Same-Sex Marriage

“Same-Sex Marriage,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual (2003), 303

“Same-Sex Marriage,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual, 303

Same-Sex Marriage

Selected Teachings

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“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: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, 28).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“I have time to discuss one other question: ‘Why does the Church become involved in issues that come before the legislature and the electorate?’

“I hasten to add that we deal only with those legislative matters which are of a strictly moral nature or which directly affect the welfare of the Church. We have opposed gambling and liquor and will continue to do so. We regard it as not only our right but our duty to oppose those forces which we feel undermine the moral fiber of society. Much of our effort, a very great deal of it, is in association with others whose interests are similar. We have worked with Jewish groups, Catholics, Muslims, Protestants, and those of no particular religious affiliation, in coalitions formed to advocate positions on vital moral issues. Such is currently the case in California, where Latter-day Saints are working as part of a coalition to safeguard traditional marriage from forces in our society which are attempting to redefine that sacred institution. God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.

“Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

“Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1999, 70; or Ensign, Nov. 1999, 53–54).

Elder Boyd K. Packer

“The only legitimate employment of the powers of procreation is between husband and wife who have been legally and lawfully married. Anything other than this violates the commandments of God himself. And as Alma said, ‘I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not, for the word of God must be fulfilled’ (Alma 5:58). …

“Already I have warned that the awesome powers of the adversary will be employed to entice all mankind to sinfully use the sacred power of procreation. Do not yield, for every debt of transgression must be paid” (Things of the Soul, 113–14).

“World leaders and court judges agree that the family must endure if we are to survive. At the same time, they use the words freedom and choice as tools to pry apart the safeguards of the past and loosen up the laws on marriage, abortion, and gender. In so doing, they promote the very things which threaten the family” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 24; or Ensign, May 1994, 19).

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“We live in a day when there are many political, legal, and social pressures for changes that confuse gender and homogenize the differences between men and women. Our eternal perspective sets us against changes that alter those separate duties and privileges of men and women that are essential to accomplish the great plan of happiness” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 99; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 73).