David Melson Bears Testimony in Sacrament Meeting
“Being gay has given me the greatest trials and the greatest blessings imaginable”

Dave Melson
On June 4, 2006, David Melson came out in testimony meeting in his ward in Derwood, Maryland. This is what he said:

Brothers and Sisters, good morning. It is a privilege and an honor to be able to stand before you this afternoon and to be able to bear my testimony to you. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that the teachings of the Bible, The Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants are true.

I have always been grateful for the missionaries who found me and for the principles that they taught me. They taught that "by their fruits, ye shall know them;" that the actions and the results of a person or a group speak much more loudly and truthfully than their words. They taught that Family is the most important institution that we have; that the family, in whatever form, is the most important institution in our society and the family is our laboratory or our example of what the Celestial Kingdom will be like. Protecting our family comes before all else.

They taught me that the wisdom of Man is fallible, that all men are subject to imperfection and all have their free agency, and that we must never rely solely on the words or the teachings of any man as being the truth. They taught me that when we need to know the truthfulness of a thing, or when we need to know what is right or what action to take, that we must ponder over it, study it, and then go to the Lord in prayer; that the Holy Spirit will answer our prayers and will guide us and will testify as to the truthfulness of a thing.

They taught me that the first and the greatest commandment is to love; to love God and to love each other. Our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, set the example for us. Jesus reached out with love to the Publican, to the prostitute, to the thief. Jesus taught us that "love the sinner, hate the sin," is simply not good enough; that we must love the sinner and forget the sin.

The Church has been my home for over twenty-five years now. It has formed and shaped my identity. In that time, I have served a mission and I have held almost every calling there is on the ward or stake level. I have even been a Relief Society President, which not too many of you brethren can claim. I love this church and I love you. They say, however, that you never really, that you never fully, love anyone until you are willing to risk losing them; otherwise your love is either smothering or is in some measure withheld.

Some have not always felt loved here, some of us have not always felt welcome here, either because of who or what we are, or because of how God made us, or because of who we love.

Brothers and sisters, the greatest blessing that the Lord has given me in my life is to be sent here to this earth as a gay man. Being gay has given me the greatest trials and the greatest blessings imaginable. It has enabled me to love and understand and reach out to others in a way that would not be possible otherwise.

Brothers and sisters, we have been taught that we must seek to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent and virtuous, that we must seek to be doing good to all men. But as long as we teach and preach hatred and homophobia as family values, we have no promise and we have failed.

Brothers and sisters, I love you, I am grateful to be here, and I leave these things with you in the name of our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© 1996-2008 Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons