Affirmation Statement on the New LDS First Presidency

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Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends

Affirmation LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends exists to extend outreach and support to LGBTQ people in their unique individual journeys all over the world. Today, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints undergoes changes in leadership, we recognize the significance that this holds for many, including those within our community. As the newly elected President of Affirmation, I wish President Nelson and his counselors an increase in wisdom and strength, and we in Affirmation extend a hand of collaboration to help meet the diverse needs of the members of the LDS church, including people of color, women and LGBTQ people.

Since the November 2015 LDS Handbook policy change that labels individuals in same-sex marriages as apostate and denies church membership to children of same-sex couples, our community has experienced a particularly acute increase in trauma, loss, and grief. Due to these actions and statements, many of our members are experiencing this transition of leadership with great apprehension and even fear.

For the last five years, Affirmation has been engaged in dialogue with members of LDS church public affairs, and we seek to continue to foster that open dialogue with them and with those in leadership who will meet us in fellowship. We are appreciative of the dialogue and friendships we have had in the past and look forward to those conversations continuing to move into the immediate future.

We are grateful to the new First Presidency for extending their love to all of God’s children in response to a reporter’s question about the place of LGBT people in the church. We wish to express that as LGBTQ individuals, we experience love most fully when our agency is honored, when our stories are heard and believed, and when the language we use to identify ourselves is used and respected. We also experience love when our happiness and wellbeing, as we define it, is regarded equally as sacred and valuable within our associated communities.

To the members of Affirmation, we love you and are ever with you during this change of leadership and all that lies ahead. We are inspired by your strength and have seen your remarkable resilience in the face of overwhelming barriers and hardship. We are on this journey together and invite you to seek and offer support in our online groups, face-to-face meetings, and conferences coming up around the world this year.

Sincerely,

Carson J. Tueller, President

Affirmation Board of Directors

3 Comments

  1. Amanda Cabais-Phillips says:

    Thank you for your advocacy. I pray that my family will be loved and accepted by the Church. I am apprehensive and even a bit fearful but I want to acknowledge that “fear and faith” cannot occupy the same heart so I will choose to be faithful that with your support, a dialog will be established and equally will prevail. God’s love is and wisdom exceeds all so we should pray for the revelation, similar to that when African-Americans were granted the opportunity to hold priesthood keys. I cannot help who God created me to be, and I choose to live a righteous life in a same-sex marriage with children. I am a positive member of the community and proud to be LDS.

  2. Excelente postura, Carson. Además, se ve muy bien el final: Carson J. Tueller, President.

  3. As President of Affirmation your statement represented all of us who are LGBTQ community. We come in various situations and range from those who are active LDS members to those, like myself, who are active former members, to those who want nothing to do with church. Your statement has done well to represent all of us in our various situations.
    As a widower at age 34, who raised my two daughters to be faithful members of the church, I always felt that “our time” as gay members would one day come. Like all LDS parents, I taught my girls that marriage was between a man and woman… TEMPLE MARRIAGE. 14 years ago I was married legally to my same sex spouse… it was NOT a temple marriage, or even a religious marriage in the church. It was a marriage that would last until death. I was quite satisfied with that and left the question of any future of eternal relationship between my spouse and myself to a loving Heavenly Father after my time on earth is complete. After raising my girls in the church and teaching them the beliefs of the church, I found that being labelled an apostate more than harsh, but unjust. and a blatant lie. I had raised my girls to believe that Temple Marriage was between a man and a woman. The church has no jurisdiction over my civil marriage.
    I could not give up my membership, I was already excommunicated… but very active. I was upset, and thought to leave activity in the church… but then… I thought some more. If I stop attending, who will be in church each Sunday to represent us. Who will show the members that we are here… we are good people… that we need a home… to be loved is not to tell us that we are welcomed…. but not to be accepted as members, but only as apostates!
    At 72 years, I have watched the “policies” of the church change from being told that I should get married and I will be made a “normal” heterosexual man, to now being told that it is best to be celibate… something that the church has said in the past is a sign of apostasy in the Catholic Church! I have learned that Church Policies did not hold up with blacks and the priesthood, have not held up with inter-racial marriages and I have faith that the brethren, in due time…. more than likely after I am gone… will change things for those of Heavenly Father’s children who are LGBTQ. I have learned that our leaders in the church are inspired, but even more, I have learned that they, like all of us, are human, and prone to making mistakes. Heavenly Father expects that they will find the way and gives the opportunity of free agency that we all have… and so after seeing so many changes in policy during the past decades, I have faith that our leaders will find the way…. and I love and support them in their quest to find their way for Heavenly Father’s church. I hope that many of us will have faith to hold on until that time comes when we will be accepted in full love and fellowship. The voyage is long, and often difficult for many, but our time will one day come.

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