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.
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.”
By Jonathan Adamson
The Church does not deserve forgiveness. I, however, do deserve it. I deserve the healing that comes when I am able to forgive.
The pain can become a part of my healing as I recognize that the equally strong capacity for joy is buried along side it, deep within my being. This is the silver lining that I can and must draw upon for the strength to forgive, because the reality of life is, sometimes the pain never really goes away.
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.
By Christie Frandsen
In a family as large and complex as mine, with such a rich and wonderful variety of personalities and opinions, that there are bound to be challenges. We have some whose attitudes and opinions and words are causing tension that is now pulling at the bonds connecting us and could even rip a hole in our family blanket if I am not watchful. There is nothing that I want more than to keep this family of mine together. Read the full article to learn some helpful ideas on how to keep your family knit together in unity and love.
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.
Jorge Valencia, former President of The Trevor Project (the LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization) and current Executive Director and CEO of the Point Foundation (LGBTQ scholarship program), shares from his two decades of experience serving LGBTQ young people, how to support and empower them to living strong and meaningful lives.
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.