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Conference seeks to help Mormons with same-sex attraction who want to keep the faith

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  • Screenusnomus USA, CA
    June 6, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    While essentially there's nothing wrong with being celibate, that is something that one decides to do on your own. When it is imposed upon you, it rarely works. Look at the failures in the Catholic priesthood.

    But what I have asked those who say that gay people should remain celibate, is this; "Are you married? Do you have an intimate relationship with your spouse? Would you be willing and able to give that up for the rest of your life if the Church told you to do that?" And the answers that I get from these stalwarts who "know" they have all the answers is always dead silence. They neither say yes nor no. But they know the answer.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    @patriot
    Homosexuality doesn't tear families apart unless a homosexual got into an opposite-sex marriage. Those tend to not do very well on average. It's not a homosexuals' fault if parents disown them for being gay. You mention suicide... but the primary reason for it being elevated in the homosexual community is because of the bullying and discrimination they face. Is that their fault too?

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    June 5, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    Marxist,

    That is precisely where this issue turns.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    It all comes down to a basic question that has been facing the world for a long time now: Is homosexuality normal? The answer in scientific communities is "Yes". As in many other topics, in the religious communities it is usually "no". Most religious communities want to help people find a way to be part of them anyway so they try and find ways to "heal" them. But, more and more, this is starting to be rejected. Of course there are some that are gay that can find happiness being celibate just as there are those that are heterosexuals that do too. But for most people, that is not an option. And it is wrong for people to say that to be "moral" a homosexual person should just be celibate. That is the same as saying that heterosexuals should all be celibate! I feel sorry for many religions that cannot change the wrong beliefs within them, but they are wrong and the world is realizing it. God doesn't judge people by their sexuality or their religion.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2014 11:41 p.m.

    Let's all take a deep breath and appreciate that in all likelihood this life is the only life we will ever have. This changes the perspective doesn't it?

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    June 4, 2014 10:29 p.m.

    @ Ranch--
    I believe you're inferring something I didn't intend. Something only becomes a "struggle" if you desire to overcome it. If you don't, it wouldn't be classified as such. My struggles are innate tendencies I have that if given in to relentlessly would distance me from God. I don't want to be distant from God, therefore, I choose to engage in the struggle to overcome those tendencies to draw nearer to Him. That process, though challenging, brings me joy. That said, it is not a compulsory process. Those who choose not to follow that path are free from the need to "struggle". Couldn't be simpler!

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 4, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    @bj-hp: "Do these other churches have equal say? The answer is an emphatic NO. Only the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints speaks for Jesus Christ to all his children."

    And every church, sect and religion out there believes that they have the truth and nothing but the truth. The Catholics believe Jesus speaks through Pope, the Baptists believe Jesus inspires and directs their teachings and actions. The Muslims believe they, too, have the truth and that your opinion does not matter.

    And, while you can bring your religious beliefs to the public square and present them as an argument, they can be dissected and examined and critiqued like any other position. Your claim of divine mandate carries no more weight than the claims of any other person.

    And, in the history of the world, "God says..." has so often been the precursor to violence, oppression, and war, because if your view is the same as God's view, than any atrocity can be justified.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 4, 2014 9:19 p.m.

    @patriot: "...many have found help to recover to a normal life."

    My life when I tried and tried to be straight was miserable. I now have a very happy and normal life as a gay man. I work, I have a great partner and a wonderful circle of friends.

    "She gave her testamonial that recovery and change are possible if done in the right way for most people."

    Her "testamonial" is about her and her alone. While I might find comfort, inspiration, or even direction, the fact it seems to have worked for her does not mean it will automatically work for me or for anybody else.

    "Homosexuality as I said tears apart families and leads many to suicide. These are FACTS. Terrible and frightening facts."

    Actually, judgement and rejection tears families apart, and the pain and loss of that rejection may cause some to commit suicide. The fact is, people feel free to say and do terrible things to other human beings based on their belief that "God said..."

  • fact based Salt Lake, UT
    June 4, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    @Bj-hp

    I would think a former stake president should know about the proclamation and current doctrine. So far, two devout LDS federal judges have upheld the rights of same gender couples to marry. Nothing was done to them, nor were they were the disciplined or excommunicated for doing the right thing by allowing same gender couples and their children to marry. Nothing was said about sin, the prophet, what is right and wrong in the lords eyes, and going against the LDS doctrine etc. etc.

    LDS leaders gave them all a free pass, no?

    Why shouldn't everyone else with differing Gods and beliefs?

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    June 4, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    sikiyhtaky: Your quote is wrong in that President Hinkley never said it was wrong. In fact what he said was that the Leaders at the time of the ban interpreted it that way and we have moved on. When pressed for a clearer answer he stated why worry about the little stuff of history.

    That is exactly what we have done is move on. Same-sex marriage is a matter of pure doctrine and is taught through out the Bible, Book of Mormon and modern scriptures. What this doctrine states is that marriage is between man and woman, and all other marriages are inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ inspired the A Proclamation to the World, The Family. In it is the clearest doctrine on the importance of the family and marriage. No other document in the History of the Church other than the Proclamations on Polygamy has been used as a teaching tool and is included in all manuals and magazines since its inception. The warning there is clear just as it is clear to us that a Prophet of the Lord has spoken and it is best that all listen.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    June 3, 2014 8:37 p.m.

    Baccus you continue to use scripture to state your point but as it you state if eunuch is supposed to be a name for homosexual then you also know that it was taught that they would be better not to marry at all. You also would read that man is not to lie with man as he does with a woman. Therefore, scripture tells us that the acts of homosexuality are a great abomination before the Lord and that it is wrong for you to say otherwise. There is no sin in having same sex attraction but it is a grievous sin next to murder itself to act upon this attraction.

    You can say you are made that way but scripture tells us anything but what the Lord Jesus Christ as he taught in the Old Testament and again in the New Testament are the truth. Those sects that go against this teaching are more in line with Satan than the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Today modern prophets have reinterated that acting upon the attraction is just as much as an abomination today as was anciently. You are standing on sand not a rock.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    June 3, 2014 8:18 p.m.

    RanchHand,

    Twin Lights here.

    Please re-read your own. You are demanding that they live your way.

    Baccus0902

    If a condition that needs "fixing" negates respect and inclusion, how do AA and similar organizations function?

    Reference eunuchs. This may sometimes refer to a homosexual male in the bible but that is not the common meaning. The common meaning was of a castrated male.

    Reference the Roman Centurion. That word refers to a child. So, if it was a same gender relationship then it would have been pederasty - not something Jesus would have countenanced.

    Though there are doubtless some instances of homosexuality in histories religious and secular, so many things I read now interpret any male to male relationship as homosexual which is simply ludicrous.

    God created folks in lots of ways that they need to not give in to.

    Yes, God is still our father. That never changes.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    June 3, 2014 7:11 p.m.

    bj-hp...If what you say is true, that the prophet speaks for Jesus Christ, why is it that some of the prophets have seemed to stumble in the relay of the information from Jesus. President Hinckley in the CBS interview with him on speaking about the issue of blacks and the priesthood said 'we misinterpreted, it was a mistake, we fixed it and are moving on,' Which I think was a brilliant answer to move the church forward and off the same old beating they take, but it definitely showed that either Jesus made an error that day or the prophet who was speaking did. I'll leave that to you to sort out.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    June 3, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    I have no answers, I just have observations.

    1. I find it to be condescending and judgemental to tell a person who doesn't share your views that because their lifestyle is different from yours and even though they are successful in life and appear happy they aren't REALLY happy because they don't follow your churches teachings. There are people who are obedient to every commandment and have taken all the prescribed steps of education, great job, marriage, family, church committment who are thoroughly miserable. Then there are people who still lead lives as good law abiding people who do things differently who are delireously happy. Like it or not that is fact.

    2. To be gay and decide you must follow the teachings of the church is a personal decision. BUT, to marry someone who you can never fully love is not only wrong, it is immoral and selfish. You are robbing them of the physical act where two people can express the fullness of their love for one another through physical intimacy. If your partner is gay, it becomes nothing more than a physical release void of true love.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    June 3, 2014 5:19 p.m.

    Brothers and sisters that oppose Same Sex Marriage;

    It seems to me that many of you when posting on this forum think LGBT are against the church, the gospel or anything you consider good or moral. I can assure you that is not the case. Many or most of us who partake of the opportunity and freedom of this exchange are or were LDS at some point of lour lives.

    Many of us have wonderful memories of our lives in the church. Sometimes the most wonderful the memory the sharpest is the pain we felt when after agonizing prayers, fasting, study, you see that whatever you do is not enough to live "as the brethren advice you to live".

    At some point we disassociated with the church to find the peace that comes from accepting as you really are.

    We all discovered that life is beautiful.

    I was surprised to find out that God is still our father, Christ is still our brother and we are not broken individuals. Personally, I rejoice in the gospel and in my communion with the divine.

    I thought this important for you to know.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    June 3, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    @ AerilusMaximus

    "Jesus... said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."
    Matthew 22:29

    Please allow me to illustrate this point: If you read Matthew 8: 5-13 you will read this interesting story of a Roman Centurion who is asking Jesus to heal his servant. I said interesting because a powerful Roman military man usually wouldn't be concerned about his servant. Perhaps the translation is wrong, because you see the Greek word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

    Another point:

    The word "homosexual" was coined in the 19th Century. In Bible writing the word used was eunuch when referring to same sex attraction, celibate or castrated men.

    In Matthew 19:12 Jesus tells us:
    "For there are eunuchs who were born that way..... The one who can accept this should accept it."

    If this is correct then Jesus Christ is telling us that eunuchs were born that way. Therefore, we are God's creation. If God created us this way why do you oppose it?

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    June 3, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    @ Baccus0902

    I think you mean the "world" is with you. Jesus Christ through his Apostles has already said that homosexuality is a Sin.

    "Inasmuch as the trend in society today is rapidly moving away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, we will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which we believe. Will we have the courage to do so?"

    "Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval."

    -Thomas S. Monson

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 3, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    To those who are sure that sexual orientation can be changed, please research the topic. The Wikipedia article on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts is a good start. For North Star's position, search for the Director's message called "Clarifying North Star's Position on Changing Orientation."
    I think you'll find it is a vast oversimplification to say that there is any spiritual or therapeutic process for all gay people to become straight. The reality is a lot more nuanced than I can say here.
    I can say confidently that for me--a completely faithful my entire life, celibate, scripture-reading, praying, God-fearing, LDS guy who is also totally gay--it is counter productive to keep hearing that I can be straight if I just try harder. I've wanted to, tried, and gotten over that. The people who know me, including my church leaders, aren't trying to make me straight. The spirit has unmistakably confirmed that my sexual orientation is something I will live with my whole life. I'll keep growing and trying to be a better person, but I am under no illusion that I will one day fall in love with a woman.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    June 3, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    Evidence not Junk Science: You ask a question and so you may not like the answer I give to you. These Christian Sects or Churches only speak for their congregations. Just as the Pope speaks for all Catholics and so on for most Churches. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak also for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Head of these other Churches rest with the head pastor or Bishop. However, unlike these other Churches the Head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord Jesus Christ. It matters not whether you believe it or not. That is your choice and a gift given to all mankind. When the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints speaks it is by authority given to him by Jesus Christ himself. And whether by his, Jesus Christ, or by the voice of his servants it is the same.

    Do these other churches have equal say? The answer is an emphatic NO. Only the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints speaks for Jesus Christ to all his children.

  • Evidence Not Junk Science Iron, UT
    June 3, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    Many are beginning to see that irrational views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage bans based on vile animus, hate and prejudice do not pass constitutional muster. Much like the historical religious or personal views of every caring, thoughtful person who just happened to hold deep and strong moral views on where African Americans should sit on public transportation, their use of separate drinking fountains or educational institutions and who they should love or marry.

    “It cannot have failed to strike you that these people ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they and all others shall have.”- A. Lincoln

    "LGBT and their children too, whose voices are in harmony with constitutional guarantees, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is this courts power, they and all others shall have." -Virgina Judge

    In the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu: “I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I demand the full menu of rights.”

  • Evidence Not Junk Science Iron, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    @Patriot

    "Prejudice rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different from ourselves.” J. Kennedy

    "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” - Jefferson Memorial

  • Socal Coug San Diego, CA
    June 3, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    Change is part of life, at least one with purpose and self-improvement. Yes, we are all broken and need fixing. Some may disagree on what those things are, but I'm glad it's not up to me to determine that. The natural man in me would take me places I shouldn't be, and be contrary to the self-improving I was striving for.
    This group, and the people attending, are trying to change some aspects of their lives that THEY feel they are struggling with. Good for them.
    Ranch (and his alter-ego Ranch-hand) and others will always throw around words like "love" and "acceptance" and "tolerance" to cloud the conversation.
    Who I accept and love and tolerate will never be because of ones behaviors. I can disagree with those behaviors and still love them. Trust me, I have 5 kids and a lot of practice!
    Using words like "hate" to describe me because I don't agree with your behaviors is just name-calling.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    June 3, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    @ Dear Ranch

    I share the feelings of frustration that may feel you when you we read some of these comments.

    I wonder how is it possible that someone who doesn't know what is to be homosexual feel with the authority to preach and give advice.

    The last time I faced this issue within the church it was with a fellow recommended by my bishop. He worked in "reparative medicine", he asked in a scale 1 to 10 what was my desire "to change" I said 10, But I knew he didn't offer a cure, he offered repression of feelings, deception and a lie as a life.

    That was around 30 years ago. Happiness and full realization as a human being is possible if we are brave, loyal and honest with ourselves. This is a religious newspaper and as such I feel confortable stating here that the Lord is with us and anyone who truly looks for him, regardless his sexual orientation or the gender of his/her spouse/lover.

    Ranch, I hope you keep on fighting the good battle. Love and good luck my brother!

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    June 3, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    What a sad organization and objectives!!

    Whom are they deceiving? As long as someone considers homosexuality as a condition that needs fixing you cannot claim to be respectful and inclusive.

    I am no one to judge. However, it seems illogical and cruel to subject a heterosexual woman to marry a homosexual man. Marriage should be to fulfill the love of the couple involved NOT as a barrier for one of the parties involved. How used that wife must feel? How many times that wife wonders and wishes things would be different.

    I no longer attend the church. However, I see the world mostly through the perspective the LDS doctrine ingrained in me.

    I am Gay and very happy to be one. I have a loving companion a family and most important than all. I have the love, support and company of my Heavely Father every single day of my life.

    The Lord is revealing his true position about this issue through out the world. I have no doubts that the LDS church will soon be part of that message as well.

    If the Lord is with us wer already won!!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    reEvidence Not Junk Science

    not sure what your point is. Recall the New Testament scripture that "wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many their be that go in there-at". Also "narrow is the way that leads to life and few their be that find it". I would add that few their be that are "willing" to even look. Safety in numbers isn't something I would feel too safe about as I meet my maker. Most Protestant churches today aren't really churches in the strict sense but rather clubs that pick and choose what they want to hear. The true church of Jesus Christ isn't a "pick n choose" man made gospel. Opinions don't determine truth - yours or mine. We discover truth - we don't create it. Truth exists in spite of our opinion or PC beleifs.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    re:Ranch

    Actually Ranch - your suggestion that homosexuals simply accept themselves as they are is truly sad. There is help out there and many have found help to recover to a normal life. There was a great article in the Ensign (LDS magazine) a couple years ago regarding a woman who stuggled with same sex attraction for years and through years of counseling and family help she was able to finally break the terrible chains of homosexuality. She is now married to a wonderful man and has three children. She gave her testamonial that recovery and change are possible if done in the right way for most people. I agree that for some same sex attraction is not something they choose just like mental illness isn't something people choose but to make the absurd suggestion that such people need to just accept themselves as they are is very very sad and terrible advise especially when there is help for many. Homosexuality as I said tears apart families and leads many to suicide. These are FACTS. Terrible and frightening facts.

  • Erika Salem, Utah
    June 3, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    I appreciate the efforts of Northstar in offering a conference like this. I believe it's challenging to be human, with all our feelings that seem to come from nowhere and everywhere. They often don't make sense. I have felt same-sex attraction, but I imagine it's no different from other feelings that just happen. I felt so liberated when I realized one day that it was okay for me to feel whatever I was feeling, regardless of whether it was caused by hormones, the weather, or had no apparent cause. Because I'm human, I can feel whatever I feel and not judge myself for feeling it. I can choose how to act -- I don't have to act based solely on my feelings. I think this lesson I learned can be applied to everyone, and I have tried to teach my kids that feelings are okay. Angry feelings, sad feelings, happy feelings, and confused feelings are all perfectly normal. As long as I choose to act based on my chosen values and priorities, I can be okay with all my feelings. Those with same-sex attraction can do the same. We're all human together!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 3, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    @Twin;

    Please re-read your comment. You just confirmed what I was saying all along - that we're being taught from a young age that "there is something wrong with you" and you "must live such-an-way" in order to...

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 3, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    RanchHand,

    If you don’t have a problem with them living their faith then you must accept the fact that their faith may not embrace homosexual acts. This is true of many faiths. It is hardly limited to the LDS. If you allow for folks to practice their faith then you have to allow for them to do so within the confines of that faith.

    You don’t appear to accept that. You call it disgusting. Yet, I assume, you would take umbrage to someone so describing your relationship. You clearly do not have faith in an afterlife as you call this life “the only one we're actually likely to ever get”. I have no problem with that. But you appear to wish to dictate what faith choices these folks can make.

    As to living “my way” – that is the choice THEY appear to wish to make. I simply support them. As to teaching them that they can live their faith (and again, faiths far beyond the LDS faith) and still be in a LGBT relationship, that is not possible within those faiths that do not condone such actions. I assume you know this.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 3, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    @SLCMom & @TwinLights;

    I don't have a problem with LGBT people choosing to live their faith, whichever faith that may be. The problem is that this idea that "the only way for LGBT people to live their faith is celibate and alone, or married to an opposite gendered person" is disgusting. LGBT relationships are as fulfilling and GOOD as heterosexual relationships. Even for faithful LGBT religious people.

    The whole premise of these things is that in order to be "good with god", LGBT people have to deny themselves the joy that they should be able to enjoy in *this* life (the only one we're actually likely to ever get).

    Must they live life your way Twin? They've been taught their entire life that they are not good enough as they are. These conferences only perpetuate that idea. Why not teach them, instead, that they can be both faithful [religiouspreferencehere] and still be in a loving, committed, LGBT relationship?

    @greatbam22;

    Your (mistaken) assumption here is that Gay is Sin.

    @MBW;

    Maybe Mormons should stop being mean to LGBT?

  • loraleechoate Logan, UT
    June 3, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    I get pretty weary of heterosexuals saying there is no difference between expectations for gay and straight members. This is completely not true. Straight people can date, hold hands, cuddle and kiss. Many of my friends would probably have been completely fine with that level of intimacy to remain in the church. As it is, they have to lead completely celibate lives that are also devoid of even the barest physical intimacies to someone they actually have attraction for. It is a life I would wish on no one and while I am an active LDS member I heartily support gay marriage.

    That said, if someone wants to remain LDS and is also gay, good for them. Whatever brings you the most internal peace and ultimate happiness I am for. (And yes...I DO believe there are some that this fits. Not everyone is the same. I have seen both scenarios, though staying LDS is by far the rarest scenario)

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 2, 2014 10:51 p.m.

    I wrote a lengthly response to the column in which I presented my opinion that a homosexual marrying a heterosexual is in effect a cheat to both. This comment was denied by the "powers that be" for whatever their reasons. However, I stand by this estimation. I have known homosexuals who have married, and personally tended to their emotional wounds. I have also known the heterosexual spouses of homosexuals who have known a rather empty relationship, and feel great personal loss that their spouse is not present to them in every way.

    Secondly, the idea that married homosexuals in any way lead a different life than married heterosexuals seems to permeate the airs of the religiously conservative. There is no known research or studies to indicate that gay partnerships, be they formally recognized in law or not, are much different than those of their heterosexual siblings. It serves society' s greater good to have stable relationships for both homosexuals and heterosexuals. Just don't mix the two. It cheats them both.

  • Rustymommy Clovis, NM
    June 2, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    @Karen R.

    I wasn't sure whether you were speaking from an LDS perspective or from a Gay perspective. However, it doesn't really make a difference. On all sides, we tend to judge others by our own values. We see other people's weaknesses under a magnifying glass and our own flaws through rose colored glasses. I like the quote, "Don't judge me because my sins are not the same as yours." Since you are probably not perfect, it would be wise to not be too judgmental.

    You are entitled to your beliefs. Speak out!! That is your moral responsibility. But expect nothing less of others. They also have a right to speak out as their conscience dictates.

    Christians can learn a lesson on compassion from the Savior. The first and great commandment is LOVE. Christ did not condone sin, not even once. But He LOVED everybody, every single time. He said to hate the sin but LOVE the sinner. Whatever religious avenue you walk, almost universally the prime directive is LOVE. If your ability to LOVE is damaged by your willingness to judge, you are probably off track.

  • Evidence Not Junk Science Iron, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    bj-hp

    What about the religious freedom of the following religions whose God says otherwise? Are they not worthy of equality before the lord?

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

  • 5th Amendment Salt Lake, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:39 p.m.

    @ Bj-hp "President Monson is the only person on earth today that speaks for the Lord Jesus Christ to all the PEOPLE of the earth. When he speaks we all must listen."

    The main issue must then be is how to codify that view into our nations cvil marriage laws, for all the PEOPLE, with that pesky due process and equal protection thing throwing road-blocks at every attempt to do exactly that.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    June 2, 2014 10:33 p.m.

    As a matter of fact, EVERY major professional association of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States lacks the ability to determine what is a disease, disorder, or deficiency in the sight of God. Similarly, just because many religious denominations embrace sexually active gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals, does not make those actions acceptable in the sight of God.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:27 p.m.

    Mormon Book Worm

    Great comment.

    I just want to let you know that Ranch and RanchHand are the same person. The second name is under a second account so he/she can get around the 4 post limit, and so he/she can like him/herself more times.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    June 2, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teaches explicitly that Same-Sex attraction may be inborn and not a choice. However, a huge mistake is that the act of homosexuality is an abomination before the Lord. This goes hand in hand with a heterosexual who also has sexual relations before marriage as defined by the Law of Chasity as given by the Lord Jesus Christ.

    All of us are going to be judged or our actions and every man, woman and child born on this earth will commit sin except Jesus Christ. He was the one and only perfect person to walk the earth. He is the perfect sacrifice for the atonement that allows us to be forgiven of our sins.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true and living Church of Jesus Christ on the Earth today. President Monson is the only person on earth today that speaks for the Lord Jesus Christ to all the PEOPLE of the earth. When he speaks we all must listen. It is our choice to do so but there are consequences if you don't and that will come on judgement day.

  • 5th Amendment Salt Lake, UT
    June 2, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    @RedWings
    Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming. EVERY major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.

    Control, managing and change efforts are well documented to pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred and hostility.

    You are misinformed, embracing ones sexual orientation, does NOT force anyone to identify as Gay, or act out sexually anymore than embracing heterosexuality forces one to act out or identify in one way or another. Moreover, the possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is never presented, nor are legitimate alternative approaches (e.g., changing ones religious view) to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization presented or discussed. In the interest of full disclosure, why do you have so little respect for that?

  • donn layton, UT
    June 2, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    RE; Tyler D, Who is to say "what is right to be close to god"? What if you're wrong?”

    (Jesus), "I am the way and the Truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    June 2, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    ". . . North Star has no official tie to the [LDS]church."

    That is the coy disclaimer that comes early on in the article. But if one wants to truly comprehend the phenomenon of North Star, one needs to understand this; It exists to serve the needs of the institutional church, not the needs of individuals. I think if LGBT Latter-day Saints are aware of this going in, they'll be in a better position to benefit from what it has to offer, or to decide that it is not for them.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 2, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    @greatbam22

    Actually people fighting for LGBT rights, the movement organizers, supporters of those rights, people who have rationally investigated what homosexuality is and base their opinions on facts do not view homosexuality as a "mote" or "minor sin". We don't view it as a sin at all. It's no more of a sin than having blue eyes or black skin. It is in fact a normal variation of sexuality in all kinds of different animals including humans.

    You are right in saying that most religions view homosexuality as major sins. I would argue that is because religions are myopic and backwards - hanging on to views that have been shown to be incorrect. Because religions are led by men who claim to speak to god they are stuck with this incorrect view. They can't come out and say well we were wrong sorry about that. So they keep fighting the bad fight. While those of us not chained to corrupt dogma have moved on to a position of truth.

  • Mormon Book Worm ----------, UT
    June 2, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    @RanchHand:

    He actually says: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34) Just saying.

    And guys, seriously, that's the best piece of advice. Love one another, no matter what. We're all children of our Heavenly Father and he loves all of us NO MATTER WHAT we do or whether we're homosexual or heterosexual.

    Love one another.

    @Ranch;
    I think you're being overly prejudice to the LDS church and I would appreciate it if you stop being mean to the people of my religion. Thanks.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    June 2, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    The one of the Biggest problems between the LGBT view / Secular / Humanist and the Religious view is that people is the media, society, LGBT movement organizers portray / view general sexuality as more of a "mote" or minor sin.

    Religion views Homosexual and other forms of sexuality (which includes many forms of heterosexual sexual relationships outside of marriage) as more of a "beams" or a major sins.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 2, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    equal protection:

    When the condition causes distress to the patient, mainstream therapists will treat them (except in states that bowed to politica pressure and banned treatment).

    Not all with SSA want to be gay. I did not. Your way is to force us to act out sexually when what we want it to follow the commandments of our God. Why do you have so little respect for that?

    The most intolerant people are usually the ones demsnding tolerance the most...

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 2, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    Ranch and Karen-
    North Star is far from perfect but I think it serves a valuable place in this conversation.
    It provides a support network for active, faithful LDS people, especially those who are already in mixed orientation marriages and don't want to break up their families or for people who would rather be celibate than separate from the church.
    Some people may participate as a first step to safely confront their situation and begin to reframe how they think about SSA before they move on.
    Of course, not everyone who experiences SSA has sexual addictions or even any sexual experience at all, but for those who do have actual addictions that cause distress, the 12-step type model and a support network helps them overcome those addictions.
    I think North Star should talk more realistically about mixed-orientation marriages so that people don't enter into them without full awareness. I also think they should drop relationships with sexual orientation change organizations like the Center for Gender Wholeness and Journey into Manhood or at least clearly state that the purpose of therapy is to control distressing behavior and overcome emotional distress around SSS, not to change sexual orientation.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    June 2, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    @ Ranch

    Christ told the woman taken in adultery that was about to be stoned after her accusers left "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."

    It is interesting how you can't bring up anything / talk sexual with the LGBT community unless your LGBT or you are 100% supportive of their message.

    If you don't follow the mainstream message of the LGBT movement and your LGBT then there is something wrong with you and you are shunned by them as much as by the other side.

    @ Karen R.

    "But there is no such thing as a "sinner." No one is born "broken." These are myths and contrivances used to prey on human self-worth for purposes that have little if anything to do with an individual's well-being."

    I will agree with part of your statement..

    "he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption."

    The first part is way off though. There is sin just like there will be a judgement. Where every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    June 2, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    NorthStars methodology is based on the 12 Step Model used for sexual addicts/addiction. Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is a Twelve Step model derived from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The only desire for membership is a desire to stop living out a pattern of Sex Addiction, behavior and thoughts on a daily basis.
    --

    The underlying premise here is that there is something that needs to be fixed, controlled, changed or managed. The court system can utilize SA as a one of many probation requirements for those convicted of various sexual offenses. In some cases the court may even order hormone treatments as a condition of probation.

    Every main stream medical, psychological and sociological organization has determined that homosexuality or (same-sex attraction) is not a disorder that needs to be managed or controlled. In fact, to do so can even cause harm (suicidal ideation). Imagine subjecting a heterosexual, or someone with blue eyes or left handedness to the same methodology.
    This is not the same or remotely comparable to sexual addition and associated compulsive behaviors.

    Most importantly:
    "Your sexuality is good. The church celebrates it and rejoices in it. God loves you as you are, and the church can do no less."

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 2, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Ranchhand,

    First, it is not clear to me that the point of this conference is to turn gay folks straight. Rather to help them accomplish their spiritual goals - to show them a way forward. Must that be the way you have chosen? Must they live their lives your way?

    Second, there are conferences all the time on how to fix/change the LDS and those of other faiths as well or to change a host of other things we identify ourselves by. We are all subject to being viewed as in need of "fixing". I can choose to be bothered by these or let them go.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 2, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    One classic means of establishing power over another is to convince that other that there is something wrong with him/her. This is the function of the concept of sin and it has proven to be very effective in a social species like homo sapiens that needs approval and acceptance from its group members. It is especially effective when introduced at an early age, at a time of development when humans are hardwired to believe their caregivers and authority figures without question.

    But there is no such thing as a "sinner." No one is born "broken." These are myths and contrivances used to prey on human self-worth for purposes that have little if anything to do with an individual's well-being.

    I agree with A Quaker. If you desire a spiritual community, there are a multitude of religions to choose from that look upon LGBTs as they actually are: as whole, and healthy, and inherently worthwhile as any human being. Do not allow yourself to be treated as anything less. Do not listen to this particular LDS doctrine. It is just plain wrong.

  • SLCMom Salt Lake City, UT
    June 2, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    I see no evidence that Ty Mansfield & those who align themselves with North Star have ever made it their mission to proclaim their way of living is the "right" or "only" way to live. They don't disrespect those who choose different paths. They have simply chosen their own "alternative lifestyle" - the lifestyle of being gay & an active, faithful LDS. They are even (bravely) talking openly about it, and provide a unique support system for those who desire to live the same.
    This is certainly not the easy way "out"! They face intense pressure and challenges from all sides. They must endure people who question and mock their choices & belittle their faith (as evidenced in this comment stream). But, they seem to have found their place in the world and are happy. For those who defend equality and champion "alternative lifestyles" it is incongruous NOT to defend and champion these LGBTQ who have found a fulfilling lifestyle path. More power to them! Let's remember that if LDS Church's policies and perspectives are ever to change, it will happen from within. These people are the true game-changers. I highly recommend we respect and rally behind them!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 2, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    @RedWings;

    Jesus NEVER says anywhere "love the sinner, hate the sin". It isn't in the bible, BOM or D&C.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 2, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Ranch:

    I do agree that gay couples should have the same secular rights as straight couples. I am also fine with government overseeing civil unions for all couples.

    We all have agency to choose how we live. I accept that others will live in a way that I do not agree with. That is tolerance. To support and celebrate that is not tolerance, that is acceptance.

    I love the sinner, but hate the sin. That is how Christ teaches us to live....

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 2, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    @Badgerbadger;

    You didn't answer the question asked. Did you choose to be attracted to the opposite sex?

    @Twin Lights;

    While I may agree with a part of your comment, especially concerning your friend, I disagree with your assessment that "it doesn't affect you". Of course it affects me! Every time these "conferences" occur, they're telling everyone else that "GAYS CAN BE FIXED". That IS a problem and it DOES affect me. How would you feel if people started holding conferences to turn straights gay?

    @RedWings;

    "You don't have to agree with me, but you have to accept that I have the right to believe this way. This is called "tolerance"."

    -- Then you should support SSM and LGBT people living their lives as they see fit. That's tolerance.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    @ RedWings

    We are not all broken. We don't fall short of the glory of a pretend God. There is excellent evidence that Jesus Christ wasn't even a historical figure. That's the problem we have here. There are religions which are based on myths telling their members how they should feel and think about who they are. And then there are facts and reality telling them how to be who they are. Basing ones self worth on how they measure up t a fairy tale is incredibly dangerous.

    No one should be told they "struggle" with same sex attraction. They should be told the truth about who they are and that these attractions are completely natural and normal.

    And while I don't agree with you I do certainly accept that you have the right to believe in any myths you want to. That wasn't the point of my post anyway. My point was, as I hope I've explained here, that telling people they are "broken" based on a long dis-proven myth causes great harm to that persons mental health and well being - and that's wrong.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    Wraith:

    We are all broken. We all sin and fall short of the Glory of God. That is the entire reason why Christ died on the Cross and was resurrected, so that can all receive of His mercy and be clensed and healed of sin.

    Just what would be the point of religion if it did not provide a way to overcome this world and return to God? Without the Atonement, religion is just another social club.

    I am certainly broken - I struggle with addictions to lust and compulsive eating. I had struggles with SSA as in my teenage years. I still struggle with numerous character defects.

    The world would tell me to accept and embrace "who I am" and enjoy myself. That to me is the same as "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die". I want more for myself that being "who I am". I want to be what I can be; what God made me to be.

    You don't have to agree with me, but you have to accept that I have the right to believe this way. This is called "tolerance".

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 2, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    @Ranch – “Twin Lights; Who is to say "what is right to be close to god"? What if you're wrong?”

    I didn’t take Twin’s response as advocating a particular path (Twin?)

    In any case, the problem here is much deeper than this issue – the problem is religion’s tendency towards exclusivity, superiority and ideas like “one true church.”

    This should be nonsensical on its surface – what kind of God would impart “the truth” to an incredibly small percentage of the population while letting the vast majority flounder in outer darkness or burn in hell – but indoctrination is a powerful thing.

    There are many paths up the mountain (to God) - and arguably some may be more direct than others – and I personally find it baffling & distressing that so many people in this world spend an inordinate amount of time running around the mountain proclaiming they have the only path and all the others are false.

    Ranch – glad you did what’s best for you and have found peace (which I believe always begins with being authentic & honest with yourself). Peace brother...

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 2, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    justpatti: "There is a reason that these so-called therapies are now illegal in a number of states: they are barbaric and ineffective."

    Not true. Making blanket statements like this is counter-productive. Those states that have made therapy illegal are motivated by political pressure, not facts. There are thousands that have been helped by therapy / 12-step programs, etc. The feeling of SSA may not be changed, but behavior can be.

    Some with SSA may choose to follow their religious beliefs over acting out sexually with a same sex partner. Why is that such a problem for the LGBT? Why is freedom and choice only OK if you agree with it?

    There are as many different answers to these issues as there are people. Truly "tolerant" individuals accept that others may choose what they do not agree with, and that others may find happiness along a different path...

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 2, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Ranch,

    Of course only God can say. If you think I or those attending this conference are wrong then don't worry about it (it doesn't affect you). I no longer believe the religious tradition of my parents. What their leaders say or do has no affect on me (and I spend no time worrying about it).

    But many of those attending here clearly feel there is such a need. I have a friend who has both a strong testimony of the gospel and experiences same gender attraction. He feels the need to maintain his testimony.

    I simply wish these folks well and hope they find what they are seeking.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 2, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    I think the reason there is some hostility toward this conference is because the entire premise of the conference is harmful to people who are homosexual. The idea that these people "suffer" with same-sex attraction and as a result need some kind of "help" or "fixing" is antiquated and wrong. These are ideas that were popular in the 70's and 80's before homosexuality had really been studied. Thankfully we now know that homosexuality is not a choice, that it is in fact a quite normal variation of human sexuality. That same sex attraction is found throughout the natural world in thousands of species including humans. That people with same-sex attraction do not need to be fixed or changed.

    Yet religions continue to cling to dogma that has proven to be wrong (something religions excel at) and do harm to their members by convincing them that they are broken and need fixing. This isn't true and causes great harm to the members who have been convinced of these lies. They feel tremendous pressure to deny who they really are all to adhere to false doctrines.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    June 2, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    justpatti asks,
    "If you are heterosexual, did you choose it?"

    Yes! I absolutely choose every aspect of my sexuality. I choose whether I engage in sex or not. If I choose to engage in sex, I choose who I will consent to have sex with. (They get to choose whether to consent of not too, of course.)

    I take responsibility for all aspects of my sexuality, and for the results of those choices.

    I choose, and my choices have brought me great happiness.

    If your choices aren't making you happy, you should rethink your choices.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 2, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    @Twin Lights;

    Who is to say "what is right to be close to god"? What if you're wrong?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 2, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    God bless all those who seek to do what is right and be close to God. I wish them the wind at their backs. As for me, my I smooth their path where I can.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 2, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    @ Rustymommy

    "Try to be as gracious and tolerant of people who don't share your views as you want them to be gracious and tolerant of your views."

    My conscience does not allow me to be tolerant of ideas that serve to harm, oppress, and deny the integrity of my fellow human beings. To be silent in the face of such wrongdoing is to be part and parcel of it. I refuse.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 2, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    @greatbam22;

    You don't know your god as well as you think you do; he couldn't care in the least.

    @patriot;

    The BEST thing that an LGBT person can do is accept themselves AS THEY ARE. We do NOT need fixing.

    BTW; AIDS is as much a heterosexual disease as a homosexual one.

    @Oh Really?;

    You can google many more videos where a married gay man is extremely unhappy until he "comes out" and accepts himself as gay.

    @Rustymommy;

    Would you feel "hostile" if a conference telling you that you're broken was put on? Your church would experience less hostility if it would mind it's own business and stay out of the lives of others.

    @aceroinox;

    Being gay isn't a "struggle". The simple fact you phrase it as such tells me you think gays are broken. I was LDS my entire life; I left in my 30's due to the fact that the church made me feel suidical; being told that it would be better off dead than gay can do that to you, you know.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 2, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    @LibertyForAll: Your phrasing ("recently been used") makes it sound like this is some sort of new miracle treatment. It's not. It's one of a class of drugs used in the criminal justice system. The other name for it is "chemical castration," and it was used as an alternative to incarceration for rapists and molesters.

    Alan Turing, the computing genius who saved tens of thousands of Allied lives in WWII by cracking the enemy's Enigma Code, was one such "offender," although he hurt no one. A mild-mannered man, he was simply gay at a time when it was illegal. The treatment was so dehumanizing, the poor fellow subsequently committed suicide.

    A normal, healthy gay man or woman who only desires consenting physical intimacy with their equally consenting romantic partner does not need nor deserve chemical neutering, nor the condemnation of their community.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 2, 2014 5:45 a.m.

    @ gittalopctbi

    "We in the LDS church proclaim that this church is the one that the Lord speaks through. Pretty bold statement, I know. But I also know that it is true."

    If you are right...

    If there is a "Lord" and your church doctrine is an accurate reflection of what it wants...

    I will reject it all the same. I want nothing to do with a deity that is inhumane to its own creations.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    June 2, 2014 12:08 a.m.

    This is a great conference, and much needed. Thanks for doing this! We need more of this inclusive, understanding, and proactive approach.

    Just as the LGBT have been ostracized, persecuted and prejudiced for so long--some of the same thing is now happening to these that believe Christian teachings. I'm not sure I've heard a Mormon, inside or outside of Church, belittle gays or lesbians; but they do not appreciate being belittled or ridiculed themselves or hearing that a core standard for thousands of years just changed this decade (and by implication therefore there isn't a God, He changed his mind just now, or we never understood His will--none of which is valid).

    Gays and lesbians are wonderful people--often very exceptionally so in a great many ways. God didn't make a mistake; he very often gave them great gifts--but they also have their own set of challenges to contend with (as do each of us).

  • justpatti Oceanside, CA
    June 2, 2014 12:01 a.m.

    Let's be clear about a few things.
    Homosexuality is not a choice.
    If you are heterosexual, did you choose it? Of course not.
    No one would choose to be gay or lesbian, not in this country, certainly not in this culture/Church.
    The issue isn't (or shouldn't be) orientation. The issue is about behavior. Everyone deserves to love and be loved at the most intimate level. If the "standard" is no sex before marriage, then it applies to everyone. THAT's the message that needs to continue to be taught to youth.
    There is a reason that these so-called therapies are now illegal in a number of states: they are barbaric and ineffective.

    Consenting adults are just that, and should be allowed to be just that: consenting and able to marry.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    June 1, 2014 10:08 p.m.

    @Ranch--
    If you believe the message of North Star or the LDS Church is that those with same sex attraction are "broken", you need to do a little more research. The real message of both is that we all have struggles. We don't get to chooses those struggles, but we can choose how to respond to them. Challenges in life give us an opportunity to draw closer to God as we seek His help to conform ourselves to his will. That process is a very individualized process, because that is how our Heavenly Father views each of us: as beloved spirit sons and daughters whom He invites back into His presence and offers His guidance on how to return. The key is "invites" and "offers". There is no compulsion in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Bottom line: those with SSA are no more "broken" than someone with a different challenge in life. Although each of us may feel like our burden is more difficult than our neighbor's, we each have an equal opportunity for happiness as we seek God's help in overcoming that challenge and grow in the process.

  • Rustymommy Clovis, NM
    June 1, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    There seems to be some hostility about this conference. Nobody was forced to attend. Nor was it intended to meet the needs of everybody. If it doesn't interest you, then just don't attend. Better yet, start your own conference.

    There also seems to be some hostility toward the LDS church. It is not the responsibility of any organized religion to change its defined views to accommodate yours. But, it is your right to look for a church that reflects your views, to start your own church, or to belong to no church at all.

    Wherever you happen to fall on the spectrum of sexual or religious views, the Golden Rule is still useful in real life. Try to be as gracious and tolerant of people who don't share your views as you want them to be gracious and tolerant of your views. It would be ideal if love and compassion could flow both directions even if perspectives on critical issues do not always align.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    June 1, 2014 9:21 p.m.

    @equal protection, you say, "How do you determine which one is correct and is based upon special access to moral truth for which no other religion is privy?"

    Yes, that is the crux of the whole matter, isn't it? We in the LDS church proclaim that this church is the one that the Lord speaks through. Pretty bold statement, I know. But I also know that it is true. But back to your question...If you find that answer to it, then you have this and other puzzles solved!

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 1, 2014 8:53 p.m.

    @Oh Really?
    Josh Weed's blog is great and people should read it, but I hope we don't think because he is a gay and married a woman that is the right thing for everyone. I'm gay and celibate. Also not right for everyone. In Josh's blog he made this very clear, he said
    "I want to make it very clear that while I have found a path that brings me profound joy and that is the right path for me, I don’t endorse this as the only path for somebody who is gay and religious. I will never, ever judge somebody else’s path as being “incorrect” and I know many people who have chosen different paths than myself."

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 1, 2014 8:26 p.m.

    the best thing someone having same sex attraction issues can do is to seek help - seek counseling and find a program to point you in a healthy direction. The sad and confusing world of homosexuality brings only sadness and disapointment regardless of what nonsense the PC culture of the day tries to suggest. Families are broken apart and relationships are shattered not to mention the terrible and frightening health issues such as AIDS that are introducted.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    June 1, 2014 7:50 p.m.

    "Yet in fairness and accuracy we must evaluate another religious proclamation on same gender attraction. How do you determine which one is correct and is based upon special access to moral truth for which no other religion is privy?"

    Didn't the Israelites in the bible have special access to moral truth that others didn't?

    Look at the story of Daniel for example. He had special access to dietary information that was not congruent for the circumstances that he was placed in.

    Just because SSM and homosexuality has become acceptable to man does not mean it has become acceptable to God even though some religious groups have accepted it.

    "After World War I, a rather risqué song became popular. In promoting immorality, it vowed that 50 million people cannot be wrong. But in fact, 50 million people can be wrong—totally wrong. Immorality is still immorality in the eyes of God, who one day will judge all of our deeds and desires." - Russell M. Nelson

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 1, 2014 7:32 p.m.

    This organization and others like it continue to perpetuate the message to LGBT people that "you're broken". That is such an evil message. Why not teach LGBT people that they're wonderful, perfect and good just as they are? That is the message that needs repeating.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 1, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    The true solution couldn't be simpler. If you're gay, and you can accept the fact that you are still a person of worth, that your heart is pure, that you can matter to the world and have much to offer, that God loves you and made you the way you are, and instilled you with the same touch of Light that He gives us all...

    Then the problem is not you. It's those who criticize you, seek to restrict you, ostracize you, or encourage you to suppress yourself.

    I don't see why you have to find some "compromise" that you can survive in your religious community. Religious denominations are a dime a dozen. If spirituality is important to you, why not find a path that's compatible with who you are, that can accept you for yourself? One that sees the Light in you and the love in your heart, and doesn't worry about your orientation?

    The only reason to stay in an unwelcoming, unaccepting denomination that condemns you is if you hate yourself.

    Read Romans 14. It explains why OT laws are irrelevant to real Christians. Verse 14 summarizes it.

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    June 1, 2014 6:43 p.m.

    Not all change options work for everyone. The treatment plan has to individualized to ones biological and psychological makeup. For example, There are hormonal options that work for many others Depo Provera has recently been used to control same sex attraction, for those that find these desires unacceptable and incongruent.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    June 1, 2014 6:34 p.m.

    A differing, but equally important religious message, trying to figure out how to get it approved by the moderators... ugh...

    "LGBT men and young women will continue to be vulnerable to the sins of homophobia and heterosexism, to the violence of hate and fear until we in the church can say to homosexuals now what it has said to heterosexuals for 2,000 years. Your sexuality is good. The church not only accepts it. The church celebrates it and rejoices in it. God loves you as you are, and the church can do no less."

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 1, 2014 6:31 p.m.

    North Star is not for everyone and they realize that. For gay people who are comitted to following LDS standards of chastity and in mixed orientation marriages or single and celibate, it is a great network and community of support. The Voices of Hope videos are a good introduction for LDS people who experience or know someone who experiences SSA to realize they are not alone and begin to get over some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that can break down productive dialogue.
    Congratulations to North Star leadership for pulling the conference off and being a part of this important conversation.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    June 1, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    Yet in fairness and accuracy we must evaluate another religious proclamation on same gender attraction. How do you determine which one is correct and is based upon special access to moral truth for which no other religion is privy?

    "LGBT men and young women will continue to be vulnerable to the sins of homophobia and heterosexism, to the violence of hate and fear until we in the church can say to homosexuals now what it has said to heterosexuals for 2,000 years. Your sexuality is good. The church not only accepts it. The church celebrates it and rejoices in it. God loves you as you are, and the church can do no less." -2014 Episcopal Proclamation from the national cathedral.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    June 1, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    I am glad that the church teaches the true way to happiness. And that is only a marriage between a man and a woman can possibly bring happiness. If you want to be gay that is okay you will just have to be single for the rest of your life. Just remember wickedness never was happiness. That is why people that are living that immoral lifestyle can never be truly happy. I am so grateful the church had this important conference to remind people struggling with same sex attraction the only way to be happy.

  • G-Day-M8 WVC, UT
    June 1, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    I see no difference respecting same gender and opposite gender attraction relative to living a clean and virtuous life as expected by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe from what I have read in this article that North Star is a great organization with a desire to help people follow the commandments of God as they understand them in the church.

    As a heterosexual member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I am under no different set of moral obligations of my choosing than one who has same gender attraction. I am free to choose my course of action but I understand, having covenanted at baptism and other times in my life from a young age, that if I break or dishonor those covenants, I am left without excuse.

    I have a right, I guess, to challenge the doctrine of the church but I also have no expectation that I will prevail no matter how much I might contend that the Church should change its prescribed course. I am free to stay and honor the covenants made or leave if I feel the church has left me behind.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 1, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    It isn't worth it. Not in the least. Trying to stay in the church was the worst thing in my life and the LDS church doesn't really make you feel welcome if you're gay. They only make you feel worse about yourself: "Why aren't you married"? "Why aren't you dating?"

    Best thing I ever did in my life was to accept who I am, AS I AM and leave the LDS church behind.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 1, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    @rondonaghe

    IF you have an eternal view of things and not just a temporal view,

    then you most certainly will live happily ever after.

    Did not Jesus himself say not all will marry in this life? What do think he was referring too?

    While there is no known cause of homosexuality, religiously and spiritually we can look at it as a test and challenge.

    We all have our individual trials and tribulations. It is all about bearing, overcoming, and enduring to the end, not about pursuing personal fleeting gratification in a temporal life.

    Don't lose the eternal view.

  • Oh Really? HERRIMAN, UT
    June 1, 2014 5:53 p.m.

    rondonaghe, I encourage you and others to google Josh Weed and his blog "the weed," particularly the post, "Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary," where he says,

    "This is the post where I tell you that I, Josh Weed, am homosexual. ... And that I'm very happily married to a woman, and have been for ten years now."

    Just because you don't know anyone who is gay-attracted but lives a happy life not living a gay lifestyle, doesn't mean they don't exist. Many people who are "gay" but living happy, straight lives, don't come "out" because they don't want to be put in a fishbowl, gawked at or derided by people of every different opinion and persuasion.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 1, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    It will take some time, but one other option is to adapt some Church teachings so that those who opt for a stable same-sex relation through legal marriage can still be welcomed as members in good standing. The Church already faces this situation in countries were same-sex marriage is legal.

  • rondonaghe Mesilla/USA, NM
    June 1, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    It was quite obvious at the outset of this article that "harmony" within the church and having same-sex attractions only offers the gay person one true option: be celibate. After forty years of the ex-gay groups it finally came down to that as well. They first promised a person could change his orientation and become heterosexual; then they admitted that same-sex attraction didn't go away, you just buried it deep, and when these groups finally began to admit the real truth of the matter, they were a failure—and yet such groups continue, and it appears that the LDS has picked up the banner. You can't change who you're attracted to, but what you can do is deny that aspect of yourself, so you'll be acceptable to the LDS, and they will just love you for it. Amen. Live happily ever after...right?