|Resources That You Can Use|
by Randall Thacker, Affirmation Senior Vice President
“Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” –D&C 88:81
Sunday, April 22 was the final day of a beautiful conference in Washington, DC, featuring Mitch Mayne, Carol Lynn Pearson, Jeannine Gramick and the stories of many LGBTQ/SSA Mormons and their allies. It was a tremendous event in which a variety of people came together to share and make affirmation of their Mormon and LGBTQ/SSA identity.
Sunday, April 22 was also the final day of young Jack Denton Reese’s life. Jack, an LDS gay teen committed suicide on April 22 in Mountain Green, Utah. He was 17 years old. It is said that he was a victim of bullying. Our hearts go out with deepest sympathy to his family and friends at this time.
How is it possible that on the same day on one side of the country we are being affirmed as gay and Mormon while on the other side another gay Mormon is taking his life? How will this suffering ever come to an end?
This message today is a call to action: I exhort you to find your voice and to become anxiously engaged in the good cause of testifying that being gay and that gay relationships can be consistent with and supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That a person’s unique expression of their identity is a beautiful testament to God’s diverse creations. I ask you to kindly yet boldly “warn your neighbors” of the dangers of bullying and believing and teaching others that because they are gay they are not affirmed as a child of God and a valued member of the Church and society.
Using the resources provided on the upper right or your own, please post something to your Facebook wall, tweet it, email it, or pick up the phone and talk about it. If you live in Utah, please consider attending the community event against bullying and suicide to be held in Ogden tomorrow. We must spread the word from the roofs of the housetops, if necessary. Please, do something now. Every action makes a difference.