In-demand public speaker and best-selling author Dennis Schleicher, an openly gay man, has discovered a new family in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
At a very young age, Dennis has suffered bullying, persecution, and pain simply for being attracted to the same gender.
He had experienced a violent hate crime, forced institutionalization, and heartbreak after heartbreak, and was desperate for love and acceptance he didn’t know where to find.
“I was told my entire life that God rejected me, and I was going to hell merely for my orientation. I needed to change my entire persona and become straight,” Dennis said in an interview.
This has left such a bad taste in his mouth about organized religion in general that Dennis himself refused to attend any church for many years.
However, it was Latter-day Saints who taught him that “Heavenly Father loves all of His children, regardless of their orientation.”
“We are all children of God, and we should leave judgment to the Savior. It is not our place. We are asked only to love,” he says.
Dennis draws upon his life’s journey as a source of inspiration in coming up with a timely and inspiring book, “Is He Nuts: Why a Gay Man Would Become a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ.” The book aims to inspire and shed light on the plight of LGBTQIA+ who face similar situations.
Dennis, who now serves as a ward mission leader and assists sisters and elders throughout New England, has led the charge in spreading the word of God.
Dennis is quickly becoming an LDS Instagram influencer with about 10,000 followers on the social networking site. On his page, he shares his journey and leads the way in helping others find themselves through God.
In one of his posts, he shared his experience in visiting Palmyra, New York, to attend church upon his friends’ invitation.
“At the back of my mind, I was thinking how to get out of this. They’re nuts! I don’t want to go to Palmyra. I was pleading to God, please don’t make me fall for this church,” he recounts.
On his way, he listened to the old-fashioned radio where “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe was playing.
Dennis says his parents had played a MercyMe song during his brother’s funeral in 2004 when the latter died from a drug overdose.
“During that time, the whole car filled up — the Holy Ghost was present, and I fully knew I had to look into this church,” Dennis said.
As a devotional and fireside speaker, he specializes in devotionals and has spent a week sharing the word of God at the Experiencing Education Week at Brigham Young University or BYU.
“At first, I was hesitant to attend because I imagined it being college courses to learn math, business, science, etc. I had no clue that It was a week full of gospel learning,” he shares.
Those who want to take the opportunity to grow closer to God could check out Dennis’ website and Instagram page for a daily dose of inspiring content.