These attractions aren’t sinful.
The Church has made it clear that a homosexual orientation is not a choice and is not a sin. It is a complex reality for a certain percentage of people. In fact, sexual orientation is complex for everybody, and nobody chooses their orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual. What the Church does emphasize is that we are responsible for how we express our sexuality. The Church strongly encourages young people to avoid pre-marital sexual relations. We know that every one of us experiences temptations. It is never the temptation that is the sin. In fact, our temptations are not chosen. Heterosexuals often experience temptations related to their sexuality, as do homosexuals. Your homosexual children and your heterosexual children will experience temptation as part of their adolescence. We must all learn to master our temptations and our urges. The Church encourages us to use the tools of obedience and repentance so temptations don’t become a barrier to our eternal progression and our happiness.
If you have a homosexual son or daughter, encourage him or her to live the law of chastity in the same way as your heterosexual sons or daughters. The Church wisely encourages that youth wait until they are in committed marriages before they exercise their sexuality.
Quotes from Church Leaders
God Loveth His Children (p. 1) says, “Notwithstanding your present same-gender attractions, you can be happy during this life, lead a morally clean life, perform meaningful service in the Church, enjoy full fellowship with your fellow saints, and ultimately receive all the blessings of eternal life.” On p. 6 it says, “Attractions alone do not make you unworthy.”
Elder Holland says something similar: “If you do not act on temptations, you have not transgressed.”
The Church website says: “The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is.”
Since the Church defines homosexual activity as a sin, a gay man or woman who wants to hold a temple recommend must be single/celibate or be married to someone of the opposite sex. These options are discussed further on the page on science.
Move on to Question 3: Are Gay Mormons Expected to Diminish or Resolve their Attractions?
Go back to: What does the Church say? for a list of all the questions