Much has been said regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their stance towards same-sex marriage and individuals who experience same-sex attraction. Frequently quotes from Church leadership decades ago are dug up to prove the church is full of bigoted, intolerant individuals who are out of touch with the trends of society.
Here are a collection of beautiful and inspiring quotes that Mormon leadership has shared with their members and the world, showing compassion and love to those who have same-sex attraction.
13 Mormon Quotes About Gays
1. “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 our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.” MormonsandGays.org.
2. “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.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
3. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that same-sex attraction is a sensitive issue which requires kindness, compassion, and understanding.” – lds.org/topics
4. “As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.” – Quentin L. Cook
5. “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.” – First Presidency Letter
6. “You may not have consciously chosen to have same-gender attraction, but you are faithfully choosing to deal with it. Sometimes that attraction may make you feel sinful, even though the attraction alone is not a sin if you do not act on it. Sometimes you may feel frustration or anger or simply a deep sadness about yourself. But as hard as same-gender attraction is, your feeling that attraction does not mean that your nature is flawed. Whenever the adversary tries to convince you that you are hopelessly “that way,” so that acting out your feelings is inevitable, he is lying. He is the father of lies.” – Bruce C. Hafen
7. “We live in a society which is so saturated with sexuality that it perhaps is more troublesome now, because of that fact, for a person to look beyond their gender orientation to other aspects of who they are. I think I would say to your son or anyone that was so afflicted to strive to expand your horizons beyond simply gender orientation. Find fulfillment in the many other facets of your character and your personality and your nature that extend beyond that. There’s no denial that one’s gender orientation is certainly a core characteristic of any person, but it’s not the only one.” – Lance B. Wickman
8.“The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions — whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on.” – Dallin H. Oaks
9. “…same-gender attraction did not exist in the pre-earth life and neither will it exist in the next life. It is a circumstance that for whatever reason or reasons seems to apply right now in mortality, in this nano-second of our eternal existence. The good news for somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is this: 1) It is that ‘I’m not stuck with it forever.’ It’s just now. Admittedly, for each one of us, it’s hard to look beyond the ‘now’ sometimes. But nonetheless, if you see mortality as now, it’s only during this season. 2) If I can keep myself worthy here, if I can be true to gospel commandments, if I can keep covenants that I have made, the blessings of exaltation and eternal life that Heavenly Father holds out to all of His children apply to me. Every blessing — including eternal marriage — is and will be mine in due course.” – Elder Wickman
10. “There is no fullness of joy in the next life without a family unit, including a husband, a wife, and posterity. Further, men are that they might have joy. In the eternal perspective, same-gender activity will only bring sorrow and grief and the loss of eternal opportunities.” – Dallin H. Oaks
11. “Doesn’t the Atonement really begin to mean something to a person when he or she is trying to face down the challenges of living, whether they be temptations or limitations? The willingness to turn to the Savior, the opportunity of going to sacrament service on a Sunday, and really participating in the ordinance of the sacrament… listening to the prayers, partaking of those sacred emblems. Those are opportunities that really help us to come within the ambit of the Savior’s Atonement.” – Lance B. Wickman
12. “…there are no homosexual members of the Church. We are not defined by sexual attraction. We are not defined by sexual behavior. We are sons and daughters of God and all of us have different challenges in the flesh. . . . Simply being attracted to someone of the same gender is not a sin.” – David A. Bednar
13. “I think it is an accurate statement to say that some people consider feelings of same-gender attraction to be the defining fact of their existence. There are also people who consider the defining fact of their existence that they are from Texas or that they were in the United States Marines…People can adopt a characteristic as the defining example of their existence and often those characteristics are physical. We have the agency to choose which characteristics will define us; those choices are not thrust upon us. The ultimate defining fact for all of us is that we are children of Heavenly Parents, born on this earth for a purpose, and born with a divine destiny. Whenever any of those other notions, whatever they may be, gets in the way of that ultimate defining fact, then it is destructive and it leads us down the wrong path.” – Dallin H. Oaks
While there have been instances of hurtful comments in the past, the Church and its leaders reach out with love and compassion to all of God’s children in whatever circumstances they find themselves in. Hopefully these quotes are reminders that we are all children of God and we must seek to build unity and understanding – for by this shall men know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ – if we have love on to another.