Emmaus fosters and supports ministry to and with LGBTQ+ individuals and their families in and adjacent to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Emmaus is a community of heterosexual/cisgender and LGBTQ+ Latter-day Saints who are called to ministry for the safety, well-being and happiness of LGBTQ+ people in and adjacent to The Church of Jesus Christ.
We envision communities, congregations and families where LGBTQ+ individuals know they are cherished, where they are free from discrimination and inequality, where they are fully heard, understood and protected, and where their agency is respected.
We feel driven to do this work by our testimonies of the Gospel. We know there is a place in Christ’s Church and in our Heavenly Parents’ plan for every single one of us, and our hearts ache for the anguish caused by misunderstanding and lack of knowledge.
We believe that the way forward lies through relationship, connection and listening. We honor LGBTQ+ individuals’ courage, discernment process, and agency, and we are working for their nurture and support in every congregation, community and family. We want members and leaders of the Church to know LGBTQ+ individuals and to hear their stories. We want every LGBTQ+ individual to know that their contributions are indispensable, and to experience love in their church and in their families that is truly unconditional.
We recognize that real change takes time and requires patience. We know from experience the power of relationship to transform understanding. We are committed to a process that fosters connection, communication, learning, and empathy.
THE STORY OF EMMAUS
The name of our Ministry comes from a beloved story of Jesus Christ found in the Book of Luke, Chapter 24. After the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, his disciples wondered if all hope was lost. Three days later, early in the morning, Christ's disciples Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, went to Christ's tomb to dress his body. But when they arrived, they were amazed to find two men in shining garments standing by an empty tomb. "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" the angels asked, "He is not here, but is risen." (Luke 24:5-6.) The three witnesses ran back to tell the disciples of the miracle they had seen. At first, the disciples did not believe them, although they wondered in their hearts.
Later that same day, two of Christ's disciples set out on the road to Emmaus, a small village five miles from Jerusalem. On the road to Emmaus, they talked together of Christ's death with sadness. As they spoke, a man drew near and asked to walk with them on their journey. The man asked the disciples what they discussed with such sadness. They explained that they were followers of Jesus Christ, but that the chief priests had delivered him to his death. And the disciples related the women's astonishing story of finding his tomb empty, and the vision of angels saying that he was alive. In response, the man taught the disciples from the scriptures, explaining that this was part of Christ's plan, to enter into his glory.
As the day waned, the disciples found they did not want to leave this man's side. They pleaded with him, "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." (Luke 24:29.) The man agreed, and tarried with them. Together, they shared a meal. The man broke bread, blessed it, and gave it to the disciples.
At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they recognized that their fellow traveler was their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. No sooner had they realized this, than Christ disappeared from before them. The disciples, left to wonder at what had happened, said one to another, "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:32.) The disciples quickly arose and rushed back to Jerusalem that same night to share the miracle. When they rejoined the apostles, the Emmaus witnesses testified, "The Lord is risen indeed." (Luke 24:33.)