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. Join John and Gerardo as they interview Evan and his son Weston about their fascinating Mormon Story.
In Part 1 of 3, we learn of Evan’s relatively normal LDS (Mormon) upbringing in Utah, early testimony-building experiences, and troubling issues on his mission regarding difficult Church topics including the Church’s racism & homophobia. Evan attends BYU and meets his wife, Cheryl, and works through law school with three children. He becomes a Branch President (leader of a local congregation-similar to a Bishop, but over a smaller congregation) and begins learning Gospel teachings and experiences weren’t as simple as they initially seemed, culminating in his son, Weston, coming out to him as gay.
Gay Latter-day Saint Crossroads This Body of Water: Surviving Mormonism as a Queer Man Episode Show Notes
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