Conference brings LGBT, LDS communities together

Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 14, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY – A conference was held in Salt Lake City this weekend, and the goal was for members of the LGBT community who are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to connect with others and affirm their faith.

The theme for this year’s Annual International Affirmation -- LGBT Mormons, Families, and Friends Conference was “This is the Place."

Randall Thacker spoke about their aims.

“Affirmation provides a safety net where we catch those who are looking for the opportunity to find community and support,” Thacker said.

Anna Empey attended the event and spoke about the sort of support offered there.

"I feel like in many places I go, and as I have sought for help and understanding of who I am and how I want my life to become, I just feel pressure, or this is the one and only way,” she said. “And here they don't tell me what way that is. They tell me to pray, and they remind me, and they teach me of the principles that are part of who I am."

Empey said such events make her feel hopeful for the future.

"It's hard to be LDS, and it's hard to be LGBT, or SSA, or just trying to understand your sexuality--but, you're not alone, and there is hope for you,” she said. “And people don't need to take their life over this. There are other options, and we have a heavenly father who loves us."

The conference is an annual event, and organizers said they often receive messages from people who said the event changed their lives. The conference is not organized or endorsed by the LDS Church. For more information, visit the organization's website.