Letter: LDS Church leaders must offer a public and heartfelt apology to God’s LGBTQ+ children

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young University LGBTQ students rally outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints office building, Mar. 6, 2020.

Much has been written in a short time about the LDS Church’s recent last-minute endorsement of the Respect For Marriage Act. The move has been called “stunning,” “unprecedented” and “validating.” But what is conspicuously absent — and has been for decades now — is any explicit acknowledgment by church leaders of the role they’ve played in inflicting significant harm and destruction on LGBTQ+ persons and their families.

The LDS faith strongly emphasizes accountability for one’s actions, including specific steps to remedy harms done and obtain forgiveness necessary for salvation.

In its press release, the church stated, “…much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding.” It’s well past time for church leaders to heed their own admonitions for repentance and issue not a policy position, but a public and heartfelt apology to God’s LGBTQ+ children and a commitment to restitution; anything less is not enough. That self-proclaimed men of God have been reluctant, and even defiant to pursue this healing path is what is truly stunning.

Drew Walker, Salt Lake City

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