By Diane Oviatt
I heard beautiful testimonies shared with such humility and vulnerability, that I thought my heart would split open. I wanted to be a mother to all of them, and was so gratified to meet two families who came to support their gay children in the face of unsupportive cultural and religious norms. These parents and siblings are heroes to me.
By Diane Oviatt
There is a reason that LGBT Mormon testimony meetings are so powerful. It is because we have had to wade through rivers of doubt and climb mountains of rejection to know what we know. When we choose to put Gospel principles to the test, we must fight gravity, push against the current.
Quite soon after I came out, they (my parents) took an opportunity to express to my brothers and their wives their determination that nothing would be allowed to break the circle of love that binds all of us together as a family.
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.
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.
The recent Supreme Court refusal to rule on four appeals in cases where lower courts had struck down same-sex marriage bans (and the subsequent legalization of same-sex marriage in the four appealing states) has elicited strong responses across the country, but especially in the states affected. We asked a few within the Affirmation community to share their thoughts and feelings with us.
We are grateful for the official LDS church response to the ruling, which rejects persecution of people on the basis of sexual orientation, and enjoins respect toward and dialogue with those with whom we may disagree. We are also grateful for Gospel teachings, along with reminders at recent general conferences that the first and great commandment to “love one another” takes precedence over the things that may divide us.
Many freedom songs describe an ongoing struggle (in South Africa, they are even referred to as “struggle songs”). This should dispel any illusions we might have that freedom is a feeling… or a state. Rather, it seems, invariably, that freedom is a process. Or a verb, if you will.
El don del albedrío es uno de los más preciados que nuestros Padres han depositado en nosotros, porque simboliza el gran amor que tienen hacia sus hijos y la confianza de que sabremos tomar las decisiones adecuadas.