In his speech Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 188th Semiannual General Conference, Dallin H. Oaks called on the faithful to oppose same-sex marriage and transgender rights.

Oaks, first counselor in the governing First Presidency of the Mormon Church, said that such topics are in conflict with eternal truths.

“Our knowledge of God's revealed plan of salvation requires us to oppose many of the current social and legal pressures to retreat from traditional marriage,” Oaks said, “or to make changes that confuse or alter gender or homogenize the difference between men and women.”

Oaks, 86, asserted that “gender is eternal” and that God's plan requires opposition to gay and lesbian relationships, gender transition, abortion and euthanasia.

“Our positions on these fundamentals frequently provoke opposition to the church,” he added, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “We consider that inevitable. Opposition is part of the plan. And Satan's most strenuous opposition is directed at whatever is most important to God's plan.”

The Mormon Church has long opposed marriage equality. It helped fund campaigns to prohibit its recognition in several states, including California and Hawaii.

The church's “November policy,” released in November, 2015 following the Supreme Court's landmark Obergefell ruling striking down state marriage bans, states that gay married Mormons are considered apostates, which could lead to excommunication. Additionally, the children of parents in gay or lesbian relationships, married or cohabiting, cannot join the Mormon Church until they turn 18 and then only if they are no longer living with their parents, disavow same-sex relationships and receive approval from the church's highest leaders.

(Related: Elder D. Todd Christofferson: Gay marriage not a right that exists in the Mormon Church.)