October 2012

Episode 2: Laurie Campbell, author of ‘Born That Way?’

Featuring Laurie Campbell

In this episode of the Voices podcast, Ty Mansfield interviews Laurie Campbell, the most recent addition to the North Star Executive Committee. Using the pen name Erin Eldridge, Laurie wrote a book about her experiences with same-sex attraction entitled Born That Way? A True Story of Overcoming Same-Sex Attraction with Insights for Friends, Families, and Leaders (Deseret Book, 1994).

Laurie shares her journey of once living a lesbian lifestyle and her journey to peace and resolution in the gospel. She speaks of the spiritual events that led to her return to full church activity, overcome drug and alcohol addiction, author a book, and eventually marry a man and start a family. Now, 20 years into her marriage and following the publication of her first book, join us for this engaging interview with Laurie, who has walked different paths in dealing with same-sex attraction and why she made the choices that she has.

We invite you to share your feedback below!

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  1. I appreciate Laurie sharing her struggles that she has had with SSA. I read her book “Born That Way?” several years ago and felt an admiration for her coming forth to share her trials and triumphs in such a public manner. I am a kindred spirit and could relate on so many levels and had many of the same type of experiences. Only I have the outcome of remaining single. Not from lack of opportunities to marry, but by divine intervention and making a choice.

    Do I know why I have same sex attraction? I’m sure that there could be a myriad of factors like those that were shared in the pod cast…And maybe the experiences of early life along with biological makeup have greater affect than what one might think? I don’t know….Whatever the case may be, there is one thing that always has remained fixed and constant throughout my whole life. I know that God lives and that there is a plan. He has never given up on me. Through times of darkness and struggle when I have not chosen wisely, I begged and cried for Him to leave me….He would not. Instead I received a sweet audible whispering of the spirit to my whole soul saying, “I the Lord will chasten those whom I love and I love you.” Even in begging to know why He would still love me after all I had done…I received nothing but a calm loving warmth. I later turned to my scriptures and read….“Saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you” (D&C 95:1) What a blessing and testament to me of my Heavenly Father. He is not just saying I will deliver you from some things…He says ALL things! He has been there in my most sacred of spiritual experiences…He has never left me. I can never doubt the knowledge that I was born with…that knowledge being… I am His. I can choose to have stumbling blocks or turn them into stepping stones…I get to choose no matter how large, how overwhelming, or exhausting…I choose. “…Choose you this day whom ye will serve;…But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15). It is all about choice…We get to choose how we will respond to all our desires…sometimes that is the most difficult thing. Am I going to choose to react to the situation and allow myself to be acted upon or am I going to make a conscious decision to act and choose the path that will bring me Eternal Joy. Being eternal agents with agency, we get to make a choice in how we will respond in all situations.

    I have so, so much to share, but I’m not quite sure where I begin… Maybe writing a book is a good thing to think on… if I were brave. I am very devoted in my faith and belief in the Plan of Happiness of our Heavenly Father. I have a strong vibrant testimony of the divinity of our Savior and His Infinite Atonement. I also have the questions and wonder about my journey at times here on this beautiful earth. I have struggled with SSA all of my life…I have told very few people. And by very few, I mean my ecclesiastical leaders when I’ve repented and a counselor when I have sought professional help. There are some things that my family know, but that was many years ago. I have one lovely anchored and well grounded friend (cousin) that has been my confidant. I believe that we are here to gain experience, learn and press forward with steadfastness no matter what thorns may cover our paths. “All these things shall give thee experience and be for thy good.” (D&C 122) I’m very grateful for a Loving Heavenly Father who is there every step of the way.

    I am a Mental Health Counselor and Professor. I love the opportunities I have to teach and help those who are seeking to find light and hope. It is interesting that just this last week one of my students approached me about the struggle they are having of SSA. I have had several over the years share with me their concerns. These students are not LDS so the perspective is not the same. But that is the amazing thing…The gospel works for everyone! I use those same principles in my classes and counseling sessions everyday. They are just flavored in a little different delivery. I see it as a privilege to be supportive and helpful. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know what brings happiness and joy…. I would love to tell my story… But there are reasons that I can explain on a later date as to why I would need to remain anonymous…mainly for concern for family members at this time.

  2. Lynne Schreiber Says: Dec 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I am very happy to have found this website and these podcasts. And I am particularly happy that this interview told the real story of how hard this journey can be—with its confirmations and setbacks. I loved the openness and honesty that Laurie shared in her story. Thank you for speaking out. I think isolation, lack of hope and lack of resources people who can help others find the way out have been my greatest obstacles.

    Towards the end of the interview there was mention of resources for women. You may already be aware, but I particularly found the following books very helpful:

    In particular, Janelle Hallman became my friend through the pages. I love how she acknowledges the sacredness of this journey. Like many, I never chose this journey with SSA. But I figure if this journey can lead me back home to God, then all of the pain and suffering and great sacrifices are worth the price.

    Keep up the good work! I look forward to more blog posts and podcasts.

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