Policies and Statements of the LDS Church

The following are reported to be policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. They were taken from various sources and are offered as information only. They should not all be considered "official" statements from the church unless described as such.

Alcohol statement following court ruling
Artificial insemination
Birth control
Blood transfusions
Cola drinks
Decaffeinated coffee
King James version of Bible
Organ transplants and donations
Name of the Church
Prolonging life
Stem cell research
Stillborn children


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life. Therefore, the Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience, and counsels its members not to submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions.

The Church allows for possible exceptions for its members when:

• Pregnancy results from rape or incest, or

• A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy, or

• A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.

The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct.

The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion.

(Official Church statement)

Other statements:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers the elective termination of pregnancy "one of the most . . . sinful practices of this day" (_General Handbook of Instructions,_ 11-4), although not necessarily murder. The Lord has said, "Thou shalt not . . . kill, nor do _anything_ like unto it" (D&C 59:6; emphasis added in Packer, p. 85).

Members of the Church must not "submit to, be a party to, or perform an abortion" (_General Handbook,_ 11-4). The only exceptions are where "incest or rape was involved, or where competent medical authorities certify that the life of the mother is in jeopardy, or that a severely defective fetus cannot survive birth" (Packer, p. 85). Even these exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Church members are counseled that they should consider abortion in such cases only after consulting with their bishop and receiving divine confirmation through prayer.

"Church members who encourage, perform, or submit to an abortion are subject to Church discipline as appropriate" to help them repent (_General Handbook,_ 11-4). As far as has been revealed, the sin of abortion is one for which a person may repent and gain forgiveness (_General Handbook,_ 11-4; Packer, p. 86).

_General Handbook of Instructions._ Salt Lake City, 1989.
Packer, Boyd K. "Covenants." _Ensign_ 20 (Nov. 90):84-86.



The First Presidency statement on AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) released May 27, 1988, admonishes Church members to become informed about AIDS and to avoid all actions that place themselves or others at risk. Members are also encouraged to become informed about AIDS-related laws and policies in the country where they live and to join in wise and constructive efforts to stem the spread of AIDS.

The statement calls for Church members to extend Christlike sympathy and compassion to all who are infected or ill with AIDS. Particular concern and sympathy are expressed for those having received the virus through blood transfusions, babies infected by their mothers, and marriage partners infected by a spouse. Leaders and members are encouraged to reach out with kindness and comfort to the afflicted, ministering to their needs and assisting them with their problems.

While hope is expressed that medical discoveries will make it possible both to prevent and cure AIDS, the observance of clearly understandable and divinely given guidance regardless of such potential discoveries will do more than all else to check a potential AIDS epidemic: "That guidance is chastity before marriage, total fidelity in marriage, abstinence from all homosexual relations, avoidance of illegal drugs, and reverence and care for the body, which is the temple of God."

The First Presidency statement includes remarks given about AIDS by Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, in the April 1987 general priesthood meeting: "Prophets of God have repeatedly taught through the ages that practices of homosexual relations, fornication, and adultery are grievous sins. Sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage are forbidden by the Lord. We reaffirm those teachings. . . . Each of us has a choice between right and wrong. But with that choice there inevitably will follow consequences. Those who choose to violate the commandments of God put themselves at great spiritual and physical jeopardy."

In January 1989 a special bulletin on AIDS was sent to Church leaders throughout the world to provide (1) scientific and medical information about AIDS; (2) counsel reaffirming the blessings and protection that come from living God's commandments; and (3) guidelines and policies dealing with interviewing and assisting those infected with the AIDS virus. Some items treated in the four-page special bulletin are:

* Church teachers and activity leaders who on occasion may be involved in cleaning up blood or rendering first aid should become aware of, and follow, local health department recommendations regarding the prevention of AIDS infection.

* AIDS-infected individuals who may be contemplating marriage are to be encouraged by local Church leaders to be honest with potential marriage partners and to disclose their AIDS infection. For a person to do less would be deceitful, and in violation of one's covenants with God.

* Where transgression of God's laws has resulted in infection, the Church advocates the example of Jesus Christ, who condemned the sin but loved the sinner.

* AIDS victims who seek membership in the Church, temple recommends, or other blessings are treated as all others who express faith in God, repent, request baptism, and are living the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Public Communications Department. "First Presidency Statement on AIDS." Salt Lake City, May 27, 1988; cf. "News of the Church," _Ensign_ 18 (July 1988):79.
Questions and Answers for Priesthood Leaders Regarding AIDS (special bulletin). Salt Lake City, Jan. 1989.


Alcohol Statement Following Court Ruling
10 August 2001

SALT LAKE CITY--The current Utah law on the advertising and sale of alcoholic beverages is the product of long-standing efforts of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many others. These groups sought a balanced law that would reserve to the State most profits from the sale of alcoholic beverages. It is the State that bears the social costs of the consumption of alcohol. The supporters of the law also sought to ensure that alcoholic beverages would be available to all who desired them but would not be aggressively promoted.
Along with others who share these objectives, the Church will be reviewing the emergency rules of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission on alcohol advertising and will submit its comments during the 120-day period set by the Commission for public input. In reviewing the emergency rules, all should be guided by the court's finding that the State of Utah has a "substantial state interest" in promoting "temperance," acknowledged by the court to include discouraging over-consumption, intoxication, and under-age consumption, as well as minimizing the consequences of alcohol consumption to the safety, health, and welfare of the public. (Opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, ULBA v. Leavitt, No. 00-4058, July 24, 2001.)

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination is defined as placing semen into the uterus or oviduct by artificial rather than natural means. The Church does not approve of artificial insemination of single women. It also discourages artificial insemination of married women using semen from anyone but the husband. "However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the husband and wife, with the responsibility for the decision resting solely upon them" (_General Handbook of Instructions,_ 11-4). Children conceived by artificial insemination have the same family ties as children who are conceived naturally. The _General Handbook of Instructions_ (1989) states: "A child conceived by artificial insemination and born after the parents are sealed in the temple is born in the covenant. A child conceived by artificial insemination before the parents are sealed may be sealed to them after they are sealed."

_General Handbook of Instructions,_ 11-4. Salt Lake City, 1989.



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds that an autopsy may be performed if the family of the deceased gives consent and if the autopsy complies with the law of the community. The purpose of an autopsy is, where possible, to examine the results of trauma or disease recorded in the vital organs of the body so as to define the specific cause of death for the family, the community, and the professionals who attended the deceased. It also permits the training and instruction of those who continue the search for better ways of coping with disease. It is one of the methods whereby both those who die and those who examine them contribute to improving the quality of life and health of their fellow human beings.


Birth Control

The _General Handbook of Instructions_ for Church leaders has the following instructions concerning birth control: "Husbands must be considerate of their wives, who have a great responsibility not only for bearing children but also for caring for them through childhood. . . . Married couples should seek inspiration from the Lord in meeting their marital challenges and rearing their children according to the teachings of the gospel" (_General Handbook,_ 11-4).

Interpretation of these general instructions is left to the agency of Church members. One of the basic teachings of the Church, however, is that spirit children of God come to earth to obtain a physical body, to grow, and to be tested. In that process, adults should marry and provide temporal bodies for those spirit children. For Latter-day Saints, it is a blessing, a joy, and also an obligation to bear children and to raise a family.

One of the cornerstones of the gospel is agency or choice. Latter-day Saints believe that everyone will be held responsible for the choices they make. Many decisions involve the application of principles where precise instructions are not given in the _General Handbook of Instructions_ or in the scriptures. The exercise of individual agency is therefore required, and Latter-day Saints believe that personal growth results from weighing the alternatives, studying matters carefully, counseling with appropriate Church leaders, and then seeking inspiration from the Lord before making a decision.

Church members are taught to study the question of family planning, including such important aspects as the physical and mental health of the mother and father and their capacity to provide the basic necessities of life. If, for personal reasons, a couple prayerfully decides that having another child immediately is unwise, birth control may be appropriate. Abstinence, of course, is a form of contraception. Like any other method, however, it has its side effects, some of which may be harmful to the marriage relationship.

Prophets past and present have never stipulated that bearing children was the sole function of the marriage relationship. They have taught that physical intimacy is a strong force in expressing and strengthening the love bond in marriage, enhancing and reinforcing marital unity.

Decisions regarding the number and spacing of children are to be made by husband and wife together, in righteousness, and through empathetic communication, and with prayer for the Lord's inspiration. Latter-day Saints believe that persons are accountable not only for what they do but for why they do it. Thus, regarding family size and attendant questions, members should desire to multiply and replenish the earth as the Lord has commanded. In that process, God intends that his children use the agency that he has given them in charting a wise course for themselves and their families.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. _General Handbook of Instructions,_ 11-4. Salt Lake City, 1989.
"I Have a Question." _Ensign_ 9 (Aug. 1979):23-24.


Blood Transfusions

Although there are references in scripture to the sacredness of blood, the Church does not hold that any scripture or revelation prohibits giving or receiving blood or blood products, such as gamma globulin, the antihemophilic factor, and antibodies through transfusion or injection, and it is therefore not opposed to its members engaging in such practices. In fact, individual wards sometimes have blood drives to increase a supply on hand when a ward member might need a transfusion. The Church, however, leaves the decision of whether to be a donor or a recipient of a blood transfusion or blood products to the individual member or family concerned.

The Church recognizes that the use of blood transfusions and blood products often saves lives by replacing blood serum volume, red and white cells, platelets, and other substances that may have been lost or damaged by disease, accident, or surgical operation. It is also aware that many operative procedures, such as open-heart surgery and organ transplantation, could not be as safely performed and that many diseases, such as leukemia, aplastic anemia, and certain types of cancers, could not be adequately treated without blood and blood-product transfusions.

Blood transfusions can carry very harmful and life-threatening diseases, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis, and other infectious diseases, and therefore may be a hazard. However, these hazards may be completely eliminated in non-emergency operations by the process of autotransfusion, whereby a patient's own blood is donated, stored, and given back when needed. This practice is feasible because blood can be stored for a number of months. However, the Church leaves all decisions about the use or non use of blood to the member or family concerned in consultation with their physician.



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints counsels its members to bury their dead in the earth to return dust to dust, unless the law of the country requires cremation. However, the decision whether to bury or cremate the body is left to the family of the deceased, taking into account any laws governing the matter. Burial of the body usually follows a funeral or graveside service. The body of a deceased member of the Church who has received the temple Endowment should be dressed in temple clothing. Relief Society sisters dress deceased women, and priesthood brethren the men. When it is not possible to clothe the body, temple clothing may be laid over it.

A member of the bishopric typically presides at the burial, where a simple, earnest prayer is offered to dedicate the grave, with blessings promised as the Spirit dictates. This prayer may include a dedication of the grave as a sacred resting place until the resurrection if the person giving the prayer holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and has been asked to give such a dedication. The grave site often becomes a sacred spot for the family of the deceased to visit and care for.



The Church does not encourage cremation of the dead. However, in some countries, the law requires cremation. The family of the deceased must decide whether to cremate the body, taking into account any laws governing burial or cremation. The body of a deceased member who has been endowed should be dressed in temple clothing when it is cremated. A funeral service may be held if the ashes are buried or deposited in a mausoleum. (1985)

Since the organization of the Church in 1830, Latter-day Saints have been encouraged by their leaders to avoid cremation, unless it is required by law, and, wherever possible, to consign the body to burial in the earth and leave the dissolution of the body to nature, "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19). President Spencer W. Kimball wrote, "The meaning of death has not changed. It releases a spirit for growth and development and places a body in . . . Mother Earth" (p. 45). In due time the mortal body returns to native element, and whether it is laid away in a family-selected site or buried in the depths of the sea, every essential part will be restored in the Resurrection: "Every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame" (Alma 40:23).

To understand the LDS feeling about cremation, it is essential to understand the doctrine of the Church regarding the body. In a General Conference Elder James E. Talmage, an apostle, stated, "It is peculiar to the theology of the Latter-day Saints that we regard the body as an essential part of the soul. Read your dictionaries, the lexicons, and encyclopedias, and you will find that nowhere, outside of The Church of Jesus Christ, is the solemn and eternal truth taught that the soul of man is the body and the spirit combined" _(CR_, Oct. 1913, p. 117).

Kimball, Edward L., ed. _The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,_ p. 45. Salt Lake City, 1982.
Lockhart, Barbara. "The Body: A Burden or a Blessing?" _Ensign_ 15 (Feb. 1985):57-60.
Nelson, Russell M. "The Magnificence of Man." _Ensign_ 18 (Jan. 1988):64-69.



The complex issues surrounding immigration are a matter of increasing concern and debate for all in this country.

Elected individuals have the primary responsibility to find solutions in the best interests of all whose lives will be impacted by their actions.

We repeat our appeal for careful reflection and civil discourse when addressing immigration issues. Finding a successful resolution will require the best thinking and goodwill of all across the political spectrum, the highest levels of statesmanship, and the strongest desire to do what is best for all of God’s children.

Organ Transplants And Donations

Because the transplanting of body parts raises some concerns regarding ethics and moral issues, the Church has issued the following statement: "Whether an individual chooses to will his own bodily organs or authorizes the transplant of organs from a deceased family member is a decision for the individual or the deceased member's family. The decision to receive a donated organ should be made with competent medical counsel and confirmation through prayer" (_General Handbook of Instructions,_ 11-6).

The transplanting of certain organs is now being done with increasing success. For example, transplantation of the cornea has been done for many years, and now a better than 90 percent chance of vision restoration is expected in cases of blindness due to corneal disease. As successful replacements increasingly occur, more people become aware of the various diseases and disorders that can be treated and cured by transplantation, and more people want to become recipients. According to the American Council on Transplantation, more than 50,000 people benefited from organ transplants in 1989. And according to the Intermountain Transplant Program, "more than 100,000 could benefit if enough organs and tissue were available."

Organs and tissue that can now be transplanted include the cornea, kidney, pancreas, heart, liver, skin, bone, veins, tendons, lung, bone marrow, and blood. Heart and liver donations are immediate matters of life and death. Donated kidneys replace thrice-weekly dialysis treatments. A donated pancreas may "cure" someone's diabetes. Donated eyes provide not only corneas for sight-restoring corneal transplants but also vital eye tissue for other surgical procedures and for research into blinding eye disorders. According to organizations handling organs for transplantation, only those who meet strict criteria are considered for donors. These criteria include careful testing for infectious diseases, including AIDS. Because of these procedures and advances in transplant techniques, donors and recipients do not face the risks faced a few years ago.

In some instances, as where a kidney is needed, a close relative can serve as a donor. (A healthy person can continue a normal life with one kidney.) In the case of some organs, such as the cornea of the eye, the donated organ usually comes from one who signs a statement indicating a desire to donate organs upon death. In the event of an accident or untimely death, the donor's eyes may then be used with the consent of the family.

_General Handbook of Instructions,_ 11-6. Salt Lake City, 1989.


Name of the Church

The official, full name of the Church should always be used by the Church and its members.
Media organizations are encouraged to use the official name when referring to the Church as an institution in their reporting. They will be asked to avoid references to "Mormon Church," "LDS Church" or "The Latter-day Saints Church."
When a shortened reference is needed in news reporting or other instances, the terms "the Church" or "the Church of Jesus Christ" are encouraged. When referring to members, the term Latter-day Saints is preferred, though "Mormons" is acceptable.
"Mormon" is correctly used in proper names such as The Book of Mormon, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir or Mormon Trail, or when used as an adjective in such expressions as "Mormon pioneers."
The term "Mormonism" is acceptable in describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Prolonging Life

Medical science has made it possible to sustain physical life by artificial support systems under circumstances where functional and productive life may be no longer feasible. Prolonging life in these situations presents a moral and ethical dilemma for the medical profession and the family of the afflicted individual. On the one hand is the emotion of hope for recovery of useful function in a situation where the science of prognosis is imperfect and based to a certain extent on probability analysis, while on the other hand is the reality that physical death is imminent without life-support measures. Members of the medical profession deal with this dilemma by calculated evaluation of the data presented in the clinical situation and may present recommendations to the family and other concerned individuals as regards prognosis and what should be done. The family must analyze these recommendations in a situation clouded by the intense emotion of anticipated separation from a loved one.

Latter-day Saints are sustained during these trying times by their faith in Jesus Christ, whose teachings provide the strength, reason, and hope to guide one in making difficult decisions regarding life and death. "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).

Jesus Christ presented himself as the Savior of mankind through the Atonement and the resurrection: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die" (John 11:25-26).

Belief in everlasting life after mortal death should allow faithful Latter-day Saints to make wise and rational decisions regarding artificially prolonging life when medical means to restore useful and functional existence have been exhausted. This is reflected in Church policy regarding prolonging life:

When severe illness strikes, Church members should exercise faith in the Lord and seek competent medical assistance. However, when dying becomes inevitable, death should be looked upon as a blessing and a purposeful part of an eternal existence. Members should not feel obligated to extend mortal life by means that are unreasonable. These judgments are best made by family members after receiving wise and competent medical advice and seeking divine guidance through fasting and prayer [_General Handbook of Instruction,_ 11-6].

_General Handbook of Instructions._ Salt Lake City, 1989.


Another official statement on Euthanasia and Prolonging Life:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life, and is therefore opposed to euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as deliberately putting to death a person who is suffering from an incurable condition or disease. Such a deliberate act ends life immediately through, for example, so-called assisted suicide. Ending a life in such a manner is a violation of the commandments of God.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not believe that allowing a person to die from natural causes by removing a patient from artificial means of life support, as in the case of a long-term illness, falls within the definition of euthanasia. When dying from such an illness or an accident becomes inevitable, it should be seen as a blessing and a purposeful part of eternal existence. Members should not feel obligated to extend mortal life by means that are unreasonable. These judgments are best made by family members after receiving wise and competent medical advice and seeking divine guidance through fasting and prayer.


Latter-day Saints have an exceptionally positive view of procreation. After God commanded Adam and Eve to "multiply and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28), he pronounced all of his creation, including the power of procreation, "very good" (Gen. 1:31). President Joseph F. Smith noted, "The lawful association of the sexes is ordained of God, not only as the sole means of race perpetuation, but for the development of the higher faculties and nobler traits of human nature, which the love-inspired companionship of man and woman alone can insure" (_IE_ 20:739).

Mankind existed in a premortal life as spirit children of God (see First Estate). This earth was created to provide physical life and experience in a second estate. The divine plan of procreation provides physical bodies for premortal spirits. Thus, "children are an heritage of the Lord" (Ps. 127:3). To beget and bear children is central to God's plan for the development of his children on earth. The powers of procreation therefore are of divine origin. An early LDS apostle, Parley P. Pratt, noted that the desires and feelings associated with procreation are not evil, but are ordained of God for sacred purposes:

The fact is, God made man, male and female; he planted in their bosoms those affections which are calculated to promote their happiness and union. That by that union they might fulfill the first and great commandment . . . "To multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it." From this union of affection, springs all the other relationships, social joys and affections diffused through every branch of human existence. And were it not for this, earth would be a desert wild, an uncultivated wilderness [pp. 52-54].

Procreation is a divine partnership with God, and Church leaders counsel husbands and wives to seek his inspiration as they use their agency to bring children into the world even in difficult situations and circumstances (see Birth Control). The responsibilities of procreation include providing for the child's temporal well-being (1 Tim. 5:8), as "children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age" (D&C 83:4). By seeking spiritual guidance and by following other divine laws, such as tithing and making fast offerings, parents are blessed of the Lord to provide the daily necessities for their children (cf. Mal. 3:3-10).

The abuse of the divine privilege and power of procreation in licentious indulgence has serious consequences. First is the loss of the Spirit to direct one's life (cf. Ex. 20:14; Prov. 6:32; D&C 42:22-24; 63:14-16). In addition, when the creative powers are prostituted, they become a detriment to one's emotional, physical, social, and spiritual well-being (_see_ Abortion; Abuse, Spouse and Child; Adultery; Chastity).

Using the power of procreation does not alienate one from God. Rather, properly used, it enables mortals to become co-creators with him in the divine Plan of Salvation, which stretches across the eternities and includes the opportunity for the faithful to participate in family life and eternal increase (see Eternal Lives).

Barlow, Brent A. "They Twain Shall Be One: Thoughts on Intimacy in Marriage." _Ensign_ 16 (Sept. 1986):49-53.
Packer, Boyd K. "Why Stay Morally Clean." _Ensign_ 2 (July 1972):111-13.
Pratt, Parley P. _The Writings of Parley P. Pratt,_ ed. Parker P. Robison. Salt Lake City, 1952.



In LDS life and thought, sexuality consists of attitudes, feelings, and desires that are God-given and central to God's plan for his children, but they are not the central motivating force in human action. Sexual feelings are to be governed by each individual within boundaries the Lord has set. Sexuality is not characterized as a need, or a deprivation that must be satisfied, but as a desire that should be fulfilled only within marriage, with sensitive attention given to the well-being of one's heterosexual marriage partner. As the offspring of God, humans carry the divine Light of Christ, which is the means whereby the appropriate expression of sexual desires can be measured. Depending on whether men and women are true or false to this light, they will be the masters or the victims of sexual feelings. Such desires are to be fulfilled only within legal heterosexual marriage, wherein sexual involvement is to be an expression of unity, compassion, commitment, and love. Mutuality and equality are to be the hallmark of a married couple's physical intimacy.

The purposes of appropriate sexual relations in marriage include the expression and building of joy, unity, love, and oneness. To be "one flesh" is to experience an emotional and spiritual unity. This oneness is as fundamental a purpose of marital relations as is procreation. President Spencer W. Kimball stated:

The union of the sexes, husband and wife (and only husband and wife), was for the principal purpose of bringing children into the world. Sexual experiences were never intended by the Lord to be a mere plaything or merely to satisfy passions and lusts. We know of no directive from the Lord that proper sexual experience between husbands and wives need be limited totally to the procreation of children, but we find much evidence from Adam until now that no provision was ever made by the Lord for indiscriminate sex [1975, p. 4].

Furthermore, as Paul noted, "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife" (1 Cor. 7:3-4). Thus, physical intimacy is a blessing to married couples when it is an expression of their mutual benevolence and commitment to each other's well-being, an affirmation of their striving to be emotionally and spiritually one. The key in sexual matters is unselfishness. Self-centered pursuit of physical desire is destructive of the unity and love that characterize healthy marital relations. Such love or charity is long-suffering, kind, not envious, does "not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not [one's] own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil" (1 Cor. 13:4-5), and is compatible with the Light of Christ, which directs all in the ways of righteousness.

Bringing children into a loving home is considered a sacred privilege and responsibility of husbands and wives. Given that context, birth control is a matter left to the prayerful, mutual decisions of a righteous couple, with the counsel that husbands must be considerate of their wives, who experience the greater physical and emotional demands in bearing children. A woman's health and strength are to be preserved in childbearing; thus, wisdom should govern how a husband and wife carry out the responsibility to become parents and to care for their offspring.

Sexual feelings in the mature man or woman are relatively strong and constant, and they are not evil. An early apostle of this dispensation, Parley P. Pratt, noted:

Some persons have supposed that our natural affections were the results of a fallen and corrupt nature, and that they are "carnal, sensual, and devilish," and therefore ought to be resisted, subdued, or overcome as so many evils which prevent our perfection, or progress in the spiritual life. . . . Our natural affections are planted in us by the Spirit of God, for a wise purpose; and they are the very main-springs of life and happiness--they are the cement of all virtuous and heavenly society--they are the essence of charity, or love. . . . There is not a more pure and holy principle in existence than the affection which glows in the bosom of a virtuous man for his companion [p. 52].

As with any appetite or passion, physical desire can be distorted, overindulged, or misused. Spencer W. Kimball observed that, as in all other aspects of marriage, there are virtues to be observed in sexual matters: "There are some people who have said that behind the bedroom doors anything goes. That is not true and the Lord would not condone it" (Kimball, 1982, p. 312).

The Church prohibits sexual involvement except between a man and woman who are lawfully married to each other. Latter-day Saints are expected to abstain from sexual intercourse prior to marriage and to honor the marriage covenant by confining sexual relations to the spouse only (_see_ Chastity; Premarital Sex). Sexual morality also requires abstention from activities that arouse desires not expressible until marriage. Sexual abstinence prior to marriage is considered not only right and possible but also beneficial. Abstinence is not viewed as repression, nor are there any particular negative consequences to so living.

Parents have the obligation to teach their children both the goodness--the sacredness--of the power to create life (_see_ procreation) and the principles of maturation and sexual development. Church leaders encourage parents to discuss sexuality openly with their children, answering their questions straightforwardly and contrasting the Lord's plan for his children--which includes their eventual ability to produce children themselves--with the ways this power to create life can be profaned or abused. Children are to be prepared while young and, according to appropriate stages of development, are to be taught regarding human reproduction and the emotional and spiritual meanings of the procreative power and sexual desires that will grow within them (_see_ Sex Education). Parents are expected to teach correct principles and to be examples of what they teach, treating each other with compassion and charity and living in a relationship of absolute fidelity.

Fundamental to all parental instruction is a parent-child relationship of love and trust. Youth are vulnerable to sexual enticements both because of the strength of their developing desires and because they are still growing in understanding and responsibility. Full comprehension of the consequences--to themselves and to succeeding generations--of the failure to abstain sexually may not come simultaneously with their sexual interests. Trust and respect for parents can help insulate adolescents from temptation while their capacity to exercise full rights and responsibilities matures.

Parents' responsibility to educate children sensitively and directly should not be delegated to the public schools or other agencies outside the home. When public sex-education programs are offered, LDS parents are counseled to assure that such programs adequately acknowledge the sanctity of marriage and promote family-oriented values and standards. When such agencies undertake sex education, LDS parents should have prepared and taught their children in such a way that school programs will at best be a supplement to the foundations of understanding established in the family circle.

The standard of sexual morality endorsed by the Church applies equally to men and women. Given that the power to create life is central to God's plan for his children, sexual transgression is most serious (_see_ Adultery). Those who violate the law of chastity may be subject to Church disciplinary procedures, designed to help them cease their transgressions and restore them to full fellowship. Whether it is adultery, fornication, sexual abuse, incest, rape, perversion, or any other unholy practices, such behavior is to be addressed vigorously by local Church authorities, who seek the repentance of perpetrators and the protection of any victims. Homosexual relationships are prohibited (_see_ Homosexuality). In such cases, the Church affirms that such distortions in sexual feelings or behavior can, with the Lord's help, be overcome. A compassionate interest in the well-being of transgressors and the healing of relationships should motivate Church interest and action. Sexual wrongdoing is not to be condoned, ignored, or addressed casually. Transgressors themselves can be forgiven, but only by repenting and coming unto Christ (_see_ Repentance) and, through his Atonement, turning away from their destructive beliefs and practices.

Victims of rape or incest often experience trauma and feelings of guilt, but they are not responsible for the evil done by others, and they deserve and need to be restored to their sense of innocence through the love and counsel of Church leaders.

Practically speaking, the benefits of living a chaste life prior to marriage and of observing a relationship of fidelity after marriage apply to every dimension of marriage and family relationships. By remaining chaste before marriage and totally faithful to one's spouse in a heterosexual marriage, one can avoid some physically debilitating diseases, extramarital pregnancies, and venereal infections passed on to offspring. The sense of trust, loyalty, love, and commitment essential to the ideal of oneness in marriage and family life is not damaged or strained. Furthermore, one's relationship to and confidence in God are strengthened. By governing the power to create life, one sets the stage for the exercise of these desires, not whimsically, but with a reverence for the sacredness of the divine powers of creation.

Foster, Lawrence. _Religion and Sexuality: Three American Communal Experiments of the Nineteenth Century._ New York, 1981.
Kimball, Spencer W. "The Lord's Plan for Men and Women." _Ensign_ 5 (Oct. 1975):2-5.
______. _The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,_ ed. Edward L. Kimball. Salt Lake City, 1982.
Pratt, Parley P. _Writings of Parley Parker Pratt,_ ed Parker P. Robison. Salt Lake City, 1952.
Rytting, Marvin. "On Sexuality." _Dialogue_ 7 (Winter 1972): 102-104.
"Sexuality and Mormon Culture." _Dialogue_ 10 (Autumn 1976):9-93. Entire issue on sexuality.


Another official statement on same gender attraction

Stem Cell Research
09 August 2001

Because of increasing interest from members of the news media regarding the Church's position on "Stem Cell Research," the following statement is provided:

While the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have not taken a position at this time on the newly emerging field of stem cell research, it merits cautious scrutiny. The proclaimed potential to provide cures or treatments for many serious diseases needs careful and continuing study by conscientious, qualified investigators. As with any emerging new technology, there are concerns that must be addressed. Scientific and religious viewpoints both demand that strict moral and ethical guidelines be followed.

Another official statement:

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not taken a position regarding the use of embryonic stem cells for research purposes. The absence of a position should not be interpreted as support for or opposition to any other statement made by Church members, whether they are for or against embryonic stem cell research.


Sterilization, including voluntary vasectomies, tied fallopian tubes, or premature hysterectomies, are serious matters with moral, spiritual, and physiological ramifications. God's primordial instruction to mankind is to "be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28). The privilege and power to procreate may be God's greatest gift to mankind and, within the sacred marriage covenant, is an obligation for which God will hold men and women fully accountable. Latter-day Saints affirm that life's most lofty and ennobling values are found in marriage, procreation, parenthood, and family life. Any impediment or interference with this sacred opportunity may warrant God's judgment:

Surgical sterilization should only be considered (1) where medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health, or (2) where birth defects or serious trauma have rendered a person mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions. Such conditions must be determined by competent medical judgment and in accordance with law. Even then, the person or persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their bishop . . . and receive divine confirmation through prayer [_General Handbook of Instructions,_ 11-15].

Consistent with Church policies concerning birth control and abortion, leaders have advised its married members not to resort to any practices that destroy the power of having children. The First Presidency has declared, "We seriously deplore the fact that members of the Church would voluntarily take measures to render themselves incapable of further procreation" (p. 11-5).

_General Handbook of Instructions._ Salt Lake City, 1989.


Stillborn Children

Medically, a stillborn child is a dead fetus developed to a point at which it normally would have been viable. Religiously, one major question is whether a stillborn child ever was "a living soul" (Moses 3:7) that can be resurrected and be part of its parents' eternal family. Because "there is no information given by revelation" (DS 2:280), the Church has made no official statement on the matter. President Brigham Young once stated as his opinion that "when the mother feels life come to her infant it is the spirit entering the body" (JD 17:143). Others have speculated that the spirit might not enter the fetus until just before birth, and still others have suggested that three elements constitute a living soul--body, spirit, and "breath of life" (Moses 3:7).

Because Church policy permits temple sealings to be performed for children who die after birth, but not for those who die before birth, some have concluded that stillborn children will not be resurrected. However, the current _General Handbook of Instructions_ (1989) states that the policy of not sealing stillborn children to their parents implies "no loss of eternal blessings or family unity" (6-8). Latter-day Saints trust God's loving kindness to accord to each of his spirit children the eternal state which is proper, through judgment which is both just and merciful.

Greenwood, Val D. "I Have a Question." _Ensign_ 17 (Sept. 1987):27-28.


A First Presidency Letter on Decaffeinated Coffee (1968)

I have heard from a few individuals who claim to have seen copies of letters from the First Presidency that use very similar wording on the same subject. This is to my mind not a perfect verification of the authenticity of this item, but it is supporting evidence.

The text of this letter was allegedly sent to a stake president. The text that was sent to me included the full name and address at that time of the stake president as well as the name of the person who originally raised the question, but for privacy reasons those items have been deleted from this text. Other than that the text is untouched.

It should be noted that part of the text of the letter below parallels almost exactly the text in a verifiably authentic source (Priesthood bulletin, 1972, p 4, as quoted in Doctrine and Covenants: Student manual: Religion 324-325, 1981, p 209, published by the church). The parallel verified text reads: "With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided."

August 28, 1968
President J----
W---- Stake
XXXX M---- Dr
W---- XX 00000

Dear President J----:
Enclosed herewith is a copy of a postal card from Brother D---- inquiring about the use of Sanka coffee. Instead of answering Brother Davis' card direct, we are sending the answer to you that you may give him the correct information on the subject.

The terms and specifications as found in the Word of Wisdom, Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, remain as stated in that section. There has been no other official interpretation of that Word of Wisdom except that which was given by the Brethren in the very early days of the Church when it was declared that "hot drinks" meant tea and coffee.

The Church has not officially taken any other attitude on this matter. Leaders of the Church have advised against the use of any beverage containing harmful, habit-forming drugs or ingredients under the circumstances that would result in the acquiring of the habit.

The use of a beverage from which the deleterious ingredients have been removed would not be considered as breaking the Word of Wisdom. This would include Sanka coffee.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ D. O. McKay, H. B. Brown, N. E. Tanner
The First Presidency

A Letter on Cola Drinks (1971)

This letter is claimed to have been sent out dated 27 April 1971 in response to a question regarding the drinking of caffeine-containing drinks other than coffee and tea. The recipient of the letter was not included in the text that was sent to me, and I do not know what the letter was supposed to have said where this text contains ellipsis marks.

It should be noted that part of the text of the letter below parallels almost exactly the text in a verifiably authentic source (Priesthood bulletin, 1972, p 4, as quoted in Doctrine and Covenants: Student manual: Religion 324-325, 1981, p 209, published by the church). The parallel verified text reads: "With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided."

Your letter of April 22nd addressed to the office of the First Presidency asks for information regarding the Church's attitude pertaining to the use of cola drinks, particularly as it pertains to the Word of Wisdom...I am directed to tell you with reference to the cola drinks that the Church has never officially taken any attitude on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in the acquiring of the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients that would be harmful to the body should be avoided.

/s/Elder Joseph Anderson
Secretary to the First Presidency

A First Presidency Statement on Evolution (1910)

In the early 1900s, questions concerning the Creation of the earth and the theories of evolution became the subject of much public discussion. In the midst of these controversies, the First Presidency issued the following in 1909, which expresses the Church’s doctrinal position on these matters. A reprinting of this important First Presidency statement will be helpful as members of the Church study the Old Testament this year.

Inquiries arise from time to time respecting the attitude of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints upon questions which, though not vital from a doctrinal standpoint, are closely connected with the fundamental principles of salvation. The latest inquiry of this kind that has reached us is in relation to the origin of man. It is believed that a statement of the position held by the Church upon this subject will be timely and productive of good.

In presenting the statement that follows we are not conscious of putting forth anything essentially new; neither is it our desire so to do. Truth is what we wish to present, and truth—eternal truth—is fundamentally old. A restatement of the original attitude of the Church relative to this matter is all that will be attempted here. To tell the truth as God has revealed it, and commend it to the acceptance of those who need to conform their opinions thereto, is the sole purpose of this presentation.

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” In these plain and pointed words the inspired author of the book of Genesis made known to the world the truth concerning the origin of the human family. Moses, the prophet-historian—“learned,” as we are told, “in all the wisdom of the Egyptians”—when making this important announcement was not voicing a mere opinion, a theory derived from his researches into the occult lore of that ancient people. He was speaking as the mouthpiece of God, and his solemn declaration was for all time and for all people. No subsequent revelator of the truth has contradicted the great leader and lawgiver of Israel. All who have since spoken by divine authority upon this theme have confirmed his simple and sublime proclamation. Nor could it be otherwise. Truth has but one source, and all revelations from heaven are harmonious with each other. The omnipotent Creator, the maker of heaven and earth, had shown unto Moses everything pertaining to this planet, including the facts relating to man’s origin, and the authoritative pronouncement of that mighty prophet and seer to the house of Israel, and through Israel to the whole world, is couched in the simple clause: “God created man in his own image” (Gen. 1:27; see Moses 1:27-41).

The creation was twofold—first spiritual, secondly temporal. This truth, also, Moses plainly taught—much more plainly than it has come down to us in the imperfect translations of the Bible that are now in use. Therein the fact of a spiritual creation, antedating the temporal creation, is strongly implied, but the proof of it is not so clear and conclusive as in other records held by the Latter-day Saints to be of equal authority with the Jewish scriptures. The partial obscurity of the latter upon the point in question is owing, no doubt, to the loss of those “plain and precious” parts of sacred writ, which, as the Book of Mormon informs us, have been taken away from the Bible during its passage down the centuries (see 1 Ne. 13:24-29). Some of these missing parts the Prophet Joseph Smith undertook to restore when he revised those scriptures by the spirit of revelation, the result being that more complete account of the Creation which is found in the book of Moses, previously cited. Note the following passages:

“And now, behold, I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,
“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them, and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
“But, I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
“And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word” (Moses 3:4-7; see also Moses 1 and Moses 2, and compare with Gen. 1 and Gen. 2).

These two points being established, namely, the creation of man in the image of God, and the twofold character of the Creation, let us now inquire: What was the form of man, in the spirit and in the body, as originally created? In a general way the answer is given in the words chosen as the text of this treatise. “God created man in his own image.” It is more explicitly rendered in the Book of Mormon thus: “All men were created in the beginning after mine own image” (Ether 3:15). … If, therefore, we can ascertain the form of the “Father of spirits,” “The God of the spirits of all flesh,” we shall be able to discover the form of the original man.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is “the express image” of His Father’s person (Heb. 1:3). He walked the earth as a human being, as a perfect man, and said, in answer to a question put to Him: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). This alone ought to solve the problem to the satisfaction of every thoughtful, reverent mind. The conclusion is irresistible, that if the Son of God be the express image (that is, likeness) of His Father’s person, then His Father is in the form of a man; for that was the form of the Son of God, not only during His mortal life, but before His mortal birth, and after His Resurrection. It was in this form that the Father and the Son, as two personages, appeared to Joseph Smith, when, as a boy of 14 years, he received his first vision. Then if God made man—the first man—in His own image and likeness, He must have made him like unto Christ, and consequently like unto men of Christ’s time and of the present day. That man was made in the image of Christ is positively stated in the book of Moses: “And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. …

“And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them” (Moses 2:26-27).

The Father of Jesus is our Father also. Jesus Himself taught this truth when He instructed His disciples how to pray: “Our Father which art in heaven,” etc. Jesus, however, is the firstborn among all the sons of God—the first begotten in the spirit, and the only begotten in the flesh. He is our elder brother, and we, like Him, are in the image of God. All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.

“God created man in His own image.” This is just as true of the spirit as it is of the body, which is only the clothing of the spirit, its complement—the two together constituting the soul. The spirit of man is in the form of man, and the spirits of all creatures are in the likeness of their bodies. This was plainly taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith (see D&C 77:2).

Here is further evidence of the fact. More than 700 years before Moses was shown the things pertaining to this earth, another great prophet, known to us as the brother of Jared, was similarly favored by the Lord. He was even permitted to behold the spirit-body of the foreordained Savior, prior to His incarnation; and so like the body of a man was gazing upon a being of flesh and blood. He first saw the finger and then the entire body of the Lord—all in the spirit. The Book of Mormon says of this wonderful manifestation:

“And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.
“And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said to him: Arise, why hast thou fallen?
“And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.
“And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?
“And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.
“And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?
“And he answered, Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
“And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.
“Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.
“And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.
“Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh” (Ether 3:6-16).

What more is needed to convince us that man, both in spirit and in body, is the image and likeness of God and that God Himself is in the form of a man?

When the divine Being whose spirit-body the brother of Jared beheld took upon Him flesh and blood, He appeared as a man, having “body, parts and passions,” like other men, though vastly superior to all others, because He was God, even the Son of God, the Word made flesh: in Him “dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” And why should He not appear as a man? That was the form of His spirit, and it must needs have an appropriate covering, a suitable tabernacle. He came into the world as He had promised to come (see 3 Ne. 1:13), taking an infant tabernacle and developing it gradually to the fulness of His spirit stature. He came as man had been coming for ages and as man has continued to come ever since. Jesus, however, as shown, was the Only Begotten of God in the flesh.

Adam, our first progenitor, “the first man,” was, like Christ, a preexistent spirit, and like Christ he took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a “living soul.” The doctrine of the preexistence—revealed so plainly, particularly in latter days—pours a wonderful flood of light upon the otherwise mysterious problem of man’s origin. It shows that man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body to undergo an experience in mortality. It teaches that all men existed in the spirit before any man existed in the flesh and that all who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner.

It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declared that Adam was “the first man of all men” (Moses 1:34), and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race. It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father.

True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man.

Man, by searching, cannot find out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal Himself or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adam’s race—God alone can reveal them. Some of these facts, however, are already known, and what has been made known it is our duty to receive and retain.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity. God Himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned, and supreme. By His almighty power He organized the earth and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist coeternally with Himself. He formed every plant that grows and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally—“that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal, and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual.” He made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant, but He did not make them in His own image, nor endow them with godlike reason and intelligence. Nevertheless, the whole animal creation will be perfected and perpetuated in the Hereafter, each class in its “distinct order or sphere,” and will enjoy “eternal felicity.” That fact has been made plain in this dispensation (see D&C 77:3).

Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.

Joseph F. Smith
John R. Winder
Anthon H. Lund
First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
November 1909

King James Bible

The following is the official statement by the First Presidency on the use of the King James Bible. It can be found in the August 1992 edition of the _Ensign_.

"Since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has used the King James Version of the Bible for English-speaking members.

"The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered the loss of many plain and precious parts. 'We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.' (A of F 1:8.)

Many versions of the Bible are available today. Unfortunately, no original manuscripts of any portion of the Bible are available for comparison to determine the most accurate version. However, the Lord has revealed clearly the doctrines of the gospel in these latter-days. The most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations.

While other Bible versions may be easier to read than the King James Version, in doctrinal matters latter-day revelation supports the King James Version in preference to other English translation. All of the Presidents of the Church, beginning with the Prophet Joseph Smith, have supported the King James Version by encouraging its continued use in the Church. In light of all the above, it is the English language Bible used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The LDS edition of the Bible (1979) contains the King James Version supplemented and clarified by footnotes, study aids, and cross-references to the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These four books are the standard works of the Church. We encourage all members to have their own copies of the complete standard works and to use them prayerfully in regular personal and family study, and in Church meeting and assignments.

Sincerely your brethren,
Ezra Taft Benson
Gordon Hinckley
Thomas Monson

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