Sons of Sacrifice – A program to help gay Latter-day Saint men deal with addictions.
One of the basic foundations of the Sons of Sacrifice program is that gay men are beautiful and loved just as they are.
Being gay is not a sin. We are not an abomination! We are not broken. We do not need to be fixed.
We affirm that being gay is a gift from God meant to bless the lives of those who experience it and the lives of those with whom they interact.
We believe God and Jesus Christ love LGBTQ people with the same intensity and completeness with which they love all people.
Jesus Christ died for our sins as well as for those of every other person on the earth. But again, we state: being gay is not a sin.
We believe the doctrines and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as taught by living apostles and prophets.
We support gay men as they make difficult choices, and encourage men to stay in the Church and keep their covenants with God. We acknowledge this as a path strewn with snares, stones, and wrong turns along the way.
We strive to practice a non-shaming program that helps men learn new behavior patterns, without judgement of mistakes made.
We teach that all men are tempted by Satan to act outside the values and practices taught in God’s church, gay men included.
Shifting gear now, to speak on a personal note. I dislike the phrase I often hear from members of the Church, “Being gay is not a sin, but acting on it is.” As an active member I act on being gay most days.
- I acted on being gay when at my bishop’s behest I sat down with parents whose son had come out as gay and announced he was leaving the Church.
- I acted on being gay when, with his parent’s approval, I invited that young man to lunch, expressed my love as he made difficult choices in his life and explained the how and why of my choice to stay in the Church.
- I acted on being gay when I worked with Maurice Harker to design the Sons of Sacrifice program to support gay and bisexual men.
- I acted on being gay when I have approached adult men whom I suspected of being gay, have outed myself as someone in the Church they could talk to at any time if they so chose.
- I acted on being gay when some of these men have sobbed on my shoulder as I gave them a hug and offered support.
- I acted on being gay when I attended Men of Moroni and Sons of Helaman to learn how to keep my behavior, desires and passions within God’s boundaries; which is the basic goal of all the men there.
- I acted on being gay when I raised my hand in priesthood meeting or gospel doctrine to gently re-frame judgmental and uninformed negative comments made by members who speak of the wickedness of gay people.
- I acted on being gay in Sons of Helaman groups when I got in the faces of young men who used the word gay as a slur, or as a descriptor of someone or something insipid, banal, uninformed, corny, mundane, inane, or socially awkward. I have asked these young men over time to stop using the word gay in any negative context. As I spoke with them in firmness I would add, “And if anyone uses the word gay in a negative context in your presence, I invite you to get in their face as say, ‘I have a good friend who is gay, please don’t use that word in a negative context.’”
In Sons of Sacrifice we try to instill in men gratitude and confidence in who they are, as beloved, gay or bisexual, sons of God.
We teach principles and practices to help men keep their covenants with God.
There are lonely gay men and women in every ward in the Church. For those men who have unwanted sexual behaviors, please spread the word that Sons of Sacrifice training may provide needed tools to support and help.
For more information about Sons of Sacrifice, please visit our website: https://sonsofsacrifice.org
Warren Bittner is a certified Life Coach and Addiction Recovery Coach at Life Changing Services and the Founder of Sons of Sacrifice. If you would like to schedule a consultation with him, please CLICK HERE.