Mormon leaders reaffirm faith's exclusive commitment to heterosexual marriage

Wed Jul 1, 2015 5:31pm EDT
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By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) - Mormon leaders are reaffirming their faith's belief that only heterosexual marriage is ordained by God, in a letter to be read to congregations this holiday weekend following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that legalized gay nuptials.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long held that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman, in life and in the hereafter, and the "only legitimate, authorized expression of the powers of procreation."

Immediately after last Friday's high court ruling, which said the U.S. Constitution gave same-sex couples the right to wed, the Utah-based Church put out a statement acknowledging that same-sex marriages were now legal in the United States.

While respecting those who think differently, it said, the LDS Church would continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of its doctrine and practice.

The faith's top leaders have followed up on that with a letter to be read to rank-and-file Mormons at Church meetings across the United States and Canada beginning this Sunday.

"Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children," reads the letter by the Church's highest governing boards, the First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.

"Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and vital to eternal salvation," it says.

"Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established."   Continued...

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mormon temple is seen with a brown lawn, which church officials have not watered because of the drought, in Los Angeles, California, United States May 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson