The new policy and clarification seem to assume that very few gay or lesbian Mormon couples have a desire to raise their children in the Church. Yes, many have left activity because they felt excluded, were disciplined, or were treated insensitively by members and church leaders. Yet, there remain a significant number of gay and lesbian Mormons who are same-sex partnered, married or planning to marry, who also have or hope to have children, and had planned on raising them in the Church.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
I have played the organ every week for 30 years. I have led the choir for 3 different periods. I have taught Priesthood, Sunday School, given talks; played for baptisms, weddings, and funerals; composed over 30 vocal pieces for Sacrament Meeting; run the Stake Christmas Concert, and conducted a concert of LDS forces at Carnegie Hall. I have played the organ for church functions at Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. Though there has been some discord, I have never been away from the Church for more than a short burst…It’s different, this time.
Side by side we walked. Kathy’s slender hand gently enveloping mine and then the tiny pulses began. One. Two. Three. “I love you.” One. Two. Three. Four. “I love you too.” We have little codes that we use to convey what we are feeling. When we hold hands, lightly tightening our grasp three times means, “I love you.” four times, “I love you too.” As we marched in Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade for the first time as a married couple I could not help but to keep saying, “I love you. I love you.” in our tiny secret language.
Many LGBT members consider one of their greatest gifts to be a greater capacity to love their fellow man. They feel an increased awareness, empathy, compassion, and desire to serve others, especially those who have faced uphill battles in society. Depending on the discussion and as led by the Spirit, a personal experience involving this greater capacity to love may help tear down walls and build bridges towards love and understanding of each other within the group.
By Dave Sandberg
At the Affirmation Conference, Fiona Givens pointed out that even the Lord of the vineyard feels ready to give up on this project, yet continues to persevere, knowing that both the tame and the wild olive trees will perish if left to themselves. But if grafted together, they will become different from what they have been – and provide vital nourishment and strength to each other as they continue to grow. There are both tame and wild olive trees that grow within my own character that need pruning, grafting, and managing.
‘For I am persuaded , that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present , nor things to come ,nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Read the reactions of various parents to the Church’s changes to the handbook.
This article includes a comprehensive list of blogs, articles, podcasts, news, etc. about the policy change.
By Duane Jennings
I love art. … [L]ike any spiritual nourishment, from bird-song to evensong, it is a critical part of soul health. And great would be the society that could awaken the young to all song with a clear inspiration rather than with some stumbled-upon hearing, while always acknowledging the paradox of the mysterious source. I would be part of that sounding if I could, with my art and with my life.
Each year, Affirmation honors one of its own with the Mortensen Award, an award that recognizes: someone who is dedicated to the goals of Affirmation and has worked toward achieving them; someone who has shown outstanding leadership and service; someone who is a self-starter and a motivator of others; someone who is making a difference in the lives of others. Learn about all those who were nominated and their contributions.