By Kim Pearson (Written Dec. 7, 2014)
For months I have been feeling the promptings to share my testimony of how Father in Heaven has guided and given us answers to our prayers on how to be the parents of our young teenage son who is gay. I wanted to share my testimony I have of how much Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ love each and every one of us and how I felt that love as I have come to know so many gay and lesbian men and women over the last year. I wanted to share that I know we are to reach out in love and compassion to everyone, that we are to make our wards and stakes places of welcome, and that is the message we have been receiving from the Brethren.
I have hesitated to share that testimony until my son was ready for that. He decided that he was ready this week. So I spent all week pondering and praying what to say because I didn’t want to preach but rather share how my testimony has grown and become stronger.
Earlier this week, we had a young man reach out to us that was interested in coming back to Church. He had been given our names through those we have met in Affirmation. He is a returned missionary who is gay and is married to his husband who is not a member. He called my wife and they talked and he decided to come to church with us today. He showed up at our home15 minutes early and we had a brief visit. He was so nervous. He still has a testimony of the Gospel. He has tried to attend other churches but just couldn’t feel comfortable there. He had recently heard about wards that were friendly and accepting of those who are gay and thought maybe it was time to check the Church out. We encouraged him to just come and sit with us through sacrament meeting and come to dinner with his husband at our home tomorrow night. I reminded him that today was fast and testimony meeting. I let him know that I was planning on bearing my testimony today as I mentioned above. We all headed off to church.
As we walked in I notice that a member of the stake presidency was on the stand. My heart just about stopped because this member of the stake presidency had given some very conservative talks about the Proclamation on the Family and same sex marriage. I almost decided not to bear my testimony but then the Spirit whispered to me to go ahead. My son was so nervous and I could feel him shaking next to me during the sacrament. Well it came time for testimonies and I stood up. I was crying by the time I got to the stand but I felt the Spirit so strongly and shared the feeling of my heart. I noticed that the young man who had come with us was crying and it seemed like every eye in the chapel was on me. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but when I finished I remembered the warm loud amen I heard from the member of the stake presidency and I knew Father in Heaven had been there with me through the witness of the Holy Ghost.
After the meeting, the young man had light and happiness in his eyes and was so grateful. He left after sacrament meeting but I can hardly wait to visit with him and his husband tomorrow night. Several members came up to me afterward crying and sharing how they had family members who are gay. I lost track of the warm hugs, handshakes and expressions of gratitude from ward members. I know that this doesn’t mean an end to the challenges we will face as a family in raising our son’ but it was the right thing to do. So many in the Church just aren’t sure where to start this discussion. Those of us with loved ones who are LGBTQ need to seek guidance and follow the promptings of the Spirit to determine how we can start this discussion even if it is just one person at a time. I have felt the Spirit guide me has never before in my life. The struggle and discussion I have had in prayer and pondering has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. My love for my son has grown and our relationship has grown stronger. He gave me a big hug after my testimony and put his head on my shoulder during the rest of the meeting. I know that we will continue to receive guidance as we turn to Heavenly Father. I have a sure knowledge that my son will be loved and guided, regardless of the decisions he makes as he grows older. That a loving Father in Heaven will always be calling to him to come back.