However, church leaders recognize the loneliness and difficulty that those with homosexual inclinations may have and encourage other members to reach out to them.Oaks has said, “All should understand that persons (and their family members) struggling with the burden of same-sex attraction are in special need of the love and encouragement that is a clear responsibility of church members, who have signified by covenant their willingness to bear one another's burden and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Michael Quinn has suggested that early church leaders had a more tolerant view of homosexuality, but leaders like then apostle Gordon Hinckley have stated that LDS leaders have always considered homosexual behavior a grievous sin.Quinn also states that several active and prominent members of the church in Utah were not disciplined after publicizing that they were living in romantic relationships with their same-sex domestic partners, although there is no clear evidence these relationships involved sex.These included Evan Stephens, who had been director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir until 1916 and is the author of numerous standard church hymns, who remained single but had intimate relationships and shared the same bed with a series of male domestic partners and traveling companions. Felt and May Anderson, the church's first two general presidents of the Primary, who lived together in the same bedroom for decades and were referred to by Primary leaders as the "David and Jonathan" of Primary.The church defines "serious transgressions" to include "murder, rape, forcible sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations (especially sexual cohabitation), Prior to this, local leadership had more discretion in whether or how far to pursue church disciplinary action for members in same-sex marriages.Local church leaders still have discretion for same-sex couples who are cohabiting but not married.One of the more prominent instances of homosexual activity by a Mormon man in the early 20th century was presiding patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith. Petersen focus their assignment on curing gay members.He served in the position only four years before being released by church president George Albert Smith for reasons of "ill health." In 1959, in response to a rash of arrests of gay men in Utah and Idaho, church president David O. At the time, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classified homosexuality as a mental illness, and Kimball was adamant that it could be cured.While explicitly including same-sex marriage in the church's definition of apostasy, the November 2015 update also addressed children of same-sex couples.In the updated policy, children living in a same-sex household may not receive a name and a blessing, nor be baptized until at least 18 years of age, and must disavow same-sex marriage and no longer be living with a parent who is, or has been, in a same-sex relationship.For example, church members represented as much as 80 to 90 percent of the early volunteers petitioning voters door-to-door and 50 percent of the campaign funds in support of California Proposition 8 (2008).The church supported a Salt Lake City ordinance protecting members of the LGBT community against discrimination in employment and housing while at the same time allowing religious institutions to exercise their religious beliefs while hiring or providing university accommodations, stating it remained "unequivocally committed to defending the bedrock foundation of marriage between a man and a woman." Its new policies also bar such couples' children—either adopted or biological—from being baptized, confirmed, ordained and participating in mission service until reaching adulthood and obtaining permission from the First Presidency.