November 2015 Policy
We’ve seen it before. Events occur, but the arc of the history of this painful intersection between the LDS church and their LGBTQ members is bending towards eventual fellowship and perhaps even equity.
While applauding the increase in transparency and clarity the new handbook provides, Affirmation remains concerned that Church policy diminishes the lived experience of LGBTQ individuals.
Seeing things from the point of view of the other guy (or church, or government, or political party, or LGBTQ group) doesn’t mean we have to totally agree with them, convert, and join their side, but it does give Christlike love a fighting chance in this world.
Were I to agree with the Church that I have lost my way, my spiritual life would be dead. If I choose to believe now that my spiritual process is leading me wrongly, how could I ever again trust the workings of the Spirit? And how could I trust all that the Spirit has heretofore taught me?
Those caught in this transition period as the Brethren work things out have the continued and real possibility of trauma, rejection, and suffering as they stand at the intersection of their Faith. This is why LGBTQ led organizations such as Affirmation are so necessary to support our LGBTQ peers during such changes.
Like doctors and pilots, I didn’t make up the principles that govern LGBTQ mental health — we have merely discovered them and now use them daily to safeguard lives. I pray with my feet every day that Latter-day Saints will come to fully understand these discoveries too. We are all part of one body in Christ. May we see that each part however different is equally needed by us.
I do not know if this is a real change. I just can not imagine God saying, “do not baptize your children,” and three years later, “well, it’s okay, yes, do it.” It does not seem logical to me.
We move forward, I think, stronger and more resilient and more aware of ourselves because of what we lived under in the past three and a half years in the church.
Affirmation President Nathan Kitchen and Senior Vice president Laurie Lee Hall discuss with Mormon Mental Health Podcast host Natasha Helfer Parker the impact of the reversal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Day Saint’s November 2015 policy on gay families in the church on the LGBTQ Mormon community.