North Star International’s annual conference has been a lifeline of support to countless members of the LDS Church for many years.
North Star’s mission to help members live in harmony with church teachings requires that resources are also provided to the religious leaders who provide spiritual counsel. To receive spiritual counsel we know it is imperative that we foster an environment of knowledge and greater understanding of the trials that members with Same Sex Attraction or Gender Identity Incongruence may face.
North Star International is pioneering the way in consistently offering church leader resources. During the 2016 annual conference, all church leadership is welcome to attend the complimentary Saturday morning sessions. These sessions will cover general issues impacting SSA or GD members as well as provide the platform for leadership to ask questions and gather resources. There is also a reduced price for church leadership who would like to attend the entire conference to gain further understanding and enlightenment.
Who is eligible to register as a church leader?
Church Leaders are identified as: Stake Presidency Members, Ward/Branch Bishopric Members, all Stake/Ward level auxiliary presidencies, seminary teachers, institute teachers as well as any general authority of the church.
Do you have to be a latter day saint leader to qualify as a church leader?
The complimentary Saturday morning session is only available to LDS church leaders however you may register for the reduced church leader pricing if you are a leader of another religious affiliation. Please identify your church position and the church name during the registration process.
Are church leaders who live outside of Utah able to attend the conference with this special invitation?
Absolutely, we are striving to distribute resources to every corner of the world and welcome all leadership who would like to assist in this missionary work.
Is it required to pre-register for the conference?
Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. On-site registration will be available on both days of the conference, however pre-registration will help eliminate wait times. It also will help in the conference planning process to better anticipate attendance.
May church leaders bring guests to the conference with them?
All church leaders will be allowed to bring their spouse to attend the complimentary Saturday morning session with them. If you would like to bring a guest other than your spouse, they will be required to complete their own registration. If they are also a church leader we welcome them to register themselves for the complimentary morning sessions.
Will there be any meal services?
Complimentary attendance for Church leaders on Saturday morning concludes at 12pm and does not include breakfast or lunch. There is an option to upgrade your registration to include lunch options. Please click here here to view all reduced pricing options for Church leaders.
Is the conference open for anyone to attend?
The topics discussed at the North Star Conference are often very private to attendees. Many of the attendees are not ready to be open with their attraction or gender identity. The conference is a safe space for everyone to seek help and resources. It is imperative that all attendees respect the privacy of others and not reveal any details regarding other attendees without expressed permission. Even those who may be participating in conference sessions or musical numbers should be given utmost privacy.
Where can I find additional resources to help minister to those in need?
North Star provides a comprehensive website with information and links for church leaders who are seeking understanding. Please visit our website at: http://classic.northstarlds.org/church-leaders/
North Star developed the Voices of Hope project to help share individual stories of members who face same sex attraction. Please view the website and share the stories at:http://ldsvoicesofhope.org/
North Star also just released the Journey of Faith website providing personal stories of transgender members of the LDS church. Please visit the website at:http://northstarlds.org/journeys-of-faith/
Frequently Asked Questions
What is same sex attraction or SSA
Many members of the church experience physical attraction to members of the same gender as themselves. Being attracted to someone of the same gender doesn’t necessarily mean that one is acting on those feelings and the attractions can vary from person to person. Facing the reality of being attracted to those of the same gender can be a very terrifying and disorienting experience. Many same-sex attracted members of the church tend to carry a lot of shame in regards to their same-sex attraction and wrestle with the challenge of how to maintain their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ while dealing with their attractions. Some may remain single for the rest of their lives and some may be able to marry someone of the opposite gender and raise a family.
What is gender dysphoria or transgender?
For the vast majority of persons, their perceived gender identity (the gender that they feel they are mentally and/or spiritually) matches their biological sex. These persons generally live their lives aligned with the gender roles for their sex set forth in gospel teachings and by their society at large.
However, for some individuals their private subjective experience of their gender identity is incongruent with their designated natal sex. These individuals may experience gender dysphoria (GD), a medically and psychiatrically recognized condition.
A popular umbrella term, “transgender” applies to a wide variety of gender variant feelings and behaviors, including those who experience gender dysphoria and those whose gender varies over time. It is recognized that gender dysphoria is distinct from matters of sexual attraction. Possible causes for gender dysphoria are not well understood, in the health professions or within the Church.