I marveled at the strength of conviction these friends have in the face of cultural and religious discrimination in so many of their communities and even from their loved ones in many cases. While affirming my admiration for their faithfulness, I voiced my belief that the only real testimony I currently can state with conviction, is my testimony of them.
Articles by: John Gustav-Wrathall
The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as imperfect mortal and flawed beings, that have potential and worth far beyond what we can imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other, including those who do not accept us.
LGBT Mormons in Brazil began reaching out to Affirmation a couple years ago. They grabbed the attention of Affirmation’s international leadership team last summer when they posted a picture of the word “Affirmation” in Portuguese written in the sand and said “we are waiting for you!” We had been praying to find leadership in Brazil and they were the answer to our prayers. The conferences held these past two weeks in Brazil are the realization of a dream for many. One participant said, “It was like spending 3 days in the celestial room of the temple.”
There were so many souls with pain and hurt in our group. Pain that they have been hiding for years. Many still carried that pain with them. It filled my heart to see so many let go of pain and just be at peace with themselves. I have to wonder how many of us do the same thing with our lives? We carry unneeded pain that can be let go.
We desperately need an Affirmation that is united across the Church/faith divide, but just saying that we need it is not enough. If we really want it, we need to work at it. The tensions between folks on the opposite sides of that divide are very real.
Community and family acceptance are key. Individuals who want to make a difference for LGBT Mormon teens and adults can begin by engaging in conversations. Download some resources here that you can use to facilitate some of those conversations.
I knew when I was 9 years old that I was a boy. I knew by 12 that I liked girls. I didn’t realize until I was a teenager that the world really did just see me as a girl…. In November of 2014, I finally came out to my bishopric and told them I identify as male.
Join us in the Land of Zion, May 13-15, 2016, for the “No More Strangers” Leadership & Spiritual Retreat Weekend. To be held at the beautiful Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. We define leadership as service. Anybody who is interested in getting involved in the work of strengthening and supporting LGBT Mormons, and who wants to get more involved in the work of Affirmation is invited to join us.
We will be exploring themes related to claiming our faith, claiming our space in Zion, and creating communities where there are “no more strangers.” We will explore history, spirituality, vital skills for leadership in the LGBT Mormon community.
As a church we must find our way just as individual members must find their way. I have faith that one day there will be a place in Heavenly Father’s Church for all of his children. I do not know the path, nor do I know when, or how, or with what special conditions, … but I can wait. I know Heavenly Father loves each of us, and eventually we will find a safe, welcoming “home” as members within His church.