As marriage equality becomes more common, will the church try to evangelize to these families and what might that look like? Theoretically, a happily married lesbian couple raising children wants to join the church. Can they simply become celibate within their marriage, if they feel able to commit to chastity? Or is it not just the sexual relationship, but the marriage itself that is considered sinful? Do they need to formally divorce and share custody of their children?
When Christ commanded the disciples to “Go ye therefore into all the world”… he didn’t use the phrase “except these people”. Remember in Acts where Christ came to Peter in a dream and commanded him to eat, “But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” (Acts 10:14). We are commanded to welcome all to come unto Christ.
However, as we understand the Plan of Salvation, the gospel emphasizes the traditional family, with a mother and a father. Other unions are not acceptable to the Lord or His Church, as our understanding of the Plan of Salvation now stands.
What is the Plan of Salvation? The Father stated it himself in Moses 1:39
“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
This means that the Father had a plan for how He wanted His children to enter into the world, and that was through a mother and a father, as He had married Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Should a person or even a same-sex couple choose to join the Church, from my understanding, they will need to dissolve their union. Any children would need to have shared custody. This would be required in order to live in harmony with the doctrines the Church has laid out on the family. They would need to be celibate, living outside of a marriage covenant that is legally and lawfully binding between a man and a woman.
One may believe that we could be encouraging the tearing apart of families with this doctrine. I believe that it is putting a higher principle of living above one’s own desires. All religious principles help us to elevate our views above what we say we want, to make us better people.
I could not imagine being a missionary today, and having to ask such a family to live the law of chastity as the Lord and the Church have defined it. I could not imagine what it would be like to be in such a position to want to follow the Lord… and be told to give up what I should be valuing most. It would take one of the biggest leaps of faith imaginable to forsake a lifestyle that promises happiness, to follow the Lord and His ways. I would think they could not do it alone. Those in such a circumstance would require the Holy Spirit, and a community of saints to truly help their transition to following the Lord.
With God, All Things Are Possible.