Rejection and the Family

Five years ago, my son was a 13-year-old deacon in our church.  He came out on Super Bowl Sunday, 2012.  For the year previous to that, my wife and I were very concerned as he was notably going downhill and we didn’t know why.  His grades were suffering.  This joyous kid was now sullen and reserved.  He was withdrawing from most of his LDS Church friends and replacing them with questionable kids from school.  Despite our best efforts, we were in the dark as to what was going on with him.

rejectionAfter Jordan came out, we were finally able to have the conversations that we needed to have for so long.  The revelation that he was gay unraveled the life plan we as parents and the LDS Church had laid out for him.  LDS theology extends the ordinances of salvation from not only baptism, but to temple ordinances and marriage.  The discovery of a sexual orientation or gender identity that is incompatible with a ‘traditional marriage’ cuts you off from salvation.  It cuts you out of your eternal family.  And, depending on your parents, could cut you out of the family in a very immediate sense1.

Even a thirteen-year-old LDS child is intensely aware of this.

From the time a Mormon child can understand words, the Plan is laid out for them.  It is reinforced year after year that their worth is directly tied to what their Heavenly Father wants them to do.  Each stage of advancement is laid out step by step, especially for boys.  They are baptized at 8.  They become a deacon at 12, a teacher at 14, a priest at 16, a missionary at 18 and will marry in the temple, in a generally accepted timeframe of 20-23 years old.  Each step is accompanied by an interview with the Bishop, as well as recognition by the ward and celebration by the family.

When that plan is stripped away, significant uncertainty is introduced.  It is most often countered with a concerted effort toward extreme religiosity.  An attempt to cure oneself.  Prayers and bargains with God are often offered, “if only He will take this away.”  But the true desperation comes when the devoted and sincere efforts toward religiosity end with failure.  It becomes a rejection by not just family or friends, but from God2.

From 2007 to 2014, the suicide rates for age 11-17 have nearly tripled in Utah3.  For those of us whose children are coming out in this time-period, it is obvious why these numbers are skyrocketing.

There has been a constant escalation of General Conference addresses, Sunday School and Priesthood lessons focused on the Proclamation on the Family.  The Proclamation reinforces strict gender roles and a very narrow path to salvation as indicated above.  There has been dramatically increased public political opposition by the Church against same sex marriage.  Broadcasts and regional conferences specifically focused on “Religious Freedom” encourage and directly instruct members to donate time and money to oppose same sex marriage.  In most wards, this manifests itself in a culture war against all things gay.  Gay people are the enemy, both morally, politically, and spiritually.

For a child who discovers he or she is gay, this is devastating.  They come to a quick realization that who they are on the inside is wrong and unacceptable.  My son told us, “I couldn’t trust any of my relationships, because I knew if they knew I was gay, they would hate me.”

This is not an assault on the LDS Church’s doctrine.  This is about saving lives and making these vulnerable kids the priority above creeds and belief.  This isn’t about blame or trying to destroy the faith of others.  As I was a Dad to a newly out LGBT child, I was completely blind to the experience of LGBT youth in the Church.  My intent here is to simply open eyes to what the LDS LGBT experience is today.  And to increase awareness that there is a direct correlation between the current policies, teachings and doctrine of the Church and increased depression and suicidality among LGBT youth.

My family’s experience is not unique.  I personally know hundreds of youth and parents (all LDS) with similar experiences.  Unfortunately, I know too many parents whose LGBT children have taken their own lives.  Last year, my son had to bury his close friend at the age of 17.

LGBT adult members are also at risk.  Many followed the LDS Church’s counsel to marry straight spouses (with or without their spouse’s knowledge).  Now they are decades into a marriage that continuously strains every part of their mental and emotional resources to make it work.  They feel trapped because failure impacts not only them, but their spouse and children.  I know too many in this circumstance.  Their lives are also at risk.  Just last week, two of my friends suffered with suicidality.  One was a failed attempt while the second was hospitalized before it was too late.

Suicide statistics for 2015 in Utah have recently been released and they are continuing to get worse4.

  • Utah went from #11 to #6 in overall suicide rate in one year. (Idaho is #5).
  • Utah is now #5 in suicide rate of age 15-24.
  • The exponentially increasing suicide trend from 2007-2014 continued to escalate in 20155.

It is impossible to derive causality from the statistics.  Primarily because statistics are analysis after the fact. The only way to derive causality is conversation and dialogue with those who are suicidal – before they are successful. In this regard, no one is saying they are suicidal due to altitude.  The argument that altitude is a factor is a theory suggested to explain increased suicidality in mountainous areas.  Yet the altitude isn’t changing while the numbers are increasing year after year.  The conversation and dialogue with those at risk has consistently been driven by rejection by family, Church and community.  And this is where the strong anecdotal evidence must start gaining relevance.

While, I am aware that there are no hard statistics specific to LGBT suicide or the LDS Church, all the warning signs are there.  The warning signs have been increasing year after year but because of the religious and political implications, we continuously choose to ignore it.  I am not looking for an assignment of blame.  What I am asking of you is compassion for a very real and deadly situation sitting right in the pews with us.  This is not a situation without hope.  There is much that can be done both inside and outside the LDS Church:

  • Please be aware that you have LGBT friends and youth who you do not know are LGBT.
  • In holding to your ideals, be conscious that your ideals leave very little room for an LGBT friend or family member.
  • Be conscious that through no fault of their own, they are experiencing high levels of rejection, often in the same spaces you are feeling safe6.
  • While for you the stakes may be theoretical or doctrinal, for an LGBT person the stakes are often life or death.
  • If the same labels of counterfeit and apostate were applied to your own marriage by anyone else, you would consider it hate speech.
  • If you are lucky, you will find out that LGBT people are as diverse and amazing as any other part of society.

1 According to Outreach Resource Center (Ogden, UT) more than 50% of the homeless youth they service identify as LGBTQ.  Statistically, the incidence of LGBT youth is estimated at 5%, so this is an alarming rate.  https://www.equalityutah.org/issues/lgbt-youth
2 Sexual orientation change efforts among current or former LDS church members. Dehlin, John P.; Galliher, Renee V.; Bradshaw, William S.; Hyde, Daniel C.; Crowell, Katherine A. Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol 62(2), Apr 2015, 95-105  http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/cou/62/2/95/
3 Utah youth suicide now leading cause of death for Utah kids ages 11 to 17. http://kutv.com/news/local/utah-youth-suicide-now-leading-cause-of-death-for-utah-kids-ages-11-17
4 American Association of Suicidology Facts and Statistics http://www.suicidology.org/resources/facts-statistics
5 Utah’s Escalating Suicide Crisis http://rationalfaiths.com/utahs-escalating-suicide-crisis-lds-lgbtq-despair/
6 Family Acceptance Project https://familyproject.sfsu.edu/

 

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29 comments for “Rejection and the Family

  1. Laney
    March 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Thank you, Thomas. These are wise words. I read another post of yours as well and plan to read more. You bring great insight to this topic. I hope many will learn from you and others to be more loving to everyone. I read the talk by Lynn G Robbins on judging as Christ did right after reading this and your words illuminated his message. Christ was compassionate and I know that when this life is passed he will see us all through greater love, compassion, and mercy than we can possibly comprehend. And it should be our goal to drive for that level of love and compassion towards each other while here. So thank you for writing and keep it up. Culture changes one voice at a time.

  2. liz porter
    March 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    I stumbled across your writing from a mutual friend. . I read a couple of your articles and the tears started to flow.I was and still am absolutely appalled and angered at the Churches edict . . It goes against any and everything I believe.Thank you for your insight,your thoughtfulness and courage. Although ,neither of my children are LGBT I am so aware of the stigma and pain caused from the teachings of the church.thank you for be a sane voice in the insanity

    • Don
      March 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Liz, there is no teaching in the church that is hateful. If you perceive it as such, I respectfully suggest that you simply do not understand the doctrine as well as you could. I hope we all (including myself) treat everyone with love and respect. We need not misrepresent LDS theology in order to do so.

      • Thomas Montgomery
        March 15, 2017 at 2:47 pm

        Although I am sure the Church has never intended to cause pain or hatred, there certainly has been misteps and periods of bad doctrine. Polygamy is a prime example especially if you acquaint yourself with the experience of the women in the early Church. The temple ban on blacks fostered bigotry well beyond the civil rights era because ‘the modern prophet’s couldn’t be wrong.’ We wove all sorts of theology around blacks being lessor in the pre-existence and descendants of Cain. The theology around LGBT people is similarly not intended to be hateful, but in reality and practice is hateful. Just read Spencer W. Kimball’s Miracle of Forgiveness and how he condemns and degrades gay people. Bigotry, even without malic, is still bigotry and hate.

        • Scott Scrivens
          March 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

          I certainly don’t presume to second guess the Prophet. Maybe you know more than him but for whatever the reason his words are such, I believe he is inspired by God. Such is my faith. While I can see your point of perception, I disagree with your notion that his words are of hate. I also do not presume to decipher and judge that which he has preached as hateful because I might disagree personally as you did.

        • Lacy
          March 31, 2017 at 1:50 pm

          My comment is in regard to your entire article, but I couldn’t Find aplace to comment except for here in the ‘reply’ section. My heart aches for anyone wishing to take their life, regardless of the reason. I have served in LDS teaching callings for 4 year olds, 5 years olds, 10 years olds, 12&13 yr olds, 14&15 yr olds, and relief society. I’ve often prayed to be inclusive and that Heavenly Father would help direct my words to be sensitive to all the needs and situations of which I am not aware. Prayer can do such things. However, I know I should be educated as well and I might have fallen short of understanding in past and present situations. I’m aware that not everyone is as inclusive as I have tried to be. I do not agree with everything you’ve said. I do however very much appreciate your admonitions of awareness, particularly in bullet points 1,3,4, and 6. Many times throughout your post, you mentioned salvation, and LDS doctrine on salvation. I’m not sure if you’ve stated it the way you have for simplicity or if you truly think what you say is accurate, but it is misleading and inaccurate. The grace of God which is extended to everyone through Jesus Christ encompasses salvation AND exaltation. Temple ordinances and temple marriage is not necessary for salvation. I believe a large difference between LDS theology and main stream christanity is that second part, exaltation. His grace is sufficient and through no act of my own he has saved me from death and sin. Christ’s atonement however offers even more than that. And that is the progression. The ability to change, grow, become more – eternally – again, not through our own strength but through the our Saviour Jesus Christ. The understanding of this second part of Grace is a lifelong pursuit. In Mormonism we often focus on the exaltation part and I see what you were talking about how it can be difficult for someone depending on their situation, especially young to feel like they are excluded from this path. I didn’t intend to give a long lecture and I’m certainly still a student. I mainly wanted to point out that to say that Mormonism extends salvation from baptism to temple ordinances is not correct. But you stating this more fully helps me realize how it’s probably misunderstood often, and in my teaching I need to unfailingly reenforce God’s love for each imdividual, no matter what.

  3. Charlene L Pinkowski
    March 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    All baptised members are expected to live the law of “chastity”. This is the same for “straight” or “gay”! It is that straightforward and simple.

    • Thomas Montgomery
      March 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      The “Law of Chastity” as defined where and by whom? In the Bible? Because if we take our morality from the Bible, you will lose every priveledge feminism and freedom have brought you and you will be reduced to the property of your husband. The Book of Mormon is completely silent on the subject. And if you use D&C as your reference, say hello to the polygamous wives you will share your husband with. Or do we use the Proclamation on the Family which is entirely devoid of scriptural precident or support. Or do we just use what your opinion of what the Law of Chastity is?

      So tell me how straightforward and simple it is.

      • Tylon
        March 15, 2017 at 8:56 am

        Mormonandgay.lds.org
        Good resource on the churches stance of love and understanding of the LGBT brothers and sisters.
        Hate and fear is never Christ’s way.
        Must remember that central to gods plan is choice, must never force someone to follow a tenant of faith if it is not their choice (not referencing sexual attraction as choice, but to live the LDS faith as a choice).

      • Tim
        March 15, 2017 at 9:08 am

        Thomas if you are an active member of the church and a temple recommend holder (which I assume you are) then it is very straightforward and simple. The Law of Chastity – as explained in the temple and probably a hundred General Conference talks – is that a man and a woman will only have sex within the bounds of marriage. (https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-39-the-law-of-chastity?lang=eng) I would strongly encourage you to reread this if there is genuine confusion.

        • Thomas Montgomery
          March 15, 2017 at 9:21 am

          There is no confusion. The Law of Chastity as we live it today is simply wrong and incomplete. The proof of that being the harm it causes LGBT youth (By there fruit ye shall know them.) And while you focus on General Conference talks as authority, the Mormon Church has done more to change the Law of Chastity and marriage than any other religion in just its short history. Just google Brigham Young and John Taylor’s condemnation of monogamy. In fact, John Taylor even received a revelation confirming polygamy as the new and everlasting covenant that has been conveniently forgotten and lost in the annals of ‘doctrine the modern Church chooses to ignore today.’ Or perhaps the condemnation of mixed racial marriages? Or perhaps the clear Biblical condemnation of divorce? Even by Christ and yet divorce is condoned by the modern Church. Try to build scriptural support for the modern Law of Chastity and you will come away exposing interpretations of scripture. And interpretation of scripture is what led to 100+ years of the Church denying blacks the priesthood. And denying blacks the priesthood was clear doctrine taught from Brigham Young to Harold B. Lee. Including First Presidency statements affirming the doctrine of excluding blacks.

          So, no. I am not confused regarding the modern interpretation of the Law of Chastity. However, I am certain that nothing I have noted here is covered in the Gospel Principles manual or any Church correlated materials from the last 50 years.

      • Tylon
        March 15, 2017 at 9:22 am

        As well to the before thread, the law of chastity is giving very plainly without ambiguity in the Temple.
        Also, it is outlined in the For Strength of Youth pamphlet.
        It is also found in the Handbook 2: Administering To The Church.
        Teachings from Spencer W. Kimball chp. 17
        Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson chp. 17
        Gospel Principal’s chp. 39
        Preparing for an Eternal Marriage chp. 5
        Gospel Fundamentals chp. 25
        Numerous talks and etc. (Revelation given to a phrophet of god is just as binding, probably even more, as scriptureal standard works).
        The law is simple and straightforward:
        We are to have sexual relations only with our spouse, of the opposite sex, to whom we are legally married. No one, male or female, is to have sexual relations before marriage. After marriage, sexual relations are permitted only with our spouse.

        The doctrine is clear, let’s not get confused or argue about that.
        Moving on to a place of love and understanding dose not change the laws of god, we simply love and help each other through tough times.

        • Thomas Montgomery
          March 15, 2017 at 11:15 am

          Tylon, you continue to point to a selection of Church materials and talks by modern prophets that are clearly at odds with previous prophets both modern and scriptural. Other than genericly pointing to the teaching of modern prophets being revelation, you are creating a case that doesn’t exist. And Mormonism has done more to change the definition of marriage and sexual relations than any other religion. We really don’t have a leg to stand on. So espousing that the doctrine is clear is just to stand in denial of the vast marjority of Mormon history.

          • Erica
            March 16, 2017 at 11:54 am

            Such eye opening statements, Thomas. Thank you.

      • Don
        March 15, 2017 at 2:34 pm

        Every primary child knows the song “Follow the Prophet” and the Proclamation on the Family is accepted as Latter Day prophetic scripture. It’s really not that complicated. If you don’t accept living prophets, that’s your prerogative. All my best to you.

        • Thomas Montgomery
          March 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm

          So, primary songs are the basis for discerning truth regarding the Law of Chastity? The one time the Proclamation was referred to as revelation in a General Conference talk (Elder Packard), it was revised and edited out of the Ensign.

          As far as belief in modern prophets, that depends on your paradigm. Many members believe the prophet and apostles meet with Jesus weekly in the temple. Others believe every word of a General Conference is modern revelation. Others believe God allows his people and his prophets to struggle and work out their own salvation with minimal intervention.

          I do not believe in an ‘all or nothing’ paradigm regarding living prophets. They make mistakes. Even doctrinal mistakes. There is a clear history of this in the modern Church as well as the Biblical/ancient Church.

          Perhaps and oversimplified, primary view of living prophets isn’t very useful. Especially when the lives of LGBT children are at stake.

      • Scott Scrivens
        March 15, 2017 at 10:50 pm

        Thomas, we are taught by, and should heed the words spoken by our Prophets and General Authorities. We do this because as times and circumstances change, it is up to our Prophet to guide us through these. We don’t stone people to death anymore either…

    • Cheryl
      March 15, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      We wish it were straightforward and simple, Charlene. But creation deems it otherwise. It is easier for me to think that we are ever more challenged to love, rather than judge, and to do so unconditionally, as Christ showed us.

    • Utahhiker801
      March 18, 2017 at 9:28 am

      The law of chastity is not evenly applied. A heterosexual non-married couple can show affection to one another even in a church building, (holding hands, a gentle “peck”, rubbing the other’s back) and will generally be viewed as a cute couple with a budding romance.

      Change that to two individuals of the same sex, and they’ll be driven out of the building while being gossiped about for weeks to come even though nothing sexual has occurred.

      The idea that it’s “straightforward and simple” because everyone has the same expectations is horribly incorrect.

      I have never understood why someone who disagrees with this blog’s intended message would waste their time to come here and argue against compassion. The writers who come here and tell others they need to move on, or reread about the law of chastity, or revisit the lyrics to some primary hymn, seem to be working from a place of fear. These are also the voices who make the LDS church an even more toxic environment for our gay youth. Societal acceptance of LGBT individuals is increasing. And I see how it’s throwing them off. Whenever I hear these negative, damaging messages in church, I always call them out. I will not leave them unchallenged because under scrutiny, they fail even in a religious marketplace of ideas.

      Thomas, thank you for your voice.

  4. Suzie
    March 15, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Our son did not tell us he had the LGBT issues growing up. He told us while attending college. We never knew this was an issue for him, but so many situations were answered when he told us. He said not to worry about him as he would always choose the Church first. That did give us some comfort, but my husband kept asking if there was something we could have done? I knew better. I was lucky to have received my psychology degree with an emphasis on adolescent development. As his parents, we were more than just accepting, we accepted our son’s identity, but knowing also, that this is a hard road. Our son gave us permission to tell those we work with at Church that he is always available for counseling. He also received a degree in psychology and has worked with the LGBT communities with LDS youth before. Keeping an open mind that our children are still ours and we should accept them and love them is the key. We have many sons, we love all of them. None are perfect, but they are hardworking, talented and loving people. If we only judge others with just that one quality of gender identity, we are missing some great friends. Yes, the Church lessons do stress the importance of family, but faced with the reality that not all families now are father-mother-children, and for many reasons, parents should listen to their children with open minds and hearts.

    • claire
      March 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

      My daughter is 15 and I am waiting for her to”come out” I have been waiting for about 2 years … my husband however has no idea … i don’t know how to address this with him so that when she does tell us he can be prepared … Or love for her will not change. .. she has always been an individual and we love her for that !

  5. Andrea Graf
    March 15, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Thank you for writing this. These kids are not broken and they need more advocates until the broken beliefs change. I’m determined that my children will not be harmed by this, not harm others with such ridiculous beliefs. God is love and love does not harm, it lifts.

  6. Cheryl
    March 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Thomas, I could never thank you enough for writing this. It comes like a breath of cool, clear mountain air out of the Wasatch canyons. Life-affirming, loving, pure words. You are indeed a beloved follower of Christ.
    I had a nephew who was perpetually depressed. The family took him to counseling and to doctors who prescribed anti-depressants. I knew he was gay, but no one would ever talk about it. So he killed himself at age 18 – shot himself with his dad’s hunting rifle. They say it was because he went off of his medication. There was something just untreatably wrong with him. To this day it still is unexamined in the family. It makes me want to cry to even contemplate it. What a terrible waste. And inch by inch we MUST progress as a church. I also remember many years ago when the most wonderful young couple in my ward adopted a baby that unknowingly was part black. They had longed for a child for so long and loved this baby with all their hearts. When it became obvious after a few months what the child’s lineage was, they were counseled by the church to give the baby back. Nope, they just eft the church instead. I actually did admire them for ding that. I have every faith that the church’s stance on the LGBT issue will change. Thank you for helping to bring light.

  7. Richard
    March 17, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Thank-you Thomas for posting this thread – thoughtful, sensitive with critical information that can enlighten us to take personal action quickly. Please be aware that human sexuality is complicated and not well understood. There is much work yet to be done at how we arrive at our sexual orientation. I believe it would be vital to remember that we are all God’s creation and inclusive to His family. We do not need to compromise our personal or spiritual values to live by Christ’s teachings regardless of the Mormon homosexual doctrines and policies past or present. Accountability lies we each of us to ensure that no LGBT individual is rejected, denigrated or worse destroyed by the act of suicide. Someone you know may need your unconditional love, compassion and acceptance. Suicide is preventable – we can do better as a Church and as a society!

  8. Indistinct Motif
    March 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    You need to move on. You really do. You are so blatantly “angry” with the church and it’s doctrine – that at this point you’re preaching to a choir of supporters in your corner in an effort to simply make yourself feel better, justify your hatred, and try to expunge the guilt you feel.

    You are no longer an active member of the church. You have made this clear in a previous article you posted. You don’t believe in modern day revelation (or changes to it), you don’t sustain the first presidency or any other members of the leadership in the LDS church – the words of the prophets are hard unto your heart. Clearly you are not yet tired of slinging mud around and seeing what sticks… but you should strive to put all of this to bed and get on with your life.

    Why not talk about happy things going on in your life with your son and those around your family? Since you’re no longer a follower of the LDS gospel plan… why continue to talk about it?

    Nothing the church or it’s followers do will ever be good enough for you, Tom. You once wrote a whole article about “cool tolerance” and how that isn’t good enough. You want the entire church body to not only accept and “tolerate” the very real existence of LGBT issues – but embrace and condone behaviors and lifestyles that are contrary to God’s central plan.

    You’re an elect spirit that has fallen away due to following the voices of modern day false prophets (on the internet.) — Matt 24:24

    The guilt that you feel deep inside of you Tom – is the Holy Ghost trying to call you to repentance – not provoke you into writing more anti-LDS articles.

    • Lbrandow76
      March 17, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you, indistinct motif. It’s sad how many people are deceived by Tom and don’t see through his misrepresentation.

      It is not the fault of Gods restored Church or His chosen prophets or His revealed word that struggling children are committing suicide. God, and His church and -all- of his prophets love and care about -all- His children who He gave this SSA challenge to. He provided and provides a way for -all- of his children to return to Him including those with SSA and transvestite anatomy. The path back to Him is one overwhelmingly compassionate.

      God said:

      “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

      I will lovingly befriend anyone wanting to overcome SSA because I know acting out on SSA and surrendering to it is a choice.

      I think those who teach and preach that “the only way for someone with SSA or transvestite anatomy to find happiness is to reject modern day revelation and the prophets and embrace their natural desires” has lost faith in the infinite atonement of our Savior and Redeamer and does not understand the amazing and meraculous plan God has for them.

      The saving grace of Christ is not a plan of hatred. He was and is full of compassion.

      • Emily
        March 21, 2017 at 3:02 pm

        So true!

    • Kirt S
      March 25, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Your condemnation is harsh and your criticism without merit. Until you have been SSA or locked in a battle or tug o war for your soul, you have no idea the turmoil or upheaval of which you so casually sweep under the carpet.

      I applaud Tom and his fight. He has the courage to try and make things better for the LGBT community. I find your callous dis-concern for the gay and homosexuals to be expected. If you don’t understand and haven’t been affected by it – it is easy to discount it while at the same time expecting everyone around you to take your point of view.

      And it is so easy to respond with “the prophet said it so that is good enough for me”. a typical response from the LDS folks who cannot explain or comprehend what the other person is going through.

      Suck it up and move on..
      The mentality that writes the bylines for obituaries.

      The Church used to teach empathy and putting ourselves in the other man’s shoes. Did that change.

      You think a 13 year old really had a choice. He chose gay..
      you don’t get it. And if God gave him that weakness and expected him to overcome it… really… at 13. alone without a net to catch him..

      Just a member like you. suck it up and move on.

      Why is it fair – if God gave him that weakness that you were not plagued with the same.. why all people shouldn’t have a Forge and Fire of driving through urges and feelings that apparently others don’t have to experience and most cannot explain.

      Until you walk a mile in another man’s moccasins… you have no clue of what he is going through or what cards life dealt him.. or as you say.. a God given weakness.

      Show some compassion…
      as Kermit once said…
      it isn’t easy being gay

  9. Brooke Caldwell
    March 19, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Are you serious right now? Tom is TRYING TO SAVE LIVES! Honestly, your words are the hateful ones. If you guys are so “bothered” by Tom’s words, why do you read them?

    Have any of you ever been to a young LDS boys funeral because he felt so ashamed with who he was, he took his own life? Well, I’ve been to more than one. Ladies, your hateful words, and accusations are what’s harming are youth. Before you pretend to know why Tom writes the things he does, perhaps ask yourselves a few questions, and maybe you would learn Tom is the one preaching out of love.

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