Jesus turned everything upside down. No sorting of people into social bins. Jesus ignored the social norms that spell out the who, when and what of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is full of surprises. The first shall be last. All are invited, the clean and the unclean. All are loved. All persons are of worth: free and slave, women and men. Everything is upside down and no one is excluded from the Kingdom as unworthy.
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.”
We need to recognize that what is strengthening to different people may be different. We need to foster self care and healing, finding our sources of spiritual strength — whatever those may be — and learning to accept ourselves.
For many years I have struggled, first to have the love of someone who despised me. Then I fought to be someone I was not, then I struggled to accept who I really am… I may have been abandoned in this life by earthly parents, but my heavenly Father has never left me.
The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as imperfect mortal and flawed beings, that have potential and worth far beyond what we can imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other, including those who do not accept us.
LGBT Mormons in Brazil began reaching out to Affirmation a couple years ago. They grabbed the attention of Affirmation’s international leadership team last summer when they posted a picture of the word “Affirmation” in Portuguese written in the sand and said “we are waiting for you!” We had been praying to find leadership in Brazil and they were the answer to our prayers. The conferences held these past two weeks in Brazil are the realization of a dream for many. One participant said, “It was like spending 3 days in the celestial room of the temple.”
I knew when I was 9 years old that I was a boy. I knew by 12 that I liked girls. I didn’t realize until I was a teenager that the world really did just see me as a girl…. In November of 2014, I finally came out to my bishopric and told them I identify as male.
Join us in the Land of Zion, May 13-15, 2016, for the “No More Strangers” Leadership & Spiritual Retreat Weekend. To be held at the beautiful Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. We define leadership as service. Anybody who is interested in getting involved in the work of strengthening and supporting LGBT Mormons, and who wants to get more involved in the work of Affirmation is invited to join us.
We will be exploring themes related to claiming our faith, claiming our space in Zion, and creating communities where there are “no more strangers.” We will explore history, spirituality, vital skills for leadership in the LGBT Mormon community.
In order for us to have a healthy relationship with the Church, we have to have a strong relationship with God…. If it is difficult for us to believe in God, at the very least we need to trust ourselves.