A Mormon leader has reaffirmed the faith’s opposition to same-sex marriage and “changes that confuse or alter gender” at a biannual conference.
Dallin H Oaks, the second-highest-ranking leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon church), told conference attendees at the church’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, that it would not be altering its stances on same-sex marriage or gender identity.
Oaks, according to AP, explained that the highest level of salvation “can only be attained through faithfulness to the covenants of an eternal marriage between a man and a woman”.
>”That divine doctrine is why we teach that gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose.”
He added that the Mormon church “opposed changes that confuse or alter gender or homogenise the differences between men and women” and stated that “confusing gender, distorting marriage, and discouraging childbearing” was the devil’s work.
AP reported that the conference also covered the war in Ukraine, with a leader saying all war is “horrifying”.
Russell M Nelson, the church’s president-prophet, said: “I weep and pray for all who are affected by this conflict. The church is doing all we can to help those who are suffering and struggling to survive.”
In December 2021, tech billionaire Jeff T Green resigned his membership of the Mormon church, citing its stance on LGBT+ rights as a reason for leaving.
In a letter announcing his resignation, Green said: “While most members are good people trying to do right, I believe the church is actively and currently doing harm in the world.
“I believe the Mormon church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights.”
Shortly after his resignation, Green announced that he would donate $600,000 (around £457,000) to LGBT+ rights group Equality Utah.