This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

OAKS: The distinction between feelings or inclinations on the one hand, and behavior on the other hand, is very clear. It's no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression. The sin is in yielding to temptation. Temptation is not unique. Even the Savior was tempted. . . . Homosexuality, which you've spoken of, is not a noun that describes a condition. It's an adjective that describes feelings or behavior.

WICKMAN: Merely having inclinations does not disqualify one for any aspect of church participation or membership, except possibly marriage as has already been talked about. But even that, in the fullness of life as we understand it through the doctrines of the restored gospel, eventually can become possible. . . . In this life, such things as service in the church, including missionary service, all of this is available to anyone who is true to covenants and commandments.

OAKS: Homosexual feelings are controllable. . . . If we cater to the feelings, they increase the power of the temptation. If we yield to the temptation, we have committed sinful behavior. That pattern is the same for a person that covets someone else's property and has a strong temptation to steal. It's the same for a person that develops a taste for alcohol. It's the same for a person that is born with a "short fuse," as we would say of a susceptibility to anger.

WICKMAN: One of the great sophistries of our age, I think, is that merely because one has an inclination to do something, that therefore acting in accordance with that inclination is inevitable. That's contrary to our very nature as the Lord has revealed to us.

OAKS: The church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction.

WICKMAN: Same-gender attraction did not exist in the pre-Earth life and neither will it exist in the next life. It is a circumstance that for whatever reason or reasons seems to apply right now in mortality, in this nanosecond of our eternal existence.

OAKS: The aversive therapies that have been used in connection with same-sex attraction have contained some serious abuses that have been recognized over time within the professions. . . . Even though [therapies] are addressed at helping people we would like to see helped, we can't endorse every kind of technique that's been used.

WICKMAN: We continue to open our homes and our hearts and our arms to our [homosexual] children, but that need not be with approval of their lifestyle. Neither does it mean we need to be constantly telling them that their lifestyle is inappropriate. An even bigger error is now to become defensive of the child, because that neither helps the child nor helps the parent. That course of action, which experience teaches, is almost certain to lead both away from the Lord's way.

The entire interview can be found at http://www.lds.org/newsroom.

comments powered by Disqus