Gregg Hammerquist sounds like your average Mormon. He has a strong testimony of the Gospel. He was born in Idaho and lives in Utah. He has a love for the Gospel and temples. He has a loving family and he’s hard working.
But what makes him unique is he’s gay.
Gregg certainly isn’t the only homosexual in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but his choice to not let his feelings of attraction to men lead to action is certainly inspirational.
When asked about his past he explained, “I came out to my Bishop shortly after I started feeling attraction to guys. I was so nervous I was shaking and had to write it down.” He said the bishop replied, “As long as you don’t act on it you can go forward like any other saint!” Gregg continued, “And that was all there was to it for him. No big deal. So it was no big deal to me.”
Instead of being bitter in his trial, he finds joy in what he does have. “I can choose to be sad and focus on what I don’t have, or I can choose to be happy and focus on what I do. For heaven’s sakes, I live in America, I have a job, I have a family who loves me.”
As far as not being able to marry in the temple and start a family he sees this with an eternal perspective. “Everyone is asked to make sacrifices. I’ve had family members who were straight who never married either. My great Uncle was paralyzed from the waist down and couldn’t have kids after being in a POW camp in Japan during WWII. Instead he spent his time serving missions…the world is what you make of it.”
Gregg’s advice is nothing short of loving. “I just want everyone in the Church who does experience homosexual feelings to realize that the first place to look for love is inside yourself. If you can’t be happy with yourself, no one else will either. If you love yourself you can make it through anything.”
What an inspiration. Gregg was dealt a difficult hand and has remained faithful to the teachings of the gospel and to his Savior. He openly talks about his trials and reaches out to those around him, eager to make a difference simply by the way he lives his life. I’m inspired so much by people like Gregg. I ask that we empathize and treat those with same-sex attraction with kindness and understanding and with the realization that a trial is a trial no matter what form it takes–and that we’re all in this together.
If you would like to read more on the Church’s resources on same-gender attraction visit: