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That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith & Family

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,715 ratings  ·  487 reviews
"'A happy gay Mormon.' That's the shorthand I often use to describe myself," writes Tom Christofferson. "Some of my gay friends—as well as some of the LDS friends—are a little surprised that I think it's possible to be a gay Mormon."

In That We May Be One, Tom Christofferson shares perspectives gained from his life's journey as a gay man who left The Church of Jesus Christ
Kindle Edition, 122 pages
Published October 25th 2017 by Deseret Book Company (first published September 25th 2017)
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Colette I don't think the book was pro or anti LGBT. I think the author presented the perspective along the lines of, "this is me, take it or leave it - I am …moreI don't think the book was pro or anti LGBT. I think the author presented the perspective along the lines of, "this is me, take it or leave it - I am happy". The author wasn't turned "straight" through his religion, he maintains his identity throughout. (less)

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Vince Snow
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought a particularly touching part of the book was after the new church policy his brother Todd texted him and said “I understand if you no longer wish to associate with me” and he responded “you have never left me and I won’t leave you”. I liked the book’s overall theme that everyone is needed and has value.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Things I loved about this book:

Tom Christofferson’s recognition that his path is not the path for everyone, and this book should not be held up as the “one right way” to be a gay Mormon.

I loved Tom’s plea that parents and friends to love and accept the LGBT person in the reality of their situation. Not loving if they behave as desired, but loving them in what is.

I really appreciated Tom’s willingness to share his very personal story, and hope that church leaders and family members of LGBT indi
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Christofferson's book takes its title from 3 Nephi 19:23, which describes a Zion community of diverse saints united as one with each other and God. He uses this theme to describe his experience as a gay man in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, exploring a topic that can be unsettling and even scary to some faithful Mormons. He presents his story in a non-threatening way, speaking to the sensibilities of even the most traditional Latter-day Saint. Christofferson is a beautiful ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: morms
Tom Christofferson is a “high profile” member, so this book will serve orthodox Mormons well in gaining empathy for LGBTQ individuals who are and aren’t Mormon because it is coming from a trusted source.

We need more stories about gay Mormons! Unfortunately, I worry that we will only find the stories of gay Mormons who are active members of the church (whether through celibacy, mixed orientation marriages, or reconversion) as acceptable stories. I also worry that Tom’s path will be one that pare
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, this book leaves you with a lot to think about. I loved it, even though it had maybe too many scriptures in it for me. It broke my heart, yet was filled with faith and hope.

His mother was ahead of her time, and I absolutely loved when she told her extended family: "The most important thing your children will learn from how our family treats Tom is that nothing they can ever do will take them outside the circle of our family's love." *Tracy cries*

A quote I liked:
"I find myself a member of t
Conor Hilton
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book. The theme and main message strikes me as being summarized by an idea expressed by Tom (as a recollection of something his parents said I believe), that we shouldn't worry about living perfectly, but that our focus should be on loving perfectly. There's a lot of love flowing out of this book, which is definitely to its benefit. I think it will be useful and comforting and touching for LGBTQ+ Mormons, but is probably even more needed for the families of those members. Tom's insisten ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't often read or review a lot of religious books aside from standard scriptures, but I was compelled to read That We May Be One, and also felt compelled to write a review.

That We May Be One is, as the title says, a gay Mormon's perspective on faith and family, and Tom Christofferson was very careful in stating many times that it was just his perspective, which I appreciated because being everyone's road to understanding, living and working through such an emotional, spiritual, mental topic,
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A Godsend. This should be required reading for every Bishop, every RS Pres, every YM and YW leader, every Primary teacher--well just anyone over 12 who's LDS, ok??

Even as I highly recommend it, and know how desperately this voice of reason and compassion is needed in the Church, I felt conflicted as I read. I had to almost skim some passages, because they triggered in me a deep frustration. I'm frustrated and more than that, angered that because of a handful of verses in the Old Testament, we h
Michael Hutchings
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every member of the church should read this book. Regardless of what are your opinions on LGBTQ issues, understanding how some people experience our congregations as not as inclusive and welcoming as they should be is critical to learning to see people the way the Savior sees them. The examples of TC's family, ward and church leaders goes a long way to show how we can - and must - make our families and ward congregations welcoming places for all without behavior or belief litmus tests. ...more
Danica Holdaway
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a balm to a troubled soul. Like many millennial Mormons I have some serious questions and concerns about the future for LGBTQ brothers and sisters I love. Christofferson uses scripture and his own perspective to help bring focus to what actually matters - being Christlike. A must read for every Mormon.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
2021: I finally bought my own copy and so re-read this today. I really love this book. I love the lessons on acceptance and love and creating a place where all, particularly LGBTQ brothers and sisters, are truly welcome. And I love learning about how Brother Christofferson’s faith in Christ sustains him through those things that haven’t yet been sufficiently explained and can’t be understood through our current mortal understanding.

2018: Great book. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds
Things I want to remember:

His mom had very advanced cancer when he was only a few months old. After surgery, she also had to go through radiation and that was the hardest part for her. It made her feel terrible. One day, feeling very discouraged, she told her own mother that she just could not do 60 more treatments like this. Her mom replied, "Well, can you make it through today's?" She said yes. Her mom said that's all you ever have to do...just get through what you have to get through today.

Jennifer Hughes
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nostrano
I read this once and am now most of the way through it a second time on audiobook. I heard the author speak recently, and I was so touched by his gentle wit and profound wisdom. Hearing him read his own words in the audiobook is especially meaningful, although I want to go back to the physical book to underline passages and make notes. FYI, Deseret Book has a new audiobook/e-book subscription offering that follows the Netflix model of being able to listen to (or read the e-book of) anything in t ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Groundbreaking in terms of topic, but written in the emotionally stale cadence of a conference talk or Ensign article. I never felt any tension in his return to the Church. He skips past that and looks at things from a distance that is helpful, but I felt like it was a bit whitewashed. For example, he says that his decision to separate from his partner was hard and hurtful, but he passes by the topic with a shrug.
Joseph Hoehne
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great content! I feel like this is a subject that needs to be discussed more frequently in the church and this is a good first step for anyone wanting to learn more about one man’s perspective on being a gay member of the church.

Gospel insights and principles were weaved into every chapter so the book is uplifting and hopeful.
Soren Schmidt
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personal in all the right ways, and shared at a time when it is desperately needed. This book has deep potential to change hearts and minds.
Ashley  Jacobson
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-church
Every member of the Church should read this book! I love the message- love everyone where they are at. Don’t expect them to change. Be accepting and inviting. Screaming the teachings of the church doesn’t change anyone’s mind. And it doesn’t fulfill the greatest commandments to love God and others. His conversation back to the church is beautiful, but he’s also very clear that this is not the path of every LGBTQ+ person. And it’s not our place to judge anyone’s path. I love the stories he told o ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it

I have been waiting in anticipation to read Tom Christofferon's book That We May Be One ever since it was announced. Tom Christofferson is the brother of the LDS apostle D. Todd Christofferson. He is gay, and spent 19 years married to a same-sex partner outside the Church. Now as a member in full fellowship, he has shared his story in a desire to help LGBT brothers and sisters and their families. I was able to meet Tom last year at the Northstar conference where he was a keynote speaker. To me,
Jessica Laitinen
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly, I didn’t quite finish this book because my audible version was returned to the library before I could finish. However, this book was an interesting perspective on the gay experience within Mormon culture. It offers a lot of insight, teaches understanding, and draws from a full life of personal experience. It does not adhere to many popular or modern beliefs about being gay in 2019 (live your truth, etc.) but rather upholds the biblical principles of marriage being between a man and a ...more
Karlissa Ashby
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very touching. Loved hearing Tom’s story and was fascinated by how accepting his “strong Mormon family” was in the 80’s/90’s. This book left me wanting to love on every LGBTQ individual. Everyone’s path is so unique and we must do all we can to be loving, compassionate, and inviting. I loved his thoughts on being allies with our gay loved ones. It’s not our job to judge. We should listen to and love them where they are now and be as inclusive as possible.

“ye shall not forbid any man from coming
Dennis Schleicher
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yes, we are all one!
This is a beautiful book. As a gay man and a convert to the Church, Tom’s book was refreshing and insightful. I must admit though, after my baptism I purchased his book. It didn't resonate at first, because I didn't understand the verbiage etc. (I was still green.) Now that I'm a full temple recommend, Ward mission leader, I can resonate with every page.
This book also goes beyond the LGBT community, heterosexuals Will benefit from his strong testimony and continued faith in
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The older I get the more I believe that much of the purpose of this life is to gain empathy. Several close friends identify as LGBTQ. Some have gotten married. Others are single. Some have stayed in the Church. Others have not. They are dear friends. While I don’t pretend to understand their specific feelings, I have sat with them and cried with them. We can have endless discussions dealing with reconciling sexuality, theology, and institutional practices and policies. But the thing I can do tod ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
This book is good way to continue the conversation on LGBTQ issues and the Mormon church. This conversation is clearly evolving (which is good) but there are still some sticky points.
These points are worth discussion, but after typing them out several times, I find that for me it's better to hold my thoughts for in-person discussion rather than leave them here to be read and possibly misinterpreted, open to strangers' opinions and commentary.
In all, this book is worth reading, specifically for M
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a beautiful, loving book. I really enjoyed it and I think it would be helpful for everyone in the church to read this book. I appreciated Christofferson’s suggestion to try to love perfectly instead of trying to live perfectly. My only critique is that I would have liked more detail—his struggles were described pretty vaguely—but I also understand his desire for privacy and wanting to focus on the hope of the Atonement.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked the parts of the book where he talked about his personal experiences as a gay Mormon and as the brother of an apostle. I didn’t love the parts where he taught gospel principles. He would be a really cool friend to have but not a wonderful Sunday school teacher. I do highly recommend this book to members of the Church of Jesus Christ who have gay family members. This would be a great start to path of empathy.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has healed my soul in so many ways. I loved that the whole essence of “How we May Be One” was about being more Christlike.

The examples of Christofferson’s family were truly inspirational. I’m happy I read this book when I did and I hope that every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reads this book!
Janae Johnson
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I listened to Tom Christofferson on the Faith Matters podcast and I was so excited to learn he has a book! I so enjoyed his writing. It was a little tangential at some points but in the best way—like having a late night discussion with a dear friend.

Tom Christofferson offers such a unique perspective from other accounts I’ve read—from being an apostles brother, and being older and having come out in the 80s when things in the world were much different. I was so inspired by his wisdom and hope.
Nov 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
One of my book clubs recently read A Walk In My Shoes and several people recommended some other books about LGBTQ members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I really enjoyed the writing in this book and the insights into Tom Christofferson's experiences as a gay Mormon. He shared his perspectives of his life, both inside and outside the church. I appreciated his sharing his personal journey following his own path, including the spiritual approach to determining whether he should ...more
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and Christofferson’s perspective. Some thoughts that especially stood out to me are:
1) “How can we develop the capacity to live with ambiguity?”
2) We don’t know what it means in another person’s life to “fight the good fight” or “finish the course.”
3) The greatest form of charity may be to withhold judgment.
4) Our loving welcome of anyone and everyone within our chapels and church meetings must absolutely not be contingent on the prerequisite of working towards a specified
Happy Reading Watching
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon's Perspective on Faith and Family
by Tom Christofferson

This one was my sunday read today and I am very happy I picked it up.
I have family that are part of the LGBTQ, I love them and I know they have struggled. Reading this book helped me see Tom's perspective. He shared about his story, his family and how we need to love everyone.
I was lucky to have seen Tom Christofferson speak in person once and I was touched by his testimony.
This book gave me greater underst
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Tom Christofferson has spent his career in investment management and asset servicing, living in the United States and Europe. He has served as a director on corporate and nonprofit boards and was a founding board member of Encircle, a group providing resources to support LGBTQ individuals and their families in Provo, Utah. Tom is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ...more

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