LDS Conference Reconciliation of Gender Identity and Faith

Mormons balance LGBT Identity with the Teachings of Christ

The Provo Marriott Hotel and Convention Center held the North Star International's fifth annual conference on March 15-17. The organization describes itself as a faith bolstering resource for the Latter-day Saints who wish to clarify their personal stand on gender identity and sexual orientation. North Star aims to help those Mormons who want to co-exist peacefully with Jesus Christ's teachings and the varied values and doctrines as prescribed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The list of star attendees included musician David Archuleta and speakers Hank Smith, Tom Christofferson, and Stephanie Nielson.

Keynote speeches were given also given by American Psychological Association’s task force on LGBT issues chairman Mark Yarhouse, relationship expert Matt Townsend and North Star president Bennett Borden.

The event featured a number of breakout sessions on topics for transgender, couples, women, men and families. Session presenters were therapists, scholars, entertainers and local church leaders. The sessions included firsthand accounts gleaned from families and individuals concerning the reconciliation of faith with gender identity and sexual orientation.

Last week Brigham Young University held an LGBTQ and SSA student forum focused on the reconciliation of gender identity and faith. The program also advised how heterosexuals can accept their LGBT peers. Students led the program through encouraged acceptance and personal experiences. As per the LDS church, attraction towards the same-sex is not considered a sin. However, acting on it is regarded as a sin. The rigid Honor Code of Mormon School prohibits “not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” Any person or group of people who break it can expect strict disciplinary action.

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