The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that same-sex attraction is a sensitive issue that requires kindness, compassion and understanding. The website mormonandgay.lds.org reinforces the reality that, in the words of one Mormon scripture, God “loveth his children” (1 Nephi 11:17), and seeks to help everyone better understand same-sex attraction from a gospel perspective.
The Church does not take a position on the cause of same-sex attraction. In 2006, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction.”
Feelings of same-sex attraction are not a sin. Elder M. Russell Ballard said: “Let us be clear: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that ‘the experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including [those with same-sex attraction].’”
While same-sex attraction is not a sin, it can be a challenge. While one may not have chosen to have these feelings, he or she can commit to keep God’s commandments. The parent of a child who experiences same-sex attraction or identifies as gay should choose to love and embrace that child. As a community of Church members, Latter-day Saints should create a welcoming community.
Those who experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay can fully participate in the Church. As a Church policy says, “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.”
The title of the Church’s website, “Mormon and Gay," reflects the reality that a person doesn’t need to choose between these two identities — one can, in fact, be gay and live faithful to the teachings of Christ.
Visit mormonandgay.lds.org to learn more.