Considering the expansiveness of the divine, why would God not be able to exalt a same-sex couple who love and care for each other and yearn to be together forever? At the end of the day, isn’t God truly concerned about the person we have become?
God doesn’t ask us to suffer and stay under the storm. As we move away from darkness and towards a lighted horizon, we can find our safe space. There may be rain, wind and flying debris in the journey away from oppression and conflict. But if we’re looking for the rainbow, we’ll recognize God’s colors when we see them.
If Latter-day Saints can accept the idea that same-sex relationships can be just as beautiful and uplifting as heterosexual relationships, then the Church could fully affirm and even celebrate same-sex relationships without compromising what they claim to be eternal doctrines.
Since queer students are being disciplined for a rule that no longer exists, they are being discriminated against for doing things that abide by the Law of Chastity but aren’t explicit in the Honor Code any longer.
Paul Mortensen helped me feel at home with myself and to embrace both my Mormon and gay sides. In the beginning, I thought those two aspects of my life were forces pulling me in opposite directions. Paul helped me understand that both identities were important and that they were complementary: I did not have to choose one over the other.
He felt firmly that you could be a Mormon without letting church leaders tell you how to do it or that you were on the wrong path. He was the original guru of understanding and accepting your own identity as a gay Mormon. He always understood the purpose of Affirmation wasn’t to shape anyone’s beliefs but to help them find their own faith- wherever that took them.
Coming out as gay became a template for more changes in my life. I began to ask myself, “If I mistakenly cast my queerness as a deficiency, what about other character traits that I thought were weaknesses?” Like a spiral of dominoes, I put down my put-downs and saw myself take shape.
Until there is full acceptance of LGBTQ+ Mormons, their marriages, and families within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Affirmation will be there to provide a place of refuge and support. Donate and ensure the support is there for those LGBTQ+ Mormons of today and the future who will seek the same support we obtained that helped us feel whole, gave us the dear friends we have today, and provided us hope and helped us find joy!
Assume the best intentions of others in our community, find the empathy needed to be compassionate toward others and their circumstances, and allow for the hearing or reading of experiences and beliefs that counter our own without feeling the need to defend our place on our individual journeys.