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ANNVER - Just wondering if there are any stats of members involved in gambling addictions? Does church opposes gambling? Are there any restrictions given to those who are found or confess to gambling ie. lotto winners? I heard of an active couple won a great amount of money from lotto but didn't seem they lost their callings or recommend over it

JOEL - I don't know of any stats about members who gamble. In some sense doing things like investing in the stock market or buying life insurance might be considered a form of gambling, but of course not in the same sense as in casino gambling, lotteries, betting on sports events, etc.

According to Church policy:
"The Church opposes gambling in any form, including government-sponsored lotteries."(Church Handbook #1)

In 1987 the First Presidency of The Church made this statement:
"There can be no question about the moral ramifications of gambling. As it has in the past, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands opposed to gambling, including government-sponsored lotteries."

More than sixty years ago, President Heber J. Grant and his counselors, the First Presidency of that day, declared:
"The Church has been and now is unalterably opposed to gambling in any form whatever. It is opposed to any game of chance, occupation, or so-called business, which takes money from the person who may be possessed of it without giving value received in return. It is opposed to all practices the tendency of which is to degrade or weaken the high moral standard which the members of the Church, and our community at large, have always maintained."

A generation earlier, President Joseph F. Smith had stated:
"The Church does not approve of gambling but strongly condemns it as morally wrong, and classes also with this gambling, games of chance and lottery, of all kinds, and earnestly disapproves of any of its members engaging therein."(See Dallin H. Oaks, June Ensign 1987)

Although the temple recommend interview does not specifically ask about gambling, it is quite obvious that any Latter-day Saint(regardless of holding a temple recommend) would not be living their religion properly if they participated in gambling. Some Bishops in areas like Las Vegas might ask members about gambling in the temple recommend interview, but if anyone should confess to gambling the Bishop would probably just encourage them to refrain from participating in the activity. There is normally no need to impose any formal church discipline on such members (eg. loss of calling or temple recommend). If a person was a compulsive gambler to the point of addiction the Bishop might refer the member to counseling to help him overcome the addiction.

President Hinckley gave a good talk on gambling about 10 years ago:

And here's another article from 1986:
“Don’t Bet on It!”: A Latter-day Saint Look at Gambling

Here's one from Elder Oaks in 1972:
The Evils of Gambling

There's an interesting book on the history of LDS and the gambling industry called
"Saints in Babylon: Mormons and Las Vegas" (Chapter ten)

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