Memories, Prayers, and a Healing Blessing

Graphic by Jerilyn Pool

In November 2015, the church issued an exclusion policy regarding LGBTQ+ families and their children. You may remember the perspectives of queer women, women in mixed-orientation-marriages, women who are daughters of queer parents, and many more which were shared in response to this change.  Pain was processed as poetry and prose for months afterward. The Spring 2016 issue of Exponent II magazine was dedicated to this topic.

We wept then with our LGBTQ+ siblings, and we weep again today. We join with many others in the expressions of gratitude and relief for the rescinding of this harmful policy. After years of tearful prayers, of struggling to know the will of God and the process of revelation to church leaders, it will be seen as an answer for many. For others, it has come too late to un-do the damage, the lives lost, the souls wounded. We honor your emotions, from anger and rage to faith and hope, and hold space for the expression of those feelings. We honor your experiences of pain and heartache, as well as faith and longsuffering.

As our pioneer foremothers of old who anointed with oil to heal the sick and injured, we likewise offer our healing blessing to the many families and individuals who have been harmed by this policy in the last 3.5 years.  We bless you in your grief and struggle. We bless you for the ways you have wrestled with God for your very identities and for the salvation of your relationships. We pray for blessings of strength and love to fill your minds, and bring you peace. We bless your wounded hearts to be shown overflowing love and charity by those around you, that such pure love may be a balm to strengthen relationships and forge connection. We bless your voice, your words, that they may carry loud and long as you share your place as a child in God’s kingdom. We bless the hearts of the membership of the Church to be turned toward gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned. We pray for the spirit of repentance to be with those who have judged and condemned. We plea for forgiveness from those who have been wronged and harmed by this policy, and we pledge our words and our work to stand by you. We love and affirm you just as you are, just as God created you. May all God’s blessings come to you, bringing you the fullness of joy and possibility you desire, and may we ever advocate and work for you until that day.


— Your Sisters at Exponent II



Violadiva is an oxymoron, a musician, a yogi, a Suzuki violin teacher, a late-night baker of sourdough breads, proud Mormon feminist, happy wife of Pianoman and lucky mother to three.

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7 Responses

  1. Andrew R. says:

    “the lives lost”

    Violadiva, I know that you generally do not allow my posts to show. However, whether you do or not, please answer this question. I do not know of lives lost because this policy, maybe because of my distance from where it had the most impact. Please can you tell me who lost their life as a result of this policy?

    • Violadiva says:

      Andrew, much of the reporting around this issue has been done by the Salt Lake Tribune, which I believe does not authenticate in the EU or UK. Here is a local news story about it. Wendy Williams Montgomery has been gathering that data.

      • Andrew R. says:

        Thanks for the reply, and the article. Interesting read. Although I obviously know people affected by the policy I have only met one couple who thought it was wrong to the point they spoke out about it – a retired BYU professor and his wife who I happened to be on a ferry with. They have a gay son.

        I think the reversal of the policy, with the caveats put in place, is welcome. However, the underlying issue is that, at least with current Church Doctrine (which President Oaks felt to state they could not change) some of the feelings expressed by the people in the link you gave will still be there. In fact it might be worse: –

        “We changed our minds, we do want your children as soon as we can get them, but you are still on the wrong side of Exaltation.”

  2. DeAnn S says:

    This is exactly the blessing I hope to hear from President Nelson at Conference this year.

  3. EmilyB says:

    It is bittersweet for me for a few reasons:

    Like the temple change and sex abuse cases and misogyny and racist doctrines they called revelation and then abandoned: zero apology for all the hurt/damages done.

    Also, Mormon gays still can’t marry or love openly. This policy just says: “let us baptize your kids and amp up our numbers, though we still refuse to bless your relationship.” It is more about the institution wanting to groom more kids to part ways with their gay parents and grow up to be good little Mormon homophobes.

    Truly Christlike doctrine would bless all unions and recognize that love is love and condemn all who hurt others and apologize/repent for hurting them. This policy isn’t there yet.

    PS: the graphic in this post is a bit confusing. Love the rainbow motif, but the wording is from an opposite sex marriage song that has scarred many Mormons over the decades and left a lot of kids from single parent homes feeing left out in primary. The wording/instructions of the song also exclude girls from singing the verse about priesthood power.

  4. allemandeleft2 says:

    Is this what Elder Holland was saying in his talk about receiving revelation to go down the wrong, only to realize it was the wrong path, then backtrack and go down the right path?

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