Elder D. Todd and Sister Kathy Christofferson held a Face to Face interview on December 10, 2016, in Guatemala. It was broadcast in Spanish and Portuguese. During the interview one of the hosts posed to Elder Christofferson a question about homosexuality. I share below my own attempt at translating the question and response. You can view the video here. The question begins at the 56:25 mark.
Face to Face Host:
Carla in Mexico shares, “I found out that a few of my school friends are homosexual. What should I do in this situation? I don’t know if I should distance myself from them, because I don’t want them to think that I hate them because of their sexual orientation. But I also feel that I should keep my distance. What should I do?
This is a sensitive subject. We don’t know much about the causes, you might say, why one might feel an attraction to another person of the same sex. But we know that in almost all cases, almost 100 percent, it’s not something they have decided to feel. It is not something they have chosen for themselves, those with these attractions. The prophet has said clearly that having the feeling, having this attraction, is not a sin. Acting on it is, but just having the attraction is not, because as I said it is not something they choose.
We always need to let them know, through our actions and words, that we love them, and that the principal identity of each person is that of a son or daughter of God, not a homosexual or heterosexual. A son or daughter of God, that is the most important for each of us. We need to always recognize that and treat each other in that way, with that understanding. So I need to demonstrate respect and love and welcome as much as possible. And of course within the Church we should do everything possible to welcome and include. There is no room for gossip. There is no room for making fun of anyone.
Anyone, with homosexual attraction or not, who keeps their covenants– who receives ordinances and keeps their covenants–the prophet has said they can receive all the blessings of the Gospel, either now or in the life to come. They can go to the temple. They can have a temple recommend. They can serve in the Church. They can be teachers. They can participate in all the activities and life within the Gospel.
Let us do all we can to support, uplift, receive, and welcome others so they know they have a home with us, a safe place, a spiritual place, a place where they can participate and develop their spirituality. As I said, there is much we still do not know, but we do know that anyone that desires to serve God and to keep the law of chastity may enjoy the Spirit and the blessings of the Lord.
I have a brother who is doing this. He goes to the temple frequently. He serves as Sunday School president in his ward. He serves others. He is committed to his family and to other members of the Church. He is a good example. It was not always this way, but now he is an excellent example. I believe the welcome of his family and his own spiritual desires have carried him to this very healthy, very important place in the Church of Jesus Christ.
Love, and keeping the standards of the Church, will always win out in the end.
Note: I have written before about Face to Face events (see Real Questions) and I previously posted a transcript of a question about homosexuality that Jeffrey Holland received during his interview (see Elder Holland on Same-Gender Attraction, But Really Just Chastity).