- None Found to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"
“Dallin Oaks: …[W]e do not accept the fact that conditions that prevent people from attaining their eternal destiny were born into them without any ability to control. That is contrary to the Plan of Salvation, and it is contrary to the justice and mercy of God. It’s contrary to the whole teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which expresses the truth that by or through the power and mercy of Jesus Christ we will have the strength to do all things. That includes resisting temptation. That includes dealing with things that we’re born with, including disfigurements, or mental or physical incapacities. None of these stand in the way of our attaining our eternal destiny. The same may be said of a susceptibility or inclination to one behavior or another which if yielded to would prevent us from achieving our eternal destiny.
Public Affairs: You’re saying the Church doesn’t necessarily have a position on ‘nurture or nature.’
Dallin Oaks: That’s where our doctrine comes into play. The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions – whether nature or nurture – those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on.”
Statement by Dallin H. Oaks, LDS spokesman and Elder Member of the Twelve Apostles of the Church in an interview with the Church’s Public Affairs staff, available at newsroom.lds.org (accessed Aug. 9, 2010)
[Editor’s Note: Bruce C. Hafen, Member of the LDS’ First Quorum of the Seventy, also made a Not Clearly Pro or Con statement regarding the Mormon perspective on whether sexual orientation is determined at birth. These views were expressed in a Sep. 19, 2009 article titled “Elder Bruce C. Hafen Speaks on Same-Sex Attraction,” also available on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website:
“Consider… misconceptions the activists seek to establish as facts in the minds of policymakers and the public… First is the misconception that same-gender attraction is an inborn and unalterable orientation. This untrue assumption tries to persuade you to label yourselves and build your entire identity around a fixed sexual orientation or condition… So much individual variation exists with so many possible explanations that there is simply no scientific consensus about what causes homosexual tendencies.”]
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, founded in New York State in 1830 with just six members, is today the fourth largest church in the United States by independent estimates.”
“Core Beliefs: Why and How Are Mormons Different,” www.lds.org (accessed Aug. 9, 2010)
“Invite all to come unto Christ.”
“Will You? Implementing the Mission of the Church” by V. Dallas Merrell, www.lds.org, Oct. 2001
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