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BONNIE - The news is touting that Iowa is passing a same sex marraige law allowing them to marry letally in that state.I know Massachusetts also has this law. What is going to happen to our church? We will be forced to allow these people to join? We will be forced to allow them in the temple to take out endowments and be sealed? I know we have to obey the "law ofthe land". I am absolutely sick about this whole thing. In my opinion, if we ever have to let these people into our temples, they would be defiled and filthy and I for one, could never go there again.

JOEL - First of all Bonnie, relax; take a few deep breaths. Our Church will never be forced to change its policies because of such laws. Since it is a private organization the Church will not be forced to allow practicing homosexuals to join the Church or be married in the temples. The church will be able to maintain its requirements for membership and for temple attendance. People in the future may bring lawsuits against the Church, but in the end the worst that might happen is that the Church loses its tax-exempt status; but even that is a very remote possibility.

Some often use the change in policy about the blacks receiving the priesthood as evidence that the church might also change its attitude against same sex marriage. However, it was known from the very beginning of Church history that the blacks would someday receive the priesthood. On the other hand, it has always been known from the beginning of the Church and even Biblical times that marriage would only be allowed between a man and woman (1 Cor. 11: 11-12, Gen. 1: 22, 28, Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5). That will never change.

Others use the example of the church's unusual practice of polygamy as evidence that it should also allow the unusual practice of same sex marriage. But once again the practice of plural marriage was a known God-given doctrine in the days of the Old Testament. Same sex marriage was never allowed.

Through all this we must remember that we are all children of God, whether we are gay or straight, and as such must have compassion on those who might struggle with homosexual tendencies.

There are already many members of the church who identify themselves as homosexual, and as long as they do not act on those tendencies and remain celebate they can enjoy full fellowship in the church and even hold temple recommends. President Gordon B Hinckley said about those who identify themselves as homosexuals:

"We love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church." (October General Conference 4 Oct. 1998)

Be comforted in knowing that God is in charge of His Church and will never allow anything to harm it or impeed its progress.

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