This episode arrives on the heels of the release of a marvelous short video, “Do Better, which features LGBT+ Latter-day Saints and allies sharing reflections and experiences from their Mormon upbringing and interactions with its culture. The video originated in the mind of heart of Lisa Scott, who, with assistance from a network of friends and volunteers, brought it forth into the world. It is already gathering many views and is being shared widely. The video is a vehicle for positive change in Mormon thinking and culture.
Richard Ostler is a former bishop of a Utah Young Single Adult ward, who within his calling came to know and truly listen to the faith and goodness, as well as the intense pain and suffering felt by those who are gay or non-gender conforming, and especially the difficulties arising from Mormon teachings and cultural attitudes. He has founded the organization “Listen, Learn, & Love,” which in its online presence serves as a resource for LGBT+ Mormons, and Richard also speaks frequently at events by invitation or via his own initiative. He, like Lisa, is a change agent, a Mormon difference maker.
More than just the focus on Lisa’s video, Richard’s outreach, and LGBT+ issues, this episode also tries to encourage all of us to each find “our” passion, that thing (issue, insight, need) that our life has somehow been calling us toward, and to then act on that in whatever way we feel inspired to do. So many times we in Mormonism feel as if we need “permission” from a Church leader before doing something purely from our own initiative. Our hope in this discussion is to help empower every one of us to act to change hearts and minds, and difficult situations or circumstances ourselves. It can take any of many forms. Let’s all do some good!
“Do Better” video produced by Lisa Scott
Listen, Learn & Love website. Resources for LGBT+ Mormons founded by Richard Ostler
“Of Time and All Eternity,” Sunstone, July 2008. Essay whose second part (where it dives into various movies that illustrate a God and characters who are “in the mix” with us rather than refusing to come into genuine relationship. Its final couple of pages speak of Lucifer and Cain as refusing this kind of true interaction with others.
Mormon Matters Retreat, 12-14 October, Salt Lake City. Click here for details, registration information, and about scholarships to attend or to help others attend.