Joseph Smith and Homosexuality (1843)
Joseph Smith was not at all homophobic. In a funeral address
delivered in 1843 at Nauvoo, Illinois, he gave comfort to a survivor
of one Lorenzo Barns who had died while serving a mission in Great
Britain. The Prophet noted that Brother Barns' "very friend"
was present in the congregation that day (Feliz p. 3). Attempting
to enlighten the congregation on a particular principle of the
resurrection, he is quoted as saying:
" . . . to bring it to the understanding, it would be upon
the same principle as though two who were vary friends [sic] indeed
should lie down upon the same bed at night locked in each other's
embrace talking of their love[,] and should awake in the morning
together[.][T]hey could immediately renew their conversation of
love even while rising from their bed[,] but if they were alone
[and] in separate partments[,] they could not as readily salute
each other as though they were together . . . "
(Wilford Woodruff Journal, entry for April 16, 1843, as cited
by Feliz p. 3); (emphasis and bracketed punctuation mine).
The Joseph Smith Diary kept by Willard Richards contains a
briefer but similar version of the same statement. So does the
Documentary History of the Church (Smith pp. 294-297). Admittedly,
nothing erotic need be inferred from these remarks, but even the
skeptical reader is struck by the relaxed attitude toward same-sex
intimacies in the Woodruff account.
Homosexuality & Scripture from a Latter-day Saint Perspective.