Messages from the Directors


Why Me?

There is a question with so many different answers: “Why am I attracted to the same sex?” Some find answers such as, “Because I’m gay. It’s the way God made me.” That may help them make sense of it all and reduce needless shame and self-blame. Personally, I have found other answers with regard to same-sex attraction and “Why me?” Over the years, the answers have expanded in surprisingly glorious and Christlike ways. At this point>>READ MORE

Messages from earlier this year

Six Universal Wounds

In my role within North Star as Online Community Coordinator, I act as a resource for the online discussion group moderators by providing training and support to the moderators, adding new members to the discussion groups and assisting with logistics. My ultimate goal is to reverence our member’s authentic identity as children of God by creating unity through compassion. In relation to the latest current events, I want to reflect back on the Directors Message from>>READ MORE

North Star is Extending its Reach

When people familiar with our organization are asked, "What is North Star?", they will often respond first by saying we're an online support organization for people affected (personally or otherwise) by same-sex attraction or transgender issues. We, of course, are much more than that. We sponsor conferences, firesides, and devotionals, and help connect people with energy to each other to get great things done. We provide a vehicle for bearing testimony of the truths of>>READ MORE

Owning Our Stories, Living Authentically and Standing as Witnesses

Over the course of the last few years there has been a remarkable shift in the conversation we're having around homosexuality in LDS culture. While core doctrines of the Church with regard to the appropriate bounds of sexual expression have not changed (and will not change), there has been a clarifying and nuancing of Church teachings (i.e., sexual attraction or temptation is not a sin---it's simply part of the broad range of human experience we're>>READ MORE

Creating the Voices of Hope Project: A Personal Reflection

In May 20, 2012, I came home from running errands and, there, among the stack of mail, was a copy of LDS Living magazine whose cover featured a smiling young couple with one of the cutest little boys I had ever seen. There was something riveting about the man in the picture. I thought at the time that he looked kind. He looked happy. He looked genuinely good. As my eyes shifted to the accompanying>>READ MORE

Surrendering All in Order to Know the Lord

Several years ago, I carried in my computer bag a mind-altering substance and a thumb drive containing pornographic images. I hope in making this confession, I am not judged too harshly. I mention this because it is a good example of what I’d like to talk about. I carried these “drugs” because I earlier in my life I engaged in these activities and formed habits and addictions that served to dull the pain I sometimes>>READ MORE

“Never give up!”

Last night my three-year-old son woke up and couldn't fall right back to sleep. So he cuddled with me for a little bit to calm down. After he went back to sleep I remembered times in my life in which I felt hopeless, stranded, alone and didn't know what else to do. Those times included when I received the answer that I would not be able to serve a full-time mission, when I decided that>>READ MORE

The Power of Choice

As humans, we have an ambivalent relationship to personal freedom. As Theodore Zeldin writes in his charming and wise survey, An Intimate History of Humanity, The world is still full of people who, though they have no recognized slave masters, see themselves as having little freedom, as being at the mercy of uncontrollable, anonymous economic and social forces, of of their circumstances, or of their own stupidity, and whose personal ambitions are permanently blunted thereby. The>>READ MORE

Messages from 2012


It Is Better to Receive Than to Give

During the Christmas season I have often heard the words, “It is better to give than to receive.” This began in my childhood as my parents attempted to instill in my heart a charitable instinct which they hoped would overcome the greedy desires which so often crop up at Christmastime, and I believe they succeeded. For most of my life I’ve been more occupied by which gifts I would bestow upon my loved ones than>>READ MORE

Clarifying North Star’s Position on Changing Orientation

Recently a Salt Lake Tribune blog post entitled “New schism surfaces among gay Mormons” was published. In it, a quote was attributed to North Star's President, Steven Frei. The quote did not reflect the full context of his or North Star's position. Given that a few other organizations have made statements on reparative therapy or other sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), some have wondered if North Star had also changed or amended its position on>>READ MORE

Gazing at North Star

I just joined North Star a few months ago, and I’m so grateful to be onboard. Since I have a fresh perspective, I thought I’d make a few observations about the organization and why I think so highly of it. First and foremost, I’ve been impressed with how strongly I have felt the Spirit when I’m actively involved with North Star. There is a feeling of love and acceptance, a sense of belonging, and a realization>>READ MORE

Creating Community Through the Love Language of Giraffe

Lately, I have noticed a ramping-up of contentious communications throughout the world. I find talk of bullying, signs of anti-gay hate messages, politicians accusing each other of intolerance, anti-Mormon/therapy/gay/(insert label of choice) slurs filling the media almost daily. Is anyone actually communicating, or are people just trying to prove a point? Even in our discussion groups, when two parties disagree, it seems like they talk over each other. In his book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of>>READ MORE

We Are All Spiritual Infants

This month my wife and I will be celebrating the first birthday of our smiley, brown-eyed (sometimes headache-inducing) angel. In the past twelve months I have come to learn but a small slice of the massive responsibility that is Parenthood-- from feeding and nourishing her, to making sure she doesn’t do anything that could hurt her. At twelve months, to call her active and mischievous would be an understatement. She tries to put her fingers into>>READ MORE

10 Essentials to a Thriving Marriage When One Partner Experiences Same-Gender Attraction

The topic of “mixed-orientation marriages”—marriages where one partner experiences same-sex attraction—has received quite a bit of media attention as of late. Josh Weed and his wife, Lolly, made quite a splash after a public "coming out" as a happily heterosexually-married gay Mormon. A few weeks earlier, as many people are also aware, the folks at LDS Living magazine invited my wife, Danielle, and me to share some of our story for what became the cover>>READ MORE

New Beginnings

Springtime is my favorite season of the year. The earth comes to life again as tulips and daffodils push through the recently snow-covered soil. Green sprigs of grass break through the dormant brown lawns. Blossoms bring beauty, color, and… allergens! Leaves, hesitant at first, stretch and then pop out on barren branches, promising new life and new beginnings. This spring also brings several new beginnings for North Star. After many months of hard work and determination>>READ MORE

Ring Out the Old, Ring In the New

It is my pleasure to be writing to our many friends once again at the conclusion of an exciting and event-filled year. Our many volunteers and contributors have been busier than ever this year with a wide array of projects and events. The Women of Worth Wives' Conference just completed its fourth year, as did our Christmas Fireside, which had the participation of so many inspiring and talented individuals. Our Couples Summit "boot camp" event>>READ MORE



Messages from 2011


North Star Christmas Message

Do you suppose that when Isaiah eloquently proclaimed, "for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (2 Nephi 19:6), he or the numerous other prophets that foretold of Christ's birth realized that this Son of God, Savior, and Redeemer would be born in a stable of such humble circumstance? Joseph and Mary were poor.>>READ MORE

Worth and Worthiness

Worth and worthiness are not synonyms. One does not determine the other. Worthiness is a condition we strive for—a level of obedience (not perfection, mind you) in following the gospel of Jesus Christ that allows us to participate in various ordinances and activities in the church. Worthiness is a beautiful thing and something we should always have as a goal. Worth, however, is inherent and unchanging. Worth is an essential part of our identity, an>>READ MORE

Separation = Death

One of the fundamental doctrines we are taught in the LDS Church is that death is separation. The Gospel Principles manual reminds us in chapter 6 that physical death is the separation of the body from the spirit. The manual goes on to explain that spiritual death is the separation of us from God. These two separations, the scriptures tell us, constitute absolute hell. In President Joseph F. Smith's vision of the spirit world, canonized as>>READ MORE

Stop Procrastinating Happiness: Find Joy Now

"Happiness," the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote, "is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God." Why then is it that we seem to spend so much time being unhappy? I know that I have often thought that my own happiness would come in the future: when I>>READ MORE

Fundraising

Dear friends of North Star: I write to you with a great deal of excitement at the many initiatives we are undertaking. If you joined us for our third annual visioning retreat a few weeks ago, then you know how much we are trying to do, along with how much passion and energy we have. And thank goodness for that, because when I look at the amount of work that needs to>>READ MORE



Messages from 2010


Learning to Love and to be One with Myself

Nearly two years ago I wrote a journal entry titled “Where is the little boy, and who is the man in the mirror?” I reflected upon the sweet little boy I once was, and mourned that he had become a man who couldn’t look in the mirror without a deep sense of shame and self-loathing. Where was the little green-eyed, blond-haired boy born that bright Easter morning? As he grew, freckles covered his nose and cheekbones.>>READ MORE

The Wounds That Heal

My older sister was born two years earlier than I in the same birthday month. From my earliest memory, I believe I was incapable of comprehending that she was older than I and would experience many parts of life before I did. I was certain I could master anything she could. This became problematic on her sixth birthday. I had just turned four. I have no recollection of my birthday that year, but I intensely>>READ MORE

The Uses of Humility

One does not have to live very long before realizing that humility does not come naturally. Much of the reason for this has to do with our eternal, potentially godlike nature. Dallas Willard in his fine book The Divine Conspiracy explains it this way: "Everyone, from the smallest child to the oldest adult, naturally wants in some way to be extraordinary, outstanding, making a unique contribution, or if all else fails, wants to be thought so—if>>READ MORE

Arise From the Dust and Be Men

There I was, in a dark cabin in southern California, with my flashlight and my Book of Mormon. It was a time I will always remember. Many things had changed in my life already, and my vision and outlook from that point only continued to change for the better. I had read the Book of Mormon before. But now as I read, I marveled at the hope-filled words it offered. Particularly powerful were the words>>READ MORE



Messages from 2009


A New Conversation for a New Generation

The only constant is change, the saying goes. People change; relationships change; attitudes change; languages change; cultures change. This is as true around issues related to homosexuality as it is anything else. And it is as true in the Church of Jesus Christ as it is in our larger host cultures. There are foundational, anchoring Truths, to be sure, but as we progress through application of those Truths, our relationship with them changes—we have a>>READ MORE

More Than Tolerance

Though I am not an engineer, in my professional and academic background, I was immersed in many engineering concepts. So at risk of sounding like a nerd, I have to admit that whenever I hear the word "tolerance" I first think of it in an engineering context. In engineering, tolerance accounts for imperfections and flaws. Engineers design a material or building with an inherent safety factor, so that it can survive a certain degree of flaws>>READ MORE

Living Real Life

When I was about nine years old, my great-grandfather passed away. He was ninety-two. I had spend many hours in his home. He teased, chased, and cuddled me. He told me jokes and insisted I help him wash the dishes after dinner. He pretended he didn't know that the hat on his head was really the crocheted cover Great-Grandma had made for the spare roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. He called Santa Claus>>READ MORE

A Heart of Pure Gold

Every night when I tuck my sweet daughter into bed and get her "snuggly," we go through our nightly ritual. It is strictly ours. Sure, mom might cut in on the action to an extent, but there is some unspoken understanding that what we share is ours. We butterfly kiss, Eskimo kiss, fish kiss, giraffe kiss, hair kiss, chin kiss, finger kiss, fives, stones, blow-it-up, head bonk, followed by a gigantic bear hug when I>>READ MORE

Clinically Single

I have a confession: I like being single. A lot. While I do have a testimony of the doctrine of marriage, and of the blessings that accompany an eternal sealing, I also very much enjoy the opportunities and blessings that accompany life as a single person. I enjoy them so much, in fact, that I worry my case might be clinical. So, I'm getting help with that. In the meantime, however, the Lord has been>>READ MORE

I Am a Part of All I Have Met

So says Ulysses in Tennyson's poem of the same name. It is true of all of us. I know that my life has been touched by so many people who have been shining examples and tireless in showing me their love and concern. Trusted friends, loving family, wise teachers, and inspiring mentors have all left their mark on my life. This, I believe, is true of everyone. Each of us is a beneficiary of countless acts,>>READ MORE

Discomfort Zone

Many who visit this site have had the experience of discussing their feelings of same-gender attraction with a bishop (sometimes more than one bishop). Perhaps you are one of those. Possibly, you are one who walked from his/her bishop's office feeling strengthened, uplifted, and loved, being given counsel and guidance you felt would make your life less burdened and lonely. Or you may be one who walked out feeling intensely confused, condemned—perhaps even angry. You>>READ MORE

Obedience: A Reciprocation of Love

As young parents, my wife and I have found obedience a very difficult concept to teach. It seems like a fairly simple lesson: our daughter should do what her parents tell her to do. We can see the consequences of when she jumps from the coffee table to the couch, yes, even before the fall happens. We appreciate how delicious pink marshmallows are, but know if eaten alone, they do not provide all the nutrients>>READ MORE

Happiness and the Art of Loving

If there are two concepts that seem to be at the heart of the gospel message, it is happiness and love. The prophet Joseph Smith said that "happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it" (History of the Church, 5:134). Our yearnings for happiness were implanted in our hearts by Deity. In his patriarchal blessing to his son, Jacob,>>READ MORE



Messages from 2008


North Star: Past, Present, and Future

In the April 2003 Conference, President Monson said there were three things that could help guide us to eternal happiness: learn from the past, prepare for the future, and live in the present. As a new year is upon us, and with the change in leadership at North Star, I have been thinking about all three of these things. I would like to share a few of those thoughts with you. Leadership I'm amazed at what we've>>READ MORE

Anxiously Engaged

In a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord said that His covenant disciples "should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness" (D&C 58:27). Concerning the issue of homosexuality, and given the changes in our culture and political environment, there is no more important time for those who bear the name of Jesus Christ to be "anxiously engaged" in>>READ MORE

In California, the Choice is Ours to Make

Introduction and Background As many of you know, the California State Supreme Court recently overturned a March 2000 ban on same-sex marriage. What this basically means is that the California Supreme Court believes that two people of the same sex should be granted the right to marry, not just have a "civil union" or a "domestic partnership," but to actually marry and be afforded all the rights and privileges associated with marriage. Chief Justice>>READ MORE

Call for Feedback

To the North Star community, We, as the North Star Executive Committee, are reviewing the last year and determining where to take North Star in the future. We are openly requesting your feedback as we consider where we've been, where we are, and where we'd like to go. North Star is a community-based organization, bringing people together in support and empowering one another to find and create relevant resources. Rather than dispensing answers, our vision is to>>READ MORE

How to Help, and How Not to Help

Since I've been married I've learned something again I should have already known: people are different. But one of the ways they are different is in how they like to be helped, and this I didn't fully appreciate till I was married and flu season rolled around. My wife likes to be pampered and waited upon when she isn't feeling well. She likes me to check on her frequently and hover nearby when she is>>READ MORE

Beyond Gay. Beyond Straight. Beyond Mormon.

Several years ago, the first time I uttered the words, "I am gay," something inside of me felt strangely liberated. Those words had always seemed so terribly dangerous—after all, someone couldn't be both gay and Mormon. But I felt I didn't have any other choice. The box of cultural and religious beliefs I had forced myself into was suffocating me, both spiritually and emotionally. The beliefs I had about what a Latter-day Saint "should" be—or,>>READ MORE

Revelation: Even When It Doesn’t Fully Explain, It Always Blesses

We belong to a Church that was restored in response to a question. Joseph Smith went to the grove with an urgent question, and walked out with a world-changing answer. I think it is safe to say that each of us belongs to the Church, and each of us owes our testimony to important, life-changing answers. In fact, the Lord through scripture has told us that He can reason with us and explain things to>>READ MORE



Messages from 2007


Love…Thyself

We read the following in Matthew: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40). Let's break this down for a moment: "On these two commandments hang>>READ MORE

“It Is Not Good That the Man Should Be Alone”: The Virtues of Community and Friendship

A few years ago, I spent a summer in China doing research with an environmentalist group. With research faculty and students from a number of American universities, I was excited at the prospect of working alongside such a diverse group of intelligent and capable people. And I wasn't disappointed. Many students came from some of the best universities in the country; it was a challenging and stretching experience. But with this anticipated blessing and opportunity came>>READ MORE

How Can North Star Help

We have been fortunate to have had several statements recently from Church leaders supportive of the idea that faithful Latter-day Saints who deal with same-sex attraction have an equal place within the Church. This support, however, does not always immediately percolate to the local level. That is where we who are touched by the issue of same sex attraction (friends, family, and those who deal with it themselves) can make a very significant contribution. True,>>READ MORE



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