How to Live Today » Never Commit Acts of Homosexuality

[this teaching has not yet been illustrated]

Although it has been getting wider publicity and more tolerance in recent years, homosexuality is an unholy transgression specifically forbidden and condemned by God. Children need to be plainly taught that homosexuality is a perversion of God's designated roles for men and women. Such evil urges must be overcome in the same way as urges toward pedophilia or any other sexual sin.

Homosexuality, like all deviations from normal and proper heterosexual relationships, is not merely unnatural—it is an ugly sin that is recognized as repugnant by those who are not tempted by it or who are struggling to overcome such desires. It is hostile to God's purposes, and negates his first commandment which instructed us to multiply and replenish the earth. If this abominable practice were universally adopted, it would depopulate the earth in a single generation.

Heinous homosexuality is the sin of the ages. It has destroyed many cities and civilizations. It was indulged in by the ancient Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. It was tolerated by the ancient Greeks, and found in bathhouses of the corrupt ancient Romans. Satan is behind the diabolical nature of this perverse program, preying on the unwary with every tool at his command to destroy them.

Even animals, though they are often promiscuous in their mating habits, have some some rigid standards, and do not pair up with others of their own gender in order to satisfy their sexual impulses. Only mankind stoops so low as to participate in homosexual activity, defying the laws of morality, and degrading themselves even below the beasts.

In his attempts to deceive, Satan encourages those with same-sex attraction to "come out of the closet" and think things like, "We should not have to hide our true feelings. We need understanding and acceptance." Many in the world today claim homosexuality is acceptable because it feels natural to some people. But it might feel natural to some people to drive 150 mph, and it might feel natural to have an inclination to steal things, but it doesn't make those things right.

Some people portray the legalization of marriage between so-called gays and lesbians as if it were a matter of civil rights. But it is not. It is a matter of morality: it is simply not our right to redefine an institution established by Heavenly Father which has been the basis of civilization for the thousands of years since Adam and Eve. Those who attempt to legalize same-sex marriage will find themselves answerable to God on the day of judgement.

Even within the Church, some go so far as to twist the scriptures to justify the perverted acts of consenting adults. They say that gay and lesbian conduct is inborn and cannot be overcome. But the same logic would justify the molesting of little children or incest. We are all subject to various impulses, some worthy and some not. It is our duty to control them, and make our behavior conform to the moral law.

Heterosexuality is required for humans to development the nobler traits and higher faculties that only the loving relationship between a man and a woman can bring about. Those who attempt to excuse and rationalize their perversions by saying "I can't help it, God made me that way," also commit the sin of blasphemy. For we know with certainty that man is made in the image of God, and for someone to say such a thing is to suggest that God himself might be "that way."

Members of the Church have an obligation to speak out against the sin of homosexuality even if it is seen as intolerant or causes others discomfort. But this is no justification for hatred and abuse against those with homosexual tendencies. The Church wishes to help such people with their problems. Same-gender attraction should not be seen as a permanent condition. With the help of Heavenly Father, it can be resisted and overcome.

Parents of those with same-gender attraction have to walk a fine line between loving their child without endorsing their behavior. A daughter might ask, "May I bring my partner to our home to visit for the holidays?" If there are children in the home who might be influenced, the responses would likely be: "Please don't put us in that position." In other circumstances, the answer might be: "You may, but don't expect to stay overnight or be a lengthy houseguest. And don't expect us to introduce you to our friends or be seen in public with you."

Same-gender attractions run deep. They are powerful feelings, but despite what Satan would have us believe, they are never so strong that a person's freedom to choose worthy conduct is deprived. If you are facing such a difficult struggle, remember that the suffering you endure from leaving behind a lifestyle of perversion is not even a hundredth part of the suffering inflicted on your innocent parents, spouse, children or other loved ones when you selfishly fail to control your impulses.

One young man who grew up in a loving Latter-day Saint home wondered how it could be that someone like him would struggle with same-gender attraction. Through prayer, study, and counseling, he finally felt free of his weaknesses, and even became engaged to marry a young woman. But one night after visiting his fiancée, he found himself in a predicament he never should have been in. He was devastated after that night.

He told his fiancée the truth, and met with his bishop. After much soul-searching, the couple decided to proceed with the marriage, and together they became the parents of two children. But that one indiscretion was only the beginning of a years-long cycle of deadly sin, remorse, what felt like true repentance, and then more sin.

After an ultimatum by his wife to get help or leave, the young man checked himself into a psychiatric ward of a hospital in desperate search of help. Although the hospital staff was very compassionate, he soon came to realize that many in the medical profession mistakenly believe that same-sex attraction is something you are born with, and that the only way to be happy is to accept it. He knew that made no sense because God requires marriage between a man and a woman for mankind to fulfill their divine destiny.

So he turned to Heavenly Father and his servants for help, and was told he would need to feel a deeper remorse for his sins. Working with his bishop he spent many months humbling himself before God and learning to gain control over his impure thoughts. He learned that Satan plants such thoughts in our hearts and minds, but that with practice we can replace such thoughts with a hymn. And with a great deal of help from God and Church leaders, he successfully overcame his same-gender attraction.

While we are thrilled when anyone suffering from same-gender attraction manages to marry someone of the opposite sex, raise children, and achieve family happiness, the Church no longer necessarily advises such people to become married and raise a family. Some people will spend their entire mortal lives struggling with same-gender attraction without ever overcoming it. But in God's perfect plan, our desires and feelings will be perfected in the afterlife, and all will have the opportunity for heterosexual marriage and children.

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