Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Church's Position

This is a paper that my institute instructor passed out to my class when he taught Romans chapter 1.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson 

     Where the Church stands:

The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people.  The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is.  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.


     Is the Church softening its position regarding same sex attraction?

There shouldn't be a perception or an expectation that the Church's doctrines or position have changed or are changing.  It's simply not true, and we want youth and all people to understand that.  The doctrines that relate to human sexuality and gender are really central to our theology.  And marriage between a man and a woman, and the families that come from those marriages - that's all central to God's plan and to the opportunities that He offers to us, here and hereafter.  So homosexual behavior is contrary to those doctrines - has been, always will be - and can never be anything but transgression.  It's something that deprives people of those highest expectations and possibilities that God has for us...That being said, it's important to remember a few things that people don't always understand or remember.  And that is that homosexual behavior is not the unforgivable sin.  The atonement and repentance can bring full forgiveness there, and peace.  And secondly, I'd say that though we don't know everything we know enough to be able to say that same-sec attraction in and of itself is not a sin.  The feeling, the desire is not classified the same as homosexual behavior itself.  And the third point I would mention is that when people have those desires and same-sex attractions, our attitude is "stay with us."  I think that's what God is saying "Stay with me." And that's what we want to say in the Church: "Stay with us."  Let's work together on this and find friendship and commonality and brotherhood and sisterhood, here more than anywhere.  It's important that there be love, and that there be hope.  Love is not to say acceptance or endorsement, but it is to say inclusion and not ostracism.  We want to be with you and work together.

    Why doesn't the Church Just Let People Be?

This is a gospel of change.  Jesus Christ is asking every one of us to change, and to become better and to progress and to follow in His footsteps.  His ultimate commandment is that we become as He is and as His father.  And none of us are at that point.  None of us have things, are free of things that we don't need to change in our lives and to improve.  And the standard is always the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And every one of us has to measure up to that standard because that's where our ultimate happiness is going to be found.  That's where our ultimate freedom is going to come.  And God being just and loving all of His children is going to help everyone who wants to progress toward that ideal, whatever they may need to do in their lives to do that.