LDS Church issues instruction to leaders on same-sex marriage

Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010 | Photo Courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter to congregation leaders across the United States Friday reaffirming the church’s stance on same-sex marriage. The letter also instructed church officials to neither conduct same-sex marriages nor use meetinghouses for activities related to those unions.

“As we face this and other issues of our time, we encourage all to bear in mind our Heavenly Father’s purposes in creating the earth and providing for our mortal birth and experience here as his children,” the church stated in the letter. “Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to his plan for his children and for the well-being of society.”

Church members are encouraged to review “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” a statement made by the church in the mid-1990s relating to families and its standard on sexuality morality.

“Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established,” the church said.

However, while the church maintains its long-held position, it also asks that advocates of same-sex marriage be treated civilly by church member, and ask that church members be treated the same in return.

The letter stated: “Just as those who promote same-sex marriage are entitled to civility, the same is true for those who oppose it. The Church insists on its leaders’ and members’ constitutionally protected right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family, and morality free from retaliation or retribution.”

Church leadership stated it would not allow meetinghouses to be used for same-sex marriage ceremonies, and also instructed its clergy not to take part in such ceremonies.

“Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same-sex marriages.”

Despite this, visitors to meetinghouses are welcome as long as they respect the church’s standards therein.

The letter closes with a plea to church members to pray for the those individuals who “are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future.”

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010 | Photo Courtesy of  Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010 | Photo Courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.


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  • LDSmember January 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Article of Faith #12:

    We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    • Nanook of the North January 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      It’s legal in most places to distribute pornographic materials. Do you think Deseret Book should be required to have Playboy on their shelves beside the Ensign so that those who “choose” to view pornography have the option?

      • Nanook of the North January 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm

        You can certainly be subject to the law… without embracing every single thing that’s legal.

    • Victoria January 11, 2014 at 6:25 am

      Mosiah 29:12-13
      Alma 10:19

      I found these scriptures helpful in explaining the potential differences in God’s law and civil law.

  • Faith January 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    So i am just curious about s few things with this statement. Church was founded and practiced polygamy as part of gods word, federal government outlaws polygamy and the church changes its stance, abandoning one if its founding principals. African Americans were not able to hold the priesthood until the civil rights movement, the church was forced to change its policy again. How can an organization say they will hold to Gods law when they have been influenced by civil law and abandoned some of their core principals. I would equate this as being similar to the civil rights movement and eventually the church’s stance will change. I don’t necessarily think this a bad thing, evolution is sometimes the key to survival.

  • Christine January 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    They changed the rules against polygamy when it suited them, why not change this? Gay people are not hurting anyone.

  • bUB January 10, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    d&c 132 : KNOW IT, LOVE IT, LIVE IT! …

  • Taylor January 11, 2014 at 1:29 am

    To all LDS church members:
    Please keep in mind that we are all God’s children and He does love all of us, regardless of who we may be. Discriminating against people who are homosexual is almost, if not just, as bad as when the church refused to let African American men hold the priesthood until the 1970’s. All you seem to be doing is making the world a more hateful place by refusing to conduct same sex marriages in your church. For a church who is supposed to be accepting of everyone, you’re not doing an adequate job.
    An Ex-Member

    • Sweet Jude January 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Finally, an ex- coming out, not hiding behind his tail. I respect that you stated who you are. In answer to your question, yes, God does love everyone. But he favors those who uphold his laws. God does not bend or change to men’s selfish desires. The only purpose behind his law is for the progress and happiness of man, how he sees it. You should have learned that in Sunday school long before you left the Church..oh well…

  • Craig January 11, 2014 at 6:01 am

    The LDS Church needs to be investigated for getting involved in politics. Take away their tax exempt status.

    • Amanda January 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

      The LDS church has the right to inform their members on where they stand on MORAL or political issues. (In my opinion its not a political issue but a moral issue.) We as Americans have freedom of speech to say as we please. Would you take that away just because you disagreed with someone or a group? I think our freedom of speech is much more important then people agreeing or being forced to agree with one another.

  • zacii January 11, 2014 at 8:24 am

    7-10 years before they cave. Any takers?

    • Phil January 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Yeah take away their tax exempt status and then they can go full on corporate political.

      sounds great.

      • Kolby Mitchell January 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm

        Back in the late 1800s people thought that just by murdering the prophet Joseph Smith would stop the churches growth, and many back then believed that the church would fall apart soon after. Back then we were a very poor people, now we are a large church that grows daily. God will always watch over his church, it will not fail, you will see and become testimonies to Gods power.

        • Christine January 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm

          sorry, what were you saying? I fell asleep….

    • Craig January 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Just as soon as the church can figure out a way to make money from same sex marriage, they will change their tune.

  • Reed January 11, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Marrying only one wife does not hurt anyone. Giving blacks the priesthood does not hurt anyone. All sex outside of traditional marriage destroys lives, is disrespectful and rude, tears down everyone involved, and leaves people less than they could be. Sin is that which keeps someone from being their best self. The LDS church will never be so hateful as to promote gay marriage or any other destructive behavior. Love does actually include caring about peoples growth and development not just being permissive.

    • Sweet Jude January 11, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Amen to that! This is precisely why families are being destroyed in our day and time. The Church is all about acceptance and love; it also teaches moral responsibility which some people call “intolerance” or “hate”.

    • skip2maloo January 11, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Actually, marrying one wife who turns out to be quite a demon (making false allegations that lead to the father being separated from his child) does, in this case, hurt several people. I won’t go into the claims about “best self” and “growth and development.” Generalizations like these don’t always transfer as readily as one might think.

    • Faith January 11, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Interesting comments, 1: The church realized it needed to move away from polygamy for some reason, maybe because it was determined to be unhealthy for a family unit. The church promoted and was founded on this lifestyle which was deemed “destructive”. 2:You talk about people being hateful, African Americans being excluded until the winds of the civil rights movement came. The church flat out excluded an entire race, but that apparently didn’t hurt anybody either. We are not talking about sex outside of marriage(that is a whole other argument) Hold to your beliefs after all that is your right, just get off your ivory tower of judgement. Hate to tell you all this, the gay couples will still be there regardless of marriage. They will still hold hands and act like a couple, Denying them marriage only destroys their ability to be everything they can be as parents and a family.

    • Christine January 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Having sex does not affect anybody but the parties involved and the children that are produced in such unions. Not a problem in this case

  • Judy G January 11, 2014 at 10:19 am

    If the Mormon Church turns a blind eye on Polygamy, why doesn’t it do it with Homosexuality? People are going to do what they feel and want too anyway. God made us all the same. The time is coming that the Church’s can’t control people’s lives. The big church’s are all about $$ anyway.

  • Ron January 11, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Although God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, He did leave the 99 and go after the one that was lost. We all are sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters. Remember God himself wept when He saw that His sons and daughters hated one another. “And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept…. The Lord said … Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood.” While we can never change God’s laws to accommodate changing morality we must remember God’s great two commandments: to love God and to love one another.

  • lds jackmormon January 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I’m a member but i don’t attend because: 1- it’s mind-numbingly boring, 2-it’s an expensive social club to belong to, 3-it reminds me of MLM, 4-it’s a cult.

    • Christine January 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Why are you a member again?…..

      • lds jackmormon January 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        take a wild guess

        • Christine January 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm

          not a clue, that’s why I asked

    • Ken January 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Ding ding ding..winner winner..chicken dinner!!!

  • Kolby Mitchell January 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    To Taylor,
    We are to love, care for, the sinner, and hate the sin! So we won’t support the sin with our buildings. That is what we believe and teach. People like your self that try to force others to believe in some one else’s belief makes haters in the world, but the standards toward same sex marriage will never change. And this has nothing to do with the blacks way back when. And that did not change due to government, but revelation from God. So keep your lack of faith to your self, read the scriptures and pray a little more.
    A believer!!

    • Nonbeliever January 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      The gay community did not ask you or your church to open their doors to them.
      They did not ask you to share their meeting houses with them or represent them in anyway.
      You and others have taken a statement from your church and twisted it into a possible attack or corruption of your places of worship.
      You jumped from the church’s statement of allowing visitors to fearing there will be some horrible display of homosexuality in your meetinghouse.
      Obviously you have some cartoonish idea of how gay people act.
      The truly sad thing is the spread of these hateful and bigoted beliefs moves faster than the common cold around here.
      You can rest easy and your places of worship will remain as they were.
      No one from the gay community would want to sit beside a bunch of people who believe they are aberrations and sinners.

  • Roberta Johannes January 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you Koby Mitchell. My thoughts exactly. It is reassuring to know that our meetinghouses and Biships will continue to hold high moral standards. A safe haven for our families to grow as God intended. There are plenty of other places and people who will support gay marriages, so this shouldn’t even be an issue. The only reason it’s an issue is because homosexuals want for us to embrace their lifestyle by saying it is okay. They know it is not okay and it’s not okay with many, many people. No matter what you say, I will not think it is okay, however, I will love and embrace you, the individual. Quit shoving it in our faces and telling us how we must feel. We have our own free agency and choose to love the sinner but not the sin.

    • Nonbeliever January 12, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Believe me they are not looking to you or your select elite few for approval.
      None of this is about asking for your approval, asking you to join them or embrace them in any way.
      You and the others have confused the issues out of your fear and ignorance.
      These adults are asking only to be given fair and equal treatment as consenting human beings.
      You don’t have to agree with them, you don’t have to like them or ever speak to them if you so choose. They aren’t forcing you to change your opinions and they certainly aren’t asking you to change your life style to make them feel more comfortable.
      Odds are you will rarely if ever see these people in public behaving like a married or otherwise couple.
      The mass majority of Mormons have made it perfectly clear how they view these adults and they remain for the most part quietly living out of site.

      • Believer January 13, 2014 at 8:35 am

        Nonbeliever, I believe you may have a very important point incorrect. You say, “None of this is about asking for your approval, asking you to join them or embrace them in any way.” Have you been paying attention to the news lately? “Fair and equal treatment?” Hmmmm. In reading through the comments, this all seems to be very one sided and lots of misconceptions about people of faith. Stating your opinions on things you know little about regarding people you don’t really know very well. It is reasuring to many that the church itself will not change until God changes his mind about the family unit. The church will not change because certain groups of people tell them they have to in order not to be bigots. It gives me a stronger testimony the more you all disagree. As far as fair and equal treatment? Where is the churchs’ fair and equal treatment? Any article talking about this issue is rife with comments of what seems to be a hatred of a people who love God, others, and what they believe.

        • Nonbeliever January 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm

          As a former longtime member of the LDS church I know exactly how the church and its members feel about homosexuality.
          The church carefully and quietly encouraged its members to fight it. As it continues to do so.
          Utah behaves as though there is no separation of church and state.
          This is wrong. This heavy influence inevitably breeds corruption in all areas.
          Utah is still part of the US and must exist and abide by the laws governing all of its people, not just those that fit their religious agenda.

  • Christine January 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    You know what? i don’t know why this is a problem. gay people aren’t allowed o be members, so why would they ask to be married or use their facilities? Th LDS church has already solidified their position of bigotry.

    • Believer January 13, 2014 at 8:37 am

      It’s an issue because you all are making it so. Gay people are allowed to be members. This church is open to everyone.

      • Christine January 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm

        That is simply not true. i know gay people who were excommunicated for being gay. They were my neighbors for 4 byears.

  • rene torres January 14, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    to all upholders of same sex marriage follow the dictate of your conscience, if you want to produce an offspring through penis and penis vagina and vagina and fingers let it be. you are all free but please dont use the name of god in solemnizing your is totally against to his natural laws and moral laws of majority.make your own church and ritual of worshiping thy own god you are all FREE!

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