I initially felt inadequate to participate in the “I’ll Walk With You” project, because I am not gay, I have no gay family members, and I am far from being an expert in the subject. However, I do have a great love and affection for my LGBT brothers and sisters. So if that was enough to qualify me, I was ready to testify!
I didn’t have much time to prepare—just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon with lots of interruptions from my three young children. I was thus obliged to testify from my heart and with a reliance on the spirit, just as I had learned to do through living the gospel.
The scripture that came to the forefront of my mind truly represents the message I want to share:
3 Nephi 18 :24-25
24 Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.
25 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.
It has been an exquisite joy in my life to know that I carry the light of Christ with me, whether it be while teaching at Church, raising my children, or when I performed as a ballet dancer. What an honor that Christ empowers us to testify of his light and glory in everything we do.
The Lord wants everyone to live this experience. He wants everyone to come unto Him. The example of Jesus Christ while He lived on this earth reaffirmed this message. He gives to each person the chance to feel His light, without consideration or reservation. As the New Testament illustrates, He didn’t require conformity in order to receive His invitation. He sees the full spectrum of diversity and offers this invitation to all.
My LGBT brothers and sisters are part of this spectrum of diversity. Christ includes them in His invitation to shine with His light. I remember many gay friends who have blessed my life, especially as I worked with them as dancers and choreographers in a ballet company. They were brilliant, loving, talented, and loyal friends. Their sexual orientations were integral parts of their personalities. I was touched by their spirituality and some of them even developed an interest in my religion as we shared our spiritual experiences. I wanted them to feel Christ’s invitation, without having to feel that they had to conform to a model that was foreign to their fundamental nature. Each of them could be a brilliant receptacle of the light of Christ!
As I was making my video for “I’ll Walk With You” I felt the spirit strongly testifying of the blessings that we could potentially all receive by making space for everyone in our Church—including a space for our LGBT brothers and sisters. By allowing each of us the chance to shine completely, and express our talents and personalities, we will build Zion and make it more beautiful, strong, and luminescent. The Church has given me so many opportunities to truly shine and I wish the same for my beautiful LGBT brothers and sisters for they are part of God’s creation. I yearn to support and help them achieve this joy.
“Your background or upbringing might seem different from what you perceive in many Latter-day Saints, but that could be a blessing. Brothers and sisters, dear friends, we need your unique talents and perspectives. The diversity of persons and peoples all around the globe is a strength of this Church.”
—Come, Join with Us, DIETER F. UCHTDORF (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/come-join-with-us?lang=eng)
Please see the webpage at ldswalkwithyou.org to watch more of these videos, and for instructions on submitting your own “I’ll Walk With You” video in support of our LGBT brothers and sisters. Also please like the I’ll Walk With You FB page in order to receive notices when new videos are added to the site.