Affirmation members talk about their experience with the April 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: what inspired them, what they struggled with, and what their hopes are.
I Need Him Too is intended to remind BYU students, Mormons, and people everywhere, that just because someone is lesbian, gay, bisexual, trasngender, queer, or same-sex attracted, does not mean they can’t be spiritual, Mormon, a member of the Church, or believe in God and Jesus Christ. In the war of rhetoric and emotions over same-sex marriage, and anti-discrimination and religious rights legislation, what is too often lost is the reality that there are people in the middle. Real people. With hopes and dreams just like you. This is not “us” verses “them.”
This is part of a series of perspectives and resources for Gospel Doctrine teachers and students who are looking for ways to teach and learn that are inclusive of LGBT individuals, their families and friends. This lesson will be taught next week in most wards.
What does He ask for in return? “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
During the month prior to a particular lesson scheduled to be taught, we will seek your insights and suggestions in our Facebook group. In order to build bridges and teach by the Spirit, please keep your comments constructive. If you wish to share a quote, please cite the specific source, including author, title, date, etc. This will help build credibility if we are asked for the source in class, and it may also promote further study by class members or ourselves. Hopefully, these ideas will trigger additional insights between the Spirit and each of us, thereby bringing us closer to a unity of the faith.
One Sunday, in October 2013, Jensen announced her transgender identity to a Springville LDS singles ward bishop and asked if she could attend church.
” ‘I don’t know anything about being a transgender Mormon,’ ” she recalls him saying, ” ‘but it’s my job to welcome you..’ ”
The Springville experience was richer than the worship she knew during her youth, she says, because she could “be in tune with the Holy Spirit.”
Need some affirming quotes to share with family and friends? These should help, as we all know that…“Few topics are as emotionally charged or require more sensitivity than same-sex attraction. This complex matter touches on the things we care about most: our basic humanity, our relationship to family, our identity and potential as children of God, how we treat each other, and what it means to be disciples of Christ.”
By Tom Christofferson
Some may have already decided that they no longer desire to participate; some may be taking an approach of listening on tenterhooks, dreading the moment when they have to grit their teeth, knowing that the longest addresses are only twenty minutes, most are fifteen or twelve. In order to listen, we need to free our minds and hearts of a focus on past challenges and wounds in order to enable ourselves to be fully present to hear and feel what will be said.
I’d never been involved in political causes and had never been to a political rally in Utah. That changed after 2011 when my son Grayson discovered that he was FtM transgender. I was horrified to discover that it was still legal to discriminate against my child because of his gender identity, or against others because of their sexual orientation.
My role was to strategize an approach, to implement activities that operationalized LGBT outreach in the stake. Our efforts were not without precedent – I spoke with one former Bishop who had fellowshipped gay members locally two decades earlier, and I knew a stake leadership training on the topic of homosexuality had occurred here in more recent years. I got wind of the recent Beaverton, Oregon firesides and I was an online acquaintance of Mitch Mayne, who I figured would be a source of good ideas (given his highly-publicized role in LGBT outreach as the executive secretary in his ward in San Francisco). So I solicited advice from various sources.