Marriage: Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice, Seek Empathy with Those Who Don’t
October 8, 2014
By the Affirmation Executive Committee
Randall Thacker, John Gustav-Wrathall and Todd Richardson
Affirmation – LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends is a diverse community at the intersection of Mormonism and being LGBT. The Affirmation community includes individuals who are married or partnered in same-sex relationships; individuals who are single and dating the same-sex as well as single and dating the opposite sex; individuals who are celibate by choice; and individuals in mixed orientation marriages. Affirmation also includes many single and married heterosexual Mormons who are seeking ways to support LGBT family, friends, and sisters and brothers in the church. Affirmation members are found across the spectrum of faith, and in varying degrees of affiliation (or non-affiliation) with the LDS Church and with varying views on same-sex marriage.
In accordance with its founding charter and bylaws (Article IX, Section 4), Affirmation is to remain politically neutral. We rejoice with those individuals who are rejoicing because of legal recognition of relationships that have provided them a context for personal moral, spiritual, and emotional growth and fulfillment. We also recognize that for some this court ruling brings consternation. We believe that empathy and a yearning to put ourselves in others’ shoes is the most important quality we can seek to develop as an organization.
Many in Affirmation, including many who are in same-sex relationships or marriages, find comfort in their testimonies and seek to live in accordance with Church teachings and the guidance of the Spirit. A number of these individuals attest to having received a spiritual witness of God’s acceptance in the particular matters of their lives, such as the decision of whom to have as their companion in marriage.
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.
We believe that the best way forward for us, individually as well as collectively, is to be patient, to seek God’s guidance in our lives, and to love one another unconditionally independent of the varying choices we each make. We trust that if we do these things, we will find a happy resolution to the challenges that we all face, as LGBT individuals and as a Church.