"I was a member of the Mormon church until I was 38 years old," says Steve, an ex-Mormon. "During that time, I spent 12 years of my life in a conversion therapy called 'Evergreen.' Evergreen is a Mormon church reparative therapy program where they convert you to being straight when you're gay."
Truth Wins Out reports that Evergreen is not officially a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (otherwise known as Mormons), but the church sends it referrals.
Steve says that while attending the Evergreen group in Denver, one third of the 15 men there committed suicide. He says that the success statistics posted on the Evergreen website are based on how many people are still going to the meetings.
Society is being bombarded by information that supports the “gay rights” position that individuals are born homosexual. (This misinformation may even come from some individuals within the Church.) This is Satan’s propaganda to discourage strugglers from seeking help to overcome these feelings and behaviors. Contrary to information in the popular press or what you may have been told, there have been NO legitimate scientific that prove that there is a “gay” gene.
As to participating in Evergreen, Steve says "You're only doing it because you're Mormon. You're only doing it because this is supposed to be how you're living your life. You just keep going and keep going and feel more negative and more negative until many times, you just kill yourself because you can't take another freaking day of it."
As to suicide, the Evergreen site says that only God can judge about the situation surrounding the act, but at the same time, quotes strong warnings by Mormon presidents:
President George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency made a clear statement about the seriousness of suicide when he said:
Man did not create himself. He did not furnish his spirit with a human dwelling place. It is God who created man, both body and spirit. Man has no right, therefore, to destroy that which he had no agency in creating. They who do so are guilty of murder, self-murder it is true; but they are no more justified in killing themselves than they are in killing others. What difference of punishment there is for the two crimes, I do not know; but it is clear that no one can destroy so precious a gift as that of life without incurring a severe penalty.” (Gospel Truth, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Zion’s Book Store, 1957, 1:30; italics added.)
President Spencer W. Kimball made an equally strong statement in 1976:
It is a terrible criminal act for a person to go out and shorten his life by suicide. (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 187.)
Steve says the church needs to learn to empathize, explaining that the emotions that opposite sex couples feel toward one another are the same as those experienced by same sex couples.
"This is the core. This is myself. I can't change this," he explains. "You can't play act. You have to grow up at some point and be honest about who you are."
Steve spent a lot of time looking at the doctrines of the church and, in his words, "everything started to fall apart."
"The more you read about Joseph Smith's life," he said, "the weirder it gets."
In his last prayer, Steve asked God for just one day of not feeling gay. He said he'd been praying for 35 years and he'd never do to his kids as God was doing to His gay children.
You need to love me as I love my kids. I would never do what you're doing to my kids. Never. I love them too much to let them wander through their lives aimlessly, praying for something that you're never going to help them with. It's crap.
Steve remained on his knees for an hour.
God did not answer.
Steve left the church, laughing and realizing that there is no God.