I am dedicating this week to sharing first-hand stories of Mormons who are being affected by the policy changes our church confirmed last week. All stories are posted with permission.
These stories are very personal and can be emotionally and psychologically triggering.
Went to church today in my slacks, my pagan wife at my side. Gave hugs to friends, and tried to console one sweet friend in my ward- who has a gay daughter and seemed to perceive my presence in the ward as hope that her daughter might find peace in the church- who burst into tears when she found out I was turning in my letter of resignation to save us all the trouble, hassle and stress of a disciplinary council. My partner of 12 years and I got legally married finally just a week ago on our anniversary – Halloween. We were celebrating that I would now have health insurance, among other things. And now I’m branded apostate for it.
The Bishop, to his credit, was very kind about the whole matter. Accepted my letter without argument and with tears in his eyes. Told me that he hoped I would still feel welcome to come and listen any time. That I am loved by the ward and they still want to be there for me. Said he hoped that I didn’t feel judged.
I told him it was rather hard not to feel judged but that I wasn’t taking it personally – at least not from the ward. Told him that I am still living my beliefs and my faith. And still wish to be there and be of service for the many friends I’ve made in the ward. That they have always been very kind to my wife and I, and I will always be grateful for that. I still have my faith and beliefs. I’m not resigning those. I am keeping what is of God. I am only resigning the parts that are of man, and that man is fallible.
On the whole, it went about as well as it could.
Talya Miriam Johnson
It’s so hard for me to separate God, from Mormon God, from my own insecurities. 30 years of being an active member has left so many voices in my head, that I don’t know what is mine, what is is not, let alone God’s!
It’s taken four days from the announcement of this policy change simply to realize that it labels my son an apostate!! It was everything I feared when I realized my sons were not straight.
Cami Ann Godfrey Clough
My husband and I have both really struggled with this new policy.
I am literally having a hard time eating right now.
We have many dear friends that are gay. We know their stories and struggles. Most of them grew up Mormon. Some of them married, and tried North Star (reparative therapy is medieval and barbaric).
Those of you that are posting stuff (albeit well intended):
“Will this feed your faith or drown it” or “you’re choosing to be offended” or “stop pretending like Jesus accepted everyone” or Todd Christofferson’s interview (he may as well have interviewed himself since there was no challenge there).
This is not helpful!!!!. At all!
Please! I beg for your compassion. That’s it. If that’s all you can do. Just say, ” I am so sorry you are sad”.
Please contact me at natashaparker.org if you are interested in sharing your story on this blog. Other spaces where you can share or read these important accounts include: Feminist Mormon Housewives and Suffer the Little Children.
Trigger Warning: If you identify as LGBTQ – please be careful in reading the comments people post on this site. I allow all comments (that don’t personally berate another person) because I want there to be a witness to the many opinions on this topic – but some are triggering, harmful and often give inaccurate information.