It has for some time now been my opinion that the day will come when the LDS church will accept homosexual people in full fellowship into its ranks. And I don't mean in the second-class citizen way that they currently accept gay people. At the moment, gay people are welcome to be members of the church, but are asked to either remain single and celibate or to marry someone of the opposite sex, despite their orientation. I mean to say that I believe that the day will come when the LDS church will allow gay people to marry (someone of the same sex) within the church, and be equal in every other way to heterosexual members.
Why do I believe that? Because of the way that leaders and members of the LDS church spoke about black people and interracial marriages prior to the "revelation" in 1978 that black people should be allowed to have the priesthood. The following is a quote from a letter written by the First Presidency of the LDS church on July 17, 1947. At the time, the First Presidency consisted of George Albert Smith (President), J. Reuben Clark, and David O. McKay.
From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now,it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.Why is this letter so significant? For many key reasons. First, it is significant for the reason that it is stated in no uncertain terms that whites and blacks marrying each other is against the very doctrine of the LDS church. Mormons are taught that while policies and practices of the church may change, its doctrines do not change. However, this is clearly not the case, since the President of the church in 1947 is stating that interracial marriage is definitively against the doctrine of the church and yet now there is no doctrinal concern about interracial marriage within the LDS church. In fact, interracial (heterosexual) couples are allowed to marry in LDS temples, if they are otherwise worthy to do so.
Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous. Modern Israel has been similarly directed.
We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.
The next reason is the parallel between the argument given then and the argument given now. President Smith asserts that the very concept of interracial marriage is "repugnant to most normal-minded people". That is precisely the same argument which is being given against same sex marriage now. That the concept of two people of the same sex marrying each other is repugnant and should not be accepted as normal by society. They appeal to tradition, saying that all throughout time people had thought of marriage one certain way (in this case, "endogamy", which means you don't mix races) and are insisting that this tradition must not be altered, just exactly the way people now are saying that marriage has always been heterosexual and must not be altered to include same-sex couples.
The other thing which is significant is that President Smith points out that the matter of black people being allowed to have the "full blessings of the Gospel" (including the priesthood, and temple blessings) has never been questioned. He implies that this is something which should never be questioned, and to question it is a mark of unfaithfulness to the church and its doctrines. That is the same thing that is being said about same sex marriage now--that God's law concerning the matter has never been questioned before and should not be questioned, and to question it shows a lack of faith in the church.
I just saw this letter in my newsfeed on Facebook today, and I must say that while I was of the opinion before that the church would eventually accept gay people, now I am absolutely convinced. Considering that the leadership of the church went from this statement, which is incontrovertibly racist and anti-black, asserting that black people would never be given the full blessings of the priesthood, to their revelation in 1978 that all males should have the same criteria for priesthood and temple worthiness, I don't think there's any room for doubt on the matter. Sure, it took 31 years from the time of this letter to the time black people were allowed the "full blessings of the Gospel", but still it did happen. And just as it happened then, I am sure it will happen now. That in the future--maybe 30 years, maybe more, probably not less--the LDS church will have a revelation that gay couples should be allowed the same blessings of the gospel as heterosexual couples.
So, why do I care about this? Will I become Mormon again and rejoin the church when this happens? No, I won't. I don't believe in gods, I don't believe in any of the LDS doctrine, and I don't see myself ever attending any church on a regular basis ever again. So, why do I care? I care for many reasons. First, I know that I have many friends and family who are LDS and love their church very much. They will do what their church says and believe what their church teaches. So, I hope that the day will come when their church teaches them that it's okay to love gay people and view them as "normal". I look forward to the day when all of my LDS friends feel comfortable around me and my fiancé, not just the liberal ones.
Secondly, I know many gay people who love the church and will do whatever it says. They want to be obedient to its teachings. They want God to be proud of them. They want to do what is right, etc. And if their church teaches them that they must remain celibate in order to be truly happy, then that is what they will do. So, for their own personal happiness, I hope that the church will one day make this "revelation" so that the gay people who choose to believe and remain faithful to the church can still be faithful and also marry a person that they truly love, rather than remaining single forever.
Lastly, I think that the LDS church does many good things and encourages its members to be good people. It has so much potential for good in the world, and does on a daily basis make a positive difference. Accepting gay people would be one more step in the right direction, one more way it could make a positive change in the world. It would be one thing to make the church a better organization, less hateful and less judgmental, more tolerant and loving.
I am a practical/pragmatic person. I don't care as much about the superstitions people claim to believe in. I care more about the actions that people take in their own personal lives. If a person treats other people well, they earn my respect. If they treat other people poorly, they lose my respect. It matters not whether the person believes in god(s) or not. It matters not whether the person believes that he or she holds magical or priesthood power. The only thing that matters to me is what the person does with his or her life. Are you kind to gay people? Are you kind to black people? Are you kind to those who are different? Are you tolerant of those who are different? Are you accepting of people with differing beliefs? Do you seek to make peace or war? Do you look for ways to build or to destroy? Do you cause pleasure or pain? These are the things that I feel are significant. And this is why I care about the LDS church accepting gay people. The more they teach their members to be kind and loving, the better they will be as an organization. The more they teach their members to discriminate and treat people poorly because of their differences, the worse they will be as an organization. They have so much power to influence their members' lives, thoughts, and beliefs, and I hope that they are an influence for good rather than an influence for bad.