Same-sex attraction refers to emotional, physical, or sexual attraction to a person of the same gender. The experience of same-sex attraction is not the same for everyone. Some people may feel exclusively attracted to the same gender, while others may feel attracted to both genders.
The Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior. People who experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual can make and keep covenants with God and fully and worthily participate in the Church. Identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or experiencing same-sex attraction is not a sin and does not prohibit one from participating in the Church, holding callings, or attending the temple.
Sexual purity is an essential part of God’s plan for our happiness. Sexual relations are reserved for a man and woman who are married and promise complete loyalty to each other. Sexual relations between a man and woman who are not married, or between people of the same sex, violate one of our Father in Heaven’s most important laws and get in the way of our eternal progress. People of any sexual orientation who violate the law of chastity can be reconciled with God through repentance. As followers of Christ, we resist immoral behavior and strive to become like Him. We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the help of the Savior, who knows how to succor us when we are tempted (see 1 Corinthians 10:13; D&C 62:1). If we give in to sexual temptations and violate the law of chastity, we can repent, be forgiven, and participate in full fellowship in the Church.
We may not know precisely why some people feel attracted to others of the same sex, but for some it is a complex reality and part of the human experience. The Savior Jesus Christ has a perfect understanding of every challenge we experience here on earth, and we can turn to Him for comfort, joy, hope, and direction (see Alma 7:11–12). No matter what challenges we may face in life, we are all children of God, deserving of each other’s kindness and compassion (Romans 8:16–17). When we create a supportive environment, we build charity and empathy for each other and benefit from our combined perspectives and faith.
The Church provides resources at mormonandgay.lds.org to help individuals and families live the fulness of the gospel and seek the Spirit while navigating this aspect of mortality.
Mormon and Gay, mormonandgay.org
“Frequently Asked Questions,” mormonandgay.org
“Chastity and Fidelity,” Handbook 2, 21.4.5
“Homosexual Behavior and Same-Gender Attraction,” Handbook 2, 21.4.6
“Same-Gender Marriages,” Handbook 2, 21.4.10
“Truly Happy Now,” LDS.org
“A Mother’s Story,” LDS.org
“Learning through Life’s Trials,” Ensign, March 2010
“Strengthening the Family: Created in the Image of God, Male and Female,” Ensign or Liahona, January 2005
“Compassion for Those Who Struggle,” Ensign, September 2004
“My Battle with Same-Sex Attraction,” Ensign, August 2002
“Becoming Whole Again,” Ensign, January 1997
“Church Updates Official ‘Mormon and Gay’ Website,” LDS Newsroom
“The Lord’s Law of Chastity Is Clear”