Ask A Latter-day Saint: Views on Bisexuality
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Is it OK to be bisexual, as long as you don’t act on these feelings?
The short answer is yes! For further understanding of matters referring to the LGBTQ community, I will quote, in part, recent statements made by President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“We may not know precisely why some people feel attracted to others of the same sex, but for some it is a complex reality and part of the human experience. 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. Everyone has some challenges they have to struggle with.
Citing a particular concern, one church member asked, “If somebody has a very powerful heterosexual drive, there is the opportunity for marriage. If a young man thinks he’s gay, what we’re really saying to him is that there is simply no other way to go but to be celibate for the rest of his life if he doesn’t feel any attraction to women?” In response, President Oaks states, “That is exactly the same thing we say to the many members who don’t have the opportunity to marry. We expect celibacy of any person that is not married.”
As the author of the response to the original question, I would like to mention that I was a person who did not marry until I was 46 years old. I faced the possibility of never marrying and never sharing in the intimacy of marriage. I remained celibate all those years because I wanted to remain an active member of the church and follow the Savior’s teachings. Hard, yes? Impossible, no. I lived a very full and productive life until I did marry. I have friends who have never married and still remain faithful to their beliefs.
In regard to this same topic, Elder Lance B Wickman stated, “Sexual purity is an essential part of God’s plan for our happiness. Sexual relations are reserved for a man and woman who are married and promise complete loyalty to each other. Sexual relations between a man and woman who are not married, or between people of the same sex, violate one of our Father in Heaven’s most important laws and get in the way of our eternal progress. People of any sexual orientation who violate the law of chastity can be reconciled with God through repentance.”
For those interested in an active gay member’s experience, I would recommend the recently published book, “Without the Mask“, by Charlie Bird.
Charlie Bird—the viral face of BYU during his years as Cosmo the Cougar—made waves across the nation when he came out and revealed to BYU fans that he is gay. Now, in “Without the Mask,” Bird reflects on how his identity has strengthened his testimony and how he views his sexual orientation in conjunction with his faith in Jesus Christ.
Alternating between memoir and teaching chapters, Bird’s touching and authentic prose chronicles his decision to openly share that he is gay and to remain active in the faith. Highlighting the challenges Bird has faced along the way, the book also shares the blessings he’s learned to recognize through his sexual orientation. Charlie feels deeply the importance of maintaining a relationship with God and hopes this message will “spark healing, bridge gaps of understanding and inspire hope” for other LGBTQ readers and those who love them.