they have the strength to get through the path they have chosen. I am so glad that the First Presidency put this out.. It was from the Lord and was so needed to be said.. For it is more important that a man stand up for what he believes than to sway too and fro with no direction.. With that belief in our Father in Heaven comes direction and strength, that is so vital in this mortal life..

  40. Interesting how the “Church” stopped plural marriages because of the laws of the land and to be in keeping with them. Why can’t it keep this law?

    • Because marriage is sacred. It cannot be done if the two people are on the same gender. Honestly, it is wrong in the God’s commandments.

    • Apples and Oranges.
      They stopped Polygamy, a Practice of Doctrine, not a Change of Doctrine… so that the State could receive Statehood AND the Feds wouldn’t break up and destroy the Church…

      Gay Marriage is a PREFERENCE, which violates our Doctrines…

      Get it?

  41. God created man and woman so that they will live happily as a family here on earth. As I saw some of the comments here, I am with the side of people who are against gay marriages. The world has ever changed, but the heavenly laws and commandments of God are not. In my point of view, as well as supported on others as well, I saw this as an earthly change, that Satan tries to disrupt the importance of marriage. Marriage is an important thing for us as a man and woman, not in the same-sex.

  42. And this letter, this way of thinking is why I chose to shun my Mormon faith. Being gay is not a choice. If God made men and women homosexuals who are we to challenge what God has made? President Monson, you say that The Constitution gave us the right to religious freedom, and now that same government is giving us the right to marry whomever we choose, same sex or not. So why then President Monson is one constitutional right okay to uphold and the other not? This letter you share with your wards, is not based on a democratic action. It is based on a dictatorship action. Maybe you should put down your Book of Mormon for a while and pick up the bible which your faith is supposed to be based on. My bible clearly states that “you are all children of God. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are ALL one in Christ.” Galatians 3:28.

  43. I don’t get the headline. I thought there was going to be something new from the Church. Nothing in this article is new in any way, shape, or form. This is a compilation of things that have been said many times over the past few years. Only those who haven’t been listening to what church leaders are saying would think that any of this is new.

  44. Love and Tolerance work both ways.
    The LDS have firmly established beliefs.
    If you demand Love and Tolerance FROM the LDS for whatever behaviors you want to engage in, maybe giving a little Love and Tolerance for the LDS and their beliefs might be the thing to do?

  45. After reading so many comments I it is evident that those who accuse The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as being intolerant have shown a lot of intolerance in the comments they have posted than those who defend it.

    I always thought those who are homosexual would be the most tolerant people in our society because they know first hand how it feels like to be persecuted just for being different than the majority/crowd.

    To avoid judging ignorantly, come to our chapels, homes and activities. Spend a day or two with the members of the church then you will be justified for whatever perception you will hold about its members.

    If you criticise, it OK, but do so intelligently. No one will take you seriously when you rant and curse.

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