The Standard of Liberty Voice
A publication of The Standard of Liberty Foundation
January 11, 2014, #78
Longtime support group for gay Mormons shuts down
This article recently appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. SoL found it especially interesting and misleading. We have reproduced it, along with our comments in brackets.
Evergreen International, which used to push reparative therapy, is now part of North Star.
By Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, January 3, 2014
Picture. LDS general authority Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy gives a keynote address at the annual Evergreen Education and Resource Conferencein in the chapel at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 24, 2011. Evergreen is a group of partners that reaches out to Mormons with same-sex attraction.
Days after hundreds of gay and lesbian couples swarmed county offices to get Utah marriage licenses, a group originally founded to help Mormons eliminate same-sex attraction closed its doors.
[Evergreen never stressed eliminating the attractions. It only stressed “diminishing’ attractions. It never had integrity. Its dissolution could also be a result of the reported withdrawal of the LDS Church’s financial support.]
Before doing so, Evergreen International turned over some of its resources and mailing lists — said to number up to 30,000 participants, including many from Spanish-speaking countries — to a newer LDS-based gay support group, North Star.
[The people who started North Star are LDS in name only. From what we can tell, they do not espouse the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Combining the two groups, organizers say, will create “the largest single faith-based ministry organization for Latter-day Saints who experience same-sex attraction or gender-identity incongruence and will also provide increased access to resources for church leaders, parents, family and friends.”
[This is a disaster. It is like the wicked leading the blind. Their resources are designed to sentimentalize, normalize and cement homosexuality in individuals and the LDS culture. This movement has capitalized on the same exact movement in our national/world culture, benefitting from and using the tactics found in the handbook for overhauling straight America, After the Ball.
The scale and scope of the challenges facing this community “can sometimes be overwhelming,” North Star board chairman Jeff Bennion writes in a news release, “which is why I am thrilled that so many of the strong and experienced associates of Evergreen will be standing even more unitedly with us.”
[Community? This is pro-gay propaganda at its height. The only ‘community’ they can be talking about is one of people who are preoccupied with a particular sinful proclivity. We could all create and belong to one of those, but truly Christian people do not identify themselves by, or organize themselves according to their lusts; they privately strive to overcome them.]
Evergreen President David Pruden, who could not be reached Thursday for comment, will not be joining North Star’s leadership but will continue as executive director of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. Preston Dahlgren, Evergreen’s chairman, will become a member of North Star’s board.
As to the question of changing or diminishing sexual orientation, North Star takes no position, says the group’s newly named president, Ty Mansfield.
[No surprise. The concepts of “sin” and “repentance” are not in North Star’s vocabulary. Humble and true repentance from one’s sinful nature-the mighty change of heart- is the key factor in overcoming miserable homosexual desire and activity, or any other out-of-bounds temptations and sins. This anti-repentance philosophy is shared by all the numerous anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon. It is clear, underneath all the emotional stories, clever words and endless flattery, that homosexuality as a permanent identity is being promoted by North Star.]
“If someone had a positive experience with reparative therapy or change, we are OK with them sharing that,” says Mansfield, a marriage and family therapist in Provo. [This is a lie. The view of successful change is not seriously emphasized or considered by Mansfield and North Star. To quote Mansfield from an email sent to a repentant and changed individual, regarding this topic: “It's not the substance of your beliefs or your story but rather the disrespectful, condescending, cynical and judgmental way in which you seem to consistently share them. You're kind of an ass, Xxxx. A talented ass . . . but an ass nonetheless.” This screed from the new president of North Star, a therapist in the field of homosexuality, to a person he has never met face-to-face. Mansfield’s intolerant reaction to this person’s personal experience and testimony was not provoked by any name-calling such as Mansfield resorted to. This is because when pro-homosexualists, such as Mansfield, are confronted with the unadulterated truth, no matter how it is expressed, they lose it. Time and again he has shown he is not open to stories of full recovery, although he ostensibly is. He does not want that story told, especially by an intelligent, rational and talented person. Otherwise, North Star would be using this man’s story, published, and glowingly endorsed by experts, including Dr. A. Dean Byrd.]
“If they had a negative experience, they can share that, too.”
[This is North Star’s stock in trade. They have built their organization on failure, addiction and misery, calling it “authentic” stories.]
Neither Evergreen nor North Star has any official connection with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but both groups cater to Mormons and follow LDS doctrines.
[Also, disturbingly, not true. Mansfield is ubiquitous on the LDS church’s MormonsAndGays.org website, and that makes North Star connected with the LDS Church. It appears that this pro-homosexualist has wormed his way into a position of influence with the Mormon church, exploiting progress made by the very wicked larger cultural gay movement. To paraphrase Joseph Smith, Mansfield has used the methods of Babylon in a pretense of building up Zion, which obviously is impossible: Zion then becomes Babylon. As for North Star following LDS doctrines, Mansfield, as can be seen in his own book, has wrested the scriptures, twisted the Gospel, and elevated himself to homosexualist leader status, using faux spirituality.]
“North Star affirms the right of individuals to self-determination,” Bennion says in the release, “and supports all efforts consistent with the [LDS] gospel that help individuals live in harmony with their covenants and attain greater peace, fulfillment, and sense of individual worth, while affirming that the most essential and eternal growth and progress come through the power of the Savior and adherence to the teachings of his prophets.”
[This is the spiritual equivalent of psychobabble. There is no true peace or help found here.]
The group tries to “stay away from ideologies,” Mansfield says, “and focus on the narrative experience.”
[It has been said that a religious group which emphasized human-centered stories over doctrine (ideology) has lost its foundation in Christ; sentiment and emotion begins to trump everlasting principles.]
To that end, North Star has produced a series of online video testimonials from gay Mormons called “Voices of Hope” and found at ldsvoicesofhope.org.
Right now, the series has 40 testimonials, with 20 more ready to go, Mansfield says. “We are hoping eventually to include a thousand.”
[Bingo. See above. And what percentage of those will be from people who have totally overcome homosexuality and testify in no uncertain terms of Christ’s redemptive power to save us from our sins. Few, if any. And who are these people telling the stories, anyway? Is there any screening for mental and emotional problems that could be the root of their homosexual tendencies? Does anybody care about what is really causing their problems? And who’s to say these are real people with healthy, objective viewpoints? Homosexualists unabashedly admit that they lie to achieve their ends.]
This approach “is more consistent with national positions by the American Psychological Association that change is not possible and reparative therapy is not effective,” says Richard Ferre, an adjunct psychiatry professor at the University of Utah. “The group is still trying to provide a support for Mormon gays to maintain their connections with their religion.”
[Bingo again. North Star is not about change. APA decisions in 1973 and since have been made as a result of relentless political pressure, rather than science. And besides, if this is a religious group, why do they want to be “consistent” with positions taken by a Godless, secular group?]
It’s time, says Ferre, who has had many gay patients, to recognize that “diverse experiences and different voices require different responses. We need to respect individuals and their personal discovery of the response that would most benefit them.”
[Again, psychobabble and new age philosophies of men; the opposite of Christianity.]
Evergreen’s end has been obvious for a while, says Kendall Wilcox, a Mormon filmmaker working on a documentary about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Latter-day Saints.
For years, a Mormon general authority typically spoke at the group’s annual conference, but that practice eventually stopped.
In May 2012, the author of a controversial 2001 study — which claimed that gays can change — disavowed his conclusions. But Pruden told The Salt Lake Tribune he saw no reason to discontinue using so-called reparative therapy.
In June, Exodus International, a group similar to Evergreen but for a larger Christian audience, shut its doors. At about the same time, Pruden approached North Star with the idea of merging the two groups.
“There was some unnecessary competition between us,” Bennion told The Tribune. “We were starting to step on each other’s toes.”
Evergreen began in 1989 as a therapeutic solution for Mormons with unwanted same-sex attraction, while North Star took a more person-to-person tack.
The newly constituted North Star will now provide its own annual conferences — the first one is scheduled for May in Provo — but its focus will be on wide participation.
[Lord, help us. These conferences headed by persuasive personalities will be a lot of worldly propaganda disguised as Gospel and spirituality, and will lead further astray precious, damaged, vulnerable, miserable, impressionable, prideful souls.]
Wilcox — who is on the board of Mormons Building Bridges, a grass-roots group seeking to enhance good will between the LGBT and LDS communities — fears a subtle evolution in North Star’s perspective as well.
[Mormons Building Bridges? Read apostate, as well-meaning as they may be. God’s laws don’t change to suit the culture’s pop trends. People whose morals “evolve” are not of God.]
Mansfield co-wrote a 2004 book, “In Quiet Desperation: Understanding the Challenge of Same-Gender Attraction.” He described himself as permanently, inescapably gay and accepted the requirement of celibacy to remain a faithful Mormon. He has subsequently married a woman and had two children.
[Permanently, inescapably gay? This is why Mansfield hates those who have overcome homosexuality. It dissolves his soapbox. And about the celibacy: People who aren’t virtuous don’t understand virtue. Even self-proclaimed gays who resist change, even if they have not “acted out,” however they personally define that, are not virtuous, because they entertain sexual lusts, of which they do not repent. For example, on North Star’s website are found blog posts by Mansfield discussing “buddymoons,” “bromances,” “man crushes,” and “man dates.” This is representative of the sexual component inherent in homosexual lust, which is the essence of the gay identity claim, regardless of Mansfield’s phony assertion there is nothing sexual about them. He needs to make up his mind; if it’s not sexual, you’re not gay, or SSA. And if those things are not sexual, something else is wrong, as there seems to be an unhealthy preoccupation with others of his same sex in a more general way.]
With Mansfield at the helm — and Bennion, who is also married to a woman — there seems to be subtle pressure, Wilcox says, to follow their lead.
Both North Star leaders hope that isn’t the case. They believe that marriage to someone of the opposite sex should not be seen as a way to “cure” gayness, Manfield says, “but it should be considered as an option.”
[Option? Read fraud.]
Whether gay Mormons stay single or marry, he says, “we want to help them to be as healthy as possible.”
[True healthfulness for individuals (spiritual, physical, mental and emotional) is an issue farther away as the north star for North Star.]
-Stephen & Janice Graham
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