The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which church is often mistakenly called the Mormon Church, is quite clear on the practice of homosexuality. “Homosexual activity is a serious sin. If you find yourself struggling with same-gender attraction, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you” (For the Strength of Youth, “Sexual Purity“).
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” teaches that “gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” God created His children—us—in His own image. Gender is an eternal characteristic. The purpose behind our gender is to complement a person of the opposite sex. Each gender has inherent traits and qualities that are essential to providing the ideal environment for raising children. A man and a woman together have all of these traits. No matter how wonderful a mother is, she cannot be a father, and the same holds true for a man: no matter how wonderful a father he may be, he cannot be a mother. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” also teaches that “children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”
Mormon doctrine declares homosexual activity a sin not because it is bigoted and old fashioned, but because the practice of homosexuality frustrates the eternal purpose of the family. To have feelings of homosexuality is not a sin, but a struggle. Any gay Mormon who has these struggles still has a choice of whether or not to act on those feelings.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members continues to, and will continue to, receive a great deal of criticism and persecution for its view on homosexuality. The world’s view on many things continues to change, becoming more and more liberal. The teachings of Jesus Christ are eternal and do not change. Thus, the LDS Church’s view on the practice of homosexuality will never change.
Because the world already has a liberal view on sexuality and does not think a great deal of the practice of sex before marriage, it views the LDS Church’s views towards gay Mormons as expectations which are far too high. “It is neither fair, nor realistic” the world says, “to expect a person who has homosexual attractions to remain celibate for their entire lives.” The fact is, that the LDS Church’s expectations regarding chastity and virtue are the same for all those who are unmarried: “God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife,” the proclamation says. This means that any heterosexual individual who remains unmarried, for whatever reason, is expected to remain completely celibate.
The struggles of homosexual attraction for gay Mormons are, admittedly, very hard. Their whole culture is telling them that what they are feeling is wrong. They likely feel shame and guilt, but they should not. They cannot control their feelings and temptations, but they can control their actions. The feelings of an addict toward whatever he or she is addicted to are similar. It is not a sin to have that desire; only to succumb to it. Jesus Christ has suffered all types of sorrows and temptations. He can strengthen us and help us to overcome whatever our temptations may be. Gay Mormons should not feel any shame for their feelings, but they should turn to the Savior for His help and strength to overcome all temptations—whether those temptations are related to homosexuality or not—and have faith that He will help them overcome.
LDS Church Pamphlet on Homosexuality: “God Loveth His Children“