“That means LGBT individuals are welcome to come to church regardless of where they are in their personal lives — single and living under the confines of the policy as we understand it today, married to a partner of their same gender, or dating someone new every night. There is no Bishop’s interview to sit in the pews on Sunday. There is no test to take to come to Sacrament or any of our meetings or events. Everyone is welcome, just as they are.”
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.
Enjoy listening to or watching the Testimony / Spiritual Story Sharing meeting from the 2014 Affirmation Conference. Almost 400 LGBT Mormons, family members, friends and church leaders attended. Consider sharing with your family, friends and church leaders.
By the Affirmation Executive Committee
Despite the struggles and rejection many of us have experienced in our home wards and stakes, many of us have testimonies of the Gospel and want to participate in the work of building the Kingdom of God both in and beyond the Church.
Many of us come to General Conference wondering if there’s a place for us in the church, and yearning for church leaders to speak to the doubt, pain, confusion and fear so many of us feel. Here are our take-aways from the 2014 October General Conference.
It’s hard to imagine it’s been two weeks since we gathered together for our annual conference in Salt Lake City. What a wonderful opportunity we had to be together in the spirit of friendship and acceptance. Thank you for adding your presence and love. As you encounter challenges in the coming year, remember the spirit you felt during this conference to help you move forward with confidence and joy in your life.
Join us for our semi-annual virtual discussion following the LDS Church General Conference. Berta Marquez will be facilitating the call with a panel of guests. Wednesday, October 8, 2014 from 5-6 p.m PT / 6-7 p.m. MT / 7-8 p.m. CT / 8- 9 p.m. ET. Access information available now.
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.