“ As to thy call, my Fellowship, to unite my people, I say: accept those that all others reject with hope, joy, and happiness. Worry not that there are those that judge others by the color of their skin, or their gender or sexual orientation, or in any way, for those who seek to hear my voice and heed my call must soften their hearts to these, my children. Homosexuality is neither a sin, nor a confusion, it is an eternal principle, for thus did I create them; and so too are my transgender children; therefore, exclude them not, hide them not, and forgo them not; for these are my children, and I say unto thee: bring these children unto me. Worry not what the world shall say unto thee for obeying my Law and my doctrine, but be thou obedient and thy tolerance shall be a light in the darkness; but know that this is my light, the very light of Christ, and the darkness shall comprehend it not; therefore, let my love and my light shine forth through the darkness that these, my children, shall no longer be lost, but be found in me and find a home in thee. This is my commandment to my Church and my Kingdom, yea even all my Saints that wish to fellowship in my name; so mote it be, Amen.” -Doctrines of the Saints 125:33-40
Editor’s note: This article contains topics of a more sensitive nature discussing sex and sexuality. Reader discretion is advised.
In the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship we fully accept the LGBTQ community. We will marry and/or seal same-sex couples for all time and eternity. The Fellowship fully supports all marriages based on unity, love, and a committed relationship with God. We encourage everyone to follow the law of Christ to the best of their abilities. In the Fellowship of Christ, all unions and marriages may be sealed for all time and eternity.
We feel that once bisexuals marry, they should be faithful to their marriage covenants. They may marry someone they fall in love with, regardless of gender. At this point, the two become one with God. If they, together with the Lord, wish to be sealed in a relationship with another, male or female as the original Latter Day Saints practiced, the sealing must be consensual between all parties. And, all parties must be of legal age. At this time all of those involved become one, and together they are one with God.
“And if they as one desire to be sealed to another, be it a man or a woman, and they be found righteous, then behold: let them be sealed by my servant as one flesh, thus the three become one; and if these, as one, desire to take another, it shall be as the Spirit shall move them; but behold, those that wish to be sealed as a family of more adults than two, that is to be polygamist or polygamous, should wait until twenty-one years of age; and if they cannot legally marry let them be sealed by my Holy Priesthood that they are one in me.” -Doctrines of the Saints 17e:19-22
While we do not fully understand the nature of trans persons, we embrace them and accept them as the gender they identify with. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s (CJCLdS) Family: A Proclamation to the World states: “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” While this document is not binding on the Fellowship of Christ, we can interpret this to say that in the premortal life these Saints were created as spirit one gender and born here another, and can generally agree with this idea.
This Proclamation has not been voted in as canon or scripture, the revealed Word of God, in any Latter Day Saint denomination we are aware of. We admit this idea is conjecture and could be true in some circumstances but false in others, or wholly incorrect all together. At this time the Lord has not revealed answers on this topic, other than to love and accept all persons. Transgender individuals deserve the same rights, love, and respect as anyone and everyone else (Doctrines of the Saints 125:35-36).
These statements above are the views of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship, based on revelation given to us from God. Does this revelation and do these practices follow the Laws of God? The Law of Moses, many claim, states that men are not to have sexual relations with other men.
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” –Leviticus 18:22, KJV
However, a better translation based on understanding of the Hebrew and historical evidence1 of issues of the time (pedophilia was a problem when the Law was given in that area of the world) would render the translation as:
“Thou shalt not lie down in the beds of young men as thou would with women, for it is an abomination.” –Leviticus 18:22 (corrected KJV)
We find the legal punishment of pedophilia two chapters later:
“If a man also lie with with a young man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” –Leviticus 20:13 (corrected KJV)
While this was the law of the land in ancient Israel, today pedophilia is not a capital crime. Through Christ one may repent of this grievous sin and reenter society. It is however still a sin, the act an abomination as it destroys lives. It has nothing to do, however, with homosexuality. Homosexuality is based on mutual emotional and physical attraction—love.
For more on the Old Testament and homosexuality, please refer to the video, Part 1 Gay- What Does God Say?.
The Renewed Covenant
In the New Testament, Jesus doesn’t mention same-sex relationships. Paul, however, does. A few things to keep in mind about Paul. The first is that all we have of his writings are letters, epistles, sent out to the various churches. Had he known they would be saved and canonized as scripture, he likely would have been more careful of what he said.
Paul was a widower, he recommended no one marry (1 Corinthians 7:8). He also talked about “arsenokoitai” (αρσενοκοίτης) (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:9-10). What is “arsenokoitai?” Scoloars disagree on how “arsenokoitai” should be translated. While there are those that would translate the term as “homosexual,” arsenokoitai did not define what we would call a sexual orientation. Arsenokoitai is a term used to indicate the role played in sexual acts. It actually refers to men, hetero or homosexual, using sex to dominate another male, gay or straight.
By “dominate” it should be clear this isn’t referring to a mutually enjoyable sexual experience, it’s showing power over another through forced sexual attack, coercion, or control: rape. We know rape is a sin per the Law (Deuteronomy 22:25-27). Paul is stating it is a sin regardless of gender.
The other term used by New Testament authors is the Greek term “malakos” (μαλακός) which comes from a root word meaning of soft, luxurious or dainty. Here the authors are referring specifically to an effeminate call-boy, or male prostitute. This idea is tied to Deuteronomy 23:17 calling “kedeshah” a sin. Kedeshah is a temple prostitute. Our sexual relationships are not for sale to appease foreign gods, but saved for our relationships with those we love and have covenanted together in our God.
The Book of Mormon and Modern Revelations
The Book of Mormon doesn’t mention same-sex relationships at all. Seeing that it is the Everlasting Gospel sent to bring all to Christ this failure to mention it is very important. Infant baptism was addressed in the Book of Moroni, showing that God cares deeply about making sure we are willingly baptized. Polygamy is also mentioned, showing how important it is that husbands love their wives (and not, as some believe, that monogamy is important on its own). The fact that same-sex marriage is such an important issue of our time and that it’s not mentioned in the Everlasting Gospel tells us that this is an issue mankind dwells on far more than God.
Yet it is an issue today, so why was it left out?
One of the greatest lessons we learn from the Book of Mormon is continuing revelation. God couldn’t put everything in the Book of Mormon so He gave us the most important and basic information. The key Gospel takeaways from the Book of Mormon: Jesus is the Christ, gain your own testimony and revelations, beware of pride, and love your neighbors. Other issues we can gain new revelations for, and we know which revelations are true by both the Holy Spirit and learning the same thing from the revelations of multiple prophets.
Today we have three clear witnesses on the topic of same-sex relationships. We have Doctrines of the Saints 14c and 17e, and the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
“It is imperative to understand that when you are truly baptized into Christ you become part of a new creation. By taking on the life and mind of Christ, you increasingly view yourselves and others from a changed perspective. Former ways of defining people by economic status, social class, sex, gender, or ethnicity no longer are primary. Through the gospel of Christ a new community of tolerance, reconciliation, unity in diversity, and love is being born as a visible sign of the coming reign of God. As revealed in Christ, God, the Creator of all, ultimately is concerned about behaviors and relationships that uphold the worth and giftedness of all people and that protect the most vulnerable. Such relationships are to be rooted in the principles of Christ-like love, mutual respect, responsibility, justice, covenant, and faithfulness, against which there is no law. If the church more fully will understand and consistently apply these principles, questions arising about responsible human sexuality; gender identities, roles, and relationships; marriage; and other issues may be resolved according to God’s divine purposes. Be assured, nothing within these principles condones selfish, irresponsible, promiscuous, degrading, or abusive relationships.” -Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants 164:5-6
This scripture was given to Steven Veazey in January of 2010, six years before Doctrines of the Saints 17e was given to the Fellowship. It clearly testifies with that God loves all of His creations, and that we should as well. Most importantly, the Holy Spirit bears witness to both of these revelations, that they are of God and they are true.
In the Fellowship
While the very existence of the LGBTQ community is a controversial topic both in the Latter Day Saint movement and in the world at large, it is a simple matter to God: they are His creations and we are to love them. They are as imperfect as the rest of us and just as deserving of Christ’s grace. Rather than standing alone in their own community, the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship invites then to be one in Christ with us in the Latter Day Saint Christian community.
1 D Daniel A. Helminiak. “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.”