An Open Letter of Hope to David Archuleta


Following the release of David Archuleta’s new song “Hell Together,” inspired by a heartfelt message from his mother expressing that she would prefer to endure hell with him rather than see him in a place devoid of love and acceptance, the response within the Latter-day Saint diaspora has varied widely. The spectrum of reactions has ranged from expressions of celebration to offense. Archuleta’s song poignantly sheds light on the emotional turmoil often experienced not only by sexual or gender minorities within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but also by their families and loved ones.

I’ve had a number of my own thoughts and reactions, ranging from deep empathy to profound sadness. Central to those thoughts is a conviction—despite never having met David or his sweet and loyal mother—that despite what you’re feeling right now, we will one day rejoice together in the highest of heavens.

To David, Lupe, and everyone navigating the complex intersections of faith, sexuality, identity, and familial bonds, I want to affirm my belief in an infinitely good and loving God who didn’t send us here to fail.

Earth is a classroom, not a courtroom. Latter-day Saints believe in Heavenly Parents who delight in our growth and progression, not in alienation or punishment. God works tirelessly with us, wherever we are, offering infinite opportunities for us to turn towards Him and receive His blessings.

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