John Gustav-Wrathall

JOHN GUSTAV-WRATHALL {[email protected]} is the author of Take the Young Stranger by the Hand (University of Chicago, 1998) and numerous articles and personal essays on LGBTQ history and religious experience. A former executive director and president of Affirmation, John is cofounder of Emmaus, an organization to foster ministry to and with LGBTQ individuals and their families in and adjacent to the Church of Jesus Christ. He and his husband live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Excommunication and Finding Wholeness

Articles/Essays – Volume 54, No. 1

Dialogue 54.1 (Spring 2021): 69–79
Five years after my excommunication, I met and entered into a relationship with the man who is my husband to this day. We became a couple in 1991; we held a public commitment ceremony in 1995, a time when same-sex marriage was legal nowhere in the United States; we purchased a home together in 1996; and we legally married in California in 2008. Regardless of how or why I was excommunicated in 1986, current Church policy is such that if I were a member, my bishop would have grounds for excommunicating me now, and I cannot currently be reinstated into membership.

Read more

Personal Voices: I Am Not Your Trigger

Articles/Essays – Volume 51, No. 2

Read more

From the Pulpit: Why I Stay

Articles/Essays – Volume 50, No. 2

Dialogue 50.2 (Summer 2017): 209–213

“I was excommunicated from the Church in 1986. I am a gay man in a twenty-five-year-long relationship with my husband Göran Gustav-Wrathall. We were legally married in July 2008. Over the years, people have asked me how it is that I could consider myself Mormon if I’m not a member of the Church. What covenants are there for me to renew on Sunday morning, sitting in the pews, as I pass, without partaking, the sacrament tray to the person sitting next to me? To the extent that there is a relationship between me and God that has the Church as a context, real as it is to me, it is invisible to outside observers. That’s okay. I stay because I cannot deny what I know.”

Read more

Trial of Faith

Articles/Essays – Volume 40, No. 2

In 2007 there is an essay by John Gustav Wrathal, a man who was excommunicated in 1986 and remains in a relationship, now married to his long-time partner. But he is also deeply committed to…

Read more