A Place in the Kingdom: Spiritual Insights from Latter-day Saints about Same-Sex Attraction
edited by Garrick Hyde and Ginger Hyde
Help for Those who Struggle with Unwanted Homosexual Problems
This book represents a small collection of personal essays from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have personally witnessed the significance of same-sex attraction (SSA) in their own lives or in the life of someone they love. The essays in this book detail the insights and experiences of Latter-day Saint men and women who desire to follow the gospel when caught in the tug of war between obeying Christ’s commandments or pursuing homosexual behavior. These stories speak of real charity–the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ–and compassion given by the rescuing hands of Christ and his followers.
This book was compiled with one heartfelt desire: to grant comfort and insights to the many, many thousands of Latter-day Saints who feel alone and desperate in their struggles with same-sex attraction. You are not alone in your struggle. You hold a very important place in God’s kingdom. A secondary motive of this book is to invoke greater compassion from all Church members toward their brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction.
The editors attempted to underscore two main themes in this work. First, SSA (or any trial in life) does not have to rob us of life’s happiness; we can all find inner happiness, even when we are human and struggling. Second, developing a personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ is critical to our inner happiness; peace comes from God’s presence instead of adversity’s absence.
Twenty-four authors contributed the book’s twenty-six essays. Fourteen essays use the author’s real name; twelve use pseudonyms. Essay demographics: 15 essays by men with SSA, 2 essays by women with SSA, 4 essays by spouses, 3 essays by parents, and 2 essays by friends about someone with SSA.
“The book is everything I hoped it would be. I bought a copy at the Evergreen conference and I could hardly put it down! The overall tone is one of hope, of faith, of love for and from the Savior. The Church is not bashed–though the ignorance of some members is exposed. Essays are not sugar-coated promises of easy cures, nor are they dark, brooding pleas for the Church to accept lower standards of behavior. Really, I am so impressed. Satan didn’t want the book published, and I can see why.”
“This book is unprecedented in its style and message and provides insights that no other work has done with equal clarity before. It provides a broad perspective of the issue via the stories of those who have struggled with SSA, as well as spouses, parents and friends. The book helps people relate to the pain of the struggle and the indescribable joy of experiencing success in dealing with the problems.”
“Though the topic of the book is same-sex attraction, the insights shared could easily be applied to other conditions.”
“The writers’ individual voices clearly come out, which is, I think, the book’s greatest strength.”
“I found the diversity of voices and perspectives really great. And I think the book is actually effective in the larger sense of the struggle of living the gospel, regardless of one’s individual weaknesses and struggles.”
“The stories were wonderful, open and motivational. It was great to see how so many people have worked with this issue. I hope there will be a ‘Rocky II’ out in a few years.”
“I finished the book. I liked it a lot. As jaded as I am with Mormon SSA stories (including mine), I found it very moving.”
“I plan to share it with my children and many others whom I believe can benefit from reading it. The book helped me understand myself better–it seems each piece expressed something that I feel or have felt.”
“With my current work schedule I have not been able to attend Evergreen. I read the book A Place in the Kingdom and the stories have given me strength.”
“The book has such a sweet spiritual message. It is no wonder that Satan fought against it so much.”
“I bought the book. I read the book. I loved the book. It is about SSA Mormons’ struggles of being different, of sinning (like the rest of us do, only in different ways), of finally having hope in Jesus Christ. These stories are incredible, and while reading many of them, I wept. I have gained a greater insight and a greater compassion for these people. Because of this book I will judge less.
“This book hit me hard because I have two in my family (my son and my older brother) who have this struggle. Though my brother has not acted out his fantasies, nonetheless he has had an uphill battle all of his life with his self-esteem. It was only about a year ago that he told me. I love him all the more for his honesty, and I know that the Lord loves him. Another of the many things that I learned from the book is that we can never, never, never give up on a loved one. The Lord certainly never gives up on us.
“I really would recommend this book to everyone. I think it would straighten out a lot of wrong perceptions. If I can get my husband to sit down for a minute, I want him to read it too. As a bishop he needs this information.”
Additional books on the subject of homosexuality.