The Church has spoken in favor of a federal bill supporting same-sex marriage, while still maintaining the position that homesexual activity is inconsistent with the teachings of the Gospel. Here is the statement from the Church’s Newsroom:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to marriage between a man and a woman is well known and will remain unchanged.
We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We believe this approach is the way forward. As we work together to preserve the principles and practices of religious freedom together with the rights of LGBTQ individuals, much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding.
A news story on the announcement comes from Fox News: “Mormon church comes out in support of federal law protecting same-sex marriage.” This seems like a significant change considering the Church’s emphasis on defending traditional marriage a few years ago, but the doctrine has not changed. What doctrine? Consider the statements in the important “Proclamation on the Family” (or, “The Family: A Proclamation”) from 1995. Here is an excerpt:
We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.
Some people are hoping that this statement will be renounced, but in my opinion it’s so tied to our core doctrines and theology, so rooted in the ancient scriptures, the restored Temple concept, and early Christianity and ancient Judaism, that I can’t imagine a successful push to renounce the Proclamation on the Family or revoke its teachings on marriage. But my opinion, of course, is not frequently consulted when decisions in this world are made. Some will continue to downplay or ignore that statement, but I think we are more likely to see it officially canonized in the future than to see it withdrawn or repudiated.
3 thoughts on “The Church Announces Support for a Bill Supporting Same-Sex Marriage”
You’re extremely naive if you don’t recognize that this simply allows them to enshrine in law their “right” to continue to discriminate while giving the appearance of tolerance. [emphasis on the word “appearance”]
The word, “doctrine” comes from the latine word “docere” which means “to teach”. If someone comes out and openly supports an ideology or behavior, that ideology or behavior has become their doctrine. They are expressing support for it publicly, in essence they are teaching it.
I’m sorry, I don’t drink this “Sunday Mormon” Kool-aid, Jeff. You don’t get to claim you believe something on Sunday and then contradict it on Monday. It says far more about the church when they support these kind of bills and government policies than when they speak in General Conference twice a year.
I suggest we all re-read JST Mark 9:46-48 and ask ourselves if we are following it.
The doctrine of the Proclamation on the Family remains in force, as does the doctrine of respecting those we disagree with and being kind neighbors and good citizens. If a member or leader of the Church faces the political and social reality that same-sex marriages are now recognized as valid under the laws of this land and in other nations, and feels that it is wiser for the Church to recognize that reality and accept the secular legal validity of such marriages, that stance is not the same as saying that the Church now rejects canonized doctrines or condones homosexual activity. Your reference to JST Mark 9:46 in this context indicates you feel President Nelson is a transgressor who should be cast out. That’s pretty harsh. I get that it’s uncomfortable politically for many, but I don’t think it’s proper to denounce the Prophet as a sinner.
This is not to say that I like the decision to support that law, for I share the concern of Senator Mike Lee about the future abuse of this law by ideologues who may use it to punish some Christians and the Church in particular. But I can understand the good-faith intentions in supporting this law and though it’s not what I personally would do, that’s no basis for any of us to call President Nelson a transgressor or to demean the Church. It may ultimately be inspired and wise in light of harsh political realities and threats or other factors, or it may be just a human decision that we can disagree with, but sustaining the leaders the Lord selects means sustaining mortal who are likely to see things differently than we do. Be patient on this, and be forgiving if needed.