David Archuleta aspires to keep his LDS faith and help others do the same as LGBTQ+, but is it possible?
David Archuleta, America’s Idol Season 7 runner up, Billboard 200 chart topper, and hallmarked vocalist for Meet the Mormons feature-length documentary came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The Mormon singer aspires to help others, but can he, if he never fully embraces being LGBTQ+ by remaining in a religion that denies him the very essence of living— intense feelings of intimacy, passion, and even temporary euphoria for another person—love?
2021 A Brave New World
In his latest album Therapy Sessions, Archuleta commented, “There has been a movement with understanding oneself, going to therapy. I’ve been …discovering a lot about why I have these battles in my head, and how to separate myself from the negativity that can flood the mind … I’ve been determined to show that we can win when the negativity and anxiety starts telling us we’re not good enough and can’t get through it. I’m determined to walk people through with me.” But where did this negativity come from?
In the present climate LGBTQ are finding a safer platform to share their story, and more and more people are shifting their stance toward tolerance and acceptance for LGBTQ+. Perhaps there is a space where faith and LGBTQ+ can unite and be whole. When people like Archuleta with sincere intentions hope for a better and are accepted by those around—predominantly family and friends—a flame is kindled. Faith can help individuals find hope, meaning, and direction in life, but most religious beliefs centering on Christ’s words do not accept or affirm LGBTQ+, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is very vocal and politically active about not affirming or accepting anything other than acknowledging their feelings.
Being LDS is not fully being LGBTQ+
For nearly 200 years, the LDS faith has ingrained in its members being LGBTQ+ or having any feelings related to it are anything but normal and healthy. Kyle Ashworth, the host of Latter Gay Stories Podcast, has compiled an extensive PDF containing the chronological journey of the revelatory led faith found at, https://lattergaystories.org/record/ His PDF begins and features a paragraph eight lines long depicting all past and current descriptors and sentiments used by specifically LDS leaders (too offensive to post here).
Archuleta states on his website, davidarchuleta.com,“[W]e can be the victors of our minds, and [know] that worrying paralyzing thoughts aren’t what define us[.]” But Archuleta told Good Morning America (GMA), “[When he was a Mormon, he] would [pray to God, and] say, ‘Please take these feelings away from me because I don’t want to. I don’t want to feel things I shouldn’t. I don’t want to feel things that would be wrong.” How can David help others who struggle to reconcile their faith with their orientation and identity, when the faith is telling them that being that way is wrong? Honestly, the battle seems uphill, with the wind blowing, rain hailing, an approaching avalanche, followed by a pyroclastic blast; it’s simply not sustainable or authentic.
Perhaps patience and long-suffering are all it takes to change the LDS view?
With time all hearts soften. Be it a miracle or be it mercy, maybe in time the LDS Faith will soften its heart and recognize love is love. In 2021 they did issue a public statement acknowledging, “The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction [; furthermore,] feelings of same-sex attraction are not a sin.” https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction
However, LGBTQ+ members must adhere to an unbalanced and stricter “law of chastity.” For example, it is required at Brigham Young University to follow the honor code to maintain admission. To ensure students abide by said honor code, there are routine interviews every semester. The leaders of the education system have stated, “Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the honor code.” (Paul. V. Johnson, commissioner of the LDS church education system). Not adhering to said honor code means expulsion from the university, and historically for members throughout the church, excommunication.
Love has no limits.
Maybe with long-suffering religions will reevaluate the 2000-year-old bible verse that defines and limits love. (I doubt it, but would love to proven wrong) Perhaps it will change. Either way, love is limitless! If you must have faith, remember there are no requirements, no limits, and no rules to personal belief.
Archuleta, Bravo, for telling your story and taking those first steps, but in the words of Jesse Jackson, “You can’t teach what you don’t know. And you can’t lead where you don’t go,” ~Jesse Jackson. To be a Mormon is only a portion of being an authentic LGBTQ+. You cannot say you are a mountain climber and never climb.
David I sincerely hope and wish for you to “…become stronger by fighting forward,” as you proclaim on your website. Be that complete authentic LGBTQ+ and do as you aspire–lift others; however, until you fully embrace being LGBTQ+ you cannot.