Two pieces of media on homosexuality was released by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week, one for outsiders and one for members.
Published on the Mormon and Gay website, a page used to promote the Book of Mormon to LGBTI people, is a new video.
It shows Xian Mackintosh, a 24-year-old guy born in a big family in Utah who got up the courage to tell his parents he is gay through Facebook.
He had served a two-year mission spreading the gospel.
While mother Becky admits to proposing testosterone treatments as an answer to her son’s homosexuality, and father Scott believed it was a ‘choice’.
‘Xian, why would you choose this?’ he asked his son. ‘Why?’
‘I can’t help but feel the Savior loves him deeply.’
When Xian told his dad ‘I didn’t choose this’, Scott said: ‘I put my arms around my son and just loved him…[And] I can’t help but feel that the Savior loves him deeply.’
The video ends: ‘We may have differences, but at the end of the day, we’re still family.’
Xian is no longer active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The video has had a widely positive reaction. One viewer writes: ‘This is so amazing, the church means what they say… I was literally on the verge of resigning my membership, but this video and its sponsorship and endorsement by the Prophet has caused me to pause. Maybe there is a place for me after all….’
However, the LDS church official magazine providing information and spiritual messages to members took a different tact.
In an article published in the April 2017 issue – released this week – love between same-sex couples is described as ‘counterfeit’ and ‘darkness’.
Same-sex love is ‘counterfeit’ and ‘darkness’
‘The devil has been called “the great deceiver.” He attempts to counterfeit every true principle the Lord presents,’ Elder Larry R Lawrence writes, one of the top leaders in the Mormon church.
‘Remember, counterfeits are not the same as opposites…Counterfeits bear a resemblance to the real thing in order to deceive unsuspecting people. They are a twisted version of something good, and just like counterfeit money, they are worthless. Let me illustrate.’
He continues: ‘One of Satan’s counterfeits for faith is superstition. His counterfeit for love is lust. He counterfeits the priesthood by introducing priestcraft, and he imitates God’s miracles by means of sorcery.
‘Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, but same-sex marriage is only a counterfeit. It brings neither posterity nor exaltation. Although his imitations deceive many people, they are not the real thing. They cannot bring lasting happiness.
‘God warned us about counterfeits in the Doctrine and Covenants. He said, “That which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness”.’
Prospective members of the church must agree, at their baptismal interview, to remain chaste, never enter into a homosexual relationship and marriage is between a man and a woman. Any child of same-sex parents are banned from receiving a blessing unless they ‘specifically disavow the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage’.
LDS members also famously bankrolled a lot of the campaign for Proposition 8, the law that banned same-sex marriage in California.