Demographic Focus -- Church Leaders
North Star is a peer-led, community-driven organization—a grass-roots effort with a mission to empower Latter-day Saint individuals and families concerned with issues of sexual or gender identity to more authentically, healthily and joyfully 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. The following are some of those who assist in realizing the vision of North Star.
The Executive Committee oversees the daily execution of North Star’s mission. The president of North Star is appointed by the Board of Directors every two years, in conjunction with our annual North Star Conference, and a new Executive Committee is reconstituted under the direction of the new president. Greg Harris began his tenure as President in April 2016.
Demographic Focus -- Church Leaders
Demographic Focus -- Single Men (SSA)
Mark grew up in a small town in southwestern Wyoming and was active in student government, music and drama, and was twice the state runner-up springboard diver. He served in the Argentina Cordoba mission and attended Brigham Young University. While at BYU he danced with the International Folk Dancers and later had the privilege to travel with The Young Ambassadors as lighting director to Canada, Europe, Japan, China and Taiwan. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Financial Planning and Counseling and was recruited to work at a financial planning firm in Modesto, California in 1986. He became an agent with Farmers Insurance Group in 1991 and currently manages a busy agency and staff in the Central Valley. His marriage of 29 years is ending, but he loves being Dad to three beautiful daughters. Mark was introduced to North Star in 2012 and has been grateful for the community of support and friendship it has provided, as well as a place of belonging with other members of the Church. He recognizes that we drink from wells we did not dig and are warmed by fires we did not kindle and so in turn, seeks to serve and offer support to this community.
Demographic Focus - Women (SSA)
Jennifer was born and raised in Southern California. She left the sunny state to attend BYU Provo after high school. But before she left for college, she met and became engaged to a wonderful man. The together they attended BYU, with her husband graduating in 2001. Giving birth to two children, working, and going to school took its toll, and Jennifer decided to be a stay-at-home mom. A decision she never regrets. Besides loving to read, cook, and play board games, she collects Superman comic books, crocodile figurines, and stamps. Yes, she’s that cool.
She believes that it was her faith in Jesus Christ that allowed her to navigate her journey with same-sex attraction. At first the journey felt like a curse, but now is a blessing in her life. She hopes to give back to the North Star community that helped her see this truth.
Demographic Focus -- Friends and Family
A convert to the Church, Kevin was raised in Los Angeles, California, served a full-time mission to South Korea, and has served his brothers and sisters in various teaching, missionary and administrative roles in the Church. A graduate of the University of Southern California, he has been a Certified Public Accountant for over twenty-five years, initially as an auditor with KPMG LLP and from there in financial executive roles for companies of up to $450 million annual sales. In 2008 Kevin was married to Dorsie Henderson in the Utah St. George temple, and together they enjoy sharing seven children and nine grandchildren. Their family scripture has always been Proverbs 3:5&6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” As the result of researching how to support a gay family member, Kevin discovered the North Star community, and, finding it to be a strength and delight, now is blessed to serve and fellowship here. He and his wife currently reside in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.
Demographic Focus -- Spouses
Sarah was raised in the suburbs of South Jersey and is an east coast girl to the core. She currently attends Brigham Young University studying Sociology in the School of FHSS, she hopes to ultimately transition into consulting within the non-profit sector by pursing graduate studies in Administration and Development. While at BYU she has developed a passion for serving and has had several opportunities to do so, most recently within North Star as a chairperson on the Fireside committee, serving along side her husband, in which she found great fulfillment expanding firesides to communities beyond the Wasatch Front. Sarah was also the Circling the Wagons Conferences 2016 Co-Coordinator where she was able to apply her great desire to provide spaces for open, authentic and respectful dialogue for all those who find themselves involved in the LGBTQ+ conversation along every spectrum of opinion. As a new member of the Executive Committee, Sarah is deeply driven by the principles within North Star’s Mission statement – Empowerment, Authenticity and Joy. Sarah’s journey within North Star began in 2012 and has been life changing as she has repeatedly been inspired by the strength, resilience and testimony of the members of the North Star Community. She is profoundly motivated by her own testimony and considers the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be the greatest blessing in her life. Sarah is two years into her eternal marriage with her husband and teammate, Brandon Langford. Together, Sarah and Brandon find joy in their relationships with one another, the Savior and their friends and family.
A native Kansan and a convert to the Church at age 18, Chris served a mission in the Japan Tokyo North Mission. When a girl from Montana claimed his heart, they married in the St. Louis Missouri Temple and started a family. They live in Kansas City where they’re raising their four sons. Chris strives to live by the principle that “kindness begins with me” and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the key to living a happy, authentic life.
Chris holds degrees in East Asian Studies and in Business Management, and has built his career in the field of marketing. He has served as a Bishop and a Young Men President, and currently serves as the Director of Public Affairs and on the High Council in his stake.
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Demographic Focus -- Transgender
Spencer was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served an LDS mission in the Netherlands, Amsterdam mission and had a great experience serving and learned so many important life lessons during his mission. He then went on and did his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Therapy where he eventually got his doctorate in Physical Therapy. Spencer currently works as a physical therapist and specializes in neurologic rehabilitation. Spencer is married to his amazing wife Mary and together they have two beautiful children whom bring the greatest amount of joy to his life.
Spencer came across North Star when he was trying to understand the roots of his same-sex attraction and seeking to find peace. He has found a lot of healing and connection from attending the various events that North Star has offered. Spencer has served as co-chair for the 2015 and 2016 North Star Conferences and is excited to serve as Vice President over events for North Star. He has found that the journey of navigating the challenging waters of having same-sex attraction and staying strong in the church has been one of the greatest blessings of his life. Facing the challenges of his same-sex attraction has served as a tool which has brought him closer to his Savior Jesus Christ and continues to teach him some of the deeper meanings of life.
Demographic Focus -- Married Men (SSA)
A life long member of the church, Tera was born in Murray, Utah and spent several years of her childhood in the Tri Cities, Washington area before moving back to Utah in middle school. Tera is the oldest of 5 children. She attended high school in the Salt Lake City area where she met her husband Curtis. They were married in 1994 and have 4 children. Tera graduated from BYU in Fashion Theatrical Costume Design and has used her talents to make custom wedding gowns for over 20 years.
Tera co-leads a support group for wives of men who experience same sex attraction. She co-lead North Star’s Women of Worth conference, served on the planning committee for the Circling the Wagons conference, and has presented and served on panels at several conferences including last year’s North Star Conference. Her love of healing work led her to become a Certified Intuitive Life Coach where she can use her experiences to help others find hope through The Atonement. Helping families heal from the devastating effects of addictions and codependency has become her life mission.
A life-long member of the Church, Ty Mansfield is a marriage and family therapist currently living in Provo, Utah, with his wife and their two (almost three) kids. He served in the Manchester New Hampshire Mission and graduated from BYU in Asian Studies and Business Management. He enjoys playing racquetball, eating Thai food, and doing triathlons. He also loves to travel and has lived or studied internationally in Japan, China, Israel/Palestine, and Egypt. Ty chronicled his own spiritual journey with same-sex attraction as co-author with Fred and Marilyn Matis of In Quiet Desperation: Understanding the Challenge of Same-Gender Attraction (Deseret Book, 2004) and later compiled Voices of Hope: Latter-day Saint Perspectives on Same-Gender Attraction—An Anthology of Gospel Teachings and Personal Essays (Deseret Book, 2011). He also co-directs the Voices of Hope Project, a website extension of the book, and has been featured in the May/June 2012 issue of LDS Living magazine and on the Church website mormonsandgays.org. Ty is a founding member of North Star and, prior to his appointment as president in December 2013, had served as one of its Vice Presidents since its organization in December 2006.
Becky Mackintosh was born on a ranch in Montana, but raised in Salt Lake City claiming to be a country girl at heart. She is the mother to three boys and four daughters. She is a wife, speaker, author and blogger, but her greatest joy comes from being a grandmother.
Becky’s passion to love, lift and serve has taken her all over the world. She loves helping people see their great worth and the value they add. As a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints she shares the Gospel with delight and conviction. Next to cotton-candy and caramel apples, she enjoys embracing people of all walks of life and helping them feel and know God’s love and his great plan.
Becky and her husband Scott openly share their journey of understanding homosexuality and loving their children unconditionally on LDS Voices of Hope.
Julio has loved working with North Star for the past year and is happy to now serve on the Board of Directors. He has received amazing support and clarity from the organization and serving within it has allowed him to give back from what he has received. He enjoys supporting others and finds it to be spiritually rewarding. North Star has allowed Julio to meet many intelligent, spiritual, like-minded people from all around the world, thus enriching his life and empowering him to continue his chosen path. He has a solid testimony of the atonement of the Savior, Jesus Christ and His Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although originally from Colombia, this salsa dance-lover currently resides in Toronto, Canada with his wife.
Blaine grew up in Layton, Utah where he still lives with his wife, Lindsay and 3 children, George, Fred, and Will. He served an LDS Mission in Taipei, Taiwan until he returned early on a medical release for mental health issues, after which he taught English in China and has enjoyed traveling all over China. He graduated with a degree in Social Work from Weber State University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. He has worked as a therapist in the inpatient psychiatry setting since 2010, as well as in private practice counseling starting the same year. He worked for several years with Aspire Counseling in Layton, and over the last year has transitioned to his own private practice where he works with various issues including issues related to homosexuality and religion. Blaine enjoys singing, an occasional musical theater performance, and spending time with close friends/family. If he could travel anywhere in the world it would be Middle Earth.
2017 Conference Logistic Chair
Growing up in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia made the experience of being raised as a member of the LDS Church unique. When her family moved back to the United States she went through a discovery phase to determine the relationship she wanted with the Lord. After high school she took a temporary job opportunity in Utah where she met and married her spouse in the Bountiful Temple in 1999. Today they live in Syracuse Utah where they are busy raising their daughter, Alyssa.
In 2014 Brigit’s spouse came forward as Transgender. Over the last two years Brigit and her spouse have been navigating the uncharted path of remaining active in the LDS Church as a transgender couple. Through the journey, Brigit has become more involved in North Star to help grow the Gender Identity resources. She was also invited to get involved in planning the 2016 Annual North Star Conference.
Within the church, Brigit has served almost exclusively as a primary teacher. With a soft spot for Sunbeams, she is quick to volunteer to stay in the primary and was recently called as a counsellor in the Primary Presidency.
North Star is an all-volunteer organization that thrives because of the efforts of a host of men and women who desire to assist in the realization of our mission. The following are just some of those who labor behind the scenes. contributing thousands of collective hours that have blessed the lives of many.
Mike Miles is a native of Utah. He married his best friend of ten years in December 2014. He loves spending time with his wife Jillian watching movies, going for a walk, baking a dessert, or eating crisp bean burritos. He is currently studying social work at the University of Utah. Mike works as a psychiatric technician at the University Neurological Institute. His future plans include physician’s assistant school specializing in oncology, pediatrics, or psychiatry. In his free time Mike enjoys snow skiing at any Utah ski resort, mountain biking, and playing the piano. He loves vacations with his family at Lake Powell, Jackson Lake, or Sun Valley. Mike has been a life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served a mission in the heat of Phoenix, Arizona speaking Spanish. Mike believes that a strong testimony of Jesus Christ, living prophets, and the Book of Mormon is fundamental to navigating and enjoying life with same-sex attraction. Developing honest and open relationships with others has helped Mike tremendously in his own journey with same-sex attraction. He has been involved in the North Star community for over a year.
Jeff Case is originally from Owego, NY, but was raised in the Air Force and moved frequently. He earned a BA in Music, a BS in Psychology, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from BYU. He completed a 2-year post-doc training in Trauma, Suicide, and Resiliency from the Warrior Resiliency Program located in San Antonio, TX. After working for 8 years as a psychologist for the Army, he currently works as a psychologist for the Salt Lake City VA. He and his wife, Sarah, have been married for 17 years and have three children. They reside in Lindon, UT. Jeff currently serves the LDS Church as the ward music chairman and primary chorister.
Jimmy, a native of Arizona, 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 if Jesus Christ. Finally, Jimmy has been a member of North Star Discussion Groups since July of 2009 and is humbled to serve in what ever capacity he can with North Star.
Denise has been a part of the North Star community since 2008. She has been married to Blake for 10 years. This is a second marriage for both of them and they describe their marriage as very easy and fulfilling. Blake told her about his struggle with SSA before they started dating. After they married in 2004 they started attending Evergreen conferences each year and it was through the people they met there that they became involved in North Star. She especially values all of the awesome people she has come to love through this community. Denise is a convert to the church and has been a member since 2002. She is a registered nurse and has a masters in Public Administration. Her life career has been in Public Health. She is currently involved with both the HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases programs. Denise has served as one of the moderators for the SSA Spouses group and AIDS group. They are now “empty nesters” which gives them a little more time to serve. She is excited to be able to assist with managing the requests for participation in discussion groups.
Charlotte is from Avon, Utah. She loves to sing and play the piano, and has taught piano for the past 32 years. She is also an EMT and volunteers with their local fire department in Paradise. She and her husband David are the parents of three daughters and one son, and have two darling grandchildren. Their son, Adam, experiences Same-Sex Attraction. Since becoming aware of their sons SSA, they have learned to trust the Lord to guide their journey and his. They have embraced their son and loved him just as they did before they knew about his SSA. Their family has been enriched and strengthened by the many experiences they have had and by the many lessons they have learned along the way. The teachings of the gospel, including a knowledge and belief in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, have been their anchor and their strength.
Brandon Langford was born and raised in a small town just outside of Portland, Oregon. He is the oldest of three brothers. As a child, his life goals were to attend BYU and to become President of the United States. After serving as a full-time missionary in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, he came home and graduated from BYU with a BS in Accounting. He no longer wishes to pursue politics. While at BYU, he met and fell in love with his beautiful wife, Sarah. They were married in May 2014 in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. One of their first dates was to a North Star event. They have been involved with the organization in various ways ever since. When not planning firesides, Brandon can be found pursuing his other passions, which include music, theater, planning parties, reading, writing, eating, running, traveling, and building relationships. He hopes to see anyone reading this bio at an upcoming fireside!
Bradley Stoker is the youngest of three children and spent the vast majority of his growing up years in the burgeoning metropolis of Clinton, Utah. Upon graduating from Clearfield High, Bradley served in the Brazil Santa Maria Mission. Once home, Bradley began his college education at Brigham Young University and graduated from the Marriott School with a Bachelor of Science in Management and an emphasis in Global Supply Chain Management. Since mid-2013, Bradley has called Illinois home. He lives in Chicagoland and currently works as an executive in the maintenance department of a distribution center for one of the nation’s leading retailers. In addition to geeking out over Star Trek and the latest Marvel movie, in his spare time, Bradley also enjoys reading, making music on the piano and organ, spending time with friends, refining his skills in the kitchen, getting involved with his YSA ward, attending the temple, and going on random adventures.
Blake has been actively involved in North Star since 2008, excited about the opportunity to be part of a community of men and women who are committed to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t long until he became one of the group moderators and he has love actively serving the community ever since. He has a BS in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration and is currently the Business Manager for the local County Animal Shelter. He loves serving the North Star community and is looking forward to his contributions to the future of this great community.
One of Kevin’s passion’s is story telling through video production and has come to love producing the Voices of Hope videos because they tell a story often unheard. Kevin graduated from Weber State University in Communications with and emphasis in Broadcast Journalism and Electronic Media. He began his career working in television as a News Reporter for NBC and FOX affiliates in Washington State. Now he works as a producer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kevin served a mission in Merida, Mexico. He grew up in various states in the Western U.S. but now calls Utah home. He and his wife Marcelene have been married for 10 years and have 4 children. Kevin enjoys home improvement projects, wood working, playing piano, canyoneering through Zion’s National Park and spending time with family and friends.
Myrna was raised in Centerville, Utah and currently resides in Syracuse, Utah with her husband of twenty-one years and their beautiful, energetic daughter. She attended Ricks College, studying Physical Education before serving a mission in Oakland California where she worked with the Spanish speaking people. Myrna loves working with people and spent many years as a customer service agent and supervisor for inbound phone sales. Currently, she works teaching PE at a charter school for children on the Autism spectrum, she loves these children and the light in their eyes when they realize PE can be fun!
Myrna loves watching all sports and is an avid BYU fan. She also enjoys reading, family history, puzzles, riding her bike, wood working, and trying new hobbies. She often challenges her family with her spur of the moment ideas. However, they usually end up enjoying the adventure in the end. Myrna has served in many positions in the church including callings in Primary and Relief Society on a ward and stake level.
Myrna joined the North Star group after finding great comfort that others wanted to follow the LDS standards while dealing with same sex attraction. She wants to bring that comfort to others. She loves her Savior and strives to be like her Heavenly Father. She prays that others can find comfort and acceptance in the North Star community and peace through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Jeff was born and raised in Oklahoma. With Utah roots, his grandparents convinced him to attend their alma mater, Dixie College in St George, Utah. After an exciting internship at Disney World, he graduated from Oklahoma State in Hospitality Management. He worked in the hotel and travel industry in Utah for several years and then later moved back to Oklahoma to be his father’s dental office manager. Jeff continued in healthcare when he took a position at the local hospital in patient registration. In September of 2013, Jeff returned to Salt Lake City and now works at St Mark’s Hospital. Jeff served in the Arizona Tempe Mission in 1990, which would serve as a catalyst to remaining faithful in the gospel today. Jeff became involved in North Star in Jan 2013 with a desire to represent the mid-single demographic and also contributed his story to the Voices of Hope Project. He served as the Logistics Committee Chair for the Inaugural North Star Conference in 2014. A couple of years ago, Jeff helped develop the idea to bring North Star closer to the Savior, the ultimate source of healing and strength, by incorporating temple service as an organization–North Star Fast & Temple Weekends.
Meagan was born and raised in Bakersfield, California and currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. After graduating from high school, she went to BYU to study psychology and music. During her college years, she took a semester to teach English in China and later served a full-time mission in New Jersey. Her love for serving and helping others led her to her current career as a middle school teacher. She loves to travel, learn about other cultures, play soccer, write music, and live life to its fullest. As she’s come to understand her same-sex attraction over the last several years, she’s learned that one of the most important things is to continue drawing close to her Heavenly Father. Her participation in the Voices of Hope project was a difficult decision but she’s been grateful for the ways in which she’s been able to use it to help others. She’s excited to be a part of the North Star team.
Debby and her husband Robert are the parents of five wonderful children, the youngest of which, Meagan, has filmed a Voices of Hope video. She joined the church when she was 17 and served a full-time mission to Italy. She later attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a degree in Communications. She now works at BYU as the secretary in the Communications department, and loves interacting with the students and faculty there. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, watching movies, traveling and visiting her eight grandchildren. She loves the gospel of Jesus Christ, and believes that we have all been given challenges to deal with while here on this earth to strengthen us and help us to develop faith in Him. She also knows that since He can’t be here personally to help each one of His children on the journey through this life, its up to each one of us to help each other as we make our way back to Him.
Tim spent his growing up years as the son of an Air Force pilot, spending time in Utah, Texas, Japan, Arkansas, Washington, and Virginia, but he calls Virginia home. He served an LDS mission in Madrid, Spain and attended BYU where he studied Business Management and enjoyed singing in Men’s Chorus and Concert Choir. After graduating from BYU, he moved back to northern Virginia where he obtained his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and now works as a Financial Planner which he enjoys immensely.
Tim has been a part of North Star for several years, and has found great strength and healing with his brothers and sisters here. He helps coordinate North Star events in the Washington, D.C. area and also co-leads a local men’s support group. He served as the Finance Lead for the 2016 North Star Conference and is excited to serve as the Program Chair for the 2017 Conference. His life has been blessed through his interactions in North Star and hopes to be able to be a strength to those who are seeking to reconcile their faith with their same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.
Spiritually dead until he converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ during the summer of 1998, Steven was active living a “lifestyles of lies” all driven by the natural man within his life. Only when he completely surrendered his life over to Jesus Christ did he have true purpose or meaning as he allowed the enabling power of the Atonement to help heal this broken man. Steven is single but residing with his best friend, brother and disciple in the Gospel. Their special blessed friendship/brotherhood has been over 22 years. If it were not for this great brother sharing his humble testimony one evening Steven would not be alive today. He has had a handful callings: Asst Librarian, EQ Secretary, Asst Ward Mission Leader, and currently serves as Ward Mission Leader. He lived for 4+ decades as a native Californian and now resides in Utah with three fuzzy children, his cats and brother in the Gospel. He utilizes daily meditative Prayer Sessions that blesses him in numerous ways. A doctor suggested that he learn how to meditate due to chronic health issues. It has opened many doors of Spiritual understanding, blessings and revelation from on High, as well as allowing him to gain a better understanding how his body interprets chronic pain, and allowing him to quiet his mind to better “listen” to this amazing world our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ provided for us as we entertain our mortal body, our trials and tribulation that ultimately brings us closer and back to our Heavenly Father.