Homosexuality was one of the many issues grappled with at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 183rd Semiannual General Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, over the weekend. While the nation has experienced changing tides on the gay marriage front, leaders made it clear that the LDS Church will not be jumping on board to support the issue.
During the conference, Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke out about a plethora of issues that he believes showcase "behaviors contrary to God's decrees about sexual morality and the eternal nature and purposes of marriage and child-bearing," reports The Salt Lake City Tribune.
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Cohabitation, later marriages and dropping birth rates were among these subjects. Gay marriage, too, was discussed, with Oaks claiming that mankind cannot "make moral what God has declared immoral."
Plainly stated: Just because the nation is becoming more accepting of same-sex unions and some of the other aforementioned issues does not mean that the church will follow suit, maintained the apostle.
"Unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has declared to be unchangeable," he said.
Russell M. Nelson, another apostle, agreed with Oaks' assessment.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks speaks at the morning session of the 183rd General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Salt Lake City. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' president Thomas S. Monson kicked off the two-day conference that brings 100,000 members to Salt Lake City by announcing the latest membership milestone from one of the fastest-growing churches in the world. Credit: AP
"Marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the Lord’s doctrine and crucial to God’s eternal plan," he told the 20,000 in attendance. "Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s pattern for a fullness of life on Earth and in heaven. God’s marriage pattern cannot be abused, misunderstood or misconstrued."
The conference also addressed the issue of women in the priesthood -- a dynamic that the LDS Church is not prepared to allow.