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Reflections on Mothers’ Day


May 10, 2014

christianBy Christian Jacob Frandsen

When I think of Mothers’ Day, the familiar words of primary songs drift into my mind. I think I was just about only boy in my primary class who not only sang about “walking through meadows of clover” to “gather armfuls of blossoms,” but actually liked to go out and make little bouquets for my mom. This is what Mothers’ Day meant to me when I was young. But while I was off picking flowers, my mom was busy with something else—missionary phone calls. Over the years, my mom has had twelve mother’s day phone calls with her children; her very last will be this Sunday.

It was on my mission that I came to appreciate the value of those precious phone calls. I understood why my mom so profoundly needed to hear her children’s voices because I so profoundly needed to hear her voice to sustain me through the difficulties of my mission. These difficulties included discovering at long last that, no matter how obedient and faithful I was, my sexual orientation would not change. It was on my mission that, after many prayers, tears, and sleepless nights, I finally verbalized the secret I had tried to conceal and deny since I was a little boy playing in the flowers. It was on my mission that I first began to confront the reality of my life as an bisexual Mormon. These were giant steps for me—the first in a long and difficult path that led to me coming out to my family seven months after completing my mission.

But I wasn’t the only one on an important journey. It was during my two years away from her that my mom began to read between the lines of my letters and realize that I wasn’t struggling with homesickness or culture shock, but that I was struggling to accept myself. She spoke with a couple of my sisters who, as it turned out, were aware of my sexuality even before I was. She learned as much as she could about what it means to be a gay Mormon. She prepared herself to support, nurture, and love me in any way I needed.

It was thanks to her preparation and love that I came out when I did. After my mission, I resisted coming out for several months. Though my heart told me that I needed to, I was scared. During one particularly poignant conversation last year, my mom followed the Spirit and asked through tears of love if the burden she knew I carried were at all related to my sexual orientation. This was a critical moment for me. I took a breath, saw her devotion to me on her face, and came out to her. If she hadn’t strengthened me with her courage in that moment, I don’t know when I would have found enough courage of my own to come out.

Ever since then, she has been an angel of support. Every time I talk to her, she reminds me how much she cares for me and reassures me that she will be proud of me no matter what path I choose and that all she wants for me is to be happy and healthy. She accepted me and loved me when I could not accept and love myself. She has held my hand along this path and has, more than anyone else in my life, helped me find peace. I will be eternally grateful for the love she has poured out over me in the months since my coming out. I will forever “arise up and call her blessed” for the Christlike influence she has been in my life. The words of another primary song come to mind in closing: Mother, I love you. Mother, I do. Father in Heaven has sent me to you.


  1. Christie Frandsen on May 11, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Christian, this is the most precious Mother’s Day gift I have ever received. I thank Heavenly Father daily for the blessing and honor of being your mother. I have learned more from you about God’s unceasing love and devotion, about what it looks like to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart,” about walking by faith into the darkness one step at a time than from anything else in my life. And I know you have more to teach me and all our family. God knew what He was doing when He sent you to us.
    You have done many things in your life that made me and Daddy proud that you are our son, but none greater than what you are doing now. To quote another favorite Primary song:
    I love Christian, he loves me – We are a happy family!
    I will love you forever – Mama

  2. Gabrielle Turner on May 11, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Christian, this was so beautiful. Your whole family loves you more than we can say and will walk with you your whole life.

  3. Jenny T. on May 20, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    Christian, as your (former) ward member and friend, I stand by you and support you. What a blessing to have such a beautiful mother who wants to love you as the Savior loves you. Remember that in LCI, we will walk with you.

  4. Whitney Stryker on June 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Christian – Hi I’m your cousin Whitney (Hansen). You probably know who I look like, but that’s about it as we really have never talked much to each other. – Man our extended family is so big!! – I stumbled upon this post through facebook. This is a beautiful testimony on motherhood and being brave. I just wanted to say I too am glad you are part of my family. I wish you the best as you embrace your future through this new perspective and acceptance of yourself.

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