My thoughts on Mormonism and homosexuality are complicated. I don’t always understand my own thoughts and definitely find some contradictions in my opinions–in fact, far too many of them for just one blog post, or maybe for even an entire blog. However, I did want to share a few things I’ve come to realize and also my hope that things might get better.
Chastity is very important to us and our doctrine. All members are supposed to refrain from sexual activity outside of marriage and the idea of same-sex marriage doesn’t fit within current LDS theology. (I use the term “current” because since we are a church that believes in continuing revelation it is possible, though unlikely, that our interpretation of eternal marriage could change). The LDS notion of eternal marriage is based on the idea that we will create eternal families with eternal increase, meaning having children in the next life. In order to do this, the eternal couple needs to be male and female. In addition, we believe that “[g]ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose,” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World) thus a same-sex couple on this earth would still be a same-sex couple in the hereafter and still unable to procreate (See also, Mormon Studies‘ explanation).
When you put together our doctrines on chastity and marriage, life is very difficult for LDS people who are LGBTQ. Basically, they have to chose between having sexual relations with somebody to whom they are attracted and being an active member of the church. That’s a really hard choice and my heart goes out to them. I also really admire those who have chosen to remain faithful members.
To make things even more difficult for them, Mormon people are not always the most welcoming to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Despite the fact that LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley admonished us years ago to “love [LGBTQ people] as sons and daughters of God,” I don’t think we as a people have done a very good job at being accepting and understanding of the difficulties our brothers and sisters face. However, I think we are slowly making changes, like the following Trevor Project-inspired video made by USGA, a BYU group made up of LGBTQ students and their allies.
The fact that a group like USGA even exists and that the students at BYU were free to make this video without risking any sanction shows how things have improved, even in the 8 years since I graduated from BYU. Similarly, this article on the CNN Belief Blog shows other ways our culture is evolving to slowly become more accepting. But, even if things are getting a little better, we still have a long way to go.