O ur original purpose and intention was to work effectively with priesthood leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to bring about a dialogue between the LDS and LGBT communities. We had hoped to establish an atmosphere of mutual respect, and meet together and determine points of understanding and agreement and jointly develop statements to bring about understanding and compassion that would enable healing and reconciliation in both communities towards each other. We had become known as the Foundation for Reconciliation and as the Committee for Reconciliation.
Unfortunately our letters and phone calls were rejected and we could not gain a response from any of the top leadership of the Church. Instead there were incorrect statements made to the media about us from their public relations employees. Eventually we turned to the public for support in 2009 with our reconciliation goal with our Reconciliation Petition and handcart trek.
That effort successfully showed the high level of support we had for our reconciliation goal between these two communities. Still while our charity benefits, and other events were well attended in Utah, and we were honored and invited to meet with Utah’s Governor in his office, still the leaders of the Church refused to answer our calls and letters for an appointment or meeting.
While we hope one day, perhaps as Church leaders change or become more enlightened, they may be receptive to our appropriate efforts for reconciliation between these two communities.
Why the Name change to Committee for Healing and Recovery?
For now, its our goal is to emphasize healing and personal growth.
We are expanding our focus not only to the LGBT community that we have been supporting, but to enlarge it to include all those LDS members and others that have been harmed in some way by the leadership or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. It is our desire to share helpful information and resources to aid individuals in healing and overcoming personal challenges caused by abuse of all types. Due to the Churches male only leadership and policy establishment, it has a high incidence of priesthood abuse, spousal and child abuse. Rarely does a week go by we have not heard of a male LDS leader abusing his priesthood authority or a child being harmed by a member in some way. Most often families of the abused report it to Church leaders and not to police. Causing it to remain covered up and often enabled over many years. Those abused are often made to feel responsible in some way by the leaders they have learned to look up too and turn too for help, then trapped in the cycle of abuse much longer than they would of been, if only the abuse had been reported to the police first.
Members of our committee have often felt helpless to help, and wished for an organization that would come forward to help and support those so abused as we made an effort to help the LGBT community recover from Church leadership action that harmed them. When President Obama requested that we all make an effort to make sure such abuse is not hidden in our institutions after news of the Penn State scandal was revealed, we felt the call and decided we could no longer stand on the sidelines decided to move forward to expand our efforts, therefore we changed our name to the Committee for Healing and Recovery.