Wed, 5 October 2022
Trigger Warning: Suicidal Ideation
Evan Smith rose through the ranks of Mormon leadership ultimately becoming a Stake Presidency member. While serving as an LDS Bishop, Evan struggled with the Church’s positions on LGBTQ+ issues and later found out that his son Weston was gay. Even after coming out, Weston decided to serve an LDS Mission as an openly gay man, leading him to high levels of depression and heartbreaking experiences during and after coming back early from his mission.
Evan became an advocate for LGBTQ people in the Church. His position as a Stake Presidency Counselor led him to a few confrontations/discussions with General Authorities and a later meeting at Church Headquarters where they discussed Evan’s progressive beliefs on LGBTQ matters.
In Part 3 of 3, Evan describes getting called as a Stake Counselor, his attempts to be an ally for LGBTQ individuals and his subsequent faith crisis. Evan has a few debates/confrontations with Area Seventy Elder McCune (higher than Stake Presidency in Mormon leadership) over his gay son. Evan emails Apostles and other leaders on how the Church can change to be more loving and accepting of LGBTQ members resulting in a meeting with General Authority Allen D. Haynie. Evan continues faith deconstruction when his wife begins her faith crisis, and they both come to see the issues with sexism in the Church, biblical scholarship opening up new issues, and the family’s ultimate decision to leave the Church.
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