Jacob Hampton realized he was gay only a few months before he left for his LDS mission. He served in the San Jose, Costa Rica mission from August 2012 to September 2013.
While serving in Costa Rica, a zone leader became attracted to Jacob, and as they began to do “splits,” Jacob and his zone leader would occasionally “cuddle” in bed – but did not engage in any overt sexual behaviors.
This is Jacob’s mission story.
Rose Sorenson was raised in a devout LDS household (Idaho Falls, ID), but began having doubts as a 12 year old. Although she continued to struggle with perfectionism and doubts as a teenager, Rose decided that the LDS church’s decision in 2013 to lower the missionary age for women was a “sign” that she should serve a mission to strengthen her testimony.
She served in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission from March 2013 to August 2014.
After a year of struggling with her testimony, including bouts of depression and anxiety — and after reading the Book of Mormon four times without receiving a spiritual witness that the book was true — Rose decided that she was an atheist, but remained determined to complete her mission.
This is Rose’s story.
Tre Shortland was raised in Oakland, CA as a bi-racial Mormon (Filipino mother and New Zealander/Maori father). While he was very committed doctrinally to Mormonism, he was not crazy about Mormon culture, and was taught the fundamentals
of critical thinking from a young age. Prior to and during his
mission, Tre was tormented by doubts, along with teachings and rules regarding “self abuse.” For over a year on his mission Tre was taught that lack of success on his mission was due to these practices/weaknesses. After becoming zone leader, Tre became aware of a sex scandal that reached the
highest levels of missionary leadership. This is Tre’s story.
The music for today’s episode is from Tre’s band: http://www.Seaviewmusic.com. The song is called “Relativity.”
Mike Woodruff knew that he was attracted to men by age 14. After consulting with his LDS bishop, he was told that his “same-sex attraction” would “resolve itself” once he served an LDS mission. His LDS patriarchal blessing also assured him that he would serve a complete LDS mission.
After being called to the Leeds, England mission, Mike was physically and emotionally abused by his first companion, suffering severe PTSD symptoms.
Listen to Mike’s story here.
Sage Dalton was a graduate of Dartmouth University and a regular listener to Mormon Stories podcast when she decided to serve an LDS mission in 2012. Towards the latter half of her mission Sage began to experience depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, along with doubts she began to experience as a missionary (primarily around LGBT and historical issues).
Listen here for more of Sage’s story.