A leading Mormon speaker has called for the religion to become more accepting of diverse sexualities.
Speaking at a biannual Mormon conference in Salt Lake City, Jeffrey Holland spoke to an audience in person and online about the need to accept LGBT people into the religion.
Holland, who has been a long-standing member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that there was “room” in the faith to accept people who may have different “sexual attractions”, as long as they “love God” and “honour” his commandments.
He said: “When we disparage our uniqueness or try to conform to fictitious stereotypes — stereotypes driven by an insatiable consumer culture and idealised beyond any possible realisation by social media we lose the richness of tone and timbre that God intended when he created a world of diversity.
Dale Relund, a newer member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said that being intolerant would be repeating the past.
“We must not be guilty of persecuting anyone inside or outside the church,” Renlund said.
“Church history gives ample evidence of our members being treated with hatred and bigotry. How ironically sad it would be if we were to treat others as we have been treated.”
The Mormon church has a long history of persecuting the LGBT community with its strong belief that homosexuality is sinful.
Although Holland and Renlund’s remarks may signify a move towards increasing acceptance of diversity, the Mormon church is still “fighting” for its right to discriminate against transgender children.