Following the Church’s statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a letter regarding the Church’s stand on marriage to be read in a Church meeting other than sacrament meeting, beginning July 5.
Addressed to adults, young men and young women in the Church, the letter reaffirms Christ’s teachings on morality, marriage and family. “Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well-being of society,” the letter reads. “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.”
The letter counsels members to treat others who believe differently with respect. “The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility — even when we disagree. We affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same-sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully.”
The letter concludes with an invitation for “all to pray that people everywhere will have their hearts softened to the truths God established in the beginning, and that wisdom will be granted to those who are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future.”
Additional background information on the Church’s policy on homosexual relations and how the Supreme Court decision could affect religious freedom was included with the letter to answer questions that may arise.