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Hinckley has stated that prophets have always considered any immoral sexual conduct, including homosexual behavior, as a "grievous sin." The first church leader to publicly use the term "homosexuality" was First Presidency member J. In an address to the General Relief Society Conference entitled, "Home, and the Building of Home Life," he said "the person who teaches or condones the crimes for which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed—we have coined a softer name for them than came from old; we now speak of homosexuality, which it is tragic to say, is found among both sexes." During the early days of the church, when gay or lesbian intercourse was discovered, the accused was sometimes disfellowshipped or excommunicated, beginning with the first known case in 1841 involving alleged bisexuality by church leader John C. In 1959, in response to a rash of arrests of gay men in Utah and Idaho, church president David O. The pamphlet taught that church leaders may assist gay members by reciting scripture; appealing to their reason; encouraging them to abandon gay lovers and associates; praying with them; and encouraging them to replace their gay lifestyle with positive action and straight dating.

Members of the church who experience homosexual attractions, including those who self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, may remain in good standing in the church if they abstain from sexual relations (outside of opposite-sex marriage).

acquiring and maintaining membership in the church and receiving a temple recommend is dependent upon observing the law of chastity's prohibition of sexual relationships outside of a marital relationship between husband and wife.

All members are taught to avoid any talk or activity that may arouse immoral sexual feelings.

Sexual relations are proper only between husband and wife appropriately expressed within the bonds of marriage.

The church defines "serious transgressions" to include "murder, rape, forcible sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations (especially sexual cohabitation), Prior to this, local leadership had more discretion in whether or how far to pursue church disciplinary action for members in same-sex marriages.

Local church leaders still have discretion for same-sex couples who are cohabiting but not married.

Sexual immorality, coupled with forsaking one's ministry which led to the destruction of faith of others, was described in the Book of Mormon as the "most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost." Historian D. At the time, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classified homosexuality as a mental illness, and Kimball was adamant that it could be cured.

Michael Quinn has suggested that early church leaders had a more tolerant view of homosexuality, but apostle Gordon B. Speaking to church educators and LDS psychiatrists in 1965, Kimball said, citing a Medical World News article, that "[w]e know such a disease is curable," and that ex-gay Mormons had emerged from the church's counseling programs cured, although the cure was "like the cure for alcoholism subject to continued vigilance".

and in an interview affirmed them as "good people": "Now we have gays in the church. We take no action against such people—provided they don't become involved in transgression, sexual transgression.

If they do, we do with them exactly what we'd do with heterosexuals who transgress".

While explicitly including same-sex marriage in the church's definition of apostasy, the November 2015 update also addressed children of same-sex couples.