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...
Like Joseph, as I’ve watched this chaos and confusion unfold I asked myself, “What is to be done?” (JS History 1: 10). For quite some time I pondered and struggled to understand who was right and who was wrong. As a leader within North Star I felt it was important that I had a “clear stance” on the subject. I began to get very frustrated as it seemed my prayers to God were going unanswered.
I am so humbled and grateful for the incredible time and creativity so many people have put into this organization. As one who was there at this organization’s founding, it’s been exciting to see how it has grown, and how much it owes to the tireless service of so many. But this is only the beginning. With more people than ever involved in North Star, with more diverse talents and networks to draw upon, I can hardly wait to see what exciting progress we’ll be making in the years to come.
I have had several conversations with members of the North Star community with people who have made the choice to devote their lives to living the gospel (“Awesome! Me too!”). When we get to talking about reasons for this choice, often times people will say things about how they “can’t imagine anyone could really be happy in a gay lifestyle.”… They find much of their motivation to stay active in the gospel from focusing on how awful or scary the alternative would be.
I am learning how to communicate with my Father in Heaven continuously, when I find myself in sin, I immediately seek forgiveness even when I’ve made that same mistake many times. He is waiting to forgive, He is waiting to bless us with the Spirit again to give us more strength to overcome. I am learning to share everything with Him and its blessing my life immensely.
I made a list entitled “I AM,” and so far there are 786 things on it. I went through the list and started prioritizing them in order of importance. Do you know what made the top of the list? Number one was, “I am a child of God”
My same sex attraction and the Lord’s desire for me to be sealed to someone of the opposite sex for time and all eternity used to seem so dichotomous. Now, in retrospect, I see how those attractions have contributed so significantly to my spiritual growth and to my eternal marriage to a companion whom I dearly love. I cherish our relationship above all others, in addition to that of the Savior.
As Marshall Rosenberg says, “Criticism, complaints, judgments and attacks are all just tragic expressions of difficult feelings and unmet needs.” I believe we have six universal wounds from which we develop these feelings and needs.
When people familiar with our organization are asked, “What is North Star?”, they will often respond first by saying we’re an online support organization for people affected (personally or otherwise) by same-sex attraction or transgender issues. We, of course, are much more than that.
I personally believe that we can’t stand as authentic witnesses unless we’re willing to own our stories, transcending shame and pride, and be willing to access the courage that will be required to be as vulnerable as such a step will surely be for many.