Moral values should be taught "aggressively and without apology" in public schools, an LDS Church leader said Friday.

Criticizing the popular methods of teaching sex education, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it is self destructive to teach "the technology without the values upon which it is based."They don't do that in the scientific community, at least I hope they don't," Elder Oaks said.

He compared teaching sex education without moral values to scientists employing nuclear power without regard to the danger of society misusing it.

Elder Oaks' comments came at the annual convention of the local capter of the Associated General Contactors of America. He admonished local businesses to financially support organizations that promote the teaching of moral values in public schools.

He said society cannot afford to live with the consequences of youth making decisions without applying the basic moral values of honesty and integrity.

Elder Oaks said honesty and integrity are the foundation of any successful relationship and that civilization exists on the assumption that people can be trusted.

Higher education has also failed in teaching values, said Elder Oaks, a former president of the church-owned Brigham Young University. He explained thatcollege students tend to demonstrate their views about how values and morals should be applied in public issues, while denying those values are relevant in private and individual situations.

Elder Oaks also discussed:

- Gambling and state lotteries. Gambling's premise of wealth without work threatens the work ethic and undermines thrift, industry and productivity, Elder Oaks said. Some forms of gambling, such as an office bet on a football game, are trivial and harmless, he said, but since it can evolve into a serious addiction, it should be opposed "across the board."

- Legislating morality. A high proportion of all laws are based on moral values, Elder Oaks said, explaining that arguing over whether government should legislate morality contributes nothing to the debate on whether a piece of legislation should be passed or not.

- Fraud in the local business community. Without citing specific cases, Elder Oaks said he is surprised and concerned about the number of individuals perpetuating fraud in the local business community. "It's not limited to members of the LDS faith, but they are not excluded either," he said.