Love One Another

Recently an anonymous letter was sent out to the Autumn Ridge Ward in Sandy, Utah chastising community members for flying Pride flags in their yards. I’m not going to quote the letter here because it is hateful LGBTQ rhetoric and I’m not going to further commit aggressions toward LGBTQ Latter-day Saints on this site, but you can read about it here.

Kristy Donahoo, an Autumn Ridge resident who is choosing to fly a Pride flag, has said that she knew there had to be at least one LGBTQ teenager in their neighborhood (statistically there is probably more than one) and because Utah has such a high teen suicide rate, she wanted to put up Pride flags for “National Coming Out Day” to let LGBTQ teens know that they are not alone and that they are loved and included.

And isn’t that what Jesus would do? The second greatest commandment according to Christ is to love our neighbor as ourselves (John15:12). Sending out mean-spirited, self-righteous, and bigoted anonymous letters to your neighbors is the opposite of loving them. Flying a flag to let someone know that they are respected, included, and seen is the epitome of loving your neighbor.

I was honestly shocked to read the contents of the letter because I could not believe this was recent. I was shocked by my own naiveté that this kind of hateful vitriol is still so prevalent among Latter-day Saints 12 years after Prop 8. We teach our children in Primary through song to “Love on another” and “Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too.” I’m sure the anonymous letter writers believe they are loving people and that they “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” But that is not the pure love of Christ, because the pure love of Christ is charity, and there was absolutely no charity in that letter.

I commend the Donahoo family, and others in the Autumn Ridge neighborhood, for seeking to include instead of exclude and for showing their neighborhood and ward what it truly means to love their neighbors.

Risa has a Masters and Bachelors degree in Social Work. She is a Mental Health Therapist who has worked in child abuse prevention, adoption, domestic violence and sexual assault trauma recovery. She is a mother of 4 and in her spare time she is a voracious reader, snarker, and subversive cross-stitcher.


  1. i saw that letter too, so appalled that anyone was so cruel and self righteous all at once. i completely agree with you. love one another and bear one another’s burdens are the messages that come to mind in a situation like this.

  2. I couldn’t believe the letter either. It was also so strange to me, not living in Utah, the idea that your neighborhood and your ward are one and the same and therefore you are in a position to know every ward member’s decorations. But it is still weird the idea that you’d think you’d have any right at all to tell someone else what they can do on their private property. And the message was deeply sad. What is so wrong about telling someone else that you love them and see them?

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