North Star is a peer-led, community-driven organization—a grass-roots effort with a mission to empower men and women who experience same-sex attraction and gender identity issues, as well as their friends, spouses, or other family members, to more authentically and healthily live the gospel of Jesus Christ. North Star is successful because of the efforts of many individuals who contribute their time, talents, and hearts to various aspects of its mission.
Some men and women are simply happy to find support and encouragement with others who share this particular aspect of their life experience; others, however, also feel a strong desire to reach out to others who may be struggling and to help in the creation of other resources to bless others. You’ll find those in the former category active in our email discussion groups, our Facebook group, writing for our Northern Lights blog, sharing their stories through participation in the Voices of Hope Project, or attending any of the conferences, firesides, or other activities and events sponsored by North Star.
Those in the latter category help coordinate North Star’s efforts as part of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Leadership Council, as well as other volunteers. The president of North Star is appointed by the six-member Board of Directors and subsequently forms his or her Executive Committee to help accomplish goals identified for his or her tenure as president. Their responsibility is to manage the North Star organization and facilitate community contributions. The Leadership Council is comprised of a host of others who have expressed a desire to assist in realizing the mission and vision of North Star.
North Star Executive Committee
With the recent (December 18, 2013) appointment of Ty Mansfield as North Star’s 4th president, the previous Executive Committee has been disolved and a new Executive Committee has been constituted in its stead under the direction of the new president. The new Executive Committee includes the following, and additional organizational changes will be announced in the coming weeks:
PresidentA life-long member of the Church, Ty served in the Manchester New Hampshire Mission and graduated from BYU in Asian Studies and Business Management. He is a practicing marriage and family therapist and recently moved with his wife, Danielle, and their two kids back to Utah from Texas where he has been doing doctoral work in family therapy. He enjoys playing racquetball, eating Thai food, and thinks that the greatest technological advancement of the 21st century was the invention of the iPhone (he might even be a little obsessed with it). He also loves to travel and has lived or studied internationally in Japan, China, Israel/Palestine, and Egypt.
Ty is a co-author with Fred and Marilyn Matis of In Quiet Desperation: Understanding the Challenge of Same-Gender Attraction (Deseret Book, 2004), which includes a personal memoir of his spiritual journey as a member of the Church who has experienced homosexual attraction. He has also compiled Voices of Hope: Latter-day Saint Perspectives on Same-Gender Attraction (Deseret Book, 2011), an anthology of gospel teachings by a number of prominent LDS inspirational writers, as well as a number of personal essays written by LDS men and women who have first-hand experience with homosexual attraction. Ty also co-directs the Voices of Hope Project, an online extension of the book by the same name and which is a repository of video and written essays.
Ty is a founding member of North Star and, prior to his appointment as president in December 2013, had served as one of it’s Vice Presidents since its organization in December 2006.
Vice President of Community Development and Training
Dale is a lifelong resident of Utah and works for a local aerospace company. He served a full-time mission in South Korea. His wife, Unhui, was raised in Inchon South Korea and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1973. Dale and Unhui were married in the Ogden Utah Temple in 1977, have 4 children and 9 grandchildren. Dale has served in numerous callings throughout his life including Scoutmaster, Gospel Doctrine Teacher, Bishop and as 2nd counselor in the Stake Presidency. He firmly believes that regardless of how and when we come to terms with these struggles in our lives, the Lord will bear us up and help us get the life we want, if we trust in Him and His healing power.
Learn more about Dale and Unhui through their Voices of Hope interview.
Vice President of Finance
Sarrah was raised in the Church and has come to understand herself and the gospel thru many life experiences, one of which is same-gender attraction. It was her love of her Savior and the atonement He provided for her that brought her peace surrounding this and all challenges, issues, and trials. She affirms that her desire to live the gospel and become what and who the Lord knows she can be and truly is is much more important than anything she could want or become by herself.
Sarrah worked as the Director of Special Business Events for a Fortune 500 company for twenty years. She simultaneously owned several companies and home schooled her children. She currently owns two companies GiGi Properties and The Pottery Grove Art Studio at Willow Creek. She enjoys all forms of art, loves spending many hours outdoors in her garden and finds enjoyment in the wonders of technology. She relishes working with her hands to create. She is especially fond of woodworking, pottery and fixing anything that is broken. Sarrah credits the Lord for her desire to reach out to others in the LDS community who experience SSA but whom also wish to live lives in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is defined by the living prophet. She has seen first-hand the perils of living “the way of the world” and hopes to help others avoid the pit falls of such.
Sarrah is a wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one. You’ll hear her saying that the greatest achievements and greatest joys of her life are found in her family especially her children, grandchildren and husband. If she had a mission statement it would be, “The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can solve all of the challenges and problems of life, it is the only thing that can answer all life’s questions, and it alone will provide pure wisdom, true love, everlasting peace and joy that comes by living a life in harmony with it.”
Learn more about Sarrah through her Voices of Hope interview.
Vice President of Fundraising
Blaine was born in southwestern Wyoming and has lived the majority of his life in Layton, Utah. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Weber State University and a Masters in the same ﬁeld from the University of Utah. He taught English in Hefei, China, for six months and has enjoyed a couple of return trips to the country. His early medical release from an LDS mission in Taipei, Taiwan, introduced him into the world of mental health where he has worked in some capacity for nearly eight years. He currently works as therapist in an inpatient psychiatric unit as well as a private practice therapist with Aspire Counseling in Layton, Utah. His clinical interests include working with mood disorders, marriage counseling, and issues related to homosexuality. Blaine has taken classical voice lessons for roughly seven years, has an unusual interest in the history of communist China, and knows a shocking amount of Lord of the Rings trivia.
Blaine met his wife Lindsay at the age of 15 at Layton High School and after a complicated dating history the two of them married in 2005. Together, Blaine and Lindsay have two children.
Learn more about Blaine and Lindsay through their Voices of Hope interview
Vice President of Programs and Community Experience
Born in Boise, ID and raised in Orem, UT, Greg is the oldest of six children. After graduating from high school, he attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Queztaltenango, Guatemala. After returning, he finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University. He currently works as a business consultant for a software technology company which allows him to travel and meet new people— something he has always loved. In addition to travel, Greg enjoys long-distance running, gardening, and spending time with friends and loved ones.
Greg has a passion for serving others and treasures the rich relationships that are built as a result. As a member of North Star, he has had the privilege of assisting with the Voices of Hope Project and planning the first annual conference. The personalized ministry and love he received from members of North Star has changed his life, and while serving on the executive committee he aspires to continue this tradition of personalized love and support for each member of the North Star community.
The Leadership Council is open to committed Latter-day Saints who sustain the doctrines and teachings of the Church and who feel a sense of mission around strengthening and educating members of the Church with regard to same-gender attraction, gender identity, and related issues. Because of the breadth of our audience, we need men, women, parents, spouses, family members, friends, and interested priesthood and auxiliary leaders who are willing to share their perspectives, visions, and talents with us as we seek to jointly create a safe, loving, and integrated place in the Church for individuals and families dealing with these issues. Learn more or apply to join.