SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah Latter-day Saints family is spreading the message of love and acceptance towards gay family members, and the LDS Church is helping them do it.
The Mackintosh family and the LDS Church came together to make a six-minute video showing how Xian Mackintosh came out to his mom, and dad, and how they handled the news.
“For the next several years, I just dealt with it, and hoped it would go away," said Scott Mackintosh in the video, Xian's father. "This was a phase he was going through."
In the video, Xian said he remembered his mother saying, "What are we going to do about this? We obviously need to get you testosterone or something."
But the Mackintosh's soon learned, this was no phase, and there was no medical remedy to fix the problem. However, it would take them years to come to grips with the reality.
Scott said he had a heart-to-heart conversation with his son a couple of years later and asked him why he chose to be gay. Scott said his son explained it wasn't a choice. Something Scott struggled with before accepting. But based on his Mormon faith, wondered how to proceed.
"If we love them too much, is that condoning what they’re doing? And my message is, don’t worry about that. Just love them, and everything else will work out.”
It's a message Scott and his wife have learned over the years, and a message the LDS Church has asked them to share in a video that's gained tens of thousands of hits in just the first few days.
“The reason I did this is because I saw that this could be a blueprint for others," Mackintosh said of how he hopes his family's journey can help others. “And for the church to put a stamp on that, it was really important to us.”
Scott and his family also admit that their son struggled with depression before coming out; however, he never shared those thoughts with his parents until later. After seeing the rising rates of suicides in the LGBT community around the country and here in Utah, the Mackintosh's felt they needed to be all in with their support, not only for their son, but for others in the LGBT community as well.
Scott says that his son is conflicted about his religious beliefs at times because of his sexual orientation. However, Scott said he will be there to support his son, whether he chooses to remain of the Mormon faith, or not.
“Where my son's salvation lies is a thought that hung with me for a long time, but I don’t have to worry about that. I’m not the judge.”