Monday, February 4, 2013

North Star International

Ok. So I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while: one about North Star. I’ve mentioned North Star in some previous posts, but I’ve never really gotten into explaining it much. So, here it goes. North Star is an internet community for individuals with same-sex attraction (and those who support them) who want to keep their lives in harmony with the Church.

The name comes from a talk that President Hinckley gave in April 1989, called “Let Love Be the Lodestar of Your Life”. He said, “We came to know of the constancy of that star. As the earth turned, the others appeared to move through the night. But the North Star held its position in line with the axis of the earth… Love is like the Polar Star. In a changing world, it is a constant. It is of the very essence of the gospel.” And God loved us enough to send Christ to atone for our sins.

North Star’s mission is to help create a community for people with SSA and for their families, to create a support system. When I found North Star back in May 2012, I didn’t know what kind of impact it would have on my life. But in some of the rough times that have happened since then, North Star has been my support. On my worst days, I can post on the private Facebook group what my concerns and worries are, and within minutes I can have a response of support, advice, or something funny to cheer me up.

In addition to the Facebook group, North Star has email groups, divided into different demographics: youth, men, women, transgender, spouses, friends/family, local leaders, prospective missionaries, young adults, single men/women, married men/women, and (this one surprised me) individuals in same-sex relationships. North Star also has a blog kept by several members, called the Northern Lights blog, and they have started a podcast, which I previously wrote about.

Other than a couple of events per year (the Fall Chili Cook-Off and the Christmas Musical Fireside), North Star rarely does physical events and their entire community exists online (though I heard there is going to be a fireside this April, but more details on that later). As a result, some people I know who very much prefer physical human interaction, as opposed to electronically through North Star. However, that’s not always possible, which is why it’s nice for those who cannot physically meet with other faithful latter-day saints with SSA to be able to connect with them over the internet.

As I look back at this post, it seems kind of dry and almost like an advertisement… so let me share this to finish… I have had some rough times in the past year and the support I have felt from the North Star community is invaluable. I have felt like I’m in Zion when I’m around those men and women. I have learned from their words and I have come closer to the Savior. I have found dear friends and found deep support from people, some of whom I’ve never met. At the times when I have needed it most, they have been there to remind me that because of the Atonement, life will get better.

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