Whistle-blower site MormonLeaks has released the minutes of a “Layton Priesthood Leadership Conference,” attended by 150 people on Feb. 15, 2014. The conference was attended by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Elder Don R. Clarke, First Quorum of the Seventy.
Three questions were asked pertaining to sexuality and same-sex relationships:
How do you help a young man or woman who comes in and says, “I think I’m gay?”
Perry replied, “Give them association with manly things, strong men that represent the ideal of relationships, a man who is vigorous and knows the power he holds.”
Clarke said, “Teach them the importance of remaining worthy. If they are worthy, they are acceptable before God, and they should be acceptable before you.”
How should you address a same-sex couple in a sacrament meeting who are showing inappropriate affection?
Perry: “Refer to the Jan. 9 letter issued by senior brethren. We do not turn anyone away from sacrament meeting, but all are to behave appropriately while there. I would invite them to come into my office right after and let them know how they were out of line. I would let them know that repentance is possible.
The scriptures have not changed. Adultery is still adultery. Fornication is still fornication. We should continually warn those living in sin that they are jeopardizing their eternal salvation. Sin is sin. There is no way they can develop laws which will change the laws of the Lord. We must show them now that we believe in the right type of marriage and use the Proclamation to teach this. This is what we have always believed in. This is that all the prophets and the Savior himself believed in. We must be on the strong side of defending marriage and defending God’s plan for His children. This evil will divide our nation in half. We have to be more vigorous. We have to be certain that our legislature protects the Church. You know they [evil] never stop. They move one inch at a time until they are forces upon all.
You would be amazed at the network we have among other religious organizations to protect religious freedom. Unfortunately the Supreme Court is listening to the voice of the people through the administration that is currently in place. The individual members of the Church must step up and get involved. It must come from the people, not the general authorities. As local leaders you have a fine line to walk between dictating and teaching the doctrine so that there will be a revival of lay members stepping up to fight for God’s cause, so that people in important positions and courts will see that the majority voice of the people will always be in favor of the Lord.
If we do not follow him you can expect calamities to come. He will not let this go forward to destroy the basic family unit. He has created for the progression of his children. We have a great responsibility on us and I hope you take it seriously. Teach correct principles and doctrines of what the Lord has established.”
How do you handle a temple recommend interview with individuals who claim to support the brethren but the individual is clearly supportive of issues that are against the teachings of the prophet, such as same-sex marriage?
Perry: “This is difficult for many people as they are sympathetic to a loved one who struggles. I do not believe they are born with it. It is a temptation like any other. As long as they keep their support of that loved one within their family, leave it up to them.
Elder Tanner taught us how to ask questions in the temple recommend interview. Ask them questions and if necessary they will incriminate themselves. Put the burden on them. They have to come forward and if we ask the questions right away, I think they will. Say to them, ‘now on this recommend there are three signatures, the first will be yours. As a witness in front of these other witnesses and God himself, if you feel comfortable putting your name on this recommend, then we will join in recommending you as worthy to enter the house of the Lord. The laws of marriage will not change. Homosexual marriage will always be a sin in the eyes of the Lord, and they will be judged accordingly for living that way.'”
A year later, March 12, 2015, Perry went to the Utah State Capitol to represent the church and greet legislators and supporters of Utah Bill 296 which has been called a compromise law that balances religious freedoms and LGBT rights.
Then, at the church’s April 2015 semiannual conference, Perry warned in a speech not to listen to those who would call “the majority the minority and the minority the majority.”
“We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established,” said Perry.
MormonLeaks is a non profit media organization founded by Ryan McKnight and Scott K. Fausett who say it is for “the belief that increased transparency within the Mormon Church results in fewer untruths, less corruption, and less abuse with Mormonism.”