I have been thinking a lot about what would happen if more homosexual couples/families/people came to church to worship with us. Sadly, I feel like many of them would be rejected. I would not be surprised to hear that members went up and said something about their lifestyle, or simply said that it was inappropriate for them to be there.
Can we not see how un-Christlike that attitude is? In an article in the Ensign, Elder Holland counsels us to not exclude any of our brothers and sisters: “Some with same-gender attractions have unresolved fears and are offended at church when no offense is intended. On the other hand, some members exclude from their circle of fellowship those who are different. When our actions or words discourage someone from taking full advantage of Church membership, we fail them—and the Lord. The Church is made stronger as we include every member and strengthen one another in service and love.”
A man wearing jeans and smelling of smoke might seem out of place to some, but he would be welcome. A woman with alcohol on her breath would be allowed to quietly sit and learn on the sabbath. And a homosexual couple/person/family should be allowed the same privilege. All are invited to come unto Christ. We are all commanded to seek after Him and learn his words. Just as the Savior ate with the sinners, so should we accept anyone willing to worship reverently with open arms.
Now I want to be clear. While a homosexual couple should be welcome to come worship, they should understand that as long as their actions are not in keeping with the guidelines set by the Lord’s prophets, they cannot partake of the sacrament. They cannot have a calling. They cannot enter the temple and receive the blessings there. This is true of anyone who does not live according to the principles of the gospel and the commandments of God. It is a fine line to walk. We must all learn to accept and love the sinner, but not the sin. (A note: those who struggle with homosexual thoughts do not sin. Only those who act on those thoughts. For more, I direct you here.)
“I desire now to say with emphasis that our concern for the bitter fruit of sin is coupled with Christlike sympathy for its victims, innocent or culpable. We advocate the example of the Lord, who condemned the sin, yet loved the sinner. We should reach out with kindness and comfort to the afflicted, ministering to their needs and assisting them with their problems.”
-President Gordon B. Hinckley
Many people wish to have their homosexual relationships accepted and allowed by church leaders. That would be condoning the sin, and we know that the Lord cannot look on sin with the least degree of allowance (Alma 45:16). But I would like to address the matter of homosexuals seeking acceptance of their relationships in another post.
For now, just know that it is ok for people to sin and be in church. THAT IS THE POINT OF GOING TO CHURCH. It would be a rather lonely building that was filled with only the perfect. We must all learn to be more loving and accepting. We all have need to be loved.
Look to the savior for the perfect example. He turned none away. He beckoned all to “Learn of [Him] and listen to [His] words.” Who are we to take that into our own hands? We have leaders for a reason. I promise that your Bishop will be aware and will address any issues should they need to be. For us it is simply to love. Judgment is not our place! Do not condemn your brother!
In the words of Elder Uchtdorf, “Stop it!”