Join us for this important and time-sensitive edition of Mormon Stories Podcast as we interview Idahoan, Dusty Johns. In Part 1 of this interview, Dusty shares his experience growing up as a gay and closeted Mormon and at times being the only active member of his family. Before becoming a missionary, he covenanted with God that if he served an honorable full-time mission that his sexual orientation would change. Upon returning from his mission to England and quickly marrying, a few months into his marriage he realized that he was unable to connect with his wife in a manner that a man and woman should. Though the marriage did not last, it did produce two boys who Dusty treasures and shares parenting responsibilities with their mother. Dusty began to be involved with LDS-affiliated groups that attempt to diminish “same-sex attraction” and overcome homosexual behavior, but quickly saw that many program attendees were either acting hypocritically or living seemingly miserable lives as celibate Mormons. After experiencing medical complications that almost ended his life, his devotion to the LDS Church and God became cemented and he decided that he could be both an active Mormon, and create a family with someone that he truly loved.

In Part 2 of this interview, we learn how Dusty met his husband and how the two have formed a loving family unit with Dusty’s two boys. The family was quickly accepted by their local Idahoan ward, including their ward and stake leadership. Dusty tells us that recently his local leadership was directed by LDS Church authorities in Salt Lake City to initiate disciplinary proceedings because of his same-sex marriage. After receiving a letter in the mail indicating such, Dusty forwarded the letter to Mormon Stories Podcast and 6 hours after the letter was posted publicly, his stake leadership was asked to postpone the disciplinary council until after General Conference, as directed by the church’s PR department. As of today, Dusty’s disciplinary council meeting is now set to take place October 16th.

Part 1 – Dusty shares his experience growing up gay in the Mormon Church:

Part 2 – Dusty and his husband desire to be active Mormons, but have been called into a disciplinary council:

Part 1

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Part 2

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  1. Azul October 13, 2018 at 12:57 am - Reply

    I’m a YW medallion recipient, seminary graduate, institute graduate, returned missionary & was married in the temple. I stopped attending church almost 2 years ago. The way the church treats & sees members of the LGBTQ community was one of many, but one of the big reasons my husband & I decided to leave the church. Meeting & interacting with lesbian & gay people at my husband’s work is what started to change my “mormon view” of the LGBTQ community. Once I had faces & names to put with views & policies, my espoused views & the church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community just didn’t add up or feel right. Thanks Dusty for your candor, compassion & bravery in doing this interview. As I listened to your story I couldn’t help but think that yours will be another real face, another real name for positive changes toward the LGBTQ community. Sending strength & love for your disciplinary council & warm wishes for continued happiness & peace.

  2. JG October 13, 2018 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Your story uplifts and inspires.
    It speaks of God and love.
    Such a contrast to that talk from general conference.

    What a puzzle this Mormon thing is?
    Full of paradox.
    Yet many of us feel God there and choose to stay.

    For now we see through a glass darkly.
    All of us.
    But something feels sure.
    Never faileth.

  3. Lisa October 14, 2018 at 12:53 am - Reply

    John’s face on Part 4, says it all, lol.

  4. SWL October 14, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

    What a wonderful interview, Dusty, John. Incredibly honest and heartfelt. Unfortunately, there are tens of thousands of other Mormon Dusty Johns out there whose lives have been deeply impacted in horrible ways by the LDS church. Like Dusty, my wish is that those who are actively involved in the Mormon Church, who believe and accept the hateful rhetoric from the likes of Nelson and Oaks regarding the LGBTQ community, will change. Hopefully, the stories of these brave men and women will help them see the LDS church and its leadership for what they are. Thank you for putting yourself out there Dusty.

    There is one observation I have regarding a comment Dusty made numerous times I would like to address. I realize that he is at an early point in separating from the church and he seems to carry much of the LDS ethos still. Numerous times in the interview he made reference to “sleeping around” in a negative way. Of course, we all have different ideas as to what constitutes “sleeping around” but the term conjures up damaging LDS metaphors of chewed gum and licked cupcakes, and the accompanying shame and guilt that the Mormon church imposes to control its members. A healthy sex drive is nothing to be ashamed of nor is having responsible encounters with multiple partners. Sex is an important part of the human experience. “Sleeping around” may not be a choice Dusty or others make, but his multiple references to it came off as a bit judgmental. IMHO

    Best of luck to Dusty, Tate, and family. I can assure you that the best is yet to come!

    • Paul Jefferies October 15, 2018 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      It seems that Dusty’s negative comments about people “sleeping around” were more about people’s hypocrisy rather than the act itself. He was angry that their were holier than thou LGBT members in these groups who were saying they were celibate, towing the Mormon line, when they in fact weren’t. That’s what was making him angry.

  5. CBO October 14, 2018 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Can anyone lead me to a resource about the time and location of the disciplary council? I’m in Colorado, but after listening to this, I can think of nothing I want to do more than make the trip to show my love and support for this brave family.

  6. Monkeyking October 14, 2018 at 11:37 am - Reply

    You pose the question at the end of part 1: Who does the November policy protect?
    It protects brighamite polygamy, and only brighamite polygamy. It is tied to the ‘new’ revelation/claim that despite the complete lack of any clear scriptural support, (even the D&C can be read gender neutral and/or that gender is only temporal) the church is putting forwards, that gender is eternal. If gender is not eternal, same sex marriage is not opposed to gods plan, but then the brighamite polygamy doctrine is wrong. If polyandry and other type relationships that were practiced in Nauvoo had been continued there may be some room for the church to consider any number of non-traditional marriages by saying that human relationships are complicated and god hasn’t told us everything yet, but we can have faith that god will work it out in the eternities…then focus on helping people make and develop meaningful relationships that allow them to express and receive as much love and emotional support as they can in this life. Instead they cling to a policy of maintaining the doctrine, that marriage is only between one man and as many women as his wives as the church will give to him, and all of the hate and destruction of families that goes along with it.

  7. Paul Anthony October 15, 2018 at 2:29 am - Reply

    I find it curious that one of the Mormon church’s principal doctrines maintains that in the highest Mormon heaven designated as the ‘Celestial Kingdom’ there are three major divisions, and that only the highest of those three—the first degree—is only for men and women who will have eternal increase (spirit children), i.e., be eternally sealed to one another—’married’. However, for everyone else in that high heaven—in the other two lesser divisions or degrees—they are to remain separate and single for all eternity. If this is the case, then it certainly begs the question (for me at least): Do the current Mormon church leaders (those at the very top level) presuppose that all of the men and women who end up in those lesser divisions will be expected to live in some sort of loveless vacuum without any sort of loving companionship for all eternity? Do these leaders really think that those souls who lived good enough lives to merit the Celestial Kingdom (albeit not the highest part of it) will be somehow without the emotional well-being need to express and receive love? Again, if that’s the case then it sounds more like a hell than a heaven, let alone the highest one!

    What I am suggesting is that if according to the Mormon church marriage between a man and a woman (or rather one man and many women!) will be ONLY for very few in the grand scheme of things (remembering that there are still two more lesser heavens—the Terrestial and Telestial where ‘marriage’ supposedly will not be permitted), then why make such a big fuss over two men, or two women living together in the ‘here and now’ as married couples when obviously millions and millions of heterosexual married couples in the ‘here and now’ will not not merit the privilege of remaining as married couples in the ‘here-after’ either?

    At the very least the Mormon church could make prominent the teaching as being a practical doctrine in that everyone is welcome to be a member of the church, and remain a member no matter whether someone is single and/or wants to remain so, or is in whatever kind of marriage so long as it is monogamous. They could promulgate the teaching (in a tactful way) that the ‘here-after’ will operate under a different set of principles than the ‘here and now’ and that *some* temple ordinances, i.e., eternal sealing, are for heterosexual couples only. The ‘tactful’ aspect of this teaching could be simply “what the Lord has revealed thus far, and we can only speculate how it will be in the eternities what has not been revealed, although knowing that everyone has the opportunity to reside in the Celestial Kingdom so long as they are living moral lives in whatever kind of lawful marriage, or state of being single,” and leave it at that.

  8. Jeff James October 16, 2018 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Dusty and family: Thanks for sharing your story, There truly is beauty all around when there’s love at home and your boys are blessed to be in a loving one.

  9. Brent Allen October 16, 2018 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Why does the Church keep excommunicating the sort of people it needs most?

  10. Brock Christie Hancock October 17, 2018 at 4:47 am - Reply

    My heart goes out to him. I could feel his pain each step of the way. I have been there.
    I have been with my husband for 10 years now and we have adopted a beautiful little girl. I hope he finds his peace and finds a place where they all belong. We finally did, and it has been wonderful.

  11. Kathleen October 19, 2018 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. I am so grateful you took an understanding, loving, gentle approach. Anger solves nothing and I feel you are making quite a positive wake with this beautiful interview. <3

  12. MJ October 20, 2018 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Unable to sleep at 4 am, I listened to this podcast and heard the story of a close family member echoed in the pain and anguish of Dusty’s story! Thank you for the courage to share your story and life in such an honest way! I would like to echo all that Azul said!


  13. cl_rand October 25, 2018 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    This story is a sad but all too common commentary on another malignancy eating at the body of the church from within. A malignancy that is actively being encourged toward metastasis from those at the top it seems. How utterly disgraceful. Thanks for having the courage to go public with your story Dusty and Tate. It is sure to help many.

  14. Tom Hamblin November 4, 2018 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Paul Anthony, I appreciated reading your thoughtful words about a potential way the church could better manage its approach to its own doctrine. It would seem that an organization which treaches to love one another would welcome an approach like this at the very least.

  15. charlie November 4, 2018 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    May and mandatory disciplinary councils.

    What is missing there in your comments was the relevant time frame, or when the offense was committed. For example we had a guy who abused children in the 60’s , went to prison for 12 years, he was out for over 20 years without offending and was now confessing his sin to clear things up with God (as he said) so in his case it was decided to not hold a council since it would be pointless now (given that he has obviously repented years ago).

    But with those other situation where it is mandatory it is generally assumed that it is happening now or recently except for murder. Murder is mandatory because its considered outside of Christ redemption ie someone can’t turn to Jesus to seek forgiveness for murder and therefore can’t be a church member and must be excommunicated.

    But then again if a man was a member in the 70’s and inactive since then and now is in same sex married, then the church a- probably wont find out about him and b-won’t chase him down to hold a council. It only happens if they have some contact with church. Same with so called apostasy cases. It’s only those who have contact with the church and can influence other active members that they worry about.

  16. charlie November 4, 2018 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Re: “Pte Nelson can get on his knees and get revelation”

    His revelations have been many and they are all going towards getting even more stricter against gays and the LGTB agenda. Maybe you guys haven’t been keeping up with all this because you dream of a more benign church towards gays, but it is only getting worse for gays and anyone who supports them.

    In my opinion, this conflict will only increase. And I suspect that when a democrat gets back in the white house, they will be coming after all religions that are anti-gay, like the lds church, and try to limit them or ban them. That’s when the church will tell its members that everything has been prepared to be home based until they can get back to church. Its kind of obvious that things are going down that road.

  17. Taylor Averett January 6, 2019 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Dusty, you are my new hero, I’m listening to your podcast with John right now. I have so many, many connections with your story. I am so glad that you shared your story. What you are sharing rings completely true with all that I have ever experienced.

  18. Jane November 12, 2019 at 6:32 am - Reply

    Is there an update on this story?

  19. Danny Delamere August 13, 2020 at 4:20 am - Reply

    Wow how lovely you are in sharing your story , food for thought for many many people I so love the way you presented it.

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