Sandra Cristina Marques Moraes, specializes in quality, metrics and processes. She graduated in Business Administration and is Postgraduate in Quality Engineering. She has a professional practice at a well known company in systems development for health. Sandra is a native of Brumado in Bahia, is 39 years old, and lives in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and served a mission in 1998-1999, serving honorably in the missions South Porto Alegre and Santa Maria – Rio Grande do Sul.
“I recognized the Lord’s hand in my mission each day. Bringing the gospel to my brothers and sisters transformed my life and showed me the miracle of transformation and the mercy of Christ among all the people with whom we served.”
Moraes has served on several occasions in positions in the Church and in the community. She has always had a great desire to serve the community through a variety of service projects. Sandra Moraes, seeks to live life to the fullest, with a desire to succeed in her personal, professional and religious life.
“I recognize once again that Christ has called me to serve. I know the Lord has a purpose in this work of rescue and self acceptance for LGBT Mormon brothers and sisters, their families and friends. I have served in the work with Affirmation: LGBT Mormons. It is much more than doing a job. It is about rescuing children of God from a state of despair that many are in. It is to show these children of God that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was also for them.“
In April 2016 she became the first president of Affirmation Brazil. She gave the following talk at the Affirmation conference in São Paulo, Brazil, on Sunday, April 17, 2016.
THE REAL LOVE OF CHRIST
I really believe I have a savior. Jesus Christ really lived. He walked the earth, performing miracles and teaching truths. He atoned for our sins, then was crucified. But his death was not the end. Thanks to His Resurrection, we will live again. Thanks to his sacrifice, we can rise above sin and experience true joy. Because He lives, we can find his help and healing to our hearts every day of our lives.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus announced a new law, a higher law than that existing so far. The law was “eye for eye, and tooth for a tooth,” but the Lord raised the standard. He taught us that if someone struck us on the right cheek, we should offer him the other cheek (Matthew 5: 38-39).
Christ taught us much. He changed the old to the new. The old law said that a person would be justified if he loved his neighbor and hated his enemy, something perfectly acceptable for many, even today. But the Lord taught that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. He argues that it is no big deal to just love those who love us and welcome our brothers and sisters only: “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?” (Matthew 5: 43-47).
In a manner to us incomprehensible and inexplicable, He bore the weight of the sins of all mankind; not only of Adam, but of all; and, in doing so, he opened the kingdom of heaven for all of us.
He did not say it would only be for this person or that person either. He suffered for my sins. He loves me, lives in me and knows who I am. He suffered for all of us.
He did not leave me like an abandoned daughter. He said come to me. He did not say come unto me everyone, except homosexuals. Jesus Christ did not say I will unconditionally love my children with a caveat: “except those who are gay”. He did not say that. He died for all.
I have not done a count of it, but there must be hundreds of times where the word “love” appears in the scriptures. I have been unable to find a single word saying that Christ did not die for me, that he will not be fair to me, that I have no right to his love. Christ has a real love for me, for each of us. He loves us. We are not a mistake, we are not a flaw of nature or a disease. We are sons and daughters of God.
I am a child of God. I was rescued by the real love of Christ. My soul has light. Christ sees me as I am. His mercy is greater than the hate of those who marginalize me or who are unable to understand that I did not choose to be or am not different. I was born this way.
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.
Understand that those who marginalize us do not know what they do. They were taught to be intolerant. We should be light. We should love and respect our leaders, family and friends. Living the work in a worthy manner is our way of showing the world that we are special children of Christ and that he loves us, just as he loves each one who can not see our light.
- 2 John 1: 3
Grace, mercy, peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, be with you in truth and love.
• Ephesians 3:19
And know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God.
• Jude 1:21
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
• 2 Corinthians 5:14
For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.
(All die and all live, regardless of their marital status, or being a man or woman.)
• Romans 5: 8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.
• Romans 15:30
And I beseech you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in prayers to God for me.
• Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Nothing must separate me from Christ.
I learned one that on my mission that I truly believe: “If I go to my knees, I will not fall.” Regardless of sufferings, problems, persecutions, temptations, he will be with me. So I awake and arise with the assurance that he loves me.
And after everything, there is the miracle of forgiveness, mercy, the pure love of Christ. If I did not firmly believe that he loves me, I would fall into despair. My life would not have meaning. I recognize the hand of the Lord in my life and in the lives of my wife and our families, friends and all our brothers and sisters. I know he blesses our union.
I testify that to feel the pure love of God in our lives can make all the difference in overcoming any challenge.
The love of Christ is real. In the name of Jesus. Amen.