This is not the first time the LDS Church published official statement on same sex marriage/gay & lesbian issues. However, this special instruction that has published in 10 Jan 2014 is especially for the leaders of the LDS church.
I believe that everyone is a leader in the Church. However, I urge those who have more opportunities to speak in church meetings (such as, sacrament meeting speakers, teachers/instructors of Sunday School, Seminary, Institute, Auxiliary classes etc.) to take heed to the words in this official statement and do not put too much of your personal opinion on this matter. The reason I said this is because…I had a terrible experience in class the other day.
Before I share my experience, let’s talk about the wording use of same-sex/homosexual/homosexuality/gay/lesbian in Chinese. In Chinese, we use the word “同性(same-sex) 戀 (love/to feel attached to)”. It is a bit over-generalizing and vague to describe the complexity of same-sex marriage/homosexuality. Because of taboos and traditional thinking, when Chinese heard this word (regardless of the situations), most of people feel disgusted and related their thinking to AIDS, diseases, demon… whatever weird thing you can think of which makes it even worse.
It was a Sunday School class, the teacher made an over-generalizing statement that homosexual/gay/lesbian = breaking the law of chastity. With the vague Chinese interpretation of the term, I suggested that the teacher needed to clarify her explanation. My point is: by saying “同性戀” (the over-generalizing tern for homosexual/gay/lesbian) in Chinese, it doesn’t mean that that person is violating the law of chastity. She further said that she loves her friends who are attracted to the same sex. However, she requested them to dress appropriately according to his/her sex to show respect to her. I believe she is not the only who say similar thing to the congregation. There are times that personal opinions are welcomed, but there are also times that true doctrine and the Gospel of Christ needed to be taught.
Instead of rebutting her, I think the best way is to hear what our prophets say on this issue, and learn from their preaching and understanding of God’s plan.
President Hinckley, General Confernece, Oct 1998:
My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.
And there are many resources out there to help us and others to understand this issue
It may sound contradictory to stand for our belief on traditional marriage and love those who choose and act differently, but actually it is not that complex. Let us remember, Christ taught us not to cast stone to the woman who committed adultery. I challenge you to ponder the meaning of this story and how it relates to us and the whole issue of same-sex marriage.