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

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  814 ratings  ·  254 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 surprises 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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4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  814 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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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
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,
Danica Holdaway
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.
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.
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
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.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. To me, this book was all about compassion, love, and understanding and how we can support and build others up even when we can’t understand what they’re going through. I was struck by how even though everyone’s challenges are unique, they serve to bring us closer to the Savior and to each other. In particular, the Christofferson family’s example of love and acceptance was beautifully touching.

A few favorite quotes to remember:

“I don’t kno
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
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
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.

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.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Now that was awesome! Whether you are gay or Christian or both or neither, this book is awesome. I loved his story and his family. There are lots of ways I think I could improve with my own family and with my relationship with Christ after reading this. His teachings on love, Christ and the Atonement are awesome and easy to follow. Easy five stars.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful, personal journey of someone who fully embraces his own identity as an active Mormon and a member of the LGBTQ community. Particularly helpful for LDS parents, youth, YM/YW leaders, Bishoprics and other ward and stake leaders to understand the pain, the struggle and the opportunities for love and inclusion of all of our youth. Also helpful for any of us who would like to broaden our circle of love—all of us.
Jennifer Parent
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. Moved me. Touched my spiritual side deeply. The love of his family and the congregation that embraced him as he sought after God again was inspiring. Provides so many insights into what it means to have the pure love of Christ. Presents with such grace the perspective of a gay man walking his unique journey as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who was deeply committed/converted to his faith as a young man, who left it behind for 20 years, and decided he wante ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. The story gave great examples of disciples of Christ who care about loving those around them. It was an insightful book about loving others and always having a place for them, despite their differences.
Anneli Hardy
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
The thoughts of this book embody so many things that I want to be this year. I want to be more loving, more accepting, more including, and a more diligent disciple of Christ. Tom Christofferson’s perspective is so needed in the LDS church and in the world today. We should all cherish one another and remember that we are each doing our best with what circumstances we’ve been given.

“Zion is incomplete until each one of God’s children joins us.”
Jason Caldwell
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about the experiences of Tom Christofferson. He says he was born gay and has been his entire life He is the brother of an LDS apostle. He was raised in an LDS home. He loved the gospel, but after serving a mission and marrying in the temple, he chose to divorce and leave the church because wanted to pursue a gay-lifestyle.

The first LDS co-worker that noticed this book on my desk told me how he thought this book could be damaging because used will use it to further alienate LGBTQ pe
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've long believed that being gay is not a choice, but I had trouble picturing how the Church could become a safe and loving place for members of the LGBTQ community. Now I think I see. The author shared how the unconditional love of his family allowed him room both to stray from the commandments and to come back when he was ready. He hoped to show that this way of loving can be applied with anyone who chooses to sin differently than you do, and thus make the Church safe and healing for all sinn ...more
Morgan Taylor
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is all I wanted it to be. Tom Christofferson is not a writer, and the writing is not eloquent, but the content is beautiful and sincere. I wish every member of the LDS church would read it and I wish we had it earlier. He did well teaching that love and acceptance are crucial, especially with no expectation of repentance or conversion. I appreciated insights to how his family handled having a gay family member, even the honestly with struggle when it initially came to light. Great poin ...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.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is very tastefully done and filled with amazing insight!
Tom Christofferson gives counsel on how to act with, and around, someone who has expressed feelings of gay tendencies. I love how supportive his family is-- very inspiring!
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I loved this book, and found myself reading and rereading paragraphs. I so badly want to love like our Father loves us,this book gives me hope that we can do it as we draw closer to a Him.
Trent Mikesell
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So, so, so powerful. Shows the struggle of being both Mormon and gay and trying to be true to both identities. He says right in the beginning that his situation should not be applied to other people, and I think that is important. However, I think there is a lot to be learned from his story both about loving others and loving yourself (regardless of your circumstances). Some of my favorite quotes (most from him but some from others):

• "“As a companion to that love, trust them. In some cases it m
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tom Christofferson is a special person, and I'm grateful to him for sharing his story in an effort to bind up the division, misunderstanding, and fear that LGBTQ realities have sometimes caused among members of the Church of Jesus Christ. He improved my own appreciation of these issues and equipped me to better love all of my brothers and sisters.

My favorite quotes / insights:

--"I have used the term 'acceptance' in conjunction with, and perhaps synonymously with, 'love.' I mean it to convey th
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Goodreads Librari...: Misspelled Book Title 3 19 Jun 18, 2018 02:40PM  
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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