Gay Sin

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Does anyone know of strong scriptural support (outside of the Law of Moses) for the idea that homosexual acts are sins?

98 thoughts on “Gay Sin

  1. Eric, as I have mentioned a few times already, my faith in the church came about when I notieced that THEY were following the teachings of men. THEY were doing exactly what we are told NOT to do. THIS was the straw that broke the camels back. Up until that time I felt that I was born with the tendancy to be gay, but the church said “No, nobody is born that way, and it is completely curable!” After electricuting countless numbers of their gay members to try to “cure” them… and forcing them to sign papers to indicate that they WERE cured…. they officially have stopped this practice (Thank Goodness).

    When I read the article by Dallin Oaks that a well meaning friend gave to me thinking that that would “save me” from my homosexualty”, she gave me the one thing that destroyed me.

    I had married on the premise that was the official teaching that Bishops were told to tell everyone at the time…. that if one got married.. remained close to the Lord…. we would come back to our natural way…. we would be hetro sexual! I was so thrilled to believe that…. so…. I got married. NOTHING changed!

    I also told myself that I could not have been born with tendancy to be gay because THAT is what the church teaches… NOBODY is born that way. I could NOT understand that… as I felt that I was born at least with the tendancy… but since we have prophets… THEY must be right…. and I must be wrong. As long as I held on to that, I was safe.

    Then…. as mentioned…. I read the article by Dallin Oaks. I was livid…. words can not express how angry I was. I HAD FOLLOWED BLINDLY THE PROPHET. Now I was being told in the ensign by an appostle that it is quite possible that we are BORN with the tendancy to be gay!!!!! In addition to that… I was told that we should NOT have “fast fix” marriages!!!!

    So, let me put this in another way. The experts in the 50’s and 60’s said that homosexuality was pshcological….. so THAT was what the church taught.. and safely as that is what the world was teaching.

    Then…. when the experts said that it could be inborn… what does the church do…..THEY change to follow the experts. I was disgusted. In addition…. they have made NO appology to the thousands of men and women who got married following the leaders recommendations of many years ago!

    So now they ask us to follow them?!!! I am wish with all my heart that I could….. but I can not. It hurts me more than them, much more than them …. to have lost my faith….. not because of me….. but because they obviously were not concerned enough to seek the Lord in behalf of its gay members who make probably around 5% to 10% of the members.

    When Joseph Smith gave he word of wisdom…. he gave it years before scientist said anything bad about smoking, caffine in coffee etc. Why is it then that the prophet could not do the same and be consistent with it teachings on gays…… WHERE WAS THE REVELATION?

    As far as porn goes… the church used porn when electricuting the numerious innocent victums while giving them the reparitive therapy. Many of those victums NEVER looked at porn until the church subject them to look at it while electricuting them with amounts of electricity that were excruciatingly painful. My one friend told me that it was so deeply painful that he had to go for psyciatric help after the treatments as he could not get an errection without expieriencing pain! WHERE IS THE APPOLOGY FROM FOR THIS FOR AN “EXPERIMENT” THAT WAS FORCED ON MEMBERS…. THAT DID NOT WORK! It has never come.

  2. Eric, “If you want to justify a sin. . . just ignore modern day prophets, claim the scriptures don’t specifically prohibit it. . . and find some ‘expert’ who says its good for you and pow, a justified sin.”

    If my comment made it sound that simplistic, the process of making sense of homosexuality, for LDS people, is far more complex. It also involves concerted prayer, deep soul searching and a great deal of anguish. To reduce the process to such a thoughtless simplicity only tends to further denigrate those who have suffered the effects of societal and ecclesiastic prejudice for so long.

  3. “If my comment made it sound that simplistic, the process of making sense of homosexuality, for LDS people, is far more complex.”

    MahNahvu, as mentioned in my note that I wrote above your last one, I have NOT been able to make sense of homosexuality for LDS people. You yourself mentioned that there is no scriptural base. For me, because of things I mentioned above, I do not see justification from Modern Prophets…….. so how have you been able to make sense of homosexualtiy for LDS people……. or have you become like me….. you have not made sense of it at all. I am NOT asking this as an idle question. I would really like to know your thoughts on this…. for I see no believable explaination for LDS teachings on this subject. I see only unfounded changing teachings that one can not concider to be revealed. This relazation came to me, not because I was looking for it….. but simply because it happened. If you can shed more light on this for me, I would be most greatful.

  4. Does anyone know of strong scriptural support (outside of the Law of Moses) for the idea that bestiality and child rape are sins?

  5. As far as I know, bestiality is only mentioned in the Mosaic law: Ex 22:19; Le 18:23; 20:16.

    Rape of young virgins appeards to be condoned by God here:

    Judges 21:10-24
    Numbers 31:7-18
    Deuteronomy 20:10-14

    The Deuteronomy passage would be considered part of the Law of Moses.

  6. Perhaps it’s a good idea to follow the Prophet we have now. The Prophet says homosexual behavior is sinful. I’m not sure I see the point in demanding other scriptural support for what he says.

  7. I don’t believe Prophets can say “whatever they want.” Rather, Prophets are supposed to say what the Lord wants them to say.

    If Prophets are required to have previous scriptures supporting everything they say, then there can be no new revelation.

  8. Do you believe he’s going to lead us astray? Or do you believe, as I do, that the Prophet will not do so? Do you feel safer following him, or replacing his counsel with your own personal opinions and judgments?

  9. I am not sure why you are asking for my opinion when I am trying to address the points you are making. What I think seems to be irrelevant at the moment.

    That being said, I do not see what leading us astray has to do with whether or not it is important to differentiate between revelation from the prophet and opinion from the prophet.

  10. I’m surprised you think personal opinions are irrelevant, since you’re asking about my own personal opinions.

    How do YOU decide whether to follow the Prophet’s counsel or whether to reject it? Do you demand that he quote some past prophet in the scriptures to justify what he’s saying? Do you have more faith in a dead Prophet than in a living one?

  11. I didn’t say any or all personal opinions are irrelevant. I said mine is irrelevant. If you need me to, I can quote what I said for clarification.

  12. Kim, it appears to me that you want others to express their personal beliefs so you can assail them, without being willing to put your own beliefs on the line. I’m afraid I don’t have much respect for that. However, I think my answers above have made my positions clear enough, irrespective of whether you’re willing to take a position of your own rather than just take shots at the positions of others.

  13. Um, now correct me if I am wrong (and I am sure someone will) but hmmmm…I immediately think of Sodom and Gomorrah (yes my spelling sucks)…Heavenly Father has this city destroyed because of it’s homosexuality. Sodom-Sodomy….hmmmmmmmm….


  14. And BTW…my husbands eyes just fell out of their sockets when I told him why I was posting that…he said “that was a serious question?”


  15. Hmm, well I always thought so too, Kris, but Kim says he has heard otherwise? I will have to check this out. Maybe it isn’t specific? Boy, I am certainly not a scriptorian (but I know my primary songs!!!)

  16. Well, yes it was a serious question, because there doesn’t seem to be many specific scriptures relating to homosexuality, or actually “spelling it out”. Kim isn’t saying that homosexuality is acceptable to the Lord, he just was curious where the specific scriptures are located. None of his queries have hidden meanings (well ok, some are tongue in cheek) but when he asks these, any of these questions, he either wants to seriously know what people think, or see what information is out there (especially if he has not been able to locate it). And even though some people seem to think he already has an opinion on most of the areas, he usually doesn’t. He has an inquiring mind. He really does. The sad thing is, there are some people who think he is just trying to stir the pot or be controversial. He honestly is not.

  17. The only scripture I know of that discusses why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed is James 1:7:

    “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

    While some interpret “going after strange flesh” as meaning homosexuality, others translate it as referring to bestiality. It certainly isn’t clear that it refers to homosexuality. For that matter, Jewish scholars claim Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their greed, and Josephus states that they were “chastised . . . for their arrogance” (Jewish Antiquities 1:194-195).

    Why did your husband not think this post was serious?

  18. Um, now correct me if I am wrong (and I am sure someone will) but hmmmm…I immediately think of Sodom and Gomorrah. Heavenly Father has this city destroyed because of it’s homosexuality.

    God had already decided to destroy Sodom before the conflict outside Lot’s house, not as a direct result of that encounter (see Gen. 18). If the intent of the mob outside of Lot’s house was to have sex with the two strangers (the text does not explicitly state this) it would have been non-consensual sex, and hence, gang-rape. If God considers homosexual gang-rape sinful, does it necessarily follow that any and all homosexual activity is sinful? Can the same logic be applied to heterosexual rape? Gang rape is not about sex. It is a deplorable act of violence, ruthlessly aimed at controlling and humiliating the victim.

    Sodom is mentioned in the Old Testament 39 times. Never is the ‘sin’ of Sodom referred to as being sexual in general or homosexual in particular. Rather, Old Testament prophets have described it as consisting of pride, inhospitality, and mistreatment of the poor and vulnerable. Here is one example:

    Ezekiel 16:49-50: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did they strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me; therefore I took them away . . . .” The Hebrew word translated here as “abomination” is to’evah, which generally refers to idolatrous and ritual practices connected with pagan worship. See also, Isa. 13:11, 19; Jer. 23:14.

    The interpretation of the “sin of Sodom” as referring to inhospitality survived into the 4th century AD, when it began to be replaced by references to homosexuality. The LDS church often describes this period of history as “The Great Apostasy.”

    In 1843 Joseph Smith taught that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for “rejecting the prophets,” a marked departure from the traditional interpretation. (B. H. Roberts, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, paperback issue, 1978, 5:237.)

  19. The only scripture I know of that discusses why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed is James 1:7.

    While some interpret “going after strange flesh” as meaning homosexuality, others translate it as referring to bestiality.

    Still others note that “fornication” often in the NT can refer to idolatry, and that “flesh” here denotes human society in vain self-exaltation (cf. 1Pet.1:24). (Bo Reicke, Anchor Bible, 37, p199)

    Some see a connection (alluded to in vs. 6) with Gen. 6:1-4, where the sons of god cohabitated with the daughters of men. Indeed Jubilees 20: 5-6 closely associates the divine judgement of the “Giants” with that of the Sodomites. In this case it may suggest a tradition where it was the women outside of Lot’s house that wished to “cohabit” with the angels in Lot’s house. Keep in mind that the text in Gen. 19:4 reads “all the people from every quarter” came to Lot’s abode. The Heb. ‘am can include women as well as men, and there is nothing to demand that the crowd was only composed of men.

  20. In regard to the remarks I made in comments 57-65, I offer the following excerpt from an address by President Ezra Taft Benson given at Brigham Young University in 1980, entitled “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet”:

    “In conclusion let us summarize this grand key, these ‘Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet’, for our salvation depends on them.

    “1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

    “2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.

    “3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.

    “4. The prophet will never lead the church astray.

    “5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

    “6. The prophet does not have to say “Thus Saith the Lord,” to give us scripture.

    “7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.

    “8. The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.

    “9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.

    “10. The prophet may advise on civic matters.

    “11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.

    “12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.

    “13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency—the highest quorum in the Church.

    “14. The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.”

    Of course, there’s much more to the address. I recommend you read it in its entirety at

  21. “I say that we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures. If only each of us would be wise enough to say that we aren’t able to answer any question unless we can find a doctrinal answer in the scriptures! And if we hear someone teaching something that is contrary to what is in the scriptures, each of us may know whether the things spoken are false—it is as simple as that. But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about the things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think that therein is one of our biggest dangers of today” (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Dec. 1972, p. 3).

    Incidentally, President Lee was the president of the church when he said this.

  22. Furthermore,

    “If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl Of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion. The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by the same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth” (harold B. Lee, The First Area General Conference for Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Spain of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Munich Germany, August 24-26, 1973, with Reports and Discourses)

    Again spoken as president of the CHurch.

  23. As an objective question, how do we know that President Lee wasn’t expressing his personal opinion in these addresses? (Or that President Benson wasn’t?) And does the same test apply to both?

  24. The same test doesn’t apply to both, just President Lee, since at the time of his comment, he was president of the Church; President Benson was a member of the Twelve.

  25. But how do we know that either, or neither, or both was speaking only his own opinion?

  26. In Lee’s case, at least, his statement is backed up with many cases of prophets who have prefaced new doctrine with the clarification that it came from God. His statement is also verified through such items as D&C 138 and OD 1&2.

  27. Are President Benson’s statements inconsistent with the scriptures? Does it contradict them? According to whose interpretation?

  28. Incidentally, Kim, I think if I had cited the examples of D&C 138 and the Official Declarations, you might have responded that these show that new revelations can be put in the scriptures, not that the scriptures are always required to back up new revelations.

    But of course, that’s only my guess.

  29. ltbugaf, I got your point back in posts 56-65. That we should follow the living prophet is tangentally related to the topic, which asks for strong scriptural support that homosexual acts are sins. Are you suggesting that teachings of church leaders be considered scripture, regardless of whether these have been presented to the church for acceptance into the official canon?

  30. I’m suggesting that the instructions of church leaders should be followed regardless of whether they have been made scripture.

  31. More on point, I’m suggesting that President Hinckley doesn’t need a specifically topical scriptural passage to support the teaching that homosexual conduct is sinful.

  32. I really don’t know. There’s been an awfully long list of comments.

    However, some have suggested that anything the Prophet says without specific scriptural support is just his own opinion. Personal opinions are not the kind of thing people generally feel bound to obey.

    I suggest that when the Prophet speaks in his leadership role, his words are likely to be inspired in varying degrees and that we are ALWAYS better off following him.

    Dean and others are suggesting that the Prophet is just flat wrong on this point. They seem to be hoping President Hinckley will someday see the light that they already see. I believe a better approach is for them to follow the one who has the keys, and believe what he’s telling them.

  33. “I suggest that when the Prophet speaks in his leadership role, his words are likely to be inspired in varying degrees and that we are ALWAYS better off following him.”

    Which is precisely why people like Mark Hoffman can get away with the things he did.

    Blind obedience lead to problems.
    Assuming that one is ALWAYS better off when listening to a prophet is blind obedience.

  34. Rick, I can’t agree that President Hinckley’s words did anything to contribute to Mark Hoffman’s murders. I also think you should have another look at President Hinckley’s words, where he explicitly stated that there was no way for the Church to be sure whether the documents were genuine or not.

    I also don’t advocate a blind obedience that never seeks to understand or to gain a personal testimony of what the Prophet says. I only suggest that we have no foundation for requiring him to provide scriptural support for every new thing he says, before we will accept or follow it.

  35. I do believe that once a person has obtained a testimony of the Church, or of the Prophet, it’s not always necessary to seek and obtain a new personal testimony of everything that comes from the Church or the Prophet.

  36. Those following this thread might be interested in a new web site about homosexuality from the perspective of Latter-day Saints. The material is organized around the 1995 Ensign article by Elder Dallin Oaks on Same Gender Attraction.

  37. I have read many of the posts in this section and feel I have to interject my opinion and feelings.
    I was molested when I was 8 and again when I was 9. This was done by my brother. He is now an Athiest.(or thinks he is) Through the years I have had many personal battles on the subjects of morality and homosexuality. I am now learning that the gospel, and this life in general is about controling our thoughts. When I was younger I would live my entire life in my Subconscious mind. Letting my life follow the path of least resistance. This was my way of dealing with, or not dealing with what I had been through. When things got tough I would revert back to what felt comfortable, namely immorality. I would spend many many hours inslaved to pornography. Then as a natural result my mind would go to other sins and problems. I hurt many people when I was involved in this way of life. There were many times when thoughts of homosexuality would enter my mind. sometimes I would ponder them and wonder. I would even go to chat rooms and watch men.
    I got my life to a point that I had to change. I became reactive in the church and found things got easier but did not go away. Through the counsel of a wonderfull inspired bishop I have finally gotten to the point that these thoughts no longer haunt me. I still have the temptation, but I am learning to program my mind to change the subject to the Savior anytime these thought arise.
    For the last 6 years I have had a neighbor that I have a great deal of respect for. He was my elder’s Quorum President, and most recently the High Priest Group Leader. he is a very spiritual man. a month ago he and his wife seperated and are getting a divorce. She has taken a same sex room mate, and is in a sexual relationship with her. The children are young, and are the biggest victims. This has happened once before to her and it destroyed another family in our ward a few years ago.
    This is not a victimless sin. I don’t know all the details about it but I do believe that some people are born with those (homosexual) tendancies. Just as I have my own sins to overcome. The Adversary knows what my weeknesses are and will exploit them all he can to destroy me. But the only way to overcome my sins, and for anyone to overcome the weeknesses is to bring them before the Lord. Remember Ether 12:27-28. I have a strong testimony of this. I have seen it work in my life.

  38. I found Dean’s responses quite interesting. When I married my wife, I was assigned to be a HT companion and he was really a nice guy, married and had children. I remember telling my wife that I felt like he was gay. Turns out he was.

    A family moved into our Ward and I told my wife, I think the husband is gay, he acts gay. After several years the couple split because he was gay.

    If you can sense a person is gay and they are living a rightoues life, does the fact the are gay make them a sinner?

    In Deans writings, he talks about he was exed and he attends a different church knowing he can never come back to his religion.

    If one of your children is gay, would you support exing him for being gay? Would you support the exing knowing they can never be a member of the Lord’s Church?

  39. “If you can sense a person is gay and they are living a rightoues life, does the fact the are gay make them a sinner?”

    No, I would say it certainly does not. We are judged on our thoughts and actions. Well, the Lord is the only one who knows are thoughts and even then we have more leeway as He so strongly believes in choice.

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