For many years I have struggled, first to have the love of someone who despised me. Then I fought to be someone I was not, then I struggled to accept who I really am… I may have been abandoned in this life by earthly parents, but my heavenly Father has never left me.
Post Tagged with: "Support"
I marveled at the strength of conviction these friends have in the face of cultural and religious discrimination in so many of their communities and even from their loved ones in many cases. While affirming my admiration for their faithfulness, I voiced my belief that the only real testimony I currently can state with conviction, is my testimony of them.
LGBT Mormons in Brazil began reaching out to Affirmation a couple years ago. They grabbed the attention of Affirmation’s international leadership team last summer when they posted a picture of the word “Affirmation” in Portuguese written in the sand and said “we are waiting for you!” We had been praying to find leadership in Brazil and they were the answer to our prayers. The conferences held these past two weeks in Brazil are the realization of a dream for many. One participant said, “It was like spending 3 days in the celestial room of the temple.”
There were so many souls with pain and hurt in our group. Pain that they have been hiding for years. Many still carried that pain with them. It filled my heart to see so many let go of pain and just be at peace with themselves. I have to wonder how many of us do the same thing with our lives? We carry unneeded pain that can be let go.
We desperately need an Affirmation that is united across the Church/faith divide, but just saying that we need it is not enough. If we really want it, we need to work at it. The tensions between folks on the opposite sides of that divide are very real.
Community and family acceptance are key. Individuals who want to make a difference for LGBT Mormon teens and adults can begin by engaging in conversations. Download some resources here that you can use to facilitate some of those conversations.
Join us in the Land of Zion, May 13-15, 2016, for the “No More Strangers” Leadership & Spiritual Retreat Weekend. To be held at the beautiful Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. We define leadership as service. Anybody who is interested in getting involved in the work of strengthening and supporting LGBT Mormons, and who wants to get more involved in the work of Affirmation is invited to join us.
We will be exploring themes related to claiming our faith, claiming our space in Zion, and creating communities where there are “no more strangers.” We will explore history, spirituality, vital skills for leadership in the LGBT Mormon community.
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.