The Church Welcomes Gay People in Our Congregations
Church leaders have made it clear they want your gay teen to feel welcome in our wards. The reality is that this is a work in progress and acceptance varies widely across the Church and the world. Leaders have made it clear that members of the Church need to be more embracing and compassionate towards our gay brothers and sisters, but for many, these issues are far outside their comfort zone. Over time, we hope inclusion and acceptance will be the norm across the Church. These statements from Church leaders should be used as a guide.
Quotes from Church Leaders
The Church website says, “No one fully knows the root causes of same-sex attraction. Each experience is different. Latter-day Saints recognize the enormous complexity of this matter. We simply don’t have all the answers. Attraction to those of the same sex, however, should not be viewed as a disease or illness. We must not judge anyone for the feelings they experience. Members of the Church who have same-sex attractions, but don’t act on them, can continue to enjoy full fellowship in the church, which includes holding the priesthood, carrying out callings, and attending the temple. Unlike in times past, the Church does not necessarily advise those with same-sex attraction to marry those of the opposite sex.”
Elder Christofferson said, “Everyone is important. The Savior made that plain when he told the parable of leaving the 90 and 9 and going after the 1. And I believe it’s important, it’s crucial, frankly, if we’re going to be followers of Jesus Christ as we profess and strive to be, that we do minister to each other, everyone, without exception…. I can understand that there could have been a legitimate concern about the kind of reception one might find from a local priesthood leader in the past. But I’m convinced that today that there are so much more help and resources available to a bishop or a local priesthood leader. There’s greater understanding, there’s greater appreciation of the issues and how to help. We are training bishops; they have resources that they haven’t had in the past, that we haven’t been able to make available. There are resources online, there are resources in print.”
Elder Holland said, “[S]ome 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.” (Ensign, Oct. 2007)
God Loveth His Children says, “No one is, or ever could be, excluded from the circle of God’s love or the extended arms of His Church, for we are all His beloved sons and daughters.” As President Hinckley said: “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 sisters.”
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