Featured Articles and Books


Each month, North Star features an article, address or book of note. If there are new resources addressing homosexuality or related issues, these resources are often selected as our General Feature. At other times, a member of the North Star community is invited to select an article, address, or book that has had a meaningful impact on their faith journey and their efforts to live true to gospel and Church of Jesus Christ. The following are articles and books that have previously been selected as our monthly General Feature. Articles are listed in chronological order of feature, with the most recent features listed first.

 

Of One Heart and of One Soul

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From an address delivered at the Idaho Falls Multi-Stake “Finding Joy in the Journey” Fireside, June 27, 2010

“Life in this mortal experience presses us into matters of heart and soul. We will have challenging experiences, and we will have feelings and emotions about those challenging experiences. These matters of heart and soul can lead to losing our way at times, but they can also help us find our way when we embrace the opportunity to learn. Some experiences we would choose. Some we would not choose.”

 

The Best Is Yet to Be

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, January 2010

“The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.”

 

Understanding Same-Sex Attraction

The Foundation for Attraction Research

“Written by scholars, therapists, church leaders, and individuals with personal experience, this book brings together three pillars of wisdom—religious doctrine, science, and personal witness. God loves all of His children, and He does help the willing to make meaningful changes in their lives. Regardless of your current perspective, you will find something in this book that will change forever the way you think about same-sex attraction.”

 

Religious Freedom

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


Address delivered at Brigham Young University-Idaho, October 13, 2009

“The marriage union of a man and a woman has been the teaching of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and the core legal definition and practice of marriage in Western culture for thousands of years. Those who seek to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those who defend the ancient order are trampling on civil rights. The supporters of Proposition 8 were exercising their constitutional right to defend the institution of marriage — an institution of transcendent importance that they, along with countless others of many persuasions, feel conscientiously obliged to protect.”

 

Same-Sex Attraction

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
Of the Seventy


Address delivered at the 19th Annual Evergreen Conference, September 19, 2009

“Some may wonder how the Church’s leaders can empathize with you when they haven’t been in your shoes themselves. Some may even wonder how the Savior Himself can really understand you when He hasn’t been where you are. But remember: Christ not only descended TO our conditions, he has descended BELOW our conditions, whatever they are, because ‘The Son of Man hath descended below [all things].’ The Atonement was possible only because of that descent, which Elder Neal A. Maxwell called Christ’s ‘earned empathy.’ He knows that every day may feel like a major battle for you.”

 

Lessons from Liberty Jail

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
CES Fireside Address, September 2008


A Personal Introduction by Jerry Crow

“For me there are times when I’ve felt almost overwhelmed by my personal struggles; times when I’ve felt unfairly judged by others; and worse, times when I’ve felt used and abandoned by the very people whom I loved and viewed as a friend. At times, I’ve wondered, ‘Why me Lord? I’m doing what you asked me to do!’ But as Elder Holland points out, ‘Why not me?’ The scriptures and Church history are full of people who have suffered and endured things that they clearly didn’t deserve. The atonement is the supreme example of this. According to Elder Holland, our trials put us in good company.”

 

Continuous Atonement

Brad Wilcox

A Personal Introduction by Jim M

“Being a diploma-carrying graduate from LDS Institute, I arrogantly thought I understood the Atonement. Yet, just after one of the most beautiful church meetings I have ever attended, my own Church Disciplinary Council (CDC), I picked up Brad Wilcox’s new book The Continuous Atonement and learned that ‘repenting and remaking broken covenants allows us to feel a deep sense of gratitude to the Lord. In those moments of struggle, our needs are accentuated. When we experience our own Gethsemanes, we truly begin to value Christ’s. When we recognize our own weaknesses, we stand in awe of His strength’ (p. 181).”

 

You Know Enough

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 2008

“On April 4, 2009, following the December 2008 passing of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sustained a newly called apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Elder Neil L. Andersen, formerly of the Presidency of the Seventy. In honor of Elder Andersen’s call to the apostleship, the General Feature for June is an address he delivered during the October 2008 General Conference of the Church, entitled ‘You Know Enough.'”

 

Consecrate thy Performance

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, May 2002


A Personal Introduction by John Alden*

“The Church has few resources specifically for my particular challenge of gender dysphoria. And as far as I’m aware, North Star is unique in offering a gathering place for individuals who struggle with gender identity and who want support in living the Gospel and maintaining a Christ-centered perspective on their challenges. But even as I struggled for years on my own, when I have tried to consecrate my whole identity to the Lord, He truly has shown me things I ‘never had supposed.’ I testify that whatever our individual trials, if we lay everything upon the altar and let the Lord choose which parts He requires of us, we will find a ‘prospective self’ with an ‘enhanced individuality’ that is more like our Savior’s.”

 

Man’s Search For Meaning

Viktor E. Frankl

A Personal Introduction by Ryan K

“Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning, profoundly influenced my outlook on life, how I deal with my own personal challenges, and showed me how to find meaning and purpose because of my afflictions. Meaning and purpose of life, discovered in my trials, drives me to my knees in worshipful adoration of a God who is kind, who knows me and who loves me, and who helps me make sense of a difficult challenge.”

 

The Peacegiver

James Ferrell

A Personal Introduction by Kevin Lindley

“At the time I decided to actually deal with my same-sex attractions, I was convinced that I simply could not continue to resist temptation. God was just making my life too hard. About that same time, I had the opportunity to read The Peacegiver by James Ferrell. He taught the doctrines of forgiveness and repentance in a way that really made sense to me. It changed the way I viewed the world and my attractions. Even more amazing are the insights I continue to have as I try to apply the principles I learned from The Peacegiver to my life. I believe that The Peacegiver helps us avoid minimizing the blessing that is the Atonement by imbuing hope in the hearts of those who read it.”

 

The Divine Institution of Marriage

Church Newsroom

“[T]he Church Newsroom has published a document, titled ‘The Divine Institution of Marriage,’ which seeks to clarify the Church’s position and concerns regarding the potential effects of legalized same-sex marriage. In addition, the Church has launched an official Internet site, PreservingMarriage.org, which seeks to encourage and assist Latter-day Saints in their efforts to support the Church’s involvement.”

 

The Inconvenient Messiah

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
BYU Devotional Address, February 1982


A Personal Introduction by Caleb Fisher*

“I came across this talk by Elder Holland concerning the dangers of following the path of the ‘Convenient Christian.’ He gave incredible insight to the Savior’s ‘dialogue with the devil’ as He was tempted during His fast in the wilderness. Satan’s first approach was to get Christ to give into his physical need to eat and to break His fast. Elder Holland makes an impressive comparison that has benefited my life tremendously. I have a need to fill when it comes to sexual hunger, a hunger for companionship, and a hunger for love. But the temptation is not in the fulfilling of that hunger. The temptation is doing it Satan’s way and by his terms, which just happen to be convenient.”

 

A Sense of the Sacred

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
CES Fireside for Young Adults
November 7, 2004

“On April 5, 2008, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sustained the reorganized leadership of the Church… The opening in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles left by Elder Uchtdorf”s call to the First Presidency was filled by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, formerly of the Presidency of the Seventy. In honor of Elder Christofferson’s call to the apostleship, the General Feature for April is an address he delivered at the November 7, 2004, CES Fireside for Young Adults, entitled ‘A Sense of the Sacred.'”

 

Living after the Manner of Happiness

Elder Marlin K. Jensen
Of the Seventy, Church Historian and Recorder
Ensign, December 2002


A Personal Introduction by Dallin J. Phillips

“Somewhere along the way I incorrectly came to believe that membership, worthiness, and activity in the Church would double-dog guarantee instant and continual happiness. I can distinctly remember a conversation with a humble Stake Patriarch in my youth when he told me that had dealt with ‘the melancholy’ most of his life. It was then that I realized that life comes with no guarantee for constant happiness, not even for those who seek to follow the Savior. Life does provide each one of us with a measure of happiness and the gospel allows us to intensify and increase the frequency of our happy times. It is essential that we keep in remembrance those moments of great happiness.”

 

President Gordon B. Hinckley Remembered

“Each a Better Person,” Ensign, November 2002
“Forgiveness,” Ensign, November 2005

“President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away on Sunday, January 27, 2008, at the age of 97. President Hinckley was the 15th president of the Church and had served as president since March 12, 1995… Each month, North Star features an address that someone in the North Star community has found especially helpful and meaningful in their life. In honor of the great work and service of our beloved prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, this month we would like to feature an address from him.”

 

“An High Priest of Good Things to Come”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, November 1999


A Personal Introduction by Jason Lockhart*

“When I heard this talk, it penetrated through the confusion I felt and spoke to my soul. I wept as I thought of my future self—a full-grown, righteous, man—30 years from that point, cheering me on, pushing me forward, and promising that there would be respite of some kind if I simply continued forward down this path I knew was right, no matter what challenges I was confronted with. A future me saying ‘Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it…'”

 

But If Not…

Elder Dennis E. Simmons
Of the Seventy
Ensign, May 2004


A Personal Introduction by Ken Feitz

“Recently my friend and former Bishop saw me wavering in faith and sent an address by Elder Dennis E. Simmons, entitled ‘But If Not…,’ delivered at General Conference in April 2004. This talk has helped remind me what faith truly is. As Elder Simmons said, ‘Faith is not bravado, not just a wish, not just a hope. True faith is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that leads a person to follow Him.’ This talk reminded me that God has a reason for everything, and He doesn’t always necessarily let us know why.”

 

Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign, October 2007

“In the October issue of the Ensign, an official magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, addresses members of the Church dealing with same-gender attraction. With compassion and humility, Elder Holland speaks both to those who experience same-gender attraction personally, as well as family members, friends, and those of the Latter-day Saint community who love someone who does.”

 

PBS Documentary, “The Mormons,” Features Segment on the Church and Homosexuality: “Those Who Can, and Can’t Conform”

Additional material with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, and President Boyd K. Packer. See also the PBS website regarding the segment: The Mormon Church and Gays.

“Throughout the last several months in the United States, Latter-day Saints have been increasingly subject to public scrutiny. As part of this growing national attention was a four-hour, two-part PBS documentary on Mormonism and the Church titled, aptly, “The Mormons.” … Of particular interest to those concerned with the issue of homosexuality was a brief segment on gays and the Church included in the May 1st Frontline piece.”

 

Church Public Affairs Interview on Same-Gender Attraction

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Lance B. Wickman of the First Quorum of the Seventy

“The continuing public debate over same-gender marriage has prompted many questions from the news media, the general public and Church members in relation to the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the marriage issue specifically and on homosexuality in general.

“The following interview was conducted in 2006 with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, and Elder Lance B. Wickman, a member of the Seventy. These senior Church leaders responded to questions from two members of the Church’s Public Affairs staff. The transcript of the interview appears below in order to help clarify the Church’s stand on these important, complex and sensitive issues.”

 

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