First This Gay Man Wanted to Protest the Church-Now He’s a Member. It all started when he steals the Book of Mormon. Dennis Schleicher serve as an Elders Quorum First Counselor, Ward Mission Leader. Assisting Church leaders, General Authorities, Mission Presidents, sisters, and elders to better understand how to work and deal with the LGBTQ community, creating a better understanding amongst all people.
Why did Dennis wear a rainbow 🌈 bow tie to sacrament today? I’ve learned never to ignore the promptings from the Holy Ghost. I had another outfit all prepared, I kept getting this nagging feeling. Where that 🏳️🌈 rainbow. Come to find out, many people needed to see it. Several came up to me saying: “They were praying for answers, and my bow tie was the answer they were seeking.” Thanked me for acting on my prompting. 🤷🏻♂️Who knew a gay rainbow tie would have such an impact.
🗣Some history about this bowtie. A leader in our church bought this for me, as our missionaries wished I dressed gayer 🤣 when teaching lessons. LOL, love this. 📣 That leader did not ignore the promptings from our Heavenly Father. Why should we?
👉When have you felt promptings from the Holy Ghost❓
👉Have you ever ignored those promptings❓
Sometimes God answers our prayers like a light bulb💡going off but other times, answers to prayers come gradually like a sunrise, ☀️ or sometimes we must take a few steps of faith into the fog to see the next few steps.
What I learned from our sister missionaries tonight:
When it comes to prayer, let’s have no more empty statements and insincere but polite phrases.
If you’re mad, say so.
If you’re confused, say so.
If you’re sad, call a friend.
If you’re alone, call on Him.
And don’t think anything is too small for the Savior’s loving attention.
~ Love, Dennis Schleicher, Ward Mission Leader, and our Glastonbury Sister Missionaries
Our missionaries love Al Carraway. ”This exact second, God is mindful of YOU.” ~ Al Carraway
Okay, am I the only one who has her line of inspirational pillows LOL 😆
✅Today’s coordination meeting, Sister Okeson & Sister Napier shared thoughts on an activity for our ward could invite friends to, a special sacrament meeting around Valentine’s Day focused on the Love of God and Christ.
❓What are some church outreach activities you’ve done❓🤷🏻♂️❓
Hugs, Dennis Don’t forget Just Pray, Ask God, and Turn Up the Love www.DennisSchleicher.net Ward Mission Leader, Glastonbury Connecticut. Need to talk NOW 24/7 Call our missionaries 1-888-537-6600
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 believe in my heart through personal revelation, that our church is by far the most accepting of LGBTQ+ members. Based on what I’ve experienced. This may not be the case for past members or people who left the Church. All churches have experienced a lack of understanding or tolerance for people who are different, that was in the past. I have witness times have changed. Have you?
I understand that a lot of people may not comprehend or approve of me being gay and a worthy temple recommend holder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that a lot of my LGBTQ+ friends will never understand why I became a Latter-day Saint, or will distance themselves from me. It’s okay! I choose to love and care deeply for all my brothers and sisters! That’s the difference between someone who is striving to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ and someone who needs to do a little more work loving and accepting those they may not understand. I’m writing this at the risk of losing friendships and work relationships and upsetting my family for divulging my innermost secrets and struggles. Nothing can change this if it needs to be done.
After years of searching, I unexpectedly discovered a new family in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now secure in his relationship with the Church and with God. Now I share the story of how a gay man, found his home in the Church. Determined to be a survivor, not a victim, I use my life’s journey as a source of inspiration to help others in similar situations and to foster a better understanding of God’s many LGBTQ brothers and sisters in the world. I now love serving as a Ward Mission Leader, assisting sisters and elders throughout New England and the world.
“No matter your religion, faith background, sexual orientation, or race, I challenge you to choose love!”
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.