LDS Mormon Sex Marriage History

 
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Sex and Marriage in LDS Church History


The Restoration Means God Leads the Mormon Church

"Through living prophets, Christ is leading this church today. The greatest security of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes from learning to listen to and obey the words and commandments that the Lord has given through living prophets. I would hope that the world would understand the importance of having a living prophet on earth today... Their purpose is to bring us the will of the Lord for our times."

" I give my testimony that the prophets of this day have the qualities of the prophets of old and the other prophets of this dispensation. Each of these prophets has humbly and prayerfully sought to know and follow God’s will in his personal ministry. We declare with soberness, and yet with the authority of God in us vested, we have a prophet today. The President of the Church, as a prophet, is God’s representative on earth and is appointed to lead His church. Christ is the head of his Church today, just as he was in ancient times. The Lord has said that this is 'the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased' (D&C 1:30)."
-Apostle Robert D. Hales, "Hear the Prophet’s Voice and Obey," Ensign, May 1995, Page 15

Now look what those leaders have done over the last 150 years...

The following historical events regarding sex and marriage in the church have been compiled from the extensive historical church chronology from D. Michael Quinn's book "The Mormon Hierarchy : Extensions of Power" For references, refer to the book.

Jan 14, 1848 - Brigham Young instructs Seventy's meeting: "For the first act of adultery you may forgive a man, but if a man beds with a woman and does it 10 times he is guilty."

11 Mar, 1848 - Benjamin Covey is excommunicated for having sexual intercourse with two girls "less than Twelve years of age" who are his foster daughters. He is re-baptized and serves as bishop of Salt Lake City Twelfth Ward from 22 February 1849 until 1856.

1 Feb, 1849 - First counselor Heber C. Kimball tells Sunday meeting that plural marriage "would end he said when the Church had gone to the Devil or the Priesthood taken from this people - then God would give it to another people."

3 Mar, 1849 - At council of Fifty meeting, Brigham Young speaks concerning thieves, murderers, and sexually licentious: " I want their cursed heads to be cut off that they may atone for their crimes." Next day, the council agrees that man has "forfeited his Head," and decides it would be best "to dispose of him privately." Instead, they allow him to live.

29 April, 1849 - First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve make following decisions concerning sex in marriage "not to unite with woman in view of impregnation till 7 days after the cessation of the menstrual discharge in order for the most healthy procreation. Also that after childbirth if delivered a son she should continue 40 days in her purification [without sexual intercourse with her husband]. If daughter she [the new mother] should be 70 days separated as unclean for a man. As to sexual connection during pregnancy, do just as they please about that - suit themselves." This is the earliest known LDS discussion of what is appropriate in sexual relations of married couples. These rules are based on Book of Leviticus, rather than on current medical writings.

15 Jan, 1851 - First of Brigham Young’s' five formal divorces from plural wives. He is only one formally divorced while serving as church president. Joseph Smith informally ended several plural marriages, and four LDS presidents are formally divorced as apostles (John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith)

19 Jar, 1851 - Utah legislature enacts law against "Sodomy" by "any man or boy," but removes sodomy from criminal code on 6 Mar. 1852, without explanation. As governor Brigham Young signs both laws. Due to absence of sodomy statue, Utah judge drops charges against soldier for raping LDS boy in 1864. Young claims Utah's legislators never criminalized sodomy and he declines to instruct them to do so for the next twelve years. Utah legislators criminalize sodomy in 1876 only because federally appointed governor asks them to adopt entire criminal code of California which has five-year imprisonment for sodomy. For next twenty years LDS judges give 3-6 months of imprisonment to those convicted of homosexual rape, the same sentencing given to young males and females convicted of consensual fornication. Mormons of this era give no known explanations for any of these legislative and juridical actions/inactions.

17 Mar, 1851 - Brigham Young speaks in favor of Madison D. Hambleton who is being tried for shooting and killing man at LDS church services, immediately after closing prayer. The man "seduced" wife of Hambleton who is "acquitted by the Court and also by the Voice of the people present." Hambleton later becomes sheriff in Utah.

18 Oct, 1851 - Trial of confessed murderer (and newly returned-missionary) Howard Egan. His lawyer Apostle George A. Smith popularizes phrase "mountain common law" and argues: "The man who seduces his neighbor's wife must die, and her nearest relative must kill him!" Fifteen minutes later jury finds Egan not guilty of murder. Church authorities print Smith's closing argument in Deseret News, in two church pamphlets, and later in Journal of Discourses 1:97. Egan is one of Brigham Young's enforcers.

24 July, 1853 - Brigham Young preaches, "The Father came down in his bodily tabernacle and begot Jesus."

19 Feb, 1854 - Seventy's president Jedediah M. Grant preaches: Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife that he asked for? He did not...."

16 July, 1854 - First counselor Heber C. Kimball recommends decapitation for adulterers and preaches from the pulpit concerning "unclean" women: "we wipe them out of existence."

8 Oct, 1854 - In what Apostle Wilford Woodruff describes as "the greatest sermon that ever was delivered to the Latter Day Saints since they have been a people," Brigham Young announces from the pulpit: "I believe in Sisters marrying brothers, and brothers having their sisters for Wives. Why? because we cannot do otherwise. There are none others for me to and the opposite idea has resulted from the ignorant and foolish traditions of the nations of the earth." Young's secretary George D. Watt has already married his own half sister as a plural wife. Her letter to Young shows that he was initially "unfavorable" toward allowing them to marry, but this sermon reveals theological basis for Young's authorizing Watt's brother-sister marriage and the three children born of their union.

27 Apr, 1855 - Lieutenant in Colonel E. J. Steptoe's command in Salt Lake City writes to friend about his romance and near seduction of one of the wives of Brigham Young's son Joseph (who is on a mission): "Mary [Ayers] Young and I had to give up. Brigham sent me word that if I took her away he would have me killed before I could get out of the Territory. He is a man of his word and little matters of this sort are concluded, I had better not do it, although I went back to the city purposely to get her. We wrote each other affectionate notes."

27 Mar, 1857 - Brigham Young permits woman to select faithful elders to act as "proxy" to father children for her sexually impotent living husband. Young performs polyandrous ceremony "for time," and the relationship lasts for several years producing two sons, (1858, 1861). Mother's legal husband raises boys with her, and later tells them he loves them as much as if they were his natural sons. Both boys grow up to become devoted Mormons and polygamists. This is last known case of authorized polyandry.

2 June, 1857 - Brigham Young says from the pulpit, "I feel to sustain him," when informed that the bishop in Manti. Waren S. Snow, has castrated twenty-four-year-old Welchman, Thomas Lewis, for undisclosed sex crime. "Just let the matter drop, and say no more about it," Young writes Snow in July about the castration, "and it will soon die away among the people." Snow's counselor confides to his diary that this poor young man "has now gone crazy."

14 June, 1857 - At a prayer circle of the First Presidency and apostles, Brigham Young refuses to seal three young girls (ages 12 and 13) to "Father James Allred" (age 73) because they "would not be equally yoked together" in marriage.

27 Jan, 1858 - Judge Hosea Stout describes with no disapproval how Mormons "disguised as Indians" drag a man "out of bed with a whore and castrated him by a square and close amputation."

5 Apr, 1858 - Bishop of Payson, his brother the Sheriff, and several members of their LDS congregation join in shooting to death twenty-two-year-old Henry Jones and is mother, Mrs. Hannah Jones Hatch, for committing incest by which she has a daughter. The men also kill infant and also castrate brother/father. Perpetrators are indicted next year, but not brought to trial. When indicted again in 1889, Deseret News article criticizes trial of this "antiquated Payson homicide" as anti-Mormon crusade against those who were justifiably "disgusted and greatly incensed" against "the brutal mother and son." Former sheriff is convicted of murder, former bishop is acquitted.

12 Sep, 1858 - Church historian's office notes discovery this morning of severed head of Provo woman who has been at U.S. military camp for a week. Six weeks earlier another woman's head is discovered. These are earliest verified examples of someone taking literally the repeated teachings of Mormon leaders that apostates and adulterers should have their heads "cut off" as "blood atonement" for their sins.

2 Jan, 1859 - Brigham Young begins custom of having all Mormon congregations sit with women on north side of center aisle, men on south side, and children on front benches. This seating arrangement lasts for decades, remains in temples to this day.

8 Oct, 1859 - Brigham Young from the pulpit tells bishops to give Melchizedek priesthood to eighteen-year old boys, even if they "have been sowing their wild oats for years."

8 July, 1860 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit, "Children are now born who will live until every son of Adam will have the privilege of receiving the principles of eternal life." He also preaches, "The birth of our Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action."

23 Feb 1862 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit that the concept of Mother in Heaven is as essential as concept of Father in Heaven.

1 Aug 1862 - Brigham Young writes to a local bishop: "my advice is for bro James T.S. Allred to marry the Indian girl in question. It is written that 'not many generations shall pass away before they become a white and delightsome people.'" Dozens of men marry Native Americans as plural wives in pioneer Utah and Arizona.

12 Apr, 1866 - Deseret News reports murder of S. Newton Brassfield on 2 Apr. He legally marries plural wife of absent Mormon missionary, and Deseret News editorializes that "the illegally married couple would probably have been suffered to pursue their way to their own liking," except that she filed for custody of her children. Deseret News also reports Brigham Young's sermon about the murdered Brassfield: "Were I absent from my home on a mission, I would rejoice to know that I had friends there to protect and guard the virtue of my household; and I would thank God for such friends."

19 Aug, 1866 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit: "Mary, the wife of Joseph, had another husband. On this account infidels have called the Savior a bastard... he was begotten by God our Heavenly Father." She was a polyandrist, like the women he authorized in 1857.

11 Dec, 1866 - Brigham Young, Jr. writes in his diary that "a nigger" is found dead in Salt Lake City with this note pinned to the corpse: "Let this be a warning to all niggers that they meddle not with white women."

10 Jan, 1868 - Deseret News Editorial: "In this Territory we jealously close the door against adultery, seduction and whoredom. Public opinion here pronounces the penalty of death as the fitting punishment for such crimes."

4 Feb, 1868 - Deseret News editorializes that "it is a pity" LDS father did not succeed in killing his daughter's lover when the father "drew a revolver and shot him down in the court room."

5 Mar, 1868 - Deseret News article titled "Served Him Right" reports that a Gentile is given "sound thrashing" when he visits LDS meeting to see young woman.

15 Aug, 1869 - Apostle George Q. Canon preaches from the pulpit: "We close the door on one side, and say that whoredoms, seductions and adulteries must not be committed among us, and we say to those who are determined to carry on such things: WE WILL KILL YOU..."

27 Oct, 1869 - Brigham Young preaches at Lehi, Utah that "by marriage Lot's two daughters were sealed to him, and will be his to all eternity." Young adds that it might one day become necessary to seals a man's daughter to him as a wife, "but it is not likely ever again to occur." There are verified instances of LDS leaders performing polygamous marriages between men and their foster-daughters or step-daughters, but not actual daughters.

18 June, 1870 - First counselor George A. Smith tells Salt Lake School of the Prophets about "the evil of Masturbation" among Utah Mormons. Apostle Lorenzo Snow says that "Plural Marriage would tend to diminish this evil self-pollution," and he believes that "indulgence on the part of men was less in Plural marriage than in Monogamy." Elder George Reynolds (Secretary to Brigham Young) also tells the School that "where Monogamy was the Law, it compelled a more frequent (sexual) cohabitation than is right and proper." Mormon medical books of the time advise sexual intercourse only once a month.

11 Sep, 1871 - Counselor Daniel H. Wells tells Grantsville School of the Prophets that "a great many of our young men are abusing themselves by the habit of self-pollution: or self abuse, or as the Bible terms it, Onanism," which he regards as "one great cause why so many of our young men were not married, and it was a great sin, and would lead to insanity and a premature grave." Polygamy is likelier cause for prevalence of bachelorhood in nineteenth-century Utah. First, every national census lists more males than females in Mormon population. Second, 10 to 40 percent of Mormon men marry polygamously which demographically requires bachelorhood in Utah's majority population of males.

16 Dec, 1871 - Seymor B. Young, son of senior Seventy's president, writes: "Salt Lake City has for the first time in its history houses of Ill fame almost on every corner."

27 Feb, 1872 - LDS publication Millenial Star editorial titled, "Motherhood of God," repeats a child's question: "Why don't you tell me about the Heavenly Mother? Don't she give us anything?" Editorial speaks of those who "yearn to adore her" and expresses approval of praying to "Father and Mother God." Editorial conclusion: "When we draw nearer the Divine Man, lo! we shall find a Divine Woman smiling upon us...In the Father's many mansions, we shall find her and be satisfied."

7 Mar, 1875 - Apostle Joseph F. Smith's wife writes to him that "you know how brother (Apostle) [Albert] Carrington thinks a deal of women." In Dec. 1882 Apostle John Henry Smith writes President John Taylor that maid at British Mission headquarters "found Bro. Carrington lying upon the lounge and Sarah Kirkman lying upon top him." Upon Brigham Young's inquiry about other women in 1873 and John Taylor's inquiry about Sarah Kirkham in 1883, Carrington denies serious wrongdoing. he is not excommunicated until 1885 when protests from Sarah's husband become too insistent to ignore.

24 June, 1876 - Brigham Young confides that it is "a curiosity to him that men could commit adultery and still retain the spirit of the Lord as he had witnessed on one occasion. The man is now dead."

26 Sep, 1877 - Grand Jury describes Salt Lake County probate court as a "divorce mill" which granted 300 divorces in previous twelve-month period, primarily on "grounds of incompatibility of temperament, different aims and objectives in life." Eighty percent of divorced couples come to Utah for divorces from such places as San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Terre Haute, and St. Louis. Report finds that 13 percent of divorces are granted same day of complaint, total of 25 percent within week of application, and total of 85 percent are granted within a month of application. Report continues, "And your committee have good reason to believe that other country probate courts of the territory are likewise engaged in this class of divorce business, to an equal if not greater extent." Two months later U.S. senator Dawes introduces bill to remove divorce from jurisdiction of Mormon probate courts and limit divorce cases to federally-appointed non-Mormon judges.

13 June, 1878 - LDS political newspaper Salt Lake Herald's editorial on "Unhappy Marriages" begins: "We cannot say how many divorces the (Mormon) Utah probate courts have granted during the last few years, but the number is enormous, amounting to perhaps thousands."

8 Oct, 1881 - First Counselor George Q. Cannon tells general conference: "We hear now of men having got married to cover up certain things; of children born wonderfully soon after marriage in some of our settlements, and perhaps in this city no less than in our rural settlements."

31 Mar, 1883 - Apostle Brigham Young Jr. tells stake priesthood meeting: "There are many girls in Utah who have never had an offer of marriage from a man of the Church... Girls who marry outsiders are not worthy of the Sacrament."

9 Oct, 1883 - In several hours of meeting with stake presidents, First Presidency and apostles give instructions about "Masturbation...self-pollution of both sexes and excessive sexual indulgence in the married relation." This is the first-known Mormon reference to female masturbation.

7 Nov, 1885 - Quorum of Twelve excommunicates Apostle Albert Carrington "for crimes of lewd and lascivious conduct and adultery" with several women dating back to 1871. This is the first time since 1842 that a general authority is excommunicated for sexual misconduct, and its publication on 10 Nov. stuns the community.

27 Mar, 1886 - Polygamist husband confides in his personal diary: "How delicate is the position of a man in plural marriage who loves his wives and who in turn is loved by them. Every move he makes, in his relation or intercourse with them, is an arrow that pierces deep into the heart of one or other of them... A thousand thoughts and plans may come into his mind, but there is only one true solution. He must please God. In doing this, it may be hoped that by and by, he may also somehow please them."

15 July, 1886 - Apostle Lorenzo prophecies from the pulpit that in the future "brothers and sisters would marry each other in this church. All our horror at such a union was due entirely to prejudice, and the offspring of such unions would be as healthy and pure as any other. These were the decided views of President Young, when alive, for Bother Snow talked to him freely on this matter."

27 Dec, 1886 - Sarah M. Granger Kimball, counselor in Relief Society General Presidency teaches from the pulpit that "her brother Lafayette Granger and the late Bishop George Miller in conversation once with the prophet Joseph smith were told by him that when Mary the mother of Jesus was on her way to the hill country she was met by God the Father and the Angel Gabriel and the latter performed the marriage between Father (God) and Mary."

21 July, 1887 - Apostle Franklin D. Richards: "God the Father came down in his tabernacle of flesh and bone and had (sexual) association with Mary, and made her pregnant with Jesus."

27 Feb, 1889 - LDS political newspaper Salt Lake Herald's article titled, "FAILED MARRIAGES," regarding "the report of the Labor Commissioner Wright, presented last week, on the statistics of marriage and divorce in the United States from 1867 to 1886 inclusive," with following: In 1870 Utah had highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1870 Utah's rate was one divorce per 185 marriages. National averages was 1:664. States with lowest divorce rates are South Carolina at 1:4,938, Delaware at 1:123,672, New Mexico at 1:16,077, North Carolina at 1:4,938, and Louisiana at 1:4,579. In 1880 Utah had tenth highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1880 Utah's rate was one divorce per 219 marriages, which was more than twice the national average of 1:479. In twentieth century, divorce rates for LDS temple marriages starts out three times higher than this "divorce mill" rate for early Utah civil marriages.

13 Mar, 1890 - Plural wife writes to her husband: "We are more like lovers than husband and wife for we are as far removed from each other - there is always the embarrassment of lovers and yet we have been married more than 37 years."

8 Sep, 1890 - Apostle John Henry Smith preaches from the pulpit that "married people who indulge their passions for any other purpose than to beget children, really committed adultery."

1 Oct, 1890 - An apostle asks "how the Son of God was begotten," and Lorenzo Snow tells apostles, "that he was begotten just the same as you and I were or as our sons today are."

2 Dec, 1890 - Apostle Lorenzo Snow tells the Quorum of Twelve that "he expects to see the day when a man's blood is shed again for the crime of adultery."

24 Mar, 1891 - Utah's chief justice Zane writes: "Polygamy has demoralized the people of Utah. I presume there are more sexual crimes here in proportion to the population than anywhere else."

6 Mar, 1892 - Stake president "condemns the practice that existed among the Saints to some extent of taking means to restrict the number of their children to only two or three."

20 Sep, 1896 - Seventy's president J. Golden Kimball preaches: "There are 500 girls who are public prostitutes in Salt Lake City. Some of these are daughters of Latter-Day Saints."

5 Nov, 1896 - Apostle Lorenzo R. Snow's youngest plural wife bears his last child in Canada. At age 82 he is the oldest general authority to father a child.

15 Jan, 1897 - Apostle Brigham Young Jr. temporarily resigns as vice-president of Brigham Young Trust Co. because first counselor George Q. Cannon allows its property to become "a first class" brothel on Commercial Street (now Regent Street), Salt Lake City. Apostle Heber J. Grant is invited to its opening reception and is stunned to discover himself inside "a regular whore-house." This situation begins in 1891 and for fifty years church-owned and controlled real estate companies lease houses of prostitution.

7 Oct, 1898 - At general conference Apostle John W. Taylor reports that in one rural area in Utah, 80 percent of LDS marriages involve pre-marital sex.

14 June, 1900 - First Presidency and apostles agree to give $3,600 to Brigham Y. Hampton for his prior "detective work" in which he paid prostitute to allow him and nearly thirty LDS "Home Missionaries" and policemen to spy on anti-Mormons engaging in sex acts in Salt Lake City brothels in 1885. Although first counselor denies it at this meeting, in private meetings of First Presidency George Q. Cannon refers to Hampton's brothel work as "services rendered the Church" and "work in behalf of the Church." Hampton has been set apart as a Salt Lake temple worker since 1893, and another coordinator of brothel spying is the temple doorkeeper (1893-1910).

10 July 1901 - Apostle Anthon H. Lund reports to apostles that during six-month period, 58 percent of LDS marriages in rural ward were "forced."

7 Nov, 1901 - First Presidency decides and announces that there is "no rule in the church forbidding cousins to intermarry" and that first cousins can have temple marriages if they present civil license. General authorities such as Brigham Young, Williard Richards, Joseph F. Smith and Abraham H. Cannon married their first cousins as legal and plural wives.

23 Nov, 1902 - Apostle John W. Taylor tells stake priesthood meeting that "those who have sexual intercourse with their wives or touch any dead body are unclean until the evening, and therefore during that day should not enter the temple or officiate in any ordinances of the gospel."

26 Mar 1903 - Joseph F. Smith tells apostles "there would be no daughters of perdition" in final judgment. General authorities authorize rebaptism without church discipline for young man who confesses "secret crime he committed in having to do with animals."

7 July, 1903 - Apostle Rudger Clawson tells other apostles "that the practice of self-abuse existed to an alarming extent among the boys in our community who attended the district schools, and also, he doubted not, the church schools. He felt that the boys and girls should be properly instructed in regard to this evil."

25 Oct, 1905 - Public criticism of Joseph F. Smith's remarks that Father Damien of Hawaiian leper colony was immoral before his death. LDS church president is convinced that leprosy is contracted through sexual contact.

9 May, 1913 - First Presidency learns that James Dwyer, co-founder of Salt Lake City's LDS University (now LDS Business College), has been "teaching young men that sodomy and kindred vices are not sins..." Dwyer's daughter, actress Ada Dwyer Russell, is already in long-term relationship with lesbian poet Amy Lowell. Dwyer's bishop and stake president want to excommunicate him, but First Presidency allows Dwyer, now in his eighties, to voluntarily "withdraw his name" from LDS church membership.

29 Sep, 1914 - Quorum of Twelve learns that mission president has "discovered that 15% of the missionary Elders in the Netherlands during the past two years, have been guilty of immoral practices, and that a much greater percentage of Elders have been exposed to these evils."

8 June, 1941 - First Councilor J. Reuben Clark tells annual general conference of youth and their leaders: "When I was a boy it was preached from the stand, and my father and my mother repeated the principle to me time and time again. They said, 'Reuben, we had rather bury you than have you become unchaste.' And that is the law of this true Church."

26 Jan, 1942 - First Councilor J. Reuben Clark tells reporter for Look Magazine: "Our divorces are piling up." Church Historian's Office in 1968 compiles divorce statistics since 1910 for temple marriages, "church civil" marriages, and "other civil" marriages. Although temple marriages have lowest divorce rate of the three categories, in 1910 there was one "temple divorce" for every 66 temple marriages performed that year., 1:41 in 1915, 1:34 in 1920, 1:27 in 1925, 1:30 in 1930, 1:23 in 1935, 1:27 in 1939, 1:17 in 1945, 1:31 in 1950, 1:30 in 1955, 1:19 in 1960 and 1965. Last rate for temple divorce is almost ten times higher than Utah's civil divorce rate century earlier.

2 Oct, 1952 - Second Counselor J. Reuben Clark warns women of Relief Society general conference against "self-pollution," prostitution, and "homosexuality, which it is tragic to say, is found among both sexes." He cautions LDS women against allowing homosexual-oriented males to use them as male-substitutes in dating or marriage: "I wonder if you girls have ever reflected on the thought that was in the mind of the man who first began to praise you for your boyish figures." Clark also tells the ladies, "I forebear to more than mention that abomination and filth and loathsomeness of the ancients - carnal knowledge with beasts." Church Relief Society magazine publishes this talk in full.

21 May, 1959 - Executive committee of Church Board of Education discusses "the growing problem in our society of homosexuality." Spencer W. Kimball reports that David O. McKay has said "that in his view homosexuality was worse than heterosexual immorality; that it is a filthy and unnatural habit."

12 Feb, 1964 - First Presidency letter that all prospective missionaries "found guilty of fornication, of sex perversion, of heavy petting, or of comparable transgressions should not be recommended until the case has been discussed with the bishop and stake president and the visiting General Authority."

7 Jan, 1969 - First Presidency secretary Joseph Anderson answers letter about "the Church's stand pertaining to birth control," with the concluding statement: "After all, however, the brethren recognize that this is a personal matter involving the individuals concerned, and concerning which they must make their own decision."

14 April, 1969 - First Presidency makes official statement on birth control which omits any reference to their own feelings about birth control as "a personal matter," and states: "We believe that those who practice birth control will reap disappointment by and by," and repeated earlier letter's emphasis on "self control as a dominant factor" in marriage.

9 June, 1978 - First Presidency letter instructs that interviews of married persons "should scrupulously avoid indelicate inquiries," yet also emphasizes: "Married persons should understand that if in their marital relations they are guilty of unnatural, impure or unholy practices, they should not enter the temple unless and until they repent and discontinue any such practices." This reverses position of First Presidency prior to Spencer W. Kimball's ascendancy.

17 June, 1978 - Church News headline "Interracial Marriage Discouraged" in same issue which announces authorization of priesthood for those of black African descent. Sources at church headquarters indicate that Apostle Mark E. Petersen requires this emphasis.

Sep 1981 - Branch presidents at the Missionary Training Center in Provo receive 21-point handout to help "both male and female" missionaries avoid masturbation. Point 19: "In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken." In May 1995 article about masturbation, national magazine "Details" publishes seventeen of the recommendations and identifies Apostle Mark E. Petersen as author of "Steps in Overcoming Masturbation: A Guide to Self-Control." In 1996, spokesman at LDS headquarters denies that Elder Petersen authored this document and denies that it was ever distributed.

5 Jan, 1982 - First Presidency repeats its 1978 instructions for "interviewing married persons," but adds: "The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure or unholy practice."

15 Oct 1982 - First Presidency instruction to all stake and mission leaders that many letters from church members "indicate clearly that some local leaders have been delving into private, sensitive matters beyond the scope of what is appropriate.... Also, you should never inquire into personal, intimate matters involving marital relations between a man and his wife." Letter continues that even if a church member volunteers such intimate information, "you should not peruse the matter but should merely suggest that if the member has enough anxiety about the propriety of the conduct to ask about it, the best course would be to discontinue it." In response to widespread complaints from married couples being asked if they have oral sex, this returns First Presidency stance to what it was prior to presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, now incapacitated.

4 Mar, 1983 - Salt Lake Tribune reports lawsuit filed in February against LDS church for $28 million. A father blames LDS bishop for contributing to his sixteen-year-old son's suicide for counseling his son "that masturbation is a terrible sin.. and being a normal adolescent in the puberty state, KIP ELIASON became increasingly less able to reconcile his sexual desires with the strict doctrines of the said LDS Church. He became filled with self-hate."

15 Apr, 1983 - "University Post: The Unofficial Newspaper of Brigham Young University" reports interview with director of Standards Department. He acknowledges that students suspected of cheating, illegal drug use, stealing, or homosexuality are expelled from BYU if they refuse to take polygraph examination. BYU Security has licensed polygraph examiner.

4 Apr, 1987 - First Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley tells priesthood session of general conference that "marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices..." This reverses decades-long church policy formulated by Spencer W. Kimball.

9 Aug 1991 - Salt Lake Tribune article, "Of LDS Women, 58% Admit Premarital Sex."

For more discussion on Mormon sexuality, see this on-line article:
Sexuality Within The Contemporary Mormon Experience
(external link)




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