If you’re gay or transgender the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) thinks Satan is to blame, at least that’s the assertion coming from Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of the church.
Oaks says the Devil “seeks to confuse gender, to distort marriage, and to discourage childbearing, especially by parents who will raise children in truth.”
In his speech at the October 2018 Saturday Session General Conference, he also said that gender is an essential characteristic of individual “pre-mortal, mortal and eternal identity, and purpose,” and that “marriage between a man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.”
And this doesn’t bode well for LGBT allies in the church either, “Our knowledge of God’s revealed plan of salvation requires us to oppose many of the current social and legal pressures to retreat from traditional marriage or to make changes that confuse or alter gender or homogenize the differences between men and women,” Oaks said.
He goes on to say these beliefs create opposition led by Satan to the church which also plays into the plan, but people have a choice, they can listen to God or the Devil.
MMS consists of Mormons and ex-Mormons and is not sponsored by the LDS, they also say they are not affiliated with any political party. They simply participate in LGBT events to offer hugs and let you know “you are my brother/sister.”
But it seems Oaks remarks at the conference this month is in direct opposition to MMS’ purpose, which they self-identify as being “dedicated to conveying love and acceptance to all those who identify as LGBTQI and those who identify as experiencing same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.”
During an interview back in 2015, Lake City, Elder D. Todd Christofferson reinforced that Mormons who support gay marriage are not in danger of losing their temple privileges or church memberships.
“We have individual members in the church with a variety of different opinions, beliefs and positions on these issues and other issues,” Christofferson said. ” … In our view, it doesn’t really become a problem unless someone is out attacking the church and its leaders — if that’s a deliberate and persistent effort and trying to get others to follow them, trying to draw others away, trying to pull people, if you will, out of the church or away from its teachings and doctrines.”
On the MMS Facebook page, many allies offered their own thoughts on Elder Oaks’ speech. Among them was this response from Ethan Newman.
“Ever since I joined the Church I have found your talks troubling, this general conference is no different,” wrote Newman.” Your words this general conference, while you and many others consider them gospel truths, open up old wounds for many, and cut newer and deeper scars for many more.”