Need some affirming quotes to share with family and friends? These should help, as we all know that…“Few topics are as emotionally charged or require more sensitivity than same-sex attraction. This complex matter touches on the things we care about most: our basic humanity, our relationship to family, our identity and potential as children of God, how we treat each other, and what it means to be disciples of Christ.”
By Tom Christofferson
Some may have already decided that they no longer desire to participate; some may be taking an approach of listening on tenterhooks, dreading the moment when they have to grit their teeth, knowing that the longest addresses are only twenty minutes, most are fifteen or twelve. In order to listen, we need to free our minds and hearts of a focus on past challenges and wounds in order to enable ourselves to be fully present to hear and feel what will be said.
By Randall Thacker
The choice of what you do with what you hear is yours. It’s a great blessing to know that we are “free to act for ourselves and not be acted upon.” We can choose what we listen to or not listen to, what we feel is of value to our spiritual growth and what is not. We can blend our own spiritual experiences with what is said and then figure out what we will take and what we will leave behind using our agency and personal revelation.
I’d never been involved in political causes and had never been to a political rally in Utah. That changed after 2011 when my son Grayson discovered that he was FtM transgender. I was horrified to discover that it was still legal to discriminate against my child because of his gender identity, or against others because of their sexual orientation.
My role was to strategize an approach, to implement activities that operationalized LGBT outreach in the stake. Our efforts were not without precedent – I spoke with one former Bishop who had fellowshipped gay members locally two decades earlier, and I knew a stake leadership training on the topic of homosexuality had occurred here in more recent years. I got wind of the recent Beaverton, Oregon firesides and I was an online acquaintance of Mitch Mayne, who I figured would be a source of good ideas (given his highly-publicized role in LGBT outreach as the executive secretary in his ward in San Francisco). So I solicited advice from various sources.
For those of us who are lesbian, gay, bi or transgender and LDS, it is reassuring that our Church has gone on record to stand with us against those who would bully us or discriminate against us.
This past Sunday and Monday, March 1 and 2nd, LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends gathered in the San Diego and Denver Area for what will become an opportunity for continued support to this community. One attendee stated on Facebook afterwards, “Felt the Spirit so strong at the LGBT Mormon Affirmation gathering tonight…”
Affirmation and Northstar leaders participating in the meeting committed to setting a tone of personal respect for each other, acknowledging that people of good will have personal experiences leading them to see different solutions to similar challenges. We do not have to agree with specific aspects of each other’s mission or practices in order to acknowledge the goodwill with which we each approach our purposes.
You, my friends, are where I see God’s light. For like you, God comes with no judgment of me, he loves me unconditionally and loves me for being the beautiful imperfect GAY that I am.