Mormon leader reiterates opposition to gay marriage at biannual conference

People fill their seats in the Conference Center before the start of opening session of the two-day Mormon church conference Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Kim Raff, AP

People fill their seats in the Conference Center before the start of opening session of the two-day Mormon church conference Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Salt Lake City.Kim Raff, AP

People fill their seats in the Conference Center before the start of opening session of the two-day Mormon church conference Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Salt Lake City.

SALT LAKE CITY — A high-ranking Mormon leader reiterated the church’s opposition to gay marriage, but he urged members to be gracious toward those who believe differently.

Dallin H. Oaks of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve said Saturday during the faith’s biannual conference that legalizing same-sex marriage is among current world values that challenge Mormon beliefs.

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But Oaks said that while Latter-day Saints may disagree with others, they should not be disagreeable or come off as contentious in explaining their beliefs.

The church’s stance on homosexuality has softened in recent years, but this is third consecutive conference in which leaders have said marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, as God created. In October 2013, Oaks said human laws cannot “make moral what God has declared immoral.”

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