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.
Carson J. Tueller, President
Affirmation Board of Directors