My son has SSA (Same Sex Attraction). He does not act upon it. He wants to go on a mission. He has worked on worthiness and feels ready to go. We were told that he couldn’t go because he has SSA. In the Church Handbook of Instructions it says that individuals with SSA that are not living the gay lifestyle and are worthy can serve in the church. In applying for his mission we have been told that he can’t go because of his SSA. He had some sins to take care of but his home ward and stake leaders have told him he can go when wothy. His Young Adult Stake President says he can’t go on a regular mission with SSA. Can you tell me the church policy on this? This seems very wrong to me. Thank you.
My heart truly aches for your pain and for the love you have your child. As would any parent, you want the best and that your child may be provided every opportunity to serve the Lord. This is a righteous desire.
Church policy is as such, if the individual has NEVER acted upon his/her same sex attraction then they are provided opportunities to serve in the Church. If they have acted upon their SSA then they must go through a period of repentance in order to be considered worthy. This period of time is at least one year, and may be extended up to three years, or more. The time period is highly influenced by the spirit within the stake president and the counsel in the private meetings they have.
Individuals who have acted upon their SSA with more than one partner, or with one partner over an extended period of time are in RARE cases are allowed to submit papers for a mission. Through the process of repentance above, if the application is accepted the individual then must proceed through other requirements in order to officially be accepted. Speak with your bishop or stake president to discover these.
If the person was a victim of SSA (abused), or if they have not acted upon their attraction (at all) than they may submit their papers and be considered for missionary service.
Thus, in light of your question, you mention your son has worked on worthiness issues. I do not know what you mean, but if you mean, he has acted upon his attraction, then yes, if the stake president doesn’t allow him to submit papers for a mission, whether or not we think it right, it is according to the guidelines the Lord has given his prophets, who in turn have given them to us within the Church Handbook of Instructions.