Sunday, 29 June 2014

Helsinki Pride

This saturday was the Pride-Parade in Helsinki. It was the first time I joined Pride as a active member of the LDS church and I was the only member from our church as far as I know. (20.000 people marched so could be I missed if somebodey else from our church was there). I did not have a sign in the parade but I did meet people with whom I was able to share my thoughts. There are people, both LGBTQ-identifying and straight, who are working to make spaces for LGBTQ people of Mormon heritage where they can reclaim their faith and religious culture in ways that are affirming of their sexual orientation and gender identity In Helsinki I felt alone though. - You are mormon? Are you kidding me?

Well every discussion has to start somewhere.

photos: Johan Finne

photo: my friend Monika E Pensar

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Let me be a carrot

Gardening can truly be a powerful spiritual activity. Think of it; The Garden is a place of miracles. Small seeds are put into dirt and watered then they grow roots, stems, leaves and bear fruit to eat. We put a tiny, flat colorless pumpkin seed in the ground and after some weeks we have a long vine containing a number of big, round orange fruits.
As a gardenerer I have the privilege to see such miracales on a reglurar basis and every gardening season witnesses the ongoing fulfillment of God’s promise:

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

(Genesis 8:22)

The seeds we plant will grow with the attention of us as gardeners. The more diligent and intentional we are in providing for the various needs of the plants, the greater will be their growth.
And plants have different needs. You do not grow a carrot in the same way as a rose. Carrots need deeply tilled soil that they can push through and when you plant a bare root rose the roots should be covered, but the stem should be out of the ground.

As human beings we also have different needs and we grow in different ways. We may have the common bond of being followers of Jesus Christ, yet we are both like and unlike one another. I like it. You may be a rose and I can be a carrot. The difference is there; in size, color, and shape. In personality, spirutal maturity and the gifts we have. The variety is designed by our Lord to bless us as individuals and to bless our church.
If I help you to grow to a beautiful rose can you help me to be a good carot?

"but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 2:18)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Called to Serve

Jesus Christ taught that to serve Him is to serve others:

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:40)

Today I have been thinking about that when the Missionaries came and gave me a helping hand on my garden plot. Being a professional gardener I haven´t had to much time for my own plot. And the wether has been strange and cold. Early this morning some snow came down and the ground on my plot was pretty soggy but we got there midday the conditions for working were infinitely better. Partly sunny and not to hot to do the digging work and my missionary friends had such a positive attitude helping me.

I know that The Lord will bless and help us as we creatively and compassionately serve one another and there are many ways we can do that.

One of the simplest and easiest ways to serve our Lord and others is by befriending one another and for me it was also great to chat with the missionaries about other things than the gospel when we where digging. And I gave them the opportunity to decide where to plant the sunflower seeds.

I know that when we take the time to serve, we’ll not only support others but also build a network of support for ourselves and each of us have been given talents that we can develop and use to serve Our Heavenly Father and others. Just examine your life and see what talents you have. I am good at gardening and it is my proffession but I gladly help people with their gardens for free if needed. I know something about computers but nothing when it comes to cars. Somebody else has that talent. Someone is good at cooking or carpentry. Another brother or sister has the skill of staystitching. And you can help others with your skills by praying for help to develop your talents.

One of the most important skills some of us has lost is the skill of sharing. This is particularly true if you are on the receiving end, we are still fairly good at telling other people what to do or at doing a good deed, but so many people are no longer comfortable with asking for help or to borrow something. I used to think that asking for help is a sign of weakness but now I have found pathways to letting others help me.

I was blessed by the help I got today.

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him" (Moroni 7:47)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


I remember a talk with an investigator of the church about prayers. He sometimes had a hard time to pray out loud with the missonaries and me. He always followed the same scheme and had it written down on a paper. 1) Adress God 2) Thank him 3) Ask him 4) Close in the name of our Savior.

This made him nervous; what if I ask before thanking? Well there is nothing wrong with that and also, prayer can be said in one's mind or out loud. Some people find that praying out loud makes it easier for them to focus. For me I rather pray in silence when I am by myself.

When it comes to pray in a group there are lots of reasons why people find it hard to pray out loud.
They might be shy or they worry about what people will think of them if they stumble over their words. Sometimes I have found it hard to pray out loud and when I was an investigator a member of the church said after a prayer; that was an honest prayer. Yes, my prayer was honest but it made me think; what has been wrong with my other prayers?

When hearing a prayer in a group or at meetings in a church it is nothing wrong if you don´t get a strong feeling from the spirit. Important is that the person saying the prayer is honest and might be the Holy Spirit gave something to another member in the group. I have heard prayers in ward meetings that have touched my heart right there and then. Sometimes praying together goes hand in hand with sharing our struggles. And that is good.

On the other hand one pattern that consistently appears in the Book of Mormon is that people often go to a private place to pray. For example Nephi went out:

"And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers."  (3 Nephi 3:11)

Prayer is the way we communicate with God and as long as we are honest God will hear us.

I also think there are different kinds of prayers.
Your body needs lots of nutrients to help you grow and to give you energy to do everything that you. Sometimes when we are on the run we have to have a fast snack to get the energy that will keep us going. But every day we also need proper meels. A good breakfast is for example important.

The same thing with our prayers; Yes we are busy people sometimes and can have a ”snack-prayer” in our lifes. I can have it many times during a day. But to get the nutrition for my soul i really try to put time into my morning prayer. Wath do the Lord want from me today? And at least one other ”healthy-meal” prayer during the day.

Monday, 2 June 2014


So I am a guestblogger on a great site. I like they wanted my blogpost in my mother tongue; svenska. Tack.

In english; I am a human being. I am a gardener . I am a gay man and a happy member of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. I was baptized 23th of November 2013 and I know that I have found the right church .

I can be tired sometimes to talk about my homosexuality and unfortunately there have been in my ward anonymous emails sent to my bishop.

I am a human being. I am a gardener.

After my bishop got the anonymous emails we  talked . There is no one in our church that condemns homosexuals. I find it sad that someone has to express opinions anonymously . I have prayed for the person in our church and I do hope he or she can talk some day with a makes contact real name.

I have once been the victim of hate crimes. Have a heterosexual male friend who yesterday received a stab because he defended my faith and my sexuality.

I am a man and gardener. I'm not perfect . Before I became a member of our church, I have arranged flower arrangements in ecumenical HBT-worships where Our Lord has been  present.

You who are reading this ; You are a human being regardless of your sexuality. Maybe you're gardener , probably not , but what you are, love our Father you. In Salt Lake City in 2013 went proud Mormons in Gay Parade under the slogan "Mormon building bridges" Let us build bridges without being anonymous .