SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church isn't coming out directly in support or against the Obama administration's recent directive that transgender students be allowed to use facilities that match their gender identity.

Spokesman Eric Hawkins said Tuesday in a statement that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is instead calling on public officials to create rules and laws that balance safety, privacy and dignity for all. Hawkins says church leaders believe reasonable solutions can be reached when "people of goodwill" work to find answers.

He says that that religion believes that gender is part of a person's "eternal God-given identity and purpose." Because of that, Hawkins says church leaders don't baptize people planning transgender operations. People who choose to have the operation may risk losing their membership in the religion.