Kyle & Amy Merkley

Kyle and Amy both grew up in home with loving families who taught them the importance of agency and the power of the Atonement. These lessons have helped them strengthen their relationship and trust in good things to come.

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Randy Meier


Randy believes God has always tried to direct him into paths that would bring about his greatest happiness. Though he is no stranger to the frustrations, loneliness, and isolation of same-sex attraction, he has learned to trust God; indeed, he feels that God is mindful of him in all situations.



Leah Thompson


Leah loves to feel joy. She finds that joy in her marriage to Chad, who has same-sex attraction. Through the struggles of life, she has learned that nothing is impossible with the Lord. Though her current life is different from what she anticipated, she is so grateful for the life she chose.



Chad Thompson


From an early age Chad was aware of God’s plan for him, though he never anticipated the journey he would take to find what the Atonement would mean in his life and how things would play out. Chad finds that the best journey is the one most unexpected. During his life he has been faced with many trials. Same-sex attraction is one that he has found to be a great blessing in his life.



Justin DeLong


Justin grew up as a member of the Church in Mesa, Arizona and is now a student at Brigham Young University majoring in commercial music. He has a passion for music of all kinds (especially contemporary a cappella) and enjoys singing, playing the piano, and spending time with those he loves. In his words, same-sex attraction has been the vehicle by which he was brought to God. Since returning home from serving for two years in the Massachusetts Boston Mission, the main theme of his life has been learning to rely on the Lord in all he does. By taking things one day at a time, Justin has ultimately come to develop a personal relationship with the Savior and trust in Heavenly Father’s plan for him.



Kim Shores


Kim Shores was born and raised in Boise, Idaho in a loving LDS family. As a youth she was very involved in church and school programs. She has always had a spiritual connection with her Heavenly Father and has continually felt His guidance throughout her life. Including her husband, Lance, in her journey with same-sex attraction has helped them become stronger and more united as they strive to live the commandments. The joy that marriage and family has brought to their lives in immeasurable. Kim and Lance continue to rely on their love and trust for one another—and for God—to foster an environment of love, growth, and support.



Kylie Lawson


Kylie has been married for two years to a wonderful man named Jordan who experiences same-sex-attraction. She likes to be outside, especially when working with plants. She plays the violin, loves to read and is the author of a blog. She belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For her whole life, she wanted to grow up to be a mom. She recently graduated from USU with a degree in plant science, and now she and Jordan are lucky to announce that they are going to be parents to a little boy come late December 2015.



Jordan Lawson


Jordan is a twenty-nine year old man who experiences same-gender attraction. He and his wife live in northern Utah and are expecting a son in late December.  Jordan was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and loves the Church and the God he believes in.  He is the lead vocalist in a local rock band and works in manufacturing. Jordan has a bachelor’s degree in Visual Art from Brigham Young University-Idaho.  He loves to spend time with friends and family.  He enjoys reading and writing.



David Rickey


David is a lifelong educator. An elementary and middle school teacher for many years, he is now a school counselor in Henderson, Nevada. He believes strongly that the blessing he received as a 16-year-old boy, gave him the guidance he needed to endure the challenges of same-sex attraction throughout his life. He and his wife Ann have been married for 38 years and currently serve together as ordinance workers in the Las Vegas Temple. This is their story.



Rod Olson


Rod Olson engaged in a period of self-discovery by pursuing short- and long-term relationships with men. Toward the end of this period he fell into addiction, losing relationships, his career, friends, money, health, hope, and the ability to love in the process. With nowhere to turn, he entered a 12-step recovery program. This program, along with the gospel, saved Rod’s life and gave him renewed faith in Jesus Christ. Rod is now active in the Church and rejoices in his testimony of the restored gospel.



John Bowers


John Bowers knows that Christ’s gospel and authority are real and have been restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. Beyond anything else, experiencing same-sex attraction has honed his spirit and continues to teach him to rely on the Atonement of Christ every day. Childhood abuse left scars on his heart which have only been healed by his Savior. The prospect of living with his family and Savior and eternity brings hope to John’s yearning heart.



Jenn Curtis


Jennifer was raised as a member of the Church in Southern California. Though several childhood experiences created a shadow over her life, she kept turning back to Jesus Christ for help. While getting married young and raising two children has been a journey in and of itself, telling her husband after 15 years of marriage she experienced same-sex attraction was a completely different journey. Through it all, Jennifer has learned more about the purposes of the Savior and the purposes of this life. She has also come to believe that every trial, affliction, and heartache is a blessing from a loving Heavenly Father. She and her family make their home in Corona, California.



Jacob Taylor


Jacob is a full-time student of creative writing, a poet and fantasy writer who uses metaphors to explain his thoughts. He was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and strongly believes in the mission of the Savior. He knows that each experience he encounters is for his benefit and can either be viewed as a stumbling block or a stepping stone. He believes we have the opportunity to choose how to respond to our experiences and become better through them.



Jimmy Merrell


Jimmy works as a music therapist and enjoys helping people with cancer, emotional disabilities, neurological disabilities, AIDS, and terminal illnesses. He serves as first counselor in a bishopric and has also served as the choir directors and ward mission leader. Through his experiences with same-sex attraction, Jimmy has learned that the Lord will lighten his burdens by giving him opportunities to serve others. That sounds paradoxical, but it's a practice that has brought Jimmy much joy. Accordingly, Jimmy has served within the North Star organization as a moderator for the men's group, online groups coordinator, treasurer of the executive committee, and director of the online community.



Jack Kettering


Jack Kettering lives with faith in Christ’s healing power. Through experiences spanning many years he has learned that a change of heart is always possible.



Kevin Randall


"Little by little, one person at a time, I talked with close friends in the neighborhood, at work, and at church about my same-gender attraction. Each responded with love and understanding. This helped rid me of the shame I had been carrying with me my entire life. I became more confident and began to learn more about what my needs are as a man: my needs for male connection, friendship, and natural affection."



Alex Lindstrom


A Utah native, Alex served as a library attendant in the Family and Church History Mission before graduating with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He now works as a financial analyst for a hydroelectric utility and sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Due in part to his experience with same-sex attraction, Alex has grown to understand the love Heavenly Father has for all of his children. He is grateful for the love and support he feels from family and priesthood leaders.



Jena Peterson


Known as someone who exudes light in all she does, Jena Peterson says her passion for life stems from her love for her Father in Heaven. She actively seeks opportunities to serve and loves to learn and teach about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Jena is married to a wonderful, loving man and has three beautiful children, two girls and a boy.



Nick Gregory


Gender dysphoria (transgenderism) is a complex reality for Nick Gregory, BYU student of mechanical engineering. Some things remain unclear, but this much is certain: God loves his children, and Nick is determined to stay close to God.



Rick Hall


The council’s decision to excommunicate me drove me to my knees in a way that I had never experienced before. I learned that the Atonement is not just a vehicle for the forgiveness of sins, but it is a vehicle to help us to endure our pains, our injustices, and to heal our wounds. It also gave me an opportunity to be guided, loved and embraced by both my Father in Heaven and my Savior.



Erik Thompson


Erik Thompson was raised in Salt Lake City and currently resides there. He has found joy, optimism, peace, and gratitude in his efforts to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though he carries many titles in his professional life, Erik's favorite title is "Son of God." He hopes to bring light and hope to others by sharing his story.



Becky Mackintosh


Becky Mackintosh found her beliefs about homosexuality being challenged when her son, Sean, told her he was gay. Her ensuing journey is based in love—love for the Savior and his gospel, love for her son, and even love for the bumps and bruises that make life what it is. Becky aims to enlighten minds, strengthen families, and heal wounded hearts.



Scott Mackintosh


Scott Mackintosh found his beliefs about homosexuality being challenged when his son, Sean, told him he was gay. Scott learned that he needed to understand his son in order to truly love him. His journey is a story of hope and healing. Scott and his wife, Becky, have seven children.



Allison Tenney


On our fourth date, we were walking home from lunch, and Ethan started talking about the Voices of Hope Project. He said he was submitting an essay for it. He explained that he...experienced same-sex attraction... Several things ran through my mind: "Oh my goodness, I’m dating Josh Weed. Am I okay with this? I feel like I’m okay with this. Why am I okay with this?"



Ethan Marston


I am grateful for same-gender attraction. If it weren’t for that I wouldn’t have clung so tightly to God as I experienced life’s difficulties. I wouldn’t know so much about the nature of God and the love he has for me. I wouldn’t have such respect and admiration for women. I wouldn’t know that love is more than a physical relationship—something that transcends the body and its desires. I wouldn’t be who I am today.



Randy Dodge


Before I was born my mother had an affair with her bishop. During this affair she became pregnant with me. My mother shared this information with me when I was just a small boy of five. The family insisted I was my father’s child, not the bishop’s offspring. But for much of my life I had to live with the idea that I may have a different father than I thought I had.



Lindsay Hickman


After struggling for three days with my fear of making such a big decision, I finally decided to talk with Blaine. I told him that I loved him and that I was ready to date him. He asked me if I had any questions about his attractions to men, and to be completely honest, I had a lot of questions.



Blaine Hickman


While high school experiences offered some acceptance of my differences, I still felt pressured to participate in discussions about who I “liked” and I often found myself working on having crushes that were more like the general consensus of who I should have a crush on, rather than crushes based on my true feelings.



Andrew Harvey


Despite having this realization, over the next several months I continued to act on my feelings of same-sex attraction, but with greater emptiness and lack of fulfillment. The Spirit and Tom persistently and patiently worked with me. I loved the gospel and wanted it to be part of my life, but still somehow hoped this included being in a relationship with another man.



Charlotte Maughan


I asked Adam if he felt he was attracted to men. He assured me he wasn’t. (What son wants to tell his mother that?) I don’t think he was ready to admit that to himself at the time. He was still trying to come to grips with the whole thing. He had heard a lot of negative things about “gay guys,” and he knew those things didn’t describe who he was.



Jeff Case


The previous four hours had nearly drained my batteries and I was looking for someone to talk to. After just a few minutes of small talk, Matt showed me a chain that he wore around his neck but under his shirt. It had rainbow-patterned charms on it, in spectrum order. I always loved when colors were aligned in spectrum order.



Craig Florence


The intersection with this LDS individual brought me back to a LDS Sacrament meeting. I was not thrilled about going. I thought the building would collapse on me, or the building was certain to be struck by lightning. I knew my dark past and I was not feeling comfortable about being in a church building, or being amongst those who I perceived to be far more worthy than I.



Anissa Olsen


Six months after our fourth son was born, we moved to the East Bay Area in northern California the year that Proposition 8 was up for vote. We noticed over time that more people were discussing questions such as, “Why does it matter who you marry, as long as you love each other?” and statements such as, “Something must be really wrong with someone who has feelings for the same sex.”



Brent Olsen


In Sunday School and other church meetings, I was shocked to hear derogatory comments made about gays and lesbians. I felt ostracized and decidedly different from the members around me who seemed to assume that their comments wouldn’t be offensive to anyone within earshot. Gay marriage became a regular topic of conversation each Sunday. I shut down, afraid to offer a different perspective for fear of what people would think of me.



Tyler Lefevor


Tenía quince años y por más que intentaba, no podía quitarme los “malos pensamientos” que tenía. Leí en el Libro de Mormón que “quien mire a una mujer para codiciarla ya ha cometido adulterio en su corazón” (3 Nefi 12:28). Si mirar a una mujer era pecaminoso, me llenaba de miedo pensar qué significaba que yo mirara a un hombre.



Tyler Lefevor


I was fifteen and, for the life of me, I could not get rid of my “bad thoughts.” I read in the Book of Mormon that “whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart” (3 Nephi 12:28). If looking on a woman was adulterous, I shuddered to think what it meant for me to look upon a man.



Kathy Hulick


We started dating, and on our second date, I was really beginning to like him. After our date, we went back to my parent's house and sat in the living room and talked for a long time. He began to tell me a story about his life, about how he and his father didn’t get along and how he’d been bullied in school. I started to feel uneasy. “Where is he going with this?” I wondered.



Arlo Hulick


Eventually, I moved to San Diego, and by then I had completely stopped going to church. I got involved with Act Up!, a group of activists demanding funding for AIDS research and assistance. I worked for Neil Good’s campaign to become the first openly gay councilman in San Diego, and I volunteered for security duty for the gay pride festival. I became a political cartoonist, and my work was published weekly in gay newspapers from San Diego to the District of Columbia.



John Grover


My mind, my values, my hopes, my dreams, and my goals, didn’t allow for male bonding. Any type of male intimacy was totally unacceptable. I was someone who wanted more than anything to have a family and to be a dad, a husband, and a worthy priesthood holder.



Kent Flake


As for marriage, I do not know if I will ever be married. All I know is that right now I do not need to focus on that. I can be perfectly happy if I never get married. I feel like I am doing what God wants me to in sharing my story so others know they are not alone. There is no shame in being attracted to other men. I do not want others to feel the loneliness, shame, and isolation that I felt so much growing up.



Jeff Gray


Nine years ago, I packed up my bags and moved back from my shrinking social life in Utah to my familiar surroundings of home in Oklahoma. I began working for my dad as his dental office manager and enjoyed being close to family. One day, my mom handed me a book she bought at a LDS bookstore. “Wonderful...another SSA book to add to my library of theories!" However, out of all the years in therapy and self-discovery, this book gave me a prompting by the Spirit to read i.



Christine Fitz


Shortly after that, I came across Josh Weed's blog post that went viral on Facebook entitled, "Club Unicorn" in which he equated a mixed-orientation, faithful Mormon marriage to discovering that unicorns exist. Another man who experienced SSA and was happily married to a woman?



Meagan Jackson


Tears started streaming down my face as I vocalized for the first time, “Bishop, I kind of, sort of, just a little bit, really really minorly… struggle with same-sex attraction” (I could not bring myself to be 100% honest with him about the depth of my struggle). I kept my eyes on the ground, waiting for his reaction, but I didn't have to wait long.



Jordan Jantz


Lying in my room thinking about life and how much time I had left, I was surprised to see two young men in white shirts and ties standing in my doorway. They asked if they could come in and visit. They looked like insurance salesmen. Swearing inwardly, I let them in, but I told them up front that I wasn't into whatever they were selling. I then asked them who they were.



Paul Peterson


Over the last few years as the discussion on homosexuality has expanded, I have felt quite voiceless, that my views didn’t matter, and that there was no middle ground. No room amidst this “war of words and tumult of opinions” (Joseph Smith—History 1:10) for someone like me, who wants to live true to himself and to his faith.



Myrna Moll


Life was good; the past was long gone. I had a testimony of the gospel, a loving family and good friends. It all came crashing down one day when my girlfriend from college knocked on my door. We talked for a while and I thought naively that we could be friends. I was mistaken.



Christopher Dean


After about a week, I got a prompting that I needed to talk to my MTC branch president about my same-sex attraction. I was scared to death because I was convinced that as soon as I said anything about it, I would be sent home. Because of my unwillingness to follow the prompting, I didn’t have the Spirit, so the MTC became incredibly difficult and I was sadder than I ever had been in my life.



Stu Back


A shadow fell over my life during that first year in AF. Not content to simply ignore me (which was hard enough), boys my age, most especially those in my new LDS ward, seemed determined to bully, intimidate, and tease me. In my nine-year-old mind, school and church were warzones. I started avoiding the other kids. I would stay in the classroom at recess, preferring books to bullies.



Spencer Ficiur


Ten years ago, I would have never expected that I would come home from my mission early (twice) or that I’d be completely public about my SSA, which I was only barely aware of at that point. However, I also never expected that I’d have learned what I have about the power of the Atonement.



Sallie Ferguson


But I still had questions, lots and lots of questions that I couldn’t find the answers to. Not even Garrett knew the answers to them. For a few months, the conversation at the temple was put on a shelf while we both tried to reconcile our feelings. Luckily, we both had enough faith to trust that if Heavenly Father made it clear to both of us that we were supposed to get married, things would work out in their own time.



Garrett Ferguson


During this time, I wanted everyone to continue to see me as the perfect church boy who excelled in school and had lots of friends. For the most part I was successful convincing others that the careful façade I had constructed was reality. I hid what I believed was my “true” self from everyone except my gay friends.




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