A Special Message to LGBT

Below is the original “Message to LGBT” that Reform Mormonism has had for over a decade.

An update:

Recently, Reform Mormonism sealings for gay couples were conducted. These were joyous, special events. All of Reform Mormonism’s special ceremonies, such as Endowments and Sealings, are available to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

Remember – God does not discriminate the way men do. Whether or not you have an interest in Reform Mormonism, remember that you can be Mormon without giving up any part of who you are.

To be disfranchised in a general sense is to have been denied something. Gays and lesbians have been denied experiences of both Mormonism and society at large. They are familiar with the results of this denial, and in some cases their pain has been greatly compounded by the unsolicited official withdrawal of their church from their lives. Many may have left the LDS faith of their own volition as a result of these circumstances.

As Reform Mormons, we are in disagreement with the LDS faith that a church should withdraw itself from a person for any reason, and we have discussed on other pages some of the reasons why. But for homosexuals a distinct message must be sent that allows them to understand the Reform Mormon position relative to their circumstance. Everyone interested in Reform Mormonism should have an interest in what is said to these people, since God exists in everyone, and God is engaged in restoring to these people that which has been denied them.
To homosexuals currently or formerly members of the LDS faith:

You have known intense religious pressure to conform your life and your life’s objectives to a predetermined pattern, one that does not necessarily take into consideration that which you want to pursue in your life, but one that is predictable and comfortable for others. You have seen your religious organization use your financial contributions to pursue political activities designed to insure that you are not treated equally under the law. You have been denied the recognition of ecclesiastical title and privileges. Your leaders have taught that it was acceptable to beat you, and over the pulpit in your services you have been told that it would be better that you were never born.

All this you have endured and yet you have held your faith, or held it as long as you could bear, and sought the understanding of God to help resolve the unfairness and lack of respect that your religion has asked you to shoulder. This has not been easy for you to do. You have suffered through the hurt and fear that this has brought to you rather than speak up against or fight the unfairness, and thereby risk your religion and the things it has promised you. That you have endured so much is remarkable; you deserve great acknowledgement for this.

I have a special message for you, and in the message is a great truth: you do not have to give up your religion in order to receive the respect you deserve and resolve the unfairness placed in your way. You never have to do that.

As Reform Mormons, all of your religious beliefs are maintained, and no one can ever take them away from you. You are encouraged to pursue the path in life that you and God work out. Reform Mormonism does not engage in political activity, viewing this an inappropriate function of a religion – but we support your right to be treated equally under the law, as all of God’s children should be, and we consider you equal. We reject the idea that it is acceptable to physically harm another person, and we apologize to you for the unnecessary hurt and fear that you have experienced as a result of this horrible teaching. We share your pain in having ever believed for even a moment that it might have been better if you were not born. What an ugly, wrong, ungodly teaching that no child should ever hear! Your fellow children of God weep for the unnecessary torment this must have caused you. Naturally, as you have always known in your heart, the opposite is true; your birth was wonderful – your presence here is of great value and importance. You have an important mission to perform.

You have been told that scripture condemns you; that God will judge you and punish you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Scripture, as we have already learned, is the writing of men, sometimes inspired, sometimes not; the decision as to what has been inspired and what is not inspired is personally made. And we know that God will not judge you (and therefore will not condemn you) because God has no need for you to do or not do certain things. Do not waste a moment of worry whether or not God approves or disapproves; he does neither; he merely wants you to be happy, to experience joy.

Your responsibility in life is to live morally and accountably – and these responsibilities are never at odds with who you are. You do not need to hang your religious beliefs upon the ideas of those who wish to hurt you by insisting that the way you are is not moral, who fear you because they do not understand you. Indeed, you must not, for it is damaging to your progression! Morality is something you establish within yourself: moral behavior is you acting in accordance with your moral construct; that construct is designed by you, based on your ethical decisions about life, and right behavior. You are a moral person when you behave in accordance with your ethics and constructs, not the conception of ethics and constructs espoused by others. You cannot spend your life being true to the morality of others; you must be true to the morality of you. God has designed it this way, and what brilliance, what wisdom is in it!

Whether or not you realize it, you possess the priesthood of God and all of the keys required to act with it – right now. It has been within you since your birth, even though you may not have realized it was there. You have been asked to pretend that you do not possess this, or that you are not worthy to use it, but that pretense is no longer necessary. You are free to use this power. You are free to discover it and explore it. You are not restricted from the use of this power as some have taught you – you are a child of God, and entitled to experience it directly.

You have also been told that there are certain titles that you cannot hold – but this is not true. There is not any title that you cannot hold! This, also, you know to be true, and you have known from birth; you are now coming to realize that you, too, are entitled – you, too, have a birthright and opportunity. It is the same birthright, it is the same entitlement. You were never without these things, though you were asked to pretend that you could not have them, or were not worthy of them. But the charade has now ended; you are now aware of your power. You do not need to receive further approval from anyone in order to use this power; you do not need to receive permission, or to change something, or behave in a certain manner. Your freedom and sanction to use this power comes from God directly to you! Learn to use this power, and act! You do not have to hide this power any longer simply because others are afraid of it; you are now free to wield the priesthood of God! Will you not take on this mantle, this birthright, and fulfill what God has in store for you?


Read next: Intelligence and Affection: A Reform Mormon Concept of Human Sexuality