Unto Dust Shalt Thou Return

Nathan R. Kitchen

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Twelve: Do not rush to excommunicate same sex married couples all at once. We don’t want to rush to do this. It will make it look like a witch hunt.

Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Seventy: But eventually they will need to be excommunicated.

Directions for executing the November 5th exclusion policy at the local level.
Regional training meeting for Bishops and Stake Presidencies.
From the notes of President Walt Wood,
attending as a member of the Mesa Mountain View Stake Presidency.
Mesa, Arizona
January 2016

If one were to ask what could make the church safer and welcoming for LGBTQ+ people, the honest answer would be to affirm marriage equality and self-determination of gender identity.

Therefore, before we can address the matter of LGBTQ+ safety in the church, we must first acknowledge a rainbow stained-glass ceiling in the church. You will bump up against this ceiling when you marry someone of your same sex or transition.


Nathan Kitchen
Special to the Salt Lake Tribune
August 23, 2019


The moon was rising in the east as I parked my car on the side of the road in one of the remaining rural neighborhoods that pocket the Town of Gilbert, Arizona. The pastures, horse properties, and acre homesteads showcase old money and legacy Mormon families. This island is the seedbed of all four of my stake presidents since my move to Arizona in 1998, who from this seat presided over the new growth suburbs that surrounded them. For twenty-two years, I was a witness to the administration of Church government from this ultra-conservative pocket in the suburbs, where the echoes of the 1850s Mormon Reformation and the Ezra Taft Benson era still inform power today.

I stepped out of my vehicle and noted my direction. With no streetlights, the moonlight guided me as I made my way along the dusty shoulders of the road towards the home of my stake president. Before he moved here, he was my neighbor in the outlying suburbs of the masses. Ten years ago, I met with him in his home and spent a Sunday afternoon training him in his duties as a newly called second counselor in the bishopric in our ward. But tonight I was called to his new home here for another reason.

Large old growth trees surround his property. It is a walled fortress, with a keypad for entry through an iron gate. As I stood under a tree there on the side of the road, I squarely faced his house and reflected on all the events that brought me to that moment in time.

I felt the Spirit wash over me, telling me it was time.

I bent down and cast off the dust from my feet, brushing my shoes with my hands and wiping the soles of my feet as I spoke the words of an ancient Mormon rite, almost as old as the restoration itself, passed down to me while a missionary in Alabama.

But I was not finished, I still had one more place to go.

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