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Affirmation Conference: Fostering Loving Dialogue about LGBT Mormons

Next month, I have a wonderful opportunity to participate in Affirmation, a conference dedicated to fostering a loving discussion among LGBT Mormons, their friends and family, and the LDS community.  The conference is non-political, but is instead focused on providing healing, love, and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

The Deseret News ran a story about the conference here.

Here’s some additional interview questions that didn’t make the Deseret News article but will be helpful

Q:  How did you get involved with Affirmation? How long have you been associated with the group?

A: While I am not officially affiliated with the group, I am a huge supporter of Affirmation’s mission of inclusiveness, love, and support for Mormon LGBT individuals.

Q:  What do you hope to communicate with those attending?

A:  I hope to communicate a message that every life is valuable and important. No matter where we are on our life’s journey, God’s love for us is infinite, and Jesus Christ’s Atonement is always available as a source of strength and healing. Too often, we think that we have to do something different or be someone different to be worthy of God’s love, but nothing can separate us from the love of God.  

As an LDS performing songwriter and a licensed therapist, I plan to share some of my best-loved songs and words of encouragement based on my experiences working with LGBT individuals and their families.

Q:  What misconceptions do you think people have about LGBT Mormons and Affirmation?

A:  There are so many misconceptions about LGBT Mormons that it’s difficult to know where to start. Here are a few: that being LGBT is a choice, that you can’t be LGBT and participate in the church, that LGBT Mormons want to leave the church, that many LGBT Mormon who have left the church are bitter and want nothing to do with it.  None of those things are necessarily true, and we want to help eradicate these myths. 

Many people assume that Affirmation is an activist group that is in opposition to the LDS church’s teaching.  Affirmation is about creating and maintaining a respectful and healthy dialogue between LGBT Mormons and the broader LDS community that encourages inclusive attitudes and practices. 

I hope you can join me for the Affirmation Conference on September 12-14.  Click here for more details.

Comments

Susan Richardson

Julie,
We were so lucky as a family to hear you speak and sing at the Affirmation Conference . “Window to His Love ” stuck with me all week . My 11 year old daughter who attended Sundays luncheon sang the song with 2 of her friends for my relief society lesson 1 week later . (It was a miracle to find the music locally here in Colorado ) It was Wonderful ! Joseph Fielding Smiths teachings on missionary work – planting seeds , sharing the wonderful harvest of the gospel and most specifically our Savior’s love with others fit perfectly with the song . There weren’t many dry eyes in the room . 🙂 I wanted you to know that your inspiration for this song is still touching / melting hearts . All week long I got to enjoy the little “spiritual hot flashes ” that would come over me as I prepared my lesson . I love people and this song is truly the way I want to serve -To love and not to be noticed at all – It is so awkward to explain my good intentions – most are not my idea at all .:) lots of love to you and your “Bigs and Littles” from me and my “Bigs and Littles” . Love , Susan Richardson

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