From the Church

General Authority Letter Seeks to Clarify Removal of Homosexual Behavior from BYU Honor Code


Two weeks ago, Brigham Young University and other CES Schools updated their Honor Code. In the days since the change, students and the general public had many questions over the removal of a section regarding homosexual behavior. In response and as an effort to clarify, a letter from Elder Paul V. Johnson, Commissioner of the Church Educational System, was sent to all CES students and employees today:

Today this letter from Elder Paul V. Johnson, Commissioner of the Church Educational System, regarding the updated Honor Code was sent to students and employees at all CES schools. — BYU (@BYU) March 4, 2020

The full text of the letter reads:

“Recently the language of the principle-based Church Educational System Honor Code was updated. Those adjustments included significant doctrinal and behavioral matters that have led to much discussion and some misinterpretation. Out of respect for all concerned, we are providing the following clarifying statement.

“One change to the honor code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on ‘homosexual behavior.’ The moral standards of the church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated honor code. There is and always has been more to living the Lord’s standard of a chaste and virtuous life than refraining from sexual relations outside of marriage. Lasting joy comes when we live the spirit as well as the letter of God’s laws.

“A foundational doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that ‘marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of his children’ (‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’). Church leaders have long taught these principles.

“Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles in the honor code.

“We are grateful for the commitment that all students and employees in the Church Educational System make to live the principles and spirit of the honor code.”


Lead image: BYU News
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