John Bonner | Richard Ostler | Samantha Richardson
FRIDAY | November 2, 2018 | 7:30-9:30 pm
An opportunity to explore how we’ve responded in the three years since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints issued a policy regarding gay parents and their children in November of 2015 as well as it’s actions towards others in the LGBT+ community.
Home of Ed and Kristen Iversen
3582 Oak Rim Way Salt Lake City, UT 84109
If there is no parking to be found near the home you can also park in the “park & ride” lot on the NW corner of 3900 South and Wasatch Blvd. Oak Rim Way is just east of the intersection on the north side.
You’re invited to bring some finger food to share as well as a chair or two.
In November 2015 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints issued a policy regarding gay parents and their children that rocked most if not all members in the LGBT+ community and many straight members as well. A month later the policy was termed a revelation by an apostle in a talk to students at BYU Hawaii. That apostle has now become the prophet. And his second counselor just reaffirmed in the last general conference “doctrine” that for many, feels at odds with their conscience, Christ’s teachings, and the will of God.
We will hear how three very different individuals have chosen to react to this policy and the challenges it has posed. Each of them have responded differently and yet each have found constructive and thoughtful ways that their heart and God have directed them to.
We will also spend time in small groups sharing how we have responded. What is different? What is the same? What is the way forward?
The space we create as a group will likely be somewhat painful but also be healing and hopeful. Feel free to invite those who may benefit.
I am deeply grateful to these three brave souls for the work they do in the community as well as the work they do within their own souls to make the world a better place.
A special thanks to John Bonner, who patiently worked with me to help craft a better approach than I began with and who suggested including Samantha. And to Richard, for sticking with me as I continually changed the parameters of the discussion on him.
And a big thanks to each of you who come to these conversations with curiosity, vulnerability, and a desire to create a flourishing community.
Richard Ostler is a active Latter-day Saint, married father of six children, served as a YSA Bishop where his LGBTQ members helped him better understand their gifts and difficult road, and is founder of listenlearnandlove.org, a Latter-day Saint LGBTQ Resource Center. He hosts a podcast called Listen Learn and Love and speaks (both in Ward firesides and public venues) about God’s LGBTQ children.
John Bonner is a Licenced Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Salt Lake City. He specializes in grief & loss, addiction recovery, faith transitions, and working with the LGBTQIA+ community. John grew up in Rexburg, Idaho. He graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in English and received a Masters of Social Work from the University of Utah. He is a former member of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, BYU Singers, U of U Singers, and Gallus Veges. He has sung ten seasons with both the Utah Chamber Artists and Deseret Chamber Singers. He is a member of Lux Singers and the professional ensembles Brevitas and Sound of Ages. John is the founder and artistic director of The Garage Guys.
Over the past three years, John has had several personal essays featured in The Huffington Post. He’s also had pieces published in The Salt Lake Tribune, Medium, Rational Faiths, and most recently, LDS Living Magazine.
His passions include growing flowers, being in the mountains, watching The Great British Baking Show, and dancing like no one’s watching.
Samantha Richardson was born and raised in SLC, UT.
Assigned male at birth, she has 45 years of ostensible male experience, but she was pretty bad at it. She believes the best parts of being perceived male were her LDS mission in Lisboa, Portugal, and not feeling awkward opening doors for people.
She transitioned to living as female full time 2 years ago, and is currently trying to reconcile her identity as a transgender woman, and a faithful Latter-Day Saint.
She writes and draws for her own entertainment, and is entirely too gratified if anyone else likes her stuff, too.
STUFF TO STUDY:
- Understanding the Handbook (An LDS PR response to pushback on the policy)
- Misunderstood? Why Latter-day Saint millennials just want to be heard
- Op-ed: Dear LDS Church leaders: See us and know us, and we won’t be enemies
- Dear Elder Oaks
- Dear President Oaks
- Navigating prophetic inerrancy
- Raising a Transgender Kid