Almost 150 people attended our regional conference in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago. Many people experienced healing like they never have before. “I feel full in a way that I have heard described but never echoed until now. Thank you, Affirmation, for helping to facilitate such a genuine space in which to explore some of the dustiest, darkest, most unwanted pieces of my soul. I have experienced healing in areas that I’ve waited a lifetime to feel.”
“ Without a listener, the healing process is aborted. Human beings, like plants that bend towards the sunlight, bend towards others in an innate healing tropism. There are times when being truly listened to is more critical than being fed. Listening well to another’s pain is a primary form of nurturance, capable of healing even the most devastating of human afflictions; including wounds and scars of violence, even the horrors of war and large scale social trauma. Children speak their pain automatically when there is a listener, but learn to hide it when there is no ear to hear.”
Anyone questioning the LGBT community, or anyone “struggling” with a loved one who is LGBT, simply needs to attend one of Affirmation’s conferences. It will change their perspective, heart and likely life forever…. And for [our son]? A miracle indeed. He went from a place of confusion and torment to a place of peace, understanding and pure Christ-like love.
I see a grassroots yearning for more satisfactory answers to our existential questions about homosexuality, and more satisfactory resolutions to the challenges created by the existence of gay people in a social system that was designed as if they didn’t really exist. As far as I can tell, our leadership at the highest levels is not “out of touch” with the general membership when it comes to this. They are wrestling with the issues as much as anyone else, though their process is not as publicly visible.
“I didn’t really know what to expect from Affirmation, but what I experienced was profoundly spiritual, and it healed my relationship with my son.” Your donation could mean the difference between hope and despair for a LGBT Mormon, their parents, family members and friends. Please consider giving something before the end of the year!
That’s kind of the point of Christmas to me. What seems to be a hopeless situation… or an endless struggle… or diminished potential… or a lost cause… or the most unlikely to have a happy outcome… turns out to be a pretty big deal indeed. A Saviour is born… not as the Emperor of China or the spiritual leader of the Roman Empire, but as ‘just another kid’ with dubious prospects.
“We will stand with the words of Jesus himself, following his radical policies of absolute love and absolute inclusion. These are the words and the actions we will celebrate this Christmas, for these are the “tidings of great joy.” By Carol Lynn Pearson
My son Jonathan told us he was gay about ten years ago. I didn’t react well. I tried to convince him he could be straight. I tried to convince him that even if he was “a little gay” that he could marry a woman. I couldn’t believe that “this” happened in my family. The first time my son brought home another young man and introduced him as his boyfriend, I nearly became sick to my stomach and I treated them both like lepers and didn’t want them to come into the house. Affirmation healed my relationship with my son. He knows now that my former homophobia is totally gone and that I love him unconditionally.
By Bob Rees
Today there is immense pain in Mormonism. Addressing that pain depends on our individual acts of courage, sacrifice, and, especially, love. It is amidst that pain where much of the most important work of repairing, healing and transforming through love is to be done.
The current issue appears to be the dramatic change in society’s acceptance towards homosexuality, gay rights, and same-sex marriage. The Church has addressed homosexuality by distinguishing between sexual orientation and behavior, and applying the Law of Chastity consistently, whether straight or gay. In 2012, they developed an official website, mormonsandgays.org, which provides official, up-to-date statements of the Church, tools to help members and local leaders overcome fear and ignorance through education and Christlike love, and interviews with members who share their thoughts and insights regarding these issues. On this website, for example, the Church states that sexual orientation is not a choice.