|"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."|
The issues regarding gay Mormons are difficult because despite the strict laws of God forbidding homosexuality, those feelings and emotions are real and stronger than any except perhaps survival. The desire and need for the love of a companion is innate in everyone. The importance of marriage is central to Mormon beliefs and is required to attain to the highest glory in heaven. The Family: A Proclamation to the World was issued by the First Presidency in 1995 and states that "the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife." The role of husband or wife is afforded every individual in the Plan of Salvation. There are many gay Mormons for whom their same-sex attraction is unwanted as they strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church encourages support from family, bishops, and other Church members as well as providing counseling from LDS Family Services in helping someone overcome these feelings and tendencies.
The struggle to change one's sexual orientation is long and difficult, but there are many formerly gay Mormons that have done it. The Mormon Church stands firm in holding the laws of God supreme, and rejects popular opinion that asserts because 'God made them that way' (or nature), they should be permitted to live a homosexual lifestyle. First, the debate over the biology of same-sex attraction is not over. The factors contributing to it are complex, and cannot be attributed solely to either genetics or environment; but whether it is 'natural' or not, the Book of Mormon states clearly that the natural man is an enemy to God (Mosiah 3:19). Agency is a fundamental principle of the Mormon faith and the correct use of our moral agency is the purpose of mortality. The tendency toward homosexuality is not treated any different than adultery, fornication, or any other violation of the laws of God. Theories of genetic tendencies toward alcoholism have been made in the past by researchers, but the disposition toward vice does not necessitate its acceptance or make it less sinful. Although temptation may be strong, it must be resisted, and any sinful act must be repented of.
The now widespread acceptance of gay and lesbian lifestyles has made this issue more prominent among Mormons. The Mormon Church stands alongside others, such as the Catholic Church and many evangelical faiths, in maintaining that homosexuality is a sin. Social acceptance has led to an increase in the number of Mormons openly identifying themselves as gay. It has also led to the development of a gay Mormon community that embraces both its sexual orientation and affiliation with the Mormon Church. However, this is not in line with the doctrines of Mormonism. There is a difficult balance to maintain in order to be tolerant without accepting what is a sinful practice, and demand obedience to the gospel without alienating gay Mormons. The Church's strict Law of Chastity can cause an added stigma to gay Mormons; this, coupled with the highly political pro-gay movement, sometimes makes it difficult for family or church members to sympathize and give positive assistance. The Mormon Church has greatly developed its resources and training in recent years to properly address the issue of gay Mormons. While in no way condoning homosexual relationships, the Church works with individuals that are attracted to their same sex, and their family members, with patience, tolerance, understanding, and love, to resist these temptations and help them keep the commandments of God.
There are many books, articles, and addresses given by Mormon General Authorities that deal with the issues of gay Mormons. Online there are many support groups as well. Evergreen International is the only known organization for gay Mormons that unequivocally supports Mormon Church doctrine and policy.