November 2015 Policy
What do we value more? Worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; or ensuring that we conform to LDS Church policies? As LGBTQ+ Mormons, we know the importance of following the Spirit, even if that means shaking things up a bit.
I am Mormon. And I am gay. And all of those identities are sacred. All are holy. All are anointed truths that make me who I am.
Responses showed significant emotional distress, dramatic loss of trust in Church leaders, and a dramatic decline in Church Activity as a result of the policy. Individual stories help us to understand where and how different LGBT Mormons find hope, and why discussion about the Church can be so polarizing.
In September and October 2016, Affirmation distributed an on-line survey to attempt to get a fuller picture of the nature and depth of that impact so that we as an organization could more effectively serve our community. Ultimately, over 900 complete survey responses were received. On Saturday, November 5, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time, Affirmation will be holding an on-line community forum, where we will present the findings of the survey. A panel representing different voices and perspectives in the LGBTQ+ community, and the fields of pastoral ministry, counseling/therapy, and LGBT Mormon history.
This woman, one day, on campus she put up a sign that said, “Be Brave.” She made it out of paper and yarn and stuff, and she put it up. I had no idea who had made it. She put up this sign that just happened to be on my bike ride onto campus. And she put it up right around the time of the policy. So the first time I saw it, I thought, “Wow. This is a message for me.”
God made us a promise. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” God hears and answers prayers and He is intimately aware of the trials and tribulations that we face. And he will never abandon those who seek Him out and ask in faith…believing that He will answer.
Anyone questioning the LGBT community, or anyone “struggling” with a loved one who is LGBT, simply needs to attend one of Affirmation’s conferences. It will change their perspective, heart and likely life forever…. And for [our son]? A miracle indeed. He went from a place of confusion and torment to a place of peace, understanding and pure Christ-like love.
We will stand with the “red letter” words of Jesus himself, following his radical policies of absolute love and absolute inclusion. These are the words and the actions we will celebrate this Christmas, for these are the “tidings of great joy.”
By Bob Rees
Today there is immense pain in Mormonism. Addressing that pain depends on our individual acts of courage, sacrifice, and, especially, love. It is amidst that pain where much of the most important work of repairing, healing and transforming through love is to be done.