Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Some Thoughts on Charlie and Ryan's Engagement

In the weeks since Charlie and Ryan publicly announced their engagement, I’ve received a lot of messages about their decision to get married. “I’m so happy for them!” people have texted me. “I’m really disappointed,” others have said. And many more have reached out hoping I can help them understand: “I want to be happy for them,” they say, “but I don’t get how someone can say they love the Church and then go against it.” 

I can see how Charlie and Ryan’s choice to get married has left some people feeling uncomfortable. They’re likable guys. They’re fun and cool and attractive. They’re the kind of people you want to be friends with — the kind you naturally root for. And they’re solidly good humans. So it can cause some dissonance if you aren’t sure whether you can root for them and be happy for them and support their choice to marry each other.

But I’ve noticed a recurring theme in those who have expressed concern. Many people who have been unable to articulate why Charlie and Ryan are using their agency to enter into a same-sex marriage haven’t truly listened. Rather than seek to understand, they have allowed discomfort to lead them down the easier path of assumption, dismissal, or blame.

Charlie has made his intentions and his heart so public and so clear, yet he is still being misunderstood and feared because people aren’t taking the time to listen. As his friend, it’s hard for me to watch.

When Jesus was in agony in Gethsemane and on the cross, He not only paid for the sins of humanity, but He also experienced everything we’ve experienced. He knows why I do what I do. And He knows Charlie and precisely why he is choosing to marry Ryan. Later, when He visited the Nephites as the resurrected Savior, He invited each of the 2,500 people there to feel the scars on His body. They did this one by one. I don’t know how long that took, but it surely took a while. It’s clear to me that taking time to understand others is a characteristic of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to agree with Charlie and Ryan's decision or even like it, but you do need to understand it. That’s what Christ does.

Charlie doesn’t owe us any explanations about his personal life, and yet he has been so publicly open and vulnerable. Perhaps the best way for you to understand his heart is to spend more time with him. You can watch the videos he recently shared on his social media pages, or read his op-ed in the Deseret News, or learn from his amazing books, or listen to him on more than 100 hours of “Questions from the Closet.” (Here are three episodes I’d recommend: Why Do You Stay in the Church? How Can I Find Joy in the Temple as an LGBTQ Individual? What Happens When You Fall in Love?)

It’s amazing how fear and confusion dissipate when we seek to know each other’s hearts. I feel so much gratitude when I think about Charlie. I have witnessed miracles with him and I fully anticipate to experience many more.

A few years ago my close friend Maria expressed concern when her son got engaged to his boyfriend. The choice wasn’t in line with what she had taught him and she felt disappointed. As she was deciding whether or not to attend the wedding, she sought counsel from her bishop. He responded, “There is nothing wrong with supporting your son and celebrating with him. I hope you will attend.”

“So did you go to the wedding?” I asked after she told me the story. She looked at me like I’d just asked her the dumbest question in the world and exclaimed, “Of course! And I’m so glad I did.”

She smiled an enormous smile and added, “And I danced!”

The more I’ve gotten to know Charlie and Ryan — how much they love each other, how much they love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how hard they are working to live the best life they can given their incredibly difficult circumstances— the more I feel confident in them and their decisions. I can honor, respect, and support them, even if my choices look different.

I’ve already rented a tuxedo for Charlie’s wedding. When the big day rolls around, I will offer my help, hug friends in attendance, and take a front row seat for their marriage ceremony. Even though they’re making a decision that goes against Church teachings — one that might even impact the way people view me and my work — I won’t feel conflicted about my support. I will be genuinely happy for my friends. Because I know who they are. And I know how they got here. And I have taken the time to know their hearts.

So rather than worry about if I’m allowed to be supportive, I will cheer and I will clap and I will hug them and I will cry. I will express the true emotions that will come from my heart. And later at their reception, even though I don't have the best moves, like my friend Maria, I will smile an enormous smile, and I will dance.

________________________________


P.S. A number of friends have reached out to ask how I'm doing since Charlie and Ryan announced their engagement. I really appreciate your kindness and concern. I'm doing just fine and there is no need to worry about me. I'm not sad or depressed or jealous or feeling abandoned or anything like that. I've had many close friends get married over the years and I often used to feel a longing for a partner when I'd attend their weddings. But I haven't felt that way for years. I think that feeling has subsided as I've been more intentional about my own choices and have grown more confident in them. I also feel that if I ever did choose to pursue marriage I would be successful in the pursuit (please don't correct me if I'm wrong in that assumption) so I don't feel trapped in a single life. I have intentionally chosen a life path that I continue to choose independent of what my friends do. Charlie and I plan to continue working together and we both have a lot of respect for where we each are at. We are both trying our best to make the choices that work for us, regardless of what other people are doing. It’s pretty rad that God gives us agency to live our own lives!

 


122 comments:

Anonymous said...

❤️

Angie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I truly hope everyone can try and love & understand as Christ does!! I love you all so much and I'm happy for the both of them!

Ryan McGhie said...

Incredible post! Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

You’re simply amazing, as are Charlie & Ryan. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I love this, thank you for writing it. ❤️ I celebrate you for who you are, and Charlie for who he is. May we all honor each other’s agency.*(*Unless someone is using their agency to hurt others, in which case, may we have the courage and love to stand up for and protect the ones they hurt.)

Anonymous said...

Beautifully expressed. You are good to the core

Tiffany said...

I love everything about this and am so grateful for you using your voice and for Charlie and Ryan to continue to use theirs. God is good, and supporting and loving your friends who take a different path then you is good! Everyone will blessed and come closer to Christ in their own way. ♥️ Thank you for being open and sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! People need to hear your perspective. It’s been hard for me to watch Charlie be vulnerable and then to watch people not show up for him in a Christlike way - you’ve so clearly explained how we can be more like Christ!

Anonymous said...

The episode "What happens when I fall in love?" Changed me as a person and a parent of son who is gay. I'm so grateful for the work both of you are doing!

Ruth Gerritsen-McKane said...

Beautiful, beautiful, thank you for this. I will say probably the part that got me the most, was the counsel from the Bishop to a mother.

Anonymous said...

Well said as always! Glad all I have to do is love, not judge

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your example and your heart. ❤️

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you and Charlie more than I could ever express♥️ thank you for this and all you do

Anonymous said...

That's nice. You are good friends with an understanding of the gospel. All the best Jesus Christ loves us all more than we know.

Carrie P said...

Well said! I know I have a hard enough time using my agency and understanding my choices,. I certainly don’t need to judge the way another person uses his/her agency. Congrats to Charlie and Ryan and to you as well Ben for being an outstanding neeestanding and supportive friend to all. I love listening to your podcast. I find myself having more understanding and compassion for those who live differently from me, whether it be a different culture, social status, who someone loves, etc. I have laughed and cried listening and have encouraged many to tune in to Questions From a Closet! Thank you Ben and Charlie and all your guests for speaking up and sharing light!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful message. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Aubrey said...

Thank you Ben! You are such a great friend and person overall. Congrats to Charlie and Ryan!

Anonymous said...

As the Mom of a beautiful gay son, I am grateful for your thoughts. I went through several stages of grief when I realized his life wasn't going to be the fairy tale that I planned on when he was a child.
I've come a LONG way with understanding and love. Our relationship is a sacred thing to both of us even though he was kicked out of the church.
attended his marriage in South Africa, (because his husband was from there and it was legal), was a shoulder to cry on when it ended in divorce, and deeply love his current boyfriend like he's my own son.
Everyone has a different path to Christ and we absolutely have no right to judge just because it isn't what we think it should be.
Love and understanding are so powerful and, I feel, key to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, keep on keepin’ on!

Anonymous said...

Spoken with so much wisdom and love. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being YOU!

Anonymous said...

Not at all shocked at how great this post is. Thanks for writing it❤️

Nancy Lamb said...

Ben, you are the best of the best. Thank you for your words and being so vulnerable.

Your and Charlie’s podcast was one of the first LDS/LGBTQ resources I clung to when I first found out my beautiful, wonderful, amazing son was gay. I love following you both on social media - I’ve felt so much love for both of you as I’ve watched you share your experiences, learn and grow. You both are so important in this church. You are both blazing a trail! I have been led to other important life-saving resources because of what you’ve bravely shared. You have helped me navigate through my own faith journey as I’ve struggled to understand how to continue to be part of this church that has both changed my life completely and absolutely left me devastated. You are an answer to my prayers and you are also super cute and witty and fun to hang out with, even if it’s only virtually. I love the first of the month and cactus-watering day. THANK YOU so much for being you!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words and so well said. I’m sure it will be an awesome party and an awesome future for them together.

Tally said...

Beautifully said, Ben. Thank you for your example and sincere heart. You are doing so much good in this world.

Caralee said...

Beautiful words to help others see the LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts! I so appreciate a voice of love and Christlike compassion with a subject that can be so tricky to navigate. Thank you ❤️

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I have a daughter that is gay and is in a very serious relationship where they are discussing marriage. I had a hard time with it at first but as I’ve prayed, Heavenly Father has made it clear over and over that I am to support her and love her and love my new daughter in law. When the time comes, I will love her like she’s my own daughter and be there when they wed dancing and hugging and making their day memorable with them. I’ve actually known her partner for a very long time and if she’s going to marry someone of the same sex, I am happy she chose her. They are the best of friends and I know they will love and respect each other like a married couple should. I really appreciate your insights! I’ve been following you and Charlie and other gay Latter Day Saints for the last few years as I learn to understand and love like Christ would. I’m with you with the agency comment. If Heavenly Father didn’t want us to have agency, He would have allowed Lucifer to take the lead instead of Jesus. I think we all just need to love like Jesus and leave our judgements aside. It’s not our place nor is it helpful.

Anonymous said...

I frequently find myself asking the question, “So, what does that look like?”

What does it look like to accept Christ as our Savior and seek to follow His teachings fully and also … (choose your own adventure here - be gay, be straight, be single, be married, be childless, have a blended family, live as a survivor of abuse, live with a disability, live with mental illness, live in poverty, live in wealth, live in political unrest, live subject to racism, live with addictions, live with fame, live in obscurity, and on and on and on).

What does it look like? Thank you for asking us to listen better. We can’t know what it looks like unless we are curious enough to ask, to observe, and to have eyes to see the hearts of our brothers and sisters. It’s not over yet. None of us are “all set.” Let’s keep seeking answers and working together to create a unified kingdom, bound together in love for Him.

Karyann Hoopes said...

Love this.

Anonymous said...

I am so incredibly thankful for you and for Charlie and your willingness to openly share your most vulnerable selves so that others can understand and be better humans. As a mother of a child who is attracted to the same sex, I needed people like you two that can give me perspective and show me by example, the Christlike way to learn about this and understand. I love my child and I am incredibly grateful for all that he is no matter who he loves.

~Audrey~ said...

I love this!

Jen said...

Thank you Ben and Charlie for all you do to teach people and help bridge the gap of understanding. So incredibly happy for Charlie and Ryan! And Ben you once again nailed it so eloquently. I will be there on the first row, in spirit, cheering you on Charlie and Ryan! Be happy!! Let no one take that away from you!!

Anonymous said...

“ It’s amazing how fear and confusion dissipate when we seek to know each other’s hearts.” This statement made me feel a lot of peace surrounding my child and their struggle with their own path. As a parent you are scared for what they will have to go through but if I pause and think about their heart and who they are there is more peace than fear. Thank you for also being vulnerable and an answer to some people’s prayers needing help navigate new territories. ❤️

Anonymous said...

❤️ thank you for all you share and do and for being such an amazing person.

Anonymous said...

I already commented but after reading the comments had to again. There is so much comfort seeing other parents of children comment. You feel alone when you are holding your child’s secret til they feel comfortable, and reading comments from others makes you feel differently. You truly have been such a blessing for not just us parents who are trying to find the best way to support our kids, but also the kids who get to benefit from parents who are learning to be better. Thank you (and Charlie) a million times over for being vulnerable so that others can learn a more Christlike path to loving those around them. This is the epitome of good in social media.

Anonymous said...

Love love love this!!

Matt Allen said...

Lots of wisdom here. Thank you for your example, Ben :)

Kerry Harding said...

Thanks, as always, for such a thoughtful, personal post. I have to confess that, I too, was one of the throngs who were secretly wondering how you were handling this situation. Were you feeling angry? Envious? Wistful? Sad? Betrayed? Like you always do, you let WWJD guide your response. Come what may, that’s a good example for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Love this. Thank you. Please dance for those of us that can’t be there but would dance in support if we could.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you for answering the questions I needed answered in my heart.

Sara B. said...

I love you and your beautiful heart. πŸ’œ Thanks for sharing your goodness.

Anonymous said...

From the bottom of my heart, I love your words and I am so grateful I read this. You are everything good 🫢🏼

Anonymous said...

Listen. Learn. Love. πŸ‘❤️

Cindy said...

I absolutely love this ❤️. A true example of being a disciple of Christ and the charity and love he asks us to have towards others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Heather McVay said...

Thank you for articulating such a beautiful and thoughtful response. It was tender and made me tear up. I appreciate all the work you and Charlie do in this space to promotes love and understanding. So much love to you all!!!πŸ’œ

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ben for your beautiful words. Your voice, perspective, testimony, and insight have been such a strength to me. You don’t owe anyone an explanation either, but I appreciate the support and strengthen that you contribute as we each reflect upon our experiences, learn to be better allies, and grow into better humans. A millions thanks

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written with true friendship demonstrated. Love and friendship does not always mean lockstep agreement in all things. It means sharing this life experience through all it brings, with those people who we love. Ben, at the wedding, dance like no one is watching. Its more fun that way. You are a kind soul and a good friend.

Anonymous said...

Well said Ben….we each have the ability to choose our life choices and that truly is what it’s all about 😊

Anonymous said...

Ben, thank you for sharing this. I wish people could understand that agency is God given and is personal. With our study being the New Testament this year I’ve been reminded of how much Christ taught and how much we’ve forgotten and just don’t teach in the church. There are many things that He taught that would help so many members understand how He would interact and treat every person in every situation on this earth. I adore that you’ve stood up and defended your friends. Charlie and Ryan are amazing that they have allowed each of us to see not only the good, but the hard, the sad and the painful that goes along with using their agency to be happy. And that you allow us to see you use your agency to live your happiness. Thank you for using your voice and your position to reach so many to stand for those, all of those whose voice isn’t heard. And to stand for what’s right and what Christ would stand for. ❤️

Nicole said...

Thank you Ben! Beautifully said. I started listening to your podcast right before your book came out (and went back and listened to most of the episodes I missed). Prior to 2020, I wore blinders colored by bigotry that I let other people put on me without question… which looking back devastates me. You and Charlie have expanded and clarified my vision and the “view” now is glorious! You’ve helped me to better understand what Christlike love is. Thank you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

😍❤️❤️❤️

Rocky Ross said...

I appreciate your post Ben. We all need to be patient with each other. In the last year, I've been friends with a man who is transitioning. It's been a great growing experience. I've thought many times that I wouldn't have reached out to him if I hadn't met you first! Thank you.

Cissy said...

Absolutely beautiful. You didn’t have to write this but I’m grateful you did. I’m purely happy for Charlie and Ryan and I’m happy for you. I know it’s cliche, but I love the phrase: just love, and let Gif figure out the rest.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I am happy for them and hope they stay close to the church but if not possible than the Savior.

Anonymous said...

πŸ’–

Anonymous said...

Thank you for helping myself and others navigate a situation which is new to us, and for doing so thoughtfully and lovingly. I appreciate the things I am learning from you and Charlie and others, and am very grateful for your willingness to hold space for all involved as we learn together.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE you all. I wish all humans were like you guys. Fear can do awful things to people. Fear is of the adversary. Love and fear can not co-exist. Thank you for being an example of pure and Christlike love ❤❤❤

Anonymous said...

❤️

Maren P. said...

πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š

Jonathan Manwaring said...

Beautiful Ben! I feel the same way

Rachel Coons said...

Wow. I feel so much Christ in your words. Thanks for being such a bright light to the world and sharing your love.❤️πŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ

Anonymous said...

I love you and the way you friend and love, Ben! Thank you and I’ll be dancing too

Anonymous said...

It would be so much easier emotionally and mentally to create a ward/stake with all of the lovely people in this comment section! Doing the work to help increase understanding, compassion, and empathy among the people in our faith community is tiring. But if Ben and Charlie can keep doing it, so can I.

Laraine said...

As parents of gay children we have learned to celebrate and not mourn. Thanks for this, and all the light you bring to this world

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said! We love Ryan & Charlie and you and support you all as you make choices that you have gone to the Lord with. Grateful for agency that allows for many paths to God ❤️.

Marlee said...

This is beautiful Ben ❤️ Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for generously sharing your reflections on this with all of us. It matters a lot to me, as a human trying to understand others and understand the gospel, as well as an LGBTQIA parent. I’m cheering for you!

Stephanie Francom said...

Incredible perspective. Thank you so much for sharing!

Stephanie Francom said...

Incredible perspective. Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding, as well as your wise counsel. ❤️

Anonymous said...

So beautifully stated. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

❤️❤️❤️

The House That Lars Built said...

I really appreciate your response--Ben! Lots of love--Brittany

Debra said...

As I read, I got the chills! I pray for peace, love, joy, and God's blessings for all my brothers and sistersπŸ™πŸ»❤️

Anonymous said...

This beautiful post is as incredible as Charlie’s! Go, all of you… everyone! Let’s just love and live and lift and learn!

Anonymous said...

I sought Charlie out as a therapist when my son came out. I have loved watching how he has navigated his life while being an active member of the church. I wanted my son to have a role model. So to be honest, I was one that was like, what the heck? Why would he give up the temple? I'm still learning how to deal with all of this, but your post, and others, have helped me navigate these uncharted waters. I know they love the Lord and they are trying, showing effort. I still don't know all the answers and I'm very much a why person, but by educating myself, I know everything will work out as it should in the end. The Lord's hand is everywhere and he knows and loves everyone of his children. Thanks for helping me see this better!

Audrey said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is one sided. There are two sides to this coin. I agree with agency, growth, and learning and developing and supporting each other in that process. Without condemnation. But it is a little sad as well. Because the goal is to become like our Heavenly parents. Joseph Smith said you can’t be saved without a correct understanding of who God is, and we have that understanding. This is not a step in becoming like God. But I do hope there is learning and growing that will bridge that gap. I have also walked this road. And my heart is with everyone here. It’s hard. But we all live and learn.

Anonymous said...

Perfect. Beautiful. And, perfectly beautiful - thank you!

Anonymous said...

Perfect! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for always spreading love and kindness!

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I love you, Ben. Best friend and example ever.

Anonymous said...

You are a class act Ben! All the love!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It’s absolutely beautiful!!❤️

Marti said...

What a great friend you are to Charlie. Friends support friends. And family supports family. When it’s my turn to support someone I care about, I’m all in. Thank you for your Christlike example.

Jenni Israelsen said...

I feel like a broken record when I respond to you, but thank you, thank you. Your words and work and the things you share are so very important for all of us. This was so well written. I’m happy for Charlie and I’m happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Love all of thisπŸ’™

Bethny Boatman said...

Beautiful message. Thank you! ❤️

Jennifer Lovell said...

I am always strengthened by your perspective, Ben. Thanks for teaching me more ways to love as Christ does. πŸ’›

Anonymous said...

I love this so much!!! I had people question me going to my cousin’s wedding when he married his partner. We also had mixed feelings from people when we all supported my daughter (and danced 😊) when she got married to her wife. I also had lots of members be so kind and loving when our daughter got married. I hope we can all be more like the latter. I truly believe that our Savior would want us to be there and support our loved ones in these important steps in their lives. I feel like I would be held accountable to Him if we didn’t do so. Let’s all be like the latter.

Anonymous said...

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Anonymous said...

Love this! ❤️

Anonymous said...

Yes. Dance! :)

Sue Roberts said...

Well Said! Thank you! I found you thru LDS Stone Catcher and am very grateful

Anonymous said...

Ben, you are incredible! Both As an individual and as a friend to Charlie. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! πŸ’™

Vickiewag said...

Thank you. Your post is sooo Christ-like. I tell people all the time that I am so grateful the it is Christ that will judge us all…. And gratefully, He knows my heart. ❤️❤️❤️

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautifully expressed sentiments. I learn so much from you, and appreciate how you help us all build bridges and heal wounds! Agency is a wonderful gift!

Anonymous said...

Ben that was beautiful. Truly one of your most powerful blogs. You and Charlie are so loved by your friends, your followers, and most importantly by God and the angels he sends to surround you both in your efforts everyday…the good days and the bad days…you are loved and you are amazing and you are changing the world.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your heart, example, and vulnerability Ben!!! Amen and amen!

Anonymous said...

So beautifully said ❤️

likeschocolate said...

Thank you for sharing this! I am honestly happy for Charlie and Ryan. While I am sad that their marriage can't at this time be a temple marriage. I know with all my heart that God loves both of them. As to whether their choice to be married it the right one, it isn't my choice to be make. As members of the church and those outside the church, if we would just worry a little more about the choices we make and let Heavenly Father worry about others the world would be a much better place. We are all imperfect people. Years ago my husband had a co-worker who choose to marry his gay partner. My husband and I were at first torn on what to do and after praying the answer that we came up with was to just love and support them. They didn't have a big wedding, but we sent them a wedding gift and latter invited them to our home fo dinner. Now some LDS people wouldn't agree with that, but I am proud that we were able to be examples to our children that When Jesus says love everyone we did exactly that.

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect comment! Amen to that

Anonymous said...

Ben HI my friend and great post and thanks for sharing this great post so we know that we need to be kind to Charlie and Ryan and I am Happy for them both and can not wait to congratulations them in person and I am Gay to and a member of the church but I support my friends in what ever they do because we are tough to be kind to are friends and others by Jesus even though I live a different life being Gay so thanks for sharing this Ben my friend πŸ™‚πŸŒˆ❤️πŸ˜₯

Anonymous said...

❤️πŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ©΅πŸ’œ Ben HI my friend and thanks for sharing this post

Clare said...

I love you, Ben. And I love hearing your thoughts and seeing your heart, my friend. Thank you for taking the time to articulate and the brave vulnerability of sharing. My life is better when you are a part of it 🫢🏼

Emily said...

Thanks for making the world better and bringing people together instead of dividing us. Much love

Spencer Sanders said...

I’m so grateful for you both. I’m so happy for you both. You’ve moved through your journeys with purpose, faith, thoughtfulness, maturity, bravery, and as an inspiration to anyone on life’s journey. We need to stop judging and trust that Christ and our Heavenly Father know all of us. That they are with us on our journey. May I venture to say whatever journey we’re on is the one the lord wants us on to learn whatever it is we need to learn and to become the individual he ultimately wants us to be. Thank you for putting your voices out into the universe at a time when I needed it. You are two of many voices who have saved my life, literally! My journey is different from yours and anyone else’s, but your work is so important!!! Keep sending good vibes and good information into the world and saving lives. You will never know, at least in this life how many you have touched and saved and what beauty and life saving love you have given. I love your message Ben. If anyone is uncomfortable with another’s choices, avoid the easy path of questioning and judging and shaming. Get to know them, sit with them (in anyway that is possible), walk a mile in their shoes with them. You don’t have to agree, but you can gain compassion and give love when you understand. We can’t live each other’s lives, just love and try to understand. What would Jesus do? Thank you both and my sincerest heart felt wishes for Charlie and Ryan on their engagement and future wedding. I wish you continued love support and joy on your journey together!! Bless you all!

Anonymous said...

You really get what being a Christian is! I love your insights❤️❤️

Anonymous said...

When I prayed to understand our daughter's decision to marry her best friend, the answer I received was simply, "Love her unconditionally." I cannot possibly begin to express my gratitude enough to the Lord for His wise counsel. That was 12 years ago, and our family and all who know this wonderful couple have been deeply enriched by their exemplary relationship. They are the first responders of love and compassion for others in any kind of need, within and outside of our family.

Janel Williams said...

What a powerful reminder to focus on what we can control—the love and support we show for others, just like the savior did. Thank you for sharing!

Karen Norris said...

Well said! So grateful for all the work you 2 are doing, you also don’t owe us such personal details, but I love your honesty and vulnerability ❤️🏳️‍🌈

Anonymous said...

I’m so happy to hear that you and Charlie will continue to work together! It makes me even more excited to listen to further episodes of your podcast as now you will begin to have “less in common” as your intro says. And can give a fuller perspective (along with your guest) on each question you answer!! Sending love. ❤️

Patrick said...

Some people either were or thought they were excommunicated because they participated or shared joy in a mixed religion wedding. We can be more Christlike and we will be happier. I wish them joy and happiness together.

Anonymous said...

Thank you much for your comments and for articulating your thoughts that might resonate with some of us. I’m truly happy for Charlie and Ryan!

Anonymous said...

Love this! So glad you posted this and helped show ppl that doctrine or personal views shouldn’t stop them from showing genuine, Christlike love to their friends and family. I’m so glad you’ll be able to celebrate with Ryan and Charlie, and congrats to them!!

Shannon Hokanson said...

Well said, my friend. I’m glad that you are all able to make choices to live your best lives.

Anonymous said...

❤️πŸ‘❤️

Anonymous said...

Ben, as always, you inspire so many people. Since my son came out as LGBTQ, I have had some incredible personal revelation that has expanded my understanding and acceptance of the Plan of Salvation. I really believe that as LDS members we think we understanding "The Plan" so much more than we actually do. I think one aspect of "The Plan" that is not understood well is the Law of Agency! There is so much compelling done in the church that when people actually choose for themselves what they really want we judge them as not faithful. Yet it just might be that they are more faithful in using their God given agency. We really need to participate in more agency for ourselves and others.

Anonymous said...

❤️

Shanny in Australia said...

There are two things that are clearly apparent to me; 1. Charlie and Ryan are spiritually mature people with a great love for and a commitment to Jesus Christ, and 2. Heavenly Father is an endlessly compassionate, understanding God with a plan to prosper and bless all His children. That’s all I need to know. God will work out the details. My role is to trust Charlie, Ryan and Heavenly Father that they are being led by inspiration, and that they are held safely in His hands. Therefore I rejoice in their joy and trust that God will guide them in their journey together.

Ben, I feel like words will never be adequate enough to thank you for all that you do. Always sending you love my brother.

Leslie said...

Thank you ❤️❤️❤️

Carl Blake said...

Thank you!