Latter-day Saint Life

Elder Holland Shares Heartbreaking Letter from Gay Mormon + How We Can Show Love, Empathy to All


"To me, when you strive to lighten another’s burdens, you are truly angels of mercy in the most literal sense," Elder Holland powerfully testifies in a new Ensign article. Here is just a portion of his message. Read the full article here.

We all know that too many of God’s children do suffer silently and alone. Take, for example, a young man who wrote me expressing his testimony in a remarkably articulate letter but then adding that his heart breaks because he does not see any fulfillment or future joy for him as a person with same-sex attraction:

“I face a lifetime of lonely nights and dreary mornings. I attend my YSA ward faithfully and each week leave church knowing that I can never really fit in. I will never teach my son to ride a bike. I will never feel my baby girl hold my finger as she learns to walk. I will never have grandchildren.
“I will come home to an empty house, day after day, month after month, decade after decade, anchored only by my hope in Christ. Sometimes I wonder why He would do this to me and ask me to make such an impossible sacrifice. I cry at night when nobody can see. I have not told anybody, not even my parents. They and my friends … would reject me if they knew, just as they all have rejected those who have walked this path in front of me. I will live life at the margins. I have the option of either being harassed and avoided for being single, or pitied and ignored for telling the reason. Life looms long before me. Is there no balm in Gilead?”

With so much pain and despondency, so much hopelessness, one thing we certainly ought to try to give such a person is the reassurance that he is not alone. We should be adamant in stressing that God is with him, angels are with him, and we are with him.

Empathy. Sounds pretty inadequate, but it is a place to start. We may not be able to alter the journey, but we can make sure no one walks it alone. Surely that is what it means to bear one another’s burdens—they are burdens. And who knows when or if they will be lifted in mortality? But we can walk together and share the load. We can lift our brothers and sisters as Jesus Christ lifted us (see Alma 7:11–13).

And through all of this, we certainly gain new and brighter appreciation for what the Savior ultimately does for us.

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