In a recent book review, former Miller Eccles Study Group Texas speaker Julie Smith wrote:
“…I absolutely positively did not think that Deseret Book would ever publish anything including these sentences: ‘Being gay is one of the great blessings of my life’ and ‘If you are the parent of a gay child who decides to marry a same-sex partner, I encourage you to be there, to participate fully and with happiness for their happiness.’
But here we are.
Tom Christofferson has written a book called That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family, and Deseret Book has published it. The book will have an added measure of moral authority with many members of the church because Christofferson’s brother, D. Todd Christofferson, is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, and much of the book concerns the reaction of the extended Christofferson family to Tom’s coming out, asking to be excommunicated, and then living for decades with a male partner….
The book is largely a memoir, with a few sections devoted to spiritual lessons that Tom has learned. The power of the latter sections is such that I hope that even people with minimal interest in LGBTQ issues would read the book.
Tom’s journey back to the church is a fascinating one: it involved a ward who welcomed him—and his partner—with open arms. Tom argues against the idea that shunning is somehow necessary to remind gays of the commandments and points out that, when he was ready to return to full activity, he did not have to overcome the additional barriers of bitterness and pride that family or ward ostracism would have created.”
Please join us for what will surely be one of MESGTX’s most enlightening and uplifting meetings.
STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:
Friday, February 16, 7 pm (McKinney)
*PLEASE NOTE NEW VENUE*
311 N. College Street
McKinney, Texas 75069
Saturday, February 17, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016
FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:
Sunday, February 18, 7 pm
McKinney Stake Center
2801 Eldorado Pkwy
McKinney, Texas 75070
THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:
“That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith & Family”
In this presentation, Tom Christofferson will share perspectives gained from his life’s journey as a gay man who left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later returned to it. After having asked to be excommunicated from the faith he was raised in, Tom spent two decades in a loving relationship with a committed partner. Over time and enjoying a very happy life, Tom increasingly felt a desire for increased spirituality, until he found himself one night sitting in his car in front of a bishop’s house preparing for a discussion that would, over the next seven years, change his life. Tom will share lessons that he, his family, and his fellow Saints learned while trying to love as God loves. For anyone who has wondered how to keep moving forward in the face of difficult decisions and feelings of ambiguity; for anyone who needs to better understand the redeeming power of our Savior, Jesus Christ; for anyone who seeks to love more fully; Tom’s presentation will offer reassurance of God’s love for all of His children.
THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:
“Bread of Life, Living Water”
In this devotional presentation, Tom Christofferson will discuss how the challenges of our lives lead us to greater understanding of the Savior’s healing love.
Tom Christofferson has spent his career in investment management and asset servicing, living in the United States and Europe. He has served as a director on corporate and nonprofit boards and was a founding board member of Encircle, a group providing resources to LGTBQ individuals and their families in Provo, Utah. Tom is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serves as a Gospel Doctrine teacher in his Salt Lake City ward.