A year after getting divorced and not attending church, I auditioned for and got a role in the production of the San Francisco Broadway Tour of The Phantom of the Opera, and was invited by my LDS ward to return and present a musical fireside on a Sunday evening. I put together a list of about 75 minutes worth of music, a little opera but most of it from Broadway shows, and contacted the woman in an adjacent ward who was the best accompanist I’d worked with. As I prepared the songs I realized there was one particular piece that stood out in my mind as being far more personal than I’d previously realized. The song is called “Unusual Way” from the musical “Nine” in which I had the opportunity of playing the lead in a local production just before my five year run with Phantom of the Opera.
Listening to Megan’s parents speak was very touching to me. Again, I felt the challenge that parents face in navigating their faith and the love they have for their children. Hearing how much they cared about their daughter, even through the challenges, was very encouraging to me. I could truly feel the love that they have, not only for their daughter, but also for the LGBT community.
Overall, I left this fireside with my heart filled with hope, and with an overwhelming sense of love for who I am, and for those around me. I truly enjoyed this evening, and I am so glad that we have opportunities to come together to support each other, to love each other, and to help each other.
I Need Him Too is intended to remind BYU students, Mormons, and people everywhere, that just because someone is lesbian, gay, bisexual, trasngender, queer, or same-sex attracted, does not mean they can’t be spiritual, Mormon, a member of the Church, or believe in God and Jesus Christ. In the war of rhetoric and emotions over same-sex marriage, and anti-discrimination and religious rights legislation, what is too often lost is the reality that there are people in the middle. Real people. With hopes and dreams just like you. This is not “us” verses “them.”
This is part of a series of perspectives and resources for Gospel Doctrine teachers and students who are looking for ways to teach and learn that are inclusive of LGBT individuals, their families and friends. This lesson will be taught next week in most wards.
Affirmation members talk about their experience with the April 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: what inspired them, what they struggled with, and what their hopes are.
Affirmation’s values include “authenticity, openness, diversity and integrity.” Those of us who create families, in whatever configuration, see them as nothing counterfeit but as authentic demonstrations of our desires to live lives of integrity that also contribute to the diversity that makes a strong society.
During the month prior to a particular lesson scheduled to be taught, we will seek your insights and suggestions in our Facebook group. In order to build bridges and teach by the Spirit, please keep your comments constructive. If you wish to share a quote, please cite the specific source, including author, title, date, etc. This will help build credibility if we are asked for the source in class, and it may also promote further study by class members or ourselves. Hopefully, these ideas will trigger additional insights between the Spirit and each of us, thereby bringing us closer to a unity of the faith.
I have a firm belief that the future holds a multitude of promise and blessings for the faithful…. Should the day come when something “great and important” is revealed I want to make sure that I am spiritually ready to hear it.
One Sunday, in October 2013, Jensen announced her transgender identity to a Springville LDS singles ward bishop and asked if she could attend church.
” ‘I don’t know anything about being a transgender Mormon,’ ” she recalls him saying, ” ‘but it’s my job to welcome you..’ ”
The Springville experience was richer than the worship she knew during her youth, she says, because she could “be in tune with the Holy Spirit.”