From Despair to Hope Memorial Service



This service was filmed by the local ABC and Fox news and shown on the same night’s late edition news. It was well attended, a full Church Building with even some left standing.

Group plans LDS Conference Weekend Memorial to Gay Suicides


During the LDS Church’s semiannual conference this weekend, one group will hold a memorial service for gay and transgender Mormons who have committed suicide.

The Foundation for Reconciliation, a group working to foster greater understanding between the church and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population, will highlight the plight of some Mormons who have felt despair — in some instances, to the point of ending their own lives — over LDS teachings that being in a gay relationship is sinful. The service is Sunday at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 569 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City.

The foundation, in a news release, said it wanted to call attention to the issue in light of the LDS Church’s 2008 support for the gay marriage ban in California, the July detention of a gay couple who kissed on the church’s Main Street Plaza and a September speech given by LDS general authority Bruce C. Hafen denying a biological link to homosexuality.

On Nov. 4, the one-year anniversary of California’s passage of Proposition 8 outlawing gay marriage in the Golden State, the group plans to deliver, by handcart, its “Plea for Reconciliation” petition to LDS headquarters. The group is gathering signatures online, at

The foundation also reports that it has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with Gov. Gary Herbert to discuss potential legal protections for gay and transgender Utahns.—Rosemary Winters

Personal Note:

This service will featured the video below, narrated by Will Swenson, a popular Broadway actor and familiar to those that have watched many “Mormon Movies” such as the Sons of Provo and The Singles Ward.  He read a very important speech written by our own Peter Danzig.

 There were several speakers, including Bill Bradshaw, professor of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at BYU.  Other speakers will be Emily Pearson and Carolyn Ball and others.  These speakers will talk about the journeys they have been through that have brought them to a place of peace and joy.  There were many musical numbers and a rousing rendition of Come, Come Ye Saints accompanied by banjo and guitar.  We invited the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve to attend.  We had hoped they will send a representative.  I believe that whoever did attend were deeply moved and motivated to take positive action to further reconciliation.

One woman came alone and looked so disturbed I noticed just before the event began. After the Memorial Service I went over to her and introduced myself. She said her daughter had recently committed suicide, that she was a 16 year old lesbian and did it while in an LDS foster home. She said that until this service she had not heard or been to anything that had comforted her like this event had. There are so many people in need of some kindness and reconciliation like her. Please help us spread the word and the video.


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