Did church-sanctioned homosexual relationships flourish in early Mormonism? REVISED

Click on the link below and scroll down to the discussion on Joseph Smith and homosexuality.


Yet more disturbing claims about the non-Christian religion of Mormonism.

D. Michael Quinn, an excommunicated Mormon historian, wrote a book in 1996 entitled, “Same-sex Dynamics among nineteenth-century Americans: A Mormon Example.” In his book, he argues that homosexual relationships between both men and women were quietly accepted by the LDS Church and its leadership up until the 1940’s.

We do not know if Mr. Quinn’s claims are true or false. However, a quote from Jerald and Sandra Tanner, ex-Mormon researchers, writing in April, 1997, in the Salt Lake Messenger, speaking about Mr.Quinn’s claims, particularly concerning the Mormon “law of adoption,” which saw men sealed to men in the Mormon temple, stated,

“Although we have not found any evidence that immoral activities were involved in the sealing of men to men, the practice certainly could have opened a door for those predisposed to homosexual temptations. It seems obvious that the men who were sealed to one another were likely to have closer contact with one another than those who did not enter into the practice. (We do know that in recent times some missionaries who were constantly in close contact with their companions yielded to homosexual activities and were sent home from their mission.” (end of quote)

In the absence of concrete evidence, it appears that Mr.Quinn’s claims about early Mormonism are false. The Tanners (quoted above,) further stated, “While Quinn made a serious error, we find it hard to believe that he deliberately set out to deceive.”

Rather they think he misunderstood the context of certain phrases such as “the arms of love,” reading a homosexual connotation into it.

Mr.Quinn, a father of four, was divorced in 1985, and he was excommunicated from the Mormon church on 26th September, 1993.

To quote Steve Benson, another ex-Mormon, and grandson of a former Mormon “prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, writing about Michael Quinn, said,

“Indeed, it was Mike’s daring and ground-breaking research regarding the Mormon Church’s deceptive practice of post-Manifesto polygamy ( which the Church had strenuously tried to keep from the public,) that eventually led to his excommunication.”

Sadly, D. Michael Quinn “came out” as homosexual in 1996. We do not know if his homosexuality has any bearing on his claims about early Mormonism.

PS, the original link we gave with this post did not work, so apologies for that. Please see comment on this post by Glenn Chatfield for additional link on this topic

10 thoughts on “Did church-sanctioned homosexual relationships flourish in early Mormonism? REVISED

  1. The link doesn’t work. However, I think this story is fraudulent. I have been studying the LDS for 40 years and have never, ever heard of the church sanctioning homosexual behavior. I think Quinn’s claims are an attempt to justify his own perverse behavior.

    • Glenn, we have provided another link (quite lengthy), and we think you’ll agree that it raises some disturbing questions about Mormonism. As to whether Quinn’s claims are fraudulent, quite frankly, we can’t say one way or the other, but we think this matters warrants further investigation.

      • There are a lot of assertions and suppositions in some of those comments, so as to insinuate homosexuality. Several of the citations demonstrate that homosexuality was never the subject of these sealings, nor was there even a hint of same-sex fake marriage. The sealings had to do with devout friendships where the individuals loved each other like siblings (sort of like David and Jonathan’s relationship) or as older men to adopted sons. This was so as to continue the friendships into the celestial kingdom.

        The LDS has had more than enough sexual immorality in its history. We don’t need to ascribe 20th-21st Century ideas of homosexuality to 19th century demonstrations of brotherly/fatherly or sisterly love. Close friendships were not something to be ashamed of then as they are now – now people are afraid to express such brotherly love for fear of being mistaken for homosexuality.

        For Quinn to use such ideas to “prove” the LDS sanctioned homosexuality says more about his personal ideology than it does of those he ascribes such behaviors to.

        When it comes to cults, we need to stick with facts rather than make up stuff about them. When we sensationalize and exaggerate so as to make a cult “look bad,” we end up losing credibility with those who truly understand the cults. They look bad enough as it is – we don’t have to make up stuff.

        In answer to your article’s title question, the answer is a resounding, “NO!” There were neither flourishing homosexual relationships, and if there were such relationships they never would have received church sanction.

        • Glenn, We are not sensationalising anything, nor are we making up “stuff” about them, and we don’t agree with you about the article we gave a link to, because it is somewhat ambiguous in parts. We do understand Mormonism. I was involved with Mormonism in the 1970’s, and came very close to joining it. Mercifully, the Lord spared me that fate. After I became a born-again Christian, I visited Salt Lake City, as I had made contact with ex-Mormons who evangelised the Mormon people. I met Sandra Tanner on one occasion. I also met, and stayed in the home of, Marvin and Jan Cowan in Salt Lake City, and we communicate with them, to this very day. Marvin is an ex-Mormon.

          In a newsletter, dated December, 1992, and entitled “The Inner Circle,” which exposed Mormonism, and which I saw again today, there is a news item with the title, “Gay Ex-Mormon Claims Joseph Smith Sealed Men to Men.” The news item quoted an excommunicated Mormon called Antonio A. Feliz, who claimed to have uncovered evidence in LDS church archives that Joseph Smith performed same-sex marriages or sealings.
          D.Michael Quinn is also quoted in the news item and he stated, “I have found no evidence of same-sex marital sealings. Brigham Young in Utah taught that sealing of men to men was the highest ordinance of the church. What he was talking about was the adoption ordinance, whereby a man and his family is sealed as a son to another man and his family.” end of quote

          Yet, in 1996, the same D.Michael Quinn wrote the book, “Same-sex Dynamics among nineteenth-century Americans: A Mormon Example.”

          We do not know if Mr.Quinn is a truthful, reliable historian, but we would like to know the truth about his claims, and we have not engaged in sensationalism, nor exaggeration in writing our post, and we have not made anything up. We are scrupulously honest and we do know a great deal about Mormonism, we are not ignorant.

          • I’m sorry, but I think you misunderstood me. I was not saying, or even intimating, that you were sensationalizing anything. My comment was directed at the people who don’t understand this and make it seem what it is not. It was also a general statement about what is found so often in Christian writings about various cults. You are just taking your information from Quinn.

            I am an ex-Mormon. After becoming a Christian in Jan 1974, I began in-depth study of the Mormon faith. I have thoroughly studied their history and doctrines. I personally own on CD all of the old LDS Journals Of Discourse, their newspapers, etc. I have copies of the 1830 Book of Mormon and 1833 Book of Commandments. I have Smiths diaries, I have all their current teaching manuals. I just have shelves of books by and about the LDS, many of which have come from the Utah Lighthouse Ministry (which I have supported for over 20 years). My point is that I am very well versed in Mormonism.

            In all my studies I have never, come across anyone claiming these sealings were homosexual in nature except for “gays” like Quinn.

            Again, the sealings of men to men was not about homosexuality, no matter how many current homosexuals want to claim such. Notice is seems to be only the “gay” Mormons/ex-Mormons who make these claims.

          • Glenn, we don’t think we misunderstood you at all.

            The newspaper we mentioned , “The Inner Circle,” which carried the story about the ex-Mormon, Antonio Feliz, and his claims about Joseph Smith and same-sex “sealings,” was produced by John L.Smith and Michael Reynolds and Robert McKay, perhaps you have heard of them. They also produced a similar paper entitled, The Evangel or the “Utah Evangel.”

            Now the fact that they wrote about the claims of a gay ex-Mormon (Antonio Feliz in this case, and not D.Michael Quinn,) surely does not mean that they were engaging in sensationalism or were “making things up,” to make Mormonism look bad. It is legitimate to report someone’s claims, which is what they did and what we did, and we cannot understand your reaction.

            In that article, it is interesting to note that D.Michael Quinn did not agree with Mr. Feliz’s claims, yet, in 1996, he wrote his book , which, it seems, made similar claims to those of Mr.Feliz.
            Of course, it is possible that both men made lying claims, either because they were gay and/or excommunicated and therefore had a grudge against the Mormon church, but, in the link we gave to that ex-Mormon site, we cannot say that all who made comments were gay ex-Mormons, surely some were heterosexual ex-Mormons, so they weren’t out to “get” the Mormon church for “persecuting” them for their homosexuality, (IF the Mormon church did persecute homosexuals.)

            We were not simply taking the word of D.Michael Quinn when we wrote our post, as you assert we were.

  2. Homosexuality again on this blog? the Whites are obsessed with it! You will be our guests of honour at Gay Pride Belfast because you promote gay life here so much. We will present you both with lavender on the day and trust you will oblige us by accepting. We will give you something to write about here afterwards…believe us. See you there darlings!

    • How kind of you to ask, Hermione. Observing your Pride in vulgarity yesterday, we felt like we were standing in Sodom. Madam, you know as well as we do that there was no float.

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