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Personal Revelation through Prayer at the Sacred Grove

Photo: David Reid, "My mother and I inside the Hill Comorah visitor's center along with the director of the Palymra sites."
Photo: David Reid, "My mother and I inside the Hill Comorah visitor's center along with the director of the Palymra sites."

by David T. Reid

January 18, 2023

Our last road trip together was blessed. It was a time well spent with my mother (now deceased) visiting all the LDS Church sites near Palmyra, New York.

On a beautiful early fall day, my mom and I visited the Sacred Grove to gain inspiration and answers to our prayers. While walking through the site where Joseph Smith had a vision, I was hoping to have the spirit of God with me. When the grounds were quiet, and no visitors were present, we both kneeled down in the center of the Sacred Grove to humbly pray. My mother asked me to say the prayer out loud, and we held hands together.

Photo: David Reid, “My mother and I inside the Hill Comorah visitor’s center along with the director of the Palymra sites.”

I did ask in my prayer if God accepted me as a gay man and if it is a sin to be gay, as I was excommunicated from the LDS Church. An overwhelming presence of the Spirit of God fell upon me. No, I didn’t have a vision or anything like that, but I did feel extremely at peace and felt a warm sweet love present.

Previously, numerous times the church in the past tried to “fix” me or heal me from being gay through therapy and almost by taking me away from my family. Not to mention, I was given the book “Miracles of Forgiveness” to read. I couldn’t help myself feeling that, somehow, I would be better off dead than alive. So, in a deep depression, I tried to end my life by suicide.

I was heartbroken by the LDS Church turning me away instead of accepting me. I experienced a sense of great grief throughout my soul. How could my brothers and sisters turn away from me in my darkest hour?

Photo: David Reid

By the time I finished the prayer, my mother and I had tears in our eyes. We slowly walked out of the Sacred Grove, and we didn’t talk. We both felt the same love in our hearts. When walking out of the Sacred Grove, we both noticed this leaf lying on the ground. It was gigantic and beautiful. So, I picked it up and took it home with me in remembrance of that day. I still have the leaf today hanging on my wall as a reminder of God’s Love and, nonetheless, my mom’s love and her acceptance of me as her gay son.

This article was submitted by an Affirmation community member. The opinions expressed are wholly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Affirmation, our leadership, or our staff. Affirmation welcomes the submission of articles by community members in accordance with our mission, which includes promoting the understanding, acceptance, and self-determination of individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and our vision for Affirmation to be a refuge to land, heal, share, and be authentic.


  1. Kyle Peterson on January 22, 2023 at 8:07 AM

    David: Thank you for sharing such a personal intimate experience you had in the Sacred Grove with your Heavenly Father and your Mother. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that being gay is not a sin and in fact it’s the way we were created. Perhaps one day this will all be explained and all will be well. The most important thing we can do is continue to have faith in our Lord and Savior and in His church. We need to live our lives as best we can and let the pieces fall where they may. Bless you dear brother!

  2. Richard on January 22, 2023 at 1:40 PM

    Powerful narrative! This begs the question: “why me” and were we created to self-destruct??? A
    loving and just God does not create us to live in perpetual misery and self-doubt. Thank you for this heartfelt example of unconditional love to ourselves and through God and our loving parents. I am so thankful David is alive to tell his story as too many individuals have completed the act of suicide. Peace be with you.
    FYI – There is conclusive research and information that were are created as God intended. I often ask the question: “What would the world look like without the tremendous contributions of all people – including the LGBTQ community?”

  3. Phillip James on January 22, 2023 at 6:36 PM

    Beautiful, Just Beautiful!

  4. Susie K on January 23, 2023 at 4:21 PM

    If we believe in the Article of Faith that “Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam’s transgression”….then we also believe that we are born innocent into this world. ALL are born innocent. The LDS church has acknowledged that being gay is a biological reality….they just believe that you shouldn’t act upon being gay. But if God is in charge, and he doesn’t make mistakes, and some are born gay, then why is it a sin to be gay? We give mixed messages when we say we are born innocent and in God’s image…..but no, something is wrong with you and God will fix you in the next life. God is not that confusing. He made us in his image, male, female and everything in between and we are all beautiful. Isn’t gray a color just as black and white are colors in the rainbow. Let’s love and accept the gray.

  5. Amy on January 23, 2023 at 8:52 PM

    Thank you for sharing this deeply personal and meaningful experience. I am touched by many aspects – a mother’s love for and acceptance of her son; a God who loves all and forgets no one; the sacred gift of personal revelation; a man who experiences devastating and painful rejection by his religious community, yet does not become bitter, but instead continues seeking light and truth. Thank you, David, for bringing hope and faith through your words.

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