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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

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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

Previous Latter-day Saint Bishop Shares 4 Ways We Can Show Respect for LGBTQ Members

LDSLiving “Previous Latter-day Saint Bishop Shares 4 Ways We Can Show Respect for LGBTQ Members” 01/19

“Previous Latter-day Saint bishop and advisory board member of Listen, Learn and Love Richard Ostler, known as “Papa Ostler,” has given presentations for Listen, Learn and Love about how members can be more inclusive toward their LGBT brothers and sisters. ” Richard Ostler’s website Listen, Learn and Love

First Encounter Latter-day Saints Missionaries

This is probably the first encounter I had with Latter-day Saints except for the poor missionaries who had my door repeatedly slammed in their faces. Yep! That was the old Dennis.

Life just keeps getting more exciting by the minute. Just found out the Missionaries I randomly met at the airport on June 21, 2017 (almost 2 months before my baptism) Will be attending the celebration launch, 🚀 at this time did I ever think I would be baptized? NOT, and look at where we’ve gone. Yippee, Can’t wait to see Sister Franks & Morris.

I believe the Oscar goes to all church missionaries 

Dennis’ first encounter with missionaries at the Salt Lake City airport June 21, 2017

Miracles do Happen 

Now look; I’m a Ward Mission Leader, YES miracles can and do happen.

Register Free on Eventbrite

Register for the Event on Facebook

Remember, You Are Loved.

Love and Hugs, Dennis

Need to talk NOW 24/7 Call our missionaries @ 1-888-537-6600

News Alert! FB live for all our missionaries still serving for book launch celebration of Is He Nuts?

News Alert! Just added a Facebook live for all our missionaries still serving for book launch celebration of Is He Nuts? Why Would a Gay Man Become a Latter-day Saint?

Our missionaries Love YOU

 

More information forthcoming, location and etc. Come and celebrate the book launch of Dennis Schleicher transformative memoir. (Space is limited, reserve your FREE ticket today.)
This is the story of my search for God’s love in my life, and how I found it with and through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Despite a reputation that says otherwise, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do in fact love and accept all people just as Christ would, regardless of their sexual orientation.
As a lot of the missionaries I work with on the East Coast will still be serving their mission we have added a Facebook live event just for you!
Don’t ever forget that you are all LOVED by our Heavenly Father and so many others.
Hugs, Dennis

Powerful Message from a Friend at Church

Powerful Message from a Friend at Church

I saw this on the front page of the Church website this morning and I remembered our conversation and how this is your opportunity as you are called to speak to others – to bear witness of God’s love, His goodness and mercy to you in your life experiences.

This is the scripture that came to my mind so powerfully that I felt was for you:

Mosiah 18-And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life-

I have tried to hold myself to this standard.  All too often for me, I have fallen short to fully express and acknowledge God’s greatness and goodness–His love–in my testimonies.  It is a skill I am still. working on to improve.

May I share with you some tools I am using to become more accomplished in this goal.

As  I study the Book of Mormon, I examine how the great prophets testify of Jesus Christ. They are great examples who bear great witness of God’s love.  We can learn much from them in this endeavor.

Consider Lehi and his dream [I Nephi 8] wherein he goes from a place of darkness to the tree of life.  There he partakes of the fruit of the tree which we understand represents the love of God.  After experiencing this love he states in verse 12 – “And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy;” This is Lehi’s witness of God’s love.   He then turns to his family and invites them to come and experience this great joy which he described as desirable above all other fruit.

I like to think this represents all missionary work.  First we each must come to the tree and experience God’s love (baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost). Then we turn and invite others to come to the tree (Come unto Christ) and receive this continuing gift of His love in always having his spirit to be with us.

I have made a detailed study of the Book of Mormon prophets of how they each in their own way have testified of this fruit and how it has brought them great joy.

Another tool I have used is to do a personal evaluation after I have shared my testimony – asking questions such as Did I acknowledge His hand in all the goodness I have experienced? Did I convey the joy that I experienced as I partook of the fruit?  Did I invite others to partake as Lehi did?

After this personal evaluation revealing my weaknesses (which have been too many- to my dismay),  I then reviewed what I desired to have said.  That was followed by a prayer that the Lord would make my weak things become strong. There have been occasions when my prayer has been answered. I have been able to give a witness that exceeded my highest expectations, and yes my joy was great in that blessing.

Dennis, I know the Lord loves you greatly and has called you to serve in the building of His Kingdom.  Thank you for asking me to share.

~ A Friend From Church