Gay brother of Mormon apostle shares his spiritual journey

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  • BYUIOWA MARION, IA
    Sept. 18, 2017 10:19 p.m.

    There is a component missing from this article and from these comments...what about children. What about his children. What of the joy in raising and sacrificing for our children, even sacrificing all that we have and are. Having a family and raising children is why we are here.

    Tom is just beginning to see, there is much more to give and much more joy to be found, and it all revolves around having and rasing children.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Sept. 17, 2017 1:34 p.m.

    To: MC 83 Mesa, AZ - Mesa, AZ
    Regarding your concern that no one pointed out that this is a sin. I've learned through hard experience and mighty prayer that other people's sins are not my concern. Decades later, I see that I might need to mention to one of my children the sinful nature of a choice they want to make, or the Bishop would be within his stewardship to point out to me the sinful nature of some of my choices.... Or the Lord might point out to someone (or me) that there is a need to fix something... but usually other people's sins are not my concern. There is no need for me to label their sins, mention their sins to them or worry about it at all.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 7:37 p.m.

    A beautiful story in so many ways. A sad story in that he had to choose between a partner he was happy with and his Church. What would have been joyful is if he and his partner could have remained together and been able to fully participate in the Church if that was their desire. That is the truest form of unconditional love, Christlike love, and Christlike acceptance.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Sept. 16, 2017 6:52 p.m.

    If gay marriage or even relationship are against Gods word. Why did Jesus or Joseph not mention it once. Heck, there should have been an entire chapter devoted to it.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 2:32 p.m.

    Strom Thurmond posted:

    =If marriage, which is the object of LDS worship (by their fruits the shall know
    =them), was the central focus of Jesus' teachings as proposed by LDS beliefs,
    =why wasn't Jesus married?
    =
    =You can speculate that he was, and many mormons have, but there is zero
    =evidence of it.

    You can speculate that Jesus was married. You can also speculate that if marriage really was the object of Christian worship then Jesus should have been married. They're both speculation.

    I've sometimes wondered if maybe marriage and fatherhood were what Jesus sacrificed. People speak of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but what did He really give up that He didn't get back?

    =No, it wasn't taken out by the Catholic Church or sloppy monks, or the devil.
    =That's absurd.

    Why do you think it's so absurd? Satan managed to get a Bible produced that describes a God that lets people He created from nothing suffer everlasting torment. Getting items about marriage taken out would be a small thing compared to that.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    Tyler D,

    Is there anything automatically callous or cruel to equate the love of a man to another human being with an unhealthy addiction. If that love took the shape of a man who loves toddlers, would you find it callous?

    If this were a logical statement or a bit of code, it would be very simple math. It obviously brings the nature of the relationship into question. It begs the questions -- questions which only a more honest society would be willing to face -- of whether or not some forms of relationships 1) can be healthy/unhealthy and 2) whether or not we're defining love accurately. If love = x, and we're treating it as y, then there's more than one problem with finding my words callous or cruel or anything other than truthful, helpful, and even optimistic in the long run.

    I feel sympathy for someone struggling with addiction, feeling attraction and wondering if there's a moral answer to approaching it instead of a popular answer. I feel for those who live my faith and don't. But I believe the nature of love, addiction, and morality have unalterable universal truths we prosper by observing.

    I can be loving, kind, and considerate to gays while disagreeing with their opinions.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Sept. 16, 2017 8:25 a.m.

    Baccus0902 said: "It amazes me the piosity displayed on these comments. It is so easy to write about sacrifices and demands that God makes, specially, if somebody else is making the sacrifice."

    Ohh Baccus, you have apparently No Idea about the sacrifices made by people of all kinds---- especially those who have nothing to do with being Homosexual or same-sex attracted.

    There are the most incredible, wrenching sacrifices going on with all kinds of people.

    And for LGBT to always be pointed to and portrayed as more important, or conflicting, or wrenching, or sacrificing than all the others is offensive and so very untrue.

  • MC 83 Mesa, AZ Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 15, 2017 10:48 p.m.

    I find it troubling that this article doesn't once refer to the relationship between Tom and his partner as being a sin. I also find it troubling that his Bishop welcomed and even encouraged him and his partner to come to church and actively participate together.

    I completely agree with loving and helping those who struggle with same-sex attraction as the strive to remain chaste and overcome their temptations, or even helping those who realize the gravity of their sin and are trying to fully repent.

    However, I believe that inviting those who are in open rebellion against God and making a mockery of his sacred law of chastity through unnatural sexual relations to actively participate in church is wrong. It makes this serious sin seem acceptable. It sends the wrong message to the other members. The Bishop should have worked with Tom and encouraged him to end his relationship and fully repent, before participating in church.

    I'm surprised at many of the comments that seem to say or imply that what Tom was doing was okay? Have we LDS forgotten that homosexuality is a sin? Have we forgotten Romans 1 and the epistle of Jude? Have we forgotten the family proclamation?

  • Silent Songbird Tomball, TX
    Sept. 15, 2017 10:26 p.m.

    Thank you for this article. I loved it. It gives me hope.

  • dmcvey1 Pasadena, CA
    Sept. 15, 2017 4:41 p.m.

    @Cav Pilot

    There is a legal way. You cannot enter into a legal agreement with that 5 year old. That 5 year old cannot legally consent.

    I know that this might be hard for you to understand but consent means that someone is able (which your 5 year old cannot legally do) and willing to participate. This may not seem important to you, but it's incredibly important.

  • CMTM , 00
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:42 a.m.

    RE: Dmcvey. “When you find yourself defending slavery, it's time to re-evaluate your position. No, Just the opposite, You missed my point. E.g...,

    For Jesus and Paul, the master-servant relationship was both a fact of life (not dissimilar to employer-employee, father-son) and a sign of all our client relationships with God. Jesus uses this relationship in the parable of the faithful steward (Luke 12:43-48):

    RE: Context. The New Testament never tolerates slavery, and its principles demand slavery’s end. By addressing slaves, Paul is simply urging Christians who cannot change their circumstances to live holy lives. Further, by teaching about the holiness of God, the salvation of the nations, and the imago dei, the New Testament laid the groundwork for slavery’s death .

    The abolition of slavery was present within Paul’s attitude to slavery from the beginning. Our present position is therefore not a contradiction of St. Paul or a dismissal of his teachings, but a fulfillment of them.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:15 a.m.

    @ CMTM - , 00

    When you find yourself defending slavery, it's time to re-evaluate your position.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:03 a.m.

    It amazes me the piosity displayed on these comments. It is so easy to write about sacrifices and demands that God makes, specially, if somebody else is making the sacrifice.

    We make Abraham has the perfect model of devotion for being willing to sacrifice his own son. Yet, we denounce the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan for "actually" sacrificing their children to the Baals.

    As an LDS I learned to read the Bible and all books with a critic eye. If you read a scholarly book such as a "History of God" by Karen Armstrong you will be surprised to learn that Abraham worship God but also accepted other gods as real.

    What I am trying to say is that we ascribe our 21st century understanding of the scriptures to characters that may or may have not existed and if they did, they lived 4,000 years ago.

    As a Christian and gay man, I understand that I need to live morally and not do harm. The LDS Church condemn homosexuality and they have the right to do it if they so desire. However, that doesn't mean that God requires that. It only means some churches choose to interpret certain passages in a certain way. Perhaps, not understanding the harm they are doing to other children of God.

  • CMTM , 00
    Sept. 15, 2017 8:55 a.m.

    RE: Karen R. –“ It's clear on the issue of slavery too, but we not only choose to ignore this, we've decided that slavery is immoral. So what makes you so sure the Bible has it right about homosexuality?

    The historical context shows that slavery in Paul’s day was not as oppressive as later forms of slavery. Many prominent people in the ancient world were slaves, including teachers, writers, politicians, artisans and philosophers. Some slaves were better off financially than many who were born free or had purchased their freedom. And slaves often anticipated their freedom after 10 to 20 years of service to their masters, yet some chose to stay with their masters.

    Paul teaches in Philemon to treat the slave Onesimus as a brother in Christ (Philemon 16). Paul tells masters to treat slaves with justice and fairness (Col. 4:1) and not to threaten them (Eph 6:9). All these are practical instructions for Christian living, but in his theology.

    Paul lays the seeds of the abolition of slavery. Through baptism, we are equal in the sight of God. In Galatians 3:28 he teaches, “ … there is neither Jew nor Gentile, ‘slave or free ‘… but all are one in Christ

  • Hopeful1 Country, NM
    Sept. 15, 2017 8:09 a.m.

    In Lectures on Faith 6, God asks each of us to willingly sacrifice everything we have, especially anything or anyone we set our hearts on above God: including loves, pleasures, possessions, status, rewards, even our own life. (this seems a hard thing, or even impossible, but in the end everything we have on earth will be taken from us anyway -- when we die). Matt 16:25-26. The key is to make the sacrifice by our own free will. It's something we do willingly when asked, rather than waiting until we're forced to give it up. There's no promised reward for waiting until we're forced to give up whatever we love most. The Abrahamic sacrifice is different for each person. For this man, it was his partner. For Abraham it was his son. For a certain rich young man, it was all of his earthly riches. For Moses, it was his hope of reward in God's kingdom (Exodus 32:30-33). Think about that one! How many of us keep commandments only because we expect rewards and compensation in the afterlife? That is selfish, not selfless! Some ancient kings laid their entire kingdom & power on the altar. And we are each asked to give up ALL our sins to know him. Few of us even begin to make such a sacrifice.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 7:50 a.m.

    If marriage, which is the object of LDS worship (by their fruits the shall know them), was the central focus of Jesus' teachings as proposed by LDS beliefs, why wasn't Jesus married?

    You can speculate that he was, and many mormons have, but there is zero evidence of it.

    No, it wasn't taken out by the Catholic Church or sloppy monks, or the devil. That's absurd.

  • Peter Cullman , 00
    Sept. 15, 2017 6:58 a.m.

    @EpiPro76:

    I also know such a man. Although when younger he was ex'd, he rejoined the Church and was later married. Today he remains happily married with children and has kept the faith.

    Every characteristic is on a spectrum. Personality traits and temperaments are in part due to genetic influences, or the natural man, if you will. Each person's nature differs. What is natural to one person may not be natural to another nor be best, some traits being unquestionably contrary to our ultimate potentials.

    So what if someone is one gender but exhibits characteristics of the stereotypical opposite gender? There are many examples. Differences never justify being judgmental. Obedience to divine standards is the standard.

    Each of us must individually realize and embrace what is innate and cannot be changed in ourselves and others. But when we live correct principles, we can improve upon the natural man, which each of us can to do according to our individual natures.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 6:56 a.m.

    D&C 132:16

    "Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory."

    So, in other words, the fate of Mr Christofferson, and any gay or straight person not married, is to be a celestial servant.

    This can be interpreted no other way.

    Being a lonely monk in this life to be a servant in the next is a sad prospect.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 15, 2017 6:51 a.m.

    @ Christmas

    "The Bible is clear on the issue of homosexuality..."

    It's clear on the issue of slavery too, but we not only choose to ignore this, we've decided that slavery is immoral. So what makes you so sure the Bible has it right about homosexuality?

  • Peter Cullman , 00
    Sept. 14, 2017 9:00 p.m.

    @jpc53 "Gave up the love of his life for the Church? Amazing!"

    His story is not the only such story. The Splitting the Sky channel features Courtney and Rachelle who did similarly, remaining faithful to their testimonies despite having SSA.

  • BradJames Manti, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:32 p.m.

    Does the fact that he has same-sex attraction need to be accentuated? I mean, there's plenty of we hetero bachelors in the Kingdom who are under the same restrictions: no sexual intercourse. Elder Bednar said that it's more important that we acknowledge the fact we are all children of God. We don't need specialized splinter groups in our midst is the way I understand that comment.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 6:51 p.m.

    I see that there are many who have missed the point of Christofferson's journey...moaning the loss of his partner and having to make such a sacrifice for "the LDS church".

    I find it sad that you all "feel sorry" for this man, when all he feels is "happy". He may say, "I left one I loved deeply for One I loved more". He gave up one love for "a higher purpose" as he described it. I find it ironic that the crowd who claims to be so sensitive to feelings would disregard this man's feelings and replace them with your judgement.

    Some of you say, "sure that's easy for you to say...you have your heterosexual wife and children to go home to". My response: I have given up someone I truly loved because she made choices and decided things that were not in line with the One I love most, Jesus Christ. I can honestly say that making such a sacrifice was truly heartbreaking but given the choice, I will choose the Savior above all, even the human I love(d) most. Being a disciple isn't easy, but the rewards of sacrifice far outweigh the pain and heartache that often accompany obedience. The higher path always demands obedience, but the rewards are more rich and eternal.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 6:11 p.m.

    @jls " I do not believe people are born gay. "

    Well that settles it then, right? I've known several gay men, and each to a man say they just became aware in childhood they were attracted to boys. In other words it was not a decision.

  • EpicPro76 Springville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 4:53 p.m.

    I really appreciated this story. I am close friends with a man who is happily married with 4 children who happens to deal with same-sex attraction and also has a healthy intimate relationship with his wife. He says he could've easily gone the other way but made the choice to do what he has in staying true to his testimony of Christ and His church, where his first loyalty is.

    My experience is that sexuality and sexual orientation is on a spectrum from totally straight to totally gay and everything in between with lots of variations.

    What would this world (and the church!) be like if everyone accepted these differences and refused to stigmatize others who are different? What if my friend and many others like him could be open about their trials (some may dispute this term- this is what he calls it) without fear of alienation or ostracism?

    It is high time we all dispense with the self-righteous attitude that seems to prevail, in the ranks of the membership of the church at least, and just let people be who and what they are with no judgment. Can they enjoy all the privileges if they're unwilling to abide by the standards? Of course not! Nor should they expect to. Only love.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 4:43 p.m.

    I hope that Tom has indeed found Christ and a truly happy life in the Church. The sentence below, however, makes me think it may be difficult long-term without a partner:

    "Eventually Christofferson's desire to return to the LDS Church resulted in him ending his relationship with his partner, a separation which was grieved not only by Tom but also his family who had come to love the man."

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 3:09 p.m.

    Tyler D posted:

    =I would answer it this way – are there any facts (scientifically understood)
    =about the world that we know today that require adding God in order to make the
    =to the explanation complete?
    =
    =I hope the answer is obvious…

    What is obvious to me is that we human beings are not deterministic. Each of us can choose to do whatever s/he wants, and no understanding of the laws of physics can ever predict with certainty what those choices will be. I really don't see how a deterministic universe can produce non-deterministic thinking beings, so it's obvious to me that someone with free will has existed since the Big Bang. I have a hunch that that someone is God.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 2:57 p.m.

    "So for all of us, there are all things where we have to say, 'I am pondering, I'm praying and I'm willing to keep moving forward with the faith that greater clarity will come at some point."

    All through this article, I am thinking, "How can he reconcile all of this?"
    Then he puts it all together in one simple sentence.

    Thank you for this story!

  • Cav Pilot St George, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 2:52 p.m.

    Consent???? is there a scientifically defined age of consent? is it universal? I know 5 year olds that know way more about procreation than I think that they should, and I know 20 year olds that don't know enough. the legal age of consent in the US is arbitrary, it has no scientific basis, just like we allow people to join the military at 17, vote at 18, but can't buy a gun or drink alcohol until 21. The age of "consent" is made up. Who is to say that a 5 year old can not consent? I've know some dogs that would be thrilled to "consent". Consent is only a legal term, not a scientific one.
    Tyler,
    speaking of science...why can't God work through scientific means? Does He cease to be God if we can reproduce what He has done or later learn how it was done? The Bible saying that "God did it" does not hide anything. It simply makes a statement. I can't find anywhere in the Bible where it tries to explain "how" God did it, only that He did. I also can not find a recipe for chocolate chip cookies in my son's science/logic based algebra book. does that mean that chocolate chip cookies do not exist?

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 2:02 p.m.

    @KevinSim
    If they really loved the polygamy lifestyle, and it was a relationship that started when every member of the relationship was a consenting adult, i'd feel the exact same way. Honestly, if it doesn't hurt me or other people, I don't see why the person someone loves is the business of people not in the relationship. And if you had to leave your relation ship with a person(or people) that you love just to join an organization, I wouldn't want to be a part of that organization.
    @Cav Pilot
    It's called consent, it's a big deal, and it's why being gay is 100% different than pedophilia. Two gay adults can consent to a relationship, a child cannot.

  • Jabez Spring, TX
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:48 p.m.

    What a great faith promoting story. I have a very good friend that overcame his homosexual tendencies and is now married with children and frequently speaks to faith groups about his story. Through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ we can overcome any challenge we face. It's refreshing to hear these stories in the media instead of the false notion being propagated that 'God made me this way and therefore I can't change'

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:30 p.m.

    This is a wonderful story. I wonder if it could happen here in "Zion".

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:18 p.m.

    Lilly Munster posted:

    =Gay Americans adopt millions of unwanted children; the ones who are not young,
    =pretty, male and blond.

    That's a true statement. Straight couples who (before Obergefell) opposed gay adoption but didn't adopt any special needs children themselves, I consider morally bankrupt.

    =Let us hope that he does not again succumb to the pressure to marry a woman to
    ="prove" that he has complied, like so many "ex-gay" men and women have done,
    =with the same tragic results.

    The LDS Church does not recommend heterosexual marriages for gays and lesbians.

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:15 p.m.

    KevinSim – “does the "God Hypothesis" require more assumptions than any other hypothesis when it comes to how consciousness came about?”

    Great question.

    I would answer it this way – are there any facts (scientifically understood) about the world that we know today that require adding God in order to make the to the explanation complete?

    I hope the answer is obvious…

    So, why would we ever assume that tomorrow’s answers to today’s mysteries will require the God hypothesis?

    What has always perplexed me about religious minded people is that whenever we’re confronted with a mystery, their default position is the God hypothesis (i.e., the god in the gaps).

    If the last 400 years of science have taught us anything, it is that our default position should always be that a natural explanation will prove correct in the end.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:08 p.m.

    @KevinSim

    No, I didn't miss that. It's still a sad story. Living a lonely life, giving up a long and loving relationship for a religion that doesn't really accept you is sad.

    I was born into the church but left when it became clear that I could not be who I am. I am not in a 20 year relationship with the love of my life. I can't imagine giving this up for people who put conditions on their acceptance.

    This is just not, in my view, a positive story. That others see it that way seems sad to me too.

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:06 p.m.

    Christmas posted:

    =I notice stories like this are consistently void in mentioning the word
    ="repentance". The Bible is clear on the issue of homosexuality, and Jesus
    =Christ has commanded all to repent.

    Why do I keep having to point out that the definition of homosexuality is "sexual desire OR behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex"? There's an "or" there. Christmas, please be more specific when you use the word homosexuality. There's nothing inherent in the word that requires repentance. It is not a sin to have sexual desire.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:59 p.m.

    @Cav Pilot -

    You need to understand consent. I know there are many, especially on the conservative side, who don't seem to realize how important consent is. Small children, animals, crime victims etc... do not have the ability to consent. That difference is important. It doesn't stop at one person's desires, consent is required.

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:59 p.m.

    Noodlekaboodle posted:

    =I wouldn't want to be part of an organization where I had to leave my spouse to
    =be a part of it.

    What if we changed things around a little bit, and instead of a lesbian or a gay man or having to leave her/his spouse to be a part of that organization, it was a person involved in a polygamous marriage having to leave her/his spouse(s) to be a part of that organization? Would you feel the same way? That person would still have to leave her/his spouse.

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:50 p.m.

    Dmcvey posted:

    =What a sad story. To be accepted he had to end a long term supportive and
    =loving relationship that made him happy.

    Dmcvey, you really missed some important pieces of the story. The Connecticut ward accepted Christofferson LONG before he ended the relationship. To be baptized he had to end it; they accepted him long before he got baptized.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    The only sin and moral failure I see in this man's life, is the fact that he, like millions of other gay men and women, committed the spiritual, legal and human outrage of creating a sham marriage to hide their fear and guilt. Can there be a greater abuse of another human being? This man was given the not so subtle edict: you will never have all the benefits of home, hearth, family and unconditional love, until you psychologically and emotionally castrate yourself.
    You are who God created you, your mind, spirit, soul, gender identity, sexual orientation (unchangeable) and your innate desire for marital, social and personal fulfillment, with no demands for lies or denial.
    He sacrificed his chance for a life of love, companionship to create a family of his very own. Gay Americans adopt millions of unwanted children; the ones who are not young, pretty, male and blond.
    Let us hope that he does not again succumb to the pressure to marry a woman to "prove" that he has complied, like so many "ex-gay" men and women have done, with the same tragic results. Imagine all heterosexuals being told to change or arrest their sexual orientation to gain family acceptance and love?

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:43 p.m.

    Tyler D posted:

    =Today virtually all of the “things that have been made” have perfectly natural
    =explanations, and the few that remain a mystery (e.g., consciousness) simply
    =show us that the work of science is not yet complete.
    =
    =Knowing what we know today, Occam’s Razor dispenses with the “God Hypothesis”
    =effortlessly.

    Wikipedia says Occam's razor is a problem-solving principle that "states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected." Tyler D, you've admitted that consciousness remains "a mystery," so I've got to ask you, does the "God Hypothesis" require more assumptions than any other hypothesis when it comes to how consciousness came about?

    Perhaps assumptions of omnipotence and omniscience are completely unnecessary, but it's been years since I believed in a God that had either of those attributes the way traditional Christians think God does.

  • Pragmatic Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:33 p.m.

    I really wanted to like this article. And some parts I did and found inspiring. But it left me feeling very frustrated sad and empty for him and for many more great people. What a cross to bear.

  • knied Layton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:29 p.m.

    Isn't one of the doctrines of the Church to fulfill the law of Christ.

    Here is some guidance from Eder Oaks to help us in doing that, from the April 1996 edition of the Liahona. Please mind the words “by covenant” and “without any fault of our own”.

    “All should understand that persons (and their family members) struggling with the burden of same-sex attraction are in special need of the love and encouragement that is a clear responsibility of Church members, who have signified by covenant their willingness “to bear one another’s burdens” (Mosiah 18:8) “and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).”
    “Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right.”

    As a Mormon and a Christian, I believe Christ to be a competent and capable judge who doesn’t need my help judging his children.

  • jls8742 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:13 p.m.

    He lost me when he stated, "For me, being gay is one of the greatest blessings of my life..." I do not believe people are born gay. So choosing sin should not be one of the greatest blessings and it shows a lack of remorse. He was married so obviously he is attracted to females. I don't understand people embracing gays and acting like everything is normal and fine. I think people have a weird sense of self-righteousness if they have a gay friend. I would not embrace a friend or even a family member who is actively having an affair with someone. Both are sexual sins. This whole, don't judge anyone and just love them no matter what is not correct church doctrine. I don't go to a bar to find friends-why not-because I want to have friends who share my common core values. Christ taught all people but he didn't "hang out" with sinners because he thought they were cool or fun. He was with them to teach them and call them to repentance. I am nice and polite to everyone but who I invite into my home and choose to have as a friend is different. Who we are and how we behave should matter. I can't relate to this article.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    @ Tyler D - Prescott, AZ - Sept. 14, 2017 9:41 a.m. - ".......Not sure you meant it that way, but it struck me as a bit callous to equate the love of a fellow human being with an unhealthy addiction."

    Depends on why we love them, how we love them, what we do to show our love for them, etc.

    "All" human activity is not good just because it comes from, or, is aimed at, human beings.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:42 a.m.

    Wow! What a great story! I am so glad for Tom and his family.

    However, the pro-gay crowd won't like this one bit. Why? Because by being re-baptized it means that this man has changed his actions, specifically, though he may "feel" homosexual desires he no longer acts on them (reference the fact that he ended his relationship with his 'partner').

    But what a story! It gives me reason to speculate that same-sex attraction may be biological. Questions we just don't yet have answers to.

    Loving our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus....it's what matters most!

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:40 a.m.

    @CMTM – “… his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”

    Well sure, everyone back then thought everything was the work of God (or gods depending on your tribe). But now after 400 years of modern science we know better.

    Today virtually all of the “things that have been made” have perfectly natural explanations, and the few that remain a mystery (e.g., consciousness) simply show us that the work of science is not yet complete.

    Knowing what we know today, Occam’s Razor dispenses with the “God Hypothesis” effortlessly.

  • Scorcho Layton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:39 a.m.

    my favorite quote from the article:

    "We don't understand or know how all of this will play out in eternity," Christofferson writes that his parents told one of their sons around this time. "So we are going to make sure we enjoy every single moment with Tom in this life."

    that is some profound advice.

  • Joemamma W Jordan, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    I accept and respect gay people as well as their right to live their life anyway the want and pay the consequences of it.
    What I do not accept is the notion that they can be called a traditional family or a traditional marriage, nor that gay intimacy and gay literature or the gay lifestyle should be taught to children in schools
    Marriage is ordained of God and neither Man, bias judges or the LGBT is going to change that. trying to force it down out throats only creates division or trying to shame us into accepting it.. The institution of marriage has now become a joke in our society thanks to the LGBT..

  • njpray Polson, MT
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:13 a.m.

    It is not difficult to find compassion in my heart for gay individuals.....but I have found it difficult to separate the statement or scripture, "wickedness never was happiness" from this lifestyle. Is a gay lifestyle wickedness? Are we to view that lifestyle as wickedness? I have trouble understanding that many gay individuals say they are truly happy. Or is this one of those questions we cannot fully understand at this point in time? I know we are to love those we disagree with and that is not as I said hard for me to do for the most part, yet that fine line of sin and acceptance is confusing to me at times. Anyone else have this problem? Maybe I just need to read his book......:)

  • Cav Pilot St George, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:09 a.m.

    Curious....there are those that feel bad for Tom because he had to sacrifice his "natural" urges and desires that he was born with.

    do you feel the same about those people who have a "natural" urge to be attracted to small children and engage in sexual behavior with them? Or should those people be persecuted for acting in a way in which they were born? What about those who feel compelled to steal? Those that have the "natural" ability to swindle people? And lastly, what about those who have the "natural" compulsion, that they were born with, to not want to provide for themselves?
    As a teen age boy, I had the "natural" compunction to want to practice pro-creating with any post-adolescent human female that was willing......somehow I managed to control my "natural" urges that I was born with. Would our society really be better if we removed self control as a virtue?

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 10:47 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing! Your story is a beautiful story of faith, love, and hope. I've shared your story with friends and all of my family. We all feel the same way - grateful!

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Sept. 14, 2017 10:28 a.m.

    The love of a man has a strange homosexual ring to it. God is a man, Jesus was a man, Joseph Smith was a man, the patriarchal male dominated church is run by men, his bishop was a man. It sounds very much like he just changed one relationship for another to me. I would hope, however, that this is just the start of a new trend where one day he starts out as a friend, and the next he is a Bishop, and the next a GA, and hopefully one day... the President. This would be a welcome change for the church IMHO.

  • CMTM , 00
    Sept. 14, 2017 10:28 a.m.

    Tyler D. “Knowing someone is an atheist tells you nothing about what they are; only what they are not (i.e., believers in deities). True: In the Bible,King David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."

    &Paul to the Romans. “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ...

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 10:27 a.m.

    I wouldn't want to be part of an organization where I had to leave my spouse to be a part of it. While Mr. Christopherson is an adult, and is well within his rights to do whatever he feels is best for himself. I highly doubt this is a trend. We all want a partner,(or 99% of us do) we all want someone to come home to at night, and to love us, and to support us when things aren't going well, and the average person, gay or straight(although in this case we are talking specifically about gay people) isn't going to leave their partner for a church. I don't find this story inspirational, I find it sad, especially for Mr. Christophersons partner, who was essentially dumped for the LDS church.

  • Pujols4mvp Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Sept. 14, 2017 10:04 a.m.

    The gospel asks us to sacrifice a lot. Some give up lovers, others give up families. Some leave their home countries. Some give up coffee. All of us should give up the natural man. Sacrifice is rarely easy. Abraham was asked to (literally) sacrifice his son. Cruel and unusual, yes. Faith in action, just like Tom.

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2017 9:41 a.m.

    @patriot – “America gives you the freedom to be an atheist of believe in a golden calf…”

    Let’s go over this again – being an atheist means only one thing; that one does not believe in a deity, period.

    There are materialistic and non-materialistic atheists; libertarian atheists and far-left atheists; moral and immoral atheists, etc.

    Knowing someone is an atheist tells you nothing about what they are; only what they are not (i.e., believers in deities).

    @Hope & Faith give us strength – “Someone can "give up" a chocolate or smoking addiction.”

    Not sure you meant it that way, but it struck me as a bit callous to equate the love of a fellow human being with an unhealthy addiction.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 14, 2017 9:14 a.m.

    What a sad story. To be accepted he had to end a long term supportive and loving relationship that made him happy. I hope gay people don't actually look at this as something to be modeled and I hope church members aren't fooled into thinking that gay people are going to read this story as inspirational.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:48 a.m.

    RE:Patriot. Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). Knowing the Truth will set one at liberty—free from sin, free from condemnation, and free from death (Romans 6:22; 8:1–2).

    Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives (Luke 4:18). “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God”

    The Truth will set you free. The freedom Jesus offers is a spiritual freedom from the bondage of sin, the release from the lifestyle of habitual lawlessness. Believers would be freed from their bondage and brought into the family of God. E.g…,

    And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

  • Points to ponder Calgary, 00
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:31 a.m.

    This is a wonderful good news article.

    I am now sure we will start to hear much more from others who are in similar or different challenges in life.

    Thanks

  • ssev Maple Grove, MN
    Sept. 14, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    “[A] new policy announced by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [is] regarding children in same-sex unions not being able to receive priesthood ordinances and gay marriage as grounds for apostasy. … Eventually Christofferson's desire to return to the LDS Church resulted in him ending his relationship with his partner, a separation which was grieved not only by Tom but also his family who had come to love the man. … Christofferson's story models an unconditional, accepting, loving, non-judgemental and Christlike approach . …”

    It is sad to me that a human being, born into this world with no choice as to his sexual orientation, is forced to give up the love of his life, who was also loved by his family, to avoid the danger of a charge of apostasy, should he want to memorialize his love with a legally permitted marriage union. There is something very wrong with this picture.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Sept. 14, 2017 7:51 a.m.

    Where many here will see this story as a reaffirming of their own faith in the gospel. I see this with sadness for Tom and his ex-partner.
    All those people who are happy and with a lot of god will encourage Tom in his new path, at the end of the day, they will go to a house with a spouse and children. Tom will go to an empty home.
    I sincerely hope and pray for Tom.

    As a gay man married to the best husband/person in the world, I feel very grateful to the Lord for all his many, many blessings in my life, a wonderful daughter, a warm home and a life of learning and experiences.

    I miss the church and would like to participate in all the Sunday meetings. But I need all that only as a reaffirmation of faith. I visit other churches and I feel the spirit of the Lord. As a matter of fact I feel the spirit of the Lord in my house on a daily and permanent basis.

    I wish Tom and his partner the best on this journey. I have found peace, happiness and the Lord after I learned to accept myself as the progeny of a Heavenly Father endowed by him exactly as I needed to be for my Earth experience.

    May the Lord bless Tom and all of us.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Sept. 14, 2017 7:33 a.m.

    Well! this blew my mind at the crack of dawn! I've had to sit here and think! I loved reading this article, and, as always, the comments. Actually, when you think about it, the love of all our lives is Jesus Christ. I realized there are things in Earth life of which I would like to partake, but I don't because the love of my life, Jesus Christ, says not to. I don't really understand all, but I trust Jesus Christ. I can't compare what I've given up for what Tom gives up, but I loved reading this and all the thinking I had to do after reading it! Thank you for sharing your story

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:24 a.m.

    From my last comment: "He's chasing happiness in first gear now."

    With concern, we may ask "am I a good person?" To even ask is a testament of goodness in us. To care about that question reflects a desire to be good, which is a good thing. But it's tempting to focus on it as a dichotomy or battle of good and evil. Framing moral questions that way can be important. A more primitive ancient people in the Old Testament needed a simple code they could follow to improve. He then brought us a higher law.

    Tom Christofferson said he was happy before and happy now. Each of God's kingdoms in His plan are happy places. The reason why the Savior wants us to follow Him is to obtain the highest we will follow Him to. We are heirs of a divine Heavenly Father.

    Just read the verses to "I am a child of God". Seriously.

    This man didn't go from pure evil to pure good. He simply went from one understanding to another and one level of obedience to another. None of us are perfect. We're not 100% sinners either. We don't view gays as puppy killing zombies. We simply see our brothers, want them around at the family party, and want them (and everyone) to aim for the best blessings.

    1 Corinthians 2:9

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:54 p.m.

    To those saying it's sad he gave up his past relationship...

    Someone can "give up" a chocolate or smoking addiction. It's easy to see smoking as the big bad wolf. But chocolate or soda pop or sugar? Like a dog to anti-freeze, we may see sweetness in the taste. But God cares about the outcome too. There are outcomes in the eternities we don't understand. Sometimes we obsess over whether we understand good vs evil clearly. It can make waiting for answers frustrating. As we wrestle with faith and doubt, the Savior may choose not to give us full understanding, but simply say "come follow me" instead.

    It's less important to me that my brother understands my reasons for how I live my life or what I believe about God. It's more important that he is near me and the family. I care more about him than being right.

    T.C. gave up something the Lord asked him to give up. He says he's happy, not miserable. There's no shame or sadness in it. For anyone to shame or cast his decision in a way other than how he does is unfortunate.

    For me, I don't see a sad man. I see a remarkable decision that's uncommonly brave- the choice to follow Jesus Christ. He's chasing happiness in first gear now.

  • Marco Luxe Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:43 p.m.

    I'm curious to hear the partner's story. As a couple, they attended ward together, Tom was rebaptised, yet the story implies Tom found it necessary to end a 20-year relationship. After years of the couple being integrated into church life, the "divorce" must have felt like a betrayal to Tom's partner Clarke.

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:45 p.m.

    We have immense sympathy and love for these wonderful people with same-sex attraction! I greatly appreciate their extraordinary struggles, sacrifices and personal challenges.

  • Christmas South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 8:00 p.m.

    " It's all about Christ".

    I notice stories like this are consistently void in mentioning the word "repentance". The Bible is clear on the issue of homosexuality, and Jesus Christ has commanded all to repent.

  • Lmorden Mililani, HI
    Sept. 13, 2017 7:42 p.m.

    Sad that he gave up the love of his life.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:57 p.m.

    @ jpc53

    It looks to me like Tom gave up his will to the love of his life; Jesus Christ (not just His church). I'm sure he hopes his partner will do the same. I hope we all do the same.

  • Fabled Soul Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:26 p.m.

    I would love to know where the revenue from this book is being directed.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:57 p.m.

    The article was interesting, but ultimately depressing. How many of you have had to leave your love to be acceptable to your church?

    @Justiciaparatodos;

    Have you ever asked god if SS relationships were okay? I doubt it. I did, and the answer I got would surprise you. After (30+) years of praying away the gay, I finally prayed to accept myself and at that very moment, all the guilt vanished, I felt an extraordinary peace that continues to this day (nearly 30 years later). Maybe before you judge us you should ask your god.

  • jpc53 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:27 p.m.

    Gave up the love of his life for the Church? Amazing!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:25 p.m.

    re:unrepentant progressive

    actually my friend it is Christ who will judge each of us regardless of your world view or opinion. Opinion (yours or mine) doesn't change or determine truth -- we don't create truth we discover it. America gives you the freedom to be an atheist of believe in a golden calf if you choose but there is truth and there is error in this world and your choices will have consequences. A correct understanding of Christ's laws and commandments would open your mind to not only truth but a peace that surpasses anything the secular world can deliver. Again truth is a discovery not a choice. You should talk to Tom and ask him if he feels cheated for having to "give up" the world to return to the Church. Sounds to me like Tom found peace that the world can't give.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:10 p.m.

    The thin line that protects our Church and other churches (The First Amendment and religious liberty) is being attacked / assaulted by the political left in America. There was an excellent article in the Ensign a few issues ago regarding what would happen if religious liberty fell and the consequences are terrifying. Needless to say there would be no moral standard for people entering the temple -- none -- which of course would end temple worship in America. As far as Elder Christofferson's brother, I am happy that he seems to have a proper perspective regarding Gods laws and commandments. That view however is not the norm in the radical gay community sadly. Elder Holland has pointed out on several occasions that gay members have available every blessing including the temple --- with the exception of marriage. I find people in the church welcoming to gay members as they should be but I see the reality in secular America as well and I fear for our first amendment and religious liberty for our children and grandchildren.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:26 p.m.

    @unrepentant progressive:

    While I do not personally believe that living in a sexual relationship with a same-sex partner is acceptable to God, I do believe that your characterization of this complex story may be the most honest comment here.

    I feel that for someone who has strong same-sex attraction, the concept of leaving your partner that you love to fulfill the requirements of a conservative religion would take tremendous faith and courage. I admit that I can fathom how that choice may not be a viable pathway for all Gay individuals. So alas, the quandary continues as many people struggle to understand same-sex relationships and what that all means. I do think that this good man’s story and the book he has written may well help those who struggle to understand to gain greater insight into both the human relationships involved and faith decisions better. At the end of the day, our happiness and our relationship with God may well come down to difficult choices.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:01 p.m.

    Add being gay to life's endless list of realities that don't seem to "square with our understanding of Christ".

    Our obsession with having to know and understand everything in the now is faulty practice. Learning to live with ambiguity and life's irony is part of our adversity. It presents the perfect crucible where we are to choose faith.

    Faith freely chosen without the constraints of evidence is what reveals what we most desire, what me most want to be true.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 13, 2017 3:22 p.m.

    Acceptance is not necessarily the sole provenance of Christ or Christians. There are many who happen to be gay and lesbian, in partnerships and marriages, who find acceptance and love in communities other than those who profess to be "good" Christians. And with this love and accpetance, they are able to maintain the single most important relationship that we all come to: our chosen spouse, and possibly children from that union.

    It seems cruel and sad that this man had to give up this (assumedly successful) relationship with another man to satisfy a religion and a family. There are so many other possible ways to attain social and religious peace within your soul. Yet ultimately, it is his choice. And his choice is not always the best one for everyone else in similar positions, be it LDS or otherwise.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 3:11 p.m.

    The doctrine of the Church has never been "Thou shalt not be gay". The doctrine of the Church is to fully live the Law of Chastity, intimacy only between married man and his wife. Chaste gays have been embraced in the Church the world over for decades as members in good standing. I see absolutely nothing new here.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 3:04 p.m.

    We are all walking our own individual path. The choices we make while on that path sometimes lead us to fertile valleys and other times into violent storms. We are also born with various obstacles and challenges that we don't always understand or fully appreciate. Perhaps they are actually gifts when we exercise faith and stay humble enough to accept Christ as our guide through thick and thin.

    When we are properly yoked with the Savior, as Tom Christofferson seems to be, boulders in the road such as same gender attraction, strained relationships, failing health, social inequalities, addictions of every kind, loss of loved ones, loneliness, etc. will never have the power define who we really are. Our relationship with Him will.

  • medford Ogden, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:30 p.m.

    Great article. Going to share with friends and family who need to hear this message.

    "Christofferson said he doesn't completely understand the Lord's purpose in how things have worked out this way, but he finds assurance in being willing to keep moving forward with the faith that someday he will have greater understanding.

    "That's not just an LGBTQ thing, that's everybody. All of us have issues in our lives ... that we can't quite square with our understanding of the Savior and this Gospel," he said. "So for all of us, there are all things where we have to say, 'I am pondering, I'm praying and I'm willing to keep moving forward with the faith that greater clarity will come at some point.'"

    THIS SO MUCH. We all have our challenges in life yet want to separate ourselves from the gospel when we don't get an answer or an answer we don't agree with. Christ's way has always been one of holding fast to the iron rod and moving forward even if we can't see the entire picture.

  • GeePost slc, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:28 p.m.

    Very powerful story...thank you

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:25 p.m.

    What a wonderful story and miraculous journey. I especially love the Christ-like love shown by everyone mentioned. Thanks for sharing this Tom. What a truly lovely man you must be.

  • CaliCougar American Fork, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:24 p.m.

    I agree with Tom Christofferson....It's all about Christ. It always has been and it always will be.

  • clwnuke Park City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:15 p.m.

    A much needed inspiring story of faith and becoming like Christ. Thank you Tom for your courage to share.