Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke to BYU students at a campus devotional on November 14, 2017, and answered questions that covered a variety of topics. The following are some of his comments answering the question of what message he had for the LGBT young single adults.
I want anyone who is a member of the Church who is gay or lesbian to know I believe you have a place in the kingdom and recognize that sometimes it may be difficult for you to see where you fit in the Lord’s Church, but you do.
We need to listen to and understand what our LGBT brothers and sisters are feeling and experiencing. Certainly, we must do better than we have done in the past so that all members feel they have a spiritual home where their brothers and sisters love them and where they have a place to worship and serve the Lord.
Elder Ballard taught that when a person loves God, he or she makes—and strives to keep—sacred covenants. Through living the gospel commandments a person will experience “untold blessings” allowing a person to become his or her very best selves—“exactly who God wants us to be.”
Addressing the question, “Where does the Church stand on LGBT civil rights?” Elder Ballard said the Church believes in “fairness for all.”
We believe that the core rights of citizenship should be protected for all people—for LGBT people, for people of all faiths, and for everyone else.
The best approach to balancing rights, Elder Ballard taught, is to protect the core rights of all groups and then find “reasonable compromises in other areas when rights conflict.”
Using the recent Utah nondiscrimination legislation as an example, Elder Ballard said that “we condemn, in the strongest terms, bullying or harassment of any kind. Every person is a child of God. Everyone is entitled to love and respect.
“The reason that the Church supported the LoveLoud festival, here in Utah County, was to send a strong message that LGBT youth or anyone else should never be mistreated and if any were troubled, they should seek help from friends, family members and trained professionals.”
Here are links to Elder Ballard’s talk:
Video and text: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/m-russell-ballard_questions-and-answers/?M=V
Audio and text: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/m-russell-ballard_questions-and-answers/?M=A
But then again, we withdrew from Scouting immediately following its incorporation of various LGBTQRSTUV et al policies and the opening of all programs to girls. Coincidence? Don’t think so.