‘Because We Believe’
Q: Who can participate in Mormons Building Bridges?
Anyone interested in finding fellowship and support surrounding issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in the LDS community is welcome to help build bridges. We warmly welcome participants spanning a diverse spectrum ranging from straight active orthodox-believing Latter-day Saints to LGBTQI/SSA individuals who are not Mormon. All who are interested in building bridges through listening, learning, understanding, and loving are welcome.
Q: Is MBB really just a “front” or “PR scam” orchestrated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to convert LGBT people?
MBB is not sponsored by nor do we represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any political party or caucus. MBB is a grassroots organization that has received no official or unofficial guidance or direction from the LDS church or its staff. MBB is led by a steering committee of more than a dozen active Mormons from across the United States.
Q: Why is the MBB Facebook group an open group?
If a Facebook group is open, that means that everyone, even people who are not participants in the group, can read the posts and comments. Your posts and comments may even show up in the news feeds of your friends who are not in MBB.
MBB has been an open group since it was established. We did this so that people who are unsure about whether to join can still see the content. It also helps spread the word so that we can reach more people.
Q: Does MBB prohibit discussion of same-sex marriage in its Facebook group? Does MBB oppose same-sex marriage?
Participants are asked to not explicitly campaign for or against or debate over same-sex marriage in the Facebook group; however, comments about same-sex marriage that are incidental to a personal story or feelings are welcome.
This policy is designed to free the MBB Facebook group from divisive debates that can inhibit empathy-based conversation and alienate some participants. Church leaders have stated that members of the church who publicly support same-sex marriage will not face any level of church discipline, despite the Church’s official opposition to it. The Mormons Building Bridges community includes individuals on both sides of this issue. However, the MBB Facebook group exists particularly to provide a space for Mormons who want to support LGBTQ/SSA brothers and sisters from within the existing doctrine of the LDS church. Therefore the policy of not allowing debates for or against same-sex marriage on the group wall will continue. As ever, personal stories that include the experience of same-sex marriage within them are completely appropriate.
Q: Why does MBB have a list of approved signage for the Pride parade?
MBB seeks to provide a way for faithful Latter-day Saints to work within a church framework as they show love and support for LGBTQI/SSA people. To this end, we found disciplined messaging to be very effective. All of your signs should be quotations from scriptures, LDS church hymns, or General Authorities. This approach allows more of the diverse participants to feel comfortable joining MBB for Pride.
Q: What is MBB’s position on reparative therapy and does MBB endorse groups that promote reparative therapy?
We encourage people to share their personal stories, and we recognize and respect the diverse experiences of all LGBTQI/SSA Latter-day Saints. MBB relies on the most current professional consensus regarding Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) which are often referred to as reparative therapy. Below is an excerpt from the American Psychological Association:
“Therefore be it resolved that the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;
“Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;
“Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;
“Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation.
“Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation.”