“We all have crosses we’re carrying,” former YSA Bishop Richard Ostler said. “To understand someone’s cross, we’ve kind of got to go there with them, listen to their story, and then we’re fully able to mourn with them or comfort them or walk with them.”
Ostler became interested in LGBTQ issues after learning of a gay teen’s suicide in his community.
“I cried. I don’t know why it affected me so much,” Ostler said. “The thought came into my mind there’s a gap between our restored church and its ability to fully meet the needs of its LGBT people.”
Ostler helped found Listen, Learn & Love, a nonprofit not affiliated with the LDS Church that provides resources for Mormons who want to learn more about those who are LGBTQ. The organization’s website has information for LGBTQ support groups, therapists, books, articles and a suicide prevention hotline.
“We’re not an activist group trying to change things in the LDS Church — we’re all committed Mormons just wanting to engage more on this topic,” Ostler said in an interview.