Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons has sent a letter to newly-appointed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas S. Monson seeking a face-to-face conversation about gay and lesbian issues and the church.
Signed by Affirmation directors Olin Thomas, David Melson and James Morris, the Feb. 6 letter extends the group’s sympathy on the death of Gordon B. Hinckley.
“Our prayers go out to his family and to you and the other leaders who must guide the Church during this difficult time.”
“[W]e extend to you an olive branch, a symbol of peace,” the letter continues. “[W]e would like to open a dialog with you to work together to find better ways to counsel and to support those Church members who are homosexual, as well as their family members and their Priesthood leaders.”
The group believes that such a dialog could find common ground consistent with church doctrine and teachings of Jesus Christ.
“Although there are many areas of hurt and disagreement that have separated us, there are many more areas on which we can find agreement and, in so doing, become a blessing in the lives of many of the Saints, both straight and gay,” Affirmation leaders said in the letter.
The letter recognizes past differences and the likelihood of future differences, but says the group hopes to find common ground.
“We hope that you might be moved to give serious and prayerful consideration to this invitation, and that you might do so in the spirit in which it is offered.”
“[B]y seeking areas of agreement, we believe that all of us can better get on with the work of becoming more like the Savior and serving our fellow man,” the letter finishes.
Church officials have not commented on whether Monson has received the letter, saying that such information is held as private.