Episode 423: Karim Lazarus, Convert, Gay, Out of the Church for 15+ Years, Returned in 2020

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My friend Karim Lazarus (age 50, living in Baltimore) vulnerably shares his life story. Karim shares growing up in a single-parent home, being sexually abused (which he shares did not make him gay), finding his home in a military high school in Virginia and attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where he joined the Church. That led to Karim, after one year in the Church, courageously serving a mission in the France Bordeaux Mission under President Neil L. Anderson which was a great experience. After his mission, Karim returned to Academy but had some difficult church experiences that ultimately led to him step away. From 2003 through 2019, Karim was not active in the Church and was in relationships with men—including a deeply fulfilling relationship that ended a couple years ago. Karim always maintained an excellent relationship with Heavenly Father and our Savior and felt their love and acceptance. Karim, even while out of the Church, read conference talks and was aware of general Church direction---especially on LGBTQ issues. Over the past few years, Karim sensed a better tone from the Church towards its LGBTQ members and felt a desire to return to the Church. He eventually reached out to his Bishop in Baltimore and told him his life story. His Bishop responded with no shame--but rather with love, compassion and acceptance. Karim now holds a temple recommend and has Stake and Ward callings. Thank you Karim for the being on the podcast and sharing your story. Respect for being so vulnerable and honest. Thanks for your military service. Your story will help so many. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773

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