Comments (27)
  1. Adam (reply)

    December 11, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    Thank you. As the gay son of a father who is in a stake presidency I feel I could relate in a small degree, reading about your journey was validating to me. I love your sentiments about the church, they align very well with mine. Best of luck to you in your future! I’m rooting for you as a fellow queer 🙂

  2. Gary French (reply)

    November 8, 2019 at 5:44 am

    Utterly brilliant. Every aspect pinpointed, examined and thoughtfully explored. I am sure it will resonate with many and touch hearts in ways nothing else could. Bravo dear soul. The struggle is real. Birthday wish come true – you ARE a source for good.

  3. Jeff Stewart (reply)

    November 7, 2019 at 6:03 am

    I’m glad your father is an apostle and you are his son. You write well. If there is a human barrier to understanding the will of the Lord, I trust it will take leaders like your father with a son like you to lower that barrier.

    I’ve heard the comparison to Eve be made. The goodness of marriage is on one hand. For you, the law of chastity as most of us understand it to be is on the other. And you have to choose. It sure would feel right to me if that were not a choice but one and the same. My conscience and my understanding of doctrine struggle. I trust my conscience at the end of the day—I just have to in order to maintain integrity.

    You write well.

    In other circumstances I have said “there are no heroes without horrors.” If there were no great wrongs to right, what use would a hero be. I don’t know if that’s the case for you, your father, or the rest of us in this, but it might be. It’s scary when we don’t know how this all ends. But even as I write this I feel I do know how this ends. My anxiety drops to think that God loves you and made you how you are—including the weird and wonderful gift of sexuality. Enjoy it.

    I honor your bravery.

  4. Alma Smith (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you Matt, for sharing your thoughts with the world.

  5. Collette (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Beautifully written! Thanks for sharing part of your story with us all. I hope for all your birthday wishes to be fulfilled.

  6. Ed Britton (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    When I read this I feel that it is spoken with deep integrity – and that’s the first ‘law’ of coming to truth on a personal level. No one is faced with the same set of challenges in life, and so it is not really possible for anyone of us to pass judgment on another; none of us are able to perfectly relate and so all of us must cut the other a lot of slack. It think that’s what you call ‘grace.’

    The fundamental crux of decision with regard to the Church, the gospel and our relationship to it, is whether it is humanist or divine. It’s not a simple divide, because even a divine Church is, at it’s best, ‘divine with human characteristics’ if for no other reason than there are a whole bunch of humans in it. The best we can do is the best we can do. So, hopefully, we do our best, we help and support each other, we grant each other grace and appeal for mercy ourselves.

    Thank you for speaking so sincerely and courageously of your experiences and the thoughts that have grown out of them.

    The path to divinity involves sacrifice whomever we are and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. There are no exceptions – it’s the common lot of the children of God. Nobody’s sacrifice is the same as another’s, and we generally don’t get much choice about many of the sacrifices that seem to present themselves.

    I am acquainted with LGBT members of the Church who have accepted the sacrifice to fully conform to the teachings of the Church in this matter. These remarkable individuals have embraced the divine nature of the Church. I cannot fail to celebrate the magnificence of these saints of the latter-days. I do not feel their equal.

  7. James Weller (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    When I was 18 going on 19, I was going to take the path Matt is on, but I responded to a question that came into my mind which was, “What about Jesus?”

    That said it all.

    I knew that to choose that lifestyle was very sinful, that no matter how much the carnal me felt drawn to this, I know that Jesus lives. I knew it then, and I knew then that He is my Savior, and that He loves me.

    My father may have been harsh in how he drilled certain lessons in me, but this one was not a matter of his pounding a belief into me. This was pure conversion and it came to me when I was about five years old: I fell in love with Jesus.

    Throughout my early years I was guided by three key principles: That I had something important to do in life and it had to do with Jesus Christ, that I would find His true church between the ages of 17 and 19, if not by age 19, it would be many years before I would get another chance, and I would recognize the true Church of Jesus Christ when I found it.

    Matt, you were born into the true Church of Jesus Christ, but you take for granted everything you have: The love and the kindness, the tenderness and the charity. This is extravagance, and in that state of mind you claim that the world in its forlorn fornication has better sense on how to be authentic than following the Author of Life does.

    I struggled, and I made mistakes, but in the darkest moment the Lord reached out to me and asked me again to choose Him.

    Matt, you will not be truly happy in this lifestyle you have chosen and in the bad example you have decided to set for so many others who are born to carry this cross, and learn the joy of their Lord by carrying it with Him. You say that you are making your own template for happiness in life, but that is Satan’s deception.

    There is only one template for happiness in life, and His name is Jesus Christ, and His Father is Heavenly Father, Their greatest witness is the Holy Ghost, the greatest physical guidance that we can lay our hands and eyes and hearts on is the Holy Scriptures, and the Kingdom of God is the gateway to Heaven, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the very things you refuse even to acknowledge by name.

    You fool yourself, but not me.

    As for me and my household, We Shall Serve The Lord.

    • lance (reply)

      November 21, 2019 at 11:58 am

      “When I was 18 going on 19”. So about 1-4 years ago right? The self-righteousness you show is typical of youth. I might have said something similar when I was fresh off my mission. We all have the answers to everyone elses problems when we dont have our own figured out yet. (or just don’t have much experience under our belt).

      Matt’s letter show pretty considerable depth and wisdom for his age. But james, your is the opposite. Your projecting your values on someone else and supposing you know whats best for them.

      Best of luck to you on your chosen path. But try to be a bit kinder in the way you word your judgements.

  8. LAURA E PETERSON (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    You are a talented writer and your words drew me in. I really feel that I got to know you a little bit.

  9. Emily (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Matt, I have some thoughts for you about dialogue. If your interested reach out.

  10. Meow (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    This is stunning. Breath-taking. So full of radical love and power.
    Thank you for you voice <3

  11. Dawne Hollis (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Matt you are a force for good in the world. I love the Gong family❤️

  12. Charmaine Riley Holley (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Happy Birthday Matthew and thank you for giving all of us your gift of sharing.

  13. Jesse Merkley (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    This letter crystallizes beautifully so many of my own thoughts. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing it.

  14. Sheri S Solomon (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you …. For being true to you and to the you you are becoming
    For the freedom to cast off that which confines and tries to forbid your happiness.
    Thank you for sharing your unique situation and position.
    Thank you … for your words
    Helping many to see more clearly

  15. Eileen fullenwider (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you

  16. Eileen fullenwider (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Much love ❤️

    • Polly (reply)

      April 4, 2020 at 7:20 pm

      Dear Matt, thank you for your beautiful words. I am an active member of the LDS church. I have a 41 year old son who is gay. I recognized traits in him and waited for the day that he would come to me And tell me he was gay. When he was 19 he finally told me, and I was grateful. He struggled because he didn’t want to live that lifestyle. For ten devastating years I helped him decide how he wanted to live, knowing he would be more healthy if he would choose the way he was born. This is such a shortened version of all that went on, but when he finally decided to come out, he became healthy. He is a professor who lives a productive, compassionate life. I have no trouble retaining my belief in the church, because I know Jesus Christ loves my son every bit as much as I do. I live by faith. My son suffered immensely. I know Jesus would rather him alive and being productive than he very well could have been when he was suffering. Through it all I learned, I can not judge anything, only love.

  17. Deborah Smith (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 11:42 am

    My wonderful daughter Shawna Fisher is an active loving member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and identifies as Lesbian. She is an ordinance worker in the Provo temple and Secretary in the R.S.

    • Glenda Crump (reply)

      November 6, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Wow Deborah that is wonderful but at the same time it saddens me that she can’t be a temple worker and a Relief Society President AND find Love. She has to do one or the other and how unfair is it to have to choose?! Several years ago when I was vocal about my support of my gay daughters right to marry I was released from my calling as RSP. The pain is still real and most of my 9 children are now inactive because of the church’s stand on LGBT Issues. I wish your daughter Love and Light, Faith and Truth!

      • Mary (reply)

        September 27, 2020 at 9:50 am

        Glenda, I love that you support your family and put them first. People always first! My nephew came out his parents were amazing. We all have learned so much. The church is wrong on this issue and many more as we came to understand while studying for answers. Best wishes

  18. Carol Lynn Pearson (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Sending many blessings to you, Matt. Thanks for your beauty and your honesty. Your words will inspire many.

  19. Renée Clark (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your honestly and taking the gamble of sharing your insights and experiences from the heart on such a public forum. We need more people like you. Thank you

  20. Kerry B Harding (reply)

    November 6, 2019 at 4:39 am

    This is one of the most insightful, inspiring pieces that I have ever read on the internet.

  21. Ness (reply)

    November 5, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    What a perfect day to post this beautifully crafted letter. Thank you!

  22. Carole (reply)

    November 5, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Really beautiful and in depth. I agree that this letter is masterpiece.

  23. Andrea Milner (reply)

    November 5, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    That was a masterpiece!

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