2013 Summer Fireside

This fireside’s speakers were Brother Nathan Gibbons who has worked for many years as a therapist, and Brother James Merrill who serves on North Star’s Executive Committee. The messages were messages of hope and healing.

Nathan Gibbons

Nathan Gibbons


Jimmy Merrell

Jimmy Merrell


A native of Arizona, Jimmy served his mission to the Deaf in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Boston. As an Sign Language Interpreter, he put himself through school at Arizona State University to become a Music Therapist. He has worked for as a Researcher and Music Therapist. Jimmy has been aware of his SGA since his youth, and tried for years to deal with it on his own. After spending some time away from the church and through a series of tender mercies, he was rescued by a concerned Elders' Quorum and has been active ever since. He has found serenity in the knowledge that Heavenly Father loves and cares for him and has found strength in the daily exercise of the atonement of Jesus Christ. Finally, Jimmy has been a member of North Star Community since July of 2009 and is humbled to share what makes life wonderful to him!

Ty Mansfield & Katharine Matis Adams

Ty Mansfield & Katharine Matis Adams

Accompanied by John Sargeant

Click the thumbnail below to view a PDF of the fireside program.

The North Star Summer Fireside was another great success. We love the opportunity we have to meet together as brothers and sisters and learn Gospel messages. We also are so grateful for the new friends we make and the community of friends that is growing every day!

Brother Gibbons spoke of trials as a natural byproduct of this life. It is necessary that we be tried. Many people have been discouraged by the religious culture. It’s important to remember that the mission of the Church is not to turn people away. The Gospel offers healing as we become humble followers of the Savior.

Both speakers addressed the wound of shame and the need to be accepted. We, as members of the Church need to recognize the open arms of the Savior and not limit His blessings for us by our unwillingness to accept them.

Brother Merrill addressed many wounds that lead to our construed thinking and behavior. It’s important to recognize that criticism and attacks from others are just responses to wounds. He spoke of wounds in areas such as connection, support, independence, experience and mission. So many of us get caught up in bad behaviors to cover these inadequacies. What we fail to remember is that the Atonement covers and heals.

Brother Merrill spoke of shame-lifting behaviors and coping strategies to shame. We need to look for the need behind the reaction.

Recent Firesides

All past North Star Firesides are available in the Archive.    View Archive


  1. Archie Harris Says: Aug 5, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    I am so grateful for your website and for Ty Mansfield. His book, “Voice(s) of Hope is the first time in my life that I ever had anyone in the church say something positive to me with my SSA. I am 68 years old and was denied the privilege of missionary service because my Bishop at the time realized I have SSA. He said, what are you going to do, have sex with your companions? Fortunately my mother taught me that this is God’s church, not a man’s church, so I was not going to let him drive me out of the church.

    I am very thankful to you for this Summer Fireside which helps me to better help my Grandson who also has SSA. He is now in prison because of his inappropriate actions. His own family has a real hard time accepting him because of his actions. His Dad and myself are the only family who has anything to do with him. His Dad and I try to keep in touch and work with my Grandson to help him to not loose hope. It is his mother who abandoned him because of drugs at age 1 1/2 years who is my daughter. His Dad does not know of my SSA; it is real difficult for him to accept this of his son.

    I am excited to learn of NorthStarLDS.org Thank You!
    I would like to be more involved with you and help where ever I can, I am on Social Security so I have very little financially to be able to work with.

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