Mormon leader reiterates church's opposition to marriage equality

Mon. April 7, 2014 7:54 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Salt Lake City, UT - A top leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reiterated the church's opposition to gay marriage.

During his Saturday address at the church's biannual general conference, Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve told more than 100,000 Mormons who had gathered in Salt Lake City that "the Lord has not redefined marriage."

"While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not.In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman: Adam and Eve. He designated the purpose of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults, to more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared and nurtured," Anderson said.

"As the world slips away from the Lord's law on chastity, we do not."

Anderson called on followers to "reject false concepts and false teachings and remain true to that which God has commanded."

"A special concern to us should be those who struggle with same-sex attraction. It is a whirlwind of enormous velocity. I want to express my love and admiration for those who courageously confront this trial of faith and stay true to the commandments of God," he said. "But everyone, independent of their decisions and beliefs, deserves our kindness and consideration."

Being gay isn't a sin, according to the church, but any sex outside a marriage between a man and a woman is.

Anderson's comments come as Utah – home of the Mormon Church – prepares for a Thursday hearing before a federal appeals court where it will defend its voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. In December, more than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples married in Utah after a federal judge struck down the ban, calling it unconstitutional.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine