Gay brother of Mormon apostle shares his journey and a message of love in new book

hello I made eatin with East Idaho joining me now via FaceTime is

Tom Kristofferson he has recently

published a book called that we may be

one mr. Christopherson thanks for being

with us today first of all why did you

decide to write this book I wanted to

share the experience that my family

might as I came back to them about

thirty years ago this is a gabion and

and then much more recently the

experience that way LDS congregation and

I had when I was living in New Canaan

Connecticut as I started to eternal

truth you wrote this book about your

experience being gay being Mormon when

you came out to them years ago you

decided to leave the church and you know

it couldn't wait figure at that point

out to be a gay Mormon so I figured I'd

try to be gay and happy and how did that

go cuz it was a you know for the next

probably twenty-five years I didn't have

a lot to do with the church but you know

had a very happy life and felt satisfied

in many areas of my life and recently

came to feel that I was lacking

something that there was a high broke

was deeper meaning that I wanted to

that's what I thought that was a very

good thank you

so you came out your family was active

latter-day saints and what was their


my parents sought guidance through

prayer how best to lead their family to

the process and we received an answer

and that was that to be totally

inclusive that my partner and i were

welcomed and involved in every family

activity an event welcomed in their home

they were welcomed in our home and it

was for me a great way to approach

because it meant there were no barriers

then we could be fully engaged with each


over the years as you're in this

relationship did you ever think about

going back to your Mormon faith the

feeling at a certain point was that

despite very back into life there was

more to be had in a spiritual sense and

desire finding deeper meaning and that

was when I began to return to the church

that I have in the old histories and use

right in your book that we may be one

that you and your partner I believe

started to go to the Mormon Ward and

people were quite welcoming they were

very much when I first started to go I

would just sneak in in the back and

we'll the right out of the meeting

started and leave the citizens over and

not really talk to anyone but after some

weeks of doing that I asked to speak to

the local bishop of the congregation and

we met and I said him look here's the

story my partner and I have been

together for 12 years

we're similar was in a monogamous

relationship but I have a couldn't him I

don't like to make other groups at this

point I'd like to be able to worship

with the Latter day Saints would you be

amenable to that and he said absolutely

please come join us and bring your

partner if he'll go we'd like to know

him too and that really was the sense of

what linearity so you were

excommunicated in 1985 at what point did

you decide I think I want to be baptized

again who was a pretty good point back

to church for about five years I over

time really develop a desire to be able

to participate more fully and talk to my

michigan state presidents about that

what that would mean and and then my

state president asked my partner to come

in and have a visit with him talk to you

about why

supported me in one event and asked his

feelings and my partner the short

version wasn't really my idea and so the

sick person said to me I don't think

it's the right time they think you two

should talk about that if it ever comes

to a point where that seems to later

process for both of you then we'll talk

about it again so a year later when my

partner felt that he wanted me to do

what was what I thought would be the

great thing for me and he would then

need to figure out what that meant and

that would mean that you all would and

end your relationship or at least the

physical aspects of your relationship

what would that mean right last night

didn't change so it was to be qualified

that isn't but my hope had been that

over a long period of relationship that

that the emotional connection that we

shared was really so powerful and

valuable that we would want to maintain

that Henry did retain that that really

wasn't everybody happy outcome for a

partner and he felt that he would rather

be able to end the relationship and stay

with it when he might play other words

so I read to that when you all decided

to call things off your family was sad

it was like losing a member of the

family of course in nearly two decades

my my brothers and sisters-in-law my

parents had come to really love him and

he them meant my nieces and nephews

consider him enough they're all so it

was it was hard some members of the

family have stayed in contact with him

and some of not but they think we're all

miss him it was a great addition to our

human do you you know keep in touch with

him anymore

we do one of the things that of course

has caught the attention of a lot of

people with this book is your

relationship to elder D Todd


he's a member of the LDS Church's quorum

of the Twelve Apostles what what was

your relationship like with him during

your journey

those he was very lovely and inclusive

in his way of dealing with us I don't

think we were about to but he believed

grow happy I felt about the Tricia's

this doctrine but it was very loving to

us in your procedure and what did he

think when you said I'm getting

rebaptised I'm coming back well it's

been speaking with him and my other

brothers and my parents along that

process in the couple years before I was

baptized that both of my parents had

passed away but you know they they never

that was where was in this process that

were nurses were so what did you think

back in November of 2015 when the policy

came out saying that if you you know our

inner gay relationship you're considered

apostates and if you have children who

are under 18 they can't get baptized

into the LDS Church unless they disavow

their parents relationship and Sophia

who was rumored that he had it wrong

has the right of the book the next day

it was a new time and come to the

symphony of my brother time and other

Christakis and called me and then I the

interval of the format's they stepped

out in the lobby called him back and

told me that he had recorded an

interview with my arson who was at the

time the in a public affairs Familia

search to try and provide a little more

background about the policy and he said

to me you know I think knowing that many

people that I love deeply would be quite

he said you know if you feel the need to

distance yourself from me because the

best I will certainly understand and I

said the implicit ever been easy for you

to advocate brother who's a pretty

public and I remember distance yourself

for me I am going to serve putting any

distance between his ear Wow

so do you want the church's policy to

change and do you think it ever will my

feelings been that's come toward people

that I love are same-sex couple isn't

that married they've been happy to be at

their ceremonies some had children

promote in my experience has been a

stabilizing solidified for families on

the other hand they believe in prophets

seers and Revelator's and their ability

to see what I came on and so i can see

both site listed and have not been able

to fully reconcile my own mind I

continue to study it pretty but I hope

to some day that I'll have clear and and

do you think do you ever see you know

sit down with your brother at dinner and

say let's discuss this you know what you

think this is gonna change I mean do

those conversations happen or do you

kind of avoid the topic

no I we talk a lot and I'm really

grateful that he's always willing to

listen to me and hear my husband and one

was appreciated when he shares his with

me like I feel very grateful for the

connection that we have

we talked a little before we started

rolling about the reaction since this

book has has come out or is coming out

and and and what has that been like for

you amongst members of the LDS Church

and members who are in the LGBT

community it's you know it's saying

whoever accepts me or my school would

have done felt about exactly as I hoped

which is that it sparks a better

conversation of a bad before where the

far ends on each side are Delia tiller

but really there's a conversation we

have about how can we as families be

closer together be more loving be more

United and how can work families work

obligations do the same second make

space were individuals wherever they

might be in their journey other folks

are pretty bit very concerned that that

this work the fact that it's published

by this red book the fact that when last

name you know might mean that kids

taking as this is the only path where

this is the right path and I try very

hard to say look this is my experience

I'm very grateful for it but it's the

journey I've had and where I have felt

guided to go and anyone else who reads

it should fight but they're gonna stand

where they feel inspired to go in their

lives and you know my experience isn't a

template or a how-to bag for anyone else

it's really the book is really intended

to be some experiences that might offer

suggestions or ideas to other people as

they perfectly seem to find the way that

will be best for their families for

themselves and do you feel welcome and

wanted since you know you've kind of

become a public figure in your ward

among members of the church I felt that

was what we wanted before he became one

around and just treat me as me well good

and your reaction from the LGBT

community BT community others some that

feel like you might be a traitor or that

you are denying your true self I think

some do and you know for some who have

in their history many members of the LDS

Church you know somewhat feel that

they've got

very real and raw from from experiences

that were not as happy as my a bit and

you know what that was very hard to hear

something that suggests that there could

be a place for them in the church and so

I don't want to be sure that we're

letting everyone tell their story and

hoping to hear what anyone's experience

has been so we can learn together and

procure well Tom Kristofferson we

appreciate you for joining us from your

home in Salt Lake City again the name of

the book is that we may be one and you

can pick it up online Deseret book a few

other stores and we appreciate you

talking with us here at East Idaho my pleasure thank you