Savannah hopes that her coming out will help closeted church members.

Savannah Ward, a 12-year-old from Utah, took the stand in her Mormon Church's Fast and Testimony meeting. She then broke all conventions and openly outed herself as a lesbian in front of other church members. She said she believes God has made her this way. Her microphone was subsequently cut off in the middle of her speech. She was asked to sit down while a man announced to the congregation he is grateful as God has made all humans unique.

Before she was interrupted, Savannah provided a heartwarming and an intensely powerful message concerning her sexuality. She said, “God loves me just this way, because I believe that he loves all his creations.” The 12-year-old girl said she believed God made her like this “on purpose,” and “No part of me is a mistake.” Savannah assured everyone she did not intentionally become a lesbian and this attitude of hers is not a trend. Being around her will not make anyone gay. She continued on to say she believes the supreme being wants everyone to treat one another with kindness, regardless of whether they are the same or not.

Savannah’s mother, Heather, told the media her daughter came out to her as a lesbian in June 2016. She said her daughter told her of being alone in thoughts and having crushes on girls instead of boys. Her mother assured her that she will continue to love her and she thinks she is perfect in every way. Heather said Savannah had asked that she be allowed to share her story in the LDS church so other closet attendees will know they have an ally in her.

The last bit is important as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes a distinction between homosexual behavior and attraction between members of the same sex. The church regards same-sex behavior as a kind of sin but it is not a sin to be attracted to the same sex. Critics have branded this move of the LDS church as manipulative. They said that this kind of step does not offer any kind of solution for gay or LGBT Mormons. Heather hopes the Mormon church will be receptive to the courageous message.

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