Degree Name

BS

Department

Sociology

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2019-02-27

Publication Date

2019-03-20

First Faculty Advisor

Carol Ward

First Faculty Reader

Jacob Rugh

Honors Coordinator

Michael Cope

Keywords

Homosexuality, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon, LGBTQ+, Sexuality, Religion, Faith

Abstract

Recently, the United States has become increasingly accepting of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and their relationships. However, some conservative religions are hesitant or even unwilling to condone or to accept non-traditional lifestyles in their congregations. One such religious institution is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (from here on known as the LDS Church, the Mormon Church, or the Church). A recent body of research has attempted to gain a general understanding of these religious groups and their teachings regrading homosexuality. While these contributions are significant, a more detailed understanding regarding the views of lay members of the LDS Church is needed. Thus, in this qualitative, exploratory study, the central question is this: what are the views of current and former Church members about LGBP (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and pansexual) issues? I conducted purposive sampling to identify a diverse group of respondents. I used a grounded theory and situational analysis approach. Findings relate to several key themes, including autonomy, health, ontology of the divine, and faith reconciliation. Importantly, the range of views and attitudes expressed by research participants suggest that dialogue between Church members and people of non-traditional sexual orientations have led to more positive perceptions of LGBP people and more positive experiences for LGBP members. Implications, limitations, theoretical advancement, and future research are then discussed.

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