UPDATE: Over the past several weeks, Tom Christofferson has been sharing his story in a variety of places. Now you can watch his faith journey in even greater detail in KSL's new television special, which aired on Sunday, October 15th. Watch it here on KSL.
On October 5th, Tom Christofferson, author of That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon's Perspective on Faith and Family, joined his former stake president and his former bishop for a panel discussion on LGBTQ inclusion in the LDS Church.
Christofferson, an openly gay, temple-worthy Mormon, was excommunicated in the 1980s but returned to the Church a few years ago. The Church leaders who helped Christofferson work toward rebaptism, his then-stake president and then-bishop, Dave Checketts and Bruce Larson, joined him on stage to share their experiences with Tom and explain how Church members reacted to having a gay couple worshipping in their midst. They also answered audience questions submitted via Facebook or text.
"I had been praying for many years to find some peace between the proclamation on the family, the position of the Brethren, who I sustain with all my heart, and how to have a gospel relationship with members of this [LGBTQ] community," Checketts explained. "I could never have predicted that the answer to that prayer would come in the form of Tom Christofferson sitting in my study studying the gospel together. . . . I still pray every day that we will find places, ways for them to be with us because they add so much to our own community."
In That We May Be One, Tom Christofferson shares perspectives gained from his life's journey as a gay man who left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then returned to it. After having asked to be excommunicated from the faith he was raised in, Tom spent two decades in a loving relationship with a committed partner. But gradually, the love of family, friends, and strangers and the Spirit of the Lord worked on him until he found himself one night sitting in his car in front of the bishop's house...
This book is about the lessons Tom, his family, and his fellow Saints learned while trying to love as God loves. It is about the scope and strength of this circle of love and about how learning the truth of our relationship with God draws us to Him. For anyone who has wondered how to keep moving forward in the face of difficult decisions and feelings of ambiguity; for anyone who needs to better understand the redeeming power of our Savior, Jesus Christ; for anyone who seeks to love more fully; this book offers reassurance and testimony of God's love for all of His children.