by Matt Slick
When it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage, to its credit the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says,
"The Church’s doctrinal position is clear: Sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married . . . Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family. The Church accordingly favors measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that do not confer legal status on any other sexual relationship."1
But, is homosexual attraction a sin according to LDS theology? No, it is not.
"The Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and behavior. While maintaining that feelings and inclinations toward the same sex are not inherently sinful, engaging in homosexual behavior is in conflict with the “doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture . . . that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”2
We applaud the sensitivity and kindness with which the LDS church approaches this subject, and how it advocates kindness and opposes violence. However, it misses the mark when it says "feelings and inclinations toward the same sex are not inherently sinful," but that "engaging in homosexual behavior is in conflict with the 'doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture.'" So, it is saying that homosexual attraction is not sinful until it is acted upon. Think about this. Is a man's lust for another woman not sinful until he acts on that lust? Is a person's covetousness not sinful until he acts on it? Is the desire to lie and deceive not sinful until it is acted on? Such thinking is unbiblical. God judges the heart--not just the action.
- Matthew 5:28, "but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
- Matthew 15:19, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man."
- Romans 7:8, "But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead."
So, we are sinners in our hearts and need to repent even of the sinfulness within us--not just that which is manifested externally. God requires perfection, but our hearts and desires are imperfect. Only through the true Jesus (not the Jesus of Mormonism) can forgiveness be found.
The LDS church is wrong when it says "feelings and inclinations toward the same sex are not inherently sinful." They are because they are--by nature--wrong.