How do I relate to the pioneers of our church and the LGBTQ community? To celebrate pride month, I’ll be sharing inspirational messages that will help encourage all, as we Strive to Be more like Him. Cedar Fort Publishing and Media has put together some wonderful videos sharing my journey.
We’ve all experienced persecution. Gosh, I once persecuted against members of our church. Yes, I was one who discriminated against members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was that person who made fun of members.
How I couldn’t be further from the truth. We cannot judge a book by its cover. By listening instead of lecturing, you can gain knowledge and understanding, which will help you love ALL is a true Christlike attribute.
Be true to yourself and Him. Share your faith with all, as we never know who’s lives we can touch.
How do You Know Faith is Real❓I testify that the rewards are worth the effort! 🤔Remember the pattern;
1️⃣Hear the word of God, spoken and written by His servants; 2️⃣Let that word sink deep into your heart; 3️⃣Hunger in your soul for righteousness; 4️⃣Obediently follow gospel laws… and 5️⃣Raise your voice 🗣in mighty 🙏🏻 prayer… Asking in faith to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I promise that if you do these things sincerely and unceasingly, . … ‘knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ [ Matthew 7:6]
What are some examples you’ve witnessed that faith is real❓
6 Takeaways from April’s General Conference
1️⃣Worldwide Fast 🌎
President Nelson invites the church to join in a worldwide fast on Friday, or Good Friday, to plead for relief from COVID-19. ALL can join us.
2️⃣Hear Him 🔈
President Nelson originally said the conference would be unforgettable because of the events.
Summed up in two words: Hear Him. While all the speakers focused, to different degrees, on the message of the Restoration, many of them noted that one of the most important ways members can contribute to that important work is by learning how God speaks to them — or how they can “hear Him.”
3️⃣Women’s Roles 👩🏼
Sister Jean B. Bingham, the Relief Society general president, spoke of the difference between men’s and women’s roles and the importance of an equal partnership between the two. Women must have the courage and vision to unite with men to bring souls to Christ, she said. And “men need to become true partners rather than assume they are solely responsible or act as ‘pretend’ partners while women carry out much of the work.”
4️⃣Teenagers and Youth👫
Two teenagers addressed the audience from the pulpit. Joining a small group of speakers who have spoken in general conference. Without being a general authority or general officer of the church.
5️⃣New proclamation & solemn assembly
“Two hundred years have now elapsed since this Restoration was initiated by God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Millions throughout the world have embraced the knowledge of these prophesied events.”
This proclamation is the church’s sixth, and it’s first since 1995.
6️⃣Announced 8 New Temples
*Bahía Blanca, Argentina
*Lubumbashi, Democratic *Republic of the Congo
*Benin City, Nigeria
*Dubai, United Arab Emirates
*Shanghai, People’s Republic
*Syracuse, Utah￼￼ What was your favorite takeaway￼❓ Who’s joining us in the fast❓￼
Who is Dennis? Why Would a Gay 🏳️🌈Man Become a Latter-day Saint?
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.
I am “Elders Quorum First Counselor, Ward Mission Leader,” with only 11 convert baptisms. I’m humbly grateful to be a full temple recommend holder.
Soon, I will be an LDS Literary Agent 🖊 representing good, clean, authors. 📚
My mom wrinkled her nose. “They are all going to hell. This is so disgusting.”
I looked over at her and stopped myself from rolling my eyes. “Really? You think that’s disgusting?”
“Yes, I do. They’re going to hell. It’s in the Bible.” She stopped and stared hard at me. “You’re gay, aren’t you.”
It was a statement, not a question. I hesitated, but I had nothing else to say.
“Yes.” “I knew it!” she burst out. “I always knew it! Your father is going to be livid when he gets home!” I wasn’t there when he got home.
My mother wasn’t the only person to figure it out.
Two weeks later, Dennis was attacked by 5 boys at his school.
Through those experiences and so many others, Dennis was determined. “In so many ways, I decided to be a survivor, not a victim, and to use the journey of my life as a source of inspiration to help others in similar situations.”
In 2014, Dennis, who had grown up a member of the Congregational church, was church hopping. It also happened to be the year that he met members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) for the first time. In his own words, Dennis says:
I had never met a member of the Church except for the poor missionaries who had my door repeatedly slammed in their faces. So I was shocked that my sexual identity didn’t seem to bother these Mormons I worked with.
From that point on, Dennis learned more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He visited the Sacred Grove with friends, attended sacrament meeting, met with the missionaries, and studied the Book of Mormon.
I had been studying the Book of Mormon for only thirty days. I didn’t understand everything, nor did I need to. It’s not a book you read one time—you read and ponder it every day, and through constant scripture study you will gain further knowledge and insight.
Roadblocks, challenges, trials, tribulations—whatever you want to call them, we’re all going to have them. It’s a fact of life. It’s what we do when we’re faced with them that matters. We can give up and be defeated. Or we can use them to grow and become stronger. I believe and know in my heart that God is there for every one of us.
Dennis now serves as a ward mission leader, assisting sisters and elders throughout New England to better understand how to work with the LGBTQ community, creating a better understating amongst all people.
To contact Dennis or schedule him for a speaking engagement, visit his website (dennisschleicher.net/contact). Purchase his book, Is He Nuts?: Why a Gay Man Would Become a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ, at Deseret Books.
Reviews for Is He Nuts?
“As an active Latter-day Saint mother of an openly gay son, I was moved by Dennis’s story and the pure love of Christ. A must-read for all who are seeking to walk in the shoes of another.” ~ Becky Mackintsoh
“I devoured this book the day after it arrived. I am now passing it on to my teenage children to read.”
“His experiences and testimony are truly a light in this world and I believe his story will help many both in the LDS church and out of it.”
“This book is revolutionary, groundbreaking, transformative and much needed for anyone looking for a great story.”
September Shoutout by Nancy Ayry – Every day in the month of September I would like to give a shoutout to one person that I see is making a positive difference in the world. 🌎 ❤️
Dennis Schleicher – he is everyone’s best friend. You can’t help but love him the minute you connect with him. He’s full of enthusiasm and love, kindness and sincerity. Dennis is a writer, lifestyle reporter, crisis counselor, network marketer, and motivational speaker.
When Dennis was a teenager in the 1980’s, he was brutally attacked by several boys in the men’s room at school because they figured he was gay. They took turns punching his face, jaw, and stomach and calling him a “f****** f***** that should not be allowed to live.” The school administration oddly took the side of the attackers. Shortly after the attack, the media began to contact Dennis and he appeared on seven talk shows, including Larry King Live, and Sally Jessy Raphael. in 1990, Dennis testified in court to help pass a hate crimes bill that included minorities and LGBT individuals.
“Dennis’ life has not been easy. The growing realization that he was gay coupled with his parents’ use of religion to justify abuse and neglect led Dennis to have a very complicated relationship with love, God, and organized religion. After suffering from the violent attack, forced institutionalization, and heartbreak after heartbreak, Dennis was desperate for love and acceptance – he just didn’t know where to find it.”
“After years of searching, Dennis unexpectedly discovered a new family in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his book, “Is He Nuts? Why a Gay Man Would Become a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ” he shares the story of how he, a gay man, found his home in the church.”
Dennis now serves as a ward mission leader, assisting sisters and elders throughout New England to better understand how to work and deal with the LGBTQ community, creating a better understanding amongst all people.
In his book Dennis explains, “I am many things. I am a people person, a talker, a networker. I am a gay man, a survivor of a hate crime, an advocate for the LGBT community. I am a friend, a hugger, a Christian who has always believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am a son, a brother, a cousin. All of this and more collectively defines who and what I am.” ( ”Is He Nuts?” Cedar Fort Publishing, Schleicher)
Dennis teaches me how to love and how to forgive. He teaches me that there are new starts. He teaches me that sometimes you’ll do things you NEVER thought you’d do! And he shows me what true ministering is. In his own words, “Turn up the Love!”
I spent this past week experiencing Education Week at @brighamyounguniversity and I LOVED it! It was amazing! If you have never attended this incredible event, I invite you to put it on your calendar for August 2020!
At first, I was hesitant to attend because I imagined it being college courses to learn
math, business, science, etc. I had no clue that It was a week full of gospel learning that has strengthened my testimony of the @churchofjesuschrist. I would like to share my TOP 5️⃣ . this week:
1️⃣ It serves me to serve you. It serves you to serve others.
2️⃣ Do not ever be afraid of asking God for help. Do not feel guilty asking for the smallest of things, or even the biggest of things.
3️⃣ Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have done their part, so now we need to do our part of preparing to receive their blessings. We fulfill our part by reading the scriptures and by studying the gospel.
4️⃣ You would never judge anyone else if you only knew their life story.
5️⃣ We need to always consider ourselves as students. There are “teachers” all around us, who help us to learn and grow.
Turn Up The Love Devotional – June 2 at the Pasadena Stake Center from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Join Dennis Schleicher as he shares his story as a gay man that was welcomed into the fold of God with open arms and was taught about the true nature of God’s love for everyone. Follow Dennis’ journey from hate-crime victim to a Ward Mission Leader that helps hundreds of missionaries better reach the LGBTQ community.
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.
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 creatorfor motherif there would still be offense taken?
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.