In Our Father’s Hands

In Our Father’s Hands

The theme for this year’s North Star Conference is “In Our Father’s Hands.” Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything. Much like the potter shapes clay into beautiful pottery with slow and gentle care, our Heavenly Father shapes our character through the experiences and challenges we have in life. Wherever we are on our journey of discovering and experiencing God, we should not give up. God is with us every step of the way even though it may not seem like it at times. He loves us exactly where we are for exactly who we are, and there is nothing we can do that will stop God from loving us.

As Romans 8:38-39 says “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Trusting in God’s love for us and seeking that love daily can be one of the most enabling and empowering experiences we will ever have.

We oftentimes distance ourselves from God by thinking that God is disappointed in us or that we aren’t living up to His expectations. It may be easy to feel that He has abandoned us. God can handle our expressions of anger, our distrust, and our feelings of abandonment. He can handle it all. God has many ways to manifest Himself unto each of us and we often limit God by our expectations of Him and perceived experiences of Him. As we open ourselves to experiencing God in new ways we haven’t before, He will meet us there.

As we prepare for the upcoming North Star Conference on March 15-17, we can challenge ourselves to come to the conference with open hearts to experience God and find ourselves truly in His hands.

Share Your #TrueToHim Story

Share Your #TrueToHim Story

Nearly two years ago, a new story project was announced at the annual North Star Conference – #TrueToHim. Those in attendance were excited at the prospect of compiling the stories of fellow travelers along the road to reconcile sexual orientation and gender identity with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The goal of that project was to invite as many as were willing to “join a growing chorus of voices and ‘cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1) -witnessing and testifying of the Savior, the power of His atonement, and the truthfulness of His church and the prophetic guidance of those who lead it.”

Many attendees sat in front of the camera to talk about how they were striving to be true to our Savior and the covenants they have made. While many voices were collected at that time, there are countless other individuals, living their lives courageously and quietly, making decisions on a day-to-day basis that are bringing them closer to their Father in Heaven by way of His holy Son.

North Star continues to be a place to share your voices. Some may choose to be public in their story while others will speak in confidential forums. Others still will hold these stories close to their hearts. No matter where our stories sound, they can be powerful sources of strength and testimony.

This month, you will find across the various forms of social media topical questions and quotes related to the #TrueToHim project meant to inspire, encourage, and build each other. Our voices can unite and ignite a fire that will light the way for those who are in the midst of their darkest moments, when fear threatens to win.

President Hinckley offered this blessing: “May God bless us all with the peace that comes from Him. May He bless us with thankful hearts and with the will to mingle together with respect one for another, uniting our efforts to the blessing of the communities where we are fortunate to live.”

We invite you to visit TrueToHim.org to listen and read these stories. If you would like to add your voice to this collection, visit the TrueToHim.org for information on how to do so.

#TrueToHim: Share Your Story

#TrueToHim: Share Your Story

Joseph Stith

Joseph Stith

President

At the very heart of the North Star community experience is the real and intensely personal, individual story. I’m certain all of us have been moved and encouraged by reading and viewing impactful stories that helped us realize we are not alone! Can you recall how your hope and faith was touched when you saw these powerful segments for the first time? For me, not unlike you I’m sure, I binge watched all night, gladly sacrificing sleep and shedding many tears.

I’m excited to announce that we begin a new chapter here at North Star by introducing a theme each month to focus our efforts in growing together in unity and purpose. In deciding how to begin, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to introduce this new effort than with the theme #TrueToHim. Our desires to serve, and our motivation behind all that we do in building this community is centered most in our desire to be true to Jesus Christ.

#TrueToHim is more than a project. It’s the very reason we’re here. Why are you true to Him? What story deep in your heart needs to be shared with others on their journey?
What would you say of your own personal experience that may inspire another as you have been?

Want to learn more about participating? Visit https://northstarlds.org/truetohim/share-your-journey for details.

2018 will be the greatest year ever for North Star International and we look forward to meeting all of you very soon – on video, in writing, and at the Conference in March! (Conference.NorthStarLDS.org -> Early bird rates expire January 28!)

Happy New Year!

How Will You #LightTheWorld?

How Will You #LightTheWorld?

Last year over 1.7 million people helped #LightTheWorld, including many from North Star International. Again this year as we celebrate the life of Jesus Christ, we honor Him and share His light through daily acts of service. From December 1 through December 25, we are invited to serve “25 ways in 25 days.”

Every day, North Star will post simple ideas for serving others along. We invite you, your friends, and family to consider how you can #LightTheWorld. If you need ideas on how to serve in your area, consider visiting JustServe.org, a Church-sponsored directory that matches volunteers with local organizations that need help. Keep in mind, service can be one-to-one, as well. In order to help spread the Christmas message of Jesus Christ, be sure to use hashtag #LightTheWorld as you post pictures or thoughts during the holiday season. 

Examples of this include:

  • Put down the electronics and spend some quality time with family or a friend. 
  • Donate a toy to a children’s hospital, or make a contribution to a children’s charity. 
  • Reach out to apologize to someone you may have hurt or offended. 
  • Give blood at your local blood bank.
  • Sponsor a refugee. Visit IWasAStranger.lds.org to get involved. 
  • Download the Church’s #LightTheWorld calendar for daily inspiration. https://www.mormon.org/christmas/25-ways-25-days-calendar

So how will you #LightTheWorld?

With a Grateful Heart

With a Grateful Heart

Joseph Stith

Joseph Stith

President

I began my journey just prior to the first North Star Conference in 2014. Filled with hope, I purchased 2 tickets before my wife of 30 years even knew -about …me.  I remember the overwhelming fear and anxiety replaced with deep gratitude for the people of North Star that had sacrificed so much in building this community.  A place filled with love and hope that would impact our lives as much as the Gospel of Jesus Christ itself.  North Star is truly the Gospel in action.

We know Thanksgiving and Christmas to be seasons of gratitude and giving back.  I wish everyone could see how much time and effort goes into making just one North Star event possible. Today, there are multiple exciting events now being planned or close to completion.

North Star is expanding our capacity to serve at a ridiculous pace!  A new website suite, the relaunch of Voices of Hope, new and reorganized, searchable content… and that’s just some of the efforts we’re engaged in to bless lives. The upcoming Fireside and the 2018 Conference are massive undertakings now in full swing and we’re always in need of more volunteers.

Those of you who have been blessed by North Star as we have, are likely feeling the desire to give back. Please know how very much we need you. Prayerfully consider what degree of sacrifice is appropriate given your blessings.  Giving Tuesday is one opportunity to give financially in helping us make these expansions possible. The Donor page will show you how many ways you can help us bless more lives.  At North Star, the season of giving is continuous and contagious.  May you catch the spirit of giving and be filled with gratitude all through the year.

From all of us here at North Star, we love you, we thank you, and we pray that you will always find peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.