The Colombia conference deviated in some significant ways from the format we’ve developed for most other Affirmation conferences in the depth of ecumenical sharing and in the emphasis on non-cognitive ways of learning, experiencing and sharing.
In order for us to have a healthy relationship with the Church, we have to have a strong relationship with God…. If it is difficult for us to believe in God, at the very least we need to trust ourselves.
God made us a promise. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” God hears and answers prayers and He is intimately aware of the trials and tribulations that we face. And he will never abandon those who seek Him out and ask in faith…believing that He will answer.
Unprecedented Media Discussion about LGBT Mormon Well-Being, Community and Family in the Wake of the New LDS Policy
Social media response to an article published on Affirmation.org on January 20, 2016 has resulted, in recent weeks, in heightened mainstream media interest in the potential impact, in terms of mental health and well-being of LGBT Mormons, of the LDS Church’s new policy on gay families.
Rather than attempting to discredit anecdotal reports of recent suicides, the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune and KUER each ran stories that acknowledged the seriousness and the complexity of the issue. The Deseret News led the story by publishing, on Thursday, January 28, 2016, two articles addressing the issue of suicide among LGBT Mormons. Other online and visual media outlets followed. Find the links to these articles and videos in the full article.
“ Without a listener, the healing process is aborted. Human beings, like plants that bend towards the sunlight, bend towards others in an innate healing tropism. There are times when being truly listened to is more critical than being fed. Listening well to another’s pain is a primary form of nurturance, capable of healing even the most devastating of human afflictions; including wounds and scars of violence, even the horrors of war and large scale social trauma. Children speak their pain automatically when there is a listener, but learn to hide it when there is no ear to hear.”
Anyone questioning the LGBT community, or anyone “struggling” with a loved one who is LGBT, simply needs to attend one of Affirmation’s conferences. It will change their perspective, heart and likely life forever…. And for [our son]? A miracle indeed. He went from a place of confusion and torment to a place of peace, understanding and pure Christ-like love.
Almost 150 people attended our regional conference in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago. Many people experienced healing like they never have before. “I feel full in a way that I have heard described but never echoed until now. Thank you, Affirmation, for helping to facilitate such a genuine space in which to explore some of the dustiest, darkest, most unwanted pieces of my soul. I have experienced healing in areas that I’ve waited a lifetime to feel.”
Our LGBT elders must not end their lives fading into loneliness. They deserve to be surrounded and buoyed up by family and friends and community. Our LGBT youth must not see only a future they feel too weak to face. Those of us in between youth and old age must not live our lives paralyzed with uncertainty, unable to believe in our ability to discern the right path, to choose the good.
I see a grassroots yearning for more satisfactory answers to our existential questions about homosexuality, and more satisfactory resolutions to the challenges created by the existence of gay people in a social system that was designed as if they didn’t really exist. As far as I can tell, our leadership at the highest levels is not “out of touch” with the general membership when it comes to this. They are wrestling with the issues as much as anyone else, though their process is not as publicly visible.