On the first day of the 182nd Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon leaders reaffirmed the church's opposition to gay marriage.

LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks affirmed the church's belief that being gay is abnormal and that gay sex is sinful, though he added that teens struggling with their sexuality need “loving understanding.”

“Young people struggling with any exceptional condition including same-gender attraction are particularly vulnerable and need loving understanding, not bullying or ostracism,” Oaks said.

In a broader message, he condemned abortion – calling it a form of child abuse – and said children are the victims of no-fault divorce.

“The most powerful teaching of children is by the example of their parents. Divorcing parents inevitably teach a negative lesson.”

“We also need politicians, policymakers and officials to increase their attention to what is best for children in contrast to the selfish interests of voters and vocal advocates of adult interests,” Oaks said.

“For children the relative stability of marriage matters.”

“We should assume the same disadvantages for children raised by couples of the same gender,” he added, calling such unions a “social experiment.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)