I want every Mormon bishop to know what he is asking of the gay youth he counsels. I want him to lead with compassion and put his judgments aside. I want him to support these youth, whether they choose to stay in the Church or not. Don’t crush that youth’s hopes and dreams demanding a commitment to celibacy. Let them find themselves and work through complications that you haven’t even considered. Listen and allow the spirit to edify both you and the gay youth in front of you.
Articles by: John Gustav-Wrathall
Once I had accepted myself, the self esteem issues melted away. I came to terms with my religion. I realized I could never leave the church. I am a Mormon; being gay will not change that. I am gay; being a Mormon will not change that. I am not some mistake that God made, he knows me and he wants me to be happy.
Historically the LGBT Mormon community has tended to bifurcate on either side of a fault line of orthodox faith versus sexual identity and/or gender identity. LGBT Mormon organizations have generally preferred to prescribe specific solutions, either by offering to help individuals “overcome” same-sex attraction, or ease the transition out of Mormonism. Affirmation is trying to preserve a balance that empowers individuals and encourages them to self-determine within a context of loving community.
The 2014 Affirmation Annual Conference was covered by both print and television media in Utah, but also as far away as Sweden. Coverage emphasized continuing growth of Affirmation; increasing participation in the conference by youth, straight family members and Church leaders; and a yearning on the part of LGBTQ/SSA Mormons to find ways to simultaneously affirm their faith and their sexual and gender identities.
“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” —Max de Pree
“When you read the scriptures, don’t just lay your eyes like stones on the pages. Roll up your sleeves and translate them again.” — Adam Miller
Affirmation as an organization is committed to making this space as accessible as possible to everyone. This year we are expecting a record number of college-age students to attend. Many of these individuals are on very limited budgets and need help to attend conference.
We invite you to give to help students like Samy Galvez, who shares his gratitude for previous support. We only need $1000 more before September 1st to meet our matching grant challenge. Please consider donating $25, $50, $100 or more today!
The great temptation in my life has been to prematurely resolve the great problems quickly and easily in one direction or another. But there have been profound moments in my life when I have been forced to acknowledge, like Moses, “Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.”
Despite all my doubts, the biggest comfort I find is in God’s love. I know that God loves each and every single one of his children. My testimony is God’s love, and that it is available to each and everyone of us, even when we don’t think possible.