David A. Bednar says there are no gay people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because, essentially, there are no gay people.
Speaking in Chile last week during a Q and A for a regional conference, Bednar was asked, “How can homosexual members of the church live and remain steadfast in the gospel?”
Bednar replied, “I want to change the question,” as Raw Story's David Edwards first reported.
He then explained his theory, one held by the Church, that no one is actually born homosexual (or bisexual, for that matter) but rather, God gives people challenges they are to overcome, homosexuality being one of them.
“There are no homosexual members of the church. We are not defined by sexual attraction,” said Bednar. “We are not defined by sexual behavior. We are sons and daughters of God. And all of us have different challenges in the flesh.”
Frankly, I agree with him on principle. I have been championing this for years. However, I am a gay Mormon and have written as such for those same years. The fact of the matter is that we humans do self-identify by many different methods and sexuality is one of them.
Bednar, and I love the dude, is trying to give an advanced course in the pre-existence to a group of reporters who haven't passed Mormon 101. There is an internet out there -- leaders of the Mormon Church. Use it to get proper messages across in a timely fashion with impeccable referencing.
Or is such a thing necessary.
Regardless, the era of speaking from your heart to a select few members of the church in a local meeting and have it stay local are over. Open the floor to everyone.
Back to the story: He then went on to recite the church's stance that homosexual love is only a sin if it is expressed sexually -- nothing new there.
“Simply being attracted to someone of the same gender is not a sin,” Bednar continued. “There are many members of the church who may have some manifestation of that attraction. They honor their covenants, the keep the commandments, they are worthy, they can receive the blessings of the temple and they can serve in the church.”
“It is when we act on the inclination or the attraction, that’s when it becomes a sin,” the elder continued. “We do not discriminate and we are not bigots. We extend Christ-like love to all sons and daughters of God.”
Bednar's comments come just a few short months after the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced that Mormons who are in same-sex relationships, even though legal, are to be considered "apostates," subject to ex-communication, and their children cannot be baptized, or become members of the LDS church until they turn 18.
So, what is the answer to the origional question? How can homosexual members of the church live and remain steadfast in the gospel?
Answer: By following the commandments. "They honor their covenants, the keep the commandments, they are worthy, they can receive the blessings of the temple and they can serve in the church."