Home » Blog » Page 2

Mother, Another Name for Creators

When our Prophet talks about us “all being mothers,” what I feel him saying is that we are all creators.

Are not we all mothers? We ARE all creators. Whether we choose to partner with our Heavenly Parents and create human bodies to be populated with souls to come to earth or we partner with them to create technology, books, music or other artwork or perhaps we create a cure for a previously incurable disease; we are ALL creators. We are ALL mothers.

I have belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for six years coming up next month. During this time, no matter what Ward or Branch I have attended, each and every year I have joined in the singing the one hymn in the hymnal that recognizes our Mother in Heaven every year on Mother’s Day.

In 1845, Eliza R. Snow (Relief Society President 1867-1887) wrote the hymn, “O My Father,” penning the most well-known reference to Mother God.  Written only months after Prophet Jospeph Smith Jr.’s death, it has been speculated that the Prophet may have taught of a Mother in Heaven either implicitly or to limited audiences.

It didn’t surprise me to listen to Sheri Dew, a righteous woman who has never given birth to a child, say “Aren’t We All Mothers,” or President Nelson in his address to the October 2018 General Conference profess that he became a doctor, “Because [he] could not choose to be a mother.”

President Nelson went on to say last October, “Every woman is a mother by virtue of her eternal divine destiny.”

When I listen to childless women and their frustration with some of these quotes and standpoints, I contemplate if they were to substitute the word creator for mother if there would still be offense taken?

What the Mother Taught Me Creation is more than procreation. It is snow, birds, trees, moon, and song. ~Rachel Hunt Steenblik
By Rachel Hunt Steenblik in Mother’s Milk

Our society, and in particular some of our cultures, tend to pass judgment on what types of parents we are, how many children we produce and how we choose to raise them. How we judge one another trickles down into how we feel about ourselves. When we internalize external judgments, we diminish our own divinity.

Our role as creators is divine. Our Mother in Heaven is just as important as our Father in Heaven.

Elder Erastus Snow stated, “There can be no God except that he is composed of the man and woman united, and there is not in all the eternities that exist, or ever will be a God in any other way,” a statement, according to the Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven, that has been reaffirmed by several General Authorities.

Thank you, Mother and Father, for the gift of creation…for the gift of motherhood.

Twin Falls Idaho Temple
Twin Falls Idaho Temple

 

Loving My Friends as They Are

20130323_134149_thumb.jpg
Sister Lloyd, me & Sister Johnson

I remember the nervousness that overcame me not long after I felt the impression to seek out and listen to the Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They talk a lot about “being in the world, but not of the world,” but all of my friends were “of the world,” none of my family were members of The Church (except my granddaughters) and most of my friends had “alternative lifestyles.” When I decided I wanted and needed to be Baptized, I prayed constantly about the situation with my friends. How could I tell my friends I was now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, would they want to be my friends anymore? Did that matter?

During my repentance process in the weeks before my Baptism, I was relatively quiet on Facebook, a social media outlet where I had spent an inordinate amount of time during the previous 5 years accumulating an audience for my writing. At times I had been known to make a spectacle out of myself, becoming rather dramatic about loves and losses and pain and pleasures. I had been known for “letting it all hang out.” How could I reconcile my previous behavior with the life I wanted, no, needed to create and begin to live? I prayed more.

The answers came gradually, but they came. I was impressed to read “The Articles of Faith.” They all rang so true in my heart that not only did my “bosom begin to burn” but I also wept with joy several times. Then I came to the 11th:

“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

The second part of that statement, “and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may [emphasis added]” caused me to completely lose my cool. I broke down and cried loudly; I bawled. Why? Because it was an answer to my prayers. There was NOTHING in the church Doctrine that said I had to exclude those who worshiped differently from myself from my life, ABSOLUTELY the opposite!!!

Articles of Faith Library Copy

Relief filled my soul. But what about all of the people who followed my social media? Now that I no longer practiced alternative beliefs, should I even be “out there” in the public? What about all of my photos and the things I posted?

As I began to hint about my baptism on social media some people I thought were my friends were quick to delete me from their connections, I cried but continued to pray about it. I didn’t want to lose friends, but those people who had “unfriended” me weren’t acting like friends. My prayers to my Heavenly Father continued, so did my tears.

I deleted hundreds of photos of myself that embarrassed me from my social media accounts and  I prayed to know if I should continue with an online presence. After all, it would have been easier just to delete the accounts.

The impression I felt from the Holy Ghost was persistent: I needed to be LOUDER about my conversion than I was my sins.

I was at a loss how to accomplish that. The year before my Baptism was quite humiliating as I looked back upon my own inequity to others in addition to myself. I continued to pray and study my scriptures.

Then came the answer: Start a blog about your conversion to The Church. Share your feelings about God and your faith and be honest with those who follow you. 

My unease continued even after I started the FIRST iteration of Slightely Mormon on Blogger. Then, in June 2013, came a directive in video conference form to ALL the Missionaries and the Missionary Members of The Church. This was the answer I had been awaiting. It was a confirmation of the personal revelation I had received from the Holy Spirit.

In a few weeks, it will have been 4 years since I sought out Missionaries to receive the lessons leading to my Baptism. In the subsequent years I have “cleaned up my act” on Facebook and other social media outlets, but I am louder than ever! I want the world (including my friends) to know HOW being a Mormon has changed my life!

In the last six years, I have worked hard not to alienate my friends and family. It’s difficult to convey to them how much I love ALL of them and I respect what they chose to believe in, all of that is part of them and I love them. img_20170204_093448_445.jpg

I had an opportunity to travel with a very dear friend of mine recently. Cub, as he likes to be called, is a professional photographer and acted as my assistant on a recent trip. In our travels across the country, we incurred our number of odd looks at us, but he helped me to see my world through different eyes. I saw judgment from my fellow church members when they watched him light a cigarette, I felt their stares and disapproval in both of our directions. That made me incredibly sad.

We visited the Ft. Lauderdale Temple towards the end of our time together. I asked Cub to take some photos of me when I was done with my session; he enthusiastically complied. When we were finished with our pictures another temple patron asked him to take her photo. Cub graciously agreed to do so.

wp-1487445328246.png
The first share on Instagram

While he was doing that act of service, I took a few snapshots myself for social media. I shared it first on Instagram as “Cubby doing service at the Temple,” then, after talking it over with Cub, I shared it again on my Facebook page and to a group called Facebook group focusing on members of The Church with an additional introduction:

wp-1487445332888.png
The second photo, captioned for Facebook

For a while, I almost felt like I was exploiting my friend and his service. Although he had given his consent for both photos to be shared on the internet inclusive of my comment about his lifestyle, he had not asked for the photo to be taken.

While Cub probably wished I had allowed him to continue his nap in the car, I felt it was important. There was a lesson here for not only me. I am not ashamed of my friends. I love each and every one of them. Not in spite of their beliefs or their actions, but as WHOLE people with different ideas about life and different understandings of the universe.

We read in John 13:34 that Jesus Christ himself told us:

 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I believe that His love is unconditional. That is something I try to work towards each and
every day.  I am so grateful to ALL of my diverse friends, like Cub, who help me to remember what my Heavenly Father commanded me to do.

(This article was previously published on Sister Maggie)

 

Most LGBTQ are Victims of Cyberbullying Here’s How to Stay Safe Online

vpnMentor conducted a survey in which we asked 695 LGBTQ+ people worldwide about their experiences online as they relate to their sexual orientation and gender identity. The

73 percent of LGBTQ+ have reported being personally attacked or harassed on social media sites

results – referenced throughout this article – illuminated the unique challenges faced by the many LGBTQ+ communities.

Here are some of our key findings:+

  •  Alarming 73% of all who identify as LGBTQ, or any form of gender identity, sexual orientation have been personally attacked and harassed online.
  • 50% of all respondents in all categories of gender identity and sexual orientation have suffered sexual harassment online.
  • When it comes to sexual orientation, gay, lesbian, bisexual and the transgender community feels the least safe online.
  • When it comes to gender identity, many transgender women feel the least safe when harassed online. Gay men the safest.
  • Transgenders are most likely to be outed and bullied on social media platforms.  Unfortunately, against their will. With gay men are least likely, outed but still suffer many forms of harassment.

Experts in the field of cybersecurity it’s their mission to provide practical strategies for coping with all kinds of adversity, bigotry, and abuse on the web, which is why they created this guide.

Whether you are part of the LGBTQ+ community or are a straight ally, I hope you’ll find this guide informative.

Thank You to Stephany Huneidy at vpnMentor for emailing me the statistics through this blog. 

If you’re a victim of online harassment please share it with a friend, loved one, and family members.

Please, be safe when posting on any social media online website or platform.

Love and Hugs, Dennis Schleicher

LGBTQ’s Are Welcomed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I know without a doubt that there’s a place for all LGBTQ children within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As fellow brothers and sisters, everything that I’ve studied in our doctrine displaysThe Book of Mormon I stole from the Marriott Lehi Utah zero evidence that I am not allowed to be an active member of our church. I can’t find anything that says, I don’t have a home or place to worship. It’s the media and those who are judgmental. Or have left our gospel that continuously tells me that I don’t have a home in Mormonism. Our doctrine, along with scripture tells me differently.

Request a free copy of The Book of Mormon

Request a free copy of the Bible

Love and Hugs,

Dennis

Dennis Schleicher, Gay LDS Convert, Author, National Personality

Episode 108: Dennis Schleicher, Gay LDS Convert, Author, National Personality

My friend Dennis shares his life story including life as a gay man (including appearances of Larry King Live and Sally Jessy Raphel), joining the Church in 2017, and now serving as the Ward Mission Leader and helping missionaries church wide on LGBTQ issues.

Dennis’ book ‘Is He Nuts, Why a Gay Man Would Become a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ’ is being released by church book publisher Cedar Fort in August 2019. I encourage everyone to read his book (for more information go to www.DennisSchleicher.net).

Thank you, Dennis, for sharing your story. You are one of the most courageous persons I know. Thanks for blessing 1000s

Richard ‘Papa’ Ostler ❤️
ListenLearnAndLove.org
papaostler.com

iTunes

Soundcloud:

Why Would a Gay Man Become Mormon?

 

Missionaries are awesome! Meet a few I’ve worked with. 

Just a few of the released missionaries I’ve worked with on the East Coast.

I am an openly gay man who feels nothing but love from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was told my entire life that God rejected me and I was going to hell merely for my sexual orientation. I needed to change my entire persona and become straight. This left such a bad taste in my mouth about organized religion in general that I refused to attend any church for many, many years.
It was Latter-day Saints who taught me that Heavenly Father loves ALL of His children, regardless of their sexual orientation. We are all children of God, and we should leave judgment to the Savior. It is not our place. We are asked only to love. Let’s all Turn Up The Love.

 

Never Know Who’s Going to Change Your Life

A message I received from a missionaries companion on a lesson she learned 

“Hi, Dennis! I’m the one who commented on Stephanie’s post! I just thought I would share my experience. It’s nothing spectacular

Andrew and Audrey Earl, Dennis Schleicher in NY

compared to your’s and Sister Guimaras’ and I’m honestly a little embarrassed by it but I learned a valuable lesson. I was training Sister Guimaras at the time (which she really didn’t need training) but there was this idea that trainers set the tones for the rest of their trainee’s mission. I was so stressed out because I felt that I needed to teach her something and as I said, she didn’t need any kind of training. Seriously I learned more than I taught. I believe you came in at the end of the day and I was so exhausted and frankly glad it was Sister Guimaras’ “turn” to give a tour. I overheard you and your friends talking and I thought that it would be an interesting tour. Typically people who were not of our faith who came into the sites during the summer months were “antis” and had no intention of hearing us out. When Sister Guimaras came back she spoke of her experience and the Spirit that was felt. I learned how important it is to interact with people because you never know who you are going to meet or what experiences you are going to have just because you are too tired or too busy or whatever the excuse is. I know that I never actually got to meet you, but I have heard about your spiritual journey and I just think that is so incredible.” 

 

Believing My Heart and Not My Head

Believing My Heart and Not My Head

I met Dennis when he spoke at a meeting of writers. He shared how different writing genres receiving different compensation with Christian writers receiving low compensation. “For example”, Dennis said, “if you were looking for a book about the Mormon faith that author would be compensated less than a murder mystery novelist.”As a Latter-day Saint myself, I found his reference a bit odd and was prepared to defend any negative comments but they never came. Dennis was so upbeat and interesting that I spoke with him several times before and after his talk and even purchased two of his personal research books about leveraging social media for promotion. He exuded positive energy that felt familiar and comfortable. It seemed pretty clear to me that he was gay and I’m happily married to a wonderful man so my interest was strictly business.

After his talk, I asked Dennis what his first book was about and what he was currently writing.   He was pretty vague about everything and moved onto another topic.  That seemed odd at the time since all the writers I know love to speak about their books.  Before parting, I linked to him on Facebook and he shared a few social media tips with me.  Dennis extended a vague offer of help and I yearned for success shortcuts in an ocean of information.

At home, I researched Dennis and found the topic of his first book from over a decade ago to be terribly unsavory.  This shook me to my core as the information in front of me directly contradicted my initial, positive impression. How could I be so wrong? My positive feelings about him were swallowed up in darkness and I planned to stay far away.

Less than a week later I saw a Facebook post with Dennis and missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And then there were a few more including one where a good friend of his was going on a mission.  I thought his family might be LDS.  Then I recognized one of the missionaries and made an online comment about how Elder So-and-So served in Westerly, RI.  And I commented on other posts until it felt as though I was seeing the real Dennis.   Then I received a private message from Dennis saying, “I finally figured out you’re LDS!”  “You too!, I typed.   It was a day or two later that Dennis and I shared a long phone call and our testimonies of mature-age conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  “Every convert has a past,” Dennis shared.  I remember all too well how grateful I was to my Savior after baptism decades ago and how my heart changed forever. At the core of Christianity is the belief that people can change for the better. Dennis and I are both living proof of God’s love in this abiding principle. He and I became friends with a shared desire to help others find and accept the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.   I began to support him in online forums and, because I’m both a writer and LDS, am now part of the “Is He Nuts” Dennis Schleicher community. 

What would both of us have missed had I listened to my head and the hard, cold facts instead of the Holy Ghost whispering “he is a good man and a kindred spirit.”?  I’m so grateful to have recognized and acted upon the whisperings of the Spirit as dark proof blocked my path.  The darkness was the old Dennis but I met and trust the new Dennis who has been transformed by the love of our Savior. By trusting in the goodness I feel, I have a new friend.  That hinge decision could have slammed a door shut but, instead, opened a door to new opportunities.  I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers each of us with open arms and an open heart.  He loves and forgives and implores each of us to do the same. Each of us has a past but it doesn’t have to control our future.

Elizabeth J Saede

Ten Tips for Parents from Mormon and Gay

Ten Tips for Parents from Mormon and Gay from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Understanding Our LGBTQ Children of God

As a parent, you may sometimes feel inadequate. Although you may not always know how to respond to the struggles your children face, you will never regret reaching out with love and understanding.

You will never regret saying “I love you.”

You will never regret throwing your arms around your child and hugging him or her. You will never regret listening. You will never regret trying to understand.

You have been entrusted with the care of a precious soul.

Learning to be a parent on this journey will stretch you. As you seek the companionship of the Spirit, you will draw near to God, your child, and, if applicable, your spouse. Remember to honor agency. If your spouse disagrees with how you want to handle things, work it out respectfully. If your child makes choices you disagree with, kindly let them know how you feel. Never try to control or manipulate them. Give them your time and assure them of your love.

Did you overreact, get angry, or say things you regret? Don’t be discouraged.

This is one moment in a lifelong conversation. It’s never too late to apologize.

If you learn about your child’s same-sex attraction secondhand, don’t take it personally.

Talking about one’s same-sex attraction can be terrifying and confusing. Your child may not have known how to talk to you about it.

It’s natural to grieve.

Do you feel your dream of the “perfect” LDS family slipping away? Do you fear losing a close relationship? Are you afraid your child won’t be treated with kindness? These feelings are natural. There is no shame in grieving.

Don’t blame yourself

for your child’s same-sex attraction.

This is no one’s fault. Blame is neither necessary nor helpful.

As a parent, the least productive prayer is “why?”

A close second is “please, take this away right now.”

The most helpful question you can ask is “how?”

How can I help? How can I be the mom or dad my child needs? How can we learn from this?

Some people care. Some people are curious. Answering questions can help build understanding but can also be exhausting. Be sure to charge your spiritual battery by spending quality time in sacred places. And no one cares more than your Father in Heaven.

Peace and perspective go hand in hand.

Seek knowledge, and learn all you can. Speak with your bishop or branch president and receive counsel from an authorized servant of the Lord. If you feel impressed, ask him for a priesthood blessing to help you meet the needs of your child. Some people find perspective in support groups or through temple attendance. In fact, there is no better place to find peace and perspective than in the temple.

For more tips and stories visits; Mormon and Gay

Loving and Understanding – Not Judging Our Fellow LGBTQ Brothers & Sisters Hymn “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”

Love Understanding - Not Judging Our Fellow LGBTQ Brothers & Sisters Hymn “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”
Be Kind

Loving and Understanding – Not Judging Our Fellow LGBTQ Brothers & Sisters Hymn “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”

This morning after praying I fell prompted to open our hymn book. This is what I opened to; #220 

Lord, I Would Follow Thee

“Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou hast shown,
Pause to help and lift another,
Finding strength beyond my own.
Savior, may I learn to love thee–

Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can’t see.
Who am I to judge another?

I would be my brother’s keeper;
I would learn the healer’s art.
To the wounded and the weary
I would show a gentle heart.
I would be my brother’s keeper—

Savior, may I love my brother
As I know thou lovest me,
Find in thee my strength, my beacon,
For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother—”

For more about not judging others, I found some great insight on Mormon Insights by BYU

Love and Hugs, Dennis