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.
Articles by: John Gustav-Wrathall
By Dave Sandberg
By Nick Einbender
People will always trump policy and the spirit of Christ is not found in a blanket policy that isolates people from the blessing that Christ’s Gospel offers freely to us all. His simple invitation to “Come Follow Me” was never accompanied by footnotes, disclaimers, addendums, policies, or attachments.
‘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.
We reaffirm the divinity and dignity of all God’s children and all families and the potential that each of them has to fully love and support one another through this world and the next. We stand in solidarity with all those children, individuals, and families being pushed away, and we mourn with those deeply harmed by this policy.
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.
Conference Talks Deal with Doubt and Imperfection in the Church, the Search for Happiness, and Family Support
Dealing with doubt, and coming to terms with the fallibility of Church leaders and members was a major theme of the 185th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other talks featured individuals not in heterosexual marriage finding meaning and happiness through faith and service. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk sparked discussion among LGBT Mormons, their families and friends about family acceptance and the place of LGBT people in the Church.
It is only then when we touch the pain that we are in a position to be able to mourn. To be able to enter that second covenant. To mourn with that person. It is only then that we can truly comfort. That we can be good friends… Only then, when we understand the pain, can we offer words of comfort that reach deeply. And only then can we take upon ourselves the name of Christ.
It’s not enough to stand on the periphery and wait for God to come to you. Like Jared and the sacred stones, we have to show initiative, energy, and courage in fighting our way through the throngs to ensure our sacred encounter with God. We have to break down walls, some of which may be of our own creation.