In an effort to encourage understanding and civil conversation about same-sex attraction, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched the website “Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction” at MormonsAndGays.org. It features a number of powerful videos from people who share real experiences from their own perspectives on this sensitive and sometimes emotionally-charged topic.
Rather than provide a detailed presentation of LDS doctrine and policies relative to homosexuality, the intent of the Mormons and Gays website is to show personal, real-life stories told by members of the church who have first-hand experience with same-gender attraction themselves or through close friends and family members. It shows the human face of a sensitive matter.
The stories on this site can help you better understand the issue and effectively address it in your family, your ward and stake, and in your community. The Church has consistently recognized that this is a difficult issue for many, and has called for civility and respect in dealing with it.
If you don’t know someone who is gay, it is likely because they don’t feel comfortable enough discussing it with you. Roughly 2-3% of the population is gay or lesbian and perhaps 5% considered themselves gay or lesbian at one point in their life. That calculates to over half a million Latter-day Saints. If you add their parents, spouses, brothers, and sisters, it means that several million members of the Church are directly affected. Add to that grandparents, uncles, aunts, and concerned Church leaders, and you can see that the whole Church is touched by this issue in some way.
Learning about same-sex attraction is healthy for all of us. Even if you don’t have a close friend or relative who is attracted to the same gender, there are lessons you can learn that apply to other issues in life. For example, the section of the website about Perspective explains the importance of keeping an eternal perspective in dealing with same-sex attraction. However, that principle holds true in approaching any challenge in life.
I recommend you set aside an hour and watch the various videos on the site. You will have a powerful spiritual experience that will broaden your understanding and deepen your appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If you can only spend a half hour on the site, I’d recommend you start with the overview by Elder Christofferson, then watch the personal stories of Ty, Judy, and Ted.
Below is an introductory video about the site:
You can also reference my article “Explaining Mormon Beliefs: Same-Sex Attraction & Same-Sex Marriage” from September, which has a list of resources to learn more about the topic of same-sex attraction.