Evergreen to Hold 18th Annual Conference

Evergreen International, the oldest and largest organization for faithful Latter-day Saints dealing with same-gender attraction, will hold its 18th annual conference on September 19 and 20, 2008 in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City .

The theme for the 2008 conference is “Walking in the Strait Path,” based on 2 Nephi 33:9 (. be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.”

Evergreen International was founded in 1989 as an information, education and resource organization for men and women working to overcome same-gender attraction while maintaining and sustaining the doctrines and standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The conference will include more than two dozen workshops on such wide-ranging topics as depression, intimacy, finding trust in relationships, dealing with same-gender attraction and overcoming pornography. There will be specific sessions designed to meet the needs of spouses, parents and friends. In addition, there will be workshops for Spanish-speaking participants.

Presenters for the workshops are a cross-section of both local and nationally known therapists, motivational speakers and religious leaders. This year’s keynote speaker is author and therapist Janelle M. Hallman. Her book, The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction was published earlier this year. Janelle is a licensed professional counselor from Colorado specializing in women dealing with same-sex attractions and emotional dependencies.

In addition, Elder William R. Walker of the Second Quorum of the Seventy will be the featured speaker Saturday morning, and on Saturday evening well-known LDS musician Michael Dowdle will present a special fireside.

Ecclesiastical leaders, including stake presidents, bishops, relief society presidents and others involved with welfare and emotional concerns, are invited to attend at no registration charge Elder Walker’s presentation Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in the chapel on the Joseph Smith Memorial Building mezzanine. They are also invited to attend a two-hour educational workshop, also in the chapel, that will provide information on spiritually based resources available to leaders who may have members who are struggling with same-gender attraction issues.