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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

I have same-sex attraction but I haven’t and never will act upon it. Do I need to confess this same-sex attraction to my bishop?

James

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Answer

 

Dear James,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken the following position, and I have openly supported it in the past:

“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.” (http://www.mormonsandgays.org/)

Not being a sin, same-sex attraction does not require confession to priesthood leaders. I would, nonetheless, encourage you to meet with your bishop and counsel with him as a support and a resource.

The Lord’s law of chastity has long been under attack by the world. For decades popular media have shown audiences that a couple is really in love and committed once they have sex. Prophets have¬†made it clear that such intimacy is righteous and wholesome only so long as it is kept within the bounds the Lord has set. If a couple wants to show their commitment¬†they should make a covenant. In more recent years popular media has even chipped away at the 1 man 1 woman standard of marriage and courting relationships. Celebration of homosexual acts is the “new morality” of this decade. Some will try to influence you to break your baptismal (and temple if applicable) covenant, and rise up as a model of modern normalcy. Your bishop (and family, I’ll bring them into this even if you haven’t yet) can serve as a support for you and give wise counsel. The Church Handbook of Instruction defines this as his role:

“If members feel same-gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances.” (21.4.6)

 

Gramps

 

 

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