Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Turn It Off

All the posts in this series.

Go back to “Turn It Off”.

Temptation is Not a Sin
“I think its okay that your having gay thoughts, just so long as you never act on them.”

When Elder Price gives the above encouragement to the homosexual Elder McKinley, it’s meant to come off as trite and silly to the audience. While it is true that the LDS Church takes this position, in the context of the song it acts as a straw man, a distorted and easily battered form of an otherwise rational argument.

Elder Oaks said this in relation to temptation and sin:

“The distinction between feelings or inclinations on the one hand, and behavior on the other hand, is very clear. It’s no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression. The sin is in yielding to temptation. Temptation is not unique. Even the Savior was tempted….

“Everyone has some challenges they have to struggle with. You’ve described a particular kind of challenge that is very vexing. It is common in our society and it has also become politicized. But it’s only one of a host of challenges men and women have to struggle with, and I just encourage you to seek the help of the Savior to resist temptation and to refrain from behavior that would cause you to have to repent or to have your Church membership called into question.”

His meaning, and the rationale behind what Elder Price has said, is that it’s completely appropriate to be tempted. That is part of the mortal condition. The expectation, though, just as it is with any other temptation, is that we resist embracing that temptation and acting on it.

That can be a seemingly cold reality. To answer this objection, Elder Oaks quoted a statement released by LDS Church leaders:

“We of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reach out with understanding and respect for individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender. We realize there may be great loneliness in their lives, but there must also be recognition of what is right before the Lord.”

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