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.
“I didn’t really know what to expect from Affirmation, but what I experienced was profoundly spiritual, and it healed my relationship with my son.” Your donation could mean the difference between hope and despair for a LGBT Mormon, their parents, family members and friends. Please consider giving something before the end of the year!
That’s kind of the point of Christmas to me. What seems to be a hopeless situation… or an endless struggle… or diminished potential… or a lost cause… or the most unlikely to have a happy outcome… turns out to be a pretty big deal indeed. A Saviour is born… not as the Emperor of China or the spiritual leader of the Roman Empire, but as ‘just another kid’ with dubious prospects.
“We will stand with the words of Jesus himself, following his radical policies of absolute love and absolute inclusion. These are the words and the actions we will celebrate this Christmas, for these are the “tidings of great joy.” By Carol Lynn Pearson
My son Jonathan told us he was gay about ten years ago. I didn’t react well. I tried to convince him he could be straight. I tried to convince him that even if he was “a little gay” that he could marry a woman. I couldn’t believe that “this” happened in my family. The first time my son brought home another young man and introduced him as his boyfriend, I nearly became sick to my stomach and I treated them both like lepers and didn’t want them to come into the house. Affirmation healed my relationship with my son. He knows now that my former homophobia is totally gone and that I love him unconditionally.
By Bob Rees
Today there is immense pain in Mormonism. Addressing that pain depends on our individual acts of courage, sacrifice, and, especially, love. It is amidst that pain where much of the most important work of repairing, healing and transforming through love is to be done.
The current issue appears to be the dramatic change in society’s acceptance towards homosexuality, gay rights, and same-sex marriage. The Church has addressed homosexuality by distinguishing between sexual orientation and behavior, and applying the Law of Chastity consistently, whether straight or gay. In 2012, they developed an official website, mormonsandgays.org, which provides official, up-to-date statements of the Church, tools to help members and local leaders overcome fear and ignorance through education and Christlike love, and interviews with members who share their thoughts and insights regarding these issues. On this website, for example, the Church states that sexual orientation is not a choice.
John Gustav-Wrathall has been elected as 2016 Affirmation President. His election and selection of Sara Jade Woodhouse as Senior Vice President and Adrián Sanchez Román as Vice President has been ratified by the Affirmation Board of Directors. These three will constitute the 2016 Executive Committee. The current Executive Committee – Randall Thacker, Todd Richardson, and Kathy Carlston will all join the Affirmation Board of Directors. Fred Bowers will also continue serving as a member of the Board. This is the first Affirmation Executive Committee to include a transgender person and a Latino and non-U.S. citizen.