1950 -  1969





  • October – An increase in US public discourse around homosexuality in the McCarthyist Lavender scare era contributed to the first explicit mention of the term homosexual in general conference. Apostle Clark lamented that homosexuality is found among men and women, and that homosexual people exercise great influence in shaping culture.[47][29]:146


  • July – Apostle Harold Lee explained that several scriptures in the Old and New Testament described homosexuality as the most abhorred sin in the God's sight which justified the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.[48]:230[49]
  • October – Apostle Clark again addressed homosexuality in conference when in the October priesthood session he mentions that those guilty of "the filthy crime of homosexuality" are not a part of the "Army of the Lord to fight evil".[50][51][52]


  • April – Apostle Clark cited Old Testament punishments for sexual sins to highlight that "sex transgression is tragically serious" in the April General Conference. He stated "for homosexuality, it was death to the male and the prescription or penalty for the female I do not know."[53]


  • 1958 – General authority Bruce McConkie published Mormon Doctrine, in which he states that homosexuality is "among Lucifer's chief means of leading souls to hell". In the section on "Chastity" he states that it is better to be "dead clean, than alive unclean" and that many Mormon parents would rather their child "come back in a pine box with [their] virtue than return alive without it".[54][1]:375





  • February – Apostle Lee gave a lengthy anecdote about a woman in love with another woman stating that the ugly practice and unpardonable sin of homosexuality is more common than we realize. He had her promise to never return to homosexuality and pray to become a normal, natural woman.[48]:230–232[2]:92[56]
  • September – Under president Ernest Wilkinson a complete ban of any students attracted to people of the same sex regardless of behavior was instituted at BYU per the directives of apostles Kimball and Petersen.[1]:379[29]:154 The ban lasted until April 1973.[58][29]:155 Wilkinson received permission in 1967 to request that BYU bishops report any student whom they suspected was breaking rules or who had confessed to violating BYU conduct codes. This resulted in 72 students suspected of homosexual activity reported to the Standards Office (now called the Honor Code Office) within the first year of the new policy, and many expulsions and suspensions. Security files were kept on suspected gay students and student spying was encouraged.[29]:154[57]:207–217


  • July – Apostle Kimball addressed seminary and institute faculty on BYU campus calling homosexuality a "malady", "disease", and an "abominable and detestable crime against nature" that was "curable" by "self mastery".[59] He cited one lay bishop (a businessman by trade) assigned by the church to administer a "program of rehabilitation" through which there had been "numerous cures". He said "the police, the courts, and the judges" had referred "many cases directly" to the church.[60][2]:91


  • January – Kimball again addressed homosexuality in his January 5 BYU speech "Love vs. Lust". He called it a "gross", "heinous", "obnoxious", "abominable" "vicious" sin. The text states that those with homosexual "desires and tendencies" could "correct" and "overcome" it "the same as if he had the urge toward petting or fornication or adultery", but that "the cure ... is like the cure for alcoholism, subject to continued vigilance". In the speech he stated BYU "will never knowingly enroll ... nor tolerate ... anyone with these tendencies who fails to repent", and that it is a "damnable heresy" for a homosexual person to say "God made them that way". He also states that sometimes masturbation is an introduction to homosexuality.[61][29]:149
  • November – Ernest Wilkinson, the president of BYU and Commissioner of Church Education, gave his "Make Honor Your Standard" address on September 23 to the BYU student body, stating, "nor do we intend to admit to this campus any homosexuals. ... [I]f any of you have this tendency, ... may I suggest you leave the University immediately .... We do not want others on this campus to be contaminated by your presence."[62]The speech was later published in the church-owned Deseret News.[63][29]:154


  • October – Milton Hunter lamented that "attitudes toward homosexuality have been liberalized in England" and that many US leaders were "clamoring for a liberal attitude in our land" in his General Conference address "Seeking Peace and Happiness".[64][65]
  • October – Patriarch of the church Eldred Smith cites "a campaign ... launched to bring acceptance to homosexuality" as one example of "corruption" and "conditions at home" manifesting the "cycle of ... unrighteousness and wickedness" that lead to "wars and destruction" like the current "war in Viet Nam" in his General Conference talk "Repent and Turn to God".[66][67]


  • 1968 – A version of the Church Handbook was released containing the first explicit mention of homosexuality. It specifies that "homo-sexual acts" require a church court.[68]


  • 1969 – The United Order Family of Christ, a young gay male Mormon commune was founded which practiced a uniquely Mormon form of communalism called the United Order.[1]:380[69][70]
  • 1969 – Kimball released his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, in which he teaches that masturbation can lead to acts of homosexuality. His book was quoted in a 1979 church manual: "the glorious thing to remember is that [homosexuality] is curable .... Certainly it can be overcome .... How can you say the door cannot be opened until your knuckles are bloody, till your head is bruised, till your muscles are sore?"[72] Kimball viewed many homosexuals as "basically good people who have become trapped in sin" and that "some totally conquer homosexuality in a few months." However, he also says that homosexual behavior can lead to sex with animals.[73]
  • April – Apostle Harold Lee stated that homosexuality is a prostitution of love and the ugliest relationship that we know.[48]:230[74]
  • April – Mark Petersen cites how homosexuality "was made a capital crime in the Bible" as evidence of the seriousness of sexual sin in a general conference address. He states "immorality is next to murder" and "the wage of sin is death" and that a rejection of morality "may bring about [this nation's] fall" as with "Greece and Rome" unless there was repentance.[75][76]