Russell M. Nelson
A prophet is sometimes as clueless as we are. We don’t know why God asks us to do something that makes no sense, but we have faith that we’ll understand somewhere down the line, because that’s how faith usually works.
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.
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?
The challenges of embracing both my experience and identity as a gay man and my 28 years in relationship with my husband Göran, at the same time as I embrace and affirm my love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my testimony of and love for the Church of Jesus Christ have taught me invaluable lessons about faith, about trust, about patience, about life, about community, about relationship, and most importantly about God, and my own divine nature and relationship with him.
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 want my friend back. She was the most Christlike person I ever knew. She lived Christ’s teaching literally. I want all the LDS LGBTQ youth and young adults we’ve lost to suicide back too.
As we close out the year 2018, it’s a good time to reflect on all that’s happened over the year. This year’s top ten posts on the Affirmation website highlight many of the events and concerns affecting the Affirmation community this year, including the transition to a new Latter-day Saint First Presidency, a response to words out of general conference, a focus on suicide prevention, and more. Here are our top ten posts for 2018.
Russell M. Nelson was announced as the 17th President of the LDS Church. Following the announcement, he and his counselors participated in a press conference where the first question asked was how they would approach LGBT issues. Both he and Dallin H. Oaks shared their thoughts.