Making Space: Tyler Glenn asks, “How Many More?”

So often, discussion of doctrine, particularly related to homosexuality, becomes academic in its characteristics. For so many believers, God is found in a book–in the Bible–and the inclination is to scour the words of the book for evidence with which to bolster the preferred argument. But the scriptures were not meant for argument, but to settle arguments–to settle them with the one great power all human beings can harness. Not priesthood, not the gift of the Holy Ghost, but love with its many names: empathy, compassion, kindness, and charity.

Our discussion of homosexuality and the plan of salvation should not feel academic, but human. Any discussion that doesn’t encompass, include, and represent what is most valuable and vulnerable in God’s children will remain unsettled; there is no greater evidence than the human soul.

Tyler Glenn’s recent video clip provides a window into the raw suffering of the souls in our Mormon LGBTQ community. As you watch this, put aside your scriptural arguments for a minute. Feel this in the depth of your being, and, if you are heterosexual like me, live for a few moments in a world in which there is no space for you in God’s plan.

After all, that’s what Glenn is asking for–for space in God’s plan.

For space in our pews.

We are God’s hands. Reach out. Reach up.

My name is Tyler Glenn. I’m a singer in a band and I make my own music. I am gay, I’m 32, and I struggle weekly to find my place in this world because, for so long, I struggled to find my place in God’s plan.

Dear Russel Nelson,

You spearheaded this policy in November, and you and your colleagues claim to speak directly to and for God. As his mouthpieces on this earth today, you have yet to respond to the confusion, chaos, and disruption that you’ve caused so many current and former members of your church, both queer and straight alike. You’ve had months, and a public conference, satellite broadcasted to the world in April. And you have yet to give light to the actual darkness that so many of your members are living in. Currently.

Russel Nelson—and for that matter, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—you claim that this policy is of God. I came to know God through your church. I served a mission and I converted people to this plan. This plan has no space for me. This plan is flawed. There is either no God or God isn’t speaking to you. Maybe it’s both. But you have a responsibility to speak to us. Since you speak to him and claim that he gives you revelation, I beg of you and plead with you to change this doctrine. This should be the biggest concern. Your church is literally bleeding.

Russel Nelson, and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there’s blood of your members on your hands. Please don’t let this be a summer of more gay suicides. Please make a space for your gay members. Please tell them they are okay and they are made in the image of God and they are not flawed. Please stop telling them that they are abnormal. Please, please, please, how many more? How many more?

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  (I Corinthians 13:8-10)

sunflower Toni Allen

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4 thoughts on “Making Space: Tyler Glenn asks, “How Many More?”

  1. davidsonlaw

    It is unfortunate that you seem to be caught in an all too common lie these days. Tyler Glenn and a bunch of others complain that there is no space for them in the Church, and that is simply untrue. I would welcome Tyler Glenn to attend my ward, or anyone else. For you, or Tyler, or the Mama Dragons or anyone else to complain that there is no space for LGBT folks in our pews is a furtherance of this lie.

    But saying it is a lie is too kind, it’s a damnable lie. It is one that gets repeated so often that folks like Tyler begin to believe it, and distance themselves from the Church and the Gospel as a result. Your thought exercise above encourages us to do just that … set aside the teachings of the scriptures and the modern prophets and believe this lie. You do a disservice to your fellow men and women by encouraging this.

    It is true that the Church expects its members to observe the law of chastity, even if the laws of our country, or any country almost these days, don’t require it. It is true that we have been instructed in how eternal families are structured, which does not include many forms that have recently been given the imprimatur of the US Supreme Court. If Tyler or anyone else finds this offensive, they are certainly free to do whatsoever thing they wish with their lives, but that doesn’t mean we won’t make space for him if he wants to come back and commit himself to the straight and narrow. Many people, including many LGBT types, count the cost too high. From my perspective, that’s not ok, because I know what they are missing out on, but I would never try to force the gospel on anyone.

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    1. MaryLittle

      You just don’t get it….davidsonlaw. You are part of the problem. Spend some time with some LGBT people and feel their pain as they have tried to “live the straight and narrow”. Find out how hard that is on a persons soul. That is when they take their own lives…because living the “straight and narrow” is not an alternative for them. Show some compassion. Get on your knees and pray for further understanding.

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  2. Melissa

    I would like to start off by saying that I validate that many LDS LGBT teens are deeply hurting, struggling to find their place, and I pray for them. However, there are so many things about Tyler Glenn’s message that I disagree with. I have seen time and time again in the LGBT community people placing blame for how they deeply feel about themselves on the LDS church, placing blame on a policy for the reason someone has committed suicide, placing blame for their own choices, thoughts and feelings onto the LDS Church. The Plan of Salvation is not flawed, it is us mortals who are flawed. We feel we don’t fit into the Plan because of our flaws. It is not the Plan it is us. Everyone fits into the Plan as stated in a previous comment if we are willing to observe the laws of this Plan. We are the ones that get to choose if we fit. It doesn’t choose us. I own everything that has happened to me in my life all my thoughts, feelings, choices. EVERYTHING! No one can make you feel a certain way. You choose how you feel about everything. Stop blaming the LDS church and look deep within to find out why you feel the way you do. I truly believe that if the LDS church came out and changed their policies not much would change. People aren’t all of a sudden going to love and accept themselves. All of this comes from within. Nothing on the outside is going to make them feel any different about how they already feel deep down. And this is why we have a SAVIOR. Because he is the only one who can help us change deep down what is wrong in all of us. HE is the one who changes us from within so that when we hear the voices on the outside that say we are not good enough, smart enough, loved enough, worthy enough we CHOOSE to not believe the lies.

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