“We need to listen to and understand what our LGBT brothers and sisters are feeling and experiencing. Certainly we must do better than we have done in the past so that all members feel they have a spiritual home where their brothers and sisters love them and where they have a place to worship and serve the Lord."
(M. Russell Ballard, BYU Devotional, Nov. 14, 2017)
- My favorite video on their site is of Becky and Scott Mackintosh, who have become dear friends.
- Becky has a book coming out in September called Love Boldly: Embracing Your LGBTQ Loved Ones and Your Faith. It’s available for preorder on Amazon. It will also be sold at Deseret Book and Seagull Book in September 2019.
2. Richard Ostler
Richard is a former young single adult bishop who opened his heart to his LGBTQ YSA ward members and his podcast shares many stories of those walking the road of being LDS and LGBTQ.
- Here is a printable list of quotes from current church leaders about LGBTQ topics compiled by Richard Ostler. The way current leaders address this topic is quite different than it was a generation ago. Leaders today don’t teach that people choose to be gay, nor can they choose to make the gay go away, etc. It's a great list to print and give to your bishop and stake president.
- Ben Schilaty - Gay Latter-Day Saint, shares the leadership training he gives as a social worker with LDS Social Services to LDS church leaders or other church settings
- Charlie Bird - Former BYU Cosmo, RM, Gay Latter-day-Saint
- Kelleen Potter - LDS, Mother of 5, 2 LGBTQ, Mayor of Heber City
- Matt Easton - RM, BYU Grad, Valedictorian, Gay Latter-day-Saint
- Richard has a lot of great resources on his site, including this list.
- Richard also has given some fireside-type meetings to help LDS people be more understanding and inclusive to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Here is one of those meetings with guest speakers Tom Christofferson and Vance Bryce.
- Here is a short Hi Five Live video by Richard.
3. North Star
North Star is a wonderful organization for LDS LGBTQ people and their loved ones that seeks to support people in following the teachings of the LDS church. They have firesides, a spring conference, a Youtube channel, and website. I have loved attending a few of their events. The Spirit and love and compassion there have been tremendous.
- This is one of my favorite North Star keynote address. It is by Bennett and Becky Bordon. I was so touched by seeing God in both of their journeys, and especially seeing the influence Bennett’s loving, inclusive brother had when Bennett desired to come back to church.
- Here is a blog post I wrote last fall about attending a North Star fireside, along with myths and truths I've found.
4. Tom Christofferson
Tom Christofferson is the brother of the apostle Elder D. Todd Christofferson. His book, That We May Be One is about his journey of leaving the church for quite a while and eventually coming back, but how his family was incredibly supportive and loving at every stage he was in. I’ve listened to the audio book twice on the Deseret Bookshelf Plus app.
5. Facebook Groups for LDS Parents of LGBTQ Children
- North Star Parents & Family - Apply for this group here
Other resources for LDS LGBTQ people and their loved ones
- Affirmation is an organization for LDS LGBTQ people, and my understanding is that it's a good fit for people wherever they are on their faith journey, whether active, stepped away from the church, or in between. Affirmation has a website, a Youtube channel, has a conference in the Provo, Utah area each summer.
- Encircle is a brick-and-mortar resource for LGBTQ youth and families in Provo, Salt Lake City, and St. George.
- BYU has an LGBTQ outreach program. The program director, Blake Fisher, a gay Latter-day-Saint, gave an excellent presentation at BYU Women's Conference in May 2019 about how to be more inclusive.
- Here is my own Hi Five Live video, where I shared a touching story with Blake Fisher’s permission.
- There are FHE groups and Sunday School groups that are open to people in the LGBTQ community who are in a variety of places with their faith. I know of groups like this in the Utah areas of SLC and Logan, as well as Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas. I assume there are others I’m not aware of. If there isn’t one in your area, you could start one!
|Art is Jesus Said Love Everyone by J. Kirk Richards|
Articles (Besides the articles included above)
- Ministering to Our LGBTQ+ Members and Families A printable document with quotes from LDS church leaders and helpful tips to be inclusive and supportive.
- LGBT Youth Suicides: What Needs to Change by Debra Coe, Nov 2017 (includes LGBT inclusive quotes from Elder Oaks)
- Pride Is the Opposite of Shame. Ben Schilaty's blog post about the purpose of pride flags and parade.
- Rachael Colman’s sacrament meeting talk about her faith journey with paradoxes of being LDS and loving her transgender son
Resources for Faith Crisis or Struggles
- Richard Ostler’s church lesson PowerPoint about faith struggles and Richard’s stake conference talk about faith struggles - listen here or read it here.
- Jana Spangler, Active LDS, Expert of Faith Transitions Jana Spangler’s podcast interview about faith struggles. She’s a life coach who helps people and couples with faith crises.
- David Ostler - former Mission President, Stake President, Discusses Mormon Faith Crisis
- David wrote a book called Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question