What is North Star's connection to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
North Star is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is completely independent of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While our mission is to serve the greater Latter-day Saint community in regard to issues surrounding homosexuality and other gender identity or sexual issues, North Star is not owned by or affiliated with the Church, and site content should not be interpreted as official statements of Church doctrine, belief, or practice. While North Star wholly supports the doctrines and values of the Church of Jesus Christ, all views expressed or errors made are the sole responsibility of site contributors.
What is North Star's connection to other LDS-related groups such as Evergreen, Mormons Building Bridges, Circling the Wagons, Affirmation, or Family Fellowship?
North Star operates completely independent of any other group or organization with connections either to cultural Mormonism or to the institutional Church of Jesus Christ, whether they are supportive or critical of the Church and its positions on issues related to homosexuality or gender identity. North Star leadeship has occasionally elected to participate in events sponsored by other groups as a means of contributing our perspectives and stories to the broader conversation on SSA and LGBT issues.
In addition, in its calendar, North Star may provide reference to activities or events sponsored by other organizations or groups we have reason to believe are explicitly and exclusively supportive of the doctrines and/or behavioral standards of the Church, but these references should not be interpreted as official or implied connection to or endorsement of such groups.
What is North Star's position on change or reorientation?
In our Values Statement, we state: “Recognizing the uniqueness of individual circumstance, North Star takes no official position on the origin or mutability of homosexual feelings and attractions but supports all temporal efforts consistent with the gospel that help individuals live in harmony with their covenants and attain greater peace, fulfillment, and sense of individual worth, while affirming that the most essential and eternal changes come through the power of the Savior and adherence to the teachings of His prophets.”
The focus of North Star is not on changing sexual orientation but rather on building community among those who desire to live within the framework of the doctrines of the Church or who might be in the process of joining or returning to the Church. North Star aims to nurture change in or maintenance of our spiritual orientation, affirming and embracing our eternal identity as literal sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Whether or not individuals choose to make efforts to diminish or eliminate homosexual feelings, and whether or not those efforts succeed, is less important to North Star’s purposes.
Does North Star sponsor activities or events?
Yes, North Star does occasionally organize activities and events. Recent events have included our annual Women of Worth Spouses Conference, our annual Couples Summit, our annual Christmas Musical Fireside with Fred and Marilyn Matis, our annual Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off fundraiser, and the most recent addition a bi-annual Couples Retreat. As time and resources allow, we hope to sponsor additional offerings.
Our calendar of upcoming events and activities also includes those activities or events sponsored by other individuals and organizations which we believe encourage behavioral standards consistent with the teachings of the Church and the mission and values of North Star. Other than those events and activities designated as being officially sponsored by North Star, nothing listed on the North Star calendar should be interpreted as having any direct connection to or sponsorship by North Star as an organization.
What is North Star's position on political issues? Does North Star participate in political activism?
North Star exists to help people affected by same-sex attraction deepen their personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, and to support them in their desires to live according to the teachings and covenants they have made as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We understand that political issues are of great importance to many people who make up or are influenced by our organization. In our function as a support organization whose core purpose is to build community and focus on the spiritual needs of our members, we have determined as an organization not to endorse political causes or to join political coalitions, including those officially sanctioned by the institutional Church.
There is often a wide array of perspectives and opinion regarding the best application of personal values to public policy, and conversations regarding political agendas often become heated or emotional. As we keep abreast of influential current events, North Star encourages the application and engagement of each member’s free agency in light of and in congruence with the doctrines of the Church and principles of the gospel. Meanwhile, within our community’s discussion groups, we encourage our members to focus on the personal implications of supporting each other through what could be divisive and painful conflicts. We encourage questions such as, “How should we handle our hurt feelings at Church if people on either side of a political debate say things that seem mean-spirited or ignorant during discussions of a political nature?” or, “Is it possible to have policy disagreements and still show forth love as we come together as the body of Christ to build bridges of understanding and bring more people to Christ?”