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It can be done.” This “curable-disease” mindset – based on obsolete psychological thought from the 1950s and 1960s – was embraced by Kimball and other church leaders because it aligned with their spiritual views of homosexuality. They believed that homosexuality was a psychological or spiritual malady that could be cured through intense repentance, self-mastery and even marriage to the opposite sex.
This belief informed the church’s ecclesiastical approach and training of leaders, as well as Mormon mental-health therapists, for years to come – and it was probably the most psychologically and spiritually damaging of all the church’s teachings on homosexuality.
, on the history behind the priesthood and temple ban on people of African descent. This article, and the long-forgotten history it brought to light, had an incalculable effect on events leading to President Kimball’s 1978 revelation that overturned the ban.
While I feel inadequate comparing my effort to Lester Bush’s work, his article was a guiding light to me as I set out to write a “Lester Bush” article for LGBT members of the church.
We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us.
How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?
Sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, are sinful and undermine the divinely created institution of the family.
Elder Packer, who was one of the last public holdouts of this mindset among the brethren, famously expressed this sentiment in his October 2010 conference address, wherein he asked, “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? ” (Kimball, “There is a falsehood that some are born with an attraction to their own kind, with nothing they can do about it.
Like opinions held by society in general on this issue, the church’s position on homosexuality has evolved quite significantly in recent years, although much of the general membership is likely unaware of the shift.