Question: Did Christ teach against same-sex relationships during his mortal ministry?

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Question: Did Christ teach against same-sex relationships during his mortal ministry?

Christ taught a very strict law for sexual morality

As Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be guided by modern revelation. We do not need to limit our understanding on what has been able to make it through the centuries. However, some critics have asserted that our stance on same-sex relationships are not substantiated by the teachings of Christ during his mortal minstry. This is not the case. Christ taught a very strict law for sexual morality. He taught against sexual relationships outside of marriage and that marriage was between a man and a woman. While he did not specifically teach against the modern concept of same-sex relationships, he was clear about the only legitimate relationships to express your sexuality.

Christ taught against fornication and adultery

The Jewish world in which Jesus lived set a very strict moral standard, especially against the backdrop of the infamous promiscuity of the Greeks and Romans. Sexual relationships were absolutely forbidden outside of marriage. Christ validated these teachings, by teaching against adultery and fornication (Matthew 19:18, Matthew 15:19), and although he taught against judging the woman taken in adultery, he also confirmed that she should "sin no more". (John 8:11)

Adultery and fornication include all sexual relationships outside of marriage. In the Jewish custom, marriage was defined as a union between a man and a woman. Jesus confirmed this definition of marriage.

For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matt 19:5-6)

Jesus was not afraid to go against Jewish custom. He went against the money changers in the temple, against the doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and the Jewish doctrine of divorce to name a few. If he disagreed with the Jewish doctrine of marriage being between a man and a woman, or against sex outside of that relationship, he would have gone against it. Instead, he strengthened that concept, teaching that marriage should never be dissolved through divorce, and that even looking upon a woman outside of marriage was a sin. He taught a high level of sexual purity even within a very strict society.

Same-sex relationships are a type of fornication

Fornication is sex with someone you are not married with. It really doesn't matter whether that person is the same sex or not, it is still fornication. Since Jesus defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, there is no way for two men or two women to have sex without fornicating. Jesus did not go through all of the different types of fornication; he simply taught against fornication. Christ never taught against sexting, virtual sex, or internet pornography, because those concepts didn't exist, but the general concept of not lusting can still be applied to those situations. Similarly, Christ never taught against prostitution, orgies, rape, pedophilia, having sex with the milk man, or having sex with your father's wife. (By putting these in a list does not imply these are of equal weight.) These were understood by Jesus' society to be types of fornication. This is evident because the early Christians cited Christ's teachings on fornication to condemn a man who had sex with his father's wife. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)

It is not surprising that Christ wouldn't specify same-sex relationships. He didn't specify other types of fornication, and the concept of homosexuality as a steady sexual orientation didn't evolve until recently. He taught against fornication, and just because society starts using a word to describe a specific type of fornication, doesn't mean that type is an exception to the rule.

God and Christ reinstated the definition of marriage between a man and a woman in this dispensation in Doctrine and Covenants 49:15-17

Doctrine and Covenants 49:15-17 announces firmly that:

15 And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.
16 Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation;
17 And that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made.

This revelation was given in answer to the Shakers who rejected marriage and believed in being totally celibate for their lives. Therefore what we have here is not simply a temporary definition of marriage, but a full restatement of what marriage is and why. Look at why marriage is ordained of God in these verses: it is because marriage fulfills the end of our creation. What creation? The creation announced in Genesis 1, Moses 3:24, and Abraham 5:18--the creation that made man and woman the ideal partner for each other.

Doctrine and Covenants 131 states:

1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. (emphasis added)

What is marriage? The union of man and woman so that they can fill the measure of their creation according to D&C 49:15-17. If we believe in Christ and his prophets, then we must accept that marriage is, forever and always, between a man and a woman.