[8] He graduated from BYU in 1977 with a bachelor of arts. Elder Gong was on my list of best case scenarios. Leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first leader of Asian descent. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News. They hadnt earned my forgiveness, but I had.. Race dynamics and categories in the US and Brazil are each independently complicated and fraught, and also very different from each other in subtle ways. (Haight had helped to overcome some of the misgivings some family members had about the interracial marriage. Fairbanks. [24], On March 31, 2018, Gong was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He previously served as a member of the Asia Area Presidency and member of the Presidency of the Seventy.During his 20 years in Washington, D.C., he served as special assistant to the undersecretary of state at the U.S. State Department, as special . Shes everything one would hope for someone in that role. But you probably didnt know how cool it was. Gerrit W Gong; Education. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, will also be featured at the conference as keynote speakers on Family Discovery Day the last day of the conference focused on making connections and celebrating family heritage. He has deep credentials (both in church service and big worldly accomplishments), and he is born and bred American. [38] On October 16, the church announced that he and his wife had successfully completed their quarantines, and that Gong had been cleared by his doctors to resume his regular assignments the following week.[38]. Elder Gerrit W. Gong, newly sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, in Salt Lake City. His known family tree is extensive (bless the tradition of Chinese family genealogy record-keeping) and is 100% Chinese. [22] While in the presidency of the Asia Area, Gong resided in Hong Kong but supervised the work of the LDS Church in all of continental East Asia except Korea, Taiwan, and all of Southeast Asia, except the Philippines and south Asia. I dont know of anything further back in the family tree than that. The couple hosts grandkids camp every summer, which includes crafts and adventures, and loves to travel with their sons. Im also the white half of an interracial marriage. Arab? I do expect that their calling will reflect a process of opening the churchs leadership to the churchs global realities. I felt like the church that I have always thought was lead by God had caved in to the relentless pressure from those in the Mormon blogoshphere who are obsessed with promoting political correctness and diversity. However, I think that making leadership more diverse is almost certain to be a liberalizing influence over the long term. Currently, he is the fourteenth most senior apostle in the church.[6]. Assigned to organize the second stake in Bangkok, Thailand, Elder Gong participated in the calling of priesthood leaders. Although reasonable latter-day saints have long, long since realized there is no place for any disapproval of marriage based on race, this is still a big deal. The following is a summary of what he said. Some places wanted to send only the best and most artistic children to participate. That was a message about God that he wanted to share and prompted him to serve a two-year mission for the church, he says in the interview. Its very, very hard to do that with a small, centralized leadership group. After the meeting we entered a large room, where on chairs on three sides of the room priesthood leaders were ordained one by one, recalled Sister Gong. That our interactions would be nitpicked to brand us as avatars of ideologies, Gong writes on a Facebook post. It is heartbreaking when we are asked questions about religion, but cannot respond. This is because, in the white supremacist schema that subconsciously permeates our thinking, the latter is seen as marrying down in a way that the former is not, even though both are examples of interracial marriages. A Rhodes Scholar who worked for the U.S. State Department and for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Elder Gongs travels have taken him to all seven continents, including living in Asia for more than a decade. Oh, the challenge of English adjectives. (And alsowhat Kevin said. In doing so, he gave himself the chance to extend grace to his past selves. I personally am not concerned about quota filling in the Quorum. All rights reserved. (I should be really friendly to this guy, or I just want to spend a lot of time with that boy.), He didnt want to accept himself as gay, because the only queerness I had ever seen was bad the AIDS crisis, promiscuity, death. He said they have had an opportunity to weep together and pray together. Sister Gong is a compulsive gardener who loves to cook and bring people together. She has authored Chinese language childrens readers and was the first coordinator for Utahs Chinese language dual-immersion program. Love your family. Editors note If you or people you know are at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255. Thanks, Cynthia, and beautifully written. That being said, my thoughts are that we may be making more of Elder Gongs lineage than is really there. Gerrit W. Gong Featured. He had a close almost familial relationship with de Jong and would refer to him as "Grandpa de Jong." Biography. Cheers. We need to learn to love so unconditionally that we do not see race anymore, nor genders, nor other marginalization great and small. Never a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Susan, have rich family histories from Hawaii and Ireland. I dont think there are many people who are openly queer and whose dad is now in one of the highest positions of authority in the LDS Church, he quips in an online post that went viral. His mother met the missionaries as a teenager in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their marriage was performed by apostle David B. Haight, who had connections to their families from his time in California. He was born in Redwood City, California. -Gerrit W. Gong. Instead, the purpose of . That is something the Gongs also learned from the children involved in their mural projects, undertaken during the Christmas season. This is a grandly unique perspective on this appointment that I had not known, nor considered until reading your article. The Gongs will speak at 1:30 p.m., walking listeners through some of their personal family story, previously recorded on location in their homelands of Ireland and Hawaii. During a press conference related to the open house for the rededication of the Washington D.C. Temple, Gong shared that one of his first memories was of being sealed to his parents in a temple of the LDS Church. I am pleased for him. It depends. I held my ground and I silenced their rage with my story as I spoke with my own voice. Whether or not Brazilians are Latinos is complicated. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Susan Gong will be the keynote speakers for Family Discovery Day on the final day of RootsTech, the global family history gathering taking place virtually and in person March 2-4, 2023. They are the parents of four sons and have three grandchildren. [11] Gong was a professor at various times at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University. As we discover our story, we connect, we belong, we become." 1. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, will attend the event But sucking it out by reducing the surface pressure below 14.7 psi wont accomplish much. Its not a Chinese, Mormon or academic dinner-table topic. sltrib.com 1996-2023 The Salt Lake Tribune. Hi Benson, we should definitely all come to the same interpretation of calling the view that a white woman marrying an Asian man is marrying down a white supremacist view. I agree that people should go into an interracial marriage being mindful of the challenges. They visited Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji, including meeting with government leaders of New Zealand and Tonga. In movies, gays were victims, targets for bullies, or the sassy friend.. However Im not excited about the call because of his increasing the racial diversity in the Quorum of the Twelve (which he doesnt) but rather because he brings a -cultural- diversity that is very welcomed. I buried land mines and razor wire in my brain so that my heart couldnt get out., If Gong hadnt come out, he says, I would have fought in the war till I died by suicide.. I dont know how it came to us; it just did, said Sister Susan Gong. Hi MB, Im really not the expert to speak on that. That isnt to say father and son agree on all things. He was born on December 23, 1953 and his birthplace is California, Redwood City California. Maybe well get rid of those now. I am just grateful to know that this comes one day at a time and that when you are on the Lords errand, you receive the Lords help. If that makes me bad/wrong, then so be it. You may know that the LDS Young Womans program was way cooler in the early 20th century than it has been during the lifetime of anyone alive today. Thanks, New Iconoclast. Sign up for Meridians Free Newsletter, pleaseCLICK HERE. Four of my children have married half mixed spouses, two half Japanese and two half Hispanic in Utah. Its impossible to have any credibility as a global church if we have almost no cultural and ethnic diversity among the most senior leaders. It didnt matter if we agreed about everything; were still family. [36], During the church's general conference in October 2020, it was announced that Gong and his wife had been exposed to COVID-19, and that his address had been pre-recorded as he quarantined at home. His mother's family are ethnic Chinese in Hawaii . You were referring to citizenship and location of childhood ambient culture. Campus Research People Faith Family Past Issues. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during the Saturday afternoon session of April 2022 general conference. [9] The Gongs married in the Salt Lake Temple on January 4, 1980. His mother, an avid gardener, once explained the difference between flowers and weeds. The 2023 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints premieres online on Thursday, March 2, 2023. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Susan Gong are the keynote speakers for Family Discovery Day on the final day of RootsTech, the global family history gathering . Here goes: When the names of the two new apostles were read I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. The annual genealogical convention being held this year from March 2-4 at the Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City, and open to virtual and in-person visitors features special keynote speakers, classes and an expo of family research merchandise. Of his new assignment, Elder Gong said it was overwhelming to have President Nelson tenderly take my hands in his and extend a call to the apostleship. 1. I confronted and broke down the lies I had been told about what it means to be queer. :). Their address will be delivered at 1:30 p.m. MST. His mother's family were ethnic Chinese in Hawaii, while his father's family had lived in California and other parts of the United States after his ancestors had emigrated from China in the late 19th century. Mica Nicole is sure she had encountered one but was out and about and couldnt recall the specifics for me. Next I would really love for Adam and Eve in the temple videos to be an interracial couple. Even if you werent aware of all these nuances, youve probably absorbed from US culture the idea that its more normal or expected for a woman of Asian descent to be married to a white man, than for a white woman to be married to a man of Asian descent. Too many glories to express. Loursat wrote: I dont expect that these men will be cultural or political reformers.. Both men and women of Asian descent in the US face a media and social stereotype of being more submissive, passive, and infantilized. I have five other children that have married Caucasians as well. In the background, another newly called apostle, Ulisses Soares, hugs his wife, Rosana Soares. Cynthia you make a great couple. Parents and children can work through the awkwardness and conflict over deep disagreements to arrive at a place where they are simply family. Very happy about these calls for all sorts of reasons; thanks for adding another very cogent one to the pile! Gong had just been named an apostle. Elder Gerrit W. Gong currently serves as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In your own life story, you are the main character! Then whatever is revealed is always so outside a lot of peoples realm of what, who, or how things should be that murmuring is inevitable. I struggled to find meaning in the spiritual void left by having been a flower growing in the wrong place., He hated that God had been taken from me, he says. When asked in 2018 if having a gay son had affected his views on LGBTQ issues, the apostle replied, We love each member of our family. I dont know how it came to us; it just did, said Sister Susan Gong. [12][13] He joined this latter institution in 1989. Now as a newly sustained member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles he will share a different kind of light with Gods children throughout the world. That means not only that he has experience with multiple cultures, it also means that his grandchildren will likely be raised in the same country where he lives, which means that it will be a little easier for him and his wife to spend time with them as present and well known grandparents. I experienced confusion, sexual assault and rejection as I stumbled through my new life, Gong says. Members of Elder Gerrit W. Gongs family and the army of street children they enlisted to help them paint the scene stood back and examined the work. Latter-day Saints across the globe sustained Elder Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares as Apostles during the Saturday morning session of general conference on March 31. [5] Gerrit was named after Gerrit de Jong because his mother had lived with de Jong and his family while she was a student at BYU. [23] Among his assignments while in the Presidency of the Seventy, Gong served on the Church Board of Education and Boards of Trustees, where he also served as a member of its executive committee. RootsTech 2023, a global gathering of family history enthusiasts, will be in-person at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City and virtually at rootstech.org. No registration is required. His father joined the Church after attending Stanford University, where his parents met and dated. But theres also a higher divorce rate for couples with an age difference (proportionate to each year of difference, not just big gaps). One day, during Gongs freshman year at Brigham Young University, he tried to take his life. Happening March 4, Family Discovery Day is free online and in-person. Cynthia, thanks for sharing. Shout out to Jusok. Elder Gong was with Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Gary E. Stevenson in Vietnam when the Church received official recognition. [20][21] Among other activities while Gong was president of the Asia Area, he created the second and third stakes in Thailand. Representation matters. Y Magazine is published four times a year by Brigham Young University for graduates and friends. Thoughts of not having that became unbearable, he says, and so he repressed them. He began to heal, until there was one final battle: to face institutions and people who had harmed and abused him. They will speak at Family . deductible, Report a missed paper by emailingsubscribe@sltrib.comor calling801-237-2900, For e-edition questions or comments, contact customer support801-237-2900or emailsubscribe@sltrib.com. [9][10], In 1985, Gong became a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State. Matthew Gong, Matthew Gong is a minority three times over in his own words Chinese American, Mormon and queer.. Once ordained they joined the growing circle of priesthood power.. We were grateful others were excited for children to have creative opportunities.. (Sometimes the emphasis is on achieving a picture-perfect family which involves inflated egos, exclusiveness, feelings of superiority or inferiority, and other unChrist-like behaviors both inside and outside the family. There are any number of reasons I couldnt be happier about the newly-called Elder Gong and Elder Soares. Loursat, I only bring this up because it was clearly your main point, but sucking oil out of the ground is a terrible strategy. Gerrit W. Gong was born on 23 December, 1953 in Redwood City, California, United States, is a Leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first leader of Asian descent. Mental Health Minute: Who is Driving the Bus. [4] He also held the Freeman Chair in China studies and was later the Asia Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And thus he came to see his gay self as a weed in the Latter-day Saint garden. Oh Lord, hasten the healing of our unbelief. At the risk of being a downer: there are still at least two places on lds.org with instructional materials containing a quote that members are encouraged to marry within their race. Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Susan Gong, leave the stand after the Saturday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 30, 2018. Lost touch so you can imagine my surprise to see his pic on BCC. But so is rejoicing for many other peoples realms of thought. After Joseph's baptism, the Young brothers taught their family and friends in Canada and baptized over 150 individuals and established four branches of the church, including ones in Kingston and Sydenham. He really desires with all his heart to build the kingdom and bless Heavenly Fathers children. Youd think wed try to start making trends on this issue as opposed to following them. On Buzzlearn.com, Gerrit is listed as a successful leader who was born in the year of 1953. Gerrit was named after Gerrit de Jong because his mother had lived with de Jong and his family while she was a student at BYU. There is joy and warmth as my boyfriend pulls me close for a hug, and I marvel at the easy laughs and unqualified smiles that we share as we sit on the couch watching TV., There is celebration, he says, in my families of both queer and of birth., Though Gong still claims aspects of Mormonism in his spirituality, he has added theistic Taoism, Zen Buddhism and any parts of a religion that seem resonant civility, care, forgiveness, treating humans with dignity and compassion., He learned those principles from growing up Mormon, he says, but they are not unique to the church., The churchs patterns and behaviors of abuse, he says, dont have to be there; they are not inherent in the doctrine.. Not sure that the fact his Asian roots would mean that much to the Chinese government in order to open it for missionary work, but I believe that he fits the mold for Apostleship with age, church experience/loyalty, and worldly accolades.

What Generalization Can You Make About These Four Presidential Elections?, Harry Tells Dursleys About Cedric Fanfiction, Sun Joe Pressure Washer Replacement Parts, Selma, Ca Arrests, Ymca State Qualifying Times 2022, Articles G