The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposed to gambling, including lotteries sponsored by governments. Church leaders have encouraged Church members to join with others in opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling.
Gambling is motivated by a desire to get something for nothing. This desire is spiritually destructive. It leads participants away from the Savior's teachings of love and service and toward the selfishness of the adversary. It undermines the virtues of work and thrift and the desire to give honest effort in all we do.
Those who participate in gambling soon discover the deception in the idea that they can give little or nothing and receive something of value in return. They find that they give up large amounts of money, their own honor, and the respect of family members and friends. Deceived and addicted, they often gamble with funds they should use for other purposes, such as meeting the basic needs of their families. Gamblers sometimes become so enslaved and so desperate to pay gambling debts that they turn to stealing, giving up their own good name.
See also Temptation
—See True to the Faith (2004), 72–73
Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, May 2005, 58–61; or Ensign, May 2005, 58–61
If you have never been involved in poker games or other forms of gambling, don't start. If you are involved, then quit now while you can do so.
"Don't Bet Your Life"
Shanna Ghaznavi, New Era, Feb. 2002, 26–31
Those who gamble risk more than just money. Their lives and families are at stake too.
"Gambling—Morally Wrong and Politically Unwise"
Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, June 1987, 69–75
The attitude of taking something from someone else in order to enhance our own position—the essence of gambling—leads us away from the giving path of Christ and toward the taking path of the adversary.
" 'Don't Bet on It!': A Latter-day Saint Look at Gambling"
Marvin K. Gardner, Ensign, Mar. 1986, 12–16
No amount of money is worth the damage to personal relationships and the loss of integrity that often follow gambling.
"I Have a Question"
William D. Oswald, Ensign, Feb. 1986, 32–34
Are lotteries legitimate means of financing public needs?
"Questions and Answers"
Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1985, 49–52
The question of lotteries is a moral question.
"Why Call Me Lord, Lord, and Do Not the Things Which I Say?"
Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1975, 4–7
We call upon all . . . members of this Church to be honest, full of integrity, pay for what they get, and take only that which they have properly paid for. We must teach our children honor and integrity.
"The Evils of Gambling"
Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1972, 42–47
There can be no question that gambling dulls the spiritual sensitivities of those who participate in it. In that terrible effect we may identify gambling's most far-reaching and evil influence.
Addiction Recovery Program
LDS Family Services
Encyclopedia of Mormonism
(Please note that the contents of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, a joint product of Brigham Young University and Macmillan Publishing Company, do not necessarily represent the official position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)