In the last few days a video of an LDS girl bearing her testimony about being gay has gone viral, being viewed over 20 million times.

The video has been used to mischaracterize what we believe as Latter-day Saints.

But anyone who is aware of our doctrine, knows that we have nothing but love for members who experience same-sex attraction.

Here are the facts:

1.  The LDS Church remains one of the few major churches that publicly opposes the view that same-gender attraction is a sin or a choice (read the Church’s official position, here)

(Visit MormonandGay.LDS.org or read this 2007 article by a Mormon apostle to learn more)

2.  For years, the Church has been a fierce proponent of granting LGBT individuals protection from discrimination in housing or the workplace.

I was working in the office of a state senator, Peter Knudson, when the Church used its influence to broker a negotiation between conservative legislators and LGBT groups. The result was an unprecedented anti-discrimination bill for members of the LGBT community.

I was there when a gay state senator, Jim Dabakis, expressed heartfelt and emotional gratitude for the love and respect that he had seen the Mormon Church demonstrate on this issue. He told of how the Church had been meeting with him and others for years, trying to help build mutual respect and common ground on this issue.

The Church’s approach was heralded for achieving a balance between religious liberty and LGBT protections that satisfied all parties.

But does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that members who experience same-gender attraction should refrain from acting on those feelings?

Yes. We stand in firm support of the belief that marriage, as an eternal principle, is between a man and a woman.

But that’s more controversial than it should be.

You see, we are a sacrificing people.

Regardless of the deep feelings of sexual attraction that all of our members feel, we are taught to abstain from:

  • Pornography
  • Masturbation
  • Sex before marriage
  • Sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman

To understand our doctrine, you must also realize that, to us, marriage is an eternal principle which is separate from modern notions of “romantic love” that have only developed in recent centuries. 

To Latter-day Saints, marriage is about an eternal and sacred partnership between a man and a woman—united in the work of our Heavenly Father. 

And yes, any member who refuses to live by our doctrine, including by maintaining a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender, may lose their membership in our Church.

But that of course does not preclude them from participating in our meetings with us—where true Latter-day Saints will treat them with nothing but love and respect.

What you may not have noticed in the video is that no one heckled that girl. And when she left the stand, a Church leader bore his testimony that indeed our Father in Heaven does love all of His children. The video also doesn’t show that the Bishop reached out to the family after the meeting and made sure they knew that they were loved and welcome in our Church.

We believe in following Christ. That requires us to be a peculiar people.

But we know it. We live it. And we love it.

Support our work by liking our FB Page:

By Dustin Phelps

P.S. Consider sharing to clarify the truth.