Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Homosexuality and the Church

We Latter-day Saints will come under intense criticism in the future for our stand on morality and sexual relations as it applies to increasingly vocal gay and lesbian communities. Too often we are perceived as harboring ill feelings toward individuals who choose to live by another moral code. This can sometimes be true of individual members but it is not encouraged by church leadership. When Larry King interviewed President Hinckley, he was asked about the church’s position with regard to homosexuals. President Hinckley said that “we love them and we want to help them.” The beauty of our moral code is in its simplicity and also that it applies to everyone equally. It does not need to identify any one group or type of personality. It does not disqualify a person from activity in the church because of genetics, temperament, upbringing, predisposition, natural tendencies or temptations. It addresses only active behavior. It forbids physical contact for the purpose of sexual arousal outside of the traditional married relationship between husband and wife. Temptations of the heart and recurring thoughts of inappropriate behavior are a private affair between God and man and best addressed on our knees.

Our “law of chastity” is the same for everyone. It is often a difficult law to live. For some, it is much more difficult to live than for others but the law itself does not single anyone out. It does not matter if you are a teenager with raging hormones, engaged to be married, a married couple, divorced, widowed, a middle-aged person who has never been married, a married man attracted to another woman, a woman who is attracted to other women, a man who is attracted to other men, or an adult who is attracted to children. It is God's law and it applies to all.

No matter who we are, we have all lived in a state of being single and without a sexual partner. Many of us who are married will find ourselves single once again at some point in our lives. Living in a state of unmet sexual desire is a natural part of being human. The duration and intensity of this state varies greatly and many seem to suffer through no fault of their own.

The problem of homosexual desire has very little to do with us as a church but everything to do with a person’s relationship with God. If you believe there is a powerful God in Heaven, you must also accept that inequity and the seemingly unfair distribution of pain and blessings is an intrinsic part of this mortal experience. If we cannot abide this inequity, then we must reject God and His wisdom in placing us in the environment we inhabit. We all have different tests in this life. We must believe that God has a great reward in store for those who pass the greater test. According to our belief, those who are called upon to live without a mate in this life will be given that opportunity in the eternities if they live worthy of that blessing.

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