Springtime is my favorite season of the year. The earth comes to life again as tulips and daffodils push through the recently snow-covered soil. Green sprigs of grass break through the dormant brown lawns. Blossoms bring beauty, color, and… allergens! Leaves, hesitant at first, stretch and then pop out on barren branches, promising new life and new beginnings.

This spring also brings several new beginnings for North Star. After many months of hard work and determination by Ty Mansfield, Tanya Bennion, Luis Merino, and the contribution of several others in the North Star community, our newly designed website is up and running. It looks great! In addition to the more user-friendly interface, the website provides perhaps the most comprehensive collection of resources for those who experience same-gender attraction, their friends, family, and priesthood leaders.

As we grow the website, we’ll feature personal videos from members of our community relating their experiences of striving to follow the Savior. In conjunction with the launching of our new website, we’ll also be rolling out here in the next couple weeks a new monthly podcast series. Watch for our first episode in which members of the Executive Committee will talk about where we’ve been and where we’re going as a North Star community. Other podcasts in the series will spotlight individual stories and topics of interest. Also as part of our new website launch, we’ve re-launched our Northern Lights blog, where members of our community will blog on a host of topics. We welcome guest post submissions if you’d like to add your voice. We hope you enjoy all our website now has to offer.

We also invite you to mark your calendars for the North Star “Super Weekend” over the Labor Day holiday weekend this fall. In order to make it more convenient for those outside of Utah to attend more of our events, we’ve packed our Leadership Retreat, Fall Festival Fundraiser, and a new, annual Day of Service into one weekend. On Saturday, September 1st, the Executive and Steering Committees will meet for training and work sessions in the morning and afternoon (if you’re interested helping North Star better meet the needs of Latter-day Saints dealing with homosexuality, please read about how you can join). Following the Leadership Retreat, all individuals and families in our community are invited Saturday evening to our 3rd annual Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off. Then, on Monday, September 3rd, will be hosting our 1st annual Day of Service. Save the date! We look forward to this weekend of socializing and serving together!

Of course, we will continue to sponsor our Couples Retreat (the first of which this last February was a huge success!), Women of Worth Wives’ Conference, Couples Summit, and Christmas Fireside.

With the aggressive agenda for North Star this year, we will need to rely more heavily on our Steering Committee and general membership to help carry out our mission and ensure the success of the website and various events. We encourage and appreciate the donation of your time, energy, and resources. Click on “Get Involved” on our homepage to see how you can help.

As North Star begins a new chapter of service and support to the LDS community, we invite you to use this time as an excuse for a new beginning in your own lives. If there are areas in your lives that need improving, begin now to work on them. If wounds need to be healed and forgiveness granted or requested, take the initiative now to access the blessings of atonement in your lives.

Of course, the greatest promise of new life and new beginnings we commemorate each spring is the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was the first to rise into immortality, thus fulfilling the hopes of all mankind as he broke the bonds of death for each of us. May our actions, as an organization and as individuals, reflect our true discipleship to Him whose triumphant victory over death and sin we celebrate this spring.