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Hey Gramps!

I have a family friend who’s daughter is a lesbian. Her parents love her just the same and though they don’t support her actions they still invite her and her significant other over for dinner. I think that they are making the right decision but my aunt says that you should not ever allow the significant other of your child that is gay into the home. What are your thoughts? Is there scripture that talks about allowing sinners into your home to love and teach them?

Austin

 

Answer

 

Dear Austin,

This is an important question, one that has arisen a lot recently. Elder Holland said:

“Although I believe members are eager to extend compassion to those different from themselves, it is human nature that when confronted with a situation we don’t understand, we tend to withdraw.  This is particularly true of same-gender attraction.” Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction

While this is always a personal decision and should be made with much prayer, we can also look to the scriptures and our leaders for guidance.

 

From LDS.org we read:
“As Christians, we are taught to show compassion and kindness to all people whether or not we agree with their beliefs, lifestyle or behavior.” Why are Mormons Against Gay People?
Is it “unkind” to not allow those who choose a homosexual lifestyle into our homes?
Consider the words of Elder David B. Haight:
 “There were strong social barriers among the Jews at the time of Christ, yet the Savior mingled freely among the publicans and sinners–far different from the Pharisees, who believed sinners should not be guests in their houses.  Christ rebuked their unkindliness, saying, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matt. 9:12People to People
The Savior was very clear that not allowing “sinners” to be guests in our houses is unkind. We should remember that sinners come in many varieties. If we turn “sinners” away from our table, we might find ourselves turned away from the Savior’s table “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

 

Elder M. Russell Ballard addressed this issue very specifically in a CES Devotional:
“You may know someone who struggles with same-sex attraction or has made a decision to live in a same-gender relationship.  Your love for that person as a son or daughter of God can create an inward struggle as you try to love and support him or her and still stand for the Lord’s eternal plan of happiness.
“Let us be clear tonight–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that ‘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 [those with same-sex attraction].”  The Church does not teach or advocate shunning or other unchristian-like actions.”  Be Still, and Know That I Am God
From the Church website mormonsandgays.org:
“As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach.  Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”
I believe there is a difference however between accepting individuals and accepting behaviors.  For example, I would allow a loved one who struggles with drug addiction to come to dinner, but I would not allow them to do drugs in my home.  A porn addict may be invited to dinner, but not allowed to view porn on my computer.  Likewise, I think it is reasonable to request that couples who are not married (by Church standards: a man and a woman) to sleep in separate rooms in your home.

 

I’ll close with this:
“Jesus Christ commanded us to love our neighbors. Whether sinner or saint, rich or poor, stranger or friend, everyone in God’s small world is our neighbor, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Latter-day Saints believe that our true commitment to Christian teachings is revealed by how we respond to this commandment. This love is tested every day of our lives. We may know individuals with same-sex attraction in our workplaces, congregations and town halls. As people with hopes, fears and aspirations like everyone else, these neighbors deserve our love. But we can’t truly love the neighbors next door if we don’t love the neighbors under our own roof. Family members with same-sex attraction need our love and understanding. God loves all his children alike, much more than any of us can comprehend, and expects us to follow.”  http://mormonsandgays.org

Gramps

 

 

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